Django Unchained (2012) - I have become increasingly skeptical of violent movies and wondered if I would enjoy Django Unchained (especially since the last movie I saw was Star Trek Into Darkness where I found the violence a bit depressing)... I did enjoy it, I suppose it turns out that I am still entertained by horrific violence - worth noting that there are interesting elements of race/slavery and references to both Spaghetti Westerns and blaxploitation films that make this a bit more interesting than a straight action movie (the Wikipedia Article has some interesting information). Rating: 4 of 5
Zironman - West boundary to the East Boundary of Zion National Park including Icebox, North Guardian Angel, Subway, South Guardian Angel, Imlay, Narrows and Orderville - running, climbing/scrambling and canyoneering - this is and AWESOME adventure by Buzz Burrell, Ryan McDermott and Jared Campbell (his post on this adventure) and extends their 2011 effort. Rating: 5 of 5
Wild Ass Tour an overview, with(out) rant - The pictures and spirit of this adventure make this well worth taking a look at! (And how can you not like the opening photo...) Also worth noting in this is the use of a packraft - while packrafts are somewhat 'old news' it seems like over the past 2 years I have been seeing more and more interesting adventures involving packraft+(hiking/biking/canyoneering) - if you are intrigued check out: Alpacka Raft LLC - The World's Finest Packrafts, Packrafting Glacier National Park and American Packrafting Association. Rating: 4 of 5
Haria Extreme – A race in images - The insane times put up from the winners in any mountain or ultra race are amazing and on the right day inspire me to run just a bit faster - but it is the places that continue to grab my interest... Rating: 3 of 5
Mastering the Art of Photography Composition: Learn Tips and Tricks for Better Creative Photos for Beginners and Intermediate Photographers and Insights From Beyond the Lens: Inside the Art & Craft of Landscape Photography - I read both of these - but my reading of them was not serious or studied, more of a casual read just for ideas/inspiration - I want to continue to learn more about photography but at the moment I am not looking for serious study - both these books were short and interesting and had some practical/simple hints/tips/techniques that I enjoyed reading about. Rating: 3 of 5
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011) - The night scenes were incredibly gorgeous with light, color, darkness and shadows that were amazing. But ADT and I fell asleep on our first attempt to watch this - and in an effort to get thru the rather mammoth length of this film on our 2nd effort we watched quite a bit of it at 1.5 speed - for us there was just too little interest/plot and/or magic/mood to justify the length. Rating: 2 of 5
NOW, "VOYAGER": IN PRAISE OF THE TREKKIEST "TREK" OF ALL - Last month in May 2013 Notes I wrote briefly about Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) - this month while looking at another review I came across a bit of writing that is a much more expressive, complete and well written version of what I wanted to say - the core of it: "Like Abrams' first entry, it seems dedicated to stripping Trek of its cockeyed optimism, its sense of last-frontier adventurism, and its progressive worldview, and letting the remainder marinate in testosterone and male supremacy politics." The rest of the article is quite good as well... Rating: 4 of 5
Oslo, August 31st (2011) - Scattered old memories of life and the city, a halfhearted suicide attempt, friends, family, ghosts, lost time and then the past and present coming together again at the end. The rhythm and arc of this film is amazing, picking up speed and interest into the ending - not uplifting and a bit hard to describe but very very good. Rating: 4 of 5
Life of Pi - I had read the Kindle Sample of this book - great reviews and a Man Booker Prize winner - but it did not hook me enough to continue - I found a hint of that in the film - the story was good, the multiple stories were great, some of the scenes visually original and stunning - but for all that I just didn't quite find that part/idea/thing that really hooked me, this is obviously 100% subjective and I don't quite know what was lacking, but something was... Rating: 3 of 5
This Is the End (2013) - It is both completely projectile-vomit-sickening and absurdly wonderful that people were paid to make this movie... Rating: 3 of 5
World War Z (2013) - Decent action, zombies and a bit of a puzzle - nothing complicated. Rating: 3 of 5
Published elsewhere this month:
- Gates into the Green - another entry in my Sky Island Traverse series.
- Updated the Bighorn Sheep with more re-introduction news links, added links to the KOFA Translocation page and 2012 Population Survey News Release.
- Updated Santa Catalina Mountains News with new items.
- Added a downloadable PDF Map and Description to Point 4981 Above Hairpin Turn and the Sycamore Reservoir Trail. The PDF was produced using the content from the Wiki Page copied into/edited in Microsoft Word, map produced in Maptech Terrain Navigator Pro and PDFs combined into a single file in pdfbinder. A PDF seems like the most pragmatic choice for ease of printing and use on a mobile device. These are not perfect but a decent way to get started on this project!
- Updated the Palisade Trail and Brinkley Point entries with some notes about history/names (also added very short pages for Frog Mountain Blues and Paradise Found to support these additions).
- Added a page for Airmen Peak