Friday, December 15, 2006

Finally Got Around to Watch a Few Movies

Shaun of the Dead and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Shaun of the Dead is a fantastic film along with a great zombie movie, and also really fucking funny. The best zombie weapon = Shaun's cricket bat. And. um . . . I admit I came close to tears a few times, it has great heart warming moments. Shut up.

Sky Captain, was a movie that came out a while ago, that was completely done in front of a blue screen. A Film Noir . . . remake? (no not a remake, not a spoof) rebirth? (no didn't bring anything back as an art) Really I don't know what to call it, it seems to have been made just so they can say they were able to make a Film Noir in today's world. It was full of clich├ęs, only some on purpose, and started a little slow for my taste. I was actually a little mad for the first ten minutes of the movie. When I hear about a movie set completely made up of computer generated content, I imagine a movie full of amazing, impossible shots, but the beginning is full of shots that would never been in any movie because they were incredibly boring. But then Sky Captain totally redeemed it's self. One word "Gigantic, Metal, Robots."From then on it was a good movie, not a great movie, but . . . well . . . I wouln't buy it.

But it brought up one question for me. The movie is full of 1950's, fake, cool looking, technology from the 21ST CENTURY. My question is: Where the hell is my Hundred Foot Killer Robot? Where's my Ray Gun? Where's my freakin' Personal Jet Pack? We live in the 21'st century now. Why arn't we living on the moon, rapped in cellophane and plastic covering our crotches, with a gold fish bowl on our heads? That's all I want. Come on people lets get it together and get to where we are supposed to be.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Idiots, and Muppets - or My Saturday Night!

Well no, not really. My saturday nights are generally filled with me pretending to get homework done, surfing random websites, and drinking good beer until I fall asleep. At least I drink good beer. But I digress, these are just a few shows I have been really enjoying lately.

I'll go in revers order from the title.

Muppets: "Well it's not quite a mop, not quite a puppet, but man. . . So, to answer your question, I don't know." -Homer Simpson (I don't know if that is completely accurate, so screw you)
Basically dotBoom, is my new favorite podcast. Well technically it is more of a online sitcom you can watch as a podcast for free. . . with muppets.

The story follows a web design firm, and the crap everyone has to deal with. . . with muppets. I really like muppets, I like saying muppets, but I like this show for more then just the muppets. You can tell the people who make this every week have been in the exact situations. It really comes out in the writing, which is hilarious. The charters are varying, and funny, and cute. They have stories you really care about, which really separates it from most sitcoms.

The design is professional. The intro and credits are fun to watch and they, especially the credits, have a style not used much. They make many mistakes in the production. Sometimes you can hear a dog bark for no reason, the green screen goes over the charters a bit, and a few times was just completely missing. These mistakes make the show more human to watch, as opposed to the lifeless comedies on tv. And really you just got to remember, there doing this for free.

This is what I have been looking for as long as I have been downloading podcasts. They have been great for news, and some have been funny, but I haven't found any that replace the half hour situation comedies. Now there is dotBoom. Now there are muppets.


Idiots: Stella was a show on Comedy Central a while ago. I thought it was very funny since seeing the pilot, which I got from in some magazine, but missed most of it when it was on air. It got canceled, like most great shows. But now they have the DVD out. The other day I decided to pick it up and watch it. It was fantastic, my favorite episodes are still the pilot and also "Coffee Shop," and the commentary from the three Stella guys are great. The extras are things like "The History of STELLA" and a blooper reel. I wish there was a little more but there's not much I can do about that. I would recommend it to anyone who liked the show, or anyone who likes un-categorizable comedy.

Writing a review for the show is hard, because I can't really explain what it is actually about. It is incredibly easy to laugh at it, but it is also incredibly complex. It has it's own style, but shows homage to all the great comedians ever since laughter evolved. And you start to care a lot about the three guys, even though they are huge dicks. I guess this is why I like it so much. There is almost no correlation between any of the jokes unless you look at the the show as a whole.

It's a great show that I like a lot, but if you don't think it's funny, you would hate it. Try to watch a few episodes before you buy the DVD, to make sure you don't wast your money on something you don't like.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

I heard about an office-like application from Google, but this is the first time I have seen it. It looks pretty simple for the most part and it seems descent. There is no automatic spell checking with the right click like on most text editors, which is pretty damn important to me. Edit: the spell check is a bit weird to get used to but it's not bad. It would be kind of cool if I could write a blog and then post it directly to blogger, (Edit in Blogger: yeah it works pretty well. I wish it was faster, but most of that is my internet connection and Firefox. It was supposed to take the title of the document and make it the title of the post but I don't think it did. At least I had to edit it in. Also it has a feature where multiple people can edit one article. That would be cool for multiple authored blogs. Just ideas.) and if i can put HTML right into this and it would go right into blogger that would be great. (if this link goes to the Google homepage then it works. Edit: the link works well and lets you do a lot of different things.) It doesn't work in Safari witch sucks kind of because that's what I use. If someone can tell my why Firefox is so slow on my mac then I would use it but right now its Safari for me. There is an insert tab for images and stuff and a revisions tab and an edit HTML tab. All and all it looks pretty cool. A few things could be done better but not bad, Google.

Over-thinking 1337 or Under-thinking Lanugage

My mother, a hippy and teacher at university, has always had a progressive view on the English language. Any correction of improper English would usually be met by "Proper English was invented by rich, white guys trying to keep minorities down." Then she would sprout examples of different dialects that, while not text book proper, still should be considered completely acceptable. That was usually met by me rolling my eyes, because I heard things like this all my life, but her basic thesis was not lost on me. Language should be solely used for communication. If my feelings are understood by you, then it shouldn't matter how I communicate them. This effects me especially, being pretty severely dyslexic (kind of amazed I could get that word spelled right) and tend to make up words and grammar.

A few sundays ago, UserFriendly.org, a nerdy web-comix, made fun of New Zealand schools for allowing "students to use 'Text Speak' in their answers." Since reading this I have been considering how I felt about the rout we, the internet connected, immediacy demanding, ADD evolved youth culture, have been taking the English language. Leet, (Yes I'm attempting a serious discussion about 1337 on our society. I'm as shocked as anyone else . . . I feel a little dirty. Editors note: this will not be very serious) according to Wikipedia and the horde of nerds spending hours and hours debating such definitions, "is a sociolect variety used primarily on the Internet, particularly in online games." (Wikipedia seemed appropriate to use, I would not use if for a serious article or paper, unless it was about something like leet) This seems to cover the whole gambit of the internet language. (i.e. Emotocons, abbreviations, and ASCII) What benefits does this new way of communicating have on the world, or does it further degrade it? Does it segregate from or add to the beauty of our great communicators? Is it the next evolutionary step in our language or just something dreamed up by Ingsoc?

My thoughts: It's so much more complicated that any of that. Leet was dreamed up more out of a necessity for ease and privacy, then a new communication. Newspeak, from George Orwell's 1984, was a way to stifle the power of words, to take there emotional value, but leet and leet-like-speach can arguably show more emotion then it's english counterpart. LOL is more commonly used (weather for real or ironically or double-ironically or how-ever-much-ironically you want) and more emotionally charged then "Laugh Out Loud." What worries me is the title "Leet," derived from elite. This reminds me too much of the rich elite, who created the standard of language, my mother always warned me about. This word comes from geek counter's need to find an area where is is superior, but it creates underlings of everyone outside of the geek sphere. There is only a fine line. Between what, I have no idea, but it sounded like an appropriate way to end.