All posts by SmuttyCat

Smutty is a wonderful, creative, headstrong, feline who wants to rule the planet. He feels strongly that he could do a better job than those that currently rule the place. He wants to plant lots of grass and catmint (Nepeta mussini) to cover the planet and make it more cat friendly. You can follow the ideas and antics of Smutty in The Daily (C)rant.

Girl Geeks Rule in Hidden Figures

SmuttyCat loves the Age of the Geek, especially Girl Geeks. This Christmas movie season brings us Hidden Figures, the till now untold story of the women who made the moon landing possible.

There are not enough words to describe the beautiful, nuanced and uplifting performances by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer & Janelle Monáe. And let’s not forget one of SmuttyCat’s favorite geeks, Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory. Hidden Figures is a movie of triumph for gender, class, race and all cultures. It is a beautiful moment when America remembered that we are all for one and one for all. And that working together achieved the impossible.

And most importantly, it is inspiration for every girl geek wondering if she should follow her tech dreams. The answer in Hidden Figures is a resounding ‘yes’.

Hidden Figures lands in theaters on January 6, 2017. Start the New Year with fun and let SmuttyCat know if you loved this movie.

 

Sing is Holiday Magic at its Best

SmuttyCat is charmed by the newest entry in the children’s movie market, ‘Sing‘. Parents and Grandparents who remember children’s movies where there was a great talent show or competition (think all the Muppet movies) with the underdog working really hard to realize their dream will love this movie.

Well ‘Sing‘ is the same principle done with adorable animals in 3D animation. The animals are cute, the songs catchy, but parents may want to let little ones know to only act out the movie at home. There are some really inappropriate parts for little ones to sing out in public.

Of course, all the characters are animals so it gets the SmuttyCat 4 paws up rating.

All in all, Sing is a perfect Christmas break outing for the whole family. Let SmuttyCat know what your family thinks.

Extended trailer

Civil War Brings Fun Back to the Movies

SmuttyCat is pleased to stop napping for the latest comic to screen success for the Disney-Marvel behemoth: Captain America: Civil War. Face it, movies are only fun if we care about what happens to the characters. The magic of Captain America: Civil War is that there is no truly right or wrong side. The issue of saving lives without collateral damage is complex and without easy answers.

Marvel in partnership with Disney has proven themselves to be the kings of the action-superhero film. They have managed to walk the fine line between drama, humor and action. In doing so, they have created a stable of characters that moviegoers like SmuttyCat are fully invested in.

From Iron Man, the genius boy who won’t grow up to Black Widow with subtle undercurrents to Nick Fury the flawed leader with a huge heart, it’s impossible be unbiased on these characters. Now, Civil War asks us to choose which heroes we want to back. Both sides have a valid point, so how do you choose?

Well, if you are part of this crew, you choose with your fists! At stake is the issue of choice. What is the price of surrendering our right to make choices in the moment. Technology has forced this issue into the light, think of the recent Apple-FBI standoff. Do we surrender our rights to choose security for the ability of the government to investigate? What price are we willing to pay? And is a governing body a better decision maker than an individual confronted with a problem?

These questions may be tossed around, but the main course is the ACTION. The fight sequences alone are worth seeing this movie. But CACW also hints at movies further out in the Marvel Universe. Spiderman makes a decent showing but the breakout star is T’Challa. Chadwick Boseman is both regal and bad ass and has more gravitas than the seasoned characters.

If you only see one movie this year, this is the one.

Peanuts Arrives in 3D

Charlie Brown Snoopy PeanutsOne of SmuttyCat’s few appawed canine pals is making his 3D debut today. Peanuts gets re-imagined in a more robust 3D world and everyone is excited.

It has been some time since we got to look at the Peanuts gang antics, and the new format makes them even more fun to follow along.

So, grab the kittens, kiddies and other small ones to give yourself an excuse to get out to the movies for this great adventure. After all, it is football season and we must see if Lucy will finally hold that ball for Charlie Brown.

SmuttyCat has his ticket, do you?

The Robots are Here!

SmuttyCat is dismayed at the current chronology of events happening in the robotic world. Which of the Terminator franchise movies did developers and scientists miss? Why, oh why are they trying to end the world? While humans are oohing and ahhing over the BB-8 cutie (which SmuttyCat appaws of as a great cat toy), engineers all over the world are working on something quite different.

A little background; there are several new developments in hardware and software that are bringing us closer to Skynet and the Terminators. First, mind reading computers are now real, just check out the IFLScience site. Chip yourself at your own risk.

Next DARPA’s challenge will show many advanced, not clumsy terminator-style robots in human and animal configurations (see videos below). And now researchers have developed a robot that can seek out and TERMINATE a specific species (starfish) that are threatening the Great Barrier Reef.

Finally, a ‘mother’ robot has figured out how to evolve better children based on the success or failure of previous generations. Hmm, SmuttyCat is building a shelter. Good luck humanity.


Fantastic Four Reboot Clobbers Boring

This is what the Fantastic Four should have been. Fun, adventure and great effects. The addition of the Marvel team to Fox and friends ramps up the fun factor by 200 with great results.

Unexpected casting, a twist on the origin story (from Ultimate Fantastic Four) and effects that come straight from the Disney/Marvel toolbox deliver a movie to look forward to. Now, SmuttyCat is not saying this is the next Avengers: AOU, but the FF reboot is clearly a summer fun romp. Action, effects and Dr. Doom, what more could you want?

Check out the trailer and get ready to spend August 7, 2015 inside your local theater.

What’s Up with Humvees on US23 & I-96?

Humvees Come to Michigan

I96 and US23Summer is long acknowledged as the season of the orange traffic cones in Michigan. Traffic delays go hand in hand with warm summer days and mosquitos on the lake. While traveling north east of the big D, SmuttyCat recently ran into a couple of caravans of Humvees in the construction on I-96 just past Brighton, MI. Looking up on the MDOT website revealed that:

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will make major safety and operational improvements to the I-96/US-23 interchange in Brighton Township, Livingston County. The project includes:

  • Constructing new through-lanes on I-96 between the current eastbound and westbound lanes;
  • Building three new bridges over northbound and southbound US-23, and over Old
    US-23;
  • Changing the existing lanes of I-96 to collector-distributor (CD) lanes for easier and safer lane changes for ramp traffic; and
  • Rebuilding the existing six bridges over US-23 and Old US-23.

SmuttyCat is curious why a simple road construction project would require caravans of Humvees. Any Brighton residents know what’s going on? Weigh in in the comments.

What’s Up With That?

Everyone knows SmuttyCat is lazy, but he just had to take a break from catching up on the season finales of his most favorite shows to blog on an outlandish discovery. The story is that humans value chimps over people and their own community.

SmuttyCat’s partner sites DKemp Designs and Infinity Run Media started a community initiative a short while ago. It’s called CoffeeChange.org based on the philosophy that the small change spent on coffee by many people once a month, can create lasting local and global change.

Sounds good, right? Throw a couple of bucks in a virtual bucket once a month and viola! One new business starts or the next genius gets the education needed to cure cancer or end world hunger. What a simple concept.

But SmuttyCat just found out that in 4 days, over $72,000 was raised for abandoned chimps and yet in 2 weeks only $12 has been raised to help a single mom get a stable space to raise her daughter and grow her small business. Now, the backstory is this is a young lady who went to college, got a job, got married, had a child and then went through a divorce while a stay at home mom starting a business. She found herself homeless and unemployed, but managed in less than one year, to buy a car, get a job and an apartment. But the apartment is small and has no yard so there is no way to grow the business. This enterprising person in our community is trying to buy a modest home but has had no time or extra income to save for a down payment or the appliances that will be needed.

CoffeeChange.org is not about fixing all the world’s problems, they are not big enough. They are about leveraging small changes that ripple out through the globe. A $2 donation will not end world hunger or cure cancer. But it can stabilize a small business effort or educate the next genius.

SmuttyCat refuses to believe that there are not 6,000 humans in the Metro Detroit area who won’t donate $2 toward this important project. No, you won’t get a fancy t-shirt (although you can e-mail CoffeeChange.org about buying one of theirs), but for a $2 to $5 dollar donation you can stop complaining and start building.

Spread the word: a cup of coffee can change the world.

Avengers Age of Ultron Awesomeness

SmuttyCat loves superhero movies done well. Avengers Age of Ultron goes above and beyond with action, angst and armor. The movie opens with the team in action cleaning up Hydra elements.

Avengers logoLater, as the team kicks back to relax personalities start to shape up. Black Widow is cool and ruthless. Banner almost comes to terms with the Hulk and Tony Stark uses brilliance and insanity in equal portions.
While story concerns may give some more screen time, this is a true ensemble project. All of the heroes are great and all are flawed. Captain America seems to be the one most at peace with what and who he has become.

ultron rocksUltron Rocks

Yet the run away center of this magical entertainment is James Spader as Ultron. The delicate truth of Stark’s alter ego run amok is portrayed with sly ease by Spader. Being a Blacklist fan, SmuttyCat enjoyed watching Ultron and creator match wits. If AOU has any weakness, it is not having enough time to delve deeply into the elite chess match between these two. Oh, and the brother-sister accents are awful.

genius at work!!SPOILER ALERTS! !

Hulk-buster armor with flying backup! SmuttyCat wants one. Stark tech continues to rock extra hard. While the multiple robots Ultron uses mimics Iron Man 3, Tony continues to upgrade.

Hulk fist bumpAwesome fight of all time award to Iron Man vs Hulk. Major fist bump heard around the world. Grand Diva entrance award to Ultron who reminds the Avengers they don’t get to be normal. Best line of dialog toss up; “you get hurt, hurt back. You die, walk it off”. And “go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep” lullaby sung while pile driving the Hulk’s face.

The grade? Script – A for great continuity of series, if not true to print story. Acting – A+ for all around good performances from all. The weary but determined heroes back in the muck again. Effects – A+ for lack of cheesiness. Pacing – A- for simply too much action to cover in too little time.

Marvel has created a masterful formula for action/hero movies that will be hard to top for the foreseeable future. And that’s just fine with SmuttyCat.

Don’t take SmuttyCat’s word, check the trailer for yourself, then run to the nearest theater.

weary heroesRobert Downey Jr., as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill and Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, James Spader as Ultron, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff, and Jarvis gets an upgrade when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.

Inside Out is Summer Family Fun

Ever wonder what gremlins got into your human kid’s head? Well Pixar is stepping up to bring family movie fun to the 2015 Summer of Superheroes. Their newest offering Inside Out is a twisted romp animating the thought processes inside family conversations.

Disney-Pixar Inside Out dinner

Inside Out features some impressive 3D animation work, upping the game from what we have come to expect from the Pixar group. Paired with a light-hearted and original script, this movie should be a high performer with all audiences.

Scheduled to open June 19, 2015, just after most schools let out for the summer, Inside Out should give parents a reason to look forward to summer.