For a movie premised on unrelenting action, Crank proves fatally turgid. The premise takes high concept to a new low. Chev Chelios (Jason Stratham), hit man extraordinaire, wakes up to learn he's been dosed with "the Beijing cocktail," a poison whose lethal effects can be fended off only by a constant surge of adrenaline. Thus, with utmost speed, in this retread of Speed, Chev rampages through Los Angeles seeking Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo), the rival who poisoned him, and the means of sustaining his neck-bulging buzz.
He chugs Red Bull, gobbles energy supplements, injects ephedrine, fondles a defibrillator, licks cocaine off a bathroom floor, snorts nasal decongestant by the bottle and rapes his girlfriend (Amy Smart, playing dumb) in the middle of Chinatown. Mostly, however, he's powered by rage, which he vents through explosions of violence and misanthropy.
The writing and directing team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor jack up the action with all manner of gore, gimmickry and hysterical camerawork, none of which is as vigorous as the equal-opportunity hatred they exhibit toward the denizens of Los Angeles, be they black, Latino, Asian, Muslim, gay, female or theater customers paying to see a decent action flick.
PHOTO COURTESY OF PANDASIA
That last demographic may feel most insulted of all when, in the climactic showdown, Verona holsters his gun to plunge another syringe of poison into Chev's neck — you know, the one that doesn't work — then turns his back to make a getaway. He may be one of the dumbest villains in movie history, but you've got to root for him. Dead, Chev puts everyone out of his misery.
CrankDirected by: Mark Neveldine and Brian TaylorStarring: Jason Statham (Chev Chelios), Amy Smart (Eve), Jose Pablo Cantillo (Verona), Efren Ramirez (Kaylo), Dwight Yoakam (Doc Miles), Carlos Sanz (Carlito), Jay Xcala (Alex), Keone Young (Don Kim)Running time: 83 minutesTaiwan release: Today
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.