Transformers, Zeitgeist, music festivals, Wimbledon

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Autobot Optimus Prime Today I have eight random things to mention:

1. I went to see Transformers on Thursday night, hoping to reengage with one of my favorite childhood cartoons. Transformers: Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf I’m not even sure how to articulate the live-action movie experience. I did write a 15-word review for Filmometer, but it doesn’t really capture how hilarious (both unintentional and intentional comedy) and mind-numbing the movie was. It’s a constant sensory overload where I kept thinking about director Michael “Bay-Ger” and being blown away that he and the producers decided to have the characters do and say so many of the things they did . . . what with all of the eBay connections, the giant Autobots hiding in Sam’s yard, Bumblebee “lubricating” on Sector 7 agent John Turturro (who was then stripped to his ridiculous Superman-style underwear), the “black” Autobot Jazz being the only one who was killed (just like in slasher movies), Turturro’s wacky dialogue in general, the creepy scene with Sam and Mikaela making out on the hood of Sam’s sentient Camaro named Bumblebee with the rest of the Autobots looking on . . . I could go on and on.

Transformers logo My friends and I talked about it for a solid hour after watching it, just rehashing all the goofiness and trying to refrain from applying logic to the plot holes. It was fun. I would also like to mention that the CGI visuals were fantastic; I have absolutely no complaints there. In fact, I would like to rent the movie now and watch the CGI transformation of the Autobots and Decepticons from robot to vehicle in slow motion, just to see how the animators did it. The movie is so well made that, in the end, you wish they could have used some of the $150 million to write a plot and actually allow for the audience to think and engage with the movie rather than be bludgeoned into submission by flimsily connected action sequences. “I’ll drive, you shoot!”

2. I revisited Funny or Die recently. There are now a few more Will Ferrell (and Pearl) videos now, such as: “The Landlord Out Takes” and “Good Cop, Baby Cop.”

Zeitgeist 3. The new Smashing Pumpkins album Zeitgeist will be released in the United States in three days. Why was the German word “Zeitgeist” chosen as the album title? In case you haven’t heard, last month Billy Corgan said, jokingly, “Because the word Hasselhoff was taken.” Wait . . . did someone say Hasselhoff?

Pink Martini 4. Pink Martini is playing at da Vinci Days (a three-day festival celebrating art, science & technology) this year in Corvallis on Friday, July 20 at 8:30 pm.

5. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Floater, Stars of Track & Field, and many other great bands have just been added to the Bumbershoot lineup. I’m not sure whether I’d rather see the Saturday, September 1 shows or the Sunday, September 2 shows now. The festival organizers did a really good job of splitting up the musicians I want to hear most across the three days of the festival. After seeing the Pixies and Built to Spill at Bumbershoot 2004, I think I’ve actually skipped Bumbershoot the past couple of years due to other commitments. Time to catch it again, I think.

6. With the final weekend of Wimbledon upon us, I have been reading up on tennis statistics and revisiting who has won what titles (and how many) through history. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet in the finals (again) tomorrow. Federer has a grass-court winning streak of 53 matches (and four straight Wimbledons) on the line and Nadal is looking to take both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year for the first time since Bjorn Borg in 1980.

smiley face balloon 7. Threadless has some cool t-shirts.

8. What is the longest time a helium-filled Mylar balloon can be expected to stay afloat? At work, sometimes Mylar birthday balloons get passed from one person to the next. Usually they don’t last more than a few weeks. But I’ve had this particular smiley face balloon floating in my workspace since March (it was originally filled on February 21). Only in the past week has gravity started winning. Isn’t four and a half months a really long time for a balloon to survive before it starts noticeably sinking?

Have a great 7.7.07!

Which reminds me: I guess the 24-hour “climate crisis” concert series Live Earth is happening today. Also, remember to tell all your ninja friends that they too can help stop global warming.

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