Tuesday - July 22, 2008

Why so serious?

On Sunday, we drove back from the beach, ate lunch, dropped off everything at home and then headed straight to the theater to see The Dark Knight. If you're one of the few people that haven't already seen it, do it now.

You've seen the reviews, you've been exposed to all the marketing, and yes it really is that good. I don't have anything to add. :)

Posted by jcraven at 4:21 PM

Monday - May 19, 2008

Iron Man? That's kinda catchy.

This weekend, we finally got around to seeing Iron Man. Both Lara and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great mix of excitement, fun, and even a little romance. The special effects are top notch, much better than previous superhero movies in my opinion.

I'm glad to see a sequel is already in the planning stages. For kicks, I even tried out the demo of the video game on Xbox Live. Unfortunately, I wasn't as impressed with the game. Not a huge surprise considering most movie-based games are terrible.

Posted by jcraven at 3:14 PM | Comments (3)

Wednesday - April 16, 2008

Death with Big Pointy Teeth

Last night we went to see Spamalot. Everything about it was great, and I highly recommend it for any fans of the film. I'd go see it again, maybe next time with better seats.

I even purchased a souvenir can of SPAM.

Posted by jcraven at 3:49 PM

Monday - March 17, 2008

Time Flies

Today, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins turned 41. Man that makes me feel old.

Posted by jcraven at 8:28 PM

Tuesday - March 11, 2008

Two Red Carpet Premiere Tickets

Yes, you can find anything on eBay. If I had the disposable cash, I'd be first in line for this auction. Of course it's for charity. :)

Posted by jcraven at 12:08 PM

Monday - February 11, 2008

Netflix goes Blu-Ray only

The end is near....

If anybody sees closeout sales for HD-DVD discs, let me know. :)

UPDATE: Looks like Best Buy is backing Blu too.

Posted by jcraven at 10:10 AM

Tuesday - September 11, 2007

What's wrong with kids today?

Lara and I watched the first half of the MTV Video Music Awards mostly in fast forward mode. Of course we had a morbid curiosity to see Britney's performance, and it was terrible as expected. But what the heck was wrong with the rest of the show? Is it just me, or is most of the stuff that passes as 'music' on MTV just absolute crap? Maybe I'm just getting old.

I will give credit to the two exceptions in the first half of the broadcast. First on the list was Sarah Silverman's show opener, since It was pretty funny, and did a nice job of poking fun at Britney. Second was Chris Brown's dancing, and although he did lip-sync the entire thing, his performance was entertaining.

The Washington Post has a nice summary here that highlights all the same points. I'm hoping that the majority of youth today thought the show was terrible, but if they didn't, I think we're all doomed.

Posted by jcraven at 2:16 PM

Tuesday - August 14, 2007

Projekt Revolution

Yesterday, Scott and I went to the Projeckt Revolution show at Walnut Creek. It was an all day event, but we got there about halfway through. I was mainly there for Linkin Park, the rest of the bands were just a bonus. I was amazed by the huge female fanbase most of the bands had (esp. My Chemical Romance). We sat beside a pair of teenage girls that knew every lyric of every song.

I enjoyed all the bands we got a chance to see, and I may even pick up some music from H.I.M. which I had previously never heard before. Linkin Park was great of course, and they played a nice mix of old and new music. I've got a handful of bad cell phone pictures here. It's hard to tell, but we actually had pretty good seats behind the VIP section. Next year, depending on the line-up, I may go again. Next time, I'll probably get there earlier to check out more of the bands too.

Posted by jcraven at 12:02 PM

Tuesday - July 31, 2007

Spider Pig, Spider Pig.....

Over the weekend, we checked out the new Simpsons Movie. As a long time Simpsons fan, I give it 2 thumbs up. I think it did a good job of keeping the fanboys entertained while created a self-contained plot for those not familiar with every intricate detail about their 18-year run. Lara and I both enjoyed it alot and was easily one of the funniest movies I've seen all year. The animation is enchanced with some CGI, giving it a slightly better look than the average TV episode. Be sure to hang around through the credits.....

Posted by jcraven at 4:25 PM

Friday - July 27, 2007


Oddly, they've decided to make a live-action/CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. You can check out the trailer below, or here in HD. I don't know if Jason Lee is the perfect "Dave", all I can think about is Earl.

I'm sure the movie is geared for kids, but who knows, maybe it will be interesting for those of us that remember them from our youth.

Posted by jcraven at 9:24 AM | Comments (1)

Thursday - July 5, 2007

More than meets the eye

Yesterday, along with millions of other people, we went to the check out the new Transformers flick. I think I can sum up the movie in two words.... freakin' awesome. Of course I grew up watching the cartoon, and buying the toys, but I think the movie stood on it's own while also paying homage to the original.

In the introduction credits, the theater actually started clapping when the "Hasbro" name was shown on the screen. From that point on, it was just pure fun. The first time Barricade transformed from his Police Cruiser form and back, it just made me smile. The CG work is absolutely amazing, easily the best work I've seen in a movie. ILM deserves a huge pat on the back. Also Lara really enjoyed the film, even though she had no real ties to the original. I think there's a decent mix of comedy and teen drama mixed in to appeal to a large audience.

Now with that being said, there were a couple annoyances, but they're very minor. I found Agent Simmons (John Turturro) to be annoying. I also thought Soundwave was a little too cutesy, but both of those don't prevent this from being a fun movie. Also the overt product placement didn't really bother me. Obviously GM is featured front and center, but there's some nice Apple shots, and 3 different Cisco products that I noticed.

I'm hoping a sequel will show up within the next 5 years.

Posted by jcraven at 11:05 AM

Tuesday - May 29, 2007

More movies

Last weekend, I saw 28 Weeks Later with Scott. I enjoyed it, and concur with his mini-review.

Saturday night, we rented Sleeping Dogs Lie (aka Stay) from Xbox Live Marketplace. This romantic comedy, written by Bob Goldthwait, is a little different than most. The female lead has a secret she hides from everyone, which she reveals in the first 30 seconds of the film. I won't go into details, but a dog was involved, and she needed mouthwash afterwards.... I think you can connect the dots. If you're ok with the subject matter, you'll find a great little dark comedy. I wouldn't say it's the best movie out there, but I laughed enough to recommend a rental if you can find it.

Finally, on Sunday we went to the theater to see Waitress in an effort to stay away from the giant crowds surrounding Pirates and Shrek. I know, you're probably thinking it's a 'chick flick'. But honestly, I loved this movie. It reminds you of why Keri Russel should be a real star. The supporting cast, especially Andy Griffith were all equally enjoyable. The movie is only being shown in a limited release, but I would highly recommend seeking it out if possible. Also of special note, the writer/director and co-star of the movie, Adrienne Shelly was brutally killed only months before the release of the movie. Some more info here. It's sad because, it looks like she had a promising career in front of her.

Posted by jcraven at 4:08 PM

Wednesday - May 16, 2007

'300' to Conquer Blu-ray, HD DVD This July

Being one of the few people that missed 300 in the theater, I'm excited that the HD-DVD version of 300 is hitting shelves in July.

'300' to Conquer Blu-ray, HD DVD This July | High-Def Digest

If you want to be notified by Amazon when it's available, check here.

Posted by jcraven at 10:55 AM

Tuesday - May 15, 2007

Radio stations part II

So, I received a reply from 96Rock's Program Manager:

Thanks for your feedback. We play well over 1,000 songs, and the way we look at it is that bands like Van Halen (of which we play over 25 songs from alone), AC/DC, Zeppelin and so on simply have a longer track record of hits and there's more to choose from.

That being said, we are playing all the new rock you mention in the e-mail - but I understand it's not as much as you'd like. We're always re-evaluating, and I thank you for your input.

Jay Nachlis
96rock Program Director

I appreciate the personalized reply, but it doesn't really change much.

Posted by jcraven at 1:30 PM | Comments (1)

Monday - May 14, 2007

Radio stations

Why do radio stations in the RDU area suck so bad? The station that I listen to the most, 96Rock is the least offensive, but still annoys me. Why is there no station that will actually play new Rock music? I enjoy Led Zeppelin as much as the next guy, but that's why there is a classic rock station. Today, I actually sent a note to the program manager @ 96Rock because I'm tired of Van Halen (or the solo careers of Roth/Hagar). For example, check out today's playlist from midnight to 10AM.


