5 Comments

  • fuwalda says:

    I can’t believe you gave this film two stars and Into Darkness three stars. This movie was way better and more entertaining, in my opinion. Then again, this movie was trying to be little more than a b-level sword and sorcery film while Into Darkness thought it was epic sci-fi in the tradition of Star Trek. I’m a fan of the original Solomon Kane stories, and while this wasn’t very faithful, it was at least as faithful as any of the adaptations of Conan have been. Anyway, I thought it was fun.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      heh. I dunno…I didn’t like it. When I rate these films, I just try to come up with some sort of formula based upon how much I was entertained + how successful the film accomplished its goals + the craft of the filmmakers. On all of those fronts, I didn’t think Solomon Kane was very successful.

      But you should totally write a review and I’ll link to it below in the Second Opinions section. 😉

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      I guess the thing with me about Solomon Kane is that I felt a little bored while watching it. Say what I will about Star Trek Into Darkness, I don’t remember being bored.

  • fuwalda says:

    Into Darkness bored the shit out of me. I actually fastforwarded through the last twenty minutes or so.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      And you call yourself a Trekkie. How many times have you sat through Star Trek: The Motion Picture? 😉

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Solomon Kane (2009)

solomon_kane_poster3[1]

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Why do I keep watching movies like this? I’m always disappointed. If the IMDb rates something a 6, I should really just assume it’s going to be a waste of my time. But there’s always this voice in the back of my head that keeps saying, “Maybe the masses just didn’t get it!”

I’ll tell you why I watched this one, specifically: because Robert E. Howard invented some really neat pulp fiction characters (not, merely, Conan the Cimmerian)–I really appreciate his unique mix of sword and sorcery; and because it stars James Purefoy, who was so brilliant as Mark Antony in HBO’s Rome.

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7 Comments

  • fuwalda says:

    I read a novel by Donald Westlake once. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was about a reporter at some National Inquireresque tabloid. It was very funny and very good. And, of course, you and I both saw Donald Westlake once back in college. Remember that? He was very funny very good. I should check out more of his stuff. Maybe I’ll walk over to my local library.

    I read Connecticut Yankee years ago and didn’t love it. I’ve never been able to get into any of Twain’s stuff. Then again, I don’t think I’ve read any of his stuff since I’ve been an adult. Maybe I’d appreciate it more now. But when I go to the library later, I’m going to look up Donald Westlake first. I’ll never forgive Mark Twain for trying to double cross Data and Guinan.

    And I don’t know nothing about any of this music, except for Teagan and Sara who are pretty great. At least their first album was. I should download Spotify. Actually, I do have it… I just never use it. I think I found it confusing and gave up. When I’m at the library I’ll ask somebody how to use it.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      I generally like Mark Twain, but I haven’t read much by him except what I was compelled to read for school. It did take me a little while to get into this one, but once I got into it, I found it to be pretty funny. The character’s arguments with people who think they’re being logical but are actually being the opposite of logical based upon some sort of specious reasoning kind of reminded me of some arguments I’ve had.

  • fuwalda says:

    Oh, and I love Black Knight. Great movie.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      Well, in any case, I’d say it was probably better than the 4.4 rating it has on the IMDb. Or maybe it’s not. But I do remember laughing.

  • fuwalda says:

    It’s no Blue Streak.

  • fuwalda says:

    I just gave it a ten. Why not?

  • fuwalda says:

    Oh, and the guy in that Connecticut Yankee picture… he’s totally playing pocket pool.

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Reviews of some random stuff

No movie reviews today, so I’m going to do away with the customary star ratings that I usually attach to things, since I’m even worse at reviewing non-movie media than I am at reviewing movies.

The Hunter by Richard Stark (Donald Westlake)

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3 Comments

  • fuwalda says:

    I used to think I was a nerd because I read Star Wars novels, until I met a man who reads Star Wars Videogame novels.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      heh. Tell me you never read a book based on a video game.

      But joking aside, the way I see it, Star Wars is Star Wars. I actually like the Old Republic period better, because…I don’t know…it bothers me a little bit reading about stuff that happens after the Star Wars movies, especially when I feel like they do a disservice to the characters I loved in the original trilogy.

