How Michael Bay ruined my childhood 4

As a kid, I loved watching the old Transformers cartoon, I had Transformers toys, and thought Transformers were better than GI Joe (blasphemy, I know).

I got C an up-converting DVD player for Christmas, and we thought what better movie to test out 1080i on our TV than with the Michael Bay directed 2007 live action/CG remake of Transformers.

Transformers

Now up until last night, I thought the worst movie I’ve watched in a while was Live Free or Die Hard. Seriously, someone needs to let Bruce Willis know he shouldn’t reprise the role unless they get some real writers to somehow make the explosions and car chases make sense and have some flow.

My observations about Transformers:

  • I had heard a lot about seeing Detroit streets filmed in some of the climactic scenes, and I must say it was very distracting to have the cameras pan down the street and see places I knew. I spent more time trying to recognize Detroit buildings than watch the climactic fight between Optimus Prime & Megatron.
  • Sorry GM, but I saw right through your giant car commercial. Why was I not surprised to see H2/H3’s everywhere, including one of the Transformer characters.
  • This movie had some of the worst dialog I’ve ever been forced to sit through. Maybe I spoiled myself by watching Pulp Fiction earlier this week and was again dazzled at Tarantino’s ability to write dialog, or maybe it was the cheesy one liners and bad delivery on the part of the Transformers actors themselves. Regardless, it stunk.
  • What the hell was going on with the cheese factor?! I couldn’t figure out if I was being forced to watch a tedious teen after-school-special-eqsue drama or some unrealistic military shoot-em-up. It was like there were 2 movies edited together that didn’t have much else to do with each other than some giant GC fucking robots.

I can say one GOOD thing about this movie, and thats the computer generated Transformers took on a truly real look and feel. I was amazed at how fluidly they integrated with the live action, and just how good they looked in general.

Some people (C) might say I’m too hard on the movie for what it is: an action film with explosions. Fine, maybe I’m a bit harsh, but I really had some high expectations going in that weren’t met. The good (or bad) news is that there is going to be a sequel in 2009, so they have another chance to woo me over…

Electrocoma 2

Daft Punk’s ElectromaWhen Phil first told us Daft Punk‘s limited release movie Electroma was playing in Royal Oak, my first reaction was something like: “OMFG!!!!!!!!11one”. I wanted to badly to like the movie, but in the end we spent $6.50 each and an hour and a half in the theatre, and I was left feeling cheated.

The basic plot premise is 2 robots who desire to be human, but in the end realize they can never be. Yes, it’s been done before, but that didn’t matter.

Without giving too much away, the movie was 75 minutes long but could have run 15-20 minutes and still delivered it’s punch. The 10 minute opening sequence of nothing but the robots driving a car through the desert started the whole movie off in a way that made the audience wonder what they had gotten themselves into. I know this because everyone was speaking out loud and bored of it already. Then add in the gratuitous 10 minute shot of the robot equivalent of plastic surgery, the 10 minute trip of a bathroom florescent that won’t stay on while the robots stare longingly, and a few more way-too-long shots of the robots walking alone thought the desert 2 or 3 different times, and you’ve got 3/4 of the movie that really did not have to be there. I understand using monotony as a plot and emotional device, but come on!

Final verdict:
Visually, the movie was stunning. The bathroom & the climactic scene were pretty amazing & trippy at the same time. However, the way it just dragged on with the same shot for minutes at a time was annoying. 75 minutes could have been condensed to 20-30 minutes and kept the attention span of the audience.

Windows Vista: Not worth the wait 1

Over the past 2 weeks or so since the official long awaited (read: massively delayed) launch of Microsoft’s new flagship OS, Windows Vista, I’ve noticed an influx of questions at work regarding the “should I upgrade” question.

To save time & effort here is the short answer: don’t do it.

The only “wow” that “starts now” (their new slogan, the wow starts now is horrible by the way) is the amount of resources this beast takes do do the same thing XP does perfectly well; and if you don’t have a beefy video card you’re screwed. Vista delivers no really revolutionary new features as an incentive for upgrade. And to top it off, the software asks you CONSTANTLY “are you sure you want to do that”.

The bottom line is that I’ve had several friends try Vista, and they all went back to Windows XP after an hour or 2. Don’t waste your time or money yet.

Apple picked up on Vista’s “new & improved” security features in this ad. Love it!

An overly metro blog post 3

Yah, I’ll admit it. I bought an iron last night. It’s either a sign I’ve grown up, or that the apocalypse will be coming around next week. In any event, if you have a job requiring business or business casual attire, you need an iron. It’s just a fact of life, and I’m over it.

We’ve been using an iron that may have been made 15 years ago that was given to us by Christa’s parents (thanks!) when it was discovered they had more irons in the house than people who iron. It did the job for what we needed if for and life went on.

Last weekend in a spectacular display of athleticism and coordination, Bailey the Cat decided it might be fun to jump the length of the basement and land on top of the ironing board. He made it to the ironing board but didn’t take into effect his 15 pound weight & the laws of physics, so the ironing board, and the iron came to a crashing halt on the floor. The cat was ok, the iron was not.

ooooo, a new iron!After using up all my non-wrinkly clothes yesterday I figured it was time to do some research and pickup a new iron.

When did ironing become so high-tech, or for that matter expensive?? Did you know you could spend $150 on an iron?? For that price it better just do the ironing for me…

After reading some reviews on Amazon, checking some local stores, and pulling out a 20% off coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond, I settled on a $50 Black & Decker Digital Advantage Iron which i got out the door for $40.

I used it for the 1st time this morning and I’ve got to say I should have done this a long time ago. While it doesn’t do the work for me, it makes my work a lot easier. It heats up within 20 seconds, has a nifty digital temperature readout & setting, and steam steam steam!

So if enjoying my new iron is overly metro, so be it.

Review: Tomato firmware for WRT54G

Not many people know it, but there are a lot of open source/3rd party firmware projects available for those popular Linksys router/switch/wireless access point/place to plug in wires many people own. To most, it’s just another box with flashing lights you need to occasionally unplug and plug back in when your ISP says to do so or you have internet problems. To us geeks, its a playground!

I’m not a n00b at hacking my hardware with new firmware as I have run DD-WRT (another 3rd party firmware) for over a year without too many problems. Unfortunately after a recent service pack however, my router had gotten very unstable. So when Adam let me know about Tomato, I was excited to try something new. This firmware package stressed speed, a small footprint, and promised QoS management & a bunch of powerful real-time AJAX powered applets & graphs. I was not disappointed!
With very little effort I was flashed and upgraded from one 3rd party to another, and after refreshing the browser after the upgrade I was up and running. The only conversion issue I was was that I needed to reset the wireless settings; no big deal.

The customizable QoS pies have allowed me to fix some pesky problems when running torrents, and overall my little network is running a million times more smoothly; most importantly the semi-weekly router reboot and/or service drop seems to be resolved! Best of all, I now have some seriously dorky stats/graphing capabilities!!

Tomato real-time Bandwidth Chart

I would definitely recommend this firmware to anyone who might be interesting in tweaking their network that has one of the Linksys WRT routers. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for future versions…