the prattling idiot

i need to get the voices out of my head!

Review: The Dark Knight Rises

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What A Finale

The Dark Knight Rises was an epic conclusion to one of the best trilogies I have ever seen. All of the hype that led up to this movie was well deserved. Usually when you have this much attention centered on a film it turns out to be a dud, but TDKR bucked that trend monumentally.

All of the actors fit into their roles perfectly. Bale was fantastic as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Hardy was pure evil in his portrayal of Bane and Hathaway was sexy and adaptable as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. The addition of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake was one of the best characters in the movie. Levitt has really grown into a great actor and I’m sure he will continue to show up in Nolan directed movies.

These Batman movies were gritty and intense. They are the complete antithesis to the previous two Batman movies (Batman Forever and Batman & Robin) and that’s why most of us have fallen in love with them. There was an incident that occurred this past week on Rotten Tomatoes website that upset me and I wanted to take a moment to focus on it.

Some of you may know that Marshall Fine posted a negative review on Rotten Tomatoes that received a lot of attention. The review itself was not what garnered attention, but it was the response to the review from anonymous individuals that got everyone talking .

People actually started posting death threats in the response section of the review. I know that there are many people who love their comic books and will defend them to the very end, but come on people it’s a movie for crying out loud! There are other things in this world to get angry about, but not a movie review. My one statement to everyone who posted death threats and hurtful things to him is GROW UP!!

I’m glad that Rotten Tomatoes is now thinking about going to a Facebook style system where you cannot send anonymous posts anymore. I think that you should have to stand by your opinions and statements.

I would like to add that I don’t agree with what Fine said about the movie, but I do respect his opinion. He said the action was clunky and made him feel like he was watching a Transformers movie. For me the action worked with the storyline. The fight scenes between Batman and Bane were some of the best in the three movies. Nolan chose Bane as the character for this final installment because he wanted someone that could push Batman to the limit. I also don’t agree with his statement that the movie wasn’t “fun”. First off anyone who says fun in regards to this movie trilogy clearly doesn’t understand what Nolan was attempting to do. They are not prototypical comic book movies. They are dark, dangerous and scary which is what has kept people coming back in droves. So no they are not “fun”, but they are truly entertaining.

Finally I would like to say how deeply saddened I was to hear about the attack in Aurora Colorado and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy. I have been to multiple midnight screenings in my life and I can’t even imagine the pain and terror those innocent people have gone through.

Being able to escape to the movies is something that is as American as apple pie. We shouldn’t have to worry about going to the movies. We should just be able to get away from our hectic lives for a couple of hours and immerse ourselves in great cinema. Unfortunately a young man who by all accounts turned from a normal human being to an evil one in a very short period of time has ripped that away from us.

One of my close friends who is in the news media asked if this tragedy would sway my thoughts about seeing the movie this weekend. I responded by saying that no amount of evil will keep me away from enjoying life and the movies. I hope others feel the same way.

The Dark Knight Rises: 5 out of 5 stars



Written by theprattlingidiot

July 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Review: Dark Shadows

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A Movie Without An Identity

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Need I say more? They are quite possibly two of the greatest individuals at their craft. So whenever I hear that they are joining together to make a movie I’ve always thought, this is going to be good! These two have created some of my most favorite movies. From Edward Scissorhands to Alice in Wonderland and everything in between it’s been a great ride. But alas, not all pairings can make gold every time out.

I truly wanted to like Dark Shadows. I mean come on, it’s Johnny Depp as a vampire how frickin’ cool is that! But not even Johnny Depp could make this travesty of a movie work. The whole time I was in the theater I kept asking myself one question, is Tim Burton trying to make a comedy or a horror picture? In the end it was nothing but a jumbled up mess of a movie with plots thrown in for no apparent reason.

Most of the blame must go to the writers, Seth Grahame-Smith and John August. The screenplay just didn’t work. Case in point, the whole movie Chloe Grace Moretz (Hugo) plays a typical brooding teenager. She’s very aloof and constantly ragging on her cousin for being “crazy” because he claims to see ghosts. Then 10 minutes before the movie is over she busts out of her room and looks at her mother, played by Michelle Pfeiffer and says, “I’m a werewolf. Try to get used to it.” What the hell kind of character development is that and why do we find out about this big piece of information so late in the movie? I always thought that Burton could work around any script to make a movie work, but not on this one.

I would love to be in a director’s head when they realize that the movie they just created really sucks. It must be one of the worst feelings in the world to know that your name is going to be attached to the project for the rest of time. But I could be getting ahead of myself. Burton may feel that he put out the best product and truly believed in his picture.

Visually, as usual, Burton goes above and beyond. He did a great job recreating a Maine town in the 1970’s. Other than that there were few high points for me. You know that you’re in trouble watching a movie when all of the funniest scenes were shown in the trailer. My final grade for this movie is two out of five stars. One star goes to the visuals and the other for Johnny Depp.


Written by theprattlingidiot

May 14, 2012 at 12:53 am

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

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I experienced something the other day at the movie theater that I have never seen before and felt I had to share. Every movie has trailers that show up before you see the main feature, but this time it was the reaction to the trailers that took my breath away.

The first trailer was for The Amazing Spiderman that comes out in early July. Everyone in the movie theater was chatting throughout the entire trailer and most weren’t even paying attention to it. Many people were saying how they were excited to see the movie, but that didn’t keep them from talking during the trailer. After the trailer was over the volume of moviegoers in the theater increased and then up popped the new TDKR trailer and the room went silent.

You could have heard a pin drop! It felt like all of the air had been sucked out of the auditorium. I honestly believe that there were some people that stopped breathing for the entire 2 minute trailer. Everyone, even the little children that had before been chatting away like crazy, had their eyes glued to the screen.

Now, being the huge fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman franchise I had already seen the trailer multiple times on my computer at home and a couple more times on my iPhone. I never expected that kind of reaction to the trailer in the movie theater. We have waited 4 years to see Gotham’s Dark Knight back in action and it looks like Nolan isn’t planning on disappointing us with the ending to his trilogy. Here’s the trailer for you all. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Courtesy of WarnerBrosPictures You Tube channel.


Written by theprattlingidiot

May 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Review: The Avengers

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The Avengers is a movie that comic book lovers have wanted to see for a long time. Think about it, a movie where all of your favorite super heroes join together to take on a common enemy, who wouldn’t want to see that! To be perfectly honest I went into the movie theater not knowing what to expect. I knew there was going to be action of course, but I didn’t have any idea how they were going to give every character enough screen time or how good the story would be. Many times you go into a “comic book movie” with the idea that it will only be that, but this was a fantastic movie.

Joss Whedon, best known for televisions Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, did an amazing job including every character in the story and giving them all enough screen time to satisfy the movie going audience. He also weaved in a ton of comedy which had many of us in the audience laughing far after the scene was concluded. I give everyone who put this movie together a lot of credit. It couldn’t have been easy creating a super hero movie on this scale and getting all the actors to work together in harmony.

All of the actors looked extremely comfortable in their roles, even newcomer Mark Ruffalo, who took over for Edward Norton, did a great job portraying Bruce Banner.

I’m going to end it here so I don’t give away any of the plot or comedic scenes. This movie is sure to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer and it is definitely a movie that you have to see in the movie theaters. So get out of your chair and head to your local theater. You won’t be disappointed!

Courtesy of Marvel’s You Tube channel.


Written by theprattlingidiot

May 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Fans Deserve They’re Money Back

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There are not many things in this world that surprise me anymore. On a day to day basis I come across some of the most idiotic people and situations and none of it makes me stop in my tracks. But when I just woke up and my wife told me that the Red Sox blew a 9 run lead after the 6th inning I scoffed thinking that it couldn’t be true. Then I sat up in bed and looked at ESPN Scorecenter on my phone and couldn’t believe my eyes.

I looked at the score and my mind screamed, WTF!!!!!! Then I did something even worse, I looked at the Box Score. How the hell is Padilla even allowed to pitch 0.1 innings and give up 4 hits and 5 runs. That’s atrocious for one pitcher, but then you scroll down and you see that Aceves’s line was just as bad. Aceves pitched 0.0 innings and gave up 2 hits, 4 walks and 5 runs! These guys are supposed to be professionals? I could have pitched better than that for crying out loud!

I was very weary when the Sox signed Bobby Valentine. I’ve never been impressed by him even when he was an analyst. But right now I’m pissed! This is the guy they brought in to change things around? I understand that the pen was going to be an issue with injuries and the fact we didn’t really add any strength this year, but this is someone who doesn’t even know who he has out there. What was he doing down in Ft. Myers? He must have only been working on his tan because what this game showed is that he has no idea how to look at the matchups between his pitchers and their hitters.

