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Topics - Chiprocks1

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1
Books / Petty: The Biography: by Warren Zanes (2015)
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:00:29 am »
Petty: The Biography
4 Stars out of 5





With the untimely passing of Tom Petty, I have spent a lot of time revisiting one of my favorite musicians by way of music and that also means reading about his life story. And with Petty: The Biography, you get a really good picture of the what the man was in and out of the Rockstar life. Warren Zanes does a great job in telling Tom's story. As I've read in press releases, this is the only officially endorsed book from Petty himself. It's well written, making for a very fast read. As much as I wanted to hear about Tom's backstory, I wanted to hear more about the Heartbreakers. I've been following Tom and his band since Junior High School and the band itself has been a mystery to me to some extent. Sure, I knew some stuff about them...but what is laid out bare in the book was pretty eye opening. Obviously the biggest think that Petty fans are going to want to read about is his relationship to Stan Lynch (Original Drummer) and needless to say, there is a lot to unpack here. I always knew they were butting heads...I just didn't know how much of a colossal dick Stan was and still is to this day. The mind games he would play and pit other band members against each other just leaves me scratching my head. I don't get the animosity he had toward Tom and then later Mike Campbell. You have the best gig in the world and yet you choose to sabotage the band. It's cutting one nose off to spite your face situation. Anyway, a lot of great stories for everyone involved: Benmont, Ron, Mike and Howie all get their time in these pages. The revelation that Stevie Nicks would have left Fleetwood Mac to join the Heartbreakers was a shock to me. Definitely worth checking out from your Library.



2
DVD's & Blu-rays / The Fate of the Furious (2017)
« on: November 11, 2017, 07:31:21 pm »
The Fate of the Furious (2017)
3 Stars out of 5


Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GvX2uexGkA


Right of the bat, I have to point out that there is a MASSIVE void in The Fate of the Furious with the absence of Paul Walker. There is no getting around this. Throw in the fact that Jordana Brewster is also MIA, the canyon is even wider. I expected this to happen with her. You can't have her still in the franchise without Paul's character. It would just point out the fact that he wasn't around when their characters are living a peaceful life now. I miss them both as most fans of the series do. With that out of the way, onto the flick itself. I mentioned in Furious 7 how much of a cartoon the series was turning into. Well, take everything that happens in Furious 7 and multiply that by 1000 and you have an inkling of what Furious 8 is. This movie is so over the top ridiculous in it's stunts and practicality. You definitely have to check your brain at the door before you sit down for this one. I'm not exaggerating here in how over the top it gets, from the "Zombie" Cars in the city to the Submarine Chase. It's out there. The movie serves up a lot of wow moments. It's an exciting 2 hour thrill ride. Charlize Theron is a great addition to the series and is sure to come back for more (I hope).  Helen Mirren was a nice surprise...playing against type. Well, she got a taste of that in Red. Anyway, the movie is fun...but I can't give it more than 3 Stars due to the fact that both Paul and Jordana are sorely missed. FYI, I absolutely knew that Dom (Vin Disel) was going to name his kid 'Brian'. It was so obvious where they were taking this. It was a nice touch. Worth a Rent.

3
DVD's & Blu-rays / The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)
« on: November 10, 2017, 06:08:44 pm »
The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)
3 Stars out of 5


Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAvCgVR0gIM

Thank God that Kristen Stewart is nowhere to be found in The Huntsman: Winter's War. I can't stand her and was the biggest liability in Snow White and the Huntsman. I could probably rant on how much I loathed her for a good hour. But that's for another day. This is about The Huntsman: Winter's War. Really didn't know what to expect given the first flick, Initially my thought was "is this sequel really warranted". At least I thought it was a Sequel. And then it starts and it's a Prequel. And then it nears the end and suddenly it's a Sequel. Really wasn't expecting it to bounce back and forth like that. I knew the movie got bad reviews and it's why I waited so long to bother checking this out. Nothing else was available...so, here we are. I actually thought it was a fun flick. Far from perfect....but not as bad as it's been made out to be. Most of the Special FX were done very well...with the exception of those "Gorilla Guards" or whatever they are called. They looked way to rubbery. Not good. As for everything else...it was fun. Emily Blunt was good...if a bit limited in what she could do. Chris Hemsworth is his usual dependable self. Jessica Chastain was a nice addition. But it's Charlize Theron that owns whatever scene she is in. You can't take your eyes off of her. Worth a Rent.

