Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More puns


Because we love you, here's another handful of "puns for those with a higher IQ". Some of these are pretty cute. Aren't you glad that the internet is still free and uncensored, allowing for the easy search and re-use of stuff like this? Anyway, enjoy.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

You get stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Every calendar's days are numbered.

A midget fortune teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.

Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

More to come if you want them. But don't worry, not right away.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscar time


The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning. Here's a rundown of the nine films that will compete for Best Picture, along with each film's total number of nominations:

Hugo (11 nominations)

The Artist (8 nominations)

Moneyball (6 nominations)

War Horse (6 nominations)

The Descendents (5 nominations)

The Help (4 nominations)

Midnight in Paris (3 nominations)

The Tree of Life (3 nominations)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2 nominations)

I've only seen four of the above films, so I have a little bit of work to do between now and Sunday, February 26 (when the Oscar ceremony will air on ABC) if I want to see all the films nominated for Best Picture. But it'll be fun work.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Goin' to the movies


To mark tomorrow's announcement of this year's Academy Award nominations (this year's nominations of last year's films, to be more precise), below is a list of all the movies I saw in theaters last year. I saw 31 movies on the big screen in 2011, up from 27 in 2010 and 27 in 2009.

It's nice to know that my beloved movie-going habit is still alive and well, and even growing a little, despite the responsibilities of life, the ever increasing price of movie tickets, and the fact that it's just getting more and more comfortable to watch movies at home.

It's also pleasing to know that I enjoyed every movie I saw, and that I would give all of them a good, very good, or excellent rating. Maybe I'm too easygoing and/or forgiving, but there wasn't a stinker in the bunch.

Anyway, in case you're curious, here's a peek at what movies I ventured out to see last year and what I thought of them:

Movies I saw and thought were perfectly good: The Green Hornet; Battle: Los Angeles; The Lincoln Lawyer; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Cowboys and Aliens; Horrible Bosses; The Thing; and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Movies I saw and thought were very good: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (in Real-D 3D); X-Men: First Class; Super 8; Midnight in Paris; Green Lantern (in Real-D 3D); The Help; J. Edgar; Breaking Dawn, Part One; and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

Movies I saw and thought were excellent: The King's Speech; The Fighter; 127 Hours; True Grit; Thor (which I saw in both Real-D 3D and Imax 3D); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (in Real-D 3D); Captain America: The First Avenger(in Real-D 3D); Rise of the Planet of the Apes; Warrior; The Descendents; Hugo; The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; and The Adventures of Tin Tin (in Imax 3D).

Feel free to chime in with your two cents about any of the above. It would be fun to hear what some of you guys think of last year's movie fare.

Fun in the pun


To mark the return of active posts after our brief hiatus (hey, we all need a little down time, right?), as well as to perk up this grey January Monday (well, it's grey here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, anyway), here are a few little items which I'll simply call "Puns for those with a higher IQ". Because, that's all of you, right?

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Shotgun wedding: a case of wife or death.

A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Dancing cheek to cheek is really a form of floor play.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.

What's the definiation of a will? It's a dead giveaway.

She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

Pretty cute, huh? Gotta love the things you find in the various nooks and crannies of the internet. Anyway, stay tuned. I'll drop a second handful of clever little puns on you in a little bit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sounds good


Before we continue with our regularly scheduled blog, let me share a quick TV tip from my friend Ray, who routinely sends around interesting viewing suggestions laced with lots of thoughtful and fun details. The following, just arrived in my in-box, is no exception...

At 8:00 p.m. tonight, as part of its month-long tribute to Angela Lansbury, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will show one of the best, yet least known of the Katherine Heburn/Spencer Tracy collaborations: Frank Capra's 1948 political comedy State of the Union. Written by Howard Lindsey and Russell Crouse (of Life With Father fame), it is a sharp political satire as pertinent today as it was over 60 years ago.

Besides the two stars, who play an industrialist drafted as a presidential candidate and his politically aware wife, the film features Aldolphe Menjou, Lewis Stone, Raymond Walburn, Margaret Hamilton, and Van Johnson, in probably his best film role. And Angela Lansbury is a revelation. Only 21 years old, she plays a hardened right-wing millionaire newspaper owner adept at political backroom dealing. Just a terrific performance matching Hepburn and Tracy point for point. Anyone who ever marveled at her performance as the mother in The Manchurian Candidate only has to watch this film to see where that steely demeanor was born.

And don't forget the immortal line "Make me another Scazarack Sling, Daddy!"

Thanks, Ray. I'm sure a few readers will take your suggestion to heart and tune in this evening. Readers should note that the time Ray mentioned is U.S. Eastern time. Adjust accordingly.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fired up

Pictured below is our household's new Kindle Fire, which happily arrived in my messy office today. Here's the thing, though: when I ordered it, only yesterday, I cheaped out and chose Amazon's free Super Saver Shipping option. In return for the free shipping, you're supposed to happily put up with waiting a few extra days to receive your item.

And I was fine with that, as past experience has demonstrated that Amazon's free shipping option adds very little or no extra time to standard first-class, three-days-or-less delivery times. But choosing free shipping and getting my item the very next day? That's a first. And to think I almost paid the extra 11 or 12 bucks for two-day shipping! Boggles the mind.


In any event, I'll shortly post my impressions of the Kindle Fire. But I guess the world of sleek tablet devices is getting so old hat that I'm currently more excited about the fast shipping than about getting the device itself. But I hope that will change once I get home and get to know the thing a little. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 6, 2012

There be dragons


If you're interested, here's a little (well, I guess they're all little) Twitter post I did the other day about the new film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo:

New "Dragon Tattoo" film did the romance better, but the original "Dragon Tattoo" film did the mystery better. Both worth seeing, though.

I'm sure I'll write something longer on the above topic at some point, but sometimes just getting to the point has its attractions, doesn't it? Probably why Twitter has established its own special niche in the social networking community.

Anyway, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, my posts are filed under the name JoePaulJr. I sometimes use Twitter to give a heads up on what's going on at Kindle Taproom.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Watch those truckers


Road Rage was a cool audio download that I acquired from Amazon's Audible subsidiary. Also available as an audio CD, the production presents terrific performances of two short stories: the old Richard Matheson classic, Duel, about a traveling salesman being terrorized by a maniacal truck driver (the story was adapted by Steven Spielberg into the equally classic TV film of the same name in 1971) and Throttle, Stephen King and Joe Hill's take on a similar theme, depicting a group of tough bikers dealing with the same sort of menace.

Duel is basically a primal tale of the hunter/prey variety, with readers (or, in this case, listeners) eagerly wanting to find out if the traveling salesman can overcome his fear and possibly outwit his bigger, stronger, faster, and, not so incidentally, quite psychopathic, foe. Throttle is also pretty scary and suspenseful, but it also uses the menace of its own killer trucker to illuminate the complex relationships between the several bikers, especially between a father and son. I enjoyed that extra touch.

The terrific performances I mentioned were provided by Stephen Lang, who brings to life all the drama and emotion present in the stories, keeping listeners (this one, anyway) immersed and eagerly waiting to hear what happens next. Clocking in at a shade under two and a half hours, Road Rage is a fine choice for those who sometimes enjoy the occasional shorter audiobook between longer, more ambitious audios.