12:07 AM - Van Halen Unchained
1:17 AM - Van Halen Take Your Whiskey Home
4:08 AM - Van Halen Everybody Wants Some!!!
5:29 AM - Van Halen Oh, Pretty Woman
7:48 AM - Van Halen Jump
9:08 AM - Sammy Hagar There's Only One Way To Rock
9:54 AM - Van Halen Dancing In The Streets

I mean come on, there's new singles out there from major bands that I've never heard on 96Rock. Example, Linkin Park's new album hits tomorrow, and they haven't mentioned it at all. And forget hearing any small/indie bands. Maybe it's time to finally get XM....

Posted by jcraven at 11:50 AM

Monday - April 30, 2007

Movie Mania

So over the past week, I've watched quite a few flicks. While none of them were terrible, some were definitely better than others. Here they are in no particular order.

Blood Diamond: Very good, Djimon Hounsou definitely should have gotten the Oscar instead of Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine. I'm starting to like Leo, despite some of his earlier acting choices.

Last King of Scotland: Probably the best out of the group. Forest Whitaker's portrayal of General Idi Amin was amazing... no wonder he won the Best Actor Oscar. It tells the story of a fictional doctor interwoven the historical backdrop of Amin's regime. The DVD contains some nice extras, including a documentary that highlights some of the changes they made to insert fiction into fact.

Shut Up & Sing: I admit that I have a fascination with documentaries, and this one was no different. It follows the Dixie Chicks and the aftermath of 'the incident'. Most people don't even remember the quote "Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.". Now I'll freely admit, that I'm not exactly a fan of Dubya, and wasn't really outraged with the original statement. If you are a strong supporter of the President, you will probably not like the film. Anybody else will be amazed by the story. Only downside is that occasionally the lead singer Natalie did get on my nerves. It also provides some insight into some of the music on their most recent album. It gives me chills when I hear the verse from Not Ready to Make Nice.

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

And finally since Lara was out of town this weekend, I picked up a couple thrillers that I know she would never watch with me.

Pulse: Although this flick was panned by most critics, I actually enjoyed it. Yes, some of the acting was quite bad (I'm looking at you Christina Milian). Most people complained about the 'look' of the film, but I thought it added to the gloom. It was supposed to be set in Ohio, but was filmed in Bucharest, Romania. As long as you can overlook that fact, it shouldn't be a huge stumbling block. I will admit that I really enjoy zombie/post-appocolype type movies, and while this doesn't exactly fall into either, it does have some related themes.

Sublime: I picked this one up on Xbox Live, which has the added benefit of being in HD. Sadly, this is probably the worst of the group. The preview seems very promising, and the first half of the movie is actually pretty decent. Unfortunately the surprise ending can be seen from a mile away. Also, the timeline jumps too much from past to present. It's not hard to follow, just annoying. Thomas Cavanagh (from TV's Ed) and the stunning Katherine Cunningham-Eves actually both do a good job of acting, but even they can't save the sinking ship. I didn't hate it, but I just wish it was better.

Posted by jcraven at 11:17 AM

Tuesday - February 27, 2007


In anticipation of the Oscars, on Sunday we watched Babel. It's a combination of 4 intertwined stories that span the globe. Lara and I both enjoyed the film as entertainment, but some of the stories are more compelling than others. I personally enjoyed the story involving Rinko Kikuchi set in Japan, but it was probably the most disturbing at the same time. I guess that's what made it interesting. Both Rinko and Adriana Barraza earned their Best Supporting Actress nominations. The music in the film was also gripping, and actually won the Oscar in that category. I'd recommend it to most people, but the film seems to get a very polarized response by audiences. You either love it, or hate it, but currently has a 68% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

On a related note, the movies on my post-Oscar viewing list are:

An Inconvenient Truth
Jesus Camp
Children of Men
The Departed
The Last King of Scotland

Posted by jcraven at 2:55 PM


We finished up watching the Oscars last night, even though somebody spoiled the ending for us. :) Overall, I think the show was decent, but not great. Ellen did a good job hosting, but honestly the whole thing was just kind of bland. Lara and I were excited to see that Pan's Labyrinth win 3 awards, but sadly they missed out on Best Foreign Language Film.

