Review: Stranger than Fiction

November 27, 2006

Today I saw Stranger than Fiction. Sometimes you get tricked by the trailers and expect one thing – but get another. Not so with this film. I got exactly what the trailer promised, but I also got something unexpected, a new appreciation of the english language. The writing in this film was fantastic. It’s unfortunate that some people who see this film will probably find themselves puzzled more than once due to the language used, but I am glad that Zach Helm gave his characters so much to say and allowed them to say it so well. I went looking for a screenplay writer after the film, but there was only a script supervisor. Zach Helm wrote an interesting story – but also gave his characters life and interesting things to say.

The film was full of interesting shots and excellent angles. The perfectly framed shot through the window into thebakery, the rain on the muffin, and the interestingcissual annotations at the beginning of the film all gave me something to look at and think on. The images worked together with the story and the dialogue to create a cohesive whole.

The film does leave us with some questions – but it also leaves us with a sense of hope. Before the actual end of the film it showed us that one man can change, and through that change still be willing to sacrifice himself for something good – and now that sacrifice would mean something more than it had before. Then at the end of the film we were left knowing that other people could sacrifice as well – and that perhaps our selfless sacrifices are not always sacrifices. Instead the willingness to sacrifice can make us the kind of person that can be and should be saved.

Clueless or intentionally blind?

August 25, 2006

I found this story on Evilavatar that linked to an IGN article about the Wii and Tony Hawk’s downhill Skater. In the article they mention that Nintendo will not be giving the online libraries and data to 3rd party developers until early 2007. Why? Did they not notice how many people are enjoying Live? Did they not notice how many different things there are to do on Live? I do not have anXbox or an Xbox 360, but whenever I play with one I have a lot of fun with the Live features. This really ought to be a no brainer – make online work, quickly!

How many people have time to go to their friend’s house and play a game with them? I am willing to bet there are more people who would play with their friendsonline. What has Nintendo been doing in the last 2 years? Completely ignoring their competition and the fact that online is not only a possibility, but important to many people?

WiiConnect24 has been advertised as an online service. While the heads of Nintendo may not be planning an Xbox Live type service they should realize that their customer base expects it to be the same thing. When people bring home their newWiis and discover that WiiConnect does not offer online play and a myriad other services that Live does – they will be very disappointed. This disappointment will translate into lost sales – and possibly returned consoles.

Is Nintendo trying to fail? I love Nintendo systems and I have been planning on purchasing a Wii at release – but I am starting to wonder if what I envisioned in my mind for the Wii is true. By announcing an online service, but seeming to not address what appears to be fundamental differences between their service and the defining online service (Live) Nintendo is setting themselves and their customers up for disappointment.

The Blogger’s Malaise

August 10, 2006

So what is it that brings us to blog for a few days and then abandon the blog?

I think most people that start blogs do so because they have something to share with the world. Once they get those few immediate things out they realize that they don’t have a vast store of anger or amusement or wonder to share on a daily basis. A few people have an unlimited store of wonder to share – but they usually end up repeating themselves or sounding stupid – or both.

The secret to the “successful” blog is finding something that you are geniunely interested in, and then writing about it as if you were conversing with an interesting or intelligent friend. Those who are interested in the same topic will be interested in what you have to say and will want to comment on it. The true blog (to me) becomes a focal point for conversation, rather than a news site about what you did last week. You saw a movie and you liked it? great – why do I care? Something has to be in that post that makes it an interesting read – usually something that will link your experience to the experiences of others.

Now if I only I could come up with something like that every day – then I could write a blog instead of my current job. Well….maybe.

Thinking and Clones

August 10, 2006

Most people can’t grasp that other people are different from them. People look at others and see someone who thinks like them. This is why the liar thinks everyone lies, the thief sees everyone else as a thief. We can say we can respect other’s differences of opinion, but our actions betray the fact that we think those around us think the same we do, and that they have similar goals and beliefs even when they obviously don’t. It takes a great effort of will to act as if those around us don’t have the same thinking patterns – just as people say “I respect their beliefs” but then act as if these “others” have the exact same value system. How hard is it for those of us who are conservative to truly allow those who do not believe as we do to live in peace? On the other hand, why do the self confessed liberals seem to think the conservatives are so terrible? Why is it that even those who are supposed to be liberal speak and act in ways that attempt to force their, the liberal’s I mean, views and opinions on the conservatives?

Most people who are “liberal” really are conservative, but just with a few different assumptions. How many people exist that really are liberal and willing to live and let live? I don’t find myself in that group. The only truly open people I have seen are in books where the world is artificially constrained. It’s only a tightly closed and filtered environment that it becomes possible to completely free oneself from all prejudices.

Instead of whining about how hard it is to be pure we need to acknowledge the differences around us and try to not be jerks.

