Iron Giant

I was pleasantly surprised by this film, I was quite suprised because nobody had told me anything about it, and I had never heard of it before. This was a blind one for me (It was on the of a movie club on Simply Syndicated Forums). The film was directed by brad bird who has also written Ratatouille, The Incredibles and a few episodes on The Simpsons. I really liked Ratatouille and The Incredibles and it was only until I saw Iron Giant that I knew he had done those other films. He has not done a lot of work but what he has done I think are really good. He has an upcoming film called 1906 which seems promising. He seems to be the kind of writer to take his time with his films, considering the time he has been working.

Iron Giant is about a boy who finds an innocent robot who wants to be destroyed as quickly as possible by typical FBI Agent. I like the way it is a big mystery where the giant came from and is all my word of mouth that the thing even exists. The film actually follows the boy and how he finds the robot and his journey with him throughout the film. Throughout the whole film he is teaching the robot about the way humans live and he also tries to understand it too and teaching the giant some good as well. You also get the agent questioning the boy throughout the film and trying to get some evidence that the robot exists. For me the end is quite exciting and very well done.

The direction of the film is very well done, it drags you in quite a lot. The camera work is very nifty for a cartoon giving you interesting views, this also adds to the appeal. With a mixture of neat views and colour, visually the film is right on the money. I do also like the voices used in the film with Eli Marienthal as the boy , Jennifer Aniston as his mother and Vin Diesel as the robot. The voices are nice, consistent and very believable.

The film is a very good to watch for both Family and kids, very entertaining from start to finish. Some very good moments in the film and I was a little sad near the end. You will have to watch the film to see the reason, but it is a very typical cartoon and comes up trumps. Some very big stars voice in this film and do very well in it. The subject of the film is also very perfect and nice to watch overall.

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Inspirational Quote No. 2

Apple: iPod Touch

With its shiny new look and jam-packed with new apps and software, iPod Touch is the hottest gadget market at the moment. This iPod Touch brought you by Apple is a new kind of MP4 Player, it is more like a Media Device with Wi-Fi Apple have brought many great products to the market and at the moment have a big chunk of the technology market with their best-selling product being the iPod. The iPod was first released in 2001, seven years on they have the one of the best selling products in the world.

The iPod Touch brings something new to the table from Apple, the main purpose for the iPod is to play music but the Touch has just so much more. It is a completely different iPod, the first set of features to mention is the Music, Movie and TV Shows it allows you to listen to your music on your iTunes Playlist. The new iPod Touch also uses the new features on the new iTunes 8. Including the new Genius Playlist, that composes a playlist for you according to the music you have in your library. Also the movies you have on iTunes can be transferred onto the iPod Touch. With the iPod Touch’s wide screen it is lovely for watching movies. Listening to music on the Touch is brilliant too, now that it has an iTunes store built onto the iPod. Imagine that you are out and you hear a track that you like, you can now buy it on iPod Touch, wherever you are.

Another cool app the iPod has now is games and on normal iPods they are 2D but with the Touch the games are in 3D. The games have become very popular and are also available on iTunes. The new iPod Touch allows you to play games like you are using a game controller, the games are played using motion sensor on the iPod Touch. Very cool app ad feature that will revolutionize mobile gaming in the future. The most populat feature they have is the internet using wi-fi, the browser Apple use on the iPod Touch is Safari. Safari is said to be the fastest browser both on Mac and PC. Now Safari has come mobile and there have been many glitches but Apple have improved it and is now as solid as ever. With the new iPod Touch may come new problems, but they should be sorted soon. You can connect to the internet using Wi-Fi.

The iPod Touch also boasts features that next-generation mobiles boast, including Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Photos , Calculator and etc. Another cool app the Touch has that you can connect you trainers to it and it will allow you to connect to your trainers. So you can track your health and fitness and other helpful statistics to keep you in top shape. The iPod Touch also allows you to watch youtube videos, which is great for when you are on the move.

I really think that the iPod touch is a great piece of kit its design blows every other kind of media player out of the water. The design is well thought out and is very very appealing. It catches your eye as soon as you look at it amongst other products. It also invites the urge for you to lift it up and touch it. The main feature on the iPod Touch is the touch screen, that is how it is full operated. You use your fingers to control the iPod , it is loads of fun when listening to music because of iTunes cover-flow it is just beautiful to use. It is also great for viewing pictures because you can pinch the screen and the picture zooms in or out. The way the touch scree has been implemented on the iPod Touch has also been used on the trackpad on the new Apple MacBook Pro. It works just as well and is great for moving your windows around.

The iPod Touch comes in a 8, 16 aand 32GB editions, one of the problems that Apple Consumers have is the fact that that sizes are too small. Not a problem more a want from the consumers. Overall it is a fantastic piece of kit, a lot of other companies will implement the same kind of features. But Apple have got it right with this one apart from the size I don’t see why customers won’t be happy.

Apocalypse Now

One of the most serious war films I have seen in a long time, it was not afraid to go over and beyond the limit and it was very hard-hitting. Apocalypse now made in 1979 some really big names before they found fame as poular actors. Stars including Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Rovert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Harrison Ford and Dennis Hooper. The all went have gone on to produce more amazing cinema. Apocalypse also famous for the quote “I do love the smell of Napalm in the moring” said by Dennis Cooper in the film.

Apocalypse Now was directed by Francis Ford Coppola famous for directing the Godfather Trilogy another masterpiece of cinema, a film that many have to see. He is also a good producer and writer. The direction he took in this film has made me fall in love with his work, it was mostly based on narrative. Sounds and looks amazing thr whole way through. There is a scene in a film where he is in a boat and you see this beautiful view of the lake and you can almost hear all living things in that scene. There are a lot of famous scenes in this film combining lighting with the emotions on the actors face. That does sound odd but looking at the pictures that what I get from them.


Apocalypse now is mainly about Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) who is sent on a secret mission to capture a man called Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, who has become a God amongst a local tribe in Camodia. Along the way you see how Captain Willard feels about war according to his past experiences. To be honest war has not been too kind on him, when watching the film you feel that war has been too real for him that he is out of place when he comes home and is not the same anymore. He actually makes mention of this in the movie, but Coppola does a great job of making you think about it some more.

This film is really is all about war and I dont mean “yeah, let’s blow a few buildings up and have people shooting constantly at eachother”. This film represents the real meaning of war and what it does to the people involved. It gets you thinking about what you think war is about. In my opinion I think war is an action that tells us who is stronger than the other. We at war everyday with ourselves, the war we see on TV everyday is something bigger and more important but nonetheless, its war. What we use to fight war is just as important as fighting it, many countries use money, guns and persistence where others us faith, knowledge and the mind to fight war. This film does a great job of reminding us that you have to have the mindset to win war.

This film is a true masterpiece pushing all the button for an excellent war movie. With some great and memorable scenes it will make you want to watch it again. It makes you think about war and there is good direction from Coppola to help you. There are seens where Willard and Kurts are talking and you are totallyengroosed by the movie the whole way through. This is one of my favourite war movies of all time and it makes me appreciate war a whole lot more.

Inspirational Quote No.1

Invasion – By Robin Cook

This one is a sci-fi, I’m really into science fiction but this one was an exception. Today I am reviewing the book invasion by Robin Cook published in 1997. As you have gathered it is an alien invasion, but the aliens land in true sci-fi style. Robin Cook has also written books such as Contangion, Fatal Cure and Outbreak. He has books in Reader’s Digest and has bestsellers in New York Times. He mainly writes about medicine & public health, he is known for combining medical and thriller in his books.

This book is very entertaining from start to finish, for this book I am going to give you a really vague plot. I may reveal too much about this book. Late at night when many college students are out, and what seem to be a shooting star has appeared. At the same time electrical equipment is fried, unsuspectely nobody has a clue what is going on. The next day black discs all around the college campus are found. The story continues with the plans of how the aliens take over the world. Whilst this is going on a flu like disease is going on and the whole world is seem to be getting infected by it.

Robin Cook is able to balalance sci-fi and and action, suspense and drama. This is wierd but I compare it to a comedy book, just because of the ease of reading. This book, in my opinion was not just for sc-fi fans, through out the book you understood everything even the medical jargon. The book was about a team trying to save the world and it almost felt like you were with them, in that team. I though this because the style of the writing was not too concise and was very laid back. The layout was also very easy to follow too, not too muddled up and you were never lost with what is going on.

I really would like to get into the charcters in depth but it would give too much away. The characters were very well drawn out, with each having their moments and everyone single one seemed central to the story. I like the character a lot because the seemed so real and you could relate to their lives. The characters seemed to use what they know to help, it was not like they suddenly gained a skill that they would not normally have. There also brief bits of descriptions of how the characters were feeling, this also helped to understand what was going on in the story.

Robin Cook definitely laid something very different here for me, I was totally immersed in this books, and there were moments I felt I should put this down. Then something will draw me back in. The book has definitely got me interested in what sci-fi boks have to offer, I am sure it will do the same to many other people. It is not hard at all to get into and you don’t wait very long until you are engrossed. I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading I am sure many will enjoy it.

Nokia

Nokia are at the moment the worlds biggest company for providing mobile telephones, the sell their product in over 150 countries. It is a finnish company that has a global device market share of 40%, this also makes Nokia by far the biggest fiinnish country. Nokia play a big role in the economy of Finland. Nokia also have 7 main research centers in seven of the leading indstrialist countries including Finland, Denmark, Germany, China, Japan, United Kingdom and United States.

I am a big fan of Nokia, I am loving their phones at the moment they seem to get everything right for me personally. Nokia seem to know about phones and nothing else and they do not try to show it, in the time I have known about Nokia they just seem to concentrate on phones, souly. Their designs can be sometimes hit and miss but recently they have been improving their designs nicely. I remember when the N95 came out the design was not too bad and it had all the features you need including a memory of 8GB it was all you needed for entertainment. Then customers started to complain that the slider was inappropriate and the battery was not very good (personally the if that battery is used adequately on any Nokia you can get 2 days out of them Max). Nokia responded to the problems with an N82 which they solved the battery life problem and it was not a slide phone it was a candy phone. Although the N82 did not have and 8GB memory its battery life had improved, and it was easier to carry.

Just like an Apple product I find that Nokia is very easy to use and does not require a manual. To be fair Nokia have paved the way for some of the features we see on phones to day. Like classic ringtones and games that are addictive to play, they also have been very iconic with their designs. From memory the 7110 phone was very stylish but when it appeared on the hit movie the Matrix everyone wanted one. They namesd it the Matrix phone later on, I really liked the feature on the phone where you could click a button on the side and the slide will come down automatically. Subsequently, popular phones gradually started to appear in hit movies.

One thing I must talk about is the menu screens, their old one where you would have to click left or right to see the next option. Although it was inconvenient I thought it was what made them unique from all the other phone manufacturers. Their icons seemed pleasing to look and their phones were reliable to use (meaning the screens did not freeze often). Another thing that made Nokia unique was the snake game, I think it is the most popular phone game ever, I don’t know any other game that had such an impact. If someone had their Nokia phone and they were outside they were playing that snake game, everyone from children to adults were absolutely hooked to the game. The main objective of the game was to grab the food that appeared on the screen using the keys 2,4,6 and 8. Making sure not to hit the the walls in the game.

The Nokia has been popular for decades now and the things mentioned above are some of the main reasons why. They have made a big mark in the mobile telephone market and they have not stopped, they continue to establish their name and increase competition in the market by listening to the customers. They released phones like the 7210 and the 3110 that everyone had, regardless whether you needed one or not. They were some of the most popular phones being sold, building Nokia up as one of the leading competitors in mobile communication.

Shooting Dogs

When you first read the back of this DVD case for this film, you immediately think this is going to be another Hotel Rwanda, with its graphics scenes and emotion throughout Shooting Dogs takes a different look at the Rwandan civil war and tells a story of a teacher  who wanted to make a difference. The film is based on the war fought by two differnt tribes in Rwanda.

It was a civil war that became a genocide, the civil war had been between the Hutu Tribe and the Tutsi Tribe. In 1994, over 800, 000 people died over the course of 100 days. It had turned into a war where families were torn apart and many in hiding, amongst all this atrocoties many believed that God was with them. The hutus dominated them tutsies with guns and machetes. With the support of the french the Hutu  tribe massacred many Tutsies rebels unmercifully and with no remorse.

