Matt Damon and I at Universal Studies Hollywood, in Los Angeles

jay-and-matt-damon

“The City of Angels: I didn’t find it to be that exactly.” However, I did go with some friends to Universal Studios Hollywood. To be honest, it pretty much destroyed the magic for me. The moment I saw the behind the scenes stuff, it was done. I can hardly watch a movie anymore without going, “Fake!” or “Seen that scenery!” It’s frustrating because I love the majesty and wonder of movies and the moment you know – not how much – but what specifically is fabricated it makes it that much easier to spot it and no longer be impressed. And where’s the fun in that?

In any case, I saw Matt Damon – or at least a very life-like cardboard cut-out of him – and opted to grab this rare photo opportunity.

I will say that there are some neat rides at Universal Studios, including the Simpsons Ride and some bad-ass Roller Coaster that I forget the name of. I think it was for the Mummy.

Have you been to Universal Studios Hollywood? What did you think?

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Stan Dances His Heart Out in “You Got F’d in the A” South Park Episode 805

You Got Served was a terribly stupid movie that did not need making. However, the dance moves were pretty kick ass. It reminds me a lot of Step Up and Step Up II. Pretty frickin’ stupid but great dance moves. As someone who can’t dance to save his life, quality dancing impresses me tremendously.

In this episode of South Park, Stan and his friends get served (they are danced at aggressively) and can’t dance back. When Randy Marsh can’t stand the idea of his son getting served, he shows him how to dance and makes Stan stand up for himself. Then we get a dance off with Lil’ Kim as our hostess. Hooray!

Did you like this episode? Can you dance? What kind of dancing? Have you ever been served?

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Topical Tuesday: Should You Be Able to Return Bad Books as Faulty Merchandise?

What!? I had no idea that this was even a question in the minds of people who read. It was recently brought to my attention by my good friend and fellow author, Chandler (whose thoughts on this matter I’m sure will be better than mine and available on her blog). Apparently, some book in a “Twilight” series wasn’t what people were hoping for and a lot of them are trying to return it and get their money back.

Whoa.

Buying books is like going to Vegas: it’s a gamble and if you don’t like the results, try getting a hooker. Some books are bad. Dare I say, more are bad than good, but the moment you buy it and put the words into your head, you’ve gotten what you paid for: those words, no matter your opinion of them.

I believe that the problem in this Twilight case was that people loved the first books in the series and were unsatisfied by the most recent one. You know what? Deal with it. The author obviously did a good enough job to convince you to get this one so hat’s off. We can’t win them all.

Should you get your money back for a bad movie? I wish! What if it was the fault of one actor? Should I always get my money back when I see Ben Affleck movies? NO! I should deal with it because I took the gamble. Movies and books can suck. That’s the way of the world: filled with opinions.

If you’re worried a book won’t be good or if you think you should have the right to read without paying then start using the library more often. That’s what the system is for.

Returning books because they’re bad….ridiculous.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Have you ever returned a bad book? What’s the worst book you ever read? What did you do when you were finished reading it?

For another Topical Tuesday topic, click HERE. To read about how Ben Affleck sucks and ruins movies I should get my money back for, click HERE.

And don’t forget to check out Chandler’s blog for her thoughts on this matter HERE.

Mummy III, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, with Fraser and Jet Li Lives up to First Two

Let me say for the record that I didn’t think the first two were so spectacular so my assessment isn’t so much a compliment as an evaluation. Don’t get me wrong, they were pretty entertaining, but at the same time, eh. So, if you thought the sun rose with the first two Mummy movies then don’t let my review get you down.

I will say that I enjoyed it. It was fun, entertaining, had consistent action (though the final fight scene, in my humble opinion, was just adequate), and I even laughed a couple of times. One thing in particular that I really appreciated, I must share.

As background, Rachel Weisz is not in this film. Thus, someone else had to play Brendan Fraser‘s wife. Maria Bello did a fine job, and god bless them, they did not let the switch go without a joke. Had they not acknowledged the wife-swap (heh heh) I would have been sorely disappointed, but just like any self-respecting Hollywood filmmakers would, they made a joke. And it was well done at that. I kind of hope the entire sub-plot surrounding the joke existed solely for the sake of making the joke work. That would make me particularly happy.

As for the rest of the movie, Jet Li was pretty decent – never even spoke a word of English. I thought the amount of Chinese they used in the movie was pretty good – I hate it when movies take place where they don’t speak English to one another but all of the characters are speaking English. Also, the opening mythology behind the modern day plot was interesting. Special effects weren’t bad either. The action took a bit to get started, but overall it was a reasonable ride.

Yes, all of these adjectives are just so-so. Perhaps that should reflect on more than my writing and vocabulary. The movie was hokey, a little desperate for the third in a series and even prepped itself for a fourth. Honestly though, which of the Mummy movies weren’t cheeseball with a side of desperation.

In summary, if you liked the first ones, you’ll probably like this one and if you were ever a little blahed out by the first two, I’d skip this one. I’ll give it 5.5 Chocolate Salty Balls.

Have you seen it yet? What did you think? Do you know why Rachel Weisz chose not to do this movie?

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Movie Reviews Rehashed – Links to Everything I’ve Reviewed

I’ve reviewed nearly a dozen movies so far on this blog and I thought I’d go ahead and put them all in one article together with links to each review just to make it easier in case you missed anything. Don’t forget to let me know what you thought about all of those movies in the comments beneath each post. Click HERE to see what movies have yet to be reviewed this summer.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull

What Happens in Vegas

The Happening

The Incredible Hulk

Get Smart

Hancock

Wanted

Hellboy II

Batman, The Dark Knight

Mamma Mia!

Step Brothers

Mummy III, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Pineapple Express

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My Movie Forecast for the Remainder of the Summer

Every Friday I provide a movie review about whatever movie I’ve seen that week. I figure it’s a good time to go ahead and let you know what movies I’ll be seeing for the rest of the summer so you can get excited too. All of these movies will be seen (or so the plan goes) on the Friday they’re released which is the date I’m providing below.

July 25: X-Files and Step-Brothers

August 1: The Mummy III

August 8: Pineapple Express

August 15: Tropic Thunder

August 22: Death Race or The House Bunny (which do you think?)

August 29: Traitor and College and Babylon A.D. (which should I see first?)

Other movies are coming out on these dates but these are the movies that I’ve chosen to see first thing. Are there any others you’d like me to see and review? Are there any you’re really looking forward to? Which will you go see?

After seeing Batman, which has already made well over 66 million dollars and broken box-office records, I must sadly report that I can’t imagine any of these movies will be better. Indeed, The Dark Knight was most assuredly the height of the summer blockbusters, and I only hope to be entertained by what’s left. Click HERE to read my review of The Dark Knight.

Indiana Jones, cont. but really about Sex and the City

Thanks to Erica for her comment. I would love more anecdotal evidence about men you’ve seen and/or talked to at Sex and the City showings. Please post them as comments if you have any stories. Thanks!