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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

So I've YouTubed...

I finally set myself up with a YouTube account. I've only uploaded one vid so far - the L/R fan music vid I made previously. Just trying out the embedding HTML here.

Sorry Original LRU, but it's flash all the way ;(

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mazel Tov!

So, Angelina Jolie finally popped out a Brad Pitt Production somewhere in Namibia, and congrats to them. They did name the poor kid Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt (it’s a girl, by the way), so good luck with that. And good luck with growing up being the spawn of the so-called prettiest people on the planet. No pressure there.

Of course, this is all just details to get out of the way for the more important stuff – and that is the reported news that Sin City director Rodriguez wants to cast Jolie as Eva in Sin City 2. The fact that she was cooking with a full oven pushed the production back. The rumor is that he is basically waiting for Angelina before going ahead with the movie.

So the great news in all of this is that she can now get started on preparation for the all important Sin City sequel. No time to lose either. Don’t worry about the kid. With a name like that, she’ll have to learn how to take care of herself early anyway. Do some sit-ups, hop a plane to Texas, and lets get this movie made!

I’m going to have to rinse the dripping sarcasm off this post, aren’t I? ;-)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Brick Review (aka A Rare Night Out At The Movies)

So, last Tuesday night, I made it out to see Brick in the local ‘indie’ theatre. It’s downtown and called the Princess. I’d never been there before, so I ventured out and managed to even find a parking spot right in front of the theatre. Then I managed to catch a show before the show…

A big ol’ coach bus turned down that side street and then the driver proceeded to back it up into a tiny alleyway. Don’t know what he was thinking or why the bus needed to be parked down that alley, but it was quite the scene. A couple local teenagers gathered around and guided him in inch by inch. It was about as close as you could cut it, but he actually got it in there, much to the surprise of those gathered around to watch. We had to applaud when he made it in.

Anyway, on with the show. I went into the theatre and it was rather quaint. There was just one person sitting by a booth where you paid your ticket, then you went up a flight of stairs to the one movie theatre above. They had a small concession stand there, but I bypassed it as usual. (the ticket cost enough). I liked the atmosphere of the place – kind of like a special out of the way place where you went because of the movie and not just some place parents took their kids to shut them up for 2 hours and teenagers hung out to kill time. We weren’t even overrun with commercials. The start time came, the lights went down, they played about 3 or 4 trailers, and then we were into the movie.

And what a movie it was. Brick is a film noir set in a modern high school but using dialogue and language straight out of Chandler or Hammett novels. It takes a bit to catch the rhythm of the speech, but it’s brilliant. I probably missed some of it because of my ears, but I’d probably need to see it again to catch it all anyway. We follow the movie’s main character – Brendan – as he fights the system and goes after the truth of what happened to his ex-girlfriend in a headstrong and bullheaded fashion. You quickly become part of that world through the eyes of Brendan and go along for the ride meeting one interesting character after another.

It’s clearly a low budget movie, but you don’t really notice it thanks to brilliant editing and film making. There are action pieces, but it shows what you can do with imagination and a good story. You don’t need to blow the budget to have good action – you need characters that the audience cares about. You feel the fear as Brendan is confronted by a knife wielding attacker and has to run for his life. Then you want to cheer at his inventive means of survival.

This is a character that is an outsider, but he knows the terrain and he’s smart and determined. He may not know entirely what’s going on, but you quickly understand that once he commits himself to his mission, he won’t quit until he finds the truth or he’s dead. There’s a revealing scene between Brendan and his friend The Brain, as he realizes what he’s up against. He asks The Brain: “Tell me to let it go, to walk away.” To which the Brain replies quickly: “Let it go. Walk away. But you are thick.” It’s a great moment as you watch Brendan move from dealing with the grief and utter sadness of what had happened to his ex, to a steely determination to find the truth – even though he knows it’ll cost him.

