Screw This

I am going to go crazy if I do this everyday. I will still be watching movies a lot and post and about it when I do but I didn’t realize what a ridiculous commitment I had made here. There are times (like this last week) when there is way too much going on to keep up with this schedule. I thought that if I could watch a few tv shows everyday then I could watch a movie everyday. Wrong. Movies require more of an emotional investment. Too much. Sorry.

Hope you guys keep reading. I’ll keep writing…just not everyday.


After revisiting all of the Indiana Jones films, I was really looking forward to The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. What I wasn’t prepared for was the full on cheese that awaited me. My friend and I went into the theater fully aware that we were watching an Indiana Jones movie but this exceeded our cheesy expectations. It wasn’t just Shia Lebouf. It wasn’t just the aliens. Or Marion Ravenwood. Or Cate Blanchett hamming it up Russian-style. It was everything together. I still enjoyed film and it was a fun ride but grand cinema it was not. I’ll put it this way, The Temple of Doom is no longer the corniest ones film. Yeah, this makes Short Round and Kate Capshaw look good.

As I said recently, I love the Coen brothers. They have made so many fantastic movies it’s hard to pick a favorite (ok, not that hard…it’s The Big Lebowski). O Brother, Where Art Thou? is up there with their best work and is one of my favorite films. The music is superb. The cinematography and film processing that were used on the movie make you feel like you have been transported to a different time and location. It looks like an old photograph from that era. And of course the cast is amazing. I actually hated George Clooney before this movie. I didn’t like ER and had never seen him in anything where I did not want to punch him but he did a great job here. He is really good at comedy. Clooney, John Turturro, and Timothy Blake Nelson were the perfect trio of idiots for this odyssey. Which brings me to the other masterful part of this movie. It’s actually a modernized (yet still period) loose adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey. When you keep that in mind an recognize that one-eyed John Goodman is supposed to be the cyclops, you realize this movie is truly brilliant.

Yeah, I know I just watched Pirates of Silicon Valley a couple of days ago but it’s chock full of nerdy goodness and I had to watch it again. It’s rare that a made-for-TV movie elicits that sort of response from me but this a great movie. Plus I have to get ready for WWDC on Monday. I have to get my Steve Jobs fix before then.

By the way, the movie is available on Netflix and Blockbuster Online in case you can’t find a copy at your local store.

It’s not that Semi-Pro is terrible, it’s just that it’s not that good either. I rented this because I thought my wife would want to watch (she’s a big Will Ferrell fan) but she is in a Star Trek DVD coma. So what do I do? Do I return the movie to the store unopened? No. I think I need to get my money’s worth out of the rental so I watch it…again…for the third time. I will say that parts of the movie are starting to grow on me. But the other parts are becoming more obnoxious as well.

Today was the last day of school for my boys and they got out at 10:15 (7:45 to 10:15…why even bother?). Since it was a special day and they had both done so well in school all year, I let them decide what they wanted to go do for fun. It was unanimous decision to go see Iron Man at the Movie Tavern. I had already seen the movie but I was excited to see it again. Mostly I was glad I was getting to spend some quality time with my kids and I was looking forward to them getting to experience this film. So we ordered our pizza (gots to love the Movie Tavern) and set back for the ride.

French Iron man poster
Iron man is just a great movie. Acting, cinematography, effects, story, costumes, and just the overall feel is perfect. Seeing a second time allowed me to pick up on all the little nods to the comic and other comics in the Marvel Universe. That’s the right word here: Universe. Instead of having Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Blade, Daredevil, and all those Marvel comics-based films have separate worlds and no connection between them, we now have Marvel Studios setting up continuity between their films. And it sounds like The incredible Hulk will raise the bar even higher. It’s a comics nerd’s dream come true. And just like with comics, I find myself trying to guess where these stories are going next. How will they introduce Thor? When the arc reactor blew up and shot a beam of energy into the skies, the clouds swirled around and you could see lightning in the sky. Is this foreshadowing (or “Thor”-shadowing…sorry) Thor’s powers. Did the energy blast in the sky awaken the Norse god of thunder? Am I reading too much into thing? Probably so.

The boys really enjoyed the movie. After the movie we went to Lone Star Comics and then the farmer’s market. We had a really great day together.

My recent acquisition of a free Macbook and subsequent obsession over said laptop has led me to many Apple related stories and websites lately. The other day I ran across a video from last year’s All Things Digital conference which included a joint on stage interview with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (there are actually about 10 videos you have to watch to view the whole interview, but if you’re a geek like me it is worth). It was quite fascinating and focused quite a bit on the beginning days of bot of their companies back in the late 70’s when both competitors actually worked together on a few projects. Hearing about those early days of Apple and Microsoft reminded of the made for TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley starring Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates and Noah Wylie as Steve Jobs.

As far as TV movies go, this is one of the better offerings. I know I might be biased because of the subject matter but it is a fascinating look into the history of two of America’s greatest companies (even though I do prefer one over the other…by quite a bit). I am planning on picking up the book on which the film is based, Fire in the Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer, to be able to delve into the story even more. I am not sure how accurate the details are but both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (co-founders of Apple)have expressed their approval of the film, with Woz saying they did a good job getting the personalities right and most of the events as well. Wylie does a pretty good job portraying His Steveness but I guess it’s not that hard. Just act fracking brilliant and equally cool (Jobs is the only person I know that can rock a mock turtleneck that hard). But even though I prefer all things Apple, the real standout here is Anthony Michael Hall as Gates. It’s amazing how good he is at imitating Gates and all his little uber-nerdy quirks. Watch those YouTube videos and you will see that he isn’t exaggerating. And this is an interesting sidenote: the man playing Steve Ballmer (the sweatiest, craziest man in tech) is played by the voice of Bender the robot on Futurama, John DiMaggio.

It’s truly a great film and I would recommend watching it if you can find a copy.