Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Reactions


The opening monologue was amazing. But will people give them grief for making light of the recession? I don’t care. Jackman was great.

· Reading the supporting actress nominees took ENTIRELY too long. Entirely. If the whole night goes like this…I’ll be up until 2am.

· Steve Martin and Tina Fey were hilarious as Screenwriting presenters. I also LOVE the idea of reading the script as we see the finished product. GO SLUMDOG.

· Half an hour in and my wife has already told me to see WALL-E three times.

· I did enjoy the musical montage, though it was clear that Beyonce was lipsyncing. I would have chosen different songs—though it was entertaining. I give it a B, overall.

· Really no surprises, except for supporting actress.

· In the middle of the awards, I realized that I absolutely admire each of the best director nominees, and I’ve seen multiple films from each. I wouldn’t have been upset with any of them winning (though I’m quite happy Boyle got it).

· I did say earlier that having five former best supporting actresses, but I have to admit that seeing the five former best actresses up there, it’s pretty damn impressive.

· I particularly enjoyed the best actor montage. Lots of good memories there.

· Ditto with the impressiveness of the former best actors. Magnificent Seven soundtrack??? I guess for Yul Brynner.

· Big surprise with Sean Penn. I wanted to hear what Mickey Rourke was going to say. I did like Penn’s speech, though.

· Loved the best picture montage. Glad Slumdog won.

This is What Happens When You Hire a Terrible Coach and No One Comes to Your Games.

Michigan lowers price of football tickets for 2009 season.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wil Wheaton Says the Watchmen Movie is Good

In a nice spoiler-clean review, Wil Wheaton talks about his impressions on the Watchmen movie. His conclusion: we don't have anything to worry about.

Read the review.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Watchmen on DVD Will Come in Tall, Grande, and Venti

A friend passed on this link to me today, and I felt I needed to do the same. Zach Snyder, director of the anticipated Watchmen movie, is saying that he will release at least three different versions of the film on DVD--for the obsessed, the very obsessed, and the downright fanatical.

I've gotta say that at this point, I'm downright fanatical about Watchmen; whether that fanaticism carries over to the video medium...well, we'll find out on March 6th, won't we?

Check out the article: Watchmen will come in long, extra-long and really extra long.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Hidden Door Company

I remember as a kid going to one of the Ford family mansions and being astounded by the grandeur of practically everything. Henry Ford built a playhouse for his kids--but instead of a normal kids' playhouse like you might expect, this was a stand-alone actual house--complete with bathroom, kitchen, the works. In the early 20th century.

What really got to me, though, were the secret passages. I was REALLY into anything secret: secret passages, secret agents, secret societies. Probably because I'm an only child and wanted to feel like I was a part of something that other people weren't.

Well anyway, I stumbled upon this website recently, and I was transported back to the above scene. It's a company that custom designs and installs hidden doors into your home. Hidden doors, people! The kind where you pull a light fixture and it swings out, revealing a SECRET lair where you can...well, I don't know what you do in secret lairs if you aren't a mad scientist or a kidnapper, but it's still very cool.

No word on pricing, but if you're in the market for a hidden door, do you really care about money? Check it out.

The Hidden Door Company

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Do Not Buy the Kindle 2.

My friends, we stand on the brink of change. But not the kind of change that's being bandied about in Op-Ed pages or in the few pieces left jingling in people's pockets. No, alas, not that kind of change at all. Evil change. A change that will try to devour us without our even knowing it. A change for the worse.

I'm speaking, of course, about the Kindle 2, Amazon's second-generation e-book reader that has the tech pages aflutter with pictures of flat, eggshell-white blandness that promises to change the world. Even Oprah's on board. You download your e-books from the Kindle store, just like you download your music from the iTunes store, and off you go, reading Dorian Gray one minute and switching to the New York Times headlines the next.

I say no. I say NO. Leave our books alone, Amazon. Up until now I've respected you as a company, what with your free shipping on orders over $25 and your generous offer to let me buy both The Dark Knight and espresso beans at two in the morning. But enough is enough. You may not take my books from me.

I know what you're thinking. Hey, it's just a niche market. It's only for people who want the convenience of reading the newest novel or newspapers without having to carry around a bunch of different books or having to store all those books, useless once read, in dark, imposing bookshelves in the back room of your tastefully decorated home.

It may be that way now, Amazon, but with Sony's e-book reader gearing up to offer some stiff competition and other companies waiting in the wings, I see which way the tide is turning. But it's not too late to turn back now.

You must sell thousands and thousands of books every day. Don't you feel even a little loss when you're forced to send off one of those books, packing them lovingly in those smiling boxes? Wouldn't you rather just keep them, to show off to your friends and neighbors? I would, Amazon, and I think you would, too.

And I can guarantee you, Amazon, that no matter how bad things get--NO MATTER--I will NOT be showing my friends and neighbors my list of e-books that I've downloaded on my damn Kindle.

You know why, Amazon? Because I would rather the seething ghost of James Joyce come back from his rotting grave and tear off my flesh with his ethereal fingernails than succumb to the shame of having digital books. I would rather Jane Austen's zombified corpse slice open my head with a steak knife and feast upon my still-living brains. I would rather Mark Twain load a six shooter with the agonies of the entire world and shoot it directly into my heart...

Well, you get the idea.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


A student of mine lent me his copy of Watchmen. Wow. I don't think I'd ever read anything that could be remotely described as a comic before in my life, but if comic books are like this, maybe I should read more.

But I have a sense that very few comic books are like this. I found this article regarding Watchmen, which is being made into a movie for an early March release. Here's a passage from the article:

Who's watching Watchmen? Everybody apparently. This book -- or comic book, or graphic novel, or whatever you want to call it -- has been picked apart endlessly in the 20 years since it was first published. Every frame has been microscopically studied, its plot, characters and symbols charted out no less elaborately than Ulysses'. Its fans, like fans of everything else, are intensely protective and argumentative. Reading a book like this now, for the first time, is likely to result less in actual criticism than in intellectual alignment. What can be said has likely been said; the issue now is with whom do you agree.