Tuesday, September 30

The Killers :: "Human"

Mmm, tasty! This is the link to the new Killers single, Human, on iTunes. I like!

iTunes link

Thursday, September 25

Law and Odor

HA, this is hilarious!

Click here

Tuesday, September 23

New James Bond theme

I've been waiting to hear this new Bond theme for a while now. Jack White of the White Stripes wrote the song and it's performed by him and Alicia Keys. I can't say on first listen that it's doing a ton for me, but there definitely some cool elements. I like Jack's influence throughout combined with the orchestra.

Stream it here.

Monday, September 22

Undiscovered: Create, Submit, Inspire

For musicians, filmmakers, artists, or creative writers who want to "get discovered"...



Hmm, gotta be honest. This was disappointing. Why did Matthew and Jared cut their hair? It changes the whole vibe of the band for the worse.

Kings Of Leon - SNL from ERINA on Vimeo.

Phil Wickham :: Singalong

If you haven't heard Phil Wickham, you need to fix that. A friend from church (thanks, Dave) turned me on to him within the last year and I've super enjoyed the album. There are some way ace worship tunes on there! Click here to check out "Cannons" in iTunes.

Another friend of mine just filled me in this weekend about a new album release Phil put out called "Singalong". It's him, an acoustic, and 3000 people in Portland, Oregon singing and worshipping together. Sounds pretty cool from the bit I've heard so far and the best part is it's free! Click here to download it!

Saturday, September 20

"It Might Get Loud" DVD

The Edge + Jack White + Jimmy Page?! Hot dang!!

U2.com article
Official site

Next U2 Album News

Click here to read an article from Bono about the new album. Note that it was posted September 3, not March 9, as they write their dates differently overseas...

Friday, September 19

Run Your Car On Water

Can this be for reals???


Thursday, September 18

Frost / Nixon trailer

I don't know a ton about Nixon and the Watergate scandal, but I had never heard about this side of things. With Ron Howard, Peter Morgan, and Hans Zimmer behind the wheel, I'm expecting it to be good!

Watch the trailer here.

Zhang Yimou and the Olympics

So, since I didn't watch more than probably a combined 60 seconds total of the Olympics, I obviously didn't see the opening ceremony that everyone raved about. And I've forgotten to look it up online. Evidently it was pretty dang phenomenal. Then I find this article about who was behind it, Zhang Yimou, and it caught my eye. Yimou directed the martial arts films, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. Here's the article...

HONG KONG - Reflecting on the Beijing Olympics and Beijing Paralympics ceremonies he designed, Chinese director Zhang Yimou says their sheer scale eclipsed any movie he worked on.

"I had never needed so many people and gone into so much trouble when I made any of my films," Zhang was quoted as saying by China's state-run Xinhua News Agency in a report late Wednesday.

Zhang made his comments before the closing ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics late Wednesday, Xinhua said. The Beijing Olympics were held Aug. 8-24.

"The ceremonies are grand cultural events, which entail a daunting amount of coordination. It's been a lot of working with other artists, technicians and officials. It is a time- and energy-consuming job, yet a rare and rewarding experience," Zhang said.

More than 40,000 people took part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics and the shows involved thousands of costumes, Xinhua said.

Each makeup artist had to work on 180 performers within hours, it said.

Zhang, who directed such films as "Raise the Red Lantern" and "To Live," said coming up with original ideas for the four shows was tough.

"People want to see something they have never seen before, so it has been extremely difficult for us to be creative," Zhang was quoted as saying.

The highlights of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony included retired Chinese gymnast Li Ning soaring through the air carried by wires to light the Olympic cauldron. Hundreds of drummers beat rhythms with their hands and acrobats floated around a translucent globe that emerged from the stadium floor.

But the opening ceremony was also overshadowed by revelations that a young female performer lip-synched a song and that some footage of fireworks that burst into the shape of footprints that was broadcast during the ceremony was computer-generated.

The Xinhua report did not discuss the two controversies.

Beijing organizers have defended the lip-synching, saying it was a casting choice.

Zhang also did not reveal his next movie project.

The director has not a made a movie since his 2006 Chinese historical epic "Curse of the Golden Flower."

R.I.P. Richard Wright

I just heard the news today that the keyboardist from Pink Floyd, Richard Wright, passed away this past Monday. He was a founding member of the band and was only 65. Here's a couple articles...

Article 01
Article 02

Wednesday, September 17

Kings of Leon on SNL!

Hot dang! Kings of Leon will be performing this Saturday, September 20 on Saturday Night Live. James Franco hosts. Make sure you tune in! KOL won't disappoint.

Tuesday, September 16

The 8 Year Old Shredder


Friday, September 12

Long-Distance... What's That??

