Saturday, December 19, 2015

Space Shuttle Endeavour & 3rd Viewing of Star Wars The Force Awakens

Today I took a field trip to the California Science Center with some friends. Our main goal was to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour. So I met up with Lauren, Brent, Leo and her husband Andy at the North Hollywood Metro station. Not only has no one seen Endeavour but Lauren had never been on the Los Angeles Subway (Metro) so I figured we'd kill two birds with one stone as the Metro let's you off right behind the Science Center.

So we made our way to the Science Center and got there around a half hour before our viewing time for Endeavour so we headed to the gift shop and did a bit of shopping. We then went up to the Endeavour area where they have various cool items from Endeavour like a space toilet with an accompanying video of how it works. There were several other cool items with videos. They had a mock setup of mission control, a few simulators and one of my favorite things a timeline on the wall of each mission that Endeavour had completed. At the end of the tour is a screening room where you can watch how the Space Shuttle was delivered to the Science Center, I've seen it many times but it always amazes me.

Once you're done there you head down stairs to the hanger area where the actual space shuttle is. Now this is my fourth time seeing this beautiful vehicle and it make me tear up every time and today was no different. I think everyone had the same reaction.. you just can't prepare yourself for this seeing this majestic bird that has actually flown in space. The group spent a good hour walking about and checking out the shuttle. Like with the timeline upstairs with Endeavour missions they have a timeline around the entire hanger of all of the Space Shuttle missions. We stopped by the gift shop in the Endeavour section before heading back to the Science Center to check out the other exhibits, mostly the other space ones. We also did the Earthquake simulator room and had to see what we looked in in infrared before calling it a day and heading back to the metro. Overall it was a fun day hanging with some great friends.

When we got back to North Hollywood, Brent, Lauren and I grabbed some lunch at Chipotles before heading back to my place to hang for a few.

Later in the evening I headed out to the Sherman Oaks Arclight to see Star Wars The Force Awakens for my third time. This time I was seeing it with my buddy Adam who was visiting from Seattle as well as a few other friends. I had never sat so high up in the theater (row U) but once I was there the seats weren't to bad. And again like with my second viewing I loved it even more. I saw more things and heard the now infamous Yoda and ObiWan voices during Rey's vision. The more I see of this movie the more I love it.. don't know when I'll be seeing it for my fourth time but I know it will be soon.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Twin Peaks Teaser, Negative Comments & 2nd Viewing of Force Awakens

Showtime released a teaser trailer for the upcoming season three of Twin Peaks.. it really is just a teaser but still get's me excited for the new season.. I've waited 25 years for this.

So the new Star Wars came out and with most Star Wars movies everyone loves it at first sight. On social media I was seeing 95% praise and 5% complaints but as the day went on and though people kept saying "I loved it".. they would add.. "but..." and then go into what they hated about the movie.

It goes me thinking.. why is it easier to talk negative then positive, at least for what feels like the majority of the people out there. I joined a Facebook group of friends who wanted to talk about the new Star Wars but didn't want to spoil anything so in this group only people who had seen it could join. Sounded like a great idea and at first it was. Folks were talking about their excitement for the new movie and how much they loved it but then the negativity started and once someone started many jumped on the bandwagon. Now I'm not saying that you can't critic something but why must it be all negative. Most of the conversations started with I loved the movie but.. ::spew of negativity:: Instead of saying well I loved the movie because of this and that but I wasn't a fan of this or that. I'd be okay with that.. you tell us what you loved about it and then explain what you didn't like about and then a fun debate can happen. Instead.. one person says they hated this and then other jumps on and agrees and then added their two cents and the next thing I know twenty people are talking nothing but negativity towards a movie. And of course this goes for any form of entertainment, TV shows, Movies, Music, Theater and so on. It's as though being mean is easier then being nice and I just don't get it. Maybe my brain doesn't work that way. When I watch something or hear something I pick up the good and the things I liked and that's what I think about.. why think about the things I didn't like.

Today after work I headed to a PGA (Producer's Guild of America) screening of Star Wars The Force Awakens (2nd Viewing). This time is was in 2D at the Writers Guild Theater. I brought my buddy John along for the ride. We got there an hour and a half early and there was already a line waiting to get it.. which is crazy. Usually I get there an hour early and am up at the front of the line. But when we got into the theater we found some nice seats in the middle, middle. There was going to be a Q&A afterwards (with unknown guests) so we wanted to sit close enough to enough the chat but far away to enjoy the movie.

