MRM - The Truman Show

Well it's that time again! Yup, good ol' Movie Review Monday!

The Truman Show (1998)

Directed by: Peter Weir

Written by: Andrew Niccol

Starring Cast: Jim Carrey (Truman Burbank)

Supporting Cast: Laura Linney (Meryl Burbank... sort of), Noah Emmerich (Marlon... kinda) Ed Harris (Christof)

What's It Rated?: PG for some thematic elements and some language

Genre: Satire, Comedy, Drama

Synopsis: Truman Burbank is a normal guy, living in a normal town, with a normal house, and a normal job... but perhaps it's all too normal. As Truman lives out his life he slowly begins to realize that his life is not what he thought it was, and his entire environment is controlled.

My Take: When I saw "The Truman Show" I was amazed. The different scenarios in the film all provide ques and little quirks you pick up now and again to piece together at the climax, and the Camera angles, while being confusing, make you look back at the movie and laugh about what you didn't understand earlier. Aside from a couple romantic scenes, some language, and a few frightening parts, "The Truman Show" is a pretty good movie, and I guess I'd want to watch it again a few times.

Story: 10 out of 10

Humor: 7 out of 10

Overall: 7 out of 10

-Graydon L

American Jiu-Jitsu

This guy probably spent his entire life learning how to do this stuff, but even at that, it's still amazing. Check it out:

Crazy. I wish I new even one of those moves.

-Graydon L

Yup, SPY is in Post-Production!

SPY is officially in post-production!!!!

Jonny and I wrapped up the last two fight scenes last night, as well as a couple of other things that I can't disclose here (sorry, the management said talking was a no-no :-)) Since we finished Filming I edited the visual side of the movie, but as yet, I still must find a long enough, spy-ish kind of song to play as background music.

And in case you didn't see it last time, here's the trailer.

-Graydon L

Movie Review... um... Tuesday :-)

Sorry for not writing a movie review yesterday, It completely slipped my mind. But here is the review that was supposed to go up yesterday.

Judgement at Nuremberg (1961)

Directed by: Stanley Kramer

Written by: Abby Mann

Starring cast: Spencer Tracy (Chief Judge Dan Haywood), Marlene Dietrich (Mrs. Bertholt)

Supporting cast: Burt Lancaster (Dr. Ernst Janning), Richard Widmark (Col. Tad Lawson),
What's It rated?: Not Rated (I give it PG-13, for some language, Mature subject matter, some use of alcohol, traumatizing intense scenes, and graphic images concerning Nazi Concentration Camps)

Genre: Courtroom Drama

Synopsis: It has been three years since the most important Nazi leaders had already been tried. This trial is about 4 Judges who used their offices to conduct Nazi sterilization and cleansing policies. Retired American Judge, Judge Dan Haywood has a daunting task ahead of him. The Cold War is heating up and no one wants any more trials as Germany, and allied Governments, want to forget the past. But is that the right thing to do is the question that the tribunal must decide.

My Take: This is an amazing film about the reality of a higher authority than each individual nations laws, and I highly recommend it for anyone (who is allowed to watch PG-13 movies) who is studying law, world views, or government.

Story: 8 out of 10

Suspense: 9 out of 10

Humor: n/a

Overall: 8 out of 10

-Graydon L

Oil, Gas Prices, and Nuclear Energy

I just read an article on Yahoo about a possibility that gas prices might come down a little bit in a little while. Of course the article says that because of a lower rate of consumption, more supply down the road and China's raising prices on gasoline and diesel, a move that might lower demand in the long run. My question is, what about alternative sources of energy? I don't know much about this stuff, but It seems to me that if we invested in nuclear energy we would be no where near the problems we are now having. Of course, everybody says that nuclear power plants can be bad for the environment, but what about France? France gets 80% of it's energy from nuclear power... without a single accident. And what about the US Navy? All of those nuclear subs and aircraft carriers are run on a football sized lump of uranium and they don't need to refuel for 15-20 years. Just what could nuclear power do for an energy-parched America?

Of course, our current system isn't set up for an entirely Nuclear operated energy system, and perhaps we'll rely on oil for another decade or two, but in the long run, I believe that nuclear is the way to go.

you can read the article about the lower gas prices here.

you can read about general nuclear aircraft carrier operations here.

As I said, I don't know much about this stuff, so If I have made an error in my statements or assumptions, please, leave a comment and let me know! Thanks! :-)

-Graydon L

Yet another Wedding...

Yeah, there's going to be yet another wedding. This one is for some friends of ours from way back. As I've said before, It's not that I don't like weddings, it's just that unless the person getting married is like, your brother or sister or something, they can be incredible boring.

The reason that I didn't post last night, was that we had some people staying at our house so I had to hang around and be conversational so I didn't get to the computer for a while and when Id did I only had enough time to publish the comments but not enough to write a full-fleged post.

I just saw this on Yahoo yesterday, check this out!

The great Office War: IT vs. Sales

whoever did this has waaaaaay to much time and money on their hands.

-Graydon L

Behold! the new face of GL's Highlights!

It's sleeker, It's faster, It's the new face of GL's Highlights!!!!

As per popular request, "the cost of the war in Iraq" and "Post Labels" have been deleted, and also the sidebar elements have been shuffled around a tad. In addition, I have smashed the usual title format of "Highlight #---" and replaced it with a more usual format... whatever I think the title aughta' be :-) And, although it isn't a bit deal, gotten rid of the usual starter phrase of "Hey Y'all!" in my posts. It kinda got in the way sometimes and got rather cheesy over time. But improvements aside, It's still the same old cool place it always was... sort of. Of course, this doesn't mean I won't take any more survey entries, I would love some more, and I need some more, but I've recieved enough info to make the changes I've already made.

And now on something completely different: I've run it by Sam, I've designed and sketched the first issue, and I'm almost ready for production. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, it's the newest graphic novel venture by Tree Top Publishing;

The Hank O'Grady Files: Hunt for GL

Story by Sam Y, everything else by Graydon L


Highlight #142

Hey y'all, I just got some survey entries yesterday, I'd like some more before I make any serious changes.

As recommended, I've changed "This day in History" to an automatic feed system. I've only seen today's entries so I'm not sure whether I'll keep it or not, but I'm willing to give it a try. If I find that the news in the timeline is in any way inappropriate, I'll see if I can find a better one to put on.

also, I've discovered a glitch in the GOOSE system, the check box questions are not working properly and when I receive entries, the answers to those questions are hidden from me. Fortunately, I've been doing OK without them and I've been somewhat able to decipher what the answers were. But until I can get the bug fixed entirely, I have replaced the check boxes with single-line text fields. In those text fields (the ones asking what your 3 favorite and least favorite sidebar elements are) please confine your answers to the following:

Cost of the War in Iraq
Post Labels
My friends Blogs
Past Movie Reviews
Pandora Radio
This day in History
My Shelfari Book Shelf

here's the fixed survey, the glitchy one has been deleted from Highlight #141.

First Name:
E-mail Address: *
Since the last survey, Has the content of my blog gotten better?Its waaaaaay better!!!!!
Its a little bit better
Its about the same
Its kinda gone downhill
Its going downhill... at 100 MPH!!!!
What can I do to make the content better still?
Do you think the Sidebar of my blog has too many elements?Dude, It makes my room look clean
Well, yeah
Its about where it aughta be
You could expand it a tad
Dude, you could add a ton of stuff to it!
Do have any ideas as to what I could do to make you like the sidebar more?
If I could only keep 3 sidebar elements, what would you want me to keep? (please confine your answers to the elements listed above)
If I had to get rid of 3 elements, what would you want them to be? (please confine your answers to the elements listed above)
Explain your answers to the above two questions:
In the last survey, a lot of people said that their least favorite sidebar element was Post Labels. If you were one of them, please explain your answer.
Do you like Pomegranates?Sure do! those little black seeds are the best part!
Whats a Pomegranate?
If you ran my blog what would you do to make it better?
How high would you rate my blog (out of 10)
If I could do one thing to my blog to make you happy with it, what would it be?
If I did that one thing, how high would you rate it then?
Do you like the basic Post Title format: Highlight #--- ? I have been recently toying with the idea of getting rid of this custom. What do you think?
Do you appreciate these surveys, or do you think that theyre just a waste of time?theyre great! I love giving feedback to you!
I guess theyre pretty helpful
Theyre OK
I only do em because I have nothing better to do.
I hate em so much, I print them and then burn the print.

* RequiredPowered by
-Graydon L

Highlight #141

Hey y'all, you're in for a long post so stay with me now. We went to Five Mile Lake yesterday, it's only a few miles away, almost walking distance. It was sunny, warm, and we had nothing else to do, so Jonny and I packed up some garden implements and are large collection of Army guys, and we set out to make the coolest diorama ever to be populated by little plastic guys with guns.

Despite the fact that most of our army guys have modern guns and equipment, we set up a diorama I call "a section from the beaches at Normandy". Maybe it isn't very historically accurate, but hey, we were just having fun. check out these pictures:

Here's your basic overview from the front.

A more in depth look at the defenders.

take a peek from the attackers point of view!

In the trenches at night... well not really at night, but I sort of looks like it.

Of course, every defencive base must have a motor pool. you can also see the back of the forward hill.

Our downed helicopter.

Enter at the Gate.

See what it's like from the back!

The forward Hill.

The rear hill. This hill is used for observation and targeting.

The authors of this amazing creation.

The forward hill, complete with bunkers.

A threesome of Snipers sneaking up and shuffling along in the sand.

Fire in the hole!!!!

Of course, you can't see the full glory of our amazing creation just through pictures, but still you get the idea. Hope ya' like my pictures!

And now, just as I promised, the Great, Overexaminary On-blog Survey/Exam (or GOOSE for short)

I'll take all the entries I can get my hands on!

~Note~ the survey has been deleted from this post as various glitches have been discovered in it. the errorless version can be found on Highlight #142.

-Graydon L

Highlight #140

Hey y'all, I saw this film just last week in the theater on my trip with my Dad down to Portland. It was heralded by mass marketing and actually a lot of the film could be pieced together (sort of) with all of the different clips and trailers released ahead of time. But enough of this, take a peek at my latest review in a long line of new releases:

Kung Fu Panda

Year: 2008

Directed by: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson

Written by: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger

Starring cast: Jack Black (Po), Dustin Hoffman (Master Shifu), Ian McShane (Tai Lung)

Supporting cast: Angelina Jolie (Tigress), Jackie Chan (Monkey), Seth Rogen (Mantis), Lucy Liu (viper), David Cross (Crane), Randall Duk Kim (Master Oogway

What's it rated?: PG for sequences of martial arts action and some crude humor.

Genre: Kids, Comedy, Action

Synopsis: As probably the laziest animal in the valley of peace, Po the Panda is not your typical Kung Fu master, in fact, he stinks at it, but that doesn't stop him from admiring the Furious Five and their master, Shifu. But when ancient Master Oogway predicts that the evil Tai Lung will break out of a specially designed prison (with 1000 guards and only one prisoner: Tai Lung. That's how good Tai Lung is at Kung Fu) Shifu holds a ceremony to pick one of the furious five to become the Dragon Warrior, the one warrior who, with the help of the Dragon Scroll, would have the skill to defeat Tai Lung. But by a freak accident Po is selected to become the Dragon Warrior... which makes for some hilarious action sequences.

My Take: While being both visually stunning and hilarious at the same time, Kung Fu Panda has a somewhat predictable story line. Although, as I said before, the humor is very original and timed well, this combined with various action sequences, carries the film through pretty well. The only thing they could have fixed is the training segment, which is kinda rushed, not nearly as bad as the first part of Prince Caspian.

Of course, there's some eastern beliefs mixed in, especially in Master Oogways lines. I don't quite agree with that element of it, but the film does take place in ancient China so I guess it fits.

As for action, I haven't laughed so hard since I saw Ice Age in the theater! It was HILARIOUS! the final battle has enough laughs built in to split your side in half in only a few seconds. I don't think I've enjoyed a "final battle" as much as I did the one in Kung Fu Panda!

Of course there's a little crude humor, which drives me crazy, but there's not near as much as in say, "Shrek" or "Shrek 2", which thrived on crude humor (I still wonder how Shrek 2 sustained a PG rating).

Anyway, Overall, I would love to watch it again a few times. Of course it's not a classic, but like I said, you just can't beat it's final battle scene.

Story: 6 out of 10

Action: 8 out of 10

Humor: 10 out of 10

Overall: 7 out of 10

-Graydon L

P.S. sorry for not getting around to "Father Goose" Sam, I haven't forgotten your suggestion, I'm getting it from the library in little while :-)

P.P.S. the survey is coming tomorrow! I want all the entries I can get!

HIghlight #139

Hey y'all, Yestarday was fun, even though we didn't get up early enough for the pre-AI meeting history refresher thingy. The meeting was mostly about the day camps coming up in June July and August. After that, all the guys went out to practice some of our woodworking skills with Mike untill 1:30.

But, of course, I enjoyed today much more; for Fathers day we went to the Boeing plant in Everet for the official boeing tour. I think they could have done a better job and it wasn't quite worth the $18 per person to get in, but still, there's something amazing about walking around on little walkways in the largest building in the world. Yep, that's right, the Everet Boeing Factory is the biggest building in the world by volume. they actually have a speacial "moving assembly line" of sorts that can crank out a 777 every 3 days!

But anyway, after the tour, it was home for barbequed steak with strawberry cheesecake afterwards, topped off with a classic eppesode of the TV detective seriese "Monk".

So, I hope you all enjoyed your Fathers day as much as we did, If not, that's Ok, I'm sure you (and your Dad) had fun anyway.

Happy Fathers Day!

-Graydon L

Highlight #138

Hey y'all, We went and picked up Jonny from the Braderick's house today, he said he had fun helping Philip on one of his job sites. He also bought a soldering gun, which really drives me nuts because That's what I was going to get him for his birthday. Now I'll have to think of something else to get him.

Tomorrow we have an AI meeting at Fort Nisqually, but Jonny and I are going early to a "History Refresher Course" which, quite frankly, I do need a lot.

Anyway, I'll keep ya' posted, when I get back tomorrow.

On more thing before I go, I'm sorry about the recent inconsistency with posts and such, but we've had a very hectic week and actually, my most recent movie review was written on Friday and I just had it scheduled for Monday when I would be away in Canada.

-Graydon L

HIghlight #137

Hey y'all, I had fun today, Dad came home from work early to pick me up so we could take some hydraulic equipment from the factory he works at, to another one down in Portland. One the way we had lunch at Famous Dave's BBQ restaurant (they serve amazing burgers!), and on the way back we stopped in the theater to see the new movie "Kung Fu Panda" (look for my review on Monday!) and to have dinner at, take a guess, Famous Dave's :-) We loved the food from lunch so much, we stopped by for dinner too... at the exact same restaurant... and the exact same waiter!!! LOL! Jonny didn't come because he was down in Monteseno working with Phillip Braderick doing some renovations for someone. I'm not exactly sure what they're doing, so you'll have to ask Jonny when he gets back.

I also just finished watching a movie on the history of the fighter plane, which was pretty good.

One more thing before I go, I'm going to be making another survey soon, It'll be done soon, but I'm going to wait for the Youngs to get back before I put it up, which will be quite soon.

So keep your eye open for the new survey, and for the Movie Review of "Kung Fu Panda"!