This team has looked horrible since winning it all in 2007. Truth be told I haven’t enjoyed watching them since that World Series run. Things need to change drastically and hopefully this is a wake up call. If this doesn’t do it then I don’t think anything will.

As a side note, all of the Cubs fans should ask for they’re money back every year they don’t win the World Series. It just might give the ownership incentive to put a winning ball club on the field. That is one train wreck that people really need to finally turn their eyes away from. I’m just sayin’.

Written by theprattlingidiot

April 22, 2012 at 1:45 am

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Driving in the Northeast

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The Act of Driving, or Lack Thereof

So I’ve been back in the Northeast for close to a year and a half. Wow time really flies! I have learned many new things and re-learned many forgotten ones. But the biggest issue that I’ve found since being back is the horrendous driving that I come across every single day.

My drive to work in the morning is only 12 miles. So far in this short year alone I have seen 4 major accidents on the highway. When I say major I mean more than 4 cars involved. In each instance we were backed up for miles and 3 of the 4 happened on the other side of the highway. I can say unequivocally that the reason for every single accident was speed and tailgating!

I know that you want to get to your destination as fast as possible. The issue becomes that when you are speeding and following too close you don’t have enough time to stop. I always learned that the distance between you and the car in front of you is one car length for every ten miles an hour you are travelling. This is a just a rough estimate. More than likely you should actually put even more distance between you and the car in front of you.

Traffic in and around Boston for years has been some of the worst in the country. When it can take you an hour to go 20 miles it gets to you. The problem is that everyone speeds and people try to sneak into spots that aren’t big enough for a car to fit into. You also have roads that are too small and there are twists and turns and hills that you can’t see around.

If everyone drove with more courtesy and would think about someone other than himself or herself we would have less backups everyday because there wouldn’t be an accident to add to the mess. Most people like myself are looking forward to getting to their destination in one piece. I’m not looking to have an unscheduled colonoscopy which seems to happen all too often with drivers around here.

Written by theprattlingidiot

April 2, 2012 at 10:52 am

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The Oscars

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It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to do a post about movies. I was waiting until I’d seen every movie that was nominated this year for best picture, but I decided I’ve seen enough to know which are my top two picks. So far I’ve seen seven of the movies from this years nominations. What I will say first is that I loved the fact that the Oscar telecast was themed around why we love the movies. It was fitting for me seeming my top picks paid homage to the history of cinema.

Note: The two movies I haven’t seen are The Help and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

I will begin with the bottom of the pack:

7.) The Tree of Life (2 out of 5 stars)

Over the past couple of years the Academy has decided to add more movies to the nomination list, expanding the list from the usual 5 to 10 or in this years case 9. In those years there have been at least 2 movies that I didn’t feel were worthy of the Best Picture nomination. This year there is only 1 movie that fits that bill and it’s Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.

The movie had no overall cohesion. It starts off looking like it’s going to be about religion and how we cope with loss. Then it moves forward to the 50’s and shows us an overbearing father played by Brad Pitt and a very loving mother played by Jessica Chastain. Then is jumps ahead to the present and we get to see Pitt’s older son played by Sean Penn contemplating how he should live his adult life. All through the movie it jumps back and forth with no link in the story. Because of the jumpiness of the movie and the lack of a story I can honestly say it’s one of the slowest movies I’ve ever seen. For a 2 hour and 20 minute movie I seriously thought I was sitting through a 4 hour epic. The one part I loved was the cinematography. The images he put on the screen of the universe and life on this planet are something to behold.

I’ve enjoyed many of Malick’s films, but this one left me scratching my head.

6.) Midnight In Paris (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Written and Directed by Woody Allen this movie has one of the most original stories I’ve seen in a long time. An engaged couple played by Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams travel to Paris with her parents and start to contemplate what their perfect life would be. Wilson is a writer and every night he walks through Paris alone to enjoy the city he has come to love and to get ideas for his next book. On the way he runs into a car that magically transports him to the past where we get to meet Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso and many more.

Although the story and directing is great, the reason this movie is so low on my list is the casting. Particularly the casting for the present day. I’ve never been a huge fan of Wilson and while I enjoy watching McAdams in almost every movie she’s in, her character and the way she portrayed her left me sick to my stomach. The present day casting also included Michael Sheen, Mimi Kennedy and Kurt Fuller all of which left me wanting more. The casting for everyone in the past was spot on and I enjoyed watching Corey Stoll as Hemingway, Tom Hiddelston as Fitzgerald, Marion Cotillard as Adriana and Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali.

5.) Moneyball (4.5 out of 5 stars)

Finally a story that needed to be told and has! The story of Billy Beane and how he changed baseball is one of the greatest underdog stories of all time. Brad Pitt is fantastic in his portrayal of Beane and how he flipped what everyone had been doing for a century on it’s head and made the Oakland Athletics winners. Jonah Hill plays Pitt’s trusted sidekick and gives a great performance seeming he’s only ever played a goofball in his movies.

Although I knew this film was never going to win Best Picture it’s still one of my favorite baseball films of all time.

4.) War Horse (5 out of 5 stars)

Spielberg delivers another masterpiece! I went to the movies to watch this and there was not one dry eye in the house including myself. Set in the early part of the 20th century the story centers around a boy, Jeremy Irvine, and his beloved horse Joey. World War I has begun and after disaster strikes the family farm, Irvine’s father forces him to give up Joey to the British cavalry. Promising to find him wherever he is Irvine goes to war where they are reunited once more.

This movie brought forth so many emotions for me. It made me laugh and it made me cry. One scene made me cringe even after it was done. If you have seen the movie I’m pretty sure you can guess which one I’m talking about. While the actors all give great performances the real star of the show is Joey the horse. He is a magnificent creature and the emotions he was able to convey to the screen left me in awe.

3.) The Descendants (5 out of 5 stars)

One of the more emotionally charged movies of this years Oscar nominees is The Descendants. It is a profound look at the struggles families go through and how we cope with tough things in life. George Clooney does an excellent job portraying a father trying to keep it together after a devastating accident leaves him alone to raise his two daughters. Clooney gave an amazing performance and if it weren’t for Jean Dujardin I believe he would have won the award.

While we were sitting down awaiting the movie to begin, my wife asked me why I had brought tissues out of my pocket. I politely looked over and said, “You’ll see.” I knew it was going to be a tear jerker from what I had heard and I’m glad I had the tissues in hand. Fantastic movie through and through.

Now we come to my top two. They are the aforementioned homages to cinema’s past. Hugo pays tribute to George Melies a magician that became enamored with movies after seeing them in 1895. George is a beaten down shell of his former self and Hugo and his friends show him that he means more to the world than he realizes. Martin Scorsese breaths life into this movie like no other director before. I believe it is his best work to date.

The Artist pays homage to silent films of the past. There are only 4 lines of dialogue in the entire movie and they come at the end of the movie. Dujardin and Berenice Bejo light up the screen and take us back to the days before movies became “talkies”. Dujardin’s character, George Valentin, is a huge movie star and believes talking in motion pictures is going to be a passing fad. Little does he know that by not adapting he is digging his own grave. After hitting rock bottom Bejo shows him how much he is adored and helps him to reinvent himself so he can fit into the new landscape.

Both movies left me amazed by the magic that can be shown on the movie screen. But in the end I have to give the nod to The Artist. To create a silent movie in 2012 that has kept people riveted and wanting to go to the movies to see it is a magnificent feat. This movie doesn’t have any car chases, explosions or sex that most people need in a movie to keep them interested. It has an amazing love story and keeps us entertained without all of the extras most people expect from movies nowadays. I had a smile on my face the entire time I was in the movie theater just watching movie making magic at it’s finest.

I hope you get a chance at least to see these last two movies. You will not be disappointed I promise you that!

Written by theprattlingidiot

March 4, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Taking A Page From The Giants

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Ok before any of you question my sanity on this one, just hear me out. The Giants won yet another Super Bowl against my Patriots and they did so by having a mediocre year. There were so many times during this year that the G-Men decided not to show up in games. From week to week you never know what you are going to get. Their vaunted defense could show up in the spotlight and take an offense by storm and then the next week give up 35 points. I loved it when their owner John Mara talked about how great the fans have been and how loyal they have been. Loyal is an interesting word to use in this context because not too long ago a majority of his own fans were calling for head coach Tom Coughlin to be fired. If that’s his version of loyalty then I would hate to see what disloyalty would mean to him.

