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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

#1,408: 1408

I'm actually up to 1417 by now, but 1408 was a milestone.  The next title / count sync point is 1492, I think. On the screen:

  • Sleuth - thumbs up.  Twisty and turny.  Not entirely sure about that last one though.
  • Videodrome - Didn't like it very much.  I'm pretty sure Robocop addresses the issues here better.
  • Fast, Cheap & Out of Control - Didn't like it very much.  May have deserved more careful viewing, but I didn't find any individual story or the connections between them that interesting,
  • Surf's Up - Didn't like it very much.  3D modeling of water has gotten pretty good though.  If you're going to do a mock-doc, have the courage of your convictions and stick to the format, I say.
  • American Teen - Didn't like it very much.  You took cameras into a school and discovered...the stereotyped characters every program about high school shows us?  Great.  Thanks.  The speculation on whether it was faked is supposed to get people talking, I guess, but why cast doubt on something even less remarkable if it -was- scripted?
  • Snuff - Didn't like it very much.  Pretty much exactly the sensationalist fluff they decry in other films they excerpt.
  • Pathology - Didn't like it very much.  Wanted to, since it was written by the guys behind Crank.  Nice for gore fans maybe.  Awfully low stakes for so much murderin'.
  • Time Crimes - Done well enough, but contains just about the minimum amount of story one can tell in a time travelin' tale.  Should've been a short.  The stuff people say about plot holes is garbage though.  There were no other decisions to make.
  • Monster Camp - I think it's hard to cover this kind of material and be fair to the people in it.  Contained a topic I'm hearing a lot about lately that I haven't heard of very often before: the D&D nerd who fails out of school. Would have benefited from a little time spent showing people enjoy themselves....unless the message was nobody does.  Hm.
  • Friday the 13th Part 2 - In which the retcon fest begins.  Jason has lived and aged and started murdering.  Just because.
  • The Gamers 2 - Better than expected, although at first I was expecting another D&D-styled doc.  Low budget project actual dramatizes a game of D&D fairly effectively, and represents the in-game world at least as well as the official D&D movie.
  • Taken - Representing the 'take EVERYTHING from them' genre, the cool thing here is that Liam Neeson can't even be bothered to actually take everything from the people he hunts.  He's so single-minded in his task it's not even truly a revenge story.  A good use of the hip and mod realism in the field of fighting styles - almost no knock down drag out 5-10 minute battles.  If he's going to keep things moving he's going to incapacitate the baddies fast and professional-like.
  • The Ruins - A good, fun horror in the man vs. nature category.  Trapped on a pyramid with plants that want to eat you?  It's not going to go very well.  Not well at all!
  • Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium - Wonder is the key word in that title.  I do like exposition into a formed world and movies that sustain that world throughout.  The plotting is minimal, so as not to get in the way of all that Wonder and Magic going on everywhere, and that's just fine by me.  Full of neat ideas brought to life, like the congreve cube.
  • Coraline - The best iteration of the Neil Gaiman movie so far.  The 3D was good, although at times it seemed like the frame-rate dropped.  Maybe the whole thing was a slightly slower rate that only showed in moments of high-speed?  Not sure.  Tried to win an auction for a jumping circus mouse, but it ended thousands of dollars more than I wanted to spend.
  • Friday the 13th 12 / The Remake - lazy, shoddy work.  This was not a movie that should have tried the realism trick.  I -know- it's hard to tag a movie like this for nonsensical or unrealistic content, but it's in the same sense that magorium works that this doesn't.  It's not about our reality vs. the movie's, it's about the movie being internally consistent.  There were loads of goofy continuity-type glitches, but the problem that breaks the movie is not deciding what to do with Jason.  Is he a clever and military-minded guy who digs tunnels and rigs traps, or the traditional deformed, retarded man-child that can't tell his mother from this installment's heroine?  Is he a force of nature or a guy that needs floodlights to hunt his prey? And where exactly does he keep drawing weapons from, anyway? The other plot point that seemed really odd was Trent getting mad at girlfriend Jenna for befriending another dude who looks just like him, but neither of them having any problem with Trent having sex with their pal Bree (whom the other guys in the group know well enough to join on vacation, but find too intimidating to talk to).  Silliness abounds with lighting, water depths, orchestra hits, but for some reason not the kills, which are presumably why someone checks out a movie like this.  I didn't expect greatness from the group making this movie, but what a mess.
  • 1408 - Much better than the trailer suggested.  And much less to do with Cusack's kid than one might have thought.  Sam Jackson has a fun role.
  • The Daily Show - Watching weeks at a time on the Hulu, I have to say I was disappointed in Jon Stewart's interview with Jimmy Carter.  Sure, he doesn't have to be in the hard-hitting news business, or spend the whole time talking about the book Carter was promoting, but I was very disappointed to see so much of their time spent covering exactly the same nonsense they bashed the 24-hour-news channels for covering a few days before.  Bad form.

And in print:

  • High School Undercover - Better than the recent, similar documentary, American Teen, but still not especially good. Mainly covers the boring bits of school with some drugs and sex thrown in to pique prurient interests. All the caution used to protect identities (characters formed from chunked and pressed actual student sweepings!) makes it tough to invest in anyone. The chapter done up like Van Sant's Elephant (students' lives intersecting, various events seen through a variety of viewpoints) should have been fun, not a chore. From bookmooch it was delivered, and back unto bookmooch shall it return!

Over in life, the radio program marches on, with another 5 or 6 scenes written in this week to be recorded next week, and a few more would-be writers invited to participate. They, of course, declined. 

I auditioned for a UCB house harold team, expected nothing, and got nothing.  I'm pretty sure I'm just fine with that. Especially because...

...I'm starting a night job with a new SpikeTV program next week.  Glad, in fact, that I didn't have to choose between what would be a substantial amount of pay for me and comedic advancement.

Oh, and I'm not sure if I like it, but I guess I'm a part of this facebook thing now, whatever THAT means.  The chart that draws lines between people I've met who know each other is kind of neat, I guess.  It seems kind of too spread out and inconvenient though.  I've been monkeying with it because it's a new toy, but it kind of feels the same as that World of Warcraft demo, in that it's designed to keep you logged in and wasting time for someone else's gain.  There's consistently a lot to do, but not much of it seems worthwhile.