-Graydon L

HIghlight #136

Hey y'all, I apologize for my recent sabbatical as it were, from the blogosphere, I took a trip up to Canada for my Nephew's birthday, to give my sisters some stuff they ordered off the Internet, and to say "hi" to my mom's cousin Ted.

Here's some pictures I took on Mom's camera, and also a video!

We also went to See the Lyn Valley Suspension Bridge with Ted, some of these pictures are jiggly because it's really only a "rope" bridge and they are notorious for they're swaying motion.

This is a picture of one of the many water falls we saw from the Lyn Valley Suspension Bridge.

I really have no excuse for this picture being of bad quality, I was standing on solid ground at the time. Cousin Ted is in the red Jacket, and that's Jonny behind him in the brown jacket.

Looking over the falls from the middle of the bridge, you have no Idea how hard it was for me to get a steady shot of those falls.

Here's a short clip of me (holding the camera) crossing the bridge, that roar in the background is the falls 150 feet below me. The clip is understandably shaky simply because the bridge is shaky.

I also got to witness my 10-month-old nephew, Gabriel taking his first steps without assistance. Kinda fun!

-Graydon L

Highlight #135

Hey y'all, Here's a somewhat new release I saw on Friday, Enjoy!

Alvin And The Chipmunks
year: 2007

Starring Cast: Jason Lee (Dave Seville), Justin Long (Alvin), Mathew Gray Gubler (Simon), Jesse McCartney (Theodore), David Cross (Ian), Cameron Richardson (Claire)

Supporting Cast: Cameron Richardson (Claire), Jane Lynch (Gail)

Directed by: Tim Hill

Written by: Jon Vitti, Will McRobb

What's it rated?: PG for mild rude humor and some sensual elements

Genre: Kids, Comedy

Synopsis: A struggling songwriter named Dave Seville finds success when he comes across a trio of singing chipmunks: mischievous leader Alvin, brainy Simon, and chubby, impressionable Theodore.

My take: While having pretty good graphics and rendering, the story is rather typical, and most of the jokes are somewhat corny.

I guess it was enjoyable, but I'd definitely say it's not a "classic-watch-every-night-awesome-movie". As I said, the Story has been used a few too many times before in other kids movies.

As for the acting, Jason Lee did an incredible job considering most of his lines were addressed to invisible (before post-production anyway) talking chipmunks. But, I also think he was grossly miscast. On the other hand, David Cross did a great job as your typical bad guy pretending to be a good guy. He has some excellent, blood-chilling (well, almost) lines which are delivered quite well.

Story: 5 out of 10

Humor: 7 out of 10

Overall: 6 out of 10

-Graydon L

Highlight #134

Hey y'all, Yes, the news is in. Barack Obama has just won the Democratic Nomination, sort of. Hillary Clinton has already resigned although an official declaration is yet to be received.

I see two (well, there's a few more, but I these two are the big ones) issues with this:

1. John McCain, as much as I don't like him, is the only "good" choice in this election, and now he faces a more unified Democratic party. To make this even worse, Obama and Clinton are having discussions, perhaps Clinton as Obama's Running Mate?

and 2. Obama, being the greater candidate of the two major Democrats, wasn't "muddied" enough by Clinton in the Primaries and Caucuses, making him a more formidable foe to McCain.

I would definitely have liked Hillary to stay in the race till the Democratic convention at least, better yet, run as an Independent. Unfortunately, these problems remain, and I fear that We're in for some crazy times coming up if Barack wins the General election.

Now for a completely different subject; as you may have noticed, I have replaced my age-old "My Friend's Blogs" link list with a special new list. This I have also titled "My Friend's Blogs" but you will notice, it has some very unique characteristics. First, the links themselves are not in Alphabetical order or any other conventional sorting technique, instead, they are placed in order of which blog has the most recent post. Now you don't have to go to every blog to see if it has been updated, all you have to do is look at that list and see when each blog was last updated!

