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April 24, 2005

Under the Tuscan Sun

Ok, I am almost ashamed to admit that I just rented and watched Under the Tuscan Sun. It's such a chick flick, yet I found myself grinning from ear to ear through the whole movie. Does this mean I'm a girl?

Oh, and in other news... I really need to visit Italy sometime soon.

March 31, 2005

Schindler's List

I've finally watched Schindler's List. I don't know why I didn't see it 10 years ago, but it's been on my list of movies to watch almost that long.

I guess it's obvious why it won so many awards, but to be honest I don't think I really noticed that much about the production values. It strikes me as such an important film that it makes most other "serious" dramas seem shallow and pointless. It's hard to imagine how different life must have been in those dark times, and how far removed we are from it here and now. It's hard to believe that man is capable of such evil, not just then, but still today. I don't really know what else I can put into words right now...

February 06, 2005

Citizen Kane

I've been meaning to watch Citizen Kane for quite a while, since it's #1 on quite a few lists of the best movies of all time. While I was recovering from my recent dental surgery, I finally rented it.

Despite it's acclaim, I'm glad my expectations weren't too high. While the ending of the movie did redeem it a little, I just wasn't overwhelmed by it. Don't get me wrong, I did like it. It was well written and acted, with a neat little moral about how our work and wealth are ultimately meaningless. Still, I wouldn't tell my friends it's a must-see. Perhaps you need to be a film student to really appreciate it or something.

July 26, 2004

Michael Moore

Don't have much time to write - going to work shortly, but I wanted to mention that I just watched Farenheit 9/11. With all the media attention, I was expecting the worst, but it wasn't as polemic as I thought it might be. Of course, after Bowling for Columbine, I wasn't surprised by Moore's style of choosing clips to make things look more sensational than they may actually be, but I'm an intelligent person and I can recognize that and temper my reaction to the film. Overall, I thought the film does play an important role in asking questions about the Bush administration, it's business ties, the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and the war in Iraq.

Continue reading "Michael Moore" »

January 31, 2004

Bowling for Columbine

I just finished watching Bowling for Columbine and all I can say is wow. Highly recommended.

Funny, sad, sometimes disturbing and scary. Michael Moore is thought-provoking and irreverent. He explores the issue of gun violence in America without jumping to too many conclusions or giving pat answers. Definitely worth watching.

November 16, 2003

Rocky, finally...

I liked it.

Funny that Rocky's shy girlfriend was wearing glasses similar to ones that are trendy these days.

November 05, 2003

Revolutions

The Matrix: Revolutions

First, on feature films in IMAX: worth it. I think it's more immersive, and the IMAX transfer process seems to add adequate clarity to make use of the additional resolution of the 70mm IMAX prints over the 35mm standard film size. The IMAX screen is closer to a TV aspect ratio of 4:3, so the film is letterboxed, and I think they may crop a little off the left and right edges to get the best compromise between losing sides of the original film, and taking advantage of the HUGE screen.

Ok, on to the movie itself. I'm totally satisfied. The early reports on the net seem to be somewhat negative, but I can only imagine those reviewers really didn't get the premise of the whole trilogy. The final chapter is a little more of an action movie than the others, but it still has plenty of food for thought.

I think there is very little to critisize in the first 80% of the movie. Kerry found the battle in the Zion Dock to be have too many repetitive gun shot sounds, but I wasn't as bothered by that. At first I felt like the ending was somewhat of a let-down - a little too typical Hollywood. However, on the way home in the car Kerry and I had a great discussion about what different scenes and subplots meant and how it all tied together. Just the fact that we had that much discussion tells me that it was a good way to end it after all.

I'll warn you that if you read past here, you WILL find plot details and spoilers, so don't say you weren't warned.

Continue reading "Revolutions" »

September 17, 2003

The Italian Job

Kerry watched The Italian Job while she was in Newfoundland earlier this year without me. So, last night I watched it without her.

It was an ok action movie, but it was pretty predictable. No big plot twists. Well, one plot twist, but you see it coming a mile away. Actually, all the major plot elements are in the trailer. That's a trend that I don't really like, but I guess it worked. I paid my money to go see the movie, even though I knew basically the whole story.

September 02, 2003

Labor Day holiday

Last night Kerry and I watched The Recruit with a new friend, Lyn Tomc. Lyn invited us to watch the movie at her place and we had frozen pizza for supper. The movie was decent, and we had a nice evening. Thanks, Lyn.

August 16, 2003

Shanghi Knights and SWAT

On Thursday I rented Shanghai Knights and yesterday Kerry and I went to see SWAT at Park Lane cinemas. Both were moderately enjoyable action movies. After seeing the SWAT trailer several times this spring, I still didn't know what the movie was about, but we had seen so many billboards advertising it while we were in California that we couldn't resist our curiousity to see it. Kerry thought the acting was a little stiff, but I didn't notice it to be too bad. Although I always wonder how cars seem to be able to keep pace with jets on a takeoff roll...

