Thursday, June 30, 2005

Star Wars Episode III The Revenge of the Sith

I finally saw this movie and I loved it. I put it off for so long because I thought it was going to be terrible and I have to say that I thought it was the best one yet. Although I hate to say that b/c I grew up with the first 3, but.. it was.
There were some flaws. Most notobably Hayden Christian is a horrible actor. Fortunately this was only obvious in the first couple of scenes. Then again Mark Hamill wasn't much better.
I enjoyed watching Anakin Skywalker transform from a Jedi Knight into a Sith Lord. The transformation was very intersting and I thought that the way Palpatine cons him into coming over to the dark side was very clever. Of course much of the movie was expected and predictable for those familiar with the earlier movies, but I can understand why the films were made in the order they were.
This movie definately makes up for the last two (no annoying Jar Jar!) . Could have used more time with the wookies and Yoda, but overall it was definately worth the $7.50.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Batman Begins

I've been a fan of batman ever since I can rember and the one really great thing I can say about this movie is that it was the best movie I have seen. I realize that doesn't say much as most of the recent batman movies have been pretty disapointing. Even with a less than stellar cast, (Katie Holmes plays Bruce Wayne' love intrest- Rachel) I really enjoyed this movie.
The plot was what made the movie. I have to admit though that there were some pretty big scientific blunders (which my scince geek friends were all to happy to point out) but I tend to not let that kind of thing bother me.
The movie is about the origins of Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) spent many years coming to terms with his parents senseless murder, eventually becoming a rouge ninja (after rejecting his teacher's philosophies). Through help from a silenced employee (played by Morgan Freeman) the butler who never gave up on him (Michel Cane) and his girlfriend at the DA's office (Holmes) Bruce Wayne become Batman, an icon set on saving his hometown. The movie explains the origins and histories of all the characters including the good cop (Jim Goldman) and the joker. One thing that I especially liked was the use of flashbacks to tell some of the backround of the story. The plot was weel written and unlike other Batman movies it was well fleshed out. I thought that the characters were difinitively well rounded, and that overall the movie was fun and enjoyable. Theere were plenty of fight scenes and action, ena little bit of romance and some horror at the end. I don't think it was too scary for young children (think wizard of oz), and wis certainly deep enough for a second or third movie). I encourage you to see this movie and am looking forward to other Batman movies from the films creators.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Gabriel Young's last show (for now)

Tasty World June 11 2005
I wanted to say something really amazing about this show b/c Gabe (and Kalen) are such great singer/songwriters (if you happen to read this Gabe I'm sorry about the label), and I was looking forward to the show. But aside from the fact that I got to hear Gabe do some of his own songs Saturday's show was not all that spectacular. It was much to short and there were too many technical difficulties. But I really enjoyed it anyway, as did the rest of the audiance. The set was short. They began with a song off their album that I can't rember the name of. Then Kalen did a much changed version of Don't Wait on The Rain which I didn't particularly care for, Gabe did an amazing song called Saving Grace, Kalen did another song -it was a new love song, Gabe attempted a song-amazing song called Slow. They ended with-actually I belive they ended with Don't wait on the Rain. I don't belive they played that song twice so I don't know what Kalen played.
In case you are interested Kalen has his own website and has his own CD. I heard it and did not like it because it was too produced. But if he likes it and other people like it, fine. People are entitled to thier own wrong opinions.
I don't know what they are going to do when Gabe gets back from Honduras. I could have asked Gabe what he thought, but this is one of those rare times when I don' t want to know, mostly because I don't want to have any input in that.
I really enjoyed listening to them. Over the last year that I've been following them they have changed a lot. And I like it. But there are things I don't like. I'd like to hear more of Gabe by himself. But Kalen is talented too, and they do seem to work pretty well together, although I'm not sure that they are going in the same direction musically. I have to say that I was really impressed by the fact that Kalen kept going even after he broke a string. I thought that was really professional in a "the show must go on" kind of way.
If you haven't already check out their website at
The opening acts were worth checking out as well, in particular the girl Larissa Delorenzo. She had some good stuff. I would compare her to a cross between Jewel and maybe that singer from the sixties that died of a drug overdose. She's a chick with a guitar, but she's not just a chick with a guitar. I was particularly impressed with one song that was called Richford or something. It was the name of her home town. Anyway it was cool.
Darien Cunning was up next. He was o.k. Unfortunately he had taped a lot of what he was doing and most of it was not live. I did not like that.

Dance Real Slow by Micheal Grant Jaffe

I really liked this book. It was one of those easily digested books that are perfect when you just want to relax. Michael Grant Jaffee is a talented writer.
This book concerns a young single father Gordon Nash who has just moved to small town Kansas from a large city in Michigan after his wife left him and his 4 year old son Calvin. The books deals with Gordon struggles with his new life, with his past and with the people he meets. Gordon is a man who both loves his son and struggles against him. On reading this book I felt that Jaffe must have lived this life himself because he knows the characters and their feelings so well. However I could find very little about him on the web, and the short bio on the book cover didn't tell me anything either.
The characters and the changes they go through are what make this novel such a compelling read. This is Jaffe's first novel, and I look forward to seeking out and reading the two novels he has written since.

