Saturday, April 16, 2011

Recent DVD Reviews for April 16th.

Little Fockers - What a piece of crap! Was there really a need to make another one of these? Didn't they exhaust all ways they could use the word "Focker" in the last two? This movie comes off to me as a pure cash grab. There's nothing new or original, or even funny here.

This again is just another string of lame "Focker" jokes. Plus, if you're not a Ben Stiller fan, this won't help. Yet again there are sections of the movie where you just get mad at Stiller's character for not standing up for himself when DeNiro is beating him up. I watch these movies and go, 'Why don't these people just communicate like normal people?' I don't know anyone that would take shit like this from someone consistently without snapping back at some point. At least Stiller's character fires back a few time here, but the lack of communication in this movie was still frustrating to watch.

Overall it's just very lame and tired and you can go your whole life never seeing this movie and know that you didn't miss anything.

I Love You Phillip Morris - Okay, if watching straight men play gay and make out bothers you, then don't even bother watching this. You won't be able to get past the 'gay' parts of this movie. However, if you aren't bothered by that, then this is a very interesting movie.

The easiest way to describe this is that it's like Catch Me if You Can, if Leonardo DiCaprio's character was gay. It's crazy to think this guy was real and actually did some of these things. He just was an unusual, criminally brilliant, guy.

The movie is very funny. I found myself laughing out loud consistently through this movie. There are some great performances here. This is easily one of Jim Carrey's best roles.

I enjoyed the hell out of this and I'd recommend it to anyone that wants to see a different comedy.

Cemetery Junction - I was initially looking forward to seeing this movie, as it was co-written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Unfortunately, it's just not that good. It wasn't that funny and really dragged in parts.

The scenes with Gervais really are the highlights here, but otherwise it's just 'blah'. I found the main character, played by Christian Cooke, really unlikeable. Part of it was that his character just isn't all that relatable or intersting and the other part was his performance is what I could only describe as 'leering'. It seemed like every time they'd cut to him, he's be giving off this creepy, downward stare. In many cases, you couldn't even tell what he was looking at as his gaze wouldn't be directed at the person he was talking too. Maybe he was checking out everyone's ass or something. Anyway, it was a little off putting and distracting and I felt the movie might have been a little better had they cast someone else.

Anyway, I'd say skip this one. If you rent it anyway, just skip to the scenes with Ricky Gervais and call it a day.

Me and Orson Welles - I was pleasantly surprised by this. I was hesitant to watch a 'serious' movie startting Zac Efron, but he was pretty good here. He was good to the point where about 30 minutes into the movie, I forgot about all that High School Musical shit and just saw him as an actor.

Overall, I found this to be an interesting and entertaining story. The real stand out here is Christian McKay, who plays Orson Welles. He just commands your attention every time he's on screen. Granted he is playing Orson Welles, so if he didn't command your attention, that would be a pretty big fail, but it's still a great performance.

I highly recommend this one. This is a strong rental.

The Last Station - I know this movie got good reviews, but this just didn't do anything for me. Granted, if you're a big Tolystoy fan then you'll like it more. However, I will say that Hellen Mirren's performance is really great here. I just hated the way everyone treated her in the movie. Maybe that was the point. I don't know.

It's also a little over two hours long. Unless the subject matter really appeals to you, skip it.

Shakespeare in Love - It's kind of ironic I watched this right after The Last Station as Tolstoy was an outspoken critic of Shakespeare and here's a movie basically about Shakespeare's rise to greatness. I had never actually watched this movie from beginning to end all in one sitting, so it was good to finally do this. I'm a sucker for period pieces in the first place, and this didn't disappoint me. I really do love this movie.

I probably don't need to give a recommendation here at this point, as I'm sure most of you have already seen it. If you haven't yet, rent this when you get a chance.

The Princess and the Frog - This movie surprised me. I actually felt like this was more of a straight up musical, than an animated fairy tale. Maybe because I felt the music was a little more on the mature side, than on a kiddie side. This is a movie you could sit down and watch with your kids and enjoy it just as much as the kids do.

Strong rental here and it will occupy your kids for 90 minutes.

Tangled - Again, this movie surprised me. I'm on a good streak of kids movies that have entertainment value for adults. I wasn't expecting much, but found it surprisingly clever and entertaining. The animation is really good as well. This is another one you could totally sit down and watch with the kids and enjoy it for completely different reasons than your kids.

Again another strong rental recommendation for you and the kids.

Yogi Bear - Ugh, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Yogi Bear. This is everything I hate about movies like this. It's a silly story with silly situations and acting. There's nothing about this that made me nostalgic for the original cartoon. While I think Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlakes did admirable jobs doing the voices of Yogi and Boo-Boo respectively, it just seems like they casted these guys, Timberlake in particular, as a marketing ploy to get more people interesting in seeing the film. I don't see any reason why they couldn't have gotten competent voice actors, as a fraction of the cost, to do the voices here.

I say pass on this one. I was just waiting for it to end ten minutes into it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Your Highness - Movie Review.

Your Highness - Movie Review.

Yep, highness. That's how you need to enjoy this movie. Well, not necessarily high, but at least with a good buzz.

It's crass, vulgar, and silly, but if you're in the right mood, it's also funny. I think this movie hinges a bit on how much you like Danny McBride. If you're a fan of his other stuff, Eastbound & Down, in particular, then this is right up your alley.

If you're offended or put off by dick jokes and liberal use of the 'f' word, then this movie is not for you.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a good movie. I'm totally aware of the shit reviews this movie is getting, even by people I respect. However, it's easy for me to forgive that, as I don't think it pretends at all to be a good movie. It is what it is.

This is the perfect example of a movie that is best when seen with a group a friends and a case of beer. Rent it and watch it that way.

Hanna - Movie Review.

Hanna - Movie Review

Basically this is an artsy film about a bad-ass, teenage assassin. The movie is really beautiful and interesting. However, I think the movie suffers a bit during the middle, as the pace slows down quite a bit then. If you aren't completely into the movie by then, that's where it might lose you a little. The end is quick and satisfying though.

The music in the movie, soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers, is killer. It just fit the movie perfectly.

I really enjoyed the action scenes this movie, but wanted more. This movie brought out the bloodlust in me. Some of the scenes are a bit brutal, but not over the top, but at the same time I wanted them to be longer.

Saoirse Ronan has been in a few films before this, but I never really thought she could carry a movie until now. I really think when she gets older, she's going to be a huge star. It's kind of funny that Cate Blanchett is in this movie, as that the kind of actress I see Saoirse Ronan becoming.

Anyway, this is a good matinée for anyone wanting to see a good action movie, that's a bit different and not dumb.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Source Code - Movie Review

Source Code - Movie Review

Again, I hate to start a review like this, but I've never been a big Jake Gyllenhaal fan. I don't dislike the guy, but I never really thought anything of him either. Nothing really stands out about him for me. I guess I would say that he's a capable actor. I was also leery of this movie because of the use of the term 'source code' as the title. As a former programmer (I was a Computer Science major), I don't like when computer terms get thrown around when you don't quite know the context. Where they just trying to be cute or trendy with the title here?

Having said that, this might be my favorite Jake Gyllenhaal movie after Donnie Darko now. I really liked this. It was quick, interesting and fun. I would say don't let the trailer, or the title, put you off from the movie. The movie does a pretty good job of gradually explaining things so you aren't confused or overwhelmed by the sci-fi elements of the movie. There's even a bit of a twist in this that made the movie that much better to me.

I enjoyed all the performances here. Michelle Monaghan was cute as hell again.

You might think this is another Groundhog Day, but you'll quickly forget that comparison while watching this. I actually had more of a Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 vibe at parts of this movie, with a bit of Out of Time thrown in. Wait, is that the right Denzel Washington movie I'm thinking of? Deja Vu! That's the movie I meant to say. How many Denzel Washington movies can I reference here? Training Day, Fallen, Virtuosity, The Hurricane, Man on Fire, Remember the Titans, Book of Eli. What do I win? None of those movies are relevant to this review though.

