Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Open Thread

Folks, we're taking the weekend off for Memorial Day, and we'll be back Tuesday. In the meantime, leave some thoughts here on news you saw, recent films you've seen, about your favorite war films for Memorial Day, or just your thoughts about Memorial Day!

"Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway."

-- John Wayne

157 comments:

Reidur said...

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Think I'll watch a John Wayne movie (the Quiet Man).

ScottDS said...

Andrew, I watched The Adjustment Bureau the other day. I liked it but I feel like a broken record here: it was easily digestible entertainment and quickly forgotten. I thought the science and internal logic were a bit wonky but I actually accepted the love story. I guess it's the hopeless romantic in me! On the other hand, one wonders what Spielberg or Verhoeven might've done with the material.

I also watched a cool documentary which you can find on Netflix Instant. It's called No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos. It's about two Hungarian cinematographers, Laszlo Kovaks and Vilmos Zsigmond who were born and raised in Communist Hungary and later fled the country, having shot footage of the Hungarian Revolution. They worked odd jobs in the US before heading west to Hollywood where they became a part of the 70s "New Wave" film movement (Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, etc.). Zsigmond later won an Oscar for Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Kovaks shot Ghostbusters... so that's how I know them. :-)

Outlaw13 said...

For memorial day if you'd like to watch a good movie that honors the reason for the day try a film called "Gardens of Stone". It's really good, with James Caan, Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones and D. B. Sweeney.

If you need something more watch the miniseries "Band of Brothers" again or for the first time. Realy, realy good stuff.

If you insist on watching John Wayne watch "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon". It part of the John Ford cavalry trilogy and it has some very touching scenes in it.

As this is my first Memorial Day since retiring from the United States Army, I don't know what I'm going to do...maybe lay on the couch and think about my friends still serving who can't do that right now.

DUQ said...

I generally watch whatever is on. That usually means The Longest Day, The Dirty Dozen and a couple more like that. Last year I watched Band of Brothers from start to finish. And if the weather is nice, I go to local park and watch the festivities.

AndrewPrice said...

Morning everyone. :)

Scott, As usual, you are wrong. ;)

Reidur, Excellent choice! I don't know what it is about Wayne, but he's just compelling.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, Band of Brothers is truly excellent. I kept meaning to watch Pacific to see if it was as good, but I had turned off my HBO at that point and I never got around to looking for the series again.

Congrats on your retirement! And while it may sound corny, thanks for serving! :)

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, All excellent movies. I also like Great Escape which is usually in that group.

We usually have a big to-do in the park downtown and I've gone a couple times. It depends on the weather.

ScottDS said...

(sigh) I thought of your review as I watched the film and those problems were there but reading about them and encountering them in the film ex post facto are two different things. Again, I agree with you on the gimmick of the film (Really? The hats make it all work?) but I didn't mind the love story - too bad it was in this movie. It might've been nice to see these two in a different non-sci-fi film instead.

I also watched Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes. It was on Netflix and I needed something to play in the background as I worked on my homework. It's not a terrible movie... Nic Cage's mannerisms are cranked up to 11 and I like the central idea (an assassination during a boxing match) but it all peters out in the end. I believe there was supposed to be a much bigger ending but it was cut.

By the way, for art class, we had to construct our own color wheel. The sky was the limit so I used movie posters with colors in the titles (The Hunt for Red October, A Clockwork Orange, etc.), except I painted out the words so my classmates will have to fill in the blanks.

For the tertiary colors (red-orange, green-blue, etc.), I used screencaps from Vertigo. It might be Hitch's best use of color and it had everything I needed.

tryanmax said...

I'm currently working my way through Star Trek: The Animated Series on NetFlix. In a nutshell, it's TOS on speed. I don't know much about the behind-the-scenes of TAS, but I would lay dollars-to-donuts that the storylines are dusted off TOS scripts that never got made. The consequence is hour-long stories told in under 30 minutes.

Being the animation buff that I am, I'm thoroughly enjoying the aesthetics. The first things anyone will notice are the non-humanoid alien cast members, something TOS didn't feature. It's Filmation animation, which means inconsistency galore! Namely, richly rendered sets and exteriors populated by flat, line-drawing characters. The fluidity of movement in TAS is a step above other similar Filmation productions, though movement itself is rather sparse. You still have a lot of animation cells being dragged across backgrounds as well as "talking mannequins." (I'll explain if needed.)

I'm also impressed by the voice work. In spite of appearances, TAS was very expensive because of the voice talent. While Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley and Takei merely reprised their roles from TOS, Nichols, Doohan, and Barrett voiced nearly all the supporting characters in addition to their original roles. That must have been quite a workout for Doohan.

Scott would appreciate this, being the film score guy. One of the more humorous aspects of TAS is the not-quite-right theme song. They mimicked the sound and melody of the original, but for some reason, they must have had to change it, because it's just...wrong.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Believe it or not, despite seeing a few episodes many years ago, I'm not that familiar with the animated series. However, I can safely say most if not all of the scripts are original and not recycled from the series. (D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold contributed scripts as did Larry Niven and even Walter Koenig.)

I didn't even remember the theme was different till you mentioned it just now. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm really surprised you thought they had any chemistry at all. You're honestly the first person I've met who thought that.

I like Snake Eyes a lot. It's the perfect vehicle for Nic Cage and it's a good time.

I have no idea what you're talking about with your color wheel. LOL!

tryanmax said...

Scott, that's interesting. Then I suppose the writers just couldn't get into the mode of writing for a half-hour program. To say that every single episode feels rushed is like saying Star Trek has loyal fans--a massive understatement. Still, with so many original writers having slid over--which I was aware of--there's no way to rule out the possibility that some of the ideas had been percolating. For example, it's hard not to draw parallels between TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine" and TAS episode "One of Our Planets is Missing." While the outcome of each is very different, the setup is very much the same. TAS is almost like an alternate ending.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I know what Scott's talking about with his color wheel.

Scott, that's very, very nerdy. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I haven't seen those in decades, so I barely remember them. What I do remember was that in the 1970s they had records (vinyl) and I had several of those. Those were like 30 minute episodes done as if they were on the radio. I think I wore several of those out listening to them!

I know what you mean about the flat characters, that seems to have been a fixture of a lot of animation. I guess it was easier? And since most television shows of the era where not much better in terms of people standing on empty sets before a painted background, they probably didn't need more.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott and tryanmax, My understanding is that a lot of talent did get poured into the animated series, though I'm not sure why. Maybe they were suffering withdrawal or were hoping this would revive the series? But I've read numerous times that TAS did involve the "Star Trek A-listers."


I've heard the term color wheel, but that's about as much as I know. Art nerds.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, Reidur is reporting in the Superman thread that it won't be Superman after all. It's going to be the Green Lantern... sort of. It's not going to be Hal Jordan, it's going to be another guy who was the Green Lantern (Alan Scott) for a brief period in the 1970s. He describes it here: Link (toward the bottom)

tryanmax said...

Just read Reidur's comment. Hilarious! Jim Rhodes, now there's an obscure reference.

Andrew, TAS was voiced almost entirely by original cast members. Doohan and Barret also provided voices for two added regular bridge crew, Arex and M'Ress. Walter Koenig got the shaft, though he did write. According to Wikipedia, it was Nemoy who demanded that Takei and Nichols be brought on. Something about 24th c. cultural diversity.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Re: The Adjustment Bureau, maybe I just like Emily Blunt. :-)

I apologize if I was unclear in my last post. I assume you know what a color wheel is. For my class project, we had to make our own. We could do anything we wanted and I used movie posters with colors in the title (like A Clockwork Orange). My teacher gave me the idea of painting out the actual color (so it would instead be A Clockwork) and the class will have to fill in the rest.

But that only covers the primary (red, yellow, blue) and secondary (orange, green, purple) colors. For the ones in between, I used screen caps from Vertigo.

I'll send you a picture later!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That is hilarious. It sounds like this whole thing was really just a huge publicity stunt. Now I'll bet a lot of people (fans and gays) will be very upset and the rest of us will just move on not caring. Bad move.


I may have to go back and watch TAS.

ScottDS said...

Sorry, I didn't see your comment above about only hearing the term "color wheel." The link should help. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I know what a color wheel is, I just don't know how you could combine it with movie posters. Yes, send the picture (or link to it).

I'm not anti-Blunt per se, but nothing about that film worked for me.

ScottDS said...

Andrew, I'm writing these posts at the Apple Store so I apologize for my usual lack of... we'll just call it detail. :-)

This is a proof of concept image I made to show my teacher but you'll see all the colors are represented, both in word and image.

I'm off to school now so I'll comment again in a few hours.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, How could I guess you hang out at the Apple Store? You kids today! ;)

Ok, now I have seen your color wheel. And now I'm not quite sure what it gets you? Perhaps I'm just not arty enough?

rlaWTX said...

Scott, that color wheel is kinda cool...

Outlaw, thanks for your service. You def deserve to take it easy this weekend.

I saw Safe last week (I know you are surprised it took so long!). I enjoyed it. The interaction between the girl and Statham was interesting. And, well, he was himself. I want to see Battleship this weekend. I appreciate the efforts they made to include Navy personnel and then the GI Film Festival. Besides, I like watching things blow up.

Happy weekend to y'all!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, It's always fun to watch things blow up! :)

I am surprised it took you so long to see a Statham film. LOL! Glad you enjoyed it though.

Have a happy weekend!

ScottDS said...

Well, my color wheel was a success! The class is a "Color Fundamentals" class and I was amazed at what some of the other students did. One did a two-minute video, another wrote and performed a song (to the tune of "Brown-Eyed Girl"), another painted her friend, another made vanilla ice cream with food coloring, etc.

The teacher told me that if I like movies, I should continue to incorporate movies into my work, at least for this class.

And no, I don't "hang out" in the Apple Store. I was nearby and I felt the need to comment on the blog. :-)

As for movies, I'm not sure what I'm gonna see this weekend. I'm trying to make plans to hang out with a friend and I've wanted to show him Black Sunday for the longest time. We'll see...

TJ said...

Outlaw, I second rlaWTX - a big THANK YOU for your service and enjoy your weekend. I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend.

We have to buy my husband a new (used) truck tomorrow and hopefully we will get to set up the tent in the backyard to camp out this weekend. As far as movie watching goes, we don't have anything appropriate for Memorial Day. I just bought Courageous for my husband as an early Father's Day gift, so we'll probably watch that.

CrisD said...

I piped in "War Horse" a few nights ago (it was a free-bee from my cable provider). There was really not much to choose from...

Altogether I thought it was an OK family movie. I mean, war IS hell, so, yeah, can't argue with that. Thought the English countryside scenery was delightful--battlefields and trenches pretty gruesome! Casting was good. Probably good for young teens.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I thought all the young hipsters hung out at the Apple Store?

Someone did a "song" for a color wheel? Sounds like they missed the point. Color = visual.

ScottDS said...

Oh God, have I presented the appearance of a young hipster?! Since I sure as shit don't consider myself one! (I'm too sincere and I don't do things "ironically.")

No, he didn't miss the point. We could do whatever we wanted. But there was an accompanying PowerPoint slideshow and that had colors in it. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, Best of luck with the new(used) truck!


CrisD, I never saw War Horse. I recall the ads, but I never saw it. I'd heard it was decent though.

rlaWTX said...

Andrew, you made me think of this song (contemporary Christian) - it's pretty cool. Chris Rice is kinda laid back and can get pretty deep.
http://www.chrisrice.com/lyrics.php?id=33

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I thought "young hipster" was your aim? ;)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Smell the color nine? I wonder how a nine smells? Probably better than an 17.

Here's your link: LINK

ScottDS said...

Uh, no...?! I prefer geek. Just geek.

If you look up "hipster," you'll see that I don't fit the bill at all. Young and middle-class? Sure. That's where the similarity ends. I don't do things ironically, I don't buy clothes at thrift shops, I don't seek out obscure bands or clubs, I don't drink PBR, ad nausuem.

I'm starting to think you simply had the wrong word in mind. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Wow, it's like you're describing my life. ;)

Geek it is!

And no, I was just pulling your leg. The Apple Store is "hip."

DUQ said...

Wow, the Washington Post blasted Obama today about his record of regulating financial institutions and his hypocritical attacks on Bain. It seems Obama can't open a new attack without it being a can of worms for him.

WashPo

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Wow! That's a heck of an article. It outlines a bunch of companies that went broker after Obama gave them millions in taxpayer money.

tryanmax said...

Oh, snap! 0bama has left such a mess in his wake, there is nothing he can say that won't backfire! Even in the equity game, Barry can't beat Bain! Lovely!

Doc Whoa said...

Happy Memorial Day Commentarama family! :)

Doc Whoa said...

tryanmax, That makes me really happy!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's what it seems like, doesn't it?

Here he thought he had a clear shot at Bain and then it turns out (1) he's got a worse record regulating banks, (2) he's been a crony with a worse track record than Bain, and (3) apparently he took contributions from Bain and now refuses to return them despite all the hate he's aimed that them. Ha ha!

AndrewPrice said...

Happy Memorial Day Doc!

tryanmax said...

Hmm, I just looked up "hipster" at Urban Dictionary and, well...it's like Russian version of Cinderella; if shoe fits, wear it. Minus the progressive politics, of course.

Frankly, I think progressivism is too status quo and should not appeal to a truly self-conscious hipster. Every counter-cultural option has been tried in the last 100+ years, leaving only conservatism as the last truly non-conformist political philosophy.

I also take issue with the notion that Hipsters descend from Beatniks. That's only true if you consider Maynard G. Krebs to exemplify Beatnikism. Real Beatniks were violently revolutionary. They costumed themselves in a fashion they thought representative of the French Resistance as a way to compare mid-20 c. American culture to Naziism. While the political sentiment may follow through to hipsters, the fashion impulses do not follow, nor to the violent proclivities. His jeans may be distressed, but the hipster prefers to remain mellow.

tryanmax said...

Speaking of "mellow."

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think it's just the new word for "smug faux rebel." They're deeply materialistic and just think they have better taste than everyone else. And their penchant for cynicism makes them think they're smart.

It reminds me of the 1990s when you had this army of kids all dressed head to toe in black, all spouting clone-like verbiage about hating conformity and how unique they were. Talk about self-delusional.

tryanmax said...

So, even the definition of "hipster" is ironic? Well played, hipsters. Well played.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I wonder how much of that is true? It's pretty funny in any event and probably explains why President O is a few brain cells short of a full load.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, LOL! Well played to you too.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, here's something neat you should check out. It's an optical illusion -- watch the +.

LINK

T-Rav said...

