Currently Reading: Freemasonry for Dummies, The Idiots Guide to Buddhism, A Guide to Lucid Dreaming, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, The Boys
Currently Playing: The Walking Dead (Season 1 + 400 Days), GTA V
Black Sabbath - 13
, Rittz - The Life and Times of Johnny Valiant
, Lorde - Pure Heroine
, The Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
, GZA/DJ Muggs - Grandmasters
, Frank Sinatra - The Frank Sinatra Collection
Recent Films Watched (worth recommending): Pacific Rim, Killer Joe, The Last King of Scotland, The Raid: Redemption, Pain and Gain
Currently watching TV series:
Breaking Bad, The Wire, Mobsters, Sons of Anarchy, Erin Burnett Outfront
I label myself a loner by nature, but that's not 100% true. I like having a good time with company. As of late though I have learned a lot about close "friends" . So recently it's been plenty of "me" (family included no doubt) time. Which gives me more than enough time to contemplate my next move to become
wealthy, powerful, and all knowing then kill all those that oppose.
But of course nothing beats spending time with my beautiful daughters and wife. The time gets limited because of my current employment(does anybody want to trade jobs?). I am away for four weeks at a time! So if your friend request stays in limbo please do not take it personal. I am more than likely at work. Oh well maybe I should stop the bitching and just move along....
I am the self proclaimed "Alpha Nerd"!!
Hello again, my fellow Listal members.
About my collections
I try to show diversity with all of the media that I acquire. Just about appreciate every genre of anything I try to appreciate. Yeah there are more favorite ones than others(and not everything is worth checking out), but hey who said that staying in the same mind frame got anything different done creatively.
Also, if I do not get the chance to thank you for the vote(s), just know that I appreciate them and I know that you appreciate mine.
Thank you all fellow listal users.
Posted : 10 years, 4 months ago on 22 January 2013 04:40
(A review of A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
Comedy films usually are not the first films that I rush to view. Usually, in my opinion, they are a few notches above Romantic Comedies and anything involved with Uwe Boll directing or Tyrese's acting. Not because I hate [them], it is just because I think that sometimes comedies try too hard, like Carlos Mencia. Who can out gross more? Who has more sexual references? Whatever. (I suppose that we, as viewers, have become so desensitised that not much can disturb us.) Nothing seems organic nowadays. Do you know the reason why Hot Fuzz, Black Dynamite and Shaun of the Dead work so well? It is because the pay respect while treading new ground. I'm not expecting British humour, but dammit!
Yeah, I know, "Mr. Lays, it's stoner humour, chill the fuck out!" If have to be under the influence to enjoy a film, then what does that tell you about the film? This isn't [Link removed - login to see]. I love a good laugh and senseless humour like anybody, but to me this doesn't work to well. The first act of the film is it's best, sadly. And don't even get me started about the inclusion of 3D. If one of your main characters mentions that the 3D craze may be "jumping the shark", we have a problem. Then adding to the problem by having Bobby Lee breaking the fourth wall trying to let you know that your $12 wasn't misspent was just sad.
Yeah, fuck you Bobby Lee, it wasn't.
Alright, now I will tell you how I really feel about the film: The third entry in this series portrays Harold as a consistent (read: working stiff) yet boring person in life, and while Kumar has lost all self respect (read: a fuckin' bum), because his inability to stop getting high, among other issues. The two are no longer friends due to Kumar being irresponsible and Harold being a square. (I personally like the diss "Twinkie" more for Harold heard on the first instalment.) Kumar receives a mysterious package addressed to Harold, tracks him down and proved that he is still irresponsible by burning down a prized Christmas tree. So in search for a replacement Christmas tree, hilarity ensues, or sorta. I will let you be the judge, this is just my opinion. In closing here is a guide to the Harold and Kumar franchise: the first instalment, honestly, had me in tears, the second had some chuckles, and now the third basically produced a few smirks and grins. Maybe I should re-watch with the addition of some Afghan Kush. Then I can enjoy it...or fuck it, do myself a favour and watch Dumb and Dumber again.
