Archive for Entertainment

Five Thoughts on Jobs

Posted in Life, Movies and Theatre, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2013 by urbannight

1. I don’t care for Aston Kutcher.
2. I didn’t like Steve Jobs.
3. I hate Macs and how everything is an iSomething.

4. I feel very compelled to watch the biopic Jobs.

And

5. I don’t like biopics!

How odd.

What is going on….

Posted in Apartments, Entertainment, Gaming, Hobby, Movies and Theatre, Reviews, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by urbannight

I have not been coming up with as many good ideas as last year.  Or, I do have a few, but when I have time to jot them down, I can’t remember them.

So I’ve posted less.

And it looks like I’m in for another move again.  Fairly soon too.  So I may end up having a moving process to talk about. 

Tonight is my gaming night, but tomorrow I’m going to start the ambitious task of whittling my stuff down my 25%.  It may be painful.  But I need to have less stuff.  I really do.

So, it will be slice of stuff for a bit. 

I do need to write about a rather bad movie I saw last week.  I was watching 1980’s comedies.  One movie with an all star cast was not funny at all.  It was sad.  Just sad. But more about that later.

Two Successful Marketing Campaigns

Posted in Advertising, Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2013 by urbannight

I read articles about various marketing methods that get people to spend more money.  I have to laugh at those articles because those marketing ploys don’t work on my.  I don’t follow the pattern they are saying consumers follow.  This could be because I happened to be one of the rare women who hate to shop.  I also just can’t believe that the masses are as completely gullible as that.

This image of the 99 cent menu is a little off as most of the items on the old 99 cents menu are now over a dollar but under two dollars.

This image of the 99 cent menu is a little off as most of the items on the old 99 cents menu are now over a dollar but under two dollars.

I also disagree with the marketing concept that even a bad ad is okay because people will remember the product and not the ad.  Years and years ago, Wendy’s had a marketing campaign that I hated.  The more I saw it the more negative I felt about Wendy’s.   I eventually forgot the series of ads that I thought were so bad, but every time I drove past a Wendy’s, I felt the same negative feelings and disgust.  I didn’t go to a Wendy’s restaurant in about a decade.   I think it was the spicy chicken sandwich that got me to go back. 

I’ve stopped going again.  The changes they made to make their food seem more like ‘real’ food were bad changes.  I haven’t had a good serving of fries there in two years and the quality of some of the other stuff has been going downhill during that same time. So I just stopped altogether.

There are two marketing campaigns that have worked on me. 

  Coca Cola ad

One came out when I was very young, so it didn’t affect my shopping habits but it probably explains why I was a Coke fan over Pepsi.  Today, I go between both equally.  But anytime they do a retro ad campaign (I know they did it sometime in the 1990’s as well as more recently), this one gets to me and I want Coke.  It was the “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony” advertisements.

Pepsi copied this add campaign with a song that sounded very much like it.  I thought they used the fund raising song, “We are the World”, but upon looking that up, it turns out that some people objected to “We are the World” because they thought it sounded too much like a Pepsi jingle.  I guess the jingle came first and the song came later.

I was sure Jeremy Piven had done a remake of this commercial in the 1990's but I can't find a reference of it anywhere.

I was sure Jeremy Piven had done a remake of this commercial in the 1990’s but I can’t find a reference of it anywhere.

But the best marketing campaign ever is also from the 70’s.  They wrote a jingle and hired an actor who could sing and dance to perform in the commercial, An American Werewolf in London’s David Naughton.  This good looking, young actor danced around signing a song that still gets stuck in my head several decades later.  “Wouldn’t you like to be a pepper too, Dr. Pepper, drink Dr. Pepper.”  I will admit that I usually see a later version of this commercial with a shorter, more muscled, actor with short hair.  I thought it was Jeremy Piven, before he did the 1998 TV show, Cupid. My research seems to indicate I am wrong. 

  To this day, when I see the red cans w/ the Dr. Pepper logo, that song starts to filter through my brain and I start to crave a Dr. Pepper.  A few days back, I saw a Facebook post for Dr. Pepper asking, “When was the last time you drank one?”  The song started to play in my brain as I thought to myself that I didn’t know when.  The past three mornings, I’ve gone straight to the machines at work and started my day with a bottle of Dr. Pepper.

Clearly, I’m a sucker for a really well written jingle.

When you just can’t continue. . . .

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by urbannight

I watched about 10 minutes of a film and stopped it.  It was that bad despite Jason Stathom.  I’ve said I could watch a bad movie if he was in it because I could just look at him the entire film.  Not this one.

It had some big names.  Stathom, Ron Perlman, Leelee Sobieski.  Actually, I hadn’t seen her in a movie since her teens and I liked her, I like Perlman and Stathom.  So I thought it was worth a try.

220px-In_the_Name_of_the_King_-_theatrical_posterThe name was In the Name of the King.  It was just so poorly done.  Farmer is a job title, not a name.  Even if you are an orphan that a village takes in.  He wouldn’t have been an a farmer at that point.  There would be to many farmers in a medieval village for everyone to use the job as a name or title. 

The opening scene was stupid, next was a short scene that made no sense whatsoever and had no context.  Then it switched to the farmer.  There was too much character development for a little boy who was going to get killed.  I had a feeling I wouldn’t like that at all.

So I stopped it and looked it up online.  Uwe Boll.  Um, that says it all.

Uwe Boll has never had a good film.  Everything he has done has not only been bad, it has been very very bad indeed.  Yet he thinks that he is all that and a side of fries. 

He blames his failures on his marketing company.  He says critics know nothing about movies.  He says other directors are talentless hacks. 

I think he is completely delusional about his own abilities and the quality of his films.  Not even Statham could make this film worth watching for more than 10 minutes.  Ron Perlman, who has been in a great number of B fantasy adventure movies and has definite acting ability, who has made some B films better just by being in the film, was not enough to make this film worth watching for more than 10 minutes.

I’m going to have to pay more attention to the identity of the director and stay far away from Uwe Boll films.

Cards of the Day

Posted in Entertainment, Hobby with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by urbannight

Today is not so pleasant. The crown, which everyone acted like it was going to be nothing compared to the root canal, left me feeling miserable.

Ace of Cups from the Gothic Tarot.  Art by Joseph Vargo.

Ace of Cups from the Gothic Tarot. Art by Joseph Vargo.

So, I’m going to do the Cards of the Day. Ace of Cups Inverted and the 2 of Pentacles.

Ace of Cups inverted means Sadness. Instability. Troubled Emotions. A False Heart.

Two of Pentacles means recreation and celebration balanced against minor troubles and frustrations; the arrival of news or a message.

Fehu

The Rune of the Day is, ironically (because we are currently playing it), the Gandalf rune per the game One Ring. Or the F – Fehu – rune per my reckoning.

It means property, Wealth, and new beginnings. Since it literally means ‘cattle’ it also has connotations of mobility or liquid assets and food or prosperity.

The Last Stand

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2013 by urbannight

Last Stand

This morning I went to see Schwarzenegger’s new film, The Last Stand.  I have to say that I did like it.

After so long out of the theaters, it did seem odd to hear Arnold’s heavy accent again.  Sure, he was in the Expendables 2 and had a moment in E1 but those parts could easily account for him being a foreign mercenary.   It was odd to hear a small town sheriff with a heavy Austrian accent.  But back in the day, we didn’t think twice about it.

The back story on the characters was scanty.  Poorly done.  Although, it would be more accurate to say that it felt like more had been done but ended up on the cutting room floor.  That said, the part of Agent John Bannister was particularly skimpy and under developed but Forest Whitaker did a good job with what he was given.  The most interesting character was probably Lewis Dinkum.  Johnny Knoxville seemed to have been channeling a toned down Murdock from the A-team.

You feel like you have entered these people’s lives in the middle and just get a view of one night and day.  Who they were before is not explored and who they may become as a result of these events is only hinted at in a few cases.  And for the purposes of this film, it works.  Except for the fact that I like to know a character’s motivations.  All we really know is that one group of people really just wants to keep the town save and get justice for the deaths of two of their own.

The film was filled with a fair number of very funny lines.  Everyone should know the line where Schwarzenegger says he is old.  It was in every trailer I saw.  The action seemed to work around the fact that Arnold is not as young as he once was and not in as good of shape.  The final fight scene is choreographed around the fact that Arnold is much bigger than the villain and incorporates mostly wrestling moves, giving the bigger, heavier Schwarzenegger the advantage over the smaller Eduardo Noriega, as his character keeps trying to rush headlong into each move.

Noriega also made a really sexy, if extremely dangerous, bad guy.  You almost wish you could have seen more of him outside of the car.  The other bad guys were the type of cannon fodder you were happy to see get wasted.

The movie is a fun ride but nothing that sets it ahead of other films.  On the other hand, there isn’t a lot to make it a horrible film either. The dialogue could have been written better and Arnold hasn’t gotten the feel for the delivery and timing like he used to have.  I blame it on the sheer amount of time he has been off the silver screen.  But I think it will come back to him with a little more practice.

I don’t give films a grade because I would then have to create a rubric that I would have to be able to apply to all films.   Maybe I will one day, but for now, I’ll just enjoy the shows and say what I like or didn’t like and leave it up to other people to create a grading structure.

This one I like, in a fun Saturday afternoon way.  Not great, not horrible, a few weak points but the fun of it over rides those.  Just a nice diversion.  Of course, if you want to take a look at what IMDB commentators are saying, they have already declared it a major flop and horrible and not worth viewing.  Personally, I don’t think it was THAT bad.  Like I said, a nice, Saturday afternoon diversion.

2012 in review

Posted in Writing with tags , , on December 31, 2012 by urbannight

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

When I started with Jason and the Argonauts I did not plan to end up at Wizard of Oz.

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by urbannight

Jason and The Argonauts is a great film.  To today’s movie viewers the special effects seem a bit on the corny side.  But for the time period, they were cutting edge. In fact, they had to invent a new method in order to film the skeleton fight scene.   My understanding of movie making is limited and basic.  But anyone with the smallest amount of understanding for the process should be able to watch this movie and realize that it is a great movie and not corny at all. 

 It is also not a children’s movie.  In fact, there is a very provocative dance in the film.  Perhaps not as provocative as in some of today’s movies, but still not something for you average 8 year old.  At the library back home, a very good inter-county library system, I was forever moving it from the children’s section of the library and returning it to the general section.  The cover looked somewhat cartoonish.  I don’t know if it was one of the other librarians who was constantly moving it because she had not seen it or if it was patron’s who saw the cartoonish art on the box cover and thought they were helping by moving it to the children’s bin.  Either way, I didn’t feel it belonged there.

 Our children’s section was pretty much geared for 11 year olds and below with a little bit bridging over into the pre-teens.  For the most part, the pre-teens were already shifting to teen/young adult materials.  Now I know I would have enjoyed the movie while still under 11 years of age.  But I was a pretty advanced child and my advanced reading level had introduced me to more adult themes. 

 Kids who still have trouble with the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz would probably have trouble with the skeletons in Jason and The Argonauts as well as other adult themes.  The Wizard of Oz is a kid’s movie when compared with the content of Jason and The Argonauts.  I’m not sure it was marketed as such when it was released. 

 Both are great classic movies.  Both are worth watching.  Just make sure that you understand where your child’s development is at if you are planning to introduce young children to either one.

In Lament of Wonder Woman

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by urbannight

The Crunchy Urbanite wrote a blog about planning Wonder Woman’s funeral that was a good blog.  The ultimate point was that we should make sure to make our last requests for our remains and funerals ones that our loved ones can actually reasonably follow.

