Archive | November 2014

Gone Girl the movie was a very different experience from Gone Girl the novel

Bhaskar Chanda Gone Girl Movie ReviewGillian Flynn’s novel dives deep down into the fears — both rational and irrational — that come with a significant romantic relationship. The primary fear, in short, is that the person on the other side of the bed could be someone entirely different from who you’ve come to love and know. Or, just as scary, that your significant other could turn into someone entirely different than he or she is today.

It’s a frightening thought, and it’s what drives the novel forward as the we parse character-revealing entries from Amy’s diary and keep tabs on Nick’s investigation. It is only through Flynn’s intricate weaving of the Amy-Nick relationship that we are lulled into a bubble of belief. We come to trust the Nick’s narration and Amy’s diary so much that their big reveals (spoiler: Amy’s faked death and Nick’s affair) are so surprising that they pop our belief bubble suddenly and viciously.

It is this moment of discovery, of figuring out that the narrators are not to be trusted, that makes the novel a complete thrill and makes Gone Girl the movie a letdown by comparison. Sure, the film still delivers most of the plot intact. It even gives us much of the novel’s dialogue quote for quote. But the impact of these quotes is so different because we aren’t given the same backstory that Flynn provides in her novel.

Bhaskar Chanda Gone GirlAmy’s fake diary reveal is a real “wow” moment in the novel but David Fincher’s film treats it instead as one of many pieces of a puzzle that Amy has devised for her grand plan. It still comes off as impressive in the film, but it doesn’t have nearly the same impact. Even Amy’s famous “cool girl” rant has a different, and somewhat less satisfying appeal in the film than in the novel. Whereas the novel offers that speech as an intriguing and impressive critique against unrealistic relationship expectations, the movie delivers it less as a societal critique and more as a feminist rant against “stupid” women.

Yes, Gone Girl the film still gives a fascinating depiction of the engaging Flynn tale. It still builds the fake storyline and gives gives the same (or similar) plot twists. It still makes us ask how much we know about our partners. But it doesn’t feel real and it certainly doesn’t give us the same satisfaction or jaw-dropping delivery that Flynn’s novel does. If you read the novel, you’ll still enjoy the film, but you’ll be left with an empty hole of disappointment that only Flynn’s writing can fill. 3/5 Stars

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Perivascular Gli1 Progenitors Are Key Contributors to Injury-Induced Organ Fibrosis

Bhaskar Chanda Stem Cell The cellular origins of fibrosis in different tissues are unclear. Kramann et al. show that Gli1 marks a network of perivascular mesenchymal-stem-cell-like cells that generate myofibroblasts and play a central role in organ fibrosis after injury, and ablating these cells ameliorates fibrosis and rescues organ function.

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SCNT-Derived ESCs with Mismatched Mitochondria Trigger an Immune Response in Allogeneic Hosts

Bhaskar Chanda Stem Cell Deuse et al. report that SCNT-derived mouse ESCs trigger an immune rejection in spite of their matching with the entire nuclear genome of the recipient mouse strain. Their findings reveal that mismatched mitochondria can be sufficient to elicit an allogeneic response.

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Plasticity and Dedifferentiation within the Pancreas: Development, Homeostasis, and Disease

Bhaskar Chanda Stem Cell Cellular identity is established by genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors that regulate organogenesis and tissue homeostasis. Although some flexibility in fate potential is beneficial to overall organ health, dramatic changes in cellular identity can have disastrous consequences. Emerging data within the field of pancreas biology are revising current beliefs about how cellular identity is shaped by developmental and environmental cues under homeostasis and stress conditions. Here, we discuss the changes occurring in cellular states upon fate modulation and address how our understanding of the nature of this fluidity is shaping therapeutic approaches to pancreatic disorders such as diabetes and cancer.

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Matthew McConaughey’s Potential Oscar Performance in Interstellar

Bhaskar Chanda Film ReviewThis last month’s movie roundup has been outstanding, and Interstellar might be the one to top them all. With a star-studded cast behind Christopher Nolan, this movie is nothing short of spectacular. One of the most intellectually stimulating movies I’ve seen in a long time.

The cast is made up of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, and Matt Damon; all who brought their A-game with remarkable acting. Matthew McConaughey is expected to win the Oscar with his performance as Cooper, an x-NASA pilot turned farmer. Cooper is living with his son, daughter, and father-in-law. His daughter thinks that a ghost is trying to communicate with her, and Cooper eventually conducts experiments that figures out that aliens from the future are using a wormhole to communicate with his daughter. This sends Cooper and a team of NASA pilots through an interstellar adventure through a wormhole to find a potentially habitable planet for humanity’s sake.

Christopher Nolan might potentially win an Oscar as well. This movie kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time, which is especially impressive since the movie was almost three hours long. Matthew McConaughey is on a role of recent. He was almost the only actor to have won a “best actor” Oscar (for Dallas Buyers Club) and Emmy (for True Detective). He lost his Emmy to the fantastic Bryan Cranston for his role as Walter White in Breaking Bad, debatably one of the better performances of the decade. Anything with Matthew McConaughey these days is a must see, and Interstellar is no different.

This is just the Sci-Fi/Action Adventure film that you want to see when going to a movie along with an added intellectualism that you don’t see with many movies of the sort. This movie did not only keep me entertained on a basic level, but also kept my mind intellectually stimulated at the same time. 4.8/5 stars.

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Nightcrawler is a Must See! Masteful Performance by Jake Gyllenhaal

Bhaskar Chanda Nightcrawler Jake GyllenhaalFilled with suspense and anticipation, Nightcrawler keeps its viewers on the edge of their seats throughout the entire movie. A unique plot along with an Oscar warranted performance from Jake Gyllenhaal make this movie a must see in anyone’s book.

Without watching any trailers about the movie, the movie starts off in a relatable fashion with Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, Louis Bloom, looking for a job. In the first ten minutes, you notice that Louis Bloom is a little socially awkward and his job searching techniques are a little unorthodox. As he is driving home one night, he notices police attempting to rescue a woman from her car, which has caught on fire. Louis Bloom pulls over to the side of the road to watch, and a news van screeches to the scene to film the rescue. This act of freelance recording intrigues, Louis and he decides to jump into the industry. He purchases a video camera, police radar, and GPS. He then sits in his car at night, waits for something newsworthy to come through the police radio, and races to the scene to capture some footage of the situation at hand.

The stars of the movie are Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed in a stellar supporting role. This is a role to remember for both these actors, and one of the best performances I’ve seen from Jake Gyllenhaal. Calling his character anti-social is an understatement. His character has no grasp of social queues or empathy. Every move that he makes is completely logistical according to what he needs to do to make money and grow his business. Riz Ahmed plays a more timid character desperate to impress Louis Bloom in his first “real-job.” These two characters play off of each other spectacularly, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s psychopathic demeanor kept my eyes glues to the movie screen.

With a great plot and extraordinary acting, this movie is a no-brainer. 5/5 Stars

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