Recent Movies and TV

  • The Matrix Resurrections (2021): Well that was a steaming pile of shit, wasn't it?

    Like, why did 10% of this movie feel like I was watching an episode of Seinfeld? Boy, give me some more of those techbro office scenes. I really want to hear what Nameless Nerd and Marketing Lady thought about the first film. It is never a good sign when the characters start giving you their blog review of the earlier, better movie, as also happened in Blade Runner 2049. But the best part, the absolute best part, is when the screenwriter stares directly into the camera and straight-up declares that they are currently shitting in your mouth:

      "I'm sure you can understand why our beloved parent company Warner Bros. has decided to make a sequel to the trilogy," he says, "with or without us."

    Basically the entire third act takes place standing around in a Starbucks. It left me curious about whether Jupiter Ascending was actually better than this. At least that didn't take place in a Starbucks.

    Also it was a gross vision of San Francisco. The entire city is Kearny and California with 3 static landmarks photoshopped in. I'll bet London Breed loved it, though! So many faceless cops. So clean and rich!

    I feel like this movie should have been made with lego.

  • Eternals (2021): I completely lost interest in this somewhere around hour five. It wasn't as bad as Inhumans, I guess? It felt more like a DC movie than a Marvel movie. I kept expecting Darkseid-I-mean-Thanos to show up when they were fighting Galactus-I-mean-The-Celestial. And weirdly, it contained multiple jokes about DC characters, who apparently exist as comic books in the MCU? I have so many questions about this.

  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021): This was so fun, and cute. It was hilarious and I loved it. It was very much it's own story, but with nice connections to the original. The Harold Ramis bits felt like a tribute rather than exploitative, and the cameos were good.

  • Red Snow (2021): A failing vampire novelist catches an actual vampire in her garage, forces him to read her manuscript. Antics, and Christmas Cheer, ensue. It's fun.

  • Antlers (2021): This was pretty scary. A school teacher eventually figures out that her Troubled Student is dealing with some Supernatural Shit at home, antics ensue.

  • Don't Look Up (2021): Comet denialists. I understand that this was intended as a heavy-handed climate-change metaphor, but it also works pretty well as a heavy-handed COVID metaphor. It is a good movie but it was very hard to watch. It's full of one-note, terrible, venal people letting the world end because it benefits them personally in the extremely short term, and that's not even satire any more, that's just our world, so it was pretty hard to laugh at it.

  • The Bite (2021): This is it, the COVID-but-also-zombies story you've been waiting for. I liked this a lot. Though much of it is a "zoom movie" it's not all shot through webcams -- there are actual sets, and direction. And if like me you had been revisiting the plot of every zombie movie you've ever seen through the lens of COVID, wondering where the "muh freedoms" zombie denialists are, and the "but we have to reopen the economy" government spin is, here we are. Spoiler, it does not go well.

  • Jakob's Wife (2021): A very classic-style vampire movie, with Barbara Crampton! Very fun.

  • Shadow in the Cloud (2020): A WWII gremlin movie, mostly set inside a ball turret. Tense and well done. Shatner does not appear.

  • Porno (2019): Some extremely Christian 80s teens working in a movie theatre find a mysterious reel in the basement. They think it's a porno but I guess it's really Suspiria, but has some extra SATAN all over it. Pretty funny.


Tags: , , , , , ,

You'll find my balls require temporal supersampling today

Satisfying simulations of bouncing balls obeying physical laws; for a fleeting moment during the simulation, the balls pass through a beautiful regular arrangement.

Each sequence is obtained by joining two simulations, both starting from the time in which the balls are arranged regularly. One simulates forward in time, one backwards.

Simulation timestep is 1/19200 seconds (probably way shorter than needed). Video is rendered at 60 fps and uses 32x temporal supersampling to yield accurate motion blur of fast-moving balls. Simulating and rendering one 20-second sequence takes approximately 1 hour. Binaural audio is rendered using pyo and accounts for impact strength (affects pitch and volume) and position (using the Vector Base Amplitude Panning algorithm and Head Related Transfer Function).

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , ,

Tesla adds Road-Rage Mode to their murderbots

Why Tesla Can Program Its Cars to Break Road Safety Laws:

Putting a Tesla in "assertive" mode will effectively direct the car to tailgate other motorists, perform unsafe passing maneuvers, and roll through certain stops ("average" mode isn't much safer). All those behaviors are illegal in most U.S. states. [...]

Regulators, though, have so far had a hard time reining in AV companies that fail to prevent their customers from flouting roadway rules -- never mind ones like Tesla, which actively enable their customers who would use automation in service of their personal convenience and speed, rather than to enhance collective safety.

That's in part because, by and large, U.S. law tends to favor penalizing individual drivers for breaking the law, rather than penalizing car manufacturers whose vehicle designs make breaking those laws easy. No automobile company has ever been prosecuted for installing an engine that can propel a car more than 100 miles an hour, for instance, even though such speeds aren't legal on any road in America; nor have companies been held accountable when their customers use cruise control to speed, even though technology to automatically stop all speeding has existed for decades. [...]

"The way it's worked, historically, is that [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] is in charge of vehicle safety, and individual states have been in charge of the safety of human drivers," he said. "But it gets complicated when the car starts assuming the responsibility of the human driver... Stopping at a stop sign is not a federal law; it's a state law. Sure, NHTSA can say your car design is unsafe because it's breaking a lot of state laws, but they can't enforce those laws themselves."

Many states are pursuing legislation that would hold AV companies accountable for deploying vehicles that can violate roadway rules with the touch of a button -- though others, under pressure from industry lobbyists, are passing bills aimed at encouraging AV testing on public roads, and to shield their manufacturers from legal action when their safety software fails.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Previously