September 30, 2008

Pirates are real (how cool is that)

With all the wild news this week swirling around the stock market, the congressional bailout, the election, and the playoffs, sometimes a story so damn cool just slips through the cracks.

So, in case you were worrying about the future of the financial industry let alone the country, you probably did not hear about the freighter ship full of TANKS, GUNS, & AMMO that was boarded by pirates in the Indian Ocean.

As a kid you learn about pirates (well kids now probably just watch metrosexual Johnny Depp Pirates) but, then you find out the harsh truth that they don't "exist" anymore. Well let those childhood dreams roar back into existence because according to CNN, pirates are alive and well. And just because they have no sails they are inherently the same. Still break the law, still plague the Indian oceans, still have weapons, in other words, they are cool as hell. However I would never want to meet them on the high seas. I'm sticking to meet hot maidens.

September 28, 2008

Eagle Eye (a.k.a. Facebook)

So I saw "Eagle Eye" last night, and I have to say I had a great time watching it. And if you know me or you've been reading this blog, you know I like movies that are fun to watch. Sure there are some incredible moments that were hard for even me to believe, but generally it was a good ride. Shia LaBeouf, is a legit movie star and he shines in this role.

So now that we got that mini review out of the way, let's talk about what "Eagle Eye" is really about: facebook. In case you don't know the film is a paranoid thriller where a "voice" (really a super smart computer) gives two characters instructions that they must carry out or they or their loved ones will be terminated. This voice knows everything about the characters, and as the film points out it even knows "personalities."

This is the world we live in now. So much of our lives is public, it is easy for someone to put together a clear picture of who anybody is. If you want to know who I am, you can google me. You will see that I wrote for the newspaper at school, studied abroad in Spain, have a facebook page, and clearly am the coolest dude in the universe. But with a little more time you can learn things about my family, my interests, my phone number, my email, everything you need. And where is the central location of all this personal data? Facebook. When you think about it, facebook knows a lot about you, just like the "voice."

And the crazy thing is unlike the evil computer in the film, you can't stop facebook. You just gotta hope it stays a groovy networking site and pray it doesn't morph into a super evil computer bent on destruction and death. But if that does happen we got Shia to save us.

Sunday Trailers: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
After "Quantum of Solace", I am proud to announce that I am ridiculous excited for this movie. If you can't tell from the trailer, it's a man named Benjamin Button who ages backwards. This is a little confusing, but to clarify, when he's born his body is old, but his mind is young, and he ages on this track. I love this trailer, and David Fincher who built his rep with movies like "Fight Club" and "Zodiac" is finally making what looks to be a serious and life affirming, instead of bleak and terrifying.

September 27, 2008

Farwell Paul Newman

Paul Newman died today. I always thought Paul Newman was the man, now he's a little before my time, but just the general vibe he put out was "I'm the boss." I haven't seen a lot of Paul Newman movies, but the ones I have seen I enjoyed greatly. I remember watching "The Sting" with my brothers and Dad and loving it. And more recently I saw "Butch Cassidy" and was amazing by how cool he was on screen. Now it is entirely possible that I feel this attachment partly because of his salad dressing, lemonade, popcorn, salsa empire. But if that's part of it, big deal, he made some good ass food. Rest in peace.

September 26, 2008

Friday Movie Wrap Up

Eagle Eye
Shia, a.k.a. the "Indiana Jones" and "Transformers" golden boy returns with this action, paranoid, god complex, techno thriller. People are saying that it sucks, I say, the trailer is cool, plus Shia usually delivers a good flick. This movie is also the anti "Nights in Rodanthe", which is cool.

Miracle at St. Anna
After a great trailer, the buzz on this film has been surprisingly negative. The film is about the "Buffalo" soldiers, an African American unit in WWII. According to the film, there is a magic statue head, lots of evil nazis, and Italians in need of help. I'm just not that interested anymore.

As a kid, I payed some random dude 76 cents to take me and my boys to see "Fight Club. "Choke" is the newest adaptation from "Fight Club" writer Chuck Palahniuk and if it is anything like "Fight Club" it is going to be nuts. Who knows maybe I'll be the dude sneaking high schoolers into the film, just kidding.

