My Favorite Movies Ever!

Chaos in Print

Back in university, I took German as my second language. And every Friday, our professor would ask us (in German, of course) what we’d be doing for the weekend, and we’d have to respond (in German, of course). 9 times out of 10, I’d say I’d be watching TV. One Friday, when this had transpired, my professor threw me a curve ball. She asked me what my favorite TV show was. I was floored. I was stunned. Here I was, a person who always spent a good chunk of the day in front of the TV, but I never stopped to ask myself what my favorite show was. So, that weekend, I took a pen in hand, and just began writing. I did a little piece of self-exploration. After 10 pages (handwritten, by the way) I came to the conclusion that my favorite TV show of all time is The Flash, the short-lived show about the DC comics character that was on for the TV season of 1990/1991. And in the grand tradition of deja vu, I find myself similarly floored.
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Chaos in Print

OK, here’s the deal. I’m taking off for the long weekend. I’m heading out to Jasper for one last big mountain expedition before heading out to Japan. I’ve been putting off writing a column all week, and now that I’m about to go, I’ve got to throw something together. I must maintain my streak! In the 2.9 years I’ve been doing this, there’s only one week where I didn’t have a column. I must fill this void! I must throw something, anything, together so I can call it a column! I must not let a week go empty again!

(We’ll ignore the fact that this is going to wind up being posted a day late, anyway, because I won’t be back until Monday night.)
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Movie Review – Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Star Wars Episode II:  Attack of the Clones

Directed by George Lucas

Starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDirmand, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Christopher Lee, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Three years ago, I remember standing in line with about a dozen people, as we were all hoping to be the first to see Episode I. It was a grand day, ending in what I thought was a good movie. Most of the world (and a few of the people I went with) felt Episode I to be quite the let-down, and only I remained to be defender of the faith. But now, as Episode II approached, most of my friends just weren’t as hyped as they were three years ago. Even I found myself lacking in excitement, and instead of gathering a dozen followers of the faith, I decided it was better to just go with one close friend. The build up for Episode II was different that the one for Episode I, and that resulted in my views becoming a little more mature.

It’s 10 years after The Phantom Menace. Unrest once again grips the Senate. A fromer Jedi by the name of Count Dooku (Lee) is leading a seperatist movement. The Jedi find their resources stretched to the limit defending the Republic against this seperatist foe, and so the Senate is considering the unthinkable: raising an army. Things come to head when the leader of the opposition to this army proposal, Senator Amidala of Naboo (Portman) barely escapes an assination attempt. To defend the senator, a Jedi Knight and his padawan learner, two people she is very familiar with, are assigned to protect her: Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Christensen). Anakin is now all grown up from when we last saw him, and is harboring a deep secret: he is madly in love with Amidala. But, the Jedi forbid romance. When Obi-Wan and Anakin foil the second assisnation attempt, the duo is split up for the first time. Obi-Wan is ordered to track down the assasin, while Anakin is ordered to safely see Amidala back to Naboo and continue protecting her. Obi-Wan soon traces the assasin back to a bounty hunter named Jango Fett, and the chase is on through the galaxy. Meanwhile, Anakin and Amidala, holed up together on Naboo, soon make their true intentions known to each other. But they cannot live in peace, as Anakin is haunted by nightmares of his mother, and is driven to return to Tatooine. In what condition will Anakin find his mother? Will Anakin and Amidala find love and happiness? Can Obi-Wan capture Jango Fett? It all builds up to a massive showdown in which even Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Yoda must pick up a lightsaber and defend the Republic.

There’s only one thing I’m sure people are hoping to hear abou this film: it’s better than Episode I. The plot seems to be more consistent, and the action scenes are just bigger and better. I’m sure that, when you first heard of Yoda’s fight scenes, your first instinct was that it was going to look ridiculous. Well, it actually comes across quite cool. There’s even a chase through a droid factory that seemed like it came from that other trilogy George Lucas gave us, Indiana Jones. There are some flaws. George Lucas just doesn’t know how to do romance. When Anakin begins professing his love for Amidala, brace yourself for some of the cheesiest pick-up lines ever! But, since that’s the only complaint I have, I’m willing to overlook it. Besides great action, there’s also wonderful little character moments between Anakin and Obi-Wan. There is even a few strangely appropriate “cute moments.” (Like a 1950s style diner, complete with droid waitresses that say “What can I get ya, hon?”) Better than Episode I. Better than Spider-Man I dare say. Go see it.

