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  • Vanberge 11:21 pm on July 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Vanhood   

    Dear Expendables – Save Us 

    When we head to the theater to catch a movie on the big screen, we already have to deal with continuously growing ticket prices, massively overpriced food, and talking teenagers with their bejeweled cell phones. But a much more disturbing trend has been taking place in the last decade or so, a very terrible trend that literally forces me to stay at home and avoid going to movie theaters whenever possible:

    Teeny Bopper Takeover.

    This despicable scenario of pre-puberty is not a single faced monster though. It has several facets. The first of which being the fact that many more movies center around highschool age characters for their plot lines. From Tranformers to Twilight, Superbad to Juno – there is no denying it. Way too many movies that have come out in the 2000’s surround lame teenage characters.

    The second side of teeny bopper takeover is the actual movies being produced. Hollywood studios seem to strong arm directors into producing PG-13 rated movies to maximize their profits. I can understand this to a point; but when DIE HARD 4 comes out as an effing PG-13 movie, something is seriously wrong with the mother effing world.

    Not only do the studios jack the movie up to maximize the teeny bopper profit at the theater, but they then release the “Director’s cut” to DVD/Bluray so that the 18-35 crowd will theoretically spend a few more dollars to see the movie how it should have been theatrically released in the first place.

    The Twilight generation is ruining the movie industry for the rest of the world. I don’t care if Bella is sad. I don’t care if you want to be in a “wolf pack” at school. It’s effing stupid.

    Well, teenie boppers, The Expendables are going to break you. The biggest collection of action movie stars ever. From the classic Stallone/Willis/Lundgren to relative newcomers Statham/Couture/Austin – The Expendables promises us all everything.

    It is my prediction that The Expendables are going to turn the tides of the movie industry. This movie is made by awesome men, for awesome men. Even the Old spice guy would approve of its existence. There’s no bullshit rating cut here either. The MPAA rates “The Expendables” a solid R with the following description: “Rated R for strong action and bloody violence throughout, and for some language”

    This film has seen a fairly significant male call to arms via the internet. And it seems like MEN around the world are uniting in blood to see this movie on August 13th when it comes out (on my 30th birthday, oddly).

    It’s going to be a success. It’s going to own the box office for the weekend and possibly for several weekends. Hollywood is going to notice, and they will realize how stupid they have been. How they’ve been missing out on making this kind of movie for a long, long time.

    If you’re a man – then you really need to see The Expendables at least once on August 13th in the theater.

    The Trailer ensues

    • Kramer 10:31 am on July 24, 2010 Permalink

      Van, I hope you are right. There aren’t very many good, manly action movies made anymore.

      I do take exception with you including Superbad in your teeny bopper movie list though. Superbad is fucking hilarious.

    • Vanberge 10:33 am on July 24, 2010 Permalink

      Kramer, I agree that it was a good/funny movie. I wasn’t really saying the movies are good or bad ( I liked Transformers also) – but I have begun to take issue with the fact that all movies center around high schoolers.

      Superbad is still in that category.

    • Vo 11:28 am on July 24, 2010 Permalink

      Vanberge, I love you. I don’t know if you noticed, but Hollywood consistently centers movies around High school age. There is a reason for that. it’s not anything new either. Examples include any ski resort movie, Ferris, 10 things, Scream, etc. I honestly don’t think that in any given year you will find fewer movie starring “teens” that any other movie. We just notice it more now, because we are old and hate everything of the generation immediately after ours.

    • vanlandw 6:55 pm on July 24, 2010 Permalink

      The hard action genre has been totally stagnant for years. Anything with a budget has been dumped in the pg-13 range for anything adaptation (popular books, comic books). The public has accepted bad action (shaky cam, editing with no flow or story,brief CG, 3D) and the ratings don’t help anything at all. Either you are pg-13 and everybody can see it or your R and sabotage your audience. Everything is made for a mass audience now.

      Watch Gladiator then watch Robin Hood. Ridley Scott. The action in Robin Hood was abysmal.

