Tuesday, July 29, 2008
We had an earthquake today in Los Angeles. It was one of them medium ones, as if it were a breed of salsa that the fault lines produced. Not that I'd eat that or dip my chip into it, but just go with me on that metaphor.
It's one of those things, being an L.A. native, that I can pretty much gauge the size of tremor by just experiencing it. It's never a pleasant thing, as I like my ground to remain grounded. But at the same time, it's not like this is a new experience. It can be a scary one. Yet, I was more nervous than scared since I needed to drop the kids off at the pool (poop for you not so savvy folks) and I didn't want to get stuck in the bathroom during a possible aftershock.
Then there are those people who feel the need to post bulletins about the earthquake on MySpace, call you to inform you there was an earthquake, or start in on a recollection of where they were during the Northridge quake. In case you were wondering, I was in bed, wrestling with my blankets which had taken hold of my leg and in turn threw me to the floor, as I awoke from dreaming that the Russians had attacked and WW3 had begun.
It gets a bit annoying.
Not scary, at least not the one that happened today.
Last week, a pigeon with a death wish was kicked by some wanna be Yakuza member as I was meandering along the 3rd Street Promenade on my lunch break. Said pigeon proceeded to fly directly into my face. It happened in Hitchcock-ian speed that I didn't quite register what had happened until I saw the douchebag proceed to kick the thing again as it so stupidly landed on the ground and walked beside him.
This isn't the first time I have come in close contact with death wish pigeons in this area. I don't know what they've been putting in their beaks to make them act this way. Maybe it's all the McDonald's french fries I see tourists feeding them. Could french fries be the tool that turns these rats with wings into demon birds?
If so, Burt will be so sad panda depressed that no sort of Ernie loving will stop the tears from waterfalling.
One day, I stabbed young Eli Pope
It was a Monday when I watched him slip
His eyes emptied out any sense of hope
I left the knife in him to dry the drip
See, he was sleeping with my dear lady
I found picture proof one fine old day
Their actions bared fruit, oh so shady
The Lord set it upon me to make them pay
One day, I shot my dear lady in the back
It was a Tuesday and it happened in the Fall
Her beautiful body collapsed onto the track
Veins rained red against the old white wall
It was cold outside and it was raining
I remember I was wearing one black glove
The dark tree is where I left her hanging
In the dirt is where I buried our love
On a Wednesday, I set fire to the house
I laid on the bed overcome by the heat
Flames took hold of everything I knew
Placing my body onto the mercy seat
The clouds shot down the heavy rain
Against the flames, it waged its war
I closed my eyes and took the blame
The air soon left me, to breathe no more
Oh just when I thought I'd have to wait forever to at least somewhat relive the glory that was seeing Tom Waits live in Arizona back in June, I just found out the over at the NPR website, they are offering a full 2 and a half hour setlist of Tom Waits performing his Glitter and Doom show in Atlanta, Ga.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
It seems to me that Die Hard 4 and Indiana Jones 4 opened the flood gates for sequels to be greenlit of movie franchises long since dead. Beverly Hills Cop 4 is in pre-production. Tron 2 is set to come out in 2011, 29 years after the original's theatrical debut. That director is also said to be doing a remake of Logan's Run but with a younger cast. There's a sequel to Sleepaway Camp coming out shortly. Platinum Dunes, Michael Bay's production company, is close to wrapping the new remake of the original Friday The 13th which I think is just blasphemy. He said they have mixed the first two films into one but then took their own liberties with the story. Then there's the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street, also by Michael Bay's company. That just makes me almost be unable to stifle vomiting on my computer screen. I'm unsure what the state is of the new remake of Hellraiser since the directing team that Clive Barker signed off on is no longer attached to the project. There's talk of a Scream 4 which does not yet have Wes Craven attached, a new Shrek movie, a new Pirates Of The Carribean movie, a remake of The Last House On The Left which is one of my least favorite Wes Craven films (and in my opinion, the most boring), a possible remake of The People Under The Stairs, Monster Squad, and others I can't bring myself to think of right now.
All this has me wondering...do the movie studios just not want to invest in original ideas anymore? Everything I see nowadays are movies based on comic books, video games, and remakes or sequels. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of those movies. But there's gotta be some original material out there. We need more Junos, more Little Miss Sunshines, etc.
