Category: review

The Fear of a Not-So-Scary Movie

I suffered through a horror movie last night, because someone very special to me told me it was the scariest movie of all time. He had never been more scared by a movie than this one. All right! Well, considering the source, I had no reason to doubt him. I’m sure, in fact, that he was being completely honest. However, comma, I don’t think he’s seen many movies in his life. He is, after all, only thirteen.

But I’m not really here to rip on the movie, though it did suck pretty badly. Like a brand new purple Dyson. In fact, I wasn’t scared of creeped-out even one time during the entire film. Not even startled by the Dolby shocks. Seriously. I’m not bragging here. When I watch a ‘scary movie’ I want to be scared. I want to wake up with nightmares when I go to bed. I want the horrifying images I’ve seen on the screen to haunt my waking days for the next week. I want to be terrified. The Possession didn’t even come close.

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SpaceBrew Review: Bangs & Whimpers

This book, Bangs & Whimpers: Stories About the End of the World is a collection of short stories by different authors. Most of these stories were written some fifty to sixty years ago. It includes passages from all the greats – from Arthur C. Clarke to Robert Heinlein, Neil Gaiman to Isaac Asimov. I’ve owned it for many years now, but have somehow never gotten around to reading it, until now.

I started it several nights ago, longing for the feel of a paper book in my hands after nearly a year of nothing but audio and electronic books. I just finished it. And let me tell you: if you are in the mood to be depressed, pick up a copy of this volume and give a go. Dear Lord.

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SpaceBrew Review: Ancient Shores

Ancient Shores
by Jack McDevitt

as posted on Goodreads

This book was like a “wave” at a football game. You know the one where people stand up in turn waving their arms around and it gives the effect that the stadium is an ocean? Yeah. That. Let me explain the analogy.

Well you probably got that it was up and down with the suspense, drama and general kickassery of the story. It was indeed. The gait would pick up and get me real interested, then it would slow back down and even bog down with unnecessary character introductions and irrelevant loose ends. But it also reminded me of a stadium wave because of how imperfect the wave part of the wave actually was.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Windup Girl

The Windup Girl
by Paolo Bacigalupi

I have a lot to say about this book. It was a big book, so it needs a big review. And by big, I mean twenty hours. I listened to it on audiobook, you see. I think Jonathan Davis was a great narrator, but he reads very slowly. He’s very precise with his words, and his pauses between sentences are often pregnant with wait. This probably added several hours throughout the entire book. But it’s also big because Bacigalupi was very liberal with his words. If words cost money, he spared no expense.

It was good. Well written. Mr. Bacigalupi has a way of romanticizing famine and plague, terrible conditions and even rape with such smooth words. They feel like warm honey running over your skin. It’s very easy to latch onto the world, and feel like you’re part of it. His world is a post-apocalyptic version of ours, a couple of hundred years in the future. Not that he ever actually comes out and tells you that, mind you.

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Vincent Hobbes is a Thief

I’m a writer. One might debate how well I perform this craft. Or not. Almost everyone who has read my books has told me they liked them greatly. I say this not in boastful arrogance, but just to say that I do it to the best of my ability, I take it seriously, and I take pride in making it as good as my ability will allow. I’ve written millions of words. A lot of them on this website. If you peruse back through the archives, you will see I have over 450 columns attributed to my name. And most of them are 800 words or more. Not just some quick paragraph about nonsense. Why do I say all this? I don’t know. I think I’m just trying to justify the title I used in the first sentence of my column.

But I don’t need to. Not really. The word writer speaks nothing of the personality of the writing. It doesn’t lend itself to any superlatives or adjectives describing the talent of the human being who takes the title. It only expresses that he or she has set out to perform a task, an effort that takes at least a fair amount of talent or skill, and has thus taken the label.

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Stumbling on a Musical Gold Mine

Winter is historically my season for inspiration. Everything is dead or dying, cold and gray. It’s a blank slate for creativity and thought. I adore these months. My writing, drawing and music all come alive in the winter. I also listen to a lot more country music in the winter. This stems from spending winter months in Germany when I was in the service, being couped up in a barracks room with one other American guy, snowed in and unable to go anywhere, and all we listened to was country music. I love it.

I understand sometimes it gets annoying and begins to all sound the same. But I have very little respect for people who just automatically dismiss it as if none of it is worth listening to. “I listen to everything but country and rap.” Yeah, yeah, you’re too cool for school. So if this describes you, then you probably need not read on. The column ends here for the closed-minded. If, however, you have an ear for talent – whether or not you actually listen to country music, then read on, dear reader. I listen to everything. This even includes Tejano and Irish polkas in which cases I can’t even understand what they’re saying – so long as the music itself is tolerable and attractive.

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SpaceBrew Review: No Country for Old Men

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time – and frankly, the desire – to watch a movie. I’ve been reading a lot more lately, and what with having three kids who need what seems like almost constant attention until almost nine o’clock, it seems I never really have time. How, you might ask, do I have time to read, but not watch movies? Well, the answer is rather obvious if you ask me. Movies involve a lot more than just yourself. And not all movies I like to watch are rated PG or below.