If possible, I will be hitting up theaters at some point this weekend to watch The Avengers for a third time. Could I watch MIB 3 or something else? Yes, but I really want it to knock off that crapfest Avatar as the highest grossing movie, so there you go. Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I wish you luck in your quest. 'Tis a noble quest indeed! :)

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, if all goes well, I'll be joining you in your quest. Though I doubt I'll get to it more than once.

What's your opinion on whether I should spring for 3D?

Backthrow said...

Hmmm, let's see now, what movies have I watched in the last few weeks...

*puts on rubber Leonard Maltin mask*

TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL (2010) Basically a one-joke premise, but it's a decent joke, and I liked the protagonists a lot (in the manner of good 1980s comedies) --likeable underdogs who aren't total idiots. It contains some pretty graphic violence, since it's poking fun at violent horror movies, so I wouldn't give it a blanket recommondation for everyone, but I liked it quite a bit. Viewed on Netflix streaming.

HORRIBLE BOSSES (2011) Andrew's review was correct, in that this had a very solid premise, good foils for our heroes, and the trio of put-upon employee buddies were immediately likeable, however... the script made them appear to be adults at the beginning, but in fairly short order, they became the usual ineffectual-teenagers-in-adult-clothing that we see all the time in modern comedies, especially the sexually-harassed dentist's assisstant, who becomes an annoying high-strung, constantly-babbling idiot, erasing the goodwill he built at the opening (the only bright spot was the episode in the street involving a peanut allergy). The scene at the bar Andrew mentioned was good, especially from a political perspective, but ultimately a deus ex machina saves their collective bacon at the end, rather than their own resourcefulness (which only manifests itself when wrapping things up with Aniston's character).

Spacey, Aniston and Ferrell were all good, playing their villains to the hilt, though I thought the film gave Ferrell's character short shrift. Overall, nice attempt, and it did keep me watching to the end to see how the plot would pay off (unlike THE HANGOVER), but not that many laughs, and our three protagonists were cheated by the filmmakers out of better, funnier characters to play. Comedy is so subjective, though; maybe I'm too tough a customer. Viewed on DVD via Netflix.

FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD (1965) Prime Japanese drive-in monster movie schlock, in which Dr. Frankenstein (or maybe a relative) is doing his work for the Nazis in the waning days of WWII, and they send the immortal, ever-beating, experimental heart he's been working on to Imperial Japan, just before the Allied forces storm/bomb the castle. Unfortunately, the heart is taken to Hiroshima for study, and... uh-oh.

Twenty years later, a displaced feral boy has eaten the radioactive heart, and is now growing to customary mammoth proportions, while an unrelated reptilian beast has decided to emerge from the bowels of the earth to wreak havoc nearby, by sheer coincidence. The two eventually cross paths and wrestle, while Nick Adams and Kumi Mizuno watch from a safe distance. I can't hate this movie. Viewed on DVD from my own collection (and I don't care *who* knows it! LOL).

Backthrow said...

JIVARO (1954) Rather corny South American jungle adventure, intended to be part of the 3D boom of the early 1950s, but apparently only shown that way decades later in theatrical 3D retrospectives. Fernando Lamas protects the always-hot redhead Rhonda Fleming (who is a conservative Republican in real life) from the lust and greed of Brian Keith, when she arrives to look for her missing husband, a loser who lied to her about having a big plantation, but was really hunting for ancient treasure in deadly Jivaro country.

Corny, but fun... basically a B Western set in the Amazon jungle, though it's probably one of the many, many influences on RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Reminded me vaguely of the Charlton Heston army ant film, THE NAKED JUNGLE (a better movie from the same year and studio), too. Some fun can be had with this listening to Lamas talk, and then thinking back to Billy Crystal's old 'Fernando' character (based on Lamas) from his short stint on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, in the mid-1980s. Viewed on Netflix streaming.

THE BEST WORST MOVIE (2009) Fun and funny documentary about the cast and director of the ridiculous/awful horror movie, TROLL 2, discovering that their bomb of a movie has become a PLAN NINE-like cult favorite among geeks and hipsters, 20 years after it was made. The guy who played the heroic dad in the film --a non-actor who became a successful dentist-- is the main focus of the documentary, and it appears like he's going to be presented as a total fool, but he actually comes across as a nice, likeable guy, albeit one who likes the spotlight, but is grounded enough to realize he can't ride this wave of belated attention for any longer than the passing novelty that it is. I wouldn't rate this as highly as KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS or TREKKIES, but still definitely worth checking out. Viewed on Netflix streaming.

WILD THINGS (1998) A lot more to this modern noir than meets the eye; I was expecting mostly eye candy from Denise Richards and Neve Campbell, some minor shtick from supporting player Bill Murray, and maybe a murder or blackmail plot, but there was a lot more. I liked this a lot. Great cast; well shot, directed, plotted and scored. Viewed on DVD via Netflix.

Backthrow said...

SPLINTER (2008) Cool little monster movie, one of those common fright-flick scenarios with a small group of people holed-up in a small building in the middle of nowhere, with a hungry beastie outside, eager to feast on 'em. What makes this work is the unusual nature of the creature, and a decent cast, the standout being Shea Whigham, who is better known these days for playing Steve Buscemi's corrupt brother, "Eli", on BOARDWALK EMPIRE. Viewed on DVD via Netflix.

THE ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932) Classic. Still the best movie version of H.G. Wells' 'The Island of Dr. Moreau', and plenty disturbing, despite some occasional campiness from Charles Laughton, as Moreau, and Kathleen Burke (who looks a lot like a dark-haired Kate Winslet) 'Lota,The Panther Woman'. The island itself is pretty cool... I like to imagine that it's part of the same chain as Kong's home, Skull Island, and the island in THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (and the island in another 1930s film down this list). Viewed on Blu-ray from my own collection.

PSYCHO (1960) Still a masterpiece. I caught it this time on Blu-ray, and it's incredible; whatever restoration work they did on this, combined with the clarity of Blu-ray, made it look like it was shot today. Viewed from my own collection.

THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971) Fun, semi-comedic, art deco-styled Vincent Price flick in which the brilliant and villainous mastermind Dr. Anton Phibes metes out deadly (and eccentric) revenge (using the ancient Hebrew curses on Egypt as his template) on the team of surgeons he blames (irrationally) for his wife's death on the operating table and his extreme disfigurment. Basically another drive-in type movie, sort of an amalgam of many of Price's earlier horror roles, but done with a fanciful wink and high style. Viewed on DVD from my own collection.

Backthrow said...

CANDYMAN: THE DAVID KLEIN STORY (2010) Another quirky documentary, this one on the guy who invented 'Jelly Belly' jelly beans in the 1970s, but then lost it to a business partner, ala 'Famous Amos', before it became really huge in the following decades. It's interesting to watch, and Klein comes across as a nice guy, but the film is basically a 'let's feel sorry for this victimized soul' story. We only get his side of things, from himself and friends/family, and some of the things he's done in life perhaps explain how he ended up with the short end of the stick in this situation.

Weird Al Yankovic shows up now and then (he doesn't host/narrate, and doesn't appear to be a longtime friend of Klein, so I'd guess he was a gimmick used to add color to the doc, like the celebrities used as talking heads in VH1 'I Love The 80s' specials), and uses an opportunity, at one point, to take a sarcastic shot at President Ronald Reagan --blaming him for everything bad, but then saying his love of jelly beans balanced things out for public perception-- since the documentary points out Reagan's love of Jelly Belly beans and the origins of his preference for the candy, starting long before Klein's product hit the market. Viewed on Netflix streaming.