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Comedy of Errors - UGA

Interesting play. I don't particularly like Shakespeare and I don't particularly hate him either.. Although the more I see Shakespeare I see the more I like. I had never read or seen the Comedy of Errors before so I was on pretty much the same level as most of the audience and was a bit confused.
If you haven't seen it before, the play concerns two sets of twin brothers who don't know they are twins and end up being mistaken for each other, several times over the course of a few days. It is basically what the name implies.. a comedy of errors.
This particular production was a free one put on by a maymester drama class at UGA. It had virtually no set, and the costumes and props were all found pieces from the cast members closets. I found this a bit distracting in the beginning, but as I got into the play I actually liked this.
For the most part the acting was decent. Not particularly memorable (they were mostly underclassman and all undergrads for the most part doing their first Shakespeare play). There were a few obvious flubs. One girl kept forgetting parts of long speeches and would repeat them. And there was one character who was played by someone holding the script who had apparently gotten it five minutes earlier (but no one was missing from the cast.) The main characters for the most part did a good job. I was not bored, I was enthralled . I enjoyed it. There is one more performance (Saturday at 8pm) so if you are in Athens and you want some good free entertainment go see some of the young local talent at the cellar theater at UGA's Performing Arts School (appropriately located in the basement).

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Panera Bread

A bit pricey.. (between $5-10) but its worth it every once in a while. They make good soup and sandwiches, salad too. Very simple, and good. Of course the bread is the selling point, nice freshly baked bread from scratch. Sometimes you can see them kneeding it in the back. Everything is fresh and flavorful.
I like to get a half salad or half soup and sandwich combo. My favorite is the tomato and mozerrlla pannini or portabella and mozzerrella panninni
They also have a very good french onion soup which can be served in a sourdough bread bowl, but I haven't found a vegitarian soup that goes with it (the french onion soup is probably not vegitarian but that doesn't really bother me)
They make good and bagels and sell them by the loaf or by the dozen. My favorite are the asiago cheese. They also have some lower carb options .
The store itself is kinda tacky, as its fast food. I don't really like that. I think if I'm going to have gormet food I should get a nice restraunt. Not trays and stuff. They don't have waiters which is fine, that reminds me of a deli. But its the cheap plastic containers which get me..
They have lots of choices everything from pbj to roast beef to
You can check out there menu on the website here

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Athens Area Arts Open House Weekend

I have to say that this is a rather broad topic for a review, but as its one of the greatest things about living in Athens (not the weekend, the arts in general), I'm going to try to say a little something.
We spent all afternoon driving around looking at pottery. Some of the highlights were Farmington pottery, which had a nice selection of mostly unique pottery. His pieces were some of the nicest I saw today. It's pretty much all functional. This guy has a has a large wood burning kiln (two in a barn) which my brother says is neat. I have to take his word for it since I don't know much about the kilns themselves except the ones I've seen have all been gas or raku.
Another highlight was J.B (Jeff Bishop) and friends open house and sale. They had some pretty unique stuff. It was very colorful.
We also went to happy valley which I had forgotton was all production. Sure everybody does some production, but these guys do nothing but. I don't really like it. If that's what you want they do a good job of it though.
We did not go to the Bendzunas's (Comer) http://www.bendzunasglass.combut they are good glassblowers . They do a lot of production work as well, but they also have a lot of very interesting experimental works. They are a family bussiness as all the kids (20's) do some glasswork as well. It's definately worth the drive out.

Friday, June 3, 2005

Their Eyes Were Watching God- Movie

I had trouble with this post when i first posted it. So I'm going to post it again. movie, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” did not stay as true to the book as it could have. The movie left many things out particularly many of the metaphors and folk traditions, which made the book so colorful. It was very oversimplified and focused on Janie’s search for romantic love that was only part of the theme. Additionally the speech was modernized.
Many of the metaphors were left out. For example in the first chapter Janie compares her self to a peach tree blossoming while she receives her first kiss. This was not discussed at all in the movie. The scene at the end with the flood was taken to be more literal in the movie than it appeared in the book.
Another thing that was greatly disappointing about the book was the modernization and clarification of the language. One of Zora Neale Hurstons’ accomplishments was her brilliant ability to capture of African-American speech during the early 20th century. This was almost completely destroyed by the movie. As far as Halle Berry’s interpretation goes, the only allusion to this is how she refers to her friends as “girl” that may be more modern.
The movie did retain some of the important themes from the book, including that of women’s place in society and the ideal of romantic love. One of the themes that Hurston wrote about in the book, was Janie’s strong need and will to simply be herself, which I felt was sidestepped in the movie in order to place emphasis on the romance in Janie’s life.
The movie that was well done seemed to oversimplify many of the aspects that were important in the novel. The movie is a decidedly different interpretation of the novel focus on romance and the search for it.

Taco Stand

I love this place. Sure its not authentic at all, and they microwave lots of things (I think) BUT ITS LOCAL! and where else can you get a tofu burrito (outside of california). As far as I'm concerned the taco stand is the best.
It used to be great because it was the cheapest place and very affordable but now that I've gone from broke to completely broke, and gas prices have doubled its not as cheap as it used to be, but its still pretty affordable. You can still have a pretty decent meal for less than $3 bucks (higher than than toco bell, yes, but taco bell sucks).
Taco stand is kinda like a cheap sports bar, except that instead of showing sports on mute they show the news, and the music is much better (usually WUOG, plus its a great place to people watch (especially downtown).
I have to admit that Mean Bean is pretty good too, but the taco stand holds a special place in my heart b/c I discovered it first.
Like I said the food is great. You just have to take my word out there. And don't worry all you carnivores, there's plenty of meat filled options to satisfy you. So grab some friends, head on down and support local bussiness.