Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Can't Believe Chirstian Bale Actually Said "I'll Be Back..."

The movie reviewing continues this episode with Terminator Salvation. I've said this before, twice, and I'll say it again: the acting was way better than I was expecting. Christian Bale was great as the finally adult John Connor. Sam Worthington was awesome as was Bryce Dallas Howard who was somehow in a smaller role yet way more interesting as Kate than Claire Danes' more-involved version in T3. I never thought Danes was was a terrible actress by any means so it was either script or direction. (Um, wait. Didn't McG direct this one?) Moon Bloodgood (No, not Moon Zappa. Where is she now anyway?), from the kick-ass, yet tragically short-lived, Journeyman, had an oddly bigger role in the movie than Howard and it was not wasted in my opinion. One more casting point: Anton Yelchin, whom I just saw in Star Trek as the re-imagined Pavel Chekhov, was more convincing to me as the re-imagined Kyle Reece. One could rightly argue the latter role isn't nearly as iconic so the pressure was off... (Hear that sound? That's Terminator fanboys leaving the page...)

The story of how John, Marcus and Kyle's destinies intertwine was very well thought out. My one nitpick was my problem with every guy-oriented action flick. The first half really had something exploding or somebody getting attacked every ten minutes. As the story got going, the action sequences were "more realistic" but to me it was like "I don't know what to do now. Let's blow something up."

In other news, I got to the contract phase with literary agency and decided to just do some research on the company before I paid 89 bucks to have a company they supposedly referred me to but in reality was really just still them...Oh I guess I just said what I found out...Anyway, I compiled a list of six other agencies to try; five of which are major well-known firms; I decided to try the smaller one first and that was only after I could find only positive reviews about them. So I'm back to the query phase... Wish me luck!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.

Wednesday was the Seminary's end of the year party. Despite no homemade feast this time, this was more fun to me than the last Christmas party. Once again, graduating students rang the bell for every semester they attended. This year, we had two 16s!

But, Josh, you work on Wednesday night. Yes, I was working I just didn't get the money I'm used to. The dance group was canceled so we could use the space. The seminary gives more money to my church in terms of rent so there you go... The family crisis group still met so I had to give directions. To both groups actually.

My mother and aunt came down to visit their mother as my aunt was on vacation this week. I went over for dinner on Monday and then they took me, my cousin and my other aunt out to lunch. (Well, actually, only me and my roommate hadn't actually eaten yet but whatever...) While they were down, their brother's cat was very sickly so they offered to pay to have him (the cat, not my uncle) put down. It was my aunt's birthday on Wednesday so Happy Birthday to her!

Friday, May 15, 2009

To Boldly Go Where No Quiet Geek Has Gone Before!

JJ Abrams has taken the mantle of God, if you will, from Rick Berman. Starting with Alias, I can't think of anything that guy has done that hasn't totally rocked. (Didn't watch Felicity and don't want really want to...)

His vision for the new Star Trek universe is scary cool. Almost every nitpick I may have had was wiped out from the opening scene. Every review I read say the same thing about the casting: Eerily close but slightly different. I agree with this assessment. Exact quotes were even used.

Abrams said, probably more than once, that he wanted Star Trek to be more like Star Wars . So, he blew up Alderaan. I don't think I would have had the balls to obliterate the planet they did but, reading interviews with writers Kurtzman and Orci, I understand why they did. They wanted to show that this universe isn't the one we know and love.

Because I can't do a review without nitpicks, here they are: Kirk's older brother's part apparently ended up on the cutting room floor with out even a mention. Lame. Secondly, the bridge was way too busy. No Enterprise bridge of any series or movie has had so many stations they needed so many extras...

For my book group I finished Sundays in America by Suzanne Strempek Shea. A reporter's journey through various churches of various Protestant denominations in various places of the country. Overall it was good as she held the same values and politics I do. (If she didn't this would have been a very tough read.) I found it too close. She visited the Shaker community in New Gloucester, ME. I knew them well and ate many a meal with them. They even gave me Christmas presents. Later, she was at another church here in Portland when the story of a college classmate dying on a mission trip hit. Being brought up by two ministers, I've had the opportunity to visit people of different faiths; Non-Christian at that.

I also felt the churches she ended up by accident were more interesting stories to me. The ones she planned were too obvious. (Obama's Trinity UCC? Really?) I mean she went to all the megachurches and churches started by Jimmy Carter and Al Green...Lazy.

I did learn somethings. For instance, I didn't know Unitarianism was started in Transylvania. (I'm guessing vampires which explains much...) I recommend the book for anyone who basically isn't me...

I have two pieces of news. A university in the Baltimore area put the call out recently for a Communications Librarian. That's right. A position that would use both my degrees. They've acknowledged my application but that's it so far.

I finished another book and, in an effort to get this book more respect, I'm in talks with a literary agency. At the moment, they are reading the manuscript to see if they want to represent it. I'll keep you all posted on both fronts.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I Could Wait For This But...

Walking back in the rain from seeing Wolverine didn't dampen my enthusiasm for this movie. One thing this movie did well was threaten to fuck with continuity (In terms of the other movies. Let's forget the comics for the moment.) and then turn out really not to. I had worried when Cyclops entered the pic but he never encountered Logan and the latter doesn't remember nothing anyway. I didn't think the action was too unrealistic considering the genre so that's another plus.

I do have one peeve; and what would a review from me be without that? Stryker worked for the American government. Maybe there's a Washington in Canada. The capital I know is Ottawa but...In the comics, and I did say I'd only forget for the moment, Department H, the people behind the Weapon X program (and pointing out that's a Roman numeral was a nice touch) is part of the Canadian government. Even if they removed the Canadian involvement, I really don't think they'd like weapons research conducted at Crater Lake without it and I don't see a joint thing happening...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I Can't Think Of A Title

Last Sunday, and I can't believe I didn't post about this, I went to a workshop on energy conservation tips for church congregations. A 3-hour workshop. May energy was sapped after that...I'm glad I went though. My friend needed the moral support from her friends and I was the only one to show up. The presenter of the PowerPoint (Yeah, that's how Firefox wants to spell it...) reminded me of my uncle but a bit more of a snob know-it-all. I think he was probably a lax Catholic as he seemed to suggest we're all about the building and not spiritual matters. After that and a Q&A, they decided a tour would be a good idea though it was held at my church so I declined. They also asked if I wanted to be a part of their board. Um, no...

Not that I really could afford to but it was a nice day so I walked do to the Old Port and bought a couple CDs at ye olde local music shoppe. I was really looking for a good deal on the Pretenders new one as even Amazon is selling it at a way high price. (I seem to recall didn't work either but I think that was an availability issue.) Anyway, after I saw Bob Dylan's new Together Through Life on sale, I went looking for the CD and didn't find it there either but did find Springsteen's new Working on a Dream.

Though I can't say I have a favorite tune on Together Through Life, I find it more consistently likable than Modern Times which has my current favorite "Working Man Blues #2" on it. Of course, this album is all love songs where the other is a smattering on several themes.

Working on a Dream's two best songs are the first one "Outlaw Pete" and the bonus "The Wrestler." I still have no idea why the latter wasn't even nominated for best Song at the Oscars... (I had a guy at church just this morning tell me I should see Slumdog...) "Queen of the Supermarket" and the title track are also kind of catchy in a frankly surprising way. I can't really say I like the album as well as the last one but it's by no means the worst Springsteen album and maybe not even the worst album done with the E Street Band...

Last night, I saw three members of the usually five-piece Kevin Roper Project at a local cafe/bar. (I went to high school with the drummer.) I thought they were good but he said they were much more mellow than usual. I enjoy living downtown and being able to catch live music. Totally cool.

I close with a rant against bitchers. Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy has been really ill. Commenters on the article from the Globe took the time to bitch how bad he is as an analyst. There are people would rather have him analyze every damn play than discuss his hilarious experiences with the hotel or restaurant; something, I will point out, he only does when nothing is actually happening during the game. I personally love it when he does that. I'm watching the damn game and they show a replay if I missed it anyway. I don't need to be told what I'm seeing. That's what the optic nerve is for. TV is not made for blind people. And...Jerry is less biased on a Red Sox-biased telecast that Joe and Tim. And...he's less condescending to viewers than really any of the ESPN commentators. Or YES commentators but, well, never mind... My point is...Shut up.
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