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Author Archives: Jamie Insalaco

My 5 Tips for Losing Weight (that may or may not work for you!)

How that I’ve lost somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds, I’m coming down from the mountain top to share with you (yes, you!) the secrets of my success. Will they work for you? I have no idea. Are these the reasons I’m losing weight? Again, no clue. But here’s what I’m doing. Read the rest of this entry

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Her (movie review)

We finally got around to seeing Best Picture Nominee Her and shockingly enough, I have a lot to say about the flick. The core of Spike Jonze, Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix are favorites of mine, so I’ll do my best to adjust my expectations accordingly. Read the rest of this entry

Doc's Draft House Pear Hard Apple Cider and American Fruits Bourbon Barrel Aged 12 Months Apple Liqueur (quick booze roundup)

"I’m drunk!"

It’s all Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery all the time (of Warwick, New York) – over the last few days, we’ve chugged down Doc’s Draft House Pear Hard Apple Cider and American Fruits Bourbon Barrel Aged 12 Months Apple Liqueur. The opinions have been recorded, so we’re ready to talk some booze! Read the rest of this entry

Superman Unbound (quick movie review)

I can’t help but compare Superman Unbound to its vastly superior counterpart, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. The plot of the two movies are so similar that I feel Superman Unbound doesn’t really need to exist. At the very least, we didn’t need these two movies just three or so years apart. Granted, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse has a lot more going on, but you can’t escape the fact that Superman Unbound follows the recent trend of boring DC Animated Universe movies, including Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Justice League: War. Read the rest of this entry

All of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies reviewed!

Well, that which I have been dreading is nearly upon us:  The Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is just days away.  As if you haven’t already guessed, I’m setting my expectations to low (especially after I saw the toys).  Then again, I tried that with Transformers, and look how that turned out.  Anyway, in the interest in getting caught up with all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from a movie standpoint, here are my scores and links to the reviews for all six TMNT movies.

I love the first one.  1990′s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is awesome and I will hear nothing else on the subject.  9 out of 10.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II:  The Secret of the Ooze  is a baffling, disappointing follow-up, but  it’s watchable.  “Go ninja, go ninja, go!”  3 out of 10.

The third one… it’s not bad, but it feels like nobody gave a shiz.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III is bad, but it could be much worse and they ditched the campy tone of the second, which was much appreciated.  5 out of 10.

2007′s TMNT is fine – it starts off strongly but falters.  3.5 out of 10.

I have to admit, I haven’t finished watching Turtles Forever.  For all its bold premise promises, I was shocked at how board I was while watching the flick – I’ll try to give it another chance ASAP.

That’s all for now…  boy, this new movie sure does look like shiz.  Oh well.  It’s got to be better than the Transformers movies… right?

all-teenage-mutant-ninja-turles-movie-posters

14 Classic Episodes from The Simpsons, season 5 (and 8 memorable ones!)

“Baby on board, something something, Burt Ward!”

I think it might be fair to say that the fifth season of The Simpsons is one of my favorites… Given that I’ve given 14 episodes “classic” status and 8 are at least “memorable” – meaning that none of them terrible and therefore forgettable. If you like coincidences and numbers, you may enjoy noting that my season 5 numbers are an exact reverse of my season 4 numbers in terms of “classic” and “memorable” Simpsons episodes. Anyway, here’s the list: Read the rest of this entry

Coca Cola is officially out of advertising ideas (truth in #advertising – #shareacoke)

Singing. Polar Bears. Celebrities. Coca Cola has literally tried it all when it comes to getting you to buy their products. Heck, they’ve even co opted Santa.

Now, they’ve co opted your name.

Yes, Coca Cola’s #shareacoke campaign is banking on the idea that you will buy a product simply because your name, or that of someone you know, is on a bottle of soda. But they’re hoping for more than that – by modifying their labels, they’re sacrificing their precious branding. They’re hoping that their current customers don’t walk past their soda on store shelves, mistaking it for a different brand. They’ve pinned the success of this campaign on the chance that we, the consumer, will recognize their color scheme and font choice. It’s as bold as it is absurd. (Oh, and I guess they’re hoping we go on social media and post things like "I #shareacoke with @creativejamieDC! Because GRAMMAR!"

On the other hand, the campaign got my attention, so maybe they’re doing something right… but of course, I didn’t buy a soda, so I guess the point is moot.

Something's bugging me… (spoiler alert, it's a moth)

I know there’s nothing in the photo for scale, but trust me when I tell you that this moth is at least two inches long. Seriously, On the real, For Real – whatever you prefer. It’s a really big moth. I first noticed the moth when the beating of his wings started knocking things over in the kitchen. The damn house shook when he landed on the wall.

So I’m saying the moth is big.

Disney subtly suggests that Fur is Murder in 101 Dalmatians

In my lifetime, Disney has been very “be a pirate even though they’re the bad guys” and “sell your soul for a man, little girls!” but in the past, Disney sung songs in my tune.

101 Dalmatians has a super subtle message regarding the fur industry. It’s subtle, right? And it was only 1961, too! Disney was so progressive back then… Now all we get is a rehashing of Hamlet over and over again. Well, probably only the two times, but I’m sure you see my point. Disney isn’t exactly out there tackling income equality, but I suppose they deserve credit for distributing Wall-E.

