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Random Musings – Movie Edition

Posted 2016.05.22 9.28 in Pointless Blather

Star Wars

A couple weeks ago I finally saw the new Star Wars film.

Things I Liked: Rei, Finn, Poe, and BB-8.

Things I Didn’t Like: C-3PO – sorry I’ve just never liked that guy. Ever. And he’s been in every damned movie.

Things I Didn’t Understand: Why did the bad guys seem to come from the Harry Potter universe? I’m not even a potter fan but the big bad guy looked like Voldemort, and the little moody bad guy looked like a young moody Severus Snape.

Random Thing That Irked Me: It bothered me that Rei lost her nifty little blaster like 30 minutes after she got it. No idea why, it was just one of those little things. That was a gift Rei, take better care of it!

Random Things I Hope Get Explained Elsewhere: So Rei found Luke and he was just standing there on top of that island / mountain with just some weathered rocks and a good view. How long’s he been there? Where does he sleep? What does he eat? Where does he poop? The nice view is only good for so long before you get cold and tired and hungry. Maybe he has a little Yoda Hut just around the corner that they didn’t show in the closing scene.

Dead Pool

Last week I finally saw the Dead Pool film.

One of my biggest peeves in movies and tv shows is where the narrative timeline jumps around. Like when a TV show opens with some scene of destruction or chaos, then the scene shifts to a peaceful quiet whatever and the text-over says “24 hours earlier” I just change the channel. Hate that crap.

Dead Pool was entertaining enough for me to hang in there through that sort of thing. There’s a fight sequence that stops for two flashbacks that take up like 2/3 of the movie, it’s so long that I forget it’s a flashback and jarring when we go back to the original narrative timeline.

But, entertaining enough that I let it slide.

The only thing that confused me, because I’m not into comic books and all I know about DC and Marvel is that they both exist and are separate, was trying to understand if the X-men and the Avengers are in the same universe?

I mean, the big battle in the junkyard, they seemed to have a wrecked Shield hover-carrier thing there. So that’s avengers universe. But they had that tin guy from X-men and he was trying to get DeadPool to join the X-men.

And at the very very end DeadPool mentions Nick Fury. So Avengers / Shield stuff.

So are X-Men / Avengers / Shield in the same universe? Or was that all part of the 4-th wall breaking stuff and not ‘serious’?

Ooh and one other thing – Negasonic Teenage Warhead was fun but what happens in 5 or 6 years? Does she become Negasonic Adult Warhead? And in 20 years, Negasonic Middle-Aged Warhead? Or does she never age?

Stealing Eggs

Posted 2011.12.23 22.40 in Aquaria

For two years, I’ve kept corydora catfish along with my apple snails. And for two years, my corydoras keep laying eggs all over the place. But they all keep disappearing within a day or two.

Now, I know the corydoras themselves do eat the eggs, but I’ve also suspected that the apple snails were getting in on the act too. And finally, after two years, I have proof!

This little video shows the snails doing their darndest to eat some eggs, though they don’t appear to be successful. These eggs are fresh, just laid in the morning, so maybe they need another day to ripen?

The video is also a pretty good way to see how the snails mouths / rasps work – they don’t have teeth, but they have a sort of tongue with a tough teeth-like surface. Not unlike a cats tongue, in a way. They use this rasp to break down food and draw it into their mouth.

Driving my Car

Posted 2011.11.15 23.16 in Hobbies, Photography

My second “Super-35” movie, in Lomokino-vision!

Shot while driving home from work, using Kodak Tri-X film like my first Lomokino movie.

I’m getting a better feel for the camera and for the workflow of the scanning & processing 150-ish still frames into a video clip.


Through the Cemetery

Posted 2011.11.09 23.08 in Hobbies, Photography

So last week the Lomography folks unveiled their new product – a new-fangled old-fashioned movie camera using actual film!

I confess I think they’ve done something very clever. 8mm, 16mm, Super-8, all those old movie films have something in common: it’s really hard to find somewhere to buy the film, and it’s nigh-impossible to find somewhere to develop it. There’s like maybe 4 places left on Earth that process Super-8 on a regular basis.

So what the LSI gang have done, is come up with a funky retro hand-cranked movie camera, that takes common normal 35mm film, that you can still buy lots of places, and can still get developed lots of places. (Except around where I live, apparently.)

Now the drawback is that a 36-frame can of 35mm film is not a lot of film when you’re talking about motion pictures. The LomoKino camera fits 4 movie frames in a single still-picture frame, i.e. instead of 24mm by 36mm, the movie frames are 24mm by 8.5mm. So your 36-shot roll of film gives you about 144 frames. The LomoKino can crank at about 5fps so this is…less than 30 seconds of footage for a whole film cannister.

Still, it’s pretty keen. The camera looks good and if you get bulk film off eBay and process & scan it yourself, it’s not that expensive to make your own retro movies.

Here’s my first – Through the Cemetery, shot on Kodak Tri-X with the LomoKino. Enjoy!

Poor Harry Joy

Posted 2009.09.04 11.57 in Music/Movies/TV

Bliss1985There was a movie back in the 80’s or early 90’s, I believe it was called Bliss. It was an Australian movie, about a fellow who at one point was a busy workaholic kind of guy, but all that changed after he had a heart attack.

Surviving the heart attack, he spent time at home, recovering. There, he was able to really observe his family for the first time, and he became convinced that he may have actually died from the heart attack, and that he was now in hell. There was his unfaithful wife, his neo-nazi son, crack-whore daughter…

From there, things sort of went downhill for the unlucky protagonist. The film had its funny moments (I think it was supposed to be a comedy, actually) but mostly I would call it poignant.

However, Harry Joy did get to die happy in the end.

And we all learned some important things about honey.

Another Technology Rant

Posted 2009.08.15 7.25 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather

Time for another rant about what ticks me off with technology.

They keep changing the accessories.

On what seems like a regular basis, suddenly all your accessories aren’t compatible with the newest gizmo. I’ve been through this with the cellphone companies, both Nokia and Sony/Ericsson have rendered all their A/C adaptors and car adaptors obsolete by changing the specs. There’s no reason for this. Other than, they’ve decided it’s time to sell more adaptors. Seriously – the sub-mini phono jack is a fine standard for headsets and the coaxial DC jack is fine for power. All your stupid annoying proprietary molded plastic plugs just earn you more hate – and a deeper level in hell every time you change them on us!

However, my specific ire today is not for cellphone companies – although they, and virtually every other tech company is guilty of this at one time or another. No, today I am ranting again about Apple.

So last night I decided I wanted to watch a certain movie on my tv in my bedroom. I bought & downloaded the movie a month or two ago from the iTunes store, and have watched it on my computer once or twice, but now I want to see it on an actual TV. So I poked around and checked and found that indeed, you cannot burn purchased movies to a DVD. (You can burn purchased music to CDs, so I had hoped maybe movies would work the same.)

Oh well – there’s always another way. I have an “Apple universal dock” on which I spend about $50 and it has an AV port on it. So I unplugged that from my computer and dug up an AV cable and hooked it all up to my TV, after first transfering the movie to my iPhone. Figuring I’ll just run the movie on the iPhone and play it to the TV. The iPhone has TV-out and it was all set up right.

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More Dr. Tran!

Posted 2009.03.27 18.48 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Music/Movies/TV