Tag movies (31)
a few thoughts about Oblivion (with spoilers!) and my emotional state
Posted on 2013-11-16 23:09:00
Tags: movies essay
I just got back from a quick jaunt to St. Louis, and on the way back I watched Oblivion. (the recent Tom Cruise sci-fi movie)
beyond here lie SPOILERS for Oblivion
Near the end of the movie, it becomes clear that Tom Cruise (he has a name in the movie but, come on, he's Tom Cruise) and his wife Julia are going to have to sacrifice themselves to defeat the evil Tet, and Julia has to go up there in suspended animation. So we see Tom Cruise fly up there with the suspended animation pod and stuff happens and eventually he opens the pod and it's Morgan Freeman! (who is the leader of the humans but, come on, he's Morgan Freeman)
I did not see this coming (which is more than I can say for another major plot twist), but my first thought was that this was horribly unfair to Julia. She volunteered to martyr herself to save humanity, but Tom Cruise robbed her of that right, and now she has to live without him, which struck me as very very sad. Is that weird?
Anyway, I usually like unexpected endings to movies, but I was pretty bummed about this. Some combination of watching a movie while traveling/on an airplane and without David around often puts me in a weird emotional state. And I was very excited to see that there was indeed a happy ending when one of Tom Cruise's clones found Julia! (which actually made total sense)
The Green Hornet
Posted on 2011-01-29 13:25:00
Tags: movies reviews
So. We saw The Green Hornet last night.
I have someone managed to make it this far in life without seeing a Seth Rogen movie. The Green Hornet was written by and stars Seth Rogen, and...well, it shows.
I think my main problem with the movie was that Seth Rogen was not very likeable. There's a tried and true rule for getting away with your protagonist saying sexist/generally mean things: he can say it, but then he must get punched or somehow suffer. (see Futurama's "Amazon women in the mood" for this principle in action) In this movie, Seth Rogen is repeatedly a jerk to people around him, and he rarely gets his comeuppance. This makes me feel like the movie itself is endorsing being sexist and remarkably full of yourself.
It wasn't entirely without value, and did have a few funny parts, but if you like Seth Rogen movies, you'll probably like this one, and the inverse is true as well.
Posted on 2010-01-07 10:54:00
We saw Avatar in 3D last night. I went in with pretty low expectations but looking forward to the pretties. And that was about right - the story was both simple and extremely predictable, and honestly the movie felt a little long. But the giant blue people were very impressive, and the 3D really added to the beautiful, beautiful scenery. I've learned that a magical-seeming world that looks amazing is enough for me to enjoy a movie (see: Coraline), and the 3D really does make it better. So I did end up enjoying it.
reviews of stuff I generally like
Posted on 2009-09-17 09:52:00
Tags: movies reviews palmpre games
After spending another month with my Palm Pre since my last review, I thought I'd take a minute and reevaluate. I'm still happy with it in general...
Battery Life: This has gotten a bit better since my first review - I still charge it every night, but just taking to the office and browsing a little with it during the day still leaves me with plenty of juice. Even traveling with it and playing games for a while on the way back from Niagara Falls I was able to use it most of the time.
WebOS: One big annoyance is that, when the phone is in landscape mode (which is better for reading web pages, etc.), you don't get the notifications on the bottom, and the keyboard is obviously in the wrong place. This leads to a lot of switching back and forth between landscape and portrait mode, or just giving up and leaving it in portrait mode.
Apps: There are now 50 apps on the store, and supposedly paid apps will be available next week. Here's hoping!
Last night we watched Spirited Away which was really pretty amazing. It struck the same "magical environment" tone for me that Coraline did. Here's a good review of it with a few clips to get a good taste of it. The director's newest film is Ponyo, now showing at the Alamo Drafthouse Village.
This week (busy week!) we also picked up Scribblenauts, a new game for the Nintendo DS whose tagline is "Write Anything, Solve Everything". The basic idea is that you have a series of puzzles to solve, and you can write any object (no trademarks or profanities) and it will appear, which you can then use to help you. It's a pretty cool idea and the dictionary of words it recognizes is huge. (according to someone who extracted it, it's over 22000 words!)
There are two types of levels - puzzle ones, where the goal is to do something specific (like collect the flowers and give them to the florist, or help the birthday boy break open his piñata) and action ones, where the goal is to get to the starite and overcome whatever obstacles are in the way. The puzzle levels are a lot of fun - they aren't too difficult but you master the level if you beat it three times in a row using none of the same objects. The action levels are an exercise in frustration, because the control scheme is fairly terrible. You tap on objects to manipulate them, but you also tap to move Maxwell (your character) to a spot on the screen. We've already died many times because of mistaps and there sure isn't any undo...
Anyway, it's a cute game and fun to play and watch. I just wish it was less frustrating!
Posted on 2009-07-10 09:58:00
Tags: movies programming links
And since it's 8(!) days until the wedding, presumably my last one as a swinging bachelor.
This fascinating NY Times graphic shows the various business cycles and the recession we're in now. And maybe some hope that things will be better in 6 months.
A 60 foot Gundam robot has risen in Tokyo. I really really hope this is real.
