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Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D

I do not really have a bucket list, per se. I have things that I have always wanted to do. And for me, I have always wanted to go to a Cirque du Soleil show. I have went to Vegas numerous times and each time I told myself, “This time, I am going”. But then I see how much the tickets cost and I chicken out. So when my friend told me about a 3D movie that was like a Cirque du Soleil performance, I jumped at the chance.

Movie : Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D
Date : Sunday, December 23, 2012
Time : 7:00pm

The premise of the story was a young girl goes to the circus. While watching an acrobatic performer, he falls after losing concentration because he was looking at her. Instead of hitting the ground he goes into another world. She jumps in after him (to save him ?). Once in the fantasy world, she tries to navigate and search for her acrobat. They seem to have had an attraction from the intense gaze the shared. So while she is looking for him, he is trying to figure out how to get back to the real world as well. There are characters for many of the Cirque du Soleil shows that highlight the fact that their surroundings are indeed fanciful and mystical. There is a lot of jumping around, amazing body contortions, but very, very little dialogue. I had to infer a lot considering the fact that no one was talking and much of the communication consisted of hand gestures. They were like very sprightly, nimble mimes.

Leaving the theater, I was confused. I did not feel that overwhelming sense of “Wow that was so awesome”. It was okay. It made me realize that I think that I hyped up Cirque du Soleil too much in my head. Paired with the fact that tickets to the show are usually very expensive, I thought it would be touch my soul in some way.

Yes, I am glad it was in 3D because the characters seemed to pop off of the screen as if I was in the front row. Yes, the dancing was great. But how many contorted humans into pretzels does it take for it to lose it appeal? For me, the answer is 6.

I was like, “Yea yea. I get it. All of you can touch your ears with your toes. Do something else now. I am no longer entertained.”

I thought the same thing for the multiple somersaults and cartwheels. They were performing the same dance moves with no dialogue. I don’t know what else I was expecting, but after 20 minutes, it dawned on me that there was close to an hour to go and I was not as enthralled with the show as I thought I would be.

Maybe I am too cynical. Maybe I spend too much time on the internet to appreciate the beauty of the dance. I am truly puzzled with myself. I should have been amazed with it all. I still think that Cirque du Soleil is something that people should experience at least once just to see it.

Am I buying the Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away DVD when it comes out? No.

I am not so sure anymore that I will dream of going to a live Cirque du Soleil show. That being said, I will probably go if someone else wants to go and the tickets were reasonably priced.

I would rather not shake your hand because I don’t want to die

Last night I saw Contagion.

 

For a germaphobe like me, this was a cautionary tale. I already freak out if someone coughs too much or sneezes too often. I look at that person warily and ask, “Are you sick?” Usually without waiting for a response, I pull out the sanitizer and cover my own mouth and nose.  This movie has taught me that I am not being overly paranoid, I am being safe because I don’t want to get sick and DIE!!! Okay, maybe I am overreacting a wee bit, but the movie was so realistic that I feel it could happen. In retrospect, I guess that means the screenwriters and directors did their job well.

The movie starts off with Gwyneth Paltrow’s character sitting in a restaurant bar waiting for her flight. She is talking on the phone and looking quite pallid, which she attributes to jetlag. She gets home, still not feeling well and next thing you know, she is dead.

Whoa! (umm yea it was over for her that quickly)

No sooner does her husband (Matt Damon’s character) have the chance to process that depressing information, his son dies as well. Scenes from all over the world show similar occurrences. 

The CDC and WHO (played by Lawrence Fishburn, Kate Winslet, and others) are faced with a global dilemma. It was bizarre that a seemingly non-threatening head cold morphed into a killer disease. This is the battle of science vs. bacteria (and the time it takes to kill the host organism). CDC and WHO need to understand what is happening so that they can treat the illness. Without a vaccine, humankind is defenseless and the number of people are dying increases exponentially. It is even more difficult to contain whatever it is with the movement of people on every possible mode of transportation. From one infected person in an airport, there are outbreaks in many other parts of the world.  I guess the scariest part of this movie was the fact that disease’s initial symptoms had the appearance of something as innocuous as a mild cold but was highly contagious and extremely deadly .

How many times have people in the office came to work with a slight head cold? I don’t like to take chances, but who knows when I have touched something that they touched? Elevator buttons, refrigerator door in the canteen, etc.

Even though I try not to consciously touch my face, how many times have I done it unconsciously?

And let’s not even begin to analyze what we touch when we are on public transportation. 

As I type this, I took a minute to apply more anti-bacterial sanitizer. 

Yea, this movie messed with my head more than I anticipated. Or maybe I knew on some level it would be like this and that is why I waited so long to see it. In the end, the outcome was kind of what I would have expected, meaning it seemed to be a very realistic ending.

The genre of this movie is thriller and I can say it was a thrill to watch it.

Most importantly, I was making mental notes of what I need to do in the event of a global contagious disease that begins killing people like flies. Don’t shake hands. CHECK.

Don’t take public transportation. CHECK.

Have gun loaded. CHECK.  

Increase inventory of  , , and , . TRIPLE CHECK

Unlike the movies with radioactive bugs or other giant monsters, the villainous bacteria in Contagion could actually exist. Would real life imitate a fictional movie? I hope that it never happens. But knowing how unsanitary people can be, I am not convinced we would be any better off.

Overall: The movie is worth watching if you have not already done so. And seeing what started the deadly virus ball rolling will make you want to go wash your hands and apply sanitizer just to be cautious.

