Monday, May 10, 2010

"I Was So Naive as a Kid, I Used to Sneak Behind the Barn and Do Nothing." - Johnny Carson

Hmm... lemme think... what to write about today, eh?

Went to my Writer's Group meeting tonight, and got feedback on another slice of my fantasy story. Still plugging along. Although part of me is wishing I had decided on a smaller story instead of such an epic, complex, multifaceted tale. Perhaps the epic tale is something I should have worked my way up to, after mastering the ability to write a much shorter length story. How can someone that doesn't know his right hand from his left about novel writing tackle a gigantic, complex story from the get go? Probably unwise.

A little late now. I jumped in, so I better try to finish the swim.

The problem is, I'm always getting derailed by big personal issues that rear up and overtake everything else in my life on a regular basis. If I could figure out how to handle that, I would be better off, perhaps...

OK, never mind, I won't go there. I really have nothing to complain about; I'm blessed hand-over-fist in just about every facet of my life.

I am a bit unnerved about the way the world is careening out of control toward financial collapse. I can't help but get the strong feeling that the whole thing is being orchestrated. It's probably just the conspiracy-embracing side of me, but I find it hard to believe that all of this financial turmoil that is accelerating at such a dramatic clip could happen of its own accord. It seems to me that the whole world financial system is being methodically pushed over the edge, so that in the resulting chaos and turmoil, a more unified global system/currency can be introduced and embraced, rather than rejected. If things are desperate enough, and people have no food, etc., then nationalism/patriotism/independence will be jettisoned in favor of a "we need to band together for our survival!" type of reasoning. Then we will swallow just about any new system, if only it brings peace and order and food back again.

Anyway, that makes sense to me. No way to introduce a unified global system (with power consolidated in far fewer hands) than to bring the current system crashing down spectacularly on its own head, with resulting panic and death.

Hmm... we've drifted into dangerously bummerific territory here. Better lighten things up a bit...

Gah! That just made the mood worse! Quick, post something funny Dave! QUICK!!1!

Ahh! Much better!

So I saw a couple movies recently. Here are two mini-reviews:

Law Abiding Citizen: This one was really good, actually. Though it was particularly brutal and violent. It's the story of a man (Gerard Butler) who is victim of a home-invasion style robbery, where his wife and daughter are killed. He's wounded, but survives. They catch the two robber/killers, but the prosecuting attorney (Jamie Foxx) decides the case isn't strong enough to get a conviction for both defendants, so without consent of his client, he strikes a deal that has one defendant testify against the other one. The result is one guy goes to death row, while the other get's 5 years for third-degree murder -- even though he's the one that actually killed Gerard's wife/daughter!

So we get a revenge tale of epic proportions, since it (conveniently) turns out that Gerard is a CIA-trained assassin, specializing in remote assassination via hi-tech gadgetry. Rather than merely exacting revenge on the two robbers, he embarks on a meticulously thought-out mission of revenge that he hopes will bring the whole justice system crashing down, to force it to change. He feels slighted, you see. He feels that his lawyer should have gone full-bore to trial, in order to sentence both of the scumbag robbers to death, even though there was a chance they would have both walked free if the case failed to hold up in court.

I won't tell you how it ends, in case you want to see it -- which I do recommend. The acting is straight-forward, nothing Oscar-worthy. Same with the direction/writing/screenplay. It is pretty much a solid Hollywood action flick, with some nice action, and mildly-satisfying twists and turns and a solid (though implausible) ending. Nicely filmed.

Summary: 4/5 good action film, satisfying watch. One of those films that is worth watching once, and then maybe watching again with a friend or two that hasn't seen it yet, so you can watch them enjoy seeing it.


The other movie I watched is an old favorite of mine called In the Line of Fire, with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich.

In the Line of Fire: This is another action film, from 1993, which revolves around Clint Eastwood's character; a secret service agent, and living legend. He's the only active secret service agent who lost a president. He was on protection detail for Kennedy's assassination back in 63, and has been plagued with doubts ever since, wondering if there was something he could have done differently that day to save the president.

In any case, in the "current day" storyline, he works undercover to help bust counterfeiting rings on the east coast. During the course of his duties, he stops by a place in DC to investigate a potential threat to the current President (one of hundreds they have to look into each year) and happens upon a real threat. There's a mystery man (John Malkovich) who, for reasons of his own, is planning to kill the President, and being obsessed with previous assassinations, is well familiar with Eastwood's character, and is pleasantly surprised to discover Eastwood is investigating him. So he invites Eastwood (if you will) into the "game", giving him hints to try to catch him and prevent the assassination, as though he's giving Eastwood a chance to either redeem himself for the Kennedy dropped ball, or have to stand over the grave of another President he failed to protect.

So the cat and mouse game is on, as Eastwood tries to keep his demons in check long enough to identify, track down and prevent Malkovich from killing the Pres.

I've seen this film several times before, and I always enjoy it. It's kind of dated and corny in places, but I don't mind much. Eastwood and Malkovich have really good chemistry together, and the tension builds to a really great climax. This is the only film I can think of where I enjoy John Malkovich. In fact, I think it was a comment made by "Anonymous" about my review of Identity that led to me watching In the Line of Fire again, and I'm glad I did.

Summary: 4/5 a solid, imminently watchable (though dated) action movie with solid acting, some great dialog, and many memorable scenes. If you have a Netflix account, I suggest watching it streamed, since it's on Watch Instantly at the moment.

Trying to make the world right again...

Well, the Big Day approaches! Yes, the LAN party is this Friday. I am alternately excited about it, and panic-stricken over it. Part of me wishes it could be today, the other part wants to cancel it altogether. Isn't that odd? I guess I'm just nervous about making sure everything gets set up right so everyone can play, and that there's enough food and gaming to make everyone happy, and ensure a good time for all. I have this over-arching need to make sure everyone has a good time. I'm going to be buzzing around the place, I'm sure, making sure everyone has anything they need/want, and generally making a counter-productive nuisance of myself, no doubt.

Ingesting caffeine is probably not helping. That reminds me, I broke my "no energy drink" resolution finally. I'm getting sick of coffee, and sodas/teas just aren't doing it for me, water is too boring, and I'm not ready to take up drinking alcohol yet... so it's back to Rockstars and Monsters.

On the positive side, I'm still writing nightly, and getting work done, and my faith is intact. So I guess things could be worse.

I guess that's that for now. Logan is on a cruise, Rebecca has a nice post up about Twilight, and Kris had a brush with fame you might find fun to read.

Until next we meet, adios.


PS New poll question! Vote, eh!


Drydoryssus said...

Before the financial woes I was highly immune to conspiracy theories.
But the things I've seen, the things I've heard during the past year, have noticeably changed my stance ...

Is there anything unusual about the transfer of wealth from the poorer to the richer ? Heavens, no, that's capitalism for ya.
However, the rate of it these days ...
I don't know. It all sounds fishy to me ...

havah said...

That's the nice thing about having no job and no don't notice the collapse of the world's financial system.

I watched "In the Line of Fire" back when it first came out. Good movie.

Stop stressing about the LAN party and just enjoy it -- people can pretty much entertain themselves. That's sort of the point, really. :D

Glad the writing is going well, by the way. I should probably start again. Give me a topic?

Abbie said...

"Scruff. mmmmmmm.... YES!!" thats the category I wanted to check!!!!!

Good pictures dave!! and Law abiding citizen looked great, but too violent for me, so I'll just imdb the results I guess :) Thanks for the review though!

havah said...

Just a thought: Given that you're hosting a LAN party, don't you think it's time you stopped referring to yourself as anti-social? Hmmm?