For a full list of nominees and winners, head over to OSCAR.com.

Posted by jcraven at 2:32 PM

Monday - February 19, 2007

Bye bye Blockbuster

Previously, I mentioned that you can now rent movies (and television episodes) straight from your Xbox 360. Over the weekend, I decided to give it a shot. I picked up Employee of the Month, in HD.

First I'll comment about the technology. The 360 interface is very easy to use, and you can watch the trailer of the film if you're on the fence. It uses MS points, which is the payment system used for all Xbox Live transactions. If you've never bought anything, then you would need to setup your payment method or use a prepaid card from your local electronics store. I've had mine setup since day 1, so no problems there. I downloaded the 5GB movie overnight, but I've heard you can start watching the download once a certain percentage is stored on the drive. You have 14 days to begin watching the movie, but once you start playing it, you only have 24 hours to access the content. The video was beautiful and crisp in 720p, and the sound was in Dolby Digital 5.1 (sadly doesn't support DTS). Also, for the video purists, this film was displayed in 16:9 resolution which fills the HDTV screen. Unfortunately this does mean some cropping of the source 2.39:1 (scope) material. Some people may actually prefer this though since it doesn't require letterboxing. The only negatives around the whole experience, are 1) They need to release a hard drive >20GB, and 2) I would prefer the cost to be a little less, as the SD version is $4 and HD version is $6.

Now on to the movie. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed this flick. Of course it's not exactly an Oscar winner, but it's entertaining. Of course seeing Jessica Simpson and her assets in HD is never a bad thing, but she actually does a decent job of acting. She's at least as good as any other stereotypical romantic comedy actress. Dane Cook and Dax Shepard are both very funny as they compete to win her love. The supporting cast is also good, especially Efren Ramirez (aka Pedro from Napolen Dynamite). The movie actually reminds me a little of Office Space. It's not quite at that level, but if you enjoy one, I think you would enjoy the other.

Posted by jcraven at 3:06 PM

Tuesday - February 6, 2007

El Laberinto del Fauno

Over the weekend, other than watching the Super Bowl, we also went to the movie theater to see Pan's Labyrinth. This is absolutely one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It follows two stories revolving around a 12-year old girl named Ofelia. One is a fairy tale, an imaginary world of her own creation. The other, a harsh real world circa 1944, after the end of the Spanish Civil War. I don't want to spoil any of the content, so I won't go into details.

Just a word of warning, the movie is rated R, and earns that rating from the violence. It would be hard to depict a war setting without it though.

The film, created by Mexico's Guillermo del Toro, is performed entirely in Spanish with English subtitles. It has received 6 Oscar Nominations, including Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. All four of us loved the film... and it has amazing ratings everywhere including a 96% fresh on RottenTomatoes.com. Just go see it.

On a related note, check wikipedia if you want to study up on The Spanish Civil War or Francisco Franco beforehand.

Posted by jcraven at 3:02 PM

Saturday - January 13, 2007

Blue Man Group tickets on sale

If you want to see Blue Man Group in Raleigh, tickets went on sale this morning. I received a pair as a Birthday present.

How To Be A Megastar Tour.

Posted by jcraven at 10:41 AM | Comments (1)

Wednesday - November 29, 2006

28 Weeks Later

I missed this 'Raw Footage Trailer' when it first hit the net around Halloween, but you can still see it on FoxAtomic.

I have to admit, I'm not a huge horror fan, but strangely I love zombie flicks. 28 Days Later was really good, and it looks like the sequel may be able to follow in the same footsteps. Next year may be a good year, with both 28, and Day of the Dead making their appearances.

Posted by jcraven at 12:38 PM

Monday - October 23, 2006

GNR tour starts tomorrow

Guns N' Roses is touring again after a decade of silence. I know, it's not really GNR, as the only guys from the original band are Axl and Dizzy. The rest of the band (Slash, Duff, and Matt) are part of Velvet Revolver, but I don't care. Unfortunately, I'll be out of town for the only stop in NC. I'm hoping the first leg of the tour is successful enough to get a second leg. The first part of the tour includes both Sebastian Bach and Papa Roach as openers. I have to admit it, GNR is in my top 3 favorite bands, and I still have some old cassettes laying around somewhere. Click here for the full tour schedule.

