Lazy Tuesday Links

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to throw together a “lazy [fill in the day]” link post.  I don’t really have time today, but after a long weekend of grading and with temperatures approaching the mid 90s in mid-October, I decided to spend a few hours catching up with the rest of the blogosphere.  Here’s what I found:

  • First, Dylan points to the rather distressing news that there is a planned remake of The Karate Kid.  It gets worse.  Jaden (Will’s son) Smith is slated to play the lead.  Even worse: Jackie Chan is planned for the role of Mister Miyagi, and Will Smith himself plans to direct.  I will not see this movie, but I really do wish they’d leave my video-inflected teenage memories alone.
  • Liz mentions a New York Times article reporting that the whole “speed-dating” phenomenon is starting to move to the web using video conferencing technologies not unlike Skype.  I’ve never tried speed-dating services, but there is a certain logic to them, at least to the extent that people often make decisions about whether they like someone in just a few seconds (like Liz, I was reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink).  That being said, it will be interesting (as Liz also notes) to see how video will alter online dating practices that are more text-based.
  • Anne Thompson’s post on a few recent lists reminds me that I forgot to mention and weigh in on the International Documentary Association’s list of the 25 best documentariesHoop Dreams and The Thin Blue Line are first and second.  Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine is third.   It’s a solid list, even if it’s a little biased towards contemporary documentaries.  Despite some of the recent controversies, I’d probably still pick Moore’s Roger and Me as his best and would put Harlan County USA slightly ahead of Hoop Dreams.  If I had to choose a favorite, it would almost certainly be The Thin Blue Line.  I’d also consider including Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke, among recent docs, and Primary and Night Mail, among others from classic docs.
  • JBJ points to ZipSkinny, a cool little web tool where you can learn more about the demographics of your zip code.  I was a little surprised to see that nearly 10% of the people who live in my zip have advanced degrees, but my apartment complex does happen to be in one of the wealthier sections of town.
  • Related fun tool: Juicy Studio has a tool that allows you to analyze the readability of your blog using the Gunning-Fog Index and the Flesch-Kincaid grade level, among others.  According to Gunning-Fog, my blog scores a little over 11 (at the reading level of the Wall Street Journal), while Flesch-Kincaid has the bog at an eighth-grade level, which is a little disappointing, actually.
  • Speaking of the WSJ, Movie Marketing Madness has a link to a Journal article on filmmakers  who make short films using Legos to create characters and scenes, often spending months filming scenes using stop-motion techniques.
  • Finally, Nick has an interesting post about teaching and thinking about Adorno and Horkheimer’s Culture Industry essay in 2007.

3 Comments »

  1. Shaun Huston Said,

    October 9, 2007 @ 11:38 am

    It would be nice if film remakes more often came from a sincere artistic motivation and wasn’t always a question of branding (as seems clear from what you’ve written about the intended Karate Kid redux). Live theater is enriched by its diversity of interpretations of the same plays by different companies, actors, and directors. Alas, the examples of movie remakes that seem justified on the grounds of new insights or fresh interpretation are sadly few (and one of the best, Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 11, is so slight and such an easy improvement, it should hardly count).

  2. Chuck Said,

    October 9, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

    You’re right, of course. That was a bit of a knee-jerk response to the planned Karate Kid remake, but certainly remakes have been done that seem to have been motivated artistically. I’d say that <1>3:10 to Yuma had good intentions, though the remake was somewhat unmemorable; in fact, all I really remember about it is the implausible ending.

  3. Dylan Said,

    October 9, 2007 @ 8:02 pm

    I don’t know… first of all, as much as I love Karate Kid, it’s hard to see it as a film that is dying to be reinterpreted as part of some new cinematic movement.

    That being said, I just can’t believe how bad that news is. It just got worse as each sentence unfolded.

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