Burn Notice, Season 4 Prize Pack Giveaway!

BURN NOTICE returns for its fourth season, Thursdays at 9/8c on USA Network. The #1 scripted series on cable stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, and Sharon Gless. The action-packed season four commences with a new counterintelligence expert, Jesse Garcia, played by Coby Bell (“Third Watch”), who loves to fight bad guys just as much as Michael does. Follow Burn Notice on FacebookTwitter and the Official Website.

TWO WINNERS will WINBurn Notice Prize Pack that includes:

  • Season 3 DVD
  • Water Guns
  • Beach Ball
  • Beach Towel
  • Kiehls Skin Products

(All prizes courtesy of USA Network.)

What do you have to do to win?

Simple… If YOU were sent on a spy mission, who would you rather have backing you up… Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), or Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) and why?

For example, if I was going on a spy mission, I’d probably want Fiona guarding my back ’cause she’s sexy and isn’t afraid to shoot someone or blow something up to complete a mission. 🙂

What about you? I’ll pick a random entry (using the random number generator at Random.org), notify the winner, and post the results on July 2, 2010. All entries must be in by June 30, 2010.

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Can Roger Ebert really drag down KICK-ASS?

Hey there…

Though I still don’t mentally lump myself in with the “media,” I have to admit I probably belong to that amorphous blob now. So when I see statements like this from the Geekosystem:

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 15:  Film critic Roger Eb...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

“Despite — or maybe because of — the almighty publicity blitz that has accompanied the movie since December, KICK-ASS has been garnering surprisingly good reviews… But one influential reviewer is dragging down those numbers, and the film’s backers have to be taking notice: Roger Ebert.”

The thought that Ebert’s review is dragging anything down is hilarious to me. His review brings some sobering thoughts to KICK-ASS, but in the grand scheme of things – I’d say that most of the folks who weren’t going to see the film anyway might agree with him and those of us who were looking forward to seeing a film completely disconnected from reality providing satire on the concept of super heroes in the real world will still go see it in droves.

But this is what I love about movies, and art in general. Art is perceived differently by everyone who views it. And that fact doesn’t invalidate the work of critics and reviewers, because those efforts can provide a common framework for individuals to hang their own experiences on and construct their own opinions.

Roger Ebert provides a valuable service to many folks who value his opinions. I’m among them. And in this case, I tend to agree with him to a point in that parents should not bring their children to see KICK-ASS. If you bring your kids to see the film, I would question the decision from my perspective, but if you’re prepared for the potential consequences (whatever they are for your kids), more power to you.

So the fact that people are up in arms about Ebert’s review “dragging down” approval numbers for the movie is amusing to me. Yes, he’s voiced an opinion that is different than most of the other reviews. That doesn’t invalidate it. He is just approaching things from a different, just as valid, point of view.

Let’s look at this from a different perspective…

Did Roger Ebert see the film? Yes.
Did he like the film? No, he gave it 1 star.
Does he explain the premise of the film and why he didn’t like it in a public post? Yes. Read it here.
Is Ebert’s review going to make me not want to see this movie? Heck no.

In the world of publicity, is even bad publicity good? Yes, I think so. Ebert’s review in the eyes of Lionsgate will probably be mana from heaven, as it is generating word of mouth about the film in the media (and yes, I’m contributing to this word of mouth).

Ultimately all movie-goers must choose whether to a) see the film themselves and b) who to share the film with. Am I taking my kids to this movie? Heck no. Am I even taking my wife to this movie? Heck no. I’ll take my best friend, we’ll have a good time hooting and hollering and then I’ll write more.

Until then – make your own decision whether to see the film or not.

–Fitz

p.s. Here’s a couple of KICK-ASS books in case you want to know more about the comic the film is based on and how they made the film…

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Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon

Hi there!

Dreamworks Animation has had some hits and misses over the years, but their latest film – How To Train Your Dragon – manages to not only capture a great adventure on screen, but do it in a fun way with a lot of heart. Tough combination to pull off, but they managed. And the fact that the movie pulled in nearly $44 million in its opening weekend has to count for something!

We saw How to Train Your Dragon in 3D on an IMAX screen at an AMC theater in Glendale, AZ last Friday night. And though sometimes IMAX makes things too big to keep track of everything going on, I enjoyed this one. And the 3D was used to pretty good effect (as opposed to in Alice in Wonderland (2010), which IMHO used it poorly).

The movie centers around a young Viking named Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel who’s having a very busy year for movies!) and his unorthodox approach to killing the dragons who have been razing his island village for seven generations. He helps out Gobber, the village blacksmith (voiced by Craig Ferguson), and creates little mechanical wonders to help him kill a dragon and take his place among the village warriors. Those warriors include Stoick, the village chief (voiced by Gerard Butler), who also happens to be Hiccup’s Dad.

During one dragon raid, Hiccup uses one of his devices and hits one of the beasties attacking the village – a fast, invisible dragon known as a Night Fury. Though no one in the village believes he hit it, Hiccup heads off into the woods to try and track down where it may have landed. And when he finds it, his experiences with the dragon change everything he believes in.

[rating:4/4]

Based on a series of books by Cressida Cowell, the story in the film has changed a bit from the novels (from what I’ve heard, people don’t ride the dragons in the series), but the author was pleased with the results. We’ll have to pick the books up and give them a read now that we’ve seen the movie version.

Is the story original? Yes and no. At the heart of the story, it’s a matter of self-discovery and proving your own worth to yourself and the people who care about you. For a movie aimed at kids, I have to say it’s a great message regardless of whether it’s been done before. But the concept of having a tale of dragons and Vikings is definitely pretty cool.

The animation was solid, the characters were fun, and flying with Hiccup and Toothless was a blast in 3D. I know the adults I was with enjoyed it just as much as the kids did. And the voice acting was very solid: Butler, Ferguson, Baruchel, America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, and more. It’s tough to get a convincing Scottish accent unless you’re a Scot like Butler and Ferguson and they did it beautifully.

If you’re looking for a good movie to take the kids to, it’s tough to beat How to Train Your Dragon at the moment. I know we’ll be picking it up on DVD when it’s released, but we might have to sneak another viewing at the theater before it disappears!

–Fitz

p.s. Pick up some books and other items from Amazon!

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