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The Matrix Revolutions

The third and the last instalment of Matrix was released on November 5. Here's a review of the movie to decide whether you want to end that feeling of suspense.

Movie Mom's Review
Please someone, get me the blue pill. I want to forget that this ambitious and noteworthy series is ending so weakly.

The Matrix: Reloaded ended with the rebel forces of Zion preparing for the imminent invasion of the machines. Whatever script problems it had were more than made up for by the spectacular action sequences and the promise of a third chapter that would bring everything together. But that promise has been broken. "Revolutions" has the weakest script of the three, with pretentious dialogue that provoked laughter from the audience and a muddled structure that removes a lot of narrative tension. Worst of all, it has nothing to compare to the innovative "bullet time" effects of the first film or the sensational highway chase scene and combat between Neo and dozens of Smiths of the second. Instead of taking us to the next level, it all seems like a tired rehash.

There are two basic storylines. First, Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) has to pilot a ship through some very tricky thing while guys in huge robot things fight off zillions of cool flying octopus-like machines.

Second, Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), on another ship, are heading straight for city occupied by the machines for a Dorothy-and-the-wizard-in-Emerald City-style confrontation.

There is a brief encounter with the Frenchman and Persephone (the still unimpressive Monica Belluci) in a nightclub that appears to be occupied with writhing bondage and discipline freaks. Neo visits the Oracle in her cozy kitchen (now played by Mary Alice, replacing the late Gloria Foster) and has a strange conversation about love and karma in an antiseptic train station.

The dialogue thuds, a mishmash of barked orders and cardboard heroics. But some of the performers manage to inject some life and dignity. Jada Pinkett Smith is the Matrix's Han Solo, a charming rogue who can pilot a ship better than anyone else. Nona Gaye (Zee) makes her brief time onscreen memorable as a woman who overcomes her fear to give everything she has to the revolution.

Though Mary Alice does her best, she cannot replace Foster, whose Oracle was the anchor of the other two movies. Hugo Weaving remains superb as Agent Smith. But it takes too long to get to the big final confrontation between Neo and Smith and the fight is not worth the wait.

The scariest moment in the movie was when it intimated that there might yet be another episode.

Parents should know that as with the first two films there is a great deal of battle violence. Characters are wounded and killed and there are some grisly graphic images. Characters swear a lot, mostly the s-word.

Families who see this movie should talk about the source of the character names, a veritable encyclopedia of mythological references. What do the discussions of balance and choice mean? Of love and karma? Who is the Oracle? Who is the Architect? What is the train?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the first two in the series as well as Blade Runner.


PC Game Review

The Sims: Making' Magic

Gamespot rating 8.3. Publisher: EA Games. Developer: Maxis. Genre: Strategy.
Release Date: Oct 28. Difficulty: Medium. Learning Curve: about a half-hour.
Stability: stable. Requirements: 128 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM, 4 MB VRAM, 1120
MB disk space, mouse, sound card, DirectX v7.0.

Maxis' world-renowned PC strategy game The Sims, which lets you create and control the lives of a virtual family of little computer people called "sims," has been extremely popular since its release in 2000. The game has also given rise to a total of seven expansion packs, and the latest and final of these is The Sims: Makin' Magic, which lets your family of sims learn how to use magic wands, potions, and spells to turn their unwanted neighbors into frogs, to shower themselves with riches, and to create other wondrous effects. While some of Makin' Magic's more-colorful additions seem a bit out of place, this final expansion pack adds plenty of new things for you and your sims to do.

Like the last few expansion packs for The Sims, Makin' Magic adds a great many new household objects with which your sims can fill their houses. It also adds a new outdoor "lot" area, named Magic Town, which you can visit at any time. Here you can also completely scrap and redesign yourself. Like other expansion packs for The Sims, Makin' Magic also includes a few additional options that work with previous expansions. For instance, if you have The Sims: Unleashed, you can temporarily change one of your pets into a person. However, Makin' Magic also lets your sims use magic spells (which emphasize the logic, cooking, and mechanical skills) to circumvent mundane problems, like refilling personal needs (also known as "motives") such as hunger, fatigue, and social interfaction. Additionally, your sims can actually perform magic shows, similarly to how they could put on various types of shows in the previous expansion, Superstar. Many of these additions completely eliminate the need for common chores, like continually chatting up other sims to keep your social needs satisfied. For instance, in Makin' Magic, a child sim can magically create an imaginary best friend instead of having to hunt down other sims for conversation. However, the expansion's décor is much more colorful than that of the previous expansions.

Regardless, Makin' Magic gives you many new interesting things to do that will likely draw your attention away from constant bathroom breaks and naps. You begin a new game of Makin' Magic at home when a mystery man appears at your door to drop off new magical equipment, including a cauldron to formulate new spells, a new magic wand, and a handful of spell components. From there you can build a comfortable home business harvesting beeswax and elderberries. If you'd prefer, however, you can use these components as spell ingredients, or you can use them to barter for other spell components or magic items from various vendors in Magic Town.

