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Autism from the inside


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Book Review Autism Decoded: The Cracks in the Code: Volume 1 By Stella Waterhouse

 

This books is a must read for parents, professionals and people on the autism spectrum 

Stella Waterhouse has been a professional in the field of autism since the 1970’s with a whole wealth information that taps into the very soul with resonance and deep thought, she clear has a passion for getting the knowledge out there by presenting different aspects in chapters with detailed and accessible writing.

From detailed historical elements of autism, professionals and advocates on the autism spectrum  written with eager candor, emotion and objectivity to the multi-faceted nature of autism broken  down into accessible  pieces.

  • Sensory Perceptual Disorders
  • Sensory Processing
  • Theory of Mind
  • Context Blindness
  • Language Processing
  • Exposure Anxiety 
  • Alexithymia
  • Personality Types
  • OCD, ADHD and other co-conditions
  • Short/Long Term Memory
  • System of “Sensing”
  • Facilitated Communication 
  • Left-Right Brain Functions & Brain Development 
  • Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome 
  • Savantism

The running theme in book contextual to the information based on the specific chapter is to give a human element that touches the reader, makes them think, reflect, perspective take, feel emotion and more.(with first person account and historical accounts).Woven with relative and  factual elements (such as the brain and nervous system) that broaden the palette and overall sphere of information giving rounded, objective and fluidity the runs from page to page.

This is a refreshing book that achieves the very title it was given looking beyond the stale and liner 2D nature of autism and opening up a broadening 3D perspective that will no doubt help generations to come. Highly recommended.

Paul Isaacs 2017

 

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Doctor Who – Series 5,6 & 7 – Blu-ray Review

Image result for matt smith doctor who blu-ray

Note: This is the Full Blu-ray Boxset 

OVERVIEW

This is the the 11th Doctor’s Full Tenure as The Doctor from Series 5 to 7 which is three separate boxsets with extras.

PLOT

Matt Smith dons the mantle as the 11th Doctor thick and fast with a giddy and promising quirkiness that shows that “Who” is going into different direction and it certainly was. I have stated in the the review of the Series 8 the level of complex story arcing and dovetailing (in typical time bending fashions) comes thick and fast through the series tenure River Song’s timeline is expanded upon, and her origins revealed. Then Amy & Rory’s dynamic story and ultimately bittersweet storyarc as both a being married couple and travelling companions this certainly is a different tone.

I could use words like “mature” and “dark” however it is much more than that the serials come across more thriller-esque possibly due to the  drastic changes in production and overall direction, the humour is less apparent and that lends to more serious and times depressing impact. I feel the with each serial the stories and tone and overall atmosphere progressively change for example compare Matt Smith’s first series with his final and you will see what I mean.

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SPECIAL EFFECTS

I viewed this TV serial in HD (1080i 50fps) Doctor Who – Series 5, 6 & 7 The picture quality is top notch vivid colours, vast amounts of detail and a great leap in special effects making full use of the technology to make vastnand incredible worlds. The audio is mastered in HD with amazing bass and full dynamic range.

CONCLUSION

It really did grow on me and I am somewhat sad I missed out on Matt Smith’s outings as the infamous timelord the first time around, however viewing his full outing as the Doctor has made me appreciate that change is good, atmosphere and storytelling are fluid whichcan take you to the further reaches of space much like the traveller himself. Highly Recommended


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Wretches & Jabberers DVD – A Journey Into Autism

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A moving and delightful movie and about two men on the autism spectrum who are both “functionally non-verbal” finding their voices through facilitated and typed communication. Debunking the myths that people who cannot speak with their mouths are “retarded” or “intellectually disabled”.

Tracy and Larry are best of friends and their passion for advocacy leads them to meeting others around the globe who are also yearning and fondly sharing their experiences and voices with a wider audience, showing great empathy, compassion, introspection and deepness through the words that they write to a wider audience. Bringing people into their world and inviting others to think, reflect and reevaluate what “autism” and “intelligence” even look like.  Showing great feats of creativity.

There is warmth, humour, sadness and hope sometimes all at once when listening the candid words and hopefully the viewer will come out of this experience with greater level of acceptance and make less assumptions about what is going on on the “inside”. Please all presume competence.

I highly recommend this DVD.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Batman: Mystery Of The Batwoman (2003) Film Review

 

OVERVIEW

The classic Batman Animated Series had many movies this it the latter and last before Batman Beyond the title is offering a plot with a mystery new super-heroine that prowls the streets of Gotham, however what is her motive?

PLOT

The plot is very much a twisting an turning one in which the main character is as much a mystery and secretive as the the Batman himself with many differing story arcs, red herrings and various subplots thrown into the mix this a tight well crafted story that lends to a more mature audience.

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ANIMATION 

The style of animation is worth a mention which gives this movie a “classic” noir feel lending many of its iconic visuals to the the original animated series in the early nineties with the characters themselves being more “streamline” this is in all a very impressive outing.

I viewed this movie in HD (1080p 24fps)  on Warner Bros. Blu-ray  The picture was pristine, sharp and clear the animation is vibrant, detailed and what really pings out is the noirish hues that dominate the screen.

CONCLUSION

This is a highly atmospheric, clever, detailed and basically a fun movie to watch and with the complexity of the plot, interesting characteristics and interesting animation this is worth a peek under the cowl. Highly Recommended

 


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Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996) – Film Review

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OVERVIEW

This is the fourth movie in the Hellraiser Franchise it is in many ways an ambitious but at times flawed sequel opening up the story to its fullest and most vibrant potential only to be hampered by different directorial visions and a final cut of the movie which may not fully represent either director’s vision.

