Tip o' My Brain

August 30, 2006

Should our Super-Powers be Regulated?

Filed under: Shallow Thoughts — kryptobrent @ 8:03 pm

Everybody’s wondered at one time or another…what would you do if you had super-powers? If you could fly, or shoot lasers out of your eyes, or move things with your mind…would you help people, or help yourself?

Here’s a question that you might not have asked…what would the government do about it? I mean, if you could shoot lasers from your eyes, then theoretically it’d be like you were carrying a gun all the time, and gun owners need licenses. Or what if you could turn invisible? What would stop you from shoplifting or stealing from banks or checking out certain locker rooms?

I think it’s funny that the question has always been out there…but finally comics are attepmting to answer. Marvel’s big event right now is calledCivil War , with a limited series and most of their monthly books involved in the story as well, and it asks a simple question…should super heroes be allowed to fight crime without permission? In the limited series, a national tragedy surrounding super-human carelessness causes Congress to pass the Superhuman Registration Act–if you have powers, you have to reveal your identity to the government and sign up with their super-powered peace-keeping corps. In other words, no more secret identities, and no more being a vigilante.

All the Marvel heroes have to decide what to do. Register, or operate illegally? One the registration side we have Iron Man, who believes that by being registered, America can avoid another super hero-related catastrophe. Opposing registration is Captain America, who thinks that personal freedom entails fighting for good any way you choose. All the Marvel heroes are lining up on one side or the other.

I’d love comics, and normally I’d chalk this up to another marketing ploy (comic companies do this every once in a while to keep the fans excited and buying), but this time it’s very thought-provoking. What would you do if you were a Marvel hero? Would you register, or would you refuse and become an outlaw?

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Staff Meeting…Is there a better way?

Filed under: Staff Meeting Blues,Uncategorized — kryptobrent @ 3:21 am

My friend, co-worker and co-writer Matt Kavgian gave me a challenge today. I had mentioned to him that I needed to post another lament about our weekly staff meeting, which we had yesterday morning. He said that, instead, I should think through and post suggestions on how to make staff meeting more productive, more relevant, and thus, less painful. So here’s my dilemma–be constructive, or post another snarky, useless observation on staff meetings? What to do, what to do? (answer below)

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“Staff meeting is like discovering you’ve accidentally been locked in a House of Fabrics overnight.”

August 25, 2006

On a completely unrelated note…

Filed under: Shallow Thoughts — kryptobrent @ 3:18 am

Another survey on MSN.com ranks “America’s drunkest cities.” After just talking about how Orlando ranks as the most angry city in the U.S., I was understandably curious. Guess what? Orlando doesn’t even crack the top thirsty thirty (it just misses at #31)! What does this mean? Is there a link between happiness and alcohol?!?*

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*I’m guessing no.

August 24, 2006

But I feel so mellow!!!

Filed under: Shallow Thoughts — kryptobrent @ 3:08 pm

MSN.com reports on a recent study of the angriest cities in the U.S. Conclusion? Orlando is THE home of the most perpetually peeved people in our country. I don’t get it–I love it here!  So why the high rank? Here’s my top  10 speculations…

10.  People love trees.  So what do they all do?  They move to Orlando, and we cut down all the trees and build houses to accomodate all of them. Or turn our apartment buildings into “condos” (which doesn’t fool many of us).

9. The tallest mountain in this entire region just happens to be Space Mountain.

8. I’ve never heard of another place where you might be walking your Chihuahua and suddenly an indigenous creature walks up and eats it.  Granted, I’ve never seen this happen.  But I’ve heard of it.
7. This town only really got big when Disney arrived.  So it has no history.  When people here refer to “the olden days,” they mean before there was a Waterford Town Center. And since it’s a relatively new town…
6. …not many people here are really from here. So that means they came here from somewhere else.  And they each brought their own native road rules with them.  Result?  NOBODY HERE KNOWS HOW TO DRIVE.  Well, except me.

5. It’s really, really hot in the summer (Florida’s got 5 of the top 12 on the list–but we’re the only one without a coast.  We need to work on that).