Short article on the 40th anniversary of Stonewall. Found this surprising:
In 1966, three years before Stonewall, Time, then the voice of middlebrow, middle-class respectability, published a long essay on “The Homosexual in America.” The magazine, while acknowledging that “homosexuals are present in every walk of life,” concluded that homosexualityis a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life. As such it deserves fairness, compassion, understanding and, when possible, treatment. But it deserves no encouragement, no glamorization, no rationalization, no fake status as minority martyrdom, no sophistry about simple differences in taste—and, above all, no pretense that it is anything but a pernicious sickness.
Despite all this, it still seems too early to cede America’s future to the Lone Star state. To begin with, that lean Texan model has its own problems. It has not invested enough in education, and many experts rightly worry about a “lost generation” of mostly Hispanic Texans with insufficient skills for the demands of the knowledge economy. Now immigration is likely to reconvert Texas from Republican red to Democratic blue; Latinos may justly demand a bigger, more “Californian” state to educate them and provide them with decent health care.
linky in spirit
Music: Michael Jackson - "Black or White"
Posted on 2009-06-26 10:58:00
Tags: movies gay politics links
We watched Dial M for Murder last night. I had high hopes for it, having enjoyed Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" a few weeks ago, but this was even better! The opening 15 minutes or so were packed with tension, and although sometimes older movies don't hold up today since their twists have become terribly commonplace, this one holds up quite well. Highly recommended.
The Alamo Drafthouse had a tribute Michael Jackson singalong last night, and they say there will be more this weekend. I went to one of these in 2005 and it was a lot of fun.
Supreme Court rulings: strip-searching a 13 year old because you think they have Advil = very not OK (Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenter), and crime laboratory technicians must testify to admit lab results into evidence, which sounds like it might be a fairly large change. That was a 5-4 ruling with an odd majority: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Scalia and Thomas.
If you're interested in the Supreme Court (and who isn't?), here's a chart of the justices' ideology over its history, which explains why seeing Stevens and Thomas agree on anything is pretty weird.
The DNC gay fundraiser I mentioned last week happened, and apparently Joe Biden gave a good speech and got a lot of applause. But it's hard to read this:
He said that gay and lesbian concerns will not be "delayed, put off or not end up on [Obama's] plate" because he is dealing with so many other issues.since that seems to be exactly what's happening. I appreciate that they're pledging to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, but talk is cheap.
other odds and ends
Posted on 2009-06-02 10:49:00
Tags: movies worldofwarcraft links
As a wedding present from djedi I got a new monitor! Whereas my old one could fit 4 xterms without overlapping, the new one can fit 9 (and 12 with just a little overlap). This makes a huge difference when I'm programming - being able to see larger sections of the file I'm working on (and having more xterms open in different directories, etc.) lets me get distracted less by switching between virtual desktops, etc. Also, the screensaver of pictures looks much more impressive :-)
We saw "Up" on Saturday (in 3D, no less). It was sweet - the first five or so minutes were really really great. I hope I can be Ellie to David's Carl. Or something. Overall I liked it but less than Wall-E and The Incredibles.
Last night we put in 10 or so attempts on Hodir and got him down to 23% or so. It's pretty overwhelming at first - I have to find the fire and stand near it, avoid icicles, dispel frost novas, heal like crazy through the frozen blows, and not screw up the flash freeze. I got pretty good by the end except at the avoiding icicles while healing through frozen blows. Maybe next time...
If you installed .NET framework 3.5 SP1, you probably got an unwanted silent installation of a Firefox addon that makes it less safe - the link has directions on how to remove it. That kinda sucks.
This whole post is really just an excuse to post this short video which I won't spoil. Also: 100 movie lines in 200 seconds.
pride and prejudice and zombies and "star trek" and wedding and words
Posted on 2009-05-11 14:03:00
Tags: movies ljbackup wedding books
In reverse order:
- My bad. I posted to Facebook that my epic jury duty recounting was 9500 words long, which sounded more improbable the more I thought about it. Indeed, my word-counting was counting characters instead of words, so after a little tuneup the statistics show it was only 2228 words long (still my longest post ever). In fact, now I know I write an average of 200 words per entry! And over the life of my LJ (including protected posts which don't show up in the public statistics) I've written 204550 words, or around 126 words a day.
- Wedding stuff is going fine. I sent the invitations out today at lunch!
- "Star Trek" movie = good. We saw it at the Alamo Drafthouse, so I had a Romulan Ale before it even started which made it even better. (also, Kirk's Iowa steak with McCoy's baked beans, while arriving extremely late (the waiter took half off the price) was delicious) The new 4K digital projection thingy was incredibly crisp and I really enjoyed the movie. (talking about seeing it again soonish!)
- I have a long history with "Pride and Prejudice". I was forced to read it in 7th grade and hate hate hated it, didn't understand most of it, and got a "D" or something like that on the test. As such, I never had any desire to watch the A&E miniseries even though my mom and sister(s?) loved it, and I generally went on with my life.
For my birthday, djedi got me Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I started reading it, and awesomeness ensued. The first paragraph is:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead.There was enough zombie happenings to keep me interested throughout the book, and I even got kind of engaged with the non-zombie plot, which is nothing short of remarkable. Also, there are illustrations!
Posted on 2009-02-13 21:38:00
Tags: movies reviews
I was in a pretty crappy and tired mood going to see Coraline this evening, and the crowd of high schoolers around the movie theater didn't help. (it's not showing at the Alamo Drafthouse, oddly enough)
And for some reason I thought Coraline was going to be...dark and brooding and whatnot. And then she was a fairly typical whiny kid and I was disappointed.
But then! The whole movie has kind of a LittleBigPlanet feel about it, which I like. The plot was kinda OK, but the visuals were really impressive, especially in 3D. And the music was charming in its own way - very moody and such. So it left me in a good mood, which in the end is really all I can ask for.
Although there were a lot of kids there and a lot of stupid kids movie previews. That I could have done without.
first weekend is over
Posted on 2008-08-06 15:22:00
Tags: movies asmc worldofwarcraft
As djedi mentioned, we survived the first weekend of shows. Friends and Family night went OK although I screwed up a part and was generally jittery - maybe because it had been two years or something? Anyway, I settled down into a pretty good rhythm about midway through Saturday and no major catastrophes. (one time I said "three minutes" twice instead of "two minutes", but in the grand scheme of things, not so bad)
Saturday was of course long - three shows and we had to do pictures between the first and second shows. You can see the ASMC pictures here (warning: spoilers!) They turned out well.
It was nice to get Saturday evening off and some sleep before the two Sunday shows, although I forgot that while two shows is a lot easier than three shows, it's still a lot harder than (say) no shows.
Days off are good, although what with NIWeek this week work has been tiring too. And tomorrow we have a short rehearsal and then back to shows again! Easier because I'll be better rested, harder because we're up until midnight Friday night with gala stuff.
Saw Batman in IMAX. It was awesome. The part where he jumps off the building looked even more incredible. Would see again.
Got my WoW account restored (at least all the important stuff). Pretty sure it's crashing because of memory, and if I run in windowed mode it doesn't seem to. At some point I need to actually fix the problem.
Batman in IMAX?
Posted on 2008-07-28 09:00:00
Anyone interested in seeing Batman in IMAX (at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum) next Monday (August 4) at 6:30?
not a complaint
Music: Peter Gabriel - "Down to Earth" (from Wall-E soundtrack)
Posted on 2008-07-16 10:38:00
Tags: movies music asmc
but we have to be off-script and music by Friday. Like, two days from now. That is extremely frightening/implausible.
I bought the Wall-E soundtrack and I'm liking it enough to review it, mostly because I still associate the music with what's happening in the movie and I'm pretty sure that's gonna fade away soon. To that effect:
(you probably shouldn't read this if you haven't seen the movie. and you should probably see the movie.)
Put On Your Sunday Clothes - this is the music that plays over the opening credits when they show what's left of Earth. It even has the nice fade-out effect over the last line "and we won't come home until we've kissed a girl!" which gives it an emptyish feeling. Catchy! 4 stars.
2815 A.D. - the main theme as I think of it - pretty harp music with slightly unsettling background music. Nice xylophone part later. Very...harpy and spacey. 4 stars.
Wall-E - a playful theme - I think this is him doing stuff outside, oh and probably the cockroach bit too. 3 stars.
The Spaceship - Something's happening! A bit of a dancing theme (with the red landing dot, I assume), and then off to the races. This is when Eve's spaceship lands. 3 stars.
EVE - the theme when Eve emerges and flies around gracefully. Harpy again and very pretty and flowing. Definitely 5 stars.
Thrust - not sure what's happening here - maybe the ship is taking off? Back to unsettling/cautious feeling. 3 stars.
Bubble Wrap - I'm guessing this is when Wall-E is showing Eve his home, with the Rubik's cube and bubble wrap and whatnot. Mostly calm, although building a bit. 3 stars.
La Vie En Rose - After Eve shuts down, this is the montage of Wall-E trying to wake her up/take care of her (I think). Or maybe it's Eve and Wall-E adventuring around together. Good Louie Armstrong number. 4 stars.
Eye Surgery - Hmm, maybe these songs aren't exactly in order? Because this is presumably when Eve breaks Wall-E's eye and he has to find a replacement. Harpy and a bit playful. 3 stars.
Worry Wait - oh, or this is when Eve shuts down. Sounds very worried/panicked at first. 3 stars.
First Date - aww. Maybe this is Wall-E taking care of Eve? Upbeat, kinda cheesy and muzaky. Ends with the sound of Pong being played. 4 stars.
Eve Retrieve - back to the main harpy spacey theme. I presume the ship is landing to pick Eve up now. Now it's more action-y as Wall-E tries to get to the ship before it takes off. Danger! But then triumph! 3 stars.
The Axiom - Starts out peaceful and pretty. They're flying through space! Then they approach the Axiom and a nice trumpet theme which is big and regal at the same time kinda implying something is wrong (with some neat discordance). 4 stars.
BNL - Cute little BNL jingle. I like jingles! 4 stars.
Foreign Contaminant - Mouse droid is chasing after Wall-E and stuff. Very active theme - sounds like movement and robots and stuff. 3 stars.
