And Another Thing…

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Summer movies, so far

Star Trek  A whole lot better than it should have been. I was right in hoping that they would keep the cool stuff (space travel, aliens, starship battles, phaser fights, fisticuffs, and camaraderie) and jettison the draggy stuff (wooden acting, cheap sets and special effects, self importance). The casting is rock solid (especially Karl Urban as Bones and Zachary Quinto as Spock) and the story moves like gangbusters with plenty of humor. Granted, like all movies featuring time travel there are some plot holes, but otherwise its great fun. Just one question: does anyone else wonder why alien species look and behave just like us in the Star Trek universe?

The Hangover  Absolutely appalling, but funny as all get-out. Caught this one on a guy’s night while my wife and some of her girlfriends went to see The Proposal. I think the guys got the better portion.

UP  As far as I am concerned, a new classic. Not a false note in this deeply moving, riveting, laugh-out-loud, heartfelt adventure, and I feel no shame in admitting that I choked up a couple of times. How does Pixar make movies with animated characters that seem so real while Michael Bay makes movies with flesh and blood actors who come off like cartoons?

Seen anything good? Seen anything that made you want to sue to get the time back that you spent on it? Sound off in the comments.

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While I Was Out

I got caught up on a couple of things at my internship and the instructor for the only class I am taking cancelled one of our major assignments, so here I am. What’s more, hundreds many a handful a couple of my beloved readers have written to ask when I plan to return, so here I find myself. What did I miss? Well: This twitter thing has caught on something fierce, a development which I absolutely did not expect. I won’t be taking this up, however. I can’t imagine that my life is that interesting minute by minute, even to me. I’m sure that I missed blogging on some other things, but for the life of me I can’t think of them right now. Consider this an invitation to do an open thread in the comments.

Books

I recently finished Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler. I think whether or not this book is for you will depend on your response to the title, because it delivers exactly what the title promises: an action-packed post-apocalyptic satire set in a future US where the most powerful business, bordering on a fiefdom, is a strip bar franchise. The humor is dark but the characters are endearing. Right now I am reading L.A. Outlaws by T. Jefferson Parker. So far, it is a good read with an interesting plot and believable characters. More after I finish it (maybe).

 TV

Battlestar Galactica came to its eagerly anticipated ending, and the results were interesting: neither the GREATEST ENDING OF ALL TIME as some critics have trumpeted nor a complete failure as other critics insist. Spoilers below:

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Filed under: Books, Faith and Religion, Geek Stuff, Movies, Music, Politics, School, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Gran Torino” a fitting final role for Eastwood

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Since my father considers westerns to be the pinnacle of artistic achievement in the U.S., my exposure to Clint Eastwood’s oeuvre started young and never stopped; and he has made some of my favorite movies ever. To be fair, he’s made a few clinkers along the way, but for the most part he has maintained his status in my mind as one of the coolest, toughest guys in Hollywood.

I didn’t bother seeing The Changeling (although I won’t rule out ever seeing it) but I was chomping at the bit to catch Gran Torino. Initially, the Mrs. wasn’t interested, and understandably so. In her mind, Eastwood was just “Dirty Harry” so I had to convince her that his later movies are a whole lot more than that (nothing against Dirty Harry in my book, though). After finally relenting, she was pleasantly surprised – she laughed as hard as everyone else in the theatre at the funny bits and admitted that she even cried a little at the end.

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Nine More

Movies that I may see this year

Shutter Island – Scorsese directing a movie based on a great novel by one of my favorite writers? Dude.

Avatar – James Cameron returns to science fiction, with no ocean liners or clichéd love stories in sight.

I Love You, Man – This one could go either way, but the two leads bust me up every time I see them.

The Maiden Heisthere’s why.

Public EnemiesMichael Mann directing a movie about gangsters and g-men in the 30s? Sold.

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Up – Another probable winner from Pixar.

