Movie ticket price increases

With movie ticket prices rising, get the most for your money. AMC theaters increased ticket prices this weekend in several markets. At the First Colony 24, the regular matinee increased from $7 to $7.25. A full price adult ticket currently runs $9.25. I see from the Daily News article that the matinee price at my old fave in Cobble Hill has increased from $5 to $6.50 since I left NY two years ago.

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The best show ever

Finished season 4 of The Wire last night, the best one so far. The opening theme for this season is also my favorite, followed by the original. A friend asked me to describe the show, and words can barely do it justice. Rich character development, superb writing, thought-provoking issues. I am embarrassed that I even mentioned Law and Order in the same conversation. After watching The Wire, I cannot help thinking that all other shows are crap. That is how good it is.

So what is not to like? The slang, difficult to keep up with at times, caused me to watch with subtitles. Whatever. The DVD box sets are rather pricy, which makes this series the perfect rental candidate for Netflix. According to my records, I blew through all four seasons in three months at an approximate rate of two discs per week. Can't wait to get my hands on season 5 (Aug 12 DVD release).

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Entouch and Clear QAM

The second HD experiment... Figured I should do a cheap test before forking over a substantial chunk of change for an HDTV with QAM tuning capabilities. Grabbed a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 off Ebay and plugged the coax cable into the antenna connection. Worked exactly as I had hoped. In addition to getting all of the regular broadcast channels, I was able to pick up CNBC, Discovery, Cartoon, and TV Land, among other channels. Too bad BeyondTV doesn't yet have built-in QAM support for the Hauppauge card. This is, nonetheless, a pleasant discovery.

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Tinseltown Westchase closed?

Just noticed in the last few days that the Chronicle no longer contains movie listings for Cinemark Tinseltown Westchase. I was pretty sure that meant it was gone. Discovered this evening that the phone number has been disconnected, and someone else wrote in Yahoo! Local that the lot has been fenced.

Though not entirely surprising, the news is somewhat sad as this used to be my favorite multiplex to watch movies when I lived near the Galleria 10 years ago. Cheap matinees, huge theaters with stadium seating. We went there last month to watch the Golden Compass on opening day, and the place was barren for a Friday night. You could tell the place was headed downhill.


Before his death, I simply thought of Gerald Ford as the President that wrongly pardoned Nixon. Now I consider him a coward as well for not speaking out publicly even though he disagreed with the decision to start the war in Iraq. Although Jimmy Carter, the man to whom Ford eventually lost the election, left office with a poor legacy, he wields his status as a public figure to espouse the causes he believes in. In particular, he condemned Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq and criticized the Israeli bombing campaign in Lebanon.

It seems lately that the rebate fulfillment companies are doing everything possible (like deliberately miskeying mailing addresses) to avoid paying them out. With six unpaid rebates outstanding, I am boycotting mail-in rebate purchases indefinitely and hounding their phone reps until the profit-cost balance becomes a losing proposition for them.

Just realized that there is less than a week until the sixth season of 24 begins, but if it comes down to choosing between Jack Bauer and Hiro on a Monday night, Heroes is gonna win hands-down...


I read the other day that the second season of Sleeper Cell (American Terror) premieres tomorrow night on Showtime. I can't quite justify subscribing to cable for one month ($40) just to watch it, but I was tempted for just a bit. Guess I'll have to wait a few more months to get it on DVD. Argh.

Metro still hasn't updated its web site with regard to the implementation of the Q card. Oddly, it seems the only place that this was made public was in a single article in the Houston Chronicle from Nov 10, 2006. Incidentally, its debut is expected in Feb 2006:

Feb. 4 is the starting date for the Metropolitan Transit Authority's new fares and a new way of paying them with "smart cards."

Chavez expected to win big today. When I moved back to Texas, I wasn't expecting much in the way of international coverage in the Houston Chronicle after becoming a regular reader of the New York Times. This article (by John Otis from the Chronicle's South America Bureau) really impressed me, however, and I have been meaning to bookmark it for a while.

Two centrist parties, Democratic Action and COPEI, dominated Venezuela for 40 years, trading off the presidency, divvying up government contracts and preventing newcomers from rising to power. Instead of development, Venezuela's "petrobonanza" - the country provides 11 percent of the oil imported by America - fueled government graft. And by the mid-1990s, the country had registered a huge economic decline.

[Executive Director Americas Division for Human Rights Watch] Vivanco called it a "revealing double standard" that the Bush administration has focused almost exclusively on Chavez's shortcomings while, he said, democratic institutions in Colombia and Peru, whose leaders are U.S. allies, are also at risk.

Vivanco and others also say the United States lost credibility on democracy issues in Venezuela when some Bush administration officials initially cheered a 2002 military rebellion that ousted Chavez for two days.


The Wonderfalls DVD is currently scheduled to be released in January 2005.

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Ah, sweet irony. This afternoon, we were at Loews Lincoln Square to catch Super Size Me, which could very well have been called Fast Food Nation: The Movie. Pretty good overall. Before it started, we tried to buy a kid's pack (what used to be a small popcorn and small drink), but the guy behind the concessions counter refused to sell us one unless we presented a child movie ticket. Keep in mind that this has never happened before, but today of all days... For $4, we got a much better deal afterwards at Pommes Frites.

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Last night we're waiting for Hellboy at Loews Kips Bay. Fun movie, definitely recommended. I've made a habit of totally ignoring the pre-movie ads and previews that go well beyond tease and straight into spoilers. Instead I watch other people in the audience.

This time as I'm looking around, I see a small blur scurry across the floor towards our row. Was it my imagination? Seconds later, a tiny mouse is perched on the arm rest two seats over. "Look over here! It's a mouse!" Now it is hiding partly behind the seat cushion, but peering at us briefly before disappearing for good. Despite the fact that it was so cute, it kinda freaked me out as I kept imagining the mouse crawling into my lap or on my neck...

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Caught a sneak preview screening of The Girl Next Door on Saturday, and I was pleasantly surprised. Pretty funny, and naturally, that healthy dose of Elisha Cuthbert didn't hurt... 😉

Charges Dropped Against Chaplain. Easily overlooked if you weren't reading the weekend news. No apology of course, which is simply wrong considering that these jerks were talking death penalty initially.

The case against Captain Yee, who officials once suggested was part of an espionage ring, had become a lingering embarrassment for the Pentagon.