Upgrades, Story Timelines and Mondays

[Written Monday morning, posted Tuesday night. Apologies for any inconvenience – The Editors]

It’s an understatement to say that it was a long week and weekend that’s just past. And I admit that I was not my “normal” jovial pollyanna-ish self. But in every cloud there’s something fresh and new, and I found enough to not only make the weekend less of a burden, but to also propel me into the new week with something resembling positive inertia. So I’ve got that going for me.

I upgraded our main house laptop to Windows 8, and honestly it was one of the most delightful and easiest upgrades I’ve done. Everything I liked about the Windows phone is here in the UI – while I don’t have a touch screen to make it all that much more special, I love the new interface, the blocked apps, the style choices. I’m a fan and have enjoyed just tinkering and finding out what’s behind the curtains. Yes it’s a bit wonky in places – the Store and the Mail apps come to mind. But I like finding those things, too, and look forward to seeing updates come through with fixes and more features. All in all, it did this nerd’s heart good.

Sunday night, Trace and I went to see CLOUD ATLAS. Fabulous movie but not for everyone. I put it up there philosophically with THE MATRIX (also from the Wachowskis) and GLADIATOR. I didn’t have to work too hard mentally to NOT give in to reincarnation themes. Instead, I kept hearing Maximus’ battle cry – “What we do in life echoes through eternity” – as each story/timeline moved through to its end. Again, just what this geeky film nerd needed, a full deep film that challenged and inspired and is even now moving me into the week with something akin to new hope and new direction.

Like I said: I’ve got that going for me.

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And The OSCAR Goes To…

Yesterday and last week, we went to the AMC Best Picture Showcase – taking in all nine best picture nominees before tonight’s OSCARS. This is the first year I’ve seen all of them, and I’ve got my own favorites and predictions for the evening.

BEST PICTURE: I think this one is going to go to THE ARTIST (that’s John Goodman “on set” in the photo to the right, photo from Oscar’s website). Of all nine films, this one has everything from stylized reality to great story-telling to wonderful acting/casting. My personal favorite film of the nine was WAR HORSE, but I think THE DESCENDANTS could come from behind to take this one as well.

LEAD ACTOR: JeanDujardin, THE ARTIST, should win this one for what will hopefully be a US-breakout performance.

LEAD ACTRESS: Viola Davis, THE HELP – great movie that was shortchanged in the marketing as a “chick flick”.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Seeing that Christopher Plummer, BEGINNERS, probably has this one wrapped up, but I’d love to see Jonah Hill win for MONEYBALL to show in the winners’ circle.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: This one’s going to be Octavia Spencer, THE HELP. Again, great film, strong women throughout.

Will be watching for these and all the rest – AND for Billy Crystal’s return as host and┬átroubadour. Will be checking in on GetGlue and tweeting from @rickcaffeinated with hashtag #oscars – feel free to chime in.

Rude and Offensive

“Are you going to turn that off or should I move?”

My son and I went to see Super8 yesterday – great movie, all four thumbs way up, by the way. I love going with the family to see good films. I enjoy talking about them after, about how good stories and great characters are important, about what makes something meaningful or funny or suspenseful. Some of my best memories growing up were at the movies, and I want that for our kids as well.

I love to see the trailers, too. I always worry that the trailers might be better than the movie itself, so I hate missing the previews pre-feature. And over the last couple of years I’ve taken to tweeting the trailers to make a note of what we saw, what flicks we might look forward to “coming soon”.

That’s the context of the question above: “Are you going to turn that off or should I move?” – asked by the lady behind us as my iphone lay in my lap, the last trailer listed, the opening credits beginning to roll.

It’s given me something to think about. Was I being rude by tweeting the upcoming films? No, I don’t think so – but that’s me justifying my actions as much as anything, I suppose. I’ve never had anyone mention it, so I don’t think there’s anything particular about this one “crossing the line”.

On the other hand, was she being rude? Believe me, I wanted to be offended. But honestly, I don’t think so. Her tone was a bit curt, but I’ve tried hard to not read emotion and offense into things like that in conversation or in text. If my phone being open and my presumed live tweet/texting was going to happen the whole movie, that would have been distracting. She asked with her own reasons, and I don’t think that was necessarily rude in and of itself.

“No, I’m turning it off now.” That was my response, and it was the truth: tweet sent, movie starting, so phone off and get into the story. I decided to not be offended – “perhaps you should move just in case” was a response that came to mind. But it wasn’t worth it, it was out of character for me, and, as I’ve pondered it in the background since, it would’ve been rude.