The good news: Indy 4
is more satisfying that Star Wars: Episode 1
. And it's better than Temple of Doom
, even though I still like Temple of Doom
In many ways, it's getting the band back together for a reunion tour. It's a lot of fun and if you take it for the nostalgia value, it's a lot of fun. They're not reinventing the wheel here. You're going to hear a lot of your old favorites and, sure, the guys all look a bit older, but that said I still had a good time seeing the movie.
It does get off to a slow start, but man the iconic image of Indy putting on the hat that was in the trailer....if that doesn't give you goosepimples, then maybe you need to go and see the new Ashton Kutcher film. Oh wait...don't. I want to stop encouraging Hollywood to make movies with him in them. Seriously, America, help me out here.
Anyway, I saw it, I liked it and it's another quality summer blockbuster. That puts me at two for two this summer and I've enjoyed both. From what I've read, you either love Indy 4
or you hate. Put me in the love it camp and ready to add it to the other movies in the DVD collection...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/26/2008 04:53:00 PM
The New York Times Magazine offers a preview of Emily Gould's article on blogging that will run this Sunday. In the article, she talks about blogging, being a "professional" blogger and a whole lot of other interesting aspects to the on-line community that is blogging. (Could I use the word blog any more in a post?!?) It's a fascinating article and one I recommend reading, though it will take a good investment of time to do so.
I'm sure I won't be the first to post about her article nor the last. Here are a few samples of things I found interesting. (Emphasis is mine in some case)
But is that really what’s making people blog? After all, online, you’re not
even competing for 10 grand and a Kia. I think most people who maintain blogs
are doing it for some of the same reasons I do: they like the idea that there’s
a place where a record of their existence is kept — a house with an always-open
door where people who are looking for you can check on you, compare notes with
you and tell you what they think of you. Sometimes that house is messy,
sometimes horrifyingly so. In real life, we wouldn’t invite any passing stranger
into these situations, but the remove of the Internet makes it seem O.K.
Of course, some people have always been more naturally inclined toward oversharing than others. Technology just enables us to overshare on a different scale. Long before I had a blog, I found ways to broadcast my thoughts — to gossip about myself, tell my own secrets, tell myself and others the ongoing story of my life. As soon as I could write notes, I passed them incorrigibly. In high school, I encouraged my friends to circulate a notebook in which we shared our candid thoughts about teachers, and when we got caught, I was the one who wanted to argue about the First Amendment rather than gracefully accept punishment. I walked down the hall of my high school passing out copies of a comic-book zine I drew, featuring a mock superhero called SuperEmily, who battled thinly veiled versions of my grade’s reigning mean girls. In college, I sent out an all-student e-mail message revealing that an ex-boyfriend shaved his chest hair. The big difference between these youthful indiscretions and my more recent ones is that you can Google my more recent ones.
It's that last line that really catches my attention and emphasizes the warning I think more people should heed--be careful what and how much of yourself you share on-line because you never know what or how someone might find you via Google. Or whatever search engine comes along in the next decade that replaces Google. We've seen story after story here in Tennessee about teachers who come under fire for their MySpace or Facebook profiles (and I'm sure it's the same in other states. I just happen to see a lot more coverage in my homestate). And we've all heard that horror story about the person who lost his or her dream job or a job at all because a potential employer looked you up on Google and found that MySpace or Facebook entry or page.
And that's just the professional world. Heaven only knows how might look you up on the personal leve. It could be your parents, grandparents, friends, potential dates, spouse, etc. I've seen a lot of blogs that reveal a whole lot of personal detail about people's lives and I wonder--really?!? Do you really want to share THAT much of yourself on-line? To people who may be complete strangers?
Gould then goes on to detail another potential problem with blogging.
Like most people, I tend to use the language of addiction casually, as in, “I
can’t wait for the new season of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ to start — I’m
totally going through withdrawal.” And when talking about how immersed I became
in my online life, I’m tempted to use this language because it provides such
handy metaphors. It’s easy to compare the initial thrill of evoking an immediate
response to a blog post to the rush of getting high, and the diminishing thrills
to the process of becoming inured to a drug’s effects. The metaphor is so exact,
in fact, that maybe it isn’t a metaphor at all.
When Henry and I fought about my job, we fought on two fronts: whether what I was doing was essentially unethical, and whether I was too consumed by doing it. I would usually end up agreeing with him on the first count — my posts could be petty or cruel — but that only made him more frustrated. It must have been hard for him to understand how someone could keep committing small-scale atrocities with such enthusiasm and single-minded devotion.