August 09, 2003

Saturday Night at the Movies

I finally watched Erin Brockovich tonight. Julia Roberts plays a rough-around-the-edges character, so we'll look past the coarse language. Kerry saw it when it was playing in theatres, and she liked it enough to watch it again. Having seen it, I think I'd watch it again, too. At a few points I was a little nervous that it might get over-dramatic, but it ended up being enjoyable without being too over-the-top emotionally.

Kerry and I also watched Ballistic again last night. It was so memorable that we didn't realize until we started watching it, that we had watched it only a few months ago. Oh, well. It was pretty forgettable the second time, too. Not really bad, but really not that good either.

May 28, 2003

Down with Renee Z

Kerry seems to love everything with Renee Zellweger in it, and Down with Love is no exception. Despite the occasional sexual humor, it was a cute and entertaining film. The only thing funnier than the movie was the lady behind us in the theatre, laughing out loud.

May 17, 2003

Flailing

Yesterday I did a load in and load out for an aboriginal awards banquet at the WTCC. The band and the client didn't show up until 4ish, and doors were at 5:15, so needless to say there was some last minute flailing. I didn't work the show, but it took the whole day to do the setup, so I got a fair number of hours.

In the break between setup and tear down, I invited Kerry over to my place. We indulged in Pizza Hut breadsticks with cheese and potato skins from Kempster's. We also watched the movie About a Boy. We usually like Hugh Grant's movies and Kerry always likes british accents, but we were still surprised at how much we enjoyed this film. It wasn't typically Hollywood. Several times I found myself expecting an irritating plot turn as a result of some stupid thing the protagonist does, but the writers managed to resolve the tension in ways that were enjoyable. The cliche I hate is "lead character does something incredibly stupid that could damage the relationship with the love interest, the error is revealed in the most embarrassing way, several misunderstandings compound the hurt feelings, the love interest turns to hate, and finally the protagonist is humbled, and does something very sweet or very humiliating to win back the love interest, and all is well again." I confess that I expected some variation on that theme, and thought I saw it coming several times, but this movie avoids the usual trap by, well, being about the boy. Not Hugh Grant, but the young protagonist. Well, sort of about him.

Anyway, enough about that. I have to go and watch the Senators game. Happily, they just tied the game at 1 with 15 seconds left in the first period. I'm going to try and get a little work done on my MATLAB project, too.

May 15, 2003

Movies

In less than two hours Kerry and I will be watching The Matrix Reloaded. We're really looking forward to it. Last week we treated ourselves to X2, which was fairly good. Some of the plot points were a little unsatisfying, but overall, I left wanting to watch another sequel, so I guess the movie business got what it wanted out of that movie.

As for the rest of my life, this week has passed nearly as quickly as last week, even though I haven't been doing and production work with Tour Tech or other local companies. I have agreed to do a little work coding a GUI for some MATLAB code that will be used in Kerry's thesis experiment. I think it's a pretty small job, and a good opportunity to learn something new, not to mention a nice supplemental income for a slow week like this one. Too bad I haven't actually got much done on it. Oh well. I did put in some work on my thesis on Monday.

March 18, 2003

I'm never using a drink machine again

The resolve will fade in a few weeks, I'm sure, but after last night, I'm pretty peeved at those stupid beverage dispensers. I don't know if they aren't made like they used to be, or what else could be the explanation for my frustration. I just know that I was frustrated last night.

Continue reading "I'm never using a drink machine again" »

February 24, 2003

Monday

Kerry and I had a nice relaxing weekend. We celebrated Kerry's birthday on Saturday with a few gifts, a visit to the AGNS, a snack at a waterfront grill, and a romantic movie. I have to say that I enjoyed the day, and the movie. Yesterday Kerry and I blew off the afternoon and watched the movie Dune on TV. Now we have to find ourselved a way to see the 2000 TV mini-series version.

One of the things that I enjoy about my apartment is that when I occasionally open my ground-floor patio curtains, I get to watch the squirrels climb down the tall spruce trees and forage on the snow.

I'm working on Thursday in Saint John, NB, then attending the Genesis retreat on Friday and Saturday, and finally working again in Liverpool NS on Sunday-Tuesday. So, I am really going to try and get some schoolwork done in the next three days.

February 19, 2003

Recovery

I was at the arena until 1:30 AM Monday morning, and then back at 10AM for all day to tear down. There was at least 1 trailer, 1 10-ton and 2 5-ton loads of gear sent to the Tour Tech shop yesterday, and more than another 10-ton load of bulky items like truss and motors left in a corner at the Metro centre. Fun Fun.

