Maybe the Best Thing Ever?

Here we have a trailer for a little film called The Expendables. It stars a few people like Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Steve Austin, Mickey Rorkue, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.

This is either going to be the greatest action movie ever made in the history of film, or a steaming pile of unpleasantness worthy of Uwe Boll and Michael Bay. I can’t say which yet, but either way, I have a feeling I’ll have to go see it.

The Sting of Betrayal!

Why, yes, it is my day off and I feel too lazy to write a real article. Why do you ask?

Moving Farther Backwards in Pennsylvania

I wrote last month about a 12yo boy who was being charged as an adult for killing his father’s pregnant girlfriend. The kid was eleven at the time. I said at the time that he should be charged as a juvenile, because what’s the point of having a juvenile system if you can toss it aside when it makes you uncomfortable.

Well, the judge in PA who is overseeing the case doesn’t agree with that, not surprisingly. Said judge has ruled that the case can be tried in adult court where the kid faces a possible life sentence.

How quaintly barbaric.

Why not just try him as a kid, since, you know, he is. He was eleven when he supposedly pulled the trigger, and twelve now. If he were found guilty in juvenile court he’d probably stay in prison until he was 18 or 21 (depending), and then be released with an extensive amount of court ordered probation and monitoring. It’s possible he might even be able to rebuild his life and become a contributing member of society.

But tried in adult court? No, in that case he’d probably spend the next twenty or thirty years behind bars and eventually be released to be a burden on society for the next sixty years or so. This serves no purpose and is astonishingly wasteful.

The one bright spot here is that this makes a perfect situation for the kid’s lawyers to file an appeal down the line. Of course if that happens and the appeal is upheld, then it’s possible the kid might skate with no real consequences at all. Yes, in trying to punish the kid as much as possible and wreak as much revenge as we can, we might actually end up with only a year or two while the appeals sort themselves out.

Like I said before, either we have a juvenile system or we don’t. Trying a kid as an adult because we really don’t like what the kid allegedly did is not right, not proper and doesn’t serve justice or society.

Bible Project Update

Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed that it’s been nearly two months since my last Bible Project article. Fear not! I haven’t forgotten about it, I’ve just been busy. I hope to have the remainder of Judges no later than the end of April and then be back on track to do at least one article a month. Thanks for your collective patience!

In Today’s Issue of Unsurprising News

Ricky Martin has come out. Cue the sounds of shock and surprise, etc. I guess that’s one advantage to having your career stall: you no longer need to be appealing to all the women out there.

Shameless Bragging

So I have a new desktop PC! Yes, in addition to my new Blu Ray player, my new laptop and my trip to Vegas, I also have something nice sitting on my desk at long last.

The computer is a custom-built jobbie assembled for me by my friend, Mike, and it works wonderfully! For the curious, here’s what’s in it, all of which I was able to buy from Amazon.

It’s got a 500 gig hard drive, a nice DVD ROM, a very sturdy power supply, a damn nice graphics card, a very snazzy processor, four gigs of RAM, a very good monitor, a motherboard, of course, and a very cool looking, if rather big, case to keep it all in! The upshot of all this stuff is that now I can run something like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 without my computer breaking a sweat.

Now that’s nice!

Also for the curious I am running Windows 7 Home Premium, OEM version. The grand total for this computer of mine, with the OS and everything else, is around $1100. Not bad for what I get, and it’ll be upgradeable for a good long time.

I’ll try to post some pics soon! Meantime, I’m going back to gaming. ;)

Sic Transit At the Movies – 1986 – 2010

I just found out today that a few days ago, one of my favorite TV shows, At the Movies, was canceled by Disney. For those looking for reasons to hate the studio, you now have one more.

The show began airing way back in the day with film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. From the start it had a pretty strong following and eventually went national. As a kid I remember vividly watching the show, and I’m sure that’s a good part of why I’m such a movie fan today.

Siskel died back in 1999 and Ebert left the show in 2006 after surgery for cancer left him unable to talk. The show carried on, first with Ebert and Richard Roeper, and then Roeper and a variety of other people until Michael Phillips was selected as the permanent co-host.

Not long after, Disney replaced them with Ben Mankiewicz, a very credibly film buff and frequent TCM host, and Ben Lyons, who was young, attractive, had a famous movie-critic father and no real credibility. The show foundered almost away, and Disney clearly had no faith in the two as presenters. It staggered along for a year and eventually Ben and Ben were replaced with Michael Phillips and A O Scott, both of whom were very good and who brought some real status back to the show.

But it was too little, too late. Just the other day Disney announced they are canceling the show at the end of the current season. This came as no great surprise to me, but was certainly a great disappointment.

Happily there is good news to be had. Roger Ebert announced on his blog that there’s going to be a new program called Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies. It will feature, among other things, the return of the “Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down” style which is trademarked by Ebert and Siskel’s estate.

So sad though it is that the show is gone, it’s good that we’ll still have something in some form for viewers to enjoy. Ebert sounds pretty enthusiastic about it, and I am, too! It’s something good to look forward to.

Bring it on, Roger!

Happy Birthday, Arthur!

So one of my best friends, and fellow blogger, is having his birthday today! He needs hits and comments, so I’d be grateful to you all if you’d pop over to this post and leave him a birthday note! He doesn’t know I’m doing this, so what a nice surprise it should be. :)

My New Blu Ray Player!

Yep, I’ve upgraded my movie experience to high-def! This follows on the heels of my purchase, late last year, of an HDTV. Now I have a Blu Ray player to go with it.

I’d been pondering different player options for some time now, and was leaning towards a Playstation 3. Sadly, Amazon did not have them in stock when I was ready to order. Luckily they did have a Panasonic DMP-BD70V Blu Ray player. Well, not just Blu Ray. No, it turns out that it weirdly also plays video tapes.

Yes, I have the video equivalent of an MP3 player with an 8-track added to it. I hadn’t planned to buy one with VHS capability, it just happened that this was the best one at the price that also linked with Amazon and YouTube. So there you go.

Now I’ve got a pretty good-sized DVD collection (and now four Blu Ray discs), and some of these are region 2 DVDs. These naturally won’t play in region 1 players. I’ve got my DVD player hacked to let me view them on there, but I’d like to view them on my Blu Ray player, too. So does anyone out there know of a hack for a Panasonic DMP-BD70V? I’ve looked all over online and cannot find one. I thought I’d check you lot to see if anyone can help. If you can, please let me know!

And now back to watching my BD version of Mad Men!

James Randi Comes Out

James Randi, now with added Gay (tm)!

So somehow I’d missed this news until just today: James Randi, one of my personal heroes, has come out of the closet. He’s gay!

Now really this makes no fundamental difference and frankly, at least to me, comes as no surprise. I’d seen him on TV a couple times and had rather wondered about this, but I figured it was just me. Turns out, no, it’s not.

From Randi’s article on this:

This declaration of mine was prompted just last week by seeing an excellent film — starring Sean Penn — that told the story of politician Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. I’m in excellent company: Barney Frank, Oscar Wilde, Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneres, Rachel Maddow, are just a few of those who were in my thoughts as I pressed the key that placed this on Swift and before the whole world…

There’s certainly far worse company to be in, Mr Randi. Welcome to the party! Oh, and for the record, Milk
is an excellent film.


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