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Movie Review: D&D/HAT May 20, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.
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Watched Dungeons and Dragons – Honor Among Thieves last night, after seeing the high ratings at Rotten Tomatoes and hearing a glowing recommendation from my daughter. I’m always up for a good action comedy, and especially psyched for a fantasy action comedy.

Sadly, the movie didn’t really live up to my high expectations. Not a terrible movie by any means, but not deserving of the 90%+ ratings at Rotten Tomatoes.

My specific criticisms:

Chris Pine as Edgin: Chris Pine is fine on his own, but I swear that for the first half of the movie his lines sounded like Kurt Russell as Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China). I loved Jack Burton, but he doesn’t fit in well, or at all, with a medieval fantasy setting. His character is also a bit wimpy for an action movie.

Michelle Rodriguez as Holga: Michelle Rodriguez is convincing, physically, as a barbarian fighter who kicks butt (one of the few female actors who can pull off a role like that). But she makes no attempt to provide an accent or change the cadence of her speech, so she, too, seems out of place in a fantasy movie. Just an American woman delivering lines in a fantasy movie.

Hugh Grant as Forge Fitzwilliam: I liked his performance. I thought he walked the line between likeability and amorality pretty well. Of course, unlike Pine or Rodriguez he has the advantage of a native English accent, which is a mainstay of fantasy movies. Note to American actors in fantasy movies: There’s a reason everybody does those fake English accents at Renaissance Faires.

Action: Holga’s fight scene against the guards was great, though spoiled a bit by the camera work. Xenk’s fight scene was OK. Everything else was forgettable. A-

Comedy: A little tired, with a lot of under the breath punch lines which lost impact due to timing or volume. But OK overall. B+

Plot: Linear, predictable, no surprises, no twists. C

Dialog: The dramatic dialog was banal. C

Overall, I give it 7/10. Which is pretty good considering the cinematic offerings these days.

What is Truth? Is Mine the Same as Yours? May 19, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.


On the one hand you have liberals’ rejection of an objective reality.

And on the other hand you have liberals’ trying to keep us safe from bad information and untruths:

The new Federal Digital Platform Commission would … have a broad mandate to promote the public interest, with specific directives to protect consumers, promote competition, and assure the fairness and safety of algorithms on digital platforms, among other areas. To fulfill its mandate, the Commission would have the authority to promulgate rules, impose civil penalties, hold hearings, conduct investigations, and support research. It could also designate “systemically important digital platforms” subject to additional oversight, regulation, and merger review.

So what they want to protect us from is not straying from reality, but from their truths. We saw how disastrous that was with COVID, where the party line of the origin, need for masks, need for lockdowns, and the efficacy of the vaccinations could not be questioned.

This bill is being sponsored by Michael Bennet of Colorado. One of the reasons I left the state and moved to Texas.

*Title from line in Jesus Christ Superstar

Eurovision 2023 – We Have a Winner! May 14, 2023

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Apparently Loreen from Sweden won the Eurovision contest – her second time winning the event. Here’s her performance:

Eurovision 2023 May 12, 2023

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Don’t know why I post on Eurovision – it’s not my cup of tea (it’s all Europop and rock, and I’m a jazz fusion/trance kind of guy). But it seems like such a huge event ought to at least be acknowledged by the benighted folk of the US, so here I go again.

So this Saturday (tomorrow) is the Grand Final of the contest, with 26 countries represented. The video below has snippets of the songs from all of the contestants. I took a quick skim through it – sure seems like they could have screened out more than 11 countries by now.

You can watch the Grand Final at the video link below. I think. We’ll probably never know if it works because no one will try it. But, for the sake of completeness, here you go:

The Sarandon Seal of Approval May 11, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

Leftie flake Susan Sarandon is still at it:

Actress Susan Sarandon was arrested this week at the New York State Capitol while protesting for raising the minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers, according to a report from the New York Post.

Reportedly, Sarandon, 76 is part of the organization One Fair Wage, which argues that minimum wage increases that exclude tipped workers “negatively impacts women and single moms of color the most.”

I was watching Carson reruns recently, probably from the 70s, and Susan Sarandon was the guest. My jaw dropped as I watched spout off fuzzy new age idiocy while Carson tried to listen politely.

I had never thought she was particularly bright, but she came off as mentally handicapped. And then my amazement turned to a bit of anger, as I recalled that she has had the gall to lecture the world on a variety of leftwing topics from her podium of stupidity.

So I feel confident in summarily dismissing the tenets of One Fair Wage. Sarandon supports it? Must be rubbish.

Manufacturing Jobs Still Flatlining May 11, 2023

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I know I’m almost a week late on this, but the blogging fever didn’t hit me until this week. Anyway, in April we noted that manufacturing jobs were no longer increasing. This month’s report showed that that situation hasn’t changed:

Flat since last June. Sad to see.

Exacerbating the Intolerable May 11, 2023

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Inflation data came out yesterday, with a print of 4.9% year-over-year. This is lower than previous months, so there was a sense of relief in the media that inflation is slowing.

