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



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.



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


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.

the matrix revolutions

farrah and i headed down to the [sony metreon] to watch the [matrix revolutions], the last a trilogy by the wachowski brothers. i would have to rank this third in terms of quality of story and action, behind the other two. so it works, i guess, in descending order.

what i liked about the film? the action scenes defending zion were really well done. part initial battle scene in a club was cool. oh, and monica bellucci in a red latex get-up made the movie too.

the bad? well, i thought it was still too talk-y. not as much as the second one, though that had the car chase scene and the twin dudes going for it. i also thought the ending was so-so.

i say give it a shot as a matinee if you want to see it. i hear it is playing on imax. i don’t think this one is worth it on that big of a screen. may be the first two, but definitely not this one.


while farrah was studying in the room tonight we watched the dvd confidence. it stars edward burns, rachel weisz, and dustin hoffman.

the movie is about a crew of grifters who accidently con the bag man of a local crime kingpin. in order to get out from under possibly getting killed, they make a deal with the kingpin to pull a grift for him, allowing him to choose the mark. it gets a little complicated from there.

well directed, written and acted it would make for a good rental for more information see the entry for [confidence]

tori @ sjcpa

the weekend, or more exactly my weekend, was good and bad. saw tori amos with farrah, lotte, and yen (and her tiger pants) on saturday. tori was good as usual. i liked a version of vincent (a don mclean song). sunday brought about a lazy day and trying to complete my taxes.

but on sunday my truck was hit again by road debris. my truck must be a debris magnet, as one of my friends said. it happened on 101 while driving to san jose. it hit in the exact opposite spot of the last accident. luckily no one was hurt and the damage was limited to the hood and not the grill.

Here is the set list from the tori amos concert, as reported on the

Saturday, April 12, 2003 – Setlist

Wampum Prayer
a sorta fairytale
Strange Little Girl
Bells for Her
Cornflake Girl
Liquid Diamonds
Take To the Sky

(band leaves)

(band returns)
Mrs. Jesus
Another Girl?s Paradise
Professional Widow
Happy Phantom
I Can?t See New York

(1st encore)
Taxi Ride

(2nd encore)
In the Springtime of his Voodoo
Amber Waves

harry potter

chamber of secrets… just got back from watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. pretty good flick if you ask me, even if it clocks over 2 1/2 hours! i thought it was better than the first, moving along at a swift pace with a lot of tension and mystery. you can tell the kid leads are getting older, as some of the actor’s voices are changing. it was also good to see richard harris on the screen one last time. he was also pretty could in the Count of Monte Cristo. rent that if you get a chance.

the theater was very packed. it was the last and smallest theater at century shoreline in mountain view. a lot of kids still asking their parents to take them to see it. too bad i had to sick next to the only sick kid in the theater. he was sniffling through the whole movie. i think i may have caught his cold. let’s keep our fingers crossed i didn’t. time to make some soup.

enjoying time off

well, I’ve been on vacation since thursday, which was an interesting day unto itself. I helped someone get into an accident on that day. how did i do that you ask?

well, kayla was over. we decided to go get my truck washed then go to blockbuster to find a movie. well, i took the wrong turn off or mary and headed to blockbuster before going to the car wash. as we took a left to make a u-turn, i noticed a honda hatch back civic in front of us. well, it was stalled and i had someone behind me. so there was no way around it. i put the truck in park, turned it off and asked kayla to sit in the car. then i went to help push. to make a long story short i pushed the car, but the person behind the wheel didn’t really know how to drive, and they ran into a parked car. ouch.