29 August 2008

Pop Culture, Chicken Wings, and Vin

I started my week out with a trip to the Wing Coop. It's a small chicken wing joint that serves wings and beer. It's on 4100 and Redwood. The wings go up to eleven. Now when I say eleven it's not dollars (or volume levels) that's the name of the hottest wing on the menu. Several of the guys at Jeren's birthday party tried the Eleven and immediately broke out into a sweat. But my fav with the Wing Coop is Nick going crazy on 20 wings ranging in hotness. He didn't go for the Eleven's but he sure got covered in sauce and started to sweat. It could've been the wings or the lack of AC I can't tell. After the wings we (the we that were over 21) went to a sports bar. I had to leave early so I could get my older self out of bed the next day for school.

The next day was an adventure. It took me 90 minutes to get to the U of U. RIDICULOUS!!! I was irritated about my commute but more so that I missed the first ten minutes of my first class, Pop Culture. That's right I'm taking an entire class from the English department in pop culture. This semester we are discussing Cult TV. So guess what my homework is... yep, it's to watch TV. Granted I have to find some of the shows (X-Files, Twin Peaks, Star Trek) on iTunes or on DVD because they've been off the air for a while but what a great assignment. It's something I already do anyway so what more could a girl want.

Well, I did want a little bit more. So i went and saw Babylon A.D. with Vin Diesel. He's just hot... H.O.T.T. And really awesome in Pitch Black.

The movie was good and weird and probably not for everyone. But director Mattheu Kassovitz (actor in Amelie and director of Gothika) did a good job of co-writing and directing a strange little futuristic tale. In Babylon AD, the rest of the world is post-apocalyptic and America is the Garden of Eden. The ending is weak but the visuals and the action make the film. Vin's character must smuggle this odd girl to New York and in true action film fashion there's some trouble. (And, yes, Thor there is a cheesy, sort-of romance as the girl and Vin get to know each other, but its Vin! what girl wouldn't swoon!). But more than the movie, I am EXCITED (or obsessed) about some of the new movies they showed trailers for... see below.

Fast and the Furious 4

Max Payne

Terminator Salvation

27 August 2008

Holy Chicken, Batman!

So Jen, Cindi and I were on our way to a party. We were just jamming to Placebo as Jen was driving her Taurus down 7000 S. when all of a sudden there was this chicken running out into the middle of the road.

Jen being shocked by the random poultry running toward her lane shouted "Chicken... in the middle of the road!!" as she braked for the dare devil bird. The announcement/outburst made me jump and caused about 5 minutes of eye-watery, hysterical laughter. The chicken seemed to be on a mission (or really confused by it's new found freedom) as it veered into traffic and caused the lanes to slow.

Whether the chicken made it across the road or could even tell you why it crossed the road is beyond me, I was more entertained by Jen's "Chicken!" outburst. (You should ask her to demonstrate the next time you see her).

20 August 2008

Why Choose Sci-Fi

During the summer my television watching has changed. In fact, my television watching changed with the writer's strike. But one thing has always brought me back. It's the Sci-Fi Channel. If you do not have this wonderous channel you are missing out. And here is why:

Ghost Hunters - This show is my latest addiction. I love American folklore and this show goes in and researches potential haunted castles, hotels, homes, etc. It's interesting how the investigators go through and try to debunk the stories but they usually find some interesting EVP and other evidence. This week Ghost Hunters International went to Dracula's Castle in Transylvania, Romania.

Even if you don't believe in ghosts it's fun to see places these guys can go because it's usually places the public cannot enter. They also talk about the supernatural legens surrounding the older buildings and areas. One favorite is when the TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) group went to the Stanley Hotel, the filming location for Stephen King's "The Shining." I can't say I believe the place is haunted but it's REALLY creepy.

Reruns of some great sci-fi - Sci-fi randomly plays the older and sometimes obscure TV shows from other networks. Currently playing is the "X-Files" back with Scully was a skeptic and Mulder was the believer. Other greats are "Mystery Science Theatre 3000", etc. Sci-fi has just captured a new show. "Lost" will be joining the schedule soon for those who are obsessed with how those people are going to ever get off that island.

Sci-Fi Original Pictures - My favorite is the 10-part mini-series called "Taken." Following 5 decades, 4 generations, and 3 families Steven Spielberg brought a great story about the unexplained "alien" conspiracy beginning with the Foo Fighters in WWII. The story wasn't just about the conspiracy but the people and it was ingeniously executed using an ensemble of actors including Eric Close ("Without a Trace"), Matt Frewer ("Max Headroom"), Adam Kaufmann ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and, at the time, an up-and-coming young starlet named Dakota Fanning.

Another noteworthy production is the mini-series "Dune" and "Children of Dune," the latter displaying the acting chops of a young James McAvoy. The two mini-series cover the first three books written by Frank Herbert (Dune, Dune: Messiah, and Children of Dune). The books are excellent and Sci-Fi's interpretations are very well done.

I'm a big Sci-Fi geek (to my friends this should not be a shocker) and anyone else who is huge science fiction fan shouldn't dismiss this network based on the awesomely bad movies it loves to air on the weekends (e.g., "Dinocroc" and "Anaconda" ).

For more Sci-Fi fun, I've actually taken the local Ghostbusters class through granite school district's community education program. If you believe in the supernatural or your just interested in history this is a fun class. I had my own experience which was fun but not paranormal in the slightest. Three out of my 5-part column is still online for SLCC's newspaper.

Column 1 Globe Link

Column 2 Globe Link

Column 3 Globe Link

16 August 2008

Tropic Blunder, I think not

Reviews deemed "Tropic Thunder" as this awful film, but what I witnessed last night was a hilarious romp that pokes fun at a plethora of Hollywood stereotypes. The cheesy action star (Ben Stiller), the goofy comedian (Jack Black) and the full-of-himself Oscar winner (Robert Downey, Jr.) were all present. "Tropic" began with trailers of the latest film projects of the three film stars launching the film. If the film ended there it would have been worth the $8. Fortunately the mayhem and comedy continued.

The film, like in the trailer, takes three whiny Hollywood actors and pairs them with two others, a rap star/food brand entrepreneur named Alpa Chino and a new actor, Kevin Sandusky (Jay Barushel, "Knocked Up"). When the studio tries to pull the plug on the film, the director drops the five leads into the jungle and that's when their big budget action film goes from fake to real. The four indulged stars begin to lose it and Sandusky, the only actor with common sense, has to try and bring the group back alive.

"Tropic Thunder" is filled with Politically Correct dialog... oh wait, that was another movie. "Tropic Thunder" is filled with irreverent humor that emphasizes the bubble these pampered stars live in and laughs in the face of all who hold politically correctness on a pedestal. (For more on being PC watch "P.C.U.").

The film is recommended for fans of action movie satires and irreverent humor. I give it a must-see with a group of friends who enjoy laughing out loud.

13 August 2008

The laughter, pain... and toga parties?

So I'm a movie enthusiast. This should not be a new thing for anyone who really knows me. But I have a few films on my favorites list. National Lampoons Animal House is definitely one of those films. It's hard to explain why to anyone who has not witnessed this classic first hand.

What got me on this Animal House kick? Well, with my parents currently on vacation I'm spending more time at home. (I have to puppy sit). While I was flipping the channels I found this anniversary special with the cast and crew talking about how they made the film. I started thinking about it and Animal House is one of the funniest movies out there. It led the way for crude humored movies like American Pie and those Apatow flicks. And Bluto, Otter, Neidermeyer, Flounder and D-Day should hold a special place in film fans' hearts. If you have never watched this classic piece of cinema just drop by your local Blockbuster and pick it up. With lines like...

Bluto: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.

"They confiscated everything, even the stuff we didn't steal!"

"That boy is a P-I-G pig."

...you can't go wrong!

08 August 2008

Mac Snob and the Slashy

A while ago I purchased a new MacBook. As an avid PC user at school, work and home I’m not as familiar with the Mac. I’ve periodically worked with a Mac when acting as layout editor for The Globe Newspaper at SLCC and now at the U of U with Final Cut Pro. But when I realized that the Mac was superior and it was also on sale at the U bookstore with a free iPod Touch (see Jen-Knee’s blog for the whereabouts of the iTouch) and printer, I couldn’t pass it up.

I converted.

And my MacSnobbery escalated as I already have an iPod Mini and an iPhone.

After my purchase I began to fear my new MacBook would get lonely or injured (as it was no longer protected by white Styrofoam and classy Mac cardboard packaging).

This led me to my Mac’s new friend and protector… The Slashy.

In other circles the Slashy is referred to as a laptop bag. But from the beginning my newly purchased laptop bag quickly became my purse/school bag/laptop case. Thus the name Slashy. Some might not understand my MacSnoberry and the awesomest Mac protector, The Slashy. But I will forgive them their trespasses and turn the other cheek as I watch the "Terminator Salvation" trailer on YouTube using my ultra cool new accessory.