Repair Ward - Eve gets fixed. Kind of an "undercover" feel here. A little boring. Weird drill noises at the end. 3 stars.
72 Degrees and Sunny - Kinda the general Axiom theme, when you see all the BNL signs and everything. Strangely upbeat. 3 stars.
Septuacentennial - yay, 700 years! Short and frantic. 3 stars.
Gopher - not sure what this is, but sounds like robots are moving. 3 stars.
Wall-E's Pod Adventure - dramatic! This is when he's headed back to Earth but manages to escape. Nice cello/viola/something line. 3 stars.
Define Dancing - Wall-E and Eve's dance through space. Very pretty, flowing, harpy. 4 stars.
No Splashing No Diving - I suppose this is when the two people actually get in the pool. Calm, followed by a funky robot beat. 3 stars.
All That Love's About - pretty little love theme. Maybe when Eve is watching what Wall-E did for her after she found the plant? 3 stars.
M-O - that "undercover" theme again. I'm guessing something to do with the mouse droid. 3 stars.
Directive A-113 - captain sees plant is missing, I think? A bit of slow spacey theme at first that turns more sinister and then Axiom-ish. 3 stars.
Mutiny! - um, the mutiny part. Fast moving and robot-y at first, then more action. 3 stars.
Fixing Wall-E - the bit in the trash center on the Axiom where they almost get vented into space. Slow, sad, and xylophony! Turns more upbeat near the end. Pretty. 4 stars.
Rogue Robots - sounds like chase music. Presumably chasing them through the ship :-) 3 stars.
March of the Gels - Axiom-ish theme. I think this is when the broken robots defeat the sentry bots. 3 stars.
Tilt - Presumably when Otto steers the ship and everyone on the Lido Deck (that's a great name for a deck, btw) falls down. Sounds dangerous and dramatic! More of the neat axiom theme with some choir stuff at the end. 3 stars.
The Holo-Detector - When the plant goes in the plant detector? Triumphant at first, then more Axiom-y, then...xylophony, maybe? Something like that. 3 stars.
Hyperjump - Jumping back to Earth! Excited-sounding and dangerous, then triumphant again (with a bit of dissonance). 3 stars.
Desperate Eve - Eve zooms off to try to fix Wall-E. Robot-y, concerned. 4 stars.
Static - Aww, Wall-E doesn't remember Eve! Sad sad xylophone and violins. 3 stars.
It Only Takes a Moment - The love song from Hello Dolly - ends with "to be loved our whole life long". Awwww. 4 stars.
Down to Earth - plays over the end credits. I really like songs over the end credits of good movies, presumably because I'm in a good mood because the movie was good. Anyway, I love this song and it's been stuck in my head for a few days and will probably stay there for a while. 5 stars!
Horizon 12.2 - pretty music that maybe also played over the end credits? Sounds spacey and harpy. 4 stars.
Anyway, wow that was a lot of typing for minimal benefit. Next time I do this it will be on an album with fewer than 38 tracks!
Posted on 2008-07-03 20:28:00
Tags: movies politics links
Wow, I can't remember the last time I posted on a weekend. (ooh, maybe my LJBackup stats page should have a day of the week analysis!)
Obama's been taking a bit of flak for saying he'll vote on the FISA bill - here's his well-written response. (some analysis)
I'm really excited about The Dark Knight, mostly because I loved Batman Begins. We saw Wanted today - it was pretty good.
best day ever
Posted on 2008-06-17 09:16:00
Tags: movies rant links
You can download Firefox 3 starting at noon our time. (you might be able to Help->Check for Updates... as well - not sure when that will be turned on)
Gays can marry in California today! Here's an interactive map of the legal status of gay marriage/civil unions in all 50 states.
Last night at Kung Fu Panda (which is still good, by the way, I'd probably even see it again) we saw a trailer for Fly Me to the Moon which is about three stupid flies that tag along on the first moon landing. This makes me angry. The graphics quality looks meh, it's filled with bad and stupid and pointless puns and the smart fly is named "Iq". Judging by the trailer, you're supposed to think that the idea of the fly on the moon is just so awesome, we'll have a bunch of characters say "Nat's going to the moon!", "Your boy is going to the moon!", "We're going to the moon!", etc.
Also, (and here's where I go off a bit) apparently there's some problem with the capsule and the flies have to save the day. This (aside from being stupid) I find offensive - it took years and years of hard work and dedication and lost lives to get us to the moon, not some stupid-ass flies fixing some problem or whatever. Next up: some scorpions are going to Normandy! And the Allies can't win the battle without them! So they go around and sting some Nazis or something! After that: well, you get the idea.
Maybe the 3D will make it way more awesome but somehow I doubt it.
In the vein of bad movies, a review of The Happening that contains all the spoilers.
check, check, check
Posted on 2008-01-21 09:19:00
Tags: movies pictures music house
Stuff we did this weekend that's worth mentioning:
- Saw "Juno". Good movie - the first scene had me worried that the whole thing was going to be very snappy and sound like it was written by writers who thought they were awesome, but it calmed down after that. Also, Michael Cera + Jason Bateman == win.
