Monday, October 22, 2012

Here Comes the Boom (2012): Mormon Movie Review

   It's Mormon Movie Guy Monday! He writes a great blog similar to ours reviewing movies from a Latter-day Saint Perspective. The review was written by him, but the star ratings were applied based on my interpretation of his review. We got invited to a screening of Here Comes the Boom, but we couldn't get there in time and missed it. Now I am not as bummed about it. I didn't love Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but I respected that it was PG. Here Comes the Boom seems to follow that same vein. It is in Theatres now, but you might want to wait for the DVD or Dollar Theatre. 


Here Comes the Boom, the just-released inspirational romantic sports dramedy (got that?) asks audiences to believe two preposterous notions. The first is that Kevin James, the portly fellow who amused us in Hitchand TV's King of Queens, could be competitive in mixed martial arts. The second is that Kevin James could have a chance with Salma Hayek. Does it succeed? Not quite, though it comes surprisingly close on both counts. 

First of all, James shed a lot of fat and put on a good deal of muscle, training for 14 months to play a biology teacher who takes up UFC fighting to save his friend's job (a music teacher played by Henry Winkler). Despite James' physical transformation, it's still tough to believe that he could compete against seasoned fighters, no matter what his determination level. The far-superior Warrior (one of 2011's very best movies) had a similar storyline; that film barely got away with it, and actor Joel Edgerton was in phenomenal shape. I must admit, however, that James surprised me with his athleticism here, both as a "fighter" and as a physical comedian. As for the romance, James and Hayek have far more sparks between them comedically than chemically. Their scenes together provide some of the film's funniest dialogue.

Speaking of humor, Here Comes the Boom never quite decides whether it wants to be a comedy or an inspirational sports drama. It veers unevenly, back and forth, between the two. As a drama, it pales in comparison to the superior films it imitates (the aforementioned Warrior and the Rocky series, most obviously). Nearly every plot point is wholly predictable, as sports film cliches are trotted out one after the other. A school principal comes across as a one-note villain whose inevitable change of heart feels inauthentic and unearned.

As a comedy, however, it fares much better. There are quite a few belly laughs here, including one moment that had me chuckling until my sides hurt and tears streamed down my cheeks. There's quite a few great one-liners, as well as some expertly-played physical comedy. The supporting characters are mostly solid; retired UFC Heavyweight Champion Bas Rutten is particularly likable in a warm and funny role. On top of that, it's PG and clean (see content overview below). Despite its flaws, Here Comes the Boom is a worthwhile excursion for those looking for inoffensive fun. It also portrays Christianity positively, which is always a nice bonus. 

 Here Comes the Boom is rated PG. It has plentiful mixed martial arts fighting and a pair of mild obscenities. A woman reveals some cleavage in a tank top and men fight shirtless.

Messages to Discuss: The story of Jacob wrestling a messenger of the Lord and earning a blessing, as referenced in the film, is found in Genesis 32: 24-30. With  hard work, faith, and unity we can restore atrophied things, people, communities, and systems to their former lustre and beyond (Words of Mormon 1:16-18). 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

gblue C5 A2DP Music Bluetooth Stereo Headset: Mormon Product Review

If you have ever read any of our Music Reviews, you know that we love good music.  What you might not know is that in my day job I'm a window cleaner.  Sometimes I am on a long job and want some music to keep me entertained.  I am real big on being professional, and there is just a negative connotation with a serviceman with headphones on. It just makes me think of Sid (The Trash Guy) in Toy Story 3 banging mail boxes and trash cans.

  So a weeks ago I bought an A2DP Bluetooth Headset.  That is a wireless headset that lets you listen to music.  I chose the gblue C5. It looks and acts like regular Bluetooth headset, so I look like a professional.  It also plays music so I can keep up my pace and listen to music, review General Conference, or enjoy the latest edition of The Cultural Hall Podcast.

   The headset works great.  One of my favorite features is that it comes with a plug in headphone, so you can use it in both ears. (for when I'm off the clock.)  It was charged and ready to go right out of the box, and I was able to pair it pretty easily and use the buttons to switch songs.  It can also be used for phone calls.  Answering and redial was simple, but I could not get it to activate Siri, like on my other headsets.   

   The few buttons do multiple tasks so you will need to read the manual, and the audio quality is not the finest, but at under $16 you certainly get more than you paid for!

   The gblue C5 is available on eBay for $15.98 shipped, but similar styles are also on Amazon.

Friday, October 5, 2012

How to Watch Downton Abbey Season 3 in the US Before it Airs on PBS

   Downton Abbey has been spreading all over and with Season 3 already on the air overseas, many of you have been chomping at the bit for when PBS starts broadcasting it in the US.  There are a couple of Guides I found, and I wanted to share with you some of my favorites.

   If you are one of our UK readers you can simply go to iTV's (the English broadcaster of Downton Abbey) and watch it from their site.  But if you are here in America you get an error, "This Video in not Available to Play in Your Region."

  You could use a Torrent site, but it is ill advised for the novice.  Torrent sites are notorious for pop-ups, misleading links, and malicious viruses.  Here are some of the more secure ways to watch Downton Abbey now instead of waiting until January.  

   Rachael at Grasping for Objectivity found a program that will help you overcome the region restrictions.  It's called Tunnel Bear and I like it just because of the name!  You can pay $4.99 a month for unlimited use, but there is also a free option with some limitations. offers a guide on how to purchase the season through iTunes using a UK iTunes Giftcard from eBay.  Then change the region of your iTunes to the UK.

   Becky at Utah Sweet Savings used to have them posted on her site, but chose to remove them. 

   If you are not quite sure what Downton Abbey is all about Season 1 is available on Netflix and Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Hulu.  It might be time to know what all your friends at work are talking about by the water cooler.

   How do you watch Downton Abbey?  Are you waiting for January?  Let us know how these ideas work for you!
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