Saturday, December 29, 2007

Moronic Mobile

I recently was forced to get a new celphone due to failure in my much beloved Samsung. Since I plan on getting a data plan in addition to my regular celphone service, and I'm a T-Mobile customer, I decided to go with the Sidekick Slide. I have used Blackberries before and have not been impressed.

I'm not impressed with the Sidekick Slide either. It's been functioning well, and the features work well. But, apparently starting last night and continuing into today, things have been not so well.

I tried to return a friend's voice mail, the call did not ring at all, and found out that all my contacts were gone. Not only that, all my notes and events and calendar entries were all gone as well. So, I called customer support and found that if you do not have data services, if you turn your phone off for too long, apparently 8 hours is too long, then your phone will reset it's internal memory and wipe everything out. Yes, that's right, your phone will wipe everything out for no reason whatsoever. Having data services just means that every time you turn the phone on, it'll load from the server backing up all your personal data.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want my phone deleting everything whenever it feels like it. I also don't like the idea that the phone is automatically transferring all the information on it to some server.

Also, remember how I mentioned that the call did not ring through? Apparently, another friend tried calling me multiple times last night and my phone never once rang, lit up, vibrated, or anything. I have my Sidekick Slide set to vibrate and light up everytime I get a call. My phone seems to have decided to switch to silent running for no reason. I didn't make the switch, the settings are quite convoluted to get to so I guarantee it wasn't some random accidental hitting of a button. The phone just decided it wanted to switch to "Do Not Disturb." I did not find this out until after I tried to set an appointment for my heater to get fixed and went to check why I hadn't gotten a call back and was told I missed two calls. The phone had done nothing. I double checked all my settings and discovered that the phone had switched itself to silent running. Now, just an hour before the calls last night that I missed, an hour in which I did not touch my phone, I had received an incoming call and my phone had reacted.

So, in conclusion. I cannot recommend the Sidekick Slide. It wipes it's memory for no reason. It sends all information on it to some server if you have data services because they know it will wipe all your information out, which means your personal info is available to anyone with access to that server. And it randomly changes your settings without any input from you.

It is comfortable, it has a lot of nice features, it's got good speakers and a decent display, but the most basic feature: your contact list, is an utter and abysmal failure.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chicks and Car Chases

I recently had the pleasure of watching the "unedited" version of Quentin Tarentino's Death Proof.

Good things:
Zoe Bell on the top of the 1970 Challenger is awesome. I wanted to be a stuntperson back in the day and so I know better than many when it's the stuntperson and what they're hiding or faking. Because Zoe Bell is a stuntperson we got to see all the things we normally don't and it was spectacular. I also like her attitude during the counter-chase scene where she grabs the metal pipe. Use what you can and don't hold back. She was also impressive when she tossed the metal pipe in via the car window and then jumped right after it. Having done something similar with the much easier entry port of an open car door, it is not the easiest thing to avoid that which you have just thrown in before you. Especially after you've made sure not to hit your buddy with the thing you just threw in.

The interaction of the groups of women were great, even if the dialogue made you want them dead. It's the chemistry and the naturalism that works here.

As always, the music was one of the biggest highlights of the movie. I'm a big believer that QT does more for a musicians career than big music studios ever do.

The girl power. Yes, it doesn't seem like it initially, but this is one of the few times that we have seen women(physically) fighting for something other than the standard "browbeaten woman gaining power and beating on the guy in self-defense."

I admit, I love violence in movies and video games and it was a true delight to be taken through what happened to each girl in the crash. We're usually given crashes from one perspective and only the happenings on the whole. If we are given multiple takes, it's usually just different angles. This was a treat.

The visuals. The graininess was fun. The costumes were so 70s even if the time frame was modern. Stuntman Mike's Icy Hot jacket was a hoot.

Bad Things:
The dialogue. I understand the goal of the girl chats is to make you want to see them dead but they just go on too long. Two minutes into the initial scene with the chatting in the car made me ask "Where's the boom?" Unfortunately the dialogue continued, albeit at different locations and times, for another half hour or so.

The distortion of the time it takes to do things. Kim, from the second group of girls, goes into a Circle A for coffee and Red Bull. She's in there long enough to grind her own beans, brew up the coffee, run down the street to the market for cream and sugar, drink the coffee and Red Bull, wash the coffee mug and recycle the Red Bull cans. During the time she's "getting coffee" one of the other girls goes into the same store, gets cash from the ATM, grabs a snack, and has a short chat with yet another girl, who is still outside the store, about that girl's appearance in Allure magazine, find the magazine, show the girl her spread, buy the magazine and snacks, go outside to talk to the other girl about another magazine, and then go back in for the other magazine. I'm sorry, getting coffee and snacks from a convenience store takes all of 4 minutes, MAX. And that's if there's a line at the counter. QT could have shown the foot fetishism and the creepy car appearances in that time. Just cut out the Stuntman Mike considering his latest targets bit that dragged on. If he really wanted the time, he should have had them getting gas.

The fact that the bit set in Texas had everyone going outside to smoke. Last I checked it was ok to smoke in a bar in Texas, why go outside for a smoke? OK, you can argue it's to show the car and set the tension, but really, no. It just makes it seem forced, especially since you have people inside smoking already. Also, Arlene tells Stuntman Mike she's scared of his car, but I don't recall any point before that where she saw him coming out of the car or when he pointed it out as his.

Overall this is a fun movie if you're into exploitation and violence movies. I really enjoyed watching it and I will buy it. I'll just fastforward through most of the dialogue.