Ponder This: 2011 Movies I Wanna See

So, now that 2011 has begun, there are a number of seemingly great movies on the horizon for this year. Here are my list of movies that I’m eagerly anticipating…

  • January – The Mechanic, Ong Bak 3
  • February – I Am Number Four, Sanctum
  • March – Battle: Los AngelesSUCKER PUNCH
  • April – The Conspirator, Source Code
  • May – THOR, THE HANGOVER 2
  • June – SUPER 8, Green Lantern. Cars 2
  • July – CAPTAIN AMERICA, COWBOYS AND ALIENS
  • November – Immortals
  • December – A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

The movies in BOLD CAPS are ones that I’m really excited about. SUCKER PUNCHjust looks like its going to be an amazing stylized action flick. THE HANGOVER 2has been kept under some pretty good wraps for the most part so even though it wont catch anyone off guard like the original, should still have some surprises.SUPER 8 is by JJ Abrams…and anything he touches is gold in my opinion. And finally COWBOYS AND ALIENS might be the biggest movie of the year in terms of dollars outside of the last Harry Potter flick. And it might be a dull end to summer if nothing good peeks up in August or September.

So, what movies are you looking forward most to seeing this year…?

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Pondering This: Why I Am A Crappy Blogger…

I really do stink when it comes to blogging.

I don’t really understand what it means to sit down every day, or even every other day, and actually write about all the stuff that’s in my head. And it’s crazy because I do have a lot of stuff floating around up in this brain. Stuff that would be great to get written out…maybe talked about…maybe not…but out there for the world to have at. However, I am WAY TOO EASILY sidetracked by things and thus my blogging suffers.

This is the first blog post that I have written in almost 2 months. Yes, I have been busy. Yes, life has been a roller coaster. But 2 months without writing anything down…terrible. LOL.

Maybe I need to make an early New Year’s resolution to start blogging more often. Then again…how often to New Years resolutions ever get followed…???

Maybe I need someone to kick my tail in gear about writing stuff down more often? Anyone with any advice about how I can stay on my blogging game more frequently? I clearly need help! 🙂

Ponder this…The Exorcist Director’s Cut

Cover of "The Exorcist (The Version You'v...

Cover via Amazon

I am really lucky sometimes.

This past Thursday I considered myself very lucky in finding out that one of my favorite movies of all time, The Exorcist, was having a special one night showing in select theaters around the country, of the Director’s Cut version of the film. Now when the movie was originally released, back in 1973, I was not even a thought of being conceived. But when I first saw the movie, when I was about 8, it was just incredible to me. And it has been every since. So, to find out that they were going to be showing one of my favorite movies on the big screen, and its got new additions, digitally remastered video and sound, and never seen “behind-the-scenes” footage, I WAS AMPED UP!

And it was everything I could ask for and then some. The film footage looked super clean and well done. The sound on the big screen…so eery and creepy…and so good. And the behind the scenes addition afterwards gave so much new insight into the creation of William Friedkin’s film, how it became such a cult classic and how much Linda Blair really put into her role as Reagan that I don’t think many people would have ever guessed before.

Couldnt have asked for anything better out of a re-release of a classic film like that. Now I cant wait to go buy this new Director’s Cut release when it comes out on DVD and Blu Ray in the next week. Too bad for those of you that missed out on the chance to see this classic on the big screen, but definitely get out and go get this on DVD or Blu Ray!

Pondering Our Banking System…

Embarrassing. Disgraceful. Unbelievable. Sad.

These are words that I have used to describe the banking system in the United States. Why might you ask? Well, the following incident happened a week ago. It has been so crazy and ridiculous I couldn’t even write about it till now…because it has finally been resolved. What happened…

THE BANK LOST MY DEPOSIT!

Now I don’t know about you, but I didn’t think it was possible for a banking institution to lose money into thin air. This is exactly what happened to me. Here’s how it went down…A week ago yesterday, I walked into a local Wells Fargo and cashed a pay check. I made three unique actions after cashing the check: 1) I made a deposit into my checking 2) I made a deposit into my savings and 3) I took cash back. I received two individual transaction receipts, one for each deposit I made, saying the cash had been deposited. I walked away from the bank as anyone normally would thinking everything went perfectly. When this past Monday came around, I received emails from two bills I pay saying my payments which were set to come out had been rejected. I found this very odd, so I logged into my online banking to see if something I hadn’t thought about had possibly been auto bill paid. Once in my account, I noticed something more than odd…none of the money from my deposit was there. WTH! So, before going crazy, I decided to look at the transaction history and see what that looked like. No RECORD OF A TRANSACTION OF MY DEPOSIT. Not the one in checking. Not the one in savings. WTF!!!!!

How was this possible? How could I have physical transaction receipts saying I deposited money into two accounts and then they are not there? I couldn’t and wouldn’t understand. Of course I had to call Wells customer service. For the next two hours that Monday night, I sat thru a phone call that was like out of a weird dream. The representative I talked to couldn’t find my transactions anywhere in their banking system. The representative actually went thru setting up a “missing deposit form” (which I didn’t know such a form existed) to get my money re-credited. The representative said that this type of incident happens occasionally. I seriously wanted to pull my hair out…but its so short I couldn’t do that.

After this phone call, I had to get on the phone with both of those bill companies and try to explain to them that a banking institution somehow lost money in thin air. The representatives I talked to at both of those companies had the same sound of disillusionment that I had. And I just had to let them know that unfortunately there was nothing that I could do. That’s a pretty sad feeling of helplessness to know that a place you depend on to manage your money and protect it couldn’t do that.

Sufficed to say that I don’t plan on being with Wells Fargo too much longer. I just can’t bring myself to depend on a place to watch my money when they can’t even handle it correctly. More than that, I think it just speaks to how much the banking system in this country is flawed. Transaction numbers on my deposit slip but not in your system? I call Customer Service and when you’re on the phone for a long time with one person, if something happens (like phone call dropped), you can’t get back to the person that was helping you. You Customer Service banking system is in real-time but the online banking system the customer uses is not? I just don’t get it.

I just wonder how many other people have this many problems with the banks in our country everyday. I’m sure it’s mind-boggling. Maybe it’s time to start storing the money under the mattress…

Tonight I Ponder…Devil

M. Night Shyamalan

Image via Wikipedia

M Night Shyamalan…damn you.

You are a master of temptation…a damn good one.

I actually believed this movie would get you back on the road to redemption and respectability in my eyes. I was wrong.

Devil wasn’t a bad movie. It was actually decent. Good premise. Decent dialog. Good thrill moments. So far so good right…?

Like I said, it was a bad movie. HOWEVER, it was a good movie either. And the reason it wasn’t good…typical Shyamalan. Just tempting, never fully delivering the goods.

And thus why I can’t blame Mr. M Night for this one…I blame myself. I should have known this was going to happen. Build the movie all up and tempt me with juicy clips. Then drop the ball by not giving visibility to any of the key moments within the film. By that I mean, every time something critical was going to happen, M Night made the scene completely dark. WTF!!! Show me the action man!!!

That’s it…I can’t do it any more. No more M Night…no more. I am banning myself from your films until I hear from close, trusted confidants who might happen to watch your films that its worth it to give you another shot.

Today Im Pondering…An Old New Career

Today is a good day. And its only 6pm. Amazing what can happen in one afternoon.

I had not written a blog post in almost two weeks. The reason is very simple…I have been out of sorts. Life has been too chaotic. And that would be putting it mildly. My life has really been in the ringer for the last six months. Hopefully though, today starts the change in my life to get things back on track.

Today I accepted a position with a new company. I wont mention the company’s name right now…nor is it relevant at the moment. What is relevant about this position is that it will be taking me back into the corporate america arena, a place that I haven’t been in some time. And the position is back doing data warehousing and business intelligence, two things that I really didn’t ever envision myself doing again, but you never know what kind of hand life is going to deal ya.

So, starting Monday, I re-embark on an “old” new career  path. The next couple of days in preparation will be spent reflecting on the past few months and all the madness that transpired and pondering all of the future possibilities in my “old” new career path. Maybe life really is like a box of chocolates. Don’t ask why I just quoted a movie I didn’t like. And I don’t like chocolate. Yep…I’m officially going stir crazy.

Ponder this: 5 Magazine “The Project”

House Music.

The sound of those two words just make my body feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Now, if you know anything about house music, you know that there are many different styles under the umbrella label. One of my favorite styles is Chicago House.

Chicago House Music gets its name from electronic dance music that popped up out of Chicago in the mid 1980’s. I didn’t get a real appreciation for House until I started learning to DJ in 1993. When I went to college in Indiana in 1994, I finally started to get a real taste of Chicago House being so close to the city. Artists like Mark Farina and Derrick Carter were who I based my early DJ style off of. Those were the days…

But enough background…

5 Magazine is the only magazine in the US dedicated to House music. And this month, in honor of their 5 year anniversary, 5 Magazine started TheProject.

TheProject is a multimedia project documenting 40 producers who are keeping Chicago House bangin’ in 2010. Every day, TheProject is doing an in-depth interview and releasing free tracks from two producres. 5 Magazine started TheProject on August 16 and have featured 21 producers. So, if your into Chicago House or just want to hear some really great electronic music, swing over to TheProject and check it out.

Tonight I’m Pondering…Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds

Image via Wikipedia

I love Quentin Tarantino.

The man make great movies in my opinion. I have seen basically every movie the man has ever made (we’re talking from his directors chair here). Every movie multiple times.

For years I’ve believed Kill Bill Vol. 1 was his best work. Everything you could ask for in a movie: great story, great dialogue, great action, great comedy, great soundtrack/score, great characters and great acting…Kill Bill Vol. 1 has it all. However, after its cable premier last weekend on Showtime (and 4 subsequent viewings this week), I am now pondering if Inglourious Basterds might be the crown jewel of Tarantino’s films.

Basterds has everything that Kill Bill has, well except the great action. That is replaced with great over the top violence. Bill was violent…Basterds is graphic. And I love that. Tarantino is so extreme with “The Basterds” you really can’t do anything but sit back, laugh, and be totally entertained.

So why do I think Basterds catapults Bill? Two words…Christoph Waltz. Never knew of him before this movie, but his role has the head of the German SS was incredible. The guy was the epitome of an evil, bad guy character: cunning, clever and cruel. Waltz’s character, Hans Landa, is the one that sticks out the most for me in this movie and makes a great movie classic.

I haven’t seen Bill in a while. Maybe I need to watch again before I crown Basterds as my favorite Tarantino flick.