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Orphans of Apollo (2008)
Excellent Documentary About Dreamers Orphaned By NASA
"I'm about to buy a space station. Would you like to help me?" Walter Anderson had a dream. Unlike most other dreamers, his almost came true. Unfortunately, his dream also came crashing down to Earth, literally.
Orphans of Apollo as its title suggests is about the wide-eyed children of yesterday, who lived during the America's Apollo Program, and became the disillusioned adults of today. They include Dr. Peter Diamandis, the Founder and Chairman of the X Prize Foundation and other space advocates. Among those hearty few was a former telecommunications entrepreneur by the name of Walter Anderson.
After sealing a deal with the Russians to lease the then-defunct space station, Mir, Anderson and his cohorts founded MirCorp. MirCorp was to be the world's first commercial space platform that would facilitate private space industry as well as the first forays into space-based media entertainment. MirCorp also allowed one of the first space tourists (Dennis Tito) to visit the International Space Station.
The brunt of the story centers around the fact that Tito was not sent to the Russian's Mir space station. On March 23, 2001, Mir was forcibly removed from its orbital perch and sent crashing down over the Pacific Ocean. Along with Mir went Anderson's dream of starting and maintaining a viable private business in the final frontier. This was not to be so.
Orphans of Apollo, is at best, an uneven documentary film. The majority of the talking heads interviewed for the film are clearly pro-private space. There is little to no coverage of anyone representing the "other" side, namely officials from NASA and the American government. However, this flaw does not diminish the astuteness of the film-making and the curiosity factor for an virtually unknown piece of space history.
Sunday Morning Shootout (2003)
Interesting show with engaging guests and lively debate
Peter Bart and Peter Guber provide excellent commentary on the state of the entertainment industry ranging from topics like 'the consequences of films such as "The Matrix Reloaded"' on the industry as a whole and on the effect of product placement in movies like the James Bond series and other films.
From the very beginning, I have been taping all the half-hour episodes for future reference. I really like the kinds of guests they have on the show, from Sir Anthony Hopkins to Danny DeVito to Diane Lane and Samuel L. Jackson. As an aspiring filmmaker myself, I find the ideas talked about on the show to be invaluable and very engaging.
I look forward to many more episodes and especially guests. I hope they get someone like George Lucas or even Steven Spielberg. Now that would make for some interesting interviews, just like the one Spielberg had on Lipton's Actor's Studio show.
`I feel like God is speaking through me.'
`I feel like God is speaking through me.' Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow breathed life into the title character she plays in her new movie, `Sylvia' along with co-star Daniel Craig. Sylvia Plath [Craig], a Fulbright scholar, journeys to London and meets and marries fellow poet, Edward (Ted) Hughes. After a brief stay in America, Sylvia and Ted travel back to England and have two children soon after. Their relationship soon takes a turn for the worst when Ted starts having an adulterous affair with another woman, also a poet. Sylvia, in a deep emotional malaise, channels her anguish into her writing. She wakes up from three to four in the morning and keeps writing until dawn, often writing a poem a day. The acting and the emotional nuances between actors Paltrow and Craig are superb. The chemistry between the leads are apparent and contribute to the depressing nature and tone of the film when Hughes's infidelities become known. An excellent casting choice of Michael Gambon who's Professor Thomas provides a much needed comic relief to the otherwise woefully despondent movie. However, the film score, signaling when important things are happening, is very intrusive and sometimes detract from the atmosphere and mood. On the other hand, the marvelous cinematography by John Toon make up for that in depicting an environment that seems to mirror the inner psyche of its title character. Kudos also to director, Christine Jeffs, for providing a window into the life and death of poet, Sylvia Plath.
The Debut (2000)
"The Debut" deserves to have both a sequel AND a prequel...
I saw Gene Cajayon's "The Debut" last night with a friend of mine.
We both loved the picture.
We sat watching and laughing at the very things we ourselves are involved in...yes, we are both filipinos and we both identified with many of the themes in the movie.
My only gripe is with the heavy emphasis on the so-called "hip-hop" culture that many of the filipino teens were involved with. Now, I understand that many filipino teens do enjoy that type of culture...I just wished it would be more balanced by showing that not all teens are into that sort of thing. I certainly do not qualify for that.
If you must know, I grew up with a Nintendo...then a Commodore 64...and then to a 486-40MHz and later to a P2-MMX (266MHz) and then finally to a P4 (1.7GHz). In other words, I am a nerd and damn proud of it, man. I am currently a Mechanical Engineer working at a telecommunications magnetics company here in sunny San Diego.
As for the sequel, yes, please by all means, MAKE ONE!!! I would very much like to see how Dante Mercado and his family turn out.
And as for the prequel, I would also like to see the story of how Dante's father left the Philippines to pursue a better life for his children and also the division is created between his father and grandfather. The storyline: Dante's father leaves a budding career as a musician/singer for America, but in so doing, he alienates his own father who had very high hopes for him in the Philippines as a big music star. (Cue music/run titles)
In conclusion, I (along with the majority of people on this board) hope that "The Debut" is the harbinger of good things to come as it relates to more films depicting filipino culture and relations. Furthermore, I would like to see more movies showing the inter-relationships between filipinos and other races/cultures. Now that would be interesting to watch, I betcha!!!
The Legend of the Golden Gun (1979)
Not too bad, yet not too good either...
"The Legend of the Golden Gun" looks to me to be a failed pilot for a television series.
The medium to low production standards support this as well as the flat and wooden dialogue that is readily apparent; the cliched storyline; and last but not least, the lackluster acting.
But, please, don't get me wrong...I admit, the movie had the potential to be something more...unfortunately, the producers, writers and director tried to do so much with so little.
And do get me started with the (now) cheesy late seventies/early eighties soundtrack...ugh!
My two cents for y'all!
On the positive side however, they did manage to get a great supporting cast together...including (in order of utmost importance):
1) Hal Holbrook - the old master
2) R.G. Armstrong - small, but tight performance
3) Keir Dullea - in his most hilarious role yet
4) Robert Davi - as the sinister and foreboding villian, William Quantrill
The Last Starfighter (1984)
I just can't get enough!
I remember seeing this little gem of a sci-fi movie back when I was in elementary. Boy, was I enthralled, to say the least.
Back then, I kept wishing they would make a sequel. To this day, I keep wishing.
Anyway, this is an enjoyable romp through the galaxy with a stellar performance by the late Robert Preston. The same could also be said of Dan O'Herlihy (the overgrown iguana), he was good too.
Granted, the storyline is a bit on the hokey side. However, the space battle scenes are worth a look. Fortunately, the TNT cable channel airs the movie every so often. Now, if they can be persuaded to show other science fiction movies as well...hmmm
The Green Mile (1999)
I have only one word to say...
...and that word is WOW!
And maybe a few other words as well.
I felt both emotionally drained as well as cleansed by this motion picture.
As for the length of this movie, well, lets just say time stood still for me.
Definitely an Oscar contender if there ever was one.
Outdoes "The Shawshank Redemption" only because of Green Mile's mysticism and spirituality. Shawshank was more of a psychological drama. On the other hand, Green was something out of the Twilight Zone...a bit on the eerie side yet strangely compelling...in a god-fearing sort of way.
Speaking of "The Twilight Zone," this easily could of been one of Rod Sterling's masterpieces, if only he had thought of it first. There are "condemned men scenarios" with equally mystical themes in some episodes of TZ, but nothing could compare with Green.
And now we come to the acting...well, what can I say that will do the actors and actresses justice. I recognized many of the supporting actors and actresses from other movies and tv shows, extremely cool.
In conclusion, I want to say that Green Mile is a memory I will not soon forget (nor would I ever want to forget). It is the best in everything a movie can bestow upon its audience. I am glad for that. There is not many movies out there that can do what Green Mile did in three measly hours.
Thanks, Mr. Hanks, Mr. King and, thank you to everybody who was in and who worked on, this masterpiece.
Inspired me to take up engineering
Earth Star Voyager is one of those gems of science fiction television that comes once in a blue moon. The characters and storyline were very believable. I was equally enthralled by the politics that went on aboard the ship as well as the special effects. On the special effects side, they were done with careful precision, although they do seem dated when compared to the computer generated mish-mash of today (i.e., Matrix, Jurassic Park, etc.). I first saw ESV back in Junior High and fell in love with it. I would count this made-for-television movie as one of the inspirations for me to take up engineering in college several years later. I believe we will climb towards the stars someday, just as the crew of ESV did in the movie. I have no doubt.