Not dead, just tired 
2010.11.30 20:24 - Entertainment, Books, Movies, Meatspace Stupidity, Whining, Work-related
Criminy, it's almost December.

I think I can sum up my life the last month as: work, TV zombies, work, TV spies, work, TV spaceship, work, work, cartoons, more cartoons, minecraft, work, TV zombies, work, etc.

I've read Monster Hunter Vendetta, am most of the way through Unseen Academicals, watched a movie or two, eaten some turkey, and have otherwise been a little too shelled from work to devote much time to life outside my head.

Two and a half more weeks to the end of the year, for me. I think I owe my employer two-hundred-odd unit tests and some additional code in the meantime, though.

Oh, and I've been listening to The Protomen. First album's okay, second's very good.
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The Expendables 
2010.08.18 13:17 - Entertainment, Movies
Summary: Big, dumb, loud, violent, and more fun than it has any right to be.

2.5/5

The Expendables is a terrible film. The acting is awful, the story is stupid, the premise is preposterous, the characters crummy. (It is, in fact, so awful I think it must be intentionally bad.) It is also awesome. Honestly, this was probably the most fun I've had in the movie theater in at least a year and a half. (And I thought A-Team was great fun, FWIW.)

Recommendation: If A-Team was too cerebral for you, this is your film.
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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World 
2010.08.18 12:58 - Entertainment, Movies
Summary: Technical excellence on a fundamentally shallow and banal story told with cutely imposed video game metaphor.

3.5/5

I confess to being unfamiliar with the comic book except by reputation. After seeing Scott Pilgrim, I don't feel any desire to familiarize myself with the source material. The main character is, basically, a jerk, the story is trite, the grand realization at the climax could come out of a fortune cookie or a generic self-help book, and nothing about the movie bears much scrutiny. For all that, everything about the movie other than the story is excellent: the acting is good, the special effects are great, the dialogue clever, the use of narrative devices smart.

It's just that there's nothing about the story to make it worth all this effort.

In the end, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is almost all flash and almost no substance.

Recommendation: see if you're interested, but don't lose any sleep over missing out.
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Why My Investment In Fictional Universes Is Increasingly Limited 
2009.12.02 09:00 - Entertainment, Books, Movies, Television, Meatspace Stupidity, Whining
I have the RSS feed from theforce.net laying around in my Google Reader subscriptions. This morning, that feed included an announcement of the cancellation of an upcoming Star Wars novel by Karen Traviss.

I really don't follow this stuff very closely, and what's going on here is one reason why. Karen Traviss has been writing novels in the Star Wars universe centered around some characters that are clone soldiers and a handful of Mandalorians, either referencing or creating a lot of stuff concerning the previously established warrior culture of the Mandalorians. I've read a few of these, because they've crossed over nicely into the sub-genre of military sci-fi that I've recently found myself enjoying, and because I do still like the Star Wars universe, despite the fact that it is often so shoddily and inconsistently constructed. So, I've got two or three of the Republic Commando novels on my bookshelf, and I'll probably pick up the couple of novels following those characters at some point.

Traviss has decided not to write this last book because, among other reasons, the Mandalorians are being retconned into pacifists during the movie time period, which presents certain existential difficulties for many of her key characters.

Uff da.

[Addendum: I fired this off without putting a complete title on it, so I corrected the title.]
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I did not know that 
2009.10.25 23:31 - Guns, Browning Hi-Power, Entertainment, Movies, Television, Meatspace Stupidity
According to imfdb, "John 'Hannibal' Smith's sidearm of choice was the Browning Hi-Power."

That's pretty cool, in a pop-cultural sort of way. I wonder if that's going to carry over to the movie they're doing?
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