My friend and I saw Pan's Labyrinth this afternoon (by the way, why is a matinee $7?!), so I figured that I should share my thoughts before you drive to your local theater this weekend. I was expecting a great movie, and I think I really got one. In case you didn't gather from the trailers, the movie is in Spanish so it's subtitled, and it takes place in Spain in 1944 (correct me if I'm wrong) in the midst of the Spanish Civil War where General Franco's nationalist party is in power and the Republican forces are still fighting. What's awesome is that pretty much all the actors are from Spain, and I couldn't think of a single performance that wasn't stellar. Anyway, the little girl sees fairies, who lead her to a labyrinth, and she finds out that she's really a princess and must complete 3 tasks to take her throne. All this is in the midst of her mother being very sick with child (not a joke, there are birth complication) and marrying a callous Captain in the Nationalist military. So not only do you have this fantastical (albeit creepy) world that her innocence unlocks, you also have the harshness of the real world to contrast it with, and it works wonderfully together. Be warned though, some of the scenes are a little gross, and I had to turn my head more than once. My friend thinks it wasn't long enough, but I don't really have a bone to pick with it other than the palette for the movie being almost excessively dark. And I have to make a special compliment to the sound effects, because they were amazing. Plus, the fantasy world isn't cartoonish at all, and I love that. The ending is possibly the most beautifully sown together ending I've seen in a good while. This movie is a solid A to me, and I highly recommend it. Just be warned of its overall lean towards darkness, and the goriness in some scenes (do NOT take small kids to this). (P.S. it currently has a whopping 98% on the tomatometer)
I have way too much tech news, so let's get to it. In a rather disappointing news, Outlook 2007 has really stripped down its HTML formatting and support to make e-mails uglier and less compatible with other clients and browsers. In one way, I can see why people would prefer just plain text e-mail, and it hurts spammers. On the other hand though, I don't think that's a choice you should take away from users unless the vast majority really don't want it, which is information I just don't know. Now to help Microsoft out: Jim Allchin's e-mail was revealed in which he said he'd use Macs if he wasn't at Microsoft (it was in Jobs's keynote this week), and he pretty much echoed my sentiments of the company (which I'm sure I must've shared on this blog on multiple occasions). It's a great company that lost its way and has settled for being mediocre, and I think they're so much better than that. Back to the iPhone real quick, I have more buzzkill and it's even more well-formulated than what I had given you guys Wednesday. I totally didn't think about the fact that you can't use this phone without looking at it and that it may be even pricier than we think with service charges. Oh, and why can't Apple and Cisco just get along over the name 'iPhone'? Cisco wants more interoperability between Apple products and Cisco products, and we all know how firm Apple is in being the alpha male, so things must've gotten ugly. Meanwhile, someone was showing off a MacBook modded into a tablet at MacWorld, something weakly speculated on as Apple releasing, and it got a lot of attention. I just wanted to pose the question: why did the tablet PC never take off? I don't get it: I think it's a pretty sweet idea, especially if it doubles as a normal laptop (i.e. still has a keyboard). Lastly, CBS and Google may be close to a deal to distribute CBS television programming on YouTube sponsored by local advertisers. No idea how the advertisements would be displayed, but it sounds like an interesting pilot program to me.
Just a few bits of movie news I want to touch on real quick. Following up on the yesterday's release of the trailer for Blades of Glory, we now have an early review of the film from a screening, and supposedly it's really funny. Color me surprised. I hope it's as good as he claims! We have a real trailer now for Hannibal Rising, and I liked it despite everyone else's skepticism on this film. I'm not thrilled with Gong Li's casting, but I think the main actor can really pull off Hannibal (though what's with the accent?). Lastly, we have our first shots from Rush Hour 3, and they're really random, but it's the first we've seen of the movie so far so I felt it was worth mentioning.
Now for Friday's Feast:
What comes to mind when you see the color orange?
UT, of course ;)
Did you ever get in trouble while you were in school? If so, what was it for?
Oh yeah, I was accused of cheating. I wouldn't call it cheating, but I stupidly published some very general information about an exam (i.e. none of the actual questions) in a class where I hated the teacher, and a friend who was giving away more specific info was found out, so I was found out indirectly. I ended up getting an F in the final to get a D in the class whereas I would've gotten an A. Yeah, it sucked (it was Physics, too).
Which topping(s) make up your perfect pizza?
Probably BBQ chicken and mozzarella. Haven't tried that combination though, so not sure.
Do you believe in UFOs/aliens/etc.? Why or why not?
I believe that it's hard to believe that we're alone in the universe, but I don't think it's something to really spend a whole lot of time thinking about. It's not like believing in God or the afterlife or something because this is something tangible. Either exist or they don't, and we just don't know yet.
What color is your bedspread/comforter/quilt?
In Austin: it's denim blue. In Houston: white and blue vertical stripes.