Monday, February 28, 2011


Not that it was all that difficult but I was right on all six of those. Cuz I have no life.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last Minute Predictions

As the Oscars come up, I have most of em down and want proof just in case (if I'm wrong, I will delete this so I can claim I was still right).

Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo (though Hallie Steinfeld was great and it would be awesome)
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale
Lead Actress: Natalie Portman
Lead Actor: Colin Firth
Movie: King's Speech

Only one I am sketchy on is Best Director. I think it will be Tom Hooper for King's Speech but I have a bad feeling that Social Network's David Fincher may come out victorious. Guess we will see in a few hours.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Clif-Notes: 127 Hours

Or as I call it: A Rock Does What Spider-Man Couldn't
In case you've been living under a rock (.....), 127 tells the true story of Aaron Ralston as he copes with his arm being trapped, leaving him in the middle of a canyon, alone and without provisions.
With some good Oscar buzz behind it, I wanted to check it out before hand so that I could have an actual say in how good it was. My only problem with this movie was also my biggest fear: I found it a bit slow. At only 94 minutes long, it is considerably shorter than most are but when the subject is "man alone in canyon", it started feeling long at some points for me. That being said, I was quite taken by James Franco in this. Obviously the movie rested on his shoulders but he stood taller than I thought he would. I can't say it was the best performance of the year, but in all honesty, that's not a fair statement coming from me. After Natalie Portman blow me away in Black Swan, I keep waiting for a male performance to do the same. Franco did not do that for me, but he was pretty great. I wouldn't feel upset at all if he ended up winning on Sunday.
The dvd of this comes out on Tuesday and if you haven't already seen it, I would absolutely recommend checking this one out.

Happenstance or Awesomeness?

Alright, I gotta get a little for-serious with this one to start just so you can all see why this moment was truly amazing. Hopefully buy tale's end, you will think the long story was worth the read. Onto the serious beginning...
Over the last couple of years,a very close friend and I have fallen apart from each other. The story for this is too long and, honestly, too personal to go through so I won't but I will say it hasn't been fun. On Tuesday, her and some friends came into a movie and, normally being a day off for me, she seemed rather surprised to see me. However, for the first time in a long time, I didn't feel much except happy to see her. I gave the three of them passes and went out and talked to her. She seemed a bit uncomfortable but we were civil and I was glad I saw her (have said maybe two texts to each other since September). I hugged her goodbye and they went into their movie but things didn't end as well as I thought they had began. As I sat up front, selling tickets, her two friends left without her in tow. She had decided to leave out a side door and not deal with the hassle of saying bye. As hurt as I was, I also realized something that I have been told for these last few years: She's gone. She's moved on from me and doesn't need the friendship we once had anymore. For two years this has eaten me from within and I would be lying if I said I have been "normal Clif" fully through. However, in this moment, I also realized that I am moving on too. I've tried what I could to make her a part of my life still and that's all I can do. Forcing anything else will just makes things worse and harder on myself. But I know this now and over the last few days, I have felt incredibly... free. I don't feel the same weight I have over these years and it's an odd but welcome feeling. I have been feeling more like the old, more care-free Clifton. No burden of guilt and no hating myself for what happened. Not fully, anyway.
Which brings me to the second part that sets up the moment.
Through high school, I had a lot of anger and hatred towards other kids and how they treated myself and others. Feelings that, while I still hold a grudge against high schoolers, I have since let go. One of the things that actually helped me was a coin. A 1969 quarter, to be exact. I would flip the coin each morning and if it came up heads (gay sinister smiley face), it was going to be a good day. I put part of my fate into a coin flip. In letting things fall onto said coin, I started feeling more free to just be me each day. That maybe a "higher power" was now in charge. The closest I have ever gotten to being religious. I found solace in this coin flip, for whatever reason. It eased my mind.
So what do I find myself today, after such an epiphany? Sitting in my cup holder this morning was a quarter I had not noticed before. A 1969 quarter. Facing me heads up... How fucking awesome is this?! What bigger sign do I need to show my times are changing again for the better? Maybe a man in a Captain America outfit asking me for directions. That symbolism may be bigger but I have yet to see it.
So I share my story with you all in hope that maybe "saying" things aloud will put it in even better perspective for me. That letting things out will only cause those good days to happen faster. At least that's my hope. I guess the cliche of "only time will tell" is most fitting.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Clif-Notes: I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four tells the story of a fallen planet, whose only survivors (nine children and their protectors) escape to Earth until they can to full power and can take back their lives. If they can survive the Mogadorians. who are still hunting them. As we start up, we see the death of Number Three, leaving our main character "John Smith"/Number Four next.
The front half of the movie was pretty slow. Four has to keep low but just can't seem to do it. He befriends the science nerd who is also an alien conspiracy-nut. He falls for the girl who loves photography and has bullying problems with her ex-boyfriend, the school jock. However, what the front part lacks in... well, mostly everything, the back half makes up for in spades. Four begins manifesting his powers, the Mogadorians close in and we get a sweet, bad-ass chick in Number Six, who has been taking the hunt into her own hands.
This movie was pretty Awesome. It had it's crap parts and it had it's great parts. Maybe it's just the geek in me but I'm a sucker for stories with any kind of super-powers. If they ever make a sequel, all the high school crap will now be left out and I'm hoping that the awesome fights the last thirty minutes of this one, will fill it front to back. Sadly, it probably won't do well enough to warrant a sequel but I will keep my hopes up.
I say it's worth watching, but I would also say that you could easily wait until dvd to rent it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NB of the Week

Fantastic Four #588
With the events of the last issue, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this one. I knew it was going to be a memorial issue. I knew it would be filled with all of Johnny's friends lamenting over his sacrifice. I didn't expect an almost completely silent issue, with so many people wanting revenge. An angry, silent issue. What a brilliant idea.
We go through "A Month Of Morning" in this issue. Day 1 sees the Avengers and Sue arriving too late to help Johnny. Day 3 sees Sue pulling away from life as she ponders her brother's death. Day 4 sees Reed taking the Ultimate Nullifier at Annihilus, wanting his revenge. Young Annihilus stands there, holding up a tattered "4" uniform piece. Reed sulks away speechless (and I gotta say, I wanted to kill Annihilus myself at that point. What a dick...). Day 5 sees a wake with an angry Ben. Day 6 sees Kristoff Vernard taking over the throne of Latveria. Day 8 sees Doom showing up to the burial (possibly setting up him joining the FF later...). Day 14 sees Spider-Man and Franklin having a moment of lost uncles. Day 20 sees Valeria and the other kids plotting the death of Annihilus (which is a more terrifying thought than Reed's Nullifier). Day 26 sees the best and most emotional part where Thor and Hulk let Thing take out his anger and fear and aggression on them. Hulk takes blow after blow, never raising a hand back, but catching Ben as he falls to the ground, letting everything out. One of the best individual scenes I've read in a very long time. Day 29 sees Reed Sitting and thinking (as he usual does for every problem) and a portal opens up, his father stepping through. End issue.
My only complaint in this issue is the art. After Steve Epting's amazing run on this death story, we have a filler artist who doesn't quite match up. Taking out all words but the last page, the majority of the issue falls on the art itself. It's not that it's horrible art, I just wish Epting would have stuck around for one more issue to do it. But that's the only complaint. Amazing issue, front to back. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You should be reading this book. Great, great stuff.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Clif-Notes: Unknown

Unknown takes Liam Neeson and tries to back on his success from Taken, as he runs around trying to take back his life. I'll back up a little bit.
Martin Harris and his wife arrived in Germany, coming to a BioTech get-together thing and he is a speaker. Suppose to be a speaker. After a car accident, though, he wakes up four days later with slight memory loss and nobody remembering him. There is another man claiming to be Martin Harris and not even his wife knows who he is. Now he wants answers. If only he could remember all the questions...
Ya like that little cliff-hanger I put on there? I'm proud of it.
Unknown was pretty awesome. The makers know what they are doing as they have obviously tried to make people remember how bad-ass Taken was and convince them this is the next version. While not as good as Taken in my book, this was still a pretty awesome movie. More thriller, who-done-it kinda movie over a vengeance, Liam Neeson kicks ass kinda movie but still worth watching. Probably the best thing about this mystery is that when everything begins to open up and be explained, you can think back to early parts where it perfectly fits and you can see that this is where they were going from jump street. Nothing worse than a mystery that pulls it's surprises outta their ass and you could never have figured it out.
Awesome movie. If you haven't seen Taken, watch this one first so and save the better one for last but still watch 'em both. Great flicks.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brain Tunes

I was looking up some Wing (look her up, she's hilarious) and somebody's posting talked about how they hated her but loved these guys' AC/DC remakes. I can't find any video of the AC/DC stuff (will throw it up as soon as I do, though) but here's a little taste of Bohemian Rhapsody by Hayseed Dixie.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Be On The Look Out

I just saw this awesome, security video on tv of a man trying to steal another man's wallet but the dude starts fighting back for it and eventually puts a choke hold on him so tight that the would-be mugger gets put to sleep! Awesome, funny stuff. If I ever find it, or if somebody else does, let me know so that I can put it right up for ya. It's hilarious.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Trailer Watch - Thor #2

Second, full trailer to Thor was released and it has me even more excited than I thought it would. Super stoked for this one and it should be awesome.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Clif-Notes: The King's Speech

I didn't really have a huge care to see this movie when I first heard of it. Didn't really know Colin Firth by name. Geoffrey Rush was Captain Barbossa in Pirates. Tim Burton wasn't directing it so why is Helena Bonham Carter in it? However, I do try to make it a point to watch the "Oscar buzz" movies so that when they suck (and they usually do) I can actually have a reason for it. Sadly, I missed out on 127 Hours before it left the theater and I didn't intend to make the same mistake for this one.
What I got was a story of perseverance and finding one's own voice, all rattled to the tune of an awesome, crazy, old man.
Speech tells the story of The Duke of York as his father (George the 5th) lies dying, his older brother next in line and he with a life-long stammering problem that he wants to fix. Rush is the old codger whose unorthodox ways are suppose to help The 6th into a position of comfortable speaking. Not all are fit for what's happening and he must always be prepared for the spotlight.
Colin Firth (whom I have never actually seen act before, his voice in A Christmas Carol being the only movie I have seen) was great. His demeanor as the unsure George VI was amazing. You can see how much his body language changes from start to finish and it's quite an extraordinary performance to see. Rush as the no-rules-apply speech therapist was also great. His wit and humor played against Firth's unease brilliantly. I don't think this was the be-all-end-all movie of the year and I'm not saying that either Firth or Rush had the best performance of the year but it was quite a movie and I would absolutely recommend seeing this. Great movie and I hope it beats out Social Network for everything it's up for.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NB of the Week

Bright Day #20
With issue 19, we saw the start of the small story Aquawar, where Mera's heritage comes back to haunt her and Black Manta tries to help. With a battle over the land people beginning, Aquaman and the new Aqualad held their own, but were left wounded at issues end as Black Manta cut off Aquaman's hand. Again.
With issue 20, we get the ending to said events. Before Manta can kill AM, Manta's son, Aqualad, tackles him, choosing his side once and for all. Before things can get hairier, Mera and Aquagirl jump in to help out. Four against hundreds. Good odds for any hero. As AM had AL cauterize his bloody nub, they all come to realize that they cannot stop the invasion by simply fighting. Guess it's a good thing one of them is a water elemental and can control it. Pushing herself to almost death, Mera pulls back the entire ocean itself, using it as her extended arms and ripping each enemy back into the it. And with the help of AM new dead-fish-talk, he now has an entire army that can't be killed backing him. As they pull closer to the Bermuda Triangle (where the army was released), AL uses his unique powers to help shut them in once again. Embracing his mission, Arthur Curry is given his life back only to be turned into nothingness just like the Hawks were.
This series has had it's share of good and bad but when it's good, it's damn good. I'm nothing but intrigued by what the hell the White Lantern wants with everyone. It said they all have a part to play and it's all part of the plan but I wanna know what that plan is, dammit. Only six issues left, though, so answers have to start coming, right? I mean, it's not like this is a business where sales have to be drawn out continually every month...

Cool But Stupid

Marvel released their new solicits and there are some variant covers called X-Men Evolutions where they show a character's evolution through the years. I assume it's for the release of First Class but I still hate variant covers so I am torn. Like the covers, hate variants. Here are the four I saw:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First Class First Trailer

This was released last week at some point but I'm slow so you'll have to forgive me. I had my reservations and skeptical thoughts about this ranging from how fast they put it all together to who and how many people were a part of it but this trailer sells me. The stock-footage at the beginning kinda sucks but this makes me kinda excited for more X-Men. Sound off on whether we think it's another fuster-cluck of the real deal.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Official" Spider-Man

Sony has released a sweet pic and the full title of the new Spider-Man film for next summer. Probably not surprising to anyone, the official title is The Amazing Spider-Man. Pretty cool but nothing brilliant. However, and I know people everywhere will disagree, they did release a cool pic in full Spidey-Mode. Gets me a little more excited for this. Should be interesting. Sound off as to how much I know you will all hate it (because I love it).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Late NB of the Week

As I bragged about before, I went to Utah yesterday so I did not get the chance to chow my NB with you so here it is. A little late but always worth it.

