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Underworld: Evolution (spoiler-free)

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fosteronfilm and I went to the advance screening of Underworld: Evolution last night. The publicist people got the Netherworld folks to show up in vampire and werewolf costumes and roam through the audience beforehand. The werewolves especially really got into it--eliciting shrieks of surprise and terror from oblivious female-types--prowling and sneaking up on people, then waving fuzzy heads and paws about while snarling. I think I'm a bit jaded, though. When one wolfie tried his scare routine on me, I couldn't help myself; I reached out, scritched his head, and cooed "Nice, puppy!" He was, however, unfazed and responded with a doggie leg twitch and happy noises; I was greatly amused.

The movie itself was exactly what I needed. Shiny, escapist fantasy full of explosions and stabby bits, with some really, really gorgeous people (Kate Beckinsale in a vinyl corset and Scott Speedman in, uh, pants . . . *droool*).

Surprising me (both of us, actually), it was good. It didn't suffer from the sequel malaise that most 2nds do. The storyline was a continuation of the plot established in Underworld, rather than a bigger, brighter rehash of it, so it didn't have that "we need to have a follow-up but don't have any idea where to go with it" feel that most sequels do. There were one or two "huh?" moments that are probably best not dwelled too intently upon, but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, considering they got so much right. It was an absolutely beautiful movie with glorious action scenes that had the perfect balance of grace and gore.

So yeah, the whole evening gets shiny snaps from me.

If you want an actual review of the movie, instead of my disjointed rambling, check out fosteronfilm's write-up.

On the notebook front: We called the HP customer service folks and learned that the return date has been pushed to the 26th. Why? Because they're waiting on a fan part. They seem to be working under the misapprehension that my laptop's malfunction is due to a cooling/fan problem, despite the fact that the CPU fan turns on and off normally, and that the problem still occurs even when I use my laptop on a cooling pad that has its own fans. I suggested that it seemed appropriate at this time for HP to replace my notebook.  The customer service person replied that if my notebook was still malfunctioning after I got it back this second time around, it might at that point be “an option,” and not before. To say that I was aghast at the prospect of receiving my notebook back with the original problem unresolved after two service orders and a month-long wait is an understatement.

When we got home last night, I penned (typed) a lengthy email to the HP Escalation Managers that yukinooruoni put me in contact with. I got a reply pretty quickly this morning. The person I emailed can't help, but she's forwarded me to an HP case manager who's supposed to call me back within 2 business days (I wonder if I'll hear from them before we set out for Utah). She also gave me the number of HP Corporate's office, but it's not toll free, which makes me disinclined to use it except as a very, very last resort.

Looks like I'm definitely not going to have my laptop with me for Sundance. I shake my fist at HP with the wrath of a thousand burning suns. Then I slump in resigned surrender, grumbling. HP sucks.


Writing Stuff

britzkrieg has asked me to assume an Assistant Managing Editor mantle for The Town Drunk, and I have happily accepted the promotion. My editing hat got bigger.

New Words: A smattering of words on a SF tale for jimhines's Heroes in Training antho with much outline scribbling and character pondering. Not even going to start logging Club 100 stats until I get back from Utah.

I'm feeling:
drained drained
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On January 20th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC), neo_prodigy commented:
i'm glad to hear that underworld: evolution is actually good. i was planning to see it this weekend.

in regards to hp, i had a similar situation with dell. i asked them to have a professional look at the laptop because it repeatedly malfunctioned and all they simply did was keep sending replacement parts which didn't work.

finally i demanded them to replace my laptop and it wasn't open for discussion.
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On January 20th, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC), mission_code_z commented:
Thanks for the review of Underworld:Evolution, especially since it wasn't screened for most critics. Sounds like it could be some good escapist fare.

And, yes, the power of Beckinsale commands me to see this...
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On January 20th, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC), mouseferatu commented:
I was only moderately statisfied with the first Underworld, but I do plan to see this one. Glad to hear it's, at the very least, not worse.

Then again, I seem to be one of only 8 guys and 49 girls in the world whose reaction to Kate Beckinsale is "Meh, she's okay." :-)

On a totally different note...

That icon is disturbing! Bloody hell, Eugie...
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On January 20th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"That icon is disturbing! Bloody hell, Eugie..."

Mwahahahaa! Ain't it just? And even more disturbing, I find myself both fascinated by and oddly identifying with it . . . meep.

The full composition is even more wicked. It's the cover art of the current issue of Aberrant Dreams (#6).
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On January 20th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC), t_rex replied:
Eww! (In a good way.) The old wooden chair and the angel figurine in the background just make it worse.
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On January 20th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC), keesa_renee commented:
Fie upon thee, HP!! :does her best werewolf-growl at the HP "Help" (not!) staff:

That stinks, Eugie!
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On January 20th, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC), yukinooruoni commented:
here's something you can take out your frustrations on:

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On January 22nd, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
My, that was cathartic. Ahhhh . . .
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On January 20th, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
my ego insists that your editorial promotion is the direct result of flooding TTD with submissions.

My plan is to continue to do so until a) they buy something, b) the trunk is empty, or c) they politely but firmly request me to cease and desist.

The rejection emails have been very friendly and polite. Quel refreshing. :)
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On January 21st, 2006 02:01 am (UTC), britzkrieg replied:
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On January 21st, 2006 01:53 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Do I need to see the movies in sequence to fully enjoy them?


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On January 22nd, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Re: Question
Hmm. Good question. I'm trying to decide whether I'd be able to make any sense out of Underworlds: Evolution if I hadn't seen the first one. Upon consideration, I would definitely recommend seeing the first one before seeing Evolution.
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On January 21st, 2006 02:01 am (UTC), basletum commented:
I've been drooling over Underworld: Evolution since I first saw the trailer. I also keep drooling over that zombie picture while muttering something about brains, but anyway.

Congratulations on your promotion at TTD. I'm still bound and determined to get a story accepted there...any day now...yep. Third time's the charm. Yep.
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On January 21st, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC), reddherring1955 commented:
Thanks for the review of Underworld II. I was iffy about going until I saw that you liked it. Yea, another movie this weekend. We saw Tristan and Isolde yesterday, but I can't recommend it.
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On January 22nd, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
It seems like Tristan and Isolde snuck up on me. I didn't hear any buzz about it until I started seeing ads for it on TV. It got a thumbs down from you huh? Pity. I really like the Arthurian myth. Not to mention I've been a fan of Rufus Sewell since Dangerous Beauty.
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