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Posts Tagged ‘Five Random’

Something, something movies.

With 2016 I got back into the swing of watching movies. I saw over 100 movies, the most since 2009. Get it.

Best

11. Brooklyn – A women finds love and a new life in America, but will Ireland draw her back?

10. Eye in the Sky – This moves more like a legal, ethics class, but I found myself fascinated by the drama and lengths they went to decide of ‘should they’ or ‘should they not’ launch a missile strike. And no real feel good results.

9. Creed – Maybe all the boxing movie tropes have been done and re-done by now, but watching Rocky become the mentor/trainer for his dead friend’s son, it still feels okay to watch them.

8. Captain America: Civil War – Punch, Pow, Pop! Superheroes mildly fight each other over a difference of opinion. It’s a total geek out, and you will be entertained.

7. The Shallows – So the premise is Jaws vs. Blake Lively. But what you thought might be a throw-away horror movie is nothing to throw away and is highly suspenseful.

6. Hell or Highwater – Chris Pine is basically in everything these days. With Jeff Bridges as a Texas Ranger chasing them, two brothers join together to rob banks to save their farm.

5. The Jungle Book – I didn’t expect all that much from a Disney re-make, but this is actually a damn fine movie. Bill Murray as Baloo? Idris Elba as Shere Khan? Scarlett Johansson as Kaa? Christopher Walken as King Louie? Heck ya.

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Good, I’m tempted to buy all the toys like I had as a kid for the first three movies. Darth Vader’s castle is cool. Now I need to see it again in IMAX 3D.

3. The Martian – Matt Damon on Mars! I need to watch this again, I just decided.

2. Spotlight – Wow, the Best Picture winner is the true story of the exposé of the Catholic Church in Boston. Haunting and sad and it makes you angry.

1. Sicario – Gritty, with a dark, underlying tone, this movie looks at US-Mexican border policies and how the US fights the drug cartels, but all is not as it seems. All is not rosy.

Worst

5. Scary Movie 5 – Let this franchise die. It’s not funny. Maybe if they made an actual funny parody movie (not that the first one was brilliant but it had its moments), we can keep it alive. But now please let it be offed in the most horror movie cliché possible.

4. Gymkata – Hahaha! I watched this during a ‘bad movie’ night. It was fun to pick it apart and laugh at all the WTF moments. Watch it with a group of snarky people, and you will find fun where there should be none.

3. Zoolander 2 – Don’t do it. Okay, you will if you saw the first Zoolander. But you will still regret it. And I will have told you so.

2. The Lobster – I hate this movie. I’ve often been annoyed with Colin Farrell as an actor and the films he’s been in (yet there are good ones like In Bruges), but this takes the cake. Weird, oddball, strange are words you could use to describe this movie. I choose the word ‘terrible’.

1. Joysticks – I listen to a podcast called Stack of Dimes. They started a new series of episodes to review bad movies that somehow made it to Blu-ray. They featured this one, which is supposed to be a Porky’s knock-off from 1982. Not so bad it’s good. Just so bad.

 

Stats on Movies Watched

  • 111 movies watched in 2016
  • 26 on a plane (whoa, I must have lived on a plane…)
  • 27 repeat viewing (and therefore not eligible for the best/worst list)
  • 3 Bill Murray movies
  • 6 Liam Neeson movies (I went through a phase…)
  • 11 movies in the theater (Haven’t been going to the theater that much…)

Extra Special Bonus Time (All 111 movies)

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Music!

2016 was another year.

I added 68 new albums to my library. I attended 37 concerts (or 106 music sets), including hitting up the 5th annual Firefly Music Festival. I also wrote concert reviews for 23 concerts and five days of festivals!

Onwards!

 

Top Albums Listened to in 2016*

  1. ‘Simple Forms’ by The Naked and Famous
  2. ‘Secrets’ by Deep Sea Diver
  3. ‘The Balcony’ by Catfish and the Bottlemen
  4. ‘Yoncalla’ by Yumi Zouma
  5. ‘Everybody Wants’ by The Struts
  6. ‘White Noise’ by PVRIS
  7. ‘Higher Truth’ by Chris Cornell
  8. ‘Every Open Eye’ by CHVRCHES
  9. ‘Wild Things’ by Ladyhawke
  10. ‘Stay Together’ by Kaiser Chiefs

Honorable mentions: ‘Better Nature’ by Silversun Pickups; ‘Delirium’ by Elle Goulding
*Does not have to have been released in 2016.

 

Bonus #1: Top Concerts of 2016

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One of my 2016 bold predictions was to…binge watch three new TV shows.

I went a bit overboard and binged out on 12 new (to me) TV shows. Having goals is hard, you don’t know when to say when. Damn you Netflix!

 

Here they are, ranked:

1) Stranger Things (Season 1: 13 episodes) – Pretty good. Pretty scary.

2) Marvel’s Daredevil (Seasons 1 & 2: 13 episodes each) – Season 1 was what a superhero show should be; dramatic, a bad bad guy, good action sequences and some bouts of conscious. Season 2 got annoying however, with the existential crisis of whether you should kill bad guys. From the guy that beats everyone to a bloody, permanently mangled pulp. #TeamPunisher

3) Narcos (Season 1: 10 episodes) – Pablo Escobar is a bad man. But you can’t look away.

4) The Expanse (Season 1: 10 episodes) – Slick sci-fi whodunit in space!

5) Mr. Robot (Season 1: 10 episodes) – No robots were harmed in the making of this show. Though many of your brain cells were tweaked.

6) Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Season 1: 13 episodes) – David Tennant is not Doctor Who, he’s Kilgrave!! More mind games than action, but a dark look at redemption.

7) The Man in the High Castle (Season 1: 10 episodes) – What if Germany and Japan won WWII and then invaded the USA and split the conquest? Life 20 years later isn’t so rosy.

8) The Night Of (Season 1: 8 episodes) – A suspenseful look at the consequences of poor decisions and the terrible prison system we have. Solid, but no surprises.

9) Documentary Now! (Season 1: 6 episodes) – Fred Armison and Bill Hadar star in re-make parodies of actual documentaries, well done and often damn funny, especially the “DRONEZ: The Hunt for El Chingon” episode.

10) Broad City (Seasons 1 & 2: 10 episodes each) – Sometimes funny, often annoying, but a few genuine laugh-out-loud moments.

11) Vice Principals (Season 1: 9 episodes) – This sounded promising, with Danny McBride and Walton Goggins. Yet way too mean spirited to start, but does find its groove if you keep going.

12) Horace and Pete (Season 1: 10 episodes) – I really wanted to like Louie C.K.’s show, but boy is it tedious. Once in a while a flash of something interesting, but mostly no.

New TV Shows 2016

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I haven’t been writing much here on A Random Journey in 2016. Feel free to slap me around a little.

Yet, I have been writing, don’t worry, just more on the blog Parklife DC, about happenings in Washington, D.C. Go have a look see, I’ll be here when you get back. For example, things about beer and breweries or concert reviews.

Maybe I’ve forgotten what it means to write/post here. What does Random represent now? The future is still new and bold, we’ll find out.

Since I’ve failed to post my monthly Five Random Photos all year, let’s get frisky. How many photos from 2016 so far should I post? 1000? 50? 10? Yes, zero is an acceptable answer, but too late, I already did not go with that number.

Let’s say…20.

Skiing!

Right Proper Brewing

Hot Chocolate

Halo-Halo>

The Capitol Stone Yard
Kirin and Blossoms

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The Art of Travel

 

One of my goals for 2015 was to read 36 books outright.

That didn’t happen. I powered through a mere 32. Nothing to complain about, I suppose. I am mortal, but I was within spitting distance! Ptui

I put my feet up and partook in a healthy amount of science fiction last year. Nine books to be precise. Three of them made my list below. Are you screaming in joy yet?

I also nimbly vetted four Agatha Christie novels because it smacked of the thing to do. Or at least something I had never done before.

5. (Tie) Ready Player One (Ernest Cline, 2011) – The future is bleak. But the inventor of the all encompassing virtual world that everyone escapes to, develops a treasure hunt, where the victor is the supreme ruler of that world. And infinitely rich. The inventor loves all things from the 1980’s. So the quest is a geektastic exploration of nostalgia from the music, video games, TV and movies from that era. Our hero is an expert on all things the inventor likes. But so are many others. Some not so nice. Who will win? Oh yeah, Steven Spielberg’s movie adaption comes out in 2017.

