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Movie Review: 300 [Mar. 7th, 2007|08:40 am]
Knowing Frank Miller's graphic novels - and owning "300" - I was excited to sit in at a pre-screening of "300". I was a little reluctant, about how a 2 hour movie would keep the tension and excitement going, when the whole plot can really be told in one sentence. So, there was initial disappointment after the first 10 minutes, since some of the initial scenes seemed somewhat cheesy and not so very professional (i.e. the "Wolf"-scene). Once the movie got rolling, the mood changed - and also the way the initial scenes were shot began to make more sense. There is a lot of action in this piece - which might seem a little surprising for a timepiece. Smart writing adds to the entertainment, as well as the very creative details; they are cruel and bloody, nonetheless creative. The imagery and soft coloring is incredible.
The main characters are well developed and King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) - while initially seemingly a cruel leader - turns out to be a true emperor who backs up his people with all he can give. I loved the special effects - and while I am not a huge fan of battlefield scenes, this movie really takes them to a new level. The effects aren't obvious, yet make the whole thing so much more enjoyable. Over some stretches, what is shown on the screen can be described as nothing else but a gore fest. Under normal circumstances I would not be in favor of such graphic violence, however, considering the background of what the movie is based on and also how well it is shot, I let that slide and got lost in the story.
Sometimes I wish that certain details were a little more believable (like some of the freaks), bottom line: "300" to me, is what "Ben Hur" must've been to our parents. Russel Crowe and "Gladiator" never could deliver this chill to me, but "300" certainly does.

5 out of 5 blood drenched battle spears
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Movei Review: Stranger than Fiction [Mar. 3rd, 2007|08:52 am]
I cannot say that I heard too much about this movie when it hit the theaters; also the DVD-release seems to have come rather quickly. If this is a sign for this movie to have been a "bomb", this judgment is completely and entirely undeserved.
While Will Ferrell played a few annoying - yet sometimes funny - characters in recent releases (Anchorman, Talladega Nights), he gives a lot of depth to Harold Crick and delivers an outstanding performance. Maggie Gyllenhaal also performs incredibly well and one would like to believe that she is playing out her real self. Dustin Hoffman adds some dry comic relief to the actually sad story.
As an admirer of "Back to the Future" I am a big fan of parallel-universe ideas; "Stranger than Fiction" feeds off of this idea and gives it a new spin. To prevent the danger of giving away too much - after all, this movie gives the viewer a lot of twists and turns - I will keep this short and conclude with

4 out of 5 wrist watches
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laying low [Feb. 7th, 2007|08:24 am]
since i am currently in a process of completely rewriting the code of emocide (also got a new subname for it) in the next weeks/couple of months not all too much is going to change/be updated, to provide data consistency.

mainly i will be interviewing for jobs anyway, which is less than exciting to write about...
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Iran still manages to shake my vision of reality. Or: Fu(k religion [Jan. 24th, 2007|09:47 am]
Since I just - again - saw a report on a man from Iran, who fled to Austria with his young daughter, I would like to write a word or two about what I learned about Iran lately. Austria is planning to deport the man with his daughter. He used to be a wealthy car dealer in Iran, is fully integrated in Austria, speaks fluent German, his daughter sounds like an Austrian girl and is a strong column in her school community. The reason for the two having fled from Iran was political oppression. The girl's mother disappeared after an interrogation by officials. Nevertheless, officials in Austria do not see any reason to give them political asylum and the process of deportation is pending. The community is backing the family and giving them widespread support; even the cop, who initially pulled them as illegal aliens from a train is supporting their case.

I, thinking of myself as a globally conscious and politically interested individual, still get the feeling, that I don't even have any clue about what life in Iran is actually like. As much as I am against discriminating against people for the religion they believe in, I must say that I have really had it with about all religions and wish that there was a wider opposition against this craziness, taking place under the veil of "religious freedom". Especially when it comes to a mingling of politics and religion, the insanity seems to know no boundaries. This is already visible in western states (see born-again President of a big English-speaking world power), but once this is at a scale as it is taking place in Iran, I find it hard to comprehend how this is possible.

