Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Death of a Legend

"It it's not Baroque, don't fix it." - Cogsworth, "Beauty & The Beast"

Someone should introduce George Lucas to Walt Disney. Perhaps some of Disney's animated wisdom would not only rub-off, but also motivate Lucas in his own movie making endeavors. On second thought, Cinderella 2 makes me reconsider. Anyway, the point...StarWars.

I have been a devoted StarWars fans for years. The first movie released before I was born and I was too young to see either of the rest in the theater, yet somehow I was exposed. Now I'm not a fanatic (going as Princess Leia every year for Halloween) but I admit that I am a bit of a StarWars geek [I even own my StarWars special edition Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit]. My VCR tapes are getting quite worn, so I was pretty excited about the DVD's coming available. My excited has been extinguished.

Last night I got to see parts of "Episode Six: The Return of the Jedi". I was anticipating the scenes added a few years ago (when Lucas first discovered CGI and decided to make his movies even longer) but I was not anticipating needless additions and changes to scenes that already worked in the originals. I am desperately trying not to ruin the movies for anyone who has yet to see the them, but Lucas has already ruined them, so why should I try? I want to keep my thoughts organized and not blurt out every evil thing I think about Lucas, so I will summarize.

1) WHY MESS WITH A GOOD THING? The original StarWars triliogy broke box office records; it made stars out of unknown actors; it not only captured the audience of its time, but has harpooned people for generations. I appreciated the clean-up work and touch ups that Lucas did to existing scenes, but was mostly annoyed with the additions he made in attempt to spice things up. Let me put it into perspective:
He took a Ford Escort. The CGI clean-up was adding a nice spoiler. The extra scenes and monsters are cheesey flames on the side, a giant Ford sticker in the back window and LeBra.

2) BE CONSISTENT! I'm gonna spew here, but I just can't help myself. First, I am COMPLETELY against blending the "first" trilogy (4-6) with the "second" trilogy (1-3). With that said, if one decides that it is completely necessary to mess with history and change an already good thing, please be consistent. Lucas not only ruins the originals by incorporating parts of the newest films, but he is inconsistent with how/who/what he brings in!! If you aren't going to ruin the WHOLE movie, why only ruin bits and pieces?

Well, that's all that I can vent for now. I'm getting flustered just thinking about this. I only hope and pray that those of you who have never been able to see the original StarWars movies will find someone with the VCR tapes before those become extinct. If you need to borrow my copies, my sister has my number.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Heck yeah I did!

Last night I enjoyed one of the most thought-provoking, brain-numbing and random movies I've ever seen. I'm not sure how much of the enjoyment was due to the movie itself, or how much of it was based on the show being at 11:00 p.m. during slap-happy hours, but it moved me enough to pen some thoughts on it. At your leisure please see Napoleon Dynamite, PG, 1 hour, 26 minutes.

I went to see this film because a friend was going for his third time. For three nights he drove two hours round trip to watch this movie. The sacrifice of such time and money intrigued me. I had no reason to believe I would enjoy the film, as I don't recall that he and I have ever agreed on a movie. However, curiosity won. We drove, we watched...we agreed. Punch Drunk Love and Clueless were able to sit down together and enjoy the life of Napoleon Dynamite. I can't explain how, but perhaps I can also draw you into our world of cinematic brotherhood.

I couldn't justly comment on the storyline without having to summarize it, but I can't summarize it because...well, I can't. The subplots come together to support the main plot in a well-crafted pyramind of events. If I neglected any of the subplots the main plot would seem off-kilter, but if I explain every subplot then I'm not really summarizing, am I? You'll just have to see the movie.

Anyway, the beauty of this movie is truly in the subtleties. It's the coordination of all of the best of the eighties (stirrup pants, the A-Team, the cameo school picture) with life in the twenty-first century. It's all of the little details that can easily be overlooked. It's the great writing and acting that combine to draw you in so closely that you begin to emote with each character. It's agressive. It's deliberate. It's at least one geeky kid in every school.

What I like best about this movie is that there is nothing sensational about it. It's the first movie I've seen that steers clear of the airbrushed-perfection of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen without swinging to the extreme of the teenage angst of My So-Called Life. The perfect looking kids don't get everything they want, much less without trying, and those desperately in need a mirror and a trip to the mall aren't tormented and ignored to the point of drugs and death. They focus on normal abnormalities.

I find that as I sit and think about this movie my attempts to comment on it become as choppy as the film itself. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, so I don't really even want to say anymore. Please, see the movie. Find out for yourself.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Top 10 Ways to Appear Busy at Work

10) Always keep an open file on your desk. Even if it doesn't move or change all day, an open file suggests work.
9) Check your voicemail frequently. If your message light isn't on, insist that the phone must be broken.
8) Never minimize all of the useful work progams on your computer screen. Keep one up in the background so that you can quickly close out of other programs and have work readily available at your fingertips.
7) Play with your files. Flip through the drawer and occassionally pull one or two out to flip through. It doesn't matter what you're looking for as long as you're looking.
6) Buy stationary that resembles your work letterhead.
5) When receiving or making personal phone calls always address the other party as if he or she is a client. When leaving messages make sure to let them know when you will be in the office.
4) Buy a day planner with creative and fun pages. Flip through it frequently, as if checking your schedule, and enjoy the jokes and games.
3) Take letters to the mailbox one at a time.
2) Type frequently, even if it is only personal emails. Most people won't watch what you're doing, but if you sound like you're busy, you must be busy.
1) Always carry a pen and file folder when walking around the building, even if you are only going to the bathroom. People will think you're on your way to something important. If its available, have a radio or cell phone "in case of an emergency".

Monday, October 04, 2004


This may be my last posting for a while (or at least until I calm down). For the past thirty minutes I have been attempting to edit my last post "The World at Your Fingertips". As continuing proof that the internet and all that it offers is not quite as fun/accessible/easy as I would like: apparently you can only edit a post on certain days. Today is not one of those days. I can read, write, comment...but not edit. I'm not sure what this website has against editing, but I'm going to go look at a picture of a kitten with a lime helmet to help me relax now.

Perhaps I'll feel inspired again later...perhaps not.