Giving props

If you liked Bruce Almighty so much you called the number, you might want Jim Carrey’s pager. It doesn’t say whether or not it’s constantly set to 776-2323 (God’s number) or not.

It looks like selling film bits is turning into a real cottage industry. A few months ago I bought an actual director’s chair for less than $20 and some of the film stars’ clothing was going for under $50. I can’t tell if the studio is selling directly through prop companies or if someone is buying the lot for resale. The gem among the other Bruce Almighty items is definitely Jimmy Hoffa’s dental records (it’s a small joke in the film).

Who wants to be billg now?

An acquaintance works at a school that receives Gates Foundation money, and Bill Gates himself paid a visit this week. This is a description of Bill’s personal security team:

Security followed about 50 feet back, dressed looking like teachers. Turned out that his security had visited us two months ago, a week ago, and had been in place since last Friday keeping an eye on the school grounds.

I know people love to fantasize about being Bill Gates because you can spend something like a million dollars a minute until you die and still have multi-billion dollar trust funds for your kids, but could anyone read the above and still want to be Bill for even a second? When you are the richest man on earth, is that level of security really necessary? It sounds tighter than the Secret Service. Is he approaching Howard Hughes levels of paranoia? Is he taking the songs about him dying and the movie about his assassination seriously?

Fox Presents: The Islanders

Mark from BoingBoing’s new adventure is moving his entire family to a string of tiny South Pacific Islands for a year. The Island Chronicles is where he’ll be posting a daily photo starting in just a couple weeks (current photos are the preparations and stuff found on the web).

I can’t believe he’s taking such a huge step with his family and I can’t wait to see what sorts of adventures they get into. This sounds like it should be a reality show on PBS, like frontier house and manor house and I know I’ll be living vicariously through them for the next year.

Star Wars Episode 3: the lawsuit

Bummer news of the day: Ghyslain Pursues Legal Action

If the kid wanted this whole mess to be forgotten, starting a lawsuit against other classmates is the best way to prolong the pain as much as possible, and further ostracize him at school.

I mean, it was a horrible thing they did to him, and we’ve all done silly things like dance around in private and some of us have also been caught to varying degrees, but I don’t know if legal action, even if successful, is the best way to feel better for him.

I hoped Ramis didn’t answer

These stories of people trying to call God based on the phone number shown in Bruce Almighty sound ridiculous to my adult mind, but then I remember Ghost Busters.

I was 11 years old when I saw it and noticed at some point in the film you could clearly make out the number to call Ghost Busters. My first instinct was that I wanted to call the phone number when I got home. I really thought that Bill Murray would answer, we’d talk about things, maybe hang out someday as pals. Bill and me. All because I noticed the number.

I couldn’t remember the number by the time I got home, so the following week I rode my bike back to the cineplex and saw the film again. It was a 555 number, but I didn’t know that meant the call would be met with either a disconnected signal or the offical time. I thought was so clever, as if I was the only one that caught it on a billboard or ad within the film. I rode home quickly, happy that my brilliant plan was working.

It wasn’t a total wash, I learned that 555 numbers were bogus and I never tried to call Jenny at 867-5309 when the Tommy Tutone hit came out. Now that I think about it, I always wanted to send letters to authors after I finished books I liked, asking them when a follow-up was coming out or why plot points didn’t go in different ways. I never did that because most books back then gave you a general address to the publisher.

I wonder what it’s like to be a modern day author with your email address in the book jacket? They must get a lot of loony email from kids and psycho fans.

Just what I always wanted

Coreflix fills the niche I always wished Netflix and Green Cine could have. Skateboard, snowboard, and bike companies release videos pretty often, but even when I was a teen they were $20 each (they still run $20-30 these days for a 30-60 minute movie). Back then, groups of friends would all share the videos we bought so we could eventually see them all, while only buying a few a year each. In college the local snowboard shop rented them for $3 a day, so I saw every movie that was released. As an adult, I maybe pick up a couple bike videos or DVDs a year because it’s just too expensive to keep buying them all the time.

I always thought a large online merchant like Netflix would want to serve niche crowds like those that want to see skateboard flicks, but for one reason or another I’ve never found a mainstream movie rental outfit that stocked more than one or two action sports movies. Coreflix does this subject and this subject only, and as a result is pretty expensive. $18 a month to always have two out sounds steep to me, especially if I was still a Netflix subscriber on top of that, but then their stockpile isn’t too deep and I suspect one could churn through their entire library of skate, bmx, and snowboard videos worth watching in maybe 2-3 months.

Regardless, it’s cool to see niche markets spring up on the web.

Matrix moves

I saw the Matrix Reloaded yesterday and my first impression was to agree wholeheartedly with this review that criticizes the plot and scenes from the point of view of an avid moviegoer. But more thorough searching revealed a pretty good positive review that judges the film on religious merits and it references everything from ancient christianity to buddism. I’ll have to wait until I’ve seen the third one to tell if the second was any good.

Oh yeah, if you haven’t seen it, stay through the credits, even though they are seemingly the longest ever, including each and every driver and caterer that was used in the making of the film — basically it was ten minutes of this. Friends told me there was a trailer to the third film at the end (which there was, and it was a good short look at it), but apparently that hasn’t gotten out as the packed house vacated less the 7 or 8 of us that stayed (preview stills from my phone: 1, 2, 3, 4).

update: Whoa, even in a fantasy world of sci-fi, featuring the most racially diverse cast I’ve seen in ages, you can be accused of stereotyping. While there have been cases where albino actors have been portrayed in a negative light, the guys in the matrix are clearly from a world of fantasy with no real-world equivalents (the studio claims they are vampires, but that’s a stretch). I wonder if there’s a Goatee Anti-Defamation Leauge, since pretty much every evil villian sports the cliche facial hair. Also, here’s the trailer for Matrix Revolutions in case you missed it.

Tiles, tiles, tiles

Squidfingers is where I got my background tile for this site (with the color tweaked myself), but a bunch of other cool background tile-related sites have popped up. Tile-a-Day is a great concept and I love the interface to preview new tiles. Tile Machine is an online tilemaker app that lets users store their tiles and features the best submissions.

I usually create and gravitate towards simple interfaces and clean designs, but used sparingly, background tiles seem to add a uniqueness that draws me in (even underwear companies are sporting them!). I suppose that aspect will eventually fade as it did the last time people went background-crazy in 1996 or so.

Though, back then we were trying to read text on top of backgrounds like this and we quickly realized how pointless that was.