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Archive for September, 2009

Top 5 Movies Where The Good Guy Should Have Lost

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment

We all know the good guy always wins in Hollywood movies.  But maybe there are sometimes when he shouldn’t.

Crimson Tide

Crime Tide Screen Shot

The good guy:  Denzel Washington is Lt. Commander Ron Hunter of the U.S.S. Alabama.  The U.S.S. Alabama, a ballistic missile submarine, has received orders to launch a nuclear strike against a rogue Soviet missile base that is fueling its nuclear missiles for a suspected strike on the U.S.   During an attack by a Soviet submarine, the Alabama receives a partial message countermanding the order to launch it’s missles but the message is cut off and cannot be authenticated.

How he wins:Hunter takes over the submarine from its Captain preventing him from firing the missiles until the message can be authenticated.

Why he shouldn’t:In the movie, of course, not launching was the right choice.  In real life, half the East Coast of the U.S. is destroyed before word gets back to the Alabama asking why they haven’t launched their missiles.  At which time the Captain gets all the blame for losing half the country when he had an opportunity to stop the missile attack.

Dune

Dune Screen Shot

The good guy: Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan), the prince of noble House Atreides becomes the leader of the Freman on planet Dune which contains “spice” that is necessary for long distance space travel.

How he wins:  Paul equips the Freman with a new type of weapon which converts sound and thoughts into energy pulses that are used as weapons.

Why he shouldn’t: Instead of freeing the Freman on Dune, Paul equips them with experimental weapons to overthrow the emperor.  After which he take takes over as emperor and becomes leader of the galaxy.  An impressive feat to overthrow the Empire but isn’t overthrowing a government to become the sole ruler technically a dictator?

Minority Report
Minority Report - Tom Cruise

The good guy: Tom Cruise is Chief John Anderton, a pre-crime officer who stops and arrests people who are about to commit as a crime as directed by three psychics that can see into the future.   When Anderton is acused of a pre-crime he goes on the run to prove his innocence which intern destroys the pre-crime division and forces the release of all persons arrested by pre-crime.

How he wins: Andteron discovers that there are times when not all three of the psychics agree on their vision of the future so there is a possibility that a person might not commit the crime.

Why he shouldn’t:  So we have a system that for most people can predict a murder with 100% accuracy and for others can predict the murder with a 75% accuracy and we just dismantle the system and let everyone go?  The end of the movie is a happy ending with all the previously incarcerated pre-criminals being released to there families.  In reality, murder rates soar, hundreds needlessly die and the next administration voted into office brings back the system.  How about at least leaving the psychics in place and recording all their visions that when a murder does occur there’s a good chance it was caught on tape.

Mutiny On The Bounty (1935)

Mutiny on the Bounty - Clark Gable

The good guy:  Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) is a Master’s Mate on board the HMS bounty en route to Tahiti.

How he wins: On the way to England, in response to the Captains brutality against his crew, Christian mutinies, takes over the ship and sets the Captain and his loyal officers a float in a small craft in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.  Christian then returns to Tahiti to start a new life.

Why he shouldn’t: By setting the Captain and other officers adrift in the middle of the ocean, Christian intention must have been to kill them.  If he really objected to the Captain’s behavior he should have secured him in the ships hold to stand trial in England.  Instead he takes over the ship and dooms the crew to a life on the run.

Soylent Green

Soylent Green - Charleton Heston

The good guy:  Thorn (Charlton Heston) is police detective in a future where food and resources are scarce.  While investigating a murder he finds out the true source of the people’s favorite food, Soylent Green.

How he wins:  Thorn traces the body of a friend who committed suicide back to a factory which turns people into food that is sold as Soylent Green.

Why he shouldn’t:  By exposing the truth about Soylent Green, Thorn, has probably destroyed whats left of a government and doomed the people to an even worse future.  It’s not like people were murdered and made into food.  Instead of burying the bodies, the government repurposed them into a nutritious and tasty  treat.  Isn’t that what recycling is all about?

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Categories: Movie Review, Top 5 Lists

Shuttle

September 29, 2009 2 comments

Shuttle Movie PosterShuttle is anything but a quick ride.  The movie stars Mel (Peyton Liston) and Jules (Cameron Goodman) as the hot girls about to be terrified and Tony Curran as the nameless Shuttle driver about to do the terrifying.  The story takes us on a  journey into the unknown intentions of a crazed, yet obviously intelligent mad man.  The film doesn’t have any actors that your likely to recognize but writer/director Edward Anderson also wrote the movie Flawless staring Michael Caine and Demi Moore.

Mel and Jules arrive from a weekend of drinking in Mexico to a deserted airport.  Instead of taking a cab home they get talked into taking the cheaper airport shuttle with two other guys that were flirting with them in the airport and a lone man in a business suit.  The passengers soon realize the driver is not taking the usual route.  After disabling the passenger that is his biggest threat the driver begins to show his malicious intentions.  At first the passengers think they are being robbed but soon realize all the effort the driver is putting into this crime is overkill for a robbery.

After failing with several escape attempts the passengers realize there are larger plans involved in this scenario.  Are some of the passengers working with the driver?  Where is the driver taking his passengers?  Why the driver seen to be going out of the way to not hurt one particular passenger?  Well you’ll have to watch to find out.

Shuttle isn’t anything to write home about, but it is a wonderful late night movie when your looking to watch something half decent before bed.  The story isn’t the most original one and the usual horror movie memes are in this movie but it does have some moments that leave you wondering what is going to happen next.

It is available on Netflix Watch Instantly as well as DVD rental.  I would recommend it, just don’t expect too much.

Categories: Horror, Movie Review

Temporary Platform Over Kings Highway

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

The MTA has built a temporary platform over the south bound B express tracks in the Kings Highway station.  All south bound entrances are now closed.  For south bound trains, you use a north bound entrance and then cross over the temporary platform.  The southbound B and Q trains arrive on the express tracks but open there doors over what used to be the northbound express tracks.

Kigns Highway Platform

Categories: Transit

Time Machine Is Not For Backups

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

OS X Kernel Panic

Having a back up of your computers hard drive is not the same as having a recovery plan.  Suppose you planned on working from home this weekend but you were greeted with message above.  You thought you were protected by your backups  You might think you have a good recovery plan because you’ve used OS X’s time machine or even a time capsule but that does not help you with your current problem.  You have a broken computer, you need a working one.

Your personal recovery plan should be as thorough as one that would be used for a business.  In many cases your personal computer has even more irreplaceable items that a business machine.

Mac OS X solves one of the biggest issues with recovery plans which is having an automated, consistant and up to date set of backups.  If your have Time Machine turned on and it consistently backups up your hard drive without errors then you already have a backup of your system that is up to date and automated.

So, its sunday morning and you need to get some work done but your machine is down, most likely due to a hard drive crash.  But you have backups on your time capsule so your all set right?  Actually, your not.  Right now your no better off than if you didn’t have any backups.  You have backups sitting on your time capsule but nowhere to restore them.  You backed up your data but what about your machines hardware.

If your not comfortable overwriting your hard drive with your backup, now, without any preparation, then what makes you think you can do it after a hard drive crash when you would have no chance to prepare.

Time Machine is a backup system not a recovery plan.  With the data from your Time Machine backup and enough time and money you could restore your system to the latest backup but it could take days or longer to do so.  Time Machine is good for restoring files and last ditch backup restore of the entire hard drive but it does not make for a good recovery system.

Categories: Computers

The Park Is Mine

September 19, 2009 Leave a comment

The Park is Mine PosterIn 1986 there was a made for television movie named The Park Is Mine.  The movie starred Tommy Lee Jones as a Mitch, Vietnam veteran living in New York City.  In an attempt to bring attention to the plight of veterans living with the after effects of war and to honor those who served in Vietnam, he takes over Central Park during Memorial day weekend.

For 72 hours, using road blocks and unbeknown to the NYPD, blank ammunition, he takes control of Central Park.  After forcing the evacuation of the park by staging explosions at various points within the park, he lays concertina wire across all the entrances of the park and broadcasts his intention to hold the park for 72 hours and to walk out on midnight Memorial day.

An intrepid reporter sees this as the perfect opportunity to advance her career by gaining an inside interview with the man that is holding Central Park hostage.  She sneaks into the park only to be captured by Mitch.  He decides to let her stay to document the event from the inside.

Mitch uses a military radio transmitter he brought with him to inform those listening on why he is taking this drastic action.  One such story is about a veteran who had frozen to death in his apartment because his gas was shut off for non-payment.  His body was not discovered for several days.

With public sentiment starting to turn in favor of Mitch, the city sees its control of the city slipping away.  They decide to send it two mercenaries into the park to kill Mitch before he can complete his mission of holding the park for 72 hours.  When Mitch realizes that he is being stalked by mercenaries he switches from his blank ammunition to his real military hardware and goes after them.

It is interesting to think about this movie given the context of our times.  Would the public be so quick to sympathize with Mitch in our post 9/11 world.

Unfortunately this review has had to come from memory because The Park is Mine has never been released on DVD.  The Wikipedia page for this movie is barren and even the tailor on YouTube only has a few hundred views.

Hopefully this movie will be released on DVD at some point.

Categories: Movie Review, Soldier

Insecure Homeland Security

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Internet Explorer 7 warns that the Department of Homeland Security website might be unsafe.

IE 7 DHS Warning

Categories: Technology

MTA Fail

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

IMG_0325

MTA Bridge Over Tracks

Categories: Transit