Category Archives: Obi’s Hovel (Blogging for the Internet Jedi)

Making a Stop at the Super 8… again (Blu-Ray Version)

Frankensteined from my Big Screen review, edited for look-backs and 6 month later views.

Seeing this movie last night in the theater on Blu-Ray still made me feel 15 all over again.  Stephen Spielberg almost found that magic he had in the 80’s along with JJ Abrams….. almost.  Don’t let me take anything away from the film, I loved it, 9 9.5 out of 10 in first second watching.  I was only left confused in the final closing moments as to why the resolution took an hour and 40 minutes longer then it really needed.  But the ride sure was fun.

In the 80’s Spielberg created these epic “Kid Adventures” with the Goonies, Gremlins, ET, and Back to the Future where it was a teen (usually a virtual nobody in Hollywood) in the lead role taking on the hero’s role and burden on a mission to save the town/friends.  When I say he almost reclaimed the magic there is a fair amount of JJ Abrams sprinkled into the story.  JJ is a wonderful storyteller with a knack for creating mystery around a far from benign creature that we only catch glimpses of as it passes just out of sight.  And with that keeping the monster’s appearance a secret till it is only necessary.

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Rise of the Samurai – Isao Machii Cuts Fired Pellet in Half

The 1980s was a great era for the ninja, everywhere you turned there was a costume for sale, bootleg throwing stars being sold at flea markets, the biggest characters in G.I. Joe were Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes and biggest of all kids trying to emulate Sho Kosugi from the numerous ninja flicks that were busting off shelves in the video rental stores.

Isao Machii has the skill to make martial arts cool again but this time it will not be men masked in black and white, the sword wielding heroes will come in the form of the Samurai.  Most recently Machii-san appeared on “Stan Lee’s Superhumans” a show that chronicles abilities today’s people have that could be viewed as superhumans/superheroes in his comic creations.

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Making a Stop at the Super 8

Seeing this movie last night made me feel 15 all over again.  Stephen Spielberg almost found that magic he had in the 80’s with JJ Abrams….. almost.  Don’t let me take anything away from the film, I loved it, 9 out of 10 in first watching.  I was only left confused in the final closing moments as to why the resolution took an hour and 40 minutes longer then it really needed.

In the 80’s Spielberg created these epic “Kid Adventures” with the Goonies, Gremlins, ET, and Back to the Future where it was a teen in the lead role taking on a heroes role and burden on a mission to save the town/friends.  When I say he almost reclaimed the magic there is a fair amount of JJ Abrams sprinkled into the story.  JJ is a wonderful storyteller with a knack for creating mystery around a far from benign creature that we only catch glimpses of as it passes just out of sight.

I was not surprised by this, I saw the preview, but in front of my at the theater was a family with a maybe 13 and 9-year-old who really should not have been there in the first place.  The film has some fairly intense moments that had me questioning the PG-13 rating as the Spielberg name might confuse too many parents to bring kids along.

The cast was reminiscent of many 80’s films with the hero, who I could not help but see Elliott (Henry Thomas) in him all film, the fat kid who is the but of jokes, the nerdy kid who freaks out and cries at the drop of a pin, the hooligan, and the female love interest who falls for the hero.  It had all of the ingredients sprinkled just right to make a classic.

I won’t say much as I don’t want to spoil any of the fun, I suggest just seeing the trailer and going from there.

Not seeing this film would be a disservice to yourself.

Tyler Was Right… What Else is New.

Fight Club is a wonderful movie and an even more amazing book, but in this day and age no one reads… let alone this blog.  Our eyes are so burned to the retina from tv’s, cellphones, kindles, and computers that the printed page is a dying species.  But I am not here to write about the extinction of print today.  Today is about what I just slide into your psyche… materialism and the obsession for brand names to better our status in life.

“We are consumers. We’re the bi-products of a lifestyle obsession.” -Tyler Durden (Screenplay)

Behind the fighting, blood, sex, death and swearing Fight Club is a deep movie with a moral message that we could all live by to make the world just a bit friendlier.

Why in a time when they say the world is in a recession do more people than ever own mobile phones and a growing percentage of that a smartphone?  I remember as a child cable was a luxury and I can’t ever remember that a person I knew had a cellphone.  But yes this is a different age and a different society, but is it reality, luxuries are now necessities.

I am not preaching from a golden pulpit I am as guilty as the next man.  I have the smartphone, no scratch that, I am fooled into believing that I NEED the smartphone, yet I still continue to own one.  God forbid I miss that email, not even miss it, but don’t respond within a timeline that should not be expected of even your best mate.

When did our society feel that everyone needed an iPhone?

Why does the single mom trying to raise 3 kids on her own stand in front of  me at the grocery store have food stamps, but also has 3 children with iPhones.  Apple is not the only company that is guilty of consumer brainwashing, but they have a nice little corner so I will pick on them.