The thing with blogging and other forms of social interaction on-line is that it can build a false sense of community. Don't get me wrong here--I love blogging and its ability to keep up with friends and family who are located throughout the world. But in the end, it can't and shouldn't take the place of real-world interactions.
I was listening to Rick and Bubba recently (big shock, I know) and Rick was taking Bubba to task for having a FaceBook page. "Why do you need it?" Rick kept asking. The conversation went onto talk about DonJuan DeMarco, a producer of the show who has a MySpace page with somethng like 2000 friends. But the funny part--DeMarco's car broke-down a few weeks ago and Rick said, "So, how many of those MySpace people were there to come pick you up and give you a ride?"
Which kind of makes me point, I think. It can be so easy to feel as if because we've read something about people's lives or left a comment or sent a message that we've got this great community of friends. And like I said, I think blogging is a great way to meet people of similar interests and to share thoughts, ideas and opinions. But I can see a real danger in letting it become the only way you interact with people. Again, the point was made on Rick and Bubba that there could come a generation of people who will have no idea how to interview for a job because their main form of social interaction is MySpace or Facebook. And if you add in listening to podcasts, where you can have an actual human voice there and feel like you've talked to someone, you can see the danger.
The thing with those whole blogging thing is that it's a wonderful thing. But like all wonderful things, it can be taken too far or abused.
It's why I find Gould's article so compelling and interesting. And why I recommend that all of you read it and maybe share it with the readers of your blog, if you have one.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/22/2008 01:00:00 PM |
The bad part about my last movie quotes quiz was that five minutes after I was done, I remembered half a dozen other movies I wanted to include. So, here we go again with quotes. Just tell me the movie in the comments and remember--no Googling!
1. I don't know, I'm making this up as I go.
2. I do, I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact, and was in no way fair comment, and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you, or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future.
3. That girl will rain destruction down on you and your ship. She is an albatross, Captain.
4. I can't believe we're paying to see something we get on TV for free! If you ask me, everybody in this theater is a giant sucker! Especially you!
5. I wasn't nervous. Maybe I was a little bit "concerned" but that's not the same thing.
6. I wanna take you out to dinner, and then I wanna go back to my apartment and watch 'Kung Fu'. Do you ever watch 'Kung Fu'?
7. I would be happy to, sir. I just *love* scanning for life forms!
8. It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?
9. I loved it when you nuked Las Vegas. Suitably biblical ending to the place, don't you think?
10. He is but one, while you are three! Four if you count him twice.
11. Do be careful! Don't lose any of that stuff. That's concentrated evil. One drop of that could turn you all into hermit crabs.
12. Look at all the stars. You look up and you think, "God made all this and He remembered to make a little speck like me." It's kind of flattering, really.
13. Our assignment is to knock out the nuclear-weapons plant at Falafel Heights. The plant goes on line in 12 hours and is heavily defended. Now, if you have trouble hitting your objective, you secondary targets are here and here: an accordion factory and a mime school. Good luck, gentlemen.
14. Well, I guess you can't break out of prison and into society in the same week.
15. Eateries that operate within the designated square downstairs count as food court. Anything outside, of said designated sqaure, counts as an autonomous unit for mid-mall snacking. Now, if your going to wax intellectual about the subject...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/21/2008 12:30:00 PM |
The big news in the Doctor Who world is that producer Russell T. Davies will step down as producer at the end of next year. (I hesitate to call it a season since we're only getting four specials next year to accomodate the schedule of the actor in the lead role...or so we're lead to believe). Stepping up to the role of producer is Steven Moffatt, who has consistently turned out the best stories of the new run of Doctor Who. He's won two Hugos for his work on the show and will pick up a third later this year for last year's brilliant episode, "Blink."
This change in executive producer will be a good thing. Doctor Who is a show that is built around change and I think having new leadership for the program will sustain the series. Changes happened in the show consistently during the original series run and it kept chugging along for twenty-six seasons. There may be some fans to the new show who are in a bit of a panic over the change in producer, but all I can say is--don't sweat it. It's happened before and each time, it seems to bring in a fresh sense of energy and creativity to the show. Plus, it's Moffatt, who has shown he just gets what it is that makes Doctor Who, well, Doctor Who.
The news has really got me intrigued to see what will happen to the show and looking forward to series five in 2010. Of course, now the speculation will be whether or not David Tennant is leaving the role. The way the stories are playing out this year and certain hints that have been dropped, I'd say it's looking likely this will be his last full season in the role. That said, I'm not sure the BBC would want to have its biggest hit experience a huge change in front of the camera and behind it, changing lead actor and executive producer at the same time. I either expect Tennant to leave during the specials next year or mid-way through season five.
