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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Movie Reviews by Stevie Mack: "Drag Me to Hell"

Written by Sam and Ivan Raimi, “Drag Me to Hell” centers on a loan officer (Lohman) who is ordered to evict an old woman from her home and soon finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse, which turns her life into a living hell. Desperate, she turns to a psychic to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

This was classic Sam Raimi! If you are fan of the "Evil Dead" and "Army of Darkness" franchise, then you're in for a treat. "Drag Me to Hell" has all the horror movie gore and sudden clashes of noise one would expect from its genera.

The comedy elements add to the film and I feel it makes the gore a little more palatable, just a little. We are taken into the running story of the main character's (Alison Lohman) life, relationship (Justin Long) and work..then the haunting, all at the same time. That's what makes for good story telling; we are made to feel for the character and loath the character all at the same time. The special FX were used at all the right times, nothing to write home about, just a good old fashioned scary movie..I loved it!

~ Stevie Mack

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stevie Mack and Wife Cycling the Marvin Braude Bike Trail

I started serious bike riding (cycling) back in 1991 as a means of transportation. But, once I got into driving cars, the cycling fell off. That was years ago.

I've been cycling more these days, not quite as much as back in the 90's, which was every day back then, but a lot compared to ...well, none at all. Although I've been posting on facebook every time I ride, I really just started logging it on my wall calendar and decided this is also a good time to start blogging about it.

Recently I started cycling not for transportation, but for health. Last year I purchased a Nishiki 10 speed and started cycling on the Marvin Braude bike trail at Venice Beach, CA. I normally get my bike on my bike rack and drive out to the beach every Saturday morning for a lazy 10 mile ride from Venice Beach to Malibu (where the bike trail ends) and back to Venice.

Last week I started a different approach; I began keeping my bike on the back of my car at all times, so no matter what day it was, I'd be ready to roll at any given minute. As A result, I cycled my regular 10 miles on Sat. May 16th, but then was able to cycle 12 miles on Mon, May 18th, 10 miles Wed, May 20th and 10 miles Sat. May 23rd. That's a whopping 42 miles a week! 32 miles more than I normally ride.

I can feel the muscles in my legs growing stronger with each trip. I also started riding different routes, this introduces new terrains to my muscles, gotta' shake up the game a little to keep it interesting. My wife started cycling with me recently, which is really great because it gives us time with each other in an activity that enhances our quality of life.
Here's a video I made while cycling in December 2008:

Movie Reviews by Stevie Mack: "Terminator Salvation"

"Terminator Salvation" is the fourth installment to the "Terminator" series, which is one of the highest-grossing R-rated franchises of all time. The first three films grossed more than a whopping $1.03 billion worldwide.

Action packed and full of great FX, I had the pleasure of watching this movie in the Directors Hall at the Bridge Cinema Deluxe in Culver City/Westchester/Mar Vista....where the hell is this place? They are actually listed in the LA Times as being in West LA.

They gave us a great cameo from Terminator's past and some new high end marvels. The special FX borrowed a few items from a combination of films, which was good, because they took only the best parts of "Transformers" and "War of the Worlds" to ad a little delight to our sci fi palette. This movie was highly anticipated and I can see why. What a great addition to the Terminator franchise!
~ Stevie Mack

Movie Reviews by Stevie Mack: "Felon"

This movie surprised me with how authentic it was to the prison culture. I got more than I bargained for and Val Kilmer played his role to a tee! Hold on to your hat, you're in for a wild ride!
The vicarious and voyeur aspects were on point, but the visceral left one wondering, because there are a lot of distinct factors that would have had to come into play to make the perfectly timed ending events culminate the way they did. But you will enjoy this flick non-the-less. Great movie!

Movie Reviews by Stevie Mack: "Seven Pounds"

Finally watched "Seven Pounds" this week. This movie played almost like a psychological thriller. It was definitely a mystery that unraveled before my very eyes. I kind of figured out the ending about a third of the way through the film, but it still was a great ending. Will Smith was superb as usual, as was Rosario Dawson. This is a movie I'm sure you will enjoy...if you haven't already seen it.