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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

underworld underbelly exposed

permalink Sunday, 21MAY2006:

so, in the wee hours of sunday morning, i stayed up to re-watch the original 'underworld' to see if my disappointment at the sequel was truly justified. and it was. the original film has so many elements and textures that the 2d submerged into a senseless miasma of sound and fury. so, what about the original made it so good and the sequel so bad ?

first of all, there was the teaser tag for the original - 'when the battle begins, which side will YOU choose'. that this underworld battle was taking place beneath our noses. matrix-like, we humans drifted thru while those who knew better faced off against each other. the battle was centuries-old, with bad blood building up on bad blood, tho neither side was completely without honour. all this magnificent frisson was dropped in the 2d film in favour of a generic search / chase / battle sequence that was frankly boring. without being surrounded by humans and humanity, it just became a big pointless pissing contest.

second, with so many great and distinctive characters introduced, why did most of them get killed off by the end of the first film ? anyone familiar with comic book universes can tell you that heroes are basically patsies without great villains to play off of. singe, the eccentric lycan geneticist - dead. kahn, the head of the vampire hit squad - dead. lucian, the tragic werewolf who is selene's vengeful mirror - dead. viktor, master of man and vampire - dead. raze, fiercest wolf in the pack (played by co-writer kevin grevioux, who has studied genetic engineering) - dead. even kraven barely survives minutes into the 2d film before, you guessed it - dead.

third, both the vampires and werewolves had their sexy elements (tho i didn't see any female werewolves come to think of it). part of the attraction of these strange beings is their elusive allure: the langorous lifestyle of the vamps; the feral cagematches of the lycans. what of this was included in the sad excuse for a sequel ? it held little attraction for those who were interested in the *mood* created by the 'war' between these iconic clans. it's ok to preserve the film's major arc as an action film, but throw in a few scraps for the rest of us who hunger for a bit of underworld flavour.

ahhh. got that off my chest. after a too-brief afternoon nap, i wandered over to todd's to take in another poker tourney. i knew i was fairly safe from a flu relapse when i left in the not-so-wee hours of the morning, having survived a good 9 hours of cards ! what a way to ring in victoria day ... long live the queen ! :)

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digging into the stacks

permalink Monday, 22MAY2006:

given my late nite misadventures of the evening before, plus the multiple power outages, my sense of time was way off today. i missed a meeting in the afternoon and almost missed my radio slot as well. at the last minute, i grabbed my compilation cd binder and, for the first time, sat in the booth picking the songs to be played just before i played them. accordingly, the setlist doesn't flow quite as nicely as my usually properly previewed shows, but it does maintain a certain vibe. you can download the show to hear for yourself. i warn you that there was one spot where i forgot to turn off the mic and am caught singing along :)

Aur.Oral Exposures setlist for 22may2006:

  1. Wake Up Willie - Bruce Cockburn
  2. Arrow - Mae Moore

  3. Response of a Lakota Woman to FBI Intimidation Circa 1973 Pine Ridge - Bob Wiseman
  4. In the Skin of the Lion (part 2) - Michael Ondaatje
  5. Not Vanishing - Michelle McAdorey

  6. Thinkin' Bout You - The Pig Boys
  7. The Art of Never Winning - Kat Rocket
  8. Sticks and Stones - The Flaming Sambucas

  9. Do You Feel It Too ? - Radio Chaos
  10. (You Ain't Heard the)'s - Parkades
  11. Don't Let Me Forget - Dennis French

  12. Gonna Pack My Bags - The Panthers
  13. La Material - April's Motel Room
  14. Pass You By - Gillian Welch

  15. Bayou Pon Pon - Zachary Richard
  16. Arias & Symphonies - Spoons
  17. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow, and Me) - The Ink Spots

  18. FadeAway - Oasis and Friends including Johnny Depp
  19. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head - Manic Street Preachers

and you know, i have a sneaking suspicion that i picked up the cajun compilation containing track #15 substantially on the mere title of that song ...

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left holding the bag

permalink Tuesday, 23MAY2006:

first thing i did after getting back to work was to plug up the vent in my office ceiling that i suspect may have exacerbated my underwhelmed condition last week. without a draft blowing down the back of my neck, perhaps i will finish this week in good health ? the task was more laborious than i had expected, as the piece of cut-to-fit cardboard refused to stay in place due to the strength of the draft. i ended up taking off the radiating cover and taping up a garbage bag over 3/4 of the hole, with 1 corner left flapping in the breeze ... just like the weather outdoors !!

finally got a chance to swing by the college to pick up the dvd that neil had made up incorporating all of the movies that we had created during the final cut pro film editing course earlier this year. when i got home, tho, i found out that my burning software doesn't recognize my dvd-burner, so i'm unable to mass-produce these suckers to distribute them to all of my fans around the world ;) however, the dvd itself smokes !

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all over the place

permalink Wednesday, 24MAY2006:

got a nice surprise in the mail - my first google annual report ! ah, the benefits of being a proud owner of 10 shares :)

on a hairier note, i called over to scotty's today to try to see if he was around, but he didn't answer the phone. when i swung by after work, my suspicions were confirmed as he had a sign up to say that he will be away for the week. accordingly, my afro will continue to haunt the hallways for another few days.

after staring at cenobyte's map enviously these past few weeks, this evening, i finally managed to get my own clustrmap working on my site. so, while the 'since 13 May' note is a bit misleading, i'm hoping that i'll be able to track where visitors are logging in from in a bit more detail than i'm getting from the gvisit map.

