Saturday, July 11, 2009

Review: Bruno

Once upon a time I thought Brokeback Mountain would be the gayest movie I'll ever see. Having seen Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno tonight I can say that this film blows Brokeback out of the water in terms of gayness. I'm not sure how the MPAA allowed this movie to get an R rating. There is definitely more nudity and sexual references in this movie than any other mainstream movie released to-date. All of that being said, I did enjoy Bruno and found many of the scenes hilarious.

In keeping with the overall theme of 2006's Borat, Bruno continues the documentary style of storytelling as the camera follows the Austrian fashion designer in various exploits around the globe. Once again, Cohen is able to present American culture through the antics of his character. We see how people from all walks of life react to a flamboyantly gay person. In addition to the gay undertones, Bruno exposes other disturbing flaws in society. For example there is a scene where Bruno interviews parents that want their young children to be casted in a commercial. We see how desperate the parents are for money and fame that they'll risk putting their kids in extremely compromising positions just to make sure they get a shot to make it in the entertainment industry.

It's hard to tell if some of the scenes (including guest appearances by Paula Abdul and Ron Paul) are staged or "real." It's difficult to believe that someone like Abdul would not recognize Cohen during his interview as Bruno. Overall I'm giving this film a 3.5 out of 5 JRs as I did find it humorous and enjoy the creativity that Cohen brings to these types of movies. I don't think I'll ever have the need to see it again though and it certainly doesn't live up to the brilliant Borat. I'd actually like to see Cohen do a feature-length take on his Ali G character (my favorite of the Da Ali G Show personas) for his next trick.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Google Gravity

Ever wanted to break apart the Google home page? Today I came across this slick experiment of working with Javascript and Google Chrome to effectively destroy the Google home page. Once the HTML content of the page falls to the bottom of the browser window, try clicking on the pieces of html and flinging them in the air. You can also drag the browser and shake the window to make everything fly around the screen. Very cool programming (even more impressive since Flash was not used) here with some cool physics built-in. Try searching as well. The search results drop in from the top.

NOTE: This will only work in Google Chrome so if you still haven't downloaded it, give it a try.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When In Chrome

I posted a few months ago about Google Chrome, my browser of choice. My favorite company in the world (sorry PPC) has decided to take Chrome to the next level. Google announced today that they are developing an open source operating system under the "Chrome" moniker. As soon as the announcement was made, online news sources ran with it and most are speculating whether the Chrome OS will be the ultimate Microsoft killer. I wouldn't go as far as to predict that, but I can definitely see Chrome making Linux more mainstream and easily becoming the leading open source operating system upon launch. A lot of my co-workers use Red Hat, Ubuntu and other open source Linux-based operating systems. I have always been a Microsoft guy mostly out of habit, but if there's one operating system that can finally turn me away from Windows it's Google's OS.

The details of the Chrome OS are a little bit vague at this point but Google mentions the overall plan for building a new web-centric OS in their press release:
Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.
I really like the idea of a fast OS that uses the web as the "application" backbone. This is a big move towards the idea of cloud computing where applications are run on the web rather than through traditional desktop means. Google has already proven to be the leader in the web application department with their powerful and intuitive offering of Google Docs. I don't think major corporations will be ready to make the jump to Chrome for a while (mostly due to all the client-server applications that are currently entrenched in a corporate Windows world) and Microsoft will remain the dominant player in the OS space for in the near future. However, as we move to Web 3.0 and beyond, web-based operating systems will become a reality and Google will undoubtedly have a leg up on Microsoft once again. Bing.com, Microsoft's answer to Google search, hasn't really wowed anyone thus far. I used Bing (terrible name that constantly reminds me of Chandler Bing by the way) once or twice to try it but Google gives me results I want at lightning speed. I see no reason to change my search habits.

Chrome won't officially launch until next year sometime after Windows 7 has already launched. The notion of an operating system that boots up extremely fast and gets you instant access to the web is appealing for sure. Couple that with the pristine track record of the engineers at Google and we could very well be witnessing the beginnings of a major power shift between Microsoft and the search engine giant. I don't think I'll be selling my Google stock anytime soon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Early Xmas Gift Idea?

For those of you who really appreciate this blog and have a spare 15 grand lying around, a Man Wall would be an ideal gift for yours truly. Hybrid Space Furniture has put together a mashup of everything a real man (sports fan) could ever want in an entertainment center.

Ever since I was a youngster I've dreamed of having a sports ticket in my house. It's not as important these days in the age of the internet, but when I was younger and going to Memorial Stadium and Capital Centre to see games I thought the idea of real-time sports scores was the holy grail.

The ticker is just icing on the cake with the Man Wall which consists of all these wonderful features:

  • 42″ Vizio Flat Panel LCD HDTV
  • 3 – 26″ Vizio Flat Panel LCD HDTVs
  • 1000 watt Panasonic 5.1 Home Theater System
  • DVD player with 5-CD changer
  • iPod docking station
  • 2 – Wireless surround sound speakers
  • Live 7-foot sports ticker with built-in computer
  • 1 year free service for sport’s ticker
  • Full-size built-in beer refrigerated beer keg with tap
  • 1000 watt microwave oven
  • 2 cigar humidors (holds 25 cigars each) complete with gauges
  • 32-bottle wine rack

I personally think the wine rack may be a little too much, but how can you go wrong with a kegerator and 4 HDTVs. Baring a lottery win, I just don't see having $14,900 of extra funds to afford buying one of these. That being said, a man can still dream though.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Indiana Jones?

Cinematical is confirming that Lucas, Spielberg, Ford and company are All Systems Go on bringing a fifth Indiana Jones movie to the big screen. Shooting will most likely start next year with a release date in 2011 or 2012. Those of you regular readers of this blog know how much I hated the 4th Indy film that released last year. Part of me hopes a 5th film will get the Crystal Skull taste out of my mouth, but I surely don't have high hopes.

I really wish Indiana could ride into the sunset with a quality film but given Lucas' recent track record I just don't see that happening.