Blargity Blarg Blarg Crash Bang

Well it has been an annoying couple of weeks for me. Two weeks ago someone hit my car when they ran a stop sign. I was lucky that was no one was hurt and that that was my first ever car accident. I still don’t have my car back. The insurance company still hasn’t adjudicated the case. They are exceptionally polite but not at all competent. It took them two days just to tow my car.

Crash

 

Crash (2004) – Rated Unrated

In post-Sept. 11 Los Angeles, tensions erupt when the lives of people from all walks of life converge during a 36-hour period.”

Crash is currently available on instant Netflix

Marvel Marathon

I failed to win Regal’s ultimate fan contest. /le sigh. My wife and daughter have been dealing with issues of their own that have made them unhappy. Still it looks like I might have my car back in time for The Avengers double feature on Thursday. It is no Ultimate Marvel Marathon but I’m sure it will make me happy. Now if only I could make my ladies as happy.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

 

 

25 Years of Movie Magic

A quarter century of cinema excellence.

family1

 

Howard Hawks defined a good movie as one that contained three great scenes and no bad ones. After twenty-five years, a great film can be considered a classic.

family2

Fandango sent me an email celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pretty Woman. It detailed an upcoming interview reuniting Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Laura San Giacomo, Hector Elizondo, and director Gary Marshall.

family3

Now I am not leading up to calling Pretty Woman a classic. My wife and I found it quite laughable in its Disneyfied portrayal of prostitution. We had seriously sprained eyeballs after watching it together.

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Above, Jenny and I eating Le Big Mac in France! What is good, great, and wonderful is my marriage to my incredible wife, Jenny. It is also now classic as we are celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary this week! Jenny has had to endure so many movies with me and, trooper that it is, did so with a smile. Well, except for that time I took her to Resident Evil for our anniversary…

Happy Classic Anniversary, Honey!

Movie Tchotchkes for my Home Theater

Vincent Price

The walls in our movie room (living room) are decorated with all kinds of movie posters. Most are standard small 11×17 with a few exceptions for prized items like my original The Last Man on Earth full-size poster (Thanks, Maya!)

Pennywise

Last year for my 50th birthday, my wife got everyone to give me those Funko Pop dolls so I have rows of those all over the movie room.

Alien

 

With apologies to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus 2, I am ridiculously looking forward to Neil Blomkamp’s Alien 5.

Sad Jason

 

Jason misses his mother

Back from vacation soon. Enjoy!

Yay! I’m finally on vacation!

Mural begins

Woohoo! Sorry but posts are sporadic this week as I flee this dreary winter for sunny Mexico. I leave you a picture essay of the mural a friend of ours did for our wall over the course of many months. This is his rendition of the poster for the Hammer movie, Quatermass and the Pit (1967). This movie was known as Five Million Years to Earth here in the States.

Mural and cat

 

Partially finished mural with Chupacabra (happy cat according to our granddaughter), Chupa is sitting on my 60-in-1 cocktail arcade machine. The arcade machine is a wonderful showpiece and everyone who sees it, loves it but it turns out that the fun is mostly nostalgic. I play a few times a week for a brief bit of fun so that was a bit of extravagance.

More mural

Art and mural

 

Art finishing up his wonderful mural.

Final mural

 

Final mural.

Turning your home viewing into Home Theater

I go to the movies as often as I am able…well as often as I am able to score FREE or discount tickets. Obviously, I still watch plenty of movies at home in the evenings. As such, I try to make the environment as theater-like as possible.

My wife and I share a tiny little cottage so I don’t have one of those wonderful dedicated home theaters that I see so much of on the internet. Still my wife has allowed me to turn the living room into a movie room. many of my friends and particularly my family have contributed to the wall hangings and movie-related tchotchkes lying around.

We have a dual recliner sofa with cupholders and center cubby for remotes. Sadly the cats have ripped the bottom comfy bits out of it and shredded a fair amount of the leather so it is probably next on the list of replacements. I have a nice 55″ plasma television that we sit pretty close to and a soundbar. I cannot recommend a soundbar enough if you are still using television speakers. Mine was relatively inexpensive and the sound is so much better than a television speaker.

Popcorn machine

Our next best investment was an actual popcorn machine from Paramount. I love the smell of fresh-popped popcorn but I only ever seem to want a handful or two. My wife loves popcorn though. She is a saltaholic and I’m the diabeetus man. The popcorn it makes is at least as good as theater popcorn.

Wife loves popcorn

If you get a machine, absolutely get the Great Northern pre-measured packs off of Amazon. They are individual tri-packs of popcorn, coconut oil, and butter-flavored salt and they are perfectly proportioned.

Slushee

Sadly what I love at the theater are Coke Icees. I looked at home machines but all they appear to have are toys, slushee machines (not the same thing), or full-bore machines that weigh hundreds of pounds and are ridiculously expensive for home use. I tried a slushee cup from Amazon but it’s a lot of trouble for very little reward.

Going to the Movies on the Cheap

As if it wasn’t obvious I LOVE LOVE LOVE going to the movies. I mostly gave that up while my kids were growing up as we were quite poor and the movies are certainly an extravagance. Now the kids have moved away and we are doing better financially so I can go to the movies whenever I wish/have time.

I still can’t get over when we were poor so I am always looking for ways to make the movies cheaper. Many areas offer FREE showings pretty consistently. A good place to look is often local libraries, independent theaters, and hipper bars/breweries. The Hendersonville Film Society shows theirs at a local retirement community.