It's a great time to be a Doctor Who fan...even if all the new fans who can't get past that fact that Rose was just a companion and it's OK that she's gone annoy me.
Labels: Doctor who, tv shows
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/21/2008 07:58:00 AM |
Dear Mr. Chesney,
You may recall during football season, I declared you dead to me due to your going on national TV and showing yourself to not be a true Vol fan by praising the Florida Gators.
You'd think maybe, just maybe you'd have learned a lesson after that about not annoying people who like you. But based on your comments about last night's ACM Awards, I'm beginning to wonder if your hat is too tight or something.
Now, I won't even go into the fact that there are approximately seventeen billion awards show out there these days nor will I rant on the fact that man, you entertainers sure do enjoy getting together and congratulating yourselves on your perceived awesomeness on a regular basis. Hell, I think someone tried to give me an award earlier this week for singing in my car and doing the best drum solo on a steering wheel while stuck in traffic on I-24 near mile marker 65. But not being a huge raving egotistic, I declined.
But no, that's not my point here. My point is that you really shouldn't accept the award one second and then turn around and rip it the next. I refer specifically to the way you ripped into the ACMs for allowing fans to vote. I know that in your world, wherein people go with the flavor of the month college football team and have no loyalty, that if you could just make music without having to have those annoying fans buy it or, heaven forbid, like it and support it with their hard earned dollars things would be so much better. I mean, it's not like these people liked and supported you when you are a struggling artist back in the day and not churning out hit after hit that all sound the same and are about as interesting as watching paint dry. No, no, let's make sure we completely alienate them.
But then, we find out that your fans were encouraged to go onto the web-site and vote for you.
So, hold on here a second. Let's parse this logic. You don't want fans to vote, but yet you encouraged them to vote for you on the site so you could get this award.
Of course, knowing that you're a traitorous turncoat with no loyalty to a team you claim you grew up saying you're a lifelong fan of, I'm not shocked at all. Just one more reason to be glad that I threw out the few copies of your music I had a few months ago when you turned on my team for one of our biggest rivals.
You might want to check that hat. I'm not sure your out of control ego fits in it anymore.
Big Orange Michael
P.S. And to the Kenny fans who will inevitably find this blog because I've dared to make a negative comment about Kenny, please comment away. I cannot wait to see how you defend this one...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/19/2008 08:36:00 PM |
Lost: Something Nice Back Home
Oh I wish I hadn't been right last week when I predicted that this week's Lost wouldn't compare to last week's Ben-centric episode. Oh why couldn't they have worked a bit harder to prove me wrong?
Talking to a friend about the episode, she pointed out that this year's episodes have followed a pattern of the odd number ones a brilliant and the even numbered ones, not so much.
And this week was an odd episode. In more ways than one.
I found myself wondering if the producers felt they had to give us this episode to try and explain why Jack mentioned his father in the present-tense during last year's finale. Because heaven forbid they admit it was just a red-herring to throw off the viewers so when they eventually pulled the carpet out from under us, we were all stunned. The impact of it being a flash-forward was enough for me that I was willing to forgive it or chalk it up to Jack's deteroriating mental state as we saw during the entire episode last year.
And while I like Jack, I did feel as if this was a chance for Matthew Fox to channel his inner Charlie Salinger for a few minutes, esp. in the scenes with Kate. It was like half a season of that show in about half-an-hour. Oh, I love Kate. Oh we're getting married. Oh, my jealous control-freak half is showing. Oh, we're doomed. The thing is we all know how it plays out to a certain point, so the impact of seeing it unfold wasn't quite as good. Again, no where near as interesting as last week with Ben or the Desmond episode a few weeks ago.
That said, there were still some isolated bits to like. Mainly all the stuff happening on the island. I loved seeing Jin's realizing Charlotte can and does understand him and making a deal for Sun to leave the island. And the question of just how did Jack and Claire's father get onto the island and where has Claire gone is intriguing. Based on the pattern of things, I bet we don't delve too far into where Claire has gone next week, but will the week after.
Also, I'm beginning to think Jack is going to force his way off the island. His behavoir in the flash-forwards seems to make me think he has a lot to lose if the truth comes out. I have a feeling he will want to desparately go with Kate to the point that he will screw some other people over or make a deal that haunts him. I sense betrayal and the control-side of Jack lurking out there. And looking at it now, it's fascinating that in just about all the Oceanic Six flashforwards, Jack or Hurley play some kind of role. Is it too extremes of conscience over the choices made? Is Hurley's apparent mental decline and seeing Charlie out of the guilt he feels over what's happened? And is Jack's desparation to make sure everyone is on the same page part of that as well?
