5-31-04 (02:05)
  • listened to a bit of the majority report on air america today. they had a guest on who was talking about his new book (operation hollywood). essentially it makes the argument that the pentagon has a great deal of influence in the shaping of hollywood movies. any films that seek to use military weaponry (tanks, ships, planes, etc.) must submit the screenplay to the pentagon for approval. if the pentagon likes what they see (i.e., if it makes for good propaganda) then they will aid the studio in their production. if not then the studio has to either change the film or find another way to get the necessary equipment. saving private ryan, for example was filmed in england and wouldn't have been approved because the pentagon doesn't like any depiction, true or not, of american war crimes. in svp there is a scene where american soldiers kill unarmed german soldiers. none of kubrick's films were aided by the pentagon. apocalypse now was filmed in the Philippines because the pentagon didn't like that the film used the word "assassination" when referring to martin sheen's mission to kill brando's character. apparently they don't like the "assassination" to be associated with the military. it's going to make me think twice about any war films i see in the future. it's a pretty perfect book for me since it combines my two greatest interests. i'd like to check it out one of these days when i'm rich.
  • updated movies list.

  • 5-29-04 (02:36)

  • updated movies list.
  • jello biafra is so quotable.
  • today was good, but went by too quickly. watched four movies, including three non-usa pictures, and two criterion films.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 5-28-04 (01:50)

  • no movie tonight.
  • bought three jello biafra spoken word albums today. now i have six of his eight spoken word albums. i have two of noam chomsky's ten albums. i'd also like to get some howard zinn.
  • lately i've only been listening to spoken word albums and old stand-bys like autechre, orbital or led zeppelin.
  • lately i've been thinking about getting a DVD writer. it would be useful for archiving and anything that i get through netflix, but don't necessarily want to buy, could also be copied. i've seen double layer writers for under $100.
  • it's raining.
  • applied for another job a couple days ago.
  • in other bad news the lakers won tonight.
  • average year of release on films i own: 1981.83

  • 5-27-04 (01:15)

  • updated movies list.
  • it should be interesting to see how/if the media coverage of iraq changes after the official turnover date (june 30th). after the "end of major combat" the media coverage didn't seem to change much (and i'm happy about that), but i have a feeling that once it's "in their hands" there will be less coverage about it. this should hold especially true once they have an army of their own that is sustaining some of the casualties.
  • the bushies got rid of the inheritance and dividend taxes because they are "double taxes" right? it seems to me, though, that a lot of income is taxed at least twice. if someone buys a CD at tower using their taxed income then they pay (a local) sales tax on that item. the money then goes to the record store as income and they get taxed. then they pay their workers and they get taxed. i've obviously never run my own business so i'm not sure how it works...perhaps payroll funds of a business are not taxed as income for that business, and are thus only taxed as income for the employee? i don't think that's how it works, but if it is then i suppose it wouldn't be double tax in that instance. i think that the essence of the issue, though, is when do you start adding on multipliers to the taxation. in my example the customer has already had their income taxed and then that money is eventually taxed again - at the point of sale as a sales tax and as a federal income tax when it trickles down to the business or employee. obviously we wouldn't refer to that as a double-taxation since a different person is being taxed for that income. it seems that bush looks at the money being taxed twice, not the person, and that's not very intelligent. then again, i'm not an economist so i may be missing something. now that i think about it i'm not entirely sure what the status of the inheritance tax is...i'm pretty sure there was a move to eliminate it to "save family farms," but i don't know if it was eased or eliminated. either way his rationale wasn't very good.
  • bryce, an ex-coworker, came by the other day. it was good to see him.
  • for the last 6 months or so i've been listening to autechre's "incunabula" a lot and just about every time i put it on i'm absolutely floored by how amazingly good it is. i've always liked it and held it in high regard, but in the recent past it's gone from a very good album to a top five album of all-time. there are some albums or moments in music that seem to transcend music, that transcend human achievement and become something of their own. incunabula is one of those very few albums.

