Sep 24, 2009

Windows 7 Launch Parties

Everyone knows that this idiotic launch party thing is lame, it quickly became canonical.  However, did you know it could be AWESOME with the right editing?

Sep 17, 2009

Event Reviews @ The Temple

Soo… it’s a new section here at the temple.  But I was thinking, I write down these silly reviews not for my nonexistent readership but for myself.  It’s a notebook, public but not personal, about what I thought of things.  Someone asked me the other day my favorite PS3 games, I said I’d check my blog.  I was entering Netflix ratings last week and couldn’t remember if I liked M, I checked my blog.  I write these so I remember what I thought, as those thoughts won’t last the week, so why not for concerts and the like?  I include “the like” because though this is being kicked off with a electric rock music show (that’s said in a midwestern accent), it will soon include The Kiterunner and if I had started it several months ago would have included my first opera.  So, here goes my digital memory.

Ryanhood (opened by Telescope) – So I went out tonight to see Telescope.  They are an arizona band.  They are just pop rock, nothing amazing, I have no illusion that they are particularly unique.  But I do occasionally like the pop rock, and all things being equal I’d just assume pay an indie band, and all indie bands equal I might as well support arizona music.  They are a good band, I do legitimately like them, they just aren’t revolutionizing music.  Their stage show is a bit iffy, they don’t have the presence yet.  The lead singer guy is the best of the bunch, but doesn’t have an excess of personality.  The other singer is fine, but he has a permanent uncomfortable looking smile on his face while he performs, it’s like he’s forcing it.  The bassist is just weird, jumping around in his shorts (never a good idea) and trying to rock the bass guitar.  There’s something odd about watching a rock band, it’s never settled with me.  Go to a jazz-ish concert and I buy some guy rocking out on his sax, or piano, or bass.  But watching white boys in their 20s jump around with a gee-tar, and it seems too cliched, too corny.  Not their fault, definitely my issue, just funny.  Anyway, they were good, I should buy their new album.  They gave their first one away for free, and that deserves compensation.

Ryanhood I had never heard of, though it seems they are a Tucson band (they referenced Rincon High and Beaver’s Band Box) and clearly had a local following.  They are absolutely the better musicians of the night, at least the guitarists (Ryan Green and Cameron Hood) are, the bassist and drummer are average, not better or worse than Telescope.  But they, especially Ryan, have some legitimate skillzuhzuh.  The song writing is solid, there’s some very good music in there.  The lyrics are less so, 80% of them are about chicks, and that’s just tiresome to me.  I get that everyone has boy/girl troubles, and so everyone writes songs about them, and they relate to everyone.  But we’ve been doing boy/girl troubles songs for a about a 100 years in a mass-distributed kind of way, there’s not much more to say.  But there are some good bits in there, and generally I don’t listen to lyrics much anymore, so if they aren’t overt, love song stuff doesn’t bother me.  They have a very strong stage charisma, especially Cameron.  They are funny and tell stories and get along with the audience well.  They were certainly the better show, though I went for the first.  Overall a very satisfactory night for 10 bucks.

Can’t Stop The Serenity 2009 – So I guess this is a thing, I didn’t know about it.  For the past 4 years Whedon fans, nationally, have organized local charity events where they watch serenity and the proceeds go to Equality Now, an organization for women/girls.  This year it included Dr. Horrible, held at the Loft, gonna be a big party.  The event was fun, they had this “shadowcast” group which is apparently where you stand in front of the movie and pantomime what’s going on.  They were pretty good, timing wasn’t exquisite, but they had clever ways of handling various scenes. The show is awesome, of course, but then I watch it about once a week, so it’s not like I went for that.  There was an intro by fans and featuring whedon, tudyk, and fillion, which was neat.  Though honestly, the quality was shit.  I mean, did they film that on a webcam? From 1995? Made by “Lojitek”? A flip cam is like 20 bucks at this point, guys.  Even an iphone can record better looking video than that.  Not that you can really give any shit to people who put so much effort into something for charity.  I’m just saying, a better looking video would help the cause, yeah?  Anyway, it was fine, the celebrity bits were funny, quotes by fans were often funny.  Here’s the problem with this event: people.  Attention all people everywhere ever: YOU ARE NOT FUCKING FUNNY.  Jesus christ!  I know it’s a sing-a-long, and that was great.  I know it’s a big party event, so of course people are going to be talking and saying lines and being silly, I don’t have a problem with that in principle.  I have a problem with the fucking morons who yell out their stupid shit that they clearly planned out and is at best not funny, at worst annoying as hell.  People just think they are so damn clever, even the people who say the thing someone else JUST SAID.  Even the people who yell jokes I’m fairly convinced their 5 year old niece wrote for them.  It was really obnoxious.  Even the people who are just saying the obvious joke, or stealing the joke from the movie, which we obviously all know! I know I’m an anti-social misanthrope and have a general and abiding dislike for the majority of our fine race, but christ. It was tolerable for dr. horrible, it was fun to sing a long, and it’s a show that’s built for that environment.  But there was no way in hell I was staying for serenity.  I don’t need these jackasses ruining a great movie for me.  As such, I missed the costume contest and raffle, but I didn’t see anyone in the audience dressed particularly amazingly. A friend did win a signed lunchbox with a lucky fortune cookie (they passed them out at entry), which was funny.  It was a fun event, I bitch too much, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from going, most people probably wouldn’t mind the jackassery as much as me anyway.  ‘sides, charity and all that, yeah? Oh, also, people: they can’t hear you in the movie when you clap for them.  If you clap and have a litlte mini orgasm in your pants because your make believe boyfriend nathan fillian is on the screen, he can’t hear you, and I miss his next three sentences, shut the eff up, k?  … jesus, I really am a misanthrope.

Advanced DOS Strategies

Wow. I mean, holy crap wow.  I can’t decide what the most amazing part of this video is!  The over acting? The fake conversational style? Her comically large jacket? ALWAYS FORMAT B?  Oldfood?!  HAHA!

Sep 16, 2009

“Two Weeks” Fan Video

Man, between this and the daft punk thing I posted before, these may be fan videos, but they are hardly amateur.  I guarantee these are better than anything MTV has shown in the past year (just go with me here and pretend MTV plays music).

Sep 15, 2009

Beer Bottle Inspector Gadget

I’d give him a buck!

Movie Reviews @ The Temple

Nine – So this was pretty much my most anticipated movie of the summer.  More so than District 9 (which had too much hype so I ignored) or Basterds (which didn’t have much hype).  I was convinced this movie was going to rock my shit, it just looked like exactly what I wanted.  Sadly, nothing can live up to that, certainly not this movie.  It’s not a bad movie, it’s even a good movie, but it has its fair share of failings, and it did not rock my anything.  Random things: the magnet was completely unnecessary and very uncomfortable.  The bad guy sounds were as distracting as they were scary.  Speaking of sounds, I think that without strong facial animation, the movie relied on gasps to convey emotions.  This led to scenes that literally went: Puppet 1: “oh!”  Puppet 2: “OH!”  Puppet 3: “ah!”  It was lazy and weird.  I like that the girl is a total badass, that’s a nice touch. To the overall picture - I do like the animation, I like the style, I love the sackboy thing, it reminds me of this video I loved and linked some time ago.  The framework for the world is solid, everyone loves an apocalyptic future.  Having a band of characters is always the most fun, the characterization here is good, if archetypical.  Sadly the plot is just not there.  It is rushed, and at the same time meandering.  It’s got an shakey staccato rhythm to it that leaves you unsure what’s a crest and what’s a valley, when should you be excited, afraid, or joyous.  The idea of the plot isn’t bad, it is just executed in such a way that is awkward.  More importantly, it isn’t epic.  A movie like this has to be epic.  The trailer is epic. The music is epic. The themes are epic. But the movie is not, it begins with a sense of wonder, but proceeds with an unsure footing, and ends with an odd whimper.  It should have been great, instead of just good, I feel like we lost out on something awesome, but maybe I saw something that was never there. 

Severence – Some random low budget british horror movie.  More of a deliverance style movie than horror.  Except not memorable or interesting.  Kinda bloody, only one part really.  The rest is out and out average.  I recognize one of the girls in it, not sure from what, but besides that it’s just a bunch of random people they apparently picked off the streets.  Not that they did that bad, it was reasonable for random people, but there’s nothing worthwhile here.

Isolation – Is this british week?   This is a monster movie, also british, or maybe or scottish or irish or something, some kinda UK.  It reminded me kind of a Scott Sigler book, genetic engineering (or something like that) gone wrong, monster terrorizes people.  But those books would probably make pretty cheesy movies, they are good because he reads them and there’s personality there.  This is a pretty cheesy monster movie.  That’s pretty much all there is to say about it.  Not bad enough to be good, certainly not good enough to be good.

The Uninvited – I guess this is a remake of an asian movie, big surprise.  It’s a murder mystery / ghost story, I guess.  It’s a “twist” movie, though the twist isn’t that interesting.  The movie as a whole isn’t that interesting.  Without the twist, it’s just an average suspense/murder movie.  Add the twist and it’s different, but not better.  Twists are pretty much done, you can’t do them well anymore.  Not that I sat up at the 45 minute mark and said “aha I know what the twist is”.  But when the twist happened it was just “oh, yeah, okay, I guess that makes sense”  Not sure if we get mind blowing twists anymore, there’s only so many possible answers, the twist being one of them isn’t that big a deal.  Anyway, movie is fine, nothing to bother seeing.

Sunshine Cleaning – Note to the filmmakers: you made little miss sunshine, you can’t make another movie with sunshine movie, sorry.  Note to Alan Arkin: see above.  But besides that?  It’s a cute enough movie.  Not as good as little miss sunshine, certainly.  it’s less quirky (that’s bonus points), but misses the rest of the boat.  Amy Adams is good, but she kinda has the same look on her face as she did in doubt.  she needs more than one face (the zooey deschanel sydnrome) if she’s going to last another movie for me.  The story is nice, predictable from top to bottom, the trailer tells you it all.  There’s worse ways to spend a couple hours, but meh, no need to rush.

