Monday, October 12, 2009

Fighting Back, Jurrasic Farce, -and- Superdog

Fighting Back - man who helped catch rapist gives reward money to victim
Jurassic Farce - 1/3 of dinosaur species never existed
Superdog - North Dakota woman's 7-foot-long dog could be record-holder

On this day in history: October 12, 1969 - Police capture Charles Manson at Barker Ranch, inside Death Valley National Park. Charlie is arrested for arson, after burning a maintenance vehicle blocking his favorite dune buggy route. One of his followers, Susan Atkins, is arrested the following day and spills the beans about the Tate/LaBianca murderers. Manson has not left prison since.

Born on this day in history: October 12, 1968 - Hugh Jackman (1968 - ) Australian actor Hugh Jackman got his first taste of professional acting on the Melbourne stage. He soon entered the international film scene, and is perhaps best known for playing Wolverine in X-Men (2000), which spawned a film franchise. In 2008, he entered the ranks of A-list heartthrobs when he was named "Sexiest Man Alive" by "People" magazine.

Scripture of the Day: Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. - Psalm 34:12-13

Video of the Day: What Cats Are Really Thinking - submitted by Chris

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while passing through Walmart on the way to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

Movies I Watched Over the Weekend

The Betrayed - 2008 - NR [After surviving a terrible car crash, a young wife and mother regains consciousness only to discover that her real nightmare has just begun: She is now the prisoner of a deranged masked man who accuses her husband of stealing money from the mob. Can she get away from her captor -- and is there any truth to his story? This psychological thriller from director Amanda Gusack stars Melissa George, Donald Adams and Christian Campbell.] If you enjoy psychological thrillers, you will definitely enjoy this movie. The entire movie takes place in one room of an old warehouse. The plot twists and continual surprises kept me enthralled, however, and I found it impossible to predict the final resolution--right up to the ending. The acting and directing are good, the suspense is captivating, and the story is fresh and unusual. I recommend this movie.

Planted Evidence - 2008 - NR [In the wake of their weekly card game, six co-workers stumble upon the body of one of their associates. To avoid suspicion, they secretly dispose of the corpse. But a stranger was watching everything -- and he caught it all on tape. Thanks to threats from their ruthless blackmailer, the friends begin turning on one another until only one of them remains. But is the last man standing the one who actually started it all?] The storyline sounded interesting, but the acting was so abysmal and the dialogue so insipid that I managed to watch only five minutes of the movie!

Hit and Run - 2008 - Rated R [A wild spring break night goes badly awry when coed Mary (Laura Breckenridge) hits a pedestrian while driving home and instead of seeking help for the critically injured man, she batters the bloody body until he finally dies. The terrified girl buries the corpse in the woods to hide the evidence of her horrible crime but soon learns that her victim is, in fact, still alive -- and out for revenge.] I was enjoying this movie. It was a decent thriller and had above-average acting and a good storyline. Then, it turned from thriller to horror flick and became gratuitously bloody and predictable. I have nothing against horror flicks, in general, but I do dislike genre-switching mid-movie. It was an above-average thriller but became a third-rate horror flick at the 2/3 point. I do not recommend this movie.

Danika 2006 - Rated R [Loving mother of three, Danika Merrick (Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei) worries constantly about her children, fearing for their safety in a world filled with danger and peril. When her darkest premonitions start coming true, Danika wonders whether she's seeing the future or simply losing her mind. Directed by Ariel Vromen, this psychological thriller taps into the anxieties and fears experienced by many in a modern world.] This movie really had me on the edge of my seat a good deal of the time. It is a psychological thriller that really takes the viewer inside the world of Danika--played very well by Marisa Tomei. The lines between fantasy and reality are thoroughly blurred at times, and the viewer is left to judge for himself what is real and what is not. This can be unnerving, but it is definitely a well-produced movie that should captivate anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers.

Hero Wanted 2008 - Rated R [In order to impress a lovely bank teller, small-town trash collector Liam Case (Cuba Gooding Jr.) stages a robbery so he can emerge as the hero. But the simple plan yields deadly consequences, and Case must seek vengeance against the cohorts who betrayed him. Unfortunately, Detective Terry Subcott suspects Case as the perpetrator of a string of murders in this twisty action drama, co-starring Norman Reedus as Case's conflicted pal and co-worker.] This is an interesting movie. It is violent--but not overly so, and the violence is generally muted by dim lighting. There is a good deal of foul language--albeit for the most part by lowlife villains. Cuba Gooding Jr. plays his part very well and is fully believable as an accidental hero, initially, and a fabricated hero, ultimately. Ray Liotta plays the police detective well. I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys dark crime drama. I do caution viewers that the language is at times very foul.

Technology News
T-Mobile warns Sidekick data may be gone forever
Hacked Web mail accounts used to send spam
Adobe exploit puts backdoor on computers

iPhone News
Adobe Photoshop Mobile released for iPhone
iPhone's Google Maps now shows ads
Mapquest launches turn-by-turn driving app into App Store