Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Remember the note (in the mini-series) that told Adama (Wild Bill) that there are twelve cylon models? (Wow, I remember when that was interesting...) Well, Ron Moore recently said they won't have time on the show to tell us who did it. It was Baltar. Thanks, Ron. Heh. They still have a plan, right? RIGHT?

Friday, July 27, 2007


Well, it's official. (It was a day or two ago, I think.) The Heroes guy is Mr. Spock in the new trek movie. Annnnnd they have a new poster. They're calling the movie Star Trek. Catchy name.

The new poster is cool. But not as cool as last year's teaser. And not nearly as cool as the iCorder.

(BTW, the San Diego Comicon is this weekend, so there will be News for Nerds coming out of our ears. There's a picture of Ms. Ravenwood in Indiana Jones and the Unreasonable Expectaions, fer instance. Go to the Indy site.)


This was up on Yahoo the other day.

I like it. Very sharp.

Here is a great article so that you to can get uppity when someone confuses font with typeface. I know *I* needed more things to get uppity about. (HT to Todd from a million years ago.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I can't do this with the WORDS in front of me!!!

This is just insane. Really. I mean it.

WHEN did Han shoot?

You know it. I know it. And George is making sure that Han himself knows it. Maybe George will get senile enough that he thinks it's 1976 and he'll be cool again. Could happen...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Chinatown needs new art?

I hate photo movie posters. For one thing, it's all we get anymore. Unless you're Harry Potter or Star Wars. Even then... (I'm guessing Indiana Jones: I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up will have a Struzan poster.)

But I REALLY hate when they take a movie that had awesome art (or at least good art) originally and give it a photo cover. The Big Heads look that is so popular now. Hey look! It's a Jack Nicholson movie. And it's got Jack Nicholson in it! So here's a big picuture of Jack Nicholson's head! Doesn't it look just like Jack Nicholson? (Gosh, I hope I spelled Nicholson right, otherwise I have to correct, like, FOUR of 'em. EDIT - Whew!)

So here's the original.

Here's the "New and Improved".

Don't even get me started on James Bond covers. (The covers are popular enough that there are BOOKS dedicated to them, but they ain't good enough for DVDs. No sir!)

So let's all do our best John Huston impersonation:

Jake Gittes: I just want to know what you're worth. Over ten million?
Noah Cross: Oh my, yes!

Zounds, he was scary!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

iTunes - Just for you

iTunes has this potentially really cool little feature called "Just for You". It would be really cool if it actually worked. It looks at what you've bought. (Maybe at what you already have, but I'd imagine if that were the case the ACLU or some such would have stormed the Apple Palace a while ago like thugs from Rungistan. EDIT - ah, no only at what you've bought, and you can TELL it what you have.)

I have two nits - it's not very good. I mean, throwing everything even a little Star Trek-ish or John Williams-y at me is a bit of a no-brainer. It doesn't. It IS smart enough to throw mostly soundtracks. Good for them.

My BIGGER nit is that it offers me stuff I already bought. FROM iTUNES! GRRRRRRR! (aargh.)

Although I do laugh when I buy something new to see the new offerings. I bought "Yo Ho a Pirates Life for Me" and now I'm being offered "Bear Necessities". Nice. Almost smart. Not smart enough. (Offer me Master and Commander, or Horatio Hornblower - THAT'S smart.)

Well Done, Harry

Whew! I'm done. I'm enjoying reading books that I can pick up or put down as I wish and not having to avoid spoilers in the press. (Anyone want to spoil O'Brian's "Post Captain"? Huh?)

Great. Book.

I'm not a raving Potter fan. I like the books. But I've only read each of them once. And I Buffied through the first four. (To Buffy: To watch / read / avalanche through a series in not nearly enough sittings. e.g. two seasons of Bones in three days. Or seven seasons of, er, Buffy, in less than two months.) I'm thankful for the movies because they're nice cliff notes. Rowling has a bad habit of throwing in tertiary characters from four books ago with no recap and expecting you to instantly surmise who and what this character is.

This is either my favorite or second favorite book (Goblet of Fire rocks). And I have to say that I am just dying for the movie now. Good luck, folks.

Nice job, J.K. Thanks.


Repeat after me, children (mouse over):


Three cheers for Severus Snape!

Friday, July 20, 2007

38 Years Ago

Good heavens. It's July 20th. I'm just not paying attention. I have to say I'm amazed it was a Yahoo headline. Usually the only person that notices is me, until I bug everybody about it.

What an amazing combination of time and place, of can-do and will-do. It was some parts fear, some parts excitement. Really, we went to the moon pretty much as soon as we were able to do it. For some reason it was the United States of America that managed it. With the whole world watching every step of the way. Can you imagine the Apollo missions (or the Gemini, or Mercury) going off in secret? Every rocket that blew up, every step that went wrong we were embarassed about, but we didn't cover up. I'd like to think that's part of why we succeeded.

By the way, I have heard from sources that there are recordings of Armstrong where you can hear him say the "a" in "That's one small step for A man, one giant leap for mankind." Maybe someday we'll find those tapes.

