Archive for May, 2005
As with all the prequels, I am of two minds with this film. There is a definite side of me that loved this film and without a doubt it’s the best of the prequels. There is the other side of that also has plenty of nits to pick and recognizes the familiar flaws (some really bad writing and acting). Overall my “enjoyed it” side wins out, but I also fell that a large part of that is the nostalgia. This film was as powerful as it was to me because of my fondness for the original trilogy. When taken for what it is, it’s place in the mythology and its purpose in the overall story it kicks ass. Taken alone and set aside as just a film, I think that I look a bit askance in its direction. There’s a definite dichotomy within me concerning this film as well as the other prequels (that being said, I am one of the few who actually liked the first two prequels despite the nits that I could pick with it).
I am very glad Lucas kept it dark and intense and didn’t cave to the groups complaining that this PG-13 rating ruined it as a “family” film or whatever.
I found it a bit slow to get going (well not necessarily “slow” since it was action right from the start, but not incredibly engaging right off) but the further it went on the more it sucked me in.
I decided today that one of the reasons the original trilogy is superior is that Lucas was not some revered “god” at that point and the actors were probably more free to ad lib or change up Lucas’s stilted writing to make it more natural. There’s a famous quote from Harrison Ford where he told George at some point while filming the first trilogy (paraphrased) “You can write this shit, but you can’t say it!” I have a feeling there’s probably far less freedom to tamper with “The Great Lucas’s” work these days.
That and I firmly believe that Lucas is a victim of buying into his own hype and getting totally lost and confused within his own mythology.
Don’t get the wrong impression though, by the end of the movie I was wide-eyed, jaw dropped, and teary-eyed just like the kid who saw “Empire Strikes Back” 16 times during its initial theatrical run, and the original trilogy countless times (in all its incarnations) since. Those movies are a huge part of who I am today, from my love of movie making to my many fond memories involving me, friends, and collections of Star Wars toys (and the painful memory of how, once I’d outgrown them, I took them all out to a friend’s piece of land in the country and we shot them all to pieces with guns not knowing how I would be kicking myself later on).
The force will be with me…always.
Now to just wait for the Super Mega VIP Deluxe Boxed Director’s Post-final cut Limited Top Secret Ultimate Platinum Jedi Master Edition.
While “24” is still a kick ass show, I’ve found several amusing anomalies lately. For one, they seem to have become very loose with their “real time” format. A few of the many transgressions this season:
Apparently every location in Los Angeles is only a few miles from CTU as it never takes them long to get to or from any particular location.
Just last night they managed to call a cab company to inquire about their logs from the week before, get in touch with the particular driver they needed to speak to and get all the information they needed from him in one single commercial break.
A roomful of politicians who were rousted at 5 a.m. for an emergency meeting were all at the capital and dressed in full suits and ties in less than 15 minutes!
My most amusing moment is not time related: Jack, riding in a helicopter having a tender heart to heart cell phone conversation with Audrey, hangs up the cell phone and puts on one of the helicopter headsets (which are necessary when riding in helicopters due to the noise) to hear and speak to the agent sitting right next to him. Damn, he must have a kick ass cell phone.
A few years back I discovered Porrasturvat, an addictively fun little “game” where you shove a guy down the stairs and get points from his injuries. I decided to check it out again and found a new version involving a truck now. Try either one, and you will be addicted.
34 years old and I had my very first fillings on Wednesday. First a little back story:
Up until I was somewhere in my teens I had been to the dentist every six months like a good person and had never had a single cavity or filling in my life. At some point, once I became more responsible for myself, I quit going to the dentist. For somewhere in the realm of 10 years or more, I did not go to the dentist for checkups. The only exception during that time was when my wisdom teeth started bothering me so I went to have them checked, and subsequently had them removed.
A few years ago, once I had a job with insurance, I started going again fearing that my many years of neglect might have left a disaster zone in my mouth. Luckily I found out that I had a bunch of very minor cavities but nothing big. I didn’t have the money to get them fixed (even with insurance paying a portion) so I put it off. And put it off.
