For some positive stuff today, here are some movies (or other stuff on DVD) I have seen to talk about...
The Notebook -- I have been told that this is the quintessential "chick flick," but really it's a plain good movie. Yes, it deals with relationships, deceit, and infidelity, and the ending is kind of predictable, but the story keeps you kind of glued to your seat. This movie asks the question, "What do you want?" when one is presented with a decision based on family pressures. What happens when you make the wrong decisions along the way, and now have to make a decision to hurt one person or another?
Avatar - It really is as good as you've heard. Amazing special effects, lots of action, romance, and the usual "greedy people destroy the natural beauty of a world to obtain something that's financially lucrative." I found myself wrapped up in the fictional world in the story feeling as though it were real. While obviously imaginary, the special effects brought the alien world to life. Love conquers all, good conquers evil, and so on. This is a long movie and very intense, but was well worth seeing. If you can catch it on Blu-Ray, do so (I didn't, but it would have made the amazing scenery even more amazing).
Assume the Position with Mr. Wuhl - This is a two-episode miniseries that is the actor/comedian Robert Wuhl lecturing at a college history class in NY City. Think Penn & Teller/Bulls**t meets history class, challenging commonly held beliefs about events in history in a very humorous way. The first episode was excellent, keeping my attention and causing mucho laughter. The second episode felt a bit strained, taking foul language and sexual innuendo a bit further than necessary (again, think Penn & Teller). There were two things that I walked away feeling: First, I wasn't sure whether what was presented was actually true. If so, it's time to get some of this into public schools for sure. Second, I really was itching for another episode. I remember Robert Wuhl from his part in the movie The Hollywood Knights. He's really a funny guy.
My Father the Genius - An biography of Glen Howard Small (an odd architect) by his daughter Lucia. This is an independent film that I found extremely well done. I call Lucia's father "odd" because he is: On the one hand a man that is a "visionary" of sorts (but I would call him more of an idealist). At the same time, he's a man who struggled with any true understanding of women and neglected his family in pursuit of his architectural dream world. Lucia's presentation in this film shows these things in a tastefully frank manner, while at the same time showing how understanding her father was both a frustration and labor of love. Lucia Small is another of those people I would really enjoy meeting in person someday. Her father, not as much, but he's interesting in his own right..
Revolution OS - Okay, any Linux guy must have seen this once before, and yeah, this was a repeat for me. I remember the first time I saw it, and I don't think much differently about it now. While there is some interesting history of the open source movement in this film, I found that some of the facts presented were not entirely true. It was hard to say whether this was simply a different interpretation of certain events from what I understand, an attempt to water things down so the average Joe could understand it, or if they just changed things around to sensationalize them. It's not an outwardly bad movie, but I think it covers too many different aspects of what has happened with computers.
TiMER - What if you could purchase a device that was attached to your body that would tell you the exact time that you would meet your soul mate? This is the premise behind TiMER. Note that your "timer" doesn't start ticking until the other person gets their's. Okay, obviously a fantasy, and while it raises some heavy questions, this is a more light movie. I enjoyed it somewhat, but it seems to fall a bit short and the family dynamics are not entirely believable (even as fiction). It's a romantic comedy drama with a touch of fantasy.
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra - Best way to describe this movie: A spoof of 1950s sci-fi/horror movies that is unmistakably a spoof. The entire movie was purposely made to look like a low-budget black-and-white "B" movie. All the characters are over-the-top bad (again, purposely). The plot: You have three different sets of characters trying to obtain atmospherium from a meteorite that recently hit the Earth. Now, sit back, turn off your brain, and enjoy the ridiculousness that this movie basically is. If you're a fan of old sci-fi/horror movies, then you'll find this a riot. If not, then base your interest on how much tolerance you have for silly movies. I didn't dislike it, but it isn't a movie I'd really want to see again for a while...