28 September 2011

The Conspirator (2011)

The debut film from the American Film Company, this tells the story of the trial and eventual execution of Mary Surratt, owner of the boarding house where the Lincoln assassination was planned.

Directed by Robert Redford, the film is well shot.  I'm by no means an expert on costumes and such, but the film seemed to be accurate in that regard.

As far as the historical accuracy of the movie... from what I know of the events surrounding the assassination, it seemed to follow along rather well.

Overall, I liked it.  I'm looking forward to the next projects from the American Film Company, 'The Arsenal' (John Brown and the Harper's Ferry raid) and 'Midnight Riders' (Paul Revere and gang)

For another view on this movie, please see this blog post:
Another look at 'The Conspirator'

21 September 2011

2011 TV Season - The Returning Shows

Along with new shows, here is a quick rundown on the shows that are returning for another (or in some cases) final season.

Archer - an animated show on FX, it tells the tale of Sterling Archer, the best agent of ISIS.  Its over the top and pokes fun at the spy genre.

Hawaii Five-O - A reboot of the 60's television show of the same name, this follows the adventures of Garrett and Dan-o Williams.  A bit on the gritty side, it also has a good does of humor coming from Scott Caan (Williams).  Check it on CBS.

The Big Bang Theory - A comedy for geeks and non-geeks alike, this show is entering its fifth season this Thursday.  A telling indicator of how good it is, is that my wife quite enjoys it as well.  Its a show for everybody.

Fringe - Lets all take a moment to thank the TV gods that FOX has managed to keep this on the air.  I mean, its Sci-Fi on FOX, so it should have been canceled LONG ago.  Given the way the last season ended, I don't recommend jumping in at the start of this season, but do pick it up on DVD.

Chuck - Entering its fifth and final season, the perennial fan favorite has made it this long.  Long on the bubble to be cancelled, it always made it through.  Another geek TV staple, it tells the adventures of Chuck (who has a computer in his head (that's the short version)), his new wife (spoiler) Sarah (CIA super spy) and their crew as they take down big bad's like Timothy Dalton!  Who knows what their last season will bring.

House.  Sigh.  So good for so long, and yet recently has not been all that good.  Returning for its 8th ( and probably final ) season, I'll watch.  Even though its faltered, I'm hoping it can go out on a high note.

20 September 2011

2011 TV Season - The New Shows Bonus Edition

So, I thought that I had covered the shows I wanted to see this season.  Until I turned on the TV last night and caught the premier of 2 Broke Girls.

It stars Kat Dennings (Thor) as Max and Beth Behrs () as Caroline.  Caroline is a former massively rich girl, who must now work for a living.  Her journey to find a job leads her to Brooklyn, where she gets a job as a waitress alongside Max.  Hi jinks ensue.

So far, it looks pretty interesting.  Time will tell of course, as it is VERY early in the TV season.  Check it out Mondays on CBS.

2011 TV Season - The New Shows

The 2011 TV season approaches.  Here are the new shows that I will be checking out.

Person of Interest (CBS) 
Starring Michael Emerson (LOST) and Jim Caviezel (Passion of the Christ), and based on a screen play by JJ Abrams.  Emerson plays a super rich guy who found a way to find people connected to crimes.  He hires Jim Caviezel to help him out.  It looks pretty interesting.  I like the Minority Report basis of this show.  And, given that I'll watch Michael Emerson read the phone book, I'm sold right there.  Starts 22 Sep 11 at 10:00 PM on CBS

Terra Nova (FOX)
Time travel to the time of the dinos?  Sold, I'm in.  Don't recognize any of the actors, other than Stephen Lang (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals. Oh, and Avatar)  But the plot about sending people back in time for some reason is good enough for me to check out.  Starts 26 SEPT 11 at 8:00 on FOX

Once Upon a Time (ABC)
Based on fairy tales, and set in modern day Maine, this stars Jennifer Morrison (House, Kirk's Mom) as a bail bond collector whose son convinces her to help him save the Enchanted Forrest.  Also starts Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin .  Not sure how this will go, as its on Sunday's on ABC.  So either pleasantly dark, or a bit family friendly silly.  I hope for a bit of both.  Check it out starting October 23 on ABC at 8:00 PM.

Hell on Wheels (AMC)
A series based on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and a former Confederate soldier who seeks vengeance?  YES PLEASE!  Oh, extra salsa on this awesome omelet?  Chief O'Brien Colm Meaney stars as well.  The Old West is a big area of interest of mine, and to see a new show based in that time is quite exciting.  I can't wait to see it.  On AMC starting November 6.

So there you have it.  The new shows I will be checking out.  Stay tuned for a review of this shows as they premier, and a similar post to returning shows that I will be viewing.

19 September 2011

I did a 5K (and then some!)

So I crossed off the number one thing on my to do list.  Run a 5K.  The race I took part in was the Hammerfest Sprint-Triathlon  Now, as the phrase 'tri' indicates, there are three parts.  A swim, a bike and a run.  Well, I just focused on the run, which was a little under 4 miles, but more that the 3.1 for the 5K requirement.  It was shortened due to remaining damage from Tropical Storm Irene.

So, my Dad did the swim (.5 mile) and the bike (14 mile)  Our team total was just under two hours.  Not bad, I'd say.  My run time was about 45 minutes, which is right on the pace I've been keeping while practicing for this race.

The dynamic duo


Crossing the finish

11 September 2011

Epic Vacation Part 2 - The Cruise

So once we arrived in Tampa and boarded the ship, our adventure was on!  The first day was a relaxing day at sea, spent exploring our ship the Carnival Legend.

Not much happened, but that brought us to..

Yup, this is the place
We did not do a lot here other than walk around and look at all the shops.  If you want good quality jewelry for a good price, this is the place to go.  We had lunch at Senor Frogs, but what happens at Senor Frogs, stays at Senor Frogs.

Sign outside the port

Altun Ha
This fulfills the #33 on my list, Visit another country with a family member.  I technically did it with three, but Leanda and my sister went off on their own to do some crazy zip line.  While they were off doing that, my brother-in-law and I took a tour of Belize City, and a tour of the Mayan ruins at Altun Ha.

Look kids, its Doc Brown

And here endith the talk for today.  Cozumel was what I remember of it from the first time I went.  Lost of shopping.  Belize was beautiful.  A young country that is fiercely proud of its history and heritage.  The ruins were amazing and almost overwhelming with their age.  I would like to revisit each country again in the future. 

08 September 2011

Epic Vacation 2011

So recently I went on a vacation that consisted of a road trip to Tennessee.  We then went onward to Florida, where we boarded a cruise ship at the Port of Tampa and sailed around the Western Caribbean.  That's a story for a later post, as it will also tie into one of my 61* goals.

The road trip started at about 10PM ish, with a late meal at a local eatery.  From there we pointed our 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis (hey, we ride in style) and headed south west.

Sunrise in Virginia (ish)

Soon after we stopped in Rural Retreat, Virginia and had breakfast at a lovely hole in the wall whose name escapes me.  However, I do remember the AWESOME grits I had there.  And a very tasty meat stuffed omelet.

We finally arrived at our Tennessee destination.  And we slept.

Me in Tennessee

The next day, our guide (my cousin) took us around the area.  Nice area, lots of mountains and green.

I used to have this in plastic.  I love antique shops.
 Oh, and then we went to an awesome place.  A boot store.

They were buy one get two free.  So, we bought some.  And by we I mean, me, my wife, my sister, my brother in law and my cousin.  It was awesome.

The next day we headed out again.  BTW, it seemed to take forever to get through Georgia once we were south of Atlanta.

After lots more driving we finally arrived at our hotel.  We rested and prepared for our cruise.

01 September 2011

Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

Battle: LA tells a short, well contained story.  One morning, as everybody starts their day, aliens invade.

Then we kick ass.

This is a great little movie.  Not too much to it other than humanity fighting to repel an alien invasion.  There is not even a big 'yay us' ending.  It ends with the main characters going off to start pushing the aliens off the planet.  I don't even think there is anything spectacular or amazing.  Just a nice, tight little movie that chugs along.  I recommend it.