A Stroke of Genius!

I know this doesn’t pertain to the film category or even art, as subjects I said I’ll tackle on this blog, but this is just so brilliant I knew I had to write a post about it.

I found a list of free online courses being offered by different universities such as Stanford, Yale or Berkley. I think this is amazing. No matter if you’re a student at one of those Univ. and you want to actually sign up for one of these courses and get credits for them or if you’re just interested in the subject, this is great! You have the opportunity of learning about something that interests you from a professor, watch and hear him talk and explain things etc. Because yes, the courses are in video format, either on YouTube or iTunes.

For those that can only be watched on iTunes, just remember you can download it for free.

1. Stanford University  YouTube

2. Penn State University  YouTube

3. UC Berkeley  YouTube

4. Yale  YouTube

5.  UCLA  YouTube

6. MIT  iTunes U Audio

The link will take you directly to that YouTube account’s playlist and from there on just..choose what you like. 🙂

Each Univ. offers a bunch of different courses, from sciences to history, business and lit. I fell in love with Yale’s Frontiers of Biomedical Engineering taught by Mark Saltzman.

Also, as far as I’ve seen, you can find links to the reading material, syllabus, everything you need, in the description box of each video.

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Review: The Hunger Games (2012)

I have finally kept my promise, got around to reading the book so here’s the much awaited (hopefully?) review.

Based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games story is set in a dystopian future in the nation of Panem, which consists of the Capitol and the 12 surrounding districts. As a punishment for the past rebellion against the government and a way of keeping people in line, every year the Capitol chooses one boy and one girl from each district to be a part of the Hunger Games: a televised event in which the boys and girls have to fight to death and there can only be one winner or victor.

The heroine, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen offers herself as tribute when her sister is picked to be part of the Games. If you read the book then you understand why Katniss does this, because she loves her sister more than anything else or in her own words “the only person in the world I’m certain I love”.

The choice to play Katniss was Jennifer Lawrence, starring now in her second film adaptation after Winter’s Bone. If you haven’t read the book yet maybe you won’t be so quick and willing to praise her talents and performance, but if you have then you’ll understand why I am.  She exudes the exact confidence, harshness and power Katniss has on paper. She also plays it perfectly during the reaping scene, showing utter desperation as her sister’s name is called out, confusion as her sudden decision sinks in and ultimately fear of knowing what’s next.  Continue reading

Review: Girls (2012)

I just finished watching the pilot for the new tv-show Girls, a series that premiered on HBO on April 15. I should’ve known after watching the teaser trailer that I’ll be disappointed.

It’s a comedy focused on a group of 4 friends ( ring any bells?) in their twenties, their day-to-day lives in NYC.  One of the actors playing a main character, Lena Dunham is also the series creator, in collaborating with Jude Apatow.

Performance wise, nothing struck me, except maybe how much I disliked all of the characters but that’s maybe because they were written to be obnoxious and unlikable ( I reckon that’s not the case though).

I see nothing new, nothing original. Well except maybe for the uncomfortable, weird sex scene that happens in the pilot and the annoying, mindless dialogue. Also..4 friends, New York City, daily insight into their lives? Yeah, we’ve seen that before in the form of Sex and The City. With the tiny difference that SaTC was funny, smart, likeable and about powerful women in their mid 30’s/40’s and not whiny twenty year olds. Continue reading

Upcoming.

I know I promised a review for The Hunger Games and it’s been a while, but I’m determined not to write one until I’ve finished reading the book and sadly due to an overly busy schedule, I didn’t have the time to even start reading it. It’s in the works though.  Also in the works are reviews for A Dangerous Method and J. Edgar, a movie I’ve been dying to see!

Last but not least, I was thinking of compiling a list of great film adaptations. Talk about the movies, talk about the books. You know, like..Deliverence and Lolita, Misery, Grapes of Wrath etc.

Just stay tuned and if you have any suggestions, leave a comment.

 

Review: Hysteria (2011)

A movie based on real events, Hysteria tells the story of Dr. Mortimer Granville who invented the very first vibrator.

After getting fired from several workplaces, Dr. Granville gets a job with London’s famous specialist in women’s medicine,  a man who treated his patients for hysteria. Hysteria was thought to be an ailment that most women had, with a plethora of symptoms(erratic and volatile behavior, emotional excesses), that needed to be cured and in extreme cases women with hysteria would be institutionalized.  The job of treating one for hysteria was strenuous and that’s why, with the help of a friend, Granville comes up with the idea of the vibrator. Continue reading

Blacksheep (2006)

The reason why the word review is missing from my title is because there’s not much to analyse about Blacksheep. It’s a comedy/horror directed by Jonathan King, about a bunch of genetically modified sheep that turn into blood thirsty killers and go berserk on the people around.

Thing you need to understand is that sometimes I have serious cravings for a good horror and also, I almost never let the rating on IMDb influence my decision about watching a movie. With that said..wow, what a movie this was.  Guess I should’ve known after reading the info.

I assume the director was shooting for a movie similar with Wright’s Shaun of the Dead or Fright Night or Return of the Living Dead etc. Instead, the so-called scary, gory scenes are not-so-scary and the humor isn’t anything special either. It gets boring fast. But like a train wreck, I couldn’t stop watching.  Continue reading

Review: Melissa P. (2005)

Melissa P. is an italian movie based on the autobiographical novel 100 colpi di spazzola prima di andare a dormire or One Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bed, by Melissa Panarello.  Although the movie doesn’t quite follow the book, they both tell the story of the sexual awakening of an Italian adolescent girl, Melissa, and her exploration of everything that sex means and has to offer, while trying to find real love.

Maria Valverde plays Melissa P. and she does a terrific job. Her performance is great, even though Melissa from the movie is different from the book.  She comes across as obedient, uncertain, submissive at times,  while in the book she’s the dominant one.

Another good performance comes from Geraldine Chaplin, who plays Melissa’s grandmother Elvira and whom you most likely remember from movies like Chaplin and Doctor Zhivago. Continue reading

Julian Richings – Supernatural scene

Since I mentioned Julian Richings in my other post and if you haven’t watched Supernatural, check this out.

Probably the most well done scene in this whole show: Death’s entrance in the episode “Two Minutes to Midnight” – Superntural S05E21.

It’s chilling, amazingly good, creepy, well shot, badass..and so on and so forth.

Song by Jen Titus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpNQ743OZgQ

Disclaimer: I do not own this video.

Review: Bag of Bones (2011)

Bag of Bones is a TV mini-series based on the eponymous Stephen King novel. It tells the story of novelist Mike Noonan who, after loosing his wife in a car accident, retreats to their lakeside house in Maine, where he accidentally gets involved in a custody battle and starts receiving weird messages, supposedly from his dead wife.

Seeing as I haven’t read King’s novel, I couldn’t say how closely they followed the book while making this series or if they steered off, but I will say this: the end result was good.

Starring as Mike Noonan is Pierce Brosnan and it was great seeing him in something else other than action movies.  He’s great as a newly widower and his performance throughout the movie is credible.

The series is split in two 80 something minute episodes and I will admit that the story was a bit dragged out and slow to develop during the second one. But the beautiful scenery, the good acting, great soundtrack all helped in making me forget about the slow pace.  Continue reading

This just in!

Even though it was a no-brainer, finally we have confirmation: Game of Thrones has been renewed for a third season! With an average of 8.3 million viewers for every episode, it’s not a complete shocker that HBO made this decision.

There’s been all this talk that the renewal would be for season 3 AND 4, but as that’s not the case, we’ll take what we can get so far.