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Iron Man

Posted by james on May 3, 2008

(post.rating: 8)

IMDB   Apple Trailers

What a strange surprise super-hit this was. When I saw the previews, all I could think of was my friend Chris. From the black sabbath preview music to the "I'm so cool, I don't need to watch the tank explode" attitude, it seemed like his kind of film. All macho, all cool. I was a little hesitant about Robert Downey Jr. I've really liked him in other movies as the hyperactive slightly weird guy (esp. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), but I didn't know how he'd do in the hero role, or if he'd overdo it with the sly cockiness.

But it ended up being really good. The environments and atmospheres were vivid and engrossing; the desert, the lab, the mansion, they all seem memorable and fit into place. They did an awesome job with the suit and gadgets, they looked believable and fun at the same time (with the possible exception of the stereotypical comedic-relief robot arm?). And who knew; Gwen Paltrow did an awesome job as Pepper. Maybe a bit too demure at times, but definitely not what I would have expected.

Possibly the worst part of the film was my-voice-never-changes-what-movie-am-I-in-now Jeff Bridges. I've never really liked him in anything he's been in, he just looked weird an unnatural bald with a beard. And his level of excitement was only matched by the inanimate objects in the background, all vying for non-attention. They had an amazing middle eastern villian with Faran Tahir, just awesome. Why couldn't they have matched his qualities in his white counterpart? Apparently the most scary thing most Americans can imagine, besides middle eastern terrorists (am I allowed to type that on the internet?), is a boardmember-chairman who wants to TAKE OVER THE COMPANY! Man. That's scary. Couldn't they have just skipped the power-suit battle and just had an hour or so with some excel spreadsheets?

Besides Bridges, everything else was great. And I can't wait for whatever is coming next, though I always fear they're going to botch up sequels.

Firebug is slowing down my Firefox

Posted by james on April 22, 2008

I use the Firebug extension for Firefox. It's an incredible help when debugging javascript, as it can tell you exactly where an error occurred, what the current DOM is (not the static code), etc. It can be selectively enabled or disabled per site, so I enable it only for localhost and my dev server. However, I've noticed that firefox has been really slow lately when I have a lot of tabs open. Specifically, when I go to create a new tab (Control+T), there is a 1-2 second delay before it opens. It gets really annoying, since I open tabs all the time during browsing.

I also knew that when I would run Firefox with a clean profile, it would be much faster. So I disabled all extensions, and then repeatedly loaded 10 heavy sites and then opened a new tab. Everything was fine until I enabled firebug; immediately, the delay is back. So even though firebug is only "enabled" for certain servers, it looks like it's slowing down firefox for all sites, at least on my computer. So I'm going to have to enable firebug whenever I'm developing, and then disable it when I'm not. It's slightly inconvenient, but I'm just too glad to get a snappy browser back.

There could also be some interaction between different extensions that is causing the problem. I didn't test for that, however.


Posted by james on April 7, 2008

(post.rating: 7)

IMDB   Apple Trailers

When I glanced at the preview for this one on the TV (during one of those rare moments that I'm actually watching TV), I didn't give this one a second glance. Some crazy kiddie/disney movie. When I actually saw the whole trailer, I had to say I was piqued. I love the concept of some real-world disney princess nonsense, and it actually looked like it could be interesting.

Lauren and I rented this one from Redbox, which I find myself doing more and more often lately. Oh netflix, if only your online movies weren't absolute crap. But I have to say, I actually enjoyed this movie. The whole of it rests on Amy Adams, that "other girl" from the office, and she carries it. It's funny to realize that a whole film could have tanked if one person had been cast differently. Definitely true in this case. Her role as a sweeter-than-corn-syrup girl is played just right, likeable without being so sweet you want to vomit grenadine. Dempsey works well as a grumpy guy turned romantic, less than stellar infatuated daughter by Rachel Covey. Where's that Little Miss Sunshine girl?

The weirdest part was Susan Sarandon as the evil queen. She looks creepy enough with a touch of ridiculous when dressed as the queen, but I had trouble taking her voice seriously after she metamorphasizes. Aside from that, a pretty decent film in spite of the complete predictability and the potential embarrassment for any male fans that admit they like it. Probably one of the better (partially) animated films from disney in a while.

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