Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Two days sooner! (And X3)

Huzzah! Superman Returns, June 28th!

And the cool new trailer we saw in front of the really mediocre X-Men movie.

Oh, X-Men 3? Didn't care for it. I mean it wasn't Men In Black II and certainly not a Hayden Christensen Star Wars movie. There were some good bits. But almost all of them came from X-Men and X-Men 2 or were because of the great cast that Singer put together. (And 20th Century Fox seems pretty adamant that this is THE LAST X-Men movie, no matter HOW much money it makes. I haven't seen studio animosity towards a film like this since Buckaroo Banzai.) When it was over I was asking questions like "Why was Angel (no, not that one) in this movie?" And "Why was this BIG IMPORTANT THING given almost no weight in the movie whatsoever?"

SPOILER (click and drag mouse over to see):

Maybe James Marsden was late for the set of Superman Returns?


Kelsey Grammer was pretty cool as Hank "Beast" McCoy. Ian McKellan can read the phone book and be good. But nothing felt as real (the White House and the President for example - good grief, the guy looked older than Bob Dole. Hey! He was Larry in Close Encounters of the Third Kind! Poor Larry...) and no-one felt as human as they did in the last two. Magneto finally became the moustache twirling villain they managed NOT to make him in 1 and 2. ("They say you're the bad guy." "Is that what they say?") They wasted the Phoenix storyline, which had been given a fair amount of foreshadowing (your guide to quality literature) in not one but two previous films. Several BIG THINGS happen and you just don't CARE. (If you had to get your "care" from reading comic books written twenty-five (!) years ago, it doesn't count.) Pyro and Bobby were still good together (as opposed to Rogue and Bobby, who really weren't). (Again, baggage from the last movie doesn't count as "good".)

One review I read said that if you didn't care too much about the comics, you would like this movie. Look, I don't LIKE the X-Men comics (or at least I haven't since about 1982 - Joe Sweden comics not-withstanding). I don't CARE that Wolverine is too tall or that Rogue is too young (and standing in for Kitty Pride anyway - no wonder they're rivals in this movie). I loved the last two MOVIES.

She Who Is My Wife liked it a lot better before we watched X-Men the next day. Ten minutes into X-Men 1 she turned to me and said "No. Not even close." I love that woman.

I just hope they don't screw up Pirates II. (Or III for that matter.)

In case you're looking for gift ideas...

I mean really, how cool is this?

Space tunes

(WARNING. BSG Season 2 spoilers ABOUND. So if you didn't want to know that Lee is a Cylon, don't read it.)

Ahhhh good news. June 13th. (Between Cars and Superman. I like this June.) Season one had some great cues, and I still love Richard Gibbs' work on the miniseries, but season two was the bomb. (Heh. Season two... Bomb... I crack me up.) And it has the Galactica Anthem from the "See? The press really are trying to kill us!" episode "Final Cut"!

Battlestar Galactica - my "Still In Production Sci-Fi" drug of choice. So say we all.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Seared - SEARED!

This was my second favorite part of the 2004 election. (My third favorite being Rather-gate, my first being that the President was re-elected.) Kind of gives me a nostalgic giggle. Sure Senator Kerry, let's talk about this now. I'd forgotten about the magic hat. I mean, would you have thought that a presidential candidate could go into total hiding three months before an election?

But hey, if he wants to talk about it, we'll talk about it. Heh.


An interview with Andy Garcia about his new film. Something to think about the next time you see a trendy twenty-something wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. (No, you're not allowed to bonk them on the head.)

Christianity Crib Sheet

This is high-larious. I haven't read anything else in this blog, but this is really really funny.

"Catholics are the New York Yankees of Christianity. They are the biggest and wealthiest team, and their owner is intensely controversial (this makes St. Francis of Assisi the Derek Jeter of Catholicism: discuss)."

"Protestants believe the Bible is literal and exactly true in every detail except the description of the Eucharist, while Catholics are not allowed to read the Bible."

"The Protestant Reformation
This is the name historians give to a major labor dispute that erupted in Germany in 1517 when a group of monks hammered a proposed union contract to the door of the pope's house, requesting a 95 percent pay raise. The pope refused to negotiate with the monks union until it agreed to pay to have the door fixed, and the result was the world's longest-running strike. For nearly 500 years, a huge portion of Christians have been on strike from being Catholic, saying they are "justified" in their work stoppage because the pope won't expand the number of indulgences they get per year. Currently, the matter is in arbitration."

Make sure you look for "extras" in the comments section, such as this or this.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Here's a nice long un-ranty look at The Da Vinci Code (2006) vs. Passion of the Christ (2004), among other things.

"The Passion of the Christ was treated as a social problem – the biggest TV anti-Semitism story of that year – while The DaVinci Code was presented more often as an "intriguing" theory rather than threatening or offensive to Christians." Heh.

See, it's not even so much about "This movie says bad things about Christianity" as much as it is that part where everybody seems to be (Nathan Lane voice) ok with that.

Good grief, remember the outcry over Silence of the Lambs because the Big Bad (who was NOT Hannibal "Fava Beans" Lecter, btw) was GAY! It's a stereotype! You can't do that! What? Crazy monks that kill people? Oh sure, no problem.

I'm not saying we picket. I'm not saying we boycott (especially since most people will probably go see X3 this weekend anyway). But Mr. Howard, dude, do you realize what you just said about me? "Oh, well obviously it's not about you!" No? Who was it about?

Hey, lets make a movie where the origins of Christianity are proven beyond a shadow of a doubt and a bunch of Scientologists (in the movie we'll have to change them to Neo-Nazis, always gotta change stuff to Neo-Nazis, unless someone named Bauer is involved) start killing off the team that made this find. Maybe throw in a 1st century Jewish conspiracy for extra "flavor". In the end, after the last two characters (male and female, the ones on the team with the most favorable aesthetic properties) win through all of the Scientol- er, Neo-Nazi adversity, they finally make it to publish thier results. And all of the findings are suppressed by the Academic Community. Give it a Contact / Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of ending. We can cast Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Isaac Hayes can make a cameo. I want to see THAT movie. Hey, it's just a page-turner of a romp.

I'm sure I'll go on to be cranky about other things (STAR WARS DVDS!). Well, ok, I'm sure I'll eventually come back to pretty much the same thing, just in different circumstance.

Oh! I just remembered, SWiMW bought me Black and Tan ice cream! To the pool!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Kinda Happy Star Wars Day

Oh dear.

5/17 - Here's where it started. The news that the covers won't be the worst thing about these DVDs.

5/18 - It continues. Isn't this a fun quote? "Well... at the same time as he was preparing the 1997 versions, Lucas apparently went on a little tear and recalled every release print of the theatrical versions that he could get his hands on, and he had them all destroyed. Which means that when Lucas said back in 1997 that the original theatrical versions of the Star Wars films no longer existed, he was serious. He apparently tried hard to make sure of it."

5/19 - A good summary on the state of Star Wars on DVD and elsewhere.

But here is the backlash. And the resulting spin. It even made it on to IMDB. "We hoped that by releasing the original movies as a bonus disc, it would be a way to give the fans something that is fun. We certainly didn't want to be become a source of frustration for fans." Heh. Isn't that like saying - "Look we're giving you this bun, and we just included the burger as a tidbit. For fun!"

Lucas doesn't care. We get that. (Actually, it would seem he cares quite a bit. He's very aggressive in his apathy.) But I would guess that some people who make quite a bit of money off of Lucas' endeavors are realizing that Lucas has hacked at the golden goose with a lightsaber and is now kneeling on its windpipe.

I mean, c'mon. When I don't buy Star Wars DVDs it must surely mean something is wrong in the marketing department.

Ha! They're going to email the fans! And tell them WHAT? Look, if you are part of the Lucas Nerd Database, its a given that you know that Star Wars didn't always say "Episode IV", you know that Han shot first, and you probably read The Digital Bits, Aint It Cool News, The and IMDB before breakfast! So you probably have a pretty good reading on your GL-BS-O-Matic. (I wonder if I'll get an email? I did buy a lightsaber from Master Replicas. BTW, I don't read The, I read Whedonesque. Cause... You know.)

"Which is a real shame... because it was pretty cool news there for a little while."

Happy Star Wars Day!

May 25th, 1977.

Let's start with a classic.

We waited a long time to see this. It was in the novel. It was in the comics. It was in the storybook. It was in the radio show. Luke talks about it in later scenes in the movie. Remember - just because it's deleted doesn't mean it's good. (And one day, Biggs will get beat up at the beginning of Burton's Batman. Where William Hootkins plays a crooked cop.)

I'd been saving this one for a while (then Scott goes and mails it to me). There were a couple more of them. Spacey did Jack Lemon as Chewbacca. Can't find it. Two more useless facts: Christopher Walken actually was up for Han Solo. And Kevin Spacey once swore at me (personally) while doing his Walter Matthau impression.

Well, I'm glad the new DVDs are photoshopped. 'Cause this guys stuff is clearly no good.

Ahh yes, 29 years ago. A time before Jar Jar. A time before Ewoks. A time when George Lucas wasn't so publicly crazy.

A long time ago in a galaxy far,
far away....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Apologies to Mr. Williams

Hee hee hee! (Needs sound.)

Dude. It's been SEVEN years since The Phantom Menace?

American Idol - The Finale

Ok, if McPhee wins over Taylor Hicks after last night, I will spit. Spit, I tell you!

Heh. Remember when he was The Sure Thing?

This is just mean. But funny. And mean is ok if it's funny.

X3 - Pregame Show

X-Men: The Last Stand comes out on Friday. I am obligated to see it because it's the third X-Men movie and because SWiMW is a huge X-Men fan. ("Jean-Luc!")

From the trailers I can tell you (I think) that The Metaphor may be getting even more heavy handed. Brace for rant, sometime next week I'd imagine.

This will be The X-Men Movie Without Bryan Singer. He's busy with the Boy In Blue. He had enough of Fox, and Warner Bros. offered him his dream job. (One of his dream jobs. He has Logan's Run floating about in his head and has expressed a great interest to do Star Trek. He's a geek.) So Fox got another director, cut the budget, and set the production schedule (before they had a script) so that THIS Superhero Movie would be out before the Other Superhero Movie That The Old Director Is Doing Curse His Name.

This one is from the guy who directed Rush Hour. (But hey, I like Lost and Mission: Impossible III, and they're from one of the writers of Armageddon.) The whole cast is back. Ok, Nightcrawler isn't. (That's kind of a big mistake right there, I think. It's 'cause he's Catholic, isn't it? Tom Hanks did this, didn't he? Ok, maybe not.)

Well, we'll see. It's only a couple months 'till Pirates II.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Shatner! Lucas!

Luke Skywalker. Princess Leia. Han Solo. Chewbacca. Bail Organa. Stormtroopers.

And Captain James. Tiberius. Kirk.

Don't you love that it's LUCAS and SPIELBERG and FORD and... oh, you guys go sit at another table. And is Spielberg not with his wife, or does the camerman have something against Kate Capshaw?

More Soundtracky Goodness

Heh. Forrest Gump just came up on my iPod. I don't think I'd realized before that Silvestri lifted big chunks of that from To Kill a Mockingbird. Of course that's most likely what Robert Zemeckis temp tracked it with.

James Carmeron did the same thing to Silvestri with The Abyss. I guess Cameron and James Horner were still fighting after Aliens, but that didn't stop Cameron from temping the heck out of the Abyss with Horner's Brainstorm. Which Horner largely lifted from Jerry Goldsmith. Which is now being used for the trailer of Superman Returns. It's like George Harrison with a bigger string section.

George I Am.


From He has some good stuff.

My Wife Was Right

Heh. Jonah Goldberg used this title over at The Corner this morning with the footnote of "Of course, she's always right".

And since the entry was about chemistry programs and She Who is My Wife has a degree in chemistry, I figured, why put off the inevitable?

(Heh. I crack me up.)

Projects of the Nerd

Wow - have you just dodged a bullet. I just scrapped four paragraphs detailing the progression of the Star Wars soundtracks from screen, to LP, to CD to CD to CD.

The short version is this: The LPs came out with the movies. They were generous (well, the first two were) but incomplete. And many of the tracks were out of order and mixed up with other cues. Eventually we got more or less ALL OF THE MUSIC, in the right order on nice double CD sets. Any music not on there was just MISSING. GONE.

Now I want my "wrong" soundtracks back. The original Star Wars LPs were reproduced on CD. So I have those. But Emprire only got a single CD release, so half of those cues never made it to CD. So I'm taking my ESB CDs and remixing the missing tracks from those. With the aid of track listings and times, I was doing them from memory. "The Heroics of Luke and Han" - Starts with Luke escaping the Wampa, little bit of music not used in the film of Han looking for Luke in the snow, segue to Han and Leia fleeing Echo base. VoilĂ ! But there are a few that escape me. The Departure of Boba Fett is kind of a jumble. I think I'm close, but the track times are off by like 20 seconds.

Friends to the rescue! One friend has the original LPs, another friend has a turntable hooked up to his 'puter! So I will have guide tracks! Yay!

It will be interesting to see how close my "from memory" tracks get.

As a post-script, I'm amazed that some of these trasitions were originally done with tape. I don't understand how people mixed music before computers.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I mean, YIKES!

Ok, it was on Yahoo's front page, but didn't I say YIKES? (I bet Jennifer T. has already read this.)

The Game is Afoot

In case you haven't checked Google toady:

Happy birthday Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This has been another... Useless Fact.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Dear Old Dad sent me this.

These were the people that put out "Cinderella II."
Nice to know Lasseter considers this the same level of evil that I do.

And Bob simply said, "This is going to be very expensive, so it's in my best interest to do everything I can to keep it the same."
Why can't more movie people make that much sense? Or TV people? Or Fox executives with a penchant for canceling my favorite show! (Grrrr! Arrrgh!)

His classmates included Tim Burton (director of "Corpse Bride" and others), Brad Bird ("The Incredibles"), and John Musker ("Aladdin").
And being taught by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson. Yikes!

By the end I was just shaking. I looked around the audience, and it was families, it was teenagers, it was old people--everybody was there, and everybody was just having so much fun.
Ok people, tell me again how Star Wars was made for little kids and I just don't like the prequels because I'm a grown up now. Hogwash.

Tron - Heh. There's a woman who works at Pixar (or at least did a few years ago) who has a sign on her desk that says "Yes, I worked on Tron. Yes, I will answer questions."

It always cracks me up that "Ed Catmull" is somebody's NAME. I mean - Catmull means THIS stuff.

Sure, they were simple desk lamps with only a minimal amount of movement, but you could immediately tell that Luxo Jr. was a baby, and that the big one was his mother. In that short little film, computer animation went from a novelty to a serious tool for filmmaking.
You know, I can model the Luxos. Take me about an hour. Maybe. But oh, the animation in that short. They're so alive! I still think this is some of Pixar's finest work period.

But we asked them for one more chance to fix the story. So we called all hands on deck, stayed up all night, and redid the whole first act of "Toy Story" within two weeks.
Oh, and they got a hold of that Joe Sweedon guy. "Wind the frog!" Whatever happened to him?

"How many letters are in my name?" - Ok, that'll stick with me.

I'm so excited about Cars now I can't see straight.

Zoom zoom zoom

Some of you have seen this. Wild stuff.

TDC - Why is it a big deal?

Why is The Da Vinci Code such a big deal? It's not. Well. That was a lot shorter than I'd intended. Maybe I need to expand.

Yes. It's fiction. And from what I've read from some scholarly types, it's very out there fiction (from a historical to say nothing of theological bent). But it's kind of like when THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (I'd have put that in a scarier font if I could) came out last year. That was the one where the entire eastern seaboard flash froze and the Vice President (the true evil behind the drone) was killed in an avalanche. Article after article had reputable scientists saying "Oh, it's complete hoo hah. Nothing like that could ever happen. But it makes you think, doesn't it?" Um. Why does it make me think? You just told me it was all horse manure (which should be burned as an alternative fuel).

TDC wants it both ways. They want to tell you "THE TRUTH SO IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE DIED FOR IT." Unless it upsets you. Then it's just a lightharted romp. (That says questionable if not slanderous things about a major part of the lives of nearly twenty percent of the people on the planet. And that's just the Catholic part.) Um. Pick one.

And yes, as I've said, part of my irritation is that you could not make this movie about ANY other faith in the world. The old saw that before you print an newspaper article about a religion, go through the article and replace "X" with "Jew". Or these days "Islam".

The Last Temptation of Christ didn't bother me. It was an intersting movie, it said interesting things. It's one of my brother Jeff's favorite books, if I recall correctly. (Hey, if I'm wrong, this blog is just a lighthearted romp.)

Dogma didn't bother me. It had one or two exceptional moments (featuring Ben "I Wanna Be Kirk" Aflek no less). And it convinced me that however much I appreciate Kevin Smith I don't like his movies.

(Why is the big controvercy always that Jesus shacked up and had kids? Why is that so exciting to people? I mean, would that idea have been so exciting to 1st century Christians?)

Maybe this one just has a better marketing campaign.

Now, if you want to go see a labarythine plot with plenty of forgotten lore that really is an exciting romp: Go see National Treasure. THAT was a hoot!

Maybe this weekend I'll get to see Mission: Impossible III.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

HERE's a code

Sony Pictures has just put a blackout on screenings for internet movie sites for The Da Vinci Code and have limited the dead-tree media to two screenings. This is rarely a sign of, shall we say, confidence in a film. It's what you do to films that will depend entirely on opening weekend box office, because that's all they'll get before word of mouth kills them dead.

Save the boycotts, folks. They'll just generate publicity for a movie that sounds like it will sorely need it.

(I'd go see Serenity again, but nooooooo!)

Poster Post

Ok. Is there ANYONE who thinks these look good? I mean, not just here - anywhere? Oh sure, some hyperinteligent shades of the color blue from Deneb V that don't see in the same frequencies of light that we do, they may think it's ok. But they probably wear white after Columbus Day, so obviously thier ways are not our ways.

Really - Who sat down at thier trusty Photoshop, twittered for, oh, what? twenty minutes? then sat back and said "Ahhhh, yes. That's what I was after!"

As opposed to these:

This "photo cover" thing is not getting any better.

I was looking through the soundtrack LPs at Bookman's last week. Lots of old 50's 60's and 70's stuff. James Bond, Dirty Dozen, Towering Inferno. Painted posters, all of 'em. Then some fool decided that photos were more "now" (and certainly cheaper). We were robbed, man!

As my cousin Jimmy put it:

Well uh... Lucas's original vision was always to use photoshoppy images to advertise and distribute the films. Unfortunately um... Digital imaging software was not advanced enough until now to achieve this until now, finally "Superglow" technology is up to George's high standards. So now he's decided to go back and redo the original posters in a style more fitting his vision. Come this time next year EVERY movie's going to want their DVD covers to be LucasShop CS certified.

Also of note: Luke Skywalker will be replaced by a CGI Bantha in the 2007 HD-DVD release. All part of the original vision, of course.

Heh. Funny kid.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Little People

Ok, this one is quite odd. Here we have people working like crazy to make little models of thing look like the real deal. Figuring out lighting, surfaces, making itty bitty waterfalls out of salt and so on.

Then this nut job comes along and turns the whole thing on its ear!

Monday, May 15, 2006

A (Semi) Retraction

A well placed reply from my SYB (Smarter Younger Brother) - Ok, I'm not entirely backing down, but I will concede that this may not be the ultimate evil I thought it to be at first blush. (And I will continue to use FedEx. Which I don't, so this is something of a bluff, I admit.)

I'm of many minds on this sort of issue. My first scream is because I really do believe that our own security forces are intentionally hamstrung just so some people can feel good about themselves (see? we're not the bad guys) while this to me feels like a rather extraordinary measure to protect our ENTERTAINMENT industry (who is one of the principal voices trying to hamstring our security!). To take a comparison to my usual tortured extremes, it's the same way I fell when I see people murdered over cartoons of Mohammed (NAFHNTY - No Acronym Following His Name Thank You) while the Da Vinci Code is expected to do brisk business. (Assuming its sales aren't crippled by pirated DVDs. See? It all comes together.)

The other reason that I tend to look slantways at this on contact is because I really do believe that our entertainment industry is strangling (well, trying to) a lot of progress and subverting a couple of laws. They call it DVD region codes, we used to call it price-fixing. What's the length of copyright up to now? (See? Rhetoric: I don't have to have the answers cause you guys will go get them, right?) How many times has it changed in the last 30 years? Has it ever gotten shorter? How does Fair Use stand? Are judges still telling me that it's ok that I can't back up my DVDs because I should be able to put them on VHS?

While I will certainly accept the rights of creators to protect thier work, I think that The Entertainment Industry (ladies and gentlemen, welcome to sweeping generalization Monday!) is not being forced to adapt to a changing market. They are trying to legislate the old playing field back into existence.

I'm waiting for the day (much like I'm waiting for alternative fuels) for somebody to make GAZILLIONS of dollars outside of our current copyright system. Someone just has to come up with the right product. Changes like this have happened before, they'll happen again.

Today's rambling has been brought to you by the letters c, k, y, and the number 5. (They don't mean anything. Not everything is a reference. I mean... Other than the Sesame Street thing... But you got that...)

Friday, May 12, 2006

VDH says it good

Another "if WWII was reported on today" screed. But still a good one.

This is my favorite part:

"Citizens should not have to look to our actors and intellectuals for answers, but, in the absence of political accountability, they often do. After the release of The True Story of the B-17 Slaughter, Gary Cooper thankfully came forward to remind us how President Roosevelt took us into a British war that we were utterly unprepared for. Next look for Coop’s recently completed and powerful American Gestapo this fall. Likewise, Jimmy Stewart remarked from the front lines above Germany (so unlike our president, who failed to serve in any of America’s past wars) that it is hard to know who the real enemy is after we have bombed the children of Hamburg. And Clark Gable is currently preparing a documentary on the Pacific theater, 12/7, that outlines the racist nature of that campaign that seeks the extermination of all the living Japanese we encounter."

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

FedEx just lost my business

Ok, the NSA can't catalog (not even tap, mind you, catalog) phone calls from outside the country in pursuit of terrorism, but this is allowed?

Our government isn't allowed to pursue terrorists who get in our press and threaten to kill us on the front page*, but FedEx can save me from pirated DVDs? (I'm expecting DVDs from The Netherlands this week. Is this why they're taking so long?) And the MPAA (what's that last A stand for?) is piloting this in the UK? (Coallition of the bribed!)

Why aren't the free-speech-for-anyone-that-likes-me stop-the-war-cause-its-all-about-oil save-the-whale-of-a-tail-I-tell-ya-lads types going CRAZY over this? I mean, this is not one BIG CORPORATION, but TWO! This is all the stuff they HATE, right? This is coporate greed, government conspiracy, and invasion of piracy in one big dual layer region 1 AND 2 package!

Gotta remember - no FedEx. Seriously. (Some one will tell me if I'm over-reacting, right? Or at least when I have to boycott UPS and DHL?)

* Why would they want to kill you on the front page?
I think he meant that they threaten, on the front page, to kill us.


Ok, Jobs, you're confusing me. Why is the new Cars trailer this dinky little thing? I mean, this is your show, right? Weird people. Good trailer.

You'll laugh! You'll cry!

You'll kiss three bucks goodbye!

Fluke Starbucker, Augie 'Ben' Doggie, Artie Deco, they're all here!

Good heavens, did they really get Paul Frees to narrate? I'm personally of the opinion that Frees was right up there with Mel Blanc, Mel just got more credit. Ok, ok, Mel was pretty darn good too. For that matter, one doesn't hear enough about Maurice LaMarche.

Speaking of Maurice, and by extension The Brain, and by further extension Orson Welles --

This is hilarious! I'd seen the Animaniacs short years and years ago. It was quirky, but I had no idea what it meant. ("I'll make cheese for you"?) Then I heard LaMarche do it at San Diego Comicon (it's part of Comic Book: The Movie with half the cast of Animaniacs and the Bruce Timm Batman: The Animated Series). And I'd even heard the Welles original. I'd never put them all together until now. Proving yet again that Animaniacs was one of the most deranged animated shows ever. I mean, it wasn't Freakazoid, but what was?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

No well dressed man should be without one

Crazy people doing crazy things.

Today, I don't care

I'm not reading any news today. So there. Anything IMPORTANT comes up, let me know. I'm not even looking at the Yahoo headlines. I read the Bleat, of course. Damn, James posted a new Screedblog. So I'll get crazy over Iran some more. Why isn't the whole country crazy over Iran? That's what makes me crazy. Ok, the Screed wasn't all that great, and I'm not too much crazier than I was before. Get some rest, James.

I WILL find out who goes on American Idol tonight, of course. Before last night Elliot was a lock. But then he stepped up and was charming and great. And Katherine got Pickler Syndrome and was not good. She may go tonight. Taylor is safe as houses. If you liked him before, you like him still. Chris had some problems. Taylor may win this. The whole American Idol world is on it's head. She Who Is My Wife thinks that they should just give it to all four of them and be done with it. I'd be ok with that.

Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Ok, now you have to go cue up "Court Martial" and have your "white sound device" handy. Hee.

I'm late

This was yesterday. It will happen again.

Turn that blasted thing off!

Ahhh, a story near and dear to my heart.

(I think I'm going to try the "in on the conversation" gambit.)

On a similar note, we had a "public manners" adventure when we saw United 93. The opening of the film (as noted before) is the terrorists saying morning prayer in Arabic. (Did I get that right?) While I considered this to be a chilling very weighty beginning to what I knew was going to be a weighty film, some of the audience around us thought otherwise. (None of the involved seemed to be younger than 40, by the way. I mean, other than us.) They weren't really words, you see, so the movie hadn't started. I said "Shh." Still talking. I turned around, looked, glared, said "SHHHHHH!" Startled looks, but they shut up. (Also of note, we got to the movie a good 20-30 minutes early. If she who is my wife does not have front-of-the-stadium-seats, she's cranky. Heh. Life is good. The point is we had prime theater real estate.)

Not too long into the film, as all hell breaks loose (in a slow and suspensefully torturous way) the dialogue gets pretty dense. It's all "center this hand off frequency that say again flight level 220". Kind of musical to my mind and ears. But no explanations are given. Unless you're the wife of the man sitting next to us who gave a constant "you are there" description of what is happening both on and off screen. Jeanine glares, but she's not so good with the shush. (She tried, but she's not as patient as I am. Chew that one over.) So she gets up and moves to the other side of me. The couple looked affronted in a "what's wrong with us?" kind of way. Pheh.

This put her directly to the left (and how often are we to the left, huh?) of the woman with her FEET UP! I'm 6"6'. See the title of the blog? Not many things in our public spaces are made for me. If I can keep my feet off the seats, especially the ones with people in them, then so can you, stumpy!