4. Toll Roads.  I keep telling myself that our lack of a sales tax offsets this.  But that’s probably just the conciliatory part of my brain trying to talk the alpha-male part of my brain from exploding into a rage and ruining my Sentra’s upholstry (they often have a lot to talk about–I’ve heard it’s fun to watch)

3. South Alafaya Trail at 5 p.m.  You mean people live down there at the end?  And they choose this existence daily?

2. There’s no Del Taco here. I draw your attention to the fact that no southern California cities show up until #36 (and it’s L.A.–there are some problems even Del Taco can’t fix).

And the #1 reason…

1. When someone’s constantly trying to convince me that this is the Happiest Place on Earth, it somehow makes me feel less happy.

See? And now I’m irritated.  Have a nice freakin’ day!!!

August 22, 2006

Snakes on a Plane…the Ride

Filed under: Movies are, like, so cool — kryptobrent @ 2:51 am

Darcy and I saw Snakes on a Plane this past Saturday. It was interesting, for reasons I wasn’t expecting.  There’s a lot I could say about it, but I’ll just say this–it was fun, but not for the reasons I like movies. It had thrills, chills, and spills going for it, like a roller coaster.  I love roller coasters.  But roller coasters are kind of a fun-in-the-moment kind of thing; not the place you go for character development, or plot, or emotional depth.  In other words…it didn’t occur to me until several hours into Sunday morning that I had, in fact, seen a movie the night before.

August 18, 2006

The Summer’s Gang of Three

Filed under: Movies are, like, so cool — kryptobrent @ 2:59 pm

And now, my top three for the summer…Once again, AR is Anticipation Rank–how much I was looking forward to this movie, and PR is the Payoff Rank.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest–AR:4, PR:4–Yeah, the first one was funnier, and yeah, Johnny Depp didn’t have as much to do. I knew most of this going in, and as a result I found myself sucked into the story, and I was actually sad when it ended. Sequels that are shot back-to-back can be great (Lord of the Rings) or bad (Matrices). This one was flawed, yes, but I still liked it a lot.

Talladega Nights–AR:2, PR:5–Since I know Will Farrell is hit or miss at the movies, and since Nascar does nothing for me, I went into this one expecting to get a laugh or two. I found myself laughing pretty much nonstop. It doesn’t matter that the plot was, essentially, the same as Anchorman–I liked it better.

III And now the summer’s best…
Mission Impossible 3–AR:3, PR:5–Yup, I can’t believe it either. Tom Cruise, now vying with Michael Jackson for the title of Top Guy We Can’t Believe We Used to Like, was in the most safisfying, exciting, well-written and best-directed movie of the summer. I walked out of the theater with that feeling I wish I had more often when I leave the centroplex…complete satisfaction. Frankly, I’ve enjoyed the first two MIs, but I didn’t think they were that good. This one is the best. I credit J.J. Abrams, famed creator TV’s Lost and Alias, for making this one work so well. Didja know he’s doing the next Star Trek movie? Dude!

As you can see from yesterday and today’s list, I am 1)easily suckered by the glitz of big budget Hollywood’s mostly-empty promises, and 2) I don’t care. I’ll be seeing Lady in the Water some time soon; I’ll let you know what I think. And that’s it…but you know what that means. Yep, next stop, holiday movie season! I’ll be taking a little Casino Royale, shaken and stirred, thank you very much.

Season’s End

Filed under: Movies are, like, so cool — kryptobrent @ 2:59 am

When you see a movie on the World Trade Center followed a week later by one called “Snakes on a Plane,” you know the summer movie season is, sadly, over. How did it do this time around? For my part, I usually look back on what I saw, and, frankly, I feel like the crop didn’t live up to the hype. I will say this, though…I liked this year’s offerings better than last years, which, apart from Batman Begins and War of the Worlds, wasn’t wonderful. Here’s what I’ll do: In the following list, I’ll include my anticipation rank (how much I was looking forward to the movie) and my payoff rank (how much I enjoyed it), both on a scale of 1 to 5, five being highest.

