Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top Movies to See This Holiday Season

While you're dicking around on your computer today waiting for the clock to strike 5 p.m. so you can get the hell out of the office and start enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I'd write up a little something to entertain you during lunch.

After checking out Rotten Tomatoes' 2011 Holiday Movie Preview, I can honestly say that three are a number of intriguing films that are being released in the next 6 weeks.

And without further adieu, let me give you the top movies that I would like to see in a good, old-fashioned theater this holiday season (in no particular order):

Directed by Martin Scorcese, and in 3-D, Hugo (based on the very entertaining young adult book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick) has already been getting great buzz in movie geek circles. Hell, it's got an all-star cast, a great director and a fantastic, original plot - plus it's great for kids. What more could you ask for in a holiday movie?

A movie directed, written for the screen and produced by Alexander Payne? Starring George Clooney? Go check out both of their film resumes (which I linked to their names) and you'll understand why this is on my list.

Without knowing too much about this film, count me intrigued. It's in black and white. It's a silent film. So, you're probably asking yourself, 'How can this movie be that good?' Well, all I know is that it's been cleaning up the awards circuit including a best actor win for star Jean Dujardin and a Palme d'Or nomination at Cannes. And, again, it's an original plot, which always gets me excited.

When you have Director David Cronenberg (The Fly, Eastern Promises, A History of Violence) attached to any movie, it's sure to be a rather interesting trip (ahem, Naked Lunch). When you have Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen playing Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud who are both fascinated by a particularly sexy patient played by Keira Knightly - you have the perfect concoction for a rather odd period drama.

This just looks like a fun comedy starring Jonah Hill as a babysitter. From what Rotten Tomatoes says 'it's Adventures in Babysitting for the Twitter generation.' Also Directed by David Gordon Green who has directed a handful of great dramas (All the Real Girls, Undertow, Snow Angels) as well as the funny (Pineapple Express as well as episodes of HBO comedy Eastbound & Down).

I know absolutely nothing about this film, which is a good thing. But with an all-star cast such as Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and John Hurt  not to mention Director Tomas Alfredson (who directed one of the best horror movies ever in Let The Right One In), this movie looks to be a lot of espionage-laden fun.

Just kidding. :)

Directed by Steven Speilberg. Produced by Peter Jackson. Winter-animated film based on the hit adventure series of yore. What more do you need to say?

I read all three books by Steig Larrson. I've even viewed the three foreign films based on the same name. But, there's just something about this outing directed by David Fincher, that seems very intriguing. The books are pretty dark. Fincher knows dark (Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac). And, by the looks of the trailer, he seems to have gotten the look and feel down pat - at the very least what I pictured in my mind. I have faith that screenwriter Steve Zaillen (Schindler's List, Moneyball, Gangs of New York) has been faithful to Larrson's book. And kudos to Fincher for making Rooney Mara (who plays Lisbeth Salandar in the film) look extra homely...exactly as I pictured her in the books. Oh, and let's not forget a soundtrack by Nine Inch Nails frontman (and Academy Award winner) Trent Reznor.

With J.J. Abrams producing and director Brad Bird behind the lens, this looks to be an interesting fourth entry into this Tom Cruise franchise. However, I'll be honest and say the only reason I want to see this film is to see what Academy Award-Winning Animated Film Director Bird (Rataouille, The Incredibles) can do with a live-action cast. If he can even equal what he's done for animation (Simpsons, The Iron Giant, etc.) then the man is sure to have a very long live-action filmmaking career.

I was dragging my heels on this one. But, when I found out that this would be Cameron Crowe's fictional directional return after taking a six-year hiatus (remember the not-so-great Elizabethtown?), I was intrigued. (Note: Crowe directed two documentaries last year - one about Pearl Jam, the other about Elton John). It looks like it's going to be a feel-good movie that will just make you want to hug everyone when it's over. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? Considering most of my other choices are a bit darker, why not include at least one feel-good movie on this list.

Well, there you have it. Sure, there are other movies that I want to see, but just not really too excited to view in a theater including Young Adult, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Darkest Hour, War Horse, The Muppets, My Week With Marilyn, Melancholia and let's not forget Chipwrecked (just kidding).

So, what do you think?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eimer's Top Ten Verbal Rants During His Daily Commute

Every day. Every single work day, I have a 30-minute work commute from my hometown of Bath, Ohio, to downtown Cleveland.

A couple weeks ago, I was driving to work with my wife (yes, we work at the same company) and she commented on my disgusting, sometimes filthy, outbursts on the road.

Being myself, and comfortable in my own skin, I had no idea what she was talking about...until I started to pay attention to my so-called 'filthy outbursts'.

In short, I’m embarrassed, disgusted and, well, sometimes entertained.

That said, for the past couple days, I’ve made a mental note to remember some of my not-so-nice comments yelled to other drivers on the road. And, sadly, I would like to share with you, my loyal reader, my top-ten favorites (or not-so favorites) with notes:

1. ‘Oh my God, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me!’
I was following this slow, old van into work today. Obviously he was lost and was hesitating on a green light in hopes that it would turn red so he could get his whereabouts around the big, scary city of Cleveland. I shouted this when he stopped at a yellow light - a light that he obviously could have easily made.

2. ‘Piece of shit, asshole!’
I think this goes without saying. This is my go-to bellow when I can’t think of anything creative to say.

3. 'Fuck an A, Jesus fucking Christ, you goddamn bitch!'
I was following some lady who was fussing with her hair and constantly looking in the rear-view mirror to fix her fucking face. She was in the left-hand speeding lane and putting on fucking lipstick. Really?

4. 'Move to the right you old bag!’ or ‘Move to the right you fucking white head!’
Let me preface this by saying, I love old people. I really do...except when they drive. I firmly believe, after the age of 70 years old, everyone should take a driving test every two years to prove to the authorities that you are a capable driver. That’s just me.

5. ‘Right is fast. Left is slow. Did you ever take a fucking driver’s test?’
I shouted this to a couple of drivers who were, obviously, in the right-hand lane either talking on the phone, screwing around with their goddamn GPS or putting on their fucking make-up.

6.‘Oh, give me a fucking break!’
Although somewhat familiar to rant #1, I specifically yell this rant when some driver does something that is so fucking stupid, that I’m just completely flabbergasted. Examples include, dodging between lanes and cars, swerving on the road, obviously texting someone, constantly looking over at their passenger and trying to have a meaningful conversation and reaching for something in the passenger seat (i.e. lipstick, coffee, Hostess apple pie, etc.)

7. ‘Ha. Ha. Fuck you asshole!’
Although not very creative, I say this to driver’s that attempt to pass me up on the right-hand lane only to be cock-blocked by a big rig or slow van. Trust me, if someone gets on my ass, I cordially put on my blinker and get in the right-hand land (see quote #8 below). However, if it’s obvious that I’m in the fast lane for a reason and that I’m also in the same traffic that they’re in, I have no fucking sympathy for you.

8. ‘Go forth my little rabbit!’
I say this to people who are on my ass and are dying to pass me up – sometimes they flick their headlights at me, which makes me feel especially great. But I don’t care. I consider them my little rabbits who, eventually, will get eaten by the wolves (i.e. the State Highway Patrol). And when I see them picked up by the police (and often I do), I say quote #7 with pleasure.

9. 'There you go. Now turn your steering wheel to the right and get in the right-hand lane. Good job!'
This is obviously to people who have no clue how to drive. However, instead of yelling at said driver, I say this in a quiet, almost snarky, somewhat sarcastic tone like I’m a new pet owner talking to a little kitten or puppy.

10. ‘Your fucking piece of shit belongs in a goddamn dump!’
Look, I get it. Times are tough. A lot of people can’t afford nice cars. Hell, I’m driving a 2005 Toyota Camry myself. But, at least, I keep up to date on the tires, the oil changes and regular routine maintenance. I save this little blurb for people who, obviously, could give two shits about their vehicle. Ironically, I’ve noticed myself saying this a lot more since I moved up to Northeast Ohio from Columbus.


11. 'I will fucking kill you.'
Trust me, I don't pull this one out of the mental suitcase too often. But when I do, I totally mean it. This special rant has to be under extreme conditions where a driver is doing something so awful, so confounding, so gosh-darn stupid that it just sets me off. My wife overheard this quote a couple times, and was speechless. Her eyes wide, she looked over at me, and yelled. 'Are you fucking crazy? You need to relax.' I guess I am. And I guess I probably do.

Well, there you have it.

Now, I’m curious. I’d like to hear your favorite dirty little quotes during your morning commute.

Please do tell...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eimer Book Review - Neil Gaiman's American Gods

When I read that Tom Hanks optioned the rights to Gaiman's third novel for an HBO mini-series, I was intrigued.

For the past 10 years, like a basket of unimportant dirty laundry, my copy of American Gods has been resting comfortably in a box of  'to-read' books in my basement. However, thanks to this little nugget of information, I thought now would be the ideal to dust if off, free it from its cardboard confines and finally, delve into this behemoth of book.

Well, now that I'm finished, I have mixed feelings. Although I tip my hat to Gaiman for taking on such an interesting, grandiose idea, I thought this novel was a bit long, a bit winded and a bit (dare I say) bland.

Don't get wrong. The plot is very intriguing: the old forgotten gods of yore band together to battle the new gods of technology, television and internet in a no-holds barred final war. And you can feel Gaiman's excitement as the English-born author travels vicariously across the United States through the main character Shadow and his mysterious partner Wednesday in search of unknown, once-great gods to wage his war.

The writing is, as expected from Gaiman, excellent. But, I found the main character of Shadow a bit boring. I found the Gods not that exciting, much like the creatures from Jim Henson's The Mystics from The Dark Crystal who slowly ponder across the land. I found the entire book to be just 'okay'. Although important to the overall story, the dream sequences were a bit too much in my opinion. Maybe it's just me, but I'm just not a big fan of reading about character's dreams in print form.

I will, however, give a nod to the Gaiman's murder/mystery story within a story set in the small town of Lakeside. A very intriguing idea that could have been a separate book in itself.

Am I glad that I read it? You bet. But in a perfect world, this novel would have been about 300 pages shorter for my tastes.

Check 'er out...sadly, with reservations.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

18 Animated Movies Eligible for the 2012 Best Animated Oscar

Movie geek blog Slashfilm just put up an article that announced the 18 2011 films that are eligible for the Best Animated Oscar award this year which include:

  • Rango

  • Kung Fu Panda 2

  • Puss in Boots

  • Rio

  • Cars 2

  • Hoodwinked Two! Hood Vs. Evil

  • Gnomeo & Juliet

  • Mars Needs Moms

  • Winnie the Pooh

  • The Adventures of Tintin

  • Arthur Christmas

  • Happy Feet Too

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

  • The Smurfs

  • Alois Nebel

  • A Cat in Paris

  • Chico & Rita

  • Wrinkles

  • Based on my previous viewings of said films as well as word of mouth buzz and reviews, I'm going to pick the following five contenders:

  • Rango

  • Winnie the Pooh

  • The Adventures of Tin Tin

  • Puss in Boots

  • Rio

  • And, going with my gut here, I'm going to pick the Spielberg Directed, Peter Jackson Produced The Adventures of Tin Tin the winner with Rango a very close second followed by Mars Needs Moms (just kidding!)

    So, what do you think?

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Winnie the Pooh Medications

    A while back, I talked about my theory that the Disney cartoon My Friends Tigger & Pooh takes place in the mind of a very old lady named Darby who resides in the Hundred Acre Woods mental facility and lives with people who appear to be the popular characters in the show....but they're crazy humans as well.

    Well, to further cement my theory, I came across this infographic of medications for winnie the pooh characters courtesy of

    All I have to say is who's laughing now? Who's fucking laughing now?