>> The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
>> Identity Thief
>> Gangster Squad
>> Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away
>> Zero Dark Thirty
>> The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
>> Hyde Park on Hudson
>> Safety Not Guaranteed
>> The Great Gatsby (PG-13) [trailer]
>> Peeples (PG-13) [trailer]
>> Aftershock (Limited) (R) [trailer]
>> And Now a Word From Our Sponsor (Limited) (NR) [trailer]
>> Erased (Limited) (R) [trailer]
>> Sightseers (Limited) (NR) [trailer]
>> Venus and Serena (Limited) (PG-13) [trailer]
Las Vegas: Satan Vacations Here
by Victoria Alexander
July 23, 2012
We're on our way to Papua New Guinea, The Dark Knight Rises Massacre, TDKR review, Being rich in India, Internet Kaleidoscope.
"If you're going through hell...keep going!" – Churchill
Papua New Guinea. In 2008 men's portal AskMen.com came up with a list of the top 10 hells on earth. Number one was: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Type of hell: Disease.
With over 115 new HIV and AIDS cases diagnosed every month, the capital of Papua New Guinea is in trouble. With the population expanding at an uncontrollable rate, unemployment levels have rocketed, income levels plummeted and gang members, known as raskols, have been known to carry out bank robberies with M16 machine guns and hijack cars wielding machetes.
Add to the above a country filled with venomous snakes, spirit houses, evil spells, and the Huli Wigmen, who wear bone and bamboo nose piercings, face paint and big hair wigs shaped like mushroom caps. The men have an innate fear of women, whom they blame for stealing their power to give birth. They believe too much contact with women, even their wives, could reduce their powers further, so they live in huts with other men.
On Friday, July 13, the Jakarta Post reported: "Papua New Guinea charges 29 alleged cannibals." Authorities have arrested 29 people accused of being part of a cannibal cult in Papua New Guinea's jungle interior and charged them with the murders of seven suspected witch doctors.
Madang Police Commander Wagambie confirmed that said the cult members allegedly ate their victims' brains raw and made soup from their penises.
"They don't think they've done anything wrong; they admit what they've done openly," Wagambie told The Associated Press by telephone.
He said the killers believed that their victims practiced "sanguma," or sorcery, and that they had been extorting money as well as demanding sex from poor villagers for their supernatural services. By eating witch doctors' organs, the cult members believed they would attain supernatural powers and literally become bullet-proof, he said.
"It's prevalent cult activity," Wagambie said. He said he believes there could be between 700 and 1,000 cult members in several villages in Papua New Guinea's remote northeast interior. All of them might have eaten human flesh, he said.
Cannibalism was part of traditional culture in Papua New Guinea, where human flesh was known as "long pig," and survived in isolated pockets into the latter part of the 20th century while the country was under Australian colonial rule.
He expected police would make around 100 arrests over the weekend for cult-related crimes.
Four of the seven victims were murdered last week, Wagambie said, adding that no remains had been recovered. "They're probably all eaten up," he said.
Our original U.K. tour company cancelled their two 2012 tours to PNG (held during the Sing Sing festivals) due to the unsafe conditions. With PNG having that kind of long-standing reputation, John and I decided that it was a must-experience destination. We were lucky to get the last place on an Australian tour.
If we ever return, TDH will be back August 27. If TDH is not back, check my Facebook page if you want to contribute to our hostage fund.
The Dark Knight Rises Massacre. I've seen the film twice already at IMAX theaters. The film is so loud at the private critic's screening that I did not hear the one word that changed the whole complexion of the film. I heard it the second time at an 8a.m. screening on Friday. No one seemed concerned about the Colorado massacre being repeated.
Who brings a 3-month old infant to a midnight screening of the ultra-violent, explosion-filled TDKR?
The range of frequencies which the ear is able to detect and analyze is likely the result of evolutionary pressure to decode complex sounds. The amplitude range probably evolved in response to the loudest sounds in the natural environment. The ear has no defense against extremely loud sounds which occur suddenly, without warning.
What was the loudest sound in pre-history Africa? The roar of a lion? A stampede of elephants? The chirping of birds?
