Mamma Mia!

Jul. 25th, 2008 11:32 pm
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In "Par Avion," Mikhail Bakunin hinted at the possibility that which you wish for may come true. You may ask, “How was that so?” Well in the scene wherein Kate, Locke, Sayid, Danielle, and Mikhail stumble upon the pylons that surround the barracks, Kate exclaims, “What is it?” and starts going towards the pylons. Sayid, suspiciously and fearing for Kate’s life pulls her away. Sayid asks Mikhail, “What are these pylons?” To that, the camera pans onto Mikhail who has a sheepish smile on his face and asks, “What do you think they are?”

 

Mikhail does not answer the question directly. He lets Sayid suggest what he thinks the pylons are. Sayid comes up with a few possible answers, and Mikhail takes the security system as the correct answer and informs the castaway that it hasn’t work for years. As everything on the island so far, are the castaways seeing pylon for what it really is? Or are they seeing an illusion and making up the illusion to fit their needs at the time?

 

I did not pay much attention to this particular scene when it was first showing because I didn’t have a piece of the puzzle that I obtained in the next episode: “The Man from Tallahassee.”

 

Ben, the master manipulator, even his daughter Alex confirmed that Ben is a manipulator, weaved his words in such a way that he suggested to Locke to blow up the submarine. The submarine is of no use for Ben anymore. Since the “sky went purple,” there are no communications with the outside world. So the sub can leave, but not come back. The sub for Ben is better off blown up, because it would solve one of Ben’s greatest dilemmas: He promised to Jack and Juliet that if they would treat his wounds and keep him alive, he'd let them leave the island. However, if he were to let them leave, Ben’s people would see that as a sign of weakness. Not letting them leave would also be a sign of weakness, because Ben gave his word, and Ben’s word is good as gold. He could have killed them (which I think he probably was going to do), but that would be cheating. So, when Locke showed up, Ben was able to manipulate Locke into blowing up the submarine. Locke would be the one blamed; Ben would be a man of his word and not lose face.

 

Ben, however, in his speech about his dilemma, mentioned something extremely interesting to Locke: The island has a box (I don’t think that there is a box, I think that Ben used that as a metaphor) that will grant your wishes. Is that what was happening around the island when Kate saw the black horse; Jack saw his dead father; Hurley saw his imaginary friend Dave (who by the way is also his own father’s name); Sawyer heard the man he killed tell him what goes around comes back around; and Eko’s brother Yemi? Were those things manifestations of the castaways’ imagination? Is that why the children are kept safely away? After all, children can have wild imaginations and could possibly conjure up some wild nightmarish things. Look at what Walt was capable of doing: The polar bear. Could it possibly be that Locke is walking because he wished himself to walk? How did he become a great boar hunter when he never hunted boar before?

 

Locke, according to Ben is also in total communion with the island. Ben who has lived there all his life is no longer able to communicate with the island as well as Locke does. Why? Locke hints that because Ben lives the life of a hypocrite, he doesn’t deserve the island. Should Ben and his people live off the island naturally without damaging the ecosystem as they did before DHARMA came? Are Ben and his people equivalent to our American Indians? Where they once in harmony with the land and have they lost it because of avarice and greed? These are the new questions that arose from this episode. But we did learn how John Locke lost his ability to walk (his father pushed him off the 8th floor window, trying to kill him). As always, LOST answers one question and brings on a few more. But as I always say, without those questions, there will not be LOST.

 

This episode was extremely enjoyable. Seeing Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson interacting with each other was worth the long wait. The last time these two were together was in Season 2, when Ben was Henry. I believe that Locke and Ben are very important characters to answer the mystery of the island, so we are probably going to have more great interactions between these two great actors.

 

The next episode of LOST is “Exposé.” According to the creators, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, “Exposé” will be a pivotal episode. I am looking forward to it.

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The question of free will vs. destiny is still prevalent and was not answered. I don’t think it will ever be answered, as we in the real world have not answered it. 

This episode was light in nature. It used some humor and some pathos in its plotline. I knew that humor would be inserted. After all, it was a Hurleycentric episode. Hurley stands for comedy. There was some sadness. We saw that he was missing Libby and he was saddened that she was not there with him. He was definitely moved, scared, and morose about his status on the island, the loss of his friends, the loss of Libby, and Desmond’s predictions for Charlie’s fate. Jorge was really good as a dramatic actor. I shed some tears. I really felt Hurley’s pain. Of course, we tend to forget that for the islanders, time moves slowly. It’s been almost a year since Libby died, but for Hurley, it’s been a few weeks, and those weeks were full of life-threatening incidences to allow him to mourn. He was finally able to do so.

In essence the episode is about Charlie mopping because he was told by Desmond that he will die. Kate and Sawyer join the castaways at the beach. Kate can’t let go of the idea of saving Jack. Sawyer is hurt, because he loves Kate and he is not happy that she still has feelings for Jack. (I hate triangles, but then again, the stories would be boring without them.) 

Vincent is back (which, as an animal lover, especially dogs, makes me very happy to have him/her back) and brings back a skeleton’s hand with car keys attached to it. Hurley chases Vincent and finds an old VW bus with a DHARMA logo instead of a VW logo in the front. (Those DHARMA Initiative people must have had a lot of money to have custom-made VW buses.) 

Sawyer is angry that his loot has been taken, but Hurley diverts his attention by hugging him. Hurley is genuinely happy to see him back. They find beer (besides a decomposed DHARMA worker named Roger—who wears a DHARMA uniform with a label identifying him to be a work man) inside the bus. Sawyer and Jin consume the beer even though they both agree that it is stale and flat. (I guess you’ll do anything when you are deprived.) Sawyer teaches Jin important English phrases to help him communicate with women: “I’m sorry” and “These pants don’t make you look fat” were among the phrases I can remember offhand. 

We met Paulo and Nikki and they were not that obnoxious. We met Cheech Marin as Hurley’s father. His father disappeared from his life 17 years earlier and returned when Hurley became rich. (Nice guy.) We saw Hurley’s chicken fast-food place hit by a meteor and the TV interviewer (Tricia Tanaka) who was inside is killed. 

Back on the island, Hurley dares Charlie to go for a joy ride inside the DHARMA bus. Chances are he will be killed or not. Charlie takes the dare. The bus makes it and nobody dies. This is Hurley’s way of acquiring hope, something he lost a few weeks ago. 

There were a lot of Sawyerisms, and I had fun watching this episode. Jorge Garcia is a great comedian. However, I would just consider this show a fluffy and filler show. Not that there is anything wrong with that! 

Next week’s episode will be Sayidcentric: “Enter 77.” The episode promises to begin unraveling the mystery of the DHARMA Initiative, the Other, and the island. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A lot of people will think that the episode "Stranger in a Strange Land" downright bad. Not I, I think this episode will be a very pivotal episode that will change how we think of the Others, the LOSTies, and maybe our lives in general.

This episode made me start thinking that maybe I am not watching the show with the right attitude. I think that LOST also touches upon social commentaries about us and the world around us.

Throughout the two completed seasons and now, as the third season unfolds, I always got the idea that the show has some religious-based message, some sci-fi undertones, and something else. I couldn’t put my finger on the something else. The "Stranger in a Strange Land" episode just clenched it for me.

Of course, as any theory that anybody develops about LOST, mine may be shot down to oblivion once the next episode comes along. However, I think I will get to keep this theory for a while, as it has been lurking in my thoughts for a while now.

In the scene whereupon Sawyer and Kate ask Karl about the kidnappings, Karl reveals that the children are taken and given a better life than the LOSTies have. I got the impression that Karl was very condescending, and the my-life-is-better-than-your-life attitude was very prevalent. I got the same impression from Goodwin when, in he beginning of Season 2, he told Ana Lucia that the kidnapped children are in a better place now. We may think, while watching, that perhaps the children were taken off to a place with plumbing, food supply, medical attention, etc. Hence, they are better off. Not I, I took the message to mean something very demeaning, and I thought I was just being supersensitive.

Then I heard Godwin and Henry say that they are the "Good Guys." The two statements “better off” and “Good Guys” got me thinking. And the condescending remark coming from someone who has been beaten by his own people (Karl), clinched it for me. We should view LOST as a political commentary as well.

Don’t all countries have the attitude "We are better than others"? For example, let us look at our own backyard: Doesn't our government's administration attack other countries and “encourage” them to be a democratic society? Aren't we always positive about democracy being a better form of government? Don’t we consider ourselves to be the good guys, while we are bombing and killing people overseas? Don’t we find it hard to believe that anyone would consider us the enemies? Aren’t we arrogant enough to go to other countries, fiddle with their economy, and then cry out that they are the enemy when they rebel against us?

I know that what I am saying is not going to be taken very well, but I think that LOST is telling us something: In one of the beginning scenes, Jack is being moved from the aquarium to give room to Juliet, but he thinks he is being moved to be killed. Tom says, "What kind of people do you think we are, Jack?" To this, Jack replies, "I don't know, Tom. What kind of people would take a pregnant woman; hang Charlie from a tree; would drag our people out of the jungle; who'd kidnap our children? That's the kind of people I think you are." Tom walks over to the glass of the aquarium, taps it, and says, "You see this glass house you are living in Jack? How about I get you some stones?" So which side is guilty? Who is the bad guy? Who is the good guy?

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s more to LOST than this social commentary. But I think that we should really look into the show’s deeper sociopolitico meaning.

All in all, I did like this show. It was not as spectacular as "Flashes before Your Eyes." But "Stranger in a Strange Land" did not give me the headaches I felt with "Flashes before Your Eyes." It did give me lots of things to think about. It satisfied my curiosity about the Others and how they live, their government. I got to see Ben (a character that I just adore). What more can I ask for?

Next week, we will see "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead," which is Hurleycentric and, chances are, will be a humorous episode.


spicedogs: (Michael Emerson on the Beach)

I  went to the movies on Saturday and I saw a great picture. It was made in Spain and is called Seres Queridos, or in English, Only Human. If you saw Borat, think of this movie as the cleaned up version. It was continuous laughter from the first 5minutes till the end.

 Here's a little synopsis:

 
Imagine a family, a Jewish family, a dysfunctional, but loving Jewish family. The family consists of 3 adult children, two females and one male. One of the females is a celebrity on TV. She is bringing her new fiancée to meet her family. She told her family that her fiancée was born in Jerusalem , which is not a lie, except that he is a Palestinian. Her brother is now a very observant orthodox Jew, who keeps a duck in the bidet. Her sister is a nymphomaniac belly dancer (single mother of a 7-year-old girl, who likes to pretend that she is pregnant), living with her parents. Grandpa lives with them, too. Grandpa was a prisoner in concentration camp, is now blind, and does not have all his marbles together. Through all this, the family loves each other, tries to accept each other, except that poor Rafi (the fiancée), while trying to help mom cook the soup for the night's dinner, I accidentally dropped it out of the window, hitting pedestrian on the head with it. This pedestrian resembles the dad--his future in-law. And believe it or not, it's laughter a minute.

If you get a chance, go see it.

 


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When I started posting in Live Journal, my ultimate goal was to post summaries of all the LOST episodes. My intention is to use them as a reminder in case I need to go back to certain scenes. Lost came back with a vengeance. What a magnificent episode it was. It was a Julietcentric episode, which means that the flashbacks were about Juliet's life. For clarification purposes, the red italic type denotes my thoughts. The rest are the summaries.

spicedogs: (JOB)
Well I saw Jumping Off Bridges. As far as I was concerned, it was an OK movie. Actually, while watching the movie I had a feeling of watching a documentary and not a movie that I was supposed to get involved with the characters and feel their pathos. However, not because I am prejudiced, which I am, the best performance of all the actors was by none other than...    you guessed it: Michael Emerson.

Once again, Michael did not disappoint me. I felt his character's pain when he poured out his heart to his son Zak, as well as when he no longer could hold his grief and cried. Michael knows how to create empathy. He was superb. But then again, are you surprised?

The movie's ending was very confusing.  In case someone who is reading this has not seen it, I will not divulge the end. Suffice it to say that during the Question and Answer period, there were a number of questions from the audience regarding the ending. Moreover, the producers did tell us that we were not alone in our confusion.

All in all, this movie is a great tool to show in psychology classes where grief, suicide, posttramatic disorder syndrome is discussed. It is not a movie that I would recommend for your enjoyment. (Unless, of course, you want to enjoy seeing Michael Emerson on the screen.)