When the IATSE crew finished at 7 PM on Monday, I walked to Kerry's house and found a wonderful Valentine's dinner. Kerry cooked a really nice pesto chicken and mushroom with linguine. She also made a wonderful dessert called Bananas Foster. When she was shopping for the meal, she also found Valentine's candy on sale at Sobey's, and she bought me a really obscene amount for some ridiculously low price.

Yesterday, I slept in until noon. After I finally got up, I picked Kerry up and went with her to Dal to check on some things at the library. Then we came to my house for a late lunch. We went grocery shopping and I really stocked up. I guess I'm a little more inclined to spend money now that I've earned some. We had a second Valentine's dinner, this time my treat at a great Greek place on Quinpool Road called the Athens Restaurant. Good food and reasonable prices. To finish the night off we went to see How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It was good. Much funnier than I expected, and overall quite enjoyable. Recommended.

January 28, 2003

Halifax: week 3

Switch Linux - you've seen the Apple ads, now enjoy the linux alternative (you probably need to be a computer geek to find this amusing).

Another long spell with no blogging. Kerry is really putting me to shame. This week sees me finally start to feel settled here. I'm putting away odds and ends now, not big stuff. The cupboards are looking half-stocked. I've done several loads of laundry and cleaned the toilet. Yay.

Noteworthy items:

  • Last Saturday Kerry and I went on an outing with Genesis, the young adult group from Faith Tabernacle. We had a sleigh ride out to a cabin on a farm, followed by games and hot chocolate. Then we went back to the church and played blitz and four on the couch. A full, fun day.
  • Kerry came with me to see Star Trek Nemesis last week. Enjoyable, but I can certainly see the point of those who might critisize it. We also watched an old Robin Williams movie together on Friday night: Awakenings. It was very different and enjoyable.
  • Watched the SuperBowl after church on Sunday. The staff at Faith Tabernacle set up a video projector upstairs in their little balcony area and we saw the game on the "big screen". What's with those American's insistence on referring to the SuperBowl as the world championship?! I wasn't aware of any non-US teams eligible to compete...
  • Yesterday I took the day to go in to school with Kerry. I didn't do a whole lot of actual research work, but it felt good to be out of the house for a day. I investigated the library, and I found out what services I have available to me as a visiting student from Memorial.

I'm sure there were other significant events in the last week, but they escape me now. Another brief update to the wishlist today.

January 08, 2003

My trip to Halifax

Thanks to Pastor Dean and Kelly for putting us up for the night on our way here. The last week or two have been predictably interesting. Pastor Gary had a few nice sentences to say when I was given the usual parting gift from Bethesda. Thanks as well to Jon Anderson and everybody who signed the card that he gave me on New Year's Eve. I'll miss you all.

Kerry and I left St. John's on New Year's Day and drove to Norris Arm South. The highway was snow-covered for at least the first half, so average speeds were around 70 km/h. Leaving Norris Arm is always sad for Kerry's grandparents. We considered getting up early on Thursday the 2nd and trying to catch a half day of skiing at Marble but I decided that it would be too tiring. We stopped in Springdale and visiting my grandmother, which was really nice. When we arrived in Corner Brook, Kerry and I passed the evening with dinner at Jungle Jim's and a movie (Two Weeks Notice was entertaining at the time, but in hindsight it's fairly fluffy).

Getting up early on the morning of the 3rd we tried our best not to wake up the four girls (sorry Dean and Kelly!). The ferry ride wasn't too bad, but I did get a little motion sick, and my travel medicine was buried in my car. We arrived in North Sydney earlier than I expected though, and the roads to Halifax were in good condition, so we made great time. We arrived at 9:30 PM and I went straight to my apartment. The landlords told us there was a snow storm in the forecast, so Kerry helped me unload the car right away. Saturday turned out to be not too bad, but I was still glad to have it done.

We got groceries on Friday night, and went to Wal-Mart on Saturday afternoon. We had a nice visit with Mark, Pauline, Glen and their parents Saturday evening. Sunday morning we went to the City Church. It was ok, but we still have a lot of church shopping to do (kinda sounds bad when I put it that way, doesn't it?). Sunday evening Kerry and I watched the World Junior Hockey championship on TV here at my place.

Kerry worked on her take-home exam for the last three days, which usually meant I was up late to take her home. Consequently, I haven't yet gotten into the morning routine that I'd like to start, but at least I'm staying rested. The apartment is starting to get sorted, slowly. I have to take care of my car registration, permit, and insurance soon.

I think that's all for now. Friends, family, feel free to call from whenever you like. To recap, my new address is: 2E Veronica Dr, Apt 102, Halifax, B3N 3A3, (902)444-2647. I'll get around to updating some of the other pages on the site soon (the resume should be first, I imagine).

