Saturday, March 21, 2015

Nightcrawlers, Dolphins & Other Zoo Critters

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
This last weekend was pretty chill… Saturday we didn’t do much of anything… it was certainly a long-awaited day of rest. So during that day, we watched a movie called “Day of the Dolphin” that based on the IMDb synopsis, I didn’t believe could really exist, even in the 70’s. Basically, a marine biologist has spent years teaching dolphins to talk… like… speak English… and understand it, not just mimic it. Okay, that could be a real-life documentary. Then one day, the dolphins are stolen (fin-napped?) and are involved in a plot to assassinate the President of the United States. Go ahead & read that last line again. Ridiculous, yes? Now… what if I told you that it had TWO Academy Award winning actors in it… IN THEIR PRIME!!! Yes, George C. Scott is the biologist! Three years removed from “Patton” glory! Paul Sorvino is in it too (and the late great Edward Hermann as a youngster). Not only that… this movie was nominated for two Academy Awards!!! Yes, it was for original score & sound… but still. Anyway, I enjoyed this movie… but it’s not nearly the action thriller that you think it is. Run time is about 100 minutes… I’d say that easier the first 75-80 minutes is them basically playing with dolphins and adding some plot about being able to make them speak English, which makes sense… but I mean, the only thing separating this from a well-shot documentary for the most part is Paul Sorvino’s occasionally menacing stares & pretty plastic corporate types towards the last ten minutes or so of this portion. After that though, the last twenty minutes goes pretty quickly & finally gets some action… and leads to probably the most ridiculously awesome six-seconds in cinema history, which I officially made my first (and probably last) Vine entry. That’s right… this movie made me take to social media! If you like dolphins, check it out instead of “Zeus & Roxanne” or “Flipper” or some other stupid sh*t like that… go with assassination attempts over… I don’t know, sexual tension? Is that what’s in that Guttenberg movie?

Next up was “Nightcrawler” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton & Rene Russo and from wrtier-director Dan Gilroy (directorial debut but wrote “Real Steel” & “Bourne Legacy” among others). The story is centered around Lewis Bloom (Gyllenhall) who is a desperate guy trying to find work in Los Angeles & get money through just about any means possible… but he’s very driven & self-taught through the internet and other mediums. One night, he’s wandering around and stumbles upon the world of seedy crime journalism when a camera crew (led by Bill Paxton) catches some of violent & primally stimulating underbelly of the news… and he wants in. So he starts learning what he can, convincing others to join him in his quest, and eventually become quite the devious individual… even going to the point of interfering with crime scenes and ‘framing the shots’ of victims before the police get there… and it only goes downhill from there. Personally, I thought the movie was f**king great. Gyllenhaal plays a genuinely creepy, unemotional dead-eyed individual with occasional bursts of rage but always contemplating the next move… eternally driven to one goal no matter who or what is in his way… and the worst part is that he’s actually pretty successful at it in this movie… and there’s really no reason why he shouldn’t be. I would highly recommend going to check it out… but be warned, there’s some violence… and language… and it’s just a pretty intense movie… but well worth it. Even Izzy liked it in spite of the gore. Check it out now!
Sunday, we drove out to San Jose for a little pre-St. Patty’s day party with Izzy’s buddy Bob Burgers… and he’s just a nice, cool dude. I really like him. Basically we had plenty of food, beer & entertainment (mostly conversation and DDDR – Drunken Dance Dance Revolution) but yeah, good times had by all… no real pictures to share though… sorry, but good fun.
Tuesday night was St. Patrick’s Day but after work was our monthly meeting with the San Francisco Homebrewers Guild. We’ve been growing at an INCREDIBLE pace this past year (since I took over as Outreach Chair, patting myself on the back) so now we’ve had space concerns with our wonderful arrangement at Anchor Brewing… so we had to start ID’ing people to make sure that they’re really members of the guild as opposed to friends of friends of friends of members just showing up to get free drinks & not even pay attention to our speakers (happened a few times). It went fantastic this time around though… and still a pretty packed house, which is great! We announced our winners for our Irish Red or Irish Dry Stout competition (I was not among them) but we had over 50 entries, which for this size of a competition is pretty amazing!

Saturday, Izzy & I headed over to the San Francisco Zoo… because we're awesome... here are some pictures...

...and also, as promised, here are some pictures from our walking around this past week...

Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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