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Academy Award® Nominated: Star Trek

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, BuellBoy, Ogenec and TheLCster


On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien vessel. He was looking for Ambassador Spock, who is a child on Vulcan at that time, disdained by his neighbors for his half-human nature. Twenty years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker inspired by Capt. Christopher Pike to fulfill his potential in Starfleet even as he annoys his instructors like young Lt. Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever even as the new version of it is just beginning.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Damon Lindelof
Co-Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Witz
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Baronoff
Executive Producers . Jeffrey Chernov, Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Burk, and Roberto Orci

The cast includes: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben cross, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworkth, Jennifer Morrison, and Rachel Nichols

44D’s Reviews

TheLCster
As an aspiring nerd (no not geek, nerd, yes…there is a difference) I have been trying to break into the world of Star Trek in the traditional sense…watching it episode by episode, series by series. I take sci-fi very seriously! lol This new movie although entertaining feels like a ‘watered-down for the masses’ version of a topic that I know people spend their lifetime’s trying to perfect. Although I don’t speak Klingon, I respect the franchise and was disappointed at the simplistic (often trading true character growth and dynamic for witty one-liners) nature of some of the characters. I am glad, however, that at least a new generation of viewers will be introduced to the characters. Hopefully those who enjoyed the movie will research the series in the proper manner.

Ogenec
“No one does geek-pop chic better than J.J. Abrams. I never watched Alias (dunno why), but I am hooked — hooked! — on Lost and Fringe. Unlike many TV auteurs, J.J.’s vision adapts quite well to the big screen too: see, for example, MI:III, the best movie of the trilogy.

So I was really excited when I heard that J.J. would be doing the reboot of Star Trek. I knew it’d be edgy, yet fun. I knew it would mix in enough of the mythology for the hardcore Trekkies, but also introduce some fresh elements. And I knew there would be a very good mix of bombastic action sequences and intelligent dialogue. I knew all of that. And yet, I was completely blown away by the movie. The dialogue was even better than I’d hoped. The interplay between the characters (like Bones and Kirk, or Scotty and Kirk, and most importantly Kirk and Spock themselves) was just phenomenal. The action was totally kick-ass. In fact, I’m about to unleash my id by watching it again tonight with the subwoofers set to “Stun.” But, above all else, two things really endear this movie to me as a total keeper. The first is the subversion of the operating premise of the Kirk-Spock relationship, where Kirk is the impulsive one, and Spock is all logic and rationality. In the movie, Kirk proves himself to be quite the thinking man, and Spock gets very emotional. Man, I ate it up. You will too, on the off-chance that you haven’t seen this excellent movie yet.

The second is the casting of Chris Pine as Kirk. Sometimes you hear the casting choices and you go “Hell Naw!!! What were they thinking?!?!?” Most times, your concerns are well-founded. Think George Clooney as Batman — ’nuff said. But sometimes, you’re just totally wrong, and you have to admit it. So I admit it — Chris Pine is such an inspired choice for Kirk that he seems borne for the role, just as much as Daniel Craig is, to me, now the definitive James Bond. All I knew of Chris Pine was his role as a homicidal maniac in Smoking Aces. Fantastic role, and he’s obviously quite the actor. But I couldn’t see how THAT guy could pull off a Captain Kirk. Well, I’m extremely happy J.J. Abrams doesn’t listen to me. And, by the way, Eric Bana also is fantastic as Spock’s Romulan nemesis. In short, fantastic movie. Can’t wait for the sequel.”

Audiegrl
“Loved it. J.J. Abrams did a outstanding job of re-energizing the Star Trek franchise. With 21st century special effects, he really updated, the normally slow-moving action viewers were used to. Spock and Lt. Uhura hooking up? Brilliant…we get to see what made Spock who he is, and his ongoing struggle to determine if he was more human or vulcan. It was also good to learn why Doctor McCoy aka Bones, earned his nickname, saying…“My wife took everything in the divorce, all she left me was my bones.” Abrams successfully introduced the series to a new generation of Trekkies, somewhere out there, Gene Roddenberry is smiling 🙂

Did You Know?

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie-Mellon Computer Science professor (and “Star Trek” fan) who gained widespread fame as the author of a “Last Lecture” in which he discussed living the life of his dreams in the face of terminal pancreatic cancer, was invited by J.J. Abrams to appear as an extra in this film (he is the Kelvin officer who says “Captain, we have visual“). Pausch wrote in his blog about the experience, “I got a custom-made Star Trek uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!!” Pausch died on July 25, 2008; his paycheck of $217.06 from working on the film was donated to charity.

While most Trekkies will have known this detail for decades, this is the first time that Uhura has been given a first name on screen: Nyota. Gene Roddenberry never came up with a first name for her, so many thought this meant she did not have one, although in literature, Uhura is often referred to as Nyota by her comrades, and she is also referred to as Nyota Uhura in the DC Comics publication “Who’s Who in Star Trek“. There are several nods to this history in the movie: first, when Kirk first meets (and hits on) Uhura in a bar and tells her, “if you don’t tell me your name, I’m gonna have to make one up,” and then when she refuses to tell Kirk her first name throughout the film.

Majel Barrett, the wife of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, has a role in this film as the voice of the Enterprise computer. She completed her voice-over work two weeks before her death on December 18, 2008.

The Korean-American actor John Cho was initially uncertain about being cast as the Japanese-American officer Hikaru Sulu, but George Takei, who played Sulu in “Star Trek” (1966), encouraged him to take the role as Sulu was a character who represented all of Asia.

Four Nominations

Best Visual Effects
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Makeup

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Academy Award® Nomination: Avatar

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy


AVATAR takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a newcomer from Earth embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home. James Cameron, the Oscar®-winning director of “Titanic,” first conceived of the film 15 years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not yet exist. Now, after four years of production, AVATAR, a live action film with a new generation of special effects, delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.

We enter the alien world through the eyes of Jake Sully, a former Marine confined to a wheelchair. But despite his broken body, Jake is still a warrior at heart. He is recruited to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where a corporate consortium is mining a rare mineral that is the key to solving Earth’s energy crisis. Because Pandora’s atmosphere is toxic, they have created the Avatar Program, in which human “drivers” have their consciousness linked to an avatar, a remotely controlled biological body that can survive in the lethal air. These avatars are genetically engineered hybrids of human DNA mixed with DNA from the natives of Pandora… the Na’vi.

Reborn in his avatar form, Jake can walk again. He is given a mission to infiltrate the Na’vi, who have become a major obstacle to mining the precious ore. But a beautiful Na’vi female, Neytiri, saves Jake’s life, and this changes everything. Jake is taken in by her clan, and learns to become one of them, which involves many tests and adventures. As Jake’s relationship with his reluctant teacher Neytiri deepens, he learns to respect the Na’vi way and finally takes his place among them. Soon he will face the ultimate test as he leads them in an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Landau
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Refoua, A.C.E. and Stephen Rivkin, A.C.E.
Production Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mauro Fiore, ASC
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joe Letteri
Costume Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mayes C. Rubeo and Deborah L. Scott
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Horner

The cast includes: Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, and Laz Alonso

Reviews

IMDB member from England
It was Terminator in the 1980’s and then Titanic in the ’90s and it’s definitely Avatar in the 2000s!!

James Cameron is my most favourite director and he has once again broken all boundaries and created a visual extravaganza.

Avatar is Cameron’s latest magnum opus is probably one of the most anticipated movies since Titanic and now it seems that the visionary director has indeed created a film that’ll revolutionize the world of cinema.

The film was absolutely fascinating, interesting, entertaining and emotional. I loved the look on the Pandora jungle and it must be the best scenery in film history and the navis are definitely the best digital characters since Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. The special effects are so amazing that Pandora looks like a real location and you can mistake the navis as real characters. Avatar was almost 3 hours but it didn’t seem that long.

Avatar already makes it on my top 5 favourite movies and I intend to see it again and I am already waiting for it to release on Blu Ray because I’m sure that it will be one of the best Blu Ray titles.

Did You Know?

The year is never stated, but the video log shows that the year is 2154.

Sigourney Weaver plays a James Cameron persona for her character in this film. Sigourney stated in an interview, “I teased him because to me I’m playing Jim Cameron in the movie as this kind of brilliant, approach-driven, idealistic perfectionist. But that same somebody has a great heart underneath. So I have to say I was always kind of channeling him.”

The Na’vi language was created entirely from scratch by linguist Paul R. Frommer. James Cameron hired him to construct a language that the actors could pronounce easily, but did not resemble any single human language. Frommer created about 1000 words.

