Category Archives: movies

Taxing Thoughts

-Yesterday, Marcela and I filed our taxes.
-After dropping about $200 on tax preparation, I believe we will go ahead and purchase Turbo Tax.
-Tax time is stressful, especially when you have not completely prepared everything.
-It’s also stressful when you owe money. We owed.
-I enjoyed reading Ritz’s review of TSP’s Anthems for a Broken World.
-One week and three days from now, Marcela and I will be sailing across the Caribbean, making stops in Cozumel, Grand Caymen, and Ocho Rios Jamaica.
-Dunns River Falls will be one of our excursions.
-We will also do some snorkeling with stingrays in Grand Caymen, and maybe some snorkeling on the reefs in Cozumel.
-The NCAA Tournament is about to start up the round of 16 and then 8, and as of now I am sitting nicely at 40-8 in my picks.
-This is my best start ever, but I know things can change fast.
-D Wade barely missed a 3 at the buzzer that would have won the game for Miami. In the last couple minutes, Miami out scored Indiana 8-0 and ended up losing by 2.
-Jeopardy is fun to watch. This week was their annual Tournament of Champions where first prize is $250,000.
-This was the youngest group of contestants ever on the JTOC.
-Yes, I also watched some Dancing With the Stars this week. I want David Allen Greer to win it all. He’s one of my favorite all time comedians.
-The outage is in full swing. After two weeks, the work schedule is almost 60 hours behind.
-That means a possible extended outage and overtime.
-I am working OT today, and I’m loving it.
-I don’t love missing Sunday morning at Life Pointe Church.
-President Obama seems to be completely lost, and just throwing money at everything that moves while claiming to be for fiscal responsibility. Excuse me? Fiscal responsibility is not paying off large corporations and calling for regulation. Who’s regulating him?
-I think my crock pot is wearing out on me. I made a pot roast with potatoes and carrots that took over an hour longer than normal.
-I’m interested in seeing Slumdog Millionaire, but I haven’t decided whether to wait for the DVD or go see it at the theater.

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Coraline 3D

Saturday, Marcela and I headed up to the Cobb Theater at the Dolphin Mall to watch a movie. We decided on Coraline based on a recommendation from an acquaintance who had already seen the film. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the movie was in 3D!

Here’s a brief review…
This is a stop motion film that is dark and mysterious, but beautifully made. The film was about a girl who finds a portal to an alternate world in a very old house, similar to the story of Alice in Wonderland. However, in the alternate world, her “other” mother, father, neighbors, and friend Wybie are nicer and more interesting to her. They also have buttons for eyes (I haven’t figured out the meaning of that yet). The longer she is in the alternate world, the more danger she realizes she is in. The characters are seen from Coraline’s perspective, so their personality and appearance change based on her changing opinion of them. The more time she spends in the alternate world the more sinister her “other mother” appears, and the more the reality of the dangerous world becomes visible. Visually, the 3D was perfect! Actually, it may have been the best 3D I’ve seen. I did not get a headache, like I normally do in a 3D show. The motion did get choppy at points. I would imagine that it was a budget issue since stop motion is extremely time consuming and expensive. If you like dark mysterious fantasy movies, you should love Coraline. Be warned, I don’t believe this movie is appropriate for small children; it could give them nightmares and scare them pretty good, like A Nightmare Before Christmas (also by Henry Selick).

I recommend this film in 3D, but since I haven’t seen how the animation works on a regular showing I don’t know if I would like it as much.

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Whatever Thoughts

-Today is day #4 of the outage.
-I am getting OT on the days of my choice right now.
-Good news, I got invited back for a second interview.
-I’m totally digging Anthems for a Broken World.
-Saturday’s Top 5 is all about TSP!
-I’m craving some football again.
-I guess I’ll have to settle for the NCAA Tourney and NBA season/post season.
-Miami Hurricanes really blew it toward the end of the season and had to settle for a lousy NIT appearance.
-Max has destroyed two harnesses by chewing the front part. What a little dork.
-Vacation is two and a half weeks away. Caribbean here we come.
-Of the two movies that I have seen this week: Underworld Rise of the Lycans and Mirrors, neither was great.
-Obama and the congressional Democrats are really having a hard time continuing to shift blame for the AIG bonus mess considering they created it.
-I am sick of hearing how all our problems are everyone elses fault. Obama is making a mess of the mess he inherited.
-I plan on seeing all my LPC buddies this weekend at Flagship Cinema. I’ll be there at 7:30, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise!

