I see a lot of movies. Most of my friends, coworkers, etc, family, know it. Some I pay for. Some I get for free. Most I see in hotels or airplanes.
Recently a friend asked what movies she should add to her Netflix, so I reviewed the 2008 movie list for her and dug out the movies I felt were worth seeing. Not that they were all fantastic, but that they were worth netflixing. There’s a lot of them, and they’re all over the map, and a few haven’t come out to the public yet. Either way, this is my list. Feel free to mock me, but remember: I ride a motorcycle and have friends that’ll bust your kneecaps ;-) I kid, I kid. Probably ;-)
- 27 dresses
- allah made me funny
- babylon AD
- the bank job
- be kind rewind
- body of lies
- burn after reading
- chaos theory
- charlie bartlett
- city of ember
- narnia 2
- dark knight
- day the earth stood still
- definitely maybe
- drillbit taylor
- the express
- the eye
- fool’s gold
- get smart
- ghost town
- hamlet 2
- harold and kumar 2
- haunting of molly hartley
- how she move
- how to lose friends and alienate people
- in the name of the king
- kit kittredge
- the longshots
- love guru
- made of honor
- mamma mia
- max payne
- miracle at st. anna
- miss pettigrew lives for a day
- my best friend’s girl
- nick and norah’s infinite playlist
- other boleyn girl
- pirates who don’t do anything
- rock n rolla
- the ruins
- run fat boy run
- saw 5
- secret life of bees
- sister hood of the travelling pants 2
- smart people
- snow angels
- son of rambow
- the spirit
- step up 2
- stop loss
- street kings
- swing vote
- tale of despereaux
- tell no one
- then she found me
- transporter 3
- tropic thunder
- vantage point
- war inc
- year of the fish
I’ve been travelling so much that I’ve had lots I wanted to post a note on, but never had a chance. So here’s what I can remember, in 10-second review format:
V for Vendetta: Surprisingly good. I thought it would suck based on the trailer, but I was totally, totally sucked in. Great political commentary. Decent acting. And I’m so glad he died at the end. Letting him live would have been cheesy classic Hollywood. Took balls to let him die, and made the movie live that much more for me.
X3: Awesome. Best of the bunch. Too many deaths, but understandable given the events.
Aliant: My phone company called me the other week to say “on your current plan, you get our International calling plan for free. Last month that would have saved you 30$. Mind if we sign you up?” Yes… A phone company calling to tell me they can save me money. Who’d'a thunk?
Rogers: Rogers Wireless (my cell company) often calls me to inform me of free trials to their services. I sign up, then set an Outlook reminder so I cancel 1 week before the trial (typically 3 months) is up. Good times.
Webcam: I just bought a webcam. My first ever. It’s a Logitech IM. Really quite nice. I’ve connected it to Skype if anyone wants to talk “face to face”.
Sheraton Toronto: I stayed there 3 times during my trip to T-Dot. I always felt valued, always felt special, always felt like they cared. It’s the smallest things. Refunds when the Internet went down. Always calling me by my name when I called room service or the front desk. Going out of their way to get me show tickets when I was bored one night.
Holiday Inn Select, Toronto Airport: The Holiday Inn Select is the 3-4 star version of the Holiday Inn. Supposed to be way nicer. They had some nice “little things” like a fog-free mirror in the shower (didn’t work) and a larger than average bathtub (that leaked). I stayed here twice during my stay. The first time was 5 days and every day something went wrong. The second stay was better. Not sure I’d be willing to pay 200$/night for it though.
Mesh: Awesome conference. Best conference of the year. Great organizers. To say it “changed my life” wouldn’t really be accurate… But that my life changed while I was at mesh makes it that much more memorable. Too bad I was dead tired the whole conference so didn’t socialize as much as I’d have hoped.
Red Bull: Over the last month, I’ve come to live on this stuff. Nothing like having to work 80+ hour weeks for nearly 2 months to make you need a pick-me-up on occasion (especially for 6am conference calls). As a note, you *can* buy these in a 24-pack. Saves you about 15$ ;-)
Oblivion: I’ve finished the main quest for this. Absolutely awesome game. I only have about 4 more achievements to go to “finish” the game (there are hundreds of side quests, but getting all achievements means you’ve effectively “finished” it, since there’s little benefit to doing all the side quests).
Perfect Dark Zero: Finished the main quest of this last night, in Agent mode, with a friend. Great game. Some really great moments. Not as epic as Halo or Halo 2, but a crazy amount of fun. Only level that really bugged me was the Temple. Too much “fleeing”, not enough time to sit back and be strategic. Finally battle was great.
Xbox 360: I’ve had it for a few months now. And while it set me back more than 1000$ with everything, I haven’t regretted it for a day. Demos, trailers, videos, sync’ing up with my PC or MP3 player. Awesome console.
IE7: I recently had to uninstall it and go back to IE6 and FireFox. Wow. It’s the littlest things in IE7. Open a tab by clicking on a mini-tab. Close each tab in the tab itself (instead of goingto the far right). Ease of opening a blank or new tab. It’s all just really smooth once you get used to it. I don’t even remember the learning curve, since everything was done in such a way that it was easier to open links in tabs than new windows. Genius.
Well, I gave my first impressions of the 360 (which continues to just shine and shine to me, especially demos and the Arcade) earlier this month. Thought I’d spend some time with the first exclusive game I’d bought, Perfect Dark Zero.
Now, I loved Perfect Dark on the N64. I also loved GoldenEye. But Perfect Dark took all the great bits of GoldenEye and made them nearly perfect. Not totally, but my friends and I spent a LOT of hours playing PD on the 64.
So it was with some nervousness that I decided to buy Perfect Dark Zero. In fact, so much nervousness that until last night I hadn’t really played it. Last night a mate came over and we did the first 3-5 missions (not sure exactly which).
The initial impression was WOW. The game is gorgeous. I mean, freaking awesome. The controls were a little hard to get used to, because there is so much you can do in the game. The prompts for things like taking cover are helpful, but there is still a lot you can do. Once got through the first level, though, we were doing pretty well.
After that we spent about 20 minutes playing with the rag doll physics (ie: beating people up and then tossing them in the water, and then shooting them until they were flat against the bottom). One of the missions took us about half a dozen tries to do, because it wasn’t clear that when playing 2 players we each had to ID a guy (ie: I couldn’t just do both). That sucked.
And then our last mission (when Player 2 plays as Mr. Dark) was incredibly, incredibly hard. Probably took 10-12 tries to finish it.
Overall, this is an absolutely fantastic game. We played for 3 hours, and besides the last half hour of frustration, it was fun the whole time. The gadgets rock. Grenades are freaking awesome. Some of the ways you do things in coop (ie: one person goes up the elevator, then helps the other person up) were great.
Jeff and I found ourselves constantly getting separated, and the arrows leading to your partner were very helpful. So far the weapons have been fairly basic, but are still crazy fun. The shotgun rocks. Just rocks.
So far, that’s the end of my experience. A 3 hour, crazy fun, session of coop with a friend. I’m sure I’ll have more. Suffice to say that any nervousness I had about the game is completely washed away. Perfect Dark Zero is an absolutely amazing sequel to Perfect Dark. And it’s a kickass game overall. No complaints.
Shannon and I went to see The Brothers Grimm together on Saturday. Neither of us was very impressed.
I went into the movie, having only seen the canned trailer.
In a lot of ways, the movie reminds me of when I saw Van Helsing. Van Helsing was really a tribute movie in a way: it took all the best bits from all the best classic horror flicks, weaved them into a vaguely cohesive plotline and had fun with them.
The Brothers Grimm takes dozens of childrens fairy tales and … Well, just twists them. Freakishly, badly, oddly, and never in a good way. Rapunzel is actually an evil witch. The Gingerbread Man is actually a blob of goo that swallows a boy and then runs away. Jack and the Beanstalk is … Jake and a bunch of beans that never do anything, and his sister dies as a result.
There weren’t many laughs, the plot was totally disjointed, the acting was 10x over the top (which is to be expected). Overall, this isn’t a tribute film. It’s just a mockery and twisting of childrens fairy tales.
It was sad. It could have been fun and entertaining at least to the degree Van Helsing was. Instead, it was just a flop.
Having now finished the upgrade to WordPress 1.5, all I can say is Kudos to the wordpress team. Previously I was running version 1.2, which is 3 versions back. I hadn’t upgraded yet largely because there hadn’t been any reason to. 1.2 was working fine, everything was going nicely, no big deal.
Lately I’d gotten sick of the fact that comment spam and trackback spam were getting through 1.2 even though I had safeguards in place that specifically protected against that type of spam.
Eventually, the 20-30 minutes I was spending a day dealing with these attacks (there’s now a counter at the bottom of every page so you can feel my pain) got tiresome. I had some extra time this week and decided to deal with this.
My upgrade process was longer than most, largely because it was such a significant upgrade and I’d intended to try and keep the old design. The process ended up being:
1. Copy database to new server 2. Copy files to new server 3. Get independent copy of Ensight running 4. Upgrade software (the upgrade instructions at wordpress.org were bang on, it only took me about 20 minutes to do everything) 5. Install new template (just to see how things were supposed to work) 6. Realize that the difference between new and old template was extreme, and that I felt like a change anyways, so went to find a template I liked 7. Install new template 8. Install plugins, addins, comment and trackback spam notification, extra doodads 9. Customize template 10. Tidy up
Overall I probably spent 5-7 hours on this upgrade. Which isn’t bad, considering that my last major upgrade (MovableType to WordPress 1.2) took nearly 6 days.
I’m happy with the state of things, I’m happy with this interim design and I’m very happy with the wordpress team.
The new software and the new design definitely allow me to do the work going forward that I needed to do. Plus, I like it, which is always a good thing ;-)