Tammy Totally Terrible

July 25th, 2014 at 2:56 pm by under THRS Movie Reviews

This film is the story of TAMMY (Melissa McCarthy) and her very bad day… err… life.  Let’s start with her bad day.

She wrecks her car, her job (fired by her boss / Melissa McCarthy’s real-life husband Ben Falcone), and her marriage (she finds her husband Greg/Nat Faxon–whom I’ve met– cajoling in her house with the neighbor played by Toni Collette).  So she pretty much has no choice but to flee the city with her ailing/alcoholic grandma Pearl (Susan Sarandon).  She’s totally broke and Pearl has a car and some cash… so they hit the road, much to the dismay of her mother (Allison Janney. Yep… that sums up her day.)
Before long the pair find themselves at a bar in Louisville, looking for a good time.   So they spend some time drinking, some time fighting and before long, there’s jail time, quasi-armed robbery for bail money, and a lesbian Fourth of July party.  I mention the party because it’s where we meet Pearl’s cousin Lenore (Kathy Bates and her partner Susanne (Sandra Oh).  They are instrumental to the change in direction of Tammy and Pearl’s lives.  (And they are known to be good actors.)
They eventually go home to face the music and reality.   And guess who comes to get Tammy at the very end of the movie?  Her Dad (played by Dan Aykroyd), whom we haven’t seen the entire film.  And as films like this do… they try to tie all the storylines up with a pretty bow.
The screenplay is written by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone and Directed by Ben Falcone — might I add badly directed by Ben Falcone.
Tammy tries to be a kind of goofball comedy, and then a road comedy, and then “I don’t know what”.  The characters are thin and when the shift happens near the end in an attempt to hit viewers in the heart with a poignant twist… it doesn’t work at all.  Awkward.
I was really wishing and hoping for something watchable with the list of truly TALENTED stars that were in this film.  Many of their lines come off like they are reading lines (more of a problem with the director and the script — not necessarily the actors) I kept thinking — what a waste of talent!  There were two laugh-out-loud moments for me.  That’s it TWO!  For a comedy!  Seeing Nat Faxon and Allison Janney made my mind wander back to last summer and one of my favorite summer films — The Way Way Back.    Rent that.

ONE OUT OF FIVE COOKIES

Rated R for language including sexual references.


Earth to Echo doesn’t really resonate

July 25th, 2014 at 2:37 pm by under THRS Movie Reviews

   Earth to Echo is the summer family adventure movie that will make you want to phone home.      The main characters are great characters.  Tuck, Munch and Alex are best friends on the verge of losing each other.  Tuck (Brian ‘Astro’ Bradley, The X Factor) is a filmmaker in the making — the entire film is his perspective;  Alex (Teo Halm) is the foster kid with the heart; and Munch (Reese Hartwig) is the technology whiz.
A massive highway expansion construction project is about to level their neighborhood.  When they begin receiving some weird kind of signals on their cell phones, they are convinced that something bigger is going on.  That’s when they set out on an adventure that none of them would have suspected.  Before long they are face-to-face with a bonafide alien, and they really can’t believe it.  They go right to work when they realize the alien needs their help.

They dub the little guy ECHO and after a series of question-and-answer sessions, they know what they need to do.  But there are bad guys disguised as construction workers trying to find Echo.
There are a series of cat-and-mouse scenes and along the way, the buddy trio takes on a fourth member — a girl from school named Emma (Ella Wahlestedt, Army Wives).  The four of them are determined to understand Echo and help him get home.  They never expected to learn so much from the little alien — who by the way is just adorable.
Dave Green makes his directorial debut with a screenplay written by Henry Gayden (no film writing credits) and struggled to find the right footing for this story.  Clearly inspired by much of what Steven Spielberg has already done, Earth to Echo never achieves any of it.  There are scenes that will remind you of E.T.  There are scenes that seem inspired by Goonies… I even saw moments that reminded my of Stand by Me.    All favorite films of mine… but Earth to Echo doesn’t come close.  It’s likeable enough, but there are flaws everywhere.  We never quite come to care about all of the characters, the adults are peripheral, and the whole deal with how and when echo ended up on earth ?    I never really got it.

Interesting to note — Disney made this film in 2012, shelved it and then sold it to Relativity who has released it now.  Seems like Disney didn’t know what to do with it and I see why.
What did I really NOT like?  The camera work.  It’s first person point of view and that makes a potentially really nausea-inducing experience.  It was for me in the beginning of the film, though I got used to it as we went along.  But for my girlfriend, she had her head buried almost the entire film.  The kids seemed to adjust quickly, but 99% of the film is shot shaky and can be really hard to watch.
I WAS absolutely stunned by one scene — you may have seen in a preview… Echo disassembles and then reassembles a tractor-trailer truck coming right at the kids in order to avoid a head-on collision.  It was worth every second of the time it spent being created!
The lesson we learn in the end is a good one about friendship… but!  The bigger lesson is bring the motion sickness meds!

