New Home

In the unlikely event that you’re still watching this space (after years of inactivity) feel free the move your pointers to my new blog at nimayousefi.com. Or don’t. I don’t mean to be pushy. I will say, however, that if you go to my new site you can find out about some of the really cool things I’ve been doing lately. I’m also planning some wicked cool posts, which you’ll miss if you don’t point your feed reader at the right site.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Every Review of ‘The Dark Knight’ Will Say

Notes
JAN 26 2010 I’ve rewritten most of this post. The list is now different.
  1. This is the best movie of the year.

  2. This is one of the best comic book movies every made.

  3. Heath Ledger deserves to win an Oscar for his performance.

  4. The movie is intense, suspenseful, dramatic, gut-wrenching, brutal, funny, exciting, and an absolutely masteful work of art.

  5. The run time is around 2 hours 40 minutes, but this feels like a 90 minute movie.

  6. Maggie Gyllenhaal does a very fine job replacing Katie Holmes.

  7. Christian Bale’s “Batman voice” is really annoying.

Feel free to mix and match those items to construct your own The Dark Knight review.

Many thanks to Justin for getting me into a late night screening of the flick.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Batman: Gotham Knight’ Review

I was giddy when I heard Bruce Timm, producer of the fantastic Batman: The Animated Series, was doing a new full-length Batman movie, and I was over the moon when I heard the movie was going to be done in Japanese anime style.

Unfortunately, the movie is a mixed bag.

Batman: Gotham Knight isn’t actually a feature-length film: It is a series of short stories loosely tied together to form a larger story arc. I found half the stories to be well done and interesting, and the other half … weren’t.

In a strange move, they decided to have each story done in a completely different art style, though they are all very anime. The result is that Batman looks different in each story, making it difficult to get into the different stories. This multiple art style trick worked all right in The Animatrix, where there was virtually no overlap between the different stories, but here, where the stories are supposed to be connected, the use of different styles diminishes the impact of the various stories. And quite frankly, some of the Batmen look really bad.

Batmen

The first Batman is about 15 pounds overweight, the third looks ridiculous, and the art in the forth is all-around terrible.

In its defense, Batman: Gotham Knight features the voice work of the magnificent Kevin Conroy, who provided the voice for Batman in The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and The Justice League. To me, his voice is as much Batman’s as Peter Cullen’s voice is Optimus Prime’s.

I’ll also say this, the last story is by far the best, and very fullfilling on its own. Titled “Deadshot,” the story revolves around the notorious assassin Deadshot coming to Gotham to spill some blood, and the inevitable face off between him and the Batman. The characters are spot on, the story is interesting, the animation is great, and it is full of action. Honestly, if the whole film was like this the movie would have been a home-run.

scene

I feel like mentioning, too, that the stories here are clearly in the Nolan Batman Begins universe, and not the Bruce Timm animated universe, though they jump through some hoops to try and obscure that (for reasons I can only guess). I’m not surprised they did that, but it’s not really used all that effectively.

Posted in Movie Reviews | 3 Comments

Easy Way to Clean an Apple Keyboard

I think I wrote a while ago about the remodeled Apple Keyboard, which is really one of the most wonderful keyboards I’ve ever used, but it does have one really annoying downside: there seems to be no obvious way to really clean the keys. With Apple’s older keyboards you could easily pop off the keys, clean them with soap and water, and then pop them back on once they’re all nice and dry. The new, “low-profile” keys, however, don’t come off nearly as easily, making cleaning much more difficult.

Well, I think I’ve found a pretty nice solution:

Yup, that’s right, one of those Pentel Clic Erasers.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Get nasty keyboard.

For reference, here’s my dirty MacBook keyboard. Note how bad the O and P keys look.

Step 2: Erase the dirt right off a key.

See the difference between the O and the P now. It looks unreal, but trust me, it’s not, and it took a whole 4 seconds to do.

Step 3: Repeat with all keys.

This is the after picture. The whole thing takes maybe a minute or two to do.

Step 4: Turn the keyboard upside down and spray it with some compressed air to get rid of any remaining eraser shavings.

That’s it.

This would probably work with any eraser, but the nice thing about the Clic Erasers are that they’re small enough to get the keyboard surface between the keys, if you’re hella OCD like I am.

The only concern you might have is that, somehow, eraser shavings might get under the keys or something. Honestly, I’m not sure, given the geometry involved, that it’s even possible for any shavings to wiggle their way down there, and I’ve cleaned two keyboards this way (MacBook and desktop keyboard) with absolutely no problems. Besides, it seems a lot safer than cleaning with any kind of liquid.

Have fun erasing your way to a cleaner keyboard (it’s minutes of entertainment)!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Thor Is Seduced by the Dark Side of the Force

Thor’s angry teeth vengefully tore into the animal’s meat. The ensuing eruption of meat juice trickled down from his mouth, forming a nearly perfect droplet of carnage on his chin, which he promptly wiped away with his cocktail napkin.

“The pigs in a blanket are not terrible,” noted Thor, finishing off the last of his mouthful.

“Have you tried the mini-quiches?” asked Jeff from accounting. “They have these spinach ones that have crushed pepper in there. It’s like a great explosion of flavor in your mouth.”

“Flavor explosion? There is no greater flavor explosion than the one you get from tearing magic flying goat flesh from magic flying goat bone. It’s especially potent if the magic flying goat is still alive when you eat it.”

“That’s terrible,” cried Jeff from accounting.

“It’s fine. They’re used to it by now.”

Jeff from accounting struggled not to vomit.

“So, ummm, you’re here with your ‘friend’?” Jeff from accounting asked.

“Yes. That’s right. I’m here with my friend and Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader of the Galactic Empire. He helped me pick out my tie. Isn’t it nice?”

Thor held up his paisley tie for Jeff from accounting to admire, which he did, because, really, it was indeed quite a nice tie.

“He said it makes the color in my eyes pop,” added Thor.

“How long have you guys been ‘friends’?” asked Jeff from accounting.

“Four months. We met at a bar in an Outback Steakhouse. He complimented me on the cut of my cape.”

“And do you guys live together? Or is it too soon for that? I don’t know how the timing usually goes for ‘friends’ to move in together.”

“Move in together? What are you babbling about, mortal? And why do you keep doing those little air quote things every time you call us friends?”

“Well,” said Jeff from accounting, “you two are… I mean, I just assumed that you two were, you know, ‘together.’ Gay.”

The collision between Jeff from accounting’s face and Thor’s mighty fist sent a deafening thunderclap through the room, following almost immediately by the equally thunderous sound of Jeff from accounting’s body smashing into the wall on the other side of the room, and then subsequently the wall on the other side of the room behind that one. After that, the room was dead silent, save for the whimpers coming from what remained of Jeff from accounting’s mouth.

Darth Vader, wearing a tie to match Thor’s and carrying a large salt-rimmed margarita, approached Thor. “PURR-AAAH… why did you punch Jeff in the face?” asked The Dark Lord of the Sith.

“He angered me!” shouted Thor. “He made an outrageous suggestion. Truly outrageous!”

“Was it about your tie? … PURR-AAAH…”

“He suggested that you an I are engaged in a homosexual relationship.”

“PURR-AAAH…”

“Well?” Thor insisted.

“Well… PURR-AAAH… it’s just a bro-mance.”

“What the hell is a bro-mance? Is it gay?”

“No, no, it’s totally not gay… PURR-AAAH… It’s just when two guys hang out and become really close and develop a deep emotional and spiritual bond.”

“That sounds gay,” said Thor.

“PURR-AAAH… No, it’s totally cool, man. There’s nothing gay about it. It’s not like we’re snuggling together on the couch on a Friday night watching Entourage. I mean, unless you want to do that…”

“I do not.”

“Yeah… PURR-AAAH… me neither.”

“Vader…” Thor began.

“Please, Thor, I told you to call me Ani.”

“Riiiiiiggggghhhhtttt… I think we should maybe not hang out anymore.”

Vader lurched forward, hands open in front of him, his head titled back in agony, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” he cried out.

“Agree to disagree,” was Thor’s reply.

“You shouldn’t pay credence to Jeff,” implored Vader. “His perception is clouded by his feelings. It happens to him all the time. Once he saw a bobcat and thought it was a mountain lion and he totally freaked out, but we were like, ‘hey, that’s not a mountain lion’ and then he realized his mistake and then we all laughed about it over drinks.”

“I’m just not sure I’m comfortable hanging out with you anymore. Sure, it was nice going to hockey games and cape shopping and working together to thwart Dr. Doom’s diabolic plan to build a weather machine…”

“PURR-AAAH… Yes, I liked spending time with you, too.”

“I’m just trying to look out for my ass here. I’m simply very protective of my butt-hole. It’s nothing personal.” It should be noted that this was actually one of the least offensive things Thor had said that night, falling far short of the “Why are you so goddamn fat? Learn to use a treadmill!” he had yelled at the pregnant lady in the wheelchair for whom this particular event was honoring.

“But what about our trip to Lake Tahoe? I wanted you to meet my son, the Jedi. Together we would complete his training…PURR-AAAH… and go fishing.”

“I’m sorry Vader…”

“Ani.”

“Whatever. I’m leaving.”

“Don’t go Thor… PURR-AAAH… Don’t be like that.”

But Thor was gone.

Darth Vader stood alone in the center of the room. A lone tear drop rolled down the front of his mask, culminating in a tiny droplet, which fell, gently, to the ground.

However, Vader was not alone for long: the Morgolax came up beside him with a plate of hors d’oeuvres in his claws.

“The Morgolax finds the lack of shrimp cocktails disturbing,” it muttered to itself upon reaching Darth Vader.

Vader turned and leaned in close to the Morgolax.

“Hey… PURR-AAAH… how’s it going?” said The Dark Lord of the Sith with a sly bend in his voice.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments