Friday, February 24, 2012

Pop Culture Roundup

So after months of picking it up, putting it down, reading a chapter and then not touching it for a week or more, I finally finished This Odd and Wondrous Calling. This is what happens when I no longer have 7-9 hours every weekend just to read while rocking Coffeeson during his naps. I wasn't too excited to read it at first, as I felt oversaturated by ministry books at that point, but by the time I finished it I was glad to have taken the time.

We watched Thor the other week, starring Chris Hemsworth as the title character, banished to Earth after being deemed too hot-headed and arrogant to succeed his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) as king of their realm. He spends some time as a human and hanging out with a few scientists, including love interest Natalie Portman. Eventually it is revealed that Thor's brother Loki is up to no good, and the other warriors from his realm need to help get him out of exile. Then, of course you have to stick around after the credits for yet another scene teasing the upcoming Avengers movie. This film was as visually stunning as any I can recall watching recently, and it had a nice balance of drama, action, and laughs. Those behind this long-term Avengers-related planning have been doing their jobs well: they haven't been skimping or rushing anything, instead electing to make each of these installments very high quality. We just need to watch Captain America now and we'll be all set for this summer.

We also watched Breaking Dawn, Part 1 because Coffeewife bought it the day it came out on DVD and made me watch it. Edward and Bella get married, they go off on their honeymoon, Bella gets pregnant, everybody freaks out. The movie becomes a pro-life/pro-choice debate through arguments over Bella's health and ability to handle a vampiric pregnancy. I'll give it to them that the movies seem to improve in direction and style. It doesn't make up for some of the acting and Bella's continued love-bubble tunnel vision. There were some good laughs as well, none of them by the main characters. Par for the course.

WWE Elimination Chamber was this past weekend, featuring two matches that give the pay-per-view its name. In said matches, six guys enter a big round steel cage structure. Four are locked in pods while the other two start the match, then in regular intervals another guy is randomly selected to exit his pod. You're eliminated by pin or submission. Clear enough? Okay. The other big deal about these matches is that they're world title matches: the two World Champions defend their belts in these things. Both made it through, but we pretty well knew who they're going to be facing at Wrestlemania that night anyway. Predictably, John Cena won his match against Kane as well.

We've been watching most episodes of the new season of NY Ink, where Ami has new or continuous headaches in the form of one of his workers wanting to be an apprentice and the continued presence of a fired employee even though he's at another shop. It looks like this will be the last season of the show, as Ami indicates in a preview for the final episode that he wants to go back to Miami. The show had enough drama injected into it that it was in danger of becoming LA Ink, but I don't think it ever got to that level of ridiculousness. It's too bad the show is ending already, but better that it ends now before hitting such a level.

We watched part of the Grammy awards. I only really watch for the performances, as the awards themselves have been a complete joke for some time now. I especially wanted to see Adele, who rocked it in her return performance since her throat surgery. Here, see for yourself: