Thursday, April 28, 2011

Everyday Things

I just realized I have somewhere around three shirts. Go ahead and check the facebook; those of you unfortunate enough to be my friend. Yeah, done? And? that's what I thought; in all my pictures I'm wearing the same small number of shirts. I think this means the end is near. Maybe 2012 is really going to happen! Does anyone want to meet up and plan out what cliff to jump off of just before the end? I'll bring the kool aide! You know, if we jump at just the right moment the aliens or robots or Mothman or Han Solo or George S. Patton or who ever will swoop down to save us. Or it's all a bunch of bull shit and we just fall to our deaths. Either way we won't have to get up the next day and go to work. I could also just need some more shirts. Christmas ideas everybody!

I’m sure all of you know someone like me. Some freak like me. I’m not complicated. Your first mistake would be over thinking me. I’m a man of simple requests. For instance, often I like to enjoy a hamburger; plain. So what does plain mean? I’m pretty sure the Dictionary of Modern American Foods describes it as and I quote “meat and fucking bun!” Now I worked at a fast food establishment for nine months after college. I know the customer is not always right. But damn it to hell, how hard is it to make a plain hamburger? “Okay, I have this bun, now I need this piece of meat. Okay, now wrap it up. Done, oh that was simple!” Yeah you’d think so. I mean really, what could a customer ask for that is any easier than a plain sandwich? Oh, and while I’m on the topic, when I ask for that plain hamburger, the word plain implies NO CHEESE. So after I order you don’t have to ask me if I’d like cheese. I mean why did you even bother to take my order if you weren’t going to pay attention to the words coming out of my huge flapping lips? And no, I would not like to try an oatmeal, burrito, green milkshake or what ever else you burger joints are pushing these days. If I want those things, I’ll go to a restaurant that specializes in that item or make it at home. I just want a hamburger from you people. Plain and simple.

I guess it is the fate of us all to suffer and rot under such ridiculous and mundane circumstances.

On a more joyous note, the Wife will be running her very first half Marathon this Sunday, May 1 in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Flying Pig Half Marathon. That's 13.1 miles for you uneducated in the ways of running. There is a way to track her progress via text message using the chips in her shoes. If you're interested let me know and I'll get you that info. Be aware the race starts at 6:30 AM so if you sign up you'll get some very early texts! Also, we both have sore throats, please pray they don't turn into anything more. The Wife will provide you with a full write up of the run and the weekend as a whole next Thursday, so YAY for scheduled programing! Peace be with you all, accept for that dumb ass that messed up my burger, you have a terrible weekend ass hole.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Best Picture Project 6, The Sound of Music

We come again to Monday and in turn the Best Picture Project! This week we are covering two films because I've seen Chariots of Fire and The Wife has seen the Sound of Music. Next week we will be viewing the most recent winner, The King's Speech. Here is that sexy link to see all our past Best picture posts in one place. Enjoy.

The Sound of Music, 1965

I tried to come up with some funny play on the hills are alive, but that has been done and I gave myself a headache. I did not get bored however, during this film. Now let’s be clear, I’m still not wild about musicals. Maybe I’m an elite snob who only likes Oscar winning musicals? We will hold off on that verdict until after West Side Story. I’m not saying the Sound of Music is my new favorite movie. I’m not even saying I’d jump at the chance to watch it a second time. What I am saying is it is clearly worthy of its Oscar for best picture. I’m starting to see that a good movie with strong story and characters is a good movie no matter when it was made.

My first problem going in was the musical status of the film. Once more I was being a judgmental douche. What I hate about so many musicals is when the music is just there to be there. This films music is very much a part of the story. It never seems out of place or awkward. I’ll even go as far as to say I enjoyed it at times. The music worked here because it was inherent in the story. People were not just breaking out into song for no good reason. The music was a part of the culture of the people in the film. Singing was a way to stick it to the Nazi interlopers. I’m always in favor of things that annoy Nazis.

The acting in the film is good, although a few of the children had their terrible child actor moments. Over all I just don't fine much bad here. The setting of the movie (Austria) is beautiful. There is nothing particularly stunning about the camera work, but there is nothing particularly wrong with it either. Some times normal old shots are just what the doctor ordered. Not every movie has to be ground breaking to be good. Great even!

-Hobo Dan

Chariots of Fire, 1981

Ahhh… dadadada daaaa duhhhhhhhh. Ok my attempt at type-humming the famous Chariot’s of Fire Score probably isn’t great. Going in to this particular Best Picture winner, I knew two things about this film: The famous aforementioned song that coincides with the beach running scene and the fact that the film revolved around running and the Olympics.

Now back in our college guys, Daniel had a copy of this film and I once asked him if we could watch it. He said no because it was sooo super long and could be boring. Starting this project, I reminded Daniel of what he had told me several times, but he said that maybe now that he is older it wouldn’t feel as long/boring. I did not find the film boring, but it did seem long/drawn out at times.

The small amount of negativity I felt about the movie aside, the film had many strong points. The intensity of all the track scenes spiked up my adrenaline and gave me the infamous “track butterflies.” I get nervous every time I attend a track meet, see one on TV and in this case, on film. I guess that’s what you get after running 14 seasons of competitive track! I especially enjoyed the Olympic races. Daniel said most people care more about the 100 race with the Jewish guy on the United Kingdom team, but I cared more about the 400 race with the Scottish guy, who ended up not running on Sunday because of his promise to God. It brought tears to my eyes during these running seasons. I still run as a means of staying in shape, but occasionally I miss the feeling of a competitive track or cross country race. I’ll never forget my last track race… I ran the 10K (an event I never thought I could/would do, and oddly enough it was my first time doing it). I remember rounding the 200 meter turn, which is when you “kick it in” in runner speak, and I knew that would be the last time I would feel that rush ever again.

I think because of my personal connection to running, I really enjoyed this film. I know there were deeper issues at stake in the movie, but the running was my favorite part. So was this film worthy of its Oscar? Well I only saw one movie it was up against (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and I have to say Chariots of Fire is the more “Oscar worthy” film of the two. The movie had some deep meanings, was emotional and well acted, so yes, it deserved its Best Picture accolade.

-The Wife

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guest Blog #1

See, I told you someone else out there wanted to get a piece of this hot blog action. Here is the first of hopefully many guest blogs. If you still want to write one feel free to submit them to: Enjoy!

The Sky Really Isn't Falling......I Don't Think

I love end of the world prophecies. Talk about blog fodder. How many of these have we endured in my 54 years? A bunch. Remember Y2K? We made it past that one. My mom still has a stack of cut wood for her fireplace for when the electricity went off. Oh yeah, it didn't. Then Jim Jones convinced a bunch of fellow fruitcakes that all was lost. It was....for them. With the rash of recent earthquakes and tsunamis (had anyone other than oceanographers heard of that word until a few years ago?), I am sure that there will also be a rash of end of days predictions. Unfortunately, these people didn't pay very close attention during science class when geology was being discussed or they might have a better idea of how insignificant these events are from a geologic time perspective.

It kills me when preachers, pastors, padres, and other erstwhile holy men propagate this kind of crap. Yes, I am a believer and I know the bible talks about the end days, but it makes no real reference as to when that will be. And people like the aforementioned should know better. They don't do much to lend credibility to Christian beliefs either.

Now it appears that December 21 or so of 2012 is the big day. I am so glad that they have pinpointed the exact time. I can take the day off work - heck, I can quit work - and sit outside in my lawn chair to watch the events unfold before my very eyes. Unfortunately, it will be cold outside, or I would throw some tube steaks on the grill and whip up some frozen concoctions to aid me in my observations. Then again maybe it will be warm, what with global warming and all.

Personally, it doesn't matter to me if this is the end or not. I have made peace with the man upstairs, and I believe I'm safe from any sort of end time shenanigans. But I really don't think that some calendar created by an ancient civilizations has a handle on when the lights go out for our fair planet. I could be wrong. I have been many times before, so don't take my word as gospel. But when people like Mel Gibson, Shirley McClain, Canibus, Jeneane Garafolo, and Montel Williams believe the 2012 prophecies, the smart money says that you probably ought not max out your credits cards.

"Those who know don't tell, those who tell don't know."
-Bill Huber, retired minister, silicon valley chemist, and one of the smartest people I ever met.

