Categories
asides

Shark Still Not Jumped I Say

Do you think lolcats were the be-all and end-all of stupid internet phenomena? Fool! They were merely a beginning. Only a beginning.

The revolution will have bad grammar.

Categories
asides

Which devil to pick?

Ethanol fuels may lead to Tequila shortages: Oh the sacrifices we must make for the planet!

Categories
review

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean III: At World’s End

(spoiler free – I’d never do that to you!)

Why is it that by the third of a trilogy, the producers feel like they have to stretch things out just that liiiiiiiitle bit more, as though to reward the loyal fans? They did it to The Matrix, with its umpteen final gasps, to Spiderman, with its unnecessary villains, to Lord of the Rings, which admittedly is more Tolkien’s story, to Star Wars (both times!)? Is it a way to “wrap up” somehow?

Admittedly, I by and large love the stuff. Swallow it whole. The third movie is the last one that counts, right? Any series which breaks out to the fourth is just cashing in, and any existing credit goes out the window. See Rocky, Rambo, Lethal Weapon, etc. Three is the upper limit, and you’d better bloody well hope they keep it that way. Name a good IV, anyone. (Star Wars IV doesn’t count, m’kay?)

Except for Pirates. Which is a universe that should just keep on rockin’ =)

Yes, At World’s End is too long by 20 minutes. There’s action sequences they could have chopped in half and still acheived much the same effect. There’s dramatic tension moments that are stretched to the point where you’re wondering why they’re not getting on with already (it’s because they have to speak like a pirate, and that’s hard). But, despite all this, it’s awesome. There’s more Jack! (yes of course he’s alive. What would a PotC movie be without Jack Sparrow?) With Barbosa to play off! There’s the usual goofiness of his crew. There’s Keira Knightley playing dress-ups, occasionally even fetchingly :D. There’s the sincere action that crops up at all the right moments. There’s mysticism and a little melodrama, along with a villain you can properly dislike. I’d say it wraps up all the threads from Dead Man’s Chest, but many new ones raised here are left open – fertile ground indeed.

Oh sure, there’s aspects that disappoint, but it’s a good ride to the end. There are certainly aspects which actually may be considered a bit of a cop-out to IV – I beg the producers, don’t, no matter how much money you mint off this one. Use different characters, a different plot structure, maybe go back into the past? I don’t know, just don’t try to reunite these three again.

Also? If anyone tells you to hang around for a little bonus after the credits? Hint: wait for it on DVD.

What did I think? Worth the money. ★★★★☆

Categories
the daily column

London Progress Report

So. Some may have heard I’m off to London. Some may also be wondering why I haven’t packed and left yet, mainly to shut my yapping about it. (It seems every second conversation I have these days is about the place/my imminent visit).

Indeed, I’ve already got my flight booked (June 9th) and a farewell of sorts organised (Drinks at the Argyle, Thu 7th), but the truth is… I’m still not sure when exactly I’m off. I’m waiting for my official visa (which consists of a residency permit and a work permit) to come back stamped from the embassy in Canberra, and that could arrive… on the 8th of June.

Which would be cutting it fine, to put it gently :) So I’m waiting and wishing the bureaucracy to be quick for once.

(Side note: The British embassy charges exorbitant rates to talk to a real person. We’re talking 1902-sex-line number here. I want to hang up the phone feeling really satisfied, paying $2.60 a minute. What a rort.)

Categories
asides

What comes before Episode I? Episode -I?

George Lucas is saying “Maybe prequels of prequels?”, with some suggesting it’ll be set around the establishment of the (first/Old) Republic. All I can say is “George, please hire a real script writer.”

Categories
review

Movie Review: The Pursuit of Happyness

Despite this being an excellent movie, in terms of acting and script writing and the message it has to carry, it depressed me.

Despite the naturally upbeat attitude of Will Smith as Chris Gardener, despite his son’s great performance, despite all the amusing lines and situations, despite the happy ending that is real and shows that you can get ahead in the face of adversity… it made me feel a little angry at the system, and at how little we care for the poor in society, and even a little guilty of my own easy path, and a little personally terrified of how I’d handle the situation.

Great movie, but god, it is (potentially) depressing. ★★★☆

Categories
tech

That sound? A million geeks crying out in satisfaction

Blizzard has dropped StarCraft II, after years and years of speculation.

Much like Warcraft III, they went down the 3D path. I’m still not convinced 3D is necessary for RTS, but if it’s Blizzard, then it’s the way of the future right? They’ve set the trend for years. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see what the reaction is, given how attached people are to the original now (something that was never so deep for the Warcraft series).

And how long until World of Starcraft? It can only be so long…

Categories
asides

I Chat, Therefore I Am

Two Bots Talking: They very quickly start flirting with each other. Totally fascinating. (via)

Categories
asides

At World’s End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: This is the one I’ve really  been looking forward to. Going to be the hugest thing ever, and it’s coming next week.

This is a good year for movie blockbusters, methinks.

Categories
the daily column

I’m sorry, it just wasn’t working out

I closed my Commonwealth Bank account today.

It just wasn’t a working relationship anymore. Something had changed, and I’d moved on – specifically, I’d moved on past uni and now there was a constant payment that had to be made. And there was just so little interest from them that I couldn’t help but feel ignored and abused.

In fact, I’d been two-timing for a while, making a relationship with another, who was much more interested in me. The last couple of months though, I’d been triple-timing, with yet another promising me everything CBA had decided they’d take away from me. And more!

But I couldn’t keep it up – eventually, one had to go, and the one that wasn’t getting a slice of the action, or even giving me a reason to put something in, was the one. It’d been a long relationship – we literally grew together, I a small and innocent youth barely knee high to a grasshopper, the account a Dollarmite, then a Club Australia, before finally maturing to a true Streamline.

I went in and asked to close my account – suddenly, I felt like the cruellest bastard around. The look of disappointment on the clerk’s face said it all; I wanted to take back my words, to leave the account open and just… keep everyone happy! But no, I steeled my heart, and let them know: the lack of interest was unacceptable, the fees too much, when someone else was offering it all, and more, for nothing. The clerk went about his business, and I kept wanting to apologise.

But he was a clever bastard – to really drive that knife in, he took me to the teller’s counter, and left me in the hands of a new trainee. This might have been the girl’s first real transaction. Here she was, fresh to the country, fresh to the job, fresh to the bank – and her first customer? Wants out. Wants nothing more to do with her. Oh how cruel.

I really just wanted to say “look, it’s not you – or me. It’s the company policies, and this really is a free market. Who knows, I might be back some day – if there’s one thing I can’t complain about, it’s that the service has always been exceptional.” It really was feeling like a breakup, and here I was involving this innocent. Couldn’t I do it from a nameless faceless machine?! Must you make me walk into the branch and feel so… dirty?

She finished up and handed my remaining balance over, and asked, ever hopeful, “Is there anything else I can help you with, sir?”

I smirked at the irony. “No, but thank you. And good luck in your job.”

It wasn’t your fault, honest.