Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hell is for Heroes

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I bought this DVD a couple of months ago because it was cheap and it was Steve McQueen (I'm still slowly attempting to fill in all the gaps regarding McQueen movies I haven't seen.) It's nothing really spectacular. The opening titles are cheesy. The score is really dated. And at the end they mixed actual WWII footage into the movie. It wasn't horrible, either, but I find the most interesting part of the movie to actually be the cast.
Steve McQueen, of course
James Coburn
Bobby Darin(!)
and introducing
Bob Newhart

Friday, April 27, 2007


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I don't even listen to music anymore on my mp3 player. I've got podcasts backlogged, in a couple of cases, all the way back to 2005. And on top of that there are new daily and weekly podcasts always coming out. But I thought I'd take a second to promote some of the podcasts I listen to. especially

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Australian DVDs...

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...and their limited edition tin (or wood, for The Godfather Trilogy) packaging. Just cool to look at, I think. There are more at

Thanks to Kevin for the link.

Déjà Vu (The movie)

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I don't know what theory of time travel the writers of this movie subscribe to, but it doesn't seem to be one that makes sense, in my opinion. If you haven't seen the movie, you probably won't really understand what I mean. (Before I go any further, I have to give credit to the writer/direct/or producer who made one of the best Beach Boys songs they ever recorded a central element of the movie.)

The reason believed Doug could go to the past and change things is because he saw (again) the message on Claire's refrigerator, which we should know from the beginning of the movie, he sent to himself. Here's where it starts to fall apart. When he arranged the letters on the fridge, Claire was alive, and Doug knew she could be saved, but when he received the message, she hadn't been saved from Carroll. When we see him arrange the letters, Claire is already saved, and future Doug will never get the message because her house will never be part of the criminal investigation.

I feel like I'm about to go into some circular Joseph Heller logic here. If Doug stops the explosion from happening, then Doug never goes back in time to stop the explosion from happening. The explosion has to happen in order for the chain of events that leads to Doug going back in time to occur. Only then can he stop the explosion. But if he stops it, he never even knows that it's possible to go back in time, and the explosion will still happen. This entire movie is one big paradox.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Grrrrr!!! Fox cancels Drive

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I should have expected as much from the network that canceled Firefly after airing the episodes out of order and not airing the pilot until the end. 4 episodes (if you count the 2-hour premiere as 2)? Ridiculous! I now believe the 5th Graders from Are You Smarter Than...are in charge over there.

My email to Fox:

Is there ANYONE at the network that's smarter than a 5th Grader?! Firefly, now Drive. You people are nuts. You don't deserve to have the talents of Nathan Fillion and Tim Minear in your filthy Simon Cowell-infested studios.

Drive has been impounded.

Multiple sources confirm that Fox has axed the Tim Minear creation after less than three weeks on the air. I'll go out on a limb and say the show's crappy ratings were to blame. House encores will take over its Monday/8 pm time slot.

There is one piece of good news: I'm hearing the final two unaired Drive eps may get burned off on consecutive Fridays in May.


Saturday, April 21, 2007


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I got my Entertainment Weekly in the mail today. Summer movie issue. It has this.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Surreal drive and Wallet 2.0

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I drove from work at the base, today, to the mall to get some Chick-fil-A and Starbuck's as a late lunch. There seemed to be an inordinate number of odd sights along the way. A man riding his horse in the grass next to the road. Even stranger is that he had his dog with him, walking right next to the horse (if you know me, you probably know I would never have my dog next to a road without a leash on purpose.) Then a minute later there's a guy riding his bike on the road...wearing an acoustic guitar on his back. I'm sure he had some reason. Just weird. Then, at the Nutter Center, I passed something like 3 dozen marching bands in the parking lot warming up, setting up, getting ready for what had to be some sort of competition.


Star Wars USB flash drives

These are awesome. But they're too expensive for the amount of memory you get.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

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No lectures please about how the movies don't follow the books at all. I'm aware, I just don't care. I love this series. The summer of 2002 saw Damon out-acting Affleck to lead Bourne to a bigger box-office than The Sum of All Fears. (Well, let's face it, I could out-act Ben Affleck.) I got excited about The Bourne Identity something like a year and a half before it came out. I remember seeing 4 pieces of information on the internet that justified the excitement.

1. Doug Liman - Fresh off two little pictures by the titles "Swingers" and "Go", as director (btw, there's a Mr. and Mrs. Smith TV show in production?!)