Submitted by: ratherbebikin

Monday, April 18, 2011

Best Picture Project 5, Platoon

Happy Monday everyone. Looks like we are still going strong with this Best Picture Project. Don't forget to look here for past posts. Next week we will be tackling both The Sound of Music and Chariots of Fire.

Platoon, 1986

Well we chose to go ahead and watch Platoon as part of our Best Picture Project series since it only had one day left on Netflix Instant Play! We have to take advantage of all the movies available on that.

This is probably not a movie I would see again, but I actually enjoyed it. Charlie Sheen (WINNING!) did a great job as did the other cast members, especially Willem Defoe. Defoe’s death scene, which has been spoofed in many films including the ever-so WINNING Tropic Thunder, was a bit over the top…however, cheesiness aside, you really felt his pain. He had just been betrayed and was doing EVERY thing he could to try and live. Quite sad really.

In fact, the majority of Platoon had a tragic, depressing feel… which is understandable because the Vietnam War is a very tragic/depressing subject. The movie really demonstrated how that war changed people. I have never been in the military so I do not know, but talking to many people who have, they say that war in general changes you. During the movie, you see Sheen’s character go from naïve in the beginning to completely broken of spirit at the end. Some scenes, like one where they go to a village and one of the U.S. soldiers basically assaults a retarded Vietnamese boy, was sickening to watch.

As with many Oliver Stone movies, however, this film was quite liberal in thought. After watching the movie, I read reviews from people who actually served in Vietnam. The VAST majority of reviews complained and said the only thing true about Platoon was the feel and look of the jungle scenes. Many complained that they did not like the characterizations of the soldiers as either hippies or ignorant bumpkins. I do think there could have been more characterizations, however, it is just a movie and isn’t meant to be a completely fictional tale of the Vietnam War. My complaints would be how the white soldiers were the only ones portrayed as “bad” or “stupid” in the movie, which seems a bit racist, but oh well.

I still enjoyed the movie whether it is historically accurate or not. It gives me an even DEEPER appreciation for all those who gave their lives and served in Vietnam as well as all those currently serving to protect our freedoms in the military now. I have the utmost respect for our military — without them we couldn’t live the way we do today. Whether you are for or against war, I believe respect must ALWAYS be given to our troops. God Bless you all.

So, was this film worthy of its Oscar? YES! Now I have never seen any of the other films nominated, but I still stand by my decision!

The Wife-

So I have very mixed feelings about the Oscar worthiness of this film. I'll start by saying I haven't seen a single other movie nominated in 1986 (I haven't even heard of any of the other nominees). So I really don't have any ammo to say this movie does not deserve best picture. However, something about Platoon just bothers me. Maybe it's a twenty year old Charlie Sheen not even trying. Perhaps it's how every character in the film is either a warmongering killer or a pot smoking hippie who just wants to go home. I'm aware Oliver Stone was in Vietnam, but I have trouble believing that everyone who fought in that war fits into one of these stereotypes.

Most of my fellow war movie lovers will probably hate me for this, but I really don't care for this movie. Sure, war is hell and it does a great job portraying that aspect. Maybe I'm getting old, but do they have to say fuck every other word? At what point did Hollywood decide everyone talks like that? But I guess Hollywood does know best, or so they tell us. It seems to me that Stone (who is know for being political) made a very political war movie during a time when vietnam movies were as popular as vampire movies are now. I guess the Academy had a pretty slim choice of movies in 1986 and gave the best picture to the one that fit their view of the world. I mean this isn't any better than Apocalypse Now or Full Metal Jacket and neither of them won. I don't know, maybe I'm just getting bored of the same old same old. Probably I'm having trouble putting myself into the shoes of a movie goer from the eighties. I'm rambling, but I guess this movie deserves it's Oscar if not for any other reason than I'm bored of thinking about it.

Hobo Dan-

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Wife's Birthday

Eight. Somewhere down the road we learned to get along without killing one another. It was a slow process hashed out over many a long AIM conversation. You’d go into great detail about some subject of great interest to you; I would answer with: “cool," "lol” or “I see.” I’m a man of few words. . . until you piss me off. Four long dormitory years led to four unbelievably short real world years. In that time we learned to live together without killing one another; a much harder task. It’s been a worthy exercise in patience, love and choosing one’s battles very carefully. No one is perfect, including us. We get mad and yell. We get sad and cry. But your faults are my strengths and your strengths are my faults. Ka (life) is a wheel, if I may borrow from my favorite author, and we help each other spin. Eight years I’ve helped celebrate your birthday.

