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 Friday, February 10, 2006

Goodbye World
After nearly four years, I am leaving blogger as my journal solution. I am completely moving the site to my root domain,

Please update all your bookmarks. I will probably leave the content here for reference but please don't expect any updates. Welcome the change.

posted by sygyzy at 2/10/2006 10:42:00 AM (1 comment)


 Tuesday, February 07, 2006

2006 SBIFF - Puzzlehead
First time director James Bai is a NYU and Columbia filmschool graduate. His post-industrial movie about a man who creates an android in his image is a story of finding yourself and what you sacrifice as you create your own (new) identity. Shot in Brooklyn with a minimal budget, Bai uses resources that were not costly but were still effective.

I thought the film was pretty good. I found it to move a little slow and the classical music got annoying. I think Munich ruined it for me but the grainy 1970's artifact-ridden film really bugs me after a while. I guess I am spoiled by Hi-Def digital prints.

Afterward, Bai stayed for a Q&A and both Aaron and I agreed that we gained a better appreciation for the film after hearing what he had to say about it.

I give it a 4 (due to the 0.5 increase of the Q&A).

posted by sygyzy at 2/07/2006 11:38:00 PM (1 comment)

2006 SBIFF - Joyeux Noel
Joyeux Noel, or Merry Christmas, is the first film I saw at this year's SBIFF. It's a French movie but certainly didn't feel like a foreign film. The characters almost always spoke English which was a convenient side effect of the story and it made sense. They didn't speak English to make it easy for the moviewatcher, but did so because it made sense for the movie and the situation they were in.

The movie is based on the true story of Scottish, French, and German troops during WWI, engaged in trench combat, laying down their arms for one day - Christmas Eve. It was wonderfully shot and written and had lots of little heartfelt twists that made you almost tear up. There were also lots of funny cute scenes.

It stars the best thing to come out of Germany since ... well let's say a long time - Diane Kruger. You might know her from National Treasure where she played Abagail Chase or Helen in Troy. Or you might know her from being just incredibly HOT.

I gave the movie a vote of 5. It is truly worth seeing. Hopefully it'll see wide release this year.

posted by sygyzy at 2/07/2006 11:31:00 PM (0 comments)

2006 Santa Barbara International Film Festival
This is the 21st year of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It's a pretty elaborate event with international press and some big names. This year they had George Clooney, Seymour Hoffman, James Cameron, and Naomi Watts all honored. Luckily for the organizers, all the theatres in town are owned by one company so that was easy to coordinate for showings.

What surprises me is how in 21 years of this event occurring do they still have such flaws. For example, ticketing. You can buy tickets at the box office (B.O.) for $10 before a showing. However, due to the popularity of the showings, this would be very risky, not to mention expensive. The alternative is to buy a 4 or 12 show pass. The more you buy, the more you save. Good idea. However, there are only two places to buy the cards. Either the Arlington or the lobar. The former closes at 6 PM and the latter at 7 PM. Most of the movies are being shown at the Metro which is nowhere near the Arlington. Assuming you are a normal American and are busy during the day, say with work, this means you have to rush downtown (with heavy traffic) and get to one of the bowie, find parking, buy the pass(ex), then go find parking again and go see the movie.

Why can't you buy tickets online? Beats me. I have no idea. I guess the technology isn't there yet. Oh wait. IT IS. Jesus.

The guy at the lobar BOA said I could buy them right over the phone. Really? Yeah, just need a credit card. Oh sweet. Then what? How do I get my tickets?

"You have to come down to the box office and pick them up."

WTFO? Why would anyone do this? They certainly are not going to sell out. The SPOOF sells an unlimited amount of tickets. They clearly say the tickets are not refundable. They'd sell 1M tickets for 20,000 seats if they could. You don't get in to see a movie? Too bad! You snooze, you lose.

Did I mention the lines? The first movie we saw, we were there about 1.5 hours ahead of time. We were probably 5th in line. By the time they let us in, there were people a block away. They had to turn people away. Besides VIP (Celebrities, Platinum Pass holders, and press), we were first ones in line. When we got in, we hardly could find a place to sit. We had to sit in the bottom front section and I had to turn my head and strain my eyes to see. Every movie is a 4-5 hour commitment. And you can't tell which movies are going to be huge hits with fans or not. Tonight, we started 6, ate dinner, killed some time, got in line. We got out at 11. It was a little overkill since there was nobody even in line til 45 mins before the movie started, but how were we to know?

Anyway, I want to be on the committee next year so I can lay the smack down on these problems.

posted by sygyzy at 2/07/2006 11:20:00 PM (0 comments)


 Monday, February 06, 2006

Prakash - The Man

posted by sygyzy at 2/06/2006 11:38:00 PM (2 comments)

Suspect in Gay Bar Shooting Left a Note
"Investigators now believe Robida raised a handgun to the head of Bailey, fired, and it is believed she was killed instantly by that gunshot," Sadler said. "Robida raised that same handgun and fired on the officers who were present at the scene. They returned fire."

This guy is completely nuts. He went into a gay bar and attacked patrons with a hatchet and a handgun. Then he killed an Arkansas police officer which led to a high speed chase. Then when his car stopped, he put a gun up to his passenger's head and shot and killed her. Turns out there were dating (online). She was 33, he was 18. I don't want to ruin it for you guys. You gotta read the article. It's ridiculous.

posted by sygyzy at 2/06/2006 02:24:00 PM (0 comments)


 Friday, February 03, 2006

Inbox - Canon Repair Fixed
I rarely put any value on warranties because I really am careful with my stuff and I don't really have much bad luck. Then it finally happened.

At a dinner party a few weeks ago, there was a little incident with my 4 month old SD400. The liquid in the LCD screen broke. The camera was completely functional still. I finished the night taking pictures through the viewfinder.

I filed a claim online to Canon, shipped the camera and battery to Illinois. The received it January 31, 2006.

Today I get an email that they shipped the camera back to me YESTERDAY. Total turnaround time is 2 days. Total repair cost: $0.00. They didn't even call me to ask me to explain or anything.

My previous camera was a S45, which I used at last night's dinner. Can you guess what brand my next camera will be?

Kudos to Canon!

posted by sygyzy at 2/03/2006 10:29:00 AM (1 comment)


 Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yellow Fever
Why do you see white guys with Asian girls but not the other way around? Yellow Fever hopes to answer this age old question.

posted by sygyzy at 2/02/2006 10:28:00 PM (8 comments)


 Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Barcelona - Coming Soon

posted by sygyzy at 2/01/2006 10:34:00 AM (10 comments)


 Monday, January 30, 2006

Dominatrix Acquitted in Bondage Death
Prosecutors said Asher confessed to police, but the alleged confession was not taped, and investigators testified they did not save their notes.

I can't believe this is so simple. Talk about getting away with murder.

posted by sygyzy at 1/30/2006 03:34:00 PM (1 comment)

NTP v. RIM (Blackberry)
The only problem was that to get the demonstration to work, TeckNow and RIM had secretly swapped in newer software. NTP's lawyer spotted the discrepancy and cornered Mr. Keeney and RIM officials during cross-examination. After a few more minutes of struggling to explain how the newer version was installed, Judge Spencer cut Mr. Keeney off and told the jury to leave the room. �I'll count to 10. I don't want to yell at you,� the judge said, admonishing RIM's legal team for the deception.

Then he called the jury back in and told them to disregard the RIM demonstration � the demo that was supposed to seal its case. It was the turning point in the trial: A judge telling jurors that the defendant's key piece of evidence was fabricated.

Want to know what the whole Blackberry patent case is about? Read this wonderful article.

posted by sygyzy at 1/30/2006 12:49:00 AM (0 comments)