I love movie theaters. I'm of the opinion that there are no "I'll wait for video" movies. Everything is better on the big screen. Everything is better with an audience. Scary? Better with lots of people to be scared with. Funny? Better with lots of people to laugh with. I want to be with lots of people figuring out the end of the Sixth Sense all within a few seconds of each other. I want to hear people cheer when "20th Century Fox" and "Lucasfilm LTD." come up on the screen. (Then silence for "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away....") (Like that's ever going to happen again. Whoops! Back on topic.)

"I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I---------------------->*"

Audience GOLD.

But people don't know how to act in public, and nobody seems interested in remembering.

When we saw Star Trek: Nemesis in the scene following Data getting killed (um, sorry, *SPOILER*) there is the big "THEY KILLED DATA" scene on the bridge. Everyone is in shock. The audience is supposed to be in shock. It's a relatively quiet scene. No boom boom, Jerry G. is keeping the music down (or at least the percussion synths off). Some damn fool in the front front row (i.e. too far for me to club him with his own severed leg) answers his phone and holds a conversation! Really! I've got nothing to do! I have no brick handy. Can I throw popcorn at him? I'm not athletic, my aim is not good, but really, I don't have anything heavy enough to cover the distance. And my yelling would be more of a distraction than he is! So when the big shock scene is over I yell "TURN OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE!" The whole audience cheers, including the people in the seats close to him. Where the frack were you people when it mattered? How come I gotta be the hero? Grrr.

I can go on and on (and more so) (good grief, my "Movies with Bob" section could get its own page!) but I will close with this:

This Sunday our Psalm response was to the tune of "Ode to Joy". Our Alleluia is currently Handel's Messiah. Heh. Right at the end of the Alleluia, somebody (in the front few rows no less) has their cell phone go off, loudly, with Beethoven's Fur Elise (lovely, lovely, Ludwig van).

Our crazy old Irish priest gets up for the homily, first thing he says is "These cellular phones are really quite amazing. They now go off at exactly the right dramatic moment." Go Fr. Oliver.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Superman at War

Speaking of which, let's see modern comics do something like this. (Wow. "...epic battles of good versus evil (read Allies vs. Axis)." Um, who doesn't read it that way? People crack me up. Give it 50 years, historians will tell you that the Axis was oppressed by the imperialist Allies.)

Back in 2001, Joltin' Joe Straczynski did an issue of The Amazing Spider-man about the World Trade Center (Manhattan is super-hero central in the Marvel U) with all the Marvel heroes showing up to sift through the rubble and care for the wounded with the NYFD. It even included the likes of Dr. Otto Octavius and Victor von Doom pitching in. The bad guys said "Hey, we're bad, but this is just EVIL." You know you're in a bad spot when Doc Ock calls you the bad guy.

Remember that kind of focus? I know, I know, loooong time ago.

More Hollywood, more war, and United 93.

United 93 was terrific (the film, not the flight). It shows the morning as it happened. It opens with the terrorists in morning prayer. The first half-hour of the film is very "you are there", very dense. There is very little dialouge in a conventional sense. It's all airline and air traffic control speak, mixed with passengers saying things like "I'll be at the 4 o'clock meeting" or "Can I get a pillow?" or "Yeah. Yeah. Ok, I gotta go." If you turned a camcorder on Logan International today it wouldn't sound too different.

The movie manages to keep you on the edge of your seat watching events unfold that most Americans will have pretty well commited to memory. When a guy in ATC is playing back the tapes to find out if this was a hijacking or not and realizes that someone may have said they have "planes", plural, it's a shocking moment.

The film underlines something about that day. There were only two places where one could believe in terrorists hijacking multiple aircraft (let alone using them as missiles) : the world after September 11th, and at the movies. Right or wrong, our military and ATC was still operating in a 9/10 world. When they learn of a hijacking they did what you did with hijackings then. You sat back and you waited for demands. What else would you do? Shoot them down? Imagine President Clinton authorizing military force against civilian airlines. Or President Reagan. It was unthinkable. I don't think people even now can imagine how unthinkable it was. I think the best achievment of the movie is to show us how unreal all of this was, when it has now become hum-drum everyday fact.

It isn't September 11th all over again. (Somehow I doubt Oliver Stone's World Trade Center will be either.) The movie ends where for many of us September 11th, 2001 began. It's a testament to how lucky we got (and as the movie will show you, some of that "luck" had a substantial body count) because by the time we were up and ready and knew what was going on, it was over. (In my own case it was a literal truth. By the time my phone woke me up with my Dad telling me we were at war the towers were gone, the Pentagon had been hit, and United Airlines flight 93 was down.)

Which leads me to the next part: Hollywood vs. the United States.

This was in the L.A. Times. I got Disney's World War II collection a couple of years ago. It shows that Hollywood was a major part of the war effort. And it was an EFFORT. From what I know of the times, there wasn't a lot of the day to day that wasn't impacted by the war. Today, our biggest impact (unless you are in or know someone in the service) is at the gas pump. (Heh - I'm not sure I'd mind seeing rationing again. We'd cut down on profits to the Big Bad Oil Companies, we'd Save The Planet, and we'd make people aware that we're really fighting a war.)

Why is Hollywood not on our side? What on Earth do they have in common with our enemies? They can accuse the United States of being a thick-headed theocracy at the same time they want us to coddle and understand and tollerate REAL thick headed theocracies! They've come to realize that spitting on returning GIs is bad PR. Support Our Troops and all that. Make movies that show them as doped up killers. Publicize the tollerant opinions of the enemy on the front page of the New York Times (ok, this is bleeding over to the press again) - who needs Tokyo Rose anymore? But dude, Support the Troops. Peace. Word.

