Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Murphy's Law

I hate that law so much. Ever since that FML stuff came out, I've been trying to be more optimistic, but it's soooo hard. I know many of my friends and family are looking for jobs, and the government won't extend their pay. Times are hard, and it's really hard to start looking the other way.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

the grind.

i've been in a weird slump of a whirlwind. awkward to have insanity mixed in with the odd lazy calm, right?

i feel like i've been doing so many things, i've neglected myself and the value of relaxation and boredom in the process. i've been so productive that i can't remember what it's like to chill, relax, and have free time and do whatever the hell i want. instead, i'm up and about, going from here to there, with less than an hour inbetween tasks, appointments, meetings, etc. is it fun? of course. is it productive? hell yeah. is it worth it? no question - of course. is it healthy? to be this busy...to lose myself in the daily grind that's grinding me down to bits and pieces...

...now, i don't know...

Monday, April 27, 2009

on disneyland and rejection

now's a good a time as any, i suppose. i'm currently sitting in a hotel room in anaheim, wondering to myself what the future will hold for someone like me. i currently have very mixed feelings a-brewin' inside my gut, and i have no idea what to do about them. i'm tired, i'm confused, i'm angry, i'm depressed, and i'm hungry. well, i know what to do about the hunger, but that's easy.

let me back up a moment. i was in disneyland at the end of march. the thought of me possibly working here had been present in my mind for quite some time. but, as some of you know, i currently hold a job at a biotech in south city. this, and responsibilities at home really held me back from where i truly wanted to be... at disneyland. not as a guest, but as a cast member, and a hopeful imagineer. yes, dear acupuncturists and acupuncturees, i wish to be a disney imagineer. unfortunately, the stories i've heard about breaking into imagineering all agree that it's almost harder to get into than nasa. god help me, i wanted in so bad.

so, on a whim and with a prayer, i walked up to the guest relations counter at city hall in disneyland, and inquired about a job. i was referred to the online application. once home from vacation, i sent it off, not really expecting to hear back. well, i believe i've spoiled the result of that application with my statement that i'm here in anaheim sitting in a hotel room, posting to you now. they wanted to interview me. my heart soared, but was grounded quickly with the sobering realization that i'd have to leave behind everything i had at home. my family, my friends, my... unfinished business. i battled with this decision for a long, long time. but no matter what i thought, no matter how bad i thought it might have been, i didn't care. i still felt that joy every time i thought that i could be working towards my dream job. i could be chasing my dream. in so cal. god help me, i sound like a bad made for tv movie.

i arrive at the casting center building, hopeful, not wanting to feel apprehensive or doubtful in the least. i usually keep myself reserved when it comes to things like this. but, something told me that everything should work out fine. after filling out the paperwork, and waiting, i'm called up to the front desk. apparently, the fact that i have a summer vacation (a disney cruise, mind you) already planned, is enough to drop me out of the running for a job.

at first, i didn't want to believe it. i couldn't believe it. it was just 10 days, and i'd be around all the time for any other day. but no, as i'm informed, the saying is, "we work while others play, all night and all day." i'm crushed. i didn't even get to interview. i'm shot down at the front desk. that is where my journey began, and where it ended. of that, i am sad. without a chance, even without being able to take a shot, it's like they completely discounted me not on my skill or supposed lackthereof, but rather my availability.

i sat outside, for the longest time, just kind of staring at the door. i wonder, why? i was this close, right at the door, only to have it shut in my face. it's not that i stumbled, or fell, or screwed up on my own. i was just shot down. to come so close...


it feels sometimes like i'm walking through a dream, waiting to wake up. then i realize, this is the real thing. you can't wait for life to dump a huge sign in front of you, telling you that it's time to wake up... because you're really awake, and let's face it, shit like that doesn't happen. there isn't a big epiphany, there is no moment of clarity that so many movies and shows and stories talk about. there really isn't. fact is, nobody really knows what they're doing until they're doing it, and even then, we're all just really playing life by ear. the legatos, the decrescendos, the crescendos, rests, staccato, dissonances, and mezzo fortes all come at once, and we just try to keep up.

i guess writing just cathartic. it's how i deal. it's always easier to write when your emotions are at their strongest. that's just how it is. for me, at least. but what really helps me through times like these are my family and friends, my real support structure. i learned today that rejection sucks, but it really shows you what you really, truly want. and it shows you what you really, truly have. i have the best friends and the best family in the world. no matter what, i now know that i can turn to them, and they'll always have my back. and for that, i love them immensely.

p.s. i thank you, jon, and everyone, for showing me this blog and allowing me to post here. i'm glad to have somewhere to spill this all out to. i just hope that i didn't sound too much like a livejournal post. feel free to move on.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Someone made a Watchmen movie...

It is nearly five in the morning, and I cannot sleep, because I just saw a two hour and forty minute movie at 12:30am that is still eating away at my mind.

Everyone keeps writing and saying "Who watches the Watchmen? WE DO!" like it's funny. It's not really. I guess it's fun to say or something but all I can think is STOP STEALING LINES FROM A BELOVED ARTISTIC WORK GOD DAMMIT! This usually gets me to swear at Hollywood marketing, but I suppose the line was far too obvious to pass up. My point is, I was sitting in the Arclight Theater in Hollywood at 12:30am when a little guy came out and spoke to us to get the crowd revved up. He said these lines. I had the sudden impulse to chuck my water bottle at him, but the rest of the crowd seemed to eat it up. It was hard not to get carried away with the crowd. Their cheers made me smile.

Their cheers are really the reason I go to midnight screenings. It's pretty fun to be in crowds like that. You pick a huge popular possibly famous theater and go to midnight opening screenings and you get to see things you've never seen before. These aren't the normal ordinary moviegoer. These people are the diehard movie fans, the people who are insane about what they are watching, who would rather dress up in costume and show up at a theater in the dead of night than sleep. These are the people who cheer and boo at screening, who sit around the theater afterwards debating the movie's very existance, and the people who threaten to get violent over anything they hate. These are the movie nuts, the obsessed fans, the analysts, the film geeks...my people, basically. Going to these screenings guarentees you will see people in costume (my friend Mike dressed as Nite Owl...and was in good company judging from all the other costumed people around). It guarentees you will know EXACTLY what they think of the movie right when the credits roll, simply from the atmosphere in the theater. Sometimes it also means to run into friends, or in the case of Los Angeles famous people.

Hysterical moment of the night; my friend Kurt stopping in midsentence in a sort of awe in order to stare at Syler/Spock walk within six inches of him. I swear to God, JJ Abrams was there too...which would make sense, since this is the Arclight in Hollywood (the #2 theater in the country according to Entertainment Magazine) and there were statues of the Watchmen cast and models of the fucking new Enterprise from the upcoming Star Trek movie.

Oh yeah, new Star Trek trailer be epic. Go see it here http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/startrek/

Anyway, got of subject...

The movie starts, people cheer. Thing happen, people cheer. End of movie, everyone is dead fucking silent.

That's not always a good sign.

Half the theater refused to move as the credits rolled, with a sort of "did we just watch that?" attitude that could be felt throughout the room. From what I could tell the reaction to the movie was all over. The haters were very, very vocal...about as vocal as the passionate lovers, really. The lobby was an interesting place after the movie. Argument and conversation popped up all over the place. The marketing catchphrase was forgotten amidst the arguments over "The Squid" and the slow motion effects. My group of about twenty people was part of these arguments.

What's the count? Most of them liked it, with a few reservations. A few absolutely loved it. One hated it so much he bailed within 30 seconds while refusing to talk about it. I get the feeling this is going to be the reaction of most the world. Meanwhile, as if we aren't professional enough, Roger Ebert is giving this motherfucker four stars.

So what did I think?

Short version: liked it a lot until the last fifteen minutes, and then I have some problems.

Long Version: They did 90% of this movie exactly like the comic, except with better fight scenes. The acting is pretty much perfect across the board. Jackie Earl Haley as Roscharch should get nominated for an Academy Award but won't. There are a few sequences in this movie that surpass anything you've seen before and become something awe inspiring. If the whole movie had been like these sequences, the movie would be one of the best movies of all time. That part of the comic where Dr. Manhattan is on Mars remembering his life out of order? It reaches a sort of amazing barely ever seen on screen. That alleyway fight? Made big and incredibly violent and oh so satisfying. Rosharch in prison killing a guy with fry oil? Fucking electric.

There are parts of this movie that makes me want to see it again. A way to describe a lot of this movie is electric. It's like being jolted by bolts of electricity going directly into your brain. It is uncompromisingly R rated, incredibly intelligent, and exactly what it needs to be. Up until the last fifteen minutes I was fully in love with this film.

And then something happened.

It wasn't a bad something exactly. They simply changed the ending from the comic. Something about "The Squid" which I'm not going to spoil here, but you've probably heard it by now anyway. The interesting part is, I have no problem with the major change involving "The Squid." I think the change is fine. It's the other minor thing they changed that bothered me.

See, they left out my favorite part of the comic. Actually, they left out the reason the comic actually EXISTS. They changed it. That's what bothers me. By taking out a simple scene that is the point of the comic, you have fundementally changed what the story is about. And that's a problem, because the now changed point of the story isn't as good as the original point of the comic.

Sorry if that seems vague, but I refuse to actually spoil it. Just see the damn movie. The major problem is that this ending seems about answering more questions and making the audience feel better. The original ending was about making a point, no matter how horrible it was. That's what made the comic great; you can disagree with the point the bad guy makes all you want, and you can see the alternative offered after everything has gone down. It has been the cause of tons of analysis and dissection over the last two decades, and the cause of loud arguments between many a comic geek.

You can't just simply change that because you want the audience to like your movie a bit more. You can't simply throw out these points in order for the heroes to get a slightly better, more cathartic ending. No, that doesn't work. That just ruins some of an otherwise classic story.

Forget "The Squid." I don't care about that change. If you see the movie and have read the book you will see the other minor changes. Then we can have a discussion.

The other 90% of the movie? Dark Knight level of rediculous amazingness. I might have to see this again on IMAX just to dissect the damn thing and all its crazy amount of layers.

I just wish the film had the balls to go all the way.

Judging from the reaction of most my friends and half the theater, I'm not the only one. Because I didn't really clap at the end. I smiled, I shrugged, and I walked out to talk about it.

And yet I still want to fucking give a standing ovation to The Dark Knight.

But what can I say? Someone made an honest to god Watchmen movie. Someone did something that many people thought impossible and filmed Watchmen...and they made it under three hours long too. This movie is to be commended, and it has to be seen to be believed. A Watchmen movie exists in my reality and I got to see it on the big screen...and it was actually pretty damn good.

So I guess I DID watch the Watchmen.

God Dammit.

That's a 4 out of 5 review for everyone, with the condition that on multiple viewings this movie might actually get better. It depends on if it grows on me like the comic did.

Go see it already, and do it with a very excited crowd of movie fanboys. You won't regret it. I never do...but then again I am one of them.

I'm going to bed now...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Movies and shit (Fuck You Jake!!)

For the record I didn't ask Jake to do a list this year. I completely forgot. So for the moment he's a lying liar that's full of lies. But that's okay, I enjoyed his post anyway.

My problem is that I refuse to make a top ten list until I have seen all the movies I want to see. So far I haven't seen a bunch of films, including The Wrestler, Frost/Nixon, and Man on Wire. Until this quota is met I am witholding my top list in movies.

But then there is the Oscars...

There is some sort of Oscar Pool every Oscar year down here. It's the whole movie business thing. So this year, in an attempt to not suck like I did last year, I got my Oscar predictions down. THIS is stuff I do for fun...

Art Direction - Benjamin Button. The possible Spoilers are Dark Knight and The Duchess, but Benjamin Button pretty much has it. It has to win SOMETHING.

Costume Design - The Duchess. Because the Academy loves period pieces.

Makeup - God I hope Hellboy II wins. Hell, I think it's gonna win. I'm going with Hellboy II.

Music (Score) - One of those categories that The Dark Knight should have been nominated in. All the picks are pretty solid though. At the end of the day I'd have to say Benjamin Button, but Wall-E is close up there. And don't count out the amazing Slumdog Millionaire score...although it probably won't win this because it's going to win the next category...

Music (Song) - Jai Ho, from Slumdog Millionaire, is gonna win this. Wall-E is the spoiler here, but really, it's all about the credit scenes of Slumdog Millionaire. Personally I like O Saya from Slumdog Millionaire better and hope it wins, but who cares what I think?

Short, Animated - Pixar wins this category (again) with Presto. Because no one really cares about the others except for the film diehards (like me).

Short, Live Action - Nazi Germany vs. Immigration. I'll give this to New Boy, but Nazi Germany based Spielzeugland (Toyland) is neck and neck with it.

Animated Feature - Wall-E. Nothing else comes close.

Documentary Short - No idea. I'm gonna go with the popular opinion and pick The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306.

Documentary Feature - Man on Wire wins. It's the best reviewed movie of all time on Rotten Tomatoes. COME ON.

Achievement in Sound Editing - Wall-E should get this, since that movie is nothing BUT sound. Nothing else did sound effects or any sort of sound related thing close to what Wall-E did.

Achievement in Sound Mixing- Wall-E again. See above. Dark Knight is a possible Spoiler though.

Achievement in Visual Effects - All these are great choices. It's a tough decision. I'll say Benjamin Button because of the absolutely astounding aging techniques used throughout the film. Iron Man is really close though, with it's photo realistic effects for robot suits.

Achievement in Editing - The Academy likes action oriented stuff in this category, stuff cut for speed and clarity in action over drama. Slumdog Millionaire and Dark Knight are neck and neck here. I'm flipping a coin. Heads was Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog Millionaire it is. (No seriously, I flipped a coin).

Best Foreign Language Film - Waltz With Bashir I hope gets this. It's a popular film, and it's a huge risk taker for a lot of different reasons. I mean, it's basically an animated documentary. If two animated films wins, that'll be something. It helps that this movie has been winning all sorts of awards over the year.

Best Cinematography - Another tough category. I want Dark Knight to win, but this is between Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire. I'll say Slumdog Millionaire because of some of the insane film techniques and gorgeousness of it all, but I wouldn't be surprised if the more sharp, clear, and normal Button walks away with the statue.

Best Original Screenplay - Milk should win this, but a possible spoiler is actually...Wall-E, of all things. I'm pulling for Wall-E, but it's animated. The Academy seems to hate animated things. So Milk it is.

Best Adapted Screenplay - Slumdog Millionaire, hands down. Moving on.
Supporting Actress - I think Penelope Cruz has this won. She's done good work in the last few years, she's popular, she's supposedly great in this very well reviewed film, etc. I think she's got the award. Viola Davis has a ton of hype, though, and could win this in a shocker. Personally I hope Taraji P. Henson wins this because she's the heart of Benjamin Button, but I don't think she has a chance.

Supporting Actor - Heath Ledger. Fucking DUH. Did you see The Dark Knight? It's the biggest no brainer of the night. I do like that Robert Downey Jr. was nominated for Tropic Thunder though.

Actress in a Leading Role - It's between Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet. I think this is when Kate Winslet wins her first Oscar. I hear she's good in the movie, but this is more of an award for all the work she's done in the last seven years. Never count Streep out though.

