Cleared: Get Him to the Greek

What I originally wrote: This is another raunchy comedy, but I have to say, I really loved Russell Brand’s Aldous Snow character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (a truly awesome raunchy comedy).  This one may be a bit much, but I have to give it at least one shot.

The Verdict: Wow, when I said “this one may be a bit much”, I had no idea how much it would be.  This movie was just ridiculous, and didn’t really appeal to me at all.  It was quite obvious that Jason Segal’s writing was absent from this movie.  I admit, I did laugh at times, but it was just too over-the-top.  I won’t be recommending this to anyone any time soon.

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Cleared: The King’s Speech

What I originally wrote: Like many other movies of its type, this one got a lot of mention at the recent Golden Globe awards ceremony.  The acting talent of the cast is undeniable, and I’d like to give it a shot.  Also, it’s a plus that my wife actually wants to see it, too.

The Verdict: I thought that I would probably enjoy this movie, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences thought so, too, awarding it the Oscar for the Best Picture of the Year.  Well?  I loved it.  It was even better than I thought, and the acting of both Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush was phenomenal.  My wife and I enjoyed the movie thoroughly, and we also enjoyed the relative absence of profanity… except for one particular scene..

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Cleared: The Scott Pilgrim series

What I originally wrote: I have been reading these, and loving them!  The only problem is that I have to keep waiting for the library to get the next one.  They’re always checked out at all times, but at least my library system lets me reserve it online and wait until they come in.  I’ve read the first 3 of the 6 volumes, and I love them so far! I will report back after I finally am able to get the last 3 from the library.

The Verdict: Reading the later volumes of the Scott Pilgrim series confirmed the information that I had read prior which stated that the books were not finished as the movie was being made.  The end of the book varied quite a bit from the movie, but as with the movie, it was still a ton of fun.  I think I enjoyed the final showdown with the Big Bad more in the movie than in the book, but it was still cool.  Kudos to you, Bryan Lee O’Malley!

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Cleared: Tangled

What I originally wrote: Disney animated features aren’t as good as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad.  Also, this one stars Zachary Levi of Chuck fame… currently my favorite show on TV.

The Verdict: Very fun Disney adventure, as is normally the case.  It’s certainly not like one of the 90′s masterpieces like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, or Aladdin, but Tangled was still a fun movie.  It had a Shrek-like quality, but it’s probably not quite as magical as Shrek was when it was first released (NOT 3 sequels later).

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Cleared: Grown Ups

What I originally wrote: Okay, honestly, I’m not expecting much from this.  However, I love Kevin James, and I think he’s underappreciated as a comedian.  I hope he gets more major roles like this.  And yes, I liked Paul Blart… so there.

The Verdict: Even though this movie got horrible reviews, I still enjoyed it.  It isn’t quite the bit of cinema that The Social Network is, but I appreciate the fact that a movie just tries to focus on family.  The movie is about friendships and about family sticking together.  The cast is top-notch, and I actually enjoyed it… even if there were a few fart jokes.

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Cleared: The Social Network

What I originally wrote: When I heard about this movie that chronicles the beginnings of Facebook, I was intrigued.  Whether you like Facebook or don’t, it’s hard to deny that Mark Zuckerberg had an amazing idea with it… and now he’s profiting in a way he never could have imagined.  Or maybe he did… I guess I better watch the movie…

The Verdict: After having seen the movie, I’m certain that much of it is fiction; however, fiction makes some darn good movies, too.  This was an amazing movie.  It was well-acted and Trent Reznor’s score certainly deserved the Oscar win it received.  I’ve been a member of Facebook for many years now, and I have to say, it has really changed the world.  Our family is going through a personal tragedy, and we used Facebook (and Twitter) to alert our friends quickly and easily.  Mark Zuckerberg is a visionary, and he’s certainly experiencing the fruits of his labor.

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Cleared: The Gamers: Dorkness Rising

What I originally wrote: This movie is to role-playing what Press Start is to video games.  I’ve heard some wonderful things about this movie, and I remember long ago hearing an interview with creator Matt Vancil on Fear the Boot.  I’ve been really itching to see this, and I certainly enjoyed Matt Vancil’s web series, JourneyQuest.

The Verdict: I loved it!  I really enjoyed how the movie looked at the lives of both the characters and the players.  The story was well-done, and I actually really wanted to play in the campaign they were running (which, I understand, is actually a real D&D module now)?  Anyway, great movie.  Well done, Matt Vancil! Now I need to see The Gamers.

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Added: A lot of stuff! (Been saving it all up for a while)

Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller: I’ve heard this book recommended by some friends recently. Ugh, I’m so far behind, though… will I ever get to it?

The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn: This book was given to us free last year by our church.  I never got around to reading it.  Lauren and I have been convicted lately about our tithing.  We do give, but we haven’t been giving 10%.  We’ve decided now that we’re going to trust God and fully give 10%.  This book is all about the blessings that come from giving back to God.

Press Start: This movie is some sort of parody of video game culture, I believe.  I don’t know much about it, but I’ve heard some good things.

The Gamers: Dorkness Rising: This movie is to role-playing what Press Start is to video games.  I’ve heard some wonderful things about this movie, and I remember long ago hearing an interview with creator Matt Vancil on Fear the Boot.  I’ve been really itching to see this, and I certainly enjoyed Matt Vancil’s web series, JourneyQuest.

Vexille: This was recommended by my good buddy TimeSpike, who recently cleared this from his own backlog.  I love this kind of anime, and I’m sure it will be enjoyable.

Gospel-Powered Parenting by William P. Farley: I was just recently recommended this book by my pastor, J.D. Greear, and it’s another parenting one to throw on my list.  If I would ever actually READ the books… maybe I would clear them!

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley: This is one of the books that Dave Ramsey recommends time and again.  It’s a look at how most millionaires really live.  They don’t have giant houses, but they make smart decisions.  Maybe we’ll be in the book one day! …. maybe?

The Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley: I have been reading these, and loving them!  The only problem is that I have to keep waiting for the library to get the next one.  They’re always checked out at all times, but at least my library system lets me reserve it online and wait until they come in.  I’ve read the first 3 of the 6 volumes, and I love them so far! I will report back after I finally am able to get the last 3 from the library.

Food, Inc.: Got the recommendation for this documentary about eating (and obesity, maybe?) on Twitter when discussing the wonderful documentary Maxed Out (which is about credit cards).  I have it checked out from the library; I just need to watch it.

Health, Wealth, and Happiness by David Jones and Russell Woodbridge: This book is about how the “prosperity gospel” preached by many major pastors such as Joel Osteen, don’t necessarily represent what the Bible states as true.  It’s an intriguing subject.  On top of that, Russell is a personal friend of mine.  I have not seen him in years because he is now a missionary in the Ukraine.  His family is wonderful though, and we miss them very much.  Also, we still have one of their chairs in our den…

Darkon: I’ve heard some wonderful(ly weird) things about this documentary of LARPers.  What’s not to love?!

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Cleared: The Invention of Lying

What I originally wrote: I heard the idea of this one a while ago, and I thought it could make a decent comedy.  Ricky Gervais is certainly a hilarious guy, and the idea of a world where no one has ever lied is interesting in and of itself.  I need to check it out!

The Verdict: The Invention of Lying is a very funny movie, and I certainly recommend it. I was surprised at how poorly it was reviewed.  There was a portion of the movie where it became a bit of a religious satire, and that was certainly the poorest part of the movie, but when the focus was taken off that and put back on the characters, it ended well.  There were a ton of great cameos in this, Jason Bateman & Edward Norton were especially memorable.  Anyway, check this out.  It’s certainly worth giving a shot.

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Cleared: Slayers Evolution-R

What I originally wrote: I just wrote a ton about Slayers Revolution, so I won’t write much here.  This isn’t really Slayers season 5 from what I understand, but more like season 4, part 2.  The original 3 Slayers series were each 26 episodes and Slayers Revolution and Slayers Evolution-R are each 13 episodes.  All that is to say that I definitely intend to watch this once I’m finished watching Revolution.  I include them separately simply because they have different titles.

The Verdict: Slayers Evolution-R concluded the story that began in Slayers Revolution, and it did it wonderfully.  One of the greatest things that I love about the Slayers in general are the times where there is no world to save, and there is no villain to face, and this series had that in spades.  Just like watching The Return of the King, I feel a certain sadness, not knowing if Lina Inverse and her band of buddies will come back to face down the threat of evil again.  However, the fact that this series even exists is a testament to that possibility.  Now, I’m inspired to take out my Slayers DVDs and give the first 3 seasons another run.

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