David Blaine’s electromagnetic stunt, Electrified: One Million Volts Always On, began Friday evening, meaning the magician spent his weekend standing on a 20ft platform in New York’s Pier 54 in the middle of one million volts of electric current streamed by Tesla coils. (Tesla coils were invented by Serbian-American scientist Nikola Tesla for generating high-voltage bursts of electricity. The more you know!) However, Blaine is wearing a chainmail suit made of highly conductive stainless steel — also known as a Faraday suit — so the current doesn't actually touch him.
No doubt, that's a fact that would disappoint some fans of Blaine who are used to seeing the magician deliberately endure extreme torture in exhibits like 2000's "Frozen in Time" (during which he encased himself in ice for 63 hours) and 2006's "Drowned Alive" (during which he submerged himself in water for seven days). “Unlike what uneducated people think, voltage is not what matters,” Walter Lewin, Professor of Physics Emeritus at MIT, tells Hollywood.com. “It’s the current that matters."
And because the Faraday suit is conducting the electrical current, there is little to no danger to Blaine. In fact, Lewin himself has done something like this for educational purposes. “During lectures, I often bring my body at a potential of about one million volts,” Lewin said. “Even three million volts — provided you know what you are doing — can be very safe. The crazy thing here is that this idiot wants to stand for 72 hours without food and drink. That is madness, somewhat dangerous, not because of the million volts.”
Indeed, Blaine’s most dangerous aspects of this stunt are staying awake for three days straight with no food (only a tube that delivers water), no rest, and in the middle of speakers constantly blaring loud, audience-attracting music. For some fans, that is the most impressive part of the event. Megan Valdez and Jessica Brown visited Pier 54 on Saturday evening to see Blaine’s performance after hearing about it from a former teacher of Brown's who currently lives in Spain. (And, interestingly enough, Blaine's stunt has invited plenty of chatter overseas — press has been covering the display thanks to a live stream to audiences in London, Beijing, Tokyo, and Sydney via the Electrified YouTube channel.) "It's amazing that he can literally stand there for that long and deal with the music,” Valdez said.
In fact, fans didn't seem to care for the scientific aspect of the display — for Brown, enduring the loud atmosphere and a lack of sleep was worthy enough of awe. “The music probably would kill me because I have sensitive ears," Brown said. "So I think that there’s a lot of elements besides just standing on that pole that people probably aren’t taking into account. Besides that fact that he’s also standing for that long, he’s not sleeping, he’s not eating, he’s not drinking.” Plus, for some, it doesn't hurt that the spectacle is visually stunning — Blaine stands in the center of a steel cage, wearing the mesh suit, and watches bright blue tendrils of electricity jump out at him. Add in the loud crackling of the volts and the music played on the keyboard, and it made for an intense viewing experience. (Of course, watching Blaine himself — standing, waving at the crowd, and stretching his legs — wasn't quite so interesting.) “I saw this on the Internet,” said another spectator, Mike Weiss, who visited the display with his son, Robert. “The last time we came and saw him, he was in the water for like three days. Pretty cool stuff, but this is way cooler than the water.”
Of course, not everyone was cool with some realities of the spectacle. Said Valdez in horror watching Blaine, “He’s peeing in a catheter!” Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum [Photo Credit: WENN] More: Darren Aronofsky electrifies David Blaine during latest stunt Chris Rock electrifies David Blaine during New York stunt Beyoncé Joins Jay-Z on Stage During New York Concert — VIDEOS
Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the craziest b**ch of them all? It’s Cora of course! Wait, or is it Regina? Hmm… we’ll let you be the judge. This week’s episode of Once Upon a Time finally gave some highly anticipated answers to questions we’ve been dying to know. How did Regina become such an magic-crazed psychopath? Now that the curse has been broken can they leave Storybrooke? What happened to Snow and Emma? And are we going to meet a fairytale character who is sexier than Jefferson?! I’ll go ahead and answer that last one for you right now: Nope. The Mad Hatter is mad handsome and I’m happy to report he’s back!
Mo’ Magic, Mo’ Problems: Now that magic (aka the super cool purple smoke) has entered Storybrooke, no one knows what will happen if you leave the town’s boundaries. (FYI: In the past, the fairytale characters physically couldn’t leave the town.) So the dwarves (yes, all seven of them) take it upon themselves to find the answer. After drawing the shortest stick, Sneezy is the one who has to cross the line. Is anyone else surprised that it wasn’t Dopey? After one small step (and by “step” I mean push), Sneezy is quickly paralyzed with magic.
We soon learn that if the characters leave Storybrooke, they will lose their memories all over again. Grumpy shouts to everyone in town, “If we leave, our cursed selves become our only selves.” Definitely not ideal. The person most devesated by this new is Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) who has his bags packed with many adventurous looking maps. Sorry Rumple, looks like you’re still stuck. By the end of the episode, the dwarves (only six of them this time) are off on a quest to find fairy dust so they can restore their brother’s memory and help bring magic back to the masses.
