Monday, October 31, 2011

Derek Lowe TRADED to Indians!!

Just heard this evening that Derek Lowe has been traded to the Cleveland Indians for a left handed minor league pitcher.  This is a cause to celebrate!!

Will any Braves fan miss Lowe on the mound?  I know I won't.

Horror movie month #21 - Dawn of the Dead (1978)

I'm wrapping up the nearly month long horror movie feature with my top horror flick of all time, George A. Romero's 1978 masterpiece Dawn of the Dead.  I can't say enough great things about this movie.  From the characters to the special effects to the movie's setting.  Everything about this movie is just freakin' awesome.

As the zombie epidemic continues to spread across the country and television executive and her boyfriend take a news copter and try to flee Pittsburgh.  Around the same time they meet up with 2 SWAT team members (one of which is actor Ken Foree!) and the 4 set off to find somewhere safe.  During their escape they start to run low on fuel and need to land.  They notice a large mall just outside the city limits and decide to land on the roof as there should be plenty of needed supplies inside.  What they find is the mall has been overrun by zombies  As the movie unfolds we get to see this newly formed team try to survive not only the zombies, but living together as well.  They eventually make a makeshift shelter in the mall while trying to figure out their next move.

Dawn of the Dead is actually the 2nd movie in Romero's zombie trilogy and easily the best in my opinion.  Some may argue that the pace of the movie is too slow or that the characters are stupid.  I tend to disagree.  One of the things that makes this movie unique if you will is the setting.  Taking place inside the Monroeville Mall located just outside of Pittsburg, PA offers up a different vibe when compared to other horror movies.  One of the things I found charming about the mall is that it's a real mall - not just a cobbled movie set.  Check out this site for an interesting "now and then" look at the mall.

I will give the 2004 remake honorable mention as director Zack Synder did a great job with the re-envisioning of this classic tale.  I still prefer the original, but you can't go wrong with the modern film either as it has a new take on the now classic "mall formula".

If I had started this horror movie feature at the beginning of the month I would've showcased a few more films.  I guess I'll have to save them for next year.  Of those movies honorable mention goes to:

Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Devil's Rejects, Diary of the Dead, Feast, Grindhouse, Jeeper's Creepers, Pulse, REC, The Ring, Rubber, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Vacancy

Horror movie month #20 - Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

Are you surprised that a Friday the 13th movie didn't make an appearance before now?  While I love the first film it's been showcased all over the place so I wanted to pick another movie in the series.  While I'm partial to part 3 (long before 3D special effects were used in just about every new movie), but for some reason I chose part 7 instead (Kane Hodder?).  As a whole most of the Friday movies are pretty good, heck even Jason X has it's moments.  The tag line for part VII: The New Blood is "Jason is back, but this time someone is waiting for him!"

Tommy Jarvis chained Jason Voorhees to the bottom of Camp Crystal Lake where he has laid dormant for many years.  That is until a young telekinetic girl, Tina Sheperd inadvertently awakes him from his long slumber.

I guess what I remember most about this movie was how Jason himself had a nemesis of sorts.  In the previous movies there really is no adversary for Jason as he just hacks away at his helpless victims.  Not so much in this movie.  I love the scene towards the end of the movie when Jason and Tina go head to toe.  Tina throws (literally) a lot at Jason and he takes the abuse and keeps getting up for more.  Kudos to Kane Hodder here as his acting is great.  In my opinion Kane was the best actor ever to wear the iconic hockey mask.  During the fight scene Jason truly looks puzzled over what is happening to him.  There is this sense of disbelieve that he is having someone stand up against him.  Take a look if you don't remember the scene:

I don't know about you, but this was an entertaining film thanks to the big fight scene.  All of the Friday the 13th movies have their moments.  Some are better than others, but part VII will always stand out in my memory.  As a bonus treat here is another video I found compiling Jason's kills.  Stayed tuned as my favorite horror flick is up next!

