Friday, December 31, 2010

Colbert Lives! We sleep...

I'm giving you a choice: either put on these glasses or start eating that trash can...

Of course, if you put on a second pair, you see that it's actually Stephen Colbert under the ghoul under Stephen Colbert. He's That Good.

The subliminal text is the same, of course.


Another response to the "Art Stephen Up Challenge." Actually, another two responses: one "My Colored-in Friend" portrait and one "Colbert Lives! We Sleep" portrait. =)

Hrmm... Maybe that should be "Colbert Lives! We Watch," eh?

Thanks to Zorky for bubbling THEY LIVE to the top of my recall sort over the holidaze.

After catching that "I call you my base" clip of G.W.Jr at a zillion-dollar-a-plate fundraiser or whatever-it-was way back when, my mind would always conflate it with the scenes in THEY LIVE where the rich ghouls and human power elite human power elite (start watching at the 8-minute mark =) are shmoozing at an underground gala dinner of their own, "backstage at the show." I totally see W's address as an outtake from those segments, y'know?

And don't forget Captain Colbertica, C01b3rTR0N!, and, oh, there's this, too: the new ColbertBook profile portrait...

Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hoth Township, NJ

A couple of snapshots from the Boxing Day blizzard of twenty-ten in the Jersey burbs...

We'll see THAT guy in hell...

It's a good bet the Empire knows we're here...

The township website claims that snow plows are at work on our street right now, but from our vantage point, we can't get visual confirmation on that (our house is situated so that we can't see either end of the street without venturing partway down the block). A lot of people are unhappy with how fail the snow removal and road clearance in New Jersey has been in the wake of this snowfall. Lucky for us, Mom extra-stocked up on groceries in anticipation of the holiday visit from my nephew, my sister, and I so we haven't had to go after the rabbits in the backyard...


* UPDATE. 2-ish pm. The plows have come thru! It meant having to bust thru the resulting wall of ice and snow at the end of the driveway... twice... but hey, we're free to swarm Wegman's!

The first transport is away!

Hrmm... maybe we were better off not plowed...

Keep on keepin on~

* January 2, 2011. Found a couple of other Hoth-ic riffs on the Snowpocalypse. Check out Brooklyn.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Frickin Holidaze =)

Season's Greetings,

(Please check all that apply.)
[ ] Sexy program!
[ ] Familial family!
[ ] Friendly friend!
[ ] Respected colleague!
[ ] Valued teammate!
[ ] Formidable opponent!
[ ] Brattle bud!
[ ] Copacetic acquaintance!
[ ] Fellow entry in a mutual friend's mailing list!
[ ] FB Friend(tm)!
[ ] FBI agent seeking to unite and strengthen America thru the use of the appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism!
[ ] Other.

Here's my latest quasi-annual electronic fruitcake framistat, half-baked and presented to you to commemorate the end-of-year holiday cataclysm, y'know, instead of getting you a proper present or even a card...

(Expect effects of sound and musical accompaniment.)

This Xmas eve, you have to help that bastard Santa out of an elfin pickle. That's right, elfin, not effin', altho that may very well apply as well. You see, his faithful-yet-fed-up employees want to teach him a lesson... So, they've locked him up in the workshop to show him just how hazardous it can be. To get out in time to make his overnight deliveries, you must lead Santa to the five keys, left by the elves, that will unlock the workshop exit. But be careful, cuz the elves are right—the automated workshop is crappy place to work, full of peril and safety violations. If he gets struck by a forklift or crate, or takes an unsure step onto a present or a pile of coal, Santa's done for.


Io, Saturnalia! Happy Life Day! Farewell, year we make contact (did we?). Hello, Judgment Day (at least, that's what the Sarah Connor Chronicles told me =) ! Also, Mr. Year With No Integral Factors But Yourself And One.

Exciting! =)

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. The fruitcake is a little short on specific instructions, so here's a couple of tips. =)

1. Click the screen to start or re-start.
2. Use the arrow keys to maneuver.
3. The countdown clock is on the workshop wall, at the top left of the screen.
4. After failing to escape with the workshop running at full speed, you'll get the option to try again at not-as-madcap speed*, and more time**. Just click on the obnoxious invitation that appears near the bottom of the screen. =) *

Please direct all comments and complaints to this office. If for any reason you are not satisfied, I hate you. =)

p.p.s. Happy frickin holidaze.

p.p.p.s. Thanks to JG, NF, sis, and Frogger for feedback, beta testing, and inspiration.

* Later that night... Modified the game for an "EZ" option.

** Later still... Modified the "EZ" option with more time on the clock.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Captain Colbertica!

Stephen Colbert is known to the world as an enigmatic cable network pundit. But when the Colbert Nation is threatened by sinister forces, foreign, domestic, hypothetical, literary, or extradimensional, he springs into action as the Suped-up Soldier and Revenger... Captain Colbertica!

