Demolition Man

I have recently watched this Enjoyable action, Science fiction film. It starts In 1996, when psychopathic career criminal Simon Phoenix kidnaps a number of hostages and takes refuge with his gang in an abandoned building. LAPD Sgt. John Spartan leads an assault to capture Phoenix. However Phoenix sets off a series of explosives that destroy the building and The corpses of the hostages are found in the rubble, leading to the arrest of Spartan for manslaughter. He is incarcerated along with Phoenix in the city’s new “California Cryo-Penitentiary”, where they are cryogenically frozen and exposed to subconscious rehabilitation techniques.

During their incarceration,  the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara are merged into a single metropolis under the name San Angeles. The city becomes a utopia run under the pseudo-pacifist guidance and control of the evangelistic Dr. Raymond Cocteau, where human behavior is tightly controlled. In 2032, Phoenix is thawed for a parole hearing. However he escapes the prison. The police, having not dealt with violent crime for many years, are unable to handle Phoenix. Lt. Lenina Huxley suggests that Spartan – the police officer who caught Phoenix – be revived and reinstated to the force to help them stop him again. Spartan, having spent 36 years in cryo-stasis until now, is thawed, reinstated, and assigned to Lieutenant Lenina Huxley. Spartan finds the future depressing and oppressive while Others on the police force find his behavior brutish and uncivilized, and Huxley, though fascinated by the lifestyles of the late 20th century, is also disgusted by some of Spartan’s behaviour.

Six officers are killed by Phoenix during his escape. Spartan and Phoenix eventually meet at the local museum when Phoenix breaks into a museum’s weapon exhibition to arm himself. Phoenix escapes and encounters Dr. Cocteau who asks Phoenix to assassinate Edgar Friendly, the leader of the resistance group called the Scraps which fight against Cocteau’s rule, and allows Phoenix to bring other criminals out of cryo-sleep to help.

At the Scraps’ underground base, Spartan discovers that the Scraps are in fact all homeless and starving people who have rejected Dr. Cocteau’s oppressive vision of an ideal society. Spartan warns Friendly of the threat from Phoenix and his gang who subsequently attack, Spartan pursues Phoenix. However Phoenix escapes, so Spartan arms himself with help from the Scraps as they emerge in force to get food. Phoenix returns to kill Dr. Cocteau with his gang Then goes back to the CryoPrison and begin to thaw out the most dangerous convicts. So Spartan enters the prison to prevent Phoenix releasing the most dangerous criminals from cryogenic suspension in an explosive and exciting showdown.

Aliens

Following her explosive confrontation with a vicious Alien lifeform from the exomoon LV-426 Ellen Ripley is rescued after drifting through space in stasis for 57 years. Her employees at Weyland-Yutani Corporation disbelieve her claims that the alien killed everyone onboard her ship, the USCSS Nostromo. Years later LV-426, is colonised by the terraforming colony Hadleys Hope who are blissfully unaware of the danger. Predictably contact is lost with Hadleys Hope, so Weyland-Yutani representative Carter Burke and Colonial Marine Lieutenant Gorman ask Ripley to accompany Burke and a Colonial Marine unit to investigate the disturbance. Traumatized by her encounter with the Alien, Ripley initially refuses, but eventually agrees and makes Burke promise to exterminate, and not capture, the Aliens. Aboard the spaceship USS Sulaco, she is introduced to the Colonial Marines, their commanding officer Lieutenant Gorman, and the android Bishop, toward whom Ripley is initially hostile following her experience with the traitorous android Ash aboard the Nostromo.

A dropship delivers the expedition to the surface of LV-426, where they find the colony deserted. Inside, they find makeshift barricades and signs of a struggle, but no bodies; two live facehuggers in containment tanks in the medical lab; and a survivor, a traumatized young girl nicknamed Newt who used the ventilation system to evade capture or death. At the center of the station, the marines find the colonists cocooned, in the Aliens nest serving as incubators for the Aliens’ offspring. When the marines kill a newborn Alien, the Aliens ambush the marines, Ripley attempts to rescue the marines Hicks, Hudson, and Vasquez. Hicks orders the dropship to recover the survivors, but a stowaway Alien kills the pilots, causing it to crash into the station. Ripley, Newt, Burke, Gorman, and the remaining marines barricade themselves inside the colony command center. Ripley discovers that the villainous Burke deliberately sent the colonists to investigate the derelict spaceship where the Nostromo crew first encountered the Alien eggs, believing he could become wealthy by recovering Alien specimens for use as biological weapons. The power plant is damaged and threatens to explode with the force of a 40-megaton thermonuclear weapon.