It is very late, and I need to go to sleep, otherwise I'd go on. But I think my synopsis gives you an idea about this movie. I am not unhappy that I went to see it, but once again, aside from the fact that Michael Emerson gave a great performance, it was not the greatest movie.
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I DO or WTF

Nov. 8th, 2006 11:50 pm
spicedogs: (Benjamin Linus)
Read on only if you have seen I DO or don't mind reading a spoiler. )
spicedogs: (Mr.Eko)
This was the best summary and review of "The Cost of Living" that I have read so far:

http://darkufo.blogspot.com/2006/11/things-i-noticed-cost-of-living-by.html
spicedogs: (JOB)

Jumping Off Bridges

(written and directed by Kat Candler)

 

Here’s a bit of history of Kat Candler and how she met Michael Emeron:

 

After the original actress cast in the role of Grove dropped out due to a family emergency, a second round of auditions was held. It was fate that Savannah Welch stepped in that day. “The character of Grove hit eerily close to home for me”, says Welch. “My boyfriend of 3 years had a suicide in his immediate family. I witnessed the grief it caused him and each family member separately, and how it affected me in turn. The character, I knew would be intense for me because of these personal reasons, but those are the kinds of roles that are most rewarding”. Welch has received rave reviews for her portrayal of Grove, Zak’s tough as nails girlfriend. Michael Emerson (Saw, The Legend of Zorro, LOST) plays the role of Frank Nelson, Zak’s kindhearted father. At the age of 15, Kat Candler and Michael Emerson both lived in Jacksonville, FL. Kat was a budding actress in high school and Michael was praised as the best actor to step foot onto a Jacksonville stage. She admired him from afar and eventually took his acting workshop. She fell in love with his intensity and his love for the stage. She got involved on his summer production of Twelfth Night working in the props department. She lent the production her parent’s expensive rug, which after production wrapped, she was too shy to ask for it back. At the tender age of 15, she didn’t want to upset one of her idols. After high school, Kat went off to college and Michael moved to New York City to try it on Broadway. Kat kept tabs on his career as it climbed from a Broadway role opposite Kevin Spacey in The Iceman Cometh to an Emmy winning turn on The Practice. In the spring of 2005 (about 15 years later) she sent him a letter about what an impression he’d made on her life and asked him to star in her independent film. He read the script and two days later, signed on to star. Since filming Jumping Off Bridges Michael took a guest starring role on ABC’s series LOST and has become a huge hit in the role of Henry Gale (head of “The Others”)


Here's Michael's bio that I found in the Jumping Off Bridges Web site:


Michael Emerson
(Frank Nelson) made his New York stage debut playing Oscar Wilde in Moises Kaufman's Gross Indecency. He has appeared on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh with Kevin Spacey and [in] Hedda Gabler, opposite Kate Burton. Off-Broadway and regional work include plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Friel and LaGarce at The Roundabout, Arena Stage, McCarter, Huntington, and many other theaters. Film credits include The Imposters, Playing by Heart, Straight Jacket, Saw, and The Legend of Zorro. On television, he has played a number of off-beat and dangerous characters on programs like The X-Files, the Law and Order, Without a Trace, The Inside, and many others, including a turn as the might-be serial-killer William Hinks on The Practice, for which he received a 2001 Emmy Award. Michael can currently be seen in the role of Henry Gale on the ABC series LOST.

THE SCRIPT

Jumping Off Bridges is a story ripped from the heart of Kat Candler’s adolescence. “I tend to gravitate towards the romanticism of youth. Everything’s so heightened and new.” Candler’s first feature film, Cicadas (2000) a teenage love story, won festival awards across the US and was hailed as “possibly the best teen misfit romance drama since the mid-80s” by Ain’t It Cool News. It’s “a heartwrenching coming of age teen flick somewhere between Degrassi Jr. High and The Virgin Suicides," said Michael Chamey from The Austin Chronicle. She was instantly branded as the girl in Austin who makes movies about teenagers.

 

Inspired by invincible friendships, junior high journal entries, heart breaking crushes and the complexities of losing loved ones, Kat Candler spent 2001 penning Jumping Off Bridges. The story follows an adventurous group of four best friends in the trenches of adolescence. It centers on Zak Nelson and his struggle to come to terms with a family tragedy.

 

Candler has been called the John Hughes of her generation, tapping into the authenticity and honesty of teenagers. The Austin Chronicle “described her as “one of the most astute observers of teenage behavior working behind a camera today, and Jumping Off Bridges, her powerful, resonant examination into the impact of suicide on those left behind is as realistic a narrative portrait of love, death, and human debris as anything you're ever likely to see onscreen." Candler's ability to take some of the darkest and most jagged truths about fear, regret, sadness, loss, suffering and pain and break them




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