19 June 2013

Zack Snyder Is Still A Hack

About two years ago, I wrote about the inability of Zack Synder to make a decent movie.  This post was originally going to be a review of Man of Steel.  Since my last post about Hack Snyder sort of promised a review of Sucker Punch, I will continue the tear down this hack as he has with the Superman franchise.

First, Sucker Punch.  This is what I wrote two years ago:
I have not seen Sucker Punch, but I doubt that even hot chicks in skimpy clothing can even save this.  It just seems like more of the same Snyder-vision with slo-mo action scenes, bad CG, lack of plot movement, etc.  I have to admit, when it comes available to stream, I want to watch this train wreck...just so I can bitch about it.  Maybe even write an in depth review on it.
Guess what, hot chicks in skimpy outfits did not and could not save this movie. What the hell was going on in this movie?  This was way too high of a concept for such a crappy movie. Snyder-vision is all over the place, and the whole movie is in sepia tone.  It is just one long overly produced music video.  Everyone pretty much agrees that Sucker Punch sucks.

Again, Synder's stuff is good to look at...but only for the first few minutes.  There is a lot of the same effects and camera tricks.  Once you have seen five minutes of a Snyder film...you have pretty much seen everything in his bag of tricks.

Man of Steel, more like Meh of Steel.  Face it, there are high expectations for this movie.  You have an all star cast and crew.  Then why did it not meet expectations?  Two reasons...Zack Snyder.

One of my major issues (and I have a subscription) with this movie, other than the director, is the camera movement.  There is not a segment, other than the end credits, where the frame is still for more than two seconds.  Damn it, hold the camera still.  You really do not see this amateur camera work in the trailer because of the fast cuts.  But oh...in the movie, you see it.  Two people sitting still having a dialogue, nothing going on around them...and the frame is jiggling like Jell-O, trying to maintain focus and hold the shot.  Hey, it is a big budget movie, invest in a tripod.  This movie can also be seen in 3D...oh great, that must be a joy ride.

I should talk about the positive thing about this movie.  Okay, the performances from most of the actors is above average.  And, I kinda like the structure of how the story was told with flashbacks.  And, the production design is pretty good.  But despite all that, it is ruined by the excessive camera movements.

I was hoping that as a producer, Christopher Nolan would restrain Synder from using Syder-vision.  Well, Krypton is in sepia tone, ugh.  Just cannot help it, can you?  In addition to the shaky cam, the whole movie has that fake film grain filter.  I know this was shot on digital, because...well, it is a Snyder movie and there is over use of CGI, why add the crappy film grain filter?

Wait, I really have to talk about this one scene.  When Zod and gang get sent to Phantom Zone, they are bind and encased in some sort of retraining 'case'.  In the Donner versions, this was beautifully done by retraining the trio in a mirror...awesome!  In Snyder's version, they are encased in dildos.  Yeah, COCKS!  If you know what I am talking about, think back.  It was a swarm of dildos shooting up towards that orifice in space. 

While some of the effects were good, a lot of it was used to overcompensate for the lack of content.  Again, I have to go back to camera movement and framing.  The framing is often too close to the action to follow action.  The battle sequences are too long, there is not enough time in between for the audience to rest and gather themselves for the next epic battle and total destruction.

Speaking of destruction, there is a lot of that, too.  I would say more than any other movie.  There are billions of dollars worth of damage to the city...billions, perhaps even a trillion or two.  Deaths, there are thousands, perhaps a million deaths.  While Superman is try to protect the 10-15 people within a 50 foot radius of him, he is causing severe property damage and death to thousands all around.

Synder does evolve a bit.  Instead of his typical slo-motion action scenes, he made them fast motion...you know, because Kryptonians are faster on Earth.  Whatever.

One more thing I have to point out before I end this.  This movie is ridiculously loud.  Unnecessarily loud.  I can almost guarantee that Man of Steel will be nominated and most likely win the Oscar for "Best Sound Design".  Because we all know that "sound design" means "the loudest".  I found myself plugging my ears during the battle scenes.  Maybe I have sensitive ears, I do frequently carry ear plugs.

Snyder's overuse of camera movement, digital effects, and sound, is used to mask the mediocre movie that Man of Steel is.  Too bad, hard to believe that Superman III and IV, while very cheezy, it in some ways, is better than Man of Steel.  Bryan Singer's Superman Returns is better than Snyder's...of course none of these are anywhere near as good as Richard Donner's vision of Superman.

Zack Snyder is still a hack.  All he does is make multi-million dollar, two hour plus demo reels. Please stop giving this guy big budget films to make.  Let him make music videos and 'fan trailers'...things that are under five minutes...uh, better make it under three minutes.

