Movie Review – Redbelt

Redbelt MovieThe Plot – Mike Terry is a Jiu-Jitsu instructor who shuns competitive money fights because he believes competition weakens a fighter. He seems content to run a small dojo west of Los Angeles until a series of events begin to intrude on his daily life forcing him to evaluate his principles, and their impact on others.

*Spoiler Alert*

The Review – This is not an action film. This is a drama about the internal struggle of a martial artist, and his principles. The movie trailer, and IMDB reviews would lead you to believe that this is a film of emotional substance. Fans a David Mamet showered IMDB with praise for message of this film, and its artistic qualities. I must have missed all that.

While Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a good performance, and spouts some memorable lines, I found the lack of character development makes the movie fall flat. Now I can appreciate the minimalist approach to setting up the story arcs, but when the film ended (with a hug) I found myself asking what did any of the characters have to do with the story?

One of Mike Terry’s students is a brooding police officer. Maybe it’s not important to know why he’s brooding, or what troubles he has with his wife, but these plot points are just dropped on the viewer as factual items. When the officer in question commits suicide, I was neither compelled to feel the honor of that act, or the impact it had on his family. In fact, the introduction of his wife could have been completely left out, and it wouldn’t have changed the impact of that scene.

Mike Terry’s wife chides him throughout the film for not being financially responsible, or more to the point his principles keeping him in the poor house. When she sells him out, I really didn’t see why she would have stayed with him for over five years in the first place.

Given the one-dimensional snapshots of every character in the film, the story was very predictable, and only Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance as Mike Terry led me to believe something was about to happen. That’s probably my largest complaint about the film. The emotional moments that are meant to inspire the audience, seem pointless because of the lack of character development.

Grade: C- (Maybe this is the type of movie that requires multiple viewings to get the point)

May 17th – DFW Adobe User Meeting

I will be giving a demonstration of Illustrator CS3 at the May meeting of the DFWAUG user group. The meeting will be at the usual location Nerdbooks, and will be held on Saturday, May 17th.

Hope to see a decent turnout for the event. I generally get the call for the Photoshop or Lightroom gigs. It will be a nice change of pace to flex a little vector muscle, and see what folks are interested in.

If you haven’t registered for the DFWAUG newsletter be sure to goto their website now and sign up.

Blandford Visual Art

There are quite a number of great photographers I have had the pleasure of meeting personally during my travels around the country. They’re the folks with the books, the seminar series; the photographers every wants to meet, and say they’ve met.

The trouble with the famous or up-and-coming, is they generally know they’re famous, and some act the part. I have been surprised by the modesty of some, not so surprised at the vanity of others.

Which leads me to today’s post. Keith Blandford is a local north Texan with a love of photography. I met him during a class on Adobe Bridge I conducted for GUILD some time ago. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of Keith’s work in person, and he recently dove head first into iWeb to publish his work online.

Keith is a minimalist when it comes to digital editing, and his work certainly does not need any post-processing help. I envy admire his ability to see through the lens. His landscape photography catches my imagination, and I can’t help but study his images each time I look at his collection.

I would encourage you to visit his website Blandford Visual Art, and browse his pieces. Keith also has photographs for sale, which he masterfully prints himself.

Unruly Inbox

Rules cannot contain my messages...

Just a quick post tonight. Twitter is up & down which is fine. As you can see I have a lot of student messages to catch up on.

Apparently, I need to rethink my inbox rule strategy, or hire an assistant to whittle through the deluge of messages I am under. 785 is not an accurate count as 1/5 of the messages received are replies which I sent from my mobile phone. My Windows smartphone “Sent Items” folder does not sync to the computer so I’m forced to CC myself copies of responses.

While I am tech-savvy, the creative side of my brain is quite unorganized. A good friend had recommended a book on simplifying things, and I am considering applying those principles to my inbox.

As much as I like Outlook for contacts, I am beginning to seriously consider alternatives. Who or What remains to be found, but I do know that my Gmail account is a Godsend simply from the search functions.

Outlook is the only PC application I still use, having converted solely to a Mac. Entourage is a less than stellar replacement, considering I have over 20 years of message history (dating back to BBS boards & Prodigy) stored as PST files.

Would welcome any suggestions from the Mac faithful about contact/calendaring/mail items under OS X.