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Preview: Cyber-Scribble By Brian Hoover

Cyber-Scribble By Brian Hoover



A blog about news, entertainment, technology and life in Central Pa.



Last Build Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 6:01:02 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2015
 



Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 06:00:00 UTC

2011-01-05T06:01:02Z

Happy New Year, everyone! Last week, I took a few days off work and I used some of my free time to see a few of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year:  “True Grit”, “Black Swan” and “The Fighter”.  Read on for my thoughts on these movies. Concerning “True Grit”, I must admit that I’ve never seen the... Happy New Year, everyone!Last week, I took a few days off work and I used some of my free time to see a few of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year:  “True Grit”, “Black Swan” and “The Fighter”.  Read on for my thoughts on these movies.Concerning “True Grit”, I must admit that I’ve never seen the original, so I had nothing to compare this remake against.  On the other hand, I am a fan of the Coen brothers and must say that I enjoyed “True Grit” as much as, if not more than I enjoyed “No Country For Old Men”.Jeff Bridges is great as Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn and really makes this a fun movie to watch.  One of the best scenes is in a courtroom where Rooster Cogburn, a U.S. Marshall, is testifying against a criminal he brought to justice. In this scene, the prosecuting attorney feeds Cogburn a portion of the story, the defense attorney objects, the procecutor then rephrases his "question" and Cogburn repeats what the prosecutor originally said.   I found this to be very funny, but Bridges has quite a few funny lines and scenes throughout the entire movie. Hailee Steinfeld is also great as Mattie Ross - the teenage girl who hires Cogburn to track down the man responsible for the murder of her father.  She is a very opinionated and talkative young lady, and she has great chemistry with both Bridges and Matt Damon.  Damon, by the way,  plays a Texas Ranger who is also on the hunt for the man who murdered Ross’ father and is also very good in his role.If you’re looking for a fun movie to watch, you wouldn’t go wrong by buying tickets to “True Grit”.Next, I went to see “Black Swan”.  Before I go on, allow me to say that I’m a 44 year-old heterosexual male and I was somewhat hesitant about seeing a movie about a ballet dancer - especially by myself.  However, I’d heard and read good things about the movie - plus, I figured I would at least have Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis to look at, so I decided to see it.Also, allow me to say that I’m not exactly a fan of Darren Aronofsky’s films.  While I enjoyed “The Wrestler”, I despised “The Fountain”.  In fact, shortly after I began blogging on here (way back in November 2006), I railed against that movie in a blog entry or two.Looking back at that entry, I happened to use the phrase “at times the movie was like some kind of bizarre hallucinogenic trip” and I feel the same could be said about “Black Swan”.  What is it with Mr. Aronofsky?  Does he purposely try to confuse his audience by making bizarre movies that make very little sense?  It sure seems that way to me, but judging by the reviews of “Black Swan”, a lot of people seem to like his work.  I must be in the minority. The plot of “Black Swan” is that Natalie Portman is a ballet dancer and she is chosen to be the lead dancer in a new production of “Swan Lake”.  The director feels she fits the white swan part perfectly, but he wants her to let loose in order to portray the black swan.  [SPOILER ALERT - skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know anything]  What follows are some bizarre events which seem to be happening, but really don’t. For instance, Portman’s character thinks she kills her rival, Mila Kunis. During another scene, she starts pulling black feathers out of her skin.  Really.  I can deal w[...]



Hasta la vista, AMC Colonial Commons

Tue, 07 Dec 2010 05:00:00 UTC

2010-12-07T16:56:24Z

Blogger shares his thoughts on the closing of the Colonial Commons movie theater.

Hello.  It's been awhile.

I just saw some surprising news and thought I'd post a little blog entry to share this news with you.

The AMC movie theater at Colonial Commons recently closed.

Now, I have to admit that I haven't been there in a long time.  I think the last movie I saw there was "Rock Star".  Yeah... the movie with Mark Wahlberg where he becomes the lead singer for a hair band.  That came out in 2001, but surprisingly, I remember going to see it late one Saturday night.

In any case, it's been at least nine years since I've been to the theater, and the really sad thing is that I live within one half mile of the theater.

Now, even though I haven't been posting any blogs lately, I've still been seeing movies.  A LOT of movies.  In fact, this past weekend, I saw my 52nd movie of the year.

I've seen most of these movies at the Camp Hill Cinema Center and I usually see something Friday evening after work since my employer is just a few minutes from there.  But even on Saturdays, even though I live so close to Colonial Commons, I'd still rather travel to the West Shore and visit Cinema Center. 

So, what did AMC in?  Obviously, it's the fact that the theater was outdated.  There was no stadium seating and I don't think they offered Digital projection or even 3D, but I could be wrong on that.  (And don't get me started on this whole current glut of 3D movies...)

I believe the theater also had a deal Monday through Thursday that all movies were $5, but even that apparently wasn't enough to keep them in business. 

I think the timing of their closing is pretty bad.  Just this past Friday evening, I went to dinner with my parents at the new Hibachi Grill & Buffet in Colonial Commons which just celebrated their Grand Opening.  I don't believe I've EVER seen the parking lot at Colonial Commons as full as it was that night! I have to think that some of the people there might have been looking to see a movie after dinner, but now that AMC closed, they have to look elsewhere.

Of course, Regal isn't that far away...