Cut to several years later, I’m now living in Austin with a good job and insurance again. I figure I should probably bite the bullet, find me a regular dentist in my new home city and perhaps get some of the work done that’s been lingering for years. I send out an email at work asking for recommendations and decide to try the “Austin Dental Spa” I’m pretty sure they’re going to be more expensive than other dentists, but I figure if I have to do something I don’t want to do, I might as well make it as pleasant as possible, even if it costs a little more. I’m glad I did. The offices are really nice with a really pleasant atmosphere and the staff are all very friendly and helpful. They give you a little bottle of water when you come in and have a nice private bathroom and a little alcove with a couple of sinks where you can brush and floss before you appointment with some disposable brushes which produce their own toothpaste when you get them wet and start brushing. They also have a masseuse who comes around and gives you a hand/arm massage while you’re in the chair.
I went and had an examination, and of course my teeth and gums weren’t in great shape after having been once again neglected for several years, but nothing was dire. I came back in for a cleaning, and got some special rinse to help with my poor neglected gums. I had about 8-10 teeth which had some degree of cavities, but much to my surprise, none of them were very bad at all. I was given the option of having them all done at once, or doing two visits with half my mouth being done on each visit. I chose that option thinking that would be better since I wouldn’t end up with my entire face numb and being in the chair for three hours.
They also have cool flat computer monitors over the chair which serve various purposes. When they took my x-rays and digital pictures of my mouth, they were displayed on the monitor so I could see what was going on and they could explain and discuss exactly what was up with my teeth. They also showed me some videos on brushing and flossing and fillings since I’d never had any before.
Last Wednesday I had the left half of my face done. I was a bit nervous (as I always am before any kind of medical or dental procedure) but as has always turned out to be the case for me, the actual event was nothing at all. Before they began they asked if I wanted Nitrous (laughing gas), and being a little nervous and having never tried it, I said “sure!” I can’t say I really noticed any effects from it though. If it did have effects, they were very subtle. So much so, that I wasn’t really sure if I was feeling any effects at all. The only time I remember definitely noticing anything was when they were done and they sat me up and I felt really light headed for about a minute or two.
I had five teeth filled on my left side. At first the dentist said my cavities were so shallow that she didn’t think I needed any anesthetic, but that she would gladly administer it if I wanted. I said that if she didn’t think I needed it we could try without (if I could get away without that annoying numb face factor then I was all for it), and she said that if I felt anything at all, just say so and we would do the whole numbing thing. At one pint I kind of winced, but to be honest, I’m not even sure if it was actual “pain” or just the pressure and coldness from the constant water rinse they spray while drilling. Just to be safe she went ahead and numbed me up, even though I would have been willing to try a little longer since, as I said, I hadn’t really felt anything “hurt” as of yet.
I always hear that the shots are the only part of fillings that may kind of sting for a second, but my dentist rocked. I didn’t feel a thing, even as she was administering the shots.
About an hour and a half later, I had five new fillings and went back to work feeling like I only had half a face since the other half felt like a big slab of fake rubber just attached to my head. I took great joy that it allowed me to do a really great Eddie Money impression.
In hindsight I do wish I had just done them all at once though and just got it all done with. Now I have to go back in a month for the other half which is more of a pain with the travel time, waiting in the lobby, etc. It would have been better to just spend extra time in the chair while I was there. All in all, as usual my dread leading up to the event was far worse than the actual event which was nothing at all.
I had a very strange dream the other night. I was at a party hanging out with Amy Poehler (she’s currently on Saturday Night Live and co-anchors Weekend Update with Tina Fey). In my dream, we were outside chatting, laughing, and generally flirting and having a good time. At one point she grabbed my arms and started swinging me around in a circle, slowly pulling me closer and closer until we stopped and she started to kiss me. I stopped her and said we couldn’t do that as we were both married. This actually just caused her crush on me to deepen, a my virtuousness was admirable to her.
I awoke and had to laugh to myself at how completely random this dream seemed to me since, while I’ve always thought Amy Poehler seemed like a really cool, talented and pretty performer who I’d probably be great friends with, I’d never had any kind of infatuation with her or anything. Now, however, my theoretical friendship with Amy Poehler is a bit awkward. We’re both cool though.