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Oakland, CA

American history around the time of the Revolution, figuring out how to marry top-down task-based information architecture processes with bottom-up document-based ones, finding a good dentist in San Francisco Oakland
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petermedia report. Posted on 05/07/2002.

So. I've seen and read some stuff, my opinions of which I thought I'd share with you.

Let's start with the box-office bad boy, SPIDER-MAN. I might not have the perceptive acumen of some critical snobs, but I'm just a simple Oakland boy who went in looking for some fun hokum, and was treated to it in spades. No matter what Lileks says, it's not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it *is* quite enjoyable, and might be the best Big Comic Book movie since SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN 2 (I'm not counting THE MASK, I didn't see THE CROW, and I don't consider GHOST WORLD to be Big Comic Book. And yes, I *am* counting BATMAN). I was tickled to see such a money movie have some real human touches, my favorite being the man-on-the-street interviews with archetypal New Yorkers. Don't expect much, but enjoy the ride.

HUMAN NATURE, the latest from the writer of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, was okay. Nowhere near the genius of MALKOVICH, it relied too much on it's quirky oddity and not enough on having a real story to tell. Still, it's a decent flick, worth a matinee if you're looking for something out of the ordinary.

I grew up in the area in the title of the documentary DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS. The film is about the renegade surf and skate culture of Santa Monica and Venice in the early to mid 70s, directed by Stacy Peralta, a former member of the Zephyr team, the hard-core-ing-est of the skaters. I grew up having seen the DOG TOWN cross everywhere, not having the faintest clue what it meant. The film put some of my early memories in a bit of perspective, and it was fun to see where I grew up, and some of the history and personalities were fun, and the imagery and film clips were cool, but, really, there wasn't enough there there, and it was essentially 45 minutes worth of story stretched out to 90 minutes (I'm guessing in order to warrant distribution). I have trouble recommending this film, because I suspect it just won't resonate with those who don't have some tie to the history presented.

The most engaging read I've had in a long time was the much-praised HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy by Philip Pullman. I haven't bothered with fantasy in ages (pretty much since high school), but I ate these books up, tearing through them at a pace that surprised me; I'd flip through pages while walking, on the bus, waiting in line at the grocery store, etc. Never wanted to put it down. It's a remarkable work, fun, and clever and inventive and thrilling and sorrowful and inspiring and just a tasty delight.

3 comments so far. Add a comment.

Previous entry: "Ensuring Website Consistency in 5 Not-So-E-Z Steps."
Next entry: "Narrative: The Final Frontier."


Posted by Matt @ 05/08/2002 01:18 AM PST [link to this comment]

good thing someone forced you to buy those books, huh?
Posted by j @ 05/08/2002 04:16 PM PST [link to this comment]

Re: Dogtown and Z Boys, on the contrary, my girlfriend and I found the movie super entertaining and engaging despite our lack of knowledge of the area and the culture that grew out of it. We'd heard of Stacey Peralta and Doug Hoe, but beyond that we didn't know much. We thought the movie was a lot of fun, we learned about the culture and we walked out of the theater happy. We've recommended it to friends and they all dig it, too.
Posted by tim @ 05/09/2002 06:54 PM PST [link to this comment]

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