Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year in Review 2012

2012 had a lot of ups and a lot of downs. Personally I was all over the place with grad school and work and stress and such, however the world seemed to be a pretty ugly place this year. From that guy killing his kids and burning down his house in February to the Batman shooting to the Elementary School shooting a couple weeks ago...we live in a messed up place. I've got another kid due in March, and I have to pause and ask myself what kind of world I'm bringing that boy into. Anyways, here's my best of the bests list this year.



MOVIES

I can't really put them in order this year since there were so many awesome flicks. I can however put one above all others.

1. Moonrise Kingdom
This movie was a masterpiece. I've rarely been as entertained as I was when seeing this one. The all star cast was hilarious and nobody tried to steal the show...(though I believe that Edward Norton may have done so on accident). There's one awkward scene on a beach that is easily skipped. Best line of the movie...and of the whole year.   Suzy: Was he a good dog? Sam: Who's to say? If you haven't seen this movie...stop reading and go NOW to your local red box.

2 and 3 are a tie between The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey, and The Avengers.
Considering my love for comic book movies, this should come as no surprise that I held this film in such high esteem. This was a risky venture to be sure. Throwing Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron man into the same movie was tough, but somehow they pulled it off. The action was incredible and let's face it: Hulk smash Loki was the coolest part of any movie this year.


 I saw the Hobbit more times in theaters than any other movie this year. This was the first big book I read as a kid. I believe I was in 4th or 5th grade when I first ventured into middle earth. I was so geeked about this movie that I bought 40 copies and made my class of seniors read it so that we could justify an epic field trip to see the movie. I saw it first at midnight in 2d and thought it was good. After my subsequent viewings in 3-d I've decided that this is on par with any of the LOTR films. The action was incredibly cool but the visual feast put together by Peter Jackson was glorious.


Honorable Mentions in Film: I also enjoyed the following films this year: The Grey (Lliam Neeson punching wolves), Prometheus (Alien prequel that was so intense I may have caused serious liver damage) Skyfall (James Bond's most successful venture yet) John Carter of Mars (If you know what the source material was...it was great) . Lincoln and Les Miserables have yet to be viewed by me...but I'll throw em on here anyways. 



Music
It was a great year for albums and a great year for attending concerts. I only bought a handful of albums this year, but I'm a still gonna rank them.

1. The Smashing Pumpkins- Oceania
I know I know, big surprise that I put this as number one. Not everyone likes these guys, and even if you do like them, many people have only casually enjoyed a few of their hits. This is a special album however and is critically acclaimed as a success. Their music used to mean a lot to a teenaged me full of angst and whatever. This album transcends their old hits and puts together a rather incredible collection of loud and soft songs.

The Celestials:

Violet Rays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0F6qS1XlSM

Inkless: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kukO9PT83IQ


 2. Metric- Synthetica

So a few years ago I saw "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World" which totally blew my mind and became an instant favorite. I bought the soundtrack and found a track by Metric called, "Black Sheep." I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I bought their "Fantasies" album. It quickly became a favorite, so I was excited to hear that they were going to have a new album this summer. It came out at the same time as the Pumpkins' album so I didn't get into it immediately...but soon thereafter I couldn't get enough of it. Breathing Underwater and Clone are two of the best songs I've heard in a long long time. Enjoy them, pick this album up...just skip the first track if you don't like language. 

 Breathing Underwater:    

Clone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3a9K0c2ue0

Here's a shot of Emily Haines, lead singer for Metric, whom I was lucky enough to see in concert in October.
 
 
 3. The Killers- Battleborn
Look, the Killers are just GOOD. This album is incredible in that it isn't as "poppy" as the other albums this band has produced. Their sound is maturing, and this record is a testament to what a great band is. So many bands like the Beatles start out with kind of poppy sounding songs/albums that hook the general public. Like the Beatles, the Killers have matured and are now making in depth music that still pleases the ear, but also has a bit more to it.

Here's the video for Runaway.... dig it:  


 
So there's my movies and music for the year. I could do a whole article on the best comic books of the year....but that can wait for another day. 

Best Moments of the Year

1- Finding out I'm gonna be a dad again- Boy #3 due in March

2- P-Nut (bass play for 311) answers my tweet about me not being able to afford tickets to the show....he gets me 8th row seats for free
3- Applying for a job as a principal in Alpine School District
4- Hulk smash Loki....
5- Disneyland with my wife and children.     


Here's hoping 2013 finds us and you in good fortunes. Farewell goodnight, last one up turn out the lights 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What's Going ON!? Ghosts, Football, Free 311 Show,...wait did I say G-g-g-ghosts!?

September 16th...last post was in July...my bad.
Been super busy with Student Council and Grad School and Life.

So what's new?

Having a new baby in March...gender unspecified as of yet. Looking forward to spending a few days in the hospital watching basketball with wife and baby.

