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9 August 1999

"We've got a blind date with Destiny ... and it looks like she ordered the lobster."
-- The Shoveler (William H. Macy), Mystery Men

Saw Mystery Men Saturday. It was a big crowd-pleaser at the Esquire; it got plenty of applause afterwards (and I know applauding at a movie doesn't really accomplish anything, but I do it too if it's a really good movie...something about 'shared experiences' and 'consensus').

It's engagingly goofy if you're in both the target audience and the right mood. If you're in neither, you'll find it extremely annoying.

9/10 for fans of costumed hero fiction and so-unhip-it's-hip plot and dialogue, 4/10 for everybody else.

Oh, and here's a link to the movie's trailer page, grudgingly provided to the Internet by Universal Studios:

You know, it's funny, there are no revenue-generating 'click here' ads on the Mystery Men site. Even though I'm linking to their trailer page and not the trailer files themselves, they're getting no more revenue this way than if I did the same thing Movie-List does.


Random endorsement: Gary Spencer Millidge's self-published comic book Strangehaven is a wonderfully bizarre story about a man who gets stuck in a town filled with unusual folk and decides to stick around for a bit. Some say it's reminiscent of The Prisoner, but that's before my time; it reminds me occasionally of Northern Exposure, but really, it's quite its own thing.

Oh, and there are no superheroes in it, lame or otherwise. It's just good old fiction with pictures.

Here's an interview with Millidge:

  • Ten Questions with Gary Spencer Millidge [Overstreet's FAN Universe]
    Q: Is there a secret government?
    A: I hope not. If there was one, I would hope it would be doing a better job than it IS doing.

    Q: What are some of the greatest difficulties you've faced as a self-publisher?
    A: Keeping to a schedule is without doubt my greatest enemy. There are so many things that conspire to keep you away from the drawing board when you are a self-publisher that it's impossible to keep to a routine. You have to deal with big things like talking to distributors and printers right down to tiny things like sticking stamps on subscription copies and taking them down the post office. ... When a self-publisher is ill, or his car breaks down, there's no-one to do a fill-in issue.

Strangehaven: Arcadia collects the first six issues of the series and is available at most fine comic shops. The series is up to #11 with a new issue expected in the next couple of months.

While I'm on comic-related things, a while back Neil Gaiman wrote an OK short story set in the universe of the Matrix. I just ran across it yesterday, so it's new to me, eh?

  • Goliath [The Matrix]
    "It's taken us a good twenty minutes to get a retaliatory plan up and running. That's why we've been processing in overdrive. Did it seem like the last decade went pretty fast?"

Anybody else notice that both Casanova Frankenstein (Mystery Men) and Dr. Evil (Austin Powers) have a pinky fixation?

Oh well:

  • Mpeckers: MPEG audio software for the Macintosh
    As many of you already know, the mp3 technology is patented, and licensing fees must be paid to Fraunhofer/Thomson Multimedia in order to use the patents. The encoder simply cannot continue to be distributed in the way it has been without paying royalties on the mp3 patents used in the MPecker Encoder. Thus, effective immediately, the MPecker Encoder is no longer a public beta project.

I was enjoying pulling my CDs' tracks over to my hard drive for easier access. Guess I'll have to look a little harder at the other Mac MPEG options, or wait for the finished version of this, which will be who knows how far away.

Apparently, you should avoid the Inspector Gadget movie:

  • INSPECTOR GADGET / * 1/2 by Roger Ebert [Chicago Sun Times]
    I'm pretty underwhelmed. Perhaps younger kids will like it more. I didn't care about the action because it made no difference to me who won or lost. The plot was an arbitrary concoction.

    Question: Since the movie is only 80 minutes long, would it have killed them to add a real Inspector Gadget cartoon to the program, as a warm-up and scene-setter?

  • Inspector Gadget Review by Harry Knowles [Aint-it-cool-news, found via Windowseat]
    How do I warn you about this film? What can I say that will get you to NEVER WATCH THIS MOVIE SO LONG AS YOU LIVE?

    ...the problem with Gadget is that it exists at a level of mediocrity and pandering to the lowest common denominator of supposed child enjoyment that it succeeds at no possible level that I could find.

On the other hand, apparently you should see both The Iron Giant and Dick (I haven't yet, but I plan to). Both are getting very good reviews.

I'm under the gun on a project, so a Wednesday post is a bit iffy. We'll see.

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