BIRD OF PARADISE (1932) Fanciful romance/adventure, in which Joel McCrea (who possessed the 'average joe' likeability powers of 100 Jimmy Stewarts --and, like Stewart, was a conservative in real life), sailing the Pacific with friends on a yacht, decides to get off on a Polynesian island and go native, wooing tropical beauty Dolores Del Rio, despite the fact they don't share a common spoken language. Oh, and there's also the minor detail that she's promised to wed the chief's son, and is designated volcano fodder if Pele needs to be appeased (and she does).... uh-oh. More Hollywood corn, and Del Rio is about as 'Polynesian' as Jennifer Lopez, but I've always liked this movie. I saw it as a little kid on local TV in the 1970s, but forgot about it, and the title, except an action scene with a big whirlpool, and it took many years before I stumbled upon it again, as there were a ton of similar 'tropical isle' flicks made in the same era. I's say the couple of islands that feature in this movie are maybe 3 or 4 hops over from Dr. Moreau's island, lol.

This moves at a good clip, and has strong direction from King Vidor, who had previously made the silent classics THE BIG PARADE (a good Memorial Day Weekend pick, btw) and THE CROWD, and would go on to direct DUEL IN THE SUN, THE FOUNTAINHEAD and WAR AND PEACE (and the Kansas scenes in THE WIZARD OF OZ). Good special effects, too, from many of the technicians who worked on KING KONG the following year, and a robust score from Max Steiner --possibly the very first feature-length score used in a sound-era film; most talkies, up to that point, would have no music, apart from the credits, unless there was a singer/band/orchestra on-screen in a scene. Steiner would provide music to accompany more Joel McCrea island exploits the same year in THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, and then for KING KONG (which almost starred McCrea, in the role that ultimately went to Bruce Cabot). Viewed on Blu-ray from my own collection.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2011) Based on a pretty popular British ghost story that was filmed before for UK TV. The plot is paper-thin, and is mainly a vehicle for putting Daniel Radcliffe (and us) through a series of cliche "jump" scares in a haunted house. That said, it does this rather well; one in particular literally raised spooky goosebumps all over me --and that's hard to do. Radcliffe does a decent job, among a good cast, and the film is good at conveying gothic atmosphere... the house itself is one of the creepiest in years. Viewed on DVD via Netflix.

*removes rubber Leonard Maltin mask*

AndrewPrice said...

Hey, Leonard Maltin was here! :)

Backthrow, I ran across Splinter when it first came out and I was very impressed. For being Sci-fi schlock, shot on a budget that probably didn't cover hotels for the actors, and using actors few people know, it was a surprisingly good movie. I enjoyed it very much.

I also enjoyed Wild Things and of course Psycho. I haven't seen Tucker and Dale. I did enjoy Horrible Bosses very much, though the bar isn't very high right now.

I very much wanted to see Woman in Black, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I heard it was limited in what it tried to achieve, so I'm glad to hear that it at least does what it tries well.

I'll have to check out The Best Worst Movie as I'm a sucker for good documentaries.

Kit said...

"It reminds me of the 1990s when you had this army of kids all dressed head to toe in black, all spouting clone-like verbiage about hating conformity and how unique they were. Talk about self-delusional"


Reminds me of the Goths in South Park: "If you want to be a non-comformist you have to dress like us and listen to the same music as we do."

Kit said...

TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL

"Oh hidy ho officer, we've had a doozy of a day. There we were minding our own business, just doing chores around the house, when kids started killing themselves all over my property."

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That South Park was exactly what it was. They all dressed the same, said the same things and only hung out with other clones... and they all whined about how non-conformist they were. It was like some big joke.

Jen said...

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Enjoy it while you still can (not trying to be sarcastic, it's just the mood I'm picking up on).

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, Look at the bright side... think of how much we may have to be thankful for after the election! :)

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, as a rule, I don't do 3D. I feel about it the same way Andrew feels about the shaky-cam. So far, I've only seen this one in 2D. (Which is also cheaper.)

But, I have heard from multiple people that the 3D for Avengers works out pretty well. Not really necessary, but by no means distracting. So spring for it if you want to, I guess.

Hollywood Propaganda Branch said...

T-Rav, Andrew loves the shaky-cam, which is cutting edge film making.

And always pay more to see a film when you can.

Also, pay twice... you have two eyes after all, why should one get in free?

Jen said...

Andrew, that wasn't exactly what I was referring to (can't wait to slaughter those SOBs), I'm thinking of the damage that is occurring right now (it had to do with something that was said to me tonight), and what could be coming in the future (sorry, I'm just not in a good mood right now). I'll have to fill you in on it later.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, I'm sure you're overreacting. It's not like Obama can do any real damage. . . unless you count ruining our healthcare system, causing millions to become unemployed, aggravating racial tensions, ruining the competitiveness of American business, putting policies in place which result in generations of idiots leaving our schools. . . yep, no damage at all.

Hmm. Maybe it's time for a drink? :/

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, well, if it doesn't really add anything, that's all I needed to know. I'll save the extra $$ (still probably not enough for a Coke). Thanks!

Writer X said...

That quote by John Wayne is one of my favorites.

This year will be quite different for my family without my Dad. He was a WWII Navy veteran and I will always remain beyond proud to be his daughter.

I distinctly remember watching THE GREAT ESCAPE with my Dad. That is one of my favorites. For Dad, too. He was also very fond of MIDWAY.

BevfromNYC said...

Well, this event has gone virtually unnoticed. We have now entered a new age of space travel with the first private industry shuttle craft docking at the ISS yesterday to make its first supply delivery. One would think that this event would be hailed a great American private industry achievement, but has gone by without any real notice.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I like both of those movies a lot. In fact, I watched Midway last night for the millionth time.

Sorry about your dad. Best wishes. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, You would think that would be HUGE news. But I think we've gotten to the point that the MSM is not going to celebrate anything other public sector achievement.

I think it's great, all the space-y stuff I'm hearing about from the private sector. Americans will always rise to a challenge and I think a lot of people are about to open a new frontier without the government's help.

tryanmax said...

Bev, I've been following the story mainly by accident. It keeps coming up in the hourly radio news briefs, but never more than a sentence or two. I think this is a great American achievement.

It's really bad that this has been buried by the MSM because even a lot of conservatives have been convinced that only government can get us into space. If this story got out more, maybe they'd stop boo-hooing over NASA.

Yes, NASA was an important organization, but I liken it to Queen Isabella bankrolling Columbus or the Lewis and Clark expedition.

T-Rav said...

I'm still waiting until we build a fleet of starships to get excited.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You should see my back yard. It's a veritable supply yard of Nes Cells and neutron plating. I'm just waiting for a shipment of anti-matter and my non-union Mexican labor to get back from lunch. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's true. I like NASA but I do think the private sector is where all of this should be done.

T-Rav said...

By the way, antimatter is the only thing that would make Star Trek-like space travel and such even remotely possible, because it produces more energy than anything else in the universe--and even that probably wouldn't be enough to reach faster-than-light speeds. Also, it'd be hard as the dickens to control. Not to throw cold water on anyone's dreams or anything...

The open-shop Mexican laborers, on the other hand, should live up to expectations. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, We mix it with booze, which gives it that little bit extra you need to exceed light speed. ;)

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - You never know what new matter will be discovered that WILL produce enough energy to travel faster than light speed! Who would have guessed 100 years ago we'd be able to land a rover on Mars or see so far into space through the Hubble telescope?

