Friday, June 27, 2008
5 out of 5 Davies. *****
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The Top 2:
If these aren't the two best movies of the year, I will be greatly shocked.
The Highly Anticipated:
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - David Fincher has some awesome movies. The trailer looks great.
- Gonzo - Hunter S. Thompson is one of my favorite authors, and this looks like an excellent documentary on him.
- Burn After Reading - From the looks of the trailer, this should be another classic from the Cohen Brothers.
- Choke - A good book from Chuck Palahuniuk (author of Fight Club) and the movie looks promising.
- Pineapple Express - Looks hilarious. [Red band trailer, probably NSFW]
- Tropic Thunder - Ben Stiller has been stale lately but this film looks like it might change that.
- The Admiral - The trailer is very impressive, despite the fact it's entirely in Russian with no subtitles. I'm sure the American release of the movie won't have that problem.
- War, Inc. - Looks like it could be a funny satire.
- Quantum of Solace - The newest James Bond film will hopefully improve upon the success of Casino Royale.
- Miracle at St. Anna - It looks like there is more to this movie than simply a World War II film but it looks good from the trailer.
- The X-Files 2: I Want to Believe - Looks like it could be a solid second installment in the X-Files movie franchise.
- The Good, the Bad, and the Weird - This ridiculous-looking Korean spaghetti-western looks like it could be hilarious.
- Traitor - An interesting action/political thriller starring Don Cheadle.
- OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies - This should be a funny French spoof on the 1960s spy genre.
Might Not Be Bad?:
- The Mummy 3 - The first two movies weren't terrible, so this might be a decent action movie.
- The Clone Wars - You would think I would be more excited about this, seeing as it is Star Wars related but I have no faith in George Lucas anymore.
- The Rocker - Could be funny.
- Righteous Kill - Normally a film starring both Robert De Niro and Al Pacino would look awesome, and this but could be good, but the trailer didn't blow me off my feet.
- RocknRolla - Another British crime film by Guy Ritchie.
- Taken - Looks like a decent action movie starring Liam Neeson.
No doubt there are some I've missed, but that's all for now.
Friday, June 20, 2008
"The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation," said Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, the only senator who voted against the Patriot Act in 2001. "The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President’s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home."I don't see how someone can argue that this isn't a horrible thing. By definition, the very fact that Congress had to vote to grant telecom companies retroactive immunity means they were breaking the law; which also means that whoever ordered the companies to break the law--the Bush administration--are guilty as well.
California lawmaker Barbara Lee referred to the days of J. Edgar Hoover and concluded, "This bill scares me."
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Washington) slammed retroactive amnesty, asking "Don't we realize there are some lines we should never cross?"
But the short debate and quick scheduling made it clear that the House leadership was confident the measure would easily pass, thus sparing conservative Democrats from campaign ads in the fall attacking them for not being tough on surveillance.
Even if trust the Bush administration and don't think they would use these powers for ill, how can you be okay with the precedent this sets? All it takes is for a would-be tyrant to get into office, and all the groundwork has already been put into place. This should have nothing to do with allegiances to political parties.
Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats who have continued to give the Bush administration a free pass to violate the Constitution should be ashamed, not to mention removed from office. They are either cowards for being too afraid to oppose Bush, or they are crooks and villains guilty of greed and a lust for more power at the expense of our liberties--in other words, they are cut from the same cloth as Bush, Cheney, and the rest. It's time to start holding our elected leaders accountable; they are in Washington to look after our interests, not their own. Steve Chabot will never get another vote of mine until he stops toeing the Republican Party line and starts voting for the Constitution. Even Barack Obama disappointingly seems to be too afraid to disagree with the Democratic majority. Some "change" that is. It's truly a sad state of affairs when Dennis Kucinich is one of the most rational, patriotic politicians in the federal government by actually standing up in defense of the Constitution.
Why are we so willing to impeach a president for lying about oral sex, but not for repeatedly violating the Constitution? Which one of these actions truly represents "high crimes and misdemeanors"?
I think George Orwell could see the future when he wrote 1984, he was just off the mark by about twenty-five years.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I wish that the South American World Cup qualifying games were also being aired on TV. The United States completely destroyed Barbados 8-0, and sadly we have to play them another time. In the three games the U.S. has played against Barbados, the cumulative score now comes to a total of 19 goals to none.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Weezer attempted to channel the success of their debut album when they finally returned, making it their second eponymous album and even using a similar album cover. What has come to be known as The Green Album is a good pop album, but it failed to reach the same level of excellence as the band's first two efforts.
Things got worse with the band's next two albums, Maladroit and Make Believe. Maladroit featured a more "metal" sound which resulted in a lot of dull tracks, although the album is not without its highlights ("Burndt Jam" and "Keep Fishin'" to name a couple). Make Believe was even more disappointing considering the album was made with Rick Rubin, one of the best producers in music. While "This Is Such a Pity" ranks up there as one of Weezer's best songs, the album also features "Beverly Hills," which might be the worst piece of garbage Cuomo has ever recorded. Aside from a couple decent tracks, the album was the band's weakest yet.
With their latest release, Weezer once again tried to mimic the success of their first album by self-titling their new record and using a similar cover, Weezer (The Red Album) is way off the mark from the band's early releases. It shows a slight improvement over Make Believe, but that may have more to do with the fact that the record doesn't have any songs as bad as "Beverly Hills" and "We Are All On Drugs" than that it features better songs. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of stinkers here like the emo-sounding garbage like "Heart Songs" and the irritating "Everybody Get Dangerous," but they aren't the worst we've heard from Weezer. Cuomo can't be blamed for all the bad songs, as the tracks written by the other members of Weezer ("Thought I Knew," "Cold Dark World," and "Automatic") are equally awful. The album has a couple hits like the catchy singles "Pork and Beans" and "Troublemaker," but most of the other tracks are completely forgettable. The Red Album is ultimately another disappointing release from a band that we know can do--and has done--much, much better.
- 1994: Weezer (Blue Album) - 5 out of 5 Davies
- 1996: Pinkerton - 4 Davies
- 2001: Weezer (Green Album) - 3 1/2 Davies
- 2002: Maladroit - 2 1/2 Davies
- 2005: Make Believe - 2 Davies
- 2008: Weezer (Red Album) - 2 Davies
Monday, June 09, 2008
I'd never been much of a hockey fan before this year, but I happily jumped on the Cincinnati Cyclones bandwagon halfway through the 2008 season. I ended up having a blast at the first game I went to and went back a couple more times, especially for the sixth and final game of the championship series against the Las Vegas Wranglers. It was a close game, but the 'Clones ended up scoring twice in the third period to escape with a fantastic 3-1 victory and--most importantly--become the 2008 ECHL Kelly Cup Champions! Next year will find me cheering the team on again, although the sad reality is the team will likely see its best players leave for positions with teams in the NHL and AHL...
Jess and I went out for our six year anniversary last week. Crazy to think about how long six years really is. Anyway, we went to dinner at Nada, which was delicious, and afterward went to Nicholson's for a drink. Both establishments were fantastic; I would highly recommend both of them...
Thanks to Christy and Rob for registering and voting for my Capture Cincinnati pictures. I will add more as time goes on, so keep checking back.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Cin Weekly has started their second annual Capture Cincinnati photography competition, in which local photographers submit their photos in a contest. The photos with the most votes will be featured in the book Cin Weekly will publish.
I created an account weeks ago, but I just now got around to uploading some of my shots. The competition is pretty stiff, and I simply cannot compete with some of the people who clearly have A) Better photography skills, B) More expensive and nicer cameras, C) A solid knowledge of Photoshop, or D) All of the above. That said, feel free to create an account and vote for my photos, if you should feel so inclined.