Asides

Bruno’s Proposal

Bruno's Proposal This weekend I managed to watch Sasha Baron Cohen’s latest mockumentary, Bruno, as well as Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock’s latest romantic comedy (romcom), The Proposal.

BrunoBruno

First things first; if you did not enjoy watching Borat then do not watch Bruno. Alternatively, if you have not seen Borat and would like to know what kind of a movie Bruno is, then please do go and rent the movie. However, those who, like myself, enjoyed the shamelessness offered by Borat, will, undoubtedly, enjoy Sasha Baron Cohen’s latest ‘candid cinematic work’.

About the movie:

Borat trickster Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the big screen to offer yet another stinging dose of sociopolitical satire in this comedy that finds him assuming the persona of gay fashionmonger Bruno, the self-proclaimed "voice of Austrian youth TV." Originally conceived as part of Cohen’s cult television series Da Ali G Show, the character of Bruno offered a cleverly costumed Cohen the opportunity to highlight the absurdities of the fashion industry by interviewing unsuspecting fashion icons and other haute couture hangers-on (D-Man2010, IMDB.com)

Let me be frank. The movie is crass. To put it into perspective, about 20 minutes into screening Bruno, there were actually several individuals who hastily exited the cinema in a bizarre flurry of popcorn, soda and mild ranting. Strangely, I found the departure of those individuals to be more disturbing than the movie itself. Let me explain.

The film is, superficially, a wholeheartedly sordid affair with copious amounts of nudity filled in with gratuitous use of sexual innuendos and stereotypes, which are often always highly amusing. Consequently, if you are easily offended by nudity, sex, violence or a lack of political correctness, then Bruno may not be the movie for you. However, that is only one aspect of this film.

Although it may not seem so at first, there is in fact a method to Sasha Baron Cohen’s madness. Underneath this films superficial exterior, of a homosexually charged fashion stereotype with an unabashed tendency to offend different races and creeds, lies a rather important and universal notion. Even though the movie is a ‘mockumentary’, the message is certainly quite clear: ignorance is a clear cause of civil unrest. Until the human race can learn acceptance without prejudice, we will never truly know a world without pain and suffering.

Bruno -Official Trailer

Bruno is unfortunately not for the ignorant, homophobic, squeamish, narrow minded, prude or conservative. For everyone else, however, it is definitely an eye opening experience. Whether the experience is good or not, is up to you!

Verdict: 7/10.


The Proposal

The Proposal

The Proposal is your standard romantic comedy, or ‘romcom’ in movie lingo. No more, no less.

As romantic comedies go, The Proposal is a movie filled with all of the usual cliché’s, in which we find ourselves cheering for the underdog while despising the obstacles hindering the progress of ‘true love’. Furthermore, even though we know how the story inevitably ends, we are inexplicably drawn toward finding out exactly how the story unfolds.

About the movie:

When high-powered book editor Margaret faces deportation to her native Canada, the quick-thinking exec declares that she’s actually engaged to her unsuspecting put-upon assistant Andrew, who she’s tormented for years. He agrees to participate in the charade, but with a few conditions of his own. The unlikely couple heads to Alaska to meet his quirky family and the always-in-control city girl finds herself in one comedic fish-out-of-water situation after another. With an impromptu wedding in the works and an immigration official on their tails, Margaret and Andrew reluctantly vow to stick to the plan despite the precarious consequences (D-Man2010, IMDB.com).

The Proposal – Trailer

The movie is good. So if you are looking for a fun, light hearted comedy, which offers genuine moments of laughter, and allows you to leave the cinema with that ‘warm and fuzzy’ happy feeling, then do go and watch The Proposal. You will not regret it.

Verdict: 7/10.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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The Red Carpet screens: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceThe movie was, for lack of a better word, incredible!

Like most book to movie conversions, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is, unfortunately, not a visually literal word for word transfer; but that was to be expected. If a literal conversion was what you were hoping for, then I am afraid that you may be sorely disappointed.

What people fail to remember, is that the movie is only based on the book. As a result, for better or worse, a certain degree of creative freedom was bestowed on the director and screenwriters. Consequently, the movie is rather different when compared to the original telling of The Half-Blood Prince, with several ‘what were they thinking’ moments. However, for what the movie is, an artfully driven visual gateway into the world of Harry Potter, the movie was, in my humble opinion, magnificent!

With this latest movie installment of the Harry Potter series, the visual cinematic flair is flush with the book. It is the first time that one of the Harry Potter movies has managed to effectively capture the progressively dark themes found in the books. This is, no doubt, in part due to the maturation of the target audience and the actors, who now have a broader and more refined range of acting skill. In this sense the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie is the closest, in feeling and atmosphere, to any of the books in the Harry Potter series, thus far.

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince is a dark, magical, funny and charming adventure that is both gripping and spellbinding. This is how Harry Potter should have been adapted from the beginning. David Yates takes the fantasy from the heights of a broomstick-flying romantic comedy right down to the depths of a bone-chilling adventure. The whole mix of genres is perfectly balanced, shifting from one foot to the next as the audience is introduced to a new facet of the story, each chapter as funny, exciting and scary as the previous one (Spling Movies, 2009).

View The Red Carpet Screens - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The screenplay and production values for the movie are spectacular. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will make you cringe with familiarity, jump in your seat with fear, laugh out loud with joy and cry with sorrow. The movie is splendidly well rounded and an absolutely fantastic journey from start to finish, for both the young and the old. Furthermore, the movie has spectacularly noteworthy special effects, amazing camera work and a visual flair that will make any audience member dry eyed.

Hans' Harry Potter Memorabilia

Although fans of the books may be disappointed with the overall translation from text to screen, it is important to enjoy the movie for what it is: a visual smorgasbord of Harry Potter goodness, no matter how off base the movies are to the books. That said, fans brought up on the movie renditions of the books will naturally love this movie.

I consider myself to be a true Harry Potter fan, having read all of the books multiple times, owning various pieces of memorabilia (see the above photograph) and having many intense late night discussions, with friends and family, about Harry’s inevitable fate. Even so I thoroughly, no, immensely enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well produced action and adventure movie!

The Red Carpet gives Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 8/10. The movie is a must see!

The movie was screened at the Il Grande theatre in Monte Casino, Johannesburg. On a side note, I would like to mention that the evening was a ‘magical’ success, with only one discrepancy. Toward the end of the evening, members of The Red Carpet made their way to Cafe Fego, in Monte Casino, for the after movie discussion. Upon settling the bill, with a fairly generous 10% tip, and just as the group was about to depart, our waiter turns to us and asks if everything was to our satisfaction. To which we replied that it was. He then proceeded to ask for a bigger tip indicating that what we had given was not enough. Have you ever heard of such insolence? A tip is not mandatory; it is merely a showing of good will. To have the audacity to ask for more is not only unprofessional but ungrateful. Consequently, Cafe Fego has lost several customers for the foreseeable future. What is the moral of the story? Take your change and tip well where it is appreciated, either at Seattle Coffee or Mugg & Bean.

*UPDATE*: For an almost perfect Butterbeer recipe, click here.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Send your name to Mars, be discovered by aliens…

NASA has recently gone all gung ho with plans to examine, terraform and eventually massacre populate our solar system’s much publicised and enigmatic red rock, the planet Mars.

Mars: As seen from the Hubble Telescope.

In an attempt to gain the support and interest of today’s youth, as well as the media, NASA have resorted to using social media to reach the masses. As a result, a variety of Twitter accounts now exist so one can follow the journey of astronauts in space, the launching of new rockets and satellites, and be privy to the latest discoveries and developments regarding the deepest reaches of space.

In an added attempt to further spur interest in this newest of space races, NASA are giving individuals the option to add their names to a list that will be placed on a chip and sent off to Mars on NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover in 2011. In other words, this is your infinitesimally small chance of being discovered by aliens and inviting yourself to be anal probed becoming a part of human space exploration history. Besides, registering lets you download this “cool and ultra exclusive certificate”:

 

Hans Haupt's NASA Certificate of Participation

  • To add your name to the list and, as NASA likes to remind you, ‘become a part of history’ *rolls eyes*, click here.
  • To follow the progress of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover on Twitter, click here.
  • For more about NASA’s attempts to reach Mars, click here and here.
  • To learn how to make a smashing ‘Little Green Man from Mars’, click here.

If you are curious to know more about the fourth planet from the Sun, read on, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. It is also referred to as the "Red Planet" because of its reddish appearance, due to iron oxide prevalent on its surface.

Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts and polar ice caps of Earth. It is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain in the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon.

In addition to its geographical features, Mars’ rotational period and seasonal cycles are likewise similar to those of Earth.

Still, of all the planets in the Solar System other than Earth, Mars is the most likely to harbour liquid water, and perhaps life. Radar data from Mars Express and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed the presence of large quantities of water ice both at the poles (July 2005) and at mid-latitudes (November 2008). The Phoenix Mars Lander directly sampled water ice in shallow Martian soil on July 31, 2008.

Mars is currently host to three functional orbiting spacecraft: Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. With the exception of Earth, this is more than any planet in the Solar System. The surface is also home to the two Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) and several inert landers and rovers, both successful and unsuccessful. The Phoenix lander recently completed its mission on the surface. Geological evidence gathered by these and preceding missions suggests that Mars previously had large-scale water coverage, while observations also indicate that small geyser-like water flows have occurred during the past decade. Observations by NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor show evidence that parts of the southern polar ice cap have been receding.

