Archive for February, 2012

[A review from first-time TQP contributor Dave Braak, who is not the same person as regular braak, who is me. — braak]

I just finished reading Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. As with many stories, some parts were good, and some parts were not so good. I would like to talk about what it was about, and what I think it should have been about; about what it focused on, and what would have made for a more compelling focus. There are some SPOILERS AHEAD, and if you would rather read the book yourself, and would prefer it not to be SPOILED, please do not continue.
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All of these things have not appeared in either Ghost Rider, or Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance.

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Holland has already said some things, and they are all true, and basically comprehensive, but I wanted to flip out about a couple other things also.  Actually, really I want to just flip out some MORE about the things that he already said.

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Haaaboy. Ghost Rider 2. OK, let’s just get into this, with a series of thoughts on it, since I don’t feel it’s worth a whole review-type post.

To say Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is better than its predecessor (which the movie only barely concedes actually happened – it even rejiggers the scene where Johnny Blaze sells his soul so that it looks…well, so it looks more like if Neveldine/Taylor had done the first film featuring a guy who is not Peter Fonda Satan) isn’t just damning with faint praise. It’s implying that the film doesn’t have a whole host of its own problems, so I guess if GR1 got a 1 out of 5, then GR2 gets a 1.5 out of 5.

That’s because the couple things it does right ARE massive improvements over the first film, but even that’s debatable (in that Braak and I debated over whether or not they were actually better).

Non-arguable point 1: Setting the film on the desolate, barren roads of Somewhere In Eastern Europe is much closer to the spirit of the character than having him drive through Dallas or Houston or wherever the first one was set, and having Ghost Rider deal with city cops, which is just kinda stupid.  (more…)

In preparation for tonight’s surely 100% positive viewing of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, I decided to sit myself down and watch 2007’s Ghost Rider, just to make sure there weren’t any nuances of the narrative that I’d failed to notice last time.

I ALSO decided to skip past the prologue, wherein a young man learns his agent thinks he looks like a young Nicolas Cage enjoys a carefree life in the carnival, and also fast-forward past any moments that aren’t necessary to the plot – which meant pretty much every scene involving Eva Mendez and Donal Logue.

This meant I watched a 45-minute cut of Ghost Rider the other night. And…it still wasn’t all that good.  (more…)

BEHOLD MY INVENTIONS!

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Braak

New bar set up, featuring…MY INVENTIONS!

From left to right:  Creme de Cacao, Creme du Mure (blackberry liqueur), Creme Frambois (strawberry liqueur), L’Esprit de l’Eclair (black tea, ginseng, and ginger spirit), and l’Esprit du Mort (habanero, cocoa, rum spirit).

The recent news that a Louisiana congressman posted the Onion “Abortionplex” story to his Facebook page, believing it to be an actual thing that Planned Parenthood is up to, rankled me a little.

I mean, it’s one thing for your great aunt to forward a story outraged over the wasteful spending of Obama’s pledge to give everyone a parrot, but when this is the level of critical thinking employed by an elected member of government, that’s quite another thing.

Please note: Louisiana currently ranks 47th in education. So it does stand to reason that even their elected officials are coming from a background of some of the worst education in the country.  (more…)