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Saturday, December 11, 2004

skeleton man

Two times I’ve tried to write a review of this book, and two times the browser crashed before anything was saved. The first time, the cat stepped on the “off” button on my laptop. The second time, clicking a link in just closed everything. I don’t know why. But I don’t, right now, have the energy to write the complete review yet again. It’s like there’s a ghost or something. Weird.

Tony Hillerman’s latest book, Skeleton Man (SM), was half good, half disappointing. Starts out great, unravels. Loose threads: so what IS that figure on the pouch? Who was that old Indian?

I love Hillerman’s Navajo novels. I love it when legend and lore and investigation are combined with thinking things through and solving a case—as most of his novels do. This is not one of those. It’s like he was pushed to finish the book just to get it out rather than taking his time to get it written properly. Leaphorn disappears. Bernie Manuelito is kind of forced into becoming the lead character, but not because of her police skills. The ending is implausible. A character appears out of nowhere, in one instance, and wrecks it. This book is more in the Perils of Pauline genre than a mystery/detective novel, that’s for sure. Anybody could’ve been in it.

Will I buy Hillerman’s next Leaphorn/Chee novel? In a heartbeat—I have hope that he’ll return to his usual standards. But SM, and Sinister Pig from last year, are not among Hillerman’s best. I think what happened is Hillerman lost his touch for providing a sense of place in these last two novels—and that’s what I cared about, rather than the story itself. Hillerman used to be able to write so that I felt I was there, that I was lost in the story and seeing the landscape. But not these last two.

posted by lee on 12/11/04 at 02:57 PM

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Saturday, September 18, 2004

aye, aye captain

Tonight we went to see Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow. We've been waiting for it and hoping it would be worth seeing. The bits and pieces of the previews I'd seen intrigued me since they had the Metropolis/Dark City look I love if it's done well. And the story looked like it might be a version of those science fiction space operas I sucked down and loved as a kid, like Asimov's "Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids" and Heinlein's "Space Cadet."

Plus, Roger Ebert gave it four stars and praised it like crazy. It got a decentish 67 on MetaCritic. So maybe worth a shot at $9 per ticket.

Well. It was fun. But it is so flawed it's almost tragic. After we watched the movie, Stanley said, "Ebert should cut back on his prozac."

skycaptain.jpegThe good: Jude Law (yum!), Giovanni Ribisi, the robots, the beginning. I even like Angelina Jolie's reprise of Lara Crotch, um, I mean her portrayal of the tough Frankie, girl commander with the bad British accent. Gwyneth Paltrow's clothes and hair.

The bad: Gwyneth Paltrow's acting, interesting characters barely fleshed out, pointless characters, the length, the plot, the premise, the look, the clichs ...

My misgivings began with the opening titles. The typography of the titles was just all wrong for a movie supposedly set in the 30s. The font used would've been appropriate for a movie evoking the silent film era, but most certainly not the 30s. The movie title rendering worked well -- just none of the rest of it. (If I could choose a new career, I would be a creator of movie titles and credits.) It's probably an odd obsession I have, I know, but it's pretty clear that someone didn't put enough thought and research into this and it should've been caught before the movie was released.

The setup: scientists are mysteriously disappearing, big huge robots land in Mid-town Manhattan and begin kicking cars around, intrepid girl reporter is hot on the trail of the story and meets an endangered scientist in Radio City Music Hall during a showing of The Wizard of Oz. [Comment: This was was a scene that should have been re-thought and recreated since the viewer gets so focused on watching TWoO (Glinda is arriving via bubble in this particular scene) that the characters in this scene, Intrepid Girl Reporter and Endangered Scientist, were annoyances and I missed what they were talking about.]

IGR leaves the Radio City when air raid sirens go off and goes running down one of the avenues dodging robot feet and trying not to get smushed while taking photos of 'em. Stanley and I both noticed that she ran over a grill in high heels and did NOT break her ankle. I knew then that I had to turn the "suspend disbelief" dial up a lot higher. Meanwhile, Sky Captain, by himself, is attempting to shoot down the hundred or so five-story-high robots with his ack ack guns, or whatever.

Next thing you know, SC is landing his trusty plane on some island on some mountains within driving distance of New York City -- can't quite figure out where since, as far as I know, there are no mountains on the coast around NYC. Not even in New Jersey. There we meet Dex Dearborn, boy genius who expresses amazement by saying, "Shazam." Then these bird robots attack the island, and some tall skinny robots with tentacles, all directed by some Mysterious Woman who's dressed looks like a rubber fetishist's wet dream. Oh, and IGR manages to show up too. Of course.

The robots and Mysterious Woman were sent by the evil Dr. Totenkopf who is stealing generators all over the world. So, they have to find the evil Dr. What's really creepy is Dr. T is played by Sir Laurence Olivier, who's been dead about 15 years. (Translate Dr. T's name if you want to figure out the entire movie.)

And off they go. I won't say more because it would be too tedious to recount it all -- besides, you'll have to get your spoilers elsewhere. To say there are plot jumps is a genuine understatement. How they get from a uranium mine in Tibet to naked in a bed in Shangri-La is never explained, for example. And how people disembarked from the Hindenburg III when it was tethered to the Empire State Building is never shown, which disappointed the hell out of me because I've been wondering for years how they were planning to do that before the idea of dirigibles blowing up over Fifth Avenue struck city planners as less than ideal (yes, the Empire State Building was built with a mooring for blimps. It's true).

The director, Kerry Conran, originally planned to make this movie in black and white and, I read somewhere, only colorized it at the last moment because the studio didn't think people would go see a BW movie. I think colorizing it was a mistake since it's interesting at first, but annoying after about five minutes. All of the actors look like they've been resurrected from the dead, and IGR's lips look like dried blood. The lighting and robots were designed for BW and this movie would've been gorgeous if Conran had stuck to his guns. I might have enjoyed it more, too, instead of noticing the colorization to the detriment of noticing the plot. Oh wait, maybe not.

Some reviewers have said this movie is kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark, in tone if not in actual plot. I disagree. The robots and the underground factory were more evocative of Metropolis, especially the Mysterious Killer Woman, but the plot was pure Star Wars. I swear I saw one scene back in 1977. And a much better actress for the IGR part would have been Kathleen Turner 20 years ago, or Drew Barrymore. Paltrow just sucked.

The plot for this movie is too thin (not to mention flimsy) and the gimmicks are too heavy-handed to be able to call this a good movie. It's interesting. And fun if you can dispense with the "yeah, right" reaction every five minutes. It's a badly cobbled combination of hundreds of science fiction pulps, comic books, and matine movies -- there is not one line of fresh dialog with the exception of the very last line (which was perfect). Definitely not worth full price. And expect the kiddies to have nightmares from a couple of the scenes.
posted by lee on 09/18/04 at 08:39 PM


Saturday, August 14, 2004

Movable Type 3.01D: does six apart = the microsoft of the blog world?

A client needs a cgi-based blog-type setup since Earthlink is about ten years behind the times when it comes to supporting PHP. So, despite my reservations about the pricing structure imposed by Six Apart, if it solves the problem, it would be worth the money for the non-commercial license. But I needed to make sure the software works before I shell out the bucks. So, I downloaded the free version to give it whirl.

What a buggy piece of crap it is. Movable Type 3.01D is supposedly the bug-fix edition. I followed the instructions, carefully, twice. It's still a piece of crap software. Lazy, lazy, lazy documentation and the support forum is bullshit. The stylesheet for the application isn't even good -- it's pretty bad when I have to force a scroll in order to click the save button.

Here is an example error:
syntax error at extlib/ line 24, near "++ for " BEGIN not safe after errors--compilation aborted at extlib/ line 43. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at extlib/ line 44.
When I hit the "back" button, it just loops the error. If I try to close it, it closes the browser. When I try to figure out what this error means, I get nowhere -- there is nothing in the troubleshooting documentation and nothing I could find in the forum.

Not only that, there's this kind of crap littered all over the place:
Ambiguous use of sort => resolved to "sort" => at lib/MT/Template/ line 1759. Ambiguous use of sort => resolved to "sort" => at lib/MT/Template/ line 1768
What the frell ... ?

There's no way I can ask my client to take a look at this in order to get an ok for buying the $100 version, which is what they'd need for their non-profit group.

It goes to show, Six Apart really doesn't give a damn about the standalone version of MT. Why would they allow such a junky application out the door? I don't have time to wait for them to get their crap together, so I'll just dust off my copy of 2.661 or whatever it was and use that until I can find some grownup software that actually works.

If, according to their own published specs, the webserver software meets the requirements, and if I follow the directions carefully, the software should work, right? Unless it's crap software. I have neither the time nor the knowledge to debug their code mistakes.

Sayonara Six Apart -- you just lost another customer.
posted by lee on 08/14/04 at 06:52 PM

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

southwest of canada

I grew in the downriver burbs of Detroit, and went to college in northwest Detroit, living at that place on the corner of Wyoming and McNichols (Six Mile) and spending a lot of time in and around the Wayne State U area (known then as the Cass Corridor -- is it still?) and a lot of time downtown and in Bricktown (as it was called in the early 80s). Quite a bit of time BEFORE the RenCen was built (I watched it rising from my office window in, I think, the First National Bldg. where I worked as a lowly clerk for the Sand Products Company). Strohs was a thriving brewery still, and I watched the Tigers at Tiger Stadium. I watched Nixon resign on the telly at the Checker Bar and splurged once a week on the amazing sandwiches of Ham Heaven. My father grew up on Vaughan Street and my grandmother lived there until she died in the late eighties. So I'd say I'd spent a considerable amount of my life there until I was 22 or there abouts.

After I graduated from college, I followed my then love to Boston, then went to grad school in New York City, lived in Arizona for a few years, then here to Connecticut. I somehow never really made it back to Detroit for anything more than a six-month stint working for the UAW magazine on West Jefferson and once-in-a-while drive throughs or a play at the Fisher.

All this is a long-winded way to say I miss Detroit still -- there's just something about the place that still draws me. If circumstances ever arose that meant a move to Motown for us, I'd be fine with that. I think.

Anyway, I love poking through websites devoted to Detroit. Tonight I came across, somehow via Stupid Evil Bastard (six degrees of link separation or something like that).

The owner of idiotblog is the most amazing photographer. He/she (no bio info, alas, at least not that I could find), let's call the person Idiot since that is what he/she uses, has an eye for ruins and humor and the details that often get lost in mess. On this page, look in particular at the shots of the old Grand River church and then, below that, at the closeups of this amazing mural. If this kind of stuff interests you, be prepared to spend quite a while looking through the archives. I just wish Idiot would post more information about the sites themselves -- some of the ruins, for example, are hauntingly familiar and I wonder if it's because I saw them in their pre-decay days.

When you're ready to move on from idiotblog, take a look at Detroit Yes. I've been visiting this site for years and it's amazing how much stuff is there. I think it used to be called "The Ruins of Detroit," but maybe that's another site. I always get lost here and find things again purely by chance, but the photography is superb. Most of it is sad -- I remember when pollution and grime and the noise of the factories meant job security, health benefits, pensions, either college or a well-paying job after high school for the kids, and maybe a summer cabin Up North. No more.

Tomorrow we have to go spend $350 $500 on new tires to replace the OEM crap tires that have less than 40,000 miles on them and no tread left. We took it in to Monro for a tune-up and check-up and whatever-up the car needed in preparation for our trek to Michigan (the 22nd -- I need a change of scenery so badly I can just spit. Plus I want to see my folks big time.) The verdict was the front brake pads and rotors needed replacing immediately lest we end up parking in the Sound. The rotors looked like records -- you know, those grooved vinyl discs from the last century. Which Stanley says is a very bad thing. I find it hard to believe the pads had to be replaced yet again (it's only the third or fourth time) but even more so that we had to spend this much money on a repair before it even hits 40K miles. The fuel filter was also replaced so we'll see if the currently pathetic mileage goes back up to what it should be. The mileage started crapping downward after Ford replaced the defective fuel pump during one of the eleventy-seven recalls we've had on this car.

