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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hackers comment on "Hackers"

Back in 1994, I was kicked off from AOL when I was accused of running unauthorized programs. That essentially killed my budding hacker career as I didn't gain access to the internet until my college days. Back then, I was living in Firebaugh, using AOL (they only way to access the internet out there) on my 14.4k modem all while making long distance phone calls to Fresno for access. What was I doing? Everything and nothing. I mean, pROn never came to mind (which now kinda scares me that it didn't) as I was focused on this blank world that nobody I knew had access to. The internet was a vast, underground, uncharted world and I felt like Christopher-Fucken-Columbus as I went out every night talking to these faceless voices from across the country and world. In 1995, the world was blessed with the awesomeness that is "Hackers" and at the same time, Angelina Jolie was introduced to my heart (BTW, that image up there is from the original promotional web site for the film after it was hacked shortly after it went up. Check out the archived site here). Honestly....I enjoy watching movie. Yeah, it was, from a technical stand point, all wrong. Yes, the story was horrible. But on the plus side, it had an electronica soundtrack (that is still unrivaled) and it also had Jolie boobies for a half second. I watch it now and love to see the outdated technology jargon they use and reminds me of how underpowered my system was back then (It also scares me to think about the damage a tech savvy kid these days with too much time on his hands could do today) but I always wondered what true hackers thought of the film. Enter PhreakNIC. They have produced an MP3 commentary for the film and it's.....entertaining. Yeah, for the most part, it's a bunch of drunk guys talking over each other talking shit on everything but they do offer a little insight into the hacker world as they blast what's right and wrong with the film. If you have time and can put up with the kinda annoying voices, it's definately worth a listen. Just load it onto your iPod, throw the DVD on and SYNC! You can check out the MP3 here, or go visit the site here. If your at all interested in diving into this world you should visit There you will find a gateway into a whole other world. Maybe they'll base "Hackers 2" on your story!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yahtzee, MF'ers!! Video game reviews for adults

Zero Punctuation is the name of Mr. Yahtzee's weekly video game review for "The Escapist" magazine based out of Australia. I've been watching his reviews for a while now and although they've mostly been him meat waffling a game in the prose of the Micro Machines guy from those commercials in the 80's (hence the name Zero Punctuation) he manages to not sound trite and keeps stuff fresh most of the time. Watch one of his reviews and judge for yourself. I wonder if there will ever be a game where he doesn't talk shit on, though? We came close a couple of times (if you like this Resident Evil one then you must go through his archive for past reviews) but he just seems like that one asshole coach that was never satisfied. But then again, how funny would a love letter from this guy be, right? The Zero Punctuation blog can be found here! Oh, and I might add that by adult, I mean exactly that. The language and images are NSFW so consider yourself warned and slap those headphones on, ya prude!

A week off to fulfill my civic duty

For the past week or so, I've been involved in the awesome judicial process when I was selected to serve as a juror on a case. As you might know, during the trial, we are not allowed to speak to anyone about the case. Spouse, friends, not even my dog could hear what was going on with the case. That ended yesterday when we all came to agreement on the matter. So now that it's over, I can get back to my regular scheduled program. So what's been going on besides a certain local blog hijacking one of my stories/videos? It's cool, though. I got about 10 days on them anyways. Plus, nobody reads my shit. ANYHOO, lets get the show back on the road!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Possible future First Lady easy on the eyes

Me & Elizabeth Kucinich...yeah, she looks very nice in person, too. I was enjoying a final session with Masa-san over at Kame since he has decided to shut down the restaurant due to slow business. While we sat there, discussing the fact that the Kucinich clan was meeting at a Denny's somewhere here in our fair city, in walked the redhead lady in red. The odds, right? Anyways, after she finished her dinner and was leaving I asked if she'd be willing to take a picture with me and she said yes. Very nice lady, had a quick conversation with all of us at the table. Although it's highly doubtful that here husband will win the Democratic Nomination, I wished her luck on the campaign trail and off she went. You know what that means? That's like 3 degrees of separation between me and Colbert! Read Late Update for more detailed info on what the Kucinich clan did & will be doing here in Fresno this week.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Creativity reigns supreme: Making something from nothing

Well, almost nothing. Sure a couple thousand dollars of equipment, costumes, transportation, locations and straight out mad skills are also included in that "nothing" but compared to a Hollywood production.....NOTHING! But it's just amazing to see that process. As the video progresses, you just see the magic come together and the payoff (I haven't seen the final output, which is a show that going to air on the BBC) looks great at the end of it. Check it out and get inspired!

