Thursday, May 28, 2009

Liam Neeson tears up Paris in Taken!

Did you even play one of those drinking games where you took a drink of beer every time a character said a word or phrase? I’m sure most of you have and many have likely adapted this game to include are repetitious things. Perhaps it’s a little weird, but this was something I actually thought about while watching the movie, Taken, starring Liam Neeson.

If you’ve followed Neeson’s on-screen career, you know that he’s not exactly known as an action hero, so-to-speak, but let’s just say that in Taken, he takes vengeance to another level.

With his daughter in the hands of Albanian child smugglers, Neeson’s character is on the loose in Paris and seemingly everyone that gets in his way gets shot, stabbed, or receives knuckle to the throat. Neeson even indulges in some Jack Bauer-esque torture tactics and for a moment you thought that he might let the guy live. Guess again.

All-in-all, Taken was surprising good. The plot had certainly been done before – Harrison Ford in Frantic comes to mind, but the action is fast-paced and the script is succinct and the movie runs around an hour and a half. This one gets a B+ for pure body count!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The first half of The Deadliest Catch comes to a close!

For yet another year, The Discovery Channel’s flagship show, The Deadliest Catch has once again proven to be a winner on the ratings scale and chock full of drama. It’s hard to put into words why this show is so compelling, but there’s just something about the raw and gritty emotion that keeps me interested when by-in-large, episodes are the same.

The narration by Mike Rowe keeps viewers on edge and these guys – who you’d probably avoid if you saw on the street – show the human side of hard work, tradition, and courage. In the second episode of the year we learned that a cod fishing boat had gone down and the following episode turned out to be one of the most haunting of all. For that one hour episode it was hard to even think about the concept behind the show because it didn’t matter. The Bering Sea showed why Mother Nature can be so brutal and that is a reality that rings true no matter what coast you set sail on or what you’re doing on the ocean.

And as the king crab season comes to a close, the crews get a brief respite before getting back aboard and heading out for the deadliest season of all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kevin James is a hero of comedic little people in Paul Blart: Mall Cop!

I sometimes wonder if anyone really pays attention to movie critics when it comes to new movies. Yes, I understand they provide that they provide fodder for performances that may or may not be Oscar-worthy, but I can’t count how many times I’ve heard how awful a movie is and had a totally different opinion. Perhaps that’s why like what I say here, it’s all subjective.

My newest example is a movie that even I didn’t want to see – Paul Blart: Mall Cop. To be frank, I didn’t see how this Kevin James movie could even keep me entertained for 5 minutes, let alone an hour and a half, but man was I pleasantly surprised. Having seen a few episodes of King of Queens, I found Kevin James moderately funny, but never thought I would laugh as hard as I did throughout this movie. Yes, it was totally stupid and played on just about every mall cliché one could imagine, but the plot was actually half-decent and Kevin James was fabulous. We all know that this movie turned out to be a big hit in theaters and having raked in $140 mil in the US alone, the future looks bright for Mr. James.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CBS gives the axe to another great show - The Unit!

Every spring there are casualties of television ratings. This is much more the case for shows on larger networks that need to win the sweeps season after season. While the smaller networks can afford to take risks on shows that draw moderate ratings, networks like CBS need to sustain such high ratings that shows that outperform 80% of all the other shows out there, will find themselves cut.

The above was the case with Jericho a few years back after the show averaged over 7 million viewers in a tough time slot. Fans were outraged and CBS brought the show back for a short second season, but the damage was done. Advertising investors had already lost confidence in the time slot and with no spike in viewers, the show was gone for good, well, at least until the move comes out.

Now after four seasons of always being on the edge of being cut, CBS has cancelled The Unit. Praised by critics as one of the most thought-provoking and best series on television, 10 millions viewers wasn’t enough for CBS and The Unit it gone. There will be no bags of peanuts or public outrage – the audience is different from Jericho, but the loss of The Unit is a real loss for well-scripted television and its’ cancellation is sad for those who just love a good show to lose themselves in.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blockbuster has a plan for your movie rental needs!

I think it’s safe to say that the way we watch television and movies has been forever changed over the last couple of decades. Moreover, the entertainment industry continues to grow and spawn new ideas and ways to keep us connected to out favorite movies and television series.

I admit to be somewhat addicted to both film and television. Growing up, the video store was a place of intrigue for me. Without the outlet of the internet to find out about new or old movies, I would browse the aisles of my local video store and read the back of VHS boxes till I found movies that interested me.

And yet the selection was still pretty limited, especially when it came to new releases. Blockbuster changed all of that when they started to order dozens of copies of new releases and even guarantee them being there. I found myself at the video store more than any other place and just loved it.

