Category Archives: Movies

D.J. Pangburn on The Walking Dead

The Walking DeadD.J. Pangburn: “The joy of experiencing that first episode of The Walking Dead was to see Rick experience a surreal, post-apocalyptic landscape; to feel in an almost sublime way the melancholy horror of it all.That feeling, which was the greatest strength of The Walking Dead for me, is now gone; jettisoned for budget reasons more than likely. But let’s say that budget is only part of the story. If Glen Mazzara and Robert Kirkman believe this is dynamic, visionary television, then they are woefully mistaken.”

I love this series. I haven’t missed an episode but it is beginning to feel a bit repetitive. I loved Season 2, on the farm. It was the calm before the storm. Now it’s definitely stuck in a loop, but hey, what should we expect? There are zombies everywhere! How can the writers make it more interesting? Well, they introduced another tribe into the mix and made Rick go off the deep end.

Hey, can someone kill off The Governor already? I’m getting pretty sick and tired of that guy.

Saturday Morning Coffee, Afternoon Edition

My brother, Jay, or rather Jerry as you know him, usually has a piece on his weblog called “Saturday Morning Coffee.” It’s something I look forward to reading. There’s always something I find interesting. It looks like we’re not going to get a post today, so I thought I’d run one.

Let’s get started. Here’s how Jay starts his post:

“So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….”

Rob's Coffee MugOh, he also includes a picture of the coffee mug he’s using. Here’s mine. Unlike Jay I only have one I use regularly. Not that we’re lacking in the coffee mug department, we have quite a few, but this one is mine. It’s a hand crafted masterpiece I purchased at our local Farmers Market.

Super Bowl

Unless you’re one of those folks that don’t like football you know tomorrow is Super Bowl XLVII, in beautiful New Orleans, LA. The Baltimore Ravens will face the San Francisco 49ers. I’m pulling for the Ravens. I’ve had a hate-hate relationship with the Niners since “The Catch.” I was a Cowboys fan at the time and even though I’ve moved on to the Bears the hate for the Niners remains. Let’s hope Baltimore can pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Speaking of Baltimore. It looks like Ray Lewis has caused a bit of a crap storm over his quick recovery from a torn triceps early in the season. PEDs, or performance enhancing drugs, are not new to pro sports. This is just another in a long line of pro athletes being called out. I’d wager to bet he did use something to help him recover, so did Lance Armstrong, and Barry Bonds. Hey, it’s a part of pro sports. I’m probably in the minority here but I say let them use PEDs under the care of a licensed physician as long as they’re aware of the problems associated with them. They’re adults, let them make the decision.

Hey, how about this for goofy move. CBS has banned SodaStream’s Super Bowl commercial. Really weird. From a Forbes report:

“CBS banned SodaStream’s Super Bowl spot because, apparently, it was too much of a direct hit to two of its biggest sponsors, Coke and Pepsi.

Please pause and read that sentence again.”

That says a lot about how fragile Coke and Pepsi have become as a business. It looks like it’s time for those companies to rethink what they do if they’re scared of SodaStream. Things change. Roll with the punches guys. Good luck SodaStream.

Don’t call me RIM

It looks like BlackBerry is not the official name of the company formerly known as RIM. Does anyone else remember the “RIM Jobs” website. Good one. Anyway, BlackBerry announced the new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 phones this week. The Z10 is a touch based device while the Q10 holds true to a traditional BlackBerry device and has a physical QWERTY keyboard. At first glance I thought the Z10 looked a lot like an iPhone 4, and tweeted as much, but later I realized it’s not as similar as I thought. At first glance the back of the device looked like the all glass iPhone 4 back, it’s not.

I think the Z10 looks pretty nice and the Q10 is a great choice for the keyboard loving BlackBerry loyalists. Will they succeed? Only time will tell.

Twitter Hacked

It looks like hackers were able to gain access to 250,000 user accounts. Whoops. I find the choice of headlines in the weblog post announcing the hack disingenuous. The headline read “Keeping our users secure” then goes on to explain:

“This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users.”

Come on guys. Quit spinning bad news like it’s a good thing. You should’ve said something like “We’ve been hacked. We’re sorry.”

Weekend Box Office

It looks like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is number one at the box office. We haven’t seen a movie since The Hobit and have missed a bunch of great films that have released since the fall. I think my wife and I need to get out a bit more often. Maybe we can catch Hansel and Gretel soon.

The Twilight Zone, A.K.A. The Stock Market

As Jay pointed out last weekend, Apple took a hit on the stock market. They reported record revenue. The largest revenue of any corporation, ever. From an Extreme Tech article:

“Yet again, Apple has broken its own record and posted revenues of $54.5 billion — the greatest quarter of any company ever — driven entirely by sales of the iPhone and iPad.”

Of course the stock tanked.