Magazine desperate for affirmation; names catchphrase of the year

"I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!"

Well, unfortunately "There Will Be Blood" from director P.T. Anderson has yet to hit theaters here in the Fresno (now I hear that very soon it will), but this New York magazine article is already calling one of it's lines as THE catchphrase of the year. As much as I hate people who do this (C'mon, if I have to hear one more person make a McLovin quote I will rip their lungs out and make balloon animals out of them) I don't think that the milkshake quote will have enough steam to reach those levels of saturation. I mean, for the most part, most people will not go see this movie (when the trailer played in front of "Atonement" the people next to me, yes the "cunts", reacted as if someone had shoved a spoonful of turd in their mouths). But who knows, right? Humanity could surprise me? Better leave a comment or I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"I'm not a bitch" says me; buddy backs me up — Cloverfield review

Cloverfield — 2.5 Stars

This was a hard film for me to review. It stuck with me long after I walked out of that theater. And it wasn't just because it literally almost caused me to go home and puke.

Since the very beginning, I always wondered "Why are they releasing this movie in January?" I mean, January is reserved for Oscar contenders opening wide and horrible films that studios wish to go away quietly. Which kinda kept me wondering what the strategy was behind releasing this movie at this time. Fast forward to a couple of hours after the movie was over and my stomach was back under control and I've had time to contemplate the film. Shaky cam. I hate shaky cam. This is the reason that Michael Bay pisses my off so much. I love seeing shit blow up and he blows shit up REAL good. But it doesn't matter how badass and action sequence is when you can't see a damn thing! Cloverfield offers almost the reverse experience of a Bay film. Everything else is shaky cam and the action scenes are some of the more focused ones. Still shaky but nonetheless better. The phrase "Blair Witch" will be brought back into our vernacular when people talk about this movie due to the excessive camera movement. Now, watching that movie was not a problem for me. At all. I knew people that worked in the theater while it was playing there years back and I've heard the stories of having to clean up vomit from people that simply couldn't take all the camera movement. I can only imagine the sea of puke that this flick will summon.

It was about 15 mins. or so into the film that I felt it. That but of queasiness that preludes a vomit fest. I began to wonder if it was something that I had eaten before coming to the movie because....I mean, I'm not a bitch! I know it's not because of all this camera movement. I know some people that can't handle First Person video games or films like "Blair Witch" and I always made fun of them for it so this can't be the reason for me feeling this way. I took breaks from the film and simply stared at the floor in front of the screen to try to regain my stomach. Didn't work. Closed my eyes. Nope. Dammit. Am I the only one? I tried to look around to see if anyone else was feeling this and although I saw people leaving and returning all the time, it wasn't anything abnormal. When the film was over I leaned over and asked my buddy BigRobStank (be sure to read his review by clicking here) to see if he was feeling weird. And he confirmed that I wasn't the only one. Vindicated, I felt that this shouldn't be happening. I mean, for a film to physically get you sick like this....I'm not sure if that's good. But afterwards, I began to look past this little slight hiccup and absorb what I had just seen.

Now, back to our originally scheduled program. The film was good. The concept is definitely an experiment and this is why it was released at this time of the year. Release now: it's an experimental film. During the summer: people will be pissed cause they were expecting a Hollywood blockbuster. And people were pissed at the end of this. The thing is that this film is actually both. Except that the eye candy is kept to a minimum and the story triumphs everything else. Remember that scene in the movie "Signs" where the alien walks by the camera at the birthday party? There are a bunch of moments like that in this film. Is the story amazing? Not really, but it's good enough. Would a story involving children or a family be more interesting than a bunch of yuppies or would that be cliché and too "War Of The Worlds"? Whatever, it works. There is a monster in this film but it takes back seat to the human characters in the film. Is that good or bad? Guess that'll all depend on if your able to stomach the kinetic lens your stuck with and how much of that human emotion makes it past that very lens and to the audience. Indeed, it was a distraction. Too much, in my case. I love the concept but it's initial intake was simply overwhelming. But I really do want to watch the film again. Just not in the theater. I'll be waiting for it on DVD and make sure the sound is cranked up (the sound is AWESOME). Just beware: If you do go to the theater to watch this movie. The camera is moving through 97% of the film. If you come prepared: pack the Dramamine and maybe you can enjoy the film more than I did my first go around. I'm sure the second will be a better experience for me. Although judging from the audience reaction when the film ended, I'm sure most won't give this film a second spin.

If you want to get some back story on the world of "Colverfield," here are some of the viral web sites associated with the film. I have yet to go through and explore but if your thinking about watching this film, have fun exploring!

Jamie & Teddy (password:jllovesth)



T.I.D.O Wave

Here is an article about a possible manga associated with the film. Very interesting... Thanks to Candyland for the link!

Also be sure to visit my vomit comrade Rob's blog, One Picture's Worth, for his review of the film.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Movin' on up!

To the north side. Soon, I'll be a member of the Riverpark community when we move in to our new apartment located not far from it and all its awesomeness. Kinda no sure about it yet: Excited, yes. But a bit unsure of how long I can before I'm found taking those River-punks out with a sniper rifle. Meh, as long as I don't start talking like this...

....then it'll be all good. I'll miss the random police shakedowns and drunken people in my car port (although that stat might go up on that side of town) but now I can spend endless hours at Barnes & Noble without buying a damn thing! Thanks to Morales for that TOTALLY TUBULAR clip!

Now it's time for some quick movie reviews:

Godfather II — 4 Stars
Finally sat down and watched this film in a single sitting. Does it live up to the hype? Well, yes and no. I remember my parents watching these movies like twice a year and they always talked about them like they were the new coming of Jesus but I never watched them. Then they saw Part 3 and they were SO disappointed. I bought the DVDs when they were first released about 5 years ago but never sat down and watched them. Just last year, I saw Part 1 and this weekend was my date with Part 2. I thought it was a great film, don't get me wrong but it's kind of hard for me to appreciate the film some 30 years after it was released. At the time it was released, I'm sure it was the best thing ever and it still holds up real good and better than 95% of the crap that Hollywood releases every year. But I think you wait another 30 years and ask this generation (with no clue of this list) what the 100 greatest films ever are and that list will totally be different. My kids are not gonna find "Clerks" as funny as I do, that's for sure. But still, it was a great film and I look forward to see just how bad Part 3 really is.

Juno — 3.5 Stars
Great film. Dialogue, acting, direction. All good. I'm sure you all have heard of this movie by now. It was kinda distracting to see Shadowcat, J.K. Jameson & Electra sitting around discussing babies but that's just the comic book nerd in me See this now!

I Heart Huckabee's — 3 Stars

Hmmmm....still pondering this one....which is good! I mean, it really gets your brain going, issuing you a challenge like a sudoku puzzle for your existence. It might come of as a bit pretentious (Oh, David O. Russell, you) but if you want to sit and process it all, it can leave you a bit overwhelmed. Fun stuff!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jan. 08: Month of the uber-nerd!!

Since I forgot to mention it in my first post of the year, happy New Year everyone! It's that time where people say "This year is gonna be different. This year will be the defining year for ME!" and of course, it ends up being the same shit. Well, you know what else it also means? MACWORLD, BABY! And what's that? Is that CES (Consumer Electronics Show) I hear down in Vegas? What the hell? Detroit Auto Show, as well?! January is really busy and all types of cool, nerdy shit is flowing out of every orifice. 3 mm (yes, MM) thick TVs, updated Apple computers that I will dream about for a couple of weeks (Diana...hope your reading this *hint,hint*), super dope cars......and still no money. Maybe I have to become a stripper and pen a box office smash (which I still have yet to see, unfortunately), like she did or sue the government for a quadrillion dollars like this person. That's it....this year will be the year that I say next year, I'll be having enough cash flow to be able to look at these big three January shows and say "Fuck it! Give me 2 of each and burn the second one!" But for now, I'll simply be stuck on the outside looking in as I rub my hands in menacing fashion, waiting to strike.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Steadicamin' in the news!

After my trip to Me-Jee-Co, I came back to a United States to semi-sane drivers, Mountain Dew and an assassinated former prime minister (RIP Benazir Bhutto). Quick to wanna get some movie time, my fiance and I went to the local cineplex to catch "Atonement", the new film from Joe Wright starring Keira Knightley & James McAvoy. While watching that film (among some fucking 40 year old cunts who couldn't shut the fuck up about the word "Cunt" being used in the film and began giggling like some teenagers watching "The Miracle Of Life" for the first time) I noticed that there was a very long, very nicely textured steadicam shot that lasted what seemed like forever. 5 and a half minutes, according to this article. Weird to see such an article running as a mainstream story but it's cool to see that it got recognized. Although I thought the shot wasn't as good and groundbreaking as the one Cuaron did in "Children Of Men" of which you can catch the making of here:

Still, there are plenty of other films (as mentioned in the article) that have had stunning shots like these and to just think about the steadicam operators that have to endure with walking around with all that equipment to get the shots....amazing to me, it's truly an art form and those guys deserve every penny they earn!