Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-SPOILER ALERT

In my opinion Trent Reznor did a stellar job of the movie score and soundtrack...I can’t wait to download it.  The opening graphics were pretty rad and set up a dark and cryptic lead-in. 

However, the movie didn’t stay true to the book or the Danish version and the character of Lisbeth fell apart towards the end.  I myself was a bit shocked at how Daniel Craig in boxer briefs could seemingly turn even the most flamboyant lesbian straight.  I understand that perhaps the director and producer didn’t think that American audiences could handle the sexuality but really Hollywood...must you basterdize everything?  Is it really any wonder that you are now making Shoots and Ladders into a full-length feature?!

All in all it’s not a bad way to spend three hours, but it is somewhat graphic and not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach J

Solid B+

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Thanks everyone for hanging in there with me. I've decided that in May after our busy season at work I'm going to move my blog to a new address which is easier to post on and personalize. I know I've been saying I would get back to writing and I really have not done that. Truth is I've written a lot but I haven't had time to post it. Hopefully in May I can post my new stuff and move it to a new home. Additionally I've been working really hard and volunteering for a political campaign and trying to organize a walk to Save the Darfur. So for those who think I've fallen off the face of the planet, I'm still here and I have a lot to post! Please check back for my new address. Again I appreciate all the support. I wish you all the best!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Straight From the Source

Below is the letter I wrote to the local paper, the "St. John's Source" per their shitty article about Katie "Woman Dies in Tragic Auto Mishap". I suppose their response to my letter was justified all though some what infantile (I decided it was in bad taste to post their reply). What the hell is wrong with people? When did people become so fucking callus? Given they did change the language in the article, but not much.

I would like to inform you that I'm a friend of the deceased. I'm greatly disturbed by the insensitive manner in which you wrote this article. While I'm not sure of the reporting practices in St. John's, don't you think in such a sensitive situation you should report the facts more than observation? I was most upset by your decision to include the neighbor's quote, "I heard Crunch, crunch, crunch and then a girl screamed." That "crunch crunch" was the crushing of Katie's lungs. I understand that graphic details sell papers, but have some respect. My friend was not a cereal, "snap crackle and pop." She was a good person who was tragically killed. Even if that was a direct quote from a neighbor was it really necessary to put that in the article? I think you exercised some poor judgment in this piece.

I appreciate that you changed the language in the article, thank you for that. Going forward please be more sensitive in your writing. This piece was like adding insult to injury. We were already upset with Katie's loss.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Gone but not Forgotten

Five years ago today I stood at the threshold of a cold dark bedroom on 85-Park Drive in Boston, MA. The snow was falling outside and without any real reason I remained frozen, staring at that little flashing red light on my phone. My heart was in my throat. I think it’s been there ever since. Perhaps it’s sincere cynicism, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Perhaps it’s intuition.

Today I stood, phone in one hand and my mouse firmly attached to the other, I was frantically multitasking in betweens meetings. In a rushed tone I answered the phone, “Good afternoon Alison…” Before I could even get my last name out the voice on the other line said, “Ali it’s Marc. I’m so sorry to call you at work with this, but Katie Hewson was in an accident.” I clumsily searched for my chair behind me. I needed to sit down. My heart previously in my throat was now flush against my molars.

“Marc, are you telling me Katie is dead?” He finished detailing the accident and said, “Yes, Katie is dead.” What the fuck????!!! Today holds a new sadness for me. Robbed of two great women on the same day, five years apart. I fail to see the logic here; God knows I’d really like to.

To make matters worse Mark had forwarded me an article regarding Katie Hewson’s death. They dated the accident on February 8th at 6:00pm. Katie was pronounced dead at 8:00pm. Perhaps it’s my own sensitivity, but the article literally made me sick. I decided in light of this news it was best if I left work a little early.

Maybe I’m angry at my losses, maybe I’m confused by fate. I really want to believe things happen for a reason, I really want to see the big picture. I want to put faith in something bigger then myself, but I just can’t. Maybe once a little more time has passed.

I remember when I met Katie Hewson, I had just moved into the YMCA for my first year at Northeastern University. They had run out of dorms on campus so all the transfer students were staying on the two top floors of the Y on Huntington Ave. That was truly an experience. We shared the elevator bank with the regular residents (Families in Transition). The bank was divided by a flimsy gate. It made the morning commute to classes both interesting and awkward. Though we were frequently awakened by our neighbors setting the building on fire, I miss that place. I miss the people.

Katie was one of the fist people I met there. She had the best sense of humor and the biggest smile of anyone I’ve ever met. Her klutziness may have in fact superceded my own, but she always found a way to make it a strength. It’s a great of sign of character to be able to laugh at yourself. Katie was just like that. Last week I was just thinking I needed to get in touch with her and see how life in St. John was treating her. Now it is too late for that.

This is just another reminder that I can’t put off things I really want. My priorities might be a little different than some but at the end of the day if I’m not here I want to go out knowing I did what I wanted. I worked towards my dream. Everything else is really moot. While I was busy watching the Anna Nicole Smith special report, my friend was taking her last breath. As the light in her eyes was slowly extinguished, I took my own for granted.

Today and hence forth, the sun shines a little less brightly, the world spins slightly off its axis and words have lost a little of their luster. We have lost two wonderfully amazing human beings, five years apart.

Note to the departed,
Since your stories were tragically cut short, I will have to finish writing them, I’ll keep going for all three of us, I promise.

Thank you, thank you both wherever you are tonight.

Katie Elizabeth Svitek
Kathleen Hewson

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


When I first saw this movie trailer, I was intrigued.
I'm very interested in true crime and Crime Science in general.
I could not imagine a serial killer that murdered over three
hundred people and was never caught. I was racking my brain t
rying to figure out how Touchstone pictures was able to
develop a movie around such an infamous serial killer in
Africa when there is literally no information on such a person.

According to the research I did, the only such person was
nicknamed "Monster of the Andes." His real name is/was
Pedro Alonzo Lopez and his story is truly one of the most
disturbing ones I've ever read. I will have to come back to
this, because his story is truly the answer to the question "
how are serial killer's created." It also raises the question of
mental welfare of the children of prostitutes. That aside, the
only thing that didn't make sense was the geography. Lopez
stalked Columbia, Ecuador and Peru. Not a remote part of
Africa, but a fairly large sparse section of South America.
I wouldn't think that the people at Touchstone were that bad
with their geography especially with millions of dollars at stake.

Upon further research I learned that this movie is really about
the enormous crocodile named Gustave who stalked Lake
Tanganyika in Burundi. A few years ago I caught a special on
PBS called "Capturing the Killer Croc." I have to admit, that
documentary was pretty damn good and engaging. Possibly
the best PBS special I've ever seen, then again I've only seen l
ike five PBS specials (if you are including Sesame Street).
Either way, there was one scene where I thought I was looking
at a sand bar, but as it turned out, it was Gustave the enormous
crocodile. That thing was at least 20 feet long weight over
1,000 pounds. It's size was/is of prehistoric proportions.

Crocodiles and alligators roamed the earth when it was
inhabited by dinosaurs, one of the few creatures
(roaches-ewww-being another) to have survived and
adapted. Millions and millions of years have only resulted
in these lizards change in size. At one point they were over fifty
feet. Now the average is about 14 feet. The discovery of a beast
over twenty feet and nearly a hundred years old was a mighty
big find! However, this croc was in fact stalking and tormenting
the people in Burundi. For those who have never seen "Hotel Rwanda."
A matter of years ago a civil war broken in Rwanda and an
ethnic cleansing/genocide began. The Hutu began to lash out
and spill the blood of the Tutsi. Both groups were living in Rwanda.
The massive bloodshed, pillage and rape of men women and
children (By the way-a similar Genocide
CONTINUES today in the Darfur region as I type) forced the Tutsi
into neighboring Burundi and Uganda.

For those cornered in Burundi were literally stuck
between a rock and a hard place. While they were
unable to move any further out of Burundi because of patrolling Hutu
rebels, they couldn't move in the other direction because there was a
twenty foot, mammoth crocodile looking for lunch! I cannot imagine
how difficult it made life. Getting clean water and or bathing was a
life and death situation.

While the movie Primeval credits Gustov with over 300 murders
it's really not clear if all those deaths can be attributed to the beast.
Remember at this time there is a civil war going on! Though likely
Gustave snacked on many human beings another debate is whether
he was forced to. Most animals are not a big fan of human flesh
(minus Jeffrey Dohmer of course). I understand we are rather
stringy and salty! I kid...or do I?

Many years back in Kenya, while laying tracks meant to
bridge Lake Victoria and Mombassa 135 workers were taken out
by these lions. Naturalists surmised that these lions ate humans
not out of want but out of need. The construction of the railroad
frightened away these lion's normal pray forcing them to eat the
only substance available, humans. Humans mad for a relatively
easy pray, preoccupied with laying tracks and relatively helpless
without a firearm.

Naturalists also suspect this theory of eating humans
because other environmental conditions forced out normal
pray can applied to Gustave. No doubt the thing is enormous!
It's been shot twice and remains at large. The naturalists
who put together the PBS special were unable to catch him
even with the helped of thirty men. The idea was to capture
Gustave and then transport him to a preserve where he
could not harm any more people and could be studied.
Unfortunately, the present day dinosaur provide to smart
for the many traps set. I myself am on the fence on whether the
best should have been killed. It is an interesting debate though.
Should he be killed, I mean haven't the people occupying that part
of Burundi been through enough? Should the present day dinosaur
be moved to a wildlife preserve? Or should the elusive lizard be
permitted to roam free?

In any event I find these topics much more interesting that
what promises to be a Primeval waste of money. I suspect that
there is as much truth to the film as there was in the advertising of it!
FYI-I noticed that they recently changed their trailer to read
"It's not human" at the end of it.

The Battleship Potemkin

Okay, so I'm really starting to think that it's true, nothing in
Hollywood is original. Disney has managed to successfully
turn every Grim (pun intended) fairytale into a feel good
cartoon with a great ending. Do people realize that these
cartoons were developed to convey political messages in
Germany nearly a century and a half ago? As I understand
even these fairytales weren't originally German, but
French-until the Grimms got hold of them.

Walt Disney was another one in a long list of fairytale
reitoraters (rather than inventors). Walt was a few french-fries
short of a happy meal. Example the character
Snow White was actually drawn from a 12 year old model.
Um, ewww! So you have a 12 year old girl sleeping in a house
with a bunch of older guys waiting for an prince to swing by the cottage.
It's really a wonder that pedophilia runs ramped in this society!

Over the holiday weekend, I watched "The Prince of Egypt."
A cartoon about Moses freeing the Jews from an evil Pharos
and delivering them onto the promise land. FYI-I do believe the
cartoon version omitted a few plagues. SERIOUSLY, WTF????!!!
Are we that low on ideas?

It's just my opinion that some of the strangest most
interesting stories are not fiction but reality. I was screening
the Battleship Potemkin yesterday at work. I guess I was
inadvertently yelling out what I thought would happen in each
scene, right before it happened. These scenes looked so familiar
to me! Not because I've ever seen the movie before but because
this movie was so innovative many other movies and famous
scenes were influenced by it! On one hand that is an attest to the
film but on the other hand it's damn sad that we don't seem to
know the difference between influence and outright plagiarism!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Not so Rosie point of View

Firstly I would like to know what possesed Barbara Walters
to put Rosie on The View in the first place. I never thought
this was a great idea. I've never been a fan of O' Donnell.
There are a few things I find disturbing about the koosh
flinging former hostess. First point: she has always had a
crush on "cutie patootie Tom Cruise." Secondly: when she
had her own show she attempted to rip her guest Tom
Selleck a new one because he was card caring member of the
NRA. If memory serves she was so obnoxious he walked off
the show. Perhaps her critisim would have been better recieved
had she not been doing spots for KMART at the time. FYI- KMART
was one of the largest chain stores to sell minors hand guns.

I realize I'm a little late in bringing this up, but it's hard
to avoid the Roise topic with ridiculous comments such as
"Ching Chong Danny Diveto ." Plus her rant on the Donald.
I think she also outed Clay Akin , who by the way hasn't even
outed himself! Wow, she has been really busy. I have to say though,
Danny Diveto comment slays me. Isn't that something people say
when they are 6? Scratch that, 6-year-olds have more tact. It is
really hysterical that she would accuse Trump of being a crappy moral
compass but ended her rant with "Sit and spin my friend."
What the hell does that even mean???!!! To that end I say,
Rosie...sit on a pitchfork and rotate (whatever the hell that means) ;-)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What the Hell is Cutting Edge TV?

Recently, I read an article on how “cutting edge TV” isn’t
really edge anymore. What I took for the article is that cutting
edge entertainment just translates to shock value these days.
Moreover, nothing is really all that shocking! So where does
entertainment go from here? Personally, I don’t believe in
censorship, but I do believe in good taste. So what are people
watching now? As a viewer, I’m so sick of seeing nudity and
hearing profanities. Give me a good story any day of the week!

I liken the article to the development of CG (computer generated)
movies. “King Kong” is a great example! There was very little
keeping me in my seat for the entirety of that bland movie.
The story was not all that interesting and I got really board
watching some giant ape running around. If I really wanted
to see a giant ape running around I would park myself in a sports
bar during a football game!!!! None the less, the point is that I
spent money to watch 2 hours of a computer generated monkey run
around. Where as a movie like “Mystic River” kept my attention
for the entire flick.

TV these days is no different. People pandering to some
notion, audiences really want to see nudity and violence
because it’s considered cutting edge. Well it’s not so
cutting edge anymore! Everyone has seen it already!!!
For the love of God, how many times can I watch naked people
running around, beating the crap out of each other and cursing
all the while?? These storylines don’t even make sense.
That is if there are story lines at all. I think if anything
programming is doing a 180! People are so sick of this so
called edginess that they are looking for decent dramas are
sitcoms. I never thought I would see the day where
audiences longed for something interesting, something
witty, something funny, something entertaining! Seriously,
when the hell did entertainment become about entertainment??!!

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