POST #49: 24 Hours, 49 Posts… 1 Survivor!

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII AAAAM THE CHAAAAMPION, MY FRIE-ENDS!

It is done, 24 hours o’ blog. I actually think there’s some decent entertainment to be had from my output of this day, and I think I’d do it again next year. Although, that’s too much to think about right now. Me. Bed. Now.

A reminder to all my sponsors: now that the Blogathon was a success, don’t forget to honour your pledges. I believe the organisers will be sending you emails to remind you to pay.

So here’s the final shot of me, fun to compare to the first shot of me from yesterday. Much more shadowy, I’d say.

Sleepy Saint

And here’s a shot of all the canned bevy’s that helped keep us all awake. NOTE: I did not drink them all myself.

Don't worry, we recycle!

So, as a wise man once said… th-th-th-the-That’s All Folks!

POST #48: Movie Trailer Review: The Prestige

Another impressive poster.
My last review of the ‘Thon folks. I’m more excited about it than you are, trust me.

You can view this trailer here: http://www.apple.com/trailers/touchstone/theprestige/

When you first read that Christopher Nolan is directing a movie starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Scarlett Johansson, it kinda sounds like a super-awesome Batman meets Wolverine movie. But, alas, it is not.

That said, after watching the trailer for The Prestige, having no idea what the movie was about before seeing it, it is now on the top of my list of 2006 movies I’m most looking forward to seeing. It does a great job in establishing the tense mood of the movie (or at least, I hope it’s a tense mood, given the trailer and all), and introducing the main plot and meaning behind the movie’s name.

The Prestige is about rival magicians Jackman and Bale, each determined to pull off the best trick. It appears that Bale does so, but the nature of this trick seems rather unnatural. The trailer shows a lot of quick clips that show that the movie should be quite the adventure, without giving the entire plot of the movie away (since I’m still not sure what it’s all about). A great piece of advertising that introduces an unknown property (a rarity in today’s moviescape) without giving it all away before anyone sees it.

The Verdict: I’ll definitely be seeing this one, thanks almost entirely to this trailer.

POST #46: Favourite Albums of 2006 Thus Far

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been embracing 2006 albums as much as I’d like. Too busy with older stuff of late. But there are a few that have caught my attention, so I thought I’d share them here.

Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
Probably my favourite album of the year so far. Possibly the group’s best work to date.

The Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
So much fun. About as much fun as you’d think a record by a band with “Monkeys” in their name would be.

The Stills – Without Feathers
Saw them perform this live before the album came out. It’s pretty solid in its own right, if not as good as their debut.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones
I don’t like it as much as Fever to Tell but am coming around to the new sound and recognise it as worth my time.

Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere
THE hip-hop album of the year for people not much into hip-hop. “Crazy” is THE song of the summer.

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins – Rabbit Furcoat
Not as good as any of Rilo Kiley’s albums, but a worthwhile side project.

Morrissey – Ringleader of the Tormentors
A transition record for Moz that shows a bit of an optimistic streak mixed in with the standard pessimism.

Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways
If you liked the other American records, then you’ll like this one too.

POST #45: Status Report

Five more posts to go! Of course, I’m fresh out of ideas and motivation to make those posts, but I’ll make it through. This is crunch time and I’m not about to let you all down. Of course, most of you are probably reading this hours after I’ve already posted for the last time, so you’ll have to let me know if I make this. (Don’t let the future paradox blow your mind!)

Skooch just left, leaving me alone in the home stretch. It’s probably for the best. Now I can just lose myself in posts and the movie I’m watching Serenity, which is fantastic. Here’s my review of it: http://andythesaint.livejournal.com/144804.html

I’ve moved on to snacking on chips and dip now. I’m hoping I won’t have to eat another meal, but I probably will. Maybe cereal will do the trick.

There’s only a few posts left, so the time for requests is now!

POST #44: The Death Penalty

WAAAAAAYYY back at post nine I told you all about the charity I’m blogging for today, Amnesty International, and in doing so, mentioned that I was opposed to the death penalty. I figured I’d explain my position on that.

There’s plenty of reasons to be against capital punishment. The easiest reason is that it is an irreversible punishment that is sometimes assigned to innocent people. A lot of those people do get their convictions turned over through the appeals process, but I don’t believe for one minute that people haven’t been executed that were innocent. I can’t think of anything a state could that is worse than killing innocent citizens of its own country.

But more than that, the death penalty doesn’t work. It’s more expensive to execute someone then hold them in prison for the rest of their lives, given the extensive appeals process involved. Worse, you can’t convince me for a second that it acts as a deterrent for violent offenders. Most violent crimes occur in moments of passion, where people act without consideration of the consequences. They think no more about that fact that this could lead to their execution as they think about it could lead to life in prison. For career violent criminals, the threat of death is an ordinary facet of their lives, so added state-sponsored execution really doesn’t change things. What it does change is the level of desperation for those who committed a capital offense in a moment of passion. Knowing that capture and conviction for their crime will lead to their death only makes them that much more desperate to avoid capture, meaning that they have more incentive to kill anyone who could make that happen. After all, the state can’t kill them twice.

The only legitimate argument I know for the death penalty is pure vengeance. I get that if someone did something horrible to you, you’d wish them harm, even death. If someone were to rape and murder my wife, then yes, I’d want them dead. I’d want to kill them myself. Which is why it’s a good thing I wouldn’t be sentencing them. Because vengeance is no way for a civilised society to operate. It’s a slippery slope that we really shouldn’t be sliding. The fact that the United States and Japan are the only modern, first-world countries that still practice capital punishment (including North America, almost all of South America, Australia, and the entire European Union) shows it to be an outmoded practice, generally exercised by dictators as a means to control its populace.

So I support Amnesty International in their campaign to abolish capital punishment, and you can too by pledging your support to this Blogathon by clicking here.

POST #42: LFM meme

Yep, it’s gotten to the meme stage of the proceedings. 42 posts in isn’t bad though.

For this one, I’ll be refering to my Last.fm account. Taking my top ten most played artist, I’ll answer the following questions for each: A) What’s the first song by them I ever heard? B) What track hooked me as a fan? C) What’s my current favourite song?

#1. Death Cab for Cutie
A) “A Movie Script Ending”
B) “Title and Registration”
C) “Title and Registration”

#2. Tegan and Sara
A) “I Hear Noises”
B) “Living Room”
C) “My Number”

#3. Coldplay
A) “Yellow”
B) “The Scientist”
C) “Fix You”

#4. The Smiths
A) “How Soon Is Now?”
B) “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
C) “This Charming Man”

#5. The Beatles
A) “Twist and Shout”
B) “Eleanor Rigby”
C) “Eleanor Rigby”

#6. The Decemberists
A) “16 Military Wives”
B) “The Mariner’s Revenge Song”
C) “The Mariner’s Revenge Song”

#7. Eels
A) “Saturday Morning”
B) “I Need Some Sleep”
C) “I’m Going to Pretend that I Didn’t Break Your Heart”

#8. Belle and Sebastian
A) “Seymour Stein”
B) “Like Dylan in the Movies”
C) “The Blues are Still Blue”

#9. Stars
A) “Ageless Beauty”
B) “Reunion”
C) “Your Ex-Lover is Dead”

#10. Aimee Mann
A) “One”
B) “Pavlov’s Bell”
C) “Deathly”

POST #41: Movie Trailer Review: Rocky Balboa

What an epic poster! I think putting together this post might take me longer than it did for them to come up with this poster.
To see the trailer for yourself, go here: http://www.apple.com/trailers/mgm/rockybalboa/trailer1/

I’d heard that they were making this movie, but I had no idea that they had started the advertising campaign until I saw the link to the trailer a few minutes ago. Out of morbid curiousity, I watched it.

Of course, I never had any interest in seeing this movie, so this trailer had a lot to accomplish to get my money in Christmastime 06. How’d it do? About as well as you think it would.

Which is to say, not very. Honestly, watching it just made me sad. I mean, I don’t really think that much of Sly Stallone as an actor, so I guess I’m not that sad for him. But still… life can’t be that bad that a sixty year old man has to now play a boxer character that he first created 30 years ago and ran into the ground with four sequels. Also, Rocky really wasn’t that great to begin with.

What’s even sadder about this trailer is that it relies almost solely on re-hashing the iconic moments from past movies to generate interest. So Rocky is running up the stairs, wearing the toque (that’s Canadian for wool hat to you Americans out there), punching the beef. There’s no “AAAAADRIAAAAAAAN!!!” moment, but that’s only because there’s no Adrian in this movie. Wow, that’s even sadder that Talia Shire has better things to do and more self-respect than Rambo.

The Verdict: I will never see this movie. Ever.

POST #40: Movie Trailer Review: Spider-Man 3

The Saint continues to innovate!
I’m gonna try something new here, and review a movie trailer! I’ll be judging it based on how well it does its job in making me want to see the movie it is previewing. To see the trailer for yourself, go here: http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/spider-man_3/

If I had a video iPod, I’d download this trailer and watch it every day. This very well might be the greatest teaser trailer I’ve ever seen in my life, and the feelings it stirs in me are somewhere between awe and orgasmic. After seeing this, I think I can honestly say that I’ve never looked forward to seeing another movie more in my life than I look forward to seeing Spider-Man 3.