Moonrise Kingdom is the best movie of the summer. If you haven't seen it yet? Do so, it's gonna win awards this year and it is freaking hilarious.

Football season started...I got a new TV to enjoy it on. Tis beautiful. Digging the plasma.

I didn't have enough $ to go to 311 this summer so I tweeted at the band to wish them a good show...in reply the Bass Player said, "Dude I can't get you in." I was given 3 tickets on the 311 guest list...8th row just off center...it was probably the best show I've been to for them. So tight. 

Found an old record player in my classroom, started stock piling records for "Vinyl Fridays" with my classes. A couple of seniors brought me the Beatles' "Abbey Road" and "Rubber Soul." They are incredible. Student council has been very stressful. Probably more stressful than I was expecting, but we're trying to turn the school's pride up.

Oh....

The other day was ridiculously frightening. So I had to get some stuff from the basement for student council. The basement is located beneath the Pleasant Grove High School Stage which appears on Utah's list of haunted places. http://www.theshadowlands.net/places/utah.htm  The room is full of props from plays which makes the room super creepy. I'd just finished teaching my students about ghost stories and what not the 2 days previous and had been mocking the idea of the school being haunted. While down in the basement getting props I mocked the ghost...oops. As we exited the room and started walking up the stairs I turned the light off so that the room behind me was now dark. A student said, "Mr. Reeves don't it's scary." I replied, "don't worry about it we're fine." Moments later something LOUD crashed against the wall in the room only a few feet behind me. I'm never one to have believed in stories like this, but it happened. I can only assume that something hit the wall where all of the prop swords hang. It was a very LOUD and HARD crash. We freaked, we ran...and when two students went back down to check what it was....nothing was out of place. So...yeah I'm never going down there again.

That's about all that's going on. Life is good, hope it is for you too- JR



P.S. Avengers Vs X-men has been the best series ever. I highly recommend picking this up when it comes out in trade paper back. Just finished issue #11 and 3 words.......Cyclops....Kills....Xavier.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dark Knight Tragedy...Bale a Hero

Grad school has kept me so busy that this is only like my 2nd or 3rd post this summer. Probably for the best. I just had to take a minute to share some thoughts on the shootings in Colorado. I'm a midnight movie guy. By my count I've seen I believe 5 midnight movies this year (The Grey, John Carter, Avengers, Prometheus, Spiderman)....yep 5. I awoke on the morning of the 21st ready to go see the early showing of Batman at 9:00....but of course first I read the news and saw the videos and got a really sick feeling in my stomach. This whack job piece of $#it decided to ruin the lives of countless people by shooting up a theater for NO GOOD REASON. Really it's sad. This guy's mental state had to be completely gone to do something like this. People will blame the media, guns, left wing, right wing, whatever, but what it comes down to is that someone made a decision that affected the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people. There is no bright side to this story...until tonight.
I just saw on the news...and I am admittedly tearing up as I type this...that Christian Bale...the actor who has portrayed the Dark Knight in this highly successful trilogy...showed up in Aurora Colorado to visit some of the victims of this terrible event. What's most impressive about this is that he did so on his own accord...his own dime. He did not represent Warner Brothers Studios...he's just that kind of a guy. I know Christian Bale got into some hot water a few years back for some yelling on a set or something, but you know what? Slate is clean. I just needed to take the time to write out my respect and gratitude to a guy who went out of his way to help some people in need. I think we all need a bit more of that in our lives. For that I thank you Mr. Bale. "So shines a good deed...in a dreary world"- Wonka


Monday, June 18, 2012

The Smashing Pumpkins- Oceania Review

I just received my copy of The Smashing Pumpkins' new album: Oceania. I've been listening to the free live stream on the weekend and feel like I've given it an adequate enough listen (I hope) in order to give a fair track by track review.

1- Quasar
This is one of four songs from the album that I heard live in October when I journeyed to Vegas to see them perform on top of a Casino...it was great. This is an ambitious track to start the album with since it is probably the hardest/loudest song on the album. The guitars are awesome and explore some cool effects along the way. The drumming on this album is of note because it's the first album released with new drummer Mike Byrne...he does spectacularly. Tracks like Quasar really show off his skills. The vocals have a bit of an echo that make the song sound like it's being performed in a warehouse with an echo, but I dig it.

2- Panopticon
The first time I heard this song was also live, and also came right after Quasar. Whereas Quasar live really got me excited for the album, Panopticon didn't really connect with me the first time I heard it. I listened to my live recording of it a few times and it still didn't grab me. On the album however, the recording is sharp and the little nuances of sound here and there really make it pop. I'm specifically impressed by the cool baseline that Nicole Florentino has added to the track. This one grew on me and continues to grow on me as a great rock song.

3- The Celestials
I don't believe that Billy plans to release a single off of this album, however I've heard rumors that he'd want Celestials to be that single if there was one. This song is beautiful. It starts with accoustic guitar, Billy and I think it's Nicole melodiously singing, "til the end." The song sounds so simple, but then at 1:16 the bass comes in, the background drops out and the bass shows up in a way that no other pumpkins song has ever attempted. By 1:53 I swear I can hear this song blasting from every car radio on the street. This song rocks HARD by the end, and I would love to see this song put out as a single. I think that the average radio listener would leave the channel alone and nod their head to this song.

4-Violet Rays
This songs starts out straight up "weird." Is it 2012? Or is it the 80's? By the time the guitar comes in and the drums kick it up, this song becomes a deep portrait where the lyrics are singled out. "And I'll leave with anyone...TONIGHT." This song seems to bring in a lot of the moodiness that the Pumpkins used to experiment with on Adore and late Machina, but it's infused with more of this new song writing prowess that Billy continues to push. I love this song...not for the radio to blast, but for late nights with my headphones in.

5- My Love is Winter
Probably the coolest title on the album. This sounds like it could have been one of those acoustic songs that Billy writes, performs once or twice, and then abandons. However, he has infused an energy that keeps this song from turning into a drab throw away and keeps it alive. The cool melody that comes from a keyboard of sorts in the middle really shakes things up and the Pumpkins really milk every last drop out of this song...and they succeed in doing so in my opinion.

6- One Diamond, One Heart
Like Violet Rays, this song starts off with a weird synth vibe to it. Sans the vocals I'd never be able to pick this out as a Pumpkins song until about 50 seconds in. I love that Billy and co. like to shake things up and catch the leader unaware. I really enjoy Billy's solo album and some of the synthy-er stuff the pumpkins do. This song hasn't grown on me as much as some of the others, but it's easy listening and comes at a great place in the album.

7- Pinwheels
This song also starts out really weird. The first guitar chords though really transform this song into something special. Upon first listen you are thinking, "where is this taking me?!" The song keeps building and building and then some very Billy-esque guitars come in around 1:33 and layer after layer of tone melds together to evoke strong emotions. The singing is beautiful with Billy singing along side Nicole (I think). This song would also be tough to fit in with songs from the old Pumpkins' catalog, but that's what I like about it. Billy pushes for every album to be interesting. This is by far the prettiest song on the album.

8- Oceania
Much like Paul McCartney and Wings' "Band on the Run" this song is like 3 different songs strewn together with musical thread. We are treated once again to Nicole's awesome bass contributions to the album. I think her membership in the band does a lot to discovering new horizons for their music. Billy used to record/write all of the bass but it sounds like he's let her take the reigns for this album, and it works out really well. The first part of the 3 part play is interesting and on its own wouldn't stand, but then we move to part II where we get all acoustic and deep. It sounds almost Simon and Garfunkel-esque. "Oh would I follow you?" So much honesty in his voice. The song ends in a flurry of cool drums and bass which really work. Zeitgeist had its 9 minute plus "United States" and Billy seems to try to fit one really long track on most of their albums...Oceania works. Again, not as a crank it in your car and sing, but as a, "put your headphones in and explore this."

9- Pale horse
Also heard this song live. The studio version doesn't add much to the live performance, but it doesn't really need to because the point of this song is to chill the listener out after the crescendo of Oceania. This song would also be hard to peg in the extensive catalog of Pumpkins music...but again, that's Billy's aim here. If people wanted 5 albums that sounded just like Siamese Dream then they're out of luck. Those of us who enjoy the progress and the vast soundscape the band has created over the last 6 years especially are pleased with songs like this.

10- The Chimera
This song shakes off any lethargy from the chill tones of Pale Horse. I can only salivate about hearing this song live. They play the opening fast on the album, I surmise that they'll play even faster live and it'll rock. This song really showcases where the band is right now. When the Pumpkins want to rock they can really ROCK. This song reminds me of songs like, "Come on let's go" and "Bring the Light" from Zeitgeist. Faster rock songs towards the end of the album to lift our spirits and remind us that the album is here to rock you in case that has faded from your memory over the last 3-4 chiller tracks. So good, can't wait to hear this one live.

11- Glissandra
The drums come fast and the guitars are howling as this song starts...cool effect. I can see myself enjoying this one live for sure. For now, the album version is good, but suffers from the fact that it is located between the Chimera and Inkless...possibly 2 of the best songs on the album...especially the latter. On its own it's a good song, but it doesn't really do as much for me personally as some of the other songs. Enjoyable, but not the best song on the record.

