30 June 2011

Yet more epic amounts of LEGO badassery...

So we all know how Vader had his personal yacht, the Executor. Now you can have it to!  In 3000 piece LEGO form that is.  I know I'm going to get two, one for here and one for when I am vacationing in the islands.

29 June 2011

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

This is it.  The final book in the Hunger Games trilogy.

After the events at the end of the second book, we see Katniss coming to terms with her role in the rebellion.  It all builds to a violent, bloody and satisfying end.

This book is also a study in PTSD.  Given everything that has happened to Katniss, its not surprising.  Again, going to be hard to review without spoiling, so this will be a short review.

Overall, I thought it was a fitting end to the trilogy.  It was a bit slow at times, but picked up in the last quarter of the book.  Read the first two, then move onto this one.  You won't regret it.

27 June 2011

Epic Amounts of LEGO Badassery

This man is awesome.  50,000 LEGO bricks to create this:

Massively awesome.  Also, check out his Flickr page, found here  More epic found there.  I bet y'all can't guess what my favorite build he has shown is.  :-)

25 June 2011

Red (2010)

Frank Moses: Open the pig!

Bruce Willis plays Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), a retired and extremely dangerous (RED) former operator for the CIA.  He has some sort of affair going on with Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) via the phone.  She's his representative at Pension Services.  He's got a bit of a crush on her, even to the point of reading what she is reading.  Tad creepy.

But, then some bad dudes come and try to kill Moses.  He lives, they don't.  He runs off to where Sarah lives, and... lets say takes her along on his adventure as he tries to figure out who wants to kill him and why.  First stop is to get back together with Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman).  Then we meet up with Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich).  Finally the team meets up with the last member of their team, Victoria (Helen Mirrin).

Now that the A-Team is back together we find out that none other than Richard Dreyfuss knows something about why Moses's team has been targeted.  Along the way they are thrawrted by Karl Urbam.  Oh, Ernest Borgnine also shows up as "The Records Keeper".

We have guns, explosions and humor packed into this nice little movie.  I really enjoyed it.  The cast was great, and seeing Helen Mirrin fire off large caliber weapons was amusing.  The movie is actually based on a graphic novel, which I may have to look up now.

I give this the Lord Zupka Seal of Approval.

23 June 2011

Green Hornet (2011)

I was quite disappointed with this film.  Really, I was not expecting much to begin with, but overall this was not a good movie. I had a co-worker describe this movie as barely an ok comedy and a poor superhero movie.

I'm not even sure what about this movie I didn't like.  Waltz was pretty good as the villian, and Chou owned as Kato.  Even Rogen was not bad.  Just, the movie was meh.

Part of it I think were the scenes that were meant to be in 3D.  They really took you out of the movie.  To be honest, I didn't even finish it.  Got wrapped up planning IKEA furniture for our living room.

So meh.  I'll skip the sure to be inevitable sequel.

21 June 2011

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Here we have the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. The second installment sees our hero, Katniss Everdeen returning to District 12 and dealing with the fallout caused by her decisions at the end of the first book.

Its hard to write a review for the second book in a trilogy without spoiling, so that will account for the sparseness of this particular review.

The President of Panem, President Snow, is worried that Katniss's actions will case the districts to rise up in rebellion.  He basically tells Katniss to fix the unrest, or reap the consequences.

She doesn't and she does.

In short, after a victory tour around Panem, Katniss is thrown back into the Hunger Games.  On purpose?  Fate?  Coincidence?  Could be any of those, but still we are taken back to the viscous games.  But this time all is not as it seems.

Overall, I enjoyed this installment as much as I liked the first.  The book ends on quite the cliffhanger, and there is a lot of confusion as to what really happens.  I'm currently working on the third book, and so far, it has yet to disappoint as well.

15 June 2011

The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Alejandro Murrieta: Of course! The pointy end goes into the other man.

I love this movie.  Plain and simple.  I saw it shortly after it came out, and have enjoyed watching it ever since.

The Mask of Zorro tells the story of Zorro (Sir Anthony Hopkins) as he fights to free California.

Well, at least in the first few moments of the movie.

Hopkins (we will call him Zorro Prime) is captured and thrown into prison long enough for Antonio Banderas (Zorro Alt) to grow up.  Zorro Prime escapes and encounters Zorro Alt as Zorro Alt is about to do something stupid.  Figuring its time to take on a Padawan, Zorro Prime trains Zorro Alt in the ways of the Jedi, so that they both may take revenge on the men who have wronged them.  For Zorro Prime, it is the man who threw him in jail and took his daughter for his own.  For Zorro Alt, the man who killed his brother.  Thanks to great writing, both of these evil men are working together.