For the beleaguered consumer, however, the message is that the currently intolerable prices are still going up.

Let’s cut to our graph standing by at the St Louis Fed:

Prices have gone up 16% since Biden took office two and a third years ago. During Trump’s 4 years in office, they went up slightly less than 8%.

Roughly twice the time and half the inflation.

Crazy Long Titles Due to the Nefarious Influence of Manga, Which Also Has Really Long Titles May 10, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

Seems like my post titles have grown pretty unwieldy of late. In my defense, I can claim to have been corrupted by manga titles, which have almost turned into synopses over the past few years:

  • Regarding That We Decided To Live In The Countryside With The Female Knight Who Came To Us
  • The Exiled Reincarnated Heavy Knight Is Unrivaled In Game Knowledge
  • The Villainess’ Ruin Is My Fault, But I’ll Try To Make Her Happy With The Power Of The Curse.
  • The Former Hero Who Saved Another World Beats The Real World Full Of Monsters
  • The Transmigrated Mage Life In Another World, Becoming The Strongest In The World With The Knowledge Of The Original Story
  • I’m The Only One With A Failure Of A Skill In Another World’s Summoning Rebellion — Until The Weakest Skill [Absorption] Swallows Everything

That’s just a sampling from the isekai (transported to another world) genre. Seems to be mostly the Japanese – the Koreans and Chinese haven’t caught the ridiculous title bug. [Speaking of “bugs,” how come nobody ever says “germ” anymore?]

All right – you could claim that I could solve the problem by simply not reading these absurd stories.

Hah! Ain’t gonna happen.

Don’t Plan Your Future Vacations Around the Cost Savings From the DOE’s New Rules May 9, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

The story about the DOE’s new standards on dishwasher and electric motors has been rocketing around the conservative news media:

The Biden administration’s Department of Energy (DOE) has announced new rules cracking down on dishwashers, claiming that they will save Americans over $650 million in annual energy and water bills. However, many are skeptical of the DOE’s claims, arguing that these new rules are just another example of government overreach and unnecessary regulation.

“DOE expects the new standards for electric motors will save American businesses approximately $464 million per year on energy costs, while the proposed standards for dishwashers, which have not been updated in over a decade, will save American consumers approximately $168 million per year on their utility bills.”

Let’s do some simple math. $650 million in annual savings, US population is ~335 million . . .

Yup, the DOE is bragging about annual savings of $2 per person. Wowser!!

Looked at another way, a new dishwasher costs $970, on average. Average household size is 2.6. So it will take 173 years for the DOE’s amazing cost savings to justify replacement of a dishwasher.

How about water savings? The DOE says:

DOE also expects the new rule to save 240 billion gallons of water, which is equivalent to the water in 360,000 Olympic-sized pools.

That number is over a 30 year period, so they’re talking about saving 8 billion gallons of water per year. Sounds like a lot, until you find out that we currently use 322 billion gallons per day.

Ridiculous that they’d use these savings as a rationale for their crappy policy.

Media Drags Bottom to Find Drag Recruiting Defender May 8, 2023

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A retired Navy Commander is apparently the media’s current go-to source for defending the Navy’s drag-based recruiting strategy:

Retired U.S. Navy Commander Julianna Vida slammed one Republican Party lawmaker’s criticism of the Navy officially using a drag queen to boost recruitment for the military branch. 

In a statement provided to Fox News Digital this week, Vida said that Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s assessment that the Navy has become “preoccupied with identity politics” is “destructive” and “undermines” the Navy’s methods of recruiting new members.

Vida, who was in the Navy for over 30 years and currently servers on the Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees, defended the Navy’s use of drag queen recruiting ads as a “critical” method of welcoming “traditionally excluded segments of our population.”

I’d just like to remind everyone that a Commander in the Navy is only an O-5, equivalent to a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and Air Force. A decent and admirable rank, no doubt, but nothing special. My father retired as an O-5, two of my brothers-in-law retired at O-6, and my father-in-law retired at O-8. None of them would have considered themselves a quotable authority on military policies.

So I’m not sure why the hell such an unauthoritative source was selected by the media, particularly one who was obviously passed over for promotion on multiple occasions (though in my day, if you missed the first shot at being promoted to O-5, the odds for promotion decreased dramatically).

Probably because she was the only one they could find to support it, I suppose.

Schrodinger’s Genitalia: If You Can’t See It, Is It Really There? May 8, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

I think I might have preferred jail time to having my lawyer use this defense:

A Xenia County judge in Ohio ruled that trans woman Rachel Glines did not commit indecent exposure in a female changing room after the defense argued that body fat covered the genitalia area.

When your body fat covers your genitalia, your sex or gender don’t matter. Just give up on the whole gender identification thing – you’re disqualified.

Describing Acting ==> Which Knight Did It Better? April 15, 2023

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Sir Ian:

Sir Ben:

I’m gonna call it a tie.