Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Song of the Week - Runaways/The Killers

I'm sorry I've been lackadaisical about my blog lately. I promise to catch you up on all the great things I did this summer. Anyway, here's the latest and greatest from The Killers. Wow, this feels like a big, giant 80's song, so of course I love it! I know Brandon Flowers' solo effort feel a bit flat, but it's nice to see him back with the boys and making the music I love!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Resurgence of the Typewriter?

I've noticed an a lot of typewriters popping up in movie trailers lately. Not too long ago, teens and young adults had no idea what this relic was. Now, is it a retro trend, like vinyl?

You be the judge.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman - Movie Review

If you’ve noticed my posts being a little light for a couple of weeks, it’s because I’ve been on vacation. Of course the week leading up to vacation caused me to be extra busy at work and then, the writing I planned to do while in beautiful Carmel, California, was met with intermittent internet access. It’s all good though, because a real vacation should be from everything. So, I’m heading home soon. I thought while everyone is packing around me, I could maybe knock out this review.

Even though I was surrounded by the calming sea and gorgeous nature, I still couldn’t wait to see The Amazing Spiderman. Yes, I went opening day, expecting a large crowd, but it was just a normal amount of people.

I’m a huge fan of the original Spiderman (2002) films and I’m of a certain age, so I grew up with the 70’s cartoon and Spidey showing up on The Electric Company was normal for me. I waited my whole life for a Spiderman film and I was so excited when they made the first film. Tobey Maguire, Kristen Dunst and James Franco were a rare event of perfect casting. As satisfied as I was with the first Spiderman film, all my expectations were far surpassed with Spiderman 2!

As you can see, I really didn’t need a Spiderman reboot. Luckily, they cast two of my favorite young actors and that alone put my butt in the theater.

There’s some story tweaking in the re-boot. Peter Parker’s love interest is Gwen Stacy, in the comics this was an earlier love of his so it fits well with the high school setting. Although they are not teenagers in real life, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are a bit more believable of the young age then Maguire and Dunst. And the chemistry between these too is hot! Their budding relationship is really the core of this new edition. Stone and Garfield sizzle in their scenes together and being directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), guarantees that the viewer is going to have a great time watching this relationship blossom.

I would have to say that the overall casting is probably some of the best I’ve ever seen. Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Sally Field as Aunt May, are simply wonderful to see in action. It’s nice to see these roles given to heavy weight actors. They deliver on really making you feel their love and concern for the young Peter. Denis Leary has come along way in his career and it’s awesome to see a former stand-up comedian in a huge blockbuster film. We know he has his tough cop act down pact, but he’s so believable as Captain Stacy, that he still manages to impress.

If Andrew Garfield was looking for his break out role, this is certainly it. He brings his awkward, hyper, pent up anger of Peter Parker to a new level. I’ve recently found out that a lot people did not like Tobey Maguire in the Spiderman role. While that shocks me, I don’t see how anyone can complain about Garfield. He embodies the role with sarcasm, innocence and the arrogance of youth.

What I found interesting about this installment was that the special effects seemed to focus more on how Spiderman could move about and less about huge action sequences. Don’t get me wrong, there are big effects and smashing and all that, but there didn’t seem to big any “wows” in the effect department when it came to Spidey taking on bad guys.

I really liked The Amazing Spiderman and I would definitely buy another ticket to see Garfield and Stone again, yet there was still this emptiness I felt at the end. Something was missing. Then I came home and FX was showing Spiderman 2. I have to say, I think it’s my all time favorite super hero film. I sat down and re-watched the whole thing. That fight scene on the train? Phenomenal! Then when the people on the train carry Spiderman…it’s a scene of sheer beauty. Maybe it’s unfair to compare the two. Maybe the second installment will also blow me away. Time will tell.

Lastly, I did appreciate the filmmakers showing that pic of a young Martin Sheen on Peter Parkers wall. It’s important that a new generation gets to see how hot he was!

Oh I lied, one more thing. Why was I they only one to shout “Ponyboy” during the bridge scene? How soon we forget.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Song of the Week - Some Nights/fun.

Well fun. is shaping up to be a new band that I really like. I didn't even know this was them when I first heard so it's completely unbiased enjoyment!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Friends With Kids - Movie Review

**I saw this movie when it came out in theaters and I wrote this review for an online magazine that never came out. Regular readers of this blog will notice this is written in a very different voice then my other couch reviews. Still, I thought it would be nice to read a different style of writing from me and most importantly, I didn't feel like writing the whole thing again!

If you follow politics at all, you’ll know that one of the biggest topics these days is the current state of The American Family.

The notion that Hollywood has always had a liberal bias is solidified by a crop of films that focus on non-traditional families.

Both Juno and The Kids Are All Right, focused on family situations not often seen on the big screen. While teen pregnancy and same-sex parents are hot button political topics, these films did well at the box office and each garnered a Best Picture Academy Award nomination.

Now, in 2011, we have writer, director and star, Jennifer Westfeldt’s take on modern parenting. Her new film Friends with Kids, confronts the question, “Does having children destroy a romantic relationship?”
Fans of last year’s surprise hit, Bridesmaids, will be happy to see Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, John Hamm and Chris O’Dowd back on screen together. This film is not quite the laugh fest that Bridesmaids was. Instead, Friends with Kids focuses on the trials of three types of couples with children. This film provides more drama than Bridesmaids, but will certainly give you some laughs.

Missy (Wiig) and Ben (Hamm) are a married couple that can’t keep their hands off of each other prior to having children. Leslie (Rudolph) and Alex (O’Dowd) are ready to take the plunge into parenthood and promise their friends that they will remain the same. Fast forward four years and these two couples are living overwhelmed lives, snapping at each other and not having a lot of sex. The transformation of their friends is witnessed by the horrified Julie (Westfeldt) and Jason (a stand-out performance by the adorable Adam Scott). These two have never been romantically involved with each other and have remained platonic best friends since college. They feel they have cracked the code to modern parenting. They could have a child together, share the time, expense and responsibilities, yet be free to keep searching for “The One.” They are confident that the challenges a relationship faces when trying to raise young children leads to a bitter and unhappy marriage. Their theory is strongly supported by the ongoing deterioration of their married friends’ relationships.

Their experiment is played out in a very satisfying way for the viewer. The reactions of their friends, potential mates and themselves are heavily explored.

The film does have some contrived moments and you can even make a case for it being just another formulaic romantic comedy, but it’s nice to see a romantic comedy smart up to its audience instead of dumbing down for a change. The language is saucy, the characters fight like real people and nothing is too unrealistic that you can’t relate to it.

What does this movie say about the state of the American family? There’s a scene where Julie, Jason and their son open Julie’s Birthday present together. This is the best example of today’s American family. We may be wrapped all different ways. There are so many different styles of wrapping paper out there. Heck, sometimes people don’t even use wrapping paper; they use old newspaper! Still, it all tears away so easily. No matter how fancy or untraditionally it may be wrapped, we care about what’s on the inside. The outside is merely presentation. What all these films strive to show us is that every family finds its own way to make their dynamic work. It seems like the more we see many different types of families, the more they really all seem to be the same in their goal to nurture and love.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Did Someone email me?

This is sort of a crazy post, but I thought I just saw an email on my phone. I hate my new phone by the way. Apparently, some emails are coming only to my phone. It also seems to have completely disappeared when I tried to open it. If you sent me an email yesterday or today, can you please send it again?


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

RIP - Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith passed away yesterday. He's given me a lifetime of laughs and entertainment. I still watch reruns of the Andy Griffith Show. Here's one of his finer moments.