Movie Review – S.W.A.T.

She’s one tough chickThe Plot – Collin Farrell is Jim Street, once the top of a local S.W.A.T. team demoted to office duty in “The Cage” as an inventory clerk due to the actions of his former partner Brian Gamble. Street gets his second chance when he’s recruited by Hondo (played by Samuel Jackson) a S.W.A.T. legend who’s been tasked with putting together a top rated team. Shortly after the team is assembled & trained they’re tasked with their first mission. They must transfer a notorious drug czar to the Feds. That wouldn’t be so difficult if the city wasn’t driven into chaos by the kingpin’s offering of $100 million to the person who can set him free. Amidst the car chases and gun battles, the S.W.A.T. team quickly learns the influence of money and that anybody can be bought for the right price.

The Review – I’m always excited to see new films as sequels, remakes and the like have certain expectations you can’t escape. S.W.A.T. succeeds as a high energy action flick. The film kicks off with a bank robbery gone bad and while it downshifts immediately to subplots and character background once we meet the new recruits it’s non-stop chase the bad guy.

The cast choices were a good fit for this film. Collin Farrell is one lucky SOB, first he’s cast with Al Pacino and now Samuel Jackson. It’s nice to see LL Cool J get thrown more lines than usual as he could use a step up from the supporting cast role. Mich3lle Rodriguez will forever be typecast it seems, but I’m all about tough chicks.

<off topic> – Speaking of tough chicks, it was nice to see Ashley Scott for a brief moment. I was hoping Birds of Prey would find better writers so I had my Buffy replacement for the Fall season.</off topic>

The only downside to this film is its predictability. Action film yes, suspense film no. If you’re someone who will be easily disappointed because you know everything that’s going to happen in the first 20 minutes then you might hesitate a little. For me, this film succeeds as the dialogue fits the characters, the characters are interesting enough to move the plot along and generally speaking heroes have more appeal when they are flawed.

Grade: A (Next to Pirates of the Caribbean this is the second best film of the summer)

The Morning Brief

OK, somebody better get the AC in the graphics lab fixed. I woke up this morning to 88?F outside only to arrive in class where it’s 57?F. Guys are not meant to have perky nipples, despite what Martin Lawrence might have you think. Cripes it’s cold enough to make John Holmes look like Pee-Wee Herman. “It’s so cold that if I took a piss, I’d have to snap it off after I’m done.” Of course, I shouldn’t complain. Back in Detroit “it was so cold that when I woke up in the morning I found a wee ice cube in my bed. I threw it in the fire and it went : FART!!! But enough Bill Connolly? jokes there’s an entry in here somewhere.

It seems that RIAA still doesn’t have a clue. It’s not that I advocate pirating music from musicians & songwriters, but I believe the RIAA only has ITS interests in mind NOT the best interests of the artists they represent. I’ve said it many times before, the music business turned into the business of music a long time ago. I don’t agree that Napster, Kazaa & other peer-to-peer programs are the sole reason CD sales have declined. It’s crappy albums, one hit wonders and the same garbage recycled every hour on the hour via Clear Channel radio stations. As Kristen said It’s about time that we all turned off the radio.” [no permalink, entry dated July 12th] So while the RIAA attempts to bully folks into submission remember that you should fight for fair use copyrights and it’s about getting monies into the artist’s hand NOT some greedy corporation.

In keeping up with the latest blog trend I will refer you dear readers to MY MP3 page. You should note that the songs herein are originals performed by my sister Lesli or my buddy Ron (who had yours truly as his awesome keyboard player). Check them out if you haven’t already. I’ve posted some QuickTime clips of my sister’s band as well.

UPDATEBetter pay attention the King of Pop has something to add.

Shout out to Erik who asked for a link exchange | Found Kimbalina’s site via Orby Online | Three times the fun

Movie Review – Bad Boys II

This movie is rockin’ & rollin’WOW. Some cool car chase sequences in this film. Maybe there weren’t terminator cyborgs or albino ninjas with cool sunglasses, but the driving was intense, the bodies were rollin’ and the explosions were BOO YA BABY!!!

Bad Boys II makes no reference to its predecessor, we’re dropped head first into the action. As far as a character timeline it’s hard to be certain if the movie takes place eight months or eight years from the last film. Sure the plot is held loosely together and maybe there could have been more witty banter, but lack of action this film does not have. There are plenty of gun battles, car chases and they still had the time to throw in Martin Lawrence tweakin’ his own nipples. In fact, one of the chase scenes reminded me of an old Jackie Chan flick.

As with Pirates of the Caribbean, the special effects didn’t distract from the action at hand. There are some great “bullet time” sequences which captured some pretty gruesome action. Was the movie realistic? Probably not, but like Monday night wrestling this film had you cheering on the good guys as they kicked ass and made the bad guys feel the pain.

Grade: B+ (Why they chose Dan Marino to cameo I have no idea)

Bloggity blog blog…

The world could be yoursWell, my attempt at humor fizzled out the other night and I never really did express my opinion on the whole blogging thing. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Oh God, does EVERY blogger have to chime in on this topic?” Isn’t that the point? There are hundreds of thousands of blogs each unique in their personality, but essentially redundant in the theme of their content. Whether it’s political, personal, thought provoking or bland there’s sure to be somebody else who’s thinking, feeling & typing similar content. Each of these blogs exist as a microcosm, some post into a void while others enjoy the benefits of community.

The thing I find interesting is I’ve yet to meet someone who reads blogs that doesn’t actually write one of their own. This common thread would lead me to believe all bloggers share similar motivations in their writing. As Dawn pointed out there is no right or wrong way to write a blog and I absolutely love this entry by Da Goddess which makes it clear the blogosphere will be here with or without you. Don’t forget Ryan stated twice now it’s all bullsh%t anyways.

I have to admit when I first started blogging I was too focused on receiving reader comments. I would get pissed if I posted something and then days, weeks, months later someone else would post the same thing and they got a bazillion comments. It wasn’t until I really decided what compels me to blog that I could enjoy it for what it is. My reasons for blogging are simple –

  • I enjoy capturing my thoughts of the moment, navel gazing is always fun when you can see where you’ve been.
  • This website allows people I don’t see everyday to peek into my life occasionally.
  • I enjoy taking photographs and sharing them on the `net.
  • I have discovered I enjoy writing and constant practice will only improve my abilities.
    (I aspire to write as well as Ryan McGee & The Hosemonster)

I once sent an e-mail to Tony Pierce asking him what makes a good blog. Frankly, he said, “Ultimately the best way to look at the blog is worry about good content first and public attention second. Even the best sites don’t get a lot of comments.” Let’s be honest blogging is a selfish endeavor. Unless you’re running a charity site, you can’t claim “I blog for the people!” that sounds quite silly. If comments are what you are after you may be better off joining a really good forum or join a blog community site with authors of similar interest. Don’t worry about losing readers because you may find yourself gaining new ones.

Finally if you figure out how to get people to comment AND comment often, document the process and sell it for tons `o money.

Weekend Recap…

Jamee & AmyPardon the misspellings and poor grammar, but I’m still waking up (who am I kidding, F7 spell check coming right up). Before I kickoff the weekend recap, it appears Cyn had a guest poster Friday & Sunday. The direct post links seem to be down, but look for guest post #1 & #2 as I’m still chuckling.

Well the weekend was an adventure. I have MANY pictures to go through and I intend on sorting sometime today amidst all the chores Michelle & I left undone before heading out of town. As I mentioned Saturday night, we spent the weekend in Austin. It was Jamee’s birthday Sunday and our good friend Amy flew down from Michigan to join in the celebration. I met both Jamee & Amy while hangin’ out at Michigan State (no I never actually attended, I just got drunk there on many an occasion). It had been a couple of years since Amy’s last visit so it was quite the birthday treat. Here’s a quick recap of our weekend:

Thursday – Amy flies into Dallas from Detroit. We grab dinner for three at Applebee’s and toss back some Perfect Margaritas.

Friday – Michelle, Amy & I drive to Austin. Except for the two hour delay trying to get out of Dallas, the drive is mostly uneventful. Sorority screams and high pitched squealing ensue after arriving at Jamee’s place. The birthday celebration has officially begun. After settling in and hugs followed by more hugs, the five of us (Amy, Jamee & Scott, Michelle & I) make our way to 6th street which is the club district in Austin. As it was Game 3 of the NBA playoffs, we just had to start off the evening at a sports bar. Amy & Jamee went next door to a brewery after dinner while Scott, Michelle & I watched as the Spurs took Game 3 away from the Mavericks.

We took our victory celebration over to the Ginger Man and joined what was now a large group of people wishing Jamee happy birthday. From the Ginger Man we moved on to Poly Esters for some disco dancing & karaoke. Needless to say it was a long night which ended with my recap of Game 3 at 3am.

Saturday – For some reason everyone slept in pretty late. The day didn’t begin until Noon and required massive amounts of coffee as motivation. Jamee’s friend Juliet offered to host a crawfish boil (yes, new experience for me too). We packed the truck and drove out to Lake Travis where Juliet has the most AMAZING house overlooking the lake (this is me green with envy). Scott labored all afternoon preparing 100lbs of crawfish. By the end of the night Juliet was walking next door to ask her neighbors to come and take a few pounds of leftovers. Never has such a small party gorged themselves so thoroughly. The evening wouldn’t be complete without some fireworks and a small brush fire.

Sunday – Jamee’s birthday!!! Woo Hoo!!! While still a late morning, we managed to pull ourselves together and head out to Hamilton Pool. This by far was the highlight of the weekend. Yup, Michelle & I are only jobs away from moving out of Dallas. The park only allows 75 cars in at one time so we had a bit of a wait before we were able to enjoy the pool. Unfortunately, we arrived in the late afternoon, so we didn’t have time to really take in the scenery. I snapped off some quick pics along the trail to the water, but next time I’ll get some better photos. After lounging in the water we drove out to the Salt Lick Barbecue for dinner. WOW! Can you say tasty eats? On a Sunday evening we had ourselves a 45 minute wait, but it was well worth it. GINORMOUS portions of ribs, brisket, pork, chicken with side plates of potatoes & coleslaw – YUMMY! Oh and if you’re ever out that way, the Salt Lick is BYOB.

Now I know what you’re thinking – you did manage to watch the Spurs game Sunday night right? Well, fortunately Michelle is ALWAYS prepared and although dinner did not include a TV, she did manage to bring her headset radio. In-between drinks and the occasional morsel she spouted out game scores for Scott & I. You’d think after gorging ourselves two days in a row that the food coma would have set in quite nicely. Seeing as it was Jamee’s birthday we left the Salt Lick and moved on to Lake Austin for drinks at the Hula Hut. We sat outside drinking “fish bowls”, Michelle announcing game scores while I took pictures of the ducks and Jamee & Amy caught up on all the latest gossip.

We closed the bar out and briefly thought of going back to 6th street before heading home. Jamee & Scott fired up the “ghetto tub” and we had ourselves one last night cap before passing out… err… well Michelle & I had one last drink. Rumor has it the birthday girl &amp company stayed up until 4am, hence the slow moving and hangovers the next morning.

Monday – Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – Why didn’t YOU stay up partying `til 4am? Well seeing as how a 3-4 hour drive absolutely sucks with a hangover; I figured I’d make the smart play for once. It was fun pouring Amy into the car and watching Jamee attempt some for of morning conversation in-between sips of coffee. The drive back to Dallas went quicker than we anticipated and Michelle & I dropped Amy off in record time for her flight home.

So there you have it. I’ll get to the pictures later and hopefully post them today. But first I’ll go wake up Michelle and get some stuffed french toast for breakfast.