Orlando here I come!

So my alarm will go off in 5 hours telling me it’s time to drag my tired ass out of bed and get heading to the airport. Tomorrow I leave for Orlando, Florida for a conference for work. This will be the 5th time I’ve gone to this particular conference and overall I’m excited. Not so much about Orlando but I do enjoy the conference itself. Last year was pretty cool as it was in Waikiki. Of course, this year it’s at Disney World so the two are kinda comparable. We’re staying on the Disney property at the Dolphin Resort/Hotel/Thingy/Whatever-the-damn-thing-is and from the website it looks pretty swanky. It’s kinda sad when the first thing you do for your trip is check out the hotel, right?

Anyway, I’ll be out there for most of the next week so I probably won’t be posting much. When I do, I’ll try to have some pictures of what I’m doing but no guarantees. Anyway, I really need to get to bed so I’m going to sign off. Watch for conference updates right here! (Yes, I’m a dork but then, so are you for reading my blog.  )

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The wife and I are huge Harry Potter fans. At least, we’re fans of the books; the movies not so much. At first, we were very excited about the HP movies. We saw Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets at the theater. With the Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, we waited for them to come out on DVD. With Prisoner of Azkaban, we were happily surprised at how well done the movie was. Yes, it was somewhat different from the book and yes, things were left out, but all in all, we thought it made a better movie because of it. Much better than the first two. When GOF came out, I heard many reviews saying if you liked POA you’ll hate GOF. Turns out they were right. Here’s why.

  1. My first complaint is the overall impression of the movie. The move, by itself, makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever. Ten minutes into the movie, my wife turns and says to me, “If I didn’t know this story really well, I’d have no clue what was going on!” I couldn’t agree more. There was so much that it assumed you knew that if you didn’t, it just didn’t make sense.
  2. At first the movie seems like it’s trying to stay 100% true to the book. Then it turns 180 degrees and puts Barty Jr. at the house with Valdemort, Winky is no where to be found, Dobby never apears and what the hell happened to S.P.E.W. (For those who don’t know, that’s Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare). My point? Pick a side. Either stay true to the book or don’t but don’t do it half-assed both ways.
  3. There are several parts of the movie where things are built up and then just fizz out. First and foremost would be the Quiditch World Cup. I was thinking, “Wow! Look at the stadium! This is going to be awesome! Wait…what? That’s it?” It was this massive setup and then nothing. There were other pieces like this as well. The entire magic scene with Valdemort at the end with Harry’s parents showing up and all and Dumbledore is all “Oh yes! The mumble-mumble-mumble spell! You know those weren’t your parents, right? Great! You’re really neat! See you later!” WHAT?!? That’s one of the biggest parts in the book. You find out all sorts of good stuff there and I get a mumble mumble?
  4. The whole dragon scene was so over the top I was seriously annoyed. I absolutely love that part in the book and consequently was highly anticipating that scene. And again, where’s the dragon going? What do you mean the chain broke? Come on people. The dragon chained up and all would have worked just as well. Hollywood just makes me sick sometimes.

Anyway, I could ramble on and on about all the things I hated about this movie so I’ll go ahead and say I give it 2 out of 5 stars and be done with it.

Dragonslayer

I have very fond memories from my childhood of a wonderful movie called Dragonslayer. In a very brave move, I added the movie to my Netflix queue to see if it really was a good movie. I watched the movie this past week and discovered several things.

  1. The movie is a Disney movie, at least in part. The Disney company was a producer in the making of the movie. I didn’t remember that.
  2. The part of Galen (our hero) was played by none other than a very young Peter MacNicol. For those of you who don’t know who he is, do you remember the quirky lawyer named John Cage with the curly hair on Allie McBeal? Well, that’s him! Very odd.
  3. The best part was that it really is a good movie. I was most surprised about this.

So, it was a good movie. Oh, to be sure, there was plenty of bad acting and it wasmade in 1981 so you can’t totally get away from the slight stench of that decade but all in all it really was a well done movie. The thing that impressed me the most was the special effects. For a movie made in 1981, the dragon looked really good. Especially when it was in flight, you could really see the dragon. There were a few places where it was obviously a construct but overall it looked really good.

Anyway, if you have good memories of Dragonslayer from your youth, you might pick up a copy to view it again. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well it has aged.

Doom (Unrated)

I watched Doom Unrated the other evening and I must admit, I was somewhat surprised. I went into this movie expecting the most god-awful thing I’d ever seen but, as I’ve said, I was surprised. Now, don’t get me wrong. It certainly was a bad movie based on a video game. In most respects it was a movie that should have never been. In other words, it was no Resident Evil. 😀 Fair warning, there are spoilers ahead.

The Rock – Ok, so you either love him or you hate him. So far, I love him. Everything I’ve seen him in, with the exception of the Mummy Returns (bad animation, not really the Rock), I’ve enjoyed. I truly went in expecting this to be a movie that he sucked in. Surprise! The Rock was able to pull off his character of “Sarge” pretty well. Honestly though, it wasn’t that difficult of a character to play. Either way, I really enjoyed how he went from being someone you respected to something else in the blink of an eye.

The “Demons” – This was probably my biggest disappointment with the film. The demons in the game were NOT genetically engineered. They were demons from Hell! Come on people. I know these times are charged with lots of religious non-sense but lets keep our origins true to form. The whole “24th chromosome that chooses who to infect to make monsters that are really people” was pretty lame. I want satanic demons, damn it!

The 1st Person Shooter Thing – was just idiotic. I ended up fast forwarding through that part. If I wanted to watch someone else play Doom, I’d fire up my XBox and have the wife take a go. Seriously, we know it’s based on a game. Enough already!

Okay, I supose after my nitpicking it sounds like a didn’t enjoy the movie even though I really did. It was one of those movies where you REALLY have to work on suspending your disbelief. If you can do that, and you like the Rock, then you’re good to go. As for why it was the unrated version, I have no idea having never seen the theater release. There was no gratuitous nudity so I imagine the gore was ramped up in this version. It didn’t seem over the top to me so I’m curious what they added in to make it go past the R rating it received in the theater.

All in all, I don’t know that I would suggest seeing this movie but I didn’t think it was a waste of time.