Stomp the Yard

I saw Stomp the Yard this weekend. The dancing was great, but they did something funky with the lighting and camers during some of the more intense scenes, which made everything kind of hard to make out. I’m not sure whether it was just me, or the theater, or what, but it really detracted from the movie. I often notice a similar problem with great sweeping scenes, like at the beginning of movies when they pan over a whole city or something. I can’t believe that filmmakers wouldn’t notice such flaws, so I wonder what the problem is… does the screen have to be a particular size in order for those effects to work or something?


Just finished watching the last episode of Alias. I never mentioned this show before because we started watching it several months ago and I didn’t want to risk hearing any spoilers. The first couple of seasons were brilliant, but it went a bit downhill after that. The naïveté shown by some of the supposedly intelligent characters got really annoying, though I suppose that’s partly due to having watched all 5 seasons over the course of months – those sorts of themes are hard to take when they are so concentrated. But all in all, it was a brilliant program. I’m not sure yet whether I want to buy the complete collection – it looks very cool (especially the Rambaldi artifact box), but will I ever want to watch the whole thing again?

Who Killed the Electric Car?

Saw it last night – wow. If you have even the slightest interest in the environment, economics, politics, cars, and/or corruption, you’ve got to watch Who Killed the Electric Car? – it is mind-blowing. Though I actually saw the images of General Motors destroying scores of perfectly good cars that people offered to buy, I still can’t believe it. Chalk up another victory for oil companies and car manufacturers. 🙁

John Cusack

John Cusack is my favorite actor of all time. In high school, I watched The Sure Thing, Better Off Dead, and Hot Pursuit at least 50 times each, and with some effort I’ve managed to watch nearly every other movie he has ever been in, even in the tiniest roles (Sixteen Candles, anyone?) I’ve been sick for the last two days, and am so glad that I purchased the first two when they came out on DVD, because they are the mental equivalent of comfort food – I may have to invest in a few more for the next time I get sick.

Netflix, take 2

A while back I blogged about how much I like Netflix. Since then, I’ve discovered what most people already know: they engage in a practice called “throttling” (by subscribers) or “smoothing” (by Netflix), whereby Netflix prevents you from getting more movies per month than they think is reasonable. Though the subscription is for unlimited rentals per month, if you turn movies around very quickly, they will withhold your next DVD or send it from a distant center so that you never get quite as many movies as you thought you would.

I was pretty annoyed when I figured/found this out, so I thought I’d switch to Blockbuster, but it turns out they aren’t much better. (And I know they now let you return movies in person and get a free one, but that defeats the purpose of DVDs-by-mail.) So what I’ve done is kept both subscriptions, with Netflix reduced to 2-at-a-time and Blockbuster 3-at-a-time. I’ll have up to 5 movies out at a time, but each company individually will be unlikely to throttle me because I won’t usually be returning movies the day after I receive them. I just started this new arrangement, but I think it will work.

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