Monday, April 29, 2013

We Can Fly Away by Emma Townshend (1999)

Performed by Emma Townshend

Theme song for the TV movie The Magical Legend Of The Leprechauns (1999)

Did You Know? - Emma Townshend is the daughter of Pete Townshend from the band The Who. Roger Daltrey from The Who also played a role in the TV movie The Magical Legend Of The Leprechauns. Actor Kevin McKidd also had a role in the film, he is better known as Dr Owen Hunt in the television series Grey's Anatomy

My little cousin was born on 9th April and since I wanted to write entries that have something to do with her name 'Emma', I started looking out for actresses named Emma, singers named Emma, and films that have characters named Emma. It was then that I realised that although 2 of the biggest names in the film industry share the name 'Emma', I don't really know of many well known 'Emma's in the film and music industry! So I decided to get a little education about the name 'Emma' (God Bless Wikipedia).

In the film industry, we have Emma Watson, made famous by the Harry Potter films (See the post The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Emma Stone (whose real name is really Emily Jean Stone), Emma Roberts, niece of Julia Roberts (See the post Aquamarine), Emma Thompson, think Nanny McPhee and Professor Sybill Trelawney, and Emma Chambers (an English actress who played Hugh Grant's sister in the film Notting Hill). 

There are also fictional characters like Emma Pillsbury played by Jayma Mays from the television series Glee, Emma Swan, daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming played by Jennifer Morrison in the television series Once Upon A Time, Emma Morley played by Anne Hathaway from the film One Day, Emma Allen also played by Anne Hathaway in the film Bride Wars, Emma Dinsmore played by Kate Hudson in the film Alex & Emma, Emma Woodhouse from Jane Austen's book Emma (a role played by Gwyneth Paltrow in the 1996 film Emma), and the comic book character Emma Frost who has been played by actresses like January Jones in X-Men: First Class and Tahyna Tozzi in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

And in music there's of course Baby Spice Emma Bunton, Emma Hewitt, and Emma Townshend. I remembered a song from a TV movie I adored as a teenager The Magical Legend Of The Leprechauns - 'We Can Fly Away' by Emma Townshend. And I was thinking what an apt song it was for the TV movie. 

Emma Townshend's We Can Fly Away has a very uplifting and light-hearted tune that makes me smile every time I hear it. It has the perfect fairytale-like qualities to the music that not only fits the TV movie it was composed and written for but also the kind of music I love. It also helps that I really string instruments like the violin and piano. I love the sounds the violin and piano produces. 

We Can Fly Away Lyrics:

I have always been certain 
Things are not always what they seem 
Though the heavens stop turning 
I'll be holding on to our dream 

We can fly away, fly away 
No more doubt or fear, nothing left to say 
Fly away, fly away 
From the darkness to the sun 
Let our spirits be as one 

You heard 
My word 
My hope 
My call 
We can fly away over 
You gave 
Your hand 
Your heart 
Your all 
We can fly away over it all 

In a magical moment 
You reached out and touched the real me 
Now there's no storm before us 
As strong as the love we both feel 

We can fly away, fly away 
If we give our love, love will come our way 
Fly away, fly away 
From the darkness to the sun 

Let our spirits be as one 

You heard 
My word 
My hope 
My call 
We can fly away over 
You gave 
Your hand 
Your heart 
Your all 
We can fly away over it all 

We can fly away over

We can fly away, fly away 
If we give our love, love will come our way 
Fly away, fly away 
From the darkness to the sun 
Let our spirits be as one 

You heard 
My word 
My hope 
My call 
We can fly away over 
You gave 
Your hand 
Your heart 
Your all 
We can fly away over it all 

You heard 
My word 
My hope 
My call 
We can fly away over (it all)
You gave 
Your hand 
Your heart 
Your all 
We can fly away over it all 

YouTube Video:

While I could not find an official music video for Emma Townshend's We Can Fly Away, the video to the ending of the TV movie is also quite lovely to watch anyway. It's a HUGE spoiler though. So if you want, watch the TV movie first. 

