26 April 2012

Training Log - 26 APR 12

Today was stripe testing.  I did pretty good.  I hammered out four full on real, chin to the ground and back up push ups.  Outside of that, I felt pretty strong in all of the material that we tested on.  Monday starts new material.  Can't wait!

25 April 2012

Random Photo a Week: 1

Not sure how I skipped adding this to my list of things to do, but today I am finally going to start a random picture a week, ending in collecting them into a photo book.  (I was reminded that I wanted to do this by my friend Chris's recent post.

First up, an image from my brother-in-law's Boy Scout Eagle Court of Honor.

Training Log: 16-24 APR 12

So, as you may or may not know, I have been studying Krav Maga, Muay Thai, and now I am also studying Brazillian Jiu Jitsu.  Inspired by my Sensei Charlie McShane (his training log can be found at McShane Training), I am going to start a training log of my own.

So, here we go.

16 APR 12 - Had double class.  Krav Maga/Muay Thai and first night of BJJ.  BJJ is very interesting.  Quick aside: It brought back memories of my last (?) Judo match.  Some kid sat on my head.  No pleasant.  I was maybe 10 or 11.  Jiu Jitsu is very different from anything I've done.

17 APR 12 - Walked for 15 minutes on Treadclimber.

19 APR 12 - Night class for Krav Maga and Muay Thai.  Really enjoy those classes.  Especially the Krav Maga.

22 APR 12 - Went to open mat.  Worked Muay Thai combos with a fellow student.

23 APR 12 - Another double class adventure.  BJJ continues (after all of two lessons) to show me how detail oriented it is.  I'm enjoying it.  I see myself taking a really long time to  master it, but then again, I'm only going once a week.

11 April 2012

TMNT (2007)

With the recent news that a certain Michael Bay will be putting his own stamp on Turtle lore, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the most recent movie.

Back in 2007, there came a new movie in the Turtle franchise, following 1993's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (They go back in time; it wasn't pretty).  The catch here is that this time the film was CGI.  An interesting choice this was.  I thought it was a GREAT choice.  It reminded me a bit of the cartoon show (of which I was a big fan).  I thought the graphics looked great then, and as I watch it now, they hold up very well for being five years old.

But it was not just the return of the Turtles that got me all excited for this movie.  It was the voice cast.  Oh my, the voice cast.  I have no idea who the voices of the Turtles are, but let's discuss the supporting cast.

I'll lead off with the big one.  Sir Patrick Stewart (he played a Captain in something).  Sir Patrick plays the main villain of the movie, Max Winters (aka Yaotl).  That's right, no Shredder.  It seems this movie does (sort of) follow the previous three, and Shredder has been defeated.

Next up, we have Sarah Michelle Gellar (you might know her as Buffy) as April O'Neil.  Chris Evans (yup, Captain America and Johnny Storm himself) plays Casey Jones.

Others of note:
Laurence Fisburne as Narrator
Kevin Smith as Diner Cook
Frank Welker
Mako as Master Splinter

To the plot!

The Turtles have broken up.  Leonardo is in South America on a journey of learning.  Donatello is your typical frustrated IT support guy.  Michelangelo is tearing it up as a kids party entertainer (see Ghostbusters II for an example of washed up saviors of the city performing for kids).  And Raphael.  Well, he's being all broody and vigilante as the Nightwacher.

April O'Neil  and Casey Jones are now working for Max Winters, wandering the globe collecting some very specific statues.

Background on Max Winters:  Thousands of years ago, he tried to take over the wold by opening a parallel dimension.  Short form - he failed, and it turned his generals into stone statues and made him immortal.  See where this is going?

So, the Turtles experience their growing pains as they come together to defeat Max... but not in quite the way you would think.  We also have remains of the Foot Clan wandering around working for Max.

I interrupt this commentary to note that I never realized how much April looks like the Bride from Kill Bill during the final battle.

I really liked this movie.  I have fond memories of the Turtles as I grew up.  Had some of the toys (hell, probably still do somewhere).  This is on the list of movies that I can't wait to show my son as he grows up.  I'm very curious about what Michael Bay's take on the franchise will be.  Personally, as long as the movie entertains me, I'll be happy.  So in that respect, this film takes the cake....er pizza.

I give it 5/7 pizza boxes

09 April 2012

The Hunger Games (2012)

So I went and saw The Hunger Games last week. Right off the bat, my wife who has no knowledge of the series really liked the movie, which is a sign at how well they handled it.

Oh... FYI, we may get spoilery here, so be warned.

So, I have read the book, my thoughts on which can be found here.  I thought that the movie was a pretty faithful adaptation.

Visually, the movie was amazing.  I thought they captured the look of Panem really well.  In particular, I thought the Capital looked spot on.  Casting was pretty good too.  I really liked Woody Harrelson as the mentor, Haymitch.  Elizabeth Banks was spot on as Effie Trinket.  Effie is an interesting character.  She so blindly buys into the world of the Capital, its painful.  This is most noticeable on the ride from District 12 to the Capital.

As for Katniss, I thought Jennifer Lawrence was spot on.  She fit the look perfectly, and she pulled off the role with ease.  Also of note was Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, her costume designer.  Not quite what I envisioned when I read the book, but very well done.

I was worried too with the violence.  Given its PG-13 rating, I was worried that it might have been toned down or avoided, but it was not.  So this made the battle scenes in teh Games themselves that much more exciting.

I liked it.  I know there are people who rage on and on about Battle Royale vs. Hunger Games.  Can't speak for Battle Royale, but everything is derivative of everything these days.  Judge each on their own merits.

May the odds be ever in your favor.