Posts Tagged ‘Godzilla’

…I honestly didn’t see this coming.

Don’t worry, they still let me graduate and all that. I’ve got my credentials now…they can’t take that away from me.

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What I mean to say is…I thought that the end of 2013 would bring about a significant amount of fanfare in my life…fresh opportunities and enthusiasm. You think the race is gonna be over…nope. There’s just another one on the other side.

Sorry, that’s kind of a bummer line to lead off with for the first post of the new year. Also…February…January literally just flew by. So what has happened since my last post…

I’ve said goodbye to Denton…not permanently. I’ve still got plenty of people requesting money from me up there, and plenty of friends I want to try and keep in touch with. But I’ve got all my stuff crammed in a corner of a room at my parents place while I try to find my next place back closer to “home”. While I’m talking about it…is anyone looking to sublease a 1 bedroom apartment in Denton…fully furnished and on the UNT bus route? Contact me for more info.
I’d love to get that monkey off my back.
The job search for the career continues. As I thought, my people don’t really advertise when they’re looking to fill a spot…they just ask people if they know a guy. I’ve still got my current job to keep me afloat, but I don’t see this as a long term venture, and I don’t see the promise of them trying to increase my hours panning out. I’ve tried seeing if there are any other positions within my company that are more worthy of the degree I have now (still waiting on that degree to arrive by the way) but the most suitable match lies down in Austin. I’m still doing a lot of searching in the DFW area here, as I’m trying to move into a new place here pretty soon, but if at some point, I need to definitively expand my search…well, so much for my plans I guess.

I also lost my grandfather recently. My grandfather had been in and out of the hospital quite a bit in the final months of his life. Heck, he’d been in and out quite a bit in the last few years of his life…but he always bounced back. He broke his hip several years back…an injury that at his age would have led a downhill spiral in most people. Amazingly though, he got through rehabilitation and was able to go back home and continue to live his life. This last time though…it seemed that all his resilience had worn out. On Saturday January the 19th, we were informed by the hospital that after going in and out of a responsive and lucid state the day before, that his kidneys were shutting down…which, I don’t know how much y’all know about the medical world, but when a person’s kidneys shut down…it’s kind of the beginning of the end. He held on until that coming Monday night, when all of his kids and grandkids were able to gather to reminisce, tell old stories, laugh, cry, and say our goodbyes. While he couldn’t say anything…we know that he heard us, maybe even tried to gesture to us. He passed at 1:15 early the next morning, knowing that he had held on long enough. January 21st…the day that I lost the smartest man I will ever know. I will miss you immensely Grandaddy.

David Martin

Losing him took a lot out of me, but there was some good to come out of his death. It has been near a decade since that side of my family has gotten together as a whole. The circumstances could not have been much worse, but we were finally able to change that, and despite the tears and the heartache, we were able to come together and enjoy our time with one another, and promise to one another that despite our distance, it would not take another act of death or a decade to bring us back together.
In his passing, my grandfather was able to bring together those that he loved in a way that he had not seen in a very long time. I like to be optimistic where I’m able, so I see the silver lining here. We won’t mourn his death…so much as we’ll celebrate his life. I haven’t considered myself much of a family guy in a very long time, and I remember now how much I miss everybody. I can’t wait to see them again.

So yea…the grind of the job search, the search for a new place to call home, and the loss of a patriarch…my 2014 thus far. I still have unfinished business from last year though.
I seem to remember that last post, I left y’all with a trio of polls…my Backstage Accolades for Best Movie, TV Series, and Video Game of the Year. A few of y’all voted. But not quite enough to declare a real winner in any category…we had ties all around. I won’t declare more than one though, so…it’ll just have to come down to me.

Without further ado…the Winner for Best Movie of 2013 is…

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Iron Man 3 was a great movie no doubt…but if it were entirely up to me…I think I’d have gone with Pacific Rim, or Kick-Ass 2. The people have spoken though. My other option here for the actual winner was Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I love me some Jennifer Lawrence, but RDJ just kills it every time.

Moving on…the Winner for Best TV Show of 2013 is…

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Even though I’ve never watched Breaking Bad, it seemed this was the obvious choice. 2013 saw the final season of the series, and with it some of the most epic moments in TV history…so I’m told. My other options in the tie were The Walking Dead, and NCIS. I watched both shows this year, but I still feel like based on the fanfare around Breaking Bad’s finale season that it is deserving based on reputation alone.

