Monday, June 27, 2005

End of an Empire

4 major problems w/ Menace, Clones, and Revenge in my opinion:

1) too much money... spent on special effects at the neglect of story, plot, and character development.

2) too much ego. George Lucas knows he's not a screenwriter, he's a brilliant story/ideas/technical guy; but he insists on writing. He knows he's not a great director, but he insists on directing. He should have given the dialogue over to a seasoned screenwriter and directing to accomplished directors like he did with Empire and Jedi. Instead the actors were left with lame dialogue, muddy motives, half-baked plots, and weak direction.

Too bad George doesn't follow his own advice:

Anakin: What must I do, Master Yoda?
Yoda: Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.

3) Vader has no real menace for me at the end of Revenge. George really needed a plot that would allow for a few more conflict scenes after Anakin is defeated by Kenobi. He needed to better establish Anakin's full conversion to the dark side and his self-hatred and anger after the loss of Padmé, to become the Darth Vader we first met and feared from the earlier films. One brief scene with him breaking pipes and having a tantrum does not an all powerful, super-villain make.

4) In the last 2 movies George and Hayden did a really poor job of making us like/care about Anakin to the point where we can feel the depths of the tragedy of his fall. Vader is an anti-hero who ultimately redeems himself by sacrificing himself and his power for love, ultimately doing exactly what Yoda told him to do. But now, because I feel less for Anakin, his final redemption in Jedi is cheapened for me.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

oh well

Got a call earlier this week from Mike Clark that they were having to cancel the pragmatic studio workshops due to low enrollment. Too bad! I was really looking forward to this. And work was even going to foot the bill. Maybe we can get them to come to us.

I thought that at around $700 for a 2 day seminar, it was quite a good deal. So does this mean that 1) there are already plenty of pragmatic programmers out there and there is no room for their improvement, or 2) there aren't enough interested in becoming better programmers, or 3) there aren't enough companies out there in funding their engineers to become more pragmatic?

It doesn't bode well for getting the pragmatic programmers to come to Seattle for a public Ruby on Rails workshop. I might just have to go to them.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

gentoo is bringing my old pentium III back to life

installing gentoo has been a good learning experience. and now i have a dev server for ruby and rails in addition to my powerbook.