Horror movie month #19 - Halloween (2007)

I never was a big fan of John Carpenter's Halloween franchise.  I've seen most of the movies, but the Michael Myers character just never appealed to me in the way other horror villains have.  When I heard Rob Zombie was releasing his own version of Halloween I didn't know what to expect, but I eventually saw it anyway.  Wow.  What an intense ride. 

So there was this big debate over John Carpenter versus Rob Zombie and which version of the movie and or Michael Myers is more terrifying.  Who cares.  I read that John told Rob to make the movie "his own" and that's what Rob did.  Both are great movies and you can't go wrong with either.  I just found Rob's version of the movie a little more, well, violent.

In the original you don't get to see Michael's family much so you really don't know why he turns out as he does.  In Rob's version you get a more in depth look at Michael in his early years and his dysfunctional family.  For me this helped set up the movie a little bit more.  I get the whole argument of we the movie viewer isn't supposed to feel compassion for the killer (who felt sorry for Freddy Kruger?) and not knowing what sets off someone and turns them into a killer is far more scary.  I get all that.  Valid points.  Remakes aren't for everyone, but if you can be subjective enough and separate the two movies and take them for what they are I think you'll see that both movies stand on their own as fantastic additions to the slasher genre.

It's Halloween and I've got two more movies coming up.  Stay tuned for my favorite horror movie of all time.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Horror movie month #18 - Frozen

I've never actually been skiing or snow boarding before and I can tell you after watching this movie I never will!  More of a survival horror this moving is probably more terrifying than all of the other slasher and zombie flicks combined.

Three friends bride the ski lift operator for a lift ticket on a Sunday afternoon.  Wanting to get in one last run for the night the three friends hop in the ski lift and make their way to the mountain's peak.  All the while back at the ski resort there is some miscommunication and the worker stops the lift...stranding the three.  What happens next is the survival of the three and their attempts to get off the lift and back down the mountain.  One of the quotes on the poster is "Terrifying.  Will do for skiing what Jaws did for swimming.".  I couldn't agree more.

My wife has often said she won't watch horror movies with me that could really happen.  I blame it on taking her to see the uncut version of the original Exorcist when it was re-released to theaters.  She will not watch this movie.  Period.  I guess the most frightening part of the movie is it's realism.  The film is directed by Adam Green (Hatchet) and the stunts are coordinated by Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees, Friday the 13th).  It's a very intense and fun ride once the terror sets in.  Highly recommended.

Halloween is almost here and I just couldn't stop at just sharing one movie on the 31st.  So make sure to stop back by here tomorrow for three more movies!

Sunday Verse

Galatians 6:2

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

I like this one.  So many times do we (esp. men) try to carry all our burdens on our own shoulders.  I don't know if it's pride or laziness, but we don't want to ask for help.  So we keep weighing ourselves down until we're bogged down and not effective at whatever we're doing.  Christ reminds us to ask for help in sharing one's burdens.  To be there for our friends and family to help carry the load.  Remember this next time you feel like you can't handle life's burdens.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Horror movie month #17 - The Descent

I hate this movie poster, but I love the film.  This is a keep you on your edge of the seat and bite your nails until your fingers hurt kind of movie.  If you are claustrophobic then I highly suggest you don't watch this movie!

The movie takes place one year after a woman vacationing with her family suffers a horrible traffic accident.  Her friends encourage her to go on a caving expedition in the mountains of North Carolina.  During their adventure they suffer one horrible thing after another.  Trapped inside a dark cave with no real sense of direction and running low on supplies should be enough to scare you.  Throw in some sort of cave dwelling underground predators and you've got the perfect mix of fear to make an excellent movie.

From the opening traffic accident scene I knew I was in for a good ride (no pun intended).  Most of this movie takes place in a dark cave and the lack of lighting really helps the overall creepy atmosphere of this movie.  I've never been much of an outdoors adventurous type of person and after seeing this movie I don't ever intend to be.  I found this movie a refreshing change of pace from the typical horror movie.  You may classify this as more of a thriller, but either way its a great movie.  I believe a sequel came out a few years later, but at this time I've yet to check it out.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Horror movie month #16 - The Strangers

Dating couple (Liv Tyler & Scott Speedman) stop off at the family's remote summer home after attending a wedding only to be terrorized by 3 individuals.

This movie I had heard about some time before it was finally released in 2008.  Some people classify this sub-genre of horror movie as "home invasion".  I believe that tag couldn't be more accurate.  There really is no plot to this movie.  If you watched the trailer you heard Liv's character asking the masked assailants "Why are you doing this to us?"  and the response is simply "Because you were home."

I don't say that to take anything away from the movie.  There are a lot of really intense moments during the movie, but most of the scares are all loud noises and things that jump out at you.  This isn't horror in the sense of Friday the 13th.  I found the movie decent.  Liv does a pretty good job as a "scream queen" which was a little surprising.  Movies like this don't appeal to everyone, but if you are a fan of this type then at least give it a shot.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NFL kickers finally get some cardboard loving!

So I was checking my e-mail this afternoon and I saw that Panini was finally giving some NFL kickers there well deserved place on cardboard!  Not only are a few select kickers getting football cards - the cards will have the netting from behind the goal posts embedded in the cards! 

I was looking a little closer at the memo and I saw a Carolina Panther?!  John Kasey has to be one of the best NFL kickers in recent history and he only got a few cards in his long tenure with the Panthers.  The Panthers cut him during the off season (ticking off a lot of long time fans might I add) and replaced him w/ Olindo Mare.  Nothing against Mare - heck I knew nothing of the guy prior to this season.  I however am happy to see my hometown team represented in this awesome Net Fusion set.  This will be one card I'll be on the lookout for.

Horror movie month #15 - Zombieland

Zombieland...the last movie I saw in the theaters before I became a dad!  For several reasons I'll always love this movie.  Finding the perfect match of humor and gore can be hard to find, but every once in awhile that perfect marriage comes along in the form of a great movie such as Zombieland.

The premise of the movie is simple.  Colombus (Eisenberg) is trying to reach his family in Ohio when he crosses paths with a tough guy (Harrelson) who's looking for the last Twinkee.  On their journey they meet up w/ a pair of sisters on their way to an amusement park.  See.  I told you the plot was simple.  Oh yeah.  Forgot to mention their journey takes place during the zombie apocalypse!

If you haven't seen this movie then please do yourself a favor and get up and go rent or buy this movie.  If you like comedy or zombies or both then you'll be happy.  The casting of the characters is excellent and I don't really care for Jesse Eisenberg (with the exception of his role in Arrested Development) or Woody Harrelson.  Throw in the two sisters (Emma Stone & Abigail Breslin) and you've got a fun bunch.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Horror movie month #14 - Poltergeist

"They're here!"

Need I say more?  This is the movie that I'm sure scared the crap out of a lot of people in 1982...especially if you had children.

There aren't many movies that disturb me, but this is one of them.  Just re-watching the trailer brought back all sorts of memories.  I was only 5 years old when this came out, but I remember sitting in the living room watching it on BETA from the local rental store.  What was my dad thinking?!

I don't remember what really happens in parts 2 or 3, but this movie is a blast to watch.  The action by Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams and Heather O'Rourke (Carol Anne) is fantastic.  While the special effects are a little dated now in the 80's they were really good.  I prefer my horror films to be of the zombie or slasher sub genre, but Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper hit a home run with this spooky ghost flick.  Easily one of the best horror films of the 80's if not of all time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Horror movie month #13 - Day of the Dead (1985)

Yes, another movie I had to put the year in parenthesis after the name.  This was George A. Romero's last movie in his original trilogy following Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead.  This is probably my least favorite of the 3, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a good movie.

Just about the entire movie takes place in an old underground military bunker somewhere in Florida.  A small group of scientists and military are the country's last hope at finding a cure.  One of the scientist makes a break through discovery with a captured zombie he affectionately calls "Bub".

Being "trapped" in one place for the entire movie really slows down the movie a lot as there isn't a lot of variety in the scenery.  Again, the movie isn't bad - it just wasn't as entertaining for me as the 2 movies that proceeded it.  The special effects are quite good as you can see below...

fast forward to about the 2:20 mark for the gore!

