Saturday, March 29, 2014

Noah - the Movie

I went and saw the movie Noah. It was good, but it was certainly not the movie I expected.

First off, it was pretty psychedelic. They did a good job of color and music. There was also a non-invasive but definitely present environmentalist undertone. I could see it turning into a "stoner cult film." 

Second, Noah did a nice job of not coming off as preachy. I'm sure the non-mention of "God" and the use of "Creator" is already stirring up controversy both ways. Similarly, Noah tells his son the story of creation in seven days while they're showing the big bang, the formation of the solar system, and evolution, so the film unequivocally adopts the "seven days is a metaphor" position on the first of Genesis.

Noah is also very very dark. If you read the Old Testament, it can be very very dark. There's murder, butchery, incest, and savagery of all kinds (lots of good and virtue too). Great liberties were, of course, taken with the plot of the story of Noah's Ark, but I think some of the more raw Biblical undertones were faithfully preserved. For instance, there was one scene where babies were being taken away from their mothers to be cannibalized by hungry people. Of course they didn't show anything but the taking away, but it was raw nonetheless.

Finally, Noah didn't come off as all that heroic. At points he was clearly being crazy, fanatical, and irrational.

All and all, a solid movie.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fabulous Rollerblader Dude

There was a giant fire in my part of Houston today, and a big new appartment building under construction burned down. Luckily, nobody was hurt. Unfortunately, the fabulous rollerblader dude had to move a few blocks.

I drive by there almost every day. Ever since I started my job, on my way home from work, on Montrose Blvd. between Dallas and Grey, there is always this guy who is jamming it with headphones skating on rollerblades on the sidewalk. For now, I just call him the "fabulous rollerblader dude." I use fabulous for the double meaning, (1) Montrose is a big GLBT area of Houston, and (2) the guy just looks fabulous in every other sense of the term. I don't know how anyone can rollerblade that dang well, but it's really cool given that I always seem to get parked in traffic for a couple of minutes every day right beside him.

I'm going to go over one day and ask him his name.

EDIT: Apparently the dude's name is Juan Carlos. He's on youtube being awesome.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oracle of Bacon

I discovered the Oracle of Bacon.  Nobody in the film history seems to be more than 4 degrees of separation away from Kevin Bacon.  In fact, nobody who has ever been in the movie industry seems to be more than 4 degrees away from anyone else who has been in the movie industry.

This goes to absurd extremes. For instance, Usher (Raymond) is only 3 degrees away from Walter Long (the blackface actor in the Birth of a Nation, the 1915 film that inspired the rebirth of the KKK). Jean Claude van Damme is 2 degrees of separation away from Clark Gable.  Even Tommy Wiseau can't seem to break out of more than 4 degrees.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Snake v. Croc

Of the various animal duels that I've pondered on from time to time, snakes don't usually fit in one way or the other.  In any event, between a snake and a crocodile, apparently the snake wins.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

John Kerry Should Say "Something Stupid"

Not too long ago, John Kerry more or less bumbled the world out of an expanded armed conflict in Syria through what is surely the most geopolitically masterful gaffe (or was it?) in recent memory. People make fun of him. However much fun they poke, he did solve the problem. And maybe he was just pretending to bumble out a proposed impossible solution that actually isn't impossible and that we can live with, and it was actually part of his plan all along.

I propose that we give Kerry a microphone and have him talk randomly about Ukraine until the problem gets solved.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Liam Neeson

I'm probably not going to see the movie Non-Stop. It is surprising how Liam Neeson's acting career has turned out. I am still half waiting for him to get typecast mostly into romantic comedies forever. But he seems to have become the reigning king of grit...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

President Yanukovych

I really hate to side with an anti-EU politician like Viktor Yanukovych. But it looks like you need a 3/4ths absolute supermajority of the legislature there to sack him (jump to Article 111). By my math, that's 338 (3/4ths of 450). I suppose you could say that they just amended the constitution to sack him, as it appears easier to amend the Ukrainian Constitution than to remove its president. From an ultra-legalistic perspective, Yanukovych is still president. That is not to say I would prefer him to remain president, and am not one who says that the people cannot, for extraordinary and just purposes, wing it.