Ripley and Newt find themselves locked in the Medical bay with the two facehuggers, which have been released from their tanks. Ripley alerts the marines, who rescue them and kill the creatures. Ripley accuses Burke of releasing the facehuggers so that they would impregnate her and Newt, allowing him to smuggle the Alien embryos past Earth’s quarantine, and of planning to kill the rest of the marines. Then Aliens attack through the ceiling. Hudson, Burke, Vasquez, and Gorman are all killed in the attack and Newt is captured. Ripley and an injured Hicks reach Bishop in the second dropship, but Ripley refuses to abandon Newt so a heavily armed Ripley enters the hive to rescue Newt. As they escape, the two encounter the Alien queen in her egg chamber. Pursued by the queen, Ripley, Newt, Bishop and Hicks escape however the group discover the Alien queen has stowed away on the dropship’s landing gear and Ripley clashes with her in an exciting showdown

Orson Welles

American actor, director, writer and producer George Orson Welles was born May 6, 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He worked extensively in theatre, radio and film and is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media, most notably Caesar (1937), a groundbreaking Broadway adaption of Julius Caesar and the debut of the Mercury Theatre; The War of the Worlds (1938), the most famous broadcast in the history of radio; and Citizen Kane (1941), which many critics and scholars name as the best film of all time. Welles directed a number of high-profile theatrical productions in his early twenties, including an innovative adaptation of Macbeth and The Cradle Will Rock, but found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds performed for the radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was reported to have caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring, and although these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, they rocketed Welles to instant notoriety. His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. It is often considered the greatest film ever made. Welles went on to directed thirteen critically acclaimed films in his career, including The Magnificent Ambersons, Journey into Fear, It’s All True, The Stranger, The Lady From Shanghai, Macbeth, The Third Man, Othello, Mr Arkadin, The Trial and Touch of Evil.

He was reknowned for His distinctive directorial style, which featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, innovative uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as a major creative force and as “the ultimate auteur.” Welles became Well known for his baritone voice, And was also a well regarded actor who won many wards. These other Welles films were nominated for their list: The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, director/producer/screenwriter); The Third Man (1949, actor); Touch of Evil (1958, actor/director/ screenwriter); and A Man for All Seasons (1966, actor). Citizen Kane was also nominated for numerous prizes at the 1941 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role. The only Oscar won, however, was Best Original Screenplay, which Welles shared with Herman J. Mankiewicz.The Magnificent Ambersons was nominated for four 1942 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The Stranger was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1947. Othello won the Palme d’Or at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival.

In 1968 Welles was nominated for Best Foreign Actor in a Leading Role at the 21st British Academy Film Awards for his performance in Chimes at Midnight. Welles was given the first Career Golden Lion award in the Venice Film Festival in 1970, during the same year Welles was given an Academy Honorary Award for “superlative and distinguished service in the making of motion pictures.He was also awarded the French Légion d’honneur, the highest civilian decoration in France. He also recieved the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award in 1975, and In 1978, Welles was presented with the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Career Achievement Award. In 1979, Welles was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. In 1982, Welles was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globe Awards for his role in Butterfly, and won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording for his role on Donovan’s Brain.

Welles was awarded a Fellowship of the British Film Institute in 1983 and In 1984, Welles was given the Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Welles as the 16th Greatest Male Star of All Time. When asked to describe Welles’s influence, Jean-Luc Godard remarked: “Everyone will always owe him everything.” Welles was also voted the greatest film director of all time in two separate British Film Institute polls among directors and critics, and a wide survey of critical consensus, best-of lists, and historical retrospectives calls him the most acclaimed director of all time. He was also voted number 16 in AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars list of the greatest American film actors of all time and The American Film. Sadly On October 10, 1985, Welles died of a heart attack at his home in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, and was found slumped over his typewriter, working on a new film script.

Behold the chandelier!

Best known for writing the novel The Phantom of the Opera, The French journalist and author of detective fiction, Gaston Leroux was born 6 May 1868 in Paris. He went to school in Normandy and later studied law in Paris, graduating in 1889. He inherited millions of francs and lived wildly until he nearly reached bankruptcy. Subsequently in 1890, he began working as a court reporter and theater critic for L’Écho de Paris. However his most important journalism came when he began working as an international correspondent for the Paris newspaper Le Matin.

