12.31.2007

The Sweeney Todd Post

Musicals…not among my favorite things in the world. But Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Sacha Baron Cohan are, so this one was worth a try.

Art direction was classic Burton and looked pretty phenomenal on the bring screen, the opening credits in particular where pretty cool. The characters looked particularly downtrodden and London-y, as did the soggy, disease riddled streets they lived on. The only thing I’d have changed was Sweeny’s Bride-of-Frankenstein coif. It made him look like a joke walking though the streets. Like a Hot Topic shopper who accidentally got lost in the food court.

Casting was right on the money in all roles, particularly Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall. But it was Helen Bonham Carter that stole the show and proved that she was there for additional reasons besides banging the director. While many roles where lost to either bizarre (but effective) costuming and/or silly singing segments, Carter kept Mrs. Lovett strong through the whole film and proved to be one of the only really ‘likable’ roles in the film.

I did feel that the film took an unnecessary amount of gore to convey the plot. While I understand that the nature of the story involves thorought slitting and cannibal pies, I think one or two streaming fountains of blood would have sufficed. However Burton seemed to think that we need multiple angles of every slain Londoners windpipe and Kill Bill levels of squirtage. I also don’t think that we need to see so many dead bodies falling on their heads after each kill, but if I had to pick my battles I’d cut down on the neck razorings.

If Burton had abandoned the musical aspect there simply wouldn’t have been enough movie to pad out two hours. The film dragged, particularly in its second act and once the ending finally came about I can’t say I wasn’t relived that the exacerbated story was finally wrapping up. 90% of the film is Sweeny holding up his razor to the sky and singing to it, while looking at his reflection. Wait, maybe 91%. While it makes for a nice dramatic finish to one of the opening songs, it was defiantly not needed to the degree it was used. Overall though, this film is a classic example of the final product not being as good as the sum of its parts. With a solid cast, brilliant art direction and a well recognized story the film should be an instant hit. But I feel that the very nature of the musical has forced this film into the average category, despite efforts from the cast and crew. Glad to have seen it. But can’t see myself watching it again.

The US Airways Post

Airtran has just been replaced as my least favorite domestic airline. US Airways is the new champ of sucky aviation. I had never flown with them before (I’m a United man myself) and probably never will again if it’s up to me. This time was the result of a last minute attempt at securing tickets with Expeidia. So after my very merry holiday with the family I headed to the airport ready to go, and found that one of my connecting flights had been delayed. Firstly, who needs a connecting flight down to Florida? Its 2 hours away. Strike one. Strike two would be that the connection was delayed to the point where I’d not make the second leg of my trip and needed to reschedule my itinerary. Strikes Three through Six would be that; all flights out of Dulles are booked full (3), all flights tomorrow out of Dulles are booked full (4), the only flight she can get me on is at Regan Airport (5), and that the Regan flight leaves tomorrow morning and I’ll have to catch a cab first thing to catch the flight (6). Admittedly the Regan flight was direct, and they paid for my cab, but just when I was about to lift Strike 6 from the record, they oversold the flight and needed five volunteers to abdicate their seats before the damn thing could take off. Normally I would have volunteered, because a free roundtrip ticket is pretty tempting and I was already missing work that day as is. But the next available flight wasn’t until 7pm the following day. So too bad.

Eventually 5 suckers…err.. model citizens came forward and we took off 45 minutes late*. While the flight itself was better than Airtran (boo, hissss) all the drama and preboarding issues left a sour taste in my mouth. Plus they don’t give you snacks for free on the flight. They offer to sell you a five dollar “Snack Pack” as they march up and down the isle. Also, they did an in-flight announcement to try sell you on a credit card and proceeded to come down and ask every passenger (that wasn’t faking sleep) to fill out an application. With flight prices the way they are now, I find it crazy that this is the route the airline is taking. Cheapens everything.

Moral of the story: Don’t leave Christmas flight booking till Thanksgiving.
Bonus Moral: US Airways sucks.

*Strike 7. You’re out! I love baseball.

The Christmas Post

Christmas was terrific this year, as always. And, like last year, I felt an incredible yearning just to stay home when it came time to head back down south. I had a great time and managed to squeeze a lot of activities, family fun and fantastic meals into an extended weekend. Ali, Bob, Lel, Cromar, Andrew and Craig were all in town, as was my whole family as well as Sarah’s. Plus Stefan, Andrew and Jake’s significant others (Courtney, Maddie and Lauren) where over too, so there where lots people to see, presents to open and merriment to be had. Nana and Papa where notably absent this year, due to them taking a trip with Iris and Bob for the holiday, which was a shame, but nice to know they are having a great time over in Scotland with their friends. We spent one night over at Lel’s new apartment, which is shaping up really nicely. It’s nice to see it become very ‘Lel’ and see her fitting in stateside so well. Having Andrew, Craig and Cromar around for the festivities made it feel like Christmases I remember from my childhood. Maddie is really great, and it into the family dynamic really well (i.e. laughs at our jokes and has a similar sense of odd humor), it was lovely to meet her and see both her and Andrew so happy together.

Christmas Eve Mum and Dad took my siblings and I, out to the Russian House restaurant in Herndon for a nice meal together. Stefan brought Courtney with him and we had a great meal, fantastic food and lovely company. The plan is to head back once Stefan returns from his tour overseas at the end of next year. I know Sam is stoked about going back, because she left the restaurant declaring that “seriously…that was the best steak I’ve ever had” and went on to dream about it the following night.

I managed to steal a car and make a trip out to the Wantula’s one morning to surprise little Andrew (who was in his pajama’s and had no idea ‘Mr. G” was coming), which was nice. They have recently had heavy renovations done to their house, transforming the kitchen, master bed/bath and dining room areas. It looks like something out of an Ikea catalogue and is stunning. The whole family seems very pleased with it, and even more pleased that they can start living in their house normally again. After the traditional whooping of Mr. G in Super Smash Brothers, I left the Wantula’s to stop by Duncan’s to whish him a Merry Christmas and visit the family briefly. I do feel bad doing the ‘pop-in’ visits whenever I go back, but with the time restraints there really is no other option. There are so many people in VA that I’d love to spend day’s catching up and hanging out with… At least with the holidays in full swing everyone was just as busy as I was. We did get to see thing King’s this year which was nice though. It’s crazy too see how fast everyone grows up when you aren’t in day-to-day contact.

The Hunt’s had a photographer come by to capture some candid (and posed) pictures of the family hanging out around the tree and fireplace. It’s an interesting concept to me to have someone come in and just float about snapping pictures, but I have the feeling that quite a few of them turned out pretty well. Bart, the photographer was really nice and made the whole exercise surprisingly less awkward than I’d have expected. Sarah’s family is all doing well, and it was great to see everyone again. Melissa’s fiancé Andrew* was there as well, which was the first time I’d met him. Good guy, a lot of fun and always good for a laugh. I enjoyed myself at Sarah’s, and as before, felt bad that I had to limit my time there to such quick visits. But I look forward to seeing how those pictures turned out. Should be a few goodies of Sarah and me, if I managed not to blink.

Christmas Day was awesome, and blew me away. The best part about family Christmases is that everyone knows each other so well, and the gifting that takes place definitely reflects that. I was spoiled extra rotten this year and found myself lugging an extra large suitcase home from the airport to prove it. After the traditional morning Christmas at Mum and Dad’s, then a second round at the Hunt’s, Sarah and I headed over to Ali and Bob’s new house for some Christmas dinner and Batchi. The house is perfect for them, and is extremely charming. With odd nooks, slanted rooms and doorways that make Lel blush in their shortness, the house is “Just as F’d up as we are”-Bob Ragsdale. We had a great time rolling spuds, eating far too much and swapping gifts, so much so it’s going to be hard for me to imagine a family Christmas any other way.

Boxing Day was a lot of fun and even more food. Despite the miserable weather, we where able to get the Fairy Launch underway. More on that and a video from Christmas morning in a later post…



*This is the 3rd Andrew I have mentioned in this post-Just so you don’t get too confused.

12.20.2007

The Co-Op Post

As I briefly mentioned before in a previous posting, Xbox Live pal Treebeerd and I are working jointly on an online comic called Co-Op. The comic centers around two friends that don’t know each other in real life, only online and converse via videogames. The characters are loosely based on Treebeerd and myself, and the comic will alternate artists each week with me kicking it off with this first stab at the thing. I’m sure styles will alter, characters will evolve and changes will be made all around, so don’t get too comfortable with the thing just yet. It’s an acquired taste I think, and requires a healthy understanding of online console gaming; so if you don’t know what the Friends of Friends feature is or anything about Bioshock achievements or playing Uno online then it probably won’t be for you. The comic will be online at ComicSpace in the very near future if you like what you see. Everyone else; don’t worry, I’ll keep the gaming-nerdyness and my general blog-nerdyness separate in the future.

Click to read.

12.18.2007

The Netflix Post

“What you haven’t seen _____? Really?!?– It’s this phrase that I hear all too often and can’t stand. The indignant response and obligatory repeating of the movie you just said you hadn’t seen, but by someone who feels the need to repeat back to you with a raised tone. I’ll admit it; I have terrible taste in movies. That and if a film came out over 10 years ago, I probably haven’t seen it (with a few exceptions of course). It’s now that I am recognizing that it’s a problem.

One of my New Years resolutions this year is designed to help me catch up on all the films I haven’t seen. I’ll detail the other resolutions at a later posting, but I decided to start this particular one early. The resolution states that I will attempt to watch at east one movie a week, in an attempt to see all the films everyone else has seen as well as those films that are particularly revered or noteworthy. To do so I have signed up for Netflix and have filled a list of over 100 movies I feel I need to see. So far the service has impressed me, with lightning-fast delivery and a polished selection/rating system that makes it all to easy to get films coming your way. So far I have seen Amile, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Usual Suspects. 'Ridgemont and 'Pan where impressive and respectable films, but didn’t blow my a way like Amile and ‘Suspects did. Amilie might just be one of my favorite movies-absolutely hilarious. And considering it’s French, that’s saying something. The Usual Suspects is one I have actually seen before, but need to see again, and is possibly even better the 2nd time around. Kaiser Sose!!

I look forward to checking out all that I’ve been missing. If you have a recommendation either for essential viewing or a particularly amazing film let me know and I’ll add it to the ever growing list.

The Wii-Hunter Post

Wii’s are still the hot item this Christmas it seems. (Tickle Me Elmo is in tears) Personally I think it’s crazy that the demand is still as high as it is a year and a half after the system’s launch. Apparently Nintendo only ship enough to a location to sell out immediately whilst still outselling the other consoles in quantity. Pretty clever on their part because it keeps the demand up I suppose, but upsetting for families that don’t have the time to camp out at stores and chase after delivery trucks. Susan and the Zollo clan have been in search of a Wii this year as the family Christmas present, and have thus far been unsuccessful in snagging the illusive little system. Fortunately for her I now have the video-game-hook-up and was able to secure a system for her thanks to help from the crew at the store. Had to leave out the back after making the purchase and sneaking around by the dumpster to avoid the throng of customers who we all looking for the same thing. I love Christmas hype…but it’s almost ridiculous. Still anything that’s important enough to do a secret deal with a stealth extraction is cool enough, and adds a little flavor to a lunch break.

The Tyson Christmas Post

Last weekend I was invited to Henry’s holiday party which was sort of the unofficial company Christmas party this year. Having never headed out to Henry’s place before I copped a ride with Buck and Lola who stopped by to check out the apartment before hand. After realizing I was underdressed for the occasion and a prompt wardrobe change I was ready to ride. The party was a lot of fun and very festive feeling. Quite a few families from work where there as well as a few others I hadn’t met before. I ran about a bit snapping the odd shot here or there, lost horribly to Sue at 9-ball and spent a lot of time drinking beer and doing Yager shots with Henry at the T-Bar™. The ‘Jungle Room’ Henry has set up is pretty awesome, and would easily trump any hangout room I’ve been in recently. With a big screen, pool table and Henry’s homemade bar in the corner I felt right at home. The uber comfortable lounge couches didn’t hurt any either. Sue and Arnold where nice enough to give me a ride home after a stop off downtown to see Buck spinning at Sky 60. Very fun night, defiantly got me in the Christmas spirit. Now if only I can think of something clever to write on a dollar to put up on the back wall...

The Grinch Returns Post

Universal Studios is brining back its seasonal celebration “Grinchmas” at Islands of adventure this year. The event features a holiday parade, some themed shows and Christmassy decorations throughout the park. The star attraction though is that the mean green one himself is available for a character photo with guests. The picture is taken by our company in front of a green screen that has some artwork I drew up for the event superimposed behind the photo. I would have through that getting to work on these sort of projects would have lost its luster with me, but over a year of working here, they still get me excited. Grinchmas is a pretty big deal for Universal this time of year and its just cool to see billboards and television commercials advertising a character photo that I had a hand in. If you get a change to make it out that way say hey to old Grinchy for me.

