Mega Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

IMDB, Mad Max, Fury Road“Mad Max: Fury Road” on IMDB

Action/Sci-Fi, 120 Minutes, 2015

George Miller’s [IMDB] original Mad Max trilogy is an enigmatic classic. 1979’s “Mad Max” [IMDB] told the story of a vengeful cop losing his humanity against the backdrop of civilization on the brink of collapse. It was the only offering not set in a desert wasteland and, more importantly, the only story about Max, himself.

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Movie Review: The Cobblestone Corridor

IMDB, The Cobblestone Corridor“The Cobblestone Corridor” on IMDB

Crime/Mystery, 25 Minutes, 2015

[This review was completed at the request of the filmmaker. No other consideration was given.]

Written, Directed, Produced, Edited and Starring Erik C. Bloomquist [IMDB], this is an enjoyable experiment in genre storytelling. Set in a posh New England prep school (thus the “cobblestones”) it follows Archer, the hard-boiled, no-nonsense editor of the school newspaper in his single-minded pursuit of the truth.

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Movie Review: St. Vincent

IMDB, St Vincent“St. Vincent” on IMDB

Drama/Comedy, 102 Minutes, 2014

This is a good, if utterly formulaic, feel-good movie. Bill Murray [IMDB] plays Vincent, a classic Hollywood curmudgeon. He’s a gambler, thief and racist. Seemingly an altogether horrible human being. Jaeden Lieberher [IMDB] is Oliver, a lonely kid with an overworked mom, Maggie (Melissa McCarthy [IMDB]), who just moved in next door. Struggling to pay for his enfeebled wife’s nursing home, medical care for the prostitute, Daka (Naomi Watts [IMDB]), that he’s knocked up and, of course, gambling debts, Vincent agrees to watch Oliver.

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SharePoint Scripting: Maximizing Dialog and Field Widths

SharePoint Logo

SharePoint allows you to edit list items either in a dialog box or in a dedicated window.  Each has its benefits, but if you choose the dialog option with certain content, you may be irked by the default, narrow, size. What follows are couple of tricks that I’ve found to mitigate the issue. For more information on loading and using custom scripts see my article, “SharePoint Scripting Basics: Master Pages, Caching and Loading Scripts“.

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Review: Amazon Echo

Amazon EchoModel: SK70501

Website: http://www.amazon.com/echo/

MSRP: $179.99

[This review covers the initial model of Echo as delivered to pre-order customers. There may be slight differences when compared to the final release version. Pre-orders also included the now-optional remote control.]

Amazon Echo is a set-and-forget, hands-free voice assistant for your home. It was first offered (at a substantial discount) by invitation to Amazon Prime customers and so we’ve been using it since February. It’s now generally available to all. With a few minor caveats, our experience has been very good.

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Watching The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones with Teenage Girls

IMDB, The Mortal Instruments, The City of Bones“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” on IMDB

Action/Fantasy, 130 Minutes, 2013

There has been an unending glut of young-adult fantasy romance adapted to film since the successes of “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games”. Authors are going to have to start leveraging love trapezoids because we’ve literally run out of triangles.

Still, it was my daughter’s 13th birthday and she wanted to watch this with her friends. They were deeply invested in the books and they promised – cross their hearts! – that they would watch it.

Teenage girls lie.

Teenage girls lie a lot.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think that they intend to lie, but lie they do. I was able to capture this timelapse of them “watching” the movie. Does it look like much watching is getting done?

Phones, giggling, moving around, phones on sticks, snacks, jumping on each other and jumping off the furniture. These are, I remind you, huge fans. Personally, I was less animated and able to pay more attention.

Not that I really needed to. The basic framework is so terribly familiar: a blank teenage girl discovers that she’s actually incredibly special and is part of a fantastic hidden world. She then spends the whole movie moaning over, but never choosing between, two guys. The teenage girls squealed like… well, like teenage girls, when the blank girl started kissing the amazingly effeminate guy, but a few did argue for the merits of the nerdy guy.

The plot is built from common ingredients in a different blender: angels and demons, werewolves and vampires, secret societies and ancient feuds. The good guys have hidden a magic cup that the bad guys want. Really important information is delivered with a British accent, because.

The special effects are nice enough and the pacing is pretty good when not bogged down by the kissing parts. Teenage girls seem to enjoy ignoring it while looking at their phones. The whole thing is basically harmless.

The Last of Us: One Night Live

I’ve written at some length about The Last of Us in the past. Recently, having never played the “remastered” PS4 edition, I’ve restarted the game. It’s sparked the same depth of interest that I had initially and I came across this wonderful video that had slipped past my attention.

To promote the PS4 edition of the game, Naughty Dog and Playstation arranged for this one-night-only performance of the games most memorable scenes and music by the original cast and composer.

[Although this is the official video, Playstation inexplicably kept the 30 minute timer countdown intact. I’ve skipped it.]

The joy and passion that the performers bring to the roles and the camaraderie that clearly developed offers a clean, new perspective on the work. The writing and performances are top-tier regardless of the genre or medium and seeing them celebrated this way is a real treat for fans.

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