Saturday, July 13, 2013

Turbo, Fox Lot, & Griffith Park w/ The Irishman

Woke up this morning and realized that I had to edit my next MASH podcast as it's due in two days and the next two days are packed with activities. So I got up at 7am and began stringing out all the audio clips. A few hours later I was about halfway done but I had to call it a day. Will have to finish the rest of it tomorrow at some point.

My buddy Thomas is visiting from Ireland this week. He's here in Los Angeles a few days before heading down to San Diego for Comic Con. Thomas is one of my friends who I instantly bonded with, it doesn't happen often and I can actually count how many times it has happen on one hand. I remember when I first saw Thomas at the Guild table during SDCC a few years back.. he's cute and he's accent in adorable but there was something more, a kind of kismet. I knew we were going to be good friends. Of course we don't get to see each other that often (a few times a year) but the times we do spend together are very special to me.

Today I was picking him up from his hotel down in Van Nuys and we were driving into Los Angeles for a screening at the 20th Century Fox lot. But before that we grabbed a bite to eat at the near by Islands. After lunch we drove over to the Fox lot. I figured this would be a treat for Thomas as he has never been on this lot (they don't do tours) and he really enjoys TV/Movies behind the scenes stuff like me.

We were going to a pre-screening of Dreamworks animated movie Turbo. We got to the lot and made our way to the theater. It's always fun walking to the theater as you have to walk past a few sound stages. We found the theater, got our 3D glasses (yes it was in 3D) and found some good seats and waited for the movie to start.

My review of Turbo. If you don't know what Turbo is here's a quick synopsis: All his life, Theo the garden snail has lived a slow lane life with dreams of speed at the Indy 500. Suddenly, a freak mishap gives him the ability to move at super speed, which puts Theo and his brother at a failing strip mall. They are discovered by Tito, a goofy fast food worker, and his crew of racing snails, and a wild idea is born for Theo to race with his heroes in Indianapolis. Now, this gang of misfits are traveling to that city to dare pursue the impossible dream, which will require all of Theo's speed as Turbo to have any shot at achieving.

I really enjoyed this movie. It's super cute and perfect for the family. I loved the voice actors, and the story was very heart warming. It was funny and had some cool action/tense moments.

Again I saw this in 3D (PGA screening) but it wasn't necessary, but like with Pacific Rim it really didn't bother me and I don't think I ever really noticed it. 

Both Thomas and I really enjoyed this movie. I would give Turbo a solid B+

After the movie we walked around the Fox lot. We took pictures of cool murals they had painted on the sides of the sound stages.. my favorite of course is Star Wars but they also had a really cool Simpsons and Die Hard one as well. We walked around the back lot that looks like old New York City streets. We found plaques on the sound stages that listed all the movies and tv series that were shot there. That was cool knowing that 30 to 40 years ago some big big movies were shot at that location. We took pictures and video and were heading back to the parking lot when a security person stopped us and said that pictures and video were not allowed. They didn't mention us randomly walking around the lot (which was cool) just to not take pictures or video and luckily for us we were already done with the pictures and heading back to the car.

We left Fox and headed all the way across town to Griffith Park. Last year when Thomas was here he mentioned in one of his video blogs that he didn't know where any of the hiking paths were for Griffith so I decided to show him around a bit and go for a hike at Griffith Park.

It took us a little over an hour to drive across town (about 10 miles) but we finally made to Griffith Park. We parked near the Merry-go-round and the first place I took him to was the "Old Zoo". This is where the LA Zoo use to be. There are still cages there that use to hold the bears, monkeys and tigers and you can walk around in them.. it's pretty cool.

Afterwards I took him over to the other side where there are four or five trail entrances and we choose the one I knew the best. We hiked and talked for over two hours. It was tiring but I loved the company I was with. We didn't quite make it as far as I was hoping to go as we had to turn around because Thomas had plans in the evening.

I dropped him off at his hotel, picked up some dinner and went back to my place and crashed. It was an awesome day spent with a great friend seeing a fun movie and getting some awesome one on one time. Gonna be doing Magic Mountain the day after tomorrow with him... can't wait.

You can watch Thomas' daily vlogs that he posts on you tube. This one covers today's activities.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Beautiful Skies, LOTRO and Spoilers

Today we had some beautiful skies. There were lots and lots of what I like to call popcorn clouds. It was so pretty I had to take several photos and share them on Facebook and Twitter.

<-- This was my favorite of the two pixs. 

Played a little Lord of the Rings Online with my buddy Chris. We haven't played in a while and he only had a few hours to play but we made the most of it. I really miss playing with him. I mean I have fun playing alone but it doesn't compare when you are part of a Fellowship fighting a good fight with a friend by your side. I know the next few months will be tough for him but I hope to get some play time in with him in the near future.

Today on Twitter my buddy made a comment about "Spoilers" and how long you should wait before posting them on social networks. He mentioned 2 years, I was dumbfounded by his tweet. He's saying that we should wait 2 years before talking about our favorite TV series or movie on social media. I think that's crazy. Don't get me wrong.. I hate spoilers and with social media these days and living on the west coast I am often spoiled by the east coast, but waiting 2 years is a bit excessive. I think two weeks is appropriate. That gives people who are watching it time to see it. And honestly I think two weeks is asking a lot from people. What do you guys think? What's the appropriate amount of time you should wait before discussing your favorite TV/Move in depth on social media?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Buzzcut, Sharks and Tornados

Today I buzzed my head. I tend to do this every now and then. My buddy Thomas posted a you tube video from his trip to LA last year and I was in it and man did I look bad.. not only was/am I fat but my hair was horrible. I really do enjoy long curly hair but the longer my hair gets the worse it makes my thinning/bald spot on top look. But when the hair is short the thinning/bald spot isn't as noticeable and I think it looks better. So I think I'll maintain this look.. (buzz cut with a day of beard growth). I think it suits me.. what do you guys think?

The other big thing today was the filling up of my twitter and facebook feeds with Sharknado comments... I can't believe how much hype has been going on with this Syfy B Movie. Syfy has a ton of these really cheesy movies but I have never seen so much live tweeting while one was airing. It was like Mystery Science Theaters, The Twitter Version. I only caught bits and pieces of the show itself but did record a later airing on my DVR to view at a later date. But honestly I think the commentary was much more enjoyable then the actual movie. But I guess I'll see when I finally sit down and watch Sharknado.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pacific Rim - My Review

I went into this movie not really knowing much about it. I knew it had monsters fighting robots but that was about it. I had seen a few previews and it looked fun. I'm a huge Guillermo del Toro fan, loved his Hellboy movies (especially the second one). Really enjoyed Pan's Labyrinth and when I heard he was directing The Hobbit (before he dropped out) I was happy with this news. So I was going into this movie pretty much figuring I'd love it as I tend to love these kinds of movies.

What I saw on screen was a modern day "monster" movie, ie Godzilla. The effects were amazing, everything looked so real and never did I once think.."Oh this is so CG". I loved the story.. it actually had a nice story about family (Father/Daughter, Father/Son and Brothers) and friendship. The acting was great. I especially liked the little girl who played young Mako (Mana Ashida), all she did was cry and look scared but OMG she was amazing.

I loved the banter between the two scientists... brought some much needed comedy to this really action packed/serious story. It was great seeing Ron Pearlman (he's in alot of del Toro's movies). Music was great as well.

I saw a PGA screening in 3D. I don't really think you need to see it in 3D, but with that said it didn't really distract me from the story.. honestly I didn't even think about the 3D the entire movie. So it was well done.

This is a must see in the theater.. I hope to see it a few more times before buying it on blu ray. This is going to be a great addition to my library. I give Pacific Rim a solid A

Trailers, Painting and Screenings

Super excited.. it's one week until San Diego Comic Con... the countdown has begun.

Saw a new trailer for a movie (Seventh Son) based on a book that I haven't heard about in a few years. I didn't even know they were adapting the book and if I did I totally forgot. I read that this movie is a very loose adaptation of the book series but I have to say that the movie looks right up my alley and I do remember my friend John telling me that I should read this book series.. now I'm thinking he was right and might try and find them in audio book form. This movie is based on the first installment in Joseph Delaney's children's dark fantasy novel series The Wardstone Chronicles titled The Spook's Apprentice. Check out the trailer below.. it looks pretty epic!!

I spent from 7am to 5pm painting the trim around my house. Of course I didn't work straight through but I would work about an hour and then take a half hour break and so on. I got a lot of done. I'm hoping to finish off the trim with one more day of work and then work on the garage trim before tackling the main color of the house. I did find out that I can get alot more done when I don't have to tape off everything. I hate taping off stuff.

During the evening I headed into Hollywood  to see a PGA (Producer's Guild of America) pre-release screening of Pacific Rim. At first they said it was only for PGA members, which is very odd as 99.9% of the PGA screenings always have a plus 1. I'm not sure if the studio requested this or what but a few hours before the screening I got an email informing me that "they" are allowing us to bring a plus 1. I quickly asked my bud Robert if he wanted to join me and of course he said yes. 

We first meet up for dinner at El Pollo, which is across the street from where the screening was happening. After dinner we went to the screening, it was in 3D.. it's not my first choice but hey it's free. I've been to this particular theater for a few other screenings and it's one of the most high security place I have gone to. They don't allow phones in the theater and they make you clean out your pockets and go through a metal detector and they always warn us that security has night goggles and will be watching us... it's very odd. 

Anyways I'm going to do a separate blog post with my review of Pacific Rim.. but here is my non-spoliery review.. it's AWESOME.. it's exactly what you would expect. 

Robert loved it as well.. we said our goodbyes and I headed home. It was late when I got home so I went to bed.

Alien Nation: The Newcomers Podcast Ep18

Download from itunes Listen on Stitcher Radio or Listen/ Get Direct Download

Show Notes

Brothers Kenny and Michael Mittleider review and discuss a short lived but very socially aware TV series from the late 80's early 90's ALIEN NATION. Each podcast we will review a single episode in sequential order starting with the Pilot. Will give you our thoughts on the episode as well as some fun behind the scenes information.

Today we cover Season 1, Episode 18 - Crossing the Line
Directed by Gwen Arner
Written by Steven Long Mitchell & Craig Van Sickle
Original air date February 26th 1990

Plot Summary:
A new detective joins the squad. Matt plans a vacation to Hawaii. But plans are put on hold when a serial killer Matt once tangled with starts killing again.

The Franciscos plan Vessna's MookdeBooty, an old Tenctonese custom, but Vessna's health takes a turn for the worse and one member of the family blames them-self.

Hope you enjoy it,
Kenny & Michael

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hobbit Feet, Barnyard & Podcasts

Today I headed to the Barnyard to drop off some shoes so I could get another set of Hobbit feet made for me. Greg Aronowitz made my first pair almost three years ago and they have held up pretty well. I've done 2 SDCC, 2 Wondercons, 1 Ren Faire and a 1 Comikaze Con and I only have two small tears that I was able to fix with super glue. Greg told me that if I ever wanted another pair that it would be fairly easy as they created a mold so they can make as many as I need. So I asked him earlier this year if I could get another pair but he's been so crazy busy I never heard back from him.. so I intended to wear my older ones for a 3rd time at SDCC this year but then I got a text from Red (she helps Greg at The Barnyard), she said if you're in the area drop off your shoes we can make another pair. Well I haven't been in the area since so today I finally made a point to just go down and turn in my shoes since comic con is next week.

So I got to the Barnyard and found Greg in the shop working on some props for ********* (sorry I can't say). But for the next four hours we chatted and caught up with each others lives. Greg is so amazing and I can sit there for hours on end and just listen to his stories (which I did). Red and some other workers were out back working on more props for the things Greg was working on but they needed help so I got to help out a bit. Greg and I talk about everything and even though we haven't actually seen each other since January our friendship didn't skip a beat... it's pretty awesome.

So I gave Greg my shoes and told him that I was going to have Sean Astin (Sam from LOTR) sign my old Hobbit feet as he will be at SDCC this year, Greg loved the idea and is making an extra pair of feet so I can have Sean sign those for him as well.

There was one thing that I can't go into great detail about, but I will say that it will be life changing for me. I found out that Greg and I share a dream and if everything lines up it's going to be pretty EPIC!!! Hopefully more on that soon.

When I got home later that night I noticed water spouting out of one of my garden hoses. I don't know what happen but I accidentally left my water on, even though the hose sprayer was off (so no water could get out) but with the tear there was a lake in my driveway. I went up to my water tank and it was half empty.. it's a 5000 gallon tank. I lost a ton of water. Luckily for me I have a well so my water is free but I hate wasting it... Ugh!!!

I spent the rest of the night editing the next Alien Nation podcast #18 which is due to be released tomorrow. I did get an invite by Greg to see a screening of Rock Jocks (which I really want to see) but I was a good boy and instead opted to get this podcast edited so I could release it on time for the listeners. I got done around 11pm and uploaded to podbean. It was a pretty great day today.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Buddies, Con and Podcasts

I miss Chris and Robert.. it sounds stupid because I got to hang out with them for 5/4 days and it was awesome but I always feel this way after a group gathering. It's so much fun to just hang with friends that when it's all over it's kind of sad. You know it's not going to last forever, but, be it 1 day or 5 you always want more... I think I'll call it "The After Hangout Blues". As the day went on I got use to the idea of being alone again. I mean I'll be seeing both of these guys in a week and a half for San Diego Comic Con and will be sharing a hotel room for 4 nights 5 days so will have plenty of hang out time. And who knows I seem to see Robert at least once a week (which is AWESOME) so I may see him before SDCC (here's hoping).

Speaking of Comic Con, program scheduling started to be released last Thursday but I haven't had a chance to look it over. Now that all four days are released I sat down with pen and paper and wrote down all the things I would like to see. Of course I'll create a handy dandy grid later but for now pen and paper will do. I have done this since my very first SDCC back in 2004. In recent years with lines being the way they are I tend to ignore the list, so instead of it being a list of panels I want to see it becomes a list of panels I know I'm missing.

But I would say the last few years of comic con has been more about cosplaying (Hobbit) and hanging with friends and less about panels and swag. And I think that will be the same for this year.

My brother came by later in the day to record some podcasts for our Alien Nation The Newcomers Podcast. An episode is due in two days (July 10th) so we are cutting it close.. of course it's not as close as the last time we recorded.. which was the day before the episode was to be released. We watched episodes 18 and 19 of season one and then recorded our July 10th and August 10th episodes. We only have a few more episodes for this season and then we move onto the 5 TV movies which I think will split into two episodes each. After that we still have the movie, comic books and novels to cover.. I think we have at least a good year or so left for this podcast. And who knows what the future holds.. we may be able to find another angle for the podcast and continue for years to come. All I know is I'm having a blast recording this podcast with my brother.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Goodbyes, Minions and LOTRO

This was the day I was not looking forward too.. the day we say goodbye to Chris.

This morning at 8am I was woken up by Chris' text telling me that he was ready to be picked up. Told him we'd be there in a hour and a half since I still had to get ready and Robert was still sleeping and the fact that I live about 45 minutes away from where he was.

Somehow Robert and I were able to get up, get ready and get to Chris by 9:30am. Chris had gone back to our friend Jes' place around 3:30am. He meet us out front as everyone was still sleeping upstairs. Chris had packed his bag before he left but failed to mention to me that his shoes were by the front door so I only grabbed the bag and put it in my car. So Chris had no shoes to go home in. He only had the white patent leather shoes from his tux, which he had to return. So we stopped by a Walgreens and pick him up a pair of flipflops.

Afterwards we went to a diner to have some breakfast, I know how much Chris likes trying new places and he had never been to the NoHo Diner. Breakfast was very tasty and there were large amounts of it. While there we planned out the rest of our day. Chris had a plane to catch at 4ish at LAX and we needed to get him there at least 2 hours beforehand since it's a holiday weekend.

We opted to go to the movies near LAX, which would make things easier. I've never been to the Rave but have heard good things about that theater. We were seeing Despicable Me 2. Chris just saw the first one at my place a few days ago.

We all enjoyed Despicable Me 2, it was funny, sweet, and had alot of heart. There were more minions and they even played a bigger role in this movie towards the end. Like with the first movie this one made you feel good, lots of action, laughs, and some tears. I give Despicable Me 2 a solid B

After the movie we headed to LAX to drop off Chris. It was different saying goodbye to Chris this time because he was coming back in a week and a half for Comic Con. I gave him a big kiss on the cheek, which I don't think he appreciated :) And Robert and I say our sad goodbyes.

Robert and I then headed back up to my place but first we dropped off Chris' tux and picked up some Pollo for lunch.

Once back at my place Robert and I got to talking about rom-coms and I told him that my favorite was While  you were Sleeping. He had never seen it, so we had to watch it. This is the movie that made me fall in love with Sandra Bullock. I'm happy to say that Robert enjoyed the movie.. yay!!

Afterward we tried to figure out what other movie we should watch before Robert headed home. We finally decided on Pitch Black as Robert had never seen it and it's a fun movie. Once again Robert enjoyed it and wants to see the sequel Riddick.

Robert and I said our goodbyes and he headed home. I jumped online to play some LOTRO. Chris, to my surprise purchased the Riders of Rohan expansion pack for the both of us. So I activated it and then check out all the cool goodies you get with it. A new mount, a ton of Turbine points and some cool armor. I started the quest to get my new steed but it was a bit more complicated then I was expecting. So around midnight I decided to call it a night and go to bed.

It's been an amazing five days spending it with two of my best buds. I wish we all lived together and could spend everyday hanging, playing around, watching movies and just having fun. But atlas we can't and who knows maybe if we hung out all the time we'd get tired of each other... nah.. who am I'm kidding.. it would be AWESOME!!!!