Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Item: Endings
Stars: Who cares?

The ending to Insomnia (starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams) sucks mightily. Pretty damn good movie...I'm a Pacino fan myself. First of all, Williams was superb as a villain. He still managed to make him slightly funny, though, which was appreciated. He was kind of scary, with a sort of psychotic humor that made you want to edge away slowly and hope he didn't notice.
But the ending. GAH! It was awful. Pacino's lying, presumably dead, and his admirer and co-worker stands over him, deciding whether or not to turn him in for the accidental murder of his partner. Then it fades out. I suppose we were supposed to be left with the decision for ourselves, but it didn't fly that way.
Another ending that is less than excellent is the ending to Wonder of the World, a one-act play. Two ladies are in a barrel, going down Niagra falls. Their names are Cass and Lois. The parachute they were planning on opening right as they tipped over the edge fell out of the barrel. Just before dying, they get wedged on a rock. Cass looks around and says "what's that over there?" Lois says "Canada"
CASS: Oh, it really is greener over there.
LOIS: Sure is
[keep in mind, they're in a barrel at the brink of the NIagra Falls.]
LOIS: we should have lunch over there.
CASS: I'd like that.

[END]

Leaves a little too much unsaid, if you ask me. It's a brilliant play with 9 characters, 3 of which are played by the same actress. The other 6 are undeniably decent and well-developed roles. They're all woven together in a plot so stunning that it teeters on the dividing line of being ludicrous. But it hangs on the side of sheer genius. Barely.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Item: Mission: Blog
Stars: N/A

As promised, this is a review of Moveable Type. Moveable Type (hereafter lazily referred to as MOO), is a piece of software that you buy. I'm not sure how much and I'm not even sure that you buy it since I'm doing a team blog (main page and my section)and another person set it up while I was on vacation. Anyways. I definately like MOO. It's really user friendly, with a user's manual and everything. Posting is a cinch and you have total control over ALL of your templates...even the archive ones! It's so awesome! Another plus is that it has a comments forum already built in. The also have a notifications list that people can request to be on. I think that's great. Here's what you can do: make a new entry, edit old entries, edit the authored-on time, upload a file, screw with your HTML, change the blog config, search entries, import/export, rebuild your site all at once, and view it with a little button. Lots of the same things that Blogger has. OO, one more nifty thing: you can set categories to each entry. My three are acting, dancing and randomness. You can have however many you want! Isn't that spiffing? I thought you'd love it. Anywho, I'm loving MOO and would definately reccomend it. However, it might be better for more experienced users who have a lot of experience on the web and with coding since a lot of the programming and stuff is DIY. More on MOO later.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Item: Confessions of a Shopaholic
Stars: Three

Good book. Pretty damn good book. The book is about Rebecca Bloomwood, a financial journalist for Successful Saving. The ironic thing is that Rebecca is awful at saving. She's in debt up to her armpits and all because she l o v e s to shop. She buys everything, bras, jackets, dresses, heels, flats, pumps, skirts, suits, blouses, tees, pants, the list goes on into makeup and luggage but quite frankly, I don't want to list it all.
The thing I appreciated most about Confessions is how we sort of became one with Rebecca. Everything seems to happen to her and we seem to care just as much as she does. At one point in the book, she needs to pay off a debt and needs a thousand quid (in England) to pay for it. So she promises the bank dude that YES she will get the money no matter how many sexual favors she has to do to get it. OK so the last part was augmented. So it's Friday and she needs the $$ by Monday. She's really really worried about it (hey, wouldn't you be?) Then the weekend comes and she goes shopping and all this awful shit happens to her, like running into this dude who she's had a bit of a bloody battle to the death with, another shopping spree, and a date with her flatmate's cousin. Her flatmate's cousin, Tarquin, is the fifteenth richest man in all of England. Rebecca finds this out and decides that Tarquin really isn't so bad after all...then Monday comes. And WHERE is the thousand quid? Forgotten. By Rebecca and me. I just thought that it was spiffing how the author could make us forget such an incredible sum of cash.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Next up: Moveable Type.

Friday, August 16, 2002

Item: Mission: Blog
Stars: N/A

Hey all. I have a shiny new use for Sunshine here: my experiment. I'm testing all of the blogging thingies that I can find to see which one I like the best and which one was the most user-friendly. So far I've got LiveJournal (livejournal.com) and DiaryLand (diaryland.com). Both were not at the top of the pecking order, a few logs short of a roaring fire, etc etc etc.
LiveJournal seemed alright. The templates were of a wide variety and I was liking the quality of the work that I read. The only problem was this: to join, you either had to be invited by an existing user (to get some sort of activation code) or pay twenty five bucks for a year, fifteen bucks for six months, or five bucks for two months. I'm currently considering paying the fiver for the two months just for the sake of this experiment. The paid accounts apperantly get all of these interesting features, like a livejournal POP forwarding account, a personalized URL, faster server access (I think that one's a bunch of BS), the ability to customize your journal (what would be the point of choosing the BG colors and stuff? I want to add hovers and shit to my page!), text messaging to your phone slash pager, multiple pictures to upload, and surveys and polls. They're 'working' on a counter and statistics thing and being able to customize the comments box. They have a comments box? Killer. I've been struggling to figure out how to add one to sunshine and mission.
So as you can see, LiveJournals features are far superior to those of Blogger. Well, maybe not FAR superior, but they have some nice stuff. Now all I have to do is get some unsuspecting dude slash dudette to give me an activation code or actually shell out five bucks. Bleahh. I better get to work on the former.
As for Diaryland...I'm much less impressed. They too have an optional gold membership thingy, like Blogger Pro. Unlike LiveJournal, this isn't FORCED DOWN YOUR THROAT. They remind you of it every time you sign in. Kind of annoying. I registered for an account on Diaryland because it was PRO BONUS {angry glare in LiveJournal's direction}. So I sign up and try to figure out how to add an entry. It's all very obscure. I click "add an entry" and it takes me to this page asking me if I want weblog style or diary style. I hit weblog because hey, weblog. More letters. Anyway, it says that in order for me to be able to use this feature, I have to do two things and I'm like screw this! So I change the settings, it thanks me for being annoyed with it, and I'm still stuck. I go and try to add an entry again. Voila, it works. They take me to a page with another Gold Membership offering but this one has a miniscule box and some bars to type in the date and time. I write an entry and then try to figure out how to view my web page...whereas on Blogger I can just hit VIEW WEB PAGE. I end up just opening a new window and going tointhespot.diaryland.com to see it and WHOO boy is it hideous. It's blue and has fakey new age letter buttons linking to old links, current, previous, next, etc etc etc. I try to change the template, seeing as how my current style triggered my gag reflex.
When I find the box where it is (this too took me a while) I am faced with a Gold Membership offering (now I'm ready to call up Diaryland and shoot them for their hamhanded ads) and another eenyweeny box with some messy HTML in it. It makes my brain hurt considerably not to see it all spread out (I'm pampered with Blogger) or have any clue of where to put anything.
HA! I just found a button that says (to my joy) "Get a new template". Guess what I'm about to do? Make chocolate milk
Ooookayyyy.....I go to change a template and it only has bars to type in a new email or a new title. When I click the presto chango button, it takes me to a page that says "Are you sure you selected a template?" And I go WHAT EFFING TEMPLATE?! THERE WERE NO TEMPLATES!
Final evaluation: Livejournal seems worth the money and Diaryland is a good site for your very first blog...like a very first haircut...you want a better one next time godammit so you're going someplace ELSE.
Off to screw with the EASY TO USE template.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Item: Signs
Stars: Three

This movie was pretty damn good. Thus the three. It freaked me out pretty well; there's lots of jumpy- -jumpy-grab-your-date's-arm-not-just-because-he's-your-date moments. Still with me? Good. Let's move on.
The difference between this movie and a movie deserving a four was the corny moment. Mel Gibson was a reverand whos wife died. He believed that God let his wife die and thus renounced his faith. That's not corny, it's totally realistic. But the fact that he decided to be a reverand again at the end of the movie because his son didn't die of poisonous gas shot into his nose by an alien...now that was kinda corny.
AHH, I just saw this movie two days ago and I can't remember jack about it! All my RAM's used up on all those dance combinations...oh well. Hell, this movie could even be a three point five, seeing as dear old Mel earned my respect back. I didn't think he'd be able to do that after "What Women Want", but he proved me wrong here. Good movie. See it, but not at night.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Review of Ocean's Eleven and Minority Report soon to come...as soon as I can get my crap together and write something useful for once...