“Hitchcock” — a Movie Review

I came to the biopic Hitchcock (2012, based on Stephen Rebello’s novel Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho) with a disposition to enjoy it. I’m a huge fan of Hitchcock films but knew very little about the significant creative collaboration with his wife Alma Reville (played by Helen Mirren). And watching this movie on 123 movies made me a huge fan of this movie.

Hitchcock captures a chapter in the auteur’s life when he had just completed the successful North by Northwest (1959) and is looking for his next project. Several studios had received, and dismissed, the idea of a film version of the novel Psycho. Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) initially thinks he will also pass on the project, but while reading the novel, he becomes fascinated by the book’s subject who is loosely based on notorious Wisconsin killer, Ed Gein. The hitch is swept up by the grotesque themes of the novel and this film does a wonderful job of cross-cutting the fantasy interactions Hitch has with the killer with scenes of Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife and with various studio execs, actors, and his staff. After being turned down by his home studio to finance Psycho, Hitch convinces Alma that they should mortgage their house to fund the film and his wily agent strikes a creative distribution deal for the film with Paramount Studios.

Hitch’s staff, studio execs, and the press think he’s crazy to try to turn this brutal story into a film. Truth is, he has become a bit crazy-in the way a creative idea can possess genius. His pseudo-relationship with the Psycho killer continues through the production of the film as he imagines talking with and witnessing the atrocious acts of Gein.

Hitch’s relationship with Alma is one of personal and professional familiarity-nagging, shared meals, business talk, and even love. But Hitch pays more attention to his work, or rather lack of work, than to Alma. Enter a mediocre screenwriter recognizes Alma’s considerable talents as a writer/editor and who desperately wants Hitch’s imprimatur on his clumsy screenplay. The writer (played with adequate smarminess by Danny Huston) wins Alma over with the flattery that Hitchcock withholds in their day-to-day lives even while flaunting his well-known obsession with blondes. Scarlett Johansson is a knock out as the voluptuous Vivien Leigh who Hitch flirts with throughout a dinner meeting (Alma looking on), and in a later scene, we see him fantasizing over the photographs of former leading ladies: Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, and Eva Marie Saint.

As Alma gets more involved with the screenwriter’s project and the production of “Psycho” suffers technical and financial setbacks, Hitch seems to come unhinged. His jealousy is an odd counterbalance to his own sexual dark side; his genius counterbalanced by his over-the-top rants and tyranny on the closed set of his film. When shooting Vivian Leigh’s closeups in the iconic shower scene, Hitch screams about the inadequacy of a knife-wielding stand-in, bounds from his director’s chair and grabs the blade himself stabbing at a now authentically-frightened and shrieking Leigh. Apparently a crazy director with a butcher knife is even better than method acting.

Alfred is never moderate in his passions for wine, food, fame, and women but one senses from the numerous shots of the twin beds in the bedroom he shares with Alma that passion rarely plays out in marital obligation. The growing distance between Hitch and Alma drives her closer to her own burgeoning fantasies about her screenwriter friend and Hitch to further madness. Well into the film Hitch’s imaginary murderer-friend is still haunting him and feeds his paranoia about an affair between Alma and the writer.

Mirren is a marvel in this film and Anthony Hopkins is almost always on point in his portrayal of the mercurial director. There is but one misstep for me. In a scene where Hitchcock tries to prompt his leading lady’s acting with a spiraling, mean-spirited narrative, Hopkins seems to revert to Hannibal Lecter giving Clarice Starling her comeuppance by pointing out her humble farm origins of lamb slaughtering. Hitchcock Director, Sacha Gervasi would have been wise to avoid the close up of Hopkins’ snarling lips during this scene so it wouldn’t invoke comparison.

Johannson is solid and believable. The supporting cast of Toni Collete as Hitchcock’s assistant and actor Kurtwood Smith as the supercilious head of the film industry’s censorship bureau, adds great fun to the film. Careful watchers may even recognize former child actor, Ralph Macchio who plays the role of Psycho’s screenwriter.

If you love Alfred Hitchcock films, as I do, you will be satisfied with this movie. If you are a Helen Mirren fan, you will be mesmerized again. And if you like Psycho, you probably already have the novel and the book on which this offering is based. Hitchcock won’t disappoint.