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Posted : 10 years, 5 months ago on 18 December 2012 10:39
(A review of ATM
I could remember a time when killers in films didn't require a whole lot of explaining, can you? (I suppose if you can milk a franchise, why not?) We didn't need a shitty [Link removed - login to see] or [Link removed - login to see] or even a [Link removed - login to see] explaining how somebody stole their box of Crayolas in kindergarten. Sure, generally viewers do not mind a few minutes of back story, but nothing of significance that hinders the film. (Rob Zombie's Halloween, although a good film, is a recent example of this, in my opinion anyway.) Anyways, now that my mini-rant is out of the way, I present, ATM. (No, sadly it isn't a porno.) ATM is one of those films that could have had based on a true story all over the box, and might have been believable. (I say that loosely, but you never know. Stranger things have happened.)
The story opens itself at a typical office cubicle dribble Christmas party. One bloke has taken a liking to a lady who is leaving to company soon. After using amazing wordplay to convince her to take a ride from him back home, his very annoying (can't stress this word enough) friend needs a ride back. Now this mutha fucka knows that he likes this girl, but proceeds to ask for a ride back home anyway. 20 minutes the other fuckin' direction, by the way! Pure hate/jealously. Along the way home the annoying friend wants to stop to the ATM because the diner he wants to stop by doesn't take plastic. When they stop there they are cornered by a menacing guy in a Eskimo jacket. This killer gives no motive other than his victims being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Granted, who knows how any of us would react to a [Link removed - login to see], but due to the fact that they couldn't flee anywhere, I find it slightly annoying that the characters didn't put up more of a fight. Yeah, I know that we all cannot be [Link removed - login to see] or [Link removed - login to see], but come on!
In conclusion: some tense elements in this film work, but overall, you have seen this before, and the ending you just feel cheated. I applaud the gritty style and creating a film that, sadly, could happen to anybody. I also am extremely grateful that this wasn't another [Link removed - login to see]. (I could easily imagine an alternate script containing his annoying friend hoisting a camera.) Alas, sadly though, ATM is not a porno.
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Posted : 10 years, 6 months ago on 29 November 2012 06:27
(A review of Looper
Writer/Director Rian Johnston, in 2005, delivered one of my [Link removed - login to see]. (I haven't watched his second film, Brothers Bloom, yet, but I have read nothing but excellent things.) In his third feature film, Looper, we follow an assassin who is in charge of killing senior citizens, sent 30 years to the past, to collect their life insurance. Why? Simple, this is No Country for Old Men. (Ha! Come on! Laugh! That was funny!) Looper is essentially a time travelling film (minus a few complexities and a Delorean) at it's core mixed with heavy gun play, and yes, it works as awesome as it sounds. It just feels so damn right, like the first time you watched Biff get pwned on Back to the Future. JGL plays Bruce Wills' cousin or son or himself or something. He kinda resembles him, or not. I am still undecided at the moment.
Nevertheless, Wills comes to the past to change something that destroys his (their?) future. JGL mildly lets Wills know that he doesn't give a shit because he can change his life as he sees fit, and besides, seniors always tell people to get off their lawn, even if it is themselves. And there you have it: Looper in a nut shell without giving away anything significant. If you are a fan of Emily Blunt speaking with a southern accent, brandishing a shotgun and swinging an axe, go see Looper right now! Although, some fans just need [Link removed - login to see], this is an exception film, in my opinion. One of the best films of the year.
Come how awesome is Emily Blunt holding this shotgun? Go ahead and answer that question now...I'll wait.
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Posted : 12 years ago on 18 May 2011 06:47
(A review of Nine Dead
First off let's get the elephant in the room out of the way. Nine Dead is Saw's little cousin's girlfriend's brother's best friend's script that came to fruition. Horror Porn is it's own genre now thanks to films like Saw, Hostel, Saw II, Cabin Fever, Saw III, The Hills have Eyes, Saw IV, Hatchet, Saw V, The Hills have Eyes 2, Saw VI, Wrong Turn, and Saw VII. I think that I may have missed a Saw film or two. You know, Saw: Jigsaw's Battle against High Car insurance and Saw: The Musical. Nine Dead will fit nicely with all of the aforementioned films. It isn't great, but it also isn't the worst film that you have ever seen.
Nine Dead's premise is pretty straight forward. Nine average blokes are kidnapped and handcuffed to a pole in a tiny room. (The setting and overall look of the film is very drab and reminiscent of the first Saw.) The designer of this trap informs them (the nine people) that's every ten minutes someone will die, unless they find the common link between them. None of them take this threat seriously and think that a cop maybe sweating them...until the first person gets his damn taco meat spread all over the wall.
Then the movie gets interesting. Sorta. All of the somewhat witty banter that is located in the script might have seemed nice on paper, but it's just comes across as whatever. Many of the characters do not show any emotions until the third act of the film. And simply put, by then, it's a little late to care about them. Forget the fact that we have a masked guy killing a member of our group every ten minutes, let's have a flashback! (All revelations are viewed this way.)
As noted in my review title, Sarah Michelle Geller is in this film. If you missed seeing her on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, then here is your chance to watch her work. Personally, I enjoyed her performance, some may call it a little overacting, but fuck it, what did you expect from a B-horror film!? The overacting...dare I say works?
Final thoughts, the three dollar purchase price at your local Wal-Mart bin is about right for it. The DVD special feature...a trailer of Nine Dead. This tough economic recession has hit us all.
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Posted : 12 years ago on 17 May 2011 07:03
(A review of Assassin's Creed II
Justice has been done to this new entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise. Just about all of the previous complaints have been rectified and the storyline (for all you conspiracy theory buffs) goes even deeper into the rabbit hole than imagined.
You play as Ezio, a stereotypical Casanova Italian pimp who's (mini spoiler ahead) father later is revealed to be an assassin taking down members of the corrupt government within Italy. The powers that be eventually capture and sentence Ezio's father (and his sons) with treason (along with a madrid of other crimes against government) and the sentence is...death. But wait one must remain to extract revenge...that's right, Ezio remains. The conspirators of the crime typically dismiss him as not being a major concern, but it isn't somebody gets shanked "OZ" style until they get the damn message.
After all of the chaos, Ezio is taken underneath his Uncle Mario's (yeah, his name is Mario. And yes he even shouts "It'sa me Mario!" when he is first introduced! Clearly an omage to our gaming forefather and not meant to sound...stereotypical...surely) Assassin's Creed II storyline unfolds like something out of a Dan Brown novel. It is highly entertaining and you cannot stab enough people to get to the next chapter of this 30 hour plus storyline.
Many gamers (such as myself) complained about the monotonous gameplay that plagued the first installment, but my fellow gamers rejoice, none of that here dammit! Just some of the many activities that your friendly neighborhood Assassin must do include:
Beat Up Missions (which usually in involves pulverizing cheating spouses. 1500 Cheaters style.)
Racing (next to impossible for me to win many of these. Possibly I just am horrible at it.)
Assassination Contracts (self explanatory and my favorite side activity to do. Bonus points should be added because these also tie into the central storyline.)
Currier (deliver letter(s) from point A to B (sometimes C) in the allocated time. Passed a few of these, but later missions maybe a pain in the ass because there ALWAYS are citizens in the fuckin' way!)
Collect Codex Pages (these pages play a somewhat integral role in the game. So here I will not spoil here. But trust me they are worth collecting.)
The Truth (left behind by another user called Subject Sixteen, these encrypted files have taken up embarrassingly much of my time solving these mind games. At times although I feel like I should be some type of history art buff to solve some of these. Remember what I said about the rabbit hole getter deeper...)
