I had some fun taking pictures with my red cruiser and the tree in the back yard.
13. Take a random picture once a week for a year and make a photobook at the end (11/52)
I had some fun taking pictures with my red cruiser and the tree in the back yard.
18. Get an object to take with me on travel to take pictures of
With a score of 5-1, last match up's winner was Mini Iron Man over the Three-Eyed Alien. With only two slots left in the second round, who will advance next? This next match up is another all-monster battle. First up, a monster who hail from a lagoon...that is black...the Creature from the Black Lagoon!
Creature From The Black Lagoon
His opponent, from the planet Zagon and the film This Island Earth...The Mutant.
Mutant from This Island Earth
Please place votes in the comments.
13. Take a random picture once a week for a year and make a photobook at the end (10/52)
This was my first time taking some photos outside at night. I just took some random shots from the passenger seat of a car.
First I would like to say this doesn't really contain spoilers. I do talk about a few jokes and such, but these are not crucial to the storyline.
I have always heard about advance screenings of movies, but I had never had the opportunity to take part in one before. This week I received some free passes to see an advanced screening of Paul. As my readers may know, Paul is ranked number two in my Most Anticipated Films of 2011 list. It is now number one (out of one) on my favorite films of 2011 list.
I have been a big fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for a long time now. I'll watch any movie they're in, but I especially enjoy when they work together. Paul is their latest collaboration, though it's the first time they work together without Edgar Wright directing.
Paul is a comedy/sci-fi about two Brits who fly to America to attend Comic-Con in San Diego, then continue with a road trip to some of America's UFO hot spots. While on the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada, they stumble upon an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) who is trying to escape the government. Paul crash-landed in Wyoming in the 1940's, and had since been kept a secret from the outside world. It turns out he wasn't necessarily imprisoned however. He in fact worked as sort of a liason to many things, including having a large influence on science-fiction writers and film makers. When questioned about why he looks like all the stereotypical images of aliens, he says it was a precautionary measure taken by the government so if he escaped, people would be accustomed to his appearance.
So Paul and his two new friends, Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost), are on the run (in an RV) from Paul's handler Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman) and two rookie agents who don't know they are in pursuit of an alien, Haggard (Bill Hader) and O'Reilly (Jo Lo Truglio). Along they way they pick up an extremely Christian one-eyed woman named Ruth Buggs, played by the always wonderful Kristen Wiig. As you can see, Paul has a great comedic cast of actors whose names you may not know but whose faces you're sure to recognize. In fact, there are several cameos that will make you say, "Hey, it's that guy/girl! You know, the one from [fill in the blank]."
The thing that I found most entertaining about this film was the countless references to science fiction. References to such films as Star Trek, Star Wars, Predator and Alien to name a few. Also, Paul references several Spielberg films, including E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Back to the Future and Indiana Jones. Often these references are extremely subtle and you'll only catch them if you're a big fan (read: Geek) of all of these things, which I am.
People might get a bit turned off by the fact that the main character in this live-action film is a CGI character. I found myself not even thinking of Paul as an animated character. The animation was superb and the interactions with the other characters were very lifelike. I also personally enjoyed the scenery, as virtually the whole movie was filmed in New Mexico.
I very much enjoyed Paul, and it appeared as if the packed theater audience did as well. Hopefully what you've read here will inspire you to see this film. Paul is rated R for adult language, so keep in mind there is lots of cursing. It is mostly used for comedic purposes though, so hopefully that doesn't turn you off too much. I give Paul 8 out of 10 stars on IMDB. It probably would have been a 7, but I felt too much joy from all the references. I found myself shaking my head about this one guy sitting behind me who kept saying, "Why is that funny? I don't get it."
Paul will be officially released in theaters March 18.
Part of my quest to watch classic movies recently brought me to a pair of Alfred Hitchcock films: The Birds and Rear Window. I think I mentioned this in the Godfather review, but the thing about classics is you tend to already know about them and feel like you've seen them because of pop culture. After watching them both, I'm pretty sure I've never seen them. I watched Rear Window on my own and The Birds as a movie night with a few people.
35. Watch 20 films that I haven't seen from the "AFI 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary)" list (5/20)
Rear Window (1954) is widely considered as one of Hitchcock's greatest films. The film stars James Stewart (It's A Wonderful Life, Vertigo) as a photographer, L.B. Jeffries, who was recently injured and is confined to his apartment in New York City. Jeffries spends his time watching people from his window, often neighbors who are inside their apartments. It could be argued that this idea alone is immoral, but it seems to work for this film. Jeffries begins to notice something unusual taking place with a man who lives in another apartment building. Based on various clues, Jeffries believes the man has murdered his wife. Jeffries tells his nurse Stella and girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), and they begin to work with him to figure out the mystery.
The suspense in Rear Window continues to build throughout the film, eventually coming to a pinnacle near the end when a truly thrilling scene takes place between Jeffries and the suspected murderer. This is in no way a scary film, but my heart was certainly pounding during the climax of the film.
Rear Window is the epitome of a Hitchcock film. You won't find moments that make you jump, gore or scary killers. You will however feel the suspense.
37. Watch 10 films from IMDB's "Top Rated Horror Titles" that I haven't seen (1/10)
The Birds (1963) is a film about a coastal town in California that becomes the victim of an unexplainable series of violent bird attacks. Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) is a weatlhy socialite who meets a lawyer named Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a San Francisco pet shop. She figures out where he lives and tracks him down to Bodega Bay. While there, birds begin to act wierd around town. It starts with a seagull attacking Melanie while she is on a boat. The attacks increase in size and violence.
My favorite scene which I found a bit chilling was just outside the schoolhouse in town. Melanie and Mitch are waiting to pick up Mitch's young sister from school while we see a few crows land on playground equipment. The camera then begins a series of cutting to the characters, then back to the playground where each subsequent time there are more crows. Eventually the playground is covered in hundreds of crows. Of course they do attack in time, but the build up of the suspense was brilliant. After watching this and Rear Window I am truly impressed with Hitchcock's ability to build suspense. It is an exciting thing to experience.
The film never answers why the birds are attacking, and at first I was a little bummed out about that. I quickly realized however that I prefered it that way, as it leaves the viewer with something to think about.
Overall I enjoyed both Hitchcock films. I look forward to watching more of his films. If you want to watch a good, classic, suspenseful thriller, check out both Rear Window and The Birds. In fact, you could probably watch most of Hitchcock's films and get the same experience, though I'm yet to determine that as fact.
With a score of 2-1, the Luchadore defeated Taz to move on to the second round. For this next match up, we have the third finger puppet of the competition vs our first superhero. In the first corner, hailing from Roswell, NM (though I found him in Albuquerque), the four-eyed alien finger puppet.
Four-Eyed Alien Finger Puppet
And in the opposite corner, hailing from the pages of Marvel Comics. This is what would happen if Tony Stark and Wayne Szalinski were to collaborate. He is Mini Iron Man!
Mini Iron Man
Please submit your votes via the comments section below.
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