Sunday, November 14, 2010


Found this today and wanted to share. I'm looking forward to it from the trailer. I'm hoping it is not a let down like many movies with good trailers tend to be lately. But, I don't see how it can be with this cast.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

At Least I Have a Job...

Those are the words I have been saying and others have been saying to me and themselves. For over a year we have been hearing this time and time again. That is around the time the economy went south. It was the largest recession we have seen in our life times. And yes, I am very happy to have a job. There are many people out there who can't find work and have lost everything. But why?

Is it because the American people were stupid with their money? Is it because banks did things or were forced to do things that shouldn't have been done? Is it because Americans have a dream of owning their own house and living comfortably?

American people have been stupid with their money since we gained our independence in 1776. Not every American but some Americans. Its a given. But, its your money and you earned the right to do with that money as you wish. Not to mention the fact that if you are blowing your money on stupid things or purchasing the things you need, you are still putting it into the economy. So, I don't find that to be the root of the problem.

Depending on which side you see it from the banks lent out trillions and trillions of dollars for people to be able to buy a home. Some say government regulations forced them to do so and others say it was just the banks stupidity for lending hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who couldn't afford to pay it back. Either way this did cause a bit of a problem. But, was this the kicker?

We have all been raised with the idea of the "American Dream". To own a nice house with a white picket fence, a dog, and 2.5 children. And, if you didn't have these things by a certain age then there must be something wrong with you. But, even before this economic crisis there were people who couldn't get these things. It just wasn't in the cards for them. Once the banks started handing out loans left and right everyone wanted their piece of the American pie. But, I can't blame it all on this. There are plenty of banks out there who joined in on the loan extravaganza and didn't have down sizing, need a bailout, or have to jack up their customers rates. Believe it or not some of these banks grew. Still not the root of the problem.

What is then? What's the root of this economical crisis? Greed. Yes greed. And, no this isn't a Sunday school lesson.

In the 1960's and 1970's a CEO in a large company would make 20 to 30 times that of a typical worker. Today that number is astonishing. A CEO of a large company makes 270 times that of a typical worker. Inflation is a guarantee but wage raising isn't. Not anymore. Between 2002 and 2007 the average wage for a college graduate or a high school graduate went up zero. When the economy went south just over a year ago millions of hard working Americans lost their jobs. Trillions of tax dollars and borrowed money were given to the large companies and their CEO's because "we couldn't let them fail". These same CEO's have the power to kick start this economy again.

How? Ask anyone that is "lucky to have a job" when they will get another raise. Or, even better, when they will be making what they were making before the economic crisis. Some of us have kept a job, and yes I am very thankful for that, with the stipulation of less benefits and less wages to save the company from going under. Sounds noble right? We also know people who we used to work with who weren't so lucky. They lost a job from the same place we work and now have to find something to help support them and their family. Mean while someone else gets hired into their place for less money, or someone who already works there takes on their responsibilities while getting paid the same or less because they feel "lucky to have a job".

Meanwhile the CEO's and big wigs are raking in the extra money meant to save the company and the lively hood of all its workers so they can keep up their life styles. Private jets still there. Mansion still there. 3 vacation houses still there. Yacht still there. These CEO's and company heads alone have the power to kick start this economy. They have the power to raise wages, to open new jobs, to offer amazing benefits. But, they can't live like movie stars while doing so. Maybe they have to live like really wealthy individuals instead. I know. It's hard to live like that.

The middle class is slowly dwindling. 2% of the population controls 89.97% of the country's wealth. That leaves 10.03% for the remaining 98% to fight over. This slowly takes the people in the middle class and forces them to the lower class. Now that 2% of the population can pay you whatever they want for you to do a job. Why? Because you will at least have a job and you may reach yourself into the Upper Lower Class.

Its already started. How many job interviews do you conduct or go to and are able to negotiate benefits and wages? On the other hand how many job interviews do you conduct or go to where you care about that right now? 99% chance the answer is zero. Why? Because regardless the pay or benefits, at least you have a job. There are millions of Americans who don't. And, its sad that we feel happy to just have a job.

2% of our countries population is living large, and if they would live just a little less large and pay decent wages and open up jobs... Then the other 98% would be able to live a little.

Monday, March 8, 2010

And The Oscar Goes To...

The Academy unveiled their picks for the best in the biz of 2009 last night at this years Academy Awards. Every recipient got their own piece of movie bliss when presented with the little golden statue better known as the Oscar.

The Hurt Locker was nominated for 9 Oscars and took home an amazing 6 awards. This coming in a year where a ground breaking movie called Avatar was highly nominated and expected to take home the lot. But, Avatar bank rolled a lot of money in theaters so naturally the Academy felt the need to stray away from giving it awards and stuck with the less known, political, set in a war movie as they seem to always do. I guess it makes them feel informed.

Oscars awarded to The Hurt Locker:

- Best Achievement in Directing (Kathryn Bigelow)
- Best Achievement in Editing (Bob Murawski and Chris Innis)
- Best Achievement in Sound (Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett)
- Best Achievement in Sound Editing (Paul N.J. Ottosson)
- Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Mark Boal)
- Best Motion Picture of the Year (Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, and Greg Shapiro)

Congratulations Hurt Locker.

Avatar also received 9 nominations but only took home 3 awards. And, the awards given to Avatar were the ones that would have been robbery if they went anywhere else at all. The movie was ground breaking, imaginative, and gave people an escape from the norm with real world undertones. But, I guess the academy didn't catch all that. Its like being a fan of Dave Mathews or MTV. "Its so mainstream and I will lose my artist card if people know that I like it." Thanks Academy for continuously proving that Hollywood is so out of touch with the people who make you.

Oscars Awarded to Avatar:

- Best Achievement in Art Direction (Rick Carter (art director),Robert Stromberg (art director),Kim Sinclair (set decorator)
- Best Achievement in Cinematography (Mauro Fiore)
- Best Achievement in Visual Effects (Joe Letteri,Stephen Rosenbaum,Richard Baneham, and Andy Jones)

Avatar, congratulations on your achievements. You deserved more.

Believe it or not, there were 4 awards that I agreed with. Its rare to find me saying such things the day after the Oscars. But, this year 4 major awards were handed out to the right people.

- Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Jeff Bridges)

Out of the nominees Jeff Bridges, with his portrayal in Crazy Heart of a broken down musician finding clarity in his life, put on the best performance. Then again it seems the academy has a soft spot for those roles as well. Congratulations to you, Mr. Bridges. I agree.

- Best Animated Feature Film of the Year (Pete Docter)

Up was an outstanding movie. Congratulations. I agree.

- Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Mo'Nique)

If you saw Precious then you know there is no arguing this award. Congratulations Mo'Nique. I agree.

- Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Sandra Bullock)

The Blind Side could have taken home Motion Picture of the year and I would have been happy. But, at least Sandra Bullock did get recognized for an amazing job as Leigh Anne Tuohy. If you have not seen this, please make the time. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Congratulations Sandra Bullock. I Strongly Agree!

So, another Oscar night has passed and we will all be keeping an eye out for this years movies we feel should get a nod next year. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Madness Begins

It is March and that means its time for one of my favorite times of the year. THE NCAA TOURNAMENT!!! Yes, I am a college basketball fanatic. Well, Kentucky Wildcat fanatic and college basketball fan. This event is bested only by Christmas time in my world. With that being said, lets begin the madness.

The regular season ended today for all the major conferences in the NCAA. The University of Kentucky ended their season with a win over the Florida Gators at Rupp Arena. The win gave the Wildcats a perfect home record of 18 wins and 0 losses this season. That ties the record posted by the 1986 Wildcats who also went 18-0. Congratulations Coach Calipari and the entire Kentucky Wildcat organization.

Although the major conferences ended their regular seasons today, we had a few conferences end their tournaments. That means we have some teams that are putting on their dancing shoes and learning the shuffle because they have guaranteed themselves a spot in the big dance.

Here is what we know so far. The tournament is a field of 65 teams. 31 automatic bids are handed out, 30 to conference tournament champions with 1 to the Ivy League Conference champion (The Ivy League doesn't hold a tournament). And, 34 at large bids are handed out by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee on Sunday, March 14th. Its fair to assume that teams such as Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse, Duke, Purdue, etc. will get in regardless of winning their conference tournaments or not, but we wont know that "for sure" until a week from today. So, I'm going to stick with the guaranteed in teams. We know 5 guaranteed teams that will be dancing thus far. They are as follows:

- Cornell from the Ivy League
- Eastern Tennessee State from the Atlantic Sun Conference
- Winthrop from the Big South
- Northern Iowa from the Missouri Valley Conference
- Murray State from the Ohio Valley Conference

Congratulations to all of these teams for advancing to the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately for most of you I don't see you making much of a run. Obviously it is all going to be determined by where the teams are seeded next Sunday, but either way I don't see 3 of the 5 doing too much damage. On the other hand I see two of these teams with a "possibility" in making some noise. The first of these would be Murray State. Not a big run for the Racers but could play spoiler in the first round depending on who they are matched up against. They had a good season ending with 30-4 record and opening their season with a 5 point loss @ California. They have some great leadership on the team, and given the right seeding, could make some waves. The second team that can make a possible Cinderella run as far as the Sweet 16 is Northern Iowa. They probably would have got into the tournament even if they would have lost their conference tournament to Wichita State earlier today. But, by winning the conference tourney they helped their seeding which will put them in a better spot to make a large splash at the dance this year.

Obviously the tournament is nearly unpredictable. Which is why it is so exciting and millions of people fill out their very own bracket of predictions every year. I'm waiting in anticipation as I am sure many of you are as well. From the selection show next Sunday, to the play in game that tips off the hours of basketball we will all watch in 3 weeks time, and that "One Shining Moment" montage that will recap the entire tournament after a champion has been crowned... Let the madness begin.