Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Review: Little Miss Sunshine

My wife and I both love going to the movies, so we go as often as we can. She enjoys the whole experience and only seldom is she overly disappointed. She's very good at tempering her expectations. I, on the other hand, often go into films with extremely high expectations, and am very often extremely disappointed. I would say that 6 out of 10 films I see I think are rather awful. 2 out of ten are decent, and 2 out of ten are really, really good. Forgive my math, but occasionally, once in a great while, a film is so exceptional that it reminds me why I love going to the movies. Little Miss Sunshine is not one of those films, but it is really, really good.

Little Miss Sunshine is blessed with a great cast, and a terrific script. Steve Carrell, who we love from The Office and The Daily Show, is very funny, almost as much as Alan Arkin as Grandpa. Greg Kinnear is perfectly cast as a motivational speaker who can't even convince his son (Paul Dano) to speak or his wife (Toni Collette) to not look at him like he's a schmuck. But the real stealer of the show is Little Miss Sunshine herself, Abigail Breslin, as Olive. The whole film is great, but the last fifteen minutes of the movie are downright classic.

Yes, there are plot holes in Little Miss Sunshine. But it is a comedy, after all, and you're not supposed to analyze comedies for things like that. But probably the best compliment I can give this comedy is that it is so good that it makes you want to analyze it like an art film.

Grade: A-

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hysterical Ringtones

Most of the time when I listen to my iPod I just leave it on shuffle mode, as kind of my own personal radio station. I can listen for hours and never hear a bad song! It's fun listening to Beastie Boys segue into Tom Petty into Prince into For Squirrels into a mashup I found on Hype Machine. But I still get the biggest kick out of when between songs my iPod picks a mini-track from They Might Be Giants a992 album Apollo 18. In addition to the great songs on the CD are 21 tracks called "fingertips" that are each about 8 or 9 seconds long that can only be described as "random". I can't explain them, just preview the tracks on Amazon and you'll get what I mean.

I was thinking about TMBG this morning and visited their website. They have three hysterical ringtones available for download on the homepage for $1.50 each. The best is "Call Connected Thru The NSA," but "Ring Ring" is also awesome. Even if you don't buy them, they are worth listening to online. If you do decide to buy them you're guaranteed to have the funniest ringtones in the office.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Music!

Other than Tom Petty's Highway Companion, I don't even remember that last CD I bought. But this month I bought two great ones:

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat. Jenny Lewis, our March 2006 Hero Of The Month is the lead singer of a group called Rilo Kiley, but she's just released her solo album and it is absolutely incredible. If I could pick one word to describe Jenny Lewis's writing style, it would be "sardonic". Don't be frightened by the gospel feel and country style. This music is more edgy than any hard rock band around. The lyrics will have you pondering life while laughing aloud. I have to admit I have developed a crush on this incredible talent. Add this to your collection immediately! Oh, and dont forget to check out her cover of the Travelling Wilbury's "Handle With Care!" Grade: A+

Jackie Greene - American Myth - This CD was made for me, it seems. Some songs sound like outtakes from a Josh Ritter CD, others sound like Tom Petty, or alternative rock. Every song sounds like the work of a gifted songwriter and a talented musician. I discovered Jackie Greene from Internet radio station mvy radio when they played his amazing song Sweet Somewhere Bound. I picked up his latest collection from, and it's an instant fave. Check out his myspace page for free downloads! Grade: A

Friday, August 18, 2006

Mookie Of The Month - August 2006

We went to the Outer Banks this weekend and Mookie got to check out the ocean for the first time. She wasn't too sure. I think she knows she can't swim!

Friday, August 04, 2006

This Is Hilarious - Dogs will Be Dogs

In England, there is a collection valuable teddy bears on display at some park. The display is very popular and they recently added a bear once owned by Elvis Presley worth $85,000. The collection was so valuable that in a stroke of brilliance the museum hired a doberman to guard the display. Big shocker here about what comes next - Like most dogs, Barney The Guard Dog loves to chew on stuffed animals - so he tore the head off Elvis's bear and destroyed a bunch of other bears in the collection.

When it was over, about 100 bears in all had been damaged. "He was pulling arms off, heads off," [the park's general manager Daniel] Medley said, and there was fluffy stuffing everywhere.

Too damned funny. Thanks to Mr. Met for the link.

Mars Won't Be Big As The Moon This Week

I got a couple e-mails that got me all excited to watch the sky this month. The e-mails were titled "Spectacular!" and if you read it quickly they made it seem like Mars would appear as big as the moon to the naked eye on August 16th. I thought that was pretty cool until I looked it up on snopes.

The truth is that way back in August 2003, if you had looked through a 75 power telescope, you could have gotten a great view of Mars. But to the naked eye, the casual observer wouldn't have even noticed. And that was in 2003. This year, the e-mail is completely untrue, with someone having switched out the years. Too bad.

What is true, is that all month you can watch a meteor shower if you can find a high spot on a clear night, away from city lights. Peaking on August 12th, the Perseid meteor shower will allow us earthlings to observe as many as 100 "shooting stars" per hour this month.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Die Hard Part Four Release Date Set

Bruce Willis will star in the fourth installment of the Die Hard movies, titled Live Free or Die Hard, scheduled for release on June 29, 2007. Best news I've heard all week!

A few months ago, news came out that there would be a movie based on Kiefer Sutherland's 24. My reaction was that they already made that movie, and it was called Die Hard. MTV makes the same comparison in this article, which also tells us the new Die Hard movie "centers around an attack on the computer infrastructure of the United States government" on the 4th of July. The article also says that several high-profile cast members will be announced over the next few weeks. The first castmember to be announced may be Justin Long, who you may know as "A Mac" in those funny Apple commercials.