...but the dialog is atrocious.  I can't remember a movie where I've heard the "f-bomb" dropped so many times!  If you've already seen Night and Dawn then you at least have to finish off the trilogy and watch Day of the Dead.  I'll let you form your own opinion. 

I wonder what ever happened to Bud?

Local Charlotte press annoying Panthers fans...

After the Carolina Panther's 2nd win of the season over the Washington Redskins the local media has been coming up with all of these super cheesy slogans and sayings revolving around rookie QB Cam Newton.  Take a look a few and tell me if you agree or not.

"We Cam do it!"



"Cam do"

"Yes we Cam!"

Granted his numbers are looking really good thus far despite the team's 2-5 record, but the media HAS TO STOP!  Please!  Let's just let his play on the field be enough everyone.  Plays like this:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Horror movie month #12 - My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Long before I heard of the awful 3D remake I discovered this 80's slasher gem online.  I originally had a hard time tracking down the DVD.  Apparently this movie originally was given an X rating by the MPAA.  That didn't sit too well so the movie had to be heavily edited for it to get an R rating.  I've seen still images of the cut scenes and they aren't any more graphic than other movies released around the same time.

You probably wouldn't recognize any of the names attached to this film...I know I didn't, but it doesn't matter.  The film takes place in the fictional town of Valentines Bluff in Novia Scotia about a killer that took the lives off several miners and couples on Valentine's Day several years ago.  You see there was an accident at the local mine 20 years ago and a miner by the name of Harry Warden was the only survivor.  The man in charge of the mine that fateful night was off at a Valentine's Day party.

Fast forward to the "current" time and the killer is now more of a urban legend.  That is until a box of chocolates containing a bloody heart shows up in town.  It's been 20 years since Valentine's Day was celebrated and the young people are eager to throw a big party.  Much to the chagrin of the sheriff the party goes on as planned.  That is when the bodies start to hit the floor.

This is one of those movies that deserves being watched.  Most people probably didn't know when the 3D remake was released a few years ago that it was a remake.  Sometimes well known actors and slick special effects just can't top an original classic.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Horror movie month #11 - Toolbox Murders (2004)

Continuing my ignorance of movies I didn't know were remakes is the 2004 version of Toolbox Murders.  Directed by Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) I had to give it a try.

From what I can tell this version stands heads and shoulders above the 1978 film of the same name.  The movie stars Angela Bettis (May) who moves into this old building (the Lusman building to be exact) currently under major renovations.  At this time we are also introduced to the other residents.  These include Juliet Landau (Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to even a small role by Sherri Moon Zombie.  It doesn't take Angela long to realize this house is full of evil as the residents are slowly knocked off - usually killed by power tools.  The very creepy and odd maintenance man is the obvious choice, but that idea is quickly discarded as the movie carries on.  For the most part the movie is really good.  There is a lot of mystery about the house and the strange markings that are found all over the property.  The killer isn't revealed until later in the movie so until then there is a lot of guessing.  Some of the kills are very clever and the special effects pretty good.  I was entertained from the very beginning to the end.  Recommended if you are a fan of slashers.

Something new and something blue

Black and blue that is.  The first 6 weeks have been rough in Carolina for Panthers fans.  I'm not giving up hope though.  Even though the team only has 1 win there have been flashes of greatness on the field.  Heck, at least the team is putting some points on the board!  Other than last week's game against the Falcons (which was closer than the score indicated) the Panthers have been in every game.  They took the defending Super Bowl champs down to the wire and only lost by 3 points.  Same thing when it came to playing the Bears and Saints.  That said I still get excited about acquiring new Panthers cards.  These few I'm sharing today came several weeks ago before things started to change.  I don't anticipate acquiring many more this season, but it's OK.  Outside of Cam Newton fans I don't know many card bloggers that care about the cats.

2011 Panini Rookie & Stars
I love these big jersey swatch cards!

2011 Topps Rising Rookies
Former coach John Fox basically refused to play Armanti Edwards last season.  So far he hasn't been all that successful trying to return the ball.  Verdict is still out on whether they can convert this former college QB into a WR in the NFL.

2010 Panini Patches & Plates
I had high hopes coming into this season for David Gettis.  It's a shape he went down so early with a season ending injury.  The Panthers still lack that #2 receiver to go along with Steve Smith.  I guess if there is anything good about the injury is it seems no one is actively looking for his cards making them el-cheap!

Sunday Verse

Isaiah 26:4

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Have a fantastic Sunday everyone.  May all your sports teams come out victorious...that is unless your a Redskins or Rangers fan!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Horror movie month #10 - Cold Creek Manor

OK, technically this is a thriller or suspense and not a horror flick...but it gets you to the edge of your seat. 

As the trailer says, have you ever wondered what went on in your house before you lived there?  I saw this movie in the theater in 2003 and I loved it.  The premise of the movie is simple.  After a couple's son has a close call while living in the big city the family moves out to a rural part of town and falls in love with this old estate house.  As they move in and start to renovate the old house the father (Dennis Quaid) discovers pictures and information about the former family living in the house.  As they try to research the history of the family and the house they start to get weird vibes from the locals.  The more he discovers the more things start to get intense.  This was a well written and well acted movie in my opinion.  Worth a rental.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I haven't forgotten the reason I started the blog... cards.  Things around the Hopper household over the last few weeks have been a little hectic and not having hardly any money (read: no money) for new cards A Cardboard Problem's 2011 Topps Finest group break came along at the perfect time.  However many months back when the sign ups first went live I couldn't believe the Braves hadn't been taken so I quickly jumped on the opportunity.  This is the 2nd recent group break where my Braves have been highly successful.  Just take a look!

Refractor #467/549

Bronze Refractor #32/99
Gold Refractor #04/50
Finest Freshmen Purple Refractor #FF010
Finest Moments #FFM11
I'm not sure where the ladies got their Finest case from, but I'd swear it came straight from Turner Field.  I also got all of the base cards of the Braves and several duplicates so if any other Braves fans reading this (Silver Slugger, Captain Canuck, Tomahawk Chopping, etc.) need any base cards let me know.


This Julio Tehean card obviously wasn't part of the group break, but I managed to pick it up for only a few bucks.  I also got this awesome David Ross 2011 Topps Update Hope Diamond!


Horror movie month #9 - The Burning

I can't exactly remember how I found out about this little known 80's slasher flick.  It may have been when I was looking up something on Tom Savini as he helped with the special effects.  The movie was partially written by Harvey Weinstein in 1981.

I had my doubts going in, but I gotta say this one surprised me at how good it was.  The movie centers around an alcoholic summer camp caretaker by the name of  Cropsy that is seriously burned and disfigured by a group of teenage boys.  5 years later he returns to the same camp to exact his revenge.  Tom Savini's special effects are top notch in this movie.  The killer's weapon is a pair of ordinary garden sheers.  Let me tell you though Tom found some excellent and realistic ways to impale and kill the kids and counselors.  While the movie has a pretty good story and the acting isn't half bad (you get to see a young Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame) the movie does fall prey at times to the 80's slasher cliche - pretty girl + boy + woods = hanky panky which = victims for the killer.  That aside this was a fun ride and worth a watch if you've never seen it before.  I believe you can currently find it on Netflix.

Community Gum's All Topps Mega Group Break!

Those witty guys @ Community Gum are hosting another one of their awesome group breaks this month.  So if you're having the blues over my break being canceled then jump on over HERE for all of the details.  If you think your team may not fair that well let me remind you that I made out like a bandit in their last break (Topps Lineage).  So, what are you waiting for?  There are still great teams to be had!  No go and tell 'em Cardboard Collections sent ya!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Horror movie month #8 - Chopping Mall

Does anyone else remember the old show on the USA Network called "Up All Night" hosted by Gilbert Godfrey?  Well I originally caught this  super cheesy B flick back then.  Filmed in 1986 a bunch of teens hide inside a furniture store inside a local mall to throw a big party after hours.  What they don't know is the mall is guarded by 3 robots and that the mall is sealed off from the outside world come 12 midnight.  A bolt of lightning proceeds to strike the mall which in turns short circuits the robots and turns them into killer robots!  Told you it was cheesy.  By the way, this movie is sometime referred to simply as Killbots.

