I finally pulled the trigger and got an iPod Touch 4 (32 GB). I was really tempted to jailbreak it right off the bat, but after reading up on the benefits of jailbreaking, I didn’t really see anything I “must” have, so I didn’t bother. Shortly after I got the iPod Touch, Elena got two iPhones as gifts, so I ended up getting the extra iPhone (16 GB). The iPhone came pre-jail-broken, and I must say, once I tried the jailbroken version, it’s really hard to go back. My previous assessment of not needing to jailbreak was wrong. You don’t “need” to jailbreak, but once you do, you’ll be really glad you did.
Elena and I are both giant klutzes, which means we had to get protective cases so we don’t break our new toys. Elena got a fancy pink girly one, and I ended up getting very simple black and white ones. Soon after getting the black one (for the iPod Touch), I had an accident and messed up a corner of the cover, and the only way to remedy the mistake was to maybe design something on there to cover up the accident. As many of you artistic types know, often once you start, you can’t stop, and before I knew it, my simple black cover turned into this (painted with Elena’s nail polish and thin-tipped paint pens):
It’s not the prettiest thing, but it kind of have it’s own clumsy charm.
The iPhone’s cover was less tragic–I simply scribbled my signature on it so I can easily identify it, if I happen to run into someone with the exact same iPhone cover one day:
Easy to tell that one of the covers was a lot more expensive and with superior workmanship:
So far, I’m really enjoying being able to write my novel on them when I’m away from a computer, and being able to read books on them is also a very nice feature, not to mention being able to compose music on them as well. I still wish they had play/pause, and forward/rewind buttons so I can operate the player by feel only, but the benefits of having essentially a tiny computer (though limited in what it can do) in the palm of your hand definitely trumps over any traditional portable media players. I don’t even think of the iDevices as a media players or phones–they’re more like a little computer that you can install a ton of different apps on, so depending on who you are as a person, your iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad’s usage could be wildly different from mine.
My main reason for getting the iPod Touch was so I could compose music on it while away from the computer, and for that, I’m currently using Xewton Music Studio. It’s a great app for composers, and is essentially like a very simplified MIDI sequencing workstation with a selection of sampled instruments and simple effects. I can compose on the iPod Touch with it and then either render out the audio as a finished track, or export the MIDI data to a full-blown DAW sequencer (I use Sonar X1 Producer Edition). Here are some great videos showing what Music Studio is capable of.
My main issue with Music Studio is that it’s basically a ROMpler and doesn’t do synthesis, so it’s not that useful for any kind of serious electronic music, but it’s usable for other genres that don’t require creative synthesis, modulation, automation…etc. The upcoming update will include audio tracks, sampling, step-sequencer, pad-styled drum machine, and so on. Xewton was even contracted by Image-Line to develop FL Studio Mobile, which is essentially a reskinned version of Music Studio with all new Image-Line sample content.
Other music-making apps I’m using are:
NanoStudio – Also a sequencing workstation, but it’s synthesis based instead of sample based. It allows 4 instances of its Eden subtractive synthesizer, and 2 drum tracks (sample-based). It can do resampling so if you run out of tracks, you can resample what you need (basically bouncing down the synths to audio and then triggered as samples) to free up room for more tracks. I hate bouncing though because I dealt with it so much back in the 90’s when I used a hardware two-track sequencer (Roland PR-100) with my Roland D10. Once you bounce, you can’t separate the bounced tracks again or do any deep editing, and that’s just not very flexible.
Chords Pro – A nice chord progression composition tool. It’s not the most flexible because it doesn’t do inversions and alternate voicings, but it can be handy for certain things.
iTrombone – Fun little app that lets you play the trombone with the touch interface. I’d never actually use it in anything serious, but it’s a fun little app for developing melodic ideas.
MorphWiz – From the mind of Dream Theater keyboardist, Jordan Rudess, this is a pretty neat performance synthesizer app. It’s essentially kind of like the Hakken Continnum for iDevices. A lot o the presets are just sound effects/noisescape, but there are some useful melodic presets as well.
MultiTrack DAW – This app essentially does what I originally wanted to buy a new handheld device for–to just hum or beatbox into the device and record musical ideas before I forget them. With multiple tracks, I can actually record an entire arrangement, but they tend to sound unintentionally funny because it’s just me trying to mimic how different instruments sound with my voice. Maybe one of these days I’ll post one of them so you guys can get a good laugh out of it.
