This really put a smile on my face. If you've seen the original teaser, you know just how awesome this is. Props to Michael J. Fox for doing it. Speaking of BTTF, I am really looking forward to the Blu-Ray release later this month. The quality of the transfer that I have seen looks incredible!
That is the question I've been getting a lot lately. Unfortunately what I'm up to does not really involve this site. Hopefully that will change a bit in the future, but only time will tell. What I'm up to right now involves pretty much three things:
3) Dungeons & Dragons.
Right now what little free time I have left after work and Smodcastle I spend either watching TV (still totally behind on everything) and playing or planning D&D. I have a new group I'm playing with that I am doing the Dungeon Mastering duties for. It has been a blast so far! Speaking of D&D, there is a cool contest going on at Troll in the Corner! They are giving away a bunch of Essentials gear.
On the B&B front, we are having Keith Coogan, star of such films as Adventures in Babysitting, Toy Soldiers, and Don't Tell Mom, The Babysitter's Dead on the show on Friday. If you are in the area, come on down! If not, feel free to post your questions here!
Robert Reich appeared on Fresh Air this week and discussed his new book, in which he submits that the root cause of our economic problems is the huge income disparity in America. You may have heard similar claims before, but I not like this. Nobody today speaks as convincingly as Robert Reich about America's economy and what we can do to fix it.
I know I say this a lot, but seriously, you should go listen to it. Now.
Geekscape has the press release:
Comic-Con International: San Diego (Comic-Con), the largest comics convention of its kind in the world, today announced it will be staying in San Diego for the foreseeable future.
Comic-Con reached a self-imposed attendance limit at the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) in 2007 and has had to cap attendance at approximately 125,000 people each year since. In looking at ways to better accommodate the growing demand from attendees and exhibitors, the nonprofit organization considered proposals for a move to larger facilities in Los Angeles or Anaheim after the expiration of its SDCC lease in 2012. This decision keeps Comic-Con in San Diego through 2015.
So there you have it. See you in San Diego!
The summer of Roku has pretty much turned into me letting old TV shows monopolize my time. My movie watching levels are down, so I don't feel such an urgent need to post reviews. Sorry! Just to share, I have finished four seasons of Doctor Who, one season of Torchwood, and Firefly. Ric and I are going through The Guild and Freaks and Geeks right now, and I'm going through Veronica Mars on my own. Ric has loved listening to me watch Doctor Who, so now he's starting the entire series, so I have a feeling I'll be re-watching a lot of it. I think I may need to start making some movie-watching quotas!
At least the $1 Tuesday deals get me going to the cheap theater once in a while. Cyndi and I went to check out Knight and Day. I know in the past I've professed a dislike for Tom Cruise, but that was mostly because he always seemed to be so fake any time he stepped out of the action genre and tried to tackle a real role. But, when Cruise does crazy, it seems to suit him well, as evidenced by Magnolia, Tropic Thunder, and even a cameo in an Austin Powers movie. The trailers for Knight and Day tapped into his crazy and used it to suit him. I liked that idea, and hoped that the movie would have the same feel.
I have to tell you, I was surprised by this movie. I didn't necessarily have high expectations, but it was actually kind of fun. Cruise plays Roy Miller, a secret agent who into a girl named June (Cameron Diaz) at the airport. Against Roy's plans, June ends up on his flight and witnesses more than she should, so he tracks her down and kidnaps her to try and protect her.
The script keeps things moving the entire time, and Roy's constant instructions for June are actually fun. Cruise plays Roy without any winks and nudges, and Diaz simply reacts to her unlikely situation and mysterious/crazy new acquaintance. That's what works for both of them.
I liked the changing locales, which take the characters all over the globe. Once June is on board with Roy, things do go a little bit too far, though. My limit was seeing a motorcycle chase go through through the running of the bulls and a bull fight in a stadium - seriously.
While it certainly isn't the best movie of the year, Knight and Day has turned out to be a fun little action/adventure flick with two likable leads and an overall good tone and pace. Especially for a buck, it was definitely worth my time, but I wouldn't have regretted seeing it for more.
If I had been drinking coffee while watching this, then the words "a film by Joel and Ethan Coen" would have made me do a real-life spit take.
Why was I not informed of this before now, Internet?!
So we have Jeff Bridges reuniting with the Coen brothers for the first time since The Big Lebowski, plus Josh Brolin back for more after his performance in No Country For Old Men. Nice.
I was afraid the Coens had exhausted their creativity between 2001 and 2007, but they are really on a roll lately. I can't wait to see this.
NPR is now streaming The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens, as part of their First Listen series.
That is all.
I'm writing a rare post from work.
There are lots of sporting activities and things going on after school, and as I was walking down the hall just now I overtook a kid going in the same direction, probably about 8 years old. He said, "Hi, coach." I informed that I am not a coach, and he said, "Oh. You look like my coach."
I asked, "Who is your coach?"
The boy said, "I don't really know."
"You don't know his name?"
Then the boy very seriously informed me, "We just call him Coach Sexy Biceps."
I have some honest questions for my Christian readers. If I am misunderstanding what you believe, please correct me.
Do you believe that your god knows about a cure for cancer and yet refuses to share that information with humans? If he knows everything and is capable of communicating with humans (two ideas most Christians would agree with), then why is he holding out on us? Millions of people have prayed fervently for the god's help in the fight against cancer. There are any number of ways he could communicate this vital information: A full-page ad in a major newspaper, a half-hour special on network television, a semester long class at a university, a press conference at the Mayo Clinic, or if subtlety were important he could anonymously scribble the some hints on a whiteboard in a cancer research facility.
What would you think of a team of researchers who discovered a cure for cancer and then refused to share it? I think it would be a vile thing to do and I don't see how it's any better if the perpetrator were a deity. Of course, a cure for cancer is just one of the many pieces of information that humans are desperately seeking. An omniscient deity could have revealed all kinds of information throughout human history and saved millions of lives. But so far those answers have come from the painstaking work of scientists and inventors, not from religious texts or traditions.
How do you reconcile the idea of praying for someone who has cancer with the idea that your god is withholding the information that would answer your prayers?
Sometimes I enjoy delving into a director's body of work all at one time, so I can really get to know him and how he works. It can be depressing at times, even when the movies are fantastic. I've already seen a good number of Bergman movies, and right now, I'm struggling my way through many more. I have to admit that the man has a wonderful eye. The closeups, the framing and staging of each scene, the way he can get his actors to emote so much, and the depth of his themes are all impressive.
But man, I am so depressed lately. In the past couple months, I've watched Autumn Sonata (girl confronting unloving mother), Through a Glass Darkly (girl going crazy), Persona (girl losing identity), Cries and Whispers (girl dying while sisters flash back to why they are all emotional cripples), and The Virgin Spring (girl gets raped and murdered).
I'm feeling rather stupid too. I should probably pick up a book on Bergman, but while I appreciate his movies, I don't necessarily enjoy them all that much, and I'm not sure I want to spend a lot of time reading about his work since I don't find myself feeling very invested in it. I know there's more substance than I have the patience to decipher. I'm trying to coax myself into going to the Truth and Lies exhibit at the Academy, to see if it'll give me any inspiration.
They're also having a series of his films at the LACMA too, but the movies I haven't seen already don't work with my schedule. A review of that series captures a little bit of how I feel while watching his work: "When Bergman gets the balance between action and introspection just right, his films can be uniquely, discomfitingly harrowing. When he leans too hard on free-floating torment, however, the result is art as oppression." At least this review gives me hope in that I'm not the only one who struggles.
I have to admit that the play-like feeling of several of Bergman's movies is also starting to bother me. At least my most recent watch was The Virgin Spring, which was a good change of pace from a world of emotional monologues and cutting arguments.
All that is to say that I'm not so sure I want to sit down and write reviews for these movies. It's feeling like a chore, and I never want my blog to feel like a chore.
Maybe a few quick thoughts, and a Bergman Roundup, when I'm done with everything? Yes, that sound good. I think I'll skip ahead and review a Tom Cruise movie next. Yes, you read that right. Variety is the spice of life, you know, and my variety goes from Bergman to Cruise in a matter of hours; and I don't even like Cruise - but more on that later!
Sylvester Stallone seems so hit and miss with his movie projects. There are certain times, in some of the Rocky movies, or even in movies like Cop Land, where he shows a certain aptitude for making character-driven movies, even if the character comes out between a lot of action scenes. In The Expendables, there are certain glimpses of that, but most of the movie feels rather generic, at it seems like he's just trying to turn up the violence to make up for what's lacking.
The cast of the Expendables is something everyone talked about, and it's the only reason I had any interest in the movie. Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, all in one flick? Sounds like fun with all those huge action stars, right? Well, really, this is a Stallone-Statham pairing, with Jet Li's character being abused, and then the non-supserstar actors like Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Steve Austin take up more time than I wanted. Sadly, the promise of Bruce Willis was a weak one. He shows up for one scene along with Schwarzenegger, and the two trade some boring lines before taking their exits. So really, the only person left of any interest for me was Jason Statham. He does have some cool moves, especially the scene where he sits in a gunner seat at the nose of a plane and explodes a pier.
The movie does succumb to some cliches that remind us these that Stallone is an old boy, and he's reliving his action movie glory days. The thing that made me laugh the most was an unnecessarily long segment in which the Expendables run through a building and stick explosives to the walls. The music soars and they run down hallways while sticking clumps to walls.. for a very long time. Maybe it wasn't actually that long, but I couldn't figure out why it was so emphasized. With the amount they seemed to plant, I thought they were planning to wipe out an entire city.
Overall, I've already forgotten most of what I saw because the film was rather generic. It wasn't terrible and didn't have a lot of cheesiness to it, but it didn't impress me much either. I can say that I enjoyed it well enough in the theater, but it certainly didn't overwhelm me with how awesome these Expendable guys are. It's probably worth catching at the cheap theater or for a mindless rental. All I know is that Statham stood out as being not-so-expendable as an action star while I really couldn't care less if I saw the others in an action movie again.. especially the way Stallone's still using closeups on himself despite the way his face is morphing over the years. Seriously, those eyebrows!
A friend of mine, Brian Apodaca, has created quite a comic book and was nice enough to send me a copy of it to check out. The title of the book is Zombie Outlaw and it is available for purchase here. It's a pretty cool story that takes place on a college campus where two friends manage to unleash a zombie deep in the bowels of the library and I'm guessing chaos is going to ensue in future episodes. The writing is very clever and the artwork fits the tone of the book quite well. I am definitely looking forward to future issues. Check out a preview page of the book by clicking here.
Wow, I have eaten so much cake this week. I'm going to have to watch my eating for a while and joy a lot to make up for it!
Wednesday night, we celebrated Ric's mom's birthday a little late and we all went mini-golfing together after we had a little bit of cake.
Erika and Justin were in town to visit family and go to a wedding, so on Thursday night they stopped by to drop off a bottle of Justin's homemade wine, which was tasty! We got to catch up with them for a while and let them get to know the kits.
Friday night Erika's parents were having anyone who was available over for food and conversation. Justin fried up some of the fish he caught last week, and we all had cake to celebrate Justin's birthday a little bit early.
Saturday the cats didn't want me to sleep in and made as much noise as possible so I'd get out of bed. I did what they wanted, but surprised them by leaving the house instead of paying attention to them. That'll learn them. I went shopping at Lowe's and Target for my mom's birthday. My parents never do anything to renovate their house, but recently my sister and I have convinced my mom to let us help her with her den. For her 60th birthday gift, I'll be spending many weekends painting and fixing it up, and to start her off we got her a bucket of primer. After a quick jog at the park, I went home to get ready for Stacy and AJ's wedding. Ric and I joined Erika and Justin and sat in the hot sun for a brief ceremony and then enjoyed the diversity of the reception, which included BBQ food, lots of candy, lottery scratchers as wedding favors, and fair games with prizes. Check out our Wanted shots!:
Sunday after church, my family got together at BJ's to celebrate my mom's birthday and then we all had cake at Grandma's. I topped off the day with some TV catchup.
Hope everything's good with all of you. I'll try and crank out some movie reviews soon. I've been watching a lot of Bergman and don't really feel like writing about him, so I've been putting it off.
