DVD Worth Buying… The Astronaut Farmer

The Astronaut Farmer on DVDWhen we saw this movie back in April, both Jen & I really enjoyed it, and I thought it would be one we would at least watch again, if not purchase on DVD. Well, it came across my Netflix new releases feed today, and I thought I’d let you know.

For a recap of the movie (and more) check my previous post linked above. To purchase the DVD (and support Greg’s Head at the same time…) click on the DVD. πŸ™‚

From The Earth To The Moon

We just finished watching “From the Earth to the Moon”, an HBO mini-series, and it was fantastic. The language was too much for our tiny kids (and, well, I didn’t like it much either…) but the story form of this incredible time in history was very well done. It’s 12 parts on 4 discs. And, it’s great! πŸ™‚ We highly recommend.

The one very cool thing I noticed was just how many people it took to make that happen. They did a great job of conveying that. From the 3 astronauts per mission each having vital, essential roles, to their fourth astronaut (Mission Control in Houston, which was a couple dozen MORE people who were each vital to the mission) … it was all about team work. It could not have happened without all of those people.

And of course you can go beyond that… lots more people involved, including the companies who made the stuff that got us to the moon, and all of the people that worked together to make that happen.

It was just very obvious that even though only 24 men made the trip to the moon (so far), it was hundreds, maybe thousands? who made it possible. Life is not meant to be lived alone, and you certainly can’t do super cool things like go hang out on the moon by yourself! It was a cool, vivid example of team work in action.

So, if foul language is offensive, perhaps you can borrow someone’s TV Guardian… but it’s an amazing reenactment of history. Incredible history. Add it to your Netflix queue today!

(A little side note. As you are probably aware, I am a big fan of space exploration. I really believe that NASA is getting ready to do this again. We don’t have a “Cold War” to fuel public interest as much as in the 60s, but we are going to do some pretty amazing things in the next decade or two. In the coming decade, NASA plans to go back to the moon… and set up camp there. In the 2010s (and into the 20s) NASA is planning to send people to MARS. It could be much the same as July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong first put his boot on the moon. Stay tuned…)

Church Ball

Church BallThis past week I happened to see a movie called Church Ball come across my NetFlix new release feed. The title alone is pretty funny, but the description was even more intriguing:

Fred Willard stars as a bishop intent on pulling together a winning team for his soon-to-disappear church basketball league in this comedy from Mormon filmmaker Kurt Hale. Included among the players on the ragtag squad are an Uzbek immigrant, an overweight baker and (most oddly of all) the diminutive Gary Coleman, who serves as the center for the team.

Believe it or not, though it was corny at some spots, it’s a pretty funny movie! We watched it with the boys and they loved it. It might be funnier to anyone who has been around “church”… so, since we have, we thought it was funny. πŸ™‚

If you like silly movies, add it to the queue today!


Goal! The Dream BeginsWell I just finished watching the movie, “Goal! The Dream Begins” I had gotten it from the library last year around the World Cup time… but never got around to watching it. I saw the preview and thought it looked worth the watch… and had even planned on watching with my boys, who had really been enjoying the World Cup matches until I saw it was PG-13. So, with no time to watch, and probably stuff the boys needn’t see at 7 and 4… I passed.

But I had the chance to move it to the top of the ol’ Netflix queue this past week, and I am so glad I did!

Sometimes I fall asleep during movies. Or at least nod off. As you can tell from the time stamp on this article… I did not fall asleep, nor am I even sleepy! It was a great sports movie with your classic sports ending. But you don’t get there the classic way. It’s a great story of perseverence, character, dreams, and some great soccer, to boot! πŸ™‚

There are a few moments that make it PG-13, but for adults I highly recommend. Highly.

One thing I noticed in the flick… there’s a strained relationship between the father and the son. They love each other but see life differently. So, I think maybe a while back I might have seen myself as the son (actually not saying anything about my dad, or our relationship… though it’s pretty true that we see life differently!) but now with four kids of my own, and them all growing up and stuff… I think I identify with the dads of movies. The main character was the son, and I think the emotions you feel with/for him… I was putting my son in his place, and just hoping that I can love and encourage my son to pursue the dreams God has placed in his heart. I think he will… I just found it interesting how I’ve definitely accepted my place as “the dad”.

So… to bed for me, since we’ve some friends comin’ for a bit o’ chill and grill in the late mornin’, and before they arrive I need to mow the lawn. It’s a bit shaggy.

Check your local library… put it in your Netflix queue… download it from iTunes. If you like sports movies, soccer, and just great stories… check out “GOAL! The Dream Begins”.

(And I saw tonight that “GOAL II: Living The Dream” will hit theaters Sep 2nd, 2007! Gotta love it…) πŸ™‚


Astronaut FarmerLast night I took my wife out for dinner and a movie. We had a nice sandwich at Arby’s (we rarely, if ever, go there so it was a special treat) and then we went to the “Dollar Theater” (we call it that) and watched the movie “Astronaut Farmer“.

The plot is pretty simple… a guy dreams of going into space all of his life – enough to build his own rocket (he’s smart…) – and then everyone in his town calls him crazy, and tries to squash/stop his differentness. Even the federal government steps in and tries to put down this “dreamer”. Some of the story was predictible, but actually, there were many moments in the movie that surprised me. It was just a great story of a guy who didn’t give up on his dream, and who loved his family (and whose family loved him) and… it was just great.

I told Jen as we were leaving that there were “so many parts of that movie that I identified with.” From the guy being a husband and a dad, to him taking his kids out of school to “home school” for a while, to mostly the part where he’s different from everyone else, and not afraid to dream and do things that are bigger than most might attempt. The very clear pciture painted of the goverment (from the FBI to the FAA to even Child Protective Services) was that they (the experts) know best, and everyone else should just get in line. I know that’s just a broad-brush approach, and not every individual thinks that way, but that was the one part of the movie that left me a little sad. That is definitely the direction we have chosen to go as a country, as a culture, and it will lead to our eventual demise.

(Those were strong words, but I did say “eventual”…) πŸ™‚

I highly recommend the movie. Click the movie poster above to view the trailer. And I recommend that you don’t give up on your dreams. No matter how you might have failed, no matter what other people tell you about it… just do it. It was a cool, inspiring movie, and a great message. You are you. Do what you do, baby! (NFL fans will catch that reference…) πŸ™‚

Where Has The Time Gone?

This has been a stange week.

It started (as every fall weekend begins) with a Bills game on Sunday, followed by some show prep, followed by the recording the Buffalo Bills Review, followed by (a little later) a few hours of editing and updating websites. My Sundays are usually 9am or so to 5am or so. Yikes.

So then I had scheduled a meeting to help a client with some nagging e-mail issues for Monday morning at 10:00am in Rochester. (Only time she could do it.) That meant I had to get up at 8:30 at the latest. I did. I was very confused when the alarm sounded. πŸ™‚ I made it there at a reasonable time, and continued with a normal Monday from then on.

By the time Monday night rolled around, I decided to watch the first of the three X-Men movies … starting at Midnight. Yes folks, working on just under four hours of sleep, I popped in a movie just after midnight. Fascinating. But, the good thing is, I liked the movie, so I made it through all but 30 minutes of that. I awoke at 4am to the main menu screen playing the sound effect over and over again. That was fun.

Tuesday began at around 8:37 when I woke up and, staring at the clock, remembered that Ian has a piano lesson at 9:00am on Tuesdays. He was still sleeping. We all were. So, Jen got up and took him to his final 9am lesson. πŸ™‚ (We had to change that…)

By this point, after a full weekend, a full week prior (it was Alex’s birthday week!) and now these two crazy days, I felt like it was already the middle of NEXT WEEK. Certainly not just Tuesday!. It was a full day in the office Tuesday, working on some stuff for a bunch of new clients, as well as continued maintainence for current clients… lots of fun.

Oh! Add to this that I have been posting a ton of stuff this week to the Bills website. Lots of Bills fans are not so happy with the Bills loss at Chicago, so I have been doing my civil duty as a Bills fan with a blog on the Bills website, and performing some fairly intense damage control. Stop by and check it out if you like.

Probably the coolest part was when I decided to start watching X2 last night at about 11:45. Especially knowing that the movie was roughly two hours, AND that I play basketball at 8am on Wednesdays. Yeah. That was cool. πŸ™‚

So, after a 7:30am wake up this morning (following probably a 3:30am bedtime last night)… I’m a bit tired, and unfocused. You’re probably picking that up from the barrage (or, is it barage, like, garage?) of blog postings today on random topics of nothigness? πŸ™‚

I have one more movie to watch tonight… and no reason to awake before 9:30 tomorrow morning. So… perhaps I’ll get a little sleep starting tomorrow morning.

We’ll see.

I really just need to figure out a way to add about 6 or 7 more hours to each day. I could use about a 30 hour day, I’d say… πŸ™‚

Books & Blogs vs. Movies & TV

I haven’t ever landed on a firm position or any sort of “stance” on what I think of TV or movies or that sort of entertainment medium. I enjoy it. I don’t like current TV. Most any TV we watch is via Netflix DVDs of cool shows from the 80s and 90s. Lots of Star Trek for the wife and I. (That was awesome. Not sure I’ve ever used the phrase, but it just kind of flowed freely from my fingers there… “The wife and I”…) Movies? Jen could care less… I go in spurts, to be sure. We only see 1 or 2 in the theater per year.

Yes, he said year.

But for some reason, often times visual media (like TV and movies) and printed media (which is arguably still “visual”) are mutually exclusive for me. I’m either reading, and usually writing, or… I’m watching movies. Right now, it’s movies.

Last night I finished X-Men 2. At the recommendation of a friend who saw the third X-Men movie in the theater this year, I decided to watch the triology once the X3 movie was out on DVD. It is, so I got two from the library, and one from Netflix (the latest one) and watched the first on Monday night, the second last night, and will conclude the trilogy tonight. I like watching multi-part movies that way. I watched Lord of The Rings that way, and the Matrix. There’s definitely more apparent symmetry to the plot and everything if you watch it all at once. At least I think so…

Last week I watched Batman Begins. Saw it on the DVD shelf at the library and figured I’d give it a try. It was good. Liked seeing the “behind the scenes” look at Batman. πŸ™‚

So.. I know it’s just a matter of a limited amount of time to do stuff, but I just find it odd that I’m either all TV related media and no books/print or… vice versa. I imagine it won’t be long before I’m back to books. Problem is, I’m really quite busy juggling a BUNCH of different little things at the moment… it’s hard to really give time to anything extra like that.

Recently though, there have been a few nice books I’ve been picking up. I have been reading a book about the Spanish-American War (late 19th century) called “Turning Point For America”. Fascinating. I think history is even more fascinating as an adult because I have seen history unfold (our “current events”) and so I can relate more to the stories of what happened in the past. It really is not all that different from what is going on today, with our current “war on terror”.

In addition to that book, I have enjoyed a series with my boys called “Stories to Solve”. They’re little two or three page stories involving clever riddles or tricksters, and the writer poses the question to the reader at the end of each one… “So how did [insert amazing outcome here] happen???” The boys love it, and I love reading with them. πŸ™‚

So, the media consumption continues. As time allows I might post more thoughts one the specific shows/books as time goes on. Stay tuned for more… I’ve only just begun today….