Less than a year ago, if you'd asked me my least favorite theater, I'd've told you AMC theaters at Southdale. It wouldn't even have been a question. The stories I could tell you about just about every experience I had at that theater are ridiculous. You wouldn't BELIEVE the crap that theater tried to pull over on me. Actually, to be fair, when I really hated them, they weren't AMC. They were Megastar or some such nonsense.
Since AMC took over, they've really cleaned up their act and gotten a lot better. Still, it's a little further than I normally like to drive, so I don't go there much unless I'm meeting a friend or something. Normally I head over to the Regal cinema which is less than five miles from my house. I have a club card there and get free stuff from time to time. It's also generally not too busy and it's a decent cinema with the amenities of a state of the art theater.
Now, in 2006 I saw 97 movies in theaters and I'm on pace to top that in 2007. So you can imagine how dismayed I was to find that Regal upped their ticket prices by $0.75 to a price of $9.25 per ticket. Doesn't seem like much, but if you consider that'll cost me close to $75 over the year, it's kind of a big deal. But whatever; I just figure it's inflation and that how things work.
That all changed for me this evening. I met a friend for a movie at AMC theaters. I was surprised to learn that my ticket only cost $6. Apparently that is now the standard price for all movies on Mon-Thurs at their theater. I remarked on this and the usher also told me that includes Thursday night midnight showings (even though it's technically Friday). So that clinches it for me. I'm willing to drive the extra five miles to pay over $3 less per movie. That's a savings of over $300 per year!
So I get home to send a message to Regal that I'm not going to their theater anymore thanks to AMC's new pricing policy. I'm sure they'll offer me free shit... nice. I then travel over to AMC website to say thanks and I learn some more great news. On the first screening of every movie on Sat and Sundays, tickets are only $5. Cool, since I go to a lot of Saturday matinees on the year anyway. Next I also find that they are part of what they call "AMC select," which will begin playing "less than mainstream" movies. In other words, I won't have to drive downtown to the arthouse and pay for parking to see films like the upcoming Jindabyne or Fay Grim. AMC could very well have them.
Moral of the story: because of competition and free market (i.e. capitalism), I now will save a ton of time and money on movies by going to a theater that less than a year ago I would not have stepped foot in.
Since I got my speakers going, I thought I'd celbrate by embedding the first YouTube video I came across. A bunch of idiots on a Japanese Game Show. Say the tongue twister or face the consequences. I would not play this game...
After a year of trial and tribulation, I finally have my speakers at work rolling. The office is a rockin, don't come a knockin'. I feel SO good. I can now watch YouTube vids while the boss is away! (Chris, don't read that last sentence).
Live Earth - the energy-gulping series of global concerts that will slurp electricity and dump waste in order to teach the world that energy gulping, electricity slurping and waste dumping is killing the planet - has just signed up Spinal Tap.
Yes, that Spinal Tap - the deliberately bad spoof 1980s metal band from legendary mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap - are the latest group to be added to the Live Earth Wembley line-up; a line-up that's already packed with planet-saving, sales-increasing artists like Madonna, Paulo Nutini, Keane, Razorlight, Corinne Bailey Rae and James Blunt. So at least it's good to see that the pretend heavy metal group made up of a Lord and Ned Flanders from The Simpsons have given Live Earth a little bit of credibility at last.
We've been told that the Wembley leg of the Al Gore-announced Live Earth concerts could have sold out five times over; which, to our calculations, means that we completely underestimated the amount of foolish idiots who don't realise that paying £55 to drive to a huge sports stadium in their cars only to eat and drink overpriced refreshments from a mountain of disposable containers and bleat smugly to themselves that climate change is really important in between Snow Patrol songs might just be a teensy bit hypocritical.
So far, though, Live Earth has been warmly received by eco-friendly popstars like Madonna and James Blunt - people who respectively throw away toilet seats after they've shat through them once and buy entire mountains when the mood takes them - but the response to Live Earth hasn't been so warm everywhere.
For instance, Live Earth wanted to use the most preposterous rock band ever on the Wembley date. However, Muse said no, so Live Earth roped in Spinal Tap instead. Even though Spinal Tap don't actually exist. This Is Spinal Tap director Rob Reiner has been speaking about how much Spinal Tap know about climate change:
"They're not that environmentally conscious, but they've heard of global warming. Nigel thought it was just because he was wearing too much clothing—that if he just took his jacket off it would be cooler."
My last longest post was some lyrics from a "Weird" Al Yankovic song called "Stuck in the Drive-Through." Here is an even longer song by Mr. Yankovic entitled "Albuquerque" from the album Running with Scissors. Why am I posting this? Because it's my blog and I can; plus it's a funny song and I like it!
Way back when I was just a little bitty boy living in a box under the stairs in the corner of the basement of the house half a block down the street from Jerry's Bait Shop... You know the place... Well anyway, back then life was going swell and everything was juuuuust peachy... except of course for the undeniable fact that every single morning my mother would make me a big ol' bowl of sauerkraut for breakfast. Dawww!! Big bowl of sauerkraut! Every single mornin'! It was driving me crazy.
