Five last flicks I saw

It’s been a while since I did this, so here are the last five flicks I saw.

World War Z (2013)WWZ
This. This is what we’ve been waiting for. Not a zombie movie. But THIS zombie movie. The albeit cheesy title made me think that this was just another fundraiser for some Jewish wedding in Hollywood, but I was pleasantly surprised! It’s not a good zombie movie, it’s a great movie. It has story and depth, and comes across as the exception to the rule of zombie movies necessarily having to be superficial.

Without going into much detail, I found that WWZ had intriguing plot twists that I couldn’t predict, which is getting harder and harder to come by in the average film industry. It had a solid variation of pace, which really made the experience enjoyable. You got your cheap thrills, awe, teh funny and edge-of-the-seat shit scary. The pacing of this film really drew me into it. I laughed out loud (along with a couple of other nerds) when there was a recognizable Left 4 Dead moment towards the end, and it was also nice to see Gollum back in the game:

Mireille Enos and Gollum

Mireille Enos in WWZ and Gollum

What’s up with all the skinny chicks in Hollywood at the moment? Have a burger, already!

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)Star Trek Into Darkness
We caught this movie in 3D, because every time you see a movie poster these days you’re confronted with serious doubt; “if I see the 2D version, how much am I missing out on?”

In this film, not that much. There’s one scene the first five minutes that is worthwhile in 3D, where an arrow literally hits you in the face. Apart from that, you’re just struggling to find out where the camera man wants you to focus at any given moment. I sincerely feel this is taking something away from the art of cinema, when you cannot even “look around” to get a feel of the atmosphere from the surroundings. Instead you’re continuously looking for the focus spot in all shots, making it more of a chore and less entertainment. There’s the hospital scene where the camera is composing a classic foreground, focus, background shot that does not work at all in the 3D version, because the blurry blob in the foreground is visually pushed into your face. Of course you are entitled to a different opinion. Just don’t be a fucking moron, is all I’m saying. 3D is a fad.

Apart from that I never really got the same sense of Star Trek-ness that I did with the first chapter of this reboot, which is a whole lot better. This film can be a Star Trek movie, and it does have an intriguing story, but I felt it was more like a sci-fi/action movie in general than a Star Trek movie in particular. Walking out of the theatre I was sort of dazed, and felt I was missing the story. Perhaps the 3D just made me exhausted. It’s worth watching if you’re into Star Trek or J.J. Abrams! Other than that, you can do better.

Man of Steel (2013)Man of Steel
When we first saw the trailer for this film in, I believe, the screening of the above Star Trek flick, we immediately decided to get tickets for it. Lady C is a fan of the Smallville and the two penultimate films, while I’m more nostalgic and think the modern renditions are pretty lame. I somehow feel that Superman belongs in the nuclear age, circa 1950-60, when Americans were proud Americans and rightly so in the eyes of the (western) world. Putting that Superman into our world is just cheesy and sort of childish. While the Smallville franchise is more like watching Friends. Might as well just watch Friends, then.

But the trailer to Man of Steel promised more. It promised to take away the gloss of the 1950 super hero and get real dark about it, similar to the promise (and execution) of HBO’s Mad Men. Great, I love that shit. Put it on!

And this film delivered. I walked out of the theatre feeling that I could believe in Superman again. That there is hope (they won’t fuck this up). I have two nitpicky points to make though. The death scene of his father is totally wrong. Nobody bought it. In fact, taking that shit out of the movie and not mentioning anything more about his death would make it a lot better. “But Americans are fat and dumb” you say, “and need everything explained IN CAPITAL LETTERS.” I don’t know.

The second and more pressing point is this: When you are rebooting this series, with a Superman/Batman movie on the horizon, why on God’s green earth would you still include the love story? WHICH DOES NOT WORK with the above realism at all. We have just watched how Superman isn’t just from another planet, he is an alien, and the Lane/Superman coupling is taking the term interracial to a whole new level. She might as well just marry an orangutan, which is much much closer to her own species than her extraterrestrial Superbuns. Also, wouldn’t the movie be cooler if they just had a professional relationship?

