December 2006


My cousin Peter made this comment on my earlier post on the Conan movies. My comment on Tom Cruise’s acting recalled this quote from a review of Minority Report:

While there are action elements, this is not an action film, per se, but rather a film about Tom Cruise in the future.

I paraphrased this to apply to The Last Samurai:

While The Last Samurai does have historical elements, it is not a historical epic per se. It’s a movie about Tom Cruise in Meiji-era Japan.

That’s when it hit me: This can be applied to practically any Tom Cruise movie! The formula is this:

“While [movie starring Tom Cruise] does have [supposed genre of film] elements, this is not a [supposed genre] film per se. It’s a movie about Tom Cruise in [place setting for movie].”

Footnote: The original review here is actually just a review for the trailer! It somehow makes it even more hilarious.

Over at fark a while back, there was a LONG discussion in the forums here. The subject is, “If you could go back in time and tell your 12-year old self one thing, what would it be? Difficulty, no stock tips.”

The ensuing discussion is REALLY long, but it was also a good mix of thought-provoking and entertaining comments. Basically, most things people say are in one of 4 categories:

1) Take opportunities or you will regret it. (For most people this equates to “You could have a relationship with [certain person] in [number] years if you just ask him/her.)
2) Try hard, or you will regret it.
3) If you love someone, tell them every day, or you will regret it. Also related to this, alot of people said something to the effect of “Get [certain loved person] to a doctor before they [die , collapse, etc.] to be screened for [debilitating or deadly condition, usually cancer], no matter how they say they don’t want to.”
4) Be forgiving, but be strong.

What would I say to myself? Probably not too much. Even though my angst-filled teenage years were pretty difficult, there really isn’t that much that I regret. Maybe just the following:
1) You’re not going to hit puberty for another 4 years, so be patient with your puny body. You’re not athletic either, so don’t expect too much even after you do.
2) Feel free to (try to) date girls and stuff in high school, but don’t be too serious about girls until you’re older and in college. They unfortunately won’t be serious about you until you’re 24 or so. If you decide to date [name witheld] in high school, know that she will only be interested in you as a temporary surrogate boyfriend that treats her nice, and she’ll be sleeping with at least two of your friends while you think you’re dating her. (This really happened.) Also, don’t date [name witheld] when you’re at OU. She actually has a fiancé back in her hometown, and she’s only dating you in order to make an excuse to break up her engagement. (This actually happened too!)

Is I mentioned in the earlier post, I would post the answer later. Most people that were kind enough to comment on it also gave the correct answer. I thought the trick was pretty sneaky, so I wrote an email to the author of the website:

Cliff,
It took me a few minutes, but I really had to slap myself on the forehead when I realized the trick. The trick being that *none* of the six cards appear after you click the one of the six eyes. The five that appear after the click are all different. The original six has three red face cards: a king, a queen, and a jack, and three black face cards, also a king, a queen, and a jack. When you click on the eyes, then five face cards are shown. However, for each face card that was there before, the suit of each card changes to the other suit of the same color. A king of diamonds is replaced by a king of hearts, a jack of spades is replaced by a jack of clubs, etc. Then you show five of these cards instead of six, and no matter which of the six they chose, that card will not appear with the five. Since the person playing is only paying attention to the card that they picked, they only notice that the card they chose is no longer there: they don’t notice that all the other cards have changed because they weren’t paying attention to that detail. Quite an ingenius little trick.

I’m curious, what percentage of people figure out the trick to this? I’m sure you won’t post this reply (and I wouldn’t ask you to) on your site since it would ruin the trick for everyone, but I’m certainly not a genius and I highly doubt that I’m the first to figure it out.

Also, I find it hilarious that many people claim it didn’t work and thier card wasn’t removed! I guess they remembered thier own card wrong, or something like that.
–Derek

Alas, Cliff never wrote me back.