Nights in Rodanthe
At some point in my life, I will see this movie. That time is not now. I hope that time is on some romantic evening, not an airplane.

September 25, 2008

Adventures in CNN

So this morning I was going through cnn, looking for news on the economy meltdown, McCain wussing out on debate, and any other insane story I could find. And let it be known, I hit the motherload on CNN today. The first story I found was this one about some dude in the United States who mailed a package full of live snakes and spiders to a buddy in Australia. Talk about a care package, and for all of your sanity, I'm not going to make a "Snakes on a Plane" joke.
And it gets better, I click on the story. It's a great read, officials "seized" the package at the apartment. What kind of apartment is this? What do these people have going there? Is it some type of mini zoo? Mad Scientist? Either way, the story is totally wild. And I'm reading I see this banner on top of the page
Now, I have no idea what's going on, but the picture links me to a website called "Parents: The Anti Drug." Now I support parents stopping their kids from using drugs, but I was shocked at the methods described here for hiding your stash. In the picture we see a "soft drink can with false bottom" and my favorite "felt tip marker with concealed drug pipe." That is crazy, kids these days, I tell ya. They may be using drugs, but they are certainly paying attention in engineering and industrial design class.

Thanks for the adventure cnn.

September 24, 2008

Where Art Though, Arnold?

My brother gave me "Conan the Barbarian" as a Christmas gift when I was in 4th grade. He also gave me "Hoosiers", but while that movie is legit, I was more excited about Conan. In that film Arnold slays some serious beasts including but not limited to a James Earl Jones snake monster, evil vampire hookers, and numerous hairy men. In case you were wondering the movie why is the movie is awesome. Watch this clip of Conan describing what is best in life and you'll see what I mean.

Now, Lionsgate is trying to remake this movie. But here is the problem, no one in Hollywood is even close to having the badass action cred to play a hulking barbarian warrior. Can you imagine Seth Rogen holding that sword. George Clooney? John Cena, most of you don't know who that is. And some of you are thinking, what about "The Rock" Dwanye Johnson, come on seriously, the dude's next movie is called "The Tooth Fairy", and yes, he will be wearing a tutu.

Which brings me to the final point. Arnold needs to get out of this political gig and get back into doing what he does best. This includes, but is not limited to the following.

1. Killing intergalactic bounty hunters
2. Fighting liquid metal robots from the future
3. Getting pregnant
4. Engaging in a mortal fight to the death with the devil
5. Saving Kindergartners

Arnold come back, we need you.

September 23, 2008

Money, Cash, Bros

Everyone is talking about the potential bailout of the financial sector. I'll be honest, I have a college degree, read the news every day, and consider myself well learned in the ways of the world. But when the markets starting heading south like migrating birds, all my education and experience tell me one thing: People got greedy.

We live in a culture where materialism is key. Big houses, big cars, more houses in different locations, and nice clothes and toys are desired. In the 80's there was the mantra "Greed is Good," and people continued to ride this mantra out until now.

I see this potential bailout as a catch-22. On one side we are helping out the very people who caused this whole mess, and on the other we are potentially saving us from financial ruin. It's a tough decision.

From a 22 year old man's perspective, I think a lot of these fat cat CEO's should be bailed out and then live normal lives with extreme checks and balances. I keep hearing that these CEO's have lost their jobs as well and we should feel bad for them. Considering the lives they lead before, I don't feel bad that they may join the rest of the population. But if our government rescues these people and then they go back to their previous lifestyle and ways, that is wrong, something we can't let happen.

September 22, 2008

My Amigo Nico (GTA IV Wrap Up)

Grand Theft Auto IV Protagonist Nico Bellic

I couldn't kill Dwayne. He was in his apartment, not defending himself, waiting for death. I put down my gun, dashed out the door, stole a car, and drove to Playboy X's house. He called me all sorts of vile things, so I promptly threw some grenades into this house, blew up his boys, chased him into the street, where I beat him with a baseball bat in an alley.

