Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wow. Have I Ever Gone This Long Without Posting?

This will be long but probably not too informative because, that's not how I roll...

Before I left to go up to keep my father and cat company in the absence of my mother who was at a church youth thing in TN, we watched the live action Alvin and the Chipmunks. Overall, it was a great film and throughout the movie they answered my "But what about this?" questions. (I'm still not sure why Simon could see with the random pair of glasses Dave gave him and not the pair Ian forced him to wear since neither pair was prescription but whatever...) I wanted more music as well.

When I heard that the Yankees were coming to town the weekend I was going up to see my father, I thought that was awesome timing. My team failed me. (I will discuss today's trade of Manny when I have all the facts...)

Sunday afternoon, we saw The Dark Knight. This movie totally rocked my socks. As you've already heard I'm sure, Heath Ledger was awesome as the Joker. Maggie Gyllenhaal added some class as the recast Rachel Dawes but why bother to recast if you're just going to kill her off anyway? Problems with Tom hanging around the set? I had no problem with Two Face being in the movie since it demonstrated an aspect of the Joker's character it really couldn't have otherwise, but I agree with those I've talked with that Joker could have carried the movie himself...

After a weird phone issue was solved, I arranged to spent Monday in Bar Harbor with J. Ray and Clay. I've said this before but probably a highlight of my vacation. We did touristy stuff such as go to Sand Beach, Thunder Hole and Cadillac. Dinner at a local salad bar place was interesting but I think it was really a "had to be there" occasion. After dinner, we went to a local improv show and then went for ice cream. I had never seen improv live so I was very impressed.

In closing, I will review Ringo Starr's new CD, Liverpool 8. So far, I don't like it as well as his last album, Choose Love as far as lyrics go but there are some really good tunes on here. I'm curious to where this new partnership with Dave Stewart will go in the future...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Hate Reusing Titles.

I was reading TV Guide's review of Wall-E yesterday and I really don't agree with it. They suggest that it's the best Pixar film to date. I think the exact opposite. They particularly liked that it shows humans will be fat and lazy a millennium to two from now. My thought is "Well, yeah..." but this is not really what I want from a cartoon. You know what I would like from a movie? Dialogue. Even silent movies have more than this movie. If you compare the latest cartoon movies, Kung Fu Panda had many big name stars while Wall-E had John Ratzenberger, Jeff Garlin and Kathy Najimy; in supporting roles! If you want to see a Pixar movie, better choices would be The Incredibles or Finding Nemo.

Recently, I finished The Eyes of the Beholders, a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel by A. C. Crispin whose Sarek is one of my two favorite Star Trek novels. Being new at that time, it takes places early in the third season. It was a good book subplots that were interesting. I really enjoyed the story of Thala the blind Andorian girl and Data trying to write a novel.

The main plot of finding this artifact that made ship crews insane was interesting but it needed work. Referencing the Medusans was cool but they really should have ran with that. Usually, the character that appears on the cover has a major part to play. By this, I was lead to believe that maybe the fact Geordi is blind would play a role here but no it didn't. Crispin instead gave most of the crew something to do in this book which is hard.

A side note: the novels used to explain what happened "behind the scenes" to characters, like in Imbalance, Keiko O'Brien discovers she's pregnant with Molly. Here we're told what happened to Dr. Selar played by Suzy Plakson in an second season episode. While I was reading this book, Plakson appeared in an episode of Beauty and the Beast we were watching!

Thursday, my parents came down as my mother had to go to a meeting. We went out to eat at Wendy's, then later got sundaes at Friendly's. Can someone explain to me the difference between the PB Fudge ice cream and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream as the former also had peanut butter cup chunks in it? We then swam in the motel pool. After that we went up to their room split a bottle of chardonnay and a can of cashews while watching the current season of Last Comic Standing. The votes from the theater audience for the three "battlers" turned out to be the exact opposite of my ranking. Stand up about sex and dating is unoriginal compared to stupid upbeat songs making fun of evangelical Christians but once again that's just me and everybody I know with an ounce of sophistication...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Only One Thing to Say

The Incredible Hulk movie totally rocked. It was so much better then the Ang Lee massacre. One, they had a villain in Abomination and didn't waste Absorbing Man as the first attempt frankly did. I thought Eric Bana's acting wasn't terrible but casting Ed Norton in this one to me worked better on two levels: One, Norton is less "buff" so the contrast was more appropriately striking and, two, Norton is a writer/director himself which I think helps in the acting. Speaking of acting, I was very worried when I discovered Liv Tyler was supposed to be a cellular biologist but I was relieved when she didn't have a "techno-babble" lines because, ugh. (My roommate was disappointed Banner couldn't get excited. "Not even a little.")

I admittedly don't remember Abomination's origin from the comic but somehow making him a Russian-born raised in England seemed like just an excuse to not find a Russian actor. My other nitpick is the favoring of the 80's TV show and the UPN cartoon of the 90's over the comic, at least as far as the origin goes. What? Don't tell me our government wouldn't test a gamma radiation bomb in the desert any more... (I did love the inclusion of the "Walking Away" theme into the score and the Jack McGee reference, however...)

I conclude with this:

family guy - incredible hulk - sad walking away song.mp3 -

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sports Because I Don't Want To Talk About Me

It's almost the All-Star Break. The Red Sox aren't leading the division and, despite the fabulous win last night, really can't seem to win on the road. Are they trailing the Yankees? No. The Yankees really suck this season. I really think their reign of terror is over.

No, the real threat this season for the Sox is Tampa Bay. I watched the hideous sweep down in St. Pete earlier this week and I still can't fathom what changed for them to make them this good this late in the season. When the team was formed, it was filled with All-Star veterans who frankly were close to retirement and they sucked. Then, they switched it up and filled their team with cheap young talent that may have been better with better coaching but they sucked too. Now, they have natural born young talent and veterans who'd be on the bench on most any other team and given a chance to shine. I'm certainly not switching my allegiance but my "I support two teams..." tee may now be "irrelevant" instead of the intended "irreverent."

Now, more on the road woes of the Sox. The starting pitching has been great. If your starter gives up 3 runs or less, you should be able to win even without a bat as big as Papi's. Take more batting practice. Do something.

While the starting pitching as been good for the most part, the bulllpen has sucked ass. I really believe that the Sox won last night not because they gave up seven runs but because Jon Lester went nine throwing a complete game shutout. Don't even put the relief corps on the mound. Mike Timlin has just come off the DL and Tito says we need him. Not if he sucks we don't...

Get it together boys because Tampa Bay winning the division is way too weird to contemplate...
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