July 23, 2005


The pizza delivery gig is going great. Already much of the job is routine, plus I'm learning the Mount Holly roads so soon I'll be able to do this in my sleep.

I'd forgotten how much fun this is, also how good the money is. Not that the pay's all that great, but the tips are what make this job. Especially in an urban area like Mount Holly...well, more urban than Cookstown, where I delivered for 2 years for Three Brothers.

July 20, 2005

Triple Feature

Monday I met up with Brian and his brother Mike at Freehold Mall, where we saw a couple of movies. Later that evening Brian and I made the treck to Neshaminy Mall, where we met Pete and saw a third film.

Fantastic Four - This is a fun film, it's pretty good but not a big screen must-see. Human Tourch and The Thing are the best characters in the film, Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) is pretty boring but then again he's that way in the comics too. Invisible Woman was also a bit bland, but at least she was good to look at...when you could see her. Doom was cool, though he spent most of the film worried about his failing business empire or his own mutations. Still, it was a fun movie and a sequel would be welcome.

Batman Begins - Now this film kicks ass. Christian Bale nails the role as the new Batman, as well as the troubled millionaire who pretends to be a rich playboy. There is nothing over the top in this film, the technology and the villians are all conceivable. There is a lot of star power in this film: Liam Neeson is a member of the League of Shadows who trains Bruce Wayne in ninjitsu, Rutger Hauer is chief executive at Wayne Enterprises, Michael Caine plays Alfred the butler, and Gary Oldman does an exceptional job as Gordon. In my humble opinion, this is the best Batman film of all time, loads better even than the first one.

Land of the Dead - Great fun, old school zombie style. Though upon seeing it a second time, I can kinda see why this hasn't been a box office success like the Dawn of the Dead remake, 28 Days Later, or Shawn of the Dead; although it's well written, it may be a bit too well written. There's a lot more dialogue in this one and a few less scares, especially when compared to the older Romero films. For the zombie fan this is a definite must-see, but it'll be out of theatres by Friday so get it on video.

July 07, 2005


For a handy reference of BLOGGING terms, check out The Best Page In The Universe.

...and smile!

July 05, 2005

The British War of the Worlds

Randy found the british H.G. Well's War Of The Worlds on sale at Wal Mart.

Rumors were floating around that the british were making their own version of War Of The Worlds, which would be absolutely faithful to the H.G. Wells novel. Supposedly it was going to be released at the same time as the Spielberg/Cruise version that's out now. I've been waiting to see this, matter of fact I was surprised that it wasn't released in the theatres.

The fact that it's selling for only nine bucks and went straight to DVD should tell you something.

I'll give it this, from what I saw it looks absolutely faithful to the book. Unfortunately, that is the only good thing I have to say.

Everything else about this film is terrible. The special effects look like something out of a bad 1970s film...no, I'm not kidding! The martian tripod (which looks more like an ant with a couple of tentacles) stands out against the background like a claymation monster from a Ray Harryhausen movie (you know, the old Sinbad films). I'm not against these movies, they were great for their time and still fun to watch now. But why on earth would a modern movie be shot in this style?

All the digital effects are mishandled. Matter of fact, all the digital technology used in this film is very dated, taken back from the days when digital effects were first used in films. I'm trying to think of a film to compare this to and just can't remember a film where the effects where this bad. I mean, the effects in Anaconda were better than in this film. Here's what I mean:

- For some reason they went with a digital horse cart, which just looks awful every time you see it...the horse, the cart, everything. For close ups of the actors, they put then in a fake cart and rocked it in front of a blue screen - this is evident from the very evident shadow around the actor and cart.

- When characters are hit with the heat ray (the beam is invisible, which seems right from the book) they burst into flame then turn into skeletons. But it's obvious digital fake flame superimposed on someone acting out a scream. Then after several cuts back to the same actors screaming and covered in fake flames, they turn into golden-looking digital skeletons that collapse to the ground...still wreathed in fake flames...and continue to writhe in agony for a few seconds. Or maybe they were just settling to the ground, I'm not really sure. I honestly think Harryhausen's skeletons should have been used, they would have looked a hell of a lot better.

- The cylinder in the crater is absolutely fake, and there are numerous tiny and obviously digital fires dotting the landscape. From far away they almost look like they belong there, but when you focus near an actor's feet and there's a bad digital fire effect right there...ugh.

The acting is ok and the costumes look right on, but for some reason they put a fake moustache on the main character. A VERY fake moustache. This was a distraction throughout the viewing.

The filmmakers apparently tried to make up for all this by going for a false color look. Except for the grass, a lot of the film looks like it's been badly colorized or poorly color corrected.

And what's with the running through the fields? OK, I "get it" that most people back then travelled on foot, there were no telephones and automobiles were rare. But every couple of minutes someone (usually the main character) is travelling one way or back the other across a field. A couple of shots here and there are fine, but it just never seemed to end.

If you absolutely have to see this film, then definitely rent it from the local video store. Do not buy it, this is something you'll watch once and never stomach again. It's true to the book, that's for sure, but in this case I'll settle for the book.