December 18, 2002

Christmastime is busy time

A little snowfall yesterday and today makes for extra fun. After I did some work for the Bethesda radio broadcast yesterday evening, Kerry and I ventured out in the blizzard to visit Matt, Sara and Rebecca Gordon. We had an excellent evening playing Trivial Pursuit.

This morning, more shoveling and then hit the mall while the remnants of the blizzard kept the hoards away for most of the morning. Then, Kerry and I saw The Two Towers at noon; it was excellent.

After the movie we did a little more shopping. We met some friends, and one of them mentioned that they have visited my site (hi Amy!). I actually managed to get the majority of my Christmas shopping done in short order. Now a little school work before making the rounds of the Christmas parties tonight.

I didn't mention in my last entry that I made arrangements for my phone, cable and internet access last Saturday, as well. I guess I won't get around to looking into auto insurance now until after the holidays. I won't get my new phone number until I arrive in Halifax, but as soon as I do have it, I'll post it here.

November 26, 2002

A pleasant end to a productive day

Kerry, I'm sorry that our phone conversation wasn't as cheerful as it should have been. I hope you have a great night's sleep. I love you.

After a productive day's school work, I took the late evening to enjoy Die Another Day, which - I'm happy to say - does justice to the Bond tradition.

On the way home, I tuned in to a little of After Hours, to round out the evening. I was treated to a great track by Mark Isham. I hadn't heard of him before, but he is apparently a quite successful film composer in addition to being a jazz trumpeter. I think I'll have to add Miles Remembered: The Silent Way Project to my wish list.

November 24, 2002

Pictures and Moving Pictures

Friday night Christiane and Richard invited me and Laura-Dawn to their house. We watched Insomnia. Despite the fair amount of vulgar language, I thought the movie was good. Intriguing and not too shallow.

Kerry Walker Standing in front of the Arts and Admin building on the campus of Dalhousie University

Saturday I did a little browsing for Christmas gifts. While I was out I had my latest roll of pictures developed. Some nice shots of YC and me jumping on the cousins' trampoline in my suit. As well, some nice pictures of my visit to Halifax in October, including the picture of Kerry at Dalhousie that I've included here. I'm particularly fond on that one.

October 26, 2002

A weekend in Halifax

Earlier I alluded to the fact the I am currently in Halifax. I have had a wonderful weekend visiting Kerry. I visited her lab at Dalhousie Univeristy and attempted to do a little schoolwork on Thursday and Friday. Thursday evening we went to dinner at Il Mercato with Dr. Phillips and Susan Hall. On Friday I rented a car from Enterprise, taking advantage of their surprisingly affordable weekend special. A Hyndai Accent is no great shakes but for $9.99/day I'm not complaining.

We went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding at the Bayers Lake Studio18 cinemas Friday night, making good use of two movie passes we got months ago at Fog City in St. John's. We both enjoyed the movie very much. Today we took advantage of the car to stock up on heavy grocery items as well as go shopping at the Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth. Kerry got a swimsuit for her trip to Orlando next week, as well as several amazing deals on end-of-summer sale items. I read two full papers while we were at the mall, which was astonishing as well. All in all a good day. I'm not sitting in Kerry's lab again, while Kerry does a little homework. We will hopefully top the night off by renting a movie.

Tomorrow we'll go to church, and after take Mark and Pauline out to lunch. If the weather cooperates we might take a Sunday afternoon Drive to the Annapolis Valley, or failing that, perhaps Mahone Bay. Monday at lunchtime I'll be on my way back to Newfoundland.

I mentioned that Kerry is going to Orlando next week. She's actually going to a Neuroscience convention to present the results of the experiments she worked on for the past few summers as a research assistant at Memorial.

July 18, 2002

Movie madness

Crocodile Hunter was an enjoyable break on Tuesday, and last night was a good game of Risk 2210. This morning I ran some very long calculations in MATLAB, and while that was running I added IMdB links to all the movies on my movies page. It was surprisingly easy with a fast network connection and a good text editor. I also found out that there are sequels planned to X-Men, Shrek, Indiana Jones, in addition to the sequels that I was already aware of: LoTR, Star wars, the Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions.

Last evening my dad had a mini-family reunion: all 5 of his brothers and sisters are visiting my grandfather on the occasion of his 80th birthday, and we all went out to dinner. I have almost finished another 40-exposure roll of film, so maybe I'll post some pictures again soon.

Tonight is going to be a full evening as well, so I've got to make the most of the school day. My mother is hosting an open house for the aforementioned 80th birthday party, which Kerry and I'll will drop in on in the late afternoon. Early this evening, Lynette Winsor is have some people over for a barbeque.

July 16, 2002

Crikey...

is a word I'll probably overuse for the next few days. I'm going to see Crocodile Hunter tonight with Kerry and a couple others.

June 16, 2002

Black Hawk Down

Just saw this with Kerry and a bunch of the LYM crowd at the Quaicoe house. It was good.