I had a lot of spare time on my last trip, so I watched the following movies and read the following books (and wrote reviews on them)

The Inferno, by Dante Alighieri (translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
I wouldn’t recommend it to people who don’t know Italian history, because I think a lot of the appeal of this thing is recognizing all the people suffering in hell. There were a number of things I liked about it, but overall I found it pretty damn boring, unsurprisingly, since I don’t know a damn thing about Italian history and I didn’t even recognize the names of most of the “notables” burning for their sins.

It was the burning for the sins that I came for, and the burning for the sins that I stayed for. I mostly just wanted to read poetic descriptions of suffering. They were pretty graphic. Turns out I also liked the odd sentence structures and obscure verbiage. I must admit, though, I found it difficult to finish the book. I’ve never read anything that put me to sleep so quickly, and I’m including math and physics textbooks. I was pretty amazed.

I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the Divine Comedy until my education miraculously improves (preferably Matrix-style downloadable knowledge upgrades).



Apparently a classic German movie (of the non-scheisza variety) from 1931. In some ways I can see how it might have inspired The Usual Suspects, but M’s nowhere near as good. I think there was supposed to be a morale to the story, although it’s difficult to tell whether it’s “don’t judge others unless you’re free of sin” or “killing people is bad” or “German children like candy” or “the German criminal undeground is unionized, highly organized, and remarkably efficient, and the police force is not.” I can probably think of a few others. On the boob scale, it rates a zero, because although there were whores, I didn’t even see any cleavage. Also, no explosions, although there were unruly mobs.

Reading the following paragraph will probably spoil the plot for you, but since I don’t expect anybody will actually rent it, here goes:
The story starts off pretty cookie-cutter; mysterious serial murders of young girls, murderer writes a letter to the presses for publicity, manhunt and panic ensue. Here’s the twist: The unionized, highly organized criminal underground is so upset by the upsurge in police activity (cutting down on their work and reducing their funding, requiring them to start taking money from their “pensions for the wives of jailed union members” fund) that they decide to go after him themselves. And they go whole-hog, too. The Beggars’ Union tracks him into a building and they observe that he doesn’t come out, so the thieves and other disreputables break into it that night, neutralizing the guards and systematically break into every room in the building looking for him. When they finally catch him (moments before the cops arrive), they take him to some abandoned building to give him a trial. The cops arrive before the trial can be completed, and regular justice (as opposed to criminal underworld justice) is dispensed.


La Femme Nikita was pretty good. This one was French. Apparently I’ve been into foreign films lately. I guess that’s just how it goes when I start adding things to my Netflix queue. I end up with a bunch of things from a genre in a row, with Bubba Ho-tep thrown in the mix. Anyway, the plot was basically a teenage druggie punk gets caught and prosecuted for murder. The government stages her death so they can turn her into an assassin, something at which she’s apparently particularly talented. After a few fucked up scenes, she decides she doesn’t want to do this job any more, and leaves everything (including her newfound beloved fiancee) behind to continue her life elsewhere (presumably with markedly less violence).

Posted by snaotheus in Reviews, 2 comments

Beer Pong

This one is definitely for MorphicPhoenix. I’ll try to go if you try to go.

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Deja Vu

Sound familiar, my Brethren of the Swine? Ignorant overreactions to harmlessness? Never in this country. *sigh* Oh well. That’s what happens, I guess.

I’m in the hotel now, wasting time. I’m watching the Astros/Cardinals game, impressed at the fact that Roger Clemens is still a dominant pitcher. The man’s ancient by professional athlete standards! I guess Nolan Ryan was, too. The White Sox won last night, which delights KrisDi and now me, since I think I’m a fan now. I stayed up late to watch the whole game.

In my boredom, I photographed a sponge I found in my luggage. I picked it up in a hotel in Japan. Check out how much it grew when I took it out of the package! Ridiculous amusement. But I had nothing better to do. I also found myself working just to do something. That’s when I started watching Bubba Ho-tep.

I don’t remember what else I was going to say, so I’ll go back to doing whatever it was I was doing before. Hmm. Wish me luck.

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Rashomon and Bubba Ho Tep

I watched Rashomon on my last flight. Not that they actually showed it on the plane, I played the DVD on my laptop. Christ, if they played this on a flight, it might set a precedent for decent in-flight entertainment, and that would totally destroy today’s flying experience.

I don’t really want to spoil the movie, because I recommend watching the whole thing. It’s a foreign film, though. I watched it with the Japanese language audio and English subtitles (as is my preference for foreign films). Anyway, so a crime is committed and you get to hear descriptions of said crime from all the participants. The stories are ridiculously inaccurate and incongruous, as each character tells the story to their own advantage in some fashion, and you’re left to glean whatever truth you like out of the testimonies.

I liked it because beyond being interesting and occasionally funny, it demonstrates how memory is subjective rather than objective. There were sword fights, love stories, crime, remorse, violent death, implied sex (not graphic or boobiful), treachery, everything (besides boobs) but explosions. I recommend it. To my friends, anyway, who won’t hate me for recommending this since they realize that I like some weird ass movies.

– – – – – – –

I watched Bubba Ho Tep in the hotel today, because I was bored as all hell. Bruce Campbell is still the man, of course (I shook the Evil Hand!). I liked this movie too. KrisDi will probably groan, since she thought Army of Darkness was hopelessly cheesy, but I’m a big fan of the cheesy horror genre. GirlAndi remembers the Jason nights back in the day.

Anyway, this movie had pretty much everything but the sword fighting. Explosions, boobies, violence, undead, a black John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis should have gotten an Oscar or something. I was convinced. I swear it). I guess it was missing treachery. This movie was a lot funnier than Rashomon, though.

I decided to buy into the characters, because I liked them. A repentant Elvis lives in the shoddy Mud Creek Shady Rest Convalesence [sic] Home, enduring the disbelieving and condescending staff. The only person who believes he’s the genuine article is the elderly John F. Kennedy, part of his brain removed and replaced with sand, his body dyed black by the government to hide the truth.

So there are the characters, whom I loved because I’m a quirky nerd. Mysterious things begin happening around the Home, and JFK and the King get together to save their retirement home. Elvis’s colorful past is revealed (as well as more of his medical history than I was really comfortable knowing) through flashbacks. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the trippy schizoid scenes (that’s where you’ll find the boobies). Oh, and there’s a panty shot, too! So go watch it already!

Posted by snaotheus in Reviews, 3 comments

Toys and a haircut

I’ve had lots of fun recently. My roommates Oleo and MeiMei went to Cake with me, where Oleo and I proceeded to get completely drunk. MeiMei spilled beer on me, and we head butted each other (she was pretending to hit on me by putting her head on my shoulder, and when I tried to do the same thing, she was doing it again, and we smacked skulls rather violently). Oleo managed to set her (against her will) on my shoulders. Which was also fun.

I got my toys. I don’t think I remembered to mention the 20″ flat panel monitor I ordered, but that’s here too. I used my new camera to take a picture of it, and my desk in its old CRT-laden configuration. I gotta say though, 20″ is a monstrosity.

I got MeiMei to cut my hair last night, and she was so nervous she couldn’t stand up for the whole time. Plus we didn’t get started until after dark, so we were trying to do it by our outside motion-activated light (so if she stayed still and tried to concentrate on something, the light would turn out). At more than one point she fell, laughing hysterically, into fetal position. Oleo didn’t help anything, of course. He just came by to harrass MeiMei and make her feel self conscious. I told MeiMei the reason I wanted her to cut my hair is so she couldn’t make fun of me for my haircut.

Today I have to go back out to the east coast. This will be an unpleasant trip. For at least three days, I’ll be out on the water where I will have no internets to keep me occupied. Just books. At least it’ll be a relatively short trip. And when I get back, KrisDi should be back too.

Dakashy has put a bunch of pictures of her ferret up. In that first one, the poor thing looks deceased. The rest of them aren’t depressing, though. 🙂

Posted by snaotheus, 4 comments