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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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The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

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