The 99,999 Post

The Celica hit a milestone today and broke 99,999 miles right when I was pulling into my apartment after work. Eight years and a hundred thousand miles after rolling off the factory floor- and counting!


The Evil Fish Post

Check out this bizarre video I came across while trying to stay up past my bedtime. It’s of a crazy Japanese deep water shark that has an extendable mouth akin to something from Aliens. Doesn’t seem to be able to do much damage to the guys arm…but he will die later from pure evil. Now granted my Japanese is a little rusty but I am pretty sure the guy is saying something to the effect of: “HOLY CRAP!? Goblin Sharks! The water is not safe. We are all going to die!!”

The Roachzilla Post

Last night while I was lazing about watching the news my apartment was invaded by Mega-Roach. The ballsy little bastard scampered right in front of my TV paused for a second in front of Coolio and darted with super roach speed over to the lamp. It scaled the thing and dropped onto the couch. By this point I was on the other side of the room running for the fly swat screaming “Kill it! Kill it!” at Coolio (who was more impressed with shiny stuff on the TV apparently to even notice the intruder). The flyswat did nothing but send the horrible thing across the room and give him a head start in what would be a 5 minute round of hide and seek. I eventually found him and sprayed him directly with bug killer until he was slovenly enough to flyswat in half. I disposed of the two halves in two separate locations (to avoid them from reproducing) and went back to watching the TV. The thing was huge. The apartment is new so I haven’t had anything besides a few wood ants since moving in, and after rampant roaches at the old apartment I have laid trap after trap and continually spray perimeters to avoid roaches from moving in. I am not worried about other roaches really after Roachzilla last night, primarily because I am confident that he ate every other roach within a 5 apartment perimeter (aka it was big and gross). But also because he happened to come in form the kitchen right when the trash guy was doing his rounds. I think he was in the large dumpster or bags those guys lug from door to door collecting our waste from the bins in the hallway. Least that’s what I’m telling myself so I can sleep at night.


The Nextel Cup Post

Odd things happen at the office from time to time, and today was a pretty good example. While working away at the computer Victor comes back to the department and places the Nextel Cup Trophy on the table. Turns out NASCAR had the sucker made for a photo opportunity at Universal Studios’ NASCAR restaurant. While not the real deal, this official custom replica version of the cup weighed a fair bit and cost the restaurant $2500 or so to get the thing made (or so I heard- the original is made by Tiffany and is worth over 9 bajillion dollars) which makes it much better than any trophy I’ll ever earn racing the Celica anywhere. The thing looks EXACTLY like the real deal. Taking advantage of the fact that it was back in the department we headed outside for some Rickey Bobby poses. Dave snapped these shots of me acting like an ass by the Celica. Remember if you ‘aint first, you’re last.

The Scene It Post

Last weekend Sarah from the office, came over with Neil and Jen for pizza and Scene It-night. I don’t often get to entertain at my apartment so it was nice to have the round. It was extra nice because I finally got to break out Scene It on the Xbox, which hasn’t had any attention in a long time. (It requires more than just me and a cat to play properly). After trouncing them in a few rounds of redundant trivia we watched some Christopher Walkin SNL and had a few rounds of Mario Kart. Fun night, I need to have people over more often. It was a great way to spend an evening during the crappy weather we've been having thanks to good old Fay.


The Sent Home Post

Fey is approaching, though from looking outside you wouldn’t be able to tell. The weather reports make the storm looks rather sizable at this point but are all very spotty on which direction it will head. Erring on the side of safety our office manager shut down the building today at 12:30 so I am home early which is nice. Sirens can be heard in the distance as I type this, and the sky is a miserable light grey. There aren’t any cones touching down or cows flying through the air though, and nothing is supposed to really hit Orlando till later on tonight. Hopefully I won’t loose power, but I have some backup water supplies and whatnot to keep me gong if for some reason I can’t reach the 7-11 across the street. Apparently there is very little lightning during these things, just loads of wind and rain, so I should be ok. I’ll keep you posted.


The Looming Fey Post

Orlando is in a bit of a hubbub right now over the impending arrival of tropical storm Fey. While it is expect to be category 1 hurricane by the time it reaches us late tomorrow night I am not to worried. Coworkers are worried about driving to work and the radio talk show guys are debating on if we should go get water stocks or not… it’s all a mess. It’s the first severe weather we have had all hurricane season and people are jumping on the panic-wagon. Apparently this is not uncommon behavior for Floridians based on past weather scares, so I don’t think I’ll be boarding up my windows or anything. Plus…it’s called Fey. Below is a picture of the worst possible scenario when something is named Fey. Lets hope I didn’t just put my foot in my mouth and will wake up in the middle of a rubble strewn parking lot…


The Clone Wars Post

Star Wars is a burnt turkey. As with a singed Thanksgiving dinner you can’t keep cooking the bird in an attempt to save the meal. George Lucas really bolloxed up Star Wars and seems to think that if he keeps throwing money at it then the problem will right itself. Star Wars steeped into bad territory during the prequel trilogy and unfortunately this film is a celebration of the franchises dark times. Not only that but it’s a poorly executed attempt to cash in on the property.

The whole film feels like the bathtub adventures a little boy playing with a set of action figures than it does an actual movie. I realize that this is a pilot episode to kick off a new cartoon show but the fact that absolutely nothing is really resolved (besides some lasers being fired) really hurts this ‘movie’. It weakens the Star Wars film library even further and fails to impress even the most die hard of a Star Wars fan (read: Jamie), all in the vein attempt that this will drive viewers to a cartoon show? I always knew Star Wars a commercial property…but this is just shameful.

