October 31, 2005


Yesterday I opted to see DOOM (the motion picutre starring Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson). Let me start by saying that I went into this film not expecting much, it is after all based on a very basic first-person-shooter.

I was absolutely and completely disappointed...nay, disgusted!

Before I go into the gritty details, allow me for a moment to remind you of the game. The original DOOM told the tale of a space marine stranded on Mars, trying to fight back demons from hell. DOOM II picked up were the first left off, with the demons now on Earth...hell, for those who played the original to the bitter end, who can forget the rabbit's head on a stick when the hero returned to earth? Heh heh...now that was a moment!

Just in the last year we were treated to DOOM III, which is a masterpiece of horror. Although it retells the original story, it does fill in some gaps as to why the demons are there. Turns out the scientists have found Martian ruins, which include tablets detailing the science of teleportation. But this isn't just a point-to-point teleport, it's actually a doorway to hell, hence demons. All the thrills and scares are there, which is great, but the graphics are amped up to modern levels, making the game a must-have for any shooter fan.

Okay, with that in mind, it'd be pretty hard to screw this movie up you'd think. All they need is scientists on Mars, a teleportal to hell, and heaps of demons and ammo.

If only it were that easy.

Somewhere along the way, teleportation gave way to genetics. Now the martian ruins contain the key to an extra Martian chromosome, that when injected into humans turns them into poorly mutated zombies. That's right, no fire-throwing Imps, no Cacodaemon, no Spider Mastermind. There is something that looks sort of like a Hell Knight, but only for its size. And inexplicably, there's the faceless dog-like creature from Quake...not a demon to be seen.

I expected bad acting, so I wasn't surprised there. I didn't expect much of a story, just enough to hold it together, but the story was much worse than I could have imagined. If they'd stuck to what little story was present in the original or newer version of the game, it would have been much better off. I expected eerie music, had to settle for a Nine Inch Nails song at the end credits. I expected fear inspiring demons, instead I had to settle for zombie extras. And I expected lots of shooting and gore, I got a lot of tension and build up with a very small payoff. Most of the real action was confined to a first-person portion that's nowhere near as scary as any of the in-game footage.

This is not worth the price of a matinee ticket. This is not worth the video rental. If you pay for a cable movie channel, this is not worth your time.

Worst film ever!!!

October 24, 2005

The Long Wait at Applebee's

Last Saturday I met Jim in Brick NJ, we decided to get a bite to eat at the nearby Applebee's.

We go in, get seated, and look over the menus. We compare what we're considering, then decide on our meals. Then we talk for a few minutes.

Then I realize that I hadn't decided on a drink, so I tried to find the beer listing on the menu (there isn't one). I was able to make out most of the tap handles at the bar, so we were both able to select our brew of choice.

Conversation began concerning a remark Jim had made earlier about writing. We talked for several minutes easily.

It was towards the end of this conversation that several memebers of the wait staff walked by. Each time I was ready to give my drink order (I was getting a bit thirsty from all the talking), but they would just walk by and serve another table. At this point the subject turned to the expectionally long wait and just how long it had been. We figured it was something like 15 minutes.

A manager walked down the row. He said something to the table behind me, then walked past our table (glancing at it for the briefest second) before hurrying to another table at the far end that already had their food.

We now began discussing where else we could go to eat. We weren't being quiet about this, it was a very frank and open discussion that I'm sure a few tables overheard. We took time to consider if we should bother to wait any longer, what the possible delay could be (smoke break? lunch break? someone not realizing they have a table?), also how long it had been since either of us had walked out of a restaurant. At least one or two more waiters/waitresses passed without any comment whatsoever.

We left. On the way out, the door guy offered his cheerful farewell. I couldn't resist any longer, over my shoulder I said "Now we're going to find a place where we can get a bite to eat!" The only reply, a startled "Huh?"

October 19, 2005

Pittsburg Unprepared

Man, if the disasters on the Gulf Coast weren't enough...It looks like officials in Pittsburg still are unprepared for the worst-case scenario.


I just found this news article about a feature length Conan movie, starring Ron Pearlman (Hellboy) as the voice of the mighty barbarian. The article also mentions a live action feature film that starts production next year.

Transparent Aluminum

In Star Trek IV, humpback whales were successfully beamed into a container made with "transparent aluminum", after Mr. Scott presented the chemical breakdown to a bewildered plant manager.

Coincidentally, just as the actor's ashes are being flown into space, the U.S. military is experimenting with transparent aluminum capable of stopping a .50-caliber bullet.

Ain't the future neat!

October 11, 2005

My High School Dream Has Finally Come True!

I remember feverently wishing this would happen during my freshman year of high school...if you went to Lakewood H.S. in 1981, you would know why!

October 08, 2005

PETA My Ass!

Thursday night I had a delivery to a woman in Mount Laurel. She asked if she could write a check, but I couldn't take it (against store policy). She then asked if she could use a credit card, but she could only do that over the phone with the store manager. So she went in search of money, while I waited on her porch for several minutes.

I noticed that she had several animal-friendly stickers on the glass next to her door, since I was bored I checked them out. The top one was for the WWF (World Wildlife Federation), the next two were for other be-nice-to-animal organizations I'm not familiar with.

The last sticker was pink, it was for PETA and had "proud memeber" written across the top.

Thinking, "Wouldn't it be ironic if...", I looked at the tag on her pizza box.

Sure enough, the toppings included pepperoni, sausage, and bacon!

October 04, 2005


Today I passed the driving test for my CDL...so now I'm a professional driver.