Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jimmy's Halloween Picks

Halloween is almost here and I've certainly got into the mood. I've changed the look of this blog and have been watching some Halloweeny flicks. Here are some of my favorites (in order from most family friendly to least):

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
This is the classic TV special from Charles Schulz. Completely family friendly and enjoyable for all ages.

Ghostbusters (1984) & Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
The first two Ghostbuster movies are goofy, cheesy funny ghost movies starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Sigourney Weaver. These films are fun and the ghosts make it relevant around Halloween. (Ghostbusters 2 is available on through Halloween.)
Van Helsing (2004)
This fun monster film is based loosely on Bram Stoker's Dracula with other monsters from the classics (Frankenstein, Mr. Hyde...). The story is relatively intriguing but this movie primarily is fun. Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale dealing with werewolves and Count Dracula in Transylvania is hugely entertaining.
Signs (2002)
This M. Night Shyamalan flick is about a family who are first hand witnesses to an alien invasion. It stars Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Macaulay Culkin's younger brother Rory, and Abigail Breslin. It has its creepy moments but mainly is a family film focusing on Gibson's character's loss of faith following his wife's death. It is pretty cool how it ends and I've always enjoyed this one.
Disturbia (2007)
This Shia LaBeouf film is creepy and somewhat stupid at times, but your heart will pump hard if you get into it. I liked it even though the characters did some really stupid things at times.
Halloween (1978)
This is a classic scary slasher movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis and seemingly based on Hitchcock's Psycho. It is creepy and very well done. Aside from walking into a dark house and not turning on the lights, I could connect well with the characters. The music is AMAZING and this film would be nothing without it. The piano melody really sets yours nerves on edge. Have a listen:
It is also available on Hulu through Halloween.

What movies do you like to watch on Halloween? Also, here is a clip from Community that gives great observation about scary movies:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sherlock 2 Trailer

Coming in December is the sequel to a highly entertaining 2009 film. Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows has a new long trailer out and it looks good. Also, I noticed was that Rachel McAdams will appear in this film as Irene Adler, though it doesn't look as she'll have as major of a role is as in the first film.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Tent: Cabela's Westwind Deluxe 8

Researching my tent, I found very little outside of the reviews on Cabela's website. The pictures were poor quality, and there were no videos. Even google-ing this tent found few results. Brief mentions, but no pictures or videos. I decided to take a bunch of pictures and even shoot a video overview of the features of this tent. My wife and I love this tent.

Note: the updated version of this tent has different colors, but it is essentially the same tent.  Cabelas also sells 4 and 6 person models. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jimmy's Fall TV Picks

It is fall. Here in Wisconsin the leaves are changing colors and the weather isn't as hot. The new season of TV has also begun or will begin soon. Here are the shows I'm watching this fall:

Monday: Terra Nova, House (Both FOX)

Terra Nova is a new FOX show produced by Steven Spielberg about a family from the 2100s traveling back to prehistoric dinosaur time. Their future world is polluted and dying and they want to be part of a new civilization in the past. Don't worry, they do a good job with the time travel explanation (it is a different branch of time). My only problem with the show is that it is set "85 million years back" and I don't believe the world is that old. I can get past that one thing and it is a highly interesting show. There are mystery elements similar to LOST, there are dinosaurs, and there is Stephen Lang, who does an awesome job in this show.

I also caught the first episode of House this season and I'm impressed. I used to watch but it was getting monotonous. Same plot, different disease, but now with House in jail and the new characters, I see a lot of potential for a great season.
Tuesday: Parenthood (NBC)

My parents actually got me into this show, which is really family oriented and down to earth. The problems are realistic and the endings aren't always perfect. Great cast, great story, great show.

Wednesday: Psych (premieres 10-12-11 on USA, also available on

Psych is a smart comedy detective show about a fake psychic and his buddy. Because of the thousands of pop-culture references, humor, and impressive cases, I'm hooked. The older seasons are also available on Netflix and Hulu Plus.

Thursday: Community, The Office (Both NBC)

This is Community's third season and I'll admit, it is starting with some weak episodes. I loved the first two seasons, so I still have hope. Definitely worth the watch.
[UPDATE] Episode #4 (Remedial Chaos Theory) Is AMAZING. Multiple timelines. Really funny. Well done. I think they are back on the right track.

The Office started its 8th season, the first without Michael Scott (Steve Carell). James Spader's "Robert California" is awesome and I think Andy (Ed Helms) is starting to fit as the new boss. It's not the same show, but the ensemble cast is taking it up a notch and it is still quite funny.
Friday: Fringe (FOX)

Arguably the best show on TV right now, Fringe is a sci-fi drama with the appropriate balance of weirdness, mystery, and relationships. Extremely well-written and acted, definitely worth a watch. John Noble's "Walter Bishop" is amazing (and so is Walternate).

What are you watching?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Got a little captain in you?

Captain America: The First Avenger is all about the little guy. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) was a little guy before he was genetically altered into a super soldier. America was the little guy when it sent its Declaration of Independence to Britain in 1776. America wasn't founded by the biggest and strongest, it was founded on ideals, intelligence, and the bravery to stand up to the bully. This is the same reason why Steve Rogers was chosen for the super soldier program.

Captain America
is mainly set in the 1940s during World War II. Steve Rogers has tried five times to get into the army, but he is rejected due to his tiny size and other health concerns. You really feel for the guy. Especially when he gets the crap beat out of him for standing up for his country and what he believes in. These qualities are why Rogers was picked for this procedure. The doctor said it "amplifies the qualities of the subject". They needed a guy who wasn't going to be out of control, someone who would appreciate the gift given him. That guy was Steve Rogers.

I won't spoil the rest of the film for you, but I will say that the CG effects used are pretty cool. Pre-procedure Rogers is a really skinny tiny man. They had to use CG to shrink Chris Evans' body for those scenes, because Evans was bulked up to play the Captain America role and because he is a bigger guy in the first place. I think it looks great. The other special effects all look great as well. I didn't see it in 3D, but I saw no way that 3D would make the movie better.

The acting in this film is very convincing. Hugo Weaving's Red Scull is very hate-able and well done, similar to his Agent Smith role in the Matrix series. Chris Evans is really genuine and his supporting cast was solid. The music was very patriotic and 40s-ish which was a nice treat. Another treat was the inclusion of Howard Stark, the father of Tony Stark (Iron Man). It added a nice connectedness to the Marvel universe.

Audiences outside of the US probably won't get too into this film because of its nature and title, but it is one of the better comic book films I've seen lately.

Captain America: The First Avenger runs 124 minutes and is rated PG-13. I give it 8 ramheads out of 10.