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The Real World: Vegas Episode 10

I have to be honest, I seriously used to hate this show entirely before about a year ago. The funny part is that I had developed that hatred having never seen an episode in its entirety. I had seen bits and pieces here and there but never watched an entire episode let alone and entire season. The real kicker is that I started picking up on the show on what Real World veteran viewers would call one of the worst seasons of all time which was when it was set in DC. In any event, I kept watching the DC season because I loved to hate the girl Ashley. She was just the worst and I kept watching because I found it truly hysterical that people of her nature actually exist. Having said all that, let’s move on.

I started watching this season a little late, but my roommates kept telling me that I would love this season and it turns out that those dweebs were right. Roy-Lee is the man. Not much more to say about him than that. Nany sucks (reminds me of Ashley). Loved Zito in the beginning but after his go-kart temper tantrum I have yet to come to like him again.  Naomi is pointless. Blonde Heather is the coolest girl on the show by far. Cookie is a nutjob. Adam reminded me of one of my roommates so I think that says enough. And Mikey is starting to come out of his shell which I like a lot.

Now that I have my opinions out in the open, I liked this episode for one reason and one reason only – Mikey is making moves on a girl he met when he was out one night with everyone and Roy-Lee was just supporting him like he was getting paid to do it. I mean if there’s a bro you want by your side when it’s time to go out, and I mean an absolute bro, then Roy-Lee is your man. He looks like the kind of bro that will be your wingman every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Just committing selfless acts for his friends like its nobody’s business. And that’s all I have to say about this episode.

As a side note, I can’t stand how everyone MTV casts for this show has some sob story of a past. It’s like we get it MTV everyone comes from different backgrounds and has their own problems yet dropping them all in the same house can prove to be harmonious. We got that after the  first season you don’t have the glorify it anymore. Just beating the idea into the ground.

Just trying to be your bro MTV!

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Breaking News: I Had an Awesome Sunday

gold fever wings

vin diesel

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I have to say that today is up there in my list of awesome days. It all started with my brilliant idea to hit the 99 restaurant for some much needed feevies (gold fever wings) and then head to see Fast Five right after we were done eating. Obviously the feevies were on point as usual, and the burger I had was excellent as well, just an unreal combo before hitting the theater.

Fast Five was excellent as expected. Vin Diesel is an absolute monster in the F&F series and really gets me goin’ when he first comes on screen, guy is just an animal in every way. Clearly the cast for the movie couldn’t be more awful but I love the idea of combining awesome cars with a heist plot – it combines two things that I really like. Aside from the awful acting from Paul Walker and Tyrese and basically the entire cast list, I really liked the movie. The Rock even had some awesome one-liners that got the theater to chuckle on more than one occasion. The movie itself was extremely far-fetched but that’s to be expected from F&F, it’s meant to be an action movie so the possibility that any of the stuff that takes place on screen could actually ever happen in real life doesn’t really matter. Hey I paid 9 bucks to be entertained and they delivered; what else can you ask for? I won’t give it away, but the ending was actually pretty clever given the overall tone that F&F movies give off.

So we leave the theater having just experienced a prime dinner along with a great flick, and come home to find that Osama took a bullet right in the forehead. Does it get much better than that?

When it rains it pours! Gimme the veggies!

Review: Glengarry Glen Ross

Coffee

I’m not really sure how I found this movie, I think it was because I was reading something about sales and this movie along with Boiler Room were mentioned as being good movies about sales. I had already seen Boiler Room (great movie), so I figured I’d give this a whirl. It also had Kevin Spacey and Al Pacino in it, two actors which I like – Spacey for his role in Se7en and Pacino for his classic badass role in Scarface.

The movie is about a group of real estate salesman who face hard times and pressure from the company they work for, Rio Rancho Properties, to increase their sales. The movie starts with a scene where the salesmen are speaking with each other in a restroom area in a restaurant by the pay phones about their tough luck lately. One salesman, Sheldon, is making a few phone calls to potential buyers in an effort to make a sale. The reason I’m describing this scene is because it sets the tone for what the rest of the movie is going to be about. The next scene is Alec Baldwin coming in from “downtown” to rally up the sales troops with his scare tactic while offering a reward to the top salesman for the month. I have to say, Alec’s performance in the movie, albeit short, was very good — as expected. The movie goes on with a ton, and I mean a TON of dialogue amongst the salesmen and their manager (Spacey.)

I don’t want to give the entire movie away, so I’m going to get into my thoughts about the movie. The acting was very good, especially Pacino, but about an hour into the movie I was wondering “Ok, when is this going to get going? When’s the predicament going to come up that sets the rest of the movie up? What’s the one thing that drives the movie?” To put it into better words – WHEN IS THE MOVIE GOING TO START?! I don’t know if any of you are like me, but there’s a definitive point usually within the first twenty minutes of a movie where I say, “Ok, that’s what the rest of the movie is going to be based on.” For me, I wasn’t able to find that point. It was very slow moving with its plot, but fast-paced with its dialogue. The movie seemed more like the documentary of a salesman rather than a full-length feature film. Again, the acting was great, but I’m not sure the plot, or lack thereof, was movie worthy. It’s a good look inside the profession of sales, though. I just feel like it should have been called A Day in the Life of a Salesman instead, because it seemed like the movie could have been shot on any other day of these salesmen’s lives and it would have fostered the same reaction from viewers.

