22 years ago, a 9 year old version of me watched what would become my favorite movie in my hometown movie theater (along with my way too young brothers). 1993 was the year that ushered Jurassic Park onto the silver screen and to a 9 year old boy that was already crazy for dinosaurs that slept on a bed with a headboard covered in dinosaur toys, this came at the exact right time for me. The years that followed the merchandising was incredible: my dinosaur toys were joined by velociraptors, Jurassic Park characters and vehicles and the awesome Compound Center to contain them in…not nearly enough fencing though. As I grew, the sequels followed as did video games where I’d hunt as a velociraptor or use stun weapons against them and in recent years, I’ve re-created my childhood vision of Jurassic Park with Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis or the mobile game where you create a functional Jurassic Park (while pleasing bitchy guests that don’t appreciate what you have made for them or get all pissy if someone gets eaten). Needless to say, like many kids Jurassic Park was literally my childhood. So when it was announced that Jurassic World was going back to Isla Nublar (the first island from the first movie) and would involve a functional park, I was overjoyed! In fact WAYYY back in 2011 when I did a Jurassic Park Week on this site, I made a column of the pros and cons of making a 4th film. I more or less begged that we should go back to the first island! So now that a new box office record has been crushed here’s my overview of Jurassic World now that I’ve had time to breathe: (READ FULL ARTICLE)
A few weeks ago the Marvel multiverse came to an explosive end. It’s a bit sad and all but now there’s just Battleworld that remains. So long story short: Marvel has lots of universes but really the 2 that are most important is the main universe (called 1610) and the Ultimate Marvel Universe (which the movies borrow a few elements from and sorta was created to create new versions of heroes without decades of continuity getting in the way). Anyway all these universes are dying off due to incursion events and it seems that both the Ultimate Marvel Universe and the 1610 universe figured out how to prolong extinction which more or less involves destroying the other universe’s earth in order to save theirs from another colliding universe. It sorta works for a while until the 1610 universe collides with the Ultimate Universe and they just sorta fight it out and kill each other but then everything just sorta fades to white and now all that remains is a patchwork planet called Battleworld which is made up from all these collided universes. If you want to know the who, what, where and why there’s like 3 years of comics that you’d have to read. I’m not wanting to do that much homework but that appears to be the gist of what’s happening. Anyway the fun part about this is that everything ended and now a lot of alternate universe stories such as Marvel Zombies, X-men Days of Future Past, Old Man Logan, 1602, Ultimate Marvel and Regular Marvel universes are all co-existing in one place and it’s characters are fighting each other. When the dust settles, Marvel gets to basically reset a little bit and not have to worry about decades of storylines. Plus most likely they can reflect certain properties to better match their cinematic counterparts.
Make no mistake, this is totally a cash-grab but it’s a fun cash-grab and some former storylines are re-visited or rebooted. The only problem is that there’s a ton of tie-ins in addition to the main storyline but fortunately some of them are way too appealing to ignore and stick to the main story and just seems like fun all around. Anyway here’s the 10 things I’m most excited about with this event.
As winter’s flailing corpse gives way to seedlings and sprouts, it’s time to rotate the dark winter warmers and imperial stouts from the fridge out for some lighter beers all the while keeping some of the slightly darker ales for those chilly spring nights.
With springtime, we start to see some of the nicer weather days, the parks look a bit greener, you can go hiking with your friends without secretly wondering which ones you’d be forced to eat if there’s an avalanche that strands you, the restaurant patio seating becomes more tempting and you can go on a nice bike ride from time to time. In addition you may get one or two days where you have to still bundle up and wipe snow from your car. Spring is a bit of a identity crisis period between winter and summer and when it comes to beer you will see a mix of the lighter summer-esque offerings while the dark stouts of winter still remains tempting.
