Tuesday, October 20, 2009

GI Joe: Rise of Cobra - Movie Review

OK - so after fully watching this film over the weekend I have to say that I really enjoyed it for the action, not the acting. Overall the story was somewhat predictable and lame, the actors were also pretty bad. Dennis Quaid makes a better Dad in a world freezing movie or a bike rider, more than General Hawk. He really is the cheese in this role which makes it fun.

Christopher Eccleston plays James McCullen, the creator of a new bio weapon that uses nano technology to eat away at metal as well as other materials and can take down tanks, cities and whatever else it needs to. Eccleston is best know, at least to me as The Doctor in season one of the revamped Doctor Who series.

So know you have the boys who are sent out to take the nano warheads to a military base, which of course will be attacked by the evil bad guys to try to steal the technology. Duke(Channing Tatum) should have stuck to his white boy dance movies as he really sucks as an actor. But since the chicks and guys must dig him, they put him in a leading role of this film. Personally a bad choice in my opinion, but for the LCD it must be perfect. Duke along with Ripchord(Marlon Wayans) end up leaning about the Joe's program as they are saved by a crew of them.

So now you learn a little more about the back story of Duke and the Baroness(Sienna Miller). The Baroness was once Dukes lady and she had a kid brother that was best friends with Duke and Duke swore to protect him in the war. so without saying more you can imagine or probably tell me the rest of the story.

The one good thing about the movie was the action sequences as well as the graphics and CGI overall. The sword fights between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes are really good. Some of the other action fight scenes were done good as well.

Story and content were very simple for the simple mind I thought. For me it was enjoyable as a simple action adventure movie and I laughed a lot at how predictable it was and how bad the acting was for having some good actors in it.

Wait until it's on HBO or Showtime to watch or get it at the Red Box for $1.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wilco - 10/06/2009 KCMO Crossroads

It was a chilly October night in Kansas City down in the Crossroads district, which is where they have started to create more of an art space and have a lot of artists lofts and other store fronts. Still not the greatest of places, but looks like it could be on it's way. Crossroads is a venue that sits behind Grinders, a hamburger joint. It must have been an old vacant lot or something, but there's a stage on the south end, a nice grade, so those further back can see the stage well and a lot of beer tents and other vendors. It's outdoors so in October depending on the year can be a bit of a challenge. This night it was about 49 degrees, but with a sold out show they were packed in good to keep some heat in.

Liam Finn was the opening Act and came on promptly at 8pm. He is a two person band from Australia, son of Neil Finn from Crowded House. He uses loops on drums and guitar to get one instrument going and then jumps on the other while one loops. He plays with Eliza Jane Barnes, who plays an electronic drum, cow bell and various other instruments to back as well as sings. They were entertaining, but not exactly my kind of music, at least in the live sense.

Wilco came on shortly after 9pm and started off with The Price is Right theme and jumped into Wilco(the song) as they seem to have been starting many of this tours shows. This is one of the songs off of Wilco(the album) that came out a few months back. I would highly recommend picking it up. It looks like I forgot to review, but there will be one to follow sometime soon if I have time.

Jeff Tweedy made some comments throughout the first couple songs asking if people were cold, but the answer was always no. I think Jeff was as the wind was certainly coming across the stage. Still it didn't stop the band from playing a 2 1/2 hour set filled with songs ranging from all the years.

Some of the highlights to me were Bull Black Nova from the new CD. They really jammed it out during Impossible Germany, it was especially cool with 3 guys playing guitar and jamming together. That's part of what makes them such a fun band to see.

Jeff used the same lines I read in reviews about trying to get everyone to sing Jesus, Etc. He compared us to Minnesota and Iowa, the two previous shows. Bother were indoor and I'm sure sounded louder. Still it was a fun sing-a-long for everyone.

One of my favorite songs was played as usual, but certainly made me happy. That was Handshake Drugs, it's been a favorite of mine for a couple years. They did a great Walken as well as Can't Stand It.

During the first Encore, Liam & EJ came out and played for a couple of songs and then Jeff had asked the crowd to elect a president and vote on what song we wanted to hear. Everyone yelled Kingpin and so he looked at the band and they jammed into it. It was a nice KC version of the tune.

All in all, it was a fun night of music and as always it was a nice place to see a show. But I do hope one of these times I get to see them play at The Uptown. The last 4 times I've seen them have all been outside, so a change to indoor would be nice.

I'm already looking forward to the next time they come to town. Check out their website at http://www.wilcoworld.net/ for tour dates and streams of live shows. Recently they have the 08/2009 Dublin show as well as the 4/2009 Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee. I love throwing them on the computer to get that live experience.

If you get a chance, do see them live as they really are a fun band to see and really have a lot of talent flowing throughout the show from Drums, Keys, Bass and Guitars. Nils really loves to jam out and is really good. Jeff has a great voice and really knows how to put it all together.


01. Price's Right Intro > Wilco
02. I'm Trying to Break Your Heart
03. Bull Black Nova
04. You are My Face
05. One Wing
06. Shot in the arm
07. Radio Cure
08. Impossible Germany
09. At Least That's what she said
10. One by One
11. I'll Fight
12. Handshake Drugs
13. Sonny Feeling
14. Hate it Here
15. Can't stand it
16. Jesus Etc(Sung by the Crowd)
17. Walken
18. I'm the Man Who Love You
Encore: 1
19. Misunderstood
20. I'm Always in Love
21. You Never Know
22. California Stars
23. Kingpin
Encore: 2
24. Late Greats
25. Monday > Outa Mind Outa site
26. Hoodoo
27. I'm a Wheel

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are - Movie Review

Where the Wild things are is a children's book that was written by Maurice Sendak back in 1963 that I think just about every kid has had a copy or read in their lives. This adaptation of the book is directed by Spike Jonze and the screen play was written by David Eggers. Jonze has directed two films, Adaptation and Being John Malcovich. He has mostly directed music videos through his career, so this is a big change.

The story obviously has to be adapted from the original 43 page book in order to make a 90 minute movie. The story is about Max(Max Records), who lives with his Mom and his older sister. He gets angry because of the way his sisters friends treat him and that his Mother is ignoring him as she has a date(Mark Ruffalo). So Max lashes out and bites his Mom and runs away and climbs into a boat and sails off to an island. That's where the Wild Things are.

Max comes upon the Wild Things and ends up their king. Carol is the main Wild Thing, voiced by James Gandolfini. He's sort of the leader and a bit angry as Max arrives. The story evolves from there to develop a relationship between Max and all of the Wild Things. The rest of the story is all about what they learn from Max and what he learns from them.

I really liked the way that this was written and directed. They have some fantastic views and landscapes throughout the movie. This was all filmed in Australia near Melbourne. The puppeteer work and the graphics are done really well and the story was just brilliant.

The music was scored by Karen O and The Kids and really plays well to the movie. The songs are simple and fun and fit right in. Karen O is the lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, she has band members as well as Racontuers guitar and bass players with a few others helping out.

From my perspective I felt that there were some scenes that were a little scary and violent for younger kids as well as some behavior that you hope they don't pick up and learn. Still my 3 1/2 year old daughter really loved the Wild Things and enjoyed the music as well. So for me it's a movie you could take the whole family too as we did.

There are points where the movie is a little slow, but overall it really does keep you wondering what's going to happen next or how are the characters going to behave. It's a fun film with a good story that shows that family is really what it's all about.

I would certainly recommend seeing this movie. It has happy and sad points and it really is just a cool story that I have always loved since I was a kid. I think that Max is a character many can identify with and the story and the imagination of all who created it is brilliant. I think I always wanted to run off to the land of the Wild Things, but the closest I got was the woods across from my families house and The Wild things weren't there.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars