Saturday, December 28, 2013

My most anticipated movies of 2014

So 2015 is shaping up to be what looks like a good year at the movies. The Avengers 2 in May 2015, Batman vs. Superman in July 2015, and Star Wars VII in December 2015. That’s not counting James Bond #24 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 in November, Fantastic Four in June, Ant-Man in July or the next Bourne Identity movie in August.

Let’s not look past 2014 though. There are several 2014 movies with potential to be awesome too. There are some movies that can wait until they are available on Redbox. These don't appear to be Redbox movies.

I better start saving my money because it looks like I'll be making a few trips to the movie theater this year:

8. Hercules: the Thracian Wars
Release Date: July 25

Don't get this movie confused with Hercules: The Legend Begins (release date TBA). The Thracian Wars is the one starring The Rock as Hercules. There hasn't been much artwork released yet. No trailers to build excitement either.

Let's be serious though: the movie stars The Rock. Even the worst of Rock's movies (The Rundown and Walking Tall) were pretty good. Wait -- there was Doom. I haven't watched that one, but I heard it was terrible.

After G.I. Joe 2, Fast 6 and the slew of other movies The Rock was in this year, he seems to be at the top of his game, so I'm expecting something good out of Hercules.

Charlotte Cupcakes - Carswell Bakery

There’s one more to review before I’m wrapped up with my year-long search for Charlotte’s best cupcake. It was back to Rock Hill to try out one more bakery: Carswell Bakery.

It's a small shop located in a strip mall on Mt. Gallant Road.

It looked like there may have been some remodeling going on when I went inside. There was a small display case with a variety of cookies available. There was also a table with 6-pack cupcakes.

The shop had your three standard cupcake flavors: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. I wouldn't have gotten any if they only came in 6-packs, but thankfully they were available as singles too. I passed on the chocolate, but bought a strawberry and a vanilla.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Southern Cake Queen

All year I’ve been trying to track down Southern Cake Queen. Since there’s no actual location, it’s hard to track them down. There is a food truck and they update their Twitter account with whatever location they'll be at, but whenever they are out serving cupcakes I seem to be busy or on the other side of the city.

Thankfully I was at Charlotte Douglas waiting for a flight recently. See, Southern Cake Queen doesn't have an official shop in Charlotte, but their cupcakes are sold at Phipps Bistro's location at The Charlotte-Douglas Airport in Concourse A.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcake

There weren't an entire slew of flavors to choose from, but there didn't need to be. If you eat Southern Cake Queen's Peanut Butter cupcake, you don't need much else. It had buttercream frosting on top and a Reese's chocolate as well.

The cupcake was soft and had a great, fresh Peanut Butter taste. The woman working the counter did offer to warm the cupcake up in the microwave since it was kept in a cooler. I took her up on that offer and I think it made the cupcake that much better.

It didn't taste like it'd been kept in the cooler all day though. It tasted like it just came out of the oven. If a cupcake ever melted in your mouth, it was this one.

The chocolate was a nice accent to the cupcake. Sometimes the additional chocolate flavor can ruin a good peanut butter cupcake, but it didn't in this case.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The best super hero movie of 2013

At the end of 2012 I blogged about the 6 movies I was most excited to see in 2013.

G.I Joe: Retaliation, Man of Steel, The Wolverine, Thor, Iron Man 3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness all made the cut.

I saw all of those movies several times this year -- G.I. Joe once in the theatre and twice on DVD, Star Trek in the theatre three times and once on DVD, Iron Man in the theatre twice, The Wolverine in the theatre twice and Thor in the theatre twice.

After carefully going over all of the evidence, I have to say that Star Trek kicked the ass of all others. It was definitely the best of the bunch.

Thor 2 comes in next -- being almost as good. Jane slapping Thor wasn't needed, despite the fact that Natalie Portman said it was satisfying. She told E! Online: "I found it very satisfying. I think it’s behalf of all my girlfriends who had guys that didn’t call them back or disappeared or just fell off the face of the earth."

Man of Steel came in next. Although it had some problems (click to read about them...though it may make you like the movie less). Still, it was a good movie. It can only get better from there, especially if the sequel has Batman and Wonder Woman involved and leads to a Justice League movie.

Iron Man 3 was good for a third movie in the trilogy, but Guy Pearce and the whole concept of being able to breathe fire brought it down.

The Wolverine and G.I. Joe 2 were both good. G.I. Joe was better than I thought it would have been.

The action scenes (especially the sword fight on the side of the mountain) were awesome!

The Wolverine was worse than I thought it would have been. The sequence on top of the train was great, but the scene at the end with the ninjas shooting arrows? I thought it could have been much more powerful. Add some music to that sucker to make it powerful!

Related Content:
Movies to watch out for in 2013
Wonder Woman FINALLY gets an actress

Beyonce: BEYONCÉ - reviewed.

If you've talked to someone at work this week, watched a news program or spent any amount of time on the Internet, then you know that Beyonce released a surprise album last week -- titled BEYONCÉ.

It was called a "visual album" because of the fact that she released 17 videos along with the 14 songs -- all at once on iTunes. Without any buildup or promotion at all, Beyonce's album went to number one. Talk about a marketing plan that worked to perfection!

While I've never been the biggest fan of Beyonce (I liked a few of her Destiny's Child songs and enjoyed listening to "Crazy In Love," but I wouldn't call myself a fan), I was impressed with the way she released the album and thought I'd check it out.

I've seen a lot of people tweeting about it being flawless and mentioning that Beyonce showed a lot of growth on this album. After listening to it, I can't say I agree. More often than not, the album is boring, plain and has very few moments where Beyonce actually sings.

Rhythm and blues isn't a genre I always enjoy, but when done right, it can be good. While the album sales are obviously in Beyonce's favor, she didn't impress this reviewer. If you're looking for a review full of praise, you might want to skip this one.

Pretty Hurts

The message of this song is very positive, talking about the pressures to look a certain way:

"Blonder hair, flat chest
TV says, "Bigger is better."
South beach, sugar free
Vogue says, "Thinner is better."

While the lyrics are impressive and thought-provoking, the song itself doesn't leave much of an impression.

Charlotte Cupcakes – Pat-a-Cakes Bakery

As the search for Charlotte's best cupcake winds down, it's time to take a look at another candidate. This time I went to Pat-A-Cakes Bakery in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It's a nice little bakery that has Tuesday price specials, so make sure to stop by on a Tuesday.

Samoan Cupcake

I typically don’t like coconut, so this cupcake had me a little nervous. For whatever reason I do like Samoas though. I figured I’d give this cupcake a shot, but I didn’t have very high expectations for it. There was a giant glob of coconut on top.

The woman who helped me told me it tasted like the cookie. I was skeptical, but without good reason. She was right. This Samoa cupcake does taste like the Samoa cookie.

This giant glob of coconut doesn’t make the cupcake taste like your typical coconut-covered baked good.

The caramel they mixed with it helped create an authentic Samoa taste. That cupcake didn't last too long.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmastown USA - experienced.

McAdenville's annual Christmastown USA is up and running again this year. The Charlotte area Christmas light extravaganza started Monday and is worth checking out, especially if you haven't seen it before.

I went last year for the first time and it was a very cool experience.

I drove in heading west on I-85 to exit 22. That was extremely crowded, so I continued on I-85 to exit 21. I took Cox Road to Franklin Blvd/Andrew Jackson Highway/74 and then took the back way in. That seemed to work much better.

There weren't any designated parking spots that I found. It's more of a 'take what you can get' kind of thing. If you find a spot on a residential side road, take it.

Town officials do remind visitors not to block railroad crossings or prevent the flow of traffic though.

There isn't necessarily a route people follow. You basically follow the lights. Follow the cars and follow the lights.

Even More Personalized Plates

A few more personalized license plates that have caught my eye...

Can you guess what this person's favorite teams are? Perhaps the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

This person has to be a Gilligan's Island fan. Either that or they like Rihanna.

What a snitch! Jes did what though?

You've heard of PlayStation4 and XboxOne. Now you've heard of Granny-4.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Some 'Should Be' Duets

Pigs have flown. The world has ended. Peace at last! Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera teamed up on the season finale of The Voice to perform Gaga's single "Do What U Want."

After the seemingly back-and-forth war that was going on between them for years, it was kind of surprising to see them partner up. Then again, Gaga said earlier this year that she's a big fan of Christina.

It seems Gaga wasn't miffed over Aguilera's 2008 comments in the LA Times.

The partnership may have been a surprise, but it was also very fitting. For two women who have similar vocal styles, outlandish (at times) looks, and similar sounding songs, it seemed appropriate that they collaborate for a performance. It was one of those 'it's never gonna' happen' combinations that actually ended up happening and worked really well.

There have been several really good duets this year actually, whether it's a one-time-only kind of duet or one that is forever cemented in digital history on iTunes.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wonder Woman FINALLY gets an actress

Boy, I go on vacation for a week and D.C. comes out with some hefty news: there's finally a Wonder Woman.

I remember way back to the early 2000's when Chyna, Lucy Lawless and Sandra Bullock were contenders for a potential Wonder Woman movie. 13 years later, Wonder Woman is coming to the big screen.

Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman in the Batman vs. Superman/Man of Steel 2 movie that is scheduled for a July 2015 release.

First off, I had no idea Wonder Woman was going to be included in that movie. Second, before looking at her IMDB page, I had no idea who Gal Gadot was.

She seems like a good choice though.

She's been in a couple of Fast and the Furious movies, so she probably won't have much difficulty making an action movie.

She looks the part well enough, though I think Jaimie Alexander (of Thor fame) would probably have been a better choice. Nonetheless, it's awesome that D.C. is finally making some headway.

D.C. has been left in the dust when it comes to live action super hero movies. Starting with Iron Man back in 2008, Marvel has taken the show.

The Dark Knight trilogy was amazing -- don't get me wrong -- but it's Batman vs. the entire Marvel franchise. Batman can't fend off The Avengers alone.

Thankfully D.C. has decided to kick things into gear, seemingly moving forward with an eventual Justice League movie and presumably a separate movie for Wonder Woman too.

Better late than never.

Related Content:
8 picks to play Wonder Woman
Disney's 'to do' list: a live action Jafar movie
13 Body Swap Movies
Red 2 - reviewed.

Disney's 'to do' list: a live action Jafar movie

Disney is capitalizing on the large set of characters that have become icons through their various projects over the last 50 years.

Maleficent, featuring Angelina Jolie in the title role, is set to be released next year on May 30.

Disney describes the movie as "the untold story" of "a beautiful, pure-hearted young woman" who has "an idyllic life growing up in the peaceable forest kingdom" until an evil army invades the land.

"Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well."

Ever since I read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, I've enjoyed projects that feature the villain's side of the story.

Friday, December 13, 2013

13 Body Swap Movies

In honor of Friday the 13th, I figured we'd count down some of the best body switch movies.

There's still time left in the day for this to happen to you, so don't wish on any shooting stars, be careful if you're making a birthday wish, don't throw coins (or peeing, for that matter) into any fountains and avoid any kind of voodoo magic men. You may also want to avoid Aztec statues, necklaces and magic dust.

Otherwise you may end up like some of the people on this list:

13. The Change-Up

Number 13 is the most recent body swap movie. Released in 2011, the movie is about two men who switch bodies after being struck by lightning while peeing into a fountain. The result? They swap bodies. Dave (Jason Bateman) is stuck in Mitch's body. Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) is stuck in Dave's body.

At the beginning of the movie the two are envious of each other's lifestyles. By the end of the movie they've grown as human beings and appreciate where they are at in life.

12. 18 Again

Made in 1988, this comedy stars George Burns as a grandfather and Charlie Schlatter as his grandson.

Jack Watson (Burns) is a millionaire about to turn 81. David (Schlatter) is about to turn 18. A traffic accident results in their souls swapping and Jack finds himself living the life of an 18-year-old again. The plot had been used before and has been used since.

Just like in the other movies, their lives are straightened out thanks to the body swap.

Watch the entire movie on YouTube

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Big View Diner

I went to Big View Diner after reading something online that mentioned them having a pretty impressive dessert section.

Sure enough, they did have a nice collection of desserts.

Problem is: they only have one cupcake. It's an awesome looking chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting on top and chocolate candy baked inside. It was all or nothing with this cupcake though. One chance for Big View Diner to make an impression.

Chocolate Cupcake

I got the chocolate cupcake, brought it home and ate it later that night.

It was amazing! Seriously, it was probably the best chocolate cupcake I've had all year long.

The frosting was incredible rich and creamy. The cupcake was moist and chocolatey. The chocolate kisses that were baked inside the cupcake in melted form were like a delicious finishing touch on an already superb cupcake.

I think the thing that really stood out and made this cupcake so good was the mixture of chocolate flavors. You had it in cake form, frosting form and candy form -- all in one cupcake!

I only got one cupcake because I figured 'Why get two when there's just one flavor?' That was a mistake I shouldn't have made. I'll have to make a trip back to South Charlotte and get another cupcake soon.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jamie Lynn Spears...has talent

Britney Spears has been a singer/dancer/entertainer for more than a decade now. "Work B*tch" has been growing on me, but let's face it: Britney Spears isn't known for her singing talent.

She's a decent dancer. She looks good. I still remember her 2003 American Music Awards outfit. That's one hot woman right there.

Some of her early work featured more vocal range -- or attempts to display singing talent. These days, she gets her British on, has throw some club beats down and she releases a single.

You don't ever see her doing AOL Sessions or performing an a cappella version of "Oops!... I Did It Again."

Considering she makes her living as a singer, she's not the best actual singer. It all makes a lot more sense now.

Her kid sister -- 22-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears -- just released her first single, "How Could I Want More." Guess what? She can actually sing. Who would've guessed?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fall Out Boy: Save Rock and Roll - reviewed.

Fall Out Boy returned this year with an entirely new album (Save Rock and Roll) full of tracks that have the kind of energy only they can provide. Their second single -- "Alone Together" – is picking up some traction after “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Their album is full of energetic rock and roll. They branch out in some ways, but stick to their roots on every track. Here’s the track-by-track review:

The Phoenix

This one kicks off the album. It’s a good start. It’s got lots of high impact beats and some good vocals.

It’s the kind of song one would expect from Fall Out Boy. The fast-paced music and high-impact drums kick in right away. After a short bit of soft-spoken words, the chorus kicks in:

"Hey young blood
Doesn't it feel like our time is running out?
I'm gonna change you like a remix
Then I'll raise you like a phoenix"

Very good track. It wouldn't be my first, second or even third choice as a single, but it's definitely radio-worthy.

My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark

This was the band’s first single and it was a wise choice. Whenever a band or singer comes back with a new album, their first single is usually a fast-paced, upbeat rock song. My Songs fits that criteria to a T.

It’s impossible not to rock out to this song, whether you’re listening to it on your iPod while working out, in your car while driving to work, or when it comes overhead at the gas station while you’re filling with gas at the pump.

Word of advice, though: if you do choose to rock out at the gas station, you may get a few looks. Personal experience speaking there.

This song is more than a toe-tapper. It’s a freak the F’ out kind of song.

Man, did I miss these guys!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Red 2 - reviewed.

Amidst all of the movies I was looking forward to seeing this year (Man of Steel, G.I. Joe 2, Thor 2, etc.), there’s one that fell off my radar: Red 2.

I’m not sure why I forgot all about this one, but I did. I enjoyed the first one.

Red was about a group of retired special agents who were trying to be taken out of action permanently.

Red 2 is every bit as hilarious as the first one.

Within the first 10 minutes of the movie, I was laughing out loud. So was the rest of the theatre.

It’d been a while since I’d seen Red, so I’d forgotten a good deal of the specifics of that movie. Thankfully, you don’t need to know much about Red in order to enjoy Red 2.

There’s some typical action movie scenes, including car chases, sneaking into a high-security government facility, and explosions. Somehow it didn’t feel like it was ‘been there, done that’ though.

Just like in Red, this time around the characters find themselves dodging bullets (literally) and trying to avoid several enemies.

They’re also trying to clear their names after a WikiLeaks type of situation occurs.  A document is published online, people start shooting at Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and Marvin Boggs (John Maklovich).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ke$ha: Warrior – reviewed.

I got this album several months ago, when it was still on the end cap in the music section at Target. I wasn’t blown away by the songs, but here I am, several months later, and I find myself singing along to a lot of the songs when they come across my iTunes shuffle list.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I figured I may as well give credit where credit is due and deliver a review of Ke$ha’s sophomore album: Warrior.

After the success of Animal, Ke$ha came back with electropop music and more politically incorrect, outlandish lyrics. All in all, it's a lot of fun.


This song was somewhat lackluster. It’s a Ke$ha party track, but it doesn’t have a distinguishable hook or chorus – at least not compared to the other ones on the album.

The main chorus of “Warrior-ior-ior-ior. Warrior-ior-ioooor,” doesn’t really stick inside your head.

That being said, Ke$ha’s vocals are pretty good on this one.

"Warrior" utilizes a lot of forms of music distortion including some rapid-fire beats. It's not a bad starting song for the album.

Die Young

One thing Ke$ha can do is put together catchy tracks. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this song when it was first released last summer, but it quickly became one of my favorites.

Every time I hear it on the radio, I crank the radio.

During the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, Ke$ha said it wasn’t her first choice as a single. Some radio stations even took it off of their cycle for several weeks.

I’m glad that didn’t last too long. I’m also glad Ke$ha isn’t in charge of picking out her singles because this is one of the catchiest tracks on the entire album.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Batson's Favorite Things 2013

I checked out Oprah's Favorite Things list recently. Sorry, O, but I can't say I'm intrigued by almost any of it.

To counteract that list, I'm presenting to you today: Batson's Favorite Things 2013.

10. That 70's Show (the complete series)

You can find this series at various places online, but I got this for under $40 at Sam's Club recently. Talk about an amazing deal! Considering The Big Bang Theory is going for around $30 a season, I was thrilled to see this deal.

I know it's all about supply and demand. That 70's Show ended in 2006 has been played several times over in syndication since then. One day the complete series of The Big Bang Theory may be going for $35 too.

If Sam's Club is offering up That 70's Show for $39.95, I'm taking it!

Outside of a handful of other sitcoms, That 70's Show is my favorite. It's one of those shows that you can put into the DVD player and watch at all times, no matter what you're doing. You can watch it while you're busy cooking, while you're doing laundry, while you're hanging out with friends, or while you're by yourself and relaxing after a day of work.

Charlotte Cupakes - Bowtie Bakery

Wow! I almost didn’t stop at Bowtie Bakery. That would have been a huge mistake.

I was up at Concord Mills Mall and I decided to check out Purple Cow Bakery. I arrived at the address I had for Purple Cow, but there was no bakery there.

I Googled the store and one of the search results that came up was “Bow Tie Bakery.” It looked like Bow Tie Bakery was near the Carolina Place mall.

Frustrated that Purple Cow evidently moved or went out of business, I was going to call it a day and head home.