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Pulp Muppets

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Saturday Top 5: Movies Watched in the Last Month

These are the top 5 movies that I have seen over the past month. Some are in the theater and some are out on DVD.

#5. Taken – Liam Neeson is a former special agent whose daughter is kidnapped overseas. This was not a bad movie, but not great either. It’s purely unrealistic action similar to the Bourne series.

#4. Tristan and Isolde – I didn’t even know this movie existed, but I enjoyed it a lot. It’s about the Brits after they became independent from the Roman Empire and their struggles with the oppressive Irish. In many ways it’s a knock off of a Braveheart type film, not quite on that level, but it was pretty good.

#3. Tropic Thunder – How could I put such a ridiculous movie in my top 5? Because of Special Jack. “Mama!”. This movie made me laugh so hard I was seeing stars.

#2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt star in a love story about a man who ages in reverse. I wasn’t exactly sure how to take this movie, because I am not clear as to what to the point of the movie was. The acting, costumes, and make up was great. It’s unbelievable to see how they can make someone look old or young with a little latex and make up.

#1. A River Runs Through It – This early Brad Pitt movie is about a Montana Presbyterian minister and his family and their love for fly fishing. It’s based on a true story with a few changes to the original story, such as the omission of the 5 McLean sisters. It’s not full of overly hyped drama, action, special effects, or emotional tricks to choke up the viewer. It’s just a story about a good man and his kids who grow up loving to fish, one of them a responsible young man and one who liked to drink and gamble. I can’t believe I waited all these years to watch this amazing film.

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Concealed Thoughts

  • Thick as Thieves is a horrible movie.  Don’t waste your money, and even more so don’t waste your time.  I thought with Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman, I thought for sure it would be a winner.  Stinker.
  • I reapplied for my concealed weapons permit in mid November.  The wait time is supposed to be at most 90 days.  It’s still not here.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services runs the Division of Licensing here in Florida.  Apparently there is a backlog in licensing for security, firearms, concealed weapons, and others.
  • When I called a couple weeks ago, they explained that my license application has not even made it through data entry and is currently sitting in a pile of other applications on someone’s desk.
  • That’s funny, they cashed my check (over $100) before they even entered my application in the computer.
  • My pal OB just received his license in the mail and he applied in November as well.  Maybe mine will be here soon.
  • I am rapidly becoming a big fan of the Kel Tec product line.  They produce very unique and affordable firearms.  The two I have my eye set on are the PLR16 and the PF-9.
  • The PF-9 is a super compact ultra thin single stacked 9 mm, 7+1 capacity.  The retail price is $333 for the blue or as much as $390 for the parkerized.  I haven’t shot one, but I have a co worker who owns one and I saw him fire it.  I held one yesterday which I found for $250 used.  I think I may be able to find one just a little more than that new.
  • The PLR16 is a 223 handgun.  It’s the same caliber as the AR-15 that I carry at work, however it has no stock and a very short barrel.  This one starts just under $500, but if you own one you can easily get $1000 for it.  They are next to impossible to find new right now and there is at minimum a 2 month waiting list for them.
  • My Glock 19 is going to be a little uncomfortable to conceal because it’s so thick.  The advantage is the 15 rounds plus one in the chamber that it carries.  And it’s extremely durable, good for the range, and fun to shoot.
  • Dinner last night was pretty good.  I enjoyed a beef and potato stew with flour tortillas and cilantro.  It cost about $2.50 a plate, and that included peach iced tea.
  • It’s amazing how easy making beef and potato stew is.  Brown 3 pounds of cubed beef and a couple of small onions.  Add water and cubed potatoes and two packs of taco seasoning packs.  Turn down to medium low, cover, and stew for an hour stirring occasionally, add more water if you need.  When it thickens, the stew is so good.  Serve with warm tortillas and peach iced tea! 🙂  Sort of a mix between store bought and homemade.
  • I have twice as much left over as Marcela and I had to eat, and we shared some with mom and dad.
  • I’m still waiting for information on the operations job for FPL.  I have some information, but I don’t know if I will or will not get the offer.  As far as I know, I have done what I can do (other than follow up which I am on top of) and now I have to wait.
  • Tomorrow, I will get my paws on The Saturn Project album, Anthems for a Broken World.  The music is great and I want to play it straight through.


