mr. blackandwhite

Random observation while waiting for the clock to strike ‘beer’…
July 3, 2008, 1:37 pm
Filed under: Film,Meaningless Questions,Music,Nerdery

Inspired by this post at Cullen’s site:

Did you ever notice that rock stars can become actors / actresses but actors / actresses cannot become rock stars?

I can think of a bunch of rock stars and musicians who have become fairly successful in movies and T.V. but I can only think of one actor / actress that has successfully jumped into music: Jack Black (Tenacious D). The only other person I can think of is John Schneider from the Dukes of Hazzard.

It seems to me that most of the time when an actor attempts to get into music, they are generally derided (think: Keanu Reeves / Dogstar) but when a musician becomes an actor it is looked at as cool.

What do you think?

I’m not exactly Mr. Pop-Culture so I’m sure there must be a few other examples of actors / actresses who have succesfully turned into musicians. Try and name me a few if you can..

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Winding down a great vacay.. Patriots pre-season game 1 vs. The Bucs: NO INJURIES PLEASE
August 10, 2007, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Film,Food and Drink,Life in General,The Pats

Hey how are you doing? It’s Friday, it’s rainy and gray and I’m lookin’ at the last few days on the vacation calendar before I head back to that four letter word place, w-o-r-k, on Monday.

I’ve been off for two weeks and it’s been great. I’ve done a ton of fun stuff with my Wife and Kids as well as a few grown up things as well. Yesterday was a good day. We took a walk down the road to a stream that runs near my house and has a very small water fall. The kids and I spent about an hour there just hanging out, skipping stones and making boats in the water out of pieces of bark and sticks. It was a lot of fun and it’s great to just have time with them with no schedule, no plans, just to hang out.

Later that day my Folks came over to watch the Kids and my Wife and I went out for dinner to a restaurant called Sakura Tokyo. It’s one of those cool places where they cook the food right in front of you on the hibachi table and the chef does all kinds of various tricks like making a volcano out of onions and trying to wing a piece of fried zuchini into everyone at the table’s mouths. I was able to catch a piece. First time ever that has happened! Whoa cool! The food is excellent there and they have those high-falutin drinks too. I had two individual sized scorpion bowls. Nice.

After dinner we went to see The Bourne Ultimatum which was awesome. I like all those Matt Damon / Jason Bourne flicks and this one does not disappoint. 5 Ernie Stars for The Bourne Ultimatum. While I’m on the subject of movies, the other night we watched ‘Borat‘ which I thought was fa-riggin hi-larious. I nearly choked at one point from laughing so hard. A very nice change-up from ‘The Deer Hunter’ experience, it was very nice. Wa-wa woo-wa! 5 Ernie Stars for ‘Borat’. High five!!

Tonight The Patriots will kick off their pre-season game schedule, facing off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I am looking forward to the game. Even though it is just pre-season, it is still Patriots Football and I am psyched to see how the team is doing. Between the newspapers and the various Pats blawgs, news about the team has literally been spewing out since Tranining Camp kicked in a few weeks ago.

Being on vacation I have not really been paying a super amount of attention to all the news. There’s literally too much to digest and I’m not spending a lot of time on the computer to be honest. As a matter of fact I just learned today while scanning all the pre-game tidbits that Jeff Garcia was The Bucs’ starting quarterback. Wow! Who knew! I guess I better start paying more attention if I want to keep up my NFL cred. Well, that’s what pre-season is for, getting your shit squared away for the regular season, and that’s what the Pats will continue to do tonight against what I think is a pretty decent opponent. Ok, now that I check the Bucs were only 5-11 last year. Yes, I had to check. Hey I can’t remember every team’s record. Plus, I’m on vacation. Anyway, last year’s record means nothing and this is only pre-season game one, so it’s really about as meaningless as it can be. The only purpose of this game is to get back into the swing of things and start to get the kinks worked out against an opponent other than your own team-mates.

The number one goal of this game tonight = NO INJURIES!!! The Football Gods be praised. Thank you.


The Deer Hunter: Not a fun summertime vacation movie…
August 7, 2007, 11:34 am
Filed under: Film

Last night I was flipping through the channels around 8 PM and I came across the movie, ‘The Deer Hunter’, which was just starting.

The Deer Hunter‘ is one of those classic movies that everyone in the world seems to have seen but me. I had always heard that it was a good movie. It won several awards at the time of its release and it has gotten nothing but good reviews but it’s duration at 3 plus hours has always kept me from watching it from start to finish. I have tried to watch it in the past when I’ve caught it on tv but I usually get sick of watching the wedding scene at the beginning and say to myself, ‘This thing is three hours long, next..’ and turn the channel.

Well last night ‘The Deer Hunter’ was on one of those movie channels so it was uncut and I decided to dig in and see what this movie was about. I finally watched it from start to finish. I’ll just say that ‘The Deer Hunter’ was indeed a very good movie. It was also one of the most depressing movies I’ve ever seen. Even as I was watching it I was thinking to myself, ‘this is not fun, I am totally depressed watching this,’ but I had to find out what happened to Niki and Stevie after their escape from the POW camp with Michael. I was in it for the long haul at that point. I had gone to far into the film and I wasn’t going to start over from scratch again so I stuck it out and watched it right until the painful finish.

After the movie was over I went to bed totally depressed, wishing I had practiced my guitar instead. Fucking Nicki. Why couldn’t he have just put the gun down and gone home with Michael instead of blowing his brains out? Dammit! Yeah, yeah I know, it’s not always a happy ending but that does not mean we can’t hope for one.

Walken and De Niro were both awesome in this movie.

Well I’ve got that out of the way. Now I can say that I’ve seen ‘The Deer Hunter’, a good movie but not fun summer vacation fare that is for sure.

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Decisions, decisions…
June 2, 2007, 11:00 am
Filed under: Film,Life in General,Music,Wreckage from the Past

So my favorite band, Social Distortion is coming back around on tour but it looks like the closest they will come to my area is Hampton Beach N.H.

That is a friggin HAUL from my house, not that Boston or Providence R.I. are exactly close though… Plus Hampton Beach is always jammed with people. I used to go there a lot back in the day, yo. We used to drink all night and then decide to drive up there. We’d usually get there just as the sun was coming up. We’d spend the day there at the beach and I would get burned to a crisp and spend about 20 bucks worth of quarters in the video game arcade. When roller blades first came out I got a pair. I thought they were extremely cool because unlike four-wheeled roller skates, roller blade wheels are in-line, so it was like skating in ice skates. I would bring them with me and spend hours skating up and down the strip at Hampton Beach. Blades were brand new then and people would be like, what the heck are those things! Ah youth.

One time I went up there with a buddy of mine, two girls and a bottle of Jack Daniels. By the time we got up to the beach the Jack was gone, the girls had had enough of us, and they threw us out of their car and left us standing on the side of the road. Obviously we were not getting laid that night. ‘Ok. Now what do we do?’ Start walking. Somebody will come by. Lo and behold, as we’re walking down the road, who drives by but one of our friends from back home in his sky-high lifted Toyota pickup truck. Saved! It turned out some friends of mine had rented a beach house that weekend so we crashed with them.

The next day I woke up in the morning, semi-hungover, dry-mouthed and starving hungry. I asked my buddy who was renting the house, ‘do you have anything to eat?’

‘All there is is relish and hot-dog rolls.’

So I preceded to make a relish-dog which consisted of a hot-dog roll with pickle relish inside. And a beer. The beer was ok. The relish-dog was not. ‘This is fucking gross!’ I yelled and threw it against the front door where it hit with a loud, ‘SPLAT’.

‘YOU FUCKIN ASS’OLE!!’ my friend shouted at me, ‘What the hell is the matter with you! We’re renting this place!’ I just laughed at him, ‘Ha ha ha! Got anything else?’

I was not a total dick. I cleaned up the mess, though, as I recall, for various other kegger related reasons we were all booted out of that house later that weekend. Don’t look at me! It was not all my fault! And at least I got a ride home. Hmmm…

Wow I did not really mean for this to turn into a reminiscing post but there you go, a brief glimpse into the days of my youth. Those days are gone and now I’m feeling old as I try to decide if I want to drive up there to Hampton to see Social D.

