Monday, February 22, 2010


Canon 450D 50mm f/1.4 ISO400 1/10 shutter. Handheld.

...The color balance on this is off. I keep forgetting to replace it with an adjusted one...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Good Movie?

Movie review time again. Watched The Good German on DVD tonight. Has George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, and Tobey Maguire.

The best thing about it was seeing Tobey Maguire's character die less than half way though the movie. Ooops. Did I spoil the movie for you? Sorry. No. Not really. I figure if you still want to see the movie after reading this review, then I didn't spoil anything at all for you.

Maguire's character is a foul mouthed, egotistical, girlfriend punching womanizer.

The Good German is an attempt to capture the charm and nostalgia of 1940's films a la Casablanca. The ending scene even has the two main characters parting ways at an airplane...

The attempt fails. Once Tobey opens his foul mouth, you know instantly that this movie wasn't made 60 years prior. It also fails to provide a story that can be followed, or characters that we care about at all. It took me 20 minutes after the movie ended to figure out what several people's motivations were for doing the significant things that they did. Kinda like at the end of the Sixth Sense, you look back and everything makes sense, and you say "Oh, cool". Except for this one, there was no "Oh, cool." Just "oh".

I want my 2 hours back. The Good German is a bad movie.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Movie review time! I went to see Avatar (in 3D) tonight. I didn't want to like it. Why? A couple reasons. I don't like going to movies that are ultra hyped. Avatar, if anything, is ultra hyped. Next, although I think Mr. Cameron has undeniable talent, he's also an ass. As could plainly be seen by Mr. King-of-the-world, post Titanic success.

There were multiple things about the movie that I didn't like... The occasional gun/spear in the viewer's face just to show off that it is 3D. The oh so immature Jake (even for a jarhead) in the first hour of the movie. The greed. The predictable epic battle/slaughter. Etc...

But, I think the good parts out weighed the flaws. Given that this movie has a major portion of it as computer animated, it was not 'fake'. What do you mean not fake? The whole alien world was FAKE! The technologies used by the humans are fake! Yes, of course, lots and lots of stuff was fake, but it didn't look 'fake'. What I mean is that everything moved 'naturally'. Everything was lighted properly. Nothing looked like it was a wire frame model with bmp skin on it. There are plenty of movies that have heavy CGI scenes, that, quite simply make me want to shoot the creators of said movies for pawning off such crap (GI Joe springs to mind, but there are plenty more). This movie had no such scenes. The 'graphics' were awesome - 3D or not.

Beyond the graphics, the story took you on a ride in a fantasy world that, if you like games like Everquest or WoW, and books about the Dragonriders of Pern, you are bound to connect with and enjoy.

Aside from the awesome graphics and fantastic ride, there is a story (which I won't go in to 'cause I don't want to be a spoiler) to follow, which may not be based on an original theme, but is enough to carry the movie and keep the viewer's attention. The character development, of the handful of main characters, was good enough that if you weren't rooting for certain people by the end of the movie, you have a soul of a robot.

The movie ticked several of the good check boxes, and only a few minor negative ones. So, needless to say, in summary, I really liked Avatar and the blue people.

New Monitor

Hello... I'm right on top of things, huh? Last post was nearly 3 months ago.

Since I was disappointed in some of the photos I adjusted for web posting (looked fine on one crappy monitor, but too dark or light on a different crappy monitor), I postponed posting more photos until I could get a new monitor that would allow me to edit photos and know what they will look like when displayed on a properly calibrated viewing device.

So, last Friday I got a new monitor - NEC 2690 with SpectraView II calibration system. I set it up and calibrated it this weekend. Ohh, what a beauty. Makes the 'average' quality Dell LCD monitor look quite poor, and even makes the higher end monitor (another Dell) look less than stunning in comparison. I'm not interested in doing a side by side comparison between this and my macBook's uber-inferior screen (which is what I was using to view/adjust photos) . It would just be depressing.

I'd take a picture of the monitor, and post that, but what would be the point unless you were viewing it on another NEC, LaCie, or Eizo. Hmmm... Maybe I could take a side by side of the macBook and the 2690 - both displaying the same picture. That would show the quality difference between the two, but viewers might assume that the macBook is just really bad versus seeing that the 2690 is a beauty.

I do have a few other pictures in mind to post. I just need to crop and convert from raw... I just hope it will be less than 3 months for the next post to show up here...