But Lois Lane is from the 1950s, and comes across as an easy lay.

What’s up with the CGI cape, people? I mean, come on! And finally, Lady C adds; What is the meaning of making a huge point that 1 little soldier is saved from the bad guys, when some 150 million people died in the making of this movie? While they are all fair points, I find that it doesn’t detract from the entertainment value and interesting reboot of this great genre of films. And I can’t wait to see more! (Note: We saw the 2D version and was pleased that it offered a sane viewing experience. Get off my lawn!)

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)Hansel and Gretel
As you can imagine, this is another one of Lady C‘s recommendations. Coming from the sick mind of Tommy Wirkola, the director of Dead Snow (2009), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Good thing I didn’t expect too much, then.

Because it is exactly like Red Riding Hood, Van Helsing and every other placid, shitty rape of genuinely good stories. This movie tries to be a supernatural Firefly, and fails completely, because it its production screams “make us money” and lacks any charm whatsoever. If you’re into this shit, you will learn the error of your ways once you grow a little older. Say, after you’ve finished Junior High.

Enemy of the State (1998)flick-enstate
I don’t think I have written about this movie ever, even though it is a long time favourite of mine. I have it on VHS, DVD and Bluray, and last night we happened to watch it on television. This movie is better than most people think. It doesn’t try to make technology godlike, as in the intellectual abortion of J.J. Abrams in Person of Interest, while not dumbing it down to Schwarzenegger-level either (the keyboard has a backdoor so you can wipe the hard drive and implode the city). It simply shows some existing technology and focuses on its implications, not its fancy tricks. Story-telling, people. What happened to it?

It doesn’t require that much great acting (though Will Smith and Gene Hackman are cool) since it is a thriller, but it is a great thriller from beginning to end, and I’ll watch it again when I have the time. I’ve probably seen it more than 30 times already.

What’s more, you won’t find a big American title like this after 9/11. Since USA and most European govts went all 1984 with public opinion’s reluctant approval, an intelligent film about the matter won’t reappear until the political winds have changed and people start thinking again. Give it a decade. I find this circumstance makes this movie even more entertaining, it is a really good production on an intelligent subject, with a captivating story. Well done!
(It’s quite obvious now that I wrote this post BEFORE Snowden and the NSA revelations. It just got even more current, which is exactly what this film deserves. It’s a nice Saturday night film if you’re staying in.)

Since I was away at the time he died, I just wanted to add R.I.P. James Gandolfini. The Tony Soprano character really re-created the mobster genre in the long wake after the Godfather trilogy, and was and still is a great inspiration to me. The thought of Antony Sopranos not being a part of my life is not something I can really imagine. Thank you, Jimmy!

Quick GNU Screen Howto

In Linux, I use screen to start continuous processes on my headless server, so that processes will keep going even though I log out. Here’s a quick how to.

[sigg3@gamer ~]$ ssh sigg3@192.168.1.12
sigg3@sheeva:~$ screen

Screen welcome screen (just hit ENTER)

sigg3@sheeva:~$ nano \\ replace with your program here

type some stuff in nano

CTRL+a d \\ e.g. Detach from screen session

[detached from 2276.pts-0.sheeva] \\ your program is still running
sigg3@sheeva:~$
sigg3@sheeva:~$ logout
Connection to 192.168.1.12 closed.
[sigg3@gamer ~]$ ssh sigg3@192.168.1.12
sigg3@sheeva:~$ screen -ls \\ list running sessions
There are screens on:
2776.pts-0.sheeva (11/27/2013 04:17:01 PM) (Detached)
2170.pts-0.sheeva (11/26/2013 07:08:28 PM) (Detached)
2 Sockets in /var/run/screen/S-sigg3.
sigg3@sheeva:~$ screen -r 2776.pts-0.sheeva \\ re-attach to screen