I'm not going to go into details about my thoughts on the movie as you can read my review in a previous blog but I will say that I enjoyed it even more the second time. I think knowing what was going to happen allowed me to sit back and just enjoy the ride.

Now for the Q&A before the movie started they announced who would be there. I of course was hoping J.J. would be in attendance and then John mentioned that maybe Kasden would show up. I didn't even think about him but it would be awesome to hear his stories. So when they announced who the guests would be both John and I were very excited. After the movie we did an Q&A with J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Tommy Harper, Lawrence Kasden, Kathleen Kennedy, and Michelle Rejwan.

They talked for about a half hour and it was awesome. I could listen to J.J. talk about movies all day. Kasden had some amazing stories and Kathleen Kennedy really knows her stuff. Bryan, Tommy and Michelle really didn't say much but with three larger then life personalities on the panel it was to be excepted. One of my favorite moments was when someone in the audience asked if she had heard Yoda and ObiWan voice in Rey's vision. J.J. looked at Kathleen with a grin on his face, they put their heads together and whispered back and forth. He then was going to say something but Kathleen motioned him back and they continued to whisper before he said into the mic... "Yes!!!" and that was it. It was a very ominous yes, like there was more behind it. Both John and I had a great time at both of our second viewings and the amazing Q&A.

NerdStrong Gym - My Weekly Recap

This week I workout out Saturday (CON), Sunday (TEAM), Tuesday (DEX), Wednesday (CON), Wednesday (PILATES) and Thursday (STG).

First up was a CON workout, we are continuing our Big Boss Battles but this time around we took on the baby boss which is the easiest of the big bosses but that's not really saying much.. even the baby bosses are tough. This Saturday class was by far the smallest I've seen in a while. I guess the holidays are starting to take their tolls.

Sunday workout means themed workouts.. this time around in celebration of Christmas we did a Die Hard workout. It was titled Die Hard "40 Burpees of Sheer Action" It involved Running, 30x Plank Ups, 31x Step ups, 32x Kettlebell Swings and of course lots of Burpees. We partnered up because one of us was John McClane and the other Sgt. Al Powell. I partnered up with my buddy John (we tend to partner up alot, very similar is strength, height and endurance.. and ideal partner). 

Our goal is to get as many Twinkies as possible because for every Twinkie we get, we get to remove two burpees from our "40 Burpees of Sheer Action" which we do at the end of the workout. So while one of us (McClane) was doing the Plank Ups or Step Ups or Kettlebell Swings the other (Powell) was running around the parking lot (230 meters). So for example John (McClane) started with Plank Ups and I (Powell) ran around the parking lot. When I got back we would switch places and I (now McClane) would start from where he left off.. we'd continue this until we did one complete round of 30 Plank Ups, 31 Step Ups & 32 Kettlebell Swings. When we finished we got two Twinkies and we started all over again. John and I managed to get 6 rounds done which meant we got 12 Twinkies and removed 12 burpees from the 40 we had to do, which left us only 28 burpees each which we did together.  

Tuesdays DEX workout was all about the legs. It was the Frogger workout which I have done several times in the past. Lots of Wall Squats, Air Squats, Jump Squats, Lunges, Frog Hops, Split Jumps and Burpees. It's a lot for the legs and by the time you're done they feel like jello.

Wednesday CON workout was a doozy but I wouldn't expect anything less. We did the 3 minutes Burpee test..which means you do Burpees for three minutes straight. Coach asked us to set a number in the first minute and then do the same amount each minute. I hit 6 burpees in my first minute but only manged 5 the minute after that and then 5 more the minute after that.. so I did 16 burpees in 3 minutes.. it was exhausting. And then afterwards we teamed up into groups of 3 and rotated with Rowing, Wall Balls and Box Jumps. We had to do 5 rounds.. it was rough. 
Wednesday PILATES was fantastic as always. This is the last one of the year. So much core workout.

Thursdays STG workout was all about Overhead Squats, which I found out that I'm horrible at... gonna take alot of practice. For the battle at the end we did 3 five minute AMRAP's (As Many Rounds As Possible). First five minutes we did 5x Pull Ups and 10x Sandbag Front Squats, the 2nd five minutes we did 10/10 x Wall Slams and 40x Mountain Climbers and the final five minutes we did 10x Push Ups and 10x Kettlebell Swings. By the end I was cooked.. this was a tough battle. 

