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Film Review: The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

Hello, here I am again, almost a year since my last post. While I probably do have a lot to say about debt ceilings, Amy Winehouse, Norway and space shuttles, my input today is, as always, a movie review.

Much like me, Terrence Malick does not produce a lot of content, just five films in the last forty or so years. If I said in my review of There Will be Blood that Daniel Day-Lewis is a bit of a lazybones, Malick seems to be almost monumentally lazy. This is not to say that he produces poor movies though; impenetrable, dialogue light and abstruse, but never bad or unambitious. After exploring colonialism and the beginnings of America last time and the battle of Guadalcanal the time before, this time Malick is focussing on life, God and the history of the universe itself.

Movie Rating: 
7

Washington Sucks on Debt-Crack Pipe

I'm getting tired of how the media and Washington are handling the 'debt crisis' -- much has been said of how the U.S. government's debt ceiling must be raised or trigger financial armageddon.

I have a few observations about the looming August 2nd deadline.

Space Shuttle Program Ends with a Thud

Early this morning, NASA saw fit to end the 30 year Space Shuttle program by landing Atlantis before sunrise at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was as if they cared not have the American people watch the landing live, since they landed while most everyone was still asleep.

So much more could have been made of this event. Instead, it was as if they went quietly into the night. Quiet so magnified by the lack of a ready replacement vehicle. Short sighted, yes, but when they cancelled the Shuttle program, the necessary 2-3 year lead time needed for parts, supplies and training meant shutting down the supply line well in advance of the final flight of Atlantis. Subsequent to this, the Obama administration saw fit to cancel the Constellation program, which was set to replace the Shuttle. By the time this latter cancellation was made, it was too late to restart the shuttle supply chain - even if reinstated, the Shuttle program would have faced a flight gap.

Summer TV update

Earlier I wandered into a summer TV preview in a post chronicling where we have been and what we had been watching. Made some earlier observations in a comment on some of the shows referenced, and now that more have been watched, fuller comment and review appear to be in order as its own root post. 

There may be spoilers below the fold. Series include Leverage, Franklin & Bash, Rescue Me, Falling Skies, In Plain Sight, Burn Notice and Combat Hospital. I'd label these as observations rather than a full out review - if I took the time to do the latter these would all be off the air before I would finish it.

"The Fairies"

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushing glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men.

- William Allingham

Finally, Time Enough for E-Books

Time Enough At Last

Well, it finally happened.

First it happened to my father who (along with my mother) spends one month out of the year in Florida, and decided it was a hassle to ship so many books south for the winter. I bought him a Kindle e-book reader and he loves it. That was two years ago. This year my mother got one and she's using it and loving it as well.

Film Review: Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks Poster

Kevin Costner turns in a stellar performance as Mr. Brooks, a successful businessman, philanthropist, husband and doting father. Mr. Brooks has a secret life, however. He's also a serial killer. After being lauded by the larger community for his philanthropy and named 'Man of the Year' he gets in his car with his lovely wife Emma (Marg Helgenberger, largely unused here) and a man appears in the back seat. The man (named Marshall, played perfectly by William Hurt) remarks that what Brooks really wants to do is check out the dancers. Mr. Brooks is addicted to murder, you see, and Marshall is his evil side, and he wants a fix.

Movie Rating: 
8

Weiner Sticking It Out

Weiner Face

The embattled Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was caught carrying on cybersex relationships with a number of different women when he inadvertantly sent a photograph of his crotch to his main Twitter feed, instead of to the single woman he intended. The previous week Weiner stated that his Twitter account had been hacked and he was the victim of a practical joke.

As is usually the case with such situations, the truth slowly trickled out until Weiner made a tearful (and faux heroic) press conference in which he told the truth: he had been sexting and cybersexing up a number of different women both before he was married, and even during his marriage. Weiner has adamantly refused to resign from office. What lessons can be learned from this political episode?

Film Review: X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class

The year is 1962 and Dr. Charles Xavier creates a school in Westchester County, New York -- a 'School for Gifted and Talented Youngsters'. In reality, Dr. Xavier has assembled a group of children who represent the next step in human evolution: mutants with superhuman abilities.

Will he train them in time to prevent a former Nazi concentration camp doctor from starting a nuclear armageddon? The X-Men movie franchise gets a Batmen Begins-style reboot prequel and it is very groovy.

Can you dig it, turkey?

Movie Rating: 
9

American Crisis: Too Many Rich People

It's the Rich White People Who Are Dragging Us Down!

After reading today's posted results of Gallup's latest poll, I realize now why I don't like taking surveys. It's  the openly stupid questions. The main feature of the poll results is that Americans are almost evenly divided on the topic of 'income redistribution'. Roughly half of Americans favor it. It brings to mind an episode of SpikeTV's 'The Man Show' in which the two male hosts ask women to sign a petition denouncing the 'suffraging' of women.

But that wasn't the poll question that surprised me the most.

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