Sorry for the tardiness of this "Friday" post, but I hung out with my cousins last night and then went shopping with my brother today since I needed some collared shirts for work. I think I got some nice stuff, but I was especially happy about the purchase of this watch to the right here. I think it's gorgeous, and it'll be nice to go to work in style on Tuesday. Anyway, one of the things we did last night was watch X-men: The Last Stand, and it was pretty much as bad as I had expected. It revolves around two major plotlines: the founding of a "cure" for the mutant "condition" and the Dark Phoenix saga. First of all, this was clearly too much story for a two-hour movie, and should've been split up into two separate movies. What really upset me was how shoddily the Phoenix storyline was handled since the real story is 95% different from the movie's adaptation of it, and so they effectively ruined what was the most intriguing plot in X-men mythology to me. As for the former plotline, it just had some logical issues. They claim to have gotten the cure from some kid, and yet they didn't explain why they had to keep the kid there at the facility in order to keep making it. It's littered with similar holes and strangely cut scenes, no doubt to cover for how rushed the production was (they wanted to "beat" Superman Returns to get revenge on Bryan Singer). What's worse is that there are scenes here and there (like the first couple of scenes, which go back in time) that are really cool and well done, and they show what this movie could've been had Fox not gotten so blinded with greed and idiocy, and had Avi Arad not sold out his fanbase. That's not all though, the dialogue was uneven and often painted characters totally different from what we've come to know them as (and what they are like in the series). It makes Wolverine look like a girly man, Magneto look like a black and white bad guy (his last line in the movie is pretty bad, too), and Rogue seem like she's a pushover, none of which make sense. Oh, and then they decide to get rid of key characters for no reason, and then pick the strangest characters to focus on instead and not even develop them very well. In fact, Angel has all of 5 lines despite having a cool intro. The more I think about the movie, the more angry I am at Fox for doing this to us and it shows how stupid they think we are to swallow this crap. It may have had some decent special effects, and the promise of a great movie with some awesome actors and pretty trailers, but in the end they failed to deliver an appropriate sequel to X2 (note that the title never had a '3' in it, but it picked and chose what elements of X2 it wanted to keep instead). I'm going to mercifully give it a D since it had some redeeming scenes, and I encourage you to not blow your money on it (if you do though, wait through the credits for the real ending) and, hence, encourage them to make another abomination like it. Someone who isn't an X-men fan may give it a C or even a B- if they're really generous, but I just can't do that.
Google is a pretty secretive company, but do you know how their AdSense system actually works? It turns out that they end up screwing over the little guy without informing them of why they pay more for less popular keywords and similarly not being tough enough on click fraud. They need to focus on this rather than random beta products since this is a wound ripe for Microsoft or Yahoo to swoop in and nail them on. They did sign a deal with Dell to have their software preinstalled on Dell PCs, and I think it's so that IE on Dell PCs will have their homepage set to Google. It's not a bad idea, but I kind of think it cheapens Dell (though I can't bash Dell since mine survived my car crash). Speaking of deals, the Nike-Apple alliance that produced Nike Plus actually looks pretty decent to me (I don't care what cranky Dvorak says), and you can see shots of the interface over here. While I'm on music, there's now a site called indiestore.com where independent artists can sell their music much like normal artists do on iTunes. The prices are in pounds so they seem a little pricey, but I'm sure that as more American bands get on there, they'll start looking better. Canon has decided to stop R&D on film cameras, but they'll keep producing existing models. I'm sure that sales are pretty weak since only professional photographers would use those, but even they use SLRs, so this makes sense to me. If you want to see the worst tech products of all time, PCWorld actually has a pretty good list of them including AOL, IE6, and the Zip drive among others. Nintendo has confirmed that the Wii will not cost more than $250, which is a great reinforcement to what we had all expected. I wonder if Sony is sweating yet? Lastly, if you didn't have enough of the net neutrality debate, Popular Science has a pretty good article explaining it in laymen's terms. If you know nothing about it, then that's a must-read.
The only reason to actually witness Brett Ratner's latest creation is to see the new Superman Returns trailers, which is actually pretty neat and explains more of Lex's plan. YouTube has a low quality version, but I'm sure that we'll see an HD transfer soon enough. The one and only Helena Bonham Carter (of Fight Club fame) will now be some Death Eater character in the new Harry Potter movie (I haven't read the book, sorry) to take the place of Helen McCroryl, which I think is great news because I love Helena's work. There's word that Shakespeare in Love writer Tom Stoppard is in talks to pen the screenplay for Bond 22, and Roger Michell (who's done less impressive stuff) may be the director. To be fair though, Michell is supposedly good at character-oriented dramas. I didn't know until today that a Dukes of Hazzard prequel was in the works, and it looks like they have Laguna Beach starlet Kristin Cavallari in mind for the role of Daisy Duke. What's really funny though is that the producer tries to compare it to Batman Begins. Lastly, if you're really desperate for Pan's Labyrinth stuff, there are a few short clips here.
I'm going to go for the Saturday Six since it's technically a Saturday (though the news is up to Friday):
1. What is the last museum you visited? What single item there most impressed you?
Probably the Texas Memorial Museum for UT event I had to help out at in the fall, but I don't remember much from the visit. Sorry.
2. What piece of computer equipment that you currently don't own would you most like to have?
A MacBook Pro! I guess a laptop in general would be cool; that's all I really need right now. My second choice would be a backup external hard drive.
3. Coca Cola has recently released a new drink called Coca Cola Blak, which is a mix of Coke and coffee. Have you tried it? Would you try it? What flavor of soda would you most like to see someone create?
No and I don't think I would since I don't like Coke (at least not without rum) or coffee individually, so I can't see how they'd be better when combined.
4. Take the quiz: Which flavor of tea are you? (Thanks to Charley.)
I just get the cheap stuff and I'm happy with it, but I'd love to try out different flavors. If tapioca milk tea (boba) counts though, then I love that stuff in peppermint.
5. How do you like your tea? Iced or hot? Sweet or unsweetened? With cream or without?
I like it hot, sweetened, and with milk (but cream will do just fine). I have a huge sweet tooth, and I don't see the point in it if it isn't nice and hot.
6. You see someone run out of a store with a wad of bills. Shortly afterwards, a store employee runs out of the store after him, but stops just outside the door when it appears that the person has run down the street towards a seedy-looking motel. If you assumed you had just witnessed the getaway in an armed robbery, would you drive into the motel parking lot in an attempt to find out what room number or what vehicle the person got into, or would you pay it no more attention?
To be honest: pay no more attention =P How do I know if he's armed or not? If the guy ran like directly into me, I'd probably try to stop him, but why bother otherwise? He probably has accomplices as well, who may kill me. I'd prefer to let the cops do their job.