The movie is also quite humorous at times. The ‘40’s style of noir speech provides some good one liners, and the setting of teenagers in high school provides some surreal moments. The whole “I thought we had apple juice” sequence is both hilarious and thought-provoking as you wonder how similar that is to real life as parents just see their kid having a snack with their friends and having absolutely no idea what their kids are really up to – in this case, brokering a drug deal.

Overall, the dialogue does take a bit to get used to, but it’s worth it and it’s what makes the movie tick. That, and the great acting from all those involved – especially Joseph Gordon-Levitt who plays Brendan. He’s practically in every scene and carries the movie. Hard to think this is the kid from the cheesy, but funny, sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun. In the end, I thought it was a brilliant movie that I’ll want to watch again – though I’ll wait for the DVD which I think is coming August 8. If you’re a fan of film noir, it’s a must see. If you just want something original and different, it’s definitely worth checking out.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly…

Which do you want first?

Well, the ugly is that I came down sick on Friday night…looks like just the standard sore throat and head cold though, so I hit it with all the vitamin C and fruit and Listerine I could throw at it and it seems to be working. Interesting to keep an eye on those nutritional charts on foods – two glasses of orange juice gave me 240% of daily recommended vitamin C input. Plus the 20% from the apple sauce and the 40% from the pineapple and peach fruit cups. I’m guessing fresh fruit would be better, but this’ll have to do. I just don’t feel like peeling a pineapple :)

The bad is that this bug hit me with a mere 18 hours to go for me to finally see the movie I’d been waiting all year for – X3. So, more careful dodging of commercials, reviews, and spoilers is required as I wait it out to finally be able to see the flick that broke the record for a $107 million 3 day haul. Oh well, there’s always the DVD in November :( I can however, appreciate the irony that if I had gone on opening weekend, I probably would've got sick anyway from being in a crowed theatre with recycled air and no immune system. Like when I went to see Sin City on opening weekend. Maybe if I do finally go to see it, it'll be in an empty theatre which will be better anyway...

The GOOD is that my fave NHL team – the Edmonton Oilers – won last night to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1990!!! Who saw that coming?! They’re the last Canadian team in the playoffs and they’ve got a shot at the cup. I just hope they don’t run out of gas like Calgary did 2 years ago. I would really, really hate it to see the Cup wind up in either Buffalo or Carolina. The other good news about this is that by reaching all 4 rounds, the Oilers will have made more money this year so they should be in good shape to upgrade the team and resign free agents in the summer. That’ll be a switch…

Anyway, time for more orange juice and some Sunday afternoon baseball…

'X-Men' storms to record opening weekend - Yahoo! News

'X-Men' storms to record opening weekend - Yahoo! News

Cool. So that means there'll probably be an X4...who'll be in it is anybody's guess, though. Now, to see if Superman Returns breaks this record...

Friday, May 26, 2006

May Movie Mania

Well, May 26 has finally arrived. X-Men 3 – my number 1 movie to see this year – is now in theatres. I hope to see it this weekend. It’s been really difficult to stay away from any and all previews / giveaways as the marketing hype ramped up into full gear this last month. I managed to catch and record a couple interviews on the various talk show circuits, but always looked away during the clips shown. After having the coolest spot in X2 spoiled by a preview clip, I’m not taking any chances this time around.

I have, however, a whole folder of X3 related web articles bookmarked, which should be fun to read through once I’ve seen the movie. I also managed to download to my hard drive some of the clips and pretty much all the commercials as well. It hasn’t been easy not viewing them :)

It’ll be interesting reading the reviews after I’ve seen the movie. I have no expectation that this one will be better than the first two – it has way too much working against it. Still, I hope I’ll like it (and probably will – I mean it’s got Wolverine in it), and sit back and enjoy the ride. Then I’ll post my own review.

By the way – I did get out to see Brick at the theatre on Tuesday night, just haven’t had time to post a review. I will say this though – good movie, definitely recommended. It’ll be interesting to have just seen a character driven, low budget, indie film right before a summer mega-budget blockbuster. I wonder which one I’ll rate higher…

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Go Oil!

