Saturday, June 01, 2002


        When I head the Germans were playing the Saudis, after the Kissinger ‘can’t they both lose’ moment of thought, I decided I wanted the Jerries to win over the Jihad screamers. I got my wish. Big time. In American football that’s danm near the 1940 NFL championship.

        Looks like the Arab sports highlight remains the 1972 Summer games.

Thursday, May 30, 2002


        If I were not afraid of the fallout (literally!) I’d want an all-out war in the Kashmir so India could pound Pakistan’s jihad supporters flat.

        BTW, first was the massive upswing in terror against Israel. Then comes the increased tension in the sub-continent. If I were conspiratorially minded, I’d say the House of Sod is using its Al Qeada catspaws to distract everyone from their complicity in 9/11.


        A quick note on the 'Buffy' season finale. It redeemed this uneven season. Buffy has always been a show about ethics, choices and morality. There have been clunkers this season (aside from the musical episode) but the last 3 episodes gave it a meaning and set things up well for next year. Even Spike.


        Let the implications hang menacingly.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002


        Actually, it was movie and dinner. AA (a blind date I met via the Net) and I went to see Episode II. My opinion is... mixed. (Spoilers below)




        The Good: Ewan McGregor pulls off the complex task of portraying Sir Alec's youthful precursor. Christopher Lee rocks. Period. End of discussion. as Temuera Morrison Jango Fett was also fun.

        Then there was Yoda and the rest of the special effects. Yes, I cheered at his kung-fu pose before using the Force and his lightsaber to go upside Count Dooku's head. And of course there were the jaw dropping tableaus of massive armies, amazing planetscapes and fantastic cities come to life as never before possible.

        Just as important as the sweeping vistas are the slices of Star Wars Universe life the FX helped to create, from the BladeRunner like traffic jams of Couriscant. Remember the 'Creature Cantina?' Never mind what happened there… it was an alien bar… with a band!

        The Bad: Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen are the acting equivalent of the Sphere of Annihilation. And neither the spirit or soul can be resurrected, even with a wish spell. (1 point ref) Their screen time positively sucks the life out of the movie. Yes, they positively suck. Never mind the implausibility of a princess falling in love with a whiny killer, I can't see his past passion surviving three minutes with her! Portman was wooden in EP1. As for Hayden, I know the surfer dude worked in 1977, but Luke was meant to be a tabula rasa. Anakin is supposed to have hidden depths- the darkness within seeping out. Chirstansen only manages petulance. Lucas should have cast Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the role instead. Witness his work in Gormenghast. Of course I still say they should have cast an older actor in Episode 1, but that's water under the bridge.

        Of course the emotional high points were all mishandled. The revelation that he killed the Sand People left me thinking how a better director would handle both the confession and the massacre themselves. Lucas is too enamored with the 'gee whiz' and forgets basic storytelling. I would have cut after showing Anakin activating the light saber and turning menacingly to the tent opening.

        Lastly, Threepio's presence on the farm raises the question WHY DIDN'T OWEN OR BERU recognize him in Episode IV?

        What Lucas needs is someone to tell him when the ideas are stupid. As glad as I am that he's independent from Hollywood, I wish he paid a bit more attention to other views

        The Ugly: I was one who missed the alleged racism in Episode 1. The whiners attacked Ep II. One idiot complained that Jango was Latino because he has a dark complexion. Never mind the actor is Maori. Delicate PC folks get the vapors at the thought of swarthy villains. Aren't all bad guys blonde haired and blue eyed?

        That having been said, I was bugged by Watto. The blue creature returns. But now he wears a Tommy style helmet and has what seems to be a two-day's growth of a beard. Unfortunately it all makes him look like a caricature from Der Strumer or WAFA.

        I doubt that intended deliberate offense. He is merely oblivious. Still, it points to the need for him to have other voices, even if it is his baby.