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Saturday, December 26, 2009


I saw 2012 at the Ozone Cinema and it WAS THE BOMB!!! Never have I seen such mind blowing visual effects since INDEPENDENCE DAY and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, I was absolutely spellbound by the whole movie. And it wasn't just the effects, but the superb acting of British-born Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as Dr. Adrian Hemsley, scientific advisor to the President, who discovered something terribly wrong with the earth's crust, John Cusack, as Jackson- a writer who emerged an unlikely hero, Woody Harrelson as a conspiracy theorist who revealed the government's big cover-up to Jackson, veteran actor Danny Glover as the U.S President and the lovely Thandie Newton as Laura Wilson, the president's daughter. It is a MUST watch- once you watch it, you'll be totally hooked; I give it two thumbs up!
 Trivia: The director, Roland Emmerich, also directed INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, GODZILLA, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER & 10,000 B.C.

Before the movie started, I saw the preview of SHERLOCK HOLMES, the latest in the long line of adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic stories of the most brilliant private eye and his faithful colleague/roommate/biographer Dr. Watson. I can't wait to see it especially since one of the characters includes the only woman who was actually able trick Holmes successfully, Irene Adler, but the casting was a bit odd to me; Holmes is portrayed  by American actor  Robert Downey Jr. (IRON MAN)  and Watson by British actor, Jude Law (COLD MOUNTAIN)- I would have thought it was the other way round, but from what I see, Robert did a fine job. And apart from that, both characters look to be in their mid-thirties whereas in the books, they were always described as middle-aged. Lastly, there were two scenes that shocked me, one of Irene kissing the woman hating Holmes on  the mouth and the other of Watson punching out  Holmes. Directed by Madonna's ex husband, Guy Ritchie and  another must watch.

 After 2012 wrapped up, I saw the poster of this movie outside and later on I checked on what it was about. This one is called INVICTUS, starring veteran actor Morgan Freeman &  Matt Damon and directed by another veteran, Clint Eastwood, who'd previously worked with Freeman in UNFORGIVEN & MILLION-DOLLAR BABY.  In this biographical drama, Freeman is Nelson Mandela, who after several years as a prisoner in Robben Island, was  released in 1990 and became South Africa's president in 1994- but still had a major task ahead of him, and that was to unite the blacks and whites ; especially as  the country was to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Helping him with that goal was the captain of the rugby team , Francois Pienaar played by Matt Damon. Freeman has already been nominated as for a a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a leading role, Damon for Best Supporting Actor & Best Director for Eastwood(not at all surprised at that one).
P.S : what I like best about Mr. Freeman is his unique ability of narration e.g THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION & MILLION-DOLLAR BABY.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Days of Our Lives: Bo and Carly's Special Moments

I'm not the only one who is observing Days Of Our Lives with renewed interest after the sudden but very delightful  return of Carly Manning(Crystal Chappelle) after a 16 year absence from the show. Her fans were heartbroken when  her passionate love affair with Bo Brady suddenly  ended in 1993; now that she's returned to Salem just when Bo is having marital troubles- fans are already  rooting for the princess & the sailor to get back together again!
Here are a few images showing some of the couple's most tender moments...

The first time Bo told Carly he loved her after a long struggle

When Bo was infected by a deadly virus meant for Carly.

During  their symbolic wedding/commitement ceremony in Mexico

Reading the scroll. Bo discovered she still had it after 18 years when it fell out of her purse  in a recent episode

Their memorable wedding night; the very first time they did 'you know what' since they'd met!!!

"On their honeymoon" in Cancun

Reunited after Bo was kidnapped by a drug cartel. The couple were seperated  for 2 whole months!

2009- Bo and Carly bonding after her sudden return to Salem following the murder of her abusive husband (who she'd  left Bo for)

In loving memory: Alaina & Brittany

I was still reeling in shock at the news of Brittany Murphy's sudden death; I'd only watched five of her films- Just Married, Girl,Interrupted,  8 Mile, Uptown Girls and Little Black Book- then I heard about the death of Alaina Reed Hall, who those who grew up with Sesame Street knew as the ever smiling photographer Olivia, who died of breast cancer at the age of 63. It's very sad- she was one of my favorite characters in Seasame Street, she had a melodious singing voice and looking back, she was the one who got me interested in photography. And Brittany, how on earth does a 32 year old get cardiac arrest? This just again shows just how fragile life is and how we should remember to fear God always in order to attain His Mercy on Judgement Day.
This year we've lost several notable stars- Bernie Mac, Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett, Natasha Richardson, Ricardo Montalban(I watched his show 'Fantasy Island' as a child), Ron Silver and of course Michael Jackson. May Allah accept them all among his chosen few. Amin.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Days of Our Lives: The great beauty of flashback

I was more of a Capitol, The Bold & The Beautiful and Santa Barbara fan some years ago, and then Days of Our Lives briefly came to our screens. There were old episodes but they fascinated me very much because of the super couple at that time; Bo Brady and Carly Manning. Bo had fallen in love with the lovely medical doctor after the great love of his life, Hope Williams was assumed dead and he and Carly had many ups and downs but their love always weathered it. During one of their ‘downs’, Carly was set up for murder by the vicious Vivian Alamaine and got injected, leaving her in a coma. Vivian then further use a Chinese herbal medicine to paralyze Carly, making everyone believe she was dead, including a very grief stricken Bo. But after she was dug out by the father of her son, Lawrence Alamaine(Vivian’s nephew and a man everyone in Salem hated, especially Bo), she woke up from the coma but alas , had lost her memory(weird, when she was unconscious she kept on screaming Bo’s name) and thought Larry was the man she was engaged to because of the diamond ring on her finger.

Bo discovered she was alive and tried to make her remember him- she felt drawn to him and even allowed him to kiss her but she didn’t regain her memory until a friend of Bo’s – Billie Reed- brought her son Nicky to her. Alas, she felt more drawn to Larry because he’d looked after her when she was ill(brainwashed her more like) so she and Bo said their very tearful goodbyes and she returned the ring she’d worn for so long. These were 1993 episodes and after Bo started going out with Billie , I lost interest and STV stopped showing it; actually It was STV’s early days that this soap was shown in the first place.

However, I read written recaps of the series- Bo and Billie married and had a daughter but Hope, his long lost love returned to Salem and Billie stepped aside when Bo made it plain he still loved Hope. Hope and Bo, after many obstacles, married but currently they are estranged. What’s worse- to my horror- after a 16 year absence, Carly has resurfaced!

She had been living abroad with Lawrence as his wife but the marriage had gone sour long ago and he’d gone back to his evil, abusive self. She’d had an affair which produced a daughter but Larry made her give her up and she spent years worrying about the child. Then one night, Larry informed her he was making arrangements to have the child killed. She proceeded to pack and leave but Larry started beating her and she stabbed him to death.

 Flying to Salem to escape and look for her daughter, she went to the one person she trusted, Bo- now Salem’s Police Commissioner. She broke into his house and he grabbed her from behind, thinking she was an intruder but to his great shock looked into the eyes of his former fiancee for the first time in years.  After listening to her sad story and doing all he could to make sure she wasn’t extradited – Carly prepared to settle in Salem and work once again at the hospital. Which finally brings me to what moved me very much... as a writer.

What I love in soaps are flashbacks... they bring to mind special moments a fan may have  forgotten.

In the episode I watched yesterday, Carly’s purse dropped on her way out and Bo helped her gather the things that fell out; one of them the Mayan scroll his former sister-in-law had given to them before their  wedding ceremony  eighteen years ago(actually it was more of a commitment ceremony, long story).