Overall, this was a pleasant Sunday afternoon matinée. I recommend this to anyone that wants to see a short, smart action/sci-fi movie.

I'll do my recent DVD reviews later this week. I've been watching Mad Men: Season 4 the past week, so I haven't watched a lot of new DVDs recently.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

WonderCon 2011, Saturday: Up, up and away! And I still love Cindy Morgan!

Fair warning: This is totally going to be a stream of consciousness post. Plus, I'm watching Caddyshack as I'm posting this, which may make sense later on.

This is technically only my second WonderCon experience, but I felt like an expert because I had been there before and not much had changed.

I arrived at about 10:30 and walked within a few minutes. I purchased my tickets in advance, which was a short line, but the line to purchase tickets was short as well. This was different from 2009 where the line to buy tickets was super long ridiculous, but the line for pre-purchased tickets was super short. I'm not sure if in the future there's much benefit to buying tickets in advance other than the price break.

I was kind of disappointed in the costumes this year. Not to be mean, but there were more than a few people wearing Slave Leia outfits that had no business wearing them. I mean, go to the gym or something. Outside of that, there was a disappointing lack of Wonder Woman and Supergirl costumes. I didn't see a single Power Girl costume, which was really a heartbreaker for me as I thought I might meet my wife in a Power Girl costume.

The only panel I attended was for Cowboys and Aliens, which was totally awesome. Admittedly, it's hard to be objective when you attend these panels because you get caught up in the energy of the crowd and the enthusiasm of the director. In this case, Jon Favreau, who I love anyway.

One of the questions he was asked was that despite the fact he's not directing Iron Man 3, would still do a cameo as Happy Hogan. He seemed down with it.

He made a joke about Seth MacFarlane and Family Guy making fun of the fact that he casts himself in every movie, but it was totally tongue-in-cheek. He had a good sense of humor about himself.

If I intended to ask a question myself, I would have asked him if he intended on doing a sequel to Swingers, set 20 years later. I think this is an awesome idea, but I wasn't sure I wanted to share it will the Esplande Ballroom. :)

When he was asked a question about Olivia Wilde, he said that Olivia told him to relay back to the audience at WonderCon that she's sleeps in the nude. This got a big round of applause from the audience. Isn't Olivia married? That kind of ruins stuff like that for me. I don't give a fuck if a married chick sleeps in the nude. That's totally irrelevant to me.

On another note, this panel was almost completely ruined by some dumbass that brought their infant in with them, who didn't stop crying the entire length of the panel. After a few seconds, you could see all the people start to look in her direction and comment. Despite this, she hung around for far too long and didn't officially leave until they stopped showing the movie clips.

Seriously, how fucking selfish and self-absorbed are you to do something like this? Are you new to the world? You didn't think your infant baby wouldn't cry through the panel? I fucking hate people like this cause they have kids and shouldn't. Don't mother fuckers like you realize that once you have kids, you're not allowed to do stuff like this anymore? Stay home and take care of your child.

These are the same dumb-ass mother fuckers that answer a phone during a movie. If you're that important to the world, do you really have the time to see a movie? Are you needed in surgery? Will someone die if you don't just let it go to voicemail and call back after? Jesus! There used to be a day where people would not answer a phone right away and not call back immediately. Remember the days before cell phones? When people called people at normal hours. Fuckers...

Anyway, Favreau seems like a really cool guy that's totally into the movies that he makes. I love the passion he has for his projects. He stressed that he made this movie not to be funny cause he was making fun of the genre, but funny because of the juxtaposition of the genres of movies he's fusing. The clips he showed us really seemed to illustrate that.

Oh, they showed us an exclusive 9 minutes of footage from Cowboys and Aliens, including a first glimpse of the actual alien from the movie. He said this is the only clip anyone will see before the movie comes out. Not in the next trailer or any of the commercials or anything, so bppppplllllssshhshshs! The footage was awesome! I'm convinced this movie will just kick fucking ass.

