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May 26th
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film_bad_fameBehold—the worst films of 2009

You don’t come across films like Precious and Up In The Air every day—let’s not forget Away We Go—so relish them while you can. In meantime, 2009, while it was a strong year overall at the box office, spawned more than a cluster of clunkers. Take note of the following films—most of them remakes— and then immediately erase them from your memory.

10. Hannah Montana

Neither the wig nor a media scandal could save crooner Miley Cyrus from hitting a major sour note here in film that felt like a dressed-up reality show of her life. Did anybody else get cavities?

9. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Loud and long. Silly and dull. Note to Shia LaBeouf: Quit acting with your face.

8. Terminator: Salvation

Oh, it’s hard to toss rotten tomatoes at a creative and visual wiz like director McG—he can, actually, create wonders—so let’s toss them at writers John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris for stripping the already tired Terminator franchise of some of its soul—and  for giving us a John Connor (Christian Bale) we could barely care about. DVD-philes: Dive into the Fox TV’s short-lived yet surprisingly imaginative The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

7. All About Steve

Thank you Sandra Bullock for perpetuating the myth that it’s totally fine to be completely obsessed about the “man of your dreams.” For a more intelligent look at love and relationships, rent the well-crafted film 500 Days of Summer. And Sandra, bless you for redeeming yourself (somewhat) with The Blind Side.

film_gijoe6. G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra

Forward march—right into the abyss.

5. Wolverine

A (more) buff Hugh Jackman took audiences back to the beginnings of the revered Wolverine character form the X-Men films. Bottom line: barely scratched the surface on the interest meter.

4. Race to Witch Mountain

Dwayne Johnson—always good to look at for work-out tips—morphs into a cabbie trying to protect two paranormal siblings.  (And my inner child—the one who adored the smoother ride of the original in the ’70s—didn’t like it one bit.)

3. Friday the 13th

Don’t breathe a sigh of relief—yet. Even though this year’s ill-fated reboot of the long-suffering franchise marked the twelfth film in the series—and we thought Freddy vs. Jason was the final blow—you can’t help but wonder if there’s a nutty filmmaker out there craving to give 13th its thirteenth slash-around.

2. Land of the Lost

Earth to Will Ferrell: “Come back, come back wherever you are. This thing called your career … it’s in desperate need of your attention.”

1. Fame

Remember its name: Lame. Alan Parker’s 1980 classic got a shameful makeover here. (Hollywood: don’t try this again with Flashdance.)

 

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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

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Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

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Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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