spartan

Spartan

rating:  **1/2 of 5

quick shot: val kilmer does his bit for country and mamet.  a good thriller even though the ending is a bit deux machina.

what i liked about the film mamet’s writing.  snappy dialog and interesting plot.

what i didn’t like part of the ending (you’ll know what i mean)

reading comic books again

i’ve been reading comic books again.

it has been several years since i picked up comic books on a regular basis. but late last year i was in a mall and stopped by the comic book store. i picked up two hardback compilations:

both books were excellent in there own way. daredevil was done by the team of loeb and sales. loeb knows how to write a clean story with excellent dialog, while sales can draw in such a minimal but expressive fashion.

by comparison, the morrison written x-men was dark, brooding and sadistic. it was nice to see the x-men go through pain and deliver it back to the enemy at hand. i didn’t feel confused jumping back into the x-men (which was confusing when i left reading the book due to some characters and subplots). morrison did and is continuing to do, an excellent job with the x-men.

after these two books, i’ve been picking up issues here and there. i enjoyed loeb and jim lee’s run on batman, and lee’s current run on superman (more later on this). i’m also enjoying the batman/superman book by loeb and turner.

i’m taking a different approach to my comic book reading now also. i’m more into the hardbound collection as opposed to collecting individual issues. i don’t know, i can’t stand the ‘bagging and boarding’ of comic books any longer. i guess i’m not a collector any longer. i just enjoy good comic art and a good comic story.

concerts we’ve attended

this is a ‘concert’- me list listing all the concerts we’ve been to (so far). updated when another concert comes along.

[Bill Graham Civic Auditorium]
99 Grove Street, San Francisco CA 94102

Who we’ve seen there:
Tori Amos (12.21.2002)
Oasis (4.13.1996)

[Bimbo’s 365 Club]
1025 Columbus Avenue San Francisco, CA 94133

Who we’ve seen there:
Cardigans (6.19.96)

Berkeley Community Theater
1930 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

Who we’ve seen there:
Dido (05.23.04)
Cranberries (04.05.95)
Jewel
Chris Cornell (11.30.99)
Ani Di Franco (10.31.97)

[Concord Pavilion]
2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord, CA 94521

Who we’ve seen there:
Tori Amos/Alanis Morrisette (09.19.99)

[The Filmore]
1805 Geary Blvd. S.F. CA 94115

Who we’ve seen there:
Fiona Apple (03.18.97)
Sundays
Lush (04.15.96)
Morcheeba (4.11.2008)
Lorde (9.27.2013)
Greek Theatre-U.C. Berkeley
Gayley Road, Berkeley, CA 94720

Who we’ve seen there:
Alanis Morrisette
Black Eye Peas/Macy Gray

Oakland Arena
7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA 94621

Who we’ve seen there:
Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel w/Sinead O’Conner sing backup(11.22.93)
U2 (11.15.01)

Oakland Coliseum
7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA 94621

Who we’ve seen there:
Sugarcubes/Public Enemy/U2 (07.11.92)
Oasis/U2 (06.18.97)
Oasis/U2 (06.19.97)

Orpheium Theater

Who we’ve seen there:
Sarah McLaughlin

Pac Bell Park

Who we’ve seen there:
Macy Gray/Dave Matthews Band (5.18.01)

[Paramount Theatre]
2025 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Who we’ve seen there:
Bjork (10.17.01)
Sarah McLachlan (10.30.97)
Tori Amos (11.11.01 and some other date)

San Jose Arena

Who we’ve seen there:
Garbage/Smashing Pumpkins (08.18.96)
INXS (04.08.94)
U2 (4.19.01)

San Jose Event Center

Who we’ve seen there:
Pearl Jam
Soundgarden (06.03.94)
Tori Amos (09.19.98)
Sarah McLachlan (03.9.98)

Shoreline Amphetheater

Who we’ve seen there:
Sting
Lilith Fair 97 (07.08.97) (Sarah McLachlan, Tracy Chapman, Jewel, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega)
Lilith Fair 98 (06.24.98) (Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, Natalie Merchant, Erica Badu, Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Bonnie Raitt)
Lilith Fair 98 (07.14.99)
Santana
Lollapaloza ’94 (Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, George Clinton & P-Funk Allstars, The Breaders, Green Day…) – [http://www.jamesiha.org/interview/1994lolla.htm]
Lollapalooza ’95 (Hole, Sonic Youth, Beck, Cypress Hill, Elastica,…)
REM (05.17.95)
Sade (07.18.01)
Sting (08.05.00)

Slims

Who we’ve seen there:
Julianna Hatfield (http://www.julianasite.com/touragraphy.html#city)
LLoyd Cole
Garbage
Cibo Matto (10.09.99)

[Villa Montalvo]
15400 Montalvo Road, Saratoga, CA 95071

Who we’ve seen there:
Diana Krall (7.19.01)
Norah Jones

[Warfield]
982 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Who we’ve seen there:
Smashing Pumpkins (10.18 0r 19.93)
Bjork (05.21.98)
Portishead (05.31.98)
Cardigans
Crowded House/Sheryl Crow
Garbage (05.20.98)
Sundays
Dido (08.10.00)
PJ Harvey (05.19.95)
Sonic Youth
Sara Bareilles (12.16.2010)

I know I saw them, but where….

Hole (the Edge)
Filter (somewhere in San Jose)
Lisa Loeb (well, actually didn’t stay for that one)
Pearl Jam @ Golden Gate Park (06.24.95)
WOMAD (ft. Peter Gabriel) Golden Gate Park
Smashing Pumpkins (2. 7.96) Kezar Pavilion

Tori Amos at the CPA
TLC and MC Hammer (Hawaii)
New Kids/Tiffany at Great America
David Spade (05.30.98)
Cassandra Wilson @ Nob Hill Masonic Center(10.24.97)
Pharoah Sanders Quartet @Yoshi’s (03.17.01)

kill bill volume 2

Kill Bill Vol 2

rating: **** out of 5

quick shot: continuing the revenge story of the bride from kill bill volume i.

what i liked about the film: slightly different tone from the first movie.  i like the dialog an interaction between bill and the bride towards the end of the movie.

what i didn’t like: the audience members who didn’t realize movie’s contain dialog.  yeah, this volume is more talk-y then the first but give me a break…it’s tarantino!

mean girls

Mean Girls

rating: ***1/2 out of 5

quick shot: smartly written tina fey comedy.  a cut above your average teenager movie.

what i liked about the movie: the way it treated most kids with some intelligence.  i also liked that the adults weren’t totally oblivious either.  smart script all around.

what i didn’t like: the movie bogged down a third of the way through, though it picked up in the end.

master and commander: the far side of the world

Master and Commander

rating: *** out of 5

quick shot: men at sea battling a faceless (for most of the movie) enemy, and amongst themselves. you can feel the isolation at sea, and the camaraderie the crew feels. russell crowe leads by example and charisma.

what i liked about the movie: the chemistry between crowe, bettany (who plays the ship’s doctor) and crew was very good. the chase and battle scenes were excellent.

what i didn’t like: the movie felt a little lengthy. i think it could have lost about 15 to 20 minutes and still been effective.

somethings gotta give

Something's Gotta Give

rating: **1/2 out of 5

quick shot: jack and diane try to find love at there age!  overall good story of may-december romance and how it works for both genders.  the writing is good, though gives up in the last ten minutes of the film.

what i liked about the movie: jack and diane have good chemistry in the film.  i like the fact that they bared more than their emotions in the film.

what i didn’t like: keanu is as wooden as ever.  again, the ending is predictable but satisfying i suppose.

kill bill volume 1

Kill Bill Vol 1

rating: **** out of 5

quick shot: a tale of bloody revenge tarantino style.  loved the bloody brutality mixed in with the animation and poppin’ tarantino dialog.

what i liked about the movie: the bloody mess.  the fight scene with the cray 88’s was cool.

what i didn’t like: that i didn’t see this movie in the theater.  thank g. for dvd, but still would have been nice to see it on the screen.

lost in translation

lost_in_translation

 

rating: **** out of five

quick shot: a man lost. a woman ignored. friendship [and more?] follows.

what i liked about the movie: the acting, direction and pacing of the movie was very well done.

what i didn’t like: the movie seemed short.

underworld

katebeckinsale

rating: ** out of five

quick shot: decent run at the vampire mythos. werewolves versus vampire war is somewhat effective, though the story gets bogged down on who did what to whom too much. dave commented that the sequel would probably be better than the original (which i kind of agree with). kate beckinsale makes a kick-ass vampire though.

what i liked about the movie: the movie looked very slick, matrix-like. the fight scenes were interesting enough.

what i didn’t like: that this is clearly setup for a second movie – which may never come. (but i could be wrong)

better luck tomorrow

betterluck

rating: ***1/2 out of five

quick shot: good small movie. somewhat predictable half way through, but overall an enjoyable film.

what i liked about the movie: fresh faces and good acting. the characters were some people i recognized and could relate to on some level.

what i didn’t like: some of the direction in the latter half of the film was hokey. for most of the film i didn’t know where it was going, but in the last third it seemed to be predictable.

building a box part III

well, the box has been built and ran through the burn-in test without error. so now i’m running a sweet p4 3.0gHz machine. i can only see the difference in running some applications, such as image editing, word, and other applications i run at the same time.

the reason i wanted to build a new box was not just to have a new computer but to get ready to scan a ton of images this year. hopefully i’ll be able to scan some old negatives and some older pictures. the extra power will come in handy when processing this information.

building a box part II

well, i’ve just slapped all the pieces together. i was a little worried about putting in the cpu as it can be delicate. you have to put this huge fan on top called a heatsink. you need to ‘snap-it’ on top of the processor. let’s hope that went in right.

‘m not going to turn it on until tomorrow. there is supposed to be this 72-hour burn-in period where you run the processor for all it’s worth during that timeframe. i guess any problems, such as faulty processor or heat and cooling problems, will show up during that timeframe.

wish me luck.

building a box part I

i decided late last year that i was going to get a new computer system this year. my current system is a p3 733 mHz running winxp and win2k (swap drives). i bought it about 2 1/2 to 3 years ago from micronpc. when i bought it i decided not to get ‘top of the line’, which i think was the 900mHz, because i heard the difference wasn’t too much.

since then the 1gHz came out. then the 2gHz. now the 3gHz! in between that time i built my first computer, which was a present for lotte. that system is an amd system, which i think runs at 1gHz. it’s a sweet machine and my first effort at building a system.

well, early this year i got a new work system. i had been running a clunky 400mHz system, while everyone around me was in the 1gHz to 2gHz range. i then got a replacement system: a 2.4gHz system. well, i then saw how much has improved. so it was time to upgrade the home system. now to buy or build?

buying would be easier, but building would be more satisfying – and frustrating. so of course i chose the latter. i set out to do the research, asking knowledgeable friends what they would consider, and then bought the parts that fit my needs. i wanted to be able to surf the web, get email, and the edit photos and video. so i went with the following:

  • p4 3.0gHz 800mHz fsb
  • asus p4c800 deluxe motherboard
  • 512mb ram – setlled for pc2700 for now
  • 150gb maxtor sata hard drive
  • ati 9600 xt video card
  • nd a antec sonata case

you figure i would save some money building a system, but in actuality it?s the slightly more when factoring the cost of software. the difference is you get to choose from a wide variety of parts and build the puppy.

well, i have all those parts. now just need to put it all together.