Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years Resolution

I'm sort of nervous about the idea of actually posting on the site, as if putting in a real post somehow crosses an invisible line: "If you post this, you can't go back - you can't ever go back. And, what's more, they're all going to read this post, raise their eyebrows, click away and never come back." It's quite debilitating. It's the same feeling as when you're staring at the phone and the scrawled number written on a slip of paper on your hand and trying to talk yourself into actually dialing the number. "C'mon, old boy, you can do it... y'know what, I'll get something to drink first, check the e-mail, then I'll call."

Alright, maybe it's not that bad. I'm awfully phone-shy.

Between posting, e-mails, and the personal opinions of my family members (100% in favor of "Weasels"), the voting on the blog name stands dead even. Please vote, so my younger brother does not end up being the deciding vote.

While I'm clearing the air of all my insecurities, I'll make a list of my resolutions for the coming year, called "Things That I Will Not Spend Too Much Time Thinking About." Ever the optimist, after each section I'll put a timeline on how long I think each one is likely to last:
  1. Filmmaking - I spent the last month of the semester working on a film for my Digital Field Production class. Every second I was not working on the film, I spent thinking about the film, obsessing over details, and during a period where I did not sleep for three days while working through the night on the film, almost made myself physically sick. This semester I'll be working on two films and a documentary, all working with partners. If I'm not grounded, I'm going to drive everyone insane and really tick off everyone I'm working with. Then, in the fall, I'll be going to LA to intern at a movie studio and that'll be even worse and I need to lie down. (3 weeks)
  2. Going Bald - It happens to the best of us. Except for those lucky buggers who don't have the problem, and seem determined to point the fact out: "Hey, Wyman, you're going bald out here in the back. Did you know that? I bet you'll be bald in a couple years!" (However soon after midnight I see a mirror)
  3. Girls - Oh, come on. Like you've never made the same resolution. (However soon after midnight I see a girl)
  4. My Heart Condition - I have a heart condition so unheard of the heart specialists have no idea what it could be. They want to write me up in a medical journal so other doctors can also have no idea what it is. The only thing they can think of is that it might be is a disease in which your heart, for no apparent reason, just stops beating. It's concerning. (Next time I feel ill in any way)
  5. This Blog - See, as you can tell, I've already invested too much time worrying about what you, the reader, who somehow made it this far, thinks. I think this one should pan out, though. I'll admit that for a while, I'll probably post each time with some trepidation as the the reader's opinion: "A list? My first post is list? Nobody reads lists! " (Tuesday)
  6. Myself - Well, it's a nice sentiment, anyway. (Hmm... if I avoid all mirrors...)
That should cover it. Despite the fact that my resolutions may be a touch out of reach (This is nothing. You should've seen last year when I tried to give up sarcasm for Lent.), I'm hopeful for '05. Heck, it's a new year. You haven't made a fool of yourself in front of people you want to impress yet, or blown it with that girl that you keep hoping to get a chance with, or anything. You've got a clean slate. Go enjoy it. Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2004


I've decided to launch the site, officially. It's not ready yet, but I'd gotten sick of having a "test post" be my only post. So, off we go.

Ten-Four, Good Buddy: Still 100% Content Free!

I'll still need your votes on the issue of site name. "Ten-Four, Good Buddy," or "Weasels Ripped My Flesh?" Cast your votes quickly, before people actually start to come to my site, and I'll need to keep a steady name, out of precedent.


Which of these is a better blog title:

Ten-Four, Good Buddy, or Weasels Ripped My Flesh?

Possible considerations:
  • I have a shirt that matches Ten-Four, Good Buddy. It's a good shirt, too. Great publicity. It's back from when stores were just catching on to the idea of fake vintage. Vintage fake vintage. The store went out of business as a result.
  • For Weasels Ripped My Flesh, I have this:

Be honest, and remember: this is for posterity.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Review: Peter And The Starcatchers

By Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Pearson had just finished reading J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan" to his young daughter, Paige, at which time the girl looked up at her father and asked precociously, "but, Dad, how did Peter meet Captain Hook in the first place?"

"It was such an obvious question, my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe I'd never thought of it," Pearson recalled. And, because Pearson clearly wasn't coming up with enough good book ideas on his own, he decided to write the work, dragging Barry along for the ride. Since neither of the authors is familiar with writing for the under-15 crowd, one flinches a touch at the idea - Barry is best known for his weekly column in the Miami Herald (unfortunately, currently on hiatus) and such works as Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys and Dave Barry turns 50. Pearson is best known for more thriller fare such as The Body of David Hayes and The First Victim, the sort of novels you see the middle-aged woman across from you at the airport gate reading. Adult authors trying to be children's authors can often come across a bit patronizing in their storytelling, which doesn't take long to grate on the nerves of any reader, young or old.

Fortunately, Barry and Pearson know good storytelling (if you doubt Barry's skills, pick up a copy of Big Trouble or Tricky Business), and Starcatchers springs Peter Pan's world to life. The story follows Peter from his days as a young orphan all the way through to his adventures learning how to fly in Neverland. Starcatchers ably recreates the magic of Barrie's Neverland and gives the young reader a splendid in-depth look at Peter Pan's world. In fact, that's the books failing. As Barry and Pearson try to weave in the stories of Captain Hook, Smee, the crocodile, the savages, the mermaids, Tinkerbell, and the Lost Boys, they begin to lose their hold on the narrative pull of the book. In the end, Starcatchers ends up having to play catch-up, trying to jam in all the various elements at once in order to create a happy ending that answers all of our questions about Pan's life. But, as George Lucas is learning as he cranks out empty Star Wars prequels, we didn't come to find out the answers. We came for the story. It's a shame it got lost along the way.

Rating: 3 Stars - It believes in fairies, but you can bet your tinkerbells it ain't gonna start clapping to save any.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Review: The Sum of All Fears (2002)

Starring Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, and a lot of vaguely familiar faces

You have a pretty clear idea of what you're getting into when the DVD jacket proudly proclaims "Three and A Half Stars!" You couldn't find anyone to give you four stars? You have Morgan Freeman in a movie, and you can't find anyone to give you four stars? Usually, in this situation, the men in charge will find a quote from some no-name in a radio station in Alabama and throw that up there: "Visually Stunning!" "Huge Special Effects!" "Affleck Gives the Performance of His Career!" Now, there's a quote to make any viewer flinch.

Still, being from New England, I've got a soft spot for Affleck, who may have made some of the worst movie choices of all time, but nevertheless deserves more recognition than he gets for his acting chops. In Fears, he's in his element: a lot of stuff blows up around him, but he still manages to escape with great hair. The man's made a career out of roles like this (Armageddon, Pearl Harbor), and Fears is much of the same. He stars as Jack Ryan, a historian turned CIA-member, who gets his helicopter knocked out of the air by an exploding nuclear bomb three miles away, and you can tell it's serious because when he stumbles from the burning wreckage, his hair is now - ruffled.

How did the bomb get there? Well it all started with Russia. Or maybe Israel. And there's these rogue Americans, and a lot of guys with completely unidentifiable accents. The important part about the bomb is that it's not from Russia, it was just fired by a guy with a Russian accent. Unless this is a different bomb. There were a lot of nuclear bombs in this movie, and an awful lot of similar looking bad guys, and at the end, no one really seems to know where they are, which seems to be an awfully tricky loose end to leave hanging. It doesn't so much leave room for a sequel as it does leave you wondering "So, did the good guys win?"

I can't say for sure, but I was pleased to see Bridget Moynahan in the flick, a fine actress who I like for reasons other than just the fact that she's dating Tom Brady. She supplies the love interest for Affleck to not have chemistry with, while Freeman supplies a measure of credibility to a haphazard script by Paul Attanasio, who, as the writer of Sphere and the executive producer of House, M.D., ought to know better.

Still, what the heck. Four stars. Somebody's gotta do it.