Tag Archives: Dominican Republic

V Series Episode Four Review: “It’s Only The Beginning”

Valerie leaves the house on her own in this episode (and must seek comfort)

Note: As usual, minor episode spoilers, major series spoilers if you haven’t seen the previous episodes.

This blogger is more than satisfied with V’s fourth and final episode of 2009. We got more action, more technology, more Morena Baccarin, and finally more of our other chica Latina Lourdes Benedicto as Valerie Stevens! Even some humor! Bliss all around!

The Visitors practice what they preached when they first came by opening healing centers around the world. It is especially interesting to note how quickly they find perfect locations to open these centers, at least in New York City. They must have Sleeper Agents in the real estate business! They offer the best diagnostics ever, fast healing and a preventative “vitamin supplement” which of course is met with suspicion by the Resistance. The rest of the world seems OK with it as evidenced by the Centers’ months-long waiting lists. Unfortunately the Visitors have not developed the cure to the common cold (oh Anna, you’re so funny when you try human humor).

The Resistance investigates the “vitamin supplement” by following leads to a V-lab which kind of looks like the Fringe lab in terms of creepy things, sans the crazy old guy and the cow. During this whole episode the Resistance shows its strengths and weaknesses, and although everyone has their own agenda it seems that they work well together. The only one who seems to be a loose cannon is Georgie. In my head I keep referring to them as the Mini-Resistance because they are only four people, at times even less.

Our chica Lourdes’ character Valerie gets a personality! (sort of) and we discover more about her: the work she does, her work ethic, and her health issues. Turns out she will have an important role in the V/human saga after all. But I fear her character is being set up to die so her importance may be fleeting.

Chad Decker, a.k.a. The Only Reporter in New York does a story on the Healing Centers and he gets some startling news on his own health. Chad is another character that needs more development. For example, I want to know how he’s handling his fame.

Meanwhile, up on the mothership, Anna investigates the murder of valuable Sleeper Agent Wash Dale Maddox at the hand of the 5th column. The sentence for the traitor? To be skinned. Why exactly this is a punishment struck me as odd, since they all have artificial skin that in theory should be removable. Well apparently being skinned alive is a punishment worse than death. And there goes my theory of why the Vs never show their true form on the ships- I thought they didn’t want to risk any human guests seeing them.

Besides managing the media, we also see Anna managing her fellow Visitors’ opinions what with the whole 5th column rumors going around. We see exactly how she uses the Bliss we had heard about previously. Anna’s position is much higher than expedition leader. (As a side note, the Bliss reminded me of the Russian sci-fi novel Prisoners of Power -or the cooler movie adaptation The Inhabited Island– where citizens are controlled by a similar method only via radio waves.)

Teenager Tyler becomes less annoying, mostly because you know he’s gonna get it for being such a whiny brat. Even his mom ignores him, ha! Also I am more lenient towards him today because in his scenes we got to see some more above-the head-shots (which I really like) and the ship’s propulsion system (pure computer-generated magic). Speaking of special effects, I still cannot forgive the terrible green screen. Please fix that by March, dear ABC! Yes, March… we have to wait until March to get the next installment of the series. Will the Visitors march in March?? Sorry, couldn’t resist!

It’s going to be a long wait because of several cliffhangers, especially the final one. As Anna says at the end, this is only the beginning.

Note: As usual, minor episode spoilers, major series spoilers if you haven’t seen the previous episodes.

This blogger is more than satisfied with V’s fourth and final episode of 2009. We got more action, more technology, more Morena Baccarin, and finally more of our other chica Latina Lourdes Benedicto as Valerie Stevens! Much Bliss all around!

The Visitors practice what they preached when they first came by opening healing centers around the world. It is especially interesting to note how quickly they find perfect locations to open these centers, at least in New York City. They must have Sleeper Agents in the real estate business! They offer the best diagnostics ever, fast healing and a preventative “vitamin supplement” which of course is met by suspicion by the Resistance. The rest of the world seems OK with it as evidenced by the Centers’ months-long waiting lists. Unfortunately the Visitors have not developed the cure to the common cold (oh Anna, you’re so funny when you try human humor).

The Resistance investigates the “vitamin supplement” by following leads to a V-lab which kind of looks like the Fringe lab in terms of creepy things, sans the crazy old guy and the cow. During this whole episode the Resistance shows its strengths and weaknesses, and although everyone has their own agenda it seems that they work well together. The only one who seems to be a loose cannon is Georgie. In my head I keep referring to them as the Mini-Resistance because they are only four people, at times even less.

Our chica Lourdes’ character Valerie gets a personality! (sort of) and we discover more about her: the work she does, her work ethic, and her health issues. Turns out she will have an important role in the V/human saga after all. But I fear her character is being set up to die so her importance may be fleeting.

Chad Decker, a.k.a. The Only Reporter in New York does a story on the Healing Centers and he gets some startling news on his own health. Chad is another character that needs more development. I want to know how he’s handling his fame for example.

