Saturday, December 6, 2014

More Screeners, Table Top & Frozen

First of all I am sick.. I think all the running around with visiting guests the past few weeks has finally done me in. It's time to relax and let my body heal from all the fun :)

I got a bunch of screeners today, first one was Fury, I remember seeing the trailers for this and it looks like a good drama. It has Brad Pitt in it but I'm more interested in seeing Logan Lerman. Next one is Foxcatcher. I know nothing about this one, I have heard alot of Oscar buzz but that's about it for this one. Will have to google it and see what it is about. And the last no is another movie that I have heard nothing about called A Most Violent Year, from the title alone it doesn't sounds like a movie that I'd much enjoy.. but will give it a go.

Today I searched for my name on the Table Top Wall of Kickstarter Names. Wil and company wrote down everyones name who contributed to season three of Table Top. I was one of them and they released a high-resolution picture of said wall. It took me a good 30 minutes of going through the hundreds of names but I finally found mine... it's just above the bottom left shelf.

And I recently came across this short Frozen teaser trailer, I remember seeing bits of this back before Frozen was released. It's pretty cute so I figured I'd share it with you all.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hanging with Rico

My buddy Rico is in town today. I consider Rico the "father" of podcasting as it was his podcast Treks in Scifi that was one of my first podcasts that I ever listen to as well as participated in. He allowed my friend Jen and I to do a mini podcast that he released in his feed called The Ready Room. It's been many, many years since then and I'd say 10 or so other listeners/Treks in Scifi fans ventured out and became podcasters in their own rights, including me, it's like we are all his offspring.

In all those years Rico and I have never met face to face so when this opportunity came up I jumped at it. He's staying in Ontario which is about a hour drive or me and my back is still not great and my cough is getting worse but I wasn't going to pass this up. We planned to have breakfast and hang out for a few hours before his flight in the afternoon.

When I got there I was informed that his flight was cancelled and rescheduled for tomorrow morning. So I seized this opportunity and wanted to show him around LA. We had some breakfast at a local Dennys before heading back to LA (an hour drive). Our first stop was Vasquez Rocks. Rico is a HUGE Star Trek fan, especially of the original series so this was a must see for him. 

Though my back was not the best I still managed to climb a bit with my buddy Rico. We hung out and took pictures for about a half hour. They were filming something there as well, it was a small crew. Before we left both Rico and I took a photo of a scene from the classic episode of TOS with the Gorn standoff. Rico later photoshopped a Gorn in the photo.. they turned out awesome.

Left is Me vs Gorn, Middle is Original Kirk vs Gorn, Right is Rico vs Gorn

After Vasquez Rocks we headed to the Science center to check out the Space Shuttle Endeavour. What's funny is I was here at the beginning of the week with Lisa and Lydia, but when you walk in and see Endeavour for the first time it's still breath taking and it's always fun to bring new people and see them have the same exact reaction of awe.

When then headed to Hollywood to check out Hollywood and Highland as well as the Chinese theater.

We then headed over to Universal Citywalk where we ate some lunch/dinner at Bubba Gump. This is the first time that I've ever gone to a Bubba Gump restaurant. As expected they have a lot of versions of shrimp.

Afterwards I drove him back to his hotel in Ontario and then made my way back home. It was a great day, totally unexpected day but alot of fun. Rico is as awesome as I expected him to be... hopefully will be able to hangout the next time he's in town.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Terminator, Screener & Podcasts

Today Paramount released it's first trailer for Terminator Genisys, It's officially the fifth Terminator movie but I have to say this one looks more like a reboot then a sequel. Arnold is back doing what he does best. I still haven't seen Terminator 4 as I'm not a big Bale fan but I might check it out before watching this new installment which looks pretty awesome.

I got another screener in the mail today.. American Sniper.

I know absolutely nothing about this movie. I did hear that it stars Bradley Cooper and that my brother is super excited to see it. So it must be some sort of military flick.

And finally my brother Michael and I recorded our next two Alien Nation The Newcomers Podcast today. These two episodes will cover the fourth of five TV movies "Enemy Within". As always it's a blast recording with my brother. We both have a ton of fun and this one was really fun to review. These episodes will be out on Dec 10th and Jan 10th... so check them out

Side note.. I'm getting a cough.. I hope it doesn't get worse. Also I tweaked my back today putting away Christmas decorations. It wasn't as bad as my last episode but it's pretty horrible.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Decorations & Dragons

Today I finished decorating my house for Christmas.. besides the putting up the tree, I strung up lights, placed garland and Christmas bulbs all around the living room.. looks very festive.

I got another screener today, How to Train Your Dragon 2. I saw the first one and really enjoyed it so much so that when this one came out in theaters I did my best to see it but failed. So I'm really looking forward to watching this movie.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Knights Tale, Troop Beverly Hills & The Hobbit

Today Lisa heads back home to Ohio, Thanks Lisa for visiting me in Los Angeles I hope you had a blast.

Want to share some Netflix news that I'm super excited about.. today two of my favorite movies (guilty pleasures) are now on Netflix. A Knight's Tale and Troop Beverly Hills. Both of these of classics and I can watch them over and over again. If you've never heard of either of these movies then you must stop what you are doing and watch them now.

A Knights Tale: Inspired by "The Canterbury Tales," as well as the story of Ulrich von Lichtenstein, this is the story of William, a young squire who is determined to change his status. After his master dies suddenly, the squire hits the road with his cohorts Roland and Wat. On the journey, they stumble across an unknown writer, Chaucer. William, lacking a proper pedigree, convinces Chaucer to forge genealogy documents that will pass him off as a knight. With his newly-minted history in hand, the young man sets out to prove himself a worthy knight at the country's jousting competition, and finds romance along the way.

Troop Beverly Hills: Phyllis Nefler, a soon to be divorced Beverly Hills society wife is determined to prove to her husband Freddy and herself that she can finish what she starts out to do. She soon realizes that being a Wilderness Girls' den mother to a troop of Beverly Hills-bred girls is not as easy as buying cookies.

During the evening I had the pleasure of seeing The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies with my best bud Robert on the Warner Bros lot. I was so happy to be seeing it again so soon after my first viewing as so much happens that it requires a second and even third viewing to take it all in. I enjoy the movie just as much if not more the second time around. You can check out my spoiler filled review HERE

Monday, December 1, 2014

Space Shuttle, Hollywood and LAX

Today Lisa, Lydia and I did more touristy things. First on our list was taking the red line to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour. This is my second time seeing this magnificent ship and it still takes me breath away.

Afterwards we headed to Hollywood to check out Hollywood and Highland, and the Chinese theater and walk of fame. It's always fun going with someone who is really into Hollywood and enjoys seeing the hand and foot prints at the theater. Lisa was one of those people. We walked up and down the walk of fame checking out the hundreds of stars. We grabbed some lunch at a place in Hollywood and Highland.

Our next stop was to be Universal Citywalk but lunch wasn't agreeing with me so I opted out of that adventure. While Lydia and Lisa went to Citywalk I headed home to rest.

Before my evening could end I had to go pick up my buddy Robert and his girlfriend Cait at LAX. Their flight wasn't coming in until around midnight. I tried to take a nap before having to head out but of course it only made me feel worse. I got to the airport about a half hour early and waited in a near by parking lot for them to text them that they have landed. Of course the flight was delayed by a half hour so I picked them just after midnight, got them home around 1am and was in bed by 1:30am for some much needed rest. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Hobbit: Battles of the Five Armies - My Review

First.. there will be spoilers, so don't read until you've seen the movie or if you don't care then read away.

So I was fortunate enough to get into one of the very first screenings of the new Hobbit movie and brought my buddy and fellow die hard Middle Earth fanatic Josh along for his birthday.

I have read the books and I have loved the movies. I knew this third and final installment was going to be pretty much all action as that's how the last third of the book is.

Just in case you haven't read the books here is a brief synopsis of this installment:

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.

Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo's frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain.

As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide to unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

Where to start, how about with Gandalf and the battle of Dol Guldar. Last we saw Gandalf he was defeated and caged. The White Council removing Sauron from Dol Guldar is not directly in the book and is only mentioned in hindsight. So I was really looking forward to seeing how this fight was portrayed.. and I have to say it did not disappoint. Lady Galadriel, Elrond and Saurman battling the Nazgul and Sauron was EPIC!!!! My only complaint is that it was to short.. I could have watched another 20 minutes of it.

The burning of Lake Town and the death of Smaug was AMAZING. The scene with Bard and his son on top of the bell tower was gripping. Watching Smaug fly up one last time, then seeing the light in his eyes go out and then crash to the ground was breath taking.. and the best part which isn't in the book is Smaug falling on top of the Master of Laketown killing him.

The entire "madness" of Thorin was well done from beginning to end. They make you dislike him just enough so that you can like him again at the end when he redeems himself.

The standoff between Dwarfs, Elves and Man was tense and very funny at times. I enjoyed Biblo's role in this film. He's not a key player in this fight but he does have a key role.

The battle of the five armies is very well done. First with huge epic battles of orcs, elves and dwarves and then smaller battles with man. Until the end when they become one on one battles with the key characters. The main battle rages on but we are not privy to that. Instead we get these tense private battles that you have been waiting for the entire trilogy.

I have to say that I'm surprised that they only killed off those that are killed in the book. I was certain that Tauriel was going to get killed since she was a completely made up character just for the movies. But instead she survived to morn the loss of  her beloved Kili.. and those scenes are pretty heart wrenching.

The ending was much shorter then the book but it was fun and exactly the same as the book with the very end tying everything back to the beginning of Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf arrives at Bilbo's house.

Overall the three Hobbit movies are pretty amazing but if I had to choose I'd still chose the three Lord of the Rings movies to be more superior but that's because the Lord of the Rings story (in my opinion) is a better story. I can't wait to spend a weekend watching all six of these movies back to back to back to back to back to back.

Christmas Time & Hobbity Traffic Woes

Today was all about relaxing.. at least the first half of it. I've been on the go the past few days so I spent the majority of the day getting out Christmas decorations and setting up my tree. What made this extra fun was that I wasn't doing it alone. Both Lisa and Lydia (who hasn't decorated a tree in years) got to help me. It look us about an hour but by the end the tree looks beautiful. I still plan on putting up lights around the living room but my place already looks very Christmasy.

Later in the day my buddy Josh was coming over as we were going to see a special sneak preview of the third and final Hobbit movie The Battle of the Five Armies. I'm super excited for this!!!!

It's Josh's birthday today so I had planned to take him to dinner before the movie and then enjoy the movie. Well nothing went as planned. He was suppose to arrive at my place no later then 4, he showed up around 4:45. It was also pouring outside so he had to change clothes (he rides a motorcycle) so we didn't leave my place until about 5:15. The movie started at 7 and we had to get there by 6 to get decent seats and guarantee that we get in (as the overbook these screenings). In good weather it takes about 45 minutes to get to the theater from my place but it's pouring outside so I figured we'd be cutting it close and there was no way we'd be able to do dinner beforehand... btw I was starving.

We head out and as I expected traffic was horrible. We get to our freeway exit and it's closed, we get to the next exit and it's closed. I start to worry that something is going on in Hollywood. We get to the third exit (going further and further way from the theater) and it's open. It takes forever to get off as everyone else is trying to get off the freeway. As we turn right to backtrack a few miles I noticed that Hollywood Blvd is closed off and they are making traffic go left and right on Franklin. I flip a u turn and head down three more lights before I see Hollywood open so I could cross it. I make it to Sunset and figured we're good, the theater is on Sunset and though there is traffic, it's moving.

Well we go a few blocks and find out that Sunset is closed as well. This is were panic sets in. We have a 20 minutes to get to the theater by 6 and traffic is being detoured left and right. Josh manages to download Wazes on his phone and he maps out an alternate route to get around the traffic. This route takes us even further away from the where we need to go and I'm just hoping we get there before the room is full and there are still two seats for us and I don't care if they are together or not. I figured there was no way we'd get there by 6. Wazes had us going down alleys and back streets but surprisingly we managed to get to the theater just after 6 and the even better part is that they weren't making us wait outside in the rain and we were able to go right into the theater.

After a crazy hour of traffic and rain we still managed to get to the theater on time and get some pretty good seats. As for the movie.. if you know me, you know I loved it. But I'll give a more detailed/spoilery review in my next post. Oh by the way.. the Hollywood Christmas Parade was the reason for all the road closures. And we did go to Denny's for some much needed dinner after the screening.