Saturday, December 28, 2013

Clobal Cooling?

If you like a little irony in your holiday down time, you can't do much better than this headline on CNN this week:

"Icebreaker trying to reach trapped ship in Antarctica also stonewalled by ice"

The original ship is filled with researchers looking at how "Climate Change" (Anthropogenic Global Warming?) has affected the area. They are icebound, stuck in ice floes. The Chinese icebreaker who went to rescue them is stuck in ice. A Russian icebreaker ship is headed there now.

I'm not a fan of the term "Climate Change". It's the magical one-theory-fits all nonsense that covers a non-science political agenda. Not enough ice? Climate change. Too much ice? Climate change. A lot of tornadoes? Climate change. A record low of tornadoes? Climate change. Big hurricanes? Climate change. A year without many hurricanes? Climate change. You get the idea. Yet, it's a term used as a cudgel by those who also wield the term "deniers" like a hammer. It's BS.

So, enjoy the ironic story of the researchers stuck in ice, along with the icebreaker. The ice itself is a global warming denier.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 at the Movies: My Top 10 List

I am a film buff, and have been ever since I was a movie theater usher as my high school job in 1977. I see a lot of movies in the theater. More than I should. Plus, I have attended the EbertFest film festival for the last five years.

2013 was an odd movie year for me, though. My Top 10 movie list would be way different than most. And I'm okay with that. This was the year of smaller films, for me. Ebertfest type films. I took my son to Ebertfest 2013 and saw some amazing films. I'll miss that experience.

I skipped a lot of the blockbuster movies. I've just had enough of them in my life. Enough. I can live without Elysium or the Lone Ranger or even Gravity. And you can keep the big action pictures that I took my boys to, like Thor or Man of Steel or World War Z. Too much relentless CGI, made for the video game generation - not for me.

I walked out of a few movies this year. Critically acclaimed movies even - like The Way Way Back. Also Brad Pitt's Killing Them Softly. They did nothing for me. Less than nothing. No point in staying all the way through just because other people liked them. I know what I like.

Having said that, and having reviewed the list of movies released in 2013, here are my favorite 10 of the movies that I actually watched - chronologically:

Warm Bodies

Blancanieves (Silent film, B&W, from Spain. Saw it at EbertFest, met the Director. Loved it!)



Despicable Me 2

Stuck in Love

2 Guns

The Spectacular Now (EbertFest film, star and director at the Q&A)

Don Jon

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Last thoughts:

- There are three 2013 movies that I wish I had seen:

Enough Said

12 Years a Slave


- the Best Plot Twist goes to: Prisoners

- Best movie you will never see is: Escape From Tomorrow

I saw this movie at EbertFest also. It was an indie film, shot covertly on location at Disneyworld, without Disney's permission. Trust me, they would not have given permission. I expected a shaky cam amateur film, and it was way better than that. I thoroughly enjoyed it, dark though it was. I'm guessing it will not be released outside of film festivals.

Who knows what 2014 will bring at the cinema. I'll likely see less movies. By choice.