Makin' Magic's new out-of-house lot area, Magic Town, gives you many more options than the lot areas from the previous expansions. For instance, you can visit Magic Town to put on public magic shows or to stage wizardly duels in a process that's reminiscent of the performances in The Sims: Superstar, though these performances don't require as much guesswork. (In the previous expansion, you had to choose a "correct" sequence for your performance or you'd fail.) These shows help you earn "magicoins," a new currency that lets you buy pricier spell components and even lets you buy your way into a new Magic Town house adorned with beanstalks and crystal gardens. Redecorating a lot in Magic Town can actually be more than just an exercise in interior decorating. The expansion's new theme objects, which include haunted house objects and carnival objects, let you build your very own midway, complete with carnival games and roller coasters, which you can create by laying out pieces of track. You can even fill out an entire lot with nothing but one big roller coaster, if you care to.


Album Review

Sting Sacred Love

By David Wild, Rolling Stones. Rating 4.5 out of 5

Sting has been so famous for so long and done so much -- the Police, the rain forest, the tantric sex (or was it?), the luxury-car commercial -- he has become easy to undervalue as purely a musician. The radiant Sacred Love is a vivid and frequently gorgeous reminder that Gordon Sumner is first and foremost a talented singer-songwriter. Sting clearly studied at the hyperintelligent, musically ambitious school of Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell, but he has consistently infused his postgraduate work with something his own: a wide-open global consciousness combined with a cool British reserve.

Sacred Love, the follow-up to 1999's Brand New Day, finds Sting in a soulful mood. "Send Your Love" pulsates like some twenty-first-century take on classic Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye, with a taste of "Desert Rose" for extra flavor. The gospel-tinged love song "Whenever I Say Your Name" finds Sting trading lines effectively with the Queen of Hip-hop Soul, Mary J. Blige. Sting and co-producer Kipper have smartly stripped back the polished wall of sound that has sometimes swamped Sting's solo work. The characteristically literate "This War" rocks as convincingly as anything Sting has done since back when Stewart Copeland was keeping his time. In spots -- such as the sleekly trance-y "Never Coming Home" -- Sacred samples some of the strengths that made the Police so arresting in the first place. Sting seems like a man focused on the future but drawing more freely upon his past with heart and soul. Sacred or profane, that's hard not to love.

Movie Review

By Gorkha

SCARY MOVIE 3

DIRECTOR: David Zucker
CAST: Cindy Campbell - Anna Faris. Tom Logan - Charlie Sheen. Brenda Meeks - Regina Hall. U.S. President - Leslie Nielsen. Orpheus - Eddie Griffin. The Oracle - Queen Latifah. Anthony Anderson. Simon Rex

There are two requirements for watching this movie. First of all you need to be a little familiar with some of the blockbusters from as far back as 2001. Secondly you need to have a pretty strong stomach if you want to enjoy the dimwit humour and the copious amounts of excrement. Yes, you DO need to have a slightly or completely snapped connection somewhere up in your rotting grey matter (some people call it brain). With those requirements in mind so to speak get set for a lot of laughs.

The plot: C'mon, this is a spoof. The plot here is to have no plot but to throw every imaginable kind of gag at you and at times throwing is the right word. In this instalment, brunette Cindy (Anna Faris) has gone blond and is a TV newswoman. She has a creepy nephew who becomes like the cartoon characters that never die even with a safe landing on their head. He spends his time chasing a rotting zombie girl who kills via videotape. The movie starts with Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy playing two Catholic schoolgirls who stumble upon the zombie girls' mysterious, deadly videotape. This is where "The Ring" receives a serious bashing.

Charlie Sheen delivers deadpan humour playing a tortured single father with a cornfield full of alien graffiti. The spoof on The Signs is enough to make Mel Gibson chop off his own head. The story continues with Cindy (Anna Faris) attempting to link crop circles and the supernatural videotape. There are further references to pop culture such as Queen Latifah and Eddie Griffith thoroughly spoofing bits and pieces form the Matrix like the Oracle. Simon Rex does a pretty decent imitation of Eminem playing a wannabe rapper and brother of the farmer. The list of actors in "Scary Movie 3" is long with your oddball characters like Toiletman and his antics. No need to elaborate what Toiletmans parts are. There is also the usual array of celebrity guests portraying themselves like Harrison Ford. This movie has so many jokes zipping at you it is almost like standing in the midst of an Awami league-BNP rally. You never really know where the next one-liner or gross bodily joke comes from.

Did I say gross? Well, one mans meat is another poison so check it out. I laughed till I had to wipe the tears away.

 


 
 

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