Archive | August, 2009

The Latest to Hit the Big Screen

24 Aug

So Im chiming in tonight with a list of some up and coming released, soon to be released, and later to be released movies that caught my attentiong recently. If you know me, you know I love movies, and these are must see’s on my list in the near future. So without further ado, here we go.

9-Tim-burton

First on the list is one I am particularily excited about. ‘9’ is an animated film about the future, when the world is on the verge of ending, a new beginning takes place. With producer Tim Burton you know this film will have that creative dark edge that we have all grown to love about his films. Shane Acker directs this film with Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly and Jennifer Connelly voice overs added to the mix. Comes out September 2009. Check out the trailer here.

Next up, you may or may not know this story well, many of us read this as a child, a first book maybe. A story that enriched our imaginations, and stayed with us over the years; ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is coming to life this October. Catherine O’Hara and Forest Whitaker work with director Spike Jonze in this film. As with many long loved stories turned movies, there is high expectations that have to be met when you tackle a story held so close by many. Check out the trailer for yourself here.

Apocalyptic gurus unite, ‘2012’ is coming to theaters this November. According to the ancient Mayan Calender, the world may end on December 21, 2012. So sell the house, stock up on alphagetti, and get your FAC, cause there’s not much time left! From the creator of movies like ‘Independance Day’ and ‘The Day after Tomorrow’ would you expect anything other than a CGI loaded action movie about the destruction of the earth as we know it!? Check out John Cusack starring in this film, here’s the trailer!

Pixar seeded the industry with the first one, and after the second, many wondered how long it would take until ‘Toy Story 3’ came around. With Tim Allen and Tom Hanks back, it’s sure to draw a loyal following. You’ll have to wait until 2010 to catch this movie though, but the teaser trailer to keep you interested in the mean time can be found here.

It may look cheesy, it may not be the best movie of 2009, but Im sure it will be entertaining none the less. An action movie involving the whole shabang of ninja weaponry and martial arts, ‘Ninja Assassin’ comes out this November. Korean celebrity “Rain” stars in this movie, which may drag millions to the box office with his appearance alone. Little known to the western world, Rain is already big news across Asia, and his role in this movie will surely excite the masses. Its like the movie ‘Hitman’, Ninja Style! Check out the trailer here!

220px-Hayao_MiyazakiHe has been credited as a master of animation, and one of the most influential fim makers of our time. The famed Japanese story teller Hayou Miyazaki is bringing adveture to life in a new animated film recently released this August 2009. ‘Ponyo’ follows in the footsteps of animated greats such as the academy award winning ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘Princess Mononoke’. Disney partnered up with Studio Ghibli to bring this Japanese film to the western world, with the familiar voices of Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, and Tina Fey. Watch the trailer here.

the-cove

Kicking ass at the Sundance film Festival, a controversial movie is stirring up a storm of arguements across youtube. ‘The Cove’ is a documentary about the capture and slaughter of thousands of dolphins annually in Japan. Investigative journalism at its best, this movie employs the tactics of talented freedivers, special effects artists and adventure filmmakers, you can check out the website: http://thecovemovie.com/. Or check out the trailer here.

Leaving out mentions of such movies as ‘Astro Boy’, ‘District 9’, ‘Daybreakers’, and ‘Inglorious Bastards’. But surely movies I will be taking in as well.

Either way this fall and winter appear to be packed full of cinematic entertainment, perfect for when your hibernating on the couch during those cold nights. Happy watching!

Alyssa Bernal

20 Aug

A quick shout out to Alyssa Bernal for being a talented singer. I stumbled across her on youtube, and was duly intrigued. So check out her channel on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/hchsknights08

And take a look at her latest original:

Eat more Popcorn, It’s Good for You!

18 Aug

istockphoto_2709999_popcorn_series

Maybe I’m the only one, but I have a strange habit. When my friends and I are watching a movie, we sometimes get a bowl of popcorn going, everyone loves to snack on something when your watching a good movie right? But as the plot thickens, and my peers become absorbed by the story, I have an ulterior motive. I clutch that bowl of popcorn and single handidly eat the rest until I am meticulously picking out the half popped kernels and devouring them. The only evidence is a handful of unpopped kernels at the bottom of the bowl rolling around as a distant reminder of the grandeur that  bowl used to be. I then ease the bowl back onto the coffee table, hoping nobody noticed.

I used to feel bad about gorging myself on the deliciousness of popcorn. But today that all changes. According to a study released today by Professor Joe Vinson and his team at University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, popcorn can be better for you than you think.

