Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jackets and Coats

Today at work, I somehow got myself into a predicament through which I stated that a jacket is a coat. This was met with resistance by two people who believed that jackets and coats are two separate entities. I countered with the argument that a jacket is a type of coat. I also explained how this was similar to how a square is a rectangle but not all rectangles are squares. This went nowhere fast.

Another co-worker jumped in to help me and asked them what they thought a dinner jacket was. Seems to me it's pretty similar to a sport coat. Regardless, I told them I'd find proof. Not sure if this is proof enough, but dictionary.com lists jacket as "a short coat". It's sufficient enough proof for me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Return of the Native

Back from the grave once again, I'm doing a bit of a face-lift on the blog, and also going to attempt to start getting back in the habit of keeping it up to date. I know, I've said that many times before, but this time between the posts of random nonsense, I may have some other options.

Last year, Chris Davis and I started a little side project where, using Lists of Bests, we would create lists of films for the other to watch. The other would have 1 week to watch the top film on the list, then 1 week from then to watch the next one. It went okay for a while before we seemed to abandon the project. Discussion has heated back up in rekindling the project, and my stumbling upon the ICheckMovies site will likely help to motivate us, especially when they add in the ability to make custom lists.

Regardless of that, ICheckMovies will be helping me get closer to complete of one of my ultimate (albeit lofty and at this point seemingly far-fetched) goals -- the goal of watching every film in the IMDB Top 250. Though considered by some sources to be a list made by elitist snobs, it's still a pretty impressive list. You can always see an up to date status report of how far along I am on this quest by looking at the little widget to the right. For the record, Davis has completed 52% of the list as of this posting, and I have completed 34%. I encourage any of my friends who enjoy movies to join ICheckMovies and add me as a friend on there (my username there is HillJackBob). If you rate movies on IMDB, it will easily import your IMDB vote history, which saved me lots of time. Of course, all good cinephiles should be on FlickChart as well (and my username there is the same).

In my quest to conquer this list, I have ventured back in the past to watch some films that in prior years I may have never gotten the motivation to view. Of course, after watching some of these films, I have been quite impressed with how well they have held up over the years. Examples of older films that made enough of an impression on me to make my Flickchart Top 100 include 1954's Hitchcock classic Rear Window (19), Billy Wilder's film noir 1944 classic Double Indemnity (24), and the amazing 1974 crime flick The Sting (39).

I may go back and review all three of those films in separate blog entries in order to possibly convince my readers to check them out, if they haven't to this point. Small movie reviews might become a staple of this blog over time, especially for older films that I think need to be seen.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Animation is not a genre

Animation is not a genre. It is a medium capable of telling a story of any genre.

I discuss movies with 1 friend of mine quite a bit, and he's decided that he's just not really into most animated films. It's hard for me to fathom, but that's likely because personally I'm mesmerized by just about anything animated. The medium really appeals to me. I think I just feel like so much more care is put into these films, because of the amount of time it takes to make the thousands and thousands of drawings that go into some of the best 2d animated films. With the advent of CGI, people might have thought that 2D animation was dead, but mostly that was because the 2D films that were being released in America at that time just weren't that good.

To me, a movie is good because of its story, its plot, and its characters. Animation is just the way this story has chosen to be told. I came across a quote from Brad Bird this morning, director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. I think Bird is one of the better minds on the American animation scene. He said:

“People think of animation only doing things where people are dancing around and doing a lot of histrionics, but animation is not a genre. And people keep saying, “The animation genre.” It’s not a genre! A Western is a genre! Animation is an art form, and it can do any genre. You know, it can do a detective film, a cowboy film, a horror film, an R-rated film or a kids’ fairy tale. But it doesn’t do one thing. And, next time I hear, “What’s it like working in the animation genre?” I’m going to punch that person!”

When photography came about, people didn't quit painting. They're both different ways of expressing the same thing. I guess the big pull to animation for me is that creativity has no bounds. The sky is not even the limit. For the record, my FlickChart has 26 animated films within the Top 100.

That being said, I watched The Iron Giant lastnight, and it was a great story with impressive visuals as well. Watch it, if you haven't.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Larry King: Film Critic

As I was watching TV last night and again as an ad on Sporcle today, I see that Larry King calls The Fourth Kind, "a remarkable movie that boggles the mind," and says, "This is Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind." When did this man become a reliable film critic? I'm not going to a movie because Larry King says so; in fact, I'm probably avoiding it.

I'm just waiting for this commercial. Larry King calls suspenders, "stylish," "more than just straps to hold your pants up," and "the wave of the future. They're not just for firefighters anymore!"

