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The Island—No Real Man is One
 by The Blonde and The Maven
Film Columnists

Director Michael Bay (The Rock, Armageddon and Pearl Harbor) brings us two movies in one with The Island. The first half of the movie takes place in a sterile environment where inhabitants are clad in white and lead aimless lives (so many of us do the same in reality). Apparently there was worldwide contamination resulting from an ecological disaster and the only survivors lived in this safe place. However, occasionally some new people are found and referred to as survivors. The only outside place that is ecologically safe is “The Island.” Space is limited on “The Island,” so there is a random lottery held where the winner gets to leave the facility and go to paradise. In addition, women who are about to deliver a child are also given the right to go live on “The Island.” Nobody seems to question life at the facility. Curiosity doesn't exist.
Things begin to change when Lincoln Six Echo, played by Ewan McGregor (Star Wars and Down with Love) starts asking too many questions. To say the very least, people in high places begin to take notice! Doctor Merrick, portrayed by Sean Bean (Troy and National Treasure) is in charge of the facility and is concerned enough about Lincoln's queries to examine him. Meanwhile, Lincoln's friend Jordan Two Delta, starring Scarlett Johansson (In Good Company and Lost in Translation) has won the lottery. Lincoln has a recurring nightmare involving Jordan and the lottery. He goes snooping where he shouldn't and witnesses another lottery winner Starkweather, played by Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile and Armageddon) in a surgical suite, and NOT on “The Island,” where he was said to have gone. Fearing for Jordan's life, Lincoln rescues her and they make an escape from the facility.
Now the second half of the movie begins. Lincoln finds a technician that he befriended in the facility, McCord, portrayed by Steve Buscemi (Armageddon and Con Air), who explains to them what they are and why they are really at the facility (we will NOT give that information away). A security team is assigned to chase the runaways led by ex-Special Forces commander Albert Laurent (Djimon Hounsou from Constantine and Beauty Shop), whose orders are to bring them back before anyone finds out WHO or WHAT they really are. (Curious yet)? Lincoln and Jordan are much harder to stop than expected! The duo leads the Special Forces team through an explosive journey of L.A.! Along the way, they learn much more than they ever bargained for and SO WILL YOU!

The Blonde: Okay, The Island was like Coma meets Logan's Run meets Blade Runner and Holocaust meets a touch of Star Wars and Face-Off meets The Village! This was such a cool movie. To begin with, isn't Johansson totally beautiful? I simply hate her! I heard she had her tonsils removed in the middle of filming and they had to stop production and wait for her to recover! Next, Wean—how could his mother give him a name like that anyway—is not a bad-looking chap, but even more than De Niro, he really needs to remove his mole in the center of his forehead. I couldn't stop staring at it the entire movie. It is a definite M. R. (must remove)! Moving right along, I just love it when Steve Buscemi plays a GOOD GUY! By the way, Mav, did you hear about the newly wed guy who went missing on his honeymoon cruise? MMMMMMMMM? OVERBOARD!!

The Maven: First of all, his name is Ewan and not WEAN! Furthermore, YOU and YOUR mole complaints! Not everyone feels the need to have needles stuck in their skin and then smell their skin burned off. “You must be ONE with your mole!” Why haven't you ever complained about MY mole?

The Blonde: BECAUSE …I LOVE YOU and I don't have to stare at you on a big movie screen for two whole hours! BUT…It wouldn't hurt! WEAN… EWAN, SEAN, BEAN IT'S ALL SO VERY CONFUSING!

The Maven: This movie has everything you should expect from a Michael Bay film. There are enough car chases, car explosions, building explosions, helicopter crashes and violence to entertain even the simplest of minds. Luckily, there's more to the movie than that! Both Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are able to portray the right combination of innate smarts and “born yesterday” naïveté to their characters. Scarlett has never looked more beautiful and Ewan, well… it was nice to see him clean-shaven and out of those OBI-Wan-Kenobi robes.

The Blonde: What I found most interesting is, just when you think you have seen every storyline ever written and become immune to the possibility of unique, different, new and fresh, here comes The Island! I enjoyed watching the story unfold.  I loved the virtual boxing scene in the film, blood and all!  I have so many people in my life that I would just love to play that with. I also loved the scene when Jordan and Lincoln got close to share a kiss, and a guard comes up and states, “Watch your proximity!” Don't you just wish we had that power over our teen girls!

The Maven: I agree, but in your case…just give YOUR daughter a phobia about MOLES and freckles! THAT SHOULD DO THE TRICK! How come, no matter what film role Steve Buscemi does, he gets all the funniest lines? He really jump-started this movie. I wish he had stayed in the movie longer!

The Blonde: I thought the chase scene was one of the best I have ever seen (in the movies that is)! It was kind of Star Wars-esque/Matrix! Hey Mav, what would you do if you had the chance to save your life the way these people did? I wonder what I would do? Oh, who am I kidding? I would SO GO FOR IT! I would totally pull MY insurance policies plug in a New York minute given the same info they were!

The Maven: Speaking of info, what's with these British guys? Charles, Hugh Grant, and now Jude Law! Why do they all have to cheat when they have such wonderful woman?

The Blonde: I was out of the country in Las Vegas. What did Jude do?

The Maven: He cheated on his fiancée Sienna Miller, with the nanny of all people!

The Blonde: Oh, that would be Robin William's syndrome! Speaking of sex, it was quite interesting when Lincoln, as an ADULT, experienced sex for the very first time. That must be more than amazing!

The Maven: Now there is something you could never know about in ANY LIFETIME!




The Maven: Wasn't it fun counting the blazingly obvious product placements? Let's see, there were Microsoft, Nokia, Cadillac, and Ben and Jerry's plugs. Did I miss any?

The Blonde: Well someone's gotta pay for all those costly special effects!

The Maven: I enjoyed The Island. Science fiction is always a favorite of mine. The action was exhilarating to watch and had me on the edge of my seat.

The Blonde: Oh, is that why you were sitting like that? I thought you needed to go to the ladies room!

The Maven: Well… the excitement and diet coke did eventually take its toll. If you are looking for something edgy and stimulating, this movie IS IT! While the subject matter is currently topical, the film doesn't preach it. However, it does give you something to think about! WOULD YOU BE TEMPTED TO KEEP AN INSURANCE POLICY? I rate this film a B for BRAVO!

The Blonde: I really had fun here. I was captivated from the start. I found the story to be exciting, original and clever, which is a hard combination in the film industry today. I rate The Island a solid B. For your movie snacks I suggest a CLONEDIKE candy bar and then maybe some Double-Mint gum! Have fun!

P.S.: If you haven't yet seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, go see it. It is a delight for both children and children at heart!

Optic Nerve is Back at MOCA
 An Evening of Emerging South Florida Filmmakers,
Friday, August 5

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is pleased to present the seventh installment of Optic Nerve on Friday, August 5. Optic Nerve is MOCA’s annual film festival featuring short videos and films by some of the freshest and most innovative artists in South Florida selected from an open call for submissions. Two screenings of the 40-minute program will be held at 7 and 9pm. The public is also invited to meet the filmmakers during the Starbucks Artist Roundtables at 8pm.
The twelve films that will be screened are all under five minutes in length and incorporate a wide range of narrative and non-narrative filmmaking techniques. They include: Mr. Wizard:  The Legend of Speed, a stop motion animation art piece created by the Miami-based artists group Friends With You, in which “Air” and “Land” meet to perform sacred rituals to keep the world in perfect harmony; Kyle Trowbridge’s 1984, a meditation on violence and grace focusing on the surging crowds of a 1980s punk rock concert; Ali Prosch’s Not My Mama, a campy encounter with a manic swamp zombie that explores the true meaning of “mother nature”; and Carola Dreidemie’s Untitled, a hand-manipulated film that investigates a state of desperation and fear using rhythm and repetition as key elements.  
The films were chosen by a panel comprised of Sylvia Karman Cubiña, Director of the Moore Space, Miami; Rhonda Mitrani, independent filmmaker and Co-Founder of The Florida Room, Miami; and Barron Sherer, Co-Founder and Chief Programmer of Cinema Vortex, Miami.
Optic Nerve VII is sponsored by Starbucks Coffee Company. The program is part of MOCA’s ongoing effort to provide new venues for emerging South Florida artists.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami. The event is free with museum admission. MOCA admission is free for MOCA members, North Miami residents, City of North Miami employees, and children under 12; $5 adults; $3 for seniors and students with ID. RSVP required. Seating is limited and not guaranteed.
For reservations or more information, call 305-893-6211 or visit www.mocanomi.org.

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