Just a couple of days ago, I watched the Discovery Times documentary "Execution in Iran" and cannot even express the disgust in what is being reported there about 16-year old Atefah Sahaaleh. A girl, age 16, executed in a public hanging for committing "acts incompatible with chastity". Deprived even of her last wish, executed without notifying the family, in front of the whole village by pulling her up on a crane-truck with a rope around her neck. Congratulations Mr. Ahmadinejad. You morons just reached a new low. Is this standard in Iran? Even if not - human right seems to be a word, non-existent in the Iranian language. As much as Hussein was an asshole, if there is a comparison in crimes against humanity, Iran seems to be quite a notch worse than Iraq. Countries that are being governed by religious rules just don't work. There is too much power and agenda involved in both religion and government. Even without these extreme (?) examples, the regular punishment system and the fu(king Sharia as basis for the laws, there is no reason to defend these freaks. Free the people of Iran.
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Movie Review: An inconvenient truth [Jan. 24th, 2007|09:19 am]
Not having heard too much about this movie ahead of time, I was surprised to find myself in a situation that felt like distance learning or an online class. Al Gore gives a 90-minute lecture on the change in our global environment. Mostly clear, concerning in many points, the movie makes a good point in visualizing what has changed in the Earth's climate over the last 50 years and also shows the connections between various factors. Sometimes it feels like there are almost too many examples to back up the numbers, at other times a little bit of frustration and payback time concerning Gore's own recent past peeks through (who would blame him). The political stubbornness is shown very well and some examples of lobbies and HR-decisions are just mind-boggling.
I heard about some critical voices about the numbers and scientific cause/result relationships, however, I only found right-wing nutcase-websites that criticized the facts in a way, that is less than compelling (See for instance "shelleytherepublican.com" in her blog-entry from July 6th 2006. One of the highlights: "First of all, let me say that I havenâ™t seen this movie. I donâ™t intend to and I urge all my readers to avoid it as well. No doubt whingeing liberals will try and criticize this decision, but I say to them, you donâ™t need to catch a cancer to know itâ™s bad for you - and the same goes for drinking up poisonous liberal lies." Amen.)
Online research showed that there is some kind of criticism about details in the movie, which were not presented 100% clearly, but the general consensus is, that the relationships are portrayed correctly and conclusively.
I recommend anyone to give this a try. I cannot find any political agenda in the way the movie is presented and learning more about science is never a bad idea. Draw your own conclusions and research beyond what is presented to you. On the DVD, the special features are a must, as they give updates and extended information which did not make it into the feature.

4 out of 5 polar caps
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Movie Review: Borat [Jan. 24th, 2007|09:06 am]
Disappointing. While I did enjoy a lot of the old school Ali G skits - especially the ones on Channel 4 - this movie was less than satisfying. For one, the most controversial and funny scenes had already been broadly discussed in the mainstream media, and then even I didn't feel comfortable with some of the "jokes" Sasha Baron Cohen pulled on his victims. While I am in total favor of showing people their own stupidity (see frat boys, rodeo organizer, jesus freaks,...) there were a few pieces that seemed kind of mean and set up in a way, which the victims really didn't have much of a chance to escape from (see car dealer, trying to stay friendly). Other scenes were simply gross; while I don't have a problem with that, I also think of myself being beyond a stage, where I would spend money (or time) to see a fat guy resting his testies on another guys face. If I wanted to see more of that, I'd watch "Jackass".
All in all I expected a lot more from this and am glad that I didn't spend any money on watching it.

1.5 out of 5 moustaches
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Job search [Jan. 24th, 2007|08:59 am]
As much as this is a global issue and the same in Europe as here in the US, it is really starting to become a little bit annoying and tedious. It's frustrating, when one receives a lot of positive feedback about one's skill set, experience and education but still cannot land a job due to paperwork. Sponsorship seems to be a hard thing to acquire these days; while I partly understand the motivation of countries, why they would like to protect their system from too many "parasites" that live on the tax-payers cost (however, I do not support this view of a multi-class world-society), it seems somewhat unfair that someone in a position like I am, who has the potential to bring much more to a society that he would cost it, still has to jump through so many hoops, while still being left out of the process.

"It can't rain all the time..."
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Foie Gras lovers, you deserve at least a punch in your face. [Nov. 20th, 2006|03:56 pm]
Foie GrasNot that this is any news, but since i just saw a report on TV about the foie gras "production" in Europe, i am so fueled by anger at the moment that i can't find words for it. For anyone who supports this animal torture of the worst kind, I have nothing but disgust. Female baby geese ground up on the day of their death, male ones force fed 3 pounds a day for 2 weeks, which causes them not only injuries of the asophogus, but also makes them unable to stand up, due to the weight of their degenerating livers. Foie GrasFurthermore they almost suffocate alive, since these livers use up the room that the lungs would need. The transport to the butcher many dont survive, the electrocution many survive, who then get their jugulars cut alive.

Industrialized world: shame on you! EU: shame on you! While the production is still legal in France and Hungary, the import is legal all over Europe due to the free trade agreements. Well, well - guess what? Fuck you. Putting profit before protection of the voiceless and weak is absolutely stupid and decadent. It's always the same game: with child labor, with slavery, with exploitation of the weak and the ones who can't help themselves. And once again, foie gras buyers: fuck you the most.
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the first thesis draft... [Nov. 12th, 2006|12:18 pm]
is DONE!!! a few more days and that 170+page-sucker should be out at the print shop...
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first time on stage... [Oct. 9th, 2006|08:42 am]
700 people by the time we left - a tv interview and lotsa nice people... all in all a pretty satisfactory kaethchen.kaethchen premiere... if only one hadn't been missing...

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