The Hitchhiker`s Guide

I just got back from the theater, and I must say I’m a bit… not underwhelmed… and not overwhelmed. I guess I’m just… whelmed. I read the books long ago, read them twice. And I loved them. The movie captures some of that… and loses some of that… and adds something different. There is an entire plot thread in the movie that isn’t from the book, and some of what I read and pictured in my head came out differently in the film.

It was funny… I laughed quite a few times, but overall I think I laughed more with the book.

Anyway, it was okay, but I’d suggest people wait to rent it or something. Oh, and when you do, or if you see it at the theater, stay through the credits. One of my favorite parts of the book shows up in there… admittedly, less funny on screen than in my imagination.


“Running’s not a plan! Running’s what you do, once a plan fails!”
-Earl Bassett, Tremors

Its funny… I often find myself quoting Tremors, but this one stands out. Mostly, this quote keeps popping up because of how I have come to apply it to life. Too many people rely on things that should be backup plans or fail safes as their primary plan. You can see it on the streets when you drive. There are people out there who have insurance, and they’ve covered themselves in the safest car on the road, and they drive like they don’t care about anyone else. They trust the car to save their lives and the insurance to cover the damages, and it never crosses their minds to, you know, pay attention to the road. They run yellow lights at high speed, they change lanes without signaling or even looking, and they are more intent on finishing phone conversations than they are on actually driving their car.

Lots of people deal with relationships, jobs, and other things the same way. They run out instead of trying to work on the problems, instead of trying to fix it.

That’s what this quote means to me. And he’s right… running isn’t a plan, its what you do when every opportunity to succeed has failed. Running is a last resort, and should be treated like one.

Fever Pitch

Ever since I saw ‘Stuck On You’ I’ve been wary of anything with the Farrelly brothers names attached. But then I think of movies like ‘Outside Providence’ and I always give them another chance. From a source that is so hit-or-miss with very little middle ground, I was extremely surprised with ‘Fever Pitch’.

The basic story is… a guy, who is a math teacher, meets a girl, who is some sort of business accountant executive or something, and they hit it off. All winter long they have what is the beginning of a great romance, and then he reveals his deep dark secret… He’s a Boston Red Sox fan. And when I say fan, I mean he’s got season tickets and he hasn’t missed a game in 11 years, I mean he’s got Red Sox stuff all over his apartment… He’s not just a fan… he’s a fanatic. He goes to spring training instead of going to meet her parents, and so on…

The movie was good. It was funny, and romantic. It was great. And to top it off, they filmed the movie during the actual baseball season where the Red Sox locked in the wild card slot and took on the Yankees for the playoff, made it to the world series, and broke the Curse of the Bambino and won the whole thing. When they filmed the movie, they rewrote and reshot the movie as the season progressed, and they wrote two endings… one for a Red Sox World Series win, one for a Red Sox defeat, then went with the one that matched reality.


Tom Cruise as the bad guy. That was the big selling point of this movie. And I think he did a very good job of it.

The story is that Jamie Foxx plays a cab driver who picks up a passenger who turns out to be a hired assassin who forces Jamie to drive him around town while he does his work. Tom plays the assassin, of course. The movie is very beatifully shot, and everyone does a good job playing their parts… but the story did drag a time or two, mostly drawn out by the cinematography.

In the end though, it was a decent movie. Worth the watching.


I like seeing action films in the theater. Dramas and comedies are fine for the small screen, but action films just beg for big. Last year I really wanted to go see ‘Cellular’ on the big screen. However, time got away from me as it often does, and I missed it.

It showed up from Netflix the other day, and I just watched it tonight. It was awesome. The action scenes were well paced and spaced, the funny moments were funny at the right moments. It’s just a really well made film. And it has William H. Macy in it too. Bonus.

If you don’t recall, the movie is about a woman who gets kidnapped and she’s held in a room with a smashed phone. She manages to fix the phone enough to make a random call, and luckily enough, the guy she calls doesn’t hang up.

It was definately worth the viewing. Good movie.

The Mod Squad

I’ve never seen the TV show, but it had to be better than the 1999 movie.

Giovanni Ribisi is fairly good in everything he does, and he’s about the only watchable part of this film. Almost, because he’s barely watchable in this. Claire Danes acts poorly, and Omar Epps proves that he’s not Wesley Snipes (a compliment to neither Omar or Wesley). The only real actor worth a damn is Dennis Farina, and he dies in the beginning… good thing too, at least he can say the rest of the movie wasn’t his fault.

I think the worst part of the movie had to be that it was just so absolutely predictable. Linc (Epps) tells Pete (Ribisi) not to damage his car… so Jodi says, “Its going to be a running gag, Pete’s going to keep damaging the car.” And it was. Like five times Pete does something to hurt the car, and it got less and less funny because you could see it coming ten miles away.

In the end, I believe I’ve spent far to much time talking about this movie… it was filmed, and that’s the best thing I can say about it.

In Good Company

I have a problem with the business world… it has become cold. Mantras like “It’s just business.” have become the defacto for meaning “I’m going to destroy your life and I refuse to feel the slightest bit of guilt for it.” Companies are sold and bought, people are downsized, reintroduced to the market, and let go. And more and more I hate dealing with them in any fasion.

When I call a help desk… excuse me, a call center with a problem, I want someone to listen to me and assist me in finding a solution. Instead these days I get my “data” collected and I’m entered into the system. I can’t remember the last time someone said they would call me back and they actually did so. Instead I’m left calling them back in a few days and re-entering the system, starting over.

When I go into a store or talk to any salesman, I never get the feeling that they want to actually sell me a product. I do get the feeling that that want to take my money. When was the last time you heard a salesman say, “You know, I don’t think this product is really the right one for you. Perhaps you should look into a …” without it being a disparaging remark about your social status but an honest assessment of your needs and the capabilities of the items they sell.

I knew going in to see the movie ‘In Good Company’ I was going to like it. Its the story of a good business, a sports magazine, whose head of sales actually cares about his product and his clients, that is bought by one of those global conglomerates who emphasize numbers and profit, and couldn’t care less about the people who work for them and their lives.

I really don’t want to talk about the movie too much, only to say that its excellent, as long as you aren’t on the side of the global conglomerates.


I had wanted to see Paycheck in the theater, but somehow I kept missing it. It showed up from Netflix this week, so I finally got to see it.

The basic plot is this.. Ben Affleck plays a guy who excels at reverse engineering. He gets paid alot of money to reverse engineer a product and then design a product that is similar but better. And when he’s done the job, he has his memory of the time erased so that there is no proof that the reverse engineering (or technology theft) has occurred. Normally these jobs are up to 2 months in length, during which time he’s usually secluded so the only memory he loses is the time working. However, he takes an eight figure job that is going to be three years in length.

After the three years is erased, Ben’s character is broke, arrested, and his personal items have been switched. He manages to escape and realizes that he switched his own personal items, and this envelope of 20 things is going to lead him to what happened during the last three years, and exactly why someone is trying to kill him.

I had heard alot of bad things about this movie.. but honestly, it was good. I had fun watching it, considering the plot twists they avoided the clear cliches and plot holes it could have brought up, and the fight and chase scenes were excellent. Oh, I forgot to mention, John Woo directed it.

I give it a hearty two thumbs up. Its not a movie that will save the world, but its not a waste of time either.

The Village

M. Night Shyamalan makes slow movies. This should be a self evident fact if you have seen The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs. He likes telling stories, even the "boring" parts.

The Village is about a bunch of people who live in a village, where they are all vegitarians and keep sheep for making wool clothing. Oh, and they have a perimeter of torches to keep the monsters in the woods out. The monsters are attracted to red, so the color isn’t used anywhere.

That, to me, ends up being one of the beautiful points of the film. The absense of red from almost every scene really causes your eyes to draw to it when it does show up.

Anyway, the main thrust of the story is that a very young child has died of illness. One the young men of the village, Lucius, who was very close to the boy decides that if he were allowed to travel through the woods to the other towns and get new medicines that must be available, tragedies like this could be avoided. But, these people left the towns because of bad elements there, and of course there are monsters in the woods who have killed the fathers, mothers, brothers or sisters of the village elders before the truce was made. And then, they find a skinned animal, a sign of intrusion by the monsters. Then another… and one night they enter the town and mark the doors of all the houses. Things are unravelling in their peace…

M. Night has succeeded again in setting a mood, creating characters and laying out the foundation for his story. His story, however, is admittedly light. Many people, having been tricked before, will be looking for the twist, and when they are looking so hard, its almost impossible to hide it. These people won’t be surprised and will likely be angry. The story is interesting, but admittedly, even though I liked the film, it could have been told quicker. But as I said before, he makes slow films, so he takes over an hour and forty-five minutes to tell it. And with his trademark lack of explosions, car chases, extravagent fight scenes, etc, its a quiet, almost silent, story telling.

The Village is a good movie, though I feel many people won’t agree,