I don't foresee the space occupied by AMC being empty for too long.  Other than the spot previously occupied by Linens and Things, the Colonial Commons shopping center has experienced a renaissance lately.  Just a year ago, this strip mall was pretty dead and a number of storefronts were empty.  I'm sure the property manager will be able to find a client for the space.

If you remember, AMC closed their Hampden 8 theater a few years ago, and although it sat vacant for a couple of years, Flagship Cinemas took over and remodeled it.  I've been in there a couple of times (when the showtimes at Cinema Center didn't work out with my schedule), and it's amazing how they converted some of the theaters to have stadium seating.  The theater is pretty nice, but I just can't go there because they serve Pepsi.  I mean, who ever heard of a movie theater selling Pepsi????!

Anyhow, if the Hampden 8 theater could be remodeled, it could definitely be done to the Colonial Commons theater if anyone decides to put a little money into it.

Oh... I just remembered.  My sister gave me a gift card to AMC last year for Christmas!  So much for using that now....  :(




"The End" is near

Wed, 19 May 2010 00:48:00 UTC

2010-05-19T00:49:43Z

I'm writing this blog entry a couple of hours before the penultimate episode of "LOST" airs.  My last blog entry was posted in preparation for the first episode of the final season, so yes... it's been awhile. I can't believe that there are just three and a half hours remaining to tell the story of "LOST".  For those who... I'm writing this blog entry a couple of hours before the penultimate episode of "LOST" airs.  My last blog entry was posted in preparation for the first episode of the final season, so yes... it's been awhile. I can't believe that there are just three and a half hours remaining to tell the story of "LOST".  For those who haven't been counting, there is tonight's episode and then Sunday evening, the series finale is two and a half hours long.  Speaking of the finale, ABC is airing five and a half hours of programming concerning "LOST" that night.  First, beginning at 7:00 PM is a two hour retrospective which is useful for anyone who hasn't been following the show regularly.  (ABC has always done this prior to a "LOST" season premiere or season finale.)  The finale, which happens to be titled "The End" according to my TiVo, begins at 9:00 PM and then following a 30-minute break for local news, ABC will be airing a special Sunday night episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" which is going to feature most, if not all, of the stars of "LOST". In addition to this, ABC will be airing the original "LOST" pilot Saturday night from 8:00 - 10:00.  Add in tonight's hour-long episode and that is eight and a half hours of content pertaining to "LOST" airing this week! I remember when the pilot first aired.  I remember Jack waking up in the jungle, just off the beach, and then going onto the beach where Oceanic flight 815 had crashed along with the flashbacks.  The show was interesting, but it didn't keep me riveted to the screen and I ended up goofing around on my computer while I left the show on in the background, just barely paying attention to it. At the time, I was traveling quite a bit for work and I missed an episode here and there.  (It hadn't yet earned a spot on my TiVo's Season Pass list.)  A few weeks later, however, I saw the episode which revealed John Locke had been unable to walk prior to crashing on the island and at that point, I was hooked.  I made sure that I caught up on all of the repeats that aired over the holidays and since then, I have not missed a single episode. During that first season, I remember going to a website - I believe it was oceanicflight815.com - where if you entered "the numbers" (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) you could see an interactive map which showed where each character sat on the plane.  Unfortunately, it didn't do much more than that, but it gave the hope that you might get some kind of insight into the show. Little did we know that we'd have to wait six years for answers about the show! But now, the end truly is near and answers about the show have been slow in coming.  I really don't see how they can tie up all of the loose ends and explain everything in three and a half hours, so I'm sure there will be some things left hanging and open to debate. It sounds like we are going to get some more answers tonight based on the episode's title.  The title is "What They Died For", but that makes me wonder if it's referring just to the recent decimation of the remaining characters or if it's instead referring to everyone who has ever died on the island. All throughout the series, characters have perished.  Some went quickly and unexpectedly (John Locke, Artz and Ilana), some were annoying and you couldn't wait for them to die (Frogurt, Nikki and Paulo) while other deaths were kind of seen coming but were still sad (Ecko and Charlie).  With that said, never before in the series did we experience the death of so many major characters in such a short time as at [...]



