Author Archives: Jamie Insalaco
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second installment of the franchise and the first time I saw it, I enjoyed it, but chucked it up to just a random Harry Potter adventure. Of course, we all learned later that the climax of this movie was much more important than it seemed at the time on at least two story points, which doesn’t help this movie much… Not to say it’s a bad movie (in fact, I think it’s Dr. Girlfriend’s favorite), yet I have seen on the ol’ inter-web that a lot of people don’t care for this one. Let’s take a closer look!
For me, the fourth season of The Simpsons is a "they can do no wrong" collection of episodes. I think all 22 episodes are great, but there are eight episodes that rise above the rest – and are, in my opinion, as good a sitcom episode as any show has ever made.
"A Streetcar Named Marge"
I love the "New Orleans" song, Jon Lovitz is excellent as the director, the way the art and the performance come together to create that Marlon Brando impression is collaborative genius… it’s a great episode.
So many memorable quotes, but I’ll just go with "Oo – they’re some quarters in here!"
"Treehouse of Horror III"
Any Simpsons Halloween is great, but "Dial "Z" for Zombie" might be my favorite short of them all.
"Show’s over, Shakespeare!"
"Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie"
I think this is the beginning of the thread that Bart will become a lawyer and eventually a Supreme Court Justice. In "Lisa’s Wedding," Bart mentions he’s "…getting out all of his aggression before he goes to law school." On the other hand, in "Bart to the Future," he’s a struggling musician at age 38 and Lisa is President… maybe he goes out to law school right after that. OK, I’ve gone far afield, but let me just close out by saying that this may be the only episode where Homer makes a parenting decision, sticks to it, and Bart learns from it.
When we reviewed Man of Steel, we got off track a few times. Here’s our discussion on Superman Returns.
This was filmed using a Canon VIXIA HF M300 and edited in Adobe Premiere CS 5.5. We’re using an 1000 LED light (only half are on) and a 500 LED light (all on), and there’s a few other work lights filling in some gaps and trying to serve as back lighting in the cramped quarters. I decided to not use my shotgun condenser mic to record us speaking and just used the in camera mic, which doesn’t sound great, but I messed with the audio a bit in Adobe Audition and that helped a little. I created some of the titles in Adobe Premier, but I did some additional work in Adobe Photoshop as well. The music is by, as always, TeknoAXE.com.
I briefly referenced Dial M for Murder when I talked about the remake of this film, A Perfect Murder, way back when. But now, it’s time for the real thing! Today on Better Know Your Hitchcock, take out your phone and hit the 6 button until your victim meets their grisly end! Or keep reading… either way. Read the rest of this entry
Daylight Savings Time is one of those things that has plagued my mind for years because of the way it was explained to me. I’d always heard that we adjust the clocks to benefit American farmers… and later in life, I’d heard it benefits school children by putting them outside during better lighted hours. Both of these reasons are MYTHS, and the real reason is brought to you by our friendly neighborhood Wu Tang Clan: it’s money.
It’s a Disney World vs Disneyland full on Fantasyland RUMBLE! Today on Disney Parks Versus, we’ll get to the bottom of who has the better Fantasyland!
This s a tough one.
Disneyland has the classics that have fallen by the wayside at Disney World, such as Mr Toad’s Wild Ride and Snow White’s Scary Adventures, and they’ve got the mainstays, like Peter Pan’s Flight, the Tea Cups, the carousel and it’s a small world. They also bring a full Alice in Wonderland ride to the table, which is a fascinating experience in itself. Meanwhile, Disney World is blowing up their Fantasyland with the new Snow White attraction, the Be Our Guest restaurant, not one but TWO Dumbo the Flying Elephant options and… that pointless Rapunzel tower that just kinda sits there and does nothing.
There’s whiskey, scotch or bourbon – as far as I’m concerned, we’re talking about variations on the same thing. The thing is, most people don’t like to drink it room temperature. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I want it cold. Ice doesn’t work (for two reasons I’ll explain in a sec), so what’s a guy to do? There are alternatives, and for reasons that will become apparent in a moment, Balls of Steel is my preferred booze cooler.
The Academy seemed to regard Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine as a performer’s piece not worthy of a Best Picture nomination, despite having an open slot in their new-ish top ten. It’s performances, unique casting and apparently personal story (it bares some similarities to Woody Allen’s life, apparently) wasn’t enough to move the Academy, but if you haven’t seen Blue Jasmine yet, I suggest you take a look. Read the rest of this entry
More than any movie I’ve seen in the last few years, Dallas Buyers Club is a strong character study and performance piece for the actors, but as a movie over all, it has some problems. Read the rest of this entry
The 86th Academy Awards has come and gone, and it went about as expected – no surprises save one, and it wasn’t a big deal. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve tried to see all of the movies before, but like previous years, I just couldn’t get to it. So here we are: the 86th Academy Awards, and I’m making my picks from more of “I understand the people who actually get to vote” sort of view as well as based on what I’ve seen. And, rather than go through the entire list, I shall now most humbly present to you my picks for Best Picture and Best Directing for the 2014 Oscars. Read the rest of this entry
It’s that time again – time for more Disney Parks Versus: the only game on the internet where we make Disneyland and Disney World fight it out for supremacy. This time, it’s a straight up Jungle Cruise battle!
Oh, my believed Jungle Cruise: where puns and general stand up comedy goes to die. There’s nothing better than drifting down an artificial river with a bunch of strangers, starring at animatronic elephants, only to hear your guide remark, "There’s a site you don’t see every day: elephants bathing. I do, though. Everyday. About every twenty minutes." Read the rest of this entry
"Too Close" was released in 1997 by Next. It’s got a smooth, slick sound and full harmonies. I’ve never been one to have a great grasp on what people are actually saying, but "You’re making it hard for me" got my attention and I decided I needed to take a closer look at the lyrics.
I wonder if she could tell I’m hard right now, hmmm
OK, so much for metaphor. Guess we’re not burying the lead here, huh? I guess when they sing "You’re making it hard for me," they’re talking about ‘ol Mr. Penis.
Yeah, come on, dance for me baby, ha ha, yeah
Ut oh, you feel that? Alright
Come on, don’t stop now
You done did it, come on, uh, yeah, alright, hold on
"You done did it" kinda sounds like he’s blaming "baby" for his erection and she is now responsible for said erection. I gotta tell you, guys, I don’t think that argument is going to hold up at the club, at home or in court. Read the rest of this entry
I wouldn’t call Hyde Park on Hudson a riveting film, but it’s certainly watchable. It’s full of lots of fun and interesting performances, particularly from its leads: Bill Murray (as President Franklin Roosevelt), Laura Linney (FDR’s cousin, Daisy), Olivia Colman (as Queen Elizabeth – Movies and shows featuring Olivia Colman just keeps popping up, don’t they?) and Samuel West (King George VI).
Hyde Park on Hudson is really just a short snip of people’s lives. It gives us a chance to see a side of FDR that is not well known, but I think The King’s Speech covered all we’ll ever need on King George VI. I suppose the movie is about Daisy, but frankly (if you’ll pardon the FDR-ish pun), Daisy just isn’t that interesting and their story arc together isn’t especially compelling – this goes with for the ark between FDR and the royals, too as we know the hist and the movie doesn’t do much to heighten the tension. In fact, the movie’s settings and manner sorta downplay the lead up to the second World War, which seems impossible, but people fretting over eating hot dogs at picnics will do that to a picture.
Definitely check out Hyde Park on Hudson for the performances, but don’t expect a great film. I give it a 7.5 out of 10.
My vegan homeboys,
I am currently rockin’ new kicks: Saucony’s Jazz Low Pro Vegan sneakers. They seem to run around Nike sizes (I find that my shoe size fluctuates across brands… maybe that’s just me… I’m anywhere from a 9 to an 11), and I’m very happy with the fit and overall comfort. Not much to report, just thought I’d mention it. It’s hard to find vegan sneakers, and I didn’t even find these myself – Dr. Girlfriend is also sporting a pair, so we’ve doubled down on Saucony.
It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it – and I gotta say, Gardein’s Ultimate Beefless Sliders are pretty darn good. They remind me of those frozen White Castle burgers I used to eat when I was a kid – but less greasy. These burgers aren’t super dry, but I definitely recommend adding your favorite condiment. The box has some nutritional information, but it also says it’s vegan, and that’s good enough for me!
These bad boys get my recommendation – I’ll have to check out their chicken sliders soon, so stay tuned for that.
There is so much to like about Highlander - and yet, the movie is kinda silly. In many ways, it’s the perfect 1980s action-adventure-fantasy flick as it checks off the boxes while pushing the limits of the genre and is still careful not to go too far. It’s Godfather II styled interwoven past and present story telling is ambitious and a bit grand for a movie about guys who are compelled to cut each other’s heads off, but that’s 80s movies for you.
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There’s Alfred Hitchcock movies and then there’s Rebecca. It’s one of his older flicks (1940 – his first picture for Hollywood) that is consistently on everyone’s list of best Hitchcock movies, and it’s easy to see why. It flows like a lot of his other movies in terms of narrative, but the performances and revelations push this one above most of its peers.
Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier are great in the leads – especially Fontaine (Hitchcock sure did like his leading ladies, didn’t he?) Meanwhile, Judith Anderson is great as Mrs. Danvers, the head housekeeper. She’s completely over the top in a way I’ve never seen before… She’s over the top understated. It’s fascinating to watch. If you ever wondered how an actor could do so much by doing so little, Anderson is doing it here.