This entire week was a killer.. I think they are working us extra hard in preparation of all the holiday eating will be doing.  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars The Force Awakens 1st Viewing - My Thoughts

So the day is finally here and the time has come to see Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens. I'm seeing it at one of the better theaters in town Arclight Sherman Oaks. It's in 3D with ATMOS Dolby audio. I choose this theater because it has assigned seating (which is a must now a days) and I love ATMOS audio. I would have preferred to not see it in 3D my first time but the ATMOS theater was only playing it in 3D.

I got off work and headed to the theater a few hours before the movie was to start, I was meeting up with some friends. We grabbed a bite to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings before heading to the theater around 9:30pm to watch the 10pm showing.

Of course I was excited to see a new Star Wars movie but it really didn't hit me that I was about to actually and truly see a Star Wars movie. We were waiting at the doorway to the theater when the previous showing was let out. I have to say folks coming out were mumbling but not a single person was talking out loud or spoiling anything. Just to be safe I actually moved away from the crowd. Once they all exited we made our way in and found our seats.. I was excited but still not overwhelmed at seeing a new Star Wars. The previews started and I watched and anticipated the start of the film.

As soon as the LucasFilms logo come up and my heart started to race.. then suddenly the words STAR WARS and the oh so familiar music began and the tears started to roll. The scroll started and I was on the edge of my seat reading the words through the tears. It finally hit me.. I was in a movie theater watching a new Star Wars film... and not only was it a Star Wars film but Episodes VII... something that I had wished for for thirty years.. it was actually happening right now!!!

The next two hours and 16 minutes were a blur. I laughed, I gasped, I cried and I cheered at ever scene. I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!! I fell in love with BB-8, Poe, Finn, Maz, Kylo and especially Rey. It was great seeing Han, Leia, Chewie, R2 and CPO again. I loved every minute of it and was so happy that I went into it pretty spoiler free.

I knew that I was going to love BB-8 (from the previews) but it really surprised me at how much he tugged on my heart strings so quickly (After mere minutes I was thinking that I was going to get a BB-8 Tattoo next to my R2D2 tattoo). Poe was the same, from that very first scene you can tell he has a kind heart and cares about his droid and the Republic. Then we meet Rey and you just feel her loneliness and it endears you to her. Then when she has the opportunity to sell BB-8 for more food then she's probably seen in her lifetime but she refuses. It instantly shows you what kind of person she is. Then we have the scene with Finn rescuing Poe and their instant friendship... I can go on and on.

I felt Kylo to be a spoiled little brat who has amazing tantrums. He's obviously powerful but he doesn't have control over his emotions.. it's going to be interesting to see how he grows. Everyone knew that Kylo had to be related to either Skywalker or Solo so when it was revealed that he was Ben Solo it made sense to me. As for Rey I was pretty set by the end of the movie that she is a Skywalker, but as I thought about it more maybe she's a Kenobi (granddaughter), all I know is she is super powerful in the force and I can't wait to see how her character develops.

I was upset when Han died but honestly as soon as he started to walk out on that bridge I knew it was coming. After Han was stabbed and he reaches out and touches his sons face before falling into the core the tears started to roll but what really got me was when Leia felt Han's death and staggered down.. that's when my heart started to ache.

Needless to say I LOVED the movie and I'm super excited that I get to see it again tomorrow with my buddy John and since it's a PGA screening we will be getting a Q&A afterwards and unknown guests. And I'll be seeing the day after tomorrow as well.

This was well worth the 30 years wait.. thanks you Disney, J.J. and Lucas Films for fulfilling my childhood dreams.

LARPs The Series, S2 The Final 3 Episodes

So after episode seven all seems lost for this group of LARPers. I was interested in seeing how they would come out of this, would the group ever be the same?

First up was S2 Ep8 titled "Post Mortem". This episode really spotlighted the acting chops of these amazing actors. This episode was wall to wall dialogue and no action at all. But after last weeks episode I would expect nothing else. The first scene with Shane and Will was brilliant. It delved a bit deeper into both of the characters and we see a different perspective as to why someone LARPs. Will does it to hang with his friends while Shane does it to escape this world.

I've often wanted to LARP myself but being extremely shy has always held me back from doing so. I love Fantasy because I enjoy escaping into these magical worlds and I think my wanting to LARP comes from the same desire to escape this reality into a whole new one.. even if it's just for a while.

I really enjoyed the scenes with Brittany and Will reconciling their friendship and Kat and Shane comforting Arthur at his lowest low.  These scenes were so well done, the acting was fantastic, the music was beautiful, the writing was perfect and the editing was amazing. I love the cutting between the scenes, both working off each other so well... I love it.

Next up was S2 Ep9 titled "TPK" The first half of this episodes deals with the aftermath of episode seven's fall out but this time with Evan who we did not see in the last episode. These were also the scenes that us fans have been waiting for... the coming together of Kat and Evan and it was as sweet and perfect as can be. They have been hinting at this attraction the past few episodes so it was nice to finally get a payoff on this one. Those two make an adorable couple.

The second half of the episode was in the LARPing world. It set's up for what I am sure will be an AMAZING final battle and episode of the season. I really liked the interaction between Brittany and Evan.. you can really tell these guys care about each other.

And finally season two finale "Chronicle". First let me say it's double in length almost a full 30 minutes but it feels like it's no time at all. I loved every minute of this episode but also "hated" it.. let me explain.

They team up with the "other" LARPing group, the Steampunk group we saw in an earlier episode. But that group had alternative motives and it's not good. I like the way this episode is edited together. We have "resting/staging" scenes cut between LARPing scenes. So you get these intimate moments among this battle scenes. Of course as it has been this entire season the acting is brilliant, the writing superb and battles are fantastic. So why did I say that I "hated" this episode.. well this is it.. this is what season one and season two was leading up to... and I never expected the ending that we got... it was devastating.

First we lose Shane in a blaze of glory, it's a perfect way for this character to go out but she's not going alone she takes hold of the evil King and they burn together.. it's pretty fantastic. Elizabeth Neale who portrays Shane was amazing, she has always been a favorite of mine.

Second to go was Arthur, his death was pretty uneventful.. I think the part the gutted me was Claudia's speech to him about killing everyone else and him being responsible. At that point you just hate this character and want her dead.

Third to die was the hardest because it was such shock.. Brittany (Corillia) and Will (Biff) are together finding herds, the camera is on Biff and you hear an intake of breath from Corillia. Then in slow motion Biff turns as Corillia falls to her knees and into frame with a knife in her back before falling to the ground. I was totally taken off guard by this attack.. didn't see it coming and I think that made it more of a shock. Of course Biff kills the man who stabbed Corillia in the back before dropping to his knees and taking Corillia into his arms. Their finale goodbyes to each other are heart wrenching, I cried as she died in her lover arms. Just typing that is making me remember the scene and it's bringing tears to my eyes.... so good!!!

Fourth to die was Evan's NPC character, he sacrificed himself to give Biff a little more time so he could destroy the 11th eye. The fighting was amazing.. it was truly a battle to the death.

Fifth to go was Kat, who like with Evan's NPC character pretty much sacrificed herself so Biff had a bit more time so he could destroy the eye.

And last to die was Biff but not before he destroyed the 11th eye and completed their quest. I wasn't a big fan of this character during season one but he has grown leaps and bounds and has become the real heart of the series.

So that it's.. every single one of the character dies and I am left broken hearted.

But it's not over. We get a great scene the next day with Shane and Evan making amends before a scene with the entire crew sitting around a table talking about their last adventure. Evan enters and they give him a present, it's their framed, now dead, character sheets. They talk about rolling new ones but Evan proclaims that it's over, that game has ended .. there's a beat before he pulls out new character sheets, everyone has one except Arthur.. cut to cityscape at night and we are introduced to Cyber Noctus and his team of hackers.

At first I was upset to see that the format of the LARPing group has changed.. it's no longer a Fantasy World but now has turned into some sort of Cyber punk world. I'm a huge fantasy fan and it's one of the main reasons why I started watching LARP's the series, now that's gone.. what's next.

I don't even know if they are going to make a season three but if they do I know I will support them however I can. Yes I may have come for the Fantasy elements but I stayed for the great writing, acting and fight scenes.. the characters are what make LARPs The Series fantastic. And I hope their LARPing adventures continue.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Star Wars A Capella and more Sceeners

Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show did this really awesome musical medley of the Star Wars theme, it included Jimmy Fallon, his group The Roots and the cast of Star Wars The Force Awakens. It's pretty fantastic.

Tonight after work I headed to UPS to pick up what I figured were more screeners.