Many of you are probably wondering, “Who’s the guy writing all this sappy shit?” My wife is most likely among you. To doubters I answer: there is no better way to find yourself in the “good graces” of your wife than a public show of affection. If you’re giggling at my sad attempt at innuendo, thank you. Sometimes I lose track of life and stop appreciating all I have because of all I don’t. I'm pretty lucky. I managed to convince a very attractive, young, intelligent, athletic, mostly sane woman to put up with me. And that’s really what it’s all about. We get so little time here and we tend to spend it bitching about what we haven’t done or don’t have. This is a good day to remember what I do have. If civilization broke down today and I lost all my possessions and home, at least I’d have my wife to help me lop off the zombie heads. And that’s alright by me.

It is your Birthday; I love you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Best Picture Project 4, No Country for Old Men

Welcome back for another Best Picture Project post. We hope you have been enjoying our thoughts. Please let us know in the comments if you do, or if you think we are stupid and full of crap! Here is that super secret link to the BBP label if your too lazy to scroll down and click it yourself. Next week's movie is Platoon.

No Country for Old Men, 2007

Is it a good or a bad when your favorite scene from a film is the opening monologue? I guess that depends on what comes after. In No Country for Old Men’s case it’s not a great thing. This movie is deep, thoughtful, brutal, thrilling and for me somewhat of a let down. It is based off the book of the same name by Cormack McCarthy; the author of one of my all time favorite books: The Road. A viewing note before I go any further, this movie was beautiful to behold in HD. If you’re going to see it, do so in High Definition. The vast Texas landscape of the film is simply breath taking and is another reason I loved the opening scene so much.

I’m not sure what exactly disappointed me about No Country for Old Men. The acting was absolutely wonderful. Tommy Lee Jones always proves he’s one of the best in Hollywood. Josh Brolin managed to pull off a very strong performance. He remained somewhat likable even though his characters actions were less than moral. Javier Bardem, who won best supporting actor for his role, stole the show as the gun for hire. As I mentioned earlier, the cinematography and set pieces were perfect. The sound and music don’t particularly stand out to me, but they don’t stand out as bad either. I guess it all comes down to story. I understand the story and what they were going for. The problems come in the presentation. I felt the long wandering monologues, while well spoken and written, slowed the film down and killed the sense of anticipation built in the action scenes. Don’t get me wrong I love a good monologue and this film is full of them. There in lies the problem.

Another issue I had was predictability. It didn’t take long for me to realize Josh Brolin’s character was going to die one way or another. When you steal two million dollars from drug lords and leave enough evidence that they know your name, you’re a dead man. Not once after that initial thought did I have doubts about his impending doom; this ruined any sense of suspense for me. This identity crisis was also a problem. Is this a thriller or an action film or a thinker? It’s just not clear. I don’t mind genre blending to a certain point, but here it’s less smooth transitions and more harsh changes from intense action to deep thought provoking monologues. Not to mention I truly stopped caring if Brolin’s character died or not after he chose to try and save himself instead of guarantee his wife’s survival.

I know what they were doing with the open ending. It’s really all in the title people. There is no country for old men. Things are changing and the America of our fathers and grandfathers is gone, likely never to return. The directors, the Cohen brothers did an outstanding job. If you liked Fargo and True Grit or pretty much anything else they have made, you’ll enjoy this; as I did. However the individual aspects of the film are much greater than its whole. I understand why it won best picture, but I do not agree. In a year that suffered from the writers strike, there was a less than full field of contenders. Unfortunately, I have real trouble putting No Country for Old Men above Juno for best picture that year. So for the first time in our best picture project, with some hesitation, I must render a not worthy verdict. But don’t just lean on my opinion, see it for yourself! If you disagree I want to know why.

Hobo Dan-

I was excited to see this film as it was described as a “thriller.” The opening monologue was well done, and the movie looked gorgeous, which was probably due to the blu-ray quality. Tommy Lee Jones was awesome as was Javier Bardem.

That being said, now time for my complaints. The movie did not live up to my expectations. What could have been a good plot seemed to JUST END. It was as if the writers knew they had to wrap up the movie because time was running out and they just haphazardly threw the end together. I GET the theme of the movie and the ending…I just feel like it could have been done better. I understand that they are saying the old days of the past are gone, the world is crappy and that there is “no country for old men.”

I guess I was primarily disappointed overall with this movie. To stress once again, YES, I got the film…it just wasn’t my cup of tea. (I can’t stand when people get upset because you don’t like a movie and then they try to say “well, you just didn’t get it” haha). So, for the first time in my BPP reviews, I DO NOT think this film was worthy of its Oscar win. Juno, which blew me away and was simply awesome, should have taken home that award. However, if you have yet to see No Country for Old Men, please do, you might like it…to each is his own.

The Wife-

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Existential Crisis

You’re going to die. Don’t worry, I will too. Everyone is going to die. Would it change how you live if you knew when, where and why? Sometimes I go through a philosophical crisis of being and ask questions like that; questions that have no real answer. Sure you could answer it, but how do you know that’s how you’d react? We don’t know ourselves nearly as much as we think or wish to. Sometimes I find myself wondering who the hell that guy in the mirror is, because I sure don’t recognize him from ten years ago. Ten years used to seem like a long ass time too, and now, it’s nothing. I guess time really is relative. He’s one nasty relative at that; the kind that you don’t see forever and then shows up at your Grandmother’s funeral and calls you fat. This philosophy is tiring, I know. You’re probably bored and wish I’d write some rant about babies first birthday or the latest thing that has pissed me off. But kids, life isn’t all rainbows and unicorn farts. Sometimes life sucks and no matter how much you poke fun at it, it still scares the hell out of you.

Have a Nice Day...

And the appropriate response to that would be? A blank stair as if confused by the sentence? A nasty frown? No response at all because you where too busy flapping your lips into the cell phone to hear me or give a rats ass that I just did all your work for you because your too stupid/lazy to fill out some simple forms all on your own? I understand only one of us is being paid to be nice. I’m pretty sure if I weren’t paid I probably wouldn’t be either, but come on people! What is going on in this world? Why can’t people be nice? What happened to thank you and you’re welcome? We have invented a million new insults that mostly make no sense but it’s too hard to force “Thanks” out of your fat, greasy, fast food smelling mouth!


I got a letter in the mail the other day from Dish Network. The letter stated it was from Dish’s CEO and was addressed to: Our Neighbor. My neighbor is the redneck hill jack who has ten barking dogs and three trucks that sound like Vesuvius when he fires them up; proving to all of us his wiener is indeed as big as the sound implies. He uses stray cats as target practice. His home décor can be described as a cross between outdoorsman and Apocalypse Now. On occasion Budweiser Corp comes by for some blood tests to see what an all beer diet will actually do to a person. You’re telling me that guy is the CEO of Dish Network and expect me to want to join up? A thousand channels all playing Bonanza and Dallas all day? No thanks, I’ll stick with my cable. Not like I need another item attached to my house to catch all the bird shit. I already have three cars for that.

Cell Phones

Cell phones, oh lord, cell phones! Cell phones at lunch, cell phones at dinner; cell phones at work, cell phones at play. Cell phones before, during and after sex. Cell phones at the movies! I’m so sick of cell phones. People just love their damned cell phones. Maybe someday they will be able to install them directly into our bodies. You know, the receiver will be up in the ear and they can place the key pad somewhere in your arm. I think if they let you pick where the key pad goes I’ll have them put it on my penis. That way whenever I have to call someone I’ll have to whip it out and people will be like:

“Hey, Daniel, um, you should probably put that thing away.” And I’ll be like.

“No, it’s cool. I’m just calling my wife.” I’ll probably keep the ringer on vibrate most of the time, although occasionally it’d be funny to turn it to loud so when people call my crotch starts singing Baby Got Back. Or maybe I’ll make my ring tone some Michael Jackson song so when I answer I can grab myself and yell. It sure would change the meaning of playing Angry Birds.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Best Picture Project 3, Driving Miss Daisy

Well look at that, we are already on post three of our Best Picture Project! This is going to take a while. Anyways, next week we will be talking about No Country for Old Men, in case you are trying to keep up. This link will take you to a special page with all our BPP posts all in one place. How wonderful technology is.

Driving Miss Daisy,1989

This is certainly a movie I would have never seen if not for our Best Picture Project. I knew very little about this film, but while looking it up on Netflix (it was on Instant Play… HECK YES!), I saw that Morgan Freeman was in it. I have always agreed to the notion that “you can’t go wrong with Morgan Freeman,” and this movie was certainly no exception.

(SPOILERS AHEAD… if you like to be completely surprised, stop reading, go to your Netflix account and add Driving Miss Daisy to your cue now! Seriously do it!)

The film revolves around an elderly, Jewish woman, Daisy, played by Jessica Tandy, and her hired (against her will) African American driver, Hoke (Freeman). At the beginning of the movie, Daisy could be described as a high maintenance, grouchy, old woman, but we see that she is a truly caring individual as the film progresses. Throughout the movie, Daisy slowly begins to open up to Hoke, and the two form an incredible friendship that transcends the line of class and race. Perhaps the most impacting scene of their relationship is where Daisy realizes that Hoke cannot read, and she ends up teaching him.

The movie does a fantastic job of showing the time-line progression. It never really says the year, but shows that time has passed through calendar shots, upgraded cars, clothing styles and current events (like the civil rights movement) going on. Several years pass through and with each year, you really see the strong bond that Hoke and Daisy have. As someone who has dealt with a grandparent suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, the end of the movie was particularly hard for me to watch. After a spell of confusion more than likely effected by her dementia, you really see how much Hoke cares for Daisy. Once she is calmed, Daisy turns to Hoke and tells him that he is her “best friend.” It is just such a MOVING moment in the film. (I already cried during the aforementioned reading scene), but this totally brought on the water works (first BPP movie so far to make me cry!). Later as the years pass, we see that Daisy has been put into a care facility. When Hoke, who is shown to be quite aged himself (so much so that his granddaughter is now driving him), visits Daisy at the facility, it seems at first that she is not lucid. But, in a quick moment Daisy tells her son that Hoke came to visit her and the two go on to have one of their typical conversations and the movie ends. This was a perfect ending to me as it truly showed the depth of their friendship. I also was relieved they didn’t take the cliché route and end with either Hoke or Daisy dying.

Overall acting in this movie was top notch. Freeman and Tandy were amazing and even Dan Aykroyd pulled off a phenomenal performance. I love Aykroyd, but I never thought of him as a “serious” actor until now seeing how the movies I know him from include Ghostbusters and My Girl.

So to conclude, Driving Miss Daisy was well deserving of its Best Picture win. I am so pleased that the husband and I began this project, otherwise I would never have seen such a remarkable, touching film.

The Wife-

I’m having some trouble writing about this one. Don’t get me wrong it’s a fine film worthy of all praise and awards. It’s just not to kind of movie I usually watch and try to break down. But I guess that’s the point of this whole project, right? Sometimes we might miss stuff that truly moves us just because the film isn’t our normal thing. The Wife touched on most of the main story points, so I’m not going to bore you with repetition. But I do need to start somewhere, instead of this asinine stalling.

 I seem to remember one of my college professors remarking while teaching a popular culture film class that "I liked this movie. It was good!" was the worst thing you could ever say about a movie. "How descriptive!" I have vowed to never use it. Well guess what? Driving Miss Daisy was good and I liked it. Why? Well the acting was top notch. If I had money I'd pay Morgan Freeman to come to my house and read me bed time stories every night. His voice is just awesome. Before this film, I don't think I had seen Jessica Tandy play in anything else. She is very good as well. Although, how hard is it to play a grumpy old person; I do it every day! Where is my Oscar? The story was heart warming, original and I think based in some truth. The older the movies get the more I notice the huge difference in pace in older movies compared to today's almost strobe light films. "Wait, you mean they aren't going to cut from close up, back to far shot, then to super close up on eyes and back in under five seconds?" Some people may have problems with this, I love it. I can't wait to get even older movies that hold scene without a cut for minutes!

I'm off topic. So does this movie deserve the Best Picture honor? Yes, I suppose it does. I went back and looked at what else was nominated, and I only recognized two other films from that year and I haven't seen either. I guess that counts for something that even before seeing Driving Miss Daisy I'd at least heard of it before.

Hobo Dan-