May 31, 2008

Burn After Reading

The Coen brothers are back with a comedy. Burn After Reading stars Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand as two gym employees who find a CD left by a member of the CIA (John Malkovich), and decide to blackmail him.

Comedy ensues.

brad pitt in burn after reading
Watch the trailer (you'll need Apple iTunes)

The film also features George Clooney and J.K. Simmons. I think it looks hysterical.

Fun With Lego

Julian Fong, a software engineer for Pixar, recreates the cover of Action Comics #1 using Lego.

action comics #1 in LEGO
I think it’s fantastic

The Hidden Tribe

This blows my mind. Survival International released photos they took of a tribe of Indians living in the Amazon River basin area that have never had contact with the outside world. In the photos where the tribesmen can be seen, they are almost always aiming bows and arrows up at the aircraft that was being used to photograph them with.

photo of the hidden amazon tribe
It is hard to fathom that in a worldwide civilization so heavily connected and exploited that there can be pockets of people who have no idea that a whole other sort of civilization exists outside of their own.

And on a similar note, can you explain to me how a woman can live in your house for a year and you not know it?

According to an AP news report, a homeless woman in Japan snuck into a man’s house almost a year ago and proceeded to live/sleep in his closet. And the dude knew nothing about it.
Police found the 58-year-old woman Thursday hiding in the top compartment of the man's closet and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from southern Kasuya town said Friday.
The resident of the home installed security cameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing from his kitchen over the past several months.
She was sleeping in his closet and he never found her? Unbelievable. And she was showering and everything in his house while he was away.

May 29, 2008

Bursting With Cuteness

zoe with flowers for her teacher

If I could figure out how to bottle and sell this cuteness, I would be a billionaire.

May 28, 2008

Batman Drinks Milk

You knew one of this summer's superhero film stars would show up in the ubiquitous "Got Milk?" ad campaign.

Batman Got Milk campaign adThe milk people aren't just running a photo of Batman with his milk mustache, they built a whole website for him.

May 27, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Yesterday morning Ian and I went to go see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Despite (or maybe in defiance of) a phone call from my father the night before warning me about two scenes in the movie that he thought might be too much for Ian to handle, I figured the opportunity to see the Indiana Jones on the big screen with Ian out-weighed any concerns my dad might harbor. So we loaded ourselves into the car to catch the 10:20am showing on Memorial Day.

harrison ford is indiana jonesFor most of the kids of my generation, the Indiana Jones films are one of the cultural touch points that provide us with a shared modern mythology to reference and be inspired by. Naturally as we grew up and had children of our own, we would want to share these movies with our kids. Just like my Dad shared the Westerns he watched as a boy with my brother, sister, and me; I have enjoyed screening movies I grew up on with for Ian, Emma, and Zoe. I’ve had to hold back and wait on some of my favorite movies until they were old enough to handle the content, but now my kids are hitting the age that I can start sharing more than just cartoons with them.

Even before the official film rating was announced, I knew that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull would end up tagged PG-13. Considering the sorts of stories George Lucas and Steven Spielberg like to tell with Indy, and considering Temple of Doom was one of the films that helped usher in the new rating category back in the mid-1980s, the PG-13 rating was a foregone conclusion. Ian is still only 8 years-old (only about two months from hitting 9), putting him outside of the “recommended” film viewing age. However, a couple of weeks ago, while talking about Indiana Jones with Ian, I realized that I was exactly his age when I went to go see Raiders of the Lost Ark. Raiders had guys being impaled on hidden spears and dudes’ faces melting. If I could handle that when I was Ian’s age, then I figured Ian could handle anything Lucas/Spielberg threw at us in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, MPAA rating system be damned.

So that’s where we were Memorial Day morning – about 10 rows up, dead center, waiting for Indy to show up and entertain us and the 60 or so other dads my age who had brought their kids as well.

Ian and I both really enjoyed the movie. Ian because it was big action film up on the big screen and he was sucked into the sort of movie watching experience he can’t get at home: a monstrous wall of image and sound that transports him to another world for two hours of entertainment. I enjoyed seeing Harrison Ford in the familiar fedora again - making things up as he went along, but always managing to end up on top of some spectacular situation even when you couldn’t quite figure out how he was going to do it. We both thought it was just a flat out fun movie to watch.

That’s not to say that the film was a perfect Indiana Jones movie. It never felt like the story provided a compelling reason why Jones would be hunting for the crystal skull. The motivation to get the plot rolling was flimsy and felt sloppily thrown together. At times Dr. Jones did things just because, well, the story needed him to do that particular thing. I guess I saw some artificial pushes in the plot that bothered me.

Plus, it was always fairly obvious that the first three Indy movies were adventure films in the spirit of the Saturday morning serials of the 1940s. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was supposed to draw its inspiration from the sci-fi flicks of the 1950s, or at least according to interviews with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg I read. The problem was that the film makers didn’t take Indy far enough into that ‘50’s sci-fi genre in my opinion. It was like they tried to bridge between Indy the adventurer from the 1940’s with saucer men from Mars. Instead of a blend, the film came off – at least genre-wise - muddied. It didn’t seem full out adventure like the earlier Indy films, but not quite 1950’s/Red Scare sci-fi.

indiana jones and his new-found familyBut those are minor complaints when I consider the experience of the film as a whole. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a lot of fun, like any good Indiana Jones movie should be. Great action sequences packed around funny moments and character moments, and I was pleasantly surprised by Shia LaBeouf'’s performance and his character – both of which I was expecting to dislike. I don’t know if I can accept Mutt as the heir apparent to the Indy film franchise – as is hinted at towards the end of the film, but Indy and Mutt teamed up together were fun to watch.

I enjoyed the return of Marion Ravenwood, though I felt the script didn’t give Karen Allen quite enough to do. Yes, her smile lit up the screen – and that was much appreciated. I just wish they had worked her into the story a little more. Hell, they should have dropped Mac from the story to make more room for Marion. I was often asking myself why Mac was even in the last thirty minutes of the movie. He did do or say anything.

(Incidentally, Ian wasn’t scared by the scenes my dad warned us about. He was, however, spooked by a completely different scene. But it was just one, and he seems to have handled it just fine.)

All in all it was a great time. We both enjoyed the movie, and if Ian’s behavior after the film is any indication – asking about getting the movie when it comes out on DVD, spending half an hour on the Indiana Jones website, and telling everyone he saw on Monday about the movie – I think I created another Indiana Jones fan.

May 24, 2008


XTC used to be my favorite crafter of catchy pop-hooks and odd-ball sing-a-longs. But the boys in Weezer have slowly taken over XTC's spot as my favorite pop-song musicians.

May 23, 2008

Is My Gas Going to Be Stolen?

locking fuel capPrices at the pump finally inched over $4.00 a gallon out here in Aurora this week. For what seemed a long time the gas stations near us seemed to be holding steady at $3.99 – almost definitely refusing to break the $4 barrier even though the average in and around Chicago was over $4.

These new posted prices got me to thinking this morning while driving to the train station and noting the reading on the car’s fuel gauge. Are we at a price point where gas siphoning will become a crime we need to start seriously guarding against? Do I need to get a locking fuel cap? Didn’t everyone have those back in the 1970’s?

I leave my car in a huge public parking lot all day. For an enterprising young man or woman that full lot of vehicles could be hundreds of gallons of gas just waiting to be siphoned out and used or resold. The lot does have security cameras, but with the cars packed in like sardines there are plenty of spots to squat down and hide while you drain vehicles of their gasoline.

Something to think about.

More Indiana Jones Stuff – Because I Want To

To get ready for the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Empire magazine celebrated Indy Month. For the past thirty days they had a new Indiana Jones themed feature each day. Movie trivia, timelines, and a whole bunch of stuff that lovers of the Indiana Jones mythology (like myself) would eat up.

Obviously they are done now that the film has hit theaters, but you can still go back and spend hours going through all the great entries. One of my favorites is “30 Reasons Why We Love Indy.”

They list plenty of great reasons to love the Indiana Jones movies, but one caught me by surprise. Number 28: the font
Indiana Jones logoThe reason to love Indy because of the font: “Dynamic. Iconic. Slanty. Perfect.”

And they are right. The logo matches the spirit and the fun of these movies perfectly. It’s as integral to the Indy image as the hat and bull whip.

May 22, 2008

75 Skills Every Man Should Master

graphic from 75 skills every man should masterEsquire Magazine published a list of 75 Skills Every Man Should Master.

I read through them all. Looks like I’m doing fairly well – at least from Esquire’s standpoint.
Can’t tie a bow tie, make one drink in large batches very well, or play gin, so there are things for me to work on. But I was pleasantly surprised on how many items I think I could handle, more or less.

In particular I liked #40:
40. Speak to an eight-year-old so he will hear. Use his first name. Don't use baby talk. Don't crank up your energy to match his. Ask questions and wait for answers. Follow up. Don't pretend to be interested in Webkinz or Power Rangers or whatever. He's as bored with that shit as you are. Concentrate instead on seeing the child as a person of his own.
People have commented (usually by way of Heather) on how I talk/discuss/explain things to our kids like they are adults – younger ones who might not have the benefit of the experience or language skills of a grown adult – but adults nonetheless. I don’t sugar coat or dumb down my message. I talk to them like an intelligent person. I have never used baby-talk - even when they were babies.

It wasn’t something I consciously knew I was doing, but felt good about when I learned that’s what other’s saw. I want to be challenging my kids, not insulating them. Talking to them like a person and expecting the same sort of treatment/level of discourse in response, forces them to think about what they are saying, their world around them, and their relationship within it.

It Was a Pirate’s Life for Him

A former “Jack Sparrow” told Los Angeles Magazine about his experience portraying the pirate at Disneyland in sunny California.

As funny as the stories about drunken women making it clear that they were ready (and willing) for Captain Sparrow to come aboard, what I found more interesting was the former Disney employee’s recounting of how the company treated their character actors.

I suspected that as image conscious as the House of Mouse is that they would institute strict rules on how their properties could be presented in their theme park. What surprised me was how overbearing Disney could be on their employees to adhere to these rules, and how these rules impacted their personal life.

I’ve always felt sorry for the guys and gals who were walking around in the silly costumes with un-naturally happy smiles plastered on their faces while dealing with over-sugared little kids. But after reading about Jack Sparrow’s experience I get the feeling that suffering the attention of the public is only half of the chore these costumed Disney employees face.

The Dark Knight Website Re-Launches

The only new “stuff” that the site supplies are some wallpapers, icons, and a screensaver. All the video and images have been released before.

Still, the re-launched website for The Dark Knight is pretty to look at and fun to play with.

screen-grab of newly re-launched The Dark Knight website

May 21, 2008

Ten Most Memorable Indiana Jones Moments

On the eve of the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, let's take a quick look at some the great moments from this fun film series.

Film School Rejects list what they think are the 10 most memorable moments from the first three Indiana Jones movies.

indiana jones
They clearly get #1 right.

However, I would have put one of their Honorable Mentions in the #10 spot in place of the “The three challenges” from The Last Crusade. Any one of those three honorable mention moments is better than the three challenges scene at the end of The Last Crusade. The “No Ticket” line from The Last Crusade is definitely more memorable.

Finally, I think we all know Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is pretty much critic proof and hordes of people will line up to see Harrison Ford don the hat and whip again regardless of what sort of reviews the film receives, but it's still nice to see that so far the overall impression of the film is favorable.

