Down the Ballot

Thursday, July 31, 2014

GSY: Prelude to Axanar

U.S.S. Ares
If the History channel had these kind of documentaries, I would be a regular viewer. Perhaps someone ought to create a 'Future History' channel for such projects. It proves that there is plenty of material in Star Trek to find great new stories from just small starting points in the series. If you don't remember Garth of Izar at all, you need to go back to season 3 of the Original Series and watch Whom Gods Destroy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy Time

Tonight is gonna be great. I am going to see Guardians of the Galaxy at a special showing. Go Screen Yourself Review of Godzilla will have to wait yet again.

my tickets

Monday, July 28, 2014

Incumbent Actually Loses. Everyone Shocked.

So the big news out of the 2014 Oregon May Primary was the defeat of State Representative Jim Thompson, a Republican who represents the City of Dallas and other rural communities in Polk and Benton counties...well he'll represent these communities for a few more months. A lot of people were somewhat surprised by this outcome. He was defeated in the primary by Mike Nearman. The details of why incumbent Thompson was defeated and the issues that local Republicans weighed their decisions on is not as important as the misread of us in the political sphere and the 'shock' and surprise most people are having that an incumbent lost renomination.

I participated in a little game that deals with folks predicting and making educated guesses on various political races around the state. The person who gets the most races called correctly gets some bragging rights. This was probably the race that most people called incorrectly. So why did so many smart people pick Thompson to win, when in fact he lost 63-37?  We can toss in easy answers like 'Democrats don't pay enough attention to GOP politics or Thompson just lost 'touch' with party voters.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

GSY: Sex Tape

sorta my reaction to the film.
I'm not even trying to play catch up anymore. I still had two movies to write about and went and saw another one this last week. This Go Screen Yourself is about Sex Tape. I'll get to the point. I thought the acting was fine. The story was very poor. Not that I don't think the idea, in our day and age is a far fetched one at all. As one of the characters point out towards the end of the film, thousands upon thousands of sex tapes are filmed and uploaded every day. The story surrounding the fictional sex tape produced by the characters played by Segel and Diaz just wasn't that good.

***spoilers to follow***

Monday, July 21, 2014

GSY: 22 Jump Street

Summer is movie season and I'm probably going to have a few Go Screen Yourself reviews this summer to come still. A couple of weeks ago I went to see 22 Jump Street. After the first one I was a little curious to see where they went with the whole college plot line. Don't normally go to Jonah Hill or Channing Tatum films, but 21 Jump Street was good enough to get me to come back for another one.

For the most part, I thought the story made sense. It was a little burdened by the constant reminders that the audience was expecting the exact same thing and that they shouldn't deviate from the formula of the first one. The Hollywood mass movie machine has a pretty easy job at making movies. Make a movie. If it works; repeat as many times as needed. The film budget and the budget for the fictional 22 Jump Street department tended to match up in the movie. Characters would constantly refer to them as one and the same. Nick Offerman's character represented the Hollywood establishment. He kept reminding the leads to just do what they did in the last film and everything will be fine. Of course the main characters weren't really happy with that, so they went their own ways for much of the film.

Ice Cube had probably his best comedic performance to date. He not only played their department head well, but also had the chance to play the enraged father when he found out what was going on with his daughter and Schmidt. Even if there were only twenty people in the theater with me when I saw it, everyone was laughing. Jillian Bell also does a fantastic job playing the secret villain.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner Films in Oregon

James Garner (1928-2014)
With the passing of James Garner, I thought it might be cool to see if I could find any news about the actor filming in Oregon. I managed to find one about the filming of a Hallmark film in Dallas, Oregon in 1986. The film was called, The Promise. It is about a man who promises his dying mother that he will look after his schizophrenic brother. Garner said that Triangle Lake (located in rural Lane County) was a beautiful filming location.

Local Dallas resident Ed Matsler was even given a small part after he had done some work for the production. Speculation of future projects coming to Oregon were caused by the film getting some Emmy nominations.

Monday, July 7, 2014

GSY: X-Men Days of Future Past

So...this is sorta late of a movie review. I don't know what happened. I thought I had posted this. Was going through my drafts and it seems like I never hit 'post' so you get this review back to back with 22 Jump Street and Godzilla. Summer is movie season for me, expect a few more Go Screen Yourself reviews so I can catch up.

X-Men has always had an appealing main story element that seems to pull me in every time they put out a movie. Good people trying to do good for people who dislike them based on who they are. While I have generally been disappointed by most of the films after X2 (2003), a friend talked me into going to this. In all fairness, Patrick Stewart has tremendous appeal to me as a Trekkie, so I didn't need much arm twisting.

After Winter Soldier, I was at least optimistic about this film. My optimism paid off this time. It was a fantastic film, that is still making money for the studio. This film is still in theaters and it came out in May!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SNL Top 10 Hosts for Season 40 (10-5)

40 years. SNL turns 40 next season. Folks my parents age have seen it all. Thanks to Netflix and Hulu so have I (well most of it anyway). I was just looking over my Top 10 hosts for Season 39 and wondering what the folks at Saturday Night Live have planned for Season 40. Will there be a big anniversary special? Will hosts and cast members of the past 40 years be making some big guest spots throughout the season? I sure hope so. In that hope, here is my list of my first 5 of  10 ideal hosts for Season 40.

10. The Not Ready for Prime Time Players
George Cole, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, Garret Morris, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, and Harry Shearer.

Give them all one episode during the season. Let do whatever they want.

GSY: Fairest of Them All

I finally blocked some time out to watch episode 3 from the Star Trek Continues team. I think it was by far the best episode yet. It takes place right after the events of the classic TOS episode 'Mirror, Mirror' (MM). Fairest of Them All feels like a natural conclusion to the events of MM.

Spock vs Kirk is always a great dynamic. It allowed for a lot of action and intrigue that had not been seen in the first two episodes. The chess discussion is by far the best exchange in the entire episode.

I particularly enjoy that this sets us up for yet another episode. Does the evil Captain Kirk ever get his revenge on Spock? Guess we'll have to kick some love and funds towards Star Trek Continues if we want to find out.

Check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Iraq: Land of Confusion

Some lessons are hard to learn. Iraq will for sure be a lesson our country will take a long time to learn, much longer than the decade it has already been since the 2003 invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with everyone that Saddam Hussein was a bad dude. He really was. Most of us from the get go understood that 'getting rid of a bad dude' was not the primary motivation for entering that conflict. Even the flawed '9/11' connection or 'WMDs' arguments didn't hold the weight that having an ally with easy access to some of the world's richest oil wells would bring to our leaders in the Bush Administration and Congress.

We've come a long ways from Colin Powell's utterance of the 'Pottery Barn' rule. 'You break it. You buy it.' While this simple business motto might be good for a pot or cheaply made foreign product that so pervades modern shopping outlets, it was a poor reason to stay in Iraq. Now, the U.S. will be doing what most major retailers do: Write off the loss.