There are a bunch of different virtual drums apps out there, but the ones I liked the most were the free ones like uDrummer Lite and iDrumStar Pro. They were the most responsive and ergonomically laid out. I really don’t need anything more fancy because the composing apps I use all have full-blown drum machines included already.
WI Guitar – This is a nice app for playing guitar on iDevices, but you’re limited to whatever chord library you’re given, and that’s a bit annoying, because if you use really complex and advanced chords, you won’t find them in WI Guitar. Other similar apps like Guitarist and Bassist are also fun, but you can’t really do anything serious with them beyond playing around.
TonePad – This is a really nifty little Tenori-On-esque free app. You don’t have to know a damn thing about music to make music on it, and it’s amazing how no matter what you do, the result always sounds good.
Audio Tools – A really nice set of audio measurement tools like SPL meter, spectrum analyzer, and so on.
There are many other music-making apps out there, and I pretty much have seen them all during my long search. Some have great potential but with glaring faults, or simply didn’t fit my workflow. For example, modular tracker apps are off-limits because I can’t stand trackers and their hexadecimal numbers. I find it ridiculous for musicians to have to think in hexadecimal numbers instead of actual musical notes in a pianoroll or notation staff. To those who champion it and fancy themselves as some kind of badass demo scene hax0r musician, all I can say is, whaterver. I have heard all the reasons why trackers are great, and I even tried to use one once, but it just annoyed the fuck out of me, and would be pointless to force myself to learn hexadecimal numbers just so I can work in a way that seems so alien and unintuitive to me. Some say trackers are a lot faster, but I’ve seen pianoroll composers who are insanely fast, so again, whatever.
I’ll probably give XENON Groove Synthesizer, SunVox, and BeatMaker 2 a shot too, but already feel like I have way too many apps I’m never going to really use seriously.
What surprised me was how I ended up doing a lot more writing on the iPod Touch than composing music. I first used Quick Office, which allows you to read and edit Microsoft Word and Excel files (but frustratingly, you can’t edit Rich Text Format files). Typing on the iPhone Touch takes a bit getting used to, but it’s certainly doable and I’m able to type on it at least as fast if not faster than my handwriting speed (though far slower than normal keyboard typing).
When I got frustrated with how Quick Office lacked the ability to quickly navigate large Word files (you’d have swipe/scroll the pages until the cows come home), I looked into Documents To Go, and it was far better in that regard. Word files in Documents to Go have a scroll bar on the right, so you can simply grab it and navigate very quickly though any number of pages. I cannot for the life of me understand how the people behind Quick Office could have overlooked something so fundamental and essential. Documents To Go cannot read Rich Text Format files though, which is annoying. Why is RTF files such a problem? Isn’t it an open-format? Why can’t these apps read or edit them? Is there some complication regarding licensing? And how ironic that RTF is actually the native format for Mac’s, yet iDevices cannot read or edit them.
I have uploaded all of my novels and screenplays into the iDevices and have been working on my post-apocalyptic novel on it whenever I’m answering nature’s call. The symptom is that I end up staying in the bathroom for unusually long periods of time. I try to remember that my full-sized keyboard and mouse is just about fifteen steps away, and I should only stay in the bathroom for as long as it takes to take care of nature’s business, instead of getting into the “flow” and keep writing on a device that’s not optimal for typing. I find that on the iDevices, I typically write a paragraph here and there each session, but when on the computer keyboard, I can type pages and pages without stopping.
For dictionary and thesaurus, I use Dictionary.com’s free app, and it’s really good (though to hear the pronunciation, you must be connected to the internet).
I’m also really enjoying reading books with the Kindle app on the iDevices. It’s in some ways an easier read than with a normal book, because the pages are much shorter, and the size is so convenient, but I hate that it’s much harder to navigate to specific pages. Kindle also comes with a New Oxford English Dictionary, which can be used by simply highlighting words in the book you’re reading. It’s the most convenient implementation of a dictionary I’ve ever seen, which makes reading on an electronic device more enjoyable than a traditional book.