I said to my mom, I said, "Hey, mom, what's up with all the sauerkraut?" And my dear, sweet mother, she just looked at me like a cow looks at an oncoming train. And she leaned right down next to me, and she said, "IT'S GOOD FOR YOU!" And then she tied me to the wall and stuck a funnel in my mouth and force fed me nothing but sauerkraut until I was 26 and a half years old.
That's when I swore that someday, someday I would get outta that basement and travel to a magical, far away place, where the sun is always shining and the air smells like warm root beer, and the towels are oh so fluffy! Where the shriners and the lepers play their ukuleles all day long, and anyone on the street will gladly shave your back for a nickel!
Wacka wacka, doo doo, yeah!
Well, let me tell you, people, it wasn't long at all before my dream came true. Because the very next day, a local radio station had this contest to see who could correctly guess the number of molecules in Leonard Nimoy's butt. I was off by three, but I still won the grand prize. That's right, a first class, one-way ticket...
to Albuquerque! Albuquerque!
Oh yeah. You know, I'd never been on a real airplane before, and I gotta tell ya, it was really great... except that I had to sit between two large Albanian women with excruciatingly severe body odor. And the little kid in back of me kept throwin' up the whole time. The flight attendants ran out of Dr. Pepper and salted peanuts, and the in-flight movie was Bio-Dome with Pauly Shore...and, oh yeah, three of the airplane engines burned out, and we went into a tailspin and crashed into a hillside and the plane exploded in a giant fireball and everybody died. Except for me. You know why?
'Cause I had my tray table up And my seat back in the full upright position Had my tray table up And my seat back in the full upright position Had my tray table up And my seat back in the full upright position
Ah-ha-ha-ha. Ah-ha-ha. Aahhh. So I crawled from the twisted, burnin' wreckage, I crawled on my hands and knees for three full days, draggin' along my big leather suitcase and my garment bag and my tenor saxophone and my 12-pound bowlin' ball and my lucky, lucky autographed glow-in-the-dark snorkel. But finally I arrived at the world famous Albuquerque Holiday Inn where the towels are oh so fluffy! And you can eat your soup right out of the ashtrays if you wanna. It's OK, they're clean.
Well, I checked into my room, and I turned down the A/C, and I turned on the SpectraVision, and I'm just about to eat that little chocolate mint on my pillow that I love so very, very much, when suddenly there's a knock on the door. Well, now, who could that be?
I say, "Who is it?" No answer. "Who is it?" There's no answer. "WHO IS IT!?" They're not sayin' anything. So finally, I go over and I open the door, and just as I suspected, it's some big, fat hermaphrodite with a flock of seagulls, haircut, and only one nostril. Oh, man, I hate it when I'm right.
So, anyway, he bursts into my room, and he grabs my lucky snorkel, and I'm like, "Hey, you can't have that! That snorkel's been just like a snorkel to me."
And he's like, "Tough!" And I'm like, "Give it!" And he's like, "Make me!" And I'm like, "'kay!" So I grabbed his leg and he grabbed my esophagus, and I bit off his ear and he chewed off my eyebrows, and I took out his appendix and he gave a colonic irrigation, yes indeed, you better believe it. And somehow in the middle of it all, the phone got knocked off the hook. And twenty seconds later, I heard a familiar voice. And you know what it said? I'll tell ya what it said!
It said, "If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try again. If you need help, hang up and then dial your operator. If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try again. If you need help, hang up and then dial your operator."
In Albuquerque! Albuquerque!
Well, to cut a long story short, he got away with my snorkel. But I made a solemn vow right then and there that I would not rest, I would not sleep for an instant, until the one-nostrilled man was brought to justice.
But first, I decided to buy some donuts. So I got in my car, and I drove over to the donut shop, and I walked on up to the guy behind the counter and he says, "Yeah, whaddaya want??"
I said, "You got any glazed donuts?" He said, "Nah, we're outta glazed donuts." I say, "Well, you got any jelly donuts?" He said, "No, we're outta jelly donuts." I said, "You got any Bavarian cream-filled donuts?" He said, "No, we're outta Bavarian cream-filled donuts." I said, "You got any cinnamon rolls?" [ Lyrics found on http://www.metrolyrics.com ]
He said, "No, we're outta cinnamon rolls!" I said, "You got any apple fritters?" He said, "No, we're outta apple fritters!" I said, "You got any bear claws?" He said, "Wait a minute, I'll go check."
"No, we're outta bear claws!" I said, "Well, in that case... in that case, what do you have?" He says, "All I got right now is this box of one dozen starving crazed weasels." I said, "OK, I'll take that." So he hands me the box, and I open up the lid, and the weasels jump out and they immediately latch onto my face and start bitin' me all over. Oh, man, they were just goin' nuts! They were tearin' me apart! You know, I think it was just about that time that a little ditty started goin' through my head. I believe it went a little somethin' like this:
DOH! Get 'em off me! Get 'em off me! Ohhh! No, get 'em off, get 'em off! Oh, oh God, oh God! Oh, get 'em off me! Oh, oh God! Ah, AaaaaaahhhhhhhhhOhhhhhhhhhh!
I ran out into the street with these flesh-eating weasels all over my face, wavin' my arms all around and just runnin', runnin', runnin' like a constipated wiener dog. And as luck would have it, that's exactly when I ran into the girl of my dreams. Her name was Zelda. She was a caligraphy enthusiast, with a slight overbite, and hair the color of strained peaches. I'll never forget the very first thing she said to me. She said, "Hey, you've got weasels on your face."
That's when I knew it was true love. We were inseparable after that. Aw, we ate together, we bathed together, we even shared the same piece of mint-flavored dental floss. The world was our burrito. So we got married, and we bought us a house and had two beautiful children, Nathaniel and Superfly. Oh we were so very, very, very happy, oh yeah. But then, one fateful night, Zelda said to me, she said, "Sweetie pumpkin? Do you wanna join the Columbia Record Club?" I said, "Woah! Hold on now, baby! I'm just not ready for that kind of a commitment!"
So we broke up, and I never saw her again but that's just the way things go
In Albuquerque! Albuquerque!
Anyway, things really started lookin' up for me, because about a week later, I finally achieved my lifelong dream. That's right, I got me a part-time job at the Sizzler! I even made employee of the month after I put out that grease fire with my face. Aw yeah, everybody was pretty jealous of me after that. I was gettin' a lot of attitude.
OK, like one time, I was out in the parkin' lot, tryin' to remove my excess earwax with a golf pencil, when I see this guy Marty tryin' to carry a big ol' sofa up the stairs all by himself. So I-I say to him, I say, "Hey, you want me to help you with that?" And Marty, he just rolls his eyes and goes, "No, I want you to cut off my arms and legs with a chainsaw!" So I did.
And then he gets all indignant on me. He's like, "Hey, man, I was just being sarcastic!" Well, that's just great. How was I supposed to know that? I'm not a mind reader, for cryin' out loud. Besides, now he's got a really cute nickname - Torso-Boy! So what's he complaining about?
Say, that reminds me of another amusing anecdote. This guy comes up to me on the street and he tells me he hasn't had a bite in three days. Well, I knew what he meant, but just to be funny, I took a big bite out of his jugular vein. And he's yelling and screaming and bleeding all over, and I'm like, "Hey, come on, don'tcha get it?" But he just keeps rolling around on the sidewalk, bleeding and screaming, "Aaaahhhh! AaaaahhhhOhhhhh! Aaaaahhhh!" You know, completely missing the irony of the whole situation. Man, some people just can't take a joke, you know?
Anyway, um...um...where was I? Kinda lost my train of thought.
Uh, well, uh, OK, anyway, I-I know it's kind of a roundabout way of saying it, but, I guess the whole point I'm tryin' to make here is... I HATE SAUERKRAUT!
That's all I'm really tryin' to say. And, by the way, if one day you happen to wake up and find yourself in an existential quandry, full of loathing and self-doubt and wracked with the pain and isolation of your pitiful meaningless existence, at least you can take a small bit of comfort in knowing that somewhere out there in this crazy ol' mixed-up universe of ours, there's still a little place
I was reading today at Space.com that scientists have figured out a way to photograph earth like planets in other solar systems that are light years away. Until now, we couldn't shoot them because of the scattering of light from their parent star (or sun), minor imperfections in our telescopes and various other factors.
Scientists have now developed the technology to overcome these obstacles in the form of a chronograph. "It works and it's ready to go," said one senior research assistant. Theoretically, it could be put aboard a spacecraft today and start working asap. They are hoping for it to go aboard the Terrestrial Planet Finder, but unfortunately there's no launch date yet for lack of funding.
This bugs me. With all the money our government and our private citizens spend on pointless crap, we can't afford to launch a probe that could detect AND take pictures of earth-like planets that could eventually lead to finding life elsewhere in our galaxy. Even with Bush's speech about funding and space exploration, I think everyone's far too caught up in the Mars exploratory committee. Which is important and interesting as well, but I think this is more important and far more interesting.
Rumor has it that the next installment of the popular video game, Guitar Hero, is well on the way for a release date sometime in June. An addicting game, GH 1 & 2 have become huge staples in the video game industry. The new sequel, with a Guitar Hero 3 to soon follow, will feature all 80's tracks, downloadable songs and an online multi-player feature. June? Yeah, like in two months. Keep on rockin in the free world!
Because I have a movie web site, I don't take the time to post movie related items on this blog. And since I just saw the best film of 2007 so far, here are, in no particular order, the best films I've seen in the past 12 months. They weren't necessarily released in that time, in fact some are fairly old, but I saw them for the first time recently.
Links are provided if I happened to write a review for the title...