Phone operator Jordan (Halle Berry) works in the busy 911 emergency call center in Los Angeles. Everyday she sits, listens and helps those in distress, always cool and methodical as she was trained to be.
However when she answers the call from a young girl whose home is being invaded everything changes. Always the professional Jordan tries to calm the girl down but suddenly the perpetrator is on the other end telling her: “It’s already done.”
This sentence haunts Jordan and when a few days later the body of the young girl is found she swaps her headset for a clipboard and teaches new applicants how to do her old job. While on the floor of ‘the hive’ as the bustling call-center is dubbed a call comes in from Casey (Abigail Breslin) and a breathtaking journey begins.
Casey is calling from the boot of a moving car, confused, crying and very scared. With the help of Jordan she manages to create a trail and the search is on. Her abductor Michael (Michael Eklund) is at first quite unaware of what is happening behind his back but as soon as he finds out his rage takes over.
The Call is a fast-paced movie filled with suspense. And even though a lot of it is filmed inside the boot of a car it doesn’t feel overly claustrophobic. Both Breslin and Berry manage to be believable, Breslin obviously filled with terror and Berry desperate to help. However it does seem odd when Jordan leaves her desk and turns into the hero who saves the day. Eklund is brilliant in his sweaty lunacy, menacing, furious and utterly deluded.
However The Call does have its weaknesses. The prologue to the story is a little long, which is odd as the film is only 94 minutes long. But director Brad Anderson seems to want to set the scene and create too much of an unnecessary back-story. And although the ending may be surprising and somewhat satisfying for some it makes little sense to find Jordan as the one who takes action.
Overall The Call is much better than it may first appear, even if the plot does have a few weaknesses. It is a film that is carried by strong actors, a lot of suspense and great filming, a thriller in every sense of the words.
I woke up this morning confused. I couldn’t figure out why I was having an allergic reaction, after all nothing is in bloom right now, but my nose was running as were my eyes. Then it hit me, I didn’t have hay-fever I have the sniffles!
It isn’t a full blown cold yet, just a bit of a sore head and throat, a little stuffiness and watery eyes. And since I am not really sick, juts a little under the weather and I don’t need to go anywhere today I decided to take a pyjama day. After all I think it is better to nip those pesky bugs in the bud before I end up with a full blown flu.
So I snuggled down with my book and read, ignoring that it is a week day and enjoying myself thoroughly. I didn’t even open my blinds , blending the world out for a little while, savouring my hot tea and cosy cardigan.
As the day has moved on so has my sniffles, my head is back to normal and my throat seems on its way there too. Only my eyes and nose seem to have turned their running into a marathon, but I think after a good nights sleep and an easy weekend Monday will find me fully restored back to health.
And since I have a busy week ahead of me, preparing the last bits and bobs before the semester begins, making sure everything is order and getting my scheduled back on track. But for now I’ll enjoy my PJ-day, the last one for along while.
Life is full of sniffles, sobs and smiles. With sniffles predominating. – O. Henry
Angus Sampson, entertainment, Film Review, film review Insidious: Chapter II, Films, Horror movies scary movies, Insidious, Insidious: Chapter II, James Wan, Leigh Whannell, Lin Shaye, Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Steven Coulter, Ty Simpkins
The Lamberts are back and so are their dead friends. Following directly on from the first film, Insidious: Chapter 2 continues the story of Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) and all that goes bump in the night.
After Josh succeeded in rescuing his son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) from ‘the Further’ and the murder of psychic Elise (Lin Shaye) the Lamberts family move in with Josh’s mum Lorraine (Barbara Hershey). But it soon becomes obvious that yet again the move didn’t get rid of the ghosts. As the plot thickens it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems and something followed Josh back into reality.
Although Renia (Rose Byrne) believes her husband to be innocent she can’t help but feel uneasy and when the piano begins to play on it’s own accord, toys move around and a women starts to appear, threatening both her and the kids, she looks to ghost busters Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) for help again. With the help of old-timer Carl (Steven Coulter) and his dice the duo tries to find answers.
Director James Wan doesn’t really surprise with anything new and although some questions from the 2010 film do get answered, Insidious: Chapter II is not very exciting. Chilling music, some sudden scars and suspense may have worked well in Insidious, but in Chapter II it seems like old tricks.
However the Scooby-Doo like pairing of Whannell and Sampson works better this time around, as they are less annoying, but it is Wilson who gets the bigger laughs, intentionally we hope!
Insidious: Chapter II relies too much on its previous success and does depend a little too much on the viewer knowing what happened before. And although both Hershey and Byrne have quite a lot of screen-time, they don’t offer anything new, leaving Wilson to carry the story, which he does, but it is not enough.
Sadly the children feel like moving props and even though 12-year-old Simkins is vital for the solution he doesn’t shine like he did in Iron Man 3. This has possibly more to do with the feeble storyline and chaotic plot than with his ability.
But if you like a few scares without any gore and are willing to believe the ludicrous story Insidious: Chapter II is a bit of fun.
In the seventies playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and calculating Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) drove the circuit, each daring the other to overtake, both desperate to win. The only thing these two very different men have in common is the desire to excel and achieve greatness, willing to push themselves and each other to the limit and even beyond.
Hunt, with his reckless ways and devil may care attitude, attracts the audience with his good looks and easy charm, but Lauda, with his analytical take and disciplined lifestyle is the more consistent driver.
In 1976 an extraordinary season unfolds. Lauda is in the lead, Hunt snapping at his wheels, but when a torrential downpour makes driving the notoriously dangerous Nürnburgring a deadly course, Lauda unsuccessfully calls for a drivers boycott, which seals his fate.
Rush is based on a true story but takes its fair share of artistic licenses to create a more vibrant, exciting view of the seventies. Hemsworth does a good job of portraying the rockstar-like image of Hunt, long golden locks and tight overalls completing the picture, however he is a little too James Bond and not enough Action Man.
But it is Lauda who is the more interesting character with his overbite and dry wit, and Brühl lets him shine through. Unlike Hunt, Lauda doesn’t drink and is careful about what he eats, he sees Formula One not so much as glamour but as sport. This makes the pairing of Hunt and Lauda all the more exciting and the explosive chemistry between Hemsworth and Brühl all the better to watch.
Rush is brilliantly filmed; you can nearly smell the fumes and the shimmering heat on the tarmac. Lots of close-ups of glistening chrome part, tyres and exhausts are the frame of a real life human story, one of daredevils and dreamers, of death and life and succeeding against the odds. Sensationally realistically filmed crashes and explosions, all set to 70s rock, heighten the experience but somehow create a car film that isn’t just about the cars.
You can’t help but be dragged in to this world of speed and adrenalin, fumes and friendship, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. So if you are willing to except that writer Peter Morgan may have taken a slightly romantic view of the seventies and Formula One, Rush is a great film to watch
As I cuddled down into bed with my book last night a switch was flipped and autumn arrived. Wind tousled with the leaves and the pitter-patter of rain on my wind sounded like tap-dancing birds. And when my eyes flickered open late this morning the sky was grey, clouds tumbling into each other creating a drama.
With the temperatures dropping I didn’t want to get up but when I did I pulled socks on for the first time in months. With my toes snugly and warm I decided it was time to cover up with a cardigan and greet autumn with a cosy outfit.
So as I lounge around the house today, mug of tea in and and cuddly clothes keeping me warm I can’t help but feel excited about what this new season promises. I look forward to sitting in front of a crackling fire and evenings filled with candle light. I can’t wait to spend those wet Sunday afternoons watching a film or curling up with a book.
But it is also the beginning of college, which means a lot of time spent teaching , grading, preparing classes and talking to students. So I will have to be more organised in my timekeeping, making sure I don’t forget what I want to do because of all the things I have to do.
However I look forward to blustery walks by the sea and trips to golden woods and hopefully my camera can capture some of the beauty of all that autumn holds.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus
When I look to my right I see my to-do-list, a stack of paperwork that needs my attention and my notebook filled with pencil scribbles. When I look to mt right I see my tiny backyard that needs my attention, my plants need a little tending too, my bike a bit more air and it needs a bit of tiding up. But when I look in front of me all I see are letters, words, a screen filled with blank pages and endless possibility, yet I feel a little stuck.
Now we all have our little rituals and habits that we turn towards in these kind of situations. Some get up and go for a walk, others switch on the TV of half an hour or pick up a newspaper or magazine and browse for a while, a third group may opt for a chat with colleagues or on the phone. But for me the perfect thing to do when I need a little break is to make a cup of tea.
Just waiting for the kettle to boil and then watching the steam billow up out of my mug while I pour the hot-water onto the teabag, pouring milk into the brew and watch the little clouds of lactose rise to the top, colouring my tea the perfect shade of brown, settles me and helps me gather my thoughts.
So as my mug is empty and I need a little “pick-me-up” I think I’ll step away from my desk for a little while and try and find inspiration in my beverage of choice, create a little time for tea and me.
There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. – Henry James
After several days of toing and froing, I have finally made the decision of not going to the wedding. It just doesn’t feel right and even though I may lose a friend, I’d rather be true to myself than stick with convention. And yes pride may come before the fall, but allowing people to treat you as they please is not the answer either.
I didn’t make the decision lightly and even wrote an email to the bride trying to explain why I felt I should no longer come and celebrate her big day. I thought, if I gave her all the reasons why I feel the way I do, she may understand and apologize for allowing her bridezilla to take advantage of my niceties.
Sadly that didn’t work out and both my mobile phone and email inbox stayed silent, confirming what I had been thinking all along. So while I hope she has a wonderful time waltzing down the aisle and saying yes to the man she loves I will enjoy a quite day at home, swap my heels for flats and boogie in my living room.
And who knows maybe, when all the the confetti has settled and bridezilla returns back to her normal self, she will find a moment in her busy schedule to answer my mail. However I am not holding my breath and am happy to just be me, maybe a little too proud for my own good but sticking to what I believe to be right.
So, yes my choice may not be the popular one, and maybe most people would decided to give in to convention, but just because everyone does something doesn’t make it right, or at the very least right for you. And just because someone has a reason, no matter how good, to behave badly it still doesn’t mean they should and it definitely doesn’t mean you have to let them get away with it. And if this means I have to cook my own dinner and forgo some dessert it doesn’t really bother me. I am not a fan of weddings and only partake as a gesture of friendship. And since in this case that is no longer desired I think I will enjoy the unexpected time to myself.
Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it. ― Bryce Courtenay
Opinionatedman is running an opinionated project, asking people to answer a few questions and spread free opinions around. So check out his site and maybe even take a few minutes to give your very own opinion. Here is mine:
Who am I? That is a question that is way to hard to answer. But what I can say is that I am a creative, colourful person, a lady who loves to laugh and have fun. However I do have lots of opinions about lots of things and don’t shy away from an argument. And if it turns out I was wrong, I may need a while but I will change my mind.
Where am I from and where am I now? Well I am a bit of an international cocktail. My mum is German my dad from Northern Ireland and I was born in South Africa. As I hold a German passport but live in Dublin I think it’s save to say that I am comfortable keeping the mix alive.
Currently I live on the Northside of Dublin, in a slightly rougher area with lots of colourful people around. My tiny home is a 2.5 room cottage in which I live, work and dream. And since you sometimes see things here you’d never expect it keeps my mind open and curious.
Dublin is a place of change. Over the past 15 years or so it has been playing catch-up with the rest of Europe and the sudden changes and new influences have mixed everything up. People have had to change their points of view and some seem to struggle with the speed their world has changed in.
The current financial downfall after the surprising boom means a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet but this economical change also means that people are daring to follow their dreams and make their own destiny. After all if you can’t trust banks and politicians why not trust yourself?
When did I realize I had my own opinion? I think it must have been very early on. I’ve always been a stubborn, marched to my own beat and done thing my own way; sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. I remember standing up to my Grandmother who wanted to put me down for a nap or argued with teachers if I didn’t agree. For me, no matter if it is your taste in clothes, the friends you pick, your political persuasion or sexual preference or beliefs, I believe you have a right to your own, unless it drastically affects others. After all we all live on the same planet and each of us has a right to a certain amount of space and freedom. But never forget about how your decisions affect others.