Another, even sloppier, response to the Photoshop Stephen Colbert's Portrait challenge: Captain Colbert-ica!

Yeah, don't look too hard at those abs. Umm... I blame it on the Super Solider Serum. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. This challenge is also a project at crowdSpring (?).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

BTIES: Ho. Ho. Ho.

A gorgeous adaptation of a Neil Gaiman poem...

Merry thanks to Sister M for pointing me to this holiday goodness!

Keep on creepin on~

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Greetings, Programs!

My answer to the Photoshop Stephen Colbert's Portrait challenge...

Would've been a way quicker fixx to go with the LEGACY styling, but I figured Stephen would appreciate the old school ensemble, y'know?

January 30, 2011. Speaking of LEGACY, check out the ColberTron "sequel" here! =)

The original downloadable "Portrait 5 Stephen(s)," hosted by Comedy Central as the not-so-blank canvas for the challenge...

Keep on beepin on~

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Pure nerdy musical genius =)

And, "how really rich people play the game..." =)

Keep on beepin on~


Loki! The Destroyer! Cool. =) Natalie Portman?!

Not a bad-looking Thor. I keep picturing TRUE BLOOD's Eric Northman as an ideal choice, but O well. Anthony Hopkins as Odin... Eh. Maybe I'll buy it more in Dolby sound. I'm looking forward to the crossing over and teaming up of heroes and villains and the creation of a legit big screen Marvel U. =)

Keep on keepin on~

Friday, December 10, 2010

BTIES: Winter Solstice Party Info

Thanks to JW for the pallet drop. =)

Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

running Watch-A-Thon count with comments...

Please support the Unofficial Film School of Boston, the Brattle Theater—Sponsor my 2010 Watch-A-Thon! Thanks!

Note that altho this post is dated 10/29 12/1, the starting finish line of the 'thon, I'll be updating it with short-to-shortish remarks as best I can as I go along. For the "naked" hit list, sans commentary, look here.
  1. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 @AMC Harvard Square, 10/29/10.
    A great horror movie. Better than the first, but in great part because of how events in this one dovetail with it. The addition of an infant and a dog to the mix definitely, successfully, upped the horror/scare factor. Was a lot of fun watching the guys in the double-date in front of me jump out of their seats. =)

  2. DEVIL @Muvico Centro Ybor, 10/31/10.
    A great little horror-iffic parable. One-by-one the five passengers on a stalled elevator, all strangers to each other, die in ghastly ways. The killer must be one of them, but as their numbers dwindle, prejudiced accusations fly, but the culprit remains unknown, even when only one remains... A wonderfully ridiculous situation framed by fun superstition offers up some decent sudden deaths and actually succeeded in keeping me entertained enough that I forgot to look for the twist, which turned out to be a fair and good surprise.

  3. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 @Silver Moon Drive-In, 10/31/10.
    That's right, so nice I saw it twice. Or something. It was playing at the DRIVE-IN! ON HALLOWEEN! How could I NOT see it? It was fun to realize that the housekeeper in PA2 was DEVIL's Ramirez's mother. =)

  4. CASE 39 @Silver Moon Drive-In, 10/31/10.
    Eh. Skip it. With the raw materials available, the cast and the seed of the story, this should've been a lot better. The young Lilith (TIDELAND) is good for a couple of great l'enfant terrible looks and one great spooky kid-v-know-it-all adult (Bradley Cooper) verbal confrontation. The most unbelievable part of the movie for me was the alleged chemistry between Zellweger and Cooper. Are they dating in real life? Whatev. Ian McShane's Ian McShane-ness was wasted. BSG's Leoben, aka Callum Keith Rennie, was good to see on the big screen, and he was good enough, just stuck in a crummy film. Boo.

  5. EASY A @Cinemark Festival Bay, 11/3/10.
    A good and not-dumb high school flick. More fun than I expected. I appreciated its explicit acknowledgment of 80s movies conventions, but didn't love the annoying flat adults, which it seemed to try to borrow and update from those movies. I'm still waiting for a high school movie renaissance in the mainstream. Sigh.

  6. RED @AMC Monmouth, 11/6/10.
    A ton of goofy action fun. Two explosive deaths that were hilariously satisfying.

  7. GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH @the Brattle, 11/8/10.
    A courageous attempt at a new kind of musical, but in the end, only half-successful. Visually, it's pretty remarkable. I kind of love it actually. If you're up for seeing a re-imagining of Boston on screen as Paris in the 60s, definitely check this out. But, some of its musicality breaks the film for me. It's not a musical, it's a... music-ish. Glimpses and hints of greatness, one old-school song-and-dance number, but they just don't sustain, don't build a consistent language that works in the film. If you're seeking a musical experience, lower the bar a bit and then check this out to catch those glimpses. I honestly hope that the filmmakers regroup and make another run at this genre with reinforcements and refinements.
    [Brattle blurb]
    (2009) dir Damien Chazelle w/Jason Palmer, Desiree Garcia [82 min]
    GUY & MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH is about the often uneasy but always beautiful relationship between music and love. It tells the story of a young Boston jazz musician who drifts from affair to affair, his trumpet the only constant in his life. He makes a promising connection with an aimless introvert named Madeline, who immediately takes to his music. Their relationship is cut short, however, when Guy leaves her for another, more outgoing love interest. The two separated lovers slowly wind their way back into each other’s lives, through a series of romances and near-romances punctuated by song.

  8. MACHETE @Somerville, 11/10/10.
    AWESOME. Got to see three reincarnated Losties in action: Ana Lucia, Hurley's pop, and Frank Lapidus! Also, Robert Deniro! Also also—and this is CRAZY that I didn't know about this before the opening credits—Lindsey Lohan! Also also also, well, let me put it to you the way the credits do..."Introducing... Don Johnson" AWESOME.

  9. PAPRIKA @the Brattle, 11/10/10.
    Beautiful onieric detective anime. I think it's by the same creator-animators as the PARANOIA EFFECT series. Both stories marry some fun fringe science to everyday life with crisp animation and crystalline music.
    [Brattle blurb]
    (2006) dir Satoshi Kon [90 min]
    The film world lost a great talent earlier this year, but you might not have ever heard of him. Japanese director Satoshi Kon worked in a medium where greatness sometimes goes unrecognized – animation. His work on films like Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers is marvelous. And this, his last film is remarkable by any standard. In PAPRIKA, a prototype for the DC-mini, a device that enables access to people’s dreams, is stolen and falls into the wrong hands. It’s up to a prim psychotherapist and her sprightly alter-ego, the titular PAPRIKA, to find the culprit before dreams and reality irrevocably collide! Kon’s films are smart and challenging and PAPRIKA’s artistry and unexpectedly sweet emotional payoff make it one of the most delightful films of the past decade.

  10. SKYLINE @AMC Burlington, 11/13/10.
    Eh. Skip it, sad to say. The seeds of a great sci-fi alien invasion event, but they land on the rocks and never take root. The film's plot drops the potential for a great fight-back scenario for a so-so personal scope and story, one better suited to a one-hour OUTER LIMITS. Should've been something like a kickas sprequel to BATTLE: LOS ANGELES. Bummer.

  11. GRAVITY @Coolidge Corner, 11/14/10.
    A fun little riff on the AMERICAN BEAUTY / OFFICE SPACE scenario. The routine of a successful work-a-day cog with baggage is interrupted by a traumatic event (a customer's death, in front of his eyes) and tilts his world just so, opening his eyes to dark possibilities and a partnership with an old school friend who's since turned to a life of crime. Wacky fun ensues...
    [Coolidge blurb]
    Frederik Feinermann is an up-and-coming young bank employee who lives an ordinary life. When a client, whom Frederik has denied a loan due to the bank crisis, shoots himself in front of Frederik, he snaps. Together with ex-con Vince Holland he begins to live out a new, dark side of himself. He robs his rich bank customers' homes and gives the money to the needy. The initial rush of crossing social boundaries soon develops into an addiction to ever greater thrills. Gravity tells the story of a seemingly settled bank employee who breaks the shackles of his everyday life and becomes a wanderer between worlds.

    dir. Maximilian Erlenwein, in German with English subtitles, 1h35m, 35mm

  12. BOXING GYM @the Brattle, 11/17/10.
    Wonderful! A beautiful bit of documentary meditation. I don't know the cinema jargon for it, but it's a truly naturalistic documentary, a (as) true (as possible) slice of life, y'know? No interference, interjection, intervention, or narration provided from the filmmakers. Like a nature show on boxers in their natural habitat. Just recording of events (granted, the camera's THERE, and the subjects know it, but to my mind, it's as invisible as possible) edited together just so. I couldn't keep track of the length of segments, as I was consistently drawn into the activity on screen, but the 30-second (?) clock in the gym almost dictates the pace of things. I got the idea in my head that maybe every cut lasted 30 seconds max, but realized that couldn't be the case with some of the prolonged training and discussion scenes. There's a lot of rhythm, visual and auditory, embedded in the gym's activity and it gets into your bones a bit. The experience of the film is very Zen, and shows me once again that there can be an art and craft to fighting (not counting martial arts films, WHEN WE WERE KINGS showed me the first time).
    [Brattle blurb]
    (2010) dir Frederick Wiseman [91 min]
    Legendary documentarian (and Cambridge resident) Frederick Wiseman returns to the Brattle screen with his newest film, BOXING GYM. Eschewing the languorous pace of his previous film, La Danse, Wiseman trains his unblinking camera-eye on a more kinetic subject – Lord’s Gym, and Austin, Texas institution. Founded sixteen years ago by Richard Lord, a former professional boxer, Lord’s welcomes people of all ages, races, ethnicities and social classes: men, women, children, doctors, lawyers, judges, business men and women, immigrants, professional boxers and people who want to become professional boxers train alongside amateurs who love the sport and teenagers who are trying to develop strength and assertiveness. Lord’s is an example of the American ‘melting pot’ where people meet, talk, and train. As is his usual technique, Wiseman allows the filmmaking to melt into the background, truly letting the people and the place speak for themselves.

  13. ENTER THE VOID @Kendall Square, 11/17/10.
    Beautiful, but can be a bit of an endurance test. I highly recommend it for cinephiles if you can stand some NC-17-y action and images, and following some pretty wretched characters around. It does some pretty amazing POV stuff and it's hard to tell where live/real environments end and CG (or scale models?) begin. It has some seriously trippy moments, trippy as in psychedelic, and for many minutes too long, if you ask me. Strobing lights (and full screen strobing) are prominent, so if that's an issue for you, beware

  14. TODAY'S SPECIAL @Kendall Square, 11/19/10.
    Alas, not nearly as funny as I'd hoped. The story is basic, but full of lots of potential (culture shock, romance, cuisine, maybe some magical realism?), left unrealized. Estranged son (Aasif Mandvi, who's great, but not really doing a whole lot here) of immigrant Indian parents seeks to make a name for himself in the big city as a five-star restaurant chef. When his father falls ill, he's drawn back home and resigned to taking over his father's business, the family restaurant, responsible for serving cuisine that he knows nothing about making. Unfortunately, the film only goes halfway at most into the wacky fun that should ensue. Or, if this wasn't about wacky fun, could have gone serious/sentimental in a stronger way. In the end, it's lukewarm, cute but could've and should've been better.

  15. 127 HOURS @Kendall Square, 11/21/10.
    Pretty amazing. I know Danny Boyle makes great movies, but given what I knew of the story behind this film, I let my faith waver a bit going into this one, skeptical that he could turn this thin, stark, harsh survival story into an enjoyable movie experience. My badd, DB. Plain and simple, Danny Boyle makes great movies. The true story is remarkable. Franco is perfect. The resulting film is beautiful, smart, and clever.

    [Brattle blurb]
    (2010) dir Kerthy Fix, Gail O’Hara w/Stephin Merritt, Claudia Gonson [89 min]
    “Songwriter Stephin Merritt always seems to have a Chihuahua on his lap. Performing with the Magnetic Fields since 1991, he has composed some of his generation’s most intellectually incisive, whimsical, witty and acerbic music (Merritt has been compared to Cole Porter for his sophisticated use of language). A dedicated, growing army of admirers flocks to the group’s concerts and makes Merritt an odd sort of anti-celebrity, one who is happiest not being recognized, whiling away the hours in gay bars on either coast (his favorite place for writing music) or spending a good part of the day soaking up obscure movie classics. Ten years in the making, the film follows the famously grumpy Merritt and explores his relationship with Claudia Gonson, his creative collaborator and the band’s manager. It paints a portrait of an artist whose music brilliantly holds up a mirror to the fears, joys, and insecurities of his time.” – Film Forum, NYC

  17. LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN @the Brattle, 11/24/10.
    [Brattle blurb]
    (1945) dir John M. Stahl w/Gene Tierny, Cornel Wilde [110 min]
    When young and handsome writer Richard Harland meets the beautiful Ellen Berent on a trail to New Mexico, it’s love at first sight for both of them. However, Ellen’s definition of love might be a little different than Richard’s, as she reveals layer upon layer of her obsessive nature. Richard slowly begins to realize that Ellen’s jealousy could have dire consequences for them all.

  18. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST @Kendall Square, 11/25/10.

  19. ALIEN @the Brattle, 11/25/10.
    [Brattle blurb]
    (1979) dir Ridley Scott w/Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm [117 min]
    As if H.R. Giger’s designs couldn’t be any scarier, Ridley Scott brings them to life in this 1979 film. ALIEN is about, well, an alien that terrorizes a spaceship. Sounds simple enough, but this film has become a classic, crossing over from the sci-fi genre into the mainstream, but maintaining its grasp on what made it great in the first place. Stellar performances by Sigourney Weaver, Ian Holm, and Tom Skerritt ground an already terrific script, and a baby alien bursting out of a human chest cavity doesn’t hurt.