In conclusion, purchase ,Assassin's Creed II especially if you enjoyed the first one. I promise you that all of the repetition has been cleaned up. The game manages to stay fresh even after thirty hours plus of gaming. And I know that I may have used word "stereotypical" plenty, but Assassin's Creed II doesn't live up to my musings. I have embellished it very plentiful.
But if you really must know, yes there are still fuckin' bails of hay available to evade pursuers.
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Posted : 12 years, 1 month ago on 13 April 2011 06:31
(A review of The Expendables
Everybody is talking about how great 80's action films were. You know the one (insert favorite action film of the 80's here ____________) that was light on the plot, but heavy on the gun play and one-lines. Then the 90's came along and we demanded that our movies stopped being cliched and more respected in the art of storytelling...and then came along films like (insert favorite smart action of the 90's here _____________), but another problem arose, the leading male usually was an actor not affiliated with the action genre in the slightest. Actors like Will Smith (Enemy of the State), Kenau Reeves (The Matrix), and Josh Harnett (Black Hawk Down) who wanted you to feel what it was like to be in that battlefield, instead of fearing it like our action forefathers showed us a decade earlier.
As the old saying goes "to each his own" and "not all will like the same thing" the action genre has been through many a ups and downs and unfortunately we as fans I feel do not know what type of action movie we exactly want. We all have our nostalgic feelings towards certain films [in this genre] and many undoubtedly age better than others, this fight will continue on for quite some time. As it stands remakes of some of our favorite 80's films are played by "sensitive" male actors who care more about the art and expanding the one dimensional characters that we cheered as we wore our Chuck Taylors with a Saved By the Bell t shirt.
Now by no means am I giving another generation to "reinterpret" a classic a hard time, but I do think that either side (defending or against this rash of remakes) should realize two things:
First, realize that this is a fucking classic and approach this with caution. There are millions upon millions of adoring fans not wanting to see their beloved franchise shat upon by some "groundbreaking" director. Respect the fucking initial film! You might not have a job in the first place! Why even bother remaking a classic if you disrespect what made it great? Like everybody in the 80's were all losers who wouldn't know a decent movie if it feel out of their anus. And this upcoming version is going to kick the shit out of our tiny American brains.
Second, the action forefathers who promote themselves who put themselves in the forefront in support of a current remake or sequel, please, please, please do not become a parody of your former self. This can be achieved knowingly or unknowingly. Usually it is more the latter than the former. "Just put my name all over the movie promo poster", doesn't work as much as you would think nowadays. Moviegoers have grown up now and just incorporating a big fucking gun in your movie isn't going to fly like it did twenty some odd years ago. Also approach your every move with full caution.
By no means am I a professional film editor, director, etc. this is merely a suggestion by an 80's baby and a fan of films.
Now what movie was I supposed to be reviewing again?
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Posted : 12 years, 6 months ago on 9 December 2010 09:36
(A review of Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family
Joaquin "Jack" Garcia is a retired 26 year F.B.I. special agent, and this is his undercover story. He infiltrates the (post John Gotti era) Gambino crime family. And after finishing this book you will know why some wiseguys obtain nicknames like, Jimmy "No Neck", Sonny "The Gut", Salvatore "Sweet Tits" and Frankie "Lard Ass". There is so much eating in this damn book it is amazing. When not trying to rip off their fellow Italians these guys eat all damn day.
On this journey Jack rubs shoulders with all sorts of nefarious gangsters and many underground characters. One of the most noted characters is Greg Depalma. Depalma is one of the last remaining "old school" Mafia hoods who still holds to some of Mafia lore "values". You know exactly what "values" I am referring to. No snitching, no lusting for the another Made guy's wife, the "family" comes before your real family, everybody must "kick up" money to the top and many other things that require a quotation with them.
While pushing the boundaries of his cholesterol level and blood pressure Jack also has to worry about incessant nagging from his superiors at the F.B.I. I mean damn, what more can you ask from a guy?! He is risking his life everyday hanging out with these criminals and they are chewing his ass for being overweight. What? Priorities people. Jack is an amazing multi-tasker. Taking on many different undercover cases, one of my favorite being the police corruption in Florida, while continuing to work the crow jewel, the Gambinos. These sub-plots work well and break up the constant complaints of Greg Deplama, who takes a liking to him and eventually takes Jack under his wing. This is Greg's only mistake. And for that one mistake costs him and the entire family's secret or not so secret activities.
Many readers will make comparisons of this tale and Donnie Brasco. Well, from what I understand, that isn't necessarily bad company to be compared to. Embarrassingly though, I haven't viewed Donnie Brasco yet, so I honestly cannot comment. The novel almost reads like a movie. Matter of fact, on the cover there is a sticker indicating that it has been optioned and apparently will be directed by none other than Stephen Solderberg (Traffic).
As mentioned in my Listal profile, I love Mafia Non-Fiction books. This novel (big surprise) is right up my area of interest and a must read if you enjoy these type of books. Just try to remember and "kick up" a few dollars here and there, the boss is asking questions.
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Posted : 14 years, 7 months ago on 21 October 2008 10:11
(A review of Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture
From humble beginnings then the big times with id Software, you are taken through it all. You are amazed these guys and yet at the same time are disturbed by them. Nobody ever said that the world of game development would be a pretty one and this book gives vivid detail about it. Grueling 18 hour days staring at a computer screen are just the start of it.
Sadly, much to my surprise there are just as much egos as the movie or music industry. Maybe I should not be that surprised about it. I mean who would not want to have millions of admirers across the world groveling at your feet and marveling at your genius. I mean come on these guys even coined there phrase “Death Match”.
John Carmack and John Romero have forever changed the world of video gaming. To the way business is done and to the way games are even played. Licensing [Carmack’s] game engines was almost unheard of at the time, but id Software broke the standard format was just one the many things that id Software did still are applied today. There is an old saying that mentions something about “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Well id Software had plenty of admirers and also plenty of imposter as well riding the wave created by Doom and Quake. (One of the more popular franchises to come out of this was Epic’s Unreal Tournament.)
A real nice addition to this book is the fact that it is kept R-A-W. Romero is one of the most foul mouthed personalities your will possibly ever read about. It is quite enjoyable I should add that he makes games with passion and shows how hard developing games are. Not like the picture perfect vision that Nintendo paints pertaining to their development of games. (Not knocking Nintendo at all by the way.) Simply put this is not a book if you are easily offended.
Masters of Doom is some of just the type of material that provided me with all the subjects that I enjoy: Computer programming, inside info of the video gaming industry, spending obscene amounts of money, huge egos, and of course Doom(Didn’t see that one coming?). If you are interested about the inner workings of the video game industry, or the creators of one of the most beloved video games even somewhat, you definitely owe it to yourself to give Masters of Doom a read. SUCK IT DOWN! (You’ll get it after you read the book.)
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Posted : 14 years, 9 months ago on 31 August 2008 09:39
(A review of Hancock (2008)
Ok let's get one thing straight Will Smith could play Satan and still be charming. I mean come on' a complete ass hole of a superhero and you still want to root for him. If anybody else played that role the movie would have been a cataclysmic failure. Dave Chappelle was considered for this film and it has been reported that the script has been around for 10 yes 10 (T-E-N) years!
Anyways enough of the movie trivia overall this movie had a great premise. An non caring, alcoholic, destructive, selfish superhero who obtains a PR (Jason Bateman who apparently will be type cast for the rest of his life as "that guy" to play) to help his rep. Yep there are not nearly enough movies like this. "Jumper" helped with this new genre of superheros (who tend to think only about themselves), but it still had this sorta "7th Heaven" or "Dawson's Creek" feel to it. "Hancock" just feels more adult right of the start. Even though the movie has a PG-13 rating. (Hancock! PG-13 I thought it was a porn title at first...)
