Actor Heath Ledger, who stared in: A Knight’s Tale, The Patriot, won critical acclaim for his role in Brokeback Mountain, and stars in The Dark Knight as the Joker, was found dead in his New York apartment earlier today. The family maintains it was not a death by suicide, and the police concur. Until an autopsy is performed, the tentative cause of death is accidental overdose.
He was an excellent actor on his way to being one of our generation’s brightest. He would have been 29 this year.
My thoughts and best wishes go to his family and the daughter he left behind.
You will be missed, Mr. Ledger.
At least, that is what Annie Leonard says from the documentary video “The Story of Stuff.” You can watch it at www.storyofstuff.com. Never before have I seen the process of consumerism brought under the magnifying glass like this has. From where the raw materials come from to where they eventually go to; this movie walks the viewer step by step through it all. No matter your level of education about this issue, no matter your social or economic status, you should watch this film.
We all know: from the lowest-paid worker in the overexploited nations to the meagerly-paid blue collar American, that there is something wrong, we just can’t seem to all put our fingers on it or wrap our collective heads around it. Annie Leonard helps put some of the pieces together.
One of the interesting concepts she brings up is “externalized cost.” As she explains on the website: “[…] the price tags on consumer products don’t capture the true cost of producing and distributing all this stuff.” In the big box stores, or in any stores for that matter, when consumers want a product sold to them cheaper the store only has a few options to them. They can either: take a cut in profits (highly unlikely), buy it cheaper (more likely), cut their cost in the item, or not care what you think. The problem comes in when the store chooses option two or three. To cut their cost in the item, or rather, their cost of storing and staffing the store house, they have to cut pay or benefits. Failing to meet the customer’s price at that point, they will buy it cheaper. This results in the same problem as before; too many people get their wages or benefits cut just so the consumers can have something they didn’t need in the first place cheaper. By putting the excess cost of the items on the actual people that produce the goods, distributors and manufacturer can enjoy the same amount of profit and still provide consumers with the lowest price.
This has to end. And only the consumers can end it. We are the ones who create the demand. We are the ones who settle for products that will not last longer than a few weeks. We are the ones who are turning a blind eye to the injustices visited upon our planet, our fellow people, and ourselves.
Visit www.storyofstuff.com and get educated on what we are doing to the planet, our friends, and ourselves.
It is time to ensure the continued story of our planet.
I just finished watching the aforementioned movie. Without a doubt that has to be the best acting I have ever seen from Will Smith. This movie is fantastic: it has seat of your chair action, heart-wrenching drama, a compelling storyline that suspends disbelief just enough to make it believable, and as usual for a Smith film, a touch of comedy to keep everyone on their toes.
For those of you who have been under a rock here is the synopsis (by Warner Bros. Pictures):
Robert Neville is a brilliant scientist, but even he could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable, and man-made. Somehow immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and maybe the world. For three years, Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he is not alone. Mutant victims of the plague — The Infected — lurk in the shadows… watching Neville’s every move… waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind’s last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But he knows he is outnumbered… and quickly running out of time.
**** Warning! Spoilers ahead!****
Sweeney Todd has got to be one of my all time favorite musicals. Right behind Willy Wonka and The Wizard of Oz. And as all good things must come to an end, so must all good things become a Hollywood movie. Having read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz when I was a child, seeing them on the screen as a child was a treat that I have only been able to compare to seeing Transformers on the big screen as an adult. Now I get to see a modern day version of a classic tale with a decidedly darker twist.
With the extremely dark and deadly themes of Sweeny Todd, it is fitting that the team who brings it to the grand screen for the second time is none other than the cinematic dynamic duo of the macabre and strange that is Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Their collaboration; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, comes to theaters in December. Re-imagined for the big screen from the Broadway play of the same name.
I can’t wait to see this movie, and I hope I am not disappointed.