Sunday, May 29, 2005

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Revenge of the Sith

I saw Episode III today. Technically, this is an outstanding film. The CGI
characters and the human actors' integration is virtually seamless. George
Lucas' visual acumen is superb for the most part. The bulk of the action
sequences are stirring and entertaining. There are several scenes that are
also, if you are a fan of the series, quite powerful and moving. Numerous
reports of the stilted dialogue and wooden acting seemed to have been
exagerrated. It's not Shakespeare, but it's not THAT bad. And let's be
honest here: these are difficult roles to play for any actor. I thought
Natalie Portman was good as well as Ewan MacGregor and Ian McDiarmid.

I thought some scenes, especially at the end, went on too long and were too
repetitive. The story became weaker and weaker as it went along. I was not
convinced by Anakin's turn to The Dark Side. I don't think that was handled
all that well. Still, it was an enjoyable film for a fan of the series and
not as bad as episodes I and II. It does add depth to episodes IV and V and
I look forward to viewing them again. Incidentally, if you watched The
Clone Wars animated series, it may also add some depth to your experience of
this film.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - A growing stake in the biotech crops debate: "The issue has immediate relevance in Eastern North Carolina, where Ventria Bioscience has a permit to grow an open-air, experimental plot of rice engineered with synthetic human genes (to produce artificial human milk proteins) near the state Agriculture Department's Tidewater Research Station in Plymouth, in Washington County. Two earlier attempts by Ventria to grow its genetically modified 'pharma rice' -- a crop that yields drugs for use in human and veterinary medicines -- were opposed by farmers, food companies and environmentalists in California and Missouri because of concerns that the genetically altered pharma rice could cross-pollinate with conventional rice, thus contaminating the food supply."

Forget about Kansas, what the hell is wrong with North Carolina? It is going to take some big corporate entity with a rather large stake in locally grown crops to oppose this, like Anheuser-Busch did in Missouri. This is ludicrous.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

TV's 'Sopranos' final season will focus on money - Yahoo! News: "Network television, particularly hour-long drama shows, 'gives such a false picture of life,' he said.

'So much of it is a glorification of authority and an attempt to convince the American people that life isn't tragic, that everything works out and all those cops and all those firemen and all those judges and all those doctors, they really care,' he said."

Well put and right on the money. That's what is so ridiculous about the so-called 'reality' shows. There's no reality there. It is all editing. Superb editing, I might add. The best art doesn't avoid reality.
Culture of Life Breaking News: I HAD A DREAM: "So here we are, the Democrats in the Senate 'get to keep' the filibuster but only if they never use it. Only Thurmond was allowed this privilege because he was trying to oppress blacks which is evidently OK, no?

Guess what?

Sometimes you have to walk out. And yell. A lot. And show you are really committed to being pissed off. I spent much of my life fighting for things I wanted or needed or thought were just. This involved being beaten up, put in jail, harassed at home, spied upon and yelled at all the time."

What a travesty. What are they POSSIBLY thinking? Does Harry Reid really believe his words that he has sent some sort of message to Republicans? Can he be that stupid? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? So who do we get for 2008? Clinton? I don't hear her saying much. Obama? Can't hear him either. These Democrats are about nothing but getting elected. They stand for nothing except the next fund raiser. They all make me sick.

UPDATE: The more I think about this, the more I realize that this means it is all over. Bolton will be confirmed (as if that was ever in doubt). There will be major cuts to social security and increasing public debt. We will most likely invade Iran and possibly Syria this summer. There is NOTHING the Democrats will oppose or even attempt to oppose. They are merely going to sit around until 2007 when the campaign for president gets going in earnest. They are sick, sick people.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

New York Daily News - Movie Reviews - Jami Bernard: Last 'Star Wars' is a bit Forced: "The fundamental, overarching 'Star Wars' theme, established in 1977 and still going strong, is that when you are old enough to leave the farm and responsible enough to take the wheel, then — and only then — will you be allowed to drive fast. In 1977, Luke chafed at the bit to be taken seriously, and in 2005, his father, Anakin, pouts about how everyone gets promoted to Jedi master except him. When Samuel L. Jackson's noble Mace Windu effectively tells Anakin to go to his room, you know the Dark Side is just a temper tantrum away. This theme of wanting to be treated like a grownup, with its hints of displacing the father, is why kids love 'Star Wars' while older audiences are cool to it. This also explains why 'Sith' opens with yet another video-game-like space chase, in which Anakin's and Obi-Wan's driving skills help determine the outcome of the Clone Wars."

I haven't seen the film yet and I intend to, but I thought Bernard's take on the "theme" of "Star Wars" was interesting and novel. It's also pretty much the "theme" of Lucas' "American Graffiti". Bernard also reiterates that "Sith" continues in the series' trademark awful dialogue and wooden acting. But I wonder if this is not a deliberate choice Lucas made. The same complaint gets made frequently about Stanley Kubrick's films and definitely Kubrick wanted, and usually got, a certain acting style that was a bit distant and odd. He said once that movies can be about more than just the characters. Maybe this is giving Lucas too much credit and in reality he just finds writing dialogue and directing actors boring or uninteresting. I'll see the flick and let you know.
George Gallow Senate Testimony

Just once I would like to hear something similar from an American politician. No spinning, no couching your words in plausibly deniable vague-speak. Just plain English calling a liar a liar. The Scottish brogue does help though...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Huffington Post | David Rees

I was not exactly bowled over when The Huffington Post debuted yesterday, but then at that time I had no idea that David Rees of "Get Your War On" fame was going to be a contributor. He and he ALONE is reason enough to give this place a slot in your RSS aggregator. His first post had me in tears. An extremely funny guy.

Friday, May 06, 2005