Last, but TOTALLY not least, for today's posts is the following announcement...


Yep, you read that right. I highly doubt the full extent of our excitement can be felt by just reading that. So, we are only "long-distancers" for 3.5 more months... Then come Christmas time, I will get my best and most favorite gift!! I'll be going down for a visit the day after Christmas and will be bringing her back with me. It's been good in one sense to do the long distance thing for a while because it's harder and forces us to look to God, rather than each other's embrace, for comfort and also allows for getting to know each other better without having the physical attraction side of things constantly present. But, yay for short-distance relationships!

Northern Room Concert

I just got an email this week that Milwaukee natives, Northern Room, will again be rocking out in the Turner Hall Ballroom on Saturday, November 8. These guys not only have killer music, but the live show is always a blast to watch and certainly entertaining. Unfortunately, I won't be able to go, but if you're in the area, definitely check it out! Click here to get your tickets - they're only $10! You have no excuse to not go to this show.

Logic Express 8

I just ordered Logic Express 8 from eBay this week and am super psyched to dive into it. I've been using GarageBand for the past couple years through an M-Audio FireWire Solo and more recently, a Mackie Onyx interface, which has been great so far. The WAV tracks are played live through Reason 2.5, which also kicks out a click track for our drummer and a software instrument bass track, which I would input.. We were planning on getting a Pro Tools Digi002 setup this summer so that we could send out the separate track channels into our board, but opted against it now that we have a full band and don't need as intense of a setup as Pro Tools is. It would've been nice, but with the learning curve, money involved, and little need for it right now, we've decided to hold off.

So we ordered Logic Express after a recommendation from my friend Joel. It's still made by Apple, but is a step up from GarageBand, and the things I've heard made with it are ace. I can't wait to get it and get my hands on it!

TV Shows

The few shows I've gotten into over the past are:

The Office (both UK and US versions)
Saturday Night Live
The Apprentice
American Idol
All late nights (mainly Conan)
Frank TV

A few I've seen bits of, but want to see more of:

Arrested Development
Flight of the Conchords
The Simpsons

A few I've wanted to check out, but still haven't:

Mad Men

I've never been too much of a TV watcher. Lately I haven't been watching ANYTHING. Which is fine by me. But there's a new show being executive produced by J.J. Abrams called Fringe that looks promising. I haven't watched the pilot just yet, but it's on our DVR and I'll get to it soon.

What shows are you into or would you recommend?

The City of "Brotherly Love"

Man, what's up with Philadephia, "the city of brotherly love", these days? There was a report of a pretty bad hit-and-run accident a few weeks ago in which the victim was left lying in the street with no help from pedestrians or car drivers. People just ignored it, even though they saw him in the street. I can't imagine ignoring something like that and wonder what goes through people's heads when they see something like that.

Then there's this report this week. Now, I know you don't just want to jump into an altercation when somebody is crazed and hitting someone else with a hammer, but to just sit there and do nothing?!

Click here

Billy: The Early Years

I got an announcement from a Christian email list today for a movie coming out in October 2008 called Billy: The Early Years. It tells the story of Billy Graham and looks pretty great - I really hope it's not cheesy or low-budget. My interest is definitely piqued after seeing the trailer and I'm looking forward to it!

Click here to watch the trailer.

Click here for the IMDB page.

Thursday, September 11

The Renewed Mind Is the Key... to Bad Dancing

Wow. That's all I can say. Wait until the hilarious solo dance about halfway through!!

Tuesday, September 9

"Jesus Is My Friend"

This is too hilarious to not pass along!!

Next Batman Rumors

Hmm, take this with a grain of salt, but Michael Caine evidently said this in an interview with MTV...

"I was with [a Warner Bros.] executive and I said, ‘Are we going to make another one?’ They said yeah. I said, ‘How the h*** are we going to top Heath? And he says ‘I’ll tell you how you top Heath — Johnny Depp as The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin.’"

Monday, September 8

Air Travel Woes

So I've been telling everyone here in town that they wouldn't be seeing much of Summer and I've been telling everyone in Tulsa that they'd be seeing more of me. Well, the tables have turned, due to crappy air fares. My dates of travel are usually Thursday to Saturday and hers are Friday to Sunday and airfares and special deals like her days of travel better. It will work out for the best, though, cos our time up here will be a bit more quality time since there aren't friends and families for both of us here like there are down there.

Unfortunately, all that's changed is who's going where, not how often we get to see one another. Big frowny face. It's super hard being away from my special someone. Especially when she's this cute...

Mute Math's next album

This was too important to post in the last post about new releases in the land of music. I simply CANNOT wait for this one to finally be in my hands and to see Mute Math in concert with whatever new, crazy cool antics they bring on the road with them. Early 2009 is too long to wait!

I read a couple weeks ago that their producer is going to be Dennis Herring, who did the most recent albums for The Hives, Modest Mouse, and Ben Folds. They're writing and recording right now, so I'm guessing he's just putting the finishing touches on??

In skimming through Mute Math's wiki, I came across some interesting quotes from Paul Meany about the next album. Because I, and so many others I know, revere the first album beyond compare, his 2nd statement draws a raised eyebrow from me. Not that my anticipation has waned at all, but I'm just interested to see what it'll be like. The studio vlogs have been awesome, especially the Light Drums, which you just absolutely must see.

"Our goal is to embarrass the first record, that's what we're trying to do here, and I think we're on point to pull it off."

"Anyone who thinks the first album is perfect will hate this new record. If you heard the first record and liked some stuff about it but think things could improve, you may like it. It's important for us to change up the formula. We thought we were writing the new album for the past 2.5 years on the road, but found out we weren't. We just started three months ago."

Upcoming Music Releases

I've been having a bit of trouble remembering all the killer albums that are slated to come out soon so I Googled it the other day and got this great link.

Here are the ones I'm most looking forward to:

Metallica :: Death Magnetic :: September 9
This is going to be amazing. Thank you for getting back to your roots, Metallica, and for enlisting Rick Rubin to make you sound better than ever!

Kings of Leon :: Only By The Night :: September 23
Can't wait for this!!!

Travis :: Ode to J. Smith :: September 29
The single hasn't rocked me and I'm hoping that this isn't another 12 Memories where it's a decent album, but not good for a Travis album.

Keane :: Perfect Symmetry :: October 14
With Jon Brion at the producer helm and an already ace single released, I'm stoked for this!

Queen + Paul Rodgers :: The Cosmos Rocks :: October 14
AHHHHHH!! NEW QUEEN!! I've gotta say that at first I didn't dig hugely on Paul Rodgers, but man, he's won me over in the recent past. Their performance at the Nelson Mandela night was freaking awesome and while Paul doesn't come close to being Freddy, he doesn't try to be and he brings out the rockier side of Queen. I hope this rules!!

Sixpence None the Richer :: The Dawn of Grace :: October 14
I heard about this a couple months ago and was floored cos I thought Sixpence was over and done with. I'm elated that they're not! Leigh Nash's voice is one of my all-time favorite female vocalists and her matched up with Christmas songs should be festively tasty.

Switchfoot :: Sometime in 2009?
I'm hoping that with these being their first record after breaking with their label that it'll be more creatively free and more going the direction they've been headed, cos they've really had some killa stuff lately.

A few I didn't know were coming out, but hopefully are good:

Of Montreal :: Skeletal Lamping :: October 7
Mogwai :: The Hawk Is Howling :: September 23
Cold War Kids :: Loyalty to Loyalty :: September 23
Ben Folds :: Way To Normal :: September 30
Oasis :: Dig Out Your Soul :: October 7
Rachael Yamagata :: A Record In Two Parts :: October 7
AC/DC :: Black Ice :: October 20

New Microsoft Commercial

I heard the news about Microsoft's new ad campaign which was supposed to somewhat counter the out-of-this-world amazing Mac vs. PC commercials that I know we've all seen. (Click here to watch all of them.) Jerry Seinfield was reportedly getting paid $10 million to be a part of them so it seemed like Microsoft was putting some effort into this.

Well, after seeing this first 90 second commercial which is supposedly an "icebreaker" to the rest of them, I can say with confidence that Apple has absolutely nothing to worry about in maintaining the throne of commercial awesomeness. The commercial has some funny parts, admittedly, but the commercial is so long that it gets long and the jokes don't pack the same punch as they maybe would have if split up, Bill's not that great of an actor so believability is a bit off, and the ending is like, wha?? One of the most surprising things was to hear that Crispin, Porter, and Bogusky (CP+B) is the creative agency for this $300 million dollar campaign. I've been drawing a blank as to what specifically I've seen by them that I've loved, but I know they're heavy hitters, so it was unexpected to have a lame commercial like this come out of their doors. Hopefully Microsoft will recover from this initial failure, for their sake.

Here's the original, followed by a hilarious "alternate ending" version which had me laughing out loud.

Financial Peace University

We start up Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University program this Sunday at church and I must say, I'm pretty excited. I've really been working on cutting out all the little unnecessary spending that was ending up in my budget every month, and especially now with the gf, I think through all my financial decisions, large and little alike. I'm extremely blessed to be able to say I don't have any debt besides a little bit that I'm paying back to myself and to be in that place going into FPU is exciting.

I saw a license plate here in town the other day that said "IN DEBT" and I kinda did a double take. Not because this guy was in debt, but because he chose that to put on the plate of his giant truck. :) I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to be 20 years down the road and saying, hmm, what should I put on my license plate... Oh, how about "IN DEBT"!

No offense to that person if you're reading this and you happen to know them... I just don't want it to be me.


My brother Josh tuned me into this website last week and it's been a blast so far! You upload a pic of yourself and then you can create a yearbook picture of any year from 1950-2000 (in 2-year increments) by adjusting your face as needed. It's pretty hilarious! Here are a few crazy ones of me. You can get 'em more perfect looking, but I didn't spend too much time on these.

Click the image for a larger version. Try it yourself here!

Movie Review Catch-Up, Part 4

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The Disclaimer
Just because I've watched a movie or enjoyed it doesn't mean that it's for everyone. I don't like raunchy content in a movie and I use the websites, ScreenIt and Kids In Mind, frequently to find out what kind of content is in a movie before I watch it. BUT. Everyone's tolerance level of how much content you'll put up with if the movie's worth watching varies. With that in mind, when I say a movie is good, I'm saying that in an overall sense, and I'm saying that from my perspective. I'm not endorsing it, nor am I saying that the content that is in it is appropriate for all ages. I'd prefer the movie to be clean, but if it's overall worth watching and isn't overly raunchy, I'm able to look past a lot of it.

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The Bucket List
I really enjoyed this. A good message and a great combo of seriousness and comedy.
4 of 5.

One of those inspirational sports movies. I enjoyed it more being a drummer myself.
4 of 5.

La Vie en Rose
Kinda like the French lady version of Ray. She went through a lot emotionally in her life and the movie does a good job capturing that. Excellent acting!
4 of 5.

Ladron Que Roba A Ladron
A fun Latin heist. The director said they wanted to make the first Latino feature film and to make it Hollywood-style on an indie budget and they did a great job.
4 of 5.

Tom Dowd and the Language of Music
A look into the life of one of music's biggest / revolutionary producers, Tom Dowd, from way back in the day. He worked with the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, etc.
4 of 5.

Breakfast At Tiffany's
It was okay overall, but I just didn't connect with it as much as I thought I would. I know how much of a classic it is, though, so don't worry diehards - I haven't written it off yet...
3 of 5.

Charlie Bartlett
Not quite as good as I had hoped, but still great. A good coming-of-age flick.
4 of 5.

King of California
No biggie for me. It seemed like all the pieces were there, but I just didn't fully connect. Kurt tore up the acting, though.
3 of 5.

The Lookout
Disappointing. For some reason I thought I had read a quick comment somewhere about there being a twist you'd never see coming, so that didn't help. But overall, it was so linear that I couldn't get into it.
2 of 5.

I'm In the System

I got my first speeding ticket a few weeks ago when picking up Summer in St. Louis on the drive to Tulsa. It sucked cos I made it down there cruising like a madman with a banshee in my shorts and avoiding all cops in the process. Then I pick her up and slow down my pace and alas, I get nailed on a little in-town highway that supposedly was marked at 45 MPH. We had gotten off a normal speed highway and pulled onto this for just a short while and were talking about how far the next highway was when we crested a hill. Within like 3 seconds, his lights were on even though I tried braking once I saw him. He knocked a few miles off the ticket, probably because we were such a cute couple. :) Ha, not quite. But hopefully he took some pity on a couple of out-of-towners who were just trying to enjoy a nice drive to their destination.

He said I'd have to call in after 10-15 working days to find out the amount of the ticket, which was crazy. There was no indication as to how much it was. Today's the 11th day and they still don't have it on file. And to rub it in, their automated phone line is recorded in a super nice, professional voice. Normally I'd say that was great. But when I'm calling to pay you money for making a little mistake, I don't want to be patronized! :)

So the wait continues. It better not be too much!!

Saturday, September 6

New Tunes

I haven't been getting as much new music recently as I had been in the past few months, but there are definitely some gems that I have to pass along and review. Like with the movie disclaimer, I don't agree with all the lyrical content in these songs, nor am I endorsing their opinions or lifestyles, but it's still dang good music!

Brooke Fraser :: Albertine
You HAVE to, HAVE to, HAVE to have this album. Trust me on this. Seriously. It is amazing. It's the solo project of my favorite vocalist from Hillsong whom I have a vocal crush on. :) The lyrics are great, the production ace, and the overall package one that will leave you wanting more. BUY THIS!!!

Sounds like: Sarah McLachlan meeting A Fine Frenzy in lush musical layers
Fave songs: Shadowfeet, Love Is Waiting, Epilogue, Hymn

Does It Offend You, Yeah? :: You Have No Idea What You're Getting Into
I had heard of this band, but overlooked them until my sister Rachel told me about 'em and I re-looked into them. It is such a tasty album full of awesome grooves.

