Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grown Ups?

The parking lot was full tonight at the mall and there were long lines to see the romantic vampire movie. We, though, went to see "Grown Ups", the new Adam Sandler movie with his usual cast plus many, many more. This movie is different from his other movies in that he said he wanted to make a movie that his kids could watch. It is one of those movies that doesn't have big laughs, but you smile all the way through. It has about three stories going at once. 1. It is about old school buddies who get together at their coach's funeral. 2. It compares kids today with video, texting, etc. to the outside games of the past. 3. It shows couples and families re-connecting from lives that are too busy. The jokes and pranks are in the seams. For those who wonder it is PG. Yes, it does have plenty of junior high Adam Sandler scenes.

A good summer movie that takes place on the 4th of July.

I give it **3/4 for 2010 movie #26

Yes, There are HUGH crowds at the romantic vampire movie!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Life Changes

The real A Team is staying with us this weekend and I am watching the changes. Avery is watching Zac Brown videos on my Ipod hooked to the Bose speakers and Asher, who is now standing, is bobbing his head in time with the music.

Addison, who helped mow the yard today, still is the same and even asked to watch a Star Wars movie. After I stared the movie Addison asked, "PaPa, why did you buy all these Star Wars movies?" "Because you and Avery wanted them." He responded, "Avery doesn't like them anymore so why did you buy them?"


What we got here is a failure to communicate!

We took the two oldest grandsons to see "TOY Story 3 (3D)" today. It was an enjoyable movie and the kids seemed to like it because it was about toys and day care. The 3D in this movie is not the "coming at you" type of show, but very sophisticated animation that looks real. I continue to believe that this movie is for older adults. After all some of the toys are from 30-40 years ago. There are no Transformers or Cars toys. But that is not the weird thing. In the middle of the movie the plot changed to "Cool Hand Luke" where the Big Bear is giving the rules to the new toys where breaking a rule meant "a night in the box." His whole dialogue was from the Warden in Cool Hand.
The only thing he didn't say was the title of my post. Cool Hand Luke is over 30 years old! Most of the adults in the theater probably didn't get it either. Our grandkids stayed with it because they had glasses. The only question they had was, "Is that really how garbage dumps work?"

But the movie did one thing that is true to all Disney Cartoons, there is loss and sadness at the end. They kill Bambi, the Lion King, and Andy leaves the toys for a new life!

I give it **1/2 stars.

2010 Movie #25

Friday, June 25, 2010

Like Knight and Day

A lot of people were going to see the Grownup movie tonight, but instead I went to a movie for grownups. We went to see Tom Cruise & Cameron Diaz in "Knight and Day". This movie is what summers are for. Comedy, Action, Not taking things seriously and not depending on junior high humor is the ticket. It has been compared to "Mr. & Mrs. Smith". I see the comparison because the chemistry of the two stars is great. They are perfectly cast in this. It is fast moving and fun.
Secret Agent Man meets the Girl who restores GTOs. I even thought of McClintock, the old John Wayne movie action and comedy. I could see it again. While there is nothing offensive except some cursing and of course mid way through the flick Ms. Diaz uses a form of the F word to win the coveted PG13.

I liked it a lot and give it ***stars.

2010 Movie #24

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pimps and Preachers

That got your attention!

"Pimps and Preachers" is the new CD by Paul Thorn (one of my favorite singers). The CD comes out Tuesday, but Carol ordered my copy as a birthday gift through a pre-sale. The Songs include:
the title track (about his dad and uncle); Tequila is good for the heart; Better Days ahead; I Hope I am doing this Right; I don't like half the people I love; and more.

One of my Favorites is "You might be Wrong"
Muslims, Christians, Buddhist and Jews
got their own version of the truth.
There's a line in the sand, There's a war goin on
They forgot to remember, You might be wrong!

Carry your faith everywhere you go,
Mix it with Love and let it show
but keep your mind open as you move along
and always remember, I might be wrong.


Why do you argue? Why do you fight?
Everybody thinks God is on their side.
Count to ten before you throw a stone
Whatever you believe, you might be wrong.

Don't cut me off. Don't say that we're through
Just because I don't agree with you.
You see flowers grow where seeds of love are sewn,
You could be right, you might be wrong.


What's on the other side of life?
I won't know until the day I die.
If you feel INSECURE, you are not alone
Everybody knows, you might be wrong.

Paul is the son of a Pentecostal Preacher. You might not agree with his theology, but he always has food for thought about how we treat each other. You could be right, but you might be wrong!

Trust me great CD!

Cartoon Fix

Friday, June 18, 2010

When You're Hexed you need the A team

Time for a movie fix. I know that the best new movie out today is "Toy Story 3", but I have a rule against seeing two 3-D animated movies back to back. (A New Rule). We decided to take a chance on the new western starring Josh Brolin, "Jonah Hex". A western on a hot summer day just sounded right. We made it for at least 10 minutes before hitting the exit. The hero rides his horse into town and is surrounded by bad guys. They start shooting and as if by magic Mr. Hex pulls out two Gatlin Guns from each side of the horse and kills everything in sight. These guns sort of popped out of the horse and were almost as big than the animal. When the fight ended, they just went back to hiding. Now if this was Bugs Bunny or the Road Runner, its ok. But not like this.

With popcorn in hand, we headed down to hall to the only movie that had not started, "The A Team". I had not planned to see this. I liked the TV version 30 years ago, but this new version seemed too stupid in the previews. Tonight, Stupid was good. There was good comedy and a light hearted spy story that is no more far fetched than any James Bond and Super Hero flick.
It was good escapist fun, but I don't expect academy awards.

Good for popcorn. I can't rate Mr. Hex but I give "A Team" **stars.

