Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Life Near an Iowa Cornfield 1-24-10

Wow has it really been nearly three months since I wrote anything?

Not that I haven’t had things to say but it’s been busy.  I’ve reconnected with a bunch of old friends via Facebook.  I’ve discovered that as much as I like writing, I enjoy my job more.   I’ve been extraordinarily busy with the job.  Recently, I was informed that according to the Iowa Newspaper Association, I am one of the top three ad designers in the entire state for the class of newspaper I work for (weekly under 10,000 circulation).  I find out exactly where I place at the banquet in February.

The can company is OFFICIALLY sold.  We signed the papers last week.  Yay!!!!!!!!!

PIT #1 (aka Pvt. Black Spartan) is still learning to be intelligent.  Her graduation has been pushed back again due to National Guard needing the same training, but she’s enjoying the challenge.

PIT #2 is now almost as tall as I am (when did that happen?).  He’s learning the ins and outs of controlled fishtails on the snow covered roads.

PIT #3 is being 10.  He finally agreed to let his mother wash his favorite Christmas present, an official Army fatigue shirt.  He received this from his big sister and has worn it nearly every day since Christmas.

Mrs. VS is recovering more every day.  Her hair is now long enough that she doesn’t wear wigs anymore.

One Way Express (the puppet team) has taken the tentative steps into video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w39S1YZWRhQ

We are now digitally recording the morning services at church and will be placing more videos up at YouTube as I get  time to edit.  Check out my channel http://www.youtube.com/user/vulcanstev

The entire family has been playing Wizard’s 101.  We’re enjoying it to the point of possibly getting a second subscription that we can play together instead of watching one person play.

The boys and I are back to a bi-weekly D&D 4e game at The Core in Cedar Falls.  I can’t say I much like the hack and slash version of D&D, but it’s time with my boys.  Alternate weeks, our local gaming group has begun a Top Secret! campaign, yes let’s resurrect more classic games from the 80’s

I also recently came to terms with my decision to leave Starships of the Third Fleet.  The constrictions being placed on my writing from the higher-ups made it less than fun to continue with the group.  I’ve also re-found the KSF and resurrected Chris Dehart.  Stev isn’t gone.  He’s just not onboard the Phoenix anymore.  When last seen he, T’Aiya, Phread and Neila had boarded the Ghost Rider and taken off for parts unknown.  (I am thinking of posting my stuff here for the world to read).

Hoping it’ll be sooner than March before I post again…

STEVe

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Play | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Near an Iowa Cornfield: Sept 27, 2009

Where to begin?

PIT #3 is back at Timothy Christian and giving Mrs. VandeVort as hard a time as his brother did when we first moved to the area.  He his happy that his enforced review of the Yellow Belt form for Tae Kwon Do is over and we are now studying the Camo Belt form.  His skills as an RPG gamer are growing, enough that I’d consider taking a family vacation to a nearby convention.

PIT #2 is now a sophomore (*shudder*).  With his sister gone, he’s establishing his own identity.  He’s a member of chorus, the drama department, AcDec, and the “I can put a car into a sideways spin on gravel” club.  He’s trying to convince daddy that because we are now Camo Belts that we need to enroll in weapons class.  He’s also VERY happy that Saturday mornings no longer involve spending the day counting cans.

 Pvt Black Spartan (formerly known as PIT #1) finished Basic back in August.  She’s now at GoodFellow AFB getting her AIT or as she puts it “Learning to be intelligent”.  She’s found a group of gamers on base and has weekly D&D sessions with her new friends.  She still plays D&D with us on Sunday afternoons via SKYPE.  She just recently earned the right to leave base on pass and wear civies while not on base.

Mrs. VS is back to work.  She’s interpreting for fourth grade student.  Aside from having to deal with an entire class of uncooperative children, she’s glad to be back at work.  She has finished her chemotherapy but has started radiation treatments.  I’m just glad she’s still here.

VS is enjoying the challenges of his new job.  Last week I got to design the entire contest the paper is conducting for a ticket giveaway.  I’m glad I’m using my degree again.  This fall our church decided to help our sister church (an urban multi-ethnic church) start their new Wednesday evening children’s programs.  The logistics of transporting all the puppets, gear, lesson materials, and whatnot can get pretty interesting now that the can van is no longer at my beck and call.  We’re getting it done.

There now you’re up to date.

September 27, 2009 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

harry_potter_and_the_half_blood_prince_ver19Starring:
Daniel Radcliffe …  Harry Potter
Rupert Grint …  Ron Weasley
Emma Watson …  Hermione Granger
Jim Broadbent …  Professor Horace Slughorn
Elarica Gallacher …  Waitress
Robbie Coltrane …  Rubeus Hagrid
Michael Gambon …  Professor Albus Dumbledore
Maggie Smith …  Professor Minerva McGonagall
Alan Rickman …  Professor Severus Snape
Bonnie Wright …  Ginny Weasley
James Phelps …  Fred Weasley
Oliver Phelps …  George Weasley
Julie Walters …  Molly Weasley
Mark Williams …  Arthur Weasley
David Thewlis …  Remus Lupin

Synopsis: In the sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, and in both wizard and muggle worlds Lord Voldemort and his henchmen are increasingly active. With vacancies to fill at Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledor persuades Horace Slughorn, back from retirement to become the potions teacher, while Professor Snape receives long awaited news. Harry Potter, together with Dumbledore, must face treacherous tasks to defeat his evil nemesis.

Reviewers: Vulcan Stev, Mrs. VS, PIT #1/Pvt Spartan, PIT #2, PIT #3

Vulcan Stev: 1.4 pointed ears
I have never read any of the Harry Potter books.  When my children complain about things the movie left out of the previous novels, it usually didn’t matter much to me.  The movies have, to this point, been able to stand on their own.  HPatHBP is the first time that I, as a non-reader of the novels, could sense something was missing.  Don’t get me wrong, the movie was still enjoyable.  There was just to much unexplained.  Harry’s being forced to give up the textbook seemed, from my vantage point, to be more jealousy from his fellow students than it was a necessity to get rid of the book.  The whole sub-plot of the hor-cruxes seemed to be given short shrift.

Warner Bros. determined that it would be impossible to do adequate justice to the Deathly Hallows in one 2-hour movie.  After watching HBP, I wonder if they shouldn’t have done the same thing with book six.  How hard would it have been to film HBP as a two-parter release part one at Memorial Day and then part two at Labor Day.

Mrs. VS: 1.4 pointed ears
This movie was a little confusing.  I had a difficult time following parts of this story.  The part of the story where Harry is attacked in the cave was VERY creepy.

Pvt Spartan/PIT #1: 1.5 pointed ears
Watching this movie without my family was a bittersweet experience.  This was a good movie but a terrible adaptation.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a very misleading title.  The book is more about the discovery of Voldemort’s horcruxes and setting up lots of things for the final book.  There is lots of underplay relational issues that are left out of the movie.

Non-readers of the books might be confused by this movie.

PIT #2: 1.7 pointed ears
The was a decent movie.  However the producers tried to cram wa-a-ay to much stuff into a two and a half hour movie.  What I’ve read of the book, it should have been turned into 2 two-hour movies at least.

PIT #3: 1.4 pointed ears
In addition to all the kissing (yecch!) this movie left out a lot of the novel it was adapting.  The parts they did film where done nicely.  I didn’t like the fact that the movie showed an attack on the Weasleys.  Daddy explained that it probably was done to lump all the attacks by the Death Eaters into one attack that mattered.  All in all a decent movie.

7.4 pointed ears out of 10.

The overall consensus of the VS family that this movie was too short for the material was trying to cover.  If you own the first five you’ll definitely be owning this one as well.  This film is a little too intense for younger viewers without parental supervision.

September 12, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I’m ba-ack

It’s been awhile but I think I’ve got the modem problems fixed to the point of being able to blog again.  So where to begin?  There’ll be some changes coming to the blog.  I’ll still be writing about gaming but I’ll branching out to cover some of my other interests.  I also won’t be putting up daily content.  One of the things that came out of my enforced hiatus was PIT #3 expressing his happiness that Daddy wasn’t spending EVERY NIGHT at the laptop writing about gaming instead of actually playing.

