Light is green, trap is clean. 
2009.06.16 23:51 - Entertainment, Movies, Microcode, Meatspace Stupidity
Might just be me, but does anyone else think the male Rookie character in the new Ghostbusters game looks like Colin Hill? Anyone? Bueller?
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Movie Review: Sky Crawlers 
2009.06.16 11:11 - Entertainment, Movies
I am coming to the conclusion that I have deeply ambivalent feelings about the merits of Mamoru Oshii as a director. Like a lot of other dorks, I really like Ghost in the Shell, and I also really enjoyed what I've seen of Patlabor (for my money, though, the first Patlabor film and the TV series are more enjoyable than either later movie in the series). On the other hand, I didn't care for Ghost in the Shell: Innoncence, and found Jin-Roh interesting but ponderously paced.

Sky Crawlers is very much like Jin-Roh, in that the setting and concept are interesting, but the film itself is too ambiguous to deliver on these elements in a satisfactory manner. On top of that, the main characters are basically adolescent, which leads to some squicky moments. The ending offers no resolution to the questions raised in the film, nor are there very many answers to be found. There are some questions being asked about identity and humanity, but only the latter seems to be dealt with in a convincing or persuasive manner.

The animation is generally fantastic, but the rendered CG doesn't mesh well with the more conventionally animated elements, the realism of the CG-rendered planes and environments doesn't blend well with the stylized drawn characters. (It doesn't blend badly or clash, exactly, but it never quite seems like the pilots should be flying vehicles with such detailed shading or lacking outlines.) This might be intentional, but I wouldn't swear to it.

Ultimately, I think this is Oshii doing his art thing, and that just isn't something that appeals to me, at all. I can't recommend it, but the prevalence of those $1 DVD rental kiosks would argue for checking it out on the cheap if it sounds interesting.
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Coordination Not Found 
2009.06.12 09:42 - Miscellanea
Well, that was a perfectly good coffee mug before I turned it into a pile of ceramic shards. Good thing I've got another like that.

I think I will try to avoid touching anything fragile until tomorrow, though.
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Well, now that's done. 
2009.05.28 19:46 - Meatspace Stupidity, Miscellanea
Booked a room for homecoming 2009 at the TH Best Western.

This is a pre-emptive act aimed at avoiding the EconoLodge or similar establishments, a goal that was not met during last year's preparations.
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Terminator: Salvation 
2009.05.28 16:46 - Guns, Magpul Masada/Bushmaster ACR, Entertainment, Movies, Internet Stupidity, Meatspace Stupidity
2.5 out 4.

Terminator: Salvation is okay. It doesn't manage to be as interesting as the first of the Terminator films, nor as much fun as the second. (The third, I have not seen--consensus seems to view that as a wise decision.)

The lighting was murky, the acting was serviceable, and the characters mostly not as sympathetic as intended. I liked Marcus Wright, but I was ready for the film to be over by the time the credits rolled. Lots of callouts to previous films in the series.

In the end, one is left with the distinct feeling that nothing genuinely significant just happened: the only character that was really developed in the film was also removed from the stage.

Recommendation: since most of the people reading this probably have home A/V setups that can give a mid-range theater a good run for its money, I'd recommend waiting for the inevitable Blu-Ray/DVD release. At least you won't have to wonder if the slimy mess you stepped in on the way out of the aisle was somebody's melted Slurpee ... or a puddle of Astroglide.

If you're just looking for an excuse to see a science-fiction film in the theater, however, have you seen Star Trek, yet? I'm not sure it makes much more sense, realism-wise, but it's a heck of a lot more fun. Of course, Pixar's latest is also out this week.

Gun dorkiness follows:
To be honest, I spent a good chunk of my time trying to see the Magpul Masada that was hiding behind Barnes in about 60% of the shots he was in. Didn't see it: between the constant shadows and the distracting chatter from the row behind me, I managed to miss the one shot it was visible. It's plenty visible on the Internet, of course.

As an ancillary matter, the weapons seem to have been chosen primarily on the basis of coolness. Hence the Deagle, all the HKs, all the 5.56...
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