Posted by jcraven at 3:59 PM

Wednesday - October 18, 2006

Ebert recovering

Cinematical has a post on their site regarding Roger Ebert's recovery. It sounds like his condition is improving, and hopefully he'll return to television next year.

Posted by jcraven at 3:22 PM

Monday - October 9, 2006

ClearChannel sucks

So I woke up to an unpleasant surprise this morning. After 22 years on the air, 106.1RDU has changed formats to a country station. I mainly blame ClearChannel for running the station into the ground. But more importantly, there is no local affiliate for Bob & Tom. I can barely pick up the show out of Charlotte, but it's very spotty. I've already sent correspondence to both Bob & Tom and 96Rock, with hopes of bringing them back. Ironically, the "Friends of the Bob & Tom Comedy Tour" makes a stop in Raleigh on October 21st......

Posted by jcraven at 10:52 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - October 3, 2006

Life is one beauty contest after another

If you haven't seen Little Miss Sunshine, get off your butt and go today. This is probably my favorite movie of the year so far.

Posted by jcraven at 2:28 PM | Comments (1)

Monday - August 14, 2006

Two thumbs up

Over the weekend we rented V for Vendetta and Match Point. Both movies were great, and I'd recommend them to just about anyone. Of course it doesn't hurt that they star Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.

Posted by jcraven at 7:20 PM | Comments (1)

Thursday - August 10, 2006

If you ain't first, you're last.

Last night we went to see, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. It's a very funny movie, and Will Ferrell is always great even if his characters are pretty similar from movie to movie. I won't spoil any of the laughs, but if you haven't seen the trailer go check it out now.

Posted by jcraven at 3:00 PM

Tuesday - August 1, 2006

Brokeback Joker?

I don't know about this one..... Heath Ledger will play Batman's nemesis, The Joker in the upcoming Batman: Dark Knight. Full story.

Posted by jcraven at 11:01 AM | Comments (1)

Friday - July 28, 2006

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

Last night we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Overall it was a pretty entertaining movie. The only real complaints I have are: some of the slapstick swordplay seems to go on too long, and the movie could have been about 30 minutes shorter. Depp's character is as interesting as always, while Orlando Bloom seems a little stiff. Keira Knightley is smoking hot as always, but doesn't really have enough time on screen. The 'mutated' villains are pretty impressive, and seemed to bother Lara more than the little girls that were sitting in front of us.

Overall, if you liked the first one, you'll probably enjoy this incarnation. If you plan on seeing the 3rd and final part of the trilogy, you'll probably be lost if you skip out on this one. I'd definitely recommend this movie over the last one I saw, Superman Returns.

Posted by jcraven at 9:40 AM

Thursday - July 20, 2006

Kevin Smith vs Joel Siegel

So apparently Joel Siegel walked out in the middle of a screening for Clerks II. The funny part is the reaction from the director/creator of the film. Check out Kevin Smith's blog for his reaction. (Warning, very colorful language)

My favorite quote is: "Cardinal rule of movie-going: shut your ****ing mouth while the movie's playing." I'm sure the studio loves the free publicity.

Posted by jcraven at 1:31 PM

Thursday - June 29, 2006

Superman Returns

Last night Lara, Scott, and myself went to watch Superman Returns at the new movie theater near our house. The movie was good, but not great. I did really enjoy Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, and I wish he would have had more screen time. I'll admit I'm not the biggest Superman guru, so I'm sure fanboy Scott will have more indepth review soon on his website. :)

IGN also has a review that pretty much sums up my opinions verbatim.

Posted by jcraven at 9:43 AM

Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Strange pair

I used my Xbox Live Diamond card, to get 'Rent one, get one free' at Hollywood Video. The advantage to this is that I get to pick a movie, and so does Lara. My choice, Lord of War, and hers The Family Stone.

