Friday, August 26, 2005

Interesting Future HP movie thoughts

Joss Whedon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, was recently asked what it would take to get him to direct one of the Harry Potter movies (after Chris Columbus butchering the first 2, 3 and 4 both have different directors and an even different guy [with no movie experience {which scares the hell out of me because go look at what Fincher did with Alien 3}]). He said it would have to be after all the books come out. He hasn't seen any of the movies yet because Rowlings writes a better movie than anyone could ever make. So he won't see any of the movie until all the books come out. Once they're out, all they'd have to do is ask him to direct 7 and he'd do it.

Some personal notes on the Direction of the HP movies. Originally, the final 2 for the first movie were Columbus, who I hate, and Terry Gillium, who I worship. So you can imagine the disappointment I felt when Columbus was announced. Last weekend, we watched the 3 movies, and I can report that the 3rd one is so far above and beyond anything the first 2 could even dream about being, that it makes me cry to think what the first 2 COULD have been. Chacon (Director of #3) had fantastic vision for the movie and I wouldn't change a thing about it, but I still think that Gillium would have been the best thing for this series.

Obviously, he'd have to stick around to do all of them other wise the other ones would seem very odd and disjointed since he has such a unique look and feel. If he were to do JUST ONE of the HP books, 4, the one coming out in November, should have been it. It has enough new settings and doesn't introduce any uber-significant recurring characters (I won't include Voldemort because evil can take a different face from movie to movie and it won't matter too much) that it could stand alone in style very easily. Unfortunately, the movies done already, so that's out of the question. I wouldn't give him 5 because I don't think the source material is exciting enough for him. The 5th book, I feel, is the most dramatic, but not the most interesting or action packed. He could do 6, but by then, I think, what's the point.

I very much like the idea of Whedon. Even if I was never the biggest Buffy fan, his work has an unparalleled energy and a very unique vision. His ability to mix drama with the PERFECT blend of comic relief would most likely be a huge asset in a movie that will undoubtedly be very dark.

And in closing, I love parenthetical statements.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Tomorrow, Blair and I are going for a fun jaunt through the woods of Yosemite. We should return to Fresno some time in the evening. Should be a lot of fun.

It's been a while since I've been on a really good, long hike. This certainly qualifies. I'm most looking forward to the sights, being out in nature, dipping my feet in a crisp, clean stream. I'm least looking forward to what I'm going to smell like on Sunday.

Blair has the route planned. Originally, he had this crazy 50+ mile adventure planned that, if everything went perfect, we could finish before sundown on Sunday. Our plan now is, I think, a little more realistic. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll be able to get home in time for a BIG HUGE dinner at Claim Jumper, though I might be delusional there.

That's what's going on with me. Nothing too exciting, I know. I have been keeping myself extremely busy with reading the Harry Potter books over again (I still love the 4th book, which I finished yesterday and I hope I like the 5th more this time around) and doing multiple Fantasy Football Drafts. I have the same Tight End in every league that I've drafted in so far. I'm beginning to think that everyone else knows somethign that I don't.

Next weekend is a long weekend. I wonder what we can get planned for Monday...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

One Month!!!

We're a month away from the wedding date!!! HOORAY!! Jenn and I are both really excited. There are still a couple very small details to take care of. But we're pretty much ready for the day and can't wait. We've done enough wating already and we want the date to just get here already.

The total for reception attendees looks like it will be about 60. We have about 50 RSVP's with another 10 people who have assured me that they are in fact going. I think 60 is going to be a great number and everyon will have a lot of fun.

Blair is back in Fresno and it's nice to have him here. I think his being here makes me realize how much fun it is going to be to see EVERYONE in another month. I'm starting to tink that I should plan some additional side events (other than the bachelor party). My friend Eddie has already asked for some craps time, which I've told him I should be able to do while Jenn is getting her hair done on Saturday. My dad has been generous enough to offer to host a brunch buffet for everyone on Sunday. So you're all invited. We'll pass details on at the reception.

Otherwise, not too much else going on. Getting ready for football season. My political rampages have died down a bit thanks to my ability to rant vicariously through the folks at Air America. Yes, the buckle of the Bible Belt now has Air America. That's about all I can think of. YAY ONE MONTH!!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

One Life to Live

The Village Idiot has sunk to new depths. On Sunday, he was returning from a 2 hour bike ride when a reporter asked him how he can take 2 hours to ride a bike but can't spend a few minutes with the woman camped out in front of his drive way. A woman whose son was killed while serving in Iraq. That would be one of thousands of sons and daughters who have died in Iraq or as a result of injuries sustained there. Bush's response on how he sets his priorities: "I've got my life to live."

WHAAAAA!?!?!?!?! Really? That's the best you can come up with? No wonder his handlers prevent him from ever having to deal with people that have contrarian points of view. I think if you were to list the Top 100 TERRIBLE answers to the question, "Why can you not spend 10 minutes with a woman whose son died in a war you manufactured," the answer he gave, "I have my life to live," would certainly fall in the top 10. It might fall between, "Becasue she hasn't said the magic word," and "Because she's married and I don't think I'd have much of a shot at getting in her pants."

The level of insensitivity and incompitance one would have to show to say that speaks volumes as to his level of idiocy.

The real reason he will most likely not meet with her is becasue the Iraqi invasion is unjustifiable and probably illeagal. He's not capable of providing actual answers to the questions she would pose. He could give talking points but those do not actually answer direct questions. He really has to handle such questions and when he does, nevere very well. That's obviously demostrated by his answer on Sunday.

If given the option to trade his life for the life of one soldier, I'm not sure a majority of people would be in favor of that, but I'd have to think there'd be at least 2: mine and Mrs. Sheehan.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Holden Me Down

I'm in the process of re-reading the Harry Potter books. I'm on book 3. There is only one other book with fewer than 1 picture per page that I've ever read more than once: Catch-22. So for me to re-read Harry Potter is a pretty big deal.

Reading has always come to me in spurts. As you may imagine, it takes quite a bit for a bok to hold my attention. When I was in high school I didn't read at all. When I was in college, the first couple years, I read quite a bit, but then I stopped. And then when I was working with Accenture, I read constantly (nothing better to do in an airport or on a plane).

As for what I read, I usually read books by recommendation only (with the off gambling related book being an exception). It's like a book needs to know the secret pass word to get on my shelves and only my friends know the password. I've had various people recommend various books. I will read absolutely anything recommended to me by my friend Brent for 2 reasons: he's read more books than anyone I know and he recommended Catch-22 to me. For the most part, at least since high school, I've enjoyed just about every book I've ever read.

This leads us to the topic of this post: the worst book I've ever read was Catcher in the Rye. I hate that book on so many levels. And I don't think I could trust a person who reads that book when he's not in school. I feel a little bad about saying that because a new guy at work is reading it right now. He seems nice enough, but reading that book (and the copy he has seems to indicate he's read it before) is a strike against that youw ill never be able to make up. Dennis Miller named his son Holden after the title character at which point I lost all respect for Dennis Miller (the rest of the world followed suit shortly there after once his HBO show started to tank at around season 4).

REASON 1 I HATE CATCHER IN THE RYE: The lead character is by far and away the least sympathetic literary character in the history of fiction (I say in the history of fiction becasue Biographies about Hitler would rank #1, pushing Holden Caufield to #2 in the entire history of literature). A person would have to go out of their way to deliberately write a character with less spine, less intrigue and less personality. When the pimp is beating him up, I was disappointed that the book continued. Had it ended with that scene, I would surely have honfder memories of it since it would have ended on a high note. But know, Holden goes on the torture us for another few chapters. I hate him.

REASON 2 I HATE CATHER IN THE RYE: It's supposed to be a coming of age story, but anyone as horrid as the title character doesn't deserve to live into adulthood. When the entire premise of a book is following lifeless child turn into a lifeless adult, you have problems. For a coming of age story to work, somewhere along the way you have to say to yourself, "I wonder what he'll be like as an adult." At no point should you say, "Why isn't this person dead yet?"

REASON 3 I HATE CATCHER IN THE RYE: Nothing happens. For a coming of age story, it's pretty light in the category of "Life Changing Events." Falling for a hooker and having the pimp kick your ass just doesn't quite cut it. Give us something, ANYTHING, that would support the statement, "Holden Caufield has learned an important life lesson from this event and will be wiser as a result." If all you can say is, "He knows better than to fall in love with a hooker now," I'm not buying it.

It's been a long time since I read the book, so I'm certain there are other reasons to hate it. Yes, it was nicely written. But sometimes my shit is nicely cylidrical.

If you insist on continuing to say, "But it's a coming of age story, " please see the Harry Potter books or A Prayer for Owen Meany for lessons on coming of age done right.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Global Wretching about Euphamisms

In case you didn't know, the Global War on Terror is officially over. And who do we have to thank for this? A brave Marine that found Osama in Pakistan? The Iraqi people who have stepped up and taken over the fight against insurgents? Nope. None other than the evil politicians that barage you with talking points and a constant caucaphony of evation and misinformation.

That's right, The Village Idiot's people have ended the War on Terror and have introduced us, the American People, to the Global Struggle Against Extremism. Basically, this is as big of a news event as any other re-branding within corporate America. Just like people with half a brain didn't give a crap about McDonalds changing their slogan from "We love to see you smile" to "I'm Lovin' It", those same people aren't buying this either: we recognize that it's just a powerful, soulless machine feeding uss the exact same garbage.

The best part about this particular re-branding, however, is that the hard line-religious right, conservatives that are behind Iraq, Terry Schiavo and the War Against the 1st Amendment, have placed themselves on the other side of the line now. Before, you could make an arguement that our invation of Iraq wasn't actually a terrorist act (terrorist want to spread fear, we wanted to spread our hands into Iraqi oil fields). However, it is far more difficutle to claim that they are not extremists. A majority of Americans were against Federal intervention in the Schivo fiasco; they were all for it. A majority of Americans want Roe v Wade to stand; they would ike nothing more than to see it end. And not, a majority of Americans recognize that Iraq was a mistake and we were misled in the reasoning behind it; they continue to re-brand our mission there.

They are political extremists. Forget the extremists on the other side: these people are a threat and affront to the average citizen. Their ascendancy into power has lead directly to the polerization of a nation. They have shown to use any means necessary to reach their own political ends. They will lie, fabricate and withhold any amount of information that is necessary. And here in the continental USA, I'm far more afraid of the consequences of those actions than I am afraid of the consequences of a car bombing in Iraq for the consequences on control information last far longer.