It’s been a while since my last posting. A couple of media related things I’ve experienced since then:
Breaking Bad - I’ve heard a ton of people talk about this series, and finally broke down and watched the first three seasons. I am not usually into drug themed movies, but this show is excellent.
Portlandia - So friggin funny. The characters they portray in the show are accurate then characterized.
Skyrim - Very fun game, and worth playing. I sunk almost a hundred hours, and feel there is a ton more content. I was kind of bummed with the end of the main storyline, but it was a nice transition to the endgame.
On another note, Awesomecam (my band) is taking off. We have a few shows lined up in the next few weeks, and we are preparing to record our second album.

It’s been a while since my last posting. A couple of media related things I’ve experienced since then:

Breaking Bad - I’ve heard a ton of people talk about this series, and finally broke down and watched the first three seasons. I am not usually into drug themed movies, but this show is excellent.

Portlandia - So friggin funny. The characters they portray in the show are accurate then characterized.

Skyrim - Very fun game, and worth playing. I sunk almost a hundred hours, and feel there is a ton more content. I was kind of bummed with the end of the main storyline, but it was a nice transition to the endgame.

On another note, Awesomecam (my band) is taking off. We have a few shows lined up in the next few weeks, and we are preparing to record our second album.

I’ve had the chance to watch several movies in the last few days. Here’s a quick review of some of them:
Let Me In (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1228987/
This movie took a while to get rolling, but once it did, it turned out to be pretty decent. The two main characters worked really well together, and you could feel their emotions and fears come through the screen. In the end, it was a sad drama horror movie that was very enjoyable.
Score: 4/5
Trick ‘r Treat (2007) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0862856/
This is an excellent Halloween movie and is my new stand-by for years to come. There’s multiple campy storylines occurring at the same time and become interwoven at different points. The lines of lite horror, ridiculousness, and clever twists make this one to watch. One side note: I had a kick seeing Anna Paquin play a similar role in this film that she would play again a year later as Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood.
Score: 5/5
Cleaner (2007) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0896798/
This movie was a little different than what I expected. I popped it in to watch a Samuel L Jackson crime movie, and it turned out to be kind of a confusing run around where I was asking “Why?” for the first hour of the film. It seems like Jackson’s character was being sneaky just to further the plot line. It was a somewhat enjoyable ride with a very little payoff in the end.
Score: 3/5
Apocalypto (2006) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472043/
Big budget, emotional storyline, great visuals… this Mel Gibson directed movie does everything over the top. The plot covers the decline of the Mayans, and it left me wondering what parts of the movie was based on real occurrences and what was fiction. This movie is gritty, sweaty, and worth watching.
Score: 4/5
Nine Dead (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0959329/
You can tell from the start that this was a low budget movie. But, after the opening “capture the people” sequence, it was up to the actors to make the movie work. This movie reminded me of other films like the original Saw, Phone Booth, or Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope because of the one-room acting. It was somewhat interesting trying to solve the puzzle how the nine individuals related to each other, but the whole time I knew that once the secret was revealed it would be a single “a-ha” moment.  Pretty enjoyable.
Score: 3.5/10
Saw: The Final Chapter (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1477076/
I’ve followed the Saw series from the beginning thru the end. Some of the movies were way better than others, but I feel this movie put a decent close to the storyline. The gory traps were excellent, but I was kind of bummed about the survive/death ratio in this film compared to the others.  Overall, I would recommend this movie to someone who has watched and enjoyed the previous films in the series, but I would tell others to stay away.
Score: 3.5/5
Tron: Legacy (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1104001/
The sets, animation, and actors were beautiful, but the storyline was lackluster. When I heard Daft Punk did the score and there was a young Jeff Bridges in the film, I was very intrigued, and both of those aspects were satisfied.  Watching the sequel to Tron was similar to watching the new Star Wars Trilogy. When Tron and the original Star Wars movies were released, audiences were stunned with the visual effects they have never seen before.  Now, with the new version they wanted to have the same “ooooh-awwww. look at the pretty lights” factor they had in the past, but it did not have the storyline to back it up this time around.
Score: 3.5/5
My Name is Bruce (2007) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489235/
I love Bruce Campbell. I know he is a B-List star, and this movie was just making fun of his past films and persona, but this movie was sadly terrible. I understand what they were trying to do by making a “bad” movie, but this was a bad “bad” movie. I had many chuckles at the on-purpose ridiculous elements, but it was not enough to save it.
Score: 2/5
I love watching horror movies, and I’ve been watching a ton of Netflix streaming. Any recommendations on a few selections that you would like to see reviewed?
~Tommy Skaggs