And I was right today I got The Reverent and The Peanuts Movie. I've heard lots of good things about The Reverent and Leo DiCaprio's performance... lot's of Oscar buzz about this film. I'm not a huge fan of the Peanuts, I mean I watched the cartoon specials when I was a kid but was never really crazy about them. I saw the preview to this movie and it looked cute but I knew that I would wait for Netflix to watch it. But now that I have a screeners I'll give a go.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New Screener, New Shoes & New Potter (well kind of)

Got another screener that I was really hoping to get.. The Good Dinosaur. This is a movie that I definitely wanted to see while it was in the theater but never had a chance. I'm a huge Pixar fan so I'm sure this is gonna be awesome.

After 10 months of wearing 25 year old running shoes at NerdStrong Gym.. I finally broke down and purchased a pair of brand new Nano 2.0 Crossfit Reebok shoes. I purchased them on black Friday so I got an amazing deal, 50% off the retail price. Well the arrived today and I loved them. Can't wait to do my first workout in them.

Warner Brothers released a teaser trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If you are unaware of what this is, it's set in the wizard world of Harry Potter, 60 years before the Potter store. It's actually the story of Newt Scamander who wrote the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Which is standard reading at Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  This is the first of three movies based on this person and storyline. But let me warn you.. when they say this is a teaser they mean it's a teaser. They show very little but the music alone get's your pumped for this movie. I can't wait until we actually see the full trailer and really get an understanding of what this movie is going to be able.

New MASH 4077 Podcast

Geekyfanboy Productions released a new episode of the MASH 4077 Podcast. This is episode 118, covering S5 Ep 21 "The General’s Practitioner"

General Korshak wants Hawkeye to be his personal practitioner, despite his constant snottiness. And Radar helps take care of a soldier's half-Korean baby after he is shipped back home.
You can Download from itunes , listen on Stitcher Radio or listen and get direct download from our main website

Monday, December 14, 2015

Star Trek Beyond Trailer

Today they released the first Star Trek Beyond trailer. Other then the bad music choice I really enjoyed it. It got me pumped for the next movie in this new universe. I'm super excited that this will be brand new stuff, not anything we've ever seen in the Star Trek universe.

Well my excitement didn't last long as almost immediately the hate started to spew from all social media. And though I try and not let all the negativity effect me it always does. I just don't understand how someone can hate something so vehemently from seeing 2 minutes of it. But those two minutes has ruined the movie for so many people. As I said the music accompanying the trailer was a bad choice, but honestly that's all you can say about that trailer. Yes it was action packed and there were very little story or character moments and that's okay as this trailer was suppose to get you pumped for the new movie and I think it did exactly that.

I'll continue to try and not let other people's negative attitude effect my enjoyment of something and I know with practice I'll be able to tune them out completely.. I'm so looking forward to that day.

Star Wars Tickets, Screener and Supergirl Reveal

Got another screener today.. Concussion. I'm a big Will Smith fan but this might be a bit to dramatic for me.. or at least I need to be in a certain mindset to watch it.

I got tickets for my third viewing of Star Wars The Force Awakens. My first will be on Thursday December 17th at 10:00pm with a group of friends at the Arclight. Second viewing will be the Producer's Guild of America screening Friday at 7:30pm with my buddy John with what we are hoping is a very cool Q&A afterwards.. and now I booked my third viewing for Saturday evening with my friend Adam who is visiting from up north. I have no worries that I'm going to love it so seeing it essentially three times in a row is going to be awesome... I can't wait!!!!

Finally watched last weeks Supergirl, S1 Ep7 "Human for a Day" There was a huge surprise at the end of the episode and I did the best I could at not being spoiled but since it was almost a week ago I unfortunately got spoiled on twitter a few days ago.. as soon as I started to see it I turned it off but the damage was done. But even knowing what the spoil was it still did not remove the excited or surprise of the reveal that Hank is not the real Hank.. he's J'onn J'onzz, aka Martian Manhunter. The effect was AMAZING!!! That scene sent chills down my spine and made me tear up. I'm sure that VFX cost a lot of money and we probably won't be seeing him in that form to often but we now have this amazing character part of this universe.. can't wait until he returns.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Independence Day 2 Trailer

So I heard they were making a sequel to Independence Day but hadn't heard anything about it in a few years.. well until today. They released to everyone surprise a trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence. I loved the first ID4, it's one of those movies that are just fun to watch or as some call them popcorn movies.. this looks to be the same. Can't wait for it to come out next year.