13 June 2013

The Ridge - Kickstarter

My Kickstarter items are slowing coming in.  This week, The Ridge:  Front Pocket Wallet arrived.

The Ridge:  Front Pocket Wallet
Three months ago, I backed this project because I like minimal wallets.  The designers did a great job with a simple yet effective design.  I have to admit that what really won me over was an option to get one in titanium.  As you know, I share a special bond with titanium.

I already have and use a minimal or front pocket wallet.  But, this one is in titanium.  It will take a little getting used to as my current wallet is leather, much softer but not as awesome as titanium.  I guess it is no different than carrying a mobile phone.

It will be a few months before my next Kickstarter item arrives.  Hint, it is made of titanium. 

Update:   I have transferred my cards and cash to my Ridge.  Cards fit fine, but a little tight.  Well duh, how else are the cards going to stay in the wallet?  I am curious to see how long the elastics will last.  They look and feel like it will last quite a while.  So, I am not worried there.

Some things I need to get used to, the walled it the same size at a regulation credit card.  For cash, there is a slight speed bump.  On my other wallet, I just fold the bills in half and place in magnetic money clip.  On The Ridge, since it is narrower, I need to tri-fold the bills to they fit within the footprint of the wallet.  That is a 50% increase in thickness of bills.  I do not carry that much cash, so it is not really a problem.  Also, the titanium clip feels like it can spring back and last for a lifetime.

One minor issue I have with the design is, it could be a bit thinner.  Because they used an aluminum liner, it has to be a certain thickness to hold the elastic in place.  My solution, use more titanium.  Yes, I realize that would increase cost.  Like I said, this is minor...and I just want an excuse to have more titanium.  I would like to have had the corners, where the notch is cut out, to be more rounded.  It is a little sharp for an area where your finger needs to access and can potentially damage pockets.  Again, very minor issue.

Overall, the Ridge is an excellent product that is well designed and will last a long time.  Major points to the designers to offer up a titanium version.  I love that titanium.  The option of stainless steel is/was also available...as you know, I love stainless steel, too.

09 June 2013

Random Depeche Mode Sightings

Depeche Mode is currently on tour, supporting their new album, Delta Machine.  Today, I saw two random commercials featuring Depeche Mode songs.  Both within about 30 minutes of each other.

This was a surprise from HBO Documentary Films, as it was seen on broadcast TV.  Welcome to My World is the first track off their new album.  Not recognizable to most since it is not a 'classic Depeche Mode hit', but as soon as I heard the opening note...I though it sounded a lot like the intro to Welcome to My World.  It was!  An odd choice, but the song works for the subject of the advertisement. 

Behind the Wheel was featured in this ad for Christian Dior.  I hear the music and immediately recognized the 1987 hit.  The name of the ad campaign is "Secret Garden 2- Versailles"

Looks like Christian Dior is doing a series of "Secret Garden - Versailles" advertisements with Depeche Mode songs.  Part one features Depeche Mode's 1990 hit Enjoy the Silence.  Here is the long version:

DM Trivia:  There is a song by Depeche Mode called My Secret Garden from their 1982 album A Broken Frame.

06 June 2013

Keyport Slide 2.0 - Kickstarter

I buy a lot of junk, usually online...stores, auction sites, forums.   Sometime last year, I learned about Kickstarter.  As you know, it can be a great place for getting stuff...especially, if you want something with a bottle opener.  Pretty much every bottling plant uses twist tops.  Why is there more of a need for a bottle opener than ever before?  College kids and hipsters think it is cool.  Whatever.

Keyport Slide 2.0

Anyway, in March, I found a great product to fund.  The Keyport Slide 2.0.  I have always wanted one of these ever since I saw their first version.  I never took the time or money to buy one, for whatever reason, I never pulled the trigger on this...maybe I was busy buying more junk.  Glad I waited, now there is a new and improved version.  The guys at Keyport needed funding for their newest version and went to Kickstarter for help.  I decided, this was the time to get one, and at the same time, help fund it.  Sounds so much cooler to say I funded a project that went to production.

It took about two months, as they had over two thousand orders to sort through, but I got my kit today.

Keyport Kit from Kickstarter Project
Included the kit I ordered is the Keyport case or housing unit, four blades or key blanks, 8GB USB flash drive, and mini LED light.  Yes, there was an option for a bottle opener.

Colours available

The Slide 2.0 is available in white, black, and red.  Red is too...red.  Black just seems like you are trying too hard.  So, I went with white...also, because it looks like a Stormtrooper. 

Keyport side plats

One of the options was to have coloured side plates.  You have your default colours, matching the main body or you can add a little flare with blue, green, black, or fuschia.  While these were tempting, I want black ones, they were also an extra $3.99 a pair.  You know how cheap I am.  They were also just coloured plates with a Keyport logo.  If I was going to pay $4 for it, I would want something more 'customized' than just a colour difference.  The solution?

