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Hella Sweet San Jose Day

I had to re-up this one because the sound was so bad before. This is a day we spent with the UrbanArtt guys in San Jose. The song is “Hum” by Wintersleep. Turn it up!

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Siddhuey Reviewy: ParaNorman

“Paranorman” is different than your usual animated children’s movie. For starters, this isn’t one of those Pixar animated films; this is a stop-motion animated film (this is the first stop-motion film to use a 3D color printer to create character faces, and only the second stop motion film to be shot in 3D). Second, and most importantly, this is a comedy-horror film. Parts are funny and there are parts where you wonder, “What the fuck? Is this really PG?”

“Paranorman” is about a kid growing up in Blithe Hollow and this kid, Norman, has a sixth sense; he can see dead people. Naturally, his gift makes him an outcast at school as he is always seen talking to people who aren’t alive- so basically, other students see him talking to himself. The setting for this movie is perfect. Blithe Hollow is a rundown, ghost town due to the town’s past history of burning witches. The town’s dilapidated nature is evidenced in Norman’s bizarre walk to school where he seen talking to a whole host of dead people.

Aside from Norman’s uncle and mother, his family is unsympathetic to his weird ways. However, all is not lost for Norman as Neil, classmate of Norman’s, befriends Norman. Neil is a fat kid at school who experiences the same bullying that Norman experiences. The only difference between the two is that Neil is comfortable with it and doesn’t mind the outcast status.

The movie is propelled by a plot involving the witch coming back to town to haunt the townsfolk and wouldn’t ya have guessed it, Norman is the only one who can save them. The last half hour of the movie is why the movie received a PG rating, but aside from this, the movie is quite adult and entertaining because of it.

“Paranorman” has a unique feel because of this stop-motion. At times it looks stunningly modern yet it has the wonderful old-school feel that keeps adults captivated. The plot is not perfect by any means but the haunting visuals hold your attention. The wonderful visuals coupled with the excellent cast make this a movie worth seeing.

I give this movie a 8.5/10.

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#HellaFunny Comedy Show Promo

Mark Smalls and Andrew Orolfo make their stand up comedy debuts on September 14th at the Purple Onion in San Francisco. You can find tickets here: jeffanayaatthepurpleonion.eventbrite.com/ … Jeff Anaya headlines live at the Purple Onion. Also performing Mary Elizabetth Estes, Mathew Groom, Destini Iron Bryant, Andrew Orolfo and Mark Smallhoover. Do not miss out.

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Skateboarding Oakland At Night

When the shadows are cast in a major West Coast port city and no one is around to hear them, do they make a sound? On a Saturday night, Jonny and Morgan set out to find the answer. They stayed within a half mile radius of the Oakland apartment and discovered many bumps and gaps and ledges in the shadows, some dim-lit, which only made sounds when they skated on them. So the answer to whether or not the shadows make noise is… of course not, however, a few sounds may be found in the streets and shadows only if you make them.

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Austin & N.E. Man in “A Trip to Davenport”

Austin & N.E. Man went on a short trip to the Davenport Ditch one day and brought along a camera to capture the good times. Talkdemonic on the tunes.

Austin & N.E. Man in “A Trip to Davenport” from The Over Show on Vimeo.

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Siddhuey Reviewy: Avengers vs. Prometheus

-Avengers-
It’s taken awhile but Marvel has finally released “The Avengers”. The movie showcases Marvel’s biggest superstars in a two hour twenty minute epic.

Let’s start with the bad in this movie. Scarlett Johansson can’t act her way out of a paper bag and her character, Black Widow, is useless (Jeremy Renner is also useless in this movie. He is a decent actor though). Renner and Johansson are like the fat girls in a group of hot girls. The fat girls have no business being in that group, but for some reason they are all friends. You really want the fat girls to disappear but you realize that if they left, the hot girls would leave too. Therefore, you are stuck with them. In “The Avengers”, Renner and Johansson are the fat girls; they have no superpowers. Renner is a glorified Robin Hood and Johansson is Batman with tits (she also lacks the style and charisma of Batman. What’s particularly interesting about my last comment is that I seem to prefer Batman to a scantily clad Johansson. I should really take that back. Why am I not taking that back? Fuck it, I prefer Batman to Johansson! Sure, I would love to see Johansson parading around in a push-up bra and some sexy stockings but not in a superhero movie. What I am saying? I feel so conflicted right now.)

One of the best parts of the movie is Johansson. She is like a Batman with tits and it is awesome. I really enjoyed her performance- what an incredible actress. Captain America is a super cheesy rah rah American soldier and somehow, it works. Even though he is the one of the worst superheroes you can come across due to his lack of superpower- he is super funny and a great addition to the Avenger team. I like Edward Norton, just not as the Hulk. Mark Ruffalo is an improvement and he is excellent in this movie. Ruffalo hits the perfect key; he isn’t super funny or super serious- he’s just right, kinda like the porridge Goldilocks eats. Robert Downey Jr. is great as usual. His sarcasm never seems forced or venomous and that makes him the perfect star for this movie. Thor and Loki, played by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston respectively, are hilarious because of their manner of speaking (you should keep in mind that I have not seen “Captain America” or “Thor”, so this is all new to me).

