School for Scoundrels looses the plot

I recently watched this comedy and was only mildly entertained by it. The more important lesson is that its possible for a shy, nerdy, insecure guy to become confident, social and improve your success with women. So many of the guys who ask me about my coaching programme are infatuated with ONE girl. They miss the point that it is about improving your overall social success with women.

This is one of those few movies like Hitch which can give insecure, lonely or frustrated guys a glimpse of what’s possible. The basic plot of the movie is that Roger, a nerd, played by John Herder from Napoleon Dynamite fame, takes a class with a self-help guru Dr P, played by Billy Bob Thornton. Dr P is a real ass hole and treats all his students with disdain. He has a bad-add enforcer in the form of Lesher, played by the huge Michael Clark Duncan. You can read more detailed reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

What I want to highlight is how stupid this movie ends. Roger basically wins back his girlfriend from Mr P, who turns out to be the biggest liar and a con-man. When you watch a movie like this you have to think about how realistic it is for a character as pathetic as Roger to build enough confidence to do what he does. What I mean is to actually pull it off. This kind of things never happen in the real world. It takes a long time to build up enough muster to challenge an authority figure like Dr P. There are no short cuts and you can throw luck out the window. Fake it till you make it just won’t cut it with women in the long term. If you want to supercharge your social success with women in South Africa, join the South African Seduction Lair and meet guys with more experience. Stop reading books or listening to audio programs from the Internet. Meet guys who can show you what’s possible.

 

Maybe Jason Bourne is better than James Bond

Matt Damon as Jason BourneJust came back from watching the awesome Bourne Ultimatum. Matt Damon really kicks some solid ass in this film like he did in the previous ones. Bourne is tortured by memory loss and is on a mission to find out where it all began.

This got me think about Jason Bourne vs James Bond as a spy but more so as a male role model. It’s been said other than their initials they do not have much in common. Jason Bourne is edgy, vulnerable and tortured while James Bond is smooth, droll, conscience-free. Bourne is stalked by the loss of his girlfriend in the Bourne Supremacy while James Bond is the ultimate player and womaniser. For a brief moment it seemed like Bourne was going to hook-up with Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles). But he sent her on her on way as he continued to go for broke trying to find out his origins.

In terms of raw energy Jason Bourne is the more pragmatic of the two spies. James Bond relies so much on gadgets to accomplish what he needs to do. I do accept that Daniel Craig is likely the only actor to play Bond that could be superior in ass kicking than Matt Damon‘s Bourne. So while James Bond relies on his charm, Bourne could be enormously attractive to women because of his single minded conviction while showing compassion when you least expect it.

 

The Triangle in Bermuda unravelled

The Triangle is a miniseries originally broadcast on the Sci-Fi channel and now available on DVD. I rented the DVD over this weekend because it’s about 255 minutes of running time broken into 3 episodes. This is a very original take on the Bermuda Triangle and time travel discrepancies.

You will enjoy this DVD if you enjoy other current science fiction series like The 4400 or Heroes. The producers include Bryan Singer, director of first two X-Men films and Superman Returns as well as Dean Devlin, producer of Stargate and Independence Day. The cast is exceptional with Eric Stoltz, Sam Neill, Lou Diamond Phillips, Catherine Bell, Bruce Davidson (twice in X-Men as Senator Robert Kelly), and Michael E. Rodgers. There is also two South African actors in the series with brief roles: Marius Weyers, still with a thick South African accent after all these years and Hakeem Kae-Kazim, originally from Nigeria but primarily based in South Africa. I’ve met Hakeem a few times and he has awesome energy about him.

The plot is simple – it seems. A very rich shipping magnate Eric Benirall (Sam Neill) recruits a group of misfits that include a journalist for a tabloid, a deep ocean resource engineer, a man with genuine psychic abilities and Meteorology professor. They band together in desperate times as they find weird coincidences or as Freud called them uncanny happenings. On the surface it seems straightforward, Benirall’s company controls about 1/5th of all ships on the sea at any given time through his cargo company and has lost 6 ships in a short space of time. Later on more deeper reasons emerge as it turns out Benirall lost a brother in the Bermuda Triangle. Each one of the main cast have personal circumstances which adds depth to their characters. The navy it turns out is building a huge machine to counter the effects of the infamous Philadelphia Experiment, in which a ship allegedly disappeared in a scientific experiment in 1943. It has been an integral part of many conspiracy theories over the decades.

In summary this is a great action packed, sci-fi thriller. It’s also reminiscent of the X-Files in many ways and pays homage to mixing hard core scientists, with sceptics, with soothsayers. This is a highly recommended DVD to all those who enjoy suspense, unusual events mixed with great science fiction and excellent performances by the cast. Just a final note – I was really chuffed this mini series was shoot mostly in Cape Town.

 

Another Philip K Dick novel turned into a movie, Next

Last I watch the film Next starring Nicolas Cage and the very hot Jessica Biel. Next is based on the latest Philip K Dicknovel, The Golden Man, to be adapted to the big screen. Philip K. Dick is mostly known for his works on Science Fiction and some memorable movies have been based on his work like Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and others. This film is great action packed adventure plays up the “responsibility” that comes with great power.

Nicolas Cage plays a stage magician with a gift to see 2 minutes into the future. He is obsessed with visions of a woman, Jessica Biel, which is unusual because he is seeing days into the future because of her. Peter Falk, TV’s Columbo, makes a small guest appearance. Julliane Moore plays a sassy FBI agent who convinces her boss to bring Nicolas Cage in to help track down a nuclear weapon which has been smuggled into America. There is also sorts of plot changes that seem to happen because of his visions of the future changing. So ever now and then the movie jumps back to a previous point because the desired outcome did not happen.

One of the best scenes early on is when he tests various approaches with Jessica Biel and because he is looking into the future he can figure out which one actually works and do that one. A lesson here is in fact that the best approach is the one that is not needy, indirect and also unsuspecting. With enough practise you will discover that well thought out approaches can come across as natural and spontaneous.

 

Apocalypto death to fear and courage reborn


This past weekend I finally watched the new Mel Gibson film: Apocalypto. This film is set in the ancient Maya civilisation just before the arrival of the first Europeans. It’s graphic in it’s violence and it’s portrayal of the capturing of one tribe by another to be used as slaves and for ritual sacrifice is gruesome indeed.

This movie really made me think about the link between fear and courage. This was first brought to my attention by Dr Paul Dobransky, a noted psychiatrist and author MindOS. Basically it goes like this when you are afraid you need courage to do the things that bring fear into your life. When you do courages things it fills up the amount of confidence you have to do other things which may bring feels of fear into your life. Susan Jeffers also wrote an excellent little book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.

Now back to Apocalypto. This movie is set in the jungle’s of Mesoamerica and right from the beginning it’s very much an adrenalin rush with the capture of a wild boar. Soon after the capture the son of the tribal leader, Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood), through intuition or through sharp senses, gets up, turns around and calls out to what turns out to be a huge tribe in migration, to come out of hiding. This tribe is on the run from slave hunters if you can call them such. Flint Sky, the father of Jaguar Paw, reminds his son not to be afraid. He says to these tribal people moving through their forest, something like this: I am Flint Stone! This is my forest. This is my forest! My father hunted in this forest before me, and my sons will hunt here after I am gone! This is a quote that will be repeated by Jaguar Paw later on in the film.

Soon afterwards the village of Jaguar Paw is pillaged by same slave hunters. The Mayan priests and through them, the king, had ordained that more sacrifice is needed to purify the lands, improve the crop harvest and to save them all. The society had been in decline for a number of years. There is elements of the film that is not historically accurate but this has nothing to do with how powerful a message it conveys regarding how to overcome fear with courage. Just before he is about to be executed a solar eclipse takes place and all the ritual sacrifices is stopped. It’s not over for the captures slaves as the high priest orders them killed. Through some tough determination Jaguar Paw outmanoeuvres the hunters who had captures him and manages to escape into the forest.

Apocalypto waterfall sceneAnd here is where he’s courage is brought to the fore. His confidences increases as he gets deeper into the forest. Now just as his village was being attacked he managed to get his newly pregnant wife and son into a deep hole. And this is part of what drives him to keep going. The fact that he has to rescue them before it rains, and they drown. As the hunters close in on him he fights them off in different ways. The most exhilarating scene in the movie could be when he jumps over a waterfall. When you consider how some of the hunters following him hesitate and end up being killed because of bad jumps over the same waterfall you realise how superior Jaguar Paw’s confidence has become. He is not afraid to take risks and he places himself directly in the line of fire on several occasions. With speed and agility he overcomes great obstacles in the chase. Overall though you can start to see how living in the moment, the now, brings you closer to your true self. It brings you closer to nature and your instincts can take over. Now in a modern, westernised, technologically advances society we live in there is absolutely nothing that pushes us in the same way to develop our confidence, our courage and our instincts. To a large extent we become nothing more than automatons doing repetitive things over and over. Our ability to overcome fear when confronted by it is reduces because of this group behaviour and placating activity we call living today.

Watch the trailer for Apocalypto here and also checkout the detailed Wikipedia entry on Apocalypto.

 

TEDGlobal 2007: Session 1: Carol Pineau

Carol PineauCarol Pineau was the 3rd speaker for the first session of TEDGlobal. She is best known for her documentary Africa Open For Business. She told some of the stories from her inspiring documentary. The first was the story of Ruff ‘n Tumble a very successful clothing designer from Nigeria. Another one was the great success of Vodacom Congo founded by Alieu Conteh, also a speaker at TEDGlobal. And maybe someone who could be considered in the future as Africa’s answer to Richard Branson: Mohammed Yassin Olad, who started a private airline when the Somali government collapsed and with it the national airline shut down. This is what true entrepreneurship is about – realising opportunities in the most dire circumstances.

She further explained that there is a unusually high perception of risk in Africa. However, China is one country that is striking up alliances, partnerships and investing at a rate like no Western country is doing. And in a way this is almost like a Marshall Plan for Africa.

You can purchase the documentary Africa: Open for Business directly from her website here. And here is a great article summarising the message on the official South Africa website.

 

TEDGlobal 2007: Session 1: Andrew Dosunmu

Andrew DosunmuContinuing on the theme of the Africa you don’t know was Andrew Dosunmu, most famous in South Africa as being the director of the hit television show Yizo Yizo. While growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, he experienced very different images of Africa compared to when he moved to London. Andrew has directed several music videos including one for the song Birima by Youssou N’Dour and Wyclef Jean. Andrew is filled with a passion for telling real stories especially about young people and how they experience living in Africa. So he travels widely collecting stories about youth culture and portraying positive images in his work.

Make sure you checkout Andrew Dosunmu’s website for more information this extraordinary African film maker.

 

Norbit is another bad role model for men

Norbit Eddie Murphy comedyEddie Murphy plays multiple characters in a his latest comedy once again. And yes it’s about fat people. Murphy plays and Norbit, a shy, introverted orphan; Rasputia, the obese, loud-mouthed, girl who saves him from the playground bullies, and whom he later on ends up marrying; as well as Mr Wong, the rude, racist Chinese owner of the orphanage where Norbit is raised.

I must agree wholeheartedly with the review on Filmthreat that Murphy seems to be getting lazy in trying to come up with new ideas. The humour is dated to say the least. The thing about Norbit, the main character, is that he is such a nice guy that he gets walked over his whole life. This means that he essentially has very low self-esteem and lacked a strong male model growing up. Mr Wong tells him a few times throughout the film that his inner strength that will one day emerge.

Thandie Newton, the hot MILF, is one of the few redeeming aspects of this movie. She plays Norbit’s childhood friend, who returns to town with her fiancée played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. This presents a challenge to Norbit that will hopefully bring him out of his shell. This movie is so far from reality of male-female dynamics in the real world, it can only happen in a Hollywood movie. In the real world a gorgeous woman like Newton will never choose a wimp like Norbit. He does practically nothing to show any grain of confidence except for a brief moment towards to the end when she almost marries her fiancée. This is certainly not a relationship that can last. Why?

Norbit is one-dimensional, predictable. He puts himself down to make her happy and even states his sole purpose for the rest of his life is to make her happy as happy as she made him. And over time this type of relationships dynamic has been shown to cause resentment in women. Women will get bored with a man like Norbit very quickly because everything he says or does will be predictable.

So what is my advice to you? Find your own path, your own purpose and focus on realising your own ambitions. When you are on this journey you become much more attractive to women and people in general. You then go about your life inviting others on the journey. And when it’s an attractive woman, you say it’ll be great if you join me, but I’m going to continue anyway.

If you are lonely or frustrated with your dating life I highly recommend you read David DeAngelo’s ebook Double Your Dating.

 

How strange the tale of a ordinary man loosing control

Stranger Than Fiction Will FerrellStranger Than Fiction starring Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifah.

This is story of ordinary man who becomes involved in an extraordinary tale. Will Ferrell in a dramatic turn, plays Harold Crick, an IRS Agent who lives a monotonous and mundane life. But one day starts hearing the voice of a women with an British accent narrating his life. He really wakes up to the reality of the situation when the narrator says that he will die. After seeking some help from a psychologist and eventually a literature professor, Jules Hilbert, played by the ever brilliant Dustin Hoffman, he begins to explore a life he only dreamed of living. And as with all the best stories there is a love story at the epicentre of this tale.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the contemptuous and rowdy Ana Pascal, a direct opposite of Harold Crick. She tempts him, teases him and confronts him. They begin a love affair that drives Harold’s life into new territory. Because he actually begins to care about his life. He enjoys is now because he is living his dreams. And he is having an adventure.

Some of the best moments in this film is when Professor Hilbert instructs him to determine certain outcomes. Like whether he is in a comedy or a tragedy. And also whether he is in control of the plot or the writer/narrator. And while he spends the whole day in his house, not even going to the bathroom or answering the phone, the dreaded answer is revealed. A crane smashes through his living room as the complex is about to be demolished. The conclusion – it turns out the writer is in control and Harold has to accept his destiny.

There is moments of madness, moments of laughter, and moments of angst coupled with beautiful cinematography in this film. And it reminded me so much of Truman Show with Jim Carrey.

Anyway this is a film that stretches the imagination just a little bit. You may discover you are in fact the writer of your own destiny. So like Harold Crick take action. Don’t wait until it’s to late. After all you are going to live the rest of your life in the future.