While this is my first time to remember to do a spring edition, the rules remain the same as with my prior entries: (READ MORE)
It has been less than 24 hours since Marvel announced that a deal was struck with Sony to bring Spider-man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Internet is still going crazy with the news! Prior to last night, Spider-man could not be used by Marvel Studios due to Marvel selling the movie rights of some of their more bankable properties to various companies long before they entered the motion picture game. This is why we haven’t seen Wolverine fight in the WWII trenches with Captain America, Reed Richards collaborating with Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, The Human Torch and Spider-man hanging out or why Spider-man hasn’t joined the Avengers….Until now. Under the new agreement, Sony will retain the rights to Spider-man and still be able to release and distribute the Spider-man movies as well as having final creative control. However, now that Marvel can c0-produce future Spider-man films, Spider-man can show up on-screen with Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers and the Marvel studios characters can likewise show up in a Spider-man movie down the line. The announcement that came late last night did shake up the state of some upcoming films as some of Marvel’s previously announced Phase 3 films will now have new release dates and Andrew Garfield is reportedly out of the picture to reprise his role as the webslinger. Being a life-long Spider-man fan (I’m 30 and I gladly wear my symbiote hoodie to my corporate office job all the time and have a bin overflowing with Spider-man comics), I’m very excited with this news. Like most fanboys, I have a few hopes and desires of what hopefully comes next: (READ MORE)
Another Year is coming to a close which means that it’s time to once again post my annual “Best, Worst and In-Betweens” list for 2014. This was a year where protests over police and racial tensions intensified, ebola scared everyone, Gay Marriage being unbanned, mid-term elections and missing airliners. This was also a year in pop culture that saw some stellar movie announcements, gun toting raccoons and so much more! While there are some omissions due to this list being written prior to their release such as the last adventure of Gandalf, Bilbo and Smaug with The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and some shows that I may’ve missed and not watched yet (True Detective, Fargo, ect) Here’s some of my picks for the Best, Worst and “In-Betweens” for 2014: (READ MORE)
It’s now Halloween afternoon, this year everything falls on a Friday night; people are going to party on actual Halloween this year and YOU DON’T HAVE A COSTUME YET!!!! Don’t worry my slacker friends, I will once again give you my annual (annual meaning when I remember to do this) last minute Halloween costume suggestions.
(CLICK TO READ MORE)
Another year, another GABF (Great American Beer Festival) in the books and another taster cup added to the collection (my 4th year in a row!). Another tradition of mine when it comes to GABF is that after my mild hangover is subdued with sleep and a big breakfast, I like to go back and rate some of my favorite beers from the festival. This year was pretty cool because it so happened to work out with ticket buying that a lot of my friends had the same session. I enjoyed the member session quite a bit last year in its more intimate setting (and glass tasting glasses) but it was pretty fun to run into many friends, meeting up to plan attacks and then separating only to run into other people we knew for Saturday Night’s session. My number 1 goal this year was to stretch across the entire floor as I felt like I hung out in the Great Lakes region far too much last year and was already swaying by the time I started hitting the breweries of the southwest. I also stuck to my carefully planned list for the most part and I felt that it gave me a better experience. In addition I wasn’t too worried about pouring out the “meh” beers or being worried if I separated from my crew.
This year I wasn’t really feeling the hops. I’ve made strides in adapting to drinking hoppy beers in recent years. Especially, if we were to time travel and meet 2009 Brad, whom just survived his first Colorado Winter, after living in the desert meets plains landscape of Abilene, Texas for his first 24 years of existence. 2009 Brad was in the shallow end of craft beer and was dogpaddling to the deep end…actually that’s a pretty spot-on analogy because I’m absolute rubbish with swimming. Six years later, I’m proud to say that I’ve embraced the hops and drink IPAs quite regularly…still a shit swimmer though. However this year I drank only a few IPAs and focused largely on Sours and Barrel Aged Beers at the festival. It also would seem that this was the focus for several brewers as well, so I had lots to choose from. (CLICK FOR FULL RECAP)
One of my favorite tropes in fiction is that of the existence of an Alternate Universe/Alternate History. With real and mind-blowing scientific theories suggesting that there’s an infinitive amount of alternate and parallel universes that mirror our own; it leads to many “what if” questions and scenarios and naturally, those “what-if’s” can make for great story telling. These stories range from Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Sound of Thunder” in which a hunter goes back in time to kill a T-rex but alters the universe by accidentally stepping on a butterfly to Stewie and Brian’s multiverse traveling adventures in Family Guy. It’s fair to say that the concept of Alternate Universes and Histories has made its impact on pop culture. Spurning from a recent small talk conversation at work with a few co-workers, I thought it’d be fun to list some of my personal favorite alternate universe/history stories found within comics, TV shows and movies (in no particular order):(READ MORE)
Whether you like it or not, Autumn is here once again. While it may be a few more weeks before the leaves change colors and the air grows colder, if you visit your local beer store you’ll probably notice that the pumpkin beers are already starting to take up some prime real estate in the coolers and on a few tap walls as well. While I’m more of a fan of sunshine, flip-flops and nice biking weather, Autumn usually heralds the arrival of some of my favorite beers. In addition, being somewhat spoiled by living in Denver, One of America’s biggest beer cities, Autumn also brings the Great American Beer Festival (aka my personal “SuperBowl”). So it’s usually this time of year that my love for beer becomes somewhat annoying to my non-beer drinking friends as I gush about various breweries, beers, and tap takeovers leading up to the event.
I decided that since Autumn is once again upon us, that it’s time to do another Craft on Tap entry (apologies for not doing one for Spring/Summer, I was dealing with job things). I didn’t really get any correspondents this time around but maybe I’ll have a few for my Winter installment. To make this entry interesting I’ve added a new rule to this series: Your picks cannot be repeated if they showed up on a previous year’s picks that you have made. This keeps it fresh and more challenging. Here’s last year’s picks. So call this “Ultimate Autumn Six-Pack Vol. II” if you will. If you need a refresher here’s the other rules for this series:
- The beers have been tasted (there’s so much beer, so little time/body limitations to try them all…plus it’d be bullshit to rattle off beers that haven’t been tried first). So in other words “duh!”
- The beers can be found in stores (there’s plenty of breweries that are “on-tap only” that I’m fiercely loyal to, but unless you live near us, this list won’t help you out much, plus it isn’t designed to provoke a “I have better places to drink than you” pissing contest), so these can hopefully be found in your local stores as well.
- The beer is distributed to Colorado. That’s where I’m located currently. This stipulation also obviously mirrors stipulation number 1. There’s plenty that I tried at the Great American Beer Festival and wish that came this way (I’m looking at you 3 Floyds, Sun King, Cigar City, Jester King, Heavy Seas and Brooklyn Brewery!!) Needless to say, I’m sure there are possibly some blasphemous omissions from the following lists, but there’s also a very good chance that it hasn’t been tried or made available out here. Plus you can sound off below in the comments!
Without further adieu, here’s my picks for Autumn 2014 (FULL STORY)
The Simpsons have been around for 25 years. They’ve been around for 4 presidential administrations (3 of which served 2 terms each), outlived numerous TV shows, and contributed to several pop culture history-making moments. In addition they’ve stared in several videogames spanning since the old NES games, had a Lego set, fictional food products to tie into their movie, and theme park rides. The 552 episodes began airing non-stop yesterday on FXX and with the addition of The Simpson’s movie, it will take 12 full days to go through the entire catalog. Unfortunately sleep and work will likely get in the way of many fun episodes, so if you are the owner of a DVR, this is when you get to put it to major work. Although a few super-early classics such as “Stark Raving Dad”, “Flaming Moe’s”, “Bart Gets and F” have already passed through, there’s still plenty to be excited about in the coming days of the mega-marathon. Like many fans, I believe the show’s best years are definitely behind them, but staying on the air since 1990 is no small task….there’s people drinking in bars now that weren’t even born when the show first aired. So among reliving the show’s best days, it’s also kind of nice to see a few episodes that I’ve missed in the mid-2000s when I mostly stopped watching. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’ll be impossible to binge-watch all the episodes, so here’s a few of my suggestions for which episodes to catch during the marathon (or to DVR as some of these will be in the late night and wee hours of Friday night and Saturday morning.) (READ FULL STORY)