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Went and saw Dallas Buyers Club this afternoon. Wonderful movie, and great performances from McConaughey and Leto. The movie addressed a lot of issues, such as the early prejudices against HIV/AIDS victims, as well as the ludicrous regulations which prevented people from receiving effective treatment.
Keep up the great work McConaughey; you can play your bongos on my front lawn any time.

Went and saw Dallas Buyers Club this afternoon. Wonderful movie, and great performances from McConaughey and Leto. The movie addressed a lot of issues, such as the early prejudices against HIV/AIDS victims, as well as the ludicrous regulations which prevented people from receiving effective treatment.

Keep up the great work McConaughey; you can play your bongos on my front lawn any time.

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We saw two very different movies this week; one right up my alley and one not.

Star Trek Into Darkness was the first film we saw. The story had already been guessed at, so that wasn’t surprising. And it wasn’t that disappointing - up to a point (Kaaaaaaaahn!!!). Also, could’ve used more Klingons, because they are inherently awesome. Hopefully, the next installment will venture away from the original films, or we’ll be calling the next one Star Trek: The Search for a Story.

The Great Gatsby was the second film we saw. Since my wife so graciously saw Star Trek with me, it was only appropriate to return the favour. I’ve never read the book or seen the previous films, so I had no context going into this. Not a bad experience overall; the soundtrack was enjoyable. However, not something that grabbed my attention throughout.

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I’ve watched some interesting films since Friday, which have provided a brief distraction from the events of this week.

Oblivion - I am not a big Tom Cruise fan; however, I do enjoy sci-fi, and this story was interesting enough that he didn’t bother me.

Killing Them Softly - Really enjoyed this movie. It was slow paced for a film about a mob hit, but that didn’t take anything away from it.

Meet the Fokkens - Found this on Netflix about twin sisters who have worked in Amsterdam’s red light district for over 40 years. Very interesting story of how they came to work in the red light district and how it affected their lives.

Holy Motors - The description says we’re following a day in the life of Oscar through a variety of roles. Other than that, I have no idea what I just watched. Parts were certainly entertaining.

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An interesting program from NOVA I received through Netflix about the debate over intelligent design in the town of Dover, PA. The debate began as supporters of intelligent design attempted to have it included in the science curriculum. Two school board members quit in protest, teachers refused to teach the controversy, and the issue was eventually taken to court. The judge ultimately ruled that ID is not science and that the introduction of it in the Dover science curriculum was a violation of the separation of church and state. As the intelligent design debate continues, this is a good program to watch.

You can read a transcript of the program here.

You can read various court documents here.

By far, my favourite documentary on this debate is Flock of Dodos.

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My Netflix queue is littered with French films (indulging my Francophilia), and now that we are finally ensconced in the new house, I have some time to watch them.

First, Army of Shadows about the French Resistance. It is a reflection of Jean-Pierre Melville and Joseph Kessel’s time as participants in the Resistance - the dangers they faced, the betrayals, the day to day lives of people fighting an invading force and a collaborative native government.

Second, Danton about… well, about French Revolutionary Georges Danton obviously, specifically his opposition to The Terror and his execution. Not particularly entertaining, but an intriguing film that has interested me in reading more about Danton. Also, probably the best role I have ever seen GĂ©rard Depardieu play.

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Browsing Netflix last night, I came across Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007, which tells the story of how Bond became a cultural phenomenon and the men behind it. Watching this documentary explained a lot about why the Bond movies differ so much, for example, how Connery’s Bond is different from Roger Moore’s. Also, a discussion of the lawsuits and issues which hampered the franchise at times and threatened to create a competing franchise. This documentary is a must for any Bond fan with interviews with George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Peirce Brosnan, and the current producers.

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I was first introduced to Tarantino when I saw Pulp Fiction on VHS (yup, I’m that old), and I’ve pretty much celebrated the man’s entire catalog since that time. For many years Pulp Fiction was probably my favourite of his films, though as I’ve gotten older Jackie Brown shot up the list. However, this may be my new favourite. Stellar performances from Foxx and DiCaprio (stellar performances by everyone really), and I am a sucker for westerns (loved the use of Morricone).

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Reflections on ‘The Hobbit’ (movie)

So, we just got back from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Since there are still two movies to go, not going to go into this too much, because there would be a lot of spoilers. I’ll just say this: as much as I enjoyed the movie, I feel that I would have enjoyed it more if I had never read anything written by Tolkien, because as a reader, there are some things you just can’t get passed.

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We went and saw Lincoln yesterday afternoon. A couple of caveats before I begin my comments on the movie: 1) I have not read Team of Rivals, on which the movie is based in part, although I did receive it as a Christmas gift a few years ago; 2) my understanding/knowledge of Lincoln is based on reading about his campaigns in 1860 and 1864.

I was under the misimpression that this was a biopic, but the film focuses exclusively on the passage of the 13th Amendment in the House of Representatives, which made it even better in my opinion, because they were able to expand on details which give insight into Lincoln’s character, as well as that of the other players in this drama. And with that, let me say Daniel Day Lewis did a marvelous job portraying Lincoln as husband, father, and President. Sally Field also did a wonderful job as Mary Todd Lincoln. As I do not know much about the other individuals who were portrayed in the film, I cannot comment on the accuracy.

Great film; highly recommend seeing it.

Further Reading:

The Debate on the 13th Amendment January 31, 1865 (pp. 524-31)

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Saw this last night and recommend. Thought Bardem was great, enjoyed the backstory on Bond, the transitioning from M to M (I think Fiennes will be good in this role in the future), love that old Aston Martin, and the climax was good.

Connery is still my favourite Bond and always will be. Daniel Craig is quickly moving up the list to 2nd favourite. Can’t wait for the next one.

Wired's review (minor spoiler’s).