Friday, July 30, 2010

Century Club: The Distance

On Saturday, I will participate in a time honored tradition known as Century Club. The jist is you take one shot of beer every minute for 100 minutes. It has a more popular cousin called Power Hour (60 shots in 60 minutes).

In the many years I've done Century Club, I have only completed it without puking a handful of times. The first time I tried to do Century Club was in college. I had just eaten my dinner consisting of McDonald's double cheeseburger. Rookie mistake. I only last 29 shots (sorry, Kevin).

The first time I actually finished was the summer after freshman year of college. We were on the EX main house patio. In those ancient days you just had a clock. And every minute that ticked by someone would just shout "SHOT".

In later years we developed better technology to keep track of shots. We'd make cassette tapes of 1 minute clips of songs. Most cassettes are only 90 minutes, so I don't remember what we did to get the last 10 songs (start the tape over?).

Now, of course, you can crop songs from your iPod to only play for one minute. And you can have a long list for those manimals who can cruise past 100 shots.

It's also important to choose your beer wisely. Some say Busch Light. Others Miller. I'm a Bud man. I don't drink Bud Light as a rule, but I've learned that it's lack of taste can really help you cruise through those rough middle times during Century Club.

So, by midnight tomorrow, I will have consumed roughly 11 beers in under two hours. God help us all. Also, congrats, Mark.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

See Salt (pun intended)

Evelyn Salt was supposed to be "Edwin" Salt. It was going to be played by Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) but he felt the story was too close to Mission Impossible and did "Knight and Day" instead. I would like to thank him for that. Whatever you think of Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie, I think they both made the right choices for material. Tom couldn't have handled the accents.

What I got out of this movie is a surprise. Genuine enjoyment and intrigue. The action is well paced and all done as practically as possible. At no point did I not think Angelina was on location doing her stunts (with the help of wirework, of course). Its refreshing to have actual stunts being done.

Although nothing to write home about, there are some good plot twists that keep your full attention. The biggest complaint I have about the movie are Angelina's wigs. But I can get past those. It brought back those great feelings about cold war movies from the 80's. Remember when James Bond had a good enemy to battle every couple years? I miss those days. This is getting my "Best Action Movie" of the summer and is in good contention for the year. But we also know what kind of year we've had...

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you buy it?
Probably Not.

Would you rent it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
For sure.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Where to begin? If you've seen the commericals and trailers for the movie, you're wrong. You don't know the plot. It's clever advertising to get you in the door (if you were on the fence). From there it takes you in a whole other direction.

I will be damned if I'm going to spoil this for you. The closest comparsion I can give it is The Matrix. Now, to be clear, I'm not saying the plots are similar. The only tie they have is that they both deal with different states of consciousness and they both are game changers. What I am saying is this movie feels like how I felt about the original Matrix. I remember not knowing much about the Matrix when I saw in in April 1999. I also remember walking out of the theater thinking "well things are definitely different for me now, let's line up to see it again".

No, this movie has more in line with one of Christopher Nolan's earlier works, Memento. It's a movie that's a mind f#*k. But the thing about Inception is that no matter what you feel you just saw when the theater lights come up, you know you saw something good. Even if you can only enjoy it on the basic action level, you'll be satisfied. I don't want to heap on too much praise. It's already been getting a lot of backlash and it's only been out a week. I'm just thankful to have something with some weight to it released in theaters this year. We've been in short supply of that lately.

The only thing I will say about the plot (I'm going to see it in IMAX on Sunday to give it my second look) is that it simply lays its cards on the table for you to see and gives you a window to let you decide for yourself. This frustruates some people, but I think it lets you have your cake and eat it too.

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?
Going to happen soon.

Would you buy it?

Would you rent it?

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

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Despicable Me

As a child, Gru wanted nothing more than some attention / affection from his mother. This developed into him becoming a villain. He's not the only one. There are so many villains that they have their own bank. There are so many villains that if you need a certain device to complete a diabolical scheme, you need to steal from other villains.

Gru needs a shrink ray to steal the moon. He's going to use adopted girls to do it. But plot isn't important. Neither is 3D (but based on 2D version, there is a lot of stuff coming at you). The voices are funny, the cast is good (Danny McBride is listed and I couldn't even tell you which character he plays).

Plenty entertaining kid fare. Take the family and stay occupied for 2 hours. I was disappointed at one joke. But not at the joke itself. I was disappointed in the audience. When he shrinks the moon they show a scene of surfers on waves as the waves stop and the ocean goes flat. I heard a lot of people audiably go "huh?". Really people? You don't know what affects the tides and waves? Come on.
Did you enjoy it?
Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you buy it?
Possibly for my unborn spawn.

Would you rent it?
More likely for myself.

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Sure. Why not.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wheeze. Hack. Cough.

Set List from Pavement's return to Chicago via Pitchfork Music Festival.

Cut Your Hair
In the Mouth of a Desert
Silent Kit
Kennel District
Shady Lane
Debris Slide
Spit on a Stranger
Range Life
Trigger Cut
Two States
Gold Soundz
Conduit for Sale
Stop Breathin
The Hexx*

Pretty good set. They're still sloppy as they've always been. But in a good way. Fast and loose. That's how I like my rock and roll.

*Songs I recognized, but didn't remember the title until I got home and verified from 'the catalog'


I was looking for a Predators poster for my post. Google search came back with the mostly boring posters of the new movie, but also some from the first movie with Arnold Schwartzenegger. Not a lot of love for Danny Glover and part two. Instead I went with this funny tee shirt design. I was getting close to spending more time on the picture than I planned to spend on the review.

So, they want to reboot the Predator franchise. You might consider what they did a good start. Then again, you might not. First Predator movie, awesome. The second one, not as bad as everyone remembers. Especially if you compare it to the two miserable Alien v Predator movies. Let's ignore those for now.

The general mythology at is that Predators are hunters. They come to Earth to hunt dangerous men. If you don't have a weapon in your hand, they don't consider you a threat and leave you alone. In the first movie, they hunt a secret army killing squad. In the second one, they hunt drug dealer thugs and cops. In the new movie, they take all of what they consider the "worst killers" on Earth, and bring them to their "game preserve".

So, first issue. A hunter usually goes to their game's natural habitat to hunt. By bringing the people to you, it's like going to the zoo with a rifle. Even I can bag some big game there. It seems lazy. Okay, maybe these are training hunters. Not ready to go out and hunt on other planets. Eh.

So the movie has created a group of people to be picked off one by one. They all play nice and try to find out how to get off the planet (once the twist that they're not on their planet is shown, in case you missed all the commericals).

The movie kind of hits all the wrong notes. It tries to remind you of the old movies with easter eggs that mostly ring false. It doesn't seem like fans plugged these in, they were on a list somewhere. Please include skeletons with spines, skinned bodies, someone shirtless in mud, falling over a waterfall. Thank you.

Did you enjoy it?
Meh. After it was over I thanked my partner for enduring the film with me.

Would you see it in theaters again?
Only if it was running as a triple feature with part one and two.

Would you buy it?

Would you rent it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Didn't I tell you I lost my free HBO last week?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BK Lounge

So, there are these new Burger King commericals. They feature that fat race car driver (sorry, dude). But the biggest issue I have with these burgers: side grill marks. Yes, for years we've known that you "flame broil" burgers and they all have these wonderful uniform grill lines on them. We get it. The people you pay $4/hour are better at the grill than I am.

American's eat fake processed food. That's not news. What's interesting is how you expect people to believe they got grill marks on the side of these patties. Am I to believe that you turned these burgers on their sides to get those "grill marks"?

Is the world really turning into the film Idiocracy? Thoughts?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chicago has Transformers

I saw this outside my apt this morning. Apparently, with all of the Transformers 3 movie shooting in town this weekend, some people are calling for the Autobots to leave Earth...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Inception (quick take)

Summer saved. Possibly the year. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. This one may call for one more viewing before dissection.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Arrival of the BoC

After years of effort I finally won a Bag of Crap from woot off. Here are my spoils.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Digs

View from the new Krull Nugget Headquarters...