Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekend update (It's a Jeep thing)

Knocked a couple of shows off the Netflix queue today, taking it easy on a Saturday afternoon.

First was Hobo With a Shotgun (2011).  This is a ridiculously over-the-top vigilante movie starring Rutger Hauer, who is one of my favorite tough-guy actors.  The gunplay is completely unrealistic and the gore technology is pure splatterpunk.  Also for some reason they filmed it with a bunch of different weird color filters, so at times everything is green, other times blue, and sometimes...uh...there's a word for this I'm looking for...can't think of it right now but I mean almost cartoonishly garish and bright.  Shotgun fu, lawn mower fu, noose fu, switchblade fu, and manhole cover fu.  Actually I thought the thing with the manhole covers was quite clever.

If you want to see a fake trailer from 2007 for this movie, here it is.  It pretty much encapsulates the whole movie in 2 minutes.  NSFW.

The other thing I watched today was a documentary called A Film Unfinished (2010).  It's about a Nazi propaganda film about the Warsaw ghetto which was never finished and was found--in bits and pieces--over the course of many years in the Nazi archives after the war.  It was intended to show that Jews were living in a mixture of opulence and poverty in the ghetto--that is--some lived in opulence and crassly ignored those who were starving.  Of course, it was all lies and manipulation and the scenes were staged; anyone who failed to perform to expectations was beaten or killed.  Here's a trailer.

Some people might think they know enough about World War 2 and the aftermath.  I think this is a foolish position.  Many parts of the world are only a hair's breadth away from, and some have continued to engage in, genocides of various sorts.  The Earth's population as a whole still hasn't learned.  I highly recommend this documentary, but I will also warn that due to its graphic and realistic nature, it is absolutely not for children (just in case you're not smart enough to be aware of that on your own).  Next up on my Nazi propaganda movie list is Triumph of the Will.  I've heard a lot about it, but haven't seen it yet.

This past week I also finished up Star Trek:  Enterprise.  My old opinion that the writers just killed this show because they got tired and ran out of ideas was only reinforced by seeing the last season again.  I was especially annoyed by the two "mirror universe" episodes which had no overlap with the "our universe" characters.  Utterly pointless.  I've now begun watching Farscape, which I've seen some of when it was being erratically aired on Sci-Fi, and which I liked a lot.

Well, I traded in my old Ford Ranger this week.  It had 191,000+ miles on it, and had several problems, the most recent of which was the transmission was beginning to get funky.  My wife and I went to DriveTime yesterday and got a Jeep Liberty, a small SUV.  This one has a 4-cylinder and a manual transmission so it should get much better mileage than the Ranger did with its V-6 automatic.  I somehow reached 22 mpg one time with the Ranger; most of the time I got 19-20.  The Jeep is rated for 24 highway, and almost all of my driving is highway.  This is our third vehicle from DriveTime so I guess that says something about them (first, a Dodge Durango for my wife, which we wore out and traded for her current Ford Freestar minivan).  Oh yeah, one other problem with the Ranger was that the kids were having a hard time cramming themselves into it and I wanted something with room for them so no one had to climb into that back "extended cab" part.  I finally have an air conditioner again!  The a/c was one of the first things to go, about 2 years ago.  A couple of months ago the fan also stopped blowing so I couldn't even heat the thing on cold days.

Another thing I like about the Jeep is that "it ain't got no power nothin'," as one of my in-laws has said.  Mirrors, doors, windows, locks, seat adjustments...all manual.  This is my first Jeep, so we'll see how it goes.

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