Like Hotel Rwanda there is a lot of emotion in this film and you do feel empathy for the characters, with Shooting Dogs it seems to be different. There is more understanding for these chracters. Shooting Dogs allows you to grow with these characters and almost become their friends, so to speak. Then whilst the characters are going through their horrible ordeal knowing what will happen at the end you almost weep, literally. The story starts when they find out that the airplane of the Hutu President of Rwanda is shot down. So then the Tutsi population flee from their homes in fear oh the Hutu militia. They all take refuge in the school of the Catholic Priest Christopher and Joe Connor who teaches there. Priest Christopher is played by John Hurt and Joe Connor is played by Hugh Dancy.

The first rwandan characters you meet are Marie (Clare-Hope Ashitey) a girl who loves running she goes to the school and you get an in-sight into her family. You see her father coming to the school to pick her up, during the film when problems escalate her mother gives birth in the school. Whilst this scene was playing in the film it made me think the kind of hope it gives the rwandans when God works in mysterious ways. God has given the gift of life and the family have fortunately been able to witness first hand, amidst these atrocoties where they face uncertain death.

John Hurt does a brilliant job of portraying such a diverse character and sometimes contradictory. He is a priest who wants to find peace within this war, although hard to find he is persistent with his quest. The shows in his diligence to do mass everyday the same time. The teacher is also a different character who is trying to find a solution where there is’nt any. He is a teacher who has not experienced this kind of disaster his emotions start to unfold. His character then starts to mature very quickly and understand what is actually happening and it is not clean cut as it appears to be.

This film is very good in my opinion and is definitely a film that really depicts what happened in Rwanda. Many of the people who lost family or fought the war against the Tutsi, also helped to make this film possible. Rwanda have done very well to come over these incidents and also remember the people they lost.

House M.D.

Grumpy, funny, sarcastic, rude, intelligent yes it can only be one person Dr House. The show is very entertaining to watch with a lot going on, they also able to fit in a lot of information about hospital knowledge. The show is owned by Fox which produces shows like Family Guy, NCIS, Simpsons, 24 and Prison Break. House takes a different approach from other Medical dramas and pushes the limits with what alowed in drama. Some character references although very mild seem abrupt and rude. I think the what seperates House M.D. from other dramas.

Once you have seen most of the episodes for one season you start to realize the gist. House is presented with a peculiar problem with a patient, he uses his team to brainstorm ideas, then he suddenly finds out the cure and is racing against time to fix it. I think what attracts the audience to the TV Show most is the problem with the patient. The problems are usually unthinkable but very serious, and House M.D. is also able to keep the suspense going because another problem will occur during the episode I think thats one of the reasons I love this show in one episode a patient can go through multiple problems and they can amount up to the smallest cure. If you compare for example Grey’s Anatomy to House M.D. usually there is one problem in the show and they spend the whole show trying to solve the problem. After time, you feel like you are parts of the lives of the characters in Grey’s Anatomy. You do not get the same feeling with House M.D., I am not sure yet whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Dr. House is played by the successful actor Hugh Laurie, he does absolutely amazing as this character. The same way I identify Wolverine with Hugh Jackman the same way I identify House with Hugh Laurie. He has been playing the character so well that he has become him and no other actor can take his position. Over time I have been able to associate the mannerisms and the attitude of House with Hugh Laurie. One thing that Hugh Laurie has got right is the american accent because surprisingly he is british. You could never tell when you see him on-screen. Hugh Laurie does blow some people off the screen when he is acting because of how convincing he looks. I think thats what makes it a re-watchable programme. The character who he plays, is very strong and always believes he is right and most of the time he is. He will use strange and most often risky methods to prove he is right. He also has this same zeal and ambition when it concerns a patients life. His co-workers I find at times find it hard to work with him and understand it will take time before you can handle House.

In the hospital he has a friend Dr. Wilson, who he has known for years and if anyone understands House most it is him. Who is played by Robert Sean Leonard. You know the saying “opposites always attract”, this can be said for the relationship of House and Wilson. Wilson is more understanding and has compassion which can be seen by others. Wilson is also in a stable relationship and also just as successful as House. House is alone and you sometimes feel empathy for him, he needs someone that can bear his attitude but also be an equal balance against him.