PLOT

The plot consists of three basic elements with exposition  the past, present and future of one bloodline that created the box that opens the doors to hell for me this an interesting departure in the franchise the first movie deals with the complexities or human relationships, the second movie is an extension of the motif going into areas of ego and self identity and the third movie deals with the “man behind the monster” and his quest for redemption in some ways the fourth movie expands on the latter and goes on from there.

So the human element is a man trying to make the right the past of previous generations the monsters of his dreams have been a reality the box his ancestor made unwittingly for a french occultist.

As society  human society changed so did hell starting off and a hedonistic splinter of the human desire (something expanded in the alternate cut) to a more “ordered” and “structured” dominion many hundreds of years later which you see in the previous movies. I can see some overlapping social metaphors in this movie the hollowness of cooperation, fame, fortune and the lack of morals from both human beings and cenobites alike and karma does eventually come to collect.

PICTURE & AUDIO

After having the previous DVD for many years with its soft, dull palette what really surprised me in this new edition is the depth of colours, hues and lighting this includes flesh tones and additional detail which I couldn’t see before. The movie was viewed on a HD TV (1080p  24fps Blu-Ray compilation from Miramax Studios USA Import) this is a worthy upgrade with a balanced picture and an impressive audio with a good surround experience and deep bass that hits you during the introductory instrumental.

 

CONCLUSION

With its ambitious multi-layered plot, impressive action and dialogue after many years as seeing this as a subpar sequel re watching recently I have come to realise how good this movie actually is (and could have been with the alternate cut) in its own right closing off the series with a logical conclusion still talking about the brokenness of human wants and desires and expanding the plot and story through a multi-genre lense Recommended.


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Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)- Movie Review

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OVERVIEW

Godzilla vs. Hedorah was released in 1971 this movie is one off in the whole franchise in many ways it has an intelligent sub-text about Japanese society, environmental worries, class systems and the evolution of the youth culture this in many ways is a deep film with the backdrop of the kaiju genre.

PLOT

The plot has one of the elements of Son of Godzilla (1967) which was focusing on the human-beings destruction of their environment this is shown through the massive human pollution metaphor of the Hedorah monster itself it makes people ill, it makes people sick and can kill people this is shown tenfold in some rather gruesome ways as Hedorah’s  sludge and gas envelopes the people it touches.

There is also a look at the youth culture in this movie which gives it a more adult tone and break away from the “kid-friendliness” of the Godzilla movies of the late sixties, no science-fiction battles or foes from other planets – Hedorah was created by society in a sense I feel the director was having a dig at the youth culture’s disregard for drinking and smoking as seen in the night-club segments as well as three middle class men drinking while Hedorah and Godzilla wage forth a battle the ignorance to Hedorah’s presence was shown by these two “societies” and “classes” this truly is a deep film.

Godzilla’s hero status is made more plausible and “real” in this movie with moody lighting, dark night scenes, ominous noises and impressive miniature, suitmation and optical effects (with no stock footage) gives this and pardon the irony a fresh feel.

Overall this is an “environmental” movie with the backdrop of a “Godzilla” franchise it is about family, friends, parenthood, class-systems, human beings wrecking the environment and big guy himself being a hero with more substance and belief.

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SPECIAL EFFECTS 

For 1971 it has quirky hand-drawn animation, clever optical effects, impressive lighting and miniatures, moody lightening and tremendous multi-layed foe that is Hedorah this was a stellar effort by Toho and it shows. The movie was viewed on a HD TV (1080p 24 fps Kraken Blu-ray Releases) this was an very impressive experience with clear and balanced colours and crisp and clear audio.

CONCLUSION

This is a dark movie with gritty drama, melodrama (with the boy his dreams and his family), political, reflective and ambitious this was certainly a right move by Toho to take the franchise in a very different and in my opinion more mature direction  – highly recommended.

 

 


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Hellraiser Trilogy Boxset – Product Review “We Have Such Sights To Show You!”

Hellraiser Blu-ray Trilogy BoxsetOVERVIEW

I recently obtained the Hellraiser Trilogy Blu-ray this is a Region B  Italian Release (By Koch Media) and both an Italian dubbed  and original soundtrack.

Some fans of the series consider the first three instalments to be the better movies in the franchise which has racked up many sequels and prequels (to the events of Hellraiser: Bloodline) in its own anthology although sometime in the future I will review the stories and plot – here I review both the audio and video presentations on the discs.

VIDEO

Video is presented in widescreen 16:9 and formatted in HD (BD-25) single layer discs (one for each movie) with Full 1080p and also at 24fps. These to me are the best all three movies have ever looked the colours are balanced and correct, less flickering due to the enhanced frame rate and also bold, detail and colours. The first movie is flawless (or close to) with minimal specks and grain. The second movie is a big improvement other previous DVD releases with colours being sharper and more bold and less soft although it is still apparent – it is clear in this movie that the lighting is very different in tone to what was wanted in the first this dues ping out at you during the latter half of the movie. The third movie (in which production was taken to the the USA) has well balanced tones and a clear distinct sharpness due to the HD mastering of the picture.

AUDIO

All movies have an amazing 5.1 DTS mastered soundtrack and it is the best I have heard all three movies benefit from this with enhanced bass, pitch and over atmospheric detail  which is again a vast improvement on all three movies. They have never sounded so good.

CONCLUSION

Despite having no special features the audio and visual presentation alone is enough for me to recommend these movies as well as the sturdy and interesting packaging. Overall highly recommended.

Paul Isaacs 2015