Friday, April 02, 2004

worth paying full price - Hellboy

We went to see Hellboy tonight. Though I'd never even heard of the comic book before I saw the previews for the movie, the second I learned it was directed by Guillermo del Toro, I knew I'd want to go see it just as soon as it opened. Del Toro made one of my all-time favorite ghost movies, The Devil's Backbone, as well as another creepy movie I just loved: Cronos. Plus he made Blade II and Mimic, while not the best, were nevertheless movies I liked a lot.

Damn, was Hellboy ever good!

Ron Perlman played Hellboy ... Perlman seems to land in any number of weird movies (City of Lost Children, another weirdly, superbly done, wonderful movie that comes to mind) playing a freak of nature of some kind. Pretty much great at playing slightly over the top characters. (Remember him as Vincent in Beauty and the Beast?) Here he did a good job--kind of a Bruce Willis-esque monster. You know, the wisecracking reluctant hero type ("just doin' my job.") Selma Blair played firestarter Liz Sherman -- loved her scenes of mayhem and destruction!

My favorite character, though, is Abraham Sapien, this kind of man/fish. The voice was David Hyde Pierce, and the rest was Doug Jones. Oh, and I loved Kroenen (played by some Czech guy?) -- his character alone was scarier than any of the monsters.

The movie took off right from the beginning, and somehow deftly managed to fill in the Hellboy tyros among us. John Hurt was, as usual, great as Professor Bruttenholm. Rasputin was suitably seductive and evil. This film was just made right, and I wonder if anyone else BUT Del Toro could've made it this well.

I loved the cities under the cities: the subway tunnels, both used and abandoned, under New York and the other place I won't give away, located in Moscow. The look was very noir, the story very much Dark City, the world beneath the world, and also is very strongly influenced by Metropolis, so much so that it almost seemed to be a "what-if" version of that movie as if it had been made post-WWII instead of in 1929.

As most comic book tales are, it's a tale of good and evil, growing up, making choices -- just damned good fun and beautifully filmed (by Guillermo Navarro, who also filmed The Devil's Backbone and Cronos) instead of all preachy. Del Toro clearly loves his monsters, his freaks, loving them for their defects (as John Myers, Hellboy's guide-in-training -- played very well by Rupert Evans -- phrased it).

Just go see it.

posted by lee on 04/02/04 at 09:00 PM
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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Norwalk cartoonist wins pulitzer

davies.0806.jpeg(Click the image to enlarge it.) Matt Davies of The Journal News (White Plains, NY) won the 2004 Pulitzer: 2004 Pulitzer Prize: - EDITORIAL CARTOONING. Though a Brit by birth, Davies now lives here in Norwalk, Connecticut.

I love his stuff. You can see his entries here. Davies, 37, beat out Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame and Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

It's interesting that no award was given for feature writing this year. The Pulitzer board spokesbeing said it's because none of the entries received a majority of votes.
posted by lee on 04/06/04 at 10:09 AM
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Monday, April 12, 2004

soccer saturday

bensoccer041004.jpgThe Saturday before Easter was one of those days that makes you glad to be alive. We were in Natick visiting family, and Ben asked us if we wanted to go watch his first soccer game of the season. Of course! So we loaded up Ginger and a chair and headed to Elm Bank. It was fun watching the game. The score isn't important! It was just fun being outside in the sun.

Elm Bank is the location of the grounds of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, which was at one time a fancy estate with the grand house built around 1907. The grounds were designed and redesigned by the Olmstead Brothers. Lovely rolling hills and fields on the edge of the Charles River. I'm not sure who actually owns the playing fields. It's just a place I want to explore more--particularly when the greenhouses are open or they have a plant sale.

It was a pretty decent holiday weekend, although we worked for most of it. Friday was a bad day, though, as the datacenter that houses our computer went down due to, first, a failed switch and then later to a denial of service attack. It was pretty frustrating. To give Netsonic credit, they got things fixed a lot faster than we thought they would. This was the only major problem this company had in the yearish that we've had our webserver and random websites with them--they are consistently excellent and very supportive. Must be all that Wisconsin milk or something.

[whine] I managed to catch up the bookkeeping. We had to get a updated version of QuickBooks so we could install it on our XP Pro machine since QBPro 99 just would not install. I resented that, though there are a couple of nice features, such as being able to email invoices from within the program, they weren't nice enough to have to spend the bucks to update it (I mean, c'mon, bookkeeping is bookkeeping -- no radical new technologies here, really.) Plus, if you install QB, be very careful to back up stuff beforehand as the installation did a number on my machine, somehow managing to mess up Dreamweaver settings and killing portions of Internet Explorer. I had to restore and reinstall, and things still aren't the way I like them. But at least I finished the bookkeeping so I can do the taxes. [/whine]

They seemed to know what they were doing.

Break time!

Ben's dog, Tattoo (the Heinz breed on the left) and Ginger seemed to be enjoying themselves. Check out Stanley's souvenir from Kansas--the $10 gas station Matrix glasses.


This building is allegedly going to be restored by the horticultural society. It's so huge, and so far gone, I imagine it will take a long, long time to generate the funds to do it. (Have to sell a LOT of seedlings!) I imagine it was a pretty spectacular house at one time.

posted by lee on 04/12/04 at 10:57 PM
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Thursday, April 15, 2004

it’s too easy

Head to George Says... and create your own bushie fridge magnet. Really. (Stanley sent me this link.)
posted by lee on 04/15/04 at 10:12 PM
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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

glass works

screenshot_ch.jpgFinally, ready for the world to see, we present:

Candace Held / glass works

We learned that it's really difficult to get good pictures of glass for display on the web. Candace took these shots in a photographer's tent. (I want one!) Her work is wonderful, so please take a look at it (and if you find any bugs or errors, let me know!)

What is also interesting was running browsercam on the pages, seeing which platforms support standards and which don't. Not that my css is anywhere near perfect; I still have a LOT to learn. Next is to start figuring out the hacks that work consistently.
posted by lee on 04/27/04 at 03:41 PM
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