January 30, 2009

How to Survive Ten Days Without A Computer

Just for fun, here's a list of all the DVDs I watched in an attempt to keep myself entertained while I waited for my adapter to be delivered:

- Episodes 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45 of Monty Python's Flying Circus (I actually have the entire series, but the rest is on VHS back in Pittsburgh).

- Sidney Crosby: On the Ice and Beyond, including the Winter Classic and other bonus material.

- The April 9, 1993 Pens vs. Rangers game from the Pittsburgh Penguins 10 Greatest Games collection.

- All episodes of The Simpsons: The Complete First Season, once normally and once with commentary turned on.

- All but two episodes of The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season, again viewing each episode twice due to the included commentary.

Incidentally, watching the Simpsons DVDs reminded me just how funny the show used to be before dipshits like Mike Scully and Ian Maxtone-Graham ran it into the ground with "Homer gets a wacky new job while Bart worships this week's celebrity guest" episodes.

I also borrowed some movies from my roommates, and since I was seeing each for the first time, I thought I'd do some brief reviews here (yes, I know some of these are old, but I don't care. Also, possible spoilers):

- Mel Gibson's Hamlet

Considering how much of the play they had to cut out to make a movie, it's hard to accurately judge the finished product, especially since I only skimmed through the original when I was supposed to read it in high school. Also, even though this was almost 20 years ago, Mel Gibson seemed a little old to be playing Hamlet. Still, not a bad final product, but it's probably been done better.

- 300

Overrated. I heard a lot about the adrenaline-pumping action and inspirational speeches in this movie, so I was expecting to be at least somewhat impressed, but it's basically just two hours of dudes in speedos killing weird-ass ninjas and monsters in slow motion while reminding us every few minutes that they're SPARTANS!!! from SPARTA!!!

Note to the writers: It's kind of stupid to have Leonidas give a self-righteous spiel about the importance of the phalanx and then only show it properly used once throughout the whole film. I wasn't expecting it to be even 75% historically accurate, but I highly doubt that anyone, even the actual Spartans, could repeatedly break rank and run into the midst of the enemy force with no shields and expect to survive that long. On the plus side, the first couple of battles are kind of exciting before the slow motion starts to get tedious, and the gratuitous semi-nudity in the oracle scene was a fun bonus.

- Cast Away

Pretty damn good. I have to give a favorable rating to any movie that can make me care about what happens to a volleyball. At first, I was bothered by the convenient plot device of having helpful items wash up on shore, but then I realized that a movie about a guy who gets stranded on an island and dies because he can't make a fire or collect water wouldn't be very interesting.

Speaking of realism, I like how everyone doesn't magically turn back the clock four years when the main character is rescued, and that he has to deal with the fact that life has moved on without him. Also, the sound editing in this movie is possibly the best I've ever heard. The plane crash scene is a work of audible art.

- Amadeus

It's a little tough to give this one a rating. First of all, the DVD was smudged or scratched or something, conveniently making it impossible to view the film's climax. I had to skip from Salieri bringing Mozart home after he passes out to Mozart's burial. Also, I wasn't paying proper attention to a few scenes at the beginning because I was too hung up on trying to figure out why an Austrian composer had an American accent while everyone around him sounded either German, Italian, or "movie foreign" (i.e. vaguely British).

Those things aside, it was decent. If nothing else, it inspired me in my own musical pursuits (I'm currently working on the third song in my Lovecraft concept album), and the underlying messages about the nature of genius and the frustration of mediocrity are fun to think about. Also, I'd like to see an estimate of how much the costume department spent on wigs for the cast.

I think that's everything.

Posted by CD on January 30, 2009 02:15 AM | TrackBack
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