The Da Vinci Code–AR:2, PR:2–I didn’t read the book, and since I had heard what the big secret was (maybe there was a *gasp* Mrs. Jesus!) before I saw it, without reading the book, I left feeling like I’d seen a movie that was okay, but too long and not adventurous enough. Which, for summer movies, is the chain and the anchor that pulls a summer movie into the cold, dark depths of forgettableness. Like that metaphor? Let’s segue to…

Poseidon–AR:3, PR:2–Pretty forgettable, Wolfgang Peterson’s direction notwithstanding. Eye candy is nice, but it only accentuates the problem many eye-candy movies have, and eye-candy disaster movies in particular: If you don’t know the characters, you don’t care if they die, even if it’s in spectacular ways.

X-Men The Last Stand–AR:3, PR:4–As a fan of comic books, movies, and comic book movies, I’ve closely watched the ongoing outcry of my geek bretheren following the announcement that Bryan Singer was exiting the franchise and handing the reins over to Brett Ratner, whose claim to fame is the fun-but-barely-registering Rush Hour movies. Verdict? I wasn’t expecting too much, so I was happy with what I got. And I grew up with these characters–I’ll talk some other time about the kick of watching a movie and knowing more about what’s going on than most others in the theater…

Superman Returns–AR:5, PR:3.5–Okay, I’ll say this–Superman the Movie is probably in my top three of all time. I’ve been waiting for this movie for, literally, a decade or more. When I found out Bryan Singer was directing, I was happy. When I found out it was taking place as a sequel following the also quite good Superman II, I was happy. I saw the movie, I left, and I was…pretty happy. I’ve talked to some other fans (we like to talk to each other; the one- eyebrow- raised- stare we get from everyone else is sometimes too much to take) and they feel the same. It wasgood. Sometimes very good. I just wanted great. I should have known…some things are just too good to happen twice.

Over the Hedge–AR:1, PR:4–I knew next to nothing about this when I saw it, except it was done by the guys who did Madagascar, a movie that I thought was fairly funny. I liked this one better. There were a couple times I laughed like crazy, and startled myself (I can be a little schizo at the movies). A nice surprise.

Moster House–AR:3, PR:3–I knew Robert Zemeckis was attached to this film in some way, and he’s awesome. The payoff? Fun. Not much beyond that. I saw it at a drive in while getting eaten alive by mosquitoes (don’t ask). Maybe the blood loss kept me from understanding any subtle nuances.

Miami Vice–AR:4, PR:2– I love Michael Mann–one of the great modern noir directors of our time. And he did get some of the coolness that he does better than anyone onto the screen. It’s just, I wished I had a better idea of what was going on. Plus, it’s a buddy cop film. Emphasis on buddy. Crockett and Tubbs barely seemed to have anything to say to each other, and that, my friend, is just wrong.
Nacho Libre AR:4, PR:3–The previews of this movie killed me and my wife. We’d quote lines from it to each other like it was an inside joke. Then we saw it, and, aside from some other funny bits, realized the preview was funnier (and cheaper). Oh well.

Cars–AR:3, PR:3–This one had all Pixar’s pizzaz, but oddly enough, I think it’s their most forgettable to date. Maybe it’s because I loved The Incredibles so much.

Wanna know my top three for the summer? Tune in tomorrow!

August 16, 2006

Sekund Day of Staf Meatins

Filed under: Staff Meeting Blues — kryptobrent @ 5:01 pm

Havng…hrd time…remembring name…or…reason for…exzistense…IQ…dropping…rapidly…

August 15, 2006

Staff Meeting all Day…ay…ay…

Filed under: Staff Meeting Blues — kryptobrent @ 2:47 am

We have what are called ‘Quarterlies.”  Plannning meetings that last two-and-a-half days.

Tell my wife I love her.

Rent part deux

Filed under: Movies are, like, so cool — kryptobrent @ 2:45 am

This morning I woke up with “No Day But Todayyyy…” in my head. Madge that stupid Rent! I’m going to have to watch another musical to move on, won’t I?

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