  20. ALL ABOUT EVE @the Brattle, 11/26/10.
    [Brattle blurb]
    (1950) dir Joseph L. Mankiewicz w/Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Marilyn Monroe [138 min]
    “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” The ultimate backstage backstabbing bitchfest with Bette Davis as aging Broadway star Margo Channing who takes an aspiring actress, Eve (Baxter), under her wing. Eve, meanwhile, schemes to worm her way into every corner of Margo’s life. The dialogue (including Bette’s oft quoted line above) flies fast and furious in this quintessential melodrama.

  21. VANISHING POINT @the Brattle, 11/26/10.
    Awesome. =) The original death-defiant daredevil driver/muscle car race-against-time film, set in an EASY RIDER America, and heavily referenced in the DEATH PROOF feature of GRINDHOUSE. I have to watch DEATH PROOF again, but some of the big screen deja vu was so strong, I hafta believe that Tarentino sought some of the same locations for the chase scenes in his movie. The film's soundtrack is kick-ass, too, making for a HEAVY METAL-ish musical-cinematic experience, y'know, with a more rock-to-folk than metal flavor.
    [Brattle blurb]
    (1971) dir Richard C. Serafian w/Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger, Victoria Medlin, Charlotte Rampling [99 min]
    Heavily referenced in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, VANISHING POINT is one of the ultimate hard-driving films. Barry Newman’s Kowalski makes a bet to deliver a car (a 1970 Dodge Challenger with a matte white paintjob) from Colorado to California in under 15 hours. Think that might mean exceeding the speed limit a little?

  22. M*A*S*H @the Brattle, 11/27/10.
    [Brattle blurb]
    (1970) dir Robert Altman w/Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall [116 min]
    Robert Altman’s groundbreaking, counterculture masterpiece is, at its core, a movie about survival. Captains Hawkeye (Sutherland) and Trapper (Gould) go about dealing with the atrocities of life in a mobile surgical hospital during the Korean War by using humor, bad taste and the occasional sexual innuendo.

  23. LITTLE MURDERS @the Brattle, 11/27/10.
    [Brattle blurb]
    (1971) dir Alan Arkin w/Elliott Gould, Marcia Rodd, Vincent Gardenia, Elizabeth Wilson, Donald Sutherland, Alan Arkin [110 min]
    Alan Arkin’s directorial debut finds a young girl bringing her new boyfriend home to meet her parents for the first time. Meanwhile, a string of violent and random shootings have been breaking out in NYC and the city begins to parallel the myriad failings of the family during these times of crisis. A remarkable and underseen performance by Gould anchors this terrific film.

  24. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA @the Brattle, 11/27/10.
    [Brattle blurb]
    (1986) dir John Carpenter w/Kurt Russell, Kim Catrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong, Kate Burton [99 min]
    A reminder of the halcyon days of the magical Kurt Russell/John Carpenter partnership, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA follows Jack (Russell) as he and his motley crew fight Chinatown street gangs, kung fu warriors and an ancient sorcerer with really long fingernails, to save his buddy’s girlfriend from becoming the bride of the immortal and gross Lo Pan. The battles are epic and include a lot of kung fu action, Kurt Russell doing things, and claymation. The perfect trinity if ever there was one.

  25. MADE IN DAGENHAM @Kendall Square, 11/28/10.
    A brilliant and heartwarming true-story film about the struggle for fair pay by 187 so-called "unskilled laborers," all of whom happen to be women, in a Ford plant in Dagenham, UK in 1970 (I think?). The multiple levels of protest, scheming, diplomacy, and resistance, along with the interconnectedness of all the players in a factory town, all mesh really well in the storytelling of this film. A kinda nerdy observation, but I found it really interesting to see the ripple effect of the strike of 187 workers in a massive automotive plant, interrupting and influencing lives in the community, the business of the company, and ultimately, national policy. The entire cast is great, but Sally Hawkins (HAPPY GO LUCKY) is perfect. Rosamund Pike here stood out for me as well, seeing as how my most recent screen memory of her is as an almost mirror-universe version of her role here, in AN EDUCATION. Hooray for women! They're so cute. Heh. =)

  26. UNSTOPPABLE @AMC Boston Common, 11/29/10.
    Awesome! A really well-done buddy + disaster film. See it on the big screen!

  27. DUE DATE @AMC Harvard Square, 12/1/10.

  28. INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM @the Brattle, 12/1/10.
    Y'know, I always say it's the weakest of the films, but it's still a pretty damn fun ride. Also, I always forget, and then remember when he appears, that Dan Aykroyd has a random cameo in the film. Also also, love seeing the CLUB OBI-WAN sign at the end of the opening melee. As a kid, who maybe still kinda thought of Han Solo before Harrison Ford as being the guy who was playing Indiana, that moment had some weird movie magic in it, y'know?
    [Brattle blurb]
    (1984) dir Steven Spielberg w/Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan [118 min]
    This second installment of the Indiana Jones franchise hits the ground running, throwing Jones (Ford), kid sidekick Short Round (Quan), and torch singer Wilhelmina Scott (Capshaw) into the wilds of India. Although contoversial in its depictions of Indians, the scenes of human sacrifice (pulling beating hearts out of men’s chests) are so over the top, the dialogue between Willie and Indy so classically campy, the scene with the bugs so creepy, and the action sequences so fun, that TEMPLE OF DOOM stands solidly alongside the other adventures of Indiana Jones.

