Ever hear the Bill Cosby routine about feeding chocolate cake to his kids for breakfast?
Here's the delicious birthday breakfast that Scott & Heather provided for me this morning.Â If my blood-sugar content wasn't nearing 95% this morning, I would demand Heather deliver on the birthday cookies too.
Looking through glassy eyes, itâs hard to find focus, even if your intentions were to have a good time. Itâs the same story for Johnny Deppâs toast to Hunter S. Thompson in The Rum Diary. The heart is in the right place, but this one stumbles around a little too much.
The film is based on the long lost novel of the same name that Thompson wrote in the 1960âs, but didnât publish until 1998. Depp supposedly found the material amongst Thompsonâs things and has since been key in getting the film produced.
The story involves journalist Paul Kemp (Depp) who takes a job at the San Juan Star in Puerto Rico. His sleazy editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins) immediately sets the tone of the film by asking Kemp if heâs drunk and how much he drinks. Kemp replies in a Thompson-esque voice âThe high end of social.â
From there, Kemp is wooed by Sanderson, (Aaron Eckhart) a developer who has plans to get rich by developing the lush island. Itâs Sandersonâs attempt to control the media in his favor.
The film is somewhat autobiographical because Thompson did apply at the San Juan Star, but didnât get the job. Itâs completely autobiographical in regards to how Depp, for a second time, entertains by channeling Thompson. Itâs a treat to hear the witty dialogue come rolling off his mumbling tongue.
Another standout is Sandersonâs fiancee', played by the luscious Amber Heard. Her character Chenault is like a beautiful tidal wave. Sheâs literally the girl that talks you into speed racing the brand new car youâve just been given by daddy.
If there was a main point, itâs how Kemp tries to use his righteous journalistic integrity to save the people of Puerto Rico from a greedy American developer. Still this is more of a rum fueled exercise in functional alcoholism. I feel like they touched on everything that Thompson was, but didnât deliver that gonzo element.
It's just about Halloween, so for your eerie pleasure, I present my Top 10 Spooky Movies of All Time. I put a lot of thought into this and these are movies solely ranked by how much they made the hairs on my neck stand up straight.
10. Open Water - Two scuba divers left stranded in the ocean only to face a slow death by sharks. I'm already quivering. freaks me out.
9. LÃ¥t den RÃ¤tte Komma In (Let the Right One In) (2008) - Nevermind the 2010 Americanized remake called "Let Me In." The original is in Swedish, and is a freaky and sad story about vampires.
8.Rosemaryâs Baby - Roman Polanski is creepy enough, but even after it's 1968 release, this one still holds up. It's not so much scary things that are happening in this one, but rather how freaky the characters act.
7. Jaws - The sharks againâ¦freaking me out! Watching Robert Shaw slowly slide down the deck of his boat and into the shark's mouth has damaged me for life.
6. Silence of the Lambs - It puts the lotion in the basket. Also, this movie makes me hungry for fava beans
5. Anything George Romero, but specifically Dawn Of The Dead (1978) - Romero is the king of the living dead. His movies always have a lot of dread and gloom in them. You also get a subtle message about society hidden in each one. Gore + social conscience. Fun!
4. Alien - It may seem like it's an action movie, but really itâs more of a scare fest. I'm getting indigestion just thinking about it.
3. Misery - Steven King. Ouch, my ankles hurt just thinking about it.
2. Poltergeist - It's time to sell the house when you slide into your unfinished swimming pool hole and skeletons pop up out of the water. That and having a big skeleton head jump out of your closet. They will certainly bring your property value down.
1. Psycho - Even with all the scary monsters out there, nothing is actually scarier than a real person who is off their rocker.
After the Food and Wine show over the weekend, I was really craving some desert.
Perhaps it was the wine talking, but I did have a good case of the munchies.
Good thing I didn't run into the chef who says he's created a $35,000 desert.Â It includes layers of high-quality dark chocolate pudding, gold, champagne caviar, a 2-karat diamond, champagne jelly and biscuits laced with edible gold. The dish is served inside a golden edible Faberge egg replica.
I wonder what happens if you crunch down on the diamond or the gold?Â I'm guessing you also get a $35,000 dentist bill.
Packed with plenty of gotcha moments, Paranormal Activity 3 will make you jump several times. The problem is, we already know the formula and that takes a lot of the frightful edge away.
Set in 1988, we again get a home video obsessed guy who must catch on VHS, the things in his home that are going bump in the night. The added twist of the backstory of the original Katie from Paranormal Activity 1 is a wasted point.
To set up the scary faux-documentary, weâre to believe that were looking back on real archival footage. Dennis, a wedding videographer, has moved in with hot 80âs mom Julie. They live a happy life with Julieâs two daughters Katie and Kristi. One night, Dennis accidentally catches Kristiâs imaginary friend Toby on camera and becomes infatuated. Things escalate poorly for the family.
With just a few exceptions, I almost never recommend the 3rd chapter in a film franchise. That rule is still in effect here. I will admit to jumping several times. Thatâs the point of watching a movie like this.
In fact, based on this movie, PA1 makes much less sense. SPOILER AHEAD: In this film, young Katie from 1988 befriends the mysterious demon. Are we to assume that her demon friend is the same one that possesses Katie from 2009? The older Katie is more a victim of her boyfriendâs misguided actions. Did the demon and Katieâs relationship mean nothing all those years?
There was something fun I took away from this film. It was in the technical use of a surveillance style point of view, where the camera pans back and forth. I am a lover of puzzles where you have to figure out the difference between two pictures. In this case, the viewerâs perspective pans to the left, so look for the thing that sticks out in the frame. Pan to the right, then back to the left and see whatâs spookily changed. I am a film technique lover, so I actually enjoyed this.
Still, would you go see a movie based on someoneâs thrill that the camera panned back & forth? I donât think so. Thatâs something for movie nerds like me.
The bottom line is, you will be scared with PA3, even if itâs for the lack of creativity.
There was a story out of Wausau this week where firefighters rescued a dog from a house fire and revived a Yellow Lab named Coda with mouth-to-snout resuscitation. A teenager was home at the time of the fire and managed to get out safely. He couldn't make it back inside, but the firefighters did.
That's begs the question. Would I be able to do the same for my dog JD? (pictured at the right)
Well, he is a known for creating a lot of slobber. He's got these floppy lips that droop over his mouth. He always has dog breath. Still, if it came down to an emergency, I'd give my pup the kiss of life. I'd be searching for my toothbrush soon afterwards, but in the name of my doggie, I'd do it.
My stupid yappy neighbor's dog that keeps me awake at night? That would be a tougher decision, but I'd like to think I'd help out that little rat dog too.
Here's Coda's story that was on the Today show this morning:
Can I just fast forward to 2013?Â Because really, I want to go back to November, 5th, 1955.
That's when The DeLorean Motor CompanyÂ says they'll be release their brand new, electric versions of the DMC-12, the car Doc Emmit Brown made famous in "Back To The Future." The new car will be made of original parts and a new electric engine, will be built to order and cost around $90,000.
88 MPH?Â No problem, the new cars are expected to be able to do 125 MPH and go 70 miles on a single charge.
Here's the other potential benefits of an electric DeLorean:
It will be upgradable in the future to be able to fly. "Roads?Â Where we're going we don't need roads."
It can come equipped to nicely seat two adults, or one adult and a large dog.
The electric engine eliminates the need for a Mr. Fusion power converter.Â Who wants a nuclear reactor in the trunk?
125 MPH can easily outrun Lybian terrorists.
It's gull wing style car doors are impressive, except when you park closely to another car or are in a drive-thru.
$90,000 seems cheap for being able to go back in time to collect embarrasing stores about your parents.
I know some pretty die hard Beatles fans, in my life, but this story seems a little across the universe.
Next month at an auction in England, one of John Lennon's teeth is expected to sell for $16,000.
Sounds a little sketchy, but the source of the tooth isn't that nefarious.
The late Beatle gave the tooth to his housekeeper, Dot Jarlett, at his Kenwood mansion in Surrey, England in the late Sixties. He had originally told her to dispose of the tooth, but upon learning that her daughter was a Beatles fan, told her to give it her as a souvenir.
This certainly has a high creep factor for me, but maybe a die hard Beatle fan might sink their tee....oh never mind.
I'm not sure if I fit the proper definition as spelled out by John Lennon, but I did make a road trip to Milwaukee yesterday.
On October 16th, 1965, The Beatles cut Day Tripper in three takes at Abbey Road. Both John and Paul later admitted this was a "forced" composition, because they were under pressure to create a new Christmas single.
What's it all about? According to John: "Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferryboat or something. But Day Tripper was kind of . . . you're just a weekend hippie. Get it?"
Weekend hippie.Â I get it. I also get the guitar riff, which may still be one of the best in rock and roll.
Itâs not like the world was begging for a remake of the 1982 John Carpenter film, but in the world of sci-fi horror, itâs not a grave mistake to bring this pronoun of a story back.
The Thing (2011) is set in 1982. Confused yet? Graduate student Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is recruited by a Norwegian scientist for her necropsy skills to a base in the Antarctic. There she and a team of about a dozen recover an alien creature thatâs been frozen in the ice. It comes back to life and possesses the power to morph into itâs victim to conceal itâs own identity. Itâs a similar plotline to the 1982 version with some detail changes.
Note: The 1982 John Carpenter was a remake of a 1951 movie The Thing From Another World, which was also based on a short story.
There are a few fright factors that work in this movie. The toothy creature is quite gruesome and disgusting, but in a fun scary movie way. Since it also has the ability to hide itself within the group of survivors, paranoia drives the suspense.
One semi-intense moment involves a tooth check of the humans to determine if anyone has been body snatched. The imperfectness of the life and death test ratchets up the intensity mid way through and was enough to keep my interest going.Â Thereâs also a nice dark ending to look forward to.
Where The Thing doesnât work, is how it all plays out. This is a run of the mill, scary things jump from the shadows movie. The little soldiers fall one by one, building up to a final showdown. The redeeming factor is that creepy aliens are sci-fi gold and itâs fun to watch these kind of scary movies.
Logically speaking, you could easily shred the movie. Why would the alien reveal itself one person at a time? Why would the alien have teeth like the Sarlacc Pit? Why does an Antarctic base have military grade flame throwers? Thatâs all beside the point.
This is more about a good run-for-your-life gore festival. So, was the remake necessary? No. Is it mindless escapism? Yes. More please.
I was not pleased with the news story this week that peanut butter prices are going up.
Being a grown man that typically still eats 3-4 Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches a week, this is disheartening news.
According to reports:
The hot dry summer is said to have devastated the peanut crop.Â Peanut butter manufacturers say they have been forced to shell out almost double what they paid for peanuts last year. Those prices are expected to be passed onto the consumer. Experts say weâll see higher prices in the grocery store late fall, or January at the latest.
This, after most peanut butter makers have been shrinking the size of their jars, but still charging the same prices for less.
Here's my step-by-step strategy:
1. Grow a Peanut Tree
2. If step 1 doesn't work, plant a jar of Planters in my backyard.
3.Â If steps 1 & 2 don't work, take this lady's advice.Â This hand-talker says it's pretty easy.
Paul McCartney got hitched yesterday for the third time and being a long time confidant and very close personal friend of the rocker, I can say that I am pleased.
Seriously, when you've know somebody for as long as I've known Paul (or Paul-eee as I call him,) you need to make sure that he's not getting himself into trouble. You know, that last marriage cost him some big money to resolve.
It's not that my bro Paul is anywhere near the poorhouse, but he's worked a long career and as his friend, I hate to see him lose all of the stuff that he's worked for.
I was so relieved to hear this his new wife, Nancy is independently wealthy.Â Â That means they both brought a lot to the table.Â I truly hope that the third time is the charm for mi amigo, so he'll never have to worry about marrying, divorcing and the hefty post-divorce settlements again.Â That's a big burden on my comrade. He shouldn't have to deal with that again.
I am also so glad that M-C (my other pet name for him) signed a prenuptial agreement too. ...
What?Â Paul-eee didn't sign one this time either?Â Â Arrrrrhhhhhhgggggghhh!!!
I'm trying to help you here!Â You're killin me!
Side note to this story: I have never met Paul McCartney the singer.Â I am referring to the Paul McCartney, who I grew up with on the east side of Madison in the 80's.Â Did I not make that clear?
George Clooney delivers what is a really weighty political thriller in his new work The Ides Of March, or as I like to call it "How to become cynical with the political process in one hour and forty-one minutes."
The film is a fictional account of a Democratic presidential primary, set in current times, but makes use of the real news media. Is it a metaphor that the real media Is following a fake election? Probably not.
Ryan Gosling, or as I like to call him âthe new George Clooneyâ plays Stephen Myers , a likable, suave and idealistic top political staffer for Democratic presidential candidate Governor Mike Morris ( Clooney). Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the campaign manager. Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) i s the rival democratic candidate campaign manager as both side battleÂ in the Ohio primary.
After Tom tries to recruit Stephen to the other side, a series of events that includes more cruel intentioned double crossings and back stabbings than one could imagine happens. At times, The Ides of March becomes the type of political thriller that only happens in movies, because the details of the misdoings are just too juicy.
Clooney directs and writes the screenplay for the film that also credits Leo DiCaprio with Executive producer credits. With DiCaprio playing J. Edgar Hoover in âJ. Edgar,â due out in November, this creates a little buzz. In all though, the story in The Ides of March is strong and the cast all equally deliver command performances.
The good thing about this production is that it is not really a partisan movie. Iâm not sure anybody comes out looking good. This is more about strategy and the thrill of the game. I donât think anyone is going to be surprised by the dark secrets that lurk in our political process, I just hope that someday I donât become as cynical as some of these characters.
I think Steve Jobs this week reminded us that we need to pursue what makes us happy.
This guy is merging two of his favorites and I'm sure he's a happy Brewers Fan today.
Here's the story of Tom Markn from jsonline.com today:
The Wauwatosa man, an insurance worker by day, has penned a haiku after every Brewers game for more than two seasons now. Sometimes more than one per game. It's surprising he hasn't popped a haiku hernia by now.
"Game in and game out, I've worked tirelessly to supply the as-yet-unrealized demand for Brewer game recaps in 17 carefully placed syllables," he tells me.
You can follow Tom on Twitter @brew_haiku, and he wishes more people would. With Axford-ian efficiency, he distills each contest down to its nub, its essence, its deeper meaning, its cosmic relevance, so long as it fits into three phrases of five, seven and five syllables, in that order.
You go for it buddy.Â While the Brewers have not adopted him as the team's official poet laureate, there's always a chance.Â Here's some examples of his haikus:
âBeing the richest man in the cemetery doesnât matter to me â¦ Going to bed at night saying weâve done something wonderfulâ¦ thatâs what matters to me.â [The Wall Street Journal, May 25, 1993]
âYour work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you havenât found it yet, keep looking. Donât settle. As with all matters of the heart, youâll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Donât settle.â [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]
âYour time is limited, so donât waste it living someone elseâs life. Donât be trapped by dogma â which is living with the results of other peopleâs thinking. Donât let the noise of othersâ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.â [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]
That is one of the slogans of the Milwaukee Bucks, but that's not what I'm talking about here.
It's not because it looks like the NBA this season might stand for No Basketball Allowed, it's because of a new report out on car vs. deer crashes.
A report from State Farm Insurance says the number of reported collisions between vehicles and deer in Wisconsin is down 1 percent.
According to them:
there were an estimated 1.1 million collisions between deer and vehicles between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. That's down 7 percent from the same period in the previous year, and down 9 percent from the same period three years ago.
Why am I concerned about this?Â Mostly because I think it makes us lower our guard.Â I TKO'd a deer on the beltline one crisp fall morning at 3:30am and since then, my deer paranoia has only grown.
Not only did that freak the living bejezzus out of me, its also has me keeping my head on a constant rotation.Â Not only do I watch everything that's going on with traffic, I'm also looking for insane deer that want to play chicken in the road.
Not a fan.
So take that insurance report, you're study results will only make me more vigilant.
I have a list of certain actors and actresses that I will see any movie they are part of, simply because they are in it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is now on that list.
Is latest work 50/50 is based on the true story of a man who is diagnosed with cancer, but still manages to keep his sense of humor. Adam (Gordon-Levitt) is a 20 something employee at a Seattle NPR radio station when he is told that the ache in his back is actually a cancerous tumor. The story revolves around Adam and his friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) and how they find the lighter side of cancer.
From the moment Adam is delivered the news from his cold-hearted masochistic doctor, he tries to keep composure while his world spirals. This all sounds like a major downer, and it is. The magic of this movie is itâs ability to balance the gut wrenching reality with the comic musings between Kyle & Adam. Kyle for one, continually tries to use his friendâs diagnosis as a successful pick up line.
Anjelica Houston plays Adamâs overbearing mother who sports a very distracting wig throughout the film. Sheâs not only dealing with a son who doesnât want to talk to her, but also a husband whoâs dementia makes him unable to talk to her. Anna Kendrick is Adamâs green psychiatrist that walks the doctor-patient relationship line.
It takes a serious moment in ones life to fully recognize who you are. This is a heartening story of friendship, trust and fighting for your life. For sure on my top 10 list of the year.
I find Levitt to be one of the more impressive and busy actors out there today. He stole many a scene from Leo DiCaprio in Inception and was brilliant in 500 Days Of Summer. I even liked his days as the snarky teen Tommy in the sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun. He brings out the human nature of his characters and does the basics well, such as getting you to like him.
The story is based on events from the life of screenwriter Will Reiser, who manages to reach into his emotional core and beautifully put words to his experience. Reiser is alive and in remission today.
A spoiler has been leaked that the new version of Hawaii Five-0 will feature Jimmy Buffett as a pilot.
From Entertainment Weekly:
Jimmy Buffett: Pilot in a tropical climate? Yeah, weâll buy that.
EW has learned exclusively that the singer/songwriter/avid aviator will guest star in an upcoming episode of Hawaii Five-0. Buffett will play a veteran pilot whoâs a pal of Lt. Commander Joe White (Terry OâQuinn), and he helps Five-0 rescue one of its own from a sticky situation.
The episode will air this November on CBS.
Very cool.Â I'll buy that too.Â What's weird is that the press picture that they're using for Jimmy makes him look strikingly similar to Larry David of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm fame.Â Sounds like a pretty, prett-tay, prett-tay interesting coincidence to me.
Can you name all of the movies? Cheat sheet below.
Intro - Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion (1997)
AL - 25th Hour (2002) / Forrest Gump (1994)
AK - Juno (2007) / Simpsons Movie (2007)
AZ - Arsenic & Old Lace (1944)
AR - Pelican Brief (1993) / Sling Blade (1996)
CA - Pale Rider (1985) / Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
CO - They Live (1988)
CT - Full Metal Jacket (1987)
DE - Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
FL - Zombieland (2009) / Creepshow (1982)
GA - Catch Me If You Can (2002)
HI - Last Dance (1996)
ID - S. Darko (2009)
IL - Call Northside 777 (1948)
IN - The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
IA - The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)
KS - Black Dynamite (2009)
KY - Major Payne (1995) / Jackie Brown (1997)
LA - The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
ME - Wet Hot American Summer (2001) / Dreamcatcher (2003)
MD - Heartbreak Ridge (1986) / Cry-Baby (1990)
MA - Far & Away (1992)
MI - Tape (2001)
MN - Miracle (2004)
MS - Milk (2008)
MO - Planes Trains & Automobiles (1987) / Bonnie & Clyde (1967)
MT - A River Runs Through It (1992) / Montana (1950)
NE - Terms of Endearment (1983)
NV - The 39 Steps (1935)
NH - Affliction (1997) / Wedding Crashers (2005)
NJ - Broken Arrow (1996)
NM - Santa Fe (1951)
NY - The Honeymoon Killers (1970)
NC - Smoke (1995) / Maximum Overdrive (1986)
ND - Sink the Bismarck (1960) / Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
OH - Point Break (1991)
OK - An Officer & a Gentleman (1982)
OR - Hocus Pocus (1993) / Short Circuit (1986)
PA - Deep Impact (1998)
RI - Barcelona (1994)
SC - Old School (2003) / Prince of Tides (1991)
SD - Annie Hall (1977) / North By Northwest (1959)
TN - The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)
TX - Smokey & the Bandit Part 3 (1983)
UT - Anywhere But Here (1999)
VT - Frozen Kiss (2009) / Clerks (1994)
VA - Shawshank Redemption (1994)
WA - My Fellow Americans (1996) / Broadcast News (1987)
WV - Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) / Silence of the Lambs (1991)
WI - Mr. North (1988)
WY - Unforgiven (1992) / Roxanne (1987)
In the news today, we're were talking about how some grocery stores are doing away with self serve checkouts.
I personally would be very sad if this happened.
The research said that people seem to prefer to use regular old manned-cashier lanes.Â That is to say they get a better customer service experience.
I love the self service lanes, especially ifÂ you have a limited number of items.Â No dealing with teenage cashiers who don't know the lookup code for bananas.Â No waiting for people with double grocery carts.
It's just simpler.Â Is it anti-social?Â Yes, but sometimes I'm happy to trade customer service for speediness. If I can get through the annoying experience of shopping that much quicker.Â I'm all for it.
There is not much that I didnât love about Moneyball. As Brad Pitt says twice in the film: âHow can you not be romantic about baseball?â
Moneyball tells the story of the 2002 Oakland Athletics and their General Manager Billy Beane (Pitt). After losing three key players from the previous season, Beane takes the advice of recent Yale economics graduate Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), who uses a statistical approach to winning. âYour goal shouldn't be to buy players. Your goal should be to buy wins. â
They set out together to form the best team they can with the limited money they have. These days, who of us isnât used to being told to deliver higher results with fewer resources?
Ostracized by his peers, Beaneâs new method proves rocky at first, until things gel and helped lead to a season that includes breaking an American League all time winning streak record of 20 games.
Whatâs interesting is the movie isnât about baseball. Itâs about strategy. Moneyball is best when it tries to subtract the humanity of baseball into a cold, hard numbers game, but proves itself wrong. That struggle between the pair makes this a genuinely great film. Pitt is distant, but makes you care for Beane and understand his internal conflicts. Hill is completely believable as a numbers geek who is just starting to find his way.
It is curious that Moneyball is somewhat gloomy in the way that it represents baseball as a business. Pittâs character has several moments where he struggles with it. The fact is all professional sports are businesses first. Fans know all too well about the layers that need to be peeled back to get to the heart of it all. Moneyball does too.
Side note: Who woulda thought two hours of statistical analysis would prove to be so emotional and interesting?
After getting through the first night of Simon Cowell's new show X Factor, I couldn't help but feeling a little deja vu. That is to say I thought I was watching American Idol all over again, with a few minor exceptions.
The lack of originality is what really got to me, so I decided to do a comparison list for you, to rank the differences .
AI Format: Back stories, backstage interviews, talent's hopes of a bright future, a talent performance followed by a judge critique and possible advancement to the next round. XF Format: Back stories, backstage interviews, talent's hopes of a bright future, a talent performance followed by a judge critique and possible advancement to the next round.
AI Simon Cowell's Energy Level: near his exit, it dropped to a 3 XF Simon Cowell's Energy Level: Closer to a 8, with full snarkyness intact.
AI Format: Private humiliation of bad performers. XF Format: Public humiliation of bad performers. Tryouts are held in front of a live audience.
AI Categories: Solo singers, male & female, 16-28. XF Categories: Seems like anything goes, but they did divide it into Boys, Girls, Over 30 & Groups.
AI Performances: Potential candidate howls, holds a note for too long, gets upset when they are criticized. XF Performances: Potential candidate howls, holds a note for too long, gets upset when they are criticized.
AI Simon Cowel & Paula Abdul count: 1 + 1 XF Simon Cowel & Paula Abdul count: 1 + 1
AI Host: Ryan Seacrest XF Host: British version of Ryan Seacrest
AI Showings Of Simon's chest hair: Too much. XF Showings Of Simon's chest hair: Still too much.
AI Annoying British influence: Simon Cowell XF Annoying British influence: Simon Cowell, New host Steve Jones, Judge Cheryl Cole. Note Cole has already been replaced by Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls.
In all, that's not a lot of difference for me. I may give it one more shot, before going back to watching Modern Family, which shares the same time slot.
There's a story in the news today about a $16 muffin. A audit of the Justice Department turned up some extravagant costs that were racked up while they were holding meetings at hotels. Some have expressed outrage because it seems like a rather large waste of taxpayer money.
Some of the items that turned up:
$8 cups of coffee
$32 snack packs consisting of Cracker Jacks, popcorn, and candy bars
Sure that's a bit much, but I'll admit, I've overpayed for plenty of food items.
I just looked over my receipts from my last vacation and here's some of insane purchases I made:
$6 8oz bag of trail mix at a Phoenix airport gift shop
$1.99 pack of gum at the same gift shop
$10.50 single of Jack Daniels & Coke
Granted those are at airports and in Hawaii.Â I also recall purchasing room service in a San Diego hotel once too.Â I got a $25 cheeseburger that tasted like a $2 cheeseburger.
I guess in all, I can understand how a muffin might cost $16 in some cases, but then again I learned my lesson.Â No more $25 cheeseburgers.Â Ever.
Have a look see at what Mick Jagger has been up to for the past two years.
First, he's perfected wearing a pink suit. Second, his new super group called SuperHeavy released its self titled album in the last week and the first single is called 'Miracle Worker."
Here's how RollingStone.com describes the collection:
As much a glorified jam session as a supergroup, it features Jagger bringing the rock, Joss Stone belting R&B, Damian Marley filling in the spaces with reggae toasting, film composer A.R. Rahman (best known for Âscoring Slumdog Millionaire) adding Bollywood flair and former Eurythmics keyboardist Dave Stewart holding it all together.
I guess that's somewhat complimentary.Â Â Have a listen.Â I think I'm into it.
In all, a pretty mediocre evening at the Emmys.Â It wasn't bad, it just wasn't anything very spectacular.
Modern Family and Mad Men cleaned up, but there were two major omissions from the show.
First in the comedy category:
Modern Family did certainly deserves the nomination.Â It sure was the most beloved show of the night.Â I object that the FX series "Louie" wasn't even nominated here.Â Â IMHO...it is everything good about TV today.
Similarly, I'm down that Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory beat out Louie CK too.
As much as these truths upset me, I was very pleased with one Emmy category.Â In the Outstanding Reality-Competition category, American Idol lost out to The Amazing Race.
There may not be a movie this year that I am more conflicted about, other than Drive. Itâs a clear metaphor that a car can sit idle at one moment, then be screaming out of control at another. Thatâs the feeling you get from this movie.
Ryan Gosling plays a character with no name other than âDriver.â Heâs a Hollywood stunt driver by day and a hired getaway driver by night. Heâs got deep emotions, but we donât know where they come from. He plays the solitary loner. That is, until he meets and falls for his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan.) Just released from prison, Ireneâs husband has a debt to pay off. In trying to protect Irene, the driver chooses to help the husband pull off a heist that spins out of control.
This movie has all the elements of greatness. There is real tension, a great cast and a relentless craving for itâs deeper meaning.Â This is a brilliant assembly of talent.Â Gosling and Mulligan are pros in their own right, but the additions of Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman and Christina Hendricks is near genius.Â I just couldnât get on board with the pacing of it all. We go through long portions of the film with very little dialogue or action, which is juxtaposed by moments of extreme violence and heart pounding car chase scenes.
In the moments of action, Drive is very effective in putting you right in the passenger seat, exactly where you should be. Itâs fast and furious without the steroid injected bravado of the current fast car genre. This is all to say that Drive may be a better movie for what it is not. Thatâs commendable, but it didnât feel complete to me.
I can also say that this movie drew out more of a internal reaction in myself than anything else Iâve seen this year. The problem is, it wasnât always a positive reaction.
Scientists discovered a planet in a galaxy far, far away that looks may be Luke Skywalkerâs home.Â It was a unique finding because it's first planet that orbits around two suns.Â It's located about about 200 light years away.
Since that was the same scenario in the movie Star Wars, theyâve named the planet Tatooine, the same name as the young Jedi's home planet.
According to Science Magazine:
The Saturn-sized planet is around 200 light-years from Earth and circles two stars about every 229 days. The stars themselves orbit each other every 41 days, âcausing brightness dips.â Unlike Tatooine though, thereâs little doubt that Kepler-16b is uninhabitable with average temperatures of around minus 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
OK, so maybe you can't bulls-eye womprats with a T-16 there, but the news alone got my midichlorians all a-tingle.
But wait, there's more.Â Today is also the day that they release the entire Star Wars saga on Blu-ray.
Dr. Oz has been all over the airwaves for the past day or so talking about apple juice and levels of arsenic in it.Â He says a test that his people conducted found extra high levels. The Food and Drug Administration says they tested the same apple juice and found it has safe levels of arsenic in it.
Who do I trust?
On one hand, I'd prefer that there be no arsenic (or old lace for that matter) in my apple juice.Â Â That's not really how things work though, because there are always accepted levels of contaminates in just about everything we eat and drink.
The FDA is the government body that's supposed to protect our food supply.Â I think they're trying to do good work, but there sure are a lot of bacteria related food recalls lately.
Dr. Oz is a TV personality who appears to offer good advice, but he seems to be a little jerky at times too.Â Also, challenging the FDA on the apple juice issue may just be a stunt to hype his show.
I don't know what to do here. Maybe just drink orange juice from here on in.
It is good to be back after a nice vacation. (The boss is making me say this)
I will say, after a week in Hawaii, I am mentally prepared to handle just about anything.
There are two things that I do not need to enter my world again, for at least a short time.
I am temporarily sick of:
It's not that there's anything really wrong with these two fruits.Â It's just that I think I nearly overdosed on them.Â During our week stay on the island, my girlfriend and I went through nine avocados and four entire pineapples.
To break that down that is 1.28 Avocadoes Per Day or 1.28 APD and .57 Pineapples Per Day or .5 PPD.
Now, putting up numbers like a 1.2 APD and .5 PPD ratio, you can understand how a person might feel like laying off the fruits for a while.Â In all, I would estimate that they made up about 14% of our food intake for the week.That's just too much.
With those numbers, I project at least a four week turnaround, before I might even consider craving the fruits again.Â Apologies to the Pineapple and Avocado growers and harvesters of the world.Â You're going to have to do without me for the rest of Setpember.
On the upside. This was the first time I've ever seen an avocado tree.Â That may have been part of the reason for the high APD ratio.
I'm off on vacation next week and will be heading to Kauai, Hawai'i.
It's a nice place to visit, but also a great place to film a movie too.Â You've probably been there, at least on film. Among some of the notable films shot there include:
The opening sequence to Raiders Of The Lost Ark: where Indiana Jones is running from the natives and swings over the water to his waiting seaplane.
Juriassic Park - Both sequels
King Kong (1976)
South Pacific - Just about the entire movie
Blue Hawaii - The scene where Elvis Presley is marrying co-star Joan Blackma.
Honeymoon In Vegas - A scene where Nicolas Cage, Sarah Jessica Parker and James Caan are yukking it up.
Of course I can't forget this one.Â Much of the pilot episode of Gilligan's Island was also filmed on Kauai.Â If you forward to the 1:23 mark in this video, you'll see a beach that's just minutes from where I'm staying.
Iâm not sure why Helen Mirren is a modern day action hero, nor do I care. I do know that whatever she has going, is working and working well in her new film The Debt.
Set in two different eras, The Debt aims to tell the truth. First in 1965, a young group of Israeli spies are on a mission in East Berlin to find and bring to justice a wicked Nazi doctor who has evaded capture. With the help of a fellow spy Stephan, who has finally tracked down said doctor, Rachel (Jessica Chastain,) and David (Sam Worthington) posing as a young couple trying to have a baby to get close to the doc. Something goes wrong.
The second plot exists in 1997, where the truth of what actually happens comes back to haunt older Rachel (Helen Mirren,) older David and older Stephan (Tom Wilkinson.) They set out to take action to settle their debt.
The film bounces back and forth in time, but in a reasonable way that sews the eras together. The scenes from the 60âs in Berlin are far more tense, action packed and satisfying.
I can fault the film for the same reason. The constant comparisons between the younger versions of the character and the older versions was a disconnect. They donât look all that similar, therefore my brain couldnât keep track of all the names and faces.
Still, The Debt has an old school thriller feel to it. Partly because of the solid story line and partly because the cast has the maturity to pull it all off. With spy stories, you often get the feeling that there will be a double agent to throw you the twist, but the essence of this movie is simpler.
As with most good films, you question some of your own thoughts on the subject at hand. Is a lie the best solution if it whatâs good for the masses? Is it ever too late to tell the truth? Is forgiveness still an option? I forgive The Debt for its foibles and still feel satisfied after watching.
I can't quite date the photo to the right, but I believe it was from 1931, the last year that the Providence Steam Rollers were a franchise in the NFL.
You can imagine that those were the days when the players were wearing leather helmets and jerseys were probably nothing like they are today.
In any case jerseys of today are almost required viewing gear. Who are we wearing the most?
According to NFL.com, the Packers are seeing green.
"From April 1 to July 31, Packers quarterback Rodgers, the MVP of Super Bowl XLV, and his teammate, linebacker Clay Matthews, held the top two spots in jersey sales for the league. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, whose team lost February's Super Bowl to Green Bay, was No. 3.Last year at this time, the top-selling jersey belonged to Denver Broncos backup quarterback Tim Tebow, who was preparing to enter the league as a rookie. Tebow fell to No. 8 in the latest numbers."
Hopefully you've got the word by now that it could be a mess in downtown Madison by this afternoon.
There are around 4,500 UW Campus parking spaces that Badger football fans rent out.Â There will be around 80,000 Badger football fans trying to get to their seats at Camp Randall. The thing is, the UW employees will still be in those parking spaces until their work day is over.
It's gonna be a tight fit.
Here's the lowdown on traffic:
Downtown workers are being asked to leave those spots that fans rent during game time by 5pm.
Fans are being asked not to start showing up to tailgate until after 5pm.
The DOT says there wonât be any lane closures on the interstate, but that there is the potential for heavy backups.
Highway service teams will be on-call in the I-94 work zone and on the Madison Beltline to assist stranded motorists and respond to incidents on Badger game days.
Take one of the local bar's shuttle busses
Park Far, Far away and walk
Have a friend drop you off.Â After the game, take a shuttle bus to bar near you, then cab it home.
Also, bosses at the UW should give their employees a half-day off.Â Everybody wins!
It's a movie that you've watched over and over again throughout your life.Â You can recall a scene, a quote or something the characters do.Â For me, one of those movies is "Ghostbusters."Â It's the first comedy that had jokes which my father and I both laughed out loud to.
Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman: (when asked where do these stairs go) "They go up."
Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Ray Stanz: "Listen....do you smell something?"
Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler: "Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light."
Ernie Hudson as Winston Zedmore: "Ray, if somebody asks you if you're a god, you say YES!."
To me, every line is a classic.Â That is why I' pretty excited about some news over the weekend when Dan Aykroyd said that Ghostbusters 3 is a go.Â Whether Bill Murray is in on the show is still questionable, but it sounds like production work will start next spring.
Here's the big problem.Â It's a sequel.
True, but there is a sometimes exception to the sequel rule that if the films have a significant spacing between them, it can work.Â It doesn't always work.Â Consider Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, or any of the Star Wars prequels.
There are occasions where it does work.Â Consider Aliens, the sequel that came out seven years after Alien.Â Terminator 2 came out seven years after the original.
Maybe it's actually a seven year rule.Â In that case we're in trouble.Â It'll be 13 years since the flop that was Ghostbusters II.Â Â Maybe it'll make it two times better.Â I don't care.Â I want to see it.
Maybe this family dynamic hit a little too close to home. Maybe I agree that you should always expect the best from people. Either way, Paul Rudd delivers a grinable performance in his new lead role.
Our Idiot Brother is the story of Ned, (Rudd) a man in a state of eternal hippie arrested development. He makes choices based not out of stupidity, but from a naiveteâ, idealistic place that has high hopes for the rest of the world. Ned is jailed for selling pot to a uniformed officer who seemingly entraps him, by making Ned sympathetic to the copâs bad day.
After getting out, we meet Nedâs three slightly dysfunctional sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel & Emily Mortimer) who take him in. With each sister he seemingly destroys their lives through his man-child ways, but somehow also saves them at the same time.
I feel a little cynical calling out his actions, but itâs hard to believe that someone like Ned actually exists. Are there people so trusting of their fellow man, that they would ask them (on a subway) to hold onto their pocket of twenties, while they clean up a coffee spill? I think there are few, at the most. Then again, itâs hard to criticize a person who only wants good things for and from those around them.
Nedâs sisters seem to be living stereotypically train wrecks of lives, which makes this comedy feel a little contrived. Then again, Ruddâs happy blowtorch of sunshine is a bit too. The thing that saves this movie is itâs good intentions and good nature.
I for one, like Ned.
At one time, I couldnât say the same for Paul Rudd. From the days of his indie comedy background, I enjoyed his bit roles. That was until he took over broader parts like in âThe Ten,â âThe Oh In Ohioâ and âOver Her Dead Body.â But now, I feel Rudd has grown into a mainstream comical lead. Heâs also now one of the guys that Iâd go see a movie, just because heâs in it.
Earlier today, The Green Bay Packers announced a $130 million dollar expansion of Lambeau Field.
It will add about 6,600 new seats in the south end-zone area and will add a new gate and rooftop viewing platform in the north end zone. (WHAT!?! Since when did Lambeau have a roof?!)
Here's the deal:
The Packers said the new seats would be made available initially to current season-ticket holders, with priority given to those who have held tickets the longest.
Team officials say: "The number of new seats available will be equal to the number currently held. Those opting for new seats will relinquish their current seats. After that process, members of the waiting list will be approached to purchase any seats remaining in the new sections or seats that have become available in the stadium bowl."
The price for the new seats is expected to range from $87 and $313.
I guess that means the lifetime long waiting list remains. I'm sticking with my couch.
If there were someone who came to America and had no idea about our history of racism, this is not the movie I would use to explain it to them. Thatâs not saying The Help is a bad movie, quite the contrary. It does seem to glaze over the history of race relations in a chick flick friendly fashion.
Set in Mississippi in the 1960âs the help chronicles the creation of a book that tells life stories from the point of view of several black housemaids. Itâs a closer look at the racism that lies just beneath the surface. Emma Stone gives a passable performance as the young journalist.
The heart of the movie comes from Viola Davis, who plays Aibileen Clark. It is Aibileen who makes the decision to put her job, life, physical and personal freedom at risk by telling her own story. Her display of courage is what encourages others to tell their story. The underrated Octavia Spencer plays Minnie, another maid who tells her story and provides much of the comic relief.
Itâs that comic relief that I found offsetting. Itâs hard to go from a scene of blatant racism to another, where weâre supposed to laugh. Overall, it provides the desired effect of brining you back from a tense moment. Still, this movie will be criticized for not staying in that moment and allowing you to reflect on it.
The conclusion to this story leaves something to be desired. Some of the main characters are seemingly left in a worse place than they started, while others might go on to future success. It waters down their triumph of standing up for what is right. There may be some healing from the story, but itâs not guaranteed for some of the characters that weâve invested in.
I think there is something very powerful thatâs said about not only the condemnable treatment of black people, but also of women. These are stories that need to be remembered. Presenting it in a palatable way to modern audiences is a tough sell. The Help manages to present what I think is a âliteâ version of true history, but the feeling was there.
This morning, we were talking about other people that share the same name as us. Scott has a ton of people named Scott Miller. He's even worked with some of them. Heather has a fashion designer and a TV news anchor of the same name.
There is a couple people working in the entertainment industry that share the name Adam Elliott too. Once they become famous, I'm gonna try to coattail them as much as I can.
Now, even if you don't have a name that's shared with a rock star, you can still be a rock star.
The 'Fan Mail" iPhone app will send you messages like "I am your BIGGEST fan!" "Just want to send you a note to you know that YOU ROCK!" I hope one day I can be as cool as you are."
You too, can have such genuinely heartfelt (sounding) messages delivered to you â and customized! Just pay 99 cents, tell the app your name and occupation, and it will produce an entire inbox filled with messages like "You're an inspiration," "Autograph?" and "A feature on you."
Whoops.Â Are you putting off car maintenance because of the rough economy?
I know I'm not much of a believer in the 3,000 mile-oil change rule.Â In fact I've always been a fan of maintaining a car for as long as you can.Â I'll admit, I've been responsible for driving more than one car, until it just completely quits.Â Â Apparently I'm not alone.
In a new survey from Triple A, they say:
More than half of American drivers â 54% â said they don't want the financial burden of a new car, so they're keeping their older ones running.
One in four drivers said they have neglected repairs and maintenance on their vehicles in the past year because of the slow economy, increasing the likelihood that they'll face a major, costly repair.
Yet 28% of drivers could not afford a $2,000 repair bill, while 18% could not pay a $1,000 tab.
I've found the real secret to keeping a car running is to properly address it by a pet name.Â For example: "Come on baby, if you get me to work one more day I promise to give you super unleaded the next time we fill up."Â Works like a charm.
Every once and while, you get a surprise at the movies. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is one of them. It takes a sci-fi series that most people could care less about and turns it into something quite entertaining.
Will Rodman (James Franco) is a researcher, motivated by his own fatherâs Altzheimers, to find a cure for the disease. During the primate testing phase of his research, he finds that his drug not only seems to allow the brain to heal itself, but it also allows it to grow exponentially. Didnât someone tell him about the recurring storyline in books and movies about tinkering with nature?
In any case, what I expected was a bloodbath of monkey on human violence. Thatâs not what you get. When our primate friends get superior intelligence, they also gain a higher level of compassion and seem to immediately understand that killing isnât the best solution.
Even though the plot isnât Academy Award worthy, all sorts of questions do pop up about human control of nature, human nature and who really is the intelligent species.
There are two noteworthy moments of the film. About half way in, the main ape Caeser, is taken to a primate shelter after he gets out into the real world and causes and incident where animal control is called out. That leads a very curious subplot about life in prison. Youâre not expecting a side story about how incarceration can alter a personâs view on the world, but this was an unexpected and welcome twist.
The other spans the entire film and thatâs the masterful use of computer generated apes. All of the apes in the movie are made inside a computer, but to my eye, you canât tell the difference. This movie may stand a testament as to how good that technology is today.
Another note: This is the second film in which Andy Serkis portrays an ape. He previously portrayed King Kong in "King Kong" (2005).Â He was also the guy that they based Gollum from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy after.
Another, anotherÂ note: no 3D was needed to make this an entertaining film.
If you ask me, I kind of liked when the cheese on my bologna sandwich got kinda warm from sitting around all morning.
Apparently, that's a bad thing nowadays. Here comes the science, thanks to a new study from The University of Texas in Austin.
They that tested more than 700 preschoolers' lunch packs and found less than two percent of the meats, vegetables and dairy products were in the safe temperature zone.
From Reuters: "It was a shock when we discovered that more than 90 percent of the perishable items in these packed lunches were kept at unsafe temperatures."Â The study in the journal Pediatrics, is the first to check how the food that kids' bring to school is doing about an hour and a half before lunchtime.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, perishable foods kept between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 60 degrees Celsius) for more than two hours are no longer safe to eat.
Although 45 percent of the packed lunches included an ice pack and 12 percent were kept in refrigerators, nearly all of the perishable foods were in the danger zone.
Awwww man.Â You mean to tell me mayo that's been sitting out for four hours is no good? I'm gonna have to rethink my whole eating pattern.
Itâs kind of hard for me to say anything positive this movie when one of the stars goes on TV the day before it opens and calls it âcrapâ and âgarbage.â No joke. Just check out Jason Batemanâs recent visit to The Daily Show.
The Change-Up is a mashup of a body switching âFreaky Fridayâ movie and the new genre of raunchy comedies. Really, itâs a mashup of gross- out, sometimes cruel-intentioned dirty jokes. Itâs not thatâs a bad thing for a comedy. The jokes this time just werenât strung together in a way thatâs likeable.
Speaking of likeable, just about none of the cast were. Ryan Reynolds plays Mitch,Daveâs (Bateman) best friend. Heâs a self-centered, wake-and-bake man child. Dave is an over accomplishing husband who works so much, he neglects his family life. Daveâs neglected wife Jamie (Leslie Mann) is a stereotypical nagging wife, who although still looks good, has accepted a mediocre existence as a mom.
After a night of drinking and peeing into public fountains, a twist of fate switches Mitch & Dave into each otherâs body. A predictable series of events follows as they adapt to the change. At this point, I felt a little confused with the characters. I know each man is supposed to be inhabiting the otherâs body, but there were too many examples of how it wasnât working.
What does work is Ryan Reynolds. I think he does much better playing a low- life, than a superhero or one half of a romantic comedy. He does a good job using his good looks to make you see past the flaws in is characters.
There are a couple of very funny moments. (Imagine the E-Trade baby headbanging in his crib) Most of them are one liners and forgettable. I probably could have done without two grown men urinating into a mall fountain with children standing around and the grown men swearing and dropping inappropriate jokes in front of toddlers. Itâs a crutch to think that dropping an âF-bombâ in front of kids is instant comedy.
Even with the comic weight of Bateman and Reynolds, this movie is very thin.
This tends to happen every once and a while. Somebody blurs the line between the movies and reality and does something dumb.
Usually its when somebody gets hurt while acting out a dangerous movie stunt. This time it's somebody who used a movie as their excuse for doing something dumb.
Filming is taking place at various locations in Pittsburgh, and police say they are already prepared for a flurry of calls about fake gunshots and explosions and other mayhem coming from the set.
Here's the story from the AP:
PITTSBURGH â Pittsburgh police say a man tried to carjack a plainclothes officer near filming for the latest Batman movieThe Dark Knight Risesâ and allegedly told him it was part of the script.
Detective Robert DiGiacomo was in an unmarked vehicle around 7:15 p.m. Saturday, looking for a suspect in an assault. That's when police say a man opened the car door, sat down and told the officer to get out.
The officer drew his gun and ordered the suspect, 21-year-old Micah Calamosca, out of the car. He says the suspect told him he was part of filming for "The Dark Knight Rises" and that taking the vehicle was in the script.
Calamosco was taken into custody and faces a charge of robbery of a motor vehicle. It's unclear if he has an attorney.
Brilliant.Â I just watched Bull Durham.Â Maybe the Brewers will let me hit for them tonight?
Happy Shark Week everybody. In my humble opinion, the shark wins the award for scariest living creature, which is why I am not ashamed to admit that I love shark movies.
I know, I know, I love all movies.Â There is a special place in my heart for shark movies though.Â Â They can be ultra scary, or ultra cheesy.Â I don't care.Â I love them all.
Still, you have to pick the good from the bad and that's what I'm doing today. Get ready for the Top 5 Best and Worst Shark movies.
WORST SHARK MOVIES #5. Jaws: The Revenge (1987, AKA Jaws 4) Mario Van Peebles stars in this 80's cheeseball mix up. In this case, the naughty shark follows Ellen Brody to a tropical location. Oooh. It's personal. On the upside. A shark is rammed with the bow of the boat.