The Eclectic Reviewer thinks... Emma Townshend's We Can Fly Away will make you feel as if you can really fly away and do or achieve anything. It's a romantic song that I might put on my list of songs I'd play at my wedding, provided I can find a clean copy without the dialogue from the TV movie. Plus, it really reminds me of the kind of Irish songs sung by The Corrs, a band I really love. So it's definitely a song that gets played a lot on my iPod. 

* Movie Poster from Wikipedia & Video from YouTube

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Flashpoint: Episode 1x05 - Who's George? (2012)

Created by: Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern

Network: CTV

Cast: Enrico Colantoni (1), Hugh Dillon (2), Amy Jo Johnson (3), Sergio Di Zio (4), David Paetkau (5), Michael Cram, Mark Taylor, and Nicholas Campbell (6)

Did You Know? - Nicholas Campbell was nominated for a Gemini Award for the role of George Orston in this episode.

Read about 'Asking For Flowers', the fourth episode of Flashpoint.

Episode 5 - Who's George?

This job isn't easy. And this episode drives that message home hard. Sam is trying to excel at the negotiation part of the job but finds it hard. How do you connect with the bad guys? Yes, how do you indeed? 

After watching all 5 seasons of Flashpoint, I learned that the guy holding the gun is not always rotten to the core. Yes, some of them are. But sometimes, it's just a guy pushed by his circumstances that cause him to make really bad choices. There's always two sides to a coin. And there's always more to a story or situation than it seems. Because every word, every action, follows a reaction. Cause and effect. Episode 5's case of the week is one of those that makes me really emotional. 

This is a really funny scene. Ed and Lou make very convincing baddies though.

And Spike is hilarious!

Okay so obviously 'Samtastic' sucks at negotiating.
Whoa! Calm down Lou! Mark Taylor who plays Lou is a great actor methinks.

"Jackass? Did he say jackass?" Spike really is the comedian in this team.

Lou: Why now? What do I got to lose?
Sam: You sound very upset.
Lou: You damn straight I am.
Sam: Alright I hear what you're saying...
Wordy: Stay in control. This is your negotiation. 
Sam: What do we need to do so we can all go home?
Lou: You can give me what I want.
Sam: I'd like to try.
Lou: You know what I'd really like? I'd like some coke. How 'bout that? You give me an ounce, this is over. Hello...
Ed: I'm gonna do it. Hello...
Spike: A little help here. Hello!
Ed: Hello?
Spike: Hello!
Lou: You hear me but you not doin' nothin' about it.
Ed: He's a lying pig!
Sam: I'm not a liar.
Greg: Don't argue. Just get him back.
Sam: Okay look, you're obviously very upset.
Lou: Yes. Yes. You know what that means?
Jules: You know I really wish a cop would negotiate us to safety.
Greg: Come on Sam, just talk to them.
Lou: Dude! You know what I want!
Sam: I'm not giving you cocaine jackass!
Ed: Bang. Bang.
Spike: Jackass? Did he say jackass?
Greg: Okay Sam let's talk this through.
Sam: Just give me a minute Sarg. 

Greg: Long way from Kandahar huh?
Sam: I was doing everything right wasn't I? Mirroring, emotional labelling, eye messaging, everything in the book but I just...  
Greg: Need to listen. Look you can kick ass like nobody's business and you look great in the cool pants, but as long as you're out there and you're trying to talk to somebody you've got to be able to listen. You've got to be able to connect.
Sam: I know. Okay, it's just...
Greg: How do I connect to bad guys when I spend 4 years shooting them? 
Sam: I just need to finish this review.
Greg: No, you need time. Field training. A little patience. Okay. Remember you got the cool pants down.

Greg: Okay, okay, you figure out how to get into the impossible building and I'll go talk to the killer with nothing to lose.
Ed: If you put it that way.
Greg: Sam you're with Ed, Jules you're my second.
Sam: Let me be second Sarg.
Jules: Easy cowboy. You know you can't blow or shoot anything up in the truck right?
Sam: I could use the field training. So long as you're scared of blowing anything up.
Jules: No.
Greg: Alright, follow me.

