Sights and Sounds

Mugabe and the White African

Life is hard enough without the added pressures of the truly horrific and ugly things that people can do to one another. Without straying into the politics of race and class in Zimbabwe Africa, this documentary follows a white farmer from Zimbabwe as he continues his court battle to keep is land after Robert Mugabe, the president, changes the Zimbabwe constitution and starts a new land redistribution program. The Blacks from Zimbabwe don't want the Whites to be there and the Whites don't want to leave nor do they have anywhere else they can go since they are "legal" citizens of the country. The White farmers were eventually forced from their land when their property was burned down. The police and the military would not protect them. Some of the farmers are dead, some have disappeared and others have moved to Harare.
Warning: The extreme acts of violence contained in this documentary may be triggering to some.



If you still would like to see this documentary, it can be found by clicking here.

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". Read more »

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. In 2007, a decision was made to give women the opportunity to participate in the rodeo. A group of women decided to put together a rodeo team and compete head-to-head with the men. This documentary shows both the men and women's competitions but it is mainly about the lives of women in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and their rodeo team. Please be advised that some of the scenes in the rodeo portion contain severe injuries, blood, broken bones and others have compared this to a "Gladiator-Like" atmosphere.

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 Read more »

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. Read more »

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. Read more »

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. Read more »