On things about which I have an opinion
It has two defining features:
- it is a convertible and a sporty one at that,
- it comes with a subwoofer equipped stereo which defines the target market.
This is definitely not a car targeted at classical music listeners. The stereo with the fosgate “punch” setting cranked up is a base heavy “boom car” experience. It sounds fine, the base is clean and well rendered, but it isn’t the balanced, well staged clarity of the sound system in a Mercedes, for example, but fits a particular demographic well.
The car itself is quite sporty and handles well. Unlike a lot of lower end convertibles, including the Mustang, the body is very stiff and and takes turns and bumps without any tangible body flex. The car corners flat and understeers predictably and with good control (I discovered unintentionally while making a quick u-turn). The car also has more power than one would expect for such a small vehicle, and can spin the back wheels from a stop without resorting to a neutral drop, also an unintentional discovery. Really.
Road noise with the top up is pretty good for a convertible, and better than most at freeway speeds with the top down.
I’d say it is a pretty good choice for a low cost, youth-oriented convertible.
As you may have heard, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation repealing the law that had forced us to terminate our California Associates. We are pleased to invite all California Associates whose accounts were closed due to the prior legislation to re-enroll in the Associates Program.
The Amazon Associates Team
I first read this as Amazon giving up and quietly reinstating their associates program and thus paying the sales tax they owe. Alas, not the case. I guess California vs. Amazon, Amazon wins.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
The Kid With A Bike is a film by the Dardenne brothers, who brought “The Child” to the Telluride Film Festival a few years back. There is a strong family resemblance between the films: durable but trouble prone protagonists in gritty, lower class struggles where their every step forward seems to result in a step back and who’s troubles are mostly self-inflicted, and yet sympathetic and identifiable responses to difficult circumstances.
Thomas Doret plays a little boy named Cyril who’s proof to all external harm, but victim to the internal consequences of being abandoned by his father. He is adopted by an attractive and indomitable hair dresser played by Cecile de France who has an affinity for Cyril that seems driven by something strong, but offscreen.
The story moves Cyril from victim to victimizer and finally to redemption in a way that is satisfying and compelling.
Albert Nobbs is an great film. See it.
It is the story of a curious butler in 1890s Dublin who suffered a difficult childhood and to survive took a job as a waiter, and the worked his way up to being a butler in a small but swanky hotel. The thing is, he’s a woman played by Glenn Close.
His carefully controlled life is turned upside down when he has to share his room with a painter working on the hotel and his view of the world and of his own future changes dramatically.
Glenn Close introduced the film an described it as a labor of love that she has spent 15 years working on. Her acting is superb and the story is very funny when it tries to be and truly touching without being cloy or saccharine. While Glenn’s performance stands out, none of the cast come up short and Janet McTeer is also particularly strong.
Pina is Wim Wenders tribute to Pina Bausch in 3D. I’m not a big dance fan, not even ballet let alone modern dance, but this was a very beautiful film and I enjoyed it. Wim Wenders introduced the film and told the audience how he had met Pina 20 or more years before starting production and had wanted to make a film about her. For all of those 20 years every time they crossed paths she asked if he was ready to make his film and he said he didn’t know how, but was learning.
Wenders said he was quite taken by 3D, specifically U2 3D which he thought was a great name, but more so that the 3D technology used was sufficient to capture the essence of Pina’s dance, and so he began production, but just before production was to commence, Pina passed away.
The dancers in her troupe convinced him that he should make the film, that it is what she would have wanted, and so the film is both an beautifully shot document of Pina’s dance troupe and a tribute to Pina.
I’ve been involved with 3D film for a long time (going back 16 years I built a stereo rig from a pair of Arriflex cameras for Michael Naimark’s Be Here Now). This was the first time I got to see Dolby’s double-tristmus 3D . The way it works is each projector projects an approximately RGB signal, but with the exact wavelengths of RG&B shifted between them (and not shared). The passive glasses pass only the correct eye’s 3 color wavelengths and reject the rest. Looking through them, one is slightly magenta shifted and one slightly cyan shifted, but you quickly compensate for the slight color error, especially since one eye errs one direction and the other the opposite. If you look through both a left eye and a right eye filter (say by borrowing your neighbors pair and putting them over yours upside down), almost no light passes.
The 3D quality of the movie is quite good, better than shutter glasses with less peripheral annoyance. Only very bright highlights (like the glint of lights in a dancer’s eye) exhibited odd stereo artifacts. It is commonly noted that the focal accommodation and parallax accommodation of a stereoscopic projection is very wrong–your eyes focus on the same plane (the screen) no matter what the image displacement is, so your mind gets two conflicting data inputs – one saying “I see 3D” and the other saying “I’m focusing on a plane” and the result is eye strain and often headaches, and this technology is no different. It definitely caused some eye strain to watch it, but the effect was good and overall I’d say worth it.