Friday, January 29, 2010

Jesus That (pt 2): Legion

Complete garbage. Six characters made to be possessed angel food. Each one given a monologue so terrible that it is my belief that the writer was drunk at the time. Very little action in this supposed action movie. Don't care don't care don't care.

Did you enjoy it?
No. Tested my patience and strength just to not walk out.

Would you see it in theaters again?
I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.

Would you rent it?
Not even if it came with a million dollars.

Would you buy it?
Only so there would be one less copy in the world. 

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Only by accident. And only for the briefest of moments. Can you tell that I loved this movie?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jesus This (pt 1): The Book of Eli

Another year, another apocalypse. This time the people of Earth tore a whole in the sky and the radiation and sun burned up a lot of people. But not everyone. We've got Denzel walking west running into the usual group of Mad Max types.

Our main three are Eli who's got some knowledge to drop, Mila Kunis as "the girl" and Gary Oldman who wants what Eli has got. This is better than I expected. It's most comparable to an apocalyptic western. Mila does a surprisingly good job. I expected the least from her and got the most. Denzel does this role in his sleep. Gary Oldman must have seen something in the script he liked, because he doesn't usually show up unless there is something good for him. I'm not sure what it was, but he seems to be ready to chew the scenery at any moment.

Since it was released in January you would think it was a dump. I think they were just looking for a smash and grab with some paying theater goers. There won't be a lot of good stuff in the theater until spring, so you could do a lot worse. There are a couple of moments in the movie that even beg for a second viewing. I might just do that. I won't say anymore, because I hate giving plots away. And the trailer and commercials do enough of that as it is.

Did you enjoy it?
Yes I did.

Would you see it in theaters again?
Possibly. It does demand a second viewing.

Would you rent it?
Possibly to give it one second viewing.

Would you buy it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
I wouldn't seek it out, but might hang out if it's on. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Skol Home

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Sometimes you eat the bar.
Sometimes the bar eats you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Soda or Pop or Neither

 Three weeks into my New Year's Resolution. No soda. I also haven't had any pop. Nor coke (for you Georgians). And I love pop. I was literally raised in a grocery store. My first job was sorting cans for $1 a day at the family biz. We'd get new kinds in. Remember when Minute Maid Orange was the Coke brand orange pop? I do. It wasn't too sweet. Lined up perfectly with Coke. Remember when they were sold in glass bottles? I do. There is something about drinking a Pepsi out of an ice cold bottle. I even loved New Coke, one of the worst blunders in American history. But boy did I hate Crystal Pepsi. What was that?

Did you know that the first version of Cherry Pepsi had a lipstick aftertaste? No lie. Terrible. Do you know what the Mid Continent brand of Mountain Dew was called? Give up? Sun Drop. Not great. Do you know what Mid Continent means? There were three main pop distributors: Coca Cola, Pepsi and Mid Continent. I know because like I said, I used to sort cans. We'd have to send the cans back to the company I guess? I am not sure why they had to be sorted. I used to sort the beer cans too. Man there is nothing worse than old beer can smell. Now think of that smell from your whole town's supply of beer. Yuck.

But back to the brands.

Mello Yellow
Minute Maid Orange (now Fanta)
Diet Coke
Barq's (now A&W)
Mr. Pibb

Mountain Dew (now about a zillion different kinds)
Orange Slice (now Tropicana Twister Orange)
Slice (now Sierra Mist)
Diet Pepsi
Mug Root beer
***No Dr. Pepper / Pibb equivalent that I can recall

Mid Continent:
Dr Pepper
7 Up
Sun Drop
Canada Dry Ginger Ale
A&W back in the day*

Mid Continent was the hodge podge outcasts of sodas. Delicious, but no strong cola to lead them to victory. If you say you like RC best then you best just leave this world now.

Now if only I had used my extensive soda pop knowledge to good use, I could be a CEO of one of those companies by now. Or run a grocery store with Matt and Holly. Ah another world in another time.

*In some web research it looks like Coke owns almost all the Mid Continent brands now.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Viva La Revolucion

Sometimes movies will surprise you. One day I will have to do some research on the refreshing films of 2009 (I put this film in there because there was a Chicago screening in November that I didn't win passes for). It was a quiet evening with not a lot to do. A perusing of the film showtimes pointed out that Youth in Revolt is still playing. I had a casual interest so might as well.

What a fantastic little movie. A lot of the reviews that I read came from people who had read the book. They said they kind of did a cherry pick of material to include and that led to a series of vinettes that don't quite hold together as a whole movie. But anyone who knows me knows that I love those kind of movies. And this is a new one on the list.

Nick Twisp is a reader. A lover of Frank Sinatra. He's Michael Cera. Not quiet super dorky, because he's self aware of his lot in life, but still not a winner. But all that changes when he falls in love and creates a new persona to help him get back to her. Francois (sp?). This sets in motion a bunch of hilarious and raunchy yet smart scenes in the movie.

Overall, with medium expectations I came out pleasantly surprised. Great performances, a surprising amount of laughs (which always makes a winner in my eyes). You could do a lot worse this time of year than to see Youth in Revolt.

Did you enjoy it?
Sure did.

Would you see it in theaters again?
Possibly. There is a lot of crap lining the walls in January.

Would you rent it?
With the rental window smaller and smaller I would but not right away.

Would you buy it?
Not sure it is worthy of the collection. Maybe if in a discount bin.

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Year of Purple Pride

I have no illusions to the fact that my QB this year is a man I have rooted against for most of my sport life. Many jokes have been made about his love of pain killers, beating his wife, etc. But I've had a year to get over that.

This is a thank you letter.

1. You've given my team a chance at the Super Bowl. That would not have happened without you.
2. You've gotten most of the Vikings games to air on regular TV in Chicago. Only once have I had to rely on DirecTV NFL package to watch a game. That also would not have happened without your name on the marquee.

Now enough ass slapping (which I love), let's get a ring!


The Doctor is in (trouble?)

Former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam has a new movie out. If that first sentence doesn't mean anything to you, then don't go. Even if you realize this is Heath Ledger's final film. Remember when you heard that Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Ferrell agreed to take roles because the movie wasn't finished when Heath died. That's not enough reason to go.

Now that's not saying Terry Gilliam has made a bad movie. Well, its not great.  But as always with Gilliam its interesting, even if it's just an interesting failure. Visually wild and weird like everything he does. I've spent a couple days marinating on this movie to figure out which side of good / bad it lands. The biggest problem with this movie are the characters. One of the best things in Gilliam films are unusual characters. This movie doesn't have that. I would almost believe this is someone trying to copy one of Gilliam's movie if I didn't know it was actually made by him.

There's a question about who should be / is the main character. Is it Tony? Is it Parnassus? Is it Lily / Scrumpy? Is it the Devil? No one knows. And no one really cares. They're paper thin. The movie is long but we don't really get to know anything about anyone. What we do learn about Tony is muddy at best and doesn't really let us choose a side (like him/ don't like him/ don't care). Should we care that Lily had her life path chosen for her? Does she really want to get away to another life? What's up with Parnassus? I don't even have the energy to talk about his scenes.

Originally, I felt there were more things to like than to not like. But now, I'd say this is best classified as "interesting failure". Its a no go for anyone other than Gilliam completists.

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?
No way, Jose.

Would you rent it?

Would you buy it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?

Possibly if Dan LaRetes was over.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Meatball

I want to take a moment before the weekend begins. There's a guy out there who is like a prostitute. Not that I pay him to have sex with me. But if I have a movie to see and need a plus one, he's there. Its like a one night stand. We meet at the theater, watch the movie, then go our separate ways. No more, no less. And its perfect. That's what friendship is. You don't have to dance around other stuff. No dinner needed. No ackward goodbyes. Get the deed done.

But I did want to give a shout out to him. He...he's earned it*.

*Plus he reads the Nug!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


And now it is January. They dump movies in the cold of winter. I don't understand why. But that means some okay genre films. In this one vampires took over the world. Everyone they turned means one less person to eat. So now about 5% of the world's population is human. And everyone wants a drink. And they're closing in on running out of food.

There are a couple of great ideas in this movie. A world run by vampires where humans are the minority. Cool. If a vampire starves, because they're not alive they can't die. Instead they mutate into winged nasty creatures, sub-dweller. But none of these are really seen to the end. The lab where our main vampire works is trying to come up with a blood substitute. A cure for vampirism is found instead. Fights break out. Lines are drawn. Big bangs and booms happen.

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you rent it?

Would you buy it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?

Coco on a roll

Anyone remember the late night wars? Dave wanted the Tonight Show. Jay Leno didn't really do anything but make appearances on late night TV shows. But then NBC screwed the pooch. Now it looks like history is going to repeat itself.