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... somebody's watching me !

permalink Thursday, 25MAY2006:

so the skits for the alianait ! arts festival in june are now cancelled due to lack of prep time available to write and rehearse. however, i am still volunteered for lighting duties on the 30th for a visiting show. thus, instead of a rehearsal night, odile and i joined alison and bella for an evening of tea, conversation and monty python.

afterwards, i popped in the dvd from our film editing course and we watched all of those docs. the consensus on my film was that it was 'intense'. i know that i had too many captions that interfered with absorbing the dialogue, but i needed to make some allowances for watchers who don't play poker.

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while the gods look down upon us ...

permalink Friday, 26MAY2006:

was going to meet up with brent for supper and crashing the molly and fred concert at the elks, but i got a call about a poker game and brent had to pick up a parka so we postponed our meetup to saturday at the storehouse. i picked up a rib sub on my way over to todd's for a 7-hander.

alas, the card gods were not favouring me tonight. i was doing alright early on, but once everyone re-bought at the bell, i started to sink. my problems included the fact that i tended to overbet my good hands, driving everyone off before they could feed more money into the pot. the worst was when i had quads, when no one could beat me, and yet i couldn't bear to just tap the pot for the minimum bet. i ended up busting out in 6th spot after becky, and was soon followed by jay.

after showing off the documentary dvd to jay, we decided to go our separate ways, seeing as no sidegame appeared to be starting soon. todd has just gone all-in and doubled-up against j.d., and becky was happy to keep dealing for them, patrick and spencer. i went home and online to see if i would have any better luck with omaha. for the first time this week, i was able to pull myself away from the table while i was still in the black, rather than bleeding my stake all the way back down before giving up.

in-between hands, i took advantage of the lulls to read the 'nexus' hardcovers from dark horse comics. what beauty ! what joy ! i had never read the original b+w books put out by capital, so it was truly a treat to see the first stages in this epic by mike baron and steve 'the dude' rude. i had been leery about dropping nearly $60 canadian on each hardcover volume, seeing as i already have most of the issues put out by first comics. however, it was divine having all of the story in a quality package, with nice paper and the smell of fresh ink.

so what's so kewl about nexus ? it was one of the few comics with sf themes that wasn't a movie or book adaptation. the book was written intelligently with action scenes intercut with bouts of moral philosophy, all illustrated with beautiful aplomb. an executioner who finds subjects for his skills after dreaming awful dreams about them and the horrors endured by their victims. mysteries of a lost civilization being uncovered bit by bit. joyous scenes of solar sailing. the variety of alien life showcased by the amazing art of steve rude, including decapitated heads which survive independently, their lack of bodies compensated for somewhat by increased mental abilities including telepathy and telekenesis.

and best of all, the book features a great cast of colourful characters. there's judah maccabbee 'the hammer', a former interstellar wrestling star and award-winning cook who now uses the fusion-casting power of the heads to make wrong-doers pay. sundra peale, former undercover agent for the web, who falls in love with horatio. tyrone, the bitter victim who turns politician to introduce government to the colony of refugees. and best of all, horatio hellpop, nexus himself, tormented by the dreams of victims and the fact that his inaugural execution was of his own father. while some look on him as a god, and his powers as a godsend, he can only long for the day when he is free of his burden.

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i'm not the target audience ...

permalink Saturday, 27MAY2006:

attended the showing of 'silent messengers' at the AFN tonight. it's a NFB documentary film by norman hallendy about inuksuit and inuit culture. it wasn't too enlightening for a northern audience, but it was the first time that i've seen a walrus shot and skinned. i threw in a few bucks in the donation tin to support the alianait! arts fest and then made my way to the legion where they were still charging the full ticket price for the molly and fred concert. knowing that they would only be playing for a few more minutes, i decided instead to wander up to the storehouse to chow down on a fish burger and hang out with some cbc'ers.

i also got a chance to meet up with paul, an aspiring screenwriter who has worked in film for a few years. he commented that the hardest part of working as an editor was trying to convince the writer / director that what they have in their head won't work with the footage or sound that they've acquired, and that they need to consider a different approach to achieve the desired end result. i related my tale of difficulties with my inkjet printer resulting in some more interesting mix cd covers than i originally had in mind. i think that the true creative geniuses are not necessarily the visionaries who can make their dreams come alive in perfect fashion, but those who are open to serendipity and can recognize the value of those beautiful accidents that happen along the way.

there was a feature in a recent issue of the canadian north flight magazine, 'up here', that interviewed simon tookoome, an inuk famous for being able to whip out a cigarette from a man's mouth with his sled dog whip. also at the bar, trying to ignore the oiler game, was the writer of that article, brent, and simon's son robert. the world is indeed a very small place these days.

deciding to give up on the legion, i headed home and played omaha online while listening to the commentaries on the 'aardvark'd' dvd. i definitely didn't agree with the film-maker's attempts to sanitize the film for a general audience. aren't there enough hollywood movies out there ? while i did sympathize with the difficulties of running essentially a solo operation, i was really hoping for more of a story about bright people wrestling with technology. the interviews with other technology leaders and the insights into startups were great, but there was a whole film, um, called '', that has already done a great job of covering that terrain.

the commentaries by the interns themselves were much more fun, and you could grasp their true personalities much better beyond the ones that had been staged during the film for better story-telling purposes. not having the director on-site, while they were actively working with the project, was a definite handicap and i think that some of the 'drama' that was injected afterwards might not have been needed if he had been there. it's hard to top the scene from where the ceo tries out the askjeeves search engine for the first time and realizes that they bought into a piece of junk. (askjeeves learned their lesson and later bought out another search company with a search engine that worked much better).

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