Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Review: Hellboy

Hellboy, Take One:

I finally saw Hellboy, and this is what I thought of it:

Two months ago my car had a rather peculiar electrical issue caused by a faulty headlight trigger that had some bizarre manifestations.

One bizarre manifestation was the dashboard emergency brake light sometimes blinked in time to the left turn signal.

Another bizarre manifestation was the engine wouldn't run unless the headlights were on.

Understandably, two months ago I got this fixed.

Another thing that happened two months ago: my dehumidifier broke. A wave of typical summer weather hit hard and my basement was like a catbox floating down the Amazon.

Understandably, two months ago I also purchased a new dehumidifier.

Cut to two weeks ago, when I noticed the emergency brake light blinking again in time to the left turn signal. Two days later the car wouldn't start reliably unless the headlights were on.

Strike One.

Last week at some point I realized that the new dehumidifier had slid from working quite well to barely working to not remotely working at all. I took the time on Friday night to sit down with the manual and troubleshoot every possible cause, finally settling on kicking it twice and waiting to see if that made any difference.

During this waiting period, I decided to rent and watch Hellboy, so I flipped my headlights on and drove over to the local rental place, brake lights blinking with every turn.

Halfway through Hellboy, my televisions screen went blank, except for the small text indicating that the DVD signal had been interrupted. Thinking the DVD perhaps had a scratch on it, I walked to the DVD player and noticed that its lights weren't on.

I plugged it into a different jack.

The DVD player sat silent and dim.

I removed the DVD player entirely and plugged it into a different outlet entirely.

The DVD player sat silent and dim.

My DVD player was dead.

Strike Two.

I walked back into the basement to check on the dehumidifier and see if my kick had jolted the condenser back into operation.

The bucket was as barren as my faith in appliance reliability.

Strike Three.

Hellboy could have been better.

Hellboy, Take Two:

Watching Hellboy (in its entirety) is a bit like reading a stunningly imaginative and inspired book that has terrible punctuation and sentences arranged in the wrong order.

Considering the general level of competence on display in Pan's Labyrinth, I'm guessing that Hellboy 2 is worth a look.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Boom Blox

Yesterday I purchased a Wii game that involves throwing objects at towers of blocks in an attempt to inflict enough structural damage to cause collapse.

It wasn't until later that I saw the flags at half mast and realized the coincidence.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Well I never need to shop there again

Having searched through local CD stores for the better part of summer, it was with a certain degree of triumph that I extracted the Crystal Castles album yesterday from the racks of B-Side Records, an independent local music store. I had been listening to the disc for months via illegal download, and I was glad to finally be able own a physical copy.

Still, the $14 price tag made me pause momentarily. I wanted to support the band, yes, but I knew I could order the album for a good five dollars cheaper online. Amazon.com has free shipping, after all.

"To hell with that," I sad outloud. "B-Side Records is stocking the album I've been looking for all summer, I'll support the independent local music store."

The clerk/shop owner rang up my purchase and then asked, offhand, "Would you like a bag for that?"

While not a huge fan of unnecessary waste, I recognized I was going to be going in more shops and didn't want to be carrying a loose CD around. "Yes, please."

The clerk continued the paperwork for my purchase and shot me a glance, raising an eyebrow and exhaling with disapproval. Apparently his question had been a trap.

I said, "You disapprove of bags, I take it."

He shook his head as if explaining the obvious. "I just really like trees."

At this point in time he was counting my money and making change, for the record.

I laughed. "I like trees as well but right now I happen to need a bag more than I like trees."

He pursed his lips like a school marm and handed me my purchase. "Well there you go, then"

"Thanks for the bag," I said, leaving.

There is an irony to all this, I mused while departing, and it is this: what's the biggest side product of driving all future music purchases into the hands of Amazon.com?

Lots of tree-shredding packaging.