24 is coming back! I knew that. But I forgot. Anyway, here's the preview:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T184KcDHsn0&mode=related&searc have fun!
From Catherine_Creagan - 27.11.06
Since Catherine is busy posting the serious stuff, it's time to get back to my post as reporter of all things vaugely geeky or entertaining. So Saturday night I went off and saw Casino Royale. In a theater. Which was nice, since I rarely get off campus, much less watch movies on a more than 12 inch screen, and was generally amazed at how shock-and-awe cool the movie was. The relaunch of the series seems to be taking a much more Batman Begins/Bourne Identity approach; everything's more gritty and down-to-earth. The gadgets are minimal; for the most part Bond is equipped with nothing but a tux and a silenced pistol, doing actual spying things. Daniel Craig, too, is now my favorite action hero apart from Jason Bourne. He plays a version of Bond you can take seriously as a character, and whom you root for instead of laugh at. The only elements of camp in sight were the periodic jabs at the old movies. Eva Green, as the new Bond girl, is not only inhumanly good looking, but a great actor too. And her character is barely slutty at all (relatively speaking.) The only weak point I could see was a somewhat disconcerting (for me) sense of overall pacing. I was sometimes unsure where I was in terms of the story arc, or even what Bond was supposed to do next. The long running time exacerbates this too, and some plot strings are left hanging. Even so, I didn't even notice the movie was over two hours long. Casino Royale gets my Best Action Movie of the Year So Far Award.
From Ben - 27.11.06
It's kind of hard to write about this blasted month. The election seems so far away now; I can honsetly say that the disappointment over Santorum has worn off. But then Texas lost (unjustly, too...there's the rub) to A&M. Setting the stage for Saturday night. Can't deny it...I shed my fair share of anguished tears. One of the first horrified thoughts that crossed my mind was, "God doesn't care about football after all!!!" Of course once rationality returned, I realized that He says "no" to His Irish children more often than any others. I just hope those hard earned (and painful I might add) miles gave some extra strength to Brady. He took a heck of a pounding that night.
From Catherine_Creagan - 26.11.06
Take Russia for example. Russians always and forever will get a raw deal; it looks like if they're not being oppressed in one way or another some inutterable cosmic order will be unbalanced. Putin is about as scary as they come. This actually is quite startling, because Russia rarely has a ruler who isn't a terrifying human being. So he decides to bump off a female reporter (whose name I cannot spell, unfortunately) who was criticizing him and his policies too freely. And then Alexander Litvenenko decides to investigate her incredibly fishy death and...yeah. Saw this coming a mile away. After a short vacation, Russia's back to the days where you avert your eyes and mutter "I don't know" when someone asks you about your government.
From Catherine_Creagan - 24.11.06
I feel like I would do almost anything for an Irish victory this Saturday. I did manage to do a little bit (besides assaulting Heaven with my .45 caliber prayers). I told God that I would run three miles (look, I'm no marathoner) every day until Saturday, INCLUDING Thanksgiving if He would guarantee a win for us. Then I thought that was a bit bold, told Him never mind, it was in His hands, but I was offering up all those extra miles anyway. Just so He knew. For those of you unfamiliar with my route, it's a wimpy two miles. So by Saturday, five more miles will be run for those guys. The scary thing is that I don't even go to ND; if this kind of desperate fervor is inspired by the mere presence of a relative at the institution...I tremble to think what will happen to me if I attend. All night mortification sessions, here I come! This is not to say that I lack confidence in Quinn, Samardjiza, Walker, Zbikowski, et al. Just being prepared. Speaking of all night mortification. Recently I had to read The Scarlet Letter for school. It was fairly decent as far as Nathaniel Hawthorne goes. But I was shocked that I was supposed to think Roger Chillingworth was the villain! Excuse me? Who's the slimy noodlehead who seduced and then abandoned Hester? Hmm? Who's the man who abandoned his child to the mercy of Puritan justice and left the woman he supposedly loved to rot in a hygenically unsound