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David Smedberg

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Everything posted by David Smedberg

  1. Before I start, I'd like to note that we have a duplicate thread, where my reaction was posted. Since it's much smaller than this one, I'll start using this thread for reference instead. Maybe an admin could merge? I just wanted to note that SDG mentioned this in his post on the Best Films of 2011, and he had this to say: Well, if only I'd known that before!
  2. Hang out is something I do. Loiter is something someone else does.
  3. David Smedberg


    Oops, you're right, and then SDG picked up on it. Yeah, Scott mentions that in his review...
  4. That's a great reply, Jeremy, thanks. Since tomorrow is the first day of classes at the University of Maryland (where I work) I may not have time to respond for a little while...
  5. David Smedberg


    I was stung when I read the pull quote on Rotten Tomatoes for A.O. Scott's review: Well, that leaves a mark! "Aggressively trivial"? When I looked at the full review, I see that he goes further: Reee-diculous. While The American and Drive were wishing they were in Europe, Haywire was being gleefully, fully American in its sensibilities, from the ex-Marine dad to the unwittingly-involved schlub (who basically saves the protagonist's life, by faithfully passing on the information she gave him). And what devastated The American was its complete lack of plausibility (I think SDG linked
  6. David Smedberg


    I think it was when Gina Carano's character was finishing off her nemesis on the beach that I thought to myself, "Wow, I've enjoyed this movie so much more than Drive." (Which, you know, also had a showdown on a beach.) Unfair? Probably--Drive is a crime thriller, not a spy thriller, but I can't help but hope that Haywire picks up comparable buzz. It's got so much flippin' style--long takes, deep focus, a variety of color palettes--and some fantastic action choreography to boot. (The car chase in the woods is unforgettable.) I hadn't read this thread and didn't know it had been directed
  7. But do many men (outside of such rarefied air as A+F) have any particular desire to read more? I suspect that it is we who under-serve the market (i.e. authors) rather than they who under-serve us. I have read, in discussions of the cruise ship that sank recently, that many of the men onboard acted less than gallantly towards the women and children.I suspect that as ideals of chivalry (and idealism in general) decline, so does reading among men. I'm not sure if I can articulate exactly what the connection is, but if the best-selling novels "for women" are romances, then wouldn't the corresp
  8. Apparently the cruise ship that recently tragically crashed in the Mediterranean, the Costa Concordia, was the cruise ship on which much of this movie was set.
  9. I finished it, and the "twist" at the end did surprise me, but not entirely in a good way. What I mean is, it seems like cheating somehow to tell the story from a first-person perspective, but to withhold so much information that the narrator himself knows. However, it's not like (to the best of my recollection) the narrator ever actually lies-- he's not unreliable that way.He just sets up the twist ending at some length (so elaborately that it seemed interminable at times) and then pulls the curtain away during the last 15 minutes (so to speak).
  10. I was homeschooled, and this is exactly why my Mom chose to take us out of public school--the sex ed curriculum was too gross and too early. They couldn't afford to put us all into private school, but as some of us (I'm 3rd of 7) grew up we went to Catholic school for periods of time in order to correct specific problems, esp. rebelliousness. Leary, this is one takeaway from my family's experience: Natural rebelliousness can be exacerbated pretty strongly by homeschooling, esp. if one parent works away from home and thus there's no 2nd person to enforce discipline.
  11. I personally cannot even slightly imagine what Bill Plympton, whose movies are sassy and ironic, will do with his part in this painfully self-conscious book. (Which I love.) I cannot, cannot wait to see what Chris Landreth will do, however.
  12. I love how he calls them "Twitterers" instead of "Tweeters". I bet he didn't know that much about Twitter before they came to his aid-and that's OK! It's like he was saying-- there are whole worlds out there that any one person may know nothing about...
  13. Aw geez. I'm tempted to make a crack about that, butt I'll hold it in.
  14. I started this book on the strength of this review. Boy does it start slow! Has anyone else read this author's work who could comment? I'm already thinking of giving up. . . It's bogged down in politics and court intrigue, which isn't exactly what I was looking for in my light reading .
  15. There are so many problems w/ MG's "analysis" that l shouldn't even bother, but do I need to point out to those bozos that football teams also sell tickets, or that Avatar played on TV? 8O P.S. just in case it's not clear just wanted to say I am not imputing bozoness to Jeff.
  16. Anders, you could try UltraSurf, a program that is designed for circumventing firewalls like China's but can also help get around Amazon/Netflix firewalls.
  17. It's not. I haven't got time to do your reading comprehension for you right now, so I'll just note that I never told Jeff he couldn't prefer one over the other.
  18. For an early Christmas present, I just got a Dell Inspiron Duo, so that I could do all of my reading on one device. Look it up, you will probably be impressed by the concept. It is a Windows 7 tablet that also flips and has a full keyboard. It will come into its own when Windows 8 is released because that will fully support the touch interface. I did not get a Nook Color or a Kindle Fire because the screen is just too small for reading magazines. My minimum was 10", and even that is almost too small. The iPad, for comparison, is just under 10", and the Duo is just over. It has all the dr
  19. Still following the discussion, thank you Peter for the affirmation . Waiting to really dig in and reply further until I have seen Tintin. Two points: One, Jeffrey you brought up my turn of phrase "in my experience"--this is one of my tics, a verbal politeness to counteract the fact that I am not naturally a very polite person (Christian can attest to this). I was making an objective observation about Mission Impossible, not actually contingent on my being the observer. Two, the apples and oranges bit is not true. We don't need a reason to care about either character, that's superfluous
  20. JO, you're guilty of selective judgment on that second part (beginning with "What's more:"), because that's exactly, precisely true to my experience of Mission Impossible as well (Cruise is a blank cypher, Pegg is over-the-top hammy, there is absolutely no reason to care about the historically-anachronistic story, so they distract us with non-stop movement to and fro across the globe). Maybe if Tintin had a sexy sidekick? I think Douthat really nailed why it's a good thing he doesn't (in the most recent National Review--unfortunately I don't think there's a link on the web). Meanwhile, I to
  21. And now for something completely different: Anthony Sacramone's pan @ Strange Herring:
  22. The biggest problem is that Stanton is not YET an action director. I don't care what you say. Bird, I had no doubts, since THE INCREDIBLES *is* an action film. Stanton? I like WALL*E and FINDING NEMO just fine, but there's nothing in them that makes me think he can direct ACTION. Yup, this is what I was getting at. The Wachowskis are a great example, I'm glad you listed them. If we're going to mention Peter Jackson, I'd say he's right there with Sam Raimi--cut his teeth on indie horror, reinterpreted a classic franchise when he made his name, botched it up a bit--but with some really cool
  23. Huh! Not Spielberg, not Sam Raimi, not Bekmambetov--nor (dare I mention his name) George Lucas? But... Andrew Stanton? I'm not seeing it.
  24. It would interesting to see how they deal with adult Ender's sub-vocalized conversations with Jane (the self-aware computer woman).
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