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science fiction (2), comparison (2), The Final Cut (1), Hotel Rwanda (1), ratings (1), Sintel (1), Landmark Theater (1), weird (1), DVD (1), rental (1), chart (1), philosophy (1), review (1), The Polar Express (1), Durian (1), Millenium of Music (1), Mom (1), Honestea (1), graphics (1), Bourne Supremacy (1), memory (1), Blender (1), GitS2 (1), Earth (1), book (1), WETA (1), 3D (1), philsophy (1), Steamboy (1), camera (1), CG (1), Mark (1), Matt (1), environment (1),

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comparison, movie, movie, science fiction


Movie box office charts

tags: movie, chart, graphics
movie chart

I had an idea for displaying box office data graphically and here are the results. It's inspired by stream graphs and the works of Edward Tufte.

Each page displays trends in the top 25 movies at the box office for each weekend in a year. The color is based on the movie's debut week. Because of that, long-running movies will gradually start to stand out from newer movies with different colors.

url: http://www.xach.com/moviecharts/

type: project, format: none


Home (2009 film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Home movie title card

Home is a 2009 documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet. The movie was released simultaneously on June 5, 2009 in cinemas across the globe, on DVD, Blu-ray, television, and on YouTube. Opening in 181 countries, the film broke the world record for the largest film release in history.

url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_(2009_film)

type: project, format: none



Sintel's Cabin by David Revoy

Since we don’t have to suffer a traditional commercial production method, the team who will execute Durian will get a near unsurpassed freedom in creating it. Some aspects have been frozen though, partially because of the technical targets, partially just do something different than the previous projects.

url: http://durian.blender.org/

type: project, format: blog


Netflix, GreenCine, & Blockbuster Online: A Comparison of Customer Satisfaction

After renting nearly 1,000 DVDs online, I've experienced the intricacies, quirks, and pitfalls of online DVD renting. I started out renting from Netflix 2 years ago then subscribed to Blockbuster Online and GreenCine a year ago after becoming dissatisfied with Netflix's service.

url: http://manuelsweb.com/netflix/bb_vs_competition2.htm

type: none, format: none

Hotel Rwanda

I was surprised that the movie's ending was as happy as it was; I thought surely at least one of the major characters would die.
parent post: Hotel Rwanda
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The Final Cut

Movie night has resumed. Last night, Michael, Laura, Matt, and i joined Celeste and Justing for The Final Cut. In this movie a eulogist-like person searches for a person from his childhood in order the release the guilt from a tragic experience.

In near future a biological implant is invented to record a person's sensory experience. People may at their discretion purchase this implant for their children. After the child grows old and dies, the recorded life provides material for a rememory at their funeral.

Although the movie doesn't discuss this point at length, an implant like this will alter a person's moral compass, since they assume their life will be reviewed. In this respect, The Final Cut is like Defending your Life.

On a more philosophical note, the movie demonstrates that our memories of an event may be different from empirical fact. It raises some interesting questions, like which one is right, the implant or our memory? Could both be wrong? Questions like these reminded me of a story i read in a philosophy class. Daniel Dennett in Quining Qualia tells a story about tasting coffee. (Search for "Intuition pump #7".)

Here's a rough recap. Chase and Sandborn are seasoned coffee tasters for Maxwell House. After many years Chase states he doesn't like the coffee any more; the taste has changed to him. Sandborn, surprised, agrees but for a different reason. He thinks the coffee probably has the same taste, but his tasting apparatus is deficient.

I won't try to summarize Dennett's view, since my memory the paper from reading it may not represent the actual content of the paper, but i assure you it's not about coffee. :)


I felt like going downtown for an indie movie and luckily the Landmark Theater was playing Steamboy. Friends say it's somehow related to Ghost in the Shell. I'm not sure how, but i don't follow anime, just watch it. My review is below.

This movie was almost great. I like the overall theme of science. However i would have like to see more science then hear them blabber it numerous times.

The question the movie pitches is, what is science good for? Should it benefit your nation -- used to build weapons -- or your world?

I like how Steamboy demonstrates people having grand dreams and fulfilling them. More background on the characters would have been nice. I was a bit confused about Eddy Steam's perspective. Was he wacky or not?

Every time Robert Stephenson was mentioned, i was reminded of Robert Louis Stevenson.

I like how this movie is set in pre-industriall London. I personally have a fasination with simple machines, especially the mathematics of gear ratios and transmissions. An excellently illustrated book is A History of the Machine by Sigvard Strandh.

The Polar Express

Last night Mom and i went to see The Polar Express. It was fantastic. It's based on the book written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg.

This movie is computer generated. Movement of the actors was recorded and digitally transferred to models. A close up on Tom Hanks face reveals tens of points of interest to record his facial expressions. That's one element that makes this movie so amazing. In my opinion the other is the waves and wrinkles in clothing as a character moves. In other movies like Shrek 2, you will see this represented when Prince Charming (or whoever) whips his hair around. I'm curious to know if this movement is recorded manually or derived via physics from the movement of joints and intersection of objects. Either way, it looked real... very real, like when the boy's mother says goodnight to him.

My favorite scenes include just about anything with the railroad, including hot chocolate, meeting the hobo, skiing on the train, and the breaking ice. This movie is filled with adventure and excitement. I highly recommend all people, children or adults, see this movie.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Mark, Matt and i went downtown to see Ghost in the Shell: Innocence.

Here are my thoughts on the human machine.

I don't rememeber the first movie, but i need to see it again.

Innocence is spoken in Japanese and has English subtitles. I prefer spoken in English so i can watch the action. Like Titan A.E. this movie had a fine blend of hand animation and computer generated graphics.

Plot-wise, the story is about an investigation to discovery why some robots are killing the owners. What makes the story interesting is cyborg Batou's reflection on human existence.

Batou has undergone such bodily enhancements to almost obviate the body. The most interesting of these is the shared memory. Unfortunately this permits a new method of attack for enemies. In one scene he is tricked into believing he's under fire and almost kills a grocery store clerk. In another he and Togusa are tricked by Kim into believe they're part of reality, when in fact they're not.

This movie reminded me about spirituality. The question as i see it is: Is there more to being human, than the body? Or, is there more to the mind than the brain? My answer is no. There is nothing more to the universe than the matter, energy, and forces we observe. (However, the amount of this universe we have observed is extremely little.)

I believe there is nothing special about being human. If humans have an external soul, then so do slugs and rocks. Then what why do i perceive there is something different about us? It's simply because the human brain is tremendous in complexity; so complex we call it the mind. And within the mind we see phenomena called thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc.

Do i think humans are just machines? Yes, we're natural machines.

A strong theme in the story are dolls. Why do children feel comforted by having them? The movie suggests it our effort to immortalize our image in dolls. I don't know about dolls, but i'd say it's true for children. Pets, being animated but not human, are a better alternative as companions than dolls.

That bad?

tags: weird, movie
haha that bad huh? Oh well I am just gonna get one of my "wierd" ones next time=)
parent post: Hidalgo
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Bourne Supremacy, Millenium of Music

I saw The Bourne Supremacy today with Mark. This is my type of movie, although i liked The Bourne Identity better.

One thing about this movie (and 24) that i couldn't stand was the shaking camera effect to convey tension. Mark and i were also sitting in the 3rd row which didn't help. Mark duly pointed out that the end of this movie fizzles out.

I'm currently listening to WETA's Millenium of Music. It's mostly gregorian chant; great with Honestea's Earl Grey.


so how was the movie in comparison to the book?
parent post: Weekend Chores
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Movie Ratings

tags: movie, ratings

I took my list of movie ratings from IMDb and posted here on my site.