BevfromNYC said...

Is it the "Cocktail Hour" yet? Oh, you meant add booze to the rocket sip fuel...darn.

Individualist said...

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

T-Rav said...

Bev, call me extremely dubious. There's so much energy required to get even close to the speed of light, it's practically impossible. Building a telescope is one thing, defying the Theory of Relativity is another.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, There's plenty of booze for the rocket and for cocktail hour! :)

True on the discoveries, who knows what we'll discover in the next 100 or 500 years?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You're harshing my science buzz. :(

BevfromNYC said...

Oh T-Rav - You must learn to dream because we are only limited by our imaginations!

building the telescope may not have been a stretch, but the technology to get the Hubble into space was unimaginable to all but the scientists/dreamers 100 years ago!

And who knows - Einstein could have been wrong...

BevfromNYC said...

And yeah, I'm with Andrew, T-Dude! You're harshin' my mellow AND my dreamer-buzz (with a little martini juice mixed in for good measure...hey don't judge)!

Einstein's Smarter Brother said...

The Law of Relativity is more of a suggestion.

Tam said...

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! I love America and the American people! We are what make this country great.

T-Rav, if you want to see another movie instead of The Avengers for the 3rd time but still give the Avengers credit for your viewership, just buy a ticket for the Avengers then go to a different show. Only you will know!

Einstein's Other Brother said...

Relativity and fish stinks after three dimensions.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, LOL! That's solid advice for the modern cineplex!

And I totally agree about American. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Einstein's Other Brother (Earl), Apparently the formula is:

Fish/Relativity = Stick x 3.21439872 days

to be precise. ;)

Backthrow said...

Or, if you want to use ObamaScience (tm), the formula is:

E = M.C. Hammer

--it's what allowed people to watch FDR address the nation on television in 1929.

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! Ah yes, the old FDR television addresses... from Hawaii, Asia and presented in Austrian. There were only 56 states back then.

And Obama's supposed to be a genius huh?

T-Rav said...

Tam, I like how you think.

T-Rav said...

Andrew and Backthrow, that's back when Guam really was in danger of tipping over and capsizing.

tryanmax said...

I may be wrong about this, but it is my understanding that the theory of relativity concludes the speed of light cannot be exceeded because at that point, and object would be traveling backward in time, an idea which Einstein rejected as absurd. (and I agree) It reaches this conclusion in part because Relativity relies upon the concept of spacetime, that is, that space and time are part of a single continuum.

While I find it completely understandable to regard spacetime as a single manifold, I think it is probably premature. For one, it's inescapable that movement in space is reversible while movement in time (as far as Einstein was concerned) is not.

Then there is the matter of time's dependance on movement. Time is only observable because of change and all change is essentially movement. Movement requires space but the inverse is not true. (That is, nothing need span a distance in order for that distance to exist.) So the question becomes, without movement, does time exist? If the answer is no, then space continues to exist without time and you cannot have spacetime without the time part.

On the other hand, if the answer to the question is yes, we deal ourselves the problem of verifying that by finding another means to measure time. I can conceive of no way to make that measurement that does not involve movement.

Because of this, I find that the actual manifold may be time+movement as some single thing/phenomenon with space being a thing unto itself which makes time+movement possible.

To me this makes more sense because the experiments that purport to support Einstein's theory appear to demonstrate the use of movement to manipulate time rather than the use of space to manipulate time. It also makes sense because space is a rather staid concept, whereas both movement and time are more fluid. It seems impulsive to attach a loose concept to a firm one to understand it better, but it seems more likely for loose concepts to attach themselves to eachother.

AndrewPrice said...

Ouch, I think my brain just imploded.

tryanmax said...

Oops. Sorry. Good thing there's an extra day this weekend to recover.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, This is purely a hunch, but I suspect Einstein's equation is wrong because (1) nothing in nature is ever really that simple, (2) we still don't even understand the nature of the universe, so the idea of finding an equation like this without that understanding strikes me as hubris.

And as the days pass, we are hearing about things like (1) the existence of multiple dimensions, (2) the universe actually being a bubble, (3) there being no such thing as gravity, etc. All of this tells me that anything we "know" to be true right now is 100% completely wrong.

AndrewPrice said...

True. And there's plenty of good television to aid my recovery. :)

tryanmax said...

I agree that Einstein may have been wrong, at least in part. Part of the reason that Einstein's theory is regarded so highly is that it helps to explain the outcomes of certain experiments. The trouble is, in certain cases the theory has become a sort of circular argument.

This becomes more problematic as more and more theories are stacked on top of Relativity, such as string theory and certain aspects of quantum theory. Many of these theories are not theories at all since they cannot be disproven--an essential aspect of a proper scientific theory. They may have disprovable points about them, but no practical way to conduct the experiment. You build enough of these theories on top of eachother and you create an intellectual house of cards.

That is why the scientific community held it's breath a year ago when it looked as though CERN had shot a particle faster than the speed of light. Not because it would have toppled Einstein, but because of all the stuff built on top of Einstein. Fortunately for them, it turned out to be a miscalculation. All the same, I don't consider that a mark of good science, theory stacked atop theory like a game of Jenga.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. It has struck me for a while now that the problem with modern theoretical science is that it often tends to treat things as true which haven't been proven and just runs from there. It's one thing to work toward proving a theory, it's quite another to build theories upon theories upon theories.

And what really bothers me are the fudge factors they include in equations. It's become rather ridiculous in fact that 90+% of the value in some cases is the fudge factor. How in the world can anyone accept such an equation as legitimate?

Economics is the same. "The money supply is equal to blah blah blah + C, with C being whatever we need to reach the number we want." Huh??

tryanmax said...

I've noticed that, too. So-called "science" has been overrun by post-modernist concepts which simply don't jive with science at all.

Enlightenment philosophy was more or less fueled by scientific reasoning which itself came out of the monasteries. Both (or all three, depending how you count) were concerned with deciphering the fundamental Laws of Nature, explaining why things work as they do.

But at some point it became unacceptable for the man of faith and the man of science to be one and the same. Science shifted from understanding the constancy of nature to trying to explain the constants away. Rather than saying what we can know for certain, the theoreticians like to emphasize that we can know nothing for certain. Meanwhile, they ironically declare that we can certainly rule out things like the existence of a god simply because the ancients never mentioned photons in their texts.

Maybe we do understand gravity incorrectly, but science ought to correct the misunderstanding, not dismiss the phenomenon altogether. (Isn't the idea of a natural state of free-fall simply a reversal of the Aristotelian notion of a natural state of rest?) It's as though the modern scientist builds his credential by demonstrating how little he understands rather than how much.

AndrewPrice said...

That does seem to have become the big thing in the modern world -- to tear down rather than to build up.

You see it in academia where thesis papers are about tearing something apart and exposing it rather than creating something. You see it all over journalism where no one builds great stories anymore, they just attack something. You see it in deconstructionism in literature, social science, and everywhere else deconstructionism has reached its destructive tentacles. You see it in politics, in government regulation and even in a lot business now. We have become concerned with destruction rather than construction. Construction is treated like something that was done in the past and done wrong and now we must destroy to reshape rather than build new.

T-Rav said...

