Posts Tagged ‘Crider’

A promo poster for The Avengers made by frmjewduhh and available at http://frmjewduhh.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2r1jjm

Promo fan art by frmjewduhh. Click the image to link to his page.

The short version:

Astounding.  The movie is exciting, hilarious, clever, and has some of the most exciting and interesting action sequences ever filmed.  If you’re an Avengers fan, a comic book fan, an action movie fan, a comedy fan, or there’s any chance you’d enjoy anything on that list, then you will almost certainly love the Avengers.  If you’re none of the above, your odds of loving it are still better than 50/50.

The long version:

The greatest danger (in my mind) in bringing together so many super-powered good guys is that it can be hard to find a villain or team of villains powerful or clever enough to pose a realistic threat.

Loki from the new Avengers movie.

Enter: Loki

I already enjoyed Loki in Thor, so to see him displaying both physical and mental prowess was exciting.  He was charismatic and clever, looking both twisted and majestic at the same time.

Didn’t just one of the Avengers already beat him?

I’m actually retroactively impressed by the Thor plot after seeing this movie.  (Thor Spoiler: Loki never bent himself on defeating Thor and as a result, Thor and friends merely defeated Loki’s guardian while Loki succeeded in orchestrating the end of an entire world–an effort which was only prevented by Loki’s own loss of confidence and a particularly powerful and pissed-off Odin.) In other words, we know Loki is capable of bringing down the planet and he makes it very clear very early on that he has no intention of doing otherwise.  Brilliant and scarily clever.

The Plot (without spoilers):

There are definitely some question marks for the team at How It Should Have Ended to parody, but as far as viewers are concerned, the plot holds together, remains consistent (with enough twists and revelations to stay gripping), and doesn’t contain any glaring “why didn’t they just…” moments.

The Avengers and their Screen Time

The movie did a wonderful job of balancing screen time, giving each character at least two “WTF!?!? THEY ARE SO AWESOME!!!!!” moments, and most importantly, making each of the characters enjoyable and interesting.  There was never a time in which I found myself thinking–as I have in other movies–“I’m really tired of this character.  Let’s see someone else.”

Acting:

I’m not an actor so I gauge good acting by this single criteria:

If I don’t notice a line or action being delivered poorly, then I’d consider the actor to have done good work. – Bastion

By that standard, all of the actors (most of whom we already knew rocked) were great.  It’s a comic book movie about gods beaming in from the Odenheim to join up with super-powered humans to battle aliens, so there are obviously some sentences that must have felt really strange in the actors’ mouths, but the delivery was always appropriate, contextual, and believable. The cast of The Avengers posing at Comicon.

The Credible HULK

I was worried about the Hulk for two reasons:

1.  He’s my least favorite Avenger. 2.  He wasn’t played by Edward Norton.

Fortunately, I was not only pleasantly surprised, but both Bruce Banner and his big green alter-ego became my second favorite character(s) in the movie (Loki stole it, as far as I’m concerned).

A blended image of the Hulk and Loki from the new Avengers movie.

The Hulk, Loki, and if you click the picture, an article about the characters and actors who played them.

A note on the Avengers in general:

I’ve always been an X-Men fan but I had never been that big on the Avengers.  I’ve read a few of their comics (mainly the ones in which they interact with the X-Men) and I’m familiar with most of the characters, but aside from enjoying each of the prequel movies (Thor, Ironman 1 and 2, The Hulk, and Captain America), I’ve never immersed myself in them. Something I noticed in this movie is how spectacularly branded each of the Avengers are.  I enjoyed the characters in X-Men first class because I knew them–not because any one or two of them were cultural icons.  I was awestruck the first time I saw Ironman and Captain America standing beside each other because that’s IRONMAN AND CAPTAIN AMERICA.  When you finally see the whole team, together, ready to rock, well…  I hope you managed to get to the bathroom BEFORE that scene.

Special Effects

What special effects?  I never once felt like I was watching anything that wasn’t actually filmed in real life. In other words, the effects were absolutely seamless.  I think we’ve finally gotten to the point where (at least in high budget movies) movie producers can show us anything they want.  In the Avengers, they evidently wanted to blow our minds. A wide-shot of the Avengers doing battle, featuring Ironman, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Nick Fury, and Hawkeye.

Action and Interaction

When I saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I was sure of two things:

1.  The final battle was the most moving I’d ever seen. 2.  It would be a few years before a movie topped it.

The action sequences through the Avengers were all exciting (and furthered the plot–not just unnecessary fighting), but the final battle(s) changed my world.  I’ve always had a lot of faith in technology so even when watching incredible things that I’d never seen before (like the Matrix movies as they came out or Transformers 3’s war in the Chicago streets), I’ve never been terribly surprised that it was done. By the end of the last action sequence of the Avengers, I was amazed.  I had winced more than three times.  I had leapt from my seat in laughter more than three times.  I had felt senses of excitement, fear, and vengeance multiple times each.  The few times my mind was able to catch up with itself, I found myself marveling at the fact that I was seeing what I was seeing. This was a roller-coaster.  Hilarious, moving, exciting, and awe-inspiring.  Definitely worth the wait, the hype, and a second viewing. Movie poster for The Avengers.

If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com. You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my Pinterest.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got. – Bastion, of Grace at Arms

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I’m really in love with internet memes these days (if you’re unfamiliar with the term, internet memes are the recurring images with clever text on them that you see everywhere–for LOTS of examples, check out my Pinterest boards here).

I don’t usually celebrate of Star Wars Day though I do give a “may the fourth be with you” to all of my Star Wars fan friends, but today I noticed a meme that made me decide to make an image of my own.

Someone posted this on Facebook:

An internet meme making fun of people who pretend to be nerds picking on non-Star-Wars-fans celebrating Star Wars Day (May 4, 2012).

That meme (that image of that girl) is normally used to pick on people who claim to be nerds but really just watch the Big Bang Theory or own a Star Wars t-shirt (welcome to the internet–“nerds” is now an elitist group).

The picture is funny, but, as a member of the internet, it’s my duty to jab at everything, whether I like it or not!  In an appropriately passive-aggressive move, I designed a little picture (for those purists out there, it isn’t a meme–it’s just a picture until it catches on) of my own:

An image of a Star Wars geek with funny text by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) prepared in celebration of Star Wars Day (May 4th, 2012).

If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

It’s Friday again and we hope it’s the start of a great weekend for everybody! Here’s what the members of GRACE@ARMS are up to:

Bastion:

I’ve done some stupid things in YouTube videos like drinking a bottle of Tabasco sauce or speed-eating Qdoba burritos, but I hadn’t yet attempted to chug a 40.  Some people had been pushing me, so here it is (oh, I decided it wasn’t awesome enough so I went ahead and chugged a bottle of Tabasco sauce, too)!  Here’s the short version of the video.  If you want to see the whole version with the Capri Sun and me sitting around, scroll down!

Milo:

I’m fired up because the show on Saturday went well [Thanks, JB for covering! – All] and now I’m preparing to intern in Chicago this summer!

Bastion (again):

If you want to see the whole video (the only parts I really cut out are me waiting to burp), I decided to post that, too:

If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) chugging a 40 oz Magnum high gravity malt liquor while wearing a Grace@Arms shirt.  This is a screen capture from a YouTube video.  All art and logos copyright Grace@Arms, Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC.

Bastion’s speed-eating burritos, Milo’s partying for Little 5, and Cooper’s slack lining!  Check it out!

Also, we’re a week and a day away from our concert at Mike & Joe’s in New Castle, Indiana so be sure to tell your friends, make your plans, order your sick new t-shirts, and pick up your GRACE@ARMS cards (worth $1 off the ticket price)!  In the mean time, here’s what we’re up to:

Bastion:

After I ate that over-stuffed Qdoba burrito in about two minutes, my good friend Andy Adams approached me about eating another one.  I felt like I spent too much time chewing last time and was pretty sure I could beat my time, so Adams and I sat down to tackle a pair of well-packed chicken burritos with fajita veggies, ancho chili BBQ sauce, rice, two scoops of extra-hot salsa, a scoop of corn salsa, cheese, and sour cream.  These things were monsters, but, when I matched my previous time of 2:08 and Adams polished off his burrito, we celebrated… by eating a second round of giant, over-stuffed burritos!

Milo:

I’m enjoying my final Little 5 week at IU!  BOOM!!!

Cooper:

My friend introduced me to slack lining this week.  Before attempting the endeavor, I was apprehensive.  In retrospect, I was right to be.  Slack lining is like safe, easier tightrope walking.  I used the word “safe” loosely.  If you slip, and the line happens to get between your legs, complications arise.  My advice;  respect the line.

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) and Andy Adams eating giant Qdoba burritos with chicken, fajita veggies, rice, extra-hot salsa, corn salsa, ancho chili bbq sauce, cheese, and sour cream.

If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

It’s Friday and we’re two weeks and one day away from the last show Bastion scheduled before his back went out!  If you haven’t marked it on your calendar, mark Saturday, April 28 at Mike & Joe’s in New Castle, IN now!  GRACE@ARMS will take the stage at 6pm!  Bastion’s got some more information (and the other guys have some fun thoughts, too):

Bastion:

Admission for the April 28 show is $5 (you get a scoop of ice cream and some other give-aways) BUT if you show your GRACE@ARMS Ancora card (the one where you put the stickers on it to get free G@A stuff) OR any other G@A card, then you get a dollar off the admission price!

Images of Grace at Arms' (GRACE@ARMS) various business, contact, and Ancora cards.  Artwork, "Ancora", and logos copyright Grace at Arms, Bastion Crider, and Greg Crider LLC.

Milo:

“It may be that those who do most, dream most.” – Stephen Butler Leacock

Cooper:

I just finished reading the final installment in the Hunger Games trilogy, and I find myself feeling kind of empty.  The books pull you in and nearly force you to keep turning the pages.  The last hundred pages or so left me wondering, “could this have been done differently?”  All in all, however, I loved these books and would recommend them to anyone.  Cheers!

If you’re in or around New Castle, Indiana, come out to see Bastion and Cooper play a short acoustic set at a block party outside of Imagine Music tomorrow at 1:00pm!  The event is set up to benefit local charities (like God’s Grain Bin) and local businesses.

Bastion:

Milo and I went t0 a hotel last weekend but forgot to bring a bottle opener so I improvised with a door frame:

Milo:

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life in such a manner that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” – Traditional Indian Saying

A beautiful ballroom in the West Baden Springs Resort.  Photo by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) March 2012.

P.S.  Those of you who follow my Twitter and Facebook know I’m a big fan of eating big things.  I ordered a sandwich from JBolts, a local deli here in New Castle, Indiana which I’d call the shop’s flagship sub, but it’s more like an entire fleet!  Here are two funny pictures of me trying to bring the giant down:

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) in his home preparing to eat a giant sub-style Philly Cheese Steak sandwich from J-Bolts (JBolts), a deli in New Castle, Indiana.Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) in his home preparing to eat a giant sub-style Philly Cheese Steak sandwich from J-Bolts (JBolts), a deli in New Castle, Indiana.
If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

It’s Friday and we’ve got news!  Bastion will be making a solo acoustic appearance at a several-band concert outside of Imagine Music in New Castle, IN, at 1:00pm on March 31 to support local businesses and charities!  We’ll be posting more information on facebook.com/graceatarms, but save the date!  Now, here’s the band:

Bastion:

I’ll make an official announcement if/when there’s something official to announce, but IF I/GRACE@ARMS had a solo/acoustic project coming out in January, which of our songs on YouTube would you like to see on there?

Vote for your favorites by either going to youtube.com/graceatarms and “Like”ing the songs you’d most like to hear (if you don’t have a YouTube account, they’re free) or by going to facebook.com/graceatarms and voting for songs in the Poll we posted!  If you do both, your vote counts twice.  Vote for as many songs as you’d like!

 (If my vote counted, I’d vote for “A Love Poem For Ghosts”!)

Milo:

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday completing part 1 of the national boards in optometry.  Now it’s time to relax [with me at the resort/casino in French Lick! – Bash]!

Cooper:

We are in the season of growing!  The grass is sprouting anew, trees are budding, and everyone and their buddy is crowding the weight room.  One observation I’ve made is that the best lat pull-down machine is never open!  If I have learned one thing in that place, it’s to circle that piece of equipment like a vulture.  That rant aside, it has been nice to work out more often and feel a little healthier.  Cheers!

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) playing acoustic guitar in his home, Valhalla.
If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms