Sunday, December 11, 2005

Syriana

I went to my first LAN party yesterday, run by the ACM, and it wasn't bad, but it would've been better if I had brought a computer (there's no way I was going to lug my Dell tower there). Playing my PS2 games on the projector screen was still pretty neat. Click to enlargeI took a break in the middle to visit a friend and we spontaneously went to see Syriana with his room mates. Out of the five of us who went, only two of us (myself included) liked it. You're going to see this kind of response across the board with this movie. The movie is designed much along the lines of Traffic with interweaving storylines, but this time it's with regard to oil and it's much more of a political drama. In other words, it's pretty damn slow, and I understood that coming in but I don't think the others had come to terms with it. You have to be prepared to process a lot information if you want to see this movie because it starts out confusing and gradually gets clearer, but I don't think that's what people didn't like about it. The acting was great, in my opinion, but the writing probably could've used some work. You never felt much of an emotional connection to the main characters, and that translated to people not caring about what's happening. It's definitely meant to be a critique of how dirty interests in oil can be, but as far as appealing to people it's really a hit or miss kind of thing (much like Fahrenheit 9/11 was). I give it a B- for improper pacing and the lack of character connection I mentioned, and would caution you in seeing it in theaters rather than just renting it (especially with King Kong just on the horizon).

It has been a few days since I've mentioned the Xbox 360, so I thought I'd come back with the Japanese response to the launch: very weak. Many retailers didn't come close to selling out in the first couple of hours they had it, and I think that the Japanese gaming community is waiting for the RPGs they know companies like Square will produce for the PS3. Flash memory has been an exciting thing in technology this past year, and top computer manufacturers are working on hybrid hard drives for a computer that incorporate a small amount of memory on flash to dramatically reduce power consumption and start-up time. This is really good news for laptop users, but my concern is the limit on the amount of erasures on flash memory. A group of former Google employees have started a blog about their experiences there opening a window into programming practices and office life. It's actually much more positive than negative, and I feel that they're actually relatively unbiased given that they no longer work there. The last thing I have to plug is this fantastic blog post about the dirty laundry associated with dating a software developer. I don't think I'm this extreme, but I know that a lot of programmers are so watch out ladies!

As most people expected, The Chronicles of Narnia opened at #1 this weekend with an impressive $67.1 million, but given its lackluster reviews I can almost guarantee a significant drop next weekend. It will definitely get trumped by King Kong, which I presume will make more than that and has been getting spectacular reviews (not a single negative one from the big boys). Syriana ended up beating out Harry Potter for the #2 spot with $12 million, but I'm sure that it'll drop next weekend by a lot also. Memoirs of a Geisha isn't in the top 10 yet because it has opened in very few theaters (wide release is December 23), but it garnered an impressive $84k per theater it did open in. The only other movie news today is not very good: Richard Pryor died of cardiac arrest yesterday morning at the age of 65. His mark on comedy is forever indelible and I think that any person who has a sense of humor is going to miss him.

Now for some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Stalker::Creepy
  2. Outrageous::Impulsive
  3. Carrying::A baby
  4. Spirited::Away
  5. Oh!::Vocative (it's a case in Latin)
  6. Grid::Lines
  7. Country::U.S.A.
  8. Karen::Pinto (I wonder if she's reading this)
  9. Candles::Birthday
  10. Relationship::Trouble


Off I go to the ACM holiday party (hence the earliness of the post). Good luck to those of you who are just starting to study for finals!

1 comment:

[Mat] said...

I don't know about you, but I'm not overly exited about Big Kong as it was aptly named a few years ago.

I'm pretty sure my gf won't want to go there, so it'll be a boys out day.

On to your meme.

1 Stalker:: Lizzie.
2 Outrageous:: Women
3 Carrying:: On
4 Spirited:: Very few people
5 Oh!:: Ho.
6 Grid:: Games
7 Country:: folk
8 Karen:: Outrageous, see #2
9 Candles:: fire
10 Relationship:: fire and rain.