Sunday, March 27, 2011

VW Part 2

Here's a link for anyone interested:


Village Whiskey

Spent a night in Philly. Tried out a new place while we were there. Well, new for us. Village Whiskey, on 20th and Sanson, I believe, though if you search it you'll find it. I was intrigued by it mainly for the whiskey aspect. They have an amazing list of bourbons and scotches and whiskeys of all sorts. And they were divine. But the food. Oh my good, the food was amazing. It was a limited menu, with mostly burgers and sandwiches available. I got the pulled pork sandwich and my wife got a burger. Both were fantastic. There were also friend pickles and pickled beets and fries that were fried in duck fat. Divine. I think it spoiled us for dinner, which was great, but the fantastic lunch at the place just completely ruined us. If you're there and don't mind the walk from you hotel or a drive, check it out.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monsters (2010)

I read recently that Gareth Edwards was picked to helm the new American Godzilla movie, based on his work on the film Monsters. Having never seen it, I decided it was a good choice for this week's Friday Night Fright.

The basic premise is that after a NASA deep space probe contacts alien life and crashes to earth, the alien life forms start to spread across Mexico, resulting in an area known as the Infected Zone between the US and non-infected Mexico. However, this movie doesn't take place during the outbreak, it takes place well after it, when everything is semi-stabilized and people are trying to live with the fact that giant things could crush them should they go near the zone.

This brings us to Andrew and Samantha, the photojournalist and the daughter of his employer who he is sent to bring back to the US. Conventional routes are closed or closing off and expensive, but Andrew manages to buy Samantha a ticket on a ferry back home. Unfortunately, due to some bad luck, he manages to screw that up and they're forced to find an alternate route home through the Infected Zone, a place where death is most likely going to find them.

Monsters is less an action movie and almost more of a travelogue, as we follow the protagonists as they journey through a land of giants. Newbies to the culture around the monsters as well, we get to discover the world of the Infected Zone with them as they try to get home, seeing the devastation wrought by both man and monster as they struggle for dominance. Its a really enjoyable one too. The main characters are likable despite their flaws (he's kind of a lech and she's kinda spoiled) and you find yourself rooting for them to make it through alive, much better than Cloverfield, where I was hoping the dvd would just break in half while watching it, since both man and monster in that one were terrible.

The monster designs are interesting, kind of like an undersea type of animal or the big walkers from out of The Mist, or maybe Phyrexia. They have crab legs and tentacles and a big glowing brain/heart thing that looks awesome. You see them in flashes at first and then get some good looks at them and they're impressive, especially for the low budget of the film. Sci-fi channel, take note--this is how you do creatures.

If his Godzilla movie is half as good as Monsters, I'll be pleased, as Edwards has the ability to balance human drama and monster attacks almost perfectly. Check it out.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tron Legacy

I'm a big fan of Tron. I loved the movie as a kid and I still enjoy it now. Sometimes I even try to break out the frisbees and get people to play with me. No luck. Fortunately, I had another way to get my fix with the release of Tron Legacy. I was pretty excited for this film. Same characters and actors, new graphics, Olivia Wilde being sexy. What's not to love?

The movie takes place 20 years or so after the original. Flynn has been missing for years and his son wants nothing to do with the company, aside from playing pranks and being a troublemaker. One day, however, Alan shows up with his pager, saying that it came from Flynn's old office at the arcade, which has been closed for years (a shame, as arcades are awesome). Sam goes there and gets sucked into the grid, where a computer program clone of his father, named Clu, has made the place into, well, much as it was during Sark's rule with the MCP. It's a bit more built up, ok, a lot more, and similar to our world, but it's still the grid and oppressed and in need of some freeing. Unfortunately, Sam doesn't have many allies in this fight, save for Quorra (Wilde) and some rebels and hopefully, his father.

I really enjoyed this one. It's true that it's a nostalgia trip for people who enjoyed the first movie, a love letter to them, really. There's light cycles, there's disc chucking and even a solar sailer. There's the familiar blue and orange lined outfits we've come to love. And there's Jeff Bridges. The plot isn't anything really to write home about, but it was just great seeing these characters again. Even those who aren't fans should be drawn into the story easily and enjoy the great special effects and solid acting. And Olivia Wilde. I've been a fan of hers since Turistas and seeing her in a Tron outfit is like seeing heaven itself. She just looks fantastic. Seeing Flynn back in action was great as well, though he does take a back seat to his son and Quorra.

It's well worth checking out for fans of Tron and sci-fi in general, and for those that who aren't as big into it, the movie is a nice way to spend two hours and shut the brain down for awhile and enjoy yourself without giving yourself brain damage like the Clash of the Titans remake might do to you.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The New Doctor

After rolling through a massive amount of the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) episodes of Doctor Who, I wasn't sure how I would like the 11th Doctor. I mean, Ten had almost become like a member of the family or an old friend, as it seemed like we were spending every night with him. I gotta say, I'm enjoying what I've seen on Matt Smith so far. He kind of reminds me of Jared Padalecki, feature-wise. He's got some good comic delivery and the way, as the youngest Doctor, he dresses like an old man is rather charming. It's like he's an old soul at heart. I can't wait to check out some more of his episodes as the wife and I get ready for Series 6 come April. I can't wait.