Actor in a Lead Role - It's basically a coin flip between Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke. I'm not flipping a coin though. I'm giving this to Rourke. Hollywood loves comeback, and his role is supposedly fucking amazing (I need to see this before sunday night). Plus he hasn't won before. It's close though. Almost too close to call. This is the category to watch.

Best Director - Danny Boyle wins. Because he's the fucking man. No, actually he wins because Slumdog's directing was spectacular and he's won every directing award ever in the past year. But really, I've always been a fan, and this makes me very happy. A distant second in this category is probably David Fincher...which also makes me happy, since he's awesome too.

Best Film - Slumdog Millionaire wins. There isn't much suspense involved. Everyone loves it, it's won every award ever, there isn't much competition.

But I'd personally pick Dark Knight over that IF IT WAS FUCKING NOMINATED.

Who watched Conan O'Brien friday night? I'm gonna miss him at 12:30. He's just great.

"There are critics that say Conan is going to have to grow up for the 11:30 show and let me assure them...that isn't going to happen."

God speed Conan.

Jake's 2008 Movie Rundown

So it’s that time of year again [cutting it pretty close too]. Here’s my favorites of the year. It’s largely the same as most other best of lists you’ll read this year, but O’Malley bugs me to write these things and it’s not like it’s hard or anything. I’m trying something a bit different this year. Instead of writing up every fucking thing in every fucking category, I’m just going to present my lists and then go through my 10 favorite things in the movies in 2008. As usual, I am not a film critic so I haven’t seen a bunch of shit that seems to be making people’s lists lie The Reader, Frozen River, or The Visitor. I also missed a couple movies I really wanted to see like Synecdoche, New York. And these are just my opinions. I don’t try to objectively say “this is best.” It’s more of a favorites list. Anyway, here’s the rundown…

Nudity Award
Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler.
Honorable mention to Jason Segel’s hilarious nude scene Forgetting Sarah Marshall: “I’m sorry, what would you like me to wear while you dump me?”

Most Ungodly Depressing
2. Revolutionary Road
1. The Wrestler

Production Design
Donald Graham Burt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight

“The Wrestler” Bruce Springsteen from [duh] The Wrestler
And is such a perfect song for that movie so here are the lyrics…

Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free
If you've ever seen a one trick pony then you've seen me
Have you ever seen a one legged dog makin' his way down the street
If you've ever seen a one legged dog then you've seen me

(Then you've seen me) I come and stand at every door
(Then you've seen me) I always leave with less than I had before
(Then you've seen me) but I can make you smile when the blood it hits the floor
Tell me friend can you ask for anything more
Tell me can you ask for anything more

Have you ever seen a scarecrow filled with nothing but dust and weeds
If you've ever seen that scarecrow then you've seen me
Have you ever seen a one armed man punchin' at nothing but the breeze
If you've ever seen a one armed man then you've seen me

(Then you've seen me) I come and stand at every door
(Then you've seen me) I always leave with less than I had before
(Then you've seen me) but I can make you smile when the blood it hits the floor
Tell me friend can you ask for anything more
Tell me can you ask for anything more

These thigns that have comforted me I drive away
This place that is my home I cannot stay
My only faith is in the broken bones and bruises I display

Have you ever seen a one legged man tryin' to dance his way free
If you've ever seen a one legged man then you've seen me

Adapted Screenplay
5. Dustin Lance Black, Milk (based on actual events)
4. Eric Roth and Robin Swicord, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (based on a novella by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
3. Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Arthur Marcum, Matthew Holloway, and (uncredited) John August, Iron Man (Tony Stark/Iron Man and other characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby, Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger created by Dennis O’Neill and Luke McDonnel, James Rhodes created by David Michelinie and Bob Layton)
2. Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon (based on his play)
1. Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, and David S. Goyer, The Dark Knight (Bruce Wayne/Batman, the Joker and other characters created by Bob Kane & Bill Finger)

