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Architecture Goes To The Movies

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Combining two of our loves, iconic architecture and movies, Architectural Digest has published their round up of Hollywood films that prominently feature buildings and interiors in key roles. Too bad they don't give Oscars to the "best supporting architectural design.

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/resources/features/2011/09/must-see-architecture-design-films#slide=10

Toy Story 3: Kid-tested, Grandmother-Approved 3D

Friday, July 09, 2010

Posted July 9. 2010 by Jennifer Davis
Last week, I loaded the kids, nieces, and Grandma up to go to see Toy Story 3 in 3D.  The small theater in their hometown in West Texas only had only 3D auditorium, outfitted with RealD® and a Harkness® silver screen. 

 

Grandma had never seen a movie in 3D and was pretty apprehensive.  She was convinced that she’d have a horrible experience based on previous car sickness episodes and what she had heard from my aunt, who literally got sick after Avatar.  We got to the theater early, so that I could find her a seat in the optimal spot for viewing.  We settled in to the row for the show to start.  I must say the kids looked adorable in their petite-sized glasses (which I was thankful for, as not all theaters offer them).  The show started soon enough and once the preview for “Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” started, I had my four-year old on my lap.

 

Toy Story 3 is a cute story with too many sub-plots to outline here.  It introduces us (and the aisles at Target) to a whole new cast of merchandisable characters.  My least favorite was probably the Ken doll (voiced by decidedly un-metrosexual Michael Keaton), who vacillated between shrewd cruelty and bubble-gum perkiness, but what can you expect from a toy that Mr. Potato Head called an “accessory.  A walking handbag.”  The movie had a scary part when…okay, I won’t spoil your fun, but when I asked my daughter what she liked about the movie, she did tell me that she liked “all of it…except for the lava.”

 

At the end of the movie, Grandma was fine.  The eyes took a bit of adjustment, but she seemed no worse for the 3D wear.  The 3D was pretty subtle (adding depth not in-your-face antics) and didn’t really take away from the story (as it has been known to do).  The kids probably would have enjoyed the movie just as much (and probably my preschooler might have enjoyed it more) in 2D, but it was a fun family outing that kept us out of the muggy Texas heat and allowed us all to play one last time and say our good-byes to some of the most beloved movie characters of all times.

~Jennifer B. Davis is all about technology innovation and is a customer advocate, business executive, mom, and loves her job as Runco’s VP of marketing.

Runco Staff Review - Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

By Andrew Morgen
In East Germany under the Communist regime, half of the populace was spying on the other half. This was carried out by a network of informers and bureaucrats called the Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit, which in typical German fashion, was commonly shortened to "Stasi."

The Stasi were experts at interrogation, intimidation, and covert surveillance. The Lives of Others is the fictional story of Gerd Wiesler, one of the Stasi's best operatives, as he investigates Georg Dreyman, a prominent playwright and author. In the course of this investigation, both men are changed in profound ways.

Too often in films and books, people who live under oppressive regimes are classified in one of two ways: someone is either a downtrodden member of the population who rises against the oppressor, or a member of the bureaucracy who does the oppressing - but who doesn't really believe, and is usually just in it for personal gain. This ignores the fact that in many cases, people were true believers. In this film, Wiesler is a true believer.

He spends his days in an attic above Dreyman's apartment, listening to another man's life and reporting on his activities. Dreyman's life is full of love, friends and art. Wiesler spends his nights in a stark socialist apartment, a place with no personal touches, where even the couch looks hard and unwelcoming.

One day, Wiesler hears Dreyman play a piano piece in memory of his dead friend, "Sonata for a Good Man" (which was composed especially for this film), and something changes inside him. He comes to the realization that these people, whom he has been taught to regard as enemies or "others," have lives of worth and meaning and deserve to be protected from oppression.

Shot in muted grays and pale greens, the film highlights the beauty of the spirit in spite of bleak surroundings and would look spectacular on a Runco LightStyle LS-5 1080p DLP projector. There is no shouting in this film. All communication is in normal conversational tones, whether one is discussing Berthold Brecht or the best way to break a prisoner.

This film ultimately shows that all humans, no matter their circumstances, have free will and the opportunity to affect the lives of others.

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