TWO AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE COOKIES
Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language.


Day Two of Redskins Training Camp 2014

July 25th, 2014 at 2:20 pm by under Sports

Another early day here at Redskins training camp, Coach Jay Gruden is a big believer to start early and that means everybody on site at 7am and practice begins at 8:30

This year, because of the NFL players contract teams can only have one practice where the players wear pads and actually hit each other. The rest of the day is classroom work and then a walk through at 4:30 in the afternoon when hopefully things cool down.

Of course yesterday a morning and afternoon rainstorm disrupted the schedule a bit.

Was it the rain, or just my imagination, but RG-3 looked to be a little off and the defense looked to be a little sharper as the Washington Redskins officially opened training camp yesterday in a good old fashioned Richmond rain storm.

I guess you could say the football season officially got underway as new Coach Gruden and his staff got a chance to see their team in pads as the team began preperation for their season opener 45 days from now against the Houston Texans.

Quarterback Robert Griffin the third looked a little rusty during his first practice session, and Coach Gruden had this to say about practice and his quarterback.

“It was a little erratic. I think the wet balls – the balls were really wet early on. Didn’t come out of his hands right a couple of times. But I think he’ll be the first to tell you he needs to improve and I’ll be the second to tell you he needs to improve. That’s going to be the case every day, I’m sure of that.”

As for RG3, he had no excuses.

“I think today it’s one of those things you say when things are going wrong as an offense we weren’t as efficient as we wanted to be today all-around, including myself. So, it’s a good thing to have to work through the rain and have to throw those wet footballs and have to catch those wet footballs and have to work on the quarterback/center exchange, all those things. So, you start camp, there’s a lot of excitement. Football is back. And then you have a practice like today where the weather plays a huge factor, and you have to kind of block that out. So, I think today’s practice we got better as a football team just having to go through the rough practice.”

While RG-3 runs the offense, there is no question Alfred Morris is the engine. Since his rookie year in 2012, Morris is one of only two running backs in the NFL — along with Adrian Peterson — who’s rushed for over 2,8 hundred yards.

On he other end of the spectrum, 13 year veteran Santana Moss is in a fight just to make the team. He signed a one year non guaranteed contract after being moved to slot reciever last year.

With big names such as DeShawn Jackson, Pierre Garson and new slot receiver Andre Roberts in the mix, and nine other receivers in camp, the competition is fierce.


The Tornado And Other Damage From Thursday

July 25th, 2014 at 8:56 am by under Weather

It’s sad when you hear about a person that died from the weather.  Especially when you are covering it.  You try and keep people as safe as you can, but meteorologists can only do so much.  Yesterday, there was a confirmed tornado on the Eastern Shore.  It was rated an EF-1 tornado with estimated winds between 80 and 100mph.

Tornado/Wind Info

Tornado/Wind Info

The tornado moved through Cherrystone.  It especially hit hard a large campground there.  There were 2 deaths as a tree fell on a tent.  It was a family and the child is in the hospital  A very sad story.

There was a 150 yard wide path of damage.  It lasted for 8 miles.  One viewer sent in this photo of their camper which had been overturned.

Damage In Cherrystone

Damage In Cherrystone

This person said that her child had been hit in the head by a branch.  They are all ok according the the email, but there were numerous injuries at the park.  There was also some straight-lined wind damage from the storm that stretched down to Cape Charles.  Large hail also fell in the region.  It made it up to about golf-ball sized.

Looking back at what happened, this was an almost worst case scenario. (a stronger tornado in the middle of the night would be THE worst case).  For example, while there was some broad rotation in the storm, but  it didn’t tighten up until about 2 miles from the shore.  It then dropped a waterspout that moved onto land and became a tornado.  With the storm moving east at 25mph, that doesn’t leave much time to warn.  There was a lead time between the warning and the actual tornado.  I’ve heard different numbers, but 8 minutes is the most common. Also, this happened early in the morning. This is typically our most stable time of day.  In a previous blog I mentioned that the instability was actually growing at this time.  Also at that time of day most folks are just waking up when they are on vacation.  It was very warm and humid out.  The deep humidity led to lower clouds than usual.  With the localized spin this helped lead to a tornado.  Finally, the area hit was one of the largest campgrounds in the region.  Campers and trailers are highly susceptible to damage during severe winds, and it’s even worse during a tornado.  So say a prayer for the folks that are over on the Eastern Shore today.