We enjoyed Lord of War, but it's not exactly a 'feel-good' kind of movie. Nick Cage is perfectly cast as a gun-runner that somehow can separate the morality and business of his profession. He even compares himself to car salesman. He rationalizes it by the fact that they're going to get their guns regardless, so he might as well sell them. Ethan Hawke plays the righteous 'hero' law enforcement that is constantly trying to arrest Cage. Finally, Eamonn Walker does a great job as he plays an African warlord, one of Cage's big clients. You may remember Walker from recent episodes of ER set in Darfur. Be sure to check out some of the trivia from IMDB. I really like the tidbit: "According to Andrew Niccol, the filmmakers worked with actual gunrunners in the making of the film. The tanks lined up for sale were owned by a gunrunner who had to have them back to sell to another country. They used a real stockpile of over 3,000 AK-47s because it was cheaper than getting prop guns. The gunrunners were more cooperative and efficient than the studio or the crew."

The Family Stone was actually much better than I anticipated, but again it's not a comedy. Sarah Jessica Parker's city-girl character goes to visit her boyfriend's family for Christmas. Most of the movie centers around the alienation she feels, and is effectively communicated to the viewer. Half of the movie you just feel bad for her. The evolution of the love story seems a little unlikely to me, but if you can let that go, it's a good movie... again as long as you're not expecting a comedy. As always, I enjoyed Luke Wilson, and the other cast members put in good performances, including Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, and Craig T. Nelson.

Posted by jcraven at 12:06 PM

Tuesday - April 4, 2006

Best movie ever

Click here for the teaser.

Posted by jcraven at 4:25 PM

Friday - February 17, 2006


Earlier this week, two new Guns N' Roses songs were leaked onto the internet. The story can be found here, and was mentioned on Howard Stern too. I've heard IRS, and wasn't terribly impressed. Now there's some indication that this isn't a final cut, and Axl's voice isn't mixed properly. I hope that's the case, because the lyrics are very tough to pick out.

I hope the album is good, even though it doesn't include any of the original band except for Axl. If you want to hear the other guys, you can always check out Velvet Revolver.

Posted by jcraven at 11:43 AM

Wednesday - January 25, 2006


My sister found a Japanese Fender Bass on ebay that she wanted to buy. I go ahead and help out with the logistics, and they ship the guitar to me. Now for the cool part, the seller ships it via regular Japanese Post, which gets handed off to US Postal Service once it hits NYC. Total ship time? 4 business days. For whatever reason, this absolutely amazes me.

And if you're in the market, check out the seller here.

Posted by jcraven at 12:18 PM | Comments (2)

Friday - December 30, 2005

8th wonder of the world

Last night, we went to the movies to check out King Kong. Simply put, this is a phenomenal film. The special effects are better than any previous film, including Peter Jackson's other masterpiece, Lord of the Rings. The dinosaurs were especially impressive. They made Jurassic Park's lizards look like finger puppets. The storyline is equally impressive, and Naomi Watts should honestly be considered for an Oscar nomination. If you haven't seen it, GO NOW! Check out metacritic for more reviews.

Posted by jcraven at 3:26 PM

Tuesday - November 22, 2005


Last night, we went to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra for the second year in a row. This time it was at the RBC center, and was a much larger crowd of 5,000+ fans. This time we took Scott and Anna. I won't bore you with all the details, the show was pretty similar to last year.

On a related note, check out this sweet light display set to the music of TSO.

Posted by jcraven at 9:32 AM

Thursday - September 29, 2005

TSO tickets on sale

For anybody interested, 96 Rock is preselling tickets to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show at the RBC center. Check their website here (second paragraph down). We went last year and had a great time.

Posted by jcraven at 4:17 PM

Saturday - September 24, 2005

You can't take the sky from me

Since Lara is out of town, I spent most of today finishing up the Firefly box set. I, like most people, blinked and missed this series when it was originally on Fox. (They did give it a mention in the 2005 season premiere of the Family Guy). If you want to get the full story of the show, and the politics behind it at Fox, check out the Firefly Wiki here. I'm not a huge fan of sci-fi, but this was a great box set, and I'd recommend it to just about anyone. Now, you may or may not have heard, but there's also a movie coming out next weekend called Serenity that is a continuation of the show. Trailer 1 and trailer 2 are available for download. I know there is a strong fanbase of geeks for the series, and I hope that translates into hefty box office receipts so the series can continue in either movie or television form. Finally, you can listen to the catchy theme song here (hopefully it will make it into the movie). Also, a big thanks to Scott for loaning the set to me for several months.

