Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Pirate Bay Ordered To Close In The Netherlands

Written by Ernesto on July 30, 2009 -

The Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN has won its court case against The Pirate Bay. The Amsterdam court today ruled that the site must cease all operations in The Netherlands within 10 days, or else pay penalties of 30,000 euros ($42,300) a person, per day.

pirate bayIn an Amsterdam court last week, BREIN’s lawyer argued that The Pirate Bay is responsible for millions of copyright infringements every day, and that the site should therefore be blocked to visitors from The Netherlands.

Interestingly, the news came as a total surprise to Fredrik, Gottfrid and Peter who said they received no official summons and were not aware of the case. In a counter move, the three sent a letter to the Amsterdam court, asking it to dismiss the case and impose damages against BREIN instead.

Today, the verdict was made public and The Pirate Bay has lost the case. The judge ruled that The Pirate Bay has to stop all of their activities in The Netherlands within ten days. If they don’t comply all defendants will be ordered to pay 30,000 euros ($42,300) per day in penalties up to a maximum of 3 million euros ($4,231,000) total.

The court argued that BREIN had done enough to inform the three defendants about the court case, although they were never officially summoned. In a letter to the court the defendants had indicated that if they had know, they wouldn’t have the financial means to attend the hearing. Because of this the court issued a default judgment and gave in to BREIN’s demands.

Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde, who is one of the defendants told TorrentFreak that they will appeal the decision, and that they are currently looking for legal representation.

Interestingly, the verdict claims that The Pirate Bay doesn’t have a registered owner, but holds the three accused responsible for it. However, as we’ve reported previously the site is in fact owned by a company called “Reservella” and not any of the defendants named in the case.

In addition to the three founders, GGF, the intended buyers of the Pirate Bay were also ordered to pay 30,000 euros ($42,300) per day in penalties if they continue to operate the site as it is after the deal is closed.

Legal experts informed TorrentFreak that the current ruling can be largely attributed to the lack of defense, and the fact that the defendants failed to show up. With this ruling in hand, it is not unlikely that BREIN will put pressure on Dutch ISPs if the Pirate Bay doesn’t block Dutch visitors within 10 days.

More coverage »


aug 7 -2009 BREIN Holds Fire On Dutch Pirate Bay Block

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stephen King Pack

Click on a DVDcover to go to the IMDb info page of the movie.

23 Stephen King movies

Apt Pupil (1998) Sample
Neighborhood boy Todd Bowden (Renfro) discovers that an old man living on his block named Arthur Denker (Mackellan) is nazi war criminal. Bowden confronts Denker and offers him a deal:
Bowden will not go to the authorities if Denker tells him stories of the concentration camps in WWII.
Denker agrees and Bowden starts visiting him regularly.
The more stories Bowden hears, the more it affects his personality

US actor Brad Renfro, who appeared in films including
The Client, Sleepers and Bully, has been found dead aged 25,
15 January 2008. Read article ...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Emma (1996)

Cupid is armed and dangerous!

A film based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen. Directed by Douglas McGrath, it stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam, Toni Collette, and Ewan McGregor.

Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a congenial young lady who delights in meddling in other people's affairs. When her governess is married and goes to live with her new husband, Emma is triumphant, saying that she made the match herself. Her old friend, George Knightley (Jeremy Northam), tries to discourage her from doing this again, but she does not listen to him. She immediately introduces the newly-arrived local minister to a local girl, Harriet Smith (Toni Collette). Emma and Harriet become steadfast friends, but unhappily, while trying to get the minister and Harriet together, Emma herself becomes the person that the minister fancies. Harriet's heart is broken, but she tries to move onward.

When Frank Churchill (Ewan McGregor) enters the picture, Emma thinks herself in love, but she soon realizes she is not. She then tries to match Frank and Harriet together, but her former governess tells her that he has secretly been engaged to an acquaintance of Emma's, Jane Fairfax (Polly Walker). When Emma tells the news to Harriet, Harriet then informs her that she is not in love with Frank, she is in love with Mr. Knightley! Emma then realizes that she is in love with Knightley as well, and does not know what to do. Mr. Knightley then returns from seeing his brother, and after they see each other again, he tells Emma that he is in love with her. She is overjoyed, and they become engaged. When Emma relays the message to Harriet, Harriet is once again heartbroken, but a few weeks later gets a second proposal from Robert Martin, an old friend of hers--a man whose initial proposal near the beginning of the movie Emma had encouraged her to reject--and she accepts. Emma and Harriet both end up happily married, along with the Churchills.

