Went to see Avatar in 3D tonight. Typical story, but the animation was amazing. The 3D was also better than what has been out there. But darn, for the past 4 hours after exiting the theatre I have been having my vision still be in stereoscopic mode or something. I see everything beyond 1-2 meters as blurry, as if watching the movie without glasses. Hope a good night’s rest will cure that.
A friend of mine pointed me to this article about James Cameron and his latest film “Avatar”. I am personally much inspired by such things and I hope I share at least some minor part of this kind of zeal in delivering perfectionist accomplishments. I love how he hired experts from different areas of expertise to work on the language, flora, or other parts of his fantasy world, all in all to make the world more consistent. This is the bread and butter of making an experience fully immersive. Sure, it might be wasted on the audience who just goes to watch the movie, but people like myself appreciate this. I am not sure how many experience this, but whenever I play a game where I notice that some design has been reused, watch or read something where I notice the consistency is off I feel kind of let down. I guess it is hard for me to understand why other people would not go the extra mile to avoid such problems.
Something I never understand between various science fiction movies and series is the difference in how space battles are conducted. Take for example Star Trek, you see all kinds of ships in fights, but contrast this to Battlestar Galactica, Space: Above and Beyond or Star Wars and there’s one striking difference: the absence of fighter and bomber ships fighting alongside capital ships. In Star Trek you will see, for example, the Enterprise in direct battle with various other ships, but aside from some shuttles they have no fighter ships or otherwise. In Star Wars next to the Imperial Star Destroyers, Corellian Corvettes and Dreadnaughts, Mon Calamari cruisers, and Nebulon-B frigates you have a multitude of TIE fighters, TIE interceptors, TIE bombers, X-Wings, Y-Wings, A-Wings, B-Wings, and YT-1300 like the Millennium Falcon. Battlestar Galactica had its Vipers and other ships. I wonder what this, in my opinion, fundamental difference signifies and where it comes from.
As Yoda says in Episode III – Revenge of the Sith:
The fear of loss is a path to the dark side. Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them, do not. Miss them, do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed that is. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
Just a wonderful touch in the first book, named Betrayal, of the Legacy of the Force series of Star Wars. At one point Leia tells someone that “Han shot first”. This is such a beautiful pointer to the whole debate about the Han Solo/Greedo shootout in the Mos Eisley cantina. I just couldn’t keep a smile from my face.
The movie ‘House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏)’ contains a song sung by Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) called ‘The Beauty Song (佳人曲)’.
Which translates to something like the following:
In the north there is a beauty: Surpassing the world, she stands alone.
A glance from her will overthrow a city; A second glance will overthrow the State.
Don’t I know she can overthrow the city and the State?
But such a beauty cannot be found again!
This is a poem by the Han Dynasty poet Li Yannian (李延年).
This weekend I had the time to watch House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏) again. I think the first time I saw it was when I was in Japan (日本). Of course, the problem at that point was that my Japanese (日本語) was definitely not good enough to understand the entire story. Although I could make good sense of it though.
In Japan the movie is known as Lovers.
Went to see the Fantastic Four on Saturday. A pretty good movie to be honest, very funny. Seeing Jessica Alba as Susan Richards (with appropriately dyed blonde hair) was actually enjoyable, of which I had my doubts before going to see it.
In other news, Mozilla/Firefox released Deer Park Alpha 2 is now released.
These are interesting tidbits from the release notes:
- Faster browser navigation with improvements to back and forward button performance
- Drag and drop reordering for browser tabs
- Improvements to popup blocking
Been working on some ideas for my labs@tendra project. This will focus heavily on languages, especially Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and probably Hindi.
In a blaze of insane reasoning we now see that using or embedding GPL’d fonts with/in documents can/might/will make that document GPL’d as well.
http://nashi.altmuehlnet.de/pipermail/scribus/2005-April/010319.html discusses some of the finer points with regard to this issue.
On the FSF site we can find a mention of how fonts apparently are a difficult thing with the GPL.
Personally I am getting sick of licenses to the marrow of my bone.
A typical font license is quite similar to what Adobe says on their “What about fonts?” page.
“You may embed typefaces into documents only under certain circumstances. Adobe permits embedding certain typefaces into documents for the explicit purpose of viewing and printing only.”
An interesting article on the issue Font Licensing and Protection Details.
On the art side I totally fell in love with Ryan Church’s work especially after seeing some of his concept artwork as laid out in my copy of The Making of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.
Something that always gets me kind of grouchy is the fact that so-called criticts of movies call a movie trash just because it doesn’t appeal to their ‘sophisticated’ level.
Hey pal, here’s something for you: I don’t care!
Some movies are just meant to be pure entertainment and if I want to see Alien versus Predator I will!
Not every movie has to be built upon an epos like The Lord of the Rings and subsequently worked out with due dilligence for a number of years. If every trance musician was a conservatorium graduated person I doubt the current club scene would look like it does right now.
I just don’t understand why something has to be ‘artistically innovative’ to be appreciated by the critics. Guess they’re just trying to uphold their own jobs by keeping up appearances (which is not unlike any other job niche, mind you).