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< 140: Some Twitter Reviews I Wrote

Cocktail (1988, D+). Shake jigger of smarm & dash of greed, top with paeon to female subservience. Beach Boys garnish.

The Descendants (2011, B-) A VitaminWater film: slickly packaged to look nourishing, but really just the same old sugar-water.

Corridors of Blood (1958, B+). Late-period Karloff turns “Tops in TERROR!!” poverty-row shocker into a chilling character study.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012, A-). As heady, pulpy and earnest as the best comics but takes Bruce & Bats to a hard-won ending the books can’t.

The Adventures of Tintin (2011, C-). AKA Tintin & The Uncanny Valley. “Billions of blue blistering boring action scenes! Where’s my whisky?”

The Wrestler (2008)

So the second time around with The Wrestler, I was struck even more by just how creaky and cliched the script was. But this time I appreciated it more.

I didn’t really care that every twist and turn is predictable and shameless. I know it, and Darren Aronofsky and Micky Rourke know it. And this time around, I think I kind of get why they don’t really care. It’s really not about dodging the campiness of a professional wrestler sports hero movie, or about embracing it. It’s about digging into the artifice for the nuggets of honest humanity, the kind that make a story like this compelling in the first place.

Grade: B+

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)

There’s a brilliant 90-minute film here: a Tolstoyesque tale of a group of men searching for the body of a murder victim, shot through with meditations on epistomology and haunting digital-video shots of rural Turkey at night.

Unfortunately, that film is packed into a butt-numbing 157 minutes that manages to feel both austere and self-indulgent. No moment passes that is not lingered on. No revelation is too minor to revist. Rainy windows are gazed out of. Cars creep through panoramic landscapes. Pumpkins are picked.

And in the end, like the men in the film, you just want to stifle what you’ve learned and go home.

Grade: C+

WWDC 2012

Jealous, nerds?, originally uploaded by Mister Wind-Up Bird.

Just recovering from a slight cold I contracted whilst in San Francisco for the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, known outside the developer community as “Are they going to announce a new iPhone? No? Maybe I heard something about an Apple TV? Not that either? Oh. So… what’s the big deal again?”

Inside the developer community, though, even a lesser WWDC is a pretty big deal. While there was nothing on the scale of 2011’s iCloud or, um, Automatic Reference Counting, there were some nice changes that will make our lives easier. Of course, we’re all sworn to Apple-style nondisclosure, but I can reveal that I’m particularly excited about the new [redacted] views, which will make things a lot nicer for the new [redacted] app we’re working on for iOS [redacted].

The bestest was getting to talk to people, especially the Apple engineers who spent well over an hour with us while we fired questions at them about what’s happening underneath the public APIs. Not to mention hanging out with our remote OpenGL guy, Trent, and catching up with various indie iOS developers and grad school comrades.

Plus, thanks to WWDC interest far outweighing the actual number of tickets for sale, we’ll soon be dining out at L’Abattoir on the proceeds of eBay-ing the attendee-only schwag. So overall, the week was educational and profitable!

“None seek Eternity unless they desire power!”

Janelle: “You’re getting some grey hairs, at your temples.”

“Like Dr Strange, this dimension’s Sorcerer Supreme?” I asked, hopefully.

“No,” she said. “Not like that.”