There are some genuinely funny moments in this rather low-wattage comedy about a teddy bear that comes to life, and manifests himself as a foul-mouthed, weed-smoking, misogynistic companion to affable underachiever John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg). Inevitably, he also creates all kinds of trouble when Mark starts to get it on with Lori (Mila Kunis). Director Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the Family Guy animated TV series, does not seem completely at home on the big screen, and the loose string of gags in Ted would seem to be more suitable for the more casual viewing environment of the lounge room. The two human stars are both adequate, but MacFarlane, who also has a writer credit on the show, does not really give them a chance to use their talents.
French comedy made up of six shorts working round the topic of infidelity, The Players sports a strong cast, including recent Oscar winners Jean Dujardin and has Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, taking on directing duties on one segment. As with all compilations, the quality of this film is largely dictated by its weakest link, and there are a few sections that vie for this honor. The closing segment, with its over-elaborate staging and extensive on-screen nudity, stands out for its lack of imagination. Hazanavicius does some good work, bringing out new depth in Dujardin’s acting, but this is not enough to save this messy melange of a film.
Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker
The 16th feature film in the Detective Conan franchise. The story, as the title suggests, is set against a background of professional soccer, with the intrepid detective tasked to find a bomb hidden in a sports stadium. The films in this series are original stories and not adaptations of existing material for the original manga. Directed by Yasuichiro Yamamoto in his second film in this series, the presentation does not mess with the tried and tested style and format that has made Detective Conan one of the biggest manga exports from Japan.
A film based on a novel by bestselling author David Foenkinos, La Delicatesse, and starring Audrey Tautou, whose presence gives this release something of the feel of Priceless and Amelie. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t have much going for it other than Tautou’s personality, and though it is buoyant throughout, it is never willing to let loose on anything that might break the mold of harmless, inoffensive and generally bland romantic entertainment. There are some delightful moments, but the material joining it together is thin and shopworn, so that even its best moments are compromised by a sense of deja vu.
A Danish movie with its own grim sense of playful fun that does not shy away from a less than PC portrayal of women and a cheerful delight in presenting racial stereotypes. It has its tongue mostly in its cheek, and the story of sad-sack wine merchant chasing after his runaway wife, a hard nosed sports agent who is looking to marry her star client, a buff football sticker, has plenty of potential. A voiceover by an unseen Mikael Bertelsen provides an ironic commentary and insight into the thoughts of the characters, as the camera makes the most of Buenos Aires. There is plenty of romantic silliness, but somehow, director Ole Christian Madsen’s joy in his story keeps the whole thing afloat.
Steve Jobs Visionary Genius
This is a cinematic hagiography of Apple computer’s visionary leader. The film seems to go out of its way to see only the positive aspects of Steve Jobs and his accomplishments. It looks both at his private and public life, but frames the story as an epic struggle of a genius fighting against the constraints of mortality, foregoing any meaningful exploration of the nuts and bolts of his achievements as a marketing whiz kid or as one of the more extraordinary human beings of the 21st century.
Chen Wang-shi (陳罔市) doesn’t know where to go if she is forced to move. The 78-year-old Chen is an active “sea woman” (海女) in Taiwan’s easternmost fishing village of Makang (馬崗) in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). When the waves are calm, she ventures out to forage for algae, oysters and other edible marine morsels. She lives alone in the village, as her children have moved to the cities for work, returning for weekends and festivals. “I cannot get used to living in Taipei, and I feel very uncomfortable if I don’t go out to the ocean to forage. I
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
Your body is floating in a warm, blue bath, neither sinking nor rising. Sunlight shimmers on the white sand below as a sea turtle drifts by. You feel your heart beating slowly and a profound sense of calm floods your mind. The figures floating at the surface seem distant, as if from a different world. Down here, there is just you, your mind, your body, and the water. In this calm, timeless moment, you have glimpsed infinity... you are freediving. The next time you find yourself on Siaoliouciou (小琉球), or on Green Island (綠島), or at any number of popular snorkeling
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.