12- Inkless
The BEST song on the album in my opinion. The riff is probably the best Billy has written since re-starting the band. "The stars are out tonight"....great lyrics to start a song. The drums are tight, the melody is euphoric and reaches straight through the speakers and starts to squeeze your heart. Memories of friends, love, success, failure, it's all there. The solo makes you want to just close your eyes and wander around the room with your eyes closed. I can hear Billy wanting to scream these lyrics as loud as he can...but he holds back...for the album. I can only imagine that he'll be a bit louder during live performances. Really a beautiful song...best on the album in my opinion.

13- Wildflower
Not sure where I come out on this song. Pumpkins have a way of ending their albums with a quiet song (except for Quiet was track 2 on SD...boo bad pun). My favorite ending to a Pumpkins album was on Machina: The Machines of God where they ended with "Age of Innosence." Why? Cause it ended upbeat and energetic. Wildflower is a beautiful song to be sure. Billy has used a lot of synth on this album and the Depeche Mode fan in me loves it. In fact this song reminds me a bit of "Waiting for the Night" from Depeche Mode's Violater. Great song albeit a bit misplaced in my opinion. Still a great one to listen to at night.

Overall if I had to rank this album on a ten star scale I'd give it a 9. Some people will be down on this album because as of now there is no single, and because once again Billy didn't just make a Siamese and the Infinite Sadness rehash to please the radio and MTV...but that's what I like about it. When the album has no single, then you make the singles yourself. In this case- Celestials, Quasar, and Inkless would be my choices...and I'll crank these loud in my car so that others start scanning their stations to try and find them...but you can only find them in one place- Oceania. Definitely some of the Pumpkins' best work. Bravo Billy, Mike, Jeff, and Nicole- JR

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Where I been?

Wow...so it's June and I've got some things to catch up. My apologies, it was an incredibly busy end of the school year. But here I am..dunna..Rock you like a Hurricane!

1st off: Let's talk Avengers Review...one word... HOLYCRAPTHATWASAWESOME.

2nd: I had to hike the G the other day for graduation. I lit the thing and hiked back down around 1:30. It HURT. The last time I hiked that I was a sophomore. This time I was 30 and that thing was steep! Hurt going up, hurt coming down. I'm excited to work with the student body officers though.

3rd: I bought tickets for Metric this October...very pumped.

4th: School year ended well, though I was heart broken by the lack of effort given to me by some students. Failure...I guess...is an option.

5th: I'll do a better job from here on out, my summer is open now. Prometheus Thursday night at midnight baby! Will hopefully have a better review for that one- JR

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Universal Studios Rides I'd like to See

Just watched a commercial for Universal Studios which touted a Jurassic Park Ride, a Shrek Ride, a Harry Potter Ride, and other such rides. It made me think about how much fun it would be to design rides for a park like that. Then I thought about how much fun it'd be to design really crappy rides based on movies that wouldn't make great rides. Here's what I came up with. I'd love to hear from you as well if you have any great ideas.



The Air Force One Experience-
Experience the classic Harrison Ford presidential action flick from two perspectives. First you'll be a passenger. Ride attendants will tie you up and gag you and leave you in a seat that simulates steady airplane flight for an hour...then you switch roles to that of a terrorist. You will be led to the back of the ride where an animatronic Harrison Ford will tell you to, "Get off my plane" before it kicks you in the rear and drops you 40 feet into a pool of cold water. What an experience!



The Shawshank Redemption Water Slide...Sorta
Feel the excitement of an escape from a creepy prison in the 1950's by crawling on your belly through a replica sewage pipe. We pump realistic...well...real sewage through the ride so just like Andy you'll be able to enjoy freedom that much more!






6th Sense the ride-
The first time you hop on this ride it is absolutely AWESOME! However, it's only fun to ride once cause after that it's kind of predictable and not very entertaining.







The Traveling Pants Experi-ance
You and 19 other tourists will be thrown into a room and forced to exchange pants with someone else. You will also exchange information and become best friends from afar.






Lindsay Lohantastica!
We throw beer goggles on you, make you walk through a jewelery store where you have to sneak a necklace or ring, and then we strap an ankle monitor on you and follow you around the Universal lot for the rest of the day.






Michael Moore Buffet!
When you get hungry between rides (though we don't recommend eating before the Shawshank ride) come to our Michael Moore inspired Buffet. Tons upon tons of buttery foods ready for you to devour. You don't even have to leave your seat! Because of an issue with the foundation (it leans waaaay to the left) the food slides down the floor and right into your mouth!






The Fast and the Furious!
After signing waver after waver, you can take your car to the empty lot in the back of the park and drive as fast and as crazy as you'd like. Make sure to brush up on your Vin Diesel grizzled laugh,
 "eh heh heh" for when you pull an awesome stunt.





 3D Nicholas Cage Show


video

WHoaaaaahh! NOT THE BEEEEEES! AAAAAARRRRRGHH! The show is 2 hours long and compiles all of Nick Cage's best scenes...also not a good idea to do this after eating at the Buffet...