Although in general staying close to the plot of the book, the screenplay by Douglas McGrath enlivens the banter between the staid Mr. Knightley and the vivacious Emma, making the basis of their attraction more apparent.

Emma (1996) - Trailer

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (2003)

A great kids show!

The show chronicles the boyhood adventures of Piggley Winks, an anthropomorphic pig from Ireland and how he relates these stories to his grandchildren as a grandfather in the present day.

The word "Jakers!" is based on an Irish expression and means "wow!" or "amazing!" - Piggley and his father use it to express their delight when they discover something on their adventures.

Jakers! takes place in two different settings, in two different time periods.

In the present time (the frame story), Piggley Winks lives in the United States of America (or England, according to different versions) and tells stories of his childhood in rural Ireland to his three grandchildren. In flashback, he is seen as a child, playing with his friends and going to school in rural Ireland in the mid-1950s. Most of the main characters are anthropomorphic animals - including Piggley and his family, who are all pigs. However, there are normal, non-anthropomorphic animals in the show as well. Read more ...

I'm 17 and I LOVE "Jakers!" 5
I first discovered "Jakers!" on PBS a year or two ago while I was watching TV with my sister (now 18). We both LOVED it! It's SO cute! They have darling accents and adorable quirks! My newest sister (2 years old) also loves "Jakers!" It is a very positive show that encourages imagination and play, yet also responsibility and friendship. I recommend this for ANY parent that wants their child to learn more about the world and culture.

Cute, cute , cute 5
We are big fans of Jakers. The kids really enjoy watching this. Jakers is all about storytelling. The Grandpa is telling tales of his youth to his grandsons. Since this is set in Ireland, the animals have a bit of a brogue and use Irish sayings. After the cartoon, real Grandparents tell stories of their youth. This encourages families to share the past.

Grandma loves Jakers too! 5
My grandson and I are thrilled with the DVD Sheep on the Loose. At two yeals old, he loves to watch with a snack or lunch. The DVD has all the quality of the Pbs show,but allows for a more flexible schedule if we are busy outside or away. At night when his parents come home after a busy day, they can watch one of the selections with him and we end up enjoying and laughing all over again. Sometimes Papa comes home early to watch Jakers! As a retired schoolteacher, I believe the program and DVD are excellent in quality and content.

A delight for children and their parents 5
This DVD is as good as the other Jakers. The animation is good and the storys are beautiful, with a special reward to the story of Fernie and the death of his pet fish Tohr, what a tactful way to intorduce children to death and grief.

See also:

Mike Young gives Sarah Baisley a step-by-step process of how his studio brought a lovable bunch of barnyard animals to CG life in Jakers! The Adventures Of Piggley Winks. Animation World Magazine ...

Jakers! ... Awards Amazon ... Jakers!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

A majestic, beautifully filmed epic

The Greatest Story Ever Told is a 1965 U.S. motion picture epic produced and directed by George Stevens and distributed by United Artists. It is a retelling of the story of Jesus Christ, from the Nativity through the Resurrection.

This film is often compared with the 1961 "King of Kings", and "Jesus of Nazareth", but this one is by far my favorite of the three, because of the exquisite beauty of it, and Max von Sydow's powerful portrayal of Jesus; his performance has a strength and boldness that is lacking in the other two, and therefore for me much more believable. Sydow was only known to fans of Ingmar Bergman's films at the time, having starred in the Swedish director's "The Seventh Seal" among others, and was a surprise choice to play Jesus, and a good one. He does a marvelous job, and I especially like the scene after Lazarus has is brilliant, and very moving.

George Stevens' vision of the story has a stark majesty, and is taken at a leisurely pace; it is also quite verbal, with some of the major events in the gospels not pictured, but spoken of instead.
Filmed in Arizona and Utah, the cinematography by Loyal Griggs, who took over from William Mellor when Mellor passed away during filming, is glorious. There are scenes that have the composition and balance a fine painting, with extraordinary detail, often framed by doorways or windows, and it's a film I never tire of just looking at. Graphic artists should make a point to see this film, as there is much that can be learned from it. Alfred Newman also wrote a lovely score (with a little help from G. F. Handel) which adds to the aesthetic appeal of this film.

In the huge star-studded cast, some performances are truly memorable, like Claude Rains as a bitter and devious Herod, and Jose Ferrer excellent as his son Herod Antipas; Charlton Heston's ferocious, wild-man John the Baptist is impassioned and perhaps more like the actual Baptist than some of the tamer portrayals.

With its huge budget (over 20 million in 1965 dollars) it was a critical and commercial failure when it was released, but it has had a long life, and is being watched today while some successful films of the mid-'60s quite forgotten, and will continue to be appreciated by everyone who likes Bible epics. It was however, nominated for 4 Academy Awards: Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Color Cinematography, Costume Design, and Original Score, losing out in all those categories to "Doctor Zhivago". There is "artistic license" taken with the story, but overall, it is a reverential, fairly accurate telling. Total running time is 196 minutes. By Alejandra Vernon

The Greatest Story ever told - Theatrical Trailer

Amazon: The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Defending Your Life (1991)

Is this Heaven?

Defending Your Life is one of the smartest, funniest, and original films to come out of the 1990s. Albert Brooks, playing both behind and in front of the camera, does a fantastic job of creating this "courtroom drama" set in Purgatory. By keeping a the films themes short and simple, enticing us with brilliant performances by Meryl Streep and Rip Torn, and bringing a true sense of fantasy to this picture, Brooks keeps us hooked from the opening scenes until the last. Panned by most critics, I actually found this film to be extremely witty with a Wes Anderson-esque type of dry martini humor. Brooks is easily able to transform himself into a likeable "every man" that finds himself defending his "normal" life. What works is that it feels and seems like your own life. Brooks' character isn't a superhero, he isn't a genius (only using 3% of his brain), and he isn't a playboy, he is your average human on the street. Makes decent money, celebrates being alone, just bought a new BMW, and is coasting through life rather simply. Sound like anyone you may know? Brooks creates this sensation that Judgment City could exist, that the trials of your life could happen, and within all of this chaos and confusion, love could emerge.

Albert Brooks is a very smart writer. He wouldn't create your typical Hollywood love story and send it through the recycling machine. His approach to love in this film is totally random, somewhat sporadic, but yet honestly real. There is a mystery between he and Meryl Streep's relationship. That is what I loved so much about them. Typically in films of this nature you have this elaborate story of how two people meet, they fall in love, they fight, and suddenly discover that their passion is stronger than ever before (normally due to some unforeseen ... or clichéd moment), but not in this film. Brooks approaches love as if it already exists. He hints towards the notion that these two may have been in Judgment City before, that maybe they have already had their awkward courtship, that maybe the climactic cliché has already happened, and now they are just rediscovering themselves. Brooks sets this up with Streep's first lines, which are simply, "Haven't we met before?" While this may not seem like it is that exciting, the fact that they are in Judgment City after dying, and two random people recognize each other is heartwarming. I was immediately attached to these two characters from the moment they met in the Comedy Club. Their emotions didn't seem created by Hollywood, but instead created by the brilliant craftsmanship of Brooks' words. If you aren't connected to the courtroom antics of this film, than the spark that Streep creates with Brooks will surely keep you grounded for good.

I would also like to applaud Brooks for his ability to create a whole new world from the inside out. Just as confused as Brooks is when he first arrives to Judgment City, we are forced to see this creative world through his eyes, and he is not afraid to demonstrate his attention to detail. The concept of food in this film kept me laughing long after the final credits rolled. The scene in the Italian restaurant with the waiter and the pies ranks among one of the funniest scenes in a film. In fact, as I type this review, I am still laughing about it. His creative mind also allowed us to consider the possibility of reincarnation and the existence of bigger and better worlds. He plants us in Judgment City, but doesn't leave us there. He allows us to travel while making us feel comfortable, thus keeping a smile on our faces throughout the entire visit. He makes us laugh, either through his own words, or through that of Rip Torn, who nearly stole every scene possible. As I continue to watch more of Rip Torn's work, I am beginning to see that he is quite a versatile actor that has very deep comedic roots. If it wasn't the instant connection between Streep and Brooks that kept this film glued together, than it definitely was the charisma of Rip Torn in the courtroom.

Finally, I would like to say that watching this film in a post-Matrix universe, there are some interesting parallels between the two. When Rip Torn is talking about allowing humans to go through to another life, or sending them back to Earth, he references the universe to a machine. Again, living in a post-Matrix world, this immediately darkened the film and perked up my ears. I know this may be grabbing at thin air, but the scene in the Matrix when Cypher is talking about how good the machine makes his steak taste, eerily reminded me of all the food used in this film. There were several other moments just like this that just seemed to fit rather snug. Whether you believe it or not, I believe the Wachowski brothers may have watched this film once or twice before creating their prized trilogy.

Overall, I thought this was an outstanding film. From the instant character excitement to the originality of the script, I thought that this was one of Brooks' best outings. The fact that you could tell that the cast was honestly having a good time in every scene, that you laughed when they laughed (which was quite a bit in this film), and that you could actually enjoy a witty comedy without guns or violence impressed me. Brooks has such a sharp humor that I cannot wait to revisit this movie to catch some of the lines that I may have missed the first time. Streep does a sensational job, while Rip Torn steals every scene he is in. Impressive to say the least, and am happy that the 90s were able to produce one original piece of comedy. By A. Gyurisin

Friday, July 3, 2009

The House of the Spirits (1993)

An outstanding multi-generational family saga ...

I love this movie! It has a stellar cast, who give top notch performances. How can you go wrong with Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Antonio Banderas, Winona Ryder, Vanessa Redgrave, and Armin Muehler-Stahl? The answer is that you can't. It is a riveting piece of film making, based loosely upon Isabelle Allende's wonderful book of the same name.

The film delicately captures the mysticism of the book, rendering those scenes in which such is the focal point highly believable. This is no mean feat given the subject matter. The story takes place in South America. The saga begins in the nineteen thirties.

Vanessa Redgrave and Armin Muehler-Stahl play the wealthy and liberal parents of two daughters, Rosa and Clara Del Valle. Rosa is the beautiful, older daughter. Clara, played by Meryl Streep's real life daughter, is a lovely child with exceptional, psychic gifts. Jeremy Irons plays the part of Esteban Trueba, an impoverished young man in love with Rosa. Vowing to make his fortune in order to marry her and provide her with the comforts to which she is accustomed, he succeeds in making his fortune. He loses Rosa, however, before being able to marry her, when she drinks poisoned wine intended for her liberal party father.

Esteban, broken hearted, leaves with his fortune and buys an estancia, where he sternly rules with an iron fist over the peasants who work the land for him. They obsequiously refer to him as "Patron". He takes what he wants, even the women, with the expected result. He has a bastard son whom he does not acknowledge.

Esteban has a spinster sister, Ferla, well acted by Glenn Close, who, for the past twenty years, has lived a grim existence in the city with their ailing mother, whom she has taken care of. When their mother dies, Esteban, now a bitter and lonely man, returns to the city from his estancia to attend his mother's funeral. In doing so, he spots Clara, who is now all grown up and ethereally portrayed by the very talented Meryl Streep. Not wasting a moment, he goes to her home. She, luminous, and mystical, already knows that he is there to ask for her hand in marriage and happily accepts. After all, she has loved him ever since she first saw him all those years ago.

Clara lovingly embraces his sister, Ferla, into the bosom of her househould, when they move to her Esteban's estancia. Ferla blossoms from a bitter old maid into a companionable and pleasant woman, under Clara's warmth. Esteban and Clara eventually have a child, Blanca, who grows up playing with Pedro, the son of the estancia's indigenous indian foreperson. When Esteban discovers this, he sends Blanca away to boarding school. He does not want his daughter fraternizing with the peasants.

Clara, loving and pure of heart, is his exact opposite. When their daughter finally grows up and returns home from school, she knows that the independent Blanca, well played by Winona Ryder, has fallen in love with her childhood playmate, Pedro, passionately portrayed by Antonio Banderas. Esteban hates Pedro, as Pedro is a liberal inciting the peasants to unionize and demand their rights, whipping them into a frenzy against the "Patron", or so Esteban sees it. He drives Pedro off his land. He also drives Ferla off, as he believes her to have unatural feelings for his wife, Clara. Possessive to a fault, he is consumed by jealousy. Clara and Esteban have a fight over his cruelties, and she finally leaves him, taking Blanca with her to the Del Valle family home in the city.

Meanwhile, life goes on. Blanca, pregnant by Pedro, has his child, believing that Pedro has been killed by her father. Esteban, representing the wealthy, becomes senator. He reigns for years, until the liberals win power. When they do, however, their tenure is short lived, as a militairy coup sets up a reign of terror and his old sins come home to roost. Meanwhile, Blanca discovers that Pedro is alive, and they joyously hook up again. When Blanca is picked up as a political dissident and tortured for her political views, Esteban, old and broken, is now just a bit player in a larger arena. Too late, he tries to right some wrongs. Some of the wrongs, however, can never be righted.

This is a magnificent, multi-generational family epic, that holds the viewer in its thrall. While it only loosely follows Isabelle Allende's wonderful book of the same name, it is a winner in its own right. It has something for everyone, as it deals with human nature, as well as the complex emotions, forces, and events that shape one. The film is about a family struggling to find its place in our ever changing world, and the relationships that each member of that family forges. It is a rich and vibrant tapestry, which succeeds in capturing the viewer.

The house of the spirits video trailer

Disclaimer disclaims any and all responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality and reliability of the information and links displayed on this website. You (the visitor) understand and agree that can not be held responsible for any damages or other problems that may result from use of this website.