Lastly, I would like to give some credit to the director, Josh Whedon. Directing a movie like this is never easy. You have to come up with a way to give everyone equal screen time while massaging the egos of stars used to being the focal point of a movie. He is exceptional in both respects.

I really enjoyed this movie and I give it a 8.76548/10. Go see this movie.

-Prometheus-
Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film explores the origin of human life and the risks one takes to get the answers. This is an adventure movie that is at times haunting and grotesque, but is always epic. This is not some silly sci-fi film where ants become enormously large and attempt to devour a small town in Idaho. No, this movie speaks to the audience because almost all humans wonder why we are on Earth and if there are “engineers”, (term used to describe the beings that Noomi Rapace and the crew are searching for).

The movie opens with a simply gorgeous “dawn of man” sequence and thereafter we meet a man who drinks a liquid that causes body decay and eventually death. Or does it? After this man “dies”, we fast forward to 2093 where the crew of the Prometheus have landed on the planet of the “engineers”. The crew is led by Charlize Theron, an employee of the company that financed the trip. She is accompanied by Rapace and others, each with different reasons for being on this trip.

It does not take long for the crew to locate the “engineers” residence but locating the engineers takes a while. Rapace embodies the strong feminine role that Sigourney Weaver once embodied, and throughout the trying circumstances she faces, her faith seems to guide her through. Speaking of faith, this movie has a religion vs. agnostic thing going on. Basically, Rapace believes in God but her douchebag boyfriend is not sold. As they continue to investigate the “engineers” they discover their DNA is identical to ours. This leads to a number of questions that need not be posed, nor answered now.

As the movie progresses the horror scenes come fast and furious. Rapace’s medical scene stands out but certain people’s death scenes are equally gripping. And unlike “Alien” these horror scenes have way more action and artillery. Whether or not this is better than the standard horror scenes of “Alien” is up to you, but I really enjoyed it.

The movie is not a fast paced action movie, but it isn’t so slow that you lose interest. The reason you don’t lose interest: Michael Fassbender.

Fassbender plays David, an android who basically can do anything and although he cannot die, he exhibits many traits humans possess. One for example, is curiosity. Fassbender is curious throughout the movie and it is his curiosity that sets in motion a chain of events that result in extreme acts of horror and survival. Fassbender has not yet received an academy award nomination but this movie may change that. He is gripping in a way very few in supporting characters are. Fassbender delivers a performance on par with Heath Ledger’s “Joker”. When the movie starts to lose steam, Fassbender appears and the movie becomes gripping again. After leaving this movie, the first thought in my mind was how amazing Fassbender was. He was truly otherworldly. Given his work in this movie and movies such as “Shame” and “X-Men: First Class”, Fassbender could well be the next ridiculously superb actor who happens to be a movie star.

This movie should be renamed the Michael Fassbender movie that Ridley Scott directed. Scott is fantastic but his brilliance is dwarfed by Fassbender. This movie is epic. I give this movie a 8.5/10. You must see this movie.

P.S.: I did not see this movie in 3-D but some say it isn’t anything special. However, others say it must be seen in 3-D. There is one scene where David discovers something and all of a sudden a beautiful light show commences. This, and the opening “dawn of man” sequence are the two scenes I would have loved to see in 3-D. The light show scene (I have a better way of describing it but I don’t want to give anything anyway) is great and Fassbender’s reactions to the scene are Oscar-worthy. So basically, see it in 3-D for those scenes alone.

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The Road To Camp T.O.S. #9

On January 24, 1848 gold was struck in California. Gold-seekers from surrounding U.S. states, Latin America, Europe, Australia and China rushed to Northern California in hopes of great wealth. The Sierra Nevada was home to a majority amount of the flourishing goldfields. Some say there is still gold to be found today in the rivers that run through the El Dorado Forest, which makes up part of the Sierra Nevada area. Although there is no guarantee of great wealth for the T.O.S. crew on their ninth annual camping trip, this one to be held on the Mokelumne river in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, great adventure is promised. Let this short film fill you in on the beginnings of what they did not miss out on this year. – Morgan Foster

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The video above was filmed & edited by the one and only Morgan Foster! To top that off, he did the hole thing on his Iphone! ALL HEIL WAX ROCK!

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Gnarboots Live and In Person @ CA Xtreme

Where to start. Gnarboots is band I learned about via the internet. I read an interview with them that struck a chord with me and then a live review of their show that further intrigued me. Was this band a joke? Where they insane? Or where are they just having a lot of fun with their band? I drove to the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, CA on Saturday to find out for myself at the CA Xtreme video game and arcade expo. Gnarboots was the first band to go on and people were confused, then amused, and then finally enjoying themselves throughout the finale of the set and joining in with the Gnarboots Dance Party that ended this wild ride. We are all Gnarboots!

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Siddhuey Reviewy: Thoughts on Lebron’s 1st Ring

 

LeBron and the Heatles get their first championship thanks to LeBron’s otherworldly play and the Thunder’s inexperience. Do I still hate LeBron? Yes. As a basketball fan do I appreciate what he accomplished in this series and the entire postseason? Hell yes. Can LeBron be better than Michael Jordan? Sadly, yes.

