How to handle texting and internet on film

I thought this video from Every Frame a Painting was pretty interesting.  It traces the development of how films/TV handle texting and the internet on screen.

For those of you too lazy to watch the video, it concludes that for texting, the best solution is simply showing text onscreen, with no speech bubbles or cutaways.  It lets you keep watching the actors’ performances while inferring who is texting whom, which keeps the viewer engaged.  This was first popularized in BBC’s Sherlock in 2010, but has been used a lot since then.

The video argues that nobody has yet come up with a good way to show internet usage, and that’s something that filmmakers still need to innovate on in order to find a solution.


McDonalds: The Greatest Food in Human History

The greatest food in human history

This article makes a point that I frequently make.  If you pay attention to what you eat, it’s very easy to eat healthily at fast food restaurants.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that fast food chains offer the easiest way to be healthy.

This is why I think that food snobs/health snobs/class snobs that look down on fast food are way off-base.

There are healthier options that exist.  But they’ll all take a lot more effort and expense.  And of course fast food chains also make it easy to be extremely unhealthy if you don’t pay attention to what you eat.

Note: The second half of this article gets a lot more political than something I’d usually link to in this blog.  Feel free to ignore that if politics aren’t your thing.  Also, please don’t comment on the political stuff here.  If you’re interested in getting into a flamewar about WalMart, there are countless other places on the Internet where you can do that.

New Movies on Netflix in August 2014

A list of movies you’ve heard of that are new on Netflix in August is below.  But first, here are my recommendations:

ChocolatOne of those feel-good movies that celebrates life and can’t help but bring a smile to your face.

Cosmos (2014 Miniseries): Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s update on the classic Carl Sagan series.  Explains the current state of cosmology in an engaging way, by wrapping up the science in compelling stories about people.

Face/Off: One of the most ridiculous over-the-top movies ever made.  It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but if you’re pointing out logic problems in a movie where a super-cop and super-criminal literally swap faces and proceed to kill/exploder everyone and everything, you’ve kind of missed the point.  If you enjoy dumb action, this movie is a lot of fun.

Rounders: One of those movies that failed in theaters but found a cult following on video. Follows the adventures of an underground poker player, and does an excellent job of making poker compelling.  Quite a few real-life poker pros were inspired to get into poker because of this movie.

Rocky: The classic American underdog story.  A bit slow for modern audiences, but an excellent story of a man proving his self-worth through sheer determination.

Rocky IV: (see my write-up in Movies We Still Care About.)

Complete List

  • Air Bud
  • The Birdcage
  • Brian’s Song
  • The Cable Guy
  • Chinatown
  • Chocolat
  • Cosmos (2014 Neil DeGrasse Tyson version)
  • Evita
  • Face/Off
  • Kinky Boots
  • Mad Max
  • The Mighty Ducks
  • Red Dawn (1984)
  • Rocky
  • Rocky II
  • Rocky III
  • Rocky IV
  • Rounders
  • Sabrina (1995)
  • Shooter
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
  • Spice World
  • Turner and Hooch