Eric D. Snider

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Archive for April 27th, 2007

Cheney speaks at BYU; lightning fails to strike

Friday, April 27th, 2007
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Vice President Dick “Richard” Cheney’s visit to Brigham Young University’s commencement ceremony on Thursday passed smoothly and without incident, though there had been much controversy beforehand. The cantankerous, go-F-yourself-encouraging veep, known in some circles as Bush’s “attack dog,” came across as likable and pleasant in his address to graduates and their guests. He didn’t say anything controversial or political (I don’t think anyone expected him to; it wouldn’t be the right forum for that), and he even earned a couple of laughs.

You can hear his entire speech here. Note the places where he got the biggest applause: when he extended President Bush’s well wishes to the graduates, and when he mentioned BYU’s consistent ranking as No. 1 in the category of “stone-cold sober” colleges.

He cracked a few jokes at his own expense. He said that in his own college career, he nearly earned a doctorate, lacking only the dissertation. “I’ll get started as soon as I come up with a topic,” he said.

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Friday movie roundup – April 27

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Do you hear that? It is the calm before the storm. This is the last weekend before the start of Summer Blockbuster Season, which begins May 4 and will be about half-over by the time summer actually begins. “Spider-Man 3” will kick off the festivities, to be quickly followed by a Shrek, and a Pirates, and an Ocean’s, and a Simpsons, and a Bourne, and a Rush Hour, and a Transformers, and a Die Hard — wow. Everyone’s predicting it will be the biggest summer in history, in terms of box office, and I don’t see how it could fail in that. These are such hotly anticipated titles that even if every single one of them sucks (and the more I think about “Spider-Man 3,” the more disappointed I am by it), they’ll still make hundreds of millions of dollars.

And so today is when the last few bits of non-summer crumbs get tossed out, movies that have only seven days to make money before “Spider-Man 3” destroys them all. Two of them are opening without screenings. The other two are middle-of-the-road efforts unlikely to attract much attention.

The better of the two is “Next,” starring Nicolas Cage as a man who can see into the future — but only his own personal future, and only two minutes ahead. It’s not brilliant sci-fi, but it’s fun.

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