Friday, August 28, 2009

Rumors of our demise were greatly exaggerated

100 can be a big number can’t it? If you make it to 100 years old, you’re considered healthy, a specimen stronger than 90% of your peers. 100 bucks is nothing to scoff at for the vast majority of the world’s population. 100 M&M’s filled that jar you tried to guess the contents of.

In the Blogging world, 100 kinda blows… well depending on how long it took you to get there. A really well written, ok scratch that, an obsessive blogger who cares to write content daily would be here in a few months. It took us three years. But yay for us!

A project born of communication between college friends expanded into commentary on media, booze, life, sports and empty thoughts. Readership is only a hundred or so people who all know us directly, mixed in with the hundred or so who stumble in from the wide world of the interwebs.

What matters about this blog is the ability to type what comes from our minds and have our friends absorb it. We used to have discussions about nothing on an hourly basis in our dorms and apartments. Now we only talk on birthdays, weddings and non-frequent random occasions. By placing thoughts and content on a equally assessable shelf, we can all hear… or read, the opinion of our friend again whom totally forgot we didn’t want to hear it in the first place.

So to our 100th post I say hello to my college brethren, all our gathered friends, and to the randoms who googled Miley Cyrus and found that one post where I wrote she’s a bimbo. I hope you come around for out next 100 as well.

A few good blogs are your allies in the fight against Mr. Clock

What do you do when you are bored? I read. I don’t read books per se, but I like to read articles; Stories and snippets on science and technology. Then there is the oft found blog about junk food and just junk that catches my eye. I thought I would share a few favorites.

This is Why You’re Fat is an incredible photojournalistic journey through some of the most disgustingly good looking food stuffs you could ever conceive. The skill some of these confection’s creators had to know the desires of our stomachs is beyond devine.

Everyone is familiar with the Gawker Media stable of blogs. I personally enjoy Kotaku’s work on video games, Gizmodo on technology and gadgets, and Lifehacker on 1,001 ways to improve the way you live your life.

Uncrate is a collection of things a guy never knew he needed to have until they told him. Five new items appear every day, and I recommend glancing through them all at the end of a hard day’s work earning your money to buy such devices.

Lunch Bag Art is a series of photographs by a video game artist who draws a new cartoon on his children’s lunch bags every day. All of you looking forward to being parents one day, this guy trumps you already.

Now if you forgive me, work needs to be done.

Monday, August 24, 2009

District 9

So I just saw this movie tonight, and in light of Jason's rave review, thought I would offer my own thoughts of it. I'll do my best to keep the plot spoiler free. If I'm to judge District 9 by the reactions of the person sitting next to me, then there's but one emotional response I need to go into: cringing. People explode in this movie. Lots of people, lots of exploding. If you've ever imagined a way that someone could possibly explode, this movie has you covered. Ok, to be fair there are some funny moments, the action and animation are top notch, and the whole human/alien oppression shtick hits pretty true. But man, this movie is gruesome.

The other point I wanted to make is about the aliens. Jason's review noted a real sense of caring for what come to be known as "prawns". I'd say he's half right. As a race they definitely come off as less despicable than their human oppressors, but there's only ever a couple of them that are given much regard, which I thought still fell a little short.

At any rate, if you can get past the abundance of exploding and gore, District 9 is a good movie. Action and aliens set to a solid, if guilt-inducing, story. Also, a robot. What more could you ask for?

Friday, August 21, 2009

District 9 equals total awesomeness

Very minor content and non-plot based spoiler alerts for those who have not seen District 9.

Not a spoiler alert: I am a geek. I love Sci-Fi.

I love this fucking movie.

District 9 elicited several emotions out of the person sitting next to me and myself. Laughter. Cheers. Anger. Crying. Really really crying. Fear. Disgust. Lots more cheers.

The basic plot is about aliens coming to earth, not really having any wherewithal to take care of themselves or find a way home, and the humans abusing them, segregating them, and trying to steal their technology.

What develops is a story about one man who is a self absorbed idiot, who somehow got the hot wife and thus a cushy job from her dad. Our “hero” never inspired much sympathy from me because his heroic acts are all self-involved, and hes a doofus.

Who I did/do cheer for are the “Prawn” or aliens. I found a very high level of emotion levied in them, and found myself drawn to their plight and personal desires. I caught myself wanting so badly for the humans to be slaughtered and the Prawn to escape back to their home world. The emotional journey you are taken on, from curiosity about the creatures, to disgust for human nature, to anger over torture, to joy when at least some aliens improve their lives, is a long trip.

I found myself the day after during a long drive, daydreaming about the alien characters I had just met, their incredible technology, guns, robots and the battles that ensued. I wanted to hear the child alien’s words again, and I wanted to watch 100 more human bodies explode upon use of the alien lightning gun. In other words, this is a DVD purchase.

Director Neil Blomkamp would have killed it if he got to make his Halo movie, instead he created this masterpiece. I feel this is a story that makes comments on bigotry, racism, class struggles, weapons industries, and the general disgusting feeling you get when you look at what really drives the human condition. Probably the most memorable line for me of the whole movie happens right away. “Not everyone was shocked when the alien ship did not come to rest over New York, Los Angeles or Chicago; but in Johannesburg.”

Simple messages, simple pleasures. Go see this and enjoy the CGI, enjoy the weapons, enjoy the action and the emotions. Stop for a second and think about the comments the movie makes, and then see the damn thing again cause it is so fun.

Hopefully you walk away feeling the same way I did; wanting the aliens to declare war on Earth and blow it all up. In this movie, we deserve it.

Score: 5 out of 5 for wicked alien badassery

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Why Ad writers don't write movies... most of the time

Reading some news articles… who am I kidding… blog posts today, I found myself wondering why so many people, millions really, are so shocked that Transformers 1 and 2 were some of the worst movies ever made. G.I. Joe is ready to step in and take T2’s spot next week. Why such a shock though? Look at what you are working with for source material, and who was put in charge.

Transformers and G.I. Joe were not well written, story driven, childhood gems. They were commercials. 30 minuets long, decade spanning commercials, designed to sell toys. Trying to make a real movie out of them is like trying to take the Geico cavemen and make a TV show…. Oh yea, opps... well, point proven.

We didn’t watch these shows because they had stories on par with Looney Toons or Chip and Dales Rescue Rangers. We watched them because they had toy tie ins that we were captivated by and bought.

Very few of these series in the 80s had anything close to smart intellectual property, and because of that, I don’t ever expect the likes of Michael Bay or any other talentless director to be able to craft a real story about them.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a moderate amount of entertainment value and success as a movie franchise, but that was because the source material had real writing and didn’t have to showcase a new vehicle or character every week to buy. There is one other hope for a great movie from our childhood in line with the Turtles. Thundercats.

The Thundercats were one of the most unique and well written ideas and series in the entirety of the decade, and it would transfer over beautifully to the live action big screen with the correct team.

Just take a look at what fans were able to do. (from io9) Gets you kinda juiced up doesn’t it?