Monday, April 14, 2014

Well this past week weather-wise was pretty nice and cool to cold.  Really enjoyed the chill after having such crazy heat waves for Winter but it looks like we will be warming up again very soon.  Not as bad as last week but still pretty warm during the day.  Mentioned this before, I just hope all of this doesn't mean we are in store for one of the hottest summers we have had.  Everything so far this year has been nothing short of crazy, no consistency at all in our traditional weather pattern.  Wonder if a lot of has to do with the quakes and the effects of the non-existent global warming.  Probably yes to both.  One thing I have noticed in the last two weeks though, the accuracy of the weather reporting has much improved!  They haven't been WAY off like in the past, I would say within 2 to 5 degrees on the weather and that is pretty good in my book.

Weekly Update:
Not much of a week that I can report
on or at least nothing of worth.  I guess I am in a lull of sorts but looking ahead, this coming week seems it will be pretty decently full of stuff going on.  I hope it doesn't get too out of control, I don't think it will but I guess you never know till it happens.  OH but one thing I have been doing a lot of this week, trying to catch up and finish the Star Wars animated saga of "The Clone Wars" on Netflix.  This series is so well written and the animation (to me) is pretty amazing.  The enemy droids during the first season of the show really annoyed me but after that initial season, they stopped being as stupid.  They are suppose to be the comic relief of the show but why?  They are droids, soldiers and people are dying left and right.  It is a pretty serious show but it is also pretty amazing in my opinion.  They originally cancelled or stopped the series after five seasons and did a sort of half season of six but never aired it.  Then Netflix got them and they have all the complete and incomplete seasons so working on finishing those up fairly soon.

At the movies:
After the dust has settled from the big box office battle, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" wins for the 2nd weekend in a row with 41.4 million more.  Did not expect the drop to be as high with all the rave reviews and reactions but the film did easily break the 100 mil cume mark as it now makes its way to 200 mil.  At a very close 2nd place is Rio 2 with 39 mil for its debut which puts it in the expected range.  At a distant #3 is Oculus with 12 mil and pretty much what I had pegged it at.  Also new, at #4, is Draft Day with 9.8 mil and below expectations for everyone.  Rounding off the top 5 is "Divergent" still holding on with another 7.5 mil.

Quote of the week:
"Content is king, but context is God." - Gary Vaynerchuk

Facts & Tips:
Manatee's eyes close in a circular motion, much like the aperture of a camera.

"Sha'uri, what happened here?" - Alexis Cruz as Skaara in "Stargate."

Monday, April 07, 2014

Well I guess the heat is coming.  Recently the days were very nice a cool, even had a spot of rain for an hour or two but now the days are starting to get warmer with the nights freezing.  What has really been going on is the continued aftershocks from the earthquake last week!  We have had over 100 earthquakes and of those, over a dozen above 4.0.  But nothing is more crazy than Chili having an 8.2 off their shores which caused a tsunami right after that.  Their aftershocks have been ranging in the 6.0 and higher range!  Some major shifting going on lately and it has been up and down the coast.  Hopefully the worst is over but you can never tell with earthquakes.

Weekly Update:
Sad week as a rising comic and legendary film actor pass away.  Both on Sunday as larger than life comedian John Pinette passed away after some health issues.  He was a very funny stand-up comedian with a very short film and TV career.  He was 50.

The big one of the week is film legend and Hollywood royalty, Mickey Rooney, passed.  He has graced the big screen for nearly 80 years and started his career as a child actor.  He became one of MGM's contract actors for several years and I remember seeing a picture of about 30 A-List stars back in the day in a group photo when I worked at MGM and saw his young face in that group.  To me he was one of the original "triple threats" as they dubbed those who can sing, dance and act.  Rooney has been nominated for four Academy Awards and has received two special Oscars.  He was also a veteran and entertained troops in the mid 40's.  His list of credits is too many to name and there are too many favorites that missing one of them would be unintentionally bad.  Rooney was one of Hollywood's last few remaining legends.  He was 93.

At the movies:
Has Summer officially started?  Each year it does get pushed forward more and more that it will get to a point where Winter/Award season ends, Summer starts!  Disney/Marvel takes the gold this weekend as Captain America: The Winter Soldier earns the #1 spot with a hefty 96.2 million for its debut.  Just shy of my prediction of close to 100 mil!!  Drop to #2 is "Noah" with another 17 mil but should still hit the 100 mil cume mark in the next couple of weeks.  Average drop to #3 is "Divergent" with another 13 mil but good enough to break the 100 mil cume mark.  Small drop to #4 is "God's Not Dead" earned 7.7 mil extra and also only half the screens most have so not to bad at all.  Rounding off the top 5 and going up in rank is "The Grand Budapest Hotel" earning another 6.3 mil.

Quote of the week:
"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

Facts & Tips:
Turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth can save up to 5 gallons of water.

"Pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, Pumps Your Blood!" - Anson Williams as Potsie Weber in the TV series "Happy Days."

Monday, March 31, 2014

EARTHQUAKE EDITION!!!

So since Friday night, there has been non-stop earthquakes pretty much all over the world that average around a 4.0 magnitude.  Several have hit 5 and a few just over 5.0.  Normally after a decent size quake you feel a few minor moves and that is but this time around, they continue to shake things up and stir stuff around. I have never seen it like this before and the bad part is when you are trying to sleep and it constantly wakes you up.  The water main on my street broke due to the initial 5.4 which was centered once city over.  A bunch of stuff fell off the shelves but luckily everything worth breaking fell on to a dog bed somewhere or carpeted area.  It sure has been a bit crazy to say the least.

Weekly Update:
Well this past week was a huge roller-coaster and not just from the earthquake but from a lot of driving around and a lot of walking!  So the week started on Monday night for when I went to the Blizzard Entertainment launch party for "Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls" expansion in Los Angeles at an old church and it was pretty amazing.  They had never done anything like that before and one would have never guessed.  While there though I ran into a couple of folks:

*Grant Imahara - best known from the show "Mythbusters" and an awesome guy.
*Felicia Day - best known from youtube stardom and she was OK.

Then on Tuesday night I traveled to Las Vegas for my annual convention there.  It was pretty lackluster this time around and I have to say, people at Coca-Cola are just plain mean.  But despite that, I managed to run into:

*Chadwich Boseman - from the film "42" and a really awesome guy.
*Andy Serkis - best known as Gollum from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and a way cool guy!
*Kevin Costner - from "Dancing with Wolves" and a nice guy.

After that, I rushed back home because I had to help with the Monsterpalooza convention at the Burbank Marriott on Friday and Saturday.  That was pretty tiring too with the earthquake and no water situation thrown in there but I did manage to fun into a couple more folks:

*Dee Snider - best known from the 80's rock band Twisted Sister and a really cool guy.
*Rutger Hauer - from "Blade Runner" and a pretty funny guy.

At the movies:
HOLY moly, religion takes the boat this week, literally!  In at #1 is the epic story of Noah as it earns a nice 44 million this weekend.  Above expectations but I did mention it should be plus what they pegged it out and carry its cargo through Easter pretty well.  Average drop to #2 is "Divergent" with another 26.5 mil as it falls just shy of the 100 mil cume.  It should reach it by Tuesday though.  Small drop to #3 is "Muppets Most Wanted" with 11.4 mil as it struggles along.  With the varying Spring Break's happening though it should only see smaller than average drops though.  At #4 is "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" with another 9.5 mil as it almost hits 100 mil cume ... may take a full week to reach it though. Rounding off the top 5 is "God's Not Dead" with another 9.1 mil and should also carry to Easter but the home market is where this film will go big.
Movies that did not make the top 5:
Just one wide release fell very short, coming in at #7 is Sabotage with only 5.3 mil.  This fell WAY below industry expectations by almost 10 mil but it was pretty obvious it would.  Not all action films with a former big movie star will be great.  I did think it would do a hair better but honestly not by that much.  At #12 Lionsgate released a less than 1,000 screen Cesar Chavez which only did 3 mil (less than $5,000 per screen) so this film will probably wrap up soon with those numbers.

Quote of the week:
"A 'startup' is a company that is confused about -1. What its product is, 2. Who its customers are, 3. How to make money." - David McClure

Facts & Tips:
Spiny lobsters migrate in groups of 50 or more, forming a conga line on the ocean floor.

"Well, you can call me Erin, but I'm not gonna respond. So look, I wasn't planing on making you feel welcome here, but then I saw the sticker and I thought, "Hey, maybe the principal's daughter isn't such a big loser after all."" - Jessica Stroup as Erin Silver from the remade TV series "90210."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Well the weather cooled down as we are now officially in the Spring Season!  Thursday was the Spring Equinox which changes the seasons if you believe there are seasons anymore depending on where you live.  But I will say that this past week the weather got a LOT cooler, mostly in the high 60's to low 70's for the day with a lot of clouds and cold winds.  It was a nice change compared to the recent heat waves we have been getting and now we just need a little rain to clean up our streets and supply us some water, lots of rain please!

Weekly Update:
Not much of a week as far as I can remember ... what did I do??  Hmmm ... lot of errands, had to fix some fixture covers.  Can't think of much, how odd is that?  Yeah I can't think of an exciting thing at all I did this past week ... that is good, right?  Well, it is OK for now but I know I will be very bored, wait, I am already bored!  Idleness is not good, never is.  OH, I did drop off
two boxes (medium size) of books at the public library donation center along with some old VHS tapes ... YES, VHS!  They said they take everything so why not?  I hate just throwing stuff away if it can still be used so there you go.  That is what I did this past week, donated a bunch of stuff and hope to donate more as I sift through all the junk in the house.

At the movies:
At the box office this week things landed pretty much as expected for the most part.  In at #1 is Divergent with a decent 56 mil for it's debut.  Just below expectations however almost on the money for my guess.  Word-of-mouth is fair on this film and should suffer a more than average drop-off next week.  In at #2 is Muppets Most Wanted with 16.5 mil, well below expectations all around but with additional spring breaks coming up, it should hold fairly well.  Slight drop to #3 is "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" with another 11.7 mil as it makes it way to 100 mil cume.  Average drop to #4 is "300: Rise of an Empire" with an extra 8.7 mil as it crawls to hit 100 mil cume.  New at #5 in just under 800 screens is God's Not Dead with a solid 8.6 mil.  Word-of-mouth is good on this film so it should do well over the next couple of weeks as we get closer to Easter.

Quote of the week:
"I think one of the reasons I'm popular again is because I'm wearing a tie.  You have to be different." - Tony Bennett

Facts & Tips:
There are more chickens than people in the world.

"Bosnia.  They don't have roads, but they have Facebook." - Rashida Jones as Marylin Delpy in "The Social Network."

Monday, March 17, 2014

HEAT WAVE!!!  Yeah so this week was yet another hot summer in the winter time frame.  We still have about a week of Winter left before we technically hit Spring!  BUT, temps during the week were in the low 80's but the weekend was the mid to low 90's!  I hate this weather during this time ... it is suppose to get cooler this coming week but still, seriously.  It got windy a day too which usually means fire season but luckily nothing happened.  That would have been bad too with wind and then followed by two days of massive heat!  Does this mean that the actual Summer this year will hit 100 degrees most of the days?  I am not prepared for that.  I love AC but no matter where you are, its expensive and then go from cold to hot to cold to hot, that can't be good either.

Weekly Update:
Here is some sad Hollywood news ... the voice of the movie trailer, Hal Douglas, passed away on Thursday. The name may not be familiar but his voice was.  He was the one who coined the phrase, "In a world ..." in so many movie trailers (or previews) for hundreds, if not thousands, of films.  He was the master of movie preview voice-overs and made it his career and life.  Back in 2010 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and also suffered a stroke which took much of his ability to speak.  He was the voice of pop culture in film for a generation and we will continue to hear his voice through his predecessors.  Hal was 89.

At the movies:
Going up the charts this week with just a minor drop in revenue is "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" earning an extra 21.2 million at the box office. This brings the cume to 63.2 and it could hit the 100 mil mark.  Average drop to #2 is "300: Rise of an Empire" with another 19.1 mil as it makes its way to 100 mill as well.  New at #3 is the action film Need for Speed with only 17.8 mil to open, nearly half of all expectations.  I guess the TV star's fame fell short of the transition from small to big screen.  Holding ground at #4 is "Non-Stop" with another 10.6 mil as it tries to crawl to 100 mil but will probably fall just shy of it.  Rounding off the top 5 is Tyler Perry's Single Moms Club earning 8.3 mil this weekend, again another film that fell way below expectations.  One factor that most may have forgotten to calculate in was Saturday night.  With St. Patrick's Day on a Monday, everyone was out celebrating Saturday instead of going to the movies.
 
One movie to mention that had a limited release this weekend was the Kickstarter film The Veronica Mars Movie that came out on about 300 screens and only made 2 million (#10 spot).  That is less than 7,000 per screen so was that campaign to get this film successful?  Sure, because it got made.  But was the film itself successful at the box office?  No, not with those numbers and "Mars-mellows" who supported the film probably didn't want to have to pay again to see it which makes sense to me.  But we continue to not see a successful Kickstarter film as of yet and everyone thought this would be the one.

Quote of the week:
"Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up." - James Belasco

Facts & Tips:
The name of the city we call Bangkok is 115 letters long in the Thai language.

"The internet ... is that the one with the e-mail?" - John Michael Higgins as Corey Taft in "For Your Consideration."