4 Nibs

My Brilliant Idea for a Video Game

Chaos in Print

I had pizza for supper last night. Let me explain to you how ordering a pizza in Entwistle works. See, no one in Entwistle delivers pizza, so if you feel like one, you call up one of our three local truck stops and place your order. You wait about half-an-hour, then you go to the truck stop and pick it up. It’s a very quaint system. Attempts in the past at bringing home delivery to this town failed, mainly because the streets in Entwistle aren’t numbered, so the pizza delivery person would usually get lost due to the customer’s poor directions. On this particular evening, I chose the Journeyman Inn to get a pizza from. It’s always been the Journeyman Inn, except for a year or two in the mid-1980’s when it was Norm’s Inn. The pizza wasn’t quite ready when I arrived, so as I waited by the counter, my gaze wandered around the restaurant.
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Master of the Mechanical Things

Chaos in Print

I’ve always had a fascination with all things technological. Give me a screwdriver, and I’ll have a fun afternoon tearing stuff apart. At my old job at Extra Foods, one of the turntables on one of the tills would always let out a dreadful squeak. While all the other cashiers would complain to the store manager to get it fixed, I took a screwdriver in hand with the idea that I could fix it myself. A few removed panels and half-a-can of WD-40 later, I stopped the squeak. With such a mentality, I’m sure you would understand that it spreads to computers. Long have I desired to just buy the raw parts and build my own Teletran-1. Darmok, my go-to guy for computers, has continuously offered to walk me through the process. So, when my parents bought a new computer, my eyes lit up. I might finally get my chance.
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Movie Review – Spider-Man


Directed by Sam Raimi

Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe, James Franco, Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson, and J.K. Simmons.

It was February of 1996. I had been at university for a month. A few members of the computer science faculty had recently given a beginners course to getting onto the Internet. After playing with Netscape for a week, I was getting confident with this Internet thing. I started thinking, “Gee. I wonder if I could use the Internet to find movie news?” I decided to use the Internet to find out the truth on one movie I had always heard rumors and whispers about. I went to my favorite search engine, and entered these simple words: “Spider-Man Movie.” And thus, a man’s addiction with movie gossip websites was born. So, as you could imagine, I have been waiting for this film for a really long time.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the plot by now. Peter Parker (Maguire) is your average high school geek. A loner, an outcast, and hopelessly in love with the girl next door, Mary Jane Watson (Dunst). Peter’s only friend is Harry Osborn (Franco), who has grown distant from his billionaire father and scientist, Norman Osborn (Dafoe). But, on one fateful field trip, Peter is bitten by a radioactive spider, and soon strange things begin to happen. He gets super-strength. He can climb walls. He can shoot web out of his wrists. He can sense danger. Peter decides to use these powers to make himself some money, and becomes Spider-Man. Meanwhile, across town, Norman Osborn is desperate to win a military contract. So desperate, that he tests an experimental strength enhancing chemical on himself. This turns Norman insane, and he becomes the Green Goblin. A personal tragedy later, Spider-Man decides to become a superhero instead, and soon Spider-Man and the Green Goblin are battling over the streets of New York. Will Peter win the heart of Mary Jane? Will Harry reconnect with his father? Can Spider-Man learn the true identity of the Green Goblin, or will the Green Goblin learn the true identity of Spider-Man? Does great power really come with great responsibility?

I only have one complaint about this movie: I wish it were longer. There are so many aspects of the Spider-mythos that they could have dabbled in, but they didn’t. Instead, they just touched upon the big ones: the origin, the Green Goblin, and the romance with Mary Jane. All in all, a great start. As the beginning of a potential epic, this movie just plain rocks. Maguire captures the heart and sould of Peter Parker/Spider-Man perfectly. Dafoe is wonderfully insane as the Green Goblin, and Dunst is just wonderfully unattainable as Mary Jane. And J.K. Simmons, in his brief scenes as J. Jonah Jameson, just steals the show. I just loved everything about this movie, and I hope (actually, I know) that I won’t have to wait as long for Spider-Man 2. My mother thinks I paid this film the highest compliment when I said these words as soon as I got home: “I must see it again.”

4 Nibs