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This Week at the Movies: Million Dollar Baby & Constantine

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Million Dollar Baby is a character study slash friendship movie directed by Clint Eastwood. He does an adequate job though nothing ground breaking. The story centers on Franky, a boxing trainer/manager as he tries to cope with boxers in his charge and some mighty powerful internal demons.

We are never privy to the specifics of his turmoil, but we are told he go to mass everyday, writes his estranged daughter every week begging for forgiveness for something, and suffers the guilt of an injured boxer and friend many years before. The main storyline revolves around Maddie, a female boxer who finally ingratiates herself into his life. The story follows the training and boxing career of Maddie and her interactions with our hero and sidekick. The audience is given a taste of her relationship with her family members and some issues of her own to help build depth and sympathy for the character. A rising star is taken out by one sneaky blow and leaves her with one final favor to ask of Franky. The characters in this excellently written script are likable, admirable, and personable. The performances of Clint Eastwood, Hillary Swank, and Morgan Freeman are of course first rate - as you would expect from these great names. Even if you don't like boxing, this movie is a heart tugging example of the relationship humans form and the rewards and toll that can result. Wonderful first class film.

Constantine is a supernatural thriller directed by Francis Lawrence. A worthy effort considering I couldn't turn up any other credits to his name. The script was original with enough references to known concepts to make it plausible. The direction was creative but using known methods, I saw nothing new. The effects were spectacular and believable. Keanu Reeves delivers a convincing performance as the brooding tormented hero. Rachel Weisz was excellent and beautiful, even after returning from Hell. Aided by other familar talents such as Tilda Swinton as Gabriel, this movie delivers a creepy experience with a side order of scary thrills. I really enjoyed this flick and can recommend it.

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today's leftovers

Leftovers: Software

  • The Linux Deepin File Manager Is a Thing of Beauty
    China-based Linux distro Deepin has shown off its all-new desktop file manager. And to say it's pretty is an understatement.
  • GRadio Lets You Find, Listen to Radio Stations from the Ubuntu Desktop
    Love to listen to the radio? My ol’ pal Lolly did. But let’s say you want to listen to the radio on Ubuntu. How do you do it? Well, the Ubuntu Software centre should always be the first dial you try, but you’ll need to sift through a load of static to find a decent app.
  • Reprotest 0.2 released, with virtualization support
    reprotest 0.2 is available in PyPi and should hit Debian soon. I have tested null (no container, build on the host system), schroot, and qemu, but it's likely that chroot, Linux containers (lxc/lxd), and quite possibly ssh are also working. I haven't tested the autopkgtest code on a non-Debian system, but again, it probably works. At this point, reprotest is not quite a replacement for the prebuilder script because I haven't implemented all the variations yet, but it offers better virtualization because it supports qemu, and it can build non-Debian software because it doesn't rely on pbuilder.
  • Calibre 2.63.0 eBook Converter and Viewer Adds Unicode 9.0 Support, Bugfixes
    Kovid Goyal has released yet another maintenance update for his popular, open-source, free, and cross-platform Calibre ebook library management software, version 2.63.0. Calibre 2.63.0 arrives two weeks after the release of the previous maintenance update, Calibre 2.62.0, which introduced support for the new Kindle Oasis ebook reader from Amazon, as well as reading and writing of EPUB 3 metadata. Unfortunately, there aren't many interesting features added in the Calibre 2.63.0 release, except for the implementation of Unicode 9.0 support in the regex engine of the Edit Book feature that lets users edit books that contain characters encoded with the recently released Unicode 9.0 standard.
  • Mozilla Delivers Improved User Experience in Firefox for iOS
    When we rolled out Firefox for iOS late last year, we got a tremendous response and millions of downloads. Lots of Firefox users were ecstatic they could use the browser they love on the iPhone or iPad they had chosen. Today, we’re thrilled to release some big improvements to Firefox for iOS. These improvements will give users more speed, flexibility and choice, three things we care deeply about.
  • LibreOffice 5.2 Is Being Released Next Wednesday
    One week from today will mark the release of LibreOffice 5.2 as the open-source office suite's latest major update. LibreOffice 5.2 features a new (optional) single toolbar mode, bookmark improvements. new Calc spreadsheet functions (including forecasting functions), support for signature descriptions, support for OOXML signature import/export, and a wealth of other updates. There are also GTK3 user-interface improvements, OpenGL rendering improvements, multi-threaded 3D rendering, faster rendering, and more.
  • Blackmagic Design Finally Introduces Fusion 8 For Linux
  • Why Microsoft’s revival of Skype for Linux is a big deal [Ed: This article is nonsense right from the headline. Web client is not Linux support. And it's spyware (centralised too).]

today's howtos

Microsoft and Linux