Greg: Okay we've got just over 2 hours. What do we do when he demands his money?
Sam: Refer to high authority, get concessions, try to keep him on the line.
Greg: Good. So how do we make a connection with this guy? Can't talk anybody out of anything if he thinks you don't understand. So what do you understand?
Sam: I don't know, guy's a thief...
Greg: You take pride in your job, so does he. Connection. Right? But remember what the point is Sam. It's not you. It's not him. It's those hostages. It's Ruth Skellar. She's the point.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Aquamarine (2006)

Directed by Elizabeth Allen (1)

Cast: Emma Roberts (2), JoJo (3), Sara Paxton (4), Jake McDorman (5), Arielle Kebbel (6), and Dichen Lachman (7)

My favourite quotes - "Why go through life unnoticed?", "I don't think they would have wanted you to be afraid of life, I think they'd want you to be friends with it.", "Who needs Raymond? I found 2 new men to love, their names are Ben and Jerry. Raymond... Who needs Raymond?", & "I've been to lots of places. But I've learned it's not where you are, it's who you're with."

Did You Know? - Aquamarine is based on a novel of the same name written by Alice Hoffman. Alice Hoffman has also written the novel the film Practical Magic was based on and wrote the screenplay of Independence Day. JoJo is a singer who's real name is Joanna Levesque. Sara Paxton would go on to do another fairytale inspired film the year after Aquamarine was released titled Sydney White.

Blink & Miss It - Dichen Lachman has a blink and miss it part in Aquamarine as one of Arielle Kebbel's sidekick. 

Disney's The Little Mermaid is by far my favourite Disney fairy tale growing up. There's just something about Ariel's lust for life and ardent belief in true love that I adore. Perhaps growing up watching all those happily ever after Disney fairy tales is why I have an overly idealistic view on love and romance. 

While Aquamarine is not the first feature film adaptation of The Little Mermaid fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson (See the post The Fairytale Reboot: Tales Come Alive), it is definitely the most updated version of the tale. And it does a good job of keeping with the times. The original Danish fairytale was given a bonafide Hollywood-teenage-film makeover and the result is Aquamarine.

Aquamarine: I have to find love. We don't have it where I'm from. And if I can't find it in 3 days I'm sunk.
Claire: You don't have love?
Aquamarine: No. My dad says its just a myth. We marry who our parents pick. And my dad thinks I have bubbles in my brain because I believe in love. He says that the only way I can get out my wedding is if I can prove to him that love exists. But that means I only get 3 days. Or else I'll be swimming down the aisle with that... that blowfish. 
Hailey: But if you don't have love, how do you know it exists? 
Aquamarine: I saw it once. And I want it. With him.
Hailey: Raymond?
Claire: Raymond!
Aquamarine: Raymond...

Besides being set in modern times, Aquamarine also takes a more down to earth approach to the idea of love.

Aquamarine: You know what I think of love? Love stinks. No wonder we don't have it back home.
Hailey: Please don't give up yet.
Aquamarine: Why because of your wish?
Hailey: Let me tell you something. My dad said he loved me. He said he loved my mother and then he left us. He left us for some other woman. But I guess that's just the way it is. And love doesn't always work.
Aquamarine: I don't understand.
Hailey: That's life. That's how it is here. But when you find love I guess it's really beautiful, or at least that's what I read in magazines, and I don't know as much about it as I say I do but I know that there's a reason why everybody wants it so much.
Aquamarine: And what's that?
Hailey: It's the closest thing we have to magic. Don't give up yet. 
Aquamarine: Oh my God. What's happening to me? I'm leaking!
Hailey: Aqua, you're crying.
Aquamarine: I'm leaking saltwater. I'm falling apart.
Hailey: No they're tears. You body makes them when you cry. I guess you wouldn't have them living under water. 

But I like that while they recognise that "love doesn't always work", it's still something you should fight for and keep hoping for because "it's the closest thing we have to magic". I like that exchange between JoJo's Hailey Rogers and Aquamarine. Through Aquamarine, we are taught about the true nature of love and how love isn't always enough but still something worth having.  

Aquamarine: Raymond, do you love me?
Raymond: Well, I mean, we've had 1 date. But don't get me wrong. I like you, I really really like you. I think you're smart and beautiful and different than anyone I've ever met before. And I'd like to see a lot more of you.
Aquamarine: But you don't love me.
Raymond: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait. Hey, are you crying?
Aquamarine: Yes. Apparently it's something I do.
Raymond: I don't understand. I mean why do I have to be in love with you today? Why can't we just work our way there?

I think the words 'I love you' are too carelessly used these days. People say it without truly understanding what the phrase is actually meant to convey. That is why I like that Aquamarine has tried to be more realistic in terms of the whole 'love at first sight' thing. The way Sara Paxton's Aquamarine goes from a giggly love crazed mermaid to become a mature mermaid with a good head on her shoulders sits better with me. There's enough fantasy to swallow in having a mermaid turn up in real life, it would be hard to believe she is able to get her Prince Charming to fall in love with her in 3 days! And say 'I love you' as well. 

I mean "love is just love" (See post on the film The Wedding Planner). Relationships require a lot of work. And if you just rely on the feelings of love, well sometimes, love just ain't enough.

But love comes in many forms. Love between friends, and of course love between family members. While our family members more often than not will drive us up the wall, at the end of the day, your family loves you. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Flashpoint: Episode 1x04 - Asking For Flowers (2008)

Created by: Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern

Network: CTV

Cast: Enrico Colantoni (1), Hugh Dillon (2), Amy Jo Johnson (3), Sergio Di Zio (4), David Paetkau (5), Michael Cram, Mark Taylor, Chandra West (6), and Kenneth Mitchell (7)

Read about 'The Element Of Surprise', the third episode of Flashpoint.

Episode 4 - Asking For Flowers

A seemingly relaxing patrol night turns into a hot call. It's Wordy we get to know a little better in this episode. And I love that he's a family man who is so willing to watch a chick flick for his wife and his girls. 

The case of the week often times tell us more about the main characters in the series. And our characters' own personal experience often aids them in their job. Like in episode 2, when Greg connects with a man looking out for his daughter. 

In this episode, Wordy spots a battered wife even without her saying anything because he's seen it happen before, and he knows the signs. Spousal abuse. This week's story is about a cop who beats his wife and covers his tracks by telling lies to everyone else about his wife and his sister-in-law. 

But I like that this episode shows us that even cops are not above the law and that the SRU cops follow the law to the letter, even if the perpetrator is a fellow cop. They don't cut corners; a reoccurring theme of the series as you watch on. It's not a great case, but it's a great character piece about Wordy with a little peek into the lives and personalities of the other team members.

I love the puzzled look on Spike's face. LOL!
(Wordy is watching Lady In Waiting at the SRU gym while he's running on the treadmill.)
Spike: You do! You've awoken my soul.
Greg: Wordy, this is the SRU, you can't be watching Lady In Waiting.
Wordy: It's a good movie. It's historical.
Ed: Wow!
Wordy: I got 4 women in my house alright. Anything that helps me get closer to Shelly and my girls, I'm there. If this is what they're watching, I want to know about it. We got no secrets. 
Greg: I think you need to shoot something.
Wordy: Well after you Siskel, you're the one who recognised the quote. Oh yeah!
Spike: Oh snap!
Greg: Hey, you know what? It's on friggin' Pay-Per-View every hour on the hour, alright? 
Wordy: Well, maybe you and I should sit down, watch it together. Compare favourite scenes. I can braid your hair. 
Spike: That's tricky business.
Wordy: Oh, not really. Do it for Allie all the time. She's got less hair than either of these two. 
Greg: Ow! It's okay. Bring it. Come on! 

And I love the camaraderie between the team members.
Greg: We got no calls yet, but tonight there's gonna be a full moon so... 
Sam: So? 
Greg: So full moons, they make people crazy, proven fact so... I'm gonna call tonight patrol night. 
Wordy: Alright. 
Spike: Whoo! 
Ed: Yes! 
Greg: Alright, do a little Team One PR, let the city know we're here, keep the bad guys on their toes. Yeah Spike? 
Spike: Club district? Me and Lou? What? There's all kinds of troubles there, all the time. 
Greg: Fine patrol happy hour, all those very threatening young women in tube tops, but just uh, button up. 
Spike: Sorry. 

