March 16, 2002

I took some time out today to relax and see a movie. I was going to see Resident Evil on the grounds that I was going by myself, and I'm sure there's no way I'd be able to get anyone else to go see that movie with me. Fortunately I was saved from what I expect to be a truly awful cinematographical remake of a video game I've never played by the fact that Ice Age jumped off the internet movie listings at me.

Unfortunately, Ice Age was not nearly so good as I hoped it would be. The plot was woodenly predictable, and the animation was clunky in spots. Most notably, the humans in the feature made "Andy" from Toy Story look like "Sid" from Final Fantasy. Which is to say they reminded me of computer-animated people from, say, 1992. The texture-mapping was fine, but the shapes and the movements were, well, wooden. Wooden plot, wooden people... fortunately John Leguizamo (he plays the kooky sloth character) was fun to listen to.

Don't get me wrong, it's a better movie than most of what's out there right now. It just that the bar has been set so high by Pixar that even a technically excellent (but not up to the bar) production is going to leave you wanting.

Besides, the plot was predictable. We've seen this movie before. Oh, sure, the gags were great, and the sqrat (I think that's what they call the little squirrel-rat thing whose acorn-stuffing antics get him into trouble) was hilarious, but that just can't carry the whole movie off.

Now I'm willing to grant that it's possible that No Movie Under The Endless Heavens could thrill me today. My workday began with an exercise in "stress Howard out," proceeded through a series of wargames with multiple travel agencies in an effort to secure me a bed for next week, and left me broken and despondent, hunting around in the bottom of a 32-ounce Diet Pepsi for my Will to Live. Crummy day notwithstanding, animated features are traditionally escapist in nature, so I had hopes for this one--but those hopes were shot down as they fled, and perished in the midst of spreading pools of blood and screams.

Blood... screams... perhaps I should have seen Resident Evil after all.

As I mentioned in the last open letter, Novell BrainShare begins on Monday. I'm staying up in Salt Lake for the week, since my responsibilities at the tradeshow have me pulling in at 7am and out at 11pm. Adding a one-hour commute to both ends of that would leave me a mere 6 hours of sleep at best. Forget the justification for it. The point is that I'll be away from my drawing table for a week. I may or may not get a chance to update the entry again before the week is out. If I don't, you'll know why. If you are a BrainShare attendee, you may get a chance to pull me aside and say hello. Sure, sure... I'm in my Novell persona, but it'll definitely make my day if you let me know that you're a hard-core Schlocker.