Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 2, Disc 3

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't watched LOST, you may be confused or apathetic about the following post. Please go watch the series through at least once before bothering with my writings. Thank you.

s02e09 - What Kate Did

Okay, so it's been a while. I was busy fuming over my hatred for Ana Lucia, but I think I am a bit better now and can tackle some more re-watch. Aww, Sun and Jin. So sweet! Jin got the thumbs up from Hurley... Probably because he heard everything that went on in that tent last night. Okay, so Sawyer is in the hatch now, being cared for by Jack. Sawyer loves Kate, who is once again in a tree. She's always in a tree... aaaand she sees a horse. If it was a white horse, I'd say they were just ripping off Twin Peaks. Well, after having an Ana Lucia episode that I promptly cursed at and skipped past, a Kate episode doesn't seem quite so bad. As much as I generally dislike Kate, I really don't blame her one bit for blowing up her step-dad. I actually think she was spot on in her actions there.

Kate's mom is kind of an idiot. Now I guess we see where Kate got it. "What did you do?" Funeral time! This time for Shannon... Oh geez, Sayid is gonna whimper and mope publicly. Well, that was brief. I always found it funny how they killed off Shannon JUST when she was starting to grow on me. Oh well, on with the show and the Hawaiian music! Kate's missing now, Sawyer is on the floor, and the alarm is sounding. Way to abandon your post, Kate. "Do you think there are horses here?" Kate thinks she's losing her mind... and the way she's acting, I'd be tempted to believe her. And now we see the first meeting with her nemesis, the Federal Marshal. If you're gonna have a nemesis, make it a federal agent! I don't get why everyone seems to WANT to be involved in all the drama that goes on here. If I was on that island, I'd be content to just sit and relax... maybe play some golf. That's about it. Oh geez, Kate is flipping out at Jack now... For the love of... Now she's crying. Kate's kissing Jack now... aaaand she runs off.

I want a DVD of every Dharma video ever. Including maybe some unreleased ones. They should just make a whole "Dharma Orientation" DVD for fans to spend money on. I would buy it. Kate and Sayid talking... rivetting television. At least that mini-scene moved the story along a bit. Kate really has a way of getting herself into MORE trouble than she was already in. It's proof of how smart she is. I really liked Eko. There were times I felt he was a bit too one-dimensional, but in all I liked him. Ooo, the missing piece of film! "So, Rose's husband is white. Didn't see that coming." Kate's visiting her dad, who by the way was the man who recruited Sayid for torturing... Apparently Kate's step-dad was her REAL dad. She found out, and that's why she killed him. Makes sense in a weird Kate sorta way, I suppose. She really is one messed-up little girl. It makes me wonder about the fans who say they relate the most to her. Of course, I am a fan of Locke, so what does that say about me? "Am I in a bunk bed?"

This episode ends eventually, right? Because I'm fairly certain it started 5 hours ago. I need to pee, but I don't want to miss Locke and Eko splicing film strips! "Don't mistake coincidence for fate." Now Sawyer's seeing horses too. Why do people think they're going crazy when they see horses?! I would just think "Oh neat, a horse." After all the weird things they've seen on this island, a horse is just about the most normal thing you can think of. Oh good, Ana Lucia. Why even have that scenelet with Ana Lucia?! That was pointless. Okay back to the Dharma video. I wonder how using the computer to contact the outside world could lead to another incident, now that we know what the incident was... And Michael is going to have an online chat buddy now, I guess. Oh good! The end of the episode!! Now I can pee.

s02e10 - The 23rd Psalm

Considering the Nigerian kids playing kickball, you can pretty much bet this will be an Eko episode. Yep, little Eko just shot a man. "A born killer." Claire really puts a lot of focus on Charlie's heroin statue. Now how did Eko know there was heroin in there?! Oh wait, I know this already. Michael wants a gun. Mr Eko was a drug trafficker mob boss guy in Nigeria. That's a pretty cool gig... if you're into that sorta thing, I mean. "You have no soul." He was ruthless... and so is Claire. Michael's about as smart as Kate in his impulsive bad-idea thing.

Eko just got a whiff of the smoke monster. Oh the differences between brothers. Eko's brother is a priest, while Eko is a mob boss. Like black and white. Oh thank heavens. I was worried they weren't going to get back to that haircut that Kate mentioned in the previous episode. I wouldn't want them leaving us hanging! Will she give Sawyer a haircut or won't she?! ... Now we know that she DID! Thank you Lost for answering all the important questions!! Eko knew the dead priest with the gun and gold tooth. Small world. This is a nice church, Yemi... It would be a shame if something were to happen to it. "I find it a little odd that your scripture stick has dried blood on it." Eko is staring down the smoke monster. Yeah, take that smokey!!

I think Michael's up to something. Poor Yemi, getting pulled into his brother's bad deeds... and getting killed for it. They must be getting high off all those heroin fumes right about now. Maybe that's why they just randomly started quoting scripture. Or they just felt they needed to say something, and that's the only verse they knew. Aww Hurley and Libby are so cute!! Claire's kinda bitchy... oh well. Charlie doesn't need her. He has loads of heroin statues!

s02e11 - The Hunting Party

Oops, I forgot to write about this episode so far. Michael has Jack at gunpoint now. He's already knocked out Locke. He's going to go after his son. They took him right out of his hands. Kate and Sawyer now have to rescue Jack and Locke from the armory  This chick really is not subtle on her intentions towards Jack. Do you get the sense Jack's marriage is having a bit of trouble? I sure do. Not that they were really that good together anyways. Of course, they leave Kate behind.

Hurley is a good source of information. If you don't love Jin by this point, you're a moron. Jack's dad ain't no dummy. He can see right through that very obvious skank trying to get with Jack. Locke ain't no dummy either... He knows more about Sawyer than Sawyer wants him to. "It's an interesting name, that's all. Who'd you get it from?"

Chasing a Michael who doesn't want to be chased through a jungle. This is the best plan ever. Gabriella? That's her name?! Geez, Jack... You really just put yourself into a bad situation there, didn't you? Wow, she went from sobbing to smooching in nothing flat, didn't she? Yay! Tom Friendly! He's such a great character. Hurley is thinking about asking out Libby! They are so cute! "This music is quite depressing." You tell him, Tom! This is a good scene... Jack calls Tom's bluff, and Tom proves him wrong. Bet Jack felt kind of dumb there. Of course, they caught Kate. Kate is such a useful asset, isn't she? And you think Kate would learn from this and all the other times she's messed everything up... but no, you'd be wrong.

Big shocker. Jack's wife was cheating on him and decided to leave him. I bet Jack kinda wishes he went for it with that skank back at the hospital. I'm sure if he called her up, he could have some rebound sex... I wonder if he did. Dang it, Lost, why do you leave us with all these loose ends?!? I really think this is an important issue that we should tweet Damon about right now! "You will always need something to fix." She knows Jack pretty well. Great, another Ana Lucia / Jack scene. Thank god THAT ended fast.

s02e12 - Fire + Water

Charlie's having a bad dream about Christmas. I wonder if the butcher with the chopped off baby heads is a reference to the infamous Beatles album cover. Oh yeah, this is the whole "I need to baptize the baby." episode. This one kind of annoys me... a lot. Charlie annoys me in this one, as does everyone who gets all mad at Charlie throughout the whole episode... and Locke actually annoys me too. Mostly, it's just a lot of people not listening to each other or anyone... and nobody gives a thought to actual facts or reasoning. I could just generally do without this episode as a whole.  I think I'll just watch and occasionally say something if I think of it.

Here's Charlie being the responsible one, while his brother is all strung out and useless. Charlie has some weird dreams. Aww that was nice of Sawyer, making the first move FOR Hurley. "Pretty much everybody has seen Walt wandering around the jungle, but when it's Charlie it must be the bloody drugs, right?" The Bubbies diapers commercial! I love this bit! Okay, so this has some great Hurley / Libby scenes, so I don't have quite so much against this episode. I could do without the Charlie storyline though. Just give me Hurley and Libby.

Yeah, that's kind of an incorrect explanation of baptism, just sayin'... Charlie started the fire, but Billy Joel did not. Liam sold Charlie's piano? That's really not nice of him... especially since he's all "Oh I'm trying to get clean, so I decided to do something a junkie would have done by selling YOUR property." Way to be, Liam. Geez, Locke, you didn't need to HIT him. No one listens on this episode. I hate people. Yet another incorrect explanation of baptism. Oh well, I suppose this might be a Catholic view. Not really sure. Oh well, it's over now. Until next time!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Downhill (1927) / Easy Virtue (1928)

Beefing on Hitchcock
Downhill / Easy Virtue

I have combined these two films into one short post, simply because the stories are practically identical. Someone gets wrongly accused of an immoral act, they are shunned by their families, and their lives veer into a downward spiral from which there seems no return. What gets me the most about these movies is that the accusation is so incredibly tame compared to standards nowadays.

