A TANGLED WEB: “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ Thrills Despite Its Disjointed Presentation

When Marvel Comics produced the first issue of “The Fantastic Four” in 1961, it heralded a change in comic book storytelling. No longer did each story exist in a vacuum but, as in real life, events in one story would have consequences in another with subplots being carried over the course of months in myriad issues. This soap-operatic tone was not only perfected in, but was an integral part of, “The Amazing Spider-Man” from the late sixties into and through the seventies (which included the 1970′s introduced companion title, “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man”). It was a comic filled with teen angst, mystery, romance, and tragedy (and, oh yeah, super-heroics and costumed super-villains). In this sense, Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 truly is a comic book come to life. From the manner of storytelling to the character voices and the visuals, the film is a homage to that era of Spider-Man comics even as it tries to work within modern storytelling aesthetics.

Coming off the heels of the last film, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is standing in sundry crossroads: whether to continue find out what happened to his parents Richard and Mary Parker; whether or not to honor his vow to the late Captain Stacy (Dennis Leary) to stay away from his daughter Gwen (Emma Stone). In the meantime, Peter’s old childhood friend, Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan), returns from exile and discovers that he is dying from a rare genetic disease inherited from his father, Norman (Chris Cooper). Meanwhile, a quintessential, emotionally unhinged “nobody” named Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), who was saved by Spider-Man, becomes the victim of an industrial accident at Oscorp that leaves him forever changed. During all of this, Gwen grows weary of Peter’s on again/off again inner struggle and calls off their relationship.

If that’s a lot to digest, that’s because it is. The problem here is that Webb and screenwriters Alex Krutzmen, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pikner, and James Vanderbilt are trying to condense storylines that would take at least a year to tell in comic book form into a two hour, twenty-two minute run time (thus making an argument that what works in one medium may not work in another). While the film is enjoyable, it’s extremely disjointed. Webb tries to balance comic book aesthetic with real life. This film implies that such a balance is indeed delicate because at times the movie strays too far one way or the other. Jamie Foxx, an extremely capable actor, falls way too far into caricature in his first few scenes though he more than makes up for same when he assumes the mantle of the super-villain “Electro”. DeHaan plays Osborne as if someone had saved Jack Dawson from the Titanic, transported him through time to the present, dyed his hair, and gave him crazy pills. This DiCaprio-lite interpretation of Osborne is just as distracting as Foxx’ overacting and takes one out of the picture. The same can also be said of star Garfield at times, as the tics and mannerisms he imbues Peter Parker with are maddeningly overdone. Also in evidence is a German mad scientist caricature reminiscent of Dr. Kaufman in Tomorrow Never Dies or John Glover’s turn as Dr. Jason Woodrue in Batman and Robin. Assuming arguendo that the intent of the film is to homage that era of comic book storytelling, these characterizations are arguably spot on in keeping with that era. However, Webb is also trying to keep things “real” and, as such, the combination of these two styles are discordantly jarring. The script makes a couple of head scratching leaps in logic in order to keep the story going, but for the most part they’re not distracting enough to remove you from the action. Unfortunately, the “too many villains” syndrome in these type of films doesn’t help matters here. However, given how broadly drawn (pun intended) these villains are it’s almost forgivable; almost.

Now, as far as being a comic book come to life, the visuals are just, with perhaps a small bit of pun intended, “amazing”. While a 3D viewing will compromise the integrity of the CGI, the film is stunning to look at. The cinematography of New York City (where the film was entirely shot) is lovingly rendered. The web-swinging sequences are a joy to behold, and one scene at the commencement of the climactic battle between Spider-Man and Electro wherein the visuals are practically ripped from the comics.

What truly elevates this film are the leads. Some would consider their real life relationship an acting “cheat”, but the chemistry between Garfield and Stone is the film’s real hook. Despite various missteps in his performance this time around, Garfield gets the essence of the Spider-Man character; most especially in the quieter moments such as one involving a bullied child. As Gwen Stacy, Stone proves to be a formidable partner to both Parker and Spider-Man. She imbues Stacy with a subtlety that is, at certain moments, almost heartbreaking to watch. While their dialogue together is more quip than actual heart to heart, it’s what Stone and Garfield communicate behind their words, the energy between them, that sells their relationship (both on-and-off screen); sincerity in a world of fantasy. However, theirs are not the only performances that stick with you. In one small yet pivotal scene, Sally Field reminds the world why she is an Oscar-winning actress. Dennis Leary, who cameos as the foreboding specter of Captain Stacy, says more with a look than some actors do with five pages of dialogue. And Paul Giamatti has a grand old time hamming it up as the Russian “Rhino”. Yes, another caricature; but he’s having so much fun with what little he’s given to do you just don’t give a damn and go with it.

Hans Zimmer ostensibly takes over the musical duties from James Horner, though he leaves the heavy lifting to “The Magnificent Six” (comprised of Pharrell Williams, Johnny Marr, Michael Einziger, Junkie XL, Andrew Kawczynski and Steve Mazzaro). However, to his credit he does continue certain motifs, if not the actual orchestrations, established by Horner: an adaptation of Spider-Man’s theme, quiet piano for the romantic moments between Peter and Gwen, a schizophrenically comical yet dangerous theme for Electro, etc. However, it’s replete with the bombast Zimmer is known for. However, here it’s appropriate. It’s a diverse score that combines modern rock with quasi-classical movie scoring, providing a tone that matches the film in more ways than one.

Certain story arcs come full circle. Just like in the comics, this film features themes of the “sins of the father”, duality, identity, super power fantasies made manifest, and tragedy; heaps of tragedy. Those who have followed Spider-Man lore know to what I’m referring. But there are also themes of redemption, paying it forward, inspiration, hope (hope that is inspired, not deceptively implied in an alien symbol), and most importantly, fun. For all its strum and drang, despite the tragedy that is a hallmark of the character, the character of Spider-Man is one of fun, and while he’s in costume Garfield captures that essence in quip and mannerism beautifully.

This new franchise is a divisive one as it rewrites/reimagines stories and relationships both established in the Raimi and the source material. There will be some who will hate this film simply on that basis. However, on its own merits, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an uneven affair in terms of performances, story beats, and logic. However, for the most part, its pros far outweigh its cons. Certain questions are answered, more are raised (for the inevitable sequel). Certain story arcs come full circle. While the details may be debated, the heart behind it cannot be. The Amazing Spider-Man is a mess but a highly enjoyable one and merits a big screen viewing.

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Present and Future of Telemedicine & Telemedicine Providers

Present State of Telemedicine:

Today, the field of telemedicine is changing faster than before. The exponential growth of technology in recent years has led to an increase in the affordability and accessibility of telemedicine services. Telemedicine providers offer 24/7 access to medical care, staffing solutions for hospitals and virtual visits to doctors.

With the popularity of smartphones on the rise, a wide variety of mobile applications have been developed by telemedicine providers for easy monitoring of consumer health. Simple portable devices have been designed for monitoring body vitals such as glucose levels and blood pressure for a patient’s use at home.

Clinical Guidelines for Telemedicine:

Almost every service has a set of established guidelines to be followed, and telemedicine is no exception. While telemedicine providers and users are yet to have a standard set of guidelines, the American Medical Association (AMA) has put together a set of clinical guidelines pertaining to telemedicine services, some of which are as follows:

When to use: Telemedicine should not be used for medical conditions that require in-person examination by a licensed physician or doctor.

Notifying the patient: It is necessary for telemedicine providers to inform the patient in advance about how telemedicine services work, the limits of technology to be used and the communication protocols.

Patient evaluation and management: It is the duty of healthcare service providers to determine the appropriate telemedicine service for a patient.

They are responsible for the following:

• Determining the requirements of the patient.

• Connecting the patient with a suitable physician/doctor.

• Recording patient data for use in diagnosis and storage in database.

Billing information: Telemedicine providers should keep their patients informed of the medical costs beforehand.

Barriers for Telemedicine:

Although telemedicine is gradually gaining popularity, it has to overcome a few barriers that stand in its way of widespread usage, such as administrative barriers, state legislation restrictions, state-specific licensing requirements and patient-doctor reimbursement policies.

The Future of Telemedicine:

Market analysts predict that telemedicine will be a $36.3 billion industry by 2020.

In a group of patients who were surveyed, 75% of them reported their interest in telemedicine services and predict a bright future for it.

Advancements in the fields of technology such as virtual reality, coupled with a constantly growing user-base of telemedicine services reveal an exciting future for telemedicine. Robotic arms which can be controlled remotely and smart watches, which connect to health-trackers via wireless network or Bluetooth to instantly notify the user of any discrepancies will play an important role in telemedicine in the not-so-distant future.

Presenting a False Image of You Is Counter-Productive for Having a Successful Intimate Relationship

There are many who have created a false image of themselves with which they walk around – often until the rest of their life. Sometimes – if you are sensitive and observant enough – you see it; but often you don’t. The reason being, that these people are expert manipulators and expert in hiding “who they really are”.

Why do people create a false image of themselves?

The reason is, they feel unsuccessful, on both the personal as well as the professional level. They are trying to “upgrade” themselves in the eyes of others as well as in their own eyes.

What makes them feel unsuccessful?

The reasons might be many, and varied from one person to another. Overall, they might have grown up feeling worthless since childhood (due to their parental attitudes towards them or to a competition with more successful siblings). Or, for that reason or another (such as: low self-esteem), they have a bottomless need for love, appreciation and acceptance.

Regardless of the reason which drives them to create a false image of themselves, they develop such an image – at times consciously, at times unconsciously – feeling that only if they’ll present to the world around them an “upgraded” image of themselves they will receive the love, attention and appreciation they need.

What behaviors does their false image manifest?

One person, for example, might be there 100% for others, friends and partners; giving whatever he/she can give, without asking anything in return (since this person gets back the love and appreciation he/she so much desires).

Another person might sacrifice him/herself “at the altar of relationships”, neglecting his/her own wishes and will, letting partners abuse him/her, not requesting anything in return – as long as he/she won’t be left alone (being in a relationship means: he/she is a worthwhile person who has managed to have a partner).

Yet another person might be too aggressive with others, too controlling, wishing all the time that everything will be done his/her way, and only his/her way. By exhibiting such a behavior this person deludes him/her self to thinking that others respect him/her, or are afraid of him/her (especially is he/her has a high-level position!). He/she also feels he/she is right, all-knowledgeable, one who can teach others what’s best for them!

As you see, people with false image manifest various behaviors, but the common element in all of them is: they attempt to receiving love, attention and appreciation, filling the bottomless need they have to be loved and recognized.

Can a person with a false image be happy?

It is difficult to believe that a person who is not who he/she really is; who attempts at all times to “convince” others that he/she is who he/she is not; who takes out much energy on a continuous basis to preserve the image he/she has created for him/herself – that such a person can really be happy.

The reason being, if you deviate from the “real you”; if you “pretend” to be not who you really are (whether consciously or unconsciously); if you elicit too much energy to keeping the mask intact – it is impossible for you to stream your way in life in a relaxed, calm way, and feel happiness.

The opposite is true: you are always “on your guard”, making sure you do your best so that people perceive you the way you would like to be perceived, impressed not by the “real you” but rather by the mask you wear.

Oh, this should be so tiring!

Why those wearing a mask don’t remove the mask and change the false image of themselves?

In spite of not being truly happy, and in spite of feeling tired, they usually don’t attempt to remove their masks. The reason being, many of them are not aware any more of the fact that they wear a mask. After all, they have already gotten accustomed to being the mask!

This being the case, even if they begin to realize that they walk around with a false image, they are afraid of what might happen if they will remove their mask: “who would I be?” Even scarier is the thought of “how would others relate to me without my mask?” “Would I still receive the love, attention and appreciation I am currently receiving?”

Concluding that the answer is NO in capital letters, they keep wearing their mask, even if, down deep themselves, they would have loved to free themselves to become “the real them”, happy and authentic, being surrounded by friends and partners who will love and appreciate them for who they really are…

Taking off the mask requires courage

Taking off your mask requires courage, the courage to be authentic and true to yourself and to others. The courage to approach relationships without pretending to be not who you are and believing that “being who you are” is a requirement to being able to develop a truly loving, caring and mutual intimacy.

Taking off your mask – one which you might have been wearing for years – might not be easy, but it is worthwhile: it will enable you, maybe for the first time, to be authentic in your relationship; open and true to yourself as well as to your partner; to reduce and eliminate the constant stress of being on your guard in order to not “be caught” as a dishonest person, one with a false image, wearing a mask to disguise the real you.

It is only when you get up the courage to take off your mask and be authentic with a partner that you become empowered to develop a successful intimate relationship.

Wall Mount Bathroom Vanities Present Smart Solutions To Problems

Opt for wall mount bathroom vanities that do look stylish and chic beside being conveniently located on the wall at an appropriate height. Available in a range of budgets and styles of wood, fiber, and glass, they could be traditional, antique, contemporary or rustic in design. While most would opt for the solid strength of the antique or the contemporary with carvings that reflect the period, the glass ones are super too in luminosity and a classic feel amidst the play of light. The glass vanities and sinks are not as fragile as you would think, but must be taken good care of! White vanities are often in demand due to contemporary appearances, but the light or dark brown wood color is most common. A range of vibrant colors would be available among the synthetic ones, but they look too sensational. They could be custom-made too, according to exact requirements.

Besides the ample space that everybody strives for in roomier facilities in residences and offices, it is the personal perception of space that matters so much. A room appears cluttered and claustrophobic if you put in too many things. Remove a few and you immediately feel the difference. Lighter, single colors on the walls of small rooms heighten the feeling of wider spaces. Larger tile sizes elicit the same perception of largeness. Mirrors bring ideas of vivid space that flows in all directions.

The wall mount bathroom vanities elevated above the floor create the sensation of bigger spaces, and would maintain cleanliness with the vision of the entire floor, with no hiding places for pests. Wall mounted cupboards, shelves and mirrors similarly help to conserve space instead of a dressing table.

Look at the larger picture of the sum total of all the items in there. That would include the central vanity that would be a single or double cupboard like storage space and include the sink on the top. The setup is incomplete without the crucial large-sized mirror, usually a separate unit fixed to the wall. What else? A bathtub or shower enclosure is essential and you would need the shower rod and the curtain. The faucets, lighting fixture, and the electrical connections complete the basic setup. Additional adornment like wall hangings and art pieces would depend on the space available. An overall color-matching scheme would present a neat appearance, perhaps all whites or soothing grays and creams.

Ventilation is crucial and the view of the surroundings from the window does matter. Security would have to be considered. Appropriately painted walls beside the selection of tiles to cover the floor and half the walls promote the aesthetic element.

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