Fantatastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Movie Poster)

Based on the children’s story by Roald Dahl, this stop-motion film is unmistakeably styled in Wes Anderson’s dry yet illustrative aesthetic. I remember having read the story as a child and enjoying the hijinx that ensued between all the animals and the farmers. And having enjoyed most of Anderson’s films including Rushmore and the Royal Tenenbaums, I found this film a perfect blend of both the story and director’s wittiness.

Great and unmistakable voice performances by George Clooney and Bill Murray.  This film missed making my Top 13 list of 2009 by just one film.

My Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Doubt

Doubt (Movie Poster)The latest movie in my 365 list was written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, who also wrote and directed Joe Versus the Volcano Doubt however, was definitely no Joe.  And that, is a good thing because whereas Joe was an eccentric, if not cult-ish, comedy, Doubt was a drama that tugged at the fears and insecurities that face many people to this day.  Set in 1964 at a Catholic church in the Bronx, the film centers around Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a priest ; Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep), the principal of the attached school; and Sister James (Amy Adams), a naive teacher that has a troubling suspicion that the priest had an inappropriate encounter with the school’s only black student. Read the rest…

The 365 Films in 365 Days Challenge

People who know me know that I watch a lot of movies, and as a matter of fact some of my friends only call me when there’s some sort of movie related question to be answered.   After little thought, I would tell people I had watched 500 movies in 2009; maybe 50 of those were in the theater and the other 450 were on TV or DVD, and of those  maybe a total of 200 were movies I had never seen.   I really thought about that for a while though; did I really watch 500 total films and for that matter 250 new films in a year?  I have a tendency to watch more than one movie at a time when I’m at home relaxing,  and have even watched as many as 6 on a random Sunday.  So, the possibility was there that I had actually watched that many films.

In order to answer that question honestly though, I’ve decided to conduct a one year experiment; a challenge, if you will.  My goal is to watch 365 films that I have never seen before in the span of 365 days.
Read the rest…

Campfire Cooking – Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches

On our last camping excursion I decided to try some different cooking techniques for making some great campfire meals. For breakfast, we made Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Muffin Sandwiches. It may sound easy to make, but I cooked all 1 dozen eggs at the same time!

Read the rest…

Memorial Day Weekend Camping Fun

This year, the Epic Fail crew decided to go camping in Wisconsin. This was my second camping outing with the group. The first camping outing in Galena last year was terminated early by some bad weather.

The Campsite:
On recommendation from our friend Belfy, we chose Camp Lake Joy as this year’s campgrounds. We made our reservations several weeks in advance and took off for our 3.5 hour trip at around noon from the Naperville area. The drive up to Wisconsin was fairly uneventful, with the exception of Belfy’s erratic lane changes and Tourrettes flare-ups at other motorists.

Read the rest…

The Case of Want Over Need

Case # 45B247-A
“The Case of Want Over Need”

I decided this day to go to my local Wal-mart (mistake #1) just to buy a 6 pack of Gatorade. It was Back-To-School time and there was only one self checkout lane open and the line was pretty long, so I decided to go into one of the cashier lanes. Ahead of me there was a father and daughter already checking out. As I approached them, I noticed that the daughter, who was about 14-15 years old, was taking out items from the shopping bags and placing them back on the counter. After a few seconds, I realized what was happening:
Dad was trying to pay with $100 worth in some sort of food stamps or check.

Their subtotal so far: $130 dollars.

Read the rest…

Top 10 Cover Songs

As of late, music has seemed to be relegated to that ill-fated choice of paths? covering another musician’s work of art (or paying tribute as some bands would say). For the most part, many of these cover songs are paltry in comparison while some just outright blow. Take for instance Gene Simmons’ cover of The Prodigy’s Firestarter, which is laughable at best and just makes a mockery of rock in general.

There are however a few instances where the cover song completely trumps the original and transcends into a new form of art itself. This list is but a few of those great tributes.

Read the rest…