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Everything posted by MattP

  1. First auto I've owned. Miss the stick for sure, but the tiptronic (or whatever Infiniti calls it) helps a fair amount. No paddle shift on the wheel, but there's a DIY kit from Infiniti to add the paddles yourself for about $200. Will probably get that some day if I end up keeping the car. Down revs to match rpms when you down shift so the bottom doesn't drop out, which is very cool. All things considered, I'm hugely impressed. I've had a 300z, an A4, and a C70, and this car easily outperforms any of them. Which is saying something, considering that it's a pretty plush 4-door sedan.
  2. This is the first car I've ever purchased that was less than about 6 years old when I bought it. ('07 Infiniti G35) Took advantage of the need to move from a 2-door to a 4-door with a new baby. Still purchased used (about a year old), but I feel like I've vaulted into the new millenium when it comes to features and what not. This thing's like a NASA project: voice-activated gps, rear-view camera, headlights that turn when you're going around a corner, built-in ipod-like mp3 player. Anybody want to take bets on how long it's going to take before I get in a wreck trying to figure out how to work it all? On the other hand, not exactly fuel efficient... (Full disclosure: I'm kind of a deal-hound, and a big part of the reason I bought this was that I happened to just stumble on an incredible deal on it on craigslist. More than likely it'll get "flipped" within a few months, but I'm going to do my best to enjoy it in the meantime!)
  3. I'm trying to figure out the "watch online" thing for the first time, trying to see the finals of the men's 200m (which starts in 15 minutes). It doesn't show up at all on the online viewing schedule. Are they intentionally not showing certain higher profile events online in order to make you watch it on NBC when they show it delayed at night? I've got like 5 channels showing olympics, but none of them appear to be showing the track and field right now, and no way I can find to watch it online. Feels like even with 5 billion hours of live coverage, or whatever it is this time around, they're still making you watch certain events on their preferred schedule.
  4. And NBC has raised them at other times, such as Costas' interview with Bush. Yeah, I saw that. Am I the only one who felt like W basically tiptoed as politely as he could during the interview? He made his agressive comments on the plane on the way over, then seemed to hem and haw way more than normal when it came to the NBC interview. And NBC brought it up, but only superficially. It was all couched in a sort of "old way vs. new way" storyline about China that seemed more akin to "Those stubborn old-worlders... wonder how quickly they'll get up to speed with the rest of us?" As opposed to, you know, talking about the many people who are beaten or in jail for their dissent even now (not just 30+ years ago during all the "flashback" images that made it feel like that's just what things used to be like), or the walled-off areas of Beijing that they're keeping hidden from tourists. Aren't those the places you'd think a journalist would especially want to go for a good story? I've personally enjoyed watching much of the games a great deal, but can't help sensing this gnawing feeling in the back of my mind that somewhere in all this was a big opportunity to apply some pressure, and that my ambivalence is helping to waste that opportunity. How would the athletes be punished? I'm not talking about boycotting or anything here.
  5. Is anyone else bothered that the Chinese - far from actually initiating any real human rights abuse reformation - isn't even going beyond the thinnest, most transparent displays of song and dance for the world on these issues..... and no one seems to care? Are we showing so much deference out of pure economic reality considerations? Does NBC not want to risk turning away viewers just looking for a relaxing night of entertainment in front of the tube? Do we all just feel better not thinking about it and enjoying the games? And has the IOC proven itself to be just another toothless "UN" despite the many assurances that China gave them in order to win the games? Should we even care, or is it fine that we let it slide off the radar for a while in order to facilitate a few weeks of pleasantness for the international psyche (as long as you don't live in Georgia). FWIW, this article is what brings it all to mind at the moment.
  6. Are you talking about the guy who "crushed" the Americans by losing a full-body lead in the span of 50 meters to them?
  7. So what was the first one? I haven't read it and now probably won't given what has been posted above. I was titillated by an essay in a recent CTondeadtree. I think I'll pass. Not a fan of selfhelp myself. But this was self published? I'm impressed. I only became aware of it from the trade paperbacks in the book section at my store across the aisle from the bread dept. that I've been subbing in this month due to vacations. I wouldn't refer to it as self help at all. I guess somehow it does have a bit of that vibe, though I couldn't pin down exactly why. Mainly it's theology coated with a heaping layer of schmaltz. I found the first, darker, part of the book fairly engaging actually. Maybe that's because I'm a new parent. Then it got to feeling all Oprah on me and I pretty much lost any enthusiasm during the rest of it. I'd give it a rating of "Ehh."
  8. MattP

    Tropic Thunder

    And Jeffrey Wells.
  9. Boy, their expectations for "meaning" are much higher than mine I guess. This is the opening ceremonies we're talking about, right? When's the last time you got anything meaningful out of any olympic opening ceremony? Just look at the spectacle and say "oooh." BTW, on a related note, I had an argument going with a friend over whether or not the giant fireworks "footsteps" were CGI or actual live footage. Turns out I was right. Sick race. Absolutely sick. Somehow these kinds of things always seem to happen in the olympics, which is what makes them so much fun.
  10. Not sure what you mean by this. Bama plays Clemson, Auburn plays West Virginia, Arkansas plays Texas, (all top 10 teams), Tennessee plays UCLA, Georgia plays Arizona State... That's the rub, from an SEC fan's point of view. Yes, that game will be a good one, but on Sept 14, we can all basically punch either Ohio State or USC's ticket to the championship game. Neither team really has much in the way of stumbling blocks past that. Other conferences' fans like to talk about non-conference schedules, but I don't really care whether a team plays hard games in conference or out of conference. I just want a team to have to prove themselves more than once before they're considered a title contender. It's frustrating when a team like last year's Kansas almost walked into a championship game by going undefeated in a schedule that a dozen different teams could have done just as well with. The good news/bad news for SEC teams is that the last couple of seasons have given the conference the benefit of the doubt in most people's (voters) minds. Final records being equal, expect the SEC team to get the nod if it comes down to a 3 (or more) way tie at the top.
  11. Might as well get this started, considering we're only 3 weeks and 2 hours away from the first day of the season. My very first issue of my 8 week free trial of Sports Illustrated came today (thank you Papa Johns online pizza ordering system), and - glory of glories - it's the College Football Preview addition. And if they're right, once again we'll see Ohio State pop its head up meekly in the National Championship game, only to be soundly beaten back down in an everlasting game of BCS Whack-a-Mole by the third SEC team in as many years (Georgia). My beloved Crimson Tide just barely didn't make the (top 25) list, and will likely not improve much on last year's record, but at least I can console myself with the fact that there are plenty of talented freshmen on campus from last year's stellar recruiting class. Is it 2010 yet? For better or worse I'll get a pretty good lay of the land opening weekend when they play Clemson in an intra-league matchup. August is always the longest month of the year...
  12. MattP


    That works out to two 22-23 episode seasons if each episode is the typical length while giving them some extra minutes to occasionally do one of those extra long episodes. Sounds about right to me. Oh, you mean they're counting each "hour" episode as 44 minutes or whatever it is without the commercials? If that's the case, then I withdraw my complaint. There will be about 17 or eight episode for each of the two final seasons. It was announced before season four, when they announced the final season would be in 2010 that there were 48 episodes left. That was going to mean 16 episodes a season, but the writer's strike threw that off. Season four was only about two or three episodes short. Those will be absorbed into seasons five and six. Okay, now I'm back to being annoyed again.
  13. MattP


