thoughts on pop culture

September SciFi Nerd Calendar Up at

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before, but all sci-fi lovers should head to at the beginning of each month when they release their latest Science Fiction calendar. The calendar includes books, dvds, movies, television shows, comics, author signings and conventions taking place during the month.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Blu-ray, dvd, Home Video, Internet, Movies, Scifi, Technology, Television | , , , | Comments Off on September SciFi Nerd Calendar Up at

Excellent 2009 Blu-ray Review Roundup

As of last year, I stopped buying DVDs and only purchase hi-def discs for my collection. With rare exception, I don’t plunk down my cash for blu-ray discs unless they meet two criteria: 1) Amazon better have a great price (under $25) and 2) It better have a great review from Their reviewers do amazing in-depth reviews of every disc that comes their way, and they haven’t steered me wrong yet.

And, if you keep an eye on their page, you’ll never pay list price again.

Read the 2009 Mid-Year Blu-ray Report Card at

July 14, 2009 Posted by | Blu-ray, dvd, Home Video, Movies, Technology | , , , , | Comments Off on Excellent 2009 Blu-ray Review Roundup

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan – Coming This Fall

You didn’t really think SciFi (or SyFy if you insist) was going to just stop cashing in on BSG did you? It looks like we completists will get our wishes granted this fall when they reveal The Plan, a tv movie that’s going to show us just what the Cylons were thinking before they blew up humanity. Obviously this is just a 82 second trailer, but it was enough to get me excited. I challenge you to listen to that gravelly Edward James Olmos voice-over and not get excited yourself.

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Movies, News, Premiere, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Battlestar Galactica: The Plan – Coming This Fall

Movie Review: The Hangover

The Hangover Alan

The Hangover – Comedy – Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis – Directed by Todd Phillips – R – 100 minutes

What is it like? The Hangover = (Old School + Road Trip) x Superbad

Favorite Scene? It’s very difficult to choose, but I think it would have to be the scene at Jade’s apartment. From Alan’s comparison of their situation to Three Men and a Baby to his comment about the Holocaust Ring, this sequence was brilliant comedy. Honorable mention goes to the photo montage that closes the movie, it certainly made me laugh histarically.

Something new? Definitely. It may be hard to believe, but this isn’t just another “The guys go to Vegas and go crazy” movie. The way the story unfolds is truly unlike any other comedy I’ve seen. I heard an interview with Ed Helms where he described the movie as Bachelor Party meets Memento, and I think that is a pretty fair characterization. While Todd Phillips certainly included some of his trademarks (like a perverted cameo for himself and the inappropriate wedding singer from Old School) he still managed to take this story to a whole new level.

Is it quotable? Holy shit yes. Zach Galifianakis’ lines alone are enough to keep you busy quoting for a long time. As much as he steals the movie as Alan, the rest of the cast has plenty of great lines of their own.

Theater or Rental? See The Hangover in as full a theater as you can. This is one of those laugh-out-loud comedies that is even better when you’re part of a large audience. It is extremely rare for me to see a comedy twice in the theater, but I did and I think I actually laughed more then second time. If you miss it in the theater, don’t bother with the rental, go ahead and put this directly into your shopping cart. Based on what they got into the R-rated version, I can’t wait to see what the unrated video release contains.

June 20, 2009 Posted by | Movies | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Movie Review: The Hangover

Movie Review: Up


Up – Animated/Family – Starring Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson, Christopher Plummer – Directed by Pete Docter – PG – 96 minutes

What is it like? A mash-up of Secondhand Lions, Indiana Jones, The Goonies, and White Fang.

Favorite Scene? The montage of Carl and Ellie’s relationship was an example of what makes Pixar the undisputed champion of animated features. It hit every emotional note I can think of, and all with no dialogue. The marriage of the most advanced computer animation with all the classic techniques of silent film show us that the creators at Pixar have a huge amount of respect for the medium they work in.

Will kids like it? Based on the full theater I sat in, the kids enjoyed it very much. However, there were a few scenes that hit more adult notes and lost the kids in the process. I heard a lot of fidgeting and talking during those moments, although for the most part the kids were entranced. I saw it in 3D, and there were lots of oohs and aahs throughout.

Will adults like it? Absolutely. Pixar films are always good at appealing to the adults who have to bring the kids to the theater. The difference with Up is that I think the adults will actually enjoy the movie even more than the kiddies. As I mentioned above, there are a lot of adult emotions in this movie, which by definition are better understood by adults.

Theater or Rental? Theater, without a doubt. It’s easy to think that 3D isn’t that big of a deal since every big animated movie this year is being released in 3D. That is not the case with Up. Pixar took the time to invent a whole new method for creating 3D animation, and it shows. The movie is not filled with gimmicky 3D that jumps out of the screen for no reason. Instead, they use the technique to create the depth and scope that makes you feel like you’ve really traveled to a South American jungle plateau. As for the rental, don’t bother.  You’ll want to go ahead and pre-order this one on blu-ray (or dvd if you must) in plenty of time for Christmas 2009.

May 31, 2009 Posted by | Blu-ray, dvd, Family, Movies, Premiere, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Movie Review: Up