Monday, May 29, 2006

The Memorial Day Weekend Grab-Bag

Well it's been a busy (as predicted) weekend here in Justin-land. From Thursday night on, I have been pretty much on the go on the go on the go (and yes I meant to type that three times). So, you received a preview of my weekend on my last real post, but here is my review of all that transpired over the past four or five days (they all start running together anyway). Enjoy the (as always) nonchronological goodness. . .

- I'll just come right out and say it: X-MEN - THE LAST STAND is, by far, the worst of the three X-MEN movies. That's right. Even though it very nearly destroyed box office records and set a couple of new ones (biggest Memorial Day weekend ever - it bested THE LOST WORLD and SHREK 2) it certainly did not deserve to do so. I still blame The Ratner, that is, Brett Ratner. He is the director and is only other experience is from such films like the RUSH HOURs and RED DRAGON and, well, that is pretty much it (he did AFTER THE SUNSET, with Pierce Brosnan though). They signed him on after series-inspirerer Bryan Singer left X3 to do SUPERMAN RETURNS. I still don't know why. They should have paid Singer more or whatever they had to do to keep him on, but they didn't, and the result is an action-packed, mutant-overwhelming, mishmash of crap. Does it entertain? Yeah, at times. However, when the first two are such good MOVIES, you kinda expect the third to follow suit. Wolverine is awesome (but the character is just plain awesome, so it would be hard for him to not be) as are Beast and Angel. However, because of the plethora (did you say it right Cy?) of new mutants needing screen time, there just isn't enough of it to showcase the really cool ones. It was a big disappointment for me, and I had low expectations. . . Bummer. (Grade: C)

- Ok, so I've gone to sleep past 0200 each of the last four nights (Thursday-Sunday). Yeah. Thursday night was the movie (0300 was bedtime that night). Friday, the super cool day (more later) ended in a bedtime around 0330. Saturday was another eight-hour extravaganza at JOHNNY CARINO'S and put me home around midnight. I had had a rough night at work, so I felt the need to veg, which led to the beginning of a season on NFL BLITZ. I ended my night somewhere in the middle of the season and went to bed around 0230. Sunday night I worked again til after 2300 and then puttered around at home until I finally fell asleep around 0200. So I'm a night owl - - isn't that what a college student has to be???

- The one thing that didn't happen the way I had planned was Saturday. Because of a (one-day) wind storm, the Hot-Air Ballooning did not happen. Heather and I were just somewhat bummed because of our late night on Friday. We will struggle to find a weekend that we can do it though, because she is so busy this summer with work and school. We'll see. Also, she had a lot on her plate anyway for Saturday morning, so I did not actually see her but for two minutes when she came into JC while I was there. You see, in a very bittersweet offering, her grandpa and grandma (both are presently fighting some form of cancer) offered Heather, Chels, and their three cousins (all their ageish) brand new cars! A limit was set and whatever car they presently drive had to be used as a trade-in. As a well-to-do business owner, her grandpa definitely was able to do this wonderful thing for his five granddaughters. Since Heather could only come home this weekend, he wanted to do her and Chels' cars this weekend. Thus, Heather had to do the whole car lot experience on Saturday (she also had a lengthy - and important - massage appointment in there somewhere). Chels and her decided to, for convenience's sake, get a car from the same company. Chels' dream vehicle was a Toyota Tacoma, so Heather picked out the sporty Toyota Rav 4, an SUV. They get to pick them up this week (which means I get to see Heather on Wed. night!). So Saturday was a bit different than I had planned, however the busy work night was there as always.

- I slept in on Sunday, finished my season of BLITZ (I won the Super Bowl with the Cowboys on the last play! I went 19-0, but needed to pull several games out in the waning seconds), ate lunch with my family (minus the hard-working father), and then readied for work. It was slow last night, but the night somehow zoomed by. I only have two more days at the Palmdale store before I head down to Downey. An information meeting tomorrow morning will precede the journey down there this coming weekend. So begins my two weeks of non-stop work and mucho dinero. O, about that, I will have minimal computer access, so my posts will be few and far between. I will when I can, but don't expect daily or bidaily (that's not a word - - I think) posts. It's just not doable. . .

