Wed, Jan 31, 2001

: The Third Man

Author: Graham Greene

I don’t always like old “classic” films, but this one doesn’t feel dated at all. It’s in lovely black and white, filled with shadows, which makes the performances all the more dramatic. The story is set in Vienna during WWII, when it was controlled by four powers: American, British, French, and Russian. The black market ruled. The main character, an American writer of western novels, arrives because his old pal promised him a job. He gets there only to find his friend was killed by a car a few days earlier. The circumstances are mysterious, so he investigates, and what he uncovers… well, see the film. It’s an interesting and unusual story, with poignant and profound moments, and some excellent thrills. Most dramatic of all is the incredible music: all performed on a zither, which has a unique and haunting sound.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

: EPL: Manchester United at Sunderland

Man. U. dominated as you might expect, but they didn’t score. But after a 0-0 first half, they came out on fire, with Andy Cole scoring forty-four seconds in! Sunderland tried to keep Man. U. at bay and succeeded, even getting a few chances of their own, but couldn’t break down the United defense. Toward the end of the game Cole and a Sunderland player got into a ruckus and were both sent off — rather extreme, but their behavior wasn’t that intelligent either. Final: 1-0 Man. U.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Tue, Jan 30, 2001

: Argentine: River Plate at Boca Juniors

Back again with more of the same, hopefully this time without the fan violence. Boca was looking good when 27 minutes in good play brought forth a clever goal. Riquelme, considered by many the best player in Argentina, received a header from a teammate with his side to the goal. Falling down he flipped the ball awkwardly backward as his body got out of the way, and it went right into the goal! Very cool, and quite cheeky. River were stunned. In the second half, Boca went further ahead with a goal from Rodriguez 62 minutes in, but River countered that with a goal from Cardetti twelve minutes later. But that was it for the scoring. Final: 2-1 Boca.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Mon, Jan 29, 2001

: Serie A: Lazio at Fiorentina

Wonderful game! It started off a bit slow, with Fiorentina dominating, but Lazio showed real fire with the Nedved/Salas combination. That duo paid off thirty-four minutes in when Salas ran up the left wing and put back a beautiful arching ball toward the top of the key. Nedved ran onto it and delivered one of the most incredibly volleys I have ever seen, putting in a laser beam into the back of the net before the keeper could even blink. Fiorentina fought back, but there were no more goals in that half. Crespo had a chance early in the second half, but fluffed it, but not long after took a clever feed from — who else — Nedved, who was everywhere on the pitch today, and beat the keeper at his near post. Crespo got his second fifteen minutes later, when he had the chance to feed Salas but didn’t, taking the shot himself from an awkward angle, but Toldo couldn’t hold the ball and it dribbled into the goal. With less than ten minutes left Fiorentina got their chance on a penalty kick which Chiesa easily put away, but minutes after that hard-working playmaker Salas accepted the ball from teammate Crespo and nailed his own well-deserved goal from twenty yards out. Incredible. If Salas, Nedved, and Crespo play like this the rest of the season, Lazio’s going to win the championship again, no question. Final: 4-1 Lazio.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Sun, Jan 28, 2001

: Serie A: Perugia at Regina

Poor Regina. Not only do they not get respect from the top clubs, but lowly Perugia comes along to punish them as well! Materazzi started things off twenty minutes in, and six minutes before the end of the half Liverani scored his first of the year on a nice free kick. In the second half Regina fought hard but there was no way Perugia was going to give up that much momentum. Final: 2-0 Perugia.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

: Marty

Author: Paddy Chayevsky

I’ve been wanting to see this film for ages, though I really didn’t know what it was about. I knew it won Oscars for best film, director, and actor (Ernest Borgnine). The story is great: very low key, about a humble butcher (Borgnine) who at 34 lives with his mother and isn’t married. The film seems predictable — Marty finds a humble school teacher and they develop a relationship — yet some how it is fascinating. I watched for about twenty minutes and then realized I’d really been watching for forty-five; I hadn’t even noticed. Very sweet, simple, and elegant, with humor, gentleness, and some valuable life lessons. Well worth your time.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Sat, Jan 27, 2001

