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     April 06, 2004

I was doing so well..and then KA-BOOM. Nada.

I actually had an excuse for not updating the news for about a week (due to a lack of internet access), but there are no excuses for the torpidity of the past two or three weeks. I have been playing around with PHP quite a bit, but not on this site. There may be news forthcoming on that site in a future installment of the Times. I have also moved and had a birthday since the last news update. Man, am I getting old!
I got some good loot for my birthday: a couple of interesting child-oriented LOTR board games and the novel, Eragon.

I have been working on this page for almost a week (with constant interruptions) and I think that most of what I have done is about to be removed. Fortunately, the content to be removed is mostly movie reviews (covering the past month or more of movie viewing), so this no cause for concern or loss to posterity. The thing about the movie review (I will continue to include a few here and there) section: if I don't write it while I'm watching the movie or immediately after...forget about it. All the meaningful moments are forgotten. All I can do is repeat the same trite opinion, so I'm not going to review all the movies I have seen, just those that I can remember a thing or two about.

That being said, let the mindless blather commence...

Badbartopia News

I wish there was something to mention, but I can't think of a single thing that I have done to change the site. I have made some revisons to the "My Drawings" section in Downloads and have added 8 new sketches. I have also added a picture from Keli's Kindergarten class to the Princess page. As I mentioned above, I have been playing around with PHP and could have easily completed the online Hitchhiker's Guide by now with all the other stuff I have been doing, but the urgency just hasn't been there. The Tolkien pages, Star Wars section, Pratchett pages and Police tribute all remain incomplete (the Tolkien area is the only one with anything to show).

And now on to the recap of how I have wasted the past few weeks...

 Movies

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Yes, I realize that I rambled on about Harry Potter in the last installment of the news, but, to be honest, I had not finished watching the movie before writing my book comparison review. I lamely stated that there were few changes from the book's text in the movie. I may have understated the number of changes slightly. There were, in fact, quite a few changes...
1) The omission of Unicorn's blood prolonging the life of Voldemort (and the scene in the woods with Harry)
2) A very truncated rendition of the dragon scene with Haggrid (and what ultimately happens to the dragon)
3) The omission of the Malfoy bullying Neville scene (which explains how Harry became the seeker for the Quidditch team) 4) The background of Snape and Harry's parents, explaining Snapes animosity tward Harry and the reason he was so suspicious throughout the movie. 5) The first challenge to get to the Mirror at the end of the movie (the flying keys).
I still say that Emma Watson is way too cute to play Hermione.

Office Space
Once again, I am dredging up a movie that I have seen numerous times, but saw again semi-recently (since the last installment of the Times, anywway). It was on TV and even though I have it on DVD, I felt complelled to suffer through the commercials and watch it yet again.
The following day, I was talking with Dan Denney about the scene in which the three former software engineers destroy the printer.
Strangely, the day following that discussion, my thoughts were wandering and I began thinking about the "white collar prison" conversation from the movie. As I thought about that scene I realized the deeper truth behind it.
White collar criminals really think this way. And not just white collar criminals. The mean, violent, really bad guys out there think the same way. They know that the law is not there to protect the victims of their acts--it's there to protect them. So they serve their time, pick up a few new tricks, and then return to their former criminal ways undeterred. Opponents of the death penalty say that death is no deterrent to crime. I say it's the ultimate deterrent--if a criminal is dead, his law breaking days are over, and if a criminal knows he's going to die as a result of his acts, he will be a little more reluctant to commit the aforementioned acts. Is it that hard to understand? Liberals--go figure!

The Runaway Jury
I read the book from which this movie script was created within the past few years, but I could remember very little about the plot or the characters prior to watching the DVD. I find it amusing that I can tell you the names of many of the most obscure Lord of thee Rings characters or explain the underlying plot machinations with ease, but I retained almost nothing from a John Grisham novel that I know I thouroughly enjoyed reading.
I was surprised by the very brief casting of Dylan McDermott as the stockbroker that the plot is based around. He seems more lawyerly that John Cusack, but probably wouldn't have been as good in the part. John Cusack wasn't a lawyer, so the point is probably irrelevant. I've been a big John Cusack fan since Better Off Dead. Rachel Weisz was looking a little less that perky (in comaprison with her usual movie persona). But she's still a cutie. Dustin Hoffman vs. Gene Hackman was interesting. It's unfortunate how conservatives are nearly always prtrayed as the tramplers of citizen rights and liberal are the champions, but I have to admit that I enjoyed this movie, liberal leanings and all.

Starsky and Hutch
This is movie was pretty funny. Also pretty dumb, but it had its moments. I like Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller can be pretty good, too. Highlights: The cameos by the original Starsky and Hutch and Owen Wilson serenading the to babes with the David Seoul (one hit) song.

The Prince & Me
I went and saw this movie on Saturday with the little woman. She's a big Julia Stiles fan. I'm not. The movie was, esentially, a Pricess Diaries or What a Girl Wants ripoff. The Wisconsin recreation choices were amusing (lawnmower racing).

Roswell Season 1
My last movie review is for a TV show: Roswell (the WB TV show that was cancelled a couple of years ago). I bought Roswell Season 1 on DVD a few weeks ago. I'm a realy big fan of the TV show and was surprised to see the DVD (at Costco). It took several weeks to watch all 22 episodes and the special features, along the way discovering that there were several episodes from season 1 that I had missed. It was nice to see the show in one continuous arc (I didn't start watching the TV show until later in the first season). If you are a fan of the show, you should buy this set (maybe the powers that be will see the fanbase and start the show back up...nod, nod, wink, wink). The DVD special features include deleted scenes from the pilot episode, a couple of episodes with commentary by various cast members and a treasure trove of god stuff on the sixth DVD: commentart on the final season 1 epsiode, Area 51 and Roswell High (the book behind the TV series) featurettes, Emilie de Ravin audition tapes and a music video starring Shiri Appleby.

And not reviewed due to a lack of brain cells:
Second Hand Lions, Open Range, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Missing, The Rundown, Mona Lisa Smile

 Books

A Tolkien Miscellany
I am still struggling to finish this book. I am about midway through Sr Gawain and the Green Knight. The introduction to the story itself is quite interesting. I had no idea that this was a translation from a very olde English story (from the 1400s, I belive) by Tolkine. I had been under the impression that this was his work. The insights into life in this period are very educational. I haven't really felt especially motivated to get through it, though. It's not (even translated from the archaic original text) a very easy or fast read.

I hope to start the John Grisham novel (mentioned a while ago) and my birthday present, Eragon, soon. Reading just hasn't been a priority, lately.



© Brett Wilkes. All Rights Reserved.
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© Brett Wilkes. All Rights Reserved.
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