If the economy is so fractured how can society put pressures on the common consumer to have phones with 79.99 talk plans, 15.00 text plans and a 30.00 web plan.  Is the society in such a position to give up their homes but keep their phones?

Forget about phones, how about accessories.

How often was it that you saw Coach, Prada, Burberry and LV before the millennium?  And the Grammy Awards is not an acceptable answer.  Difference is that it is not superstars carrying around these bags the world now believes that a high school teen needs a handbag that costs as much as a laptop computer.

What happened to simpler times before push up bras were marketed to tweens?  Thanks for that Abercrombie.  When did sexualizing a 10-year-old become chic?  When money became an ends.  Abercrombie would not sell teenie push-up/padded bras if our society would not buy them.  Sure we can act aghast and disgusted, but they had market research done that said this item would sell and it has been pulled, but somewhere, some focus group said it was a great idea.

If our world was not so controlled by material needs we would live in a much more rich society, ethically and financially.

Before you buy your annual iPhone upgrade for $500.00 ask yourself if there is a charity you can help.  I am not asking you to donate $500.00 to a charity, why would anyone ever do that when you could have an iPhone.  But I am asking if you could spare a few bucks to help a less fortunate person.  Look on the web, everyone in need has a website, google “5-year old boy with brain cancer in England” Jack Marshall’s family could use a few bucks.  If you can’t donate the $500.00 how about just 5% of a big purchase.  If you can afford 500.00 you can sure ask heck afford $25 more to give to a very sick boy.  If you are not sure that it is actually going to a boy’s family how about donating to Haiti, Japan or Joplin disaster relief?  If donating out of your Country is not your piece of pie then just walk out the door of any 7/11 and there should be a hungry and worse-off-the-you gentleman in sight.  Grassroots charity at home is where it should start.  Concerned where the person may spend your 25 bucks?  I am to, so you can always ask what they would like in the McDonald’s across the street and buy them lunch.  I just wasted 200-words on charity didn’t I?

The need for more is killing our golden rule.  The little guy is being stepped on, and not just by “the Man” but we are fooling ourselves into thinking our Gucci shoes, CK pants, Nautica button up, jacket and Armani glasses make us high society.  News for you, when you cross the street and get hit by the bus that you didn’t hear coming because you iPod is blaring Lady Gaga your fresh wardrobe is not getting you through any Golden Gates, it will be the selfless gesture of handing a burger and pop to the starving, or the elderly lady that you helped with the groceries.

I could quote Luke 12:15, but I am not sure that the New Testament has been converted to the iPad just yet, so I will leave you with yet another line from the screenplay.

“It’s only after you’ve lost everything, that you’re free to do anything.”

Could Someone Please Pass the Memo, God is Not Helping You Win Championships

Every season a team wins the big game players can not give their thanks to God fast enough.  Unfortunately, the losers didn’t pray hard enough… before you send hate mail, that is just some humor.

I got to tell you, God is far to busy answering President Obama’s prayers about the economy and Lady Gaga’s pleas for a number one album.  Thank Goodness for the Catholic Church because they assigned a patron saint to sports.

Please note, further point your requests and prayers regarding sports, winning and championships to Saint Sebastian

And I Heard, as it Were the Noise of Thunder

…or just the amazing sound of August Burns Red

As close to Armageddon as we will ever witness. What a performance!

Donate to Jack Marshall

Jack is a 5-year old boy in England with Cancer, I will let Jack Marshall’s website do all the talking:

Jack is 5 years old. He is a fun, caring boy with a fantastic sense of humour, who loves his friends and family very much. Three weeks after starting reception year at school he became ill. It started with him being sick in the early hours of the morning and within 4 weeks, after several visits to the doctors and the hospital and being told it was a “viral infection”, things worsened when he screamed out that “his legs won’t work”. Later that day, after much cajoling of doctors at the local hospital, a CT scan was performed and a sizeable tumour was discovered.

Jack had to be stabilised using strong steroids before being transferred immediately to the regional children’s hospital 50 miles away, in Sheffield. This was the beginning of an emotionally long, traumatic and often painful journey to where we are now…

For over a year he has had to endure gruelling treatment. He survived a 10 hour operation to remove the primary tumour, and then received 4 months of high strength chemotherapy followed by 4 weeks of (twice daily) complete head and spine radiotherapy. After a short break, he is again receiving chemotherapy, which is still ongoing. Jack has continued throughout this process with determination and a smile. However, his disease and treatment have left him with permanent “late effects”. Epilepsy, instability, memory problems and sickness are just some of the issues that affect him every single day. His brain and hormone system are known to have been permanently damaged by his treatment with the possibility of further damage having been caused to his heart and other internal organs which are as yet unknown.

The Jack Marshall Brain Tumour Fund has been set up to support Jack in any way that is required and also to raise awareness of Childhood Brain Tumours in the wider community, in order to help future sufferers and their families. Jack’s parents

We would like to inform you that the “Jack Marshall Brain Tumour Fund” is NOT a registered charity. This is a Fund set up for Jacks benefit to pay for treatment, equipment or anything else that he will need in the coming years. (A charity must be for public benefit. Whilst we aim to raise awareness of Childhood Brain Tumours, this does not legally constitute enough to allow us to register as a charity as, currently, Jack will be the main beneficiary of the funds raised.) We wish to assure you that every penny raised for this fund will be going towards Jacks treatment/equipment that he will need and that any money raised which is not spent on Jack will be used to raise awareness of childhood brain tumours and/or distributed to charities of our choice that are connected closely to Jack and his illness.

Donate HERE


Visit, Donate, Send a Message, just do something.

Godspeed Jack

How to Fail and Make a Fortune and Ruin Lives in the Process

So it should be ticking just past 6:00pm EST here on the East Coast of America and the Rapture is just taking place predictions came and went across the globe as the sun crossed each land and nothing happened. Really this should be a non-story because the End-of-the-World predictions happen every year and they rarely ever get noticed unless someone does something radical like organize a mass suicide.

Why was Harold Camping so successful at spreading his word? Why is this Rapture different?

As you may have noticed this end of days had press, publicity, word of mouth, and everyone seemed to know what was being predicted. Partly because of the internet, but partly because of the press in mainstream and exposure. Never has a prediction had billboards like Camping’s prediction. Why? Because Camping had followers across the land putting them up in every major metro area to get the word out.

Few seemed to believe his prediction, some even became mini entrepeneurs selling post-rapture pet care to the saved for $130 a head and made a nice penny. atheists held parties to laugh in Camping’s face, twitter was all day with great humor, late night hosts had a field day and the Rapture came and went.

One local church near the Camping HQ setup shop to help offer counsel and acceptance to the followers who feel let down and ashamed as they leave the flock. Frankly, this is the only genuinely nice thing that will come out of this, one human offering to help another human.

But people across the Globe anxiously sit by and wait while Camping prepares to look ashamed, red-faced and apologetic in the face of defeat-if you can call this a defeat.

On Monday, or maybe Sunday, hell maybe never Camping will once again take to the airwaves to speak on his syndicated show and either explain himself or say there was some mistake, but either way this will not affect Camping’s goal, he has already won.

Yes, he won.

Where do you think all the billboards came from, yes we are back on that topic. Donations. People did not just donate dollars to Camping, they gave life savings in hopes that they themselves would be saved and he had some connection to send them to Heaven, or they genuinely were bamboozled by him and believed his prediction and wanted to help spread the word. One way or another they sent money in truckloads.

How much you ask?

In 2011 alone he has received 18 million dollars to his tax-free church status. That is a lot of money, but nothing compared to the 104 million dollars he has amassed over the past decade spreading the word of his salvation.

104 million dollars is 104 million reasons he is not one bit ashamed of his mishap. He embarrassed himself for a fortune, people take far less to do this week in and week out on reality tv. He did it for enough money that he can buy a small island and never feel embarrassed by anyone.

What he did is unforgivable, he prayed on the faith of the hopeful and the naivety of an entire world that thought he was making a wild prediction, he was orchestrating a grand global theft and he should be ashamed not of his mis-prediction, but of his actions and goals.

The Rapture is not happening, and Camping is a very rich man, he can walk away with 104 million dollars not caring that there are people with questioned faith, people without homes and yet another black eye in the face of religion; but one day he will stand at the Gates of Heaven and as Ricky Ricardo would say, “Camping you got a lot of ‘splain to do!”

I hope that anyone that followed his message can truly find the true calling of Jesus in a following not out to make a hundred million. Any true religion is not business and should not need to ask for money, but give what they can to help the less fortunate.


Chen Zhen Returns

Last time we seen Chen he was running from the school at the authorities and being gunned down as the film closed.  Assumed dead for three decades we now learn he not only survived but became a James Bond style agent for China.

This fall Media Asia released a sequel to Fist of Fury titled Legend of the Fist: the Return of Chen Zhen and it readies for its debut here in the States this spring.  Staring Donnie Yen and directed by Andrew Lau the story works without moving into a ridiculous excuse for a reason to smear a legendary character’s name all over a franchise.   The film would work with or without the Chen Zhen attachment, but it give the character history that fans can appreciate.

While not only bringing to life Bruce Lee’s legendary role they also use his image of Kato as homage to disguise Zhen throughout the movie.  Younger movie goers without the appreation for classics may compare it to the Black Mask not knowing where its imagery was drawn from.

This is not Donnie Yen’s first trip into playing Lee’s character fictitiously or biographically.  In1995 he portrayed Chen Zhen, but he also played Yip Man, Lee’s teacher in mentor.


Bring Spring!!!!


Thank you Peep.  Bring it.

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