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Category Archives: Family

The Amazing Spider-Man

Okay, so I just took my son to see The Amazing Spider-Man. We went to the IMAX and saw it in 3D. I was fortunate to have a couple of free IMAX tickets and decided to use them for this. Got a couple more free tickets I’ll be using in a couple more weeks for the guy with the pointy ears. 😉

I had gotten used to the Tobey Maguire version that Sam Raimi had come up with. As with a lot of fans when I heard there was to be a reboot instead of a fourth film I was left scratching my head wondering what they were thinking. Then when I heard they were going to have the same villain as what had apparently been planned for the fourth film in The Lizard I really couldn’t figure out why they just hadn’t left what I considered well enough alone. When I saw early still shots from the set and the costume with the weird attachments, I just figured it would be a terrible movie.

The trailers made me think otherwise. Otherwise enough to take my son as he got excited over seeing Spider-Man in the theater as opposed to the TV with daddy’s DVDs of the previous films and the cartoons.

Now I won’t do any spoilers here, but I will touch on some elements, so depending on your level of sensitivity before seeing something, just be warned.

This was a surprisingly well done version of Peter Parker. Going back to his high school roots – and staying there throughout the film – was an excellent move on the people creating this. I had always felt that with Tobey’s first outing they could have kept him in school a bit longer, but forgave them for the sake of the movie. I don’t know how long they intend to keep the Andrew Garfield version in high school, but the fact he was still in there at the end of the film was a good sign.

Another surprise was the way both Martin Sheen and Sally Field were able to pull off Uncle Ben and Aunt May. I had thought I’d be distracted by their star status, and for a bit there I was, but they proved their acting ability and made a believer out of me. The final scene with Peter and Uncle Ben was very heart wrenching, and that’s from someone that has seen a few different ways this story has been told.

I liked seeing the evolution of the costume. It was very believable and quite funny at times.

The family of Gwen Stacy was a really nice touch as we had dealt with Mary Jane already in the previous movies. Denis Leary did a great job playing the cop dad of Gwen that was out to get Spider-Man.

The Lizard was one bad ass character to have to deal with. This was a tough character and done in a way that I think was better than whatever Raimi and crew could have given us, and considering how well they had done the previous films, that’s saying a lot. I did think he could have used a bit more snout, but otherwise it was a top notch rendering and Rhys Ifans did an outstanding job playing Dr. Conners and showing his battle with The Lizard persona.

Humorous bits between Peter Parker and Flash Thompson were nice, and I liked that they got Flash to be blond this time although I thought he could have used more hair on his head.

The cameo of Stan Lee was the best of his cameos I had seen yet! He never said a word and I was laughing the entire time. Excelsior, Stan the Man!

After having seen The Avengers, I was wondering just how well films such as The Amazing Spider-Man and the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises would fare. Completely different types of films. The Avengers was a kick butt team action film. The Amazing Spider-Man was a drama with action. Looking back at Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I’d say The Dark Knight Rises will be as well. The Avengers still holds the spot for best comicbook movie I’d seen in a long, long time, but The Amazing Spider-Man cannot be compared to it.

I have to look back at what we had before with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire. Great films for when they came out, and I got all three on DVD and will be watching them again soon. But this film The Amazing Spider-Man is a film for today, and to keep the Raimi look and feel at this point would not have worked as well as I believe this one did. There were a lot of great shots of Spider-Man in the air, especially near the end, and his use of the webbing in this film was extremely slick.

Overall, I believe this was a great idea for a reboot and I think we’ll be seeing a few more with this cast and crew in the coming years.

And before I go, remember, this is a Marvel Comics movie. When the credits start to roll, be a wise person and keep your butt in the seat until they are finished. When you get up at the beginning of the credits, you will always miss out on something at the end of a Marvel Comics movie. Just know that.


Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers of my blog! I do hope that you all enjoy getting together with friends and family and enjoy whatever food you decide to eat (turkey for us!) as we remember the heritage of this nation.

Some of you may have wondered after my last entry if I not only forgot to plug into my cell phone about doing another post on here, but that maybe I lost my whole calendar!

Never to fear, I’ve just been tied up with a lot of things I’ve been working on and have been demanding my attention in one way or another.

I have a new business endeavor I haven’t officially started yet, but prepping for it took up some time during the month of October. This month of November has been dedicated toward another business endeavor with a particular goal in mind for the end of the month. Throughout it all, I’ve had several stressful situations of varying degrees occur which took up any time I would have put toward this blog and a couple of other pleasant things in my life such as just sitting back each night with a good novel to read before I go to bed.