4
DVD's & Blu-rays / Alien: Covenant (2017)
« on: November 08, 2017, 05:42:37 am »
Alien: Covenant
3 Stars out of 5


Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svnAD0TApb8

For the first time, in a long time, I'm actually quite confused about whether or not I liked a movie and that is the case with Alien: Covenant. As with all Alien flicks, the setup takes way too long and is damn slow. Expected that. And then it starts to pick up and gain some steam and then....it goes off the rails because it felt like Ridley Scott was shoehorning to much stuff into the flick for the masses to make up for Prometheus, which I never had a problem with. I actually liked it. Anyway, in Alien: Covenant, it just felt like random stuff was being thrown against the wall in an effort to please those naysayers. Furthermore, it felt too reminiscent of what has already been done with regards to plot and characters and setups and "payoffs". The whole David Vs. Walter plot just seemed way too convenient for what transpires. I just don't know how I feel about this movie. Maybe with some needed time away from this viewing, I can revisit the flick and see how it plays the second time around. I think I just wanted it to be more along the lines of what we got in Prometheus instead of what we have already seen in Alien 1-4. But then again, I guess that's what most people want. Anyway, flick does look fantastic and the sets are awesome. Definitely worth a Rent. Biggest WTF moment of course is James Franco, who I had no idea was in this.

5
DVD's & Blu-rays / Aftermath (2017)
« on: November 04, 2017, 06:26:00 pm »
Aftermath (2017)
2 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN8toxhSn9Y

I totally forgot that I had Aftermath on hold until I picked it up at the Library and didn't even remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger was in this. As soon as I did remember, what popped into my mind was "oh, it's that airplane disaster where he looks for the guy that caused it". And that right there is the entire movie. I remember when I first saw the Trailer saying to myself, how are they going to make this an entire movie? Needless to say, this in itself doesn't merit a feature length film. I'm giving the flick 2 Stars because it's long, boring and doesn't payoff. I knew it wouldn't given how they were setting it up. When you get to the "moment" it's building toward, there is no satisfaction for either the character or the moviegoer. It's a downer and the ending itself was just....odd in how it ends abruptly. With that said, the performances by Arnold and Scoot McNairy were good. But the movie really shouldn't exist. It's pointless. I'll never watch this again and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

6
DVD's & Blu-rays / CHiPs (2017)
« on: October 27, 2017, 10:21:03 pm »
CHiPs (2017)
2 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NErwOWW7aCE


My retro night concludes with CHiPs, which by the way was a show that I loved as a kid. So for that very reason I had a vested interest in what this would be. Unfortunately, it wasn't something I'd be proud of. Kinda. I will say that both Dax Shepard and Michael Peña have solid chemistry together and do offer up some pretty good laughs here and there. But this is a Dick and Fart jokes movie and nothing more than that. The main plot was pretty thin and didn't really gives us much in backstory for any kind of set up or arc. Unlike Baywatch, which I watched earlier tonight, CHiPs didn't elicit the same fun time I did earlier. It was serviceable...but not something I'd watch again. Given that this was written and directed by Dax, that can mean only one thing....well, two things. A cameo from Kristen Bell as well as cameos from both of their notable series: Veronica Mars and Parenthood. The other cameo that everyone was waiting for comes in the final scene with Erik Estrada. Kind of bummed that Larry Wilcox and Robert Pine were not involved. But then again....they escaped a bullet by not being involved.

7
DVD's & Blu-rays / Baywatch (2017)
« on: October 27, 2017, 05:13:20 pm »
Baywatch (2017)
3 Stars our of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G25VrMdArlU

I went into Baywatch with very low expectations in spite of a fun, exciting Trailer. Even with that, I knew exactly what I would be getting. But when word began coming out from critics, fans, whoever ripping this movie as the worst of the year, my expectations went even lower. Well, having just watched this, it's nowhere near as bad as most people have made it out to be. Really not sure what prompted such harsh reviews. There are 5 movies from 2017 that I would say belong in the "Worst of the Year" category. This isn't one of them. It's in year with other recent TV Series reboots like 21 Jumpstreet. Is Baywatch as good as that one? No. But Baywatch provided a lot of laugh out loud moments that were truly funny. Surprisingly so. Dwayne Johnson is his usually reliable self here playing up basically the same role he has in all his flicks. This is definitely a worthy Rent. I'd definitely watch this again if I came across it channel surfing for sure. It's basically a Dick and Fart joke movie and sometimes that all I need when I'm not in the mood for anything highbrow or serious. I'm not opposed to a sequel. Kelly Rohrbach is my new crush.