For me, I think at this point, unless large and detailed graphics are involved, I prefer to read with the Kindle app than paper books, and I’m saying this as someone who currently has 6 large bookshelves filled with books that I’ve been collecting since about 1986. I think in the near future when even graphics heavy books like artist monographs or coffee table books are digitized as high-resolution books for tablet devices like the iPad, it’ll be the final nail in the coffin of paper books–at least for those who prefer convenience over the tactile feel of books or being able to display them as some kind of proof of being cultured.
One thing I don’t like about ebooks is how it’s much harder to flip through pages to find what you want. The search feature is almost useless because that’s not how our brains work when we are flipping through pages looking for something–it’s a different kind of intuition. Right now, nothing beats thumbing through the pages of a real book, and it’ll remain that way until one day they implement some kind of fast-forward flipping feature which mimics that action.
For listening to music, I’m really enjoying this great app called simply Equalizer. It allows you to use a parametric EQ and customize your own EQ setting to get the most ideal sonic signature out of your headphones. I can’t believe Apple still doesn’t allow this natively in the damn iPod–it’s been something I hated about Apple for many years. Having custom EQ settings makes a world of difference in the level of enjoyment you get, because there are extremely few headphones in the world that is actually good enough to have sonic signatures that are close to ideal, and these headphones usually cost four digits. Even headphones that cost hundreds of dollars (which is already shocking to the average person who doesn’t know anything about the head-fi world) are very often lacking something–either too bright and fatiguing, or have bloated and muddy bass, or have recessed mid-range, or have splashy and squeezed treble, and so on.
With Equalizer, my Shure SE535 and Westone 3 are completely transformed and sound much closer to my Audez’e LCD-2, which is widely considered one of the finest headphones ever made. I still prefer not having to use EQ if I can help it though, because it’ll drain the battery faster. (I ended up getting the Westone 4 for that reason, and I’ll do a proper review of the W4 next time.)
There’s another EQ app called EQu, and it’s not nearly as intuitive as Equalizer. I don’t recommend it, unless you don’t mind that it’s very hard to create precise settings in it. It’s a linear phase EQ, but it’s not really necessary in general. Just plain ol’ vanilla EQ will do the job if you know what they hell you’re doing.
For useful utilities, Xe Currency, Convert Units, iTools, Decibel Ultra, Flashlight, and System Manager has been really useful. For tasks/to-do list, I’m still trying to decide between ThingsToDo and Errands. Notice that I try to use free apps only if I could help it, and very often, if you looked hard enough, you’ll find free apps that do the same things that commercial apps do. It’s funny how that works, but I think most of us are already familiar with that phenomenon, as we have seen plenty of it in the normal computer software world, where many free software do just as a good job, if not better, than commercial alternatives.
For visual stuff, Adobe Ideas and SketchBook MobileX are both free and handy to have for quick scribbles. Personally, I don’t like how it feels to draw/paint with the touch screen, so I probably won’t try to do anything beyond simple scribbles like drawing someone a map or a quickie design idea. For photo editing, PhotoPad is nice (also free), but I can’t really see myself ever using the cameras on the iDevices, unless it’s an emergency or rare Kodak moment and I just happen to have an iDevice in hand and my cameras are not near me.
For creating ringtones, I highly recommend RingTone Wizard Pro. I tried a few different ringtone creator apps, and this one was my favorite one because it allowed detailed control.
When I saw the SAS Survival Guide, I just had to get it because I always have this fear that one day I’ll crash onto a desert island or something along those lines, and I would be totally helpless because I don’t know all the cool survival tricks that the special forces and survivalist types know. With this book, if I happen to have an iDevice on me when I crash, I’ll have a higher chance of making it out alive.
As far as games go, I’ve played some, and it’s not surprising that the “big budget” games are a lot less enjoyable to play on iDevices, because they are just not the right kind of games that suit such a device, where people want to simply jump in and out of a quick game while waiting for a ride or something. I tried games like Infinity Blade, Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space, and Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus, and while I admire what they were able to cram into a game for a small handheld device while utilizing the touch-screen mechanics, they just weren’t as addictive and fun as games that were really simple like Angry Birds, Age of Zombies, or even the free Zombie Flick, which was surprisingly exciting once you start to get surrounded.
Anyway, after all these years of resisting Apple products, I’m now a member of the horde. I have mixed feelings about it, but I’m going to make the most of these new toys.
