Thursday, December 20, 2007

Official News, New TVs, and Bad Movies

Job Stuff

I got the official notice yesterday afternoon. My job here will end with my contract on February 11, 2008. They are eliminating my position. It’s worse than expected however, as the number of people they are eliminating has grown. The boss was actually crying last night after a conference call which made a final decision to eliminate her (virtual) assistant. And people in the regional offices are already being let go.

I have to say that I’m happy about this. I’ve always liked change and this change is going to be much better for me than staying on for what I would see as another wasted year. (Ok, this wasn’t a wasted year. I learned a lot, improved my Spanish, and gained some valuable experience. But to continue for another year in this same position? That would be a waste.)

My next move is still up in the air. I have 3 possibilities on the horizon but nothing has become clear as of yet. I still have a hovering visa issue (marriage visa grants right to stay, not right to work, and getting the right to work is an arduous process) and that is complicating things. Let’s hope for the most favorable outcome, no matter what that means.

At any rate, I’ve had nothing to do in the office for about 2 or 3 weeks now and that looks to continue. Yesterday I made photocopies for about 10 minutes. I’m trying not to overly tax myself. Of course, the good part about that is that I’ve made great strides with my book and while I don’t think I’m going to hit my end of the year target, I’ll come extremely close. (I had hoped to have a complete first draft by Jan 1, 2008, but I’ve developed several plot lines over the past couple weeks and reorganized a few things which will necessitate a bit more time.)

New TV

We finally got the new TV the other day. The wife’s company gave a new TV to every employee as a reward for exceeding a sales target for the year. Apparently that kind of stuff really works because they didn’t just exceed the target, they destroyed it. For 2008, they’re talking about a free trip as the reward although that’s subject to change.

At any rate, we were rolling with a very nice Samsung 32 inch LCD HD TV. I was quite pleased with that one when we bought it and have never had a complaint about it.

It’s been moved aside, in favor of…

…a 40 inch, Sony Bravia, LCD HD TV, that is, without a doubt, the bombsh*t. I think we have the S-series although I don’t remember at this moment. It was like information overload when I set it up last night. And I think I may have had a high-tech orgasm just taking it out of the box.

The only downside is that the cable signal here is so poor that the picture quality on a great number of channels appears worse with this TV than the old one (primarily because it’s bigger). That being said, I really can’t wait until the day that I have HD set up at home on this TV. I’m already drooling about the prospect of HD basketball and picture in picture and everything else.

Crappiest movie seen since the last crappy movie

I watched the majority of Eragon on HBO last night (apparently it was a fantasy novel first). Let me just suggest the following to any would be watcher of this film: It would be a better use of your time to repeatedly bash your head into a wall for 2 hours than watch even 1 minute of this utterly craptacular disaster of a movie. Even the sudden and odd appearance of an all time great (John Malkovich who apparently wanted an all expense paid vacation in Slovakia around shooting time) can’t save the film.

Essentially, best I can tell, this movie is a mix of King Arthur and the Highlander with some Lord of the Rings and Star Wars thrown in, if it can be said to have any plot at all. But I’m fairly sure that the producers said, “screw the plot, let’s just get some super scenery, bone up on special effects, and roll! That’s what they did with the Lord of the Rings, right?!” (When the screenplay is written by the guy who wrote Jurassic Park III, you’re probably not starting off right.)

Now, I’ve never been one for dragons. Always thought people overly interested in dragons were a bit odd really. Fantasy stories are interesting because of the human experience and dragons based stories always seem to remove or deemphasize the human element. But the problems go far beyond that. When writing a fantasy novel or movie, names are a big deal. I really like the way Tolkien and Jordan, among others, introduced different names. They had characters from relatively out of the way places go out into the bigger world and learn about all these different places first hand. In that way, the audience wasn’t overwhelmed by a barrage of strange sounding names that made no sense and were impossible to follow. They learned with the character.

Now, I can’t speak to the novel version of this movie (although the reviews were not particularly positive). I haven’t read it and likely never will (dragons not being my thing and all, cheap rip offs of Tolkien and Star Wars notwithstanding). But I can say that this movie made no attempt to involve the audience and instead just overwhelmed them with a barrage of obscure and strange sounding names and concepts. It was all very much a turnoff.

Really though, aside from the horrid acting, a poorly crafted script, and a chop-shop editing job, the dumbest thing about it was that the entire movie took place over two days leading to one of the final lines of the film, “Yesterday you were a farmer, today a hero, tomorrow…”. Yeah, I’m supposed to believe that the entire magical world in which they live is the size of Virginia Beach, that a stupid ass farm boy can learn how to fight (et. al.) in one day, etc. (Ok, I missed the start, so maybe it wasn’t over 2 days and I’m being too literal. I don’t know. But the bottom line is, I don’t give a f***.)

But don’t take my word for it. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 16% favorable rating (too high) and the 10th worst film of 2006 (still too high).

Waterworld, say hello to your new brethren!

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Blogger Pat said...

Earagon is a novel popular with middle school kids.

5:13 PM  

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