Pre Teen Boy’s Birthday Gift Ideas for Under $10

Tween age girls are rather easy to buy for; a Bonnie Bell lip smacker sampler, fingernail polish, hair band, earrings or bath gels and they’re good to go. For those 9-12 year old boys, birthday gift shopping is a bit harder ~ they still like building and making things, but selections are pretty limited when your birthday gift budget is $10 or less. Take the example here, casino night can be a fun and unique event for small groups and so can be these parties as well. 

So what sorts of inexpensive birthday gifts can you buy a pre teen aged boy?

Legos are one of those timeless birthday gifts that continues to be popular year after year. The Bionicles and Exoforce series puts out cool kits for ages 8-14 for $9.99. Watch for the sales; this particular line can often be found on a “buy one, get one free” special.

Models are another great birthday gift idea for a boy who likes to build and make things. Models start as low as $5, with a great selection in the $7-$10 price range. For beginning model builders, stick with Level 1. Cars and planes are always good picks.

Spy Gear is a relatively new toy on the scene that has wicked spy gear including listening devices, voice traps and voice changers, spy pens, ear light, motion detectors and a whole lot more. There’s plenty of cool spy gear ranging from $5-$10.

For the sports fan the Wilson Menace football is a half size football for back yard fun. It’s covered with black and silver zebra stripes and is priced at 8.99. Don’t forget those baseball or football trading cards! Trading cards are bargain priced anywhere from $1.99 and up, and are tons of fun for children who follow a specific sport.

When my boys were this age, the Nerf arsenal of weapons showed up pretty high on their birthday wish list. Nerf weapons are really still one of the better toy bargains out there; for $7.99, you have your pick of the Xtreme of the Maverick Nerf guns. Remember back-of-the-door basketball hoop sets? Nerf still produces this popular birthday toy for kids of all ages, for a mere $3.99.

For boys into cars, Matchbook has a great line of cars under their “Since 68” product line. Included in the lineup are circa 1970s muscle cars that are wickedly cool and priced at $3.99.

Science geeks will enjoy the Mini Labs selection of science toys price at $9.99. These lab sets offer a wide selection of science projects including fingerprinting, rocks  amp; minerals, electro-magnetism, solar energy, and electricity.

Finishing up the list of fabulous birthday gifts for pre teen aged boys, are the increasingly popular gift cards. Top of the wish list are $10 gift cards for iTunes, Hastings, Best Buy, and the mall.

Shopping for a pre teen boy’s birthday gift can be a little tough, especially since you’re never really quite sure what they might have already. With this list of ideas, shopping for that special birthday present should make your shopping experience a whole lot easier.

What is an e-Cigarette?

All About e-Cigarettes 

Smoking is injurious to health and who doesn’t know this fact? However it is worst addiction one can have because quitting smoking is the hardest thing to do for a person. The feeling of smoking out gives them pleasure it rapidly becomes a part of their routine. But, the increasing risk of various health diseases where smoking is a common contributor, the awareness of quitting smoking has been proactive these days and several alternative things have emerged in the market to help you quit this habit and e-cigarette is one of those.  

What is an e-Cigarette? 

This is basically an electronic gadget which is a battery-powered vaporizer to stimulate smoking and offers the behavioral expressions of smoking including the hand to mouth gesture without burning tobacco. This is basically known as vaping where a person inhales aerosol, a liquid solution. There is a heating element which atomizes the solution and creates the smoke while puffing. Nothing needs to be done to activate the same. With puffs, it gets activated automatically. There are various looks available for e-cigarettes starting from conventional look of a cigarette, a pipe, a cigar or something else. On buddi.com you can get to see a wide array of e-Cigarettes to choose from.  

Why should one go for e-cigarettes? Well, if you compare the same with tobacco smoking you will find out that e-cigarettes are better in many ways. Here are some benefits you should know about the product. 

  • e-cigarettes can bypass the health risks of tobacco smoking while offering a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes where you smoke up nicotine.  
  • You can quit smoking with e-cigarettes’ vaping. 
  • A study said that it is a better way for young people to quit smoking and start using vaping 
  • e-cigarettes can have several flavors and this is one o f the reasons that people prefer it.  

