2011 Movies

>> Saturday, December 31, 2011

  • True Grit
  • The Fighter
  • The Lincoln Lawyer
  • Jane Eyre
  • Toy Story 3
  • The Conspirator
  • Water for Elephants
  • Thor
  • Iron Man 2
  • Inception
  • Bad Teacher
  • Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 
  • A Small Act
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Straw Dogs 
  • Moneyball
  • My Week with Marilyn
  • Hugo
  • The Descendants
  • Young Adult
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo 


        Merry Christmas!

        >> Sunday, December 25, 2011

        So I had to go to church last night for Christmas Eve services.

        Had to listen to the (female) pastor give a sermon too last night.

        Blah, blah, blahbitty blah, blah, blah.

        That's all I got out of it.

        Or, I'd actually describe my reaction to it like this:

        When you're full of shit, you're full of shit. No amount of kumbaya sermons is ever going to change that.



        >> Saturday, December 10, 2011

        does this mean my Knightfall comics are going to increase in value after The Dark Knight Rises comes out? I'm inclined to think so particularly since DC Comics is going to release the entire saga in May 2012. I'm sure that's not a coincidence.

        I kind of wondered if Nolan was going to do this storyline ever since Bane was mentioned as one of the villains. Apparently so.

        I wonder if Batman will get his back broken by Bane this time around?

        Judging by the poster, I'm going with yes.


        Captain America: The First Avenger

        >> Saturday, October 1, 2011

        Gee, it's been a long time since I've seen a movie in a theater. Last time I was in a theater, I saw the last Harry Potter flick. (I hate being poor. It sucks!)

        So I finally saw Captain America and really, REALLY enjoyed it. This was a surprise for me because I've never been a huge fan of the character; however, I did appreciate the civil liberties stance Marvel gave him a few years ago. But I think not knowing as much about the characters allowed me to enjoy it even more. Like, I wasn't stressing out the first time I saw X-Men eleven years ago.

        Originally, I didn't think Chris Evans was right for Cap. Those Don Draper suggestions seemed so much better. Sorry, I meant Jon Hamm. But now I realize he would have been too old. One thing I’ve always thought about Chris Evans is that his face is rather generic. Which, I think, is a plus for an actor and, ultimately, why he works so well as Steve Rogers.

        I was glad that Emily Blunt didn’t play Peggy Carter. Since I’m not as familiar with Hayley Atwell, it allowed me to believe the romance between Steve and Peggy better. (Although, I do think Blunt would have made a much better Black Widow than ScarJo. Because what exactly does Scarlett bring to Natasha other than the ability to dye her hair red?) But Hayley did get the much better female role out of the two Marvel adaptations I've seen this summer. (I haven't seen X-Men: First Class yet.) Peggy Carter is far superior to Natalie Portman's Jane Foster in Thor. I didn't think that would be possible, but then Joss Whedon did an uncredited rewrite on the script as part of his Avengers contract. Which makes me actually look forward to seeing The Avengers when it comes out.


        On those greater generations...

        >> Sunday, September 18, 2011

        It is said that what is called "the spirit of an age" is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world's coming to an end. In the same way, a single year does not have just spring or summer. A single day, too, is the same.

        For this reason, although one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. This is the mistake of people who are attached to past generations. They have no understanding of this point.

        On the other hand, people who only know the disposition of the present day and dislike the ways of the past are too lax.
        ~Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure


        Ouch! It hurts to be Texas...

        >> Friday, September 9, 2011

        Texas has always had water scarcity problems. But on top of that now, we have a booming population, a lack of investment in our infrastructure and in water conservation in a lot of places, and we have climate change. I mean, this drought is not 100 percent a climate drought. It’s not—wasn’t caused by climate change. But as the state climatologist will—has been going around saying, it’s been enhanced because we have a couple degrees of warming that have happened in this century. So, you have higher rates of evaporation, you have more heat, the drought is worse. And if you look at the climate record, for example, based on tree ring data, we’ve had megadroughts of the past that have lasted 30 to 40 years, numerous times in the past 500, 600, 700 years, that dwarf anything that we’ve seen since record keeping began in 1895.
        ~Forrest Wilder, reporter for The Texas Observer


        Good point

        >> Thursday, September 8, 2011

        If we enter into the kind of world that Google likes, the world that Google wants, it's a world where information is copied so much on the Internet that nobody knows where it came from anymore, so there can't be any rights of authorship. However, you need a big search engine to even figure out what it is or find it. They want a lot of chaos that they can have an ability to undo.

