Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Stalin's half-man, half-ape super-warriors

Next, on Monkey Day '05: the best headline to a news article, ever.

"It looks like an Ernst Wilhelm Nay. He was famous for using such blotches of colour," Dr Schneider confidently asserted.

In fact, it was painted by a chimp.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Roger Eberts Top Ten List

I generally like Mr. Ebert, especially after his review of The Devil's Rejects. I find his top 10 list to be mostly full of unmitigated crap, though, with the possible exception of King Kong and maybe one or two others. His comments on movies outside the top 10 are the more interesting part of the list, in my opinion. I thought Cinderella Man should have gotten more credit and didn't, at least from the critics, because Russell Crowe's character didn't give in to temptation. Movie critics tend to like characters who don't make them feel bad about their own failings, and vice versa.

Also, after The Thin Red Line, I will never see another Terrance Malick movie again as long as I live. I'm still angry that I lost those three hours of my life. And then there's Ebert's description of The New World as depicting "an unspoiled sylvan forest, where the Indians live in harmony with the land and the English blunder in with guns and ignorance." Could there be any more PC cliches in one sentence? Anyway, the article's worth a read.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mother Kills Baby to Protect Her from Spirits

Here's a disturbing little story from Oregon. The mother practiced both Voodoo and Santeria, and the police found her crashed into parked cars in her truck, her chest covered with self-inflicted wounds. Talk about a real life horror story. The thing that bothers me, is what kind of protection is it to kill the baby? I would refuse that kind of protection, thank you very much. The woman has pled not guilty by reason of insanity.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Winter Is Coming

In preparation for seeing the movie (hopefully this weekend), I re-read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I originally read it when I was a kid, so it was interesting to see how different it was from what I remembered. First of all, it was a lot shorter than I remembered. When I went back and re-read the Lord of the Rings, I was impressed with how long the books were, and how small the type was. I flew through this one, however, in two days. The other thing that I noticed was how much of a fairy tale it was, especially when compared to the Rings. I'm not sure if this re-reading made me look forward to the movie more or not, but at least my expectations are set at the appropriate level. I loved LOTR, so I am glad that I will be going into this movie without any thought of it being the same type of epic movie.

No More Monkey Jokes

In honor of the Wednesday debut of King Kong, here is a link to a Detroit Free Press review of the movie. The review itself, and especially the title, is not that great, but it does have some fun facts about the original. The one thing it doesn't answer that I've been curious about is where the idea for the original movie came from. Was there a book or a short story? Was is just a creative movie maker? If anyone has any information on this, I'd be interested to know.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

$67.1 Million

A big debut for Narnia this weekend, second only to Return of the King's for a December premier. I haven't seen it yet - I'm hoping to plow through the book this week, since I haven't read the series since I was a kid. It looks like this might turn into a new fantasy franchise, which is pretty exciting now that there are no more Lord of the Rings movies. I'm still hoping that Peter Jackson will make The Hobbit next, while Ian McKellan is still around.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Feast for Crows

It's always kind of sad when books like this one are done. My problem with them is that I always want to hurry through to see what happens but then am sad when there's no more. Mr. Martin's books are like the Harry Potter series in that way. Has Mr. Martin gone too far with his proliferation of story lines and characters, as Professor Bainbridge believes? Maybe. I can at least get where he's coming from. In this book, without spoiling anything, I have difficulty seeing the point of the Brienne thread. To be honest, though, I don't really care. I like his characters and the setting so much that I don't mind the occasional slog. This is also one downside of killing off characters so freely: the new ones you introduce may not be as relevant as the old ones were. My only quibble was with how Mr. Martin split up the book. He chose to tell all the story for half the characters in this book, rather than half the story for all the characters. I would prefer the latter, because I really want to know what's going to happen next, and I'm basically going to have to wait two books to find out. I'll be approaching 40 by that point, given Mr. Martin's schedule. Yikes. On that scary thought, I will conclude by saying that the demise of George R. R. Martin's skills as a storyteller was greatly exaggerated.

Hanged Santa

Down in Florida, a Santa hanged from a tree, blind-folded with his arms and legs bound by wire, is upsetting the neighbors. Hard to imagine why.

Friday, December 02, 2005

No Michael Irvin on ESPN This Weekend

This is good, because it is good.


The first review of King Kong is in, and it has some very high praise. Interesting.