Don't even think about buying a Ford Focus, new or used. Consumer Reports blew it big time on this model.
posted by lee on 08/12/04 at 10:11 PM

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Ohio v. Ducic: injustice files

I watched In the Jury Room over the last couple of evenings. After viewing it, it makes me realize more strongly than ever that Stanley is dead-on when he says "half of all people fall on the left side of the bell curve."

The State of Ohio says that when Mark Ducic's girlfriend threatened to go to the police about his drug dealing, he gave the woman a lethal drug cocktail, which made her death look like an accidental overdose. Concerned that a friend was going to reveal his secret to the police, Ducic allegedly concocted a similar drug mixture to keep his friend quiet. Defense attorneys John Luskin and Mark Spadaro contend that their client is innocent of the crimes. If the jury finds Ducic guilty of double murder, they will then be asked to decide whether he should be sentenced to death by lethal injection.

The verdict was guilty on both counts of murder, but the jury could not agree on a sentence, leaving it up to the judge. If a jury doesn't find for death, in Ohio, the judge cannot impose the death sentence. So she sentened him to two consecutive life terms.

The most appalling part of watching this was seeing the knee-jerk responses of some of the jurors. The hair salon lady, Cheryl, I guess her name was, had the guy dead by lethal injection before she even heard all of the evidence, such as it was (it was damned poor evidence -- the word of a rich druggie boy against a poor druggie boy, with rich druggie boy taping their druggie conversations like they meant something).

One juror, Carmella, a restaurant owner, tried like hell to hold out. She didn't think Ducic killed his girlfriend. Her assessment of the case was that Ducic is a blowhard, talking drugged-out big talk, which means nothing. And the medical examiner initially ruled that both deaths were garden-variety overdoses, until the DA got a bug up his ass and, for whatever reason, decided to transform this case into a double homicide by playing the ME some bits of the recordings the rich druggie boy made.

Carmella caved, eventually. The judge wouldn't let her leave the case, and the other jurors were relentless. Kind of reminded me of Lord of the Flies. Carmella regrets signing the guilty verdict. In her shoes, I can't say that I wouldn't have caved, but I was disappointed that she did and hope that I wouldn't.

Then there was the student who thinks she knows everything. What an obnoxious, stupid twit. And the lady going "Lawdy me" while playing sheep. And the "nice lady" who wanted everybody to like her. The jury forman, Chuck Whitehill, was an arrogant jerk who thought he was smarter than everyone else in the jury room -- and that attitude came through loud and clear. Maybe he was smarter than the rest, but I didn't see any evidence of it.

The jurors, except for the jury foreman, did not seem to be playing for the camera. You could tell the foreman was because of his labored, patronizing sentence constructions. The judge, however, was another story altogether. She interrupted Ducic, threw the book at him, hectored and lectured him, and went way beyond the bounds of court decorum. Are judgeships in Ohio elective offices? Because it sure seemed as if she was running for re-election. She didn't sound smart enough to be a judge -- she just sounded nasty.

The jury in this case was disgusting. This was no "Twelve Angry Men," where a lone voice holds out for justice. This was an abomination, more so because these people had the ability to take away a person's life. Carmella was the only saving grace, and she wasn't enough.

