Thursday, March 17, 2005

Abandon Ship

My resident movie discussion haven RT is slowly but surely going down the drain. Recently, it picked up the pace towards its inevitable downfall, by selling out to IGN, which, as many of you know, equals opening the Internet floodgates of troll-spamming teen 1337 h4XXoR geek hell. The effects of this have been staggering to the forums, since they are now put on the back burner for short-sighted financial reasons (no immediate revenues!), meaning in essence that they are nowadays administered by complete morons who cannot handle databases of RT's size, and who are incapable of dealing with spammers, trolls, and other schmucks who clutter our (let's face it) beloved forum. The result: chaos.

So, as a backup plan, which more and more looks like the only way out, a couple of the folks from the Critics Discussion at RT have opened up a new, fresh forum over at the Invision boards. Totally free, moderated by the members, etc. It's appropriately called RT CD Refugees. In a way, I guess we all hope that we don't have to make the jump, but right now it looks grim. We're a small bunch so far, and it's just getting started, but most of the regulars have joined, and I have some hope that it could be a decent replacement.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Livingroom Hush

The last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster. First I get word that my sister will give birth to her baby any day now - a good two, three weeks ahead of schedule. Everybody's fine, it's very exciting, and I'm waiting for the call. Also, I'm getting some work done, I'm taking care of business - and damnit if not spring is in the air. But then, yesterday, I get another call instead - my dad informing me that my grandma has passed away.

It didn't come as a shock, she had been weak and ill for quite some time; a sudden pneumonia took her out in less than a day. Still, there's the inevitable sorrow, the loss, and for me in particular a frustration over the fact that I can't be there for my parents, my grandfather, and the rest of my family, since all of them are miles and miles away from where I am, and I don't have any family members close by. So when my grandfather - like my grandmother a carefree, stormy bon vivant - picked up his accordion and played her one last song, I wasn't there. When my father opened up the 20 year old whiskey and saluted her, I wasn't there. And that stuff sticks, you know?

So picture this: in two weeks time, I'm getting off the plane from attending a wedding in London, only to get on the train bound for a funeral, after which I pop over to my sis to say hello to her newborn baby girl. That's life, right there.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Criminal Minded

Criminal (Gregory Jacobs, 2004) - con

Disappointing, uninspired con movie with few ideas of its own. John C Reilly is his usual reliable self, and plays the lead pretty well, but he and his co-stars have very little to work with - Maggie Gyllenhaal is especially wasted as Reilly's estranged sister who gets involved in her brother's over-his-head scheme. The initial master/pupil relationship between Reilly and budding criminal sidekick Diego Luna plays a bit like Hard Eight, part two, but Criminal delivers nothing of that movie's slick, ultimately subdued story of everyday conmen, instead opting for an all-out Big Score with the obligatory twist ending, where everybody's playing each other for fools, and the viewer really couldn't care less. Shame on such talent.