Updates on the V.S. family:

Mrs. V.S. has finished her chemo treatments.  She is back at work interpreting for a 4th grade deaf student.  She goes to see the Radiology Oncologist on Wednesday and we learn at that point whether she’ll be undergoing radiation therapy.  Her hair is growing back, unfortunately it isn’t returning in the appropriate color.

PIT #1 is now Pvt. Spartan.  She is done with basic and is now undergoing A.I.T.  She’ll be back to providing her unique insights into the movie reviews (in fact she’s already phoned in her first).  She’s not completely online yet as her new laptop does not have net access inside her barracks.

PIT #2 is back in school.  He’s in Ac Dec this year and is looking forward to being the oldest at home.  He’s also back in Tae Kwon Do and will be testing for his camo belt next weekend.

PIT #3 has discovered Wizard’s 101.  He’s not as enthralled with 4e he terms it “offline gaming”.  When I asked him to clarify he responded that 4e wasn’t role playing.  It was more like the games he plays online only without the computer.

Me… I have sold the redemption center.  I’m back to punching a clock instead of working for myself.  This is not a step backwards as I’m using my degree.  I’m working as an ad designer for a local paper and loving it.  I’m also working on a “sekrit pojikt” that I’ll be sharing as soon as it’s ready to go.

What changes are coming to blog?  There will be still be gaming stuff.  However, my first love/obsession is movies.  I’ll be blogging more about films.  The family will still be doing reviews, however we’ll be adding blog posts about the goofs we picked up on while watching the films we’ve reviewed.  I’ll be adding some columns about comic books as well as bringing back Goober’s Words of Wisdom.

So bang the drum, sound the gong, let it be known far and wide.  Stev is back.

September 6, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Movies, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, RPG | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 163 of Being a Cancer Survivor

rib4Once again in her own words.  Editor’s note: This was written on Saturday June 13

I had my Dr. Appointment with the Oncologist Friday. I asked about the fevers I have been spiking and took antibiotics for. I refused to go to ER the last (third) time due to they weren’t finding anything and I was already taking the antibiotic. I asked if maybe it might be due to the fact that I have hay fever and the Taxol is made from plants and trees; so could the fevers be a reaction to the plants. His response was basically “maybe.” He also said it may have been an infection actually in the port. Those infections don’t show up in their tests. A rather contradictory statement to the one I got from the Breast Care Center (the ones that put in the port) where I was told that I would have much worse symptoms if there was an infection in the port.

The end result is to wait and see what happens with these next two treatments. I will see the doctor again on June 26. The reason for this is my white blood cell counts are staying close or in the normal range for one not undergoing chemotherapy. (Thanks to the Xango juice I am downing. Xango juice is made from the mangosteen fruit and has lots of antioxidant and xanthones. The xanthones boost the immune system – the white blood cells. Its a pretty hefty expense each month but it is doing what I wanted.) As such they are not so worried about things like pneumonia, or other terrible diseases that most people can fend off. So all I have to do is bring the fevers down with Tylenol unless I start experiencing other symptoms along with it.

I asked about taking probiotics to replace the digestive bacteria, since the antibiotics kill all bacteria not just the bad ones. He looked at the bottle and said it was great that I would do that, he wished more patients would spend the money to do that.

I had one nurse comment on the fact that I actually had a smile on my face. I was feeling pretty good that day. I have also been on an anti-depressant for about two weeks perhaps that is making a noticeable difference. I did end up crying though during my chemotherapy treatment. It took forever for them to get me started, my parents had taken off shopping, and I was reading one of my books on cancer. I had quit reading about cancer because every time I did I cried. I was suppose to read all I could about cancer – the more you know the better.

My treatments for the last few weeks and at least my next two are at Covenant Hospital. They do things differently than the Cancer Center and it takes FOREVER to do. My appointment was at noon and I didn’t get done until four o’clock. According to my Dad I really scared the nurse on duty at the end. I had fallen asleep the last half hour. I was aroused to a rather loud “Are you okay? Are you okay?” She had apparently tried to arouse me before and had no response so she began to wonder if I had expired.

The late in the day and lengthy treatments means that my son will not be able to drive me. He needs to be in Holland to meet the Pepsi truck which comes in mid to late afternoon. I have drivers for the next two weeks. But if my treatments continue to be at Covenant I will need for other weeks too. Let me know if this is somethings you can do. It is a good time to go shopping in Waterloo, as you do not have to stay with me during treatments.

Today I have been feeling pretty good. My temperature has been holding at my normal (the 97’s) or lower than my normal. I have done a lot of work this afternoon. My parents didn’t leave until eleven o’clock. So I really didn’t get started on my day until after that. I really want to write my daughter today and I think that will end my day.

June 14, 2009 Posted by | Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight | , , , | 2 Comments

Life Near an Iowa Cornfield 5-30-2009

My presence online has been greatly diminished this month.  It has been a hectic month for the VS household.  Mrs. VS has begun  the weekly chemo treatments (see Day 146 for more info).  She’s been feeling the stress.

PIT #1 graduated High School last week Sunday (5-24-09).  So we’ve been running hither and thither attending open houses, final concerts, Baccalaureate, graduation and what-not.  Pastor Gary (yes the same Pastor that Goober helps) preached Baccalaureate.  I was left wondering why Senior Awards needed to be presented after Baccalaureate and why each presenter had to spend 15 minutes re-reading the info printed in the program.  PIT #3 summed up everyone’s feelings “That was two hours of the most boring thing I’ve ever sat through, Daddy”

Graduation went off without a hitch.  PIT #1 has closed down one chapter of her life and is prepared to embark on the next chapter.  She heads off to basic training on the 31st of May.

Memorial Day we went to a Renaissance Faire in the Amana Colonies.  Wasn’t sure how the family would like it but all five of us enjoyed ourselves.  PITs 2&3 want to go to the one in Des Moines over Labor Day.  Mrs. VS enjoyed herself as well.  I picked up a cloak and two daggers.  PIT #1 got a Katana blade to go with her Black Belt.  PIT #3 remarked that the Faire was like a D&D game at full size.

Me? I’ve been working at a new job and trying to juggle the career and the can company.  I’m the new Ad Designer for a local paper, The Record in Conrad, Iowa.  I’m using my degree and enjoying myself immensely.  The new job is 9-5 and thus my free time has evaporated somewhat.  I usually work on blog posts on the weekends and get a full week’s worth written.  However the past few weekends have been busy with graduation stuff.  Uncle Bear has written some guest-posts to get me back up and running (Thank You My Liege).  I should be back to writing tomorrow after we drop off PIT #1.

We have a farewell party for PIT #1 tonight and PIT #2 starts Driver’s Ed on Monday.  Hoping to catch Angels & Demons at the dollar theater.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 146 of being a Cancer Survivor

rib4Wow has it really been over a  monthsince the last update on Mrs VS?  I guess so.  She is done with the bi-weekly treatments and has started the weekly doses.  Her folks have come down to be here for the graduation of PIT #1.  The stress of everything was causing her some problems.  Her white cell count was down last week and Dr. S. postponed last week’s treatment until this week to give her the weekend of graduation at full strength.

We went to PIT #1’s graduation (that’ll still be her code name here even though she is now a full fledged Paladin) on Sunday 24th.  Memorial Day we went to a Renaissance Faire and spent a good portion of the day in drizzle.  We had fun but I’ll fill in those details in another post.  Tuesday, I went back to work with Mrs. VS feeling a little tired from the long weekend.  Had to make a Can Company run after work and was gone for most of the day.

When I got home Tuesday evening, Mrs. VS was complaining of feeling cold.  She took her temp and discovered it was 100.9.  Now concerned about her temp and under orders from the Oncologist to report anything of the like she called the doctor’s 24-hour line.  We were told to get to ER, NOW!  Not a problem, I’ll get her to the local ER.  She is after all the woman I pledged to love honor and protect.