12.08.2007

The Golden Turd Post

I am disappointed with this year’s big family trilogy starter. While pretty, technically impressive and brimming with magical charm ‘Compass offers little more than an average fetch-quest plotline pumped up on magical CG-steroids.

I wont go into detail but the world of the Golden Compass is no-doubt a magical one. People’s souls are manifested as animals, polar bears live in castles, and witches are commonplace. Part Potter and part Pinocchio, the plot focuses on young Lyra as she sets off to free kidnapped orphans from an evil organization that seeks to separate children from their magical souls. Along the way she befriends…well everything possible, and forms a band of mismatched comrades that would seemingly die for a young girl they apparently barely know. I’m sure all this will be explained in later chapters, but in this film it’s almost obnoxious how this little girl (who has the most annoying voice of all time I might add) befriends everything from a balloon riding cowboy and a ninja witch to a talking prince-polar-bear and a boatload of traveling gypsies. Ok bad guys need their asses kicked, that’s fine with me. But how does everyone and their magical dog seemingly know that dying for this little urchin is a good idea?

With talking animals, battlefield clashes and magical children; this movie has all the cliché necessities’ of a blockbuster fantasy romp, but sad truth of it all is that ‘Compass is not greater than the sum of its parts. While it has everything it needs to succeed in its genre, ‘Compass presents everything in a flat and overly linear manner that does little but bore the audience as it leads them through to the credits. With a cast as revered as this there is only direction to blame. The characters deliver lines in a George Lucas-ian deadpan style that further flatten the already clichéd roles. Christopher Lee even makes his staple trilogy appearance in a role that outshines Count Dooku in blasé redundancy.

With a ‘to be continued'-ending that would irritate me if I cared, and very little progression from beginning to end I find myself unable to enjoy this movie as much as I had expected to. With many unanswered questions constantly filling the CG-enhanced screen, the film is really nothing more than a pretty and mildly entertaining question mark. I have a feeling that when the trilogy is completed and the story has a defined beginning and end, that this will all change. However as it stands as a single movie, this one is weak in the knees and struggles to stay standing left alone.

12.04.2007

The Gaming Related Post

So I officially work for GameStop again, and am available for closing shifts after work at the office. The perks of the job are great, what with my consistent need to exercise an employee discount, game checkout policy and 10% off at the Panda Express next-door. Unfortunately I don’t think the venture will offer much in the way of income though, being that there are barely any shifts available due to limited hours to designate. I have made myself as open as possible, but in all honesty it doesn’t look like I’ll be putting in much time. I almost feel bad exercising my benefits without really earning them, but its just the way things are shaping up so I can’t really worry about it too much.

In video game related news; Xbox Live pal- TreeBeerd and I will be working on a joint comic book venture (Tentatively titled 'Co-Op') in upcoming weeks, which will center on gaming and the online community. The comic will feature our combined dry sense of humor and both of our art styles, and will be available online as soon as we get our act together. More on that as it happens. In other-other gaming related news if you like video games do yourself a favor and pick up Assassin’s Creed. I’ve been plugging away at it most of the weekend and its terrific. Best game since Shadow of the Colossus, Narf. End nerd-rant.

The Shoot Straight Post

Sunday, I tagged along with Bruce and Greg to Shoot Straight, a gun range north of here. I’ve been wanting to go to a do some target shooting for a while and we had long talked of heading up there, but never got around to it, so I was pleased when I got the call. Grabbed some bullets from the always charming Wal-Mart gun counter from a decidedly depressed woman and headed up the Trail to meet up with the guys. Once we where there we signed in and got the gear we needed so we’d not go deaf and have targets to shoot at. Greg and Bruce both brought their own handguns, Bruce’s; a 9mm and Greg a 40 and 45 caliber. The first ones I had a go with where Greg’s, which was probably a mistake… The kickback on even a relatively small handgun was far greater than I had anticipated. Honestly I was rather scared at the apparently lack of control I had when discharging and pulling back on the trigger. After a few rounds with both his hand-cannons I stood out for a while, not really too desperate to get back to shooting. While the idea of target practice is very appealing to me, the odd feel of danger and harm that I get when holding a gun is unsettling, least it was initially. With something that requires the utmost of control, I felt like I didn’t have much, and that didn’t sit well with me. After a breather I had a go with Bruce’s much more manageable 9mm. And while I am far from a cracks hot, I was able to hit the target constantly and keep my shoots relatively grouped (if not too low and to the left). All in all a very interesting experience and one I’m glad I got to try. If I got back I’d be include to stick to the smaller rounds simply due to my inexperience and awkwardness with Greg’s beefier guns. It was cool for the guys to invite me along, and I appreciate them letting me try out their gear and practice. Afterwards we hit up Garibaldi’s for some Mexican food which hit the spot, and called it a night.

11.26.2007

The Thanksgiving Post

Thanksgiving weekend was terrific. I headed back home to Virginia and spent the extended holiday weekend with my family. It was the longest time I’ve left Coolio unattended, but with her automated water/food setup she has now she was fine. Spent the time doing all the family goodness I miss down in Florida. Played a few fun rounds of Pictionary, all saw a movie together, had breakfast at Ihop and of course gorged on the usual excellent Thanksgiving dinner. Sarah was with me the entire time which was brilliant and we spent one night out in Arlington hanging out with Eric which was great. Got to meet Jake’s Lauren and Stefan’s Courtney finally, which was long overdue by very nice, and even got an unexpected call from the soon to be wed Paul Macleod. Quick visits with Ali and Bob and Duncan where possible too now that Sarah can ferry me around in her spiffy new car. It’s very her.

We did the classic Black Friday shopping too, but opted for a slightly later rise than years past (since when is 5:15 considered a late start…yikes) primarily because there where no specific sales we wanted to capitalize on. We all enjoyed a healthy does of merchandising though, and got a large chunk knocked out of my ever expanding shopping list for the holidays. As always its sad to have to leave, but knowing I’ll be coming back in a few short weeks for my favorite of the family holidays definitely helps.

The Beowulf Post

Beowulf has a spot somewhere in my brain where I file information I learnt in school (it’s in the back under some dusty books and covered in cobwebs if I’m not mistaken) -where I remember it fondly as one of the ‘cooler stories’ that I had to read as a fifth grader. Its sad that I remember enjoying reading anything more than a movie, but unfortunately this is decidedly the case with Beowulf.