- Saw "Cloverfield". Also a good movie. I will avoid spoilers but I'd recommend it if you like horrorish movies. Kept me awake for a little while last night :-)
- Bought new music! In order of how much I expect to like them:
- Radiohead - "In Rainbows". Yeah, I should have gotten this a while ago but I was busy or something. Anyway, I've only heard the one track but it was pretty good and, come on, it's Radiohead!
- Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible". I listened to this on mediator and looved it.
- Nine Inch Nails - "Year Zero". I heard some samples and wasn't terribly impressed, but I like the concept so I'll give it a shot.
- White Stripes - "Icky Thump". I liked the samples I heard, so who knows.
- The Magnetic Fields - "Distortion". "California Girls" is a really catchy song but I dunno about the rest of the album. We'll see...
- Took down the Christmas tree in 10 minutes.
- Gave notice to our apartment that we're leaving.
- Went to the NI-sponsored hockey game, which was fun. The Ice Bats won!
- Bought a hot tub! We just stopped by to look at them but the '07 models were on clearance and the guy sold us the floor model for substantially cheaper than the "regular price". Anyway, we spent about what we wanted to spend so it's fine.
- Put pictures and videos of David's brother's wedding up. This was the first event that I used my Flip Video at (besides house-hunting) and let me tell you - editing the videos and such is a real pain. I gotta find a better way...(and fix the thumbnails at some point)
home again, home again jiggety-jig
Posted on 2007-12-26 17:41:00
We're back home. Christmas was nice but there was surprisingly little time to relax. And I was OK about going back to work two days after Christmas, but I'm decidedly less excited about it now.
Christmas with David's family was nice, though - we cleaned up in time Christmas morning for the big party, and it wasn't as awkward as I had feared, since I had been introduced to a lot of his family before. Played 42 with family for an hour or two - they're quite good unlike myself, but everyone was pleasant and whatnot. Also ended up playing a lot of Rook while we were there - the rules are similar to 42, except it's with cards, and the play is fairly different.
It looks like we'll be at my folks this coming weekend for Christmas instead of the one after that, which works out better for various reasons but means we'll be in Houston three weekends in a row (all for good reason) which is kind of a lot.
Just checked mail - I got a small package from Gary Madison (from NY) that contains a CD called "Por Vida" which I know nothing about. I'm assuming it's a present, and I'm all for random fun stuff showing up in my mailbox, but does anyone have the skinny on this?
Movies we saw: National Treasure 2, Underdog (the second half or so), Live Free or Die Hard, Stardust. Thoughts below; may contain spoilers.
National Treasure 2: Biased against it from the beginning, because, seriously? It was more or less what I expected - decent action, barely believable plot. There were some major problems in there. For example: the main bad guy (who looks totally evil from the very first scene he's in and I hope it wasn't supposed to be a surprise that he was a bad guy) presents evidence that Nicolas Cage's great-grandfather was the mastermind of the plot to assassinate Lincoln. The story that Cage's family was told was that he was killed because he didn't decrypt a treasure map for a group of Confederate sympathizers to the legendary city of Cibola. Apparently these can't both be true, because Nicolas Cage's plan is to go ahead and find that city, thus proving that...the treasure map was true. So his great-granddaddy wasn't a traitor. Or something. Also, the main bad guy tries to get some of the clues along with way, mostly by shooting the good guys. But then at the end he needs them to decipher the final clue, or explore the tunnel with them or something. So why all the bullets before? And at the very end he heroically gives himself up to save the rest of them. He seems to want his family name to be cleared, but that sure isn't clear until he says so. Blah.
Underdog (the second half or so): Biased against it because I saw the trailer and it looked cookie-cutter talking animal: dumb. I sat down to watch with David's nephews who were supposed to be napping in front of it, which didn't work at all. It ended up being not as dumb as I thought - I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but sitting down in front of it beats working. Jim Belushi and Patrick Warburton (Puddy on Seinfeld, The Tick) certainly help.
Live Free or Die Hard: Biased for it because I liked the first one and I heard it was good. It was awesome. Justin Long is good, Timothy Olyphant is good, and of course Bruce Willis is good. Good good good. Simultaneously made me want to work out more and work on my leet hacker skillz.
Stardust: We watched this lateish last night, and I think I would have enjoyed it more had I been less tired. It's a fairy tale, and it was sweet, but it just felt a little weird. Worth watching, though.
Posted on 2007-12-02 18:43:00
Tags: movies music projects house
Friday started pretty crappily (as I noted), then we went to see Beowulf 3D with people. It was better than I expected - I guess 3D technology has come a ways since I last saw it. The movie was pretty typical action fare, except it was all motion capture CGI-y. It was pretty well done - you could tell most of the time that the characters weren't real actors, and some of the emotions didn't come through as well as they could have, but not bad.
The music was also surprisingly good - the few themes they used are pretty catchy, and the "main" song was sung during the end credits by Idina Menzel! (the original Elphaba in Wicked)
Saturday was spent being cranky for a large part of the day for various reasons. We did get to start Super Mario Galaxy which is a lot of fun, and hang out with wildrice13 in the evening. I worked on my arena rating graph which is coming along nicely - got some statistics to show. (did you know we are much better against teams with 0 mages than teams with 1 mage?) Next step is making it so you can choose criteria (say, matches where the opponents had at least one hunter and paladin that we played in Blade's Edge) and show statistics based on that. Should be fun.