Aside from that we also had strong storms yesterday morning and evening in some other Virginia cities.  Here are the 24 hour severe weather reports:

Storm Reports

Storm Reports

We also had numerous reports sent into the station.  Here was one photo of a huge tree down in Hunterdale, VA.

Tree Down In Hunterdale, VA

Tree Down In Hunterdale, VA

It had to be a strong wind to be able to do that as the tree looked pretty thick.  Also, I had one viewer send me a report on facebook.  This is of a silo in Sedley, VA which took some major damage.

Silo Down In Sedley

Silo Down In Sedley

There were also many reports of street flooding, lightning, and hail.  The one bright spot out of all of this is that one large area got rain that needed it.

24 Hour Rain Totals

24 Hour Rain Totals

From the Peninsula northward there was over an inch of rain.  About 1-2 inches in some cases.  This region had missed out on a lot of the recent rain.  So I am happy for them.  Jan in Reedville had been hoping for rain for weeks.  She got over an inch.

Today the cold front has settled to our south.

Satellite/Radar/Fronts

Satellite/Radar/Fronts

We had a cooler morning with lows in the 60s and 70s.  There were a few sprinkles early, but then they moved south.  High pressure will build in through the day and we’ll gradually dry things out.  We’ll see highs in the low/mid 80s.  Winds will be out of the north at 10mph. Tonight will be mostly clear with lows in the upper 60s to near 70.  Tomorrow looks good.  Skies will be partly cloudy with highs in the upper 80s.  Heat will build in again by Sunday. Highs will be in the low/mid 90s.  We’ll see some late day showers and storms.  Storms will fire up again on Monday out ahead of another cold front.  Since we’ve had this crazy pattern, I would expect more strong-severe storms.  So stay tuned to the weather.  There will be another batch of much cooler air over the Midwest.  Behind the front, some of that will move into our region by the middle of next week.

I miss the old days of partly cloudy with a few pop up showers and storms each day during the Summer.  I’m not a fan of this crazy pattern.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


EF1 Tornado Confirmed On The Eastern Shore

July 24th, 2014 at 6:05 pm by under Weather

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for all of the yellow counties and cities until 11pm.

Severe TStorm Watch Until 11pm

Severe TStorm Watch Until 11pm

The storms may contain damaging wind gusts in excess of 60mph and also quarter sized hail. Keep your television set tuned to WAVY TV for more information.

Tornado Recap:

The strong storm that moved across the Chesapeake Bay was able to create a tornado and straight-line wind damage.

Super Doppler 10 Radar

Super Doppler 10 Radar

Severe Storm On Radar

Severe Storm On Radar

Tornado Path

Tornado Path

Here are the details:

  • EF1 Tornado with winds up to 100mph
  • 150 yards wide
  • 8 mile path length (Some was over water)
  • 2 Fatalities
  • 36 Injuries

There was also reports of baseball sized hail near the Cherrystone Campground and 75mph straight line wind damage.


Severe Weather From Today

July 24th, 2014 at 2:02 pm by under Weather

I won’t lie…This morning was rough.  Storms fired up early and produced severe weather across the region.  A cold front entered the region and kicked off numerous downpours.  There was a very humid airmass out ahead of the boundary.  Temperatures were already very warm in the upper 70s to near 80.  There was some instability, but it wasn’t off the charts.  In fact…there was no smoking gun for this morning.  Through the early morning hours there was no slight risk for severe weather from the Storm Prediction Center.  It was upgraded by mid morning, but that was about the time of the damage on the Eastern Shore.  The computer models did not pick up on the earliness of the storms.  I will say that there were a couple things that favored strong storms.  There was some upper level wind support.  It was decent for this time of year.  Plus, the instability was growing despite the early time of day.  The cold front provided a focus for storms, and the cloud decks were very low due to the deep humidity.  As a few of the storms started they produced heavy rain to our west, but there were no warnings initially.

Satellite/Radar (7:30am)

Satellite/Radar (7:30am)

By about 8:30 am one of the storms moved from the Middle Peninsula across the Chesapeake Bay.  As it did so, it gained a lot of strength.  Before it reached the Eastern Shore there was a severe thunderstorm warning for one of the inland storms.  So we started to focus on that.  The radar had already showed an area of strong reflectivity over the Bay storm.  This was a sign of heavy rain and hail.  However, there wasn’t much rotation as it was over the Bay.  About 1-2 miles offshore it did pick up the rotation, and it did likely form a waterspout.  At it moved over land it likely became a tornado.  The National Weather Service is working to confirm this as I type.

Super Doppler 10 Radar

Super Doppler 10 Radar

The rotation moved right over Cherrystone and Cheriton, VA.  There was a brief spinup, and then the rotation dissipated shortly after those towns.  There was a lot of damage to a camp ground in Cherrystone.  There was also some large hail reported.  Again, there wasn’t a lot of time to warn folks as the storm really took shape just offshore.  There was a marine warning for over the Bay for mariners.  Unfortunately, there were some deaths.  Here’s the story so far: Eastern Shore.

Storms continued a while longer.  The front slowly slipped southward, and temperatures dropped.

Satellite, Radar, & Fronts

Satellite, Radar, & Fronts

We’ll still see scattered showers and storms this afternoon into the evening. A few storms will be strong over northeast North Carolina, but the storms shouldn’t be too bad for the rest of the region.  Heavy rain will still be possible.  The models do show that.  There’s a lot of storm reports coming in, but I haven’t see many photos of the actual tornado.  I have seen one possible photo, but no others.  We’re trying to confirm.  We’ll have more updates this evening.  We will see a nice day tomorrow.  I think we all need it at this point.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Cold Front And Severe Weather

July 24th, 2014 at 10:26 am by under Weather

We are in the middle of coverage, but I wanted to just do a quick mention.  We’ve had strong storms in the region this morning along a cold front.  The system is moving east/southeast.  We have had reports of a tornado that touched down near the Cherrystone area of the Eastern Shore.  Here was the radar just shortly after that time:

Severe Storm On Radar

Severe Storm On Radar

We also had reports of large hail in that zone.  Storms continue this morning as the front slowly pushes east.  Heavy rain and strong gusty winds will be possible through noon.  There will be another round of rain later today.  The atmosphere has been worked over pretty good.  So the severe threat should diminish.  However, storms will likely fire up over northeast North Carolina this afternoon where storms have been sparse so far.  We’ll have a bigger update either later this morning or around the midday.  Be safe out there.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Depression 2 Has Weakened. A Cold Front. And Social Weather.

July 23rd, 2014 at 9:06 am by under Weather

*Update on Tropical Depression 2…see bold text below.

Ok, we’ve got a few topics in the cards today.  Let’s talk about the tropics first.  Tropical Depression 2 is having trouble hanging on.  By the time you read this, the system may be dead.  It was looking very ragged on the satellite by 8 am.

T.D. 2 On Satellite

T.D. 2 On Satellite

Officially, the system had winds of 35mph, and it was moving WNW at 20mph.  That’s a pretty fast mover for a tropical system, and it will probably act to weaken it further. So we are about ready to write off ole’ T.D. 2.

*11 AM Update: Tropical Depression 2 has weakened to a tropical wave. This weak area of low pressure will still bring some gusty winds and rain to the Lesser Antilles tonight.

Locally there will be some changes taking place across the region.  Today we started off with patchy fog in the region.  Otherwise it was a quiet morning.  We’ll go to partly cloudy skies today with some isolated showers and storms in the area.  High pressure is in control, so the chance for rain is fairly low.

Today's Weather Map

Today’s Weather Map

Winds will be southwest at 8-12mph.  High temperatures will be in the low/mid 90s with a few 80s near the shore.  So it will be hotter and very humid today.  Tomorrow, however, a large cold front will move through the region.  This will bring us a pretty decent chance for rain to the region.  I put the chance at 60%, but stay tuned.

Tomorrow's Forecast

Tomorrow’s Forecast

The front will come through sometime between the mid morning and the early afternoon.  We could see some heavy rain and gusty winds along the front.  I would say that a half inch to an inch is possible, but higher amounts may form in a few of the storms.  We’ll still manage to get into the upper 80s, but I’ve backed off the 90s as the front looks to move through a little quicker.  We will start to dry out late Thursday night.  A stray shower could linger over North Carolina Friday morning. Otherwise, we’ll see some nice weather on Friday. Highs will be in the mid 80s.  We’ll see another nice day on Saturday with highs in the low/mid 80s and dry.  However, it will warm up again on Sunday. Highs will be in the low 90s again, and we’ll also see a few late day showers and storms.  Another mega cool-down is headed for the Midwest early next week (I’ll never call it the “Polar Vortex”.  Some of that cooler weather will move into our region by mid week.  Stay tuned for updates.

Finally, we’ve talked about the benefits and challenges of doing weather on social media.  The challenges have been more prevalent and increasing over the past couple of years.  Our region is not alone though.  There have been problems around the entire country.  Here is a new article from tvnewscheck.com.  Facebook No Friend To Weathercasters.  I have worked across town from both meteorologists Brad Travis and Dan Satterfield.  They really know their stuff.  So this article was especially enlightening to me.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


High Humidity And Tropical Depression 2

July 22nd, 2014 at 8:13 am by under Weather

I’ll start off talking about the tropics since that is the hotter topic right now.  I say that, but keep in mind that we are only talking about a tropical depression.  Yesterday was interesting.  I’m not criticizing, but…yesterday morning the National Hurricane Center had the area as a 10% chance for development.  By the mid morning it was a 50% chance.  Then by the midday it was 70%.  Finally, the area was classified as a depression during the afternoon.  That’s a big jump in a short period of time.  In their defense the system did organize during that time.  So today tropical depression number 2 is breezing westward over the central Atlantic Ocean.

T.D. 2 On Satellite

T.D. 2 On Satellite

T.D. 2 is moving west at 16mph.  It had sustained winds of 35mph.  The system is hitting some pretty dry air, and it is moving at a decent speed.  So the latest forecast keeps the system weak through Thursday.  Then the system is forecast to die out or become a remnant low near the Lesser Antilles.

Tropical Tracker

Tropical Tracker

It’s possible that it could die out sooner, but it does have a few strong thunderstorms near the center this morning. So we’ll see.  There is a pretty high confidence in the forecast as the models are in good agreement over the strength and path.

Locally, we have some pretty quiet weather.  We have had some scattered showers since last night.  As they moved up from the south, a lot of them fell apart.  This as they encountered an area of high pressure that sits to our north.

Clouds, Rain, & Surface Features

Clouds, Rain, & Surface Features

Despite a small difference between temperatures on each side of the front, the humidity is thick both north and south of it. The exception is the Eastern Shore.

Dew Points

Dew Points

We’ll see some scattered showers over North Carolina today with isolated showers over Virginia.  Highs will be in the mid 80s.  Winds are from the east at 5-10mph.  Tomorrow the winds will be out of the south.  So high temps will rise to near 90.  We’ll have some scattered showers and storms in the afternoon, but not a high chance for rain.  A cold front will move in from the Midwest late Thursday into early Friday.  So a line of showers and storms is expected then.  We’ll cool down from 93 on Thursday to 85 for a high on Friday.  We’ll dry out by Friday afternoon, and we’ll stay dry through Saturday.  A few showers will try to return on Sunday with some heat returning as well.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Another Incredible Week on The Hampton Roads Show!

July 21st, 2014 at 10:38 pm by under Interns

Wow! It is so hard to believe that I am on the home stretch of this internship! I have been having so much fun getting to know everyone at WAVY and working on The Hampton Roads Show. I have a little more than three weeks left and cannot wait to see how they go!

This past week was an absolute blast! On Monday’s show, Ms. Deidre Hall from the NBC soap Days of Our Lives, talked about her new book and her show.

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She was gracious with the audience, guests, and the crew and gave us all the opportunity to take a picture with her. On Tuesday’s show, I got to meet local author Joy Hook and let me tell you, she is one of the nicest guests we have had on the show so far. She came to the show to promote her new children’s’ book, “Erin’s Magic Tree (Circus) Adventure”. Her interview with The Hampton Roads Show was her first on any televised program, so she was quite nervous.  She was also very polite and gracious with everyone, even when I kept having trouble with her mic. I would keep an eye out for her because she is going to do great things in the future. As always, we had amazing chefs who cooked us great meals and a wonderful dog for Thursday’s Pet Pal!

During last Thursday’s show, the show aired the second edition of our Historic Homes series that Elise McGlothian, Megan Vazquez, and I have been working on. This edition focused on the Herbert House in Hampton, the oldest house on the Virginia Peninsula. Putting together the package took a lot of hard work and effort from all of the interns. We had to go to the house to shoot the footage and spent several days editing the package. Needless to say, it was all time consuming and tedious. However, by the end of the process, we were satisfied with our finished product. Unfortunately, the package was preempted by breaking news so many of our viewers missed the package. However, you can still check out the package on http://wavy.com/category/hr-show/. Special shout out to photographer Pat Dowd who worked tirelessly with us and was patient with all of our questions!

We at WAVY have also been busy working with the Top 5 for the Face of Fox competition. Now you may wonder what the interns would have to do with such a project. Well, we have to help discern which clips from the Face of Fox promotional events go into the final Face of Fox package. We also helped take inventory of the Face of Fox set that will be used during the Face of Fox reveal on Tuesday August 5th!

Last week was such an incredible week and I was so excited to be back on the Hampton Roads Show after working a week with news! As for now, I am heading on vacation to Michigan for a week to visit family. I will be back at WAVY next week to finish my internship with The Hampton Roads Show!