Greg: Be good, look good. Jules, still representing the force. Eddie? Mr Wordsworth?
Ed: East end. Roving gangs and the families. Runaway strollers and what naught.
Greg: Um hmm. It's all yours. Sam? Jules?
Jules: We'll take west. I'm thinking chicken Rhode at Island Foods. 
Spike: Hey, we'll take west.
Jules: Uh uh. 
Greg: You got tube tops. 
Jules: Yeah.
Greg: Let's go keep the peace.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flashpoint: Episode 1x03 - The Element Of Surprise (2008)

Created by: Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern

Network: CTV
 Cast: Enrico Colantoni (1), Hugh Dillon (2), Amy Jo Johnson (3), Sergio Di Zio (4), David Paetkau (5), Michael Cram, Mark Taylor, and Erick Knudsen (6)

Read about 'First In Line', the second episode of Flashpoint.

Episode 3 - The Element Of Surprise

Second chances. This is what this episode is all about. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. When a routine drug bust goes south, an innocent bystander gets killed. The bystander was only 21 years old, and he was trying very hard to turn over a new leaf. And even though he could have walked away, he chose to stay and help the undercover cop who was shot. 

With regards to getting to know the team better, we find out more about Sam, his time in Afghanistan, and learn about the baggage he carries. We also find out more about the rules of the job, how the rules affect the team members, the prestige of being on the SRU, and what it means for the only female team member in entire SRU. We also learn the importance of team work and trust between the team members of the SRU. 

While this is not the best episode, it still has a powerful message about second chances and the importance of the choices we make every day. But, we also find out that serving warrants and making arrests are part of their job as well. On top of getting a hot call.

I love their flirtatious banter. 
Jules: Ready Sam?
Sam: I've cleared bad guys before.
Jules: It's serving a warrant for the search of the gentlemen's premises for the highly corroborated presence of narcotics.   
Sam: Speed, surprise, and aggressive action. Hey, so what about tonight?
Jules: Not gonna happen.
Sam: It's gonna be a long day, you're gonna get hungry. Dinner's a very important meal.
Jules: Sam. 
Sam: A burrito and a couple of beers. What's the big deal?
Jules: Alright, you know I'm not trying to flatter myself. I know you're just being nice. I don't want to read into this. I've just worked way too hard to be here to screw it up by getting personal. It's not worth it. There's like 500 cops waiting to get into the SRU. 500 guys waiting for me to do something that I shouldn't. So I'm sorry, but the team comes first.
Sam: Jules, it was just a burrito. See you at practice.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Flashpoint: Episode 1x02 - First In Line (2008)

Created by: Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern

Network: CTV

Cast: Enrico Colantoni (1), Hugh Dillon (2), Amy Jo Johnson (3), Sergio Di Zio (4), David Paetkau (5), Michael Cram, Mark Taylor, and Henry Czerny (6)

Did you know? - Henry Czerny won a Gemini Award for the role of Jack Swanson in this episode. 

Read about 'Scorpio', the pilot episode of Flashpoint

Episode 2 - First In Line

More often that not with a police procedural type series, I follow it diligently to get a glimpse of the story lines of the various cast characters on the show. However with Flashpoint, I find myself drawn into the case of the week as well. And more often than not, the case of the week is even more compelling than the characters stories themselves. 

In the all important second episode, Flashpoint not only delivers a great case, it also continues to show us how the main characters are affected and expand on their personalities. Sam's continued education about what the SRU is all about continues meaning that we also continue to get to know more about what their job entails. In episode 2, a father pushed by unfortunate circumstances pulls a gun on everyone and demands that his daughter is given the heart instead of another man on the list. Is he right? Of course not. But is what he's doing wrong? Well that's a gray area isn't it? You can't help but empathise with him and understand why he's doing what he's doing. 

Henry Czerny's compelling and heartbreaking turn as Jack Swanson
makes you think about what's right and wrong, and every thing in between.

