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Iron Man Boo

I guess this wasn’t too hard to predict either.

“Iron Man 2″ seems to have taken some wrong cues from its predecessor, drowning any potential sophistication in a busy, unfocused clatter of cross-talk punctuated by occasional fender-bender royales. Often playing like it has been jury-rigged from bits and pieces of a longer, smarter movie, “Iron Man 2″ seems chiefly intended as a placeholder for its next dozen or so sequels. But with everyone’s eyes on extending the franchise, they’ve overlooked the possibilities right in front of them.

Regrettable, because Tony Stark is a pretty cool superhero, since his superpower is being really smart and audacious. Yet they ruined the movie for kids by throwing a completely unnecessary sex scene in there. It’s no Spiderman, which is the perfect comic book adaptation for the movies. Spiderman is a good hero too, but not everybody can be bitten by a radioactive spider. Every can, however, study engineering and make cool stuff. Unfortunately, the question of who the winner would be in an Iron Man vs. Spiderman contest cannot be answered by the Internet.

(From “Critic Review for Iron Man 2 on washingtonpost.com“)

May 6, 2010   Comments Off

Leave, Day 3

A busy Day 3 (events from 2 April 2010).

We got up early, and @agentwool made German Apple Pancakes for breakfast. Around 10:15, we headed into Tacoma. Our first stop was Sushi Revolution. The kids love sushi, and they especially love choosing their own food from the conveyor belt system, pointing out which plate for you grab from the parade of Japanese food (mostly sushi, but there are other bite-sized offerings). The plates cost $1.00 to $3.50 or so, in .50 cent increments, with the price being color coded—cheap, you would think, but the children will eat prodigious quantities and are attracted to the most ostentatious and expensive plates. A lot of the sushi is very non-traditional and geared toward American palates (anything with Krab™, cream cheese, avocado, or smoked salmon), which doesn’t interest me, but some of the innovations involving seared (but still raw) tuna or salmon prepared nigiri style and then drizzled with a wasabi sauce are definitely winners.

Most of us selected the plate of cream puffs for dessert.

From there, we headed to the Tacoma Museum of Glass. I was worried that the kids would hate it right from the start, so we headed to the “hot shop” immediately, where we watched a group of artists collaborate to make a giant glass “tire” by repeatedly heating, spinning and blowing. The furnace was hot enough that the visible light was painful to look at. The kids were actually very interested in this process and watched it for a long time. This is the only area of the museum where pictures are allowed, save for the obligatory gift shop.

The museum is pretty small, and there were only two galleries for display. The first we went to was the Kids Design exhibit, followed by a gallery dedicated to Tlingit artist Preston Singletary. The first exhibit showed glass recreations of fanciful creatures sketched by children. The recreations were very faithful, copying every defect and juvenile asymmetry. In that, they were technically impressive, but still fun. The kids liked it. They didn’t like the exhibit of Tlingit glasswork nearly as much, although they did find a few things to ooh and ah over. I could have spent more time here but it was testing the stamina of the kids. There is some beautiful work here, although I was forced to wonder about the artist’s attitudes about other aspects of the advanced industrial technology needed to manufacture these expressions of traditional Native American art. I noticed some of the same artwork on display at SeaTac when I left the country through there a few days later.

A worthwhile visit, but here is a little secret: the best part of the museum is actually free: the bridge over the highway between the museum and the courthouse which is decorated with some of their best pieces.

Pictures were taken, but not many thanks to the restrictions on photography.

April 20, 2010   Comments Off