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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rath's Reviews: Friends With Benefits


Last review I stated that comedy previews worried me especially when they dont change much over time...it usually indicates that every funny part is in that short 2-3 minute clip. Sadly, Im afraid, Friends With Benefits falls mostly under this category (there are a few exceptions, especially a couple well-timed Harry-Potter-is-gay jokes). But overall, all the funniest parts of the movie I had already seen numerous times. In addition, all of the attempts to be funny in the first 30 minutes of the movie mostly fall flat on their face, creating an awkward theater where people know that something funny was just said, but arent laughing. I will admit though that there are a few gems scattered throughout the movie, and after the awkward beginning, the jokes do get funny...but not that funny. Woody Harrelson provides the films strongest laughs as the gay sports article writer for GQ, but even his questioning of Justin Timberlake's character's (Dylan) sexuality gets kinda old.

"Of course I have a boat. I live in Jersey and I ain't taking no ferry...unless its out to dinner and a show! Boom!"
A funny line that I had unfortunately already seen in the trailer
Despite the average comedy, the film does get one thing right...sooooo right. It feels just so real. I dont really know how to explain it, it still is clearly a movie and has tons of cliches, but just the way that the characters interact with each other is real. The script is real, the plot is real...it just feels like something that I could see actual people experiencing. This is due in part to the chemistry between Justin Timberlake and the semi-goddess Mila Kunis. They feel like they are really just friends at the beginning, and pull off the just-friends-having-sex act perfectly. But then after they actually make love and not sex, and then get into a fight they feel like a, and Im going to use this word again, real couple. They talk about real things when they are together and dont just use playful banter for and hour and a half. They genuinely care about each other, and the fact that you can tell that on screen makes it the movie's strongest plus.

Laughter = good chemistry
The second part I enjoyed about the movie is the love advice given throughout. There are so many times in these types of movies where the advice is "chase the one you love", "do anything for her", "win her back" and in part, these are the same ideals that this movie is pushing. But the difference is who the advice comes from. First off, Woody Harrelson has what I found to be the most important line in the film, and as a nearly-done-college student, it really drives home the point of what exactly needs to be looked for in a human. He says, "It's not about who you want to spend a Friday night with man, it's about who you want to spend all day Saturday with." Ill let you interpret that how you may. I took it not just as a lust vs. love quote but also a quote about who you can stand moment-after-moment, not just who you want to be seen with. Near the end of the movie however, there is a scene with Dylan and his father which really tells you how to live your love life. But first a little backstory. In the movie, Dylan's dad has pretty severe case of Alzheimer's disease. He doesn't remember sometimes why his wife left him 10 years ago, and confuses a lot of people with those from his past. To make a long story short, he thinks he recognizes someone in the airport and when Dylan asks who he thought that was, he replies with "The love of my life". The father, in a moment of clarity, explains how he let "The One" get away...a typical line in these movies. But then he gets mad with himself, explaining how life is short and how, "this...this!" (Referring to his debilitating Alzheimer's by angrily motioning to his head) has really made him realize just how "God damn short life really is." At least for me, to see a man near the end of his life reflecting back on the biggest regret of his life when he can hardly remember where he is, was pretty powerful and it spoke to me. Sure we are always told to "chase That One we love", but how many of us really do it? How many people have really gone and talked to that person who takes your breath away? Food for thought I guess. 

Pointing = good chemistry?

There will undoubtedly be comparisons between this movie and No Strings Attached which stars Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman in basically the same scenario. Honestly, I was entertained more by No Strings Attached. I found that movie absolutely hilarious from basically beginning to end. But that movie wasn't real. It was obviously characters acting on a screen, hooking up, and going on with their lives. So...that leaves us with one being funnier than the other, in which case No Strings Attached > Friends With Benefits (look at my nerdy engineering symbols coming out...) and one being more realistic about love than the other one: Friends With Benefits > No Strings Attached.