In Downhill, a girl accuses the lead of getting her pregnant, even though his best friend is really to blame. This gets him expelled from school and disowned by his father, who doesn't believe his innocence. He goes off all "prodigal son" style, and gets continuously screwed over by everyone he meets.

In Easy Virtue, a woman is accused of being seduced by a painter and cheating on her drunken husband. She tries to keep her true identity and background a secret, but when all is revealed her new husband discards her.

Both films really do remind me of those drug awareness films, where someone smokes pot once and then suddenly is a strung-out heroin addict who has to kill to get a fix.  It's all a bit outlandish, and they really don't stand up to time like most of Hitchcock's other films. Maybe there's just something about murder that's timeless, while social taboos have very clearly changed over the past hundred years.

That all being said, I think I prefer Downhill over Easy Virtue, partly due to the lead actor Ivor Novello, who appeared also in The Lodger. Easy Virtue had a hard time keeping my attention, while I had no problem sticking with Downhill despite the glaring lack of music in the version I own.

I doubt I'd be recommending either of these to anyone who isn't keen on seeing absolutely everything Hitchcock has ever made, like I am...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 1 Unanswered Questions

Alright, I forgot to post this after I finished season 1, so here it is. After each season re-watch, I will be posting all the "Unanswered Questions" from that season.

I'm sure you'll notice plenty of the questions people have about the show are very unimportant and mundane, while others may have been indirectly answered in the show or extraverse (ARG's and out-of-show resources).

My resource comes from DarkUFO [LINK], which is about as complete as I know of. Feel free to browse to that link and read/download the PDF file for answers to any questions that I do not address here... or comment and I will do my best to find the answer.

AS FOR ANY "HOW DOES THE ISLAND WORK" QUESTIONS:  The answer is simple, and is explained by the fact that this is a SCI-FI/FANTASY show... "Magic."

And now for a very quick rant, in case you don't like that answer: There are NO such things as elves, fairies, hobbits... Middle Earth is NOT real, and neither is Hogwarts. Midi-chlorians was a horrible cop-out, and nothing happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. You are NOT going to go back in time to live with dinosaurs, and there isn't an alien being who travels around time/space in a police call box. A grove of trees with a pool of oil will NOT make a red curtain appear that leads you to a magic place with a dancing midget, and the Island isn't real. It's a show. The Island is magic. It's called "fantasy" for a reason. Get over it.

Now, on to the stupid questions people apparently feel are important enough to bitch about all these years later!!

Season 1 Unanswered Questions

Season 1 has 80 total mysteries, 6 unanswered mysteries

Pilot (Part 1)
How did Jack end up in the jungle?
- Unanswered.
[Not even gonna guess on this one... I just figure it's a "production" thing that just looked neat.]

White Rabbit
What happened to the actual body of Christian Shephard?
- Unanswered.
[The smoke monster took it, so he could freely look like him without someone saying "Hey, but I have the body right here... you can't be him." ???]

What is the significance of Walt’s powers?
- Unanswered.
[Unfortunately, this is what happens when you base a storyline around someone who is about to hit puberty.]

What was the “Tampa Job”?
- Unanswered.
[Wow, this SO does not matter.]

Deus Ex Machina
How did Locke have a vision of the drug smugglers’ plane crashing?
- Unanswered
[The Island gave him a vision, or the Smoke Monster did somehow. Magic.]

Born to Run
How did Walt know about the hatch after Locke touched him and why didn’t he want him to open it?- Unanswered.
[See the answer to the above question.]

There, that does it for season 1... Now back to watching season 2!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chicago @GSMPodcasts Meet-Up Info

Hey again people! Here's the plan as it sits:

Saturday, March 9th, 2013 - 6:00 PM
Lou Malnati's on State Street, just a block or so south of Division. (1120 N State St, Chicago, IL)

It's close to the CTA Red Line, and both the 36 and 22 bus routes. We'll meet up around 6 (I will be getting there a few minutes early I'm sure) and then we'll dine on pizza and good food products!  AFTER we're all done and full, some of us will be going to the bowling alley mentioned below for bowling until they kick us out!!


Also, please comment or tweet me if I am forgetting anything.

Alright hi! The date has been fixed on the 9th of March, so no changes there... but we've decided to swap the order of event. Pizza and then bowling (for any who want to stay out late and bowl).  The bowling alley is open until midnight, so it not only seems more logical this way but also might work best for those who want to just join in for pizza.  Tentative time is most likely going to be 7:00pm for meeting up at the pizza place... possibly 6:30. I'll add another update once that's settled.

For all FRINGE fans who want to meet up in Chicago, the (most likely fixed) date for the meet-up is Saturday, March 9, 2013. We're currently planning an afternoon event of bowling, with an evening event of pizza at one of the many Lou Malnati's loations in Chicago. Anyone wanting to come can join us at either or both!

The bowling will most likely be at Lucky Strike Lanes, (322 E Illinois St) [LINK] which has a pretty nice lounge attached, as well as a movie theater if anyone wants to skip bowling and be anti-social instead! It's closer to bus lines than train (a short walk from the Red Line Grand stop) but I've personally been there for food and movie, so I know it's a nice, fun, comfortable atmosphere. (and has better reviews than most alleys I've looked at)

As for the pizza, there are many Lou Malnati's locations, and I haven't settled on which as of yet. I'm considering either the location on Wells (off the Brown Line Merchandise Mart stop) or State Street (off the Red Line Division stop). I've personally been to the State St/Division location, but the other is closer to the Loop. If anyone prefers one over the other feel free to let me know in the comments to this post!

Times have not been set yet, but there will be sufficient time between bowling and pizza, so no one feels rushed.

As for anyone who actually wants to come from out of town/area, I can only really recommend the Days Inn on Diversey (644 West Diversey Parkway). I have stayed there, as has my family, and it's clean, comfortable, safe, and friendly. It's smack between Lincoln Park and Lakeview areas, so it's a really safe area... Also, I live a few blocks away, so anyone can transit to bowling with me if they'd like!

That's all I have for now.  I'll be adding/editing this post as things solidify.  Please comment below with any suggestions, issues, or even just to let me know if you're hoping to come!!  To contact me directly, I am on twitter @theunabeefer.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Lodger (1927)

"...the first true Hitchcock film."

Beefing on Hitchcock
The Lodger:
A Story of The London Fog

A mysterious lodger comes to rent from a couple during a slew of serial murders of young fair-haired girls. The landlord's daughter Daisy is a young, fair-haired model longed for by a young ambitious detective named Joe. The lodger and Daisy develop a forbidden romance, while the parents and Joe start to wonder if their new tenant is, in fact, the murderer Joe is looking for.

Upon being confronted, the lodger claims to be also looking for the killer, who had murdered his young, fair-haired sister. Joe, jealous of Daisy's affection for the lodger, doesn't believe him and arrests him. The mysterious man escapes with Daisy and the two end up chased a mob in the night. While the mob beats the man nearly to death, news comes that the real killer has been caught, thankfully in time to save the life of the lodger.

Before I get into this film, I would like to mention that I've skipped the second film that Alfred Hitchcock directed, The Mountain Eagle. The reason for this is simple: No print exists of that movie. There is proof it was filmed and ran... but it's been very much lost. Maybe someday it will show up in someone's attic, but until then we will never be able to see it.

Now that that's been said, I'll comment about The Lodger. I noticed pretty much by the end of the movie that the name of the lodger was never given. He remains withdrawn and mysterious, even to the audience.

While a common thread through many and most of Hitchcock's films is the concept of mistaken identity (even going so far as to call a film The Wrong Man), usually the audience itself is well aware that the man being pursued is, in fact, innocent. That alone makes The Lodger stand out to me as a bit unique.

Granted, from what I've read, Hitchcock had always planned to leave the guilt or innocence of the man very ambiguous... but since the leading man was a well-known-and-liked actor at the time, the studio pressured him to re-write the ending, allowing the man to be proved innocent.

While I'm sure this irritated Hitch a lot, I think it was for the best. As a viewer, I grew to like the man who hardly revealed his thoughts to me. I had no idea if he would turn out to be guilty or not (most of me thinking he was most definitely the killer for a while there), but a truly sympathetic character, he quickly becomes the hero of the film... and I wanted him and Daisy to end up together and happy.

I've watched this film quite a few times already since my initial viewing, especially once I found a decent quality print, and so far it's my favourite of his early silent films. Actually, I think this one will be hard to knock out of that slot. Yes, it's just that good.