Commentarama, where we summarily dismiss the greats of the scientific community! :-)

tryanmax, I think the explanation for faster-than-light travel is somewhat simpler. What E=mc2 actually means is that the more mass something has, the more energy is required to push it forward (and also that a little mass equals a lot of energy). One effect of the Theory of Relativity is that as something increases in speed, its apparent mass increases (I'm not entirely sure why). This isn't a big deal for the speeds we're accustomed to, but the increase grows exponentially the closer you get to the speed of light, so that, even if you were somehow able to get up to 99% of the speed of light, you could never make the last step from 99% to 100%. Your mass would become infinite, requiring an infinite amount of energy to keep moving faster.

And yeah, if you could move faster than light, you could, theoretically, move backward in time as well, which slows down as you approach the speed of light. But that's an incidental effect of an academic point; I don't think it's why Einstein framed his argument the way he did. (Although, he wasn't shy about ruling out whole hypotheticals because he thought it betrayed the order of things. He famously refused to accept the possibility of parallel universes because, as he put it, "I refuse to believe that God plays dice with the universe.")

tryanmax said...

Yes, that's definitely the case. It's defeatist when you think of it. One of the conundrums of the human condition is the necessity of destruction in the act of creation. You can't make an omelet, so to speak.

Creation is an act of courage. It says, I can justify this destructive act because of the better thing that it creates. But there is always the chance that others may disagree and judge you accordingly. That may be a little too utilitarian for some, but to everything there is a season.

Destruction, on the other hand, is cowardly. Destruction happens no matter what, but to engage in it and say, this was my intent all along, is an attempt to avoid that risk.

Sadly, most would judge that the destroyer has only done what would have been done anyway and fail to apply the same standard to the creator. The attempt to improve always draws harsher criticism than does helping to usher what is seen as inevitable.

I guess we should remember that whenever we hear about "the right side of history." The only thing inevitable is decay. The march of history undeterred is downward. In effect the statement is saying, "let us tear down what we've build because it will only fall anyway."

T-Rav said...

All that said, I do agree that science has been overrun by a lot of unscientific things, including an exclusively materialist interpretation of the cosmos. The term "science," until the mid-19th century or thereabouts, meant something different from what we mean today. It was more about comprehensive knowledge, and included subjects like philosophy as well as biology or chemistry. It would be nice if the field could become as grounded now as it once was.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yep, we do like to dismiss the greats now and then. :)

On the idea of E=MC2, I think you're right T-Rav, that that is the theory and that is why Einstein makes a good case that we can't exceed the speed of light. But as I said, I'm pretty sure we'll find out his theory was wrong any day now. It's too simple of an equation to be right... which is not to say it isn't useful, just like Newton's laws are useful even though they are ultimately not really right.

By the way, the time difference based on speed has actually been proven. The clocks on satellites, which move much quicker in orbit than we do, need to be reset each day because they experience the time change effect.

And interestingly, if we are to take E=MC2 seriously, that means you're fatter on top of a skyscraper than you are on the ground. That's an odd thought....

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That would be nice. Much of science today is about politics, ego and funding. I think it would behoove science a lot if they got back to acting like scientists.... which is kind of ironic given the great achievements that are being had today.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think the big difference is that it takes talent to create, but it takes almost no skill to destroy. For example, any fool can tell you why a book isn't perfect, but very few people have the talent to write the book in the first place.

And what's happened is that a lot of talent-less people (in all fields) have adopted the cynicism of the deconstructionists to hide their lack of talent. You see this particularly in art, where a lot of people are turning out a lot of crap and then hiding behind the "if you don't understand it, then I'm smarter than you" argument to justify their paychecks and hope that no one questions them.

The same is true in dozens of other fields too, as people without talent find they can be considered talented by attacking rather than defending. And as more talent-less people crowd into the field to join them ("hey, I can do that too"), they end up corrupting and re-defining these fields and their garbage becomes standard practice.

Individualist said...

Tyranmax

As I understand it the reason for the speed of light being a barrier is due to the fact that the laws of relativity state that since mass and energy are the same thing when you add energy to an object with mass to increase its accelleration the object becomes mroe massive.

The equation states that in order for a an object to reach the speed of light it must attain an infinite mass and thus an infinite amount of energy is needed to make it accelerate to this speed. Also time dilates going slower and slower and at the speed of light it stops. This is why it is assumed (from the relative perspective of someone outside a black hole) that an object falling in would appear to be stopped in time.

However as I understand there is a theory called MOND (which is considered to not be accurate by current standards of physics) that seeks to assume gravity works differently when things have very slow velocities. This is the alternative theory to dark matter to explain why the edges of galaxies move to fast.

There is also evidence that in some places in the cosmos the spectral lines are not where they should be. It is suggested that the speed of light (the upper limit) can vary to explain this. This is an alternative theory to the cosmic inflation.

So there are currently physicists with theories that are trying to poke chinks in relativity's armor.

I am not sure aoout the bacfkward time travel but I beleive that was estimated for travelling in excess of the speed of light. Something tachyons are supposed to do but I am no longer certain if current physics accepts the existence to tachyons.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, Actually, that is the more complex explanation. The idea that mass increases as speed increases only applies when discussing relativistic mass (m_r). Most of the time when you're talking about mass, you're talking invariant mass (m_0, or simply m). In the latter case, mass does not increase with speed, just the force necessary to accelerate it as it approaches c.

Believe it or not, Einstein did not introduce the notion that the mass of a body increases with velocity, just that it increases with energy content. That was devised later as a way to make E=m(c^2) apply to bodies that are already moving or accelerating. Expressed properly, that equation would be E=(m_0)(c^2). Einstein's original equation was only designed to apply to bodies at zero velocity.

Today, relativistic mass is not a very widely used concept in physics, mainly because it is confusing and not very useful. It simply makes more sense to treat mass as a constant because, even approaching light speed, mass does not really change. Still, for some reason most physicists who write for lay audiences like to use "mass" to mean "relative mass." Stephen Hawking is one well-known culprit. They must understand the confusion this raises, yet they persist in continuing the habit.

Management said...

This is an official announcement. As of Monday, Commentarama will reopen as a science blog. That is all.

tryanmax said...

LOLZ!

tryanmax said...

Pushing all the jargon and mumbo-jumbo aside, it is enough for me to assume that if your mathematics produce an absurd result (such as infinite mass or reverse time-lapse) your equation is wrong. Through Sherlock Holmes, A.C. Doyle told us, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." Science has somehow forgotten that truism and now focuses on how to make the impossible seem possible.

I give Einstein credit for noting the shortcomings of his equation and concluding that faster-than-light speed is impossible because of the absurd mathematics. Unfortunately, his successors have taken those absurdities and claimed them to be perfectly rational rather than attempt to iron them out.

I have no qualms saying that Einstein is too revered, because that is not the nature of science. He should be regarded for what he achieved, but those achievements should not be placed beyond challenge.

T-Rav said...

Since it's late and my mind is getting fuzzy, I'll limit my comments (for now) to the remark that this probably means we haven't gotten the concept of gravity right. Stuff like dark energy, the "cosmological constant," etc.--there's much too variation in the simple "more mass=more gravity" or "spacetime sheet" explanations.

And yes, Einstein's stuff is great, but it doesn't explain everything. And I don't think he meant his theory to absolutely rule out faster-than-light travel; he just showed it was bloody difficult.

BevfromNYC said...

OMG! I walk away to watch 12 hours of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and the place gets taken over by the cast of the "Big Bang Theory"!