Not so fast the doctor sez, you need to go to Allen Hospital in the city.  OK that’s a 40 minute drive one-way and it is currently 9:20 at night.  We get the PITs ready for bed, get in the car and go.  We finally get to ER at a little after10:00 pm.  Three hours later, Mrs. VS is diagnosed with a severe Viral Syndrome, or as us common folk call it, a cold.  Tired beyond belief at this point, we get back in the car and drive home arriving there at about 2:00 am.  The alarm went off at 6:00 am to wake me for work.

Mrs. VS stayed home all day Wednesday sleeping off her Viral Syndrome.  Today, she went in to get her chemo treatment.  Unfortunately the Oncologist’s office had forgotten to order her meds.  She went on a merry goose chase trying to get chemo done at one of the hospitals.  After a nice round of “Bureaucracy” (RPG coming soon) it was determined that she’d have her chemo treatment tomorrow.

That covers Mrs. VS but doesn’t even scratch the surface here at the VS household.  Look for an Iowa Cornfield post soon.

May 28, 2009 Posted by | Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight | , | 3 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Star Trek

star_trek_xi_ver19Starring:
Chris Pine …  James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto …  Spock
Leonard Nimoy …  Spock Prime
Eric Bana …  Nero
Bruce Greenwood …  Capt. Christopher Pike
Karl Urban …  Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Zoe Saldana …  Nyota Uhura
Simon Pegg …  Scotty
John Cho …  Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin …  Pavel Chekov
Ben Cross …  Sarek
Winona Ryder …  Amanda Grayson
Chris Hemsworth …  George Kirk
Jennifer Morrison …  Winona Kirk

Synopsis by VS: Paramount is marketing this as the “untold” story of the classic crew’s first meeting.  This isn’t entirely accurate.  This is the story of the first joint mission of Kirk’s crew.  However, I hesitate to state they are the classic crew.  To paraphrase Spock, this is an alternate timeline.  Given that altered timelines, alternate universes, and time travel are an accepted part of Star Trek lore, I, and any hard-core fan, can and should embrace this as part of the Star Trek universe.  My rant on why Star Trek didn’t NEED a reboot is still valid.  Though, it’s what we got.  Given the positive comments I heard at the theater, Paramount was successful in pleasing both fans and the general population.  I’ll be blunt honest I have been prepared to loathe this motion picture since it was announced as a reboot.  However I found it to be very well done movie.  I hereby christen this new incarnation Universe 2.  Spock Prime, Classic 60’s crew, Next Gen, DS9, VOY all still exist in Universe 1.

Reviewers: VS, Mrs. VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.8 pointed ears
I am not going to go hard-core nitpicky.  My .2 deduction is on the basis of two things the volume and blinding lens flares.  I am not gonna deduct for the non-existent canyon near Riverside, Iowa, because who knows what’s going to happen to this state in the next 200 years.  It is nice to know that the University of Iowa still exists into the 23rd century as part of Starfleet Academy.  It is also nice to know that Iowa will be known for more than corn in the 23rd century as it’s got a very large fleet yard in the east-central part of the state.  I’m not going to deduct for the “crappy” coincidences that move the story along, as only the “Montgomery Scott is manning the same outpost near Vulcan that Spock Prime and Cadet Kirk end up on” is TRULY a coincidence.  The remainder of the coincidences are explainable and reasonable for the story.

My beef with the soundtrack is that is too blame loud.  The were portion of the movie that actually shook the theater.  The lens flares actually whited out some scenes it made certain portions of the movie very difficult to watch.

Mrs. VS – 1.75 pointed ears
The new alternate timeline made this film accessible to me as a non-trekker.  I enjoyed the story and didn’t need hubby to explain things to me every scene.  Downsides to this movie are the Ceti-eel inserted into Captain Pike, very disgusting.  I don’t care what it said on screen, where Kirk grew up looked more like Arizona than it did the state that my family and I call home.

The characters and characterizations were accurate enough that I knew who was who without needing to be told.