Since it’s just a teaser for a movie that won’t be out until 2007, they probably could’ve gotten away with just showing the darkness spread over Spiday’s red and white suit, then finished with the final shot of the trailer and it would’ve done its job. People would’ve been excited and the buzz would be in the air. But Sony went above and beyond with this one, probably because they wanted to release it on Superman Returns‘ opening night and try and steal some its buzz.

Mission accomplished. This is far more exciting than anything in all of Superman Returns, managing to reveal tidbits of plot ideas for the new movie without giving much away. What’s particularly effective about it is that it gives fanboys a taste of moments that they’ll understand, be it the brief appearance of Sandman, Topher Grace’s revelatory “Parker?”, a new blonde girl in Peter’s life, and Peter Parker battling a black substance in a bell tower. Each of these moments gives me shivers and makes me geek out something fierce, but doesn’t really reveal anything to the uninitiated. Honestly, I’m surprised that I don’t mess myself when watching this trailer, it has me so excited.

The Verdict: I will do everything in my power to see this movie on opening night.

POST #39: The Best Concert I’ve Ever Been To

I’ve been to a goodly amount of concerts in this past few years, and I have the shirts to prove it. I even went to one two nights ago, featuring Feist and Broken Social Scene. For awhile there, the best concert I’d ever been to was often the last concert I went to, because I had such a great time, and they each had something to offer. But now, the answer to that question has been the same for a few concerts in a row.

That answer? Stars! I’ve seen them live twice, so it’s the most recent time I saw them perform in February of this year. The best thing about live music is hearing real musicians perform live interpretations of their songs. Stars are a collection of incredibly talented performers who really deliver the goods when it comes to fleshing out their sounds. But more than that, they’re really theatrical in their delivery, which made this concert special. It was a perfectly structured playlist, opening with “The Theme from the Stars”, which is precisely how you would start a movie about them. They would then move through the catalogue, moving tempos up and down to keep the crowd into it, building to the transcendent crescendo of “He Lied About Death”. It was such a powerful moment, with the stage flooded in fiery reds and yellows while Torquil dramatically pantomimed the meaning behind the lyric “keep watching the sky… ’cause you might get lucky again”. I’ll be honest, I never really understood the track until that moment, so it was pretty powerful. Then they hit us with the wall of sound at the end of the track, before leaving the stage to set up the encore. By that point I already knew “this is the greatest concert I’ve ever seen”.

POST #38: The Marriage Decision

Another pre-blog question I received from _luckyxiii was “Why did you decide to get married?”. Since I have to post in eight minutes, I figured this was the perfect time to answer that question, since it’s so easy.

Deciding to marry Kim was such a no-brainer that it hardly even qualifies as a decision. There’s nothing about her I wasn’t completely in love with, and no part of my life that she didn’t make better. I’m the best version of myself when with her, and she gives me such a powerful blend of inner peace and strength just knowing that she’s in my corner. I always knew that I’d get married in my life one day, so that wasn’t an issue to get over, it was all about meeting the right person. I met the exact right person, and the rest was history.

If anyone else has some softballs to lob at me that can help fill the last ten posts, bring em on!

POST #37: The Toll of the Blogathon

Remember what I looked like when I started this thing? Well, I’m not so bright-eyed and bushy tailed anymore. The reality of this whole experiment is starting to set in. I’m running out of ideas faster than I’m running out of steam.

Skooch is playing Kingdom Hearts II right now, a game I bought to help the night go by. Sadly, it kind of sucks so far, so I’m happy that I’m not playing my way through the early expository action.

POST #36: Top 5 Tegan and Sara songs, number one

The moment you've all been waiting for! Or, at least one of you has.

I started this list at 10 in the morning, meaning that I stretched one list into fourteen hours of anticipation! Genius!

#1 “My Number” from This Business of Art
Another Tegan song! All but number five were Tegan songs, which I guess tells me that she’s my favourite of two. She’s also the sexier one, whereas Sara is the cuter one (although, it’s kinda like talking about who’s the oldest twin. The difference isn’t big enough to be statistically significant). I first heard this song from their performance on Last Night with David Letterman (which I downloaded) and instantly fell in love with it. It’s got a fantastic structure, building in intensity until it crescendos in the final chorus. My favourite lyric is “He grabs me by the hand, and drags me to the shore and said ‘maybe you don’t love me, but you’ll grow to love me even more'”. One of their longest tracks, and most percussively impressive with a great assist from the piano. It is an atypical song for the duo, with a darker tone and tempo and pulsating sense of urgency. If you only listen to one Tegan and Sara song, let this be it (of course, if after listening to this track, you’re not interested in hearing other Tegan and Sara songs after that… then we can’t be friends).