Eddie Izzard: Stripped

One of the few comedians I have really wanted to see for a long time now was Eddie Izzard, Executive Transvestite. First off I have to admit I was a little disappointed he wasn’t dressed in drag. He came out in jeans, shirt, vest and a jacket with tails. Also he had his goatee, which I guess all accounts for his work with “The Riches”. But attire aside it was refreshing to see a smart, clever, and very entertaining performance from Mr. Izzard. Some of the jokes and references I remembered from previous shows I had seen or heard from him, but much of the material was fresh. What we got was the Izzard take on the creation of the universe and the dawn of man right up into the Biblical times. A little bit of lampooning of the Christianity but he does in such a light hearted way that it does not offend and I do appreciate that. Unlike many today who seem to enjoying just bashing the Hell out of Christianity, Eddie treats it like any other religion and shows a certain amount of respect. He did end the show with a bit of a pro-Obama pep talk, but seeing as how he was a transvestite comedian giving a performance to crowd in Hollywood he was pretty much preaching to the choir. Overall I had a very good time, the show was a strong two hours and very fun, very British, very Izzard. I hope I get to see him again in next time he is in town.

Movie Quickie: Hancock

Lois: They cut our school’s funding if it’s got low test scores? This is not what the founding fathers had in mind. (Cuts to scene to signing of Declaration of Independence.)
Man On Podium: Okay, we’re here to sign this declaration of our independence. Let’s take roll call first. Thomas Jefferson?
Thomas Jefferson: Here.
Man on Podium: Benjamin Franklin?
Benjamin Franklin: Here.
Man on Podium: John Footpenis?
John Hancock: It’s Hancock now.
Man on Podium: Why?
John Hancock: Mind your business, that’s why

Will Smith, not as funny and as silly as usual, but a strong performance none the less. Jason Bateman needs more leading rolls in movies, albeit the guy has been working in Hollywood since he was a zygote he needs a good movie where he plays the lead. Maybe Judd Apatow or Adam McKay can help him with a good vehicle. I agree with most reviewers in saying that the movie could have been more, but I was satisfied with what I got. A good summer popcorn movie.

Movie Quickie: WALL-E

Pixar can do no wrong in my book, and WALL-E confirms that. While this movie may not have been as funny as others, the story was compelling, the sound design was magnificent, and the visuals were amazing. It is truly awesome how far feature length computer animation has come in the last 15 years, and Pixar continues to set the standard for this art form. They continue to push the technology to make the visuals better and better, but where they really excel is in story development, Pixar always turns out a great story, and WALL-E is the best story they have had since Brad Bird’s The Incredible. So if you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. A great story told in a marvelous way.

My No Hitter

So earlier this year one of my best friends Ben Chamberlin had the wonderful experience of seeing the Red Sox’ Jon Lester throw a no hitter against the Kansas City Royals. Seeing this game in a venue such as Fenway Park, with a capacity crowd, with a bunch of most likely inebriated Bostonians, against a team who has a player named Jimmy Gobble (Who thankfully didn’t have to pitch that night), must have been quite an experience. And as I believe Ben has traded in his Dodger Blue for Red Sox Red (He is probably a member of a committee to get Jim Rice into the hall of fame), he probably really enjoyed himself.

I now consider myself a member of the pantheon of people who has witnessed a baseball no hitter and more. For the fifth time in modern major league history a team won a ball game without receiving a hit. Both Jared Weaver and Chad Billingsley pitched excellent games, with Weaver being done in by two very costly errors and a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the eighth inning it was quite surreal, you wanted the Dodger to hit and score so we would have some insurance runs, but you also kind of didn’t want them to get on because of the uniqueness of it all.

Suffice to say, it was a lovely pitchers duel, and despite what the MLB office say I consider this to be a no-hitter. A no-hitter that the Dodgers won and didn’t even need to score a hit to do. Even when we really suck we can win. Think Blue!


So after nine long years I am finally receiving my degree. I know what you are thinking “Nine years, wow, must be a Ph.D., um, not so much. This Friday evening I will be conferred a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership by the faculty of Biola University. Now I know what you are thinking, “Organizational Leadership, isn’t that between “Get your G.E.D. and TV & VCR repair on the list of courses offered by DeVry?” Well actually no, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the major it is multi-disciplinary program that focuses on values based leadership. I studied organizational relationships, effective decision making process, ethics, information technology, and communication. A good way to think of it is that this is a business degree that focuses more on people and organization issues instead of finances, and marketing. Recently the degree has become more popular because the degree stresses ethical organizational leadership; something that we can see has been missing from corporate America.

Friday evening I join the college degree elite, and start paying back students loans, fun. I am glad I am receiving my degree from Biola, the school I started with. It not only saves on paperwork, but I really enjoyed the Bible classes. Looking back at my early days I really regret that I didn’t take advantage of the Bible classes I had. I really had a chance to learn from some leading minds in the Christian university community and I seemed to have squandered it.

My next steps in terms of education are not so clear right now. Amy hopes to begin her studies at Cal State Bakersfield this fall; so much of our family resources will go in that direction. I do wish to get another degree at some point. Biola offers a degree in Christian Apologetics that seems fascinating, and can be done in a distance learning modular format. That would be exciting. Also, I have been thinking about a MBA from Cal State Northridge, something that might help me in the business arena depending on what direction I go. So we shall see, I make no plans, but only try to guess where the Lord will take me.

Movie Review: 3:10 to Yuma

In general I do not consider myself a fan of the Western genre. Although I enjoy a good Western when I see one I am not the kind of person who goes and sees every Western movie that come out (All of which seem to star Robert Duvall nowadays). However I do recognize the Western as a genre special to us in America and it is true that few and fewer Westerns are being made, and I have no doubt that the this trend will continue and the youth of today grow up pretending to be Spartans or Elites rather then Cowboys and Indians.
What initially drew me to the movie 3:10 to Yuma was Russell Crowe. Although many consider him overrated and incapable of playing complex emotional characters, I have been a fan of his since I first saw L.A. Confidential. I love the intensity that he brings to most of his roles and this movie is no exception.
In the film Crowe plays Ben Wade a criminal of some renown who is caught and then escorted by a posse to a train station to catch the 3:10 train to Yuma. One of the men who offer to escort Crowe’s character is rancher Dan Evans played by the ever capable Christian Bale. Bale plays a down on his luck rancher who lost one of his feet in the Civil War and has offered to escort the criminal for a fee that will keep his ranch going till spring. The plot unfolds as Dan Evans and company try to get Crowe to the train.
Although the film is what I would consider to be a bit dark, I did enjoy the film. I found the acting to be top quality and the production to be of high quality too. Both Crowe and Bale turn in excellent performances in a movie that really takes a look all different sides of right and wrong. I give it a good B.

Rush Hour 3

It was hot this weekend and last month’s my electricity bill was more then $100. So, it was time to turn off the A/C get out of the apartment. And enjoy someone else’s air conditioning. Off to the movie theater, home of pricy popcorn, sticky floors, and wonderful, wonderful, air conditioning.
This weeks screen gem was the “Rush Hour 3, A Brett Ratner Film”. Did anyone else notice how in all the commercials they mention Brett Ratner directed it? Do studio execs they think that by dropping his name they are going to get more butts in seats. With the exception of the generally panned Red Dragon the man has not produced anything that I would considered that great of a flick. So I just found that funny that anytime the name Rush Hour 3 was mention Brett Ratner had to have his name in there too, like he is Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino, silliness.
As for the movie it was exactly what I expected. Lame plot, forced jokes, a couple of chuckles. A good excuser to eat popcorn. Next week Superbad.

Bourne & Rod

This past weekend I had the luxury of singleness once again which allowed me spend my time a little more freely then I might usually now that I am married. So how is it that I choose to spend my time? I go to the movies. Ever since my early college days I have been a big fan of movie going. There is something about the dark theater, the popcorn (Which I load up with ungodly amounts of butter and salt), and the giant screen that I just love. Also I think it is the fact that I used to be able to go to movies in the middle of the day. While working as an EMT I used to have entire weekdays off, and during those days I would often go to the movies. I liked going during the day because the tickets were cheaper, the crowds were smaller, the parking was better, and it was always cooler in the theater then in my shabby little apartment.
So, back to this past weekend my lovely wife Amy was traveling down back to Orange County to see her parents and visit with her best friend. This left me with a weekend to perhaps pursue some of my neglected desires. First off I did laundry. Yes I am already whipped to the point that I do lots and lots of laundry. Although it is not that bad. As is mainly tends to be undergarments since I wear uniforms at work. So, I did tons of laundry and then I got to go to the movies.
My theater of choice is the Cinemark Palmdale Movies 8. A completely run down shabby little multiplex that really only appeals to me because of the cheap tickets. Namely, $3.50 for a matinee, you cannot beat that deal. Of course after purchasing my cheap ticket I then go and spend nine bucks on popcorn and soda, but oh well that is just how I roll.
Saturday on my first day of freedom I proceeded to view The Bourne Ultimatum starring Matt Damon.

The Bourne Ultimatum
I have seen and enjoyed the previous two Bourne movies and enjoyed them both. I enjoy the stripped down style, the great action sequences, and simple plot. Although I was at first surprised when I saw Matt Damon being cast as an action star I now see him as a very viable talent in that genre. Here he once again reprises his role at Jason Bourne, the special agent assassin with amnesia. This movie was overall very enjoyable. Lots of action decent plot, not too complicated. The movie answers some of your questions about Jason Bourne. Only criticisms I had was that during some action scenes the editing was so quick that you begin to loose track of where people are. And also there was not as much resolution at the end of the movie as I would have liked. Such as during the movie there is a hint of a past romantic relationship between Bourne and Julia Stiles character. Why couldn’t we see more of that? I don’t know. I guess it is a product of directors trying to slim movies down and keep the pace quicker. Anyhow, I really enjoyed this film and I would be more then happy to pay Saturday Night prices for it.

Hot Rod
Step one, you make a crappy movie. Step two, you put it in theaters. Step three, you make people watch it. It’s a crappy movie! Okay although I have found Andy Samberg digital shorts to be a highlight of the latest SNL cast. This movie, which was originally written for Will Ferrell, ended up feeling like a SNL skit that just went about 1hr 25min too long. I liked the premise and I really enjoyed the actors. I think Bill Hader will become a comedy star, and I will now see anything Ian McShane does even if he doesn’t get to drop F-Bombs, but comedy wise this movie was a little to out of left field for even me. It might be a great movie to watch if you smoke weed or something, but to me it was just a disappointment. Barely worth going to the dollar theater for.

Next week I will probably go see Rush Hour 3. So many questions weren’t answered in Rush Hour 2. I will have to see it.

Great Pick-Up Line

“Lord, make me chaste—but not yet.”
-Saint Augustine

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

“Oliver Cromwell can kiss my swinging emerald scrotum!”

-S. Colbert