I'll watch the next couple of cases, and hope to see something that doesn't further justify my disgust with the so-called justice system in this country. I know that I wouldn't want these twelve people deciding my fate. And if Ducic can be convicted for murder based on nothing more than drugged-out big talk, there are a lot more people who will be going to jail for nothing. I guess prosecutor Dan Kasaris doesn't have enough real crime to deal with -- aren't there any real murderers in Ohio? I guess they would be too tough for him to handle.
posted by lee on 08/12/04 at 11:50 AM


Saturday, August 07, 2004

now these are movies

These days, after I slap down my nine bucks for a ticket, all I ask of a movie is that I feel like I've been to the movies. I don't expect high art or deep meanings or even anything profound. I do hope for a couple of hours of escape without being jarred out of my absorption by thinking, "Hey, wait a minute, this is just totally stupid."

We went to see I, Robot not too long ago. What a waste product. What a waste of Will Smith, having him reprise his Independence Day role. Then we went to see Kill Bill 2. I didn't like Kill Bill 1 much, but once I've seen the first half, unless it totally smells, I'll go see the second or sequel or prequel or whatever the hell they're calling it these days. KB 1 & 2 weren't worth the three bucks we paid to see it at the Community Theater.

mcpicture.jpegSo, last week, we decided to go see The Manchurian Candidate. I didn't have high expectations for it. But I was amazed -- I loved it! Not perfect, to be sure, but I felt like I'd actually been out to the movies for a change. Meryl Streep was evil! The acting was pretty good, and the story was definitely believable. Nice bit of PhotoShopping there at the end, hey? Did I believe the technology in the movie? Nope. Didn't matter. I believed the premise. Who owns that idiot in the White House, hmm? The only thing that bothered me is that, as least when I was a teacher there, New York City public schools were closed on Election Day. Maybe they're not anymore. But overall the movie was exciting.

Tonight, we went to see another of "those mf'ers messed with my mind" movies, The Bourne Supremacy. It was a great summer movie. Fairly intelligent, for a change, great car chase. I was sorry they killed off Franka Potente's character since I picture.jpgloved her in Bourne Identity and was sorry she wasn't in more of Supremacy. Again, here, it was by no means perfect. I find it kinda hard to believe the CIA would buy that fingerprint on the bomb thing. Oh, wait a minute, we're talking the CIA -- maybe they would ...

And I wish our airport screening was as good as the one in Italy -- imagine flashing an alert in CIA headquarters when someone on some watch list was transmitted to all the airline gates all over the world. Sure. Actually, now that I think about it, there were a lot of weak plot points in the movie. Wouldn't the masterminds of the CIA figure something was up when Bourne used his real passport to go through customs in Naples? So unsubtle even I got it instantly. But it was rollicking good fun. I like Matt Damon, even when he looks a little Frankensteinish because he never smiles. Even when he's on the beach in India with Marie (Franka), not one grin even.

I figured out the Bad Guy early on. And I figured out exactly how it would go down. Not because I read the book -- I did, a LONG time ago. But because it was blatant. But it was still put together well enough to make me not regret the $18 I plunked down for our tickets.

PS: I really liked the typography and the design of the closing credits.
posted by lee on 08/07/04 at 10:34 PM

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Monday, July 12, 2004

Ann Telnaes at the LC

Humor's Edge: Cartoons by Ann Telnaes is a current exhibit at the Library of Congress. The exhibit notes say
"Humor's Edge celebrates Ann Telnaes's generous gift to the Library of Congress of eighty-one original drawings that represent the range of themes that engage this gifted artist who has recently emerged as a leader in American editorial cartooning. An artist who bravely criticizes the actions and words of powerful public figures, Telnaes takes stands on complex, divisive issues and affirms the editorial cartoon as a potent means of expressing opinions and illuminating issues of the day."

Telnaes is one of only two women to win the Pulitzer for editorial cartoons. You can also see a weekly cartoon by her on Women's eNews.

One of my favorite of her cartoons is below; I think she captured perfectly the obscenity of the cabal of rich white men imposing their ignorance and self-righteousness on more than half the inhabitants of this country.

The online version of the exhibit is annotated, providing some context, but weirdly structured and in some cases badly written (for example, the notes for one cartoon about the crowded field of Democratic candidates seems to be suggesting that Telnaes's cartoon, "Lose the Dead Weight," was responsible for two of the candidates dropping out.)