Infants are especially susceptible to hearing damage from loud noises because their skulls are thinner. We are born with tiny sensors in the inner ear called "hair cells". Loud noise can lead to the sudden death of many hair cells while exposure to prolonged noise results in continual and accelerated loss of cells. The cumulative effect of that loss results in earlier hearing difficulties for children who are exposed to damaging noise at a young age.
Therefore, safe levels can vary according to the duration of the exposure and the loudness level. Noises less than 75 to 80 decibels (the equivalent to noise in a restaurant or in city street traffic) should not cause hearing damage.
Prior to digital sound, 85 dB was the practical limit without distortion in theaters. The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration requires hearing protection in factories at 85 dB, but its regulations do not cover theaters where peak noise levels have been reported to exceed 110 dB. You can get permanent hearing loss from a single rock concert; 115 dB is never safe, even for short durations, and sustained noise above 90 dB can damage your hearing.
The TDKR review. Nolan created a nihilist anthem. He dumped Batman gadgetry. Makes every past superhero movie look like a boy's backyard staging of Star Wars. Bane takes the movie. Nolan plays to Bale's need to get badly beaten up.
Eight years have passed and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is a Howard Hughes recluse, broken in mind and body. He has aged badly. He wanders around his bare mansion hunched over a cane in his bathrobe. He has a distracting pimple near his eye. Gotham City is in a renaissance and does not need a Batman due to the no-nonsense Dent Law. Former Gotham City D.A. Harvey Dent has become a symbol of heroism for sacrificing his life for justice. Police commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) goes with this fantasy and lets the blame fall on phantom Dent-killer, Batman. Batman has vanished.
By the way, this Dent Law may be illegal, unlawful, or downright fascist.
Rising from the city's sewers is Bane (Tom Hardy), a brutal, nihilist leader who makes Saddam Hussein's sons look like crybabies. Bane laughs at Vlad the Impaler.
Bane was raised in Hell's Level 8 – the Malebolge.
Bane is hidden by a huge mechanical mask and apparently does not eat and ingests life-sustaining nutrients through steroid injections. He's mad and he has his good reasons. First thing, destroy Gotham's economy by attacking the Stock Exchange. He's helped in this endeavor by arch-jewel thief, Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), no friend of the rich.
Wayne goes dead broke and he doesn't care. He is lured back to Bat-life by the always tearful, misty, red-eyed Alfred (Michael Caine). Alfred is such a slave-servant I imagine him dying with Bruce draped over his body like Cleopatra's handmaidens.
Wealthy philanthropist Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) offers to run Wayne Enterprises on Bruce's behalf. Meanwhile, traffic cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) becomes Gordon's foot soldier and Wayne Enterprises CEO Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) keeps making Bat toys. Just in case. Fox has kept busy making a Batman airborne drone-like vehicle and a clunky motorcycle called the Bat Pod.
Paraphrasing the great Frank T.J. Mackey: Respect the toys!
It is hard to see Tom Hardy beneath the mask. Was it really him? I glimpsed him a few times when in close-up. Did Hardy really add 30 pounds of muscle for the role in 4 months leading up to production? Did Nolan use CGI? Let's recall the work done on Mickey Rourke in Robert Rodriguez's SIN CITY. There's a fanboy rumor that Christopher Nolan admitted that there will be CGI use for the physique of Bane.
If that is genuinely 5'9" Hardy in every Bane scene, it is a remarkable performance. With his face hidden, he uses his body to convey dialogue and emotion.
Is it heresy to say Tom Hardy's Bane is the best Batman villain with a truly engrossing backstory and a fanaticism that has historically given rise to religions?
Bane does not get by without his own tearful, misty, red-eyed moment.
With both Batman and Bane wearing face-hiding masks, dialogue is important. But Hans Zimmer's inner ear busting music makes that impossible. Isn't Zimmer famous enough without making the music the prominent star? His music is a bully trying to upstage everything.
Yes, Christian Bale is through with Batman and you can see it. Nolan wisely gives Bale plenty of time as Bruce. Batman shows up a few times.
Batman has his own tearful, misty, red-eyed moment.
You cannot read about DARK KNIGHT without the PR regarding Nolan delaying production because he would not proceed until Marion Cotillard gave birth to her son. What is it about Cotillard? She deserved the Academy Award for Best Actress in LA VIE EN ROSE as the starved waif with bug-eyes. Now transformed as a major Hollywood actress, what is her appeal?