Counting Down To The Final Season Of LOST

Tue, 02 Feb 2010 05:05:00 UTC

2010-02-02T06:35:16Z

In less than 24 hours, the final season of "LOST" begins.  In case you haven't noticed, the commercials that have aired over the past few months have featured all old footage.  In fact, the producers have been very careful to make sure that no footage from the new season has been released in order to keep people guessing as... In less than 24 hours, the final season of "LOST" begins.  In case you haven't noticed, the commercials that have aired over the past few months have featured all old footage.  In fact, the producers have been very careful to make sure that no footage from the new season has been released in order to keep people guessing as to what is going to happen this season.  I'm sure that if you look hard enough, you could find some spoilers online.  Also, the producers held a special showing of the season premiere in Hawaii (where the series is filmed) just this past weekend, so I'm sure that someone who was in attendance had to write about it online. As for me, I can't wait to find out what the outcome is from last season's finale, but I don't want to spoil anything and I'm perfectly content to wait until 9:00 PM Tuesday night to find out what is going on.  Of course, this is "LOST" that I'm talking about, so I'm pretty sure that even after the first few minutes have passed, we will all be confused and I will probably be yelling "What the @#$%????!" at the TV. I didn't write much (if anything) about the last season of "LOST" here, but I really liked it.  I know a lot of people were put off by the time travel aspect of the show, but I thought it was great the way they tied some scenes into events from past seasons.  I'm not going to reveal any spoilers here, because as I said, I honestly don't know anything.  However, I've read a few rumors about this season and I have a few ideas of my own as to where this season is headed.  If you don't want to read my thoughts, please leave now. The recurring theme throughout last season was that "whatever happened, happened" so it was impossible for Jack, Sayid, Sawyer and the gang to alter history - even though they were 30 years in the past..  At the end of the season, however, Faraday seemed to believe that they could change history and hatched the plan to detonate the hydrogen bomb in order to destroy the pocket of energy on the island. The big question going into this season is what happened when the bomb was detonated?  Did this alter history?  If so, the Swan station (the hatch) was never built, Desmond was never there and Oceanic Flight 815 would have never crashed onto the island. On the other hand, if "whatever happened, happened", maybe the detonation of the hydrogen bomb is responsible for "the incident" which was referred to in the Dharma training movies and this is why it was necessary for Desmond (or whoever was in the Swan station) to press the button every 108 minutes.  With the small amount of information that has been released about the upcoming season, it seems as if the producers want us to believe that history has been altered.  For example, the title of the season premiere is "LA X".  Of course, LAX is the name of the Los Angeles airport where Oceanic Flight 815 was headed before it crashed on the island. This has lead people to believe that season six will begin in September 2004 with Oceanic Flight 815 landing in Los Angeles without incident. Of course, this would mean that everything we've seen from the previous five seasons never happened!  Would the producers do this?  Well... yeah, they might, but I don't believe they will. Instead, I think they may borrow a page from "Star Trek" - a movie which was produced by JJ Abrams.  In "Star Trek", the history established in the previous series and movies was changed and this resulted in an alternate timeline.  [...]



"2012" - My Thoughts

Thu, 19 Nov 2009 03:45:00 UTC

2009-11-19T03:46:04Z

This past weekend, I went to see "2012".  Read on for my thoughts on the latest apocalyptic disaster flick from Roland Emmerich. This past weekend, I went to see "2012".  Read on for my thoughts on the latest apocalyptic disaster flick from Roland Emmerich. Well... the special effects in this movie are outstanding.  Other than that?  This movie is pretty bad.  It's predictable, ridiculous at times and at 2 hours and 38 minutes, it's simply WAY too long. I'm going to reveal some spoilers about this movie, so consider yourself warned.  Then again, you probably have a pretty good idea of the movie's plot if you've seen the trailer.  Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about the Mayan calendar ending with 2012.  Some people are interpreting this as a prediction of the end of the world.  This movie's explanation for the end of the world is interesting.  The sun is emitting neutrinos which are having an effect on the Earth's core that is similar to a microwave oven.  As the Earth's core heats up, it is shrinking.  As the core shrinks, the Earth's crust destabilizes causing earthquakes, volcanoes and other disasters.  More on that in a bit. As for the movie being predictable, there are a few characters who you know will not live to see the end of the movie.  Also, there is one scene where two characters are in a grocery store as a minor earthquake hits the area.  The scene shifts back and forth between the couple and the parking lot as we see an ominous fissure opening and it's heading towards the store.  Back inside, we pick back up on the couple's conversation as the man says something to the effect of "Nothing is ever going to tear us apart" and the next thing you know, the floor splits open between the two and they end up on opposite sides of a large crack in the Earth. I guess that would also fall under the "ridiculous" category. Some other things that I found to be ridiculous were the repetitive scenes where John Cusack's character was either driving a car or in a plane as he tried to stay ahead of crumbling ground. I was OK with this the first time it happened.  I was rolling my eyes the second time it happened.  By the fourth time, I was ready to walk out of the theater. This reminded me somewhat of "The Marine" - a movie released a few years ago which starred professional wrestler John Cena.  After seeing that movie with a friend, I said "How many exploding buildings can one man jump out of during a single movie????!"   Once or maybe twice? OK - it's exciting.  Beyond that, it's overkill. Maybe if they had cut one... or two... or even three of these scenes involving crumbling ground bearing down on someone, the movie could have been cut down to two hours in length.  There were other scenes that I found to be ridiculous, such as planes having to dodge collapsing buildings for lengthy times after taking off.  I'm pretty sure that every time I've ever flown, we were well above any surrounding buildings in a very short period of time. Also, at one point in the movie, a group of characters are on a plane headed for China, but the plane doesn't have enough fuel for the trip.  They plan to stop in Hawaii for a fill-up, but upon reaching Hawaii, they find that volcanoes have pretty much destroyed the islands.  Unable to land and re-fuel, they continue on their way.  Earlier, I mentioned that the Earth's crust has become unstable and this causes the continents to shift.  In another "awwww.. c'mon!!!" moment, the plane ends up right over their destination (thanks to the shifting continents) as they run out of fuel.  Maybe I'm being too harsh and nit-picking since I appear to be [...]



Thanks, Citizens Bank!

Sat, 14 Nov 2009 07:43:00 UTC

2009-11-14T07:44:33Z

Friday afternoon during my lunch break, I happened to use a Citizens Bank ATM in the Capital City Mall and I encountered a "nice" surprise. Being that I work in the Lemoyne area, I usually go to the Capital City Mall during my lunch break.  I need to get out of the office and I find it relaxing to...

Friday afternoon during my lunch break, I happened to use a Citizens Bank ATM in the Capital City Mall and I encountered a "nice" surprise.

Being that I work in the Lemoyne area, I usually go to the Capital City Mall during my lunch break.  I need to get out of the office and I find it relaxing to go to the mall and sit in the food court - and the sights are an added bonus, but I digress...

Today I needed some cash, so I decided to use one of the two ATMs at the entrance to the food court.  I try not to use these because of the annoying fees I'm charged, but since my bank is out of the way, I decided to bite the bullet and use one of these ATMs.

I usually don't bother fully reading the screens because I know they're nailing me with a service fee and I hit the "Accept" button because I just want my money.  However, today as I hit the "Accept" button, I glimpsed a dollar amount for the fee that ended with .75 and I thought "Wh-wh-wh-what????!"

Now, as I said, I try not to use these ATMs and it's been a few months since I've used one, but I remember the fee being $2.00.  When I received my receipt from the ATM, I saw the service fee is now $2.75!!! 

I then looked at the sign on the ATM and it said something to the effect of "You may be charged up to $2.00 if you are not a Citizens Bank customer." 

It appears to me that they must have just recently increased their ATM service fee, but haven't gotten around to updating their signs to reflect the increase.  Hmmm... is it just a coincidence that they would do that with the Christmas shopping season upon us?  Nah.... a bank would never take advantage of people, would they???

Unfortunately, if you need cash in the mall, your options are limited since I don't believe most stores there give you the option of cash-back with your purchase - and Citizens Bank has the monopoly on ATMs in the mall. 

$.75 isn't really a big deal, but it's just the principle.  From now on, I'm not just going to avoid using these ATMs in the mall - I simply WILL NOT use them.




Earlier and earlier...

Tue, 10 Nov 2009 05:15:00 UTC

2009-11-10T05:16:52Z

Maybe I should say "longer and longer" since that's been the amount of time between my blog entries lately. Have you noticed that stores are decorated for Christmas a little earlier this year?  Maybe it just seems like it's earlier, but I'm here to tell you that it really is earlier. For instance, a couple of year ago, malls...

Maybe I should say "longer and longer" since that's been the amount of time between my blog entries lately.

Have you noticed that stores are decorated for Christmas a little earlier this year?  Maybe it just seems like it's earlier, but I'm here to tell you that it really is earlier.

For instance, a couple of year ago, malls and stores would always wait until the day after Halloween to decorate for Christmas.  This year, however, malls and stores decorated before Halloween.  In fact, the one Hallmark store in the Capital City Mall was decorated around two weeks before Halloween.  I'm not talking about their Christmas ornaments... they always begin selling them in July, if I'm not mistaken.  I'm talking about the store actually being decorated for Christmas.

Another example of how things are starting earlier this year is the day that Santa arrives at the malls. 

A few years ago, Santa would arrive on the Friday before Thanksgiving.  I remember going to the Eric theater in the Colonial Park Mall to see Star Trek movies the night they premiered. (Yes, I am a geek...)  Back in the mid 1990's, Star Trek movies would always premiere on the Friday before Thanksgiving.  ("Star Trek: Generations" premiered 11/18/94 and "Star Trek: First Contact" premiered 11/22/96.)   I had to look up those premiere dates, but I distinctly remember the Colonial Park Mall's parking lot being a nightmare on these evenings because in addition to the large turnout for the Star Trek movie, Santa Claus also arrived.

In recent years, I noticed that Santa was arriving at the malls two weekends before Thanksgiving.  This year, however, Santa arrived at the Capital City Mall this past Friday - 11/6.  Three weekends before Thanksgiving!

I was talking to my mom about this the other day and she said "Do you know when Santa used to arrive???" She said that when she was a little girl, Santa would arrive at a store on Christmas Eve!

Speaking of going to see Santa, as I've been writing this, a few memories have popped into my head.  I remember when I was much, much younger, my parents would take me to see Santa at the Millersburg Hardware Store and I also remember going to a store named Joe the Motorist Friend in the West Shore Plaza to see Santa.  Wow... That was a LONG time ago.

Anyhow, the next time you make a remark to someone about how it seems like everyone is trying to rush Christmas and they tell you that you're imagining things, you can tell them that you know for a fact that the stores keep moving it up earlier and earlier.




I'm Ready For The Apocalypse!

Thu, 10 Sep 2009 05:00:00 UTC

2009-09-10T05:02:43Z

No... not the real apocalypse! I'm talking about the season premiere of "Supernatural". No... not the real apocalypse! I'm talking about the season premiere of "Supernatural". Regular readers probably know that my favorite TV show is "Lost". "24" usually ranks right up there, but the past few seasons have kind of fizzled out as the day progressed. This past season was decent, but I just really didn't like the direction they took Tony Almeida and that left me feeling "blah" about the season as a whole. But I'm not writing about those shows tonight. Tonight I would like to draw your attention to a show called "Supernatural". I wrote about this show way back in December 2006. (Shortly after I started writing this blog.) At that time, I said that I felt this was a pretty good show. Since then, this show has grown into one of my favorites. It ranks very high on my TiVo's Season Passes and I will usually watch it in favor of "The Office" - which I also TiVo, thanks to my dual-tuner TiVo. Over the past few months, I've also purchased seasons 1 through 3 on DVD. Target had seasons 1 and 3 on sale recently for $18.99 and then my daughter found season 2 and bought it for me for Father's Day. (I don't know why Target has seasons 1 & 3, but not 2...) Since I missed some of the episodes from season 1, it was interesting to go back and watch those early episodes. If you're not familiar with this show, it follows the story of Sam and Dean Winchester. They are "hunters" who track down and eliminate demons, vampires and other supernatural beings. Over the first two seasons, the overall arc of the story was that they were trying to locate Azazel - a yellow-eyed demon who killed their mother when Sam and Dean were very young. The demon also "tainted" the infant Sam by feeding him some of his demon blood - which we would find out later was part of a master plan. At the end of season two, Sam died and Dean made a deal with a demon to bring Sam back to life. The price? His soul and he would only have one year to live. Throughout season 3, the brothers tried to find a way to break Dean's deal, but they were unsuccessful and during the season finale, Dean died and went to Hell. When the finale aired, I remember thinking "NOW WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO???!!" I mean, how many shows kill off one of the two main characters? Then again, based on the previous season finale, I figured the writers had something up their sleeves. In the season 4 premiere, Dean was suddenly back alive as he crawled out of a coffin! It turned out an angel by the name of Castiel pulled Dean out of Hell as he and other angels had work for Dean to do. Dean then reunited with Sam, who had been drinking demon blood to give himself the power to banish demons, and they were tasked with preventing a demon named Lilith from breaking 66 seals which keep Lucifer trapped in Hell. Unfortunately, the brothers failed due to being tricked by both angels and demons and the season finale ended with the breaking of the final seal which opened a portal through which Lucifer was coming to Earth - thus ushering in the apocalypse. While this may sound like pretty heavy stuff, the show always seems to mix in just the right amount of humor and Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) delivers some great lines at just the right moment. Speaking of humor, one of my favorite episodes from this past season was "Wishful Thinking" - in which a wishing well causes trouble in a small town. Between the suicidal giant teddy bear and Todd (a kid who wishes for super strength to punish bullies - "Kneel before Todd!!"), it has some truly laugh-out-loud moments. So, the reason I'm writing about this show is because the fifth season premiere airs tonight (9/10/09) on the CW Network at 9:00 PM. Since "Greys Anatomy", "CSI" an[...]



"The Goods" - My Thoughts

Sat, 15 Aug 2009 06:00:00 UTC

2009-08-15T06:00:54Z

This evening I went to see the new Jeremy Piven movie - "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard". What did I think?

This evening I went to see the new Jeremy Piven movie - "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard". What did I think?

Well, I really wanted to see "District 9" after work, but once again, Cinema Center of Camp Hill doesn't seem to want to cooperate with me and they had 4:00 and 7:00 PM showings. Since I work until 5:00... well, that rules out the earlier showing and waiting for the 7:00 PM showing would completely throw off my usual Friday evening routine, so when I saw they were showing "The Goods" at 5:20, it fit perfectly into my schedule.

I've been seeing previews for "The Goods" and I've seen Jeremy Piven and co-star Ed Helms (Andy on "The Office") on The Tonight Show recently and thought it looked like it would be worth checking out. Speaking of co-stars, this movie has quite a few recognizable actors and actresses: Ving Rhames, James Brolin, David Koechner, Jordana Spiro and Kathryn Hahn. (No... not the woman who had an affair with Jim Bakker. Kathryn Hahn used to be on "Crossing Jordan".) Alan Thicke (from "Growing Pains", Ken Jeong (from "The Hangover"), Tony Hale (from "Arrested Development"), Wendie Malick (from "Just Shoot Me"), Craig Robinson (Darryl from "The Office"), Rob Riggle (ummm... I can't think of anything he's been in, but you'll recognize him) and some other vaguely recognizable people have smaller parts. Will Ferrell puts in an appearance as well.

This movie is definitely loaded with talent.

Unfortunately, it's just not that good.

The movie has some truly funny - and I do mean FUNNY - moments, but overall, it's kind of dumb. I was really hoping it would be a great R-rated comedy like "The Hangover", but it falls far short of that mark.

I just don't think the general public is ready to buy Jeremy Piven as a big movie star. Sure, he's been in countless movies over the years, but the only one that really comes to my mind is "Chasing Liberty". In that movie, he played a Secret Service agent who is tracking down the President's daughter, played by Mandy Moore, who has run away. (I saw that movie with my daughter... in case you're wondering!)

Right now, Jeremy Piven is best known for playing Ari Gold on "Entourage" and he's great in that role, but he's not exactly a household name. I'm assuming that's why they loaded up the cast with so many other recognizable faces.

In any case, I'd recommend you wait for this movie to come out on DVD if you want to see it rather than spending $9 (or more) to see it in the theater. When it comes out on DVD, it may become one of those movies you watch over and over to see the funny parts - and there are some points where you really have to be paying attention to catch something a character says.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate this movie at a 4.5. If not for some of the incredibly funny parts, it would be a 3.




News Bytes for 7/15/09

Wed, 15 Jul 2009 23:45:00 UTC

2009-07-15T23:44:22Z

A few headlines I saw today are prompting me to write a short blog entry. A few headlines I saw today are prompting me to write a short blog entry. Once again, it's been awhile since I've written anything here... I hope everyone is having a great summer. This weather has been great! I just can't believe summer is half over already, though. Here are a few of today's entertainment headlines (with links to the articles) and my thoughts on these topics: L.A. Blogger Sentenced for Guns N' Roses Leak I see he was sentenced to two months of home confinement. Is that seriously a punishment for a blogger? I know if I was sentenced to two months of home confinement, I'd probably be posting blog entries on a much more regular basis! What kind of trouble could this guy get into if he's online all the time? To truly punish him, they should take away his Internet access for those two months! Also, they are claiming that since the songs this guy released were widely circulated, it hurt the anticipation for the album and decreased sales. Let's see... first of all, the CD wasn't that great. I bought it. I listened to it once - and that was it. If anything, the tracks tipped the fans off that the CD wasn't worth the seventeen year wait. Secondly, the CD was/is only available at Best Buy. That had to also contribute to the poor sales considering Wal-Mart is the leading seller of CDs. I know I don't think of going to Best Buy when I want to buy a CD. Finally, Axl Rose is the only original member remaining from the group's heyday, so is this truly a Guns N' Roses album? "Harry Potter" Works Box Office Magic at Midnight This movie earned $22.2 million dollars from midnight showings Wednesday night. Wow.... I hope that parents didn't take their young kids to see it at midnight. Awhile back, I commented on seeing that theaters were planning to show the Jonas Brothers movie at midnight. That movie didn't do very well overall and I'm sure the midnight showings bombed. I guess that the latest Harry Potter movie proves that movies aimed at younger viewers can do extremely well for midnight showings - if the movie is good. I can say that you will definitely not be seeing a blog entry from me about this movie. I haven't gone to see any of the Harry Potter movies in a theater, although I do have them on DVD. I tried watching the first one a few years ago and fell asleep. I figure one of these days I'll watch them all in order... but until then, I avoid all of them in theaters and if I happen to come across them on TV. By the way, isn't Daniel Radcliffe about 30 years old now??? No? He's only 20?!! (Actually only 19 until July 23rd according to IMDB.) Ryan Reynolds Reportedly Cast As Green Lantern This is from a couple of days ago, but I saw it mentioned again today on Yahoo along with some other wishful casting for superhero movies, but more on that in a bit. Personally, I think Ryan Reynolds is a good choice for this, as he fits with Hal Jordan's look. (That's the guy who becomes Green Lantern.) It's reported that Bradley Cooper (from "Alias" and "The Hangover") was also being considered. He also would have been a good choice. However, Justin Timberlake was apparently the third actor being considered and I feel he would have been a HORRIBLE choice. I'll admit that when I saw Mr. Timberlake on Saturday Night Live, he is much less annoying than I thought he would be, but I just can't picture him as Green Lantern. The Yahoo article I saw today discussed a possible Wonder Woman movie and said that searches for "megan fox wonder woman" increased by 891%. I've also heard that Megan Fox may play Lara Croft in the next Tomb Raider movie. Look... while Ms. Fox is very attractive, the jury is still out on whether or[...]



"Star Trek" - My Thoughts

Sat, 09 May 2009 17:20:00 UTC

2009-05-09T17:32:16Z

"Star Trek" is the movie that I've anticipated the most over the past few years. It has finally made it's way to theaters and I got to see it earlier this evening. What did I think? Read on for my thoughts. "Star Trek" is the movie that I've anticipated the most over the past few years. It has finally made it's way to theaters and I got to see it earlier this evening. What did I think? Read on for my thoughts. Make no mistake - I'm a huge Star Trek fan. I've written a few blog entries concerning Star Trek that have mentioned how I've been looking forward to this new movie. (Just look in my archives for the tag "Star Trek" if you want to see my previous posts.) I've read a number of articles online recently about "Star Trek" and it seems as if the overwhelming majority of articles and reviews have been positive. Heck, even Rotten Tomatoes currently has "Star Trek" rated at a 96% "freshness" rating. A 96%???! When is the last time a major studio release has been rated 96% on Rotten Tomatoes? Or, better yet, when is the last time a Star Trek movie has been rated that high?!! (You might actually be surprised if you read this article.) Of course, there are detractors. There are fans of the original series who are not willing to give this new movie a chance. These are probably the same "fans" who shunned "Star Trek: The Next Generation" when it premiered. There were a lot of "fans" at the time who claimed "It's not Star Trek without Kirk and Spock" or made similar comments... but do you know what? When they gave it a chance, the majority of those fans ended up liking the show! To anyone who is dead-set against this movie because it changes established history or because you feel that only William Shatner can portray James T. Kirk or even because you despise JJ Abrams, you simply need to chill out and see it and then weigh the movie on its own merits. Now... as for my take. I really liked this movie. I wished that I would have loved it, but I didn't feel quite that strongly about it. One of the key points of this movie is that it changes established history. The events which occur in this movie take place in an alternate reality (or timeline) from what we know from the original Star Trek series. I'm OK with this, but for any Star Trek fan who takes exception to this, I must point out that this idea was already used in an episode of The Next Generation called "Yesterday's Enterprise". In that episode, the Enterprise-C appears through a time-rift in the time of the Enterprise-D and it changes their reality. So, alternate realities are really nothing new to the Star Trek universe. Even the Mirror Universe is yet another example of this. Actually, I should probably clarify my feelings about re-writing history by saying that I'm OK with this changed timeline after the time at which the reality-changing event occurs. At first glance, it appeared that this new movie changed events which occurred prior to this reality-changing event and it distracted me somewhat during the movie, but now that I think about it, that isn't the case. To elaborate on this, I'm going to have to reveal some of the events of the movie, so if you don't want to be subjected to minor spoilers, please exit now. In this movie, the Enterprise is "brand new" as it leaves Earth and Christopher Pike is the ship's Captain. Within a short time, Kirk becomes Captain. It's been established that Pike was Captain of the Enterprise for a much longer time than shown in this movie. Along that same line, Kirk's first Starship assignment was not the Enterprise. He was assigned to the USS Farragut when he graduated from Starfleet Academy and then becomes Captain of the Enterprise at the age o[...]