I can't wait to take Ian to go see the film.

Corporate Synergy

The May 26 issue of Sports Illustrated will feature a cover drawn by Mark Bagley, with Karl Story on inks and color from Alex Sinclair.

si cover drawn by mark bagley
The cover promotes Tom Verducci’s article exploring the topsy-turvy 2008 MLB season.

Both DC Comics and Sports Illustrated are owned by Time Warner

Patron Saint of Bacon

Saint Anthony, among other things, is the patron saint of pigs and hogs. So by extension I guess we can pray to him for the enjoyment of good bacon.

jimmy stewart 100th birthday

May 20, 2008

Celebrate Jimmy Stewart

Today would have been Jimmy Stewart's 100th birthday.

To celebrate, TCM has pulled together a few of this great actor's most enduring and powerful performances.

jimmy stewart 100th birthday
Check them out. TCM will be airing Jimmy Stewart movies almost all day long. Just pick one at random, you can't go wrong. Personally, I'm going to try and take in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - it's a personal favorite.

May 19, 2008

Cliff Chang's Vision of the DC Universe

About ten years ago comic artist Cliff Chang worked up some characters sheets for an idea he had for a new comic. Basically a mix of DC, anime, and kaiju, Chang imagined a world where a group of Japanese heroes took inspiration from their Western counterparts and created their own crime-fighting alter egos.

His new version of the Flash is a little too Speed Racer/Racer X for me, but I love his idea for Superman – a giant robot controlled by a young boy via his wristwatch.

I have always loved Chang’s work. While I doubt this project will ever be produced now, it sure would have been fun to see what the finished product might have been.

Why Gen Xers Hate Their Jobs

I'm not sure if I agree with everything that is stated in this article from BusinessWeek on why Gen Xers are unhappy at work, but there are few points that the writer makes that do seem to make sense for me.

Take a read.

Certainly, from a professional standpoint I am not where I thought I would be ten or fifteen years ago. But I credit that as much to poor planning and a general lack of direction as I do to working within a corporate environment that doesn’t know how to motivate me.

None the less, I found the article intersting and it did give me a few things to think about.

Why Isn’t There An Emergency Alert System For Things Like This?

Found in the Chicago Tribune:
Several lanes of Interstate Highway 80 were shut down for hours overnight after a truck hauling Oreos crashed into a median, spilling tons of the chocolate cookies across the highway, police said.

The crash occurred at about 3:40 a.m. Monday on I-80 just east of Morris, said Master Sgt. Brian Mahoney of the Illinois State Police.

The truck was westbound, hauling about 20,000 pounds of Oreos, when the driver lost control and the rig hit a median before veering into the eastbound lanes. The impact ripped the trailer open, spilling its cargo across the eastbound lanes of the highway, he said.

The driver was not hurt, but police had to shut down the eastbound lanes for several hours while the cookies were cleaned up, Mahoney said. The wreckage had been moved to the side of the road and lanes had reopened by about 6 a.m.
Hmmm. . . Oreos . . .

May 16, 2008

Sorry, I Had To Make This Joke

The caption that went with this photo:
A protest by pensioners, which disrupted traffic in Melbourne against the Rudd government's lack of support for seniors (AFP/William West)
Frankly, looking at this photo I think where these seniors are lacking support is fairly obvious.

Sssh. . . Don't Tell Anyone

i pretend to work
Buy the poster here

Saturday Mornings

Scott Johnson, he of the ExtraLife website and comic, wrote a great post yesterday that captured the fun and relaxed pace of Saturday mornings that I remember from when I was a kid.

His description of what went on in those early hours is spot on - even the part about another sibling already being downstairs, wrapped up in a blanket on the couch, watching cartoons by the time he makes his way to the TV.
My sister Wendi is already on the couch, wrapped up tightly in a red and white checkered blanket often used for picnics or fourth of July family fireworks displays. She says nothing…she is already watching The Super Friends.

