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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

I was looking through some summer movie previews when I came across a poster for the new Megan Fox movie, Jennifer’s Body.

poster_jennifers-body-poster

Sexy.  Slightly evil.  And very familiar…..

poster_TrueBloodHBOPoster

Hmm…

So the game is—how many differences do you see??  I count 4 main ones right away…

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I went to Los Angeles to celebrate the 4th of July with my husband…and to see Death Cab for Cutie play the Hollywood Bowl on July 5th.  I first heard about the show just as I was missing them play the Fox in Atlanta and I was determined not to miss them again, so I booked my flight and counted down the days until the tickets went on sale.

ben-gibbard

Before I continue, I should preface this post with some background (that I’m completely biased).  I love Ben Gibbard (the lead singer).  One of my very first blog ideas was (and I quote) titled, “Ben Gibbard Rocks.”  It’s not that he is particularly sexy so it’s not that kind of love, but there is something about his voice and his words that just get me.  I also find it interesting that he studied engineering, yet he can have such a poetic, artistic side.  Maybe it’s not so unusual for engineers to have this duality…

wine

Mmm...WINE

We got to the Hollywood Bowl early.  We had parked at the Kodak Theater parking and walked the 0.75 miles to the venue.  (As advice to future Bowl patrons, this worked out really nicely.  It was $10 to park, a short walk, and we avoided the nightmare parking that was at the venue itself.  They do stacked parking at the Bowl, so you can’t leave until the guy in front of you returns to his car.  It looked incredibly frustrating and like an accident waiting to happen. Just my 2 cents…)  Part of neat thing about the Hollywood Bowl is the atmosphere.  You bring a picnic, some wine, sit and relax with friends outdoors and wait for the show to start.  Joe and I brought some snack foods (peaches and sun chips) and some wine, but quickly got food envy of those around us.  These people went WAY beyond the regular cheese, meat and crackers.  We saw salads, tortellini, homemade salsas, …everything looked so good!  (Second piece of advice:  BRING WINE!!  If you don’t and decide you want some during the performance, its like $40.  Plan ahead and buy 4 bottles instead and make it a REALLY good night.)  Our seats were decent.  We were about probably half-way up (or down), so far enough away that the people on stage looked quite small, but the could have been a LOT smaller if we were at the top.  We had binoculars which came in handy for assisted viewing.

At 7pm, the first to perform was The New Pornographers.  I had heard some of their music before (primarily on SomaFM) and they put on a decent performance.  I particularly enjoyed hearing “Sing me Spanish Techno.”  They also addressed their band name by saying “…We’ve heard that some of you find our name offensive.  But you are okay with Cutie getting killed in a Death Cab.  That hardly seems fair!!”  🙂  They played for ~30 minutes and were followed by Teagan & Sara.  The banter between the two sisters was quite enjoyable.  They made it clear how nervous they felt playing to such a large crowd (the Bowl seats ~17,000 people) when she said, “….I’m sorry I can’t say anything witty right now.  There’s so many of you staring at me and you’re making me nauseous….but in a good way.”  (…I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea.)  That is something I appreciate in a concert.  I want to hear the artist speak.  There is something amazing about hearing the music live, but I always appreciate the small dialog that give the audience a glimpse at what kind of people are up there behind the microphone.

tegan&sara

Tegan & Sara

Joe and I both liked Tegan & Sara’s performance, with the small exception of some noisy patrons right next to us!  Anyway, I was so paranoid about having to go to the restroom mid-performance that I scurried to the ladies room right as Tegan & Sara’s last song was ending.  I got there and thought the line was long already, but when I got out…it was the longest line I’ve ever seen.  It just kept going & going…so thankfully, we got back to our seats with plenty of time!sign

The lights went out and Death Cab for Cutie took the stage.  I started to cry a little.  Out section was pretty mellow so as they were walking out, I started to muffle my shouts of joy.  Then Joe whispered to me…”Its okay to yell, Sara.”….so ater that, I certainly did.  Oh, it was beautiful.  Song after song, I was so happy when each started as I thought to myself, “Oooo, I love this one!!”  It’s such a wonderful concert experience when you truly enjoy all of a group’s music…then you aren’t waiting through the entire concert for that one song to come on.  I thought it would have been funny had they played “Why’d You Want to Live Here” a song that details his LA experience, stating that the city smells like an airport runway and discusses people having trouble breathing.  I wonder if that would’ve gone over well with the crowd…

I was unsure how the concert was going to happen as they were scheduled to play with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra.  I really wanted to hear them play some of their normal stuff with their typical sound, as that is what I fell in love with, but I was excited to hear this unique performance with an orchestra as well.  The broke it up into 2 main sections:  11 songs with just Death Cab, the closing out with the Philharmonic playing behind them.  It seemed that sometimes the orchestra with the band didn’t mix perfectly, but overall I found it to be very enjoyable.  The set list is below…

Death Cab for Cutie set list:
“Marching Bands of Manhattan”
“Your Heart is an Empty Room”
“The New Year”
“Crooked Teeth”
“President of What?”
“No Sunlight”
“Photobooth”
“Summer Skin”
“I Will Possess Your Heart”
“Little Bribes”
“Cath…”
“The Sound of Settling”

With the Los Angeles Philharmonic:
“I Will Follow You Into the Dark”
“You Can Do Better Than Me”
“Grapevine Fires”
“Title and Registration”
“A Movie Script Ending”
“Soul Meets Body”
“Transatlanticism”

I particularly enjoyed “The New Year”, “I Will Possess Your Heart”, “Grapevine Fires”, and “Transatlanticism”.  The finale, “Transatlanticism” was breath-taking.  There were fireworks going off behind the stage, timed perfectly to the music.  I watched a youtube video that someone had made of the finale, and the best thing it does is remind me of the amazing feeling I had while I was there.  It doesn’t even come close to portraying how fabulous it was.

