Archive for May, 2009

Odds ‘n End from around the internet

Posted in comic books, movies, The Flash with tags , , , , on May 29, 2009 by Paxton

Several news items popped up this week that caught my interest and I thought that you guys would also enjoy them.  One is an update of an earlier story, the other two are new.

Back in February, I told you about Action Comics #1 going up for auction.

Action Comics 1

This comic was notable because it featured the first appearance of Superman and it ushered in the Golden Age of superhero comics back in 1938. Before this comic, there were no superheroes as we think of them today. Well, that copy of Action Comics was sold for $317,200. Not bad for an initial 35 cent investment, right?

Well, another legendary comic book went to auction recently. That comic is Showcase #4 from 1956 and it features the first appearance of the “new” Flash (who also happens to be my favorite comic book character of all time).

Showcase 4

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Bait and Switch: Horrible movies that had great trailers

Posted in humor, internet, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2009 by Paxton

preview_screenIt’s happened to all of us. You are sitting in the theater, watching the coming attractions, waiting for your movie to start, and a trailer comes on that blows you through the back of the theater. You think, “That looks AWESOME!” and mentally make a note to check it out later. When the day comes that you can finally check out the movie you’ve been building up in your mind for months, you are disappointed. Maybe more so, maybe you are pissed. Perhaps even outright hostile towards the movie which did nothing to you except suck the will to live out of you.  It’s called the “bait and switch”.  Offer you one thing to get you in the theater, then give you something completely different.

Cutting together a trailer has almost become an art form in today’s Hollywood.  How many times have you watched a trailer and one funny line kills you, then you go see the movie and that was the only funny thing in the entire flaming pile of “poo doo”?  Too often.  Movie trailers should be considered a social contract.  If you promise to deliver an ass-melting action movie, then you better damn well deliver or I get to go to the director’s (or actors’, or producers’) home  and suplex them through their glass topped living room table.  It’s only fair.

Let’s take a look at a list of movies that had really awesome trailers, only to not deliver on said promise of awesome.

Snakes on a Plane
Snakes on a Plane (2006) – When the trailer for this movie started making the rounds on the internet in 2005-2006, it blew up big. Everyone was talking about it. People thought this movie was going to open HUGE. It didn’t. Turns out the movie kinda blew. The best part of the movie was Samuel Jackson and his one line about muthaf’n snakes which, by the way, was not originally in the film and added during post-production.  The expectations were too high for a Grade B horror movie that works better late at night, on HBO with like 5 drunk friends.  Surprisingly, it’s not as entertaining when you’ve just paid $10 for admission, $20 for concessions and aren’t completely bombed.

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Weekly Geeks 2009/19 — Happy Memorial Day

Posted in books, holiday, Weekly Geeks with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2009 by Paxton

Weekly Geeks

Weekly Geeks time everyone! This one is a holiday themed one (being as it’s Memorial Day). So, I guess, first things first:

Happy memorial Day
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!!

Now for the Weekly Geeks topic:

Again with Memorial Day Weekend here in the U.S. starting traditionally on Friday evening, it also is unofficially the start of summer. You’ve probably been asked this in other meme groups in which you participate, but do your reading habits change over the summer? Do you choose lighter fare? What do you enjoy to take to the beach, for example? What is the ultimate summer book? OR what are your favorite travel guides — official or unofficial guides? Again, an example, I think of Holidays In Hell by P.J. O’Rourke, of places I’d rather not vacation. Along those lines, where do you vacation? Any places you recommend or even don’t recommend?

My reading habits do not, in fact, change during the summer. The only times my reading habits change is during Halloween and Christmas, when I tend to read appropriately traditional books for the specific holiday.  But Summer is just a continuation of my regular reading habits.

However, if I had to pick, what more “summery” reads I would recommend?

Jimmy Buffett wrote two great books that would work well for sitting on the beach, listening to the surf and reading. The first is a collection of stories called Tales From Margaritaville.

Tales From Margaritaville

It’s a surprisingly fun and clever collection from a first time writer (Jimmy’s written several books since this one). I honestly did not expect to like it as much as I did. Which led me to read his second book, and his first attempt at a full length novel story, Where is Joe Merchant?

Where is Joe Merchant?

This is another, very casual, but very fun story I enjoyed from start to finish.  It follows a group of people in search of rock star, Joe Merchant, who supposedly committed suicide many years ago but keeps popping up in tabloid headlines.  Definitely a rollicking summer read.

Okay, how about travel guides?  There is one in particular that my wife and I found extremely helpful on our trip to Paris in 2007.  It had tons of information and several great suggestions of sites to see that we never would have found on our own.  It was Rick Steves’ Paris.

Rick Steves Paris

If you ever plan on traveling anywhere in Europe, take a gander at all of the Rick Steves books. They are fantastic. I know if Steph and I ever make the trip to London or Rome, Rick Steves is the travel guide we will pick up.

So, I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day and enjoys the day off.  We’ll be grilling burgers and brats for dinner.  See you later this week.

Sweet Tweets: Excerpts from my awesome Twitter feed

Posted in humor, technology, Twitter with tags , , , on May 21, 2009 by Paxton

I know many of you are stuck in the Stone Age so you aren’t following the fun at Twitter. It’s pretty zany. For those of you not joining in, I thought I’d show you some of the tweets I’ve been putting up just so you aren’t missing out.