Shameful is the word I will stick with when describing this film. The character models, while highly stylized are overly simple, practically expressionless and look more like the aforementioned bathtub toys than actual characters. It's sad that a production house like Lucasfilm would stoop to such cheap methods when dealing with their bread-and-butter franchise. Not only are the models weak, but the textures are visibly stretched and muddy, and I even spotted a few seams on some of the background elements. At one point a new character says to Anakin "You’ve got that look on your face again!” to which Anakin replied “There’s a look?”. I found this particularly amusing considering that the characters are incapable of much more opening their mouths and blinking. The sad truth of it, is that this 3D version of the Star Wars universe pales in comparison to the 2D animated cartoon that aired a few years back, and is nothing close to the films it attempts to leech from.

I also have an issue with the fact that when animated the characters have super hero abilitys that have them practically flying through the air and kicking some serious droid ass. However in the films they are all of a sudden stricken with mere mortal bodies and must resolve to keep both feet on the ground, less a little flip here of there. It really cheapens the characters to see them this way. Adding to that notion, apparently all clone troopers are freaking ninjas now and R2-D2's already ridiculous hover-jets can propel him through the clouds like a spaceship now (but he still likes to wheel about a 2-mph for some reason when it suits the story). Clone Wars also serves as another wasted attempt to utilize the General Grevious character, opting to have him stand motionless for one scene and never been heard of again.

I can’t stress enough how much I wished they never made this movie. And after sitting through it I have to confess that I have little hope anything will ever come of this franchise on the big screen again that’s worth seeing.


The Tropic Thunder Post

Tropic Thunder is funnier than you expect it to be. Not only is it the funniest movie I’ve seen in a long time, but it completely revives my faith that celebrities have a sense of humor. It’s so refreshing to see big-name actors commit to something that’s just plain funny without dipping too far into stupid. That’s not to say that there aren’t stupid moments in the film, but the ratio of hilarious to ridiculous is positive*.

TP is a riot from the first commercial right down to the credits, which for the record are too hilarious to even attempt to describe. I don’t want to ruin anything about the film because the laughs are largely dependent in the way they pop up. All I can’t help myself saying is; evil guerilla baby vs. bridge. I literally almost died in the theater from laughing. So many lines are crossed, but they are crossed in all the right ways. Odds are something in this movie will offend you (or the mentally challenged, minority drug addict sitting next to you) but I guarantee you will be laughing a lot more than you’ll be frowning. Take the film for what it is and you can’t be disappointed. This is the best comedy I’ve seen all year.

For all the hype that was placed on Downy Jr.’s portrayal of the ‘dude playing the dude that thinks he’s another dude’ I have to say I was under whelmed with what he did with the gimmick. Funny, yes. Show stealer, no. It’s fine though as the movie as a whole works perfectly in keeping the audience rolling. After seeing this movie and enjoying it as much as I did, I almost feel the need to go back and lower the other summer comedies at least one star, because they really do pale in comparison to this one. ‘Thunder pulls out all the stops, has many of the same actors seen previously this summer, and keeps the funny up unlike anything else on the market right now.



The Pineapple Express Post

Pineapple Express isn’t for stoners. Sure they will get a kick out of it and it’s a heavily weed-centric in pretty much every way, but the end result is a movie about stoners, not a movie for them. I generally find pro-pot shenanigans to be aimed at a different audience to me and pretty unbearable for able minded viewing, but Express, like previous Seth Rogan entries has managed to win me over despite his apparent need to shove pot into everything he puts on the screen.

Like the recent Step Brothers, ‘Express is extremely uneven and suffers from oddly driven pacing issues. However unlike Ferrell’s latest attempt the movie succeeds in reaching the right levels of humorous, outrageous and entertaining. Taking notes from its predecessor SuperBad, Express’s characters are fleshed out enough to be endearing and charmingly buffoon-ed (that’s a word now), and their interactions with each other brims with the ‘why is this funny enough to make me laugh this much?’-lines. James Franco’s Sean Penn-inspired drug dealer, Saul meshes perfectly with Rogan’s gruff half-whit Dale for some believably hilarious back-and-forths that keep things real despite the outrageous circumstances the two get themselves into. Danny McBride’s Red is priceless. You never know want is going to poor out of his mouth, but revel in the fact that you know it will have you in stitches. Unfortunately all the character interactions and relationship build up is lost with a terrible final act that is appalling by most standards. People where walking out of the theater with only 15-minutes left to go. That tells me something.

All-in-all Pineapple Express is its own brand of stupid. It’s too across the board to fit into a traditional comedy category and as such will rub people expecting certain elements the wrong way. The final scene in which our ‘heroes’ reminisce about their antics will pretty much define your opinion of the film for you. If you don’t crack as smile as they recount their adventure then unfortunately the movie wasn’t for you. I was laughing, so I think I’m sold. Though I have to say this movie could have been absolutely brilliant, and seems to be content to settle with just ‘pretty-good’.


The Madden Launch Post

Last night was the launch party for EA’s latest Madden entry. EA have offices just north of town and had the Wall Street area blocked off for a street party. The development team for the game where all there, aswell as the Jaguar cheerleading squad to promote the games release next week. Couldn’t care any less about the game, but the event was fun. There where raffles and prizes galore for all kinds of gaming shwag, plus the thing was sponsored by everyone under the sun so there where loads of goodies being tossed around (all I netted was some beads unfortunately). There where some live bands on stage, one of which did a wicked set of Rage covers (sung by a girl oddly enough) that was pretty awesome. Good times, we had fun.