Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Joy Luck Club (1993)

A Heartbreaking and Powerful Testament to the Human Spirit.

The 1993 film adaptation of Amy Tan's bestselling novel is both a delight and a moving experience, an anthology of stories wrapped in one Chinese-American woman's journey to understand her roots. Wayne Wang (Eat a Bowl of Tea) directs a large, outstanding cast spread over eight different tales of the lives of Chinese women, most of them set in the past. The script by Tan and Ronald Bass (Rain Man) is a delicate balance of emotions that swell but don't gush, and Wang brings impressive texture and a personal feel to Tan's descriptions of daily life in the Chinese-American community. This sprawling, good-looking movie makes for a cathartic tearjerker one can feel good about. --Tom Keogh

"The Joy Luck Club" is a ground-breaking film with universal themes that anyone can relate to regardless of age, gender or nationality. Truly epic in its scope and haunting vision, the movie is also deeply heartfelt and familial, enhancing its ability to speak to the audience in myriad, boundless ways. This is an intimate portrait of two generations of Asian women - the mothers who risked everything to create a better life for their daughters in the United States. At this juncture in American history, the movie resonates more than ever by reminding the viewer of our fore-mother's immigrant experience. In doing so, "The Joy Luck Club" serves as a vibrant contemporary document on freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

Ming-Na Wen (now known to millions as Ming-Na or Deb Chen on NBC's top rated drama "ER") is superb in the central role of June, greiving for her recently deceased mother with the 3 "aunties" who miantain her place at the mah-jon table. Their gatherings continue, with June's presence, and in the process form the backdrop from which these women's personal stories and life-journies are shared. Each auntie - and their now-adult Americanized daughters - explain their often-harrowing attempt to escape Communist China and their difficult transition to an American way of life in the U.S. Tears flow in both generations, not only for what has been lost, but also for what has been found here - a society with different values that challenges these women in unexpected but nearly universal ways. As both generations - and all eight women eventually - share their stories, the viewer literaly steps into each life, aware of where the characters end up, yet fully experiencing the challenges each of them faces. Set against the backdrop of June's trip to China to find her long-lost sisters (whom her mother was forced to leave behind in one of the film's most powerful sub-plots) "The JOy Luck Club" can be ANY family's story, regardless of how long they or their ancestors have lived in this country. In doing so, it succeeds at building bridges to the past, while staunchly looking ahead to the future. This is the sort of film that embraces real life and human themes, but also puts a face on what it means to be a zero-generation immigrant, or an exile in a land far from one's home and culture. Like the current spate of Latin and Soviet block immigrants and the last century's explosion of new Americans from Europe and Africa, we recognize through the characters the meaning and value of freedom, family and peace as well as the unimaginable challenges our elders faced in coming to this land of opportunity.

The cast of Asian-American actresses is uniformly superb, straddling a delicate balance for the viewer that requires they be both accessible AND remote at once. Although long seen as a "woman's movie" the film deserves to be widely experienced by all people, including men, who might otherwise reject the film as nothing more than handkerchief fluff. In fact, since few similar films exist with central male characters, "The Joy Luck Club" stands as a film I believe many men would embrace if they give it a chance. The film speaks for our fathers and brothers, not just our sisters, mothers or wives. This is grand, epic storytelling with a heart, beautifully directed by Wayne Wang and amazingly accessible in every way, due to its stellar cast. Had there been a Best Ensemble Oscar designed to honor the contribution of a group of actors at the top of their form, "The Joy Luck Club" cast would have surely been honored. (review by Jose R. Perez "Jose")

Good quality XviD; 576x304 [=1.895]; FPS 23.976; Video Bitrate 566 kb/s; Audio bitrate; 125 kb/s [2 channel(s)] VBR audio

Language: English / Mandarin / Cantonese
*Subtitles are used in scenes with Mandarin/Cantonese dialog.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Demonoid Trackers Back Online ...

