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Archive for July, 2007

Live Free or Die Hard

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

We went to see Live Free or Die Hard today.  It’s good!  I can’t go and call it one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen, or anything like that, but this was a true summer block buster.  It was an all out action film in the best of ways.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a “real” action film.  Mostly Hollywood tries to put out an action film with some sort of twist, but this is out and out true to the genre.  One liners, witty quips, car chases, explosions, impossible situations, a hero character than is tougher than nails and rough around the edges, no love story, no strange mystery, no attempted plot twist, no super powers, no half-hearted special effects, and nothing wrong.  Seriously, it was great.  I’ll say it’s the best action film I’ve seen this year, in the last year, maybe even in the last 5 years.  Go see it if you haven’t.  I don’t want to spoil it.

Transformers

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

We went to see Transformers today.  We went to the theater without seeing a schedule and letting fate decide.  It turns out we got there way too early for most films, and a little late for Transformers, so we went to see it hoping that we only missed the commercials.  The timing worked out pretty well.  I gather we missed maybe a minute of the opening.

This film has me a bit torn.  I was a die hard Transformers kid.  I loved it.  I knew everything about it.  I probably saw every episode of the original TV series, and a good chunk of the crap that came later.  It’s been so many years, though, and my memory of all those little details has faded.  So my wish was that Hollywood wouldn’t screw this one up.  Well, they didn’t.  Sure, they changed things around a bit.  Some for legal reasons, some just because it’s Hollywood.  I’m not so sure I like Michael Bay’s execution.  It certainly wasn’t the crap that was Pearl Harbor, but here he seemed to be trying too hard to make it fast paced, edgy, gritty, etc.  He made a common mistake of Hollywood directors trying to zoom in on the closest details of a fight such that you lose sight of the big picture.  That single detail is what really got to me.  It made it hard to follow everything, and maybe that’s by design, but just not quite right for me.  Stepping back from that, the story was good.  Naturally, it’s a big Hollywood summer blockbuster, so it’s got big noise, explosions, weapons, the latest military gadgets, the whole spectrum of cliched government characters from spooks to grunts.  The dialog was a little less than believable at times.  That could be just acting, but I think the dialog hurt it.  I love the throwbacks and comedy.  The comedy helps with the comic book feel.  The throwbacks grab us original fans.  Number one on the list is “the sound”.  That sound the Transformers made when transforming.  The other is Optimus Prime’s voice.  They went and dug up Peter Cullen.  Amazing that he’s still alive.  Oh, and that nice car purchasing scene where Bumblebee smacks the VW Bug.  That was cool.

In short, I recommend this, especially if you loved the Transformers as a kid.

Appliances ordered

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

We ordered our appliances today (well, technically it was yesterday).  It feels good to get that off the list, but it sure is hard to see the bank account drop so much in one foul swoop.  I could almost hear my debit card groan.  Hopefully, we made good choices that will last us a couple decades.  We decided to go ahead and order them today, because it’s the last day of the big 4th of July sales.  10% off really helped.  We’ve got another rebate form that will help another 5% too.  Top that off with free delivery and it just seemed like a good way to stretch our budget.  And even if this week’s closing doesn’t wind up happening, we’re scheduled for delivery in about a month.  That should be plenty of time to have the house ready for them and them be all setup before we do our move.

July 4th Celebrations, well, sort of

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

We went to Memphis’ big July 4th celebrations on Saturday (June 30). This year they combined the two big celebrations on each side of the city into one big one over the Mississippi. I say that like I have some authority. We didn’t go to either last year, so it’s all new to me. When we went to the Sunset Symphony I noticed a couple wheel boats go out on the river and come back to watch the fireworks. A little light went off in my head saying we should try that. So, when I heard about the fireworks over the river I knew I had to look into seeing if the boat company would be doing it again. They did. We went. We went with some friends from work. I thought it was nice. The fireworks turned out pretty well. They certainly spent a bunch on the show. I think they could have done a much better job of choreographing the way the fireworks went off, much of it seemed like they were just randomly hit “fire” buttons. They had a huge volume of them, though. It went on for 10 minutes or so. The important measure of what I thought is that I think we’ll go again some time.