Not too much this weekend. Mostly just clearing space off the TiVo.
Richard III: Very nice. Ian McKellen is predictably wonderful in the role. The "updated setting" works, for the most part. It's not as far out as, say, Titus, but the vaguely fascist trappings of Richard's reign do sort of underline some of the things Shakespeare has to say about him. This would also make a good double-bill with Looking for Richard.
The Core: Ranks right up there with Supernova among Movies To Avoid, with laughably bad science, formulaic and predictable plot, flat characters, etc. While watching this, I came up with a phrase to describe this kind of movie: It has an ablative cast of characters - most of them exist solely to die in one way or another, so that the one or two main characters can live happily ever after, while still allowing the movie to have a decent body count. My particular favorite bit in this movie, though, is the notion that they are going to start the liquid outer core of the Earth spinning again by detonating five 200-megaton bombs. Do you know what a 200-megaton bomb would do to the Earth's core? Well, you know what it feels like when a gnat lands on your arm? (That "bad physics" page estimates the normal rotational energy of the outer core as the equivalent of about 32,000 200-megaton bombs...) Though a close second has to be the EVA they do: Emerging in their shiny-cloth spacesuits into the tens-of-thousands-of-pounds-per-square-inch pressure, one announces, "It's a good thing the suits can withstand the pressure." Yeah, you'd almost think it would take some sort of rigid suit design to stand up under all that. Oh, and then there's the bit where they increase the explosive yield of their 200-megaton bomb by setting some plutonium next to it... and.... I'd better just stop now.
The Southern Poverty Law Center Scam: New at Reason
23 minutes ago