... Site Still Down

It is great to see that the second largest BitTorrent tracker is back in action. Thousands of torrents stopped responding when the tracker went down, frustrating over a million BitTorrent users. I guess it’s time to finish these torrents.

Thanks torrentfreak for the update!

Demonoid Shut Down Yes or No?

TorrentFreak reports on September 25, 2007, one of the most popular BitTorrent trackers has allegedly been taken offline by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). Both the tracker and the website have been unresponsive for nearly 24 hours now.

Demonoid Shut Down by the CRIAAs of now it is still unsure what exactly happened, but the popular Dutch news site reports that the CRIA is responsible for the downtime.

TorrentFreak contacted some of the Demonoid administrators, but they are not sure what happened either. It is certainly possible that Demonoid’s Canadian ISP pulled the plug after being pressured by the CRIA. The ISP said before that they would take it down if they would receive complaints.

Right now, the Demonoid server is still pinging, but the ISP could have firewalled the everything after they received some serious legal threats. Deimos, the founder and the head admin of the site is unreachable and has not responded yet. (read more ... TorrentFreak)

But says ...

Demonoid IS NOT DEAD!

p2pnet news | P2P:- Reports to the contrary notwithstanding, Demonoid hasn’t been killed by Canada’s RIAA.

Demonoid down, p2pnet reported yesterday, going on:

The CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association of America), Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG’s RIAA clown (sorry, clone), is noted more for its failures, which are legion, than its successes, which are few.

However, it may have scored against BitTorrent tracker Demonoid.

We went on to quote Torrentfreak in The Netherlands as the source and today, when you go to, you still get: “The connection has timed out”.

So is this because the CRIA was able to intimidate Demonoid’s ISP?

No, says Demonoid. It’s down, but not out.

“May have” was the operative phrase and, “Ok folks, here it is,” says a chat log with Torrentfreak’s Ernesto, going on:

Demonoid is down. It has been for around 2 day almost. The reason is down is unknown, and is still unknown. It HASNN’T beam RAIDed, shutdown, terminated, deleted, burned, mamed, all thrown under a bridge. There had been speculation as demonoid,com whereabouts, well, the rurmors are false.

The chat goes on to seriously slag Torrentfreak for reporting the CRIA was behind Demonoid’s alleged demise and correctly concludes:

Just for the record, the CRIA (despite the name) does NOT represent Canadian artists, and the Canadian music industry. It is an AMERICAN Association based in Canada to represent the RIAA here.

Actually, guys, it isn’t even American.

The CRIA, RIAA and all the other alphabet Big 4 organised music cartel organisations around the world are run by EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France) and Sony BMG (Japan and Germany), with Warner Music bringing up the rear as the only US label. And even that’s run by a Canadian.

Meanwhile, a lot of people will be relieved to know Demonoid isn’t dead and will be eagerly looking forward to its early return.

So stay tuned.

(Thanks, Rob, torrentfreak and p2pnet)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Randy Newman - first 5 studio albums

Randy Newman Creates Something New Under the Sun

1. Love Story (You And Me)
2. Bet No One Ever Hurt This Bad
3. Living Without You
4. So Long Dad
5. I Think He's Hiding
6. Linda
7. Laughing Boy
8. Cowboy
9. The Beehive State
10. I Think It's Going To Rain Today
11. Davy The Fat Boy


Sail Away

1. Sail Away (2:52)
2. Lonely At The Top (2:35)
3. He Gives Us All His Love (1:56)
4. Last Night I Had A Dream (3:02)
5. Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear (2:05)
6. Old Man (2:46)
7. Political Science (2:01)
8. Burn On (2:34)
9. Memo To My Son (1:55)
10. Dayton, Ohio - 1903 (1:51)
11. You Can Leave Your Hat On (3:18)
12. God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind) (3:36)


