Having worked as second- and third-unit director on the Matrix trilogy and Dark City, Bruce Hunt is no stranger to inspired and
stylish productions. But whereas those films managed to inject new life into tired territory, The Cave, his first effort as director, fails to generate anything resembling innovation.
A group of ace cave-divers are flown in to investigate an intricate maze system discovered beneath the ruins of an ancient Romanian abbey. Without much explanation the gung-ho team -- and two scientists -- are lowered uncomfortably deep into the earth. It doesn't take long to learn that they are not alone, and are soon being preyed upon by what look like cheap creature rejects from the Alien films, except these demonlike mutations can fly and use sonar to see in the dark.
What is left of the plot amounts to guessing who will be killed off next out of the token Asian and African-American guys, the girl in the skimpy outfit, the sexy female scientist with an English accent and the testosterone-pumped combative brothers. Not that it matters much -- the characters are so colorless and underdeveloped that their deaths certainly won't be mourned.
As utterly formulaic as the film may be, the elements for an edge-of-the-seat crowd-pleaser are, in theory, all present: a closed-off environment ideal for creating no-one-can-hear-you-scream suspense; stimulating underwater and wall-climbing action; exotic settings, shot on location in Bucharest and the Yucatan; and bloodthirsty villains.
It's a shame, a travesty even, that the filmmakers seem to have forgotten that in order to keep viewers from contemplating the absurdity of what they are watching the action must move at a pace that doesn't allow for it. But not only is the film dreadfully dull -- every time something potentially exciting does occur -- the scenes are so muddled and chaotic that it is impossible to make out what is happening.
As the vaunted leader of the expedition, Cole Hauser attempts his best Vin Diesel impersonation but fails to deliver even at this rudimentary level.
The rest of the actors turn in performances right out of the casting room, as if they were reading the lines from the appallingly bad script for the very first time, embarrassed to
discover that it's all been done before. And will indeed be done again. Let's just hope it won't be in a Cave sequel, a possibility the film's ending distressingly leaves open.
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce
A widely criticized peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study,” was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting.” The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups.