"I need some fucking friends." -- Peter Klaven (I Love You, Man)
 
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Snowpiercer currently has a 95% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Reading through the capsule reviews most all of them really like the movie. I must be in the minority 5% because I did not like the movie one bit.

Snowpiercer is science fiction movie about a future Earth covered in snow and cold with the remnants of human civilization living on a train that constantly circles the world. If it stops, humans will go extinct. Passengers on that train are either the haves, the upper 1% who inhabit the front of the train with sushi, clubs, and books, or they are the have-nots the sorry passengers at the back. They yearn for the type of stuff that the haves have. Into this world is Chris Evens who wants to go from the back of the train to the front. He leads a revolution.

With that set up, Snowpiercer would lead you to believe that the film will be an allegory. Except, it wasn't. Yes, there was the battle between the haves and the have-nots. But there was also the musical number in the middle. And then Bong Joon Ho's favorite, the key master and his daughter. They came from another movie. The allegory was lost. The movie had many different tones to it. How can you really make it an allegory when it was all over the map?

I think that Sucker Punch had a better train fight. This is the second Bong Joon Ho film that I didn't like as much as others had. The first film? The Host. I didn't like that one as much. This film makes me feel like I did during The Dark Knight -- I think I'm missing something.

2 of 5 stars.

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I swore off eating ramen after coming home from the Philippine escapade earlier this year. Now that it's summer time, I feel like some. Ramen! I haven't tried the ramen shop that just opened up in Baltimore. I heard that it was only okay. I haven't cooked any cup noodle or made my own from the dehydrated noodle square. I would like to try the noodles from today's link. It would be easy to. They only service some of the hippest ramen shops in the US. I guess I should mosey on over to one of those and get a nice bowl of shoyu ramen.

http://sunnoodle.com/

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Tuesday, July 08, 2014
How to Train Your Dragon 2 gets the thankless task of being the last film to open before the big juggernaut of Michael Bay's Transforming dinobots or as I like to call it: The End of Days! Dragon doesn't have the same action cache as a Michael Bay film, but it is a part of a better, coherent franchise.

Dragon 2 begins a few years after the first one ended. Dragons are the norm in Hiccup's town; they are embraced, loved, and cared for. The town spends their time doing dragon races. Hiccup spends it exploring the world for more dragons. He's grown up and may be ready for being the leader of his town. His dad thinks so. He doesn't.

While exploring Hiccup eventually finds his mom. She's a recluse living in a dragon world communing with dragons. She's a natural dragon rider who believes her son has inherited her skills. Hiccup has but is not in a league like her mom. Hiccup has inherited his mother's dragon nurturing skill. He's nothing like his dad. But the movie will show that he will be his father's son.

The mother could've been a more interesting character. She's strong willed and talented. She knows dragons showing Hiccup a thing or two about the Night Fury he rides. Yet, as the movie progresses she becomes boring. She doesn't get to use her dragon prowess to defeat the big bad. She disappears from the plot in the tail end of the movie. She could've been used better.

The animation looked phenomenal. The famous DP, Roger Deakins, is a consultant, and the camera work is absolutely amazing. It'll wow you with its depth of field, shading, and lighting.

Finally, as with Godzilla, this film had kaiju. It's a big kaiju lovefest.

3 of 5 stars.

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Friday, July 04, 2014
USA! USA! USA!

The bombastic chant heard at sports stadiums around the world

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Thursday, July 03, 2014
Links of the day don't usually show up this late, but this can't wait for tomorrow because it doesn't match the celebratory mood. Nor can you wait for the weekend for this because no one would read it. It wouldn't be read even this evening, but it's going up anyway.

Sailor Moon is coming back. I haven't really followed it. I've read the first couple chapters of the manga. I haven't seen the original anime, but its being redone and will start broadcasting on the 5th.

Today's link will give you an over view of the anime. It's a good explainer not just of Sailor Moon, but of the "Magical Girl" (Mahou Shoujo) genre. Learn it. Know it. Live it. And once you do, you can graduate to Madoka whence we'll talk.

http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/sailor-moon-the-explainer/

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Because I need to step up my blogging game, here's a post about visualizing algorithms. I think its rather cool, but YMMV.

I haven't written much because no one's been reading. I also need to write code. More code rather than blog posts. Need to write iOS code. Need to just code. I like this about algorithms though. It's all about the code.

http://bost.ocks.org/mike/algorithms/

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Saturday, June 28, 2014
If you like to see Tom Cruise die horrible deaths over and over again, then Edge of Tomorrow is right up your alley. The movie is best thought of as the bastard son of Groundhog's Day and The Battle of LA with Tom Cruise forever running into horrible deaths.

This movie evokes many other movies beyond Groundhog's Day repeat until you get it right premise. There's Aliens with the sergeant played by Bill Paxton leading the rag tag group of soldiers with a large 'Tank' type and a 'Vazquez' type as well. Then there's Matrix with the Mimic enemy looking like the tentacle bots. For me, it reminded me of the Endless Eight debacle from season 2 of Haruhi.

Nice movie. Failing at the box office. You'll catch this on HBO in December. It could be interesting. It could be non-boring. It's a summer movie. At least it isn't Transformers.

3 of 5 stars.

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Friday, June 20, 2014
Strange dream this morning. No, not about that girl. Nor the other one. But about a girl. More likely, girls in general.

I was in a golf cart at some golf course with my mom driving. She was driving haphazardly giving no courtesy to the players out on the course. A group on the tee was trying to hit us as we drove. I watched ball after ball come lazily drifting down at us. They were all nice drives.

At one hole, my mom knew one of the players. He asked the usual stuff of me: age, work, married or single. When he found out I was single, he said he I was just right for his daughter.

So, I ended up on a blind date. Which starts off with me waiting at some family restaurant. The waitresses know I was waiting for a girl on a date, so were harassing me in the way women tease men. I ordered a drink.

Next thing I knew, my date was there. We exchange pleasantries and begin to order. I try to order something that doesn't require me to use my hands. No shrimp! Maybe a plate of chicken. We place our order and have another drink. I would need to go use the toilet. I excuse myself, the waitresses giggle, and I head for the bar which was where the toilets were located.

I would run into people making sure that my date went alright. Cousin Bob and Cousin Gigi in her silly floppy hat smoking cigars at the bar. CapitolSwell hanging out. I finish and head back.

She had people there making sure her date went alright. Her dad, her sister, her brother, and her brother's girlfriend who was annoying. She was hysterical that they were going to break up and quickly dashed from the table with the brother giving chase. There was a plant on the table that made it difficult to talk to anyone at the table. I tried to move it with no success.

I'm there at a table waiting for the food to arrive on a blind date with a girl whose family is occupying most of the table. We haven't even begun a discussion.

Then I woke up and wondered why I had such a dream.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014
Always listen to your father.

He told me many things. I was always sceptical.  I was also hard headed and didn't want to listen. I can do it my way. I didn't need his advice. What does he know?

Turns out a lot. My dad was smarter than me. Knew me a whole lot better than I knew myself. His advice was a lot better than my insincts. He knew. 

I should've listened to him from the start. I'll admit now, his advice was always better. Happy Father's Day. 

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Saturday, June 14, 2014
Chef is Jon Favreau returning to a smaller, intimate movie. It is the story of a highly celebrated chef caught in a bind serving a menu he doesn't believe in because he's trapped in a restaurant that is not his. Favreau plays the chef who has a meltdown, gets fired, and has to pick up his pieces thanks to his ex-wife. He finds the menu he finally believes in in Cuban sandwiches served from a food truck which he drives from Miami to LA. This drive redeems him as a person and a cook. It also redeems him with his son who accompanies him. They reconnect over cooking and the food.

This movie seems to be Favreau addressing his role as a filmmaker. He was a hotshot as a writer with Swingers then moved onto the big stage by directing Iron Man 1 and 2. Did that move cost him his auteur status? Did the knocks against Iron Man 2 make him freak out? Perhaps, but to address it Favreau returned to a smaller movie which he wrote and directed.

When I watched this movie, I had already had dinner. With scenes of cooking, it made me want to have another meal. Don't watch this if you hadn't eaten yet. Don't watch it if you have. It'll make you hungry.

3 of 5 stars.

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