Custom side plates with DMC logo
I made my own side plates.  Of course, I would have to customize with something.  Oh, I know...a DMC logo, duh.  As soon as I got my kit, I took measurements and made them.  A few hours later, they were printed out on the machine...for FREE!  I painted these with SEM Trim Black.

Painted custom side plates
There is one more small piece I need to change.  The nodes come in black, green, yellow, red, white, and blue.  I am not a big fan of the green one, so using some nail polish I bought, I will paint it silver.  Oh yeah, I bought some nail polish.  Why?  I needed to touch up some paint chips on my wheels.  Yeah, I colour matched the nail polish to DeLorean wheels. 

Close up of nodes and custom side plate

Awesome, looks something a Stormtrooper would carry.  Although, I cannot think of a reason for a Stromtrooper to use keys.  Seems like everything in Imperial ships and space stations are accessed by push button and proximity.  Anyway, I will do a quick review once I get the keys cut and I have had time to test it out.

So far, I have funded four projects on Kickstarter.  This is the first one to arrive, and only took about two months.  My package/kit was $79, pretty good price as their first version with the same blade options would have been about $100.  I will write up new posts as I receive items from the other projects.  I think this one was a success for everyone involved.

If you want to get yourself one, head over to mykeyport.com.  Looks like you can only order V1.0 for now, I am sure V2.0 will be available soon.

Keyport in the ignition
 Update:   I went to my local locksmith and had my keys cut.  I installed the blanks into the holder and tried it out.  They keys work and the unit is strong enough to take the torque of turning a tough lock on a old door.  The only thing I had to get used to was the holder, as it is a little bulkier than a normal key body.  Actually, it give you a better grip and easier to torque the lock.

The buttons lock in open and closed positions.  A light press on the spring loaded button releases the lock and the blanks slide out much smoother than I thought it would.  The compact size is a big plus, it takes up less real estate in your pocket.  Also, the keys do not dangle and jingle.

I only have a couple of minor complaints on the Slide 2.0, they are really minor.  I think the body could be about a quarter inch shorter.  Maybe I have short keys.  When they are all the way in, I feel there is too much room to from the tip of the longest key to the end of the unit.  In contrast, I think the when the keys are in the closed position should be locked a quarter inch forward.  I feel the buttons are a bit too far back in the closed position to comfortably access.  Again, these are really minor issues.

When I really began to study the design of the entire system, I noticed that there was a lot of thought into it.  The Slide 2.0 is a great design. 


Have some fun with telemarketers

Well, last month's entry on telemarketers was a hit.  Apparently, there were a over a thousand of you out there that received calls from the same assholes that called me.  That puts last month's post in the top five most views of all time for this blog.  I hope you have enjoyed my brief rants.  Thanks to those who took the time to leave comments.

My cousin sent me the picture above.  But unfortunately, most calls are automated, there is rarely a human on the other end.

Anyway, new month...new calls. 

6 June 2013
   989-624-8438  MI, USA  D-Day.  I say we all storm into a telemarketing firm like it was Normandy in 1944.  I have been saying all along, telemarketers are terrorists...we should declare war on them.  What better day than today?  Fuck these guys.  Our drones against their robo-dialers.

12 June 2013
   801-877-5855  Provo, UT  Fucking Utah?  I guess ski season is over, they have nothing better to do.  Not like they can go out drinking.  Although, I have to admit that the Salt Lake City area is really clean.  Provo, on the other hand, and I have no idea where it is and I am too lazy to look it up, is a shit town.  I am solely basing that theory on the infestation of at least one telemarketer in their shit town.  So, have one of your wives from the clan disrobe your magical undergarments...and go fuck yourself.

This is also a return caller from February 2013.

21 June 2013
   601-389-1457   MS, USA  Mississippi?  Hey, remember when you were in elementary school and you would randomly spell Mississippi?  Maybe a teacher taught it to you.  Most likely, it was some class clown that started it in class and it was all the rage at recess.  You know "M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I", you would kinda sing it in the playground, sometimes whilst skipping rope.  It was a fun state to spell.  Heck, I cannot type or write it without singing it in my head.   Ah, those where the days...days without fucking telemarketers calling you.  Fuck you!

23 June 2013
   740-368-0299   Delaware, OH.  On a fucking Sunday?  Who fucking calls on a Sunday?  How dare you disrespect the Lord's day...and by 'the Lord', I totally mean Lord Vader?   May the Lord (Vader, that is) strike down upon thee as he did to Alderaan.  Delaware, Ohio....well, which is it?  Fucking Delaware or fucking Ohio?    It would be pretty awesome if there was a universal Force choke hold on these fuckers.