Friday, February 29, 2008

12 Angry Men

I came home, exhausted from sickness and playing catch up all week to find a classic on Turner Classic Movies. 12 Angry Men was on my must see movie list and now that I have finally watched it I find it difficult to explain my amazed impression. A clean, simple, black and white film centering on 12 men in a room debating the innocence or guilt of one boy. The performances were natural, each man getting up and moving around, the nervous energy waifing off the screen. Fonda used his steely eyed grace to try and convince the men but only convinced me that there was no one better chosen for the role. The weather was its own character moving from sweaty tension to a release of rain. They say they don't make them like they used to and this is the one that fits that rule. A character piece, and simple plot, and yet a winner in every respect. Thank goodness I can scratch it off my list but it is a proud moment that I have.

cloning in 3D

Speaking of Star Wars, the 3D CGI animated series "Clone Wars" is scheduled to premiere at the end of 2008 after a feature film lead in on August 15. The trailer peaks my interest with its action sequences and gritty characters. This is not the sleek and shiny animated shorts that kept me entertained between sagas but has more weight, more depth. Not much is known about the film release but the series has a pretty good trailer.

The Adventures of Lego Indy

Whoever said Legos are for children never played Lego Star Wars. The game, while just plain fun, is also clever and durable as there are tons of secrets to unlock and achieve. The tongue in cheek details to every character makes me laugh out loud every time. So when I read more Lego games were coming, my expectation and anticipation went sky high. Lego Batman and Lego Indiana Jones are in the making and looking at the video, it looks to be a blast.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

a strike of luck

I watch too much TV. I know it. So when the Writer's Guild of America went on strike, I actually cheered. In a month where I am usually glued to my beautiful set and dependent on that lovely DVR for extreme sweep action, I actually finished a book and did my taxes early. Even with the strike, though, my appetite for television has become downright particular. I do not do the reality thing nor do I put much into sitcoms. My taste for the legal drama is dry and the teen drama, acidic. I tend to veer toward high production dramas with either witty writing or appealing relationships. And, of course, scifi and anime which consume more than most. Now that the strike is over and Spring TV starts to unveil, my DVR will fill again. No worries, though. There is nothing better than stepping into someone else's shoes for a long while.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

still alive

My new favorite song on repeat these days is "Still Alive" by Jonathon Coulton. It is the title song, or portal song as they call it, to Half-Life 2, the popular console and PC game. It is a tongue in cheek blast at the research facility that turns normal people into crazed zombies. The lyrics make the song.

Friday, February 01, 2008

la bruyère

In the two years or so since I have been taking French at the Alliançe Française d'Austin, my name has been the cause for discussion several times. Heather is not a French name nor does it have an equivalent. However, la bruyère, which is the French word for the flower, is very common in French culture. Last evening, my French teacher and friend, gave me a lovely potted Heather because we discuss it so much. Heathers are found throughout Western Europe and in parts of northeastern North America and Siberia but are native to Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, Russia, and northern North America. Their colors are usually pink or mauve in nature but can range from white through pink and purple and even into shades of red. They typically bloom in late summer but blooms spread from July to November. Though their flowers may turn brown in winter, they are an evergreen branching shrub. They need acidic soil and are a traditional remedy used in Swedish herbal medicine. The word, Heather, is of Scottish origin, presumably derived from the Scots word Haeddre. But what is in a name, anyway?

Updated with a picture for my brother