Outwork - Elektro

December 18th, 2006

Outwork - Elektro ft. Mr Gee

Even though the video leaves much to be desired, I like this song a lot. I guess you could always watch this version instead; it may hold your interest better. I happened upon the song using my most-likely-not-to-be-renewed free subscription to a satelite radio service. While I only dabble in the electronic genres, I am surely a sucker for a fun dance song. And no, that doesn't mean I will dance for you. I think the proper remix would have a room full of party-goers bouncing off each other excitedly. This is a fun track you may enjoy if you like to turn the volume up and let the music pulse through your body.

Top 5 Movies: About Christmas

December 14th, 2006

My Pet Monster

December 13th, 2006

Sometimes bouts of nostolgia happen under the most random circumstances. Many times they are triggered by something you have seen or heard or a feeling that comes over you. Other times, the explanation may not be so simple. I cannot explain what caused my latest jaunt down memory lane, but what a strong feeling it was.

It was with an incredible fondness that I remembered my favorite childhood toy. It wasn't my big wheel. It wasn't my basketball cards. Sure, Nintendo was great, but it wasn't that either. It had been years since I had last thought about My Pet Monster.

http://www.bigshottoyworks.com/images/art/my%20pet%20monster_large.jpg

Maybe this is the root from which a long series of family jokes stem. Maybe my family gets a hoot from teasing me about quantity of friends because I grew up relating better to a fanged ball of blue fuzz than I did to most other people.

I think they're just jealous of me and My Pet Monster.

(Pictured is a newer, updated version of My Pet Monster. They made it significantly easier on the eyes. I opted for this picture to save face a little bit. You would definitely wonder about me if you saw what it REALLY used to look like...)

December 5th, 2006
The Fray - How To Save A Life - All At OnceSometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

Hellogoodbye - Here (In Your Arms)

December 4th, 2006

Hellogoodbye - Here (In Your Arms)

We may have found another track to add to the cd we wanted to build around Beating Heart Baby. Alas, I think I am sufficiently over the desire I once had to put "BHB" on a cd, so my timing could have been better. Regardless, Hellogoodbye gives us a fun song about a girl. Unlike many songs about girls, "Here" is complete with strange electronic music and a video set at a summer camp that featured a bully who lords over the camp because of his prowess with Pogs (you expected something else, maybe?). Anyway, the song is simple...in a good way. I dig it. Check it out.

December 1st, 2006
You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.
- Neil Gaiman

Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk

November 30th, 2006

Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukAn underground classic since its first publication in 1996, Fight Club is now recognized as one of the most original and provocative novels published in [that] decade. Chuck Palahniuk's darkly funny first novel tells the story of a god-forsaken young man who discovers that his rage at living in a world filled with failure and lies cannot be pacified by an empty consumer culture. Relief for him and his disenfranchised peers comes in the form of secret after-hours boxing matches held in the basements of bars. Fight Club is the brainchild of Tyler Durden, who thinks he has found a way for himself and his friends to live beyond their confining and stultifying lives. But in Tyler's world there are no rules, no limits, no brakes.

I like to read things that come from Chuck Palahniuk's mind. The result could be good (Diary) or bad (Invisible Monsters); sometimes you never know. What you do know is that the story will likely be something you could never come up with on your own. That is not to say that they are mystery novels and the suspense is imaginative. Though Palahniuk's suspense is certainly imaginative, his stories follow no mold I have seen before.

Chuck Palahniuk is probably just what you would expect him to be like, should you have an opportunity to see him. I saw him give a speech a few years ago, and he was just as I expected. He said that when he writes books he tends to pick one music album to listen to while he writes. One album. For Fight Club, he said he listened to The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails. Again, probably just as you would have expected. Neat guy. Wonderful speaker. Incredibly interesting writer.

I have seen the movie adaptation for Fight Club. I love the movie and am always impressed with the parts played by Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, Jr. I was not hesitant, but rather curious to read the book. Normally I figure a person will prefer whichever version they experience first. I wasn't reading the book in hopes that it would be better than the movie since as they say, "the book is always better." I wanted to see this story on paper through Palahniuk's eyes and with his words rather than a Hollywood adaptation of both.