Omar Epps who plays Dr Foreman who is part of his team, also over the seasons gives an excellent performance. He is mostly known for his role in Love & Basketball I really did like that film and it should be another film to check out. For the first few seasons Dr. Foreman is not taken seriously mostly due to his past, but as time goes on House starts to respect him as a Doctor. Other characters in the show are Dr. Cuddy who is mostly I candy for House. Between there is a mutual respect, Cuddy is the head of the hospital but House is the best Doctor they have.Cuddy is played by Lisa Edelstein. Other main characters are Dr. Cameron and Dr. Chase. (played by Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morisson).

I do really like this show and I cannot wait for Season 5, if you have not seen an episode you should it is on Five US at the moment. It is a great little TV Show there to let you question life at times.

An American Crime

This one definitely slipped by me, I had no idea it even existed. Ellen Page stars in this film, it was released December 2007. It was directed by Tommy O’Haver and written by T. O”Haver and Irene Turner. T. O’Haver previous works includes Get Over It and Ella Enchated, he has not done much and the films he has done are not mainstream. It looks like An American Crime I think is his best work and I am surprised he has not got any more work lined up.

Going too in-depth into the story of this film will give too much away of the story. The film is filled with suspense and tension, sometimes watching this film feels horrifying. O’Haver style in this film reminds me a bit of the style used to make Funny Games directed by Michael Haneke. You never see the violents acts going on but hear the reactions and it makes you cringe almost everytime. In my opinion the style was used very well in this film, it was not better than Haneke’s but it is as equally as effective. It makes you think the scene will change but no, you have to sit and endure the sounds made. Thankfully in this film it does not last long but it still makes you feel empathy for the character. When you watch the first few minutes you immediately realise this film is a recollection of events that have occured, they are being recollected in a courtthouse.

The film layout was done in segments so, a lawyer would ask a question and then an event that occured will be shown. Although this is very easy watching, some people have said that it does not allow you to get a real connection with the characters. In my opinion I thought it was fine the way it was done, it made no difference I could still identify with all characters. This film was based on a true story, In the 50s and the 60s Sylvia Marie was tortured by Gertrude Baniszewski and her children. Sylvia’s parents were carnival workers so she they her and her sister with Mrs. Baniszweski for 3 months.

Ellen Page played Sylvie Likens I think she did a brilliant job, Ellen Page has also recently starred in Juno, Stone Angel and Smart People. I thought for 2007 this was here best performance, I felt sorry for through out the whole time. She showed true emotion and you almost thought that is the kind of emotion you would expect from this kind of victimisation. Hayley McFarland who plays Sylvia’s sister is excellent as the emotional and concerning sister. She has big eyes so the emotion pulls through very easily and you can always tell what she is feeling. The first time they are abused you can tell that she will not be able to handle the pain and ellen page’s character is more strong and hopes everyday that their pain will end.

Paula Baniszewski who is played by Ari Graynor, is a very interesting character. She is the cause of the abuse of Sylvia Likens, but I think there will be mixed opinions whether there is any empathy felt for this character. This is because although she is the cause of the abuse she wanted only revenge and her life is not the best with a boyfriend who is married and with a baby on the way. She then realises her mistake and is forced to witness the harrowing acts of her mother. Her relationship with her mother starts to detioriate and you start to feel sorry for her (but this is very late on in the film).

Gertrude Baniszewski is played by Catherine Keener who is a very successful actor, featuring in films like 40 Old Virgin, Into the Wild and Capote. She was very convincing throughout the film, the first thing you find out about her is that she likes men younger than her and has 4 children with different fathers. The family in general is not doing too good with money so she relies on her eldest daughter to bring in funds. She starts to abouse Sylvia when she finds out that Sylvia’s parents have not paid Ms. Baniszewski for looking after their children.  She is then unreliably informed by her daughter that Sylvia is spreading lies, so it then continues from there and she is abused horrifically. Catherine Keener did a good job and it was important her role came across well too.

All in all i think this film is brilliant but it does challenge you emotionally and it makes you wonder. Sylvia’s  torture was described by the prosecutor in Baniszewski’s trial as “the most terrible crime ever committed in the state of Indiana. In the film you could also tell, also for its time I think it was unheard of because the sheer torment the girl went through. Must see movie.

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