Archive for August, 2006

Friday Funday CIX

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet.

Dropkick The Faint [del.icio.us]

I don’t know who The Faint are or why you’re supposed to dropkick them, but my high score so far is 14,434.

What does your browser reveal about you? [del.icio.us]

A humorous and fairly accurate list of the personality types of the people who use different browsers. My favourite one is Lynx. Too true. -)

AOL Search Log Special, Part 1 [del.icio.us]

From Something Awful comes a rip-roaringly funny view into real people’s searching habits, courtesy of AOL. I strongly advise against reading this at work. Not only is much of the text strong and potentially offensive, but you’ll be laughing loud and hard. Be sure to check out part two.

How I (color blind person) see the world! [del.icio.us]

I’m not colour blind, that’s just the name of the post to which I’ve linked. Phoenix, on the other hand, is red-green colour blind. Kris and I always wondered what red and green look like to Phoenix, but he was never able to explain it to us in a way that we could understand (through no fault of his own. How do you describe what colour you see to someone who doesn’t see the same thing?). Well, now perhaps we can understand what he sees. So Phoenix, is this how you see the world?

Board Dots [del.icio.us]

Not a particularly creative game, but as the description says, “Another one of those games that looks really simple and easy, but leaves you pulling your hair out in the end.” Out of the nine levels, the only one I haven’t solved so far is level five.

An Event Apart

Remember back in February when A List Apart published something I wrote and linked to my site? Yeah, we all remember that. And it was pretty cool.

Well, the same folks who run A List Apart, also run An Event Apart.

And, hold on to your butts, I’m going to AEA in September. My work decided to send me, so I don’t have to pay for it (which is good, because I can’t afford it right now).

I’m excited and nervous. And excited.

On A Motherfucking Plane

Ready for more Snakes on a Plane goodness?

I can’t believe I forgot to mention the funniest part of the entire movie; the crappy music video during the credits! Even though you can watch it on YouTube, you should still go see it on the big screen. I wish I could remember how Kris described this video. It was really funny. Something like, “Ooh, they walk toward the camera. Exciting.” Kris, help me out here.

So how did the much-anticipated opening weekend fare? Well, New Line is claiming an opening weekend gross of $15.2 million, which just barely squeaks past Talladega Nights for number one at the box office. But wait! $1.4 million of that is from Thursday night, so New Line had to “cheat” in order to have their film come out on top (this what’s known as “creative accounting”).

So, it’s as I thought. A mediocre movie gets a mediocre return (the film cost $35 million to produce).

No matter how poorly it does, there are still hard core fans who will never forget, even if they want to.

Motherfucking Snakes

Pseudo-spoilers ahead.

Last night, Mike, Emily, Morah, and I went to see Snakes on a Plane.

With all the hype surrounding this film, it was no surprise that the AMC had it showing in one of their giant theatres. You know, the ones that hold hundreds of people. So was it any surprise that, in Spokane, on a Saturday night, Snakes on a Plane was able to draw =almost a dozen people= to the theatre?

Okay, okay, there were probably more like fifteen or twenty people there. But even if half the theatre had been full, I would have been disappointed by the turnout. Perhaps later showings had bigger crowds. Or perhaps everyone went on Friday night, so they had already seen it. Either way, I’ll be interested to see what the opening-weekend grosses are like. If the screening I attended was any indication of other screenings around the country, this movie is in big trouble.

The film opens with a delightful song and a helicopter shot across the water. The camera tilts up to reveal the Diamond Head Lighthouse. As the helicopter lazily drifts toward Waikiki, a small group of hotels is visible. The one on the far end is The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, where Morah and I will be having our wedding reception in a couple of months.

It quickly goes downhill from there.

In case you don’t know the plot, here’s a quick rundown:

Some surfer dude sees Asian mob boss Eddie Kim kill some other dude. Eddie Kim’s cronies try to kill him, but Sam Jackson saves his ass. He convinces the surfer dude to go back to L.A. and testify against Eddie Kim. They board a civilian plane, which Eddie Kim manages to have filled with hundreds of poisonous snakes. A few hours into the flight, the snakes are released, and all hell breaks loose.

The film has a number of implausibilities that require a very heavy suspension of disbelief. For example, Eddie Kim’s gang members don’t know which plane to put the snakes on until the very last minute. Somehow, in a post 9/11 world, they’re able to get a large, unscheduled, un-inspected shipment on board the plane, without anyone noticing, even though the airport is crawling with cops. And that’s just one example.

It also tends to ignore Eddie Kim. We only see him twice in the film, and the second time, there really wasn’t a point to it. We never find out if he is successfully taken into custody (we can only assume the order to arrest him went without a hitch). In fact, while they talk a lot about him masterminding the whole scheme, we don’t get to find out very much about him. It’s great that the inciting incident came so quickly, but damn, give me a little back story. We don’t ever get to find out how smart he really is; maybe he’s not that smart. I mean, his top cronies can’t even pick a lock without making a racket.

Also, there’s a fairly sinister Asian dude on the plane. It turns out he’s a good guy, but they never really play up the whole, “he could be a baddie!” aspect of it.

What troubled me the most, however, was whose story it was. In film school, we learned that, in a classically structured story, the story is about the character who experiences a change (sometimes it’s the character who changes the most). For example, in Finding Nemo, it’s Marlin’s story, because in travelling to Sydney to rescue Nemo, he overcomes his fear of the open ocean. In Snakes on a Plane, the only character who goes through a change is the rap star (Three G’s). He’s a secondary character at best! But he’s also the only one with an arc.

It’s interesting to note that this movie is a horror film. It has many of the traditional horror film conventions. For example: The young, hot couple who leave the group to have sex are the first to be killed (includes an obligatory tit shot). When the sun comes up, the snakes become a non-issue. There’s a typical “one last scare.” There’s cheesy, excessive violence and gore. At times, we see through the eyes of the killer (in this case, there’s a fair bit of “Snake Vision”). The power goes out on the plane (sort of). Multiple toilet stall scenes. There’s a cat (and it hisses. A lot). Many laughable scares. It’s a dark and stormy night. Little kid survives.

Speaking of the little kid, the character’s name is Tommy Brown. No joke.

I’ve written a lot about what made the movie bad, but it really isn’t all that bad. In fact, if you think about it as being a horror film, it’s actually a pretty decent one. What would make the movie better, is if someone would come up with some sort of Rocky Horror style interactive script. Oh, here we go.

So, the bottom line is that this movie doesn’t try to be anything more than it claims to be. There are snakes and they’re on a plane. You don’t need to know much more than that. It doesn’t try to be too serious, and that’s a good thing. Would I go see it again? No. Do I recommend that you go see it? Hell yes. Best line in the movie? You know it by heart, so say it with me:

“I’ve had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!”

Friday Funday CVIII

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet.

We Are The Web [del.icio.us]

I thought I had posted this a while back, but I can’t find it on my site, so I guess I didn’t. Cheers to my dad for sending me this. I don’t know what’s sadder, that they got all of these people to be in the video, or that I know who they all are.

Bike Messengers Are on Crack [del.icio.us]

Seriously. Crack.

Interactive Buddy [del.icio.us]

This is a moderately-fun game that, if nothing else, will kill some time. “Mother always said there was nothing like a little wanton violence in the wee hours.” Bonus points if you know the reference.

Athiest [del.icio.us]

Last week there was a game called Athiest. This week, it’s a video.

Goggles [del.icio.us]

The GoogleMaps flight sim. Why? Because you can.

Two Months

Two months from today, Morah and I will be in Honolulu, getting married!

Only two months? We’d better get to work! There’s still plenty to do…

Friday Funday CVII

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet.

Athiest [del.icio.us]

I know some of you will have already seen this, but I just discovered it this week since I’m watching all of the back episodes of The Show (because I want Phoenix’s to continue loving me). If Athiest makes your children cry, try Buddhist instead.

Easily mispronounced domain names [del.icio.us]

There’s nothing wrong with a company called Pen Island, right? Too bad they chose penisland.com as their domain name…

Hydrogen Atom Scale Model [del.icio.us]

You know how they say that atoms are mostly made up of nothing? You never really think about it until you see a web page like this one. Not only does this help you appreciate just how empty atoms are, but also how small they are.

Bloodninja [del.icio.us]

I’m sure this is old news for some people, but it’s new to me and it’s hilarious.

Links to 23 Penn and Teller: Bullshit episodes [del.icio.us]

Those of us without cable TV are thankful for cable internet.

King of Surf Guitar

Last Saturday, Mike, Emily, Morah, and I went to see Dick Dale perform at the Festival at Sandpoint.

Holy crap.

Second only to the Rolling Stones as most kickass concert I’ve ever been to, Dick Dale can shred. He pointed out that there was a limit to how loud and crazy he could get and suggested that everyone come see him in a venue where he could really “make your ears bleed.”

I’ve loved surf music ever since I found one of my dad’s records from the ’50s that had a bunch of different artists on it. Classics like Let’s Go Tripping, Surf Rider, Rumble, Walk Don’t Run, and Miserlou have always been able to make me smile and bob my head. So when Morah told me that Dick Dale was coming to the Festival, we had to go. With the passing of Link Wray back in November, I knew that we couldn’t afford to miss this show.

That’s one of the problems with liking music from the previous generation; many of the artists don’t give concerts anymore. Often because they’re dead. Which is really sad.

Thankfully, Dick Dale is alive, well, and still bitchin’ (as he puts it). He also had his 14 year old son, Jimmy, with him. Holy hell, that boy can play. In fact, for a good part of Miserlou, Dick wasn’t playing at all; he was just bowing down to the next generation of rippin’ guitar. They had a fun rapport with one another on-stage, and it’s clear that there’s a lot of love between them. I think it’s really cool that they can tour around together.

After the concert (which was so awesome! Did I mention that before?), Dick and Jimmy hung around to autograph stuff. They were both really nice and Dick seemed genuinely pleased when I told him that it was an honor to meet him.

I wanted to get a picture with them, but the draconian security guards wouldn’t let me (even though I was already prepared and wasn’t asking them to sign anything, which would have taken just as long). I was able to snap one picture during the show, which I think says all you need to know anyway.

Friday Funday CVI

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet.

Unif Green Tea Ad [del.icio.us]

American commercials should all be as good as this Thai one.

The Big Lebowski – The Fucking Short Version [del.icio.us]

NSFW. You’ll see why. Cheers to Kris for sending me this one. Here’s a similar video that’s funny, but not quite as funny.

OK Go – Here It Goes Again [del.icio.us]

OK Go are back at it again in this wacky music video for their song Here It Goes Again. You can find the link to one of their other music videos in Friday Funday LXIII.

Panorama Frigo [del.icio.us]

This is a little… Weird. Ever want to see the inside of someone’s fridge in surprisingly high detail? Neither did I, but now you can! What’s that brown goo in the jar?

Julian Pavone – “The World’s Youngest Drummer” [del.icio.us]

You know little kids always bang on pots and pans? This kid’s parents gave him a drum set instead. The results are about what you’d expect.

I’m Doing the Weight Loss Shake

And by weight loss shake, I mean the dance, not the beverage (although, I do usually have a weight loss shake for breakfast).

Why am I dancing the Weight Loss Shake? Because today is the day that I lost my first ten pounds! It took a little over a month (I started on 30 June) and my weight has fluctuated a bit, but it has consistently gone down from week to week. Morah and my parents have both commented that I look slimmer, and even I can see it in the mirror.

I have been exercising, although nowhere near as frequently as I had intended. Still, I usually manage three or four days a week. There’s definitely something to be said for counting calories, though. If I had continued to eat the way I have been for the past… Several years, all that exercising wouldn’t have done much good.

So there you go, the counting calories thing is working. How many of are also on weight management plans? What steps are you taking (or wish you were taking) to get into better shape? Any tips you can share with the rest of us?

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