        It should be pointed out that the original design of the Internet didn't have even a copy function, because it originally just seemed stupid. If you have a network, why would you copy something? That's just inefficiency. I'm convinced the reason copying happened on the Internet was because Xerox PARC was so important as an early supporter of computers, that for Alan Kay to go to the Xerox people and say, "Oh, by the way, copying itself, even in the abstract will become obsolete because of computer networks", would have just blown their minds. We ended up with copying on a network.

        But anyway, when you have copying on a network, you throw out information because you lose the provenance, and then you need a search engine to figure it out again. That's part of why Google can exist. Ah, the perversity of it all just gets to me.
        ~Jaron Lanier


        The Mariners succeed at something this year


        Bad times help you get through the good times...

        >> Wednesday, September 7, 2011

        It is said that much sake, self-pride and luxury are to be avoided by a samurai. There is no cause for anxiety when you are unhappy, but when you become a little elated, these three things become dangerous. Look at the human condition. It is unseemly for a person to become prideful and extravagant when things are going well. Therefore, it is better to have some unhappiness while one is still young, for if a person does not experience some bitterness, his disposition will not settle down. A person who becomes fatigued when unhappy is useless.
        ~Tsunetomo Yamamoto, from the 2nd chapter of Hagakure


        Good TV is a novel

        >> Wednesday, August 17, 2011

        GARY SHTEYNGART: How is literature supposed to survive when our brain has been pummeled with information, sliced and diced with it all day long at work, if we're white-collar workers? We go home. Are we really going to open up a thick text with 350 pages and try to waddle through it? Or are we just going to turn on "Mad Men"? Which is a wonderful show...

        TERRY GROSS: It's a great show.

        GARY SHTEYNGART: It's a great show, but see, what "Mad Men" does, which is so wonderful about it, is it takes a lot of the things that make novels great. It takes so much of that novelistic precision and also it takes time to explain its characters, to develop its characters and also to try to get into the minds of its characters, as far as film will allow.

        So it satisfies all our narrative impulses. That's what we want. But we don't have to open a book to get it. We just watch it on the screen. "The Sopranos," "The Wire," "Mad Men," all these shows very cleverly are indebted to novels, and all the creators of these shows frequently talk about how they're indebted to novels.
        ~Writer Gary Shteyngart, speaking with Terry Gross on Fresh Air, on May 13, 2011


        Hm, interesting...

        The Quran tells many familiar biblical stories, featuring Abraham, Moses, and other key figures of the Old Testament, in addition to lengthy passages concerning Jesus and Mary, and of course the Quranic focus on the Last Judgment strongly recalls biblical texts. But generally, the most potent outside influences seem to have come from Eastern forms of Christianity. Most of the Quranic stories about Mary and Jesus find their parallels not in the canonical four Gospels but in apocryphal texts that circulated widely in the East, such as the Protevangelium of James and the Arabic Infancy Gospel. The Quran cites the miracle in which the infant Jesus shaped a bird out of clay and then breathed life into it, a tale also found in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. The Quran also presents the death of Jesus in exactly the language of those heretical Eastern Christians known as the Docetists, who saw the event as an illusion rather than a concrete reality: "They did not kill him and they did not crucify him, but it was made to seem so to them." One sura includes the common Christian legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, the saintly young men who escaped a persecution by sleeping many years in a cave.

        So strong are these connections that over the past half century scholars have questioned whether the Quran could even have originated in Arabia, or whether it was collected or constructed somewhere else with a prominent Christian and Jewish population, perhaps in Syria or Mesopotamia.
        ~Philip Jenkins, The Lost History of Christianity, p. 186


        Goddamn it

        >> Tuesday, August 2, 2011

        You know you really hate someone when you're beginning to have thoughts about publicly calling him a compulsive liar in front of a group of elderly people.

        Why some people just can't get hit by a bus I'll never understand.


        Of course, he's the brains in the family

        >> Tuesday, July 12, 2011

        Charles, that is...

