Saturday, January 16, 2016

Force Awakens 5th Viewing, Gay Themed Movies & British TV series

This week I have felt the itch to see Star Wars The Force Awakens.. again. I put it out there on social media to see if anyone wanted to join me and a few of my NerdStrong friends said that they did. So after our morning workout we went out for brunch before heading home to clean and then head to the theater. Joining me for my fifth viewing of Star Wars was Lauren, Bruce, Shannon and her husband Tony. We tried to see it at a different theater or a different format but the only one that was available at the time we all could see it was Acrlight Sherman Oaks and a 2D version... not that I'm complaining.. the Arclight is a great theater to watch movies and I prefer 2D to 3D.

So as I said this was a fifth viewing and I enjoyed it just as much as my first viewing. I actually noticed more with every viewing. There is just something special about his movie. I'm not a prequel hater, I actually enjoyed them and I did want to see them a few times in the theater but it's not the same with this movie. This one feels more like the original movies, if I could I'd go everyday and watch this movie. There were a few prequel characters that I instantly connected with but nothing like I have with these new characters. And maybe it's because this movie has some of the original characters in it but these new characters feel so familiar, as thought I've known them this entire time. As soon as I walked out of the theaters I'm ready to go back and see it again.. which I'm sure I will for a sixth time. I can't get enough of Star Wars The Force Awakens.

I spent the rest of today watching Netflix. I have been trying to watch as many "gay themed" movies as I can. That's one of my favorite parts of Netflix is that they have a nice selection of gay films but I have been going through them at a steady pace and I'm getting down to the ones that I initial passed on because they didn't sounds interesting or I wasn't in the mood to read (as 2/3's of the films are foreign)

First up is a moved called Last Summer. This movie came out in 2013, here's a quick synopsis: Two high school sweethearts, Luke and Jonah, spend their final months together over the course of a long, quiet summer in the rural South--a world of baseball, bicycles, church and green bean casserole--contemplating their uncertain future and the uncertain future of America.

This movie was okay, it's like a slice of life movie. We pick up the story towards the end of the school year and these two boys (one who's a genius and the other not so much) are debating what they are going to do next in their lives. It's an extremely slow movie and not much happens. It was more like watching a piece of art. There were scenes like a light beam coming through some trees and they would slowly pull out or pan the camera and the shot lasted for a few minutes.. nothing was happening it was just there. The entire movie was like this. I was bored many times and did fast forward through some of the awkwardly long shots. If you want to watch something visually with a simple story then give this movie a shot but it wasn't what I was looking for and was glad when it was over. I give Last Summer a B+ for the way it was shot visually but D for story and enjoyment.

Next I watched Come Undone, this movie came out in 2000, It's a story of two young French boys who begin a passionate relationship that boils over and threatens to destroy both their lives. Shy Mathieu is 18-years-old and on summer vacation in the south of France. He spends his days lazily sunning himself at the beach, until he spies the handsome C├ędric and falls in love. 

Coming off of the boring Last Summer movie I was hoping for something better, this was subtitled so I knew I was going to have to be reading alot (but I'll admit that these foreign films really don't have alot of dialogue). I enjoyed this movie, more then the previous one but still it was a bit confusing as they would jump back and forth in time with no real rhythm and reason. From what I gathered there were three timelines that we were suppose to be following. It took me a while to figure out what happened and where he was going and why. In the end I was just confused which does take away some of the enjoyment. I'd give Come Undone a C, it's not something I'd watch again, the love story was okay but the jumping around in time was really confusing.

After those two lackluster gay themed movies I saw something called The Delivery Man, I'm scrolled passed it a few times so I figured I'd check it out. This is a British TV series that premiered in 2015. All of season one (well six episodes) is up on Netflix so I spent the remainder of the day watching this entire season. Here's a brief synopsis: Former police officer Matthew starts work as a newly qualified midwife. As expected, his first day is full of drama, sarcastic comments, and snide remarks about his gender.