Nine Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Art Direction
Best Visual Effects
Best in Film Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best in Music (Original Score)

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In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement

Posted by: Audiegrl

A concert celebrating Black History month

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Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

So On February 10th, President Obama and First Lady Michelle will host In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement. The concert will be held in the State Dining Room, and is timed to celebrate Black History Month.

So far participants include Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Smokey Robinson, Seal, the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Howard University Choir and others. It will be hosted by Morgan Freeman and Queen Latifah, and will feature songs associated with the civil rights movement as well as readings from famous civil rights speeches.

The President will make opening remarks and the concert will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov starting at 5:15 p.m. ET. The concert will be televised on Feb. 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS stations. In addition, NPR will produce a one-hour special from the event to air on its stations throughout February.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman

As part of this special event, Mrs. Obama will host “Music that Inspired the Movement,” a workshop that several of the event’s performers will lead for 120 high school students from across the country on Wednesday, February 10th from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET. The students will come to learn about the continuing relevance of music from the Civil Rights Movement to today’s generation and its original impact in the 1960s. This event will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov and students all over the country will be invited to watch and engage in the workshop.

First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the White House Music Series last year with a Jazz Studio, and since then has hosted a celebration of Country Music, a Fiesta Latina and a celebration of Classical Music. Many of these events included evening performances as well as daytime educational workshops designed to educate and inspire talented young people to use their gifts to develop a future for themselves in the arts community whether as a hobby or as a profession.

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The Death of U.S. Political Democracy For The People

Posted by: LibbyShaw

Will the Senator from Wal-Mart please yield to the Senator from Halliburton? The Congressman from Black Water has 5 minutes remaining before the Congresswoman from United Health may speak.

Mark your calendars, folks. January 21, 2010 is the day the radical and activist Supreme Court of the United States delivered the U.S. Democracy into the hands of the corporate sector and special interests groups. According to an article in the New York Times corporations, lobbyists and unions can now legally purchase their candidates of choice.

“We have got a million we can spend advertising for you or against you – whichever one you want,’ ” a lobbyist can tell lawmakers, said Lawrence M. Noble, a lawyer at Skadden Arps in Washington and former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission.

The decision yesterday will usher in unimaginable numbers of Swift Boat attack ads. Corporate fat cats can now threaten and bully politicians to do their bidding or else.

“It will put on steroids the trend that outside groups are increasingly dominating campaigns,” Mr. Ginsberg said. “Candidates lose control of their message. Some of these guys lose control of their whole personalities.”

“Parties will sort of shrink in the relative importance of things,” he added, “and outside groups will take over more of the functions – advertising support, get out the vote – that parties do now.”

Front row: Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Antonin G. Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. Back row: Associate Justices Samuel A. Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Some have called the SOTUS decision a power grab that is intellectually dishonest.

In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty.

Many of those commenting on the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission have focused on the power-grab part. I agree with them. It was unnecessary for the court to go so far when there were several less-radical grounds available. It was audacious to seize the opportunity to overrule precedents when the parties had not pressed this issue and the lower courts had not considered it. It was the height of activism to usurp the judgments of Congress and state legislatures about how best to prevent corruption of the political process.

“If it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more,” a wise judge once wrote. That was Chief Justice John G. Roberts — back when — and dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens rightly turned that line against him.

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Republicans naturally and predictably love this recent ruling. But of course they would. Republicans embrace and fully support authoritarian forms of government. And the sad truth of the matter is the GOP has always worked for the corporate sector.

It is devastatingly unfortunate that Republican voters have never been able to understand the hard, cold and mean reality of those they elect into office. Politicians take an oath to serve the people in their districts but many merely give their constituents nothing but empty rhetoric. If one were to closely examine one’s Republican lawmakers’ voting records one would find who their elected officials really work for.

My guess is the teabaggers will wraps it head around the reality of the SCOTUS decision like we progressives have, for the only one imperative we do share in common is a collective outrage over the corporate takeover of the U.S. government and its legislative process by special interest groups and corporations.

But unfortunately teabaggers, unlike progressives, are far too easily led astray by the likes of Dick Armey, one of the numerous behind the scenes leaders of the teabagger movement. Armey’s main mission is to promote the interests of the health care industry. He and his organization, Freedom Works, uses teabaggers as its tools.

Republicans and teabaggers alike have been led to believe that the government is the root of everything evil while progressives know that government is the only force that can and will protect us from the evils of self-serving greed mongers of the corporate sector.

