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Archive for the 'Media' Category

Will it never end?

Posted in Media on September 14th, 2005

One fine summer day, a young man was visiting a friend’s house and spotted an interesting book on the friend’s shelf. For a paperback, it was frelling huge – over 800 pages. Being the voracious reader the young man was, he figured this would keep him busy for a few days and borrowed the book.

Three days later, he borrowed the second book. Hooked! Equally huge, the books kept him happily reading for almost a solid week. He eagerly awaited the third book in what he assumed was a trilogy.

The third came and went, with the plot still unresolved. “Excellent! A five-book cycle!” he thought. The years rolled by, and at unequal intervals, books kept coming. After book 5, the series almost ground to a complete halt. New characters were added that did nothing for the story except strain the reader’s memory trying to keep them all straight. Each new book would drag on endlessly until the last 50 pages, which would suddenly rock into action – “could he finally be ending it?”

But no, the book would cliffhanger every time. Book 6. Book 7. Book 8. Book 9. All in excess of 600 pages, and the author can’t get anywhere with the plot. The young man’s shelves groaned from the weight of the hardcover editions. Book 10. Surely, this is the last one! He can’t drag it out any more!…

Yes, he can.

Then the bastard goes and spends over a year writing a ‘prequel’ book instead of the next installment. Plans are hatched to hunt the author down and go ‘Misery’ on his ass.

15 fine summers later, I got an email today from Amazon: “Pre-order the 11th book in Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series – “Knife of Dreams” On sale today!”

From Publishers Weekly

…While more recent entries have maintained that beauty and scope, the pace has slowed to a crawl as the central characters dispersed in six directions. In contrast, the latest explodes with motion, as multiple plot lines either conclude or advance, and the march to Tarmon Gai’don—the climactic last battle between the Dragon Reborn and the Dark One—begins in earnest…

And thus we are faced with the question: Go we once more into the breach? Do we read it now, or wait until he finishes the blasted thing so we can get it all over in one marathon session?

One thing is certain: I’m going to beat Pax the next time I see him for loaning me those first two books.

Review: Batman Begins

Posted in Media, Reviews on June 16th, 2005

Lucky bastard that I am, the Girlfriend took me out to see the new Batman movie last night, and we had a very good time (aside from spending $10 on a soda and popcorn. Sheesh!)

The first thing I thought about the movie was “where are the opening credits?” The movie has none – it simply begins, with a young Bruce Wayne (about 9 or so) chasing his friend Rachel around the greenhouse a few minutes before he falls into the old well.

Like any remake of an old idea, this movie puts Bats into a more modern world than what he originally came into. Gotham is, as always, Gotham, in the way that it should be. (I was pretty disappointed with the portrayal of the city in the earlier films.) The writers do an excellent job of telling us why Gotham is Gotham while the cinematographer is showing us what it is – and it is a truly polarized city, with the rich on one side and the poor on the other. A glittering monorail plies the skies forty feet above the ground – because at ground level is where all the streetscum live, and nobody wants to see that.

Spoiler Alert Read the rest of this entry »

NCIS: Twighlight

Posted in Media on May 24th, 2005

I’m a bit worked up over something tonight. First, realize that I dedicatedly watch two hours of tv a week: CSI and NCIS. For movies, I watch caper flicks, for tv I go the other way.

So there I am, watching the previews for tonight’s show over the last week, hoping they wouldn’t actually kill a main character. I recorded the show so I could watch it without interruptions (my daughter is here on both nights I watch tv).

Last week, they came damn close to killing off DiNozzo, the teenager-mentality senior Agent. He came back this week a tv-land week early from sick leave. In his first hour back on duty, he falls down a hill (ok, it was a small one), saves Kate from being bitten by a snake (ok, so it wasn’t poisonous) and nearly gets blown up (that one was kinda close).

Later on, Gibbs nearly gets blown up by our good friend Ari, the so-called Massaad double-agent Gibbs shot in the shoulder a few weeks back.

In the last minute of the show, after the big save-the-day scene, Kate jumps in front of a round intended for Gibbs. We all gasp! and wonder if she’ll make it – but of course, she was a smart girl and wore her Kevlar. Whew!

Which is why, in the last ten seconds of the show, that bastard Ari shoots her in the forehead with a sniper rifle from too far away for Gibbs to return fire.

The fuckers.

I know, I know – it’s just a tv show. But still.

Review: The Incredibles

Posted in Media, Reviews on November 7th, 2004

Since Greyduck beat me to the short version, I’ll have to be windier to justify dragging you here.

In short, this is the best movie I have seen this year, and you bet your bunny I will be buying the DVD as soon as the widescreen version hits the shelves.