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When the Muppets meet the Matrix

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Saturday Top 5: Romantic Movies

These are my favorite 5 romantic movies. I know that many will not agree with this list, and I am open to hear other opinions on your 5 favorite romantic movies. Happy Valentine’s Day!

#5. Sleepless in Seattle – Tom Hanks may be the king of the romance film (Cary Grant, Clark Gable, or Humphrey Bogart may have an argument though). At least he is the king when it comes to chick flicks and romantic films in my lifetime. This is the ultimate chick flick which I will sheepishly raise my hand and admit to liking. I don’t think I need to describe it, but if you want a good Valentine’s day movie rental for you and the lady, this is your film.

#4. Cast Away – This romantic film doesn’t exactly end with the love interests walking away hand-in-hand with their lives together forever. But it’s still a great film about one man’s love for his lady which sustains him through years of torturous isolation on a deserted island. This is one of my all time favorite movies regardless of genre. Tom Hanks turns in perhaps his greatest performance either in spite of or due to an extended section of the movie with the only conversation being between Hanks and a volley ball named “Wilson”.

#3. Jerry McGuire – This is a great romantic movie on more than one level. What other sports movie (primarily about football) would be considered a romantic chick flick? Also, it has some of the greatest lines of any romance or sports movies made, and they are still being used and parodied over 12 years after the movie’s theatrical release. The three most memorable are: “You had me at hello.” “You complete me.” and “Show me the money!”

#2. Grease – This is musical set in 1959/1960 starring John Travolta as Danny Zuko and Olivia Newton John as Sandy Olsen. The movie focuses on these two characters and the competing social roles and peer pressures that accompany trying to fit into their groups, the T-birds and the Pink Ladies. It’s a bit of a chick flick, but it’s super cool with a soundtrack that is tops. The music was written by Frankie Valli and Barry Gibb and starred Frankie Avalon, Frankie Valli, Sh-na-na, Olivia Newton John, and John Travolta.

#1. Groundhog Day – This is the perfect romantic movie as far as I am concerned. This guy (ironically his name is Phil) gets to try over and over without end to “get it right” with the woman he is destined to be with. The best part is that every time he screws up and totally makes his love interest angry, he gets to wake up the next day and she has no memory of the event. It’s extremely funny, very sweet, and smart as far as comedies go. It’s not a total chick flick either considering it is Bill Murray’s arrogant and sarcastic humor at it’s peak.

So you may ask,”Where is Titanic, What Women Want, Forever Young, You’ve Got Mail, Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, or _________(fill in the blank)?” They are on your list. What are your favorite romantic films? Happy Valentine’s Day.


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Various Thoughts

-I enjoy this blog entry because the topics are whatever pops in my head while I write.

-There is a lot of junk in my head sometimes; it’s nice to get it out.

-I am working overtime for only the second day since September. The only other time I worked OT, it was on a call in. This time I actually signed up and got notice Tuesday that I would get the OT. This comes in very timely since I lost almost 4 hours of work last week due to training and qualification.

-Also, I’ll be working this weekend so I will not be able to join you at the theater for our weekly Life Pointe Sunday party.

-I requested two more vacation days and it was ultimately approved. I now have all of Spring Break off.

-I will be looking for a 7 day cruise to fit my scheduled time. Right now I am leaning towards MSC Cruises (The Orchestra) to Key West, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Dominican Republic.

-There are some serious deals right now, even on Spring Break. I assume that it is due to the economy. Check out Vacations To Go to see what I am talking about.

-Speaking of the economy… My stand by for my first political rant since the new prez took office.

-ACORN was accused of voter fraud in the presidential election this year and years past. In this new so-called economic stimulus package ($890 billion), $5.2 billion has been set aside for neighborhood foreclosure relief. $4.19 billion of that is supposed to go to ACORN.

-How does this pass the smell test? ACORN helps perpetrate fraud, then gets a $4.19 billion cash kickback. Like they say, “Dance with the one who brung ya.”. It makes me sick.

-Max really hates being brushed. Marcela normally does it, but I figured I would help her with that duty. I don’t want the little mop to despise her because she wants to keep his hair looking handsome.

-The little runt growled at me and then snapped when I was trying to take out a knot.

-I work Super Bowl Sunday, but I should get home before the end of the first quarter. Anybody hosting a party? Naw, you guys should be down in Plantation Key, right?

-My heart wants the Arizona Hurricanes (Cardinals) to win, but my head tells me that the Steelers are going to win this with their dominating D.

-I want Edgerrin James, Calais Campbell, and especially Antrel Rolle to win their first Super Bowl rings.

-The Edge left Indy the year before they won their Super Bowl title. I’d love to see him not only win a ring, but to be a major part of the victory.

-Last night I watched a show called “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” on Animal Planet. I am sure they embellished a little, but the show was riveting. They told a story with reenactment of a couple who were hiking a trail in the Amazon Basin when they got lost. Using a compass, they actually went in the opposite direction because the map was flipped with North at the bottom and South at the top. They were stranded 6 days before finding their way to a river where they were rescued by a boatman. I highly recommend the show, but be warned that it contains some disturbing and mature content due to the nature of the material.

-I’ll see you at LPC a week from Sunday if not sooner!

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The Top 5: Mob Movies

I am a big fan of movies about the mob. In creating this top 5 list, I had to determine whether I would add comedies. I decided against it, so let me quickly mention a couple of my favorite mob comedies:

Analyze This / Analyze That – Billy Crystal and Robert Deniro star in a film about a mob boss dealing with anxiety and depression. The premise of the movie is just funny in itself, but the delivery of the story really puts it over the top.

Mickey Blue Eyes – Hugh Grant is a high society Brit marrying into an Italian mob family, and somehow he gets mixed up in the business. I love it!

And now for the real Top 5 Mob Films…

Honorable Mention:

The Godfather Part III – The saga continues with Michael Corleone as an aging and more legit business man. The problem is that he couldn’t quite get the family out of the mob business. Michael’s illegitimate nephew from his brother Santino’s affairs is taking over the biz and fooling around with his cousin as well. This wasn’t a bad movie, it just lacked the superiority of the first two and suffered from unrealistically high expectations.

Casino – De Niro, Pesci, James Wood and Sharon Stone star in a movie about the dirty business that goes on in Vegas. It’s a given that this film would have a lot of brutal violence in it because the director is Martin Scorsese. There is not enough violence that could quench his appetite.

#5. The Untouchables – This is one of the few Brian De Palma movies that I like. Sean Connery, Kevin Costner (Elliot Ness) and Robert De Niro (Al Capone) star in this movie which is based on the true story of Al Capone and the men who brought him down on charges of tax evasion. De Palma is usually too “stylish” in his direction and editing for my liking, but I really like the way this movie flows.

#4. Goodfellas – Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci and Paul Sorvino beat up and/or kill just about everyone they can in this “based on a true story” movie about the drug dealing, fast living and ultimately tragic end that faces members of organized crime. Just remember, you never kill a made man. It never works out for you.

#3. Once Upon a Time in America – Composer Enio Morricone teams up with Italian film directing great Sergio Leone to frame one of the greatest movies ever made, much less one of the greatest mob films. De Niro, Pesci, James Wood and Elizabeth McGovern star in this movie about a Jewish mob in New York in the prohibition era and afterward. This is an extremely long movie with some harsh content, so be warned. The music and atmosphere this movie sets to me is just unbelievably good. Like most mob films, the themes of honor, family, betrayal, regret and finally destruction are all present. This movie is pretty deep, so pay attention.

#1 and #2 (tie) The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II – Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duval, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro star in the greatest piece of American film art ever created. These two movies are almost seemlessly one movie. It follows the life of Vito Andolini from the town of Corleone. His father, brother, and mother were killed in Sicili by a local mafia chief, he flees to the US where he gets involved in organized crime and finally his family grows large enough to expand to Nevada gaming. The music is brilliant, the storyline is captivating and the film itself is rich and beautiful. The biggest themes of this movie are loyalty, honor, power, corruption, family, betrayal, and destruction. The heartbreak and disloyalty against Michael by his own people and his own family leads him to kill his own brother. The hotheadedness of Santino costs him his own life. The foolishness and naiavity of Fredo brings the whole family crashing down. Ultimitely, the story is about how the desire for power corrupts even the best of us.


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