By the way I finally got around to watching ‘Another State of Mind‘ the other night. Very good flick. Even if you are not into Social D, Youth Brigade or Minor Threat, the story itself, which follows the adventures (and mis-adventures) of Youth Brigade and Social Distortion’s first ‘tour’ across the U.S. and Canada in a beat up and eventually, broken down old school bus, is great. It’s a very interesting behind the scenes look at those bands in their early days and seeing a young, tattoo free Mike Ness working on a ‘new’ song, ‘Another State of Mind’, throughout the movie, is cool to see. It’s definitely worth an add to your Netflix queue. And be sure to watch the version with the commentaries too! You won’t be sorry.

I guess all the bands want to hit vacation spots this summer. I was looking at Clutch’s site to see if they are coming around the area and they are going to play a show up in Portland Maine in August. Portland Maine?? No way I am driving up there.

I’m still on the fence about the Social D show in N.H. But I am leaning towards going. Fuck it.

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Rocky Balboa DVD won’t play in my DVD player… One last update.
May 2, 2007, 7:30 am
Filed under: Film,Life in General

I’ve been getting a lot of hits from people looking for information on the ‘Rocky Balboa’ DVD not playing. When this problem first happened to me, I called the manufacturer of my DVD player, Kenwood, and told them what was happening. I had received 3 ‘Rocky Balboa’ DVDs from Netflix and none of them played. The problem did not affect any other DVDs.

They told me they had gotten a few reports about this problem and that they would look into it and get back to me if they came up with any answers.

To be honest I was skeptical about ever hearing from them again, but to their credit, they actually called me back a few days later with some information. It turns out that there is indeed a problem with the DVDs themselves and it is not a problem with the players. The problem is caused by the copy protection on the DVDs.

They pointed me to this site which has some more detail about the issue as well as a phone number to call if you are having the problem.

So there you go, if you have a Sony Pictures DVD that won’t play, it’s probably due to a defect with the DVD itself, not your player. Good luck!

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Quick ‘Rocky Balboa’ DVD update (it still does not play)…
April 6, 2007, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Film,Life in General

I recently got my 3rd copy of ‘Rocky Balboa’ in the mail from Netflix and as I had expected, it still does not play in my Kenwood DVD player. It does, however, play fine in my computer.

It seems there are a lot of people out there who are having problems playing several of the recent DVD releases from Sony Pictures, including ‘Rocky Balboa’, ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘The Holiday’, in some types of DVD players, such as players made by Toshiba, Pioneer and TIVO.

Oddly, ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘The Holiday’ both play fine in my Kenwood DVD player, but ‘Rocky Balboa’ will not play at all. Two out of three ain’t bad I guess?

In any case, I have called Kenwood to let them know about the problem. Currently they don’t have a solution. I also called Sony Pictures to see if they had a fix, but at this time they do not.

If you run into this problem, I suggest calling the DVD manufacturer’s support line and also Sony Pictures’ support line (800-860-2878) to let them know about it.

In the meantime, I’ll be hooking my computer’s video output up to my TV so I can watch ‘Rocky Balboa’ and hoping this does not become a frequent problem.

Rocky Balboa DVD won’t play in my DVD player…
April 4, 2007, 10:45 pm
Filed under: Film,Life in General,Nerdery

I got the movie ‘Rocky Balboa’ in the mail from Netflix the other day. I was pretty psyched about it because I had been looking forward to seeing that one ever since it had been out in the theaters. (I don’t get out to movies anymore. I watch all my movies through Netflix these days.)

We popped the DVD into the player and got ready for the famous opening theme music and the word ‘ROCKY’ to start scrolling slowly across the screen. Instead all we got was a blue screen on the TV and a ‘disk err’ on the DVD display. I took the disk out, cleaned it and tried it again. Same thing.


I was bummed. I had been looking forward to sitting down and watching ‘Rocky Balboa’ ever since it had arrived in the mail last week. Figuring it was a bad disk, I sent it back and waited for the replacement disk.

We got replacement disk the other day and last night we tried it out. It turns out the replacement disk has the same exact problem as the first disk. When I put it in the player all I get is a ‘Disk Err’ on the display. What is up with that? I am wondering if maybe there was a bad lot of ‘Rocky Balboa’ disks from the manufacturer or something.