While driving towards Interstate, I passed the mall. I did a u-turn and found Bow Tie Bakery – located next to Sogo Japanese Seafood and Steakhouse in a strip mall.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, if anything, when I walked inside. What I got was a huge selection of cupcakes. Each one was a different, enticing flavor and was visually impressive.

I probably spent 10 minutes trying to decide which cupcakes to get. I ended up choosing five of them. I ended up sharing them since I bought so many, but I had a few bites of each one.

Maple Pancake Cupcake

I was unfortunately expecting too much out of this cupcake. With it looking the way it did, who could blame me? It looks incredible.

Essentially it was a vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting. The mini pancakes on top provided the ‘pancake’ portion of the title. There was syrup on top and a little cinnamon mixed in with it.

The cupcake was good. It was a typical, fluffy vanilla cupcake. The frosting was tasty too. I was expecting more of a maple overload though.

I think it would have been better if there was more maple and cinnamon included. A vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting, maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon isn't a bad thing, but it's certainly not amazing either.

Blackberry Wine Pound Cake Cupcake

This was not my favorite flavor of the bunch, but it wasn’t bad. There was a very vivid berry taste in the cupcake.

There wasn’t much sweetness included that taste. I don’t know if they didn’t use very much sugar while making the cupcake or if the wine counteracted the sugar that was used.

The result was a good cupcake – probably very good if you like wine. When it comes to wine, or cupcakes for that matter, I like a little sugar.

Thankfully the blackberry cream cheese frosting provided that. Without the frosting I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the cupcake too much.

I definitely give them props for experimenting with flavors and going forward with this cupcake though. It was the one that I was most intrigued by while I was looking at the dozen or so flavors available.

Sweet Potato Cupcake

This was a delicious cupcake. Of the five it was my favorite. I’d never had sweet potato pie before, but I was pretty sure it was similar to pumpkin pie.

I’d had two pumpkin cupcakes in October and while this sweet potato cupcake was similar it had its own flavor.

There must be a different spice used with sweet potato flavoring.

The frosting was marshmallow like. It was sticky as if it’d been roasted over a fire.

That made for a nice change. Usually frosting is frosting, but the different consistency with this frosting made the cupcake.

I could have eaten a couple more of these cupcakes easily, but there were too many other choices to choose from.

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcake

When I was in the store, I eagerly picked out the raspberry lemonade cupcake as one I wanted to try.

After being a little disappointed with the maple pancake cupcake and the wildberry wine cupcake, I was a little hesitant to eat this cupcake. On paper and in the display case it looks like it’d be good, but I didn’t know if it would turn out that way.

It had an interesting taste to it. It had a flavor that would make Willy Wonka proud.

The first flavor my taste buds picked up on was the raspberry (probably from the frosting). Then came the lemonade flavor of the cupcake. Each bite ended with a raspberry flavor though.

The drizzly syrup that covered the frosting and ran down the side of the cupcake really cemented the raspberry flavor.

While I wasn’t blown away by it, I’d buy this cupcake again.

Caramel Apple Cupcake

This cupcake really tasted like a piece of apple pie. The caramel was plentiful and I was thankful for every bit of it.

There's rarely anything as good as homemade apple pie, but when it comes to caramel apple cupcakes, this one did its job.

Like the previous two cupcakes, the caramel apple cupcake was edible all by itself. It was tasty. It was moist. The caramel is what I enjoyed the most though.

The positives: the variety of flavors and the ambiance of the shop were even more appreciated than the good flavors

The negatives: not every cupcake was a must-have

The price: most of the cupcakes are $2.25, but they have specials

Bowtie Bakery
970 Branchview Dr NE, Concord, NC 28025
Check out their Facebook page for daily deals and new flavors.

Related Content:
Charlotte Cupcakes - Savannah's Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - The Sweet Life
Charlotte Cupcakes - DOUGH Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes – BW Sweets Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Cake Makin' Sisters
Charlotte Cupcakes - Granny Mac's Bake Shop
Charlotte Cupcakes - Daphne’s Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Earth Fare
Charlotte Cupcakes - Cloud 9 Confections
Charlotte Cupcakes - Novel Sweets
Charlotte Cupcakes - Jenn's Sugarlicious Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Sweet Lorraine's Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Maddy's Fatty's
Charlotte Cupcakes - Splat! Cakes n Such
Charlotte Cupcakes - Berry's Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Polka Dot Bake Shop
Charlotte Cupcakes - Wow Factor Cakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Cupcrazed
Charlotte Cupcakes - SAS Cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Decadent Designs Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - It's a Piece of Cake
Charlotte Cupcakes - Black Velvet Patisserie
Charlotte Cupcakes - Maggiemoos
Charlotte Cupcakes: Kai's Kookies and More
Charlotte Cupcakes: Two On Earth Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes: FuManChu Cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - The Bakery Shoppe
Charlotte Cupcakes - Jewell Treats
Charlotte Cupcakes - SweetCakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Just Baked Cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - La Bree's cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Bake Me A Cake
Charlotte Cupcakes - Tizzerts
Charlotte Cupcakes - Suarez Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Cupcake Delirium
Charlotte Cupcakes - Sunflour Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes – Kimberley’s Bakeshoppe Gourmet Cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Nona's Sweets

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Daughtry: Baptized – reviewed.

When I heard that Daughtry was coming out with new music I was ecstatic!

Besides the fact that he's a fellow Batman fan, I was a impressed with Daughtry, the 2006 album Chris and the rest of the band released.

Their 2009 follow up -- Leave this Town – was even more impressive with more of a rock sound on several of the album’s tracks.

Break the Spell was far and away their best work though. That album has more plays than any other that I have imported in iTunes.

This time around, Daughtry apparently worked without his band mates.

How does Baptized compare to Chris' previous work? There are some decent songs on it. I don’t know that it quite measures up to Break the Spell. It’s a solid effort though.


"It was one of the first songs written for the record and it's probably my favorite song on the album," Chris told The Hollywood Reporter.

It's not my favorite, but it works.

I was waiting for that high note -- the climax of the song -- but it never happened. Daughtry has the vocal chomps to pull it off, but it's like he only went to a certain level and held back from that point on. Kelly Clarkson belts out notes. Pink belts out notes. Daughtry does the same. That's part of the deal with them. It's what I like to hear.

The song works without the big moment, but not as well.

Waiting for Superman

This was the first single from the album. It’s probably the catchiest song of the album, so it seemed like a good comeback song. The song peaked at

It got a lot of people talking because of the "more electro-pop" sound. I honestly didn't notice a difference compared to some of his other songs. Sure, there's electro-pop, but Daughtry's stellar voice and rock vibe are still alive and well on this song.

