Showing 1 - 10 of 25 posts found matching keyword: randy

Walter reviews more movies he watched in April!

71. (1300.) The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)
Disney advertised the shit out of this back when I watched the Disney Channel in the 1980s, and I just finally saw it. (The House of Mouse gets us all in the end.) It's a good-looking adventure yarn for kids in the White Fang vein, and I enjoyed it.

72. (1301.) Isle of Dogs (2018)
Best movie of 2018! No, that wasn't sarcasm. I'm all-in on Wes Andersom movies.

73. (1302.) Warrior (2011)
Warrior is not a winner. Friend Keith loves it, and I guess I can see why. But the schmaltzy ending doesn't work if you don't care for all the characters involved, and I didn't. Go to hell, Tommy.

74. (1303.) Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Best movie of 2017! Friend Mike let me borrow this, and I'm so glad he did. I watched it, like, 4 times. It's really, really funny with a James Carpenter vibe and 80s synthesizer soundtrack. Marvel can't possibly make a movie better than this.

75. (1304.) Battle of the Sexes (2017)
I was expecting less biopic and more sports action, but I'm never disappointed in Emma Stone. Even when she's a lesbian.

76. (1305.) Coco (2017)
Honestly, I don't get what everyone loves about this movie. Beyond the creative set design, it's a predictable snooze-fest populated with stock characters. I would say it is easily Pixar's worst film. (And yes, I've seen Cars 2.)

77. (1306.) The Greatest Showman (2017)
Hey, Randy! I've seen The Greatest Showman. It delivers what it promises: a throwback to 1930s MGM musical spectacular! I agree that it is too light on reality and too heavy on CGI. But who can't enjoy a film with a character named Walter the Dog-Boy? Not me.

More to come.

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At the request of friend Randy, who wanted an easier way to find reviews for particular movies, I have updated my movie list (found here or via the link at the bottom of every page) to include links to reviews when they exist. You're welcome, Randy!

Now, on to new-to-Walter movie reviews for February!

21. (1250.) The Shiek (1921)
This is the movie that made Rudolph Valentino a star. A century later, it's hard to see why. The story is that old cliche: arab (Valentino) kidnaps strong-willed woman, she tries to escape and is kidnapped by an even worse arab, and she realizes that she loves her original kidnapper because he was slightly less rapey. *shrug* Make America Great Again, I guess.

22. (1251.) Gleaming the Cube (1989)
Skating! Drugs! Vietnam guilt! Rampant product placement! Christian Slater! It's the eighties in a movie. (And I still don't know what "gleaming the cube" means.)

Did I mention the product placement? It's hard to tell how much of the products and advertisements seen in the film were paid, but Pizza Hit, the (original) L.A. Rams, and Coca-Cola are the big winners here.

Drink Coke! (Gleaming the Cube)
This is just the tip of the iceberg. They might as well have been skating inside a bottling plant.

23. (1252.) Goosebumps (2015)
Hey, this children's horror movie isn't bad. Even in this "I've got kids now" stage of his career, Jack Black is still funny.

24. (1253.) Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
Just fantastic! (Of course. Aardman Animations always brings the quality.) Highly recommended.

25. (1254.) An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
I've never been a big Al Gore fan, but it's a painful reminder to see what science had to say about climate change a decade ago and know that we're still not doing much about it. Ugh. We're all going to die.

More to come.

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Auburn was ranked 9. They were favored by 10 points. Yet they haven't won in Athens since 2005. Do I have to tell you what happened next?

Auburn 7, UGA 13

The evening started well, with a rare US flag display in one end zone and an F-16 flyover. Then the fellow who sits next to me showed up drunk. A fight broke out between two UGA fans a few rows in front of me, and then a second scuffle erupted when someone spilled his nacho cheese on someone else's jacket. However, things didn't really get ugly until the teams started playing football.

Auburn began the game with a truly dominant rushing attack. Their first drive was derailed only by a fumble. Their second drive resulted in seven easy points. Georgia, on the other hand, had nothing. They couldn't even get a break on a clear pass interference non-call. Bulldogs fans were not happy. Through halftime, the score remained 7-0. It looked like the sun was setting on what was left of our season.

It might not rain anymore, but at least the skies have been pretty

Then, after halftime, Auburn inexplicably moved away from their run game. Instead, they devoted themselves to a passing attack that was more pass than attack. Auburn eked out only 37 yards in 22 passing attempts for the game and never scored another point. (Next time Auburn fans want to make an argument about firing Gus Malzahn, this should be exhibit A. If quarterback Sean White was nursing an injury, why ask him to do more?)

Meanwhile, UGA intercepted and returned a pass 34 yards to tie the game. Auburn continued to struggle while, in consecutive drives, UGA managed one field goal, missed a second, then made a third. UGA won, 13-7, without ever scoring a single offensive touchdown.

In 2016, we'll take what we can get.

(Special thanks to Friend Randy, an FSU fan who bought me a Coke before the game started and another after the game was over. That's friendship!)