Posted by jcraven at 11:09 PM

Thursday - September 1, 2005

Love, Chaos, & Dinner

Tonight we went to see a show named Teatro ZinZanni near Pier 29. We were urged to go by multiple friends that had already attended the show. Overall, it is definitely an interesting experience. Scott was chosen to go on stage as part of the "Romeo and Juliet" portion of the performance. The show itself is a combination of song, dance, comedy, magic, and acrobatics. Also, there is a 5 course meal included. Although the show is very entertaining, none of us completely enjoyed the meal, and would have preferred it to be just a tad less expensive. I'd still recommend it, but if you're looking just for a show without the meal, check out Beach Blanket Babylon. We have a handful of pictures here.

Posted by jcraven at 11:43 PM

BNL rocks

We have some pictures and movies from the party last night. While I work on the photos, check out the two videos here and here.

UPDATE: Posted the pictures here. The "Daytime" folder are from Lara and Anna's trip around the city yesterday. The "GSM06" folder is from the party, including the BNL concert. And yes, the last couple pictures are of the bra that was thrown onstage.

Posted by jcraven at 11:03 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - August 2, 2005

Dukes of Hazzard mania

Since Dodge announced there are no plans to build a "General Lee" edition of the new 2006 Charger, these guys decided to build one themselves. Pretty cool, and it's nice and politically correct (sans confederate flag). Also for the guys that still own a '69 Charger, KBB reports the price has increased on the R/T version from $28,200 in January to $43,900 last month, a 56% increase.

Posted by jcraven at 11:08 AM

Monday - June 13, 2005

Wish you were here

Some pretty amazing news, Pink Floyd has announced they will be playing at the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, London on July 2nd. A message has been posted on pinkfloyd.com. This is great since the original band has not performed live since 1981, when I was a mere 2 years old. I'm only hoping that this may be a sign of a reunion tour, or maybe even a new studio album. Some more info can be found here courtesy of Yahoo.

Posted by jcraven at 10:28 AM

Thursday - May 26, 2005

Return of the Sith

I know I'm probably one of the last geeks to go see Episode III. It took me a whole week to get out and watch it. Overall I think it was a pretty good flick.

- Good fight scenes
- For the most part, better dialogue than the other Episodes
- The film does a decent job of tying the originals with the prequels

- Chancellor Palpatine's transformation was comical
- They may have gone a little overboard with the Jedi killing (did we really need to see the dead kids?)
- The scenes on Kashyyyk seemed mostly unnecessary
- Padmé (Natalie Portman) didn't get much screen time......and was wearing too many clothes ;)

Overall, I'd recommend the movie for anybody that has seen the other films. It probably wouldn't mean much to you if you haven't though. So the big question, do we have to wait 15 years for Episodes VII through IX?

Posted by jcraven at 9:48 AM | Comments (1)

Saturday - April 9, 2005

Go Sox

Last night we went to see Fever Pitch. Overall it was an enjoyable 'chick flick'. Of course it had the standard pattern for a movie like this.

1.) Boy meets girl
2.) Boy falls in love with girl
3.) Boy and girl have a big fight and split up
4.) Boy gets girl in some elaborate scene
5.) Boy and girl live happily ever after

There's quite a few funny spots (it is directed by the Farrelly Brothers afterall), and overall I would recommend it to most folks. But if you're going to watch this strictly for the sports, you'll probably be somewhat disappointed. They pretty much gloss over the Sox's amazing run at the end of last year. I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5.

Posted by jcraven at 3:50 PM

Monday - February 28, 2005

Oscar Fashion

We watched the first half of the Academy Awards last night, and we saved the rest on the TiVo. Since I don't know who won the major categories, I will simply give my picks for the best dressed women on the Red Carpet.

1. Salma Hayek2. Catalina Sandino Moreno
3. Halle Berry4. Natalie Portman
5. Kate Winslet6. Emmy Rossum

Sorry ladies, I didn't rate the men, except I will give my picks for worst dressed:

1. Johnny Depp2. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs

Posted by jcraven at 8:19 AM

Wednesday - February 9, 2005

Halo the movie?

Entertainment magazine Variety is reporting that Microsoft has quietly done a million-dollar deal with Alex Garland, author of The Beach and the screenplay for 28 Days Later, to adapt the Halo games into one film.

Full story

Probably can't be any worse than the Resident Evil movies...... But I don't really see any Oscar nominations coming either.

Posted by jcraven at 9:39 AM

Monday - January 17, 2005

Movie Marathon

Recently a new Hollywood Video opened down the street. They have a "Grand Opening" promotion with all movies costing only $.99 for a 5-day rental. We went on a bit of a binge and watched the following movies this weekend.

Napoleon Dynamite: This one we actually watched with Scott and Anna because Scott had it from Netflix. A pretty funny movie, but I'll probably never have the urge to watch the movie again. I think this type of movie you really have to be in the mood for.....

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: If you've seen the other Harry Potter films, this is pretty much more of the same. The overall mood is a little more dark and menacing, but the core of the movie is still targeted to the younger audience. I do wonder though, if the younger kids watching these movies really understand the convoluted story line in each of the Harry Potter films. Maybe reading the books would also help with the confusion.

Dodge Ball: This movie is hilarious. I actually saw it originally in the theater. There's a lot of physical gags in there, but the dialogue is also great. Vince Vaughn is a perfect 'straight man' to contrast against Ben Stiller's over the top character. The DVD also has some funny outtakes, and includes the original director's ending. Apparently the director left the film for a week when the studio required him to re-write the ending after it tested poorly with audiences.

The Village: Another good (but not great) movie from M. Night Shyamalan. Some of the 'colonial' dialogue between the actors was pretty week, but once you ignore that this is a decent flick. And of course, as with each of Shyamalan's movies, there is an interesting twist at the end. I didn't figure it out even though I was looking for it the entire movie.

The Stepford Wives: I'm glad it only cost me $.99 to watch this one. The movie just wasn't terribly interesting. I don't know if the movie was really supposed to be a horror movie, or just sci-fi. It didn't really succeed at anything, and is basically totally disposable.

On a related note, Ebert and Roeper released their picks for the Worst of 2004.

Posted by jcraven at 10:42 AM

Thursday - November 18, 2004

Christmas rocks!

Last night we went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the BTI center. It was an absolutely amazing experience. The 2.5+ hour show included various types of music from classical, R&B, opera, spoken word, sacred, and of course some fantastic hard rock. Most of the show is centered around Christmas, and includes many of the most common Christmas songs. My favorite was Carol of the Bells, which can be heard about halfway through this sample. They also had an impressive stage show complete with lighting effects, lasers, pyrotechnics and 'snow'.

The audience was just as varied as the music. We saw everything from people in full suits and gowns to fans dressed in black leather and T-Shirts.

Near the end they also played some of their non-Christmas songs which included selections from Beethoven to Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song and Stairway to heaven.

I'm tempted to buy their new box set. It includes 3 CDs and a DVD of their performance.


Posted by jcraven at 12:22 PM

Monday - November 15, 2004

I'm finally famous!!

Well sorta.... I guess. Buy tickets here.

Posted by jcraven at 9:47 AM

Tuesday - November 2, 2004

Movies galore

Since Lara is out of town, I've watched quite a few movies over the past week or so.

Chasing Amy: One of Kevin Smith's earlier films. This is probably the best movie I've watched in the list. I think I'll go back and rent Smith's earlier films, Mallrats and Clerks which was recently released on a 10 year anniversary DVD.

The Missing: Pretty decent flick. If you like 'westerns' this is probably up your alley. At times, it feels like one long extended chase scene, but overall kept me entertained.

The Order: Basically a waste of 1:45 of my time. There was nothing interesting in the plot after the first 15 minutes or so. It also definitely wasn't scary in any way, which is what I was expecting going into it....

Party Monster: Based on the life of Michael Alig, this movie basically follows his rise to fame in the 1980's club scene. This was Macaulay Culkin's first role as an adult, and wasn't exactly spectacular. Seth Green did a good job once you get past his accent. I wouldn't recommend spending money to watch the movie, but if you see it on TV, it may be worth your time.

More to come......

Posted by jcraven at 3:44 PM | Comments (1)