I didn't realize just anyone could be shown on TV as promoting a movie. Next thing you know, it'll be, "Paris Hilton calls Where the Wild Things Are 'Hot.' "

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Add one more to the list of my web addictions...

This time my addiction is the movie ranking website known as FlickChart.

The premise is simple. After you register, the site will give you two movies. If you've seen them both, click on the one you like better. If you've seen one but not the other, click the "haven't seen it" button under the one you haven't seen until you get two movies you have seen. If you've seen neither, click the "Haven't seen either" button.

Once you start ranking movies you've seen, they will start to form a dynamically changing ordered list of your favorite movies. At first, some movies might be a lot higher than you expected, but with time, and use of the right filters, these movies will find it to where they belong.

Right now the friends features aren't too robust, but they plan to add a lot more to it, like where you can see a composite ranking of the Top Films of All-Time just based on the rankings of your friends. That is something I'm really interested in, and so I'm hoping to get as many of my friends and family into this as possible.

Doing this has made me realize there are some movies that I like a lot more than I realized I did. And movies that I didn't realize I liked so much better than everyone else. On Flickchart, Driven was one of the 40 worst movies of all-time. However, I rate it at #45 on my list. I really, really liked it. But those things happen here and there. Still, it makes for good debate. If you do join (and please do), let me know your username so I can add you as my friend.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm not obsessed... but I am getting a little irritated.

So, it's been over a week since I've actually been able to get on Facebook. Supposedly there is "site" maintenance on one of their servers that some user accounts are on, mine obviously included. I've heard rumors that that server may have crashed and that they may have lost a lot of account data and whatnot. They're keeping it pretty quiet, and it's really bugging me. I'm not one of those obsessed people who can't live without it; I've obviously gone 8 days now without the darned thing. But I now feel like I don't know what people are up to.

This is gonna seem weird, especially coming from someone who detests smoking like I do. However, one of the greatest smells in the world has to be the smell of a pipe being smoked. In an even crazier notion, they should make a pipe smoke smelling air freshener.

This one left me a bit speechless this week -- a little dog came running up to me, barking and growling at me as I was delivering mail. When I get up to the house where he belongs his owner comes out and says. "Don't worry about him; he wouldn't hurt a flea!" Say what??? What is this dog's problem? All I care is that he won't be nipping at my heels, as one usually gets rough looks when he attempts to punt a canine across a yard. But how weak and unmotivated can a dog be to not even combat his own flea problem? At least my dog scratches at them whe she gets fleas.

Columbus Day is tomorrow, so no work for me! Nothing better than celebrating a holiday for a person who really didn't do anything! So he sailed 3 ships; big whoop. You can't exactly discover something that people are already inhabiting. Heck, he thought he was in the East Indies, hence why he called the natives "Indians". Regardless, I'll take a paid day off work any time they'll let me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Go Isopods!

Have you seen this nasty thing? These were found off the coast of Britain, inside weaver fish. It's called the Tongue-eating louse (Cymothoa exigua). What it basically does it attaches itself to the fish's tongue and sucks the blood from it until the tongue atrophies, at which point it pretty much takes over as the fish's tongue. For the rest of the fish's life, it's tongue is this living creature. It does not harm the fish in any way, but I imagine the fish doesn't get many dates from that point on. At least, not many second dates.

Get this -- in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sports Minister Svilen Neikov ordered an investigation after the same lottery numbers were selected by the ball machine two weeks in a row. Turns out it was a coincidence, but come on, how crazy of a coincidence is that? And an unprecedented 18 people got those numbers right the next week. That might be the cause for concern, right there. Why the heck would 1 person pick the same numbers that just won last week, let alone 18? Seems like they knew something everyone else didn't. Who knows?

Those new re-mastered Beatles albums sold 2.25 million copies in 5 days. It just further proves what we already know; the Fab Four were the greatest band of all-time. They were great innovators in their time. Abbey Road probably sits somewhere in the Top 10 albums of all-time, with multiple others in the Top 100.

And, on a postally related note, a Massachusetts postal worker was arrested for stealing over 30,000 Netflix DVDs from the mailstream. What a friggin' moron! It's jerks like this that give the honest postal workers (like me, of course) a bad name. Netflix got suspicious when customers in the area were reporting over 100 movies a week not reaching their destination. Who the heck thinks a company wouldn't notice 100 movies a week? And of course, postal inspectors got involved, started watching, and saw him slipping them into his backpack.

Wait, what? What's he doing with a backpack? We've been told time and again, no backpacks or big coats on the workroom floor. It's so people aren't trying to run off with stuff. Sounds to me like he's not the only one who has a hard time following the rules.

Seems like I read every day about a worker caught doing something. The more of you that do something stupid, the faster the postal workforce gets down to a more economical level. So keep it up, bozos.