July 1st, 2014

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HBO 20 -- Lost In Space -- The Matrix

Twentieth session: Lost In Space (conclusion)
There is a semi-time travel motif to the third act of Lost In Space. And they even manage an Omega-13 do-over. The second act is a Don't Go Down Into The Basement movie. Hint: you have a giant robot and have found a strange ship which may be from the future with no people but the power is on. Send the damn robot.

Any signs of intelligence in the first act are pretty much gone by the third.

And guys? Lost In Space was a kids show -- as opposed to Star Trek. You got the Major putting the moves on Judy in the control room, offering to do her right there? Is this Top Gun? In a kid's movie? Or so adults of a certain vintage might think?

Fail.

The Matrix
The unit just has the first movie, but that's okay. Matrix 2 and 3 have been in heavy rotation on cable for the last year. Like Star Wars, though, if they had never made another Matrix movie, we would have been content. And my, it has been a long time since I've seen The Matrix. The initial opening with Trinity -- I haven't seen that in years.

This movie just exudes style. And there's some deep, almost anime-like conversations, a la Ghost in the Shell.

Neo has just taken the red pill, they're tracking him and is about to be flushed.

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End of fourth week of hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy. Depending on whether it's 30 or 40 treatments, I am either two-thirds done or halfway. There won't be a Friday the Fourth of July session next week, which will mess up my nice multiples of five at the end of each week. It's going well. Though one of the side effects is distance vision is a little off. The pressure tends to flatten the eyeball a bit. The one doctor had warned me that now was a lousy time to get new glasses. (grin)

Sorry this Friday report is so late. Been busy.

Dr. Phil
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Schulers Expands

The 21st century has not been kind to that most American of institutions, the local bookstore. The rise of ebooks, self-publishing, the web in general and the many-headed hydra Gorgon of the Internet that is Amazon in particular. Yet some bookstores thrive.

Yes, yes, I am part of the problem. Our use of Amazon has gotten worse since we (a) got Kindles and (b) my mobility has gotten curtailed. I really can't say when we were last in a physical bookstore.

Schulers has been a local institution for years. There were, just a couple of years ago, three stores in Grand Rapids and two in Lansing. Alas, they closed the downtown store last year and the Alpine branch earlier this year.

So I was pleased to read in yesterday's GRPress email digest that Schulers had bought Nicolas Books in Ann Arbor MI.
On Monday, June 30, the Fehsenfelds announced their agreement to purchase Nicola’s Books, at 2513 Jackson Ave. in Ann Arbor’s Westgate Shopping Center, from owner Nicola Rooney.

“We all came to the conclusion that this is a pretty good fit,” said Bill Fehsenfeld. “She wanted to retire and this is a nice extension of our business.”
I know enough Michigan authors and readers that I have heard of Nicolas Books, though I have hardly ever spent time in Ann Arbor and have never been there. Still, I think that one local bookseller helping out another is a good thing. And Schulers has a long history of doing author readings and signings.

This is good news.

Dr. Phil
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O Canada

The Month of Holidays Begins

Happy Canada Day!

July 1 - Canada Day
July 4 - Fourth of July / Independence Day (U.S.)
July 14 - Bastille Day (France)
August 1 - Swiss Independence Day

Dr. Phil
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HBO 21 -- The Matrix

Twenty-first session: The Matrix (conclusion)
No question that The Matrix has style. And in this first movie, they had no qualms about building a great ensemble cast -- and kill most of them. And Lawrence Fishbourne? We first saw him as a corrupt prison guard on Miami Vice and have loved him ever since. Even in those Kia luxury commercials -- do you pick the red key or the blue key? (hee-hee)

And Keanu Reeves... sometimes we feel we're the only ones who like him, though that can't be true or he wouldn't anchor so many movies. Though the best Keanu joke is that he's a great actor, running the gamut of emotions from A to B. (grin)

There's a lot a talk about comics, cartoons, anime, manga, etc. in terms of live action film and action scenes. The serious slow motion feel of The Matrix and its Bullet Time is iconic and terribly effective. Even when it's filled with unnecessary dives and rolls. (grin) Love the training programs -- and the loading program with subway train look of the gun racks. We know that being in the Matrix isn't real, as if life in an action is ever real, but there is a cleanness to the Matrix, even when it's dilapidated... and inevitably raining, compared to the gritty, greasy and used look in the real world.

I recently read that the iconic styling with the dark glasses was a happy accident. They needed to hide the eyes to go from live actors to CGI and back without hitting the uncanny valley.

Overall, a great effort.

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The Matrix finished with two minutes to go in dive, so just laid back and decompressed. Usually I'm still watching a movie. This time it's quiet. Do I usually hear popping in my joints? I mean, the sessions don't really feel like anything, except it feels warm as the pressure goes up and it cools as the pressure drops.

Before the dive I saw Dr. Hodgson next door. The hole in my foot is 100% beefy red tissue -- this is good. We'll not know if the antibiotics are dealing with the heel bone for a while. Will need a new x-ray or MRI to see what's going on. No value in poking that deep to take samples. And of course I still feel fine -- and feel nothing in my foot.

Dr. Phil