Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Location: Springfield, PA

Friday, July 28, 2006

Another Quote

Yeah, here I am posting yet another quote. Consider it a way of my cleaning some of the iPostIt notes off of the iDesktop on my iBook.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
-- Dr. Seuss

Wish I knew where in Dr. Seuss that was from...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Hide the Rum

I saw Pirates...Dead Man's Chest yesterday. (Was planning to get an oil change on the truck, but that didn't work out, saw I zoomed and caught a matinee; getting the oil change now, while I'm doing laundry and posting this.)

It's a load of fun. Depp is still a camp hoot as Captain Jack Sparrow, but there's also a touch of the hero here as well. Over all, I think the film is very good about bringing back and carrying forward characters from the first film.

It's not that I'm jaded about visual effects. Not at all. But it's such a given that anything is possible at this point that I don't experience the "wow" the way I once did. If I did, though, there's be a lot of "wow" here.

Monday, July 17, 2006

OSX is a Force of Nature

What happens when I post from work? I post links, of course. This one has been sitting in my bookmarks for a while (since around Oscars time, I suspect), but it's still worth a look:

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Not since "Oil"...

I know I'm not usually a big links poster (often because my dial-up connection at home is so achingly slow), but (I'm on the high-speed at work right now and) I just found a free download of a new song by Steve Forbert, one of my undisputed music gods. When I find he has something new out, or even a re-issue of something old that I don't already have, I buy it then and there, whether I have the money or not. Well, to be honest, I haven't yet encountered the "or not" situation, but if I had I'd probably have mugged someone or tried turning tricks in the parking lot or something, or maybe just put it on my credit card, although I don't recall his ever having been able to take credit cards when I've bought things at live shows, but it has been a while since I've seen him live, too long actually. But I digress.

Forbert isn't often overtly political or topical. There's that "Oil" song, true, and "Good Planets Are Hard To Find," but he's not a protest singer or anything. So "The Baghdad Dream" is a bit of a rarity. Click on over and check it out.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The more things stay the same...

Although I sometimes feel a little guilty for posting just to share a quote, here I am doing it again. (Then again, my therapist would point out that I feel guilty about just about everything.) And I'm just not up to thinking about Bush long enough to point out the lasting damage this administration is doing.

This has been sitting on my iDesktop for more than a month:

"The legal rights of a minority should not have to rely on the approval of the majority."

ACLU chairman Norman Dorsen
June 6, 1977

After almost thirty years, how can any substantial portion -- much less the majority -- of people continue to so adamantly resist simplest reason?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Superman Exchanges

So I finally went and saw Superman Returns. I'm still not sure that I can forgive Bryan Singer for dumping the X-Men to court the Last Son of Krypton, but I must admit they do make a pretty cute couple.

My issues over Singer's abandoning the X-Men movies have a lot to do with the hookup X-Men fell into on the rebound. I may rant on that at some other time, although the venom right now has gone a little flat. (Yeah, that's right -- I had effervescent venom over X-Men: The Last Stand; shake it up and it'll probably still fizz a little.) So, setting aside for the moment the consequences of Singer's moving to Metropolis, let's look at how he gets on with the Man of Steel.

Superman Returns has that odd relationship to its predecessors that's marked recent revivals/reimaginings/reboots of other franchises, like Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who. It kinda sorta acknowledges that something went before, but only deals with those aspects that it feels like dealing with. So you have some not-so-sly references to the "original" Christopher Reeve Superman and (kinda sorta) Superman II sharing space with elements that freely ignore the history that the movie just references only moments before. I've been thinking about this phenomenon for a while now, but I don't have any real cogent insights or opinions about it. I do bring it up, though, if only to note that Superman Returns is in this respect distinct from something like Batman Begins. Hell, the titles alone ought to tell you that.

And I guess the other consideration that comes from this referencing relationship with its predecessors it that it leaves the new movie in the dubious position of asking to be taking on its own terms in spite of itself. I'm trying to accomodate it in that, although there are times when the film itself makes that difficult.

The while-you-were-off-looking-for-Krypton germ of the plot serves the movie well. It creates a tension with Lois, it gives Lex a chance to be out and about plotting evil, and it sets things up for -- SPOILER ALERT -- the question of the parentage of Lois' son. Yeah, like it's really much of a question once the possibility becomes evident.

Effects are, as is to be expected, stunning. No question about believing a man can fly here. True is, I've begun to take visual effects spectacle for granted. I don't really care how good the effect is; what matters is how it's used. The big set pices here are, for the most part, well put together. (Generally better than the big action scenes in The Last Stand, but I digress.)

As Clark/Kal-El/Supes, Brandon Routh is rather good. With not quite classic good looks that fall somewhere between Tom Cruise and Jason Schwartzman, he has a define charm. There are moments when, I suspect, he was cribbing directly from Chris Reeve, but the feeling is one of respect rather than rip-off.

Less impressive to me was Kate Bosworth as Lois. Not sure what I expected -- not the perky spunk of Terri Hatcher and certainly not the strung out fidgiting of Margot Kidder -- but I didn't feel like I found much of anything distinct.

Sam Huntington's puppyish Jimmy is a hoot, and Frank Langella is impressive (wasted, but impressive) as Perry White. Also underused is Eva Marie Saint as a luminous Martha Kent.

Kevin Spacey is having fun as Lex, but he's not breaking any new ground. I guess that's my feeling for the film in general. It's not the brave and self assured departure that Batman Begins was. Wisely not attempting the mythic scope of Richard Donner's Superman, Singer's film isn't sure how epic to be. What's the Big Threat here? As my friend Rob put it, it's all about Lex's undiminished obsession with waterfront property. The real umph behind the story is personal, and when it's working well on that level the film succeeds.