I just got back from Comic Con and this is pretty much all I saw everywhere I looked...of course...it was Comic Con. But this was also the topic of conversation in the car so I figured I'd vent about it in my post Comic Con headache ridden haze.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Until there's a better version to view, I'll settle for this. I think I heard Sean Connery will be the voice of Master Computer. This excites me to no end.
Friday, July 25, 2008
There has been recent updates made to Amon Tobin's website. I received word from his management company and I figured I'd relay the info to the tiny handful of readers who peruse this blog. Amon Tobin's site can be found here. The overhaul is pretty impressive.
Below is the press release I received from Amon Tobin's management:
There are run-of-the-mill artist websites where nothing ever changes and flash looks disguise lack of content. That’s around 90% of them accounted for. Then there are those few where you get stuff you’re not getting anywhere else.
Once a month for the next six months, Amon Tobin will be releasing one exclusive track (not previously released on any album) made available for sale directly through his web site at http://www.amontobin.com. But not only is there exclusive material, there’s the chance to generate your own exclusive material. Site users are being invited to submit videos for these songs for compilation on an eventual DVD release.
Tobin’s web site already features a community element. The Fans’ Videos section of the site provides a platform for people to submit their own films for his tracks. Tobin’s music is known for being cinematic and providing a perfect accompaniment to moving pictures (as evidenced in his score of films such as “Taxidermia” and games such as “Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory”). You only have to look at the list of his scored and licensed works (also on the site, in the Media section) to see that. Amon Tobin has decided to embrace this marriage of music and image and see what results are forthcoming.
Don’t get us wrong, though – Tobin’s site has enough bells and whistles to keep any midget-attention span satisfied. Check out the game that’s prominently featured - through a 360 degree search and a series of clicks, you can unlock the creatures that live within the site to witness a unique demonstration of 3D animation in synch with Amon’s scores. Set up the right speakers and note that the whole experience is in surround sound.
In addition to the exclusive tracks in the coming months, Tobin will be offering a digital release of his soundtrack to “Taxidermia”, live mixes, ringtones and ringbacks, as well as new designs for t-shirts, hats, posters, desktops, CDs and vinyl. You can stay posted by grabbing the Amon Tobin gydget (link).
Stop reading, log on, enjoy.
Below is the press release from MGM as I found on the Icons Of Fright website:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) has signed Darren Aronofsky to direct and David Self to write a new installment for its "RoboCop" franchise. Aronofsky, the director of The Fountain, and Self, the writer of Road to Perdition, make a formidable creative team, fast tracking the RoboCop motion picture and spotlighting it as one of the most anticipated new films for 2010.
In making the announcement Parent said: "Darren is undeniably one of the most talented, original and visceral film makers, and David is one of the greatest writers in Hollywood. All of us at MGM couldn't be more excited."
Phoenix Pictures' Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and David Thwaites will produce "RoboCop." Cale Boyter, Executive Vice President Production at MGM will oversee the project for the studio.
Phoenix Pictures' Chairman and CEO Mike Medavoy said: "After making the first 'RoboCop' at Orion more than 20 years ago, I'm thrilled to be helping to return this character to the screen with our partners at MGM and through the eyes of Darren Aronofsky and David Self."
Phoenix co-presidents Brad Fischer and David Thwaites added: "With a filmmaker of Darren Aronofsky's vision and imagination and a writer of David Self's caliber, we are poised to bring to the screen an entertaining and provocative film, which will now be under the creative guidance of two of the best storytellers working in our industry today."
The original RoboCop, which premiered in 1987, was "part man, part machine and all cop." The film's storyline focused on the future of law enforcement as a terminally wounded cop returns to the police force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories. The original film was nominated for two Academy Awards -- Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
I recently had an argument with my best friend about how Terminator was way ahead of the game in comparison to Robocop. That being said, where I can agree with him on how amazing T2 still is to this day, I still have a soft spot for the gruesome cheesy cult classic that Robocop became. To think that Daron Aronofsky is going to come in and do a sequel makes me excited to see the visuals that he can come up with. Every movie I've seen of his has been so visually stunning in one way or another.
I wonder if Peter Weller will reprise his role.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Finally, after a month of going to the theater and being at least a little let down by movies, I am happy to say I loved Wall-E. Yeah...like everyone else. This movie was great. Leave it to Pixar to never let me down. I loved Ratatouille more but this movie is definitely up there.