Finally…the Winner for Best Video Game of 2013 is…

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Yes…Pokémon X and Y. Y’all seriously left this category the hell alone…my five votes were the only ones tallied. I honestly have been going back and forth between Pokémon and Tomb Raider, but I haven’t been able to put down Pokémon since I picked it up. I Even though nostalgia was the only driving force for getting this game, I’ve continued to enjoy it for months. Don’t get me wrong…I enjoyed the crap out of Tomb Raider…but once I beat the game, I didn’t chase down the collectibles for very long. Pokémon is continuing to provide me with new entertainment long after I’ve beaten it. Now…since I was alone in the voting for this one, I had three other ties. They were Grand Theft Auto V, Dead Rising 3, and Forza Motorsport 5. I lost interest in GTA 5 after a while, and I picked Dead Rising and Forza as my only real options for the next generation of Xbox. Pokémon and Tomb Raider were the only real games that have come out this past year that have held my interest to completion. And somehow I still didn’t pick Tomb Raider after following Lara Croft’s hot hiney around for about 20 hours.

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Nostalgia wins out over sex. Childhood wins out over adulthood. You don’t have to grow up.

Now that 2013 is good and shelved at this point, let’s look forward a bit. I kind of missed the whole Winter Movie season, and I do mean that I missed it. It feels like forever since I’ve gone out and caught a flick. I’m just in time though to look forward to the Spring Movie Season…so what’s coming up in the shining lights of the movie billboards?

300: Rise Of An Empire – 3/07
The legendary 300 Spartans have fought their great fight, and died trying to defend their nation. The nation is now left to defend itself against the imposing Persian juggernaut. Can they hold?
Alright, we’ve got a director here that I’ve never heard of, Noam Murro, and a…let’s be honest…cast of Hollywood D-listers and hopefuls. This flick could go either way…it’s built on a strong foundation, but this crew just might not have the chops to make it everything they want it to be. We’ll see.

Need For Speed – 3/14
The notorious game franchise finally comes to the big screen. Fast cars, and high crime. The thing is…I feel like Need For Speed has already been turned into a movie. I mean, isn’t that what the Fast & Furious franchise has been? I’ve already seen this movie…and I know that Aaron Paul with all his grit from Breaking Bad has a lot to bring, but I think we’re all going to be silently comparing it to the Fast & Furious films, and how it falls ever so short. That’s my guess though.

Veronica Mars – 3/14
This is kind of a shot in the dark here. I know that there are fans out there of the show that made a 3 season run from 2004 – 2007, but I haven’t met any. There was a Kickstarter put in place to try and raise 2 million dollars to make a movie…and bring about some sort of extended closure. Kind of like a Firefly/Serenity type situation. The fans stepped up though and brought in 5.7 million by the time the Kickstarter deadline was up. So…Kristin Bell returns to see her character gets a good farewell. I know nothing of the series, so I have no idea what to expect. Worth mentioning though.

Divergent – 3/21
The books that this were based on became popular after the Hunger Games trilogy started gaining a lot of followers, and with good reason. Divergent is essentially a clone of the whole Hunger Games premise. Expect the same type of action and personality types. Just…maybe not quite as good. I’ve got kind of low expectations here, so I may be setting myself up to be pleasantly surprised by the film quality. I just don’t know right now.

Muppets Most Wanted – 3/14
[Insert basic movie description with first impression opinion here.]
You know, I’m sure someone is looking forward to this.

Nymphomaniac Part 1 – 3/14
This is a 2-part NC-17 flick…it is the story of a woman’s life from birth to age 50, and the numerous erotic adventures that the self proclaimed nymphomaniac has endured. I’m just intrigued by the concept of a 2-part NC-17 film, the second part arriving…somewhere, on April 18th.

Noah – 3/28
The biblical story of Noah who after suffering dreams of a coming apocalypse receives a message from God, telling him to construct a great ship, to save all the animals of the land from an upcoming flood. This is a film by Darren Aronofsky, the Director responsible for Black Swan. Might be interesting to see what he does with a biblical tale…and Emma Watson.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – 4/4
The first Captain America several years back was a bit of a disappointment. But now that we’ve seen what Cap can do in the Avengers, I’ve got a little more excitement built up for him in this chapter. The rest of the Avengers can go home. Stark can go back to Malibu, Thor can go back to Asgard, Banner can go back to keeping a low profile…Steve Rogers can’t go back to WWII era America, where things were simpler…more black and white. So he stays on with S.H.I.E.L.D. to try and figure out how to fit into life in the modern world. Just as he begins to get a grasp on things, threats emerge that bring him back into the fray.
They’ve had time to get it right at this point, and I think I’m going to enjoy this Captain America.

Transcendence – 4/18
Will Caster, played by Johnny Depp, is the leading developer in Artificial Intelligence. After an incident which leaves his days numbered, he and his assistants make the decision to connect his consciousness to the internet before he dies so that he can continue to live in virtual form. AIs have needs though, just like the living…and no one can predict what this new intelligence will do next.
There isn’t a whole lot of publicity for this movie yet, but it’s one I’m really looking forward to. Based on subject matter alone, I’m hooked…but the cast looks phenominal as well. Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, I’m excited.

The Amazing Spiderman 2 – 5/2
The rebooted Spiderman franchise with Andrew Garfield  gets its sequel this May. Paul Giamatti plays The Rhino, and Jaime Foxx jumps in as Electro. I’m actually pretty excited to see Jaime Foxx suiting up as a bad guy in the Marvel Universe. I think he’ll do well as a villain, and great alongside Garfield, definitely a better choice for the webbed crusader than Toby Maguire. I’m just left wondering now when Columbia will release the franchise so Spidey can finally join up with the Avengers.

Neighbors – 5/9
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star alongside Zach Efron in this story of a couple who have a baby and are forced to deal with the debauchery of a frat house moving in next door. With the same creators that brought us This Is The End, I’m expecting raunchy laughs all the way through.

Godzilla – 5/16
It’s being remade…again. It’s got to be better than the last version with Matthew Broderick. I mean, how can it really get much worse. I loved that movie at the time, but I look back on it now and shake my head. It will be better.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past – 5/23
Oh God yes. X-Men: First Class was so unbelievably good. And we finally got ourselves a good stand alone Wolverine movie too. Brian Singer said it was such a hard job wrangling all the huge personalities in this movie, but that it was so worth it. I don’t know how they’re going to handle the time travel thing, but I don’t care. Jennifer Lawrence…body paint. Ellen Page, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry…eye candy. If there’s one movie I could see this coming season, it’d be this.

Maleficent – 5/30
Disney’s most iconic villain finally gets her backstory told, and with Angelina Jolie playing the leading lady herself, Maleficent. It’s been a good long time since Jolie has lent her talents to the big screen, but even given her hiatus, I wouldn’t have picked anyone else for the role.

That leads us into the summer, and I suppose the end of this installment. My timetable is a complete mess right now, and I have no idea when I’ll be able to do this again. So, let’s just say…I’ll see ya when I see ya.

One last thing though…with a new year, it’s time to change the theme of my closing image. After giving it some good thought, I think I’m gonna go with classic cars. Anything made before I was born is fair game.

In loving memory of David Michael Martin Sr. One of the smartest and most loving people that ever existed. Rest in Peace.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– CVSleen

1970 Plymouth Hemicuda

1970 Plymouth Hemicuda

My last post was certainly pretty somber. Please don’t think I’ve been beating myself up though. What was there was a good thing, but many people know this expression to be true: All good things must come to an end. I never thought it would last forever, though I never expected it to end so soon. Hardly though is it the end of me, and while others may choose to sulk, hesitate, or stagnate, I shall dare to move on.

In the wake of my resignation, I have a lot of unutilized ideas that fell on deaf ears at the last venture that need a new home…and one way or another I think this venue here can be made a home. I’ve done a Vlog before when I didn’t feel much like writing…and if there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s audio recording. I’ve got lots of different ways that I can shove my thoughts into your brain matter, and possibly altogether improve this Blog.

Before we get too crazy though, I’ve been to a few more movies that I’d like to weigh in on. So without further adue, let’s do some movie review.

The Bling Ring
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This movie had my love before I ever entered the theater. Heck, I could have just seen this next picture and I would have been sold…

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…but then the movie started. And alas, my hopes were shattered. This movie lost me from the very beginning. The high school kids, their behavior was so clichéd of the past…unless these kids in Posh City California really are the snotty brat heathens that we make them out to be. They missed their chance to connect the characters with the audience almost immediately. The characters themselves were the biggest bunch of scum bags imaginable. Leave it to these kids to make Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan look like victims.

