Mr. Mercedes and the Perks of Life Vlogging

This week is a little bit of a filler episode where I talk about the concept of daily vlogging and I also talk about the Mr. Mercedes trilogy by Stephen King.

Super Bowl

A repost of my second hour-long episode of Blackcatloner from February 2015 where I include several vlogs in one full video. In this episode I talk about the controversial Super Bowl 49, I finally give out my long-awaited review of Man of Steel, a piece on introverts, a Fanboy News installment where I rant about the new all-female Ghostbusters movie and more.

The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie

Well it’s been a while since I’ve actually seen a kids movie in theaters primarily because there are none that were released that were actually interesting. Well that is until now. This movie I am reviewing today is a movie that has received almost unanimously positive reviews and you would think at first that the concept would be silly but it is probably one of the most brilliantly executed movies in a good long while. And this movie also marks a milestone for me because this movie is actually not the first movie that I have seen in 3D overall (that honor belongs to Friday the 13th 3D) but this movie marks the first movie released to theaters that I have seen in 3D. So without further ado, here is my review of the movie that has taken the world by storm: The LEGO Movie.

This movie has been in development for several years even though I’m pretty much convinced that this film’s existence is primarily due to the success of shows like Robot Chicken and also due to the success that LEGO has had with its video game adaptations of popular film franchises such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, Batman, and Pirates of the Caribbean among others and there are plans to release games based on Ghostbusters (in June) and Back to the Future (next year.)

However, enough said here. Now let’s get on to the movie.

The movie focus on a LEGO minifigure named Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt) who is basically an Average Joe construction worker who isn’t really creative or popular yet maintains an overly optimistic outlook. However, he is soon mistaken to be the man known as the Special who will find the Piece of Resistance which is the key to stopping a weapon that threatens all of LEGO-kind. Opposing him is Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) who is also the president of the dystopian LEGO city that Emmett lives and works in and his right-hand man Good Cop/Bad Cop (voiced by Liam Neeson.) When we first meet Lord Business, he is wearing a headpiece that kind of makes him look like Mola Ram in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and he is seen stealing the secret weapon known as the Kragle which has the ability to freeze all the LEGO figures in place.

Soon Emmett is joined in his quest by a mysterious woman called Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks from The Hunger Games), her boyfriend LEGO Batman (yes, you heard that right. Her boyfriend is LEGO Batman and he’s voiced by Will Arnett who actually does a decent job portraying the LEGO version of the Dark Knight,) a wise blind sage called Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman) and Princess Uni-Kitty (voiced by Community’s Alison Brie) among countless other.

As far as the pace of the movie goes, there isn’t really a bad thing I can say about this. Pretty much every joke used in the movie works. The 3D effects are pretty good and I also like the effects involving the construction of many various LEGO objects and they put the number of the product right next to the blueprints. I also like the transistions that pop up throughout the movie like for example at the beginning of the movie where Emmett is singing the theme song of the movie he remarks that he could sing that song for hours. Then the caption comes up “Five hours later…” and he’s still singing. The voice acting is pretty decent, especially by Liam Neeson, who sounded like he was having a good time playing the bad guy. And there is a bit of a twist toward the end that I won’t spoil here. And also look for some cleverly-placed cameos from all the characters that LEGO adapted into video game characters, such as LEGO Superman, LEGO Wonder Woman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and even a cameo by the Millennium Falcon piloted by Han Solo with Lando Calrissian and C3-PO in tow (Note: With the exception of Han Solo, Lando and C3-PO are voiced by the original actors.)

So in short, if you haven’t gotten out to see this movie, you have to see it while it’s still in theaters. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or a kid at heart and don’t let people say that you’re too old for a movie like this. I’m 36 and I enjoyed this movie. I’m glad I went to see it and I’m really proud to say that this is the first movie I saw in 3D in theaters.

So there’s nothing really left to say about The LEGO Movie except that just like the theme song says, “Everything is awesome!”

Blackcatloner Reviews Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Behold, the video that started it all for Blackcatloner: A review of the film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that was released in 2008.

Apart from the fact that I actually reedited it into widescreen format and gave it a bit of resaturation, I didn’t really change much on the video. Unfortunately the sound quality is not the greatest because I was worried that if I tried to narrate over the video itself that my voice would not sync up with my lip movements and so I decided to leave it alone. If you have issue with this, keep one thing in mind that this was my first video and that it was done in 2008 and obviously I’ve gotten somewhat better since then. Plus I may do a re-review of the film sometime next year.

And also my use of the Indiana Jones theme music by John Williams is Fair Use because this is a movie review and I can’t really do a review of an Indiana Jones movie without it.

The Cobra Always Tweets On Friday

An Egyptian Cobra very much like the one who escaped from the Bronx Zoo.

An Egyptian Cobra very much like the one who escaped from the Bronx Zoo.

This blog is a bit of a departure from what I usually do on here. But for today we’re gonna make the most of it. So anyway, here we go.

First, an update on my HCCC endeavors. I went to the open house up there last week and I got a bunch of information on what I need to do and I also finally signed up for placement testing. I officially have to go up there for testing on April 21 which is the last day I can go up for placement testing. Luckily, I was able to take a personal day off from work that day because I will probably be up there for about a few hours.  I know that because my brother took a similar test last year. And also, how would I be able to sleep enough to go to work that night if I didn’t take the personal day? But either way, I am good to go as far as that goes.

Now on to the cobra story since I already put in my two cents about Rebecca Black and the bullied kid in Oz last blog. During the week, an Egyptian cobra escaped from its tank at the Bronx Zoo. Once that happened, the zoo closed down the Reptile House until the cobra could be recovered. After all, cobras are very dangerous animals. In reality, it was too cold for the snake to venture far but that didn’t stop someone from creating a Twitter account for the wayward snake. The Twitter feed was full of tweets that described the cobra as tweeting from an iPhone going on a sightseeing tour of New York City, including a trip via ferry to Ellis Island to see the Immigrant museum. It also had some snake-themed tweets that included a new twist on an iconic line from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” You remember that scene where Indiana Jones says, “Snakes. Why does it have to be snakes?” Well the cobra’s take on that line: “Indiana Jones. Why does it have to be Indiana Jones?” I laughed so loud at that when I was reading that on my phone at work that I decided to retweet that to my followers.

In fact the feed proved to be so popular that the feed acquired over 222,000 followers. (It could be more by the time this goes up.) However, all good things must come to an end for the snake was finally recovered and put back in his tank as of Thursday night. Will the cobra continue her tweets? Well stay tuned.

The whole cobra thing reminded me of an incident that happened to me when I went to a Reptile museum in Catskill while I was growing up (it was about 1989 or 1990). I remember I was doing a project on snakes at the time and I was looking at a snake in a tank. And then all of a sudden, I hear this rattling noise. I wasn’t sure where it was coming from at first but then I looked up and I see this rattlesnake in the tank above the snake I was looking at all coiled up and rattling at me. Apparently it was pissed off at me because I was wearing a Batman hat with the giant Batman logo on it. After all, it was the year of Batman (thanks to the Tim Burton movie.) The snake must have thought that the bat was real. On the plus side though, I was never in any danger because the rattler was in his tank and those tanks were pretty secure. However, I do find it funny that a snake can get riled up by what a person wears. I wonder what he would think about my skull and crossbones hat.

And there you go. What better way to end this than with a little trip into Blackcatloner’s secret past.