July 31, 2004

And now, the weather

I've added weather to the news page. None of this will mean anything to you if you don't live in Alberta. Well, at least in Canada. This has been added simply because I can and was curious about how it would look.

I haven't decided whether any of this will be permanent.

July 28, 2004

News comes to Piddleville

I've gone and added CBC news to Piddleville (and the Burble, I suppose, since it's a kind of bedroom community to Piddleville).

Anyway ... it seems to behave a bit oddly. Sometimes I click the link and it's there. Sometimes it isn't. I don't know if the problem is at my end or theirs but I'll live with it a while to see how it all plays out.

By the way, the news page has Arts, Canada and Alberta news.

July 27, 2004

Political collateral

I may be what is best called "political collateral damage." I've been caught in the fallout of the U.S. election race and the fevered need of Democrats and Republicans to get me to vote for their guy, despite the fact I can't since I'm a Canadian.

Still, today on the Internet I've encountered loads of pop up ads prompting me to head to the polling booth on decision day.

Hope this thing ends soon. Bad enough I had to endure a tedious Canadian election.

July 25, 2004

Am I a prude?

I don't think so. I just think Bad Santa is a turkey of a movie.

A disagreeable Mitchum

Maybe disagreeable is the wrong word since, in The Night of the Hunter, part of the evil Robert Mitchum portrays is in his ability to make people think he's a good guy when he's not.

Doesn't matter. The movie is great, though a bit odd. And maybe that's why I like it and did a review of it.

(And yes, it's been a while since I wrote anything but it's been a busy few weeks - not to mention great weather and who wants to be inside when that's going on?)

July 13, 2004

Why I quit radio

Some people confuse free speech with freedom to be offensive, even hateful. Or, as what happens more often, the freedom to be juvenile in order to get an audience, which often degenerates into being offensive.

I've no problem with the CRTC decision to yank a station's license. When I worked in radio, too many stations thought the only way to survive and make money was to go this route. In some cases it worked. However, it's very difficult to take any pride in what you do when what you do is find new ways to appeal to young people by being vulgar, or appealing to a "mass" audience this way.

I think it's insulting to young people (though they generally have a greater tolerance for it than the old and calcified).

Anyway, I got out of commercial radio largely because it had become so mind-numbingly stupid. In the years since, it appears little has changed. Well, maybe the degree of its stupidity has changed. It's become worse.

July 11, 2004

Brando great but Sayonara weak

I watched 1957's Sayonara last night starring Marlon Brando. He is great. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie isn't in the same league. Which is too bad because it's a really good movie. It just doesn't reach it's potential. I wrote a review of it.

July 10, 2004

Transition: one platform to another

It just may be the magnificence of The Burble, as well as Piddleville itself, will be offline for a bit sometime over the next few days. I'm making the transition from one platform to another and it will involve changing DNS settings etc., uploading all the files and so on. If it is down, it shouldn't be down for long. I just don't know when or if it will happen - sometime over the next week, I would imagine.

Maybe I'll take the opportunity to clean up a bit of the chaos in here. Who knows?

July 8, 2004

Movies to squint at: The Name of the Rose

I watched The Name of the Rose last night (out this week on DVD) and spent a good deal of time squinting. While thematically a dark film, it's also visually dark. So much so you almost think you're watching something by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, The Game etc.).

I realize a director wants to communicate certain elements (like theme) visually, but really ... is it a good idea to make a movie people can barely see? (Okay, so maybe it's not that dark.)

July 7, 2004

Brief random thought re: media and politics

I saw a new TV promo tonight where the station proudly declared it would be watching the new Canadian government (which is the same as the old one but with less power). They'll be watching for the great mob, us. But what I wanted to know was who would be watching those media clowns? Hmm? The promo implied politicians are not to be trusted but really, what idiot trusts the media? It's like that old expression about the pot calling the kettle black. Anyway ...

Gads! ... Gotta get up early tomorrow to go see the doc to make sure that during my minor surgery they didn't screw up. I don't think they have; I feel more or less fine. But we'll check it out just to be sure. Don't want to find out six months from now that someone lost their pager inside me.

July 4, 2004

Western melodrama: Duel in the Sun

I must be experiencing a burst of movie energy since I have yet another review posted.

Unfortunately, this movie is a turkey. It's the 1946 western melodrama Duel in the Sun. Some people like it for its over-the-top silliness but frankly, it's a long movie. Too long to endure for something that's just plain bad.

Apparently, at the time it was intended to be a kind of western Gone With the Wind, and you can see where they probably had that in mind. But you can also see what a bad idea it was.

The biggest problem, I think, is not recognizing most good westerns depend on a simplicity, part of which is production restraint. So when you pull out all the stops and make the movie an overblown, grandiose production, you're making something in direct opposition to the sensibility of the western.

July 3, 2004

Cold Mountain: another review

I seem to be on a minor review roll. The latest is Cold Mountain - and I loved it. Go figure.

(By the way, in the review I neglected to mention how good the music is. Not a surprise though - T-Bone Burnett, same guy who was in charge of the music in O Brother, Where Art Thou?)

July 1, 2004

New review: around the world (1956 version)

I got back from Vancouver last night - lovely time. Though I felt a bit like Tom Hanks in The Terminal. It was two days spent essentially at the airport. (That's where the hotel was and the meetings.)

This morning, I managed to throw together my take on Around the World in 80 Days (the 1956 version, not the new one, which appears to have been less than successful at the box office).

It's not a great movie, by the way. But it does have some interesting aspects to it. (Yes, I know ... that doesn't tell you a lot and is hardly the sort of thing that recommends a movie.)