I was a bit skeptical when Portal 2 was first announced because I loved the first game so much, and it was so perfect that I didn’t think a sequel could ever live up to it. Now that I have played Portal 2 (I haven’t had a chance to play the co-op mode yet, so I can only talk about the single-player mode), I feel that I was right, but at the same time, there were certain moments of brilliance in Portal 2.
The problem with Portal 2 is that it simply cannot reproduce the charm of the first game. It’s sort of like how a lovable precocious child (think Dakota or Elle Fanning) can only exude that sort of charm during a certain age, and once they cross into teenage years and adulthood, they could never regain that kind of charm. The first Portal game is like that cute precocious child, delightful and surprising in how witty she is, as you don’t expect that kind of intelligence or humor from a “filler” game in The Orange Box package deal. With Portal 2, that child has grown up, and acting the same way is no longer as charming because it’s not coming from a precocious child anymore, and in fact, can sometimes feel like she’s trying too hard to be funny.
I know a lot of people love Wheatley, and while I liked him, I’m not so sure if it was a good idea to have him sound completely human instead of having some kind of a robotic filtering to his voice (I can’t be the only one who felt that the robotic filtering is part of the reason people loved the first portal game’s characters such as the turrets). I tend to think a totally human voice tacked onto a robot generates cognitive dissonance. Also, the style of Wheatley’s humor can be a bit annoying at times, because it’s like watching a standup comedian bombing and floundering on stage, trying to think of something to say that will win the crowd back, and while that in of itself can be amusing for a short period of time, prolonged exposure to it can be a little grating.
GLaDOS was kind of a mixed bag this time. I thought her passive-aggressive lines were a bit tired this time around, and not nearly as pitch-perfect as in the first game. I liked her transformation and personality change throughout Portal 2, but I felt the transitions were somewhat abrupt, and the writers could have pushed it a bit more so that when the ending twist happens, we would mourn the loss of GLaDOS as an ally a lot more.
I enjoyed Cave Johnson, but I think perhaps he was a bit too slapstick and unbelievable, especially when you consider the fact that Aperture Science is a company that exists in the Half-Life universe.
The gameplay in Portal 2 has evolved with more toys and new mechanics, such as the gels with different properties, the tractor beams, the spring plates that shoot you across large spaces, and so on. I pretty much was able to figure out all the puzzles, except that a couple of times when even though I had the right solution, because my execution was off by a tiny bit, it didn’t work, which lead me to think my solution was wrong, but after consulting online walkthroughs, it turned out I was right all along, except I just had to keep trying until the execution was perfect. I think this is frustrating because you could be trying the same solution many times and thinking that’s probably not the right method, except it is, and you only have to maybe change your timing or position by just a tiny fraction. The levels in Portal 2 have more variety, and some of the levels are awe-inspiring because they are so gigantic and ominous, and can make you a bit nervous trying to navigate across such huge and dangerous structures. The length of the game is also a lot longer than the first one, but it never felt like the game was dragging on.
Overall, I really enjoyed Portal 2, but I don’t think it’s possible for me to love it the way I love the first game. But then again, maybe I’ll change my mind after I play the co-op mode.
I gave Fable III a try recently and I just couldn’t get into it. I stopped after a couple of hours, and decided I didn’t want to waste any more time on it. I disliked the first Fable game when I played it years ago, and I never bothered with Fable II. All the things I disliked about the first Fable game are still present in Fable III. The tone, visual style, and game design just rubs me the wrong way. The art direction is either unintentionally corny looking or rather pedestrian–from the character designs, costume designs, to the clumsy animation (that very first spell cast animation was just hilariously to look at). The tone of the writing felt contrived, simple-minded, and heavy-handed, to the point of cognitive dissonance because some of the choices you are forced to make are adult choices.
For example, it seems to me that being a royal prince(ss), if you needed to overthrow a tyrant of a king who’s your brother, the first thing to be done is probably to sit tight and sniff out those in the government who will back you in a coup d’état, as well as get the word out to the underground organizations that might be organizing a rebellion. If it’s obvious that the king has lost his mind and became a cruel monster, then it shouldn’t be hard to find supporters for the coup. But no, Peter Molyneux makes you run away and find allies in the mountains who are starving to death, and then try to win over other groups in the kingdom one-by-one by performing all these tasks for them. I have never heard of a single revolution which worked like that. The logical plot progression should have been first political maneuvers, then perhaps the king finding out about it and wanting to kill you, and THEN you escape. I read online that later you find out the real reason why the king has been so cruel to his people (it’s to protect them against a serious threat), but by then it’s too late–the plot progression already stopped making sense far too early on.