I'm kind of dreading the start of the fall TV schedule seeing as how I've barely been able to keep up with summer TV. I totally missed the first Vampire Diaries and had to catch up last night. I'm still definitely hooked on that show. I got to talk to co-creator Julie Plec at Comic-Con and the little teasers she gave me for Season 2 definitely got me curious. Anyways, Ain't It Cool has the list of show premieres and here is the alphabetical list:
Amazing Race (CBS) Sept. 26
America’s Next Top Model (CW) Sept. 8
American Dad (Fox) Oct. 3
Apprentice (NBC) Sept. 16
Better With You (ABC) Sept. 22
Big Bang Theory (CBS) Sept. 23
Biggest Loser (NBC) Sept. 21
Blue Bloods (CBS) Sept. 24
Boardwalk Empire (HBO) Sept. 19
Bones (Fox) Sept. 23
Bored to Death (HBO) Sept. 26
Brothers & Sisters (ABC) Sept. 26
Caprica (Syfy) Oct. 5
Castle (ABC) Sept. 20
Chase (NBC) Sept. 20
Chuck (NBC) Sept. 20
Cleveland Show (Fox) Sept. 26
Community (NBC) Sept. 23
Cougar Town (ABC) Sept. 22
Criminal Minds (CBS) Sept. 22
CSI (CBS) Sept. 23
CSI: Miami (CBS) Oct. 3
CSI: NY (CBS) Sept. 24
Dancing With the Stars (ABC) Sept. 20
Defenders (CBS) Sept. 22
Desperate Housewives (ABC) Sept. 26
Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC) Sept. 21
Dexter (Showtime) Sept. 26
Eastbound & Down (HBO) Sept. 26
Event (NBC) Sept. 20
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC) Sept. 26
Family Guy (Fox) Sept. 26
Friday Night Lights (DirecTV) Oct. 27
Fringe (Fox) Sept. 23
Glee (Fox) Sept. 21
Good Guys (Fox) Sept. 24
Good Wife (CBS) Sept. 28
Gossip Girl (CW) Sept. 13
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) Sept. 23
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) Sept. 20
Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) Sept. 22
Hellcats (CW) Sept. 8
House (Fox) Sept. 20
How I Met Your Mother (CBS) Sept. 20
Human Target (Fox) Oct. 1
Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (IFC) Oct. 1
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) Sept. 16
Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC) Sept. 29
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) Sept. 22
League (FX) Sept. 16
Lie to Me (Fox) Nov. 10
Life Unexpected (CW) Sept. 14
Lone Star (Fox) Sept. 20
Mad (CN) Sept. 6
Medium (CBS) Sept. 24
Mentalist (CBS) Sept. 23
Middle (ABC) Sept. 22
Mike & Molly (CBS) Sept. 20
Modern Family (ABC) Sept. 22
My Generation (ABC) Sept. 23
NCIS (CBS) Sept. 21
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) Sept. 21
Nikita (CW) Sept. 9
90210 (CW) Sept. 13
No Ordinary Family (ABC) Sept. 28
Office (NBC) Sept. 23
One Tree Hill (CW) Sept. 14
Outlaw (NBC) Sept. 15
Outsourced (NBC) Sept. 23
Parenthood (NBC) Sept. 14
Private Practice (ABC) Sept. 23
Raising Hope (Fox) Sept. 21
Regular Show (CN) Sept. 6
Rules of Engagement (CBS) Sept. 20
Running Wilde (Fox) Sept. 21
Sanctuary (Syfy) Sept. 28
Saturday Night Live (NBC) Sept. 25
Shit My Dad Says (CBS) Sept. 23
Simpsons (Fox) Sept. 26
60 Minutes (CBS) Sept. 26
Smallville (The CW) Sept. 24
Sons of Anarchy (FX) Sept. 7
Stargate Universe (Syfy) Sept. 28
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (CN) Sept. 17
Supernatural (The CW) Sept. 24
Survivor (CBS) Sept. 15
Sym-Bionic Titan (CN) Sept. 17
Terriers (FX) Sept. 8
30 Rock (NBC) Sept. 23
Two and a Half Men (CBS) Sept. 20
Undercover Boss (CBS) Sept. 26
Undercovers (NBC) Sept. 22
Vampire Diaries (CW) Sept. 9
Venture Bros. (CN) Sept. 12
Walking Dead (AMC) Oct. 31
Whole Truth (ABC) Sept. 22
What new shows are you guys looking forward to? Aside from Boardwalk Empire, which looks incredible, I think I am going to check out No Ordinary Family after Guillermo Diaz hyped it up a bit on Bagged and Boarded last week and I'll probably check out that show with Will Arnette and Keri Russell. Feel free to chime in with your pics in the comments.
I think this is the first movie Ric has been excited about in a really long time. While the trailer apparently did not appeal to a wide audience, the moment Ric and I saw it, we knew we wanted to see the movie. I couldn't resist a movie that would reunite George Michael and Anne, after all!
Michael Cera stars in this epic of epic epicness (according to the tagline) as Scott, a somewhat directionless guy who's in a band. That's about all there is going for him, besides that he's dating a high school girl, who is his band's biggest (and possibly only) fan. One night, Scott has a dream about Ramona Flowers. He doesn't know who she is, but then he sees her at a party. He tracks her down to try and get to know her, and soon after dumps his girlfriend. It doesn't take long form him to find out that Ramona has some problems of her own, namely her seven evil exes, all of whom Scott must defeat in battle to win Ramona.
