Sights and Sounds

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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I wasn't sure what to expect when I first put Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in my DVD player. It was not even close to what I got. For those who are not familiar with the plot Scott Pilgrim [Michael Cera], the bass player in a small band, has fallen for the new "cool girl" in town, Ramona Flowers [Mary Elizabeth Winstead]. In order to date her he must first defeat her seven "evil exes".

The sweethearts of the prison rodeo

Last Friday I decided to scan the shelves in the library and pick up something random but interesting. I came across a DVD called, "The Sweethearts of Prison Rodeo." The title alone is interesting. This documentary film is about inmates housed in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Once a year, every since 1940, the male inmates have been allowed to participate in a rodeo that serves as a short reprieve for them and entertainment for non-inmates. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Shoot 'Em Up

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Sometimes there is nothing better than a good shoot 'em up movie. I love to watch what I know are impossible stunts and a lone man or woman going up against impossible odds and coming out ahead. Die Hard was the first movie I remember seeing of this type, though I'm sure there were earlier ones.
My new favorite in this genre has the honest title of Shoot 'em Up. This 2007 movie stars Clive Owen as a man named Smith who accidentally finds himself in the middle of everything after he comes to the aid of a pregnant women in labor

Hoarders

Hoarders is an A&E reality television show that focuses on people that engage in compulsive hoarding. I watched the first four episodes and could not believe my eyes. There are people that collect things, store things and buy knick-knacks, and then there are hoarders. Hoarders are the extreme versions of those that like to collect and store things in their homes.

Criminal Minds

There are a lot of television shows involving criminal investigations and murder. The public must love them otherwise there wouldn't be so many. I have to admit that I've been sucked into a few of them. I've seen:

Foyle's War
JAG
The Wire
The Shield (We no longer have this one)
The Closer
Bones
Mentalist
Numb3rs
Dead Zone
The Jesse Stone Series
Over the weekend I picked up season one of "Criminal Minds" on dvd.

A Prophet (2009)

English-language adaptations of foreign films are rarely any good and one of my least favorite phenomenons. The magic of the original usually gets lost. On the other hand, foreign-language remakes of US films? Kind of fantastic, if you ignore the recent Zhang Yimou remake of Blood Simple. Granted I only know of one other than that, but it is excellent enough to prove the rule. Jacques Audiard's The Beat That My Heart Skipped updates the forgotten Harvey Keitel film Fingers with genius results.

Audiard's follow-up to that bit of awesome is the fantastically tense A Prophet, which features the best performance since Jeremy Renner last appeared on screen.

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