Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘summer’

Home Entertainment Round-Up

I love movies. When I get wrapped up in the story, acting and direction, time flies by. And you feel good afterwards. Other times, you can be — when is this damn thing going to end! So what movies from the past spring and summer did I like or didn’t like? What should I rent or stream on Saturday night? Read on…

Locke (Tom Hardy). An interesting independent movie, that only has 1 guy on screen for the entire movie as he drives to be there for the birth of his child. Tom Hardy was fantastic, and the movie keeps you interested as the story unfolds. Final say: A-

Jersey Boys (Christopher Walken, John Lloyd Young). The movie version of the Tony award winning musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Directed by Clint Eastwood, and featuring some great songs that are familiar to most. Sometimes it seems like the music is more of a backdrop than the star, as there is a lot of drama that went down on their way to fame and fortune. Final say: B-

22 Jump Street (Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill). The stars of the original “21 Jump Street” reboot are back for more. If you loved the first one, the second one was just as good for me. I especially loved Jillian Bell, she steals every scene she is in. Final say: B+22_Jump_Street_11

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone). The 2nd of the new Spider-man movies. Jamie Foxx plays the villain. I enjoyed it at the time, but I have to say it was a pretty forgettable movie. I couldn’t tell you the plot now… and it was just a few months ago that I saw it. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have a nice chemistry in it. Final say: B-

X-Men: Days of Future Past (Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender). Combining the casts of the original trilogy with the stars of the reboot was a great idea. The cast is a bit overstuffed with characters, so not everyone has a chance to shine. But overall it was good to have director Bryan Singer back. Final say: B+

Neighbors (Zac Efron, Seth Rogen). A raunchy comedy that pits a bunch of frat boys against the young married couple next door. I enjoyed it, but still a bit forgettable. Final say: B-

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning). A live action take on the Sleeping Beauty story. Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast as the title character. The story has a new take on a classic villain, and why she is as she is. Grade: A-

Edge of Tomorrow (Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt). It has been retitled: “Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow” for the home video release. It bombed in the theatres, but I actually liked this movie. It is sort of a sci-fi “Grounghog Day” with Cruise’s character having to relive the same day over and again. Action and laughs too. Grade: B+

 

Shows

Extant (Halle Berry, Goran Visnjic). It started out promising at least. Berry plays an astronaut who returned to Earth after a 13-month solo mission. Problem is she is pregnant. Plus she has a son who is a robot created by her husband. I found myself losing interest in this as it went along. In the end, I just didn’t care what happened. Final say: C

Rising Star (Josh Groban, Brad Paisley). The latest in the reality singing competition. I hate watched the entire series. This show with the “Raise the Wall” real-time voting didn’t bring anything new to the genre despite the talented people involved. I am sure it will be a 1-season show like ABC’s “Duets”. Final say: C-

So what have you been watching at the movies and on TV this past summer? I would love to hear your thoughts about what excited you and what didn’t.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Summer Entertainment Wrap-Up Too

I am a bit of an entertainment junky — movies, CDs, DVDs, etc. So what thrilled me, and what bored me this summer? Read on.

Movies

Monsters University
The prequel to Pixar’s Monsters Inc., shows us the college years of Mike and Sully as they deal with classes, tough instructors, and finding a place in the world. Not as good as the original, but I still enjoyed it. Grade: B

Man of Steel
I was hopeful for this movie, and it is an improvement over the boring last Superman movie. But it is still not a good movie. The fun factor is not there for a good superhero movie. And again, overly long. Henry Cavill is hot, but bland as Superman. Better luck next time. Grade: C

The Wolverine
Well, another summer disappointment. It is just getting old for me with this character. We know he looks great with his shirt off, and that the metal claws come out when he’s mad. Some lame story about a guy he saved, and how he wants to repay the favor to Logan.  Grade: C

Lee Daniel’s The Butler
Based on a true story, this movie tells the story of young man who became a butler to the President of the United States. It shows the changes that society went through with the civil rights movement over the years. Great performances from Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. Grade: B+poster-art-for-lee-daniels-the-butler_event_main_1042

CDs

Little Big Town — Tornado
I have been a fan of this group for years, so it is nice to see them getting the attention they deserved. Great vocals and nice songs overall, but “Pontoon” really? Cute, but forgettable song there. Grade: B

Backstreet Boys — In a World Like This
The boys 20th year brings their latest CD, with original member Kevin Richardson returning to the group. It is one of their most eclectic albums w/ dance, ballads and some acoustic folk numbers too. Those acoustic numbers are my favorites on the CD: Try and Trust Me. They should sound great on tour and show off their vocal chops. Grade: B

DVDs

Defiance
Based on true events, this movie lived up to it’s premise. A manager at a local fast food restaurant is called by someone claiming to be a policeman. They are told that one of her employees has stolen from a customer. How far can things go? You will have to rent to see. Grade: A-

Game Change
Based on the book of the same name about Sarah Palin entering the 2008 Presidential Election as John McCain’s VP Pick. Julianne Moore and Ed Harris star in this movie filmed for HBO. Great acting and story. Grade: A

So what did you like or didn’t like for summer entertainment? I would love to hear from you.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Random Thoughts on Summer

Here we are a several weeks into Summer 2012, and I have a few things to discuss:

I saw a couple of straight guys (I think they were Middle Eastern) out by the pool sunbathing. One of the guys had his long board shorts pulled all the way up so he could get a tan. If he was wearing Speedos, he wouldn’t have to do something so ridiculous. But because of social pressure, and fear of being seen as gay or different, he decided to do what he did.