Anyway, whatever supernatural forces favored me, the stars aligned, and I was finally granted a few hours to sit back and watch some good cinema. I chose No Country For Old Men. As always, my red-haired wife fell asleep after about forty minutes, leaving me to absorb the picture basically alone. Allow me to tell you what I thought.

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SpaceBrew Review: Insidious

I finally watched this film last night. I’ve been wanting to see it for a long time, and my daughter wants to see it too. So I needed to watch it so that I could screen it and see if it was going to be okay for her to watch it. Under supervision, of course. But yeah, I’ve been wanting to see this for some time. I love getting the cobbles scared out of me. And this was touted as being one of the most terrifying movies ever made. Well, it’s kind of hard to get my red-haired wife to agree to sit down in the dark with me and watch a scary movie – much less the scariest movie ever filmed. And oh, it has to be dark.

So I finally got the chance last night! I was so excited. I turned off the lights and got my couch all centered and up close, turned off the dryer and all of the walk lights in the house. Made sure it was nice and quiet. I wanted absolutely no breaks or attention thieves. I was going to get the ever loving holy horse dung scared out of me. Oh man, I have to tell you about this too. I had to force myself to stick with it. My red-haired wife had fallen asleep next to me with a blanket over her face. And I’m here to tell you friends, I literally had to force myself to finish watching it. Because it was so absolutely, horrifically, incredibly… stupid.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Wasp Factory

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

I enjoyed this book well. It was far different than anything I’ve ever read – which I’m sure most people who’ve read it will agree with – but not bad at all. If you’ve read any other reviews of this book, you know how violent and gruesome it is with animal cruelty and murder. Some people have said it makes them physically ill and they’re not able to finish it. I didn’t have that problem. I guess I’m desensitized from all my years of working on computers. Anyway, if you can fight through it, just tell yourself it’s fiction. It’s a book and nothing more. I think it’s worth reading.

My writing here will be vague and make references to events without spoiling any of the book. You can safely read my review without fear of losing anything in your reading of the novel.

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SpaceBrew Review: Dooms Day Book

I have so many things to say about this book. I’ve never really read anything like it. I do love time-travel tales. It follows that I love anachronistic situations, people getting stuck in a different time, and – well, just a bunch of bad schlit happening. This book has all that. I also rather enjoy tales set in medieval times, or the Middle Ages, as it were. I’m not, however, big on fantasy. You show me a dragon or a wizard, and I’ll show you how to set down a book so fast you risk injury to the wrist. Alas, this novel had nothing of the sort. This book was more like a National Geographic presentation about the Middle Ages.

I hesitate to say anything about what happens in the book for fear of the spoiler. It seems to be that every other review on the book sort of just expects you to know it though. The thing that perplexes me is that if Connie Willis had expected you to know the preliminary twist, why did she write so deeply into the book trying to add suspense and mystery over it? Why did she not just advertise it on the dust jacket? Well, I don’t know. But assuming you aren’t only going to read one review – my review – of the book, I’m going to have to go with the notion that you probably already know what the book was about, and that huge plot device that seems so carefully hidden by Connie yet so destructively advertised by every other reviewer I’ve seen. Further, if I don’t talk about it, then I really can’t tell you why I thought so highly of this story.

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SpaceBrew Review: Slaughterhouse-Five

I have begun my endeavor to read a series of classic books, so that I can fully appreciate and understand the cultural growth and development the industry and art has undergone. I want to be weller read, to put it bluntly. So I bought the classic masterpiece entitled Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Let me first tell you the accolades that adorn this book’s jacket: it was ranked number 18 on the all-time most influential and best literary works of the last century. One of the best and most important books ever written. So clearly we’re not dealing with a lightweight here. And I also happened to luck into this one, as it just happens to be about time travel. I felt like reading this book would be like killing one bird with two stones! I was excited to curl up by my virtual fire with my new eBook Reader and delve into this imaginary world of time travel and literary prowess.

I should just go ahead and end the review there, because everything great I have to say about the book is just parroting what others have already said. But just like one can say the phrase “nice things about the IRS” no one can actually say nice things about the IRS. Yeah I said those great things about this book. But I was merely quoting. I don’t feel that way myself. And it’s a damn shame. I was so excited to participate in something so grand that so many millions of people have read! But here’s my little secret that I shall now share with you, dear reader: I think most people voted this book five stars because they’ve seen the ratings it already has. And they didn’t get it either. So as not to sound like a moron, or not seem intellectual, or – perhaps even more plausible – not to sound like they don’t ‘get it’, they jumped on the bandwagon. Clearly, ten hundred million people can’t be wrong! You didn’t think the book was a masterpiece? Well, aha! You just don’t get it.

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SpaceBrew Review: Comparing eReaders

I set out in search of a good eReader, hoping to facilitate the nessecary dwindling of my rather Brobdingnagian collection of hardback books. There are a lot of choices on the market today, but only a few rise to the top, leaps and bounds above the others. These three are the Kindle, the Nook and the Sony Reader. I shall therefore discuss the pros and cons of all three of these and tell you why I ended up choosing the one I did.

Firstly, I did not want a tablet device that runs Android. I don’t need another computer in the house. Good Greg, I’ve got a lot of mother cussing computers. And a tablet is like a waiter at a busy dolphin diner: it serves multiple porpoises. Sniff. I really just wanted something that reads ebooks, and that’s all. Nothing fancy, but something clean, sharp and comfortable.

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Brew Review: Ricky Gervais – Out of England

What? Another review? Yeah, well the only other things to talk about right now are getting kicked like dead horses, with boots covered in bacon. And the guy doing the kicking has a blister on his foot because there’s a hole in his sock. And his wife is a dental hygienist. So yeah, it’s kind of tiring. I’m already tired of the conspiracy theories about how dude isn’t really dead. Or how he’s been dead for a long time. Seriously? We need another conspiracy to latch onto? :rolleyes:

And plus, too, when I see something great, I like to share it with you guys so you can see something great too. So let’s get this starty parted.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Prestige

Occasionally there comes along a film that is so great it makes you say a cuss word and choke on your bourbon. And even more remotely, there comes one that makes you rearrange and alter your top-five favorites list. Well, friends and enemies, this here is one of those.

This film came out around the same time The Illusionist arrived on scene. Just like Deep Impact and Armageddon, The Matrix and The Thirteenth Floor, and Little House On The Prairie: The Movie and James Bond in Casino Royale. Like movies always seem to hit the scene at the same time. Like they both thought of it at the same time and one of them didn’t copy the other’s idea. (Like Leeanne Rimes suddenly deciding she needed to sing How Do I Live Without You shortly after the superior Trisha Yearwood had already sung it. And sang it well. And there’s your introduction.

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SpaceBrew Review: Love and Other Drugs

Now here’s a movie that needs a nod. I rented this movie based solely on the title and the rating it had on Netflix, thinking it was a chick-flick, and my red-haired wife and I could enjoy it together over caramel popcorn and bourbon. Now see that, ladies? I am a man who is not opposed to renting something I think my red-haired wife will enjoy, and watching it with her. I’m quite a catch, if you think about it.

Anyway, this is a fairly original storyline, not too overdone, and pretty well written. A young woman (Anne Hathaway) is diagnosed with Parkinson’s and runs into a young man who has just gotten into the pharmaceutical sales business. Think Steel Magnolias or Philadelphia. But see, it’s not really a chick-flick. It’s more of an emotional drama that should appeal to anyone with a heart than just to women. Well, it should also appeal to any red-blooded man who wants to see Anne Hathaway naked.

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SpaceBrew Review: Gray Matters

My red-haired wife and I watched Gray Matters last night. It’s a chick-flick. You see, chick-flicks are not my first picks when I’m looking for movies, and it’s certainly not my favorite genre. But I am an artist, and can appreciate all kinds of art. Which is why I’ll listen to rap if there’s actual talent to be heard in the track. Shrug. I don’t close my mind and avoid watching (or listening) to something just because it falls into a particular genre of which I’m not typically fond. I am also very objective in my reviews of such pieces, because I’m evaluating the art. Not the category. That being said, this was a fine movie.

I will back up a second and admit to you that the only reason I rented this one was because Heather Graham is in it. And so is Bridget Moynahan. And there happens to be a particular scene in it where they… I don’t know how to say it… uh, they, well, let’s just say they kiss a little bit. No, I am NOT shallow. But these two women are pretty close to the top of my celebrity hit list and so if they’re kissing each other, I need to know about it. And I need to see it. And not to ruin the movie for you, but the kissing scene of which I speak was really well done. Tasteful and not gratuitous, surprisingly. Yes, seriously, I was really surprised that it wasn’t just a gratuitous make-out scene the director threw in just to classify the movie. It was cute, fun and – well, very believable. And damn sexy, if I might say so.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Adjustment Bureau

It’s been a long time since we actually went to a theater to watch a movie – and I’ve never been to Studio Movie Grill. But that sounds like exactly the kind of place I should be going to watch a movie. They serve beer. Nothing further, your honor. So I took the red-haired wife to see The Adjustment Bureau. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

If you were to write down exactly what I typically look for in a movie, you might get something pretty close to the script for this movie. I mean, on paper, this is exactly the kind of stuff I want to see on film! A behind-the-scenes group who makes sure things stay on the right path, and controls the outcome of events… The ability to open any door in the city and have it take them anywhere they want to go… Wow. Dude, are you sure I didn’t write this script myself?

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SpaceBrew Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

After several years of deliberating and delaying and any other excuses I could find to put it off, I’ve finally finished building my HTPC. To you lay folk out there, that stands for Home Theater Personal Computer. And let me tell you: you need to get yourself one of these bad boys.