If you like Lifehouse and Matchbox 20, you'll probably like this song too. It's radio-friendly, but still has more of a rock edge than a lot of songs on the radio these days.

Watch the video


The song has a nice, ear-pleasing melody, but almost lacks that certain something that makes it stand out as a 'must hear' song.

The lyrics seem somewhat juvenile...

"And I don’t wanna fight this war
Bullets coming off our lips
But we stick to our guns and we love like battleships.
Like battleships.

Boom, ba-boom, boom, ba-boom, boom, boom
Boom, ba-boom, boom, ba-boom
And the cannon goes"

Hearing that 'boom, ba-boom, boom, ba-boom, boom, boom' seems a little silly, but, on second and third listenings, you get used to it.

La Roux's "Bulletproof" is still probably the best pop song featuring lyrics that use weapons and warfare to describe their relationship.

I’ll Fight

This song is almost like a follow up to "Start of Something Good," from Break the Spell. I guess it makes sense. Daughtry and his wife had twins on November 17, 2010. "Start of Something Good" is about the birth of his children. "I'll Fight" is about the love he has for his children.

"When the going gets rough
Right when it's hurting I will be there
To help any burden
Any place any time
You gotta know for you I'll fight"

It's a decent tune that's borderline-sappy, like many of the songs on the album. Daughtry's convictions make the songs work though. He believes in them so you somehow do too.

Wild Heart

You know those songs where you can't wait for the chorus to play because that's the best (or sometimes the only good) part of the song? This song is the opposite of that.

My least favorite part is actually the chorus.

"Take me back
To those barefoot summer nights
Take me back
Running down those highway lights
Remember when
We said don't let go to it 'til we die
Take me back
To that fire in your eyes
'Cause I know it ain't gone too far
Take me back to you and to your wild heart"

The rest of "Wild Heart" is really good though. It's kind of got a lite elevator feel to it, but Daughtry's killer vocals make up for the softer sound.

Long Live Rock and Roll

I’m not typically a fan of songs that praise a certain genre of music because they can result in a corny song. “I Love Rock and Roll” and “Old Time Rock and Roll” are and always will be classics.

“Long Live Rock and Roll” is Daughtry’s best effort to pay homage to the genre. Thankfully, it’s certainly a better result than Brad Paisley’s “This Is Country Music.”

Some have compared Daughtry's new sound to Bruce Springsteen. While I can see that comparison, this song vies me John Mellencamp vibes.

"I would have never picked up a guitar and wrote this song. I never would have gone the folk route. I just thought the irony of it was hilarious. Long live rock and roll and big guitars, and it doesn't have any loud guitars," Chris told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's all like this folky, country vibe, and very rootsy. I loved that"

Me too. When genres successfully blend together this way, I'm a fan too.

The World We Knew

This is another folksy/rock song. It's basically a throwback, remembering simpler times and happy times in a romance of the couple that the song is about.

"The world we knew
It was all set for good
Maybe if we knew
Fighting would never end
Oh what I wouldn’t do
To get back to
The world we knew"

The background vocals sound like the background vocals out of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Chris Daughtry can sing any kind of song, so no issues there. I think the country vibe and background vocals end up making “The World We Knew” a little bit underwhelming though.

Chris’ powerful voice doesn’t really match up with the airy background vocals.

High Above The Ground

Chris shows off his range in this song, utilizing some high-pitched vocals for the song’s main chorus.

"It’s feeling like we’re high above the ground
It’s feeling like we never coming down
Til we want to
But why would we want to?"

The song starts off as being about a couple that come from different worlds, but the lyrics quickly transform into mentions of stars, the moonlight and other mystical elements.

Essentially, this couple is on cloud 9 because of their love for each other.

It’s a nice, positive, lovey-dovey song, but seems lyrically familiar to "Wild Heart" and musically similar to "The World We Knew."

Broken Arrows

Accompanied by the piano, Chris starts this song off as a ballad. It's about a man who is not at all on the same page as his woman:

"Seems like every little word I say
Keeps getting twisted
Coming out wrong
So baby hold on
I'm tryin' to hit the mark
But I'm shooting with broken arrows"

The high-pitched, soft chorus makes this song sound similar to “The World We Knew” even though the musical elements are completely different.

The beautiful piano accompaniment and Chris’ always impressive emotional vocals make this one worth listening to.


Daughtry is one of the few groups that’s able to make inspiring music that doesn’t come off as preachy.

His Christian faith wasn’t showcased much on Break The Spell, but it’s present on Baptized.

Like I said, it’s not preachy, but there's a little bit of southern flare on this song.

"Now you’re letting your confusion take control
leading you down a dark and lonely road
Even that won’t last forever
Just look around and see you’re not alone
If you can’t find love
but you’re still not giving up
can I get a witness?"

The music fits with the lyrics – with a nicely paced, upbeat tempo.


I love this song! It’s got such a different sound than anything Daughtry has done before. It’s a gritty and vengeful relationship-gone-bad song.

Daughtry goes on the defense here, essentially saying ‘bring it on!’

“The only thing worse than hater is a traitor," Daughtry sings.

Daughtry may have several sentimental, romantic songs on Baptized, but they also included a couple of rock tracks -- this one being the best of them.

18 Years

It took me a couple of listens to come around to this one, but I did.

If there's a 'Lifehouse song' on this album, "18 Years" may be it. It's a song that's about two childhood pals and wanting to hang onto the friendship they've built up guessed it...18 years. It's a pretty high-energy song, while still maintaining a soulful, softer side.

There are three more songs included on the extended version:


This is another uplifting song. Someone get Chris Daughtry some drama in his life!

Seriously, though, it's not a bad song. It's a Phil Phillips type of song – but better because it has Daughtry’s vocals.

It's, yet again, a different sound from Chris Daughtry. He does it well.


This one should have been on the main album. It has a nice Hawaiian style melody and showcases a refreshing bit of humor on an otherwise pretty straight-forward, serious album.

The music sounds like something you’d expect from Jason Mraz while the lyrics are something that would fit right into a song by Train.

"Check out those stars
I picked em up one day on Mars
And you thought I was at the bar
Well okay maybe there’s a little truth to that

As I would say
And if you squint a certain way
You’ll see they kinda spelled your name
Just a little
But okay maybe that’s a stretch

But you’re my Cinderella
We’re two birds of a feather
I’ll even sing to you acapella
Oh until you’'ve had enough"

Battleship (acoustic)

Honestly, I think I like the regular version better, not that there’s much difference.

