28May2008 2132: Do Not See Indiana Jones 4
I don't know how I could put that more clearly within the
limitations of my standard CSS fonts. Indiana
Jones 4 is getting incredibly
favorable reviews for what is essentially a less-than-average action movie.
If this movie starred Angelina Jolie instead of Harrison Ford critics would be
holding it down and kicking it in the ribs. If Michael Bay was directing instead
of Spielberg, at least the
I don't know why I'm avoiding spoilers; maybe it's easier to
hate incoherently. But I saw Crystal Skull, and then I watched the original
trilogy again, and then I watched Crystal Skull again because nobody believed me,
and I stand by my initial assessment that this movie is crap and it is because Lucas
and Spielberg are old. The old movies had shooting and blood and face-melting and
a real palpable sense of place and danger. Crystal Skull has lots and lots of
mostly-bloodless fisticuffs and some weak CG evaporations. Even
at its worst the original movies had some sort of beautiful heart to them. I
like Temple least not because of Short Round, but because Indy does a lot less
archaeology and a lot more magic. When he's dusting things off and translating
runes and jumping chasms and then putting a bullet in a Nazi, that's when Indiana
Jones is at his best. Crystal Skull has precious little archaeology, and the
last half of the movie is spent tagging along with a crazy old man
Let's see what else's on my list. Cate Blanchett is a
criminally uncharismatic villain. The dialogue is
atrocious at times, especially when it should be ramping up to the big climax. The
big jungle car chase contains a mystifying logical error that could have been
fixed with even a single line of interstitial dialogue from Blanchett indicating
that this time, it was personal. It immediately follows that with several
other mystifying cinematic choices, mainly involving Shia LeBeouf.
Do not see this movie. Do not rent this movie. DO NOT STEAL THIS MOVIE. I give you permission to catch it by accident on cable in a couple years. By then the ad-driven hype will have died down and people will be wondering why the hell this movie got even the praise it did.
Rilo Kiley's concert last Thursday was actually more rocking than usual. It was advertised as an early show and there was "Ritmo Caliente" scheduled afterwards, but they still went till 2230 with the encore. Even more unusual is that this is the first RK concert I've seen where the second band didn't totally suck balls. As a tradeoff, the first band wasn't as magical as it usually is.
The Spinto Band came out in the "go get a drink" slot, but they were actually really good. I liked them better than Nik, anyway. They had this amazing energy up on stage, but you wouldn't know it from the studio tracks. That song is way better live. In fact, they were way better at this concert than any other example I can find. Never mind. Ignore me!
(switching topics abruptly)
Some brave bastards played through Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, a game so bad that it can only be measured in kilofurries (if I have to tell you not to click that link YOU SHOULD NOT BE ON THE INTERNET). I would not recommend this to anybody outside of the demographic of "me", but they recorded it and are releasing "episodes" every day or so. It is incredibly entertaining (for me) to listen a pack of other geeks play a terrible game. Every camera issue, every invisible enemy, every bottomless pit, every anguished cry of "WHYYYY???" The entire playthrough is estimated to be around 25 hours...and I will watch it all.
[Hercules and Love - Blind] is like revenge of the Thompson Twins. It took me a few minutes to remember what band that singer reminded me of, and maybe there's a better fit out in 80s land, but I dare you to flip back and forth between Blind and the Twins' "Doctor! Doctor! That said, I'm definitely up for higher-tempo Thompson Twins!
[James Carter - Bossa J.C.] is at home in both a jazz lounge and a Volkswagen commercial. This is energetic improv of a kind that pushes martini sales during happy hour and soothes dental patients in the waiting room. Maybe I've just been exposed to jazz in all the wrong environments. I also couldn't sit through the entire song. The extended guitar noodling in the middle lost my interest.
[Valeria Gastaldi - Despertar] is a nice little pop folk song and I can't think of anything else to say about it. It is thoroughly "nice". Pleasant, even.