So, enough of that, I’m sure you are wondering what all is going on with Beyond the Charts.

Well, as you should be aware, I’m taking pre-orders for “GRO$$ OUT!! – Effective Marketing For Getting Your Next $144,000”

This is a Limited – Signed and Numbered – Hardback Edition sold only through Beyond the Charts which will be released at full price in March 2012.

The first pre-order price (which all prices include shipping and handling) was at $25 ($35 international) at the beginning of September. It went up in October and now in November it is at $35 ($45 international). If that sounds a little high, just remember that it IS a hardback edition, and if you’ve taken a look at hardbacks, even the latest Stephen King novel is almost $35 in hardback. And that’s WITHOUT shipping and handling. Mine includes shipping. And it’s a Limited Edition. Signed by myself as the author. So the rarity does demand a respective price.

Even so, I am making a special price just for Black Friday after Thanksgiving.

For 24 hours I will have the pre-order price be at the lowest it has ever been from the website at $22 ($32 international) and that STILL includes shipping and handling.

I’m also offering select prizes to certain people that order including not having to pay for the book! That’s right, some people will be able to get the book for FREE!!!

All the info you need for this Black Friday Sale can be found at Beyond the Charts, so be sure to go there to look it all over, and be sure to come back after you’ve eaten some turkey so you can pre-order yourself the book which will help you make some sales of your product this next year!

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Have a great weekend, and I hope to see your name in my inbox as someone I’ll be sending a signed copy of my book to in March! 🙂


It’s inevitable. And it happens all too frequently. But it’s the person who adapts to change and keeps going forward that not only survives but can even thrive.

I’ve had a lot of changes happen in my life, and it seems that my life isn’t going to stop changing any time soon.

I find it interesting how I always seem to know how to talk so much when I’m around others in person, but to type up a blog entry to share my thoughts? I have trouble with that for some reason. Something else I’ll need to change.

Right now I’m watching Avatar while I type this up. It’s playing on HBO. Jake has just been accepted into the Na’vi tribe and they’re doing the fractal form thing where they all put hands on him by each putting hands on the other one in front of them. If you’ve seen the movie, then you know that this was one of the many turning points where things kept changing him from a crippled man with no hope to the courageous leader of the Na’vi.

Avatar Jake

I may not have to go through that drastic of a change, but I do wonder what other changes await me as my own path reveals itself?

Time will tell as they say.

Six years ago on the seventh of January, I went to the courthouse with Mwiche Kalinda and we became man and wife.

There was no crowd of people that we knew cheering us on, no minister that we had hired, no special suit for me or dress for her, and no photographer around either to capture the moment. Just a crowd of other couples ready for their vows, a judge that kept the line of couples moving as each one stepped forward to say their “I do”, and a lot of nervousness, excitement, and love felt between me and my new wife Mwiche James.

Mwiche James

As with all couples, we’ve had our ups and downs, our arguments and make-ups, and we’ve had our secrets that aren’t spoken of to anyone else. And we’ve had our faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to help us through things.

Today, we have two children, a boy and a girl. David James II is going to be 5 years old come March 2nd, and Tehilla James is going to be 2 years old come June 23rd.

D.J. and Tehilla

We went from being two people going to a courthouse to four people making up a loving family.

The James Family

And on Friday, the kids stayed with my mom as my wife and I went out to have an evening together that we haven’t had in quite some time.

We went driving for a distance to eat at the Olive Garden and had a pleasant time talking on the way down. No radio. No CDs. No kids. Just the two of us being able to talk without interruption. Doesn’t happen as often as we would like and we took full advantage of it. The wait at the restaurant was almost an hour, but once we were in our seats the waiter was very nice and took care of all our dining needs. We talked less at that point, but when we did it coupled the great emotion we both felt as we knew that we loved each other just as much now, if not more, than we did on the day we went to that courthouse.

Upon leaving the restaurant, we decided not to take in a movie after all because of the lateness so we left to go home. Before we got to the highway though we thought we’d stop at the Super Wal-Mart to get a few things. As she went in, I chose to stay outside a bit to let my stomach settle some and told her I’d join her in a bit. After I began to get cold, I decided to go inside. We walked around Wal-Mart a bit more for some other things and then left for home.

Once home, we completed the night the way a married couple should and afterward went to bed.

Then, later on, I found out the hard way why it’s called “Dinner and a movie” and not “Dinner and a walk around Super Wal-Mart” as my stomach was not as settled as I had thought.

My wife was very understanding and let me sleep in quite late – even for me – because of my restless night.

And that’s just one of the many things that reminds me of why I love this woman that I have been married to now for six years and counting.

Me and Mwiche