Outstreched arm

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Can he swing from a web?

Here's the good news: The Simpsons Movie feels just like a very long episode. A good one. To those who may note that it doesn't have that "classic" ring to it (like the Monorail episode or the Worst. Episode. Ever) I suggest that no Simpsons episode seemed destined for fame and quoting, and no gag was ripe for endless recreation until some time had passed and the audiences had decided for themselves what to idolize. So, be patient.

But ok, one thing in the movie is surely a great new meme: the spider pig. Show me the person who didn't think that was the funniest bit in the (pretty bland) trailers. The writers knew they'd struck gold, and it shows, especially during the credits. Sit through them.

By the way, the whole experience of the movie was almost ruined for me by the awful, awful trailers for assuredly horrible comedies that will be defecated upon us later this year. Daddy Day Care. Alvin and the Chipmunks. The horror! The horror!


Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's the little things

I never thought I'd find myself praising the Macy's website (of all things!) for their software design, but let's give credit where credit is due. Have a look at their store locator.

Notice anything interesting about the way they display their store hours? By default, you're shown today's hours (and tomorrow's). If you'd like their weekly hours, they're a click away.

I'm sure that over 90% of people who look for their stores want to know about today's hours. Whoever put together Macy's website thought of that, and I salute them for this unique (in my experience, anyway) feature. Kudos.

P.S. It's a really nice website overall. Beautiful typography in the main menu.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Cloverfield, Slusho, 1-18-08

If you're not familiar with this "whoa, bro", soon-to-be-endlessly-satirized, untitled movie from J.J. Abrams of Lost fame, go devote three minutes to the teasy, teasy trailer.

Intrigued? There's a quick summary of what we know and don't know at MontyFood.

(The following is adapted from my comments on that page)

The number one fan-tease from J.J. Abrams is still Lost, and while the show has managed to stay intriguing and original (for the most part) some fans are still cautious about just how awesome and unpredictable the finale will be. Can it ever live up to the hype? If not, can it at least be great?

That remains to be seen. With Cloverslush (tm) J.J. has about ninety minutes to take us from comfort to discomfort to intrigue to mind-blowing. I wonder if the resolution of the movie (just what exactly is throwing the Statue of Liberty around?) will be shocking.

Most people I've talked to so far are fairly confident that it's either an alien invasion or a mega-monster. Those seem obvious enough, and I guess this is where we get to see what J.J.'s sensibility really is regarding these things: will it, indeed, be a giant monster, one completely unique in some way? Or will it be something completely unpredictable (a magical-realistic materialization of New Yorkers' fears and anxieties or some such thing)?

Or will it turn out that the trailer has little to do with the actual premise of the movie (the events in the trailer could be tangential, imagined, or otherwise irrelevant)?

Whatever the case, I'm looking forward to seeing what he thinks constitutes a good payoff on such titillating hype.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fourth of July

My sole commentary on the nature of this holiday - since it's almost impossible to experience any holiday today without analyzing what it means - will be to say that I did not, in fact, celebrate 18th-century United States' independence from Great Britain by blowing shit up in the middle of a nearby intersection.

Instead I worked until about noon - Christa had something to wrap up at her graphic design job in the morning - and we looked for a swimming hole to get lost in for the rest of the beautifully toasty day. We settled on Dabney, a small picnic spot thirty miles east of Portland. It was crowded like any other outdoor spot on the Fourth, but we found parking and some towel-space easily.

I love rivers, though it's a very academic type of appreciation; once I step in the cold, cold water, my tingling toes and shivering thighs interfere somewhat with my eyes feasting on the gorgeous landscape.

It was an excellent outing overall, despite my kvetching. We managed to get out of a parking ticket (or worse, a towing) on the way back. Now that we finally have my car fully registered and titled in Oregon - thank you, DMV - we were able to enjoy the simple pleasure of cruising around, listening to whatever the iPod shuffles next.

We picked up a tuna steak for dinner; grilled rare, with a bit of pineapple glazing, served with garlic mashed potatoes, and zucchini and mushrooms steamed with wine. Then, the 1986 cheeseball Labyrinth and some MST3K.

Happy independence!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Hot rat

The Incredibles was pretty darn incredible, Finding Nemo was my favorite, and say what you will, but I loved Cars. Brad Bird's Ratatouille, however, is Pixar's best movie by far.

I'm dropping Bird's name because it needs to be known as well as that of, say, Howard Hawks. The man has made the three best American animated features in the last two decades, and it's not fair that he should be ignored just because he directs pixels a lot of the time.

And oh how grandly those pixels are directed here. From the icky sewer to the shiny restaurant, every part of this country-to-city, family-to-independence, nobody-to-star story is fantastically imagined and rendered.

But you'll hear all this from every critic in the world. This is essentially a film impossible not to love. Bon apetit.

(Hey, I blogged this from my iPhone.)