Dec 30, 2007

Book Reviews @ The Temple

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - Jeez, what kind of nerd spends 28 years NOT reading Ender's Game?  Well I finally got to it, and it is fantastic, as you might expect.  Much different and darker than I expected, but great nonetheless.

Speaker For The Dead - The first sequel to Ender, also a very good book.  Nothing like Ender, I'm afraid, but a solid scifi book with a good universe and story.

No god but God by Reza Aslan - Wow.  Wowie zowie.  This book is amazing.  The most dramatic piece of non-fiction I've read in a long time.  I always feel like I know pathetically little about Islam and its history, but this book was a great help.  Moreover, his primary argument is that the current violence in that part of the world is a result of a Muslim Reformation, an internal struggle.  Christianity had one of these 15 centuries in and it was bloody and violent.  Islam is now in it's 15th century, but the weapons are bigger and the consequences (of both their actions and ours) more severe.  I say again, an amazing book, maybe the best I read all year.

Movie Reviews @ The Temple

Walk Hard - This was good!  I was surprised, the previews made me think not so much.  And this is a parady of the Johnny Cash movie, and parodies for me usually don't have the legs to make a full movie, the gag gets old.  But I actually kept this one and laughed quite a bit.  It's not taking any crowns, it's not Anchorman or Ricky Bobby, but it was fun.

Aliens Vs. Predator 2 - Good, I guess.  Guns and 'splosions and all that.  I guess I wasn't totally in the mood for the gore (which is ruthless choosing its victims), so I didn't feel jazzed by it.  But I felt like if I had been in the mood I would have enjoyed it quite a bit.  Like the first, you have to completely ignore any logic, especially concerning the gestation cycle of the aliens, but oh well, it's not like you expected otherwise.

Beowulf 3D - Um... ok I guess.  Considering just the movie, it was alright.  As much as I love seeing technology advance as far as the animation, the Zemeckis brand has never impressed me and mostly annoyed me, I hated Polar Express.  Some of them looked pretty good, some of the time.  John Malkovich's character looked awful all of the time.  The action stuff was cool, I guess, excepting the retarded Austin Powers obscure the sausage scene.  When it comes to the 3D, I still find this to be a technology completely an unnecessary novelty.  It offers nothing beyond fancy title screens and "omg there's a rock coming at my face" thrills.  I'm sure someday it will develop into a medium that utilizes its advantages over 2D to tell stories in completely different ways.  Though that's clearly not today, I suppose it has to start somewhere, it's that's ok for now.

Seraphim Falls - Been waiting a while for this one, finally was able to.  It didn't totally catch me, for most of it.  It's sort of a Searchers-style slow chase movie.  Parts of that were good, but the cavalcade of characters they met on the way sometimes felt forced and hokey to me.  But then the last 15 minutes came along and allasudden made it a good movie.  The ending was weird, not sure if I agree with what they did (there were only two real options), but the last sequence was so surreal and cool, I decided they knew what they were doing.

 Captivity - Meh.  If the purpose was to be scary, no.  If the purpose was to be Saw, no.  If the purpose was to ogle Eliza Cuthbert, not even that.

For Your Consideration - Ha!  This movie is insane.  I love it, but it's pretty damn annoying.  Everyone in this movie is a douche, which is sort of the point.  It's a behind the scenes, creating and releasing a movie.  I mostly liked it a lot, it's pretty funny.  But it's pretty dang over the top.  Sometimes it's bad to play obnoxious so well.  That being said, I probably like it more than any other Christopher Guest movie I've seen.

The TV Set - This is an old one, very much like For Your Consideration, except behind the scenes on writing, filming, and releasing a TV show.  Not as over the top as FYC, and as a result both not as good and not as annoying.  So what am I saying here?  I guess these people can't win with me!

My Super Exgirlfriend - Why do I even watch these movies?

Flushed Away - Kind of Wallace and Grommit animation does Ratatouille.  Cute, I guess, but I saw it yesterday and I already forgot what happened.

Sexy Korean Park Statues

Um, wow.

Dec 23, 2007

Traveler IQ Challenge

Totally cool game.  I got lvl 6 with 160,000 on the first try.  I gotta say, though, it's really embarassing to be off by 15 thousand miles.

Dec 19, 2007

Halo 3 Artist Self-Portrait

I don't usually post illusions anymore, this site has as many as you could want.  But I thought this one was particularly neat.

Duke Nukem Forever Teaser

No. Effin'. Way.

Movie Reviews @ The Temple

So, I've been forgetting to do these, not sure what all the movies I've seen since the last time, but I'll try.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - This movie was incredible.  It was slower than molasses, such that it was as much painting as it was movie (though I could have done without the Gladiator-esque hands-through-the-tall-grass shots).  I can see how the pace might put people off, but if you have the patience, it is beautiful.  Brad Pitt is great, and Casey Affleck is astounding.

The Mist - This was a steaming pile of poo, basically.  There are two things this movie could have been: (1) straight up scary horror movie.  Mysterious danger, confined place, monsters, sure.  But the CG is god awful, seriously worse than a scifi movie.  And it's just not all that scary, really.  (2) examination of human nature - people who are trapped have different extreme reactions.  Unfortunatley, this movie is basically the sound-byte, armchair psychology, freshmen sociology paper version of an intelligent examination of human nautre, and I haaaaaated it.  So, right, don't see it, I'd say.

I Am Legend - on the other hand, WOW!  I mean, it's not perfect, "only okay" CG, forced climax, and it's not really the movie they advertised.  But jeez, it is really good.  Will Smith is amazing, I think my favorite thing from him ever.  The isolation was great, I left the theater feeling lonely myself.  And the thing with the dog, damn.