Archive for November, 2012

Dragonvale: Lunar and Solar Eclipse Dragons

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Seems to me like the Lunar Eclipse dragon is a bit of a chunky monkey:

Solar and Lunar Eclipse dragons

I used the combo Air + Mountain for Lunar, and Blazing + Lava for Solar. Still haven’t been able to get Seasonal, and I’ve probably tried about 100 times at least. So, if anyone out there has a tried and true combo, holla πŸ™‚

DVD recommendation: Ip Man (also on Netflix streaming)

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

If you haven’t seen this martial arts film, I recommend it. Beware though, it can get quite violent.

From IMDB:

A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun.

Set during the Japanese occupation of China in the early 20th century, Ip Man is a renowned martial arts master, content to quietly live with his wife and child. However, when the Japanese army brutally tortures and kills his friends and neighbors, he’s forced to act.

In later years, he would be known as an early teacher of Bruce Lee, showing him the ways of the Wing Chun style of martial arts developed in Southern China. It’s a very powerful movie, and Donnie Yen (Ip Man) has to have some of the fastest fists around.

I managed to find a trailer that didn’t spoil the entire story. The voiceover narration is pretty lame, but otherwise it’s a good trailer. Enjoy:

Movie Review: Skyfall (spoilers possible)

November 23, 2012 Leave a comment

“Sometimes the old ways are still the best ways.”

This is a theme running throughout Skyfall, the latest Bond installment from director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition).

A partial list of why this was a perfect mixture to create one of the best Bond films in the 007 arsenal:

  • Daniel Craig – James Bond
  • Judi Dench – M
  • Ralph Fiennes – Gareth Mallory
  • Naomie Harris – Eve
  • Javier Bardem – Silva
  • Roger Deakins (cinematographer: True Grit, No Country for Old Men, pretty much every Coen Brothers movie ever made, Dead Man Walking)

Deakins is a master craftsman. Every scene was beautifully constructed. Mendes really knocked it out of the park overall also, which goes without saying.

The film’s synopsis:

Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat no matter how personal the cost.

The costs really do end up being especially personal for Bond in this film. Craig’s Bond is a master at his game, but when things go wrong he’s vulnerable – his body is not able to bounce back the way it used to. As one character says, “It’s a young man’s game”. And it is, but again, sometimes the old ways are still the best ways. Craig proves that he’s just getting better, and his Bond is fitting more and more like a very nice glove.

If you’ve seen No Country for Old Men, you know that Javier Bardem plays psychotic oh so very well. After all, it did win him the Academy Award. He’s back to that formula in this, with a bit of homoeroticism thrown in (Bond’s response in one scene in particular is such a WIN).Β  As a sociopath on par with Heath Ledger’s Joker, Bardem chews up the scenery every time he opens his mouth.

Dench is back as M, who faces being forced into retirement and watching her beloved MI6 become an object of scrutiny. The weight of the world is on her shoulders, and every scene she has reminds the audience of this fact. Dench delivers a powerful performance through and through.

I really don’t want to give any spoilers here, so I’ll leave you with this: when you go see this movie, pay very close attention to just about every scene, if you are a Bond fan from way back. Rewards are numerous.

I may need to go see this movie again real soon. A+++.

Empower Long and Lean Total Pilates with Gin Miller (a review)

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I found the Empower Long and Lean Total Pilates with Gin Miller kit at a local sporting goods store for about 20 bucks. It comes with Miller’s Pilates Bar and a workout video.

Two days later, and my core is still on fire. I didn’t think it would be because the moves aren’t that complicated, but I was sooo wrong.Β  Plus, there’s a bonus Arms workout at the end that makes the biceps and triceps really work.

Martial arts requires a strong core which Pilates can help develop. Plus, I have found that by varying the types of workouts that I do, whether it’s strength training, Pilates, Yoga, running, and yes martial arts, it keeps me from getting bored.

I have a Reformer at home, but no space for it at the moment. This workout uses similar movements with the bar that’s included in the set. That’s great for me until I get a chance to clear out some space in my house for the reformer. Hmmm… perhaps I can convince my husband to give up his playroom? πŸ˜€

I included a short teaser for the video so you can see what the bar looks like and the exercises Miller has her student perform:

Movie Recommendation: 24 Hour Party People (2002)

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Starring Steve Coogan as Tony Wilson, 24 Hour Party People is an intriguing look at the Manchester music scene and Wilson’s role in making it unforgettable. Here, you see Joy Division coping with Ian Curtis’ decline with an impending US tour, the crazy Shaun Ryder ingesting half the drugs in England and elsewhere, and Wilson himself trying to make a go as a record label owner/club owner/promoter without “selling out”.

For fun, I thought I’d include two versions of the song Ceremony; one by New Order live in 1984, and one by Radiohead in 2007. Enjoy.

Skyfall – James Bond is back and in fine form (trailer)

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s out today. Definitely view worthy πŸ™‚

Dave Grohl joins Queens of the Stone Age on their sixth album

November 6, 2012 Leave a comment

So there was a cryptic image today on the QOTSA Facebook feed, and it suddenly all makes sense:

So Dave on drums, eh?

Queens of the Stone Age is one of my favorite bands. I’m not sure why, but I tend to dig whatever Josh Homme collaborates on, which includes also Them Crooked Vultures (Dave GrohlΒ  is on drums there also), and Eagles of Death Metal. Word round the campfire recently was that the Foo Fighters were going on hiatus for awhile, and it looks like Grohl will be going on tour with QOTSA next year.

I’m pretty happy about that. I liked his last collaboration with this band, Songs for the Deaf. Favorite song: Go With The Flow. Take a gander:

NME has an article on the subject. Feel free to peruse for more info.

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