The stage is set with a wide pan starting in the great gathering hall, zooming out over the snowcapped rooftops of the Nordic village. We further zoom out over a river, some trees, some more trees, and probably another river maybe some more trees. Sad thing is, that while pretty much everyone watching the film is trying to busy their mind thinking about where the movie is slowly going, the answer is ‘absolutely nowhere’.

The character models are rather lifeless and move more like the humanoid characters in Shrek. Facial features are impressive but primarily while the characters don’t speak. The original story is also scrapped in favor of a more ‘sleeping with Angelina Jolie and giving birth to golden dragon boys’-approach which would be fine if it worked. Incidentally it doesn’t. Beowulf himself resorts to bellowing “I…AM…BEOWULF” numerous times throughout the movie in a very King Leoniodus tone. I imagine its supposed add some sort of quotability and drama to the film, but in all honesty it comes across as a friendly wakeup call to people who have fallen asleep and/or forgot what they are watching.

My main issue with the movie is that it does nothing new, and simply steals from other material without improving upon it in anyway. The fight scenes are stripped directly from Krato’s duels God of War. The art direction is clearly heavily influenced by 300 and Lord of The Rings. and the character design is a pale attempt at mimicking the Final Fantasy movie that came out over 6 years ago. A close second on my ‘issues’ list would be that the film is simply too long and doesn’t reward the viewers for the effort required to make it to the end. The ending had many people groaning as we left the theater, not even digitized Angelina-Jolie-boobs can save this one.

11.17.2007

The Seasonal Post

It’s that time of year (some might say the most wonderful time even). Christmas season officially kicks off right after Thanksgiving next week, and then the feverous merchandising that is the holiday begins. Last year I didn’t put up a tree in my apartment, and the end result was a very un-Christmassy feel until the weekend I went home for the actual holiday. This year I wanted to make sure I got on the hype train early and picked up a little fake tree at Wal-Mart for the new place. Not much too it, but just enough to remind me that its holiday season and feel merry. I have already started to amass a few presents for people which I decided to stick under it, and while not wrapped (for transporting reasons) the effect is still there…sorta. We will be getting a small tree for the office too and Susan and I are starting a communal Christmas music bank where we will store all our holiday tunes to listen too over the next month.

The Ikea Mob Post

Ikea opened a new store here in Orlando on Wednesday. The store is right in the Millennia area and is about 2 minutes from my house barring traffic. Today however it took 20 minutes, a team of professional parking organizers, a squad of cop cars and guys yelling from rooftops to get in the damn place. It was a total mob-scene. I haven’t seen that many people in one place less maybe City Walk in the summer. Insane. The store itself is exactly like the Potomac Mills location in Virginia, so it wasn’t anything new for me really, but just getting through the serpentine showroom took the better part of an hour. Once I was inside I was just determined to get out, I’ll come back in a month too see what’s there as far as stuff for the new apartment, its just too crazy at the moment. The parking lot overflowed and people where being parked, Disneyworld herd-style on surrounding grassy areas. There where guys positioned on rooftops yelling to their dispatch below where free spaces opened up, and guys on stilts talking over the sea of people. Inside there where mariachi guitarists wandering the showroom singing and playing away, as well as more stilt guys and balloon animals. It was a freaking carnival. How anyone could go through the relatively demanding Ikea checkout procedure in all that mess I have no idea. I wanted to chill and get some Swedish meatballs and see if it died down, but they had crowd control for the restaurant and a line at least 300 people long, so I ended up skipping that too in favor of hitting the local mall and getting some Christmas shopping done. I love merchandising and I love some good holiday hype- but this was too much even for my tastes. Black Friday is going to be a beast this year…

11.15.2007

The IAAPA Post

The International Association of Amusement Park Attractions (IAAPA) is holding its annual expo this week and this time its down here in Orlando. Apparently its come by before many times but has a tendency to move about the country. The show focuses on theme park attractions and the associated companies, ranging from rollercoaster design teams and park displays to arcade games and funnel cake. If it’s entertaining and could fit into a mall, theme park or carnival then its there. It’s the E3 of theme park entertainment, and Amazing Pictures had a strong presence there. I was able to get a vendor pass and attend the expo today with Bruce. I have never been to the Orlando Expo Center before- the place is massive. It would take 5 minutes to run across at full steam if the place where empty. It’s kinda insane how big the show floor was. It was filled with stands, booths and demos as far as the eye can see (literally) including our Amazing Pictures booth-which incidentally features a few shots of yours truly in the video presentation running on the overhead monitors. So many companies where there with a huge assortment of products and services on offer, and more free food samples than you can shake a disposable spoon at. I particularly enjoyed having a go at a Mission Impossible style laser maze in which you are trying to get through a tunnel filled with crisscrossing green lasers without breaking the beams. I did pretty well I have to boast. Here’s a little video of some of the snappies I took while there. I apologize for the Crazy Frog theme music. One of the wack-a-mole games had the damn song blasting and its been stuck in my head all day. So now I’m passing that irritation on to you.


11.14.2007

The Molly MacPhearson Post

On the way up to the wedding Sarah and I made a random bathroom pit stop just south of Savannah Georgia. When looking for a place to stop we noticed a Scottish flag over on of the store fronts, and assuming it was a British store we pulled over in the hopes of snagging some Irn-Bru and Skips for the rest of the trip. Turns out it was a Scotch Bar named Molly MacPhearson’s. Being a Shearer on my mother’s side my family is actually part of the MacPhearson clan, so I was overly excited to see the place decked out with our clan tartan and crest. Met the owner and got a picture next to the fireplace with a picture of his great aunt Molly herself. Had a rousing chat with some of the regulars, including a man who was stationed at Ipswich airbase of all places. Chowed down on some tasty appetizers including some scotch eggs and picked up a ‘Touch not the cat bot a glove’ t-shirt.

