Friday, January 31, 2014

Blue Jasmine

I absolutely love this movie. Wow, I am completely surprised by how much I love this movie. Disclaimer: I am not a big fan of Woody Allen. I watched Blue Jasmine because I wanted to see Cate Blanchett's performance as she is the front runner to win the Oscar for Best Actress. I really expected to like Cate Blanchett despite the movie. I may have never been more wrong about a movie. I honestly can not understand how Blue Jasmine was not nominated in the Best Movie category.

Cate Blanchett's performance was flawless (and her wardrobe was unbelievable). The story was interesting. The characters were well developed. I mean, I really don't have anything bad to say about this movie. If every Woody Allen movie was like this one I would be on Team Allen (at least as a filmmaker...just sayin'). So, I'm interested to hear from Woody Allen fans. I know I am in the minority since most people love his films. 

Sally Hawkins was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category. While her performance was good, it was not a stand out to me. Its third and final nomination was for Best Original Screenplay (Woody Allen); it was a really interesting story. 

You should see this movie, right now, tonight, that might be pushing it, maybe this weekend, oh wait, Super Bowl, maybe next week, you could watch it Saturday, unless you are planning your Super Bowl party, sorry to boss you around, just do what I tell you, go to Redbox.

Blue Jasmine is rated PG-13 for thematic material, language and sexual content.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

All Is Lost

All Is Lost reminded me of Gravity in so many ways. The big difference was that it wasn't good. Gosh, I really hate saying that. I am a big fan of Robert Redford and I really wanted to like this movie. I gave it my best shot, but it just kept falling short. It could also be compared to Cast Away and once again it just wasn't up to that standard.

I had heard people talk about Robert Redford getting snubbed by the Academy with only one Oscar nomination for Sound Editing. I don't think he was snubbed at all, I just don't the movie was as good as it should have been. If you read my review of Gravity you will see that I was impressed by how great the movie was considering its lack of back story. I will admit that there was some corny dialog in Gravity that I could have done without; sometimes less is more. So, this movie could have been the perfect balance for me but I didn't understand the character.

I just didn't get it. If you are going to do a movie with very little dialog there has to be a lot of emotion shown by the actor. Robert Redford had almost no emotion throughout the movie. If there was a back story of some sort perhaps we could understand how he did not flip out for the majority of his harrowing ordeal. It was hard to relate to his character. I honestly didn't care what happened to him at the end of the movie. Sorry, really I am.

All Is Lost is rated PG-13 for brief strong language.

Gravity 3D

You know that feeling when a movie is super hyped up from everyone you know, including the media? Gravity is, for sure, one of those movies; you hear how intense it is, how you will be at the edge of your seat, you won't take a deep breath until it's over, Sandra Bullock is incredible, blah, blah, blah. This is exactly the kind of hype that makes me want to absolutely hate a movie (that's just my upbeat attitude shining through like the morning sun). I regret to inform you that this movie rained on my downer parade and turned out to live up to the hype and be awesome, by the way.

After the movie was over I found that I had clinched my jaw and fists throughout the entire movie. Thanks for the TMJ, Gravity. I haven't seen the movie without 3D so I can't compare and contrast, but I highly recommend the 3D version. I don't usually find a need to pay the extra money to see a movie in 3D, but this one is an exception. Please go see this movie while it's in the theater and, for heaven's sake, pay the extra cash for 3D.

I am so glad that the movie starts and ends in the sweet spot. It is rare that a movie can succeed with very little back story. Usually when this happens you walk away from the movie feeling a little flat because you didn't care about any of the characters. The beauty of this movie is that the situation is so riveting that it doesn't really matter who the character is, you end up inserting yourself into the action and wondering how you would react (safe to say that I won't be looking for astronaut jobs on Craigslist any more).

Spoiler alert: this movie is not filmed in space. Ha, I know this seems obvious, but you will forget this fact during the movie. So, hats off to the real star of the movie, the green screen. Such an ambitious film. I am in awe of the incredibly talented people behind it.

If you are looking for a straight up fun time at the movies, go see Gravity. If you think you are having a bad day and want to feel better about your situation, go see Gravity. If you want to see a movie that does not require you to figure out any tricky plot twists, go see Gravity. If you want to relax, stay home.

Gravity is rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences (understatement of the century), some disturbing images, and strong brief language.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Captain Phillips

Pros :)

  • Intense action throughout most of the movie
  • Tom Hanks is fantastic (but not nominated for an Oscar 2014)
  • Casting call for Somalis in Minnesota
  • Cinematography makes you feel like you are on board
  • Filming on open sea as opposed to water tank paid off for film makers


  • Goes on a bit too long
  • You may want to rethink your dream job as cargo ship captain
  • Controversy surrounding movie (in its defense, it is a movie, NOT a documentary)

Nominated for six Academy Awards including best picture (longshot to say the least). Captain Phillips is well worth your time and money. Now available at a Redbox near you.

Rated PG-13 for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance abuse.


  • Awesome soundtrack
  • Dynamic performances
  • Interesting story
  • Visually impressive
  • Chris Hemsworth, I mean...
  • Kick a$$ band


I guess it is a testament to the number of great movies this year that Rush didn't garner any Oscar attention. It's a good movie, well worth seeing.  Now available at a Redbox near you.

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, some disturbing images and brief drug use.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

San Diego History Center

Have you ever been to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park?  I hadn't either until I heard of a very interesting temporary (April 6, 2013 to January 20, 2014) exhibit, Bottled and Kegged: San Diego's Craft Beer Culture.  I felt it was my duty to attend their first happy hour featuring Karl Strauss Brewing Company.  You're welcome.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the SDHC overall. I loved looking at all of the pictures of San Diego County over the years.  Regular admission price is $8 for an adult or free to San Diego City and County residents on the second Tuesday of each month.  If you choose to go on a free Tuesday, be warned that the beer exhibit is not included on the free admission.  Even without my favorite exhibit, locals and visitors alike should consider a visit to the SDHC.

Now, on to the good!  The Bottled and Kegged exhibit is awesome.  San Diego County is one of the best beer regions in America (some might say the best).  I learned SO MUCH about San Diego's craft beer at this exhibit.  As you wander through the displays you will find out who were the founders of the craft beer explosion and how they helped influence the current batch of newcomers.

While the beer exhibit is open every day of the week, the History Happy Hours are only once a month.  The first happy hour featured Karl Strauss' Cicerone (think Sommelier for beer), Melody Daversa pairing beer with cheese from Venissimo Cheese.  Come on, beer and cheese?  I don't think I need to tell you how delicious the evening was but, it was also very informative.  Here is a list of upcoming happy hours that you NEED to attend:

August 30, 5:30-7:30 QUAFF Home Brewer Happy Hour $10 suggested donations

September 7, 5:30-7:30 White Labs Happy Hour $25/non-members

November 1, 5:30-7:30 Stone Brewing Co. Happy Hour $25/non-members

Here are a few other resources to turn to after you go to this great exhibit.

Pubquest is a beer mapping website/app that was started in San Diego and has EVERY brewery/brew pub/brew house in the US and Canada.  Pubquest maps are also prominently displayed at the Bottled and Kegged exhibit and are available for purchase at the gift shop.

Suds County, USA is a documentary that shows the history of craft beer in San Diego.  So, there are the resources...go out and do some "research."

All of this beer talk is making me thirsty. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013