Oddly enough, the disk played fine in my computer’s DVD player and every other disk I put into my living-room DVD player plays fine.. so what is going on here? My DVD player is only a few years old and I have never had this problem with a DVD before. This is the first time I have run into this.

I hope there is not some new format or encoding technique that is being used for DVDs that is going to start causing me problems…

I’ve got a 3rd ‘Rocky Balboa’ disk headed my way, but I have a bad feeling that I’m going to have the same problem with it… we’ll see. I might have to watch it on my computer if I want to find out what happens to Rocky.

Just out of curiosity, if anyone else has run into this problem, I would be interested to hear about it, especially if you found out what the cause of the problem was. Thanks internest.

He’s ridin’ through your town with his head on fire…
May 25, 2006, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Film

I noticed recently there is going to be a Ghost Rider movie coming out in 2007. Cool. Ghost Rider was always one of my favorite comix. I used to love the ones that were drawn by Mark Texiera (yes I used to be a comic nerd).

The movie is going to have Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze, which is interesting.  Hopefully this movie will be more Spiderman / X-Men and less Punisher [both of them] / Daredevil…

Now I don’t have to sit through ‘Brokeback Mountain’
March 3, 2006, 3:26 pm
Filed under: Film

I have no desire to see this movie but I will admit that all the hype around it lately has somewhat aroused my curiosity towards it…

Thanks to this, I no longer have to give up 2 hours of my life to learn what this movie is about.

(Angry Alien Productions)

Thank you bunnies!

Some things that are scary…
October 21, 2005, 11:00 am
Filed under: Film,Life in General,The Sox

With Halloween approaching, a few scary things are a - brewin’…

FROST: We had the 1st frost of the year this morning. Winter is nearing closer. Can you feel the dread in my voice?

Also on the weather front, there’s another dang killer hurricane on the loose. GO AWAY HURRICANES! We’ve had enough out of you!

Looks like this weekend will be another washout. Blah.

Manny trade rumors are back again. I get so tired of these. Personally, I like the guy and all his little ‘issues’ or ‘quirks’ or whatever you want to call them don’t really bother me that much. The media in Boston loves to help run players out of town and Manny has been high on their target list for quite a while. Stupid media.

Yes, sometimes, Manny does not run hard to get to 1st base. That can be a little annoying at times, but his bat more than makes up for that stuff in my mind. Tell me how you replace Manny’s bat in the lineup with anybody else in the league (Ortiz does not count). Plus, laugh if you want, but I think Manny does a decent job out there in left field. He’s thrown some strikes to Home Plate to get runners out on several occasions.

I guess in the end, whatever happens, happens, but I personally would like to see Manny stay in Boston. DONT TRADE MANNY THEO!

A few Halloweens ago, my wife and I started a fun tradition where we rent a movie that scared the hell out of us when we were young kids. It can’t be a scary but cool movie, one that creeps you out, but you like watching anyway, like ‘The Shining’ for example. It has to be a movie that scared you so bad, you were unable to watch the whole thing. You were either too afraid to actually sit and watch it, or you closed your eyes through half of it.

Last year, we rented ‘The Exorcist’, which scared the hell out of both of us way back when. It’s still scary, (but in a good way now). We also rented ‘The Omen’, which was not too scary for either of us but is still a good Halloween flick as well as ‘The Amityville Horror’, which actually did scare me quite a bit when it first came out, but I’ve seen it enough times now that it’s not scary anymore, but still creepy and fun to watch.

This year, my wife has picked ‘Pet Cemetary’, which I have never seen, but she says she was unable to watch all the way through. I have picked ‘Hellraiser’, a movie that has always freaked me out, big-time. I have never sat through the whole thing. I almost picked ‘Night of the Living Dead’, but I’ve seen it too many times. I don’t think I would get scared enough watching it. I’ll save that one for next Halloween.

Another movie that I always enjoy watching every year around Halloween is ‘The Crow’, not for any scare-factor, just because it’s a cool Halloween flick. I dig that whole ‘Eric Draven comes back from the grave to wreak vengance’ thing. (Too bad about Brandon Lee though. That guy was really on the way up. Damn shame.)

I’m open to any good Halloween movie suggestions anybody has! If you’ve got a good one, let me know.

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