EDIT 2016-11-13: I've been informed that television audiences were informed that Auburn stopped running the ball because they ran out of healthy running backs. All I can say about that is that the running back attrition wasn't obvious to those of us in the stands. I still think Malzahn would have had more success calling running plays for the quarterbacks instead of passes, but I'll have to trust he knows his personnel better than I do.

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Wisconsin Curds come to Newnan GA

Culver's pulled a sneaky Grand Opening on Monday, August 1. I wouldn't have known about it if not for friend Randy's text notification. That's true friendship. Thanks, Randy.

For future reference, I'll just leave this here. (As a former Boy Scout, I know the value in being prepared. You never can tell when the urgent need for a ButterBurger® may arise.)

I need someone to build a more direct road

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We left the season-opening University Louisiana Monroe/UGA football game with 9:54 remaining in the fourth quarter. But so did everyone else. The game was called after its second lightning delay with Georgia ahead, 14-51.

ULM 14, UGA 51

The first lightning delay was called at 8:35 remaining in the third (ULM 14, UGA 35), and the game wouldn't restart for another hour. Friend Randy and I took shelter in the stadium concourse while it rained. It was hard to tell how long it might last. Even in the middle of the heaviest downpour, Randy's WeatherBug® app insisted that there was a 0% chance of rain in Athens, GA.

The second delay was called completely unexpectedly during a period of sunny skies. The few of us left in the stadium watched as the two head coaches met on the 20-yard line. It was obvious to all of us what they must be talking about. Sure enough, they soon announced that the game was called. UGA win!

I've been a season ticket holder for over a decade, and this was the first time I've seen either a lightning delay or a called game. Just when you think you've seen everything....

(P.S. Today's game was also the unofficial debut of Uga X-elect, Que. I didn't know this before I arrived at the game, but when I saw that the mascot had no brown spot on his rump, I knew it wasn't Russ. I hope that the rest of Que's tenure produces many more games just as memorable.)

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Before I painted the outside of my house, I helped a friend with the inside of his. We stripped some wallpaper, repaired a fence, replaced some worm plumbing, and then we tiled the bathroom. Take, for example, this tile tub border:

Randy had to make sure that the tiny accent tiles were distributed randomly

That pattern was repeated, more or less, around the shower off camera to the left. All in all, I think it came out nicely, even if I would have chosen different colors. (Should a bathroom look like it's at the bottom of the sea?)

Anyway, it's been a busy month, so I'm taking a few days off from diy projects before I start on painting the garage Twilight Gray, Quartz Stone, and Firecracker Red. Painting won't be so much trouble, but before I can begin that, I have to move everything out of the garage. Then at some point I'll have to move it all back in.... And that can all just wait a few days.

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At dinner the other day, I made the comment that Pringles were made of an extruded potato paste and couldn't be called potato chips in England. A fellow diner responded by saying that in "some countries," it is illegal to sell McDonald's hamburgers to dogs. Needless to say, that raised some eyebrows at the table.

She had read the statement somewhere that she insisted was "not Facebook." She claimed that the source of the quote was celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Could this be true? Were McDonald's hamburgers not good enough for dog food? This demanded research. To the Internet, Robin!

The source for the statement seems to have been an episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution quoted by the Daily Mail in its 2012 report that McDonald's had eliminated so-called "Pink Slime" from its American burgers. Oliver decried the Pink Slime as dog food sold to humans, not the other way around. It turns out that the European Union bans the use of Pink Slime in anything other than dog food. So Pink Slime is okay for dogs; that's what it is intended for.

Personally, I think it's cruel and inhumane to serve McDonald's hamburgers to dogs, but I can't find any evidence that it is illegal anywhere. It is certainly acceptable in America, and so far as I can tell, is also allowed in Canada, England, Russia, China, or any of the 116 other countries with a McDonald's restaurant. That doesn't mean that "some countries" don't ban it, but I can't find one. So next time you're stopping for a Big Mac in Kuala Lumpur, it's probably safe to give a bite to Fido.

But I can't give my dining mate too much of a hard time. It turns out that all the fun food facts we discussed the other day were wrong. I was right once upon a time, but in 2009, a British appeals court declared that denying that Pringles were potato chips was costing the country £20 million (about $30 million) in annual tax revenue. So now Pringles are legally recognized as potato chips in the U.K. no matter how much actual potato they have in them. Yum.

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On Friday, August 2, The Newnan Times-Herald published a feature piece on Heroes, the town's only comic book shop. The article describes the owner as "friendly and... a dedicated comic collector since eighth grade. When he says Heroes just had its best two months in store history, coinciding with his taking over, it doesn't sound like chest-puffing."

Now, it happens that I know the owner of Heroes. We graduated from high school together. We've been roommates. I've met his kids (who think I'm great!). I can say with 100% certainty that even if it didn't sound like "chest-puffing" to the writer of that article, it totally was.