Will you take or pass?  

Check Out Holiday Light Cruises And Other Interesting Places In San Diego For Your Upcoming Dates

The 70-mile coastline of San Diego provides the perfect romantic back-drop. When picturing a date, it involves having a dinner date or walking hand in hand somewhere serene away from all the noise, or catching a romantic comedy together.

If you are more of an outdoor person and prefer to indulge in something different, try these options.

An evening cruise:

  • After the sun sets, tour the holiday lights cruises
  • As you sit back and relax with your partner, you’ll love the views of Lake San Marcos
  • The experience is much more magical when the city is adorned with lights on Christmas and New Year’s Eve

La Jolla Shores Beach

  • Learn scuba, surfing or stand-up-paddle boarding
  • It is a quieter alternative to other San Diego beaches
  • Hold hands and take a long walk along the coastline

San Diego Tours

  • Ride high in the hot air balloon tour
  • Take private limo wine tours and feel like a celebrity couple
  • Go skydiving together

Dinner Cruise:

  • Go on board for a few hours and take in the night views of San Diego
  • Propose to her under the stars when you are docked away from the bustling city
  • Savour great food and wine
  • There is nothing to distract your conversations

Torrey Pines Gliderport

  • Take paragliding lessons at the #1 Paragliding School in the USA
  • Enjoy the views from the top of the cliff
  • It is the ideal place to visit both during the day and at sunset

SportsBender Exclusive: Oklahoma State University Installs In-Bench Breathalyzers

Stillwater, OK–The recent drug-related offenses of former Oklahoma State basketball coaches, Eddie Sutton in 2006 and Sean Sutton in 2010, threaten to overshadow the legendary “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant by Oklahoma State’s Head Football Coach, Mike Gundy. If each Cowboy coaching hire was as cognizant to the responsibilities of manhood as Gundy, the aforementioned arrests would not have emerged to tarnish the program’s positive progress in recent years. Newly-renovated Gallagher-Iba Arena, the Cowboys’ luxurious locker rooms, and the school’s training facilities remain rivaled by few athletic departments in the country, largely due to generous donations from billionaire Cowboy-alum, T. Boone Pickens.

Immediately after former Cowboys’ coach Sean Sutton’s arrest for illegal possession of prescription drugs, the OSU athletic department spearheaded a plan to prevent similar public relations “black-eyes” (or bloodshot eyes in the case of Sutton). The task force, after hours of debate and deliberation, reached the eventual conclusion that drug abuse by members of the school’s current and former coaching staff is unacceptable. Rather than firing all the current coaches as one coach suggested, the group focused on present and future preventative measures. T. Boone Pickens offered to buy all the booze in Oklahoma and store it in “a big bathtub,” but the group wisely reflected on the inadequacies of the Prohibition Era in the early 20th century. In the end, a simple, yet effective consensus was reached. Oklahoma State would install college basketball’s very first in-bench breathalyzer and “whizzinator.”

The OSU athletic department conveniently commissioned a small group of Stillwater policemen, as well as Oklahoma’s very own “Kelly Miller Circus,” to design the in-bench innovation. The collaboration resulted in a traditional breathalyzer hooked to a “test of strength” type arrow and “buzz” barometer. The sobriety scale’s 5 stages: Level 1, an illegal Deion Sanders and Dez Bryant wine-tasting party, Level 2, former coaching candidate and Oklahoma native, Billy Gillispie, Level 3, Dennis Hopper in Hoosiers, Level 4, Sean Sutton, and Level 5, Eddie Sutton.

The accompanying “whizzenator,” serves as a 7-inch hole near the end of the team’s bench, allowing the Cowboys’ coaches to supply pre-game samples. Inherently invasive, a breakaway curtain and padded lid were consequently added after the group’s initial test runs to the “X and O outhouse.” Expect other schools to intall similar “temperance tests,” including West Virginia, Stanford, Southern Mississippi, and Ohio.

Additional changes remain on the horizon for OSU. Officials will paint a straight line in front of the team’s bench on Gallagher-Iba Arena’s floor as an additional testing tool. The school also plans to change the court’s name from Eddie Sutton Court to Eddie Sutton Courtroom. In addition, the innovative folks at Nike have designed a new apparel line of orange jumpsuits for the Cowboys’ coaches. The revolutionary threads combine an anti-flask design (pocket-less) with the latest breakthroughs in “dry-fit” technology.

Ultimately, the Oklahoma State athletic department deserves a “Pistol Pete” two-gun salute for addressing the problems previously plaguing the school’s athletic programs. Hopefully, the rest of the NCAA will enact a similar zero-tolerance stance towards “skipper” sobriety.

The stories of drug and steroid abuse has shaken the very foundation of sports entertainment, not to mention the rapid increase in alcohol intake amongst players so breathanalyzer is nothing short of a boon in this regard as now games will seem like 안전놀이터, a playground of safety where there are no shortcuts to success.

5 Credible Aspects Of An Electrical Professional

electrical-professional

It is quite common that people hire an electrical professional without putting too much thought into it. However, this is not a good thing to do. There are many professionals that do not meet the requirements of their customers and in result get bad reviews from them. This is also quite dangerous for your home as well. This is why you should be avoiding such mistakes and do a little research as you hire a professional electrician. There are some professional and well-experienced service providers like https://www.speedyelectrical.com.au that you can check out as well.

electrical-servicesHowever, as you hire someone there are certain things that you should consider beforehand:

  • You should always look for the certifications as you hire any professional. These certifications in a way indicated the capability and experience of the electric professional. These certifications also depict their credibility as well, you get certified after certain tests and evaluations. 
  • Licensing is another important aspect that you should consider as you hire a professional. There are various ways in which an ongoing license is going to help you. This document indicates that the professional is affiliated by the designated company and is fully capable of handling tasks that are under his are of expertise. 
  • Make sure you get a proper insurance policy before you start with any electrical task. No matter how qualified and trained an electrical professional is, there is nor complete surety that nothing bad can happen. This is why an insurance policy is going to give you a peace of mind as you hire someone for electrical tasks. 
  • You will get to know how professional the man you hired is as you meet them. This is really important as you need to hire someone who is professional and is experienced in the field. This will help you get the desired results in the end. 
  • Lastly, you should always talk about the budget beforehand. Make sure you negotiate and get the best price for the services that you get. fix-electrical

Social Media Reciprocity

Many people, including me, feel a sort of social obligation of reciprocity. If I receive a holiday card from a co-worker, I in turn, send one to them. If my husband and I get invited to the next door neighbor’s for beer and barbeque, we will certainly, at some time in the near future, return the invitation. It’s an unwritten law (that is actually written in no end of places) which many, if not most of us, follow. 

But what about social media? Are we consciously obligated to the same age-old rules when it comes to our digital communications? For instance, if an old high school friend that I hardly know sends me a Christmas card, I will most likely send one back to them. No harm, no foul. But if that same high school acquaintance asks me to be friends on Facebook, will I be as quick to accept? Should I be? 

The dilemma is, as I see it, a matter of exposure and/or preservation of privacy. There is no risk in sending an innocuous card, but once let into my online life, I open myself up to that person in ways inappropriate for our level of familiarity. 

It is true that social media is quite a tempting platform and a welcome change for introverts, who are generally shying of expressing their feelings in public, can do it with elan in the virtual world. These days, we all are hungry for likes and shares rather than food so we resort to cheating tactics to get more attention. Generally, you should never buy likes as organic outreach is a better outcome, even if it takes its own sweet time. 

And what about kids? All parents have probably consoled a devastated child at one time or another when they found out they were not invited to a certain other child’s birthday party. Does it bear the same level of rejection and hurt feelings when Susie “friends” everyone in her class except Jill? Another characteristic of social media is that it empowers us. It’s like our drug of choice in a way, as it gives us strength and courage that we do not otherwise possess when sitting across a conference table from someone. This power, in the hands of children, can be very dangerous, as they are not aware nor do they care, about the social reciprocity theory. 

As the usage of social media sites continues to skyrocket within all segments of the population, these are certainly issues that will work themselves out. Until then, I guess we just have to live and learn – or like and poke, as it were! 

Flipping a Property

home-property321

Real estate is a good investment but flipping a house may not be as easy as it sometimes appears.

