Archive for June, 2004

Why Apple Rocks

Nobody thumbs their nose at the competition better than Apple.

And at WWDC, they are making the most of Longhorn’s ever-slipping release schedule with a variety posters at featuring slogans mocking Billy’s new baby. Remember how Apple used .Mac to poke fun at the hopelessly confused .NET at the Jaguar launch? That spirit is back, baby.

These posters remind folks that Apple has today what Microsoft’s Lognhorn will deliver in 2006 at the earliest. There were four: “Redmond, we have a problem,” “Redmond, start your photocopiers,” “This should keep Redmond busy,” and “Introducing Longhorn.” Eat that, you belt-and-suspender wearing Microscum!

New at WWDC: sexy aluminum LCDs and of course OS X.4 Tiger.
Of the Tiger features, the Expos?-enhanced Dashboard and Automator lightweight macro facility seem slickest at first blush. Some think the former is a bit of a ripoff, but it’s really just the return of desk accessories.

image grabbed from the macrumors forums

Tiny Creatures Everywhere at Rockefeller Park

Rockefeller Park has an excellent sculpture garden that features little creatures all over. They are in the entry path (check the shoulder of the monkey on the right), they’ve captured bigger animals (giants, cats), they hide under benches, and they seem to have spilled some pennies. Not to worry, though — they’ve got the vacuum going. I hate to play favorites in such a wonderfully creative place, but I’m partial to a certain cigar-smoking turtle and his umbrella-shaded comrade. The Real World opened in 1992.

See more at sculpture.org, nycjpg.com, and tomostudio.com.

photos by jellis

Chris Columbus, Please Stop Making Movies

After seeing Prisoner of Azkaban, I can safely say that the first 5 minutes of Cuar?n’s quite good film had more soul than both of the previous Harry Potter movies combined. And for those soulless line-by-line regurgitations of the books, we can thank the man of the hour: Chris Columbus.

Now, this might sound a bit silly initially. I mean, asking someone to exit an industry they have been part of for over 20 years is pretty extreme, and many would argue that the first two Harry Potter books didn’t provide source material nearly as good as the third. But check the rest of his track record prior to his encounters with Mr. Potter: Adventures in Babysitting, Heartbreak Hotel, Home Alone, Only the Lonely, Home Alone 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, Nine Months, Stepmom, and Bicentennial Man. Most of these movies are braindead family fare which is bad enough, but Bicentennial Man was a big budget bomb that wasted two major talents (Robin Williams & Sam Neill). How it is that Chris was able to talk the powers that be into giving him free reign on a triple-A property like Harry Potter immediately after he lost them $100 mil is beyond comprehension.

Next up for Chris is a butchering of the Pulitzer winning Rent. After that, he’ll really be stretching himself with NFL Dad. ow…

When your greatest achievement as a director is a toss-up between Mrs. Doubtfire and Home Alone, both made over a decade ago, isn’t it about time to find another line of work? Please?

image grabbed from La Butaca

Thirty Years is a Long Time

Hearts and Minds was screened at Lighthouse International last night and it lead to a fantastic discussion. Here’s part of it:

One of the longest discussions on Monday was about a scene from “Hearts and Minds” in which two G.I.’s visit a Vietnamese brothel. One of them twists a woman’s nipples like knobs on a radio and jokes about giving her hickeys “where she can’t hide ’em.” He reaches across her naked body and says to his buddy, “If my chick at home could see this, she would flip.”