The navigation is confusing -- it took me a while to figure out how to get around the site. It's a pity the archivists didn't take more care designing and architecting the online exhibit. It's almost as if the author(s) don't understand the medium -- I also looked at the Pat Oliphant exhibit (he won the Pulitzer in 1966 for his editorial cartoons) and he didn't fare any better. Actually, looking at Herblock's exhibit, and I see a pattern -- as if the designer came up with a template and stopped thinking. Ah, yes, I see, .dwt (Dreamweaver template). Though I guess I shouldn't expect too much from a government site, which has its own set of rules (Section 508 etc.) Although the National Gallery of Art is a gov site, but has a good collection of well-done exhibits, both "quick" tours and in-depth studies.

The full list of LC web exhibits is here. Good synopses and examples, but no depth.
posted by lee on 07/12/04 at 05:54 PM

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Friday, June 25, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

Even though I'd read a lot about this movie and sort of knew what to expect, nothing prepared me for the impact it had on me. I cried when I saw the Iraqi children killed and mutilated, the soldiers killed and injured, and the mother who lost her son. Fahrenheit 9/11 honed the anger that began building when the Supreme Court endorsed the Pretender's coup, grew stronger with half-assed response to 9/11, and hit the white-hot level with this obscene war. And I'm not just furious with the Bushies-- but also with the Democrats who, for the most part, fail to show any spine or any willingness to go out on a limb to stand up for what is right.

We went to see the first showing at the Garden Cinema here in Norwalk. It was packed -- all four shows tonight sold out. We were lucky to get in and find two seats together. We looked around as the movie was starting, noting that tonight we were among the choir. I hope the movie's box office take is huge, that it crosses parties, that high school kids throughout the country see it, that those unsure of how they're going to vote in November see it.

I think the movie is excellent. If nothing else, it gives one plenty to think about. Maybe it'll serve to activate all those braincells in the 46% of Americans who think invading Iraq was the right thing to do. And it was interesting to see things I had no idea about, such as the protests of several Congressfolk during the certification of the Pretender's election. I can't believe that not even one Senator signed off on a protest. Not one. Not Lieberman, or Kerry, or even Kennedy. Not one. Now I want to know why.

What's been interesting is reading some of the reviews, now that I've been able to see the movie -- it's interesting to see if I saw the same movie as the critics. Pretty much, though Ebert got one scene wrong: he said Moore was accompanied by a Marine recruiter when he tried to get Congressdrones to enlist their kids. The guy wasn't a recruiter, but a soldier who already served in Iraq and swore there was no way he was going back over there, even if he had to go to jail over it.

One review, however, offended me: that by Salon's Stephanie Zacharek. It says much more about her ignorance and arrogance than it does about the movie:

When Moore isn't pounding away at Bush, he's busy playing the friend of the common man. But as he did in both "Roger & Me" and "Bowling for Columbine," Moore can't help acting superior to his on-camera subjects. We meet Lila Lipscomb, a hardworking American of modest means who encouraged her children to go into the military, knowing that it could provide educational opportunities that she wouldn't have been able to give them herself. Lipscomb is proud of her country and proud of the young men and women who fight for it. At one point, she shows Moore the cross she wears around her neck -- it's a multicolored cross that, she explains, stands for her multicultural beliefs. "I'm multicultural," she states plainly.

At this moment, the audience I saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" with snickered over what they must have perceived as Lipscomb's simplicity. But not long after, we see that Lipscomb's husband is African-American, and her large, extended family is multiracial. Yet Moore's audience has already been primed to laugh at the "simple folk" who make up the bulk of this great land o' ours. Moore's approach leaves Lipscomb open to ridicule (the same way he used the Rabbit Lady in "Roger & Me" -- the woman who sold live rabbits and their byproducts to bolster her meager government income checks -- to get laughs).

The one thing Moore never does is act superior to the "ordinary" people he portrays. It's quite obvious that Stephie is projecting here. It's also pretty typical of too many liberals (you know, the ones who fancy themselves members of the intelligentsia) -- instead of embracing and supporting someone taking action and actually trying to have an impact, let's trash these Don Quixotes. After all, it's much easier to sit in front of a computer and write clever barbs than to actually take a stand and risk something. At some level, she must recognize this or she wouldn't have been so stupidly vicious.

My niece's fianc is in Iraq, stationed near Baghdad, fighting a war he doesn't believe in because he felt it was his duty to serve in the Army Reserve. He told me, before the war even started, that he wouldn't hesitate to go after Al Queda or any other group or government threatening our country. But, he said, Iraq didn't fall into that category, and never did. He said he and his fellow reservists feel betrayed by our government. This is the point of Moore's movie: we're throwing away lives and betraying honorable men and women for nothing. Certainly not for our security, and certainly not to make our country safer.

I hope Moore's movie convinces millions that Bush is just not worthy of their vote.
posted by lee on 06/25/04 at 06:46 PM

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Friday, June 04, 2004

french vanilla coffee—mmmm!

Check out Coffee & Tea Warehouse -- I ordered samples of some varieties -- brewed some French Vanilla. It is wonderful! Can't wait to try the other samples!
posted by lee on 06/04/04 at 11:23 AM

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Friday, May 28, 2004

the day after tomorrow

tdat_dt2_sm.jpgEbert says it best: "'The Day After Tomorrow' is ridiculous, yes, but sublimely ridiculous -- and the special effects are stupendous."

We went to see it this afternoon -- I'm a disaster movie freak and I've been waiting forever to see it. I checked the website every week or so to see if there were any new trailers. I read all about the science behind the premise of the movie (the most credible article is this: The Day After Tomorrow: Could it really happen? from The Weather Underground. The answer is, yeah, some of it, but not the flash freeze stuff.)

So, it was fun. It was stupid. The dialog was stupid. The stupidest part was Dick Cheney finally admitting he was wrong -- it took a planetary disaster to induce that in the movie Cheney. Another stupid part was the bitching about the end of civilization due to the new ice age in the northern hemisphere. Guess all those people in South America, Africa, and Australia aren't civilized. Oh, and that a Gutenberg Bible represented civilization. Yep, definitely a white man's movie.

At any rate, the special effects were great -- but there weren't enough of them. Would've loved to have seen more of what happened due to the bizarre weather. The ice shelf breaking off was great. But what is the average temperature during an ice age? I mean, is it colder than living in Iceland or Siberia?

All the pre-movie buildup about how this was gonna fry the administration's asses for screwing around with the environment, and ignite something (I'm not sure what) to spur the environmental movement was BS. I think the producers were trying to pull a "Passion" number.

The movie started out stupid: The Veep at a science meeting? Get real. Why was Dennis Quaid misting all those dead plants? Why did daddy trek north to get sonny boy if they could've sent helicopters in? Why am I even thinking about the two hours of stupidness anyway?

The special effects were stupendous. I don't know why Ebert gave it three stars, except that it was fun to watch. Well, except for the preachy crap. God Dennis Quaid has the goofiest smile. Gotta hand it to those Quaid boys -- they sure can save this old world. Except that Dennis didn't -- I still can't figure out why he's the hero in this movie. "Independence Day" was loads better than this movie.

All I can say is "Thank god for Wendy's." Can always drop in there to avoid being freeze dried. I wonder what Dennis would've done if he'd been more than 50 feet from a building? And I never did figure out why that other guy just collapsed. Here was the best scene: Other guy is trucking along behind Dennis, trudging across the tops of the malls in Jersey to get to Manhattan. Other guy collapses. Dennis says to the unconscious guy, "Hey, are you all right?"

Well, the dog survived. That's the only being in the movie I cared about.

What struck me most about the movie happened afterwords: all those assholes in their SUVs revving up in a rush to be the first out of the parking garage -- when climate change does really happen, those types will be the first to bitch about the government not doing enough to prevent it.
posted by lee on 05/28/04 at 04:47 PM

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