Tag Archives: movies 2008

I’ll regret mentioning it…

I have a possibly unhealthy interest in the whole Garden of Eden aspect of the Bible.  I blame Dr. Buhler and Milton.  The short story I recently had critiqued is a post-modern *cough* take on the whole fruit-eating incident.  And when discussing it with Eric, he riffed on how it might be interesting to use my short story appropriations of Biblical oddments to flesh out religion for Weordan.  This is a fairly okay idea though often as soon as a dabbling interest becomes official it loses any attractiveness.  But still, it would give me an excuse to putter around the aforementioned oddments.  And then it occurred to me that the story I’ve been trying to shoe-horn into ancient Egypt might belong somewhere in Weordan.  Cripes.  I might have to write the damn thing now…

Took a look at house prices in our neighborhood.  If they drop another 30K or so, we might consider one of the less shabby houses here.  The thought of three bedrooms (ie, a bedroom, a gaming room, and an OFFICE) makes me giddy.

Watched Atonement.
I can see why this was nominated for an Oscar and why it didn’t win.  It’s rather pretty, but I don’t think the prettiness really serves the story.  The long shot at Dunkirk is impressive, but sort of unneeded.  Children of Men has a long shot as well (though somewhat doctored digitally) that serves to build tension and immediacy.  In Atonement, it just seemed like decoration.  The acting was okay, though the dialog was a bit stilted, though there’s kind of a reason for that, I guess.  In all, it just sort of lacked something.  Still, I liked it better than There Will Be Blood.  Oh!  Looking at it’s Oscar win on IMDB, I am reminded of one other good thing: the sound and music.  The whole movie is haunted by typewriter noises.  Kind of cool.

Played Munchkin with Obert on Thursday night.  Pretty fun.  I almost won, but ended up low on resources about halfway through the game.  Obert won ultimately, though it was pretty close between he and Eric.  We should get Mundo playing.  Or heck, maybe we should invest in a deck and play with Chris when we see him next.

Got a bit of work done Thursday and Friday, though not as much as I would have…liked.  Wrote on Thursday, finishing off the Nero scene I was rewriting.  Yesterday, I wrote some on Secret Project #4 and a small amount of work on the webpages.  Finally went to bed when I couldn’t understand why changes I made with my CSS weren’t showing up.  I still don’t have the answer for that one.  I’ll play with it again tomorrow on my day…off.

Saw Iron Man yesterday.  It was as good as I’d heard and pretty much right along my expectations.  The acting was good, it was funny, and pretty basic in plot (not a bad thing).  Unfortunately, the theater was very loud and the action was still annoyingly frenetic .  While the tech wasn’t the far-out, the development of tech was of course not aligned with reality.  Tony Stark is truly a genius if he can be good at all aspects of development *and* put in the massive number of man-hours that such things take.  But hell, if I can accept mutagenic spiders and embedded adamantium skeletons, I’ll buy power armor being built in a cave.  And Robert Downy, Jr. make a much more believable blacksmith than Orlando Bloom.  In all, it was just nicely entertaining.

And since I apparently can’t watch a movie without Jeff Bridges (three in a row starting with Arlington Road), I finally watched The Big Lebowski.  What the hell?  Granted I watched while working last night, but…  I just don’t quite get it.  It’s just sort of there in a drug-induced kind of way.  But that’s the way the Coen brothers and I seem to get along.

Anyway, today, DMing Rifts.  Hopefully. 

Take Two

I had a post already to go yesterday and then Deep Sender ate it. It was my fault. I shouldn’t have tried embedding a YouTube video in it. The offending video:

Dizzy Moon by Transister

Nice bit of disc yesterday.  We had sixes, it was a little windy, and I was feeling pretty good.   We ended up playing a bunch of  zone on both sides of the disc.  During one O point toward the end of the “game,” Barry swung the disc to me.  It wasn’t particularly high, but it sort of hung in air before it reached me.  Not a terrible thing since Dan, who was playing that side of the cup (or maybe wing) was a ways behind me.  I was between him and the disc.  I took a couple steps and caught the disc a second later than one would expect, and during that second Dan made a play for it, solidly running into me.  This was not a big deal.  I hit the ground, but didn’t skid, didn’t fall back in a way that would have knocked my breath from me, didn’t have my head jarred in any way.  I just hit the ground and in doing so dropped the disc.  Dan asked if I was okay.  I said, “Yes, and the disc is mine.”  I got up, tapped the disc in, and told everyone else that was asking if I was okay that, “Yes, and the disc is in.”  Apparently, it *looked* like a nasty hit.  Continually, until open play dispersed, I was asked if I was *really* okay.  Dan apologized profusely.   At least Gary said I bounced well.  No ill effects today.  I didn’t even get a raspberry from it.  *shrug*