Polyphenols are healthy antioxidant’s, and until recenlty have only been attributed to plants and have mainly been associated with the skin and seeds of fruits and vegetables. But this new research suggests that whole grains contain a substancial amount of polyphenols, among 30 brands of supermarket cereal, all contained polyphenols. And popcorn contains the highest amount (2.6%) of polyphenols of any snack foods. Polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties and scientists also belive they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other ailments.

“Early researchers thought the fiber was the active ingredient for these benefits in whole grains — the reason why they may reduce the risk of cancer and coronary heart disease,” says Vinson. “But recently, polyphenols emerged as potentially more important. Breakfast cereals, pasta, crackers and salty snacks constitute over 66 percent of whole grain intake in the U.S. diet,” he continues.

You can read the Forbes Article here, and the WebMD article here.

Cereals containing cinnamon and cocoa had much higher levels of antioxidants as well. Turns out all those nights where I polished off the popcorn bowl, I was actually doing my body good. So with that said, I no longer have to feel guilty about my late night bowl of cinnamon toasted life cereal, or eating the rest of the bowl of popcorn.

So get that Orville Redenbacher poppin’ sit down, put in a movie and start munching, and put your mind at ease, your doing your body good!

Tony Jaa Still Kicking

18 Aug

While not extremely well known, Tony Jaa became mildly popular in North America after his film Ong Bak. We had seen the likes of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li master martial arts on screen, but now there was this new kid from Thailand, who grew up working the rice fields with his family spending his childhood practicing martial arts and looking after the family elephants.

356tony-jaa-ongbak-wrist-binding

Tony Jaa broke out onto the stage in 2003 with lead role in the movie Ong Bak, in he which did all of his own stunts, with no mechanical or CG help. He introduced a fighting style which the public had known little about, mixing new age moves with Muay Boran, an ancient style of Muay Tha.

His second movie was released in 2005 under a myriad of titles depending on the country in which it was released, but known as “The Protector” in North America. It was the most successful Thai film released in the U.S and grossed $25,715,096 USD worldwide. But despite the positive perception of his first 2 films, Tony Jaa has a long ways to go to reach the status of the likes of the Hong Kong stars we’ve seen in the past.

Tony Jaa is showing us that he isn’t giving up yet, with the DVD release of Ong Bak 2 in North America in October 2009. Initially thought to be the sequel to Ong Bak, the movie is actually a prequal, and the setting takes place in ancient Thailand. Check out the trailer here.

You can expect Ong Bak 3 soon as well, with filming happening in 2009 which is rumored to push the fighting scene limits even further. The future looks bright for Tony Jaa as he works his way into the eyes of the world as the next martial arts master.

Your commute home just got easier…

16 Aug

If Barclays had its way, it would really be this easy to get home after work.

Who wouldnt want to ride a waterslide all the way to your house…

Wondering how they did it? Check out the making of video:

Life On The Water

13 Aug

With the majority of people living on land, it may seem strange to know that there are many who prefer life on the water. It is a lifestyle that isn’t so strange for many, but so normal for others. For example; south east asia is dotted with entire villages floating on the water in places like Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Seattle has harbors full of floating homes, which have the same amenities as land based homes, and many boast views no house in the hills can ever offer. A location minutes from downtown, with window filled bedrooms overlooking the water and an unobstructed view of the Seattle Skyline is a reality for some.

seattle-houseboat

While other popular houseboat locations include Amsterdam, and New Jersey, one of the more unique locations to houseboat is Yellowknife, Canada. In Yellowknife, as you look out onto the great slave lake, you’ll notice a handful of floating houses dotted across the bay. Having been through Yellowknife countless times these last 5 years for work, Ive had the pleasure of viewing these barge style houseboats first hand. With no marina to tie up in, these houses must have sturdy anchors that prevent them from being pushed out to the dangerous open waters of the big lake. Amenities are slim, electricity comes from solar panels, windmills and generators, while many boast wood furnaces and stoves for heat in the extreme winter. Transportation is another interesting factor, in the dead of winter many residents can drive across the frozen waters right up to their houses, in summertime boats are the more feasible option. The real tricky part comes in the freeze-thaw periods in spring and fall, where a combination of paddling and walking couple with dragging your canoe with one leg always inside the canoe incase the ice gives way. One of the many challenges associated with life on the water.

DB_houseboatsOfYellowknife

Houseboats come in a variety of types and sizes, some more navigable than others, some with hot tubs and waterslides, others with rooftop terraces, and floor to ceiling windows. It’s a unique way to live, but its not for everyone.

But for many there is no other life, living on the water can be a lifestyle full of adventure and picturesque views, of self sufficiency and a feeling of pride. It’s the houseboat life.