Movie Reviews


Welcome to my movie reviews. Here’s where I tell you what I think about various movies that I’ve seen. You might notice that there’s more 4 star movies than 1 star movies. That’s because I tend to write reviews for the movies that I like and ignore the ones that I don’t. It takes a lot of energy to write a review, and I’d rather not waste it on movies that I just don’t like. Oh well.


I have a pretty simple way to rate a movie of any kind. Each movie starts out with 4 stars. Each time the movie falters enough that I am pulled out of its reality, it looses either 1/2 or 1 star depending on how completely I’m pulled out.

Season 1: Signs and Portents

It was the dawn of the third age of mankind, ten years after the Earth/Minbari war. The Babylon Project was a dream given form. Its goal, to prevent another war by creating a place where humans and aliens could work out their differences peacefully. It’s a port of call – home away from home for diplomats, hustlers, entrepreneurs, and wanderers. Humans and aliens wrapped in two million, five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night. It can be a dangerous place, but it’s our last best hope for peace. This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations. The year is 2258. The name of the place is Babylon 5. – Commander Sinclair

With the completion of the last of the Babylon stations in 2257, the galaxy is enjoying a fragile peace. Babylon 5 is functioning as planned, defusing disputes among the five major governments and acting as a hub for interstellar commerce and communication.

The Earth Alliance, headquartered in Geneva, is in charge of the station and the surrounding space. It is led by President Luis Santiago, a forward-looking politician who values Earth’s participation in Babylon 5 tremendously. Of special note is a branch of the Earth government called Psi-Corps, responsible for the tracking and training of human telepaths. Pictured here is Jeffrey Sinclair, commander of Babylon 5.

Earth’s former adversary, the Minbari Federation, was the major alien contributor to the construction of Babylon 5. An old, highly spiritual race, Minbari are humanoid with exterior bone crests on their heads. The Minbari are ruled by a body known as the Grey Council, three members from each of the three castes of Minbari society. The reason behind the sudden Minbari surrender at the climax of the Earth-Minbari War is a closely-guarded secret, but what isn’t a secret is that the warrior caste was none too pleased about the order; even today, it is a source of tension within Minbari society.

The Centauri were the first aliens encountered by humanity. Physically, they look nearly identical to humans, and in fact the Centauri initially claimed that Earth was a lost colony (a claim they later retracted after humans discovered that the similarities weren’t so great after all.) Centauri women are bald; men wear their hair in peacock-style fans whose length indicates the wearer’s social standing. The Centauri Republic is a fading empire, slowly losing control of its member worlds, a decline much like that of the British Empire.

Among those formerly under Centauri domination are the Narn, a reptilian-looking race who fought off their oppressors in a century-long war of attrition. Now the Narn Regime is building its military up, trying to settle the score through an aggressive expansionist policy. Most Narn would like nothing better than to see the Centauri wiped from the face of the universe, and from all appearances, they’ll shortly be in a position to get their wish.

The final major government represented on Babylon 5 is the Vorlon Empire. The Vorlons are shrouded in mystery. Even though their ambassador is on the station, nobody knows what they look like; they dress in bulky encounter suits. Whether the suits are there to keep a noxious atmosphere in or prying eyes out is a matter of some debate. The Vorlons are an extremely powerful race; no expedition into their space has been heard from again. They seem to have had dealings with the Minbari in the past, though neither the Minbari nor the Vorlons care to discuss the matter.

Each of the five races has an ambassador on the Babylon 5 Advisory Council, something like the UN Security Council. In addition, a number of smaller governments are members of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, which is also represented on the Council. This group is generally sympathetic to Earth, largely because Earth stepped in to save many of them from invasion by a hostile race (now extinct.)

The peace is most often threatened by aggressive behavior on the part of the Narn, or by lingering tensions between Earth and the Minbari warrior caste, a sizable fraction of which wouldn’t mind a rematch. And there are enduring mysteries to set everyone on edge: the reasons behind the Minbari surrender and the sudden disappearance of Babylon 4, the nature and motives of the Vorlons, the hint of dark forces moving behind the scenes in the Earth government.

The Homeless Blogger

This guy doesn’t own a computer. He updates his weblog from public internet access facilities. **Unbelievable**

I have SAD Social Anxiety Disorder. Although I can’t say that SAD, alone, was the cause of my homelessness, it was a major contributing factor, along with the right kind of life experiences that lead a person to homelessness. And, as much as SAD played a part in my becoming homeless, it plays a more significant role as an obstical in my attempts to leave homelessness.

Has Goliath been Struck in the Head Already?

Microsoft is reeling a bit. Can other smaller developers take advantage?

For the first time in years, Microsoft seems vulnerable.

The technology recession, strategic miscalculations and general wariness following the Justice Department’s four-year antitrust case have resulted in a psychological shift against Microsoft throughout the industry. Rivals and customers are sensing opportunities to challenge the software empire after decades of presumed invincibility.

I really hope this is the case. There really does need to be more competition in the industry for the best software to be made available to the general public.

More Details on FOTR Extended Edition

This is just getting better and better!

Almost 12 hours later I walked out with a handful of others (a lot of people left…but not TORN!). I was amazed at the fact that there were still MORE things we hadn’t seen on this DVD! There were over 2000 concept art sketches, an interactive map of Middle-earth and New Zealand. And FOUR full tracks of commentaries from producers, directors, artists and actors from the film.

Those who vow not to get ‘milked’ into buying this edition of the DVD will cave in as fast as Legolas can sling arrows and shoot them, my friends…this is DVD making at its finest.

Maybe my wife will understand now why I have to own it [[:-)]]

FOTR Extended Special Edition is a Must Have

Well… of course it is (if you’re a fan like me :-), but according to this review, it’s a must have for everyone!

Some movies feel so perfect that sometimes one may not want to know how they were made, fearing that too much insight into the production process may spoil one’s enjoyment of the film and destroy the magic. Not in this case. As much information as this “behind the scenes” DVD provides, it cannot diminish a filmgoer’s enjoyment of the film. On the contrary, it makes the experience more pleasurable. And somehow, you feel you were a part of the whole experience. This is not just another movie, this is something special, unique, a true landmark in moviemaking. Like many cast and crew members, I do believe that this is an historical event.