Carolina Cinemas

I know some people sneak food into the movies but I believe there’s a sort of social contract entered into when going to the movies. Yes, they charge an outrageous price for concessions but theaters make essentially no money on tickets. My beloved Carolina Cinemas puts on FREE movies every Tuesday (Film Society) and Thursday (horror) and some people still sneak in their own food and drink. This does not encourage the theater to continue to offer this and, quite frankly, is rather ungrateful of the patrons but enough of my soapbox.

FREE movie ticket offers abound. Currently, Wal-Mart has movies that have FREE tickets on them for Insurgent, Fifty Shades of Gray, and Spongebob Squarepants. Target has ones for Fifty Shades of Gray, Spongebob, Taken 3, and The Longest Ride. Vudu has an offer where you buy one of a particular set of movies from them in order to get a ticket to Insurgent. Upcoming offers include Jurassic World, Furious 7, Home, and Pitch Perfect 2.

Dealflicks

Dealflicks continues to add new theaters and offers a decent discount price, though not usually close to the percentages they advertise. Strangely my aforementioned Carolina Cinemas has stopped accepting Dealflicks and the other various movie money promotions.

Moviepass

Moviepass is for those hardcore moviegoers. They charge a monthly fee ($30-35) and you can go see a movie every day for FREE but only one you have not already seen. They currently have over 3,700 theaters signed up.

Moviepass is the opposite of how I usually go to the movies. While they allow you to go to a single movie daily, I like to group all the movies into one marathon showing and go all day. This allows me to buy just one drink for several movies. I always get the refillable large. I am not much of a popcorn eater though I always get it for my wife and daughter as they are saltaholics (I am more of a diabeetus consumer).

It’s Cold Outside…

…There’s no kind of atmosphere. I’m all alone, more or less.

/sigh. It is currently below zero outside, nothing new to those in the northeast or midwest but quite rare up here in the Asheville area. My internet has slowed to a crawl – do bits travel slower as they get cold?

The inside of the house is in the 40s. We have a very energy efficient heat pump so our electric bills are quite reasonable but when it stays below freezing, the pump can’t keep up.

There are plenty of cold weather choices for you on Netflix. I strongly suggest

Snowpiercer

 

Snowpiercer (2013) – Rated R

The Earth’s remaining inhabitants are confined to a single train circling the globe as revolution brews among the class-divided cars.”

Quite simply one of the best films I saw last year and sadly neglected by the Academy. The Grand Budapest Hotel was better but I felt Snowpiercer should have been nominated. Turn off your phone and your iPad and go watch it.

FREE Movie Tickets All Over the Place!

Lots of FREE movie ticket offers going around lately.

Project Almanac

* Best Buy has an endcap of Blu-Rays with FREE tickets to see Project Almanac on them. Titles include Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, the Transformers movies, War of the Worlds, World War Z, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Super 8, Minority Report, Bad Grandpa, A.I., Jack Ryan, Hercules, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Prices range from $9.99 to $26.99

* Regal Cinemas also has a group deal for Project Almanac. This weekend only (ends 2/1), you can buy four tickets and get one FREE. I’m not sure why five of you would want to see this at one time but there you go.

Birdman

* Regal Cinemas has a much better deal for Birdman. For the next week (ends 2/5), Regal has buy one ticket, get one FREE on this Oscar-nominated film. Offer valid at box office only.

Spongebob Squarepants

* Regal Cinemas also has brought back their SuperTicket deal. For $15 over the price of the movie ticket, you get a digital copy of The SpongeBob Squarepants movie (2004) and, later, a digital copy of SpongeBob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water.

* Costco, Target, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart all have FREE movie tickets for the new Spongebob movie on DVD seasons of SpongeBob and Ren & Stimpy.

* Best Buy & Wal-Mart have FREE tickets for Fifty Shades of Grey on Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids, Les Miserables, About Time, and Pride and Prejudice.

* I know it’s probably only local but I just received two FREE movie tickets to Epic Theatres for donating blood (through Blood Connection).

2015 Woohoo!

Wow! I cannot believe how many marvelous things I am looking forward to in 2015. The year is apt because all of the returning movie franchises make me feel like I’m fifteen again.

The top ten TV series I am looking forward to in 2015:

1. Game of Thrones Season 5

2. The Walking Dead Season 6 (and rest of 5)

3. Daredevil (Netflix so yay for Day 1 binge)

4. Penny Dreadful Season 2

5. Westworld (HBO)

6. Mad Men Final Season

7. Ash vs. Evil Dead (the return of Bruce Campbell)

8. Agent Carter (in spite of being disappointed with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

9. Doctor Who

10. Sherlock

The movies were very hard to winnow down and there are dozens that I am looking forward to. The top ten 2015 movies I am most looking forward to are:

1. The Avengers Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon is amazing)

2. Star Wars – The Force Awakens (ditto J.J. Abrams)

3. Terminator Genisys (afraid of this but I love the franchise)
4. Jurassic World (you had me at dinosaurs)
5. Spectre (Christoph Waltz as Blofeld? Yes, please)
6. Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro returns to horror)
7. Ant Man (troubled history but official Marvel)
8. The Fantastic Four (rebooting after two terrible movies)
9. The Hunger Games Mockingjay p.2 (looking forward to seeing how this ends)
10. San Andreas (I’m a sucker for disaster movies)

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! Happy Holidays if you prefer – I just have nice wishes for all at this time of year…well, all year, but who’s counting? If you end up having to travel today or run out for groceries, a meal out, or the movies, please be especially nice to those who have to work today.

Black Adder's Christmas Carol

Netflix has a rather ridiculous number of Christmas specials available. For the somewhat irreverent, may I heartily recommend Black Adder’s A Christmas Carol. For the whimsical, there’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. For the kids, try The Muppet Christmas Carol. For the traditional, there is Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.