That being said, all the time spent at the video store meant a lot of rental and coincidentally a ton of late fees. He I recall a couple of years ago when Blockbuster got rid of late fees. If you wanted to keep a movie a few nights longer than the due date you wouldn’t have a fat late fee tacked onto your account and that was fabulous because while I still love movies and television series as much as ever, I just don’t have the time to watch them when I want.

And while there are numerous online rental services out there, only BLOCKBUSTER has accounts that let you rent DVDs online and exchange them the nearest store for a new rental at no additional cost apart from the low monthly fee. This works great for me because I can keep a movie for as long as I want and maybe exchange others more frequently. In my opinion, there’s no better value available.

Will anyone else miss Juliet on Lost?

You know; I really am excited to see Liz Mitchell in the new V series and think that she really made a name for herself with some gutsy performances in Lost, but despite the new series excitement, I don’t really like the fact that Juliet was killed off on the show. Sure, I understand that she may appear from time to time, but aside from Locke, she may have been the most mysterious character on the show. Did anyone really know what was going on inside her head? The little smirk could mean she wanted to make out with Jake or cut off someone’s head.

I guess I just think that her style of acting was well-suited for Lost because she could play both sides of the coin so well without even tipping her hat. And yes, this will be crucial for success in a show like V, if it has any plot resemblance to the prior show, but let’s face it; we’ll all miss her on Wednesday nights.

Speaking of which… There’s nothing on tonight and don’t give me that Idol crap!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

V gets back to prime time on ABC this fall!

While it will be next-to-impossible for ABC’s revival of the cult-classic mini-series/television show, V, to outdo the original two mini-series, I think that America is again ready to embrace the visitors and the resistance.

I may be a little bias, but I was super-excited when I heard that NBC had plans to bring back the original cast of Marc Singer and Faye Grant for what became an ill-fated mini-series, but while it will be ABC that gets the chance to cash in on this storyline that in my opinion, was way ahead of its’ time for prime time television.

Replacing Singer, England, and Grant as cast members of the original series are Joel Gretsch (The 4400), Morris Chestnut, Liz Mitchell (Lost) and Scott Wolf (Party of Five).

While the two mini-series that preceded the actual television show were huge successes, NBC couldn’t seem to stick to a concrete storyline or even format when they introduced the series and it never made it to a second season. ABC has a chance to rewrite history, there’s a lot more competition these days and they’ll need some skillful writing and explosive storylines to be successful. I for one; can’t wait!

Watch great movies on demand and win with Charter!

If you’re one of the fortunate millions of Americans around the country who’ve already signed up for cable, internet, or phone service with Charter Communications, you know how great this company is. Time after time they’ve offered the absolute best deals on service bundles and combination packages that keep you connected at the lowest prices.

Now that you’ve got the high-speed internet, digital phone service, and digital cable from charter, it’s time for you to get even more out of Charter by accessing some of their 6000 movies on demand. That’s right, no other provider offers you so many options and Charter wants to reward its’ current viewers, as well as all of you that want to check out their, services by giving away some goodies!

Check out the Win 10 Grand Contest Page to find out how Charter Cable is giving away one $10,000 prize and four 52” HDTV’s. Simply go to today and during each week of May you can enter the contest by just answering four simple questions.

Keep track of the contest results by following Charter’s Twitter Feed. And just in case you think this is too good to be true, remember that it was Charter, who last year alone, gave away numerous laptops, Xbox games systems, and one luck winner even drove away in a 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid. Will you be the next big winner?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Vacancy seems to have a whole new meaning!

The whole car broken down, middle of nowhere, and check into a seedy motel plot with a gruesome twists has been done to death (No pun really intended) over the years and producers seem to think if you throw a couple of well-known actors into the mix, the movie will somehow be good. Such was not the case with the movie, Vacancy.

With the strong casting of Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson, viewers might think that some validity had been cast to such a theme, but I would beg to differ. To be frank, the movie was downright boring and horrible. Every scene was predictable and poorly acted and at times it seemed like the two were going threw the motions because perhaps they signed a contract to do this movie about a motel that lures in guests/victims to produce snuff films.

While I kind of got a kick out of the evil and quirky motel manager, there was little else positive in this movie and sadly it even spawned a sequel. In my book, it gets a sold “D.”

Friday, May 15, 2009

How LOST did you get this season?

Unless you have a crystal ball, or indeed are in touch with the minds of the writers of LOST, it’s hard to imagine that you can really have much a solid idea where this show is going after the season finale. With one season left, the 5th season two-hour finale delivered more clues and twists than perhaps any other episode in the show’s history, but yet if you’re at all like me, you may have found yourself, well, lost at the end.

Did the bomb stop a catastrophic event that caused the plane to crash and return the future to the way it was meant to be or did the explosion of the hydrogen bomb just keep things the way they had been? In a way, it’s sort of the ultimate cliffhanger, but if you think about it, if the events that caused the plane to crash never happened, well then there wouldn’t be much of an exciting season 6. That being said, I thought the plot tied some loose ends while opening others. The writers intended no resolution from this episode and perhaps more questions than can possibly be answered in one final season, but then again, this show has always had a way of winging it and keeping debate alive. If nothing else, next season should be epic on all fronts!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mickey Rourke beat more than the odds with The Wrestler!

I have to admit that when the Oscars came around, I hadn’t seen many of the movies up for awards, but yet I had favorites. Having watched a documentary on Harvey Milk while in college, I was partial to the triumphant and yet tragic story of this San Francisco municipal legend, but to be honest, I felt that Sean Penn was just too political in his public life to make me want to cheer for him.

And then there was Mickey Rourke. Oh, Mickey; I know what most people think – the guy’s a whacko and perhaps their right in many ways, but who doesn’t love an underdog? Had I seen The Wrestler? Nope, but I was pulling for Rourke to win the Oscar. Why? Well, there’s that underdog thing I mentioned, there’s the fact that I used to watch wrestling for many years and had been fascinated by some of the hardships the real life guys went through, and then there was a little known movie that came out in the late 1970s, was directed by the same guy that did The Deer Hunter, and starred a young Mickey Rourke. The film, The Year of The Dragon was a gritty and dark tale of the Chinese mafia in New York and was a powerful and riveting movie that left a strong impression with me.

And even after Milk won the Oscar, I could tell that there was still pride in Mickey Rourke’s smile. Perhaps he knew that he wasn’t the sexy and popular choice among his peers, but when Sean Penn gave his speech; I sort of got the feeling that Sean Penn thought Rourke deserved it, too. Not only did that raise my respect for Penn, but it made me want to see The Wrestler more than ever.

About a week ago I sat across the dinner table from my brother-in-law and we talked about this movie. I was admittedly surprised that he’d seen it and more surprised at how much he’d loved it. I got goose bumps as we talked about the raw emotion the film evoked and the true-to-life and daring performance Rourke gave. If I could tell you to watch one movie this year, The Wrestler might be it. Why? I’ve got goose bumps writing this now!

When you want more than just great mountain bike parts!

As someone who spends a large majority of his time on the slopes, in the winter or summer, I go through ski and bike equipment like it’s going out of style. One thing that has always been important to me is being able to buy quality mountain bike parts and at the same time, get piece of mind that I’m buying the best. is the place I go because it’s more than just an online retailer – get cycling tips, news, and even neat things like cycling terminology , all in one place.

For Harper's Island, setting is everthing!

One of the aspects of the CBS show Harper’s Island is the setting. Like with anything, the right setting can make or break any situation or in this case, television show. Having a somewhat cozy murder mystery set in the wilds of Washington with it’s tall pines, rocky coast, typical coastal architecture, and even rustic furniture make the story more realistic and more appealing to people such as myself who like to look past just the plot and explore some of the details others don’t appreciate.

Do you know the right service to host you entertainment blog?

Everyday there are more and more people voicing their opinions on popular culture, not unlike what I do here on Fire Still Walks With Me. I chose my hosting site for various reasons and knew what I wanted and needed. But what if you’re the average Joe who wants to do the same, but don’t know where to go to get started with your new site? Some of the things you’ll want to consider are cost, storage space, and web options. Different web hosting companies offer different packages that may be ready for the site you envision or even some that will tailor a specific package to suit your individual needs, but before you get to that decision, you should read up on your choices and check out ratings and reviews.

When choosing a webhosting service, you also need to consider the type of operating system you have, what you plan to do, how much you want to spend on a monthly or annual basis, and even the length of time you want to commit to a particular service. Some hosting services are going to be better for sites that have lots of pictures or videos and that may be particularly important if you plan to host a website like this blog. As with anything, the more research you do, the better and more informed decisions you will make.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tropic Thunder was surprisingly good!

I’ll admit that for the longest time I balked at seeing Tropic Thunder. Perhaps it had something to do with Tom Cruise being involved or maybe it was just that I didn’t really care to see a Vietnam-era spoof. And then last Friday night I caved to my wife and we rented it up at the mountain. Suffice to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how good this movie was.

The plot was obviously far-fetched and the comedy was a times over the top, but the acting was so great for a comedy. Robert Downey Jr. absolutely killed it and yes, I thought Tom Cruise was hilarious.

Yes, this movie could be found offensive to just about every save, color, creed, etc, but I can’t remember to many other times when we’ve rewound the DVD so many times to get a double-take of a scene. If you’re at all like me and haven’t given this movie a chance, rent it now!