 It was a good blog but I couldn’t help but focus on Wonder Woman.  Some of you may have come across some of the articles a few months back (or more) that Wonder Woman is getting a makeover and a rewrite.  I won’t say reboot because to me that means a restart of a movie franchise.

 She now gets to wear pants and a jacket.  She is looking very urban and very much part of the nocturnal crowd or the underworld.  Edgy and darker.  With her new outfit, even if a friend of mine says it is too generic, you could put her down in any vampire story and she would look like she fits in.

 If I was taller and thinner, or just thinner, I would totally wear her new outfit.  But that is part of the problem with it. It no longer looks like a superhero’s uniform.  It looks like something anyone (with the figure) could wear most places.

 My biggest gripe is the change in her back story.  The writers have apparently decided that people like angst ridden anti-heroes best and they are taking her in that direction.

 The island she came from has been invaded and everyone killed.  She is the only survivor.  She goes out into the world to fight the evil that destroyed her world.  I’m paraphrasing from my memory of the articles. 

 Admittedly, the big comic book houses have changed back stories before.  But this one just irks me.  I feel like they couldn’t come up with anything so they stole Superman’s back story and gave it to Wonder Woman.

 I feel like the Wonder Woman I grew up with has died.  Admittedly, I haven’t read comics in a long time and haven’t kept up with the story line.  But now I know how my mom felt when they killed off Superman.  40, 50, 60 year olds who hadn’t read comics since they were teenagers and they all went and bought copies of it to keep in sleeves.  That was when I discovered my mom read comic books.  She never seemed the type. 

 Still, I feel like we really should be holding a funeral for the old gal (Wonder Woman, not my mother).  May she rest in peace.

Sims 2 or Sims 3

Posted in Gaming with tags , , , , , , on September 8, 2010 by urbannight

I went back to Sims 2 because there were a lot of things about it I missed.  Now I’m missing things about Sims 3.

Sims 3 Sims are slightly smarter in that they will not do the potty dance until they pee themselves and if they are hungry they will go eat.  In S2, they will complain about hunger then go paint, or use the dance bar.  The strange thing about S2 is that when they have totally depleted the fun meter, they will keep going to the dance bar if there is one on the lot even though this item gives no fun credit.

But Sims 3 Sims won’t do many things unless you control them.  If they are outside, they won’t just start finding things or collecting things.  S2 will start doing hobby stuff on their own if nothing else is going on. 

I do like that you don’t have to put your S3 people on the bed to get the WooHoo option.  But S3 people, no matter the personality characteristics, are much easier to get together than S2.  There is no challenge to it.  I can make total opposites and get them together in no time flat.  Sims 2’s sign based personalities are more likely to create people that just don’t get along.

I REALLY miss alien babies which is why I went back to S2.  I suddenly realized what I needed to do to create a town of aliens and wanted to work it out.  It was so obvious that I don’t know why I didn’t realize it before.  More than anything from S3, I miss being able to change the peoples wardrobes after ever birthday and modifying furnishings.  Some furniture items have no properly coordinating carpet or wall colors/coverings. 

In S3 I don’t like that they took out the environment meter.  Oh, I like that I not longer have Sims going nuts because of the dirty dishes.  But I used that meter to determine if I had made a good house or not. 

I miss the vampires, witches, zombies, and werewolves from S2.  Actually, I’ve never gotten a werewolf or a zombie yet.  So in that sense, I’m still finding S2 to have challenges in it.  I also like the fact that I have SOOO many more hair styles and clothing from which to pick.  I miss a lot of my favorite outfits from S2 when I play S3, especially for the school age kids.  The S3 outfits are pretty horrible for that one age group.  

I was a little disappointed in the personality characteristics of S3.  I expected more difference in behaviors when you let them go on their own.  But they all act mostly alike. 

S3 lets you set favorite colors.  But there is no boost to the Sim when if you have them in clothes that have the favorite color or make living spaces in the color of choice.  If it has no bearing on the give them favorite colors?

On the whole, I really can’t say if 2 or 3 is better.  Maybe it will be more obvious once there are more expansions for S3.