Wednesday, March 31, 2010

LOST Peeps

I actually can't stand the Easter candy Peeps, but this is hilarious:

Click HERE to see the other competitors in the Washington Post's fourth annual "Peeps Show" (te he). Some of them are extremely creative and impressive. Still Peeps though. Bleck.

LOST S6: E10- 'The Package'

When a man has LOST all happiness, he's not alive. Call him a breathing corpse.


Paik and Kwon, not married. Yowza. They certainly gave us a tricky interpretation of the truth in the season premiere. But he is still working for her dad, who is a jerk in any reality, and it now appears the entire situation was set up to get rid of Jin for getting romantically involved with Sun. A less than warm welcome back to Mikhail, aka 'Patchy,' (now patchless and fluent in many languages). When Jin was tied up that creeper Keamy said to him, seemingly sincere, "some people just aren't meant to be together." I will be very sad if this is foreshadowing. Sun shot in the crossfire- did their unborn child survive? Gaaaahh! If there had been a little more time, I was half expecting a Flash-Sideways scene at the end where they are at the hospital and Jack saying something like, 'I'm going to do everything I can to help you, but I need you to trust me,' to parallel the conversation he had with sun on the beach. I always liked the Jack and Sun friendship- respectful with no presumptions or expectations, just easy and honest. (Side note, I hate Sun's hair in the Flash-Sideways!!)

Island Sun! Good girl for running from LockeNess even though you really want your Jin back! She has been so bitter that I was worried about her making a stupid decision. So he was chasing her just so he could chat some more? Because he apparently can't take them against their will. Can understand English but can't speak it. Jack said it might be Aphasia, but I think maybe it is the two realities colliding. It happened when she had an unconscious occurrence like when Juliet seemed to slip into her other self before she died.

Drug darted by the Tina, er, the Zoe chick (who is apparently a geophysicist (Widmore likes his specialists- Charlotte, Daniel...). They aren't there to rescue them, they just want Jin to explain to them the Dharma grid maps with pockets of electromagnetism, which makes me think that Widmore may not understand the whole 'Candidates' situation. Also interesting that LockeNess is not all-knowing and they could just swipe Jin out from under him. Also, other than making threats and leaving a spy, he didn't do much. So far he's been kind of on top of the situation, but with losing Pretty Eyes last week and Jin this week, I see that he will have to work for it and the odds may be more even than they have seemed. The Package is Desmond! Good to see you Brutha. Sorry you are all drugged up and apparently there against your will. What is that wily Widmore planning? Will Sun be surprised to see him or was she aware of his coming based on the hints of them working together from their off-island conversation a season ago?

That was a surprisingly sane conversation Clairseau had with LockeNess, up until the part when he pretty much told her she's allowed to murder Kate once she assists to gather the other still viable Candidates to leave the island with him. Even after that though, she didn't make a wicked face like, 'yes, I get to kill Kate,' she made more of a confused, 'do I still even want to kill Kate?' face. (Also, unless he was lying to keep his promise to Claire, Kate is officially NOT a Candidate- and yet... he is basing that on the cave and not the Lighthouse where there was distinctly an un-crossed-out 'Austen.' They wouldn't have showed us that for nothing. When Jack and Hurley got to the Lighthouse they wondered why they hadn't seen it before and said something about you see it when it wants you to (or when Jacob wants you to?) So, does Man in Black not know of it? I'm not convinced Kate is really off the list yet). I do think Claire is Claimed like Sayid, but I think that perhaps her maternal affection and hope for Aaron has kept her from going completely over like him, despite all the time they have been separated. Though it was a Kwon-Centric episode, my quote at the top this week was for Sayid. Even in the Sideways his eyes looked dead. He doesn't feel anything and it will help him get through what's coming. What's coming?! War, apparently. If LockeNess gets off the island we would all just 'simply cease to be." Dun dun duh...

Because the Flash-Sideways scenarios have been sort of closure/happy endings until now, a lot of people have theorized that this reality is how the Losties lives would have gone if Jacob had never touched them and so he therefore must be more wicked than he seemed. I never thought much of that, partly based on the fact that Sayid and Hurley were touched just before the Ajira flight and not before the Oceanic flight, yet their lives were different already, but now I should think that theory is for sure out. Even if Sun and Jin's baby can be saved, they are still in a foreign country with no money, a language barrier, and dead bodies to be explained. This then makes me think that maybe as opposed to the two worlds literally becoming one at some point, the Losties will maybe have to/get to make a choice of which they want. Despite all they have been through, I think Sun and Jin would choose the island timeline.

I think the key to all if it is Hope. Hope is tied to faith and love and all of these other themes, but with the scenario of the island being a corked bottle to avoid evil pouring into the world, it reminds me of the story of Pandora's Box where Hope is the greatest weapon to defeat the evil, or, despair in the world. As with the story of Pandora, Hope has the potential to be just as dangerous on its own as any of the worlds evils, but all together, Hope balances the other evils out. The individuals that Jacob has chosen are survivors- after all they have been through they are still fighting, not only for themselves but for each other, their children and the future. You can't be a survivor without a large capacity for, and ability to, Hope.

Friday, March 26, 2010

'Love Never Dies' (But Should it Have?)

So even if you have never heard the music, seen the play or seen the movie of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, The Phantom of the Opera, you have to have at least heard of it. It first came out in London's West End in 1986, and has become a timeless classic. It is very sentimental for me as I grew up listening to the music and it is one of the first live productions I ever went to and the music is just so moving and incredible and the story so mysterious and bittersweet.

Exactly one year ago I was on a Delta flight reading their Spirit Magazine and read an article that Andrew Lloyd Webber had written a sequel to Phantom and it would be debuting in the next year. What?! First of all, creating a sequel to a stage musical has never been done before. There is talk of making a movie sequel to the movie Hairspray which was an adaptation of a stage musical, but that is different. Not only is it a gutsy move because it hasn't been done before, but its disturbing something iconic. One of the things that I adore about Phantom is that it ends somewhat ambiguously. It is so poignant and mystifying and it lingers with you. I liked musing about them and leaving it in that quiet place of wonder. (It's true that I just posted about the creativity of Stephen Sondheim in writing stories that look at what happens after happily-ever-after, but that isn't for all shows).

The Music: For those of you that don't know, Andrew Lloyd Webber only writes the score and not the lyrics for his music. The brilliant Charles Hart (and somewhat by Richard Stilgoe) wrote the lyrics to the songs for the original Phantom and they are so clever and romantic and poetic. The lyrics for Love Never Dies were written by Glenn Slater. It's not that they are bad lyrics, but they definitely lack the whimsy and the soulfulness of the original. And as we learned from the movie Music & Lyrics:

A melody is like seeing someone for the first time. The physical attraction. But then, as you get to know the person, that's the lyrics. Their story. Who they are underneath. It's the combination of the two that makes it magical.

Lyrics aside, I have to admit that some of the melodies are completely captivating and beautiful and definitely reminiscent of the soaring original score. The cast is fantastic and I definitely have some of the songs still ringing in my ears. As with any new musical the more time you give and familiarity you gain with the music, the more you can enjoy it, and this show is still new to me and I am working on forgiving it for daring to infringe on the original that I know and love so well.

The Story: The show is very much like Les Miserables in the sense that almost everything is in song and not much is regular talking, so you can piece together the entire plot by listening to the CD. I admit that when first started listening to it I was already feeling resentful that they had the effrontery to even attempt this, and I had myself braced to despise it. I won't give away any of the plot, but I will say that they were definitely creative in the storyline. At first I was a little irritated with some character personality changes and situations that I felt contradicted what we took from Phantom, but as I reflect they didn't actually do anything that changes what happened in the first, it just gives us a different perspective. Like Wicked with The Wizard of Oz. It doesn't change the story that we all know, it just provides a different point of view. There are some lovely role reversals that parallel the original and it retains the darkness and the bittersweet feeling that I love about Phantom. I even think that the ending was completely fitting. I'm just still not sure that we needed a new ending.

So all in all... I am torn. Part of me really appreciates the inventive plot and the beautiful music and the daring it took to even attempt a stage sequel, but part of me feels like its a betrayal and I just want to blast the Phantom CD and pretend this new one never happened. Maybe it will grow on me more, as music tends to do with time. I just feel like it kills some of the magic by even existing. If I wasn't so fiercely attached to the original that I have been listening to since I was four and know backwards and forwards, I think its possible that I would really like this new one, but I would never love it, either way. I'll let you judge for yourself. I would however, definitely suggest you avoid it if you haven't heard/seen the original. Phantom must come first.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Ode to Stephen Sondheim

So Stephen Sondheim turned 80 this week. Who is Stephen Sondheim, you may ask? Only a lyrical genius. Even if you don't know the name, you are sure to have heard of at least one or two of the stage musicals he was either the mastermind behind or at least the lyricist for:

West Side Story
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Anyone Can Whistle
A Little Night Music
Pacific Overtures
Sweeney Todd
Sunday in the Park with George
Into the Woods

Now these aren't all of the shows he has been involved in, just the most well known. Now I love musicals of every shape and size, but the genius of Sondheim is the depth and the oddity and that he chooses themes that you wouldn't normally think of for a stage musical. He is the Tim Burton of the theatre world, in my opinion, which makes it all the more fitting that it was Burton himself who directed Sweeney Todd for the big screen. Not that all of his shows are as over the top as crazy as Burton movies can be, he is just so unique and he has a way of finding the good and bad in a situation and in an individual, showing that the world is not just black and white.

For instance:

Sweeney Todd- Sondheim wanted to see if it was possible to truly shock an audience with horror in a live production. The character of Todd is completely violent and insane, and though he has his reasons it is no excuse for the horrors he commits... and yet, you feel for him. Later there were other plays of murder and mayhem, (Phantom of the Opera, Little Shop of Horrors...) but Todd was the first.

Into the Woods- the first half of the show combines well known fairy tales, with the endings we know (Jack & the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood...) Then in the second half it shows what happens after happily-ever-after and its not all a 'fairy tale.' Many tales, particularly stage musicals, end with the into-the-sunset moment but Sondheim wanted to explore what happens beyond that. Not in a, theres-no-such-thing-as-happily-ever-after kind of way, just in a 'happily ever after' might not be what you expect. Life isn't all a dream and people make mistakes but you do your best to find a way to be happy even when things don't go as planned.

Assassins- This is a show that is literally about assassins. More specifically, about the people who either attempted or were successful in assassinating presidents of the United States over the years. Now who would sit down and think that this would make a good idea for a stage musical? Only Sondheim. It is told by a narrator who moves us across the different stories. The most beautiful song in the show is a duet called 'Unworthy of Your Love' sung by two characters, not to each other, but for their respective love interests. One is John Hinckley who was obsessed with the actress Jodie Foster and attempted to kill Ronald Reagan to gain her attention, and in his twisted mind, her affection. The second is Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme who was one of Charles Mason's women and attempted to kill Gerald Ford. They are completely off their rockers, yet Sondheim finds a way to show that, at least from their perspective, their actions were for love.

Okay, so I just described the darkest of the Sondheim shows to show his bravery and creativity, but not all of the shows are so elaborate or so morbid, though even the ones that are slightly more traditional romantic musical stories (Anyone Can Whistle, A Little Night Music...) have a certain bittersweet quality to them. Also, many of his shows are very funny. For all of the broken fairy tale stories of Into the Woods, there is just as much humor. Just listen to the duet of the two Prince Charming's called 'Agony.' Sondheim just has a way of breaking through the sentimental fluff that the musical can often fall victim too, and explores the deeper layers of the human soul. It's amazing what he has been able to portray from the confines of a stage. He leaves you not only humming the tunes, but also contemplating humanity.

If they ever made a musical of LOST, Sondheim would be the man for the job ;)

So here's to you on your 80th year, Mr. Sondheim. What a life. What a melody.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another 'Glee' Sneak Peek!

Here is another new Glee promo! I just can't resist. Lea Michelle sounding fabulous as usual singing Like a Prayer from their upcoming Madonna-themes episode where they will apparently be singing a total of ten Madge songs. Yay. A lot.

LOST S6: E9- 'Ab Aeterno'

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and LOST
Than never to have loved at all.

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

the title of this episode, Ab Aeterno, is a Latin phrase meaning (Thank you Wiki):

Literally, 'from the everlasting' or 'from eternity'. Thus, 'from time immemorial', 'since the beginning of time' or 'from an infinitely remote time in the past'. In theology, often indicates something, such as the universe, that was created outside of time.

Is this referring to Pretty Eyes and his immortal state or to the further knowledge we gained of how epic and timeless the island mythology is becoming? Either way, its fitting.

Wow, so, Richard. He was looking very Last of the Mohicans when we first saw his racing through the Canary Islands on horseback in 1867. Also, though I think most of us were 98% sure already, it was nice to get it officially verified that he did in fact come to the island via the Black Rock ship. Also a nice little touch to know how the Tawaret statue was broken. Interesting that his immortality is because he requested it. also interesting that his reasons were because it would be better to live forever than to go to Hell for his sins since he Jacob couldn't give Isabella back or absolve him of his sins. It was a very touching moment when Isabella, via Hurley, revived Richard's faith in not only making him understand that those we love are always with us, but also making Jacob's prophesy to Ilana true in making him the one who knows what they have to do. they have to keep MIB (Man in Black) from leaving the island or they will all be in Hell. What?! I think they are being lose with all of the tossing around of the term 'Hell.' I don't think in this case they mean literally Hell, just that if MIB is lose it will be like Hell. I literally caught my breath for a moment when they cut to the LockeNess Monster watching them. Oooh, shivers. Was he on his way to get Richard but Isabella/Hurley intervened in time? Now he knows that they will be trying to stop him, so he will be getting desperate and probably more violent if needs be.

Is the island really some kind of Hell and they are dead? No, I don't think that at all. All of this Devil and Hell talk is really just MIB's perspective. To him its Hell because he is trapped and Jacob is the Devil because he opposes him. (And also perhaps a little shout out from the writers to the audience because one of the very first prominent theories was that the island was Purgatory but the writers always denied it) MIB told Richard, 'The Devil betrayed me. He took my body. My humanity.' To be betrayed suggests to me that there had to be trust or friendship there at one point. If a random person is sent to guard you, you don't feel betrayed by them. Are they related or were they friends or is he simply referring to perhaps a trick Jacob played on him to keep him there?

When Richard was having the conversation with Jacob and asking for his wife back and then for his sins to be absolved I kept thinking of Genie in Aladdin, "I can't bring people back from the dead. It's not a pretty picture, I don't like doing it!" Of course, other than the Disney version, genies, or djinns, are often viewed in a negative light, contained because they abused their free will, so in this scenario perhaps its MIB who is the genie. I also liked how he said, referring to his home in the statue, 'No one comes in unless I invite them in.' Not only did it make me think of the scripture Matthew 7:7, but it also solidified the reasoning that Jacob knew what was coming and allowed himself to be killed.

This episode definitely brought out some more of the Christian parallels of MIB as a Devil and Jacob as a good God. MIB, not caring who he has to manipulate or murder to achieve his selfish ends, and Jacob, forever having faith that mankind is innately good and wanting them to understand their worth for themselves without his intervening. Even his talking in analogies- the wine bottle explanation was fantastic. I also really like Jacob's Tough Love approach- showing that he can get frustrated like anyone else and practically drowning Richard to make his point. Jacob's explanation of MIB being trapped to prevent his 'darkness' from spreading into the world also brought me back to a Greek example that I touched on a few weeks ago- the ancient war with the Gods where Zeus cast his wicked, Titan father Kronos into the demon prison Tartarus. It's a place in the Underworld even lower than Hades. That could justify the fact that they really are sort of in 'Hell,' though they are still alive as they weren't sent there for sinning and then dying, but as guardians. Also, Titans are often depicted as monster forms as opposed to human- Smokey?

I think that a lot of people are really wanting to know specifically who and what Jacob and MIB are. Christian figures? Egyptian? Greek? Islamic? I don't think that necessarily matters. Mythology of every kind runs into each other to a degree because the themes of 'good vs evil' and 'for the greater good' and 'fate/destiny' are universal. We respond to what is familiar to us. It is their own LOST mythology that parallels stories we know so that we understand, but doesn't have to actually BE one of the stories that we know. As much as we have been frustrated with wanting answers, let's be honest- if Season 1 and 2 had thrown all of the information at us that we are now getting, would he get it? We are just like Jack and the other Losties and have had to go through this long journey for all of this final, important information to mean something.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beware 'Snake Lake'

Ever seen one of SyFy's original movies with the ridiculous plots and graphics? Well here is a parody of one, called Snake Lake. Ha! It pretty much hits the nail on the head. Why do I love a good over-the-top gorefest so? Why am I so morbid?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LOST S6: E8- 'Recon'

Just because I'm losing doesn't mean I'm LOST;
Doesn't mean I'll stop, doesn't mean I will cross.
Just because I'm hurting, doesn't mean I'm hurt;
Doesn't mean I didn't get what I deserve.
No better and no worse, I just got LOST.


Flash-Sideways: Sawyer's a cop and his partner is Miles? Sweet. When Miles jokingly asked Sawyer if he wants to die alone, other than the appreciation of the wording since "live together, die alone" has been prominent in LOST, I was screaming in my head, 'of course he doesn't! He just hasn't met Juliet in this reality yet!!' Charlotte, you hussy! You look lovely though, and I can hardly blame you, it's Sawyer after all. Welcome back. I found her character more likable in this episode than I ever did on the island. Maybe she just isn't great under pressure or maybe its because as adorable as Daniel was I always thought she and him didn't make sense. She also had my favorite line of the night: "Yes. I'm exactly like Indiana Jones." Saucy.

It was interesting what he told Charlotte about coming at a crossroads in his life and choosing to become a cop over becoming a criminal. Is there some big choice like that in all of our Losties Flash-Sideways realities that made their life go a different direction? (Sayid pushing Nadia towards her brother, Jack ending up having a son...) I think the sense of closure in this Flash was not finding his namesake so that he could kill him, but rather finally opening up to someone (Miles) about the whole thing. Finally allowing himself to rely on someone and not be alone. Trusting and getting close to others is something that Sawyer has struggled with the entire series. Other details of the Flash- Charlie's brother looking for him at the police station, watching Little House on the Prairie. using 'LeFluer' as the code word for the cops to come in at the beginning (the name he was going by with Dharma in the 70s).

The LockeNess Monster: Though he twists his phrasing and manipulates the truth, he doesn't seem to straight out lie. Can he literally not tell a straight out lie the way he can't straight out kill the Losties? After he stopped Claire from killing Kate and had words with her at the fire my thoughts were that he probably whispered to her something along the lines of, 'not yet,' because when he first sent her into the Temple he made her some promise and my best guess is still that the promise was she is the one who gets to kill Kate. I was really almost finding him charming and calming until his conversation with Kate on the beach: He is not a dead man. Crazy mother. Growing pains. Problems that could have been avoided... just like what is now happening with Claire. Oh, and there it is. LockeNess, trying to convince Kate that Aaron should not be raised by Claire. Charm gone. As crazy as Clairseau is acting, I've still got in the back of my mind what was drilled into us so fiercely at the beginning of the series: Aaron should be raised by Claire. Kate's no dummy.

To Be Claimed: This episode had me revisiting the question of exactly what it means to be Claimed. I don't mean the mechanics of it, like do you have to die first, but the outcome. I had been presuming that being Claimed somehow put an evilness in you or brought out the evil that was already inside you, but after this episode I feel like it more, how to put it... muddles a person's thought process and moral compass. Clairseau seemed truly wicked when she oddly held Kate's hand for a moment and gave her a look of death and it was no big surprise when the attack came. After, though, when she sobbed and hugged Kate, she really did seem sincere. Did letting out some of that rage allow Claire to find some, I suppose the perfect word would be, clarity? Not that I think Kate is in the clear now, as I still feel that Clairity could become Clairseau again at any moment, but it does bring me back to my ramblings of a few weeks ago and whether her Mother's Love for Aaron is enough to break through the spell she is under. Sayid was equally bewildering. Just before the attack, the way he said, 'Kate' when she sat down next to him was so robotic like he was trying to register her and what she was to him. When he told her he believed in LockeNess' plan he had a look on his face like he was trying to sort out what was happening, or having some kind of internal struggle and was just giving a default, programmed answer.

Charles Widmore/Hydra Island: Ummm, I admit I'm still a little confused about the pile of bodies, and who is this lady who looks like a poor man's Tina Fey? Seemed odd, somehow, that Sawyer and Widmore had never met before. They shook on Sawyer's proposition, which Sawyer then revealed to Widmore, but Widmore is no idiot. He isn't really just going to sit there assuming it will play out as Sawyer said. Also, I am trying to recall the conversation, but before Sun came back to the island and was all ice queen without Jin, she approached Widmore and they came to some kind of an understanding because they both wanted the same thing, which was to get back to the island. Could it be that Widmore was tracking Sun somehow and that is how he found the island? Are they in cahoots? Well, those details aside, they are on the same team now, all against Lockeness, and Ben is on that team as well, so it looks as though Charles and Ben will have to find some kind of peace with each other.

Kate/Sawyer: Together again in both realities. I admit, it was nice to see. I don't mean in an I-want-them-to-end-up-together sort of way, I mean in the same way that it was nice to see some of the gang get together on the beach at the end of last week's episode. Sawyer and Kate have always had a great connection and trust and understanding and I truly believe that they will always have each others back and in the current circumstance they are in, that is kind of a big deal. It was especially nice to see since Kate went through a bit of an emotional wringer this episode. I loved how the entire time Sawyer was playing both sides and then he just sits down with Kate and tells her the truth without blinking an eye. I love their history and their friendship. They are both such survivors. It will be interesting to see how things play out with them in the Sideways world.

Other LOST Thoughts, Not Necessarily About This Episode:

I know in the Flash-Sideways sequences we have seen, all of our characters really are the same personalities with the same strengths and weaknesses, just with different life circumstances. I feel like thus far all of the flash-sideways stories have paralleled the Island characters and given them some redemption or closure for things that they didn't get redemption and closure for in the island reality. (Locke realizing that his life doesn't have to be wasted just because he is a cripple, Jack realizing that he doesn't have to turn into his father, Ben making the right choices regarding Alex and his father...) The only one that threw me off was the Sayid episode a couple of weeks ago since he ends up being a killer in both realities. Then I realized that him becoming a killer maybe IS the closure. In both realities he struggled feeling like he was undeserving and needed to be good because of his terrible past, but in the end even Nadia asking him not to didn't stop him from violence. I thought his closure would be about Nadia, and though it does revolve around her, I think it is really Sayid coming to grips with the fact that this violent person really is who he is. but maybe for him the thing he realizes is that really is who he is, sad as it is to say it.

I am viewing the Flash-Sideways of this season much like the Flash-Backs we had in the first couple of seasons. Starting out focused on individual characters with small cameos by the others, then gradually the stories will become more and more intertwined. This makes more confident that we WILL discover the identity of Jack's baby mama and that it will be someone that we already know. Because of David's blue eyes and the age appropriateness, my best guess right now is that it will either be Juliette or Libby. Juliette would make sense because she is a nurse and there was the flirtation with Jack before he left the island and she fell for Sawyer. (Though I still hope that her dying ramblings about getting coffee and going dutch were a conversation with Sawyer). Libby was a psychologist so they could have crossed paths medically, so she is my second guess. (How fun would Hurley be as a step-dad, haha, we still need some Hurley/Libby closure).

Thoughts on Candidacy: Are they going TOO much with the whole, Jack is the front-runner? I feel like they are very much portraying him as the obvious choice, which makes me automatically suspect that it will turn out to be someone else. Someone like Ben? If last weeks episode can be trusted and Ben really has seen the light, then maybe it really could end up with him in charge, but finally the person Jacob needed him to be. Though we have learned that the numbers are associated with our Losties and they are potential candidates to replace Jacob, I still think its not just about their individual potential. Their lives have been crossing in every reality and I think it has taken all of them, and the right chemistry and all of this experience to get whoever will be the chosen candidate into the person and place they need to be. Also, there is a lot of back and forth about 'Kwon'- it was only written once, so is it Sun or Jin? Seems that Jin is the likeliest since all of the other Candidates are male and Kate is still a bit of a wild card with the 'Austen' on the wheel being associated with an unknown number, 51. Could it be both the Kwon's? It seems that when Jacob went to their wedding he touched them both, so for them could it be a package deal? Or, could it have to do with their child? Though, (and I didn't catch this when I watched, but I read it in a comment someone made) apparently in the premiere when they get to LAX and Sun and Jin are detained, Security referred to them as Mr. Kwon and Ms. Paik, Sun's maiden name. Was this a reminder to us by the writers that Sun was not originally a Kwon? If Jacob has been watching them all from the time they were children then the 'Know' must refer to Jin.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mom. (Major Cheese Alert)

Today is my Mother's birthday. Mom is like Joe from Little Women - give her any task to do and she will put her whole heart into it and and will finish it quicker and better than you could have ever hoped for. She is seriously amazing at whatever she decides to do.