Hospital Director: Mr Swanson I'm afraid we've had a bit of a miscommunication.
Jack: What's up?
Hospital Director: The transplant coordinator... The recipient list had been updated and she had not been made aware of that. I know this is distressing but the truth is another patient has had to be given priority.
Jack: I'm sorry what?
Hospital Director: I'm so sorry Mr Swanson, but the next heart will be Phoebe's. 
Jack: Urm maybe you don't know this but Phoebe has been on the waiting list for 14 months.
Hospital Director: I really have to apologise.
Jack: She's first in line, she's been first in line for months.
Hospital Director: This is not a deli counter Mr Swanson you know that.
Jack: Oh Heather can you please explain to him. Look she was here once last week already. She was prepped and everything but the heart was flawed. Do you know what that's like?
Hospital Director: Considering the travel time of this organ...
Jack: Yeah...
Hospital Director: ...the window of survivability is shorter.  
Jack: So then why are we standing here!
Hospital Director: In this situation, the computer selects the recipient closer to the hospital.
Jack: Closer to... Closer? The only reason we were at home was because you, because the hospital told us to go home to prepare ourselves to say goodbye. Did your computer tell you that?
Hospital Director: Mr Swanson.
Jack: And now you're telling me that if we had just stayed...
Hospital Director: I'm telling you that you should not have been paged to.
Jack: I don't care. This is my daughter, this is my daughter!

"Job's not about being a good shot. Job's about saving lives."

Ed: Let's set command post on site.
Greg: Copy that. Jules you'll be my secondary tech and required.
Jules: Got it.
Ed: Wordy, cover the boss. Spike, com links, explosives if we need them.
Spike: Copy copy. A bomb, make it a bomb. I never get a bomb. Explosive entry at least I would settle for.
Ed: Lou you're less lethal. It's a hospital so no gas.
Lou: Less lethal?!
Ed: Mr Braddock, you may observe from the command post.
Sam: Observe?
Greg: Job's not about being a good shot. Job's about saving lives.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

Directed by Stephen Chbosky

Cast: Logan Lerman (1), Emma Watson (2), Ezra Miller (3), Mae Whitman (4), Nina Dobrev (5), Johnny Simmons (6), Kate Walsh (7), Dylan McDermott (8), Melanie Lynskey (9), Paul Rudd (10), Joan Cusack (11), and Nicholas Braun (12)

(Watch the trailer

My favourite quotes - "I'd hate for her to judge me based on what I used to be like.""We accept the love we think we deserve.", "If you fail me, you get me next semester.", "Well, all the great writers used to wear great suits. So your last present is on a towel rack in the bathroom. Delve into our facilities, emerge a star.", "Well you know mom did say you have good friends now, and maybe if it does get bad again, just talk to them yeah.", "Do you think if people knew how crazy you were people won't talk to you?", "We can't choose where we come from, but we can choose where we go from there. I know its not all the answers but it was enough to start putting these pieces together."& "We are infinite."

Did You Know? - The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is based on a book of the same title. Also, the author, Stephen Chbosky, adapted the book himself and directed the film as well. The book is an epistolary novel which is a novel written as a series of documents like letters or newspaper clippings. Recently, electronic "documents" like recordings, blogs, and e-mails have also been used. 

Blink & Miss It - Melanie Lynskey has a blink and miss it part in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. She played a minor role in Sweet Home Alabama as well. See if you can spot her. 

I hereby declare April to be the month of Emma, and maybe babies. You see, my baby cousin was just born, on the 9th of April actually. And I've been planning, in my head, a series of posts featuring actresses named Emma for the longest time. Well, ever since I knew my uncle was going to name her Emma at least. So I started with Emma Watson and the film highly recommended by my good friend and colleague - The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.

Mr Anderson: You should learn to participate. Why didn't you raise your hand? They call you the teacher's pet, freak, that kind of thing? I used to get 'spaz'. I mean come on. Spaz? You know I heard you had a tough time last year, but they say if you make one friend on your first day you'll be okie. 
Charlie: Thank you Sir, but if my English teacher is the only friend I make today, that would be sorta depressing.
Mr Anderson: Yeah, I can see that.
Charlie: Don't worry Mr Anderson, I'm okay. Thanks. 

Firstly, if I had a teacher like Mr Anderson, played by Paul Rudd, Secondary School might have been so much more bearable. I had favourite teachers of course. But none that I really connected with. But, I was well liked by teachers, and teacher's pet was often a term used to describe me by classmates in school. 

The urban dictionary describes a wallflower as someone who sees everything, knows everything, but does not say a word. They are not loners, they are introverted. They cannot handle having someone pay attention to them even though they crave it as much as the next person. I think the term wallflower could be loosely to describe me when I was in Secondary School. So at the start of the film, watching Charlie struggling on his first day of high school and feeling awkward and wishing it would fast forward to the day of graduation, all that I could relate to. 

Sam: Charlie just told me that his best friend shot himself. I don't think he has any friends.
Patrick: Hey everyone! Everybody! Everyone, raise your glasses to Charlie.
Charlie: What did I do?
Patrick: You didn't do anything. We just want to toast to our new friend. You see things, and you understand. You're a wallflower. What is it? What's wrong?
Charlie: I didn't think anyone noticed me.
Patrick: Well we didn't think there was anyone cool left to meet. So come on, everyone, to Charlie.
Everyone: To Charlie.
Sam: Welcome to the island of misfit toys. 

I've heard so much about how great a film The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is. But I didn't do much reading up on it besides finding out the cast of the film. So I didn't know what to expect. (I once picked up the book and read a few pages but walked out without buying it in the end.) So I was surprised to find that I really liked the film. I liked it so much I watched it twice, back to back. And both times, I still cried watching the film. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I get emotional really easily.)

It's a film about growing up, falling in love, and getting through high school. And it also approaches very serious, very adult, and real issues in a manner than young adults can connect with and understand. But also, the casting director chose an excellent group of actors to play the main characters in the film. The three leads Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller each did a wonderful job of showing the strengths and weaknesses of each character and made me love them all for all their good and bad. 

"I'm sorry I hadn't written for a while but I've been trying hard not to be a loser. For example I am trying to participate by listening to Sam's collection of big rock ballads and thinking about love. Sam says they're kitschy and brilliant. I completely agree. I'm also writing essays and studying extra books outside of class. As it turns out Mr Anderson is a writer. He even had a play put up in New York once, which I think is very impressive. He and his wife might go back there after this year. I know this is selfish but I really hope he doesn't. My favourite time though is lunch because I get to see Sam and Patrick. We spend the time working on Mary Elizabeth's fanzine about music and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It's called Punk Rocky. Mary Elizabeth is really interesting because she's a Buddhist and a punk. But somehow she always acts like my father at the end of a long day. Her best friend Alice loves vampires and wants to go to film school. She also steals jeans from the mall. I don't know why because her family's rich but I'm trying not to be judgmental, especially since I know that they were all there for Patrick last year. Patrick never likes to be serious so it took me awhile to get what happened. When he was a junior Patrick starting seeing Brad on the weekends in secret. I guess it was hard too because Brad had to get drunk every time they fooled around. Then Monday in school Brad would say 'Man I was so wasted I don't remember a thing.' This went on for 7 months. When they finally did it, Brad said he loved Patrick. Then he started to cry. No matter what Patrick did, Brad kept saying that his dad would kill him and saying that he was going to hell. Patrick was eventually able to help Brad get sober. I asked Patrick if he felt sad that he still had to keep it a secret. But he said no. Because now Brad doesn't have to get drunk to love him. I think I understand because I really like Sam. I asked my sister about her and she said that when Sam was a freshman the upper class men used to get her drunk at parties. I guess she had a reputation. But I don't care. I'd hate for her to judge me based on what I used to be like. So I've been making her a mix tape so she will know how I feel."

- Charlie Kelmeckis

But of course, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller had wonderful material to work with in the first place. The characters are well written and throughout the film, you understand each character just a little bit more. Be it through Charlie's letters or through the characters' interactions in various situations.

Something Charlie says in the above quote really stuck with me. 

"I'd hate for her to judge me based on what I used to be like." 

Everyone has a past. And I too believe that we should try to not be judgmental. It's human to err and everyone makes mistakes too. And I always think about this quote from the Bible "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her". Also, I think good friends will look past the flaws and be more tolerant. And true friends will sometimes scream and shout at you, and remind you of those flaws, especially if they are hurtful. 

"Her best friend Alice loves vampires and wants to go to film school. She also steals jeans from the mall. I don't know why because her family's rich but I'm trying not to be judgmental, especially since I know that they were all there for Patrick last year."

I also really like what he says here. Because he's like me. What I mean to say is that I am fiercely loyal to my close friends. I can tolerant it when someone bullies me or treats me badly. But if that same person bullies my friends, I will feel incensed and will want to stand up for them and kick the bully in the butt for them, only if it won't get them into more trouble of course. 

