rone: (drowning cat)

Well, i must be old, because the one thing i wanted more of was Han and Leia.  Shit, i could have watched a whole movie of them talking about their relationship.

What i dislike about this movie is that i am surrounded by people who are deeply invested in their childhood memories of the original trilogy and have intense feelings about it.  This makes appreciating the movie extremely complicated because i have to separate my own feelings about the original movies from my feelings about this mass of fannish children and their expectations.  I can't review it as a movie that stands on its own merits because it's tied in a bow topped by a cultural Gordian knot and, quite frankly, i blame you all for this.  As that great American William Shatner once said, "Get a life, will you people?"

On the other hand, the movie was crafted as a continuation of a previously set story, and it is impossible to assess it without taking that into consideration.

In sum, fuck you, i'm doing it my way.

omg spoilers )

[livejournal.com profile] el_muchacho's theory is that, once they've gotten the fan service out of the way, they will now focus on making awesome new stuff.  Given Abrams's Star Trek movies, i am not holding my breath.  Was it better than the prequels?  Sure.  If that's your bar, maybe you need to take a long look in the mirror.

rone: (nose)

Two years ago, Paul Verhoeven's "Total Recall" was remade and released.

This year, Paul Verhoeven's "Robocop" was remade and released.

If the trend holds, in two years, we're going to be saddled with a remake of "Showgirls".

(oh wait of course i'm not the first chump to think of this)

rone: (asplode)

One man's quest to earn the Most Human Human award at the Turing Test.


The author calls it an essay, but i believe that it's more apposite to label his article a manifesto regarding the ownership of data.


Why has this man been donating well-made art forgeries to museums for the past three decades?


"Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and the former Alaska governor Sarah Palin have something in common: they are both cowgirl politicians.  In this, they are symptomatic of the too-narrow ways in which the United States is willing to accept women as leaders."


There is a 14-year-old girl who lives in poverty in Uganda who said to her chess coach, "Coach, I will be a grandmaster someday."


A woman who has no amygdala and no fear.


If i told you that 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US were sold for farm animals, you might be skeptical of my claim; but would you believe the FDA?


The Best Magazine Articles Ever


If Ken Thompson calls himself a programmer, not a developer, or an engineer, then anyone who shares that profession should follow suit.  I don't care that this article is over 20 years old, damn it.  Now get off my lawn.


Scientists from Tübingen, Germany, show that people really walk in circles when lost.


You might remember that i quite enjoyed I ♥ Huckabees; this long essay about the movie is what i would have written if i were in any way qualified to write about philosophy.

rone: (FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU)

In a contemporary re-imagining of the classic tale, Gulliver is a big-talking mailroom clerk who, after he's mistakenly assigned a travel piece on the Bermuda Triangle, suddenly finds himself a giant among men when he washes ashore on the hidden island of Lilliput, home to a population of very tiny people.  At first enslaved by the Lilliputians, and later declared their hero, Gulliver learns that it's how big you are on the inside that counts.

rone: (kimmy `n' rone)

Sometimes, sleepy suburbia gets just a tad too exciting, and one must slip the surly bonds of home for less familiar surroundings, accompanied by one's best girl Friday (but that should go without saying), in order to again achieve a baseline level of boredom.  Three weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] 2wanda and i headed to DC, under the pretext of some job-related conference which she was to attend with some of her coworkers.  The horrors of air travel aside, it was an enjoyable few days in our nation's capital, which i had not visited in over two decades.  Visiting the National Air & Space Museum rekindled all of the "i wanna be an astronaut when i grow up" urges i had as a boy, and we walked our legs off; outside the museum, a guy with the stereotypical Vietnam vet look played guitar under a pavilion in front of banners decrying the Chinese Communist Party's repression of Falun Dafa, and as we left the building, he was ranting about the evils of secularism and Marxism to someone who was obviously provoking him.  The next day, we walked what legs we had regenerated overnight right off again at the National Museum of the American Indian, which featured an excellent cafeteria with all manner of cuisine from native cultures all over the Americas.  After that we headed to the National World War II Memorial because Kim wanted to look up her grandfather.  Then we took a taxi back to the hotel because we were totally pooped.  I flew home the next day and spent two very lonely days until Kimmy came home.

Last weekend, we hit Sonoma Valley for our birthdays.  We stayed at the Birmingham Bed & Breakfast, which was conveniently located a short walk away from several wineries, which meant that we didn't drive at all during our stay; they were very good hosts and easily accomodated both Kim's gluten-free diet and my incessant list of food aversions.  We hit Meadowcroft (good wine, poor service), Chateau St. Jean (good [albeit overpriced] wines but a lack of warmth from the people), Kaz (wacky characters galore, from the winemaker to his daughter to the wines themselves), Landmark (good but nothing remarkable), and Kunde.  Kunde was definitely the best overall experience; a wide array of wine at a fair price, gorgeous grounds, cave and field tours, and nice folks.  Plus, their estate is where a great deal of Bottle Shock was filmed; we drove past the boxing ring that was specifically built for the movie.  The view from their mountaintop tasting patio is stunning and i highly recommend it.

rone: (Default)

[livejournal.com profile] unfiltered_sake is the Weblog of Coleman Collins, a pro basketball player in Europe who is one heck of an entertaining writer.  He recently posted these two photos:

memo from one /monty python and the holy grail/ producer to another regarding British Board of Film Classification's concerns over language in the film

memo from Matt Stone regarding changes made to /South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut/ as per MPAA

rone: (invincirone)

The Iron Man 2 Dr Pepper limited edition cans feature Tony "Iron Man" Stark and Ivan "Whiplash" Vanko on the regular Dr Pepper cans, and Pepper Potts and the Black Widow on the Diet Dr Pepper cans.

[Poll #1577122]
rone: (Default)

The Iron Man 2 Dr Pepper limited edition cans feature Tony "Iron Man" Stark and Ivan "Whiplash" Vanko on the regular Dr Pepper cans, and Pepper Potts and the Black Widow on the Diet Dr Pepper cans.

[Poll #1577122]
rone: (simian)

Just saw AVATAR.  Probably my all-time favorite movie about Ewoks who tame and ride dragons.
                — Rob Neyer

rone: (Default)

Just saw AVATAR.  Probably my all-time favorite movie about Ewoks who tame and ride dragons.
                — Rob Neyer

rone: (dust)

Today, as part of Cinequest, Kim and i went to see Cuando Me Toque a Mí, mainly because it was filmed in Quito.  I started feeling a certain nostalgia as i saw the familiar streets, landscapes, and people.  The story itself is grim, which is probably not much of a surprise given that it's mostly set in a morgue.  But neither of those got me down as much as the dialogue did, when it outlined the double-faced tragedy, inherent to Ecuadorian culture, of despair and apathy.

To me, Ecuador is a childhood friend who was instrumental in forming who i am, but whom i outgrew while it remained locked in its doomed immaturity; i love it dearly, miss the good times, and enjoy the memories, but every time i hear from it now, i almost always find the news mortifying.  I've often said that it's a beautiful country — and it is — but i couldn't imagine living there, despite missing my parents and the rest of my family quite a bit, because i couldn't deal with the way of life there.  It's not just the corruption, although that's definitely a big deal; it's more the general sense that people just don't care about doing things the right way, or for the right reasons.  I doubt there's anything unique about Ecuador in this sense, but it feels to me that they've distilled it and then incorporated into the societal DNA.  And it's the enormity of this endemic flaw that permeates the story of this movie, which made watching it progressively more painful to me as it played.

The movie itself is very good; cinematography, writing, directing, acting.  The pacing is a bit languid, and there are a good amount of scenes where there is no dialogue and none is needed.  It'll be playing at the Camera 12 next Saturday at 13:30; if you feel up to a movie that's a bit of a downer, and want to see more of my adopted country, you should definitely check it out.

rone: (Default)

Today, as part of Cinequest, Kim and i went to see Cuando Me Toque a Mí, mainly because it was filmed in Quito.  I started feeling a certain nostalgia as i saw the familiar streets, landscapes, and people.  The story itself is grim, which is probably not much of a surprise given that it's mostly set in a morgue.  But neither of those got me down as much as the dialogue did, when it outlined the double-faced tragedy, inherent to Ecuadorian culture, of despair and apathy.

To me, Ecuador is a childhood friend who was instrumental in forming who i am, but whom i outgrew while it remained locked in its doomed immaturity; i love it dearly, miss the good times, and enjoy the memories, but every time i hear from it now, i almost always find the news mortifying.  I've often said that it's a beautiful country — and it is — but i couldn't imagine living there, despite missing my parents and the rest of my family quite a bit, because i couldn't deal with the way of life there.  It's not just the corruption, although that's definitely a big deal; it's more the general sense that people just don't care about doing things the right way, or for the right reasons.  I doubt there's anything unique about Ecuador in this sense, but it feels to me that they've distilled it and then incorporated into the societal DNA.  And it's the enormity of this endemic flaw that permeates the story of this movie, which made watching it progressively more painful to me as it played.

The movie itself is very good; cinematography, writing, directing, acting.  The pacing is a bit languid, and there are a good amount of scenes where there is no dialogue and none is needed.  It'll be playing at the Camera 12 next Saturday at 13:30; if you feel up to a movie that's a bit of a downer, and want to see more of my adopted country, you should definitely check it out.

rone: (mad science)

If you haven't seen any previews for this movie, don't see them.  If you have, get good and drunk and hope for lacunae.  I'm usually spoiler-proof, but the nature of this movie is such that every little bit of information builds on many others; without any forewarning, you will enjoy this fabulous and dark farce that much more.  It starts a little slow, so be patient.  Those of you who can't stand ridiculous and possibly contrived characters might find yourselves grinding your teeth a bit, but, for gods' sake, people, it's a farce.

I will reveal one thing: it features David Rasche, more famously known as Sledge Hammer!.

rone: (Default)

If you haven't seen any previews for this movie, don't see them.  If you have, get good and drunk and hope for lacunae.  I'm usually spoiler-proof, but the nature of this movie is such that every little bit of information builds on many others; without any forewarning, you will enjoy this fabulous and dark farce that much more.  It starts a little slow, so be patient.  Those of you who can't stand ridiculous and possibly contrived characters might find yourselves grinding your teeth a bit, but, for gods' sake, people, it's a farce.

I will reveal one thing: it features David Rasche, more famously known as Sledge Hammer!.

rone: (dust)

Via [livejournal.com profile] thequietquiet, a video of acrobatic ball kicking and juggling.  Fake?  Maybe, but still pretty good.


If you're curious to know what [livejournal.com profile] 2wanda's and my relationship was like early on, you should rent Prime, VORSICHT: SPOILER )

.


Another fine Improv Everywhere stunt (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] en_ki).


Lyndon LaRouche asks, "Is the Devil in your laptop?" (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] tritone).


[livejournal.com profile] racerxmachina let me know that SJSU's president issued a letter banning blood drives on campus due to the FDA's policy that bans gay men (or, indeed, any man who's had sex with another man) from donating blood.  A tough decision, but i support Kassing's rationale and i hope that his efforts (among those of other campuses) get the FDA to reconsider the policy once we get someone in the White House who isn't an utter imbecile.

rone: (Default)

Via [livejournal.com profile] thequietquiet, a video of acrobatic ball kicking and juggling.  Fake?  Maybe, but still pretty good.


If you're curious to know what [livejournal.com profile] 2wanda's and my relationship was like early on, you should rent Prime, VORSICHT: SPOILER )

.


Another fine Improv Everywhere stunt (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] en_ki).


Lyndon LaRouche asks, "Is the Devil in your laptop?" (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] tritone).


[livejournal.com profile] racerxmachina let me know that SJSU's president issued a letter banning blood drives on campus due to the FDA's policy that bans gay men (or, indeed, any man who's had sex with another man) from donating blood.  A tough decision, but i support Kassing's rationale and i hope that his efforts (among those of other campuses) get the FDA to reconsider the policy once we get someone in the White House who isn't an utter imbecile.

rone: (what the fuck)

What the fuck, over?  This movie is not funny, it is not memorable, and it is not enjoyable.  It's a story that reads like it was written by some pinhead with ADD who heavily self-medicates with marijuana; a ridiculous amount of random things happened for no damn discernible reason or even a more than tenuous connection between them.  I am a charter member of the Jeff Bridges Fan Club and the way he was wasted was nearly criminal, and the same goes for Steve Buscemi.  The movie needed a lot less John Goodman and a lot more John Turturro.  It feels like some film student decided to ape the Coen brothers.  If i hadn't rented this movie for free with a coupon, i would feel totally ripped off.  Something about the movie made me dodge it when it came out, and all the years since, but i finally decided to fill in a gap in my Coen brothers movie track, and now i'm sorry.  I blame all of you jerks.

Oh, by the way, since it seems that "watch it again another 10-40 times and you'll get it" is a really popular suggestion, i have two words for you: Stockholm syndrome.

rone: (Default)

What the fuck, over?  This movie is not funny, it is not memorable, and it is not enjoyable.  It's a story that reads like it was written by some pinhead with ADD who heavily self-medicates with marijuana; a ridiculous amount of random things happened for no damn discernible reason or even a more than tenuous connection between them.  I am a charter member of the Jeff Bridges Fan Club and the way he was wasted was nearly criminal, and the same goes for Steve Buscemi.  The movie needed a lot less John Goodman and a lot more John Turturro.  It feels like some film student decided to ape the Coen brothers.  If i hadn't rented this movie for free with a coupon, i would feel totally ripped off.  Something about the movie made me dodge it when it came out, and all the years since, but i finally decided to fill in a gap in my Coen brothers movie track, and now i'm sorry.  I blame all of you jerks.

Oh, by the way, since it seems that "watch it again another 10-40 times and you'll get it" is a really popular suggestion, i have two words for you: Stockholm syndrome.

rone: (bowler)

Michael Clayton was really good.  George Clooney does a great job at playing a man who gets more and more frazzled as events continually refuse to go his way, and Tom Wilkinson (a criminally underrated actor) channels Peter Finch as Howard Beale.  Sydney Pollack more or less reprises his role from Eyes Wide Shut, Tilda Swinton is a stressed-out liar, and the kid who plays Clayton's son performs admirably and is far from "obnoxiously precocious", as the pinhead with the featured review on IMDb would have you think (Clayton's brother was no "noble cop", either, or he wouldn't've "helped" his lawyer brother the way he did).  In the end, where Clayton walks away from Crowder after the climactic scene, you see a man with an unbelieving elation that's overcome with adrenalin; Clooney nails it.

I wanted to see it again after we were done, which makes it the third movie, after Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Shakespeare in Love.  And, hey, who's the common factor?  Tom Wilkinson!

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