In 1905, he was present at, and covered, the Russian Revolution. He was also involved in the investigation and in-depth coverage of the former Paris Opera (presently housing the Paris Ballet). In 1907 He suddenly left Journalism and began writing fiction. he and his writing partner Arthur Bernède formed their own film company, Société des Cinéromans to publish novels simultaneously and turn them into films. He first wrote a mystery novel entitled Le mystère de la chambre jaune (1908; The Mystery of the Yellow Room), starring the amateur detective Joseph Rouletabille. He was a very prolific author and went on to write many more novels about the adventures of Joseph Rouletabille, including Le parfum de la dame en noir (The Perfume of the Lady in Black), Rouletabille chez le Tsar, Rouletabille à la guerre (Rouletabille at War), Les étranges noces de Rouletabille (The Strange Wedding of Rouletabille). Rouletabille chez Krupp, Le crime de Rouletabille (1921), Rouletabille chez les Bohémiens, Le petit marchand de romme de terre frites, Un homme dans la nuit, La double vie de Théophraste Longuet.

In 1910 he wrote his most famous work The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, 1910). It features a character named Christine Daaé who travels with her father, a famous fiddler, throughout Europe and plays folk and religious music. As a child her father told her many stories about the “Angel of Music,” who is the personification of musical inspiration. Christine meets and befriends the young Raoul, Viscount of Chagny. One of Christine and Raoul’s favourite stories is one of Little Lotte, a girl who is visited by the Angel of Music who possesses a heavenly voice. Christine begins singing in the chorus at the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier) and begins hearing a beautiful, unearthly voice which sings to her and speaks to her. She believes this must be the Angel of Music and asks him if he is. The Voice agrees and offers to teach her “a little bit of heaven’s music.”

The Voice, however, belongs to Erik, a physically deformed and mentally disturbed musical genius who was one of the architects who took part in the construction of the opera. Erik falls in love with Christine And has also been extorting money from the Opera’s management for many years, and is referred to as the “Opera Ghost” by the denizens of the Opera. Christine sings at a gala to celebrate the old managers’ retirement. Her old childhood friend Raoul hears her sing and recalls his love for her. He then hears the “Angel of Music” speaking to Christine. The Paris Opera then performs Faust, with the prima donna Carlotta playing the lead, against Erik’s wishes, in response Carlotta loses her voice and the Erik drops the grand chandelier into the audience causing widespred death and carnage.

After the accident, Erik kidnaps Christine, brings her to his home in the catacombs beneath the opera House and reveals his true identity. He plans to keep her there for a few days, hoping she will come to love him. Christine begins to find herself attracted to her abductor, until she unmasks him and, beholds his face, which according to the book, resembles the face of a rotting corpse. Erik goes into a frenzy, stating she probably thinks his face is another mask, and whilst digging her fingers in to show it was really his face he shouts, “I am Don Juan Triumphant!” before crawling away, crying. Fearing that she will leave him, he decides to keep her with him forever, but when Christine requests release after two weeks, he agrees on condition that she wear his ring and be faithful to him. On the roof of the opera house, Christine tells Raoul that Erik abducted her. Raoul promises to take Christine away to a place where Erik can never find her. Raoul tells Christine he shall act on his promise the next day.

The two leave  unaware that Erik has been listening and is extremely jealous. In the meantime Erik terrorises anyone who stands in his way or obstructs Christine’s career, including the managers. The following night, Erik kidnaps Christine during a production of Faust and tries to force Christine to marry him. He states that if she refuses, he will use explosives (which he has planted in the cellars) to destroy the entire opera house. Christine refuses, until she realizes that Erik has trapped Raoul (along with The Persian, an old acquaintance of Erik who was helping Raoul). So To save them and the people above, Christine agrees to marry Erik…

He also wrote Le roi mystère, L’homme qui a vu le diable, Le fauteuil hanté, La reine de Sabbat, Balaoo, Le dîner des bustes, La hache d’or, L’ épouse du soleil, Première aventures de chéri-Bibi, La colonne infernale, Confitou, L’ homme qui revient de loin, Le capitaine Hyx – La bataille invisible, Le coeur cambriolé, Le sept de trèfle, La poupée sanglante – La machine à assassiner, Le Noël du petit Vincent-Vincent, Not’olympe, Les ténébreuses: La fin d’un monde & du sang sur la Néva.

Sadly Leroux passed away on 15th April 1927, but his legacy lives on in the form of some wonderful novels and hid contribution to French detective fiction is considered a parallel to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the United Kingdom and Edgar Allan Poe in the United States. The Phantom of the Opera has since been adapted into numerous film and stage productions of the same name, including a 1925 film starring Lon Chaney, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 musical and Joel Schumacher’s subsequent film adaptation of the musical starring Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver & Jennifer Ellison. The Musical still remains popular to this day and you can still see it in London, New York, Las Vegas and Budapest

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer prize for his epic novel The Grapes of Wrath on 6 May 1940. The Grapes of Wrath features ex-convict Tom Joad who is paroled from McAlester prison, where he was imprisoned after being convicted of homicide. On his way home, Tom meets former preacher Jim Casy, whom he remembers from his childhood, and the two travel together. When they arrive at Tom’s childhood farm home, they find it deserted. Their old neighbor, Muley Graves, tells them the family has gone to stay at Uncle John Joad’s home nearby. Graves tells them that the banks have evicted all the farmers, but he refuses to leave the area.

The next morning, Tom and Casy go to Uncle John’s where Tom finds his family preparing to leave and discovers that after their crops destroyed by the Dust Bowl, the family had defaulted on their bank loans, and their farm was repossessed. Consequently, the Joads have no option but to seek work in California. Although leaving Oklahoma would violate his parole, Tom decides it is worth the risk, and invites Casy to join him and his family. Traveling west on Route 66, the Joad family find the road crowded with other migrants. In makeshift camps, and hear many stories from others, some returning from California. Sadly Granpa dies during the journey and they bury him in a field; then Granma dies close to the California state line. Then both Noah (the eldest Joad son) and Connie Rivers (the husband of the pregnant Joad daughter, Rose of Sharon) split from the family.

Upon Reaching California, they find conditions are not much better, the wages are low, and workers are exploited to the point of starvation. The big corporate farmers are in collusion, and smaller farmers suffer from collapsing prices. Weedpatch Camp, one of the clean, utility-supplied camps operated by the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency, offers better conditions, but does not have enough resources to care for all the needy families. Nonetheless, as a Federal facility, the camp protects the migrants from harassment by California deputies.

In response to the exploitation, Casy becomes a labor organizer and tries to set up a labor union. The remaining Joads work as strikebreakers in a peach orchard, where Casy is involved in a strike that eventually turns violent. When Tom Joad witnesses Casy’s fatal beating, he kills the attacker and flees as a fugitive. The Joads later leave the orchard for a cotton farm, where Tom is at risk of being arrested for the homicide. Tom leaves promising to work for the oppressed. Rose of Sharon’s baby is stillborn. Then the Joads’ dwelling is flooded, so they move to higher ground where they shelter from the flood in an old barn and assist a young boy and his father, who are dying of starvation.

International No Diet day

International No Diet Day (INDD) is celebrated annually on 6th May. It is an annual celebration of body acceptance, including fat acceptance and body shape diversity. This day is also dedicated to promoting a healthy life style with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success; the Institute of Medicine summarises: “those who complete weight loss programs lose approximately 10 percent of their body weight only to regain two-thirds within a year and almost all of it within five years.” The first International No Diet Day was celebrated in the UK in 1992. Feminist groups in other countries around the globe have started to celebrate International No Diet Day, especially in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Israel, Denmark and Brazil.

International No Diet Day was created by Mary Evans Young in 1992. Young is the director of the British group “Diet Breakers”. After personally experiencing anorexia nervosa, she worked to help people appreciate themselves for what they are, and to appreciate the body they have. Young, a British feminist, developed her understanding both through her own experiences of being bullied at school for being fat and by speaking with women who attended the management courses she ran. She relates in her book, Diet Breaking: Having It All Without Having to Diet, how during one of the these courses in 1991 she became irritated with the coffee break conversation about whether or not the women were going to eat a biscuit – “Oh, I’ll just have one”, “I shouldn’t really”, “Oh, all right then”. Young asked the group “What do you think would happen if you spent as much time and energy on your careers as you do on diets?”

Since 1998 both the International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA) and the National Organisation for Women (NOW) have sponsored similar days. ISAA’s day is the International Size Acceptance Day which is celebrated on 24 April. NOW organises a Love Your Body campaign, with its own annual Love Your Body Day in the fall, which critiques what it defines as “fake Images” of the fashion, beauty and diet industries demanding that images of women with diverse body sizes and shapes are used instead. During International No Diet Day, participants aim to:

Question the idea of one “right” body shape.
Raise awareness of weight discrimination, size bias and fat phobia.
Declare a day free from diets and obsessions about body weight.
Present the facts about the diet industry, emphasizing the inefficacy of commercial diets.
Honor the victims of eating disorders and weight-loss surgery.
Help end weight discrimination, sizism and fat phobia.