The acoustic version utilizes the background vocals and piano and guitar rather than whatever they used on the album’s version. The result is a version of the song that doesn’t sound as polished as the one on the album.

Like I said at the start of this review, Break the Spell is on a pedestal that is hard to reach. I still prefer Break the Spell, but the two albums are hard to compare.

Break the Spell is a rock album, through and through.

Some of the background vocals and instruments used on Baptized make it more soft-rock than Break the Spell.

It’s still a Daughtry album, so you hear belting out lyrics, even on the softer songs and ballads.

My biggest complaint is probably that “Wild Heart,” “The World We Knew,” and “High Above The Ground” are all a little too similar – in themes and sound. They could’ve probably cut one or two of those songs and replaced them with a song that stands out a little more.

Overall, Baptized shows a continued evolution in Daughtry, both in their sound and their lyrics. It’s nice that they’re experimenting with their sound, successfully and seamlessly mixing folk, country, rock and pop.

They’ve chosen real world topics to sing about and show that they have some new tricks up their sleeves.

Unfortunately I don’t think many of their songs will make much of an impact when it comes to top 40 music. Since Daughtry didn’t partner up with a European producer who generates top 40 hits that all sound the same, this album will probably go unnoticed by most people who aren’t Daughtry fans.

Their most radio-friendly song is “Waiting for Superman” and I heard that maybe twice on the radio since it was released in September. That’s not a good sign. Rock just isn’t ‘in’ right now. Paramore’s “Still Into You” is surviving, but not really thriving. Even Fall Out Boy’s return album had trouble getting air time this year.

It seems people would rather listen to music they can dance to in the clubs rather than what Daughtry is offering up.

I’m hoping, however, that Daughtry will catch a break and land a hit again. They’re too good, even when they’re not at their best, for people to miss out on them.

Songs worth checking out:
-Waiting for Superman

Related Content:
Lady Gaga: ARTPOP – reviewed.
Miley Cyrus: Bangerz - reviewed.
Cher: Closer To The Truth - reviewed.
Pitbull: Global Warming - reviewed.

Friday, November 22, 2013

When Actors Are Replaced - Terrence Howard opens up about Iron Man

Terrence Howard opened up about being replaced by Don Cheadle in the Iron Man movies.

He was on Watch What Happens Live and hinted at the reason he was replaced by Cheadle as Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes. The reason? Apparently it's Iron Man himself.

Yep. Howard says Robert Downey Jr. is the reason he got booted...more or less.

He told host Andy Cohen: "It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man ... when it was time to re-up for the second one, (he) took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out."

Iron Man, of course, is Downey.

I guess he and Downey had some kind of falling out.

"We did a three-picture deal, so that means that you did the deal ahead of time," Howard said. "It was going to be a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second one, a certain amount for the third.

They came to me with the second and said, 'Look, we will pay you one-eighth of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you.' And I called my friend — that I helped get the first job — and he didn't call me back for three months."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jewell Treats moves to Uptown

I reviewed Jewell Treats way back in April, but this summer they moved to a new location at Hearst Tower in Uptown.

I stopped by to check out their new digs.

The new location on the second floor of the Hearst building is handy if you’re in Uptown and need a cupcake fix.

Outside of the regular flavors they feature, they experiment regularly.

In fact, one of their customers recently won a ‘you pick the flavor’ contest. She chose a chocolate cupcake with whipped cream in the middle, a Nutella/vanilla frosting and some caramel drizzle on top of that.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Savannah's Bakery

I'd been to Charlotte Cupcakes - Cupcrazed">Cupcrazed before, located right off of I-77 in Fort Mill, but I'd never been to the actual heart of the town.

I decided to change that, so I sought out the only other cupcake shop I could find in the entire town: Savannah's Dining, Bakery and Catering.

Taking the back roads into Fort Mill on a sunny Fall day? Very relaxing.

Well -- except for taking a couple of wrong turns and then my GPS telling me I was at Savannah's when I was actually three blocks away. Other than that -- very relaxing.

Savannah's is house-turned-cafe, located in a brick home on Confederate Street. When I went they didn't have a very large collection of cupcakes. Like a lot of bakeries I've been to, the focus isn't just on cupcakes, so the selection seems to be smaller. With a smaller selection, there obviously wasn't a lot of unique or interesting flavors either.

There were actually only two options to choose from: vanilla and vanilla -- each one with different frosting and toppings.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lady Gaga: ARTPOP – reviewed.

How the mighty have fallen.

Lady Gaga has always been unusual, but when she first took the world by storm a few years ago, she at least made good music.

“Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” “Bad Romance,” “Alejandro,” “Paparazzi,” and even “You and I” were all great, catchy songs. They were different than what anyone else in pop or rock music were doing at the time.

Her latest album – ARTPOP – proves that she’s run out of tricks. With Gaga essentially making claims of being a large part of pop culture in “Applause,” I was hoping she’d innovate on this album. Instead she’s settling for the techno, ‘futuristic’ sound that Christina Aguilera bombed with on Bionic.

There are incredible vocal abilities put to use on Gaga’s fourth studio album, but it’s painfully obvious that she has nothing meaningful left to write or sing about. The ruling theme on ARTPOP is about sex and drugs. Considering Miley Cyrus has already owned that market this year, I’m not sure where Gaga is hoping to fit in.

Even though she sings in different languages and utilizes different accents on several tracks, that effort isn’t enough to save the entire album.

I hate to say it, but ARTPOP is more like ARTFLOP.


This song starts off nice and light – almost like a Colbie Caillat song.

The lyrics change that mood as Gaga sings, “I killed my farmer and left her in the trunk on Highway 10. Put the knife under the hood. If you find it, send it straight to Hollywood.”

The vibe then turns to an avant-garde Western that you’d expect Quentin Tarantino to be involved with.

Then it’s the all-to-common futuristic club music. Gaga’s vocals impress, though, as she sings, “Do you want to see me naked, lover? Do you want to peak underneath the cover? Do you want to see the girl who lives behind the aura?”

At the end of the 3:56 song, I’m not entirely sure what the theme of the song was. I guess it’s about offering someone insight into yourself – opening up and all that. Overall, it’s an odd song with a mish-mash of sounds.


There’s the same kind of background music on Venus as there was in “Aura” – until Gaga starts singing “Take me to your planet, your planet, your planet. Take me to your leader, your leader, your leader.”

Gaga wonders if it could be love because “you’re out of this world.”

The vocals aren’t bad, but, again, I’m too confused by the what I’m supposed to be getting out of the lyrics to fully pay attention to the music.

Gaga starts naming off the planets in random order. Eventually she gets to Uranus – pronounced as “Your anus,” and follows it up with “Don’t you know my ass is famous?”

Dr. Seuss came up with better rhymes than that! Lady Gaga has gone into Pitbull mode – throwing out any random rhyme together and calling it a lyric.

Interesting song. 3 out of 5 stars as a rating for this song is probably being generous.


The initial 25 seconds of this song grabs your attention. Mother Monster mentions Aphrodite again before advising listeners to “lay back and feast as this audio guides you through new and exciting positions.”

G.U.Y. stands for 'Girl Under You.'

The theme of this song is straightforward: Gaga wants the sexual power in her relationship.

“I want to be the G.U.Y.," she sings. “I’m gonna’ wear the tie. Want the power to leave you. Aiming for control of this love.”

She reuses the pacing she used on “Alejandro” as she sings, “Touch me. Touch me. Don’t be sweet. Love me. Love me. Please retweet.”

Sexxx Dreams

As you can probably guess by the title, this song is about sex once again.

“Last night, I was thinking about you and it was kind of dirty. And the way you looked at me – it was kind of nasty,” Gaga explains.

The vocals are breathy and soft during the main chorus.

It’s like a mix between Mariah Carey from her “The Emancipation of Mimi” era and Janet Jackson on “All For You.”

“Last night, damn you were in my sex were making love in my sex dreams.”

At certain points you’d be hard pressed to figure out if it’s Gaga or Mariah Carey singing.

As quickly as she transitions into Mariah Carey mode, Gaga goes into Marilyn Manson mode, singing, “Heard your boyfriend was away this weekend. Wanna meet at my place?”

It was a somewhat interesting song with more lackluster lyrics.

Jewels N’ Drugs (feat. T.I., Too Short and Twista)

T.I. starts this track off.

Gaga joins the party about 30 seconds in.

“Don’t want your jewels, I want your drugs. Don’t want your money, I want your love,” she sings. To be honest, the song kind of sucks. There’s some old school Nintendo-type sound effects in the background for no explained reason.

I wasn’t a fan of Gwen Stefani’s “Luxurious” song featuring Slim Thug. This song vaguely reminds me of that one, but this song makes “Luxurious” sound worthy of a Grammy.

I've seen others call it a 'typical thug song' and that seems like a fair enough description.


This one starts off with an electro-pop, rocker vibe. It’s the best part of the album so far.

“I’m gonna be MANiCURED. You wanna be MANiCURED. Ma-ma-ma-MANiCURE.”

If you can figure those lyrics, more power to you. I guess she’s wanting sex because she sings later on, “I’m the chick whose been coming around looking to love-in-you. You’re the medicine I need to heal the way, the way you make me feel.”

More odd, seemingly incoherent lyrics, but it’s a decent tune at least.

Do What U Want (feat. R. Kelly)

I was surprised this was her choice for a second single. You’ve probably heard it on the radio by now, so there’s probably not much need to describe this song.

It’s more of the Swedish club sound, mixed in with Gaga’s Mariah Carey impression and, at times, her best Michael Jackson impression, loudly belting, “Do what you want with me! What you want with my body!” near the end of the song.

R. Kelly lending his smooth vocals to this song is actually my favorite part about it.

It’s not the worst song in the world, but I can’t help but be disappointed in the lyrics.

A woman who won’t let a man have her heart or use her mind or stop her voice – sounds like female empowerment in a way. Then she goes on to invite him to do whatever he wants to her body.

Apparently this song is about what the media prints and says about Lady Gaga. If that’s the case, I’m not sure why her duet partner is singing about doing shots and doing what he wants with her body in the back of the club.

Maybe it’s an attempt to do a double entendre. The result is confusing lyrically and mediocre vocally.


Some outer space-type sounds to kick off this song. Hmmm…should be interesting.

“We could, we could belong together. Artpop, artpop, artpop,” she sings repeatedly.

The musical elements of this song aren't too bad, despite being a little boring, but the lyrics aren't captivating enough to hold my attention.


More European techno sound on this one.

The vocals aren’t amazing, but I like how Gaga transforms her voice, adding emphasis to certain words. She's not afraid to growl on this gritty sounding track.

"Do ya I know, I know, I Annotateknow, I know you want me. You're just a pig inside a human body. Squealer, squealer, squeal out, you're so disgusting!”

She ends the chorus by emphasizing disgusting. Her vocal abilities are always impressive, whether she's singing or throwing in an accent or singing in another language.

"Swine" -- although no classic -- at least sounds somewhat different than the rest of the songs on the album.


“I am so fab. Check out, I’m blonde, I’m skinny, I’m rich and I’m a little bit of a bitch,” Gaga says at the beginning of this track.

She drops a lot of various and eventually goes into the chorus, “What do you want to wear this spring? What do you think is the next thing?”

The mish-mash of electropop, odd lyrics and respectable vocals just doesn’t do it.

“Donatella” comes off as a poor pop artist’s “Vogue.”

Madonna covered that over two decades ago. I was never a fan of that song either.


This song is a major tease. It starts off with some great piano work. Then it busts into another “Vogue” type of song.

“Looking good an feeling fine,” Gaga repeats several times over.

Plus, two songs about fashion on the same album? Right in a row? Gaga really has run out of ideas hasn’t she?

Maybe they’ll use it as the soundtrack for a fashion show in Milan. If her goal is to make money by collecting royalties from designers using it at their shows, then more power to her.

4 minutes of a song about fashion adds to a lackluster album though.

Mary Jane Holland

You’d think the first several seconds of this song was straight out of Miami Vice or Beverly Hills Cop. That would, quite frankly, be a welcome change.

It’s not long before her electropop comes into play again though.

Evidently Miley Cyrus isn’t the only marijuana lover on the charts right now.

“I think that I could be fine if I could be Mary Jane Holland tonight. I think we’d have a good time if you’d meet me and Mary Jane in Holland tonight.”

The somewhat psychedelic sound does grow on you. The structure of the song isn’t so bad – but by the end of the 3:42 song, it kind of feels like you’ve been on a trip and you’re waiting for it to end.

More disappointing, boasting lyrics on this track too: “I know that Mom and Dad think I’m a mess, but it’s alright because I’m rich as piss.”