The Ray-Hall Wedding Post

This past weekend Sarah came down for an evening before we headed off on the relatively brief jaunt up to Hilton Head, SC. We caught the ferry over to Daufauski Island, where the wedding was being held, and stayed in the inn overlooking the ocean. The whole island was beautiful (if not a tad chilly for my newly thinned Floridian blood), and the landscaping was really pretty. The wedding was a blast. Initially we felt like the odd couple out as it was quite a tight nit group of family and close friends, and with me only really knowing the bride, there where a lot of foreign faces. That was a non issue very quickly though as Katie’s family are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and they took no time in making us feel part of the team. The ceremony was wonderful, set on the shoreline in a beautiful gazebo. Katie made her entrance in a very majestic horse drawn carriage (while her brothers arrived down the isle as groomsmen to the Imperial March). After the wedding there was a reception and dinner in the hotel which was a lot of fun. While Sarah and I didn’t get down on the dance floor like the rest of the wedding party, we had a great time. The food….oh man, let me tell you. I have never eaten so well or so much in my life. I am so glad we got to go to the wedding and it was brilliant to catch up with Katie again post-Mason. Sarah and I had a wonderful road trip and mini-vacation together as well which was really great. We both wish Katie and Aaron the best of luck in their new lives together, and offer many thanks for being included and treated so well by her friends and family.


11.04.2007

The Kingdom Post

Jamie Foxx (I hate that extra ‘x’) does a terrific job in his role as Ronald Fluery, head of an FBI special investigations unit, sent overseas to look into a terrorist attack that claimed one of the departments own. He takes with him a team of experts as they attempt to solve the case as to who was behind the bombings. They are met with obstacles on all fronts ranging from local resistance, red tape and even U.S. disapproval (personified in the always excellent Jeremy Piven). The film’s main strength comes from the fleshed out characters and their teamwork dynamic. Jenifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman (!) do phenomenal jobs backing up Foxx’s lead and come across as an adept team with a lot of history. It’s Ashraf Barhom’s role as Faris Al Gahzi that really steals the show though, as he performs remarkably well in a role that seems to be written in search of an Oscar nod. A nod goes out to the introductory package as well, which is the best since Casino Royal and was fantastically put together to open the movie perfectly.

The Kingdom is a gripping film that goes where many films choose not to, and offers an engaging view of the war effort and those not often highlighted. Considering the subject matter however, I feel that the many areas in which the film succeeds are not the areas it intended to. While terrorist attacks and mass murders in the Middle East are both fuel for a conflict and motivation for a plot, The Kingdom suffers in its first half as the cast struggle to accomplish much of anything in their investigation. Foxx and his team are unwillingly after an entire religion not a specific villain, and the goal seems as overly optimistic and unsolvable as the war itself. However, half way through the movie a plot twist results in a rescue mission and explosive shootouts that both entertain and enthrall. I felt guilty enjoying these elements of the film over the more serious issues presented, but as a film, the constant reminders of the dire situation were doing little besides mirroring a daily news report on the middle eastern crisis.

I feel bad enjoying the movie’s character interaction and explosive street fights more than the more pertinent, global conflicts presented, but not sorry enough not to really enjoy the film as a whole. And while I think the more successful efforts eclipse the film’s attempt and conveying the horror of the war; this is also the first film I’ve seen in a theater that had the audience walking out in total silence.

The American Gangster Post

American Gangster is not at all what I was expecting. Somehow I got a sense that the film was a rags-to-riches Scarface clone mixed with a classic cop vs. crook plotline. The movie is neither of those. Sure Denzel’s Frank Lucas is an organized crime figure who takes off and becomes a big player in New York’s drug business, which is akin to Scarface’s climb to the top down in Miami, however that is pretty much where the similarities end. As far as the cop vs. crook elements that are in the movie (pitting Lucas against Russell Crow’s Detective Richie Roberts) the two characters are unaware of each other existence until the last 30 minutes of the movie. There is no climactic rivalry or any interaction between the two on any level until the very end, and even then the most action involves a coffee being knocked on the floor. The omission of out and out action or fueled rivalry between the two main characters really hurts this film, whether it was advertised as having such or not.

Now I don’t mean to criticize this movie for not being Scarface, especially considering that I really don’t care for the Pacino flick at all (though who doesn’t look good in a Scarface airbrushed t-shirt? honestly). However the impression I got was this was going to be as gripping and heated as said film, and it was not by any means. Though entertaining and competent, the movie never grabs you and makes you wonder what’s going to happen next. The story transpires in front of you, then comes to and end. There are no twists turns, loops or pitfalls along the way. The complete lack of a climax really hurts the film and the ending, though accurate, is downright dull.

Plot issues aside the film is very impressively shot, acted and presented. Direction is top notch and the actors all do extremely believable jobs at fleshing out the characters crooks and coppers alike. Josh Brolin’s Trupo is the kind of slime ball you love to hate and shines in the role of the crooked cop, as do many of the tertiary characters, particularly Crowe’s team of detectives. It’s just my personal taste and misinformed bias saying this; but American Gangster is an excellent film in all regards except in the plot department. It has all the elements of something terrific, but unfortunately fails to deliver more than something adequate.

The Dad Visit Post

This weekend Dad came down for a visit to Orlando. It was great to spend time with him, hanging around and heading out and about. Watched some football, caught a few movies which I probably wouldn’t have seen solo, ate out and some of my favorite spots around town, and hit the Comedy and Adventurer’s clubs at Pleasure Island. Saturday we met up with Stacey for the last night of Halloween Horror Nights, which was really cool. Getting to spend more time in the various houses was way better than spending the majority of the night in line. We saw every house besides Dead Silence, which is irritating because that was the one I really had pegged as something I wanted to see. But we did see everything else and all three shows, including the Bill and Ted final performance, which was great and slightly modified by the cast due to it being the last hurrah. Stopped by an Amazing Pictures store and did a funny picture with Stacey which looks really good. Dad brought down with him my new CS3 suite too which is really exciting. Finally having up-to-date versions of all the Adobe killer-aps is going to make my graphics work much more enjoyable. My first project will be the Celica-to-Transformer-Project. More on that later. I have more manuals to read and tutorials to run through that I’ll ever be able to complete (16 lbs worth actually), but I plan on putting a dent in a few of the new feature centric content. Very fun, very full weekend. I really like getting to spend time with Dad. Makes me wonder why I used to want to argue with him every 5 seconds… who knows?

10.31.2007

The Pig-Out Post

Happy Halloween to everyone! I hope you enjoy the festivities today/tonight. Today was the annual Colorvision ‘Pig-Out’ in which we all bring in a dish for a massive communal meal and eat together in costume (most of us) in the conference room. Those of us who wore an outfit posed outside for a picture. I rocked my J.D. costume again and won some praise. I’ll be honest though the first thing I did after work was go and get a haircut… too much hair required for this costume. I’d say it’s to long for the Florida heat, but that would be a bit of a stretch at the moment because we have been sitting in rather cool temperatures for the better part of two weeks now. Mark (far left) went as an Amazing Picture (our trademark Indiana Jones shot more specifically), which I thought was pretty cool. Working on the backdrop was entertaining for sure, though cutting out logo was taxing my foamcore/exacto skills more than I’d hoped. Fun day, and very filling. I ate my weight in food. Then went back for seconds. There where some pretty funny costumes too, which was great to see. Kim's and Sue's in particular had everyone laughing.


10.29.2007

The Halloween Weekend Post

This weekend marked Sarah’s long anticipated visit to the new apartment. I have been looking forward to having her down here for ages and finally on Friday I could stop counting down days. We had a great weekend, hanging out around the complex and the surrounding area. Got a late lunch at Mimi’s Café which lasted us a few meals and the obligatory trip/s to Target, as well as a Home Depot stop to get Sarah an apartment key that actually works.

Went to Halloween Horror Nights and the Nascar Grille on Saturday and hung out with Bruce and Dianna. Horror Nights is decidedly better when you aren’t alone for the record, and I enjoyed it much more this time around. Saw a lot of houses and a few I had missed the first time through (Texas Chainsaw was our favorite), as well as caught one of the later Bill and Ted shows; and met the carnival’s ringleader, Jack for a photo which was pretty freaky (the guy decided to mess with me over Sarah, which I was not anticipating). He was pretty intense and had a few people running away screaming (which was hilarious for those of us waiting in line. Speaking of lines…wow, the sheer amount of people that show up for the event is crazy, especially when you consider the wait times, cost of tickets and drinks.


Unfortunately we didn’t get to head downtown which was a big bummer for both of us, especially considering the effort that had gone into our costumes. But with that said we did have an awesome weekend hanging out at the new place. Got in a dinner date at BJ’s Brewhouse (my new favorite dinner spot) which was nice-and oh so filling. Very sad to see Sarah go, and the weekend felt cut short more so than most visits, but so glad she made it down and eagerly anticipating seeing her again already.

10.21.2007

The Fund Post

With the holidays coming up I decided a little extra income would definitely help with the anticipated expense that comes with the festivities. Flights back home, presents etc. All expenditures I look forward to months ahead of time and love to pay. With this logic in mind I noticed that the local GameStop that we visit on lunch break religiously, is hiring seasonal part-timers. I asked Matt the manager there, if something from 5-close on weekdays would be in the cards, and he said that they could fit me on the schedule 2-3 times a week. Seems perfect. I’ll just roll over right after work and run small shifts a few days a week, sound good. Filled out the paper-work and turned it back in the next day, and pending a background check with my old store in Sterling; I’m hired. Turns out though that the pay is substantially lower than I was earning even back in high school… With Florida’s lower rate of earning taken into consideration, if I go through with it I think it will funding towards my “Jamie’s PS3 Fund” rather than a Christmas collection. Unless that is you all what really crappy presents.

10.20.2007

The Crazy Office Post

Work is kinda crazy at the moment. Regrettably Sharon, the company’s matriarch, is undergoing some major surgery, and is expected to be out of the office for a while recovering. Everyone’s furniture is in the middle of the room due to guys coming by on Monday to start painting the walls. There is major construction going on next-door involving compacting dirt for a parking lot, which causes the whole building to shudder constantly. And the air-conditioning was down last week on our end of the building which had us in the high eighties for a few days. Not the most wild of circumstances, but weird to have them all happen at once. Considering that I spent most of my work week gluing together an Indiana Jones backdrop for a Halloween costume (not mine before you ask) and writing stage directions for an NBC script… it definitely wasn’t your average week at the office. Best of luck to Sharon during her surgery and recovery time. Hopefully everything will be a little less crazy when she comes back.

The Obey The Clown Post

This week has been a little high on the caloric intake due to the maniacal grip Ronald McDonald has over me. His diabolical Monopoly game has me suffering from a Mac Attack whenever the idea of food comes into my head. Collecting those stupid stickers just clicks with me for some reason and I find myself peeling back the greasy labels before I even take a sip of my Coke. The whole office is hooked too, and we trade duplicate stamps and all play online as well. Its so sad, but at the same time so addictive. If you’ll excuse me I’m going to go order some food I don’t want in order to maximize my sticker-to-purchase ratio. Premium Chicken Sandwich and a large fries? Sounds good to me.

Speaking of evil corporations. I finally got a working 360 today after over a month since they sent me the last broken one (which in turn took a month before that). Freaking idiots in their repair center/ customer care department. Hopefully this one will last forever.

The Heartbreak Post

Years after the Ferrelly Brothers did There is Something About Mary along comes (Polly) the Stiller driven Heartbreak Kid. Considering the time both Stiller and his brand of comedy have had to develop, the similarities between the two films are to the degree that Heartbreak could have been Mary’s sequel and no one would have noticed*. That’s not to say that it wasn’t a funny movie, and didn’t have merit. There were scenes that where absolutely hilarious, and running jokes and gross-out moments that made me laugh out loud and wince at the same time. As far as a modern comedy goes this pretty much hits the mark, but wont win any awards or be remembered for long. It’s far from perfect, but perfection is impossible the way the genre stands at the moment. A Ferrelly film is a Ferrelly film and nothing more. Anyone going in expecting more than what you get is just foolish. As far as their films go though, this one beats out the majority of their past attempts by a wide margin.

It’s a proven fact that people will pay to see Ben Stiller wriggle out of awkward situations. It’s science. You can’t argue with science. He was in classic form (as was his father) in ‘Heartbreak, and fans won’t be disappointed. He does mix up the traditional Stiller-role enough to seem more mature and developed this time around, which is a breath of fresh air. And while there is a lot less physical comedy being relied on this time, it’s still Derek Zoolander under all that makeup and grey hair, so if that’s not your brand, then skip this one. The supporting cast does a decent job, and some of the sub characters are pretty funny in their own right. Carlos Mencia however is never, and will never, be funny. Why he made it onto a big screen I will never truly understand. I found the ending particularly clichéless, which is cool. Actually the film as a whole took a weird turn towards the last 15 minutes that kept my interest up, which I’m fine with considering all comedies these days spend the last half hour focusing on finality, not funny it seems.

*There where scenes in which Malin Akerman (Stiller’s annoying new wife) and Cameron Diaz’s Mary where one in the same.