What everyone's saying about this movie (at least, everyone who actually went to see it) is how it's visually unlike anything you've seen. That's true. Scott's world is a video game world. Characters have stats, weapons, and special movies, all of which display on screen for us to enjoy. The integration of the live action and the video game effects is perfect, and it makes the movie very entertaining.
But a movie can't stand alone on visual effects, and that's where Edgar Wright comes in. He directs the movie and is also one of the screenplay writers, and he has such a knack for humor. There are so many little mannerisms, asides, and moments with perfect comic timing between the characters; and it's all fast. I love a movie that's jam-packed with quick humor. The editing and progression of the story are quick, and I loved that the speed felt much like quickness of going through a video game.
Paired with graphic novelist Bryan Lee O'Malley's colorful characters and ideas, Wright's touch and the movie's visuals make a fun show. Of course, the actors have to sell those characters, and there were definitely a lot of fun performances. Ellen Wong as peppy young girlfriend, Kieran Culkin as Scott's gay roommate, Anna Kendrick as Scott's sister, and Kim Pine as one of his bandmates are all hilarious in their own ways. Ramona's evil exes are great too, from the parody action star played by Chris Evans to Jason Schwartzman's smarmy character.
I liked how the movie managed to both poke fun and have fun with/at the lackluster generation. Some people say that the movie's all about selfish characters, but I think that's partially the point. Most of them learn a little something by the movie's end about their own flaws. It's not earth-shatteringly deep. If it were, then the movie wouldn't appeal to the people it satirizes. I like that it has enough going on to entertain at a surface level and a tongue-in-cheek level as well.
Overall, I was entertained. About two-thirds of the way into the movie, it gets a little bit slow, but not for very long. I had a really fun time, and can see SPVTW holding up over many repeat viewings. We don't really buy DVDs very often anymore in this Roku/Netflix/TiVo/Hulu world (RoNeTiHu? NeTiHuRo? HuRoNeTi?), but my guess is that this will be on Ric's Amazon wishlist for Christmas and we'll enjoy watching it many more times.
We've got some big guests coming to Bagged & Boarded Live at Smodcastle. Last Friday night we had Guillermo Diaz and it was a blast. This Friday we have Michael McMillian from True Blood. The show is at 10 PM and tickets are only $10! You can also buy a four show pack and pay the price of three shows. If for some reason you can't come this Friday, you'll definitely want to be there on the 17th as our guest is:
Alex Winter, aka Bill S. Preston, Esquire, from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure! We'll be asking him questions, maybe doing a little rocking out on stage, and other cool stuff you won't want to miss. For tickets and more show info, head over to the Smodcastle site. If you are a cool celebrity and would like to appear on Bagged & Boarded, please hit me up. Thank you.
What did you do for the long weekend? Ric and I drove out to see our brother and sister-in-law's family in Arizona. I drove us out late Friday night. When we got there at 1am, it was still in the 90s. Wow. I love air conditioning.
Saturday afternoon we drove out to see Judi, who was one of my bridesmaids. She recently had a crazy and very early birth, and we are so glad she and her baby boy are doing okay! Born three months early, Jake is still in the NICU, so we met up with Judi there and got to hear the whole story. That evening we got some takeout and hung around the house together just catching up on life.
Sunday we went to church and fired up the BBQ. We had too much to eat, played video games, and watched some Star Wars together. Ric and his brother watched an entire season of Frisky Dingo in one sitting. I wish I had been able to stay awake with them!
Monday Ric and I met up with Becky and Zoe for breakfast. It was great to catch up a bit, and man, it's so fun to see how much Zoe has grown! Since the upcoming week is a busy one, we squeezed in an errand to buy a gift for a wedding we're going to in a few days. We relaxed some more with the fam before packing our bags for the long drive home. The drive seemed extra long this time. I had to ask Ric to help me do the driving because I got too sore. Once we were home I needed to stretch my legs, so I went and did all my grocery shopping, which should also help free up my week a little bit.
Up this week, we've got a mini-golf night with Ric's parents for his mom's birthday, a BBQ to hang out with Erika and Justin while they're in town for a wedding, the wedding, and lunch with the family for my mom's birthday.
Things at work are busy but good so far. I'm still trying to transition a lot of my old responsibilities out to other people, but it's hard because we're at the end of an old software system and at the beginning of a new one, so I'm trying to see out the work on the old system so I only have to teach D what to do on the new one. I'm writing a procedure manual as things come up, and trying to iron out the kinks we're discovering along the way.
I hope everyone else out there is doing well and that you all had a great weekend. I can't tell you how nice it is to think I only have to work four days this week.