2. Franka Potente - This was the first English-language film I'd become aware of her involvement with (Blow hadn't come out yet) since seeing her in Lola Rennt and Der Krieger und die Kaiserin.

3. Mr. Matt Damon Man - Okay, I wasn't really a fan yet (Bourne changed that), but I'd seen him in plenty of movies to know he could carry a film. Everything he's done since has just solidified his reputation as an actor even more than a movie star.

4. A single still from the film - This was actually probably the biggest source of excitement for me. If I remember it correctly, it was a movie still of Damon standing in a wide-open area in an obviously European city. (I wish I could find that still, but I've seen the movie so many times, I'm not sure I'd recognize it anymore.) It was and is that European-ness that pushed the first two films beyond most other spy thrillers. And not in a James Bond way with all the gadgets (this was before Casino Royale.) Bourne is a man alone, smarter than everyone around him, and capable of taking down anyone without raising his heart rate.

And so we come to the start of promotion for Ultimatum. Admittedly, I'm not thrilled that Paul Greengrass is returning instead of Doug Liman. The story and acting was great in Supremacy, but the car chase scenes were ridiculous in the fact that everything was shot in shaky handheld closeups so we can't even see what's going on. Doug Liman kept the camera back away from the car and let us see that it was all really happening there in front of us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Film snobbery

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I find it kind of funny that people seem to think it's impressive to lie about seeing certain movies, when, based on what they're lying about, they probably haven't even heard of the movies I'd be impressed by if they'd seen them. The segment of the article below calls these people "film bluffs", movies buffs pretending to be film buffs. I hardly think seeing The DaVinci Code qualifies anyone to be a film buff. Ron Howard and Tom Hanks. Aren't these the guys reponsible for bringing us Splash, not to mention Bosom Buddies and Happy Days?

Shouldn't they be at least lying about seeing movies by Kieslowski, Kurosawa, Truffaut, Antonioni, Bergman, Clouzot, Godard, Tarkovsky, Fellini, Kar Wai Wong, David Lean, even Gilliam, instead of Spielberg, Coppola, Darabont, and Jackson?

I have no problem admitting to liking Love, Actually (see below). Keira Knightley spends 10 minutes on screen and makes every man watching fall in love with her. The Colin Firth story is terrific. And this comes from someone who's cynical about love and romance.

Tom Beaumont-Griffin, the creator of, said: "Films are so much a part of our everyday conversation that it's no great surprise that we tend to bluff about what films we've seen to keep up with our colleagues, friends and family.

"The fact that we judge people on their film tastes is testament that films play such an important part in our lives on a daily basis.

"More and more people are conversing over the variety of films they have seen — not just the big summer blockbusters, but more quirky and offbeat films — to demonstrate their cultural prowess."

The survey was conducted by YouGov, which interviewed a representative sample of 2,489 people in February.

The films we wish we'd seen and the ones we did

Top five films to lie about seeing

1 Schindler's List

2 The Da Vinci Code

3 The Godfather

4 Apocalypse Now

5 Gone with the Wind

Top five films people like but dislike admitting to

1 The Sound Of Music

2 Ghost

3 Dirty Dancing

4 Love, Actually

5 Harry Potter

Top five "film-drops"

1 The Shawshank Redemption

2 The Green Mile

3 The Lord Of The Rings

4 The Godfather

5 Casino Royale

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Sarah Connor Chronicles

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First Sarah Connor Chronicles Photo

Source: Spoon
April 13, 2007 posted this first photo from Fox pilot "The Sarah Connor Chronicles," starring Lena Headey(300) and Thomas Dekker ("Heroes").

Written by Josh Friedman, the project takes place after the events depicted in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and follows Sarah Connor (Headey), a modern warrior and loving single mom to 15-year-old son John (Dekker).

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sony DVDs + Sony DVD players = whoops

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Sony Films Won't Play on Sony DVD Players, Say Reports

Complaints have begun appearing on some tech websites that copyright-protection coding on new releases from Sony, including Stranger Than Fiction, The Holiday, Casino Royale, and The Pursuit of Happyness, has made them unplayable on certain DVD players. One person complained on an discussion board that when inserted in Sony's DVP-CX995V player, the disks "load up to the splash title screen and then load no further, then after about 60 secs the player turns itself off!" The writer said that when he contacted Sony he was told that the company was aware of the problem and that it was working on a firmware update. The writer then asked Sony, "Would it not be a good idea to test changes you intend to make on your DVDs at least on your own equipment so that if you find a problem you could have the firmware update available instead of not only inconveniencing, but alienating your own customers?"

