Wednesday, December 31, 2003

A liberal rant looms on the horizon...
BitTorrent is good

Hey I'm Back

Hello I am back. This is going to be a post full of random ramblings, so bear with me. This Christmas break has been odd. I really haven't done too much, just hanging out.

Here are some of my favorite things this holiday season:

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
All I can say is wow. You really have to hand it to Peter Jackson, he could have royally screwed up this classic trilogy. All three movies are a tribute to Jackson's dedication, attention to detail, and respect for JRR Tolkien's vision. I hear some rumblings of a Hobbit movie, and based on what I've seen so far it should be a real treat if it manages to see the light of day.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
I haven't played video games in quite some time, and this game has brought me back to the old days of all-nighters. I've heard a lot about this game and only now have I had the chance to play it extensively. I haven't been this engrossed in a game in some time, I played nearly 25 hours in the span of 4 days and I am only half-way through. All I can say is Bio-Ware sure knows how to make a good game (if the name doesn't ring a bell think of the ground breaking Baldur's Gate series of games).

I think Tycho from pretty much sums it up:
I like writing and everything, I like it a lot. I like writing for you. But you are lucky indeed that I sit now before this screen, depositing words of varying length, new comic in tow, having summoned the strength to stop playing Knights Of The Old Republic. Sometimes I will say things like that. "It has been very difficult to stop playing X, yes, it has been very difficult indeed." This isn't like that, though. I haven't changed clothes.

Good Eats
Ok, I know this one is a little weird, but hear me out. I'm not one to watch cooking shows but I just can't resist this one. This is not your mother's cooking show. Far from being a 21st century Julia Child, host Alton Brown presents simple recipes with a hefty dose of pop culture, humor, science, and just down right interesting facts about the food we eat. With its use of unconventional camera work, interesting asides, and an avant-garde style and presentation this show is definitely a must see if you are bored at 11:30 at night. And besides, anyone who can make a half hour long show about the joys and benefits of home-made mayonnaise that is actually entertaining deserves some sort of award.

I Love the 80s (and to a lesser extent I Love the 70s)
I have a love-hate relationship with VH1. I hate 90% of the channel with its fashion this, or top 10 that, but some shows are actually worth watching. The "I Love" series is definitely one of these. Its simply got a winning formula:

B-List Actors + Trendy Nostalgia + No Narrator = Entertainment Gold

OK, its not a perfect series, I hate when they have young pop stars like Jason Mraz (WHO?) commenting on things that were popular before he was even born. Standouts of the series include Michael Ian Black, Hal Sparks, and Mo Rocca (whose title is Media Gadfly). Its nothing more than a fun, sometimes humorous walk down memory-lane.

More to come....

Monday, December 08, 2003

After long hiatus....a double movie review (aren't you lucky?)

Two movies you definitely have to see this holiday season: Master and Commander: Far Side of the World and The Last Samurai. Both are great pseudo-historical epics worthy of praise.

Master and Commander: Far Side of the World

One of the best movies of the year. Master and Commander managed to produce a totally engrossing film-going experience in the span of what seems much shorter than two hours and fifteen minutes . This movie definitely flexes the muscles of the theatre's surround sound - you actually feel that you are on the ship - with howling winds, creaking bulkheads and splintering cannon shots. Master and Commander manages to accurately portray the lives of seafaring men of the early 1800s. Cannon balls do not explode, but tear through the hulls like they actually did, every aspect of the movie shows this commitment to historical accuracy. Master and Commander is definitely the polar opposite of the much over-hyped Pirates of the Caribbean and I put it in the league of Braveheart as far as historical epics go. I feel that its "wow it feels like I just stepped out of a time machine and onto a ship" sense is easily worth the price of admission. The only complaint I have is with the rather suddenness of the ending, but nevertheless I definitely recommend this movie.

The Last Samurai

After seeing this movie, I immediately compared to Master and Commander but they are essentially different animals. Master and Commander was essentially a period piece, while in Last Samurai the setting was used mainly as a plot device. This movie focuses on the end of an era, the struggle for Japan to balance its need to modernize with maintaining a connection to its rich past. Highlights of the movie include the beautiful Samurai settlement and of course the battle scenes. For the first time in modern cinema there is a honest-to-goodness ninja raid. Not fake ninjas like the final "bosses" in every other kung-fu movie, but an actual stealthy assassination attempt with throwing stars and hand claws, it was easily the coolest fight scene that I have seen in some time....even cooler than anything in Kill Bill. After the ninja scene the crowd was buzzing with excitement, and I don't blame them. The part of the Samurai Warlord is excellently played by Ken Watanabe (I love his name) and his interactions with Cruise is what drives the movie. Although it isn't perfect - I feel that the movie could have been a bit shorter, and some argue that there could have been a more effective ending, it definitely gets a thumbs up.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Had to write 2 8 page papers in 2 days, will begin updating soon.