bobquasit: (Default)
First, I have to say that as a long-time Bostonian, it's really good to see a movie set in Boston that was actually FILMED in Boston. It was a real kick to see my former workplace and other old familiar spots in the background. Attention, Hollywood: Toronto is NOT a dead ringer for Beantown!

It was also rather a relief that none of the actors in the film attempted the obligatory and almost always lame imitation of a Boston accent.

As for the movie itself: the concepts aren't new. Keith Laumer could probably have sued the author of the original comic book miniseries that the movie was based on for plagiarism. The series (and therefore the movie) has much in common with Laumer's 1966 story "The Body Builders". By coincidence, the story is available online, legally, as part of the Baen Free Library; Google "Baen free library Laumer", and it will come up as "Keith Laumer: The Lighter Side". The story starts on page 31.

But the idea of a remote robotic body is probably new to most non-science fiction fans. And in any case, complete originality is certainly not mandatory. The movie is paced nicely, the acting is pretty well-done, and although there's not much that's terribly surprising in the plot, it is handled well.

If it weren't for the Boston element, I might have given Surrogates three stars - but the authenticity of the setting gave it just the extra boost needed to move it up to four.

[Netflix doesn't allow URLs, annoyingly - but the direct URL to the Laumer book is http://worldebookfair.org/eBooks/Baen_Library_Collection/0743435370.pdf]
bobquasit: (Default)
First, I have to say that as a long-time Bostonian, it's really good to see a movie set in Boston that was actually FILMED in Boston. It was a real kick to see my former workplace and other old familiar spots in the background. Attention, Hollywood: Toronto is NOT a dead ringer for Beantown!

It was also rather a relief that none of the actors in the film attempted the obligatory and almost always lame imitation of a Boston accent.

As for the movie itself: the concepts aren't new. Keith Laumer could probably have sued the author of the original comic book miniseries that the movie was based on for plagiarism. The series (and therefore the movie) has much in common with Laumer's 1966 story "The Body Builders". By coincidence, the story is available online, legally, as part of the Baen Free Library; Google "Baen free library Laumer", and it will come up as "Keith Laumer: The Lighter Side". The story starts on page 31.

But the idea of a remote robotic body is probably new to most non-science fiction fans. And in any case, complete originality is certainly not mandatory. The movie is paced nicely, the acting is pretty well-done, and although there's not much that's terribly surprising in the plot, it is handled well.

If it weren't for the Boston element, I might have given Surrogates three stars - but the authenticity of the setting gave it just the extra boost needed to move it up to four.

[Netflix doesn't allow URLs, annoyingly - but the direct URL to the Laumer book is http://worldebookfair.org/eBooks/Baen_Library_Collection/0743435370.pdf]
bobquasit: (Default)
Damn. Kate's Mystery Bookstore in Cambridge (MA) is closing at the end of the month. Another wonderful old bookstore lost. I didn't go there as often as to some other used bookstores - it was more out of the way for me - but I never failed to find some great books whenever I went there. And its ambiance was simply outstanding.
bobquasit: (Default)
Damn. Kate's Mystery Bookstore in Cambridge (MA) is closing at the end of the month. Another wonderful old bookstore lost. I didn't go there as often as to some other used bookstores - it was more out of the way for me - but I never failed to find some great books whenever I went there. And its ambiance was simply outstanding.

Fenway

Oct. 25th, 2007 12:46 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Tonight's the second game of the World Series, so a few of us from work decided to take a walk around Fenway Park and see what was going on.

It was fun. The sky was gray, it was a little chilly, and I felt a few drops of rain at the start. But there were lots of people around, lots of activity.

We started out by peeking in a large room that had been created in the middle of our parking lot. It was for HD TVs - Sharp, I think. Inside it was pretty cool, with lots of HD big-screen TVs on the walls, and even a large section of floor which had six HD TVs built into it.

We headed over to the park proper.

Along one side there were probably a couple of hundred people, mostly teenagers, in tents lined up behind barricades to get tickets; some were sleeping, some were watching TV or on their laptops, some were eating. The smell of sausages in the air was delicious.

The echoing sounds of James Taylor practicing the national anthem followed us clearly for most of the walk. That is, either James was practicing or they were playing a tape of him to test the sound system; I'm not sure. A co-worker was sure that it was really him, and he's a pretty savvy guy, so it probably was. You know, he lives only a few miles from here - James Taylor, that is.

There were tons of vans and RVs parked in the back, with some huge satellite dishes set up; there were wires everywhere. We spotted one of the Rockies (I don't know which one) arriving at the player's entrance in the back.

As we were headed back to work we passed Mike Timlin walking down the street with (I guess) his family. I didn't recognize him, of course; my savvy co-worker did.

Anyway, it was a nice walk. I grabbed a free Red Sox poster for Sebastian.

Fenway

Oct. 25th, 2007 12:46 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Tonight's the second game of the World Series, so a few of us from work decided to take a walk around Fenway Park and see what was going on.

It was fun. The sky was gray, it was a little chilly, and I felt a few drops of rain at the start. But there were lots of people around, lots of activity.