I was prepared to write a point-by-point response to the article here at Wriphe.com. A salacious expose of the underbelly of the local comic and gaming scene might be just what this dull blog needs. Sex, drugs, rock and roll! I'll be like TMZ: Newnan Edition!

But when I went to Heroes to tell the owner what I planned, he gave me a great deal on some backstock comics. I'm not stupid. I know a bribe when I see one.

Therefore, I'm not going to say anything negative about the "hotshot" owner or his store. I'll even endorse Heroes as the best place to buy comic books in Newnan, GA. But that store manager guy, Tim? What a slob.

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Movies from May, part 2 of 3:

77. (384.) Out of the Past (1947)
After watching 200 Cigarettes last year (movie 195 of 307 in 2012), I read Roger Ebert's review of that movie. In his review, Ebert spent more time talking about how much better cigarette smoke was filmed in Out of the Past. He's right, of course, but everything about Out of the Past is superior to everything in 200 Cigarettes. Out of the Past is film noir crime drama, and it's even funnier than 200 Cigarettes.

78. (385.) Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
This movie exists just to take up a few hours of time. Its a by-the-numbers action/fairy tale with no subtext or context, and what little backstory is included for the Evil Queen (to lure Charlize Theron to the part?) seems an entirely unnecessary exercise that is just adding extra running time. I'm still not sure why the Huntsman gets a name drop in the title. The one "twist" (that the Huntsman and not the Prince is her true love) isn't important to events or followed through on. I don't know how Kristen Stewart could fall for the director of this kind of drivel. I admit the CGI is pretty impressive, but it just isn't enough to keep me looking at the screen.

79. (386.) Mrs. Miniver (1942)
"World War II propaganda that won Academy Awards" gives the impression that the movie will be a little more exciting than it actually is. Not bad, just bland. In hindsight, I feel that The Americanization of Emily owed this movie a great debt. Emily warps the same fabric to create its own overt anti-war message by disparaging all warriors. (Of course, Emily was made two decades later, and that sort of distance changes the perspective of filmmakers and audiences significantly, but it's worth wondering how Mrs. Miniver would have turned out if it was made at the start of Vietnam.)

80. (387.) The Miniver Story (1950)
This direct sequel to Mrs. Miniver completely ignores important characters from the first film without so much as a reference. This might not have been such a big deal if you watched it in theaters after the 8 years hiatus in between them, but when you watch them back-to-back, you can't help wondering "whatever happened to the RAF pilot son?" for the duration of the movie. (Behind the scenes, the actor who played the "missing" character had married and divorced the actress who played "Mrs. Miniver," and it was determined best by all involved to discard the character and pretend it all never happened. Ah, old Hollywood. They really do make them like the used to.)

81. (388.) JCVD (2008)
Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself — sort of — in a movie about the very movie you're watching. The best film of Van Damme's career by far. How had I missed this? Thanks to Jorell and Randy for insisting I watch this.

82. (389.) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
As I've said many times, I don't care for vampires, but neither does Abraham Lincoln! I was shocked to find myself enjoying this carefree mock biopic. I love being surprised by movies. This one was a winner.

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For the first time in 38 years, I opened no gifts on Christmas Day. Mom and I celebrated on Christmas Eve so that I would have plenty of time to get Dad to the hospital by 6 AM this morning for his scheduled angiogram. He'll likely be in the hospital until tomorrow, which is also his birthday. That's my birthday present to him; I figure a trip home from a hospital stay is probably as good a gift as any.

Not that our Christmas Eve celebration was exactly a big deal. Mom and I had a brief gift exchange and some homemade hamburgers (we forgot to make the french fries we had in the freezer) before working on a jigsaw puzzle. Other than the case of 20-oz Cokes given to me by my new bff Randy, everything I got for the holiday fits in a single, moderately-sized cardboard box. And not a single video game! A quiet evening with mom and no video games? I must be getting old.

I should probably point out that fewer people gave me gifts than ever before. I used to get presents from my aunt, but earlier this month she declared that she is in financial straits this season and wouldn't be exchanging gifts with anyone. I was worried about her until she showed up at our house with the brand new Kindle Fire she bought herself. The worst part was that she only came over because she wanted me to teach her how to use the Kindle. Add that to the time I spent installing Dad's new Blu-Ray player last weekend, and it's been a very Tech Support Christmas.

Still no word from my brother. Presents are wrapped and waiting for him and his new bride, should they ever decide to communicate with us again. Trey's defection from the family certainly remains a bummer, but on the upside, a small holiday gathering of just Mom and me prevented a recurrence of our dysfunctional family's most cherished tradition: our annual shouting matches. I have to say, it was a kind of a nice change of pace.

For the record, this post isn't meant to describe how shitty my Christmas was. In fact, I quite enjoyed myself. It was certainly among the best holidays I've had in the many years since Santa Claus stopped visiting. I only list these things and point out that they combine to something of a high-water mark in my experience so that you, my dear reader, can establish a metric by which to compare your own Christmases to mine. It is my dream that one day we can all have better Christmases through Science. It's what Jesus would have wanted.

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To be continued...

 

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