These are just a few that I came up with on the fly. What do you got to add to that?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My name is Justin!

Gonna try for a new blog format here since up til now it's been super random. Every Sunday night I will strive to blog. I'll try to alternate between: Music, Movies, Comics, And the general goings on.

To introduce this week's blog I'll mention a quick, "going's on." My sweet grandmother left us last week and we decided to road trip to California for the funeral and to see family. In order to get there, one needs a mix cd. I loaded up an old favorite and listened to it multiple times across the desert. I give to you: Weezer's Blue album from 1994...a timeless classic that still rocks today.




1. My Name is Jonas: You  may recall that I included this song in my list of all time great song openings a while back on my blog. This album had made it big on the radio with "Undone the Sweater Song" and "Buddy Holly."   I don't recall ever hearing this song until I actually picked up the album...and it blew me away. The classic 4 chord song done so well. Great thing about Weezer is that they aren't some overly serious artsy band, but the singer definitely believes in what he's doing and you can hear it in his voice in this song. "Driver says hey man we go all the way!"  One of the greatest album openings ever.

2. No one else:  I want a girl who will laugh for no one else...This is a fairly simple song but Weezer refused to let it stay simply by really working on the sound of the song. Sound confusing? Let me try it again. The drumming and the tone of the guitars could have been a lot less in your face, but they really pushed it on the production. This turns a regular pop/rock song that could have easily been written by Jr. High students into something worth listening to.

3. The World Has Turned and Left Me Here:  After two songs which, great as they are, have a similar sounding rhythm, we start of the third track with an acoustic guitar intro. This gave  the song more clout and depth. Of course nobody can top the 90's intro to Today by the Smashing Pumpkins (I'll cover the Siamese Dream album another time...gonna have a lot to say about that one) and they don't really try to, they just made the song work. The song has a bit of a sadder tone. The lyrics, "The World has turned and left me here" seem very 90's sad...luckily the next track picks us back up and makes us dance.

4. Buddy Holly: If at some point in your life you owned a copy of Windows 95 then you actually owned this video. It was included with windows 95 as a means to show off the video capabilities. Ah the video to this song was CLASSIC! Using special effects, Weezer was transported onto the set of Happy Days where they rocked out for Richie, Potsy, and the Fonze. This song alone solidified Weezer as one of the coolest bands to ever pick up a guitar. High point is at 2:09 when the guitar solo (I think like 9 notes) crescendos and it's all good.

5. Undone the Sweater Song: Da danna da danna da dun dun da danna...the opening notes of this song are almost living. I sweat this song has a pulse. I love the people talking through the intro. "My friends don't really wanna go...can I get a ride?" I'd always heard that the girls at the beginning of this song were from Utah and were killed in a car accident. While writing this blog post I researched it and:
"the memorial service was held at 2:00 pm, July 14th, at the Orem Park 10th ward meeting house of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints, in Orem, Utah. I had the pleasure of attending the memorial and graveside services. Mykel, Carli, and Trysta's father [Wayne] gave an introduction, and eulogies were offered for Mykel, Carli, and Trysta by Claudia (their mother), Kenyan (their brother), and Tyler (their brother), respectively. After the memorial service concluded, we proceeded to Springville, Utah. Several members of the band were among a group of approximately 20 pallbearers. After the graves were dedicated by the girls' paternal grandfather, the crowd mingled, and people gave their love to the girls' family. At the end of the service, before people left, Karl placed 2 special weezer hats, one on Mykel's grave, one on Carli's grave." -Tim


Interesting link to Utah. I guess they are buried in Springville, Utah which is fairly close to where I'm at. I always thought this was a rumor but I guess it's true.

6. Surfwax America:  This song was always a little too bubbly for me because of where it falls in the album. Between the somewhat somber Sweater Song and the dark classic, "Say it Aint So" is not the best place for a fun surfing song in my opinion. I could be wrong...but not likely since I'm amazing. Not a terrible song but probably my least favorite on the album. Felt too much like a filler song.

7. Say it aint So: This song solidified Weezer as a band with more than one trick up their sleeve. This song is one of the most covered songs of all time I swear. I used to have a killer cover of Deftones doing this one. Always thought it was cool that Deftones' singer started the track off by bragging to the crowd that "he just got to go see weeeeezer." Even hard thrasher folk dig the Weezer. Such a somber somber song. The bass line walking around in the background make this song what it is...amazing. Powerful singing doesn't hurt either. The chorus' guitar is crazy cool as well. DUN DUN  WEEERREEERR. The Weeerrreeeer is insanely cool. The part with the letter read aloud could be the most memorable part of the album.

