Monthly Archives: June 2013

Quote of the Day – June 30, 2013

Richard Jenkins at the 81st Academy Awards

Richard Jenkins at the 81st Academy Awards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, you had “Zombies.” But this is “Zombie Redneck Torture Family.” Entirely separate thing. It’s like the difference between an elephant and an elephant seal.

Sitterson (played by Richard Jenkins)

The Cabin in the Woods

Saturday Songs – June 29, 2013

Running with a magic theme this week (starting with the viewing of Now You See Me), I present to the audience The Steve Miller Band.

Quote of the Day – June 28, 2013

The closer you think you are, the less you’ll actually see.

J. Daniel Atlas (played by Jesse Eisenberg)

Now You See Me

Picks of the Week – June 26, 2013

We are in our first full week of summer.  It seems like the perfect time to gather our new comics and find an air conditioner, or at least a fan to keep cool.

WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD

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Why Thumb Is Not The Best Place For Serious Advice

thumbThe internet has a site for everything.  If you want to go shopping, there’s a site for that… well, several hundred sites for that.  if you want some information of movies, there’s a site for that.  And if you just want to see someone naked, there are several billion sites for that.

Not surprising, there are a few sites out there that will allow you to solicit opinions about things.  Probably one of the most popular is Thumb.it.  Thumb has a simple set up.  You vote on questions by picking thumbs up, thumbs down, or neutral if you have no opinion about it.  There is also a space on each question to leave your own comment.  These comments are open to replies by the questioner and can be rated with a star.

All of this is well and good, but you run into some pitfalls while using Thumb.  First off, it censors… a lot.  While the site (and the apps, available for Android and iPhone/iPod) is generally geared towards an older audience, there is still a certain degree of decorum on the site.  It’s actually not a bad thing since you would probably have a whole bunch of stupid guys pulling an Anthony Weiner and asking if it’s long enough.

The problem with the censorship is that sometimes it gets a little too… censorial.  There is always the possibility that a question will get rejected because you mention the name Hitchcock, or you ask about the Bond woman Pussy Galore (which is, I admit, a little questionable, yes).  Many people have found ways around it, but it gets annoying when you have to ask a question like, “Is **** Cheney the worst vice president ever?”

Thumb also has a problem with categorizing.  You can pick a category for your question to appear in.  But, sometimes, Thumb feels the need to recategorize because the question is, in their minds, in the wrong spot.  This is a problem because Thumb seems to work on key words to make these decisions, and sometimes, they just don’t have a clue.  Case in point, I once posted a question asking how people like the TV series Game of Thrones.  Thumb, in their infinite wisdom, thought it was in the wrong category and put it into Gaming.  Obviously its engines saw the word Game and did not bother to check if there was such a show before moving it to Gaming.  My guess is that you would see the same thing happen with The Crying Game,  Pollack (the movie about artist Jackson Pollack) and JFK as well.

None of this even comes close to covering the people on Thumb.  And I don’t mean all of them, since there are a large number of decent people who will actually give you a decent opinion on something.  But there are a few on there who, if you run into them enough, will make you want to throw your phone away.

First, there are a large number of people on either side of the religion spectrum on Thumb.  By that I mean stereotype Bible thumping Christians and stereotype Atheists.  My suggestion if you use Thumb, hit neutral and don’t even engage them.  Even better, use the filter and turn off Religion, Philosophy and Science.  often, people who frequent this category are not looking for a lively debate, but a reaffirmation of their own beliefs.  And if you disagree with them, just be ready for the Hell that follows.

The same also applies for politics as well.  If you don’t want to get sucked into someone’s conspiracy theory about how Obama, Bush and Clinton are secretly ruling the world from an evil-looking dome deep in the swamp alongside Lex Luthor, then stay away from the politics as well.

