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  1. 24 (2001)

    While I am enjoying the current season, there are some plausibility issues that can't be ignored. What I can ignore are the plot holes: for example, the guys in the detention center say "5 visitors" [ie, weapons] and are then later discovered to be innocently reading from a webpage. Yet the terrorists to whom they had no connection actually did have 5 nukes and CTU continues to treat the dodgy intelligence as factual even after the guys in the detention center were shown innocent. ... I can ignore all that. I'll raise an eyebrow if Jack crosses town in 5 minutes but will continue watching as happily as before. What you cannot change is human nature. After Morris had his shoulder drilled by terrorists, Chloe was indignantly asking him to stop feeling sorry for himself and get back to work. After a nuclear bomb has gone off it's like business-as-usual a few episodes later. And the acting has bothered me in some points. (This is the same reason I am bothered by Lost - the characters don't ask questions when they should, and generally do not behave as you'd expect. I can live with [some] bad plot points but not bad scripting/acting). 24 continues to remain in my top 3 shows. The above issues are only occasional.
  2. 24 (2001)

    The season's getting a bit silly. The script, acting and plot all have their bad/cheesy moments, although I continue to enjoy the show as a casual viewer. 24 has never held much stock in plausibility, but I was particularly bothered by Chloe urging Morris back to work so soon after his shoulder had been drilled by a terrorist. Every season of 24 is generally a new scenario, with a range of new characters, and some superficial links to previous seasons. This time, however, season 6 is an exact follow-on from 5. The Bauer Company and the Government's plan to detonate sentox nerve gas overseas (to make it look like terrorists possessed WMD's as a pretense for war) occurred in season 5; they killed Palmer because he 'found out', and the fifth season was a string of cover-ups. For season 6, I was hoping we'd either be back to Jack saving the world from terrorists targeting America, or even a military prison break-out based in China. However, what we've now learned is that those behind season 5 were found out and blackmailed into releasing the nukes - effectively making this season yet another cover-up of the sentox nerve gas plan. To the writers' credit, there have been some nice slower-paced episodes this season that aren't rushed, and deal with ideological issues. But putting those episodes in the hours that directly follow a nuclear detonation make the issues seem trivial. I'm still a big fan of the show, but disappointed in some parts. Nearly halfway into this season, what are your thoughts?
  3. Arrested Development (2003)

    Ooh! This is one of my favourite comedy shows! The humour requires you to pay close attention, and there's many jokes that you might not notice until your second or third viewing. Highly recommended!
  4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

    I never saw the trailer, and didn't even know who was in it until I saw the movie. I bought my ticket based on a friend's recommendation. It was basically a giant cliche (dysfunctional family goes on road trip where they bond and learn life lessons). I was waiting for the "winning isn't everything" speech but it never came. We got "you do what you love" (to quote the son, Dwayne), which I think might be the [semblance of a] worthwhile spirit Stephen mention. The ending definitely made me laugh most of all. Abigail Breslin is a fantastic child actress. Her cute innocence was no small contribution in keeping this movie together. However, I can see how one might view the film as cliched, contrived or unoriginal. Personally, I enjoyed it. 8.
  5. This has only just come out in Australia, so I may be a month or two late on this one. Little Miss Sunshine left me with a huge grin on my face.
  6. The Prestige (2006)

    This is my favourite movie of the year. Absolutely excellent in scripting and acting. I saw nothing mystical or anti-life about it at all. Thematically it dealt with the difference in the two magicians' motivations. Borden was cunning and self-motivated, and enjoyed engineering new tricks. Angier was a second-hander who thrived on the audience's reaction and admiration. It's no Fountainhead (nor, indeed, quite as good as Batman Begins), but I put it on a lower tier of excellence. I hope those planning to see this did not change their minds based on previous reviews here; I do not regret spending money to see this film twice. My view may be strongly biased by my extreme admiration of Christian Bale, from both Batman Begins and Equilibrium (two of my favourite movies).
  7. Prison Break (2005)

    *Eat, eat.* Yes, I was wrong. The twists have once again taken me by surprise.
  8. Tracinski on the coming election

    As a TIA daily subscriber, I've been following Tracinski's analysis and agree with his conclusions. Has Peikoff clarified his point yet, or responded to the controversy? The quicker he clarifies, the better.
  9. Peikoff on the coming election

    Hooray! Prodos is posting on the forum! For what it's worth, the best case against Christianity (fully implemented) is to observe the results of history; what happens when it gains political power. Usually, it's people who exploit it, twist it to their advantage (Tetzel's sale of indulgences being one of history's more memorable examples); but it's the inherent fact that it rests on faith that makes it a potential problem. I attended a Catholic high school, met some great (and other not-so-great) people, with fantastic senses of life and appreciation of achievement. So I don't deny that your average 'religionist' can be as enthusiastic about life as you or me. But inherent in that enthusiasm is a commitment to reality, to achieving life, and so forth. Faith, however, requires one to accept a statement in the absence of evidence, that is, in opposition to reality. So the mixture is an uneasy one. Your summary was excellent: "I find Leonard Peikoff's characterization of politicians and public servants to be false! Wrong! They do not match reality." I don't think Peikoff has correctly assessed the level of threat from religion. But its potential for evil is there. Oh, and you're right when you say that Christianity doesn't advocate violence. What it advocates is pacifism - love your enemy - and that's just as bad, because it enables violence. It discourages judgement too. And oozes egalitarianism. I could go on. Here's a question for the forum at large: My observation has been that Peikoff always argues against religion first and foremost. His speech on America vs Americans is one of several examples. Andrew Bernstein, however, in his Villainy article (which, by the way, I have nothing but endless praise for) suggests that religion is 'less' an evil than socialism due to its egoistic 'components'. To Peikoff, religion > socialism, in terms of evil. To Bernstein, socialism > religion. I should add that I'm aware how much of a gross oversimplification this is of both men's arguments. But that's the essence of it. Is there a contradiction here?
  10. 24 (2001)

    Trailer for next season: http://www.24trailer.com/ Looks good! Ignore the "sacrifice yourself" mumbo-jumbo, Bauer's coming from hell so (1) whatever he's supposed to do isn't sacrifice, and (2) he'll be bringing down bad guys in no time. Also, MEGA SPOILER, the trailer reveals who the next president will be. A great choice, considering my enduring attachment to David Palmer, someone I'll never forgive the writers for killing off.
  11. Heroes (2006)

    I've admired Nathan Petrelli in the same way I admired David Palmer in 24 (strong sense of leadership grounded in rationality), but I was a little disappointed to learn he was married before he slept with Niki. Maybe his wife is a Lillian Rearden. Hiro is great, for reasons previously mentioned. And I liked Mohinder before he became the 'skeptic' of the show. It's bugging me that, even after being threatened in the first episode, and hearing that guy inside his house, he no longer wishes to pursue his father's work. His plotline was one of the most interesting a few episodes back.
  12. Prison Break (2005)

    I'm pretty sure Mahone is going about his job as an FBI agent, investigating the break-out of prisoners. At no point have I been given the impression that he knew about the conspiracy. But when he does, it will be interesting to know where he stands. The fact that he shot Tweener would confirm in the viewer's mind that he is evil, and certainly not concerned about breaking the law (or, more importantly, breaching morality). I was hoping that the governor would be the one to uncover the conspiracy. His unbending faith in the justice system did not mean he couldn't have been swayed. But the writers killed him off most disappointingly.
  13. Heroes (2006)

    Well I'm still not sure they'll "band together" as such. That seems a little predictable, doesn't it? I think they'll encounter each other, certainly (they already have), but each being individuals with their own traits, I'd find it more interesting if they each worked to overcome their personal struggles. Not to say they should avoid one another; but "band together" makes me think of Power Rangers (even if that is not the sense of the phrase you implied). Time will tell
  14. Heroes (2006)

    'The guy' from the future was Hiro; it hasn't been stated explicitly in this thread, just in case it was missed. Sorry if I'm pointing out the obvious. Any plot involving time travel will have paradoxes, so it may become complicated in that sense. Considering Mr Glasses (I should really learn the characters' names) and his accomplice haven't been fully explored, bringing in a character from the future might be a little early. But until we hear what Samuai-Hiro has to say, I'll reserve judgement on that. At least all of the heroes' quests are now related (in one way or another), bringing some unity to it all.