I still firmly believe that American airliners will never again be succesfully hijacked. Any attempt would be at best (for the terrorists) another United 93. But there will be other methods. They're just waiting for us to get tired. Osama bin Laden (who gets all the press he wants) has made that very clear from the beginning. So why is Hollywood and our glorious free press (which should be the envy of the world) putting us to sleep?

The Future is Now

Ok, we don't have flying cars. But our video games look like this.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Nerd Tested - Lucas Approved

Ok, this is somewhat unfair.

Lucas now has an official "Han Shot First" t-shirt. This is of course, ripped off from THIS (I have the original much more copyright-infringey Empire-Strikes-Back-logoey version - thanks Sam and Terri!) which is acutally pre-dated by THIS (which is very classy in its opening crawl yellow font).

Lucas has spent the last nine years telling us that Han didn't shoot first. Not only that, but last year he spent more money to tell us again that he didn't shoot first. Now he's selling us t-shirts. (Fortunately his isn't as cool as the one I've got or I might be tempted by the dark side.)

Nice to know that I'll have stuff to talk about in the rest home.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Missssssterrr Freeeeeeemannnnnn

Um, why hasn't anyone told me about this?

Porkins - The Legend!

Continuing on our Star Wars theme (had I mentioned that the real Star Wars is coming out on DVD?) I present this:

Good grief! Look at what happens when you type "Porkins" into Google Images!

Of course, he had more lines in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Say it with me now: "Top. Men."

Ladies and Gentlemen, William Hootkins (1948-2005).

Hey! He played Alfred Hitchcock on stage in London! (That is, in London, on stage, he played Alfred Hitchcock. I'm assuming Mr. Hitchcock was being portrayed as being in California. Just so we're clear.) With Rosamund "Miranda Frost" Pike!

A Star Wars actor with a James Bond connection. What are the odds?

Maybe tomorrow I'll write about Shane Rimmer?

Of course, you never know where those Star Wars extras will show up...

(Gee, I wish our DBAs would get back from lunch...)

"I don't dance."

I feel soiled. So I have to share. (Thanks, Bob.)

Holy Shoot! This stuff SELLS!

This is hilarious.

On the one hand, it could be a good thing, sure. But on the other hand, it's like Christians are this strange and unknowable "other". It's like a Doonesbury cartoon with one incredulous character exclaiming "Did you know that people in Kansas DON'T sacrifice goats? Really, I was shocked!" (Remember when Doonesbury was funny?) (Hush, Kevin.)

Remember during the last Presidential election when the Democrats discovered that faith "sells"? The press covered it with the same unknowing curiosity. "Wow! Who knew? Seriously?" Howard Dean was particularly funny (and brazen). (I wish I still had the story.) Hillary Clinton is smart enough not to talk about it as a tactic (in public).

As Hollywood becomes more and more insular, it amazes me the things that they just don't know, and have never experienced. It's this tiny little knot of a community that doesn't know anything outside of themselves. (The press is in much the same sinking boat.)

I've seen discussions about one of the differences between Original Star Trek (YES it all comes back to Star Trek) and new stuff is that most of the cast and crew of TOS had actually been IN the military! James Doohan was a war hero! Even that great shining liberal idealist Gene Roddenberry flew a B-17 and bombed the snot out of the Japanese. Now on Battlestar Galactica (it also comes back to BSG) Ron Moore had aspirations of a naval career and served in ROTC. For Hollywood these days, that's as good as having been CO of the Nimitz! (I'd have said Reagan, but she hasn't launched yet, has she?)

Anyway, my point is that Hollywood these days learns how to make movies by watching movies. And watching movies of that. And talking to people who made those movies.

And then writing blogs about it.

Warning: Kennedy on the Road

Look out! It's a Kennedy! And he's DRIVING!

Hunt with Cheney, Drive with Kennedy. You decide.

C is for cookie

As funny as this is, I would LOVE to hear John Hurt saying "Cookie is a Sometimes Food".

And Elmo deserves whatever he gets as far as I'm concerned.

A couple of days late...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A win

For the moment. I have Google Alerts turned on for this and at no time in the last week has a major news outlet picked this up.

The Dan Rather memos got more coverage than this!

A little bit easier today

A followup to yesterday.

"Mr. Moussaoui, when this proceeding is over, everyone else in this room will leave to see the sun ... hear the birds ... and they can associate with whomever they want," she said.
She went on: "You will spend the rest of your life in a supermax prison. It's absolutely clear who won."

And she said it was proper he will be kept away from outsiders, unable to speak publicly again.
"Mr. Moussaoui, you came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory," she said, "but to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper."

At that point, Moussaoui tried again to interrupt her, but she raised her voice and spoke over him.

"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

Brinkema sentenced Moussaoui to six life terms without the chance of parole.

She informed him of his right to appeal the sentence and said she would ask his court-appointed lawyers to file the required notice as a precaution before relieving them from the case. "I believe it would be an act of futility," she said of an appeal, "but you do have a right."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


(There! Are! FOUR! Lights!)

I waited! I was faithful! I didn't cave in! I didn't buy the impure DVDs!

SEPTEMBER 12TH IS MY DAY! (ok, Happy Birthday Jonathan!)