And maybe someday we'll go back to stay. It's 2007. According to Clarke, right now we should have a moon base and the failed Discovery mission should be orbiting Jupiter. To say nothing of flying cars. (On the other hand we have iPods.) Ah well.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Coming Soon(ish) - BSG!

‘Razor’ tells the story of Lee Adama’s first mission as commander of the Battlestar Pegasus and will reveal the story of how Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes) served her ship during the original Cylon attack on the colonies.

Interesting. There's a trailer up at Sci-Fi Channel, but they make it really tough to link to. Don't want to spread the word or anything. Nice to see Cain back. Heh. (Goes screaming into the distance.)

No fresh word on the DVD for season 3. Word HAD been August some time. But it's been oddly quiet. I've heard more on the soundtrack (which my brother will be delighted to know will have "All Along the Watchtower" - hee). But no date for that either. What's with these people?

How about that iCorder, eh?

Gorey Thursday

I got a daily Edward Gorey calendar. Every once in a while I change it. The last two days have been from The Gashleycrumb Tinies. Specifically "O is for Olive" and "P is for Prue". I used to have a poster of the whole set. Mind you this is when it sat next to a Batman Returns poster, various vampire movies, and maybe a couple of Rocketeers, just for color.
And wow, that iCorder still looks really cool today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The iCorder

Ok, this is just too dang cool. In a really nerdy uncool way, of course. By a gent name of Adam Ihle.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hoist the Colors!

Ok. Ok. Ok. I'm writing my Pirates 3 review. Ok. Really. Ok. Mean it. Spoiler Free (until I say otherwise). It's been out for a month and a half anyway. I could tell you that Barbossa and Governor Swan are the same person, and it should be free and clear.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (AWE).

Wow. I don't know why, but this was really really wow for me. She Who Is My Wife loved it, but not as much as I do. I'm obsessive, so this is no surprise. I saw it again today just to see if I really loved it as much. I did. I might go see it again tomorrow.

This is the Promised Third Movie. Third movies are really hard. Either you topped the first movie in the second or you didn't. So now you either have to top the topper, or you have to make the apology. Also, if you decided in your second movie that you are now making a Grand Epic, you probably left lots of follow up lying about like confetti in your second movie that you now have to make good on. I don't think I've ever really seen it done. Back to the Future had a really good part III. Star Wars, um, no. Matrix? Oh, heavens no.

I'm reminded of Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace. A movie with, shall we say, flaws. But it also made a LOT of promises. It zagged in a lot of places that (because of the original trilogy) we thought it was going to zig. (I can go on about this a lot. I won't.) The short version is that it was at least interesting in that respect. Episodes II and III almost universally failed to pay of on any of it. I'm not going into detail. I use Shmi Skywalker as an example (don't blink, you'll miss her) and leave it at that.

Maybe this is why I'm so enamored of the Pirates Saga. It leaves very very few threads unexplored. If it dropped a hint (unintentionally in Curse of the Black Pearl and intentionally in Dead Man's Chest) then it pays it off in At World's End. There isn't the Return of the Jedi feeling that the creators are bored with most of it, or that they wrote themselves into a corner they can't get out of. (They get out of some great corners is some delightfully surprising ways.) If flows like the music that George Lucas goes on about. (Lucas says that the reason his stories repeat is because they are like music, with choruses and verses. Uh huh.) There are wonderful variations and reprises, and I think there are only two or three that fall flat or feel forced in the whole trilogy. (Sadly, two of my favorite characters from CotBP, Mullroy and Murtogg are one of them. They should have been in the second movie and they feel shoe-horned into the third. Sigh.)

The Curse of the Black Pearl (CotBP) (actually, the Pearl didn't ever really have it's own curse, it was cursed) was a terrific surprise. Nobody expected it to be good, let alone great. It hit so many great beats, and avoided so many places where it could have been really really bad. And it had GREAT sword fights. And it gave us Captain. Jack. Sparrow. More on that in a bit.

Dead Man's Chest (DMC) has it's flaws. The whole cannibal island bit goes long and gets stupid in ways that CotBP managed to avoid. I've found that without it, the movie is awesome. But DMC also lays a lot of groundwork (and has the task of turning stuff from CotBP that wasn't really groundwork into groundwork).

AWE is complicated. You have to pay attention. Movies like that are usually labeled “un-followable”. Well, so was Raymond Chandler. This is a film that expects you to keep up. And being that I like the setting, and all of the characters, I'm happy for the exercise. I admit, this is a big reason I like it so much.

But how is Jack? Jack is never as good as he is in CotBP. He's just not. He's not as funny. He's not as smart. He's not as misunderstood. I realize that he is in a different place. He's not supposed to be firing on all cylinders in DMC. But there should have been a better way. He almost gets it back in AWE. There was some Jack stuff that really blew me away on the second view. The scene that never happened again in the sequels was when Jack is in the cell in Port Royal. He's listening to the other inmates going on about the legends of the terror of the Black Pearl. They say there are never any survivors. Jack (who is not in the mood to be all Jack-like) says “No survivors? So where do the stories come from, I wonder?” He's smart. He figures stuff out that other people don't. And he often acts the buffoon to cover it. But he's always smart. In the sequels, he's smart just in the nick of time, but you don't as often see the wheels turning underneath. The is fixed up a bit in AWE, but not as much as I would like. There's never quite the moment when Jack just shows up in the cave and Barbossa says “Impossible!” and Jack sheepishly corrects him “No, just improbable.”