21May2008 2024: Imploding Hot and Cold
It's Memorial Day Weekend Observed here at the Monthenorium and woooooo I am so ready to see Rilo Kiley tomorrow!
I'm not sure what to make of today's serendipitous physics learning. See, first I ended up at the wiki page for Bose-Einstein condensates, specifically the section where an experiment using naturally-attractive atoms resulted in a sudden implosion and the apparent loss of half of the atoms. I keep reading this paragraph over and over -- I have yet to slog through the linked PDF of the findings -- and I can't decide whether to pump my fist in the air or dismiss it as a wikihoax. Did...did humans accidentally destroy matter? Was this matter converted into the energy of an explosion, following the implosion? I need to learn more particle physics!
Independently from Fark, later in the afternoon, was this completely badass capture of the very first moments of a supernova. As in, the first five moments of a supernova. The staggering odds of catching such a thing by accident... And then I realized that I had just read two articles about usually-stable atoms suddenly imploding under extremes of temperature not normally encountered. I was so edified I let out a little burp.
[Julianne Hough - My Hallelujah Song] is pandering to a demographic that is diametrically opposed to my own. A heavily-made-up blonde is vocaloid-ing over twangy guitar in a boring chord progression about angels and stuff. The only item I can get behind is the meta-level of singing a song about your hallelujah song.
[The Cool Kids - 88] is a rap with okay rhyming, but there was not nearly enough math. The title promised there would be maths! And the album title is "The Bake Sale" but there were also no muffins. I'm just trying to justify my one-star delete rating when it seems like a solid effort in a genre that I have been known to enjoy.
[Tommy Torres - Tarde O Temprano] brings me back to the radio in high school, yet again. Stop doing that! This song is a piano-driven pop ballad that I can't understand and yet presses some deeply buried "Verve Pipe" button, a button I thought I had lost off my shirt years ago before the shirt was caught in that horrible metaphor-mixing accident.
16May2008 1842: Gentlemen!
The pork chop wasn't defrosted yet.
14May2008 1700: New Hats
My sister graduated from college last Saturday, so I guess congratulations are in order. The actual graduation and after-picnic were pretty cool, but moving her out of her dorm in the all-day rain was the second-worst moving experience I've ever had. It would have taken first easily if not for Morgion's moving day last month being interrupted by snow. On April 26th.
Oh yeah, didn't Morgion tell you? He totally bought a house and is now in it. The apartment, setting of oh so many Monty & Morgion comics, is now occupied by neither of us. A piece of history, lost to time!
After so much of last Saturday in the rain without the ability to hold an umbrella it occurred to me that maybe I should invest in a decent hat. And as I am me, I am looking for a fedora that fulfills all of the following criteria: black, water-resistant, snappy. I despair to find such a thing in a store here in Fargo. The state of hats in general is pretty piss-poor; even something with a cool design like an eagle is only available in "annoying green baseball cap" varieties. The best lead I can find online for a store that has a presence here is Sears...this one would be perfect if it was actually on a shelf somewhere.
Luckily Raharu has my back; I never would have thought to look for clothes on Amazon but shit yeah there are some nice options on there. I'm just wary of buying clothes on the Internet that aren't t-shirts. I have a history of hats not fitting right, something about a big head.
Before this weekend I was mostly speaking based on my short time with it and the praise of others, but with the car trip to graduation and back I had a lot of quality time with The World Ends With You. It was awesome for a couple of in-game days, and then the shit just took off and the plot has been approaching the gameplay's level of awesomeness. The boss of week 2 makes math jokes pretty much all the time. The first boss: "The proof is in the pudding. The pudding...of their doom!" I've never really hated the Pokemon games; I believe that as videogames alone they are an excellent introduction to RPGs. It's all the anime and cardgame and backpack bullshit I can't stand. All Pokemon really had to do to hook me was to put a layer of Japanese fashion emo hoohah on top and lords help me I want to catch them all.
A smaller but still potent source of videogame joy is contained in this trailer for Too Human. The game itself plays like Diablo, but pay special attention to just past the halfway mark where one of the players winds up and throws a giant bear made of lasers! It was so over-the-top that I had to laugh and watch it three or four times.