For those of you playing along at home, that's 12 Brattle films and 16 non-Brattle flicks, for a final total of 20.0 Watch-A-Thon movie-points. Ayep.

Anyone wanna go to the movies?

Keep on keepin on~

Friday, November 26, 2010

BTIES: "Binks... killed grandma..."

Advice to young fathers on how to have The Talk with your kid...

Thanks to Matt L for getting these technical readouts.

Keep on keepin on~

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

BTIES: "...gonna kick it like Ira Glass..."

And if you really want to see how Ira Glass kicks it, click here. =)

Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


This is a cheat of a post, sorry. But it's got some cool stuff... =)

...ow. =)

Keep on keepin on~

Friday, October 29, 2010

running Watch-A-Thon count...

Please support the Unofficial Film School of Boston, the Brattle Theater—Sponsor my 2010 Watch-A-Thon! Thanks!

Note that altho this post is dated 10/29, the starting line of the 'thon, I'll be updating it as I go along. For the list with short-ish commentary, check out this post.
  1. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 @AMC Harvard Square, 10/29/10.
  2. DEVIL @Muvico Centro Ybor, 10/31/10.
  3. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 @Silver Moon Drive-In, 10/31/10.
  4. CASE 39 @Silver Moon Drive-In, 10/31/10.
  5. EASY A @Cinemark Festival Bay, 11/3/10.
  6. RED @AMC Monmouth, 11/6/10.
  7. GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH @the Brattle, 11/8/10.
  8. MACHETE @Somerville, 11/10/10.
  9. PAPRIKA @the Brattle, 11/10/10.
  10. SKYLINE @AMC Burlington, 11/13/10.
  11. GRAVITY @Coolidge Corner, 11/14/10.
  12. BOXING GYM @the Brattle, 11/17/10.
  13. ENTER THE VOID @Kendall Square, 11/17/10.
  14. TODAY'S SPECIAL @Kendall Square, 11/19/10.
  15. 127 HOURS @Kendall Square, 11/21/10.
  17. LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN @the Brattle, 11/24/10.
  18. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST @Kendall Square, 11/25/10.
  19. ALIEN @the Brattle, 11/25/10.
  20. ALL ABOUT EVE @the Brattle, 11/26/10.
  21. VANISHING POINT @the Brattle, 11/26/10.
  22. M*A*S*H @the Brattle, 11/27/10.
  23. LITTLE MURDERS @the Brattle, 11/27/10.
  24. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA @the Brattle, 11/27/10.
  25. MADE IN DAGENHAM @Kendall Square, 11/28/10.
  26. UNSTOPPABLE @AMC Boston Common, 11/29/10.
  27. DUE DATE @AMC Harvard Square, 12/1/10.
  28. INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM @the Brattle, 12/1/10.
For those of you playing along at home, that's 12 Brattle films and 16 non-Brattle flicks, for a final total of 20.0 Watch-A-Thon movie-points. Ayep.

Anyone wanna go to the movies?

Keep on keepin on~

2010 Watch-A-Thon!

Beginning this October 29, and running thru December 1, I will be participating in the Brattle Theater's Movie Watch-A-Thon fundraiser and hope that you will support me and help the Brattle Theater! For one month, I will watch as many movies as possible—at the Brattle and other venues—and seek sponsors to contribute to the Brattle Film Foundation per movie-I-see, or encourage one-time donations in support of my movie madness. I hope you'll help me in this effort to preserve the legacy of repertory film programming at Boston's Unofficial Film School, the non-profit Brattle Theater.

If you're not familiar with the Brattle (or even if you are), the theater is a unique, modest cinema located in Harvard Square. No teeth-shattering THX, no stadium seats, but behind the counter there's freshly popped popcorn, real melted butter, and *hey!* beer and wine! And up on the screen are the coolest, smartest, classiest, campiest, funniest, and scariest rectangles of light in Boston. On stage you'll meet directors, authors, actors, and musicians, including the likes of Bruce Campbell, George Romero, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Junot Diaz, Daniel Clowes, Willem Dafoe, Kid Koala, and Juliana Hatfield. And, in the seats, you'll find people loving and digging them all.

Maybe even YOU!

Please contact me if you'd like to sponsor my Watch-A-Thon, and let me know how much you wish to pledge per movie. Feel free to specify a cap (if you're familiar with my moviegoing habits, you'll understand why). Or if you like, make a one-time (not per-movie) flat donation now through this webpage by credit card. And of course, going to see a movie at the theater itself wouldn't hurt any. =)

It's where my mind was blown when I watched Chow Yun Fat step-and-slide his way down that tea-house stairway railing, two guns a-blazin', partnered with Tony Leung in John Woo's HARD-BOILED! The darkened theater where I first experienced movies like CITIZEN KANE, DONNIE DARKO, and FALLEN ANGELS... Where I can go to see "What's Opera, Doc?" on the big screen, and properly observe my high holy days with screenings of EVIL DEAD 2 for Halloween, CASABLANCA for Thanksgiving, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE for Saturnalia, and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN for Valentine's Day... and where I consistently go to see the best of film's past (BICYCLE THIEVES, LE SAMOURI), present (THE HOST, SUNSHINE), and future (EXILED, MUTUAL ATTRACTION).

Thank you for any little something you can give to keep the Brattle's screen lit up, either as a donation or a pledge for my Watch-A-Thon. Help the Brattle...

Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


site | trailers

WAITING FOR SUPERMAN is an eye-opening, at times heartwarming, at times heartbreaking documentary that surveys the history and current landscape of public education in the United States (alas, there are a lot of sinkholes and few peaks).

The film approaches the subject from two vantage points: from that of young students and their parents seeking the best quality education available to them in their circumstances, and from that of motivated educators and policy makers seeking to reform and reinvent the practice of education. On the educator side, we learn about the success of the Harlem Children's Zone, follow the progress of the KIPP schools, and find out about some unpopular tactics employed to reform the D.C. school system. The educators responsible for these charter schools and measures are proving that educational success for *supposedly* hopeless students IS possible. On the student side, we meet a half dozen grade school kids (wonderfully earnest and charming) across the country who have the opportunity to win a spot, via lottery, in a non-standard public school option that will significantly improve their odds of going on to college. That that is even an issue is a telling sign, and the filmmakers fill in the blanks for us with the highlights, or rather, lowlights, of the educational system's failures, introducing us to the terms "dropout factory," "lemon dance," and "rubber room." Some reform is attempted within and some outside of the existing bureaucratic and administrative structures, which prove highly resistant to change. Not surprising, given that they are based on a foundation that was mostly laid in the post-war era, when expectations of high school graduates were very different from those of today's.

Blerg. I'm doing a crummy job trying to summarize without "spoiling," so I'm gonna quit and tell you what you need to know: YOU SHOULD SEE THIS FILM!

If you're not careful, you might learn something before it's done. =)

Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TIFF 2010: short takes

I hafta admit, I ended up scheduling for "fun" more than "quality." In part it's because "quality" will probably end up at the Brattle, Somerville, and Kendall, like, last week (THE TOWN), or next week (NEVER LET ME GO), or during Oscar season, right? THE KING'S SPEECH won audience choice and that's supposed to be superbait, so I fully expect to catch that this fall.

What I got to do was see some movies I really enjoyed. Man, if the 10.30.10 fails to restore sanity and the U.S. of A. tanks (and doesn't take Canada with it), I think I could be pretty happy in Toronto. At least, in Toronto along the University Line TTC subway, with stations short walks to a dozen movie theaters. The festival venues I went to are all quite cushy and this new theater building, the Bell Lightbox, is just plain gorgeous. Also, you can get Burger King (I would prefer McD's, but whatevs), Starbucks, pizza, hot dogs, and poutine (no curds for me, tho, thanks) in their AMCs.

Also, Mike's Hot Dogs, across from the Lightbox, cooks up a quality dog (with wheat or white bun), I tell you hwhat. =)

Allright, here's what I saw in quick-ish, non-spoilery takes (I'm hoping to sit down and *really* ramble about these later this week, before my impressions fade away)...

MONSTERS (9/16 @Ryerson)
TIFF listing | trailer
Really enjoyed it! Not a run-for-your-life action romp. HOST-ish, but maybe more like THE SIGNAL meets CLOVERFIELD. Like the best monster/scifi, it's about the human beings, their society, civilization, and relationships. There just happen to be monsters in the background.

TIFF listing | trailer
Very hit or miss with me. The Chef's story was solid, but the others were a bit shaky. The action was all decent, but I'm afraid about half the humor was lost (on me) in translation. That happens quite a bit with comedy in HK flicks for me. Sometimes it's just a little too broad or low. Maybe that's for the kids? I dunno.

TIFF listing | trailer
Probably the favorite of my fest screenings! Packed with what Tsui Hark does well and none of his iffy, goofy stuff. Well, almost none. Great characters, cast, and action choreography, and a very down-to-earth conspiracy mystery plot. Well, y'know, as down-to-earth as a conspiracy involving spontaneous combustion in whichever dynasty China goes.

