Friday, August 30, 2002

Random thought of the night: when people are chosing the color of a new car, do they ever try to coordinate it with their state's license plate?
Posted @ 11:36 PM

Thursday, August 29, 2002

An amazing discovery for Pearl Harbor buffs: a Japanese midget sub sunk by the USS Ward shortly before the main aerial attack on December 7, 1941 has been found after nearly sixty-one years.

This item is offered not just for its historical significance, but also for the pure joy of a humorous acronym. The sub was found by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, aka HURL.
Posted @ 2:45 PM

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Howdy, folks. Seems like an eternity since I checked in here last. I took a long weekend jaunt out to Illinois, getting back on Sunday night (more on that later). Yesterday was my first day back punching a clock, as I began my part-time gig at Hands On Science. Today I've got a proposal to write up, then rehearsal. So for now, in lieu of time-consuming personal anecdotes, we'll continue with the film theme I've fallen into of late.

Movie Poop Shoot has a story on the in-pre-production flick, Truth, Justice and the American Way. The movie examines the mysterious death of TV's Superman, George Reeves. Kyle MacLachlan is up for the role of Reeves, but Miramax executives are skittish about him. Knowing how strong MacLachlan's acting chops are and looking at the pics from his screen test for the part, I'd have to say the studio suits are on crack.

With MacLachlan on board, Truth, Justice and the American Way could easily become one of my must-catch films for Aught-Three. Without him, I'll probably just wait for the DVD.
Posted @ 12:35 PM

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

The only awards presentation which actually entertains while honoring (or belittling) the recipients, the TeeVee Awards, is in mid-run right now. Don't miss the fun to be had when economics and studio politics hold no sway in deciding who is praised and who gets some richly deserved derision.

An open memo to the state of Delaware:

Why is your little section of I-95 such a bitch to get through? Driving home from visiting friends in the NYC area Sunday night, I breezed down the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Capitol Beltway were equally trouble free. But right in the middle of those two areas, I got to spend almost an hour creeping along toward your understaffed, badly designed toll plaza. Please talk to your neighbors in Jersey about this; they might have some pointers on how to make your operations a little less incompetent.
Posted @ 4:04 PM

Friday, August 16, 2002

Apollo 13 is one of my top ten favorite films of all time. As is the case with many of the movies on that list, I didn't see it during its initial theatrical release. Most of these masterpieces came out before I was born or old enough to venture out of the house alone. A couple are special gems I never would have known about had I not caught them through lucky happenstance on cable. My reason for missing Apollo 13 is unique. It debuted in June of '95, which was one of the craziest, busiest, most stressful times of my life. I didn't see a movie in the theater that whole summer.

When I rented it on video a few months later, it astounded me. I was married at the time, and my wife and I watched it together on our ancient, hand-me-down 25" TV. As the end credits began to roll, a most amazing thing happened. We looked at each other, and without a word I knew we were in complete agreement. I rewound the tape and we immediately watched the whole thing again. We loved it that much.

More than any other film, I've always regretted the fact that I didn't get to see Apollo 13 on the big screen. Now it looks like I'm going to get my chance, in spades. On September 20th, Apollo 13: The IMAX Experience premieres.

Up until now, IMAX films have been almost exclusively documentaries. While I've loved the visual grandeur of such movies as The Dream Is Alive, To Fly! and Everest, I've longed to see a full-length feature film on that gigantic cinematic canvas. Thanks to a new conversion process that reformats conventional 35mm films, Apollo 13 will fulfill that longing better than I ever could have dreamed possible.

At this point, I can't tell if it will be showing at the nearby Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater at the National Air & Space Museum. If it does come there, I'll probably see it multiple times. If it doesn't, I'll be making a special weekend trip down to my old stomping grounds around Williamsburg, where it'll be screened at the Virginia Air & Space Museum's IMAX Theater. Either way, I'll be chomping at the bit for the next month or so.
Posted @ 2:18 PM

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Check out this New York Times story on Green Lantern (registration required). It's not often that the Old Gray Lady casts her eye toward the funnybooks, which is why it caught my attention.

It's even rarer for a mainstream media outlet to treat comics with any measure of respect. The Times does so in this piece, tacitly admitting that the medium can address serious subjects such as the one at hand, violence against homosexuals. It's several steps up from the half-assed, "Pow! Bam!" coverage comic books usually get, making the article a welcome and highly enjoyable read.