So, would I recommend it? Eh, I dunno. I guess it was a decent overall movie coupled with absolutely superb acting. Check it out if you want to see how the life of a salesman goes, I guess. Link to the movie here.

The Big Bang Theory

big bang

Recently my roommate recommended a new show to watch called The Big Bang Theory. I had seen commercials for the show here and there, but never thought it would be something I would like. But, I decided to give it a shot and I’m glad I did. The show is about a group of friends who live in California who are all scientists at a university by profession. Leonard and Sheldon live together, Raj lives in an apartment by himself, and Howard lives with his mother. Together, the four take on the the characters that you would guess they would since they’re scientists: nerds. I can’t lie, the first few episodes were a little tough to watch because the characters are so socially awkward that it’s actually frustrating. But once you get to know the characters, the show starts to form for what it’s meant to be, which is a sitcom. Sheldon quickly became my favorite character as he is so brilliant in the realm of academia yet absolutely clueless when it comes to social norms. His ability to break down situations into the finest detail and turn it into comedy combined with his regimented schedule is what makes the entire show if you ask me.

I started watching the show last week and haven’t been able to stop since. Sheldon’s intelligent humor and the relationship that develops between Leonard and Penny (who lives across the hall from Sheldon and Leonard) keeps me watching from episode to episode.

If you can appreciate a different kind of humor than the typical in-your-face style, then I highly recommend giving this show a shot.

Bazinga!

Changing blog direction

This blog started out as being focused on the home theater environment and the features that can be built into one’s home theater to improve the experience. Since I don’t have much experience beyond what I’ve already wrote about and don’t have access to some of the higher end products (aka – Speakers and projectors that cost thousands of dollars), I figured it would be a good idea to change the direction of the blog to something more reasonable. That being said, the main focus of this blog will be to review movies and TV shows that I watch or have watched. Since I watch a lot of movies and get hooked on TV shows pretty easily, I figured it would be a good topic to switch to, and provides fresh content to write about on a daily basis.

XBMC Remote

A few weeks ago I blogged about using a universal remote to help eliminate having a thousand remotes scattered around for all your devices. Of course, there is another route to take if you want to get creative, assuming you use XBMC as the front end to your media collection. There’s an app! Of course there is. Pretty soon your phone will be able to cook you breakfast too. Anyway, here’s what I’m talking about:

XBMC remote TV

As you can see from this screenshot, the app is displaying the banners of all the TV shows stored in the XBMC database. The app has the ability to pause, rewind, fast forward, and do all the other things you would normally be able to do with a remote – only now you can do it with your phone. How’s it work? Through your wifi network. After a few simple setup steps, you’re up an running with controlling your home theater through your phone over a wifi connection. If you want to navigate menus or use basic video controls, it looks like this:

 

XBMC remote controls

The app is pretty sweet and works flawlessly, check it out here.

Product Review: Logitech z5500

Logitech z5500

I’m gonna start off by saying I bought these speakers almost 4 years ago now and I haven’t regretted it for a second. Actually I lied, I regret not getting them sooner. Here’s why: If you’re looking for speakers on a budget that will give you more bang for your buck than you could ever expect, then look no further.

I did a review before about a Logitech Harmony Universal Remote and mentioned that I love Logitech products as long as I get the high-end version of whatever I’m buying. In this case, Logitech’s z5500 surround sound speaker system is exactly on par with that. The z5500 system is the best Logitech has to offer, and, as I said, you get what you pay for. Everybody knows that computer speakers are traditionally never very impressive, if at all. They’re there when you need some extra kick but aside from that, most computer speakers are garbage not only to the audiophile, but also to the average user. Now, these are certainly not studio quality speakers and would make the  person that spends $10,000 a piece on Martin Logans ears bleed. They are, however, good enough to earn the badge of being THX certified. For those of you that don’t know, THX certification basically means that the speakers are movie theater quality (no, they’re obviously not as loud as a movie theater, but you get the idea.) When I first started shopping for some speakers, I read reviews on various systems just like anyone would. They all led to the same thing: the z5500s. People were raving over how good this system is for the price. One thing that people were constantly saying was that the bass was ridiculous. Come to find out they were dead on with those statements. So naturally the first thing I did once I got them was test out the bass; duh. Needless to say the girls that lived below me freshman year weren’t very happy to hear me testing out the bass with the most obnoxious hard-hitting hip-hop and house songs I could find. There’s actually a warning on the sub that says not to place any hard drives or monitors within two feet of the subwoofer because the magnet inside could ruin them — that’s how serious the sub is.

The speakers are unbelievably loud and stay crisp throughout the entire range (depending on your form of input – digital is always better than plugging an iPod in via the headphone-style jack.) Hard-hitting bass combined with rich mids and crisp highs makes this system all around excellent not only for a computer, but also for the home theater builder on a budget. These speakers will have no problem filling a 20×20 room with excellent sound for a great movie experience as well as dangerously loud decibels for a Friday night party. Whatever your application, these speakers won’t let you down. Not to mention, they have a “boost” setting (aka – turn the knob a bunch of times and for even louder sound.)

Bottom line – if you’re looking to spend less than $500 on a good system for a medium-sized room, these are it. You won’t be mad you got them. Your neighbors might be after you really put them to the test on a Friday night, though.

Like the sound of them (ha)? Find them at Newegg

Image credit: Buy.com