Star Wars

Best Web Junk (October 1)

All of the HISHE videos are brilliant, but this one I like particularly because I never thought about why he just doesn't stop Luke from falling. [youtube=] And since you can never really get enough Star Wars-related cleverness I present a preview for a movie I would totally go see. [youtube=]

Movie Review: Avatar

I have never written a movie review before, but I think the phenomenon that is Avatar deserves some commentary.  I realize that there are hundreds of reviews of this movie already online, so why not just add my voice to the noise.  After all, isn’t that what a blog is for? I chose to see Avatar in IMAX 3-D.  I did this for a few reasons.  Most significantly, I have never seen an IMAX movie before.  But also because that is apparently the way Cameron intended the movie to be seen.  So I’ll say a few things about the actual viewing experience.  First, it was truly immersive.  Maybe that’s just because the screen is as big as a house, but it did hold my attention completely.  Also the 3-D was impressive.  It really gave a depth of field and it had very few of those tricks designed to make me think how neat that the 3D is. I can only think of a couple.  Although there was one scene where rocks were flying up and out of the screen.  But scenes like that were the exception, not the rule.  So it wasn’t distracting after I adjusted to what I was looking at.  Also, I had no issues with headaches or motion sickness.  For me the screen size and the 3D were enhancements.

Second to the viewing experience, the visuals of the film bear mentioning.

Avatar is visually amazing.  That might be an understatement.  Nearly everything in the movie was computer generated, but almost all of it looked real.  The first movie ever in my life that amazed me visually was Return of the Jedi.  I was amazed by that movie as a kid because it made spaceships and lasers and lightsabers look completely convincing.  The next movie that had that effect on me was Jurassic Park in which dinosaurs looked completely real.  After that technological jump, many movies let me down visually.  The Star Wars prequels were all disappointing to me visually because so many of the effects were cheesy or objects that should be “hard” had an ethereal fake look to them.  But visually, there was nothing disappointing about Avatar.

The animation of the faces was perfect.  There were none of those creepy, dead-eyed, non-emotive faces that have been in similar movies.  Everything was perfectly in sync and believable.  You see the Na’vi and are convinced that they are there.

I was also somewhat awed by the imagination that thought up the plethora of animals, trees, flowers and landscapes that made up the fictional moon.  The movie really is amazing artistically.  It is hard to believe that the artistry came from the same mind that created such gems as “unobtanium”

Now we move on to the plot.  There is absolutely nothing original about the story.  You have seen it all before.  Somewhere I heard it described this way Thundercats + Smurfs + Pantheism = Avatar.  That is a pretty accurate description.  There is also this famous summary where all the nouns from the movie Pocahontas are replaced with ones from Avatar.  That is a good summary.  The message; Don’t destroy the world. I know it is possible to make a movie both visually and dramatically compelling, just see the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

All movies have a worldview and all movies convey some message.  But I have never felt bashed over the head with a message the way I was in AvatarIt is the most overtly religious movie I’ve ever seen. (I’ll grant you the independent church movies like Fireproof) The entire planet has a consciousness and so destroying a tree was tantamount to murder.  There was nothing subtle about it.  The pantheism screams out from this movie.

Overall I enjoyed it, and I’m glad I went to see Avatar.  I am especially glad I saw it in the IMAX 3-D.  However, I’m not going back.  I don’t anticipate ever watching it again.  The visuals are extremely compelling but not the story.

Best Web Junk (September 25)

Even though it's not from this week, this is the funniest lolcat I've seen in a while The Star Wars Soundboard ver. 2

Did you ever wonder what the worst song in the world would sound like?  In my opinion it's "I Will Always Love You" the Whitney Houston version, but apparently the scientific answer can be found here.

I posted this on Facebook earlier this week and since then I've seen at least 10 others post it, but it definitely is the best thing I've seen this week.  I present All the Single Babies.  And you know it is one of the best videos of all time


Best Web Junk (May 15)

For some reason, this was a slow week in cool web junk.  Maybe I was just difficult to entertain this week, but here's a fun link, a big mistake on the Price is Right and an entertaining video Star Wars soundboard for the win

I really hope this was corrected during the commercial.  Bob Barker owes this woman at least 1,000 bucks.


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Best Web Junk (March 27)

This kid is seriously named Jed I. Knight And this is seriously the greatest Star Wars action figure of all time

While I'm on this science fiction theme, here's some answered questions from the Battlestar Galactica finale.

I have no idea what tilt-shift is, but it makes really neat pictures

This graph pretty much describes my kitchen perfectly

I didn't see a lot of good web videos this week.  But this was the best.  [youtube=]

Best Web Junk (February 6)

If you only watch one Japaneese commercial for a gun powered alarm clock.  This should be that commercial Wonder why I've never seen this before.  Seems like an obvious project for a star Wars fan

24 weird pillows - really nothing else to say about that.  Some of them are very cool

Wow - Best Buy sarcasm is mean and funny

What happens when a geek has way too much time on his hands?  He calculates the real-world cost of the Death Star.

Funny [youtube=]

I just can't even imagine that this is possible


Best Web Junk (January 16)

Here's a great fail Almost all of these accidental maps are really fun

This site is an interesting way to view blogs.  And this week is the first time I've ever seen it

You know you want to apply for the best job in the world.  I'm pretty tempted.

Cut in line at Wal-mart go to jail

By far the funniest video I've seen in a long time is this. Enjoy [vodpod id=ExternalVideo.771288&w=425&h=350&]

Best Web Junk (November 7)

Whatever you do, do not share the buffet. I'm just nerdy enough to be fascinated by this post.

You are going to regret it if you don't click on this link for Olan Mills goodness

If you are a Digg user, this story comes as no surprise to you.

Which came first, the song or the vid?  Either way, good luck getting this one out of your head.


Best thing I've seen in a while



So yesterday in this post, Adam tagged me. And although I normally am not a fan of these chain letter sort of things, it seemed harmless and sort of fun. Plus I got a movie to add to netflix out of Adam's list. So I have decided to play along. But my part of it will die, because I don't have 3 blogging friends to tag next. Here it goes: My top ten favorite films (in no particular order)

  1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended Edition) - It's probably cheating to name 3 movies in one line, but there is nothing resembling an ending in the first two. They are one story, and this is my list so you'll have to like it. Also the extended editions are the only way to go.
  2. In the Line of Fire - "I know Things About Pigeons, Lilly"
  3. Tommy Boy, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore - These are the great trilogy of stupid movies that make up my college experience. Again not just one movie, but I associate them so closely and have pretty much memorized them. So I put them in one line.  But if you forced me to choose only one I'd pick em in the order they are listed.
  4. Return of the Jedi (Star Wars Ep. VI) - I'm a geek, what can I say. And I know this is supposed to be Empire Strikes Back, but I like Jedi better, and this is my list,
  5. Thirteen Days - About the Cuban missile crisis follows the book very closely. I Love me some Cold-War history
  6. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - I've seen this movie every December since about 1994. it's not Christmas till I see it.
  7. Rudy - Always makes me Cry
  8. Toy Story 2 - Very nearly a flawless movie.
  9. The Princess Bride - The book is better, I'm reading it now, but I love this movie.
  10. Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Easily the worst ending of a good movie ever. Fortunately you can just watch selections and it feels like you've see it all

The rules of the “game” are simple: 1. list your top ten favorite films (in no particular order). 2. if you’re tagged, you’ve got to post and tag 3-5 other people. 3. give a tag back (some link love) to the one who tagged you in your post 4. give a hat tip (HT) to Dan