8. In the Garage:  I've got the Dungeon Master's Guide...I've got 12 sided die....I've got Kitty Pryde, and Nightcrawler too..."  This song covers the same topic as one of their most recent hits: Pork and Beans. The song is about not caring what people think about you. When you are in your garage, nobody can make fun of you. I had a lot of kids who made fun of my for collecting comic books back in the day...and this song starts off with Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler so it was kind of a justification for me since EVERYONE loved this album...so they had to kind of agree with Weezer just a little bit mwuahahaha. 






9: Holiday: I remember this song being stuck in my head during a Jr. Jazz game once. Heaaaaart Beeeaaaaat... over and over again. Is it the mark of a great song or a lame song when it gets stuck in your head? Not sure. I sure did like the optimism on this one though. 

10. Only in Dreams: Just like "Say it aint So," This song largely thrives on the bass walking softly in the background to set the mood. At almost 8 minutes long, Weezer was ending the album with a song that said, "Yeah we sound kind of poppy...but there's a lot more to us than Buddy Holly and Sweaters." This Bass line could be titled "Day at Jr. High School" because one could feel beat down after a day of ridicule and awkward teenagerness...I made that word up and it works so let it go.



All in all, this album should be owned by anyone who professes a love of rock music. It's fun, it's quality, and it hints at things to come. Weezer is often thought of happy happy happy but at least 4 of these songs seemed a bit more somber and reflective than not. $7.99 on I-tunes is a small price to ask for ten quality songs that helped define a generation. If you lived through the 90's then you probably owned this cd...if you didn't own it...go buy it now and see what you think. Dig it- JR 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Avengers vs X-men

Well, it's time for a comic book event. For those of you not familiar with "Comic Book Events" it's when the companies make unearthly profits by making a huge storyline which goes across every title in their line and you have to collect ALL of them to get the whole story....kind of stressful. Though the main story will take place in 12 issues titled, "A vs X." However, I'm super excited for this years' event with the Avengers and the X-men fighting against each other over the return of the Phoenix entity in conjunction with Hope Summers (The Mutant Messiah). I've decided to post some of the cool promo pictures they've made for the upcoming 12 issue gig. Half of my readers will love this, half won't care. But hey, if you don't care, drop by a comic book store (google it), get set up, and find something to look forward to every few weeks. Gonna be a fun ride.


Archangel vs Daredevil, may be my favorite ad
Been enjoying Cyclops a lot more since his split with Wolverine and his X-men. Cool artwork here. I dig it.
 
Cool battle, I hope it comes to fruition
Not big on Spiderman. I hope Iceman freezes him and breaking him in half.
Never been big on Storm or Thor. However, Thor looks boss right here. Love the size perspective.
Not a fan of the art, but a HUGE fan of Colossus since he took the powers of the Juggernaut
Cover for the first issue. I can't wait to see how the story pans out. Been a big fan of Hope since she joined the X-men. Generation Hope has been a great series which is sadly ending...makes me think that Hope may also be "ending" in the series.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

4 Hollywood Pillars of Strength

So here I am almost a year into my graduate program at BYU. I'm working towards becoming a Principal and it hasn't been easy. When I started the program I became very overwhelmed and started to feel the effects of my stress.  Going from Teacher to Principal is a big change. Being a teacher is fun, I get to make fun lessons, work with students, etc etc. Being a Principal will be much more rewarding financially, but it's going to be a bit more stressful. I'm not a very confrontational person, and assistant principals have to yell at students a lot. I'm hoping that I'll be the exception to the rule and I'll be able to talk to kids in a positive way instead of a nagging yeller.
The program is tough, the job is going to be tougher, but I need to pump myself up for it. So I turn now to my 4 Hollywood pillars of strength. If I can be like unto them, I'll be successful and I'll beat the rest of this challenging program. I've got weaknesses to overcome. Changes can be painful...but making it through the tough stuff is rewarding in the end.



1. Aron Ralston- "Eliminating the things that keep me trapped"


 I know this is a Hollywood 4 Pillar thing, but this actually happened. I just love the movie so I'm going to count it. I have certain weaknesses that make me feel like I'm not up to the task of being a principal. Just like Aron Ralston's arm kept him trapped in a canyon, I have weaknesses that get in my head and make me feel like I can't succeed. I need to eliminate these weaknesses by painfully changing myself into what I need to be. He cut his arm off...I can change myself as well. Meeting the real Aron Ralston remains one of the greatest moments in my life.



2. Rocky Balboa- "It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward"


Rocky Balboa is my hero because on paper he never stacked up to his opponents. Every guy he fought, Mr. T, Dolph Lundgren, Apollo Creed, etc was bigger than he was and should have straight up killed him. I'm in a tough program that makes me feel like I'm Rocky walking into the Russian arena. I've taken hits here and there, and there have been days when I question whether or not I can beat this thing, but every time things get tough I think of Rocky getting punched and punched and still walking forward.