The Spirit – Believe it or not, this was not as bad as you’d think.  I’m not saying it’s good, naturally, just not as bad as I imagined from… from pretty much everything I’ve seen.  So first there’s the style, Frank Miller obviously looked at zach snyder and said “hey! talent! I think I lost mine in the 90s!” and took the black/white isolated color thing, except he forgot to do it good.  It’s exaggerated in a not-fun way, some of the effects look really cheesy, there’s this blood covered sword at one point that reminded me of roger rabbit.  But it’s not all of the movie, so it’s not too offensive.  The rest of the movie is though.  Okay, not offensive, just aggressively mediocre (I love that phrase).  The movie really just tries way too hard.  It’s overtly noir, overacted, over the top, tongue in cheek, and reminiscent of previous times.  And it’s all on purpose, I hope.  But it’s not done well, it falls flat, it doesn’t feel cool or interesting, it just feels forced.  The main guy tries to be too sexy, samuel jackson tries to be too crazy, scarlett johansen tries to be too aloof, the police recruit tries to talk too loud.  It’s all just too much and not convincing.  So here’s my surprise: it was actually a descent idea.  I can see the pitch, cool stylized graphics, throwback to old movies, an homage and a parody.  But it turned more into dick tracy, except cheesier.  You heard me, cheesier than Dick Tracy.

Tell No One – So, this is a french suspense movie.  Kind of a murder mystery, kind of conspiracy movie.  At first I was into it, it seemed to have an atmosphere and play with time in a way that I was into.  But 30 minutes in it was clear it’s just a normal suspense movie.  It’s not bad or anything, it just kind of does what you’d think.  It’s got a mystery and I guess i had no idea what was going on.  But that was at least as much because I didn’t care as because I couldn’t guess.  It just didn’t pull me in enough to unravel the mystery.  I do like the conclusion, it has a romantic longing element that you don’t find in these movies.  Quite touching in its way.  But besides that, it didn’t have much for me.

Dead Man’s Cards – Kinda random irish boxer movie.  Had a hard time understanding them, truth to tell.  Kind of a gangster movie too.  Kind of a I’m gonna redeem myself I did shitty things movie, get out of the life movie.  I guess it was okay, I wasn’t really paying attention. I was kinda bored.

Class Act – There was an ad for this before that Chalk movie I didn’t like, this one was much much better.  It’s a real documentary, nominally about this old drama teacher in miami beach who happens to have taught a lot of semi-famous people, but also many examples of teaching of the arts, and the troubles there, around the country.  It’s a little bit sporadic, for that.  It jumps from subject to subject, different teachers, schools, or foundations.  It’s not necessarily hard to follow, it just doesn’t linger or even let you settle on one issue.  But it’s still a good movie, very likable, very charming.  It’s not hard to be on the side of education and arts education, unless you are an idiot.  I don’t imagine this movie convincing any idiots to stop being idiotic, but I generally don’t imagine that of any documentary.  It’s a nice movie though.

Bobby – I remember this coming out, but somehow it completely escaped my memory until just now.  It’s this carefully constructed (one might say overly constructed) movie of many peoples lives and how they intersected with the assassination of robert kennedy.  If I thought class act was sporadic, jesus.  This movie can’t sit fucking still, it is constantly jumping from person to person and story to story, not only was i not keeping up, I was horrendously bored and stopped paying attention.  It’s also so god damn chock full of celebrities its kind of ridiculous.  Seriously like 20 high B, or A list level celebrities.  And, fair or not, that is incredibly distracting.  This is why people make movies with no stars in them, because I wasn’t thinking “oh, the life of this doorman is fascinating” I was thinking “jesus fucking christ, everyone is in this movie!”  The end of the movie is fairly effective, but then that’s mostly because of direct audio of a robert kennedy speech.  That’s the best part of the movie, and it’s not really of the movie.  The movie just tries too hard, it’s too clever.  The end is good, and some of the individual stories are good, but it does too much and it comes out scattered instead of cohesive.

Sep 13, 2009

User-made Daft Punk Video

Don’t let the first 30 seconds that seem stupid fool you, this ends up really cool, and really hard to pull off, I’d think!

Sep 4, 2009

United States of Sin

This is kinda cool.  But what the fuck is up with the south west and south east?  We’re some sinful mophos.  Here’s the problem, where’s the graph of racists, homophobes, mysogonists, and hypocrites?  Let’s fill in the middle of the country!

Sep 1, 2009

Re: vegan

It might be inevitable, that someday I end up vegan.  I am going to be sad that day, but not as sad as today.  I don’t want to be that kind of vegetarian.  I don’t want to be the asshole vegan anymore than the asshole atheist.  But I’m having a hard time seeing how you can be an okay person if you are okay with that.  I don’t eat eggs, but I do eat eggs if they are in something I buy, so I’ve got no moral high ground.  We’ll see how I continue to change, I guess.