We are where we are today b/c the corporate sector has been enabled to run rough shod over the American people. We are broke. There are no jobs. We lost homes. We lost retirement savings. Meanwhile on Wall St. the fat cats who can now purchase politicians get richer by the minute.

Elections have consequences. The nice guy or girl candidate with whom to have a beer could very well be an anti-political democracy devil in disguise who has every intention of throwing the middle and working classes to the lions.

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Oh, and Prince Alwaleed, grandson of the King of Saudi Arabia and the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup and second biggest shareholder in News Corp (Murdock’s FOX “News”) doesn’t like Obama’s tax on the banks.

Who would have thought?

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MSNBC Premieres Hope and Fear in Obama’s America with Hosts Chris Mathews and Tom Joyner

Posted by: Audiegrl

A Two Hour Special Event on Race Relations in America On Martin Luther King Day

Tom Joyner and Chris MatthewsOne year after the inauguration of the first African-American President, MSNBC will present “Hope and Fear in Obama’s America,” January 18, 2010, 10 p.m. ET, an extended discussion surrounding race and post-racial identity in America. Moderated by “Hardball’s” Chris Matthews and featuring syndicated radio host Tom Joyner, live from Texas Southern University, a historically Black university in Houston, Texas. The two-hour special event on Martin Luther King Day will explore some of the most pressing and provocative issues connected to race and race relations in the U.S.

Hope and Fear in Obama’s America” will discuss the progress we’ve made in the United States and the challenges we continue to face around racial equality, addressing issues ranging from whether there is such a thing as generational colorblindness, to the “burdens of the first,” and whether there are a unique set of expectations and challenges attached to being the first to break a racial barrier. Panelists and guests will be announced at a later date.

MSNBC.com will soon feature additional information on the special and its guests and will also allow viewers to participate in live votes and continue the discussion online.

In a message to his audience of 8 million listeners, Joyner said, “This is an important story because it will give me and you a rare opportunity to participate in a much needed discussion about whether racism is still a relevant topic now that President Obama has been elected.” Joyner added, “It’s a crucial thing when mainstream America wants to know what’s on our minds. Together, we can give provide honest questions and answers about racism in this country. ”

Joyner reassured his listeners, that “of course, the traditional, easy way to tackle these topics is to get the same old people to say the same old things. Not knocking any of the people who have sat on panel after panel after panel to talk about race in America in past years. But it’s almost impossible to get any new perspectives on issues unless we solicit information from varied sources, and from what I can see, at this point, that’s what this MSNBC town hall Meeting will attempt to do. Chris Matthews and I will not talk to a panel of your “usual suspects” about hopes and fears in Obama’s America.”

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Vice President Biden’s Meets with U.N. Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq

posted by: Audiegrl

Vice President Joe Biden meets with U.N Special Representative for Iraq, second from left, Ad Melkert, in the Roosevelt Room, January 5, 2010

The Vice President met with the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq Ad Melkert, to discuss developments in Iraq. The Vice President offered continued U.S. government support for the indispensable role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq and thanked Mr. Melkert for his leadership, highlighting his recent support for Iraqi efforts to approve an election law. They discussed preparations for the upcoming national elections and pledged to help the Iraqis resolve outstanding national unity issues.

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Gloria Estefan Entrevista el Presidente Obama en la Casa Blanca para Special de Univision “Nuestra Navidad”

Gloria Estefan Interviews President Obama in the White House for the Univision special “Our Christmas”

In an interview for Univision, singer Gloria Estefan interviewed the President, asking the “very important question…which chimney will Santa be coming down?”

The answer: the chimney in the Yellow Room in the middle of the Residence, “so that’s where we are going to set the cookies and the milk, because after working all night, giving the gifts…. we want to make sure when it comes to the White House that he feels like he is getting good service.” The Obamas will also set out “a little reindeer snack.”

At the end of the interview the President sent seasons greetings and a call to service to viewers and military families in the Hispanic community…en Español. “En esta temporada festiva, todos queremos estar con nuestros seres queridos, pero también podemos tomar el tiempo para ayudar a nuestras comunidades. Cada persona puede hacer una gran diferencia. Michelle y yo les deseamos una Feliz Navidad.”

Translation: “In this holiday season, we would all like to be with our loved ones, but we should also take the time to help our communities. Each person can make a big difference. Michelle and I wish you a Merry Christmas.”

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