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Jeff

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About Jeff

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  • Birthday 03/11/1988

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  1. Literary Adaptation Wishlist

    I wish someone would do a really good adaptation of A Distant Trumpet. It's one of the best western stories ever written.
  2. The best films of the aughts

    Well, several titles stand out, though this list might be peculiar to my own tastes and experiences over the past ten years. I am deficient in the area of foreign language film making, not because I don't like it but because I never know where to begin. That said: The Lord of the Rings trilogy The New World Letters from Iwo Jima The Ninth Day The Pianist Hotel Rwanda The Passion of the Christ Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World The Departed The Dark Knight Black Hawk Down No Country for Old Men There Will Be Blood The Incredibles Minority Report United 93 Wall-E A Beautiful Mind The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Gone Baby Gone O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  3. 2009 - Good year so far?

    I'd give it a B. Up was sublime. Star Trek was a blast. Wolverine was...watchable. But there has been little else to pique my interest. The year's movie slate causes no excitement either for good or bad- it's just "meh". I look forward to Public Enemies, and I might fork over a few bucks to see Harry Potter since I saw the other 5, but I can't see myself attending the theater again until some of the big late-year releases pour in. (Mind you, I loved Gran Torino, but I count that as 2008. And I still have not seen Slumdog Millionaire.)
  4. Long time, no post! I dig the new board skin. Stephen, you've started a fascinating topic. This is a subject that I have been thinking about quite a bit, having studied communications at BU, where social media are being held up as the greatest thing in history (Truman was wrong about the atom bomb apparently). In particular, I think the Amish-style withdrawal tactic that some parents use is particularly interesting. Having gone to a secular school, with secular people, in one of the most secular cities in America, I can see the appeal. Unless strong habits are built up against the various temptations that new media provide (be it a minor matter of shirking homework to a major one like internet porn), these things can indeed be an avenue of bad influence, and I believe they often are. Yet I have to say this: qualitatively speaking, I have never seen a complete Amish-style withdrawal actually work in the long run. I knew many, many young religious kids whose media consumption was extremely sheltered and limited by their parents in an effort to keep out bad influences. All of them were orthodox Catholic families (though many of them went beyond orthodoxy, dismissing John Paul II as "liberal", embracing sedevacantism, etc). Many of them would chide me and my siblings for our worldly ways, meaning that our Mom allowed us to watch Animaniacs, the Superman movies, Tom and Huck, whatever. Fast forward ten years. A significant number of these kids I grew up with have now completely rebelled against their parents. The strictness of their upbringing ultimately led to trauma once they left home and realized "what they were missing". Of the kids from the Catholic homeschool group that I attended as a child, several (and I mean several) have ended up on non-speaking terms with their parents, pregnant out of wedlock, no longer Catholic (or even Christian) etc. Now, of course, I am not insinuating at all that it was their parent's media consumption policies that drove them to this. That would be absurd. However, the types of parents who instilled such strict policies didn't seem to have much luck when their kids got old enough to realize that some of the "bad stuff" was "fun stuff". The media consumption stuff just became another avenue for rebellion. I think that a measured, monitored use of both new media and old media (not just FaceBook, but TV) is the way to go. I was blessed to have parents that did have rules about what content I could watch/see/take in, yet understood that media have value. They allowed us to use the internet, to watch films, to read newspapers, etc. Each medium had different rules, but access was given. I feel as though it worked out well.
  5. Questions, NO. Answers to recent events.

    I've been sitting here, catching up on whatever apparently went down over the past two days, finding it very difficult to know what to write. My first impulse would be to say simply how sad I am that things have come to this...yet everyone else has said as much elsewhere. I guess once again, I haven't anything that is useful to add. I have noted tension for some time between certain people, but never did I imagine that it would result in people leaving this community, or in the type of meanness or name-calling that I have caught snippets of here today, etc. Perhaps I am just clueless, but all of this has happened quickly, and I still don't understand the exact nature of yesterday's blow-up (nor the apparently long-standing animosity or tension that led to it) I feel a particularly sharp sense of discouragement whenever I observe two (or three, or four, or five) people, each of whom I like and respect as individuals, at odds with one another. It's like watching your parents argue: you love them both, so what the hell are you supposed to think? Count me as disappointed, discouraged, deflated...most of all, surprised.
  6. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

    Steven, I read your review this morning and it made me kind of sad (not because I disagree with it, but because on the contrary, your "comic-book movie" reviews are usually on target). I guess that since X3 was not that great, I shouldn't have expected Wolverine to be terrific. Perhaps Fox only had two good X-Men movies for us. Nevertheless, I'm tired of mediocre action movies based on stuff that I like! I am 21 now, meaning that when X2 came out, I was 15. It had the same kind of impact on me that the original X-Men comic books probably had on you older guys when they originally came out. Ever since the day I saw X2, I have wanted to see how Wolverine became the character that he is. Not being a big Marvel comics reader, I have, in a sense, been waiting for this film ever since then (X3 had no answers- at least, nothing terribly revealing). Naturally, assumptions can be drawn from the prior films, but this one was supposed to tie it all together. I'll still see it, of course, and I should probably try not to walk into the theater with negative preconceptions. Still, this stuff is important to me. If I sound like I'm whining, it's because these stories have been a long-running source of enjoyment in my life, going back to my adolescent days. It was eye opening stuff then, and I have long desired to see its fulfillment. ::wolverine::
  7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

    I can't help but feel that the film's lack of the earlier installments' all-star supporting cast might result in a little less interest. I am sure Wolverine will do well financially, but this time there's no Ian McKellen, no Patrick Stewart, no Halle Berry, no furry blue Frasier. Consequently, people might look upon this one as a second-rate X-Men flick. Of course, that's just my theory. So if the flick is a roaring box-office success, I can always fall back on this disclaimer.
  8. 24

    I was saddened by And FINALLY,
  9. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

    If they give us more of Captain Barbosa, I will be satisfied. As for Keira, she was starting to get annoying in the third film anyway. I think there is potential for a fun outing here, especially since a new creative team will be brought in. The thrid film was a bit stagnant, compared to the excellent first two, so maybe new blood will enliven things.
  10. Fast & Furious

    All I can think of is the Robot Chicken episode 3 Fast, 3 Furious, in which Mario, Speed Racer, Vin Diesel, the Duke Boys, and CHPS Patrol officers have a bloody, casualty-laden go-cart race. Seriously, if they are going to keep making these crappy movies, can't they think up titles that don't suck?
  11. 24

    Last Monday's episode was decent. I like the fact that Jon Voight is getting more screen time, though again, Renee Walker seems to be sadly relegated to the office ever since mid-March. What's with Renee's For the record, me and my brothers have been re-watching season one. It is indeed amazing just how different Jack was back then; he was a caring family man who seemed invested in his domestic life. They have done a good job at evolving the character over the course of what, according to fan sites, has been 13 years of personal hell since "day one".
  12. Starcraft II

    Wikipedia, of all places, has a pretty extensive article on the development of Starcraft II. Naturally, it must be taken with much salt, but it seems that this project is indeed nearing fruition. Count me as excited. When I was but a 12-year-old, I was first introduced to Starcraft, and I loved it. There is no other non-licensed franchise game that features such a memorable plot, nor does any other game boast such imaginative world-building. Sure, Warcraft III was cool, but it ripped off Tolkien far too much to be a compelling tale in its own right. Starcraft's cybernetic, Road Warrior-esque, post-Earth milieu is something that I've always appreciated (this is the rare video game that would translate perfectly into a feature film, should such a film be well made, preferably directed by someone OTHER than the guy who made this turd). All three major races are playable, according to Wiki. Apparently, instead of three small campaigns in one game, Starcraft II will be a trilogy in which the first game involves a human campaign, the second, a Zerg campaign, and the third, a Protoss campaign. Yes, this will ultimately cost a lot of money, but it promises to be a rousing good time.
  13. 24

    They never spell it out explicitly, though he assists Vice President Daniels with coordinating air strikes from a secure location during a national emergency. I don't think he's the Chief-of-Staff, but he seems to be holding some important job.
  14. 24

    Does anyone remember the circumstances under which Agent Pierce found the president's daughter in her debut episode? IIRC, she was in the middle of some kind of business meeting...I wonder if she will indeed be connected to the corporate baddies. I agree, Crimson- the writers need to get Renee Walker out of the holding cell and back on the road with Jack. I still think that a romance between them is not out of the question. Maybe she'll be his sweetie in season eight. Last night was great, though there is some nerd minutiae that needs rectifying. If Ethan Kanin really has "known Allison for a long time", "has been with her from the beginning", and all of that other stuff he said as he resigned, then it leaves one wondering about whether the writers knew what they were doing when they decided to make him a major character this season. After all, he was briefly seen in season six as a part of the Palmer/Daniels administration, which means that before he was working for the Republican Taylor, he was working for the Democrat Palmer (party affiliations for the show's fictional presidents have been posted on the official site, and on fan sites, before). If Kanin was really such a life-long friend of Tayler, how did he end up in the administration of the opposing party for a time? Maybe in the world of 24, there is more cross-aisle reaching than in real life. Not that it matters.
  15. 24

    I don't like the President's beady-eyed, Reese-Witherspoon-as-June-Carter-lookin' daughter. She seems like a little snitch, and will likely prove to be a major liability to the heroes. Last night, though, the writers did accomplish something significant: they gave the unlikeable Senator a realistic and (for 24) touching change of heart/understanding moment, prior to This is the kind of thing that keeps 24 working on an emotional level. Poignant subplots in the past have included I'm glad to see that for all the action that this season has featured, the creator's haven't forgotten that character drama can still be just as powerful as gunfights and assassinations.
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