Meanwhile, up on the mothership, Anna investigates the murder of valuable Sleeper Agent Wash Dale Maddox at the hand of the 5th column. The sentence for the traitor? To be skinned. Why exactly this is a punishment struck me as odd, since they all have artificial skin that in theory should be removable. Well, perhaps being skinned alive is a punishment worse than death. And there goes my theory of why the Vs never show their true form on the ships- I thought they didn’t want to risk any human guests seeing them.

Besides managing the media, we also see Anna managing her fellow Visitors’ opinions what with the whole 5th column rumors going around. We see exactly how she uses the Bliss we had heard about previously. Anna’s position is much higher than expedition leader. (As a side note, the Bliss reminded me of the Russian sci-fi novel Prisoners of Power -or the cooler movie adaptation The Inhabited Island- where citizens are controlled by a similar method only via radio waves.)

Teenager Tyler becomes less annoying, mostly because you know he’s gonna get it for being such a whiny brat. Even his mom ignores him, ha! Also I am more lenient towards him today because in his scenes we got to see some more above-the head-shots (which I really like) and the ship’s propulsion system (pure computer-generated magic). Speaking of special effects, I still cannot forgive the terrible green screen. Please fix that by March, dear ABC! Yes, March… we have to wait until March to get the next installment of the series. Will the Visitors march in March?? Sorry, couldn’t resist!

It’s going to be a long wait because of several cliffhangers, especially the final one. As Anna says at the end, this is only the beginning.

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Avatar Day with Zoe Saldaña in Puerto Rico

Avatar Movie Pass

On Friday, August 21 director James Cameron blessed the eager masses with a sneak peek at his latest film, Avatar. I was one of those impatient moviegoers, especially after not being able to see the Comic-Con preview everyone was buzzing about. I got tickets (thanks Tecnetico.com!) for the screening and boy was I happy. Later I found out via Twitter that Zoe Saldaña (Uhura from Star Trek) would be there since she was on the island filming The Losers.

Once everyone was seated, Twentieth Century Fox marketing people introduced Zoe Saldaña (the ñ sounds like the gn in lasagna), and she read a very boring Fox blurb about the movie. It was interesting hearing her read in Spanish though, since I hadn’t heard her speak it before. Zoe grew up in the Dominican Republic and the U.S. so she speaks Spanish quite well, although she falls back on English when she doesn’t know the right words. She made up a couple of words during the Q&A, but everyone got what she was saying so it’s all good (we speak Spanglish too here).

Zoe introduced the approximately 15 minute screening and sat down to watch it with us. We had our 3-D glasses on and really enjoyed ourselves. The scenes have been extensively covered elsewhere, so I’ll just briefly go over them.

  1. James Cameron had a brief on-screen introduction and let us know we were going to see scenes from the first half of the movie.
  2. We see a colonel warning his soldiers about the crazy dangerous inhabitants of the Planet Pandora, where the movie takes place. A soldier (Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington of Terminator Salvation) enters the room on a wheelchair.
  3. Jake is on an operating table. Somehow they connect his mind to an avatar, a tall blue creature with a long tail. How they got this blue body isn’t clear from what I saw. Jake is so happy to be able to walk that he disrupts the lab, especially with his tail.
  4. We see a lush jungle with an avatared Sigourney Weaver (she plays one of the lab doctors) facing a dinosaur that looks like a triceratops/velociraptor hybrid. Another dinosaur runs after them.
  5. The same jungle but at night. Jake and Neytiri (Saldaña) confront small doggish creatures and Neytiri gets pissed off because they had to kill them. When Jake asks why she helped him, Neytiri says that he has “a strong heart.” I must say that despite the distraction of this cheesy line, the jungle was absolutely gorgeous- jaw dropping in fact. It was nighttime but some of the plants were bioluminescent. It was beautiful in all its 3-D splendor.
  6. Sam must choose a dragon type creature to bond with. He learns how to fly it. More beautiful shots. I can’t say enough about how amazing this movie looks.
  7. The last bit of the screening was a series of quick shots showing either a war with heavy machinery or perhaps a forest clearing. Neytiri was crying.

I think the movie will be absolutely beautiful to look at, but I am afraid the dialogue and plot isn’t going to be all that wonderful. It seems another picture where the non-native infiltrates the natives, realizes that his people are mistreating the natives, and ends up saving his new friends.  I admit Disney’s Pocahontas flashed through my brain a couple of times, although the 3-D eye candy made it easy to forget. I really, really hope I’m wrong about the plot.

After the screening Zoe answered some questions. One of them was about her physical preparation. She said she grew up riding horses and practicing archery and dancing. She mentioned that she had to learn how to run, because as a dancer, she glides (her words).

I was able to tape the other answers so here’s a link. Zoe answered partly in Spanish so I subtitled those bits in English. One thing that was left out from the videos that I think is important: after a question to Zoe about her geeky roles, the 20th Century Fox marketing director was quick to point out that Avatar was not specifically geared to geeks. He said it was a movie of emotions and feelings, and just like Titanic was not a disaster movie, this was not a sci-fi movie. So… the official line is that Avatar is not a sci-fi movie? Oh, Fox. You make me want to bitch-slap you.

First video (of five) here:


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