8
DVD's & Blu-rays / All Eyez on Me (2017)
« on: October 22, 2017, 07:50:55 am »
All Eyez on Me (2017)
3 Stars out or 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsrOCzUwcjE

All Eyez on Me is decent, but I had a lot of problems with the writing, especially the dialogue which was atrocious. Honestly, I this is exactly the kind of end result I was expecting here based on the Trailer. This is on par with something you'd get as a movie of the week on TV. This is only slightly better than the dreck we have gotten from MTV Films, which are really bad. The other thing I have issues with is how flimsy the script is. It glosses over so many things in Tupac Shakur's life that if you don't have a basic knowledge of the man, you are going to miss out on a lot of stuff. Why they chose to rush through everything is baffling. Pacing and editing was a mess in some spots. With that said, there are some interesting and entertaining scenes throughout. But it's not going to rise above a very generous 3 Stars here, which most of that going to Demetrius Shipp Jr's performance as Tupac. The resemblance is uncanny.

9
DVD's & Blu-rays / The Founder (2016)
« on: October 15, 2017, 11:11:25 am »
The Founder (2016)
4 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX2uz2XYkbo



I have a personal connection to the Kroc Family in that they have been part of it because of their ownership of the Padres for 3/4 of my life. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Ray Kroc. Not even close. Turns out most of what I knew was just bullet points. Watching The Founder, I kept saying to myself that he was his era's version of Mark Zuckerberg in that he got the idea from another and more or less hijacks it, calling it his own (where the "Founder" name comes from) and making billions in the process. It's a bit more nuanced here and isn't as cut and dried as that. Ray may have the more important ingredient of 'persistence', but he is far from being a genius. He just happens to be a lucky SOB that happened to come across other people that knew their sh*t and told him what to do for him to capitalize on it. You have to marvel at how lucky he was. But you also have to feel bad for the McDonald's Brothers in their shortsightedness. I think it's noble they wanted to be good, hard working, honest guys and do it the "right" way. But the fact is, they blew it because they couldn't see all the angles that would lead to their ouster. And how would they be able to see those angles when even Ray didn't know what to do until pointed in the right direction by others. Michael Keaton is fantastic in the lead role and John Lee Hancock is his usual awesome self in the director's chair. Highly recommend this as a Rent. 4 Stars out of 5.


10
DVD's & Blu-rays / Split (2016)
« on: October 14, 2017, 09:56:50 pm »
Split (2016)
4 Stars out of 5

Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUMQ9jW2qAw


Split is easily the best thing M. Night Shyamalan has done in years....going as far back as Signs, which was 14 years ago. That's a lot of sh*tty movies to sit through since then and I had all but given up on him ever doing anything worthy again. But that's not to say that I wasn't somewhat p*ssed off about the movie to some degree. Yes, Shyamalan is back to form, tapping his inner Alfred Hitchc*ck. But my gripe is that they made this movie PG-13. Sorry, but you can't make a convincing "horror / thriller" in this bracket. Because I know what a film maker can and can't get away with, I spent more than 2/3rd of the film never once believing that any harm would come to the girls in the basement. Granted, people meet their demise at the hands of the Beast....but I still say they f*cked up big time.

This is how I would have done it. Make it an R-Rated flick, have the Beast kill off a throwaway character at the beginning of the flick and then kidnap the girls. This sets up the intensity needed for the rest of the movie because now we have seen what the Beast is capable of and will be hanging on every move the girls make as they fight to survive. But no, since it was PG-13...I never once felt anything remotely close to what one is suppose to feel watching a movie in this genre. Okay, with that said, the movie begins and ends with James McAvoy's masterful performance. He is worth definitely checking out. Now for the big twist. I reeeeeeeeally wished I didn't know about the Unbreakable connection. I really wished I could have truly experience the twist as it was meant to be. F*ck people and their spoilers. F*CK! As for the final scene in the diner, it was awesome to see Bruce Willis reprising his role. Can't wait to see what Glass has in store for us. 4 Stars out of 5.

11
Television / The X-Files (Season 11 - 2018)
« on: October 08, 2017, 03:44:34 pm »
The X-Files Season 11 | OFFICIAL TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1qoNsgM0lg&list=LLTVgXy5pOO9ff20O1Z1QPMw&index=1

3 things caught my eye in this trailer: Old CSM, Young CSM with Alien and the biggie.....the "return" of Langley. I know this is a misdirection and he is not back in the traditional sense. But then again....anything is possible with this show. I mean, they did bring back CSM from the great beyond. So, if Langley is in fact back....I want The Lone Gunmen as a whole to return.

12
Music / Tom Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017)
« on: October 02, 2017, 02:09:44 pm »
Tom Petty dead at 66

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbIhnnIs6XA

This day just keeps getting sh*ttier. I'm beyond stunned to learn of his passing. I've been a life long fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for pretty much my entire life. I love the guy. A true rockstar and musician with a catalog of songs to swim in. I remember the first time I ever heard of Tom Petty....but I didn't know until 3 years later that it was him. I was in Elementary School...a kid brought a tape deck to school and he played this one song which was about the coolest thing I had ever heard before. I didn't know who it was or even what the name of the song was. I heard it just that one time....but it always stayed in my head. But the first time I discovered this guy Tom was when the video for You Got Lucky aired on MTV and that song just...thrilled me every time. I was hooked. And then I started looking at his back catalog and came across Damn the Torpedoes and that's when I finally found out who and what the name of that song was from 3 years earlier: Refugee.

RIP Mr. Petty. You have given me a lifetime of incredible music and songs that still mark the time for me. You will be missed....but never forgotten. Gonna crank up some Petty tunes today in your honor.

13
DVD's & Blu-rays / A Dog's Purpose (2017)
« on: October 01, 2017, 06:09:40 pm »
A Dog's Purpose (2017)


Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUtiUHt5KSE


As soon as I saw the trailer for A Dog's Purpose, back when it dropped, I knew this would be a good movie to see. Who doesn't love a good Dog flick? And the idea that it would be about a dog being reborn as different dogs, living different lives had a lot of potential for me. Glad to say that A Dog's Purpose delivered in every way imaginable. This is a great family film, and does have a lot moments that will tug at the heartstrings, but it doesn't shy away with regards to animal neglect, which did p*ss me off because you grow to love Bailey and to see him being treated so badly made me want to punch the owner. Not something I ever thought I say while watching a Family Film. As for the entirety of the flick, strap yourself in and be warned, you will be brought to tears a few times throughout. The ending was fantastic. I won't spoil it, but it's definitely worth checking this out. I highly recommend this for sure. Definitely a flick I'll watch again. 5 Stars out of 5. Great cast too. Josh Gad as the voice of Bailey, also has KJ Apa, Britt Robertson and Dennis Quaid as well.

14
DVD's & Blu-rays / Ghost in the Shell (2017)
« on: September 30, 2017, 06:20:47 pm »
Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4VmJcZR0Yg

Ghost in the Shell is not a good movie. It's bad. It ranks up there as the worst of 2017. Granted, I haven't seen every movie released this year. But I'm gonna go out on a ledge and say it's the worst. I thought the the biggest problem I would have with this one is the casting of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get pass this. This was wrong in every way imaginable. And yes, I'm a fan of her's...but even I knew this was not the way to go when news first broke that she was signed to this. Ironically enough, this was the least objectionable aspect of the film. This is devoid of any personality. Boring for a lot of reasons. Bad writing, bad direction, bad dialogue, bad pacing, bad.....everything. A turd in spite of the "visual" eye candy, which isn't saying much. This too was meh. Skip. 1 Star out of 5.

15
Television / Gotham (Season 4 - 2017)
« on: September 24, 2017, 10:15:12 am »
A Dakr Knight" Pax Penguina
Episode 1



Looks like this season is going to be what we have been waiting for since the debut of the series. Bruce Wayne is now exploring his Dark Knight side and Selina is her leather-wearing, whip cracking self. Granted, they are still in the phase of becoming who they will eventually become...albeit dressed down and not wearing anything resembling their iconic costumes. I'm still convinced that we will never see those designs until the final episode of what turns out to be the final season, if at all. So, for now, it's handmade, hand-me-down, raggedy "costumes" until then. Throw in the Scarecrow in the season premiere and you have yourself a pretty entertaining hour long episode. 4 Starts out of 5.

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