Archive for February, 2013

Movie Review: Here Comes the Boom

February 19, 2013

This low-budget comedy was at our dollar theater a week or so ago.  My wife and I shrugged and went in…

…and came out pleasantly surprised.

The Good:

Kevin James did a yeoman’s job in his role as the earnest and likable “big guy” who is trying to help a fellow teacher keep his job.  Anyone who’s seen a Kevin James comedy won’t be surprised, as the jokes and setups are pretty familiar.  But it’s his chemistry with all his fellow co-stars (Bas Rutten, Henry Winkler, and Salma Hayek) that sparks a genuinely warm-hearted comedy.

Another positive was the accuracy of the Mixed Martial Arts training and training environment.  Many MMA stars made cameos and Bas Rutten was, although over-the-top, a pleasant surprise.  I actually met Bas in person and he told me I did an impression of him better than he did himself!  He was going to demo a liver kick to me but I graciously bowed out. 🙂

This movie was rated PG, and really was a clean PG.  I think there were only two or three swear words.  Salma Hayek must have enjoyed her role immensely, as it did not involve any nudity/sexuality and brought out her comedic talents.  The scene where she resets Kevin’s shoulder was good comedy.

The fight scenes were riveting or funny, or both.  Yes, there was violence, but anyone but the most sensitive would see that it was done tastefully.  Henry Winkler stole the show as a well-meaning but terribly out-of-place corner man.

Kevin James’ brother was a deeper-than expected secondary character.

The UFC climax was done quite well.  It gave the audience an idea of what it would feel like to come out and compete in that venue.

Bonus:  Jack White song in the opening scene.

The Bad:

Jiu Jitsu wasn’t even mentioned!  They didn’t even go over the guard.  At least they attempted to explain an armbar, in a scene where Selma asks Kevin why he taps out like a wuss when the other guy was just holding his hand.

The Ugly:

Nothing ugly in this family-friendly comedy.  Solid three stars out of four.  Definitely worth a Redbox rental.

Why It’s Important to have a Car Kit

February 10, 2013

Stranded for hours on a snow-covered road, Priscilla Arena prayed, took out a sheet of loose-leaf paper and wrote what she thought might be her last words to her husband and children.

The article describes how hundreds of cars (and four wheel drive vehicles) were stranded in the snow.  Even snowplows couldn’t keep going.  Only snowmobiles could make it through.

Victims of the snowstorm waited helplessly in their cars for rescue overnight.  How much nicer their night could have been with some extra blankets, some handwarmers, a 36 hour candle or two, LED lantern and a good book to read.  Oh, and some hot cocoa.  For a great car kit, see this site on Doug Ritter’s most excellent Equipped to Survive

Snow shovels (climbing ones, super light and small) are a must when travelling in snowstorms.  You will need to keep your car from becoming buried and keep the exhaust clear.  Run the car at least 10 minutes every hour to keep the battery charged and the car semi-warm.  Cracking a window is unnecessary during a short idle.  Use the window-crack technique if you are using a combustible to heat the car.  Alcohol stoves or candles are all I would try inside a car, except white gas or butane stoves could work, but put something under the stove to prevent a car fire.  Don’t ever leave a combustible unattended in the car.

Use handwarmers to stay cozy while sleeping.  Put out all candles.  Place a strip of flagging tape on the antenna to indicate to rescuers you are inside and need rescue.  Use an alarm to get up every hour to clear away snow/run the car.