Today was church and then house-hunting. After talking for a while about the way things work (helpful if a bit long), we looked at 6 houses. Unsurprisingly, our top choice was one that looked kinda OK on paper, and our #1 choice on paper was OK but not great (and is under contract anyway so we can't buy it). I took a ton of pictures that hopefully will help us remember the one we liked. It was pretty good but not super amazing or anything. I guess in the future we'll just get more listings from our agent and periodically look at more houses. It's a bit anticlimactic.
for a monday, things are pretty good
Posted on 2007-08-06 12:59:00
Tags: movies worldofwarcraft
wonderjess and friends came down to visit for the weekend, and Friday and a lot of Saturday was spent painting DC red. We toured the US Capitol and went to the top of the Washington Monument, as well as lots of other things. I'll put pictures up sometime this week. At night we watched old Square One episodes. (search for "Square One" on YouTube and you'll find lots of good sketches :-) )
Played some WoW on Saturday and got Rilinar (my old priest on Alleria) up to 61. It took a while to remember to watch the health bars and not the mob's health, but I still do enjoy healing.
Yesterday we were both feeling kinda blah, and it would have been perfect to have someone over or go over to a friend's place. Instead I programmed some Haskell and eventually we rented and watched the first Die Hard, which I hadn't seen. Good movie!
Posted on 2007-07-02 11:11:00
Tags: movies microresolution haskell computer
For our anniversary, we ate at Famous Dave's BBQ and saw Ratatouille. Famous Dave's - not bad, but the meat was kind of fatty. And no, their brisket wasn't "as good as anything you'll find in the Lone Star State", as their menu audaciously claimed. Ratatouille - excellent, excellent, excellent (same director as The Incredibles!). Very sweet comedy. Made me hungry. kottke's review convinced me to see it.
After a little bit of pain, I got my new hard drive set up, SATA and all, and all the data copied over. It's even faster than the old one! I'm experiencing some weird freezes (usually if I wait 10-15 seconds it will come back) in WoW, but I think it may be a video driver problem; I just upgraded them so I'll try downgrading tonight or tomorrow.
Microresolution: I will spend at least one hour of concentrated time before the end of Saturday on the Haskell version of the hat puzzle. (writing the genetic algorithm) I've been trying to do this for a while but I always find myself distracted by other things. I don't know why it's so important to me to do this, but it is.
score your representative!
Posted on 2007-04-23 09:39:00
Tags: movies homepage congressvotes
So over the weekend I finished congressvotes - check it out! (I also prettied up my homepage a little bit...maybe I'll actually make it look nice some day)
We did see Hot Fuzz this weekend, and it was awesome. Like Shaun of the Dead it's a good mix between a comedy and a serious movie (cop drama/mystery in this case). Highly recommended!
happy birthday to meeee
Posted on 2007-04-20 09:39:00
Tags: movies congressvotes
Yay, I'm 25! I get a discount on my car insurance (I think at least), and I can rent a car without any problems! Also a perfect square, and the smallest hypotenuse squared in a Pythagorean triple. And (25 mod 10)^2 = 25. I think I'll stop now.
I hope I never get blasé about my birthday. I love special occasions! Tonight we're gonna eat at Copeland's (note to self: eat small lunch) and maybe see a movie. Hot Fuzz opens today, made by the same people who did Shaun of the Dead which I really liked, so we might go for that :-)
I joined Facebook yesterday, which probably makes me user #1 billion or something. It seems neat enough.
Article about long commutes and why people do it. Yikes!
Last night I worked on congressvotes and it's almost ready to go! The weirdest problem I had was that in most votes "Yea" and "Nay" are used, but some use "Aye" and "No", confusingly enough.
back to the grindstone
Posted on 2007-03-19 14:16:00
So destroyerj came up and visited this weekend, and lo, it was fun! (except for the whole flight being cancelled Friday because of snow/sleet here) We went to DC on Saturday and saw the National Cathedral for the first time. Unfortunately, it isn't near a Metro stop so we walked .75 miles there and .75 miles back. (apparently there are buses that go there from some stops, but the walk wasn't too bad) It's a very pretty and awe-inspiring place; I took some pictures (that we later viewed on the Wii Photo Channel!) that turned out pretty well that I hope to put up before the end of the week. (wow, apparently there's a Darth Vader sculpture there, although hidden by construction; thanks, Wikipedia!)
We watched A Scanner Darkly on the TiVo that we had rented from Amazon Unbox. All in all, the unbox -> tivo thing worked beautifully, and I'd definitely do it again. (especially since we have $11 in credit left!) The movie itself was good - the rotoscoping really added to the "unreality" of the whole movie, in addition to looking really really cool (particularly the scramble suits, which rotate through faces and clothing)
I started my next project which will indeed be in Haskell. I'll save the details for when I'm at home and can properly ask my questions.
Christmas pictures finally up
Posted on 2007-01-24 23:31:00
Tags: movies pictures
Subject says it all - check them out! I also put up a few snow pictures, snow still being novel and all. Actually, it's supposed to snow tomorrow; hopefully it won't delay our flight!
On a random note, I saw that "Little Miss Sunshine" was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Apparently the field is fairly weak - the movie was cute and neat and indieish, but definitely not Best Picture caliber in a normal year. I saw a reasonable number of movies this year, but I haven't seen any of the other four.
You know you're a geek when you consider getting a safe deposit box not because of birth certificates or passports, but for your computer backup DVDs!
Also, my SMTP server is borked, so if you're expecting emails from the guild website, you're not going to get any. I'll try to fix this next week. (as it sends me > 100 emails a day on my computer...)
Posted on 2006-10-28 12:10:00
Saw "The Prestige" lsat night. Very good movie! Can't go wrong with Christopher Nolan directing and Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, etc. Darker than I expected, though, and it taught me not to practice magic around the turn of the 20th century - bad things happen!
na nanana nana na na...
Posted on 2006-05-31 09:35:00
Tags: movies pictures ruby palmtogooglecalendar
...Katamari Damacy! djedi bought WeKatamari yesterday before he left (thanks!) so I played last night. Goood stuff. I love doing the flower level (collecting as many flowers as you can) - very relaxing. Quitting without saving and losing my data was somewhat less relaxing, but if you think I'm not going to redo those levels tonight, you'd be sadly mistaken.
I have the top Google result for "pic6"! Unfortunately it goes to this picture, but you can't win them all.
Speaking of pictures, I put pictures from Jessica's graduation up last night.
Speaking of things I did last night, the palm to google calendar thing is basically done. I have a few tweaks to do, but I'm going to link to it soon. fairydust1, want to test it?
So last time I talked about getting the ruby script to return that it was done while forking a new process. I was almost correct, but instead of doing this in the new thread:
# Create session and return session id to browser
pid = fork do
# Do long-running stuff
you instead just need to do this:
# Create session and return session id to browser
pid = fork do
# Do long-running stuff
Closing $stdin and $stderr just leads to problems (which was why passing parameters weren't working before).
Speaking of...umm...lj-cuts, I saw X-Men 3 this past weekend.
I liked it, all in all. The parallel between mutants and gays was extremely striking in some parts. I also liked the shift of power that the vaccine gave the humans - now they had a weapon against the mutants so it wasn't just a case of "watch the mutants kill the humans, who have no hope of ever retaliating". I like Storm the character (especially with the white hair!), but I didn't think Halle Berry did a good job acting this time around, especially during the scene where they're debating whether to keep the school open. It felt very fake to me.
Also, I loooove Ian McKellen. Maybe it's the white hair talking, but I like the obvious mutual respect he and Professor X have for each other. When Magneto lost his power, even though he was clearly a bad guy, I felt very bad for him since his identity was so wrapped up in his power.
I'm looking forward to a number of summer movies - at some point I'll post the ones I want to see and y'all can make fun of me. Oh, there was a trailer for Snakes on a Plane, and it was good.
Music: "Super Mario Galaxy" music
Posted on 2006-05-12 14:12:00
Tags: movies politics
Thank goodness. This week...not so good.
Why I love Fry's: the storm last Thursday night knocked out our wireless access point. So Wednesday after I work I popped over to Fry's to get a new one. After looking around for a while, the cheapest one I found was $70, and for that price I could get a wireless router, so I went ahead and got that (the last time our router died, we had an access point, so we got a router without wireless for about the same price, which was dumb). Aaaand I get to the register, and it's only $50! Unexpected price cuts - that's the way to go.
Video of Super Mario Galaxy - ooooooo I want this game!
We saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Republic Square Park last night (hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse's Rolling Roadshow). It was nice, and the sound was turned up compared to last year so we could hear better. Lowlights were it starting an hour after they said it would (because it wasn't dark enough), lots of people smoking around us, and some jerks next to us who came in maybe half an hour in and started talking to each other (normal volume, mind you) about random crap. After 10 minutes or so, I said "shhh" and wildrice13 told them they were bothering us, so they left (and maybe apologized - I played the role of the person who doesn't interact with them). Oh, and Ben & Jerry's had a cart there so I got ice cream :-)
Tomorrow's David's brother's graduation, so we have to get up early early to make it to College Station by the time it starts. Oh, and Austin folk - don't forget to vote tomorrow! (vote for Prop 6, which would allow the city to give same-sex benefits to city employees)
(ooo, Firefox just crashed, but restored my almost-finished post. Woohoo!!)
Anyway, here's more information about election day, including polling locations and text of proposed amendments. I recommend yes on Prop 5 ($100 is way too low a personal limit to contribute to campaigns) and 6. I'm honestly not sure about Props 1 and 2 - need to read a bit more about them...
Also, I've been really really in the mood to program lately (at least for at-home projects). I'm not sure whether to give in and program a whole lot, or try to do other things until the urge passes. We'll see...
I went to the 108th best high school in the country!
Music: Rent - "Rent"
Posted on 2006-05-03 10:31:00
Tags: movies palmtogooglecalendar links
At least, according to Newsweek (here's the full list). Ed Felten points out that their methodology is a little suspect...
