January 18, 2009

Hallstrom's Log, Earth Date January 18, 2009

Snow continues to fall outside the house on this cold January day. I just finished watching a video with Abby on this lazy, Sunday afternoon. One thing that we both share is a common love for movies. We love to watch a vast array of different types of movies together. Sometimes we disagree on what to watch, but for the most part we watch and enjoy the same types of films. Today, we watched the Al Pacino and Robert De Niro film, "Righteous Kill."  

Some of the movies that we disagree on are movies that I love to watch--horror, comic book, action and science fiction movies. I try to get her to watch some of them by telling her that some of the things are so good that they are big, box-office champions such as "Iron Man," for example. Others, she will voluntarily want to see because some of her friends liked the movie, i.e. "The Dark Knight." It frustrates me sometimes that she doesn't want to see some of the movies that I want to watch, and I sometimes have to put off watching them so that I can appease her and spend time with her.

There are a lot of movies that I am looking forward to seeing in 2009. 

One of the first films I am looking forward to seeing is "Watchmen," which is based on a graphic novel by Alan Moore and comes out in early March. I have not yet had the chance to read this book but many in the comics community praise it as being one of the all-time great graphic novels. From what I have seen from the special effects and seen from features on t.v. shows, the movie looks pretty awesome and supposedly stays true to the theme of the book like "Sin City" did. I doubt that Abby would want to see this film purely because it is a so-called geek film.

The next film I want to see if "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Now, being such a huge Buckeye, the only Wolverine that I can stand is a mutant comic character. This is another film that I don't think that my wife will see with me. She did make an effort to watch the third X-Men film with me on DVD so I have to give her points for that. But, her not being a comic fan, I doubt she would be able to keep her interest in the film.

The following week, the next film I am anticipating will be released. It is J.J. Abrams' new vision of the "Star Trek" franchise. I will admit, that I am a huge Trekker. I am not as big as one to put on the uniforms every weekend and go to conventions and such, but I am indeed a fan. The franchise created by Gene Roddenberry has inspired me over the years and driven my imagination. I am looking forward to the film, which looks to have spectacular effects and utilizes original Spock actor Leonard Nimoy in a cameo role to tie the film to the original series. It will also tell the story of how the "Original Seven" Enterprise crew members first came together. I am sure that I will not like some of what Abrams is going to change with his story but I am glad that a new Star Trek adventure is coming out. Abby probably will not see this with me as she won't even attempt to watch the older films with me on DVD.

Later in May, "Terminator Salvation" will be released. Starring Christian Bale of Batman fame, the story continues the adventures of John Connor, only this time, the story takes place after Judgment Day and shows the adult John leading humanity in a fight against the machines. This is one that Abby might watch with me because together we watch Fox's "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles."

In early June, Will Ferrell's "Land of the Lost" comes out. Although they are changing a lot of what I loved from watching the 80's/90's version, I am looking forward to returning to the land and watching the humans fight the evil Sleestaks along with avoiding hungry dinosaurs and befriending primates. This is one that Abby will probably see with me because we both love Will Ferrell films and are sure that this will be a hilarious movie.

At the end of June, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" comes out. The story is a sequel to the Transformers film that came out a couple of years ago. I am just thrilled that it will be hitting the screens and I hope that there is more of a focus on the robots rather than the human characters. I am hoping that things that have appeared online are true and that we'll see the combiner-robot Devestator on the screen. Also, giant robots destroying things always makes for enjoyable good times. I would say that it would be 50/50 that Abby watches this one with me because she did see the first film with me but I don't know if she truly enjoyed it.

In mid-July, the delayed "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" finally hits the screen. This series was first introduced to me after I began dating Abby and she got me into reading the books so I am sure both of us are looking forward to this film. This is the next-to-last story of the Harry Potter books but there will be two films remaining as they are making the final book into two films. 

In August, the biggest movie that I am looking forward to is scheduled to be released. That movie is "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra." G.I. Joe was my favorite toys to have as a child. I loved watching the series on t.v. and read the comic books. Until late summer of 2007, I kept most of my G.I. Joe toys in my aunt's basement. I sold them on eBay before we moved into our house so that we could have some money to pay on some credit cards that we had huge debt on. I still have my comic collection and the G.I. Joe titles are hot right now, including the rare final issue, which I own. Right now, it is worth $85 ungraded and I am hoping to eventually have it graded and sold for much more one day. G.I. Joe was a favorite as a child because I was a Navy brat and grew up on and around military bases. I am hoping that the movie stays somewhat faithful to the comic but from some of the casting decisions already made, I can see that they are changing a lot in terms of the appearances of some of the characters. Regardless, I still have high hopes for this film and hope that the film delivers. I doubt Abby will want to see this with me but we shall see.

In October, one of my favorite books to read as a kid becomes a big-screen movie.  That book is "Where The Wild Things Are." The book was a great read with tremendous artwork that blew my seven-year-old mind. To this day, it still blows me away. Abby will probably see this with me as she is an early-childhood teacher, yet she has admitted to me that she still has never read the book. She does have a toy of one of the creatures in her classroom and got the Hallmark ornament at the post-Christmas sale.

These are just some of the big films that I am stoked to see this year. I am sure others will be released the pique my interest and I will see them together with my wife. I am sure that "He's Just Not That Into You" will become our Valentine's movie to see this year.

January 7, 2009

Hallstrom's Log, Earth Date January 7, 2009

Well, it was a great game, but the Buckeyes ended up losing the Fiesta Bowl to Texas 24-21. The Buckeyes and Longhorns played a defensive game for the first half with the Buckeyes going to the locker room with a 6-3 lead. After a tough 3rd quarter where the Longhorns' no-huddle offense wore out the Buckeye defense, the Buckeyes charged back in the 4th quarter. A new play with Todd Boeckman at QB and Terrelle Pryor as a receiver got the Buckeyes close. The out-going former starter, Boeckman, lofted a jump pass touchdown reception to the freshman star, who stood taller than the defensive back defending him. Later, the Buckeyes took the lead with just over two minutes left to play. It was a great power run by "Boom" Herron. The Buckeyes then had to play defense against the heralded Texas offense. The defense played tough and the Longhorns converted a first down. On the subsequent play, the Buckeyes decided to blitz most everyone and play the receivers man-to-man. Colt McCoy hooked up with his receiver, who slipped Anderson Russell's tackle attempt and ran into the end zone for the go-ahead score with 16 seconds left on the clock. Jubilation went to disappointment for Buckeye fans once again.

I was proud of how tough the Buckeyes played in the Fiesta Bowl. They didn't collapse after getting down in the 3rd quarter. They fought and fought and showed great perseverance. While they lost, they showed that they are heading in the right direction and things look promising heading into the 2009 season, which kicks off with a game against Navy followed by a re-match with USC.

The national critics still won't get off the Buckeyes' backs, but hopefully next year the team will respond and shut them up.

Go Bucks!

January 4, 2009

Hallstrom's Log, Earth Date January 4, 2009

My wife convinced me today to start a blog saying that she felt it would be good for me to have an outlet to express myself. So, I finally agreed and she helped me to create this page.  

As I am getting ready to turn 30 next month, I feel that I should be more introspective about my life and share my thoughts and opinions. It's weird that I am getting ready to celebrate such a big milestone. I feel younger than I am. In some ways, I'm still a kid at heart.  

There's a lot that I want to talk about on this blog including general thoughts on life, thoughts about The Ohio State University Buckeyes and other things.

To start things off, I am looking forward to tomorrow's OSU game against Texas in the Fiesta Bowl. This is OSU's fifth bowl game since 2003 in Arizona and I have yet to venture out there to support them. I am jealous of all the people who are able to afford such trips. It has been since I was a student that I was able to afford to go to a bowl game and I miss the fun and exciting times that I used to have as a student. As a student, I got to attend the OSU vs. Texas A&M game in the 1999 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and I got to go to the 2002 Outback Bowl in Tampa to see OSU take on South Carolina. They were fun trips that I got to attend with friends and fellow Buckeye fans.  

I am hoping that the Buckeyes can prove their national critics wrong and finally win a big, prime-time game. I hope that the Buckeyes can beat the Longhorns to take a 2-1 advantage in their series that started in 2005 and 2006. I had the opportunity as an usher to see the 2005 game in person at Ohio Stadium and it was a classic showdown with Vince Young, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, guiding his team to a victory against the Buckeyes in a late drive. The next year, I watched on television as Troy Smith, the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner, lead OSU to a victory over the Longhorns in their stadium. This game possibly features two future Heisman trophy winners in Colt McCoy and Terrelle Pryor. It will be interesting to see what happens. Both sides concede that Texas has yet to face a defense as good as OSU has and both sides admit that the OSU defense has yet to face an offense as good as Texas. I think that the OSU defense will give up some big plays but overall should be able to slow Texas' high-powered offense. I think that Texas' defense will give up more big plays to OSU's offense including a huge running game led by Chris "Beanie" Wells. I think that Texas will be worried about trying to stop Pryor's running ability and not blitz as much, giving Pryor plenty of time to look for his receivers down field. Hopefully, that will lead to OSU utilizing their tight ends more than in the past and hit some short pass plays that will lead to big YACs (yards after completion).  

We will see what happens, but I always try to remain optimistic going into the games. It's only when the game goes downhill that I start to really worry.  

Anyhow, that ends my first blog. Hopefully my next blog will be upbeat in nature with a Buckeye victory.

Go Bucks!