media, movies comments edit

Jet Li is one of the baddest ass guys out there. Followed closely, though in a different fashion, by Luc Besson. So when I saw a movie coming out that involved the both of them, there’s no way I could pass it up.

Unleashed is the story of Danny (Jet Li), a guy who has been brought up like a dog - collar and all - by a British loan shark named Bart (played by Bob Hoskins) and is used to help in collecting on overdue accounts. Primarily this involves beating large numbers of burly guys to a pulp in what looks like an effortless fashion. Eventually Danny escapes and befriends a blind man (Morgan Freeman) and his daughter (Kerry Condon), who help him re-learn what living a life is.

It sounds sappy, but it was really cool. There was just the right amount of action - really cool action, I might add - mixed with story such that the whole thing felt very balanced. You don’t come walking out of the theater thinking, “Man, the story was so light,” or, “Man, there definitely wasn’t enough fighting in there.”

That, plus some great acting on the parts of all of the cast, combined to make one of the best movies I’ve seen in quite some time.

Those folks who like to overanalyze movies will definitely find some holes. Like, why would a blind guy who has no idea who this 40-year-old man in the dog collar is decide to take him in and treat him like family? But don’t overanalyze the thing. Just roll with it. It’s a good ride, and you’ll like it.

I’ll definitely be picking this one up on DVD when it’s out. Highly recommended - go see it.

I’m working on resolving defects for the current project I’m on. One of the defects is that, intermittently after a reboot, a particular machine configuration can display something a little odd under certain circumstances.

Gotta reproduce, so that means reboot, reboot, reboot…

I got a puzzle called “Masterball” from my aunt like a month ago. (This will all tie in, just wait.) It’s sort of like Rubik’s Cube, but a sphere instead of a cube. I mixed it up and have been messing with it on and off ever since.

The defect resolution:

Both rebooted and logged in/out several times in succession. Solved “Masterball,” a puzzle similar to Rubik’s Cube, while doing that many reboots, but was unable to reproduce the noted defect.

Very, very stimulating stuff.

The weekends, lately, have generally brought with them yard work. Several people, including my parents, impart pithy phrases like “Welcome to the joys of being a home owner!” when I say this, but I think they’re missing the point:

I don’t think the yard work is necessarily all that bad. I’d much rather do the yard than have to put up with neighbors in attached units who double park you in or smell like freshly pissed pants. Yard work is a cake walk in comparison, and I am happy to do it if that’s the price I must pay for dwelling independence.

Anyway, yard work. We’ve been killing/pulling the weeds, then putting down anti-weed cloth in the flower beds that, hopefully soon, will be barkdusted over. Unfortunately, the nice weather is primarily during the week, so on the weekend, when there’s time to actually do the work, we’re constrained to a couple of hours prior to the rain setting in. A little at a time isn’t hurting us, but it’d be nice to really just make some progress.

In other news, for insurance purposes I’ve been cataloging my comic book collection with Just from a curiosity perspective, it’s interesting to see the stats it’s coming up with, like the publisher I have the most comics from (so far it’s Dark Horse). Very keen.

I haven’t heard from the TV folks on what the story is with the TV “buyout” going on, but I’m starting to investigate what’s out on the market as far as TVs are concerned. It’s a toss-up between LCD and DLP, and in the LCD arena it’s more of an “LCD rear-projection” than an “LCD direct-view” sort of thing because giant LCD panels are a little cost-prohibitive at the moment. Pending on how long I can push out the purchase, maybe the price will go down. That said, not having a TV in the main room is sort of a pain.

According to a phone call I received via voice mail from yesterday at 4:58p, my TV is fixed and awaiting delivery back to my home.

The interesting thing is that on Friday, April 22nd, I heard from them that they had gotten a new tube for the TV and were replacing it. Interesting because the repair technician had told me he didn’t think replacing the tube would fix it, so I’m a little skeptical that it’s actually fixed. This after they told me they “couldn’t reproduce the problem” and when I got down there and pointed it out, they totally saw it.

I guess I’ll call them back this morning and see about making it down to the repair shop to look at the new tube prior to accepting delivery of the thing.

As I’ve gone through this rigamarole, I’ve come to understand a lot more about TVs and the inherent relative display precision of the various kinds. In particular, I’ve noticed that no tube-based TV displays with perfectly straight lines. I mean, they get damn close, but especially toward the edges, things get dicey.

A minor sidetrack that will tie in shortly:

Several years ago I bought a movie on videotape. I brought it home and, as I watched it, I noticed the display was not terribly crisp. I had noticed it before, but it got to a point where the lack of precision and clarity in the display, not to mention the staticky audio, had finally broken me down.

I took the tape back and exchanged it for the same movie, again to find the quality was crap.

It was then that I went out - that same day - and bought my first DVD player. I couldn’t handle the imprecision of videotape any longer.

What I’m coming to find is that I may have grown beyond the “tube TV” stage now, too. I notice the imperfections all too much - and in everyone’s TVs, not just mine - and it may be time to move to something digitally precise. An LCD or DLP set, for example.

Of course, I don’t have the funds to spend on it right now, and if my tube is fixed and looks good enough that there’s no glaring imperfection, I’ll be fine for the next couple of years. When it eventually goes out - and it will - then will be the time to upgrade to the next generation of set.

But first things first. Gotta call the repair place and schedule a time to check it out.