Gambit (quick movie review)

How the hell did somebody screw up a movie starring Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci and Alan Rickman and featuring a Cohen Brothers screenplay? OK, Cameron Diaz’s atrocious southern accent isn’t helping, but it’s not the reason Gambit is terrible. Seriously, it’s in so bad it’s good/worst movies ever territory – I’m going to have to give it more thought to see if it gets anointed to such status. It’s that bad.

The pacing and story is shockingly loathsome! Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz insanely miscast! It’s a comedy/face that forgets to include actual comedy and farce! The one farcel scene is completely out of place (and suffers from some of the worst timing ever in a movie) in a by the numbers comedy that desperately wants to be an outside of the box/cutting edge caper movie!

This movie couldn’t be more awkward is Gambit from the X-Men made a cameo! These people thought they were making the farce version of Oceans Eleven, which may well be the worst idea for a movie EVER! Even people who think Colin Firth poops platinum will hate this movie.

Its. That. BAD!

Anyway, I didn’t like it and I don’t recommend that anyone else ever watches Gambit ever for the rest of human history.

Dirty Harry (quick movie review)

You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but in case you’re not familiar with Clint Eastwood as San Francisco detective Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry movies… well, the first one is the best of the series, but it’s just a great movie unto itself. The pace is a bit slow, but the directing and camera work keep you engaged and somehow, all these years later the period soundtrack doesn’t stick out. At times, the look can be a bit dark, maybe even hard to see, but you’re so enraptured by this point in the flick, you’ll just peer all the harder at the screen. Dirty Harry is a crime drama classic that everyone should see; it’s one of those movies I watch over again every few years, like reminiscing over the past with an old friend.

Check it out – Dirty Harry is perfection!

Cinema Sins is not film criticism (and I mean that in the nicest possible way)

The Cinema Sins YouTube channel has over two and half million subscribers, of which I myself can be counted as a member. Over the years, I’ve seen people chatting/tweeting/blogging about Cinema Sins (CinemaSins? One word? I have no idea.) and it’s influence on Film Criticism. I’m aware of at least two articles on the topic, both specifically stating that their brand of criticism is ‘the very worst’ and things to that effect. (Here’s one from 2013 and another one from this year.) As a prolific (though incomplete) watcher of these videos, I can tell you for certain that Cinema Sins is not film criticism. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Read the rest of this entry

New Ninja Turtles action figures makes the horror hit home

We’ve all seen the trailer, we’ve all felt sad, but it wasn’t really until I saw the action figures in the store that it felt real to me: Ninja Turtles is probably going to be an awful movie. Just look at what the did to Michelangelo! Just LOOK! They’ve bastardized my beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! He’s got pants and a sweater and… bling?!? I just… I don’t see this working.

Probably can't use this outlet anymore

Yeah, pretty sure this electrical socket needs to be replaced.

Pretty. Sure.

Relax on Germany's World Cup Victory, NY Times!

Given that many countries in Europe and around the world are memorializing World War I on it’s 100th anniversary, maybe it’s fair for me to suggest that the New York Times tone down that headline. I read the article; one guy said he thought this would be good for their economy – that’s it. He didn’t say anything to the tune of "This is proof of Germany’s superiority; it’s the start of a World Cup victory onslaught that will last a thousand years!"

Anyway, relax is all I’m saying.

Talk – a YES album music review

I haven’t broken out Talk in a long time. This was the 1994 effort by one of my favorite all time groups, YES, featuring Chris Squire, Alan White, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye, which was the approximate lineup for the group from the early 80s to the mid 90s. For some reason, of the four albums from this period, this one sticks out to me in a way I struggle to articulate, but I’m gonna try. Read the rest of this entry

"Get out of my mouth!" (truth in #advertising)

Today exciting episode of truth in advertising:

The site’s ad vender is experimenting with these image ads that pop up on top of images. In this case, it’s put this blond woman’s head in my mouth. Worse things have happened to me in my life, but this situation is far from ideal. Still, it’s kinda funny looking, though.

Why rehabilitating the swastika will never work

This past weekend, the International Raelian Movement hired a plane to fly over New York beaches towing a banner featuring a peace sign, a heart symbol and the swastika. The idea is that the Nazis co opted the swastika and corrupted it – the symbol is an ancient sign that had been used for generations before World War II. The word swastika literally means "well being" and is a part of common Hindu practices that have nothing to do with the Nazis. Therefore, the symbol deserves to be returned to it’s pre Nazi place in the world.

And that’s just never going to happen.
Read the rest of this entry

When a baby bird falls out of the nest (Nurse Becky Explains)

baby-robin

Our old friend Nurse Becky is back! Today, she brings us a story of compassion triumphing over organization starring the littlest robin you’ll ever see. Read the rest of this entry

YES, Syd Arthur live at Radio City Music Hall July 9, 2014 (music review)

yes-radio-city-music-hall-july-10-2014-review

photo by Dr. Girlfriend

As one would gather from the title, we saw both YES and Syd Arthur live at Radio City Music Hall this past July 9th. I’m something of a YES Head – I have almost all of their studio albums (I don’t have the most recent two because of a reason I’ll explain shortly) and most of the live albums as well as several of the concert DVDs. This is a band that by and large not only knows what I want, but their music is so interesting, I can listen to it a million times over and still be fascinated. On this tour, they’re describing their set list simply as playing two of their most popular albums in entirety as well as a few greatest hits and some new material. There’s an issue with the current lineup (again, explanation coming shortly) that almost kept me away from the show, but I haven’t seen these guys in person in… maybe 10 years, so it was time to revisit with one of my all time favorite bands. Read the rest of this entry

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