Monthly Archives: May 2014

Review: Godzilla

godzilla-posterWhile Godzilla isn’t necessarily a good film, it’s not a bad film either. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s not even just one film. I’d say it’s two films, each serving a different purpose with a different result. The first film, the one with the character development and real story, is at the beginning. This is the part where Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody) is actually the star he is being touted as. This is a short film about a father and son dealing with a familial tragedy. It starts 15 years in the past when Brody is the chief at a nuclear power plant in Japan when something goes horribly, tragically wrong. Then, when we hit present day, it really blossoms into a smaller film, a story about redemption and forgiveness and what it means to be both a parent and a child, often in relation to the same person. This is NOT a monster film. This is a more intimate social drama.

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Review: My Life as a White Trash Zombie

My Life as a White Trash Zombie
My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know it’s weird to get a book you don’t think you’re going to enjoy but we all do that from time to time, don’t we? Like going to see a bad movie specifically so we can tear it apart. It’s a like a whetstone for our critical senses, just something we can use to hone our wits and bring out the kind of absurd criticisms which are normally reserved for James Cameron films. A couple of times, this has completely backfired on me. I walked in to Evil Dead 2 with my sarcastic bon mots ready and walked out a fan for life of Sam Raimi. The same happened here. Continue reading

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Going once…

A couple of months back, I was approached by my friend Aiste about helping out at a charity auction. Aiste is a writer and filmmaker. She’s also one of those people who knows absolutely everyone and is involved with all sorts of great causes and events. Through her I’ve had a couple of interesting adventures here in Lithuania so when she asked if I’d like to play auctioneer I naturally said “sure!” The cause this time was the International Women’s Association of Vilnius’ annual Blossom of Hope charity event, this time being done up as a 20s themed gala with a silent auction, a live auction, dinner, and live entertainment in the form of singers and dancers. And somewhere along the line, I went from auctioneer to host and MC. The last couple of years they’d had a Lithuanian and a translator but this year, since a good number of guests would be from various embassies, the organizing committee figured a native speaker would be the way to go and I got drafted.  Continue reading

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Dropped

Dropped.

This is a great piece on the difference between art, skill and performance. As someone peripherally involved in the world of magic, I can agree with a lot of Jason Fagone is saying here. Continue reading

Categories: Art, Of General Interest | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fermi Paradox – Wait But Why

The Fermi Paradox – Wait But Why.

I find this stuff fascinating! Hopefully you do, too.

Categories: Of General Interest | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Most Inspiring Travel Video I Have Ever Seen. Hands Down.

The Most Inspiring Travel Video I Have Ever Seen. Hands Down.

Two things I learned from this video:

1) I need to travel more. There’s so much more of the world to see. And naturally doing it via motorcycle would be the best way to do it.

2) I really need a GoPro camera.

This summer for sure I’m gonna edit a bunch of my photos into a nice music video. I wish I had had the foresight to do the same kind of picture everywhere so it could seamlessly blend together but oh well, lesson learned and I can do it moving forward!

Categories: Europe, Personal, Travel | 3 Comments

Review: Trust Me

trust me posterI like Clark Gregg the actor. Seriously, what’s not to like? Granted, I only have a limited exposure to him, mostly through his Marvel Cinematic Universe work as Agent Phil Coulson (Okay, and his two episodes in Sports Night were quite amazing).  It doesn’t hurt he often plays likable characters, even his portrayal of badasses is tinged with a genial good guy vibe. He comes across as the kind of guy who, while he might not lend you fifty bucks, at least he’d feel really bad about not lending it to you.

Who I didn’t know before catching this film was Clark Gregg the writer and director. And to be fair, I like him almost as much as the actor. Maybe even more. This is the first time we’re getting the whole Gregg package, too. Yes. he’s written and directed a film before, but that was an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk‘s Choke. Gregg’s last foray into an original screenplay was for Zemeckis‘ What Lies Beneath, in which Gregg didn’t even appear as an actor. But with Trust Me, we get the complete vision, and wow, was it worth waiting for.  Continue reading

Categories: Films, Reviews | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Iceland: Eurovision 14

Really great message and a fun band! Just something to put a smile on your face!

More about the band here and click here for lyrics.

Categories: Art, Europe | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Why understanding grammar matters…

 

#Randbrackets, The Fun New Out-Of-Context Game

You want to know why education is important and why not understanding grammar is a bad thing? Here’s a great example for you. Look at those brackets in the above quote attributed to President Obama. Those mean something. Do you know what? They are not there for emphasis, they are not there to highlight the words within. Continue reading

Categories: Of General Interest, Personal, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I enjoy about John Green’s work is that he absolutely does not believe in the Hollywood ending. This isn’t to say he believes in sad, depressing endings, far from it, but he doesn’t believe in the ending we’d come to expect from non-genre YA books. The ending of a John Green book (I’ve read 2.5 so far – this one being the .5 since it’s a co-write) gives the characters a reasonable resolution while not catering to convention or kowtowing to convenience. The other things I enjoy about his works are the complexity and extra-dimensionality of his characters. Now, I’m not saying they’re perfect books, but as someone far removed from the lives and ages of his characters, I can find something in them to identify with. Continue reading

Categories: Books, Reviews | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Pixar Cofounder Ed Catmull on Failure and Why Fostering a Fearless Culture Is the Key to Groundbreaking Creative Work | Brain Pickings

Book Cover

Not much really new here, but it’s all stuff which needs to be said, over and over again.

Catmull begins by pointing out that failure, for most of us, is loaded with heavy baggage — a stigma that failure is bad and a sign of weakness, engrained in us early and hard.”

This is the result of “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Words can hurt much more, and have a much more reaching effect than mere “sticks and stones.” Words can destroy us and keep us from being who we are truly capable of being. But at the same time, words can lift us up and and make us better than we ever thought possible.

It all depends on the words we use and how we use them. Words are important.

Pixar Cofounder Ed Catmull on Failure and Why Fostering a Fearless Culture Is the Key to Groundbreaking Creative Work | Brain Pickings.

Categories: Art, On Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

15 Retronyms for When You’re Talking Old School | Mental Floss

15 Retronyms for When You’re Talking Old School | Mental Floss.

These are really interesting. I wonder how the relate, linguistically, with things like “Hamburger Meat” and “Tuna Fish” both of which have the addition of unnecessarily specifying to which group they belong.

It’s also an interesting conversation starter to think about which words are going to need Retronyms in the future. We already specify 3D vs 2D films, but I could see that becoming something we’d need to be even more specific about in the future. It might even become immersive vs. flat. What about books? Are we already moving into Retronym territory by having to specify print book instead of e-book?

In any case, I think it’s a fascinating look at the way we interact with the words around us.

Categories: History, Of General Interest | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Mom!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Happy birthday to my mom!!

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Categories: Personal | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

DAVID Magazine: Paparazzi Me

David may 14My latest article for David Magazine is here.

This is the one I was talking about when I posted recently about the infamous Ellen Selfie.

There’s all sorts of other great stuff in this month’s issue, which marks 4 years of publication this month.

So, congratulations to Max and Joanne, Steve and Brianna and everyone else involved with putting out this consistently entertaining and award winning magazine!

Categories: Articles, Writing | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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