If you've ever wondered what Hunter S. Thompson would have been like if he was English and a pirate, then go see Pirates of The Caribbean. It's probably unlikely that this thought has crossed your mind, but go see it anyway. AVAST!
When I first heard about this film, based on the popular Disney ride, I thought it was going to be another example of the shameless cash-ins that the studio has been producing of late. Oh, how wrong was I. Fun one-liners, excellent sword fights that don't call attention to the CGI (yes, Matrix: Reloaded, I'm looking at you), and Johnny Depp stealing the film with all the ease of a master thief. It manages to be predictable in the best blockbuster fashion, while the script rewards the audience for paying attention, yet throws in lots of twists and turns along the way. It's also quite amusing, dragging in a touch of Monkey Island yet at the same time remaining relatively free of knowing self-referentialism. HERE THERE BE MONSTERS!
Johnny Depp is wonderful. To the point where he alone is worth the £5/$10 ticket price. Go! See! It! WHY IS THE RUM GONE?!
Picking niggles because I can: it's a bit slow at the start (although Depp's entrance is note-perfect, telling you almost everything you need to know about the character even before he's stepped on dry land), Orlando Bloom's character doesn't seem to do much except act as the McGuffin, and the final five minutes are little more than a very quick and unsatisfying way of tying up all the loose ends and still having a happy ending. But you've had so much fun during the last two hours that it seems churlish to criticise too much. Plus, it features the main title theme from The Rock, and you can't ask much more from a film than that, can you? MONKEY!
Hmm, let me think: a digital camera, MP3 player, and iBook. I think I'm going to be there a while…
(and thanks, AA, for reducing the price of my flight in September by $200. Grrr.)
The temperature finally broke the 37.1˚C barrier earlier today (that's around 100˚F for those of you still working in old money). Given the state of Britain's weather normally, it seems churlish to complain. But this country simply isn't built to handle this sort of temperature. Back in Chapel Hill, it was regularly this hot during the summer months, yet it never seemed this bad; the area's buildings were designed with the extreme temperatures in mind. Here, however, houses are built with an eye for keeping every last degree of heat trapped inside. Bricks, insulation, fairly low ceilings, etc. Great for those winter months, and, to be honest, most of the year. Not so great during once-a-decade heatwave.
Of course, it's not just our homes; the railway network falls apart as soon as the temperature goes past 30˚C (although it also falls apart of its own accord fairly often as well), economists go into a panic; insisting that the good weather is going to cause havoc on the economy (oh no! People won't buy stuff for a day or two!), and lots of people with white skin decide to give themselves fashionable skin cancer. (strangely, we're probably one of the groups that needs sunscreen the most, yet we refuse to wear it).
For the past week, Britain has been quietly going insane. IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE 22˚C AT NIGHT! How can you enjoy a decent cup of tea when it's this hot? IT'S JUST NOT BRITISH!
Ahem. It looks like the thunder and rain period of the heatwave has just begun. I'm going to go and stand in the rain for a little while. Time to cool down!
The really funny thing is that this could be a never-ending source of amusement. The Democrats have already floated the possibility of recalling the recaller. All you need is 1.3 million signatures. Both sides have enough money to keep going for years, although at a cost to the state of $35m for each election, California may run out of money before too long…
Al Gore gives another of his President-in-Exile speeches. Florida still has a little while to go before it's forgiven, you know…
In response to Red Hat's suit, SCO Group says it can file a motion to dismiss or to file counterclaims against Red Hat. Either way, the company doesn't expect the suit will be settled before the start of its lawsuit against IBM, which is scheduled to begin April 11, 2005.
2005? 2005?! You mean we have to suffer this for at least another year and a half?