Yeah, so that scene from Grand Theft Auto IV is super violent. If I'm certain of one thing after beating this game, it's that it truly is not for children. In the same way you wouldn't let a child see the "The Departed", no child should play this game. But like "The Departed", Grand Theft Auto IV is a masterpiece.

Never before has a video game presented me with such dramatic choices. Over the course of the game I was given many different paths. I could chose to date certain women, spare people's life, and take others. I did missions for characters that were well developed and moved through a living city. And most importantly I felt for the main character. His name was Nico Bellic and he was from the Balkans and had a trouble past. In a direct steal from "The Kite Runner", he sought a way to be good again.

I can see why people go bananas over this franchise. These people are telling stories, no longer are video games solely about getting from point A to point B, games now have real stories to tell. And while games have told moving stories before, never have they been so engrossing. Watch out Hollywood.

September 21, 2008

Sunday Trailers: Synecdoche New York

This one looks even more far out than "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "Adaption" and "Being John Malcovich" combined. The final line, "when are we going to get an audience in here, it's been 17 years" is a total trip. But sometimes these weird movies are not good, they are just weird. I'm leaning towards that this will be very good, but who knows.

September 20, 2008

Saturday Nerd Post (The Quantum Mind Blower)

This video blows my mind every time I see it. The best part of this video is how simple they explain one of the most far out mind concepts. Until this video I mainly thought science was cool, but not any cooler than other subjects at school, actually I take that back, it was way cooler than math. But now I'm thinking that there is some seriously heady business going on in Science, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Next step, time travel, bring it.

September 19, 2008

Friday Movies ( a.k.a. Summer Fallout Continues)

Lakeview Terrace

At one point in time, Samuel L. Jackson was a serious actor who wasn't famous for going beast mode on snakes and this film's director Neil Labute was making brilliant social commentary films. That was the past, now it's a whole new neighborhood. But seriously, evil neighbors who happen to be cops who get in disputes with neighbors about yard lights, swimming pools, and cutting shrubs. Sounds like suburbia, I'm not seeing this.


Yeah, it's about Igor, so it's got to have Frankenstein in it. I don't know that much about this besides the fact that I see this poster on my way to work and it makes Igor look like some gigantic baby who could potentially be a linebacker in the NFL.

My Best Friend's Girl

I saw Dane Cook perform at Syracuse two years ago and he was great. I was laughing so hard I could not remember what he said directly after the show. It was some type of mind trick. Anyway, that was two years ago, since I have not seen any of his movies except the highly underrated "Waiting."

That's about it for this weekend, "Ghost Town" is also opening but I'm not intrigued by it, well, I'm not really intrigued by any of these movies. More importantly "Eagle Eye" and "Miracle at St. Ana" come up next week, both of which look promising. Have a fun weekend.

September 18, 2008

The Celebrity (Who Happens to be President)

Many weeks ago, John McCain started his "Obama is a Celebrity" strategy. I found this move to be genius. And while I don't like McCain's campaign I applaud it for having a better sense of the power of celebrity than Obama's campaign does. As I mentioned before, Sarah Palin is a prototype celebrity. And by both using the celebrity image as a tool to benefit their campaign, and damage Obama's, the McCain looked smart.

But there is a problem. McCain is a bigger celebrity than Obama. He might not have the screaming crowds, but he is a bigger movie star.

In his book Life the Movie, Neal Gabler talks how entertainment conquered reality. This is what McCain is using to drive his campaign forward. Here we have a man who was a fighter ace (Top Gun,), who was shot down by evil villains (Any POW camp movie), tortured but didn't cave in (Jack Bauer), and was eventually freed. He went on to lead to become a senator and run for president (he got the girl and the money along the way as well). His story is chronicled in this film, which the poster is featured above, and the trailer below.

Obama doesn't have his own movie based off his life. Why? Because Obama's life, while exciting, would be a serious Academy Award Winning drama (think a movie like "The Queen") McCain's would be a summer blockbuster ("Top Gun"). And more people go to see summer blockbusters than watch the Oscars.

