Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Birthday!

So my birthday is coming up and I've started celebrating early, as is my custom. We kicked off the week long celebration with a Dallas Star's hockey game. My friend got us amazing seats and we had a blast. It was also one of the best games I think I've ever seen. We started it off right, scoring twice in the 1st period, but then seemed to get a little lackadaisical in the 2nd. We came back to tie it 4-4 in the third and won in overtime! There were more fights in this game than any of the others I've been to combined. What could be better? Fighting and winning, it's what hockey's all about!

Friday, I took my same friends to the Secret Carnival. It was a lot of fun! Free food and drinks, lots of vendors and swag bags, and jugglers on stilts putting all kinds of things up their noses. Super fun! I can't wait for the next Elite event. You can follow my Yelp reviews here.

Tomorrow I'm having brunch with a bunch of friends, then dinner with my folks, followed by the big party blow out, and Thanksgiving. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Hope you have a happy holiday!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's Called Courtesy...

Even if you can't spell it, you should use it.

Last night I had the priviledge of being my friends +1 to the Dandy Warhols. It totally took me back to high school and they played mostly older stuff so we were stoked! I was bummed today though when I couldn't find their CDs and realized they must be in the missing CD case that was sucked into some sort of abyss or the back of my closet.

The problem is, we are getting older. I don't just mean me, I mean everyone, all of us. We are all getting older. With age comes the list of complaints we have, especially regarding other people behaviour. Things are too loud or too quiet. You have to stand too long or sit too long. Everything is annoying. Unfortunately, we are correct in all of these assumptions. Case in point:

At the show last night, we were surrounded by a group of very young twenty-somethings. The couple to our left was, we assume, on their first date. They could not stop talking to each other the whole night! At one point, the guy turned to the girl and asked if he looked fat in his jeans. Seriously!? Who goes to a concert and chit chats? Do that in the back people! (mark it!) They were disrupting to everyone around us (except their equally dumb witted friends). Grr!!

This lead me to think about the rules of conduct when out in public, say at a concert or movie. Courtesy is not a 4-letter word!

1. If you are not interested in what you are seeing, step away. If you don't like the band, go outside, move to the back of the auditorium. Get out of the way of those who do like the band. If you're at the movies, feel free to leave. If you cannot, then sit quietly and wait for the pain that is your life to end. DO NOT engage in loud or distracting conversation.

1b. At the movies, it is not appropriate to continually turn to your partner and ask "What's going on?" We also don't need your play by play of what action is happening on screen. We can see it too. Maybe, if you shut your mouth and watched the movie instead of talking to your buddy, you would know what was going on. Just a thought, try it.

2. If you are at the movies, leave your phone in your purse or pocket. I'm serious. You can text your buddy where to meet you after the movie. It takes all my strength not to grab your phone from you and throw it at the screen.

3. Dancing is fun and encouraged at concerts. You may notice a whole group towards the front of the stage bouncing up and down. Perhaps there is a circle pit forming and you want to run your little heart out while pounding into other music fans. Bravo! However, flailing your arms akimbo with no regard for those around you is not dancing, it's assault. This includes but is not limited to: feet, legs, arms, hands, and stinky dreadlocks. Please keep these inside the ride at all times.

4. A note to the exceedingly tall: Move it! Everyone likes to be up close and see the band, however you are blocking over a dozen eyes with your gangly form. Move to the side or the back and enjoy looking over all of our heads as we struggle to see around the person in front of us.

5. Be aware of your surroundings. This is a good one for general life use as well. I know you can see me. I've been standing behind you for over half an hour. Do you think I'm a spectre? Then why do you insist of walking right towards me like you plan to pass through my shoulder? There's a foot and a half gap on the other side of me. Head that way fool!

What else annoys the crap out of you when you're at a concert or the movies.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Trivia Results!

Here are the answers to my Halloween photo trivia:

1. Blade
2. Dead Snow (Dead Sno)
3. Nosferatu
4. Sleepy Hollow
5. The Frighteners
6. Tremors
7. Watchmen
8. Jurassic Park
9. The Happening
10. Silence of the Lambs
11. Return of the Living Dead
12. Grindhouse: Planet Terror

Thanks to everyone who sent me their guesses as well as those who came out to trivia! Don't forget to follow my new film and television blog at WWQTW?.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm moving, kinda

As you've probably noticed, this blog has gotten a bit entertainment heavy, which is a good thing, but not necessarily appropriate to this blog anymore. So, I've started a new blog which I will be updating more frequently. Based in part from my movie club, WWQTW?, it will be a place for all my movie, TV, DVD, etc., reviews and thoughts. I hope you will all follow me there!

I will continue to post here although it may be less frequently. I have to accept that what I'm passionate about is movies and that's what I like to talk about and debate. Trying to come up with things to talk about with regularity about my life (so boring) and the world around me (less boring but I think others do it better) is exhausting. However I cannot give up this site completely. There are still things I want to say. At the very least, I came up with this title and idea almost a decade ago (though it took me longer to put it into practice) so it's impossible to give up.

Please join me at WWQTW? I am in the process of transfering some of my favorite The Art of Throwing Stones posts at the moment and new content will be up today or tomorrow.



Monday, November 1, 2010

AMC Wants to Eat Your Brains

Last night saw the premiere of Frank Darabont's ("The Shawshank Redemption", "The Mist") adaptation of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charles Adland's comic book "The Walking Dead". Leave it to AMC, the HBO of basic cable, to continue its streak of outstanding, envelope pushing original programming with a zombie series. While it may not shed any new light on the genre (and let's face it, not many have), what sets it apart from the films it clearly admires is the format and the style. The ability to gradually integrate the viewer into the landscape of a zombie infected America over several weeks allows us to discover not only the characters fully but their reaction to this new dystopia.

[Mild Spoilers]
Deputy Sherrif Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) wakes up in the hospital after suffering a serious gun shot wound to the chest (Hello, "28 Days Later"!). How long has he been there? Where is everyone? What the hell is going on?! having see the commercials, we know the basic answers to these questions already, but it's still gripping to watch him struggle to put all the pieces together. After escaping the hospital, Grimes meets up with a father and son team who fill him in on what's going on. If you get bitten or scratched, you get very sick resulting in a fever that ends your life. A little while later, you wake up and become a "walker". To paraphrase the father: I'm sure this all sounds crazy, but I've seen it. The episode ends with Grimes heading to Atlanta, the home of an apparent survivor camp and military operation, in hopes of rejoining his missing wife and son. What we find out only too late, is that Atlanta is no Mecca and his wife has taken up with his best friend and partner. Future dram anyone?

[side note: Why is the "Z" word never mentioned in zombie movies? Are we to assume the characters live in another dimension that has never seen a Romero movie? Thank you "Zombieland" for not being afraid of the word.]

Let's talk style for a bit, shall we? The opening scene is one of the best I've ever seen in television. David Tattersall's cinematography ("Star Wars I-III", "The Green Mile") is a character in and of itself. The camera spends equal time in medium and close up shots making us a part of the action, as it does in wide shots establishing mood. Couple that with Bear McCreary (winner for Best Name for a Composer or Any Dude For That Matter, "Battlestar Galactica", "Eureka") keeps the score soft and secondary, like TV's version of Philip Glass. It's presence is most often felt when it isn't there at all, and these eerily silent moments help foster the constant anticipatory feeling of the audience. I know we all wish we had our own theme music when we walk down the street but we don't, and neither do these characters. I can see how this slow and steady approach may throw off the ADD Generation but stick with it, trust me. It's going to be a slow burn that suddenly explodes.

For the most part, the characters seem smart. They load up on guns and ammo, barricade themselves inside their shelters, and keep their wits about them. Mostly. I didn't see anyone stock piling food or water yet and the hunt for gasoline is a touch one. Hopefully these issues will be addressed more fully in upcoming episodes. I'm always surprised by characters that think the big city is a good place to be come the zombie apocalypse. Hasn't anyone read Max Brooks' zombie guide or does that not exist in this dimension either? Personally, I'm heading for the Booney's. A few undead hicks is nothing compared to the swarm one could expect to find in a city.

Normally, I would also worry about the budget of this show and whether AMC has the stomach for it. there are a lot of extras in full make-up, deserted and demolished towns, etc. Certainly using lesser known actors helps keep costs down, but still. How much does each episode cost? Thankfully, this isn't network TV  or even the aforementioned HBO and AMC seems smart about its original programming. Fingers crossed!
I already cannot wait to see what happens next and am purposefully avoiding the comics so I can stay naive. When will he find his wife? How does he escape the huge mess he found himself in at the end of episode 1? Please tell me Michael Rooker is a series regular! Just the glimpse of him in the upcoming episode was enough to get me even more hot and bothered.