On the flip side we have Amazon. A great company? Absolutely. They did however report a $39 loss million for the year. Their quarterly report wasn’t great either:

“Net income fell 45% to $97 million, or 21 cents a share, down from $177 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Street consensus was for EPS of 27 cents. Sales were up 22% to $21.27 billion, from $17.43 billion a year ago. That, too, missed Street views of $22.26 billion.”

The stock was up, of course.

The market is a fickle thing.

The End

Have a great weekend and make sure to visit Jerry’s site next weekend for the real deal, not this wannabe version of Saturday Morning Coffee.

Rob’s 2012 Summer Blockbuster Must See List

It’s hard to believe blockbuster season is upon us, which means it’s time for my list of must see movies. Enjoy.

Bad Ass April 13th Trailer
The Pirates! Band of Misfits April 27th Trailer
The Raven April 29th Trailer
Meeting Evil May 4th Trailer
The Avengers May 4th Trailer
Dark Shadows May 11th Trailer
The Dictator May 11th Trailer
Battleship May 18th Trailer
Men In Black III May 25th Trailer
Prometheus June 8th Trailer

Rock of Ages June 15th Trailer
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter June 22nd Trailer
Brave June 22nd Trailer
The Amazing Spider-Man July 3rd Trailer
The Dark Knight Rises July 20th Trailer
The Bourne Legacy Aug 3rd Trailer
Total Recall Aug 3rd Trailer
The Odd Life of Timothy Green Aug 15th Trailer
Paranorman Aug 17th Trailer
The Expendables 2 August 17th Trailer


Here are my lists from prior years: 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Of the films on this list the movies I’d most like to see are The Raven, The Avengers, Dark Shadows, Prometheus, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Brave, and The Dark Knight Rises.

Picking just one this summer would be impossible.

UPDATE #1 – May 4: Added Meeting Evil.

2011 Box Office Down

New York Times: “LOS ANGELES — With five days left in 2011, ticket sales in North America are running about $500 million behind last year — despite higher prices — prompting a round of soul searching by studios trying to determine what went wrong and how best to proceed.”

The article goes on to say higher 3D ticket sales propped up the box office, but I definitely don’t agree. I prefer 2D to 3D any day of the week. 3D is a gimmick, nothing more. It doesn’t do anything to enhance the experience unless you’re interested in seeing something hurled at you. It doesn’t make the story better and the film is darker. Who wants to see a film with poor lighting? I certainly don’t.

I hope movie studios focus their effort on better stories in 2012. I don’t need “Sharks 3D.” I’m looking forward to The Hobbit, Batman, and Prometheus. I really hope all of them give us a 2D option. Heck, I’m more interested in seeing a film shot at 48fps than ever seeing another 3D movie.

3D Must Die

Forbes: “Innovation will happen with or without 3D film, and in some pretty important ways I think that 3D is actually an impediment to true innovation in film and film technology, crowding out true experimentation in favor of a one-trick-pony.”

3D really needs to die. It is nothing more than a gadget aimed at raising prices.

Look, I’d pay more for a great 2D film than a crummy 3D film any day. It’s not like “Sharks 3D” is worth seeing, right?

Netflix by Mail now Qwikster

Netflix Blog: “So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently. It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”.”

Qwikster? All of the good names must have been taken?

John Lasseter, Cars 2

Los Angeles Times: ‘EMERYVILLE, Calif.—
“Honnnnnk! Honnnnnk!” John Lasseter had explicit instructions about how the Galloping Goose, an antique steam train character in “Cars 2,” should look and sound, and he was delivering them with brio. It was January and the animation czar was making the hourlong commute from his home in Sonoma County to his Pixar office here on the outskirts of Oakland in the passenger seat of a town car. On his lap, he balanced an iPad loaded with shots to review while he recorded voice memos for the movie’s crew: “Like a diesel horn. I wanna have air horns on his roof,” he told them, voicing the nasal sound he wanted. “He is just unbelievably cute, you guys.”‘

Great story, it’ll make you want to work for Pixar.

2D Pirates Conquer 3D Pirates

Movie City News: “Figuring a very rough average ticket of $9 for non-3D and $12 for a 3D ticket, they sold 3.6 million 3D tickets and 5.2 million non-3D tickets. This flips how the distribution was set up regarding 3D… 59% of sales were non-3D and just 41% were 3D”

We chose to see 2D Pirates because 3D blows, there’s no better way to say it. I hope the movie studios are listening.

Don’t do 3D because you can, just tell a great story.

I want this

Ahhhhhhh!Holy Kaw!: “That’s right. The red-brick Georgian beauty that housed so many of Macaulay Culkin’s shenanigans is hitting the housing market on Thursday, and will be selling for $2.4 million.”

If I had a huge pocket full of cash I’d buy this place. I know my lovely wife wouldn’t mind.

Actually, there’s another one I think I’d prefer. The home from Father of the Bride. It’s perfect.

The home used in the film is in Pasadena, California.