Original Screenplay
5. Robert D. Siegel, The Wrestler
4. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Burn After Reading
3. Jim Reardon, Andrew Stanton, and Pete Docter, Wall-E
2. Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
1. Martin McDonagh, In Bruges

Supporting Actress
5. Ahney Her, Gran Torino
4. Kelly MacDonald, Choke
3. Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
2. Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
1. Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Supporting Actor
5. James Franco, Milk
4. Brad Pitt, Burn After Reading
3. Josh Brolin, Milk
2. James Franco, Pineapple Express
1. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
That’s right, a double dose of Franco.

5. Rebecca Hall, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
4. Meryl Streep, Doubt
3. Frances McDormand, Burn After Reading
2. Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
1. Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married

5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
4. Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man
3. Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
2. Sean Penn, Milk
1. Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

5. Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler
4. Gus Van Sant, Milk
3. Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
2. Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
1. David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Movie – My Top 20. Because Top Ten is for pussies.
20. JCVD
19. Rachel Getting Married
18. Let the Right One In
17. Pineapple Express
16. Tropic Thunder
15. Gran Torino
14. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
13. Rocknrolla
12. Slumdog Millionaire
11. In Bruges
10. Frost/Nixon
9. Burn After Reading
8. Revolutionary Road
7. Man on Wire
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5. Iron Man
4. The Wrestler
3. Milk
2. The Dark Knight
1. Wall-E