ScottDS said...

and the place gets taken over by the cast of the "Big Bang Theory"!

Except we're much more entertaining and actually funny! :-)

I watched a couple of cool movies yesterday.

Coriolanus, starring and directed by Ralph Feinnes. It's the first film adaptation of this particular Shakespeare play and since I haven't read Shakespeare in years, the film was a little hard for me to follow at times but anyone more familiar with the work won't have a problem. The interesting thing that Feinnes did was set the film in the present, in "modern day Rome."

And on the other end of the spectrum, I watched the 21 Jump Street movie. (A friend of mine "obtained" it.) I hate to say it but I have to agree with the critics on this one: it was surprisingly funny! Maybe it's because the bar has been set so low but I thought the film was, for the most part, a riot.

They also did a good job subverting the normal action movie cliches. And there were a couple of un-PC elements which prove my point that all a writer needs to do is reverse the standard cliches (the eco-happy granola kids are the villains instead of the rich preppy kids... don't worry, that's not a spoiler).

There was one dick-related gag at the end that I could've done without but all in all, it was a fun time. :-)

T-Rav said...

Scott, don't get off topic! The only spectrum we're discussing right now is the electromagnetic spectrum!

I don't watch a lot of The Big Bang Theory, but the episodes I have watched have been kinda funny.

tryanmax said...

Reruns of TBBT seem to be on constantly. It's unavoidable. I will admit to getting sucked in by the fast-paced dialog, Mayim Bialik, and the occasional Nebraska joke.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, It's amazing what can happen around here when you aren't watching. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I haven't seen either movie. On your point about political correctness though, I think you're right. Political correctness has scared people so much that they've created new "taboos" out of old "taboos." Thus poking fun at things that were once poked fun at but now result in death threats and boycotts makes something both daring and funny.

Talk about irony.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Bev, Scott and tryanmax, I gave up sitcoms awhile back and haven't watched any episodes of TBBT.... though just the commercials were enough to tell me that one guy was gay.

ScottDS said...

Andrew - To quote William Shatner in Airplane II, "Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes." :-)

By the way, I found this cool video yesterday. It's footage from a Seattle comic convention where a bunch of famous voice actors got together for a table reading of Star Wars. So if you ever wanted to hear what these characters would sound like as Pinky and the Brain, Christopher Walken, Bill Cosby, Fry and Bender, etc., now you'll know. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, That's pretty funny. I just watched a segment with Bender as Luke and Morbo as RD2D. LOL!

tryanmax said...

How weird is this: Scott brought up that Shatner quote and I just got a tweet railing against the song "Horse With No Name" over the lyric "The heat was hot."

ScottDS said...

Speaking of Shatner, there's a British news quiz show that airs on the BBC called Have I Got News For You. I actually reviewed it for the site a while back. Anyway, guess who hosted last week's episode? Enjoy.

T-Rav said...

"Horse With No Name" is the best song ever, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

AndrewPrice said...

But the heat was hot?! What's to complain about?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That was a pretty top notch song.


Scott, I was going to link to other Shanterism, like him "singing" Slim Shady, but I decided it was best not to start that.

tryanmax said...

Scott, T-Rav, Andrew, I don't claim to understand it. I'm just reporting the odd coincidence of seeing the similarly structured quotes so close together.

rlaWTX said...

Holy cats and crickets! I am going back to my non-thinking weekend since my brain now hurts from just skimming the relativity posts! But I do generally think Big Bang Theory is funny...

And Battleship was pretty good.

rlaWTX said...

and America's "Horse with No Name" was awesome!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Glad you enjoyed it. I saw it took a beating at the box office.

And yeah, things can get pretty weird around here at times. LOL!

On "Horse with No Name," I've come to the conclusion that tryanmax is hanging out with communists.

ScottDS said...

Re: Battleship, I think the box-office results are interesting. Could audiences finally be tired of loud soulless bombast? Sure, it's great that the film is pro-military and all but the public knows when it's being sold a bill of goods. A movie based on a board game, that looks like a cross between Transformers and Battle: LA? And Universal spent how much on it?!?!

In other movie news, I watched Haywire last night. Man, I hope Gina Carano has a bright future ahead of her in movie ass-kicking because she deserves it! She's not the best actress ever but she definitely has presence and charisma and Soderbergh thankfully lets her fight scenes play out in wide shots with a minimum of camera moves. It's a very stylish movie, despite a rather meh plot.

Backthrow said...

I had a little Memorial Day marathon on my plasma:

KEEP 'EM FLYING (1941, Abbott & Costello)
BATTLEGROUND (1949, William "Wild Bill" Wellman)
THE HALLS OF MONTEZUMA (1951, Lewis Milestone)
FIXED BAYONETS! (1951, Sam Fuller)
and an episode of THE RAT PATROL ("Shake it!")

Happy Memorial Day, and a giant ***THANK YOU*** to all who've put their lives on the line to defend my, and my fellow Americans', freedom.

Commander Max said...

My wife and I went to ComicCon Phoenix 2012 on Saturday. It was the first Con my wife attended, I hadn't been to one since before I meet her(1997). She found it very entertaining, I wish I had more money. One thing really stood out, I've never seen so many attractive women at a con. In the old days girls were very few and far between(any worth looking at). My wife commented that I would be old enough to be most of those girls father.

This con had a big focus on Trek(STNG 25th), the headliner was William Shatner. If any of you get a chance to see him it's worth it. He puts on a good show.
Most of the STNG cast was there, except for Stewart, Frakes and McFadden. It looks like Wil Weaton needs to loose a few pounds. I've never seen so many celebrities in one place. Not all were ST veterans, most prominent to me was Buck(Gil Gerard) and Wilma(Erin Gray). No I didn't get any autographs, they were $10, photo's were $25. You could have meet Shatner, but at $495(I think you got a lithograph) that was a bit steep. They sold the event out.

But the funniest thing we saw was Dina Meyer and Casper Von Dien(Starship Troopers) get the question, "Did Starship Troopers foreshadow 911?". Both were very professional, but you could tell they both thought it was a not so relevant question.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, I haven't been to one, but I've see reports on television and it's struck me too that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of really attractive women who attend these things.

I figured Shatner would put on a good show, he seems like the type.

Buck and Wilma! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I've been deeply immersed in proofreading this weekend, so I didn't get to watch a lot of television.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The thing about Battleship was that it was panned by EVERYONE for months now. And the ads make it look stupid, quiet frankly.

I haven't seen Haywire, though it rings a bell somewhere. I'll have to check my external memory, aka "the internet." :)

tryanmax said...

Scott, that pretty much sums up why I have no interest in Battleship. On the other hand, if it shows up on Netflix, I'll probably give in.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

...it's struck me too that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of really attractive women who attend these things.

You're correct, yet many of them are also seemingly unattainable! I've gone to a handful of conventions but the really hot women (who often wear revealing outfits) probably get hit on all the time and I hate being one of "those guys." Besides, sometimes I have to question their sincerity. Are they really geeks or is it some stupid "ironic" thing for them.


tryanmax - Yeah, if it shows up on Netflix, I'll probably check it out, too. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, That's like looks-discrimination. ;)

As I haven't been to one, I can't say. But I would bet they do get hit on a lot and stared at much more. In fact, if I were a pimp, I would probably send my hos to work one of these conventions. Nerds have money and are easily "awed" by good looking women.

ScottDS said...