I remember when I first heard about this movie last year and I ran across a few A.R.G. sites tied in with the film. One of the sites was BuyNLarge and when I visited it then, it was made up to look similar to that of Target's site or Wallmart. Buy N Large is the conglomerate in the movie that looks to own everything including the President. If you visit the site now, it redirects you to Disney's site for Wall-E. I just spent a good ten minutes playing the Build A Bot game they offer.
Anyway, I suggest anyone go see this movie. Dare I say, I almost cried at the end.
If I had stars, it would get 5.
And now, here's a handful of promo videos. You can find more on YouTube.
For some reason unknown to me, I forgot to post this yesterday.
Dr. Manhattan looks awesome. I know this is quite early but already this trailer looks spot on. I hear they are saving the black freighter sequence for an animated feature on the DVD and that's fine with me. I wasn't a big fan of that part of the graphic novel.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I just came across a video series that Matt Besser and Andy Daily have been doing through The UCB Theater. You can find the whole series over here
I saw this video and it has that interesting mix of funny/obscure/and weird that I tend to like. Added points for referencing The Shining.
I don't know, you be the judge.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I have been a fan of Will Smith since I was in the 3rd Grade and he was The Fresh Prince putting out Hip Hop CDs with Jazzy Jeff. I've enjoyed and appreciated the majority of the work he's put out (except for maybe Wild Wild West). So when I saw the preview for Hancock on YouTube about half a year ago, I already knew I was going to see it.
I am also fond of Jason Bateman's comedic timing (Arrested Development anyone?), and have an undying crush on Charlize Theron.
With all this promise behind it, I didn't really enjoy this movie. I should have taken a clue from the advertisers and movie makers to refuse billing Charlize in the commercials that there was something up. Some big secret that she also alluded to in a recent interview I read a couple months back.
I'm not going to discuss the big "twist" in the film, even though I saw that twist coming a mile away. I will say the actors did a great job. The problem I have with the movie does not lie with any of their performances. It's with the story and director. There seems to be a lot of potential in the story but the whole thing came up a bit short for me. I can only point my finger at the director and screenwriter because I believe that's where the issue lies. I can't really pinpoint where exactly in the story things could have been corrected but there was a certain point in the film, once the twist was revealed, that the whole thing became this formulaic shmaltzy predictable thing. I stopped feeling riveted by the unraveling of events and it started just being more and more convenient.
Sure, it's a movie about a superhero so how believable can it be? But I'm referring to the choices made by the writer to tie it all together. I can't get into too much more detail about this without going into detail about this big twist.
Other than that, I did find myself enjoying the majority of the film. The acting didn't let me down. I appreciated the overall story idea and concept. A self loathing alcoholic superhero is just funny. Will Smith was good casting in this. I just wished I'd have gotten more from this two hours. It seems that like with The Happening, the buzz and ad campaign for the movie was more hype than the movie can live up to.
Then again, the movie was at 60 something million opening weekend....
If I had stars, I'd give this movie 2 3/4 out of 5.
I saw Wanted a couple of weeks ago. I believe this movie should be placed in the same category as The Matrix and Shoot Em Up. I say that because it reminded me of a cross between the two.
I have pretty much two bones to pick with this movie. The first one is that they should have billed James McAvoy above Angelina Jolie since the film revolves around his character and conflict. I do like me some Jolie but I think McAvoy stole the show as he rightfully should have. My second issue is the accent. He is a Scottish actor yet the accent he was using in the movie was an almost comical American accent. Much like Ewan McGregor, I feel it stole a bit from the performance doing this American accent he was doing.
Besides those two things, I really enjoyed this movie. It was a great popcorn action flick. I stated the comparison to The Matrix mainly because of Wesley Gibson's issue with his desk job. It reminded me of Mr. Anderson's previous existence in his office/cubicle environment before Morpheus contacts him.
This movie is based on a comic book, which makes a lot of sense to me. I mean, they bend the path of bullets, for christ sake! Overall, this film was a lot of fun. It was violent in the fun type of way. I also dug the tongue in cheek nature of the narrative.
If I had stars, I'd give this movie 3 1/2 out of 5.
I've been somewhat lagging on the movie reviews lately. I'll try to catch up in the next couple of entries.
I went and saw The Happening about a month ago. I had high hopes for this movie. I liked what I saw from the preview, which wasn't a lot. Previews that leave me more curious about the movie in question usually get me in the theater more times than not. The fact it's an M. Night Shamalamadingdong film had me more intrigued. I was on the fence with The Lady In The Water, hated The Village, and wasn't that into Signs. Mind you, I feel that all those films had promise. Each one of them had the same problem in my mind, and that was the story.
The acting in The Happening was good. I have become quite partial to Mark Wahlberg over the years. It was with Shooter and The Departed that I decided I'm a fan of his work. Here, he plays a high school Science teacher. Zooey Deschanel plays his wife....meeeeooooowwwww. John Leguizamo is also in the film and plays a fellow teacher at the high school.
At the beginning of the movie, people start acting weird and begin offing themselves as if they are being controlled by some power. There's a scene in the high school class room where Mark Wahlberg's character is discussing how nature has a habit of attacking or inflicting disasters. He discussed how the bee population has been dying off. This scene pretty much clued me in to what this movie was about.
So pretty much, the trees are angry. Global Warming....nature has started viewing people as a threat so the trees communicate to each other and send this toxin that affects people's brains making them kill themselves.
It's kind of a far fetched idea but I accepted the choice in the story. I expected a bit more from the movie in regards to what caused this. Instead, the movie didn't really tie of the loose ends at the end of the story. It was presented as a warning to the human race, that mother nature will remove the threat if we don't start treating the planet better. That's what I got from the film.
Overall, I was entertained and my interest was kept. I liked the way the film was shot, how there was hardly any gore shown in the movie. It reinforced my opinion that you don't need blood or gore to depict horror. Still, the way the movie end left a bad taste in my mouth.
I wanted more from the story. Just like Lady In The Water and The Village. I'm starting to feel that Shyamalan is suffering from the Stephen King syndrome of coming up with good ideas but not knowing how to end a story well.
If I had stars, I'd give this movie 3 out of 5.
Monday, July 07, 2008
I've been slacking off on this blog here, haven't I? A whole week and nothing new. Bad me! Bad!
There's been one central issue that has been floating around in my head for a couple of weeks now. Maybe not really "central" but it definitely does keep popping up. It pops up when I'm at work, when I am holding conversations through email, through instant messenger, and then it popped back up in my head when I saw George Carlin's last interview on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
Most recently, the concept popped back up when I was watching Californication last night.
Our society is progressively getting dumber. I've been seeing it everywhere. George Carlin stated it's the gadgets. The new technology. The vastly growing internet and our obsession with the latest new cell phone/sidekick/video game playing/ipod etc etc. I'd have to agree.
Driving home the other day, I was watching this girl in the car next to me not once take her eyes off of her sidekick which she was texting on. The majority of people I see are texting, listening to their ipod, talking on the phone more often then not.
This brought me to wondering what my life in high school would have been like if MySpace was around. Better yet, if the internet was accessible then as it is now. I remembered, for entertainment back then, I'd have to leave the house. Go outside and play. Read a book. Write a story. Something creative.
Now we're fat. We're dumb. We're lacking a certain sense of truly caring and a drive to learn. I'm using the royal we here. I'm referring to what I see around me, to the younger generation. I used to work at MySpace and couldn't ever get past how much kids are desensitized now to visuals, language, and concepts that when I was a child were off limits to teenagers. This desensitized nature spills over in their lack of interest in school, their poor communication skills, and in turn writing essays for English class that more-so resemble a shorthand cyberspeak instant messenger conversation.
I don't see it getting any better. We need some sort of hunger and discipline for knowledge in this country and I don't believe we have it. It all starts with the educational system. Actually, it starts with the parents. Doesn't it always start with the parents? Don't they always say that. I guess it's true.
I hate the term LOL. I never use it. I don't like texting in shorthand. It makes me feel like I am undercutting the initial purpose for language meaning and useage. That being said, I don't believe this problem will go away. All this fuss over the new Apple this or new Microsoft that, the new cutting edge video game system, etc leads me to believe that we definitely will get to a point where computers and gadgets will take over. We will get so frickin' lazy that a Skynet situation much like that in the Terminator movies actually, for some outlandish reason, seems kind of possible.
I wish people would pick up more books, put down their handheld devices, get off the computers, and go outside and become more aware of the happenings in this world and their environment. Who knows, maybe that would make somewhat of a difference?
Then again, there's always a possible future where technology and robots take over.