Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Hangover Part II - Movie Review.

The Hangover Part II - Movie Review

When I first heard they were making a sequel to The Hangover, I immediately thought 'cash grab'. Is this the type of movie that needs a remake? When it comes to comedies, you usually get one good movie and then all the sequels just aren't as good. I've always thought of a good comedy as catching lightning in a bottle. Sometiems it happens, but most of the time you just get electrocuted. Anyway, I see that they are doing a sequel and I think they are just going to redo the first movie and try to make a bunch of money off us.

Is Part II as good as the first film? Definitely not! Is it funny? Sure it is! It laughed out loud several times. It's way over the top and some of that is what works about it. It's raunchy and that usually works for me when done well. I think this does it well for the most part.

However, it's like they just took all the elements from the first film, and just replaced it with something slightly different. Instead of a baby, you have a monk that can't talk. The tiger is replace with a monkey. A missing tooth, is replaced with a missing finger. It's like they just tried to one up everything from the first movie. It's trying too hard.

My problem with The Hangover Part II isn't so much that it's just a retread of the first film, or that it tries to go over the top of the first film. It's because there's no real surprise to it. Remember how you watched the first Hangover and so many of the elements were funny simply because they were just so out of nowhere? Just a total shock and surprise? In this movie, everything seems telegraphed. Again, I'm not saying it isn't funny, but you just see everything coming. Like when they do the inevitable photo montage at the end, you just keep waiting for the picture that shocks you because you know it's coming. That takes some of the fun out of it.

Plus, Zack Galifianakis' character bugged me a bit. I'm just having difficulty believing the character. He's just so insane. I get that it's part of the movie, but I can't imagine anyone wanting to hang out with this guy for more than 10 minutes. This is the guy that you invite because you have to, and then ditch him the second you get a chance. Anyway, it just kind of bugged me. It worked for the first film, but this time it felt like too much.

The irony is that this review probably reads as largely negative, but I actually enjoyed it for the most part and would recommend it if you're a fan of the first film. If you didn't like the first film, then you really won't like this one.

See it matinee, preferably with a large crowd.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Last Week in DVD - Week of May 15th-21st.

It's "Last Week in DVD" as I'm posting this a little behind schedule. Unfortunatley, I was on-call for work and pretty much had to work all weekend. As a result, I'm posting this now, instead of on Saturday or Sunday. Plus, I've been having issues with Blogger lately. I'm tired and frustrated so, my apologies if these reviews come off scattered or too 'ranty'.

Rabbit Hole

Really well written and great acting across the board. Everyone talks about Nicole Kidman's performance, and don't get me wrong, she nails 'emotionally-cold and distant'. Her botox must have worn off or something cause it looks like her forehead can move again, but I digress. I was really surprised by Aaron Eckhart's performance. This might be the best performance I've seen him give. It's certainly the most emotional performance of his career that I can remember.

This movie isn't for everyone though. If you have kids, the subject matter might be a little too emotional or intense for you, as it deals with one of the greatest fears a parent has. You really feel the pain of the characters. It really is worth a watch though.

I mentioned the writing. This was based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire and he also did the screenplay here. Great job once again. He also wrote Robots (which I liked) and Inkheart (which I watched, but can't remember what I thought of it). I'm going to have to keep an eye out for him in the future.

One of the other things I liked about it is that it's only 90 minutes. I love a movie that can tell a good story that doesn't pad its time with meandering dialog or needless montages.

I highly recommend renting this.

Valhalla Rising

What a letdown! The trailers make this look like this is some kind of Viking action epic. All of the action basically happens in the first 5 minutes of the movie, which was pretty brutal and I was into it. I thought I was in for a kick-ass film. Boy was I wrong! The rest is just shots of hillsides and water with people just staring off into the distance. These shots felt like they were looped for like a half hour. Then, they throw these random images up for whatever reason. I can only guess they were trying to be 'artsy'.

I kid you not there are maybe 10 total lines of dialog in the first 40 minutes of this movie, and probably slightly more in the second half. There's no character development or even a story here. I couldn't even tell you what the point of this film is. They were just trying to get somewhere. I don't know where and I don't know why. I think they were looking for a fight with someone, and I'm not even sure who, but they never really got one.

