Tag Archives: DVD

Under The Boardwalk Documentary Showcases Monopoly

If you were asked to name the first board game that comes to mind, would that game you name be Monopoly? Arguably, Monopoly is the most celebrated board game in the history of board games. It has recently had its 75th anniversary and there is no sign of it’s popularity slowing down. Monopoly is as much part of pop culture as it is a board game. And there are so many ways to play the game, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days that hasn’t heard of the game. With a game as popular as Monopoly, you almost have to wonder why it took so long for there to be a documentary about it.

What is it about Monopoly that has made the game such an enduring success for so many decades? San Diego based filmmaker, Kevin Tostado decided to find out. Not only did Tostodo explore the history of the game, he traced the enduring legacy of the game in popular culture, met with serious collectors that like to collect just about anything that the Monopoly brand has licensed, and even spoke to a winner of the million dollar grand prize in McDonald’s annual Monopoly game. Perhaps the highlight of Tostado’s exploration of Monopoly was following some of the game’s most competitive players through the 2009 international championships, where every four years the national champions from over forty countries compete in hopes of being crowned the newest World Monopoly Champion. Kevin Tostado compiled his findings and presents an extensive look at the world of Monopoly in his new movie entitled “Under The Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story.”

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My “Free” KitchenAid Blender

My previous roommates had a Magic Bullet, so I could kind of experiment with making shakes like the one in Jorge Cruise’s “Belly Fat Cure” book, but the Magic Bullet has a small capacity and really not a lot of power for some serious blending. Now that I’ve moved and got my own kitchen, I didn’t have a blender of any kind. And I really didn’t want to spend any money on one either.

At work, when we meet our customer service goals, they award us a bonus. The bonus used to be a quarterly cash bonus that maxed out at $200 but once taxed at the rate the government taxes bonuses, it was barely more than half the value. As part of a cost cutting measure last year due to the economy, the quarterly bonus opportunity was transitioned into a point program where the points could be saved and redeemed through an awards catalog online. The points can be redeemed for a wide variety of products and if that’s not quite enough for you, they even have a partnership with Amazon.com for supplying Music and DVD options to be redeemed for points.

When I logged in to look at what was available, I really wasn’t looking to purchase yet with the point I had available. But I just happened to look and not only did they have a variety of blenders available, they also had KitchenAid Blenders. I’m already familiar with KitchenAid quality thanks to my grandmother’s mixer being passed down to me. And I love a great deal, the mixers are normally 7,176 points, and they were on special for 3,915 points, essentially 45% off the usual “price” only thing was there’s only one choice of color, the “Willow Blue” model. Fortunately, it’s a nice color and since buying the blender for real money would be about $100, I felt it was a great deal and placed the order. Within in a couple days the blender arrived. Continue reading My “Free” KitchenAid Blender

Bewitched DVD Sets On Sale At Costco

I was checking through my local Costco Membership Warehouse the other night, mainly to see if they had the 12 pack of SoBe Lifewaters I had heard they were now carrying. When I passed by the DVD section, I just took a quick look and what caught my attention was that they had a set of display boxes containing the various seasons of the show Bewitched. They had all eight seasons of Bewitched available for $12.99 each. A great bargain if you are looking for a deal on getting the episodes from the show.

I didn’t realize Sony had finished releasing the entire series, I had been buying them as they came out for the first four seasons, but didn’t buy the fifth season as it was more expensive than I was willing to spend at the time and I never heard about the subsequent seasons being released after that. I was certainly presented with a case of temptation as it would be quite easy to just get the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth seasons right here for a bargain price. I decided I would give it some thought but since it’s Costco, I would definitely have to think quickly as things there tend to sell quickly and they may not be there when you come back.

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Paramount Builds Theme Restaurants Of Entertainment Properties

Following the great day at Disneyland to celebrate my friend Robert Shadbolt’s birthday, our group decided on dinner at Anaheim’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant. The chain of Bubba Gump restaurants takes it’s name and inspiration from the 1994 Forrest Gump film originally directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks in the title role. As a themed restaurant, Bubba Gump offers a seafood dining menu in addition to a themed gift shop and effectively offering a unique way to keep the spirit of Forrest Gump alive and well in the mind of consumers long after the original theatrical run of the film.

According to the press kit, Paramount Pictures originally approached Rusty Pelican Restaurants, Inc. about extending the brand of Forrest Gump into the realm of casual family dining. And by 1996, the very first Bubba Gump Shrimp Company themed restaurant opened it’s doors in Montery, California. The company specifically targets tourist destinations for their restaurants, such as the Anaheim location which is a couple of blocks away from Disneyland, and other locations including Universal’s City Walk in both Hollywood and Orlando, Times Square in New York, Pier 39 in San Francisco, and the Mall of America in Minnesota. Bubba Gump is Paramount’s most successful foray into themed restaurant licensing, but wasn’t the first.

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Xanadu Movie Screening Is Incredible Fun

The Xanadu Movie screening the other night was so much fun. Not only is it a classically bad movie, one I happen to love immensely, it’s got an incredible soundtrack, and the screening as a part of the Out San Diego monthly movie screening series was the first time I got to see the movie on the big screen. The audience was encouraged to sing along and talk back to the movie in ways probably similar to screenings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and so the screening became an interactive fun event.

The audience here in San Diego shouted back at the screen causing fits of giggles during scenes that were definitely cheesy, and others were greatly enjoyed by the audience, that by the time the movie finally progressed to the final scene in the Xanadu club and Olivia Newton-John knocks the title track out of the ball park, the audience was cheering in excitement. It was a fun night out and a much better experience than sitting home and watching Xanadu on DVD. Now to just get up to Orange County to see the Xanadu stage show again before it moves on to its next destination. Continue reading Xanadu Movie Screening Is Incredible Fun

Xanadu Returns To San Diego Tonight For One Night Only

XanaduTonight is the night that Xanadu returns to San Diego. No, it’s not the fantastic stage musical that was here for two months last year. (That’s actually opening up tonight as well, but further up the road in Costa Mesa.) Tonight, it’s the Original Motion Picture version of Xanadu starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly that is playing here in San Diego.

The movie is notoriously known for being a bad movie, as it has a very loose plot, but despite the fact the movie bombed originally, it’s soundtrack was a massive hit for the record label. The collaboration between Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (ONJ) on the title track, Xanadu has made the song one of Oliva’s biggest hits. Filling out the rest of the album are more fantastic songs by ELO and ONJ. Wisely, the songs weren’t put on the album in the order in which they appear in the movie, they were placed so that one side was the ELO side and the other side was the ONJ side. As the both acts draw different audiences, it made sure the fans of each artist could enjoy the work of their favorite if they weren’t as big a fan of the other.

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Amazing Deal On Doctor Who TODAY ONLY At Amazon

Doctor WhoIf you’re a fan of the rebooted Doctor Who that’s had Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant in the title role, then Amazon has a great deal for you, but you have to act now, because the deal is for today only!! If you’re like me and previously though the DVD sets from the BBC are considerably overpriced, then today is your day!

Amazon has the box sets for each of the four seasons of the show on sale today for $32.49 a piece. That’s 59% off the list price of $79.99 and 50% off of Amazon’s regular price of $64.99. I’ve been hesitant to buy the sets myself because quite frankly I felt they were a complete rip off at their regular price. The show has been remarkably good and I definitely wanted the sets but I’m sorry $65 to $80 a set was way too much money in my opinion for a show that only does 13 episodes a season. Maybe if they were 26 episode seasons like most American shows, it would be a reasonable price, but for 13 episodes, forget it. So for literally half price today only at Amazon, the sets are actually affordable.

The show is brilliant and well written and getting all four sets is truly the best option if you’ve never seen it. The way the show ends in the fourth season ties back to the entire series in such a well thought out way that you get the feeling the ending was always in mind when they established the series. Few shows pay off and spread out the storyline over so many seasons that you’re going to be amazed and wish American shows would do this. Lost may eventually pay off in this way, but we won’t know for sure until the final season completes it.

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James Ray’s Harmonic Wealth & Sweat Lodge Tragedy

James RayI had actually rented from Netflix James Arthur Ray’s DVD called “Harmonic Wealth” at the end of July prior to the tragedy of a few people dying in a sweat lodge in Sedona at one of his events. I did not rent it out of any morbid curiosity, but rather I quite enjoy “The Secret” and I had actually attended an event here in San Diego where James Ray was pitching his Harmonic Wealth program.

However, the DVD sat in my pile untouched until about a week ago. For some reason I’ve just not been able to bring myself to put it in the DVD player and watch it. And when I finally did, I just watched about twenty minutes of it before I turned it off, then a couple days later resumed where I left off, paused again for another couple days and then finally finishing it off today. I just couldn’t do it in one sitting.

I think part of it is due to the fact that following the event I wanted to say hello to James Ray and give him a copy of a mix CD I made of songs that have a “Law Of Attraction” feel about them. I wanted to present a copy of it to James Ray as a thank you for the inspiration I got from his segments in “The Secret.” And when I finally got my opportunity to present it to him, he quickly handed it off to his assistant and asked me if I was going to come to one of his Harmonic Wealth weekends and I said that would not be able to do it at this time, he had absolutely no interest in me or my presenting him with a sign of my gratitude.

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Seeing Election For The First Time

ElectionLast night I got together with some friends for what we call “Economy DVD Night” where we get together at the host’s home in order to view a DVD of a preselected movie. It essentially serves as an excuse to get together more often by not always choosing to meet out at restaurants and having to spend a bunch of money just for the sake of getting together.

The rules of Economy DVD night are simple:
1. Everyone eats on their own beforehand… don’t bring anything.
2. Come as you are, even if you’re in work clothes or sweats.
3. The host will provide the basics: movie, drinks and a snack.
4. After the movie, everyone cleans-up after themselves (then gets out of the hosts’ hair!)

Last night’s host, my friend Jason Murillo, decided to feature the movie “Election” featuring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. I had never seen the movie before. To be honest, when it was originally released, I thought the trailer looked the kind of movie I wouldn’t enjoy. Reese wasn’t yet the major star she is today, and it just looked like retreading high school memories which I certainly didn’t want to do at the time. And I don’t consider myself enough of a Matthew Broderick fan for his presence in a movie to get me to see it. But since Jason stated the movie is one of his all time favorite movies and it is a black comedy, I thought why not come check it out.

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Xanadu Is Coming To San Diego One Night Only

XanaduOne of the previews shown during last week’s “Mommie Dearest” screening was that their December movie of the month is their FilmOut monthly film series would be “Xanadu.” While “Xanadu” is considered one of the worst movies ever made, depending on who you ask. I happen to love the movie.

I’ve been an Olivia Newton-John fan for as long as I can remember and I’ve always had a soft spot for the movie. And when the Broadway musical version of “Xanadu” was here in San Diego last year, I had to bust out the movie version a number of times to enjoy it yet again. I’ve never actually seen the movie on the big screen so this will be an exciting night for me. To give you an idea of how much of a fan I am of this movie, I have the movie on VHS, Laserdisc, two different DVD releases, and the original soundtrack on vinyl, as well as three copies of it on CD. (The first was a cheap Australian release, the second was when it was finally released in the US with a really nice job done on the liner notes, and the third copy is because it was included for free with the latest DVD version.) And as for the stage show, I saw it eight times when it was here at the La Jolla Playhouse. And I am looking forward to it coming to Orange County later this year too.

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