Once all that is said and done, you might actually have some fun with Thumb… if you can get past the trolls.  Yes, everyone’s favorite destroyers of forum fun have infiltrated Thumb, just waiting for you to ask a question they can pounce on.  Heck, some of them even will set you up by asking a question, then pouncing on you for the answer.  One person I ran into asked if people liked Doctor Who.  I made the mistake of answering yes.  The reply I got back was not a fun discussion of who was the best Who, but a simple one word response that crudely suggested I was gay that begins with the letter “f.”

I would also stay away from some personal questions if you are not ready for the type of responses you will get.  There are times when such questions are like chum to a shark.  While you may get some helpful advice, you will probably get a lot more unhelpful, and even some hurtful advice when asking personal questions.

If you can manage that, then you should be in pretty good shape.  You might even meet a new friend or two.

Movie Review – Now You See Me

I have to admit that the trailers for this movie really pulled me in, and, thankfully, I was not disappointed.

Now You See Me is the story about four magicians who call themselves The Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco) who pull off what seems to be the impossible: a bank heist in Paris during their performance in Las Vegas.  This show stopper manages to draw the attention of the FBI, Interpol, and a magician debunker coolly played by Morgan Freeman, all of whom want to know how they pulled off their trick.

To be honest, the movie is less about the Four Horsemen than it is about the investigation led my FBI agent Dylan (Mark Ruffalo) Rhodes and Interpol agent Alma (Melanie Laurent) Dray.  From the first minute of the movie, it is obvious that, like any good magic trick, there is more going on than meets the eye.  The movie twists and turns with misdirection and flash.  Just when you think you have a handle on what’s going on, Now You See Me turns, making you wonder if you missed the trick shuffle or the palmed ball.  You are left to wonder if there is more going on than what you are seeing to the very end.

Fans of movies like Ocean’s 11 and other such caper movies will enjoy this latest contribution to the subgenre.  I’m sure that, like me, once you see it, you will recommend it to your friends, especially since you will want to talk about it.

Book Review – Superman: The Unauthorized Biography

Superman: The Unauthorized BiographySuperman: The Unauthorized Biography by Glen Weldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Almost a companion to Larry Tye’s Superman: The High Flying History of The Man of Steel, this book focuses more on Superman rather than on the behind the scenes chaos that Tye’s book covers. More than just a record of the history of the Man of Steel, this book also looks at Superman in context of the world around him. Most importantly, it looks to answer the question: How has Superman endured for so long.

The book reveals that Superman has become more than just the creation of Siegel and Shuster, covering how Superman has grown through numerous contributions, not just in comics, but on radio, in serials, television, and film.

View all my reviews

Missed Opportunities

Spider-Man: One More Day

Spider-Man: One More Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For once, this entry is not about my own missed opportunities (which easily it could be).  This time around, I want to look at some missed opportunities with Spider-Man, namely spawning from One More Day.

For those of you in the know, I don’t have to explain what One More Day is.  For those of you who don’t know, One More Day was a Spider-Man story line that ran in 2007.  The basic gist of the story is that Spider-Man seeks to save his Aunt May.  The story ends with Peter and May Jane willingly sacrificing their marriage to Mephisto (the Marvel version of the Devil), thereby saving Aunt May and erasing the knowledge that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, which had been revealed during the Civil War mini-series.

It is the story line that effective killed Spider-Man in my eyes.  I have not read a Spider-Man book since (though, thanks to Marvel pushing him into everything, I was still exposed to him in Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Superextradelicious Avengers, and FF).  I had a lot of problems with the resolution to the series, especially since it seemed to be directed by Joe Quesada’s inane belief that you can’t tell good stories about married people.

Naturally, as with any story line you hate that much, you start to think of ways that it could be better… so much better.

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Saturday Songs – June 22, 2013

With Friday being the first day of summer, it seems only fitting that we should take a listen to a few summer songs this week.

First up, The Corrs with Summer Sunshine

Next up, no summer mix would be complete without at least one song by the Beach Boys.

Finally, we have the Lovin’ Spoonful with Summer in the City

(untitled)

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