Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Sunshine Award

I was recently nominated for a Sunshine Award by fellow blogger Cristina over at After "Cut" Reviews.  I didn't even know this existed until I was notified of the nomination.  I'm flattered by it and that there are people out there that like or appreciate what I do.  I consider myself a mediocre writer at best, so anything like this is always going to be a surprise to me.

There are a few rules to the nomination, which are as follows:

1. Include the award's logo in a post or on your blog. (above)
2. Link to the person who nominated you. (done, also above)
3. Answer 10 questions or offer random information about yourself. (below)
4. Nominate 10 bloggers. (cheating)
5. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know you they have been nominated. (working on it)


1- Why do you blog?

Initially, this actually started as a training blog when I stopped posting on a particular weight lifting forum I used to frequent.  In fact, if you go back far enough on my blog, you'll still see some of those posts.  I slowly started working in reviews, and eventually it took over the blog.  Around that time, I also changed the blog to its current name.

It's not like I don't work out anymore, but it got kind of tedious to post my daily workout, and since I'm not a fitness professional, is it really all that interesting to see that today I did six sets of squats with x amount of weight, followed by x sets of leg press, some leg extensions and curls, a little bit of calf work, and then 30 minutes of cardio?  I didn't think so.  A while back I used to have aspirations of getting into the fitness field, but if that ever becomes a thing again, I'd start a new blog for that.

2- If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Well, a full-time film critic would be obvious answer here.  It's one of the reasons why the blog slowly got taken over by movie reviews.  Most of my friends have always known about my love of movies and have encouraged me to write or blog about them.  Even on the old weight lifting forum I was known as a movie guy and used to post there frequently in the "Off Topic" forums about them.

I think most of my friends would tell you that I'm more passionate and articulate as a speaker, so I'd like to get involved with a video blog or podcast eventually.

Intergalactic smuggler/scoundrel would be my second choice.  I even have the vest.

3- Favorite Movie?

As you'd probably guess by the blog name, I'm a big Star Wars fan.  I saw A New Hope back in 1977 when I was four (and back when it wasn't yet called A New Hope) and was irrevocably warped.  I usually struggle between Empire Strikes Back versus A New Hope when deciding what's my favorite.  Do I go with the better of the two films: Empire, or do I go with the one that arguably had the bigger influence: A New Hope.  I'm sticking with Empire for now.

4- Favorite TV Show (Current and of all time)?

My current favorite show is actually How I Met Your Mother.  I didn't start watching it until recently, but I gave it a shot based on the cast.  I was close to giving up after the first few episodes, but it won me over.  I absolutely love Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson.  I love the character so much that I've vowed to name my next dog...wait for it..."Barney!"  What did you think I'd name it "Legendary!?"

Of all time, my first choice is Cheers, with Seinfeld as a close second.

While I try to stay current with shows like The League, It's Always Sunny..., Modern Family, Parks & Rec, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, I have a tough time staying on top of most new shows, and usually have to binge watch them once they hit DVD or Netflix.  I often joke that I'm not taking any new applications for TV shows at this time, but I recently started watching Trophy Wife which I really like so far.  I'm also pretty encouraged by what I've seen from the first two episodes of Almost Human.

I love the model Netflix has taken with shows like House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black, and power through those once they get released.  I don't subscribe to any pay channels, but usually buy the current seasons of stuff like True Blood, Game of Thrones and Dexter once they become available.

5- Biggest guilty pleasure of 2013 (so far)?

If we're going by the criteria of a film that wasn't universally loved by both critics and fans, then my answer is Man of Steel.  I understand its flaws and the issues many have with it, but it just worked for me.  I've probably watched it more than any other film in the past year now that it's on Blu-Ray.  Don't get me wrong, by no means do I think it's the best movie of the year, it's just the one of the ones I've enjoyed watching the most.

6- What are some of this year's films you were not expecting to like and then enjoyed?

The Heat, Now You See Me, You're Next, We're the Millers, V/H/S/2, Pain & Gain, Olympus Has Fallen, Beautiful Creatures...

7- What films have disappointed you the most this year?

Star Trek Into Darkness (No colon? Really?), Insidious 2, Closed Circuit, Kick-Ass 2, Hell Baby, The To Do List, The Bling Ring, Trance...

I could probably come up with more on both of these lists, but I think you get the idea.

8- Recent film that not enough people have seen?

Robot & Frank.  Such a sweet, funny and surprisingly touching movie.  It's streaming on Netflix currently and is epic!  The end credits song by Francis and the Lights is fantastic, too.

9- Favorite Actors/Actresses working today?
Actors: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel-Day Lewis, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Michael Fassbender and Paul Giamatti are pretty much there, too.  I'll see pretty much anything with them in it.
Actresses: Cate Blanchett, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence, Melissa Leo, and Jessica Chastain.

10- Any Final Thoughts or random musings?
- I'm actually a huge dork, which I feel like doesn't always come across in my writing or in my day to day walking around.
- When it comes to beer I prefer Ales and IPAs.
- Whenever I worry I drink too much, I look in my liquor cabinet and see several unopened bottles of vodka, white wine, gin and rum and feel a little better about that. ;)
- I don't like veggies on pizza.  All meat for me!  Maybe olive or mushroom, but the pepperoni has to be there!
- I hate onions, but love onion rings.
- I've been driving the same car for nearly 12 years and have barely put over 100k miles on it.
- I think courtesy is a two-way street, and believe in the golden rule.  I also believe in random acts of kindness and small gestures, like holding the door open for people, and thanking them when it's done for me.
- I'm generally a very good tipper.
- I played drums pretty seriously for about 10 years, but currently don't even own a drum set.  I still screw around with the guitar a bit, and plan on buying a bass very soon.
- I'm can do several (bad) impressions of people like The Emperor, Tracy Morgan, Optimus Prime, Christopher Walken, but I'm kind of known for my Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- I don't consider myself an introvert, but I usually keep to myself, and many people think I'm very shy when they first meet me.  Along those lines, I've never been one to fish for invites when I don't have plans.  I'm pretty good at entertaining myself.
- I'm not a particularly religious or political person and I tend to keep those thoughts private.  On the same lines, I try not to let the same in actors or entertainers affect my judgement.  If I let the fact that I didn't like a certain actor's views or beliefs affect my viewing, I'd probably see a lot less films.
- In general, I'm trying to be less angry.  I try to avoid this in my writing as well, but sometimes it can't be helped.  I'm not talking about critique necessarily, but more about it being mean spirited (like Rex Reed's remarks about Melissa McCarthy earlier this year).  Having said that, I do love reading or writing a good rant.  I'm just trying to mellow out a bit as I get older.

Nominate 10 others.  This is the part that's going to be a little tough for me.  I'm not as active in the community as I probably should be.  With work and other commitments I find there are weeks I barely have time to get out my own reviews out, let alone have time to read other blogs.  It's something I'm trying to make a bigger effort towards, as I like being part of the movie blogger community and there are many people whose reviews and perspective I enjoy reading.  Having said that, here are the blogs that I most consistently read and nominate.

On the Screen Reviews
Dan the Man's Movie Reviews
This is Madness!
After "Cut" Reviews
3 Guys 1 Movie
Movies Hate You Too
Lights Camera Reaction

I guess 7 out of 10 isn't bad.


  1. Congrats, Erik!

    I'm so glad you mentioned Robot and Frank! I love love love that movie and was really sad that it didn't do well at the Vine last year.

    1. Thanks, Emily! When I saw that at The Vine last year, I felt like I was the only person in the theater that was laughing at the right moments, as if I was the only person into it.

    2. I felt the same way when I saw it. It was almost awkward, how much I was laughing and how much everyone else wasn't!

  2. Looks like I had issues sending out notifications to the people I nominated last night. Some were technical issues where posts don't seem to be going though and some were issues on my part. Sorry for the confusion or weird posts if you got them.

  3. Cool deal, Erik. Congrats on the nomination!

    1. Thanks, Chris! I'm always surprised and happy when anyone reads my blog with any kind of regularity, let alone enjoys it.