This song wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the ridiculous main chorus. It’s hard to take the impressive emotion serious when Lady Gaga is singing, “I need you more than dope.”

I guess druggies may be able to relate?

Gaga puts her bass and vibrato to use – almost imitating Elton John – as the piano is the main instrument used in this song.

I think it may be the only ballad on the album. Typically female popsters end up overdoing it with the ballads. That’s not the case here.


Gaga can definitely sing. This song proves that fact to any haters and reinforces it to any of her Little Monsters. Set to a fast-paced beat, Gaga dials into her loneliness as she’s singing about taking the road less traveled.

“I don’t want to be alone forever, but I love gypsy light. I don’t want to be alone forever. Maybe we can see the world together.”

There’s an element of and sadness to the song, despite the fast-paced, upbeat music.

Unfortunately, it’s not a song that will end up as a classic. She seemingly ran out of lyrics as she started repeat-repeat-repeating: “Cuz I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m a gypsy, gypsy, gypsy.”

Take that and multiply it by four.

She ends the song by listing off a bunch of different countries and says, “Be my home for just the day. I’m a gypsy, gypsy, gypsy. Hey…”


As is the case all too often, the lead single off of an album is the best song on the entire CD. That’s the case with “Applause.”

It has a fun, different sound. It reminded me of some of Gaga’s earlier work. This song deservedly did well on the top 40 charts, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Gaga’s 12th top ten single.

The thing I like about this song is the energy it gives off. It’s a song you can tap your feet to, snap your fingers to, clap your hands to or dance to.

This entire album would’ve been served better if there were a couple more songs as good as “Applause.”

I thought Born This Way was a letdown after The Fame Monster. ARTPOP makes me appreciate Born This Way a little more.

ARTPOP seems like Lady Gaga’s best attempt to compete with the likes of Britney Spears, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus in trying to reign supreme as pop music’s most scandalous female. Sex and drugs make up the themes to most of her songs, while they’re set to overused club beats. The result leaves Gaga as just one of crowd – not a standout.

Songs worth checking out:
-Mary Jane Holland

Related Content:
Miley Cyrus: Bangerz - reviewed.
Cher: Closer To The Truth - reviewed.
Pitbull: Global Warming - reviewed.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Murder, She Wrote reboot -- good idea or mistake?

Angela Lansbury, perhaps best known for her role as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, voiced her opinion on the reboot of the 1980’s TV show.

She’s not happy about it.

Last week, NBC announced that it would be rebooting the Murder, She Wrote show with Octavia Spencer playing a nurse/self-publishing author/mystery solver.

I wasn’t sure what to think about it, myself. A lot of times Hollywood likes to remake and reboot and sequel things to death. Sometimes it works.

The Amazing Spider-Man was an awesome movie, despite being released just 5 years after the last Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie.

Ben Affleck will be the new Batman, just a few years after Christian Bale owned that role.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kassius Ohno gets released; the story of my failed WWE storyline pitch

News broke this week that Kassius Ohno (formerly Chris Hero of Ring of Honor fame) was released from his WWE contract.

I don't think anyone who's been following the newsboards would be too surprised by this announcement.

WWE signed Hero and Claudio Castagnoli in September 2011. While Castagnoli debuted as Antonio Cesaro in April 2012, Hero never appeared on Raw or Smackdown. He was stuck in NXT.

Rumors began circulating that WWE management wasn't happy with his efforts. Whether that's true or not, it was put out there. Given that Hero has now been released, there was evidently some truth to WWE management not being happy with his progress.

Hero addressed his release on his Facebook page, saying:
"I’m leaving WWE on good terms so, if it’s meant to be, I’m sure I will be back. If it’s not meant to be, I can guarantee you that I will still be trotting all over the globe doing what I love (and what I’m damn good at) at the highest level possible."

It's too bad because I think Hero is a good wrestler. Not every wrestler fits in with WWE's style though.

Rest holds, always keeping your eyes on the hard camera and working with limited time isn't something every successful independent wrestler can (or wants to) adjust to.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thor 2: The Dark World – reviewed.

Wow! I’m so glad I saw this movie! Star Trek 2: Into Darkness was, by far, my favorite movie this year so far, but Thor 2: The Dark World could give it a run for it’s money. The Dark Knight is probably my favorite of all time. Hmmm...maybe it has something to do with the word 'dark?'

Anyway, let’s get this out of the way first: stay until the very end of the movie! Even when you think it’s the end…stay a while longer. That’s right. A movie with two extra scenes, mid and post-credits!

Back to the beginning though.

Sometimes it’s hard to set up the background of villains, but this movie wastes no time doing that. They make it clear right away: beware of the evil elves.

Malekith the Accursed, played by Christopher Eccleston (though you wouldn't know it, thanks to the make up and effects), isn't the best villain of all time. I don't know if he'd crack the top 25. He fills the role for this movie and does it well though.

Mostly, I was just intrigued to see an evil elf. Whether it's Lord of the Rings or some Christmas movie, elves are almost always good, little creatures. That's not the case in Thor 2.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Celebrity (look-a-like) sightings - part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 were good, but I think there's some definite look-a-likes this time around. I'll get right to the comparisons, but let me know what you think? Am I spot on or what?

I saved the very best (and closest comparison) for last this time, so make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page.

On the left: Edge
On the right: Jamie Campbell Bower

May as well start with a wrestling-related one. It seems those pro wrestlers have doppelgängers all over. I'd mentioned before that Wilson Bethel resembles Edge. I still stand by that statement.

However, I think Jamie Campbell Bower looks even more like Edge. Jamie Bower, for those who are unaware like I was, is an actor who has quite an impressive resume already.

I just watched The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (review to come later) and that's the first time I saw him...or so I thought. Jamie was in the final three Twilight movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2, and the Sweeney Todd movie that starred Johnny Depp.

The hairstyle, obviously, has a lot to do with the resemblance. However, I think the bone structure is there too. I'm not expert on the matter, but that's the same exact chin there, a similar nose and the same shaped head. A solid celebrity look-a-like for sure.

On the left: Krysten Ritter
On the right: Katy Perry

This pair doesn't have similar bone structure. In this case, I think a lot of the similarity is in the hair style and color. They don't have the same color eyes and Katy Perry's face is more full.

Yet, if you take a quick look at them, one could probably pass for the other.

The only thing I can figure is that it's the hair that does it. It probably doesn't hurt that there aren't that many Hollywood ladies with jet-black hair, so automatically kind of looks like the other.

Outside of that lady on N.C.I.S., I can't think of any others.