  • 5-26-04 (01:29)

  • "The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled in favor of biotech giant Monsanto in a case widely thought to be pivotal for the biotech industry.  The court determined late last week that Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser had violated a Monsanto patent by growing the company's herbicide-resistant canola without paying a licensing fee. Schmeiser contended that he didn't plant the GM crop deliberately but rather that his fields were "polluted" by the crop, possibly by pollen blown in from a neighboring farm.  Monsanto hailed the court for setting "a world standard in intellectual property protection." GM opponents the world over were troubled by the court's decision, which they fear will set a disturbing precedent.  The only plus for Schmeiser was that the high court overturned a lower-court ruling requiring him to pay more than $100,000 in damages and court costs."
  • updated movies list.
  • read an article a little while back about online role playing game sites creating mini-economies of their own. it described how people would spend time building up a character that started as a peasant and would sometimes sell their character for real money on ebay. people who were new to the game and didn't want to spend time working their way into the game, would just buy characters that other people had worked on. apparently there are entire economies based on this kind of trade. it's some pretty crazy stuff. at any rate, it got me wondering what might happen if a rogue employee for one of these websites got into the program and created a couple of really nice characters with all sorts of upgrades and then pawned them off for himself. it seems like an easy thing to do, and an unlikely thing to trace. even if he was caught i don't think there would be any real damage to the company overall so the worst that could happen is that he would get fired. i mean, it's not technically stealing...right? he's just creating something that wasn't there before and then selling it. i could see that the company might make an argument that this type of thing brings down the relative worth of other players or brings harm to the integrity of the overall game, but it's sort of a stretch and it would likely have such an inconsequential effect that it wouldn't be measurable. in some cases these game sites have started selling prepackaged players so in those instances there would be a more measurable theft, but if one worked for a site that didn't offer this option then i'd think you'd be home free.
  • recommendations page is up. it's pretty slim, but i think it'll be more effective that way. if i recommend too much stuff then people will probably just tune out.
  • i think this is what i have.

  • 5-25-04 (01:54)

  • updated movies list.
  • not very intelligent.

  • 5-24-04 (01:54)

  • "Director Quentin Tarantino has lashed out at reports he awarded Michael Moore the prestigious Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for political reasons. Tarantino headed the jury at the annual movie event on the French Riviera and presented the Oscar-winning filmmaker with the festival's highest honor on Saturday, for his anti-George W Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore's film criticize the Bush administration and the White House foreign policy since the September 11th attacks. Tarantino says, "When I was on stage with Michael Moore, I knew all this politics crap would be brought up. I just whispered in his ear and said, 'I just want you to know it was not because of the politics that you won this award. You won it because we thought it was the best film that we saw.'" Disney, who financed the making of the film under their Miramax studio, have refused to distribute it in America. Although Moore has been looking for a new distributor over the past few weeks, he now expects to have a distributor "within the next 24 hours", since picking up the Palme d'Or."
  • updated movies list.

  • 05-23-04 (02:43)

  • updated movies list.
  • i wish the kings had won.

  • 5-22-04 (02:00)

  • updated movies list.
  • went on campus today and saw several short films. most of them were pretty bad. they're part of the ann arbor film festival which is touring the country right now. glad i went despite the fact that most of the films were uninteresting.
  • lakers won tonight on the road. no big surprise there.

  • 5-21-04 (01:57)

  • updated movies list.
  • wrote a long review for "elephant." i didn't like it all that much when i first saw it, but the more i got thinking about it, the more i saw. i still don't think it's very good, but it is an interesting film and that can be hard to find.
  • this guy's over the hill..."Comedian Bill Cosby embarrassed the National Association For Advancement Of Colored People (NAACP) at a gala on Monday - by attacking lower class African-Americans. The legendary star was speaking in Washington DC to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling - which eradicated segregated schooling in America - but shocked organizers by using the platform to unfavorably compare sixties civil rights activists with today's youth. He said, "These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around. The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids - $500 sneakers for what? I can't even talk the way these people talk, 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!" Cosby then added his thoughts that petty criminals who are shot dead should not be a source of sorrow. He explained, "These are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, saying, 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?""
  • more fact check goodness.
  • sonny sharrock is brilliant. i wish i could find a copy of "ask the ages" on cd for under 20 bucks.
  • add the term "untimely death" to the long list of nonsensical phrases.
  • jason kidd is over the hill.
  • i'm very depressed because of last night's game. i'm not really ready to even talk about it. i just feel bad.
  • 5-20-04 (01:02)
    5-19-04 (01:12)
  • updated movies list.
  • tomorrow has the potential of being a big day. the kings play in game seven. winner faces the lakers and loser goes home until next season.
  • also, there's a chance that i could get a call from the last job i interviewed for...i called to follow up on monday and the guy said they'd have a decision in the next few days.
  • my philosophy on jobs lately has been to try and get into as many fields as i can before i settle into a career some years into my future. i'm really not that eager to settle into a career right now. if i had my druthers i'd be a waiter for a while and then i'd get into carpentry for a while then move onto something completely different, but equally interesting and so on for a while. it seems that when i talk with older people about their lives they have interesting job histories. i would feel like i cheated myself if i came out of college and got into a career right away. that said, i'm more than ready to get away from working at tower, but if there was a decent position working in film or the dvd business then i'd definitely consider it. i'm very happy with the fact that i was a painter, if only for a few months. that kind of experience is pretty valuable...not only because i'd be confident in helping friends/family paint their homes (which i've done), but also because i can say that i know what it's like to be a blue collar worker, or i know what it's like working outdoors in 100 degree heat. in the same way i'm happy that i worked at the theater because it makes me more self-conscious about what i do with my popcorn bag when the movie is over. essentially, the more time i spend in other peoples' shoes, the better.
  • my legs and feet are sore.
  • as many films as i've seen, i still feel very limited in my ability to discuss film in a serious way across its history. i need more free time.
  • afi top 100 films i still haven't seen:
  • 10. Singin' In The Rain (1952)

  • 16. All About Eve (1950)
    43. King Kong (1933)
    52. From Here To Eternity (1953)
    62. Tootsie (1982)
    68. An American In Paris (1951)
    73. Wuthering Heights (1939)
    90. The Jazz Singer (1927)
    92. A Place In The Sun (1951)
    100. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

    5-17-04 (00:57)

  • for some reason when i edit my movies lists in notepad things look lined up, but when i view them online the columns are out of line.
  • chomsky rightly points out the irony of the title (enduring freedom) we have assigned our mission in iraq. endure also means to suffer... iraqis are certainly learning to endure our brand of freedom.
  • he also points out that even though we may say we are interested in multilateral action, our actions elsewhere belie our rhetoric. for example, why didn't we go to the UN security council when looking to take action in afghanistan. surely we would have gotten the go ahead, and yet we didn't make any attempt towards this. he thinks (and i agree) that asking for permission would go against our unilateral policy. in other words, if we ask for permission this time, even if we know it'll be granted, it will set the precedent that permission is needed...and that isn't useful when you want to wage a war in iraq for specious reasons.
  • updated movies list.
  • my knees are tired. my back is mostly healed up now, but after just one day back on the job my knees are sore and tired again. i need a couple months off of my feet. i need lots of time in the bathtub too.
  • mark borchardt hasn't updated his journal in several months. wonder what the deal is. hope he's okay.
  • detroit won tonight. they'll have a game seven as well.
  • looking forward to the new two lone swordsmen album.
  • bought fog of war and season two of law and order today.

  • 5-16-04 (18:35)

  • kings game on friday was sad.
  • kings game today was happy. won't be able to watch game seven because i have work and don't have cable anyway. i could have watched it at woodstock's, but work will get in the way of that. we played pretty well today. our threes were falling and, except for the first quarter, we played good defense. we rebounded the ball well, moved the ball well, and made our open shots. a solid game. now we need to see the same flow offensively and the same effort defensively on wednesday. bibby has been playing very well on a consistent basis.
  • the lakers are looking scary good again, but the kings can still beat them. if the timberwolves beat the kings then the lakers will win another championship. i'd put money on that. actually i wouldn't because it would make me feel dirty - like putting money on how many suicide bombings there are going to be in the gaza strip this week, or something to that effect.
  • "i wonder if bush's daddy engineered this scheme in an attempt to peg blame on iraq and thus have his son finish what he left undone after the gulf war." 9-11-01, 21:23.
  • updated movies list.
  • it's interesting that the stanford prison experiment led to all sorts of sweeping changs in the psychological community. from what i have heard, there were lots of self-imposed rules on what kinds of experiments would be allowed and what participants would be required to know before entering into the experiment (for example, that the could leave at any time). but these sorts of experiments are still taking place, and in fact, are encouraged and profitable within the free market. stuff like joe millionaire is one example of an experiment that could qualify as pretty cruel, but is seen as good entertainment. luckily i have a bad memory when it comes to these shows, but there are a few others where the participants are humiliated in front of millions of people under false pretenses, and though that doesn't equate to the sort of abuse that took place in the standford prison experiment, i'm sure it would be shady, at best, if taken within a lab context. because it's entertainment, though, it's okay.

  • 5-15-04 (01:32)

  • okay, so i'm taking the movies lists to their final level...now i'm adding a column for director which will take a couple days of plugging away in front of the computer, but i've noticed that my computer chair is pretty good for my back so it'll be worth it.
  • my memory was pretty good today. i started putting in some of the directors whose names i could remember off the top of my head and i was able to get probably about 70% of the films knocked out without having to look them up on imdb.com (except to confirm their spelling).
  • updated movies list.
  • i also wanted to get some sort recommended viewing list going...just a sort of way of highlighting some good films i've seen recently for people who have more reasonable movie viewing habits. not sure if i should do it at the beginning of each month...give a brief list of films from the previous month that are worth watching, or if i should just put the review in bold typeface on the reviews page. i'd like to stay away from making whole other page though.