PIT #1 – 1.75
The setup to this NEW franchise was nice.  I agree with Daddy, this is Universe 2.  Universe 1 is left intact and undisturbed but we can have stories with real jeopardy in this new universe without invalidating 40 years of beloved back story.

My “Whut-the—-” moment that took me right out of the story, Spock and Uhura?  I mean c’mon.  What were the writers thinking when they penned that subplot?

PIT #2 – 1.8 pointed ears.
I didn’t want to see a reboot.  However being it is what we got, this was very well done.  The explanation was handled very well.  My only gripes with the movie were the canyon in Iowa.  I don’t see one on my map, but it may be leftover from the Xindii attack.  Also the destruction of the 60’s Vette was heart-breaking.

PIT #3 – 1.6 pointed ears
Cool I’m the captain of the Enterprise.  Chris Pike is named after me.  However, too much kissing in this movie and the fact that Uhura stripped to her underwear and half-naked green women are ugly is bad.  This movie was also VERY loud.

Overall 8.7 pointed ears out of 10.
This film NEEDS to be seen on the large screen at least once.  Anyone who claims to be Trekker and doesn’t like this film is just being curmudgeonly.  This movie manages to recreate the Trek universe without invalidating all that Trekkers hold dear.

Given the fact that I was prepared to absolutely loathe this movie and was bound and determined to not give it a “free pass” (not that I ever do give a film a free pass) review, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  Paramount has atoned for the mistakes in marketing Nemesis and hiring Braga over Moore for Enterprise.

May 10, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Science Fiction, Star Trek | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: The Transporter

transporterStarring:
Jason Statham …  Frank Martin
Qi Shu …  Lai (as Shu Qi)
Matt Schulze …  Wall Street
François Berléand …  Inspector Tarconi
Ric Young …  Mr. Kwai
Doug Rand …  Leader
Didier Saint Melin …  Boss
Tonio Descanvelle …  Thug 1
Laurent Desponds …  Thug 2
Matthieu Albertini …  Thug 3
Vincent Nemeth …  Pilot
Jean-Yves Bilien …  Little Thug
Jean-Marie Paris …  Giant Thug
Adrian Dearnell …  Newscaster
Alfred Lot …  Cop 1

Synopsis from IMDB: Ex-Special Forces operator Frank Martin lives what seems to be a quiet life along the French Mediterranean, hiring himself out as a mercenary “transporter” who moves goods–human or otherwise–from one place to another. No questions asked. Carrying out mysterious and sometimes dangerous tasks in his tricked-out BMW, Frank adheres to a strict set of rules, which he never breaks. Rule One: Never change the deal. Rule Two: No names–Frank doesn’t want to know whom he’s working for, or what he’s transporting. Rule Three: never look in the package. Frank’s newest transport seems no different from the countless ones he’s done in the past. He’s been hired by an American known only as “Wall Street” to make a delivery; but when Frank stops along the route, he notices his package is moving. Violating Rule Three, Frank looks inside the bag, finding its contents to be a beautiful, gagged woman. Frank’s steadfast adherence to his other two rules–which make up his basic code of survival–also quickly fails, hurtling him and his new companion on a road leading to shocking secrets, deadly complications, and the last thing that Frank ever expected to come to believe: that rules are made to be broken.

Reveiwers: VS, Mrs. VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.75 pointed ears
This was the first Jason Statham movie I ever saw.  He’s got the makings of being the Steven Segal or Jean-Claude Van Damme for the 21st century.  The action scenes were believable and did not feel shoehorned into the movie.  The trope of the protagonist having a code of ethics and then being thrown into conflict with his own rules has been done before and since (see our scathing review of Bangkok Dangerous).  However, Frank does not throw his rules out the window and even comments that breaking his rule was a bad idea.  He is given a logical reason for violating Rule #3, curiosity.

Mrs. VS – 1 pointed ear
Not a bad movie as far as “hubby movies” go. [editor’s note: A hubby movie is classed as anything with action and car chases and one that Mrs. VS would NOT go see on her own].  Yes there was some violence and sensuality but both were subdued.  The love scene was not gratuitous.  The fist-fights and gunplay are pretty standard for this type of film but were not excessive.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears
An interesting story.  I really like the concept of a driver for hire who’ll do any job without questions as long as you keep to the deal.  The violence was at an acceptable level.

PIT #2 – 1.9 pointed ears
Overall a good story but it jumped around too much for my tastes.  I don’t think the writer adequately explained why a simple transporter would suddenly take up the cause of his former cargo. 

PIT #3 – 1.8 pointed ears
This movie had kissing and implied sex.  Having icky stuff like that in a movie is a complete waste of screen time in an otherwise good action movie.

Overall 8.45 pointed ears out of 10.
Rentable, definitely worth watching if you like Action Adventure.  If you’re a Jason Statham fan then it’s a must own.  A nice adult-themed film without needing to be viewed after the kids go to bed.

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Race to Witch Mountain

race_to_witch_mountainStarring:
Dwayne Johnson …  Jack Bruno
AnnaSophia Robb …  Sara
Alexander Ludwig …  Seth
Carla Gugino …  Dr. Alex Friedman
Ciarán Hinds …  Henry Burke
Tom Everett Scott …  Matheson
Chris Marquette …  Pope
Billy Brown …  Carson
Garry Marshall …  Dr. Donald Harlan
Kim Richards …  Tina
Ike Eisenmann …  Sheriff Antony
Tom Woodruff Jr. …  Siphon

Synopsis – by VS
A Las Vegas cabbie, Jack Bruno, picks up two seemingly innocent children.  These children request a ride out to the middle of nowhere, out that way.   The cabbie brings them to their destination and discovers these children are not from our planet.  In an effort to protect the children from the Siphon, our government, and his own past, Bruno signs on for the race to witch mountain.  Aided by the beautiful physicist, Dr. Friedman, Jack protects the children and saves not one world but two in the process.

Reviewers VS, Mrs. VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.95 pointed ears
A fun film.  The family enjoyed it.  The only problem I had is with the SF convention in Vegas, the only costumes we see are Tron, generic aliens, and Stormtroopers?  Seriously, the producers got permission to have stormtroopers in the movie, how hard would it have been to have Trekkers in there as well.  This is only a minor quibble, however.  This film had a decent plot, snappy dialogue that didn’t come off as cheesy (except in the places it was supposed to come off that way) and enough action to keep my young nephews and PIT #3 enthralled. 

I never saw the original, so I cannot compare the two.  However Dwayne Johnson has long left his wrestler days behind him.  He’s found an acting niche, replacing Da Govinator.  Bonus Mr. Johnson is understandable.

Mrs VS –  2 pointed ears
This is nice fun family film.  I went to see this with my daughter while the boys stayed home to watch the NASCAR race.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  The title is completely misleading.  There is no mention of witchcraft in the movie at all.  Witch Mountain is an Area 51-like secret government facility.  I never saw the original movies because of the titles but this movie has piqued my interest in these films from the 70’s.  I recommend this movie as a nice family diversion and only wish that I had felt up to going with the whole family on Monday evening.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears
This was interesting twist on the “Aliens-are-trying-to-save-us” plot.  The Aliens are trying to save both planets, theirs and ours.  The military of both worlds are out to stop them.  Dwayne Johnson has shed The Rock.  I was able to watch this film not once but twice.  The only downside is it won’t be out on DVD until after I ship out.

PIT #2 – 2 pointed ears
Awesome movie!  Since the movie was about aliens I wanted to give it 4 appendages, but Dad wouldn’t let me.  The action was very nicely handled.  One thing I want to remind everyone is that if you see a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s probably an oncoming train. 

PIT #3 – 2 pointed ears
Lots of action and no kissing make this a cool movie.  I’d really like to see this film added to the next Kingdom Hearts game.  I recognized Dr. Friedman as being the curator from Night in the Museum.

9.95 pointed ears out of 10
The VS Family heartily recommends this film as family friendly.  Go see it in the theater if you can.   Buy it when it comes out on DVD and add it to your collection.

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments