Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Manuel on Movies #6

I have some more movie reviews for you, but first, look at the great new tool on my sidebar. I added a top commenters widget. It keeps track of who has commented the most on my blog over my last 500 comments. So, as of now, based on my last 500 comments, Evil E has the most comments. You, sir, rock!

Now on to the reviews...

The Dark Knight - If you don't know what movie I am talking about, then you have bene living under a rock. I haven't seen hype for a movie like this since Titanic. Of course, a good deal of the type is because of Heath Ledger's performance and of course, his death. So, does it live up to the hype? For the most part, yes. First of all, to get it out of the way, Ledger's performance is in fact, brilliant. There is no Ledger visible at all in his role and he is completely the Joker. I believe it is truly Oscar worthy. The movie itself is good. It has a good story and is visually stunning. However, despite how good it is, it almost suffers from Ledger being too good. In the scenes he was not in, I found myself awaiting the scene to finish so they could get to another scene with the Joker. I am not saying the other scenes were bad and in fact, many others put in spectacular performances. However, Ledger was so good, that was really all I cared about at times. But overall, a very good movie, but Ledger aside, it was not the greatest movie of all time as some are calling it. 9 out of 10

The Bourne Ultimatum - The third movie in the Bourne series was probably the best. This one was almost nonstop action and again, Bourne kicks some major ass. I was slightly let down though as I had heard from some people that this was the greatest action movie ever. I went in expecting a lot and although it was good, it wasn't as good as I expected. I think maybe the main reason is because although I like the Bourne movies, I don't quite like them as much as some people. I've enjoyed each one, but I have never been quite as crazy about them as I see many people are. I don't even own any of the movies and I own a LOT of movies. 7.5 out of 10

Breach - We caught this one on a whim the other day and it was a very pleasant surprise. It is based on a true story about a guy who is hired by the CIA to shadow a higher up who is suspected of being an informant for Russia. It is basically a thriller/drama. It doesn't really have any action scenes, but has some very tense moments. Chris Cooper does a wonderful job as the religious family man who is suspected of being a spy. I didn't hear much about this movie when it came out and it flew under my radar for the most part. I am glad I got the chance to see it because it was a very entertaining movie. 8 out of 10.

Mr. Brooks - Awesome! Just another great performance from Kevin Costner than proves the bad rap he sometimes gets is unwarranted. Costner plays a guy who has a split personality and the other personality being a serial killer. What is cool is his other personality, played by William Hurt, is like a separate character in the movie as he talks to him, takes car rides with him, argues with him, etc. At the very beginning of the movie, he is spotted and photographed during a murder. This leads to blackmail where the guy who blackmails him wants to take part in his murder spree or he will go to the cops. That is just the basis of the movie as there is really a lot going on. If you are into murder thrillers, you must pick up this movie as it was really good. I was impressed with just how good it was. 9 out of 10.

The Lost Boys:The Tribe - Finally, Lost Boys 2. The original Lost Boys is a classic and it is hard to find people who don't like the movie. I have been wanting a sequel for years and yesterday, the sequel came out. It really wasn't what I wanted as the large majority of the cast wouldn't be returning, but I gave it a go anyways. It was decent. Not great by any means and the fact that it was a direct to video effort only confirmed that it wasn't going to be that good. Most direct to video movies are god awful. This was actually ok. The acting wasn't spectacular, the movie had a cheesy MTV feel to it, but I was entertained. There were some fun references to the first flick but really, if you didn't like the first film, you probably won't like this one. 6.5 out of 10

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Make the Chain Madness STOP!!! A contest for you all

Ok, after sitting on this post for a couple of weeks, I am finally going to do this post and expand on what I had initially planned.

I am SICK, S-I-C-K, of all the chain letters that go around the internet that try to warn people, especially women of all the "true" things that people are doing that endanger their safety. You know what I am talking about. They all sound pretty much the same - Women beware - this is the new way that people are taking advantage of you in parking lots or beware of little girls asking for change, they will lead you to a murderer. You know, urban legends. Jessica gets these ALL the time at work and I simply go on which is a site that debunks all of these dumb chain emails and usually tells how they originated. It usally takes me about a minute or less after she forwards them to me to find the story she had just sent me to disprove and find the whole thing is hogwash. Granted, I know she doesn't believe them either, but she likes me to find the truth so she can forward it back to whoever sent it to her.

