Cinema Cafe

According to the National Coffee Drinking Trends 2010, National Coffee Association, ” 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee.”  And based on the ever increasing numbers of coffee houses, cafes, and  lounges, it is safe to say that people are drinking their coffee somewhere else other than their homes. Coffee houses or businesses have become a meeting place for friends and lovers. People just don’t just go drink coffee for the sake of getting their coffee fix . They are spending time doing homework, chatting, hanging out, and relaxing. One of the beauty of living in Rhode Island is the specialty coffee houses or cafes like the Cable Car Cinema Cafe in Providence.  What’s cool about this coffee place is that  you can get your chai, coffee, a sandwich  and watch independent films as well. If you happen to be in Providence, make sure you stop by and check out this quaint little place. Here’s the link to the website for showings, Cable Car Cinema

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Clash of the Titans

I’m sure some of you have seen the movie “Clash of the Titans”. Since I am fascinated with mythology, I was extremely excited about seeing this movie. I was hoping it would not disappoint like all the others I had high hopes about like Legions, Book of Eli etc. I was wrong! This movie is similiar to Legions in a sense that the climax was overplayed and in the end did not deliver. For example, in Legions, after the characters fight off some of the “bad” guys, one of them say something a long the line of, “are we done, is that it?” The angel tells them ” The worse is yet to come!” So, there I was sitting, bracing myself for this epic battle between the good and the evil forces… Well that big moment never came! There was no epic battle. It just fizzled. In fact the fight scene between the Angel Michael and Gabriel was so shortlived I would have missed it if I had dozed off! Sadly, in “Clash of the Titans” the same thing happened! The big epic battle between Perseus and the Kraken! When Zeus commanded his brother, Hades to release the Kraken on mankind to teach them a lesson, I was all, ” Yes, finally! Do release the Kraken to teach these arrogant, disobedient humans a lesson!” Well, the Kraken was released but he didn’t do too much manage before he was taken care of by Perseus! The Kraken for all its’ fierce bombastic growling was not as fearsome or wreak as much havoc as we are led to believe! I’m not going to give the details since some of you may not have seen the movie.

There were some interesting and entertaining warriors in the movie as well as a decent fight scene with the desert scorpions, but that’s about it. They should not have called this movie, “Clash of the Titans” because it’s false advertisement! The clash is merely a small cat fight, and the amount of Titans involved is pathetic to count!

Overall, I give this two and half stars out of five.

Full Metal Alchemist

Picture from reiq.ws

I love reading comic books because of the graphics. My students know I love it as well. I read Watchmen before the movie so I could discuss it with my students. Then another student heard that I love comics so she gave me the Full Metal Alchemist to read, the whole series. It’s funny how I’m always the one pushing books on students to encourage reading and now they are doing the same. I still have yet to read Full Metal Alchemist because grading papers have put a hold on my favorite pass time. However, I love this quote from Full Metal which says, ” Teachings that do not speak of pain have no meaning… because humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return”.  This is pretty profound and so true. It makes me wonder if we learn more from pain or from pleasure or happiness? In order for us to transform our lives or learn a lesson, do we have to learn a painful lesson?

 

Che Trailer

Benicio Del Toro will star in the new movie about about the revolutionary Che Guevara. He actually won the Best Actor award at the 2008 Cannes Festival. The movie centers around Che’s revolutionary activites to overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba. Once he disposed of Batista, Che tried to incite other people in Africa and South America to overthrow their own ruler. Eventually, Che was assassinated by counter-insurgency rangers in the mountains of Bolivia, who was backed by the United States’ CIA.

I first became interested in looking at the historical background of Che after watching the movie “Motorcycle Diaries” which started Gael Garcia. The movie centers on the reason/motivation why Che completely changed career of becoming a doctor to a revolutionary leader. Gael Garcia does a tremendous job in the role, enough for me to become interested in the the real Che. If you haven’t gotten the chance, watch “Motorcycle Diaries” first before watching the new movie starring Benicio, who is another talented artist. He definitely has the range and ability to portray the complexity of Che. I am excited to see this movie.

Funny in Farsi by Firozeh Dumas

Funny in Farsi

I LOVE reading.  I read everything from historical to true crime to comedy.  While I was at one of my teacher professional workshop about two years ago, the presenters used this book Funny in Farsi as part of the presentation.  I was asked to read a passage of it to the group and I was laughing so hard that I had trouble with my enunciation! The part I had to read was about the main character’s uncle’s goal to lose weight which led to his crazy obsession with the diet industry and all the “miracle weight” lose gadgets like the thigh master.  I remember reading that part and going “OMG! I had one too!”  Actually there were many things in the book that I could relate to, being an immigrant myself. For example, being an interpreter for my parents even though my English wasn’t that great back then.  Crazy family vacations, first days in an American school, teachers and students mispronouncing my name etc…

Here is a summary of the book by Random House, Inc website:

Funny in Farsi grew out of Firoozeh Dumas’ experience of moving to Southern California in 1972 at the age of seven. She originally intended her collection of essays as a gift to her children–to show them that our commonalities far outweigh our differences–and she wrote the book almost entirely in the hours before they woke for school.
Arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father’s glowing memories of his graduate school years here, Firoozeh learned to adapt to her new surroundings with a special eye to the more absurd elements of American culture. Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas’ wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English; her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an array of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman.
If you would like to read an excerpt click here: http://www.randomhouse.com/highschool/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780812968378&view=excerpt

Sukiyaki Western Django

I love watching movies, but sometimes I become bored with the predictable plot lines and characters.  It irritates me when the movie preview gives away the entire plot.  Then I ask myself why go see it if I already know what is going to happen! Movie previews now a days are like spark notes, they tell you main plot so you don’t have to go see the film.  What is the fun in that? 

I have to say when I become bored with American movies, I turn to Japanese or Chinese movies to entertain me. They never disappoint me with predictable plot or static characters.  I came across a movie trailer that peeked my interest because it looked like it had dynamic characters and an unpredictable plot line. I have watch tons of American Western movies, but not Japanese ones.  I didn’t even though there were Japanese Westerns!  This film: Sukiyaki Western Django looks like a twisted take on Westerns complete with rapid fire gun fights, bad cowboys vs. good.  Check the preview out.

The Courage to Start by John ” The Penguin” Bingham

A Guide To Running for Your Life

Cover design by Francine Kass

To get mentally prepared for the half marathon in San Diego I am reading this motivational book, The Courage to Start by John Bingham. My principal has kindly loaned it to me to inspire, push, and remind me to give myself the benefit of the doubt when it comes to running.  I totally forgot about finishing the book or the excitement I felt when I register to participate in the half marathon.  I am glad that Amphone and Lucky reminded me of the reason why I had signed up in the first place which is: living life to the fullest by challenging myself to step out of my own comfort zone once in a while. I have let my self-doubt and fear of failure dominate my fighting spirit.  I have never back down from a challenge before so why start now?! It didn’t even dawn on me until I reread Amphone’s and Lucky’s comments over again that I was basically setting myself up for failure by whining before the race even start! By saying I hated running, I was in a sense giving myself permission to fail, using that as a safety net. Upon further contemplation, I know that my real hatred is not the act of running, it’s the fear of pushing myself physically to the limit.  Am I in a weird way afraid of my own potential because it might change who I am as a person?  Maybe I am frighten that once I  realize my full physical and mental ability, I would be forced to do more and be more? Wow! What a tantalizing thought! 

This self musing has reminded me of a very important lesson John Bingham teaches in the book. I love what he says about running ” Running can teach us to accept who we are and to challenge who we are at the same time.  Running can teach you how to be all of who you are.  In time, with care and patience, you will get closer and closer to the essential you.  Each step will take you further from the expectations of everyone else and closer to yourself.” 

He is so  right!  He just reminded me that I need to take a break from meeting the expectations of others and to love the journey I am on which is:  self discovery!:)