Jun

10

 Shrek 3 is a great movie. If you have seen the first two this one is worth it. One of my interests is computer graphics and each one of these movies is more and more impressive. One of the things to watch is hair and clothes. At this point, with massive computer efforts, hair motion (look at Puss-in-Boots and Donkey's hair in particular) is very realistic. Also look at clothes.

Clothes now can realistically drape and move with the character. The first computer graphics that I played with was on the Commodore Pet - not bimapped but nothing much outside military systems in 1978. The creators of Shrek 3 threw in some classic rock music to hook the parents, like Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song," in one scene where Snow White becomes a riparian ninja. I've actually seen it twice in the last three weeks.

Pirates of the Caribbean is worth seeing if you want to know how it all ends (if it did end - I'm not sure). And the effects are really good. But it's way too long at three hours and the plot is a bit disjointed.

 If you have a Nintendo Wii, Super Paper Mario is highly recommended. It is fun and challenging for children and adults alike. You move between a linear two-dimensional world (side-scrolling for hipsters) and a 3-D representation of the same space. Press a button and features of the environment that are hidden in 2-D mode suddenly appear. It's intriguing and addictive as all h-e-double-hockeysticks. I've been playing it every afternoon apres 4 PM. It's actually a role-playing game to some degree.

While many people say that video games are bad for children, I think that properly-chosen games are actually very good for them. Platforming games (where you have to jump around from one place to another) are really good for building hand-eye coordination. Role-playing games are good to help young children learn to read as the interactions between characters largely appear in dialog boxes. I used this to help my younger daughter learn to read. It also helps kids learn to follow a story and the development of characters.


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