When walking in the main convention floor, there were huge lines for some exclusive DC Brightest Light figure set or something. This line was gone by the afternoon, but the figures were still available.

The DC booth was aimed exclusively towards pushing Green Lantern. Since the Green Lantern panel was on Friday, fuck you, Green Lantern. The buzz from the panel was good, but it strikes me as odd that they chose Friday to do the panel, when typically Saturday is the 'movie day' for the panels.

The Marvel booth was pushing both Thor and Captain America, but seemed to be focusing on the video games for both. I was shocked that they didn't have a Thor panel considering it comes out in May. I'm not sure if that's a good sign or bad sign. No Cap panel either. I wonder why Marvel is snubbing WonderCon. Um...fuck you, Marvel, too.

Back to the convention floor. The majority of the floor was your typical comic/memorabilia booths. I was tempted to buy a few things, but for the most part most of the stuff was stuff you can get online for the same price, if not cheaper.

The highlight for me is always the awesome costumes and "autograph alley". They pretty much dedicate the last few rows of the convention floor to celebrities signing autographs and memorabilia.

I got a few pictures from an artist, Greg Horn, who is fucking awesome!. My only regret is that I didn't have enough money to buy all of the stuff he had to offer. I got a great Superman picture and Power Girl picture. He had some awesome Avengers stuff that I was tempted to buy as well. His Batman and Hulk art was 'the shit'. His biggest seller, ironically, seemed to be a Scarecrow picture. He also had several Emma Frost pictures that I can only describe as 'masturbatory'. This guy is awesome and was a super nice guy!

My first autograph was an autographed picture from Peter Mayhew, who was fucking Chewbacca. Chewbacca! What a Wookie! I shook his hand and his hand was like twice the size of mine. Mind you, he's like 7'2", but still. Just huge hands. He barely looked up from his lap and I kind of felt bad for him. One dipshit walked up and was being all loud and calling him 'Chewie' and stuff and was just being generally annoying. I can imagine that majority of people Mr. Mayhew has had to deal with at conventions like this have been like this. Sure, he's getting paid good money for pics and autographs, but this annoying mother fucker made a big scene and then only paid for an un-autographed picture, which amounted to a $5 dollar purchase. Douche-bag!

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Lou Ferrigno. Now, I'll say that he seemed like a nice enough guy. He said hello to me, shook my hand and gave me a knowing nod (I'm assuming cause he could tell I lift weights and stuff), but I also saw him turn away many, many people just asking him to sign simple pictures and other stuff. He was charging $40 for an autograph on the stuff you brought to him, which seemed a little harsh. It was to a point where one of the guys from the original Battlestar Galactica (Boomer) came over and kind of yelled at him to be more respectful.

He was only charging $25 for his own stock pictures, but they weren't really good pictures, so I couldn't make a decision and decided not to get anything. He was also charging $40 for a polaroid photo op. Yes, a genuine 5 x 3 polaroid. Seriously, dude? I would have gotten a autograph if he offered a pic of him putting Jason Segal in a sleeper hold from I Love You, Man. That I would have paid for. Hell, I'd be down for a photo op with him putting me in a sleeper hold. He's still in great shape though. I'll give him that. His arms are still sick.

Speaking of Battlestar Galactica, they had the original Boomer and Apollo, who also played Tom Zarek from the new Battlestar Galactia. Despite loving this show (both versions), I didn't recognize either person. Richard Hatch was wearing sunglasses and didn't have his hair done up at all, so I didn't even realize he was signing autographs at first. He did seem to talk to people and shake hands, so at least he was engaging the fans.

The Honky Tonk Man was also in attendance, offering $10 photo ops with a title belt. In 2009, it was Honky Tonk Man with Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. He seemed like a nice guy and wasn't just going though the motions.

Jaws from the Bond movies was there. He's an older gent and looked like he was in pain.

Caught a short glimpse for former Playboy playmate and Attack of the Show correspondent, Sara Underwood. She's cute as hell in person. I'll give her that. Tiny as a speck though. My buddy Peter said, "You'd break her in half!" She had a long line for autographs, so I decided to pass on that. If it was Candace Bailey, I might have braved the line.

The longest line for autographs was for Elvira: Mistress of the Night. Her line was crazy. I was able to sneak a few pictures of her despite the line. She even posted for random pictures though, which was cool. She was totally into the scene. Still looked awesome, too! I had heard that they had gotten a new person to be Elvira, but I don't think that was the case tonight. She looked like the original Elvira.

I passed on a chance for a photo up with The Soup Nazi. He was signing autographs and charging reasonable price, but man, someone would ask him a question and he would launch into a 15 minute conversation. I had my wallet out and was ready to get a picture with him, but then some dude asked him the 'wrong' question and I lost him. I just couldn't wait around any longer and bolted.

Directly behind him was Cindy Morgan. If you don't know who Cindy Morgan is, then you're either a woman or under the age of 30. For the rest of you, Cindy Morgan played the sole female supporting/lead role in Caddyshack (Lacey) or the only female lead from Tron (Yori). This is a woman that I have had a crush on from a very early age and one of the first set of boobs I've ever seen on film. I didn't tell her that, but I wonder how it would have gone had I mentioned the crush. Anyway, she was a total sweetheart and yes, a total MILF. Actually, I'm not sure if she is technically a MILF, as I don't know if she's a mother, but either way, I'd still like to do nasty things to her. She signed a nice picture for me and even thanked me, by name, as I walked away. I love her!

I'll try to post pictures on my FB profile later. No pictures of Cindy Morgan, unfortunately.

I may go back for a few hours on Sunday, but I'm on the fence.

Training Thursday through Saturday, April 2nd.

Thursday 03/31

AM - More Waterbury challenge. 20 reps. Still all one set.

PM - Upper Body

Floor Press: 225 x 4, 4, 5, 4, 4, 5
Incline Hammer Strength: 230 x 14 + 4, 3, 3, 3, 4
Close Grip Pulldown (Fat Gripz): 160 x 18 + 4, 3, 3, 3, 4
Hammer Strength Seated Row: 240 x 20 x 4, 4, 5, 5, 5
Incline Rear DB Raise: 35 x 13 + 4, 4, 5, 5, 5
Cybex Tricep Extension: 120 x 15 + 3, 3, 4, 4, 4
Cybex Preacher Curl: 110 x 14 + 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Friday - 04/01

AM - 21 reps on the challenge. Did a little bit of foam rolling and stretching

PM - Lower Body

Still feeling a bit weak, so took it easy today

RDL: 405 x 6, 6, 6, 4
One Leg Curl: 90 x 8 + 4, 3, 4, 3, 4
Seated Leg Curl: 285 x 13 + 3, 3, 4, 4, 5
Leg Press: 500 x 10 + 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3
Leg Press Calf Raise: 500 x 15/10 + 4/5, 3/3, 4/4, 4/4, 3/3, 3/3, 4/4

After Work- Conan Wheel

I haven't done Conan Wheels in a while. Okay, so Conan Wheels are when I push the Prowler around a track until I finish a lap. Various weights and such. It just depends on how I feel.

20 lbs x 1 lap x 13:49
no lbs x 1 lap x 11:27

So for the record, this was me pushing the Prowler for a half mile for about 30 min. Brutal, but fun. It's fun because this is like meditation after about half a lap. You get to a certain point where you aren't even thinking about pushing the Prowler, but just thinking about stuff. It really helps me clear out my head.

Saturday - 04/02

Woohoo! My month of no beer is over! Okay, so my weight went from about 211 to199. My waist from 36" to 34". Good results, but not completely where I want to be.

I'm, going to take a week of the weights, but still do stuff like cardio, hiking, yoga, and strongman. Just take a little time off the gym for a week or two and let my body recover. I'm really feeling broken down at this point.

Today I just did 22 reps on the Waterbury Challenge before I went to WonderCon. I finally broke it up into two sets: 12 and 10 reps a piece. I still probably could have done this in one set, but I'm just over that. Multiple sets from here on out.