• Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    I saw the new Harry Potter movie on Friday, and it was pretty disappointing. Keep in mind that my comments come from the perspective of someone who has never picked up a Harry Potter book, but this movie was just boring. I don’t know if it is true to the book of the same name, but I can’t imagine it is.

    The entire movie was just about the mean lady (I’ve completely forgotten her name) and Harry teaching the other students defense against the dark arts, after he gives a speech about how he doesn’t really know defense against the dark arts and that he just has luck. I don’t get it.

    I really liked the first four. I hope the next two are much better. I think that’s the shortest blog post I’ve ever written, but I don’t want to give any spoilers away when I’d just be complaining anyway.

  • Weekend Movie Reviews

    I watched three movies this weekend. On Friday, I watched Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (hereafter known as “Borat“), on Saturday, I watched Jesus Camp, and today, I watched Casino Royale. I have been doing a lot of homework for my various classes and continuing education classes, not to mention work, so I deserved this break. Partly for me, and partly for Google, I will give my short reviews of each.


    BoratBoratAbout two months ago, my previous roommate Courtney Malone signed up for MySpace so he could catch an advanced screening of Borat. He lives in a real city now, so that’s the reason this was possible. He reviewed it on his blog at that time. He basically spent the entire time bitching about MySpace and how he hates it, but he did write these few sentences.

    Though I was initially concerned that the movie would be a 2 hour skit that should have been 5 minutes (like every episode of SNL for the past 3 years), it ended up being pretty damned funny. Think Team America: World Police funny, not West Wing funny. The neat thing about the movie is that a many of Borat’s interactions are with unwitting members of the general public.

    I totally agree with that part of that paragraph, but I disagree with the rest of his post about MySpace. Borat was very funny. I also thought it would be like an SNL skit that went too long, but it wasn’t. There is a part where he is speaking in tongues, which I found hilariously awesome considering I’m a former pentecostal of the Assemblies of God church, and I too was “baptized in the holy spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues”. He talks about his new friend “Mister Jesus”. The whole movie is hilarious, but they didn’t have the volume up loud enough and everyone is constantly laughing so it was hard to hear some of the things.

    If you’re looking for a good laugh for an hour and a half, go see Borat. High five!

    Jesus Camp

    Jesus CampJesus CampJesus Camp is a very disturbing look at a specific pentecostal religious camp and then evangelical Christians in general. Pastor Ted haggard (of gay hooker and meth fame) is also featured in the movie saying that homosexuals are wrong. How ironic. He has also criticized the film, even though it is very even handed. The creators have posted a response to him. I can imagine my parents would also love this movie because they would see it as Christianity on the march. If you are an atheist or otherwise a free-thinker and you are apathetic towards religion, please go see this movie. The evangelicals are trying to take over this country, and so far, they’re doing a good job of it.

    I must admit, there were several parts in the movie where I winced, reminded of my own childhood. It’s amazing what they can do to kids and convince them that speaking in tongues (otherwise known to the scientific community as glossolalia) is a gift from the “holy spirit”. One girl said it’s great to be like a real warrior for God, “only funner”. One pastor at the camp asked, “How many of you kids are ready to give up your life for God?” Almost all of them enthusiastically raised their hands at once. We’re raising a nation that is 25% (percentage of evangelical Christians in the US) terrorists. I’m telling you, this movie really scared me. I can only hope they’ll wake up as I did.

    Casino Royale

    Casino RoyaleCasino RoyaleThis was the best movie I saw this weekend, although Jesus Camp was a close second. It is everything that a Bond movie is supposed to be. It has tons of action, an amazing opening chase sequence, beautiful girls, tons of twists, and an amazing cast.

    Speaking of cast, everyone is gone, with the exception of Judi Dench as M. Nobody appears as Q, Bond is now played by Daniel Craig, and there is a new Moneypenny of course, played by Eva Green.

    There is no longer just sexual tension between bond and Moneypenny. Well, there is, but then later, there’s just sex. Bond is even going to leave MI6 for her. I won’t spoil the ending, but it is worth noting that this is a prequel of the entire series. Regardless of the Moneypenny story, she is very attractive in this movie and I enjoyed that personal storyline. It was a lot more involved than most Bond girl storylines. Casino Royale was the first James Bond book, and he has just been given 00 status.

    That movie was so awesome. I’m sure I’ll watch it again soon. I didn’t think that new creepy looking Bond would be good, but I warmed to him immediately. Poor Pierce; I’ve already forgotten him.

    If you’d like to see scenes from the movie and hear the awesome theme song for this one (complete with the gun barrel shot), here’s the video from YouTube.

    The new Bond and the Bond girls
    The new Bond and the Bond girls (Moneypenny is on the left)

  • The Prestige, PlayStation 2, and Programming

    Update 1: Added Krystal Meyers picture and GH2 news.
    Update 2: Fixed “lost”/”lot” typo, thanks to John McCain.

    Before I begin on the title’s topics, I’d like to begin with another: Christian Music. Normally, I dislike it because it’s completely boring, and of course the content is verbal diarrhea. However, recently, I prepaid for two years (MasterCard buy one year, get one free special) of Yahoo! Music Unlimited. YMU is really awesome, because it lets me listen to and download unlimited amounts of music. By using FairUse4WM, you can even completely strip the DRM and take your media wherever you want.

    I don’t even hardly ever use the download functionality, though. I use YMU to keep me entertained at work while programming. I rate the music when I listen to it, and YMU will add those ratings to my preferences. I can then listen to “My Station”, which will use those ratings to make further recommendations to me.

    Krystal Meyers
    Krystal Meyers
    With that said, that’s not how I found Christian Music. They also have advertising placed on some of the entry pages in the program, and I clicked on this Krystal Meyers person’s advertisement for her new album. Now granted, I clicked on her because she’s hot, but in my defense, the advertisement didn’t say it was Christian music. However, I think she is an awesome singer. You should check out her music.

    On Friday, Chris, who I got to sign up for YMU as well, even pointed out that I was jamming to a song about abstinence, The Situation. I don’t normally pay attention to lyrics, but I found myself singing “Maybe that’s the beauty of grace!!!” to myself later after listening to the song of the same title. Her music is just that good, that it makes me momentarily forget that I’m an atheist. Chris said he’s worried that I’m turning into a Christian. After all, I did leave our Shreveport Atheists meeting 2 seconds earlier than he.

    I didn’t want any of that as part of the title of this post, and it would have ruined the P thing I had going on there, so sorry that you had to read that first.

    I went to see The Prestige with Joey and Natalie last night. That was probably the best movie that I’ve seen in a long time. It rivaled Hero, and I’m not sure which would win. It stars Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. Christian Bale is my favorite actor ever. It was directed by the same director as Batman Begins and Memento. Those are two of my favorite movies ever. It also had Scarlett Johansson in a starring role, one of the hottest and best actresses ever. (Also, she’s released some kind of single that I heard on YMU that sounds like Frank Sinatra. I don’t like it.)

    The point is, there were a lot of “ever”s in that previous paragraph, and they all point to The Prestige being an awesome movie. Also, David Bowie plays Nikola Tesla, an unlikely but excellent performance. And who doesn’t like Michael Caine? Go see this movie.

    Also, Brandon and white Bryan were sitting really close to us and we talked to them right before and after the movie. That was cool seeing them, since I hadn’t seen them in forever. Brandon asked what drugs I had been on, since he hadn’t seen me in forever and I’ve lost a lot of weight since then.

    Before the movie, I hung out at Joey’s house for a few hours and we played ping pong for a while. That was excellent; I hadn’t played in forever, and I’m out of practice. He also mentioned that his friend/coworker was trying to get rid of his PlayStation 2. Apparently, the friend only wanted 40 bucks for a non-slim PS2 with controller and cables. I had the cash on me, so I told Joey to tell the friend, who was also going to the movie, to bring the PS2. I bought it, so now I have a PS2 sandwiched between my Xbox and Xbox 360. Guitar Hero 2, here I come, especially since I’ll be able to play the Top Gear theme song! (Get well soon, Hamster.) Update: I just pre-ordered Guitar Hero 2 Game and Guitar and got a nifty little t-shirt to show for it.

    I spent most of today catching up on the last week’s TV watching. I watched Battlestar Galactica, two CSIs, two The Offices, a ton of Colbert Report and Daily Shows, Mythbusters, CSI: New York, and a couple of episodes of The Way of the Master (more evidence for Chris).

    I think I’ve worked out my weekend schedule. On Fridays, I either do things with friends or accidentally fall asleep at 8pm. On Saturdays, I catch up on TV and lie to myself and tell myself I’ll do schoolwork. On Sundays, I actually do schoolwork. That seems to be the general way things have been going lately.

    I was actually semi-productive today as well, though. While watching the Colbert Reports and Daily Shows, I worked more on my Lab2 for CSC 460, finishing the business and data layers for the program. I’ll probably do the game manager part tomorrow.

    When going to find the links for this blog entry, Natalie’s myspace is very hard to read, and it reminded me of Soda‘s myspace. Her myspace makes my Firefox go very slowly and I can’t even click on her picture because of the marquees. I can’t make people stop ruining the Internet and clogging the tubes, but I can write a bookmarklet to remove all that crap. Stupid WordPress won’t let me put the actual link here, but you can grab the Fix MySpace Bookmarklet from that page that I created. Once it’s in your bookmarks or links and you’re on an ugly myspace page, just click it to remove all that ugly stuff. It works like a charm and makes Natalie and Soda’s pages legible.

    Sorry for the extremely long post, not that anyone reads this.