If you want to step up from Miller High Life just for one toast tonite, feel free to keep using your koozie with Francis Ford Coppola’s champagne in a can.
Archive for December, 2005
R!ot films shows some of the tricks behind the magic of advertising fx in their showreel.
Reuters year-end review of the 40 photographs that were 2005.
Even when I sequester myself in my house, weirdness just rolls up to my door. Vicious car accident/Ford commercial just planted itself on my lawn, complete with driver ejection. F-250 driver unscathed enough to seek out only other Caucasian face to profess innocence to before cops show up, and admire cracked left headlight. Twitching totalled â€™87 B-210 driver/pile of meat unavailable for comment, but manages to leave a nice stain on my mailbox, asphalt. The curse of Hosea Williams strikes again. Film at 11.
It was a bumper crop for me this year. I got three cards in the mail. One was one of those picture cards from my buddy John, of his new baby and his dog. Itâ€™s actually a pretty good picture, not nearly as saccharine as it sounds, and honestly, at his age, I canâ€™t really blame him for wanting to get the word out his junk still works.
Then, it was another picture card, this time a family shot. Out of the blue, an ex-girlfriend, her two kids, and her husband, presumably the dude she dumped me for, despite his plainly visible overt homosexuality and questionable faculties. Again, actually a pretty good shot, and not quite as sappy as these things usually turn out. But considering that theyâ€™re both professional photographers, I would hope it would be pretty good.
Or would I?
Finally, a pictureless card of the standard yet classic variety, again, sort of out of the blue, from a girl who made it clear, on multiple occasions, she wasnâ€™t that into me. Which I certainly don’t blame her for. But she still wants me to have a happy holiday. Which is nice.
Personally, I don’t do Christmas cards. It’s just a recipe for guilt, which I try to avoid. I could send out a hundred cards, and I guarantee two thirds of the people I got cards from wouldn’t be on the list. One, because it would just seem like another desperately sad come-on, and the other… well, that would probably seem like another desperately sad come-on too, weirdified by being 10 years late. Then, I’d get their cards, and I’d feel bad for not sending them a card, and who needs that kind of grief on Kwanzaa. Besides, like my father once told me, “Never write anything down.”
So I just got back from the yearly â€œholidayâ€ trek up to see the mom. I usually drive, as it gives me a solid 9 hours to listen to Christmas music, which anyone will tell you is the only thing I like about X-mas. The last time I went up, a new bypass in Greensboro managed to confuse me so much I was halfway to Raleigh before I realized I was going the wrong direction. This year, Lynchburgâ€™s new â€œSalvation Loopâ€ or whatever Jerry Falwell decides to call it produced a nice 45 minute accidental detour. Appomattox really does Christmas right, in case you ever decide to go someplace you have no intention of going to.
For me, Christmas is a time to sit around and eat good food, listen to my mother bicker with my stepfather, receive about a dozen shirts my mom has collected from a dozen separate trips to Marshallâ€™s (half of which wonâ€™t fit, or look like something Theo Huxtable would wear, and mom is always so sad about it), and attempt to explain what it is I do to make money. I did get a book that I may pass on to friend who’s going through a rough patch, because I certainly don’t have any use for it. As eye-rollingly cringe inducing as that was, it wasn’t nearly as painful as the year I got this one. I think that was that year in college I literally didn’t kiss a girl. Which makes sex lessons from your mom extra special.
Then thereâ€™s the annual trip to my fatherâ€™s sisterâ€™s house, where all the cousins congregate with their spouses and children, where again, we get the good food, again with the explanations as to what it is exactly I do to make money, and the occasional implication that itâ€™s â€œok to be gay.â€ Which, of course, it is. I donâ€™t really know why theyâ€™re always saying that, though.
Itâ€™s a good trip, and momâ€™s always devastated to see me leave, but I need to get back in the car for more Christmas music before the seasonâ€™s over, because there’s only a few more days to sing along to “Same Old Lang Syne” before people start looking at you funny.
