Monday, April 14, 2008

To Serve and Protect, Trapped!, -and- Heat of the Moment

To Serve and Protect - officer accused of 2nd career: robbing banks
Trapped! - reality show held women against their will
Heat of the Moment - cold temperatures freeze gardening season

On this day in history: April 14, 1865 - President Abraham Lincoln receives a cranial gunshot wound from the nation's most famous actor, John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln dies the following day.

Born on this day in history: April 14, 1977 - Sarah Michelle Gellar (1977-)
Born in New York City, actress Sarah Michelle made her first TV movie in 1983. In 1993, she joined the cast of soap "All My Children," earning an Emmy, and then moved into leading films roles. In 1997, Gellar landed her star-making role on TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." She is now pursuing a film career.

Scripture of the Day: We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. - 1 Thessalonians 4:14

Video of the Day: Max Neptune and the Manacing Squid trailer

While driving to my office this morning, I detoured through a rural area and spotted this abandoned clown train. I shall have nightmares now, certainly! Click to enlarge.

Friday evening, we viewed "The Prestige" in Blu-ray. [At the dawn of the 20th century, rival magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are desperate to reveal each other's secrets. Obsessed by the escalating competition, the two illusionists begin to perform increasingly risky tricks—which soon turn deadly. Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and David Bowie also star in this taut psychological thriller from director Christopher Nolan.]

"The Prestige" is masterful storytelling, with superb direction, powerful performances from an excellent cast, awesome set and production design, and impressive cinematography.

"The Prestige" is difficult to place into any specific genre, since it blurs the fine line between mystery, drama, suspense, and fantasy. The story becomes a never-ending stream of wonder for the mind, and it is impossible to tell exactly where the story is going to lead next.

The first half of "The Prestige" is exciting and captures the viewer's attention and holds it firmly. The second half of the film, unfortunately, becomes progressively convoluted, confusing, and tedious. By the end of the film, what was once excitement has descended into ennui. I do not recommend this movie.

Saturday evening, we watched "I Am Legend" on Blu-ray [A terrible virus has spread across the planet and turned the human race into bloodthirsty monsters. Mankind's only hope for survival is scientist Robert Neville (Will Smith), the one person left unaffected by the epidemic. When he's not fighting for his life against the hordes of the infected, Neville searches for a cure to reverse the virus's effects—all the while battling his own doubt and despair as he spends every day alone.]

"I Am Legend" is a truly scary movie, because of the incredible realism. The cinematography is excellent. The set design is awesome. The special effects are impressive. Smith's portrayal of despair and borderline insanity of three years of seclusion add to the overall effect. Suspense scenes climax unexpectedly—greatly enhancing the overall scare factor.

"I Am Legend" overall is an excellent movie, and I highly recommend it.