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Showing posts from 2023

TV Series Review: National Treasure: Edge of History (2023, Disney+) *No Spoilers*

While I wouldn't say I was a huge fan of the National Treasure movies staring Nicolas Cage, I did find them enjoyable and would have certainly watched another if more were made in the series (or is it 'franchise' when we're talking movies?). Having finally gotten around to watching the new Disney+ series National Treasure: Edge of History I'm honestly not sure who the creators think their audience is, because it's definitely not me? At this point I've watched six episodes and I'm intending to push through until the end but I'm finding it a difficult watch because at age 52 the show feels heavily skewed towards teenage girls, or at a stretch young adults in general. There's also a very CW show vibe that I'm getting that screams 'budget' television more than any attempt to give the series a 'movie' like quality. Which Disney has done with some of its Marvel based TV series. Not even the inclusion of Catherine Zeta Jones - who

The History of Electric Cars and How Car Manufacturers and Oil Companies Have Manipulated You Against Them

The 1990 GM Impact electric concept car Image source - Wikipedia:  Fair use , Link For as long as I can remember maintaining a car is more of an inconvenience and unexpectedly expensive. Particularly keeping the engine maintained. Not to mention having to actually drive to a service station to make sure you have enough fuel to go to wherever you're going. How many of us wait until the fuel gauge is showing nearly empty before filling up? If you could have a car that is extremely low maintenance, low cost to run, and you could fuel up at home whenever you wanted, you would right? That's pretty much what an electric vehicle offers but so many people are strongly against these vehicles? Did you know that electric vehicles (EVs) have been around since 1884? Not only that but also EVs dominated the roads over gasoline powered cars before said cars became quieter and easier to operate? Did you also know that there was an EV revolution (almost) in the mid 1990s with GM releasing the E

Movie Review: A Man Called Otto (2023) *No Spoilers*

In the tradition of grumpy old man learns a bit of compassion or gains a new lease on life films comes A Man Called Otto with Tom Hanks in the titular role. Based on an internationally best selling book, after the death of his wife, Otto lives alone on a housing estate complex where he's somewhat taken on the role of unofficial rule enforcer and resident grumpy old man. A few of the longer term residents seem to tolerate his grouchiness having known both him and his wife in better times. Now he's living his life with one foot in the grave until the arrival of his new neighbors, a young family, that draw him into their world. Otto is the kind of grumpy most people can relate to. His beef is with life, fools, people who don't follow the rules, and anyone that drives the wrong brand of car (which is about as political as this film gets). Unsurprisingly Tom Hanks is very good at playing 'grumpy' even if I wouldn't class his Otto as 'the grumpiest man in Americ

Is AI Art 'Art'? The Say NO to AI Art Movement, and Why Human Artists Will Adapt

AI Art No T-Shirt by TET Also available on other items . Right now there is a big debate over not just whether AI art is 'art' but whether AI's are actually ripping off the work of actual human artists, without their consent, to create their images - particularly images 'in the style of' specific artists. From my own observations this debate started to get more traction when artist's signatures began appearing in the output of AI Art  image generators. Is It Art? Cool Froyd the Cat Sketch by TET. My style is very much influenced by classic Disney and WB character styles. To get some clarity on how real human artists work (of which I am one)... we, that is all of us... take influences from the art that has come before. i.e. whatever artists we like, have studied, seen etc. we are influenced by. It shows up in our work, intentionally or not. If you really study my own cartoony art style you'll see I'm heavily influenced by early Disney and Warner Bros cart

Movie Review: Avatar 2 - The Way of Water (2022) *Spoiler Free*

To be honest I didn't think, after so many years, a second Avatar movie would have anywhere near the success of the first film. However, at the time of writing this review, Avatar 2 - The Way of Water had already made a billion dollars at the box office in just 12 days. As much as the first film has become a little bit of a joke - mostly just for how long it has taken to get a sequel - people did enjoy that movie and Avatar 2, I feel, is a better experience. It's easily of the same quality visually but also, there's more story and characters to invest in. Not to mention the additional world building. Avatar 2 picks up several years after the first movie. Jake Sully now has a young family on Pandora who he is forced to protect when a familiar threat returns to the extrasolar moon. While the broad themes and plot are not that different from the first movie, within that there are interesting sub stories of family, fathers, being different, and revenge. All of which is balance

Some Firsts I Could Have Done Without - What a Way to Finish Christmas!

I'm fine now, but earlier... Like most people, our extended family of relatives is fairly spread out across various locations, so getting everyone together at Christmas is often a small miracle. This year, the Adelaide clan, consisting of two vehicles, ours, with myself, my partner (Enigma), three grand kids, and our dog, Oscar, did a two and a half(ish) hour drive north, from Gawler to Port Pirie, South Australia, three days after Christmas, for a family gathering in a Church Hall hosted by Enigma's mother.  The rest of the family made a similarly long trip south from the very Aussie named town of Bruce. All this is just to set the scene for this guy... me. All I was hoping for, aside from a great Christmas family get together, was to make it through to the end of this day without getting sick. By that I mean, Enigma and I had just come off a two to three week, hellish run of coughing and sinus issues, and were well on the mend in the week up to Christmas. I just didn't wa

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