May 22

Before I Fall

Watch this film if you want to know how to waste your most precious asset of all as a filmmaker.

That asset is screen time and this squanders it in abundance, with extraneous characters, unnecessary scenes, copious narration and superfluous moralizing all to conclude in a mediocre ending that ignores its most interesting character even in near death.

If I were to ever for some reason teach a screenwriting class, I would offer this up as what not to do. And I’d pair it up with its obvious progenitor, Grounhog Day, to show what to do.

At least, though, 90% of the spoken lines were by women and there were some individual good scenes. Unfortunately, for the most part the well-acted, high-quality scenes were among those inessential to the plot — such as the scene between a pitch-perfect Liv Hewson as Anna and Zoey Deutch as Sam in a bathroom where they exchange footwear and some frank talk.

The movie tells and tells and tells but never shows, ignores the most compelling characters, and as I mentioned it burns screen time on irrelevancies like there is ever any to spare.

The idea behind this film was sound. A Groundhog Day from a young woman’s perspective could’ve been fun and insightful.

This, however, was neither of those things.

Not really recommended, unless you enjoy poor screenwriting or watching a 98 minute film for 10 minutes of good scenes.

May 20


Gnome finally getting fractional scaling.

Linux nor Windows (any version) properly supports multi-DPI monitors. For instance, I have a 5K and 4K monitor side-by-side. When I drag a window from my 5K to my 4K, it’s the same size in MacOS. Everything just works perfectly.

In any other OS, total brokenness. This has worked correctly in MacOS for 3+ years now.

I’d prefer to use XFCE, really, but lack of support for anything modern and seeming disinterest in any of it means MacOS is the only OS I can actually use.

This reminds me of back in the late 1990s and early 2000s when Linux refused to support USB (and then supported it poorly) because it was a “consumer toy.”

May 20


I was just looking at a copy of my military records earlier. Technically, I’m a German paratrooper, too. I’d forgotten about that. You get foreign paratrooper wings when you as a paratrooper train with a foreign country’s parachute forces, and they then award you those wings — so I have American and German paratrooper wings.

When you hear in the press about ex-military folks claiming military honors they did not receive, most of the time it’s probably true. However, there’s stuff I did and training I received in the army that never made it onto my official military records. I only discovered this when I was exiting the army.

At that time, I was so happy to get out, my military record could’ve only said in 72-point font, “MIKE IS A TURD” with giant poo emoji printed on it, and I would’ve signed it and been happy.

That scatological aside aside, military records are a form of truth and sure, most of the time those who claim honors they never received in fact are prevaricating; however, not always.

Which is the truth, what happened in reality or what appears on a piece of paper?

May 19

Cloudy outlook

Just another reminder: there is no “Cloud,” it’s just a computer sitting in a rack somewhere you can’t see.

The cloud has been the cleverest, most inane, and most successful marketing gimmick in the last 20 years at least. I’m duly impressed.

May 18

Croesus Crisis

If Trump or his antics start making rich people less rich, he’ll be gone.

That will be the determiner. Not Russia, not general incompetence, not drone-bombing or petty thuggery.

It the stock market tanks and profits drop due to Trump’s dumbassery, he’ll be out the door in months.

May 18


When Erin gets enraged by the libertarian-type blogger following and haranguing her in Ghostbuters, Melissa McCarthy’s line, “Erin, he’s too pasty to fight!” is just perfect.

Delivery, timing, cadence, everything.

Yeah, Kate McKinnon’s Holtzmann steals the show, but each of the women in the movie gets off some truly great cracks.

May 17


I am not much of a comedy fan so take as you will, but think Ghostbusters (2016) is the best comedy film I’ve ever seen.

It’s not my favorite (that’s LA Story), but I think it is the only comedy film I’ve returned to, to watch certain scenes, in many years.

It’s not perfect but it’s charming and hilarious and has the best comedy performance in any movie ever made, IMO, in Kate McKinnon’s Holtzmann.

May 16


The Leftovers is just a damn brilliant show.

Something I noticed tonight as I was watching the first episode of Season 3 is that it’s not just great due to the plotting or the uniformly adroit actors, or even the weirdness admixed with the mundane that makes it all the more surreal-real, but has much to do with the lovely principal photography and sound design.

It’s one of the most beautifully-photographed and the most meticulous and exacting and sonically lush shows I’ve ever seen. What most shows ignore because they’d either be too hard to capture or to foley in are present here, in the best verisimilitude I’ve ever heard.

Just what a great show. And you get Carrie Coon.

May 15


I’ve linked a version of this before and in this one, the audio quality is completely terrible. Like, someone banging on a rusty garbage can on the bottom of the ocean abysmal. But I can actually see Marissa P of Screaming Females play the entire solo at the end of “Because the Night,” and for that it is worth it.

I don’t even really care about guitar solos. But her musicianship and ferocity on the guitar just cause her talent to elevate it all to something greater:

Notice how at one point her hand is moving more quickly than the camera (probably capping at 30hz) can handle.

Paraphrasing something a commenter points out, watching Wednesday Addams shred on the electric guitar is a good thing in the world.