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Posts Tagged ‘funny’

hathfudn /’haTH-fudden/ (derog. vern. adj.)

September 8, 2008 Leave a comment


unnecessary, egregious, overloaded, wasteful, superfluous, heavy, verge of collapse, generally unstable.

Usually applied to to consumer, technical or specialist products that have an important or critical role in the user’s life or workplace.

Etymology

Having Another Two/Three/Twelve Hundred Features Users Don’t Need.

Film Review: Red Doors (2005, US) – 紅門

July 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Quote

[Dad, with slight frown]: Kate, there's a penis in your coat pocket.
[Daughter, shrugging]: It's not mine.

Overview

Red Doors is the most lighthearted film in my – admittedly shallow – dip into Asian movies with gay and lesbian themes. Although to be honest, calling this a lesbian film is like saying Forrest Gump is a movie about sport.

This is a mainstream hollywood feel-good comedy, no two ways about it. Oh yes, and one of the characters is a lesbian.

Synopsis

The film is about a mildly dysfunctional, middle classed Chinese family living in the suburbs of New York. The father has just retired, the mother is a dedicated home maker and the three children are all intelligent and good looking.

08door600

That would be the euphemistic way to describe the Wong Family.

Just below the surface, problems abound. The father, splendidly portrayed by “Tzi Ma”, (watching his parts in 24 season 6 first just makes his lines even more poignant!) has lost his purpose after retirement and attempts to take his own life at every opportunity.

Dad

The oldest daughter, a successful businesswoman is having second thoughts about her marriage to a successful but inconsiderate yuppie. The middle daughter, the shiest of the three is an intern in medical school and is having second thoughts about her sexuality. The youngest and only remaining teenager in the family is the wellspring of much of the movies guffawing and comic relief has thoughts only about one, special boy in her life and not much else.

The story follows their father’s unnoticed depression as his energetic wife and daughters lead their busy lives oblivious to his plight and the chain of events that ultimately lead the disparate members of the family back together again.

The women

Impressions

These types of family comedies are clear, pattern driven movies with plots that follow well trodden paths through the forest of modern society and pressured family life with all its attendant problems. More than other categories, these comedies tend to fall cleanly into two groups: shite or genuinely funny.

Luckily for Red Doors, it falls squarely into the latter category and had me in stitches at several points, leaving me feeling good without more than the occasional smidgen of wincing sappiness.

OK, so the father feels disconnected from everything, the youngest daughter is the rebellious “rocker grrl” black sheep who spurns her family’s traditions and who nobody can really communicate with. So what’s new?

The Rebel

Well, there’s the coming-out of the lesbian daughter, which hasn’t quite been flogged to death in the context of family mainstream comedies to the extent of the other bits.

Really, there are only so many things that can be told when it comes to comedies featuring entire families and this film covers no new ground in and of itself. Yet what makes this film a success is how those stories are told and bound together by the chemistry of the excellent cast and how their characters relate to each other.

And the family members really do just plain work well together, foibles and all. Their interactions are believable, charming, touching and funny in equal measures.

However, this is no “Meet the Parents” or “Me, myself and Irene”, two landmark dysfunctional-family-taken-to-extremes comedies by which I benchmark all others

Firstly, having been involved in the BBC (British Born Chinese) community in the UK, I can really say that the portrayal of Chinese-American culture in Red Doors was hackneyed, littered with stereotypes and unrealistic situations.

When Red Doors’ community is lined up alongside the rich and suggestively deep background created by Alice Wu in Saving Face, it really fails to inspire. These differences are subtle, but very important for a culturally themed movie.

Where Saving Face built up a very specific and real image of a particular Chinese community in Flushing, (Queens, NY) that had character and substance – like a masterful portrait of a living, breathing person – Red Doors is more like a postcard from Chinatown.

For example, the characters, especially the older generation, talking English amongst themselves is just plain odd. Then there are the occasional “Chinese Customs” bits thrown in to remind the audience that this fluent, English speaking family is actually really, really Chinese.

My second big issue with this movie are the peripheral male love interests who for one, all happen to be Caucasian and while they are important enough to feature repeatedly and have direct impact on the Wong’s daily life, they appear as flat as the paper their scripts were written on.

The prime example here is the oldest daughter Samantha’s husband, an entirely unlovable and irredeemable “Hi I’m a PC” jobsworth who, while being reliable and trustworthy, would be immediately marked as “dead” in any teen horror movie, but is instead marked from the outset to merely be replaced by an “And I’m a Mac” old flame, complete with designer stubble and all.

In fact, the two are so “PC v Mac” I’m reminded that this blog is actually Technojunkie and not LesbianMovieReviewWeekly

OUT DAMNED PC!

I'm a PC

BRING OUT THE MAC!

I'm a Mac

To be honest, only the youngest daughter and her love interest show any real original character development, and that relationship is one of the many touches that make this film so watchable.

I intended this this series of reviews to be a “lesbian-interest” point of view so I will just make my token mention here.

The lesbian plotline here is absolutely not a social commentary. It’s as lighthearted and humous a relationship with its shares of cuteness and mishaps as any of the other relationship in the film and is really just intended to add another twist to the movie.

Unfortunately, dispite having watched quite a few lesbian films over the last week or two, the relationship in this film looked contrived and was far more embarassing than I have come to expect from films in the last few years. I actaully found my finger hovering over the fast forward button during one or two of the cornier exchanges.

On the verge

One could argue that the fact that they just rolled it in without any special attention is a testament to how really and truly mainstream audiences of a family comedy have progressed to the point of acceptance.

As I said, this is a family comedy and not a psychosocial essay on the current interracial trends gender issues of the US, so it can be forgiven for these transgressions given the juicy characters of the father and the exploits of his three delightful daughters.

Final Verdict

Big thumbs up. Uneven but with a superb cast and some honestly side-splittingly funny bits. Oh, and not to mention the funniest T-shirt punch-lines I’ve ever seen!

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Sun Tzu

July 1, 2008 Leave a comment

xp-gone

Windows XP is no more. The 30th of June signified the last day of the general availability of Windows XP, Microsoft’s most successful operating system to date.

In all fairness, it had its turn in the limelight. Dragged kicking and screaming prematurely from beta in 2001 in response, perhaps, to the newly released Mac OS X; itself an operating system with the stability of a newborn Bambi on ice.

XP has had perhaps the longest run of any popular operating system. A decent seven years! It saw off OS X 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 and only now, at the maturing of OS X 10.5 Leopard does XP lay down its hat.

Seeing off the nay-sayers, the staunchest Windows 2000 supporters, the 98 holdouts, the raft of driver and compatibility problems that greeted it, it became the gamer’s and business users OS of choice alike, and by default simply because there was no competition.

XP was so strong that it became in the last year, Vista’s number one rival, even as Vista’s, Jabbaesque form heaved and laboured under its own mass, to lift itself out of the morass of sluggish performance and insane user interface reworkings.

There was XP, standing strong, as if saying, “See. I’m here for you, when you need me! And you do need me!”

It was in this capacity that XP found itself the “new” people’s champion: The symbol of resistance against a cruel, uncaring, over-marketed world.

in one swift and brilliant move, It turned itself from the unwelcome yet nevertheless tolerated partner to a symbol of the underdog fighting against the new colossus: A staunch ally, unappreciated yet ever there, forcing the industry to look before they leapt onto the new OS from hell. Vista, an OS so heavy that it dragged all but the newest machines whimpering to their knees, crippling performance and destroying productivity like a heavy dose of gout.

Vista was the new enemy that turned expensive computers into gaudy playthings with all the class of Paris Hilton stepping out of a stretch limo hand-in-hand with Britney. 

XP, we’d hoped you’d last until the promise of Windows 7, but it looks like too much for Microsoft’s ego to take and so they put you down, sweet XP, like the owner of an old dog who’s grown bored of the obsequious pawing and unwanted licking of palm.

May you Rest in Peace.

Categories: Technology Tags: , , , , , ,

Trying to keep my bloody desktop clean

June 25, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking of ways to clean my desktop but none come close to IBM UK’s top three suggested method of cleaning your desktops. And they should know. They’re IBM.

 Funny Video 1

Funny Video 2

Funny Video 3

 

Automatic Update of Death

May 29, 2008 Leave a comment

I get to work this morning to find all the documents I was working on and websites I’d visited to research them closed and gone.

It seems my computer had crashed during the night.

So I log in only to get a cute little error message in the corner of the screen.

2008-05-29_091241


I don’t care if you were trying to be helpful, Microsoft. This is MY computer!

I really hate it when a corporation thinks it’s smarter than you are and pulls your control from under your feet like an old rug!

Basically, they might as well have said this:

forced-reset

 

Windows seems to do that a lot, taking fate into its own inept hands and misinforming the poor suckers who have to make do with it. Misinforming you say? Surely not. That error message is clearly written in language suitable for the primary audience, Americans.

Well, let’s just see what we have:

Your computer was recently updated!

Ok, I have no complaints so far… A surprisingly lucid comment.

Windows recently downloaded and installed an important security 
update to help protect your computer.

That’s very kind, thank you. So far so good.

The update required an automatic restart of your computer.

I beg your pardon?

The update required an automatic restart of your computer.

Required an automatic restart? Are you absolutely sure about that? Are you quite perfectly sure that had I restarted the computer myself, it would not have installed?

POS!

In haiku then, what the message is really saying is this:

I have decided
to reset myself without
the slightest warning.

There is a fix available for XP Professional Users:

  • Run “gpedit.msc” from the Start Menu (execute file)
  • In the Group Policy editor navigate to:
  • Computer Configuration / Administrative Template / Windows Components / Windows Update
  • Double click on
  • No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations
  • Choose “Enabled” in the settings window
  • Click OK
  • Close the Group Policy Editor
Never used it myself, but if You’re an XP Home user, apparently you’re up the long brown one with out the long wooden one.
Categories: Tech Tips Tags: ,

For all those paranoid American’s out there…

May 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Norton Homeland Security Edition

Categories: Technology Tags: ,

Haiku (Japanese Poetry) put to modern use

May 28, 2008 Leave a comment

I love it when old and beautiful things are put to real use. Like old buildings restored to their former glory and being filled with life once more, or an old clock that still tells the time. Or a dusty beige PC that chugs away in the corner, performing its little tasks without complaint.

Now we have the ancient Japanese poem form revived to perform a new duty: Haiku error messages.

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.
A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.
The Web site you seek
Cannot be located,
but Countless more exist.
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
Your Windows has crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
Work begins again.
Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.
Your file was so vast.
Of much worth was it to you.
And now it is gone.
Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.
Three things are certain
Death, tax and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
Serious error.
Like the pure-white winter snow
Screen, Drive: Both are blank.
Categories: 3) Life, Technology Tags: ,