There comes a point in almost every series where you realize one team is just better than the other. Regardless of what happens, the superior team will eventually win the series. Take for example the Celtics-Sixers series. It went seven games but there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Celtics would pull it out. You could tell in game one that the Celtics were just better. In the NBA Finals, game three proved the Heat were superior to the Thunder. Game four might have been close but there was no doubt the Heat would win the series even if they failed to take game four.

The reason the Heat were superior is simple: LeBron James.

I have been lucky enough in my life to experience Kobe Bryant go through his “Revolver” phase and now we are witnessing LeBron’s “Revolver” phase.

Let me explain the “Revolver” phase.

The Beatles are the greatest band ever (I don’t want to debate this right now because it’s stupid to debate and because it’s not the point of this column). The Beatles were always a great band but they had a stretch where they went from great to godly. That stretch went as follows (my opinion and obviously you will disagree but you are stupid and I hope you die a terrible death): “Revolver”, “Sgt. Pepper”, “Magical Mystery Tour”, “The White Album”. During this “Revolver” phase, the Beatles were in a Jordan-like zone; they could do no wrong. Every guitar chord played was perfect, every drum kick was sumptuous and every vocal harmony was perfectly pitched.

Kobe went through his “Revolver” phase between 2004-2009. During that time not only was he the best player in basketball but he was evoking memories of Jordan and staring conversations of whether he could go down as the greatest ever (these debates were stupid as Kobe is a poor man’s Jordan but because he could spark such a debate is a testament to his prowess).

Finally, we have entered LeBron’s “Revolver” phase. I still think he is not the best player he could be and I still maintain he could be better if he worked harder. Nonetheless, he is BY FAR the best player on the planet and he his “Revolver” phase is just beginning. His dominance in the playoffs this year was flat out absurd. I won’t go over the numbers because they are ridiculous but merely watching him was awe-inspiring. He was the total package in a way Kobe could never be and in a way Jordan rarely was. His scoring was startlingly efficient, he dominated the boards and most impressive of all was his Pippen/Jordan-like defense on Durant.

LeBron blew me away with his aggression in this postseason. He never relented, never took a play off- he just kept attacking.

Now that he has won his first ring the question of whether he can be better than Jordan is officially on the table (the question was a laughable one before but now it is a valid one). If LeBron can win at least four rings, I might say he is better than Jordan. Given his ability to impact the game in a variety of different ways makes this debate a sensible one. If LeBron wins three or four rings he will surpass Kobe, Duncan and possibly Kareem, Magic and Bird. The guy is a freak and we have to give him his just due.

LeBron’s “Revolver” phase has just begun and I hope it ends soon. I would rather see Durant in his “Revolver” phase but Bron has to be appreciated. You can hate him, but you better acknowledge what he is doing and applaud. The only question that remains is when his “Revolver” phase ends.

2012-?????

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Siddhuey Reviewy: 2012 NBA Finals

My conference finals preview had me gushing about the Spurs thereby cursing them and ending their season. My powers are incredible, this is without question. With that being said, I will now festoon the Heat with praise (that way, they will be cursed and lose the finals.)

I hate to say it but it needs to be said: LeBron is dominating the NBA. He has been brilliant throughout the season and when D Wade decides to show up, the Heat are unbeatable. Well, that’s enough about the Heat.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Miami Heat

Prior to the start of the NBA season, I correctly predicted that the Thunder and Heat would contest the 2012 NBA Finals. However, I didn’t think the finals would be a close contest. I couldn’t forecast (notice how I used a weather word in this preview. That’s because this year’s finals is the all weather final) the jump the Thunder would make from last year to this year.

The “jump” the Thunder have made this season has been startling. They share the ball more, they are more active defensively and most importantly, Durant has become a monster. He’s not as good as LeBron, but he’s almost there. His 4th quarter performance in game 4 was stunning; a performance fit for the basketball gods. Durantula has become the most clutch player in the NBA and in some ways, the most exciting.

Awaiting this improved Thunder team are the mighty Heat. LeBron is the best defensive player in the league and the Durant, LeBron matchup will be key (and it is this kind of analysis that you find anywhere else. I should also take the time to mention that if LeBron and Wade foul out in the first quarter the Heat’s chances of winning will slim to none. Furthermore, the team that scores the most points in the game has the best chance to win.).

For me, Westbrook and Harden are the keys to the Thunder success. Harden will likely be defended by Wade and if Wade can stifle the playmaking ability of Harden, the Heat will be at a serious advantage. There is no answer for Westbrook. He must continue to be a playmaker before a scorer and if he does that, the Thunder are the Heat’s equals.

Ultimately the finals will come down to the stars making plays (you’re probably thinking, “if that’s the case, then why did you spend so many paragraphs talking about other bullshit?”. I’m wondering the same thing myself). Can LeBron put his choking ways behind him and finally win a title? Can Durant go from great to legendary? I think LeBron will be great in the finals but D Wade will let him down. Therefore, I am going Thunder in 7 (I did choose Miami in the beginning of the year but whatevs)

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