While all this is going on, Gepetto is posting missing person signs for his son. In the hotel room we get a glimpse of Pinocchio/August (Eion Bailey) and see that his is still made of wood. But then he blinks! Henry (Jared Gilmore) nudges Gepetto in the right direction and the worried father enters the hotel room. Here’s the weird part: Pinocchio is gone. The only thing left in the room is his hat, which has been reanimated. Thus, we can assume he has been de-wooded (not sure that’s even a word) but we have no idea where he has gone off to.
Like Mother Like Daughter: In a flashback to the fairytale world, Regina (Lana Parrilla) is speeding by on horseback desperately trying to escape from her mother’s clutches and her obligations to marry the king, Snow’s (Ginnifer Goodwin) father. But just as she was about to leave boundaries, a nearby tree snatches her up and holds her prisoner with its branches. It's quite the clever spell created by her power-hungry and magic-loving mother Cora (Barbara Hershey). Regina reiterates to her mom that she doesn’t want to marry the king, “I want to be free,” she pleads. Her mother assures her, “Power is freedom.”
Regina is desperate to find the man who taught her mother all her evil ways, so she steals Cora’s spell book and weakly calls out a name she see scrawled on the first page: Rumplestilskin. He instantly appears in her bedroom and Regina is surprised to learn that Rumple knows exactly who she is. “Oh yes, I know everything about you dear," he croons. “I held you in my arms. You were younger, more portable then.” Hmm… odd. Rumple instantly recognizes that Regina has the potential to be extremely powerful tempting her with the line, “Magic. It can set you free.”
Rumple presents Regina with a portal (a mirror, fittingly) so she can send her mother into another world. “All she needs is a little push, but the question is: Can you do it?” he teases. On the day of her wedding, Regina gets so frustrated with her mother’s controlling ways and finally gathers up all her courage. She uses her mother’s magic against her and pushes her into the looking glass. Cora is transported to another realm, the mirror shatters, and it’s obvious that Regina quite likes the taste of magic. Rumple offers to guide Regina in the ways of magic, but of course she realizes there must be a catch. Rumple merely says, “Someday you’ll do something for me.”
Over in Storybrooke, Regina is desperate to get Henry back and she believes the only way to do so is to use magic. She gets the spell book back from a reluctant Mr. Gold and after perusing (more like inhaling) her mother’s old spell book, Regina has got her powers back. Cue the dramatic music! She proceeds to show off her newly re-found skills at the city hall where the entire town is waiting for Charming (Josh Dallas) to reveal his epic plan. After watching Regina toss a few characters around and start a mini fire, Henry says that he will go with his mother. He shouts, “Okay! I’ll come with you, just leave them alone!”
Back at Regina’s home, it only take about 2.5 seconds before Henry tires to escape. But it seems that Regina has been inspired by her mother’s old bag of tricks because she places the same boundary spell on Henry that her mother once placed on her. Basically, once Henry tried to escape, the branches of a tree wrapped him up tight like a burrito. “Don’t fight it honey, you’ll get a splinter,” she says coolly. Regina tries to temp Henry into staying with promises to teach him magic. She also presents him with an humongous cupcake, but he wants nothing to do with either of the delicious treats. (Silly boy, take the cupcake!) He tells his mother, “I don’t want to be you.” And with those six little words, Regina has en epiphany. She has become just like her mother.
One Pissed-off Prince: Charming/David (I prefer Charming) is desperate to find his family and demands to know where Regina got the hat. “I’ve long since forgotten,” she retorts. Right then, I call B.S. on the queen because no one could ever forget the time they stole a hat from the ridiculously handsome mad hatter. Charming quickly realizes that Rumple is the only one who will be able to help him find the owner of the hat/portal. In exchange for a location potion, Charming and Rumple make a deal to stay out of each other’s way. The hat leads Charming straight to an overturned car and we have absolutely no idea how long the mad hatter has been stuck inside there.
Jefferson (Sebastian Stan) is back! And, hot damn, he’s looking better then ever. Unfortunately, besides making our TV screens much more attractive, Jefferson can’t really help with anything else. Jefferson smugly says, “I’m a portal jumper and you destroyed my portal so you’re out of luck.” He tells the prince that his family is definitely in the Enchanted Forest (which I’ve been calling fairytale land) but there is no way to get there. At this point, Jefferson’s crazy kicks in and he runs away as fast as he can down the street. Bye handsome! Call me!