I sit in my normal place, and watch as Lex Luther deploys his cloning ray gun, filling the world with Bizarros and Cheetahs, created from the average citizenry, hell bent on robbing Earth of its riches and hidden treasures, only to be thwarted in their plans yet again by a life saving move performed by Green Lantern.
If you grew up in the 80's, read the whole post. I think you will enjoy it.

Ian is almost to that stage - getting himself up in the morning and downstairs to do whatever he wants - but he still looks for help with breakfast. Give his sisters another year or two, and I think they will be down there with him. If we can get them all (or at least convince Ian to to help out) to start pouring their own cereal and milk without major accidents, then Heather and I can both enjoying sleeping in Saturday mornings.

May 15, 2008

Old Superheroes

Italian illustrator Donald Soffritti imagines what superheroes will look like when they get older. Lots of fun ones to look at.

Of course, I'm supplying an aged Batman and Robin.

old batman & robinFunny stuff.

May 13, 2008

Indy 4 Photos

A whole bunch of new photos from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull have been released. It's a mix of production stills, studio shots, and behind the scene photos.

The whole lot of pix are fun to look at (watch for George Lucas wearing a "Han Shot First" t-shirt).

Plus, these new photos gives me a chance to mention something I don't think I've mentioned up to this point - that Karen Allen is not only a beautiful women, but she apparently hasn't aged since she made Raiders of the Lost Arc in 1980.

Studio shot for Raiders
karen Allen from Raiders

Studio shot for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Karen Allen from Kingdom
She's just one more reason I am looking forward to the release of this movie.

May 09, 2008

Random Bits

  • David, at the Ironic Sans website, has fun with letterform art and Star Wars. Check it out, he crafts a really great looking Darth Vader and I loved this word-cartoon.

    Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold“Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold”, is a line delivered by Princess Leia, in case you aren’t up on your Star Wars quotes.

  • This is funny in a "sophomore in high school" sort of way - but still funny.

  • Computers, the Internet, modern technology – it makes life easier and allows us to do more.

    It also, apparently, frees up people to think up little projects like this: ManBabies

    I don’t know if it is sublime comedy or borderline disturbing, but I had to look at them all. - Dad?
  • May 07, 2008

    Superheros and Fashions

    Spidey at the METFashion doesn't interest me, unless Heidi Klum is somehow involved, but I couldn't help notice (and read) some of the stories that popped up this week covering the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibit.

    From what I've read, the installation was intended to present one thing but ended up being about something completely different. Because I really don't care too much about fashion, I didn't bother to pay close attention to those parts of the reports. What I did learn, however, is it looks like designers took inspiration from superhero costumes and created fashion.


    What did grab my interset was the 12 foot high statues of DC Comic's big three - Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman - that was created and placed at the entrance to the exhibit. According to Paul Levitz, DC Comics President and Publisher, the statues were based on art from artist Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, the man who has defined the DC Comics style guide for years.

    Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman statue in the MET12 foot, three-dimensional versions of Jose Luis Garcia Lopez artwork. Now that I would enjoy seeing.

    May 06, 2008

    June Swoon in May?

    I guess the fast start for the Cubs in April means the traditional Cubs June Swoon has to start earlier. How else to explain losing eight of their last eleven games, including last night’s 5 – 3 groaner against the Cincinnati Reds that wasted a strong outing from Ryan Dempster.

    I missed most of the game last night, so I didn’t have to suffer through the two errors that lead to the Reds 5 runs. But I did get to grind my teeth in frustration while the Cubs loaded the bases twice – TWICE – in the ninth inning and failed to produce a single run.

    While I appreciate Mike Fontenot’s spunk in trying to score from third on a wild pitch, you gotta make sure the ball is rolling more than 10 feet from home plate before you commit to charging. In that situation – bases loaded, Ryan Theriot probably going to get a walk, and Derrick Lee up next, all with only one out on the board – you have to be more conservative in your decisions.

    Here’s hoping the Cubs start to get back on track this evening when they take the field against the Reds again.

    Funny Things My WIfe Says To Me

    Last night:

    Heather: "Crap, I forgot to sign Ian's thing."

    Me: "What thing?"

    Heather: "The music teacher sent a note home. She said Ian 'used an inappropriate word' during music class."

    Me: "Really, what was the word?"

    Heather: "Crap"

    Batman vs. Iron Man

    Before their movies battle out in the theaters, they face off here.

    May 05, 2008

    What Prom Taught Me This Year

    This past Saturday night, the school that Ian and Emma attended held an adult prom. I don’t know if it was intended as a fund raiser for the financially strapped Catholic school, but Heather and I went anyway. The idea of a prom for parents sounded like a lot of fun, and Heather was looking for an excuse to wear the bride’s maid dress that she bought for my sister’s wedding a number of years back one more time.

    Prom 2008Luckily I didn’t have to rent a tux to go along with my wife’s grown-up prom dress. My dad owns a tuxedo which I was able to borrow and wear because my dad and I are essentially the same size. At first that weirded me out a bit, but after a little reflection I considered our similar builds a good omen. Currently I’m 35 years-old, 5’ 10”, about 163 pounds, and relatively comfortable with the size and shape of my body. My dad is 61 years-old, 26 years my senior, and apparently he and I can share clothing. If I can live another 26 years and still be wearing the same clothing I am today – especially considering that those years will be spent living with my crazy cake-baking wife – then I will be very pleased with how things have turned out.

    Of course, I am making the assumption that 26 years of minimal weight gain is in my future because I’ve got half of my father’s genes in my genetic make-up (did I mention that my mom is also roughly the same size as when she was in her 30’s? That should count for something too). But that assumption does beg the question: to maintain my 35 year-old size into my 60’s do I have to start running regularly?

    Let me explain.

    When my dad hit his mid-30’s he started road running. He was out running every morning. He ran 5Ks and 10Ks. He ran in all varieties of charity runs. He did the Chicago Marathon a number of times. And he still runs – though I don’t think as frequently – today.

    So that’s why I ask myself the question, “Do I have to start running”? And I mean seriously running every day so that I might wear the same shirt I have on today again on May 5, 2034?

    Crap, I hope not. I took up the sport of road running for a while. I ran a few of those 5Ks and 10Ks with my dad. I really didn’t like running. I thought it was boring. Of course I was just a kid then and a lot of things I thought boring when I was a kid are no longer boring to me now. None the less, I’ve pretty much stayed away from running as exercise since then.

    This past fall Heather bought a treadmill for $5 at a garage sale and we put it in our renovated basement. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to start using that treadmill a few times a week (One, I wanted to justify the existence of the thing in our basement. Two, I knew some extra exercise would do me good.).

    Surprisingly enough, I have kept that resolution – more or less. It hasn’t been as regular as I planned, but I still get down there and walk/run for 30 minutes. What surprised me more than me keeping the resolution this far into the year was how much I didn’t find running on the treadmill boring. It was a 180-degree reversal from my impression of running when I was a kid.

    I found it relaxing to be clipping along in a steady trot, the rhythmic patting of my shoes on the surface creating a hypnotically soothing sound. In fact, I caught myself wondering that if I found running on the treadmill enjoyable, what would it be like to actually run on the streets and see something different than the same wall for 30 minutes? That could almost be . . . fun.

    So now the convergence of my possible interest in running meets the revelation that my dad and I, despite 26 years difference, are basically the same size, which slams into my desire to replicate what my dad has done. My brain can’t stop fitting this information into a logical argument that goes something like:
    You are your father’s son
    He’s run for 26 years to get where he is today
    Strap on those running shoes Brendan
    When I start this post, it was supposed to be about going to the dance, these goofy photos of Heather and I from our high school proms, and how I was the only one in the building who knew the words to “Swinging On A Star” by Bing Crosby when the DJ played it. (Well, the guy who requested it probably knew, but on a night where 90% of the prom attendees were in their 30s and 40s and the music was a mix of 70’s album rock and cheesy 80’s pop, hearing Crosby’s crooning blast over the speakers stuck out like a sore thumb. And singing along with Bing made me an even bigger sore thumb, at least until Heather made me stop.) Obviously I didn’t end up anywhere near that.

    The prom was a lot a fun and the turn out of parents makes it likely that there will be another prom next year. If Heather and I attend, I can only imagine what sort of mid-life revelation I'll encounter. This year I learned I need to start running to keep up with my dad. Next year it will probably be something about wearing sweater vests or learning to enjoy the Weather Channel.

    Are Comics Serious Literature?

    I forgot where I found this, but I thought the writer/artist found the perfect venue for ending the debate on whether comics should be considered serious literature - two cowboys fighting.

    comics are serious literature

    May 04, 2008

    New Trailer Time

    The two summer movies I am most looking forward to both released new trailers this weekend. Neither trailer disappoint.

    The Dark Knight:

    The Dark Knight
    The new The Dark Knight trailer has very little Batman actually in it. We get a little Bats at the beginning and at the end, but mostly the trailer features Bruce Wayne, Joker, and Harvey Dent. While it still doesn't give me many clues to the actual narrative story that is going to play out, this new trailer does show that The Dark Knight is going to be more than just Batman and Joker tearin' it up in downtown Gotham - which is what I got from the first full trailer. Dark, moody, and character driven - I think it's going to be another fantastic Batman film from Christopher Nolan.

    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:

    Indiana Jones IV
    The new Indiana Jones trailer dispenses with the nostalgic look back that the first trailer opened with, cutting right to selling the story of the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Indiana's voice over provides some background into the legend of the Crystal Skull, effectively setting up the McGuffin for this flick. As with the early Indiana Jones movies, the McGuffin drive the main story but is really only interested in getting the movie from point A to point B. It's everything happening around that main story that makes an Indiana Jones movie so much fun. From the look of this trailer, the fourth Indy flick shouldn't be any different.

    May 03, 2008

    Frank Sinatra on TCM

    FrankEvery Wednesday and Sunday through-out the month of May Turner Classic Movies will be showcasing the movies of The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra.

    Sinatra is TCM’s Star of the Month for May; and when you have a star as big and bold as Sinatra, you can’t get away with a few films and maybe a short special. That won’t cut it for highlighting the career of Ol’ Blue Eyes. So TCM had to go big.

    TCM will be treating us to over 40 movies and some rarely seen music specials. The list is so long that they put together a special schedule download from their website. In fact, they even created a small site that built around Frank Sinatra. The site has photos, video, and lots more on Frank. It’s also where I found this fun little video widget that will cycle through some classic Sinatra film moments.

    I haven’t had a chance to review the full Sinatra movie schedule, but I plan to spend some time figuring out which Sinatra films I can sit down and watch.

    May 01, 2008

    Hmmm . . . 'Iron Man' Slurpee

    Oh, I wants me an Iron Man Slurpee Cup.

    ComicMix has a bunch of photos

    Happy Days

    Heather's cakeHeather has started to receive more requests to make cakes for parties and such. Sure, most of the orders are from family members, but she has her first non-family cake to make later this month.

    The increased interest in her cake making abilities has Heather wanting to experiment with some new recipes and decorating techniques so that she might be able to add them to her repertoire. She doesn't want to try out anything new on a cake she is making for someone, so she has decided to use Ian, Emma, Zoe, and I as her guinea pigs testers.

    But we don't mind, because the more Heather wants to experiment the more cake we get to eat.

    Tonight it was a new recipe (devils food and yellow cake marble) plus a new frosting application technique. Both were a great success.