- So I bet you wanna hear about Friday huh? What a day! Running on four hours of sleep, we headed out (we being Chels, Heather, Cy, and myself) around 0930 or so (I can't remember). We arrived at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD around 1030, which was just a little after they had opened. We went in, and the fun times began. Not only did we have free admission tickets (thanks a million Melissa!) but we also had these "Gate A" passes, which got us to the front of every line at every attraction (rides and shows). We did everything possible in the park save for the Shrek 2 in 4-d thing. No time. The Backlot Tour was awesome (that alone makes it my favorite park I think - - ) and the new MUMMY ride was really really cool (and extremely unexpected - if you've ridden it, you know what I mean). The highlight of our park experience, however, was the Special Effects show (it's over by BACKDRAFT and JURASSIC PARK). They asked for volunteers and Cy and I looked at each other and grinned. We both raised our hands, wanting to do it pretty badly. They said they only took one guy and one girl (sorry, but Cy's hair isn't that long - - o wait, he got a haircuit - - Cy, if only you'd waited a week ha ha). So Cy suggested I do it (thanks for letting me get embarassed bud. . ) and then another girl volunteered (her name was Susie - she was cool). We got to go and do things with the presenters! The best one was this thing they do for THE MUMMY. They put these robes on us and put us on a second story bridge thingy that was supposed to be a prison cell I think. I was put in a position of a prisoner with my hands tied above my head. Susie had to move bricks (they weren't real ones of course). At one moment, since I was clipped to the wall via a belt, they spun the wall around, leaving me in the back and placing a skeleton in the spot I had just been in. Funny stuff, especially for me when I heard the crowd scream :D . . . We did a few other things, but that was the pinnacle for me. Good stuff all around. . . We left the park around 1700 I think and headed down CITY WALK to Buca di Beppo, an Italian restaurant where dinner would be served. It was really good (really good!) and I was also really surprised when my friend Emily walked in! Apparently the whole day had been a "birthday" thing for me set up by my pal Cy (what a guy, huh?). Melissa and Joe (friends of Chels') came too and enjoyed dinner with us. After dinner, we walked City Walk some more, and got some dessert (some got STARBUCKS, others BEN & JERRY'S). We then got a call from Justin and he said he was off work early! So he agreed to meet us at the LAUGH FACTORY, which we arrived at around 2030. Our show was supposed to start at 2200 and we were first in line! However, we weren't let in til 2230 as the past show had run late - it was worth it! Ok, but first, a star sighting from outside! As we stand there, none other than John Mayer walks up and stand directly behind Joe, about five feet from yours truly. Really cool to be close to someone so famous! Well, when we finally headed in, they started the comedy. Bob Saget (yes that Bob Saget) was the featured performer that night, but paused about five minutes into his time and said he wanted to introduce a special guest: John Mayer! So he did comedy, not music, although music would have been better (keep your day job Johnny). Saget returned and did his performance (funny at times, but hard to keep up with - he rambles a lot). My favorite line (for some unknown reason) was "Ew to the third power". Funny in context, believe me. Next up was Johnny Sanchez, who was probably the funniest of the night at times. His impersonation of a 90-year-old black man alone made Heather almost cry! "Skat skat bedat!" Dov Davidoff, an odd-looking comic, did his thing and only made me laugh occasionally. Jo Koy ( came on, and he had the best all-around performance. He was hilarious! I'd seen him on the TONIGHT SHOW before, but he did all new material and that was cool. Well he was supposed to be the last one, but then the host (Mike Marino, also very funny) said another special guest had arrived and introduced. . . DANE COOK! The comedy world's number one comic right now was doing comedy in a room of less than 100 and I was there! It was surreal. I would compare it to seeing Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in a pick-up game at the park during their peaks! It was awesome. Not only did he do all new material, he was on for over a half hour! It was awesome!!! They ran our show into the midnight show, giving us a free ride at the two comics who went on next - we got jipped. They weren't very good, but both had their occasional funny joke. How could you follow up to Dane Cook, though? After all of that, we left, and Jo Koy was outside greeting all of us. He's a really cool guy who is on the verge of breaking into the entertainment biz. Good luck man! The drive home was rough, but we made it ok, and then it was sweet bedtime! That day is going into the Hall of Fame of Days - - And that is a fact!

- Whew!

- So today is Memorial Day and I have had a blast with my fam. We were out back for a couple hours playing A-I-M-E-E (our version of H-O-R-S-E; Aimee wanted to play it ha ha) and whatnot. Good stuff all around. I'm not sure what's in store for tonight, but tomorrow morning I have to be at JC at 0900 for that meeting. Here we go . . .

Thanks for reading this far - -

I hope all of you have enjoyed your Monday off and that you have a good week.

Later for nows,


Sunday, May 28, 2006

I Know What I Said, But. . .

I am too tired to post tonight.

I just got back from working another long day (over 14 hours in 2 days) and blogging is the last thing on my mind.

I do, however, have stories for you about my Universal trip, the Laugh Factory, work (those ones are boring), and many other various things that I will provide for you tomorrow.

You'll just have to be patient. . .

O, and here's a little cliffhanger to get you to come back tomorrow: "I saw DANE COOK live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

That's all for now,


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Welcome to the Layer Cake

So how have you all been? Well I guess I can't hear your answer, but I hope it was a positive one :D - - - Today was a really good day, actually. Here's what it entailed. . .

So I had a crazy scary dream last night. I dreamt that a crazy man (referred to in the dream as a "psycho lumberjack") came into JOHNNY CARINO'S with a sawed-off shotgun and went to town. Yeah, scary, I know. So he goes back to the office and tells those of us in the front not to move or do anything "heroic". Some hero goes to the phone in the front and starts to dial 9-1-1. As he does, we hear a commotion and our manager Ron (he's actually a manager at the Victorville JC, but he's helping us out some days) is all of a sudden being pushed across the restaurant by said lumberjack. We're not sure what's going on, but there are only a few guests anyway, so it's mostly employees. Just then, the crazy man sees the hero at the front (through the glass partition at the front - you'd know if you you've been in there) and raises his shotgun and blows the guy's head off. Scary, I know!!! So as that happens, (I, by the way, am huddled on the ground by our big table - 53 for those of you really wanna know) I stick a chair in front of me and kinda scoot around towards the Host Stand. Just as I'm getting ready to make a run for the door. . .

I wake up. Doesn't that suck!?!? I wanted to know what happened after that, but I couldn't fall back asleep (stupid impatient bladder). O well. I think I made it out ok :D

I got up and did my usual computer/TV stuff in the morning. I made myself some lunch around noon and then popped in LAYER CAKE, an independent film starring the new James Bond Daniel Craig. This is my random movie recommendation. Rent it. Watch it. Love it. It's really quirky, cool, and unpredictable. I really enjoyed it, even though I wasn't always sure what was going on. Overall, a great find. (Grade: A-)

I left for work around 1500 (I had to work at 1630) because I had several errands to run. I stopped and got gas at SAM'S CLUB (thanks Mom-mom: my gift card is now zeroed out :D ), went to the Mall, went to BEST BUY, and then sat in my car for about fifteen minutes before work listening to my new cd (The Fray - really really good).

Work was fine - not as dead as last night, but still pretty slow. I didn't have to close tonight cuz I was not the only TT on! Less money, less hours, but less responsibility. In this instance, I'm fine with that. Today was my fifth straight day at JC, and tomorrow makes six. I'm really tired of that place this week. During work, I was constantly sneaking away to the bar to catch as much of GAME 1 of the Western Conference Finals between my SUNS and the MAVERICKS. It was an intense game (one I will be watching tonight in its entirety thanks to TIVO) and ended on a buzzer-beater shot by BORIS DIAW, the hero for the SUNS tonight! We stole one in Dallas and that alone is exciting. Look out, cuz here come the SUNS!!!

I left there around 2120 and headed to Heather's house (although, without her there, it's kinda silly to call it that). Barbara had called me and said to call her back, but I just decided to visit instead. I let Chels borrow my cd case (containing125 or so cds) to copy onto her IPOD. Don't you just love technology? So I was sitting in the living room with Barbara watching American Idol (My boy TAYLOR won!!! I liked that guy from his first audition and I'm so stoked that he won - his will be the first AI cd that I actually buy for myself) and she tells me the news that I had already heard from Heather via an earlier text: Heather and I are going HOT-AIR BALLOONING on Saturday morning! Yes, my readers, you read that correctly. Heather had gotten a certificate from her mom for her birthday (yes, in December) to go hot-air ballooning. We are finally cashing that in and it's this Saturday. I'm scared and excited. Those babies go high!!!

Now I'm home. I'm gonna change outta the work clothes and then go downstairs and watch the game. I can't wait! So, yeah!

So I'll preview my weekend for ya, seeing that it will be unlikely you will get another new post from me until Sunday. . . We'll see.

- Thursday: Work at 1630, Midnight showing of X-MEN: THE LAST STAND with Heather, Cy, Justin, and a friend of his from work.

- Friday: Universal Studios trip with Heather, Cy, and Chels followed by possible dinner at Universal City Walk, which then leads to the LAUGH FACTORY in Hollywood (either 2000 or 2200 - Bob Saget is the headliner!) and then a trip home late at night.

- Saturday: Hot-air ballooning at 0600 (gotta be there a bit earlier than that) as long as the weather is good, a possible movie with Heather in the early afternoon, and then I work at 1600 (another one of those eight-hour doozies).

SO..... That's why I won't be blogging. But expect a complete recap on Sunday in the the next installment of the WEEKEND GRAB-BAG! (A little self-promotion!)

So goodnight folks - - I hope all is goody good with all of you.

- - - You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son.
- - - Eddie Temple to XXXX (the character has no name - but it's Daniel Craig); he calls the above the "Facts of Life"



Monday, May 22, 2006

An Electric Shooting Exhibition

That's right boys and girls - - My Phoenix Suns are in the Western Conference Finals for the second year in a row! This year, without the injured Amare Stoudamire (which many believed would lead to a completely failed season), we have reached the same spot in the playoffs as we did last year. Two consecutive seven-game series against the teams from Los Angeles has battle-tested us and prepared us for the upstart Dallas Mavericks, the team that beat down the defending champ San Antonio Spurs in seven games as well.

We defeated the Clippers tonight 127-107 in an "Electric Shooting Exhibition" by us; broadcaster (and former NBA head coach) Doug Collins said that at the end of the game. We had three days off between games six and seven, and it seems that was all my boys needed to take it to the other team from Los Angeles. Bring on the Mavs!

This season is going to go down as a success regardless of how we fare in the next round (and the Finals if we can get there). Congratulations to the real MVP (the votes don't lie Kobe or LeBron fans) Steve Nash and the rest of the Phoenix Suns (oodles of DAP to Shawn Marion, Leandro Barbosa, Boris Diaw, Raja Bell, Tim Thomas, and James Jones for their amazing work in the series at one point or another) on their convincing semi-final victory!

GO SUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Very Excited Fan (and finally, a little boastful),


(and this is just a gift for all you Los Angeles basketball fans . . . )

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Week Grab-Bag: The Old School Version

No, I'm not talking about the very funny Will Ferrell-Vince Vaughn-Luke Wilson comedy (although mentioning it does make me laugh). This past week has been filled with experiences that have caused reminiscing by yours truly. You'll see (and maybe, just maybe, you'll reminisce too. . .) what I'm talking about. Just keep on a-readin' internet friend - - (and remember, as always, it just might not be chronological, but it all gets there somehow, so. . .)

- I've been workin like a fool. One of my fellow TTs went on a vacation, so I am taking one of his days, giving me five days. In addition to that, we are one guy short on the weekends, so both yesterday and today we only had two TTs for the entire (busy) restaurant. More money, sure, but much more work. This coming week, I only have one day off (Friday) and I will have almost forty hours when all is said and done. I'm not doing much more than work, so it's ok, but I would like to enjoy my Summer a little more. There are grumblings around the restaurant that we have to be in Downey on June 3, so that's right around the corner. I hope that it's worth it. . .

- So, the Old School? Ok, well as I have mentioned recently, I have purchased SUPER SMASH BROTHERS for Nintendo 64 and have been playing it a bit. Justin has actually come over the last couple Wednesdays and we have played quite lengthily. It's fun to look back at how much time I spent during my middle school years playing the ol' Nintendo. I also have bought NFL BLITZ and EPISODE I: POD RACERS in the last week ($3 each!) so my N64 collection is growing. It's fun. Actually, forget that. It's A LOT of fun!

- On Friday (my day off last week) I wanted nothing more than to spend time with my wonderful Heather who was in town. She came home late Thursday night and I got to see her for a little bit before bedtime. She went to Yoga with Chels early Friday morning and I took the time to go back to Desert Christian High School to see my old favorite teacher/coach Mr. Thomas. I got to talk to him for a little bit, and I also saw a few other people that it was nice to see. After that, I went to the Mall to run some errands before meeting Heather and Chels back at their house. While they were out, they bought some water guns, water balloons, and. . . a SLIP-N-SLIDE! O yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's right. However, there have been vast improvements in the Slip-n-Slide business. Instead of the entire length of it being the same flat surface as the pool at the end, the initial portion is now blow-uppable (make sense - no? Ok, it's inflatable, whatever!). This makes for a much more safe (and comfortable) journey to the pool at the end. Great fun was had, including an air raid of water balloons on Barbara when she got home from work :D - - Friday night, the opportunity presented itself for me to go down to the LB with Heather without driving myself! Chels was going to the Queen Mary for a concert so we figured that she could spend the night at Heather's apartment with me and Heather and then Chels could take me home the next morning. It worked! We did that, and it was really fun. We went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner (my first sushi experience - - I ate chicken teriyaki though ha ha) and met some of Chels' friends there. When we parted ways, Heather and I went to watch JUST LIKE HEAVEN, a not-as-bad-as-I-had-thought romantic comedy featuring loveable Reese Witherspoon and cool Mark Ruffalo. Not a bad film, but certainly not WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. . . (Grade: B-)

- Ok, a quick TV update/review for ya: The season finales of SCRUBS and THE O.C. were on this past week. Both shows: WOW! SCRUBS ended quite jaw-droppingly and I can't wait for next year (although I have to wait til January or so for that!). THE O.C. ended (SPOILER WARNING. . .) exactly as I had predicited with the death of Marisa Cooper. Grumblings had run amok about contract and other disputes between Mischa Barton (the actress) and the producers, so her getting written off the show did not surprise me. Next week sees the season finales of HOUSE (although I am 7 episodes behind right now) and, I think, AMERICAN IDOL (GO TAYLOR!) so I look forward to that.

Well, I have to go to work now - - Dangit.

Have a good Sunday night.


Later y'all,


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Updating But Not

So, instead of posting an autobiographical post about my Tuesday (of which, you can read most of at Cy's blog -, I decided I would just mess with my blog and make it beautifulerrific (and yes, I just created that word).

SO. . .

Tell me what you think of the new design. I like it, but tell me what YOU think. Comments are cool and make me feel like someone is reading this besides my parents, grandma, and Cy. And even he just scans it. . .

So, yeah, hit me up with that. And I'm still in the process of getting those pictures from my Laker game (Easter Sunday) and when I post those, I'll divulge my Game 3 stories (Playoff game). That's a deal.

Or no deal (my family likes that show - it's oddly entertaining).

And the PHOENIX SUNS rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

An Ecstatic Fan,


Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm No Superman

Been watching a lot of SCRUBS recently. I love the theme song! (It's called "Superman" for those who don't know)

Anyway, since my last updating post, I've done quite a few things. I won't do a complete update today, but I'll give you bits and pieces of my last few days (actually since Cinco De Mayo - so ten days!). . .

As many of you know, I am now 19. My birthday was last Wednesday (the 10th) and I had to work on that night. It was lame, true, but it's not like I could get it off! Either way, I'm 19. And no, I don't feel any older. Nothing big happens when you turn 19. 21 is the big one. It's that one that I'm looking forward to. Cy and I have been planning a Vegas trip for my 21st since we started playing Poker. That's the big birthday.

And, as if on cue, the third season of SCRUBS (my all-time favorite show - period, end of story) came out on DVD on the 9th, so I got it for my birthday via the big sister (Chels - the sister-in-law, actually, but we're just that close at this point!). Of the 22 episodes in the season, I've now watched 19 (ha, that's ironic) in less than a week! I love SCRUBS!

Heather provided a spectacular birthday celebration for me on Friday the 12th. I went and saw her and we went to Seaport Village down in San Diego in the morning. We window-shopped and enjoyed the San Diego weather for a couple hours. We met her dad and his new wife in Carlsbad for lunch at a really nice (and really small!) French restaurant. After that (long) lunch, we went back to Long Beach and saw M:i:III. It was my second time watching the great Tom Cruise actioner and Heather's first. She enjoyed it a lot (as did I). After the movie we went back to her apartment where she spent almost an hour making me a birthday dinner!

Ok, I need to add something here. The dinner was a combo thing. Heather and I had a bet that revolved around AMERICAN IDOL. Her favorite singer of this season's finalists was Paris and mine is Taylor. We have both liked our respective favorites since their first audition and have rooted for them the entire way. When it got down to 10 or so, we made a bet. Whosever favorite got the furthest, the other had to make a romantic dinner for the winner. Paris got voted off a couple weeks ago (and Taylor remains in the TOP 3!) so I won! This dinner served as a birthday thing and a bet thing. You see how we do!

Anyway, dinner was spectacular! She made Chicken Fettucine (spelling? - and I work at an Italian restaurant!) Alfredo and a salad consisting of spinach leaves, strawberries, and pear slices topped with a dressing that she made from scratch! It was really really good and I can't wait for her to cook for me darn near every night once we get married (that's not a sexist comment - she wants to cook!). Her birthday gift for me was absolutely perfect (albeit unfortunate - you'll see). Lately, I've been quoted as saying that if I won the lottery that we would be married in a very short amount of time. Here's why: We could both continue on our schooling and career paths like we are now, but I could support her through the winnings, so we could get married then! That's the idea. Anyways, within my card, I got 10 lottery tickets for Saturday's drawing and a few scratchers. It was maybe the greatest idea ever! Unfortunately, they were not the winning numbers, and I only won $14 from the scratchers. I guess dreams don't always come true. . .

Mother's Day happened, and I had to work (as did everyone employed at JC). What a crazy night! Our restaurant made $25,000 the entire day, which is about double a usual weekend night. It was busy, to say the least!

But tonight, my family and I went to Valencia to go to CLAIM JUMPERS for my birthday dinner (cuz I worked on that night) slash Mother's Day dinner. It was a lot of fun. We ended up going to COLDSTONE on the way back (my new craze - I'm eating it almost once a week). My favorite one right now (it's a creation of mine) is Cheesecake Ice Cream with Cookie Dough and Gummi Bears! I love it so don't knock it! Anyways, yeah, that's the truth about that.

I'll update again tomorrow with more stuff. And this time, I really will. . .

O, and this post is for Heather :D

- - - "I know what I've been told. Ya gotta know just when to fold. But I can't do this all on my own. No I know I'm no Superman. I'm no Superman."
- - - "Superman" by Lazlo Bane

Later y'all,

The Big 1-9 Justin

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mama's Day!

Just a quick post, giving a very big HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of those mom's out there. Specifically, I'd like to mention the moms who are very close to me:

- Barbara (my mama in law!)
- Mom-Mom
- GP
- Grandma Pam
- Muna
- Great-Grandma Rekittke
- Aunt Jeanne
- Aunt Debbie
- Mrs. Serrano
- Mrs. Lebens (Miss Nancy!)

- And of course, the number one mom in the world: Mi Madre!

I love you all! Thanks for everything you do!

Until later,

A Son

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Summer Movie Preview (In Order!)

Alright everybody, welcome to Sunday Sunday Sunday! As stated in the last blog, I wanted to give you all a most anticipated list of Summer movies. O and for further info, trailers (when available), or whatever you want to know, visit one of these websites:, So, without further ado, here is the list of the 25 movies that intrigue, interest, or just inspire me to go the theater (in order from least to most exciting):

Wildcard - MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND (07/21): This film has yet to feature a trailer, so it's hard to anticipate it. However, Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson in a romantic comedy (of sorts) directed by the guy who brought us GHOSTBUSTERS. Uma is a superhero who is angered by Luke when he dumps her. Superpowers plus anger equals uh oh! We'll see. Thus, the wildcard!

25. STRANGERS WITH CANDY (06/28): I have never seen the show on Comedy Central, but I've heard it's quite the cult classic of tv shows. The presence of Stephen Colbert alone makes me want to see this movie which is why it holds the 25 position.

24. THE LAKE HOUSE (06/16): A dramatic romance on my must-see Summer list??? Well, the trailer is rather intriguing, and I actually wouldn't mind seeing how they end it. Although I'm quite skeptical of Keanu Reeves doing romance (however, he is acting against former film love interest Sandra Bullock in this one - SPEED is a good flick) but the idea is interesting. In a nutshell, its about a woman who, while occupying an unusual lakeside home, begins exchanging love letters with its newest resident (Keanu). When they discover that they're actually living two years apart, they must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late. Whoa. (That's a Neo joke y'all!)

23. OVER THE HEDGE (05/19): Another animated animal movie. This one has the voices of Steve Carell (my boy!), Wanda Sykes (very funny), and Bruce Willis (yes, that Bruce Willis). Looks like it could be funny.

22. LITTLE MAN (07/05): This is my guilty pleasure film of the Summer. I'm ashamed to say I think it's funny, but I don't care at the same time. The Wayans brothers put together this film about a short person thief (Marlon Wayans via CGI) who goes undercover as a baby. He pretends to be a little baby for a family that has what he wants in their house or something. It looks stupid, inappropriate, and goofy. Count me in!

21. CARS (06/09): The newest Disney/Pixar film about - you guessed it - cars! The rumor mill has this one not being so great, but Pixar films are never bad (read: MONSTERS INC., FINDING NEMO, INCREDIBLES) so I gotta give it a chance. Voice credits include Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, and Larry the Cable guy. Git-r-done!

20. AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (05/24): This is a documentary made by and starring. . . Al Gore? Yes, our former Vice President and Presidential-hopeful, he has made a movie. This film, though, is about him discussing global warming and the potential disasters of it. The trailer is creepy because, well, it's real life! Interesting movie - thought-provoking, to be sure.

19. THE ILLUSIONIST (08/18): I can explain my interest in this movie in five words - Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti, Magicians. Get it?

18. THE OMEN (06/06): This horror remake usually wouldn't be anywhere near a list of mine, but it looks really creepy (read: good for a horror movie) and I'm oddly interested. Plus, this is pretty much the only horror movie coming out til the Fall and Halloween. I need something to tide me over til SAW III!

17. IDLEWILD (08/25): This is a musical set in the Prohibition era starring, well, people you wouldn't expect. The two members of the rap/R&B group Outkast have created this movie for their new cd. Basically, they star in the movie and the songs for the movie are their new tracks for their new cd. I'm there!

16. LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (07/28): This indie comedy starring the likes of Steve Carell (again, but in a much different manner), Greg Kinnear, and Toni Collette look quirky and dark. The preview is enticing, and I'm very interested in seeing why this film was so heralded at the film festivals.

15. MIAMI VICE (07/28): This action film would leave many going "Why?" but I'll give you three names - Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, and Michael Mann. The former two are your headliners, playing Crockett and Tubbs, the Miami police officers made famous in the 1980's show, and Mann, director of gritty films COLLATERAL and HEAT, is the guy behind the camera. The trailer makes it look nothing like the original, somewhat cheesy, cop show. That would be Mann's influence. And I'm definitely influenced!

14. LADY IN THE WATER (07/21): M. Night Shyamalan's new flick has been kept under heavy wraps. All we know is that an apartment building superintendent (Paul Giamatti) finds a nymph, a mermaid-like creature, in the pool. Shyamalan is trying to see how many people will come to see a movie by him, I guess. I like Giamatti a lot, so I'm gonna go, but I'm not sure what to expect from a movie preface by "A Bedtime Story from M. Night Shyamalan". We'll see.

13-10. (in no particular order) THE BREAK-UP (06/02), NACHO LIBRE (06/16), CLICK (06/23), and TALLADEGA NIGHTS...(08/04): These are the big summer comedies. The big comedy guns are out, with films from Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, Adam Sandler, and Will Ferrell respectively. They all appear pretty funny, but all have the potential of being bad films. They are tied on my list because it's impossible for me to pick one over the other. I'll see them all and let you know later which one wins :D

9. SNAKES ON A PLANE (08/18): The internet-driven cult film (how can it be a cult classic and it's not even out yet?!?!) looks great! Samuel L. Jackson stars in the self-explanatory film. Yes, the title is exactly what the film is about. How can you not be excited about this one!

8. X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (05/26): Yeah, it's further down on my list then most of the other lists you'll find, but there's good reason. No Bryan Singer (the director of the first two) and no Nightcrawler (the biggest reason that X2 is better than X1). Although it does look exciting, I'm not sure if it's just gonna be a big spectacle with lots of visual effects. That's good from time to time, but the first two are such good films!

7. POSEIDON (05/12): Next Friday this film erupts onto the scene. I was extremely skeptical about this one when I first heard about it, but after trailers hit the internet, I was blown away. A good cast (Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Josh Lucas, and Tom's girlfriend Emmy Rossum) makes the effects the second reason to see this one. It looks intense! Plus, director Wolfgang Petersen (who brought us TROY and THE PERFECT STORM) can do big waves and we know it! O yes!

6. A SCANNER DARKLY (07/07): I've been waiting and waiting for this film to finally get released and the Summer finally brings it to me. This odd-looking film stars Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson, and one of my favorite actors ever: Robert Downey Jr. It was written (adapted from a Philip K. Dick short stroy) and directed by the great Richard Linklater using the same techniques as he used in WAKING LIFE. I can't wait for this one!

Now, the TOP 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. SUPERMAN RETURNS (06/30): I gave you all access to the trailer for this one a couple days ago, and if you utilized that link, then you know why it's so high on my list. Kevin Spacey alone would get me into the theatre, but it's freakin' SUPERMAN!!! It looks exciting, action-packed, and did I mention that Kevin Spacey is Lex Luthor!!!! Good stuff all around.

4. CLERKS 2 (08/18): The sequel to the 1994 comedy brings good ol' Kevin Smith back into the limelight. Although he had previously stated that there would be no more Jay and Silent Bob movies, he came back with this one, which has Dante and Randal moving on to there 30's. The trailers are funny and Kevin Smith alone would bring me to see the film. Hands down, the most anticipated comedy for yours truly.

3. THE DA VINCI CODE (05/19): The most controversial film of the Summer is this Ron Howard-directed film based on the best selling book of the past couple years. I read the book over Spring Break in anticipation of the film, and it was every bit as good as people said. I could not put it down! Thus, this film flew up my charts and landed at number 3. Tom Hanks would not be my first choice as Robert Langdon, but he'll definitely do. I love Ian McKellen as Teabing! Great casting there. I know, I know, it's claimed as evil by the church and all that jazz, but ladies and gentlemen, guess what: IT'S FICTION!!! Either way, it's a thought-provoking, entertaining, and altogether awesome book that hopefully translates into a film that's just as good!

2. THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST (07/07): No words are needed for this one. But I'll give you some anyway :D The trailer is awesome, Johnny Depp is in it, and the action looks intense! All around, this film looks to be just spectacular, and I would suggest that it looks like the best Summer movie and the one that I would forward to the most.


1. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 (05/05): I've already seen it and it lived up to every expectation I had. Tom Cruise, however crazy he may be, is the best movie star out there. His movies are always good (I have yet to see one I don't even kinda like) and this one is the best action film that he has done yet (I consider MINORITY REPORT to be a drama). Philip Seymour Hoffman is the best villain yet in the MISSION films, and he shows his range that has so been deserving of an Oscar (I'm not saying this film earns him an Oscar, but he shows why he won one this past year). It's tense, entertaining, funny, and altogether amazing. You think you can find me a better Summer movie and I say: "Mission: Impossible"! (Grade: A-)

Well folks, there you have it. If you've reached the end of this, then I commend you. That was a lot!!! It has taken me an hour to do this, so I hope you appreciate the effort :D

Happy Movie Watching!!!

The Summer Movie Rambler,


Friday, May 05, 2006

Here's To...

Ok, so I am way behind on blogging. I understand that. Let's assume that I'm starting anew. I used to blog upwards of five times a week, so I definitely should be excused from missing a month or so (although at least I provided you with papers and movie trailer links!). So, in honor of my return to consistent blogging (I am officially out of school as of 1200 today), I would like to propose a toast.

So, here's to. . .

- the Phoenix Suns, my team, for doing what nobody expected them to do. Down three games to one in a best of seven series to the Los Angeles Lakers, they have no won two in a row to put this game to a decisive game seven in Phoenix. My boys played a helluva game last night and need a repeat performance tomorrow night in order to win this series. It all comes down to tomorrow night baby! I'm excited, anticipatory, and jazzed about the possibility of a complete comeback, especially with all of the crap that I got (that's another story) from Laker fans over the last week when we were down. Now, we have the edge! I think it's actually quite redeeming considering that everyone had written the Suns off and were preparing for the so-called Highway Series with the Clippers. Well ha on you! I read no less than three articles (two on ESPN.COM and one in Sports Illustrated) saying how great an all-Los Angeles series would be. Well, guess what? It might not happen! Go SUNS!!!

- Finishing off strong. With clutch performances in my classes, I believe I did enough to maintain a GPA good enough to stay in the Honors Program at AVC. It's looking like I'm gonna be staring at a 3.4 this semester, which I am quite content with, considering the classes I took. My greatest accomplishments were getting a perfect score on my History paper (which you read here first!) and pulling off a B in Astronomy, which proved to be harder than expected. I'm looking forward to the Summer vacation that lies in front of me and the rest that I feel I earned! Whether I do or not (that's up to discussion) I get it, so take that naysayers!

- Summer movies. With the release of Tom Cruise's M:i:III this weekend, the summer blockbuster season has begun. I will post my top 25 films of the Summer (yes, I prepared such a list) this weekend so you can view the wonderment of it all. Grab your buddy, some popcorn, and a five-dollar bill and have a seat and enjoy the over-the-top action, lack of plot, and absolute fun of summer movies!

- Loved ones. I am actually writing this from a certain CSULB student's laptop in a Long Beach studio apartment. I am down here with Aimee celebrating her birthday. Heather and I took her to the mall to shop for a bathing suit (something only the best big brothers can do) and then to dinner. They just went to Target to buy some games or something for the rest of the night and I am here at her apartment. I really miss being around Heather, especially now that summer is about to begin. It's very difficult and apparently I feel the need to complain as much as I can about it. I can't help it! Anywho, Aimee is now 14 and that is no good. She is gonna be a freshman (is it freshperson now?) in September and I can't believe it! She's a cute girl too. I pity those poor boys who have to meet me :D

- May. This month is big for my immediate family. Yesterday was Aimee's birthday, Sunday is my parent's anniversary, and next Wednesday is the birthday of yours truly. That's right, folks, The Rambler is finally turning 19. Look out! Either way, it's quite exciting this time of year around the Gott house.

- Downey. The small town in Southern California is going to be getting a JOHNNY CARINO'S next month and I will be assisting in the opening of it. That's right, yours truly will be a-trainin' for about two weeks in June. I am actually going as a TT trainer (would that be TTT?) so I'm a bit nervous, but looking forward to the megabucks I hope to make out of the 14 hour days!

- Laker fans (the bums). I'll write more on this after Game 7. I went to Game 3 with George (in L.A.) and I went wearing a Steve Nash jersey. Stories will follow at a later date. Trust me, they're worth the wait!

- Understanding Internet Readers. You, the kind folks of the Internet, have waited as I have done nothing on this here blog for so long, and now you will reap the whirlwind that is many many blogs :D Have no fear, for I am now here!

Alright folks, with that tribute to you (aren't I the best?) I am going to retire for the night. The girls are due back any minute and we'll have a fun night I'm sure. Aimee and I head back home in the morning so wish us luck on the drive home. Good stuff.

Thanks for hanging around everyone. You won't regret it - - -

- - - "Here's to the night we felt alive
Here's to the tears you knew you'd cry
Here's to goodbye tomorrow's going to come to soon"
- - - EVE 6's "Here's to the Night"


Monday, May 01, 2006

Dead Man's Chest Returns!

I'm not talking about me, even though none of you would know seeing my complete lack of blogs over the last two weeks. Understand, please, that I have been so very busy completing my second semester at AVC. I only have four finals this week and that will be it so expect more blogs in the coming weeks. Until then, let me give you a link to the new trailers of #2 and #5 on my most anticipated list of summer movies (my twin Tom Cruise's little film, you might have heard of it, M:i:III is numero uno!).



They might take awhile to load, but they're totally worth it. Enjoy!