  • 5-14-04 (14:07)

  • had fun with spreadsheets today. put all my movies lists (2000-2003) into spreadsheet format. with each column nicely separated and in spreadsheet format i can do neat things like quickly calculate the average year of release on the movies i saw that year. so for 2000 it was 1977.5, for 2001 it was 1989.5, for 2002 it was 1993.1, and for 2003 it was 1989.6. so far this year the average is 1985.1. in the year 2000 i was taking the first half of the history of film class so that's one reason the average for that year is so much lower than the other years. another bonus is that i can sort the films by country of origin to see that breakdown. it didn't take that long and it's a nice feature to have. for instance, i can easily see that, of the films i've seen this year (192), 48 were made outside of the US. or, there are 75 films that fall below the average of 1985.1 which gives me an idea of what the curve might look like if i were to graph the distribution of films by year of release. i wonder if my program can do that. i found out that the standard deviation is 20, which (i think) means that the meat of the curve would be about 20 years wide. it's too bad my program doesn't figure out median or mode, as well as average.
  • i also added breakdowns (by year of release and month watched) to each movies reviewed list.
  • my back still hurts.

  • 5-13-04 (01:06)

  • updated movies list.
  • a day before i have an interview for a driving position i read this: "Driving too much may not just be bad for the planet -- it may be bad for your heart as well.  According to new research by the U.S. EPA, tiny particulates that pollute the air inside cars can aggravate existing heart conditions.  Rolling your windows up and closing your vents won't help -- some of the particulates in question are 1/800th the width of a human hair and can squeak in past filters.  The particulates come from industrial facilities, vehicles -- all the usual suspects.  It's not clear exactly how they increase heart-rate variability and spawn blood-clot-promoting proteins, but they do, and it's bad news for those with existing heart or lung conditions.  "I wouldn't tell a healthy person not to drive when they need to," said EPA researcher Robert Devlin, "but if someone has a heart condition, I would stay off busy roads.""
  • kings came up big tonight and evened the series. now they need to win two of the next three to advance. peja and christie had bad games, but webber and miller did not. it was a stressful game, i'm glad we pulled it out.
  • if i were a woman i could sell my eggs for thousands of dollars or be a surrogate mother for $20,000. saw this in an ad: "Alternative Conceptions is looking for suitable California surrogates for loving couples. Perfect surrogates would be women, age 35 or younger, who have enjoyed pregnancy and giving birth. It is essential that you maintain a healthy lifestyle, enjoying good nutrition and free from nicotine, alcohol, or drugs. Compensation is $20,000 plus benefits and professional support. For more details, please visit our website at...."

  • 5-12-04 (17:10)

  • hurt my back while i was at work today. left early and have tried to make the most of it. setup an interview for tomorrow morning also went to the dmv. took a pill and my back doesn't hurt very much anymore. it wasn't awful while i was at work, but i figure i'm better safe than sorry. plus, this means i'll be able to watch the kings game.
  • funny.
  • not so funny.

  • 5-12-04 (01:35)

  • "With little fanfare, biotech-food giant Monsanto announced yesterday that it would abandon plans to introduce genetically modified wheat to the market.  Anti-GM activists, who have fought Monsanto's plans for some five years, celebrated the announcement as a major victory. However, the impetus for the shift was likely not the moral and ecological concerns raised by enviros, but the financial concerns of farmers.  Some 50 percent of U.S. wheat is exported, and Japanese and European wheat millers -- the biggest purchasers -- had made it very clear they would not buy GM wheat.  This led U.S. and Canadian farmers, who have embraced other GM crops, to lobby against GM wheat. While the three core GM crops developed by Monsanto -- cotton, soy, and corn -- are used in clothes and pressed into oils that end up in processed foods, wheat has a more direct and symbolically loaded connection to culture and the food on our plates."
  • updated movies list.
  • last night i was listening to the kings game on the radio while i was at work. with about 1:30 left in the game we were down by 8 so i turned the radio off in disgust. today i saw the headline of the sacramento bee "kings lose 114-113 in OT." i was amazed, and very depressed. apparently we went on a tear and tied the game up with 2 seconds left which pushed it to overtime. in overtime we lost by one point largely because a last second shot by peja was either partially blocked or he was fouled. i didn't see it so i don't know. the paper seemed to indicate that it should have been called a foul, but it wasn't. he missed the shot by about five feet so it was one or the other - it wasn't a bad shot, peja hasn't missed a shot by that much in his life. it doesn't really matter though because we lost the game. reading that headline today was like losing the game all over again.
  • lakers and nets pulled even in their series. yahoo poll has the lakers winning the series in seven which is pretty surprising. i think spurs will pull it out in seven. we've got a tough road ahead. we need to win three of the next four, two of which are on the road. i'm pretty certain we'll win the next game which mean it'll be a best of three at that point. no matter how you slice it, things are getting interesting.
  • have to goto the dmv to get a printout of my driving record so i can apply to jobs that require that. the dmv is pretty lame.