First off, here’s the Cavalcade’s Twitter profile page (click it to go to the actual page):

twitter_profile

You can see my last tweet at the very top of the profile page about my thumb drive crashing. That is true. I’m trying to recover several things I lost on that drive. Luckily, I didn’t lose anything devastating, but it is a pain in the posterior.

Like I said, I’m going to post a few of my tweets so you can get an idea of the massive amounts of funny that is getting thrown around the Twittersphere.  I’ll do this every once in a while to keep the Twitter-less readers “in the loop”.

Here’s a tweet I did about American Idol back in April.  I sent this when they were still in the top 10.

twitter_amidol

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Movie Flashback: Star Wars Episode I 10 year anniversary

Posted in movies, pop culture, reviews, Star Wars with tags , , , , , , on May 19, 2009 by Paxton

Star Wars Episode I

Ten years ago today (May 19)  Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace opened in theaters. Hard to believe it’s been 10 years. I still remember taking that week off work and going with my friend, Jason, to see multiple showings the day of release. Those multiple day screenings were seen at the now defunct Carmike Galleria 10 Cinemas.

Carmike Galleria 10

When talking to Jason about this recently, he reminded me that we also saw a midnight screening the night before the day of release at the Summit Carmike Cinemas.  Which we wound up doing again for Episode II.

I was going through some old magazines I have in my collection looking for Episode I stuff and found two issues that have cover stories on Star Wars Episode I.  Both magazines cover rumors about plot lines and actors that have been possibly cast in the movie.  Since the magazines are over 12 years old the information they have is sketchy and mostly rumor, but it’s fun to look at what the magazines thought the new Star Wars movie(s) would be about. Especially at this point in time when we’ve seen the whole prequel trilogy.

So, let’s look at these two magazines from the early ’90s that had cover stories on the movie we now know as Episode I:  The Phantom Menace.  We’ll also see a few tidbits of info these magazines speculated on that, in hindsight, are wildly false rumors.

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Weekly Geeks 2009-18 – Your Hometown in Literature

Posted in books, Weekly Geeks with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2009 by Paxton

Weekly Geeks

Weekly Geeks time. I haven’t been able to do a Weekly Geeks for a few weeks now, partly because I’ve been busy and partly because the last few themes have not interested me. But the one this week looks good. Here it is:

Share your fun literary facts about the town or area where you live. You can talk about famous (or not so famous) authors who live there, novels that have been set in your area, or any other literary facts that you know about where you live. Feel free to embellish with pictures of places and/or authors, maps of the area, and fun facts about the authors.

Today, I won’t talk about where I currently live, Jacksonville, FL, I’m going to talk about my hometown, Birmingham, AL. I was born in Birmingham in 1974 and lived there until I was 31 years old when I had to move for a job.  But I plan on going back to live there someday.  Anywho, we do actually have a famous author that was born and still lives in Birmingham (at least part time). She is Fannie Flagg, author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Fried Green Tomatoes cover

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The new Star Trek movie and fake IMAX

Posted in IMAX, movies, reviews, Star Trek with tags , , , on May 13, 2009 by Paxton

Star Trek posterWell, the new Star Trek movie opened on Friday. And since Saturday was my birthday, my wife and I went to see it on Saturday afternoon. And since our local theater has AMC IMAX, that’s the format in which I wanted to see it.

First, I’m going to talk about the movie, then I’m going to give you a bit of a public service announcement about AMC IMAX.

First off, I’m a Star Trek fan. Not a Trekkie (or Trekker) but a fan. I loved the original series, Star Trek: The Next Generation and most of the movies. I even enjoyed reading Bill Shatner’s Star Trek Movie Memories book. So I was excited to see that JJ Abrams was re-imagining the original Star Trek crew. However, when I saw some of the casting choices, I was a little wary (except for Zach Quinto as Spock) because my love for the original crew was causing knee jerk reactions. But, when the first trailer was released…HOLY CRAP…I was on board in a big way. This thing looked fantastic. So on my birthday, I grabbed Steph and we went to our local AMC to watch the new movie. And since they had it in IMAX, I picked that because Star Trek on IMAX is gonna ROCK! Beam me up, Scotty!

And yes, the movie was everything I wanted it to be and more. Chris Pine was FANTASTIC as young Kirk. Played him perfectly. The scene where Kirk defeats the unwinnable Kobayashi-Maru test is everything I wanted it to be. The dynamic between Spock and Kirk is perfect. Karl Urban as Bones is phenomenal.  The rest of the crew is also spot on. The action is awesome and the story lines are interesting and handled well.  I want to see this again.  Actually, I could watch it two more times.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Star Trek movie.  This is better than the majority of existing Star Trek movies.  The only movies I’d put above this are Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Kahn, Star Trek VI:  The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek:  First Contact.  And this new one may move up the list as I watch it more often.  My wife even loved this movie, and she doesn’t really like Star Trek.  Go see it.  I plan on watching it again.

AMC IMAX

Okay, now it’s time I mention the IMAX screening on which I saw Star Trek.  AMC has really been pimping out that they are showing IMAX movies the last few months.  I was excited, but I waited until a movie that would really show off the format was released before plunking down the extra $5.  Star Trek was it.  However, what I found out is that AMC IMAX is NOT the IMAX you are thinking of.  When people think IMAX they think 70 ft screen and sound that blows out your eardrums.  However, when AMC says IMAX, they mean IMAX’s proprietary digital picture and delivery system.  The screen is only slightly larger than a regular movie screen, which is a FAR cry from the traditional IMAX screen.  Check out this comparison I found on LFExaminer.

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