    That works out to two 22-23 episode seasons if each episode is the typical length while giving them some extra minutes to occasionally do one of those extra long episodes. Sounds about right to me. Oh, you mean they're counting each "hour" episode as 44 minutes or whatever it is without the commercials? If that's the case, then I withdraw my complaint.
  14. I'm sure you'll put a more accurate time on it than what I can remember, but I know I glanced at my watch somewhere in the midst of this section of the film (due to a feeling that the film was drawing to a close) and saw that it had been about 2 hours from the start time, so probably a little under 2 hours of actual movie time, given trailers, etc. But that's certainly not exact. I dunno. Show hidden text While the Joker was certainly wrong about the ultimate OUTCOME of his little scenario, I don't find all that much to celebrate in the fact that one of the reasons the Joker's nihilism was proved wrong was because the people on at least one of those boats were even weaker than he expected. If you think the Joker's defining statement is "I am making a prediction that something will happen," and then that something doesn't happen, then I guess you are proved right and he is proved wrong. But then, as the Joker himself says, sometimes things don't always go according to "plan", right? For me, the more telling statement is when he says, "People are only as good as the world lets them be." And it would certainly seem arguable that the opposite is true, too: that people are only as bad as the world (including their upbringings, their instincts, etc.) lets them be. The people on at least one of these boats actually take a vote and choose in FAVOUR of the evil course of action; they're all just too weak to actually go and do it themselves. Something isn't "letting" them do what they have all expressed a desire to do. I guess one man's "weak" is another man's "strong." I'm not sure I would agree that a failure to act on the desire exhibited by the vote is a weakness. I'd like to think that I could want to do something that I know deep down inside is wrong, and then not do it because I found the strength not to, not because I was too weak to. Though I suppose either is possible.
  15. While I really, really enjoyed the movie overall, I have to side with those who felt a bit of last-30-minute-fatigue. In a few comments, you and Peter mention the lack of a "seam" that you were expecting. For me, this came somewhere right around the time that the Joker was It's not a hard seam, per se, but it feels like a climax of sorts, and while you know it wasn't "big" enough to really be the end, it certainly felt to me like we were close to the end. Nuh uh. I empathize with the "last 30 minutes as a sequel" comments, specifically because of this. They started an entirely new storyline AFTER what felt in many ways like the movie's climax, or "pre-climax." As to exactly what I would cut... probably not a surprise given my comments so far, but basically most (all?) of the stuff. Certainly that would've required other changes to get to the desired (good) ending, but that certainly doesn't mean it couldn't have been done. Either that, or they potentially could have kept all of the storylines that are there, but paced them a little better, perhaps by , or so it doesn't start a completely new storyline so late. Just my $.02. And the other dime I have like it very much. :-)
  16. So if you buy the box for the year, you only have to go to 1000 movies to break even?
  17. "We had many individuals and groups who had planned to see the film, but decided not to because the cloud of doubt this lawsuit brought to the film," noted one of the film's producers, John Sullivan. ::hysterical::
  18. That's kind of the gist of what I was getting at, as opposed to a feature screenwriter. TV Writer:TV Director::Feature Director:TV Writer. In broad strokes anyway.
  19. Solution for a screenwriter = write for TV.
  20. That's exactly the way I would read it. Sort of like all the critics around here are able to discuss not only their own critques of particular films, but also other critics' critiques. I've always been under the impression that this forum - underused as it is - is for filmmakers to discuss the making of films, regardless of whether or not they're the ones making the particular films under discussion. In which case, I would think that a link to this particular story about a writer being re-written by the studio would be an appropriate topic, given that the intent is to use it as a jumping off point for a discussion by filmmakers about situations like this, and not a discussion about the film itself, per se. Maybe just a re-titling would be appropriate to define the thread as related more generally to the issues that the blog post link is meant to prompt discussion on, so it doesn't look like a just another conversation about a particular film. Not to mention a desire to not squelch the only effort in ages to get some sort of conversation started in this particular forum.
  21. I'm game. People probably only post sporadically about actually making films because they're so dang expensive to make. I was going to say all the critics around here have it easy 'cause they can catch a new flick to critique any time they want for only $10 or so, but then I realized many of them are getting in free... BTW, I'm currently in the financing stage of the process, which is certainly the least enjoyable, and is probably why the above observation springs to mind.
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