This morning, my new MacBook Pro with retina display arrived. Yea!
Curiously, during the initial set-up, it was unable to connect to my Wi-Fi. Once past the initial set-up, it connected just fine.
I started installing the software I need at noon, it’s now 8:37 and not finished. Why? The Apple software update is a 1.14 gig download. It clearly wasn’t going to finish before I had to head out for the day so I just let it run. When I came back, there was an error message about not being able to save the file so I needed to start over again. With my relatively slow internet, the download is taking 2-3 hours to complete.
Installing MS Office was the other pain. Installation couldn’t complete while Chrome was running – no idea why. I had to wait for other downloads to finish before I could shut down Chrome (Adobe Lightroom – 45 minutes). Then the install program said it needed another 26 minutes to finish. 30 seconds later? Finished. Okay.
As expected, my photos look amazing on the retina display. Beautifully detailed, great contrast. Haven’t had a chance to do much else with it yet but I do have a business trip coming up on Wednesday so there will be several days to put it through its paces.
Fortunately today’s typhoon held off long enough for us to get to Megabox for an afternoon screening of The Dark Knight Rises. No spoilers here. Clearly better than the first film. Hard to compare with the second because, well, the second had that astonishing performance from Heath Ledger. Tom Hardy is a terrific actor but since his face is covered with that mask for 99% of his screen time, it puts him at a disadvantage. And there’s one plot twist towards the end that I completely did not see coming; Nolan’s good at that.
I think the reason this Batman trilogy has worked so well is that it is more grounded in realism than other comic book movies. Batman has no super powers, the villains have no super powers. The plot lines are a bit on the extreme side, of course. But I remember growing up, reading comics in the 50s and 60s, thinking that Marvel had the more complex characters than DC. That’s turned around, at least in this instance. Compare the simplistic morals of Spiderman with the conversations that Bruce Wayne and Alfred have here. I guess Avengers is more of an amusement park ride (a great one) while this is much darker and heavier and, at least to some degree, richer.
I do have to say that I often find Christopher Nolan’s films difficult going in a way I can’t quite explain. I feel a weight on my head when I’m watching them – I can’t describe it any better than that, I’m afraid. The film, at 2 hours 40 minutes, is both fast and ponderous at the same time. There’s very little there that isn’t absolutely necessary and I appreciate that. But there’s so much there, plus that monolithic Hans Zimmer score, it’s a heavy 160 minutes with few respites despite the fact that there is an awful lot of dialogue in long stretches between the major action set pieces.
All in all, the film does not disappoint. For me, it lived up to the hype and I remain a Christopher Nolan fan. I’m not planning to see it a second time in a theater but I do plan to buy the blu-ray when it comes out. It will be interesting to watch again and see if I can spot clues to the big plot twist that perhaps I missed the first time out.
By the time the film was over, the Signal 8 typhoon signal had been “hoisted.” All of the shops in Mega Box had closed or were closing and I was glad it was just a short drive from there to back home. Some stretches of road were littered with bits falling off trees but nothing so huge as to cause a problem. And then, halfway home, a warning light came on, one I’d never seen before. Had to get home and look it up, “problem with exhaust system.” Did something just coincidentally happen at the same time as this storm? Did some debris manage to lodge in the tail pipe? Or after the rain stops, will everything be back to normal? I’ll find out tomorrow I guess.