Friday, May 23, 2008

Indiana Jones

Last night, I took the family to see the new Indiana Jones movie. It was a social event for my company. We had two screens just for us and we were allowed to bring guests. There's something extra cool about a private screening. Not sure why, but there is. Here are my impressions of the movie. Worry not, I have not included any spoilers.

First, a six word review: Predictable and formulaic, but fun anyway.

Now the longer version: Dang. Harrison Ford got old. It took me a few minutes to get used to his voice. I had watched the original Raiders with the kids last weekend to prep them for last night. It's amazing how much his voice had changed. He looks older, too, and they haven't tried to hide that. This one takes place in 1957, so he is expected to be a bit older and slower.

There are no real surprises in the plot. It starts pretty much in the middle of things as Indy adventures usually do. We learn something about the crystal skull early on. From there it follows a pretty linear and unsurprising run through the elements of the last few movies. If you go in expecting shocking plot twists, you will be sorely disappointed. Nothing in the movie is outside the expectations of the reality, though. After all, in Temple of Doom, they jumped out of a plane in an inflatable raft. As I recall, they and the raft survived the fall and several terrain changes. Expect a similar level of the incredible here.

Acting wise, it is a little below average for the series. Shia Labouef is good, as is Karen Allen. I thought Harrison Ford looked a little tired and the Indy charm came off a little more smug than cocky. My main complaint was Cate Blanchett as Irina Spalko. Her Russian accent drifted a bit and she had as much depth and character as Natasha Fatale.

Flow wise it started a little bit slowly. I'm honestly not sure what they were trying to accomplish with the opening sequence. It felt a bit long to me. Once Indy gets on the trail of the Crystal Skull, though, it moves quite nicely. There is a good blend of action and silliness and only a slight amount of creepy. There was only one occasion when I actually said "Ewwwww!"

Overall, I'd say it would be fun if you had passes. Otherwise, wait for the rental.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Who Is This For?

Last weekend, to escape the heat, we went to the movies. We were finally able to use the Fandango bucks that Uncle David got us for Christmas. We were torn between Iron Man and Narnia. I wanted to see Iron Man and everyone else wanted to see Narnia. We saw Narnia. A good time was had by all. As it was the premiere night, they did a Narnia trivia contest for prizes. Maya won a Narnia t-shirt. We even enjoyed the trailers. Well. All except one. Watch this and tell me if your reaction is the same as mine.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don't Waste It

Some very profound events have happened here recently and they got me to thinking. What if someone saved your life? Would you live it any differently than you had up to that point? You've been given a second chance by a benevolent person. Do you have any responsibility to make the most of that?

The profound event happened about three weeks ago. She-who-is-pretty-darn-impressive was in her classroom. It was the end of the period and her students began filing out. One of her students came up, complaining that she didn't feel well. "Do I feel warm to you?" She asked. She was wearing a turtleneck and a sweater. It was 75 degrees outside. She-who-is looked up at her student and suggested she take off the sweater. "I can't. I'm cold." That was enough to earn this seventh grader a pass to the nurse. As she-who-is began filling out the slip, she told the girl. "You need to go to the nurse." That's when the girl fell to the floor and things got crazy.

She popped open her cell and dialed 911. As she was doing this, she also sent the only other remaining student in the room to another classroom to get help. She-who-is began relaying the details as she started assessing her fallen student. The 911 operator dispatched an ambulance and asked she-who-is to stay on the line. "I can't! She's not breathing!!!"

She-who-was-freaked-out dropped the phone at the same time the other teacher arrived. She hadn't rushed to get there because the student had told her "Mrs. She-who-is needs you." No explanation was given. So, the other teacher had assumed that she-who-is needed some help with the grading system. Good thing it wasn't an emergency.

The two teachers performed a coordinated CPR on the girl. They probably breathed for her for a good 30 seconds. Amazingly, with a gasp, she started breathing again. She was a little shocky when the paramedics arrived, but she was alive.

She has undergone a number of tests and they have not found anything, though she has collapsed one other time since this incident. She is not allowed to come back to school until this is sorted out. But her mother is a single parent who works two jobs. That means that she is spending any time when she is not receiving medical care home alone. What if it happens while she is alone? She certainly can't call for help.

I'm not sure what can be done differently, but she-who-is and her colleague saved this girl's life. It seems like someone, somehow should be doing more to make the most of this opportunity.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Strange Church Near My House

I drive past many churches on my way to work. In fact, I drive by at least three in the first five or so miles. Each of them has one of those billboards where they can put up their own messages. (No, this is not going to be a post where I show faked billboards.) One of them goes for the cutesy, pithy sayings like "Nothing ruins the truth like stretching it!". The second just posts information like "Spanish Services: Sunday at 10 am". The third one is the one that is weird to me...

I'm not sure if my perception of weirdness is because of the other stuff I know about the place or if it is just the signs. But to me, their signs just don't make sense.

Here is the most recent:
Religion without truth isn't "authentic". It's just false.
Let me wrap my mind around that. Is there anything out there that, absent truth, is not false? I'm sure what they are saying is that their religion is the truth and other variants, no matter how close, are still not the way to salvation. But what a bizarre way to say it.

Here is another:
Christ died for our sins and rose for our justification.
Huh? The only reason Jesus came back from the dead was to justify your existence? That's some pretty good planning ahead by JC.

And of course:
Where the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God.
Just so we know where to go if we think the world is only 6000 years old.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Why I Love Nonsequitur

This is one of my daily reads. Check it out here!

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