Thursday, March 10, 2011

As Unreal as it gets

Last week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco things got... well, unreal.

Epic Games - makers of Bulletstorm (which I'm having a lot of fun playing through now), as well as the Unreal and Gears of War games - released one helluva an impressive tech demo showing off the latest version of their Unreal Engine 3.  Take a gander at what you can expect to see in games, soon:

Yup... bad ass!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Bad, bad, bad teacher

Cameron Diaz is a funny actress. I've liked her in virtually everything she's been in. I do not however find her overly attractive. Much the same way I don't find Scarlett Johansson overly attractive. Ya, you read that right.  I just don't get her hotness factor.  There's something about Diaz's overly large face and wide mouth.  To me attractive is Minka Kelly and Jennifer Aniston, but that's a post for another time. Back to Cameron Diaz...

Every interview I've ever seen her in provides further proof that she is one of the most down to earth stars in Hollywood.  She seems like one of the guys. And her new movie "Bad Teacher" (due out June 17) might be her funniset movie yet. With a cast that includes Justin "I'm a movie star now" Timberlake, the chubby sales lady from "The Office," and that one guy from "How I Met Your Mother"... well, take a look at the trailer. I laugh my ass off  - "LMAO" for those who need text speak to get through the day - every time I watch it. 

WARNING: The following video contains material that is waaaaay inappropriate for anyone under the age of 17.

Hey, if vulgar movies starring guys can be hits - do I need to list them all? - why can't a vulgar movie starring a gal be a hit, right?


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Battle of Los Angeles: 69 years later, still no explanation

I received a PR sheet from Sony Pictures Entertainment regarding their new movie, Battle: Los Angeles. Now I'll admit, this type of movie is right in my wheelhouse! The trailer for it looks great, so I can't wait to see it. But this isn't just another fanciful Hollywood blockbuster loaded with CGI effects.  There's some modicum of truth behind it...

Unless you're a history buff, or just really interested in Ufology and/or the paranormal (like I am), it's unlikely that you've heard about the real "Battle of Los Angeles" that took place in 1942. That real event is the jumping off point for Sony's new movie.

In the early hours of Saturday, February 25, 1942, one of the strangest events of WWII took place in the skies over Southern California... something that to this day has not been fully explained.

Just after 2:00 A.M. several unidentified objects were reported over Los Angeles. The threat was perceived as the real deal; air raid sirens were sounded and a total blackout was ordered. At 3:16 A.M., the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade started launching 12.8-pound antiaircraft shells at the unidentified objects. Over the next 58 minutes more than 1,400 shells were fired as the objects moved south, from Santa Monica to Long Beach.

From the Sony PR sheet:
Descriptions of the UFOs varied widely. General George C. Marshall, in his initial memo to President Roosevelt regarding the event, wrote that the 'unidentified airplanes... [traveled at speeds ranging from] 'very slow' to as much as 200 mph and from elevations of 9000 to 18,000 feet.' The number of craft reported by observers ranged from 9 to 15 to 25.

At first, officials offered a very vague explanation. According to the Los Angeles Times (February 26, 1942), the secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, dismissed the event as a "false alarm" due to "jittery nerves," but when this failed to satisfy the press and the public, the Army responded with a definitive answer that the craft and the battle were real, and the next day, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson confirmed that. Santa Monica's US Representative, Leland Ford, was quoted in the Times on February 27 calling for a Congressional investigation into the incident, but this went nowhere. In the years since, various explanations have been offered – from Japanese planes to German craft launched from secret bases in Mexico to unidentified aircraft to weather balloons to sky lanterns to blimps.

However, it is also alleged that General Marshall reported that the Army had recovered an unidentified aircraft off the coast of California that indicated that the "mystery airplanes are in fact not earthly and according to secret intelligence sources they are in all probability of interplanetary origin.

What actually caused the battle - weather balloons, enemy recon planes, or UFOs -  is still up for debate. We do know that the "UFO craze" didn't occur for another few years. Fighter pilots officially started using the term "foo fighter" for unidentified objects in November 1944, and Kenneth Arnold coined the term "flying saucer" in 1947 after seeing something he couldn't identify near Mt. Rainier. Not long after this UFOs become a national phenomena.

Be sure to read the full report about this event at The California State Military Museum's website as it adds quite a lot of  additional information

Perhaps we'll never know what really happened, but it's fun to speculate.  And really... what better way to do that then through the magic of cinema.

We want to know:  Do you believe in UFOs, and have you ever seen one?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ramblings of a Mad Man Reboot

So you’re probably thinking to yourself… Self, Eli hasn’t updated his Ramblings in like, a year! And you’d be right, he hasn’t. That’s because he’s busy… busy being an alcoholic, er, I mean, a Beer Columnist, blogger, Web Tv host/producer/whatever. In all seriousness, I don’t think the guy could become an alcoholic even if he wanted too. I’ve seen him max out a breathalyzer and still be halfway functional, whereas mere mortals such as you or myself with the same BAC would look something like this...

Exactly… I hate him too.

So now you’re probably thinking… Self, who’s this guy? Why is he here?

The Name is Steven Brown, AKA Oh Ye of Common Name. I really got boned on the original name front, there's probably fewer people named Joe Smith out there. I was gonna change my name once, but Optimus Megatron Superfly Spartan Manpower Sex Machine Mclovin Prime wouldn’t fit in the space provided. So I bugged outta there. I’m an all or nothin’ kinda guy. I sometimes go by the moniker Stevie Chips, cause my Father’s mother’s maiden name was Chips and it sounds kinda mafia-ish… or not. Well to me at least it does, and my self delusions are all that really matter.

So why am I here? Good question! I was sitting in my car the other day, eating my lunch, listening to Bubba the Love Sponge on the radio, scraping the last remnants of yogurt out of the cup (because fat people like me eat yogurt in a vain attempt to delude ourselves into thinking we’re eating healthy), when I had an epiphany. It said, “Hey… Eli hasn’t updated his Ramblings in like, a year!” I know, right, thinking the same thing? Pretty cool huh? Whatever…

So I jump on AIM (Cause it’s such a trendy IM program) and chat it up with my old Amigo of 20+ years and say “Dude! Since you’ve pretty much abandoned Ramblings, mind if I sub-lease?” And he said, “Fuck off, I’m drinking.” And I said “You’re always drinking. I think you have a problem.” And he said “It’s my job bitch!” So I said, “Ok, so can I or what?” and he said “Watch where you’re driving asshole!” and I said, “What?” and he said “Some dick just cut me off!” and I said “So you’re drinking, driver and texting me what you’re yelling at someone else?” And he said “what?” and I said “Huh?” and he said “What?” and I said “ok, so can I?” And he said “What?” and I said “Sub lease Ramblings” and he said “Sure, I guess.”

And here I am!

Ok, so he didn’t REALLY say all that, but it’s more exciting than the truth. I asked, he said ok, and here I am. See? Boring!

So what am I going to do here? Well, it’s called Ramblings and right now I’m rambling, right? So maybe later I’ll do a movie review, or a beer review? Or a Beer and Movie Review… I’ll call it a Brewvie! What? Eli already does those on Confessions? Damn, ok maybe I’ll just review local Breweries of my area, the San Francisco Bay Area, or just restaurants in general when I go, or just rambling musings like this, or perhaps rant about some shit that irks me (like a LOT of things!) , or other some such nonsense. We’ll see what happens as it happens. I needed an outlet for an over active ADD brain and this is it.

So does anyone still come here? Eli said Ramblings was actually getting a lot of traffic of late and my request to take the reins and drive a bit couldn't have been better timing. Let me know if you're out there, or if you’re even still reading this, cause truthfully I already tuned out about 3-4 paragraphs ago and I’m typing on autopilot.

And fear not, Old Eli will probably stick his neck in here once in a while to make sure I'm not burning the place down or anything, and maybe drop a "Hey now" post while he's here.

So maybe later if'n I figure it out, Imma gonna try to attach this thing to my Facebook page (cause all trendy Bloggers do that right?). But be warned, if you want to friend me, better send a comment saying you’re a Ramblings fan cause I’m a dick and I don’t accept unknown/unsolicited friend requests. Also if you’re just looking for some schmuck to fertilize your garden in Farmville or buy some shit bling bling in Yoville or adopt some cute virtual baby tiger cub from your Zoo, well then you’re shit out luck. I have all garbage hidden. I can’t see them, so fuck off Farmville. Water your own damn garden.

Til next time, if there is one, Stevie Chips out…