: Bundesliga: Kaiserslauten at Wolfsburg

This was a real battle, played in a blinding snow storm. The Red Devils dominated, and when Wolfsburg had a player sent off late in the first half, it seemed like surely they would succeed. But neither team could gain the advantage, and Kaiserslauten finally had their own man sent off, evening the number of players. While the game ended without a goal, it was still a pretty good game, with some nice chances. The terrible weather no doubt had an influence on the lack of goals. Final: 0-0 draw.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Fri, Jan 26, 2001

: Bundesliga: Hansa Rostock at Schalke

The Bundesliga’s back! The Bundesliga’s back! After half a season of missing on Fox Sports World, German soccer is back. And it’s good. Schalke is the league leader while Rostock is struggling at the bottom. This first game after the winter break proved that that’s the way things would remain. Just four minutes in Bohme scored on a wonderful free kick, and Nemeo added to it an hour or so in. Rostock never had a chance. Final: 2-0 Schalke.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Thu, Jan 25, 2001

: Argentine: Boca Juniors at River Plate

Odd game. Part of the “Tourno de Verano,” a sort of mini-tournament between seasons (the Argentina league has two game seasons, the Apertura and Clousura, the Opening and Closing). Anyway, Boca finally scored late in the game on a somewhat questionable offside decision, but minutes later fans rioted and began throwing rocks onto the field and the game was called off. I say that’s incredibly dumb, because it was the River fans who were doing the violence, and they took away any chance of River getting back into it by making the game end early! Stupid. Final: 1-0 Boca, game in the suspended 80th minute.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Wed, Jan 24, 2001

: EPL: Newcastle United at Leeds

Usually missing the first few minutes of a soccer game doesn’t mean much, but in this case, it did, as Leeds started off with a bang when Keane scored just two minutes in. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Leeds, because Newcastle shut the door and went on offense. Just two minutes later Solano finished of a penalty kick for Newcastle, leveling things, and just before the half Acuna scored to put them up by one. That’s the way it stayed for most of the game, but very late, with just minutes to go, Ameobi put the matter beyond doubt with a nice grounder. Final: 3-1 Newcastle.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Tue, Jan 23, 2001

: CONCACAF Champions Cup: LA Galaxy v Olimpia

Cool game with plenty of goals. Things started off poorly for LA when Lalas, back after a year’s retirement, handled the ball in the box. Tosello converted the penalty in the 34th minute. But just two minutes later, Lalas pushed forward aggressively, no doubt wanting to make up for his mistake, and managed to head the ball into the box where Hendrickson headed it home to level the score. The move gave the Galaxy momentum, and a few minutes later Lalas assisted Cobi Jones on his amazing goal where he literally threaded the needle to slot the ball home. The angle was so acute an inch to either side and his shot wouldn’t have gone in! In the second half, Olimpia came back with a header goal, but some how the Galaxy were still winning, despite the even score. Hendrickson proved it by getting his second at the 78th minute, and it proved to be the tournament winner. LA gets to go to Spain this summer as the champions, and they take home their first hardware. Final: 3-2 LA Galaxy.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Mon, Jan 22, 2001

: Serie A: Roma at A.C. Milan

What a match! With Roma leading the league by a comfortable margin they seemed unstoppable. Until today. The first goal came three minutes in on a glorious free kick by Milan’s Leonardo (one of my all-time favorite players, though the Brazilian doesn’t see much playing time any more — perhaps he ought to come play in Major League Soccer, hint hint). Then Shevchenko beat Roma’s offside trap to dribble in an easy one eighteen minutes later. Roma really poured it on after that, with Batistuta missing several excellent chances, but always looking dangerous. But it was captain Totti that did the trick: a blast from way out that gained from a slight deflection from defender Maldini to confuse the keeper and slide into a corner of the net. With just five minutes to go, Roma smelled a resurgence. But moments later Shevchenko took advantage of a open ball at the front of the net to put Milan back in front by two goals. In the second half, Milan sat back while Roma worked and worked. The effort paid off when a penalty kick was awarded and Totti made short of it (bringing him to nine goals on the season, just one behind teammate Batistuta). But that was in the 85th minute and there just wasn’t enough time for Roma to equalize, and they go down for only their second loss of the season. Final: 3-2 Milan.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