It's been nine months since I first predicted Jason Alexander would play Max Bialystock in Mel Brooks' hit musical The Producers. When another actor took over the role after Nathan Lane left the Broadway production, I figured I'd made yet another error in a series of bad calls. To me it seemed a natural pairing, but it just wasn't going to happen.

Turns out, I simply needed to have a little patience. Alexander will be playing Bialystock, in a Los Angeles production next summer.

I got the venue wrong, but two out of three is vindication enough for me.
Posted @ 6:09 PM

Damn. Just when it looked like the next great DC Comics-based movie franchise was all set to take off, it ends up being grounded. Writer/director Wolfgang Petersen is shelving Batman vs. Superman in favor of a film based on Homer's Iliad.

Petersen promises he'll continue to develop BvS in the interim. Well, we'll see.
Posted @ 11:48 AM

Monday, August 12, 2002

When I first became aware of Plush Cthulhu last Halloween, I wondered what special flavor of evil it might spawn.

My wondering is at an end. Behold the horror and humor to be found in Tales of Plush Cthulhu. (link via reenhead)
Posted @ 1:50 PM

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Musical theater as bullion cube: Zipp, currently being staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, promises to serve up the essence of 100 different musicals in the span of an hour and a half. Most impressively, the troupe breezes through the entirety of Andrew Lloyd Webber's career in under a minute.

That's still about thirty seconds more than I'm willing to give any of his work after Evita.
Posted @ 11:22 AM

Thursday, August 08, 2002

You ever have one of those weeks where you find out tons of new little tidbits about a friend? It's been that kind of week for me. My buddy Jennifer (not to be confused with the oft-mentioned Jen) has been dropping previously undisclosed facts about her life all over the place the last few days. First off, it turns out that she sleepwalks. I never would have guessed that.

I was also mildly amazed to discover she used to have pretty low expectations about her professional potential. Jennifer's very successful in her field, which is why this revelation took me aback.

Finally, I was really shocked to find out she lovingly considers her husband, who seems like a completely cool and stylish guy, to be a "goofball." In that same conversation, she revealed that they're planning to start a family in the next couple of years. She wants two kids, he wants seven.

The above revelations are just the minutiae of everyday life, the kind of things friends share with each other in an idle moment. There's nothing really newsworthy in them. Problem is, that's just where I found out about this stuff: the sleepwalking, the low career expectations, and the goofball crack were all headline news items this week.

I'm sure you've sussed out by now that Jennifer is not, strictly speaking, a friend of mine. She's much bigger than that. She's Friends with the whole world. She's Jennifer Aniston.

It's not that I'm na´ve in the ways of infotainment, but three separate headline stories about such drivel in the span of four days is too egregious even for me. It's also an excellent illustration of a favorite axiom of an actual friend of mine: The world is rapidly turning into a parody of itself.
Posted @ 1:43 PM

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

A humble submission for a jingle, written by my roommate Hutch and myself, fueled by Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and sung to the tune of Devo's "Jocko Homo." Clio nominating comittee, please take note:

Scientists say
We lost our tapes
Evolving up
From hairy apes
Hey look it grabbed
The Great Escape!
Better than live
It is TiVo
Better than live

In other news I can sum up with song lyrics, I did not get the job I talked about a couple of weeks ago. However, there is a possibility of me doing some work for that company. It's not a done deal nor would it be full time, but it's the best possibility that's come down the pike in lo these many months. Or, as the Rolling Stones once put it:

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need
Posted @ 2:22 AM

Friday, August 02, 2002

What if the crew of the original Star Trek weren't just friends, but Superfriends! The result might just look like this.
Posted @ 11:53 AM

Thursday, August 01, 2002

While it seems to be more a casualty of slowing sales than a sudden burst of conscience on the part of Ford, the imminent demise of the behemoth Excursion is still welcome news.

The vehicle, which I've taken to calling the Ford Exclusion, is the biggest and possibly most obnoxious SUV sold in this country. I only hope this line's cancellation signals the beginning of the end of America's drunken fling with the SUV. (this link brought to you as always thanks to our friends at MetaFilter)
Posted @ 12:48 PM


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