The other thing that annoyed me was the game’s definition of a so-called hero. According to the game, you’re a hero only if it’s predestined, and if magical doors or items respond to you, then you’re a hero. Really? I thought heroes were made, not born. A hero only emerges after he’s been tested to be courageous, noble, selfless, just, fair, compassionate, and wise. But nope, according to Peter Molyneux’s world, you are determined a hero because a magical artifact responded to you. I don’t care if the rest of the game ends up testing your capacity for heroic deeds, because the beginning of the game already ruined it with lazy and simple writing.
Character interaction is equally bad. You basically either shake someone’s hand (and try to do it to the right timing to get the best handshake possible), or you belch in their face in order to come off as rude. No, I’m not joking. This is Peter Molyneux’s idea of character interaction. Yeah, don’t bother with dialogs and just reduce interaction to two all-encompassing gestures with no nuance, depth, or anything else memorable. Way to go dumbing down video games.
Compare the tone of the Fable games to Bioware’s RPG’s and it’s glaringly obvious which ones are superior. Peter Molyneux might be a good designer when he develops other genres of games, but in the RPG world, I just don’t see how his clumsy sensibility could have translated into any kind of commercial or critical success, especially when other successful RPG’s are far superior in their overall sensibilities.
Quickie Movie/TV reviews:
Kamisama Mou Sukoshi Dake / 神様、もう少しだけ – It’s been years since I paid any attention to Japanese TV dramas (often referred to as simply “doramas’). Part of the reason is that there aren’t any reliable sources of reviews for “doramas” where I trust the collective taste and intellect of the reviewers. In Asia, television reviews are not nearly as sophisticated, and this includes the fanbase as well. Often the online reviews are quite shallow and most are completely uninformed when it comes to the craft of fiction writing and directing, focus mainly on how cute an idol is. In contrast, American TV shows have raised the bar to amazing heights in the last fifteen years or so, and I barely have time to keep up with all the critically acclaimed American TV shows. American television reviews are also of very high quality and readily available, so it’s much easier to identify quality shows that you know you’ll enjoy.
I watched this dorama mainly because I was curious about how Kaneshiro Takeshi did in the series. I don’t know if I’d call myself a fan, but I think well of him, mostly for his demeanor as a person, not necessarily for his acting. He strikes me as a no-nonsense and down-to-earth guy who dislikes fanfare, and always seemed humble and polite. Even early on in his music career, he took music seriously and tried to shed his idol image by writing his own songs and playing guitar. Most good-looking idols are happy just being idols, and they dabble in creative work more or less as a form of marketing gimmick, but never with sustained interest. I liked that even back then, Kaneshiro was more serious than his peers.
The show itself was decent. The plot twists and general tone is fairly standard for J-doramas. If you’ve seen a few, you’ll likely have a good idea how the whole thing will play out. The ending in these doramas are always tragic–that’s the template. It’s the same just like Korean or Chinese TV dramas–the male or the female lead always dies in the end. For whatever reasons, Asians have this fascination with tragic love stories. Culturally, I think they see it as the most beautiful and powerful, because what’s more moving than a love story that involves life and death? The way the series dealt with the topic of HIV and AIDS was a fairly positive one, but I felt it was sometimes trivialized and not presented with enough gravity. For one, they never really conveyed the horrors of what it’s like to actually die of AIDS, and they never dealt with the subject of whether there’s even a support system for HIV and AIDS patients in the Japanese society. But then again, it’s an idol-driven show, so it’s not exactly a serious attempt at some kind of social message.
The acting was decent, but no one really blew me away. Kaneshiro was perhaps one of the better actors in the series, while Fukada Kyoko was a lot more green in comparison. The directing wasn’t anything to write home about–in fact I found it a bit clumsy compared to the typical directing I see in J-doramas. I don’t really recommend it as there are better J-doramas out there. If you are a Kaneshiro fan, then maybe you’ll watch it just for him, but objectively speaking, I don’t think Kaneshiro’s acting is at the level where people will follow his career just to watch him act. Overwhelmingly, I think it’s mostly about his adoring female fanbase who are mesmerized by his good-looks.