hut? The Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale was not just a weak character who needed redemption, blah blah blah. Chillingworth was not deranged to desire justice (hey, maybe he did get sidetracked, but that still wasn't his fault) Dimmesdale is to blame for everything. He fathers Pearl, abandons her and her mother to the dogs, and then pretends to live a life of perfect sanctity, causing his parish to venerate him as a saint and the whole town to grant him obsequious adulation. Hester was made to do penance for her sin right away; Dimmesdale continued to increase his sin by his craven neglect of the mother and child and his despicable inablity to 'fess up. So what if he whips himself all night? So what if he fasts and abuses himself? In the long run, it doesn't take much moral courage to mortify yourself in the privacy of your closet if you don't intend to let the world know your guilt. Roger Chillingworth comes home to find his wife on public display for the sin of adultery with no man beside her to share the blame. I think it was his duty as a husband to locate the miserable worm who took advantage of his wife and bring said worm to justice. So he deduced Dimmesdale's guilt and then went insane, quite literally. And who's fault was that? Dimmesdale again! The fact that this prim and proper minister went about preaching on others' guilt and was held in high reverence by the community while Hester was reviled and treated with hatred and scorn turned Chillingworth's mind. As it would have many a stronger man, I'm sure. Chillingworth unfortunately decided Dimmesdale should go to hell and never repent; otherwise I would laud him as the one truly manly character in that wretched hole of a Puritan village. Dimmesdale makes a grand confession at the end...and dies. Typical melodrama on his part. Doesn't even live to clarify that he meant what he said; his diehard parishoners go on think he was the holiest pair of feet to walk the planet. Apparently they assumed he stood by Hester the Sinner to make a symbolic point. And no, he doesn't get off the hook because he died. He should have seen that one coming. At least Pearl became normal and presumably had a nice life; Chillingworth went died because his sole pastime (tormenting the tremorous toad) was gone. Hester left and then came back to continue her penance. Add to that the fact that Dimmesdale never was sorry ( he managed to convince Hester to live with him abroad...easy for him to say, nothing happened to him the first time) and you are left with the inevitable conclusion that Dimmesdale (figuratively speaking) can be safely added to my list of people-who-deserve-to-be-called-louses-and-thrown-out-of-windows. Just so you all know, I did run three miles on Monday, and again today. I feel quite helpful.
From Catherine_Creagan - 21.11.06
Recently I completed my epic viewing quest: five seasons of Star Trek The Next Generation. Star Trek seldom fails to make me chuckle; at times I can't help guffawing. The main theme is not nearly as hilarious as the theme from the Original Series, but other than that, I enjoy TNG immensely. Except for one character. Captain Jean-Luc Picard (aka Patrick Stewart) is a thorn in my side. It's not that he's out of place because he actually can act. It's because he has such a vexing take on human history. I mean, he's supposed to be the resident archaeological buff on board, but apparently only on random alien moons. He reads Shakespeare and 40's whodunits, but honestly...that seems to be the extent of his Earth knowledge. As I'm from Earth, I resent his posturing, preachiness, and galling self-righteousness. (Uh-oh. I didn't think I was a Trekkie, but I'm starting to talk about this guy like he really existed.) What right has he to blandly talk about how savage humans used to be, how they even warred over "economic principles"...*cough cough, you mean communism?coughcough* (turd. that's like saying we fought Nazis because of their religious principles. saying we had a choice.) He assures visitors from the past that humans don't fight anymore, 1) because they've evolved -don't ask-, and 2) because humanity somehow eliminated all need for personal possessions and any want of any kind. go figure...they bred out Original Sin. I suppose his bad attitude has to do with the fact that there is absolutely no religion and a whole lot of boring and overstated agendas. But even if it's not his fault, every time he shows up (when I'm watching by myself...and that's 99% of the time) I chuck a pillow at the tv. Even so, I'm still pining for unwatched episodes. It's a sickness.