10.15.2007

The Carpeted Deck Post

This Sunday I had some time to myself while Melanie and Craig where at Universal all day, so I took advantage and hit Home Depot for some indoor/outdoor carpet for the porch. I had previously got a wicked bad splinter in the ball of my foot when sitting out there, and wanted to lay some waterproof flooring down over the exposed wood. Sized and cut a good 12x6 foot roll and brought it back to install it. I’m not much of a handyman, but I have to say I think I did a pretty good job. Measured and cut for the alcove and the railing posts sop it fits snug, and tacked it down with bent over wood nails. Looks good and there are no splinters to be seen. Treated the wood underneath for ants and pests before laying the rug down, and took out any spider nests/webs that had popped up between the crossbeams to avoid problems under the carpet. Repotted my plants with some borrowed mulch from around the lake too, so it’s pretty nice out there now. I still need to get some more permanent furniture vs. the indoor folding chair, but I’m in no rush for now.

The Colchester Vistors Post

Childhood friend Melanie, from the UK visited this weekend as one of her stops on a tour across America. She’s travelling with a buddy of hers; Craig, and has so far been to New York City, somewhere in Ohio, Boston and Texas. They where only in Orlando for four days before they head on to San Diego. While they were here I tried to show them different aspects of town; we hit Millenia’s BJ Brewhouse for some awesome food; Minigolfed on I-Drive, hit a few malls and the Van’s Skatepark, and went downtown to some of the more eclectic bars like Spybar and Independent. I think they had a good time. Yesterday they did an all-day-er at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Stuck around late for Halloween Horror Nights, which they said, was really good. All in all I think they had a pretty decent trip, albeit a small stop on a long list of many. It was weird to be playing host in my new apartment though having just been there for a week myself.

10.11.2007

The Night Rocket Post

Hit Cape Canaveral last night to watch the Atlas Rocket launch. It was an 8:30 launch window so it was night once the rocket blasted off. Very cool seeing the rocket from so close, and event cooler against the night sky. We got all the way down to the park that overlooks the cape this time which was much closer than pas far as we got for the shuttle earlier in the year. The rumble was incredible and the sheer brilliance of the light it gives off is crazy. Took a video but its too big for YouTubing and will require some compression. I’ll get to that. After the launch we killed some time at some of the local Cocoa establishments and then headed back to Orlando. Unfortunately being right on the water made me mosquito fodder, which I am fully appreciating today. Shouldn’t have worn shorts!

10.07.2007

The Done Deal Post

I think I’m done. Yeah sure there are some spots on the wall that will need canvases to decorate and a fair bit of “Misc. Stuff” laying about the place that will need to be sorted, but for the most part I’m in. Here are some shots of the new place as requested. Though they really don’t do a very good job of showing off the rooms. I think another Crib’s Video might be in order.



The Virginia Goings-On Post

Meanwhile, in Virginia....

Today (now yesterday) is Stefan’s 21st birthday, a big Happy Birthday to him. Crazy to think my brother is 21. Not so much because he’s my little brother, but more because it doesn’t seem thank long ago that I had my 21st celebration for my coming of age. The whole family is over at the house to celebrate with steaks and crab cakes (jealous!) as well as respective girlfriends (including mine), Ali and Bob and Aunty Lel. I hate missing these family events.

I’ve been too bogged down with my new apartment and getting myself settled that I didn’t comment about Ali and Bob making their move this weekend too. I felt bad enough for myself unloading a one-bedroom apartment’s worth of stuff…I can’t imagine what a whole house is like! Seems like everything is going smoothly as possible at this point which is nice to hear. According to Stefan the new place is pretty cool and very much a Ragsdale-sort-of-house. Looking forward to checking it out firsthand next time I head back to VA. Bob already put everyone’s worries to rest; yes there is a perfect spot for Christmas Potato Batchi. We can all sleep soundly.

10.05.2007

The Gator Post

Arrived home from work yesterday to find a note in my door from the management. Headed with ‘IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ!’ in bold underlined text I hastened to read the flyer. Apparently an alligator has been spotted in the complex by the lake, and the apartment company wanted to let us know. They tell us to avoid mulch areas at night (apparently that’s when gators are most prone to be away from the water and looking for food) and to be wary around the water. The Florida Game Commission have been notified about it but so far its still on the premises.

This doesn’t scare me at all, as I am sure it’s just a small guy and probably no more of a nuisance than a raccoon or ground hog…but with more teeth. Honestly the creepiest things down here are the geckos. Once you get past the fact that there are lightning fast, reptiles clinging to your house then any ground-based pests don’t really strike up much commotion.

The Move Post

Wow. That was a lot of effort. And while I’m not finished the majority of the labor is done. The move was BRUTAL. I had no idea it would be so tasking. Sweat and tears-wise I think I lost half my body weight lugging boxes up and down stairs and stuffing them in the back of the rental truck. Bruce took his lunch to come by and help with the behemoth that is my TV (seriously what the hell is inside that thing??) which was an immense help. Didn’t finish until 4:30 due to constant downpours and the fact that I have WAY TO MUCH STUFF, so I wasn’t able to check out of my old apartment until the following day. Which was good thing because it ended up taking two ore trips with cleaning supplies and plants to fully vacate. I busted my butt to get the apartment looking tip-top. Ended up filing my fingertips off with scrub brushes and covering my arms with more bruises and cuts than entirely necessary, but the place look awesome, and received “Perfect Condition”-ranking from the woman who did the move-out inspection.

This weekend my couch arrives and I hope to get the last of the essentials running (i.e. computer). With the small expectation of sewage-smelling-water (new pipes) the apartment is perfect. Not a nick, scratch, dent or ding to report. And everything is brand spanking new. I love it there. Expect pictures soon.

9.30.2007

The Final Post

This is the last posting from Apartment G.

The majority of my belongings are in boxes or lie unceremoniously in piles awaiting boxes. The kitchen is barren less my stockpile of Costco tuna and some mustard; and my closet consists of 2 days worth of clothes surrounded by unused hangers. All that’s really left to do is tag and bag the computer and what’s left on my entertainment center. Both of which just happen to be today’s projects. Unfortunately that will leave me internet-less for the next two days besides at work. Scary thought really when you think how reliant we are these days on it. I may post from work if something particularly eventful happens between now and Tuesday, but if not the next post should be coming out of the new place.

9.28.2007

The Advance Screaming Post

Halloween is in the air and its time again for Universal Studio’s to put on their Halloween Horror Nights event. The park is transformed at nightfall into a creepy carnival featuring haunted houses, eerie actors and long lines. Tonight was the employees only advance showing of the event for this year and I got to go thanks to the awesome efforts of Rich and Henry at the office. Unfortunately I was seemingly unable to coordinate the other people who where going and ended up toughing the night out solo. While there is a lot to do and see and some really cool effects and scares to be had, it definitely loses something having to do it on your own. I saw a lot, but not nearly everything, and look forward to going again on a regular night with Sarah when she is down for Halloween next month.

This year’s theming was much more impressive than last year’s and overall it was a better production. Featuring characters like Leatherface, Freddy Kruger and Jason and some awesome carnival creepiness the whole park really came off a lot better than last year’s attempt. Unfortunately the food wasn’t free this time, and there where no light up glasses with interesting beers (beer came in plastic cups and was limited to Bud only). The Bill and Ted show had its wings clipped noticeably from last year’s raucous show, though still posed a few good pop-culture oriented jabs. Unfortunately it kept falling back to making fun of Britney Spears (though the ‘leave Britney alone’ audio was classic). They where forbidding any and all photography and filming during the show this time too which is a bummer. But any show featuring a phone booth transformer-ing into Optimus Prime while Leonidus the Spartan tosses javelins at Lindsey Lohan is ok in my book.


9.27.2007

The Wedding Invite Post

Fellow graphic designer and former GMU classmate Katie Ray is tying the knot to her fiancé Aaron on November 11th, and will be having the wedding on Daufuskie Island in South Carolina. Sarah and I have been invited to attend the ceremony and will be staying on the island’s resort for the weekend prior. I’ll be driving up and Sarah will be flying down (possibly driving too). Looking forward to it all for a few reasons. Primarily as it will be a fun event and mini-holiday for Sarah and I to enjoy (they don’t happen often enough). I know Sarah is very excited and I am very pleased that Katie thought to send us an invite. I haven’t been to a wedding forever, and look forward to getting to go electively this time around,with no bowtie requirements from the parents.

9.26.2007

The Boxes and Vandalism Post

Moving day is fast approaching next Tuesday. And when I say ‘fast’ I really mean ‘slowly as hell’. The weekend cant get here fast enough. Living in a pseudo-packed state is a pain, and I am anxious to get the job done. Transporting Coolio, renting the u-haul, coordinating getting a hand lifting my tv; are all requiring planning, and I have the day laid out to a tee for the most part. I just wish I could hurry up and get on with it. Paid off the couch last weekend, and organized the delivery for the following Saturday, and all utilities, phone and internet services have been notified of the move and are all set to be active on move-in day.

I am anxious to get out of here for the aforementioned reasons plus the fact that I am just sick of this place. Sure its not as bad as I am sure I make it out to be, but I am just fed up of dealing with all the little problems that come along with cheap housing. The bathtub is still awaiting repair (going on 2 months now) but should be FINALLY sorted out Saturday at 8:00. Unless he reschedules for the 3rd week in a row of course. Whatever... after this weekend its not my problem anymore. Cincinnati paid me a visit this evening and took me down to show me the damage done to his daughter’s car. He wanted to know if I had heard/seen anything, which I hadn’t. The poor car had a number done on it for sure. I’d recon 50% of the bodywork is scratched doff with some vigorous keying, and the majority of the windows have large circular cracks from blows with what seems to be bricks or large rocks. Considering this and past experiences he has had living where he does, I found it odd that when I told him I was moving out next week he seemed surprised I’d want to move.

9.25.2007

The Memorial Post

Today was the memorial service for Sue Wolfgang’s father, Joseph, who had recently passed away. Afraid that I would be trespassing on a personal moment, I wasn’t planning on attending, as I hadn’t been formally invited and didn’t know Mr. Doole personally. I have never attended a memorial service like this before and always thought that they where moments of memory for those directly effected by a loved ones passing. While that is certainly true I have come to realize that by attending a memorial you are not just paying respects to the deceased but also offering support to those left behind. After a few encouraging words with Henry, Susan and Craig at the office I decided that as a friend to the Wolfgang’s I wanted to be there for them and offer my support during their time of loss, which I am very glad I did. Many people where in attendance and the effect of the supporters on the family is exactly what they need right now. I’m glad that my friends convinced me to go, and I hope that Sue and Arnold’s family are able to pull through their loss and remember Joseph and the time they had together.

9.16.2007

The Shoot Em Up Post

Manly men like Action. They like guns, boobs, explosions and vehicular destruction. In celebration of this manly bond we all share (sorry ladies) I have made a symbol all men can carry on them with pride. Below is your Man Card*. Go ahead and print this sucker out and get him in your wallet. Now go see Shoot ‘Em Up and feel free to chest-bump any and all that get in your way.

Many people are depressed about how violence in the media has diluted films and choked out semblance of a plot or character development. Shoot Em Up’s position on the topic is stated within the fist five minutes when Clive Owens character bellows ‘F you. You F’n F’ers’, in a celebration of the film’s R rated, no-holds barred approach to cinema. Logic is thrown to the wind and pure adrenaline takes its place. In the same initial 5-minutes Owen’s extreme character punches a carrot through a guy’s head, delivers a baby while shooting people, blows the umbilical cord away with a handgun and leaps across two buildings to evade Paul Giamatti’s character, shooting out a sign to spell “FUK U TOOL”.

Shoot ‘Em Up does have a point to its madness, and does a decent job of pointing the proverbial trigger-finger at its targets. Somehow the film manages to condemn the genre for being overloaded with violence and filth, whilst at the same time reveling in it to an astronomical degree. It’s a tongue-in-cheek version of 300. In addition to the self-parody and amped up satirical violence Owen’s mysterious character (Smith) vents to the moviegoers about all the little things he hates. Ranging from the misconception that a ponytail makes you look tough, to littering and changing lanes without an indicator. All the little things that everyone hates; Smith takes to heart and punishes the offenders. (He shoots off the guy’s ponytail, and rams the discourteous driver into a lamppost). This pet-peeve driven rampage and constant carrot eating is all we get as far as a character goes, and Smith is the most developed role in the whole film. Yes there are other characters and yes there is a plot, but wasting your attention on the details would defeat the whole purpose of seeing the movie.

The action is frenetic and fun, the situations are well thought-out and engaging, and the characters (though shallow) serve their 2D roles to the letter. Not for the faint at heart nor those who want a plot driven adventure, Shoot ‘Em Up delivers an action packed stunt show and nothing more. That said; if you don’t thoroughly enjoy this movie I’m afraid I’m going to have to go ahead and take your Man Card.


*Man Card creation (and its revocation) is plagiarized from Dr. Cox without any shame.