Sunday, December 28, 2008

Matt McKee 5-1-1976 - 12-18-2008

My brother died on the 18th. I'm not going to write too much about it just yet, but here is the DVD the funeral home provided us. It has some nice pictures of him throughout his life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Updates

Made some updates to the blog. Slimmed things down. Toned down the colors. Took off the irrelevant material about the long-over writers strike.

The Current Top 10

This is a repost from a comment on my friend's blog.

In no particular order, my current top 10

1. Blood Simple
I know Fargo is the favorite Coens' pick...but really my 1-5 would be filled with Coen films if I didn't stop myself.

2. Mullholland Drive
The guy behind the dumpster still scares the fuck out of me.

3. Zodiac
The guy in the basement still scares the fuck out of me.

4. House of Games
( my rebellious Mamet response to all the instances of Glengary Glen Ross on the lists )

5.Donnie Darko (Director's Cut)
I think this was more of a bad movie that accidentally worked very well.

6.Heat
Don't waste my motherfucking time

7.Dr. Strangelove
Not enough things can be said about this movie. I like the atmosphere of comedic paranoia.

8. Raging Bull
Because it's not "Dempsey"

9. Requiem For a Dream
Ass to ass

10.The Usual Suspects
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone. "

Monday, December 08, 2008

No Heaven or Hell

The sign that's been posted at the Washington State Capitol and Springfeild IL City Hall so far...



Of course, somebody stole it from the Washington State Capitol

Roger Ebert v. Ben Stein

Rogert Ebert wrote a genious analysis ( not a typical review ) of Ben Stein's film "Expelled"

Check it out here

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Why Flightplan Isn't Very Good

I used to like the movie Flightplan. I even own the dvd. But last week my wife and I were watching it and plotholes that seemed minor before I know see as inexusable:

1. Nobody saw the daughter on the plane.

Peter Sarsgard's entire sinister plan hinged on that. The only problem is, he had no reason to expect that no one would see her before he kidnapped her. Sure, the mother was distraught and the kid had a tendancy to run off, but would you risk the electric chair on the far off chance that 150 people in an enclosed Plane just would not happen to see her? It makes no sense. They TRY to reconcile this by having one little kid in the background at the end of the movie say "See, I knew I saw her!". Nice try.

2. The co-conspiring flight attendant

When they first board the plane, Peter Sarsgard and the flight attendant have a private conversation and they talk to each other as if they've never met. Later on, we learn that the flight attendant is in on it. There's no reason to fake a private conversation. They could have easily fixed that scene by making it seem like someone was able to overhear or was directly listening in.

3. The middle eastern passengers.

In the middle of the movie, Jodie Foster accuses 2 middle eastern men on the plane of hanging around outside of her daughters window the night before the flight. She causes a scene because she is sure it was them; and then nothing ever becomes of this plot point. We learn in fact that they had nothing to do with anything. So why was that written in there? Red Herrings still have to have some bearing to the plot to be a true Red Herring. It doesn't matter that SHE thought they might have something to do with it; The AUDIENCE has to have some reason to think the men had something to do with it. And in this case, the filmmakers were relying on an assumed fear of middle-eastern men on airplanes by the audience for that. Jodie foster herself showed no previous fear of this in the movie. It was a cheap, sloppy attempt at misdirection.

4. The daughter's death certificate/the flight manifest

The daughter doesn't appear on the flight manifest. How did we get there? An Air Marshall doesn't have the power to make those changes. A flight attendant certainly doesn't. The bad guy in this movie doesn't seem to be working for some all-powerful criminal organization, he seems to be working relatively alone. Also, the captain makes some phone calls and obtains a death certificate from the hospital for the daughter. This was Peter Sarsgard's way of trying to convince Jodie Foster she was crazy. But again, the captain worked independently making his phone calls to the hospital; it was never established or even hinted at how it was he was able to fake that information. Did he pay someone off at the hospital? Did the person he pay off just HAPPEN to pick up the phone when the captain called?

5. Here are her demands, but she'll only talk to me.

At the end, Peter Sarsgard tells the captains Jodie's demands; when of course, they are his demands, and he's framing her. He tells the captain that she'll only talk to him, and not to approach her because she'll blow up the plane. What kind of idiot would buy that, or at least not be extremely suspicious of the messenger?

All in all, it was a lazily written script. Had they proof read it once or twice more these ridiculous holes could have been worked out and we would have ended up with a better movie. It seems as though the filmmakers had a idea for a movie, realized the story wasn't going to work, and tried to force it to work.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

If you ever had any doubts about the media

Here's the ultimate proof of how much the mainstream media has stopping caring about their jobs. This article was posted on Yahoo News (via AP) prior to the live debate at 9PM tonight ( I cought it about 15 minutes prior, but according the time stamp it had been up over an hour). Click on the screen shot below and notice past-tense nature of the wording in the first few paragraphs.




























They could have at least waited until the debate started to post the article to make it a little less obvious.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lode Runner

I think Lode Runner is one of the most under-rated games in history.

video

Despite it's simplicity, it takes strategy and quick thinking.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Berkeley protesters spend 18 months atop trees

Check out this article, here are a few of my favorite lines.

"Protesters howled, flung excrement and shook tree branches as campus-hired arborists cut supply lines and removed gear."

"Campus officials ended up giving up the water without concessions; protesters declined to yield their urine.
"

Full Article

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Bill Engvall Show = Bad Bad Bad

Let me first say that I don't mind Bill Engvall the stand-up comedian. I saw what amounted to half of an episode of the Bill Engvall Show the other night and can say without any hesitation that it is by far the worst sitcom ever to make it on to television. The unfunnyness (it's a word, just don't try to look it up) is perfectly demonstrated in one of the commercials they show on TBS in which one of Bill's friends say "My ex-wife is a magician, she made all my money disappear". I suppose this might seem funny if you were six years old and mentally damaged. The entire segment of the show that I saw was filled with these poorly written, poorly executed, poorly timed one-liners that seem to draw on every possible cliche they can think of. To add insult to injury, Bill Engvall himself will interrupt Family Guy reruns on TBS to advertise his garbage show.

Quit laughing at your own jokes Bill, they're not funny.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Future Pinball

My latest free video game addiction has been Future Pinball. It's a platform for creating your own original tables. I don't create em myself, but I enjoy playing the 100's of free tables out there. Some are originals, and some are recreations of real-world pinball machines. Here's War of the Worlds:



Download it at http://www.futurepinball.com . Just a warning, it's got steep system requirements.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I drink it up

I saw There Will Be Blood for the first time last night, and I think I like this video just as much as the movie.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Osborns Can't Catch a Break

*Spoilers*
I just read Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 19: Death of a Goblin. Harry and Norman Osborn can't seem to catch a break in the comics and on film. This collection chronicles Norman Osborn's last stand against SHIELD and Spider-Man. The story line is pretty straight-forward; Harry breaks out of the max-security SHIELD prison, goes on TV and tries to ruin Nick Fury's rep for holding him with out charges, SHIELD uses Spider-Man and Goblin Jr as bait to get him back. The ending is pretty intense, and also mirrors the regular marvel universe's post civil war no nonsense attitude.

New artist Stuart Immonen picks up smoothly where Mark Bagley left off. I thought it might be awkward or the book might feel different shifting to another artist, but I'm glad to see that it didn't.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Best Free Game Ever

First there was Tempest, and then in 1994 came Tempest 2000 for Atari Jaguar (a pc port was alos made, one of my favorite games in high school). Finally, in 2007 from not-Atari came Typhoon 2001, a free update/version/enhacement of Tempest 2000.

Download this wonderful game here





Friday, March 07, 2008

Marble Anger

Marble Madness is the most frustratingly difficult video game in the history of video games. Here's a screen capture of about as far as I can get in the game...

video

Thursday, March 06, 2008

24, err...26

To my endless glee, fox will be airing a 2 hour 24 TV movie in the fall. The movie will be a season 7 prequel to bridge the gap between seasons 6 and 7. Season 7 officially starts January 2009.

Check out the full article here

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Pictures of the New House

If everything goes well we'll be moving in at the end of the month






Thursday, February 28, 2008

High Plains Drifter

I've been on a Clint Eastwood western kick lately. Among my favorites is High Plains Drifter. This movie is somewhat unique in that it's the only one I've seen that can almost be called a supernatural western.

Eastwood plays the typical reserved badass gunslinger, but in this movie there's a real point to that portrayal. Eastwood seems to be some sort of avenging spirit of a man who was unjustly killed by the towns people. When Eastwood shows up, the towns people seek help from him to protect them against those they scapegoated for the crime who are now returning from jail.

Eastwood has plans in mind for the both the men seeking revenge on the townspeople, and the townspeople themselves. By the end of the movie, almost nobody comes out unscathed.

This movie is an excellent and unconventional take on the traditional western theme of a noble gunslinger cleaning up a dirty town.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

WYSE

At work, I'm learning to support one of our old software products that runs on SuperDOS off of 20 year old WYSE terminals.

Every day is an exercise in modern technology appreciation.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Media Coder

I've been extremely busy lately and haven't posted anything, but I wanted to share my new favorite media-file toy: Media Coder.



It's an any-to-any (within reason) audio/video file transcoder. I love it because it can transcode any video file I throw at it into a Zen-friendly xvid file in a fraction of the time (and with better quality) than it takes the transcoding software that came with my Zen. And of course, if I'm posting it here it's 100% free. Check it out.

http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

All the Movies I Saw for the First Time in 2007

These are all the movies, new and old, that I saw for the first time during 2007. Reviews are based on 4 stars.

1.Rocky (***1/2)
2.Lucky # Slevin (***)
3.Crank (**1/2)
4.Snakes on a Plane (**1/2)
5.Saw III (**)
6.The Night Listener (**)
7.Millions (***)
8.Unforgiven (****)
9.Hollywoodland (***1/2)
10. Babel (***)
11. Rocky II (***)
12. Stranger Than Fiction (****)
13. Zodiac (****)
14. Marie Antoinette (***1/2)
15. The Last Kiss (***)
16. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (***)
17. Dog Day Afternoon (***)
18. The Good Shepherd (***)
19. Children of Men (****)
20. Blood Diamond (***1/2)
21. Hot Fuzz (***1/2)
22. Deja Vu (***)
23. The Bone Collector (***)
24. The Queen (***1/2)
25. Shaun of the Dead (***1/2)
26. Curse of the Golden Flower (**)
27. Rocky III (***1/2)
28. Charlie's Angels (**1/2)
29. The Fountain (***1/2)
30. North by Northwest (***)
31. Spider-Man 3 (**)
32. 28 Weeks Later (***)
33. Breach (***1/2)
34. 1408 (***1/2)
35. Shattered Glass (****)
36. Black Snake Moan (***1/2)
37. Transformers (***1/2)
38. All the President's Men (***)
39. Say Anything (***)
40. The Number 23 (*)
41. The Simpsons Movie (***1/2)
42. Click (**)
43. Knocked Up (***1/2)
44. The Towering Inferno (**)
45. Disturbia (***1/2)
46. House of Games (***)
47. Akira (***)
48. 300 (***1/2)
49. Fracture (***1/2)
50. Tombstone (***)
51. The Host (***1/2)
52. The Lookout (***1/2)
53. Ghost World (***1/2)
54. Death Proof (****)
55. Next (**)
56. The Good Girl (**)
57. Bee Movie (**)
58. Planet Terror (***)
59. Sicko (****)
60. Talk to Me (****)
61. No Country For Old Men (****)
62. Ratatouilli (****)
63. The Mist (***)
64. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (***)
65. Rescue Dawn (***1/2)
66. Night at the Museum (***)
67. Ocean's 13 (***)
68. Live Free or Die Hard (***)
69. Waitress (****)
70. Superbad (***1/2)
71. Once (***1/2)
72. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (***)
73: The Bourne Ultimatum (****)
74: The Black Pirate (**)
75: Eastern Promises (****)
76: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (***1/2)

2007 Top 5 (Including Only 2007 Movies)


1.No Country for Old Men
2.Zodiac
3.Black Snake Moan
4.The Lookout
5.Death Proof


2007 Top 5 (Including All Movies Seen in 2007)


1.No Country for Old Men
2.Unforgiven
3.Zodiac
4.Children of Men
5.Black Snake Moan

Here's the 2006 List