2010 movie #23

I just love it when a plan comes together!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DeMille's Lion

When you use the words DeMille and Lion in the same thought, we movie fans think of Cecil B. DeMille and the MGM Lion. The Book fan in me thinks of Nelson DeMille and "The Lion". This is his sequel to his best selling book, "Lion's Game" that was published a few years ago. This Mr. DeMille is one of my favorite fiction writers. If you want escapism where you can learn a thing or two, look no further. " The Lion's Game" is a fictional story of a Libyan terrorist called the Lion who comes to America for revenge of a 1986 US bombing of Libya. The book is so well written and captured me by the throat and took me deep within the world of counter-terrorism in a way that would make Jack Bauer look tame.

The new book, "The Lion" is a sequel that picks up 3 years after the first book. Since I listen to books while a drive, I will need plenty of trips. I am half way into this new read and I am loving every bit.

All his books are good. "Up Country" about a Vietnam Vet who goes back to Nam years later remains my favorite, but the Lion books are close.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I am therefore I pod

My eldest Grand son, Avery, just reached 7 years old. His only wish was to get an Ipod for his birthday. He asked everyone to give him money to help his quest and as a result, he now possesses an Ipod-I Touch. When I first considered his request, I wondered if he was old enough to take care of such a responsibility. What if he lost it or misplaced it? You know how little boys are.

On a completely different subject, the day Avery got his first Ipod, I lost my first Ipod. All 450 CDs worth.

Shrek the Last

My theory of movie sequels remains the same. The longer you go the more you lose. We needed a dark room popcorn fix and went to "Shrek- Forever After". We accomplished the popcorn fix and the movie was short (only 93 minutes). Down side was that half way through the movie I was dozing. Also being 3-D, we once again had to buy two $4 pairs of glasses that we can wear once.

Shrek is unusual because it is a animation clearly made for adults. The story, the insider jokes and all are made for adults.

The movie gave me my movie fix without giving me a good movie. I agree with the poster!

I give it **stars.

2010 movie #22

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How the Big 12 broke up!

So I say to Nebraska, "$20,000,000 and a better academic conference". Tom Osborne says "That's great because the "N" always stood for "kNowledge". We had a big laugh and the rest is history.

Vegas for Baptists

We are in Branson to go to "Silver Dollar City" with the Grandsons and family. It is interesting that "Silver Dollar" seems like a reference to gambling (Vegas) because this is a wholesome family destination. Silver Dollar City is about things past and to my surprise all of Branson is still in the past. There is NO 3G here! Imagine thousands of us tourists who are all controlled by our smart phones and slowed from using "FaceBook", and "Words with Friends", and such. We may even start talking to each other and looking at nature!

People here come in groups. Church groups, Senior Citizen groups and large families. This does not exist in Vegas. That reminds me of a favorite joke, "Why do you always take more than one Baptist when you go fishing? If you take just one, he'll drink all the beer."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Duck out of water

Some of my favorite movies use the theme, "Duck out of water". The idea of someone being placed in a strange setting is fun ("Back to the Future" or "Castaway"). OR Someone who is in over their heads ("Date Night" or "Hangover" or almost any movie). It produces underdogs that become heroes, tension, anticipation, and surprises. It makes life interesting.

When I started Spaces, Design & Architecture (SDA) 17 years ago, I adopted a mascot, the
Sitting Duck. I have a print by Michael Bedard in my office (the copy shown here). I think of our firm as SDA (Sitting Duck Architecture). Good design comes from tension, exploring the untested, surprises and being edgy. It makes for Sitting Ducks.

On this anniversary of my trips around the sun I realize again that I am a "duck out of water" . I have had to stretch way beyond my abilities and have had to live on the edge most of my days being under funded, under lucky, and over ambitious. But I can't imagine it any other way.

DO what you can with what you have, where you are! The motto of Sitting Ducks who are "ducks out of water".

Birthdays, Film at 11

Friday, June 4, 2010

killer birthday movie

Tonight was Birthday Movie Night even though the birthday is tomorrow. We went to see, "Killers". It is a fun action comedy that has gun fights, car chases, awkward moments and good looking actors. In other words it is a true summer popcorn movie. It is PG13 because they say the F-word once about three minutes before the end. It was just what I needed for my birthday because the movie includes a birthday cake.

I give it **1/2 stars

2010 movie #21

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sequels R US

I noticed that we have seen 13 less movies in the first five months when compared to last year. I know that most people don't see 2 movies a year, so our 20 is a few. I first thought that we had just changed our focus until I realized the reason. Remember the Hollywood Writer's strike in 2008 by the Writer's Guild? This work stop has caused 50 less movies in 2010. This is why there are so many sequels and old TV shows made into movies. Think about it. How hard is it to write "A Team" or "Sex in the City" or "Marmaduke", etc.

Come to think of it isn't Lady GaGa the sequel to Madonna?

In country music everyone has to an "I'm Country from Hick Town and drive a tractor with my date to get drunk" song. They are sequels of bad redneck thinking.

How many TV dance contest shows will there be this year? AND They will all be followed by shows about people who talk to the dead and see visions of past lives to solve murders.

Come to think of it many of the buildings that are currently being built are bad sequels too!
But our designers haven't gone on strike. Yet! Hope never!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When company comes

You and I know what is meant by "Company is coming". But what about kids? What do they hear in that message? Last weekend we had the whole family and other kin folks at the house on Saturday. When that happens we sometimes give new rules to the grand kids. But, what if one of them lives in a world of imagination where he builds hospitals, mows lawns, and generally works for everyone for the thrill and the fun? That is Addison's world and he "owns" a company and is having a great time running it.

At one point Saturday he came into the bathroom where I was and said, "PaPa, You know when are in the bathroom, we need to keep the doors closed when customers are here."

I knew exactly what he meant.