  • fuwalda says:

    I’ve read some books based on videogames.

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Books Read Lately

A few random comments about some books I’ve read lately.

Revan by Drew Karpyshyn

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3 Comments

  • fuwalda says:

    I think this was the first time I’ve ever actually seen Patrick Warburton emote. In fact, I think this was the first time I’ve seen him act. Why isn’t he allowed to do that more? Why does he always have to play Puddy in every movie and TV series?

    Don’t get me wrong… that’s a funny character and he’s good at it, but come on. Let the man show his range. Same with John O’Hurley. Does he have to play every character as J Peterman? Is it just that Seinfeld was so popular that every minor character actor who appeared is now completely stereotyped forever?

    Oh, and “this has something to do with building schools in Pakistan or some shit” should be a blurb on the cover of that book.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    You know how every terrible movie that comes out always has some blurb on the commercial like, “The most fun you’ll have at the movies this year!” or “Carrot Top is a national treasure”? And you know that nobody actually said that. Anyway, they should have guys like us write those blurbs.

    “This wasn’t as big of a piece of shit as people said it was.”

    “It was worth a dollar from the Red Box.”

    Stuff like that. I’d be more willing to see a movie like that.

  • fuwalda says:

    “This movie wasn’t all that good, but it’s got Robert Wuhl and he’s always good. Actually wait… I was thinking of Robert Loggia. Go rent Big instead.”

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Article

Product Placement

On YouTube today, there’s a big-ass advertisement for some newish Honda ad campaign starring Patrick Warburton. Most of the world will probably remember Warburton as David Puddy–Elaine’s on again/off again boyfriend–on Seinfeld. He also does a shitload of voice acting work, where he doesn’t have a tremendous range, really, but he’s usually pretty great. I particularly loved him as Kronk in The Emperor’s New Groove and as Brock Samson in The Venture Brothers.

I like the guy–what can I say? So I clicked to watch the video.

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6 Comments

  • fuwalda says:

    A Jedi Hutt is just about the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. I wish I had thought of it first. Heh.

    Mace Windu is a bad ass who got punked by Anakin. He beat Palpatine fair and square.

    As for the mask concept… I don’t mind it. It’s kind of clever, and it does help to resolve the fact that, frankly, Palpatine’s deformity made no sense. I was fine with the fact that his face got messed up when his force lightning got deflected back to his face, of course, and didn’t really think it needed more of an explanation, but I don’t mind the retcon to explain it either.

    My question is… what happened to Mace Windu after he fell out of that window? The expanded universe writers have brought back every other dead character, why haven’t they resurrected Mace?

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    “A Jedi Hutt is just about the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. I wish I had thought of it first. Heh.”

    I felt the exact same way. The only thing that would make it better is if Beldorion used the same lightsaber form as Yoda.

    Okay, okay. I guess I got more annoyed about that alchemical mask thing than I should have, but it just irked me how much second guessing goes on around that one scene.

  • fuwalda says:

    The prequels make so little sense, that I can forgive the fanboys (myself included, I guess) who attempt to explain all of the stuff that doesn’t add up or went unexplained.

  • fuwalda says:

    Did you ever see that Clone Wars CG movie? There was a Hutt in that who was based on Truman Capote. I’m not making that up. Weirdest character ever.

  • fuwalda says:

    Oh, and in the Clone Wars CG series, there was a robot based on Paul Lynde. Heh. That was weird too.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Why was that? So they only had to hire one voice actor? Rich Little?

    I haven’t really watched the series, and I didn’t see the movie. Sounds funny, though.

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Stupid Stuff Learned At Wookieepedia

Nothing to do with anything, but last night I dreamed that I was posting on my blog about something that I had dreamed about inside of my dream. Did somebody perform an inception on me?

Anyway, here are a couple of stupid things I actually learned about on the forums for Star Wars: The Old Republic and then researched on Wookieepedia.

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16 Comments

  • fuwalda says:

    I would’ve skipped it too.

  • fuwalda says:

    Oh, and so would you. 😉

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Nah, if they’d done something like this when we were entering college, everybody would have gone. I think it would have been more expected that you’d go at Goucher than it was here.

