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Showing posts from August, 2015

Movie Review: Interstellar (2014)

Alas, Interstellar. You could have been truly epic.

Expectations were high for this film: it was written and directed by Christopher Nolan and its main cast featured an array of Oscar winners and nominees. ALAS. The film's stunning images and fantastic score (by Hans Zimmer) are offset by the clunky dialogue and contrived contrivances.

Le plot: In the not-too-distant future, humanity is on the BRINK of starvation as crops FAIL around the world. An "anomaly" sends engineer/ space pilot/ stripper-turned-farmer Cooper (McConaughey) to a journey BEYOND the beyond, TO SAVE US ALL.

The movie starts out strong, especially when focusing on the relationship between Cooper and his daughter Murphy. But once the story gets going, the sheer beauty of space onscreen is almost overshadowed by the heavy-handedness of the script. The mandatory eye-rollingly stupid decisions, moustache-twirling villains, and in-the-nick-of-time realizations had me groaning and grateful that I only paid $…

Another Crucial Baby Lesson Learned

As Junior continues to level up, so too does his potential for terrifying hijinks. Yesterday was one such example. The picture provides proof of his power.

... Alliteration!

Anyway.

With Junior underfoot, I was ironing and concentrating on not having the little peanut grab the cord and pull the iron down on himself. As soon as I was done, I went to put the iron on a nearby unreachable surface. Then I heard a crash.

See, before I turned my back on him, Junior had pulled himself up using the bottom of the framed full-length mirror we had just bought and installed. As I walked away, he began pulling on it, and my forebrain made the calculations, consulted with my midbrain, and assured me that he couldn't possibly tear the mirror off the wall.

WRONG!

Junior had pulled in such a way that the hooks holding up the mirror had a conscious uncoupling from the wall, and the whole thing came crashing straight down. This is a good thing because, had it plummeted at an angle, the mirror's…

Movie Review: Trainwreck (2015)

There's plenty to like about Trainwreck. Written by comedian Amy Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, it's a romantic comedy that has a central formula (the Mismatched Couple) but also includes enough sports, profanity, dysfunction, and one-liners to appeal to a broad audience. "It's the perfect date movie," as my friend wisely concluded.

The "trainwreck" in the title refers to Schumer's character, Amy, a magazine writer who parties hard and lives her dad's philosophy: "Monogamy is bullshit." Assigned to cover a sports medicine doctor (Bill Hader), she discovers a mutual attraction despite her utter lack of sports knowledge or interest. And thus the freakout begins, because Amy has no experience with a lasting/grown-up relationship.

While the plot sounds like it's paint-by-numbers, the movie is saved by the dialogue and supporting characters, including Lebron James, Vanessa Bayer, and Tilda Swinton looking like a modern human (!).…

My Baby Looks Like He Ate Another Baby

(1) Mid-June                        (2) Early August
In the space of seven weeks, my favorite little peanut transformed from a tiny wobbling cherub into someone who looks like he's in construction and pounds Muscle Milk during his breaks.

His development has been rapid: he's unlocked crawling, pincer grip, responding to his name, yelling syllables to indicate...something, and cruising. His latest achievement is a multi-step process with the end goal of getting multiple Cheerios in his mouth:

1) Lick hand
2) Slam hand down on Cheerios on tray
3) Get lots of Cheerios stuck to hand
4) Shove entire hand in mouth

Truly, he is his mother's son.

He's also now able to stand on his own for about 2-3 seconds! Soon enough he'll be walking and his dad will be chasing him around. And then comes the natural next step...prepping him to get perfect scores on his SATs so he goes to college on a scholarship.

TL; DR: Babies grow up so fast!

This post brought to you by coffee! Coffee:…

Game Review: Tales of Symphonia (PS3)

Tales of Symphonia came out on Gamecube in 2003 and was ported to PS3 in 2013. This appears to be one of the most beloved games in the Tales series, popular enough to spawn a sequel and an OVA. I am perplexed as to hwhy.

Symphonia's main character is Lloyd, a young swordsman (obligatory) who is accompanying his childhood friend Colette on her journey to regenerate their declining world. If that sounds familiar, it's because it's the plot of Final Fantasy X (2001). But unlike FFX's Yuna, who is more of a Summon/Action Jesus (summon spirits to defeat the bad guy, die in the process), Colette is a Mana/Kidnapped Jesus (life to be sacrificed to restore mana/energy, gets abducted a lot).

I honestly don't know why this game is so appreciated by other gamers. It screws up the biggest JRPG element: the story, which is borderline incoherent and frequently moved forward by fetch quests to previous locations. Argh! And the sound effects are atrocious -- waterfalls sound like c…