Friday, 6 February 2009

couple of flics

For some reason i watched a couple of films over the past 24 hours. During the opening credits of the first, I was thinking to myself, "Arnold Schwartzenegger and Wilt Chamberlain co-starring, what could possibly go wrong?". 90 minutes later that question was answered with a resounding "plenty". The previous conan film, Barbarian, was good naive fun, and essentially worked despite generally poor acting and a fairly thin premise. The same cannot be said for the second, Destroyer - the acting is much, much worse (Wilt Chamberlain is the least of the problems, despite probably being the only member who at the time had a credible other career), the premise is thinner, the pacing is terrible, and it all just doesn't work at all.

Then, this morning, on a whim, before going to work I put on "How To Lose Friends and Alienate Poeple", with Simon Pegg and some other people. I suppose it was written as a comedy, and it kind of has some grin moments, but very few laugh-out-loud ones, so I guess it doesn't really work as a comedy. It kind of works as a movie, though - the little plot tumbles along nicely, and Pegg and co-stars (Kirsten Dunst) are amiable, so it makes for a distracting flick, and I left for work feeling good about the day.

I don't know what it is that makes films work or not. What made Conan the Barbarian work for me, and Destroyer feel like rubbish? What makes HTLFaAP work for me, even when its raison d'être isn't really satisfactorily met?

Monday, 2 February 2009

active passivism

A wise man probably once said "if you have nothing interesting to say, don't say anything at all". He would be right. I choose to flagrantly disregard this wise advice.

I have recently been doing precisely nothing of interest.

Work has been frustrating. I have a paper upon which I am able to make good progress, but it is third on my priority list between a report and a grant application, neither of which I seem to be improving through my staring at them. I expect that to continue.

Outside of work, I have been doing nothing. Well, that's not quite true. By virtue of waiting a few weeks since my last post, I can cobble together a couple of things. I played a round of golf at Victoria Park and shot 81, which at 16 over par was probably my best statistical round ever, even if it didn't feel like it. I went to a movie night that did nothing to improve either my or the other attendees' understanding of the human condition. We won a few more games of beach volleyball. And I've spent an inordinate amount of time arsing about in AOC (the MMO game I've been playing for ages but out of shame have not mentioned).

In my opinion, it is presently the case that things could become interesting at any moment. I expect that circumstance to continue.