: EPL: Manchester City at Derby County

What in the world happened with this game? The first half was dull beyond words, without hardly a chance on either goal. The second half started off with a goal for each team within two minutes! Powell got a goal in the 49th minute, but ecstasy turned to dismay two minutes later when Howay equalized for Man. City. There was a bit of spark after that, but both teams seemed happy with the draw. Final: 1-1.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

: EPL: West Ham at Charlton

South African Shawn Bartlett scored for Charlton just seven minutes in by getting a few steps on his man on the right wing, and angling in a rolling grounder past the keeper. West Ham had a few chances, but couldn’t do much with them. In the second half, Joe Cole had a terrific dead-on chance, but Charlton’s Andy Todd made an incredible save on the goal line with his chest! (The temptation to use his hands must have been tremendous, but somehow he resisted.) West Ham dominated, and finally Di Canio took the ball, ran parallel to the goal for a few steps, then turned in a brilliant shot from twenty yards out that went right into the upper corner. A really impressive effort! Charlton, however, is not a team that gives up. They fought back with their typical heart, scraping, but it was not to be. Final: 1-1.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Sun, Jan 21, 2001

: Serie A: Intermilan at Lazio

Average game, with Inter looking decidedly below average. Crespo got open five minutes in and finished easily, putting Lazio comfortably in front. They controlled the game after that, setting the pace, and though Inter tried, they never really got things going. Inter didn’t play badly, just not as good as they used to play. Late in the second half a penalty kick by Salas put the matter beyond doubt. Final: 2-0 Lazio.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

: CONCACAF Champions Cup: DC United v LA Galaxy

LA seemed to want the win more than DC, and really battled, but it didn’t get them much. They were awarded a penalty kick in the first half, and converted it nicely, but DC was awarded a very questionable one in the second half (and converted it nicely). With a 1-1 score at the end, we went to penalty kicks, and once again, LA won (needing only four kicks). The Galaxy advance to the World Club Championships in Spain this summer, but first they play Olimpia for the first place title.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

: Seconds

Director: John Franenheimer

I’d heard of this and wanted to see if for some time. It’s an unusual movie. The direction and dramatic music are overdone: you keep expecting something fantastic to happen, but nothing much does. It’s still good, just not great. The plot is about a man who gets a mysterious phone call from an old friend… and old friend who’s been dead for years. The man goes to a place specified by the friend and it turns out it’s a company that will “kill” you and give you a new identity, a new start on life. I guess the “seconds” in the title has nothing to do with time, but with a second chance. The ending typifies the film, by being predictable and overdone. Odd film. It has a great deal of potential that’s wasted. Favorite scene: when the man, now portrayed by Rock Hudson, visits his old wife (she thinks he’s dead).

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Fri, Jan 19, 2001

: CONCACAF Champions Cup: LA Galaxy v Real Espana

A boring first half led to chances in the second, but still no scoring. On penalty kicks, Real Espana’s Hector Gutierrez missed his kick, and all five Galaxy shooters made theirs, with Sasha Victorine scoring the winner, so LA faces DC in the semifinal.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

: Trigun: The $60,000,000,000 Man

Odd Japanese animation that’s apparently a TV series. I liked the concept: bounty hunters are searching everywhere for Vash the Terrible who has a $60,000,000,000 reward on his head (dead or alive) and it turns out Vash is really an idiot who’s just lucky. Or is he? The series does a great job keeping you from knowing the truth: is he just insanely lucky or extremely skillful? For instance, he’ll walk into a room full of bandits armed with missiles and machine guns and he’ll walk out unharmed, all the bandits destroyed. A lot of the humor of the series doesn’t translate well, and speaking of translation, what is the deal with Japanese films and subtitling and dubbing? The dub track is completely different from the subtitle track: I mean completely different. One will used the word “worried” and the other “care.” Huh? Quite disconcerting.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

