Thursday, June 26, 2014

Solomon Kane

I'm watching Solomon Kane tonight. It has a good Netflix rating.

This is a movie with a very Christian premise. I am looking forward to seeing how it unfolds. Some of you who know me may think that strange, but I am willing to suspend disbelief and see how the makers of this movie interpret the concepts of redemption. As I type at this moment, the plot is just getting started. I will be "live blogging" after a fashion -- pausing to add my thoughts as the movie progresses. We shall see how my opinion shifts over time. Spoilers after the break.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Click Bait

Click-bait posts like the one to the right seem to be all over social media these days. The sources on a lot of the ones I've seen on Facebook lately seem to be radio stations.

I assume that the likes, comments, and shares on these posts somehow translate into advertising revenue for the originator. They can claim to have hundreds or thousands or more interested eyeballs on their pages because of all the activity on their posts.

Some of them encourage you to try some simple keyboard trick that causes an image to be displayed (like entering "(^^^)" in Facebook, which displays a shark icon).

But more often they issue some painfully easy challenge like the one in this post, and you get to congratulate yourself for being one of the "smart" people. Come on, internet users -- anyone can come up with a movie name without a "T" in it! They just want you to promote them on your preferred social media site.

WIT's "Scientific Proof"

A friend of mine shared an article on Facebook recently: First Scientific Proof Of God Found. I've seen fundamentalists claim to have "scientific proof" of God many times, so I naturally approached this article with some grains of salt ready.

This one claims that geneticists at the Wyoming Institute of Technology (WIT) examining the human genome discovered patterns in the "junk DNA" that looked like some kind of alphabet. They consulted with linguists at Bob Jones University, who determined that the patterns translate into Aramaic words that make the phrase “At first break of day, God formed sky and land.”

My first clue that the site was a parody was the phrase "Bob Jones University, long noted for its intellectual rigor." Bob Jones University may be known for many things, but intellectual rigor is definitely not one of them.

Other articles on the site include such gems as:
  • “Selfies” Linked To Brain Cancer, Experts Say
  • New Chemical Makes Bacon Good For You
  • Keep Pets Their Same Size Forever With Adoraberil® ; Anti-Aging, Anti-Growing Wonder Drug
  • Autism Linked To Eating Organic Foods
  • Obesity Impacting Earthquakes in US, Experts Say
It seems that some people are willing to believe anything or anyone if it supports their own position.

Edit: An anonymous commenter called me out for saying BJU isn't known for intellectual rigor. I went to college close enough that their student proselytizers would show up on our campus to street preach. I know from personal experience that BJU is not known for intellectual rigor. Their reputation is fundamentalism, creationism, and racism, if anything. Supporting links in the comments.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Curse of the Dragon Slayer

This has shown up on Neflix recently.

It was apparently funded by a Kickstarter campaign. I wasn't really expecting much from it when I decided to watch it. I watch plenty of bad movies, so I can be entertained by the badness itself.

This was better than I was expecting, though. The production value turns out to be decent, the acting is largely acceptable, the direction and editing mostly work, and the costuming is downright impressive (with one very obvious exception at about the 45 minute mark).

The fight choreography, on the other hand, was extremely disappointing. The establishing scenes for the leads don't make them look badass: they make them look incompetent.

The plot also has gigantic holes, of course, and when it comes to keeping the villains from obtaining the resources they need to complete their nefarious plan, the heroes do everything wrong, requiring something of a deus ex machina to save the world. That's a bit lame, but the film-makers obviously wanted to have a big special effects ending, so the villainous plan pretty much had to succeed and then be reversed.