#4 Spring Break Shark Attack (2005): You guessed it. Sharks attack co-eds on Spring Break in Florida. you pretty much get what you'd expect.
#3 Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009) It was just sad to see how far Lorenzo Lamas had fallen after watching this. What is worse than the inane plot is that Debbie Gibson is also in it, spurting out goofball one-liners The special effects look like something out of a kids cartoon.
#2 Deep Blue Sea (1999) A bunch of researchers are developing a more intelligent shark. Whoops. Sharks get brains, but they still like to eat people. Super awesome bonus of Samuel L Jackson getting munched for lunch.
#1 Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002) You get all the cliche' shark movie moments. A scientist who believes they've found something extraordinary. A public safety expert who wants to close the beach. A business man who needs the tourism money. Mixing stock footage with a loop of an animated shark does nothing but make you want to bang your head against the wall. Looking for plot, acting, tone, mood? You won't find any here. At least some of the action sequences were laughable.
BEST SHARK MOVIES
#5 Shark Attack 2: (iPhone app) It's not really a movie as much as it is an iPhone App. You get to be a shark and the more people/fish you eat, the bigger you get. The bigger you are, the harder it is to navigate too. I love this game.
#4 Jaws 2 (1978) It's basically the same setup as Jaws. This time, Police Chief Brody's kids are in danger of a shark attack. Brody uses some science and a paddle to lure Jaws to it's demise. Makes you think twice about boating in a catamaran.
#3 Finding Nemo (2003) A cute movie overall, but it's an excellent touch to have a shark named Bruce who's a reformed fish eater. Try to make him go to rehab. He's saying no, no no.
#2 Jaws (1975) Duh-nuh. Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun. The classic of all shark movies. Some of the best performances ever on screen. Remember the scene where the guys are comparing scars. Richard Dreyfuss wins.
#1 Open Water (2003) It was a difficult decision to put this one ahead of Jaws, but when it comes to sheer shark terror, Open Water wins. In a documentary style, a vacationing couple are left in the ocean by their scuba diving tour because of a missed head count. The unlucky couple get to float in the water, until the sharks notice. It is simply horrifying. This does not end well.
I gotta admit. After Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I was worried that we had lost Harrison Ford into the fray. No. It was just a bad idea to make another Indy movie. He delivers once again with his role as a grizzly old cowboy in Cowboys & Aliens.
I must admit, with that title, the bar is set pretty high. Cowboys and aliens are two great movie ideas. Itâs like peanut butter & chocolate. Riggs & Murtaugh. Rocky & Apollo. Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. I could go on. The casting also puts James Bond alongside Indiana Jones. Maybe this is going a little over the top?
In this case, the setting is the Arizona Old West in 1873. A lone man (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert with a weapon of some sorts strapped to his wrist. He canât remember who he is or how he got there. He slowly starts putting the pieces together as he bands together with a posse of Cowboys and Native Americans to fight off a horde of alien abductors.
Craig plays outlaw Jake Lonergan and needs to do nothing but deliver that icy stare of his to impress. He is a rough and tough hombre and is a lot of the glue that keeps this movie together. Ford plays the brilliantly named Woodrow Dolarhyde who provides the role of mean guy with a good heart. Think his portrayal of policeman John Book from 1985âs Witness.
While you could argue that there isnât a ton of intriguing dialogue, or that the story doesnât quite embrace the feel of a true western, I still enjoyed it. Cowboys & Aliens is a silly idea. I expected some campiness. I expect to trade depth for a little more action.
Director Jon Favreau also gets credit for relying less heavily on special effects and more on his characters to drive the movie. The supporting cast (Sam Rockwell, Keith Carridine, Olivia Wilde and Paul Dano) also gives this push in a positive direction. Another toast to Favreau, no 3D. Its a fun movie that doesnât need it. Well done.
There is a new report out today that says kids aren't getting as much money from the Tooth Fairy as they used to.
ï»¿The Tooth Fairy has been hit by the recession. A new survey by Visa says kids are getting an average of 40 cents less under their pillows this year compared to last year. The new going rate: $2.60, though the amount varies according to region. Children in the West get a whopping $2.80 on average, while those in the East must make do with $2.10.
To this I say BOO HOO!!!Please note the sarcasm. I was happy to get a quarter, maybe a dollar if it was a front tooth.Â One time I didn't tell my parents that a tooth had come out, put it under my pillow and I got NOTHING.
That was about the time that I gave up on the whole notion of the Tooth Fairy.Â That is, until I saw Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the 2010 movie Tooth Fairy.Â After watching that, I nearly gave up on everything.Â I still am surprised that I sat through that one.
I don't mean to be a downer here, but movies are known for drawing out the emotion of the viewer. Whether that's joy, outrage, pleasure or sadness.
Two scientists recently set out to find the best film scenes to elicit specific emotional responses, from sadness to anger and found that the closing scene from 1979's The Champ and its depiction of a heartbroken 9-year-old Ricky Schroeder did the trick when it came to depressing people.
The clip has been used over and over in the past 16 years, in various experiments related to sadness (for example, it helped to determine that sad people are more likely to spend money).
Other results from the study included the clips most likely to inspire disgust (an amputation scene), contentment (a beach scene), and fear (The Shining and Silence of the Lambs).
Second to The Champ for sadness? The death of Bambi's mom.
I must be out of my mind, because all the time Iâve lived in Madison, I have not visited Quiveyâs Grove. The restaurant has always had a Madison-original and feel-good vibe to it, so I am thankful for Restaurant Week.
Located just minutes from the Beltline, Quiveyâs Grove location is far enough out that you get the rustic, yet classic country feel of what is almost guaranteed to be a fine meal. It would be easy to mistake the grounds of the restaurant for a quaint farmhouse or stable. Mostly because the buildings date back to 1855 and in fact there are two restaurants at Quiveyâs Grove.
The Stone House is a turn of the century mansion, converted into eating space that offers fine dining. The Stable Grill has the look of aâ¦stable, with stone and brick, offering a more casual menu. Both buildings are on the National Register Of Historic Places. The tree covered grounds, from which the name comes from, are impeccable and impressive.
After guessing-navigating our way into the hostess room of the Stone House, we were pleasantly greeted and allowed to poke our heads around the various rooms and into the kitchen area. We sat in the Grandmotherâs Garden. Each room has name and historical significance. I did not realize that the cupboard that our dining ware and fresh butter was waiting on dated back to 1850. The first impression was just the start of a classy meal.
The Restaurant Week menu is at the right. I sampled a variety of items, some of which are on the special menu this week. Our first course was a Duck Salad for my girlfriend and a Romaine Blue salad for myself. We traded samples. The Romaine comes with blue cheese chunks that were plentiful and large enough that you can add it to each bite. The Duck Salad was topped with walnuts and a vinaigrette. Duck bacon and a duck ham are often too gamey for me, but a small sample proved tasty.
After the salad and before the meal, fresh and hot blueberry muffins were delivered. Extra butter on mine. They were to die for.
My girlfriend had the Lake Perch crusted with pretzel crumbs. I had the Pork Dewey, a double bone in pork chop, smoke roasted, served with an apple-butter barbeque sauce. Each choice was so we could share the others. A wise choice on our part. Portion sizes were just right and so was the a pairing with Wollersheim Pinot Noir. For desert, we shared a Blueberry Buckle. The moist coffee cake filled with fresh blueberries, butter streusel topping, served with sweetened whip cream delights.
Our server Rebecca could not have been more pleasant. The Grandmotherâs Garden is limited to about 10 tables, so we felt the service was neither overbearing or lacking.
Quiveyâs Grove Stone House is an ideal location for a elegant night out, or impressing out of town guests. Itâs a real Madison treat.
Restaurant Week is a semi-annual event for food lovers to sample some of Madison's finest local offerings. For $25 participating restaurants offer a prix-fixed menu with 3 courses and 3 options of each course. Some restaurants offer a reduced menu for $15 for lunch.
Quiveysâ Grove Stone house offers a dinner menu. The Stable House offers both a lunch and dinner menu.
I have always loved the smell of a wood burning fire, so I was quite pleased the very moment I walked into Bonfyre American Grill. Located at the corner of the gigantic Arbor Gate Towers at Todd Drive and the Beltline, it was quite the treat to see slow moving traffic poke on by, while I sat and enjoyed some tasty cuisine.
I met up with the Restaurant Manager Patrick Quinlan, a very affable man who explained his pride in their cooking style. He said the secret is four types of wood chips that provide the smoky aroma that Bonfyre uses in the kitchen.Â He had me at "cooked on the grill."
The Restaurant Week menuis at the right. I sampled a variety of items, some of which are on the special menu this week. My first course was the wedge salad. Adorned with several generous chunks of blue cheese, the dressing was neither overbearing or two little. Larger sized bacon toppings added a nice smoky aftertaste.
My main course was quite possibly the best Rotisserie Chicken Iâve ever had. Herb seasoned, the meat was cooked to such a perfect consistency, that it could have been cut with the butter knife. It was slow cooked juicy perfection and matched well with the sides of well cooked summer squash and Bonfyre Mash(ed potatoes.)
I sampled my girlfriends Grilled Shrimp plate and while the servings were large and tasty, I couldnât focus on anything but how well cooked my rotisserie was. I matched my meal with a Belgian beer (Leffe) suggested by our waiter that pairs well with smoky meat. Served in its own custom glass like a Stella Artois, it went down well.
The service deserves a special tip of the hat. Amos was our server who suggested the beer pairing. It was just the beginning of an impressive showing of service. Within 10 minutes of ordering, our salads were on the table. Literally as they were being cleared, our main course was coming around the corner to our table. Our water glasses never went empty and everything came with a smile.
Overall, Bonfyre delivered an impressive dining experience matched with a nice menu. A brilliant addition to the meal is Bonfyreâs willingness to cater to those with food allergies. We need gluten-free meals and Bonfyreâs menu clearly has marked items that are vegan and gluten-free. The gluten-free variety was also impressive. The same canât be said for most of Madisonâs dining options.
Restaurant Week is a semi-annual event for food lovers to sample some of Madison's finest local offerings. For $25 participating restaurants offer a prix-fixed menu with 3 courses and 3 options of each course. Some restaurants offer a reduced menu for $15 for lunch.
Bonfyre American Grille offers both the lunch and dinner menus.
Movie franchises should take notes from the folks at Marvel. Captain America: The First Avenger is a good movie, thatâs part of a larger film series.
Set in 1941, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a sickly young man with a sense of duty larger than his body. After repeatedly being rejected to be a US soldier, Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America.
There are several reasons to like Steve Rogers. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking. He continues to learn from his mistakes and heâs always more concerned with the people around him, instead of himself. Pleasantly lacking the ego and bravado of a modern day hero. Heâs no cynic.
With the assistance of Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones,) Captain America helps take down a rogue Nazi unit led by baddie Red Skull (Hugo Weaving,) who a developed a occult superpower.
The nostalgia of the Captain America is lost on this remake though. Thatâs not necessarily a bad thing. The Captain is reinvented as a patriot, who when asked whether he wants to kill Nazis, responds by saying he doesnât want to kill anyone. He just wants to serve his country. Another reason to like him. Heâs the everyman.
I was not as much impressed with the action as much as the general storyline. That campy feel of a WWII war- action drama is there, but the characters own it. They mock themselves. Thereâs also a romantic subplot that seems to go nowhere. Still, this is a tale of the little guy facing a bully, so you always know who to root for.
This could have been just another run of the mill origin story, which leads us all to the May 2012 release of The Avengers, but itâs not. This movie is self-contained and that is something we see far too little of.
I don't want to get your hopes up, but there is talk that the NFL lockout may wrap up by the end of this week.Â Some sources have even said that the Packers are ready to head back to Lambeau Field this weekend to start camp.
Does that get you geared up or what?
If it does, you may still not be as excited about it as Packer Cornerback Sam Shields. Here he is, in a picture from Yahoo! Sports with a GIGANTIC tattoo of the Packers SUPERBOWL RING...on his NECK!
For as epic as this movie should have been, it just felt like there was something missing. There was certainly some satisfaction in wrapping up the 10-year franchise, but when something thatâs lasted 10 years long ends, shouldnât the end result be bigger?
In the eighth installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) finally has his one-on-one with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Feinnes.) The final showdown. The big shabang. Sounds important right? I unfortunately found that high expectation didnât meet up to the reality. It was anti-climactic.
Keep in mind, this is coming strictly from a movie perspective on the series. I sat with several Harry Potter book fans. They not only cried during the highlights of the film, but afterwards as well, when they found out that the miracle moments in the novel were traded for lesser visually enhanced action sequences.
There isnât a ton of dialogue. I was expecting at least some grand wisdom on the struggle between good and evil. Some deep thoughts on the rewarding nature of friendship. Something! Instead, we speed past it on the Hogwartâs Express to the moving parts of the film.
I would not say this is a bad movie. There was actually a very rewarding experience. Several big ideas are completed. A dopey character earns hero status. Puzzles are solved. That alone made me quite satisfied.
With movie franchises like these, I always refer back to the initial Star Wars trilogy. Each movie stands on itâs own. They have beginnings, middles and endings. That is the standard set for multi-chapter movies, so that is what I expect. HP7-#2 is literally second half of a story.
Harry Potter 7.2 doesnât do the best job of standing on its own. In fact, this had a rushed and shrunken feel to it. Am I really asking they should have made a longer movie? Maybe. In a finale situation, I feel a little more explanation is worth it.
If anything, Iâm just glad that I donât have to wait for anymore further explanation in this series. So to this series I say âExpelliarmus.â Stick a fork in it.
Man, I thought we were done with the awards season until January.Â I'm not sure I can handle another round.
Just in case I don't make it, here's my recap of the top categories, who I think should win and other various notes.
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
The Big Bang Theory Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter
Episodes Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc
Louie Louis C.K. as Louie
The Office Steve Carell as Michael Scott
30 Rock Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
NOTE: Louie should win.Â He has a fantastic show.Â Steve Carell should not.Â That show lost its momentum in 2009.
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson
Dexter Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan
Friday Night Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor
House Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House
Justified Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens
Mad Men Jon Hamm as Don Draper
NOTE: Mad Men has the best thing going on TV right now.Â John Hamm totally deserves this.Â By the way...where is Bryan Cranston's nod for Breaking Bad?
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
The Big C Laura Linney as Cathy Jamison
Mike & Molly Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn
Nurse Jackie Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton
Parks And Recreation Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope
Raising Hope Martha Plimpton as Virginia Chance
30 Rock Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
NOTE: I hate to say it, but I think 30 Rock has lost steam.Â Melissa McCarthy was wonderful in Bridesmaids, but I think Parks and Recreation is just about peaking out.Â I go for Amy Poehler here.
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Friday Night Lights Connie Britton as Tami Taylor
The Good Wife Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick
Harry's Law Kathy Bates as Harriet "Harry" Korn
The Killing Mireille Enos as Sarah Linden
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
Mad Men Television Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson
NOTES: Mireille Enos, Elisabeth Moss and Mariska Hargitay are all prime choices. Â I'll go Enos because The Killing drew me in and because she's married to Alan Ruck (Cameron from Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Glee Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel
Modern Family Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett
Modern Family Ed O'Neill as Jay Pritchett
Modern Family Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker
Modern Family Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy
Two And A Half Men Jon Cryer as Alan Harper
NOTE: Man, it's cruel to have to pick from the Modern Family cast.Â I go Phil Dunphy.
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Game Of Thrones Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
The Good Wife Josh Charles as Will Gardner
The Good Wife Alan Cumming as Eli Gold
Justified Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder
Mad Men John Slattery as Roger Sterling
Men Of A Certain Age Andre Braugher as Owen
NOTE: Meh.Â Next category.
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series Glee Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester
Hot In Cleveland Betty White as Elka Ostrosky
Modern Family Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy
Modern Family Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett
Saturday Night Live Kristen Wiig as Various characters
30 Rock Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney
NOTE: Way to go Betty White for being nominated at age 90.Â I think I'm leaning towards Sofia Vergara though.
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire Kelly Macdonald as Margaret Schroeder
The Good Wife Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma
The Good Wife Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart
Justified â¢ FX Networks Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett
The Killing â¢ AMC Michelle Forbes as Mitch Larsen
Mad Men Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris
NOTE: Christina Hendricks wins all
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race Phil Keoghan, Host
American Idol Ryan Seacrest, Host
Dancing With The Stars Tom Bergeron, Host
So You Think You Can Dance Cat Deeley, Host
Survivor Jeff Probst, Host
NOTE: You know I'm an Amazing Race fan, right?
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family The Office
Parks And Recreation
NOTE: I think it's time for Parks and Recreation to take it all.
Outstanding Drama Series Boardwalk Empire
Friday Night Lights
Game Of Thrones The Good Wife
NOTE: Where are the noms forÂ The Walking Dead & Breaking Bad?
Maybe these kids can start signing their names with a TXT MSG?
Starting this fall, some schools in Indiana won't be teaching cursive writing anymore. Instead, students will be expected to become proficient in keyboard use.
Of course, being able to type on a keyboard is a vital skill these days, but something feels a little off. I realize the irony of saying this in a blog form that is typed, but it feels like we might be losing something here.
it might not be the end all together. The state is allowing schools districts to choose for themselves whether they should stop teaching cursive or not.
For what Larry Crowne lacks in depth, he does make it up in heart and feeling.
Tom Hanks directs and stars in the film that tries to capture the emotion of being fired from your job, then having to rebuild. Larry Crowne is a guy who genuinely seems to like his job in retail, until heâs fired for not having a college degree. The story arc was pretty obvious at this point.
He believes getting that education will ensure that it doesnât happen again, so he enrolls in a local community college. There, he meets Speech 217 Professor Mercedes Taniot (Julia Roberts.) Sheâs also at a low point in her teaching career and is depressed with her slacker husband, so she dulls the pain with blended mixers.
Larry also meets a free-spirited student, who rearranges his furniture in the Feng Shui style, gets him to join her scooter gang and helps him with a fashion makeover straight off the TLC network. Larry also takes an Economics 101 course, where he somehow learns the ins-and-out of home foreclosures, which transforms him into the master of his financial future. I simply find it hard to believe that one semester of credit courses and transform you that much.
Hanks and Roberts deliver passable performances, but I donât feel like we really get to the core of their characterâs problems. They were pleasant enough to watch, but I was glad when it was all over. This is a movie about overcoming lifeâs obstacles. But, if all I need to do to find a happy medium with my relationships, job and finances is take a credit at my community college, how hard can life really be?
Somewhere while they were out riding their scooters, the story transforms from one man taking control of his future, to a romantic comedy. In all, this is light fare. Thatâs OK, because itâll be palatable to a wider audience. Your Mom will love this.
Ummm, when did the Autobots turn into revenge killers who carry out mafia/gangland style killings? I think I missed that part of the cartoon TV series from the 80âs. I will say that Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is the better of the three Transformers movies that Director Michael Bay has delivered, but thatâs not saying much.
In this two and one-half hours of special effects overkill, we are told the real reason for the space race of the 1960âs was because an alien ship had crashed on the moon. Flash forward to the present, where the âgoodâ Autobots discover the well kept secret and have to race âevilâ Decepticons to discover its secret.
I use good and evil in parenthesis, because it seems the sides these two robot races once took are much blurrier now. Sure, Decepticons want to enslave the human race, but itâs all in the name of going back home. Their goal is not to fight the good guys, just go back home. The Autobots this time are motivated not only to protect the Earth, but they also carry out intensely violent revenge-style killings of their foes.
So, is that a good thing? It surely adds a darker element to this type of bubble gum entertainment. Once you get through the first 45 minutes of plot build up, the action is quite intense and it doesnât stop. I hope your ears can take it, mine barely did. I suppose that is the point of a movie that has an otherwise incoherent plot and dialogue that seems was written by a 10 year old.
Also, Iâm not really a fan of shoot âem up video games, but the appeal of this movie is clearly directed at lovers of first person shooter games. In one battle scene, the audience is given the same perspective of the first person shooter video game. It was a little disturbing for my tastes.
I did find two moments extremely entertaining. I liked the pairing of John Turturro and Frances McDormand. Both are frequently in many beloved Coen Brothers movies. Sadly, even they are unnecessary, just like the rest of the humans in the Transformers movies.
I also loved the settings. Part of the movie is shot at Milwaukeeâs Art Museum. Unfortunately the building stays intact. Another scene is downtown Chicago. The same canât be said for the Windy City, which virtually suffers some severe damage. Itâs always more fun seeing landmarks youâre familiar with getting blown up.
In all, I canât recommend this film for the simple reason that itâs two and one-half hours long. I donât care what movie it is. No one who just drank a 64oz soda should have to wait that long for a restroom break.
Leave it up to a super spy to get married without anybody knowing about it.
Last week in a secret ceremony, current James Bond Daniel Craig tied the knot with actress Rachael Weisz.Â (Nice choice if I do say so myself.)
While I think that Daniel Craig is a decent James Bond, I don't think he is the greatest James Bond.Â I know this may be controversial, especially to my movie-loving friends, but here is my list of the greatest portrayals of James Bond.
Side Trivia Note: Since Daniel Craig got married, you can impress your friends with this James Bond fact.Â The only James Bond movie where Bond takes a wife is 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service." BUT....you can also amaze your friends by telling them that when going undercover, James BondÂ also got faux-married in "You Only Live Twice."
Best movie James Bond actors:
#6 - George Lazenby - Mr. One and Done.Â While On Her Majesty's Secret Service had some cool skiing action sequences, you never really got the feel for Bond.
#5 - Daniel Craig - I really didn't like the choice of Craig over Clive Owen, but Craig is growing on me.
#4 - Sean Connery - I know.Â Purists will rake me over the coals for this low ranking.Â The fact is Connery as James Bond was not so much a ladies man as he was a sexist.Â I'm still a bit shocked watching Goldfinger and Dr. No these days.
#3 - Timothy Dalton - He's an underrated James Bond, but I thought The Living Daylights and License To Kill were thrilling.
#2 - Roger Moore - Oh yeah.Â The first James Bond I was introduced to.Â He was smooth and satirical.Â He also fought Jaws (Richard Kiel,) who I got to interview once.
#1 - Pierce Brosnan - He fit a tux better than the rest. Â Brosnan was charming, calm, cool and collective on top of being silky and smooth.Â Do I have a man crush on him?Â Maybe.
There are a few truths that I hold to be self-evident. Peanut M&Ms will always be better than Plain M&Ms. Traffic will always jam up on the beltline between 7-8am and 3:30-5:30pm. Cameron Diaz talking like a truck driver is always better than Diaz in a romantic comedy. For some reason, Diaz playing a foul mouthed, cynic also seems a more natural fit for her.
While there are moments that had the potential for fantastic raunchy comedy, they are matched with just as many weak plot points.
There are a couple subplots of Miss Halsey inappropriately trying to raise money for breast implants, a romantic storyline involving one of the students and Diaz wooing a fellow teacher, but none of it goes anywhere. A rivalry between Elizabeth and a goodie-two-shoes teacher is what feeds most of the story and I think thatâs where the focus should have been.
It was impossible for me to separate the attempt to mirror Bad Santa. In that story, Billy Bob Thornton is a disgusting human being because it feeds his criminal behavior. Here, Diaz is just a slacker who wants the easy road to riches. I guess if she worked harder at being terrible, that would be a good thing.
While itâs hard not to focus on Diaz, the supporting male roles did entertain me. Iâve been a fan of Jason Segel for a while. He plays the Gym Teacher at the school who is just as attracted to Elizabethâs bad characteristics as her good ones. The regular guy who is 20% sleaze-ball, is the character I like to see him play. Justin Timberlake plays a light-headed substitute teacher like heâs playing in a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Heâs well aware that heâs being goofy.
Loving the anti-hero is no crime. Theyâre sometimes more attractive. Diaz is certainly attractive. As Jimmy Buffett says âIâve read dozens of books about heroes and crooks and learned much from both of their styles. â
Bad Teacher needed more to it. Maybe more tequila.
I don't know if you're a fan of the HBO series "Entourage," but you might be now, if you're a Badger Fan.
Barry Alvarez went from Badger football coach, to the UWâs Athletic Director and now he gets to add acting credits to his resume. Alvarez is expected to make an cameo appearance with Mike Ditka in the series finale episode of HBOâs Entourage, which is wrapping up with itâs 8th season this year.
It picks up on HBO on July 24th and there are eight episodes this season.
I don't think they took into consideration the dangers of flipping out of a hammock, but this was an curious study.
A team of Swiss and French scientists published a study on Monday that suggests the rocking motion of a hammock improves sleep quality and helps people get to sleep faster.
The study included 12 male volunteers who were not habitual nappers but who agreed to try an afternoon snooze on both a stationary bed and a rocking bed while machines scanned their brains, eye and muscle movements. (Can I volunteer for the next one?)
Most subjects fell asleep faster in the rocking bed than they did in the still one and the quality of their 45-minute nap was deeper according to the findings published in the journal Current Biology. Researchers hope to examine whether the hammock effect would be similar in longer stretches of sleep, and would like to find out if it can be harnessed to help people who suffer from insomnia.
I really love this new Woody Allen film, although I am really annoyed that it was too intellectual for me. Maybe thatâs the magic of Allen. Even if you donât get all the references and humor, you can still love his work.
There, he meets his favorites who are still in their prime. Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter, Josephine Baker, T.S. Elliott, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Salvador Dali and the list goes on. Gil manages to keep this all on the level and even convinces some of the greats to critique the book heâs working on.
Imagine youâre meeting your favorite rock star for the first time and you play it completely cool. Thatâs the youthful spirit that Wilson manages to exhibit and temper at the same time. Watching that, you canât help but feel excited.
Hereâs the bad part. This movie is a 110 minute dream fantasy sequence for history of English literature lovers. I am not one of those people, but I can respect them from a distance. If you start quoting prose to me, my eyes may glaze over.
I like this movie because it takes those characters and puts them in personal situations. What would the conversation be like if Salvador Dali invited you to sit down for some coffee. What did Cole Porterâs songs sound like when he sang them at parties? How drunk was Hemmingway?
We know their work, but getting a insider glimpse at what their personal lives might have been like is pure entertainment.
13 Assassins made its debut at the 2011 Wisconsin Film Festival in late March, and I am still kicking myself for not seeing it then.
This is a machismo period piece about a group of unemployed samurai warriors who come together to stop an evil lord from climbing to power.
As samurai movies go, this one seems to stand out amongst the rest. There are massive battle scenes, but these seem to hold a much grittier and realistic feel to them. Warriors are not flying from rooftop to rooftop on hidden wires. They are duking it out on the ground and you feel their fatigue set in as the battle rages on.
There is much bravado dialogue in the film too. Just like William Wallace spoke to rally his troops before the Braveheart battle scenes, 13 Assassins doesnât fall short on memorable lines. Upon accepting the task to take down the evil lord, the leader of the samurai Shinzaemon Shimada shouts âI shall accomplish your task, with magnificence.â If only we had that type of motivation every day. Think of how far weâd go in life.
The first act involving the recruitment of the samurai progressed a little slower than I prefer, but the payoff was large. It comes in the form of one of the most detailed and believable ambush fight scenes Iâve seen on screen lately.
13 Assassins is sure to satisfy your battle-born bloodlust and leave you a wiser film viewer. The cinematography is above par. The direction is magnificent because you feel a connection to this group of men. You are rooting for their success and feel heartbroken when things donât go right for them.
This film is also currently available On Demand on some cable systems. Itâs well worth a viewing.
I was bummed out hearing this story, because one of my favorite snacks is an apple with peanut butter on it.
Apples are at the top of the list of produce most contaminated with pesticides, says a new study. Apples moved up three spots from last year, replacing celery at the top of the most-contaminated list; 92% of apples contained two or more pesticides.
The Dirty Dozen List - The suggestion is to buy these organic.
8. Sweet Bell Peppers
12. Kale/Collard Greens
Onions top the "clean" list, found to be lowest in pesticides. By choosing five servings of fruit and vegetables a day from the clean list, most people can lower the volume of pesticides they consume daily by 92%, the report says.
Rankings reflect the amounts of chemicals present on food when it is eaten. Most samples were washed and peeled before testing. Washing with a "produce wash" is unlikely to help remove pesticides because they're taken up by the entire plant and reside on more than just the skin, the report says.
If youâre addicted to your DVR like I amâ¦you may shed a tear from this story. Then you'll go turn off your DVR.
A new report says your DVR and cable box are big energy wasters. The National Reserouce Defense Council report says the 160 million set-top boxes installed in our homes cost $3 billion to operate because the boxes never go to sleep.
The environmental monitoring group says that a high-definition cable or satellite set-top box when combined with a high-definition DVR uses up 446 kilowatt hours per year. That's more than a new Energy Star rated 21 cubic-foot refrigerator, which uses 415 kWh per year.
The combination of an HD DVR and an HD cable or satellite box in a house wastes many hours of energy even when not in use, the group found. The study reports that it costs American consumers more in electricity bills per year when they're not using their DVR and set-top box than when they are: $2 billion a year versus $1 billion a year collectively.
The group estimates that there are 160 million set top boxes currently installed in U.S. homes, and together they emit 16 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year.
I've got a great solution: an energy saving refrigerator that also records my favorite TV shows.
You canât help but feel a little nostalgic after this one.
Set in 1979, the Super 8 centers on a massive train wreck that is filmed by a young group of friends. Theyâre making a home movie and capture and event on their film. Mysterious things start to happen after the crash. The military takes control of the town and the once small town is turned upside down.
Fans of Director J.J. Abrams are treated to several little goodies. The sensational train wreckage brought back good memories (?) of Oceanic Flight 815âs crash from the TV series Lost. The well of sci-fi elements in Super 8 doesnât run too deep, but is enough to satisfy diehards.
It is notable that the characters largely drive this story, as opposed to the action of the event they are dealing with. Thatâs a trademark of Abramsâ style and is very welcome in the sci-fi genre today. He also captures the emotional sophistication and tenderness of adolescence and that helps the audience make that important connection to the characters.
Super 8 is reminiscent of films where kids run the action such as E.T., The Goonies, Stand By Me and Gremlins. Theyâre literally darting around on bicycles. I half expected them to start pedaling into the night sky. Thatâs most likely because Steven Spielberg, who claims executive producer credits, also has his fingers into most of them as well.
The downside of this film is the third act where all hell breaks loose and the kids scramble to save the day. Once the problem theyâre facing is full presented to them, the plot steers low and loose. Revealing the face of your big secret is always a mistake if it comes too early.
While I donât think Super 8 will go down in movie history like some of the aforementioned titles, it does stand up for some summer time movie blockbuster fun.
BTWâ¦stick around for the end credits for the payoff on the home movie. Itâs nearly as good as the feature length.
None of us are.Â Sometimes we have to tune out.Â I think it helps our brains to give them a rest every now and then.Â That being said, anytime I'm at work, I do make an effort to make sure I am paying attention.Â (not always though)
I had to laugh when I saw the coverage of the Brewers game from last night. Nyjer Morgan hit the game winning double to help Milwaukee top the Mets 7-6.Â He claims that he didn't know what the score was, or even how long the game had been going on. I assume he knew he was at work, but it sounds a little spacey.Â He claims that he's a ball player and doesn't have to know those types of details.
That's funny, I just wouldn't say it loud enough that the boss can hear it.Â Then again, as long has he gets these results, who cares if he's paying attention.
A new report found that stressed coffee lovers are three times more likely to see or hear imaginary things than everyone else.
In tests, their sujects started hearing Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas." They tested 92 people with varied caffeine-intake and stress levels. Subjects thought they were doing hearing tests.Â Then they were played three minutes of static hiss and asked to press a buzzer if they heard snippets of White Christmas in there -- which there weren't.
On average, low-caffeine subjects heard it once. But stressed coffee guzzlers buzzed three times.
One researcher said "If you are stressed and have a high level of caffeine, you are more likely to notice things that aren't there, see things that aren't there."
Now, if I could just get the Gremlin that lives under my desk to go away, things would really be improving here.
It's a good news day when you find one of these stories.
High School Sophomore Rain Price's days of having the world's most embarrassing dad are over.
All school year his dad, Dale Price would wave goodbye to him on the school bus...except for every day this year, he'd wear something outrageous He's showed up as Elvis, Batgirl, the Little Mermaid and Santa Claus.
If my Dad ever did that to me, I would hope it would be documented in photographs.Â Luckily Dale's wife did.Â Check out the entire photo album.
Somebody call up George Lucas and tell him that this is how you make a prequel. Honestly, I donât mean to be obnoxious, but why couldnât Star Wars 1, 2 & 3 have been as much fun as this X Men prequel?
I do enjoy the plot technique of setting a fictional story around real historical fact. X-Men: First Class set in 1963 around the Cuban Missile Crisis. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is a new graduate of Oxford and is recruited by the bto stop the Russian nuclear threat. Along the way, he befriends Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender,) a person who eventually becomes his arch enemy.
They discover that Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon,) a fellow mutant is busy at work instigating both nuclear powers into all out war, but for his own benefit.
Amongst the filmâs highlights is the rather scary and malicious take that Kevin Bacon puts on his supervillain. Not only does he capture the evil essence of a Nazi that wants to destroy the world with nuclear weapons, his mere presence on the screen simply creeped me out. Remember, thatâs a compliment.
The action is fast and entertaining. The battles are near epic. This is good summertime entertainment.
The real fun of this movie is in the discovery. With a good grasp on his own power, Xavier aims to find other mutants, help them discover their potential. Watching a person (or a mutant) discover their own potential is simply entertaining. I think it makes you wonder what untapped super powers are in yourself. If anything, keeping you guessing is a trait of a good movie.
The only thing that really surprised me about The Hangover II is how exact they stuck to the formula. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.
The Hangover Part II brings back all the characters from the first movie including Stu (Ed Helms,) Phil (Bradley Cooper,) Alan (Zach Galifinanakis,) Doug (Justin Bartha) and Mr. Chow(Ken Jeong).Â Except this time Phil is getting married and itâs set in Thailand. Unfortunately for these once A-List actors, this movie only serves to knock them down a few notches towards has-beens.
The exact same scenario happens, except this time the missing party is Stuâs brother in law. They hop from one stop to another in the streets of Thailand, recounting their hijinks and slowly putting the clues together to solve their missing persons case.
Whatâs unfortunate is they stick to the exact same formula as the predecessor and nothing feels new.
There are some funny and perilous situations that the boys find themselves in, but in the theater I was in, they barely received a chuckle.
I think the widespread appeal of The Hangover came from the perception that what we were seeing could have really happened to a group of guys. For girls, I think it was that inside look into what happens during a wild bachelor party. After you see that once itâs not as shocking to stare into its eyes again.
With news that thereâs already a Hangover III in the works, I donât have much hope for it. If thereâs anything we learn from Hollywood, itâs that if a formula works, you repeat it until all of the money is drained out.Â Â Boo.
After the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan was placed on a list of America's dying cities, the residents decided to sing about it.
Actually they got 5,000 of them together late last month to film something pretty cool. It's a continuous 8+ minute shot moving through the streets of Grand Rapids with people lip synching a live version of Don McLean's American Pie.
People weave in an out of the shot in a flash mob style, but it doesn't look like anyone really misses a beat.Â Here's some of the highlights:
â¢ Giant pillow fight at 2:17
â¢ Guy carving an ice sculpture with a chainsaw at 3:48
â¢ Football team literally trying for a forward pass at 4:49
â¢ Nerf gun attack at 6:16
â¢ Flames climb high into the night (day) at 6:23
â¢ Helicopter that hovers above the whole scene at 8:30
It was also a big enough feat that they set the new world record for lip synching.Â While American Pie might seem like a dark song about death, the folks of Grand Rapids said they thought it was more like a song about hope.
Film critic Roger Ebert agreed.Â He called it the greatest music video ever made.
This is one of the stories that didn't make the cut in this morning's news....because I simply don't believe it's true.
It sounds like a cartoon and it's way too fantastic, but enjoy the visual:
(WELLINGTON, New Zealand) A New Zealand truck driver said he blew up like a balloon on Saturday when he fell onto the fitting of a compressed air hose that pierced his buttock and forced air into his body at 100 pounds a square inch.
Steven McCormack was standing on his truck's foot plate Saturday when he slipped and fell, breaking a compressed air hose off an air reservoir that powered the truck's brakes. He fell hard onto the brass fitting, which pierced his left buttock and started pumping air into his body.
McCormack's workmates heard his screams and ran to him, quickly releasing a safety valve to stop the air flow, said Robbie Petersen, co-owner of the trucking company. He was rushed to the hospital with terrible swelling and fluid in one lung.
Doctors said the air had separated fat from muscle in McCormack's body, but had not entered his bloodstream. McCormack said his skin felt "like a pork roast" â crackling on the outside but soft underneath.
I love my job and most of the time it's pretty good.Â Sometimes it's way above average.
Yesterday, The Doobie Brothers stopped by our studios for a private performance.Â They consisted of founding members Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, and 30 year-plus veterans John McFee and Michael Hossack.
What's more is that the studio where the guys played is about 5 feet from my desk.
I got to listen to them sound check for about an hour before they performed a five song set that included:
* âNobodyâ (new song)
* âFar From Homeâ (new song)
* âBlack Waterâ
* "Long Train Running"
* âListen To The Musicâ
I love to take the experience home with me, so here's a clip of Long Train Running that I recorded on my phone.
When the tour bus arrived, our engineer Tony offered to help off load some of their equipment.Â One box from the tour gear was so heavy that it required two people to lift.Â Tony asked me to help and I said sure.
We walked out of the station and I passed a man standing next to their tour bus.Â I said hello and asked how the trip in was.Â He said it was fine and thanked me for asking.
Tony and I grabbed the rather heavy case and brought it down a flight of stairs.
Later I learned that the man I passed outside the tour bus was Tom Johnston, who I didn't recognize at first.
I think I have a future in being a roadie.
Fun side story.Â Pat Simmons said the song 'Nobody" was about how many people in the band smoke marijuana nowadays. He said it should be obvious as to how The Doobie Brothers got their name.
We as consumers must stand up and not support Hollywood when they churn out trash like this and expect us all to spend our hard earned money on it.Â Itâs the only way to send the message.
Did I need to mention that Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is weak in all sorts of ways?Â I was tired of this series after the second installment.Â I will not watch another one again.
After crossing paths with a woman from his past (Penelope Cruz), Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is swept aboard the ship of the pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane) on a mission to find the fountain of youth.
Itâs hard for me to express how overdone, draw-out and not fun this movie was.Â I caught this one on an Ultrascreen in 3D, because the showtime was convenient.Â Iâm not a fan of 3D and I donât think it added anything special this time around.Â It did make the movie look darker than when I snuck a peek without the glasses.
First, thereâs the time factor.Â I want some kind of reward for watching a two hour and seventeen minute movie.Â I felt punished for sticking to the end credits.
Then thereâs the wasted talent.Â I saw fleeting moments of grace from actors and actresses that I know have skills and talent.Â Cruz, McShane and 2011 Oscar nominee Geoffery Rush gave little to be appreciated. Â I hope it was at least a good payday for them.Â Â I think Depp is often a far overrated actor.Â Pirates 4 solidly backs that theory up. Thereâs a complete lack of chemistry between the players and itâs a bore.
Finally, add in all the work that went into this movie. Director Rob Marshall and Disney were obviously trying to make this look like and epic.Â It was a looker, but there was no thought behind it.Â Again, the 3D just doesnât do anything for me.
From what I recall from the other Pirates movies, the quick-witted dialogue was itâs saving grace.Â This time around weâre hit with nothing but snappy catchphrases that have no deeper meaning.Â To quote Captain Sparrow: âDid everyone see that? Because I will *not* be doing it again.â Lets hope so.
A 42oz Ribeye? The first brat I ever ate? A house salad at Paisans? A large pepperoni at Glass Nickel?
It's hard to think of the best food that I've ever ate. There are a ton of them.
I guess it's an easy call for Fond du Lac's Don Gorske. He was featured in the movie Super Size Me and is best known as for eating a Big Mac nearly every day of his life. Yesterday, he gobbled down his 25,000th burger. I say there's a time for twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesonionsonasesameseedbun. Just not every day.
Before you worry about his health, know that the guy is a freak of nature. At six feet tall, Gorske still checks in at a slim 190 poundsâ¦and says heâs fresh off a check up with the doctor.
Sidenote: It took him 39 years to eat 25,000 Big Macs. That's 12,250,000 calories. Check out the story.
BTW...I figured out the best thing I ever ate. It's the next bite of chocolate I'm going to have.
Call it the female version of The Hangover if you want, but Bridesmaids is really a fantastic and raunchy comedy of it's own, thatâs got a lot of heart.
Annie (Kristin Wiig) is a losery Milwaukee girl who hasnât quite figured it all out. Picked as her best friend Lillianâs (Maya Rudolph) maid of honor, lovelorn and broke Annie looks to bluff her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals with an oddball group of bridesmaids.
I am told by my girlfriend that this movie perfectly and realistically nails the dynamic of women in a group setting. From the relationship between the two best friends to the catty conversations, she felt it was on par. I felt a true nature of the friendship between Annie and Lillian, which made you care about their future. I think itâs also what shifts the film from a basic comedy to a well rounded story.
Even without an unbelievably raunchy scene involving the ladies dealing with food poisoning while trying out bridesmaidâs dresses, this film still works. There were roars of laughter and ewwws of disgust from audience I saw it with.
Wiig gets co-writing credits for the film, but really she deserves more accolades than that. She steps far beyond the limitations of a three minute sketch on Saturday Night Live and earns the title actress.
Much credit goes to Melissa McCarthy. She takes her role as the strong hearted, yet hefty fellow bridesmaid and knocks it out of the park. The film also does a good job of juggling the large group of characters, without making any the lesser. Itâs an all around well done comedy.
Since when did being a superhero get so psychedelic? The latest Marvel comic turned movie is a rather silly creation. Whatâs more is that Thor, with his cape, hammer and sensible beard may be one of the sillier superheroes there is.
We are shown that Thor (Chris Hemsworth), son of Norse god Odin is an arrogant but effective warrior. On the day the throne is supposed to be passed down to Thor, his realm is attacked by assassins. Instead of heeding his fatherâs warning to stay cool headed, Thor decides to seek revenge on his attackers.
Turns out thatâs a bad decision, because the retaliation sparks what could be a massive war amongst enemies. For his arrogance, Odin banishes Thor to Earth. While this is brewing, Thorâs younger brother takes cues from Shakespeareâs MacBeth in a decades long power struggle to one-up his older bro. Something is rotten on magic space mountain of Asgard.
You are forced to accept that Thor lives on a magic mountain in space that is connected to the other nine realms of the universe by a rainbow bridge. (Did Timothy Leary come up with the scenery?)
While on earth, there is some fun to be had with Thor being a fish out of water. Walking into a pet shop and demanding a horse or smashing your mug of coffee at a restaurant in celebration of its good taste makes for many chuckles.
Still, a very watered down performance fromNatalie Portman and mediocre acting from Hemsworth wore me down. I did like the idea that Anthony Hopkins was a god and that Renee Russo was his queen of the world. They were high points in this tale which more or less disappointed.
I think what disappointed me is that I expect my superhero stories to take place here on earth. Thatâs what makes a hero super. They can do things above and beyond mortal man. Most of the Thorâs story takes place on his magic mountain in space. It felt much less like hero fighting the bad guy and more like a sci-fi fantasy story mixed in with Norse legend.
I was also disappointed in the fact that Thor felt like it was more of a set up for the upcoming Marvel flicks: Captain America: The First Avenger, due out in summer and The Avengers, due out next year.
The TV networks scrambled over the weekend to announce their fall TV shows with the hopes of locking in advertisers now. They also revealed which TV shows are canceled. Brace yourself. Here's the list from E!
The Bachelor The Bachelorette Better With You Body of Proof Brothers & Sisters Castle Cougar Town Dancing With the Stars Desperate Housewives Detroit 1-8-7 Grey's Anatomy Happy Endings The Middle Modern Family Mr. Sunshine No Ordinary Family Off the Map Private Practice V
The Amazing Race The Big Bang Theory Blue Bloods Criminal Minds Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior CSI CSI: Miami CSI: NY The Defenders The Good Wife Hawaii Five-0 How I Met Your Mother Mad Love The Mentalist Mike & Molly NCIS NCIS: Los Angeles Rules of Engagement $#*! My Dad Says Survivor Two and a Half Men Undercover Boss
90210 America's Next Top Model Gossip Girl Hellcats Nikita One Tree Hill Supernatural The Vampire Diaries
American Dad American Idol Bob's Burgers Bones Breaking In The Chicago Code The Cleveland Show Family Guy Fringe Glee House Human Target Lie to Me Raising Hope The Simpsons Traffic Light
30 Rock The Biggest Loser The Cape Celebrity Apprentice Chuck Community The Event Harry's Law Law & Order: Los Angeles Law & Order: SVU The Office Outsourced Parenthood Parks and Recreation Perfect Couples The Voice
There is nothing funny about an alcoholic that loses his job, wife and dignity because of his drinking problem. Even if that person is Will Ferrell. In the context of Everything Must Go, thatâs a good thing.
Ferrell throws us a curve ball in his new film that is far from a comedy and more like a dramatic unfolding of a sad life.
Nick Halsey (Ferrell) in one day is fired from his job and come home to find his wife has emptied his possessions onto their front lawn and changed the locks. Unsure what to do, Nick passively guards his stuff by planting himself outdoors in a recliner on said lawn. He also commences with filling the recycle bin with his empties of PBR, giving us a good idea of what a functional alcoholic does.
Kenny, a neighborhood kid befriends Nick in exchange for his salesmanship knowledge as they partner up for a big yard sale. Their relationship is genuine and well handled. From his front lawn seat, Nick also dysfunctionally befriends with his new neighbor Samantha (Rebecca Hall.) Both Nick and Samathaâs problems are living right below the surface, which gave them a realistic feeling.
There are shining moments of humanity in this film. Only having known Nick for a few days, Samantha comes to the aid of Nickâs withdrawal symptoms in a comforting, but non-judgmental way. I guess itâs a little sad that I though getting this close to somebody you hardly knew was a stretch.
I do enjoy it when a performer can transform themself on screen. With Ferrell, you always expect some comedy with darkness around the edges. Everything Must Go dives a little deeper than his more serious tone in âStranger Than Fiction." Itâs rare for a comic actor to be able to pull it off so well. Adam Sandler did a great job in âPunch Drunk Love.â Jim Carrey did it in âEternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.â
This film isnât perfect, but it does add to the argument that Ferrell has range. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Look closely at the closing scene. Itâs hard not to think of the cover art on The Eaglesâ âThe Hotel California.â I guess in some ways Nick feels that he could check out any time he likes, but can never leave himself.
Bonus musical reference. Kenny, the neighborhood kid is played by Christopher Jordan Wallace. He played his real life father Christopher Wallace (aka Notorious B.I.G.) as a child in the film about the rapper âNotorious.â
I can officially confirm that this fact about Texas is true.
The reason it's true is because the landscape is so flat, that there is noting about 50 feet to block your sight.
Being back from vacation is a bit of a downer, but at least I have some new knowledge of a place that I've never been.Â My girlfriend Vanessa and I took and extended weekend trip to Austin, Texas.Â We went, because we had never been there before and wanted to see something new.Â For the first day, I had wondered if we had gotten off a plane and landed back in Madison?
People say Austin and Madison are very similar.Â Here's why:
-Â Both are capitol cities
- Both are University Towns
- Both have a State Streeteque bar/restaurant scene
- Both are very bike friendly
- Both places seem very welcoming of people of different backgrounds
Those facts alone made me wonder if I had actually left Madison.Â I kept listening for a Texas accent and only found a few.Â It should bother me, but really, I didn't care too much.
You know what they say.Â A bad day of vacation is still better than a good day of work.
If this had been an actual beard emergency, the following message would accompany a razor, electric beard trimming kit and instructions.Â This is only a test
Recently, my mustache got a friend.
I've grown a beard.Â I'm not sure if it's because I hate shaving.Â I'm not sure if it's because I'm needing a more distinguished look. I'm not sure why it's here, but it is.
I believe I'm at a Stage 2 Level Beard. Not sure what the beard stages are?Â Let me show you with a system that I just came up with:
Level 1 Beard
This includes scruffy beards and maybe a day or two of not shaving afterwards.Â Manly and rough looking. Possibly the coolest looking beard today.
Stage 2 Level
This goes just beyond the scruffy look where you can no longer see the face under the beard.Â I don't think I'll go beyond this level out of fear of what may be to come.Â This is also a good place to maintain the beard with regular trimming. Prince William is wearing his well.
Stage 3 Level
This is nearing the Grizzly Adams look.Â Â I guess it works well with a round face and is good for comedic intent. Way to wear it Zach Galafinakis.
Stage 4 Level
This is lost in the wilderness for over a month.Â Good if you're a survivalist, it shows your toughness.Â It also scares little children.Â Not sure what Brad Pitt is thinking here, but I do not believe he's lost in the woods.
Stage 5 Beard
This beard says "I don't care anymore," "I am never going to kiss another person ever again" and "I am have been sleeping or in a coma for many years."Â I don't advise anyone go there.Â Rip Van Winkle really was the last guy to get away with it and I'm sure he went to the barber right after he woke up.'
One of my favorite The Kids In The Hall sketches: The Beard.
Itâs not that I didnât like the Royal Wedding, itâs just that I needed something to wash the taste of it away and Fast Five is perfect for the job.
Somehow this movie franchise manages to keep itself from going into the ridiculous zone that most movies that hit three sequels go into. Maybe itâs the overdose of steroids injected into nearly every scene. Maybe itâs the muscle cars and the edge of your seat driving. Maybe itâs the ridiculous tough guy dialogue. This form of escapism still works for me.
This time, Dominic (Vin Diesel) and his racing buddy Brian (Paul Walker) find themselves in Rio de Janeiro, assembling a crack team of thieves, anxious for a big payoff in one final heist. Yes, that does sound like Oceans 11. Â No worries about how they got here. Youâre caught up within a minute of the intro credits. Thereâs a few twists; a pregnant girlfriend, a evil Brazilian power monger and Super FBI bad guy catcher Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) on their tail.
The end credits warn you not to replicate the stunts you see in the movie. Thatâs good, because I considered jumping my Honda Civic off the side of moving train, then later dragging a gigantic bank vault attached to a wire behind it. Seems like something I could pull off.
Still, you canât really pick apart the stunt work. Its one piece of a ridiculous pie that has hot chicks, reckless driving, muscle flexing and automatic weapons on the ingredient list. These are all good things. Iâm just happy they pulled it all off with a straight face.
Another part of the reason that these super-charged movies work is because of the honor among thieves. When heâs not flexing his muscles, Dom is the patriarch of his band of bandits and his number one rule is family first. Youâd think people willing to rob another person of millions of dollars would be more focused on the money. No, Dom raises his bottle of beer and says money will come and go, but his patched together family is more important.
A technical side note. In my opinion, this is not the fifth Fast and Furious sequel. There are five movies that bear a one form or another of the title: The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast and Furious (2009) and Fast Five (2011).
Tokyo Drift featured neither Vin Diesel or Paul Walker, although Diesel had a cameo.Â In 2 Fast 2 Furious, Diesel was absent. I say since muscle guys and muscle cars have to go together and since Diesel is the muscle, Drift and 2 Fast donât count.
Then, calling this movie Fast Five wouldnât really make sense, but who cares? Just drive the damn car fast.
I thought I had a tough task ahead of me last night.
I thought for sure my 10 year old niece would quickly get bored with a show that had no video games, no iPhone, no 3D technology and no special effects.
After both our eyes bugged out watching a Cirque du Soleil performer plunge about 40 feet onto a trampoline, then appear to run horizontally up a wall,Â IÂ knew I was wrong.
Cirque du Soleil's Dralion show is at the Coliseum for a second show tonight.Â The best way I can describe the show is that it's impressive eye candy.Â I was wrong about the special effects though.Â These are live special effects.
The show includes pounding music, sometimes accompanied by a live band.Â Working on the theme of earth, water, wind and fire, the show is split into a dozen or so 5-10 minute performance pieces that include acrobatics, dance, gymnastics and vibrant costume.Â At times there is so much going on the stage, it was difficult to pick what to watch.
Stunning is a good way to describe most of the acts.Â Woman contorting her body while doing a handstand on a 10 foot pole.Â Extreme jugglers.Â A jump rope pyramid. The list goes on, but I think theyâre better witnessed than described.
A highlight was a five-person, twin-trampoline piece that merged artistry, anti-gravity and old fashioned fun just bouncing around.
Gotta love the clowns.Â A personal treat were the clowns who fill in the gaps between the performances and work the crowd.Â They are clowns in the sense that they provide the comic relief, but more or less look and dress like Charlie Chaplin.
One of the clowns made it down our aisle.Â I happened to be sitting in an aisle seat, and was amongst about 10 people who were handed confetti from a sock that was in the clownâs pocket.Â After presenting me with a handful, he gave the beard Iâm working on a little happy face tug, like Grandma might.
We were unsure what to do with it, until he grabbed another woman from the audience to be his mock bride and it became clear that we were to throw the confetti and they walked down the aisle in a mime-style mock wedding. Nice interactive touch.
I've always thought there was plenty of beauty and art in dance form, but this show takes it to another level and makes it appealing. Simply said, this is brilliant family entertainment.
I'm just saying, if I'm heading to a wedding and there's no free beer on tap, I'm gonna be a bit disappointed.
That is why I am shocked at the decision not to have beer served at the royal wedding reception.
It was reported by the Daily Mirror that there will be wine and champagne served, but no beer.Â Why? According to the British tabloid newspaper: it's not an appropriate drink to serve in the presence of the queen.
Most of the weddings thatI have been to, it's assumed that beer will be at the reception.Â It's 95% of the reason for going.
Now, maybe this is just one of those dumb hyped-up stories that the media is making up.Â Consider the source.Â The Daily Mirror is a tabloid.
As for the argument that beer is not an appropriate drink for royalty, consider this.
Budweiser = The King Of Beers Miller High Life = The Champagne of Beers
if not beer... Royal Crown Cola?
They all seem to fit the royalty theme.
I could understand not wanting Samuel Adams beer at the royal wedding, considering his role in the American Revolution.Â I'm not sure I can support this wedding if beer is not allowed.
If you took the movie Titanic and placed it in the backdrop of the 1930âs circus, thatâs essentially what Water For Elephants is. Knowing that, I was still pleased to see that the movie works.
Based on the widely popular novel, Water For Elephants is the story of an old man (Hal Holbrook) looking back on the fantastic moments of his life. In his 20âs, young and sensitive Jacob (Robert Pattison) is a veterinary student when he joins the circus. He eventually becomes smitten with the jealous ringmasterâs wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon,) the circusâ main attraction and their love grows.
Christoph Waltz is mesmerizing as August, the ringmaster and bossman of the circus. The role of August is a great villain, but is a touch more-human than his other notable role of a Nazi in Inglorious Basterds. Heâs abusive to his wife and the animals, which caused some of the people I was with in the theater to gasp. One of Augustâs favorite hobbies seems to be having his thugs toss the no longer useful employees from his moving train in the middle of the night. So much for job security.
Because of the Twilight films, I didnât expect much from Robert Pattinson. His performance is sensitive, but pretty stiff. Even when heâs being belted with pies and seltzer water as a type of circus hazing ritual, it was tough for him to crack a smile. I am blind to any flaw that Reese Witherspoon might make. She is always golden in my eyes.
The circus is an odd world, full of duality. From the viewerâs perspective, it can be magical and fantastic. Behind the scenes it can be quite a different story. The film gets credit for representing the dark side of caging wild animals. Outside of the show, their lives looked miserable and depressing.
Thatâs why even though the story is light, those who commit bad deeds are appropriately punished. Justice is served and the viewer is left with some satisfaction having watched it all go down.
One side note. Look closely atÂ the circus wagons in the film. Some of them were on loan from Circus World Museum. I recognized a couple, but was surprised they let them use them, considering how much badmouthing of the Ringling Brotherâs Circus there was.
If you are a movie junkie like me, you know that according to Terminator folklore, the world is about to end.
According to the most recent timeline Skynet became self aware at 8:11pm last night. That means we have 48 hours before the end of the world.
I think I'd just gonna spend it watching American Idol and eating pizza.
If you have no idea what this means, just disregard.
You could ask a sci-fi movie geek. That's if you want a lecture on network security and robot technology. I suggest you just let it go. If you really what to know. Email me and I'll lay it all out....that's if we have enough time.
I read this story in the news today and for some reason it's still stuck in my head.
The story read that swearing has some kind of painkilling effect.Â That's curious to me because I wonder if it's one of those cases where the mind can have more control over the body.Â You know the old story about how a mom can summon up the strength to lift a car, if her child is trapped underneath. I wonder if this is the same thing.
Here's the article from Time Magazine.com:
Researchers at Keele University in the UK have found that swearing can have a painkilling power, especially for people that don't regularly curse. To test their theory, Dr. Richard Stephens and other scientists conducted an experiment with student volunteers. The students were asked to submerge their arms into a bucket of icy water, while repeatedly uttering a swear word. (It's not clear what the specific swear word was, but we're naturally assuming the worst.) They then repeated the experiment, while repeating a "harmless" word rather than a swear.
The results showed that volunteers were able to keep their arms in the icy water longer when they were swearing than they could when they were uttering the harmless word. According to the scientists, these results demonstrate the link between swearing and an increase in tolerance to pain. It should also be noted that for the volunteers who weren't habitual swearers, swearing was four times more likely to ease the pain caused by the icy water.Why does this painkilling effect kick in when we swear? One theory the researchers are considering, is that swearing â an act of aggression, especially if it's not a part of your daily vernacular â triggers your fight-or-flight instincts, which can ramp up your tolerance to pain.
I swear.Â Being in a business where I can get fined thousands of dollars for swearing on the air, i think swearing can be more painful than anything.
Being a news guy, there is no way that I can avoid this whole Prince William- Kate Middletonroyal wedding thing.Â It's mildly annoying to me, but it's going the BIG topic for the next two weeks in entertainment news.
I think instead of getting angry from all the coverage, I'm just gonna flip and take it all in.
You know, they say if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Deal. I'm on the wedding train.
Lets start with this new viral video that's going around.
If I could tell crime one thing, I guess I agree with what TheCrimson Bolt says; âShut up crime!â Itâs a little gritty, but an apt phrase for a superhero.
The Crimson Bolt (Rainn Wilson) is the literal and figurative hero in SUPER, a dark, violent and slightly comedic look at vigilante justice. After everyday drug dealer Jaques (played by a skeleton-looking Kevin Bacon) lures away Frank DâArboâs wife (Liv Tyler,) he transforms himself into a Crimson Bolt.
The Crimson Bolt has good intentions, but seems to draw his inspiration from hallucinations of him talking to God. After seeing Crimson and his mild-mannered cover Frank, I believe the pair are mentally unhinged. I know heartbreak can change a person, but someone so bent on justice has to see the wrongdoing in smashing a person over the head with a pipe wrench for butting in line.
Then again, there is a police philosophy that any crime is a violation of the law, therefore jaywalking should be handled with the same severity as a serial murdered. I think the idea of purist 1950âs clean-cut justice still rings true in Frankâs head. What makes him just, also makes him scary.
Frank is later joined by sidekick Boltie (Ellen Page.) Page only hints at the neurotic, insecure, over talkative character she gets typecast as. She also doesnât stray too far.
Frank is also a likable loser. We see him cry in front of other men, over his wife leaving and feel sympathy for his plight. He seems to take on characters that have significant faults, but make up for them with a sense of good. This film gets credit, because itâs not afraid to show the ugly side of human nature.
Last year, you may remember the widescreen release of Kick-Ass. Each film has a similar idea, showing the dark and comical side of the average Joe putting on a costume and fighting crime. SUPER, has a little more heart and oddly enough, more skull cracking too.
This movie seems to be sold as a superhero comedy. Thereâs only hints at comedy here. Itâs more satire on the comic book culture and playing with the audienceâs expectations of what should happen to a superhero.
This week, I nearly cost myself $500 dollars by dropping my cell phone in the water.
The end result was losing the ear speaker, but emotionally it was a far greater toll.Â In the winter of 2009, I dropped my iPhone in the snow bank, where it stayed exposed to the weather for 4 & 1/2 months.Â Long story short it amazingly worked, but only after I bought a new phone and re-upped my contract.
I feared that I would have to re-up my phone contract again and buy a new phone.
That was until my Facebook friends suggested I place the wet phone in a box of rice for a day.Â Sounds weird, but it makes sense that dry rice would suck up any moisture in the phone.Â Â So, I tried it in a box of Minute Rice.
Ka-POW!Â Success.Â My phone is back to it's full functionality. I swear, they should list this remedy on the iPhone tech support site.
As for the rice I used.Â I think it's tainted.Â I don't think I want to eat it anymore.Â Maybe I'll cook it and feed it to the squirrels who linger outside the WOLX studio window.
Then again as one friend suggested: maybe I can fix the rice by putting it in a box of iPhones.
I should just not have a cell phone.Â I am CURSED!
You may recall back in the winter of 2009, when I accidentally dropped my iPhone in a snow bank while shoveling.Â Â I found it 4 1/2 months later, but only after replacing it at a hefty cost.
I've done it again.
This morning while washing my hands, I set my phone on the sink edge and it slid in.Â It was under the running water for about 1.5 seconds before I snatched it out.Â Â The damage may have been done.Â Instead of being a smart person who turned the phone off and tried to dry it out.Â I tried to make a call.
I've lost the speaker that goes next to your ear, rendering the phone mostly useless.Â Seems like everything else works, including the external iPod speaker.
After multiple suggestions from my Facebook friends, I have the phone sitting in a box of Instant Enriched Long Grain Premium Minute Rice.Â I hope it dries it out.Â We'll keep it there for 24 hours and see what happens.
In the meantime, I can't stop looking inside the rice box to see what's happening. I had to tape it shut.Â It is too much temptation to keep looking inside.
Also, I wonder if I could use the rice afterward for cooking?
In the action-thriller world, itâs hard to think of another teenage girl who I might fear more than Hanna. A surprisingly energetic movie, it manages to satisfy our revenge-lust while making sure justice is served.
16-year old Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is home schooled by her super spy father (Eric Bana.) He not only educates her with an encyclopedia, he also shows Hanna his training to defend herself in the deadliest of situations. She sets out on a mission to avenge her slain mother and finds out she is more than your average teenager. Marissa (Cate Blanchett) is a rogue agent on their trail.
