Friday, May 30, 2008

Thoughts on Lost Finale

Wow. Lost is simply incredible. In last night's season 4 finale, the writers/producers found the perfect mix of
  • Answering many lingering questions (who is in the coffin? How do the Oceanic 6 get off of the island?)
  • Leaving Some Questions Open (Who is Jacob? What is the true nature of the island?)
  • Introducing new questions (What is Charlotte's relationship to the island? Why do the Oceanic 6 have to return to the island? What happens on the island after the Oceanic 6 depart? Where did the island go? Are there any survivors of the boat explosion?)
Incredible. I can't believe that I have to wait for over 6 months for some resolution.

When this show first started, people questioned whether the producers had some grand plan or just were making it up as they went along (a la X Files) just to leave us hanging when the series concludes. My prediction--I think that this series will go down in history as one of the most intelligent, intricately constructed, and exciting pieces of television even produced. The writers and producers have a grand plan, and they have had one all along. And when it finally unfolds, it is going to blow us all away.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Beverly Hills Cop IV?

Variety is reporting that Eddie Murphy is in negotiations to star in a fourth installment of the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. Brett Ratner is rumored to be directing. If you ask me, BHC is, like Rocky and Rambo, one of those 80's classic franchises that should be put to rest. I love Murphy, I loved the films. Not together, not again. Better to do a modern remake. Oh wait, never mind. They did that and it sucked.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Macaque Monkeys Move Machine with Mind

Holy cow this is cool. Monkeys Control a Mechanical Arm With Their Thoughts - Be sure to watch the video.

Last Lost Looming Large

At the same time, I am dreading and cannot wait for tomorrow's season finale of Lost. It is going to be HUGE (see photo), I can feel it. At the same time, I am dreading having to go almost a year for next season. Is it wrong to be in love with a TV program? I am going to have to go into freaking rehab when this show goes off the air for good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Iron Man Hefner

This is just too appropriate. Next up for Downey, Jr., he'll be playing Lindsay Lohan.

Sydney Pollack Retrospective From Slate Magazine

A nice article from Slate on Sydney Pollack and his contribution to cinema. Sydney Pollack's alternative cinema for the old. - By Bryan Curtis - Slate Magazine

Goodbye Sydney

A legend is dead. Rest in peace Sydney Pollack. We will miss you.

Vid of Week 2008-05-27: Pimp My Clock Radio

Oooooh, I want one of these...

Friday, May 23, 2008

NetFlix/Roku Download Rentals to TV

I love the internet movie rental model, but yet again, Netflix and Roku have it almost right. I want my downloadable HDTV! 20 Seconds, and a Movie Has Arrived -


I finally got around to watching Superbad last night. I have been a longtime fan of Apatow and co. and was excited for this one. I left feeling disappointed, laughing out loud only once during the whole film. Maybe I am a bit too old for high school sex comedies, I don't know. I had a similar reaction to American Pie, so maybe I am not their target audience. I liked Knocked Up and 40 Year Old Virgin infinitely better.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Have Chumby Fever

I don't need one. I don't know where I'd put it or what I'd use it for. I want one anyway.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Vid of Week 2008-05-19: Re-Enactment: Goodfellas

Hysterical. I love the Liotta laughing facial expression. Dead on.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Forged Impressions of Iron Man

OK, so I am a fanboy, let's get that out up front. I was an avid Marvel Comics reader from 1977-1987 and was addicted to X-Men, Spiderman, The Fantastic Four, and Iron Man. Plus, I love the work of Jon Favreau, starting with Swingers and up to The Sopranos. Still, I am not automatically going to love comic book adaptations. The third installments of Spiderman and X-Men were lame, as were both Fantastic Four films and Daredevil. So I guess that I tend to go about 50/50 on comic book adaptations.

Iron Man mostly did not disappoint. I was annoyed at the telegraphing of the "twist" villain in the first 10 minutes and the completely subtlety-free product placements (for Burger King in particular), but otherwise I was totally enjoying the ride. Robert Downey, Jr. was perfectly cast as the brilliant playboy alcoholic Tony Stark, and the origin story was right on. I am excited to hear where they take this in the inevitable sequel.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I Heart Dexter

The Showtime television series Dexter is based on the Dexter novels of Jeff Lindsay and is a drama about a forensics tech for the Miami police who is a serial killer on the side. As a fan of crime dramas and star Michael C. Hall from 6 Feet Under, I was always interested in the show, but not enough to pay for Showtime. Last year, I was thrilled to learn that CBS picked it up for 2007-2008 (probably a a hedge against the writer's strike). I just finished watching season 1. Wow. It was better than I expected or hoped. Being able to pull off a serial killer as a sympathetic protagonist is a miraculous feat of writing, producing and acting. Plus the intricate story all came together in the season finale and left lots of open questions for next season. I think that I will have to download or get season 2 now--I can't wait until CBS puts in on (in the Fall?). Plus, I have to assume that the CBS version has been sanitized to a certain degree. If you haven't seen season 1 yet, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Impressions of the Nuvi 660

A few weeks ago I wrote about my search for a portable GPS. At the time, I had narrowed my selection down to the Garmin Nuvi 660, the TomTom GO 720 and the Dash Express. I went with the Nuvi 660 for the following reasons:
  • Tom Tom seemed European focused
  • I loved my old Garmin GPS V and trusted the Garmin company
  • The Dash Express was very attractive due to it's two-way internet connection and real time traffic routing network, but the reality is that their system is untested and their unit is oversized and overpriced. I will look at Dash again when they come out with their next generation units.
  • I got the Nuvi for free with AMEX points--I couldn't do that with either of the others. Free is hard to beat!
So far I have only minor problems with the Nuvi 660. I love it's easy, intuitive interface, its bright large color screen, its easy voice prompts. The included windshield mount/charging station is strong, stable, and eliminates the need to fumble with a wire every time you use it. The Nuvi gets me where I am going and is easy to use. The FM traffic monitoring service picks up traffic alerts from all over my metropolitan area without interruption. However, I do have several problems with it.

  1. Traffic data usability: The traffic data is for my local area only. Other areas require additional subscriptions ($60/year?). I guess I could have gone with the MSN service on the Nuvi 670, but that (I assume) would not make up for the other flaw in the traffic service, it's user interface. The system forces the user to navigate through several menus to actually see the alert details. The larger overview map that shows alerts is pretty much unreadable, so getting to the actual data is key, and it takes several menu levels to get there.
  2. Navigation Data: My old GPS V has four data boxes that could be configured to show me different navigation data like estimated time of arrival, miles remaining, velocity made good, compass direction, and more. The Nuvi has two data fields that are hard coded to distance to next turn and estimated time of arrival. Granted, those are probably the two most important fields to me, but I would like to see more. As it is, the Nuvi 660 doesn't even offer much of this other data at all, even in submenus. Darn!
Those are really minor issues. I love my Nuvi 660!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Vid of Week 2008-05-12: Jackie Chan Highlights

Fan of Jackie Chan's corny action-comedies? Take a look at what he was capable of in his younger days.

Monday, May 5, 2008