Sounds like: Ghostland Observatory + Chemical Brothers + Bodyrockers
Fave songs: With A Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You), Let's Make Out
Listen for: The awesome overproduced dual vomit vocal dub on Weird Science at 1:30 and throughout the song - it's incredible!!

The Helio Sequence :: Keep Your Eyes Ahead
An eFriend (someone I just know from online...) created a playlist of tunes to check out a few months ago and this band was one of them. After working through a few iTunes previews, I bought "Lately", "Keep Your Eyes Ahead", "Hallelujah", and "Shed Your Love". The latter is amazing and the others are pretty great listening as well.

Albert Hammond, Jr. :: ¿Cómo Te Llama?
First off, no, he's not Mexican. He just wants to know what your name is. :) He is the lead guitarist from The Strokes, if you didn't know, and his first album dominated me when it came out. While this one doesn't top that, it's still a great listen all throughout. Definitely get both albums by him!

Fave songs: In My Room, Lisa, Victory At Monterey, You Won't Be Fooled By This

Safetysuit :: Life Left to Go
I don't have the whole album of this but their song, Apology, is pretty dang catchy and awesome. It starts out with a cool vocal part that breaks into a nice solid groove and then keeps on progressing from there. The verse has a rockin' bass line with a cool drum beat, the pre-chorus cranks up the coolness factor by switching the drum beat to the disco beat and adding in high vocals, and the chorus is so awesome with the simple chord changes. I loooove the octave guitar part at the end of the song too.

Jason Mraz :: We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things
I had always been familiar with Mraz, but until another eFriend got me into him in the past couple months, I really hadn't heard much at all. I had the Java Joe's album which is pretty cool, but then once I got the new album, I fell in love with him. Not literally, mind you... The first 4 tracks are amazing and the album stays pretty heavy-hitting from there. He's not for everyone and I've heard that most people are either Mraz fans OR John Mayer fans, so maybe you won't dig this album like I do. But do yourself a favor and at least give it a spin.

Fave songs: Lucky, I'm Yours, Make It Mine, Only Human, A Beautiful Mess

Death Cab for Cutie :: Narrow Stairs
A few years ago I started hearing Death Cab's name all over the place, but I never checked them out. I still never entered the craze with all of the popularity they got, but I did gain a bit of exposure over the past couple years. I definitely think this album is the best so far and has a really cool feel throughout. They seem to have kept what they're known for with their sound, at least in my opinion, while still remaining accessible to listeners of all types.

Fave songs: You Can Do Better Than Me, Your New Twin Sized Bed, I Will Possess Your Heart, Grapevine Fires, Bixby Canyon Bridge

Coldplay :: Viva la Vida
When I first heard Violet Hill, it didn't grab me and my expectancy for the album waned slightly. When I heard the next single, Viva la Vida, it was more promising, but I didn't spend a load of time with it, so my expectancy level was still about the same. Obviously Coldplay does good work so I was still positive about it, though. I still have to say that X&Y is my favorite album by far by them, but this definitely has some rad stuff. The intro track sets the mood and I love how it reprises at the end of the album. These guys know music and constantly are evolving and stretching themselves. Take notes, all you young music lovers and instrumentalists.

Fave songs: Lost!, Viva la Vida, 42, Death And All His Friends (especially when it kicks in at the end)

Agree? Disagree? Got a recommendation? You know what to do.

Movie Review Catch-Up, Part 3

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The Disclaimer
Just because I've watched a movie or enjoyed it doesn't mean that it's for everyone. I don't like raunchy content in a movie and I use the websites, ScreenIt and Kids In Mind, frequently to find out what kind of content is in a movie before I watch it. BUT. Everyone's tolerance level of how much content you'll put up with if the movie's worth watching varies. With that in mind, when I say a movie is good, I'm saying that in an overall sense, and I'm saying that from my perspective. I'm not endorsing it, nor am I saying that the content that is in it is appropriate for all ages. I'd prefer the movie to be clean, but if it's overall worth watching and isn't overly raunchy, I'm able to look past a lot of it.

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August Rush
I heard that most people either loved this or hated it. I was in the latter crowd. Way too schmaltzy for me. It felt like a kids plot being told in a way that a movie for adults would be made.
2 of 5.

Charlie Wilson's War
Very enjoyable and another ace performance from Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Skip the first chapter on the DVD...
4 of 5.

The Savages
An excellent, excellent film with amazing performances. I haven't seen Laura Linney in a ton of movies, but every time I do, I'm like, dang. She got it together. This is my fave performance from her so far.
5 of 5.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
I kept hearing about this around awards season and for some reason, I just was dying to see it. I wasn't disappointed! It was an incredible story and the camerawork is TOTALLY brill. Apparently the stuff you see is live, not done in post-production - watch the special features.
5 of 5.

Death At A Funeral
Kinda like a Meet The Parents done British-style and centered around a man's death. I hate the "anything bad that could happen, does" movies like MTP, but this had some hilarious parts and made it worth watching.
4 of 5.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
I only saw the first one once, but this was better than it for sure. You can't watch it and compare it to LOTR, but for younger audiences it's great.
4 of 5.

The King of Kong
This is an amazing documentary-style story told of 2 world champions and the world of vintage gaming. Trust me - it's gold!
5 of 5.

Don't ask me how I had never seen one second of this movie until recently. I feel ashamed. It was amazing and if you're in the same boat as I was, abandon ship!
5 of 5.

Everything Is Illuminated
Great little indie film with traces of Eternal Sunshine artistically.
4 of 5.

The Darjeeling Limited
I watched it again when it came out on DVD and loved it just as much. There are some hilarious parts and the cast is gold. Wes Anderson is easily one of my favorite directors.
4 of 5.

Friday, September 5

Movie Review Catch-Up, Part 2

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The Disclaimer
Just because I've watched a movie or enjoyed it doesn't mean that it's for everyone. I don't like raunchy content in a movie and I use the websites, ScreenIt and Kids In Mind, frequently to find out what kind of content is in a movie before I watch it. BUT. Everyone's tolerance level of how much content you'll put up with if the movie's worth watching varies. With that in mind, when I say a movie is good, I'm saying that in an overall sense, and I'm saying that from my perspective. I'm not endorsing it, nor am I saying that the content that is in it is appropriate for all ages. I'd prefer the movie to be clean, but if it's overall worth watching and isn't overly raunchy, I'm able to look past a lot of it.

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I need to watch this one again cos I didn't like it first time around. I watched it over a couple nights, but I had a hard time keeping track of the details and all the characters involved. I'll watch it again but for now...
2 of 5.

Eastern Promises
Disappointing for how much I heard about it. It was such a simple plot to me and I was expecting a lot more.
2 of 5.

Sweeney Todd
Because I love Tim Burton, I obviously had to see this. I don’t like musicals, but this wasn’t your typical musical so it didn’t bug me. I liked how all the actors actually sang the songs themselves. This movie looks stinking phenomenal as far as production and look goes, but if you can’t stomach blood, skip over this one.
4 of 5.

Breakfast Club
One of my Top 5 all-time faves. I was first introduced to this movie only a year ago, but I loved it that first time and have seen it so many times since then. There’s questionable content all throughout, but look past it and you’ll find an amazing movie. I love the minimal soundtrack, the witty lines, and the fact that it’s basically shot in the one room.
10 of 5.

The Holiday
Another one of my Top 5 all-time faves. I love this movie top to bottom. Side to side. Inside and out. The cast is amazing, the script is awesome, and the score. Wow. What can I say about Hans Zimmer’s masterpiece. It is out of this world!!
10 of 5.

The Incredible Hulk
Absolutely amazing! I was so ready to turn around and go see it again. Roth and Norton were phenomenal, the story was great, and the effects were awesome and not cheesy. I know I may take flack for this, but I liked it better than Iron Man for sure.
5 of 5.

I didn't know this was rated R until it started and I hadn't been like dying to see it, but man, I enjoyed it. I'd say it's a mash-up of The Matrix and something with some folklore like Tomb Raider, but it's got enough originality to keep you interested. There are some really sweet action sequences and the whole shoot-bullets-on-a-curve thing? Totally ace.
4 of 5.

Man, this is an incredible movie! When him and Eve are interacting in the beginning, it's like the cutest romantic comedy, even without talking. There were some great stereotypes of guys and girls and I was laughing a ton at all the humor. I think with Cars and Ratatouille, it was geared a bit more towards adults, but this one gets back to being great for kids too. Great music, great story, great message, great humor, great pre-movie short film. Dang, Pixar. You done it again!
5 of 5.

Simple, yet sweet, and very well done. I super loved this one and can’t wait to see it again.
5 of 5.

Be Kind Rewind
Hmmm. I like Michel Gondry and don’t want to slam him, plus I’ve only seen this movie once and it was over a couple different nights, which I always hate doing, BUT, I didn’t really get into it. Sorry, Mike. I’ll give it another watch soon and hopefully see what you see in it. :)
2.5 of 5.

Sherlock Holmes movie news

In reading a short article about how Guy Ritchie got back to nailing it out of the park with his latest upcoming release, RocknRolla, it was mentioned that he was a Sherlock Holmes fan and is planning to make a movie of it. Starring who? None other than Robert Downey, Jr.! I'm stoked. Sounds like a great lineup so far and it'll be interesting to see how Ritchie interprets the character and storyline and such.

Click here for the IMDB page.

Thursday, September 4

Movie Review Catch-Up, Part 1

Now before I get into reviewing, it's time for a disclaimer. I'll be including this each time I post about a movie I’ve seen because I feel strongly about it.

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The Disclaimer
Just because I've watched a movie or enjoyed it doesn't mean that it's for everyone. I don't like raunchy content in a movie and I use the websites, ScreenIt and Kids In Mind, frequently to find out what kind of content is in a movie before I watch it. BUT. Everyone's tolerance level of how much content you'll put up with if the movie's worth watching varies. With that in mind, when I say a movie is good, I'm saying that in an overall sense, and I'm saying that from my perspective. I'm not endorsing it, nor am I saying that the content that is in it is appropriate for all ages. I'd prefer the movie to be clean, but if it's overall worth watching and isn't overly raunchy, I'm able to look past a lot of it.

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3:10 to Yuma
GREAT movie. Doesn’t matter if you’re into westerns or not, this movie is chock full of goodness and deserves to be watched.
5 of 5.

Hellboy 2
Ehh. It looked better than the first in the trailer, but it really wasn't. Some cool Del Torro imagery, of course, and some cool action bits, but all in all, no biggie.
2.5 of 5.

X-Files 2
It sucked. Tremendously. That’s all you need to know.
1.5 of 5.

The Life Aquatic
I’ve always heard negative things about this movie in the past few years, but a friend (thanks, Brad!) told me I HAD to see it. I agreed to check it out and I loved it! Classic Wes Anderson and so many good little lines throughout.
4 of 5.

Lars and the Real Girl
Man, do I love this movie or what. It’s pretty low-key, and I like those types of movies, and was enjoyable all the way through. Ryan Gosling dominated his role, fo sho!
5 of 5.

Shotgun Stories
I saw the trailer for this on Apple’s site a few months back and it looked interesting. The main actor has a really cool persona in my opinion and this movie didn’t disappoint. Especially for a directorial debut, it’s great.
4 of 5.

Iron Man
Overall, a great movie, but in seeing it the one time I did, I thought the characters / plot seemed a bit shallow at times to me. Definitely worth watching, though, and I look forward to seeing it again, and possibly raising my rating of it.
3.5 of 5.

Indiana Jones 4
Overall it was great, especially compared to a lot of the crap that gets released. It was definitely more stylized than the others, a bit too much at times for me, but still not terrible. There were some parts of unbelieveability / cheesiness that rubbed me wrong (Shia's "Me Tarzan" moment, going over the waterfalls, etc.), but nothing that would keep me from blowing the movie off.
4 of 5.

The Happening
My summary is basically that I liked a lot of the parts of the movie (suspense, score, filming, creepiness of actually seeing the wild deaths, etc.), but I didn't like the sum of its parts. The premise with the plants... what?! C'mon, M. Night. You totally can do better than that. As for no twist, well, he said that this one wasn't really supposed to have one. He said he wanted it to just be a bitter / sweet ending, which we got, but it was still kinda like. Oh. The movie's over. When I first saw the trailer it didn't look great at all and I just saw it because it was him and unfortunately, my feelings were confirmed.
1.5 of 5.

The Dark Knight
Perfect in every way. Just try to find me something wrong with this movie. Out-of-this-world direction. Mindblowing score. Amazing action sequences. Incredible script. And of course. UNBELIEVABLE acting. I wonder how long it’ll be again until a movie does it for me as much as this one has. If you didn’t like it, I don’t like you. Just kidding. Kind of.
100 of 5.

Movies and Me

For those of you who know me well, you know I am a HUGE movie fanatic. I was your average moviegoer until last June when I signed up for a trial Blockbuster Total Access 3-a-month (upgraded to 4-a-month midway) plan, in addition to my Netflix 2-a-month plan that I've had since August '06. Obviously I wanted to get my money's worth (even though I wasn't paying anything...) out of the Blockbuster trial so I got really crazy with watching them right away when I got 'em and then exchanging them in the store and getting another one right away. So for that month, we had a selection of at least 8 DVDs pretty much at all times and I watched probably 25-30 that month.

Once I got into it, I realized how many classic / iconic / "must see" movies I hadn't seen yet and I expanded my Netflix queue dramatically and vowed to be a diehard movie watcher. Not just someone who enjoyed them and didn't care if the movie sucked. Nay, I wanted to watch them critically and I wanted to watch all genres. My Netflix queue is currently right at the 500 mark.

Because I wanted to start watching so many, I decided to keep a record of the ones I watched. For the latter half of last year it was just an alphabetical list, but this year I decided to take it up a notch and break it down by month and day and keep track of where I had gotten it (rental, Netflix online, Netflix DVD, etc.). So far this year I've watched 149 movies. And August was a super slow movie watching month since I'm not a single man anymore. :) Yes. I fully realize how much time in front of a screen that is. But because movie watching and concert going are my only 2 main hobbies, I don't mind going a little nuts with them. Plus, I want to be involved in making a movie or short film eventually so it's good research time!

I'll take a few posts in the coming days to review the highlights or lowlights from the ones I've seen in the past and then will stay up to date with it as I watch 'em.

"Batman: The Killing Joke"

My friend Keith passed along a Batman graphic novel called "The Killing Joke" around the time The Dark Knight was released and it piqued my interest because it was a resource that Christopher Nolan gave to Heath Ledger to get into the mind of the Joker. If you don't know, TDK currently holds the place of my all-time favorite movie behind The Passion of the Christ, so I was definitely interested in checking out anything related to it. It was a super great read and is cool to see where Nolan got the idea for the script and how Ledger should interpret the role.

I've never been a comic book fan, just because I didn't grow up with them or anything, so this was my first exposure to them. Maybe you're in the same boat, but I highly recommend this one. A graphic novel is basically just a long comic book - this one being only 64 pages. It goes by quickly and is worth the short amount of time it'll take you to read through it.

Tuesday, September 2

The Flaming Lips' Christmas on Mars

Wow, I wasn't sure this was ever going to come out! It seems like forever since I first heard about it. The trailer is pretty cool, and definitely Flaming Lips style. Hopefully the movie will be good and not just some overly crazy, outlandish mash-up of ideas of the 3 minds of the Lips.

Chris Tomlin :: Hello Love

Tomlin's new album just dropped at midnight last night and I'm pretty excited to hear it. I heard "You Lifted Me Out" a couple weeks ago and really liked it, and we also played "Jesus Messiah" as a special communion song at church last month. I hope I won't be disappointed with the rest of the album!

Click here to check it out on iTunes.

Monday, September 1

Trading Places

I just finished an excellent book on relationships / marriage by Les and Leslie Parrott. I've heard their names over the past few years, but never really delved into too much of their stuff. I had the opportunity to hear Les talk at a Gary Smalley conference simulcast a few months ago and was super impressed. They're both psychologists but are very practical and down-to-earth. Their latest book, Trading Places, was being featured in the books for sale in the lobby and I took note of it. It came to mind again a few weeks ago and I bought it for myself and Summer. It's been a great read with some great insights, but I just hit the gold mine in one of the last chapters. It's 6 how-to tips for helping your spouse / significant other to see your side. They're in short summary form here, but they expand them more in the book. I'm sure you can identify though, even in this short form, if you've been in a relationship for a period of time. I just had to share 'em. If you dig, get the book! There's more where this came from.

Share your "highs" and "lows".
It will help your spouse experience your day.

Set out the right pair of shoes. (explain what you're needing)
It will keep your spouse from missing the mark.

Highlight your most important emotional needs.
It will remind your spouse of your hardwiring.

Get specific with your gripes.
It will increase your spouse' likelihood of doing something about complaints.

Provide a bit of context.
It will tune your spouse into the meaning behind your emotions.

Give your spouse the whole picture.
It will keep your spouse from having to play emotional games.

The 23rd Psalm for Jazz Bassists.

The Lord is my drummer, I shall not rush.
He maketh me to lay out in tasteful places,
He leadeth me beside cool meter changes
He restoreth my "one".
Yeah man, though I read through the trickiest of charts, I will fear no train wrecks
For You are with it.
Your ride and Your snare, they comfort me,
You setteth up a solo for me in the presence of mine guitarists.
You annointeth my lines with drive, my groove overfloweth.
Surely good feel and swing will follow me through all the tunes of each set.
And I will dwell in the pocket the whole gig long.


Okay. I'm back. This time for realz. :) Sorry it's been a while. I'll do my best to stay updated from here on. Here are some random things I've archived for passing along...

A funny bumper sticker I saw the other day...

For all you Lego-loving, iPod users.

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey??

Rockin' sand castles.

I'd guess that if you were to apply for a job like this, "playing with sand" and "having way more time on your hands than should be allowed" would be requirements on the job description. But joking aside, these people have crazy cool talent and are definitely killa artists.

Click here to check 'em out on my Flickr.


We showed this video from BlueFish.tv at church this past Father's Day. It cracks me up!! We edited out the "burrito fart" one... :)

Click here and scroll down to the Father's Day thumbnail.