"Wolverine" - My Thoughts

Sat, 02 May 2009 05:30:00 UTC

2009-05-02T05:35:45Z

The 2009 Summer Movie Season started this weekend with a snikt! (For those who have no idea what I'm referring to, "snikt" is the sound made by Wolverine's claws as they extend.) The 2009 Summer Movie Season started this weekend with a snikt! (For those who have no idea what I'm referring to, "snikt" is the sound made by Wolverine's claws as they extend.) This afternoon, I had the opportunity to see "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" after work. I've heard a number of people say that it's a great movie. One person said it was "better than 'Iron Man'" and someone else said it's "the best movie of the year". Before I reveal what I thought about this movie, allow me to say that I am a fan of Wolverine. I feel that he is one of the best comic book characters ever created and I really enjoyed the three previous X-Men movies. But, as for this movie? I really hate to say it, but my feeling upon leaving the theater was "ehhhh....." Maybe I went into it with my expectations set too high. So... where did this movie go wrong? I thought the title sequence where it showed Wolverine and his brother fighting in the various wars was a bit annoying. Maybe that put me in a bad frame of mind for the rest of the movie? For some other complaints, I'm going to have to discuss some of the plot points, so once again, if you don't want to know anything about the movie, please leave now. OK. You've been warned! In the movie, Colonel Stryker (one of the main antagonists) is abducting mutants and taking them to "the island" to conduct experiments. Wolverine attempts to obtain the location of this island from another mutant named Gambit. During this scene, I heard someone in the theater say "Genosha!" to the people sitting next to them. Genosha is a small island nation which has played a fairly major role in X-Men history and it would have been a cool choice to work it into the plot. However, the island in question is not Genosha. "The island" turns out to be our very own Three Mile Island and I found myself rolling my eyes at that. By the way, if you're expecting an accurate depiction of TMI, you will be disappointed. (In a shot where they pull away from the island, it doesn't even look like it's three miles long!) Another complaint is that Colonel Stryker has Adamantium bullets which he intends to use against Wolverine. For those unfamiliar with Wolverine, his skeleton is coated with Adamantium - a substance discovered on a meteorite and it is one of, if not the strongest metal(s) known to man. Now, I may be splitting hairs here, but I don't believe that an Adamantium bullet would be able to pierce Wolverine's Adamantium coated bones. (Stryker's plan is to shoot Wolverine in the head - but his skull is coated too.) I mean, Wolverine can't use his claws on one hand to cut off his claws on his other hand. When he hits his claws together, they emit sparks - they don't damage one another. So, how can an Adamantium bullet injure Wolverine??? If Stryker wanted to injure Wolverine, he should have made bullets from Billyidolium - since everyone knows Billyidolium is much, much stronger than Adamantium! My final complaint, and I've mentioned this before, is that all movies featuring Marvel characters always seem to have the hero battling a character who is a variation of themselves. For instance, in "Iron Man", Iron Man battled Obadiah Stane who wore an armored suit. In "The Incredible Hulk", the Hulk fought Abomination - a character who had also been exposed to Bruce Banner's blood and was somewhat of a "hulk" himself. Now, here in "Wolverine", he must fight a character (Deadpool or "Weapon XI") who has the combined powers of a group of mutants - includin[...]



Almost There....

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 04:00:00 UTC

2009-04-29T04:06:11Z

In just over a week, a movie that I've been anticipating for awhile will finally beam down to theaters. In just over a week, a movie that I've been anticipating for awhile will finally beam down to theaters. I know... I know... it's been awhile since I've posted a blog entry. I actually haven't been seeing too many movies lately. There just haven't been a lot of movies that I just had to see. Many times, I will go to see a movie after leaving work on Friday just to kill time (and avoid sitting in traffic), but it seems as if the movies I'd prefer to see start before 5:00 PM. Since I work until 5:00, this rules out seeing those movies. (I almost think that the local movie theaters conspire so that they all show movies around the same times.) Starting this weekend, the Summer Movie Season kicks off with "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" - which looks pretty good. However, the movie that I am really looking forward to premieres next week and that movie is "Star Trek". I've said it before. I'm a big fan of "Star Trek", but honestly... I'm getting a little burned out with all the commercials. Then there's the tie-ins. Kelloggs. ESurance. Intel. Cheez-It. Rock Band? And apparently Burger King even has an upcoming promotion... maybe that will put an end to "the King" and Sir Mixx-A-Lot singing about "square butts"? (One can certainly hope, can't they?) As usual, I'm trying to avoid spoilers about this movie. However, between the commercials, the official movie site and Facebook, there's already a lot of information out there about this movie. Not to mention that fact that it's premiered in other countries and had advanced screenings here in the USA. I'm not going to give out any major spoilers here, but if you don't want to read anything about the plot, please hit the back arrow now. It's no secret that this movie tells the story of how the Enterprise crew that we all know and love came together. However... unlike in JJ Abram's "LOST", it appears that "whatever happened, happened" doesn't quite apply here. What am I talking about? In the original "Star Trek" series (sorry - I'm not geeky enough to insist on calling it "TOS"), there was a great episode called "Balance of Terror". In this episode, Federation outposts near the Romulan Neutral Zone were being attacked by an unidentified ship. Captain Kirk orders the Enterprise to shadow the ship and the Enterprise crew eventually discovers the ship is Romulan and the Federation gets their first glimpse of what the Romulans look like. So... if no one in the Federation had ever seen a Romulan before, it's pretty safe to say that the Enterprise crew did not come together to defeat a Romulan from the future. I'd read that the concept of this movie is that it changes what we know. Apparently, all of the stories that we've seen which involve the Enterprise crew take place in an alternate universe - this movie isn't wiping those adventures from existence. They still happened. It's just that things are different in this universe. I'm OK with that. As long as the stories are good! So, besides meeting Romulans earlier this time around, what else is going to be different? Well, for one thing, it looks like Vulcan is going to be destroyed. I could be wrong about that, but it sure looks that way in the previews. This would be a major difference from the time line we're familiar with. Also, if Vulcan is destroyed, what exactly would Spock and the other surviving Vulcans do when they experience Pon farr? (The Vulcan time of mating which occurs every 7 years and, like salmon, they feel the need to return home to Vulcan.) I wonder about a few other things too. For instance, Chekov did[...]



Andy Samberg Strikes Again

Wed, 11 Feb 2009 02:45:00 UTC

2009-02-11T02:48:45Z

Have you seen the latest viral video?

Have you seen the latest viral video?

Some of the links in this blog entry contain subject matter some people may find offensive, therefore, click on the links in this blog entry at your own risk.

This past weekend, Saturday Night Live aired the latest SNL Digital Short from Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island. Since it was posted on YouTube on Saturday (2/7/09), the clean version has 72,372 views and the explicit version has 1,166,792 views as I write this.

That's pretty many views in three days, but it's nowhere near the 24,127,530 views for their last "classic" - "**** In My Pants", the 8,682,907 views for "**** In A Box" or the unknown number of views for their original video - "Lazy Sunday (The Chronicles of Narnia)"

All of those videos are good for a laugh. Enjoy.




Miscellaneous Items

Tue, 10 Feb 2009 04:30:00 UTC

2009-02-10T04:35:24Z

It's been awhile since I've blogged, so I think it's time to post something on here. Here are a few things on my mind: It's been awhile since I've blogged, so I think it's time to post something on here. Here are a few things on my mind: I recently purchased "Zack and Miri Make A Porno" at Wal-Mart. Well... I mean, I thought I recently purchased it at Wal-Mart. This evening I took a closer look at the DVD packaging and I noticed that the movie is only called "Zack and Miri". There is no mention of "porno" on the box. The DVD has a slipcover on it and I thought maybe they just put that over the regular DVD case, but on the DVD case itself, it is also simply titled "Zack and Miri". Apparently, the movie studio offered the packaging with the edited title and Wal-Mart snatched it up. Does anyone else find it somewhat odd that Wal-Mart can sell women's magazines at the checkout stand that have words like "vajayjay" on their cover, but heaven forbid they sell a movie with the word "porno" in the title? Also, imagine how surprised some people might be this week when many men buy the movie for their significant others (what with Valentine's Day coming up) thinking "Hey! 'Zack and Miri' sounds like a nice romantic comedy!" only to experience a crap-load of problems when they watch the movie and realize what it's about. Then again, the movie really isn't that bad... I was considering going to see a movie this past weekend and I checked out the web site for Great Escape Theaters. When the site came up, I was a little confused to see an advertisement on their site for a special advance midnight showing of the upcoming Jonas Brothers movie on February 26th. Umm.... unless I'm mistaken, the target audience for this (3-D, no less!) movie is teen-aged girls. What parent in their right mind is going to take their kids to a midnight showing of this movie on a school night????! Speaking of target audiences, I was at Target recently (how's that for a segue?) and I noticed they had musical toothbrushes. Among them were Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers... and KISS???! Yes, they have a musical KISS toothbrush that plays "Rock & Roll All Night". (I couldn't find it on Target's web site, but here's a link to it on Amazon if you need to see it for yourself.) I can't see that being a big seller among kids... but how cool would the kids who want this have to be? Have you been following "LOST"? This season has been GREAT! It's hard to believe it's a quarter over already. (I believe there are 16 episodes this season and we've seen four so far.) If you're behind on watching the show, skip to the next paragraph. You've been warned! How cool was it to see Jin again? I figured he didn't die when the ship exploded in the season finale. I mean, he was close enough to the edge of the deck so he could have jumped into the ocean to avoid the brunt of the blast. I just hope he doesn't die this week, however. Earlier this evening I read that someone is going to die on this week's episode.... Speaking of being behind on watching "LOST", I was at my mom's place last Wednesday evening to help her with her computer. It took much longer than planned to try to get her straightened out (she had that "Anti-Virus 2009" garbage on her computer), "LOST" came on while I was there. We were watching it, but my mom hasn't watched the show since the second season, so she kept asking me what was going on or who people were. I really couldn't enjoy the episode - and it was a great episode - so I had to watch it again on my TiVo when I got home. Also, after the "LOST" season premiere aired a few [...]