Whew - the Oilers tried really hard to give this game to Anaheim, but in the end they hung on to win it 5-4 and take a 3-0 series lead. Yes, can you believe it?! The Edmonton Oilers are one win away from going to the Stanley Cup Finals. I don't think anybody would have predicted that...

A pretty wild game though - a combined 6 goals in 9 minutes in the 3rd period. Edmonton was up 4-0 at one point and was just lucky to escape with a win as the Ducks player fanned on the puck with an open net with seconds left. He's going to be seeing that one in his sleep...

Come on Edmonton - one more win to get to the Finals!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Random Thoughts

Found an article over at that lets us know to be sure to stay through the end credits of the upcoming X-Men 3 movie. There’ll be a short 30 second bit at the very end about one of the characters. I usually do, but it’s always good to know these things…

Spending some time lately (actually wasting too much :) viewing videos over at All kinds of interesting stuff posted up there. Saw some clips of concert footage from the current Faith Hill / Tim McGraw concerts and a bit from a Gary Allan concert (the video takers shake like they’re gonna have a stroke, but the odd clear shot was good) and found some music videos as well. My favorite was watching some of the old episode bits and interviews from The Daily Show. I love that show, but I really liked it back a couple years when it was a little more comedic and less political and he had more celebrities on than political types. Some of those interviews were hilarious, especially when the guest went with it. The guests usually know anything goes on those interviews, and it often winds up as comedy gold. The old one with Jeri Ryan where Jon just didn’t have it together was funny as hell – she seemed somewhat bewildered but was laughing the whole time. And I remember seeing the interview he did with two of the Spice Girls (Baby and Posh, I believe), and Posh clearly didn’t get it at all and was straight faced through the whole thing while Jon clearly knew it and poured on the sarcasm. (“You didn’t notice the sarcasm? I’m dripping in it – I’m going to need a sarcasm shower after this.”) And of course the Sandra Bullock interviews were great too. Brought back memories of watching that show 4 or 5 years ago when I’d get home from dialysis. It always gave me a laugh…

And kudos to the Dixie Chicks for somehow simultaneously praising Bruce Springsteen and slamming the show The View in one sentence in a recent Time magazine interview. I was flipping through the channels and was going to flip past The View as usual (make it stop! :) when I managed to flip past just as one of them said “Dixie Chicks”, so I flipped back and watched as they all got bent out of shape by the Chicks comments. Then they went on to proclaim themselves responsible for launching the Chicks career just because they appeared on the show back in ’98. That’s a bit of a stretch – even for Star Jones! (rimshot! :) Then one of the other ones (someone called her Joy?) said it was ok to diss the President, but it’s just wrong to diss a fellow woman’s show. Wow. I don’t think the bit was supposed to be comedic, but I was laughing. I may not get their new video, but it looks like Natalie Maines of the Chicks is taking their new single’s title quite literally (Not Ready To Make Nice) as she continues to tick people off…

Speaking of the Chicks, they appeared on Letterman last night and sang the new single and did a fine job, but the highlight of the show was the cooking segment with Dave and Martha Stewart. It was classic. I was howling with laughter as Dave was in fine form as he “helped” cook up a mashed potato and meatloaf cake thing. The way he went at the potatoes to mash them with that mixer (spinning beater thing? – I don’t know cooking utensils :) was great with bits flying everywhere. Then he ate the butter (and got Martha to take a bite too!) and drank the wine too. Truly a funny segment…

Sunday, May 21, 2006

New Feed Service Enabled...

For those that are interested, I have enabled what I think is an RSS feed for my blog. You can get the link at the sidebar on the right.

So go ahead and subscribe to it and spread the word. Oh, and if it doesn't work its because I don't know what the hell I'm doing :)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Moorer New Music...

So, I’m surfing the ‘net looking for nothing in particular when I come across the good news that Allison Moorer is releasing a new album on June 13/06 called Getting Somewhere. Over at, you can listen to the entire album as well.

