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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

July 29
RocknRolla was, frankly, disappointing. It was confused and flat and felt like someone trying to ape Guy Ritchie's success with Lock, Stock except that the someone in question is Ritchie himself. Not really worth spending time on this.

July 28
How to make an American Quilt is rather unabashedly a chick flick, but I did find it quite engaging despite the complete lack of car chases and explosions. A little overcooked in some places but I understand that's a requirement for the genre. Not bad, though.

July 26
Aside from two scenes, I thought Public Enemies was an excellent movie, and possibly worth purchasing on DVD. The two scenes are both at the end of the film: the walkabout in the detectives' office, and the coda with Freschette and the G-man. The former was a bit too over-the-top brassy, and the latter was just pure unadulterated schmaltz that had no place in this movie. Aside from those, though, spot on. Go see.

July 25
I've always liked Benny and Joon, but I guess it's a lot more drama than comedy, and a lot of the comedy is Buster Keaton slapstick, so if that's not your thing then neither is this movie. Oh, and the Buster Keaton stuff is a little spoiled by the inexplicable hat-moving scene.

July 24
Re-watched Ice Age and The Crow. Of the former: I can't recall if I've seen the sequel, or what it's about, or why I don't own it. Of the latter, it's the Region 1 DVD: full DTS audio, but a far more conservative cut which is irritatingly obvious if you've seen the more liberal Region 2 cut.

July 18
Ran a 5-miler in the Phoenix Park today; different route from the last two years, which I'm fairly sure included more uphill than before; on top of that, I discovered that my cheap-but-functional watch had, as a result of a 4-storey fall, become cheap-and-nonfuctional, so I was pacing off others as best I could; but neither really excuses my rather slow time - 35:02, probably one of the worst times I've run over this distance. I think I need to do some more training or something before the 10-mile next month.

American Psycho did a good job of subtle reference to the lead character's actvities rather than the explicit portrayals in the book, but ultimately felt like it was building to a climax that never came. The credits rolled, and we sat there going, "but what about...". It's worth seeing for Bale's portrayal of Bateman, I guess, but don't expect a satisfactory ending.

Have you seen The Incredibles yet? Why not? I've seen it three times and you've not seen it once? Sheesh! Get to a movie rental store already!

July 16
Capricorn One was actually halfway decent despite suffering from basically being an average seventies movie - hammy acting, too much dialogue, long meaningful pauses, and so forth; it's got a few decent bits in it, and the basic storyline is good. Worth a look if it shows up on TV, maybe not so much worth actually looking for.

July 15
I've largely given up on the blogging stuff, but I can't help but comment on this: the Green Party and the Criminal Justice Bill (gangland remix version two). Ciaran Cuffe said he disagreed with it, but voted for it. Eoin Ryan says he supports the two Green senators who abstained from voting, but he also voted for it. And the two senators abstained instead of voting against it. All this smacks of political expediency to me: say you're against it to please one set of supporters, and vote for it (or avoid voting against it) to please another set. It's been a bit fashionable lately to knock the Greens for their capitulation on basic principles since entering government, but really, it's to be expected if even the guys who don't get their jobs from the electorate are unwilling to stand up and be counted (for either side, at that).

Oh yeah. I think the bill is a waste of time and the best thing that can happen to it is for it to be challenged in the Supreme Court as denying the right to fair trial. We do all this chest-beating about far-reaching and overblown anti-terror laws in the US and the UK, and then we (or our elected representatives, at least) pass the same thing ourselves, only focussed on a more domestic and, by extrapolation, smaller group of individuals. Wonderful.

July 14
As soon as I get around to writing something to check if NTL has reset my WLAN settings, they stop tweaking them. Typical.

July 12
Dean Spanley is a whimsical, oddball movie that's well worth watching. Peter O'Toole as a very proper old English father is outstanding, and Sam Neill carries off his role equally excellently. Definitely one to see.

July 11
I wasn't expecting much from Max Payne, but I think that might have been aiming a little too high. Even for a movie based on a video game this is pretty nonsensical. And I know that rhythmically flickering lights in dark corridors are a feature of this sort of game, but they don't make a whole lot of sense in a movie. Avoid.

July 10
Rewatched Sleepy Hollow. Johnny Depp is great in this, and Tim Burton takes obvious delight in putting him in situations where he's required to be covered in fake blood.

July 4
Caught the last half of one of the Bean movies, and it was about as entertaining as I expected, which is to say mildly. Really, I think the TV shorts are the only suitable vehicle for this sort of comedy; an hour or more of it is just overkill.

Far better entertainment to be found in Flawless which was a pretty decent heist movie - the sort of stuff Caine can do in his sleep, I imagine. The only real flaw (ha, you see what I did there?) was that for all her claimed smarts, Demi Moore's character made some remarkably stupid mistakes when she was supposedly panicked. Oh, and the post-caper coda seemed tacked on, like they were looking for some way to tie it back to the start of the story. Would have been better to ditch the opening, I suspect. Still, all in all an enjoyable piece of work.

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Another Rainy Summer