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  • Michael Krakovskiy 4:25 am on March 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Bruce Wayne, , Commissioner, , , , Frank Miller, Gordon, IMDB, James Gordon, ,   

    Do The Batusi 

    You know, sometimes you are better off not knowing. Earlier I lamented the horrible batmobile in the latest Batman movie. That movie was could have been a lot of things instead of the steaming pile of drek that it became.

    It was supposed to be based on Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One and written by Darren Aranofsky. It would have been a low tech, real Batman, stripped of unrealistic gadgets but with a kick ass plot. Commissioner Gordon would still be a Lieutenant fighting against GCPD corruption. Bruce Wayne would actually hurt people with crude, but effective weapons like thermite.

    And only now I found out what the Batmobile would have been like…

    “I was never planning to direct Year One. I was more interested in
    writing a screenplay with Frank Miller on Batman. My pitch was always very realistic. I wasn’t interested in fantasy, I was interested in the psychology of a real man dressing in a disguise to pay out real vengeance. The batmobile was a souped up lincoln continental with a bus engine. It was technical and rusty and extremely violent. They would have never let us have violence.”

    Darren Aronofsky answers readers’ questions at moviehole.net.

    Perfect combination, isn’t it?

    What would have been even more interesting, is the way Aranofsky would portray Batman as a real person, frustrated and angry, probably more of a Marvin Heemeyer than the familiar cool and composed caped crusader.

    To this day I can’t confirm something that I seem to remember form an IMDB page. It seem to me that I’ve seen Steve Ballmer’s name as a possible cast member in that movie. It could have been somebody’s joke but, a better person to play a Batman villain I can’t imagine. But the way the things are going, they might be bringing the Batusi back.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 8:03 am on October 22, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CTOs, , , , , DirecTV, , , , , , , IMDB, industrial manufacturing processes, , , , , movie review site, , , online scheduling, Richard, Roger, , , , , , , The Job, , , , , well-designed dvd player   

    Boooo, HBO. Yay, Netflix 

    My TIVO has fallen on hard times. It seems that the network executives cancel shows faster than I find new ones to watch. The ones they don’t cancel, become bad. Let’s have a moment of silence for the dearly departed…

    Futurama, Firefly, The $treet, Invader Zim, Deadwood, Carnivale, The Restaurant, Six Feet Under, The Job, Insomniac With Dave Attell, Samurai Jack, Sex and the City, NYPD Blue, Friends, That ’70s Show

    SEO for CTOs and CEOs
    Note to those working hard on search engine optimization. How did IMDB get me to give them so many valuable links? Why does it have a pagerank of 9? Why didn’t I use some certain other TV and movie review site? Simple. IMDB does not change URLs every couple of years, the search is simple and fast.

    Well, in fact most of the shows that were on my old TIVO list. In particular, HBO has been especially keen on destroying my viewing list. Granted, some of the shows like NYPD Blue and Friends have lived longer than they should have, but on HBO Deadwood and Carnivale have been cut down in their prime, most annoyingly, not even ending cleanly.

    In light of this, and to protest the cancelling Deadwood and Carnivale, I cancelled my HBO subscription and got a Netflix subscription instead. I still like Rome and The Sopranos, but I can wait until they are out on dvd. So HBO, I have only one thing to say to you. Booooooooooooooooooooooo. Boo. Well, OK, that was two things.

    Compared to $12 a month for HBO, Netflix is a bargain at $9.99. The only problem is that I don’t like the DVD player’s interface – I have to wait for the menus to load, skip the previews. Fast forward and back is not as smooth as in TIVO and there’s no way to watch some other disk, and then come back to where I stopped watching another. I think I need something like Kaleidescape, except cheap and with storage for only a couple of DVDs at the time. Or maybe just a well-designed dvd player.

    Sadly, Netflix does not have a particularly impressive inventory. Peerflix has a much better one, and is also a good way for me to get rid of the dvds that I don’t need anymore and get some obscure stuff that I do need.

    All’s not too bad in TV Land overall though. I am frustrated with DirecTV TIVO not having networking and online scheduling and for that reason I am not upgrading to HD DirecTV TIVO. Tivo Series 3 does not work with DirecTV and is outrageously expensive. Well, at least there are some new shows that I like.

    At the top of the pile is How It’s Made. It’s a Canadian show that mostly takes you inside factories and shows you amazing manufacturing and automation techniques. There’s a number of similar shows around, but they are all suffering from the same problem: TV personalities. It’s annoying to see idiotically grinning morons making bad jokes and drawing attention to themselves rather than to what the show is about.

    For instance, Dirty Jobs is not really about messy, smelly, funny and horrible jobs. It’s about messy, smelly unfunny and horrible host, Mike Rowe. The last segment of Dave Attell of Insomniac with Dave Attell often had a segment similar to Dirty Jobs, but Attel, unlike Rowe is both charismatic and funny. Well, at least I think so.

    Overall I feel that in a show about working a host is not very important. Take This Old House, for instance. It’s really about Tommy, Norm, and the lesser subcontractors such as Richard and Roger. But you can take one host with another and then with another without the show suffering. I, for one, find the last host least annoying.

    Anyway, what’s different about How It’s Made is that it does not have a host, only an invisible narrator. The show walks you through various industrial manufacturing processes accompanied by the Wakka Chikka Wakka Chikka-like music and almost hypnotic narration. It’s pure engineering porn. It seems like youtube has pulled down most of How It’s Made clips, but there’s still one on google video.

    Now I can’t look at any mass-produced item without trying to picture the assembly line that created it. Some of the machines that I’ve seen are still haunting my mind–the ingenuity with which they are made are just amazing. I wish the show would interview the engineers who made the machines and spent more time on some of the more complicated ones.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:27 am on February 25, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IMDB, Jetta, , , , Microsoft campus, Napoleon Dynamite, , , , Volkswagen   

    The Microsoft Movie Conspiracy 

    Robert Scoble is the most powerful Microsoft blogger. One word from him and hordes of bloggers start typing gibberish, hoping to make it into the A-list. Must there be anything he can’t do? Yep. Apparently there is a building at the Microsoft campus where his badge does not work.

    That top secret facility produces the best Microsofts products I’ve ever seen. They make (amongst other things) short movies shown to attendees at shows like PDC and CES. Sadly, once shown, those movies do not make it onto Microsoft’s website or into the bundles of MSDN subscription cds (I’ve checked). They get suppressed for some reason.

    I believe there’s a conspiracy to hide the fact that Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer left the company a long time ago. I mean think about it, would you continue to work if you had that kind of money? My theory is that they were replaced by two top notch actors. The actors must get bored from time to time, so they are given a high quality production crew and a possibility to create short movies from time to time.

    I can’t find the link now, but IMDB listed Steve Ballmer cast as a possible villain in Batman: Year One movie that never got filmed.

    In any case, the convention shown movies sometimes leak out. Matrix spoof, the latest one, for instance is partially available at this website (if you scroll down there are screenshots from the full version). In it Linux agents are interrogating hacker known as Steve-O.

    In previous years there was the Volkswagen commercial spoof, where Gates and Ballmer are cruising around the neighbourhood in a Jetta, pick up a discarded Sun server from the curb, but then, after a few blocks and a few whiffs of something stinky inside the server, they deposit it back on the side of the road. I saw that one at a PDC event, and it was preceded by a never aired IBM commercial in which Mike the Lawyer and friends are cramming a huge server in a small elevator.

    There were also the Napoleon Dynamite spoof and the Austin Powers spoof which I can’t find anywhere for some reason. Are there any others that I’m missing?

    By the way, impersonating Austin Powers seems to be a favorite pastime of gazillionairs.

     
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