October 14, 2013 at 11:18 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I don’t see movies in the theater often.  This is mostly because I’m cheap but not so cheap I don’t pay for Netflix, so I can watch movies when they hit DVD from the comfort of my own home.  With or without my pajamas.

The last movie I saw in theater was back in the spring when Jurassic Park was re-released in IMAX.  Scott and I splurged with that and it was so amazing I wanted to become an IMAX employee just so I could be somewhere near the greatness that was that film.  Seriously, it was totally worth it and if it ever comes back to IMAX you can bet your ass that my ass will be back in line for tickets.

Yup, I never want to be an astronaut.

This past weekend, we decided to splurge once again to check out the new Sandra Bullock/George Clooney film Gravity.  It was in 3D at the IMAX theater and again, it was definitely worth it.  The whole film takes place in outer space and the visuals are simply amazing.  I won’t give any spoilers but the basic premise revolves around the two characters who get severed from their ship when a bunch of space debris flies by and wrecks the primary way they have of getting home.  The movie was fast paced and extremely eerie…there were definitely a few times when I jumped in my seat and when I wasn’t jumping I was completely sitting on its edge.  I’ve never really had the desire to go to space, mostly because I think I would have a panic attack fueled by claustrophobia once I got out there.  This movie didn’t make me change my mind.  I also think my pulse was up enough during the entire hour and half it played that I got an additional workout.

Scott was kind of skeptical because he’s not the biggest George Clooney fan but even he was impressed with the movie.  I’ve been replaying bits and pieces in my head since we saw it and if it weren’t for the expensive ticket price I’d probably go see it again.  As I said though, I thought it was worth going at least once, if for no other reason than the fact it does make you feel like you’re lost in space.

That said, I do have one complaint.  Perhaps I’m getting too old or something but the entire movie (and especially the previews) was so LOUD!  I get that it’s a theater and an IMAX one at that, but it was almost painful.  During the previews I could see some people sitting near us being deafened too but luckily the movie seemed to get quieter.  Also, the movie had some moments of complete silence (because d’uh, it’s silent in space) and then you could basically hear how everyone in the theater was holding their breaths.

Other than that, two thumbs up!

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Give Me Some SPACE

April 18, 2013 at 11:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

On Saturday, Scott and I went to see guitarist/singer Mason Jennings at Space, a music venue in the northern Chicago suburb of Evanston (yes, we had a busy weekend).  Evanston is a nice little town that’s actually a helluva lot closer to us than I realized, so it didn’t take long to get there.  Space is a venue located in the back of a restaurant called Union and it was a great…er, space…to watch a live show.  The setting was small and intimate which was perfect for the songs that Mason sung, plus there was a bar (always appreciated).  Everyone had a place to sit with a decent view of the stage while those who paid more had tables and sat in the center.  Scott and I were perfectly content to sit on the side and hold our drinks in our laps, thank you very much.

This wasn’t a wild and crazy concert with dancing in the aisles but it was a lot of fun and Mason put on a great show.  He was also funnier

Nice, huh?

than I had expected and told a handful of entertaining stories while on stage.  There were people of all ages there too, including a family who sat near us with their small children.  Their little girl started singing along at one point and damn near broke my heart with cuteness!  So it was a fairly laid back show, which was nice.  In fact, the craziest thing that happened was when I walked in on some dude peeing in the unisex bathroom.  You would think that a guy using a public bathroom would take the time to lock the door but nooOOOooo.  I may have blushed for a second, especially when the guy behind me mopping burst into laughter, but that was as wild as it got.

I’d definitely go out to this venue again and will keep my eyes open for cool shows coming their way.  Dr. John, the super awesome and funky jazz musician of New Orleans fame, was actually there last night but I had a prior commitment (which I’ll probably blog about soon) that prevented me from going.  Maybe he’ll come back?  Either way it was great to be introduced to a new spot to check out live shows.  Next time I may even grab some of the delicious-smelling pizza that Union delivers to your seat!

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Mars Attacks!

August 6, 2012 at 11:33 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Well, let’s hope not.

In case you hadn’t heard, today is a big, big day for humanity.  And science.  And NASA.  And really for every single person who has looked up into the sky at night and wondered what exactly is out there.  All thanks to Curiosity (the concept and the Rover).

The Mars Rover family, with the Curiosity on the far right. Photo not actually taken on Mars.

You may be wondering why this is such a big deal, especially since there have been Mars Rovers before.  Well, this one is pretty much the biggest, best and most bad ass thing we’ve ever been able to land on an entirely different planet, one so far away that we can barely see it from Earth.  It was basically parachuted down using a high-tech jet pack type device.  It had been traveling through space since November and the fact that it landed safely without crashing into a billion little pieces in the sand and dust is nothing short of amazing.  This thing is roughly the size of a small SUV and it pretty much goes to show that if we can land that safely, we could maybe land a ship carrying people at some point too.  Besides all that, this is pretty much a laboratory on wheels and is capable of conducting on-the-spot research that’s never been done before, all the while sending back images to NASA and the rest of Earth for us to ooh and ahh over.  NASA landed Curiosity in the crater of a mountain so it can look at sediments to determine if Mars has ever been able to support life, and it’s also trying to figure out exactly how this mountain was formed since Mars doesn’t appear to have the plate tectonics that Earth does.  There are all sorts of questions that scientists hope this new rover will answer and pretty much everyone is excited to see what it comes up with.  So long as it doesn’t involve creatures last seen in Alien, that is.

If you want to read some more or see some of the first photos that NASA received, check this out.  Curiosity may have killed the cat but it didn’t kill the Rover!



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