A few years ago my Dad had each of us kids write a little something about how much Mom means to us, and here is the super corny sonnet I wrote her. I do not profess any great bardic skills, though in my supreme moments of whimsy I have been known to wax poetic, and the sonnet style is my preferred victim of choice. Feel at liberty to mock away- I can take it ;)

So many things a Mother ought to be:
Supportive, patient, generous and sweet.
Strong roots She forms to grow a healthy tree,
Vast branches to provide a safe retreat.
Through your bright presence, I have witnessed each
Of these great gifts, though you may shake your head.
My place in Heaven would be within reach,
If I could better follow where you’ve led.
So blessed, I feel, to have you in my life;
You are so loving, virtuous and kind.
I know you’re there, through any form of strife;
A truer friend and guide I’ll never find.
With perfect faith that we met up above,
I have no thoughts for you but thoughts of love.

Mom, you really are amazing and I cannot wait for you guys to come home this summer so that we can play, play, play! Love you! Give Hunter (and the Pres, for that matter) a swift kick in the bum for me if they don't appreciate you today! Also, one last thing, in case you aren't embarrassed enough yet- I figure it's still three months until you guys get home, so that is enough time to forgive me. Hey! I posted my cheesy poem, so its you and me both, lady ;) Here are a couple, though sadly not high quality, song recording of Mom playing the lead in South Pacific- this was a community theater show while she was in California before she met my Dad (they were married in November of '79), so I guess this was somewhere in the 1978 to 1979 range ;) Didn't I say she was amazing?

I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair

Honey Bun

Not only did my Mother provide me with an appreciation of music and theater, but also of reading. (We enjoy so many of the same genres and authors and it will be a lot cheaper to book swap when you get home and I don't have to keep mailing things to Africa with the hopes that I will see them again!) Mom loves mysteries and has quite the collection to prove it, and what is a mystery collection without the brilliant Agatha Christie? I remember a lot of the Agatha series' were turned into TV shows and we would watch them all on Masterpiece Theater. Just watching this intro makes me sentimental and happy (images by the hilariously morbid (and appropriately named) artist, Edward Gorey):

So Mom, here's to the memories we've made and the future memories we've yet to make, but mostly here's to you. I really do love you. Happy birthday.

Friday, March 12, 2010

'Eclipse' Trailer

Here is the trailer for the 3rd movie in the Twilight series, Eclipse. I enjoyed the books, and I haven't hated the movies like a lot of people (maybe because I just liked the books and wasn't obsessed with them). I think the books and the movies have both been entertaining, and though I'm not absolutely dying to see this, I of course will. In this one the part of the villain 'Victoria' is now played by Bryce Dallas Howard. As much as its awkward to see a character you have known as one actor change ('Rachel' in the Dark Knight, anyone?) I think Bryce is so phenomenal and I am excited to see what she does with the part :

Release Date: June 30, 2010

'Tron Legacy' Trailer

There is finally a full trailer up for the sequel to the 1982 Disney Sci-Fi classic Tron, this one called, Tron Legacy. If you watch the original now, though the idea/story is great, the Graphics look pretty cheesy. I can't wait to see how this new one will looks with what Graphics have become today. From the preview below, 'pretty sweet' is what its looking like:

Release Date: December 17, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

LOST S6: E7- 'Dr. Linus'

All the treasures of the earth cannot bring back one LOST moment.

-French Proverb

Flash-Sideways Ben: Once more we see the redemption process happening in the flash-sideways reality. For Ben it is not only making the right choice for Alex this time around but also possibly caring for his Dad (instead of killing him). It was very interesting to discover that they HAD in fact gone to the island with Dharma but in this reality they didn't stay there. Why? From the way he talked it doesn't seem that they are aware that the island is now under water as we saw in the premiere. (PS, I was really bummed we didn't get to see Mama Rousseau. poor thing, working two jobs and all).

Island Ben: "Right up until the knife went through his heart he was hoping he was wrong about you." Ooh, harsh words to hear from Miles via Jacob's ashes. Doesn't mean Jacob didn't know he needed to die though, just means he still held out hope that Ben was a better man than that. Beautiful acting and wonderful scene with Ben and Ilana. For all of the slippery lies and manipulation that have come out of that man's mouth, I really did believe his sincerity. That doesn't mean he is going to stay sincere and trustworthy throughout the remainder of the season, but I think it must mean something that at his emotional rock bottom he picked the right team. I think that shows that he truly does care for the island and still has faith in what he grew up knowing since he chose to stay with Ilana instead of taking the offer of the silver-tongued LockeNess Monster, who likes to propose peoples wildest dreams to get them on his side. Has Ben finally learned that nothing comes that easy? (PS, so LockeNess is headed over to the Hydra Station with his crowd, hmmm)

Richard= Man of Lost Faith: Poor Richard, pulling a Doubting Thomas. Just because you don't know the whole plan doesn't mean that what is happening right now isn't part of the plan. I can understand that you are feeling somewhat betrayed but after all of these years as the right hand of Jacob and all the things you have seen, you decide to lose your faith? Interesting that he cannot kill himself but can be physically killed. It has also been interesting to watch Richard be frazzled this season. The past seasons he has seemed so in-the-know, but now he is seeming like a lost lamb. (Biblical pun intended with the whole lamb thing ;) Also adds more fuel to the fire of the whole Jacob as a Christ/Aslan figure with not telling the whole Plan because choices need to be made and things need to play out and believing without seeing is necessary.

Jack= Man of Found Faith: Jack. Buddy. Thank you for finally starting to comprehend your own worth. Way to believe Fate, or what you will, has a purpose for you. Also, way to keep yourself in the lead as the front-runner Candidate. Having Richard start following you around and blindly following your judgement is a good start to being the new Jacob. All of our Losties who have been 'touched' by Jacob have been given a gift (or a curse?) I'm not ready to jump to the conclusion that the gift necessarily means not aging or immortality just because that seems to be the case for Richard. Maybe the gift is different for everyone. Maybe Jacob's touch instills the possibility of a gift but you have to understand and claim/accept it for yourself before it can have an effect. Like Bastian in the end of The Neverending Story. He had to be taken through this whole long journey of heartache with these characters so that he would know and understand because if he had just been flat out told in the beginning that it was up to him to save this unreal place he wouldn't have believed or cared enough. It had to become his story too.

Ilana: 'Jacob was the closest thing I ever had to a father.' Interesting. How well does she know Jacob? We only had that one flash of her where she is all bandaged up and Jacob comes and asks if he will help her and she agrees. They obviously had a history before that. For how long? Is she very old like Richard? Does she know more than Richard? Jacob obviously trusts her since she is aware of the names and the Candidacy. How is it that no one is wondering if Jacob didn't let himself die as part of his Plan? I mean, Ilana knows about the Candidacy, so what did she think, that Jacob was going to find his replacement and then retire to the Bahamas? Maybe she did know. You could still be hurt and angry about losing someone you love even if you knew it had to be. As the character Penelope says in one of my favorite quirky movies, The Brothers Bloom, "I feel like I want to know more about her."

Charles Widmore: So here comes Widmore in a submarine. Is he good now? Is he who Jacob meant when he told Hurley someone was coming to the island? Since he is coming from off the island, could it be possible that this particular Widmore is of the Flash-Sideways reality? Probably not since the Flash-sideways island is apparently under water and we don't exactly know how these two realities are separated (Space? Time?) If I recall, the last we saw of Widmore he did seem sincerely penitent talking to Desmond because he missed Penny. Also, like Ben, though he can be ruthless and ambitious, I think Charles really does care for the island and wants to protect it. He would be a powerful ally. (Also, I automatically want to trust people named Charles. Maybe because that was the first name of Professor X. Also my Grandpa ;)

As a side note, I have to say it was really nice to see some of the gang getting all back together on the beach at the end! The 'Good Guys' team. I don't know if there is a lot of hope left for Island-Sayid and Island-Claire at this point, but please get Kate, Sawyer and Jin back with you!!

Hurley: "Cheese curds."

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Alice in Wonderland" Movie Review

So I went to Alice and Wonderland last weekend with my BFF Kirst (Mom, remind me what BFF stands for? I forget. Te he, inside joke ;) As some of you may know from a blog of mine several months ago, I had been looking forward to this movie for a while.

Before I went I had been reading some not-so-friendly reviews, so I had taken my expectations down a notch (Reading reviews can be good or bad. In this case it was good, but in some cases, like for me, with Avatar, it can be bad. I truly did like Avatar, but I didn't believe it to be the masterpiece that all of the hype had me expecting it to be). So with the reviews and just knowing that it would be Tim Burton insanity, I went into it very braced for over-the-top craziness. Other than a couple of silly bits at the end that I could have done without, I liked it. Didn't love it, but really quite liked it.

It was colorful and magical and though at first I questioned the choice of the Alice actress, I adored her by the end. (Mia Wasikowska- genius at accents- I completely thought she was actually Polish because of a movie I saw her in, she is British in Alice, but she is actually Australian. Gotta love those Aussies.) I think her normalcy was a necessary contrast to the other outrageous characters. The show was completely stolen by the fabulous feels-like-they-actually-become-the-character acting styles of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter though. I always adore the quirky and the whimsical and this story definitely delivered both. It also had some sweet messages and had some moments of nonsense that are at the same time moments of insightful clarity, reminiscent of Big Fish. This is the glory that is Tim Burton- he finds the beauty in the bizarre.

These last few days, in hindsight, I have found myself thinking of very funny lines and beautiful colorful scenes and realized that I like the movie even more than I originally thought. I mentioned that to Kirsten and she has been feeling the same way. There is just so much going on in the movie that I think it is, at times, too overwhelming for its own good, and you miss some of the sweetness and magic and subtle brilliance because it becomes a bit of a blur. I would like to go to it again and I think I would be able to catch more of the witty humor, the clever and thoughtful dialogue and the lovely themes about cultivating the imagination and of having faith in yourself. There is a quote from the Lewis Carol book itself that reflects this a bit-

'Everything has a moral, if only you can find it.'

So, even though it didn't absolutely blow me away the first time I saw it, in my book it is definitely the mark of a good movie that it has me thinking and smiling about the wonder of it all several days later. So, if you like fantasy and fairy tales, quirky out-of-this-world characters, off the wall hilarity, or have ever just wished that you yourself might escape reality and stumble down a rabbit hole into a world of adventure... you will like this movie. I'll go with you.

'Have I gone mad?'
'I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret: all the best people are.'

LXD @ The Oscars!

So Adam Shankman, one of the judges of my beloved So You Think You Can Dance, was one of the producers the the Academy Awards that aired last night. for the presentation of the Best Score category in which they always play a clip of each nominee, this year they had a dance medley to go along with the music. The dancers included several SYTYCD alum, (Kathryn and Jakob from last season, Kayla from the season before... also Harry Shum (who plays 'Other Asian' on Glee and has been a longtime member of LXD) was involved in the choreography) It felt a little off to be a part of the swanky, black-tie Oscars, but it was an enjoyable performance to watch, none-the-less. I especially like the choreography for Up. ('LXD' stands for, League of Extraordinary Dancers ;)

Friday, March 5, 2010

LOST in a Flash: Top 10 from 'Sundown'

Whitney Matheson who writes the Pop Candy column on the USA Today has a LOST discussion thread after each new episode and each Friday she posts the ten most intriguing comments. I seriously cannot believe some of the little Easter Eggs people catch. Here are the ones for the 3/5/10 episode, Sundown. (Click the title to link to the article.)

*Check it out, I have been reading this for like the last three years of LOST-watching and this is the first time I ever commented and I made it to the Top 10 comments! Sa-weet!

1. froglegggz: The flash sideways are showing us what happens if they "take the deal" from Flocke/Jacob.Dogens deal w/jacob was that he would take his new job... keepin the temple safe... and he would be rewarded with his son never having died... his sacrifice would be that he was never allowed to see him/leave... So i think it was very clear tonight that we saw Sayid after he took Flocke's deal... Nadia would be alive...and his sacrifice was HE COULD NEVER BE WITH HER!