        “My understanding is that Prince Charles was less than happy that Andrew was given the role of trade envoy back in 2001 after he left the navy,” Robert Jobson, author of William & Kate: The Love Story and a royal commentator for NBC News, told me. “When Charles ascends the throne—which he will do despite all the talk to the contrary—he’d like the royal family to be streamlined; he wants a smaller, more cost-effective monarchy. Andrew has made a tremendous effort to keep Beatrice and Eugenie close to the Queen in order to assure their future as fully paid-up members of the Firm, as the royal family is called. In addition to their status as royal highnesses, Andrew has always wanted them to have around-the-clock security and the rank of working royals. But if Charles has his way, the girls will be thrown off the royal payroll and have to fend for themselves. Many of Andrew’s inexcusable actions—consorting with rich oligarchs in North Africa, the Mideast, and the former Soviet Union, and begging friends to bail out Fergie—have been done with his daughters’ welfare in mind.” (A Palace spokesman wouldn’t comment on Charles’s intentions with respect to the princesses.)
        I'm surprised this article didn't make mention of Andrew's comments noted in Wikileaks-released memos. Oh well, Charles will get the last laugh any way...
        A substantial number of Britons are in favor of Charles’s stepping aside in William’s favor after the Queen dies. But tampering with the succession to the throne would precipitate a constitutional crisis. It would require an act of Parliament plus the passage of legislation by all the Commonwealth governments, neither of which is likely to happen. What’s more, it is well known in royal circles that Camilla is keen to become the first commoner Queen and that Charles is eager to gratify her wish.

        “What’s far more likely to happen,” said the royal-watcher Robert Jobson, “is that there will be a seamless change of power in the monarchy, a gradual shift away from the Queen. Charles’s influence will gain, as will William’s. During the last years of Elizabeth’s reign, Charles and William will be like shadow kings.”

        Charles turns 63 in November, and given the longevity of the Windsor line, he may have a long wait to ascend the throne. But assuming he outlives his mother, he will become King. He has made no secret of the fact that he intends to make significant changes in the monarchy. To begin with, he’s determined to be seen as the representative of a more inclusive society. He has stated that he will be the Defender of the Faiths—plural—not simply the Church of England, which would be a monumental departure from nearly 500 years of tradition. He also wants a thriftier, pared-down monarchy, which is not so open to criticism.

        All of this is bad news for Prince Andrew. Up till now, Andrew and his daughters have lived a charmed life. To please her favorite son, Queen Elizabeth has taken Beatrice and Eugenie under her wing and given them a place of honor on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during state occasions. Over the objections of her husband, the Queen has indulged Andrew’s wish to live under the same roof as his ex-wife, and she has turned a blind eye to his improper behavior.

        But the time is nearing when Prince Charles will take a more significant role in running the affairs of the British monarchy. And as Queen Elizabeth’s power wanes and Charles’s power grows, Andrew is likely to find himself out of a job and out of luck.
        Sounds like Charles is going to go for the Scandinavian-style monarchy!

        "The Trouble with Andrew," Vanity Fair


        Oh, it's not just people in the Midwest...

        >> Thursday, May 26, 2011

        You know what's funny? People in the flyover states tend to think that all the celebrities on both coasts are constantly high. They think that we're all on some uber-drug. But the thing is, they're kind of right. But somehow most of them manage to function, more or less. The biggest celebrities and movers and shakers I know are also some of the worst alcoholics and drug addicts. But you'd never know it by looking at them.
        ~Courtney Love, The Fix


        I *so* need this t-shirt!

        >> Sunday, May 22, 2011


        I just keep having this pop up in my head

        >> Tuesday, April 5, 2011

        The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but...

        [very long pause]

        sometimes it's too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question "Why?" Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done, like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.
        ~Commander William Adama, Battlestar Galactica


        Happy April Fools' Day!

        >> Friday, April 1, 2011

        via Rachel Maddow


        It's not the seats...

        >> Monday, March 14, 2011

        From the "Rx For The Movie Biz" section from this week's edition (#1146, March 18, 2011) of Entertainment Weekly:

        Movie theaters need to add more of the wide seats. Customers aren't comfortable smooshed into narrow seats, and theaters are competing with the comforts of home. The movie itself is not the only draw--it's the overall experience. ~Gail M. Eppers, Racine, Wis.
        And what was ringing in my ears after I read that quote? That line from the beginning of Charlie's Angels:
        I said, "Look, lady, it's not the seats that have gotten smaller, it's your ass that has gotten bigger."


        Too Fucking True

        >> Friday, March 4, 2011


        Dude, It's the MPAA

        >> Monday, February 28, 2011

        “I’m trying to find out what that really means. I have heard that it’s simply required taking out two of the [naughty] words. If that’s all it is, then I’m fine with it. Losing two isn’t going to destroy the scene. If they cut deeply into that scene I will be very unhappy. It’s nonsense. There’s a movie that’s advertised on television called ‘Little Fockers.’ Come on folks, who are we kidding here?”
        ~David Seidler, Oscar-winning screenwriter of The King's Speech



        “It’s a monkey looking in a mirror – it just says everything about the Oscars, don’t you think?”
        ~An Australian jewelry designer, who came wearing a pendant she’d found in a thrift shop


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