Archive for May 19th, 2013

Well, the last thirty days have seen a good run of new movies for me: “Oblivion“, “Iron Man 3“, “The Great Gatsby” (last weekend) and yesterday, “Star Trek Into Darkness“.
The Great Gatsby – movie review
The Great Gatsby” movie is based on the “classic” novel by the same name and written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I saw the movie promo’s starting several months ago, and as I’d read the book several decades ago, I decided to do something I almost never do – read the book and then go see the movie.  On the rare occasions when I do both read the book and then see a movie based on a book, I tend to see the movie (and enjoy it), and then go read the book.  In all honesty, this is normally because it takes a couple of years for the movie to follow the book and I would pick up the book in paperback after the movie just cause it’s cheaper to buy it used then.
But I digress…  This book is from the 1920’s and the movie has been done multiple times since its initial publication.  I guess the most famous is the 1970s version starring Robert Redford (which I have never seen).  Anyway, my daughter is an English major and she has a copy of the novel, so I read it in advance of seeing the movie.The movie follows the book very closely.  The characters are not the way I imagined them from the reading, but the major scenes are pretty spot on to the book.  As I didn’t “like” the book, I ended up finding the book only slightly better.  The costumes and feel of the movie seem pretty accurate and the acting was okay, but a couple of things bugged me.  Visually, the shirts and coats of many of the men didn’t seem to fit.  Almost all were too tight, and many were too short (particularly in the sleeves).  Now, normally this wouldn’t bother me much – if it all – but one scene has Gatsby raining down clothes on the female lead bragging about how he has them sent from his personal clothier in London.  So, why don’t the shirts, vest or jackets fit?
The second thing which bothered me was the music score.  It was too modern.  It had a ’20s “jazzy” feel, but it wasn’t, and a couple numbers even seemed to be almost rap.
So, is this the “definitive” Gatsby?  Even not having seen any of the other versions, I’d be inclined to say no.  I enjoyed DiCaprio in the title role, but everyone else was kind of blah.  Well, Maguire was okay, but not better than so-so.  None of the other characters were the way I imagined them from the book and certainly none of them played the role better than my imagination – again, even though the book was followed fairly closely.  Final recommendation:  unless you are a MASSIVE DiCaprio or Gatsby fan, wait for TV release.
Star Trek Into Darkness – movie review
First off, full disclosure…  I watched all of Star Trek (the Original Series – aka ST:TOS) in first release back in the ’60s.  I have seen every episode at least five times (and most, many, many, many times more).  I even have the Enterprise and the Galileo Seven Christmas ornaments, for cryin’ out loud.  So, maybe this reviewer is slightly biased.  Having said this, what did I think?  This is a terrific movie!!  Get out your DVD of the first re-boot to get prepped and then RUN down to your local cinema to see this on a big screen.  Do NOT wait for this to come out on DVD unless you have a huge video set up at home.
Is this episode a “soap opera” in space? Yes (so what).  Are there “enough” nods to the original series and earlier movies? Yes!  Is there action?  YES!  Are the special effects up to snuff?  YES!  (Well, mostly.  Some of the CGI is pretty fuzzy / noticeable).  Is the acting good to great?  For the most part, yes!  These guys are really starting to own the roles, particularly the “minor” regulars Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin).  It goes without saying that Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Bones/McCoy (Karl Urban) are well played.  Once again, Scotty (Simon Pegg) dominates most of scenes he’s in.  And ethnic issues aside, Benedict Cumberbatch makes for a good Khan.  For me, the two touchstones of ST:TOS were humor and friendship.  Both are abundant in this movie.  I honestly believe that if you are in any way a fan of the original series, you will enjoy (if not love) this movie!!
Now, before all the absolutists start in on me, here are a couple of the “WTF” moments:
The transporter has a limited range (even in “The Next Generation” (TNG)), you can’t beam from one solar system to another.  So, Khan can’t beam from Earth to the Klingon home world.  Khan defeats the combined crews of three Klingon Birds of Prey (30 to 40 guys), but he can’t wup on one Vulcan (okay, so Khan was popped by 6-8 phaser stun blasts, but still), come on…  And finally, even at warp speed, travel from Earth to the Klingon home world is not instantaneous.  And, yes, there are other things, but REALLY, the movie is terrific!
Anything else?  Yeah.  Two “reality” points.  First, enough with the retread story lines.  The purpose of the reboot was to provide freedom for new stories, not just to re-hash the old stories with new actors.  How about Star Trek 3 gives us a new story?  Now, that I’d love to see!  Second, Pine isn’t younger than Kirk anymore.  If you’re not careful, you’re going to age Pine right out of the role for future movies.  I don’t see how you can do five years worth of exploration while shooting a movie once every three / four years…
Time will tell…
On This Day In:
2013 Defining Maleness
2012 All Set
2011 Not Always

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What Every Boy Should Know

I love reading great lessons that mothers should impart to their sons!  My college roommate has 2 boys older than our son, and she has often shared her advice to me.  She insisted her sons always ring the doorbell when picking up a girl, rather than the texting method most used by teenagers these days.  And as the mother of 2 girls, I must say that would have been refreshing.  So not only for the sake of your son, but also for the sake of the girl who captures his heart, teach him well.
1. Play a sport.
It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble. And maybe even throw or catch.
2. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don’t take something away from her that you can’t give back.
3. Use careful aim when you pee.
Somebody’s got to clean that up, you know.
4. Save money when you’re young because you’re going to need it someday.
5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom.
Now please go use them.
6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.
7. Don’t ever be a bully and don’t ever start a fight, but if some idiot clocks you, please defend yourself.
8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.
9. Treat women kindly.
Forever is a long time to live alone and it’s even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.
10. Take pride in your appearance.
11. Be strong and tender at the same time.
12. A woman can do everything that you can do.
This includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3 A.M. Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.
13. “Yes ma’am” and “yes sir” still go a long way.
14. The reason that they’re called “private parts” is because they’re “private”.
Please do not scratch them in public.
15. Peer pressure is a scary thing.
Be a good leader and others will follow.
16. Bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.
17. It is better to be kind than to be right.
18. A sense of humor goes a long way in the healing process.
19. Please choose your spouse wisely.
My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.
20. Remember to call your mother because I might be missing you.
Found at:  http://www.tropicalspiceliving.com
The original posting is at:  http://www.tropicalspiceliving.com/?p=4114
[This is not a blog I follow, but it’s a posting I enjoyed stumbling on.    —    KMAB]

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