10. Guy Ritchie is Back in Action
So about ten years ago a young Londoner burst onto the scene with an awesome gangster movie called Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Snatch followed soon thereafter. Not just the movie, but literally as well: he married Madonna. He admitted that he had a crush on Madonna growing up and then he got to marry her. If you think about it, that’s kind of creepy. Of course I had a huge crush on Kelly Bundy growing up and if I could marry Christina Applegate… well, okay the no-tit thing freaks me out. I know that makes me a shallow horrible human being, but I got to be honest. Of course I think she’s married anyway or something so it’s all very irrelevant. Anyway I’ve strayed horribly off track here. Back on topic. So after his nuptials, his first movie was a remake of Lina Wertmüller’s Swept Away starring… Madonna. It was universally reviled. Later he directed a Kabbalah-based gangster movie called Revolver. No one saw it and of those that did few liked it [I actually liked it for the record]. It was a film directed at a very narrow audience. Meanwhile Madonna had a couple of her more successful albums in recent years. Now I don’t want to throw around words like succubus… but it seems obvious to me that she was draining him of his talent and success. In 2008, they divorced. Guy releases Rocknrolla. It rocks. It rolls. It rages back to the awesome style he became famous for. It’s good to have Guy back. UPDATE: Since I wrote that a few weeks ago, Madonna’s new beau Alex Rodriguez has been exposed for taking steroids. COINCIDENCE?
9. Stallone and Eastwood Go Back to the Well
Sylvester Stallone will always be John Rambo. Clint Eastwood will always be Harry Callahan. In 2008, Stallone played Rambo once more. Eastwood didn’t play Dirty Harry again, but did something even more interesting. But first Stallone. He had success in 2006 by bringing back Rocky Balboa. For John Rambo, he kicked that shit up a notch. As awesome as Rambo was in First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II, [let’s try to forget him helping the Taliban in Rambo III] 2008’s Rambo is crazy violent sublime awesomeness. It’s two hours of Rambo shooting some bad guys. Eastwood takes a different path. It had been rumored that Eastwood’s new film Gran Torino would be a new Dirty Harry movie. Eastwood denied it since he’s almost two decades past the detective’s mandatory retirement age of the San Francisco Police Department. Instead he’s playing the same type of character he got famous playing. The hardass who can take care of business. But instead of the types of Bronson-esque revenge movie you might expect it ends up being much more thoughtful than that. Clint Eastwood has said that it is his last acting role (though he did say that after Million Dollar Baby as well). If it does turn out to be true, than it is the perfect swan song for an amazing career.
8. 1998 Brad Pitt in a 2008 Movie
In 2008 we lost Stan Winston, maybe the greatest visual effects man to work in cinema. He was not involved in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button whatsoever but I just can’t talk about visual effects without mentioning him. But the visual effects in that movies are fucking phenomenal. Brad Pitt’s last scene in that movie is weird to watch. Now Brad Pitt has held up very well in his 40s, but he does look his age. His face has the character of age. His last scene in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button looks like it was ripped strait out of Thelma and Louise. Cate Blanchett’s earlier scenes are just as amazing. We’ve been seeing people made to look older for decades but we can make people look younger now. That’s crazy, man.
7. Someone Tightrope-Walked Between the Towers of the World Trade Center in the 1970s and I’m Only Learning About This NOW?!?!?
There’s very little to say about this that isn’t said right above. It’s an amazing story of personal triumph. There’s not one single mention of the events of September 11th, 2001 in the entire movie. But what the movie is implicitly about is that any asshole can knock something down but true creative accomplishment is a testament to what the human race can really achieve.
6. Trash, Glorious Trash!
Doomsday. Hell Ride. Death Race. Sukiyaki Western Django. None of these movies belong on my list of the year’s best movies. But they are all fucking fun to watch. I love me some artsy movies, but I also dig movies that completely just try to throw as much awesome shit at the screen as possible and see what sticks. I have a friend who hated Doomsday because it felt like several different movies Frankensteined together to him. That’s precisely what I loved about it. 28 Days Later, Excalibur, Mad Max, and a shitload of other moves thrown in a fucking blender and run through a projector. What’s not to love. Yes it’s retarded trash but it’s fucking great. Death Race just about removed everything that made the original [Death Race 2000] so clever and countercultural and guts it in favor of more car crashed and blood and guts. And it fucking works. If plot holes bug you, skip it. If you like seeing shit blow up, see it. Hell Ride = booze, broads, bikes, & bullets. What else do you need? And how exactly do I explain Sukiyaki Western Django? It’s a Japanese Spaghetti Western in English with an all-Japanese cast [except Quentin Tarantino]. Spaghetti Western of course were based on Japanese samurai films which were based on American westerns. So it’s a Japanese reinterpretation of a Italian version of a Japanese story form inspired by American movies. In 2007 Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino tried to make old-fashioned exploitation films in Grindhouse. These films are exactly the types of movies they were imitating.
5. Revolutionary Road: Jack and Rose Part 2…
Titanic is not the greatest movie in the world. It is also not a steaming pile of shit. It’s a very entertaining romance with a fucking awesome boat sinking. That’s it. But it’s also one of the biggest movies ever. That was 12 years ago and in those subsequent twelve years Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have become two of the best actors of their generation. The Departed, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and a shitload of others. In the past decade they have gone from matinee idols to full-on perennial award contenders. In Revolutionary Road they both show how far they’ve come.
4. Charlie Chaplin in Robot Form
So Wall-E is in my humble opinion the greatest movie of 2008. And one of the most amazing things about it is that nary a word is spoken for the first half of the movie. A couple years I fell in love with the movies of Charlie Chaplin. Buster keaton was a better physical comedian but Chaplin’s movies were greater. They’re so much more than simple slapstick comedy. He a loveable underdog who is often in unfortunate circumstances who makes the best of things and by the of the movie things have worked out for him. Sound familiar? Being influenced by the best is certainly not a new thing for Pixar but I’m so glad that they’re brought back that simple kind of magic to the cinemas. I’m not calling for a silent film renaissance or anything (although that would be kind of cool) but I’m all for a greater Chaplin influence on Hollywood.
Holy shit! I mean holy shit! After Maximum Risk and The Quest and Street Fighter and Sudden Death Jean-Claude Van Damme has turned in an amazing performance in JCVD! He gives that kind of fearless performance that often yields amazing results! He plays of course the role he was born to play: Jean-Claude Van Damme! In the middle of the movie, Van Damme literally rises above the action of the hostage situation gone wrong plot of the movie and details the very real hardships of his life! It’s a truly great moment of a truly great performance from someone who no one expected! As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now the past several sentences have ended with exclamation points! That’s because when it comes to Jean-Claude Van Damme, periods don’t cut it!
2. The Marvel Universe Brought to the Big Screen
Go through the archives and look up my post from 23 May 2008, after I saw Iron Man. That pretty much says it all.
1. The Dark Knight – A New High Water Mark for Comic Book Movies
This goes so far beyond being the best comic book adaptation ever. It’s inspired by Heat, which when pressed to pick a favorite movie is the one I always end up picking. Look at the interrogation scene. If you forget that one guy is dressed as Batman and one guy is dressed in makeup, you have what the movie really is. An epic battle for the soul of a city. And the city is, of course, a microcosm of our world. Bad shit happens. But you need to maintain a code. And that’s what Batman is about. Walking the right path in a world that is ready to give a shit. Proving you’re better than some psychopath’s opinion of humanity. You ever see Adam West tackle issues like that? Didn’t think so.