So at the end of the day, McCain has a movie star story, has been featured in movies and television like Wedding Crashers and "24." He can call Obama a celebrity, but he's the one who wants to be a movie star.

September 17, 2008

Palin Celebrity Scandal Continues

Today it was announced that Sarah Palin's email has been hacked. As I mentioned previously, Palin is a tabloid celebrity, not a 100% politician, and you're not a real tabloid star until you've been hacked (Ask Paris Hilton). But there are a number of issues related to this story that I find immensely disturbing.

1. How- For someone who wants to be Vice President, you'd think her online security would have been a little better. I mean, these people could have been accessing this for a while, they only recently posted it, what else do they have? Do all government employee's have easily hackable emails or is Palin just not up on her Internet skills (OMG! LOL <---Lame Joke). 2. Impact on Political Process- So while this information was obtained illegally, it's in the public domain, in fact, I was looking at it earlier. But what precedent does this set for other political battles in the future. If everything is exposed in the future, what type of candidates will we have?

3. Hacker Knowledge- This just goes to show how little the general public knows about actual hacking. For the general public, hacking is something like the clip below. In reality it's a serious problem that our Government or future government does not know how to deal with.

I'll post tomorrow with my final post on this whole campaign celebrity issue.

September 16, 2008

This Deez Life

Deez: diesel, as in full of energy of power, huge
The Deez: The one and only MceDEEZ, aka McDonald's

On my way home from work today, there was a massive traffic jam. As I inched along, I realized that the line was coming from the drive through at the local Deez. Cars were lined up in such vast quantities that they were spilling into the street. The drivers just had it, you know what I'm talking about, that Deez Craving.

Deez Craving: that feeling where you want the Deez real bad. You're stomach is saying, yeah, that would be the most accommodating food right now. But your brain is like "Ah, hell naw, I saw "Super Size Me", I'm not doing this."

The Deez, has played a major part in my life. When I was little I loved Happy Meals. In 5th grade I gave a "miny beanie baby" from a happy meal to my fifth grade girlfriend (yeah I was smooth like that). In High School I would visit it with my buddies before our midnight curfew. In college I would hit it up almost daily when I was pledging. And now, it's just a part of my life, kind of like drinking water, except it has more flavor.

So yeah, I'm not a good blogger cause I didn't snap a picture of the scene. It did remind me though of how good the Deez is. I ate there last week before a job interview, and while I was the only person there in a suit, my #6 super size made me forget all about that.

September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin is the new Rambo!

Ever since she was announced as McCain's vice president, Palin has become a huge celebrity. She went through the classic phases of celebrity. First she came out of nowhere, men thought she was kind of hot, and woman were surprised by her credentials. Then after she was riding high as a star, scandal broke, and she became tabloid material. And now she's just riding her star out, waiting for the next big break or scandal.

In a recent article on CBS, they her media persona is doomed. I'm not to sure about this because with "troopergate" and other scandals she's still taking up the news. It's like Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan, just one scandal after another to maintain a media spotlight.

But why is she the new Rambo? Like Rambo, she grew up in the woods, handles firearms (and I mean huge machine guns), has a toy line named after her and answers to a commander that's way older than her. America loves a star, and she currently is one.

September 14, 2008

Sunday Trailers: The Soloist

Movie Preview Sunday

Robert Downey Jr.
, who is having an amazing year with "Tropic Thunder" and "Iron Man", looks to close out 2008 with another stellar film. I'm a little less convinced by Jamie Foxx. I like him as a badass, he's good in "The Kingdom" and "Miami Vice." Yeah, I know, he was so good in "Ray", but part of me thinks that that Oscar was won based of a huge campaign and Ray Charles recent death. Catherine Keener, so good in last years "Into the Wild" will also add to this film. We'll see.