Type more stuff and exit nano

sigg3@sheeva:~$ screen -ls
There are screens on:
2776.pts-0.sheeva (11/27/2013 04:17:00 PM) (Attached)
2170.pts-0.sheeva (11/26/2013 07:08:27 PM) (Detached)
2 Sockets in /var/run/screen/S-sigg3.
sigg3@sheeva:~$
CTRL+a k \\ e.g. Kill the screen session I'm in
[really kill this window? y/n] y
[screen is terminating]
sigg3@sheeva:~$
sigg3@sheeva:~$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:
2170.pts-0.sheeva (11/26/2013 07:08:28 PM) (Detached)
1 Socket in /var/run/screen/S-sigg3.

sigg3@sheeva:~$ logout
Connection to 192.168.1.12 closed.
[sigg3@gamer ~]$ echo "That's all, folks"
That's all, folks

For more screen commands, see the man page for screen

Latest Internet Relay Chat-logs (IRC)

#646776
Dr-Mambo: so yeah
Dr-Mambo: how about that <recent current event>
Dr-Mambo: did you catch that <local sporting event> last weekend?
Willuknight: no i missed <local sporting event> but i did manage to get to <recent current event> and it was pretty damm cool
Willuknight: i met <person we both know> there as well, they were with some friends
Dr-Mambo: oh thats just <emotive statement>
Willuknight: <unecessary agreement>
Dr-Mambo: well im going to go <masterbate furiously> to <lesbian pornogrophy>
Dr-Mambo: <parting statement>
Willuknight: <salutations>

#638700
[testic] Average number of times a man will ejaculate in his lifetime: 7,200
[sg1138_] 7200 seems pretty high
[testic] I think that includes wanking and wet dreams
[sg1138_] 7200 seems pretty low

#63811
<etoilet> i went into the D&D store cuz they had old capcom arcade booths for sale, and my girlfriend followed me in. All the guys were sitting at a table playing D&D, and this one long haired dude got up out of his seat, strode up to my gf, bowed and said "May I help you my lady?"
<crunchyfish> I don’t know, man. That’s pretty smooth. What was his charisma? 17? 18?

#54474
<Dreaded_Fist[using_AOL]> I’ve had the internet since I was 9
<Dreaded_Fist[using_AOL]> course back then, when I looked for porn, I’d type "pictures of men and woman having sex"
<rpliving> now u just type in "pictures of men"

#608100
<cassius_clay13> so I was with my friend bryan the other night in a bar
<cassius_clay13> well he got really drunk and said he was gonna puke
<cassius_clay13> so i helped him walk to the toilet
<cassius_clay13> all the stalls were occupied
<emoti_conartist> lol
<cassius_clay13> bryan is a rugby player… so a big guy
<cassius_clay13> so he fucking KICKS one of the stall doors open
<cassius_clay13> and there’s this guy in there taking a shit
<emoti_conartist> hahahahahaha
<cassius_clay13> and bryan throws up ALL OVER HIM
<cassius_clay13> then (this is genius) bryan thinks ‘oh shit… if i were taking a shit and someone came in and was sick all over me, i’d want to fuck him up… so i’d better hit him first’
<cassius_clay13> so he fucking SMACKS this guy in the face
<cassius_clay13> and runs away
<cassius_clay13> imagine being that guy… WORST NIGHT OUT EVER

#365072
<xxxGirlygirlxxx> Thank you for listening to me.
<xxxGirlygirlxxx> You know your a really good listener.
<xxxGirlygirlxxx> Sweety please say something.
<Sandaedar> Ok I’m back.

#597921
<dura> I really think I’m a moron.
<dura> I just now realised that Neo spelled backwards is one.

