Raiders Of The Lost Ark In IMAX

If you haven’t seen “Indiana Jones and Raiders of The Lost Ark” on the big screen, now is the time to see the restored version as it appears on the digital IMAX screens for a one-week engagement before the Blu-Ray collection comes out next week.

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As a child growing up in a “poor” family (i.e., cable TV to watch MTV was the dividing line for poverty in middle school), going to the movies was a luxury that my parents couldn’t afford. (Except for “Conan The Barbarian” with Arnold Schwarzenegger that my father took me too see at the tender age of 12, where I learned that having sex with a witch can be extremely hazardous to one’s health.) I never saw “Raiders” when it first came out in the theaters in 1981, and watching it on the small screen over the years doesn’t do it justice.

Restored from the original film negative and the audio track updated for surround sound, “Raiders” looked wonderful on the digital IMAX screen. Despite coming out 31 years ago, and set in the the late 1930’s before World War II, the story of an archaeologist trying to prevent the Nazis from capturing the ark of the covenant held up quite well.

Jungle Bird Scores A Touch Down Against KFC

Remember Andrew “Jungle Bird” Dudley when he crashed the U.S. Open golf tournament in June? He’s back! This time scoring a touch down against KFC during the Norte Dame vs. Navy game at the Emerald Isle Classic in Dublin, Ireland, performing a victory dance before being taken away. If you’re not familiar with his shtick, it’s a wearing a Union Jack knitted hat and crying out like a jungle bird to draw attention to deforestation around the world.

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Until Jungle Bird came along, I had no real interest in deforestation. With the cutting down of 400 mature trees for the space shuttle parade in Los Angeles, I’m starting to get interested in urban deforestation. Without trees to absorb the sunlight and provide cool shade, sidewalks and buildings retain the daytime heat that makes the surrounding environment hotter than it should be at night. As a child growing up in the 1970’s, I remember planting trees every year as part of an Arbor Day class activity. We need to preserve and grow the trees in the concrete canyons of our cities.

RNC, Dotty Harry & The Stinking Onion

I didn’t bother to watch the Republican National Convention last week, where the heavily scripted political sideshow revealed an alternative reality of America so disturbing that a Fox News columnist slammed it. Worse, Mitt Romney plans to run on the Ronald Reagan playbook. This isn’t 1980, and, despite whatever perceived failings, Barack Obama is no Jimmy Carter. The right-wing extremists will be sorely disappointed when their made-to-order candidate fails to win the election. I doubt they will follow the Democrat’s example of forming a circular firing squad to figure out what to do next to win the White House back.

Despite not watching, two things bubbled out of the gestalt to catch my attention.

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Whoever invited Clint Eastwood to speak at the convention should have his sorry ass fired. Oh, wait. That was Mitt Romney. Never mind.

So what the heck did happen? I personally think Clint was peeved that the Republicans criticized his Super Bowl commercial for Chrysler as being a pro-Obama commercial for the auto bailout that he returned the favor by piddling on Mitt Romney’s parade in a roundabout way. It worked. Eastwooding was the biggest news coming out of the convention. That’s what you get for messing around with a legendary senior citizen.

The most offensive piece didn’t come out of the convention itself. I came home from work on Wednesday evening, checked my Twitter feed and came upon a headline link for The Onion’s latest satirical article: “John McCain Just Blew His Brains Out During RNC Speech.”

McCain—who at various points during his speech seemed out of sorts and apparently went off prompter to ask the assembled crowd, “What has this party become? What have I become?”—reportedly pulled out a .22-caliber Magnum revolver from his jacket pocket, held it to his head, stared unblinkingly at the crowd, and pulled the trigger, sending frightened attendees into a chaotic frenzy and his own limp body to the ground.

I didn’t find that to be a bit damn funny. John McCain is a war hero who has done much in the service of his country. He should be forgiven for picking Sarah Palin as vice presidential candidate, giving up on being a political maverick and toeing the Tea Party line as the Republican Party commits political suicide. But The Onion should be ashamed for running this piece of garbage.

As for us moderate conservatives sitting on the sidelines, especially in California, it’s time for a new conservative political party that embraces the real issues facing America today by working together with everyone to get things done.

Gaming The Presidential Election Into Space

Are you sick and tired of the 2012 presidential election yet? Wouldn’t you like to pull either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney aside and beat the living crap out of them without the Secret Service paying you a surprise visit? If so, download “Vote!!!“, a free video game for the iPad and iPhone, to start whacking away at your favorite presidential candidate.

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If you’re not a registered voter, a button on the main menu will take you to Register to Vote to sign up. Do your civic duty, study the issues and vote for your candidates!

If politics isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always “Angry Bird Space: The Red Planet” to play with later this fall. As @IdioticInuit tweeted over the weekend after the death of Neil Armstrong was announced: “Smartphones today have more computing power than NASA in the 1960’s. They went to the Moon. We launch birds at pigs. “

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TSA Exposes William Shatner’s Awesomeness

On Craig Ferguson’s “The Late Late Show,” William Shatner recounted his encounter with an inexperienced TSA agent who patted him down roughly enough that his pants fell down in front of everyone at the Los Angeles International Airport. With his awesomeness exposed, no word if the blind could see, the paralytics could walk and airfares dropped in price.

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British Drunkenness On USA TV Wasn’t A Crime

If you’re plastered at the U.S. Open golf tournament in San Francisco while wearing a British stocking cap and making bird calls before an American TV audience, it helps to be British with a slight resemblance to Simon Pegg. According to SFPD spokesman, public drunkenness wasn’t a crime since Andrew “Jungle Bird” Dudley had a ticket to be there. Only in San Francisco does that kind of wanker logic makes sense.

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The California Lottery Black Scratcher Lady Luck Video Revisited

As I waited for the movie trailers and “Prometheus” to start at AMC Mercado 20 in Santa Clara this past weekend, the California Lottery black scratcher video, where Lady Luck slaps some clueless idiot to let him know that he won, came up on the big screen. I sat back to enjoy this video but it wasn’t the video I was expecting. This video had Lady Lucky blowing air on the clueless idiot.

Seriously, W-T-F?!

The original ad was too violent for the moral sensibilities of elected officials in Sacramento that the lottery commission replaced it with a different version. Never mind that the new ad was shown before the showing of an R-rated movie—SPOILER ALERT!—where Noomi Rapace gives herself a violent C-section to abort an unwanted alien fetus.

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