Saw King Kong the other day. It’s good. Not great, but good. I have a feeling the director’s cut may be substantially better. I’m not sure anybody told Peter that when your movie is over 3 hours long, there’s really no excuse to leave substantial character developments hanging with no resolution whatsoever. It is real purty though.
Despite the magic of a giant monkey fighting with dinosaurs up on the big screen, and Naomi Watts doing her best depression era hottie, what really got me going was this trailer. Michael Mann treats his first baby right. From the looks of it anyway.
Is Hollywood so tunnel visioned and prejudiced that they have to say From the director of “Collateral” and “Heat” instead of From the dude who frickin’ reinvented the genre and changed the face of the medium with the original show?
Michael Vale, the most exhausted baker ever, passes on. Dunk something in memoriam.
Also, do unused sucks rollover?
props to JC of the Trinity for finding this great vendor
In case you didn’t get enough Christmas day, the Bunnies do their rendition of A Christmas Story for Starz. Sadly, no yellow eyes.
The Church of Scientology opens a Holocaust museum for the victims of psychiatry in Hollywood. Complete with video of Hyde from That 70′s Show telling us we’re “uninformed.”
New documentary about the cross country car race that inspired the greatest movie of my youth. Most people would go for the easy Cannonball Run quip here, but I’m gonna drop Gumball Rally and leave at that.
The response to Christianity Today‘s semi-positive review of Brokeback Mountain includes some interesting reading.
After burning your ear off with a candle, be sure to clear your sinuses with a Neti Pot. It’s this year’s Chia Pet. Maybe next year they’ll have a Chia Neti.
Pretty funny Oliver Stone style muckraking on the cabal of black leaders responsible for putting the kibosh on a 3rd season of The Chappelle Show. As members of ‘The Dark Crusaders,’ conspirators include Oprah, Bill Cosby, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakahn. The Washington Post reported this as a legitimate story. I guess they didn’t read the whole thing like I did.
Turns out gorillas have something in common with humans besides having the hots for Naomi Watts. They get the menopause, which is biology for ‘they eggs done all dried up.’
A more substantial trailer for V for Vendetta has come out. Nerd buzz is very high for this, and not just because Queen Amidala shaves her head. I’m not entirely optimistic, considering the pushed back release date, and the officious record of translating Alan Moore to the screen (not to mention Moore’s refusal to have his name on it – “Based on the graphic novel illustrated by David Lloyd” … hmmm…). So we’ll see. I’d recommend picking up the source material. It gets more and more prophetic every year.
Also check out Poseidon. Kurt Russell, Andre Braugher, and that hunky guy from Sweet Home Alabama. Something tells me Richard Dreyfuss buys it.
Henry County Waffle House cook gives homeless guy a “Christmas Milkshake” made out of industrial dish soap in an effort to get rid of him. Faces possible manslaughter charges, job offers from Georgia Aquarium.
Sin City, the entirely green-screened yet entirely engrossing Frank Miller adaptation by Robert Rodriguez, is shut out of Oscar consideration for visual effects by industry powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic.
Review time! I only have one or two nerdy friends, so this is one of my only outlets for discussing nerdy stuff. I used to just talk to myself, but now I just write it down here.
Today, weâ€™re going to talk about The Island, which isnâ€™t so much nerdy as it is popcorn badness. First off, itâ€™s from Michael Bay, who gets a semi-undeserved bad rap. Itâ€™s true, Bay never met a pyrotechnic he didnâ€™t love, but he does do them well. Excess is his co-pilot, but he has a distinct style left over from his music video days that everybody tries to copy, but nobody seems to get right. Or less wrong in the right way. I remember seeing Bad Boys in the theater (I had gotten a free ticket from work). The movie is generally remembered as the vehicle that made Martin Lawrence a movie star, and solidified Will Smith as an action super star. And it wasnâ€™t a bad flick for what it was. But what impressed me at the time was the direction. I saw angles, pacing choices, and camera moves that had never been used in dumb action movies before. When you watch it now, it looks like just another dumb action movie. But the truth is, all dumb action movies look like Bad Boys. That was the first time we saw the â€œBay Move.â€ Thatâ€™s that move where he spirals around the hero from a low angle overcranking the camera for that dramatic moment as shit blows up around him, or burns, or something. Smoke is key. Look for it. Itâ€™s in every single Michael Bay movie. In fact, Pearl Harbor is so long, he does it twice, once to Ben Affleck and once to Kate Beckinsale. But I digress.
The Island tries to be a more serious Michael Bay movie, and at first, it succeeds quite nicely. Itâ€™s about clones, and the morality of making them. And, thatâ€™s pretty much it. The first hour is Ewan McGregor figuring out heâ€™s a clone of a rich guy, and that the life heâ€™s thought heâ€™s had wasnâ€™t really his. The setup is actually pretty nifty in its simplicity and originality. So nifty, in fact, Iâ€™m ultimately going to recommend the movie, if only to appreciate how far and fast it tumbles into typical Michael Bay explosoville when hour two rolls around. We do get to see Scarlett Johansson looking delicious, so itâ€™s got that going for it. Which is nice. And also adds to the confusion as to why it bombed so badly at the box office. Iâ€™m not saying it shouldnâ€™t have, but it was supported well, as is to be expected of a summer Bay extravaganza, and, as the old saying goes, nobody ever went poor underestimating the American publicâ€™s taste.
The last 40 minutes is a lot of running around, ridiculous stunt pieces, and a character decision that doesnâ€™t really make any sense at all, other than it was necessary for the movie to end. Itâ€™s a real shame, because the first half is really, really good.
One other point to note â€“ if you want to see some of the most ham fisted product placements, by all means check out The Island. By my recollection, there was Aquafina, Xbox, Microsoft, Johnny Rockets, Nokia, AmEx, Ben & Jerryâ€™s, a nifty incorporation of Scarlett Johanssonâ€™s actual Calvin Klein print ads into the plot, and several GM brands â€“ Chevy, Cadillac & GMC Trucks. Interestingly, the fleet vehicles in the future-set film were all debadged Chrysler cars â€“ the 300c, the Magnum and the Charger, because they just look cooler I guess. The best, though, was the â€˜so obvious you assumed it was some vital piece of informationâ€™ shot of the futuristic Michelob bottle. Check it out. Itâ€™s awesome.
Tucker Carlson, MSNBC’s resident Howdy Doody impersonator, describes Canada as our ‘retarded cousin,’ later describes Australians as ‘thalidomide babies who eat their own boogers.’
You can be sure I”ll be watching ABC World News Tonight (Channel 2) tonight, just like they tell me to. Also be sure to click on the “Ulimate Faith” link to open a strange music video that splices scenes from Thirteen, possibly Passion of the Christ, and out of left field, the Showtime movie about Tookie Williams starring Jamie Foxx. All set to Nickelback or Soul Asylum or some shit.
The ultimate confluence of News and Not-News? Or is that Not-News and Notter-News? Could be. Did Natalee Holloway get between Nick and Jessica? I’m just throwing it out there.
As part of a year end roundup, AdAge unveils 10 foreign spots you won’t see in the U.S.
They’re not particularly good, or offensive, so I’m not sure what the big deal is. But AdAge thinks you should see them. Enjoy the interminable load times. (ok, the ostrich one is pretty good)
Chrysler, smarting from a glut of its Crossfire roadsters and coupes sitting on the lots, has teamed up with Overstock.com to try to unload some ’05′s in a hurry. Any model you want, simply print out the coupon, take it to your local dealership and get about 8 grand off the MSRP. Get your very own German built SRT6 convertible for only 41k, or lowball yourself with a base model coupe for only 22k, which is about what I paid for my Neon.