Recent Movie Comments

  • Trekkers Get LCARS Mechanical Keyboard Keyset   3 weeks 3 days ago

  • 8 Superhero Movies You Should Watch   12 weeks 5 hours ago

     Never underestimate the powers of the handicapped!
    If I may, I suggest adding m. Night Shamalan's Unbreakable. 1 of the 3 worthwhile films in his filmography! Starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson....and yes there's a twist at the end.

  • Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist   21 weeks 1 day ago

     Wow!
    I apologize for the virtual carpet bombing of updates about the show. Glad you enjoyed it. 

  • Trekkers Get LCARS Mechanical Keyboard Keyset   24 weeks 2 days ago

    Yes, it works -- and the letters sort of fly out at you, like real spoilers!

  • Trekkers Get LCARS Mechanical Keyboard Keyset   24 weeks 6 days ago

    It may be clunky, but it works and serves the purpose I am looking for in the other draft.

  • Trekkers Get LCARS Mechanical Keyboard Keyset   25 weeks 18 hours ago

    Really -- if you do a lot of typing of any kind, you should consider a mechanical keyboard.

    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    test of spoiler tag

  • Trekkers Get LCARS Mechanical Keyboard Keyset   25 weeks 1 day ago

    Chalk this up to the interesting, funny, but something I'd never buy type of thing.

  • Smorgasboard, October 2013 edition   1 year 4 weeks ago
    relantel wrote:

    Obamacare:

    Who in their right mind got fleeced for $643 million (give or take) for the Obamacare website? Between the abject failure of the site, and the false hit data being given out by the administration, it's a wonder anyone has actually signed up at all.  One example I heard was Iowa, where the administration claimed over 67000 hits but only 5 people had signed up in the first 10 days.

    It feels like everyone is just .... waiting to see what's going to happen with ObamaCare. Maybe it will just collapse under its own weight? It's a disaster here in NY, but most Dems in the state are counseling to give the disaster a chance. I got a letter from my health insurer informing me that my coverage would end Dec. 31st, and now I've got to find out what coverage I'll be able to afford. Thanks, Obama.

  • Thoughts on Impending Fatherhood   1 year 41 weeks ago

    So you'll be a father as well? I hope he or she has Kate Middleton's nose -- it's all the rage over in the U.S. You always had a regal bearing anyway, Rojo -- go right ahead and improve the royal stock.

    My baby is due on March 23rd, and we attended a birthing class about two weeks ago and it was hysterical. Honestly, when the baby comes there's not going to be a whole lot that I can do besides being supportive and just there for my wife. Aside from an emergency in which I will be forced to deliver the baby myself, I imagine that it will all go easily enough, seeing as how this has been going on for a long, long time.

    My wife and I are having a baby girl, and we plan on naming her Olivia Grace. I'm very excited -- I've even got a curriculum worked out. I've been try to find sci-fi themed storybooks, etc. but that's a while away yet.

  • Thoughts on Impending Fatherhood   1 year 41 weeks ago

     Belated congratulations from me too. I am also due to become a father this year, in June. I'm planning that my kid will marry Will and Kate's, making it the future monarch and me a member of the aristocracy...

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey   1 year 43 weeks ago
    Marbleman wrote:

    Nice review Krog. (and Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/condolences on the election results, etc. etc.) :P I agree about some distracting elements in this movie. For me it was less the wizard bird poop or FPS - my irritation was more due to the rubbery quality of the battle scenes.

    In the wake of the election I'm listening to a lot of jazz lately. No more radio politics anymore for me. The jazz washes over me, like a relaxing eddy in our shared cultural sewage. No more liking a song and then doping out the lyrics only to be horrified. Nope -- now it's buttery smooth jazz as often as possible, and no politics. Someone noted recently that over one billion dollars was spent failing to get Romney elected. Now imagine if that money had been used to make ten $100 million blockbuster films with a subtly conservative tone? You would at least have gotten some kind of return on your money, if nothing else. Enough to keep funding those kinds of movies, until eventually the culture changes.

    [In a panic, turns up volume on jazz station.] 

    What was we talkin' 'bout? Oh right, The Hobbit.

    I think you're referring to the many, many times that the rickety platform the dwarves huddle on falls (multiple times) and they remain unscathed? The storm giant episode? NO ONE FALLS OFF THE CLIFF? (tilts head) REALLY?! This goes back to my point about the visual jumble just blurring together, and my eyes/brain just shutting off and saying, "Call me when all the pixels stop moving!"

    Marbleman wrote:

    After a while when dwarves and hobbits are thrown about and remain seemingly unscathed, you begin to take it for granted that they are quasi-invincible. So after seeing the Hobbit it seems to me that Jackson is giving his Hobbit movies retcon elements, to take into account the broader "theater" of what is happening in light of the Lord of the Rings, which of course was not in Tolkien's mind when he first penned The Hobbit. (Sauron isn't mentioned by name at all for instance) Not a bad idea given that most audiences are familiar with LotR by now, and it does give the movie a different feel than the book.

    I read the books so long ago that I cannot recall the 'feel' of them. I thought Jackson was just plumbing around for extra material to pad the film out to three installments. It makes sense that Jackson would want to make the two trilogies mesh a bit better.

    Marbleman wrote:

    One of my favorite scenes that I laughed out loud at was Galadriel conducting a conversation in Gandalf's mind over Saruman prattling on in the background. I got the impression that Gandalf is used to Saruman being a windbag and was happy for such psychic relief. Another thing I liked was Richard Armitage's portrayal of Thorin. I think they did a good job balancing the comedy and nobility of the dwarf company.

    Agreed, about the dwarves -- they were great. Had they not be great, the movie would flop. As for Saruman, I did not perceive that humor at the time. Hearing Saruman rip on Radagast was funny, however. It did seem like whenever Galadriel spoke to Gandalf he was in a kind of fugue stage, just one micron from salivating over her. Kinda creepy.

    Marbleman wrote:

    I'm a little disappointed there are hardly any female characters of any kind besides Galadriel, and she wasn't in the Hobbit book either. Always felt that lacking with Tolkien. Eowyn is pretty much the only interesting female.  Not Jackson's fault though.

    As I started to respond to your comment, I felt assured you would mention Tom Bombadil's absence. Oh well. He was the most whimsical of the various characters. Maybe he made it to the DVD extras! As for women in Tolkien fiction... meh. Give me a good story with an all female cast and I'm fine. Sexual demographics in fantasy films? How about costuming choices instead? And hey, how do you know that there weren't any dwarven females in the company? They have beards and are reputedly indistinguishable from male dwarves, so there's still hope. And the dwarven females would still be less hairy then some Women's Studies majors. Women with hairy, hairy legs CAN be dwarves, is my point.

    Marbleman wrote:

    Oh and I doubt this movie was the end of Gollum for the rest of the Hobbit movies. In the Hobbit book, after Bilbo escapes the mountain, that's the end of his appearances until the Lord of the Rings. But he's such a popular character and they've made so many other changes that I wonder if he'll be tracking Bilbo in the next two installments. It seems likely, considering alot of the elements which were added (Radagast, the Witch King returning in Mirkwood) WERE in fact in Tolkien lore - but in the books they happened a little before the Fellowship of the Ring, not 60 years before. One of those events involved Gollum getting captured by Aragorn, being held prisoner by the wood elves (Legolas' clan), and then giving them the slip and seemingly defecting or getting captured by Sauron's orcs. Which later leads to his torture and revelation of "Baggins" and "Shire." I'm guessing some version of this is in the offing.

    An excellent guess! I don't know why he's such a popular character, however. Jackson can't seem to make up his mind about whether he is loathsome or dangerous or pitiful. Well, he's supposed to be all three, I realize -- but I think having seen Gollum as pitiful (and worthy of empathy) before seeing him in The Hobbit undercuts some of his menace. From what I recall, he should be a lot scarier -- a monster, a boogeyman that Bilbo must outwit or be eaten. Knowing his backstory ruins it a bit.

    Marbleman wrote:

    Looking forward to Beorn, Cumberbatch's Smaug, and Stephen Fry as the Master of Lake Town.

    I'm most interested to see how Smaug is handled. Will he look like a traditional Westernized dragon, or something more lizardlike? Also, Smaug's death -- a single arrow? Really? How well will that translate onscreen, I wonder? Laughable? Dramatic?

    Marbleman wrote:

    *Also hope the DVD includes some of the storyboard/concept art when Guillermo del Toro had the Hobbit Project helm.

    Bah. I'm still irked that At The Mountains of Madness wasn't filmed by GdT. I was really hoping to see that story on film. Book suggestion for you: Anything by Charles Stross -- recommend you try out 'The Atrocity Archives'. Sort of a mix between James Bond, The Office and The X-Files, with an IT department flair.

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey   1 year 44 weeks ago

    Nice review Krog. (and Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/condolences on the election results, etc. etc.) :P I agree about some distracting elements in this movie. For me it was less the wizard bird poop or FPS - my irritation was more due to the rubbery quality of the battle scenes. After a while when dwarves and hobbits are thrown about and remain seemingly unscathed, you begin to take it for granted that they are quasi-invincible. So after seeing the Hobbit it seems to me that Jackson is giving his Hobbit movies retcon elements, to take into account the broader "theater" of what is happening in light of the Lord of the Rings, which of course was not in Tolkien's mind when he first penned The Hobbit. (Sauron isn't mentioned by name at all for instance) Not a bad idea given that most audiences are familiar with LotR by now, and it does give the movie a different feel than the book. One of my favorite scenes that I laughed out loud at was Galadriel conducting a conversation in Gandalf's mind over Saruman prattling on in the background. I got the impression that Gandalf is used to Saruman being a windbag and was happy for such psychic relief. Another thing I liked was Richard Armitage's portrayal of Thorin. I think they did a good job balancing the comedy and nobility of the dwarf company.

    I'm a little disappointed there are hardly any female characters of any kind besides Galadriel, and she wasn't in the Hobbit book either. Always felt that lacking with Tolkien. Eowyn is pretty much the only interesting female.  Not Jackson's fault though.  Oh and I doubt this movie was the end of Gollum for the rest of the Hobbit movies. In the Hobbit book, after Bilbo escapes the mountain, that's the end of his appearances until the Lord of the Rings. But he's such a popular character and they've made so many other changes that I wonder if he'll be tracking Bilbo in the next two installments. It seems likely, considering alot of the elements which were added (Radagast, the Witch King returning in Mirkwood) WERE in fact in Tolkien lore - but in the books they happened a little before the Fellowship of the Ring, not 60 years before. One of those events involved Gollum getting captured by Aragorn, being held prisoner by the wood elves (Legolas' clan), and then giving them the slip and seemingly defecting or getting captured by Sauron's orcs. Which later leads to his torture and revelation of "Baggins" and "Shire." I'm guessing some version of this is in the offing.

    Looking forward to Beorn, Cumberbatch's Smaug, and Stephen Fry as the Master of Lake Town.

    *Also hope the DVD includes some of the storyboard/concept art when Guillermo del Toro had the Hobbit Project helm.

  • Skyfall   2 years 1 week ago

    Even more thoughts on Bond!

    Q: Well, now we know what the 'Q' stands for. I was unimpressed with the new Q. Yeah, he had fascinating hair but otherwise this has got to be the most gadget-free James Bond ever. He was given a palmprint detecting handgun and a radio. A radio. Sure, a tiny radio, but really that's it? The new Q does hardly anything.

    Bond girls -- yeah, there is a 'Bond Girl' in the flick, but she had very little screen time. The fact that the villainous Bond Girl was able to be turned by Bond in a convincing way was great. Bond isn't a misogynist in this flick, and that's great.

  • Skyfall   2 years 1 week ago

    I thought SkyFall was the best Bond film yet. The theme was great and the opening credit sequence was spectacular. SkyFall for me was the best so far because it cleaved more closely to Ian Fleming's original character of Bond than any other Bond film. None of Bond's somewhat negative attributes really make it into the films. For example -- we discover that outside of being a spy Bond has really no life. No spouse, no children, no girlfriend -- when he's MIA for a bit and presumed dead M clears his flat into storage and writes a quick eulogy for him. It's kind of pathetic, actually -- but it makes Bond into more of a person, as opposed to an invincible super agent. Best Bond film to date. It left me wanting more, and folks, that means it was a good movie.

    EDIT:

    I intentionally made that above paragraph into a single monster 'graph in order to debug the code. Seems that the same bug that made Rojo lose his first paragraph did the same to me. Except when it clipped off my first paragraph earlier that left me with no comment at all. I believe it may be fixed now.

    Other observations about SkyFall -- very character driven this time around. As Rojo stated, the film is all about Bond's relationship with M. Paradoxically, spycraft will always require well-trained people; people who will sometimes by necessity be treated as disposable pawns. During the film Bond bonds with another rookie field agent, and tells her that field work is not for her. She disagrees, but by the film's end has decided he was right. She wants to have a life, apparently. Bond is best suited for field work not just because he's awesome, but because of his character flaws and his lack of the skills necessary to make a real life outside his work.

    Bond is a borderline sociopath. Not in the sense that he's a serial killer, but in the sense that he's a loner. For all his ability to manipulate people as a spy, he's really not a 'people person' all that much.

    It makes him into a more human, tragic character -- which was what Fleming always intended.

  • Skyfall   2 years 2 weeks ago

    It just did it now! I wrote a pithy response, explaining how since the site was (possibly) hacked that the posting of new content has been somewhat hinky. I've written posts, then posted them -- only to be informed that they did not contain enough content to warrant posting. (?)

    I will investigate further. Sorry about that Rojo -- great review as always.

     

  • Skyfall   2 years 2 weeks ago

     Hmm, my first paragraph has gone missing. This happened when I was editing, too.

  • Thoughts on Impending Fatherhood   2 years 7 weeks ago

    relantel wrote:

    ok, I must be slow on the reading as I just now noticed the post. So a hearty congratulations from these parts. Three cheers for Lil Krog!

    Thank you! Funny story -- second sonogram is done, and my wife (who is a Filippino) tells me that the sonograph technician claimed she had never seen a more camera shy baby. The baby was apparently covering its face with both hands. So I comment that the child is not going to be 'very' Filippino since it doesn't want to be photographed.

    Fun fact: Filippinos love to be photographed and take photographs. And they all (not matter how ugly) photograph beautifully. It's uncanny. I can hold a smile for about four (4) nanoseconds in preparation for being photographed. This requires a fair amount of prep time (thinking of something funny, checking tooth alignment, etc.)

    And yet a huge group of Filippinos can be ambushed with someone shouting "Photo!" and they will all instantly assume a great natural-looking pose and a perfect smile. I look like I'm receiving a colonscopy or freefalling or running in place. But not my baby -- my baby like me -- doesn't want to be photographed.

    So I laugh and say, "This babeh gonna be more like me than you, haha!" But my wife is unflappable. She says, slowly (as though tutoring an especially slow person) "No, husband, the baby is not covering up, it's doing this."

    She then takes a Madonna-like 'vogueing' pose. (see below)

    Also, they adore karaoke. If the world were ending in 60 minutes, they would say, "Let's hit the karaoke bar."

    But really, I love Filippinos. They are almost universally kind, happy and hardworking. I only tease people I like, and I like them a lot.

  • Thoughts on Impending Fatherhood   2 years 7 weeks ago

    ok, I must be slow on the reading as I just now noticed the post. So a hearty congratulations from these parts. Three cheers for Lil Krog!

  • Thoughts on Impending Fatherhood   2 years 8 weeks ago

    Marbleman wrote:

    Congrats on future parenthood to you and your wife, Krog.  I hope all is going well with you and yours.

    Quote:

    And so I maintain my carefully cultivated aura of insufferability.

    We need people tipping some sacred cows.  There's a subtle tyranny at work when folks just agree to go along to get along, when so many things in our culture don't make a lick of sense.

    Thanks! Every week I am informed that our fetus is now the size of a:

    • blueberry
    • gummi bear
    • peel 'n eat shrimp
    • lemon

    We're headed for 'cornish game hen' very soon now.

    There a lot of things that don't make sense in our culture. Just last week I drove past of a whole herd of non-conformist hipsters on Fifth Avenue, camping out to be the first to buy a phone. I cackled out my car window, "It's just a phone!!!!!" But I've got some device issues of my own with which to contend -- I'm in love with mechanical, clicky, antique keyboards. I'm typing this right now on a 1986 IBM Model M keyboard. If you do a lot of writing, you've got to at least try one someday. Well, if you're old like me you probably already have tried one.

    Update on France: in a stunning pre-emptive cultural surrender, they've closed about 20 embassies in various countries in anticipation of a Muslim uprising. They didn't want to be outdone by the American President, who recently thanked the quasi-President of Egypt for defending our embassy.

    Is it just me or has the entire world gone mad? And yet Romney remains at 47%. My only explanation is that the pollsters are blatantly lying. They know they cannot put Obama in the lead, but they couldn't sleep at night forecasting The Quantum Emergence's impending landslide defeat. So, they place him in a dead heat.

    Anyway, this blue/green marble keeps on rolling.

  • Thoughts on Impending Fatherhood   2 years 9 weeks ago

    Congrats on future parenthood to you and your wife, Krog.  I hope all is going well with you and yours.

    Quote:

    And so I maintain my carefully cultivated aura of insufferability.

    We need people tipping some sacred cows.  There's a subtle tyranny at work when folks just agree to go along to get along, when so many things in our culture don't make a lick of sense.

  • Mystery of the Week: Clark and Blair Woodcock (or the case of the two Rebeccas)   2 years 20 weeks ago

     Sorry that I've been away so much I didn't see the comments until now. I don't know much about Blair other than what is written, but I have found him in the 1860 and 1861 tax records for Woodbury Township, Blair County, as well as Clark for years 1858, 1859, 1860 and 1861. Their father Amos shows up in the township tax records for 1832 and 1833, when it was a part of Huntingdon county. There are a number of S(c)hells in the township concurrently as well as pre 1832. It is unclear when Amos and Catherine died, though it seems readily apparent it was before 1850 for certain, and after 1833. 1833 Amos Woodcock shows as taxed for "1 house & lot" and "1 powder-mill". Also taxed for 1833 was a Joshua Woodcock, presumably brother of Amos, for his occupation. Both have same entries for 1832. (The publication I viewed at the BCGS earlier in June only covered up through 1833)

    Another piece of info is the recent act of the Pennsylvania legislature that made vital records public (50 years for deaths and 105 years for births), and their publication of their indexes, led to the 1908 death record for Rebbeca (Grace) Woodcock, showing her to be the daughter of John Grace and Mary Bowser. In turn, this led to Bowser in Bedford county during the American revolution. (The Bowser Family History by Addison Bartholomew Bowser, 1912) Neither of which helps you as a descendant of Blair. Interestingly, though, one of Clark's daughters - Jennie Woodcock's 1933 death cert mistakenly showed Blair as the father's name, along with Rebecca Grace as mother. The other two known of Clark's were Anna May died 1906 and Mary Catherine Woodcock died 1925. My notes for Blair had only two daughters, Adessa b 1860 and Annie b 1863, with a possible son Johnnie. For Clark, I have a still as yet unidentified J. A. Woodcock as a child, but it is not certain it is his.

  • Mystery of the Week: Clark and Blair Woodcock (or the case of the two Rebeccas)   2 years 25 weeks ago

    I am also a direct descendent of Blair Woodcock, and would love to have any information on the family that
    Is available.
    Sincerely
    Jeanne Baker

  • Mystery of the Week: Clark and Blair Woodcock (or the case of the two Rebeccas)   2 years 28 weeks ago

    I am a direct descendant of Blair Woodcock via Rebecca Kylor Woodcock, later Rebecca Flaig. If you want any information about this family, I will give you my dad's contact information. He has done extensive genealogical research on our ancestors.

  • Wesley Snipes: Tax-Relief Cultist?   2 years 32 weeks ago

    I SUPPORT WESLEY TO THE FULLEST , I DONT FULLY BELIEVE ALL THAT CRAP BUT AFTER 400 YEARS OF TORTURE & SLAVERY , WE NEVER GOT 40 ACRES & MULE , NEVER GOT 1 ACRE & A MULES TOE , WE SHOULDNT HAVE TO PAY THE GOVERNMENT , CAUSE THEY NEVER PAYED US BACK !!

  • Video Game Reviewer Needed   2 years 33 weeks ago

    Marbleman wrote:

    I saw Tim Shafer (of Grim Fandango and Monkey Island fame) is raising a huge amount on Kickstart for "Double Fine Adventure."  He's always coming up with interesting material - I remember I got a huge kick out of Psychonauts.  That was a game everyone enjoyed and praised but for some reason didn't make much money.

    I'd love it if they made more point-and-click adventure/puzzle stories ala Monkey Island and Myst.  They left alot to the player's imagination, had great writing, and were better for it.

    I've heard of Monkey Island, but not Grim Fandango or Psychonauts. Gotta give them a once over. Myst I never played, but it seemed to me to be akin to a graphical version of Zork. Of course, any Kickstarter project that features the following image has got to be awesome:

    What do I love about this shot? Well, you can see that Cookie just isn't buying it.

    Cookie: "Me no think point-click game cutting edge anymore..."

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