I was at a gay event the other day at Dockweiler Beach in Los Angeles. This was the annual “At the Beach” Black Gay Pride event. It was a decent event, not as crowded as past years. One of the things I found interesting was people having layers of clothing. One beautiful black man that had 3 layers on: walking shorts, square-cut swimsuit and then a skimpier suit underneath (which he didn’t even walk around in). He wore the square cut for most the day, but pulled on the board shorts to go to the bathroom. Almost the same thing for a cute white boy. Board shorts with Speedos on underneath which he wore only on his towel. When he went to walk around, he pulled the board shorts back on. C’mon guys! If you got it, show it. After the kilt came off, I had on Speedos till I left — I walked around the beach in them, to the bathroom, and the car even. This is what a real man would do. He is not afraid to show some skin and be seen as sexy.Dan Green-Black TYR Suit

I go to the gym on a regular. LA Fitness, which used to be Bally’s Total Fitness. Twice now I have been asked in the jacuzzi by a rather large gentlemen if I was married, or had a girlfriend. Each time I have replied that I was single. I am not closeted in the least, but at the time, I felt it was not the time or place to get into it with the guy. Here I am a fit, 40ish white boy with a nipple ring and a Mohawk… I don’t know what he is trying to get at. After he asked me last time, I was getting ready to get out of the jacuzzi, when a straight couple sat down. The woman said “I bet you get a lot of girls with that haircut.” I laughed and said “Not really.” I have thought about it some, and if I am asked again I will tell the truth. There were 6-10 people around at both times, so if it happens I will be coming out to a group. I am a proud gay man, and sometimes people need to be reminded that we exist, and that you can’t just assume that everyone is heterosexual.

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Summer Entertainment Roundup

The summer is mostly over! So what did you think about the entertainment choices this summer? Here is my take on the movies and TV shows of summer:

Movies

  • The AvengersThe Avengers
    Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor and more in one movie. This is one of the rare cases where the movie lived up to the hype. It was the most fun I have had at the movies this summer. Be sure to see it on video.
  • Rock of Ages
    The jukebox musical starring Tom Cruise and Julianne Hough tanked at the box office. That’s too bad because the movie is a lot of fun. It has a great soundtrack of 80’s pop/metal classics from Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Journey and more. Tom Cruise is fantastic in it and you will be singing along to the musical numbers.
  • Katy Perry — Part of Me 3D
    Part concert movie, part documentary, this movie shows why she is as big a star as she is. She put in her dues, and works hard for her fans. It is the best movie of it’s kind since Madonna’s “Truth or Dare.”
  • Men in Black III
    Likable, if forgettable sequel. The main thing that keeps this movie afloat is the cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin. Hopefully, this is the last movie in this franchise. (more…)

What I Love About Summer

Summer is finally here! It seems like it takes forever to get here, and then it is gone before you know it. As a child, it meant time off from school. As an adult, it means BBQs, pool parties and concerts. So here is my list of what I love in summer:Dan resting in Speedos

  1. Gay Pride
    For most of us in the US, your gay pride probably falls in the summer months. Los Angeles, has 2 big events: Long Beach and West Hollywood. It is a time to be proud of how far we have come, and be reminded how much further we need to go before everyone is equal. Plus it is a time to party, and people watch.
  2. Concerts
    The best shows seem to come to town in the summer. There are more venues that operate only in the summer, nice outdoor amphitheatres plus special local free shows too down at a lot of parks. Nothing better than listening to some music on a warm summer night with some friends.
  3. Summer Movies
    This is the time of year that the studios tend to bring out their big guns. The big movies with tons of action and special effects. Comedies and cartoons are also popular. Great summer movies from the past include: Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Iron Man and The Dark Knight. The Avengers is breaking all kinds of records this summer, and surprisingly, it is good. (more…)

Summer Concerts

OK, I admit it. I am a bit of a music fan. I have been to over 300 concerts in the last 30 years. There’s something about seeing someone “live.” The roar of the crowd, the power of the performance, all adding up to a night you won’t forget. Here are 10 favorites from past summers in no particular order. Believe me, it was hard narrowing it down!

Madonna, July 1987, Anaheim Stadium
It was my first time seeing the Material Girl. This was for the Who’s That Girl tour, and there were 70,000 people in the stadium that night. We had to wait all day for the show as we had General Admission tickets, remember those? But it was a fun crowd and the time went by fast. The show was excellent, she really sang and danced her heart out. And a superstar was born, setting the bar as far as live shows with elaborate staging, costumes and choreography.

Donna Summer, August 2008, Hollywood Bowl
Not my first time seeing her by far! One of my all-time favorite artists ever, it was great to see her play such a large venue, 30+ years into her career. She had just released her first full album in 17 years, “Crayons” and had 2 #1 dance singles off it too. She sang most of the new songs, plus all the old favorites too including “Love to Love You Baby” which she said she would never sing again.

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