Anyway the Oscars are tonight. My opinions. For what nominees I think should win, just check the above lists. What I think WILL win (and I totally could be wrong): Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle, Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Heath Ledger, and Penelope Cruz. So we'll see in a few hours how close I came.

See y’all next year…

So yeah…

Friday, January 16, 2009

The 14 Year Old in Me Really Wants to See a Heinlein Mars...


BYWInsaniac: life
BYWInsaniac: on
BYWInsaniac: mars
BYWInsaniac: the outgoing head of NASA announced it
BYWInsaniac: well
BYWInsaniac: signs
joemalley2: wait huh?
joemalley2: i was too busy hearing about a plane crashing and Bush making a speech
joemalley2: the media had one hell of a day
BYWInsaniac: so here's the jist
BYWInsaniac: there are these burps of methane that are VERY localized
BYWInsaniac: and they are seasonal
BYWInsaniac: which means SOMETHING is replenishing the supply
BYWInsaniac: heard it on the radio
joemalley2: ok
BYWInsaniac: so
BYWInsaniac: either
BYWInsaniac: 1. geothermal energy is causing it
BYWInsaniac: or 2. life
BYWInsaniac: but if its geothermal energy, its still important because it means mars isnt a frozen rock
BYWInsaniac: there is heat under the surface
BYWInsaniac: thus more possiblity of life
joemalley2: so if it's life
joemalley2: something is, what, breathing?
joemalley2: and is apparently seasonal
joemalley2: and apparently it's big, or there is a lot of it
joemalley2: do i have that right?
BYWInsaniac: a lot of it
BYWInsaniac: like bugs or something smaller
joemalley2: OW
joemalley2: I had sudden flashes of val kilmer fighting methane insects on mars
joemalley2: it hurt
joemalley2: i'm better now though
BYWInsaniac: hahaha
BYWInsaniac: ooh
BYWInsaniac: but the other exciting thing about geothermal energy on mars
BYWInsaniac: it could be used as a power source for colonization
BYWInsaniac: so yeah
BYWInsaniac: either way
BYWInsaniac: this is a HUGE announcement
joemalley2: you're a bit of a science nut aren't you?
BYWInsaniac: i get excited about it, but i'm not that well versed. it kind of has to be spelled out for me
BYWInsaniac: but i love it
BYWInsaniac: fiction becoming reality
BYWInsaniac: its very exciting


Saturday, December 27, 2008


stankpalmer: well yr pretty much a guy in my world
stankpalmer: sorry eileen, yr in the friend zone

said by mr. //va himself