Friday, February 05, 2016

Hail, Caesar! (2016) **

A fine cast, impeccable production but disjointed and disappointing. Comes across as a series of sketches about studio-era Hollywood but there's no rug to tie it all together. Smart, but no heart.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Blue Crush (2002) **

Formulaic sports flick but the Hawaiian locales and appealing cast are worth it.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) **

Almost HAS to be watched as a satire/black comedy, but aside from some cutesy character names ("Surcher" for the detective, "Tiger" for the football coach) it is played as a straight murder mystery/sex romp so it doesn't always work as entertainment. However as a time capsule of 1971 Hollywood it is a hoot and essential viewing.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Twelve Monkeys (1995) ***

Well put together sci-fi time travel flick stylishly directed by Terry Gilliam.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Economist's View: 'Paul Krugman, Bernie Sanders, and Medicare for All'

We do have to pay for the research, but the way we are now doing it is incredibly backward. It is like paying the firefighters when they show up at the burning house with our family inside. Of course we would pay them millions to save our family (if we had the money), but it is nutty to design a system that puts us in this situation.

Friday, January 15, 2016

How the Brain Perceives Color Could Help Explain Consciousness - The Atlantic

The human brain insists it has consciousness, with all the phenomenological mystery, because it constructs information to that effect. The brain is captive to the information it contains. It knows nothing else. This is why a delusional person can say with such confidence, “I’m a kangaroo rat. I know it’s true because, well, it’s true.” The consciousness we describe is non-physical, confusing, irreducible, and unexplainable, because that packet of information in the brain is incoherent. It’s a quick sketch.

What’s it a sketch of? The brain processes information. It focuses its processing resources on this or that chunk of data. That’s the complex, mechanistic act of a massive computer. The brain also describes this act to itself. That description, shaped by millions of years of evolution, weird and quirky and stripped of details, depicts a “me” and a state of subjective consciousness.

This is why we can’t explain how the brain produces consciousness. It’s like explaining how white light gets purified of all colors. The answer is, it doesn’t. Let me be as clear as possible: Consciousness doesn’t happen. It’s a mistaken construct.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Anomalisa Interview: Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson Speak

You never let David Thewlis’ Michael Stone off the hook for some really unhealthy behavior. He’s a fascinating trainwreck of a character. Were you ever tempted to make him more more instantly relatable or, dare I say, likable?

Kaufman: I would never be involved in any production that would try to make any character more likable. This goes back to the thing I said just previous to this. It’s the wrong thing to do. It’s thinking about the eventual audience and not the work that you’re doing. Not being true. We had zero conversations about making anyone likable. I think some people are more likable than other people in this movie. You say this is damning of Michael and I feel that’s your interpretation of it. I’m not saying you’re wrong. In fact, I’m saying you’re right. That’s your interpretation of it. That’s not the only interpretation of it. That’s an interpretation of it. I try, and Duke tries, to have things be layered enough that what you bring to it as a viewer is supported. Your interpretation is going to be supported. This movie doesn’t come to any conclusions about anything. It puts Michael through a weekend. From his point of view, you get to see that weekend.

Kroenke, the 'victim'? That's the story he's telling in LA : Sports

Q: You’ve developed real estate for something like 40 years; what made the site so attractive?

Kroenke: I’ve done this countless times, literally hundreds of deals. You just look for certain things. For example, (at) Hollywood Park, there’s a Target store and development right next door. Starbucks is there. These are people we’re very familiar with. We do developments with them. For me it’s starting to click.

Wow, the man is a freaking GENIUS!