Sunday, February 24, 2008

Definately Maybe is definately deceptive

From the movie ad on TV, the viewer is led to believe that this movie is a cute, funny kid type movie. The little girl is cute and a good actress. The scenes are family oriented and attracts many girls from 8 yrs. old and up.

Naturally, I took my 9 yr. old daughter who really wanted to see it. So, we went.

The film opens up with the uneasy parental topic at any age of sex. Sex education. The girl's school is in an uproar about teaching sex ed to 4th graders, so the scene has chaos, parents angry etc. Girls are coming into the scene using words like penis, vagina, sex, condoms (you get the picture). I'm talking girls 9 yrs old and older. As if that was not uncomfortable enough for us, the little girl in the movie is trying to force her 30ish dad to have a conversation about it as they stroll out of the scene! Totally inapproriate from the start. This was not Disney.

Liberal or not, it was a parent's nightmare. I was hoping it would get better. Where was the fast forward?

The cute girl is really a little too mature and obnoxious regarding this topic. So, her parents are getting a divorce. Now, she wants to know all the details of doing it. Finally, the dad has had enough (thank god!). So, the girl switches gears and wants to know how they met etc.

So, for the next 55 minutes or so, that is the movie. There is no girl or cute interaction with her Dad as seen in the ads. It is just your typical"how boy meets girl" thing. Some items were not even for PG-13 rating. Who rates these movies??

Boring. Seen it all before. Hints of her mom being a lesbian, hints of her mom being loose and is poking some 50 yr old writer because he's famous, not because she loves him. Not a nice picture for a girl to know.

So, for the first hour or so, it is boring and pushing the PG 13 limit. It was not funny, nor cute.

The deception is that why have a cute 9 yr old actress in a film rated PG-13, in a role that she barely appears in until the end.The film is not about a parent\child relationship or a dad and his daughter. A waste of money.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

US Navy and Iran Clash at Hormuz Straits

A recent naval report indicated an ominous result further supporting the USN wargame in which USN were suddenly attacked and sunk by Iranian missiles. The report, dated several years ago, indicated that even though the C-802 missiles are of lower technology than what the USN has, Iranian missile attacks from shore or from their Houdong or CAT-14 platforms (ships)could overwhelm the AEGIS defense systems. In the scenario, when 6 or more C-802 missiles were fired at the same ship there is a high probability that at least 1 or 2 would impact the target especially when coordinated with numerous FAC attack from divergent directions simultaneously. If 8 or more were fired, it was a 90% chance impact would occur. The CWIS Phalanax can only handle so many targets simultaneously within a 3 mile range. Other USN defense systems, likewise, could handle 4-5 such incoming missiles with fairly safe consequences. Thus, the Iranian swarm tactics upon 1 or 2 USN ships could and would be successful, either crippling or sinking them. If you add to this scenario that the Iranian attack would have to be a "Pearl harbor" type, add their Mig-29, F4E with AS missiles, all happening suddenly and simultaneously, USN defenses could be overwhelmed. The worst thing the USN should do is to underestimate this threat and to be over confident in their ECM. Remember, David did bring down Goliath!

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Beatles Are Across the Universe

To date, there have been two movies with dedicated soundtracks of nothing but Beatle songs, I Am Sam and Across the Universe. Both, as movies, are excellent films for a variety of reasons. It is obvious that the generation that lived and breathed Beatles are now in command. Bill O'Reilly is a huge Beatles fan. NASA launched the band's, Across the Universe (1968), into space, so their presence is known. The issue and problem with either movie using only Beatle songs (or any movie using their songs) is that:
1. The Beatles'recordings from 1964-1969 remain vibrant and high quality. They have not dated that much.
2. Using their songs with them doing them costs more than making the movie in royalty fees etc. You seldom, if ever, hear their songs done by them in a movie or commercial.
3. Doing a cover of their songs (as in both movies)by other artists poses major problems to them, which they acknowledge. These are:

A. Why change something that is so good in the original?
B. How can the cover artist create a "better" song? They are all already very good.
C. Competing with the vocals of John and Paul is simply impossible as the listener will compare and the original will win.
D. Do they follow the original arrangement and song structure (which is usually the best)or divert and try a different approach with the risk of total failure?

Artists facing doing a cover of a Beatle song have these dilemmas. Some artists asked refused to cover The Beatles, knowing it is pointless to try out do them and whatever the end result is will be much lesser than the original. It is like trying to copy a Van Gogh.

Listen to the I Am Sam or Across the Universe soundtracks. Some take a new "modern" approach, which usually sounds stupid compared to the original. Other artists stick with the original only deviating occassionally. Some speed or slow down the song.
Sadly, the cover is always compared to the original. The cover is always worse. To Beatle fans, they are grateful for such a tribute, yet, laugh at how the covers are done. The only covers of Beatle songs that are any good are those which were written by Lennon & McCartney but never performed by The Beatles (I'm in Love, Mary Jane, Not Guilty, World Without Love, Bad To Me, are a few).

The oddest thing remains that while others cannot cover a Beatles' song, the Beatles always greatly improved on ANY cover they did ( Long Tall Sally, Kansas City, Please Mr. Postman, Chains, Boys, Roll over Beethoven and so many more). The Beatles remain on the same level as Beethoven-both revolutionized their own brand of music. They truly are legends and all others pale in comparision.