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To Your Scattered Bodies Go February 26, 2009

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Philip Jose Farmer is now hanging out with Sir Richard Francis Burton, Sam Clemens, and the gang in Riverworld. Another influential artist of my youth passes.

A nerdy appreciation.

Oscar Post-Mortem February 23, 2009

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I got 18 of 24 picks, the best I’ve ever done in ye olde Card Family Oscar Pool. (I got 17 two years ago.)  This year, I was swinging for the fences with Mickey Rourke, and I shoulda remembered Pixar never gets the short. And what’s up with Foreign Language? I had Waltz with Bashir and thought I might miss out to The Class. But whoulda thunk a Japanese heart-tugging comedy would score?

My real 2008 faves. (I saw Frost/Nixon this weekend and it was my least favorite of the best picture noms. Two really good performances but Nixon’s character was over-written and Frost’s under.)

It turns out there’s not as hard a connection between popular movies and good Nielsen ratings as I feared. But where was Jack? And when did Hollywood celebs stop drinking? I talk more about the show and the ads on the professional blog. Still figuring out how to balance these two sites. I don’t want to re-post everything, and so far the suits don’t seem to mind me posting in the voice I’ve always used online on the Corporate Site.

“Oscar, Oscar, Oscar” February 19, 2009

Posted by David Card in Media.

OK. My Oscar picks are in. I’m going with a combo “Slumdog sweep” plus “conventional wisdom” strategy this year. It was that kind of year. I’m not going to jinx myself by listing my picks till I can crow about my inevitable victory in the Card Family Oscar Pool. But here are the movies I really thought were the best of 2008, a fairly lousy year:

  • The Dark Knight. Post 9/11 superhero movie. Sadly, this is what the 21st century feels like. If Chris Nolan could only direct fight scenes, DK might have made my all-time list.
  • Wall-E. Pixar’s best since Toy Story. First half justifies the existence of CGI. Loses a point for preachiness.

big gap

  • Rachel Getting Married. Altmanesque chick flick that feels all too real.
  • Miracle at St. Anna. It’s kind of a mess, but it’s an ambitious, sentimental, polemical, fabulous mess.
  • Cloverfield. A gimmick, but a fun one that doesn’t succumb to irony.
  • Speed Racer. Sure it’s silly and a little incoherent. But it looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
  • Iron Man. Fun.
  • The Bank Job. Tight, twisty, old-school caper flick.

Couldn’t even get to ten. I swear, I’m not usually such a nerd. And for once, my two faves were also boffo at the box office. Other than Frost/Nixon (which I’ll probably see this weekend) I liked but didn’t love all of the Best Picture noms. Say 2.5 to 3 stars each, with Benjamin Button the most lasting.

Bats and Wall-E are both fantasies, but at absolute polar opposite ends of the mood spectrum, and the combination amazingly captures the despair/hope zeitgeist of 2008.

A Prodigal Returns February 4, 2009

Posted by David Card in Digital Home & Personal Tech, Media, Microsoft.
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Ah, good, Michael’s back. (Added to blogroll.) Michael Gartenberg and I worked together at Jupiter Research. He’s a smart consumer tech analyst; we would argue productively over whether Microsoft should buy Yahoo, etc.

I’ll quote his three laws:

1. You can sell 50,000 of anything.

2. If Gartenberg sees a product at a demo and doesn’t offer his credit card for purchase immediately, the product is doomed.

3. Even if Gartenberg does offer his credit card, the product may well still be doomed as Gartenberg is part of the 50,000 that will buy anything.

Another Unneccessary Remake February 3, 2009

Posted by David Card in Media.
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96470421Why mess with a classic? One of the Hanson brothers played for my hometown hockey team for a bit.

I don’t really think Paul Newman’s Reggie Dunlop character in Slapshot was based on minor league hockey legend John Brophy, but they shared a few characteristics.