I guess you could say that if you want a movie for a Friday night, go with No Strings Attached, and if you want a movie all day Saturday, go with Friends With Benefits.


Pros:

  • Great chemistry between Mila and Justin
  • Woody Harrelson and Richard Jenkins (Timberlake's father) excel in their roles as love-advice-givers
  • Just feels real, especially character interactions throughout the different levels of relationship
  • Love advice that, while cliched, makes you think
  • A few funny jokes and one liners
Cons:
  • Most funny parts were in the previews
  • Jokes in the beginning fall flat, creating an awkward theater
  • Among all the of the real-feeling characters, Jamie's (Mila Kunis) mom (Patricia Clarkson) seems outlandish and kind of unnecessary
  • Still has the typical romantic cliches...seriously Hollywood, when are we going to make some iconic romantic-movie scenes? I feel like they were all in the 80s, Titanic and The Notebook aside of course
  • Truthfully, No Strings Attached is more enjoyable, and way funnier

Rath's Review Score: 6.5/10 

Just a little side note: I will be in New Zealand from September 1st-September 11th meaning no blog posts for about a week and half or so. So...take a break from my blog, I know its hard, but shut down your computer and go outside! Its nice out! And when I get back I will have tons of adventures to share! See you in a bit!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rath's Reviews: Horrible Bosses

Finally I get to review a comedy! Lately I have been reviewing the big summer blockbusters and now that those are petering out I have some other material to review. I should note that to all of my U.S. readers, Australian movie releases are often delayed, hence the reason that most of my reviews are a couple weeks off, and in the case of Horrible Bosses, almost two months late. Regardless, I am going to review it!

You know how when you see a trailer for a movie and over the course of 6 months it doesn't really change? To me that means one thing: all the good parts are in the preview. Comedies are notorious for this, as are a lot of low budget action films. From what I could tell, the trailer for Horrible Bosses has hardly changed since it came out. There havent really been any funny additions, and to be honest it began to worry me. This summer has been PHENOMENAL so far when it comes to R-rated comedies (see Bridesmaids and The Hangover Part II) so I assumed that this might just be one of those copycat films trying to ride on the R-rated coattails of its ridiculously high-grossing brethren. The only thing that gave me hope was the fact that so many stars were tied to this movie that it had to have something special about it...

This trio could certainly give "The Wolfpack" a run for their money...
And there in lies the key as to why this movie is so ridiculously funny. Each character is perfectly, nay...flawlessly portrayed that it sells the whole film. Literally each boss-worker relationship could have its own movie tied to it; the performances are that good. And surprisingly the best performances are not given by the trio above (from left: Charlie Day, Jason Sudekis, Jason Bateman) although that isnt to say that their performances arent hilarious as well. The best performances come from their bosses, the huge-douche-bag Colin Farrell,  the sex-crazed-nympho Jennifer Aniston, and the arrogant-snoot Kevin Spacey. Farrell and Spacey's careers are pretty stable, but with the lackluster movies Aniston has been in lately, this role may very well revive her career if she plays her cards right. Its amazing how much the movie makes you hate each boss and by the time the three main characters are plotting to kill their bosses (the basic premise of the movie) you really agree with their decision. From Farrell asking Sudekis to "trim the fat" by firing all the fat people, to Aniston essentially raping Day while he is having a cavity removed, to Spacey falsely claiming that Bateman is an alcoholic in front of the entire workplace, the movie does a fantastic job of making you want to see these characters dead (well...maybe all of them but Aniston).

"Fire Professor Xavier over there. He wheels around all day in his special little chair. It creeps me out. He's up to something"

Im not so sure I wouldn't mind Aniston as my boss at this point...

Spacey: "That is why I have decided to promote myself to Senior Vice President of Sales"
Bateman: "What?! I mean...sorry..."
Spacey: "Its ok I'll just attribute this to your drinking problem."
The other (and final) star of the show is Jamie Foxx who plays Motherf***er Jones. I kid you not, that is his name in the movie and it leads to some hilarious conversations, including one about how he got his name (not what you may think). He is introduced as the trio's "murder consultant" giving them tips along the way about how to off each of their bosses. Motherf***er Jones doesnt ever say anything particularly laughable, but just the awkward way he acts is Jamie Foxx doing his comedian side very well. For example, watch whenever he goes to take a sip out of a drink through the straw...priceless.

Motherf***er Jones and his motherf***king little red straws
What I also liked about this film is that it didnt take the path I thought it was going to take. Without giving much away, Ill just say that near the end of the film, things arent looking too good for our boss-killing trio. There was hardly any slow down to the movie, with a strong beginning, middle, and end, all of which incorporate really funny bits and scenarios.

I guess my only complaint would be, and I know this isn't fair, but it clearly tries to be a new Hangover. Three guys getting into a lot of trouble and working their way out of it. Sound familiar? And when you compare it to The Hangover and The Hangover Part II (yes people it was the same exact movie, but still just as funny...get over the fact that the plot didnt change), the hi-jinks that these three get into dont really compare. But then again they arent in Vegas or Bangkok so there's that.

Basically, I was really surprised by Horrible Bosses. Comparing it to The Hangover is justified, but at the same time, this movie is original enough to stand alone. I went in thinking that it would be a very average comedy, but came out realizing that along with those off-the-wall bridesmaids and that "Wolfpack", there is a new gang in town now for the R-rated comedy game: the boss killers and their bosses. It looks like I was wrong again...

"It's ok. Ill just attribute that to your drinking problem"

Shut up Kevin Spacey!

Pros:

  • The characters. Plain and simple. Perfectly portrayed and one of those rare movies where the villains are just as much fun to watch as the protagonists 
  • Funny scenarios are constant. There wasn't a dull moment 
  • I think I might name my first kid Motherf***er Jones
  • Strong script and well directed
  • Intriguing and original premise, it feels fresh
Cons:

  • Can't help but feeling a little Hangover vibe despite the originality
  • Not too many one-liners. Lots of funny scenarios, but few quoteables
  •  A sequel to this one will feel VERY forced
  • Charlie Day's high pitched craziness gets somewhat irritating

Rath's Review Score: 8.5/10

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Middle Earth Itinerary

I feel very weird writing this next sentence: On Thursday, my Spring Break starts. Its so crazy to think that we are already in week 7 of class, I am about to go on Spring Break, and DU still wont be in class when I get back from break...spoiled white kids! I kid, I kid, but seriously, its crazy for me to think about. 

Since most of you at home are probably on the edge of your seat shouting at your computer screen with excitement, 
       
      "Jordan, where are you going for Spring Break? Please tell me. I must know!" (trust me I know these blogs get pretty exciting, I dont blame your enthusiasm)

Well my friends, I am headed to Middle Earth. For those of you non-geeks out there, that is Lord of the Rings talk for New Zealand. I leave on Thursday right after class and arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand on Thursday night. I will be there for 9 days and 10 nights and then I return home in the afternoon of September 11th (I'm kinda not digging flying on a plane on that date, but oh well). So to inform you all about what I will be up to, I am writing this blog to describe my itinerary day-by-day-by-day-by-day (Meet the Parents joke there, I figure at least my dad and brother will get a chuckle). Anyways, here we go:

Please refer to this map for some city locations. Also, this is what New Zealand looks like in case you havent had geography in a while...
DAY 1: Arrive the night before on Sep. 1st and stay in a hostel in Christchurch. Wake up Sep. 2nd for a long bus day through some great scenery (the first day of these types of trips are always long bus trips, great for relaxing and meeting the people around you). Today we meet our mascot, an inflatable sheep (yeah Im as puzzled as you are) and stop occasionally for pictures. Staying the night in Fox Glacier.
DAY 2: Today is glacier day. We pack on steel teeth boots and get ice picks as we watch the transition from rainforest to glacier walking along. The creaking and moaning of the glacier is audible and parts might even break off! The night will be spent in Wanaka, a beautiful lakeside town.