12 Songs

1. Have You Seen My Baby?
2. Let's Burn Down The Cornfield
3. Mama Told Me Not To Come
4. Suzanne
5. Lover's Prayer
6. Lucinda
7. Underneath The Harlem Moon
8. Yellow Man
9. Old Kentucky Home
10. Rosemary
11. If You Need Oil
12. Uncle Bob's Midnight Blues


Good Old Boys

1. Rednecks
2. Birmingham
3. Marie
4. Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)
5. Guilty
6. Louisiana 1927
7. Every Man A King
8. Kingfish
9. Naked Man
10. A Wedding In Cherokee County
11. Back On My Feet Again
12. Rollin'


Little Criminals

1. Short People - Glenn Frey
2. You Can't Fool The Fat Man
3. Little Criminals - Glenn Frey
4. Texas Girl At The Funeral Of Her Father
5. Jolly Coppers On Parade
6. In Germany Before The War
7. Sigmund Freud's Impersonation Of Albert Einstein In America
8. Baltimore - Glenn Frey
9. I'll Be Home
10. Rider In The Rain - Don Henley
11. Kathleen (Catholicism Made Easier) - Joe Walsh
12. Old Man On The Farm


Size: 295.37 MB
Torrent: here

Ragtime (1981)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was Ragtime.
(music by Randy Newman)

Verenigde Staten, 1981, kleur, stereo, 155 min.
Productie: Dino De Laurentiis Productions, Sunley Productions Ltd/Dino De Laurentiis
E.L. Doctorow, Michael Weller (I),
Miroslav Ondrícek
Antony Gibbs, Anne V. Coates, Stanley Warnow
Muziek: Randy Newman
George DeTitta Sr., John Graysmark, Peter Howitt, Tony Reading, Patrizia von Brandenstein
Kostuums: Anna Hill Johnstone

Based on the popular novel by E.L. Doctorow, RAGTIME tells the story of four New York families at the turn of the 20th century. Starving immigrant artist, Tateh sets off to make his fortune in Hollywood, but along the way encounters showgirl Evelyn Nesbit who is at the center of a murder investigation. Meanwhile, an upper-class family finds their seemingly perfect existence ruined when black pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. begins to romance a pregnant girl living in their home.

Fact and fiction intertwine in Milos Forman's colorful kaleidoscope of E.L. Doctorow's sprawling novel of turn-of-the-century America. Anchored in the true story of the murder of architect Stanford White (Norman Mailer) by Harry Thaw (Robert Joy) over the affections of his wife Evelyn Nesbit (Elizabeth McGovern), Forman weaves a portrait of early 1900s America in a tapestry of intertwining fictional tales. The primary thread involves the proud black pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. Ragtime (1981 Film Soundtrack) (Howard Rollins) and his demand for justice when a racist fireman destroys his automobile, which escalates into a reign of terror by Walker and a band of revolutionaries. A secondary story involves an ambitious immigrant artist (Mandy Patinkin) whose primitive flipbooks send him on the road to creating early cinema. Centering all of these stories in one way or another is an upper-class family known simply as Father (James Olson), Mother (Mary Steenburgen), and Younger Brother (Brad Dourif). James Cagney came out of a twenty-year retirement to play the irascible Irish police commissioner, a character created for the film. Forman's biggest departure from Doctorow's novel, however, is his focus on Walker's story, cutting away the other threads to little more than asides in the final half of the picture, the primary dramatic weakness of an otherwise rich evocation of America's past. Randy Newman's lyrical score and Miroslav Ondricek's understated cinematography earned two of the film's eight Academy Awards nominations --Sean Axmaker

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quarterlife, first internet only TV show (2007)

Faced with Facebook’s exponential growth, MySpace hopes to keep its users onside with what it says is the first network-quality television series produced directly for the internet. The social network announced today it had secured the exclusive international distribution rights for Quarterlife, a new series from Emmy award-winning producers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. Quarterlife, which will premier in seven languages on MySpace’s global sites on November 11, delves into the lives of six people in their 20s and charts their “coming of age as a part of the digital generation”. The show was unashamedly written to appeal to today’s tech-savvy youth - the central character, a young woman named Dylan, is a blogger whose video diary divulges a few too many of her friends’ closest secrets.