Thinking about this, I watched Cotillard from another angle. She has a cruel aura that naturally seeps out of her. There is something off-putting about Marion Cotillard and Nolan recognizes this and has put it to go use in INCEPTION and now DARK KNIGHT.
Hathaway, not yet Catwoman (thank God!), effectively conveys a bitterness. She stays true to her character. Don't you hate it when a mean character finds salvation and then volunteers in a soup kitchen?
Batman is the star but Bale doesn't seem to care anymore about this role. He has outgrown it and it shows. I don't know who was in that Batman suit in the fight scenes or the Bat Pod, but his exaggerated mouth movements were mesmerizing. Batman suffers many indignities and is served several brutal beatings. Bale likes to suffer. It shows a character's steel.
Finally, the script by Nolan and his brother Jonathan (from a story by the director and David S. Goyer), pushes Batman into a demon-infested dark world where a disregard for money and materialism is paramount. Remember when The Joker burned that mountain of money? Bane has the similar intent of removing the chains of compliant materialism. Even Bruce Wayne could care less about having to finally answer his own door.
There is an apocalyptic, "lets-get-going-while-the-goings-good" ending as Nolan wisely will overshadow any re-imagining coming in the next few years.
See it in IMAX.
LIVING IN INDIA. Pools are the new balconies. A skyscraper nearing completion in Mumbai, India, not only includes more than 200 apartments, three levels of car parking, a gym and sauna, but it also features pools on the edges of several balconies. There is also a room where you can create artificial weather.
It is called the Aquaria Grande.
Mumbai is India's most cosmopolitan city, with a metropolitan area of roughly 20 million people. A recent study found that roughly 62 percent of the population live in slums, including one of Asia's biggest, Dharavi, which houses more than one million people. Real estate prices are among the highest in the world, pushing many working-class residents into slums.
Internet Kaleidoscope. And to think we use to have to hold it up to the light. Remember the Kaleidoscopes we had when we were kids? This is really incredible! How amazing that someone could not only create this, but make it to change when you move your mouse/cursor...or you can just sit back and let it change by itself. Either way it is awesome!!! Very nice and pure genius! Also, if you put your cursor right in the middle, It is truly amazing. Be sure to run your mouse over the screen slowly. http://inoyan.narod.ru/kaleidoskop.swf
If you would like to contact me about this column, or be included on my private distribution list for a weekly reminder, just email me at Masauu@aol.com.
The Devil's Hammer claims no credit for any images featured herein unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyright to its respectful owners. The Devil's Hammer is in no way responsible for or has control of the content of any external web site links. Information on posted here may contain errors or inaccuracies; the column's writer does not make warranty as to the correctness or reliability of its content. If you own rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear in this column, please contact me via e-mail at Masauu@aol.com and they will be promptly removed.
May 22, 2013 - 12:00pm EDT
Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark, who faces off against The Mandarin in Shane Black's superhero sequel. [...]
May 22, 2013 - 11:53am EDT
Marshal law is implemented in these latest commercials for director Marc Forster's upcoming zombie thriller, in theaters June 21. [...]
May 22, 2013 - 11:52am EDT
Director Guillermo del Toro and star Charlie Hunnam explain how the pilots control these enormous Jaeger robots in the action-thriller. [...]
May 22, 2013 - 11:50am EDT
Grouchy, Vexy, Hackus and Smurfette are featured in these latest one-sheets for Raja Gosnell's animated sequel, in theaters July 31. [...]
May 22, 2013 - 11:47am EDT
Gavin Hood directs this adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel about an elite group of youngsters training to fight an alien scourge. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 11:04pm EDT
This new trailer focuses on the plans of General Zod in the movie. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 8:29pm EDT
Watch Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel's confessionals from this apocalyptic comedy, in theaters June 12th. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 8:26pm EDT
Three teenage friends decide to build their own house in the wilderness for a summer in this coming-of-age comedy, debuting May 31st. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 7:33pm EDT
The iconic entertainer stars in this upcoming drama about a widowed Jazz pianist who discovers a shocking truth about his deceased wife. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 7:10pm EDT
The author is writing the screenplay for 20th Century Fox's adaptation of the John D. MacDonald novel series. [...]