Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Oscar time is here again and for possibly the first time ever I may actually see all the Best Picture nominations prior to the show on Sunday March 7th. This would be very surprising especially since this year for the first time in the Academy's existence they are switching the number of Best Picture nominations from 5 movies to 10 which is almost unheard of. So if it was tough to beat out 4 other films for that coveted prize just think of how difficult it will be this year.
I see how adding more films to the list provides maybe a little more drama and competition but what it also does is allow movies into that category that probably have no reason being there. The three that come to mind right away from my point of view are District 9, Up in the Air, and Disney's UP. In my opinion none of these movies are worth being in a category where the best picture award is up for grabs. I personally have seen all three of these movies along with three others and there are only four I have not seen. It is my hope to see those other four within the next 11 days prior to the award show so I can cleary say that I have seen all the best picture nominations this year. Here is a very short take on the six I have seen so far.
The Blind Side was excellent and easily my favorite from this list and Sandra Bullock should walk away with the Best Actress award for this movie. One of the few that is most deserving of the best picture nomination. Superb!! Inglourious Basterds surprised me in a couple of ways. First I wasn't aware that the majority of the movie is in subtitles and usually I cant stand movies with subtitles but it didn't bother me for this one. Second, I expected to see more of Brad Pitt in this film but as usual he was brilliant in the scenes he was in. I also expected a few more graphic/torture scenes since it was a Tarantino film but that's just me. Overall I thought it was a great film and worthy of the Best Picture nomination it got. District 9 in my opinion is a joke of a nomination. Although it has some memorable scenes the overall storyline was uninteresting and never really kept my attention and for an Alien movie this actually ranks up there with one of the more disappointing I've seen. The Hurt Locker was good but I may have heard a little too much about this film because it didn't live up to its billing as far as I'm concerned. There were some very intense scenes no doubt and the acting was amazing and I can see how it is nominated for best picture but personally I wasn't blown away by this movie (bad reference I know). It does make you sit back and think of what our military goes through day in and day out, truly heroic! I wont waste much time on Up in the Air other than to say George Clooney is a wonderful actor and this movie is simply nominated due to his name alone. It was slow, boring, and lackluster and although Clooney is great this movie doesn't deserve to be anywhere around awards that have the word "best" before it. Sorry. Last but not least is Disney's UP. Again another movie I wasn't impressed with the storyline although at least this one wasn't boring throughout. Visually it was stunning and it did have great characters but there were too many flaws and not enough humor and adventure for a Disney movie for my taste and I can see where the academy was going with it being nominated for Best Picture for the visual elements alone but there is a separate award for that so seriously speaking it probably shouldn't have been nominated for this category.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
As I was driving home the other day I drove past several cars that had individuals who were texting while driving and even more who were using the phone with no hands free devices. In the state of California both of these are illegal. Now I've had my share of using the phone without any hands free devices but I do so by placing the phone on my lap or in the seat next to me while placing the call on speakerphone. The cars I saw yesterday and the ones I see every single day constantly, over and over again are not doing this, they are acting as if no law is in place and as though they have no concern of the dangers it may cause, this irritates me to no end! As I drive by these individuals I constantly think of the dangers they are causing to others. In my mind I believe they are just as dangerous and possibly even more so than drunk drivers under the influence. Lets be honest here, some people who have had DUI or DWI's have been completely intoxicated and it is the #1 killer of car accidents in the nation but I honestly believe that the death related accidents due to texting or talking while driving will go up as well to incredibly high numbers that will rival drunk drivers. Here is something to think about.
Everyone handles being drunk differently but no matter what driving while drunk is dangerous and wrong. Not everybody handles texting on the phone differently. If you are texting while driving then it is a 100% fact that at certain points you are not watching the road, its just a fact plain and simple and this makes texting while driving incredibly dangerous! Its not just young kids doing this, its adults, ups drivers, and carpool drivers as well. In fact the only people I have never seen texting while driving are elderly people or the police. Speaking about the police, I believe that has got to be the most secure job in the state of California. You always hear about quotas they have to meet for writing tickets, etc, etc, etc well let me tell you something any cops who are struggling out there to get your daily quota all you need to do is drive on the 405 freeway each day between 3:00-6:00pm and you will have a plethora of options to ticket individuals. What I wouldn't give to be a cop for just one day driving on that freeway and writing about 100 tickets a day!!
I often think back to when I was in high school and cell phones were not around. It didn't seem to hard to talk to whoever it was I needed to talk to when I got home from school or home from work, surprisingly I made it out of that time period alive and I don't recall a time that I just absolutely had to text someone while driving to or from wherever it was I was going. Part of me almost wishes text messaging didn't exist for the simple fact of the dangers it cause's but then again it could come in handy at other times in life. I know we will never see the day that all individuals will be restricted from texting while driving but cant we hope for that? With all the technology out there is there not a way to come up with a device that can be automatically installed in all cars in this country that would immediately disable any texting capabilities while the vehicle is turned on? Forget about the cost for a second because if we can implement this within the next 2 and a half years we have an administration who is using our money in government as if it were monopoly money so I have no doubt getting the funds for something this magnificent would be completely simple.
So who's in?
The Last Dragon which debuted in 1985 was a Kung Fu classic that to this day remains quite a popular movie. I remember seeing this movie when it was available for rental back when I was around 10 or 11 and I loved this movie, I would watch it over and over and just loved it. Come to find out, I wasn't the only one. This movie would regularly be sold out at the local movie joint and as I grew older I came to learn this was sort of a cult classic, a Kung Fu cult classic. To this day I love watching this movie and for someone who is not at all interested in martial arts that is saying a lot. Below is my review on what is easily my favorite Kung Fu movie I've ever seen.
When I first saw the Last Dragon I was most likely 10 or 11 years old, somewhere around 1986-1987 or so. As I kid I loved movies and enjoyed all kinds but we were never really raised watching Kung Fu type movies but when we rented this one it just took me by surprise and after seeing it I just loved it. The Last Dragon is your typical good vs evil battle with the good guy fighting for the girl in the end. Unknown actor Taimak played Leroy Green and was phenomenal as was Vanity who played the superstar singer whom Leroy would eventually fall in love with. Christopher Murney played the fame hungry Eddie Arkadian and his girlfriend Angela Viracco was played by Faith Prince and she has since been on several different movies and tv shows. The character Richie Green was excellent in the film as the sarcastic, blunt, loud mouth younger brother of the Last Dragon but lets be honest the show stopper of this film was Sho'nuff played by Julius Carry. His charisma and screen presence made him the perfect villain for this movie.
The Last Dragon had martial arts influence, excellent music, a love story, and a final battle scene that was amazing. Like I said it was a classic good vs evil and the movie rarely lagged at any part. The characters were so unique and different and the way they all intertwined to come together was great. None of this would have worked had a mediocre cast been casted but all of the characters were great in their roles especially the hero, the villain, and the girl. Vanity was gorgeous as the entertainer Laura Charles and Taimak's innocence as Leroy Green made his transformation throughout the movie that much more magical. One of my favorite scenes throughout the movie was when Leroy dunked Eddie Arkadian's head into his Pirana Bowl while rescuing Vanity. Leroy's delivery practice speeches were pretty funny as well.
All in all this movie was enjoyable throughout and it led up to an epic battle at the end that I'm sure most will enjoy. There isn't much I would have changed about this movie and I hear that a remake is already in the works and the name Rhianna is already being tossed around as one of the actresses, no doubt as Laura Charles character and she would be perfect for that. Ill be very interested to see who they cast as Leroy and Sho'nuff. Time to start surfing the web and checking out the rumor mill for that.
End result, if you haven't seen this movie, rent it. You wont be disappointed!!
Monday, February 22, 2010
This is similiar to other ipod shuffle templates out there, only difference is this is a political one. Take a look and enjoy. This is simply my ipod on shuffle and walla the results are listed below. Seriously I couldnt make this stuff up if I tried and although I dont agree with several of the results some of them are damn funny and dead on.
The American Presidency should be viewed as: Leavin - Jesse McCartney
A good President always: Said & Done - Tyrone Wells
The senate democrats are like: Where the Boat Leaves from - Zac Brown Band
The senate republicans are like: Breakeven - The Script
George W Bush was: Look at me - Carrie Underwood
Nancy Pelosi is a: Celebrity - NSYNC
Today's media is like a: 4 minutes remix - Justin Timberlake & Madonna
Conservative right wing republicans are a: Tire in the face - Dane Cook
Global Warming is: Hey Daddy - Usher
Bill Clinton was: I wanna love you forever - Jessica Simpson
John McCain is: How do you sleep - Jesse McCartney
Liberal left wing democrats are: Slip n bleed - Dane Cook
Keith Olberman is like a: BK Lounge - Dane Cook
Rush Limbaugh is viewed as: Change - Carrie Underwood
FOX News is: Irresistable - Jessica Simpson
The Healthcare reform bill is a: Crazy Dreams - Carrie Underwood
MSNBC looks like a: Operation Monopoly - Dane Cook
Glenn Beck is a: Mom and Pops - Dane Cook
Michael Moore was a: Watcha Say - Jason Derulo
Big government is: Into ya - Jesse McCartney
Sarah Palin is: Banter - Dane Cook
Hollywood celebrities who think they know politics are: Rockin That Thang - The Dream
Hugo Chavez is: Pretty Young Thing - Michael Jackson
Dick Cheneys behavior as of late is: What Can I Say - Carrie Underwood
The democrats in 2010 are: Alright - Darius Rucker
The republicans in 2010 are: Do it for you - Ballas Hough Band
Harry Reid is a: Baby - Justin Beiber
Scott Brown just might: Someday When I Stop Loving You - Carrie Underwood
President Obama has been a: War Gamer - Dane Cook
Al Gore is: It wont be like this for long - Darius Rucker
The Tea Party participants are: Thriller - Michael Jackson
Robert Gibbs is a: Quitter - Carrie Underwood
Illegal Immigrants are: All I need - Bethany Dillon
ACORN is: Flat on the Floor - Carrie Underwood
Looking back, George W Bush really was a: Hero - Bethany Dillon
Joe Biden might just say: Boots and Boys - Keisha
Mitt Romney will: Imma Be - Black Eyed Peas
Hilary Clinton is: Like I Love You - Justin Timberlake
Big Bankers are: Me & You - Zac Brown Band
The "beer summit" was a total: Sipping on History - Jessica Simpson
The NJ senator race was a: Chillin - Wale ft. Lady Gala
Socialism is: Hell Breaks Lose - Eminem
Ann Coulter is: Last Train Home - Ryan Star
The Obama Presidency often looks like: See Right Through You - NSYNC
Friday, February 19, 2010
In the past week there have been two stories that have really bothered me and Id like to share my opinions about them. They are the Family Guy television clip where the cartoon show make's fun of Sarah Palin and her down syndrome son Trig and then there was Bill Maher on his Real Time HBO show claiming that her job at FOX News was comparable to talking to a child with down syndrome and referred to Trig as "it" on three separate occasions. I've got lots of views on this so here goes.
Ill start with Family Guy. I don't watch the show and have never seen an episode, mostly because I am an adult who believes cartoons are for children. I have never seen an episode of the Simpson's or South Park because they just don't interest me. I have nothing against people who watch them but its just not for me, like I said my belief is that they are for children. With that being said I think the portrayal of a down syndrome actress in a particular clip pretending she is the child of Sarah Palin is absurd and disrespectful to Sarah Palin, her family, and families of those with special needs children. The actress who played that character in the clip has defended the scene saying "I guess Sarah Palin doesn't have a sense of humor" and calling it "sarcasm" and citing the fact that she was raised to laugh and enjoy life. Now she is obviously a special needs person as it is and her comment will be viewed as defending the scene and the show itself but it begs me to ask the simple question, why must we feel that sarcasm and humor at special needs children's expense is acceptable in today's society?
Let's move on to Bill Maher. My personal opinion is that he is piece of trash and has nothing useful to say and is a waste of space on this planet but none the less let me divulge on his ignorance for a second. Comparing a job at a television network to having a child with down syndrome and then calling him "it" on three separate occasions is absolutely and inexplicitly awful in every sense of the word. Now I know Bill Maher did this for ratings and he needed to do so since his show is such a flop but once again why do these individuals feel that they must make fun of special needs children to get a laugh or a rise out of someone? I don't have children but I have family, friends, and co-workers who do and whom have children who are special needs children and although every individual may take this type of "shock humor" a different way the fact is it is wrong and there is no justification for defending it any way you spin it. We do have to take everything that comes out of Maher's mouth with a grain of salt because lets be honest here, this is an "it" who dressed up as Steve Irwin with a blood socked shirt and a stingray's tail coming out of the heart less than only 2 months after Irwin's unfortunate death. See image below of the asshole himself.
With the unprecedented amount of television shows and mass media outlets available to the public in this day and age anything and everything that is said on air which is either derogatory or insulting will no doubt be aired unless of course your name is Barack Obama but that is an entirely other blog. Speaking of our President, he along with Rahm Emanuel have also make off the cuff statements regarding special needs individuals. Obama when saying he couldn't bowl better than a Special Olympics athlete and Emanuel when calling a group of individuals retards. Unlike Sarah Palin I don't think it is ok when Rush Limbaugh calls a group retards and I think that was hypocrisy by the former Alaskan governor when she attempted to justify that it was.
Why is there any need to poke fun or use so called "sarcasm" to exploit those who have special needs? I don't understand it and I never will and yes if Michael Jordan, Jessica Simpson, and George W Bush all make fun of special needs children I would still think it to be wrong and be ashamed of them. This is not a right wing conservative vs liberal left wing battle, it is a simple matter of respect and decency among those who have television and radio shows and those who are public figures in our world today. People like Maher and the creators of the Family Guy will continue to say things to get ratings no matter who it may offend because that is just who they are but it doesn't mean it is right and we as a society should start showing these people how we truly feel about it. If HBO had any decency themselves they would cancel Maher's show and never allow him to return to the network but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Here is a little collage I created this morning of some cool photoshop artwork I added to some of my pictures. This is just a tip of the iceberg on what can be done to pictures and I dont even photoshop software and simply got this off the internet but its pretty cool. When I was younger I was really into art and drawing but eventually sports took over most of my time and I really never pursued artwork. I used to love to draw and sketch mazes for people to try and get through, it was a lot of fun. I really wish I had kept some of my old material because it would be nice to go back through and see some of what I did when I was younger.
I have also attached a picture here that I drew for my neice Paige a couple of years ago. When we used to babysit I would draw my niece and nephew a picture for them to see in the morning when they woke up and this one of Monsters Inc was one I just freehanded one night. I think it turned out ok. Over time I am going to start to draw some more pictures and post them on here and I will welcome any thoughts anyone might have on them.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Anyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE Movie fanatic and I could probably say without hesitation that I don't know anyone else personally who has seen more movies than myself. With that being said these past few weeks my wife and I have watched a good little amount of movies in such a short span so I thought I would post some short reviews for each of them here. The only one on this list that my wife didn't get a chance to see is X-Men: Wolverine but I'm sure she will see it one day. I will attempt to provide a brief review for each one.
In Alphabetical Order, here goes.
I Hate Valentines Day: Had several funny moments and a decent plot but overall the chemistry between the Big Fat Greek couple didn't flourish like it did in their previous movie together. The gay co-workers in this movie provide most of the comedy and are pretty funny. Worth watching because of the short run time but overall not a real romantic comedy.
Law Abiding Citizen: Suspense Thriller is what first comes to mind. Excellent plot, great acting, and a final twist that was awesome. A revenge/vigilante movie that includes torture, a graphic kill scene, and keeps you on the edge of your seat for most of the movie. I'm a Gerard Butler fan and thought he was great in this movie. I highly recommend this one!
Out of Time: Another great movie with a twist. Starts rather slow but picks up and never stops. This suspense/thriller was one of Denzel's best in my mind and I particularly enjoyed his quirky medical examiner friend. One of Eve Mendez first films as well and she was great. Overall a great movie with great acting and a very good plot.
Sherlock Holmes: My #1 favorite movie on this list. Excellent in almost every way. Suspense, Mystery, Action, Comedy, and yet again a twist in this one as well. Great plot and superb acting. Downey Jr. was brilliant as Holmes and his short one liners and bluntness throughout the movie was pure entertainment. This movie had it all and for a movie with a run time a little over 2 hours it never lags and left me wanting even more and fortunately there will be when they make Sherlock Holmes 2!
The Blind Side: Lookup "feel good movie" in a dictionary and a picture of this movie will be in there. Bullock should easily walk away with an Oscar for her role in this movie and all the actors were great it in. There was drama, comedy, and a football scene that you'll want to replay several times over to watch again. Just a great great movie all around and easily one I would watch over and over again!
The Box: Not sure what to make of this one since I cant really explain or comprehend the ending but Ill say one thing about it, it was intriguing to say the least. The plot starts out good but doesn't end up well in my mind. There were too many questions unanswered and the end result for the main family is tragic in every sense of the word so this movie does not have a happy ending for all you happy ending fans. I probably would not watch this again unless it was with someone who hasn't seen it and would possibly help me understand the end, haha.
The Informant: I'm not a big Matt Damon fan but I thought he was amazing in it. One of his better acting roles. His character was hilarious and the situations he got himself into were comical at times. The unfortunate thing about this movie was his acting alone could not make up for the poor plot and dullness this movie had. I was expecting much more but was left feeling bored by the end and if it weren't for Damon's acting this would have been a complete failure in my mind. Its not one Id ever watch again.
The Time Travelers Wife: Overall it was ok and worth watching but Id be reluctant to see it again. It was not really a love story as much as it was a time traveler science fiction movie in my mind. Yes it had its romantic moments but they were few and far between and there were probably more scenes with Eric Bana's bare ass than romantic moments in this film. Rachel McAdams was great as usual but the plot of this movie falls short.
This Is It: Surprisingly entertaining. That concert would have been amazing. I'm sure even the most critical MJ critics would have to admit he still had plenty of life left in him and could still dance. He was an entertainer no doubt and would have entertained millions with that concert. The Thriller and Smooth Criminal sets were amazing and those would have easily been my favorite two sets from this movie that I saw. I would recommend seeing this movie.
Whip It: Great cast, great plot, good movie. Add 15 more minutes of Jimmy Fallon and this movie is great too! I really enjoyed this film even more so than I expected and I would definitely see it again. Ellen Page was great as usual and Drew Barrymore is always fun to watch. This was her directorial debut and it was very very good. Still my favorite parts were with Jimmy Fallon, why isn't he in more movies??
Whiteout: Not a wide release movie and only came out for rental but this was a good one. I assume the lack of the blockbuster names kept this away from theatres but that's sad because this one was a very suspenseful thriller. The snow and ice setting for this film made it even more suspenseful and the twist at the end was completely surprising. I'm a sucker for a good white-knuckle thriller that is in a wintry snowy environment, it just adds to the suspense for me and maybe that's why I loved Cliffhanger so much!!
X-Men Wolverine: I have never seen nor been interested in seeing the X-Men movies but this one looked different. I didn't get a chance to see it in theatres (wish I had now) but wow what a great movie this was. I saw it on Bluray and it was spectacular! Great great storyline and lots of fun and cool tricks throughout. This movie was entertaining throughout and the special effects were second to none. If there is a sequel I would go see it right away, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie!!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
After watching the horrific accident on several video's and seeing numerous pictures of the aftermath I cant help but feel so sad for his family and friends at this time. We watched Georgia at the opening ceremony last night and it was so sad to see them enter the arena after going through what they went through and I really hope that they do well in these Winter Olympics in honor of Kumaritashvili. What a tragic way to start the games. RIP Nodar Kumaritashvili.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Sarah Palin has become one of the most intriguing individuals in the world and depending on who you talk to or what you watch you either believe she is a staunch conservative republican with excellent morals and values and who is incredibly intelligent or you believe that she is an air headed attractive Mom from the state of Alaska who is a quitter and has absolutely no clue about politics whatsoever. I have friends who think she is amazing and others who think she has no clue about anything. The following is my take on what I see and what I believe about Sarah Palin based on my own personal opinions. I was given her book "Going Rogue" by my best friend Thuy for Christmas and it was even personally autographed for me. It was probably the single most thoughtful and kind gift a friend has ever given me and although I have not had the time to read it yet I am looking forward to doing so and my thoughts here on this blog are obviously "pre-Rogue" so I very well might have different viewpoints after reading her book. So based solely on my opinions here are my thoughts.
I believe Sarah Palin has many wonderful qualities and is an extremely influential person. She is polarizing to say the least and people are interested in her no matter what they say. When she was originally announced as John McCain's vice Presidential nominee back in 2008 I was skeptical to say the least. I was hoping for a Mitt Romney selection or furthermore a Rudy Giuliani surprise twist. I had heard of Palin through Sean Hannity's radio show so I knew the name but was still unaware of her history as governor of Alaska. I was pleasantly surprised with her acceptance speech and thrilled with her Convention speech and thought she did amazing considering the whirlwind she had entered into. She drew 2.5 million more viewers than Barack Obama and she didn't even have big white roman pillars surrounding her. In the weeks that would follow I would see magazine covers, news articles, and cable news stories attempting to belittle her as "inexperienced" and full of "family problems". The liberal left was concerned more with her pregnant daughter than they were with Barack Obama's racist pastor and his ties to an admitted US terrorist but this behavior from the media was typical but something she never had to endure. The way that she handled the scrutiny through it all was phenomenal to say the least. If John McCain and his advisers would have let her loose a little bit more and free to say a little bit more while campaigning maybe the country would have heard more about Obama and his associations and maybe, just maybe the election results would have been different? That's in the past though so no need to dwell on it now. What's done is done and we cant change that.
When I first heard that Sarah Palin was quitting as Governor of Alaska I was disappointed that she didn't complete her term that she had started and that she seemed to have made that decision quite hastily. In my own personal opinion, she quit so that she would have more time with her family which was a given but also so that she could write her book, go on a book tour, and eventually gain employment with FOX News. Now nobody can fault her for wanting to spend more time with her family or for her wanting to write a book but where my concern comes in is did it have to all happen so fast and how much extra was she truly spending with her family considering she would be traveling all over the place on book tours and television interviews all across the country? While I don't judge her on making these decisions it does make me more cautious of her and her ambitions for her political future.
I respect her conservatism and agree with many things that she does but I do question her dedication and experience when I hear the following, "Palin for President 2012". She undoubtedly had more experience than President Obama back in 2008 and I have no doubt in my mind she would not be making as many colossal mistakes as he is within a years time but I do not believe she is experienced enough and qualified enough to be President of the United States, not now and not in 2012. We have seen first hand what you get when you elect an inexperienced politician to be President of the United States and it is damn scary. Now don't get me wrong, she would not be pushing a pathetic healthcare reform bill, increase the spending like Obama has, and be trying to push a socialist agenda on our country so in that respect she would be head and shoulders better than Barack Obama so if she were to gain the nomination in 2012 I would vote for her in a heartbeat over Obama but it still does not take away the fact that I don't believe she would be a successful President that would be good for our Country and I hope that she does not get the nomination come 2012.
In closing Ill state this. A lot has been made recently about Palin's notes on her palm during a speech in TN and while it was embarrassing no doubt and probably not the best decision she has made considering the amount of attention she was going to have on her for that speech I cant help but remind myself that President Obama once said the following while reading a teleprompter, "I want to Thank President Obama and his staff". Our own President is so dependent on his teleprompters that he will read whatever it says out loud without even thinking twice and if you've ever heard him in Town Hall atmosphere's he utters the words "uhhh", "ahhh", "ughh", "ughhh", and "ummm" more than any politician I've ever seen and I will welcome any smartass remarks about our former President Bush at this time but Ill say one thing, he may have talked like a cowboy but at least he could think for himself and had a spine and stood true to what he believes and was not easily influenced by others. Now that I've gone off on a tangent let me get back to my point. President Obama accidentally thanked himself but few would probably know that because the liberal media would never run that story but Sarah Palin puts some notes on her hand and its front page, breaking news, top online story cover news for a week. Its the times we are living in folks and like I said I went off on a tangent so Ill finish with this. I believe Sarah Palin is unique, interesting, and polarizing in many different ways and I am looking forward to reading her book to learn more about her.