2. CA Steeler: The hieroglyph tile on the wall in the temple hallway that Ilana pushes to open the secret passage is a Shen ring. The Shen ring is an ancient Egyptian symbol of eternity and protection. In ancient Egypt, the Shen Ring also represents dual concepts of time; the cyclic line of periodicity and lineal time.

3. amypro: Dogen's deal with Jacob to save his son's life was very similar to the deal that Juliet made with Bento save her sister's life. Interesting cause Ben never really spoke to Jacob yet it seems like he was acting on Jacob's behalf.

4. Bryan: Why didn't Jack and Sayid recognize each other at the hospital? They both had played a part in getting Charlie out of the bathroom in sideways 815. Is this supposed to mean something or did this Sayid sideways story happen before the flight?

5. QuarterRoy00: I think the big takeaway from this episode is that Jack's jeep (seen last week) and the van in Nadia's driveway both have the same California license plate(2SAQ321). This can only mean that Nadia and Jack are having an affair.

6. monkeyringleader: With all the Flocke is offering the 815ers, Claire - Aaron, Sayid - Nadia, Sawyer - life elsewhere; it seems to me that the Flash-Sideways Timeline somehow belongs to Flocke. He hates everything that's on the island, and it destroyed seems to be his ultimate goal.And in the FSL, so far, those he's tried to tempt have it a little better, Claire has Aaron and the adoptive parents aren't taking him, Nadia is alvie, Sawyer seems to be OK, and even Kate is in good with Claire and Aaron. What if what Flocke's offering all of them is this other Timeline we're watching? Jacob's Timeline = the one we've watched for five years, MIB's Timeline = The Flash-Sideways Line.

7. zmc: I think the only reason Kate walked out of the temple alive was because Claire made Flocke promise her (right before she walked into the temple) that she would be allowed to kill the person who was raising Aaron.Everyone else in the temple was dead except for Sayid and Claire (and those hidden behind the stone wall, which I am assuming the smoke monster couldn't get through). Sayid and Claire have reached an "agreement" with Flocke and Kate never met Flocke until last night...why should she be spared? I shouldn't think it very hard for the smoke monster to just reach down in that hole and grab her if he really wanted to.

8. Sister Carrie: Dogen would not kill Sayid with poison but tried to get Jack to administer the medicine.

Dogen would not kill the MIB but tried to get Sayid to stab him in the chest.

Dogen had a chance to kill Sayid but a glimpse of the baseball stopped his hand.

Is that part of the bargain: His son only lives if he refuses to take another life? Since he was the cause of his son's death, perhaps the bargain is reversed or invalidated if he chooses to take another life. As long as he lives and lets live (and performs his "new job"), his son lives.

I think that is why Flocke gave Kate the sideways glance when she walked out of the temple.

9. okgirl_ok: Wait, wait, wait.

I'm trying to figure this logic train out.

There's an epic, age-old struggle going on, tied to the island, and perhaps to the world off it as well.
MIB has been "trapped" and wants to leave the island
Jacob, we're not sure exactly what he wants. To protect the island? To save the Losties from some fate? To pis MIB offi? Either way, he can and does leave the island. And brings people to it. And comes and goes freely, until he's killed via some wackadoo loophole.
Now Jacob is dead, and for some reason, MIB isn't trapped anymore and tells people they can leave?

That doesn't make sense, so whatever, but regardless, this all points to one HUGE conclusion we've been leaving out completely:


Because all that drama doesn't just stir itself up on its own for hundreds of years. Somebody else has some rules these boys have been playing by.

So, who's the man behind the curtain?

10. Haylscat: I have been reading this for a couple of seasons now and have never commented before, and I apologize if I am repeating what someone has already said (there are so many comments!) but I loved the depth of so many religious/mythological parallels in this episode. Other than the obvious LockeNess Monster/Jacob = Satan/Christ (especially with this new definition of LockeNess as evil incarnate), there was more Egyptian symbolism that jumped out at me.

When Dogen was explaining to Sayid about the machine that determines if a person is more good or evil, it made me think of the Egyptian 'Weighing of the Heart' in which a deceased person's heart is weighed on a balance against a feather to determine if their deeds in mortal life were good enough to let them move on in the Afterlife.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

LOST S6: E6- 'Sundown'

We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so forlornly unhappy as when we have LOST our love object or its love.

-Sigmund Freud

Flash-Sideways: Sayid visiting his bro who is married to Nadia because Sayid pushed her that direction because he didn't feel worthy of her. You DO deserve her Sayid, you do! Once again in this scenario there are elements of 1) redemption (for Sayid, working twelve years to be a better man and pay for his past and finally have a deserving shot with Nadia), 2) Seeing character from the island pop up, 'Others' or otherwise (creeper soldier guy who killed Alex. Not surprised that he is still a villainous type in any reality. Also, I suddenly would really love to see Rousseau and Alex show up in a flash-sideways acting as a normal and functional mother and daughter in this timeline) and 3) More connections showing up in the lives of our Losties in this reality. Sayid's brother ending up at Jack's hospital and then finding Jin tied up. (Can we please have a Kwon episode next week!? So that we can find out what happened between Jin being detained by Security at the airport and ending up tied to a chair in a kitchen closet and so we can see a happy reunion for Sun and Jin? Other than the brief unhappiness at LAX in the flash-sideways, we haven't seen Sun and Jin together for like a season and a half!)

The Island: So Dogen, who I lovingly prefer to call the Samurai, tells Sayid that the machine they used on him was sort of a scale to see if there was more good or evil in him. This automatically made me think of the Egyptian weighing of the heart in which a deceased person's heart is weighed on a balance against a feather to determine if their deeds in mortal life were good enough to let them move on in the Afterlife. This is definitely not the first time we have seen an Egyptian (or any religious/mythological) parallel. When the baseball dropped from the table causing Samurai to release Sayid (ummm, oh my awesome fight scene, by the way), was it just chance but jolted his memory of his son or was it Jacob's doing because he wanted Sayid spared? Perhaps, 'Claimed' or not, all our Losties need to be alive for things to come to pass as they are meant to. We know that LockeNess can't kill them, so it seems that he and Jacob both need them alive. Though it may only be Jacob who wants them alive.