Ultimate Captain America #2
As anyone who knows me can attest, I loves me some Captain America. You throw in Jason Aaron at the words and I'm as giddy as a priest at Krupp Scout Hollow. Aaron has been making a name for himself as one of the grittiest and best writers around (if you have never read or even heard of Scalped, you should do yourself a favor and go find you some) and throwing him into a Cap book is awesome.
By the end of issue #1, we were introduced to Frank Simpson, the Captain America of Vietnam. Cap is sent out on Simpson's trail because what moderate success the Super-Soldier Serum had on Simpson, is now being used to make Super-Soldiers for other countries and there's no way in hell Cap is gonna let that happen.
Ultimate Cap is dark and gritty and mean, just like a real soldier should be. He still stands for the same morals and values that he always has, but in this universe, he's willing to do whatever he needs to uphold them. Cap tracks Simpson to Cambodia, to a secret village not on any maps. When demanding answers from those villagers, he is taken by surprise when the elder and the children alike attack him with super-soldier strength and speed. Cap is left bloody and beaten on the ground, Simpson now leaning over his body:
"You feel that, Cap? That Fear? That anger? That overwhelming sense of helplessness? That's you're first lesson. First of many. I have so much more to teach you."
Aaron is a perfect fit for the Ultimate Cap. Awesome stuff. Down and dirty like a real soldier. Cap doesn't scare away from the hard work. He may not like it but he knows it has to be done and that it's not about liking it. Great stuff. Give it or any Aaron writings.

Being a Fan

I just got back from Salt Lake as a friend had invited me to a Jazz game against the Chicago Bulls. As I sat there hootin' and hollerin' as the Jazz lost, I came to realize that I didn't care if they had won or not. A victory would have been nice but that doesn't change how much fun I had throughout the whole thing. It had been around fifteen years since I had been to a Jazz game and the feeling is great. To just be there among the other fans (even surrounded by Bulls ones) was amazing enough. I loved it and I would love to go to more games down the line. Win or lose.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Remembering Rock

I was listening to the latest All That Remains album this morning and I was reminded of how my older brother came into town for Thanksgiving and I tried to play it for him. Within the first minute of the first song, he just scowled and said "Too hard for me, man". Too Hard? This is the guy who introduced me to hard and heavy. I first listened to the likes of Korn and Limp Bizkit (though they may seem laughable to people now, fifteen years ago they were heavy shit) because of him. I found out who Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne were because of him. This was the man who gave me my first copy of Killswitch Engage! And that was while Jesse Leach was still on vocals! But All That Remains was "too hard" for him. Makes me wonder if the day will come when I think this music I love will be "too hard". I hope not. I love singing bands along with all this. Breaking Benjamin. Shinedown. Chris Daughtry. But heavy is what my heart is. Heavy rules my day and heavy will lead my ears into the next revolution. Maybe some day will come and things have to be turned down a bit or I start not being able to understand the words (... more so) but I think I'll still be rockin' it. Disturbed and KISS (don't care what Adam says) and Killswitch and All That Remains and Korn will be right there on the shelf with Shinedown and Elton John and Journey and Andrea Bocelli and Katy Perry and even Josh Groban. Yes, I said Josh Groban.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Total Gay-er

Got the Super Bowl teaser trailer for Captain America. Totally makes me giddy. I still have some doubts but I would be lying if I said this trailer didn't get me all sorts of excited

Friday, February 4, 2011

Total Gay

As if I wasn't already totally gay for Chris Evans and for Captain America, they release this sweet-ass movie poster, making me even gay-er! And I don't care! Look at this bad boy and tell it doesn't get you all sorts of excited for this movie! You can't, because it totally does.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Clif-Notes: The Mechanic

I'm warning all of you that this post will be using harsh and vulgar language. I would like to think that at this point you all know that I can have a potty mouth so it should really come as no surprise, especially as it shall be used to describe the coolest fucking movie ever!
Ok, maybe not the coolest ever but I was pretty damned impressed. The Mechanic is a remake of the PG rated, Charles Bronson movie. Only rated R and probably much, much more bad-assed. Arthur (Jason Statham) is a hit man. He's good at what he does. Which is why when the higher-ups want his friend and mentor dead, he's the only one who can get close enough to do it. After that heartbreak, Arthur then befriends said mentor's son, Steve (Ben Foster) and begins to teach him the ways of killing. Little does Steve know Arthur's secret of his dad, and little do either of them know that not everything is as it seems.
I couldn't get enough of this movie. Dudes dying. Heads being shot. Shit blowing up. Boobs, Booze and Bullets. Everything needed to make one bad mother-fucker of a movie. Is there better out there? Absolutely. But is there more fun out there? Not right now. This movie will get no awards nor will it be the greatest thing you have ever seen, but it will give you a massive man-boner. I loved it. I can't wait to see it again. I really hope I'm not high and come tomorrow I realize this move sucked because that will really piss me off. Guess I'll just have to make watching this movie a daily matter. Deal. Glad y'all agree with me.

Fury's Sidekick

Sam Jackson said on Jimmy Falon the other night that he was test screening with a few ladies about a new, supposedly sidekick role for Nick Fury in Avengers. Now, the word new is a bit vague. It could easily just refer to a character we haven't seen yet but it could also mean someone who's not in the comics. Here are two of the names that are rumored to be auditioning. I'm thinking it could easily be Maria Hill but who knows.
Sound off on what ya think.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Colbie Smulders

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NB of the Week

Ultimate Thor #4
As this series draws to a close, I'm left with a sad impression: nothing really happened. But that's ok. In fact, it actually speaks volumes for it. Nothing says "amazing writing" more so then nothing happening in the story and its still a great read. Every issue of this title has been awesome. We've been treated to the origin of Ultimate Thor. Was it pointless? A little. Was it sweet as hell? Absolutely. We've found out that Loki aligned himself with Nazis to lead a charge against Asgard which in turn left most everybody dead. It that rebirth, Thor has found himself without memory, only glimpses of what was. For three issues, the Brits, lead by Captain Britain, have been trying to figure him out, even bringing in the help of renowned psychologist Doctor Donald Blake!? But isn't Blake Thor's human host in the regular book? Yes. Yes he is. But as we found out in this issue, he is Balder the Brave reborn in this universe and he has helped Thor remember everything. Sadly, that means he is now aware that he has no powers anymore. Enter the Brits. With the back half of the issue, we come to find out all the little things that happened between the pages of the first volume of Ultimates all those years ago. His weather weapons, his meeting with Nick Fury. Ending with why he stepped in to kick the trash of Hulk in Ultimates.
Jonathan Hickman may be making waves with his run on Fantastic Four but this mini was no slob. Great origin and great tie-in to the Ultimates. This one is a must for geeks of either.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Clif-Notes: The Rite

First and foremost, this movie was awesome. I loved most every minute of it and the back half with Anthony Hopkins may be some of his best since Silence of the Lambs.
The Rite tells the story of Michael Kovak as he journeys to find himself and his faith. After running away to monastery school just to escape his father and their mortuary, he finds himself at the end of his four years wanting out. After an accident forces him to give a lady her last rites before dying, his teacher decides he could make an excellent exorcist. He tells him to spend two months at the Vatican and if it does nothing, he will gladly pass along his wishes to leave. After questioning the practice and it's faith, his new teacher sends him to Father Lucas (Hopkins) who has been doing exorcisms for a very long time. Pretty soon events start lining up, people start being possessed and Michael must seemingly help Father Lucas from the same demons he has fought for decades.
The story itself isn't the most original. Most exorcism movies tend to be the same and a crisis of faith has been the premise of far more films than Sam Jackson has even been in. It's very much a "presentation" movie and it was great. Colin O'Donoghue was pretty good as Kovak, especially considering that he was sharing with Hopkins, who was amazing as always. I found the movie to have plenty of chilling moments with the "end" scene between Hopkins and O'Donoghue giving me goosebumps the whole scene. You will not come out of this movie with a new experience and you will not see things that you have not seen before but did that stop us with 22 James Bond movies? The performances were great. The presentation was great. This movie was great. It won't be every one's type of movie, but if you're willing to see this movie, you should.

CLif-Notes: Solomon Kane

I finally got my hands on a copy of 2009's Solomon Kane based on the character created by Robert E. Howard. Movie Solomon tells the story of Solomon Kane on his path to redemption. After learning his soul has been damned to Hell, he vows to never raise another hand in violence. However, that vow must be broken after he promises to save the daughter of a family that helped rescue and take care of him.
This movie was pretty cool. It's been making the film festival rounds for a little over two years and no idea when a dvd release will be out. It's another one that wasn't brilliant but was just cool and fun. The swordplay was pretty awesome at points but will probably get a pg-13 rating at some point so it had some parts that were dumbed down and could have been cooler but I still liked it. Pete Postelthwaite may be the biggest name in the movie. Solomon Kane is played by the one dude from the first Resident Evil movie (look it up) but the lack of names shouldn't stop you from checking out this movie. It's worth the watch.