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Review: The Adjustment Bureau

There’s a good way and a bad way to see a movie; a loud bustling auditorium, doors opening and closing, crap audio, and one working projector, so reels have to be switched out every  eleven minutes (or however long a film reel lasts, i can’t remember), definitely makes for a poor time.  So when I tell you that I went to see an advanced screening of  The Adjustment Bureau, keep in mind that my viewing was far from optimal…

Very loosely based on the short story Adjustment Team by acclaimed Sci Fi writer Philip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau explores the concept of destiny in an interesting way.  It suggests that there’s a path for us in life that will lead us to our greatest potential, but we can deviate and make a new destiny for better or for worse.

The film uses a love story between a rising political star, played by Matt Damon, and a contemporary dancer, played by Emily Blunt, to carry the action as they work against the efforts of a mysterious organization.  I should also point out that Mad Men fans will get a kick out of seeing John Slattery, in his usual attire, as a key member of this organization.  Damon and Blunt work together well though, a natural on screen chemistry that doesn’t distract from the overall feel of the film. And while the pacing was destroyed by the constant cuts as the film reels had to be switched over, it wasn’t hard to get right back into story.

Filling the necessary criteria of a safe, marketable film by Hollywood standards, this is something to see  if it’s raining, or your bored, or just int he mood to be entertained for  an hour and a half.  It doesn’t make you think too much; sure, there’s a certain level of intrigue and confusion, but it’s not too cerebral and alientating in the way of Inception. There’s also  just enough sexuality to not bore people who were dragged into seeing it by their significant other.

You aren’t asked to deal with deep moral issues and it certainly doesn’t push the boundaries of the genre, but it wraps up well enough and doesn’t leave you with glaringly unanswered questions like LOST.  I don’t know if it falls into the realm of films I’d like to see multiple times, but it’s definitely entertaining enough to see once. So, go check out The Adjustment Bureau.  3 out of 5 stars

~Beckett

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This Is Holly

Upon request, a post about Holly.  She’s my sister.

~Beckett Noyes

The Lost Posts: The new Volkswagen ads are pissing me off!

From my time as assistant blog editor for Jerk Magazine at Syracuse there were some posts I wrote that never made it to the Net. I will publish these posts because I took the time to make them and thought they should be seen. Besides, their age may instill a pleasant sense of nostalgia…

I just had to throw this out there… the new Volkswagen ads with people punching each other are wrong. I don’t mean in some anti-violence kind of way, I mean that their interpretation of when to punch people is wrong. I come from the “punch buggy” era when an individual would punch another upon seeing a Volkswagen Beetle, calling it out so that no one else may claim it.

There may have been some variations played by others, as this game had room for interpretation (much like “padiddle”), but it always had the same basic idea. Now, Volkswagen has attempted to resurrect the game as “punch dub”, which I guess is trying to be cutesy and fun, and opens the game up to all VWs.

This is a load of crap because, one, the game is ancient and I haven’t witnessed it for many years; and two, making it into the primary ad campaign to boost sales is just sad. I slap the whole thing with a big ol’ FAIL because the ad team for VW must have really been scraping the bottom of the barrel to only manage a rehashed version of something people forgot about, and frankly, were annoyed by.

~Beckett

The Lost Posts: When You Give A Troll An Internet

From my time as assistant blog editor for Jerk Magazine at Syracuse there were some posts I wrote that never made it to the Net. I will publish these posts because I took the time to make them and thought they should be seen. Besides, their age may instill a pleasant sense of nostalgia…

Troll: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message-board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument…

These people live in the dark confines of the web (or bridge) only to emerge and piss you off, but when you aren’t on the receiving end of an over the top tirade of dark humor and obscenity, it…is…EPIC!

When someone gets stupid on the Internet it is our duty to mock them mercilessly for it and show as many people as possible what they have done. With Help Feed The Troll, we now have an easy way to do that. Compiling all the best from Failbook, Yahoo Answer Fail, Omegle, Chatroulette, Failblog, etc., this site has everything you need to satisfy your craving for seeing someone get verbally destroyed.

[via YouTube/College Humor]

~Beckett

The Lost Posts: PAX East, the New Nerd Mecca

From my time as assistant blog editor for Jerk Magazine at Syracuse there were some posts I wrote that never made it to the Net.  I will publish these posts because I took the time to make them and thought they should be seen.  Besides, their age may instill a pleasant sense of nostalgia…

Comic Con has gone to the media, E3 is for game industry and press, and everything else is either too small or something that no one has heard of. If there was ever a convention for gamers, and most certainly by gamers, it’s Penny Arcade Expo (PAX).


Our Intrepid Heroes at the Start of Their Journey

Spawned from the minds and hearts of two guys who found humble beginnings writing and drawing a web comic, 11 1/2 years later, Jerry “Tycho” Holkins (writing) and Mike “Gabe” Krahulik (art) have created an empire. Their little idea has evolved from Penny Arcade to include: a reality series, TWO conventions, video games, books, clothes, and a charity that gathers millions of dollars to give games to sick kids in hospitals.PAX Prime (as it is now called) has emerged as one of the most notable conventions in the world, renowned for the atmosphere created by its attendees, events, and the enforcers (the army of all volunteer rule enforcers/guides). Now regularly recording attendance in the range of 60,000 people, it was time to expand; and so PAX East was born with Boston as it’s home.

Acquiring badges months in advance to what would become a sold out event , my cohort Jim Redding (@jimredding) and I ventured forth.  This was my first con and I didn’t know what to expect, or what to bring.  Throughout the day I would come to learn: that a backpack is absolutely necessary because of all the swag (free stuff) you’ll acquire; bring water like you’re headed into the desert; and don’t forget your camera in the truck.

Some of the swag

The day unfolded into a series of awesomely entertaining events.  There were panels held by the likes of Bill Amend the creator of Foxtrot and Jerry & Mike themselves.

There was the  show floor,  a massive, bustling sea of cosplayers, booth babes, enforcers, gamers of every type,  and the wandering few who found themselves amongst the upper echelons of the gaming and nerd communities (i.e. Wil Wheaton).  Companies like Microsoft, 2K, EA, Rockstar, etc. were present, all showing off upcoming games and promoting them with the enthusiasm only a true fan could and bestowing upon the adoring masses all manner of promotional garb and accessories.  My newly acquired “swag bag” from the Nintendo booth was helpful.  Who cares if it was emblazoned with Pokemon?  There were so many people with pedometers there that I almost felt like the odd one out.

The day continued into a concert of epic proportions.  A uniquely PAX experience, the concert fused gaming with hilarity and turned into one of the most entertaining experiences of my life.  Featuring performances from the Video Game Orchestra, Paul & Storm, Johnathan Coulton, and one very special guest appearance, we eventually emerged from Hynes Convention Center at 2 am.

Jonathan Coulton (center) joined by Paul (left) & Storm (right)

Out of the entire day, the one thing that really got to me was at Jerry and Mike’s panel.  That event solidified why I love PAX and everything they do  (though praise should go to Robert Khoo who actually makes the event happen).  They’re normal guys who sat down for a while and decided to have a chat with a few thousand people.  The environment was almost familial, people shared incredibly personal stories of their lives and how the gaming culture has influenced them.  There was singing, most certainly laughter, beer, and even some educational moments. Just watch this.

Now I understand Mr. Wheaton (who I met!) from his keynote speech when he told everyone,”Welcome home.”

For more in depth anecdotal tales of PAX East,  go to Jim’s blog Nerdventures for Part 1: The Convention and Part 2: The Concert.

~Beckett

Fireworks at a Wedding

When your neighbors put on a wedding that has multiple events over a weekend including a Red Sox game and yacht race, it isn’t difficult to believe that they would also have a fireworks show.

This is that show, set to music and far better than the town’s 4th of July.  The coordination, variety, and shear intensity of the display knocks most other pyrotechnic events away (Disney probably takes the lead).

Enjoy, and make sure you watch the whole thing, the water literally begins to explode at the end.

~Beckett

Geek Bucket is born!

This is Geek Bucket.  It shall serve you well.  I might have a party, who knows?  Hey, there might even be cake.  No seriously, I can have some cake arrive to you.  Amount, freshness, intactness (is that a word?), timeliness, and method by which it arrives to you is solely to my discretion, but if you really want some cake… ask.  Suck it GLaDOS.