I’ve had the chance to watch several movies in the last few days. Here’s a quick review of some of them:

Let Me In (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1228987/

This movie took a while to get rolling, but once it did, it turned out to be pretty decent. The two main characters worked really well together, and you could feel their emotions and fears come through the screen. In the end, it was a sad drama horror movie that was very enjoyable.

Score: 4/5

Trick ‘r Treat (2007) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0862856/

This is an excellent Halloween movie and is my new stand-by for years to come. There’s multiple campy storylines occurring at the same time and become interwoven at different points. The lines of lite horror, ridiculousness, and clever twists make this one to watch. One side note: I had a kick seeing Anna Paquin play a similar role in this film that she would play again a year later as Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood.

Score: 5/5

Cleaner (2007) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0896798/

This movie was a little different than what I expected. I popped it in to watch a Samuel L Jackson crime movie, and it turned out to be kind of a confusing run around where I was asking “Why?” for the first hour of the film. It seems like Jackson’s character was being sneaky just to further the plot line. It was a somewhat enjoyable ride with a very little payoff in the end.

Score: 3/5

Apocalypto (2006) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472043/

Big budget, emotional storyline, great visuals… this Mel Gibson directed movie does everything over the top. The plot covers the decline of the Mayans, and it left me wondering what parts of the movie was based on real occurrences and what was fiction. This movie is gritty, sweaty, and worth watching.

Score: 4/5

Nine Dead (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0959329/

You can tell from the start that this was a low budget movie. But, after the opening “capture the people” sequence, it was up to the actors to make the movie work. This movie reminded me of other films like the original Saw, Phone Booth, or Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope because of the one-room acting. It was somewhat interesting trying to solve the puzzle how the nine individuals related to each other, but the whole time I knew that once the secret was revealed it would be a single “a-ha” moment.  Pretty enjoyable.

Score: 3.5/10

Saw: The Final Chapter (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1477076/

I’ve followed the Saw series from the beginning thru the end. Some of the movies were way better than others, but I feel this movie put a decent close to the storyline. The gory traps were excellent, but I was kind of bummed about the survive/death ratio in this film compared to the others.  Overall, I would recommend this movie to someone who has watched and enjoyed the previous films in the series, but I would tell others to stay away.

Score: 3.5/5

Tron: Legacy (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1104001/

The sets, animation, and actors were beautiful, but the storyline was lackluster. When I heard Daft Punk did the score and there was a young Jeff Bridges in the film, I was very intrigued, and both of those aspects were satisfied.  Watching the sequel to Tron was similar to watching the new Star Wars Trilogy. When Tron and the original Star Wars movies were released, audiences were stunned with the visual effects they have never seen before.  Now, with the new version they wanted to have the same “ooooh-awwww. look at the pretty lights” factor they had in the past, but it did not have the storyline to back it up this time around.

Score: 3.5/5

My Name is Bruce (2007) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489235/

I love Bruce Campbell. I know he is a B-List star, and this movie was just making fun of his past films and persona, but this movie was sadly terrible. I understand what they were trying to do by making a “bad” movie, but this was a bad “bad” movie. I had many chuckles at the on-purpose ridiculous elements, but it was not enough to save it.

Score: 2/5

I love watching horror movies, and I’ve been watching a ton of Netflix streaming. Any recommendations on a few selections that you would like to see reviewed?

~Tommy Skaggs

Traveling… Location, Money, and Stress Levels

I love taking vacations from work. When I am able to score some days off I like to take a little trip. This summer, Justine and I went camping in state three times. Now, we are trying to plan a trip for the end of October. I am fine with just hitting some of our usual favorite spots like Ocean Shores, WA or Seaside, OR… but, she wants to go somewhere a little different, and on a plane.

When planning a vacation, I take three factors into consideration:

First, we decide what type of trip we want to take, and the general area. Can we go camping? Want to do something where we can drive to in a day? Do you want to go somewhere warmer? Do we want to fly somewhere? Disney? Once we figured out a general trip type, we will head to the Internet. For hotels and flights, I always use Travelocity.

Second, it’s money. We are not at a point in our lives where we have a ton of disposable income. So, the overall cost of the trip plays a factor.  Some of the questions we ask ourselves are: How much do we have to spend on this trip? Do we have any big bills (like a 6-month car insurance) coming soon? Would we rather use the money to buy a large ticket item and go on a small vacation? How much additional money will we spend on top of the flight and hotel?

Third, we figure the stress level of the trip. Since we live in Washington State, we are not going to fly to Florida on a 3-day weekend. The travel-to-enjoy ratio would be way off. The trip has to make sense, and fit within the amount of days off we have scheduled. I have come back from some trips more stressed and tired than when I initially left! Some questions we ponder: Are we overbooking our time, and not leaving any time to relax? Are we under booking our time and going to a boring area? If flying, is transportation easy on the other end of the flight? Will we be able to have a good time if the weather doesn’t cooperate with us?

In the past, we’ve visited Disneyland, Disney World, and Las Vegas and had a great time. We’ve also been to Ocean Shores, Lake Chelan, and Port Townsend and had a great time. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter how much you spend or where you go… it is all about enjoying life with the ones you love.  

Tommy Skaggs

Had a great weekend. Started off by going to the MTG Pre-Release tournament. I started at Card Kingdom, but they sold out of tournament slots. So, we ended up at Card Exchange. First time there, and I was pretty impressed with the store. I’ll have to check out their FNM sometime soon.
After that, I headed over to the High Dive to check out Heaven Generation. I’ve seen this band (and even played a few shows with them) a number of times, and they put on a great show.
Sunday, Justine and I went to Emerald Downs to watch the horse races. I’ve never been before, but I had a great time. We ended up walking out of there with more money in our pockets than when we came in.
Overall, excellent weekend.

Had a great weekend. Started off by going to the MTG Pre-Release tournament. I started at Card Kingdom, but they sold out of tournament slots. So, we ended up at Card Exchange. First time there, and I was pretty impressed with the store. I’ll have to check out their FNM sometime soon.

After that, I headed over to the High Dive to check out Heaven Generation. I’ve seen this band (and even played a few shows with them) a number of times, and they put on a great show.

Sunday, Justine and I went to Emerald Downs to watch the horse races. I’ve never been before, but I had a great time. We ended up walking out of there with more money in our pockets than when we came in.

Overall, excellent weekend.

 I’m teaching my wife how to play Magic the Gathering. After 4 games, she’s starting to understand, but is having some troubles with some of the basics. I was kinda excited when I ran across this at Target.The wrapper said it would have 2 pre-made 20-card decks and 2 boosters inside. It had 4 mini-packs that each contained 5 commons and 5 lands. We separated those, opened the boosters, and added cards from the boosters to make two 25-card decks and played them against each other.
We had a good time and it was only $10… but I would of rather had another booster pack or two for the same price.

I’m teaching my wife how to play Magic the Gathering. After 4 games, she’s starting to understand, but is having some troubles with some of the basics. I was kinda excited when I ran across this at Target.

The wrapper said it would have 2 pre-made 20-card decks and 2 boosters inside. It had 4 mini-packs that each contained 5 commons and 5 lands. We separated those, opened the boosters, and added cards from the boosters to make two 25-card decks and played them against each other.

We had a good time and it was only $10… but I would of rather had another booster pack or two for the same price.