So here we are for part three. This is the Return of the Jedi that we didn't get. The one that feels like it was always supposed to be the end. DMC left a heaping helping of loose ends and AWE gets almost all of them. You jump right back into it. I say if you don't know DMC stem to stern, make sure you watch it at least once before you see this one. They don't recap much if at all.

They up the scale in this one. In CotBP the bad guys could have won and it would not have changed much. We're told that the stakes in AWE are the seas themselves. Historical note: In real life the “bad guys”, the East India Trading Company, won for a very long time. (*cough* Halliburton! *cough*) It's movie magic that the rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves, devils, black sheep, and really bad eggs are the freedom loving heroes in this film. But heroes they be. Enjoy it. I love it when Big Social Commentary goes so badly wrong, because then you can just ignore it. (“They said habeas corpus! They must be bad! Like Lincoln!”)

Oh, speaking of “really bad eggs” there are at least a couple more ride refferences that just made me grin. It's nice to hear both Paul Frees and Thurl Ravenscroft in a major motion picture.

Every single character in this flick has a motive. Everyone has an agenda. They took the line in CotBP (“Who's side is Jack on?” “At the moment?”) and ran with it. Allegiances don't just shift, they leap. Good guys are bad, bad guys are good, the only one who stays mostly put is Becket. But he's the bad guy, so there you are.

William and Elizabeth. The love story is great. It nothing new, but they don't pull a Han and Leia (love story? That was last movie!) in this. Will and Elizabeth are still really the central characters. None of these movies are about Jack. They are because of Jack. Will gets a good edge to him and Elizabeth (the distressing damsel) is as resourceful as ever.

Barbossa. Oh, is he still great. You want to see the movie where he mutinies on Jack back in the day. As Depp describes it, "We're like a couple of old ladies fighting over their knitting needles." There's a reason we all cheered when Hector shows up at the end of DMC.

Tia Dalma. She is a force in this movie. Her character takes a rather dark turn right from the get go. She gives Orlando Bloom a lot of help, IMHO. The mischievous voodoo sprite from DMC is quickly gone. She more than anything else telegraphs that it's different this time out.

Davy. Jones. My favorite character in movies in years. More than Jack Sparrow (Captain). He still pays off here. He's not a special effect. He lives. He breathes. He's why I watched DMC as many times as I did.

No spoilers, but Norrington isn't nearly as cool in this movie. He is duped. I can't explain why it's different than it was when Jack stole the Interceptor out from under him, but it is. And in DMC he was so wonderfully damaged. I was expecting him to be a terror in this movie. He's kind of soft here. He's one of the balls that gets fumbled a little.

The Rest of the Cast. They juggle a lot of balls. And they keep almost all of them in the air. They manage to give what would be an otherwise unwieldy bunch of folks all in the right place and doing the right things. Gibbs has been awesome since the beginning. I was greatly surprised at how much I liked Pintel (“Hello, poppet.”) and Ragetti (the guy with the wooden eye) in the second movie. I actually cheered at their entrance this time out. BTW, everybody gets a great entrance. I laughed the second time when I realized that Will's first line is “Jack Sparrow.”

The Song. Pay attention to the song. It explains the whole movie. Really. I love that song.

So there you go. It's awesome. It's fun. It's the overblown sequel that I expect to still like twenty years from now. When you have your Pirate Marathon, you actually anticipate part three instead of dreading it. And it doesn't have a speeder bike chase.

I'll post some of my favorite bits and maybe some of the stuff I didn't like in a spoilerific post somewhere down the road.

Just remember, it's pronounced “E-GREE-JEE-OUS”.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Star Wars Haters

For some reason my sister-in-law thought I might relate to this. I'd say about 60% of it is true. The glaring error (taking it too seriously? What do you mean?!?) is that I love just about everything about Star Wars. Star Wars. 1977. Not "A New Hope" not "Episode IV". Star Wars. The one. The only. The Empire Strikes Back is awesome. Jedi has some great bits. I'll even cherry-pick some moments from The Phantom Menace (LIGHTSABERS and JEDI KNIGHTS). Oh, and Clone Wars was AWESOME start to finish. But Star Wars was the stuff. It was all of the Flash Gordon fun with the cinema genius of Lucas before he became "The Star Wars Guy". There's nothing wrong with it. So there.

(I didn't give this more thought than July 4th, I just wrote it after a lot more caffine. Go read this and this. This is good too.)

Ee Pleb Nista!

Happy Fourth of July everyone! (July 4th, 1776 just in case anyone wasn't paying attention. I'll refer you back to December 7th for the "You HAVE to know this date" dates.") What we don't usually hear about is that the whole blamed country just about fell apart over the next ten years. Then they put it all back together again.

And then we invented Star Trek! (That's the short version.)