Entourage: “Once again, nothing happens, just for longer.” — Simon Miraudo, Student Edge
San Andreas: “Exactly the movie you suppose it to be, except in one, absolutely crucial regard: it’s weirdly allergic to fun.” — Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
Aloha: “Between the lush tropical scenery and the beautiful faces in the cast, there’s plenty for the eyes, but not much for the brain.” — Todd Jorgenson, Cinemalogue.com
Poltergeist: “Monster House director Gil Kenan doesn’t desecrate the grave of the original, but nor does he offer any convincing reason to raise it from the dead.” — Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]
Home: “Home is where my heart wasn’t, at a screening where even children didn’t seem excited to be. The father snoring next to me had the right idea at the wrong volume. Hiding a catnap behind 3-D glasses only works if you don’t give yourself away.” — Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times
I’ve had a strange affinity for all things Apple lately. Most recently, against my better fiscal judgement I decided to pre-order the famous Apple Watch. It wasn’t an easy decision, I went back and forth with myself for months after it was first announced last September. I even hesitated for a couple of days after the pre-orders started on April 10th but even when I finally convinced myself it was ok to click the buy button I was left with a feeling of uncertainty.
After much anticipation with a dash of frustration (I opted for pick-up which meant navigating the perplexity that is the light-industrial area), it finally arrived at its new home on my wrist yesterday.
My first thoughts about the new gadget are probably similar to what others have said. It’s lovely — heavier than I imagined but then again I’ve never had a real watch before, (anything more than $50 has always been out of my price range). It’s shiny and black and fun to swipe and explore. Honestly, it doesn’t do a lot relative to the amazing iPhone 6 with which it’s paired, it’s just a lot of fun to take phone calls on my wrist, to see messages as they arrive, and to know the time again (all without resorting to the savagery of pulling my phone). I love it.
As others have talked about, Siri seems smarter than ever — though after the last update there seemed an improvement on her phone version too.
Probably most important, though not the most fun, I know for a fact I have missed at least one less phone call than I would have without it. Considering my living depends on catching such phone calls, perhaps the Apple Watch will pay for itself.
In case you’re wondering, I’m no longer uncertain if the watch is right for me. I would buy it again in a second.
Hot Pursuit: “It’s actually, actively worse than you think it’s going to be.” — Christy Lemire, christylemire.com
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2: “If you find yourself in front of a screen where Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is playing you only have yourself to blame.” — Greg Wakeman, cinemablend.com
The Longest Ride: “You probably think The Longest Ride is about some mixture of young love and bull riding. If you think that, you are about half right.” — Mike Ryan, Uproxx
Get Hard: “The oft-repeated gags about prison rape and the frequent racial stereotypes become such a drag that solitary confinement might be a welcome break.” — Travis Hopson, Examiner.com
Little Boy: “A confused mess of Christian morality parading as entertainment, and one that no benevolent God would wish upon the world.” — Collin Brennan, Consequence of Sound
Once again I have completed a year of “One Second Everyday” videos. I travelled quite a bit in 2014 and despite the occasional rocky week or four, it’s been a fantastic year.
Some highlights include:
Unbroken: “Somehow, in searching for the most photogenic, dramatically harrowing and heroic scenes from Zamperini’s life, the movie ‘Unbroken’ gives short shrift to the most interesting parts.” — Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
Annie: “Leapin’ lizards! The evergreen Broadway musical ‘Annie’ strays far from its Depression-era roots with truly dismaying results in this crass, charmless, tineared and lead-footed update.” — Lou Lumenick, New York Post
Night at the Museum: “Let the dust finally settle on these museum pieces.” — Peter Howell, Toronto Star
Exodus: God and Men: “Now obviously the Voice of God is a tough role for any performer, let alone one who has not yet hit puberty. But where Scott detected innocence and purity, I confess I saw mostly an irritable petulance. (Moses: “Where have you been?” God/boy: “Watching you fail.”) This is the first portrayal of God I’ve ever encountered who looked like he could use a good spanking.” — Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
Horrible Bosses 2: “The new, decidedly inferior sequel has its share of chuckles, but it’s got none of that edge or anger. In fact, I’m not even sure why it’s called Horrible Bosses 2. It’s not really about bosses or office politics. Its only allegiance seems to be to the law of the sequel: It puts the same characters into a vaguely familiar situation, with diminishing, tepid returns. They should have just called it 2.” — Bilge Ebiri, vulture.com
I’m happy to say that today, I approached a Phil Connors level of perfection in everything that I did. The day didn’t start out very promising with only a half day of work scheduled (out of town) and not the slightest inkling of a plan for the afternoon or evening.
As it turned out, the half day of teaching was extended to the full day, the afternoon was perfect weather for both raking and mowing the lawn, then I had time to make myself an upgraded frozen pizza (one must add red peppers, spinach, and onions in order to bring plain pepperoni freezer pizza to acceptable levels) to jam out on my new guitar, watch the daily show and even eating some chips and salsa. After cleaning up supper like someone with OCD, I roused my roommate Justin from his long afternoon nap and we went to the university climbing wall and pool. Now that I’m back and laying comfortably in my nice, warm bed, my arms are quite tired and my eyelids dropping but I feel great. Aside from the arduous trouncing by the elephant in the room, it’s amazing all the positives that can come from a little adversity.
Student 1: Hey Mr. Milner are you still together with your girlfriend?
Me: Nope. Thanks for bringing that up though.
Student 1: Ohhhhhhh! I’m so sorry.
Student 2: Oh, that’s so sad, you were so cute.
Student 1: I thought you were going to get married.
Me: You’re not the only one.
At which point I can feel my face turning bright red.
Without getting into it, I’ve reluctantly found myself with a lot more free time than I know what to do with, (a break-up if you must know). I’ve been walking in the coulees to get exercise and on occasion listening to audiobooks and podcasts.
Yesterday I took a trip into The States to pick up a package for my brother-in-law and listened to almost all of Forrest Gump, by Winston Groom. It’s the book that inspired the movie, and I use the word inspired loosely because while there are some similarities there are also a lot of unexpected differences.
In the book, Forrest is a lot bigger — huge actually, which makes more sense for him as a football star, he’s a savant at math, and many of his adventures are nothing like the movie. For instance, after throwing his medal of honour away and injuring a high level government employee, Forrest finds himself on a low earth orbit crashing toward earth, attacked by cannibals and head-hunters, later becoming a stampede wrestler, a chess champion, and during which time he adopts an escaped NASA orangutang as a drinking buddy. While the differences from the big screen adaptation make it an interesting read, I found the novel to be so outlandish and crazy that I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief. This is one of those rare exceptions that the movie outshines the book.
While on my walk yesterday, I was finishing up the book. Forrest inadvertently gets into some trouble and as a result Jenny breaks up with him. Although treated poorly for being mentally challenged his whole life, he says that losing Jenny was the first time he really knew what it was like to feel like an idiot. Losing Andrea, I feel like an idiot too.