                                    I heard that we get to do this on the glacier! 
DAY 3: Another travel day to Queenstown, known as the adventure capital of the world. We will arrive in the afternoon and party at night.
DAY 4: Busy busy day. We start of by jetboating on a river through the Shotover Gorges. Apparently we will be travelling around 60mph and missing rock faces by mere centimeters. The actual itinerary makes sure to state: "Of course it's safe." After the jetboat, we hop into a helicopter to ride through the canyon at low altitude. Since we are now at the top of the canyon, there is only one way out...whitewater rafting out of the canyon! I think they will be class IIIs and IVs, which should be pretty fun. As long as there is no Class V Sunshine Falls, I should be able to just use one pair of underwear for the day (once again, a joke that my brother and father will understand). 
DAY 5: Today we bungee jump off the top of a mountain. Once again, the actual itinerary claims, "Of course it's safe." Afterwards, we take a gondola above Queenstown and then luge down on their luge track made of pine trees and hay bales. A pub crawl at night will "settle the nerves". 
DAY 6: Today is a free day in Queenstown to do what we want. One of the options is skydiving from 14,000 feet so I figure why not? I might as well grow all my gray hairs now right? 
DAY 7: Drive to Milford Sound and then get on a cruise for a really pretty scenery day. Rainforests, mountains, sheer cliffs, and huge waterfalls will be seen. 
DAY 8: Travel by boat in darkness to the glowworm grotto, where thousands and thousands of tiny glowworms are lit up in a dark cave. Spending the night in the University town, Dunedin
DAY 9: Traveling back to Christchruch with a stop to observe and practice sheep sheering. Final night is in Christchurch.
DAY 10: Flight back to Sydney from Christchurch in the late morning, arrive in the late afternoon. 

Well there is the basic rundown, and besides a couple of movie reviews in the next couple of days, I wont be blogging for a week or so. But when I get back, you can count on quite a few new, hair-raising, and exciting blogs coming your way! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rath's Reviews: Cowboys and Aliens

Well, I'll admit it. I was wrong. I know, I know...shocking, but I'll own up to it. My prediction at the beginning of the summer was that Cowboys and Aliens was going to be the surprise hit of the summer, this year's Inception. While there was certainly no Inception this summer, I would say the award of surprising me the most goes to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Honestly, I was somewhat disappointed with Cowboys and Aliens. Don't get me wrong, it was still very entertaining, but it seems to me that Jon Favreau (director of the still-stellar Iron Man and the kinda-stellar Iron Man 2) has lost his touch. A movie with this ridiculous of a title, James Bond, Indiana Jones, and the stunningly gorgeous Olivia Wilde should be a summer blockbuster hit right? Not exactly.

I think there is just a lack of imagination with alien movies as of late. Super 8 was great, but the alien didn't frighten me, not to mention it wasn't really the star of the movie. And don't even get me started on Battle: LA, easily the MOST disappointing movie of the year, and the most disappointed I have been coming out of a movie in a long time. The aliens in Cowboys and Aliens were intriguing, but certainly not memorable as in the Alien series, Independence Day, or the extremely intense Cloverfield (easily my favorite alien movie of the last decade).

Nerdgasm: Indiana Jones with James Bond

I think it would be easiest to split Cowboys and Aliens into two parts. The first 1.5 hours is a Western, and a slightly above average one. The last half-hour is a sci-fi, which is what I think the highlight of the movie is. We start off with Jake (Daniel Craig) waking up in the desert with a strange bracelet on, and he proceeds to beat up some bounty hunters, go into town, get arrested, and then the aliens come. Besides that, I wont give much away, but its a pretty predictable plot...maybe part of the reason the movie feels so average for a while. I would even argue that most of the character development comes from the final battle scene, revealing most of the character's true colors. Writing this now and looking back, the first hour and a half seems like a explaining of the material more than anything. It includes some funny parts, and some cool action scenes in its own right, but other than that, it is forgettable.

Someone is gonna need one bigass flyswatter

"Look at my shiny bracelet mom!"
However, the performances are there. Sometimes they are not given much to work with script-wise, but each person does their duty, and they do it well. Olivia Wilde is so mysterious that at one point I asked myself why she was being so weird, Daniel Craig is once again a badass, and Harrison Ford once again proves why he is one of Hollywood's most iconic actors. I would also like to give kudos to Sam Rockwell, who turns in maybe the strongest performance of the movie as a side character. He is the town's somewhat bullied Doctor, and out of all the characters, I cared the most about his outcome.

If you look up gorgeous in the dictionary, this image appears

Alternate title for this movie: Horsies and Birdies
Also giving a great performance is the special effects. The aliens are pretty interesting, with a pair of hands that emerge from their chests making them great for multitasking! But while they look good with only one on screen at a time, when they are moving in fast motion, the CG fake-ness kicks in. But besides that, the special effects are well done. Explosions all look threatening, painful, and burning. The flying crafts against the Western blue sky look excellent, and the stunts performed (specifically Daniel Craig jumping from horseback to an alien aircraft) impressed me.

To be honest, Im not sure what it is about Cowboys and Aliens, but it just doesnt live up to the potential I know it could have. In my honest opinion, I think it would have been a better film (albeit less successful box-office wise) if it had been rated R. I usually dont complain about movie ratings, but honestly, most alien movies work better with a good amount of gore. Surprisingly, Cowboys and Aliens has quite a bit more gore than I thought it would, slightly pushing its PG-13 rating, but its nothing shocking. Ultimately, I just really cant put my finger on what is holding this movie back. Its good, and it just feels like it is sooooo close to being great; to being a classic, but it doesnt quite make it. This one has got a perfect amount of "Yee", but just not enough "haw"


Pros:

  • The performances are great for what they are given
  • Fun to see James Bond and Indy on screen at the same time
  • Olivia Wilde. Nuf' said
  • Last 30 minutes of the movie would get a 9/10
  • Beautiful landscapes of the Western U.S.
  • Special effects, especially explosions
  • Will probably make a sweet Blu-ray
Cons:
  • Aliens are cool, but not iconic
  • Aliens in motion look pretty fake
  • The first hour and a half would get a 5/10
  • Script is lacking in some areas
  • Missing the funny parts scattered throughout most of Favreau's work
  • There is just something holding it back, I can't put my finger on it
Rath's Review Score: 7/10

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rath's Reviews: Green Lantern

Critics suck. They always have, and they always will. When I see a movie, it needs to do one thing and one thing only: entertain me. If it doesnt do that, or if it doesnt do that well then I am not a fan of it. Many critics these days have forgotten this and tend to complain about the same thing every time. For example, Roger Ebert (who I generally agree with) is an old crotchety man when it comes to 3D. Literally the best movie in the world could be presented in 3D and he will mark it down for the "dim 3D lighting effect". Its pretty annoying. Same goes for Peter Travers who reviews for the Rolling Stone. The man has a vendetta against Michael Bay and even goes as far to criticize the man in reviews of movies that he has nothing to do with. Granted Michael Bay isnt the best movie maker in the world (Uwe Boll anyone?), but come on...Transformers 1 was entertaining. Bad Boys 2 was entertaining. I personally liked Pearl Harbor and Dark of the Moon. Yeah they arent going to win any awards, but did you expect them to in the first place? Thats like thinking that Black Swan was going to win best special effects...it just doesnt work that way. Movies can be entertaining for several reasons. Performances (The Dark Knight's Joker), effects (Avatar), scenarios (Superbad), etc. Not every movie has all these qualities, so why judge every movie as if they have to?


Now that I have had my tangent, I return to my first statement. Critics suck. Green Lantern has been blasted by critics as having a poor plot, weak characters, etc. It has been criticized by fanboys as not being accurate to the comics. But you know what? I was thoroughly entertained by it, every bit as much as I was the first time I saw Iron Man. Most people I have talked to liked it as well. It is a fun summer flick with good action, hot stars, a simple (not poor, there is a difference) plot, and room for an expansive universe. Sure its no Dark Knight, but it also isnt near as bad as all the critics are saying.

Early use of the power of the Green Lantern ring
Getting into the movie, the action was far better than I expected. I loved the use of the Green Lantern's powers and thought that as an origins movie, the things that Hal Jordan chose to make with the ring were clever and used well. The movie relies EXTREMELY heavily on special effects. Overall, I would say the studio did a great job. Ryan Reynolds looks realistic in the CG suit, and the only time I was able to notice clear animation was when he was in flight. The movie really shines when it is in deep space and with all the other Green Lantern species in the universe. The 3D for the movie was also very well done, and I would recommend seeing it in 3D. 

Large Star Wars vibe during some parts of the movie
Yeah, that does look painful
As for the performances, Ryan Reynolds does a great job as the lead Hal Jordan. Also, Mark Strong is a strong, yet mysterious Sinestro. Supposedly this character and Hal Jordan dont get along later in the comic series, so an interesting relationship could be forming there. Peter Sarsgaard is decent as the human villain, and really my only main complaint of the movie. His character's makeup and transformation is somewhat laughable, but I think that that is the effect the movie was going for. But the screams he lets out whenever the painful head transformations are occurring are just plain obnoxious. Unnecessary in my opinion.

And then we get to Blake Lively. Now, she is not the only reason I liked this movie. Had there been no female lead I still would have enjoyed the action scenes and mythology. But seriously. Blake Lively gets my vote for THE most gorgeous woman on the planet. I was completely mesmerized by her every time she was on screen. Her acting was nothing special (they left her character a little under developed), but I'll be damned if you could find one scene where she doesn't look like an angel. 



Yes I know this is not a shot from the movie. Its my blog; I do what I want!

Hence the nickname I have given her: Angel #0
Pros:

  • Simple, fun story
  • Promising future with a ridiculously expansive universe
  • Blake Lively
  • Most everyone else's performances
  • Fun uses of the Green Lantern power
  • Most of the special effects
  • Did I mention Blake Lively?
Cons:
  • Hector Hammond's screaming. Seriously, we get it. You have a headache. Take an Aspirin
  • The special effects are noticeably fake during some scenes. 
  • Disappointingly short final battle
  • Some awkward editing
  • The fact that Blake Lively isn't in every scene somehow
Rath's Review Score: 9/10

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Quiet Night Out on the Town...

Recently, it was my friend Rachel's birthday (she was the only one I knew coming to Australia). Even more special was the fact that it was her 21st birthday, something that is very important to celebrate big in the U.S. So how do you go big in Sydney? Well you dress up, go out for a nice dinner, and go clubbing of course!

We started off the night going to the Blackbird Cafe which is located in Darling Harbor. This area is always busy at night, and very pretty:

Darling Harbor at night

Where the Blackbird Cafe is located




Despite the poor service and the complete lack of a computer program which allows for the check to be placed on multiple credit cards (we are in the 21st century...are you kidding me?), the Blackbird Cafe was really fun, and had tons of great food. I personally got the Chicken and Avocado Linguine. Here we are at the Blackbird:

Model Pose #1

Model Pose #2

Birthday Jager Bombs 
Model Pose #3 with Birthday girl, Rachel

Good friends

The large group
After we (aka the birthday girl and myself) were done modeling, we headed to the Argyle which is an extremely cool club down in the historic part of Sydney known as the Rocks. It has a red carpet leading to the doorway, three separate bars, two floors, a floating DJ platform, outdoor patio, and tons and tons of people. I didnt want to take many pictures at the club (nothing screams tourist like taking pictures of a nightclub when you are out to have a good time...), but here are a couple of the entrance.