Actress Bitsie Tulloch, who plays Dylan Krieger in a scene from the series Quarterlife

It purports to be a “truthful depiction of the way young people speak, work, think, love, argue and express themselves”. To that end, Herskovitz and Zwick - the force behind My So-Called Life, thirtysomething, Legends of the Fall and Blood Diamond - will invite their audience to participate in the ongoing development of the series “through writing and video submissions”. There will be 36 episodes in total and the producers plan to create a mini social network around the show through a website, It will also have its own profile page on MySpace, which MySpace says will include bonus content such as character profiles, behind-the-scenes video footage and storyline secrets. Herskovitz and Zwick said the fact Quarterlife was an independent project meant they had full “creative autonomy”, which isn’t always possible when producing shows for traditional TV networks. Is this the beginning of TV 2.0?

Source: SMH

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" (1999-2001)

This sitcom from Tiger Aspect (makers of the Vicar of Dibley) is watched by almost seven million people and regularly wins more viewers than any other programme on BBC2. The second series has developed to concentrate more on the characters than the wacky storylines, with less bitchiness between the two flatmates while Linda reinforces her high opinion of herself and Tom looks on with disgust.

Kathy Burke is in fine form as the luscious Linda La Huges, the self-described 'Auburn Jerry Hall', who lives her life trying to fend off romantic approaches from every man who sets eyes on her (or so she thinks!)

James Dreyfus is wonderful as Tom Farrell, the undiscovered acting genius gagging for his big break on the route to stardom. He dreams of being rescued from his dull existance by Peak Practice's Simon Shepherd, his knight in shining armour.

Gimme Gimme Gimme follows Linda and Tom as they try to put up with each other and find the perfect man. The script is so over the top that you just have to laugh, however un-PC it may be! Linda's foul mouth might be vulgar and offensive coming from anyone other than Kathy Burke, who carries off the role with comfortable ease and leads the audience to sympathise with Linda rather than hate her.

The second series is less crude than the first, with less double entendres and less of the characters simply yelling abuse at each other. As a result the programme is much funnier and has been winning over more and more followers.

Season 1
Season 2
Season 3

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Panic Room (2002)


Op TV: za 8 sept - 22:00 - 00:05 op RTL 4

An effective exercise in "confined cinema," Panic Room is a finely crafted thriller that ultimately transcends the thinness of its premise. David Koepp's screenplay is basically Wait Until Dark on steroids, so director David Fincher (Seven, The Game) compensates with elaborate CGI-assisted camera moves, jazzing up his visuals while a relocated New York divorcée (Jodie Foster) and her daughter (Kristen Stewart) fight for their lives against a trio of tenacious burglars (Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam) in their new Manhattan townhouse. They're safe in a customized, impenetrable "panic room," but the burglars want what's in the room's safe, so mother and daughter (and Koepp and Fincher) must find clever ways to turn the tables and persevere. Suspense and intelligence are admirably maintained, with Foster (who replaced the then-injured Nicole Kidman) riffing on her Silence of the Lambs resourcefulness. It's not as viscerally satisfying as Fincher's previous thrillers, but Panic Room definitely holds your attention.


Dertiger Meg (Foster) laat haar overspelige man achter en verhuist met haar jonge dochter Sarah (Stewart) naar een kapitaal huis aan de andere kant van Central Park. In het huis bevindt zich een met cameracircuit uitgeruste paniekkamer, waarin je kunt vluchten als er wordt ingebroken. De eerste nacht is het gelijk raak met maar liefst drie inbrekers. Het eerste dat opvalt in Panic Room is de cinematografie die de kale kamers van het echoënde huis opvoert als een derde ensemble acteurs, naast de inbrekers en de vrouwen. Ongehinderd door spijlen, muren of plafonds belicht de camera een uiterst onderhoudend verhaal.


Torrent: here

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