March 8, 2003

My one full day in Ithaca. Min, Loop and I went to Taco Bell for some lunch today and then went to Barnes and Nobles to do some shopping for some movies to watch (as you all have heard, I no longer an buying DVDs at Borders so a special trip has to be made if I am to be the one buying the movies.) So we stopped off and picked up: Are You Being Served? The Movie, Father Ted: Series One (BBC), Kama Sutra and Salaam Bombay. After having watched Monsoon Wedding, Min and I are really into Indian Cinema and wanted to get more films by Mira Nair. We now have three. Mississippi Masala also looks pretty good (even though I will whine because I hate watching films with Denzel Washington in them or supporting his career in any way – but at least it is an independant film so it isn’t quite as bad.)

John Stephens, our Llama of the Month and Surfing IT Wizard, stopped by today to purchase Gordon off of me. Gordon put in a long run as the house server but he has seen better days and was replaced by Big Bird some time ago so we decided that it was best it we parted ways. John got a lot of equipment with Gordon including that huge outboard SCSI box that has been cluttering up the laundry room plus lots of spare parts (some of which I am still looking for.) Hopefully John will have a lot of fun playing with Gordon.

After we got in from shopping, we pretty much made a day of watching movies. Loop and Bob joined us for the first two shows that we watched. First we watched a couple episodes of Father Ted. We didn’t think that it was going to be the best television show ever but it looked like it might be funny and it was. Nothing classic but worth watching sometimes when you just need something light and short. At least the disc was cheap. We ended up watching about half of the first season today. We really do enjoy British television over American television. The style is just so different. After that we watcher Are You Being Served? which was just awful. The television show’s format just didn’t translate into the big screen. The missing laugh track was painfully obvious. It was just like watching the show only the camera work was weird, the colors were bright, the sound was bad and the premise went on too long. For hard core fans fo the series (like me,) the movie is worth the time. But for casual watchers, I would avoid it. Min did figure out exactly where the movie fits into the serial so that you can watch the entire show in order and have it make a little but extra sense.

After watching our British television, we also watched Windtalkers (with Nicholas Cage about the Navajo code talkers during World War II in the Pacific.) It was pretty good – better than a lot of the reviews that we had heard about it. It wasn’t the most classic war movie ever and didn’t live up to the directing of John Woo but it was good and I think a lot of our readers would enjoy it. I did notice in the movie that in one scene at Pearl Harbor, they made a point of shooting a shot of the 48 star flag (the Pearl Harbor flag was later flown at the White House in DC during the Japanese surrender.) But only minutes later in the film they made the mistake of doing a full screen shot of a 50 star flag flying over Arizona. This is especially weird because Arizona was the 48 star so residents would have been knowledgable that the 50 star flag wasn’t used until 1960 after Alaska and Hawaii were added to the Union. How they managed to take a full screen shot of the wrong flag, I will never know. It was quite the glaring error only minutes after they had gotten it right. The is a really interesting site that details the History of the American Flag that you should check out. During the 1900’s, the U.S. had only four different flags and only two after 1912. So most Americans are very familiar with our 48 and 50 star flags that are seen in almost all photographs and movies. But during the 1800’s, we had a new flag every couple of years. Flag making must have become a booming industry as everyone had to replace their flags long before they would normally wear out. (Update: Once again, a great web page that has not been kept up and is now missing.)

Our final movie of the evening was Mira Nair’s (the director of Monsoon Wedding) Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. It was a well shot film telling about the life of a courtesan in sixteenth century India. It is, as the name implies, inappropriate for children and was quite sad. Mira’s director was very good and the movie was quite enjoyable. And for those afraid of independant and foreign films, it was shot totally in English.

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