As I gnawed on my breakfast I sat down and turned on the DVD player so I could finish the last few episodes on the Animatrix disc. My overall impressions are pretty good: It was nice to see the variety of animation styles and some of the plots were very well executed. Other episodes ("World Record," for example) were not so good but certainly didn't destroy the experience as a whole. Once I was done with the DVD I watched a few minutes of the special features track, mostly focusing upon the "Making Of" commentary. That prove pretty interesting.
When it got to be lunch time Roho and Kestral gathered me up and coaxed me out the door so we could drive up to BD's for lunch. Once again we had Sara as our waitress, and the pleasant surprise of seeing Joe on the grill along with Nomo. I had strip steak doused in sweet & sour sauce, with lots of pepper (cayenne and crushed red), a dash of curry, some lemmon pepper powder and a bit of seasoned salt. Topped it off with some bell peppers, onions and broccoli, added a dash of Franks Red Hot sauce and I had a bowl just as good as any other I've made there. Dessert was had by Roho and Kestral after our meal, and Howard (one of the management team) graciously had the restaurant buy it for us. I'm amused to note that there seems to be a pattern establishing itself -- every time Howard is working and we come in something is paid for by the store as a comp to us.
While we were eating a rather major storm blew up outside, but it tapered off around the time we were done and paid for our food. After we got into the car Roho suggested we take in a movie at the nearby Regal Cinema. When we got there we settled on The Matrix Reloaded, and were astounded to find out tickets were $11.50 for a 3:05 show! It took a minute to get sorted out, but we finally determined we'd been charged for tickets to the IMAX showing, something none of us wanted to see. Eventually the ticket situation was taken care of, we found good seats in the right theater and commenced to chatting for the next 30 minutes, since we'd arrived well before the show started. Surprisingly enough the theater did run advertisements, but ran them all before the designated start time... and when the clock on my cell read 3:05 the previews began, followed by the feature presentation. Color me amazed that somebody did it right for once, after all the negative experiences I've had over the last few years with movie theaters....
My overall impression of Matrix Reloaded was... blase, I guess. I wasn't nearly as blown away or excited by it as I was by the original, mostly because of a few fundamental flaws. One, the plot seemed to meander around and eventually found a direction... but it felt like the movie couldn't tell exactly what it wanted to be for the first forty-five minutes. There were a number of scenes that could have been dropped entirely without damaging the movie -- they were completely extraneous and uninteresting. Other scenes, including some of the combat scenes, were just too long. I'm not sure who decided when the special effects like "Bullet Time" should kick in but they used it at awkward moments, for only a few seconds, which proved jarring to me after five minutes of pure action sequence. The story arc did get advanced, but not as far as I would have expected or liked. In the end I guess the film was okay. It wasn't terrible by any means, but it wasn't something I felt I got the most value for my dollar with.
After the movie we returned home and split up a bit. I did some cleaning in my bedroom and loaded up two batches of laundry. After the laundry was in progress I changed into exercise clothes and logged another hour of walking on the treadmill. Today's movie selection was "Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie." It's a documentary on the history of the atomic bomb, its development and use. There's lots of footage and some interesting statistics. I watched it with a certain morbid curiousity, and in the end I'm still not sure what to make of it. Some of it is cheesy, but most of it is just.... it's not scary, but it's deeply unsettling to me how rapidly things progressed in the 40s and 50s. I imagine that for the people who were living in those two decades it was terrifying.
I also got news tonight from one of the artists I commissioned this year. He lobbed a brief character sketch to my e-mail box, asking if I approved of the overall design and soliciting input on any changes he might have to make. I corrected him on one thing (Feren has long whiskers) and gave him my blessing to go ahead and start working on the first commission. I'm impressed by this gentleman -- he's very professional, he's polite, he communicates well with his customer (or he has thus far) and he's working at a pace that puts all the other artists I have commissions with to shame. In the span of just over a week I've paid him, given him my requirements and seen a response with a preliminary sketch. Only one other artist has come anywhere close to this, and since then they've gone rather silent. If the final product turns out as good as I expect it to then I'll be driving lots more business to this fellow and sending him some more business of my own.
I want to live with a cinnamon girl