Archives For August 2010

If you geeks haven’t heard, Logitech is holding a contest to find the “Host with the Most” for Google TV.

My friend, the talented Austin Craig is in the running. You probably know him as the face of Orabrush on YouTube: http://oran.gs/YH . If you liked what he did with Orabrush, just imagine what he could do with Logitech!

Land him the gig and send him to LA by voting for him at http://oran.gs/YI . It’s as easy as a click of the button. Thanks guys!

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The Art of the Steal was the most engaging documentary I’ve seen in a long time. It’s about the Barnes Foundation, which houses the most priceless art collection in the United States. When Dr. Albert Barnes died, he left specific instructions in his will for how the art should be displayed and protected, but many people and organizations had other ideas for his collection.
Like any good documentary, this film had me angry and up in arms by the end. As a warning: it’s definitely a slanted telling of the story, but it’s a slant I happen to agree with. With its simple premise, this film explores complex themes of the meaning of art, how art should be displayed, principles of private ownership, and moral obligations as a society. It’s definitely worth a rent. I dare you to not feel passionately about the Barnes Foundation by the end of it.

You can say a lot of things about Scott Pilgrim vs the World, but you can’t say it isn’t fun. This film was unlike anything I’ve seen, straddling realms of video games and comic books, with bits of reality thrown in. Video game icons and comic book expletives garnished the screen, which was weird, to say the least. But I think it worked for the feel of the film, and every once in a while they were used in a clever way.

 
There were lots of good moments where the film’s cleverness surprised me. The character banter had more wit than anything I’ve seen in a while. Having said that, there were a few things that bugged me a lot: one of the exes breaks into song (ugh), Pilgrim waits by the door right after making an Amazon purchase, and there are a few parts where swear words are bleeped out. I thought all these elements pushed things too far, and because they weren’t funny, they didn’t carry enough weight to support themselves. There were also times when the film felt like it was a person trying really hard to be cool.

Despite its faults, this film left me with overwhelming fuzzy feelings of geekiness (it might have been the old-school Sega and Nintendo sounds scattered throughout). In the end, I liked the way it was written, and I thought it was much funnier than the “comedies” that have plagued theaters recently (Dinner for Schmucks, The Other Guys).

I definitely recommend seeing this in theater, especially because there isn’t anything else coming out until the end of October (Let Me In). It’s a sad year, folks. Better get your ya ya’s out while you can.



I naively thought I had stumbled onto one of those things that gives you a glimmer of hope in the world when I saw Jenny’s wonderful method of quitting her job through a series of photos that she emailed to her entire office. If you missed this beautiful display of whiteboard usage, here’s the link: http://oran.gs/XR (where she calls her boss out on the carpet in awesome ways). I thought, “What a gutsy move! I want to be more like her!” I looked up to her like little girls look up to Disney princesses. 
Alas, then I found out it was a hoax from The Chive, and it upset me more than it should have. When I thought the whole thing was real, I felt so happy and proud for this perfect stranger. Now that I know it’s fake, it’s lost all meaning, and it’s not nearly as funny or clever.

But there’s good news! Meet Steven Slater, (former) flight attendant for JetBlue. 

Although his name sounds suspiciously fake, he’s the real hero of this story. On Monday, he kinda snapped when a passenger rudely argued with him over his luggage. Instead of continuing a pointless argument, Slater simply got on the PA and told all the passengers where to shove it. Then he proceeded to pull the lever for the emergency evacuation slide (which blew up in seconds). He grabbed a beer from the beverage cart, slid down the chute, and ran to his car. Don’t believe me? Here’s the link: http://oran.gs/Y7 .

 


In Dinner for Schmucks, most the humor was built around making situations more and more over-the-top. If you ask me, that’s a pretty cheap way to do a comedy (see Meet the Parents). It ignores the need for witty dialog, the element of surprise, or clever writing.

This film definitely had some funny moments scattered throughout (in the few places where it didn’t just rely on its pure silliness), but it was difficult to contextualize these moments or to care about the movie as a whole.

To sum up my very short critique, I wouldn’t recommend this movie. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t good. I don’t know what else to say about it. It was perfectly underwhelming.
I’m a little late to this conversation, but I just want to say that I really like Wonder Woman’s new outfit. People have been complaining about her new threads and arguing about whether a demi-god needs a jacket.
You can check out DC’s blog to see the original reveal and commentary from fans. http://bit.ly/b4VLEV
Ever since the reveal, geeks have made harsh comments on the DC blog. One wrote, “I’m just going to pour a double vodka and go to bed and check into Arkham in the morning. This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen!” Another fan wrote, “This has to be a joke. I am literally sick to my stomach right now.” Others simply wrote, “I hate it,” and “Epic fail.”
Sure, the cropped jacked circa 1990 is a little weird, but I like to think that she can take it off. Jacket aside, I really like the modern twist on her crown and wrist bands. And all I can say is it’s about freaking time the woman has some pants. The poor girl has been wearing an overly patriotic swimsuit for the past 60 years.

I think everyone has been overreacting. Maybe the costume isn’t the best it can be, but it’s lightyears ahead of her old costume.