The Force Awakens

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!  It’s finally here!  It’s Star Wars week!  I don’t know what to do with myself!!  There are five days until the movie opens. Luckily for me, I have six Star Wars t-shirts.  Oh!  And one sweatshirt!  The dilemma is deciding which shirt to wear on which day. IMG_3424[1]

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The bigger problem is which day am I going to see the movie?  There are showtimes on Thursday, but they’re all sold out. There are tickets available all throughout the weekend, but of course that’s the weekend we are moving. Stupid wife picked stupid Star Wars weekend to move!!  I’m gonna be soooo tired to see it on the weekend. But if I wait, it’ll be at least Tuesday. And Tuesday is cheap movie day at the theaters here.  Everywhere is super packed. So it makes more sense to wait another day and see it Wednesday. WEDNESDAY?!?!  I CAN’T WAIT TILL WEDNESDAY!  That’d be like telling my daughters that Santa came but we are waiting a week to open the presents.  IMG_3425[1]

Presents!!  Aw damn it!!  Looks at calendar… okay so if I don’t see it Wednesday, Thursday is Christmas Eve. So those next two days are out. Holy crap, the more I think about this the worse it gets.  How the hell am I going to make this work?

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Update: There is a theater near by that sells reserved seats. The wife liked this idea because we wouldn’t have to stand in line for hours. But it’s way more expensive.  She doesn’t want to stand in line because I’m supposed to be moving boxes all weekend and standing in line AND the movie takes up a lot of the day. So while I was in the process of grabbing these way overpriced tickets, someone snaked them from me!!  What a butthole.

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Update 2: Okay tickets purchased!  S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y!  Night!  (Bay City Rollers?  So I Married An Axe Murderer?  Geezus you all are young).  But yes, Saturday the 19th at 8pm I will be seeing The Force Awakens.  Just gotta decide what time I want to go get in line. Day 2, at night, gonna be a big line.  Not like I care.  If I’m at home, I’m just gonna be standing around waiting to go.  I might as well be standing in line.  Okay so that’s my plan.  I invited Phil, but he wanted to go with his brother closer to his house.  Pfft.  What a jerk.

Update 3: I started watching the whole saga again in preparation for the new movie. I decided to watch it in The Machete Order. I’ve never done this before. Very excited to see how I feel about it without Episode I.

Update 4:  Yeah, Yeah I know.  There are tons of updates to this post.  Screw off, this is my post.  I got an early Christmas present!!  A SEVENTH Star Wars t-shirt!  Now I have one every day of the week!  Yay!

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The Martian

A couple months ago, right before this movie was released, I made it a priority to read the book. And I did it!  In like a week!  It was really quick for me. I’m always tired and have trouble staying focused on a book. That’s why there are at least two dozen books sitting on my shelf right now waiting to be read. And also why it took me a year to read 11/22/63. What a horrible ending that book had. Left me so unsatisfied. And now it’s going to be a mini-series!  But of course I don’t have Hulu. I already told my friend Greg I’m coming over those days to watch it. He’s made plans to mow the lawn.

Where was I?  The Martian!  Yes!  Okay so after reading the book, I was concerned that the movie would take too many liberties and make it too Hollywood. There’s a lot of science in the book. I didn’t think it would translate very well to the big screen. Also, the character in the book, Mark Watney, is alone on Mars. A lot. For a really long time. Sort of like Castaway. But without a dumb volleyball. But the movie was really well done. It stayed as true to the story as was possible. They even through in some science!!

Matt Damon is Mark Watney. After a storm on Mars, the mission he and five other astronauts were halfway through completing is aborted. During the storm, Watney is knocked out of sight from the other astronauts, and presumed dead. The ship takes off without him, and he needs to figure out how to survive for the next few years until NASA can send another mission to come get him.

There were some problems with it.  First, my friend Ryan reads everything. And always tells me the book is better than the movie EVERY. F*CKING. TIME. It’s annoying. So don’t tell him I said this. But the book was so much better. It was so much funnier. They cut out most of the good parts of Watney’s video diaries.  They also cut out what I thought was a pretty significant part of the end of the book.  Apparently, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I told my wife what was cut out, and she didn’t care in the slightest that she missed this part.

I also thought the characters from NASA were much better written than they were portrayed in the movie.  What was the point of having a megastar like Kristen Wiig (yes.  MEGASTAR) in this movie to have her be barely a background piece?  And the fact that Vincent Kapoor, played very well by Chiwetel Ejiofor was actually a character of Indian decent in the movie really bugged me.  As it did Aziz Ansari.  I’m not trying to start anything, I’m not smart enough for that.  But Aziz is right, and they could have found someone to play the role the way it was intended.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the movie.  Although I think this whole, read the book thing first sucks.  I knew what was coming the whole time.  That blows.  And the parts I really liked in the book didn’t go over as well in the movie as they did in my head, like a great Iron Man joke that I thought was really funny.  But no one else in the theater did.  I think for 2.5 hours of running time, they could have found a little more time to get more out of the book, but what they did get out of it was really great.  Not as great in the theater as I would have hoped.  But I’m glad I saw it after spending all that time reading the book.  Hey a week for me is considered “all that time!”

Mad Max Fury Road

A real conversation I had with my dad about Mad Max Fury Road.

Me: Have you seen Mad Max?  I just got it on Netflix.

Dad: Ppffttt. Yeah I saw it.

Me:  What?  No good?

Dad:  Sure!  If you like watching people chase each other in cars for two hours!

Me: That sounds amazing actually.

Apparently my dad isn’t a fan of post-apocolyptic movies because this one was cool as hell. Tom Hardy takes over the role of Max that had previously been played by Mel Gibson.  In this fourth installment of the Mad Max franchise, civilization become a wasteland, and people have to beg for drops of water. Max is captured for his blood, but is able to escape.

Charlize Theron is Furiosa, a one armed bandit (no she’s not a slot machine…. Crickets.. I thought that was funny) who is sent on the war rig to get gasoline. She goes off course to take breeders, the five wives of the immortal leader of The Citadel, Joe, to The Green Place. A new home for them where they will be safe and out of reach of his tyrranical rule.

Max and Furiosa, skeptical of each other at first, and pulling guns on the other, realize they both want the same thing; freedom from Joe. When they realize they can only get from working together, they join forces for, you guessed it, one final chase scene that ends up on the doorstep of The Citadel.

My dad was right about the plot. 90% of it is chase scenes.  But those scenes are amazing. Explosions, crashes, everything you could possibly want or expect from this movie.  There’s no character development. How did Furiosa lose her arm?  Who knows. Okay maybe we do know and I missed it. There’s not even a whole lot of dialog. Mostly just action and blowing sh*t up.  How anyone could find this unappealing, I’ll never understand. But my dad’s old and cranky.  He probably just needed his nap. Actually, that sounds good, I want a nap.

Scott Weiland R.I.P.

I was 14 the summer before I started high school.  At that time, I was hanging out with a lot of the older kids from my church youth group.  There was this trip we could take as a group to reservations hours away to help locals fix homes or whatever needed to be done. On trips in later years, I would fall off my first roof and ladder, but that’s another story. My girlfriend at the time wanted to go, so of course I signed up. Why does any 14 year old boy do anything?  Because a pretty girl asks them to do it.

I wasn’t nearly as cool then as I am now (that’s a joke. I’m not cool now).  And I had even less knowledge of popular music then than I currently do. Which is hard to say. But I vividly remember driving and listening to one song over and over in the car. I tried to hate it. I don’t know why, but I just wanted to hate it so badly. But no matter how hard I tried, by the end of the trip, I was in love with this song. That song was Plush by the Stone Temple Pilots.

That one song changed my whole outlook on music. What else was out there that I didn’t know about?  I needed to listen to different types of music because there was so much good music being made in the 90’s that I couldn’t soak it up fast enough.

I met a girl named Kristy a couple years later on that same trip, and because I was now open to listen to anything, she introduced me to a band called Skankin’ Pickle. They opened me up to ska and everything happening in the 3rd wave. And because of them, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are my favorite band to this day.

Then I saw the Sour Girl video. To this day I have no idea what’s going on in the video, but I remember seeing it when it came out and saying “Holy sh*t, that’s Sarah Michelle Gellar in this f*cked up STP video!!”  I thought that was just the coolest thing ever.

STP made some of the best music that came out of the 90’s alternative rock scene, and that’s saying something. With bands like Nirvana, Weezer, and Green Day all coming onto the scene during that time, it was a great time to get into that genre of music.  Scott Weiland played a huge part of shaping my high school years with his voice and his music, and I will be forever grateful.  This doesn’t even touch on how cool Velvet Revolver was.  Scott had his troubles with addiction, and and as far as I know, no cause of death has been determined. But today is a sad day.  I will always love Weiland and the Stone Temple Pilots.  Rest in peace, Scott. Your job here is done.