So I began to think and that’s always a dangerous proposition. Why don’t the rest of the teams in the NFL play like the Giants? Every team should take games off and not show up a couple times of the year. You would be much more rested if that were the case. Also, when you do start to get on a roll every broadcaster will conveniently forget that you had a bad season and say that you’ve played well all year. And because you took time off and everyone has short term memory loss you can even trash talk like you are the ’85 Bears and say that you are the best ever and everyone will believe it.

All joking aside I must give them credit. They played a better game than the Patriots. They made the plays when they had to and that’s what counts and they had a huge amount of luck on their side. Luck comes into every close game and I’ll argue that point until I die. If one of those fumbles by the Giants bounced into the Patriots hands we wouldn’t be having this conversation. If Wes Welker had caught the ball down field when he was wide open, something he’s done all year by the way, the Pats probably would have won. But that’s why they play the game is to win. Unless you are the Giants and you only show up when it counts. If I was a fan of the Giants I would be livid with them for playing the way they do during the year. But that all changes when you win in the big games doesn’t it. All of the detractors are backtracking now on their statements and talking about how they knew this team was going to win it all.

Here is my last point. Why does it seem that everyone hates the Patriots? They are a team that does everything right. They win plain and simple. They don’t trash talk. They show up every game. They’ve been to 7 Super Bowls in total and have won 3. They had a perfect regular season and are the only team to go 18 and 0. Their quarterback plays the game right and to the best of his ability. Their coach is a legend and has groomed countless others to go on and get jobs in other places. Instead of being appreciated for what they have done during this era of football, they are ridiculed. I would find shame in this even if I weren’t a fan of the Patriots.

Do they win a lot? Yes. But is that a reason to hate them? I don’t think so. The only conclusion I have is that everyone hates them because they play the game the way it is meant to be played. Apparently that isn’t sexy enough for fans.

Written by theprattlingidiot

February 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Endearing Things My Wife Says Pt. 2

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“Wait aren’t those the words?”

My wife loves to sing. That is a blatant statement and doesn’t truly tell the whole story. She is ridiculously passionate about it. She enjoys karaoke more than anyone I know. She loves it so much that I was crazy enough to buy her Glee Karaoke for Christmas. Christina has been belting out songs in the living room for the past month. Maybe I should have thought twice about that purchase.

In December we went to Disney World’s Hollywood Studios and she finally went for her big dream, taking part in The American Idol Experience. I’ll be perfectly honest, I would never be able to get up in front of a crowd never mind a judge and sing. But that’s something my wife isn’t afraid of. So my father and I went off to ride Star Tours while she went in to face the spotlights.

There’s just one problem that my wife has when it comes to signing, she can never remember the lyrics. She will start singing and part way through will mumble until she remembers the words and picks the song up again. She would be a horrible contestant on Don’t Forget the Lyrics! After my father and I were done we met up with her. I asked her how it went and what the first round parameters were. Can you guess what the first part of the competition is? Singing a song a capella. Christina blanked. She couldn’t think of any songs off the cuff for the life of her. Needless to say she wasn’t called up for the next round. The judge gave let her know that she has a good voice so that’s a positive to take home.

There have been other times that she has sung the wrong lyrics. When Christina was in college she would bop around her room singing to herself and in turn her other roommates. One day she put on some Salt-N-Pepa. Some of the memorable songs they sang were “Let’s Talk About Sex”, “Whatta Man”, “None of Your Business” and “Shoop”. But the song she was singing that day was called “Push It”.

The lyrics to the song are pretty simple and straight forward. The majority of the chorus is “Ahh push it” and “Oooh baby baby”. The song is famous for it’s beat, but the lyrics are easy enough and spoken clearly that it’s hard to confuse them. My wife found a way though. As the story goes she was singing the song and her roommate Imaeyen was walking by the door. Imaeyen did a double take when she heard what Christina was saying.

Christina: Ahh smush it, smush it real good

Imaeyen walked back to the door and Christina stopped singing. Imaeyen was shaking her head and my adorable wife said, “Wait aren’t those the words?” Imaeyen’s reply was, “Oh honey no they aren’t.”

As I finish this post I must let you know that my wife is currently singing Glee hits in our living room. All of us have a dream. I’m just surprised hers hasn’t led to neighbors banging down our door!


Written by theprattlingidiot

January 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Review: Le Cellier Steakhouse

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Recently I had the chance to be a guest blogger. Read my review of Le Cellier on All’s Fare Food Blog!

Written by theprattlingidiot

January 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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