Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is in the transport business. If he accepts the job he guarantees delivery with three rules: once the deal is made, no details may be changed, no names provided by either side for deniability, and a promise that he will not open the package.
Rules are made to be broken, of course. And it is one of the unbroken rules of Transporter movies is that seeing how Frank keeps and does not keep those three rules is part of the fun. The other unbroken rules: there will be a DoD (damsel in distress) who will be both lovely and smitten. Frank will have to take on many bad guys at once but they will not gang up on him at the same too much time or try to shoot him so he can show off his acrobatic hand-to-hand, kick-to-face combat skills, and Frank will do some truly amazing things with his car. These rules are inviolate but some other guys’ rules will be broken: those principles from people like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Who cares about the laws of physics when there’s a chance for some really cool and stylish acrobatics? That’s what athlete-turned actors and special effects are for!
The third in the series is a return to the form of the first Transporter with no pretense of the sentimentality of the second, which involved a child and his mother. Frank and his car are stripped down to essentials here. There’s no delay while his friend the French cop (the reliable FranÃ§ois BerlÃ©and) has to pretend he is a suspect because they are fishing together when the mayhem begins. Next thing we know, Frank has been forced to accept a new delivery job. His car has been emptied of all of its special gadgets (except for the revolving license plates) and he has been fitted with a wrist cuff that will blow him to bits if he gets too far from the automobile. There’s one just like it on the arm of the DoD, a freckled red-head with an accent and an attitude.
Americans and polluters seem to be the villains du jour (see also “Quantum of Solace”). Nothing much there, but there are some lovely fight scenes courtesy of martial arts choreographer Corey Yuen, who also worked on the first two films. But by the time Frank has to find a way to rescue not just himself but his car after they drive off the side of a bridge into the water (being shot at by lots of bad guys) and somehow gets the trunk of the car to open underwater while taking a couple of hits of oxygen off of the tire and at the same time creating a sort of parachute apparatus to get them both back up to the surface not to mention being able to drive it as soon as they get on land — the series seems to be in need of a few hits of oxygen, too.
This week Disney is releasing a glorious new edition of its most most gorgeous, splendid, and fully realized of all of its animation classics, the high point of painstakingly hand-painted animation, before the use of photocopiers and computers. Every detail is brilliantly executed, from the intricate clocks in Gepetto’s workshop to the foam on the waves as Monstro thrashes the water. It also has one of Disney’s finest scores, featuring “When You Wish Upon a Star,” which has become the Disney theme song. “I’ve Got No Strings,” “Give a Little Whistle,” and “An Actor’s Life for Me” are also memorable.
“Pinocchio” is a natural for the first discussions with kids about telling the truth (especially admitting a mistake) and not talking to strangers. Talk to them, too, about how to find their own conscience and listen to it as if it were Jiminy Cricket. The trip to Pleasure Island may also lead to a discussion of why things that feel like fun may be harmful, and the difference between fun and happiness.
You Should Have Seen This is the definitive list of the all-time best viral videos, the good, the bad, the very ugly, and of course the Not Safe For Work.
Here is one of my favorites from the list, possibly the sweetest wedding toast ever.
The Chicago Tribune reports on a class that teaches teenagers “voluntary simplicity,” giving up one something significant each month and thinking, talking, and writing about what it feels like. Begun last fall as a project to inspire mindfulness in the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, the program now seems even more meaningful in light of the economic troubles. Students are evaluating what it is they really “need” and gaining a deeper understanding of the impact they have on the world and the impact the world has on them.
The Mundelein [High School] teens’ project began in November, when they gave up sugar and eating at chain restaurants. A television blackout followed in December, and January’s challenge was to forgo using sheets of new paper. They pledged in February to avoid buying anything that might end up in a landfill. The next challenges are the boldest yet: a March without cell phones and an April without the Internet.
I especially liked the comments of the expert quoted in the article, Madeline Levine, author of The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids. She said that going without can be good for teens.
Packing lunches, skipping the trendiest jeans or canceling cell phone service gives children a new role as a family contributor and a vital lesson in self-discipline, she said. In the process, young people reared in times of economic abundance may rethink their expectations.
“For many kids, this is an opportunity. I think that most of them are rising to the challenge,” she said.
The economic upheaval provides an excellent opportunity to talk to kids of all ages about the role they can play in helping the family. It does not have to be scary. Indeed, it cam be very empowering to teach them that the feeling of confidence and satisfaction they get from doing without and making a contribution is far greater than the momentary pleasure of being given something that can be lost, broken, or outgrown.