The first thing you need to know for sure is the market area. Just because a house is on the market for a low price does not mean you can fix it up and sell it for a $20,000 profit. Be sure you know what is selling in that area and how much houses similar to the one you are looking at are selling for. You must also know a little bit about the economy in that area. We have fixed up houses to sell and found many interested parties but found that not many people in that area were qualified to buy. So find out as much as you can about the area.

home-property33

Know as much as you possibly can about the repairs that need to be done and how much it will cost you. If the utilities are not one when you go to look at a house, ask if they can have them turned on before you go see the house. If they will not have them turned on, remember to allow monies to take care of possible plumbing repairs, electrical repairs and heating and cooling repairs. The costs of these can be minor or very expensive.

If you are not real familiar with repairs other than cosmetic repairs, you may want to pay the $200 or $300 that a Home Inspector would charge to have him make an inspection of the property. Again, his best report on the house would be after all utilities are turned on in the dwelling. You may also want to hire the best property management companies in Naples FL has to offer. They will help you manage your property professionally and give you the right and reliable service.

If you have someone who is going to be doing your repairs for you, you probably want to take them with you to inspect the property. They may see things that you do not since repairs are their line of business. They can also give you a better estimate of the cost of repairs if they see each item before you purchase the property. Sometimes you decide what needs to be done, purchase the property and then get your crew out there. When they see the property, their estimate is much higher than you expected because they saw things you missed.

Don’t forget that if you are financing this property, you will have interest payments to make on your loan while you renovate the house. You will also have deposits to pay to have all utilities connected and utility bills during the time you are working on the property.

When you purchase the house, you have taxes and closing costs to pay. When you sell the property some of these hard costs will appear again.

And, don’t forget that while you own this property and are working on it, you will want to have it insured in case of fire or other damage.

Don’t forget to add an agent’s percentage to your calculations also. Even if you plan to sell it yourself, you may end up needing the help of a professional. Remember, the longer you hold it trying to sell it yourself, the more you pay on utilities and interest if you have a loan on the property.

Buying, fixing up and reselling a piece of real estate is a great investment just be sure you calculate all the costs before signing on the bottom line of that contract.home-property122

Proper guidance about the Intestinal Flora and the Digestive System

It is important to learn about intestinal flora and the digestive system of our body. Experts like Jeffrey Bland say that more bacteria are found in the intestinal tract than other cells in our body. In sum, there are one hundred trillion bacteria that persist in the digestive systems. Some bacteria are good and some are bad while the presence of some good bacteria is for checking the spread of harmful bacteria.

Here are a few examples.

Acidophilus and Bifidus Supplementation

Intestinal Flora and the digestive system exist to play a critical role in our bodies. In particular, intestinal flora affects the body’s ability to combat infectious disease. There are flora such as probiotics that can help improve immunity against diseases and assist in producing vitamins.

To prevent the spreading of harmful bacteria in the intestines, the common remedy is to supplement Acidophilus and Bifidus. This supplementation also provides beneficial effects like fighting against side effects of antibiotics and producing B-complex vitamins. There are some good bacteria that can also check high cholesterol levels in the body. Probiotics are often used to help digestion, enhance elimination, and assist in the achievement of normal bowel transit time. Aside from these beneficial effects, probiotics can also be used to renew and reduce hormones such as estrogen.

L. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus

These are considered friendly bacteria that survive in the digestive system. One of the best impacts of having these two bacteria is their anti-tumor properties as well as their effectiveness in reducing antibiotic and antiherpes effects. Normally extracted from cultured dairy products, these are not inherent intestinal flora and the digestive system. These good bacteria are short-lived as they can exist in the digestive tract for up to twelve days but this is just enough to produce positive results to the intestinal tract.

Usually, most intestinal flora have neutral effects. But there are those who are harmful to the digestive system and can cause acute and chronic illness. These harmful bacteria can secrete toxins into the bloodstream, and thus, can result to sickness. But the bad bacteria that causes chronic illness are normally very weak organisms that can easily be killed by fever that produces high temperature, or other effects that result to wearing them out.

