It's Random

One of the many reasons I love YouTube is things like this video.  The video is a short titled Entropy, by Rhubarb Zoo, based out of New Zealand.  It’s well done and definitely deserves a watch.

You can also buy the Entropy Pack online for only $2! It contains Entropy in HD, a documentary on its creation, an exclusive mp3 remix of the soundtrack and 11 beautiful pieces of Entropy-inspired art and desktop wallpapers from artists around the world!

summer-fire:

another beautiful video

-I didn’t make this and I had no part in making it, I only found it. But i thought it was lovely, so I thought that I’d share.-

This is a picture I slapped together in Photoshop after my buddy/teammate Ryan sent me a text about how he would like to make a movie featuring rapper DMX as an NHL goalie.  Later that day, I thought of this.  There’s also a version with a caption, but I’m not going to post that.  You can make your own caption, if you’d like!

This is a picture I slapped together in Photoshop after my buddy/teammate Ryan sent me a text about how he would like to make a movie featuring rapper DMX as an NHL goalie.  Later that day, I thought of this.  There’s also a version with a caption, but I’m not going to post that.  You can make your own caption, if you’d like!

Lrn2spell

I found this while doing a little job search yesterday.  I’m not entirely sure I want to work for a company that screws up the very first sentence on their application website.  I mean… I have standards I have to take into consideration here.  I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this.

I think… I think it’s for the best if we don’t see each other anymore.  Maybe in a different time, a different place, we could’ve worked out.  It just wasn’t meant to be.  It’s not you, it’s me.  I mean, I’m not the best speller in the world, so I shouldn’t expect you to be great at spelling, neither.  It’s just another grammatical error in this crazy, mixed-up world.

Cancer was once the exception to the rule and not the norm.  Why have things changed so drastically in such a short amount of time?  Food?  Technology?  Industrialization?  A combination of everything that has helped us advance as a society?  Perhaps in our advancement, we’re regressing more than we can know.  Yet another person to be taken… and we’re no better for it than before.  We do not know more, we do not know the reason why or how.  In the end, it’s just as every beginning; we know nothing.

I can’t believe that I have to wait an entire year to post this song again.  It’s still hilarious!

Jonathan Coulton - First of May

Censorbook

Well, I woke up this morning, and one of the first things I read on my twitter feed was a post by Lain Trzaska, better known for producing chiptune styles of music under the monicker of she.

Yup, I immediately went to Facebook, and the artist page for she was gone.  The only thing that I can think of is that someone issued a bogus DMCA takedown request to Facebook, and of course, everyone on the internet is guilty until proven innocent.  So Facebook immediately removed the artist page as well as the account holder’s Facebook page for supposedly violating terms of use, even though there was no violations occurring.

This is the kind of stuff that needs to stop.  It’s ultimately the same exact thing as censoring free speech.  Nothing on the she Facebook page was illegal, as Lain, other than two major releases, produces all his own music and releases it for free online.  It’s an absolute joke that the system is abused in this way.

I could be completely wrong, and I have been before.  Someone could’ve just hacked the account and deleted it.  However, why anyone would do that is beyond my comprehension.  I mean, seriously, he gives away really good music, for free.  Why would anyone want to hack his page?  So, the more likely scenario is that it was taken down for violating a make believe section of DMCA laws that record companies like to throw around.

I can only hope that the day when things like copyright and intellectual properties are used to help create, not destroy, ideas and free speech is a day that comes sooner, rather than later.  The laws regarding copyrights need to be overhauled.  Corporations believe that they can use other people’s creations and then rake in cash for nearly a century, which time frame will likely be extended thanks to the lobbying efforts of movie and record studios that are members of the MPAA and RIAA, respectively.  Creations that should have become part of the invaluable public domain are still locked into copyright extensions, belonging to corporations that do nothing with the creations, but still use them wildly in litigation regarding infringements, or as they would want you to believe, theft.

Edit: the video below is a good explanation of one of the points I was making.

Interesting Discoveries

Over the weekend I found out that the actor that played the original Black Ranger on the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (American version), Walter Jones as Zack Taylor, only had three fingers on one hand.  I found out about this while watching this clip, courtesy of Cinemassacre:

So I obviously had to do more research on this, and yup, it turns out to be true.  It also turns out that the actor is from Detroit, Michigan.  I’m sure the fact that the original American Black Ranger is from there is a major source of pride for the city.

Took this picture while taking a walk.  Springtime!

Took this picture while taking a walk.  Springtime!

The Hunger Games… review

I’ve finally gotten around to seeing the movie everyone went crazy over last month, The Hunger Games.  I went into the movie already knowing about the similarities to Battle Royale, but since I haven’t watched Battle Royale in many years, I knew it wouldn’t have much of a bearing on my opinion of this movie.  This is a review of strictly the movie version of The Hunger Games, and I have no previous knowledge of the books when I went into this movie.  Oh, and by the way, there might be spoilers, so read on at your own risk.

I have several opinions on this movie, which some people may or may not agree with, and I’ll explain my reasoning behind the opinions as I go along.  First I’ll start with complaints, and my first complaint is the way that the society is set up in The Hunger Games.  This is supposedly a futuristic civilized society (regardless of the differences between the rich and poor, which I’ll get to later), and yet they hold a tournament where participants are forced to murder each other.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Right from the start, I wasn’t able to relate to anything going on because the plot device that makes the entire story move forward is so far-fetched that it’s absolutely ridiculous.  It would’ve been more believable if the story was based in an alternate universe or on a completely different planet altogether.  They should’ve started the movie off with the line “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… people are apparently idiots.”  I can suspend reality in my brain while watching crazy superhero movies because they’re based in a world I can relate to.  I just had no empathy for anything or anybody at the start of the The Hunger Games.