I found exactly what I had hoped for. The foundation was the same as the movie, but the writing was a little rougher around the edges. It was rough because it was not written to appeal to a broader audience like the movie script was, and it was rough because it was his first book. Like many authors, Palahniuk's writing has become...smoother, for lack of a better term, with each book he has written. Please do not interpret that as a complaint with the book or a negative comment, it is only an observation. If anything, it made the book better as it was more fitting with the feel of the story.

I have seen the movie. Any potential, big plot-twist at the end of the story, if one existed....would not have been a surprise reading the book. I did not care. I wasn't reading the book for the story to be new again. I was only interested in seeing the story a different way, which I was able to do. Fight Club isn't the best book I have ever read, nor is it one of my favorites, but I am glad I took the time to read it. And I recommend it. You have no excuses, it's short.

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November 30th, 2006

Clerks II

From the Main Menu, highlight and select "Special Features." The Special Features menu has two pages. If you highlight and select "more" you will be taken to the second page. Randal (Jeff Anderson) appears on the right side of the screen. Highlight the top option (Play introduction to film by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier) and move the cursor to the right. A thought bubble of what appears to be a hamburger will show up by Randal's head. Pressing enter/select will take you to a video where writer/director Kevin Smith talks about "The Askewniverse Bible."

Four Brothers

November 29th, 2006

Link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0430105/

Four BrothersMark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, André Benjamin and Garrett Hedlund co-star in this gripping tale of brotherly love, betrayal, and revenge from acclaimed filmmaker John Singleton.

After their adoptive mother is gunned down during a grocery store holdup, the estranged brothers reunite to seek revenge and take matters into their own hands. Defying police orders, the four begin turning their old Detroit neighborhood upside down searching for the mastermind behind the brutal killing. Along the way, they discover they are bound by ties thicker than blood in this emotionally powerful, action-packed drama.

I had expected only to like this movie. I had seen the trailer and commercials and from them the movie looked decent. I had not expected to run out and buy a copy after seeing it so I could watch it time and time again; I did not expect to love it, only to be entertained. And I was entertained, at parts...but only a few of them.

The self-help street justice that the brothers turn to in their effort to avenge their adopted mother's killer was over-the-top unbelievable. The "saintly" woman who took these lost-cause boys into her home apparently did not do nearly as good of a job raising them as everyone gave her credit for. She took these boys when no one else wanted them. She gave them a home when no one else would. In her and each other, they had family. But then they grew up, went their separate ways and never got off the streets. Only one of the four appears to have his head on straight.

Marky Mark was good in his role, but the role just wasn't impressive. None of the roles were. The writing and the action were hijacked out of some 80s movie that is only aired on the basic channels Saturday afternoons when the networks have nothing else to show. I would have thought the film industry had evolved beyond movies like this.

I am usually a supporter of violence in movies. In most action movies it can paint a picture. In Four Brothers it was senseless and unnecessary as it just leads you back to the idea that what the brothers got away with was completely ridiculous.

The ending. Oh my, the ending. "There is a plot twist coming, I can feel it... Wait, was that it? Was that the big finish? Huh. I guess it was." I just narrated your thought process as you watch the end of Four Brothers.

I think the plot was too big for the movie and there was no way the makers could have achieved what they wanted. I cannot imagine a scenario when this would be a movie worth watching. Feel free to pass on Four Brothers.

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Book of the Month - December, 2006

November 28th, 2006

The Poet by Michael Connelly

The Poet by Michael ConnellyMichael Connelly has written one explosive thriller after another featuring Detective Harry Bosch. Now, in an electrifying departure, he presents a novel that breaks all the rules and will keep your heart racing and your mind guessing until the very last page.

Death is reporter Jack McEvoy's beat: his calling, his obsession. But this time, death brings McEvoy the story he never wanted to write -- and the mystery he desperately needs to solve. A serial killer of unprecedented savagery and cunning is at large. His targets: homicide cops, each haunted by a murder case he couldn't crack. The killer's calling card: a quotation from the works of Edgar Allan Poe. His latest victim is McEvoy's own brother. And his last... may be McEvoy himself.

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