3. John Mclane- "Yippy Kai Yea _________"


So I watched all 3 Die Hard movies this weekend. John Mclane is probably the greatest hero in the history of movies. Dude is always in the wrong place at the wrong time yet he doesn't run from the problem, he faces it head on. He gets shot, bloodied, broken, thrown out of planes, and it doesn't matter. He still laughs at his competition and delivers his famous "Yippy Kai Yea" line while smiling as the terrorists either A- Fall out of a building (Die Hard) B- Blow up in a 747 (Die Hard 2) or C- Get their Helicopter caught in power lines (Die Hard 3). The best part about John Mclane is his resourcefulness. He has a goal (kill the terrorists and save his wife). I have a goal (beat grad school and provide for my family). When times are tough and I feel like quitting, I just repeat to myself "Yippy Kai Yea________" which is Ironic since it's a BYU program...but yeah. Yippy Kai Yea.



4. Captain Jack Sparrow- "This the day that you will always remember as the day that you..."


Jack Sparrow a great character. The reason I look to him is because of his swag. This guy is silly, goofy, tipsy and all over the place, but he knows what he's doing. The pivotal moment for me from all 4 Pirates of the Caribbean movies was at the end of the first film. The audience had laughed their way through the whole film and enjoyed the comical visage that Jack had projected. However, after Jack lifts the curse at the "opportune moment" and shoots Barbosa through the chest there's a shot of Jack starring at Barbosa with a smoking gun and a look on his face of complete seriousness. Jack knows when to turn it on and turn it off. I'm much like Jack where most people think of me as goofy light hearted Justin...but that's just a result of my being an eternal optimist. FYI even when I'm in the worst of moods and I'm feeling like garbage- I put on my happy face and crack jokes. I know when to act different ways. I can turn it on and off...just like Jack. So yes I'm cheerful and joking, but at any given moment I'll be the all business Jack with the metaphorical smoking barrel.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My students even agree....the 80's

I asked my students today, "If you could be 16 in any decade...which would it be and why?"
The answers were almost unanimous "The 80's."  There's always a couple of THOSE kids who say "the 60's....maaaaan" but yeah, the rest of the kids wanted 80's. Why? Well let's break it down-

1. Movies
    80's movies were awesome. SO awesome in fact that currently, Hollywood is reviving every 80's idea that they possibly can. Transformers, GI Joe, Footloose, Ninja Turtles, (trying for) Ghostbusters, Red Dawn, Indiana Jones, and the LIST GOES ON!  Can you really truly name a good movie from the 90's? Jurassic Park and....what else? MAYBE Braveheart and Babe...but the action flicks were pretty bad. Top Gun has withstood the test of time...Independence Day has not.  Goonies, Better off Dead, Ferris Beuler's Day off...these are time tried classics that are still legit today. Hard to find 90's or 00's flicks that compare to these classics.

2. Cartoons
  Remember when Saturday mornings were a sacred time? From 6:00 a.m. til 11:00 a.m. the cartoons ran on 3 or 4 networks and without DVR we had to eliminate the weak sauce to get to the red meat. He-man, Vultron, Thundercats, Ghostbusters, the SNORKS! THE FREAKING SNORKS! Smurfs, GI Joe, Transformers, Ninja Turtles, Camp Candy, Bobby's World, Eek the Cat, Tiny Toons, Animaniacs (yeah some of these bleed into the early 90's...sue me) X-men, Rescue Rangers, Ducktales,  Spiderman, Batman, man I could write on this for hours. My current students got the tail end of Nickelodian's heyday and were stuck with Pokemon, Digimon, and all other manner of Mon's.  All I see now when I turn on the tv Saturday morning is Disney shows about Tweens that make me cry inside.

3. Music
   Remember the 80's? You know, back when Metallica was good. U2, REM, Depeche Mode, Michael Jackson....MUSIC YOU COULD DANCE TO!  Gaga's got nothing on Lauper I'll tell you what. For me music took a huge dive after about 96-97. There's still some great stuff after that, and in fact I still occasionally find a good new band (Killers, Gorillaz) but let's face it, nothing tops the 80's play list. B-52's Rocklobster? Better than anything released this year from the world of Pop. I miss dancing to tunes. People don't dance any more...they just grind and try to look Bad A with their angry hip hop/rap crap.

4. Sports
   Would you rather watch:
A- Tom Brady, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and the rest of today's NBA?
or
B- Joe Montana, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, The Pistons, Magic Johnson, Kareem, Malone/Stockton

Now before you answer, know that as far as the basketball shorts go...I'm with you on wishing that the 80's players didn't show so much leg. Kevin McHale's legs were ummmmm yikes.
The 80's were a time of great athletic feats (Miracle on Ice anyone?) I just wish we'd had HD tv back then...our old bendy screen tv was awful to watch sports on.