Yesterday, she sent me another one and this is what I wrote back...

Jesus Christ with these gullible people!!!

I think I am going to make up my own and try to pass it along just to see how far it gets.

Let's see....

WARNING WOMEN(and MEN TOO)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEWARE THIS NEW SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a friend who works at the (insert your local police station here) police station and she says she has heard of this on a couple of occasions now in her department. There are a group of young men(probably Mexican) who are going around and posing as a survey agency that is testig(make sure to have at least spelling mistake!) out some new chocolates. They ring your doorbell, tell you they are not selling anything, and promise you $20 to take their quick survey. They are representing Hershey's, show you an offical name tag, and ask you to try a variety of samples so Hershey's can decide what next candy they will releae to the public. BEWARE!!!!!! The chocolate contains a substance that will knock you out INSTANTLY!!! Once you are out, they will rob your house and if you are a woman, THEY WILL RAPE YOU!!!!!!!! I know it sounds like common sense not to try food from a stranger, but people are falling for this. If you care about your loved ones, please pass this on to as many people as you can.

I actually had fun writing that even though it took me only about 2 minutes. Then a revelation hit me. It would be so much fun to see who coyld write the best fake one. What better place to do it than to hold this contest on my blog. So, here are the details...

I am holding a contest to see which of my readers can write the best BEWARE Urban Legend. I am going to runt his contest a week and all entries need to be emailed to me by next Monday might around 10 PST. I am looking to see who can write the most believable story. Since the whole thing pisses me off, the winner will get a copy of a CD I will burn called "Songs that just make me Angry!" If you want it the CD of course.

Please email all entries to Do Not post them here. Got it? I hope to see a ton of entries and multiple entries ARE allowed. Good luck and come back this week because I have a lot to talk about.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jessica's new tattoo

After I got my tattoo, Jess became jealous and wanted one of her own. Well, a third tattoo of her own, but her other two are pretty damn small. The first thing we had to do was come up with an idea. I suggested Chewbacca as she has always been a fan of the character. Additionally, her mom and stepdad have called her "Chewie" for a long time. It seemed perfect, but she needed some convincing. After all, a tattoo on your body isn't really a small thing that should be done on impulse. I further suggested she make Chewbacca kind of kid like as her dad and stepmom call her "Kid." She loved the idea, but it still took some weeks for her to work up the nerve. Finally last week, she did it, courtesy of Brandon, the great tattoo artist who did mine. Here is the play by play...

The outline after it was placed on her body. It is a Chewbacca, done in a kid like form. The inspiration was the Japanese lucky cat. Google it.

The outline now tattooed on her body.

His belly and belt colored in.

Almost his whole body colored in now.
Jessica in the act. She wasn't smiling the WHOLE time.

Look, he has a red moustache! Or, that could just be blood....

Just the finishing touches now...

All done!!

For a little perspective of how big it is

Monday, July 21, 2008

Movie Rumor

So, I know this guy. He's in the movie industry and knows what is going on and I just found out some VERY interesting news. In fact, it has me beyond excited should it turn out it to be true and I believe him because he gave very limited details because he is actually trying to get hired for the project in the field he does and can not jeopardize that.

Anyway, it looks like a sequel(the third part actually) will be announced very soon, possibly as soon as Comic Con this weekend. I have actually heard it from 2 people now so I really do think it is happening. The question is, "Who ya gonna call?" when you hear the official word?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Terminator: Salvation Trailer

I guess you could call it Terminator 4. This is the start of the new trilogy which focuses on the war against the machines after Judgement Day. I am STOKED, especially since one of my favorite actors is going to play John Conner.

Here is a good hi-res version of it:

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Oh yeah, second new post below....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You are kidding me....

Well, I have 2 examples of stupid people in the news. I am little torn over who is more stupid so I shall provide both examples and have you, the loyal readers of Manuel's View decide who is the more moranic. Please give explanations. Thank you for your time.

Exhibit A:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A man says he was so consumed by the spirit of God that he fell and hit his head while worshipping.
Now he wants Lakewind Church to pay $2.5 million for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Matt Lincoln says he is suing after the church's insurance company denied his claim for medical bills.
The 57-year-old has had two surgeries since the June 2007 injury but still feels pain in his back and legs.
He says he was asking God to have "a real experience" while praying.
Lincoln says he has fallen from the force of the spirit before but has always been caught by someone.
Lawyers for the church say other congregants saw him on the floor laughing after his fall. They say he failed to look out for his own safety.

I hope the church continues to laugh in this guy's face and he doesn't get one dime. The guy is clumsy and trips and that is the best he can come up with? Hell, the guy might have even been drunk or on drugs. I am sure that would give him a "real experience." Seriously though, the stupid lawsuits need to stop, like now.

Exhibit B:

When Orlando radio station WHTQ said they’d give away gas to whoever offered the most interesting trade, they were probably expecting nothing more exciting than grilled cheese with Jesus’s image or a possessed household object. What they got, however, was a child. Well, a child’s name at least.

David Partin and pregnant girlfriend Samantha Bailey called in and said, in exchange for the $100 gas card, the station DJs could christen their unborn son whatever they chose. “Hey, man, times are rough,” Partin told the Orlando Sentinel. “I figure I’ll be able to drive around for a couple of weeks on that gas.” The name picked? “Dixon and Willoughby,” the DJs’ last names. That’s just the first name and, yes, the “and” is included. The middle name will be “With Radio’s Alan Spector,” after the show’s producer. The station will give the couple the gas card when they see the birth certificate.

Dixon and Willoughby With Alan Spector Partin will only have that strange name for a short while though. Trying to continue their success, the couple will offer permanent naming rights to the highest bidder once the baby is born. Amazingly, this is not a new idea. Hollywood Today reports that in 2005 the Web site,, paid $15,000 to name another child. With the economy getting worse, could a new trend be under way?

Ok, in this example, we have greed getting the best of people. Can you believe people are that desperate for $100? They are so desperate for $100 that they ruin the life of their child by subjecting him to years of ridicule. How is this for thought? If you are so desperate for $100 that you would do something like this, maybe, just maybe, YOU SHOULD NOT BE HAVING A GODDAMN KID! Again, people like this are having kids are we can't. I wish I was rich. Why? Well, at the end of the article, it says that soon after the birth, they will change the baby's name for the highest bidder. If I were a gazillionaire, I would pay them an obscene amount and have them name the kid - "My parents are gigantic fuckups!"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Manuel on Movies #5

I have five more movies to review for you. I figured since it was Summer we would watch more movies as it is not TV season, but as I said a couple of weeks ago, we are finding a ton of stuff to watch lately.

Cloverfield - This is basically a Godzilla type movie done in Blair Witch shake cam style. Sounds cheesy, but you know what, it worked. If they had done it straight forward as a regular monster movie, it would probably wouldn't have been as good. What made it good was that it was slightly different. Yes, the shaky cam first person point of view has been done a few times, but it is still rare enough to be unique. You really feel like you are there with these people as they run around NYC and feel the fear and adrenaline they must be feeling. And this is what makes it enjoyable. The script really isn't great and the alien monster is kind of cheesy. But the way they filmed it is what made it so enjoyable. Be sure to crank up the surround sound on this one! 7.5 out of 10

1408 - This is a horror based on a Stephen King story about a haunted hotel room. You know what though, it really wasn't that scary at all. I guess you could even classify this more as a psychological thriller with some horror elements. The story is pretty decent and I was entertained, but I was in the mood for a really scary movie. I wanted to be too scared to go in a hotel room after this. But like I said, the movie is still entertaining and John Cusack did a really good job. FYI - they advertise Samuel L Jackson in the previews and prominently on the poster, but he is barely in the movie. 7 out of 10

Rescue Dawn - This movie was based on a true story about an American soldier who was a POW in the Vietnam War. This is more of a drama than an action movie, and it worked great that way because this is a really good film. I genuinely cared about what would happen to the characters and that is always a sign of a good story. Christian Bale was his usual brilliant self. This guy amazes me over and over. Additionally, the scenery is gorgeous. This is a truly inspiring story. 8.5 out of 10

Incredible Hulk - Now that is more like it! Like many people, I thought Ang Lee's vision of the Hulk and the movie he made were craptastic. I hated the last Hulk movie as it tried to be beautiful, artsy, and drawn out. It is the Hulk! Hulk Smash! It was just all wrong. So, this reboot of the Hulk (and despite what people think, this is NOT a sequel) is so much better. It still had slow moments, but they worked this time and actually contributed to the story. The story was great and had a King Kong type feel to it. Plus, it delivered the action sequences that were lacking in the other version. And to top it all off, they continued to hint and forward the story of the future Avengers movie coming out in three years. Marvel is now 2 for 2 in the self produced films. 8.5 out of 10

Hancock - Will Smith movie in July. It is like a tradition now! This was a fun movie. What is funny about this movie is that the genre of this movie jumps all over the place. As you have probably seen in the previews, Will Smith is a guy with super powers, but he is none to pleasant. It's funny. But the whole movie isn't like this. It goes from comedy to serious drama to superhero movie to drama again. I actually kind of liked that they kept mixing it up. It kept the movie from getting stale. There is a little bit for everyone. And of course, Will Smith was his usual great self, well great if you like Will Smith. Luckily, I do! 8.5 out of 10

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I thought I would discuss the recent rule that has been implemented for this coming season at Kansas City Chiefs home games. In case you haven't heard, the stadium has banned excessive standing at their home football games this year. So, people who tend to stand the whole game and cheer will be in violation of the rule. If the end of the game is exciting and you feel like standing for the last few minutes of the game, you will be in violation.

I get why they are doing it. Sometimes, obnoxious people will just stand for no reason. Yes, this might help help avoid some confrontations as more people will hopefully follow a rule than a casual request from the person behind them who can't see. For children and elderly who can't see, this could benefit them too. But, I also see confrontations arising from people saying, "Sit down and obey the law," and the person in violation basically telling the person who said it to piss off. This type of confrontations are unavoidable.

But what if you don't like confrontations? What if the person won't sit down? Well, because we live in a technological age, they have come up with a solution. While at the stadium, you can now text the ushers and they will come and take care of it. Yeah, that won't cause any problems either. I don't know, I don't know if I can get behind this rule. People get excited at games and stand and with this rule in place, I think the people who will take it too far are the people who get annoyed too easily and feel like tattling on everyone for the shortest of standing breaks. It could end up being worse.

In other crazy news, today I went out to buy one cent stamps. I needed 200 of them because my clients still have a lot of 41 cent stamps to use. No big deal as that is only $2.00. I went to the supermarket by my house as it has a post office and a Wells Fargo and I needed to do some banking as well. So, at the post office area, I told the guy I needed 200 stamps. He counted them out and then brought them over. At that cash register, he kept pressing a button and I could see on the screen that it was ringing up each one individually. And he was still pressing the button. Yes, he had to press that button 200 times! I laughed and told him maybe I should pay him in pennies. As I needed a receipt because it was job related, I got to take home this massive thing. I took some pictures as proof.

Stamp after stamp after stamp....

There you go....200 items for $2.00!

Look at the size of that receipt!

34 and a half inches of lovely receipt!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

4th fireworks

Jess and I went out to go see some fireworks last night for the 4th. I decided to take my camera and attempt to take some fireworks pictures. I am actually pretty happy with how some of them came out!

Jess awaiting the fireworks...

Light post using my star filter

Some random little girl with her sparkler

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Look Ma, no hands!

Today was the first day for a new law here in California. Today, driving while using a cell phone became illegal. Now, you have to use a bluetooth headset while driving. Too many people used their cells while driving, me included. I would like to think I was still a fairly safe driver when I did use it, but I know MANY people were not safe. I support this law. However, if they are going to ban using cell phones, there a few other things that need to go as well.

Today I went out and about into the world and saw plenty of other people who were distracted while they were driving. Let's see, first there was the lady who was looking in her mirror putting on makeup while she was driving. Poor lady, no makeup was going to help her. Then there was the guy who was looking at a map. Maybe he needs a GPS. Then again, as his car was maybe 17 different colors, I don't know if he could afford a GPS. I also saw a lady who was looking backwards(!) so she could hit or yell at her kids. Maybe the built in DVD player was too loud and she was merely asking the kids to turn it down. We can't forget the teenage girl who wasn't talking on the phone, but she was still using it to text. R U 4 REAL?

What else is dangerous? Not tying down your cargo. Yes, someone a few cars ahead of me dropped their sofa in the middle of road. How embarrassing! I mean really sir, a purple tiger print sofa? Luckily, I made it back home safely despite all these unsafe people. And yes, at the end of the drive, a person driving while talking on her cell phone. Maybe she didn't get the memo.