What levels of respect were practiced around you when you were a child? Since my mum is German I was taught well, from knowing how to use a fish knife and fork, how to set a table and to write thank-you notes. Since we never had much money I lernt that it’s not what is in your wallet that makes you who you are and that wealth does not equal respect. It’s about how you treat others that reflects back on you.
How traveled are you and to what degree do you keep up with international news? I love to travel and have been to over 20 countries and I want to add many more to my list. I love seeing new cultures, meeting new people and trying new things. I do believe that the more we learn, be it in school or through experience the more we understand and can form a well-rounded opinion.
If you could share an opinion on a single international incident or topic that you either feel strongly about or that might not be known to the rest of the world what would it be? There are so many, from the financial problems to what’s happening in Syria. But I suppose one thing I really don’t get is why so many people on this planet still don’t recycle and fall prey to this materialistic world. Not that I don’t enjoy beautiful new things but my heart does beat faster when I get a good deal or can recycle something up, find a little treasure at the flea market. I hate the fact that we are drowning in plastic and that we have just so much waste.
What does the right to an opinion mean to you? Is it essential to freedom to have this right? See answer three
Is it ever right for you to be allowed an opinion while someone else is denied that same right on the same topic? No, every one is allowed an opinion and as I am a journalist I believe everyone has the right to express this opinion. However I do think freedom comes with responsibility, if you say your opinion expect others to disagree. And of course an opinion is sometimes not up for debate, for example beliefs are personal. This doesn’t mean you can’t discuss or even argue about them, but since they are not necessarily rational but emotional they have to be approached with more caution, respect and tolerance. After all you can’t argue with feelings no matter what your opinion. However tolerance has to go both ways and some things are just wrong, like oppression of the weak, murder etc.
What does this project mean to you? How can Project O potentially enlighten or help the world? I don’t know if Project O will change the world but it may change a few points of view or give people food for thought. And since I believe in education and open discussion I am sure it will do more good than harm.
2012 and Independence Day, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Die Hard, director Roland Emmerich, entertainment, film reviews, Films, Jamie Foxx, Joey King, John McClane, Maggie Gyllenhall, movies, reviews, Roland Emmerich, The Day after Tomorrow, White House Down
After The Day after Tomorrow, 2012 and Independence Day director Roland Emmerich has now decided it’s time to blow up the White House from within. No natural disasters or aliens needed, this time a handful of terrorists and a few corrupt politicians is all it takes. But of course there is a hero to hand to save the day.
John Cale (Channing Tatum) calls in a few favours and interviews for a job as secret service agent. Unlucky for him agent Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhall) is not only sceptical of his abilities but knows him from his not so dashing past. Trying to not disappoint more women in his life Cale takes his angry teenage daughter Emily (Joey King) on a tour of the White House and of course politics obsessed Emily bumps into the Presidant (Jamie Foxx).
As luck would have it terrorist decided it’s the perfect day for a White House takeover and bring it down. But working class hero John won’t let this stop him from finding his daughter, who got lost in the ensuing chaos, and makes his way through gun-fire and falling debris only to find the Commander in Chief in need of a rescue. From then onwards John has a two-fold mission, find his daughter and save the President.
Like most “here-to save-the-day-movies” the character of John Cale is a close copy of Bruce Willis John McClane in Die Hard, only missing a few letters to his name and wearing the obligatory sweat stained tank top. But Tatum does a good job, not only does the shirt fit his physique beautifully, his charm and good delivery of one liners give White House Down a certain amount of flair and fun, not unlike the Die Hard series.
And it seems that America is in need of a new hero, making Tatums timing perfect, after all the ususual suspects are all getting a little too old : Bruce Willis is 55, Brad Pitt 49 and Will Smith 44. But while Tatum is the obvious star of White House Down, Foxx is a little too predictable and bland but does have some good lines. King on the other hand often steals the limelight and is one to watch in the future. And Gyhllenhall does what she always does, is pretty, a little quirky but really just the female on the sidelines.
So while White House Down doesn’t really do anything new and tells a story already told it is well written with maybe a few too many outrageous twists. The special effects are believable, but it is Tatum who upstages everything with his good looks, on screen charm and athletic bravado.
So if you like Die Hard and a bit of a on screen demolition White House Down is definitely one to watch.