Back to the point – people think differently. If you can figure that out, life gets much simpler. No longer is someone deliberately trying to ruin your life – they are just doing their thing. You can’t make them do something – but if you understand why they do things you can understand to get someone to do something for you. That sounds dirty and manipulative – but what isn’t? Doing something for someone because you love them? What is it they did to earn that love? You could say that they did not do this for that reason – but either way it works. Why not recognize that? Understanding others makes life easier for you and for them.


August 10, 2006

Blogging is a frustrating experience. I can think of things to blog about late at night, or while I am at work but when I am home on my day off – nothing comes to mind. I remember thinking of interesting and unique things, but they are gone now. Instead I write this meaningless post in a frustrating attempt at reaching deep within my psyche and forcefully extracting the golden nuggets I have convinced myself exist there. I used to truly believe they were there – but now I wonder. I guess it’s easier to see yourself as intelligent when you are young and inexperienced. Now I look around and see copies of myself everywhere.

Jack in the Box

August 2, 2006

There exist many fast food restaurants. Unfortunately some of the most delicious ones I grew up with do not exist here in Salt Lake. In-N-Out was supposed to move into St. George – but that is still far far away. The closest Tommy’s is in Barstow. Jack in the Box has two stores in Utah – one in St. George and one just north of it in Washington. Jack is home to the delicious Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger. Meat, Cheese, Meat, Cheese, Special Sauce, Bacon. Put some ranch and some extra ketchup on there and it is heavenly. Don’t count the calories – don’t even consider looking at those nutrition facts. They will spoil your fun. The real question is – how much do you love food? Are you a salad eating carrot muncher? or do you like meat? If you fall into the second category, then consume a Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger and relish the deliciousness therein. If you find yourself craving vegetables – what are you reading this for?

Clerks 2

August 2, 2006

Sequels are seen as inevitable today. Kevin Smith even jumped on the bandwagon with Clerks 2. The film was interesting – at the end there was a moral of sorts. The commercials have not been focusing too heavily on this fact, but instead keep bringing up the Donkey Show. It’s too bad – while the movie does rotate around this show as a major plot point, it is not quite as bad as people expect – and the ending of the film actually brings closure to Dante and Randall and their relationship. Without revealing the end of the film, the message seems to be “Decide what is important – and do that.” If friends are important to you, you need to focus on them and just work to pay the bills. There’s nothing wrong with this – most people seem to think you have to work somewhere that you like and want to be or else your life will suck. You can’t spend 12 hours a day having your soul crushed out of you and expect to be happy, but just getting by is possible – if you have something else you value at home. Money doesn’t buy happiness – but it having enough to do what does make you happy helps. If what you really enjoy doesn’t pay well – find some people you do like working with who share your interests and then work on something that pays well enough. You may find that in the long run there is a way to combine what you like with what you do – and then life is gravy.


August 2, 2006

Why is it that we seek peace only in solitude? I was listening to a song today called Beautiful World by Colin Hay that left me feeling utterly relaxed. The song itself created a calm atmosphere – but it seemed to describe different parts of life that involved some kind of isolation – whether it be driving away, swimming away, leaving a party early, not participating in the party activities. He also brings up Jesus – and even Jesus was unavailable. In my head I see the steep cliffs of northern california and I imagine being there, the cool spray wafting through the air. Everything inside me is calm and peaceful, even though the ocean nearby may not be. Why is it that these peaceful feelings only seem to come when I am alone, or when I imagine I am alone. Is this my own personal flaw, or is this something inherent in everyone? I always imagine driving to the sea, or the mountains late in the evening and seeing the stars or the lights of the city from far away – and I think that yes, this would be peaceful. But, it seems to me, that someone who is at peace with his own life would be able to acheive this sense of contentment and peace without needing to travel to a place where his own thoughts are the only things around.

Can we really only hear ourselves when there is nothing else to hear? Why is it that the “natural” sounds don’t seem to intrude upon these thoughts but man made sounds destroy our ability to focus? Perhaps it is something we choose – there is no fundamental difference in these noises – but we have trained ourselves to pay attention to them. If we could learn to not focus so tightly on the man sounds around us – we could relax and concentrate wherever we are. This would be especially on a plane – when that guy next to you will not shut up.


August 1, 2006

holy crap – it’s been a year. When last I blogged I was on my way to see Star Wars episode 3. Lots of movies have come and gone since then. Weird. Oh yeah – I got married too – that’s a little bit more important than Star Wars 3.

Anyways, work is better, life is better, things are running more smoothly now.

I shall post something more interesting in the near future.

Star Wars

May 18, 2005

It’s almost time to leave for Star Wars – too bad I don’t have anyone else to go with. It’s no fun lining up for a movie when there is no one else to line up with. Maybe I should have gone to California (not for the movie, but for the fun of waiting in line with everyone). Of course, I would have had to choose between waiting with Rachel and Chris^2 or with Jeff and his family.
Oh well,
Off to see the geeks!