  • 5-11-04 (04:02)

  • updated movies list.
  • kings lost tonight and that was tragic. the next game is a must win.

  • 5-10-04 (00:16)

  • updated movies list.
  • the first five led zeppelin albums are their best and of those, zoso is generally considered the pinnacle. but to me zoso didn't really do anything new. the first one was the first one, the second one found them defining their sound more...getting away from blues a bit and more into hard rock, the third incorporated folk and the fifth has, to me, always sounded almost completely different from the other four. the fourth took the first three and brought everything together at a higher level, but i don't think it really broke new ground for them. i just think it's interesting because the fourth is almost always considered their best despite the fact that it didn't break much new ground for their sound.
  • i'm really upset by the nba's decision to go to basic cable more often. i wanted to see the detroit/new jersey game tonight and wasn't able to. it's a playoff game on a sunday and it wasn't on network television. that's pretty damn lame. i guess they think two things - no one on the west coast cares about the east coast games and everyone who cares about basketball has basic cable. i wish i was rich.

  • 5-9-04 (02:34)

  • i should be asleep by now.
  • updated movies list.
  • kings lost a game they should have won. you're always happy when you get a split on the road, but being up by 10 with three and a half minutes left...they should have won tonight. we really need to figure out a way to consistently close games out. our defense is normally very good in the 4th quarter. i saw a stat that showed our defensive fg% is the lowest in the league among playoff teams which is remarkable, but our offense seems to tighten up too much and that's exactly what happened tonight. bibby needs the ball in the fourth and we need to attack the basket.
  • allergies are killing me.

  • 5-8-04 (02:44)

  • updated movies list.
  • today was shitty. i don't seem to have any good luck these days. a lot of things are beginning to work against me and that's a bummer. but luck is a residue of design so i must be doing something wrong.
  • i've been considering voting for bush for the same reason most people i know want to vote against him - he is the presidential candidate most likely to lead us into nuclear war. at this point i think that the world might be a lot better if a few billion people perished quickly.

  • 5-7-04 (01:40)

  • i learned a new word today (no it's not "atom bomb") that i find rather applicable to many of us working class people - hardscrabble.
  • "Controversy is again swirling around provocative documentary filmmaker Michael Moore (Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine) following Miramax's announcement on Wednesday that it will not be distributing Moore's latest film, Fahrenheit 9/11. Earlier, the Walt Disney Co. said that it would prevent Miramax, which it owns, from releasing it, even though Miramax had financed it. Zenia Mucha, a spokeswoman for the company (herself a former adviser to New York Republican politicos George Pataki and Alfonse D'Amato), said that "it was not appropriate for Disney ... to be the distributor of a politically charged movie in an election year." Critics immediately pointed out that some of Disney's ABC radio stations present a daily barrage of politically charged programming, generally reflecting conservative opinion. "All I can say is, thank God for [Miramax Co-chairman] Harvey Weinstein, who stood by me during the entire production of this movie," Moore said in a statement posted on his website on Wednesday. The film is due to compete at the Cannes Film Festival next week for the festival's Palme d'Or award. Michael Barker, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, which released the controversial Oscar-winning The Fog of War, told today's (Thursday) San Francisco Chronicle that he expects to see Moore's picture at Cannes and that he might be interested in distributing it "if Miramax pitches it to us and it's anything like The Fog of War." Likewise a Lions Gate spokesman told the Toronto Star that his company would also consider releasing the film, adding: "We tend not to be frightened off the controversial projects." Ironically, the title of Moore's film derives from the 1953 Ray Bradbury sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451 about a society that burns controversial books, forcing a group of dissidents to memorize the classics in order to preserve them. The ads for Fahrenheit 9/11 bear the tagline: "The Temperature Where Freedom Burns.""
  • "(Ty) Cobb would always bristle at any suggestion that he was not every bit of the ball player that Ruth was, and even insisted that he was a better hitter. To prove his point, he told reporters one day he would show them that he could, if he chose to, smack balls out of the park just like Ruth did. Cobb proceeded to go 6 for 6, with three home runs and two doubles. The next day, he hit two more home runs. In the third game of the series, he missed a sixth home run by a few inches. His record of 25 bases in two consecutive games still stands to this day."
  • that was written in the mid-90s so it may not stand anymore. i know that shawn green had a monster game a couple years ago wherein he got 19 bases, but i don't know what he did in the game before or after.
  • i've never been a big fan of network news programs, but i do think that ted koppel does a better than average job and all the flak he's getting lately is ridiculous. people are attacking him for reading the names of the dead soldiers on the air. it's gotten so ridiculous that some stations have even pulled his show, effectively censoring him.
  • some girl was at work today talking with a co-worker of mine. they were discussing an american history class they are both currently taking. the girl said to my co-worker something along these lines: "i'm a product of the california public school system so i've taken u.s. history like eight times. so when professor smith starts talking about the brown bill and civil rights and stuff i just sort of tune out. i mean i've learned that stuff already and he doesn't make it any more interesting so it completely bores me." two things - the brown "bill" was a court case, not a bill passed by congress so despite her taking u.s. history "like eight times" she has yet to fully grasp the difference. also, not only did she seem to indicate that mentioning brown vs. board of education was redundant, she also seemed to question why he would mention it in the first place. there are two answers to that - it changed the country to a great extent is the obvious one and the other is that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the decision.
  • i heard on the news today that some congressman has proposed a bill that would dock the salary of congressmen if they didn't balance the budget. the story (which was actually done relatively well considering it was a local news bit) went on to detail the proposal...there would be a 5% decrease of pay if they couldn't balance the budget the first year and a 10% decrease for the second year. the bill would also allow for an increase in salary under some conditions. i can't think of a better recent example of lame-brained reactionary legislation. i agree that spending is out of control...that's one reason i want bush out of office, but a) docking a congressman 5% of their salary isn't going to do crap and b) there are times when deficit spending is necessary for our economic health.
  • i wouldn't mind giving legislators a 100% raise if it meant they couldn't get any private funding to help their election campaigns.
  • updated movies list.

  • 5-6-04 (02:02)

  • "Film studio Disney are refusing to release Michael Moore's latest documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 - according to the controversial director himself. The Dude, Where's My Country author, who won an Oscar for his 2002 picture Bowling For Columbine, announced on his official website yesterday Disney has banned the film's producer Miramax from distributing the movie, which criticizes American President George W. Bush. Moore says, "Yesterday I was told that Disney, the studio that owns Miramax, has officially decided to prohibit our producer, Miramax, from distributing my new film, Fahrenheit 9/11. The reason? According to today's New York Times, it might 'endanger' millions of dollars of tax breaks Disney receives from the state of Florida because the film will 'anger' the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush." Despite his upset at Disney's decision, Moore is adamant the film will be screened. Moore continues, "Some people may be afraid of this movie because of what it will show. But there's nothing they can do about it now because it's done, it's awesome, and if I have anything to say about it, you'll see it this summer because, after all, it is a free country." Fahrenheit 9/11 links the U.S. Premier with powerful families in Saudi Arabia, including terror chief Osama Bin Laden, and criticizes Bush's actions prior to the September 11 tragedy. Miramax spokesman Matthew Hilzik told the New York Times, "We are discussing the issues with Disney. We're looking at our options and look forward to resolving this amicably." However, an adamant Disney spokesperson Zenia Mucha remarks, "We advised both Moore's agent and Miramax in May of 2003 that the film would not be distributed. That decision stands." Fahrenheit 9/11 is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month."
  • nothing new there. the publisher of "stupid white men" tried to get moore to heavily edit that book after the 9-11 attacks. fortunately some librarians made a ruckus and put an end to that.
  • updated movies list.
  • i've been sort of flirting with the idea of ranking movies using a number system. one to ten in (about) five categories. cinematography, acting, direction, screenplay, and misc. it would mean slightly more work and would mess with all the previous rankings, but would also provide more information on why it got the grade it got. one problem with it is that there might be some films that i really like but don't have great cinematography or something else and that would bring down their score to a lower level than i might like. then there's the problem b films or experimental films. b films are bad in lots of ways, but are still fun to watch, so they might receive a good score in the misc. category, but low scores elsewhere. koyaanisqatsi, an experimental film, wouldn't get any score for acting or screenplay so what would i do then? the system clearly has its limitations so it's probably better to just continue with my current method while trying to give ample reason for my grading.
  • speaking of all that, my reviews list for this year is officially larger than the list from 2003. so in only four months i've written more than in all 12 months of 2003.
  • in 2001 (the year of the trip) i didn't watch 179 movies until late october.
  • one of the nice things about working at tower is that on occasion i'll run into someone who i can talk with about movies or music. there are a couple people who are sort of regular customers who will chat with me about movies or music. one of those guys came in today and we talked about good films. he seems to know a good amount of stuff and that makes the conversation good. if i talk with a guy like scott simmon about film then i mostly listen. or if i talk with most of my co-workers then i do most of the talking. each level of involvement has its merits.
  • read over some more of my old reviews. i have some pretty good ones mixed in with mostly average write-ups. the one for blood simple was pretty cool and i had already forgotten most of the stuff i mentioned.
  • i was thinking about "meet the parents" today and what a great film it is. in some ways it's almost a better screenplay than planes trains and automobiles. the skeleton of the film is good enough and most hollywood producers/filmmakers would have been happy with the uncomfortable situation comedy of a son in-law-to-be spending time with his future in-laws. clearly, though, the film was re-written several times...each time acquiring another layer of comedy. the tiny additions from naming him greg focker and playing on that repeatedly to the whole thing with the cat or the lost baggage or the ex-boyfriend (owen wilson) or the speedos greg has to wear as a result of his lost baggage or any number of things. everything works so well together and it's such a well-constructed film. it's tough to write comedy that well. it's easy to set up one-liners, but to have plot turns reap the benefits that they did in meet the parents is pretty hard to do. i like that movie a lot.
  • tarantino said that he thinks the benchmark for a director is whether they can do an action film well. i agree that action is a tough genre to direct well, though i'm not sure it's the benchmark...i just haven't thought about it very much. but i think that comedy may be the benchmark for writers. for me anyway, comedy is tough to get just right. getting a few laughs isn't all that hard, but to get gut-wrenching laughs from varied sources (fart jokes to verbal puns to sight gags) is damn tough. i haven't really thought about it much...it just occurred to me, but (in my book) there aren't very many really great comedies and that may be because it's so hard to write effective comedy. i'd have to give it more thought.
  • i'm not sure what's wrong with the lakers these days. phil jackson has a huge problem on his hands because they need to win the next two games or else they're goners, and right now they're playing without any fire. what a bunch of under-achievers. the one time i want them to win so we can face them in the next round and they play like a high school team.
  • about half the job opportunities out there look something like this:

  • "Requirements:
    Proven leadership qualities.
    Clear thinker.
    High and quality achiever.
    We are seeking highly talented sales builders.
    We will provide challenges in marketing and sales to suite your talent and gain experience for future goals and positions.
    You will be provided with projects and are required to be producive and demonstrate results.
    Willing and able to perform without much supervision.
    Applicants please complete the following BIO questions and include with resume.

    5-5-04 (01:44)

  • updated movies list.
  • kings game wasn't televised tonight. that's pretty silly. got to listen to some of it at work and was pleased with the way we played. when you have a guy who steps up in a big way, like bibby did tonight, it's really important to get the win. it's a shame when you have a player have a great game and the team still loses. i'm glad we took one from minnesota early because they're a less experienced team in the playoffs and losing right off the bat might hurt their confidence a bit later in the series. i think we had a good game overall, but especially in the last few minutes of the game. the two previous games were a bit disheartening because, even though we won, we couldn't close out the games strong. in the last game against dallas we didn't score at all in the last three minutes and had to rely on a last second missed shot by nowitski to win (or, more accurately, not lose) the game. tonight, on the other hand, we hit some big jumpers (including a three by christie) and made free throws to close out the game. that's what winning teams do well. we also got the defensive rebounds when it mattered and that's very important down the stretch - especially for us since it's one of our few weak points. very pleased, but we still need to win three more games to move on to the next round.
  • work didn't go so well today. last night alex (who used to work at tower as a loss prevention agent) came in to sell some cds because he needed cash to make a car payment. so i bought a bunch of cds off him which may be considered a no-no since he used to work at tower and probably got some of the cds for free while working there. today i noticed that all the cds i purchased from him were missing as if they had been taken into evidence. there were also a couple loss prevention guys talking with joe throughout the day behind closed doors. they may be plotting my departure. i don't think i did anything really wrong, but it doesn't matter either way since they don't need a real reason to let me go anyway. so all day i was expecting to get called into the principal's office where i would find out that my parents were going to have to come and pick me up. it's so retarded.
  • woody allen has the most nominations for an academy award in the original screenplay category with 13. the next person behind him has only 6, who is it?
  • there's going to be a renoir boxset coming out through criterion in july. fun.
  • frederico fellini has six academy award nominations and is number two behind woody allen in the original screenplay category.

  • 5-4-04 (03:08)
  • updated movies list.

  • 5-3-04 (12:19)

  • on saturday we went up to grass valley/nevada city to get away for the day. we visited the empire gold mine and downtown nevada city. apparently grass valley/nevada city are one of only three "book towns" in the entire united states. there's something like 22 independent bookstores within their limits which is pretty impressive considering the combined population is probably under 10,000. we went into one of the bookstores and they had a small, but impressive collection. it was mostly on california related stuff, but they also had some nice sets like a complete works of mark twain or sets of presidential correspondence which had all the letters and speechs of every president. nevada city is also home of the oldest theater building in california. the empire mine is 11,000 feet long and almost a mile underground, which brings it about 2,000-2,500 feet below sea level. the empire mine state park was smallish, but it had some good exhibits. they had all sorts of cool rocks...some very interesting calcites and some really nicely colored rocks from zaire and some gold and even a martian rock.
  • that trip made me want to go on a real road trip again.

  • 5-3-4 (00:30)

  • "The actors who voice Homer and Bart on The Simpsons are delighted with a huge pay rise which see them earning millions of dollars for their work on the hit animation show. Dan Castellaneta and Nancy Cartwright - who voice Homer and Bart respectively - are thrilled with their new contract following their battle with TV bosses at 20th Century Fox Television for a pay rise to $8 million each for the 22-episode 2004-05 season. The series producer explains, "We couldn't be happier to have reached a multi- year deal with the enormously talented cast of The Simpsons." The loss of even a few episodes of the animated hit show - a bulwark of Fox TV's schedule - would be financially painful for the network. The actors were earning $125,000 an episode before their contract dispute."
  • that's about a 300% raise.
  • it's getting really fucking hot these days.
  • updated movies list.
  • into my second wave of sports films.
  • lakers lost today. usually that's a good thing, but i kinda want them to win so we can face them in the next round of the playoffs. two reasons for that - victory won't be quite as sweet if we don't go through the lakers and i think we have a better chance against the lakers in a series than against the spurs. if the spurs win i'll be fine with that because going through the defending champions is also a worthy way of getting to the nba finals. the final four in the western conference are all very tough teams. in the east i think that indiana and detroit are the best teams. i think detroit is underrated, but only time will tell.
  • there are two good reasons for writing my reviews...it keeps me writing and therefore keeps my mind sharper than it would be if i didn't write about the films i watch. and it's nice to be able to read one of my reviews and remember what i thought about a particular film. my memory isn't very good so it's a useful resource.

  • 11-23-03
  • Winged Migration - it's not an amazing film, but it is good. the cinematography looks good, but i wish they had used better cameras or film because the images weren't as crisp as they could have been and the color wasn't as vibrant as i would have liked. i may be nit-picking there, but for this kind of film paying attention to the technical details is pretty damn important. they used a good combination of capuring techniques - some of the shots were from one person aircrafts that flew alongside the birds, some of the shots were from boats, or from the ground - and they did a good job of drawing the viewer into the life of the birds. the movie itself is a cross between baraka and microcosmos...it doesn't have quite the socio/political commentary of baraka and doesn't have as high a quality of photography as microcosmos. unlike either film, winged migration chooses to have some narration and information. this was nice, but ultimately not very informative. it gave statistics on how far a certain species of bird migrates, but didn't go much beyond that. an overrated movie, but hopefully it'll draw attention to films like it. certainly there were nice things about the film...one can't watch birds for an hour and a half and not be intrigued at least a little bit, but that's testament to the subject matter, not the film. C+.
  • it's really hot.
  • four more stores in the tower chain are closing.

  • 5-1-04 (01:47)

  • updated movies list.
  • the new !!! single is called "pardon my freedom." that's a good song title.
  • miracle is coming to dvd on may 18th...been looking forward to that one for a while. when it was in the theaters i didn't hear very much press about it which is too bad because it was a really good film. here's a review of the dvd. and my review of the film.
  • "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that you? For even sinners do the same." Luke 6:32-33
  • went to kdvs today to give them my check and pickup my premiums for pledging during their fundraiser. they did well this year and that's good to hear.