Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This Relationship Corner: Sharing Interests

Here's an important little tip for a thriving long-term relationship or marriage. It helps, a lot, if the two of you share some common interests. While you don't have to do everything together, your passions should intersect somewhere. You two are building a life together, and it's much easier to build if you two are operating with a similar set of blueprints. For example, if both of you love making blueprints.

I mentioned last week that a strong couple culture can help build an enduring relationship. Part of building this culture is sharing activities that give you mutual experiences. Events that happened when you two went snorkeling or skydiving together will help you build your couple shorthand and speak in your couple code that no one else can understand. When you lack mutual experiences, you don't get that chance to create as much of your shared code.

Monday, February 27, 2012

How I Met Your Mother: "Karma"

Quick Review: Wow. I have never been so impressed by an episode in a good, long time.

 Episode Synopsis: Despite the bare facts being revealed about Quinn's exotic profession, Barney realizes he has feelings for the young lady and sets out to win her over. Meanwhile, Lily and Marshall welcome Robin to the suburbs and Ted wonders what to do about Robin's empty room. -tvguide

 Spoilers ahead, so watch the episode before you proceed. Of course, you are free to proceed without viewing the episode, but then don't whine to me about spoilers. Anyway, I've got to get back to smoking some meat.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Six More Parody Movies that can Stand on Their Own

The trouble with a lot of parody movies is that they’re very context specific. They spoof specific pop culture trends that most people won’ even remember six months later. The years are not kind to those parody movies, and watching them is like pulling up an old Tonight Show monologue from 15 years ago.

You get that it’s supposed to be funny, but you have no idea why anyone’s laughing. (Unless it’s a Bill Clinton joke – those are timeless.)

The good news is that there are plenty of parody movies that transcend time, not needing an audience up to date on the latest pop culture. The best parodies are able to appeal to those who can appreciate the spoof of the source material, and to those who have no clue what’s being spoofed. If the movie is well-written and funny enough, it’s sometimes easy to forget that it’s a parody at all, which is the case for many of the movies listed below.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Relationship Corner: Couple Culture

If you hang around a couple long enough you'll start to pick up on certain habits and quirks they possess. They'll have cute nicknames for each other, they might whisper something and laugh for no apparent reason, or they've got an elaborate ritual between the two of them that would leave a team of anthropologists scratching their heads. As a couple bonds, the two create their own couple culture, and it's more than just an annoying side effect all their single friends have to put up with. It's essential for that couple's survival.

Couple culture is one of those things that only makes sense when you're in a couple. On the outside, it's hard to make sense of the hows and whys of what a couple is doing. Once you become a part of a couple, though, you'll understand and appreciate it as you, too, start to develop these rituals and habits. Today I'll try to explain what it is, why it's happening, and why it matters.

Monday, February 20, 2012

How I Met Your Mother: "No Pressure"

Quick Review: This is season 4 in all the right ways. 

Episode Synopsis: Ted rocks Robin with a personal declaration about how he feels about her. Meanwhile, Barney tries to dig up some personal dirt on Lily and Marshall. -tvguide

 Spoilers ahead, so watch the episode before you proceed. Of course, you are free to proceed without viewing the episode, but then don't whine to me about spoilers. This reminds me of a bet I could make with my wife. Someone's going to whine about spoilers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Relationship Corner: What Makes a Good Wedding

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone, and for many couples that means one thing: they've transitioned from a normal dating couple to that annoying engaged couple who won't shut up about the wedding. Yes, every single pair of you are annoying. I should know, I was once part of that proud, obnoxious tradition.

I understand why you can't shut up about it. This is going to be the biggest day of your life, a day that forever defines you, a day that will begin a lifelong journey with your partner, your spouse, your better half. The one person Spousal Privilege says can't testify against you. This will be a day you and everyone else will remember for the rest of your lives. It's kind of a big deal.

You may recall that the last time I wrote about weddings I seemed to dismiss them. Given that the article was titled "The Wedding Isn't Important" and I referred to the wedding as "the least important day in your marriage," you might assume that I'm anti-wedding. I'm not. True, I stand by every word I wrote (even the typos) because it wasn't anti-wedding. It was against wrong priorities with the wedding, putting all your effort into that one day and not realizing that you need to but that much effort and more into planning all the days after. It was against poor priorities.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How I Met Your Mother: "The Drunk Train"

Quick Review: Here we go again. One step forward, two steps back. 

Episode Synopsis: While joining Lily and Marshall on a Valentine's Day getaway to Vermont, Robin and Kevin entertain the notion of taking their relationship to another level. Meanwhile, a blind date provides Barney with an eye-opening revelation. -tvguide 

Spoilers ahead, so watch the episode before you proceed. Of course, you are free to proceed without viewing the episode, but why would you? What, you think you're better than me?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Six Best DCU Animated Movies

There’s a lot of attention about the big comic book movies coming out this summer. We’ve got The Avengers, The Amazing Spiderman, and The Dark Knight Rises, all hoping to be the biggest summer blockbuster the world has ever seen. I admit, I’m very excited and plan to see all of them, and I suspect many of you are as well. However, if you think that big-budget blockbusters are the only place to get your superhero movie fix, you’re wrong.

Since 2007 DC has released a dozen fantastic animated movies that blow many live action productions out of the water. Part of the reason these are so good is that they are based on stories that would never be filmed, either due to budgetary concerns or fear that they wouldn’t have a wide enough box-office appeal. Even if they were green-lighted, odds are that they would have so much studio interference (see Green Lantern) that the result would be a watered-down version of what could have been great.

Monday, February 6, 2012

How I Met Your Mother: "The Burning Beekeeper"

Quick Review: A welcome return to form, evoking the narrative style of the classic episode 'Brunch.'

Episode Synopsis: Lily asks for her father's help when she and Marshall decide to throw a housewarming party; Marshall's boss gets under Ted's skin and the two nearly come to blows; and Barney puts the moves on a wacky divorcée.

Spoilers ahead, so watch the episode before you proceed. Of course, you are free to proceed without viewing the episode, but then don't whine to me about spoilers. I'll just point and laugh at you.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Finding God in Wrath of Khan

Any self-respecting geek can look at this picture and not only tell you what movie it comes from, but also the specific scene and the exact line of dialogue. If they're really geeky, they'll re-enact the performance.

Today I'm talking about the best of all the Star Trek movies - Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. You have the right to disagree, but that's like saying that The Empire Strikes Back isn't the best Star Wars film. Wrath of Khan is the film all other Star Trek films want to be, up to and including the 2009 reboot. It's understandable, given how great it is, as it succeeds in not only being a good Star Trek movie, but in being a good movie.

As a geek, I love this movie. As a Christian, I also love this movie because tucked within gratuitous shots of Ricardo Montalban's galactic pecs are spiritual truths straight out of the Bible. I truly see God speaking through this movie. (But, no, he's not asking for a starship. Everyone knows God doesn't need a starship.) Today I'm going to take a look at the many Biblical lessons found in this movie.

Oh, there's spoilers galore below, so don't stab at me from Hell's heart if I give something away. You were warned.

Friday, February 3, 2012

This Review of: The Woman in Black

Quick Review: Though a by-the-numbers affair, it's moody setting, strong lead, and good scares make it worth seeing if you're looking for something spooky.

Full Review: It's hard to predict whether someone will find a movie scary. One movie may be scary to you, while the person you're watching it with finds it boring and not at all frightening. Horror, like comedy, is subjective, and it's often better to stick with a particular style than try to appeal to a broad audience.

The Woman in Black succeeds because it knows what kind of horror movie it wants to be, a gothic horror light on gore, heavy on suspense and atmosphere. This might not be everyone's cup of tea, some of you might not even like tea, but it's good tea, and that's where I'll end the metaphor. It's based on the novel by Susan Hill, which had previously been adapted into stage play and TV-movie.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This Relationship Corner: Why you need Romance

Men, today's article is mainly aimed at you. I feel the need to let you know that Valentine's Day is fast approaching. You have a little less than two weeks to get it together and act like you had it figured out all along. There's still time to get her (or him) something special and make it a memorable day. Don't say I never look out for you.

Now, I can hear some of you responding already. "It's just a made-up holiday" is probably the main crux of your argument. And I concede that Valentines Day as it is now is pretty made up, no doubt influenced by the dastardly union of Hollywood and Hallmark. This knowledge, you argue, gets you out of having to made a big to-do over Valentine's Day. For that, I have this answer:

No it doesn't. Celebrate it anyway.