23 June 2008

July 2008 Movies

Realized I forgot to do this for June, so here's an early July list. I saw a bunch of movies lately, including Talledega Nights, Semi-Pro, The Grand, and (finally) Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End. The first three were forgettable. Pirates 3 started off slow and somewhat ridiculous, but eventually it turned into a fine, if overlong, entry into the trilogy.

Here's my top 20 or so movies to see right now, some still unreleased. The starred ones I've got on DVD or Blu-Ray yet still haven't found the time to watch.

1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
2. The Dark Knight
3. Iron Man
4. There Will Be Blood*
5. Idiocracy*
6. Children of Men
7. The Departed*
8. Invincible*
9. Pan's Labyrinth*
10. In Bruges
Hot Fuzz

11. Live Free or Die Hard
The Simpsons Movie
12. The Fountain*
13. Gone Baby Gone*
14. Persepolis
15. Zodiac*
16. Hellboy II - The Golden Army
17. Michael Clayton*
18. Tropic Thunder
19. Doomsday
20. Atonement*

Update 2 July:
Caught six movies during my recent West Coast jaunt:
Wall-E: Frickin' amazing. Best Pixar film since The Incredibles, which puts it at #2 all-time. Forget Best Animated Feature. This one deserves a Best Picture nomination.
Hot Fuzz: Awesome. The best 2007 movie I've seen thus far (including Ratatouille).
The Simpsons Movie: Good, but was basically an overlong episode...I don't think they really took advantage of the big screen possiblities.
Wanted: Surprisingly decent flick, despite the departure from the exceedingly nihilistic source material. Needed more naked Angelina.
Shoot 'Em Up: Eminently forgettable flick with lots of bullets and negligible characters.
Borat: Entertaining, but I prefer my uncomfortable humor in 30-minute increments (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office (BBC), etc.).

Update 3 July:
Watched Crank tonight. Good flick. Needed more of my wife's former classmate. Still, Jason Statham should be doing better stuff. He's a far better actor than the second coming of JCVD.

Update 7 July:
I'm on a roll. Watched a Bruce McGill double-feature over the last 3 nights.
Vantage Point: Pedestrian thriller, made mildly more interesting by the POV storytelling, which they inexplicably abandon halfway through the flick. High-wattage cast is woefully underused, especially Sigourney Weaver.
Recount: Learned a lot from this movie, mostly about the labyrinthine election rules in Florida. I'll even say it was pretty fair and balanced, excepting for the "nominated by" subtitling of the Supreme Court justices which omitted that John Paul Stevens was nominated by Gerald Ford. For the life of me, I can't think why they'd bother to excise that information. Well used, stellar cast.

Update 9 July:
In the Name of the King - A Dungeon Siege Tale: I'm kind of disappointed that this movie wasn't as bad as I'd hoped it would be. It featured the holy trinity of badness: Uwe Boll, Burt Reynolds, and Uwe Boll. It had Jason Statham as a medieval farmer, named "Farmer." The potential for awfulness was limitless. But, as it turns out, it wasn't that bad. Matthew Lillard and Kristanna Loken were highlights, actually, compared to Ray Liotta and Leelee Sobieski's lowlights. And, in case you were curious, Claire Forlani is still hot.

13 June 2008


So now Pluto is not even a dwarf planet, but a "plutoid?" According to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), plutoids are defined as:
celestial bodies in orbit around the sun at a distance greater than that of
Neptune that have sufficient mass for their self-gravity to overcome rigid
body forces so that they assume a hydrostatic equilibrium (near-spherical)
shape, and that have not cleared the neighborhood around their orbit.
How can you define a celestial object by referring to the specific geometry of our little solar system? Ridiculous.

Methinks New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern is actually enjoying this latest imbroglio, as it casts the IAU in a rather unflattering light.

With regard to the etymology of plutoid, he said: "It sounds like 'hemorrhoid' and it sounds like 'asteroid', and of course these objects are planets and not asteroids."

With regard to the question that an IAU rival may form, he wrote: "There is a disturbance in the force. Enough said."

Any dude who brings Star Wars to the table is okay by me, and any definition of a planet that encompasses both tiny Mercury and enormous Jupiter should be flexible enough to include Pluto as well.