Review: Clash of the Titans

What do you get when you take a highly revered all-time genre classic and give it a modern makeover? You might think this would be difficult to pull off, and with the new release if Clash of the Titans, you’d definitely be correct.

Overall I certainly enjoyed the movie more than not. It got a lot if things right, even improving on a scene or two, and in the end left me not regretting the cost of the ticket. Spoiler stuff here, so if you don’t want to know anything about the movie stop trading until the last paragraph.

In the ‘positives’ category there was the increased focus on mythology over the original. The theology of the gods was really light in the 1980 movie and just a backdrop for Ray Harryhausen’s work to shine. Here it is front and center and Zeus’ and the rest of the gods’ rage is thoroughly understood and apparent. And despite many of the scenes on earth being better in the original, I will defend to the end that Medusa’s confrontation was handled much better here. I also liked Andromeda’s reduced role here. The love story in the first was a bit far fethced and tacked on.

Now the negatives. Outside of Medusa, every other set piece in this movie was lesser. Maybe it’s nostalgia speaking, but you could see the time and effort put into the original stop motion effects. In this movie, the effects were frankly aboutas cookie cutter as they come in Hollywood these days. Perfectly fine mind you, but I just can’t see a young kid coming out of this movie today wondering how they did all of that like children coming out of Clash of the Titans or Jason and the Argonauts years ago. The Kraken is a perfect example. Sure the old one is a bit corny nowadays, but there is a cohesiveness and specific design to it. This Kraken was “Let’s throw Godzilla 1998 with a bunch of tentacles in the movie!”

And that is really my biggest fault with the movie. It tried to hit all if the right notes, but never seemed to strive to go above and beyond. Entertaining but I simply doubt it will end up being memorable. In the end perfectly average.

Rating: 3 out of 5


Can’t get this song out of my head

So I can’t get this song out of my head. I’ve been out of metal for YEARS.. Really since I first got into alternative rock back in the early 90’s. Anyway, as I’ve grown older, recently my musical tastes have kept slowing down. Unfortunately for me, the schedule of my lifestyle hasn’t slowed down and yesterday I came to the realization that the tempo of my music simply didn’t meet the demand of the pace of my work. So I took it upon myself to grab some metal albums and really get things moving a notch or two faster. Of those I picked up Pray for Villains by DevilDriver among a few others. The reason I’m linking this one though is one of the songs from the album just grabbed me. One of those songs that I like to describe as “I five starred it in itunes within 10 seconds of it starting”. Yes it’s metal.. speed metal to be exact. But if you like to believe or say that you have an open mind towards music I highly recommend that you give it a listen.

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Windows Mobile 6, Postfix, Dovecot and SASL: Working Together

So we moved servers recently, and mostly this has been fine. The web was working for all domains, email was working mostly.. There were a few nagging issues but overall nothing major, except one. I could not for the life of me send email from my AT&T Tilt using my mail server. Previously I was sending through gmail which of course is setup to work with everything. Well, one of the problems with managing your own server is that YOU have to be the one to set everything up.

A look at some of the problems. First, no matter what I did on my phone, as soon as Windows Mobile 6 (WM6) saw that my server supported TLS it automatically issued the STARTTLS command. This is funny because I deleted my email profile and readded it 100 times both using SSL on outgoing and not using it. And no matter how I set it up, Postfix reported that WM6 was trying to use a secure login. Once I turned off authentication, it would no longer use TLS. Weird.

So we know I can connect to my mail server and we know now that TLS is working fine, but clearly something is wrong as I still can’t send mail. However I can send it from home just fine using Thunderbird. I have spent weeks on this folks. I’ve looked through every bit of postfix documentation, turned logging up to as verbose as it could go. All I know is that my WM6 device would connect, start a TLS session, and then disconnect. That’s when I noticed something.

Every single example I was reading was telling me to setup SASL to accept PLAIN and LOGIN mechanisms. Whether dovecot or cyrus sasl implementations, they all had the same thing in their examples. So I figured “What the hell?” AND IT WORKED! *cue fireworks*

So there you have it. If you are setting up your own mail server and need to have your Windows Mobile 6 device working with it, make sure to enable the LOGIN mechanism for AUTH on your smtp gateway. It will save you a whole heap of trouble.


Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Saw this today for Father’s Day. Thank you Belle and Heidi (And Marsha) for taking me.

Overall I enjoyed it quite a bit. Mind you I also enjoyed the first movie quite a bit. The lines were campy, the acting was cheesy, and the effects were mostly nothing to write home about. However it was enough to keep me watching and keep me interested. I even laughed a number of times (I’m assuming I was meant to) and was even in awe at some of the action.

If I gave ratings on this site, I would give it one thumb up with my other hand firmly entrenched in the popcorn bucket making this the perfect popcorn movie.


The Legend Trip – the rough cut

So if you look at my list of links on the right hand side, you’ll see The Legend Trip. This is a movie that is being directed, edited, shot, etc by a close and long time friend of mine, Jason Satterfield. I mean this guy has had a camera in his hands just about forever.

Well, I was fortunate enough to see a rough cut of the film which was around 80% complete, and let me just say…. If you want to see how horror movie masters get their starts, you NEED to check out this movie when it’s released. The cut was shown at the “It Came From Lake Michigan” horror film festival and seemed to have captured everyone who was able to make it at 1pm on an otherwise mundane Friday afternoon.

The style of the movie comes off as part experimental, part classic horror homage, and surprisingly part film noir (a style that I find used very seldomly in horror and suspense). It is a group of stories surrounding a house that has seen its share of blood over the decades. However unlike your typical anthology-like storytelling telling entire parts of the story one at a time, this seamlessly moves in and out between time periods filling in exactly what you need to know at this specific moment, keeping you trying to fill in the blanks as you move along. The effect is engrossing and at the same time keeps things unpredicatable and riveting.

The worst things I have to say about the film was that acting performances were slightly uneven, with some absolutely great moments mixed with some not so great moments. At this point that is all I can definitively say, as the rest depends on the remaining 20% that is being worked on. Rest assured, all of my remaining problems were addressed by Jason even before I had a chance to mention them. I can’t wait to see the final film once he gets the connecting narrative inserted and the final soundtrack scored.

I don’t have any info on a firm release date or method. I know they have home video distribution setup but I’m not sure about theatrical. So make sure you keep on your local video store or horror retailer and tell them to keep an eye out and ear open for the release of The Legend Trip. Hopefully it will only be the first of a long string of movies by Jason Satterfield.

One other thing I want to add. While I have known Jason for years, I have also been known to be brutally honest to a fault. Trust me folks, if I really didn’t like this film I simply wouldn’t have posted anything here. It can be a little rough around the edges at times, and certainly a bit different than most mainstream horror fans might be used to, but it’s definitely more honest than most of the PG-13 drek hollywood is shoveling out today and makes you use your brain a bit in between pools of blood and piles of guts.


Songs and responsibility

Ok, so I haven’t been doing every week, but this is better than I previously was doing. And pics should be up already also. So anyway.

Bought a couple albums/songs off of iTunes with some Christmas gift cards I got as well as a free 10 songs I received for filling out a survey.

Death Cab for Cutie – Plans
Jeff Buckley – Grace
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Over the Rainbow / Wonderful World (song only)
Howard Jones – No One is to Blame (song only; cool 80’s pop version)

Also Heidi bought me Coldplay – X&Y for my birthday and I finally got around to ripping my Rusted Root 20th Century Masters disc along with The Killers – Hot Fuss. Whew.

Beyond that I just celebrate my 31st birthday. What did I do to celebrate, one might ask? I became financially responsible. I finally took to the action to eliminate my annual tax return, invest the money throughout the year instead (between retirement accounts and soon short- and mid-term investments), and overall use my money much more efficiently than I have for the past 13 years. I have TurboTax Online to thank for this. After it finally laid out for me what a five year strategy could look like with my current level of income and spending, I decided I would be foolish not to pursue things. Yay me.

A new episode of The Office was on last night. The Dwight bobblehead was awesome. I am still laughing about it today.

TONIGHT!!! The last four episodes of Arrested Development are on. Any fan of comedy owes it to themselves to watch these. I guarantee they will be the best 4 episodes of television aired this month.

Belle had her second dance class. She is als conveniently in the recital this year. More info on that as it comes up, but the costumes are cute.

That’s all for now. Will try to get more in soon.


So what’s new??

A new year, a new post, and a new resolution for this site.

So what did the new year bring for me one might ask? Not a whole lot so far actually. Christmas was a relatively low key affair (if not slightly hectic) and now I have had a couple of weeks to get back into the swing of things. I have been playing Call of Duty 2 on the XBox 360 which I have to say is just amazing (CoD2, not necessarily the 360). Finished off the British campaign which started in El Alemein and went to right outside Tripoli, then scaled the cliffs of Point du Hoc as a Ranger to ensure that the landing at Normandy would go well (even though we all know it didn’t).

Belle started a new semester at school. We just had a parent teacher conference. I’m not much for bragging, but the teacher had quite a few good words to say. I am one very proud papa.

No big vacations planned this year yet, though I have a little slideshow on the bottom of my computer that cycles through all of the photos in the gallery and it has me longing to go back to Japan. Probably next year if all works out.

This year the goal is to buy a house and get two more dogs. Really the overall goal is to get two more dogs, but we have determined we need to buy a house to do so. Charlie and Lucy have told us in good confidence that they desire more playmates, and when has anyone ever accused me of not giving my dogs what they want. (for the record no one has ever accused me that with Belle either)

So what is my resolution? I know, I’ve said it many times in the past, but now I am writing it down for everyone to read:

At least one, and at the minimum one, new post AND new picture per week to this site. So this brings me up to date on my post quota.. Will try to make the picture quota tonight. Though I have to make chili for a food day at work tomorrow so I don’t know how well that will work. Oh, and if the chili goes over well I might even post the recipe on this site.

Anyway, I’ll finish this off with a couple blurbs on movies and shows I’ve seen recently:

Battlestar Galactica – Still the best sci-fi show on TV, and a hell of a lot of fun this second half of the second season. I am in love with Madam President.

The Office – The spiritual successor to the now in limbo Arrested Development. funniest show on TV? Maybe. Definitely the funniest show you can buy on iTunes

Arrested Development – final episodes from FOX air 2.10. Sure this is the same day as the winter olympics opening ceremonies, but there will always be more olympics. The same can’t be said for new Arrested Development episodes. :(

Lethal Weapon – yes, I just watched it for the first time this past weekend. So shoot me.

Constantine – If you like exorcism movies, especially ones with some Heaven and Hell mixed in and a bit of magic to boot, this movie is outstanding. A little bit of action in it, but the highlights are definitely the characters chewing up dialogue at the end.



I can finally reveal the composer…

The music composer of The Legend Trip is none other than…. drumroll please….

Brian Borgh, my younger brother. You can see his now official entry on the Internet Movie Database. Congratulations to him.

Also I added pictures to the gallery from my Grandma’s 80th birthday celebration. Sadly my family wasn’t able to attend with all the craziness that was going on around the time (mainly with poor Belle’s hectic schedule) but luckily my uncle Pete was able to provide a few pictures from the event. Happy belated Birthday Grandma. We’ll try to make it up soon.