Contimplates the London Skyline, Roger Ebert, and the Greatest Movie Ever Made. will take the juicy opportunity to criticize the critic. While surfing his Twitter feed the other day he came across this post:

Thumbs down on that, right? (sorry.)

Sample writing from the linked article includes this chunk in the middle:

The Shard of Glass, also known as the “Vertical City” is one such building that I don’t quite understand. Standing at a monstrous 310 meters tall, over 1000 feet, it now dwarfs the London Bridge Quarter, leaving the previous dominator, Guys Hospital, in its shadow. Unsurprisingly, as its name suggests, it is designed to resemble a Shard of Glass, one that would give even the Python foot a nasty cut.

The Shard is certainly an impressive sight, a visible landmark on the skyline for miles, but it just looks, wrong. Now, I’m possibly being slightly unfair as the project is still incomplete, portions of the core are exposed, the majority of floors empty with the spire yet to be constructed. At certain points of the day, when the sun is positioned correctly reflecting off the glass so that you can’t see these things, yeah, it looks good. An indicator of its future completed state.

The writer, while unenthusiastic, didn’t seem as down on it as Roger Ebert. studied abroad in London and fell in love with the city. He does however remember getting off the plane and getting a ride into the city and thinking, “Where the hell are all the buildings?”

It’s not that had any expectations. He didn’t even think about it arriving. He, of course, saw movies with the London skyline, but he didn’t bother thinking about that en route. He just thought, “Well London is sort of like New York, New York has skyscrapers, so London will too.” Heck, he’s from near Philadelphia and even they have increasingly tall buildings.

That’s not to say this is without charm. It kind of makes London feel more “authentic.” It sort of looks like Jack the Ripper (or somebody considerably nicer from the olden days) is still walking around.

Wiki explains the height this way:

Despite its long history and constant rebuilding, London does not have a large number of skyscrapers. This is due to restrictions on building heights originally imposed by the London Building Act of 1894, which followed the construction of the fourteen-storey Queen Anne’s Mansions. Though restrictions have long since been eased, strict regulations remain to preserve protected views, especially those of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Westminster Palace, as well as to comply with the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority.

It also makes it pretty easy to take in the view. Primrose Hill, for example, offers a good view and all you have to do is walk up a hill. A hill for god sake!

Closer to the heart of things,  the London Eye offers another good view of where V rocked out his Vendetta (good movie and all, but likes Big Ben. Find something else to blow up, weirdo). would respect the lower eye level attitude if they hadn’t already constructed some tall buildings.

One such building looks like an egg (no offense, Easter). 30 St. Mary Axe sits in the financial district. If you are protecting a skyline whose achievement is a place that’s nicknamed after a cucumber, maybe you should experiment some more.

So is pro experimentation. He respects Roger Ebert’s right to say whatever he wants, but he also felt like he wanted to respond to his tweet. That is until he called the Usual Suspects overrated*.

Maybe he’s just going senile.**


* says The Usual Suspects is his favorite movie and he means it when he says it. loves movies and knows them well enough to understands that it is a somewhat odd choice. There is a lot to go into that decision. Most fundamentally, he believes that everybody should have a movie they call their favorite for simplicity and conversational sake. However, that’s not to say it’s the movie a person would want to watch every day of his life. He knows that the dweebs will say something like Citizen Kane. loved Citizen Kane and beyond that he gets its impact to motion pictures. He totally gets why critics love it. He really digs Casablanca, too. If he wanted to say something old for the sake of saying something old just to sound smart he might point to The Great Escape. Meanwhile, more recently, he thinks L.A. Confidential just gets better and better with age. All of this being said, on some days, he’d just rather watch Super Troopers.

This is a round about way of saying your favorite movie is not always your favorite movie per se or even the best movie. Still, picks Usual Suspects because it was well acted and well directed. Enough people have seen it for it to be accessible in conversation. It was mysterious in a way that he hadn’t previously seen and it didn’t stick in a romance for no reason. Plus, “Redfoot” is an awesome alias.

Finally, it came out when was 13 years old and it floored him in a time he was just learning about how to tell a good story and he is forever grateful.

** hopes it’s clear that he actually is kidding and likes Ebert.

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2 Responses to Contimplates the London Skyline, Roger Ebert, and the Greatest Movie Ever Made.

  1. Niken says:

    In Stockholm, go to the Vasa and Nobel Museums. They are hands down two fo the coolest mesuums I have EVER been to. I could have spent the whole day just wandering in each of them. Go to the palace and if you’re a student, ask for the student discount. When I went it was less than a dollar for admission. It was totally worth it too. I LOVE Stockholm. Just wander around there, it’s such a beautiful city you’ll probably just want to spend lots of time staring at it and being amazed.For London, I used to live there and could write a novel about the cool things you can see and do there. It’s hands down my very favourite city. For good pubs, I always ahd a good time at the Old Blue Last just off Old street in Hackney (I think). It’s a younger crowd, but I enjoyed it. For good foor, Pizza express can be found anywhere in the city and it’s decent enough. Be sure to eat Indian Food there too. I used to like getting my curry on Brick Lane (while there, check out the bagel bakery.I can’t remember the name, but it’s SO GOOD). My very favourite ice cream place in the city (well, gelato technically) is a little place on Charing Cross Rd. called Ciao! Gelateria. It has a giant ice cream cone outside and it’s right by Leicester Square. It’s easy enough to miss, but if you hapepn to see it, go inside. It’s totally worth it.

  2. Jesiry says:

    the anne frank house was AMAZING! I cried a lot, but it was so incredible to see the house I read [and reared and reared] about and to see the actual diary of hers .amazing. worth the trip if nothing else was there. but the van gogh museum was great, too, and the red light district was alright, too, bu tno cameras! =]as for London, I was there from Sept-Jan, and it was amazing. Brick lane has lots of great Indian places, one of my favorites was pappadums, and .oh there was another great place I will try to get the name of, amazing Pakistani restaurant in the brick lane area. as for pubs, anglesea arms was great, and the Olde explorer right off of oxford street, I think. =] amazing fish and chips. oh! and go to Nando’s!

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