Anyway, the point is that since I have finally finished it out, my red-haired wife and I have been watching a lot more movies. And she’s even stayed awake for a few of them. I know, I know, most of what I write on this site is fictitious, but trust me, this is true! And last night she stayed awake through the entire viewing of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

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SpaceBrew Review: From A Buick 8

I’ve told you all before why I like to read Stephen King. Not because of his stories. Most of his stories are pretty unremarkable in and of themselves. I think I might have said before that his stories have all been told before, but that’s not quite accurate either. I can’t think of anyone who’s ever written a story about a car that came alive and ate people. His storylines are pretty original. And some of them are even pretty interesting. But most of them are pretty shrugworthy.

No, I read his books because of his ability to tell the story. And you best believe if I were sitting around a campfire with buddies telling scary stories, I would want him on my left. Welcome, SpaceBrewers, to the first SpaceBrew Review of 2011. It has been a while since I did a book review, so you might want to pop over to my review system page and freshen up on the categories I use to judge.

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SpaceBrew Review: Slash’s Slash

Occasionally, I like to review things for you. Since SpaceBrew has become a trusted household name when it comes to consumer reviews and reports, I know you guys probably swing by here most times before you make a purchase. I, therefore, like to make sure and keep you posted on the latest, greatest and lamest. I have another of these today. Enter Slash.

Saul Hudson, better known as ‘Slash’ was a popular metal guitarist in the 80s when he played the guitar for Guns ‘N Roses. Seriously? Could they not have spelled out ‘and’ or at least used the ampersand? Come on guys. Anyway, he was a great guitarist, performing memorable and catchy licks to some of our favorite songs like Mr Brownstone and Sweet Child O’ Mine. Wait. Really guys? Too lazy to write one more letter? Good grief. Well, his popularity kind of diminished when GNR broke up.

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Judge Not Thy Chili

I guess I have entirely missed the point of a chili cook-off. You see, growing up, I – wait. No, never mind. This has nothing to do with growing up. But I’ve always sort of been of the opinion that when you had a food contest, the goal for each contestant would be to cook the best tasting food. Chili included. Should not the goal for each contestant to be to produce the absolute best chili anyone has ever had? Well apparently not. Now the point is to see who can set someone’s mouth on fire the fastest. And there’s your opening paragraph.

Seriously though, did I miss some sort of memo? Here at work the other day, there was a small, unannounced chili cook-off hosted by the ladies in marketing. And of course, out of the seven or so women there, only like two of them made the chili. The rest of the entries were actually cooked and prepared by the husbands. I need not finish this paragraph, but I will anyway – if for no other reason than to hit my word quota. But yeah, you guessed it: women cannot cook chili. My red-haired wife not included.

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I just got my FACE rocked off.

Seriously, dudes, I have to tell you about our night Friday night! Okay, well – okay, well hang on. Let me catch my breath. It’s Saturday morning here – well, feels like morning, it’s actually well after noon – but I got my damn face (and most of my ass, neck, thighs, back and arms) rocked the hell off last night. Son of a bitch. Okay, let me back up a little though.

I was sitting at my damn desk at work when the HR director came up to my desk and said, “Hey, yo, Space. I got these tickets, dude,” and gave me four tickets to Nickelodeon Storytime at Verizon Theatre. And yes, they spell it with the tre instead of the ter. Idiots obviously don’t know the difference in the definitions. Anyway, yeah, we took the girls to the theater to see the Backyardigans and Dora the Explorer on stage and all that. They loved it, of course.

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Yes I saw The Notebook. No, I didn’t cry.

Weren’t you one of the ones who told me to watch this movie, and that when I did watch it, I would cry? Well, if it wasn’t you, it was everyone else. Every single person I’ve talked to who’s seen it, has told me they cried. Oh my God, it was so sad! I just LOST it at the end. OMG. :yawn:

Now let me back up and make two points before I continue with this. Point one: no, this is not a SpaceBrew Review of The Notebook. I will not be talking about the plot, the acting, spoilers, plot devices and how they could have made this movie better. Hence the title. I don’t feel the need to review this movie. Notice how most of the Brew Reviews I write always get good stars? Well I think they do, I don’t really recall. See, that’s because I really only like to review the good movies.

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Meal Ticket for a Bad Meal

We were talking last night about the concept of the discount coupon, the refund and the free meal ticket. So say you go into a restaurant, you order a nice big meal, you eat it, then you get sick and end up spending the next nine hours pinwheeling in your bathtub. For those of you who don’t know what pinwheeling is, imagine you’re spraying out of both ends. If you were to take a spear and stick it through your side into the wall, the force of the liquids coming out of you would propel you to spin, doing backflips on the spear.

After you spend all night in the shitter, you call the restaurant, or even better – go back up there, and they give you a free meal ticket to make it up to you. Ahem. Like you really want to eat there again? That was one shitty cookie! Can I have a discount on my next shitty cookie? Yeah it really doesn’t make much sense. Same thing with shitty haircuts. You might get a coupon for a free haircut since they effed your head up this time. Uh huh. That is one valuable coupon. I know I don’t keep going back to places that don’t do their job right.

