Thursday, August 4, 2016

Good Bye Bachelorhood!!!



Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Again, I’ve been a little lacking in my updates… but ironically it’s because I’ve been so busy. The wedding is moments away… so I thought I’d throw in one more blog post before half of this blog becomes Izzy’s. Let’s see… what’s new?

Last weekend, Izzy & I hung out with Big Ben & Lone Cicerone to hang out, drink a few beers, trying out our Nacho Cheese Fountain, and watch some Game of Thrones… because we party EPIC!!! Pictures of the fountain in action coming soon with the wedding & receptions…

I passed the Beer Judging Certification Program (BJCP) online exam and have taken the tasting exam… but I apparently won’t know the results for 2-4 months, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted. I feel pretty optimistic about it all though. I’ve been learning a lot… and Izzy has too… even though I really haven’t had a whole lot of time to bunker down and study, I feel like we did pretty well. So hopefully I’ll be BJCP certified in time for all of the Oktoberfest festivals & pumpkin beer.

After the tasting exam, our teacher Keith Kost (who’s won more homebrewing ribbons than… I think just about anybody… seriously, this guy knows his sh*t and has forgot more than you’ll ever learn) invited us to his new home for some pizza & beer. His homebrew setup is… without exaggeration, the bottom half of his house. He also has a fully bar with four taps, something like five fridges for storing his dozens & dozens of beers, a cellar for his sours & aged beers, it’s just basically what every Man (and a few women) which their basement/garage looked like… complete with a sh*tter & shower somewhat randomly in the middle of it. F**king gorgeous… he & his wife were gracious hosts… and again pictures coming soon, mostly for my own reference when I get some space & a home…

We also helped clean up the backyard of Izzy’s aunt Teri’s house for our wedding reception on Sunday… so that was fun… but yeah, the wedding is mere hours away now. The plan is to go to Lake Tahoe for the actual wedding, small ceremony on Sand Harbor Beach…then back to the Bay Area for a California reception… then the following weekend drive out to Utah for a reception out there. Pretty easy, right?

Sorry ladies, I will no longer be the single & ready to mingle man that I was in my… I don’t know, mid-27’s? Yeah, haven’t really been that guy but… yeah, It’s gonna be great… I’m super excited to marry the Love of my Life and start our life together. So until then, I’ll have plenty of pictures and stories when I come back… but have a great weekend everybody!!! Check out Everything I Learned From Movies Podcast if you haven’t already. It’s… pretty amazing. Good bye bachelorhood!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SUICIDE SQUIZZAAUUUUDDD!!!



Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,



Izzy & I had a wonderful opportunity to see a preview screening of a movie that I have been waiting YEARS to be released… and that is the latest movie from the DC Comics Cinematic Universe “Suicide Squad” from director David Ayer (“End of Watch”, “Fury” & “Sabotage”)!!! Now, for those who may not be aware… the Suicide Squad was a comic book series where a group of DC Villains are assembled by Amanda “The Wall” Waller (I’m not sure what her official title is other than “bad b**ch who runs sh*t” but something like director of some secret government agency) to basically use their powers to save the day as kind of… forced mercenaries (think Snake Pliskin in “Escape from NY”). In this movie, when Midway City is under a “terrorist attack” / Incan Witch Gods set on destroying humans, Amanda (Viola Davis) must assemble a team to take them out because… I guess Batman & Superman are busy in their own movie? Anyway, she assembles a team featuring the legendary mercenary Deadshot (Will Smith), the Joker’s ladyfriend Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Killer Croc (Adewale), Slipknot (Adam Beach cameo), Captain Boomerang (why does Hollywood like Jai Courtney?), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Kitana (not Miho from Sin City), and led by decorated officer Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman)… who also happens to be banging the lady who one of the witch gods has possessed. Got it? Good… now let’s go to the Pros & Cons…



What I Liked About this Movie



·         The Premise of the Movie – Look, I’ve been excited about this movie for years… and it has such great potential… and some of the aspects really shined. They’re a group of misfits coming together to do something good. Check. Not all criminals are absolutely evil… even if all they do is kill a bunch of people with no remorse. Ugh… okay, I’ll allow it under the right circumstances I guess. The overrunning theme of “bad b**ch” saying jump through this hoop or I’ll ignite a grenade that’s lodged in your skull to do her bidding. Dark… I like it. I love Escape from New York… hell, even L.A. wasn’t too horrible… or “Lockout” / Space Jail which was the same story (so much so that they had to pay an undisclosed amount to John Carpenter this past week, but not this movie). What I’m saying is… there’s potential. This is basically the Guardians of the Galaxy of the D.C. Cinematic Universe… and in case you forget, they’ll remind you at any moment with everything from the makeup of the team, the soundtrack, the color schemes, all that stuff. Seriously, I kinda want to do a side-by-side of the two groups… but hey, Guardians made a LOT of money… and this movie probably will to.



·         Harley Quinn eye candy – It’s what she’s there for… let’s be honest. Is her superpower the ability to make a dead man come as Mick Jagger would say? She’s f**king insane, brings a baseball bat to a gun & fire fight, doesn’t provide any intel on the situation, and is constantly getting people killed by trying to escape with her boyfriend but… DAT ASS!!! GIVE THAT ASS A SPIN-OFF MOVIE!!! Oh wait, they already are… so yeah, for being an absolutely pointless character in the actual movie, I can’t wait for all the drunk chicks dressed as trailer trash with a baseball bat with their boyfriends dressed as Li’l Wayne meets David Bowie during Halloween this year… but more on that other guy later.



·         Will Smith – The man is Hollywood gold. He can act, he has all the charisma in the world… and when he’s not making sons for his son Jaden to ruin, he’s always making money for producers around the world. Without him, this movie never gets made. Maybe some half-ass version of it but… he really ends up leading this movie. Between him & Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, that’s really 80% of the actual acting going on in this movie, I think. Also, action-wise, the scene where Deadshot goes solo ape sh*t on the army of “tar monsters” or whatever they are… easily the high point of this movie. It’s what the whole movie should have been.



·         The Soundtrack – There’s a pretty prevalent theory out there that if your movie is sh*t, as long as you spend a lot of money on easily recognizable songs that keep people vested in the movie, you should do okay. Guardians did this. Deadpool did as well. However, there’s a very thin line before overcompensating and making a soundtrack absolutely ridiculous & annoying. Now… I have the soundtrack as something that I like on this movie because… it was okay. However, there were quite a number of points in the movie where I thought “this song doesn’t work here, there should be an orchestral score or something else… the music is stealing the scene, not complimenting it.” You’ll know the scenes when you see/hear them… but yeah, I’ll allow it in this case.



What I Didn’t Like About This Movie



·         “The Threat” – Look, I’m giving the drama introduced in this movie a pass because you need conflict for the movie to work. I get that. My question throughout the movie though was… okay, so a little backstory, the Enchantress & her Brother (Incan Witch God things) are these super powerful beings, thousands of years old, and are reawakened in present day Midway City. Humans no longer fear them… so they are devising this weapon to destroy all humans… and apparently it takes the Enchantress several hours of belly dancing & levitating about a hundred tanks & hummers in a giant orb a few hundred feet in the sky over a skyscraper to create this weapon while… her brother scratches himself in the corner? Okay, I dig it. What is this weapon? What could it possibly be that will destroy all humans? I mean… it’s not like they’ve been tearing through them like tissue paper anytime they approach them, or turning them into an army of tar monsters as I mentioned before. The weapon… is basically just a way to blast satellites… and satellite dishes… apparently knocking out our communications links & making it so the citizens of Midway City (and I assume the world) can’t play Pokemon Go. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Where’s Superman??? Is he at another congressional meeting??? (slaps forehead)



·         The Joker – Look… I admire that Jared Leto has gone full method acting into being a crazy f**k while preparing & playing the Joker role. I get it. I also know that without Joker & Batman playing a part in this movie you’re left with… Rick Flagg played by Robocop reboot guy (who actually did pretty damn good in my opinion but… kinda thought he looked like a meth head most of the time) and you need it to tie into the cinematic universe that they’re making. I know why the Joker is in the movie… but this Joker is not the Joker. In this movie, Joker is all psycho… with no fun or flair or charisma. Frankly, no idea why Harley Quinn or anybody would enjoy being in the same room as this guy… less fall in psychotic love with him. This Joker just seems so f**king angry all the time & is not enjoying himself, which is kind of the basis of his entire character. That f**king annoying laugh of his is the perfect example. Think of a good Joker laugh! You’re thinking of Mark Hamill’s from the animated series probably, right? Not the laughing pocket thing from Jack Nicholson’s pocket once the batteries wore out of the first Batman movie. He’s just not intimidating… or likeable… or anything that Joker should be. The love story with Harley is just more disturbing than anything relatable. I get it… their mental health is lacking. Also, he dresses horribly… but hey, colorful, right?



·         Captain Boomerang – WHY DOES HOLLYWOOD INSIST ON JAI COURTNEY??? He’s just not good! Also, the character is an Australian guy with mutton chops who throws boomerangs. Okay. What else you got? Oh, he chugs random beers in almost every scene? Awesome. What else you got? He carries a pink unicorn stuffy? You stole that from Deadpool! Why? Ugh… okay, well at least he does something at some point in the movie to help out in any way, right? NO!?!?!?!



·         Killer Croc – Sigh… do you remember Jamie Foxx as Electro in “The Amazing Spider-Man”? I’m fairly certain that they just adjusted the color of the costume from blue to green to make this character. Poor Adewale probably had to be in makeup for like six hour each day… to do little more than move like one of the monkeys from “Congo” and try his damnedest to make intelligible words come out of his mouth. He was supposed to be the Drax the Destroyer of the group but… ugh… nope. Bane was more intelligible than Killer Croc.



·         Adam Beach Cameo – Poor Slipknot… played by Native American actor Adam Beach (“Windtalkers”) but… well, let’s just say that when you’re introduced really late in the movie & your superpower is being “able to climb anything” that you might as well be wearing a red shirt in a Star Trek episode.



Overall Impression - I would definitely check out the movie. Thanks to the marketing & PG-13 rating and all the stuff that came up recently… I went into this movie was some low expectations, especially considering the badass potential of the premise. Jesus… WILL SMITH IS IN THIS MOVIE!!! MARGOT ROBBIE!!! Tom Hardy was almost in this movie until he was replaced with Robocop last minute. Amanda Waller makes her debut!!! JOKER & BATMAN!!! The movie was better than my low expectation… but not as good as what it could have been. Typical middle of the road stuff… and frankly, there are a few good scenes… and a few scenes that’ll make you question who the f**k made this movie (slow motion in the finale keeps popping up in my mind as “WHYYYY?”) but overall, compared to a lot of other movies out there, this wasn’t bad. There were… mixed reviews in the theatre that I watched it in afterwards… but more positive than negative. I hope there’s a good R-rated version of this movie coming out with the Director’s Cut but… I’m sure it’ll be middle of the road as well. Still though… DAT ASS!!!



Anyway, just a few thoughts to throw at you before you go & see the movie this weekend. Let me know what you think… maybe you’ll get a shout-out on the Everything I Learned From Movies Podcast!!! Have a great day everybody!!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Bachelor(ette) Party

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
 
This past weekend was my Bachelor Party… well, sort of. Originally it was going to be a gaggle of us (male & female) just having a wonderful weekend in Santa Cruz… but unfortunately one guy hurt his back, others had work & other real life stuff happen… so essentially it was just a wonderful weekend with my future wife, her best friend Flea, and her cousin Amy briefly. TEAR IT UP!!! We had dinner at Lazy Dog in Cupertino Friday night, then spent the Saturday checking out breweries in the area & the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
 
First stop was the taproom for Santa Cruz Aleworks where we had some pickled eggs, chips & salsa, and some of their beers on tap including an Oatmeal Stout, Kolsch & their season “Rye Like An Eagle” IPA. Good stuff, check them out…
 


  
Second stop was Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing about two miles away. Their taproom had a REALLY cool copper tree growing behind the bar… and their drink selection was pretty impressive as well. I personally loved their People’s Porter. Here are some pictures…
 
Then we stopped at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to have some lunch, play some arcade games & take great pictures…
 










The third brewery of the day was Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Capitola about ten minutes from the Boardwalk. He had visited this location a while back and… frankly weren’t that impressed with the selection. However, our beer buddies informed us that apparently we must have hit them on a bad weekend where they were doing a bunch of festivals or something because they have DOZENS of distinct beers available typically… so we tried them again. This time, there was definitely more selection with about a dozen different brews that were essentially a variety of IPAs, saisons & porters… and yeah, they’re pretty damn good. Check them out if you’re in the area. I wouldn’t make it a destination brewery just yet… but definitely worth a stop along the way…
 
The fourth & final brewery of the day was New Bohemia Brewing and… frankly this was our favorite of the entire day!!! This is the first time that I’ve heard of them, but the taproom is on point… their beer selection was low in variety but great in quality. They had a beer called Queen Bee which was an “Imperial Honey Lager” which is a style-bender kind of beer… but it was very malt forward, very potent with nearly 10% ABV, and extremely delicious. Check THAT out! The others were really good too, including a Dunkelweizen. They even let us bring in some badass burritos from down the street to the bar. Best of all though… they had LIVE bluegrass playing BEHIND THE BAR!!! Check out Wail Aways online!!! Definitely check them out if you’re in Santa Cruz… heck, I saw check their schedule for live performances & coordinate a trip to go see them. Great place… here are the pictures…
 





  
So yeah, not your typical Bachelor Party… and honestly it was just a wonderful weekend hanging with my fiancée & her best bud… but yeah, absolutely fantastic weekend! Can’t wait to do it again!
 
Also, we brewed a Honey Amber...
 
...and we tested our Cheese Fountain for the wedding... spoiler alert, it works lovely.

 
Since then, I’ve been… experiencing some unpleasantness. My work has been accusing me of completely ridiculous things… I assume to get a rise out of me (or keep me in the company as long as possible for as little pay, which is a poor method of retaining exceptional talent). My former roommates are trying to extort money from me too. Basically when I moved out, upon their request, I left them a couch and gave my stereo to a roommate. Well… six weeks since the last time anybody has contacted me concerning… anything, they send an email requesting that I pay half of a trash pickup bill for those items (and stuff from another roommate who wasn’t officially on the lease so good luck proving that SHE even lived there… dizzy cunt). For many reasons, this is ridiculous. If they didn’t want the stuff, gladly would’ve taken it or disposed of it back when I did the rest. Also, there’s a free service with the apartment that takes care of all of that. ALSO, send me a text & I can take precious time and effort out of my day to remove my items for you. Nope. Just send an email saying that I owe them hundreds of dollars because… they decided that they didn’t want the free stuff six weeks later. Yup, I told them that it was completely ridiculous & wished them the best of luck with their new living arrangements. Drop mic.
 
The “Event Horizon” episode is up at eilfm.podbean.com on the Everything I Learned From Movies Podcast, but coming up in a few days… the next episode will feature a fairly similar movie, 1998’s “Sphere” starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone & Laurence Fish… NOPE, SAMUEL L. JACKSON!!! You may want to listen to the podcast to find out why I specifically had to point that out. Beers were involved… as is always the case on EILFM. Until next time, have a great weekend everybody!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

NBA Free Agency is NUTS!!!



Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Wow! NBA Free Agency… is f**king nuts. I’m definitely going back to Utah and teaching my nephew Vinny to put all of his eggs into that basket and become a professional basketball player… or at the very least a left-handed pitcher in baseball. That way, he has a 1% chance of landing some ridiculous contract that’s going to make us all feel bad for wasting our lives on education & hard work. Chandler Parsons got $94 million??? You don’t even know who he is!!! Mike Conley is getting over $30 million a year in Memphis??? THAT’S KOBE MONEY!!! So much for being “the other guy at Ohio State” in Greg Oden’s shadow, I guess. Yes, I purposely did NOT say THE before Ohio State. Anyway, google it… it’s f**king ridiculous… and apparently only going to get worse next year. Kevin Durant has joined the Warriors… Pau Gasol is with the Spurs… Dwight Howard is in Atlanta… and Memphis spent a quarter billion dollars on two guys you’ve never heard of (Chandler Parsons & Mike Conley jr). Stay in school, kids!!! Until you get drafted…