 

watchmencastWatchmen – Zack Snyder’s long-awaited adaptation of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons masterpiece. Unfortunately, we may have to wait a little while longer for this one: distribution rights are currently in legal contention.

beniciowolfmanThe Wolf Man – I would normally eschew horror remakes, but with Benicio del Toro starring and the legendary Rick Baker doing the special effects, this might be a keeper.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Initially, I had no interest in this one, but the trailer makes me think twice.

Movies that I wouldn’t see with a gun to my head

Bride Wars – just the title and the fact that Kate Hudson is in it are enough.

Dragonball: Evolution – Anime brought to life. Oh joy.

Friday the 13th – What, the 10 sequels didn’t offer enough variations on “Guy in hockey mask runs around and kills kids at camp”?

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra – What’s next, a Masters of the Universe movie? Oh, never mind.

He’s Just Not That Into You – and I’m just not that into 2 hours of torture.

My Bloody Valentine 3D – 3D is usually code for “suck.”

The Pink Panther 2 – I didn’t see the first one, so why break with tradition? Steve Martin should be sentenced to dig up Peter Sellers and stop him from doing 360s in his grave.

Race to Witch Mountain – so how long before The Rock has to return to wrestling?

Terminator Salvation – stupid title, stupid idea, stupid director

Now how about you? What movies are you looking forward to or dreading in the new year?

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Must. Not. Laugh.

I am sure that all of you have had the delightful experience of going to see a movie and finding that someone in the theatre has something so important to say that it must come out right now! In the theatre! They can’t go outside, they can’t wait until the movie is over, no, they have to send that text, take that call, talk to their companions right there right now!

I remember a few years ago going to see the inoffensively mediocre Will Smith comedy Hitch with a date, and the woman across the aisle from us took a phone call in the last 30 minutes of the movie. Someone behind her politely asked her to turn it off, and she looked over her shoulder and said, “Drop dead!” She chatted on for another minute or so until someone in the back of the theatre, with one of the deepest, most intimidating voices I have ever heard, said, “Turn that s**t off now.” too which she promptly complied.

Nobody should have to put up with this. Like so many others, I am regularly appalled at the non-existent manners of people in public. So I am trying so hard not too laugh at a recent incident in Philadelphia in which a man was (no kidding) shot for talking during a movie. Fortunately, he was shot in the arm and is expected to make a full recovery.

I know that the shooter’s response was dangerous, irresponsible, uncalled for, excessive, and completely bugnuts insane. I know this. And I agree that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But I am honestly surprised that this has not happened before. And as sick as it is, I can’t help but be amused. [H/T: First Showing]

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A photo that makes me want to see this movie right now

If I was trying to talk you into seeing a movie, and told you that it was directed by the guy who made Garfield, would you be convinced? Neither would I. But the picture below the fold makes me want to see this movie, really bad. Click for the awesomeness…

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Filed under: Movies

The Most Disturbing Movie Poster of All Time

I have nothing but respect for Clint Eastwood. He made one of my favorite movies of all time. And I can take Angelina Jolie in small doses. But this poster gives me the creeps.

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The Subtlety of Subtitling

I don’t know where this list originated, but it makes for a good read. These English subtitles to Hong Kong action movies show how difficult bridging the language gap can be.

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I’m Jimmy Stewart

Or at least that’s my result according to The Classic Leading Man Test at HelloQuizzie. Here’s what it says:

You scored 24% Tough, 10% Roguish, 62% Friendly, and 10% Charming!

Jimmy Stewart

You are the fun and friendly boy next door, the classic nice guy who still manages to get the girl most of the time. You’re every nice girl’s dreamboat, open and kind, nutty and charming, even a little mischievous at times, but always a real stand up guy. You’re dependable and forthright, and women are drawn to your reliability, even as they’re dazzled by your sense of adventure and fun. You try to be tough when you need to be, and will gladly stand up for any damsel in distress, but you’d rather catch a girl with a little bit of flair. Your leading ladies include Jean Arthur and Donna Reed, those sweet girl-next-door types.

So how about you? Head on over and see what your results are.

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All about you

Shamelessly stolen from In Progress:

If someone were to make a movie of your life, who would play you and what would the title of the movie be?

A no-prize to the participant who makes me laugh the loudest.

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