Brennon Jones, who did research for the film, called the scene “the most important segment.” The soldiers, he said, “believe they’re living in a parallel universe where morals don’t apply.” And it is happening all over again, he observed. Just look, he said, at the soldiers giving the thumbs up over naked prisoners at Abu Ghraib. (NYT)

While Iraq is not Vietnam, it does seem that when the motivation for war dissolves (no WMD, no al Qaeda) and there is no clear exit strategy, morals have a habit of becoming dislodged. Sadly, it looks like 30 years is just about long enough to forget — especially for those with disdain for history.

image grabbed from images journal

From the Law Firm of Wallace & Wallace

I’ve only got two words to say…

Hot Damn!

images grabbed from AP

Proof Positive: Saddam Personally Piloted 9/11 Plane

The Bush boys’ grip on the reality seems to be coming more and more unstuck of late. For instance, yesterday Cheney stated (and Bush agreed) that Saddam Hussein was working with al Qaeda:

“He was a patron of terrorism,” Cheney said of Hussein during a speech before The James Madison Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Florida. “He had long established ties with al Qaeda.” The vice president offered no details backing up his claim of a link between Saddam and al Qaida. (AP)

And today, the 9/11 comission finds no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda:

The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks said Wednesday no evidence exists that al-Qaida had strong ties to Saddam Hussein. Although Osama bin Laden asked for help from Iraq in the mid-1990s, Saddam’s government never responded, according to a report by the commission staff based on interviews with government intelligence and law enforcement officials. The report asserted “no credible evidence” has emerged that Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 strikes. (AP)

Hello? Anyone home at the White House? HELLO?! What ever happned to the concept of plausibility? At this rate, Bush will shortly claim that Saddam himself piloted one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center. Who could doubt it?

But Did He Finish His Tea?

London. Pops comes over, makes a nice warm cup of tea, and goes for the milk — only to find his chopped-up daughter-in-law in the fridge in baggies. How sanitary! Okay, that’s messed up…but the article fails to cover a pressing issue: Did Dad finish his tea?

I mean, we all know how Brits love the stuff. It’s not really right to let a cup go to waste, now is it? Plus, all the body parts were wrapped up tight so the milk wouldn’t be contaminated in the least. Not in the least!

Hoff Gets Hassled

David Hasslehoff of Knight Rider fame was arrested for suspected DUI last night. This begs the question: Where in the hell was KITT during all this? Did David and the car go their separate ways after the series ended? Did KITT have the night off? Or was it that David was tricked into getting in the evil KARR!?

Whatever happened, maybe some time in the slammer would do Hasslehoff some good. After all, he has to build up some street cred if he wants to be taken seriously in his new turn as a rapper.

image grabbed from dvdfever.co.uk

Sega + Sammy = Logo of Suck

Ever since Sammy moved to acquire 100% of Sega, I’ve been a bit worried. I mean, as a minority holder (22% last December), they could inject cash and sit on the board. At 100%, though, they’re pretty much driving the ship, and they seem hell bent on steering that ship into a black hole called the dying arcade market.

More disturbing evidence of Sammy’s incompetence surfaced yesterday, with the revealing of the combined company’s nasty new logo (above). I mean, what were they thinking? Maybe I’m missing something but that conservative green and blue thing doesn’t particularly scream out “wicked sick fun” to me. In fact, it looks more-or-less like a busted prop from chutes and ladders. Well at least the new logo hasn’t propegated yet. Enjoy the old one while it lasts:

Unsolicited advice to Segasammy: While I don’t necessarily condone it, you probably can get away with doing all sorts of stupid stuff if you keep Nagoshi happy. (Hint: He likes to drink and make wicked sick videogames…)

Spurlock’s Biggie-sized Box Office Take

Morgan Spurlock’s new film Super Size Me may not have been at the top of the box office this Memorial Day but, while Shrek 2 and ID4 part 2 battle it out to see who can put together the most derivative garbage, it’s nice to see a thought provoking movie make the top 10.

More impressive is the fact that Spurlock’s flick managed to be #10 while showing on only 200 screens. The #9 and #11 movies were each on 800 or more screens. This baby has legs. Does that mean folks other than Michael Moore can make documentaries that go mainstream?

Featuring Morgan’s disarming personality up front, the film never gets too serious for its own good while still managing to drive home the grotesque effects of fast food up close and personal. After all the stomach churning (both literal and figurative) images on the screen, though, I’m still trying to figure out why I was craving McD fries by the end. I promise not to supersize, though!

image grabbed from adbusters




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