Conan was given the chance to take over for Jay in 2009 (offer extended like 5 years ago). But in our current culture of now right now right now right now! he didn't have a chance. Jay used to lose to Dave until Hugh Grant (in case you're wondering, he was a british dude who was in terrible movies in the 90's) apologized for picking up a prostitute. I think he was cruising around with Axel Foley who also loves prostitutes. But anyways, they offered it to him to make sure they didn't make the same mistakes. Nice try 4th network. Remember when you had Cheers, Seinfeld and Friends. Greener pastures.

But it has made for interesting TV. So maybe it is a self fulfilling prophecy. Conan will get great ratings because people are talking about him. And then they won't want to take him off the air. Or for the first time in history, maybe we'll have 4 late night talk shows in direct competition (yeah, we know you exist Jimmy).

Regardless, its an interesting time. Just like it was 16 years ago.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's Complicated

What is a family movie to see over the holidays? How about something starring Steve Martin? As long as it is not a Pink Panther film. Alec Baldwin? Of course I will go. Meryl Streep? Looks like the ladies in the family are locked.

Light uncomplicated family fare during the holidays, is there anything better? There's nothing really here to say. John Krazinski is in it. He's hilarious. The kids in the family are wet noodles. Almost not characters at all. It's really about the top 3 billed. And John. It was a good way to spend the holidays with family. Take it or leave it. TO THE LIST!

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you rent it?

Would you buy it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?

Sherlock Holmes in DBOX!!!!!!

Over the recent holidays I made a trip to the land of purple pride. Everything is bigger up north, including their malls. And one of their theaters is outfitted with something that Chitown theaters don't, D-Box. This is a new gimmick to get asses in seats. The chairs move and shake with the movie.

First the chairs. When I was making my plans I hoped they would have had Avatar in 3D in D-Box. But apparently it wasn't in the stars. The company only does one movie at a time to program the chairs. The last one was 2012. That might have been awesome. But we got Sherlock Holmes. We experienced the feeling of riding on horse drawn carriages. Entertaining? Yes. Would I spend and extra $7 a ticket to do it again? Probably not. But I would suggest if you get a chance to do it, make sure an action movie is playing.

On to the movie. Hey, who wants to see an action movie starring Sherlock Holmes? Yeah, me neither. Don't get me wrong, overall I thought this was a good movie. But it somewhat betrays the original character. There are still the usual Sherlock discoveries and deductions. I was disappointed that the climax didn't include Sherlock talking through all the clues until he revealed the true killer. Supposedly, that isn't Hollywood enough.

Robert Downey Jr. is awesome like always in everything he does. I could watch him read a phone book. Jude Law does okay. He starts to repair the damage done by starring in 30 movies in 5 years (of which I dare you to name more than 6). Rachel McAdams is around to pointlessly keep things going. She's wasted here.

Overall, an okay movie made marginally better by shaky chairs.

Did you enjoy it?
Sure. Let's shake some chairs.

Would you see it in theaters again?
Not in expensive chairs (and probably not in regular ones either)

Would you rent it?
If they had deleted scenes where he has some more clues to solve.

Would you buy it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And We're Back!!!!

2010 means the end of LOST!
New music!
Warm Weather! (not yet)
Casey Moe wedding!
Chitown wedding!
Bachelor Parties!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pandora, it's not just for music lovers

Well, now all the hoopla is out in the open. Game changer? Nope. New worlds? Kinda. There are a lot of hairless dogs and dinosaurs.

What we do have is a fairly entertaining movie about another world made by Jimmy Cameron in 3D (yes, Mitch, you have to see it in 3D). For all of you that aren't computer nerds, avatars are a graphic representations of people. In this case, they are 9 foot tall blue aliens.

It is most like the movies we've seen before: Dune, Dances with Wolves, etc etc. But there aren't that many new ideas left in the world. Or at least that's what Hollywood tells me. GoBots in 2013!

If you weren't one of the people that bought into all the hype, it's a pretty good movie. If you were fooled into believing that this is the beginning of a whole new time in cinema, you need a life. And you will have to wait a little while longer.

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?
Maybe. There is only crap in theaters right now.

Would you rent it?
Oh boy, are there 50 minutes of deleted scenes? Pass.

Would you buy it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Yes. But I'm trying to cut back.