Battlestar Galactica: The Road Less Travelled
The first "just OK" episode of the season for me. But then again, it could be that it's the first of a two-part story and we have yet to see how it will all play out.
For the first time this year, the focus narrows to just two stories--that of Tryol and Baltar and the wacky antics of Starbuck, who is slowly losing what's left of her fragile little mind.
First up, the Baltar plotline. I've heard it said that you either love or hate the direction this is going. As I've stated before, I am firmly in the camp of loving it. The storyline of watching Baltar try to bring about massive religious change and shatter the polythesistic beliefs of the Colonials is fascinating. Also, to see how he's doing it and how he's being manipulated by another female Cylon--can you say irony anyone? I wonder if Baltar will discover that Tori is a Cylon before anyone else does and just what his reaction will be? The man does have a weakness for the Cylon ladies, if you know what I mean. Also, I am shocked that we've not had any more reaction from Six to this latest turn of events. And I'd still love to see Baltar talk to himself again like he did a few weeks ago.
Then we're out on the Demitrius where Starbuck's craziness is starting to take a toll. The crew is none too happy with her and cracks are starting to show. Helo is defending her but you can tell the guy is having a harder and harder time with that. Then Lebonen shows up and wants to propose some kind of alliance between his faction of Cylons and the Colonials. And, as we all know, Lebonen has had some kind of weird fascination, connection to Starbuck dating back to season one when she interrogated him. It just gets a bit more weird here.
Now, I predicted a few weeks ago that I could see the show going to a point where the mechanised Cylons wipe out the skin-jobs, thus creating some kind of loop where it cycles back to the original series and those models. And this development only sort of makes me feel a bit more justified in the thought that this could be the case. Of course, I'm not Ron Moore, so the rug could be pulled out from me at any time.
I do find it interesting that the crew finally reaches a breaking point and mutinies against Starbuck. Which would have been a fun little surprise had no SciFi's promos during other shows given it away. Seriously, who makes these things? I know you've seen it all, but that doesn't mean some of us don't like to be surprised.
And then the networks wonder why people with DVRs wait a few minutes into the show so we can zip past the commericals. It's not that we're against the products being sold, so much as we're avoiding the ruining of the last two minutes of any given show due to your promos.
Labels: battlestar galactica, Lost, tv shows
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/06/2008 01:12:00 PM |
Went to see Iron Man over the weekend and while it wasn't quite the nirvana that is Spider-Man 2, it was still very enjoyable. That said, I think they're pulling the typical pattern for Marvel Comics based movies--good first film, incredible second film. (See also: X-Men, X2, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2)
And if you've not seen Iron Man yet, I encourage you to run, not walk to a theater and take it in. Also make sure you stay past the closing credits or you'll miss one of the cooler geek moments of all-time. Watching it on YouTube...not the same at all.
Of course, going to see Iron Man reminded me of why I don't get out much to the theaters to see many movies. I'm not going to rant about the incredible cost of seeing films in a theater these days. What's the point?
Instead, I'll go all curmedgeon on you and say, I enjoy going to the movies, I just am not a fan of being around the people. Why in the name of Robert Downey, Jr. do you pay all that money to see a movie, only to go in and chat for two hours? And why couldn't the parents in front of us maybe ask their son (who is old enough to know better, mind you) to stop bouncing in his chair so that it keeps rocking back into me?!? (Of course, I feel like I got my own sort of passive-aggressive revenge as when the credits rolled up, they shot out of the theater. Had they not annoyed me for half the movie, I might have said--hey, you might want to stay based on what I've heard).
Also, the guy who felt that the call to turn off or silence your cell phone included everyone in the theater BUT him. I swear, I wish they'd install cell phone dampening fields in movie theaters.
How in the world is it that these people always manage to sit near me?!?
And people wonder why I will wait and get the films on DVD more often than not.
Yes, I do understand that for some things, you can't replace the fun of seeing the movie on a big-screen with an audience (for example, opening night of a Star Trek film). And I know I'll be out to see at least a few more movies this summer (no way am I missing seeing Indy 4 on the big-screen or Dark Knight on the IMAX). I just hope I can find a time when all the annoying people aren't there....
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/06/2008 07:01:00 AM |
A bottle-opener shaped like the original (and best) Enterprise.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/01/2008 12:55:00 PM |