: CONCACAF Champions Cup: DC United v Alajuelense

DC lead early with a goal from Talley, but Alajuelense came back halfway through the second half with one of their own. It looked like we were going to penalty kicks. Then, in something you just can’t script, Ben Olsen came through with a header in injury time to give DC the win and advance to the semis.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Wed, Jan 17, 2001

: Bananas

Author: Woody Allen

Director: Woody Allen

Terrific! Absurdly witty farce about a moron (Allen) who ends up becoming the leader of a small South American country. A bit silly toward the end, but has some classic moments. Favorite part: Allen’s “intellectual” conversation with his girlfriend where they both use $10 words that neither knows the meaning of. Hilarious!

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Mon, Jan 15, 2001

: EPL: Charlton at Southampton

I wasn’t excited about watching this game and it turned out for good reason. Let me just put it this way: Southampton were the exciting team in the match, if that tells you anything. Charlton never even bothered to attack. The zero-zero draw was rather boring, though there were a couple nice chances, but nothing beat either keeper.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

: Serie A: Bari at Roma

I expected this game to be high scoring: after all, it’s the league leaders against the team at the bottom of the league, but once again, nothing’s predictable in soccer. Bari played with heart, and Roma appeared to take the win too casually. The game didn’t get going until about 30 minutes in, but it was still highly dominated by Roma, though Bari managed a few times to make Roma’s keeper work for his pay. The first goal didn’t come until late in the second half, when, to the astonishment of Roma, Bari’s Mazzarelli brilliantly converted a free kick. After that Roma really began to try, but it seemed like too little too late. But then Bari gave Roma a gift by tripping Totti in the box, and Totti easily scored on the resulting penalty kick. The tie cut Roma’s lead in the league from 8 to six points, as Juventus won their weekend game.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Sun, Jan 14, 2001

: Serie A: A.C. Milan at Fiorentina

What happened to Milan? They played like a Serie B team! Fiorentina continued their hot streak, scorching Milan from the 15th minute on. Gomes got the first goal when he snuck in a header, and Cois doubled the lead a minute into the second half when he got what appeared to be a harmless ball at the top of the box. But instead of dribbling and passing, he immediately shot — and scored! Chiesa, who’s been doing very well lately, got his goal twenty minutes later, on a nice little grounder. Finally, Rui Costa, the brilliant mid-field engine who’d been involved with every goal so far, got one for himself. He was open and one-on-one with the keeper, but confidently took a shot instead of passing it. Final: 4-0 Fiorentina.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Sat, Jan 13, 2001

: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (again)

Director: Ang Lee

Even better the second time around. This time I could concentrate more on the action and acting than the subtitles, and I was pleased to see the subtle performances by Michelle Yeoh and the script’s terrific dialog. There were some plot points that confused me the first time, but on second viewing I was able to follow things better. Some of that comes from trying to follow plot while reading subtitles, and some comes from the Western eye not recognizing Chinese faces (if you’re not from a culture, faces often seem identical, particularly if you’re only given a quick initial glimpse). On the first viewing there were several characters I thought were different people but now I saw they were the same, which helped the plot make a bit more sense. Minor flaws, awesome movie.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Fri, Jan 12, 2001

: Fist of Legend

Stupid title, but by far the best Jet Li film I’ve seen. The fighting is amazing: unless I’m mistaken, the fight choreographer is the same guy who did

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Thu, Jan 11, 2001

: The Train

Director: John Franenheimer

Why haven’t I ever heard of this film? Excellent, really superb! It’s a taut WWII drama about the French underground attempting to stop a train of priceless paintings (worth billions: stuff by Picasso, Cezane, Monet, etc.) from being shipped to Germany in the last days before the Allies regained Paris. The lengths these people go to to save these paintings are amazing — I won’t spoil it by describing it, but let’s just say it’s a plot involving hundreds of railway people deceiving the Germans by making them think the train’s on it’s way to Germany but really it’s going in the opposite direction! Excellent: a non-stop thriller! (And I don’t even like war movies.)

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Tue, Jan 09, 2001

: The Big Brass Ring

Author: Orson Wells (original script)

Very talky political movie about a guy running for governor who has a deep dark secret. We think it’s that he’s gay, but it turns out to be something else. Unfortunately we don’t find out for too long so the film’s boring, and by the time we do find out, we no longer care. The film’s dialogue and photography are all designed to make us think things of great import are happening, but who cares?

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Mon, Jan 08, 2001

: Serie A: Roma at Atalanta

The game started off with a blast with Delvecchio scoring his first goal of the season in the first minute! After that it was all Atalanta, who did everything but score. Then, late in the first half, Tommasi scored on a counter-attack to put Roma up by two. Atalanta fought back in the second half, but just couldn’t get anything going, even when Roma got a man ejected. Final: 2-0 Roma.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

Sun, Jan 07, 2001

: Degree of Guilt

Author: Richard North Patterson

Really excellent book. This one picks up after evil behavior of Mary Carelli as “amoral” — that’s in the same sentence where he suggests she might be a murderer — that’s a lawyer trick and so typical of what’s taught in schools these days, degrading morality into something gray and less than pure, that it made me want to puke). My original interest in Patterson came from a radio interview where he talked about his new book which deals with the abortion issue, something his publishers begged him not to write about, and even though it was obvious I disagree with his perspective, he sounded like he’d be fair and the concept was intriguing. After reading just a couple of his novels, I seriously doubt that he could be fair, though we’ll see. (What bothers me about bias in a novel like this is not that an author has an opinion: I have no problem with that, even if it’s an opinion I violently disagree with. My problem is when the author claims to be fair and “unbiased” when it is obvious they are not. If I write a book, for instance, I won’t claim to be the slightest bit objective: it will reflect my values and beliefs and that’s the way it should be. When authors claim to be “fair” and are not, they essentially are redefining the word fair, i.e. fair is when their point-of-view is subtly projected and yours is mitigated or mocked. All that said, I must say that Patterson is not the worst author in this regard, just one of the most subtle, and therefore devious. Keep that in mind when you read him.)

Topic: [/book]

Link

: High Fidelity

Essentially this film is about a record store owner griping about his shabby love life and trying to figure out why girlfriends keep breaking up with him. What’s interesting is the perspective: John Cusack narrates directly into the camera, and his style of delivery and constant use of “Top Five” lists (best records, top five worst breakups, best jobs, etc.) is unusual. As for plot, there isn’t much of one. Towards the end the griping gets on your nerves and you’re ready to kick Cusack in the head for being such a moron, but finally he resolves his relationship and becomes an adult. Pretty good flick, especially interesting if you like music, though I’m not such a music geek as to actually have heard many of the albums and songs mentioned (my definition of “classic” music is music I’ve never heard of).

Topic: [/book]

Link

Sat, Jan 06, 2001

: Serie A: Fiorentina at Juventus

TV Guide said there was no soccer game today, but when I tuned in mid-way, there was. Thus I missed the first three goals: Chiesa’s and Gomes’ for Fiorentina and Conte’s for Juventus. I was rather bummed, thinking that I’d missed most of the action. But in the second half, Juventus immediately tied the score on a penalty kick. That started him off on a tear, breaking his streak of poor scoring this season. He caught a fantastic volley at the top of the box to put Juventus ahead (remember, in the first 20 minutes they were down by two!). But not long after that Chiesa scored a terrific free kick to equalize the score again. With 30 minutes left I figured there’d be another goal, but that was it. Terrific game, well-deserved result. Final: 3-3.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

: Hellraiser

Author: Clive Barker

Director: Clive Barker

I like Clive Barker the writer and artist, but I hadn’t seen his movie. It’s actually pretty good, though in a gory fashion. It deals with a mysterious puzzle box that takes people into heaven/hell where monsters torture them for eternity. The people who open the box end up with more horror than they wanted. Kinda bizarre and flimsy concept, but the film is better than that: it primarily deals with a brother who was destroyed by the box coming back to life when given blood — he convinces his brother’s wife (with whom he had an affair) to kill people for him so he has more blood and can heal. Intriguing concept, and I liked the way the normal woman becomes a monster to help her former lover. The graphics were pretty good, too: the guy’s a walking skeleton but each dead man adds flesh. Quite horrible, but interestingly, I found the human woman more frightening.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

: EPL: Chelsea at Manchester United

This was a replay of September’s terrific Man. U./Chelsea clash, with goals galore. The 3-3 draw was great entertainment and well worth watching again.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link

: Hellraiser II

Author: Clive Barker (story)

This picks up right where the other left off, with the daughter put into an asylum because they think she’s crazy with her story of the demons inside a box. It’s pretty much more of the same after that, with the evil woman who died in the first movie coming back to life the way the man did in the first one (she needs fresh blood to revive). The daughter is looking for the soul of her father, who’s in torment, but it turns out it was just a trick to get her back into the box. Okay. At least these are a different kind of horror film.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Fri, Jan 05, 2001

: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Director: Clint Eastwood

Odd movie. Quirky and humorous, sort of like Northern Exposure of the South, yet about murder. The essential plot: a wealthy gay man is accused of killing his lover, but he claims self-defense. Well-done, but much of the focus is on the unusual local characters (the drag queen, the voodoo doctor) instead of the plot, which I found a little pointless. The murder itself was also strange: the timing of it made me think it was contrived and premeditated, but the wealthy guy did some incredibly stupid things that made him seem guilty, which was weird if he murdered with the intent of getting off. Apparently this is based on a true story: the book sounds better than the movie, which greatly condensed several trials.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Wed, Jan 03, 2001

: The Cell

Director: Tarsem

A visually striking film, with interesting special effects, but not much of a story. Well, actually, the story sounds fascinating — a woman goes into a comatose serial killer’s mind in order to find out where he hid his latest victim — but doesn’t deliver as much as promised. If the film had a better script and a real story, it would help. It’s too one-dimensional, with all the psychological aspects of serial killing reduced to the obvious and routine (i.e. the killer was abused as a child). Not as bad as I’d heard, and the DVD’s got some good extra material on the creation of the special effects.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

Mon, Jan 01, 2001

: Last Night

Huh? Some sort of mishmash about the last day of the world. Why the world is ending is never clearly explained, though hinted at, yet why does the world choose to end exactly at midnight? The film explores the lives of various interrelated characters as they party, pray, or weep as the end draws near. No doubt it’s supposed to be profound, but I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t care for most of the characters, and without a story driving the thing, everything was meaningless anyway. Boring and lame. A definite “must avoid” movie.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

: EPL: West Ham at Manchester United

Terrific game, significantly dominated by United. Just two minutes and fifteen seconds in United scored. Defender Rigobert Song (one of my favorite African players) made two mistakes in a row: clearing the ball to Beckham, who crossed the ball in, and when the ball was headed out, Song missed the tackle. That gave Solskjaer a second to shoot, and he didn’t miss. Yorke had a chance a few minutes later, and Beckham nearly scored on a free kick after that (Hislop made a great save). Song redeemed himself for his earlier mistake when he cleared Yorke’s header literally off the line with a flying volley, but minutes later he gave the ball away to Yorke who’s shot went just wide. So far, the game was totally one-sided, a Manchester shooting gallery. Then in a bizarre sequence, Philip Neville put in a lazy grounder from way out. None of his teammates reached the ball, and the West Ham defender only grazed the ball with his boot. Amazing, Hislop had gone near post and was wrong-footed: he scrambled to get back into time but couldn’t make it! The ball trickled across the line just inches from his outstretched hand. Crazy! I swear, I don’t think West Ham got the ball in United’s half of the field even once in the first 35 minutes! They finally got a shot on goal late, but it went straight to Bartez, United’s keeper. After that, it was all United again. In the second half, it was more of the same. United quickly pulled forward with another goal, a header by Yorke. Finally, with less than twenty to go, West Ham managed a Kanoute header on a corner kick to keep themselves in the game, but it was more loose defending on United’s part than brilliant play by West Ham. That was it as far as goals: an easy win for Man. U. Final: 3-1 United.

Topic: [/soccer]

Link