The animation on this film is absolutely spectacular. Pixar just keeps getting better. Every character is an individual, clothing has wrinkles, hair moves and gets mussed, and the characters actually move correctly across the background – a footstep travels the expected distance, something alot of animation studios miss.

Writing and Directing: There is simply not a bad line anywhere in this movie. The characters have depth and emotion, and the plot ticks right along without moving too quickly or glossing over chances to develop the characters. The jokes span all ages, and there’s a couple spots where you might be reaching for a tissue. These parts don’t drag on though, so your kids won’t get bored with it.

Spoilers ahead… Read the rest of this entry »

Theatrical Review: Pure gold Baby

Posted in Media, Reviews on October 16th, 2004

I went to see Pure Gold Baby Friday night, a delightfully seedy play set in a strip club “somewhere in the United States, NOT Portland”. I went mainly because one of the actresses is a friend of mine, but it is well worth watching on it’s own merits.

Welcome to Sasha’s Hotbox, the sexiest, most scintillating strip club in town! Get real and get off as stereotypes collide with reality in the netherworld of exotic dancing. Follow Melissa as she enters a world where power, money, poetry, and desire make the rules and no one emerges unchanged.

As you walk into the theater, you are immersed into “Sasha’s Hotbox”, a dive strip-club. The lights are dim everywhere but the stage, the music is loud, and there is a real live girl on stage taking it off. A sign on the wall next to the stage boldly proclaims “Dancers work for tips ONLY”, and you ARE expected to tip the dancers during the show. Bring lots of singles, or change is available at the door.

While you are at Sasha’s, you will meet the full gamut of the stripper world – the Scumbag Boss, the Bitch who runs the show, the Ingenue, her Devil-May-Care roomate, the Mother, the Dominatrix, the Junkie, the Pro, and the Poet. Oh, and don’t forget that guy that lives down on Gynecology Row.

In the play, we follow along as Melissa goes from being the girl-next-door to Persephone the Stripper, and we all learn a few things about how the world works along the way.

As a guy who has been to several strip clubs around the U.S., I can tell you that the actresses have studied well for their parts, and a couple of them could really be making some serious cash on stage in Las Vegas. It doesn’t stop there, though. The acting is very good, and all the girls are well-worth the tips you leave them.

I was particularly impressed with Ayanna Berkshire’s performance as Sophie, the poet of the troupe, who does an excellent scene that starts out as a cold poetry reading and ends in a very well-done strip. Greg Bigoni’s performance as Lexi, the scumbag boss is one of the better parts of the play – it has to be hard to portray that big of a jerk convincingly. Greg and Amelia Dalton (Summer) do a very funny bit while they are both on the phone – only Amelia is on stage and supposed to be stripping at the time. And let’s not forget Nancy Rene’ Harbick (Hattie) in her inverted pole routine.

For the rest, you’re just going to have to go see the show. Tickets are $25 advanced reservation, $30 at the door. And remember to tip your dancers!

Soundtrack of a Life

Posted in Life, Media on October 7th, 2004

Frizzen Sparks brought up the idea this time ’round, so we’ll bame him.

What 15 or so songs would you put on the soundtrack of your life? Most of the responses he’s had are just the top 15 or so songs for the individual; I’ll try to put them into context of what scene they should be played in. Some of these can’t really be narrowed down to one song or even one artist, but I’ll try to be brief. (Yeah, right.)

Read on, MacDuff Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Media on September 7th, 2004

For those of you with access to a cable feed, Spike TV is having a CSI marathon this week, so all of us here at chez Wolfie are in hog heaven. I threw a Labor Day barbecue yesterday, and we all sat around watching tv and snarking where appropriate.

Greyduck, however, has once again proved that his Geek-Fu is strong, since we are also recording as many episodes as we can on one of the upstairs workstations. We’ll be able to burn them onto a VCD for watching in the DVD players for those days when there’s nothing on.

Unfortunately, there aren’t enough episodes to cover all of them. TV sucks.


Posted in Media on August 16th, 2004

I have been doing some more writing lately, one of the reasons I haven’t been blathering on about other things.

I expanded the original story some, and have a cast of characters and their history for the most part pegged. There are also several pages of dialog written to explain that history, but it’s waaaaay to boring to feed you all at once – I need to throw some plot-building scenes in between segments.

You might even get an update soon, if yer lucky.

TV worth watching

Posted in Media on August 11th, 2004

I was watching Between the Lions with my daughter this morning when they devoted part of the show to the dangers of opening unknown email, virus infections, and how to use antivirus software to cure them. I was very impressed, since my daughter does have access to the computer (even though she is always supervised when online.)

Score one for PBS Kids!


Posted in Media on August 9th, 2004

You’re in for it now folks – I got bored the other night and did some writing. Having nothing better to torture you with, I decided to link it here.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.