5. Tv.....wait

Yeah I'll give this to the current state of things. TV shows are SO much better now. We actually WANTED to watch Full House back in the day, can you believe that? I know it's hilarious and nostalgic to watch but...man...it's awful. I'll take X-files, Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, The Office, Parks and Rec, heck pretty much ANYTHING over the bulk of the 80's shows. I guess the Simpsons kind of started in the 80's...but they didn't get good til the 90's right?

 6. Style

Hmmmm I know a lot of people make fun of the 80's sense of style. But I tell you this: I'll take ripped acid wash jeans and mullets over low ride pants and massive Bieber hair that covers from the head down past the nose.

Well this has been my "I'm stuck at Parent Teacher Conference I may as well Blog" rant thingy. Giggity- JR

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Avengers Countdown

Ummmmm yep...here you go



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Movies that need a sequel

While playing a party game the other night, a card came up that said, "If you could make a sequel to one movie it'd be...."

Well we had our joking answers such as: "Schindler's List 2: Electric Boogaloo" and "A Walk to Remember" (ouch) but it got me thinking. There are so many movies undeserving of a sequel that get one (I'm looking at you Saw, Ghost Rider, Hangover, and Human Centipede). There are also movies that warrant a sequel that we have not, and may not ever see...Such as-

A decent Alien Vs Predator:
I'm just a regular English High School teacher with sub par writing skills but you know what? I could make a better AvP than both of the crap fests released in theaters...how the second one even MADE it to a theater instead of direct to DVD is beyond me.

Terminator:
The terminator series should have been terminated after the 2nd one. Judgement Day was a sweet ending to one of the most impressive movies ever produced at that time. The third movie decided to unravel all of the loose ends that had been tied up in the 2nd one and Arnold looked like he was falling apart. Terminator Salvation was not much better...So if you are going to continue the series...do it right...again...and then stop

Goonies:
Do we NEED a Goonies sequel? No...do we want one anyways? Yep.  I am opposed to the constant rehash of 80's material. Bring back GI Joe, Transformers, Karate Kid, etc etc. However, it would be AWESOME to get the Goonies back together for some kind of adventure. It would be a trip through Nostalgia that, if properly written, would be genius.

Ghostbusters:
Actually I'm on board with Bill Murray in NOT making another Ghostbusters. Leave that one alone.

Super Mario Brothers:
The Super Mario Brothers movie...if I remember correctly (Only saw it once in the early 90's cause well...it sucked) ended with the princess showing up at Mario and Luigi's house wielding a gun and saying something like, "you guys gotta come back, you aren't going to believe this!" I've spent 18 or so years wondering just exactly what it was that they wouldn't believe...revive it?

Finally,

KUNG POW: Enter the Fist
Turn this movie on at noon- it's funny. Turn this movie on at 7:00 p.m.  and it's really funny. Watch this movie late at night with friends...and you are likely to either laugh until you cry OR wet your pants. Weeeeooowww peeeoowwww WHAH! Bring back Betty!






Sunday, January 29, 2012

My name is Justin Reeves...and I believe in Sasquatch

I'm not going to hide the fact that I believe in the existence of Sasquatch. I don't believe in some mystical "Bigfoot" that roams around. I believe that there may be a seldom witnessed species of gigantic ape (which has in fact been proven to exist through fossils) that lives amongst us...specifically in the Northwest of the United States and Canada. Is that so crazy?
"It's just a guy in a suit!"
Hmmmm well I've watched the Patterson Gimlin footage enough times to not accept the "guy in the suit" theory. If you look carefully at the film, there are muscles moving underneath the fur and there is no way that these guys were able to make such a suit. Bare in mind this famous footage came out a few years before Planet of the Apes...and the best that Hollywood could do there was nowhere near the quality from the Patterson/Gimlin footage.

All of the analysis of that footage aside though, I'm convinced of the existence of these creatures based on personal testimony of extended family members who have seen/heard these things. AND the fact that there have been thousands of sightings throughout North America. Are ALL of these people lying?

If thousands of people say they've seen them...then how can we shoot that down? I know I know "They probably saw a bear...it was a guy in a suit."

But wait a minute...


Remember a few months ago when Herman Cain was seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States? He was catching steam in the polls until like 6 or so women came out and said, "he sexually harassed me" or "he had an affair with me." Now Herman Cain continues to maintain his innocence, but nobody in the country believes him because these 6 women came forward and accused him. "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck..." Well yeah I guess if there are that many accusations of this man then people assume he's guilty right?  But why is it that we take the word of 6 or so women  about a guy and believe them...and yet we hear thousands of reports, we see increasingly clear photos and recordings and yet...If it walks like a Sasquatch, and it howls like a Sasquatch...it's still just a bear or a guy in a suit?

The Truth is out There.

Feel free to scour through the multiple sitings in North America here: http://www.bfro.net/GDB/#usa