After a few hours of dancing, drinking, and comedic acts amongst ourselves, it was time to go to another club: Pancakes on the Rocks. On the walk over there though, I was excited to snap this shot of one of the companies that I work for!


Cool huh! But let me tell you that nothing can really beat pancakes and champagne at 2am in the morning. So refreshing after a night of lots of walking and dancing. Dont believe me?


Changed your mind? I thought so. Thats two pancakes with chocolate sauce, walnuts, bananas, and chocolate and vanilla ice cream with a side of sparkling wine. After we all lost ourselves in the deliciousness of our pancakes we headed back home (finally) and I slept in until noon the next day, a personal best for me and a bit on the early side for my brother.

Overall, a very fun night, and great way to celebrate someone's  21st birthday. Definitely a night out in Sydney that I will never forget!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Introducing: My Future Profession

So after the zoo farm, we drove about an hour or so more into Hunter Valley and thus that leads us to

HUNTER VALLEY PART II



It is here that I discovered my new dream job. In combination with testing exotic cars, reviewing movies and videogames, and male modeling; I have decided that fine wine and cheese tasting is going to have to make me money some day. Im thinking my own TV show would be appropriate? How would you like this guy as your host:


Quite dashing if I do say so myself. But in all seriousness, it was really fun to taste a bunch of different wines and compare which ones tasted better and why they did. I was personally not a big fan of white wines or dessert wines, but after tasting some award-winning options spanning over three different vineyards, I definitely am now. And nearly all of the red wines were oh-so-good. And then there was the cheese...it was so good. My favorite was probably some brie that I tried that literally melted in my mouth, but I also tried some others, including a distinctly, earthy, ash-covered cheese. It was an intriguing combination, but the ash gave it a from-the-ground taste which was better than it sounds.

Along with wine and cheese tasting, we also got to witness some gorgeous country side, which, living in Sydney, we dont get to see too often.



Not my shoe


After we finished wine tasting and were served wine on the bus ride, we took a short drive to a pub in the middle of Hunter Valley. Now for those of you keeping track and wondering at home: yes I was tipsy by this point. Regardless, we went to the pub and had some famous "Jungle Juice". Luckily, this was not anything like American Jungle Juice which consists of Everclear, Kool-aid, vodka-soaked fruit, lost dignities, and/or terrible hangovers (not speaking from experience). This Jungle Juice was more of a port wine with some strong fruit juice flavors. Very tasty. And since our tour guide loved our group so much, he took shots of it with us!


Happy tour guide on left, random guy, Rachel, myself, Soren
Well thats all for Hunter Valley! Hope you enjoyed getting to know some cute animals and familiarizing yourself with one of my future professions! Cheers!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Softest Thing You've Never Touched

I've decided to split up my Hunter Valley wine tasting trip into two different posts. The first one (aka this one) is about the zoo farm we went to during the morning and the second one (aka not this one) will be about the actual wine tasting! 

So.........wanna see something cute?


BOOM! If that doesn't blow your cuteness scale off the chart then I dont know what will. Koalas were the very first thing that I went to at the zoo farm seeing as how they are pretty much the softest creature known to mankind and easily one of my favorite animals. If I ever get really really rich I have decided that, along with the IMAX theater in my house, I want to own some Koala bears. Their ability to snuggle is legendary and their fur is probably made up of pure sunlight/perfection. I felt honored to take a picture with this little guy:


Also quite high on the cuteness scale are baby kangaroos, which I also got to pet...once I coerced him with food. In the end, I think my scratches behind his ears made him realize that the process of being coaxed over was well worth it. 


In contrast to the shy kangaroos, the emus were intense. They would eat the food we had for them and once it was all gone they would look at you like, "Where the hell is more food?" It was hilarious. So to counter their anger, we gave them a whole bag of feed. Enjoy this hilarious video:


And finally, an animal which rates extremely high on the cuteness scale:


Gotcha! But seriously this guy was huge! He looks very friendly and inviting! 

Well thats it for Hunter Valley Part I. Look for Part II very soon.