I fully understand the whole class warfare thing that’s currently going on in the United States, and how the rich and extremely wealthy are completely ignorant and uncaring of the way most of the nation lives, and continue to try and destroy the middle class.  Obvious comparisons can be drawn between the current societal climate in the United States and the society in The Hunger Games, but even the rich and idiotic can understand why watching people kill each other is wrong.  This is why we have sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, among others.  Are they saying that the people of the future are too stupid to play American football?  Why can’t the districts just choose criminals as tributes?  The world doesn’t need any child molesters or rapists, so wouldn’t it be smart to do everyone a favor and use them as the tributes, having them battle to the death in the Hunger Games instead of innocent teenagers?  Oh, wait, never mind, because then it would be exactly like that shitty Stone Cold Steve Austin movie, The Condemned (I never saw it because it looked like a piece of crap, and probably was).

My second complaint is the cinematography.  I didn’t really have a problem with the first portion of the movie (except for the stupid makeup and bizarre outfits) since there isn’t much action going on, but the cinematography during the second part of the movie was terrible.  This is the first time I’ve ever gotten motion sickness while watching a movie.  Seriously, I felt like I may vomit at certain parts during some of the action sequences.  That’s never happened to me before, and I’m thanking my lucky stars that this film wasn’t in 3-D or I would’ve lost my lunch on the older couple seated in the row in front of me.  It felt like I was watching a Michael Bay film on crack at some points.  Every action scene was zoomed in so far on someone’s face that I could probably count their skin cells or hair strands.  Also, the scene with the wasps… fuck that scene.  I had to literally start looking at other parts of the theater, like the walls and ceiling, just to adjust my eyes to something that wasn’t moving wildly and randomly.  I could get the same exact effect by recording with my cellphone camera while running through the woods near my house.  Thanks, movie, for showing me what a twelve year old can do with a camera.  What the hell was up with that scene?  I understand the funhouse mirror effects was because Katniss was tripping balls, those didn’t bother me.  However, the starting, stopping, quick movement, slow movement… it was mostly just unnecessary and annoying.  They could’ve done the stopping and starting movements a few times and it would’ve been okay, but to do it continuously over the span of several minutes was really overboard.  That’s like saying, “I shot a burglar in the face, and he was dead, but I shot him in the same spot on his face 5 more times just to make sure.”  Unnecessary.

Continuing on the cinematography complaint; the jump cuts.  The scene in the cave with Katniss and Peeta literally alternated close-ups between the two characters after every sentence.  Again, say it with me, unnecessary and annoying.  Zoom out a little bit, focus on the dialogue between the characters, and let the actors do what they do… act.  I honestly felt like the camera was trying to be a part of the story just as much as the characters, but the only story the camera was a part of was how not to direct a movie.

The soundtrack was decent.  It was so decent that I didn’t notice it.  The best soundtracks are the ones you don’t hear at all, and this one must’ve been great because I can’t remember one score from the entire movie.  There’s no song that I can really pick out and say was great, which is really a good job.  I mean, some movies are great while the soundtrack is memorable, and others are great because the music goes perfectly with the scenes and is unnoticeable.  I can respect both approaches, and The Hunger Games gets it right.

I thought the overall story was decent.  While the first portion of the movie was mind-numbingly stupid, the second portion, once the Hunger Games actually began, was amazing.  The different characters and developments you’re introduced to as the movie progressed further really worked well, and actually helped me forget how idiotic the beginning of the movie was.  It pretty much feels almost like two separate movies, and you could probably watch the second half without watching most of the first half, and it would still be a pretty enjoyable movie.

All in all, the movie was half awesome.  The first half of the movie is a difficult watch, just because of how ridiculous the set-up to get to the Hunger Games is.  However, the second half of the movie is so awesome that it more than makes up for the first half.  I give it 4 ☼ buttholes of greatness out of 5, using buttholes because the cinematography was a pile of shit.  Again, the second half of the movie more than made up for the awful directing decisions.

Overall, the comparisons between The Hunger Games and Battle Royale were completely valid.  Which was the better movie?  Well, I think the overall better movie, from start to finish, would be Battle Royale.  I felt more compassion for the characters in Battle Royale than I did for the characters in The Hunger Games.  While both plots were ridiculous, sending a bunch of students to an island to kill each other sounds like something those crazy Japs (I say that with the utmost respect) might actually try.  I mean, they used kamikaze pilots during World War II… what wouldn’t they do?  The plot behind The Hunger Games just didn’t make sense until the actual killing started.  Everything leading up to the Hunger Games murder spree was just nonsensical.  However, the better movie from start to finish isn’t an indicator of which is the better movie.  I honestly think the second part of The Hunger Games trumps anything that Battle Royale could throw out there.  Despite the insane camera angles and (at times) questionable direction, the second half of The Hunger Games was pretty damn amazing.  The parts that didn’t make me want to puke were a visual treat, with my only complaint about the story during the second half coming from the magic fireballs and magically appearing angry dogs.  It didn’t make sense how the people controlling the Hunger Games could make physical objects and even animals appear from nothing.  That wasn’t really explained (unless I missed the part where they explained how they make that stuff magically appear).  However, it was much easier to suspend my thought process once the movie started getting good, so that part didn’t bother me too much.  The angry dogs immediately made me think of Ghostbusters, as well as “Zuul, motherfucker, Zuul!

wired:

radnerd:

R2Pac-D2?

It was only a matter of time…

wired:

radnerd:

R2Pac-D2?

It was only a matter of time…