Archive for December, 2005

joy and pain

Last week ended on a strange combination of joy and pain. Joy from having my company Christmas party and getting off early for the weekend. It was pretty good. There were a few hundred of us at the Hilton. We had Turkey (with all the regular fixins), some white fish in a creamy sauce, and lots of other stuff. All the food was really good. The desserts were just so-so. Lots of pretty cool prizes were given away, including $400 gift certificates to Holt Renfrew, 2 Nindento DS’s, 2 Sony PSP’s, 4 iPod Shuffles, and a 60 GB video iPod (the top prize). (Unfortunately, I got none of them.)

The pain came from making the mistake of trying out the unstable release of Ubuntu (Dapper Drake) just a wee bit prematurely. *sigh* After finishing the upgrade and rebooting, I was faced with a series of serious problems… the most significant being X refusing to start and no Internet access. I’ve managed to solve everything except the Internet situation. This is due to my only Internet access in my room being wireless. So… I’ve lugged my tower up from my room and abducted the family computer’s “spot” (and spot accessories) until I can get wireless working. Let’s hope it’s soon. I miss my 19″ LCD.

Movies ‘n Stuff

Watched a bunch of stuff recently. Read on…

This logo shows you absolutely nothing about the show

Firefly (20th Century Fox Series)IMDB


I just finished watching this surprisingly charming little sci-fi series. I say little because it was cancelled by Fox after just 15 episodes… probably replaced by some lame reality TV show. Anyways, it’s cheesy – real cheesy – but it’s the good kind of cheese. It doesn’t make you say, “aw man…..” and shake your head; it makes you laugh. It manages to blend an American and Chinese influenced future with the wild west. Everyone seems to have a one-liner in Chinese (although I’m sure native speakers would probably laugh at the actors’ awkward attempts at Mandarin – I did), and most of the weapons look like modified revolvers. (Oddly enough, I didn’t see that many Chinese people.) All the moons/planets look like the same chunk of desert with a different set. The ground transportation method of choice seems to be horseback. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither can the viewer. All this is complemented by some nice effects and the increasingly popular “imperfect cam” (shaky, off centre, zoom and re-focus, etc).

Very Entertaining. Now I’ll have to see the movie, Serenity (which is the name of their ship).

The Secret of NIMH (MGM Animated Motion Picture)IMDB


An MGM animated movie from 1982! I had seen this before, but I didn’t remember it very much. It was alright, but the voice of the main character, Mrs. Brisby, really irritated me. The style is typical of animation from that time, with fair animation, dull colours and hand-drawn everything (not necessarily a bad thing). But moments that were supposed to be visually stimulating simply… were not; we’re so spoiled, these days. I’m sure I would have liked it more if I was 8 years old, or if I had fond memories of it in the past, but neither was the case. I recommend it to 8-year-olds everywhere.

Battlestar Galactica (6-part SCI FI Pictures Mini Series)IMDB

battlestar galactica

A remake of the 1970’s sci-fi series of the same name. This was awesome. Lots of action, really fast paced, and like Firefly, it has good cheese, nice eye candy, and similar camera effects. I can’t remember the original, at all, so I can’t comment on how “faithful” it is. (This doesn’t matter, however, as none of these hard-core fans will ever visit my page… maybe Ben?) I can’t wait to watch the series, which is currently in season two.

Band of Brothers (10-part HBO Mini Series)IMDB

band of brothers

Excellent WWII mini series based on the of book of the same name and produced by Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg. A lot of money was put into this, and it shows. It follows the members of Easy Company from training, right through to the end of the war. It was interesting to see David Schwimmer (Friends) and Ron Livingston (Office Space) in very different roles. If you liked Saving Private Ryan, you’ll like this.

Carnivale (HBO Series)IMDB


I saw this in the summer, but figured I’d throw it into the mix – because it’s really good! Admittedly, the story is quite slow, but the characters are extremely colourful and their development in the overall story of Good VS Evil is the addiction. Unfortunately, HBO decided to cut its lifeline after the 2nd season, just when (apocalyptic) things were really getting started. Damn.

Serial Experiments Lain (Anime)IMDB

serial experiments lain

This anime is definitely not for everyone. It’s extremely slow, and like most other existential stuff, the whole interpretation is left pretty open (not many questions are answered). I also found it kinda depressing. That said, if you’re into that stuff, it’s pretty good.

Brotherhood of the Wolf (Movie)IMDB

brotherhood of the wolf

This French (and Canadian?) effort in special effects masturbation was alright, but it was trying way too hard to look cool. Drawn out (2.5 hours) and over-the-top effects and cinematography. I might be able to overlook the shortcomings if they gave me more big bosom’d corset scenes. But it is definitely unique and very rentable. Decent flick, I guess.

Now, go grab something you haven’t seen, make a bowl of popcorn and enjoy a little vegitation – you deserve it! :mrgreen:

I have to return some video tapes.