I wouldn't call it discrimination but for a geek like me, it's kinda difficult knowing even the geek girls are hard to get! Then again, I'm sure a woman who dresses like this isn't interested in geeks. That's a problem I have with a film school classmate of mine: she says she's a huge geek/nerd/whatever and she goes to conventions and all that but at the end of the day, all she wants is a hot guy with a nice car and six-pack abs.

By the way, for my next art class project, we need to do a public installation at the school. I have no idea what I'm gonna do and I have a little problem with messing with someone else's property, even if it is a class assignment.

AndrewPrice said...

Hey, I have that same outfit in my backyard!

In all seriousness, you never know until you ask, but you are probably correct. :(


"we need to do a public installation at school."

I have no idea what that means? You mean like molesting a phone booth?

ScottDS said...

I mean something weird. I'm not good with this abstract stuff - even with pencil drawings, my mind is so literal.

I think that's why I like graphic design - it has a purpose (to sell, inform, etc.). It isn't designed for the sake of simply existing.

My parents just re-did the hall bathroom. I should've kept the bathtub. Paint it a new color and leave it somewhere in a hallway at school and call it art!

AndrewPrice said...

Ah. If you want to skip the assignment, tell your professor you did an invisible couch to show the futility or sitting your way through life.

Or, put up a parking meter -- you could make some spare change that way.

Or a gumball machine filled with square gumballs that don't fit in the hole. Call it "disappointment squared." :)

Or, an umbrella stand far inside the building, where no one would be carrying an umbrella. Call it "superstition breeds uselessness."

tryanmax said...

I'm not sure it it's the Scottish or the Nebraskan in me, but I think you should build a henge. If you built it out of used 50-gallon drums, you could act all mysterious when somebody asks whether it's a statement about fossil fuel.

Another possibility: how many upright vending machines are there on campus?

ScottDS said...

Andrew and tryanmax -

Good ideas! But I have no idea how many vending machines there are... I rarely venture beyond the art building. :-)

If I remember, I'll post photos of the finished assignment.

tryanmax said...

Oh snap! I just saw the remark about my communist associations. Of course if "Everyone I Meet is from California" that would probably make sense.

Here are some overly agrandizing self-referential lyrics that deserve to be ragged on:

Falco, "Rock Me, Amadeus": Though not technically a lyric, a spoken sequence in the song highlights major events from the Austrian composer's life. The final entry in the sequence announces the release of the very song being heard. It may have been a tongue-in-cheek gesture to put a one-hit-wonder on par with one of the greatest composers of all time, but in some cases there simply isn't enough tongue for all that cheek.

Will Smith, "Will 2K": Even with that title, it may seem like low-hanging fruit to pick on any self-reference by a rapper. That is unless you consider this lyric: "The new millennium, yo, excuse me, Will-ennium." Time will ultimately tell, but at present it looks like the peak of The Fresh Prince's career occurred in the last millennium, so laying claim to the next thousand years may have been premature.

Wang Chung, "Everybody Have Fun Tonight": through a lyrical parallel, the band actually tried to make their name synonymous with having fun.

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Thanks for indulging. I was originally working on an article for Cracked.com, but I got stuck on three. I didn't want it to go to waste.

tryanmax said...

Scott, one more idea: LINK.

Frankly, I'm surprised larger bulk quantities aren't available.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That does take a lot of cheek! LOL!

Wang Chunk = have fun. Yep. Until Futurama came along and Leela said negatively, "That wangs chung." :)


Wow, they would hate Scott and probably call him the Flamingo kid!

ScottDS said...

I'm not wasting $60 for a school project. Besides, what would I do with the flamingos after class ends? My parents won't want 'em around the house. :-)

Commander Max said...

Andrew, since your a Trekkie you have to go at least once. I tell people everybody should see the circus.

Scott, I know most geek guys have no chance at some of those chicks. Things never change, but I will say since I've been to a lot cons in my life. I would rather look at a bunch of those girls in costume than the geeky guys. In the old days there were a few girls around. Good looking ones were rare(at least around here). So they got a lot more attention.

Phoenix ComicCon is much larger than the Cons I used to attend. The largest I've been to(I never went to a Con outside of Phoenix), was about 1100. The ballroom Shatner played sat 4100(it was full). Walking out of there was a nightmare. I heard total attendance was about 6000.

Andrew, they had Ed Asner there. I was joking with a buddy, I wonder if I could get him in a picture(even if I paid him $25,)if I was wearing an EIB(Rush L.) shirt.
Other celebrities you would know, Herbert Jefferson Jr(Boomer BSGTOS), Lou Ferrigno(I didn't expect him to be a big guy, most bodybuilder types are short), Vernon Wells(Wez, from Road Warrior) I almost went up to him to tell him, we used to call his character from Road Warrior, "Hairy Ass".

Scott, I feel for ya. Art classes can be really fun or a real pain. I only wish I knew then what I know now.
Abstraction is something instinctual, use your gut not your mind. Go with what seems illogical, then figure out a way to explain it later. That's what we did in Architectural school, I never knew there were so many long winded ways to say, "I like it, it's cool".

When you say public installation at school(I'm sure there must be some limitations). My first idea is to build a wall, paint it the same color as the wall in the hallway. Put it on casters, place it in the hall(blocking it). State it's a representation of our barriers in society and ourselves, we can only move the wall we can't get past it, some crap like that.

Individualist said...

I saw Battleship today and it was better than I expected. As these movies go it is no Avengers or Hunger games but it was not as terrible as I thought it would be.

As action movies go I put it with Commando or the first Ghostrider on the scale of how good it was, mediocre but watchable. It wasn't on the level of Last Action Hero.

** Spoiler **
At least the Aliens use battlefield tactics, seeking territory and communications instead of just lets laser nuke all the cities.

And the first contact was well done I thought. The classic naval communications of blowing a horn and firing a shot off the bow appeared to be taken as aggressive moves by the aliens who at first are only attacking things that appear to be a threat.

One has to wonder if the mission was a military exploratory one. Go there, analyze the threat, determine if there is anything to worry about. This seems more in line with a realistic view of first contact and possible alien conflict. They come to evaluate to determine if there is a tjhreat and the inability to communicate or understand how we think leads to a conflict. I will give the director credit at least for that plot point. It seemed more intelligent to me than other movies.

tryanmax said...

Maybe some of you know about it already, but I just watched a great program(me) one PBS called Civilization: the West and the Rest hosted by Niall Ferguson who apparently wrote a book of the same name.

It is a wonderful praise of all the things that made Western civilization great, which he outlines as 1. Competition, 2. Science, 3. Property, 4. Medicine, 5. Consumption, and 6. Work Ethic (namely Protestant work ethic).

The NYTimes panned both the book and the show, if that tells you anyting. If you find a chance to watch it, I highly recommend it.

Kit said...

"Reruns of TBBT seem to be on constantly. It's unavoidable. I will admit to getting sucked in by the fast-paced dialog, Mayim Bialik, and the occasional Nebraska joke."

Mayim Bialik is pretty awesome on the show.

Amy Farrah Fowler: "Leonard, you may not have noticed, but I am being a delight here. And you're not holding up your end of the evening."
Leonard Hofstadter: "I'm sorry. The wedding just reminds me of my kind of-sort of-girlfriend 9000 miles away."
Amy Farrah Fowler: "I have a kind-of sort-of boyfriend who's playing with a model train right now, you don't hear me bitching about it."

And then there is this scene: LINK
Her reaction at 1:13 is comedy gold!

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