I'm dancing! Really! Star Wars can make me happy again! (I'm a sad, strange little man. Deal with it.) (It's not April 1st or something, is it? They're not going to take this away from me again, are they?)

Tough Day to be Catholic

"America, you lost!'' Moussaoui shouted after the judge and jury left the courtroom. "I won.'' Moments earlier, he flashed a "V'' sign.

I don't even know what to say. (Dumb time to blog, eh?)

He's getting life in prison (and God help the lawyer or politician that ever tries to get that overturned). They didn't say he was innocent, or insane. He's going to jail.

I'm told to love, I'm told to forgive. The Church as a whole teaches against the death penalty. The only reason we would kill him is to protect us. Not for vengence. Not because we hate him. If we can protect ourselves by locking him away where he can do no harm then the purpose is served.

But I can't think of anyone I'd rather see suck on a hollow point round.

Prayers all around I guess.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

And really bad eggs...

Of course, we also have our lad, Jack.

(I admit it, I do wonder why all movie trailers aren't on I mean, don't you?)

I love those moments. Heh.

And then there is Cars. The only movie this summer that is guaranteed not to suck. (And if it does, then the world has become a very dark and scary place indeed.)

I think that pretty well does it for the season, doesn't it?

(Oh, ok, here's X3. Good luck Mr. Ratner.)


Does he still stand for truth? Justice? All that stuff?

Tell me everything.

I want to know it all. Everything.

C'mon, let me here you say it. Just once.
You're insane.
No! Hahahahaha! Not that, no, the other thing!

Your father used to say that you were put here for a reason.

Millions of people will die.

Superman will never-

Look, in the sky, Chief.
It's a bird.
It's a plane.
It's -
You wanted to see me?

June 30th, 2006.

Ok, Singer. Don't. Frak. This. Up.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Oh boy. It's finally happened.

1st US Outbreak of the Bird Flu at a Trailerpark In Florida

Now it gets serious. Maybe they'll finally start putting some preventative steps in place. I hope it isn't too late. This'll make gas prices and Iran a worry of the past in short order.

I'm going to scream!

Immigration Protests Prove That Untaxed Underpaid Labor Is Necessary.


"If illegal immigration came to a standstill, it would disrupt the economy," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "It would lead to higher prices for many goods and services, and some things literally would not get done. It would be a major adjustment for our economy, for sure."

"Many companies rediscovered what they already knew: They can't operate effectively without the extra help."

I want to hear these quotes: "Well, gee whiz, if I had to hire guys to do this stuff at minimum wage it would sink me!"

"This is our busiest time of year. If I had to slow down and do that tax paperwork, I'd never get done."

"Well, I guess it's kind of illegal (or undocumented). But if I worried about all of these stupid regulations everytime I turned around, I'd go under! I mean, what's next? Proper ventalation? Heh heh heh."

"Without the cheap labor of slavery the south would be unable to survive economically." (Or words to that effect.) (Damn, where's the 1776 script when you need it?)

This is worse than gas prices (we need it more than anything, but don't make us pay for it)! These people are saying that we must maintain our economy regardless of any human cost. (The left is usually against that sort of thing aren't they?) They are saying "These people are necessary because they don't have the economic overhead of a citizen. They should be happy to be here, no matter what we pay them."

Let's do another day like this, where everybody shows up to work and you have to pay them full price? Heck, pay them like Wal-Mart employees (cause we all know how sorrowfully used those poor dredges are)! How "missed" would the illegals be then?

How is this about human rights? What today has proved then is that whatever the outcome of immigration policy we can UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES pay these people like citizens. CANNOT DO IT.

And lets look at that cost in another way, huh?

Andrea Clark

Ok, this is me knowing just enough to be dangerous.

I've seen a couple of posts on this. But not a whole lot. From what I understand of it, there should be an outcry. Which means that either I don't understand enough, or the lack of outcry is very suspicious. So now I will dispatch my flying monkeys. Er, you guys.

And here are the Google news results. (Yahoo has even less.) Lot of Pro Life blogs, lot of Right Wing this and that. No "hard news". Thanks guys. Go leak some more CIA info. Good lads.

We all know that "slippery slope" is a nonsense concept. Suuuuuure we do.

Monday Mon- er, I did that one already, didn't I?

Monday morning. Mid-coffee, so I can see indistinct images that have a certain familiarity to them. Ah! HANDS! I remember now. Good thing Iran doesn't control any coffee. (Do they? That'd be a kick in the ayatollah wouldn't it?)

So here's your geek test for the day:

(From today's Bleat)
"I casually mentioned to the Fargo guy that I had given up trying to collect rare Fargo cards, since there was a fellow in a distant state with unlimited resources who bid everything up. He had the resources to assemble the Ultimate Collection, and was obviously intent on doing so. He was my nemesis. My Victor Von Doom. My Lex Luthor. Well, the Fargo Guy had dealt with Luthor Von Moriarity, it seems. Sold him a huge collection of Real Photos. To myself I conjured a sum I’d be willing to pay. He named the sum. Exactly what I’d thought. We are alike, I thought. In another time and place, I may have called him friend. "

Sure, Vicky von D. is pretty easy. Alexander J. Luthor, we got that one. The Napoleon of Crime, sure. But there is one ref in here that is just so wonderfully obscure that you are both delighted and ashamed that you get it. Waarthog will understand.

Spent yesterday Going to Mass, Napping, and Talking of the Fone. It was the perfect Sunday. Ok, that one back in 0033ish was probably pretty shiny, but that's belaboring the point, don't you think?

Keep flying.