Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SONY Cancels 'The Interview'; North Korea Behind Hack?

The Interview, the new comedy poking fun at North Korea and leader Kim Jong-Un from Seth Rogen & James Franco, has been cancelled by Sony. This is following the Sony hack and 9/11-like threats against theaters showing the film. Major movie theaters dropped the film which caused Sony to just pull it altogether. Sony then announced they were not planning to release it on DVD or Streaming services.

Following news of the movie release being cancelled, an official from the US Government announced that the North Korean government was in some way behind the hack and threats to Sony. 

Am I the only one who finds it oddly amusing that two stoners have caused another international crisis between the United States and North Korea? And lets be real...what could North Korea really do to act on any threats? Launch a missile that would just break up in 3 seconds anyway?

One theater in Texas will be showing a screening of 2004's Team America: World Police, which also spoofed North Korea. The studio (Sony) and the theaters who caved in to the hackers/North Korea should be ashamed for allowing them to dicatate what we do in a free country. Sony is showing a clear lack of guts by not releasing the movie on DVD/VOD right away. I understood them pulling it from theaters once the movie theaters companies all pulled their support, but for the studio to not even release it digitally? That is a WEAK move by Sony. What a great message it would have been if Sony had just released the film for home viewing...but instead they've just backed out completely. We all know it'll leak eventually anyway, but still.

*Update* Team America has now been cancelled thanks to Paramount, because I guess these corporations are all scared and have no guts. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Full 'Jurassic World' Trailer!

The park is open! Well as expected the first trailer for 'Jurassic World', the fourth Jurassic Park movie, was released to the Internet by Universal early. We get our first glimpses of Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Judy Greer with dialogue. The only original returning character, Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong), is absent from the first trailer. Laura Dern, Sam Neill & Jeff Goldblum will not be in the film barring cameos that have been kept under wraps. However, Steven Spielberg was once again involved with the film.

Jurassic Park IV has been in production in some form or another since Jurassic Park III came out in 2001. Several versions were discussed and then scrapped over the past 13 years before finally being settled on the current version titled Jurassic World. It deals with humans creating a brand new man-made dinosaur which is rumored to combine the DNA of a Velociraptor, Cuttlefish, T-Rex and Snake (and hopefully the DNA of Jeff Goldblum as well). That was obviously a terrible idea, and the dinosaur wreaks havoc on the Park. So how do you stop a hybrid dinosaur? Well, "life finds a way"...

Jurassic World is out on June 12, 2015.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

'Jurassic World' Gets Teased (Finally!)

The full trailer for Jurassic World will premiere on Thanksgiving during the NFL on NBC Thursday Night Football game. If you're sleeping from the tryptophan induced food coma, then I am sure it will leak early or be uploaded to YouTube before the game. A brief teaser of that one showing off some dinosaurs, as well as Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, was released to whet your appetite.

Its an absolutely perfect teaser. The music, the gates opening up, the Gallimimus running... it all brings you back to the original Jurassic Park. The film takes place on the original Isla Nublar 22 years after the first movie, this time with a fully functioning theme park of dinosaurs. Attendance apparently starts to sag (that would never happen), so scientists start to create dangerous new man-made dinosaurs by mixing DNA (bad idea), and of course things go terribly wrong.

We all know if this were real, attendance would never drop. But this is a fantasy film after all, so we can all suspend disbelief.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Best Pumpkin Products at Trader Joe's

Thanksgiving is almost here, time to amp up your pumpkin intake. Trader Joe's is known for all of the delicious pumpkin products they carry during autumn. And these products use real pumpkin, you don't have to worry about controversial flavorings/ingredients like in the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte which has recently been making the rounds. Which are the best to stock up on from Trader Joe's?

1. Frozen Pumpkin Pie - Pumpkin Pie is a fall & Thanksgiving staple, even going through early winter as a Christmas dessert as well. Trader Joe's has the absolute best pumpkin pie you'll be able to find, and it isn't all that expensive. They also make an equally tasty fresh pie, but if you aren't sure when you'll be using it, know that the frozen version doesn't sacrifice any flavor. Add your own whipped topping and maybe you can even pass it off as your own on Thanksgiving.

2. Pumpkin Butter - It's not actually butter, it just makes for a good name. This contraption is a nice spread that you can put on anything to make it taste like pumpkin. I like to put it on morning toast, and all of a sudden you have pumpkin for breakfast. It also tastes like heaven when you mix it into some plain or vanilla yogurt. They sell pumpkin yogurt too, but with the pumpkin butter you can get loads of pumpkin yogurt just by mixing some in.

3. Pumpkin Bread Mix - This box of pumpkin bread mix is just $2.99 and is absolutely the best packaged mix you can find. Its simple to make and has a strong enough taste so it doesn't feel cheap or like you need to add your own pumpkin to it. Its all right there, and packs a ton of flavor. Many people will buy multiple boxes in January/February (they tend to sell this popular item longer) to stock up for spring and summer.

4. Organic Pumpkin Toaster Pastries - Basically these are pop-tarts without all the crazy ingredients. Probably the easiest way to get a morning pumpkin fix. Put them in the toaster on the lowest setting, and soon you have a warm and gooey pumpkin treat with some added nutrition as well.

5. Pumpkin Ice Cream - This one is marketed under the "Pilgrim Joe's" label. Get it? It tastes just like pumpkin pie in ice cream form, and is absolutely delicious and creamy. One gripe is that they use caramel color in it, which is a questionable coloring.

6. Pumpkin Joe Joe's - Oh thank you for inventing these. I believe they are new. Anyone whose had Joe Joe's will agree they are better than Oreos, as the filling uses real Vanilla Bean. Well now you can get them with a pumpkin cream filling as well as pumpkin cookie around it. Try not to eat the entire box in one day.

7. Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins - Starbucks has a similar product, but the Trader Joe's version is tastier. Plus, you get four in a package for what about two cost at Starbucks. Its a nice pumpkin muffin with some pumpkin cream cheese in the middle of it all. They also sell a pumpkin cream cheese, but I haven't tried that one yet.

8. Pumpkin Joe O's - Joe O's are incredibly awesome. They're basically cheerios, but I find them better as the O's are a bit bigger. Well they also sell Pumpkin O's, which is a great way to add some pumpkin to breakfast. And as a bonus, you can drink up the milk with the flavor after.

Monday, November 3, 2014

'The Walking Dead' and 'Homeland' Hit Their Stride

Sunday delivered two of the most satisfying episodes of two of the most talked about shows on TV. Both The Walking Dead and Homeland have really hit their stride. Some complained that while enjoyable, both shows had uneven seasons last year during the 2013-2014 season. They've come back refreshed and with a bang.

First The Walking Dead, which finally answered the question of "Where's Beth"? Beth (Emily Kinney) got the spotlight, stuck in a hospital after being found fighting off a walker on the road. Multiple new characters were introduced in the episode (titled "Slabtown"), further proving that The Walking Dead has a knack for making you invested in new characters in a one hour span. 

Beth herself has instantly become one of the most interesting characters on the show, along with Carol (Melisa McBride). Both characters have been developed from flawed and vulnerable to strong survivors. Carol went from being an abused wife, to now rescuing Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of the survivors by blowing up Terminus. Beth went from contemplating suicide a few seasons ago, to helping newbie Noah (Tyler James Williams from Everybody Hates Chris) escape the hospital. She got caught, but with a smile on her face. Just as she was about to launch an attack against other newbie Dawn, Carol is wheeled in and she stops, realizing a new plan can form. It'll be great to watch these two together, The Walking Dead's version of Thelma and Louise (minus the driving off a cliff part).

Homeland has also returned to form. Carrie (Claire Danes) is back in a vulnerable state following two big revelations at the end of the episode. The biggest addition of the season was Ayan (Suraj Sharma). They built him up all season as a sympathetic character caught in the middle of a battle, and we thought he would be a major factor possibly beyond this season. Then his situation deteriorated quickly, and he was shot dead by his terrorist Uncle Haqquani. Haqquani showed he only cares about using his family and is not afraid to sacrifice them, becoming the fiercest bad guy Homeland has seen. Oh, he also has Saul (Mandy Patinkin) in his grasp, keeping him alive knowing the CIA won't use a drone attack on him.

Brody (Damian Lewis) may be gone, but that was necessary to keep the series moving. It would have been too implausible for him to continue to survive. This season has returned to feeling like Season One, with lots of mystery and not knowing which way it will turn. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Avengers: Age Of Ultron First Trailer

The first trailer for Marvel's highly anticipated upcoming blockbuster Avengers: Age Of Ultron has been released. It doesn't give too much away, but offers the first glimpses of Ultron (James Spader), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). All of the returning heroes from the first Avengers are back as well.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron is out May 1, 2015.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hear the Foo Fighters New Single: "Something From Nothing"

The Foo Fighters have released the first single from their upcoming album Sonic Highways (titled "Something from Nothing"), which is out November 10. And before that, the HBO series with the same name begins airing Friday October 17th in the lead up to the release of the album, showcasing the music of different American cities, which is where the influence from each song on the album came from.

"Something From Nothing" is the first single, and it represents Chicago. The nearly 5 minute track builds up from a slow burn into a loud release, with Dave Grohl eventually screaming fuck it all, I came from nothing. It should easily please every fan of the band, with a gripping sound from the start, and it even gets a little bit funky.