Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It May Be Time to Invest in a Typewriter


We're almost in October and I still haven't written a 'Back to school' post with accompanying darling photos of Everett in backpack and fake smile. Such photos exist and my boy is definitely back to school with enough stories to keep this blog rolling for weeks. But I didn't want to post the piece until I could put up those pictures and my computers, which are insanely jealous of my children, have done everything in their power to stop me. They've also done a great job of teaming up with my anxiety and crippling self-doubt in hurting my productivity and providing me with my excuses that produce giant eye rolls from everyone that I try to elicit sympathy.

The great computer tragedies started when Everett decided May was a spectacular month to ride a toy bus over my laptop, which may explain its hatred towards my kids and definitely explained why my battery charger outlet and plug were broken. No problem, I dropped over two hundred dollars and all was fixed.

The laptop didn't like my sense of relief and just a few weeks after that a wire in my monitor burned out so I had the joy of dropping another hundred plus dollars to fix that. While the laptop was at the shop, my desktop got sympathy for its fallen friend and decided to give me the dreaded blue screen every 10 minutes or so. Luckily, my parents had an old laptop they didn't use so I had something to keep up my sale copy and other client work (not much on the blog though as this year has proven).

This lead to the glorious summer where my laptop now had a working monitor and my desktop was back home after the shop found a virus on it that was believed to be the problem. But again my computers' believed not enough money had really been spent on them, and so one day my desktop decided that the log-in screen needed to be corrupted so that I couldn't sign in. Once I ran back to the shop to solve that issue, I was informed my hard drive was ready for retirement just like Roger Murtagh (which would make my laptop Martin Riggs, but neither have solved any crimes or starred in a 1980s buddy cop franchise or brand new ill-advised TV series).

I got the joy of buying a new hard drive and also paying to get all my photos and documents backed up, because I needed a life lesson on the importance of backing up one's files on a regular basis. And that seemed enough to call it a bad year for computers.

Except that isn't enough, because my desktop with its shiny new hard drive still freezes with a non-responsive mouse and keyboard when on a web browser. And my laptop felt it was time to take this story full circle with my charger cord almost causing a bonfire and now needing to be replaced. I am happy I never gave my parents their old laptop back.

So, the long story is my back to school photos are trapped on my laptop (yep, didn't back those up yet) and my personality is one where I don't want to do a piece without those photos posted with my words.

The lesson of the day is my computers hate me and I have a quirky personality. Also maybe I need to get a lot better at backing things up right away.

-----------------

Yes, I realize this wasn't a movie review or an exciting tale of my adventures in parenting or anything that I've been promising for months. But it was a thing that I wrote and I hope for many more such things in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. No more excuses. Even if all three computer explode and I just need to start posting things on my iPhone. Did I ever mention that I have one of those now? Call me the man of the 21st century now, and the guy whose provider keeps trying to convince he needs a more expensive plan.

And just because my fingers are now moving furiously and they just don't want to quit, I swear and promise to not use crippling self-doubt or depression or anxiety or a fear of cucumbers as an excuse to not write on here anymore. It will be active again. I just am trying to figure out the format. Since I have your attention, I am contemplating three possible directions,

A) Movie reviews of all movies watched for podcast (around 500 to 800 words each) along with a few weekly long form pieces about film and my parenting adventures (likely one a week on my kids and two or three on movies).

B) Movie reviews of new theatrical releases, and several short daily pieces on movie news, events in my life, and whatever pops in my head.

C) Post variety of photos about all the kinds of pot roast. I currently am aware of one kind. I call it pot roast.


If you have a preferred format, then let me know in the comments. If you don't then keep on doing what you've all been doing for years and say nothing. Either way, I'll do what I want anyway.

Hope to end the final months of 2016 with a positive emotional state, lots of postings on this site, and computers that work on a daily basis. If I can't have the above three, then maybe I'll settle for learning how to cook a really delicious pot roast. The photo has made me hungry.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Breakdown of 'The Magnificent Seven' (2016), 'Storks', 'Audrie & Daisy', 'Runaway Bride' and 'Blazing Saddles'


The Breakdown has reviews for five pictures this week that includes two westerns in the 2016 remake The Magnificent Seven and the 1974 Mel Brooks' satire Blazing Saddles. It is also that time for another animated feature so we will be reviewing Storks. Then we will discuss the life and career of the great filmmaker Curtis Hanson. If you enjoy the show then please spread the word to other movie lovers and if you don't, let us know how we can improve it.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.




Rating Rundown:

The Magnificent Seven (2016) ** (CS) & **½ (SM)
Storks **½ (CS)
Audrie & Daisy *** (CS) & ***½ (SM)
Runaway Bride ** (CS & SM)
Blazing Saddles **** (CS) & ***½ (SM)

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Breakdown of 'Snowden', 'Blair Witch', 'Bridget Jones's Baby', 'ARQ', 'Extremis' and 'The White Helmets'


The Breakdown is ripping at the seams this week as we've stuffed it up with reviews of six 2016 releases and a discussion of the season finale of Stranger Things. We look at two sequels to movies that happened over a decade ago with the romantic comedy, Bridget Jones's Baby and the found footage horror Blair Witch. It is also the big return of Oliver Stone with the based on true events thriller Snowden. If you enjoy the show then please spread the word to other movie fans.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.


Rating Rundown:

Snowden ***½ (CS)
Blair Witch ** (CS & SM)
Bridget Jones's Baby *** (CS & SM)
ARQ *** (CS & SM)
Extremis *** (CS) & ***½ (SM)
The White Helmets ***½ (CS & SM)

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Breakdown of 'Sully', 'The Invitation', 'The Producers' and 'Love Story'


The Breakdown was recorded a few days early this week so we now have totally irrelevant box office predictions because that is how we roll. We also roll with four big movie reviews including the 2016 "based on true events" drama starring Tom Hanks in Sully. We also honour the career of two legends by reviewing beloved movies in Arthur Hiller's Love Story and the Gene Wilder starring The Producers. As always if you love the show then please spread the word to other movie fans.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.



Rating Rundown:

Sully *** (CS & SM)
The Invitation *** (CS & SM)
The Producers **** (CS) & ***½ (SM)
Love Story **** (CS & SM)

Monday, September 05, 2016

The Breakdown of 'Morgan', 'Don't Breathe', 'The Lights Between the Oceans', 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead', and 'XOXO'


It is a jam-packed episode of The Breakdown with reviews for five big 2016 releases including the home invasion thriller Don't Breathe and the period piece drama The Light Between the Oceans. We also continue our series review of Stranger Things, and we remember the comedic icon, Gene Wilder. We also somehow end up reviewing two movies about EDM despite neither of us being fans or knowing much about it, so listen to find out if we can be won over. As always if your love the show then please spread to the word to other movie fans.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.



Rating Rundown:

Morgan ** (CS & SM)
Don't Breathe *** (CS) & ***½ (SM)
The Light Between the Oceans **½ (CS)
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead *** (CS & SM)
XOXO * (CS) & *½ (SM)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Breakdown of 2016 Summer Movie Season Podcast


The moans of school returning are echoing through the halls, so it must mean it is the end of the summer. It is time for the Breakdown of the 2016 Summer Movie Season. It was a rough summer for the big budget studio tentpoles but a great one for mid-budget comedies, thrillers and horrors. We analyze the last four months to see what worked, what failed and what it all says about the future of big studio tentpoles. As well, in our news bite segment we discuss the controversy surrounding Nate Parker and his movie The Birth of a Nation. As always if you enjoy the show then please spread the word to other movie lovers.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' has the Feel and Beats of 'Whiplash'


La La Land feels exactly like the type of movie director/writer Damien Chazelle would helm. On the surface this musical about a jazz pianist (played Ryan Gosling) falling in love with an aspiring actress (played by Emma Stone) set in Los Angeles looks to be entirely different than his debut movie, Whiplash. Even though the dark movie about a talented drummer (played by Miles Teller) who allows his obsessions with greatness tear apart his life as he does everything to impress his abusive and harsh instructor (played by J.K. Simmons) was not a musical or a love story, you can see some commonality with that movie and this trailer. Every shot, plot progression, bit of dialogue, and editing felt like music and had the beats and poetry of a professional drummer. It was a non-tradition musical that didn't have people break out into song but had the flow, beats and groove of one extended song. La La Land is a love story and has bright scenes and moments of pure fantasy, but there looks to be a darkness and the theme of obsession is peaking out the seams. I expect a bounce and a sense of wonder, but it also will deliver an emotional punch. No matter what is the direction or themes, Chazelle is a filmmaker that has already earned the cred to make all his work worthy of anticipation, and Stone and Gosling are amazing talents that have also proven in the past to have a sizzling chemistry.