  • fuwalda says:

    I remember when we were incoming freshmen and Catch 22 was required reading before we got there. I was safe because I had already read it, but nobody else had. Amar hadn’t. Keith hadn’t. Did you read it? If you say yes, I’m going to quiz you.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    I did read it, but I barely remember anything about it. I remember the movie better. What I do remember is that the book put me to sleep many times. I don’t know why–it was just a slog for me. Outcasts United was a very brisk read. You didn’t have to always be thinking about what you were reading.

    I should probably try to reread Catch-22 someday. Maybe I’d like it more now.

  • fuwalda says:

    And sure, I’ll agree that this is *maybe* a well intentioned assignment, but again… I don’t blame the incoming frosh for skipping the assignment. Why would anybody need a shared literary experience with a bunch of strangers, most of whom they’ll never even meet, only to have one or two discussions about a book that was chosen for the entire student body at large? I think a better idea would be to have a few choices, and then the discussion groups could’ve been based around those.

    Or, even better, don’t have any reading assignments at all. It’s summer and they aren’t even in college yet. They just graduated from high school and are on their way to becoming adults, and they get more homework from the school they haven’t even started? Fuck that shit, man. I’d sleep all summer too. Who the hell wouldn’t? It doesn’t mean your lazy if you sleep all summer between your last year of high school and your first year of college. It means you’re smart and understand that’s the last time you’ll ever get to do that for the rest of your fucking life.

    Pardon my French.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Come on–in an entire summer, these kids can’t sacrifice maybe three hours of vegging out to at least get the gist of the book? This is about the easiest thing anybody is going to ask you to do in your college career, so you may as well do it and try to get something out of it.

    If all I had to do in school was read books and show up to talk about them, I’d have been the best student ever. It was all of the writing assignments and other homework I hated.

  • fuwalda says:

    I just think it’s a silly assignment that serves no purpose other than letting the college administrators say that they are doing something. Meh. Wait until they get there before you give them homework.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    And I disagree. I think it’s a good way of providing students some sort of intellectual stimulation that will warm them up for the college experience and maybe help them to make connections with students who, as you say, they might otherwise not have any other reason to associate with over the course of their college career.

  • fuwalda says:

    High school was some sort of intellectual stimulation that warmed them up for college.

  • Andrea Blum says:

    You can bet your life I never would have taken any of that malarky! You guys had to read a few books. Do you remember “A Thousand Acres?” That’s just one of the ones I remember you reading. Justin, I absolutely agree with you. Do you think the world has changed so much since you went to college that students just can’t value this type of experience? Oh-Fuwalda-notice how I’m just disregarding the fact that you’re from the same generation as Justin. That’s because I don’t really believe you feel that way. You can’t convince me otherwise (but I still like you!)

  • fuwalda says:

    My mom would’ve been of the same opinion as me: Once you graduate high school, it’s no longer a parent’s job to nag their children about homework.

    • Andrea Blum says:

      In my job I meet a lot of people who have achieved a fairly high level of excellence in their lives. Many of them tell me they would never have amounted to anything if they hadn’t been pushed by parents(and that includes time after high school). Since I heard this story from Justin, I’ve told it to a few people. They all say their parents wouldn’t have tolerated their slacking off like that. Being 18 doesn’t mean you’re ready to make good decisions.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    To this day, I still need nagging. I think that’s the lifetime responsibility of parents.

    Yeah, A Thousand Acres…I thought I had to read that for my Freshman year. I just couldn’t remember if that was for a class or if everybody had to read it.

  • fuwalda says:

    That was that dumb book based on King Lear, only set in the rural midwest or something. Don’t rewrite Shakespeare, people. Get your own damn stories.

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Outcasts United

The University at which I work does a summer reading assignment for Freshmen. It has a noble intention, I think, in that it attempts to provide the entire incoming class with a shared literary experience. The semester starts on Monday, but the Freshmen have already arrived for their various orientation events. Today was meant to be the day that these students would be divided up into book discussion groups so that they might enjoy their first quasi-academic college encounter.

I volunteered early on to be a discussion leader for this event, since I’ve got some experience running book clubs at my previous public library position. I also enjoy discussing books and other forms of recreational entertainment, as should be obvious from this blog.

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