The shock and draw of this movie is the juxtaposition of the fair-haired, delicate little girl, who can turn deadly on a momentâs notice. Ronan made my eyes bug out in a tremendous escape scene. She is crawling through a ventilation system like a child might crawl through playground equipment, except every once in a while you get a glance of the gun she just took off a guard, that she mercilessly killed.
In the action genre, something big always packs the punch. Itâs a bigger gun, a meathead henchman named Jaws or a supped-up car. Thatâs why Hanna was refreshingly entertaining. It was quite the opposite of what you expect.
Ronan plays Hanna as an inquisitive and smart yet ferocious creature. Blanchett was delightfully playing the evil stepmother type, and Bana, who I tire of quickly, was even watchable.
I mean seriously. I shouldn't be shocked, but I always am, when the most talented performers get voted off so early.
Pia Toscano was clearly the American Idol contestant that had the full package. Vocals, looks, stage presence, natural talent. She was above and beyond and now she's a footnote in the show's history. Boooooo Idol.
I seriously hope she finds a recording contract soon, because she has what it takes to make it.
The Hollywood Reporter came up with five decent theories why she may have been given the boot so soon:
1. Girls donât like girls: Itâs a longstanding trend on Idol, whose audience is overwhelmingly female -- girls donât vote for the female contestants. Blame it on same-gender envy or the crush factor (this yearâs prime beneficiaries: Scotty McCreery and Paul McDonald), as Naima pointed out after her elimination last week, but itâs simply a fact of Idol life. One by one, the girls get plucked like the petals of a flower. Watch them goâ¦
2. Lack of guidance by the judges: With the new judges so positive pretty much all the time, the audience seems unsure of who to vote for. Itâs not like the show needs a bully to function, but when youâre faced with the decision of choosing the best in a group of greats, some professional insight is called for and these judges are failing on that front. Suggestion: let Jimmy Iovine have a turn to tell it like it really is. Even a short segment at the end of the live show running down his thoughts on all of the finalists would work, no matter how disjointed it might turn out.
3. Presumptive Winner Syndrome: Or PWS, as I like to call it -- itâs when everybody is so universally convinced that a contestant will win, that they basically neglect or forget to vote for that finalist. It's been Piaâs problem from the very beginning, when it was insinuated that she might be a plant. Why? Because sheâs so perfect! Thatâs why I criticized her pageant queen-ness, but I was also one of the millions who simply presumed that sheâd be the victor.
4. The producers deemed it so: Now Iâm not one for conspiracy theories, but plenty of my fellow Idol Worshipers are (Iâm looking at you Jennifer Laski, THR photo director), so it has to be mentioned -- maybe, just maybe, the producers fudged the results for some inexplicable reason, or simply to f--- with America on the brink of a government shutdown. Although itâs worth pointing out that after the credits had rolled, several people in the Idol studio audience demanded a recount.
5. You canât touch Tina: Personally, I thought Pia slayed what is arguably the best piece of music to come out of the Ike and Tina Turner catalog -- with Phil Spectorâs production, no less (listen to the original here), but there were plenty of rumblings around the web about her robotic movements, unattractive outfit, and simply the fact that you donât touch the mighty Tina Turner. Pia had, of course, already taken on several of the divas, so why not? At this point, it was part of her Idol oeuvre. Still, the purists might balk, and perhaps they did.
Today we were talking about the concept of Nerd Chic.
Scott was telling us the story of how one of Christian Slater's old girlfriend thought that keeping Star Wars figures was a "nerdy" thing.Â He in turn tossed them in the trash.Â She in turn broke up with him.
I think it's sad because:
Those Star Wars figures are worth money.
It's very nerd sheik for grown ups to keep Star Wars these days.
Nerd Chic: adjective - The idea of how it has become more socially acceptable today to revere a person's desire to become engaged in hobbies or activities that at one time may have been considered nerdy.
For example, look at the popularity of comic books, super hero worship and toys in pop culture.Â The 2008 Batman movie; The Dark Knight has to date grossed 553-million dollars world wide and is the 3rd top grossing movie of all time.
The 40-Year Old Virgin was a movie about guy who makes a killing by selling off his collectible action figures.Â That's grossed 109 million to date.
I do love a good sci-fi thriller and I think weâve found an early year goodie in Source Code.
Source Code is a dark, sci-fi cousin of Groundhog Day. It manages to thrill, make the mind wonder and give us a sense that humanity will deliver us a brighter future. Thatâs a pretty tall order to deliver on, but Jake Gyllenhaal and Vera Farmiga are able to carry the load.
Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) wakes to discover heâs part of a government experiment that allows a person to take over another manâs identity for the last eight minutes of their life. The mission is to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train before they hit a much larger target. Colleen Goodman (Farmiga) is Stevenâs contact. In a hidden military lab, she communicates with him through an elaborate Skype setup.
To question the unbelievable logic and fantastic science behind the movie is to look beyond the point. The point of this movie is a manâs struggle to right a wrong. The enjoyment of this movie is to see the story unravel.
One reason this all works is because there are dark themes, which seem to match Gyllenhaalâs style well. All of the people on the train will die. He has to put that aside and find clues to stop the next tragedy. Stevenâs also has to cope with his own reality amid the confusion of why heâs a soldier, turned futuristic data-cop.
Because Michelle Monaghan wasnât in every single minute of this movie, I feel like she may have been underutilized. She plays the girl on the train that Stevens is riding with. Itâs hard not to gravitate towards her beauty and acting skills. Iâll watch her in anything.
In the movies, power must corrupt. What seems to be a brilliant tool for fighting crime also has to come with a human cost. Iâll stop there without laying out any spoilers.
I can say that itâs rare to see a modern sci-fi film thatâs got a lot of good ingredients mixed in. This film is worth the while.
Adam is so busy this weekend with his lineup of films at the Wisconsin Film Festival, that offered to help out with some of his work.
I'm glad to help out where I can, but I have a complaint.Â Adam has about 18 hours of films to watch over the duration of the film festival this weekend.Â Guess who gets to take the brunt of that work.
That's right, me.
I'm going to have to somehow switch into overtime this weekend.Â I hope Adam is planning on bringing a giant bottle of eyedrops to help me out. It's just not fair to be so overworked and oppressed.
As bad as I'm gonna get this weekend, I do feel worse for another part of Adam.Â Sitting in a theater chair for that long?Â I do not envy the bleacher butt that is only inevitable.
With the March basketball tournament down to four teams, I think there is an easy way to pick who will take it all.
Now that Wisconsin is out, I have no vested interest in the tournament, so this should be pretty easy. We're gonna go straight out with which mascot would win in a fight.
The Kentucky Wildcats vs The University of Connecticut Huskies.
Although I do love dogs, I think a Wild Cat would have a better edge.Â More fierce, more survival skills, more instinct to fight.
Winner: Kentucky Wildcats
The Butler Bulldogs vs The Virginia Commonwealth Rams
I think this just comes down to size.Â A ram is a larger creature and one direct blow to a dog would render the canine useless.Â Â Bulldogs can be aggressive, but a ram protecting it's territory can be deadly.
Winner: VCU Rams
That brings us to:
VCU Rams vs The Kentucky Wildcats.
As tough as a Ram can be, a wildcat has speed and agility that can't be matched.
Baby Jessica, the 18-month-old girl who was trapped in an abandoned water well for two and a half days in 1987, turned 25 on Saturday.
That means she's old enough to finally have access to the $800,000 trust fund left to her by thousands of strangers who followed her ordeal. Reports say she has no memory of being trapped, or of the 15 operations that followed, although she does still have a scar from her hairline to her nose and she lost a toe.
Today, Jessica is Jessica McClure Morales, a stay-at-home mother of two who lives less than two miles from that infamous well. She and her husband run a car- and truck-washing business from their home.
"That's all Jessica has ever wanted was to be a mom and have a family," said her father. "She's a good mom and keeps her eyes on her kids. She's certainly a doting mother."
I would consider it a great accomplishment to tie together a coherent film noir about mental institutions, sword play, epic battle scenes, dragons, robots, samurai warriors, World War II steam-powered automatons, debauchery, corruption and battle ready young women who love to show off their midriffs. The thing is, trying to throw in all those ideas into one film makes it very incoherent.
Iâm still not exactly sure what the title means, but bear with me as I try to describe this jumbled mess.
A young woman is accused of accidentally killing her younger sister and is sent to a 1950âs style mental hospital. While there, she introverts into a fantasy world where the goal to escaping an oppressive pimp who make them wear lingerie 24-7 and dance for money. Somehow freeing herself in the fantasy world is also supposed to free her physical self from the mental hospital.
Really, the plot is beside the point. Iâm not exactly sure who would like this movie, unless they are fans of video game, anime, sword-wielding female fighters. I canât really recommend this movie to anyone, because I donât really know anybody like that.
The stylized violence is the only thing Sucker Punch has going for itself and even with that, the film is weak. While themes from Inception, our lead heroine is in a second level escapism dream, she is engaged in WWII style trench warfare. She and her friends dispatch countless steam powered burn victims while trying to capture a object that will help them escape from the first level escapism dream.
While Sucker Punch may exceed with eye popping effects, it leaves you wondering of the director has ever actually spoken to an actual woman. None of the cast of scantily dressed women portrayed anything genuine. I think he was too busy playing video games.
Just when I thought I never wanted to see another legal drama or Matthew McConaughey on-screen ever again, along comes The Lincoln Lawyer.
Mickey Haller (McConaughey) is a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who operates out of the back of his late 80âs model Lincoln sedan. Heâs spent most of his career defending garden-variety criminals, until he lands the case of his career: defending Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), a Beverly Hills playboy accused of rape and attempted murder.
The seemingly straightforward case suddenly develops into a deadly game of survival for Haller.
The Lincoln Lawyer is not perfect. Like many movies that dabble with the law, grandiose ideas are reduced down to a simple, one-sentence of dialogue. Some characters are unnecessary and arrive at extremely convenient points in the plot. I found it forgivable.
Honestly, I almost forgot that McConaughey could act. Heâs been in so many romantic comedies and other lame examples of movies that I had written him off as a hack. He really performs well in dramas. I know actors like to stretch out of their comfort zone, but sticking to the things you are really good can also be a challenge too. Not that heâd take my advice, but I think Matthew should.
Even have that feeling of deja vu?Â Ever said to someone while watching a movie "I think I've seen this before?" Ever heard of a movie that has six or more sequels?
Sure you have.Â Movies can be interpreted as art.Â They can also be interpreted as a paycheck.Â Hollywood is in the business of making money.Â When a formula for success works, it's repeated.Â Simple business.
It's also why we have a Transformers 3, a Die Hard 5 and is the main reason Nicholas Cage still gets acting gigs.
Lets look at some of the way's Hollywood repeats itself.
Adam is taking the day off of blogging and decided to give me, the license plate on his car, the opportunity to speak.
People love me.Â They like to look at me.Â They put me on their fancy cars.Â Why would anyone neglect me?
If you've been following Adam's blog this week you'll know that I've been a central character.Â Adam went downtown Monday afternoon and got a parking ticket for improperly displaying me. Really.Â How else and I supposed to show myself off to the world?
Now, keep in mind, I am a law abiding license plate.Â I was registered and legally licensed in December, when my 2010 sticker expired.
Adam even got me the brand new, flashy orange 2011 sticker in time.Â I was very excited when it arrived in the mail in December.Â I couldn't wait to try it on and see how it looked.
You can imagine that I was quite disappointed when I heard that the sticker went from the mail...to the bulletin board...to the glove box of my car, where it sat for nearly two months.
Imagine getting a birthday present, but not being able to open it for two months!
I though I was going to get my gift in February, when Adam went rooting around the glovebox for a pen and noticed the sticker was in there.Â He even put it in the center column to remind him that I needed some love.
It wasn't until the threat of a $55 fine that Adam actually gave me the 2011 model sticker and by then the thrill of something new was gone.
I write this as a cautionary tale for all the other license plates like me. Neglecting us now only costs you more in the future. I an a staunch advocate for license plates rights and if we all get together and raise our voices, we can make change for the better.
Once we solve this problem we can move onto the emotionally crippling and shameful act of license plate plastic surgery, otherwise known as vanity license plates.
Yesterday, I told you about the ticket I received for improperly displaying the sticker on my license plate.
Today, I am aÂ law abiding citizen.
I received a ticket on Monday when I stopped in downtown Madison. My meter expired and I hadn't put my 2011 sticker on my license plate out of sheer laziness. The plates were legally registered and paid for, I just didn't put the sticker on.
I thought if I challenged it, there would be all sorts of government red tape, a court date and rigmarole to deal with.
Quite the reverse was true.Â The City of Madison has a webpage where you can pay your parking tickets and one to challenge your parking ticket.
I simply sent this note on Monday:
Reason why the ticket was issued in error : My ticket for and Unregistered Vehicle/Improper Display actually was not completely issued in error.Â The vehicle license plate is legally registered for 2011.Â I had neglected to place the new sticker on the plates.Â I since have displayed the sticker and am asking for leniency on the $55 fine.Â Thank you.
They responded on Tuesday with:
We have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the above noted parking ticket and we have withdrawn this ticket.Â The information you submitted was accepted.
Charlie Sheen couldn't have said it better when he said "WINNING!"
I think this is not only a victory for me, but also for efficient government.Â Yahoo!
Every year, Heather reminds me that I have neglected to put the new sticker on my license plate.
This year, I got the registration sticker (in time) in December.Â I put it in the car.Â I forget about it, shuffle it to the glove box.
Then, Sticker Police Detective Heather Moore then gets on my case about putting the sticker on the car.
Yesterday, the real police busted me on it.Â Sigh.
I'm trying to appeal my laziness with the police and I'll keep you posted on what happens with it.Â In the meantime, I have given Heather a free 24-hour period to relentlessly mock me about my infraction.
This is not a great day in the life of Adam Elliott.
This was not a great day.Â The separation is getting to me.Â It's not that I can't handle being without my girlfriend, it just makes things a little less fun.
For those just tuning in, my girlfriend Vanessa is in England this week for work.
I decided to treat this moment like something of a science experiment, just to see what happens to a guy, who is suddenly, but temporarily a bachelor.
Here's what I did on Day 5: Thursday
3:40am - Woke up. Even more annoyed of my new routine of being the only person running the home.
3:45am - Shower, got ready for work. Those dishes keep piling up in the sink.Â Forgot to set the coffee maker last night.Â Grrr.Â No morning coffee.
4:00am - OMG this is the longest work week ever.Â Don't tell the boss, but I essentially slept walked through work today.
1:00pm - Got to the gym for an extendo workout.
3:30pm - Got home.Â Without a second person in the house in the morning, the dog had an accident. Gross.
2:35pm -Smoothie for lunch.Â I can't take any more take-out or fast food.
2:55pm - Hungry again.Â The deli turkey in the fridge is 10 days old.Â Smells OK.Â I ate some out of the package, shared some with the cat and dog and used the rest in a Dagwood sized grilled cheese sandwich.Â It took some manipulating to give one bit to the dog and not let the dog steal the cat's turkey.Â It worked.Â I was proud of that accomplishment.
3:10pm - Thought about doing something productive, like clean the house.Â Watched the 1991 Denzel Washington/ John Lithgow movie Ricochet instead.
5:05pm -Told myself that my girlfriend will return tomorrow. Checked email.Â Did some web work from home.Â Check my second email account.Â Letter from Vanessa that they're keeping her in the UK for another day.Â Harumpf!
5:30pm - Had a conversation the the dog about the turkey we ate this afternoon.Â I wasn't sure I should have shared it, or eaten it at all.Â The dog wondered why we weren't eating it right now.
5:39pm - Watched The Daily Show and Conan on DVR from last night.Â Played Angry Birds on my iPhone while watching.Â Good multitasking!
7:10pm - Forgot that the Badger game was on.Â Checked the score.Â It was going well.Â I'll catch the final tomorrow morning.