[Leny - Llegara Ese Dia] is a pop song straight from the boy-band-leader-goes-solo playbook. I will delete it and hate it forever.
[Kardinal Offishall - Dangerous (featuring Akon)] has a lot to live up to and of course it fails. And is there some other rapper named Cardinal Official? Or did you just flunk out of first grade?
07May2008 2203: Tunage
[Diego - Perdido en Ti] [Diego - Losing Me (Perdido en Ti)] is somebody at Apple being lazy. Maybe they think that the Spanish-language customers and the English-language customers don't speak to each other (ha!), but it ruins the illusion if you put the same damn song right next to itself. Okay? Okay. There is one version entirely in Spanish and one entirely in English, and they both are really really bad rock ballads. The worst kind of filler is double filler.
[The Blakes - Two Times] is going for that garage rock sound that
is so popular with the
whippersnappers kids these days. It's pretty good! Do
you perhaps like your "fi"s to be of the "lo" variety? Because the Blakes have the latest in
a long line of listenable attempts by the major labels to pretend they don't have fancy-ass
studios and blow.
07May2008 1949: Hip-Hopocalypse
Tycho Brahe has a two-part series entitled "Why 'The World Ends With You' Rocks Your Face Off". He explains everything about the game that I love and also about systems that I haven't even unlocked yet. Bonus: he uses very large words. I hadn't paid much attention to Mingle Mode as I only know two other people with a DS and we don't do much DS mingling to begin with, but that part about setting up your own in-game shop? Where other people can buy the items you yourself collected? That is freaking sweet.
I, like most of America, saw Iron Man over the weekend. Right now it's at 93%...that's an absurdly high score not just for a comic-book movie, not just for a summertime action movie, but for any movie. It is perfect in form and function and requires absolutely no comic pre-knowledge. I recommend this film unreservedly to everybody as a movie that is simply awesome to watch. Robert Downey Jr sells the entire package; I can't say that he "carries" the film although it is 95% about him. He's just the most prominent star on display.
And at the center of this fantastic media typhoon is the once and future king, Grand Theft Auto. This may be the first game where I just like walking around the city and looking at stuff. Sure, I may say I'm looking for the bonus pigeons to shoot, but really I'm just cruising around looking for a new clothing store or killing time until the cabaret opens. I would love to link you a video of Bluesy St John performing in the cabaret, but for once it appears that YouTube has failed me. Rockstar is probably cracking down on freely available gameplay videos for the time being; understandable, as I want to buy tickets to go see Bluesy St John in real life.
I am at the (noisy) bar right now, so iTunes reviews will have to wait for a bit. I'm posting now mostly so I can dismiss this damn calendar alarm.
04May2008 2136: Crap Damn
Oh man it's like 2AM in-game and I woke Michelle up. What was I thinking? She said I should call back after 6, which is cool I guess. Still jonesing for darts.
04May2008 2121: Digital Guilt
So GTA4 is getting some ridiculous kind of numbers, even for an industry based on numerically assessing subjective entertainment. Right now my game is "paused", which entails turning off my in-game cell phone and sitting in my latest car listening to the classic rock station while digitally perfect rain comes down outside. I just finished this mission that introduced me to the sniper rifle; I had to protect a dude at street level from a deal that inevitably went bad. The first time I didn't really get what was going on in the battle and my dude bit it. I immediately received a call on my cell phone from Elizabeta berating me for fucking up. I restarted the mission and, with my precognition of the deal (re-cognition?), totally badassed the first wave of badguys. They then did something they didn't do the first time, which was shoot at me. None of their bullets found me, but they made very impressive sounds on the brick facade around me. The post- mission cell call this time was much more agreeable.
The pre-mission cutscene admonished me (through Mallorie) that I wasn't seeing Michelle enough. Would it have been different if I had been taking her out? Shit. I need to play some more darts anyway.
This game...this game.