Sunday, June 17, 2012

Franklin Park Zoo -- Boston MA


Franklin Park Zoo.
The New England Zoo is often ignored as it has a low running budget. However, it is not a bad zoo at all.

Recently, the zoo is in the news again. (Giant Corpse Flower at Franklin Park Zoo) The rare corpse flower in Franklin Park Zoo is blooming.

These corpse flowers are among the most gigantic of flowers — blooms are potentially 9 feet in height and 6 feet across. This flower takes about 8-12 years to reach maturity and it blooms and dies in 1 day.

Although I went to the zoo for the flower, this is still a zoo, and I decided to visit the animals.

I must confess, you can tell that this zoo does not have much budget, and not much publicity. I mean no one really comes to Boston and go to Franklin Park zoo right?

However, one thing for sure, the staff is very professional, and they do manage to work with what they have. One thing for sure -- there are many philanthropic individuals who have stepped up the plate to support the zoo.

Walking around the zoo, I met many rare and cute animals, and it seems like the zoo has many interesting exhibits from time to time. This time, you pay $4 for the dinosaurs live exhibit which looks fun and exciting.

I strongly believe the zoo is only as good as its people, and in this zoo, the zoo keepers are very competent. They are friendly, professional and knowledgeable. I've been to many zoos in the world, and they are filled with passionate zookeepers who are so passionate, but I feel that the people in this zoo, they seemed very resourceful as well.

Loving animals seemed to be a perquisite for working at the zoo, and there is much love here as all the animals are named and well cared for.

So next time you are in town, be sure to check out the Franklin Park Zoo, say hello to the animals, feed the budgies, view the baby gorilla play chess. There is a lot of do in the zoo.

-- Robin Low

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman -- Review


Kristen Stewart as Snow White[5][6]
Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna.
Chris Hemsworth as Eric, the Huntsman.
Sam Claflin as William, Snow White's childhood friend.
Lily Cole as Greta, a young woman who befriends Snow White.
Sam Spruell as Finn, Ravenna's brother and enforcer.
Vincent Regan as Duke Hammond, William's father.
Noah Huntley as King Magnus, Snow White's father.
Liberty Ross as Queen Eleanor, Snow White's mother.
Christopher Obi Ogugua as the voice of the Magic Mirror.

The Dwarves

Bob Hoskins as Muir.
Ian McShane as Beith.
Johnny Harris as Quert.
Toby Jones as Coll.
Eddie Marsan as Duir.
Ray Winstone as Gort.
Nick Frost as Nion
Brian Gleeson as Gus.

I was quite excited to watch this movie but did not have much expectation for it. This is the second Snow White movie this year, and Mirror Mirror was pretty decent. Without revealing the story much too much, I would say that this is a very different Snow White faery tale you may be used to. It is quite interesting and the special effects is indeed pretty good. As I recall, the fable of Snow White and the seven dwarves has several things, 1) poison apple 2) show white 3) seven dwarves 4) magic mirror 5) step mother 6) old woman 7) kiss 8) prince 9) happily ever after In this story, the director tries to combine all of the above in an adult version of the fable. However, I did not understand why the dwarves seemed British, and why they did not use 7 real dwarves like Mirror Mirror. Are there so few dwarvern actors? The dwarves did not even play an important role in the story and can totally be left out. (yes there were 8 dwarves and one died) The story seemed to have quote a bit of plot holes. The pace of the story is quite ok, though dull and flat at some points, it is generally interesting. I have a few things which I dislike about the movie. The step mother / queen was supposed to be evil, and takes the "youth" off people to make herself young again. Strangely, she did not kill Snow White when she was young and the when she met Snow White alone, she could have just killed her and get her heart instead of giving her the poison apple which was not poisoned much after all. I watch a matinee, and did not even felt that my money was worth it. Overall: 4/10 If you want to watch, wait for it on Netflix or other online streaming. -- Robin Low