Zorro Prime's daughter is played Catherine Zeta-Jones.  Needless to say, she falls in love with Zorro Alt.

Tons of sword play, explosions, blah, blah, blah.  Bad guys die, everybody lives happily ever after making it safely to the sequel.

14 June 2011

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 30 - Saddest character death

Warning, there do be spoilers ahead.  If you have not seen 24, Stargate: Atlantis, or LOST DO NOT READ FURTHER.

Unless of course you want to be spoiled and are into that kind of thing.

Carson Beckett (SGA) Probably the most pointless death I chose.  The episode 'Sunday' easily one of my faves.  Simple, well shot and well wrote.  Too bad a fan favorite died.

Teri Bauer (24) This was the big shocker to the end of the first season of 24.  This is what drove Jack's hatred towards Nina Meyers.  There was an alternate ending where Teri lived, but it just wasn't the same.

Ryan Chappelle (24)  Chappelle was not a likable character.  However, season 3 saw Chappelle meeting his end.  The villian of the season, Saunders, wanted Chappelle removed. Tricked the President of the US into ordering Chappelle's assassination.  Unable to pull the trigger himself, Chappelle asks Jack to do it.  Most shocking moment on 24.

Charlie (LOST)  Sacrificing himself because he believed it would save Claire.  We all saw how that turned out.  Regardless, when he delivered a message to Desmond his sacrifice meant something more...more questions.

12 June 2011

Machete (2010)

Machete: Machete don't text.

A film made out of a fake preview that  was sandwiched in between two grindhouse flicks?  Surely you jest.

I don't.

Back when Robery Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino joined forces and produced Grindhouse (Death Proof/Planet Terror), they packed the in-between space of those two movies with fake trailers. (Zombie's 'Werewolf Women of the SS being another fave of mine)  And it was all done to honor and remember the Grindhouse movies of their collective youth... bloody, gory over the top films made on a low budget.

Machete proved to be very popular with the fans, and Rodriguez went and made the film.

And it is awesome.

Telling to story of Machete (Danny Trejo) an ex-Mexican Federali, who teams up with ICE Agent Jessica Alba to take down a politician (Robert DeNiro), and Mexican drug lord Stephen Segal.  Machete also gets help from his priest brother Cheech Marin.  Along the way, Machete also has an...encounter with Lindsey Lohan.  In the end, the bad guys are violently killed, and Machete rides off into the sunset with Jessica Alba.

I love this movie.  Yes, it is VERY over the top, but that just adds to the enjoyment.  There are great lines (see the line at the top of this screen), and when Machete does send a text and gets called on it, he responds with 'Machete improvises'. Classic!

I don't think this movie is for everyone given its over the topness, but if you like Danny Trejo, Robert Rodriguez, and overall great action flicks, you should check this out.

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 29 - Current T.V. show obsession

This is a very new one.  I've never before watched Doctor Who, and only started watching it, er, recording it as the episodes are released this new season.  I've seen some of the Fourth Doctor episodes, but with such a huge back catalog, its going to be an obsession that sticks around for awhile.

10 June 2011

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 27 - Best pilot episode

Its hard to think of all the pilot episodes I've seen.  Try as I might, I keep coming back to the same show over and over again for choices for these topics.


Yup, I think that's going to be my choice.  When I weigh several criteria (show longevity, WTFery, position of the Sun relative to Jupiter, cast, casted shadows on the wall, story and filming) I think this is a great choice.

Until I decided to redo this list in a year or so, maybe then I'll have a new favorite.

09 June 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Well, to start with had I not known this was considered a Young Adult novel going into it, I'm not sure I would have realized it on my own.  And that speaks to the quality and depth of Suzanne Collins's writing.

Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a girl of 16 who lives in District 12; the coal mining region of Panem.  Oh, BTW, Panem is what remains of the United States, with District 12 in the Appalachia region.

Life is not the best for Katniss and her family.  Starvation is common place and to survive Katniss hunts, which is illegal.  Everything is controlled by the Capital.  See, apparently there was once 13 Districts, but a destructive rebellion by District 13 caused all other districts to be punished.

So, to show the Districts how much control they have over them, each year the Capital hosts The Hunger Games, a bloody, violent event which pits 2 kids (age 12-18 only please) from each District against each other for prizes and food for their home district.

The novel follows Katniss as she is chosen and heads to the Capital to participate in the Games.  We follow her as she sees the Capital for the first time, through her training and preparation and finally the Games themselves.

The Games are BRUTAL.  Alliances are formed and broken.  Minds and bodies are pushed to the limit, but in the end there can be only one.  Or can there?  Dun Dun Dun....

Overall, I was surprised at how much I like it.  The pacing was tight, and moved very quickly, especially once the games started.  I look forward to the movie, as well as the other two novels in the series.

Oh!  One more thing.   This book had elements of King's 'The Long Walk', which while I have read it 3 times, tends to piss me off.  That was a concern of mine for this book, one I am glad did not come to pass.

08 June 2011

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season finale

Gonna be spoilers here...

Well, for all of my fellow LOST fans, there is the 'Snake in the Mailbox'

That's all I got for today.  Really.  There was massive WTFery going on when I watched this one.

07 June 2011

X-Men: First Class (2011)

Professor X: [to Eric] There's so much more to you than you know, not just pain and anger.  There's good in you too, and you can harness all that.  You have a power that no one can match, not even me.

I'll be honest, I was a bit worried going into this movie.  A prequel/reboot?

I had nothing to worry about.  From the very start of this movie, I was hooked.  I'm going to try hard to not give any spoilers for this review.  Except for one spot, but it will be hidden.

We see both Charles and Eric as young men, both starting to use their powers.  Rave/Mystique breaks into Charles's house, and he takes her in as his sister.  We then move to 1962, where Charles and Eric are on their own paths.  Charles as a student of genetics, and Eric bent on finding and killing Sebastian Shaw.  Needless to say, their paths cross and history is made.

This is where we state to see some 'checklist moments'.  These include:

-First use of Cerebro
-Eric's helmet
-Charles's hair

I didn't mind these at all.  Oh, here are some minor spoilers.  Highlight to see.

During the recruitment scene, Charles and Eric approach Logan and are told to 'go fuck themselves'

At one point Raven was seducing Eric, and when told that 'maybe when she's older' she morphed into Rebecca Romaine

Needless to say, it all comes to a head.  We see the centerpiece battle, revolving around the Cuban Missile crisis.  The plot of  Shaw is familiar to fans of X-Men, but when you see everything put together and think about it, I forgave them for recycling plot from another movie.

At the end, we see Professor X's school starting and the Brotherhood of Mutants starting.  I'd be ok with out a sequel, but we all know its coming.

Iron Man and Iron Man 2 have long been the standard by which I judged super hero movies. I might have found a new standard.

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)

05 June 2011

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 24 - Best quote

Well, this scene is a bit of a repeat from Day 9, but the line in question here is:

"Don't tell me what I can't do!"

04 June 2011

The Town (2010)

Doug MacRay: No matter how much you change, you still have to pay the price for the things you've done.  So I got a long road.  But I know I'll see you again - this side or the other.

Directed by and starring Ben Affleck, The Town tells the story  of a group of friends in Charlestown, MA who turn to bank robbery for some cash.  And they are pretty good at it.  That is until Doug MacRay (Affleck) falls for the manager at one of their heists.  The FBI comes calling (in the form of Jon Hamm and The Man In Black Titus Welliver)  Soon we learn that Pete Postlewaite is in charge of their little band, and sends them on one last heist (Fenway Park, no less).  Well, that gets screwed up and leads to a pretty good gun fight.

I really enjoyed this movie.  Affleck is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors.  Especially when he shoots in Boston.  He catches the moods and areas expertly.  Story was well written, and very tight.

I give this 9/11 Boston landmarks.

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 23 - Most annoying character

There is only one character that comes to mind when I think of most annoying character.

Wesley Crusher.

Turns out though, if you read or hear anything that Wil Wheaton has wrote, he feels the same way.

I visited a museum I've never been to before!

Boston Children's Museum

Over Memorial Day, we took Owen to the Boston Children's Museum.  It was a touch too old for him I think, but we all enjoyed it.  Here are some pics of the experience.

03 June 2011

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 22 - Favorite series finale

Well, as a general rule, I'm not a fan of series finales as it means a favorite show is ending.

That beings said, here are some that I felt wrapped up its show nicely.

24 - Ya the premise was a bit old by the time of the series finale, but the way it ended hit a cord.  I won't go into detail, but it was a very powerful ending.

Star Trek Deep Space 9 - We see the crew of DS9 going their separate ways.  Ben Sisko has fulfilled his destiny.  A good of an ending as any.

Arrested Development - I still don't see how it worked as a TV show.  Would have made a great movie.  Yes, that sentence is a joke relating to the finale.

02 June 2011

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 21 - Favorite ship

Don't expect a short post on this one, as I have a couple of favorites.

Runners up not shown:
Babylon 5
Deep Space 9/Defiant

Lets start with Stargate Command

Battlestar Galactica

seaQuest DSV


01 June 2011

30 Day TV Challenge: Day 20 - Favorite kiss

I got nothing.  I thought long and hard about it, but I got nothing.

Damn this post sucked.