We started out by peeking in a large room that had been created in the middle of our parking lot. It was for HD TVs - Sharp, I think. Inside it was pretty cool, with lots of HD big-screen TVs on the walls, and even a large section of floor which had six HD TVs built into it.

We headed over to the park proper.

Along one side there were probably a couple of hundred people, mostly teenagers, in tents lined up behind barricades to get tickets; some were sleeping, some were watching TV or on their laptops, some were eating. The smell of sausages in the air was delicious.

The echoing sounds of James Taylor practicing the national anthem followed us clearly for most of the walk. That is, either James was practicing or they were playing a tape of him to test the sound system; I'm not sure. A co-worker was sure that it was really him, and he's a pretty savvy guy, so it probably was. You know, he lives only a few miles from here - James Taylor, that is.

There were tons of vans and RVs parked in the back, with some huge satellite dishes set up; there were wires everywhere. We spotted one of the Rockies (I don't know which one) arriving at the player's entrance in the back.

As we were headed back to work we passed Mike Timlin walking down the street with (I guess) his family. I didn't recognize him, of course; my savvy co-worker did.

Anyway, it was a nice walk. I grabbed a free Red Sox poster for Sebastian.
bobquasit: (Default)
Okay, I'm really not a sports guy. I'm pure geek, I swear. I'm only aware of the rudiments of modern sports because of my deep, long-standing ties to Boston. And I really don't care about sports, or hardly at all.

Hell, when I was young quite a few people thought I was gay, and my complete lack of interest in sports may have been part of the reason. Okay?

But all that said, I have to say that I'm surprised by a lot of the coverage of the Red Sox/Yankees game, and even by the comments of a lot of Yankees fans. I understand disappointment - I am a long-time Red Sox fan, after all, even though only in the most tenuous sense. And you can bet that I understand bitterness and anger.

But Lowe pitched a hell of a game with his tendon temporarily sewed into his skin. Anyone who can't respect that sort of guts has some serious issues.

Of course, I'll also admit that it seems like a really stupid thing to do, and I would never do it in a million years. Not for a baseball game, anyway, no matter how important. But that said, I'm amazed that more people aren't acknowledging that it took inhuman fortitude to pitch a winning major league baseball game under that sort of pain.
bobquasit: (Default)
Okay, I'm really not a sports guy. I'm pure geek, I swear. I'm only aware of the rudiments of modern sports because of my deep, long-standing ties to Boston. And I really don't care about sports, or hardly at all.

Hell, when I was young quite a few people thought I was gay, and my complete lack of interest in sports may have been part of the reason. Okay?

But all that said, I have to say that I'm surprised by a lot of the coverage of the Red Sox/Yankees game, and even by the comments of a lot of Yankees fans. I understand disappointment - I am a long-time Red Sox fan, after all, even though only in the most tenuous sense. And you can bet that I understand bitterness and anger.

But Lowe pitched a hell of a game with his tendon temporarily sewed into his skin. Anyone who can't respect that sort of guts has some serious issues.

Of course, I'll also admit that it seems like a really stupid thing to do, and I would never do it in a million years. Not for a baseball game, anyway, no matter how important. But that said, I'm amazed that more people aren't acknowledging that it took inhuman fortitude to pitch a winning major league baseball game under that sort of pain.

Ah...

Oct. 21st, 2004 10:43 am
bobquasit: (Default)
Today is a good day to be in Boston. Everybody is happy and smiling. As I walked over to Dunkin' Donuts to grab a bucketload of coffee for the office, I glanced over at Fenway Park and grinned.

And I'm about as uninterested in sports as a straight man can be.

Ah...

Oct. 21st, 2004 10:43 am
bobquasit: (Default)
Today is a good day to be in Boston. Everybody is happy and smiling. As I walked over to Dunkin' Donuts to grab a bucketload of coffee for the office, I glanced over at Fenway Park and grinned.

And I'm about as uninterested in sports as a straight man can be.

Dream...

Aug. 4th, 2004 10:56 am
bobquasit: (Default)
I've been dreaming a lot lately, even for me. And last night something odd happened: I had a nightmare so terrible, so purely awful, that in my dream I said "No, this is too much. I'm waking up now."

And I did, instantly. I've forgotten the details of the nightmare, but that's probably just as well.

I also had a very long and nostalgic dream about the Red Sox, which is also very strange because I'm not that interested in sports. But in the dream I was a huge fan, and chatted with players from past years.

Must be my Boston roots showing, somewhere in my id.

Dream...

Aug. 4th, 2004 10:56 am
bobquasit: (Default)
I've been dreaming a lot lately, even for me. And last night something odd happened: I had a nightmare so terrible, so purely awful, that in my dream I said "No, this is too much. I'm waking up now."

And I did, instantly. I've forgotten the details of the nightmare, but that's probably just as well.

I also had a very long and nostalgic dream about the Red Sox, which is also very strange because I'm not that interested in sports. But in the dream I was a huge fan, and chatted with players from past years.

Must be my Boston roots showing, somewhere in my id.

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