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Monday, February 28, 2011

Back in Time Reviews: Mortal Kombat (1995)

If you're of a certain age you spent a lot of time in arcades "back in the day," and one of the games you played was Mortal Kombat. You loved it so much that Hollywood decided you'd love a movie about it, too.

Yeah, not so much.

It's not a BAD movie...well, maybe it is. But along with its badness there is a certain quirky likability. It's the dorky, sweet cousin you wouldn't want to live with but is fun to visit.

How do they turn a violent fighting game into a feature length movie? With a contrived situation, of course. The IMDB short description: "Three unknowing martial artists are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world." (Cue the cheesy, intense music. Then scream "MORTAL KOMBAT!")

Fortunately there's plenty of action, some clever lines, and enough beefcake/cheesecake for the casual movie watcher to stay entertained. Most of the special effects look dated but in some ways that just adds to its dorky charm (similar to Voyages of Sinbad). We consider it a guilty pleasure like the empty calories of a chocolate bar.

The Commander's Rating: Three out of five Vulcan salutes.
Pros: Mindless action flick (if that's your mood). Wacky humor. Talisa Soto. Robin Shou. The best exercise soundtrack this side of "Jock Jams."
Cons: Christopher Lambert (Seriously? He's the ancient Japanese god of thunder and lightening?) Dorkiness.
Recommendation: A fun watch when you don't have anything better to do - like wash the cat, do some laundry, watch some paint dry... Ok, it's better than that. It's fun when you're in the right mood.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do I Know Who I Am?

The Johari Window is a method of assessing personality awareness.

Arena

(known to self and others)
witty

Blind Spot

(known only to others)
clever, friendly, intelligent, kind, modest, responsive, sympathetic

Fa├žade

(known only to self)
helpful, loving, searching, sentimental, tense

Unknown

(known to nobody)
able, accepting, adaptable, bold, brave, calm, caring, cheerful, complex, confident, dependable, dignified, energetic, extroverted, giving, happy, idealistic, independent, ingenious, introverted, knowledgeable, logical, mature, nervous, observant, organised, patient, powerful, proud, quiet, reflective, relaxed, religious, self-assertive, self-conscious, sensible, shy, silly, spontaneous, trustworthy, warm, wise

Dominant Traits

100% of people think that CmdrSue is friendly
100% of people agree that CmdrSue is witty

All Percentages

able (0%) accepting (0%) adaptable (0%) bold (0%) brave (0%) calm (0%) caring (0%) cheerful (0%) clever (50%) complex (0%) confident (0%) dependable (0%) dignified (0%) energetic (0%) extroverted (0%) friendly (100%) giving (0%) happy (0%) helpful (0%) idealistic (0%) independent (0%) ingenious (0%) intelligent (50%) introverted (0%) kind (50%) knowledgeable (0%) logical (0%) loving (0%) mature (0%) modest (50%) nervous (0%) observant (0%) organised (0%) patient (0%) powerful (0%) proud (0%) quiet (0%) reflective (0%) relaxed (0%) religious (0%) responsive (50%) searching (0%) self-assertive (0%) self-conscious (0%) sensible (0%) sentimental (0%) shy (0%) silly (0%) spontaneous (0%) sympathetic (50%) tense (0%) trustworthy (0%) warm (0%) wise (0%) witty (100%)
Created by the Interactive Johari Window on 15.12.2010, using data from 2 respondents.
You can make your own Johari Window, or view CmdrSue's full data.

Learn more about the Johari Window with Perspectives on the self in communication: the cognition continuum and the Johari Window. (Special Issue: Advanced Technology.): An article from: Technical Communication.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Back in Time Reviews: Keeping the Faith (2000)

Do you have a movie that you totally love but it feels like no one else you know feels the same way? One of those movies, for me, is "Keeping the Faith." Hubs likes it but I *LOVE* it. Starring Edward Norton, Ben Stiller, and Jenna Elfman, and directed by Edward Norton, any well-boiled-down synopsis starts to sound like a joke: "A priest, a rabbi, and a blonde walk into a bar..." Well, ok, actually it starts with the priest going into the bar, but you see where I'm going here.



The center of the conflict is a love triangle. Father Brian and Rabbi Jake have been best friends forever, but back in middle school they had a third musketeer, the athletic, aggressive Anna Riley (not just a blonde, but a Mick - the joke just keeps going) who had to move away when they were all young teens. Now she's back in town and looking to reconnect with her former best friends. Romantic sparks start to fly.



What makes this movie work is Norton's gentle touch as the director. Although the humor could be outrageous it is done in a sweet, teasing way rather than over the top. Although many of the topics are rife with emotional conflict (family pressures, betrayal, deciding whether to leave the priesthood) they are navigated with an integrity that honors the underlying issue without wallowing in melodrama over it.

Sweet, sweet movie.

The Commander's Rating: Five out of five Vulcan salutes.
Pros: Gentle humor. Anne Bancroft, Eli Wallach, and Milos Forman in supporting roles. Enough "best guy friends" scenes (basketball, etc.) to keep men from categorically hating it as a chick flick.
Cons: It might be subtle to the point of bland, depending on your tastes. Guessing not everyone will roll on the floor laughing over the Rabbi trading cards the way I did.
Recommendation: Excellent for girl's night, for any man with emotional depth, or to snuggle with your significant other if they are up for a romantic comedy that includes a priest.