Monday, September 29, 2014

PCP in Theaters - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I've been so swamped lately, as you've probably heard me lament a few times on the blog now, that I haven't been able to write a review of a movie I saw in theaters in July, until now. It might still be in theaters, at the cheap ones, by the time this goes up, but otherwise it'll probably be out on home video soon.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - 2014, rated PG-13. My rating: 9 out of 10.

The sequel to the prequel that doubled as a reboot of a classic franchise hit theaters earlier this summer, an event that would probably be considered unbelievable to the stars of the original Charlton Heston classic, but obviously Hollywood works way differently these days than it did 45 years ago. The reboot/prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes was actually a pretty good sleeper hit 3 years ago, but it was dwarfed at the box office by that summer's biggest hits, finishing in 11th that year in total box office behind Harry Potter 8, Transformers 3, Twilight 4, Hangover 2, Pirates 4, Fast & Furious 5, Mission Impossible 4, Cars 2, Sherlock Holmes 2, & Thor 1, and finishing a mere 100 grand ahead of Captain America 1.  <side note - wow, that was a lot of sequels that summer> So, if you missed Rise 3 years ago, you weren't alone, but it is still a good film that I encourage you to check out. (I gave it an 8/10).

Fortunately, even if you never saw Rise, you can still check out Dawn without being too lost. It's set a few years after a plague released at the end of the previous film has wiped out a majority of humanity, and the group of Apes living in the mountains outside of San Francisco has grown tremendously. Meanwhile, there is a small band of humans living in San Fran, and everything is quiet until the two groups encounter each other. Problems ensue, obviously.

I don't want to say too much more without spoiling the plot, but the film is quite fun and filled with some great action scenes. It also has some incredible motion-capture work and some of the best CGI I've seen in a film. The various primates are so well rendered, they come across as completely believable on the screen. No lame rubber masks like the prior films in the series, here the technology is seamless and gorgeous. The film is also pretty touching and has a lot of heart. Overall, the film is very enjoyable, and I am already looking forward to the next one in the series. Already, the reboot series has already surpassed the original series in terms of quality of storytelling. If they keep it up, they can keep making Apes films as long as they want.

Monday, September 22, 2014

PCP on TV - 2014-2015 TV preview - What's on my DVR?

It's fall now, so it is time for the return of my annual TV preview. Sorry this is late, some shows have already begun, but I've been swamped at work lately. Welcome to the 4th edition of this post! Wow, I can't believe I've been running this blog for that long. Anyways, once again, here's my recap of all the shows that I'll be watching this fall, plus what is returning from last year, and what got cut. If you're not watching some of these shows, you're missing out! Also, you may notice some formatting changes from last year's post, I tried to streamline things for you to make things simpler.

Making their debut this year:
I think this year is our smallest additions to the DVR in a long time. That's probably a good thing, as it was starting to get a bit overwhelming with how many shows we watched.

Black-ish - This comedy focusing on an African-American family in a multicultural America is a big risk for ABC, but some are calling it an updated Cosby Show. It'll be interesting to see how Laurence Fishburne does in a comedy, something he hasn't done in a long time. Anthony Anderson should be pretty funny in the starring role at least. It makes its bow on September 24th.

The Flash - Arrow is already one of my favorite shows on TV, and it really got great during its 2nd season. During last season, it introduced the character that would become the Flash, and they are expanding the universe with this spin off. Considering there will be crossovers between the two shows, it's a natural fit to add this one to the DVR. Plus, it looks pretty good. The Flash speeds on to our TV on the CW network on October 7th.

Gotham - Although it is not tied to the same television universe as Arrow and The Flash, Gotham City is obviously a big part of the DC universe. This prequel show on Fox focuses on a young Detective Gordon, long before he becomes commissioner, and a Bruce Wayne that's still a child. The early buzz on this show is that it is the best new show of the fall, so that sounds pretty promising. Gotham begins on Monday September 22nd.

Marvel's Agent Carter - Marvel continues to expand its universe, and unlike DC is still keeping things tied together (they also have shows on some characters like Daredevil coming to Netflix in the near future). Agent Cater is the female agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. back in the founding days of the organization in the 1940s, played by Hayley Atwell, and she was Steve Rogers' (Captain America) love interest back in his films. This retro show should be pretty fun, but still tie in to the overall Marvel universe of films and television, so in a sense it is required viewing. It is only going to be a partial season show, filling the gap of the two halves of its corporate sibling Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when that show goes on a production break. It's debut date is TBD at the present time, but look for it in 2015 probably, or in December of this year.

State of Affairs - Katherine Heigl, who used to be one of my biggest Hollywood crushes a decade ago, returns to television as a CIA agent in a new series involving espionage, and with the US President played by Alfre Woodard. It'll be interesting to see if Heigl can play someone tough, after playing someone neurotic in practically every movie she's done lately. It could be good, and it could be terrible, but this is one my wife wants to watch, and considering I'm adding three comic book shows this year, I kind of owe her one. It doesn't make its start until November 17th on NBC.

After the jump, read on for what's returning to the DVR and what got cut! --->

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wow, 10 Years!

Our wedding day, 9/18/2004. We were 22!
10 years ago today, my life changed forever. I married my college sweetheart in a simple ceremony in Chicago and my life was never the same. In those 10 years, we have both grown so much compared to the kids we were then. She has helped me to find motivation in life and helped me to mature and become a better man, husband, and father. She herself also has grown more beautiful, patient (especially with me), and loving, and she is an incredible wife and mother. So, Happy Anniversary sweetheart! I love you with all of my heart. After all the fun and adventures we've had the past 10 years, I can't wait to see what the next 10 years bring us!

Thinking back on the past 10 years (as well as the 3 years together before we wed), I am amazed by all of the changes that we have undergone. I was looking through our photos from our long time together and I thought I would share with you some of my favorites of us over the past 13 years. This is just a small sample, we have hundreds more up on Facebook and thousands more offline, so it was hard to choose the best but these are some of my faves. I hope you enjoy!

This was us the summer after Sophomore year of college
This was at a college formal, senior year I think

Our renewal of vows in 2005, when we had a big wedding

A romantic ocean side kiss in Vancouver

Aloha from Hawaii!
When in Rome...
Family photo at 3 months
Family photo at 6 months
9 months
1 year
2 years!
To many more memories! Happy Anniversary Sittie! I love you, always, and forever!