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SpaceBrew Review: District 9

I finally watched District 9 a couple of weeks ago. It was nothing like I thought it would be. When I originally dropped it in my queue I was only vaguely aware of the plot. Here’s the plot summary from IMDB:

In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed “The Prawns,” appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new ‘Prawn’ friends.

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The Men The Women Can’t Avoid

I’ve often found myself considering the stars, the planets, space and the harmonic oscillation produced by a pair of bouncing breasts. I also spend a lot of time in thought about beers, breasts, buddies… So we’ve established that I’m a very considerate and thoughtful person. But am I a nice guy?

Most women I’ve dated in the past have said they thought I was an asshole when they first met me. I will admit that I’m very forward, I speak my mind, and I don’t really pull any punches. I sort of always just tell it like it is. If there’s something I don’t like about you (well, that actually involves me in some respect), I will let you know about it. If you don’t like it, I guess you’ll think I’m an asshole. I don’t deny that. Some people just don’t like my forwardity. (You like that noun?) And that’s fine. I’m not for everyone. But women are (at least in my experience) attracted to it.

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The Best Acting. Ever.

Good morning, Brewers. Today I’d like to list out my top three favorite acting scenes of all time. Too often (like once a year) we see the grammy awards or oscars or whatever the hell award show it is that hands out awards for movies… I guess that lends proof that I don’t watch them… and we always see Best Actor, Best Picture, etc. And yeah, while I agree that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was masterful in Truman Capote, there just wasn’t really one scene that stuck out in my head as being just insanely awesome acting.

This might be hard to get across with flat text but I’ll try. There’s that one scene in that one movie that you’re probably thinking about right now. That one that just sends chills up your spine and makes you say, “Oh my word. That was effing brilliant.” And it might even bring tears to your eyes. Well that’s the scene I’m talking about. Here are my top three.

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Back to Our Roots

Happy Cinco de Mayo, friends! This year, it happened to fall on May 5th, which happens to be a hump day. Couldn’t have asked for better timing! And you can’t ask for a better topic than what I have for you today: music. I like music. In fact, some have said that I even “like it a lot”. I listen to all types of music, and don’t really tie myself down to one genre. Heck, I’m not even one of those guys who says, “I listen to everything except rap,” or “country”. I listen to it all – as long as it doesn’t sound like a bunch of untalented bullsh. There are some rap and even some R&B songs that I dig quite well. I’m very open-minded. Now one thing I cannot stand is that assy sounding crap where the R&B singer just holds out a syllable and tries to hit every note in the scale. You know what I’m talking about? Listen to the Fugees’ Killing Me Softly cover if you’re not sure. That crap makes me want to murder music in the face.

But other than that, yeah, I think I’ve made my point. I like music quite well. But here’s what this column is about: sometimes I like to break into a certain style reminiscent of times gone by. You know. Something like that. And here’s how I really explain it: I am not one who takes a radio with me when I go camping – even though I love and live and breathe music. I go camping to get away from techmology. I don’t want to be bothered by radio waves. But there is a growing list of music I would be okay with hearing while I sit round a campfire drinking Cold Ones and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Let me show you this list.

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SpaceBrew Review: Avatar

I can’t really say much about this movie. It’s one of those things you have to have seen to be able to discuss with someone intelligibly. There’s just so much going on and so much detail and so much intensity that you really can’t do any of it justice by describing it to someone. But I will say one thing. You must see this in Real D 3-D. Seeing it in regular 2-D movie style just wouldn’t suffice. It would still be a great movie, but the 3-D is so incredible that it really puts you in it. You feel like you’re there.

It’s more than just a movie, too. Obviously, the 3-D effect is half of the experience. But the other half is the picture itself. And it really is an experience. Not just a cinematic one. But a life experience. You simply must go see this film, in 3-D, before it leaves the theaters forever. And before you die. I think it’s something any true movie buff should experience. It really is good.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Blind Side

Yeah, I went and saw it. I love football. And, well, I love my wife. So I took her to see Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw on the bigscreen. Just kidding, it wasn’t really about that for her. See, I got me one of them good wifes. She likes football too. Yeah. Told you. But this review is not about my wife. It’s about the movie.

Speaking of which, it might have been Sandra’s best role yet. Well, not counting Speed, of course. And Tim McGraw wasn’t all that bad, either. I mean, he’s no Keanu Reeves, but he was pretty good. And get this: in some places, even believable. But the big black guy who played the big black guy was awesome.

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Toy Review: The Rubik’s TouchCube

I’m sure some of you came over here from my Facebook. Yeah. I really did buy that Rubik’s TouchCube. See, the thing is, since I work at the Geek Squad, and since Geek Squad owns Best Buy, I get an incredible employee discount. I still spent over a hundred bucks for the damn thing, but yes, I really did buy one. Let me explain.

I bought a Rubik’s TouchCube. What’s there to explain?

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I’m changing my career path.

