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“Star Trek” (2009) (Review – A)

I am a Star Trek fan and I watched the original series as well as the “Next Generation”, prescription which I also liked. I have seen most all of the movies as well. 

The script for the current movie, buy more about which is simply titled “Star Trek“, ampoule takes our familiar characters in a new direction breathing new life and familiarity into them. They attempt to coalesce some distributed Trek cannon about the characters into something tangible with much action-packed verve as they could, and they succeeded.

There was a lot in this movie for Trekkies to appreciate, but since this is a movie that goes to establish all of the main characters’ backgrounds and relationships you do not really need to have seen or know about Star Trek or its lore before you see this, although it will most certainly help amplify your appreciation.

I loved the movie and I hope that they are seriously considering a series with these characters. My wife thought it was OK, but she also knows nothing about Star Trek. I even think they pulled a Russian in to play Checkov. Very Cool! I have heard they they are seriously considering a sequel to this movie.Yea!

Baby Shower, Refinancing, and more…

Baby Shower

We had a baby shower on Sunday with great turnout. Laura was of tremendous help in organizing this with Tanya. The party was at her house in Baraboo. I would like to send a special thank you to her! =)

The attendees were mostly those of the Yoga persuasion. Many were able to make it and it was a lot of fun. There was plenty of food, more about especially Tanya’s favorite Russian dishes which are always a hit. There was also the painting of Tanya’s belly which had a lot of neat designs. My contribution was a red outline of a heart with a Mountain Dew/Irish green center.

The Hunt for Gollum

A Tolkien Estate sanctioned 40 minute fan film called “The Hunt for Gollum” went live Sunday. I cannot wait to find the time to watch this.

Refinancing our Home

The best option I have (and that we are pursuing) is what is called a Veteran’s Streamline of my existing Veteran backed mortgage. We are planning on paying for all of the expenses to make this happen, in the area of $2,500 so we do not loose what little equity we have accrued so far, and this will reduce our mortgage payment by a little over $100 a month. Yea! More money!

I am currently with GMAC Mortgage and through them they will charge and additional $2,000 in lenders fees on top of the other standard fees to originate this. I am going with Wells Fargo which has a branch in Baraboo here due to the low base cost of the refinance, and they also have the Equity Rewards credit card that helps to buy down your mortgage principle. All-in-all, a good deal. =)

This will be especially important due to Tanya giving birth to our first child in July. We are going to need to extra money. =)

“Taken” (Review – B+)

I had only heard really good things about “Taken” starring Liam Neeson from friends and family since it came out and I finally took the moment to go see it.

My synopsis of the movie is:

Bryan (Liam Neeson) retired from his special forces position with the US government to spend more time with his 17 year old daughter, generic who lives with his ex-wife and her new rich husband. While the daughter is on a trip to to Paris, France she is abducted and the movie is set around his action packed and slightly vindictive hunt to return her to safety.

Liam’s calm, cool, and matter-of-fact demeanor makes him a great fit for this part. He has the dad look, as well as the cool to show himself as a professional soldier. His teary moments are a testament to his acting ability, the choreography and filming for the fight scenes was very well done. Most of the filming for the Bourne movies’ made me cranky. This was a bit better done and easier to see and appreciate who was getting their ass kicked and how.

All in all, I liked. Well worth the money.

HBO Miniseries “John Adams” (Review – B)

I must preface this with: the ‘B’ rating only stands if you do not mind a slow drama (spread out through like 11 episodes on 3 CD’s) and if you have some knowledge and appreciation of the historical context, women’s health otherwise I would lower it to a ‘C’.

As of the last few years I have read some books on separation of church and state and have, vitamin in general, enjoyed revolutionary history, so my bias to start was towards liking this series.

I will say that the acting was moving and powerful, and the script was sloooow, but revealing of what John Adams and others of the time may have been going through, as well as getting to know the people as they may have been. I would enjoy more movies like this, not too often though, however, because it is quite long and slow, but it was a great learning experience. In particular I would like to see a series like this about Thomas Jefferson, who is one of the people from history that I would really like to meet.

If you are a US Revolution history buff, or a US Presidents or John Adams buff, I would pick it up otherwise…. you might want to wait until you are bored…. a lot.

THIS IS DAATAAAAAAA!!!

I’m sorry. I just had to post this.

"Speed Racer" (Review B)

To start this off, surgery believe it or not, more about I have never seen a Speed Racer cartoon or anything. I have heard of it plenty of times, but have never actually seen it. What attracted me to this movie is a few things: the fact the the Wachowski brothers are directing it (the same directors from the Matrix); I wanted to see what this Speed Racer thing was all about; and finally, I was curious to see how far they were taking the unique style that I was seeing in the previews.

I went to see “Speed Racer” last night and I liked it. I did not know what to expect since I know very little bit about the Speed Racer franchise if you will. All I knew is that he raced cars and their was going to be a lot of color (from the preview).

It was a psychedelic, tense, and fun 2.25 hour ride. I never noticed the time go by. The all star cast’s acting was stupendous, believable, and appropriate to this genre. The effects and colors were consistent and somehow fitting. Some of the acting was melodramatic but very appropriate. Good Movie!

"Iron Man" (Review A-)

I saw “Iron Man and, visit web wow, it was really, really good. Robert Downey Jr. was excellent in his role as Tony Stark. I was hesitant when I heard he was playing the part, but, wow, it was excellent. The acting was great. The effects are great.

If you like these sorts of movies, go see it. It was probably as good as ‘Batman Begins’.

"Shoot ‘Em Up" (Review – A-)

I was finally able to see the movie “Shoot ‘Em Up” this weekend. I can honestly say that I enjoyed it – a lot. This movie’s has a flagrant disregard for reality with over the top stunts and gun fights. I would almost say that it makes fun of the secret agent genre of movie in a serious way. It is filled what great one-liners and a plethora of guns, tadalafil dead bodies, bullets, and a hot chick to boot. A great recipe for a mindless good time.

The plot was interesting and keeps you thinking. I almost say it is needlessly complex given the over the top action, but it was nice to see the great stunt work with a decent plot to boot – this was almost a refreshing combination.

The Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti were excellent. Monica Bellucci is hot as hell, but her acting was just OK for me. If I remember correctly she was in the French film “Brotherhood of the Wolf” (Pacte des loups, Le), which I really liked her in.

This is completely a guy movie. The ladies will probably not enjoy this one so much, so save this one for time with the guys. For a guy movie I give it an high B+ or low A-; for the ladies I am thinking that this is probably in the C range.

"Jumpers" (Review – B)

I enjoyed “Jumpers” and it was basically worth the money I paid to get into the theater. I was expecting it to be a little more tense and superhero’y than it was. The acting was good. The effects were good. The script/plot OK.

It felt like there was a lot missing. Especially explanations about the hunters and why the Jumper’s ability manifests. The answers they do provide seem rather trite and contrived – enough to provide the required answer for the movie.

All in all I liked it.

Step Up 2 – The Streets (Review -C+)

We went to see ‘Step Up 2 – The Streets‘ (Su2-tS) for International Womens Day. I really liked it (for a dance movie).

This movie is for all of the freaks and geeks in the world who are not afraid of being who you are, about it and standing up for what you believe. Su2-tS is movie whose plot is nothing really special, but some of the characters drew me in and wanted to know more. The dancing was of the break-dancing sort and it was great to watch.

Definitely, Maybe (Review – B)

This is NOT really a chick-flick. After not reading any reviews or plot summary we expected a chick-flick and this is not quite that. It was either this or ‘Step Up 2’. I opted for this due to the renaissance setting.

This movie, side effects based in renaissance England, mind is steeped in lies, recipe intrigue, lust, and plotting, and shows the true end to duplicity for an ambitious family at court.

The acting was passionate and believable. The soundtrack, which I pretty much never notice, was moving.

Thankfully we will be seeing ‘Jumper’ this weekend. =)

A touching romantic film that highlights the trials and tribulations of relationships, buy as well as the journey to love, as a father tries to explain to his 11 year old daughter how he and her mother met.

I say it was a good chick-flick and Tanya says it was OK. What do I know? =)

The Other Boleyn Girl (Review – B)

This is NOT really a chick-flick. After not reading any reviews or plot summary we expected a chick-flick and this is not quite that. It was either this or ‘Step Up 2’. I opted for this due to the renaissance setting.

This movie, side effects based in renaissance England, mind is steeped in lies, recipe intrigue, lust, and plotting, and shows the true end to duplicity for an ambitious family at court.

The acting was passionate and believable. The soundtrack, which I pretty much never notice, was moving.

Thankfully we will be seeing ‘Jumper’ this weekend. =)

The Spiderwick Chronicles (Review – A-)

My wife and I went to see ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles‘ last night and we really liked it. You could tell that it was a PG-13 movie – no blood or anything, pestilence but that did not detract anything for me. My wife really hates tense moments and suspense and she was hiding her face for much of the movie. How I love my wife. She did like the movie.

It was a fun movie full of well meshed fantasy and a few touching emotional moments Fellow RPG players or fantasy buffs will recognize many of the faerie creatures’ names. Their incarnation was different than what I am used to, medicine but it was fascinating and neat none-the-less. Their take on faerie is really cool. Great movie! The acting was good and the special effects were great.

You may want to reserve this movie for kids in the +/- PG-13 range. Some of the suspenseful moments might be a little much for a child that is really sensitive and afraid.

"Fools Gold" (Review – B)

My wife and I went to see the movie “Fools Gold” at the theater last night. We were celebrating Valentines Day early since she has to work all night today.

We were pleasantly surprised by this film. We were expecting more of a romance film, treatment but we received an adventure romance with just a splash of comedy. That was a recipe that worked well for us.

For the girls we got plenty shots of Matthew McConaughey’s tanned body. For the guys we have a little bit of adventure and puzzle solving.

We liked it.

I am Legend (Review – B+)

To put review this in a little perspective, viagra 100mg I saw Rambo IV (review) last night and I am still caught up in my darker thoughts because of that. I had also heard a lot of great words from people that have seen ‘I am Legend’ and I have high expectations of it.

Last night I was discussing with my parents the wonders of genetics/cloning and the disabilities and diseases that can be healed with technological advances stemming from these researches. It will be awe inspiring the knowledge and cures that this will eventually unlock. I seriously worry about the evils that can become if we are not careful and in our hubris allow evil to be wrought when we play with things that we do not yet fully understand.

This movie is about what happens when a genetically modified virus that is meant o cure cancer goes bad and converts those subjected to it into, healing well, zombies of sorts (in a similar vein as the ‘Resident Evil’ movies). Will Smith is excellent, as always, and the scenes are tense and gripping. I was not moved as much as I was expecting to be by this movie. Perhaps I was inured to such emotional swings from my Rambo IV experience last night. I like it and I was glad to finally have been able to see it. Another guy movie down. =)