"Hancock" has everything that enables it to be a huge $100 million plus summer blockbuster. So why have all the critics been split on the movie...because the story takes a bizarre turn when Charlize "Aeon" Theron character enters the movie. There is something obvious between Hancock and her character but when it is explained you are either blow away in awesomeness or in disgust/slight confusion. I personally hate spoilers, (all apologizes if you are can relate. DO NOT READ THE NEXT LINE!!) but it ends with a whimper not a bang.
Overall as bad as I may have made "Hancock" sound it is a pretty good flick. Everything almost works well together except for the last 45 minutes. The script spent 10 years floating around Hollywood another few months of rewriting would not have hurt. I wouldn't say a must see, but really who isn't a fan of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air".
Tell me so I can beat him down personally then force then to make them repeatedly listen to "He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper" album while watching "Wild Wild West".
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Posted : 14 years, 11 months ago on 17 June 2008 06:04
(A review of Lucky Number Slevin (Widescreen Edition)
Ah, crime thrillers we have so many yet so few. Plenty have become pretty boring over the years. Looking at you... (Insert movie of your choice...go ahead...I'll wait...). "Lucky #Slevin" though is a good hybrid: It has action, dark humor, an interesting storyline and Bruce Willis' awesome receding hair line/hair piece. The movie basically is a tale of two opposing local crime bosses (Morgan Freeman and Sir Ben Kinsley respectively, who seem only to hire the stereotypical low IQ goons to match there over intelligence as a crime boss.) who share a common interest in Slevin (Josh Harnett).
All the roles are played well and nobody really overshadowed considering almost all got decent screen time and that these are well known actors and actresses. Not allot of egos to stroke on the set of this move apparently I am a huge fan of Bruce Willis and his assassin character is well played just like any other assassin he has played over the years. Honestly the man only has two characters under his sleeve (that he can play like no other) granted some exceptions. One, the burnt out cop and or husband. Second, a quirky assassin who wears aprons a and goes by the nickname "Tulip" and who unbelievably doesn't assassinate the annoying guy off of "Friends" (not Joey) or the uber cool assassin with the tailor made suits of elephant ivory that he assassinated during the warm up assassination of any of his assassin movies.
Switching gears now. The movie sometimes feels like it came from a focus group. Casting a wide diversity of races. I would love to live in a city this diverse. The word "MELTING POT" must have been heard dozens of times in the casting room. All of these elements work out well and come together very nicely. The cast is chosen well and the director does a good job at mixing dark humor with violence continuing the trend comparing to movies like "The Boondock Saints" and "True Romance". There's even the now standard "twist" ending, but it executes perfect without having you roll your eyes and say "I saw that coming!" or "Look at this BullS HIT!" while throwing your hands in the air causing you to drop your glass full of beer and almost wake up the kids.
It may sound like I disliked this movie, but HELL NO!! I LOVED this MOVIE! Plenty of murder-death-kills (there is one awesome sniper shot in particular), quirky characters and a well written story line. What more could you want! I just had to point out some of the things I noticed. I thought they were pretty funny. Hopefully this review entertained you just as much as I did writing it and nobody got offended.
Also has anyone heard about Bruce Willis playing the lead role in the "Assassin's Creed" live action movie?
Mr. Lays' cool scene to check out: (Spoiler Alert!) Slevin goes to see Sir Kinsley's character claming that he has his money then while Kinsley is checking the contents of the briefcase Slevin proceeds to one-time smack the shit out of his bald head with a blackjack. It's one of my fav's because it so out the blue. You were aware that Slevin had something planned, but smacking the shit out of him. Nice!
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I have played Spec Ops: The Line and i think that the story was phenominal, but when it's come to the gameplay it was just a mediocre shooter. So i don't think is one of the best games on 7th console generation .