District 9 (2009)

district9-posterDistrict 9 (D9) was easily one of the best movies of the year thus far. However, this is not saying much as the movie selection has been lack luster at best. Prior to District 9 I can think of only two films that I actually considered to be good. The first was Watchman, but it was too heavy handed and bombed in the box office. The second was Star Trek, which I still believe was an excellent movie and was enjoyable to watch, although the story was somewhat lacking. D9 falls right between the two.

While it is unfortunate that the Halo project fell through, it is nice to see some of the assets get reused, even though the good guys from Halo end up being the bad guys in D9. It was a treat to see the twist on the assets that would have been used, such as MNU battle rifles, the pelican that was the prawn command module, the modified warthogs, etc… Granted the movie in no way was billed as a recycled Halo. And, knowing nothing about it would not have hurt the movie. D9 is excellent in its own right.

There is an interesting mix of story elements, and gory violence. It works well without going too far in any particular direction. So, by the end of the film you feel full without leaving a bad taste in your mouth. All of the roles were played fairly well. It was nice to see some fresh faces that capably covered their characters. And, while this movie takes many queues from other scifi fair, it was relatively original.

One of the main reasons I really enjoyed this film is because it was not a sequel, prequel, or remake. I am so sick of the modern mentality of just remaking things. And not just good things, anything, so long as it isn’t original. And, to make things worse these shit films are being pushed by popular actors in order to pad the box office receipts. The era of the nostalgia film really needs to come to an end. But, I am not going to hold my breath, because these shit movies continue to rake in the cash. But, I digress.

The film was good, and I am recommending it to people. I am keeping this commentary short, because there are thousands of detailed reviews of the film, so this is just a general recommendation for my viewers. On my special undecim punctum scale, I have decided to give this film a solid 3. This means it was a pretty good film, but it is not one that I will frequently watch again in the future. Everyone reading this should go out and see the film and support something half way original.

Transformers 2: Initial Reaction

transformers22Well, Transformers 2 has finally arrived.

Based on what I saw of the movie (I missed a few minutes, but more on that in the follow up post) I would say it is the perfect summer blockbuster. It hit all the primary criteria:

  • Popular with teenagers (six theaters sold out in Grand Haven for the midnight showing)
  • Ample humor spread throughout
  • Over the top drama
  • Tons of action
  • Attractive protagonists
  • A bad story that manages to pull together action sequences

There are a few things that will seem a little wacky to old Transformers faithful, but this is made up for but Optimus Prime kicking some serious ass.

I’ll post more thoughts on the film tomorrow when I am actually awake.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen – Midnight Showing


The local theater finally got around to announcing that they will be doing a midnight showing of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, Tuesday at midnight. This is excellent news, as it will save me a trip to Muskegon.

However, even though I am going to see this early in a crappy theater, I do want to see it on IMAX since they’re doing special IMAX scenes for this film. However, I am not very interested in the prospect of being crammed into one of those little IMAX seats when the theater is filled to the brim with people. So, for those people that frequent the IMAX in Grand Rapids, what are the best “off hours” that has a chance of not being sold out.

Also, as you can see at the top of this post, I decided to include the de facto “transformers 2” marketing photo. However, in the interest of limited originality, I decided to crop it down and toy with saturation and blur to make the only important part “pop.”

That’s all for now. I plan on writing up a proper post after having viewed the film.

wubi installer’s pyrun.exe says “no disk”

Ever since Ubuntu 9.04 came out I have been trying to figure out how to do an install inside Windows. For this task I typically just use wubi, which has always worked wondefully in the past. Unfortunately, this time it did not go so smoothly.

Apparently, for 9.04 they decided to do a rewrite of wubi from the ground up. Normally these refactoring excercises result in a better program. Unfortunately there appears to be a rather nasty bug in this version. Whenever I tried to run the installed I would get “Windows – No Disk” error, with a really nasty message in the dialog. I tried everything short of reformating the machine to get it to work. But, today I finally found the answer.

It appears that the new wubi installer gets confused if you have a bunch of drives. Many people who had more than one cd-rom drive had to burn two copies and have the disk in both drives for it to work. In my case, it was the built in card reader that was the problem. After stopping it, and ejecting the drives I was finally able to get the installer going. Hurray.