Bo remarked at how she’d kept it for so long; she shyly said she couldn’t throw it away because it held many good memories. I had watched that wedding; good memories is a GROSS understatement, it was the period when they’d been young and deliriously happy. Bo agreed and that was when I saw the flashback- both of them in their wedding clothes, reading the poem in the scroll together. It was only for a few seconds, but it was so beautiful; the actor and actress  have been on the soap for a very long time so it was so realistic, along with the soft track played. Then it faded back to the present and Bo and Carly had exchanged a look before she took her leave. I just hope Bo and Carly will not get back together; Hope already suspects Carly wants to steal her husband and apart from that, it could lead to heartbreak- Bo had left Billie when Hope returned. If he started something with Carly again... she might  be the loser.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tu O Nadie snippet: Could Raquel be pregnant?

Tonio, assisted by Ramon, picked  Raquel up  from the floor and placed her on the bed,  pushing a pillow under her head and rubbed her arm. He gave her a glass of orange juice while Ramon picked up the phone to call the family's doctor. Raquel was still half-conscious and didn't drink what was given; alarming Tonio further. He continued feeling her forehead and stroking her hair until her eyes slowly opened. He asked if she was alright, she had scared him when she'd fainted. Raquel mumbled that she felt ill and dizzy. As he held her, Vicky entered the room looking anxious- Ramon had informed her that Mrs. Raquel had fainted and the doctor has been sent for. Vicky thought perhaps Raquel was pregnant. Tonio asked her to stay with Raquel until Oscar showed up. Vicky had become distant towards her daughter-in-law but she sat by her all the same. She briefly talked to her about Max's father, who had been one of Tonio's father's engineers in the company. It was some years after his death that Alberto Lombardo started dating her. Raquel felt it was one of the reasons why Max hated Tonio  so much. Later, after changing into her nightwear, Raquel placed the hotel key in her jewellery box. Oscar examined her thoroughly and gave her some vitamins as she still looked pale, shaking her hand before leaving. Raquel got out of bed after he and Tonio  and placed the key under the mattress. Oscar told Tonio to bring Raquel to the clinic for tests in the morning.
After she was informed by Tonio,  Raquel said  hoped she wasn't pregnant, not with the present situation. Tonio assured her he'll acknowledge the child, no matter whose father it was. Stunned, Raquel asked, 'what do you mean by that?'
Tonio now thinks she's cheating on him!

Tu O Nadie snippet: EVEN WORSE!!!

The first time we watched the following episodes; my Mum regarded Max as pure evil and Raquel, extremely stupid at the way she handled the situation caused by her even more stupid sister, Martha who did NOT deserve her loyalty at all!  I swear to God, if I had a sister who caused me so much embarrassment like that, I would send her HOME! 

Martha was dismayed to hear what Max wanted her sister to do; meet him at a hotel room! Raquel too was very angry and scared but wasn’t prepared to do what he wants. Instead she was going to have a very long, hard talk with him, in order to negotiate. Tonio, still wondering what was bugging Raquel- asked her to come with him and Andres to see the new hotel at Zihuatanejo but she said she couldn't - she had planned to do some shopping. Max, meanwhile, asked Luis to book a suite at the Ritz. Rodrigo's employee, Gato- posing as Roberto Egere, called the house asking for Raquel and Vicky took the call. Max, who was nearby, took the phone and asked whoever it was to leave a message but Gato hung up without doing so.

 He asked Raquel who was the guy but she snappishly said she didn't know, someone was really pulling her leg.
 Later,  Tonio kissed Raquel goodbye and Andres shook her hand and left for their outing. As soon as the door closed behind them, Max came up to her and without a word, gave her a set of keys to the hotel suite they were to meet. Numbly, Raquel went up to her room in tears. As she was contemplating on what to do, Tonio suddenly appeared. Startled, she hid the keys behind her back and smiled at him; asking if he'd forgotten something. He smiled back; he wanted to know if she had enough money for her shopping spree. She said she had some but I guess it was the way she said it that made Tonio suspect she was lying. He picked up her white leather  purse and asked her again. She said she had some, but she'd given most of it to Martha. Alas, that didn't help because he didn't believe her at all! He grabbed her by the arm and said she was going to go to Zihuatanejo with him after all since she obviously had no reason NOT to go with him. As he dragged her out, the keys slipped out of her hand, onto the carpet. In the hallway, they ran into Martha and Tonio asked if she had money; Martha repiled, 'Not a cent. Why?' (OH DEAR!)
Tonio didn't allow Raquel to change, he insisted she went in what she already had on. After allowing her to freshen up in the bathroom, they left in silence. A maid, tidying the room, saw the key and placed it on the nightstand by their bed. Max later called the house and asked Ramon if Raquel had gone out with Tonio and Ramon said yes, much to his fury. He asked to talk to Martha who was on the couch with Claudio, Tonio's brother-in-law. 
Later on, Martha confronted Max at what he was trying to do to her sister; if he persisted, she vowed to tell Tonio and damn the consequences. 
In the evening, Tonio and Raquel got back, neither of them in very good moods. Raquel went up to their room and to her horror couldn't find the key. Tonio entered and demanded to know why she'd lied to him; had she used shopping as an excuse to meet with someone- the mysterious Roberto Egere? Raquel vehemently denied it, she didn't even know who that man was! 
Ramon appeared, with their refreshments on a tray. As he was leaving, he told Raquel that if she was looking for lost keys, a maid had found it and placed it on the nightstand. Feeling totally stressed out and ill, Raquel went out cold on the carpet. Momentarily forgetting his anger, Tonio knelt beside her, frightened...

Friday, December 11, 2009

This Year's Yuletide Film is....

This is actually a label I've been neglecting for so long, but to be honest, I really prefer watching classic films just like I like listening to 70s music like KC & The Sunshine Band. But it's a mistake I want to now rectify by posting details of this year's Christmas film, the latest version of the classic tale by the master storyteller, Charles Dickens- A CHRISTMAS CAROL. According to my source, it is Disney's third adaptation of this charming story and the first 3D adaptation, the first one a cartoon, the other, a  live action film starring Michael Caine and Jim Henson's(God rest his soul) Muppets, which were sold to Disney after Henson's death in 1990. I first read the simplified edition back in Primary school and then the full version when I was in F.C.E, Abeokuta ; I own a copy now and always read it every Christmas Eve.
This version stars funny, funny man Jim Carrey( 9 years ago he was the green monster in HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS ) as the very rich miser, Ebenezer Scrooge whose opinion about Christmas is very very low, as noticed in his famous quote, 'Bah! Humbug!!' He's generally unpleasant to people, he underpays his employee and  wouldn't give to charity.
On Christmas Eve, he got  the biggest shock of his life; a visit from the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley who informed him that he would be visited by three ghosts who would take him on a special journey; one after the other. Would it change his ways? WATCH IT!


The following morning,  Raquel found her sister looking miserable and frightened. When asked what was bothering her, Martha muttered, 'I killed a man!'
Very shocked, Raquel demanded to know what happened and is furious to learn Martha had lied to her, she didn't approve of her moving around with Luis at all- why on earth had she gone out with him and handled a car without a licence? Martha unreasonably retorted that it was because Raquel was now completely focused on her husband, while she was constantly bored and ignored by everyone. She dashed away in tears and Raquel followed her, calling her name anxiously. They passed Evil Max who was calmly smoking, he stopped Raquel and said he knew what had happened and THIS time, Raquel had no option but to obey him or she'll have no way out at all.
Raquel asked him what he meant by that statement; Max replied he was going to hand over Martha to the authorities if she didn't give him what he wanted. Raquel angrily said she was NOT going to do anything he asked- she was going to tell her husband. But Max reminded her she had got gotten over one embarrassment caused by her father, would she have a marriage at all if Tonio was told about this one? He poured out so many consequences the family would suffer if she dared told, that Raquel too became frightened and tearful and walked away. Max smiled after her, evilly.(first class bastard!)
In the sitting room, Tonio was just receiving two house guests, a handsome man about his age and a beautiful blonde girl about Martha's age. Tonio introduced the man as his best friend, Andres and the young woman, Alejandra. Andres was amazed when Tonio introduced Raquel as his wife; miffed that he was not invited to the wedding. He warmly shook Raquel's hand, complimenting her on her beauty and  she shyly thanked him and greeted Alejandra who smiled at her.

Andres jokingly asked Raquel how she was able to hook 'this rascal'; she and Tonio merely  smiled and told him they'd met in Guadalajara. Andres was in Acapulco on business but he'd picked up his goddaughter, Alejandra while passing through Miami- at her father's request. Apparently she was being courted by a race car driver her family did NOT approve of.
When they were alone, Tonio asked Raquel what was wrong- she looked rather uneasy but she said nothing was wrong at all.

In Martha's room, both sisters cried bitterly. Martha was terrified at the idea of going to jail and what her sister is being blackmailed to do because of her foolishness. Raquel wonders how on earth they'll be able to resolve the mess without telling Tonio and causing another publicised scandal to the family. (Poor Raquel, being married to a very wealthy man isn't always a bed of roses, especially since her background is completely different from his).
Vicky went to the bungalow to inform Daniel they were having a small dinner party for the guests would just arrived and tactfully suggested he dressed a bit more conservatively and lessen his alcohol intake; which he solemnly promised to do.
That evening, everyone except Raquel and Martha had fun and mingled. Alejandra wondered out loud to Camilla why her sister-in-law was very quiet. Camilla frowned at Raquel's direction and told Alejandra that there was a lot she didn't know about her- and she would explain it all in due time. Andres remarked that Martha was pretty as well; Tonio agreed but said that Raquel's beauty was more pronounced and sophisticated. After a while, Daniel excused himself, he was rather tired. Everyone said goodnight to him and as usual, Raquel escorted him back to the bungalow. No one noticed Max leaving the room via the opposite direction but then Tonio noticed he wasn't in the room.
Max ambushed Raquel on her way back to the house and demanded to know her decision. She replied, she loved her husband and was not going to betray him. Max angrily reminded her about what would happen to Martha if she did'nt comply; he only wanted to have sex with her only ONCE, he would leave her and Tonio in peace after that. Raquel jumped out of her skin when she heard Tonio calling her. She struggled with Max, who still wanted her to say yes or else. Tonio called her again and in desperation snapped 'YES!' and shoved him away from her and walked away, leaving him frustrated... he knew she didn't mean it.

Tonio looked at Raquel as she walked up to him and asked again what was wrong, she looked flustered and nervous. Rather snappishly, she said yes, having to perform her role as a hostess and trying to fit in his crowd was rather hard for her. Tonio assured her she'd done a good job so far and was proud of her. She smiled at him and they exchanged a kiss before entering the house together. Unable to console Martha, Raquel went to her room, agonising over how to solve her dilemma.
Downstairs, Andres and Tonio discuss their day trip to Zihuatanejo, where Andres' new hotel was under construction by Tonio's crew; they decided to go by helicopter. Upstairs, Tonio softly entered the bedroom and finds his wife already in bed. He bent over and kissed her on the cheek but she does'nt respond, so he prepared for bed. Actually, out of sheer worry, Raquel was only pretending to be asleep.
My people, if you were in Raquel's shoes, would'nt you just TELL Tonio?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Message From Danielle Steel

December 1, 2009

Dear Friends,
December has always been a big month for us—my college kids come home. When my children were little, we were in a frenzy trying to get organized for the holidays: shopping, assembling bikes, putting up the tree, and baking brownies, which we give to friends. It can also be a hard time, despite the celebrations and all the traditions and hopes that go with it, and painful for some. Since we lost my son Nick, we feel his absence even more sharply at this time of year.
My wish for you is that your holidays are tender, joyful, loving, and that all your wishes come true. As the year comes to a close, I hope that it has been a good one, and if it fell short, I hope that the next one is all that you hope it will be! My heartfelt holiday wishes and much love to all of you.
P.S. You are always welcome to visit me at my home on the web.
Copyright © 2009 Random House, Inc. All rights reserved