Saturday, April 14, 2007


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All you slackers that gave up on Lost should be regretting it right about now.


The encouraging news: A sneak peek at upcoming episodes finds Lost delivering some serious storytelling goods. The April 18 outing sheds more light on Desmond's future flashes and brings a new character to the island. The April 25 installment — building on the recent disclosure that women who get pregnant on the island appear doomed to die — reveals the paternity of Sun's baby and has an ending that will leave theory spinners reconsidering their scenarios. And on May 2, fans will learn the answer to one of Lost's biggest mysteries, ''something we set up way back in season 1,'' says Lindelof. Care to be more specific? ''No way.''

The season's final three episodes are cloaked in mystery. Will the May 9 hour, entitled ''The Man Behind the Curtain,'' finally lay bare the Dharma Initiative mythology? ''No comment,'' teases Cuse. ''But it would be interesting if we finally met someone who was actually part of the Initiative.'' As for the two-hour May 23 finale, rumors of war and death abound. (RIP, Dominic Monaghan's Charlie and Michael Emerson's Ben?) Lindelof says they wrote the finale mindful that viewers probably won't see Lost again until January 2008 — when it would launch a rerun-free season, and perhaps the beginning of the end of the show itself. The producers have long approached Lost as a novel with a definitive final chapter, and have been in negotiations with ABC about determining and announcing an end date for the series. Such a move would be fairly unprecedented in broadcast television — and could imbue Lost with renewed urgency. But for now, neither side is commenting on the talks. ''Discussions continue'' is all Cuse will say.

60,026.2 - mile marathon

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Astronaut Sunita L. Williams, Expedition 14 flight engineer, equipped with a bungee harness, exercises on the Treadmill Vibration Isolation System (TVIS) in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Science Daily NASA astronaut Suni Williams will go faster than anyone has ever gone in the Boston Marathon. She will run the famed race in April as an official entrant from 210 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. This will be the first time an astronaut in space will be an official participant in a marathon.

Williams hopes her unique run will serve as an inspiration.

"I encourage kids to start making physical fitness part of their daily lives," Williams said. "I think a big goal like a marathon will help get this message out there."

Williams, who is an accomplished marathoner, has served aboard the space station since December 2006 as a member of the Expedition 14 crew. She will run the race on a station treadmill, circling Earth at least twice in the process, running as fast as eight miles per hour but flying more than five miles each second.

And she will not be alone in her adventure. Her sister Dina Pandya and a fellow NASA astronaut, Karen Nyberg, will run the race in Boston. Williams and Nyberg qualified for the Boston race by finishing among the top 100 females in the Houston Marathon in January 2006.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Star Wars / Heroes / Greg Grunberg / Storm Trooper

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Words just aren't needed.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Buddy Holly Story

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One of my favorite musical sequences in any movie is the opening to The Buddy Holly Story in the roller rink. Gary Busey, Charles Martin Smith, and Don Stroud were playing their own instruments live in front of the camera, starting off with some country-gospel tunes, but then moving on to songs "for the boppers, those of you who bop." At the opening chords of 'Rock Around with Ollie Vee' mothers were dragging their kids away from the devil music. At the end of the song the extras playing the crowd were so enthusiastic that the actors nearly broke character. There's a great shot of Charles Martin Smith holding his hand up waiting to count off for the next song while the teenage girls are clapping, and he gets this embarassed smile on his face. It's the real thing. They're so overwhelmed by the crowd and he's just waiting for the director to call "cut", but it never happens, and they have to play on.

Some people feel that these three actors performed some of the songs even better than Buddy and the Crickets did and the music is available on it's own soundtrack. Unfortunately it's out of print and ridiculously expensive (about $42 on amazon.)

As for the movie itself, there is alway controversy anytime there's a movie made about a real person, especially when done without that person's input.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Chuck Berry, 1980

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Thanks to Kevin for pointing me to this Chuck Berry interview scanned from a vintage St. Louis magazine.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your pants."

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In keeping with the continued posting of things that aren't mine, may I direct your attention to over 250 Star Wars lines that are improved by substituting the word "pants".

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Star Wars stamps

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Trees all over the city quite literally blossomed overnight. They didn't have these blossoms yesterday, it rained, and now they do.