Ganging up on the iBookstore

This evening, I went to the iBookstore in iTunes and checked out the Computers & Internet section. Not only is our iPad 2 Project Book featured, but it is #2 in the sales ranking, just behind my friend Jeff Carlson’s book. There’s also another book of mine on the page, another one of Jeff’s, two books by yet another friend, Joe Kissell, and another book by another friend, Tonya Engst.

Weirdest flash mob ever.

Simon and Garfunkel on the 405

When you’re in the car
Feeling stalled.
When smog is in your eyes
Turning them to burning balls.

I’ve blocked your lane, oh,
When traffic crawls
And off-ramps can’t be found:
Like a bridge over shut-down freeways
I will tear me down.
Like a bridge over shut-down freeways
I will tear me down.

Sorry, Lisa, “Larry Crowne” is Better Than That

Lisa Schwarzbaum trashes “Larry Crowne” with a grade of C+ while giving “Transformers 3” a B. Oh, my.

Romantic comedy has this in common with romance: when you’re not in the mood, it can disappoint. Maybe Schwarzbaum was just having a bad day.

The film that I saw this afternoon was a cute, light-hearted, broadly painted romantic comedy, showcasing some likable actors delivering engaging performances. It was funny. I laughed out loud a lot. Hanks and Roberts pair well together and they’re charming enough that you want them to get together, as they, of course, eventually and obligingly do. In the supporting roles, I particularly liked George Takei’s slightly manic and off-center economics professor. Schwarzbaum dismisses his part as “an economics professor who sounds like Mr. Sulu,” but, if so, maybe it’s because Sulu sounds like George Takei. He’s still the funniest economics professor I’ve seen recently.

Yes, “Larry Crowne” is a fluffy, pat, feel-good story in which nothing ever seems really at risk, but sometimes I don’t want to feel at risk. I want to laugh and feel good. “Larry Crowne” made me laugh out loud and I left the theatre feeling good. That’s worth more than a C+ to me.

Saturday Night Double-Feature

Last night, I skipped Santa Monica’s yearly not-the-Fourth-of-July fireworks show, and, instead, watched two very bad movies on cable. Or parts of them. One was “Going the Distance” with Justin (“I’m a Mac, and no matter what I do for the rest of my life, that’s what you’ll remember me for”) Long and Drew Barrymore, playing two annoying and unpleasant people who are dealing with long-distance relationship issues. Before it ended I was honestly hoping for one of them to be killed in a plane crash during one of their expensive, booked-last-minute, cross-country flights.

The other turkey was “Robin Hood” with Russell Crowe (ah, Crowe/Turkey, I get the bird pun now; THANKS UNIVERSE!), that I had to turn off before I threw things at my Bravia, because the film’s whole premise was a complete rewrite of English history, with Richard being killed in battle returning from the Crusades (no, kids, he was not), and a rewrite of the myth, with “Robin” now a thug impersonating the dead Robin of Locksley (spelled “Loxley” in the credits).

The world did not need another expensive cinematic buggering of the Robin Hood myth—though, it would have been better if the mythic reboot had a storyline where Robin is captured by a wizard and cast into a deep sleep, only to awaken centuries later and, through a series of rom-com coincidences and cute misunderstandings, eventually ends up attacking, robbing, and killing Justin and Drew in “Going the Distance.” I’d buy a Blu-ray player just to watch that Robin Hood reboot over and over again.

“Green Lantern”: It doesn’t (completely) suck

OK, it wasn’t the best film I’ve ever seen, nor even the best film I’ve seen this week, but “Green Lantern” is far from the turkey that I’ve seen described in the press. It’s a good deal better than “Thor,” for example. I saw it today as part of my “take a walk around the neighborhood and blow off work” solstice celebration, and was entertained. If you like the comic book, you’ll probably like it. If you don’t like the comic book, of course, there’s really no reason to see it.

One suggestion: if you do want to see it, skip the 3D version. I found it distracting and not particularly well-executed. Go see the 2D version, and, preferably, at a reduced-price matinée.

A few minutes later: On the other hand, I can’t say that the recaps here are totally unfair:

I wave my hand and raise a storm

Late last week I began composing a short piece for this blog about the phrase “get over it.” However, knowing that the weekly edition of TidBITS was running a little light this week, I showed it to the editors there, and they felt it was worthy of publication, so I submitted it, and they published it.

It seems I touched a nerve: as I write this, the article has accrued almost 90 comments in the course of the day. And I didn’t even mention sex or free prizes in it once!