Willena wrote me an e-mail telling me to post something to my blog, so here goes: Since I'm living in Milton Keynes (by myself for the most part), I have to do something with my spare time. So, I bought an unlimited pass to a movie theatre. While I haven't used it as much as I should, I have seen quite a few movies in 2009. My favorite three are An Education, Up in the Air, and Funny People. None of them are classics, but I do occasionally think about them—a sure sign of depth. In contrast, while I enjoyed Avatar's superb action sequences, its bland dialogue and shallow plot lessen its status. An Education features a star-making performance by Carey Mulligan and a strong screenplay by Lynn Barber and Nick Hornby that directly addresses why the sexual revolution needed to happen. Up in the Air has perhaps the best protagonist of any movie in a long time. It certainly helps that he's played by George Clooney, who is known for his natural charisma. But, the plot is also designed to make us, the audience, root for him. While Clooney has deservedly garnered much praise (and awards), similar praise is due Seth Rogen and Adam Sandler for Funny People. It's easy to make the case that they are merely playing themselves to a large degree, but that doesn't diminish the performances in my eyes. While he did not get one, I believe Sandler should have received an Academy nomination for his portrayal. There's much to love, much to pity, and much to loathe about his character.
While I have the chance, I'd also like to single out another 2009 movie. Knowing is the worst movie I've ever seen. I would rather watch From Justin to Kelly twice than see this piece of dreck again. This movie is worse than Contact, my previous bottom of the barrel.
Today I exhibited our work on the DiamondTouch table at the Dana Centre, part of London's Science Museum. It was part of a special event on interactive surfaces organized by Jennifer Sheridan of the London Knowledge Lab. She also arranged to have a videographer there. You can see the video here: