We had four free movie tickets since last Christmas, and finally used them to watch Borat with a couple of friends this last weekend. In the same ballpark as Team America, except that Team America was inherently pro-American, whereas Borat is inherently anti-American. Some great laughs but in general Cohen is a mean guy who thinks he’s more clever than he really is. That being said it was worth the free movie tickets, and some parts were VERY funny. I have a feeling this is or will be E’s favorite movie of all time.

Big Success!

Posted in movies. 2 Comments »

New Jesus Camp Documentary

I’m just throwing this out there. Don’t have much opinion until I see it. I just know Rothell is into docs and wondered if he knew anything about this. Also, Mike Papintonio is in it. Looks like it at least tries to be a doc and not propaganda, but again I haven’t seen it.

Word of the day: scabrous

YJ and I got some free movie tickets back in December, good for 2006. Almost 7 months into the year and we still haven’t found a good movie to spend free tickets on. I believe the last movie we saw in the theatre was Wedding Crashers. What’s out there…Superman? Movies like Superman, Matrix III, Star Wars episode I, etc etc. should send a healthy kickback to the Catholic church for presenting so many thinly veiled Jesus references. What else? Nacho LIbre?

Clerks II is coming out this Friday, another movie I am initially excited about before I watch a trailer and get depressed again. Here are te first few reviews from rotten tomatoes… don’t you love it when people get paid to copy each others words, like “scabrous” and watch movies?

Posted at 09:12 pm by Johnny B

Posted by BP @ 07/21/2006 02:34 PM PDT
Best bang for the dollar that I have seen is undoubtedly Pirates of the Caribbean (especially for free). Sad isn’t it? Superman was disappointing; I was simply bored.

Haven’t seen Nacho Libre, but my bet is…bad. Every director that one can depend on to put out a good movie is NOT this year.

Even M Night, who I am a big fan of, is getting scathing, bitterly horrible reviews. I saw it coming from a mile away, though:

The last interview I saw him in, he was just WAY full of himself…I immediately said, “his next movie is going to HAVE to suck”. I heard it was pretentious and M Night has his largest role ever.

Out of the “mainstream” ones that are out, my money is on “Cars” being probably the most enjoyable. I’m a sucker for Pixar movies, though…

passing thoughts

If there were no dogs in this world, what would man have to kick?

I make a living training rats to perform a behavior and studying their brain. If I am using simple stimuli and behaviors that rats can perform, a motivated rat will surprise most people with his intelligence. When I have a problem with training animals it is often because they are too smart, not because they are too dumb. Often smarter rats are harder to train because they think of strategies to game the system for a maximum reward with minimal effort, attempting to bypass the task for free food and/or water. The other day a rat chewed through a cable in his box that wasn’t secure, I had to put him up for the day (free food and water for him!.

When I find faculty or secretaries mosey in to work at 10, I think of them as “chewing the cable”. The same goes for graduate students.

For the sake of the English language and American productivity, instant messengers should be banned (even Google Chat).

Often it seems scientists have a low “eq”, or emotional intelligence, which makes it tough in many social situations to interact with others. Certainly I feel I am pretty low on the EQ. I think having ethics and morals automically handicaps your EQ (which is not to say scientists are any more ethical and moral than most). We can’t all just giggle through life like the Dalai Lama.

I recently saw two Kurosawa films recommended by Rothell: Red Beard and High & Low. Very interesting in that they are classic films which reinforce age old Japanese (and Asian) culture and traditions. What defines the American culture? If Christianity and the idea of self-governance are absent, what fills the vacuum? Commerce? Socialism? These days directors have to “challenge” traditions, especially in America.

Posted at 09:05 pm by Johnny B

Posted by Hemonster @ 05/05/2006 11:19 AM PDT
I am a Rat…

mmmm, lava

A T-shirt for Rothell

Can be found here. John Derbyshire says this a lot, he’s the Mathematician/History Buff who liked Titanic because “the physics were right”. Every time his kids drag him to Spiderman 2 or whatever he reiterates this point. So I wasn’t being completely original, but who is these days.

Posted at 04:31 pm by Johnny B

No sympathy for studios

Is it just me or are there no good movies this summer? Batman Begins is the next movie I’m not excited about, along with Cinderella Man, Star Wars, War of the Worlds, etc. I periodically hear on the news about how movie revenue is down relative to last year. Wah! All the movies are garbage, and with prices leaning towards 10$ a ticket, I feel no sympathy for movie makers. The Longest Yard, I can rent the old copy for 99 cents. War of the Worlds, same thing. Didn’t independence day come out about 7 years ago? And Signs? I predict the next movie Speilberg does is, “Rashoman” with Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and Leonardo Dicaprio, and it will gross $200,000,000. Pop culture is filth.

Posted at 10:20 am by Johnny B

Posted by Rothell @ 06/08/2005 11:17 AM PDT
All of this is true. Especially the last line: pop culture is filth. I’ve been trying to explain this to people for years. Nobody listens. Broussard understands!

There’s an interesting book called “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” that is hundred of pages about Hollywood’s “Golden Age” which was the 1970’s, when great movies were made: The Godfather, Harold & Maude, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, etc. I won’t go into why exactly so many fantastic movies were allowed to be made and funded by the studios, but so many were. What was largely absent from the slew of flicks at that time? Disaster films, kids films, teenie films, the films we have today that are directed at teenage audiences. If you look at the movie listings in your newspaper you’ll see that the seven or eight movies showing at the local 16-screen multiplex are movies for the 12 to 25 year-old crowd. And these movies are crap. And remakes or sequels. Charlie & the Chocolat Factory, Longest Yard, Batman Begins, Star Wars, War of the Worlds. All of them remakes or a sequels.

Titanic made over a billion dollars because teenagers (especially the lasses) went to see it repeatedly. That movie, they say, is what turned the studio heads’ heads to that demographic. How do you bring these kids into the theaters? By making thought-provoking serious movies? No, by making Shark Boy & Lava Girl.

The studios have always been run by business-oriented people. But you might say there is a difference between executives today and the executives of yesterday. Today’s exec’s are Ivy League MBA’s who read the Wall Street Journal, grew up on golf courses and fancy restaurants. Read some Hollywood history books and you’ll find that a lot of the guys who were in charge back in the day (prior to the 70’s) were people who grew up early in the century, when lifestyles were considerably different. Some of these guys literally started in the mailroom and eventually went on to run a studio. Their thinking may have become outdated as time went on, but because these guys knew what made the pictures good–a good story–they were a little more sensitive to originality and innovation. Plus people were not selling movies to just the kiddies. The big demographic was the post-25 adult sector.

As I’ve moved from early twenties through the mid-20’s, my loyalty has shifted to the indies and foreign films. Meeting other film buffs all over the place, I see that I’m not the only one my age who seldom goes to the multiplex. There is a large indie market. I open up the paper and find stuff all the time. Since many of these movies don’t get the advertising campaigns that the studios push for the idiotic movies, the finer films are almost dead on arrival. Nobody hears about them. They hope for word-of-mouth advertising, but that far too infrequently helps films. The point though is that they are out there. It may take some searching, but you can find some. Be willing to drive an hour to another city. At least you’ll have something to talk about on the way home, even if the movies is bad. The studio films you forget about as soon as the credits roll. Don’t go and see the Hollywood trash and, if others follow suit, the movies won’t make money, the studios will stop making them, and perhaps we’ll see better movies at the multiplexes. Until then, go to the arthouses.