Burlesque (movie with Cher and Christina Aguilera)

This is the typical story of a young girl from the mid-west that is determined to make it in the big city. And as always, she finds a boyfriend who respects her mind too. The story is the same, but the names are different.

I thought that this would be a movie for my and hubby to watch- chick story for me and eye candy for him. Well I was wrong. There were not enough skimpy outfits and eye candy to amuse him and distract from the fact there was not a lot of quality acting or mediocre script writing. And Cher’s face was so taut, I could not pay attention to her acting.  Half way through the movie, even I was getting bored and starting playing Farmville (I can only take so much).

All in all, it was a major CHICK FLICK. Girls, keep that in mind if you were thinking this would be a good date movie. I suggest saving it for Ladies’ Night. Straight men will probably not be impressed with this movie since there is not enough scantily clad women to compensate for the film’s shortcomings.

If you like to hear Christina Aguilera wailing (or as some would say “hitting those high notes”), you will probably love this movie.

Its the end of the world as we know it

Last night, we had a movie themed night: After the End of the World (post-apocalyptic genre)

First movie: Book of Eli

All I knew of this movie before watching it was the trailers of Denzel Washington fighting bad guys using his machete. I knew that he was protecting a book, but I did not know for what or why. The movie starts slowly, but you find out that Eli (Denzel Washington) has been walking for 30 years after the war that caused major devastation to the earth to find a place for the book he is protecting. He does have very impressive fighting skills. Case in point: A guy pushed him and Eli told him that if he did it again, he would not get his hand back. The guy did it again and Eli cut off his hand in a matter of fact way.  

His nemesis Carnegie (Gary Oldman) is looking for a book that he believes contains great power and with it he can extend his influence and authority over others. To that end, he sends his hooligans out over the wasteland to ravage and pillage to find this special book. He is frustrated because they come back with books, but not the one he was seeking.

Then he meets Eli, impressed with his fighting skills, and hopes that Eli will help him find the book for which he is searching. Eli declines and Carnegie locks him up for the night hoping to change his mind. He even send in a young bar maid named Solara (Mila Kunis) to use her feminine wiles to convince him. Eli does not fall for the bait because he is focused and on a mission. She begs to stay the night so that Carnegie will at least think they slept together (she worries that Carnegie will hurt her mother). Eli allows her to stay and while in the room, she sees that he has a book. She is excited about this even though she does not know how to read.

The next day, when she goes to see her mother, she prays for their food like Eli did the night before. Carnegie is suspicious about Eli. In the end, Solara tells Carnegie that Eli has a book so that he will stop hurting her mother.  Carnegie goes to find Eli because he wants that book. Again Eli declines, a shootout ensues, and the chase is on.

I will not tell you any more of the story or what the book is because I want you to see the movie. The ending was okay. I was not totally disappointed. I felt that was probably the best way it could have ended. Eli was determined to carry out his appointed task. And for the most part things seem to work out for him, that you believe that he might have some higher power watching over him. 

From the movie, there is an underlying message of hope and religion/spirituality being the answer to combat despair. 

Second movie: I am Legend

Robert Neville (Will Smith) is a scientist that is trying to find a cure for a virus that was caused by scientists who created it when trying to use the molecular structure from measles virus to cure cancer. The viral infection is transmitted through the air and from bites from infected individuals. Neville is immune to the virus and becomes the last healthy human survivor in New York. His one companion, a dog named Sam, cannot be infected from the airborne virus but can be infected if bitten. Neville is methodical about keeping his whereabouts hidden from the Darkseekers, infected individuals that have super human strength, angry attackers like rabid dogs, but have an extreme sensitivity to sunlight and UV light. 

It would seem that Neville had nothing to live for since he saw his wife and child die in a helicopter accident when they were leaving NY. But he is determined to find a cure for the human race since he is the only possible hope as a person immune to the virus. For years without success, he does trial after trial with different chemical compounds in efforts to combat the virus’ effects. Meanwhile, he is constantly looking for survivors, although he is not sure there are any. Although, he thinks that the Darkseekers are devolving and losing all traits of humanity, there are instances in the movie that show the viewer that they still have intelligence, logic, planning abilities. This is probably the undoing of Neville because he begins to underestimate his opponent. 

This movie ended okay also. I probably would have been in the minority choosing the alternate ending if I had a choice. Through it all, Neville becomes, more than a man, a legend.

The movie seems to be a cautionary tale of what can happen when scientists try to outsmart and control nature. There is still so much about nature that they do not know and creating mutations might have the unintended consequences of creating viral infections that have 90% infection and/or kill rate of the human race.

Gnomeo and Juliet

Gnomeo and Juliet was a cute movie loosely based on the Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet. In this case, the characters were opposing families of garden gnomes and other statues that come to life when humans are not around. A gnome is a red or blue based on the color of their hat. For as long as they can remember, there has been an ongoing feud of red versus blue. No one can remember how it got started, but they are sworn enemies. This lead to all sorts of destruction and mayhem on both sides in the name of defending the family’s honor. Because of a series of circumstances, Gnomeo and Juliet meet each other in another garden. The attraction is apparent before they know that the color of the other gnome’s hat. But even after the knowing that bit of information, they are still drawn to each other.

Like the play, their love is doomed to fail. But since this a children’s movie, the ending is not as tragic as the play.

This movie was a cartoon for children. There were very few jokes or innuendos that would be understood by the adults only.

Overall: If I had children, I would buy this for them because it was a cute, wholesome movie. As an adult without children, I do not think I would buy for myself.