Also, to get your blog to the top of the list, you need to post more often! You want to be at the top, update your blog more. *Karumph SamandMatt cough cough* ;-D

You will further notice, the most recent post title is underneath the blog title and under that is a date indicating how long ago the blog was updated.

I hope you enjoy it!

-Graydon L

HIghlight #133

Hey y'all, I'm confused; Aparantly, Barack Obama just clinched the Democratic nomination, and yet Hillary Clinton is "staying in the race"? I looked around a bit but I can't get a strait answer, is Obama just saying "I've got so many delagates I've practically won already" or is he saying "I have won the nomination"? Clinton's speach on Tuesday saying "I won't be making any decisions tonight" doesn't exactly clear things up either.

If you have any insight into this matter of extreme unclarity, please reveal your additional knowledge to me, I would greatly apreciate any further info :-)

-Graydon L

HIghlight #132

Hey y'all, I just finished watching another episode of Late night Comedy hour with Hillary Clinton... translation: I just finished watching a televised speech in New York by Hillary Clinton. She actually had something worth while to say, she's staying in the race! woooohooooooooo!!!!!! yes! the longer she stays in, the more she'll dig up on Obama and the more Obama will dig up on her.

I never cease to get a kick out of democratic candidates' speeches, they don't understand economics, they don't understand government, and they don't understand what all the programs are going to do to the average joe like me and everyone else in America.

President Ronald Reagan said it well; "the nine most terrifying words in the English language are I'm from the Government and I'm here to help"

-Graydon L

HIghlight #131

Hey y'all, I saw this movie in the a crowded theater on memorial day last week, and I had to wait an entire week to review it, so after a long period of contemplation, here is my official Movie Review Monday review.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Year: 2008

Starring Cast: Harrison Ford (Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones), Shia LeBeouf (Mutt Williams), Karen Allen (Marion Ravenwood)

Supporting Cast: Kate Blanchet (Col. Irina Spalko), Ray Winstone (George "Mac" McHale), John Hurt (Prof. "Ox" Oxley)

Directed by: Steven Spielburg

Written by: David Koepp, George Lucas

What's it Rated?: PG-13 for adventure violence, scary images, and some language

Genre: Action/Adventure

Synopsis: After being kidnapped by Soviets and forced to help them find a top-level government for them, Indiana Jones is Dragged into yet another adventure to find the lost city of El Dorado and the final secret held by the owner of the Crystal Skull

My Take: While being a cool movie with lost of action, it has a lot of cinematic cliches, if you will, also the world view of the directors and writers shows through amazingly clear. Several presumptions include: Aliens are Real, It's OK to have a child and not be married, and Psychic "powers" are real and legitimate. Of course, all of these presumptions are entirely wrong, They are very prevalent and annoying.

Overall, It's kinda hard to say I liked it, but It's also hard to say I didn't. Action-wise It's cool, but It' kinda copies National treasure in the sense that "there's a puzzle that needs to be solved". So I guess it was OK, cons aside, It was enjoyable but not really the classic that "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was, but still far better than "the Temple of Doom".

Story: 5 out of 10

Action: 10 out of 10

Humor: 8 out of 10

Overall: 6 out of 10

-Graydon L

Highlight #130

Hey y'all, Jonny and I went to the airsoft battle a the Young's yesterday, and we had a great time. Although we played in many different scenarios, including a CQB-ish environment, my favorite spot would have to be the front pasture. the bunkers, trees and almost-level terrain make for exciting battles. As visibility goes up, action rises with it. In a highly wooded area, such as Matt's house, things tend to go a tad slower simply because, if you can't see your enemy, you can't shoot at him.

After the airsoft battles, we went in for barbecued hamburgers, salad and Strawberry jello followed by Anna Young's birthday party and a hymn-sing.

My only regret is that I played too hard; I am soooooo sore and tired right now it makes me sore and tired just talking about how sore and tired I am.

Of course I had a great time, Thanks to the Youngs for organizing the "make-up frog hunt" (even though nobody hunted any frogs)

-Graydon L

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