I'm a sucker for British TV series, usually I love their dramas like Doctor Who, Downton Abbey or Call the Midwife but I've also enjoyed their comedies like The IT Crowd and Gavin and Stacey so I figured I'd give this a go.

I liked it, they had a range of crazy characters, some I liked more then the others. But the main character was very charming and kept my attention. I don't know if I'd say that I loved this series, it was funny at times, had it's dramatic moments and lots of slapstick type of humor but it was enjoyable enough that I kept watching it thought I was getting tired and wanted to go to sleep. I don't know if they are doing a second season or not and if they don't I won't be crushed but if they do I'll give a watch. It's a nice solid comedy series.

Friday, January 15, 2016

New MASH Podcast, WWofHP Hollywood Expanding? & Rebels MidSeason Trailer

Geekyfanboy Productions released a new episode of the MASH 4077 Podcast. This is episode 120, covering Season 5, Episode 23 - Souvenirs

Hawkeye and BJ try to stop a chopper pilot from selling souvenirs derived from war materials derived from locals facing danger getting them, and Klinger becomes a pole-sitter in his latest attempt to get a Section Eight.

You can Download from itunes , listen on Stitcher Radio or listen and get direct download from our main website

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood hasn't even opened yet (not until April 7th) but there is already buzz of expansion and creating their own version of Diagon Alley as they did in Florida. I mean it really is a no brainer. WWofHP revitalized Universal Studios in Florida and I know it will do the same here in Hollywood. Only difference between the two parks is that Hollywood doesn't have much space so they will have to be creative if they do build a second Potter world. The big reason they did the second world at Universal Florida is because there were two separate parks next to each other. By building Diagon Alley at the other park and connecting them with the Hogwarts Express this got people to buy tickets to both parks. Universal Hollywood only has the one park so there really would be no monetary reason to have both worlds in the same park.. but I still hope they do it. You can read more about the details HERE.

Disney released a midseason trailer for the remaining season of Star Wars Rebels. If I wasn't already excited for the rest of the season.. this trailer pushed me over the edge. The scenes with Ahsoka and Vader are breathtaking. I hope we don't see the end of Ahsoka, but they can't have these two constantly running into each other and one getting away. But when they do have their epic battle.. and it will be epic.. it's going to be heartbreaking. This series continues to impress me. I enjoyed season one but the first half of season two has been amazing and from what I have seen from this trailer it's not going to stop.. I can't wait.

NerdStrong Gym - My Weekly Recap

I got my full week of workouts in this week. Saturday CON workout, Sunday TEAM workout, Tuesday DEX workout, Wednesday CON workout and Thursday STG workout.

We started a new Big Boss Monster Battle and almost died. It was brutal as this is the first one of this month which means we will be doing this again at the end of the month to see if we improved. This one was a Deadpool themed boss fight. 42 minute time cap, EMOM (every minute on the minute) Minute 1 was 40x Jumping Jack, Minute 2 was 6x Burpees, Minute 3 was 10x Headcutters, Minute 4 was 15x Slamballs, Minute 5 was 20x Kettlebell Swings and Minute 6 was Rest (or Bicycles). The first few rounds were fine, I was finishing quick enough that I could take a few seconds break before starting it all over again. but by round four I started to barely get done with headcutters within the minute and if you couldn't finish you had to skip the next workout. It only happened once where I couldn't finish headcutters and had to skip Slamballs. But after that coach Andrew said we could do seven Headcutters instead ten and that helped me.. barely but I managed to finish everything.. though just barely.

For Sunday's themed workout it was all about the musical Hamilton. Now I only heard about his musical a few weeks before it was announced that we were doing a workout to it. I feel like this phenomenon come out of no where. There were three classes today and each class was expanded to 30 people and almost all the spots were taken..that means almost 90 people workouted out to this workout. We started off with this awesome warm up that was lead by coach Andrew. It was alot of fun and I hope we do more warm ups like that.

As for the workout we did it in teams of 2 and worked out at each station for 4 minutes. We had to switch workouts every minute so that meant we did a total of two minutes at each workout. Station 1 was Rowing and Wall Sitting, Station 2 was Air Squats and Planking, Station 3 was Mountain Climbers and Hollow Holds, Station 4 was Alternating Dumbbell Curls and Hollow Hang and Station 5 was Walking Lunge with slam ball over head and Walking Lunge with Slamball held out in front. And as a finisher we carried heavy things and ran around the parking lot for a 230 meter run. It was a good workout and I'm glad to see the gym getting some major attention.

Tuesday workout was probably one of the hardest things I have done at the gym.. a Burpee Ladder. We started with 20 and then slowly went down the ladder 19, 18, 17, 16 and so on all the way down to 1. We had 30 minutes to try and get as far as possible. I am happy to say that I was one of the few who actually finished, my time was 29 minutes and 50 seconds. I had 10 second to spare. If you total up all the Burpees that's 210 Burpees... I just did 210 Burpees in less then 30 minutes. Now I know anything is possible!!!

Wednesday CON class felt like a mini boss battle, after doing pull up practice we had to do a 230 meter run, 30x Dumbbell Bench Row, 230 meter run, 40x Sit Ups, 230 meter run, 50x Squats, 230 meter run, 40x Sit Ups, 230 meter run, 30x Dumbbell Bench Press and then one final 230 meter run. It was crazy and that wasn't the end.. we had a finisher and all that was written on the board was "Something Spicy".. yeah it was a tough CON day.  

Thursday STG workout was all about Deadlifts and unfortunately I choose to heavy of a weight early one and felt my lower back start to strain so I pulled back and stopped the deadlifts. It's always hard having to stop workout but I have learned that if I don't stop there is a possibility of injuring myself even worse and being out for weeks or even months.  I was okay with the rest of the workout which involved Nerdmakers, Steps ups, Jumping Jacks, Rowing, Scissor Kicks and Heavy Bicep Curls. It's not how I wanted to end my week of workouts but it wasn't that bad and I'm glad I didn't continue to push myself and make things worse.

1/14 Rough Strength workout for today's 7am @nerdstronggym class.. At least for me. Started to heavy of a DeadLift and my back wasn't happy, but I stopped before it got to bad.    

Thursday, January 14, 2016

RIP Alan Rickman, Carter Tease, Poe Comic & Shannara Ep 3

It's not the kind of news you want to wake up to but uber talented actor Alan Rickman has died. I remember hearing he was sick but didn't realize it was that bad. He was an amazing actor and everything I had read or seen about him, he seemed like an amazing human being. He's done so much over the years but I loved him in Galaxy Quest (one of his most memorable roles), Die Hard and Love Actually but I think he'll always be remembered as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies. One of the best characters you love to hate.

This quote seems appropriate today... "By Grabthar's hammer... by the Suns of Worvan... you shall be... avenged." - R.I.P Alan Rickman

On to something happier, Marvel's Agent Carter released a sneak peek at a scene in an upcoming episode. I'm really looking forward to this series return.

My gym Nerdstrong had another cool piece done on it. This time I was interviewed along with a few other members. I can't embed the video so you'll have to follow the link. The video takes a while to load but it's a great piece about our gym.. check it out HERE.

More good news today.. Mavel comic announces the release of a brand new Star Wars comic book series about one of my favorite new characters from The Force Awakens.. Poe Dameron. You can read up the details HERE. I'm not big into comic books anymore but I do pick up a few titles here and there when they peak my interest and this is definitely one of them.

For lunch today I got to see my old friend Adam. Someone who I hadn't seen in over 14 years. We worked together on The Dating Game (my very first show I worked on in TV). We reconnected a few years ago on Facebook and have talked from time to time but not until recently have we tried to meet up for lunch or something and we finally made it happen. It was nice catching up, we both have kind of kept up on each other through Facebook but it was nice just chatting and hearing how the past 14 years of our live have gone. We spent about 2 hours catching up and made plans to hang out again soon. We are also going to try and do a reunion of sorts with former Dating Game crew that we are both friends with on Facebook..

During the evening I came home and watched episode three of Shannara Chronicles. S1 Ep 3 "Fury" As the Fury is chasing Wil and Amberle, an injured Allanon rises and kills it. The trio head to the Druid Cave in order to treat Allanon. After leaving him there, Wil and Amberle head to Silver River to grab some of its mud, which has healing properties, but are ambushed by Eretria and a Rover. They are taken as hostages to the Rover camp so that Wil can teach Cephelo how to use the Elfstones. Wil is unable to do so, and Cephelo threatens to kill Eretria. Then, another Fury attacks the Rover camp but is destroyed by Wil, using the powers of the Elfstones. Allanon is cured by the magic from the Druid Cave, and rescues Wil and Amberle from the Rovers. On their way to Arborlon, they find an elf named Bandon chained and left alone and they take him with them. At Arborlon, Bandon has a vision of Amberle dying. The Elven Council is reunited to discuss the crisis of the Ellcrys and decides to let Amberle, the last of the Chosen, enter the tree and search for its seed, which must be taken to Safehold.

Another great episode, so much fun... the story continues to move forward at a brisk pace and I'm actually starting to like the rover Eretria, well like might be to strong of a word but I'm understanding why she is the way she is. I know she is a key character in this story so I hope they would turn her character around and though I'm not in love with her I see that she isn't all bad. Wil using the elfstones was amazing. Bandon is an interesting characters, seems like he has some major powers and is going to play a bigger part in this adventure. Allanon still is my favorite character and the others growing on me. I'm loving this world, it's high fantasy at it's best.

I don't know where they are taking this story but I'm along for the ride. It's only 10 episodes in this first season so we have seven more to go. I don't know if they plan to finished this storyline within those 10 episodes or hope they get pick up for a second season to continue this adventure. I know this is only a one of the many storyline over the life of this book series.. so they have plenty to pull from if they do conclude this story within the 10 episodes. It's kind of nice not knowing what's going to happen next and just letting it unfold as it go.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Powerball Mania

I usually don't play the lottery, not because I don't like it but normally I just forgot that it's even happening. Well today was an exception as the prize got up to 1.5 Billion dollars.. That's Billion with a B. I couldn't at least try and win some money. Work did a huge buy in but unfortunately I was not asked to participate (guess I'm still to new), so I my way into work today I stopped by 7-11 and picked up $10 in quick picks for tonight's Powerball drawing. What I didn't know is each ticket was $2 so I got five chances of winning the 1.5 Billion dollars. Now I know the odds are not in my favor but you can't help but dream about what you might do with that much money. My first thought is to pay off my debt and then my intimidate family's debt. I don't think I would stop working but I'd take longer vacations between jobs. I'd want to help people, I'd finally be able to buy that large house and adopt kids who are about to age out of the foster system, just so they will always have a place to call home, (been a dream of mine for many many years). I have heard horror stories of lottery winners who are broke and in debt up to their eyeballs only a few years after winning but I don't think that would happen to me. I'd appreciate the money and not let it overtake my life (at least I would hope so). Anyways it's fun dreaming.. wish me luck.

Edit... So the number were drawn and I didn't win. It was a fun day dreaming of what could have been. Maybe I'll play once a week just so I can dream a little each time.. you can't win if you don't play.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Amazing Star Wars Comic Strip

I came across this amazing comic strip, cartoon, drawing.. whatever you want to call it.. but it definitely tugs at the heart strings. I love how peoples minds process things.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Stroke Scare

About a half hour before I went to bed I was just watching some Big Bang Theory to wind down my night when I started to smell burnt toast. My first thought was, is my oven on (which would have been strange since I didn't turn it on tonight). I got up and walked over to my kitchen and checked the stove but nothing was on. I continued to smell something burning so my second thought was.. oh no I'm having or about to have a stroke, (one of the symptoms is smelling burnt toast). I sat on the couch trying to decide if I was feeling okay or if I should be calling 911.

I remember when my dad had a stroke and he said he felt like the flu just hit him, cold sweats and nausea. I wasn't feeling sick but I did have a slight headache but I don't know if it was really a headache or my mind playing tricks on me. I sat there for another five minutes sniffing the air and as quickly as the burnt toast smell came to me.. it was gone.

I looked up symptoms of a stroke to see if I was displaying any. I think that was worse because I read up on things that can cause you to smell thing when they are not really there.. brain tumors are big on that.. so then I was thinking.. it's not a stroke.. but a brain tumor.. I was also about to go to bed but was scared to actually fall asleep and not wake up. I laid down and finally feel asleep about an hour later.

I don't think I was having a stroke, not even a minor one and I'm hoping it's not a brain tumor, but because I have been living a much healthier life style the past year, I haven't really given much thought to my previous health issues.. but I guess I really should. You really never know when something like a stroke is going to hit you. You can be perfectly healthy and WHAM.. heart attack or stroke.. I'm not a young man anymore and things are only going to get worse. This scare just furthers my interest in remaining healthy and double my efforts in eating better. I don't think I could workout any harder so I have half the battle won.. now I really need to focus on food and diet.

Galavant S2 Ep 1 & 2 - My Thoughts

Tonight I watched the season two premiere of Galavant, I loved season one and was super happy when I heard they were making a season two. Like with season one each "episode" consisted of two thirty minute episode. I started with S2 Ep 1 "A New Season aka Suck It Cancellation Bear" Galavant and Richard crash land the pirate ship and make their way on foot back to Richard's kingdom. They accidentally find themselves in The Enchanted Forest, a gay bar where the Queen (Kylie Minogue) captures Galavant and forces him to tend bar. Gareth gets no respect from Madalena but with Sid's help claims the title of king. Isabella repeatedly fails to escape from Harry and asks for help from Chef and Gwynne, and Chef agrees. Richard finds his Uncle Keith at the bar and Keith helps them to escape.

This was one of my favorite episodes so far. I loved the whole Enchanted Forest bar and it turning out to be a gay bar. I love the chemistry between Richard and Galavant, I'm so glad they paired these two up this season. I really like when songs include the entire ensemble cast like with A New Season.

Song song during this episode "A New Season" which was in the tune of the original song Galavant (which I love) so of course I really enjoyed this reprise and as I mentioned we got to see the entire cast and guest cast take part in this song. We then got one of my favorite song from both seasons "Off With His Shirt" song by the wonderfully fun Kylie Minogue. And then "A New Season (Reprise)" once again which was so much fun. 

S2 Ep 2 "World's Best Kiss" Isabella and Galavant share a memory of their kiss and begin to doubt it was very good. Galavant and Richard stop at a village where they meet a fortune teller who is able to communicate with Isabella via an amulet she wears. However, the amulet gets very bad reception, and it breaks up during a conversation leading Galavant to believe the kiss was wonderful, while Isabella believes that Galavant does not love her and she abandons her escape attempts. Chef also tells Richard that Gareth has betrayed him by becoming king. Gareth brings some of his possessions to be displayed, leading to an argument where Gareth and Madalena finally find mutual appreciation for each other. As Richard and Galavant leave the village, Richard unknowingly removes a magic sword from a tree stump. They then travel to his castle and find the entire building has gone missing.

I will admit that this episode wasn't as amazing as the first, but still alot of fun. It had some amazing bits.. I especially liked the unicorn and Richard bit.. that was hilarious. I wasn't a fan of the rift that was made between Galavant and Isabella but I understand why they did that. I liked the interaction with Gareth and Madalena, still not a fan of hers but someone has to be the "bad guy".

Song song during this episode "World's Best Kiss" this was cute, I always like the duets between Galavant and Isabella, "Let's Agree to Disagree" was okay, again not a bit fan of Madalena, and "World's Best Kiss (Reprise)". These episodes just fly buy and they are over in no time.

So happy Galavant is back, and we are getting even more episodes then last season... well two more but that is more (from 8 to 10). Can't wait for episode 3 & 4 next week. And after watching these two episodes I now want to get the season one soundtrack of Galavant.. off to Amazon!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shannara Chronicles Begins

This is a new TV series that permeired on MTV, it's based on the best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks, "The Shannara Chronicles" follows heroes in the Four Lands as they embark on a quest to stop an evil Demon army from destroying the universe. Thousands of years after the fall of humankind, the world's fate rests on the shoulders of an unlikely trio: Elvin Princess Amberle, who dreams of a life outside of the palace walls; beautiful, wild and wily Human Rover Eretria, and half-elf Wil, who knows nothing of the great destiny that runs through his veins.

I've been super excited to see this since I saw the preview a while back. I actually thought this was a movie based on the amazing special effects and the look of this world, but then saw the MTV logo at the end and found out that it was actually a new series for television. They aired episodes 1 and 2 back to back as one long two hour episode and I finally found the time to sit down and give it a watch. 

S1 Ep 1-2 "Chosen" Amberle, the Princess of the Elven Kingdom, runs the Gauntlet, a customarily all-male race, as a rite to determine who will become the Chosen, seven servants of the Ellcrys—a great tree which holds back an ancient army of demons in a realm called the Forbidding. She's the seventh to cross the finish line, and becomes one of the Chosen. When she touches the tree during the initiation ceremony, she has a vision of Elves being slaughtered. The druid Allanon wakes up after a long slumber. Wil Ohmsford's mother, on her deathbed, passes on the Elfstones, a great magical relic that belonged to Wil's late father. Wil decides to go to Storlock, the village of healers, in order to learn the healing arts there.

On the way, he is ambushed by a troll and saved by a Rover girl named Eretria, who takes him to a home she says is hers, then drugs him and steals the Elfstones. Allanon meets with Eventine, the Elven King, in the city of Arborlon and warns him that the Ellcrys is dying. He then leaves to seek out Wil and finds him at Eretria's house. As the Ellcrys weakens, a demon named the Dagda Mor breaks free of the Forbidding along with the Changeling, whom he dispatches to eliminate the Chosen. Amberle, haunted by the visions she saw when she touched the Ellcrys, runs from Arborlon. She comes across Eretria, and steals food and a horse, and heads for Wing Hove to meet with Eventine's sister, Pyria. Meanwhile, Allanon takes Wil to the Druid Keep at Paranor, in order to find the secret to restoring the Ellcrys.

While there, Allanon uses magic to uncover a codex, proving to a doubtful Wil that magic didn't end in the War of the Races 300 years ago. The Dagda Mor attacks Allanon in his mind, making the druid aware of his presence. Allanon and Wil learn that the Chosen are the key to the renewal of the Ellcrys; however, the Changeling, using Amberle's form, has killed them all except Amberle, who had run away. Allanon and Wil track her to Wing Hove, where they are attacked by a Fury summoned from the Forbidding. The Fury kills Pyria and goes after Wil and Amberle.

Going into this I know very little, I know it's based on a series of books and this is just one of the storylines from that series. I know that it's set 1000's of years after the fall of mankind so it's post apocalyptic (which is pretty cool for a fantasy series). And that's about all I know about this series.

First let me say that it is beautifully shot but then again it's done in New Zealand so of course it's going to be beautiful and feel very Lord of the Ringish. The look and feel of the series is a definite positive.. but a slight negative is that it's on MTV so it definitely has that CW/MTV Teen feels to it but luckily it wasn't to overwhelming and deter me from the rest of the show. Some of the dialogue and acting isn't the greatest but I can look past that because I'm really enjoying the world and the storyline. And they have some heavy hitters among these younger inexperience cast members like Manu Bennett who was actually in Lord of the Rings but is probably better know for his role on Arrow. And of course there is veteran actor John Rhys-Davies who everyone knows played Gimli and Treebeard (Voice) in the Lord of the Ring Trilogy.

They had to dump alot of information on you quickly and get the story moving along and I think they accomplished that quite nicely. I felt like I knew enough of this world and it's people to really start getting into the story. This is high fantasy at it's best and I loved every minute. The two hours just flew by and of course it ended on a nice cliffhanger. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this story goes and hopefully like some of these character better then I do now. I guess that's good writing when you really just can't stand a character but you know they are important to the over all story.

I'm really looking forward to episode 3...