In an unprecedented move for me, unless you count UPAC movies on-campus at RPI, I went to another movie despite being to one already this month. The film this time: Shrek 2, which I thought I should catch before it left the theaters altogether. I could only find three theaters playing it at all this week, so made a trip up to Sembawang to see it. The mall the theater was in is a small and ... strange place. I can't say what's wrong, but it doesn't feel like a coherent design. Hallways don't match up, and the arrangement of walkways over the open central area seems arbitrary. It does have a branch of the national library -- many malls have libraries, an amazingly good idea -- as well as a housewares store called ``The Seagull Hardware,'' which either tries to call on a seagull so iconic it's identified just by the article (I don't know of one), or else feels a word short of being a name.
The only amusing anecdote from the cinema was the queue to buy tickets changing direction while I was in it. The arrangement of rope barriers was ambiguous, and apparently when we got to the point I was the only person left the next people coming in line chose the other lane and they got served first. Gr. For the movie, I ... fell short of feeling enchanted. I can't pin down a specific flaw, besides maybe finding the settings unimaginative. Thin Parody Beverly Hills always struck me as even weaker a background than Real Beverly Hills -- which doesn't have anything interesting about it other than it's been in a bunch of movies and TV shows -- so the only place I really liked was the magic factory. I liked John Cleese's and Antonio Banderas's characters, but the rest of the movie felt like stuff to pad their scenes up to movie length. I think I'd have liked to see more of Donkey and Dragon's kids, but that's supporting cast to the supporting cast so they shan't be getting any great attention (and the choice to make a half-dozen of them means they can't be much of a subplot in the next sequel, unless they get thinned out like Popeye's Nephews did).
Still, this gives me a record of four movies seen in the theaters this year, and there's still nearly half the year to go. Will I see that elusive fifth? Who knows.
And at Funan the IT Mall I picked up a little USB Hub, mostly so I could have more cord space for my mouse. I'm really happy with this one because it's got internal LEDs to shine. They had a bunch of other LED-lit USB cords, and I'll definitely be buying those in the future. Computers out to be neat to look at, and blinky lights are usually the right choice.
Trivia: The (British) National Gallery portrait of King Henry IV is a 16th century adaptation of a woodcut of French King Charles VI. Source: Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485, John Julius Norwich.
Currently Reading: The Mightiest Machine, John W. Campbell. Classic slam-bang space opera featuring extremely Anglo-Saxon types cheerily committing genocide in distant galaxies`cause those aliens looked all evil, packed with the flaky physics, bizarre anthropology, and shaky characters that make one appreciate how much restraint Doc Smith had. It's an exciting read if you overlook the atrocities.