Disney is toning down Mission:Space ride - at first I thought they were toning it down for everyone, but they're just providing a toned down version in addition to the original, which is good. I can see why some people have trouble with it, though - the ride is pretty intense. Good stuff!
LJ was slow yesterday because of a DDoS attack. Guh. Although that thread does contain a somewhat entertaining flamewar!
Superman Returns trailer - ooh! (from kottke)
Made some more progress on my Palm datebook to Google Calendar importer - now I can delete entries, as well as add entries that don't repeat. Repeating entries are annoying (that was the block of code I posted, although I later learned that everything after the first three lines will always be the same, since it describes the timezone and daylight savings time), and I don't get any useful error message, so I guess I'll just tweak it some more until it works...
everybody's working for last weekend
Music: University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers - "Mr. Brightside"
Posted on 2006-05-01 09:02:00
Tags: movies palmtogooglecalendar
Good weekend! Got a chance to relax some, and as a result I'm declaring myself over the stomach virus I had last week. Not because there are necessarily no effects left, but if I don't declare victory, the virus wins!
Things of note:
I was about to give up on the whole dental site thing since I hadn't heard back from my guy for quite a while. Then out of the blue he emailed me on Friday, and we started working things out, and he's paid me a bit already as we start to make the site go live. So, more work for me, but I got money! My first earned money for programming that isn't my job!
Baltimore is the heroin, trade (meaning prostitution in this context), or syphilis capital of the world. Wow, that's not good!
Using the Google Calendar APIs, I created an event on my Palm calendar. Hooray! I still need to make it delete all events before adding events, and also do repeating/all-day events. The latter requires deciphering a string like
happy San Jacinto day!
Posted on 2006-04-21 11:05:00
Tags: movies palmtogooglecalendar links
Today in 1836, the Battle of San Jacinto took place, where the Texas Army defeated the Mexican army (sneaking up during their afternoon siesta) to gain our independence. To commemorate the victory, the San Jacinto Monument was built on the battleground, which is the "world's tallest memorial column", taller than the Washington Monument by around 5 feet.
Yesterday, I saw the movie Inside Man, and enjoyed it! Denzel Washington was good (so was Clive Owen) and Jodie Foster was good although a little creepy.
If you haven't tried the new Google Calendar, you should give it a shot. I've changed my mind - my next project will be using the Google Calendar APIs to import events from my palm. Still gonna try to use Ruby, though...
In other Google news, the Da Vinci Code quest is pretty fun - there's a new puzzle every day for 24 days. I've solved all four of them so far - not too difficult (although they keep sending me to the official movie site, which is loud and takes a while to load).
Cute Metroid cartoon
So the Kryptos sculpture (constructed on the grounds of the CIA in 1990) contains four encrypted messages. People have solved the first three, but no one has been able to crack the fourth (which is thought to refer to the first three heavily, as well as possibly other physical elements on the CIA grounds. The creator just announced there was a typo on the second section, which had caused the last eight letters to be misinterpreted. I'm hoping this will lead to a breakthrough on the last section :-)
"I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense." Darn...
cute math song and "V for Vendetta"
Posted on 2006-03-29 12:59:00
Tags: movies music
So I'm cleaning out my inbox (down to 10 emails!!) and I stumbled across a video that theoyaung sent me a long time ago. It's a cute math love song - "Finite Simple Group of Order 2" (link is to a video). Good stuff!
I liked the movie, more than I thought I would. I like movies with dystopias. I could see England going that way (what with their increasing limits on free speech, etc.), although the fact that it was a theocracy seemed pretty weird to me, since England is a lot more secular than we are. (especially the fact that they locked up gays seemed pretty incongruous since they're more socially liberal over there, but I'm willing to give it as pass since the graphic novel was written in 1985ish)
The whole Evey getting kidnapped by V and in a fake prison camp rubbed me the wrong way. After arguing with destoyerj about it afterwards, I can't come up with any inconsistencies in how it was presented, but it still felt weird. I guess they implied there was a lot more to the camp that you didn't get to see, but in fact there wasn't any more than you saw. Or something. Meh.
So how did Evey escape capture between the time she was gone and November 5? I mean, it's a police state, right? There are presumably cameras everywhere and stuff, but this was never really explained. Unless I forgot that part.
The parts with torture and secret interrogation places struck a little close to home.
The end was pretty good, although it sure was convenient the many many bullets that were shot didn't kill V quickly enough that he couldn't kill everyone. And he seemed fine while he was killing everyone, but after he was done he was certain to die. I guess adrenaline is good stuff.
Anyway, I liked it. And now to donate to the ACLU...
Posted on 2006-03-21 18:43:00
It's sooo cold! I thought when it was below freezing, you got snow as a bonus? My fingers are having trouble typing.... :-(
"16 Blocks" - weird at first, then good, then dragged a bit. The ending, though, was good, and that brings the rating up to pretty good. Bruce Willis is old, which is sad. And Mos Def has an annoying accent the whole time.
Popcorn is expensive ($6 for a medium??) in Maryland.
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