May 27, 2008

Blogging Heads

I've been meaning to link to Blogging Heads for a while now, and with Ezra in it I think the time is now. Also, this conversation is very interesting, but who has time for 50 minutes of conversation?! Fortunately, Blogging Heads offers 1.4x speed which is both fascinating and hilarious. From here on it shall be called "Gilmore Girls Mode." Link.

May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull [Review]

Verdict: Good
Review Affected by my pro-archeology bias: Yes

There's no power on Earth that could have made me dislike this movie. Well, I guess they could have made "Indiana Jones And The High School Musical" costarring Justin Guarini. Still, if it's the Indy brand I'm hard pressed not to at least have a good time.

Nostalgia is both the movie's greatest strength and biggest weakness. I mean, if this had been National Treasure 3 I wouldn't have gone to the theater in the first place. Nostalgia softened my mood going into the theater, and several scenes really did tug at the youthful fondness I still have for the series and its characters. On the other hand, there are scenes where the film is intentionally playing the nostalgia card, and by "plays" I mean "shoots you in the face with a nostalgia bullet." The movie takes the fantastic set pieces and action scenes of the original trilogy and tries to outdo them with almost nonstop stunts which frankly get a bit excessive and over-the-top. It's bizarre that this movie has the most scenes at Indy's college and makes him seem the least academic.

But it's not all critiques. Like I said at first, the prognosis overall is good if you're inclined towards this type of movie. Commies make a good enough baddie to keep the series going forward for several films if they want it to. Shia LeBouf doesn't give a great performance, but he's pretty good with a script that doesn't give him much. The effects are good and the stunts, though a bit overused, are good.

I've been waiting my entire adult life to have Indy come back and I had a fun time with him again. It's not all I could have hoped, but it was still plenty of fun.

May 15, 2008

California makes two

California State Supreme Court says same-sex couples have right to marry: "Gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry in California, the state Supreme Court said today in a historic ruling that could be repudiated by the voters in November."

The last clause is due to a potential ballot initiative that would change California's constitution, forbidding same-sex marriage. The Chron article explains the relevant history:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has twice vetoed same-sex marriage bills, citing a ballot initiative approved by more than 60 percent of the state's voters in 2000 that reaffirmed California's opposite-sex-only marriage law. That initiative was not a constitutional amendment, which requires more signatures to qualify for the ballot.

I believe a constitutional amendment in California also requires a 2/3 majority. Given that attitudes towards same-sex marriage have moved steadily left across the country over the past decade and the fact that a less radical law could only muster 60 percent of the voters, I'm pretty optimistic about this ballot initiative failing.

Lawyerly types can get the opinion here, In re Marriage Cases, S147999, available in both PDF and DOC formats.

We now return to your regularly-scheduled blog silence.

May 14, 2008


Twice in less than a day I've seen someone online use the idiom "X is Y at best." and both times the person said something like "Saying X is disingenuous at best!" That leaves a remarkably narrow band of things that it could be at worst and seems to overlook the possibility of laziness, ignorance, or mistake. I guess, however, that my annoyance is based on a culture which places those latter three possibilities as better than lying. Maybe the people online come from a land where up is down, crime is good, and following the rules is only for the weak.

Also, The Ra is now four years and four days old. Hurray!

May 06, 2008

Summer Movies

Batman and Iron Man try to reach an accord regarding this summer. Link.