MOVIE REVIEW ★★ ½ Beautiful Backdrops, but Little Intrigue, Little Plot, Little to Care About in FBI Thriller
If ever a movie could capture the romantic and roguish atmosphere of the ’30s, <i>Public Enemies</i> has done it. Directed and produced by Michael Mann (<i>Hancock</i>, <i>Miami Vice</i>, <i>The Aviator</i>), the film is based on the non-fiction book <i>Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34</i> by Bryan Burrough. Johnny Depp plays notorious Depression-era criminal John Dillinger, a role in which his suave manner rather than his quirky humour finds the spotlight. Since every criminal anti-hero needs a brooding man of the law to oppose him, a grave and focused Christian Bale plays FBI agent Melvin Purvis. The film focuses on Purvis’s attempts to stop Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd, while also following Dillinger’s life more closely.
The next character in Sacha Baron Cohen’s arsenal of disguises is the flaming fashionista Bruno. Born Austrian and “forever” 19, Bruno falls from international prominence as a fashion TV host when he arrives at a Milan fashion show wearing a suit made entirely of velcro. Predictable but amusing antics follow, at which point a dramatic montage exhibits Bruno’s pain at the rejection by his once loving and familial community of fashion-conscious celebrities. Thus begins Bruno’s journey to America to become a celebrity, and the audience’s journey through a generally hilarious but often extremely awkward film.
T<i>he Spirit</i> is a moving comic book — every shot is a tiny masterpiece, full of details and subtleties that would make any graphic novel a drool-worthy piece of art. And that is <i>The Spirit</i>’s greatest flaw: Frank Miller put so much life onto the screen that it would take multiple viewings — of the movie, the commentary, and the special features — to digest it all. Not only is the average audience member unaccustomed to applying so much scrutiny to a film, but film as a medium cannot handle such overflow of detail — the picture you see is constantly moving, and you just don’t have the time to pore over every corner of every picture.
Video game music is familiar. It’s even more familiar when a dark screen flashes the large bulky letters at the same time, or when it’s associated with its mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. But instead of sitting in front of a television watching an pixelated blue hedgehog in snazzy red sneakers run into gold rings, I’m sitting in a dark concert hall watching a 40-piece orchestra, a rock band, and a chamber choir perform music from not only <i>Sonic the Hedgehog</i>, but also <i>Donkey Kong</i>, <i>Silent Hill</i>, <i>Myst</i>, <i>Metal Gear Solid</i>, and <i>Final Fantasy</i>, just to name a few.
MIT recently launched a fundraising campaign titled “The Human Factor.” Their website, <i>http://thehumanfactor.mit.edu</i>, uses video and text to encourage donations to MIT, outlining several fundamental beliefs about students at MIT. While I am not against getting more money for MIT and its students, as a current student of MIT there are several reasons why I find The Human Factor to be misleading and over-simplified.
In the 14th century, a London priory of the Order of the Star of Bethlehem was turned into a hospital and began admitting patients. Over the next century, Bethlem Royal Hospital of London became a dedicated psychiatric ward infamous for the cacophony of voices, cries, and screams that echoed from those within.
A fascinating creature lives in the glaciers and snowfields of the North American continent. Measuring less than an inch and long thought to be mythical creatures, ice worms not only survive in this harsh environment, but they have evolved to thrive in it. In fact, if an ice worm is warmed to even just 5 degrees Celsius (or about 40 degrees Fahrenheit), the proteins making up their membrane structures disassociate and they “melt.” As a result, while most of life on Earth seeks out the sun for sustenance, the sun is the ice worm’s mortal enemy. Ice worms have thus been scientifically dubbed “solifugus,” which is Latin for “sun-avoiding.”
This morning, a mysterious letter appeared in the mailbox of our friend Bill B. Rogers. By the looks of the fancy letterhead, watermarked paper, and wax-sealed envelope, the message in the letter is important. However, the letter itself makes no sense. Below is a copy of the text — who is our friend, and can you help him decipher his letter?