“Our Dumb Century” is the funniest thing I’ve ever read – the Onion’s archives are a close second.
If you’re anything like me, and you’ve been feeling like your list of accomplishments has started looking a little sparse, and maybe you’ve been wondering when you’re going to finally get around to leaving your mark on the world (and if ‘stains’ count as marks), then your day is about to get worse – the Moxie Cinema is finally opening on September 21st.
For over a year, Dan and Nicole have been struggling to open an independent cinema in their hometown of Springfield, MO. They’ve overcome financial and legal setbacks and worked their fingers to the bone – all of which has been excruciatingly and entertainingly documented by Dan on the Moxie Blog. Now finally, they’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
What makes all this slightly painful for me is that Dan is actually a year younger than I am. I have a year’s head start on him, but nothing to show for it.
Aw, just kidding. Best of luck to Dan and Nicole. If I’m ever near Springfield, I promise to drop by and show my support.
Regardless of how you try to justify it, Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D is a bad movie. Spy Kids 3D (the obvious comparison) was the weakest of that series and yet it still towers over Sharkboy in terms of plot and well… sense of fun. Even worse is that Sharkboy commits that cardinal sin of children’s movies: actually talking down to its audience.
And yes, I know it’s a kid’s movie and all, and I shouldn’t have high expectations but none of the kids in the cinema with me seemed particular engaged. In fact, most seemed bored by the story, although completely wowed by the 3D effect. The standout moment came for me when Lavagirl died (In children’s movies, all heroes are contractually obliged to die or appear to die) and some kid behind me shouted out “Deadgirl”.
del.icio.us tags: toys, thanks!
Irish bloggers have taken the question of “why can’t we have more geek get-togethers like [Bar Camp] in Ireland?” and run with it. TechCamp was born almost overnight.
It’s a really good idea, and it’s really encouraging to see people taking a pro-active stance with regards the things they’d like to see being done. Until now, the closest thing Irish geeks have to this kind of thing is the occasional LinuxWorld, which staggers between inaccessible to all but the most hardcore geeks and irrelevant to all but IT managers with huge budgets.
But, as it stands, TechCamp is suffering from an extremely blog-heavy proposal of events. Things like “How to blog”, “How to promote your blog” and “How to get others to blog” well… just aren’t of much interest to me. I’d rather see a more diverse agenda, one covering not only aspects of geek life, but of geek life in Ireland specifically.
Nearly four months after moving in, we’re nearing the end of our broadband saga. Smart sent us our modem and login details. So, I plugged the phone into the wall socket in our bedroom – no dialtone. There’s another wire coming up through the wall in our living room, presenting Cat 5 – I wired together a socket using the usual combination of blue -> red, white/blue -> green, but to no avail. In desperation, I yanked the face-plate off the wall socket in the bedroom and found that it wasn’t actually connected to anything.
Smart were very nice about the whole thing, merely remarking that the whole situation was “very unusual” (a very diplomatic way of saying “My word, you’re a moron for not checking this earlier”).
Either way, Eircom engineers are on their way out to us and we should be hooked up by next week.
But what’s with the four wings? Weird joining artifact?
Some spoilers included here. But since The Island is Michael Bay’s latest Big Dumb Action Movie, am I really spoiling much?
I don’t see how I could possibly run a blog called “low brow culture” and not like Michael Bay movies. Sure, he’s got all the subtlety of a jackhammer. And sure, his movies are based around explosive set-pieces, but you know what? I don’t care. He packs more visceral flourishes into two hours than most directors have managed in their entire careers. And since this is exactly what he’s going for, I say fair balls to him.
So, the Island.
I wanted to see this since I first read about it a few months ago. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s directly lifting pieces from a shedload of movies I love. Logan’s Run, THX-1138, the Matrix… Surely, with a bunch of explosions and car chases, The Island would be better than the sum of its parts.
It is. Barely. But what struck me more than anything else was the unrelenting stream of product placement in this movie. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the brightest spark in the fire, and product placement typically whizzes over my head like a jet plane. So, the fact that I’m dedicating an entire blog entry to this just makes me think: Jesus, Michael. Couldn’t you have toned it down just a little?
These are all in roughly chronological order. If you spot any more, let me know and I’ll add them up here.
Barely three minutes into the movie, we’re greeted with an entire tray of Puma footwear. Lincoln Three-Echo appears to be missing a shoe. Now, this begs a couple of questions.
1. In a perfect society, where they can detect two people touching, how does a shoe go missing?
2. In a hermetically sealed world, why bother with branding at all?
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Oh, how very droll. But this just brings up the issue of Question 2 again.
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Now, this is just baffling.
The movie is set in 2017 (or so). And yet they use the old Xbox logo. The one that got retired in 2004, and is being replaced by the new Xbox 360 one.
Within the story – Sean Bean proclaims how he keeps the products docile and without emotion. What possible purpose could there be for a game room that encourages fighting between fully 3D holographic representations of the characters? Don’t they know videogames are bad for you?
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The nerd in me just wants to snort at the idea of MSN Search powering a city’s telephone system.
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For me, this makes the least sense. If you look carefully, you can probably make out the Microsoft logo on the building in the background. I’m not sure if this building exists or not (I’m doubting it does), but either way, this is most certainly a deliberate inclusion. But it only appears on the screen for a fraction of a second – whizzing by far too fast for most people to notice.
Except those poring over every frame, looking for product placement, of course.
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This is either the most galling of the lot: having an actual ad play within the movie, or a really nifty post-modern idea using an actual Scarlett Johansson in a movie where she plays her clone. I’ll give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt and say it’s the latter.
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Michelob recently launched “Michelob Light in an Aluminium Bottle.” Here it is. In the movie, it looks even more like a straight-out advertisment. The bottle provides the only colour in the scenes it’s featured in, as the camera reverentially zooms and pans its way around the bottle.
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Samuel L. Jackson is one of the heroes of lowbrowculture, for the simple reason that he’s not too proud to take an awful job to pay some bills, or simply because he likes the sound of it.
In the next couple of years, he’s got two movies coming out that have grabbed my attention. The first is “Afrosamurai”, which tells the story of a Samurai who “seeks revenge on those who murdered hiss father in front of him when he was just a boy.” The other is “Pacific Air Flight 121.” Don’t let the dull title scare you off, it’s soon to be changed back to its much more impressive title of “Snakes on a Plane.” The plot outline reads “On board a flight over the Pacific Ocean, an assassin, bent on killing a passenger who’s a witness in protective custody, let loose a crate full of deadly snakes.”
Beaks: One of those films that youâ€™re working on right now is… well, itâ€™s called “Pacific Air 121“â€”
Jackson: Snakes on a Plane, man!
Jackson: Weâ€™re totally changing that back. Thatâ€™s the only reason I took the job: I read the title.
Beaks: Snakes on a Plane! Thatâ€™s everything!
Jackson: You either want to see that, or you donâ€™t.
Beaks: And how are those snakes? Besides being on a plane?
Jackson: Some of them are aggressive, some of them are cool. Theyâ€™re interesting to watch, and interesting to interact with. It depends on what kind of snake it is. One day, it took, like, four guys to bring in this 350 lb. Burmese Python. We were all like, â€œWhereâ€™s that goinâ€™?â€ And I watched an Albino Cobra strike airplane seats the other day. I watched it from another studio. Itâ€™s actually been a fun show. But weâ€™re taking the name back!
Samuel L. Jackson, we salute you.
Technically, can you call it ‘surfing’ when you barely managed to get to your knees? Consequently, can I start calling myself a ‘surfer’ now? Please?