"Well you know mom did say you have good friends now, and maybe if it does get bad again, just talk to them yeah."
- Chris Kelmeckis 

"Do you think if people knew how crazy you were people won't talk to you?"
- Charlie Kelmeckis

If people knew how crazy I was, they would probably not talk to me. Well, not literally, but I'm hardly perfect. What I'm trying to say is that I am very grateful to my friends. They tolerate my craziness, they've seen me at my worst, and surprisingly, they're still my friends. They haven't run away from me yet! And for that, thank you. Thank you for listening to me rant and rave. Thank you for standing by me no matter how insane I was. And thank you for  being understanding.

"Let's go be psychos together."
- Sam 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Flashpoint: Episode 1x01 - Scorpio (2008)

Created by: Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern

Network: CTV

Cast: Enrico Colantoni (1), Hugh Dillon (2), Amy Jo Johnson (3), Sergio Di Zio (4), David Paetkau (5), Michael Cram, and Mark Taylor.

Did you know? - Majority of the cast members of Flashpoint are Canadians. Of the main cast, only Amy Jo Johnson is American.

Last year in September when the new season was about to begin for American television series, I was itching to get the season started and was eyeing new pilots to watch and looking forward to the returning series I enjoy. That was when I discovered Flashpoint. Unfortunately, before I can fully enjoy the hype of the show, I find out that 2012's Season 5 was to be their last season. 

I stumbled upon this series when I was checking out the filmography of Amy Jo Johnson who played the Pink Power Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a television series that I really enjoyed during my childhood. I went to Wikipedia and checked out the synopsis of the series and it was a procedural cop show, which you might know by now is something I really enjoy. So yay! It's right up my alley! So I went and watched the pilot of the series. 

Now if you don't already know, I tend to give a series at least 5 episodes to hook and keep my attention, with Flashpoint. I was hooked from the get go. I love the premise of the show and I fell in love with the characters right from the start. Now all that's left is to see if they can continue, for at least 5 episodes, to keep me hooked on the series through its "case of the week" stories. 

Let's just say from episode 1 of Season 1, I was so taken by this series that I consumed all 4 Seasons' episodes even before Season 5 began, and in a span of just under a week. Now what's so great about Flashpoint you ask? Well, I've always been fascinated by psychology, and the 'why' not just the 'how'. I think that life is never just black or white, and I believe in cause and effect. 

Now before I go off course rattling on and on about why I like it, first let's look at the basics. Flashpoint is about an elite team of sharpshooters and negotiators who 'keep the peace' in the city. They get called in if someone is threatening to kill himself or herself or others by whatever means. It could be a bomb, a knife, a gun. They first try to talk the person down and if all else fails, should they not be able to apprehend the person or resolve the situation, they will shoot to kill to save the victim(s). 

Why I love Flashpoint? Because each episode makes you ask serious questions about what or who is right and wrong, and what could have been done differently so that it didn't have to get to the point where violence was "required". But as with any series that I really enjoy, I love Flashpoint because the series focus isn't just about the case of the week, it's about the men and women who have the very difficult job of shooting to kill, if necessary, and how do they handle that. I am drawn to each character in the team and I have a great interest in following their growth, both in their personal and professional lives on the show. In fact, even the case of the week characters make me care about whether they survive the ordeal. And that is why I am so in love with this series. 

So let's get right to it. Let me take you on the journey I took while watching the series starting first with Season 1. But before we proceed let's go through the list of characters for Season 1.

Gregory "Greg" Parker - Sergent aka boss (Leader & crisis negotiator of the SRU - Strategic Response Unit)
Edward "Ed" Tucker Lane - Team Leader (Tactical leader, secondary negotiator & sniper for SRU Team 1)
Julianna "Jules" Callaghan - Constable (Intel gatherer, secondary negiotiator & sniper for SRU Team 1)
Samuel "Sam" Braddock - Constable (Sniper & new kid on the block for SRU Team 1)
Michelangelo "Spike" Scarlatti - Constable (Demolitions and tech expert for SRU Team 1)
Kevin "Wordy" James Wordsworth - Constable (Entry Tactics, close quarters combat expert & less-leathal weapons specialist for SRU Team 1)
Lewis "Lou" Young - Constable (Less-leathal weapons specialist for SRU Team 1)