Last week, I finally watched “The Revenant” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a man who is mauled by a bear, and left for dead in the Old West… but not before a man who leaves him (Tom Hardy) kills his son… so the Power of Vengeance helps him to rise from what I can assume would be absolute death in the wilderness… and on a path to find his son’s killer. That’s basically the movie… and Downhall Gleeson’s in it. However, the movie was pretty f**king good. This movie is based on a true story (sort of… there was no son murder or anything, just being left for dead) but the movie is beautifully shot by director Alejandro Inarritu (“Birdman” & “Babel”) and there are some great performances and looooooong shots of pretty epic scenes… but also pretty gruesome… and some points where you really have to suspend your disbelief. That being said, I highly recommend checking it out as long as you’re okay with a little gore… and a LOT of low-angle tree shots and majestic shots of the Canadian wilderness. Check it out!

Izzy & I watched the latest Coen Brothers flick “Hail, Caesar!” which has an all star cast of Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, and out of f**king nowhere… CHRISTOPHER LAMBERT!!! By the way, he looked like Old Connor McLeod from “Highlander 2: The Quickening” in this movie with the makeup… but his part was brief. As for the movie… I feel like the Coen Brothers basically… just wanted to do a couple great homages to the Golden Age of movies like Fred Astaire dance numbers, those dance numbers with synchronized swimmers, somewhat cheesy soundstage army & gladiator movies, one actor/actress playing multiple characters obviously, and basically just wanted to do the scenes… but had to tie them all together somehow… and what you get is this movie. It’s about the head of studio trying to handle a ransom of its biggest star, without stopping production on the movie, and handling a starlet about to have a baby out of wedlock in the scandalous times for that… and he has a family for like three minutes… but yeah, don’t worry about all that. If you’re trying to make a coherent movie out of it… Were that it’were so simple… check it out if you like Coen Brothers stuff but… it’s barely above “Burn After Reading” for me personally. Not their best… and I saw the dance numbers in the previews leading up to the movie’s release and those are the best part.

I (not Izzy) also watched a newer movie called “Green Room” starring the late Anton Yelchin (so sad) & Sir Patrick Stewart. This movie is from the director of “Murder Party” Jeremy Saulnier and is the story of a punk band who takes a gig in the Virginia wilderness where it’s… essentially a skinhead neo-Nazi party, but that’s no big deal. That’s the clientele. Well, after their set, one of them goes back into the green room to grab a cell phone… and they see a body lying on the ground… and so they call 9-1-1 but then they’re essentially barricaded in the green room… and it’s revealed that the cops are not wanted in the area, because of not only the stabbing… but they also produce massive amounts of heroin directly under the green room/crime scene. Well, the owner of the establishment (Stewart) shows up to “clean up the mess” by… well, taking care of the witnesses. What follows after that… is pretty f**king awesome (and gruesome) and just a twisted little tale of backwoods butchery. I highly recommend checking it out… but I warn you that there’s a bit of blood… and guns… and machetes… and hungry dogs… and angry white people with swastika tattoos… and confederate flags… and adult language & situations… and all that stuff. I enjoyed the movie though.

Also, let us know if you’re interested in being a special guest host for upcoming movies. We’re currently laying out our slate for the month of August when we’ll be too busy getting hitched to do it the same week… so we’re looking to get some backlog so that you’re constantly entertained… and we want YOU to be a part of the magic! Come join us at Super Secret Podcast Studios and we’ll introduce you to the Castor & Mr. Pickles too!!!

The next episode of Everything I Learned From Movies will be… the 1997 sci-fi thriller “Event Horizon” which is currently streaming on Netflix, so check it out & then listen to us at eilfm.podbean.com. This movie is… Bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!!! Not only am I SUPER interested in what the movie could have been if it were released the way that the director wanted it to be… but THIS MOVIE ACTUALLY SAVED CINEMA FOR YEARS TO COME!!! SPECIFICALLY SUPERHERO MOVIES!!! How did it do this? You’ll have to listen to find out… but the story is pretty f**king awesome. In the meantime, have a great day everybody!!!

Where Should I Go Next?