September 13, 2008

Saturday Nerd Post: The Pirates of Spore

Saturday is Nerd Post Day

Spore is the latest video game from Will Wright, the video game Jedi master guru who created "The Sims" and all the other Sim titles you can imagine . In the game you guide life from it's inception in the primordial soup to it's end as an inter-galatic big boss of worlds. Some religious groups are up in arms over the game because it teaches evolution. However one could also say that the Gamer is just "playing God" and nothing is evolving, it's just doing what God intends. Here's the trailer for the game so you can learn more.

However, an interesting thing has happened with the game's release. Because EA, the game publisher is concerned about piracy, (rightfully so there are over 9000 people hosting the file on illegal download sites currently), they required that the game has to be authorized to be used on only one computer. This computer is hooked up to the internet and when you install the game, you authorize and in no time you are getting your Yahweh on and creating.

This process called DRM (Digital Rights Management) is nothing new, but it is driving gamers insane. They have taken to giving the game terrible reviews on Amazon, causing the massive online retailer to erase every review.

This pertains to all of us non super hard-core gamers, because these practices will become standard when media is all digital. Just like you have to authorize songs bought from itunes for different computers, you will do this for everything bought. Say goodbye to mix cds that are passed around. Letting friends borrow movies. Digital means there will be limits on who can watch what and how many times it can be watched. It's to prevent piracy, but I think it reduces community.

I'm mean we are not all Jack Sparrow pirates. Come on now.

September 12, 2008

Friday Movie Wrap Up

Friday is the day new movies come up, and new movies in theaters means people will spend tons of cash on them. It always blows my mind how much goes into movies. I picture some producer (maybe me one day) saying something like, "It's a low budget picture, only 15 million." 15 million is enough money to send me to Harvard for 357 years! Any let's look at what we got this week.

"Burn After Reading"- Yeah, it's the Coen brothers follow up to "No Country for Old Men," but after a summer of comedies, I'm a little burned out. (yeahhh, nice joke there). Maybe on dvd.

"Righteous Kill"-If you didn't know, that is 50 cent on screen with those acting legends. So I guess a movie with two acting legends, and one rap legend should equal a legendary film. Not so much. I'm not interested. However I am interested in 50's newest entertainment property: "5o Cent's Blood in the Sand" a video game where he fights terrorists in the middle east.

"The Women"- The only reason I bring this movie up is that they shot it back home in Boston. Otherwise, this movie is not for me.

There's some other stuff coming out, but these are the big three. I'd say this will be an off week for me at the movies, however I did manage to find Jimmy Cliff's classic "The Harder They Come" at the library. Jaaa man.

September 11, 2008

On Patriotism

On the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks I think it's time that we examine patriotism in the country. Let it be know that I'm a big fan of America. I like American things like baseball, equal rights, hot dogs, personal freedom, football, the hard work ethic, and the great American landscape. However, I don't agree with everything America has done, is doing, or potentially will do.

Too often I think we label patriotism as one singular mindset, as in "he's patriotic because he enlisted" or "she's is not patriotic because she doesn't support the war." People are patriotic in different ways, and we as Americans have to acknowledge that. It's not a singular belief, but an all encompassing one. I wanted to see the U.S.A. crush every country in the Olympics, so that makes me patriotic? I don't support the policies of President Bush, does that make me un-patriotic? Patriotism is not claimed by one group of people.

In fact, the only thing that bothers me when it comes to patriotism are people who say they will leave the country if "x" happens. This country would have to get wicked crazy for me to leave, it's been great to me and my family, I would not run away so quickly. If you love something and it's been good to you, you stick with it.

September 10, 2008

The Dark Knight 2

Yeahhhhhhh, that title is incredibly misleading, but bear with me for a second. "The Dark Knight" is one of the best films of year and also one of the few times that was hyped up and delivered. I'm calling it now, "Quantum of Solace" is going to be just as awesome as "The Dark Knight."

Wow, you say, TPG is really putting it all out there. But after watching the trailer above and seeing "Casino Royale" for a second time, the new one will deliver for the following reasons.

1. The Cast: Daniel Craig is a total badass as Bond, however the exciting thing here is Mathieu Almaric, who was so great in last years "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." He has played a slimy character before, he was an arm's dealer in Munich. He should be comparable to Craig on how magnetic he is on the screen.

2. The Stunts: Take a look at the trailer. There are boats, planes, cars, motor bikes, explosions, ropes, falls from high places, and everything else you would want. They also shot footage during the Palio de Siena, a horse race that is taking place while Bond is chasing someone, and I hear it's the best sequence in the film.

3. The Story: It takes place directly after "Casino Royale", and I deals with Bond tracking down the organization hinted at in that film. The Hollywood rumor mill reports that we will get a glimpse of the big boss of the organization, and he is none other than________(click for the surprise). This is just a rumor, but think about it.

September 9, 2008

Get Ready for The Next Dimension

Tomorrow or today (time zones can be tricky) the Large Hadron Collider is going to be turned on. I'm not going to try to explain what this thing does. If you want to know check out this article, it will tell you all about it. But what is important here is that it could potentially end the world.

Basically, we are all going to blow up at once or get sucked into a giant black hole. Personally if something like the scenario above actually happens, I'm pulling for the black hole. And while I'm digging my life right now, getting sucked into a giant black hole would be a pretty damn cool way to go out. And besides, I'm no Stephen Hawking but I'm pretty sure Black Holes have some magical time travel properties. So who knows where we will all turn up if we get sucked in. Perhaps in a Universe where Tom Brady was not injured....wait....must stop... talking

So in honor of Hawking and the potential Black Hole Apocalypse, enjoy this rap.

September 8, 2008

No Jokes Here on Tom Brady

I don't care what Sports team you are rooting for, this Tom Brady injury is terribly sad. Tom's a great guy (I speak like I chill with him weekly), and it's tough to see him get injured. All I gotta say is this: For all you Pat's hater who were grinning like James Bond masterminds when we lost in the superbowl, I hope you're not having celebratory parties now that Brady is injured. This injury is not funny.

This is going to be one crazy season for a couple of reasons. For the team, it will be a chance to show how good they are. For Bill, it will be his chance to transcend his mortal coils as a legendary coach, and truly become Jedi like.

For me in Cali, I will be watching the games at local bars with strangers, but seriously, no Boston sports fan here in LA is a stranger to me, damn, pretty soon I'll be watching games with Affleck and Damon. I'll keep you posted.

The artist of that super cool picture above is Boston based Chris Speakman. You can buy his prints and see his stuff at this website.

September 6, 2008

LA Driving (It's always a car chase)

So I've been here for a month and I've had to some serious driving. This is a taste of what the LA roadways are like.

And while the LA roadways are not always full of high speed car chases, they are full of people who want to be Sylvester "Cobra" Stallone. They also are filled with a sampling of the following characters.

1. An abundance of insanely nice cars. Insanely in this circumstance means Bentleys, Beamers, Benzos, Ferraris, Porsches, Batmobiles, Delorians, Ninja Turtle Vans, and every other car worth serious cheddar.
2. Maniacs who feel the need to drive those cars at ludicrous speeds in and out of traffic like they are living in that car chase above.
3. Assistants, runners, and assorted Hollywood rookies trying to get to a destination to make the maniac from #2 happy.

And then, like most things in the world, there is just everybody else. Everybody else who's just driving and living the West Coast Dream, whatever that means.

September 5, 2008


After years of watching movies, writing about movies, making movies, and annoying my friends with my nasty skills at movie trivia, I have made it to LA. For those who don't know, my name is Tim and I'm new to this west coast scene. I grew in the East, the land of snow, the land trees who's leaves change color, and the land of thicker accents. I'm here in LA to make movies.

I have been putting my thoughts to the page for four years now for the Syracuse University paper and I'm not about to stop. Here is a continuation of my views that I developed in college. I'll be talking about everything from LA life to movies, TV shows to politics, video games most of all what it's like living in a state where your governor once did this on film

So I guess that's what this blog, a way for me, like Bennet to let off my steam and share my thoughts with everyone. Dare I say, "I'll be back."