#834654
<lemonlimeskull> Keith dodged a serious bullet thanks to his massive stupidity.
<Opium> Hmm?
<lemonlimeskull> Well, as you may know he lost his license months ago
<lemonlimeskull> So he’s been biking everywhere, which has lead to him losing a bunch of weight
<lemonlimeskull> He bikes to Walmart today and as soon as he gets to the electronics department, realizes his wallet’s fallen out, probably somewhere along the highway.
<lemonlimeskull> So he takes the memory card he wanted, puts it up in his baggy sleeve, and goes to leave.
<killjay> Uh oh
<lemonlimeskull> Yeah.
<lemonlimeskull> Naturally, security stops him as he gets within 5 feet of the front doors. This huge obese woman who is obviously having a really bad day – or just hates her job.
<killjay> o shit
<lemonlimeskull> She stops him, GRABS his arm, RIPS up his sleeve, and WRENCHES the card out of his hand.
<lemonlimeskull> He knows he’s screwed so he starts crying in the middle of the fucking store. He cries all the way back to the security office, and everyone’s staring at him the whole way.
<Opium> So he’s sitting in jail right now
<lemonlimeskull> That’s the awesome part. The manager takes a look at him, notices the bike helmet, poorly fitting clothes, lack of any ID whatsoever, and the fact that he’s crying like a three year old.
<killjay> …. -_-
<lemonlimeskull> Yes. He was let go and the security woman got chewed out for hurting a "retarded kid".

#233651
<Chrisodeo> veni, veni, veni.
<CrazySteve> Pervert.

#315042
<sexor> I went shopping last night at like 1am. the place was empty, and this old woman, just making polite convertation, said to me: "where is everyone??".
<sexor> I replied: "In bed, same place you and I should be!"
<sexor> Took me ten minutes to figure out why she gave me a dirty look

Link

If you’ve ever stood in line at your local news stand waiting for a greasy bacon hotdog, you’ve seen the Linux Format magazine under the Technology header, you know, down to the left from the dirty adult mags. Linux Format is, like every other societal institution, defined by the people running it. Now, the people have gone. They quit. Introducing Linux Voice Magazine!

We were the first to cover the Raspberry Pi from the newsstand. We beat the C.I.A. before it was cool. We sent a comfort package to Edward Snowden, and taught the world how easy servers were to hack (er, sorry, crack). Our fortnightly TuxRadar podcast entertained thousands of insightful and generous listeners, and we loved every minute of it.
Last month we quit, and we quit because we wanted to do something different. We want to create an even better magazine; a bigger, more entertaining and more accountable magazine for the community we love to serve. The magazine we want to make is called Linux Voice.

In the first 24 hours, they’ve raised more than £10,000 of their £90,000 goal. Please support the indie go-go campaign @ Linux Voice campaign by clicking that link. You can also check out their website here.

From my empty pockets I’ve still managed to shell out £80 for a year’s subscription. If I can do it, so can you. And if you like Linux, you’re gonna love these guys!

Petition: Stand with Tibet!

Avaaz.org has launched a campaign to get 1,000,000 signatures in support of Tibetans living under harsh Chinese rule. I don’t normally share the campaigns that I do sign, but delivering a million signatures to the UN is sure to draw some media attention to the dire situation and to China’s UN delegates. Here’s what Avaaz writes:

Tibetans who refuse to fly the Chinese flag above their homes risk being beaten or shot in the latest attempt to break their spirits. But now is the best moment in ages to bring hope to Tibet’s proud, but desperate people.

China’s leaders are mounting an intense campaign to draw a veil over their rights abuses and persuade governments to vote them onto the UN Human Rights Council. So if enough of us shine a light on what’s going on in Tibet — squashing an ancient religion, banning journalists, dawn arrests –we can get China to back away from its hard-line policy to be sure of getting the 97 votes it needs.

Please sign the petition and share it with your friends! Thank you!

A late morning walk with Elvis
Nice autumn walk today
It’s terrible to realize that such a great display of nature, _still_ makes me think of Windows XP..

Hint, hint
Are you still watching TV?
So dude, are you still trying to watch TV?

PACMAN Sausages!
PACMAN Sausages!
PACMAN Sausages for my spaghetti n’ ketchup dish!

Razor gaming mouse
Razor Gaming Mouse
The mouse on my gaming rig is getting too laggy by wear, so I got this puppy on sale!
Now I just need some actual free time to game in…

Love those trees
Love those trees
‘Twas a beautiful day in autumn

Magic & Loss – RIP Lou Reed

This Saturday we got a little tipsy celebrating an aunt of Lady C, and when we got home our upstairs neighbor was having a party, playing mostly club music. "We can do better than this!" I said defiantly, much to C’s chagrin.

I started with some Pearl Jam to warm up, before proceeding to Tom Waits and Lou Reed.

Lou Reed passed away at the age of 71 from complications following a liver transplant. When I saw him live in 2005, he was showing a lot of signs of his early life, but he was honest and generous, almost humble to play for us; and he still rocked!

Lou Reed is a mentor and an inspiration to everyone in music. He changed popular music by always reinventing himself. From The Velvet Underground to The Raven, Reed kept us on our toes, and changed the boundaries of rock music. Rest in peace, my old friend.

Back to the hieroglyphs!

Some Australian restaurant owner has been trying to replace ‘the’ with the Ћ symbol, the same way ampersand & replaced ‘and’ and the at @ replaced ‘at’, in order to save space in tweets and SMS text messages. What a great idea!

As you know, I’m an educated philosopher, and for a very long time I’ve been working to replace the word ‘balls’ with ∞. That way, you save a lot of characters in your texts. E.g.

Ћ new Superman flick is Ћ dog’s ∞!

Or the simpler, more to the point:

Bieber:P∞

But why stop there? There are a lot of other words worthy of replacement. For instance, you could replace ‘if’, ‘of’ and ‘fuck’ with a simple ‘f’, and distinguish the semantics based on the context.

I’ll f u ↑

f u said fu I’d b sry cat:(

I’ll cu@ Ћ McD ↓ @ Main st. 2get Ћ $$ 4my dawg!

But some abbreviations just doesn’t work. Take “the N-Word” for instance. It’s actually longer than just saying ‘nigger’. But you wouldn’t really want to say ‘nigger’ because it is racist with undertones of social darwinism (which is scientifically false).

Saying ‘the N-word’, however, is both racist AND hypocritical. It’s not like there are people out there mystified by what ‘the N-word’ signifies.. Night? Neverland? Nachos? Nippy-weather? Not-’nigger’? Just stop trying to denote someone by the colour of their skin. We all know for a fact that colour doesn’t decide as much as economy, education and outlook. So if you need to use ‘the N-word’ in your parlance, just state without equivocation that you are a racist and a bigot.

And stop trying to hieroglyphize the language. People aren’t educated enough to use the language they already have! Now get off my lawn!

Lady C becoming a "prepper"?

I dunno if you’ve been watching the National Geographic Channel lately, but a couple of years back they decided they would turn around their public image, and as of now are among the top producers of contentless shit-tv. One of these so-called series or shows, is about preppers, viz. social expressions of despairing the human condition and the US political constitution in general. They come across as nutcases in their failure to provide any actual non-accidental facts for their despair, but in any case; they ARE PREPARED when [insert societal failure here] comes to pass.

The girlfriend, Lady C, recently blogged about her realization that she quite inadvertantly is something of a prepper herself in her blog post; One Apocalypse coming up…

We should add to her list that she’s currently growing potatoes in our bedroom.

Anyway. If she comes across as a little pervert, it’s because she insists that “Doing the jungle mambo” is not a sexual euphemism. Please don’t berate her for her lacking skill in English idioms, now. All that pleasure are belong to me.