Aquaman: What did I think?

There’s been a lot of hype about the new film “Aquaman” – largely because the future of DC’s cinematic universe might hinge upon its success or failure. The franchise that started with 2013’s “Man of Steel” has hit a rough spot after “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” received a lukewarm reception, followed by “Justice League” getting a pretty poor one. Personally, I liked both movies although both had their flaws. Justice League, especially, was a rather obvious mash-up of two different directing styles, which is fortunately a flaw that Aquaman doesn’t share. A large criticism of the DC movies has been their dark, gritty, realistic style – a shift from the comics, which are usually lighter in tone than competitor Marvel’s titles. For this one, director James Wan apparently said “screw it” and enthusiastically embraced the source material. As usual with my reviews, consider this a full-on spoiler warning from here on out.

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Product Plug: Starline (Urban Peak) Vacuum Tumbler

At work they handed out stainless steel tumblers with the company logo on ’em. I don’t normally use such things, but I gotta say – this one has impressed me. I’ve owned the cheap ones from Wal-Mart before, and they kept my soda cold for several hours or my hot chocolate warm for a while. This one, however, is not only well-made but also makes for an awesome thermos. I left water and ice in it – which I had been drinking throughout the day – and came back the next morning to find the ice STILL there. I’ve never seen one do that before, but maybe I’ve just led a sheltered life, I dunno. Anyway, I like it a lot so I figured I’d give it a product plug here.

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What did I think: Ready Player One

The boys and I saw “Ready Player One” last night. It was at a nice new Cinemark theatre not far from our neighborhood, and the entire experience was great! The movie was in Real3D & SDX, and they had these cool seats that magically recline. Oh, and the movie was pretty darn good, too.

Judging from the trailers, I was expecting a mediocre movie & plot strung together around pop culture references designed to cash in on middle-aged nostalgia. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie every bit as good as the first Matrix one, only with more comedy thrown in and a mind-blowing number of references to the pop culture of the 1970s, 80’s and 90’s.

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Justice League: Why the hate?

Took my boys to see “Justice League” this weekend, and honestly after seeing all the negativity online, I wasn’t expecting much. Turns out it was great, though! I honestly don’t see what all the complaining was about. I probably won’t cover the pros & cons in much detail, since it just came out a few days ago, but as usual this WILL have spoilers, so consider yourself warned.

The Story

The movie picks up almost immediately after the events of “Batman vs. Superman”, with the world still mourning Superman’s death weeks later. Batman encounters a parademon in Gotham, and believes the creatures to be responsible for several kidnappings of prominent scientists, most of them associated with S.T.A.R. Labs. While investigating, he frequently runs across a motif of three cubes together, something that Diana recognizes as the Mother Boxes – alien devices that were left on Earth after an ancient alliance of Amazons, Atlantians, Gods, and Men repelled an alien invasion of the planet millennia ago.  She notes that if the boxes are re-appearing, it won’t be long until another invasion occurs.

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Wonder Woman: What did I think?

I’m a few weekends behind, but I finally watched “Wonder Woman”. I’m not particularly a Marvel or DC fanboy – I like either, depending on the comic and/or character being discussed. I also don’t understand a lot of the hate for DC’s films so far. Yes, they’re dark and gritty and not perfect, but I enjoyed “Man of Steel”, “Batman vs. Superman”, and even “Suicide Squad”. Now, that all said, “Wonder Woman” raises the bar for DC… by a pretty significant margin. As usual, this review will contain spoilers, so keep that in mind before reading…

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Shin Godzilla: What did I think?

Haven’t posted for a while, but thought I’d return with another brief movie review. Having been a long-time Godzilla fan, I broke down and watched last year’s “Shin Godzilla”, which is a new entry from long-time Godzilla studio Toho in Japan. They haven’t put anything out in over a decade, and the last two attempts to reboot their Godzilla franchise were pretty bad. Like many fans, I had just assumed that the time of rubber-suit monsters was past, and left it at that. Keep in mind that, as usual with my posts, this review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.

This latest movie is a fresh attempt at the franchise with more modern CGI effects, and personally I think it reflects the renewed fear of nuclear power that the country is feeling after the Fukushima thing a few years ago. That’s something the older films seemed to lose over time… a reason for Godzilla being a monster. That said, I have to say that “Shin Godzilla” also tries hard to beat the weirdness level of those lost days. Toho has given us all kinds of psychedelic aliens & monsters over the decades, but I’m not sure any of them beat the sheer… alien-ness… of this new iteration. Keep reading and you’ll get a sense of what I mean.

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Hiding a field on a List Form

One of the more frustrating aspects of SharePoint is that permissions do not work like most people expect. Unlike a folder, where you can assign someone read access to the folder, read access to one file & edit access to another file, SharePoint access is across the board when it comes to list data. It’s more like a spreadsheet where you want someone to see & edit Columns A & C on each row but not Column B.

Anyway, one of the sites I admin for needed to hide specific buttons & fields on the Edit form for one group of users, while still allowing them to edit other fields on the form. What I ended up with was the following script that uses jQuery and SPServices to dynamically hide an item based on group membership. While it doesn’t address the larger issue of a user having edit access to the entire list item (they could still get to the fields via the datasheet view, for instance), it DOES allow you to hide specific items on the list form according to what groups the user is in.

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The real Garrett returns! Sort of…

Great news for Thief fans – the original voice of Garrett, Stephen Russell, will be voicing protagonist Corvo Attano in the upcoming Dishonored 2.

One of my beefs with the fourth Thief game was that they changed the voice actor for Garrett. And I also feel like Dishonored was a better continuation of the Thief series than that fourth game was. You could easily play the first three Thief games, then imagine Dishonored takes place in one of the other city-states mentioned. And now to top that off, the man who voiced Garrett in the first three Thief games – Stephen Russell – will be providing the voice for Corvo in Dishonored 2. That’s awesome!

Ant-Man: What did I think?

So I saw Marvel’s latest movie – Ant-Man – this past weekend, and here’s what I think: It’s great!

Just like they did with Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel tried a different formula with Ant-Man. They’re calling it the “heist film” formula, and that’s pretty accurate. Much of the movie is centered around a heist involving the Yellowjacket suit. Here’s a quick run-down, and I’ll try to keep the spoilers minimal.

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