Science Busters

Science Busters [German] is a production by Austrian comedian Martin Puntigam [German] and his two guests of honour, Heinz Oberhummer and Werner Gruber [German].
[Here are my reviews of “The Physics of Star Trek” and “The Pleasure Formula“.*]

Heinz Oberhummer is a theoretical physicist (astrophysics) and Werner Gruber is an experimental phyisicist (neurophysics). With Martin Puntigam as the host, they discuss various topics. This time round the topic was “Crucifixion Party – The Science of Christianity”. How could I have resisted such a title – and that shortly before Easter? Exactly, it’s impossible.
They answered such eternal questions as how to crucify someone directly, how unerring and exact exorcism-vomiting can get – and how far, how to walk over water, or where to place a site of Marian pilgrimage – in space.

Even though some of the jokes are the same every time, I just love this concept. The three of them work very well together, you can see that they have fun and that they are passionate about what they’re talking about. [I’m especially an Oberhummer fan – he’s so perfectly enthusiastic, I could listen to him rant all day.]

*They mentioned that they have 30 different programs by now. Maybe I’ll see them all at some point. :)

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Re-Read: The Well of Lost Plots (Jasper Fforde)

The Well of Lost Plots is the third Thursday Next novel by Jasper Fforde. [Here are my reviews for the other books in the series.]

[SPOILERS for the first two novels follow.]

After the still-ongoing eradication of her husband Landen, Thursday Next decides to give it a rest, also for the sake of her unborn child. Giving it a rest in Thursday’s life means that she retreats to Caversham Heights, an unpublished novel in the Well of Lost Plots where its protagonist Jack Spratt tries desperately to keep the book from getting deleted. But the troubles of Caversham Heights are Thursday’s least worries. Yorrick Kaine is still on the loose in the real world, her apprenticeship with Miss Havisham is coming to an end, Aornis Hades has left a mindworm in Thursday’s head that makes her slowly forget Landen and Text Grand Central is about to release a new operating system that will make BOOK (v8.3) obsolete.

There are many wonderful things to The Well of Lost Plots, but it’s definitely the weakest book in the series so far. The pacing is ever so slightly off and you just don’t get pulled into it as much as into the first books. Still, it’s very worth reading for a hundred thousand different reasons.


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Beastly (2011)

Beastly is the Daniel Barnz‘ adaptation of Alex Flinn‘s novel, starring Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Lisa Gay Hamilton and Neil Patrick Harris.

Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is popular, good-looking and an ass. As a punishment for his shallow ways, the witch Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen) curses him: He gets some piercings and tattoos turned into an ugly person and has a year to find a girl to fall in love with him even though he’s so ugly. Oh, and he’s ugly. So Kyle uses the one and only tried and tested find your true love method: he hides out at first, then starts stalking Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens), finally kidnaps her and then reads her some poetry.* And they say romance is dead.

As you can probably take away from my totally snark-free plot recap: Beastly is not a good film. Not only do they take the already problematic Beauty-and-Beast-premise and somehow manage to make it worse, they do so with bad acting and without any charm whatsoever. Nevertheless, be it the copious amount of vodka I consumed during the showing, the snarking or the actual film: Beastly was entertaining.

*POETRY: it works, bitchez.

[Since I’m about to rip this movie apart, it might be important to point out that I did not read the book, hence I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and leaving room for the possibility that it didn’t suck. It’s unlikely, but possible.]

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Cops (1922), The Cameraman (1928) + Timothy Brock and die reihe

Cops (also directed by Edward F. Cline) and The Cameraman (also directed by Edward Sedgwick) are two movies directed by and starring Buster Keaton. They were shown in the Konzerthaus with live music by Timothy Brock played by die reihe as part of their Film and Music Cycle. [Here’s my review of the other shows in the cycle.]

In Cops, a young man (Buster Keaton) tries to prove to the girl he loves that he’s a good business man and ends up inadvertently making one shady deal after the other.
In The Cameraman, Buster (Buster Keaton) tries to impress a girl working for a news studio by becoming a cameraman. That doesn’t go so well, either.

So, there’s this big gap in my movie education when it comes to silent films and I had actually never seen a Buster Keaton movie before [I have also never seen a Charlie Chaplin movie but I’m almost too ashamed to admit this]. Since slapstick isn’t much of my thing, I didn’t expect to get much out of it, but both movies were absolutely, brilliantly and amazingly funny. Timothy Brock’s music took a back seat to the sheer awesome, but it was very nice as well.

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5 Short Questions – Meme Monday

[taken from here]

1.  Favorite flower?

I love Gerberas in all their forms. And the Passion Flower. And basically everything that’s green, really.

2.  Last time you ate chocolate? 

3 minutes ago.

3.  Mood right now?

I’m in a very good mood right now. Everything is wonderfully exciting, the weather is great and it’s shaping up to be a very good week!

4.  What hurts? 

Nothing right now (see also: mood).

5.  Word for today?

I’ll make it a song instead:

Sucker Punch (2011)

Sucker Punch is the newest film by Zack Snyder, starring Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm and Scott Glenn.

After the death of her mother, Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is left alone with her abusive stepfather (Gerard Plunkett) and her little sister. In an attempt to save her little sister from him, Baby Doll accidentally shoots her which is the ideal possibility for him to have her admitted to a mental hospital. There, the stepfather bribes an orderly (Oscar Isaacs) into getting Baby Doll lobotomised. The only defense Baby Doll has left is retreating into a fantasy world (and from there in yet another fantasy world) where she hatches a plan to escape.

I have pushed writing this review back and back again because I’m not in a ranting mood but this film deserves little else. Apart from the screwed up empowerment message this movie sends, it’s just not a very good film. Not even the special effects held up the end of their bargain. And that’s just sad. At least the soundtrack was cool.

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Exam (2009)

Exam is the first movie by Stuart Hazeldine, starring Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Nathalie Cox, John Lloyd Fillingham, Chukwudi Iwuji, Luke Mably, Pollyanna McIntosh and Jimi Mistry.

Eight candidates for a job come together to take one final exam before they are chosen (or not) for the new job. The rules for the exam are read: They have 80 minutes to answer a single question. But when they turn their sheets over, they’re empty. Unsure and with a rising sense of panic, they try to figure out what’s going on.

Exam tries not to fall into the usual pifalls of the “a group of strangers are locked into a room together with an unclear objective” genre and mostly, it succeeds, though it tries a little too hard. Unfortunately towards the end it gets a little derailed by a convoluted plot.


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