Monday, November 19, 2007

Beowulf: Literary classic...

...or animated porn?

The movies rating board ought to be slapped around for this one. As much gruesome violence as any rated R movie, plus an "animated" Angelina Jolie in the buff (animated, as in a drawing of porn instead of real porn...WTF?). When Beowulf is fighting Grendel in the buff, there is clever prop positioning to hide his naughty bits. When Angelina gets a full body scan, I swear they pixelated some nipple. How's that different than wearing just body paint? The animation isn't as good as they think it is either. They're still wedged firmly down in the uncanny valley (stiff animations, waxy skin, etc.).

After seeing the movie (which really was an OK flick), I looked up the story on the intertubes to get a better idea of what was going on, and what that ending was supposed to have meant. After reading a few paragraphs here and there, and reading a summary, I've decided the movie doesn't really follow the original story. The irony of it is that this hollywood version is a total condemnation on the behavior of most of the people in hollywood.

What we get in the movie is a theme demonstrating that those who yield to temptation, whether it be lusting after flesh, glory, treasure, or power, bring pain and misery to themselves, those around them, and others. A truth that has rarely, if ever, been told by those who are the most instantly gratified, self-indulgent, wicked people since the earth was flooded some thousands of years ago (maybe that southern california fire is a sign).

Here's a surprise (not), the main actress/hottie has been fornicating (still not married is she?) all over the place, while building an international baby collection. Just how screwed up are those kids going to be (Oh, hi Maddox. You're that accessory that your mom picked up in Cambodia aren't you, welcome to college.)? I'm sure she's a nice person and does lots of humanitarian things, but come on, this kid still is going to have cultural and "who's my dad" issues. But none of that factors in when she decided she wanted a child. "hmm. I'll take...that one." If she could figure out how to get married, stay married, and build a family, not a touring international circus, it would be a different story. As it is, Brad is the flavor of the month/year. Then the "father" will be ousted for a new replacement, while the mother raises her Grendel...ahem children.

How about every other liberal nutjob who wants right now whatever will bring them pleasure right now. Friends, family, or civilization/culture be damned.

No left coast hypocrite (ask one to talk about intolerance some time. hehe) is going to get what that movie is saying, and they came up with it. Ha!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Friends of Scouting

You need to have read the article linked to in my previous post before continuing.

Teenage boys in general are not the most pleasant creatures on the planet. Most of them are selfish, disrespectful, unappreciative, rude, etc., etc.. There are exceptions of course. I myself was an exceptionaly good/obedient teenager. I know a couple of teenage boys that are decent kids as well. On the whole though, they are best to be avoided if at all possible, until they grow up and start acting like the adults they believe themselves to be.

For a couple of years I was the Young Men's President in my ward (local church). What this means to those who aren't LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is that I was in charge of all of the teaching and organization of the boys 12-18 yrs old in an area about half a square mile. This includes sunday school lessons on Sunday, boy scouts, service projects, and other youth responsibilities. During that time I had between 3 and 5 other adults under me to help with this, all of which is completely volunteer. Not that we asked for this opportunity, but that we weren't being paid for it. In some cases expenses came out of my own pocket, so as not to burden the local church or the boy's families with things like gas money.

As I alluded to, I did not ask to be in the position I was in. Quite the contrary. When Andrea and I first moved in, the bishopric (3 UNPAID leaders of the ward comprised of a Bishop and 2 counselors that donate an insane amount of time to helping others and keeping things running, being a bishop is known to be on the same level has having a full time job in itself) came by the house to welcome us into the area. During the discussion they asked us about past callings, and if there are any callings we'd like. A "calling" is basically a church assignment, like bishop, sunday school teacher, or music director. I mentioned that I will, under no circumstances, have anything at all to do with the young men. I do not like them, they are an unwashed annoying bunch (I did not know these particular young men in the area yet, but they are pretty much all the same).

A few months later I was asked to speak to the bishopric before church, where they asked me if I would be the Young Men's President. Unfortunately for me I tend to be responsible, available, and obedient. Sucks to be me, I end up in charge of about 10 rat-bastard kids and 2-3 good boys.

So for a couple of years I toil, doing things I don't want to do, for kids who don't like having a disciplinarian around, and don't appreciate much of anything done for them (plus a couple of good boys). Time, effort, and patience. No pay. We're talking not just me, but a few other adult leaders as well (like "Scout Masta T"). A lot of this is put toward the scouting program. A program that did nothing for me growing up (thanks to the other rat-bastard kids my age). I'm no longer the Young Men's President, thank goodness. I'm now just the weblos leader, ward chorister, music chairman, and choir director. Same amount of time, fewer jerks to deal with.

So, when I find out there is some pretentious weasel who is getting paid $200,000 a year to work a measly 60 hours a week to do what I, and many others, are volunteering to do, in addition to our full time (or more) jobs, I get a little bent.

The boy scout executives can kiss my ass. I'll not donate to the BSA again (a non-profit organization, funded by donations!). If money is needed for the boy scouts to go on a camping trip, that's fine. Send them over to my house, with some work gloves (the garage needs new shingles for starters) and I'll make sure there is enough money for their activities.

Friends of Scouting. HAH! not me.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Friends of Extortion

I haven't yet collected my thoughts enough on this to know what to say.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Guitar Hero III

What is this guitar hero thing all about?

So much hype surrounds the franchise that I lumped it into the same category as pathetic attempts at gameplay like Halo. Only the Madden playing console kiddies, who don't posses the sophistication that a PC gamer has, would enjoy these things. I still hold that consoles are only good for RPGs and action/adventure, which I do enjoy.

I'd never had the opportunity to play any of the guitar hero games until yesterday. Sure, I had been in the very room with said games and controllers in the past. And I had a passing interest in giving the game a shot, if only to confirm to myself that I was right about it.

This game where you hold a little toy guitar can't possibly capture the abilities of someone who actually posseses rhythm and acute hand-eye-coordination, my downfall will be that I don't really know much in the way of rock. I expeced the same from Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), but DDR had proven me wrong. The fact that I actually can dance, is quite beneficial in the whole beat-cyntric dance-a-thon.

On saturday my brother-in-law (Evan) purchased Guitar Hero III for his 360. While he, his dad, and I were out racing go-karts, my wife and her mom were at home, playing his game. So, on Sunday, we show up for dinner to find Evan and his friend engrossed in the game. After dinner everyone moved toward the TV.

I watched a few people play, got an idea of how the mechanics work, then was handed the little toy instrument. I was guided to one of the first songs on easy mode, this was so I wouldn't be too embarrassed by failing out of the song within the first 10 seconds. I passed the song with something over 80% accuracy. Not bad I thought, if a little sore in places.

Others took turns, Evan and his friend have been playing medium while Andrea and her mom play on easy. My turn comes up again, and I take a crack at a song on medium. If this game is worth anything at all, I should be able to pass a medium song right off the bat. I pass the song, sure, buy my left hand is cramped up and my right shoulder is starting to ache.

When it gets back to Evan's turn (I understand now, they're playing though a campaign of sorts on medium and trying to advance their career), he gets a little tripped up on La Grange by ZZ Top. The problem is the rhythm of that particular song isn't so "normal", but I know this song. Not only have I heard it in passing, but it was a very popular country line dance at one time. I ask for the axe and proceed to rock that track something fierce. By the end my left hand is hurting pretty good, and my shoulder needs a good popping.

Unfortunately for my aching limbs, I've unlocked something called a battle. Evan clues me in real quick on the basics of said battle. Slash is a tough customer, but I keep at him and keep in the game. The problem is that just hanging in there on a battle is not good enough. You have to make the opponent screw up enough to fail out of the song. Slash has my number.

Through the course of the evening I try out an easier battle, on Devil went down to Georgia (didn't sound like my Charlie Daniels band at all), and then try to take down Slash, over and over and over again (I almost had him at the end). By the time I gave up and we went home at 9:30, my arms were totally dead (worse even than playing Wii Tennis).

Anyone looking to get me a Christmas present could do worse than getting me a Wii or 360 (tough call, the game looks better and better framerate on the 360, but Wii is a funner system all around), and Guitar Hero III, and an extra guitar (so Andrea can back me up on bass). Tall order, I know, but I'm worth it.

UPDATE: I just found out there is a PC version of the game! ROCK ON!!!


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Illegal post about an illegal essay

In the comments of my post pointing out the "Al Gore Hoax" (patent pending), The Fourth pointed me at Michael Crichton's website for other interesting reads on global warming and stuff. Mr. Crichton wrote a pointed essay about the disaster that is patent law in this country.

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Rehashed Hour 3

Me and the misses saw Rush Hour 3 the other night. The first 2 in the series were really funny. Lots of jokes one after another. This one though, was just kind of OK funny.

The story is the same as the first 2. Didn't we already fight the Triad?

A number of jokes were just references to jokes from the previous 2 installations. Some were even references to the outtakes of the previous 2.

The fights weren't nearly as long, involved, or creative as the others.

So, I'm glad I didn't see it 'till it was in the cheap theaters.

On the positive side, the chick in the flick (I should trademark that as representing a leading lady in a movie), NoƩmie Lenoir, was pretty good looking...after she took the wig off. My wife agrees with me on this. Bald, she is hot, with the hair...meh.


Friday, November 02, 2007

3:10 to Yuma

That's the movie I ended up watching while the wife was out of town. I really liked it. The actors did pretty well on their characters (which is weird for Russel Crowe). I even was feeling for poor Evans (Christian Bale) as I learned more about him. The side characters were even good. It's nice when a film doesn't blow it's wad on one or two actors and then find some bums off the street to fill in the rest (Dragon Heart). I love westerns though, so maybe I'm a little biased, who knows.

Speaking of actors, if you want to add a little comedic sidekick to a movie, I can think of no better than Alan Tudyk (the doctor/veterinarian in this movie) or Steve Zahn.

There was a lot of blood. Blood everywhere all the time. Whether that's good or bad is really up to you though. Why critics take something subjective like this and determine whether it's a good thing or a bad thing is beyond me, but I don't like many film critics.

The story was good. It shows how most of the best stories are short events expanded in detail. It's a remake though, so the original writers should take the credit, not whoever is likely going strike here soon.