Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena
unclehyena

Zombies, Roller Derby, Lies, Toys, and a Speed Reading Class

Five movies in three days, and a scintilla of education on the company's dime.

"Zombieland" is fun. DUMB beyond imagining, but fun anyway. Zombies bore me, and they are usually badly written, so my expectations for this one were REALLY low, though I knew the cast was good. Still, my favorite part of the movie had NOTHING to do with zombies: Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin demonstrate a textbook Fiddle Game in a flashback. It's just FUN to see classic cons acted out.

"Whip It" is just good. It is pure formula come-from-behind sports movie, but this one has a female slant, and deeper than usual characters. And I LIKE come from behind sports movies. They are, if nothing else, unfailingly more interesting than the sports on which they are based. And it was fun to see Ellen Page in a role I actually LIKED.

"The Invention of Lying" is a decent low key comedy; it has moments of brilliance, most of which involve flogging the utterly absurd premise. The movie has no really big laughs and a LOT of painfully embarrassing moments, but is generally pleasant and fun.

"Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" are just as good, many years later, as they were the first time around. They demonstrate that 3D is much like reverb; it is at its best when it is just below your threshold of conscious perception. And because these films were not shot with 3D in mind, they don't have any of the consciously bad camerawork that typifies made for 3D films.

On Tuesday I discharged an annual training requirement by taking a speed reading class, along with four other denizens of the Ops Pit, and a variety of strangers who work elsewhere in the company. The presenter was well prepared and engaging, but had a squeaky, "Minnie Mouse" voice that was a distraction. She spent a lot of time selling snake oil to get us to BELIEVE in what she was selling, and some of it was REALLY interesting. Unfortunately, about two thirds of the stuff I could double check against my memory was just plain wrong, which makes me highly skeptical of the rest of it. Still, I went in expecting to learn nothing, and picked up one technique that was actually useful. And eight hours at time and a half is never a complete waste...

Uncle Hyena
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