DVDs, Books, Games, and more

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Everyone's Hero

Seen at Mountlake 9 theater 

Review: * * 1/2

A nice kid's movie about Babe Ruth, a talking bat, a talking baseball, and a boy named "Yankee" who brings all those elements together. Not as sharp as Pixar animation and not quite as dumb as a lot of the Dreamworks animation.

posted by AndyO @ 10:13 PM   0 comments

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Music for 9/10/06

Journey: Captured

I'm starting to realize that Journey owns some of the soundtrack of my youth. This live album in particular was one that my brother and I listened to all the time on his stereo. I was amazed at the energy of Journey in concert, and after listening to this again I'm still amazed. Steve Perry's vocals are astounding. But I'm also equally impressed with Neal Schon's guitar work. These guys knew how to write catchy songs and rock the crowd.

Rush: Hemispheres

I've recently learned from the book "Chemistry" that Hemispheres was one of the worst recording experiences that Rush experienced. They recorded all the music only to find that most of it was outside of Geddy Lee's already high range. To me, this album is when Rush's sound really coalesced. Many people think that happened during 2112, which is true to some degree, but that album lacks the detailed mix that has defines every album since Hemispheres. 

Adam Sandler: Shhh...Don't Tell

When I first listened to this, I thought it was crude and not very funny. (And this doesn't mean that I don't think crude humor can't be funny.) But I found myself thinking about Sandler's "Gay Robot" and "Sid and Alex," and when I listened again I found myself laughing.

Outkast: Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below

I've heard so much about Outkast and had never really listened to them. Their sound surprised me. Here was an album with Classical, Hip Hop, Jazz, Rap, and other styles. These guys definitely deserve all the accolades.

John Williams: Greatest Hits

John Williams is the most famous film composer today. His scores are now part of culture -- from "Star Wars" to "Jaws." But when I listened to some of his "greatest hits," I realized that the theme to "1941" was also pretty good -- and that I actually remembered it. "ET: The Extraterrestrial" seems to have aged less gracefully for some reason (I also feel that way about the movie). "Raiders of the Lost Ark" seems to borrow a lot of themes from "Star Wars," which I'd never really noticed until I heard them back to back.

U2: All That You Can't Leave Behind

Still one of my favorite U2 albums.

posted by AndyO @ 11:47 PM   0 comments

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Book: Rush: Chemistry by Jon Collins

posted by AndyO @ 4:24 PM   0 comments

DVDs - 9/9/06

Classic Drum Solos & Drum Battles: Vol. 2, 2002 -- * * *

It's amazing to watch some of these drummers who pioneered the drum solo. It's a foregone conclusion that Buddy Rich always plays the best drum solo; he was practically born with sticks in his hands. But of the other soloists on this disc, Lionel Hampton and Louis Bellson also shine. Hampton plays a solo on one drum that is complex and entertaining. While I know Gene Krupa was really the drummer who pushed drums to the forefront, his solos never push the envelope for me.

Weeds - Season 1 -- * 1/2

I just watched the pilot for this Showtime series, and it didn't really grab me. Something about watching a single mother turning into a pot dealer so she can maintain her lifestyle just isn't interesting enough.  

posted by AndyO @ 4:22 PM   0 comments

Monday, September 04, 2006

Movies for Labor Day Weekend 2006

Rumor Has it - * * * (DVD) - An entertaining, fun romantic-comedy. If you've ever wondered what happened after The Graduate ended, check it out.

The Ant Bully - * * * 1/2 (Theater) - A wonderful, imaginative children's movie. After it was over I realized I hadn't heard any jokes aimed at adults or any music montages. This is great work.

The New World - * * * 1/2 (DVD) - A film about Pocohantas and how she bridged the Native American and European worlds. There is a dreamlike quality that stays with you long after the film is over.  

posted by AndyO @ 11:27 PM   0 comments

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Movies for 9/2/06

Entourage - Season 2, Disc 3 - * * * * (DVD)

I stayed up till 2:00 a.m. watching this disc. I think that says it all.

Stealth - * * 1/2 (DVD)

Previous review of Stealth (8/9/05) 

I noticed the critics shredded this movie, and for good reason. However, there were some genuine "summer popcorn movie" moments in this film. I tried to ignore the obvious problems, the clichés, and the bad allusions to other movies. If you don't know anything about this flick, it's about three fighter pilots who are testing out a new, super-stealth aircraft. When they get assigned to an aircraft carrier, they gain a fourth wingman―a computer-controlled aircraft that no one likes (they christen him "Tin Man"). As I'm sure you can guess, the aircraft without a pilot goes haywire, and the real pilots have to clean up the mess. The last act of the film is actually better than the previous two, despite its unbelievable plot.

Invincible - * * (Theater)

posted by AndyO @ 11:45 PM   0 comments

Music for 9/2/06

Over the past week, here's the music I've been listening to:

  • Rush: Different Stages - Discs 1 and 2
  • Fiona Apple: Extraordinary Machine
  • Johnny Cash: Live at Folsom Prison
  • Dream Theater: Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour
  • Fatboy Slim: The Greatest Hits - Why Try Harder
  • Journey: Escape
posted by AndyO @ 11:38 PM   0 comments