I'm only including this movie to the feature because of how terrible it is - not because it's a good movie.  It's watchable, but I can't really recommend it.  You can probably find most of the good scenes on YouTube (like the one below) if you search for them.  It'll save you a lot of time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pack Break - 2011 Topps Platinum


We are several weeks into the 2011 NFL season and there are already lots of different cards to choose from.  Topps again offers up Platinum - this year with some needed improvements.


Retail packs only yield 4 cards, but I guess I got lucky as I got 5.  Woohoo!  This year's design looks so much better when compared to last year.  I like how all the cards look like Refractors.  I believe the Champ Bailey card is a parallel as there is a small amount of gold on each side of the Broncos logo.

Inserts include various colored parallels, some serially numbered.  Autographs and patch cards are also present.  The checklist appears to be pretty good as each team is represented by a few star players.  Most of the big name rookies also show up.


I ended up with this die-cut Patrick Peterson RC.  I don't know what it's called or what the odds are, but it's pretty cool.  If anyone wants it let me know.

As with baseball there are no shortages of card options when it comes to football this year.  Platinum has been improved from last year and looks really nice so if you have been curious (probably not since this pack break is way over due!) I don't think you'll be too disappointed.

Horror movie month #7 - Walled In

I discovered this movie earlier this year while I was laying on the couch sick.  Thank goodness for Netflix!  I was a little skeptical about the movie after reading the description, but I wasn't going anywhere so I fired it up.

The movie centers around the family demolitions business' daughter that sets out to supervise her first job after acquiring her degree.  What she doesn't know about the mysterious Malestrazza building that she'll be overseeing is the history and mystery surrounding her.  It turns out that several of the building's former tenants have been buried alive inside the very walls that will be torn down!  The main character is played my Mischa Barton who I've seen on TV, but not really aware of what she has acted in.  The movie was a lot better than I expected.  There was this certain creepiness surrounding the tenants left in the building.  She actually spent several nights in the building before it's scheduled demolition and this is when the truth starts to unfold.  

I'd say this is more of a thriller than your typical horror movie, but it's still entertaining none the less.  I'm not sure if it was a direct to video movie or not, but it is one worth checking out in my opinion.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pack Break - 2011 Tristar TNA Signature Impact Wrestling


I bought this pack on a whim several weeks (months?) ago and in all my shuffle I forgot to share them!  I only watch TNA when I have nothing else to tune into on Thursday nights so I can't say that I'm all that familiar with all of their talent.  I like a lot of things Tristar does so I thought why not take a one pack trial run.


5 cards per pack and retail packs going for 2 bucks.  Not the greatest deal in my book.  I do have to say I like the look.  The light blue TNA has started using is pleasing to the eye...although the blue border is very reminiscent of the parallels Topps has been using lately.

Of the 5 cards I am familiar with all but one - Douglas Williams.  I don't know what it is about me and packs of TNA cards, but I swear I always pull a Velvet Sky card!  The Mickie James card is part of a "Tara's Take" subset featuring commentary from Tara herself.

Inserts in the set include hand-signed autographs (don't know if they are on card or not) as well as short printed cards of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting.  Of course a smattering of numbered parallels also appear randomly.  Including the SPs the set is comprised of 99 cards so putting a set together wouldn't be that hard...but at only 5 cards per pack it would be costly to hand collate a set.

This is another great TNA effort by Tristar.  If I were more of a TNA fan and had deeper pockets I may come back to this product.

Horror movie month #6 - Dead Alive

Most people know director Peter Jackson from the epic Lords of the Ring movies, but back in 1992 he directed an awesome horror comedy flick originally entitled Brain Dead.

As I said earlier with Shaun of the Dead - I don't always like when humor and horror are mixed together.  This movie however is another exception to the rule.  When I refer to humor one word usually pops into the minds of people who have seen this movie - the Priest.  

Let me also go on to say this is one of the goriest movies ever made.  No seriously.  Don't believe me?  Watch this clip!  

I'm told that over 300 gallons of fake blood were used in the making!  I can't say enough good things about this movie.  What?  You're still sitting here reading this?  Why?  Do find a copy of this movie pronto!  You'll be glad you did.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Group Break Update - CANCELED

We are living in some mighty tough times right now and I simply can't afford to eat any teams.  I priced this break as if all 30 teams were sold and as of this morning I have 7 teams unclaimed.  I would love to find a way to make this all work.  I've crunched the numbers in several different ways leaving out boxes and such and offering partial refunds, but I just can't seem to make this work in any scenario.  Instead of holding onto your money any longer I'm going to refund your payment and start all over next month.  Perhaps I'll go back to my "roots" with the next break.

I apologize everyone.  This is the first time I've ever had to cancel a break since I started hosting about this time last year.  Everyone's refunds should be processed by the end of the day.

Horror movie month #5 - The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Are all the modern day horror movies remakes?! First off let me say that I've never seen Wes Craven's original The Hills Have Eyes so I won't be comparing these two. In fact I'm not even sure when I originally saw the trailer for the 2006 remake that I knew it was a remake.

This was another film that I caught in the theatre while in college. I didn't know anything about the movie going in other than what I had seen in the trailer. Wow. What an intense movie. I genuinely felt for the family being terrorized throughout the film. While it has become one of my favorite horror movies I find it hard to re-watch it. It's not that it's a bad movie or even the gore. It just seems so authentically real that it creeps me out a little.

Now being the father of 2 young girls there is one scene in the movie that is really disturbing. It's not that it's graphic - it (mostly) happens off camera. If you've seen this movie then you probably know what scene I'm eluding to. All in all this is a fantastic movie. The character development is great. The "hero" of the movie is probably the last person you would expect. That may be a little cliche now, but it worked then. I was totally joyous in rooting for the family to survive.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Horror movie month #4 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

 OK. You may have not agreed with me about the 1990 version of The Night of the Living Dead being better than the original, but what about this remake?

I saw the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in the theatres before I ever had watched the original. I walked away from the movie a little shaken, but highly entertained! I knew my review would be biased and incomplete years ago so I searched out the best version of the original on DVD. While I can appreciate the original Michael Bay's 2003 version simply blows the original out of the offense Tobe Hooper.

I could say that Jessica Biel in this movie is worth the price of admission alone (can I get an amen?), but seriously this movie is excellent - from the opening credits to the closing credits. I was on the edge of my seat for practically the entire movie. R. Lee Ermey's language did get on my nerves as it's very vulger and laced with profanity, but it just shows you how messed up of a character Sheriff Hoyt really is. Just re-watching the trailer again made me tense up. I have pretty thick skin and a strong stomach when it comes to horror movies, but this one got to me. In a good way though. I highly suggest this version of TTCM if you haven't already seen it. The modern day prequel is pretty darn nifty too!

Sunday Verse

2 Samuel 7:22 (NIV)

“How great you are, Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.”

We missed church last week since with my little birthday girl being sick so I'm so happy to be heading back this morning.  Follow that up with some fellowship time w/ my family + some Carolina Panthers football and the new season of The Walking Dead on AMC later in the evening and you've got the recipe for a fantastic day.  Have a great one everybody.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Horror movie month #3 - Night of the Living Dead

Come on!  You know this movie had to make the cut!  When it comes to zombie movies no one makes a better flick than George A. Romero.  While there have been some other good zombie movies to come along the way Romero is the grand daddy of the genre.

When it comes to the movie that put Romero on the map I'm divided between the black and white 1968 original and Tom Savini's 1990 remake.  Most people would agree remakes of movies aren't as good as the originals.  I can think of a few that buck the trend and the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead is one of those for me.  Having seen both versions multiple times I just seem to gravitate to the 90's version for several reasons.

1) Color.  It makes a difference.  Alfred Hitchcock may have made some great black & white movies in his time, but seeing everything happen in vivid colors makes a lot of difference in my book.

2) The actors and actresses.  I love Tony Todd and his character of Ben in the 90's version is better.  Same goes for Patricia Tallman as Barbara.  The original actress that portrayed Barbara was so freakin' annoying in the 1968 movie.  At least we see this new version of Barbara get over her fear and fight back.

3) Tom Savini!  I love gore in my horror movies and Tom did a great job with the updated special effects in the 1990 version.

4) The ending.  If you haven't seen either version (what have you been doing?  Seriously!) then I don't want to spoil it for you.  I just find the end of the 1990 remake that much better and satisfying.

While I love all of (Romero's) sequels that spawned from this movie there is just something so special about the original - whether you prefer 1968 or 1990 - both are classic movies that deserved to be watched each October.



October 2011 Group Break reminder

Still several teams that need to be claimed before I can place the order for the boxes. If you've been on the fence NOW is the time to act. For a complete run down of the break including the boxes and prices please click HERE.

If anyone is interested in taking the rest of the teams please let me know and we'll see if we can work out some sort of discounted deal.

Anaheim Angels
Arizona Diamondbacks
Boston Red Sox
Florida Marlins
Minnesota Twins
Montreal Expos
Tampa Bay Rays

Friday, October 14, 2011

Horror movie month #2 - Shaun of the Dead

  I don't always care for the mix of horror and humor.  I tried watching the Return of the Living Dead movies and they just didn't appeal to me.  However one one movie combining these two elements that is so much fun to watch is Shaun of the Dead.

I'm not sure if it's the English wit that makes this so great, but Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are absolutely hilarious in this movie.  Great story and special effects to top things off.  I'm looking forward to dusting off my HD DVD version and plopping down on the couch for this one!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Horror movie month #1 - City of the Living Dead

I like horror movies.  I always have.  Not sure why, but I love 'em.  I especially love a good zombie or slasher flick.  Ever since I started this blog I've always wanted to spot light a few movies come October.  I guess I've just been too busy to do so.  This month however I plan to change that.  The movies I'll share over the coming weeks aren't in any sort of order.  Trying to rank them would be too hard anyhow.

We'll kick things off with a Lucio Fulci movie originally titled "The Gates of Hell" or better known to some as "The City of the Living Dead".  I'll start off by saying this isn't the greatest movie I've ever seen, but there are some redeeming qualities...namely the gore.  The story goes something like this.  The suicide of a priest has opened the gates of hell and a reporter and a psychic try to close the gates all the while the dead have risen from their graves.  Yes - it's a hokey story.  It doesn't help that the acting and script aren't that strong either.  The movie was released in Italy in 1983.  The DVD I own is in English, but I can't help think it was dubbed as the words and the mouths of the characters don't always seem to be in synch. 

I never did understand everything that was going on in the movie - like how did the hanging death of a priest cause the gates of Hell to open?  How does one close said gate?  All I know is that I heard that the gore scenes were some of the best and that Lucio Fulci was a "legend" in the horror genre.  I happened across the DVD years ago while at Best Buy so I thought I'd give it a try.  Watch the trailer and if you have the stomach watch the other two clips.  I warn you however that they aren't for the faint at heart!

Death by drill!

CAUTION!  Click at your own risk!

This is an odd movie.  It's not quite your standard zombie flick.  I'm not sure how to classify it.  It is worth the watch if this type of movie is up your alley.

Monday, October 10, 2011

eTopps offering of the week

I know it seems weird to be so excited over a 1-4 team...but this guy brings so much excitement and hope again to the Panthers!  I was waiting for Cam to be offered in the eTopps program.  His card will be numbered to 1999 and is offered for $7.00.  I haven't mess with eTopps in several years, but this looks like a card that might be worth going after.

So, do you participate in eTopps?  Have you in the past?