Eric finished up his finals on Tuesday and attended a last class meeting yesterday.  Since I was freaking out, we worked out a little of how the summer might go, setting an ambitious goal for the end of the month and a kind-of-sort-of schedule for the week.  We’re to have the current round of Model Species changes done.  No time for being blocked, so, yeah.  I’m going to have to find enthusiasm and…stuff.

Disc later today, and a tentative plan to play Munchkin with Obert afterward.  Which should prove to be interesting.

Also: Tried Cyprus Pita Grill yesterday.  While the gyros was big enough, there was very little tzatziki sauce, the meat could have been more crispy, and the tomatoes were obviously purchased diced.  Too bad.

And we watched a movie: Arlington Road
Picked on recommendation by Reif.  It was fairly decent, though there were a few scenes that seemed strangely out of place.  Most of the movie was pretty predictable and I wished for a while it would take a Mystic River kind of turn.  The end saved it for me.  ***Not Quite Spoiler To Follow***  But I did call the ending before it happened.

Recent Movies Watched

The Beguiled (1971)
Strange little movie. Eric had seen it years back and it influenced the ending of one of our books. Considering that the Thomas Cullinan book was mentioned in Stephen King’s Danse Macabre, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it influenced King’s Misery too. If you can call anything Southern Gothic, it would be this movie. The story works fairly well, but it’s the 70s horror sensibility that really makes it interesting.

Herbie Fully Loaded (2005)
When I was a kid, I loved Herbie movies. My dream car was a VW Bug. The movies were silly and cute with an odd blending of chick-flick and sports movie. And this 2005 entry into the series pretty much follows that pattern. Yeah, there are bits that are kinda stupid and it’s fairly predictable, but it’s also kinda fun. I loved the nod to The Fast and the Furious‘ car innards CGI. Matt Dillion seemed to be having too much fun being the bad guy, and I just have to like Lindsay Lohan for being red-haired and freckled.

There Will Be Blood (2007)
As much as I was surprised at liking No Country for Old Men, I was surprised at how much I disliked There Will Be Blood. I thought the first half was okay. Daniel Day-Lewis wasn’t quite in Bill the Butcher mode and the historical aspects of oil drilling were interesting. But then, the movie became a number of things I’ve seen before. There’s not much difference between Plainview and Deadwood‘s George Hearst character. In fact, Gerald McRaney plays Hearst with stillness that’s more effective than Day-Lewis’s manic madness. Creepy preachers playing politics have also been done better on TV in the form of Carnivale. I did enjoy Paul Dano’s performance, but it (as well as Day-Lewis’s performance) were too much caricature and not enough reality. The soundtrack, while interesting for today, hearkens back to the soundtrack of 60s & 70s movies. Even the cinematography wasn’t as good as No Country for Old Men or The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I don’t know. If I would have seen this movie a year ago, would my opinion be as harsh?

Powered by ScribeFire.

Thursday:  Worked, played disc (was *still* feeling good), watched Gone Baby Gone, worked.
Friday: Worked, played EverQuest, took the day off from physical activities even though I still felt good.

Today: Listen to the Red-White “game.”  Do some work of some kind.

Ice Cream #4: Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee
I’ve never understood the milk & honey thing.  For me, the unappetizing thing about milk is its sweetness.  Why would I want to make milk sweeter?  But if milk & honey were like this ice cream, I definitely get it.  The ice cream is very creamy as Haagen-Dazs  always is with that slightly chewy texture.  The honey taste is clearly evident…after the second bite.  The first bite is much more about the vanilla, which in the grand scheme isn’t H-D’s best point.  But once the honey comes into play, very tasty, very refreshing.  This would be really great on a hot day.

Watched The Last Time the other night.  Despite Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser, this movie was kind of lack-luster.  Nothing really wrong with it.  The plot was solid enough, but it was just sort of flat.  There was a little sex and language, but other than that it was the quality of a TNT movie-of-the-week.

On the better end, watched Gone Baby Gone.  There are some movies that if you know the ending, it doesn’t really matter.  Even if it’s a “trick” ending, you can enjoy the ride of getting there.  I had the ending of Gone Baby Gone spoiled for me and it did steal much of enjoyment of the movie from me.  The movie was pretty solid plot and acting-wise and I think Ben Affleck did a good job with setting.  Without saying much, there is a moral question proposed at the end and I’m not sure that the options were really laid out well.

Movies watched recently:

Crash: Didn’t care for it.  It’s one of those movies in which  you watch the characters suffer for over two hours for doing stupid and irrational things.  Call me shallow, but I prefer to actually like a characters in the movies I watch.  (Syriana was totally robbed of  an Oscar…)

The Mist: To be honest, I “watched” this movie while working, but I found it strangely affecting.  It’s a very simple movie, really.  Part catastrophe movie, part monster movie; relying on decent acting skills to set it apart.  Not that the effects are bad.  On the contrary, they were pretty darn good.  And the ending!  Cripes.  It’ll stick with you for a while.  I have a feeling this in about ten times the movie that Cloverfield is.

A Perfect World:  Technically, this is a rewatch, but I watched it long ago and only half paid attention.  It is…a Clint Eastwood movie.  Well-shot, fairly well-told, with very ambiguous characters and situations.  Gotta love it.

Off to do more work.

Movies, Ice Cream & the GIMP

Watched No Country for Old Men yesterday.  I wasn’t exactly excited to see this movie, though curious about it.  I’m not a Coen brother’s fan.  Aside from Miller’s Crossing, none of their movies have seemed compelling to me.  Two out of two Erics have stated that Fargo is the most boring film ever.  That No Men won best picture, beating out the very good and solid Michael Clayton, did nothing to endear it to me.  But, we generally end up watching most of the best pic nominees, and I’d heard good things about it including that it has a rather open ending.  And it was really good.  I figured Tommy Lee Jones would be playing his usual gristled, tough sheriff.  Not so.  Actually, that typecast helps Jones because his character is worn and tired, yet knows no other way of life.  Josh Brolin’s character is actually smarter than you’d expect him to be.  And Bardem and Harrelson are both nicely psychopathic.  The one thing I really appreciated about the movie was it’s sense of place.  Southwest Texas is another character with its landscape and its people.  Well done, Coen & Coen.

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Ice Cream #2 — Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns

Ben & Jerry’s is a prime example of a very American philosophy: More is better!  If caramel-cinnamon ice cream is good (like Haagen Dazs Cinnamon Dulce de Leche), than adding a “streusel” swirl and cinnamon bun dough would *have* to be better!  But it’s not.  The base ice cream does remind me of the Haagen Dazs (only not quite as creamy).  The swirl, if saltier, would have  been a decent addition.  While the HD Cinnamon Dulce de Leche is probably one of my favorite ice creams, the taste is so uniform that it gets a little boring.  But in the Ben & Jerry’s the swirl is just more of the same taste, offering only different texture.  The cinnamon bun dough is slightly salty, but in chunks that are too big and somewhat annoying.  And this is what I expected from Ben & Jerry’s.  I just wanted to try something different.

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

On Thursday, I downloaded GIMP and set upon teaching myself to use it.  I’ve doing more and more with web design and my graphic design skills are lacking.  Paint Shop has been too daunting, so of course I chose GIMP by knowing nothing about it.  I’ve been fairly happy with it, thus far.  I’m going through the tutorials on the GIMP pages.  Some of them are better than others, but I’m slowly learning a few techniques.  I’ll probably find another set of tutorial when I finish with those.  Things of interest that I’ve done:

A better Pretty Huck Machine logo for our league team.

Colorized an old sketch of mine.

And made my first animated LJ icon!  I’ll probably make a better version eventually.

Plus, GIMP should make it easier to do an effect for Entangled Continua.