I’m a big fan of her music, so this was welcome news. Her last album was 2004’s The Duel, which was a pretty deep album. I especially like the guitar driven tracks “I Ain’t Giving Up On You” and “Baby Dreamer.” The track “All Aboard” was a bang-on commentary of the times considering the political environment then and where it’s gone in two years. Then you have the heart breaking title track “The Duel” – a desolate crisis of faith. Faith in what is left open to interpretation, but you can’t deny the feeling of loss and the questions that arise from it. It’s another deep track, and contains one of my favorite lyrics “I don’t know how many rounds, are left in me ‘till I stay down…”. It’s a good album and worth checking out. However, my favorite album of hers is probably The Hardest Part. If it weren’t for the digital MP3 age, I’d have probably wore a hole through that album by now with too many good tracks to list on there…

Anyway, back to my web surfing and her new album. I was able to listen to the whole thing thanks to CMT (I couldn’t believe it – this is the first time in awhile I’ve been able to play something from CMT’s website. Maybe they fixed the bugs. Yeah, right) It’s a bit of a different sound for her, with a bit more pop on the first few tracks. Still good, and catchy, but I was missing the rockier guitar edge sound. Well, I made it to track 5 (although track 3 was a standout) and it kicked in. I listened to all the tracks straight through and it’s an overall excellent album. Doesn’t knock The Hardest Part out of top spot though :-)

However, the big surprise I found out in my web travels, was that last year she married Steve Earle. I’m a big Steve Earle fan as well, and you can hear a bit of his musical influence in some of the tracks of the new album. Still, I had to do a double take when I read that (he’s 50, she’s 33, and he looks every mile of the hard life he’s lived), and thinking of those two together is one of those eyebrow raising, how the hell did a guy like that get a girl like THAT moments. Congrats to ‘em, I suppose (and thanks Steve for giving all us guys hope ;-). On the upside, those two together should result in some fantastic music…

Pop Quiz

What are the odds...

You Are 7 Up

Understated and subtle, people warm up to you slowly.
But once they're hooked, they can't imagine going back to anyone else!

Your best soda match: Diet Coke

Stay away from: Mountain Dew

Friday, May 19, 2006

I See A Brick...

So, it’s Friday and I do what I do every Friday – hit the ‘net to check my local movie listings and see what’s playing in my area. Well, in a nice surprise for me, I see that the movie Brick is FINALLY playing at a theatre in this neck of the woods. With any luck, my ears are good enough to go see it on Sunday or Monday. I’ll probably post a review about it too, when I’ve seen it. :)

Now sure, it’s an indie flick, so I’m not surprised that the local uber megaplexes won’t show it, but come on – it’s been two months since it’s release date and it finally makes it here thanks to the fact we have a smaller ‘art house’ theatre.

I’ve posted before on how I prefer watching a DVD at home to the ‘bad and getting worse’ theatre experience, but this year I had a grand total of 3 movies on my must see in the theatre list:

After those 3, there are more than a few that I’d like to catch, but if I miss them at the theatre I’m not going to be torn up about it. I’ll wait for the DVD. X3 and Miami Vice are in the blockbuster category, so the only concern I have about seeing those is timing it right that I can see it in a half empty theatre. But the trailer for Brick was just so cool, unique, and original that I couldn’t wait to see it and was really disappointed that it wasn’t in theatres around here. That is until today. After an up and down week, that’s a real fine way to start a weekend.

Crack The "Code" - It's a Comedy...

Man, where'd that week go? Not much in the way of postings here, but here's something...

Laughable "Code" Kicks Off Cannes - Yahoo! News

Now, Cannes critics are notoriously tough, so this reaction probably won't reflect the general populace. Still, it is never a good sign when you get to the climax of a heavy drama and hear snickers from the crowd.

Overall, the Da Vince Code flick is not getting good reviews. Long, too much exposition, no suspense, among other things, have been pointed at as what's wrong with it. Not only that, Ian McKellan is pretty much the only one getting high praise in the film - and he's not the star of the show. (though it does show what a great actor can do even in a bad flick).

In the end, I'm kind of surprised it's getting panned like this. I'd have thought it would've been all about the religious aspects and controversy, but here it's getting knocked on good old fashioned bad film making. Who knew?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! A special shout-out and thank you to Bookworm, a loving and wonderful Mom.

Where would this world be without caring and loving Mothers (and Fathers - day coming in June :) to lead the way and guidance and love for each generation that comes along. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to have loving parents and take the time to think about the sacrifices of raising a family should be grateful and feel for those who never had that...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother Teresa...Billy Graham...Oprah?!

Here's an interesting article about Oprah and how she's being viewed as a spiritual leader. The article also includes some rather dubious comments from various people. Some more over-the-top ones include calling Oprah a "really hip and materialistic Mother Teresa" and "she's today's Billy Graham." Wonder what those people are smoking...

Now, I'm not a fan of the Oprah show. A couple of shows rate high on my unwatchable list. The View is at #1 as completely unviewable, while Oprah's spinoff Dr. Phil comes in at a close second. Oprah would probably be around #3, but I can watch the occasional show when she has those Doctors on talking about food and diet, though that's more the enjoyable way the Doc presents the info than Oprah.

However, calling her a spiritual leader is rather far out, and the article includes opposing points of view. She has built an impressive empire and holds an incredible amount of influence on those that watch her. Reading the article, it reminded me of a hilarious bit from the show The Family Guy where Brian and Stewie were riding in the car and Stewie was reading a book that had obviously been recommended by Oprah:

(Stewie is reading East of Eden.)
Brian: "You'll pretty much do anything Oprah tells you to do, won't you?"
Stewie: "What? This book was written over fifty years ago. It's a classic."
Brian: "But you bought it last week. And it has a huge Oprah sticker on the front."
Stewis: "Oh, is that what that is?"
Brian: "So, what are you gonna read next?"
Stewie: "Well, she hasn't told us yet---Damn it!"

That pretty much sums it up.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

HD-DVD Runs Linux & Is Supported by Microsoft?!

An interesting bit here from the Digital Bits site about the new HD-DVD player recently released. Apparently, somebody just had to take it apart :) Rather intriguing stuff inside one of these things…

By the way, speaking of Microsoft and HD-DVD, it seems that reports that Toshiba's HD-A1 is basically just a home theater PC are true. Erstwhile geek-with-blog Lorin Thwaits recently decided to dismantle his HD-A1 to see what makes it tick, and inside he found a 2.5 GHz Pentium 4 CPU, a bunch of PC2700 DDR RAM memory and other off-the-shelf parts - pretty much everything but a mini-Windows XP OS (the machine actually runs Red Hat Linux and boots off an internal flash drive). No wonder it takes a full minute to start up. Click the link above for all the geek you can handle. Well done, Lorin!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

All That Blue Time...

The king of broken hearts doesn't ask much from his friends
And he has quite a few of them
They know he will understand
That's just the way it goes

The king of broken hearts doesn't know he's a king
He's trying to forget other things
Like some old chilly scenes
He's walking through alone

He talks to angels and the stars start to spin
He thinks of troubles that he's gotten in
He recalls how his heart got broken
And how it's still that way

The king of broken hearts is so sad and wise
He can smile while he's crying inside
We know he'll be brave tonight
Cause he's the king of broken hearts

He talks to angels and the stars start to spin
He thinks of troubles that he's gotten in
He recalls how his heart got broken
And how it's still that way

The king of broken hearts thinks that he's an old fool
He's a little bit like me and you
So what's a king like that supposed to do
With all that blue time

We know he'll be brave tonight
Cause he's the king of broken hearts
He's the king of broken hearts

"The King Of Broken Hearts"
Written by Jim Lauderdale
Sung by George Strait
Album: Pure Country Soundtrack

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Improvise Some H2O,,,

Yes, if I could come up with something interesting to post that didn't involve movies, I would. Instead, the most interesting thing that happened today was having the water shut off in the building with very little notice early this morning. I guess we do take a lot for granted - like turning on a tap and having clean water. Well, the line from Clint Eastwood in the flick Heartbreak Ridge was running through my mind today - "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome." So I did.

Otherwise, here's some nice places to think of being...

Hans Solo Shot First!

Original Unaltered Star Wars Trilogy on DVD! -

Yes, apparently after much clamoring from fans, Lucas is actually going to do the right thing and release the original trilogy on DVD as they were shown in theatres the first time around, and that includes Hans Solo shooting first, not George's pretentious re-edit...

Now, this means nothing to me as I am not a big Star Wars fan and actually have not seen any of them - not the ground breaking originals or the sucky sequels. Just haven't been able to commit 12-15 hours of my life to watching them. However, I did read the internet folks dismay that the originals were not available on DVD un-edited. Well, now they are - but only from September 12 to December 31st this year. Then they're gone again...good luck getting past the Chewbaca and Darth Vader wannabes at Best Buy on that day in September...

Wolverine Wallpaper...

Thanks to a tip via Brett Ratner via ComingSoon.Net, if you put the word "adamantium" in and do a search at the offical X3 website, you'll get to a hidden Wolverine Wallpaper.

Or you can just download it here. Cool...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Don't Change That Channel - You Might Miss Our Ads

Been watching TV shows lately and have been struck by something creeping into the experience that is not good. It doesn't even matter what station you're watching anymore. It seems that the stations are so worried that you might tune away because you don't know what's coming on next, that they feel the need to splash annoying animated notices on the bottom of the screen of what's coming next.

Here's the kicker - these ads keep growing in size. It used to be about the size of the station ID. Now it's gotten to the point of covering close to a quarter of your screen. They have even blocked subtitles of shows I am currently watching! Not only that, these monstrous, in your face ads not only tell you whats coming next, but also what you are watching right now. I know what I'm watching right now - that's why I'm watching it. Now get your ads off the screen so I can see the actor's face. Idiots - thank goodness for DVD, where you can watch your TV shows and Movies when and how you want and ad-free...

Oh, and here's the TV quote of the night: From a man in a diner, who also happens to own it: "Can I get you ladies anything? Compassion? Perspective?" Cracked me right up...(and yes, take a wild guess as to what show.) Speaking of which, its a good thing that show got me interested with previous seasons and not this one, because from the small handfull of episodes I've been able to catch, nothing about it this year would make me want to see more. (What's that in the water? Looks like a shark, and who's that jumping it?)

Second TV quote of the night: "What backwards convulted logic would give you reason to shoot a corpse?" "Well, if I shot a live person, there's a lot more paperwork." ...from House.

Superman Returns

Apple - Trailers - Superman Returns

Well, so far, I hadn't been really excited by anything that had been put out about Superman Returns. Sure, I'm a comic fan, and a comic book movie fan, so I'm certainly interested. But still, up till now it looked rather bland - kind of like Supes himself. Always been more of a Batman fan than a Superman fan...

Well, today they released the second trailer and it looks good. Certainly got my interest piqued, and that's what a trailer is supposed to do. The airplane sequence looks awesome, and it looks like the flying Supes is done quite well. There's only a bit of dialogue from Brandon Routh, so we don't know how he'll come off yet. However, Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor looks like he'll probably steal the whole movie.

In case you can't enjoy the trailer at the link above (hello QT7), these pics are from that, so you can see some of it anyway.

How You Say Bond In French?

Casino Royale Trailer in French

Via, you can watch the teaser trailer for the next Bond movie. Unfortunately, its in French. However, it gives you a good look at Daniel Craig as Bond, and like I said after watching Layer Cake, I think he's going to do quite well...

Oilers Win!

NHL - Detroit Red Wings/Edmonton Oilers Recap Monday May 1, 2006 - Yahoo! Sports

YES!!! Edmonton has eliminated top seed Detroit to head to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since '98. Hemsky scores the winner with 66 seconds left in the game. Roloson stood on his head for the Oil in goal, and those trades GM Lowe made are looking pretty good...

Now on to the second round, and for a change there can be no matchup with Dallas as they have already been eliminated. That's 2 Canadian teams into the second round, and two that are still hanging on by a thread...