Yes, my fearless readers, I have decided to go into insurance. And let me tell you why. We all know it’s legal crime, and who doesn’t want a little crime under their fingernails? Aha, two puns in one paragraph. So let me tell you why it would be so wonderful to work in insurance. Well, actually, let me back up and rephrase that because I think it probably wouldn’t be all that cool to work in insurance. The money, and therefore, the fun, would be in owning an insurance company. That’s where it’s at.

First of all, you charge people money every month. Let’s talk auto insurance, just for the sake of conversation. Okay, so let’s say you pay me around $150 a month for your Jeep Grand Cherokee to be insured. Ooh, let’s even say that it’s bright orange with a brown racing stripe down the middle! And it’s got twenty-inch wheels that are painted brown. And one of those chain license plate frames. Okay. So I insure that for you. You pay me $1800 a year. So if I have say twenty clients, I’m making a pretty good bit of coin. Now we get to where it would kick ass to own the insurance company.

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Character Flaws

Smug bastard.Ever notice how smug the Quaker Oats guy looks? It doesn’t really make me want to buy their product, it makes me want to kick that pilgrim’s ass. He in fact looks like he’s trying not to laugh at you. And speaking of kicking ass, I’ve now settled my old hypothetical: Mr Clean would definitely kick the shit out of Mattress Giant.

But seriously, brand-name characters are either just really bad ass, or really bad. Bad ass? The Most Interesting Man in the World, for Dos Equis beer. That guy is bad ass. I mean, hell, his blood smells like cologne. Bad? Jared from Subway. Is this guy’s fifteen minutes not up yet? Will someone please run over his stupid ass? Look, Subway Marketing Campaign Advisor Guy, we all know he didn’t lose all that weight only eating Subway sandwiches. Sandwiches have bread. Bread has carbs. Carbs make people fat. We don’t buy it. So please. Retire his stupid ass and let’s move on. We’re all sick and tired of his birth-control face by now.

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SpaceBrew Review: John Mayer live

John MayerFriday night was John Mayer night. If you recall, I was commenting from my brand new iPhone will sitting in the lawn, waiting for him to take the stage. Some guy with a very unattractive voice started things off. His music was all right. Then came Colbie Caillat. She’s pretty bubbly. She has a great voice though, and her show wasn’t bad at all. Then, at 9:53, the lights went out.

Presently, a shirtless John Mayer came out on stage, saying, “What’s up Dallas?” He played his entire set without his shirt on. And let me tell you, he can play in whatever attire he feels is fitting. He’s good enough to warrant playing in a woman’s thong and a purple boa. John Mayer rocked the house.

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Sub-Par Food Service

One of their chicken sandwiches.A buddy and I went to eat at a sub shop over here, because he couldn’t shut up about it. “Oh my God dude you have to try these subs. They’re the best freaking subs ever created.” I was like hell yeah, if they’re the best ever, I sure would hate to miss out on that shit. Give me one of them bitches now! So we went to Jimmy John’s. It’s not a major chain, but who really cares about that? As long as their subs are good, they can be in the running, right? And every time I drive by there, it’s always packed like a can of tuna.

Well here’s my review on the place: I give it one star. Out of five. Why? Well, the bread was good. It was soft and fresh, and very luscious. But the rest of it was like I was eating at home. Nothing special at all. And get this bull ass shit. They don’t have swiss cheese. They have one kind of cheese. One. No pepper jack. No monterey. No cheddar. No provolone. Just American. Or whatever the damn it was they had. One kind. And they only had like two kinds of meat. Okay, I’m done talking about this place. Let’s talk about a good sub shop.

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The History of Beer

I read a great article about the history of beer and thought I would share it with you. Go read it when you have a few minutes. It’s very interesting. Now we know who to blame for the taxation of beer. That bitch, Cleopatra, needed more money for her wars so she decided to tax it. Thanks.

Anyway, Flavio and I were outside talking about this, and I began wondering who the first person was to ever drink beer. How cool would that be? But if the Sumerians were the first to brew it, we’re talking thousands and thousands of years ago! So my theory developed pretty quickly, because I was concerned about why anyone would try such a thing. Surely he must have brewed it by accident. So here’s my thinking:

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I wear sheets and carry a lantern.

Have you ever heard of the Anson Lights? Anson is a small town about thirty miles north of Abilene. There are some lights there. It’s pretty interesting. Seriously though, there’s a dirt road that leads off one of the main roads there, which you can turn down to get to the cemetery. The cemetery runs all the way down this road until you get to a crossroad. At that point, you’re supposed to turn your car around and flash your headlights three times.

Legend is that a woman’s husband ran off with her baby and so she and a search party went out into the field to look for him. Her request was that if anyone from the party found the child, he should signal by flashing his lantern thrice. So when you do this in your car, the baby appears in your back seat!