There are various foods that improve intestinal flora and the digestive system. These can be fermented foods that help in digesting food as well as produce increased nutritional value. For instance, yogurt and cheese have more nutritional content compared to plain milk. Other kinds of food are sauerkraut compared to cabbage, wine over grapes, and tofu, miso or tempeh in contrast to soybeans. Friendly intestinal flora are also heightened with Chinese green tea and ginseng.

It is important to learn about intestinal flora and the digestive system especially on how these are used to achieve optimum health. Specifically, you need to know what to look for in a probiotic supplement. While regularly eating yogurt and cultured dairy products can be for the maintenance of good bacteria in healthy bodies, taking probiotic supplements are needed if disease-causing bacteria have multiplied in the digestive tract.

To choose the right probiotic supplement, it must be guided by the following. Products must be suitable to the age as there are distinct bacterial strains for infants, children, or adults. It is also best to keep the probiotics properly refrigerated. And remember to buy and use Acidophilus and Bifidus bacteria separately to keep one from competing with the other.

In sum, it is extremely easy to understand intestinal flora and the digestive system. With the knowledge, it is the duty of the person to keep a healthy digestive system. The consumption of the mega prebiotic supplements will provide assistance to them. 

Tales of Vesperia for Xbox 360: Hands-on Preview

To celebrate the tenth year anniversary of their role-playing franchise, Namco will be releasing Tales of Vesperia on the Xbox 360. The game is also the first in the franchise on a high-definition console. Will it live up to the previous games? Find out in this hands-on preview of Tales of Vesperia on the Xbox 360.

Story

The world in Tales of Vesperia revolves around Blastia, a mysterious technology made during ancient times. The soft spoken knight Yuri and his friends must free the world from Blastia’s control.

Graphics

Although it lacks the details compared to other high-definition cel-shaded games like Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm, Tales of Vesperia looks really clean and colorful. It closely resembles a Japanese animation show. The graphics should not affect the community of a person in the games. All the graphics should be in consideration with the 토토사이 verification websites.

Sound

The background music is as solid as ever in the franchise. The voice acting is what you expect from a typical Japanese anime.

Speaking of which, Japanese music fans should be happy to learn that pop star Bonnie Pink will perform the vocals of both the English and Japanese versions of the theme song “Ring a Bell”.

Gameplay

Tales of Vesperia doesn’t stray far from the trademarked battle system from the previous games in the franchise. Combat is mainly done in real time with a couple of exceptions.

Your party composed of four members. You have direct control of one character; the neat thing in Tales of Vesperia is that you can choose whoever you want to control. Each character has their own unique sets of skills and abilities to fit into whatever style you want to play as.

To command the others, you have to bring up the command menu during battles. Aside from setting individual strategies, the menu will also allow you to set skills, use items and equip armors/weapons.

The skills you can set vary from evasive maneuvers to adding extra strength. Each skill require a certain amount of free SP to equip and are categorized in one of four categories: Attack, Guard, Move and Support.

You won’t go far in the game just mashing the attack button. Magic and special moves, called Artes in the game, are essential in Tales of Vesperia. While using them will cost you TP, they are extremely helpful. You can map each Arte to one of the analog direct on the left stick before or during battles.

Every time you damaged your enemy using normal or Artes attacks, the meter to the left will build up. Once it is full, you can unleash the Over Limit to the character you are directly controlling. Doing so will make your character more powerful than before.

Finally, you have the option to cook food after battles. Provided you have the right items and recipes, this will help your party partially recover from injures suffered in battle.

The battle system in this game is probably the most refined version yet in the franchise. Overall, if you like the previous games than Tales of Vesperia should be another must buy installment.

Tales of Vesperia controls in the following ways while fighting:

Left Analog: move

Right Analog: shortcuts for using Artes; push down to taunt

Directional Pad: use Over Limit

Left Bumper: cancel item use

Left Trigger: hold down to run freely throughout the battlefield

Right Bumper: select target

Right Trigger: perform fatal strike

A: use artes

B: use normal attacks

X: guard and other evasive moves

Y: open battle menu

Final Product

While it won’t evolve the franchise, Tales of Vesperia looks like another solid addition. Gamers who like Japanese role-playing games should thoroughly enjoy the game. Tales of Vesperia will come out in late August exclusively for the Xbox 360.