It's absolutely boring. The slow pace of this movie is excruciating. When I was done, I felt like I had watched a movie that was over two hours long only to find that this was just 90 minutes?!

F this movie!

Keep your distance from this one. Never watch it.

The Roommate

It's always a bad sign up front when you see a thriller or horror flick with a PG-13 rating. This means to titillation and no real blood. Now this isn't a problem if the movie is actually thrilling or scary, but this isn't. It doesn't even have any good jump scares. It's just a very lame re-tread of Single White Female. It's kind of funny though cause when Minka Kelly first arrives on screen, I thought she was Leighton Meester. I just had them confused. They don't really look that similar though, but I guess it lends itself to the story, because I'm sure most people don't know who either of these two girls are either.

Crappy mean Christian E. Christiansen (yes, that's his actual name), didn't do anything to establish himself as a good director. However, the blame doesn't rest solely on him. This movie was written by Sonny Mallhi, who has produced several other terrible movies (Shutter, The Lake House, The Strangers). Maybe movies aren't your thing, man.

This is another movie to skip.

All Good Things

...and doesn't include the story, which seems to bounce around in tone from a mystery, to drama, to almost dark comedy in some parts. What makes this weird is that it's based off a true story, so you'd think there would be a little more cohesion in the story. I think the most frustrating thing is that there's really no resolution at the end, which again, being based off a true story is really odd. You're done watching and wonder what the point of telling the story was.

The performances of Ryan Gosling and, surprisingly, Kristen Dunst were good though. However, the 'old man' makeup they put Ryan Gosling in looked awful.

Yet another movie I'd say to pass on. I'm having a bad week here.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Here's another movie I have to give a little bit of a disclaimer on, as I'm not the biggest Woody Allen fan. I think this is primarily because I haven't enjoyed most of his recent movies. I've liked some of his older movies, but almost everything I've seen made in the last decade I haven't liked.

It's nice to see respected, well-known actors playing unlikeable characters, but therein lies the issue I have with the movie: it's all about unlikeable characters. You have a couple that's clearly fallen out of in love with each other and they both flirt with affairs, until they finally do separate and hook up with other people. One of them goes as far to break up another couple's engagement. You have a lady that's living her life by what her psychic tells her, which is almost always ridiculous. Then, there's her ex-husband that's clearly going through a midlife crisis, falls in love with an escort and can't see until it's too late that she's only with him to spend all his money and then cheats on him.

The actors are all good, it's just the story is just so blah. Plus, it's not really funny at all. I thought Woody Allen was supposed to make funny movies?

I'm iffy on this one being even a rental. If you really love Woody Allen, then you'll probably watch this one anyway to check it off your list. Otherwise, pass on it.

Blue Valentine

Here's another one to file under the 'great performances, but painful to watch category'. This is another one that's not for everyone and may be tough for a lot of people to watch. It's definitely not for light viewing. It's basically about a couple and watching their marriage fall apart. It's wonderfully acted, but watching it is similar to watching friends of yours that constantly fight and you are just waiting for their inevitable breakup that you are powerless to stop. If you've ever gone through a divorce or rough breakup, I can see this being difficult to watch.

I have to give some credit to Ryan Gosling. I've never been a big fan of his, but I like that he takes on challenging roles and characters that aren't just the standard Hollywood leading man or pretty boy types. Michelle Williams is great as well. I think she's really underrated and I'm not sure why she isn't a bigger name.

It's definitely worth a watch, but not if you're in the mood for something fun.

The Mechanic

I'm a little torn on this one. The action scenes are great. It's one of those movies that right after watching I'm like, "This was bad ass!" However, I started thinking about the story and realized how ridiculous it was. It's unfortunate, because it actually starts off pretty good, but then after about 30 minutes, it takes a turn for the ridiculous.

Statham is an assassin, or Mechanic. He takes on Ben Foster as an 'apprentice' after the death of his father. However, Statham killed his father on a job. Normally, I'd avoid spoiling something like that, but it happens in the first 15 minutes of the movie and there's no secret that it happens. Anyway, that's basically the whole premise of the story.

I guess my main problem with a story like this is that they establish that Statham is a bad ass assassin, but then proceed to show him doing a bunch of questionable, or outright stupid, things. You're left wondering, how could this guy be a successful assassin when he seems to be so sloppy at times? Stuff like how he's not wearing gloves and didn't wipe his fingerprints off anywhere after killing someone. Isn't that like Assassin 101 or something? Maybe wear gloves?

Another example, when it becomes clear that Foster's character is either too stupid or too much of a loose cannon for him to be a successful assassin. Why does Statham stick with him? He hasn't invested all that much time in training him. It's not like they are best friends. It would have been smarter to tell the guy to go out on his own.

Plus, I hate when they try to make assassins likeable in a movie like this. He's a killer, it's okay to have him be not a nice guy. He doesn't have to be sympathetic.

At the end there's giant gunfight in the middle of the city and you don't hear a single siren in the distance. I guess everyone was off work that day? That's the kind of ridiculous stuff I'm talking about.

Simon West has directed some good action films over the year, so I'm inclined to blame this more on the writing of Richard Wenk.

So, rent it if you want to see good action, but shut your brain off.

The Dilemma

Ugh, this movie just wore me down.

This movie is based around my pet peeve about most romantic comedies (note that this is not a romantic comedy, it more of a buddy movie). It's basically about two characters that need to talk about something, but never do it, so a series of misunderstandings and events occur as a result. You're sitting there going, none of this would even be occurring if they would just TALK TO EACH OTHER!

I think the other frustrating thing is that if this was the kind of thing that actually happened to a friend of yours, you'd probably tell them about it pretty quick. Nothing good comes from keeping a secret like 'your wife/gf is cheating on you' from your best friend.

Plus, this movie is almost two hours long just to come to the conclusion that you knew it was going to arrive at as soon as the movie starts. Therefore, the movie just felt like it dragged on.

I didn't think it was funny at all. The humor just seemed to be trying way too hard. Everything they did just felt tacked on to the story. It was like they didn't know what to do, so they just put all these unnecessary characters, threads and scenes in them.

Ron Howard directed this!? I guess they can't all be gems. Also, it was written by Allan Loeb, who seems to be iffy with his track record. I've seen more bad movies written by him, than good ones. He also wrote Just Go With It, so now I'm really looking forward to watching that.

Skip it!

Sherlock: Season One

This was a short BBC series done last year. Season Two I believe is coming soon.

I thought this was great! It's basically a modern telling of Sherlock Holmes. He texts, looks up stuff on the internet, etc., but still has all the brilliant deduction and detective work. They do kind of a cool thing where sometimes you'll see pop-ups on the screen that show what Holmes is thinking or things he notices that nobody else does. It's an interesting little trick.

It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson. Martin Freeman will also be playing Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit films, so geek cred there. Martin Freeman has been in several other movies that have been somewhat successful, so you're likely to recognize him anyway.

Each episode is 90 minutes, but there are only three episodes total for the series (on two DVDs). If you like a good detective movie or you're a general fan of Sherlock Holmes, give these a shot.

I highly recommend renting these. If you can find them On Demand, even better.

That's it for this week. Oh, and the training blog should be back up starting tomorrow.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Movie Review

I've never been a huge fan of this franchise. I didn't mind the first one, but thought the second and third were god-awful. So keep in mind I went in with a little bias on this one.

The Good:

- It's fairly entertaining. There are some decent action sequences.
- It's the shortest of the series at just a tad over two hours. Therefore the pace seems a bit quicker to me.
- Johnny Depp chewing up scenery as Jack Sparrow. You can tell he loves playing this character.
- Ian McShane as Blackbeard. He's always awesome! I'd love to see a move just about Blackbeard played by Ian McShane.
- There are a few good laughs.
- Mermaids are hot! One of them looked like Amanda Seyfried. She was played by Gemma Ward.
- The 3D is actually pretty good. You can tell this was shot in 3D, rather than converted after.

Speaking of 3D, I saw a few new trailers in 3D and I'm actually going to pre-recommend seeing both Green Lantern and Transformers 3 in 3D. The trailers both looked pretty good as far as the quality of the 3D and I think they are the types of movies they are lend themselves to the format. The Transformers 3 trailer especially looked pretty good to me as far as the quality of the 3D.

The Bad:

- The story isn't told very well. It seems to be broken up too much. I think the issue is because there are essentially three main characters and it doesn't really focus too much on any of them. It just kind of jumps back and forth between them. This is all kind of surprising since all of these Pirates movies were written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. You'd think after four films they'd have the formula down by now, or maybe have a thread that ran through all four films. It almost feels like all of these films were written by different people that don't remember what happened in the previous movies outside of the characters.
- No Kiera Knightley. Penelope Cruz wasn't bad, but I'm just not that huge a fan of hers.
- They replaced Orlando Bloom's character with a new character played by Sam Claflin. Normally I wouldn't have an issue with getting rid of Orlando Bloom, because I think he's the cinematic equivalent of watching a cardboard cutout, but the new character is even more boring and uninteresting. He just seems tacked on and there's no real reason to even have him in there.
- The mermaids felt kind of thrown in there. They don't seem to have any motivation other than, "they are bad and want to kill everyone for some reason".
- Too much eyeliner.
- It's immediately forgettable.

Seriously, I saw this last night (note that I wrote this Monday morning) and I'm having a hard time remembering all that much about it. Just flashes of things here and there. There's just nothing all that special about it.

If you're going to see it in the theater, do it as a matinee and I don't think it's a total mistake to see it in 3D if you decide to go that route. I think it's a rental for everyone else.

This is the tale of Captain Jack Sparrow!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bridesmaids - Movie Review and this week in DVD.


I think the ads for this movie are a little misleading. This really isn't a female version of The Hangover. It's more of a raunchy comedy that just stars women. I'd say it's more like an Apatow movie about bridesmaids, only not quite as smart.

I laughed out loud many times throughout the movie. However, some of the jokes went on a little too long. Outside of the raunchy parts there are some pretty funny lines of dialog. I thought all of the women were good for the most part, but I thought Melissa McCarthy was the best of the bridesmaids.

If you like raunchy, then you'll enjoy this. This is another movie that's probably more enjoyable if you've had a few drinks before with some friends.

I'd say it's a matinée at best and see it with some friends that are willing to throw a few back with you beforehand.

No Strings Attached

I was expecting to hate this, but I actually found it enjoyable. It's a role reversal, where Natalie Portman basically plays the emotionally-detached woman that just wants sex with no commitment, and Ashton Kutcher plays the sensitive, caring man that wants to be in a relationship.

Normally, Ashton Kutcher kind of bugs me, but I didn't mind him here, even though at the beginning of the film I think he was kind of a pussy. Then again, it's still realistic cause we all know guys like this. You know, the guy that meets a girl and tries way too hard to get another date or to keep her interested. What's interesting here is that Natalie Portman's character establishes up front that she's a little messed up and she's no good in a relationship. That doesn't stop him though.

The supporting roles here felt realistic to me and not just standard caricatures that you'd normally see for the friends in a movie like this. Normally it seems that in these RomComs the friends are always way over the top. They are either super witty, super goofy, totally unlikeable or something like that. In this movie, they actually just felt like normal people that you'd expect to be friends with. It was a little refreshing to see.

I also applaud it for not falling into the plot hole trap where the whole thing could wrap up if the main characters would just communicate. A five minute, honest conversation could solve all their problems. That's not an issue here. The characters DO communicate, they just don't want the same thing.

I credit the direction of Ivan Reitman. Sometimes having a veteran comedy director really helps.

This is worth a rental.

The Greet Hornet

Originally, I thought this was going to be horrible based on the trailers, but I actually didn't mind this. It's funny in parts and the action is pretty good. They actually didn't some kind of interesting things during the fights that didn't just feel like a blatant ripoff of The Matrix.

The script isn't great though. The dialog is clunky and I felt like it was all over the place. My biggest problem with the movie was Seth Rogan. His character is just totally unlikable to me. I don't know if this was due to the script or Rogan's performance. Since Rogan was one of the co-writers of this, I'm not sure what to think. He's just kind of an ass throughout the movie.

Jay Chou is pretty awesome as Kato though. I'd like to see him turn up in some other action or martial arts flicks. I also enjoyed Christoph Waltz as the villain. For some reason I just found him funny. Cameron Diaz was completely wasted here though. It seems her role would have better suited for more of an up and coming-type actress, and someone a little younger perhaps.

This is also worth a rental unless you absolutely can't stand Seth Rogan.

Hatchet II

If you love gory slasher flicks, then this is for you. The story is as dumb as you'd expect in a slasher flick, but you don't watch slasher flicks for the story. You watch them for the kills. This is where Hatchet II delivers, as it has some of the best on-screen kills I've seen in a while. Plus, all of the effects are practical effects, instead of CG effects, so I give them credit there for going that route. I'm getting tired of all the CG blood in horror flicks. It really takes me out of the movie.

Hatchet II also gives many nods to lots of other films in the genre, even lesser known films like Rise of the Mask and Frozen (which was also directed by Adam Green). Even the main character, played by Danielle Harris has been in several of the Halloween flicks. You might remember her as the little girl from Halloween 4 and 5. Tony Todd is back reprising his role from the first Hatchet and Kane Hodder is back Victor Crowley.

I highly recommend this if you like a good ole fashioned slasher flick. Rent it!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thor - Movie Review

Thor - Movie Review

This review is coming from a person that while I'm a geek-type, I've never been someone that's read a Thor comic or ever really followed The Avengers for the most part. Hell, I was one of the people that wondered how Thor would translate to the big screen.

Honestly, this is one of my favorite superhero movies, period! This is a totally fun and entertaining movie! Seriously, detach yourself from the whole 'Thor' thing and just watch this movie and enjoy it.

I'm not going to spoil the plot, but I will say that the trailer does not give this movie justice. This is not an origin story. This is a redemption story. The movie starts with him being Thor. It's not about him becoming Thor. Understand that going in.

The performances were fantastic. Granted, there are some fantastic actors in this movie, but it seems that everyone is taking the subject matter seriously. There's no phoning it in here. You have to credit this to the direction of Kenneth Branagh. He really brought out the performances of everyone! This just goes to show you that anything can be made into a good movie if you have good director and you don't have a ridiculous script.

Plus, this movie is very well paced! The runtime of the movie is two hours and at no point does it feel slow paced or like you're bored. I credit this to the direction and the editing.

This movie is very good humored. Kat Dennings provides most of the comedy relief here. Stellen Skarsgard gives a very understated performance. Natalie Portman is good as always. Keep in mind this isn't another Black Swan. Tell me if you weren't her that you would swoon over Thor yourself. Hell, I'm straight, and I'm like Thor's pretty hot.

This is the time to credit Chris Hemsworth with a great performance of Thor. He was funny and heroic. There was never at any point where I felt like he was miscast or they made a mistake getting him. I'd like to see more of him as Thor. Stay in the gym though. Don't get lazy there.

Jaimie Alexander as Sif: HOT! Seems like they understood this, as it felt like the movie really focused on her when it wasn't about Thor. Granted if you're a guy, it's hard not to focus your attention on her when she's on screen. She's going to be a cosplay and convention favorite for years to come. From what I understand, she's a comic book reader, so she would understand this and that just makes her all the more cool!

While Idris Elba and Ray Stevenson are bad-ass, it seemed like their characters needed to be fleshed out more. Maybe in the sequel. This isn't to say that they were bad. Not at all! In fact, they were both cool, Idris Elba especially. Elba has some scenes that let him be awesome, but considering how great he his, I would have liked to see more from him. I can't really blame this on the actors though. They need to bring more to these guys in the next film.

Anthony Hopkins was great, as always. but the standout here was Tom Hiddleston as Loki. He gave a good performance that wasn't a total caricature of a scheming, meddlesome-type. It seems like they did a good job of making him not a total joke and giving him a believable reason to be like he is.

On a final note, the 3D is pretty terrible! It's clear it was done in post. It's a shame cause this is a movie that lends itself to being in 3D. There's lots of characters flying around and throwing things. Totally missed opportunity here. The 3D is blurry, dark and out of focus. Skip the 3D and see it normal 3D.

Honestly, I can totally see this again and I loved this enough to put this in my top five superhero-based movie list. It's up there with the first Iron Man and The Dark Knight.

Totally worth seeing in the theater. Unless, you don't like fun...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fast Five and DVD reviews

I've been a little behind in my movie watching. There just hasn't been a ton of stuff out in the theater that I've been dying to see. Plus, Blockbuster Online has decided to start being a bitch about sending movies after I've returned all of my existing rentals. They didn't send me anything for three days and I had to complain before they finally sent me anything. Looks like they are really trying to lose all their customers at this point. I signed up for Netflix this morning and we'll see how that goes. Anyway...

Fast Five

Okay, make no mistake about it, this movie is dumb! It's dumb fun though. I almost hate to admit it, but I enjoyed this and thought it was entertaining. The good thing about a movie like Fast Five is that it doesn't appear to take itself too seriously, so it's easier to just shut your brain off and watch all the fast cars and action.

The dialog is pretty bad in parts and the acting is about what you'd expect. Paul Walker is terrible as usual and maintains his status as one of the worst modern actors. It's a good thing they keep making these movies and they do well, otherwise, he'd just disappear.

It's way over the top, but that's why you see a movie like this in the first place. Overall, I was entertained and I'd recommend it if you're looking for some dumb, summer fun. Plus, if you can't get into Thor next weekend, this is a good alternative.

A note on current trailers...

They showed the trailer for Cars 2 and boy did they show it to the wrong audience. There did appear to be a single person that reacted to it favorably. Granted it's a kids film, but maybe they thought since we were already watching a movie about cars, that we'd be into Cars 2 as well. It also just didn't look good, which to me is because it features the voice 'talents' of Larry the Cable Guy. I'm sorry, but Larry the Cable Guy is just not funny. It irritates me they cast him to do that dumb voice he does, when it's all an act in the first place.

Some of the other trailers I saw looked funny, like for Hangover 2 and The Change-Up. The crowd really seemed to be into both of those.

On to current DVDs:

The King's Speech

As you'd expect, it's a really good movie. The performances are great. I really struggled watching the scenes of Colin Firth stuttering. He did a great job with that and you just felt his frustration. I think Colin Firth deserved the Oscar for Best Actor. Geoffrey Rush is good as he always is and I almost didn't recognize Guy Pearce for some reason.

Do I think it's the best movie of the year though. Not really. I'd put it in my top ten, but that's about it.

Obviously, I give this a strong rental recommendation.

Gulliver's Travels

I hated this movie with a passion. This is one of the worst films I've seen in a long time. If you already don't like Jack Black, you'll hate this even more. It's all the things that I hear Jack Black haters complain about with his movies.

They have to crowbar another scene of him playing air guitar in this. Why does it have to be in every film of his? Don't they realize that it stopped being funny years ago. When it has nothing to do with the plot of the story, it's makes it even less funny. I think he did some of his scatting at some point, but I was just too pissed off to notice.

There are lots of Star Wars references, which you'd think someone like me would appreciate, but the problem is that they aren't clever Star Wars references. Just because he has an R2-D2 on his desk or they mention the Millennium Falcon in the movie, do they really think that all of the Fanboys are going to fall all over this? We aren't that dumb. They feel like references that are from someone that has only seen Star Wars once or twice.

Overall, with all the lame jokes and toilet humor, the movie feels like it was written by a 10-year-old, for an audience of 8-year-olds.

It also has a run time of just barely 85 minutes, which for a feature, should really give you an idea of how little of a story they had here. Even with the short runtime, it felt longer watching it.

I cannot recommend this movie at all on any level.

Country Strong

This DVD highlights a pet peeve of mine now. DVDs are now putting tons of trailers at the beginning of DVDs that you can't skip past. What's worse is that many of the trailers are for movies that came out on DVD weeks ago. I don't need to see a trailer for a known movie that's already out. Chances are I've already seen it. Stop wasting my time and let me watch the damn movie!

Anyway, this movie bored the hell out of me. I suppose if you're into the country scene, then this might interest you more, but it just did nothing for me. The story is just bland and clichéd and all of the characters weren't interesting.

Garrett Hedlund really bothered me in this movie. His character seems to hate Leighton Meester's character, but the reason for the hate is basically that she's pretty. She's very nice and sweet and he just gives her a hard time for no reason. It really makes me not like him as a character, and that's pretty bad when he's one of the main characters. I'm not sure if this was just a bad script, bad direction or maybe Hedlund is just a shitty actor. It's not like he was interesting in Tron: Legacy either.

I can't recommend renting this either. Even if you already have HBO, I wouldn't recommend watching it.

On the training front, the training blog will also be back up this week. I took a few weeks off to let a few nagging aches and pains heal up. I've been back in the gym for the past two weeks, but they were real light workouts just to keep from being totally inactive.