Tag: Movies

Hey there everybody!

Man, it’s been a while. Hard to believe it is already June. The year truly has flown by.

I figured I would throw together a post to give a bit of an update on where we are at and where we are going.

Bad news is that there has been such a long break. Ultimately, I have had a ton of things going on with work and the personal life and for lack of a better term motivational issues have limited production on the various projects I’m working on with this blog.

The good news? I plan for that to end right now! So here is the plan for the various aspects of this site so you all have an idea.

Long Distance Drinking: Will continue on as it has been going. This really has been the only thing that hasn’t dragged to a halt. The goal is to get it to release on a more regular, every-other-week schedule, preferrably on Tuesdays. We have a few ideas that we are going to be messing around with on the cast, so as always, let us know what you think!

GOON Gamecast: It has been a long while for this hasn’t it… Well, Game On Oblivous Noobs, because we are getting back in action this month. We have one veeeerrrrrryyyy old episode that has our in-depth review of Rogue Legacy. The goal for that is for it to be live in the next week and a half (aiming for June 7). At that point, GOON as you knew it will be complete…

The New GOON Gamecast: Given the long wait between episodes, we wanted to get things moving with the podcast and have revamped it a bit. We are aiming less for the marathon sessions of some of the previous episodes and settling in on approximately 1 to 1.5 hour episodes with a bit more of a traditional set of segments. The goal is to also hit a every-other-week schedule for releases, either on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. We’re aiming for Episode 1 to be out shortly after the Rogue Legacy episode (it is already recorded, just need to get the beast out of the way). It will still include Tom, Lance and myself, so no worries there. Just a streamlined focus to the shows from our initial aims.

Videogame Posts: One of the biggest struggles I have had was finding a structure for how to write about the various games I’m playing. Coupling this with my huge gaming back-log, I ended up coming up with an idea. My focus each month will be playing through games on my back-log, focusing on working through games of the same series each month. So, starting with June, I am playing through the Borderlands series. So, there will be at least one post a week (aiming for two) that will be relating specifically to the things I am seeing in games from that series. Aside from that, there will also be posts of other random things I am playing too if I get a good idea.

Tabletop Game Posts: There has been a lot happening with Tabletop gaming recently… My goal is to put up a post a week about a topic that strikes me on those. I am aiming for Wednesdays or Thursdays with these posts. Plan on the next few to be about the Warhammer Fantasy new edition on its way and my thoughts or speculation about it. I am also hoping sometime in the future to do some video content of various tabletop gaming topics and those will be shared here as well.

Movie and TV Show Posts: These will probably be a bit fewer and further between. Similar to before, I am planning on throwing out my instant opinions if a movie really strikes me. Then, I will see what other topics or ideas I find interesting with that and write about it about once a month.

June may be a bit of a struggle, but I’m really hoping to get more stuff written and out there. There will be some rough edges on the posts, but if I’m going to be looking at getting a quantity of things posted, there will be a few errors here or there. Similar to terrorism, if you see something, say something and I’ll fix it.

Also, if there are any ideas you want me to weigh in on, just throw it out there. I am also sure Tom will be throwing some posts up from time-to-time as well to get things out there.

So, I hope I can get more stuff out there moving forward and utilize this space much more effectively. There are a lot of things I know that I want to do past what we are talking about, but this is the baby steps to get in that direction.

Cheers!
Joe Burns “Hobby Box” Burns

Cheers!

On this episode, the guys take some time to break down their thoughts on Avengers: Age of Ultron and their review may surprise you a bit. Also, they take some time at the beginning to talk about Burns’ hatred for panhandlers and over-the-top Veteran reunions (he hopes it doesn’t make him a terrible person, but it just may).

Burns also walks through two other movies he saw during his mini-movie marathon weekend in Ex Machina and It Follows. The fellas also break down the new red-band Vacation reboot trailer, excitement for Tomorrowland and Mad Max: Fury Road, and Brent talks about what the next big thing in movie theater view will be – HDR.

But, most importantly, Burns tries out the new Coors Light Citrus Radler, their summer seasonal. This one may be a game changer (or it is just another light beer). All of this and they drink and drink some more, so clink ’em and drink ’em and hopefully you enjoy (or at least tolerate) the 21st Birthday of Long Distance Drinking!

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Welcome back drinking buddies!

It is upon us yet again, another Trailerpalooza! Even with Brent on location in Hot-lanta for work, we discuss the most recent reveals of information and how we feel about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Terminator: Genysis, Fantastic Four, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

We also discuss the new pictures of Jared Leto’s Joker from Suicide Squad. Plus, we get into a bit of a talk about WWE vs. WCW in the late 90s and early 2000s, the Nepal Avalanche and David Hasselhoff’s new song True Survivor from the movie Kung Fury.

But, most importantly, Burns does a double-book-end of Coors Banquet Beer and Shiner’s Birthday Beer. And the guys drink and drink some more! Prost, clink ’em and drink ’em and join us for more Long Distance Drinking! P.S. – Apologies for some slight audio volume issues in the very beginning of the show, it goes away by the 10 minute mark.

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We know it has been a bit, but we are back and ready to get drinking!

On this episode, we discuss Brent’s almost complete turn to the dark side as he has added an iPhone 6 Flex to his already long list of Apple products. With the Apple Watch out, will he want to complete his collection?

Continuing with the Star Wars metaphors, we get a little lost trying to classify who is what evil character in the Star Wars universe at Disney. And Lance says he is pretty sure he is done with Star Wars (we’ll believe it when we see it).

In direct reference to Star Wars and the amount of non-movie content that Disney is putting out there, we attempt to quantify how much of a good thing really is too much and attempt to put us in the place of the creators to see how we would react.

Aside from that, we debrief from all things March Madness and discuss what we did on our vacations over that time as well as give an update on various related enterprises. We also come up with a new show idea, called Between Two Uber Rides and discuss the regular random crap.
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Hey There Fellow Drinkers! It is time again for another batch of some Long Distance Drinking!

On this episode, through Leonard Nimoy’s death, we end up discussing and re-living the great career of Michael Clarke Duncan more than that of Mr. Nemo’s (as Lance keeps accidentally saying).

Aside from that, we stick with the “Hollywood” theme by discussing The Oscar Nominated movies for Best Picture, Hot Topless Maids and Brently’s proclivity for putting dicks in his mouth. We also delve into the process of paying respect to a TV show or movie by creating a fan-film that is different in style but still plays up the fan-service.

We also give an update to our Long Distance Dynasty on NCAA Football 2014 – here’s a spoiler, the three of us suck at it – and to Burns’ dismay, we avoid playing What’s in My Mouth again…

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Happy Belated New Year Everyone!

This episode we discuss why it is we didn’t record when we were all together for the holidays as discussed in the last episode (our title lays it out pretty clearly). We then discuss the things that went down over our holiday break, including our discussion of The Interview.

Aside from that, we delve into the video game we are all playing together, the College Football Playoff National Championship game, a bunch of the trailers that have been released in the last few months, and we play a new game.

Plus, we preface what we hope will be a new game to play along with the podcast in future episodes – Long Distance Drinking: The Bingo Game!

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Fellow Drinkers!

We get together this time to debrief from our previous craaaaazy episode. Brent decides he can no longer discuss relationships on the podcast, Lance decides that he should never drink a half-bottle of scotch in one sitting ever again, and Burns continues to say stupid shit he regrets instantly! And makes claims that his voice probably doesn’t live up to…

Meanwhile, we discuss one year of podcasting, rehash many things we had previously discussed, and discuss the TV shows and movies we’ve recently seen and if there is a lack of good, innovative science fiction out there. Oh, and there are a shit ton of conversation killers. And we create a band name – we just need to figure out how to make music now.

Plus, we preface this next episode which we will all be recording in the same place over Christmas weekend (whhaaaAAAAttt???). So send us your thoughts for topics or games we can play while we record what we hope to be a marathon session of (not so) Long Distance Drinking!

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It’s time again to do a little (or a lot of) Long Distance Drinking! One year to the day that it all started on as a matter of fact!

This time, the main topic of conversation is the fellas thoughts on the story and science of the movie Interstellar. In fact, we go into a good amount of detail with Lance’s amateur theoretical physics knowledge. And of course we rate the movie on the patented Hobby Box Blog 7 Point Scale (patent pending).

Along the way, we also try to make it seem like we know more about alcohol than just how to drink it; Brent solicits relationship advice from the two most single guys he knows; and we play a brand new game of Burns’ concoction. Plus, Lance’s level of inebriation leads him to a series of mumbles and curses by the end of it, but he blames the scotch for that. Near the end, we also share some listener feedback and we then say what we are Thankful for as it is Thanksgiving time.

So clink ’em and drink ’em along with us! Prost!

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It’s time again to get your drink on!

We’re back with one of our longer drinking sessions. This time we discuss how Michael Bay is raping our childhoods – and specifically how Lance keeps falling for it. We try to prognosticate where he will strike next and then decide to cast a new He-Man movie, but don’t get very far.

And also, Lance describes how the antiquated methods of measuring drinks, especially scotch, need to be revised. He looks to the cutting-edge system of equine measurement for inspiration.

Drinking rules are as follows:

  • Chug through the entire theme song along with Burns, if you’re cool like him.
  • Whenever you hear a conversation killer sound effect, take a drink.
  • Take a drink each time we say spoiler.
  • Take two drinks for each Michael Bay movie you’ve seen that Lance mentions, because you are part of the problem.
  • If we say something that crosses the line to you (sexist or what have you), take a drink as it will make it better!
  • If you are ever confused about the rules, just take a couple drinks and move on!

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Kanpai faithful drinkers! It is time for another Long Distance Drinking!

In this episode, we discuss Guardians of the Galaxy and just how awesome of a movie it is. We also debate whether it is the best marvel movie yet and why.

We also have the revelation that Lance is a goth hipster and explain why. Then we have some discussion on Adrian Peterson’s supreme athleticism and confront an angry Kraken.

Plus, we unveil the kickstarter for our best podcast project! So join us and bottoms up!

Drinking Rules for this episode:

  • Whenever you hear a conversation killer sound effect, take a drink.
  • Take a drink each time we say spoiler.
  • Take a drink (or a shot if you dare) whenever Lance butchers the English language.
  • If we say something that crosses the line to you (sexist or what have you), take a drink as it will make it better!
  • If you are ever confused about the rules, just take a couple drinks and move on!

Musical interlude provided by Young the Giant, performing R. Kelly’s Remix-Ignition at the A.V. Club as a part of their Undercover series. See more here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi1lx4NALbY

As always let us know if you have any thoughts or suggestions (or if you want to be on the show). Email us at hobbyboxblog@gmail.com or send a message on Twitter to @hobbyboxblog. You can also follow us separately : @hobbyboxburns, @brentlydavis and @roninclark (though Lance doesn’t ever post anything, so no need in that…)

Cheers!

We’re back! Out mid-season break has us relaxed and ready to rock out, with our cocks out!

Godzilla is out and we discuss our thoughts; spoiler alert – Lance had issues with it (no surprise there). We even create our own spin-off character from the show (and we want all licensing rights).

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The King of Monsters is back and better than ever!

Having just seen the newest reboot of Godzilla, the monster himself is the star of the show.

The visual effects team behind this flick succeeded completely in displaying Godzilla in as grandiose and immense fashion as has ever been done in a monster movie.

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Welcome to Oscar Week on the Hobby Box Blog! This week, as we scramble to watch as many of the Best Picture Nominated films as possible, the goal is to give you a review of the top contenders, leading up to our prediction of who will win the major categories on Sunday night!

So, we start off our first Movie Monday (admittedly a day late) right by kicking off Oscar Week with a review of American Hustle.

American Hustle – Review

One of the most beloved sub-genres in film has to be what I would call the “caper” film – being pulled off by a group of two-bit crooks kept together by the circumstances forced upon them. At its roots, American Hustle strives to exemplify the path paved by the giants of that sub-genre: The StingPulp FictionOceans Eleven, and Goodfellas.

In fact, Hustle has been compared in many ways to the latter film by many. In this, David O. Russell has pulled a con far larger than the characters within the film. This isn’t to say it isn’t a good film – I actually enjoyed it quite a bit – but, it isn’t quite at the level to be compared with the previously mentioned movies or in the same sentence as Oscar Best Picture.

American Hustle takes us to 1970’s New Jersey, where confidence schemes, bribery and corruption aren’t crimes, they are a way of life. At the center of it all is Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), an experienced con-artist struggling (unsuccessfully) to life a life of crime and a “normal” family life at the same time. He is partnered with Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) and Richie Dimaso (Bradley Cooper) and at the start of the film, they are prepping to meet their mark, Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner).

Note: Slight spoilers begin here. If you are fine with learning a bit more about the early part of the film keep reading. If not, skip to the end for the synopsis and rating.

I must preface my next comment by saying that audience doesn’t need to (and sometimes probably shouldn’t) always know everything that is happening in a given scene and why. Leaving a bit up for question can sometimes be a good thing. But the first two scenes of Hustle end up being a rushed and confusing few minutes. Things go wrong, but ultimately, the audience doesn’t completely understand how it went wrong, why it is significant and exactly what is really going on.

I will give credit where it is due, the introductory scenes do help to flesh out the basics of the characters – Bale is the sympathetically pathetic lead, Cooper is the heavy that tries to control the situation while not knowing how to and Adams is the calming, supportive force needed to hold the operation together.

Aside from that feel for the characters, there is no way for the audience to get a good grasp on what exactly is going on. Ultimately overcompensating for this deficiency, the movie then delves into about 30-some minutes of exposition in order to explain the complex relationships between the three characters and introduce Lawrence as Rosenfeld’s off-kilter wife.

In fact, the movie spends so much time with the exposition that when it catches back up to the beginning, the audience has forgotten that the meeting with Polito was where the film started. It is an interesting device, though it ends up a tad clunky in execution, falling short Tarantino’s masterful execution of these techniques (which the film seemed to be attempting to riff off of).

Fortunately, the film hits the ground running from that point forward, and the conflict between the characters and situations really do help to ramp the film up from that point forward.

Note: More plot spoilers to follow; if you haven’t seen the film, it may be best to jump to the end now.

In fact, that very next scene where Irving works to convince Carmine introduces the most compelling relationship and conflict within the film. In fact, the chemistry between Bale and Renner in each of their scenes is fantastic, building that magnetism between the two characters that the audience knows will ultimately come crashing apart in the ending.

I’m actually quite surprised that Renner didn’t get mentioned in nominations for Supporting Actor over Cooper for this film. Granted, Cooper’s portrayal of Richie Dimaso is solid, but from a character perspective really doesn’t develop as much from the beginning of the film to the end and is quite static compared to the highs and lows Renner experiences in portraying Polito.

In fact, I really think the only reason Lawrence and Cooper are nominated is because if their experience in last years Silver Linings Playbook, which was also directed by Russell. Lawrence’s portrayal of Irving’s imbalanced wife is fun and interesting, but nothing ground breaking. In fact, some of the more emotional scenes with her do seem quite forced and top heavy, which turns the character into a less believable caricature.

Any Adams’ portrayal of Sydney Prosser is phenomenal. With her character stuck in the middle of all of the conflicts, she does a phenomenal job of showing the complexity and internal struggle of being the one character that constantly has to maintain the con while pretending to be someone else, the well off British Lady Edith Greensly, whose “banking connections” in London allow for them to con numerous ne’er do wells of their money. Even down to the drops of accent every now and again at pivotal moments, we see the internal struggle that comes from having to not be yourself but a character at all times.

In the end, the audience feels a mixture of emotions – happiness that Irving and Sydney come out on top, but sadness for what happens to Polito when a he had is the best of intentions for what he was doing.

Spoiler Free from here on out.

All-in-all, Hustle is a fun movie that gives you a slightly different take on living a life of crime. However, at no point does it take that next step forward to the level of greatness found in the likes of Pulp Fiction or Goodfellas. The fact that Russell and Sony were able to build that comparison just goes to show you that they have a little bit of Irving Rosenfeld’s hustling expertise.

Rating: 5 Stars out of 7 Stars – Good

Buy It: If you enjoy a more cerebral con scheme or you really enjoy watching Amy Adams’ cleavage. I mean, really enjoy it.

Rent It: If you are a fan of Bale, Renner and/or Adams or you are looking for a movie with complex character conflicts.

Skip It: If you can’t stand Bradley Cooper or you are sick of ’70s crime dramas that are not as good as Goodfellas.

Am I spot on in my evaluation? Or does it seem like I am as confused as Richie Dimaso? Let me know your thoughts on the film in the comments below.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas wherever you are! As we mentioned yesterday, today we are finishing things off with some drinking rules for some of the more “modern classic” Christmas movies! If there are any movies you would like us to evaluate in the future, Christmas or otherwise, just let us know in the comments below. Also, if you have any additions you think should be made to the rules for these four movies, let us know as well. But, without further ado…

Day 12 – Christmas Day: Christmas Movie Drinking Games

A Christmas Story

Health Warning: It is advised that you DO NOT play this game over and over again every time it comes on TBS today… Only one time is recommended.

Thanks to its popularization by cable television, this movie is now a staple of most folks’ Christmas, and why not: it does about the best job any movie has of capturing what it is like to be a child at Christmas.

  1. Any time “You’ll shoot your eye out” is said, take a drink.
  2. When the kids run away in fast forward, yell “Run Away!” and then drink!
  3. Anytime someone swears but it is replaced with gibberish, take a drink!
  4. Each time Randy starts oinking, take a drink.
  5. The first time the leg lamp is seen within a scene, say “I love lamp!” and then drink!

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Christmas Vacation is definitely my favorite Christmas movie and is probably the best Chevy Chase movie of all time (aside from maybe Fletch and Caddyshack). Nothing makes you feel better about your own family’s Christmas than watching another family’s Christmas fall apart in hilarious fashion.

  1. Every time Clark says “Griswold Family Christmas” take a drink.
  2. Whenever Ellen calls Clark “Sparky”, take a drink.
  3. When Clark’s boss mispronounces his name, take a drink.
  4. Whenever Clark hurts himself in a klutzy way, take a drink.
  5. Whenever Cousin Eddie comes onto screen in a scene, take a drink.

Home Alone

As if there weren’t enough reasons to have a large, family vacation over Christmas, Home Alone gives you one more – people will break into your house, steal all of your possessions and leave the water on. Interestingly enough, this is the second movie on the list that takes place in Chicago and the third that takes place in the Midwest (A Christmas Story is based in Indiana).

  1. Any time that Kevin screams, take a drink.
  2. Say “Keep the change, ya filthy animal” along with it when it is said in the movie and then take a drink.
  3. Every time Kevin mouths off to someone, take a drink.
  4. Whenever the term “wet bandits” is said, take a drink.

Die Hard

Though it is overlooked at times, the original Die Hard is in actuality a Christmas movie. The incident in the movie happens during the company’s Christmas party, which is why John has flown all the way from New York to Los Angeles.

  1. Whenever “Nakatomi” is said, take a drink.
  2. Any time Sgt. Powell comes onto screen in a scene for the first time, say “Did I do that?” in your best Erkel impersonation and then take a drink.
  3. When John McClain laughs, drink for the duration of the laugh.
  4. Take a drink at each cowboy reference, whether someone is called one or a phrase, like “Yippee-ki-yay” is used.
  5. Every time John kills a bad guy, cheer and take a drink; whenever a bad guy kills someone, boo and take a drink.

I hope you enjoyed your 12 Games of Christmas as much we have! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night – of drinking!

The Netflix rating system SUCKS!

What qualifies me to say that? I watch a lot of Netflix Streaming and I rate most everything I watch.  I like rating movies. I like the feeling of giving credit to good movies and shaming the bad ones. But the Netflix rating system sucks, because five stars just isn’t enough to judge anything properly.  Their “Hated It”, “Didn’t Like It”, “Liked It”, “Really Like It”, and “Loved It” rating system just doesn’t leave any room for really great movies or really terrible movies.

I end up giving 80% of movies three stars because they were just “meh” to me.  And then I am forced to put movies like Planet Terror and Land of the Dead in the same five-star category as V for Vendetta and Dr. Strangelove, when there is at least a star in between them.  But I can’t drop Planet Terror and Land of the Dead down to the four-star level with movies such as Payback and Get Shorty.

Then, the movies that I rated as “Hated It”, like The Mist and The Day After Tomorrow, get lumped into one-star ratings with movies that should be rated lower because they gave me cancer and kicked my dead dog, like 2 Fast 2 Furious and Timeline (because Paul Walker sucks).

This got me thinking about other rating systems that are out there.  There’s the “X” out of 10 rating system (solve for X), but that is just too many numbers.  When I see this rating system used I don’t give a shit about numbers 4-7, 9-10 might as well be the same number, and 1-3 must just be terrible.  And then, I just don’t know what to do with 8; it feels like getting a 15 in black jack (not sure if you want to hit or not).

Then there is Siskel & Ebert’s famous “thumbs” rating system that is for the dumbest of people who have no cognitive function, they just like shiny lights and loud sounds ( and anything by Michael Bay)… Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, FUCK YOU!

And this problem isn’t just for movies.  It also goes for TV shows, books, music, and whatever else you can or want to rate.  So that is my dilemma – there has to be a better rating system.

I have been pondering this a lot and I have an idea for something better.  It isn’t perfect, but I believe it is an improvement.  It is a seven star rating system.

With the Seven Star Rating SystemTM, One Star represents the worst movies ever made.  These are movies so bad that you wish nothing but terrible, terrible things on whoever (whomever?) was responsible – like for the rest of their lives, whenever they take a step it is always on a Lego.

Then you have a middle ground, Four Stars: the rating you give movies when you can’t quite decide if they are good or not.  Finally, you have a Seventh Star you can reserve for what you watch, listen to, or read that make you feel things and say “Wow! That. Was. Amazing!”  Also, the Seven Star Rating SystemTM eliminates the confusion about what the fuck to do with the “8”.

Seven Star Rating SystemTM would be this:

  • One Star: Atrocious.  These movies are so bad that you are pissed you wasted money and time on it.  It’s like eating a soggy biscuit from all the demons of all the circles of hell.
  • Two Stars: Terrible.  There are very few things you liked about these movies, they are mostly awful.
  • Three Stars: Bad. The things that you didn’t like outweigh the things you like by slim margin.
  • Four Stars: Meh. The movies you haven’t really decided if you liked them or not. There were good and bad points and more often than not it needs rewatching to determine your opinion.
  • Five Stars: Good.  The things that you like outweigh the things you don’t. They are enjoyable and often include guilty pleasure movies.
  • Six Stars: Great. These movies get almost everything right.  What flaws there are do not detract from the overall enjoyment of the show.
  • Seven Stars: Incredible. This is reserved for the best of the best.  These movies made a real impact on you and you will never forget them.  It’s like a velvet hammer from God himself.

Now, I know this still has holes in it because it only gives a very general view of whatever you are reviewing, but we are working on something to help make the review system mean more to you.  So until the entire “Greatest” Rating System is ready, we will be using the Seven Star Rating SystemTM.

So what do you think of Seven Star Rating SystemTM?  Does it make sense or is it total crap?  Let us know what you think in the comments.  Also comment on your One star and Seven star picks for movies, TV show, music and/or books.

P.S. God damn Siskel & Ebert’s Thumbs. Two thumbs so far down, they’re six feet under. (Too soon?)