The whole town is in a panic and they are looking to Charming for the answers. However, the prince does not seem too confident in his public speaking skills, telling Henry, “I did the fighting, Snow did the talking.” Just as the entire town was about to leave Storybrooke, Charming gives an impassioned speech promising to lead them like a proper prince and not let Regina rule again. “I will protect you. She won't be able to hurt any of us, not as long as I’m alive. No as long as we all come together as we did before, as we shall do again," he says with brooding charm.
And the sexiest moment of the night goes to Charming when he bursts through Regina’s door brandishing his sword. Swoon. In her first non-wicked act, Regina decides to let Henry leave her home to live with his grandfather. (That’s still so weird to think about.) Regina, in an attempt to be less Cora-esque, says, “I don’t know how to love very well.” While Henry is gathering his things, Charming demands to know if indeed the Enchanted forest still exists. She reveals that is does but she has no idea how to get back to their former home. She quips, “I can see I just launched you in a heroic quest.” In the end, Charming tells Henry that he is confident he will save their family.
Cell Block Tango: In last two minutes, we finally see Snow and Emma (Jennifer Morrison). They are being held as prisoners and taken to a dark and dirty makeshift town. “They look like refugees,” Snow ponders out loud. “We’re survivors,” Mulan (Jamie Chung) snaps back. Snow, being her classic badass self, kicks Aurora square in the gut and attempts to escape. The princess screams, “Emma Run!” Unfortunately, Mulan is just a little bit more of a badass and she easily knocks Snow out cold. Ouch. Emma and an unconscious Snow are brought to a dungeon and you’ll never guess who they are sharing a cell with. Okay, maybe you will. None other than the mother of all-evil: Cora. Yikes!
What did you think of this week’s Once Upon a Time? Bummed that we barely saw Snow and Emma? How long do you think Regina will stay nice-ish? Cast your spell in the comments below!
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[Photo Credit: ABC]
'Once Upon a Time' Recap: A Bewitching Beginning for Season 2
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1. Live Blogging The Fighter Trailer!
I generally try to avoid trailers. I like to go into a film the same way Saruman wanted his halflings delivered, alive and unspoiled. But after receiving approximately a dozen text messages about this next trailer I figured the thing to do was man up and live blog this bad boy for your entertainment. Hit play and enjoy.
:01 - :17: Brothers sure can be silly!
:18 - :29: Yikes. Remind me not to have an ex-wife.
:30 - :33: This is the exact training scene they played in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out.
:34 - :36: Wait, why did Pam leave Jim? Will this be explained??
:37 - :45: Remember kids, it's okay to slap people if it's in the service of a bartender.
:46 - :51: I'm not going to fault a boxer for needing the money. Not too many guys out there willing to take a free beating.
:52 - 1:03: Aren't there weight classes in boxing to match up the fighters evenly? If I'm Wahlberg I call foul here.
1:04: - 1:15: Pam Beasley believes in you!
1:16: - 1:25: This guy seems like he might be "connected."
1:26: - 1:40: Brothers sure can be silly!
1:41: - 1:45: It took less than 40 trailer seconds for Mark Wahlberg to get a title shot! Comeback of the decade?
1:46: - 1:55: I'm getting the sneaking sensation Christian Bale's character is just a jerk. Typecasting?
1:56: - 2:02: Somewhere Hilary Swank and Clint Eastwood are shaking their heads.
2:03: - 2:08: Wahlberg looks yoked.
2:09: - 2:21: Oh, I feel myself singing a little "Redemption Song" for Bale. Won't you help to sing?
2:22: - 2:30: That's right, I AM Mickey Ward! Any bartenders out there in need of protecting?
In all seriousness, I'm a big fan of David O. Russell's work. I'm definitely looking forward to this film.
2. The Joaquin Phoenix Documentary Was a Fake. No kidding?
These fellas, Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix, still don't get it. It's okay to attempt a hoax in the service of art. It's okay to straddle that fine line between lunacy and reality, and it's okay to poke fun at the somewhat silly social conventions that dictate the celebrity lifestyle. What it's not okay to do is waste everyone's time. If you're going to shoot Joaquin Phoenix looking and acting like a crazy person then shouldn't it at least be entertaining? Can we not do better than Phoenix mumbling to the camera and faking cocaine usage behind closed doors? There was nothing remotely honest or authentic about the film, Joaquin looked nothing like himself, though he was clearly only one quick shave away from heading out to script meetings. As an actor, Joaquin Phoenix has the power to convince people, he just chose not to use it, instead opting for lazy and pointless meetings with Diddy about a music genre he clearly knew nothing about.
Christopher Guest has made a career out of subtly mocking reality, staying within a degree or two of the plausible. Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck simply filmed him acting like an idiot and tried to pass it off as authentic, but that's not a real skill. Anyone can do that. This was a film that clearly hates our culture's fascination with celebrity, but you wouldn't even be allowed to film and release this sort of nonsense in a culture that wasn't fascinated with celebrity. In fact, I'd argue they only strengthened the idea that the celeb is more important than the art, because while no one saw the film everyone paid attention when Joaquin was playing the fool on Letterman. Way to go, gents. You successfully added to the mire with your pointless effort. It's a proud day for you two.
3. The Top Ten of 2010 You Probably Missed.
I don't want to get on your case, but you've missed quite a few movies this year. Here are the films, helpfully ranked, that less than five million citizens purchased a ticket to.
10. & 9. Mesrine: Parts One and Two: The adapted story of a real life French gangster. Violent but captivating.
8. The Kids Are All Right: The first entry in post-sexual politics filmmaking.
7. She's Out of My League: No, it didn't have any big stars in it, but it was still generally hilarious.
6. Cyrus: A very odd comedy, but some of the best moments of the year can be found within.
5. Remember Me: People hated the ending, but people tend to hate anything that evokes emotion.
4. Youth in Revolt: Michael Cera is really funny here, and the books are stellar too.
3. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Director Edgar Wright is so far ahead of the curve that he thinks he's behind.
2. Get Low: Robert Duvall wins an Academy Award or your money back!
1. A Prophet: A violent Godfather-esque prison tale, it starts slow but ends with momentum. Be a buddy and give it a rental.
On that note, I hope you have a weekend that starts slow ... but ends with momentum!
Check out last week's Movie Musings here
Laremy is the lead critic and senior producer for a website named Film.com. He's also available on Twitter.
Havana Nights is based on the real-life story of co-producer/choreographer JoAnn Jansen who moved to Havana in 1958 with her family and fell in love with the culture and the dancing as well as a Cuban boy. Here Katey Miller (Romola Garai) resents the fact she is being uprooted from her middle-class American life to live in Cuba where her father has taken a prestigious job. The bookish 18-year-old is expected to hang with the other rich American rich kids at the luxurious Havana hotel where she and her family are staying but instead she finds herself drawn to the proud Javier (Diego Luna) a waiter at the hotel. She soon comes to realize that the steamy capital is a hotbed of activity--not only politically as country stands on the brink of revolution but also on the dance floor where the locals including Javier move their bodies in ways Katey never dreamed possible. She wants to learn Javier's slinky salsa moves but in trying to get closer to him she inadvertently gets him fired; since Javier's family relies on his income Katey wants to make good and convinces the Cuban hottie to dance with her in a prestigious national dance competition whose grand prize would set his family straight again. Katey starts lying to her parents and rushing off to practice with Javier. As their passion for one another grows their dance moves begin to meld (sounding familiar?) and when the night of the contest finally arrives Katey and Javier are ready to win unaware that the streets of Havana are about to erupt in revolutionary violence.
Look out! There's a new heartthrob in town and his name is Diego Luna. The Mexican actor who made his mark in the incredibly sexy Y Tu Mama Tambien sizzles as Javier with smoldering eyes a sinewy frame and a killer smile any girl in her right mind would fall for. But Luna isn't just hot; he's also a fairly talented actor if given the right material. Unfortunately Havana Nights isn't really up to snuff. Even still Luna sinks his teeth into a few choice moments especially when Javier tells Katey how his father was killed by the Cuban regime. British actress Garai (I Capture the Castle) isn't nearly as charming a good girl itching to break free as Jennifer Grey was in the original Dirty Dancing but it's hard to take your eyes off her as she comes alive on the dance floor. In supporting roles the lovely Sela Ward (TV's Once and Again) and John Slattery (HBO's K Street) do an admirable job as Katey's parents former dancers themselves who try hard to give their daughter the freedom to express herself. And for all you diehard Dirty Dancing fans watch for a very strategically placed cameo by that movie's star Patrick Swayze.
The original 1987 Dirty Dancing tapped into the American consciousness with its sweet love story set against a backdrop of straitlaced 1963 mores pulsating music and sweaty grinding bodies. Even with all its cheesiness the film has sold over eight million VHS and DVD copies to date. The new movie's setting--1950s Cuba-- works even better than Dirty Dancing's Catskills locale and with even more young hot bodies and hotter Latin music one immediately gets caught up in the rhythm of the film. TV director Guy Ferland (F/X's The Shield) also captures Cuba's lush surroundings transforming the streets of Puerto Rico where the film was primarily shot into old-school Havana. Havana Nights may not however see the same long-term success as its predecessor probably because of the hackneyed script courtesy of Boaz Yakin (director of the illustrious Uptown Girls) and Victoria Arch.
Music artists discuss HIV/AIDS. Each artist segment is followed by a music video. The show also features the video for "What's Going On," the single that benefits AIDS research and the United Way's September 11th fund.