Eight Below

Eight Below was a great little film. Geared for the family audience to be sure, it was very enjoyable.

When an injury forces a Antarctic exploration team to leave basecamp to get to a hospital, they must leave their sled dogs behind to survive on their own. Months will pass before a resuce is even possible.

Keep in mind when you see this with kids that, yes, this movie is sad in a few places, and that there is one scene in particular that was scary enough to make every kid in the theater cry and all of the adults jump at once.

But I still have to recommend this film, it was good. And my 7 year old niece loved it.


Terrell Owens press conference

Terrell Owens just finished up his 3:00 press conference in Philadelphia and I can’t imagine that it helped his cause at all.

It consisted of TO spending about 5 minutes reading a statement that basically said he was sorry, at which point his agent Drew Rosenhaus, screaming like a sportsline bookie, preceded to tell the media that it was their fault that TO was misunderstood and other players do much worse things than he has done, why don’t they bother them.

The he took about 20 questions, of which 12 of them he answered with “Next Question” and the other 8 he said, I can’t discuss that.

They said they will be involved in legal procedures with the players union and the league, but I’m not sure what they are hoping to accomplish. After his suspension the Eagles are going to pay him to sit out. As long as he’s still getting paid, the Eagle’s can play him or not at their discretion.

Philadelphia Eagles

Well, it seems obvious to me, if no one else, that the entire problem with my home team this year is boiled down to one thing.

Not the offense, not T.O., and not the running game.

Over the summer, the Eagles have completely lost the ability to tackle. Our 3 Pro-Bowl defensive backs are being shed from ball carriers like leaves in fall, and until they wake up and fix the problem, nothing will change.

The Eagles for the past several years have had offensive problems where they seem to fall asleep in games and not wake up till the end or sometimes not at all, but this year the defense is giving up a lot more points and not making up for the offensive woes like before.

I still believe the Eagles are the best team in the Conference and could win their next 8 games and go 12-4. But if they don’t fix whatever is going on, and I believe it’s mostly mental, they will be an 8-8 team.

How will you be paying?

Someone in my family is having issues that will require some ‘medical’ intervention. So, I took it upon myself to make some calls and find the most appropriate way to handle the situation and ended up calling 4 places. The first place gave me the numbers to the other three places, and the other three, without fail all asked me the same question immediately.

“What kind of insurance does said person have?”

It makes me so sad that my family members ability to get better is so directly tied to her ability to pay.

Box Office Slump

been down in a year to year comparison.

Every week there is another article about the quality of movies and DVD sales and ticket prices….

I don’t know why anyone is surprised by this because, for anyone who has been to the theater in recent times, going to the movies nowadays SUCKS.

Now, I go to the movies quite often. Minimally 2 times a week and sometimes more, and I see how bad it has gotten and it is quite simply a combination of rude people and cell phones. I can’t sit through a movie with out hearing a cell phone ring and conversation. And I truly enjoy the lightning bug/firefly effect of having cell phones opened and closed in the nonstop need to check for calls and messages.

If you can’t be out of touch with someone for 2 hours to watch a movie, then please, you are much too important to be at the movie and shouldn’t go to the theater. There are more pressing needs that require your attention.

Lets also not forget… Blah, blah, I’m in the theater, I don’t care lets talk. Blah Blah, my cell phone is ringing now, I’ll answer it, and get up and move to the other side of the theater to talk, because I won’t bother anyone doing that.

I’ve adjusted to the high cost of going to the theater and the cost of concessions. But I’m having a really hard time adjusting to the people. Don’t make me pay that much money and then have to listen to your conversation and have to deal with your cell phone obsession. I’m there to enjoy the film, not your pressing cell phone banter.

Who would want to go to the movies under these circumstances? I can sit at home and hear the phone ring and listen to people talk for free.

So how do I deal with all of this and go to the movies as much as I do? Easy. My most frequent movie attending times are Thursday night and Friday at noon.

No people to deal with.

Be Cool

“Get Shorty” was funny, cool, well written, well acted and an all around really good movie. Great performances all around and a movie that I recently rediscovered when a friend lent me the dvd.

Now flash forward 10 years and we are given “Be Cool” starring John Travolta. With the exception of a couple of cameos by Danny DeVito, I believe he is the only one who returns from the first film.

The film is good. I laughed. I enjoyed. But for the most part I didn’t feel like I was getting the actors’ best efforts in this film. This film is a little less about Travolta this time around and is really heavy into the supporting cast, and it’s quite a large supporting cast. Travolta, Uma, and Harvey Keitel seemed to be just there and not offering me anything special. With the exception of Uma, who graces us with one of the best entrances to a movie in recent memory.

Vince Vaughan, who was really funny in the previews for the film, wasn’t as funny after about 30 minutes and the act started to get old.

Cedrick the Entertainer was ok. Nothing special.

I would like to point out that the Rock, and Andre 3000, I thought, were really good in the movie. Very funny when needed and not overused.

Christina Milian was fine. She can obviously sing and looks beautiful and was fine in her role.

Overall i’d say the movie was good and would recommend seeing it in the theater or on video.

The Pacifier

Well, the movie is a Disney movie and is geared toward kids and families so I guess the best review for this movie comes from my 9 year old nephew, who said that it was “a really good movie.”

Keep in mind that more often then not, movies I take him to see are, “the best movies ever.” But I do believe he did like it. And it was cute and funny. Not as good as ‘Kindergarden Cop’ but entertaining, albeit with a little less of a plot.

Vin Diesel is sent to protect the kids of a recently killed scientist, and while in the house, search for the secret project the scientist was working on. Throw in a few messy diapers and you have a hit. And considering that in its opening weekend it made approximately $30 million, i’d say, yeah, it is a hit. Poopy diapers equal money.

The characters are all exactly what you would expect and pretty stereotypical. The sullen crabby teen boy, the rebellous needs to see her boyfriend teen girl, and the young kid that says all those cute funny things. There are 2 other kids but they serve no other purpose than to provide the poopy diapers.

So, the movie was ok, I laughed a few times and my nephew enjoyed it. So if you are bored and looking to go to a movie with a kid, have fun. If not wait for the video.

Cursed Reviewed

Well, me and my buddy John, accompanied by his wife, managed to make it to and through Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson’s  ‘Cursed’. To put it simply, it was real bad.

I can handle a bad movie. I think that bad movies can still be entertaining and fun, but sometimes bad movies meander too far into the stupid and boy this was stupid.

On a personal note, I prefer when my werewolves are more animal than human. A four legged werewolf vs. the more humanoid 2 legged werewolf, if you will. That didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the film, but I thought i’d put it out there.

The acting in this movie is horrible, the script… poor, and the special effects… horrid.

What happened to Christina Ricci? An actress that was spoken about with so much promise a few years ago, is now appearing in this? Terrible. Jessie Eisenberg as her brother, blah. Joshua Jackson as the love interest, please. “I’ve only known you for 2 months but I love you and you’re the one.” And please, put a little emotion in your delivery every so often.

The only member of the cast that I enjoyed was actually the Scott Baio cameo, trying to get on as the third guest on Craig Kilborne’s show. Funny.

The special effects in this movie were underwhelming to say the least. I have a feeling that they could only afford one werewolf costume, as we were never allowed to see two werewolves on the screen at the same time. And, ooohhh, yeah, the dog special effects in the preview are just as bad on the big screen. Just bad.

About 80% into the movie comes a scene with a werewolf in a night club that is the pinnacle of stupidity and when this ’scene’ happened, my friend actually leaned over and punched me in the arm for making him come to this.

Don’t see this movie, good horror movies are so hard to come by nowadays. To support a movie like this will only encourage more of them to be made.

A Better Image Rotator

I have instituted the ‘Better Image Rotator’ by Dan Benjamin that appeared on A List Apart today.

Not being one to leave well enough alone, I added a line of code, only my second ever attempt in php to do something. I added a line in the images.ini file to each image that contained a descriptive sentence about the picture being displayed. For example…

desc = This is the picture description.

Then in the rotate.php file i added the following lines of code…

#add image description text
‘<p><strong>Pic Desc:</strong> %s</p>’,

This, as you can see on the right, puts the small bit of description text just below the random image. So far i’m liking it.

If you asked me to explain what the code means, I wouldn’t be able to tell you yet. Because I don’t know. Like most programming languages that I have any knowledge of it all starts by manipulating existing code. Like i’ve done here.

The Editorial Database

Our database for the editorial content of the site is broken up into several fields within one SQL table. It is a very simple table containing all of the basic information for the stories.

We originally had many more fields, but as the years passed and we tightened up the database, some fields became unneccessary. The current fields are ID, Headline, Authors, Pic1_path, Pic2_path, Story, Keywords, PostDate, PubDate, Issue, and Level.

The short descriptions of these fields are

  • ID is just an automatically generated ID number.
  • Headline is a text field containing the headline.
  • Authors is the Author of the story if any is to be used.
  • The Pic_path fields contain the file path to the images used in the article. When the story is uploaded any pictures in the form are processed using ASPUpload and placed in a particular directory and then the path is noted here in the database.
  • Story is a Long text field containing the body of the article. When this is processed in the form, a javascript is run to take every line break and convert it to </p><p>. Then when the story is called to the page, we just need to hard code into the page the very first and last </p> tags.
  • The keywords field contains, obviously, keywords related to the article. This is needed by the search page on the site. A SQL ‘like’ clause is used against this field to return any appropriate results.
  • The postdate and pubdate are self explanitory and are used to make sure the stories appear in the appropriate order. By post dating stories in the PubDate field, we can also load up stories days in advance for later publishing.
  • Issue is used because we have 4 different regional papers. The issue field is used to denote NE, SE, SW, or MW and is used on the search page when someone wants to search on a specific region.
  • The level field is to specify wether the story should appear in the main story section of the sidebar story section.

Calling this information to the front page at this point is relatively easy. After making a connection to the database and creating a recordset, we use a SQL select statement along the lines of

SELECT TOP 5 editorials.* FROM editorials WHERE (initialLevel = ‘Head’) and edPubDate<='” & date() ORDER BY edPubDate DESC, edPostDate DESC.

Now this isnt the Exact code, but you get the idea.

This returns the last 5 stories from today’s date and puts them in date order from newest to oldest. Then we just set the headline as an h1 tag, the author as an h2 and the story as a p tag. There is also a javascript funtion that I will put up later that only returns the first 300 characters of the body copy, while at the same time making sure it ends at the end of a sentence.