Dec 292009

Sadly, one of the most surreal titles of the year is not a graceless play with words: the minions of the hasbeen-ish actress have indeed initiated legal action towards the one of the biggest blogs in the net.

The reason: blowing the whistle on image manipulation.

The verdict: not guilty. That is, unless publishing the original and altered image side by side is considered to be a crime.

Dec 292009

I had high hopes of being able to provide a traditional weekly report how my twin fantasy football teams were doing.

That didn’t really happen.

The reports stopped around the third week of the season, and I never recovered the muffed ball.

Blaming the hardships of moving house is a lame excuse.

To cut the story short, the Haaga ’99ers didn’t do that well in Finland Fantasy Football. No post-season play for the team that placed tenth in the league. There are multiple reasons for the suckdom, chief amongst them the draft that didn’t produce the top-shelf players it ought to have. Never mind the high draft position (#4), the catch of the first few rounds didn’t net an awesome amount of points. Matt Forte was a dud, Anthony Gonzales ended up not playing at all, and Zach Miller’s sixth round pickup was nowhere near his abilities (or to put it in the correct terms: the abilities of the lost-at-sea Raider offense). Suboptimal players combined with sometimes suboptimal fielding (a couple of games decided on two points or less) led to losses piling up. But the team, relocated to Nöykkiö, will return next year.

Hakkapeliitat, on the other hand, playing amongst the wild boys of Yahoo Public 913020 rode a wave of good luck all the way into the bowl game. The draft was not a success, LaDainian Tomlinson picked up at #10 had a rollercoaster season, and Steven Jackson (at #11) was stuck in a truly horrible St. Louis team. With a quarterback that played inconsistently for an inconsistent team (Jay Cutler, for the Bears), there were very few pillars to rely on when fielding the guys on a Sunday.

The bowl?

Lost. Colts starters were pulled sometime in the second half, and with the Cardinals stuck to running the ball, the scoring stalled. With the Dallas defense pulling a shutout of the Redskins, the margin grew larger for the eventual victor. Even with the optimal player setup (like using Eagles’ Brent Celek, who had a monster game against Denver), the loss would have been a done deal. No hard feelings, and definitely back next year.

Dec 282009

The End of the Line-poster2009 was not a very good movie year. No five star movies, and the two given a verdict close to it (Benjamin Button and Up) probably both were a bit too amply rewarded. These were not the best films by David Fincher or Pixar, but pretty much top of the vintage nonetheless.

Haven’t seen Avatar yet, but I don’t think the massive F/X budget can cover the holes in the allegedly very AWOL script.

The most arresting movie of the soon-to-be-gone year was a documentary film: End of the Line showed how far along we already are in trying to decimate the life in oceans. While the fluffy likes of yet another Terminator installment and a blander-than-bland Transformers sequel were forgotten the moment I stepped out of the theatre, the teachings of End of the Line remain: keep eating sustainable seafood, and when going out for sushi, don’t always splurge on the tuna.

2010, on the other hand, promises a lot:

  • Robert Downey Jr. as a more-physical-than-commonly-thought-of take on Sherlock Holmes (Guy Ritchie is SO overdue a decent film).
  • Scorsese’s take on Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island (with di Caprio once again starring).
  • David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin team up on a movie about the founding of Facebook (odd collaboration on a non-story).
  • Toy Story 3 (the original duo reigned, and still do).
  • Martin Campbell returns to one of the finest television dramas ever with his second version of Edge of Darkness (yeah, the original was one for the books, Bob Peck starring, Joe Don Baker as a convivial CIA operative, Eric Clapton’s haunting title tune, Time of the Preacher).
  • Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (a match made in Heaven).
  • Iron Man 2 (the first installment was by no means bad, and there’s GOT to be one superhero movie to look forward to…)
  • Christopher Nolan’s new Inception.
  • The alleged Kiss Kiss Bang Bang sequel (which seems to have disappeared off imdb since the last peek).

I’m sure there’ll be plenty more.

The obligatory trailer is for Edge of Darkness, looks like Craven’s changed more than just his first name in the intervening two decades and change.

Movie Monday #20: 2009/2010.

Dec 282009

Security theatre expands once again, after the failed attempt on a Delta plane.

Certainly the appropriate countermeasure for a surreptious explosive strapped to the sessile wannabe-terrorist’s groin is to ban all passenger movement within the final sixty minutes of the flight as well as all electronics.

But following the ipods full of soothing music and laptops packed with ripped movies being forcibly taken away, in most airplanes there’s not much to do for amusement.

Unless the airliner-provided in-flight entertainment systems are globally improved to the level of Singapore Airlines and such, the remaining trio of books, alcohol and mile high club will segregate passengers to two categories: either very quiet or rather rowdy.

Dec 272009

Microsoft’s running a very decent set of deals for XBLA content for the last two weeks of the year.

Today’s offering consists of all five pieces of Fallout 3 DLC at -50%.

Bought them all, even though the bookending pieces are supposedly not really worthwhile.

There’s a couple of days left still, I wonder what they’ve been cooking for them.

Dec 252009

University of Utah logoUtes continue their BCS-busting ways with yet another scalp on the belt. The University of Utah team beat California in the Poinsettia Bowl are now an impressive nine for nine in post-season appearances.

This year was not as successful as the previous, but the seven years of playing in a bowl game is a definite merit for a team from a lesser conference.