Mars can be seen from Earth with the naked eye. Its apparent magnitude reaches −2.9, a brightness surpassed only by Venus, the Moon, and the Sun, although most of the time Jupiter will appear brighter to the naked eye than Mars.

 Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Wordy Wednesday: ‘Vocab101'

Vocab1018x61_thumb141_thumb2[1] For those who do not know, Vocab101 is my daily attempt to find a new and interesting word which could potentially be used in everyday circumstances. The words I find range from the obscene, to the unbelievably true and, of course, the colloquial. Thus, Hans’ Milieu now has a ‘Wordy Wednesday’.

Each Hans’ Milieu edition of Vocab101 will take place on Wordy Wednesdays and will contain all the words I have tweeted over the course of one week from the previous Vocab101 session (7 days, 7 new words). Furthermore, each Hans’ Milieu edition of Vocab101 will contain additional new words which did not make the original cut, but are just as tantalising/disturbing!

Vocab101:

  • McShame – The emotion felt while eating a super sized fast food value meal, alone in your car, before leaving the parking lot.
  • Bitchnut – When a guy acts like he’s PMS-ing through being bitchy and whiny.
  • Carbicide – The act of not eating any carbohydrates thus disallowing any ‘carbs’ from entering your body. Essentially carbohydrate suicide!
  • Urbtard – Someone who cannot spell, often omits vowels (eg: ‘lk’ instead of ‘look’) & usually uses the wrong words to convey meaning (eg: ‘there’ instead if ‘their’). Most children born in the 90’s and onwards are considered Urbtards.
  • Manscape – When a man trims & shapes the hair on his body, instead of removing it completely.
  • Eyemuff – Similar to an earmuff, but used to cover the eyes and prevent the viewing of unsuitable material.
  • Schnarf – To spray one’s drink out of one’s nose as the result of sudden laughter. Also known as the colloquial expression for ‘cocaine’.

Vocab101-isms which missed the cut:

  • Minge – Loose, shaggy vaginal pubic hair, that is not neatly trimmed, and may be somewhat fragranced.

  • Mangina – When a man pulls his penis and scrotum back between his legs (forming a basket of fruit behind him), and then proceeding to put his legs together,  to simulate the look of a woman’s vagina from the front.

I do hope that you enjoyed the first edition of Vocab101 and that you will return for some more Vocab101-isms in the near future.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Wishroom keeps your moobs in check!

Jack Nicholson with his 'moobs' on display.Moob (n):

The word given to describe large fatty male pectorals, which resemble female breasts. Thus: Man + Boob = Moob.

Do you have moobs? Are your moobs saggy? Do you feel like your moobs are keeping you down?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then you are in luck! The Japanese company Wishroom has heard your lethargic call and has developed a solution:

Brassiers for men!

That is correct gents! Wishroom has created bras for men. The strangest part? The bras are selling out faster than Brangelina can adopt children.

Men's Premium Brasserie - Various ColoursMail order company Wishroom started selling the unusual underwear last year [2008].

Unsure of its reception, at first they only produced 160 bras at the start. These sold out immediately, prompting the company to order 5 000 more.

Wishroom president Masayuki Tsuchiya says demand from customers prompted the company to create the male bra.

Men's Premium Brasserie - Leopard PrintIn Japan, men who wear bras are known as “Bra-o”, which means “Bra men”.

Wishroom’s bras are available in a choice of white, pink and black and retail for around £20 [about R260]. They are all A cup size with chest size ranging from 32ins to 38ins.

According to Mr Tsuchiya, office workers in their 30s and 40s are Wishroom’s main clients.

Men's Premium Brasserie - Floral“Japanese salary men have a lot of stress, and the bras seem to relieve that,” he said.

Another, more surprising, market has proven to be in their 50s and 60s who, it turns out, also partial to the calming effects of a bra.

“They were the generation we had been told were manly – they led Japan in the post-war period,” explains Tsuchiya, speculating they may now be reacting against this stereotype (ananova.com).

Okay, how is a bra supposed to relieve stress? The damn things are near impossible to take off, especially in the heat of the moment. Unlike shirts, bras cannot simply be ripped off. If anything, bras are a cause of stress for men, especially during foreplay.

Apart from taking bra’s off, have you seen how much of a mission they are to put on? Why on earth would a non cross dressing inclined man want to wear a bra? Not wearing a bra, or any underwear for that matter, is one of the perks of being a man, right up there with getting away with bed hair and being able to urinate while standing upright.

Boob Milk Bottles[48]

I have always known that the Japanese are somewhat more eccentric than most, mainly because they appear to have an incomplete understanding of Western culture. Anyone remember the English swear words on shirts a few years back? [Check out www.engrish.com for more Asian eccentricities]

However, there is usually always some kind of method to the Japanese madness ingenuity. Take the boob shaped milk bottle dispensers, for example…

Absolute. Genius!

 

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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