Posts from April 2013

Interview: Jason Mewes

Listen to the interview with actor / producer Jason Mewes (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks):
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Need to wake up? Take a lesson from Tall Skinny Matt and use a swivel chair to stretch!

This may not be the BEST way to stretch because he was complaining that the chair kept moving... Excuse us while we work out the details. :P   
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Pain and Gain

Director Michael Bay has a bad reputation.  He's infamous for being a douchbag, a bully, a hack and even an asshole.  His movies are despised by a large percentage of movie hounds because they're everything Hollywood has become in that they never care about substance and as long as things keep moving, blow up, show hot girls and have big A-list casts; people will show up and slap down money for it.  I won't deny any of that for a second but I'll fully admit that I still kind of like the guy.  But Pain and Gain is one of his worst.

The movie is based on the true story about three muclehead gym rats that get the idea to kidnap a rich client, torture him till he signs over all his money and then live the high life.  Things don't go according to plan and people end up dying.  The three murders are played by Mark Walburg, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Real Steel).  The rest of the cast some impressive talent in Tony Shaloub (Men in Black, Cars), Ed Harris (The Rock, Pollock) and Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine, Warm Bodies) but all that supporting talent isn't enough to over shaddow how base and shallow this film is.

They market it as a true story and even stop in a clever and funny way to remind you this is a true story but the truth is that it's what happened but not how.  This is a murder case where two people died and a third was tortured and the "heroes" of this film are serving out their sentences on death row.  These were not good guys and the families of the victims are suing the film for portraying them as fun-loving dudes.  Knowing that before seeing the film may have tainted my impression but I still think that would have lingered in my mind.  True quirky murder stories make for great films but they should never be made at the expense of the victims.  Fargo is a great example of how it can be done perfectly, which is why it won Best Picture.  Pain and Gain was made with zero reguard for anyone's actual feelings.

Johnson has been in a ton of movies and I'm not sure I've enjoyed any of them outside of The Other Guys and Get Smart...probably because he dies early on in each one.  I have nothing against him; he's a throwback to the 'roided-up leading men of the '80s that were larger than life, had limited acting range but looked good holding a gun.  Pain and Gain was the first time I've been really impressed with his acting skills though.  He plays a born again Jesus freak who still struggles with his demons and he plays him earnestly and still manages to be really funny.  Walburg on the other hand has worn out his welcome with me.  After seeing this I'm pretty sure his range consists of talking fast, yelling and being Mark Walburg.  This is some of the most base performing he's done with his career and it makes you realize that it's all been base for quite some time.

You know, Bay may be a douchebag who swung hard with Pain and Gain but struck out, but I still wouldn't write him off as a director.  I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Bad Boys films, The Rock, the first Transformers and even Armageddon.  But the man is no flawless genius and this proves it.  This was a film made to be slick and flashy but instead comes across cold, detached, unfeeling and mostly just stupid.  Maybe at his core that's what Michael Bay is really like, if you listen to the rumors that are out there.  Supposedly they're based on true stories too but told with zero reguard for the victim (him) so he should know how that feels.
Pain and Gaivn  (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: D+
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Director Joseph Kosinski is a lucky man.  He came out of nowhere, complete obscurity; and for his first attempt at directing he was given the highly anticipated Tron: Legacy by Disney.  That was a success and had a decent budget.  For his second attempt, he teams up with Tom Cruise who helps produce and star in Oblivion with a budget considerably bigger than Tron.  Now it's easy to say right there that that makes him lucky but what trumps that is that Oblivion is based on a graph novel that HE wrote!  Only one other time has the author of a graphic novel been allowed to direct the film version of it and that was Frank Miller with Sin City and he didn't even really get to direct (giving him the credit was a nod from the real director, Robert Rodriguez).

Oblivion follows Cruise as he oversees and fixes the giant equipment that is used to suck all the water out of Earth after the last of the remaining humans have left to live in Saturn's moon after a war with aliens destroyed our home planet.  But as things become obvious from almost the opening credits, all is not what it appears to be.  Make no mistake that this is some heavy Science-Fiction and will alienate (no pun intended) some of you.  But those of us that enjoy a little Sci-Fi will feel right at home.

The reason for getting so comfy is Oblivion is because virtually nothing in this film is original.  You can tell that Kosinski is a fan of the genre because Oblivion steals or pays homage (depends on how generous you want to be) to several of Sci-Fi's greatest.  You'll quickly recognize themes or imagery that invoke 2001, Wall-E, Moon, The Matrix, Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, Mad Max...the list can go on and on.  The fact that there are so many allusions makes me think that it is intentional but if you want to be harsh, you can scream at the screen that it's all hack material.

Regardless of how you feel, Oblivion is a gorgeous film.  Although there are FX in almost every shot, it doesn't feel like a film made entirely in a computer.  The scenes on Earth seem like actual locations that you vaguely recognize and what has destroyed them seems very logical.  When you add to that a marvelously composed score of synth pop, sharp details in design and some of the best audio FX I've heard in a while, it makes you realize this is a film that is to be expierenced.  (But maybe that was just because I saw it at the Esquire IMAX Theater...which I highly recommend.)

Be warned though that this is a film that doesn't come together until the final 20 minutes.  Prior to that it meanders and confuses with plot points that come up and are not explained nor logical.  However, when the final act begins it is and although the big "twist" you see coming for miles, it's satisfying and makes Oblivion a film that probably watches much better on a second viewing.

Cruise is great, which he usually is, and is a treat to see in Sci-Fi again.  Say what you will about him on a personal level, the guy is a consistent performer who is intense and present, although everything he's done, for the most part, has been the same role.  Morgan Freeman shows up in a small and silly role and Oscar-winner Melissa Leo gives a warmly sinister performance that is no surprise but easy to enjoy.

I fully plan on watching Oblivion again since it's a film I didn't really enjoy until it was almost over. Movies like that are fun for me because the ending is so good that a second viewing feels like I'm watching it for the first time.  The Usual Suspects was like that for me.  Now, Oblivion doesn't have an ending as shocking or goosebump-enducing as that but it's good enough to make me think and spark conversation afterward; and that's rare for movies now it seems.
Oblivion  (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: B
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Breaking up Through Text

The Wake Up Call talks about whether it's okay to break up with someone through text messaging. Intern Tressa has actually been broken up with through text. Listen to what they think about it!

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Katie Got a Tattoo

Watch video of Katie getting a tattoo in the studio:

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Awesome Acts of Kindness

After Monday's horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon, many stories came out of people stepping up to help out the victims in the midst of all the chaos.

People could be seen running to help others immediately after the first bomb went off. Many marathon runners, who had just completed the race, ran straight to local hospitals to donate blood, just after crossing the finish line. And local Boston residents offered up their homes to people who became stranded after streets were being shut down.

Despite the terrible scene, It seemed like the good stories kept showing up. Actor / comedian Patton Oswalt posted a great comment on to his Facebook page about this, declaring to anyone who would commit such a heinous act that "the good outnumber you, and we always will." You can read his full statement here.

Gavin, however, could not disagree with Patton Oswalt more. Saying that no matter how much good people do, it will never be enough to overtake the affects bad and the apathetic. Listen to him talk about Patton's comments here:

Jason and Katie want you to help prove Gavin wrong by showing him that there is more good in the world than bad. They have started 1079 Awesome Acts of Kindness campaign and are asking people to perform an act of kindness and let the world know by tagging it #1079AwesomeActs on Twitter or sharing it with us on Facebook.

Help us prove Gavin wrong!
Listen to listeners call in to talk about the different awesome acts of kindness they have performed:

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The challenge: Help us prove (to Gavin and others who share his point of view) that there is more GOOD in the world than people actually see!
Jason, Katie, and Tall Skinny Matt came up with the idea of the "107.9 Awesome Acts"! If you do or have done anything that contributes to the world in a positive way...let us know!

Post a comment about your awesome act, then SHARE this photo with your friends, so they can do the same! *You can share your awesome act on the Wake Up Call Interns and 107.9 The End facebook walls or via Twitter and Instagram... just tag #1079AwesomeActs!
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Happy Birthday!!!

This morning, The Wake Up Call wanted to celebrate Tall Skinny Matt and Intern Tressa's birthdays by singing Happy Birthday but didn't want to sing the actual song. Listen to what songs they sang and how they did.

It was amazing! :)

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FREE On Tax Day

Some local businesses are giving away free or discounted items in celebration of Tax Day...

Cinnabon: Two free Cinnaban Bites from 6-8pm

Brueggers :From April 12 through April 15, guests pay just $10.40 (a “deduction” of nearly $3.50 per bundle) at participating locations for their choice of 13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese.

Arby's: Free curly fries or potato cakes on April 15.

White Castle: White Castle is offering a 15 percent discount on orders at all restaurants and online through Tax Day.

Boston Market: Two rib meals for $10.40 on Monday, April 15. No coupon needed. This offer includes a 1/4 rack of St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs with mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet corn and freshly baked cornbread.

Sonic: Half-price drinks and slushies all day on April 15.

Great American Cookies: Free Birthday Cake Cookie on April 15.

Listen to the Wake Up Call talk about the local businesses that are giving away free or discounted items...
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