Category Archives: Life

Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

madmaxfuryroad

I recently watched Mad Max: Fury Road on the treadmill.  Here’s my quick review.

Title: Mad Max: Fury Road
Director: George Miller
Genre: Sci-Fi

Why I Watched It:
I love post-apocalyptic science fiction, and the original Mad Max was pretty good.

Interesting Fact:
The filmmakers paid a lot of attention to the tools and weapons used by the actors.  With one giant exception, I thought the repurposing was nicely done.

Review:
I had really high hopes after reading some great reviews (it’s 98% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, for crying out loud), but this is the rare movie that has over-the-top action scenes and is still sort of boring.  For much of it, I felt like I was watching someone play a video game.  The last 30 minutes are better.

Best Thing About It:
Little bits of realism (art, repurposing whatever’s at hand) mixed in with the madness.

Worst Thing About It:
The guitar and guitarist standing on front of that car.

Rating: ★★

More:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

All the Money I Had Is Gone

This

made me think of this.

Book Review: Cold Black Earth

A few weeks ago, my never-ending search for new authors led me to Sam Reaves’ new book, Cold Black Earth.  Here’s my quick review.

Author: Sam Reaves
Title: Cold Black Earth
Genre: Mystery/Thriller (rural setting)

Interesting Fact:
I bought this book because the cover looks like rural fiction (recall my beloved South of the Big Four), but it’s actually a mystery/thriller set in rural Illinois.

Review:
It’s a mystery/thriller about a series of murders in and around an Illinois farming town. Most of the characters are farmers or the children of farmers, so the surroundings and much of the lifestyle elements are right in my wheelhouse. Add in a very realistic and scary depiction of some seemingly connected murders and a potential loss-of-farmland motive, and you’ve got a page turner.  I really liked it.

Purchase Links:

Amazon
iBook

Cabin

CabinTitle

Here’s a short film I put together to get the kids excited about sleeping in the cabin.

Here’s Why I Refuse to Consider Social Media a News Source

stupidfbnews

I’ve said for years that newspapers and magazines are obsolete media.  By the time it’s in a paper form, I either already know about it or don’t care about it.  I’m not kidding, the combination of caring about news and then getting it from a newspaper the next day seems like a logical disconnect Evel Knievel couldn’t jump over on a rocket bike.  I find the evening television news to be only slightly less untimely.

But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to get my news from social media.  The screen capture above, just taken from my Facebook page, explains why, perfectly.

The fact that some football player’s new tattoo is in a list (of 2 items) with the increasing tension in the Middle East tells me that what I thought was only the funniest movie ever made may also have been an accurate prediction of things to come.

If you want to know where I do get my news, there are three primary sources:

1. Rancho DeNada Times, the real time news aggregation page I created years ago.  I can quickly scan the headlines and see if there is anything I want to know about.

2. My RSS feeds, via Feedly.  I subscribe to Google News, The Atlantic, and NPR.

3.  NPR audio, via XM radio if I’m driving or via my Amazon Echo if I’m at home.

If there’s something major happening, I’ll tune into CNN via the internet or on my TV, but that’s a rare occasion.

American culture is celebrity-obsessed, serially focused on the media created drama-of-the week, and attention deficient.  As such, it’s important to decide where you get your news from.  Otherwise, your experience may start to look like this:

Get Your Crying Towel Out

Because this is absolutely beautiful.

 

 

(via The Daily Dot)

Movie Review: Insidious Chapter 3

insidious3

Delaney and I went to the movies last night, after I picked her up from Longhorns Swim Camp.

Title: Insidious Chapter 3

Director: Leigh Whannell

Genre: Horror

Interesting Fact: The power went out in the movie theater during the scary séance near the end. It was pretty creepy.

Review: Horror is my favorite genre, so I’m reasonably easy to please. This is a good and workmanlike horror film. Nothing more, but nothing less

Best Part: The window scene. I just about jumped out of my skin.

My Rating: ★★★

Delaney’s Take: “Freaky.”

More:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes