Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011 Film) Worth My Time? Sequels.   Many many movies have had a sequel.  And most of them have done it poorly.  I was worried that the trailer's promise that this movie was "better than the original" would fall short, as many sequels do.  So I went in wanting an expectational movie, but expecting much less.  I got the movie I wanted, not the one I thought I would get. 

It was the sophisticated, classy, fast paced, and witty movie it needed to be.  Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) is sporadic, a little manic, and always brilliant. When things almost got out of hand, somehow he pulled it all into a plan that was either built, or one that fell into place by accident.  Not once did it seem to be clunky.  The plot moved nicely from point to point.  Being a detective movie about one of the histories greatest detectives, Holmes' logic was sometimes hard to follow, but given a recap to the slightly slower Watson (Jude Law), things became clear. 

Rated PG-13 with some blood, guns, some ladies with old-fashioned dresses, and no swearing.  2 hours and nine minutes was the perfect amount of time.  At one point I thought it was almost over, that we had reached the climax.  It was a teaser, and the next climax was for real and much better than the first.  I only have one issue with the movie.  The last 30 seconds was a shame.  More on that in the comments, no spoiler here.  Overall I was beyond pleased with the movie, and it was worth my time, and so it is worth your time.  As for a 3rd in the series, who knows?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Is StumbleUpon Worth My Time?


However, it is MAY NOT be a good use of your time.

For those of you living under a rock.  StumbleUpon is a web site that takes you through a journey of the internet.  When you create your profile, you tell it the general categories of things that interest you. After you finish that, you then click the "Stumble!" button, and your journey begins  As you stumble across the web, along the way the idea is to tell the site, by clicking a thumbs up or thumbs down button, which sites you liked, and which ones you did not like.  And so as you go, the sites you come across are more and more tailored to you, based on what you say you like and do not like.

Your base interests can range from games, movies, news, cartoons, and even some adult content.  I have.... wasted, I hate to say that, spending time on Stumble felt so much better than just doing nothing, but nothing productive came of it, so it fits.... I have wasted many many hours on StumbleUpon.  There is something magic about the idea of sitting for hours on end, finding awesome short films, fantastic short stories, mindless videos of people be REALLY dumb, or learning tips on how to be more successful in real life.  The site has endless possibilities.  You can stumble the funny, unique, old fashioned, weird, sexy, dirty, profound, educational, and the entertaining.

The possibility that it could actually be used productively is there.  People may actually use it in that way.  I do not, and can not.  I find myself just clicking as fast as I can to get to the next new thing.  I rarely watch videos, hardly ever read an entire article, and mostly just look at pictures and memes.  And I do not think I am alone in this.  In fact, I have stumbled upon cartoons making fun of that very fact.  The fact that you can sit for hours, look at hundreds of pictures and leave totally satisfied about what you have done, and think nothing of what you saw ever again.  I KNOW I am not the only person who binges on StumbleUpon.

If you have noticed I have a StubleUpon badge on my blog here.  Because I know that it increases my viewership with more people that "like" my blog.  It is a great way for people to find things they would have NEVER found any other way.  Lets face it, the internet is HUGE.  It is impossible to find everything that could interest you, neither do we have the time to search through the entire web trying to find something interesting.  Stumble is a great site to discover new things, and it does so by transporting you all over the web with minimal work on your part.  All you have to do it sit back, click the mouse, and enjoy the ride, and what a ride it is!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Is Dune (House Trilogy) Worth My Time?

Dune House Atreides
Dune House Harkonnen
Dune House Corrino

By Brian Herbert 
and Kevin J. Anderson

So, you have read the first six books of Dune, and now you want to know what to expect from the next set of three.  Or maybe you did not read the first six, maybe you wanted to start the series here.  For whatever your reason or how you got here, you need to know a few things.

First, they were not written by Frank Herbert.  It is SO important you know, understand, and are okay with that.  They were written using notes written by Frank.  Also, Brian helped his father with the last few of the first six. Not to mention that Keven has written many science fiction books.  So it is not like the series is continued by nobodies. 

Next, the books do not have the same grand feeling as the others.  They seem less complex, less integrated with social issues of today.  They are a fantastic story, and give you a wonderful history of how things got to be how they were.  There are a tremendous amount of events that fill the books and I never became board, but it just does not have that grandiose feeling of the first six.  The three books roughly cover from Duke Leto as a pre-teen to the birth of Paul.

The first (House Atreides) is the worst of the three.  It slowly gets better and by the end I was happy where it was.  And each book after that got better and better.  By the end of the third (House Corrino) I had completely stopped comparing it to the first six, I did not care that it did not meet my standards of the other books, they were good in their own right, and it is unfair to everyone involved to compare them.

And lastly, they move slow, and that is okay.  They pick up momentum, and their comes a point where you don't want to put it down.  I was worried that they would be so poorly done that it would take away from what Frank as built.  It does not.  It is a great addition to the already mind-blowing series.  It is worth every minute of your time.