Sunday, May 27, 2007

Stunning Underwater Photograph

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Review - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

In 2003, I tentatively bought a cinema ticket for a Disney pirate film based on a theme-park ride which had never failed to underwhelm me as a child. I was sceptical to say the least. Not to mention that the last pirate film I’d seen had Geena Davis in it and was… shite. I was never so glad to have been proven wrong. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl was pure, popcorn munching blockbuster gold and it was everything that a good summer movie should be.

And now we’re on sequel number 2 and that summer of 2003 is starting to look as golden as the summer of 78 must look to hippies and Bryan Adams. At World’s End is plagued by similar problems to Dead Man’s Chest. Orlando Bloom is again at his hammiest, but is amazingly outdone by Keira Knightley’s pathetic performance as the ‘babe with attitude.’ She’s neither convincing as a babe, nor a pirate, leaving her to merely float through the film in an unfortunately beefed-up role.

Otherwise, the characters are enjoyable. Rush is brilliant once again as the resurrected Barbossa and Bill Nighy is utterly exceptional as Davy Jones, still the most believable looking CG to this day and a masterful mix of graphics and performance that’s up there with Gollum. But sadly, poor old Chow Yun Fat is underused and wasted.

Which of course leads us to Captain Jack Sparrow; the main reason for the series’ unprecedented success and a fresh reason to pick pirates over ninjas. Johnny Depp’s Keith Richards impression has undeniably resulted in the creation of one of the best characters of the last 30 years and he’s always a joy to watch. But he can’t fill the screen for 2 hours and 45 minutes and it’s the plot and script that support Sparrow that let the film down.

The script is bloated and contrived, resulting is a jumbled mess of overblown exposition and lengthy portions of unwelcome dialogue that are frequent and painful to sit through. ‘Oh, I’m making a deal with you now.’ ‘Oh no, I’m making a deal with you.’ Only by the climactic battle scene do Verbinski’s visual and tightly controlled style take over, offering a highly-sequenced chaotic climax that is the film’s sole enjoyable achievement.

Captain Jack Sparrow has become iconic and with due cause, but this time around is certainly his weakest outing. The cinema erupted in side-splitting laughter at every word that passed Depp’s lips, funny or not; which leads one to believe that he could recite Hamlet and still evoke belly laughs. So decided were the audience on the hilarity of Captain Jack that they were ready to erupt at the mildest of facial ticks. But to the discerning eye, this is easily Jack’s poorest turn-out and his act is beginning to feel a little tired.

The entire movie is essentially a superb demonstration in how to waste money and it is a genuine challenge to sit there and work out what the point of any of it is and why we should give a shit. It’s hard to discern any of the character’s motivations and when you do figure it out, they’re extremely flimsy. They could have shaved off at least an hour and it would have been a far tighter, far more enjoyable action/comedy flick. Hell, they could have made one film out of the last two. The first half of Dead Man’s Chest was wasted on prancing around with the cannibals. A completely pointless, albeit hilarious, deviation from the plot. Similarly, there is far too much flambayling about the place in At World’s End.

Furthermore, because it’s a continuation of a film that was forgettable at best, with World’s End, you are left wondering who the hell all these people are, what the hell was the plot again and was it really so grand and epic that it had to run over two films? Really, two separate, individual stories and plots would have offered us a more varied, concise trilogy, free from the ridiculously overblown interludes of idiocy that frequent the two sequels.

Ultimately, it is a shame that Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End do little justice to their worthy progenitor. Still, in the same way Reloaded and Revolutions won’t detract from the genius that is the original The Matrix, The Curse of the Black Pearl will remain a modern day blockbuster classic in my eyes. My advice? Donate the cost of a ticket to At World’s End to buying the DVD of the original.

Original Link

8, 18, 28, 38, 48, 58, 68

What is the difference between girls aged:
8, 18, 28, 38, 48, 58, 68?

At 8 - You take her to bed
and tell her a story.

At 18 - You tell her a story
and take her to bed.

At 28 - You don't need to tell her a story
to take her to bed.

At 38 - She tells you a story
and takes you to bed.

At 48 - You tell her a story
to avoid going to bed.

At 58 - You stay in bed
to avoid her story.

At 68 - If you take her to bed,
that'll be a story!!

Working with a Disorganized Boss

Working with a Disorganized Boss
by Margot Carmichael Lester

You're excited about your new job. The pay is good, the office setting is comfortable and the commute is easy. But as you start the actual work, you confront an unsettling truth: Your new boss is an organizational train wreck.

He hasn't mapped out a plan for your first few days or weeks. He doesn't give you any guidance on the projects you'll need to tackle. He can't find the papers he needs you to fax or sign. He hasn't introduced you to potential key allies in the company. It doesn't take long to wonder how you'll survive without (A) going nuts or (B) going completely nuts.

Have no fear. We found organization and communication experts to offer some tips to help you keep your cool, get up to speed and make the most of this trying situation.

Start Slow
"Most disorganized bosses know they are disorganized and scattered," says Santa Barbara business coach Clay Nelson. "Do not walk into this and start changing things or channeling everything through you. You need to find out how to keep the flow going, what the possibility is inside the thinking of your boss. Then, slowly start shifting how things are working in very small increments, and make sure you have your boss's approval."

Do Your Due Diligence
Philadelphia-based organization consultant Liz Bywater advocates doing some research before you begin the full-court press to reform your boss. "Get a lay of the land from those who already work there," she says. Speak to the person who formerly held your position if you can, as well as your existing co-workers, to gain their insight into your boss's MO.

Listen Up
"Listen to verbal cues when your boss is in a panic and looking for that report," says Laura Leist, co-author of the book Eliminate Chaos and president and founder of a Seattle company by the same name.

Leist also suggests offering to organize your boss's files for him and to ask plenty of questions along the way. This will ensure the filing system you help to create is actually useful and meaningful to your boss.

Work the Network
Jeanne Hurlbert, a sociology professor at Louisiana State University and president of Optinet Resources in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, suggests establishing a support network. "New employees need to build relationships with co-workers anyway," Hurlbert says. Working with a disorganized boss, "however, exacerbates the need for that."

What a new employee shouldn't do is "start off making negative comments about the boss or thinking that shared antipathy toward the boss provides good common ground on which to build relationships," she says. "That's dangerous."

Lead by Example
The best defense is a good offense, so Studio City, California-based Bill Bliesath, also known as the Organizing Guy, suggests making sure you are as organized as possible. "When you have questions about your responsibilities or projects, present them by topic in an order that flows smoothly and requires the minimal amount of input - i.e., yes or no answers," Bliesath says. "Disorganized people tend to lose focus easily if there are no clear parameters or expectations. So you want to stay on the subject, and if the conversation strays, keep steering it back on track - with a smile of course."

One final thought from Nelson: "The boss wouldn't be the boss - unorganized or not - if he/she weren't successful at what he/she does. So you don't want to mess with how that success gets done. You do want to be the person that makes that success come about easier."
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