The only redeeming quality of this film is that it was based on true events, and maybe Sophia Coppola‘s intent was to make this kids look like the scum of the earth. Maybe that was the intent of the film, and a risky goal if I do say so. Empathy, if it can be created, is one of the best tools a director can utilize. Using it in reverse…interesting.

I’m kinda coming up with this new theory on the fly, so my judgement is being actively malleable.

The sound design was very solid, everything felt organic.
The cinematography felt a little bit strange though, I felt pretty distant for a lot of the movie…maybe that was also a choice to try and distance the audience from the characters.
I usually see movies that I can talk about the graphics, so I’m a little out of my element.

I was prepared to render a pretty bad rating on this movie, but I’m realizing that Coppola might have intended the dislike for the characters…and if that was the intent, then it was well executed. None the less, I still disliked the film, so…
The Bling Ring – 5 out of 10

World War Z
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This movie made quite a lot of people fussy. Before it was announced that Brad Pitt would be the top billing for this movie, there was already a substantial amount of buzz around the name alone. World War Z was first an acclaimed novel by author Max Brooks, son of the legendary Mel Brooks. There is an expectation that with such a prestigious title, there would be a tall order to stay pretty faithful to the source material. If the filmmakers of Harry Potter took liberties with the source material, you’d have been a little up in arms about it, would you not? This is where they lost a lot of people. I’m told that if you read the book, there is no way you could possibly think that the zombies were fast zombies…no way. In blatant disregard, the filmmakers decided that they wanted the zombies to be more animalistic, more rabid. Pitt himself said something to the point that they wanted it to look like you’d just stirred up a colony of ants.
The point in all of this being…if you’ve read the book, you’ll have a hard time shrugging off the changes that they’ve made, and you probably won’t like it.

However, if you’re like me; haven’t read the book, and you’re just aware on the surface of these issues…then this flick might be a better movie for you. You can take it at face value: it’s an action-packed zombie movie, starring Brad Pitt. The zombies are vicious, and plenty scary. The action is intense. The story is great, but it feels incomplete(as it should, I’m told that there was so much good material in this book, of which they could only take so much). There aren’t any plot holes, but even without reading the book, you can almost palpably feel the content that has been skipped around.

With all of that being taken into account, I really enjoyed the movie. As a Texan, I definitely buy into the hype, I’m a zombie movie fan, and this is a great movie.
World War Z7 out of 10

Pacific Rim
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This was the movie on my list for this summer that I was most excited for. The thing I’ve been complaining most about to my friends about movies lately, is the lack of original stories. The majority of the movies out there this summer have source material that is not the script written for it. We’ve got a ton of remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, and adaptations. The big thing for a couple of years now has been reworking classic superhero stories and fairy tales so that they are more relevant for today’s audiences. A completely new and original story is such a breath of fresh air for me, and the fact that it happened to be a Sci-Fi movie is just that much more icing on the cake.

So, what about that story? This movie is heavily influenced by big monster movies from our parents era. The best example I can think of is Godzilla.

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The creatures in the film certainly live up to their predecessors; they’re gigantic, they’re foreign, they’re fearsome, and they’re certainly powerful. Another thing harkens back to is pitting these creatures against other creatures equally as powerful and fearsome, also in the tradition of Godzilla.

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In Pacific Rim, are fearsome creatures are dubbed Kaijus, a Japanese term that literally translates to “strange beasts” but has taken on the meaning of “giant monsters” in English. They’re as tall as office buildings in some cases and capable of far more destruction that Godzilla could ever accomplish. These creatures come from a dimensional rift at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, a rift that through all attempts to date seems to be unidirectional. Without a way to attack the Kaijus where they come from, a great defense had to be created. The theory in this movie is that the best defense is a good offense, in the form or our own monsters…the Jaegers. Jaeger is a German word, meaning “hunter”, and these hunters, these gargantuan piloted mechs are every bit as deadly. As effective as the Jaegers are, they aren’t without issues. They cost an immense amount to build and maintain, and the time it takes to actually build them is tremendous.
(Most of this is revealed in the first 10-15 minutes of the film, so I hope I’m not giving away any spoilers here.)

I quit rambling though. Obviously, the story caught me and held me. It’s a classic monster movie mixed with a sci-fi tech brawler. The graphics and visual effects in the movie are incredible. It was flashy, but still gritty as well…it was futuristic, but still modern enough for it to be a believable future. The casting and the acting was spot on. Everyone felt perfect in their roles; nothing over-the-top and nothing underplayed. I feel like two of the big gems are Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day. I don’t know where the Guillermo del Toro found Rinko, but I fell in love with her the second I saw her. Her character, Mako, was so sweet, yet so fierce, and incredibly complex. And Charlie Day, as Dr. Newton Geiszler; he’s done a lot recently, but I only really know him from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as the lovable buffoon. He still has his eccentricities, but they’re redirected as more of a mad scientist. He and his mathematician counterpart account for the majority comic relief in this movie. Charlie day’s character was also charming and endearing.

This movie had all the strengths of the flashy effects driven Transformers with none of the drawbacks. It is a fantastic summer movie, but I feel it has the potential to be a classic, standing shoulder to shoulder with the movies from which it draws a lot of inspiration. I fully intend on seeing this movie again before it leaves theaters.
Pacific Rim – 10 out of 10

This really was the big movie that I wanted to see this summer, but I’m also really excited about Ender’s Game. I didn’t really know much of anything about Ender’s Game until the guys at Rooster Teeth got excited about it in there podcast. I’ve since recently finished reading the book and I’m even more excited. Rooster Teeth’s enthusiasm would have been enough, but this story is awesome. There’s still time to get it read before the movie comes out in November.

Switching gears on y’all here, Comic Con starts here in a few days, and I’m honestly worrying about how extensive the coverage is going to be. G4 used to be the place to go to get exclusive coverage of Comic Con, as well as E3, and with them gone Spike has taken over that responsibility…sort of. I’ve said my piece on Spike’s cover of E3 about a month ago, and I’m worried that it’s gonna be the same story with Comic Con. I really don’t want to see Spike give us about 3 hours of coverage and then shove everything else off to the web so they can play some rerun marathons. Make a commitment, and stick to it. They’ve got an opportunity here to win back a few hearts here, I hope they don’t blow it.

Speaking of how they’re blowing it right now, they’re running some ads that are really old. They’ve got an ad for R.I.P.D. right now that references the Mantlers from their Spike Man Awards…which happened on June 12th. They’ve also got a Sonic ad they’re running that’s at least a month and a half old. Someone’s dropping the bar over there.

That’s all the media related news I’ve got for you guys. That’s unless I wanted to include that new job of mine in the media news. I’ve been working at Freeman A/V now for a little over a week, and I can tell this is something I’m going to enjoy doing. At my last job at Lone Star Park cross-training was something I was told was a possibility, but I never really saw any of it. At Freeman, not only was I told that I could do some cross-training, but I experienced it from day 1. This isn’t a complaint, I want to learn, and I love seeing that not only do they let you branch out a little bit, but they encourage it. Some departments have heavier days than others, and if we’re all able to pick up each others’ slack, we function better as a team and a company. I’ve learned most of what is required of my job in Q.C. and I’ve also learned a little of what goes on back in video services and a little bit about how the truck squares get populated with equipment. I enjoying everything about this place…with one little exception: the start time. You guys know me; I’m a night owl, not a morning person…not at all. Our start time…is 8AM. I…am struggling with this…so much. Probably my biggest issue here is getting my butt in bed before midnight so that I’ll be in any kind of condition to get up at 5:45. Yea…I have to drive from Denton to Dallas, so I’ve got to get up extra early. Ugh.
I’m not saying I can’t do it…I’m saying that I’m struggling with it.

I’ll figure it out, or it’ll end up naturally working itself out in some way or another. Things are good, and I’m not going to let one  little aspect of this job ruin it for me. Things really are good too, I’m even talking to this Gabrielle Union looking chick who I met at a party last weekend. Though things sucked early last week, things have turned around pretty well.

I’ve got some ideas for some new stuff to do here, so hopefully starting next post I’ll have a few new idea to bring to the table for y’all. Stay tuned sports fans, we’ve got good things just around the corner.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– CVSleen

Garlic Ciabatta Bread and Cheese and Lobster Ravioli in a 4 Cheese Rosa Sauce

Garlic Ciabatta Bread and Cheese and Lobster Ravioli in a 4 Cheese Rosa Sauce