What is the importance of the knife given to Sayid to kill LocheNess? Is it a special, sanctified sacrificial blade? Samurai knew that it wouldn't actually kill LockeNess, so what was the point of taking a fancy blade out of a hidden box and presenting it to Sayid in that way?

When LockeNess asked Sayid what if he could have whatever he wanted and Sayid said the only thing he ever wanted died in my arms and my heart broke a little. LockeNess is wily and doesn't really straight out give facts, he always says things like, "what if I told you..." which makes him seem more and more like a parallel of the Devil, particularly since Samurai described him as "evil incarnate." Does that make Jacob Christ (giving his children opportunities to repent and find redemption and letting them make their mistakes and figure it out in their own time instead of just commanding them what to do?) What would that make Richard Alpert, who is the right hand of Jacob and doesn't age? John the Beloved?

I'm getting off track, surprise, surprise. Back to LockeNess and his manipulative phrasing, when he was making his (possibly empty) promises that Sayid could still have the one thing he wants if he sticks with him and leaves the island my thought was, how? If they leave the island with LockeNess will they meld into their flash-sideways existence somehow? It seems like they will have to come together at some point- will they have to choose one life or the other?

The message: Jacob is dead and you are free of the Temple and you can leave the island if you join him. If you do NOT join him, at sundown you die. It is really hard to tell with him what is a bluff and what is truth. Obviously he truly is dangerous and murderous. Did he choose sundown just because he has been trapped so long that he is in a hurry to be free or because with this loophole he discovered in killing Jacob he literally has a small window that he can escape before becoming tied to the island again? Is his hurry a race against Jacob naming a replacement? The front-runner for that position appears to be Jack at this point, if he would only have faith in himself. once again, I see Jacob's method of free will coming into play here. I think he needs his chosen Candidate to freely choose and accept the position and understand what it means.

Interesting that it was Dogen himself that was the protection against LockeNess being able to enter the Temple grounds. He said that Jacob basically offered him this job on the island to save his sons life, though he would never be able see him again. You are right Sayid, Jacob drives a hard bargain, but I don't think it is because he is intentionally being cruel, I think there are simply rules. Also, in Dogen's situation, his son's injury being his own fault, I am thinking the decision to take Jacob's offer was an easy one. there are always consequences for actions. I remember near at the end of last season when we saw Jacob touching our Losties, I had a tinge of bitterness towards him, feeling like he let Nadia get hit by the car to get what he wants. Now, though, I think that fits into the Christ parallel. How often do people blame God for bad things that happen? I now think that he simply knew that Nadia's death was going to happen, but it isn't in his 'Plan' to intervene in things like that.

I guess Samurai verified once and for all that LockeNess has in fact been the one appearing as everyone's loved ones. When he told Sayid he would "appear as someone you know who has died," I thought he would appear as Nadia, but he just appeared as Locke. Ilana did say a couple of weeks ago that he has made his choice and now he is sort of stuck as Locke, so maybe we are seeing that now since we haven't seen him change his form except into Smokey. (Unless, heaven forbid, he is appearing to Hurley as Jacob, but I truly don't think that is the case). The only dead loved one that we have seen that I am not sure has been LockeNess is Christian Shephard because he has appeared so often, to more than just his children, and because I think it is possible that the number we saw representing 'Shephard' in the cave and on the wheel could be referring to Christian, not Jack. Perhaps Jack's number is the 108 that Hurley was supposed to turn the wheell to before Jack busted the mirror. Kate has a number that is different than the numbers we have known all this time, so why not Jack? Even though it is an ensemble show, I have always felt that Jack and Kate have been the MAIN main leads, (and Sawyer to a slightly lesser degree) and so I think it will really come down to them. Not in a romantic way, just in a, they are the key kind of way.

The LockeNess Monster attacks and its Frank and Ilana to the rescue! I honestly had this relieving rush of familiarity and trust when they came bursting in. It was even sort of nice to see Ben acting the part of good-doer rescuer, if even for the brief time that his do-gooder nature will probably last. Creepiest look ever on Sayid's face, to topple the reigning creepy looks we have gotten from LockeNess and Clairseau this season. Ben knows evil when he sees it.

Clairseau and Kate. Clairseau just humming and biding her time in the hole = chilling. I guess by her reaction to Kate's news that she did, in fact, believe Jin last week when he retracted his claim about Kate taking Aaron. While Kate was explaining things to her, I was hoping she would throw in something like, "Aaron is with your mother right now just waiting for you to come back to him." Is it too late to apply to be a dialogue writer for LOST. Sigh, probably. Perhaps this Claimed Clairseau is beyond being saved by the proper phrasing anyway. In my sentimental, raised on fairy tales heart, however, I like to think that any evil can be overcome by a parents love for their child.

So the two sides are officially forming, and whoops, Kate is sort of accidentally with the wrong group because she came back to the island to get Claire and doesn't want to leave her side. Will she come to make a bad decision based on good intentions? How much do good intentions count in LOST? If you have read Dante's Inferno, and I am trying to recall the specifics of this, but there is the story of two wicked brothers. One of them, as he is getting on in years, realizes that he better look out for his afterlife and starts acting the part of a good man, selfishly and insincerely, and still goes to Hell. the other brother, though wicked until his dying day, sheds one repentant tear for the Virgin Mary on his dying breath, and the angels swoop in and save him from the fate of Hell. It is true that actions typically speak louder than words, but how much does the heart count? I think, to Jacob, a lot. If not, people like Sayid Jarrah, James 'Sawyer' Ford and Kate Austen probably wouldn't be Candidates in the first place.

People we didn't see on the island this episode: Jin- I hope you are okay, buddy, and still just hanging out in Clairseau's shack. Jack and Hurley, are you guys still just being mopey at the Lighthouse or what? Sawyer, are you waiting for LockeNess at some rendezvous point?

Side Note: It was a super cool movie type of scene, but what was with the music playing when Sayid, Claire and Kate were walking out of the Temple through the rubble to meet up with LockeNess? There was an undertone of lyrics, but it wasn't discernible.

Best line, Miles, "Sawyer sent you packing, huh?" Best face, Kate, reacting to Miles.

PS, I liked the V commercial about LOST. Well played, ABC, well played.