From Catherine_Creagan - 17.11.06
This was going to be a comment on Ben’s post, but then it got really big. So…first off, I have to admit, I have never read His Dark Materials; and I don’t intend to. Pullman’s probably a very good writer (Ben is seldom wrong about these things) but beyond that I have nothing good to say about him and only ill will to direct toward the movie coming out based on The Golden Compass. See, Philip Pullman takes pride of place on my list of people-who-deserve-to-be-called-louses-and-thrown-out-of-windows. He’s a vile lump of humanity and I would as soon smack him as set eyes upon him. Anyone who calls Tolkien an “imbecile” and “childish” I hold in contempt. And anyone who calls CS Lewis “wicked” and “dangerous” for children to read really should be thrown out a window. Pullman pleads guilty to both charges. If only for that I would thumb my nose at his books, but I did read a lengthy review in Crisis about his work and found myself grimly vindicated in my opinion of the man. Apparently the theme of his work is the evil of authority (the protagonists get to team up with Satan, lucky them). I even got to read the thrilling passage where said proragonists kill God. That was exciting. I am intrigued by the news that The Golden Compass is going up against Prince Caspian. I sincerely hope Narnia takes the boxoffice by storm and The Golden Compass goes belly up. I don’t think His Dark Materials is as popular a series in the US as it is in Great Britain; however, I have seen it on school bookshelves. Catholic school bookshelves at that. There was no Harry Potter in that library, which probably made them feel righteous. But I couldn’t find the Chronicles of Narnia in there either.
From Catherine_Creagan - 16.11.06
After much wrangling over a choice of directors, the movie The Golden Compass is finally getting underway. With the director of American Pie at the helm, things are looking bleak already, but this recently released still perks up my hope a bit. All the behind the scenes stuff I've seen look very neat, mostly because studios are realizing how much money these epic fantasy movies can make. Lyra is being played by an unknown, Dakota Blue Richards (that's right, a different Dakota), but Daniel Craig aka The New James Bond will be playing Lord Asriel, Nichole Kidman will be Mrs Coulter, and Eva Green will be the witch Serefina Pekkala. New Line was reported to be concerened at first with the series' blatant anti-God message, but it's still uncertain how much, if at all, those themes have been diluted. Pullman declared he was happy with the script though, so that might be evidence enough. On an ironic note, it appears the movie will be realsed in competion with Prince Caspian, which ought to prove to be very revealing, seeing as Pullman has pretty much anounced himself to be Lewis's antithesis on all matters moral and thematic. I'll probably end up seeing both. There isn't a whole lot to object to in The Golden Compass; things only get seriously loopy in The Amber Spyglass, and, taken strictly as a literary work, it's remakably well written. For more information on the His Dark Materials book trilogy, go to the Wiki page here. Sorry for the rather extended leave...I'll try to get more posts up here from now on. Unless I can't.
From Ben - 15.11.06
People are so rude these days. I realize it's hard to build a house quietly; the construction workers next to my house have been remarkably subdued up until now. I don't know what changed, but now they've upped the volume about 200%. One day it's just tap tap tapping on the beams...the next thing I know, I go out to get the mail and am greeting by the dulcet strains of WE ARE FAMILY!!!!!! I'VE GOT ALL MY SISTERS WITH ME!!!!!!!! I don't remember the disco era and count myself blessed. But I have a vague idea of what a disco move should look like and performed a few wild gyrations down the driveway (wouldn't have made it in Saturday Night Fever, but I tried) and achieved the desired effect. The music was silenced...whether the guy made a decision to get dinner or simply aghast by what he'd seen, I have no idea. And today they've learned that yelling is more productive than seeking out and speaking to. JOHN! YOU MEASURE THAT? YEAH!! CUT A COUPLE INCHES OFF! ugh. I'm to civilized to brandish my fist at them.
From Catherine_Creagan - 14.11.06
...I guess. Patriots lost AGAIN. this time to an insignificant blip of a team. I feel like I'm finally becoming a seasoned fan, toughening up and saying, "There's always next week!" That, and the fact that New England is still top of the AFC East. Hope springs eternal. This looks promising for the Irish; I still hear predictions that they'll lose to USC...to which I say "bah!" (now my new favorite word) In other news, Michael Medved rocks my world. Too bad I don't know how to link to today's radioshow...such is the fate of the technologically impaired. Anyway. The topic was that Sir Elton John apparently thinks religion is more trouble than it's worth. Not terribly surprising, coming from a man who engages in a sin commonly repugnant to religious people. So of course there came the callers in droves, accusing organized religion of violence and hatred. Medved was really good on pointing out that Christianity at least, teaches that God does not hate any sinner, only the sin committed. One of the gay callers demanded to know where in the Bible it says that homosexuality is wrong. So out comes that tricky little verse in Leviticus where it is referred to as an abomination. Gay caller takes offense. Wants to know why Medved thinks he's an abomination. To which to intrepid Jew responds that said caller may be a mdoel citizen and great neighbor, but in this one part of his life, there is an abominable act. And no, we don't know if said caller is going to Hell, that's kind of up to God. Seems fairly obvious, but there are so many people who insist that the Church hates gays and sends them to Hell. Maybe when Jesus said "The poor you will always have with you" He meant the poor in mental faculties.
From Catherine_Creagan - 13.11.06
I don't know how many of you watched the game last night. If you didn't...well. The Patriots lost. So, considering what my prophecy amounted to on Monday, I am going to change everything around. The Patriots lost on Sunday. They will lose again on Tuesday. Not the NFL team, needless to say; and I don't mean to say that Republicans = Patriots. Or that all Democrats are intrinsically unpatriotic. But the MSM will have won, and if they win...then whatever the antithesis of patriot is ( traitor dare we say?) will have won. No, gentle reader, these folks...these anchors and journalists and reporters that constitute the MSM are not patriots. It's harsh but true and has been true since...well, I would venture since Edward R. Murrow. They love America as a vague idea; but in practice, for whatever reason, they concentrate an absurd amount of effort into breaking her. This is not in reference to all exposes (how I wish I could find an accent key!); those are dashed useful on occasion. Probably more often than that. What I'm talking about is their silliness,their prissisness, self righteousness that lost us Vietnam (heck no, Ho Chi Minh didn't beat us. Walt Cronkite, hands down) and could lose us Iraq. What kind of media do we have when they pull out embeded reporters, not for the reporters' safety...but because they were too sympathetic to the troops? (Yes, OUR troops). Why don't they have the guts to wear American flags on their lapels? (what do you bet that if a Kofi Annan button was around, they'd stick it on...) These people are petty, and have been for a long time. So. I don't think things will go well come Tuesday...
From Catherine_Creagan - 6.11.06
Just to be ornery, I'm posting my own election prediction: Republicans keep both House and Senate. Seem farfetched? Well so am I. I guess I am not as sure as everyone else that America is that desperate for change. But I could be wrong. I am not very hopeful for the Patriots against the Colts. Not that I think Manning is better than Brady (perish the thought) but I don't have a lot of confidende in the Pat's defence. But then, the Colts' don't really have a stellar defence either.
From Catherine_Creagan - 5.11.06
So Law&Order's been advertising still more cases "ripped from the headlines". But the one that caught my eye was the celebrity who gets arrested for drunk driving. And then we get to see a clip of said celebrity getting in some woman's face and yelling " You're a Jew, aren't you?" (If it's any consolation, he didn't look a thing like Mel) At the time I didn't quite know what to say. Then I thought to myself...what is wrong with these people? To me, responsible human beings don't jump on another to sell a tv show. That's the action of rabidly starving wild animals, who need food. So if your writers are that desperate, it should tell you something. Like...maybe they should get a new job. Now to change the topic. I love Steve Hartman; he's funny, original, and pretty much always has a great story to tell. But tonight on CBS I was disappointed for the first time. He was covering illegal immigration, and a photo gallery that shows pictures illegal immigrants take crossing the border and pictures taken by the minute men trying to stop them. That's all well and good and interesting, but then why oh WHY did he (Hartman) then take sample pictures to prospective illegal immigrants? And ask them if they know that Americans don't want them to come? Will try to keep them out? Will discriminate against them? AIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry. Then the young girl looks at him and tells him that she knows Americans are afraid of them and will discriminate against them because of their color, but that doesn't matter because we're all equal. Ok. So we have another tear jerker, but missed the point entirely...which is that those mean Americans "don't want" Mexicans coming in ILLEGALLY. Yes, we love immigrants. Immigrants made this country what it is. But we also aren't terribly fond of people who break the law. Isn't that still alright? Sheesh. Immigration needs to reformed, though. It's ridiculously difficult to get into America. ( As a legal resident...to immigrate, in other words) Immigration has practically become our monument to useless paperwork and frustration (...yes, I mean bureaucracy)
From Catherine_Creagan - 3.11.06
My computer is behaving oddly, otherwise I would post the by now famous picture of some of our troops in Iraq holding up a sign...a plea for help, addressed to John Kerry. See here. I have to say, my initial reaction to the Massachusets senator's "botched joke" was complete disbelief. I mean to say; how stupid can you get? A week to go in the elections, and you want to start intimating that our troops are idiots? Not as stupid as you, you lughead... In further news, I have firmly come to the conclusion that journalists are, by in large, feckless, irresponsible guttersnipes. Now what? Oh, just the story that was aired on ABC, CBS, and NBC. About Iraq being oh so close to complete chaos. Complete with nifty chaos meter. All this fascinating information? Courtesy of the New York Times. What exactly they're trying to accomplish is beyond me. I'm trying to think of any way in which a story like that all over the MSM is going to help the situation...oh wait, the elections are next Tuesday, aren't they? However, we may end on a positive note. The Patriots played some wicked football on Monday (Minnesota was made to bite the dust, 31-7). No power in the 'verse can stop them.
From Catherine_Creagan - 2.11.06
I haven't been able to have a really good tirade in a while, so here she blows. Recently, a couple of friends saw Flyboys and hated it. That's fine, war movies are not for all of us; however, these same two saw MI-III and loved it. On the surface, that seems normal; if historical war films aren't your cup of tea, maybe insane action flicks are. I liked both. But what got me was the criticisms of Flyboys: too long, so many stupid cliches, so predictable, the relationship between the rich white guy and the poor black guy was unbearable, so many times to groan...and I realized that if I were to make a critique of MI-III, all those things would be on the list. True, I was laughing wholeheartedly through my groans, and the final revelation about who the real bad guys were and what they were up to wasn't entirely expected. On the other hand, that same final revelation was so dumb that I forgot I didn't see it coming. Aha! Our government is evil and underhanded AGAIN and tries to frame poor Middle Eastern countries, selling them dirty bombs and the cleaning their clocks so that it can "do what it does best; clean up, infrastructure, democracy". Excuse me while I go throw up; I find treasonous statements unpalatable. Oh, and guess what...the white guy, is the bad guy, he was just framing that poor, righteous black man. Because he was black. Wow. See, the reason I would in most moods prefer the aforementioned war movie is because it is heroic without having to bash the mother country; there is romance without descending into gratuitous immorality (although that might have been different if they had cast Tom Cruise as the leading man...I think it's in his contract or something); and in some ways, totally new and non-cliched because it's a war movie that isn't screechingly anti-war. It chooses to celebrate heroic virtue, what are the odds. So, I liked MI-III and everything, but am sort of sad that it's more the mood the country finds itself in, instead of the other film. With that theme music, how can you resist...
From Catherine_Creagan - 1.11.06