The Secret In Their Eyes – An overrated film that splits its time between a story about unrequited love, and a rape/murder case, and the two stories really don’t belong together in the same film because putting them together does not yield any additional emotional or intellectual satisfaction than if the stories were to be told separately in two different films. In fact, putting them together only dilutes or confuses the poignancy and the focus of both stories.
Ninja Assassin – For a mindless popcorn flick, this was fun to watch, although you must turn your logic off in order to enjoy it. I have no idea why they chose a different actor to play the slightly younger version of the lead before he left the clan though, because he looks about the same age as the main lead, except he was prettier and spoke fluent English. I think that was a really bad idea because it was distracting and inconsistent. I can see why they wanted Rain to play the adult version of the lead, since they probably wanted his awesome body and physical abilities, but why not just have him play the slightly younger version too? It not as if he looks that much older than the slightly younger version. Although they tried to find someone who looked like Rain to play the slightly younger version, it’s still very obvious that it’s a different person with a different accent. Maybe they think “these Asians all look alike and no one can tell”?
Secretariat – Certain genres of movies have a set formula that never changes, and race horse movies is one them. It’s always about some underdog or has-been that makes it to the top against overwhelming odds. This one is no different. As much as I try to be genre-agnostic, I do feel that if you have seen one race horse movie, you pretty have have seen them all. Not that Secretariat is a bad movie (especially considering that I’m a Diane Lane fan), but it is like any other race horse movie I have ever seen.
The Rite – Exorcism is another genre of movies that follow a set formula that’s highly predictable–a priest who’s unsure of his faith, and how the exorcism he performs tests his faith. He either wins or loses, and that’s pretty much it. Maybe I’m being unfair, since many genres of movies have established formulas, but some genres have more variety in their set formulas than horse racing or exorcism. For example, bank heists or cop movies could have wildly different approaches from one film to the next.
There really wasn’t anything new or interesting in this exorcism movie. If The Exorcist remains the only exorcism movie you have ever seen, then rest assured that you haven’t missed out on anything in the decades since it was released–it is still the only one really worth watching.
The American – A spy thriller for arthouse fans that’s surprisingly serene, and has some very nice moments. Today’s movies tend to be paced too fast, without enough room for scenes to breathe, and I was glad this film took its time to develop the tension and the drama.
Under the Hawthorn Tree / 山楂樹之戀 – Zhang Yimou returns to the period rural drama genre he built his career early on. The logline for this film is “The cleanest love story ever in history,” which is kind of tacky. Fortunately the film itself isn’t, and was quite understated and innocent, without crass sentimentality. The lead actress was perfectly cast as the innocent and naive girl, and according to all the press, that’s who she is in real life, and that’s why the director picked her.
According to Zhang Yimou, he wanted to make a film that contrasted against the materialistic and fast-speed world of modern love, where promises and forever means absolutely nothing and true love is something most people no longer believe in, especially in the kind of materialistic society of modern China. I think he succeeded.
The Next Three Days – An unlikely thriller, but because of the caliber of the actors, it was entertaining. I couldn’t understand why the wife would choose to not tell her husband that she wasn’t guilty though–was it to make him give up trying to fight for her freedom so he could carry on with his life? It annoyed me that she constantly tried to kill herself, even when her husband is risking his life trying to save her. Made her seem a bit selfish and weak.
The Arrival – The X-Files meets Contact, but not as good as either, and with barely passable CG effects.
The Green Hornet – For a film that remained in development hell for so many years, the final result was disappointing. It tried to be a hybrid of bromance comedy and superhero action flick, but doesn’t do either one very well.
Jay Chou was a terrible choice because he’s not much of an actor, and his English is hard to understand sometimes. The only reason he was hired was because of his popularity in Chinese-speaking countries as a popstar, and the studio wanted the movie to do well in Asia.
Seth Rogen was just…Seth. If you’ve seen him in one movie, you’ve pretty much seen all he’s capable of; he has no range whatsoever.
Michel Gondry was a bit of a surprise because you’d think after having made some thoughtful films over the years, he wouldn’t be interested to go back and take on this type of highly commercialized mainstream film that he was originally slated to direct as his debut film all those years ago.