5. (Tie) Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy Book 1) (Pierce Brown, 2014) – The sort of story someone might like if they enjoyed the Hunger Games or Total Recall or Greek mythology. It’s about a young man from Mars who seeks revenge for the death of his wife by infiltrating the ruling upper class, that style themselves after Greek Gods. He joins their training school, which is an expansive and glorified version of capture the flag. It reads fast and you will be entertained.

4. Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life (George Monbiot, 2013) – The ideas this book spark and the possibilities of how to live and let live are incredible. My favorite is that we often try to preserve the wrong thing in nature. We try to save or reconstruct what we know from our lifetimes (or parent’s lifetimes), but often those habitats and wildlife are not the original way of things. 100 years ago is not that long in the grand scheme of things. So much has happened in that time, yet humans and nature can co-exist. The book slogs at certain points, but the overall picture is worth an occasional slow spot.

3. The Martian (Andy Weir, 2014) – Read it now and you will certainly picture Matt Damon navigating the Martian landscape. You will certainly hear his voice narrating and explaining thorny nuggets of science theory. There is a big element of technical science, but it’s never too hard to grasp and is done with a smidgen of humor. And if you didn’t hear, The Golden Globes gave the movie adaptation the award for Best Comedy/Musical. What the…? It is not a comedy and the only music is disco.

2. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Daniel James Brown, 2014) – I would posit that the title alone should be instructive on the topic of this book. Outside that, this is the story of the University of Washington (UW) rowing team and their journey to be the best in the world. Most of the story is about the life of one of the boys, the Nazi PR machine leading up the Olympics and the epic rowing rivalry between the UW and the University of California – Berkeley, in a time when rowing was among the biggest and most prestigious sports in America. Hard to believe when you look at today’s sporting world, but true. My favorite part was when the UW rowing team clandestinely went to visit President Roosevelt’s actual home. They snuck in the back, knocked and were welcomed in to the house by his son, James, who was a huge rowing fanatic and had rowed himself. Imagine what would have happened today. I highly recommend you put down what you’re reading now, and read this instead.

1. The Art of Travel (Alain de Botton, 2004) – There are books that enrich your thinking. There are books that drop ideas into your brain that open wide all new possibilities. There are books that give you pause, just long enough to exclaim ‘Ah ha! and shake your head with a smile. Then there is this book that does all of those things, but goes beyond. What is travel? Why do we do it? And what perspective is the most important? This is an exploration of perspective, using the concepts and work of artists and authors as a key to unlocking the truth. The truth for you. I will only fail to describe the effect, so just read it. That is the best advice I can give.

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I’ve missed the boat and failed to share five extremely useless photos. Are you sad?

No? That’s what I thought. Oh well, no time like the present to correct such an egregious error.

P.S. No 4th of July photos, because that’s been done.

P.S.S. No good photos, because I don’t do those.

 

Some beer I needed to drink.
Beer

 

Mudhoney screaming at me. Read about their show if you dare. Mudhoney

 

Use the ‘trike’ and you know you’ll be safe!
Trike in Boracay

 

This existed for a brief time in the Seoul Airport, but unfortunately went in my belly. I still don’t know why.
Tasty?

 

This exists. Humanity has won. Their contribution to this planet has reached the pinnacle.
Philippines Toilet

 

Bonus? Bonus.

 

Witnessing the Presidents race on the 4th of July.
President's Race

 

Good tip.
Atlas Brew Works cans

 

 

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I have a bit of travel coming up in July and August (some of it will be vacation!) and will need to eat. In theory. There are also a fair number of restaurants I want to check out in Washington, D.C.

Since I’m short on new goal ideas, why not recycle another one I did last year? Why indeed.

 

July/August Goal: Eat at 22 new (to me) restaurants (at least half should be in D.C.)

 

It would be fairly easy to go to new restaurants while traveling, so I added the twist at the end.

Good eating to all!

Refresh your memory on last year’s (same, same) goal: 10 for November/December: New Restaurants in D.C.

Maybe the food will look like this?

Maketto

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