However it is not popular with everyone, The Institute of Medicine’s Committee To Develop Criteria for Evaluating the Outcomes of Approaches To Prevent and Treat Obesity stated, in its book Weighing the Options: Criteria For Evaluating Weight Management Programs, that “the intractability of obesity” has led to the anti-dieting movement. International No Diet Day is then mentioned and the authors comment:We agree, of course, that there should be more appreciation and acceptance of diversity in the physical attributes of people, more discouragement of dieting in vain attempts to attain unrealistic physical ideals, and no obsession with weight loss by individuals who are at or near desirable or healthy weights. However, it is inappropriate to argue that obese individuals should simply accept their body weight and not attempt to reduce, particularly if the obesity is increasing their risk for developing other medical problems or diseases.

Two other incidents strengthened Mary Young’s desire to expose what she believes is the futility of dieting. First, a television program in which three women were having their stomachs stapled in an effort to become thin. None of them received any counseling before undergoing surgery and one of the women had split her staples, regained the weight, and undergone the operation again – three times. Mary found this program very distressing, eventually she realised that she identified with the physical and emotional pain of the women in the program because she had herself experienced that deep self-loathing. The second incident, about a month later, was Young reading in a newspaper aboout a teenager who had hanged herself because she was bullied for being fat. She was size 14 (USA size 12).

In May 1992, Young introduced the first No Diet Day. Originally intended to be a UK-based National No Diet Day, a week before the event, International Clear Your Desk Day was declared and Young was inspired to make her holiday also an international one. It was a small affair to be celebrated by a dozen women with a picnic in Hyde Park, London. Ages ranged from twenty-one to seventy-six and they all wore stickers saying: Ditch That Diet. It rained, and so Mary Evans Young held the picnic in her home. The media turned up in force.

By 1993, feminists in many more countries were planning on celebrating International No Diet Day. Americans, particularly those in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, were concerned that the date clashed with the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the southern states. For Young there was no particular significance to 5 May so she agreed to change the date to May 6, coincidentally her birthday. During No Diet Day, many restaurant owners offer indulgent treats for their customers as a Marketing Technique. In a similar approach, it was suggested that local campaigns should be added to the national social Marketing strategy, as a result a local Healthy Eating campaign was added onto ‘National No-Diet Day’.

Jeffery Deaver

Prolific American Mystery/crime thriller author Jeffery Deaver was born May 6, 1950 in Glen Ellyn, Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in a creative family. His mother was an artist, and his father an advertising writer. His sister Julie Reece Deaver is an author of young adult novels.The book that inspired him to write was From Russia With Love, a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming. He Earned a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University and originally started working as a journalist. He later practiced law before embarking on a successful career as a best-selling novelist.

Deaver’s most popular series features his regular character Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic detective, and NYPD Detective Amelia Sachs. Deaver stated in a 2006 Early Show interview that he would rotate between his new series and Lincoln Rhyme each year. Virtually all of his works feature a trick ending or multiple trick endings. Deaver’s 2001 book The Blue Nowhere features criminal hackers (one using social engineering to commit murder), as well as a law enforcement computer crime unit. In this book, Deaver gives credit to Lee de Forest, the inventor of the Audion (also known as the triode tube), who is thus considered to have opened the world to electronic development.)

He has been awarded the Steel Dagger and Short Story Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association and the Nero Wolfe Award, and he is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader’s Award for Best Short Story of the Year and a winner of the British Thumping Good Read Award. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including The New York Times, The Times, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Los Angeles Times. Deaver also edited The Best American Mystery Stories 2009.

Three of Deaver’s novels have also been produced into films: Maiden’s Grave made for TV as film Dead Silence 1997, The Bone Collector released 1999, The Devil’s Teardrop made for TV and in 2010 Deaver also created the characters and—in a collaboration with 14 other noted writers—wrote the 17-part serial thriller The Chopin Manuscript. Deaver has also written an official new James Bond novel: Carte Blanche, which was published 2011. Other novels written by Deaver include Mistress of Justice (1992), The Lesson of Her Death (1993), Praying for Sleep (1994), A Maiden’s Grave (1995), The Devil’s Teardrop (1999), Speaking in Tongues (2000), The Blue Nowhere (2001), Garden of Beasts (2004), The Chopin Manuscript (2008), The Bodies Left Behind (2008), Edge (2010), The October List (2013), Manhattan which Is My Beat (1988), Death of a Blue Movie Star (1990), Hard News (1991), Shallow Graves (1992), Bloody River Blues (1993), Hell’s Kitchen (2001), The Bone Collector (1997), The Coffin Dancer (1998), The Empty Chair (2000), The Stone Monkey (2002), The Vanished Man, The Twelfth Card, The Cold Moon, The Broken Window, The Burning Wire, The Kill Room, The Skin Collector, The Steel Kiss, The Sleeping Doll, Roadside Crosses, XO, Solitude Creek, Carte Blanche, A Confederacy of Crime, Twisted, More Twisted andTrouble in Mind.