We finally made it home around 12:30AM, and I had to catch a 7:50AM flight that morning.  I was so tired the next day, but it was more than worth it.  So from that night,  I have a DCFC tshirt (that reminds me of Santa Monica as it has a big ferris wheel on it), a ticket stub, crappy, blurry photos from the concert, and some amazing memories….I just can’t wait to see them again.

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~Coraline~

Joe, Denisse and I went to the movies the other night to see Coraline in3-D.  We were pretty surprised how packed the theater was with families and kids as it was a Sunday night. (Don’t they have school early in the morning??)  Anyway,  I was curious about seeing this movie, but it wasn’t as if I had been counting down until its release.

coraline_movie_logo

As the movie started, Joe couldn’t help but mutter to himself, “Creeeeepy….” The stop-motion animation gives the movie such an additional level of weird.

What I liked about it –

Really, I loved the 3-D.  I think if you go see this movie, definitely find a theater that is showing it in 3-D.  I was watching the teaser trailer above and it just wasn’t the same.  The movie is visually entertaining.  The colors, the unique characters and events…that aspect was very impressive.   I absolutely loved the part when Coraline is crawling from one world to the next.

What I didn’t liked about it –

Bless little Dakota Fanning’s heart, I just really didn’t like her as the voice of Coraline.  Several times throughout the movie, I pictured her reading the script which is never good.  Because of this, I didn’t get completely immersed in the Pink Palace Apartment world.  I also thought that the actual adventure part…the climax of the movie was too short.  It felt rushed.  With so much story build up, it was a bit of a let down at the end.

Anyway…

Denisse and Joe both thought it was a bit dark for a “kids” movie.  The images are pretty powerful and I could not even imagine seeing it as a 5 year old.  I liked the basic, underlying message…or at least the one that I personally picked up from seeing it.  It was teaching self-reliance to solve problems which is always a good thing.  Also, slipping into an alternative universe to escape problems (possibly the newest campaign against drugs? ha!) often only leads to new and unexpected complications.

My recommendation:  If you want to see it in theaters, go 3-D.  Otherwise, wait and rent it for a buck at RedBox.  It wasn’t my favorite movie but I really enjoyed the visuals and it made me think enough to write a blog, so I guess that’s something in itself.  🙂

(PS – Happy Valentines Day!)

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This past birthday, Joe  & friends got me a Wii with all the fixin’s.  I have really loved playing Sports and Mario Kart…that game just never gets old.  We also just got 2 additional controllers so that 4 people can drive at a time for chaotic fun.   Anyway….I’m getting off topic.

For Christmas, my parents gave us ‘Super Mario Galaxy’.  At first I was a little apprehensive.  The Wii is my first gaming system ever…I never played as a kid with friends for hours just to pass some silly level.  (I would try a few times if I was visiting a house with a Nintendo, die a few times, and quit. ) Really,  I was too busy climbing trees or having my Barbies makeout.   Again, beside the point…as a result of this lack of experience, as Joe would say—my gaming sense is pretty weak.

Mario Flying!!!

But, we have been playing Mario Galaxy pretty frequently recently…and I love it!!!  You can have 1 main player and 1 support player so its good  that Joe and I can play together, as I would probably just get bored watching him play.  We may be playing too much though as the Mario moves are infiltrating my life.  The other day, we were at a farm with a creek.  I imagined bouncing from creekside to side picking up coins along the way.  Someone annoying me?  I imagine simply spinning to stun them and get them away.     With each time we play, my gaming sense grows stronger.  Haha!

It really is a fun game though if anyone is looking for a Wii adventure game.  You travel from galaxy to galaxy collecting stars.  At first I didn’t like how the perspective changes, but you get used to it and it just adds an additional challenge.

Example how perspective changes as you walk around a galaxy

Example how perspective changes as you walk around a galaxy

It’s also been neat as Mario has turned into a Bee, a Ghost, a little ice guy that freezes water wherever he trod…who knows whats next!?!super-mario-galaxy_ice

bee-mario

Anyway…I don’t really want to do a proper game review.  (I’d have to wait until we beat the whole game anyway…and I think we’ve got quite awhile!)

I just wanted to say thanks Mom for the fun gift!  We are really enjoying it!! 🙂

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Ratatat

I’m listening to music at work, and I wanted to share how awesome I think this band is…not really my typical style, but I love it. There is something so moving about their music. It gets my creative juices flowing…I can feel the emotions in the beats…perhaps it is so powerful because the listener is not burdened by lyrics. Who knows.

But you should check out both videos… because they are awesome. (The second one is more entertaining to watch…)

Ratatat: Lex

Ratatat: Loud Pipes

(And…I need to remember to look up that game – audiosurf. I’m probably way behind the times, but it looks pretty fun! Has anyone played?)

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