      NOTHING is made for the 30 year old male that wants intelligent well crafted action movies.

      I would love for holy wood to make a hard ‘R’ movie with a strong adult themes and well crafted gun battles. Not over the top guns but realistic guns “Heat” style.

      Nobody is doing shootouts I would pay anything for a good movie with a good shootout.

      Mass Effect 2 was a better movie then anything that has come out in 2010.

      I will be seeing The Expendables hopefully it doesn’t suck. Worried it might be too “tongue and cheeky”


  • Vanberge 4:49 pm on July 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Pandora it is 

    A couple months ago, I was blogging about my exploration into the world of internet radio and streaming music.  I was enthusiastically trying new services and overall just making a push to find a better way to experience music.  I was weighing pros and cons of a few different services over this time, and I’m happy to emphatically proclaim that Pandora radio is by far the best service for me. 

    I purchased the annual subscription to the premium Pandora One service, and it is possibly the best 36 dollars that I’ve ever spent.  The premium service grants several enhancements; most important are the ad-free listening, a desktop application, and higher quality audio streams.  For a clean and simple to use service, it’s amazing what somebody can get from Pandora.  I supremely enjoy the fact that I can queue up an endless stream of music that is specifically tailored to my tastes; all while not having to worry about creating playlists or syncing up any media devices.

    Not only has Pandora simplified the way I listen to music, but it’s drastically expanded my exposure.  Before Pandora, I had very specific musical tastes.  I grew up listening to only a handful of what the music had to offer, and that basically trained me to keep in a “sheltered” state of music.  I was overly picky and I never gave anything new a chance.  I didn’t know that Killswitch Engage’s song “Holy Diver” was a cover of  Dio.  I didn’t know Dio sang for Black Sabbath.  I didn’t know or appreciate what Jimi Hendrix could do on a guitar.  I didn’t enjoy the vintage appeal of bands like Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones.  I didn’t grasp the depth of genre that has come with the last decade or so in music.

    In short: Pandora has been my higher education of music.

    I’ve also noticed how the tech world is adopting Pandora on a much wider scale than I realized.  I was amazed to see that my new Panasonic television has Pandora streaming capabilites.  Heck, Ford is even in the works to get Pandora into their Sync platform! (which, I still give massive props to Ford)  Pandora is clearly the frontrunner and defining what streaming radio can be.

    Pandora is an awesome service; plain and simple. You’re doing yourself a significant injustice if you dont give it a try. It’s free, easy, and immensely powerful. I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys music.

    If anyone is interested, feel free to check out my Pandora stations. I’m proud of them and they have become finely tuned to my liking.

    And for reference, here is my Pandora profile: http://www.pandora.com/people/vanberge5#

    • vanlandw 7:18 am on July 14, 2010 Permalink


      What in the world is that…

      I figured lil man would have ended up vanberge5.

      I’ve been trying out pandora as well. Not sure for me if it’s worth the upgrade price mostly picking a “band” station plays alot of the same bands but I have found a few new cool bands using it. The ads arn’t horrible as well especially if you have an application installed.

      I might need to what you did and make a genre list rather then a single band list.


    • Vanberge 7:32 am on July 14, 2010 Permalink


      It picks your username for you based on your email address. I had no control over receiving vanberge5. 🙁

      When you start a station with just one band it does get repetitive if you leave it that way. But as you thumbs up/thumbs down songs it gets better. You can also “Add Variety” and make it so more bands/songs are the “seeders” for the station.

      For me the upgrade was pretty much a necessity because the free account only gives you 40 hours streaming per month. I was going to run out.

    • Vanberge 11:48 am on July 14, 2010 Permalink

      For example, my “Metal” station has the following Bands as “seeders”
      All that remains, bullet for my valentine, in flames, killswitch engage, mutiny within, shadows fall.

      With those seeders I get a pretty good mix of death/thrash metal, metalcore.

      So you do have to spend some time and give your stations some TLC; but Pandora makes it pretty easy to do that.

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