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Promotional Ideas

A friend and I went to see G. Love & Special Sauce at the House of Blues this weekend. Tristan Prettyman opened for them. She is, by the way, very pretty, man. I know, I’m sorry. You saw that coming and I said it anyway. You should know me by now though. Anyway, we were packed in there like fresh little sardines (maybe that’s not the best analogy because they don’t smell very good – but wait, never mind, maybe that’s why I chose it), all bouncing together and all the normal audience reaction you get sucked into. G. Love totally owned the place. Well, after Bob Dylan got through with it. We had to wait outside for quite a long time because Bob ran over. He’s obviously forgiven for it, though I’ll probably have a word with him about not at least inviting my friend and me in to hang out.

Anyway, a good time was had by all. We stood in an inch of beer and sweat – quite literally. Girls’ purses were soaking wet. The cuffs of my jeans were soaked. Pretty nasty stuff. I’m of the opinion that places like that with standing room should have gratings on the floor. Or make the entire floor from a grate. That would be grate. Oh God, I’m sorry.

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SpaceBrew Review: Ratatouille

Just a quick note for you movie buffs out there. We picked up Ratatouille the other day for the kiddo, and watched it last night as a family. Awwww. :rolleyes:

Let me start by saying don’t waste your time with this one. It’s a waste of time, film and money. The story line is ludicrous. It’s about a rat who knows how to cook. Hot hot hotSo he controls some guy to help him get better at cooking. It’s ridiculous. The characters are paper thin, the plot is very predictable, and the language is hardly appropriate.

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Opening Night: The Bourne Ultimatum

We arrived at the theater about an hour before showtime, anticipating the line we’d wait in to get into our seats. The movie would start at 9:50, and we walked through the doors around 9:00. Alas, we weren’t early enough, and ended up with about forty people in front of us. We got pretty good seats, about mid-way up the climb, but over to one side. So not totally inline with where we wanted to be – but not bad at all. Forgettable as soon as the picture starts.

Matt & JuliaThe movie picks up right where the last one left off, but there’s the catch. The end of the second movie actually happens about halfway through Ultimatum. So if you rewatch Supremacy to prep yourself for the third, stop your player right after he walks out of the Russian girl’s apartment. The next scene, where he calls Pam Landy from New York and tells her to get some rest… That doesn’t really happen yet. So just cut it off the end of the second film. The third will then make more sense to you.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Descent

She's a looker, yeah?Here is a picture about six women who decide to go spelunking in a pretty much virgin cave. That’s enough right there to get me to watch it. Ever read Ted the Caver? Yeah. Me too. So I checked it out. It was well made, no doubt. There were some parts I felt were a little predictable, and the startle blasts were pretty frequent. But all in all it wasn’t bad for a horror movie.

I guess I shouldn’t say any more because I don’t want to ruin it for you. I can tell you about the actors though. Six nameless women. Well, that’s about all there is to that. If you watch the making of part of this, you’ll be surprised at how much they did for sets, with so few pieces involved. They really got their money’s worth. Okay, so I give this one 3.5 stars. Like how I emboldened that?

I was going to include a picture from the movie, but – like I said – I don’t want to ruin anything for you. So here, have a picture of a random scary woman.

SpaceBrew Review: Patrice Pike

I’ve seen Patrice live five or six times now in some form or another – mostly with Black Box Rebellion. For some reason I’ve never gotten my picture taken with her though. What am I, an idiot? I’ve been a big fan since the first time I saw her perform. She’s amazing. Her stage presence is ridiculously awesome, and her talent is excessively phenomenal. So this show was really no different.

But hey she’s got a new band now. Wayne Sutton is still with her – at least he was Saturday night – but the rest are new. She has a keyboard player now, and an amazing female bass player. That bassist is something else. Full of charisma, constantly smiling, and just wildly talented. She really plays the part well, and there’s no doubt she belongs on stage with Patrice. The drummer is the same story. There are those drummers who pretty much just sit there, all resevered, and play their shows… (Like mine.) Then there are rockstars. This guy was just into it. Watching him, you really believe what he’s saying with his sticks. Hands in the air, head moving with the music, just owning the crowd with his licks. Didn’t get much from the keys. Wayne is mostly reserved too, but his talent speaks for itself.

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A Movie Not to Rent

I rented (and suffered through) Down in the Valley with Edward Norton the other night. If you’re like me, you’re of the opinion that he can do no wrong on the screen. Uh, yeah – no, well, I mean yeah that’s sort of true. He’s a phenomenal actor, but the picture was bad. And I mean bad like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Bad. So if you’re into taking a little advice from a self-proclaimed movie buff, and big fan of Edward Norton, take my advice here. Don’t waste your time. Furthermore, what?

I did hear that the Rome series is real good though. I today put the entire first season in my blockbuster queue, so I’ll be watching the hell out of that. The guy who turned me onto it said this: You’ll get so hooked into watching it that you won’t want to see anything else. Okay, wow. that’s a bold statement, yeah? Well I’m all over it. I’ll let you know what I ended up thinking of it.

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A Night At The Lakewood

Well the gig Saturday night went surprisingly well. We had only one instance of technical difficulties, though it was a recurring one. Since Trumby thought it would be a good idea to prop his bass up on a rolling chair in the studio last month, it’s been acting a little differently. Dropping two feet to a concrete floor below can do that to an instrument. So the bass wouldn’t stay tuned, and he’d have to adjust the bridge after every song. But other than that, it went without a hitch.

I posted a few pictures on the site, and Trumby has a few more I’ll post once he strolls in to work here. I think he’s working like nine to five these days. What a way to make a living!

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SpaceBrew Movie Review: Closer

I’m not big on movie reviews. I think they give too much away. Well, so do previews. But I don’t like when people tell me what parts are excellent in the movies they just saw. Then you’re watching for that part, and it never lives up to what they said it was, and so you’re distracted and it makes the rest of the movie kind of just suck and – well, you get the point. I just want to say this about the movie “Closer”. God wow.

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SpaceBrew Review: Dido Concert DVD

You know, I think Dido is way underrated as an artist. For the last few years I’ve thought Dido was the name of the band, and that Florian Cloud Armstrong was just the singer of Dido, the band. I didn’t realize Dido was a solo artist. Anyway, the point is that I think Dido is underrated. And I’m talking about Dido the band here.

Oh holy shit you can see right down her shirt whoaDido herself is a good singer, but I think it’s the band that makes her great. My perception is that Florian’s voice isn’t quite as strong as she is, though she puts as much into it as she can, trying to make it more powerful. You can see her just giving it everything she has, and her voice just kind of comes out. It’s quite sad actually, though not at the expense of quality. She sounds pretty awesome. I’d liken it to a car with a governor on the carb.

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SpaceBrew Review: Star Wars III

We saw the last Star Wars yesterday as a team. My boss took us all out and we saw it, then she took us to the bar afterwards and bought us a hilarious amount of drinks so we would be properly prepared to discuss it at great lengths. I have a few complaints, and a few praises I will share with you. If you’ve not yet seen Episode III, or don’t know the general storyline of Star Wars, then don’t read below here, because there will be spoilers.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Trap

I started reading The Trap by Tabitha King the other night, and immediately had to invoke my Rules of Fairness, Article 15; Column 2; Section 9A, which states that:

When reading a book I must give it a fair chance of being a potential Full Finish. Compliance with this article says the reader shall finish no less than fifty (50) pages of any book to be read unless the eyes combust or turn to acid in the sockets, whereby the reader has the option to either A) rent the book on audio cassette or CD and listen to the rest of it, B) have someone read it to the him, or C) terminate reading immediately and return said book to either the shelf or the dust bin.

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SpaceBrew Review: Mullholland Drive

Let me just say how much of a waste of time this was: it was a severe waste of time. I mean, I’ve sat through bad movies before, but this… This shit was worse than Highlander. This was the epitome of a shitty movie. It was written and directed by the same guy who did Twin Peaks, and all his stuff is the same. He tries for this abstract artsy type feel, and – well, he achieves that – but at the expense of entertainment. This movie is so abstract and ‘artsy’ that it fails to have a plot.

I’ve heard all the different takes on what actually happened in the movie, and I have my own as well. I understood it just fine. That’s not the problem, as it’s obviously not some low-brow B Movie. The problem was that even though I understood it, I found myself asking why? To what end? Who gives a shit what it means if it’s not interesting? So the whole first half of the movie was this girl’s fantasy, and the whole second half was reality. And… Well, that’s it. So now that we know that, what’s there to understand? It’s just gay.

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SpaceBrew Review: Whoa, Nelly!

My selected artist of the year award (which I give away every few years) this year goes to Nelly Furtado. It’s been many moons since I’ve listened to an album as musical as Whoa, Nelly! I didn’t have much hope for it, since she’s nineteen years old and all her inspirations were R&B singers. Blech. But I was hyperterrifically impressed not only with her diversity, but also her ability to write. She writes some of the most appealing, ear-catching music I’ve ever heard, and I’ve found I like every song on the album. She’s got songs ranging from sexy piano bar music to upbeat techno funk stuff, to rock ballads. This shit rocks, people. (I won’t mention that I think she’s hot.)

Chicken had this to say about Nelly Furtado: “Her voice will be the death of me.” Well, I suppose her voice is a little edgy, but I’ve found that’s exactly what I like about it. It’s definitely unique. And only when she wants it to sound like that does it even get that way. When she’s singing some of her slower songs, her voice is soft and sexy. I’ve found it to be like the Dallas Cowboys, whereas you either love it or you hate it. But if you’re a music-minded person, you’ll dig the album in spite of her edgy vocal quality – or perhaps because of it. She’s got class.

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This just in: People are morons.

Did anyone watch the “watch with the world premiere event” last night on Discovery Channel – Inside the Space Station? I did. It was pretty cool, but I kept getting severely irritated with the people. Not the people in the show, but the people watching it.

Example:

Every time it went to a commercial, it would show some dude from some small town asking a question to the cosmonauts. When the program came back on, the cosmonauts would answer it. What pissed me off was the subject of these moronic questions they asked! One woman asked, “What do you miss the most about being on Earth?” Give me a damn break! So of course, all three dudes answer the same exact way: “I miss my friends and family.”

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