Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Four Days in May

Just back from Kublacon, the largest gaming convention on the West Coast. Too tired to really say much. There were lots of games, plenty of attendees, and over priced hotel food to boot. All in all, a good time had by all. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've been up for almost three days, and it's time for sleep.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Wrong us, shall we not revenge?

Well, just got back from seeing Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I actually only bought tickets to the midnight show because I was already at the theatre earlier this week to try and see Kingdom of Heaven (which I never got to do because of scheduling issues). When I saw there were still tickets available for Star Wars, I just couldn't resist. I know, it's like reserving spots on a train bound to roll right off the unfinished bridge and into the ravine, but ultimately I cannot deny my inner-geek.

I shall endeavor to describe the movie in only general terms; even though we all know more or less how it ends, I don't want to give anything away. It would probably be best to start with the "pros". Not only does this seem only fair, but it also isn't going to take very long.

Special Affects. As usual, Lucas and Industrial Light and Magic have produced a visually impressive display. I for one am disappointed by the dependence on CG, clone troopers would have been better depicted through real actors where possible, but the images they do end up using are simply incredible.

Action. There was a lot of fighting. Much of it was repetitive or pointless, but at least there was a lot of it. Quite frankly, I think lightsabers are unspeakably awesome, and so I know that, speaking for myself, I am willing to just sit there and watch the glowsticks flash across the screen. For a while, anyway.

That's pretty much it for the things Lucas got right. Now, onto the "cons".

Dialogue: The English language, in all its infinite forms, incomparable versitility, and remarkable beauty, does not possess condemnation strong enough to denounce the incompetence displayed by the Episode III screenplay. The dialogue was pained, trite, and otherwise unable to inspire any emotion save annoyance. I've hear rumors that the script was even "ghostwritten" to try and clean it up a little. If that's true, then I dread to see what it replaced.

Acting: Terrible acting is becoming the standard in Star Wars films, and this one is no exception. Ewan McGregor does Obi-Wan justice, but in almost no other sense can even the semblance of thespisatic integrity be found.

Directing: Rarely has a movie been more clumsy and heavy handed in its presentation. Lucas relies on but a single directing technique, telling parrallel stories throughout the movie in rather the same manner as the previous prequels. What's more, the jumps from one story to another seem to have occurred largely at random, and you never get the feeling that you are being introduced to a story so much as a collection of disparate images that happen to have been cut into the same roll of film.

Cameos: The use of the Wookies was pointless in the extreme, designed solely it seemed to include a thirty second Chewbacca cameo. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm as big a Chewy fan as the next Star Wars geek, but I don't like contrivances.

Fighting: I know I said action was a pro. But by the end, one does become a little tired of pointless conflict. None of the fights manage to invoke the pathos that characterizes memorable confrontation. Even the final, "climactic" battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin is little more than another opportunity for ILM to show off.

Midichlorians: Quite frankly, I can't believe Lucas had the gall to throw that back in our faces. This is the sign of a man fatally detached from reality.

Nooooooo: You'll understand this one when you see it. While I'm on the subject, if Vader looks a little scrawnier than you remember, you aren't the only one. Obviously, Vader must spend a lot of his time in between Episodes III and IV in the gym.

The best thing that can be said of this film is that it is the finest Star Wars movie in twenty-something years. It is unquestionably the finest of the prequel films, and were it "Space Battle" or something, without the high expectations and heavy burdens of the Star Wars name, it would be merely a bad sci-fi film. But because it is Star Wars, and the last of Star Wars at that, the disappointment makes every shortcoming just that much worse. In the end, you aren't left with any feeling other than, well, the need to take revenge on someone for robbing you of a few hours, eight bucks, and years of hope.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Pointless Factiod IX

The speed of light (in a vacuum) is 186,282 miles per second.

The speed of sound is (at sea level and room temperature) 344 meters per second. Or, put another way, 768 miles per hour.

That means if one were watching TV at a distance in which it took light one second to reach you (186,282 miles for those of you with bad memories), the sound be behind by 242.5 hours. That's roughly ten days.

Sadly, the quality of most television series would not be diminished by the discrepancy.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Thou art lego, and on this brick I will build my church

The Brick Testament is an amusing way to catch up on your favorite bible verses. Illustrated to legos, the stories of murder, slaughter, and shameful discrimination really come alive!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Light at the Roadstop in the middle of the Tunnel

Finals time, year two, Santa Clara University School of Law. No more fun than all those other finals, but at least I can start to see the end.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Expressions I don't get to use as much as I'd like

1. You're not the boss of me.
2. I told you so.
3. Apology accepted.
4. My fellow Americans...
5. I'd like to thank the academy...