BUNRAKU (9/17 @Scotiabank 2)
TIFF listing
I love it. The weakest bit for me was probably Demi Moore's character thread. She didn't get to do or mean enough, but could have. The visual style is probably gonna divide people sharply, but it totally works for me. It's what you'd get in STAR TREK the original series if someone dropped a collection of Shaw Brothers flicks on a cowboy world, and of course, there's nothing wrong with that!

CONFESSIONS (9/17 @Ryerson)
TIFF listing
Wonderfully vicious vengeance and soulless impudent grade school children. Good times!

TIFF listing | trailer
A nice tight little "GROUNDHOG DAY" story, but really rough. Maybe some of the gray area issues of the groundhog day god complex get smoothed over too quickly. And I heard some thuds as some odd and unnecessary lines fell out of characters' mouths. Y'know, supposedly off-the-cuff convo that just sounded poorly written. It's a DAYBREAK with some screwed-up kids as the focus, not a dutiful top cop (Taye Diggs in DAYBREAK, watch that series if you get a chance =).

STAKE LAND (9/18 @Scotiabank 4)
TIFF listing | trailer
A little bit of a lot of stuff I love. Post-vampoc western society, crazy cult leader action, boy meets girl, unconventional family-building, and vampire hunting stake-fu. Surprise understated goodness from Kelly McGillis, and not a bad junior vampire hunter by GOSSIP GIRL's little brother, too! If I had to pick a nit, a few seconds of the action could have been shot better.

WASTED ON THE YOUNG (9/18 @Scotiabank 2)
TIFF listing
I like it. High school clique viciousness with not an "adult" in sight. VERONICA MARS (without her righteous justice-fetish) meets GOSSIP GIRL and that porny sheen of WILD THINGS. A possibly ambiguous, possibly confusing ending. Stars Australian doppelgangers of Michelle Williams, Peter Facinelli, and Joshua Jackson. Well, okay, not exactly Joshua Jackson.

TIFF listing | trailer | site
A super fun kids-in-competition doc. I felt a little cheated cuz the film focused on certain kids (great kids w fun stories) in the competition, which is fine, understandable, necessary and all, but didn't give us more than a few seconds' look at the other kids' performances. Would've been nice to show us more of everyone when it counted. O well.

YOU ARE HERE (9/19 @AMC 10)
TIFF listing | trailer
If Haruki Murakami wrote SLACKERS, you might get something like this. That might sound like a nightmare to some people, but it totally works for me. A puzzlebox of a film where everything is open to interpretation.

All right. That's all I've got just now. I'll try to tackle individual films in their own posts soon (ish =). My thanks to TIFF organizers, volunteers, and filmmakers—and especially to Vitamin T—for playing such spectacular enablers of my movie madness! =)

Keep on screenin on~

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Where in the world am I?

Where else?

Meat country! Actually, this was just an un-pass-up-able photo-op, stumbled upon after bibimbap and bulgogi at Buk Chang Dong in Toronto's Koreatown.

Good stuff. =)

Keep on keepin on, eh~

TIFF 2010 so far...

So, I'm in Toronto! And I'm seeing films at the Toronto International Film Festival! And it's pretty frickin shweet! =)

I arrived on Thursday and knocked off two films, an evening MONSTERS (understatedly awesome!) and a midnight madness screening of THE BUTCHER, THE CHEF, AND THE SWORDSMAN (very fun, but missed half its shots at my funny bone). I kicked Friday off with an early afternoon DETECTIVE DEE (Tsui Hark + Andy Lau awesome!), then an early evening BUNRAKU (genre-mashing awesome!), and finished with a nighttime CONFESSIONS (dark, vengeful, Japanese awesome!). And today began with a very crisp, if slightly clunky, REPEATERS (I *had* to get in at least one Canadian film) followed by a great romp of a post-apoc road movie, STAKE LAND (some more awesome genre mashing, this time, with vampires!).

Several of the screenings have had post-show Q&A with filmmakers, so, I got to see and hear the director and stars of MONSTERS, the director of BUTCHER, the director and stars of STAKE LAND. And, thanks to my digital camera and the interwebz, you get to see some of them, too...

Here's me, explaining the WristStrong spiel to STAKE LAND director Jim Mickle, who was game for taking up the cause...

To raise awareness as efficiently as possible, you're supposed to pass a bracelet on to celeb-types, like pro athletes and entertainers, famous individuals whose faces—and hopefully, wrists—are seen by many people. I predict Mr. Mickle will prove to be a strong WristStrong campaigner in the near future.

Outside the theater, I caught the vampire-hunting stars of the film, from left to right, Sean Nelson (soldier Willy), Nick Damici (hunter Mister), and Connor Paolo (helper Martin, but you *might* know him better as the youngest van der Woodsen =). Nick and Connor were excellent as master and apprentice hunters in the post-vampocalypse of STAKE LAND.

Alas, vampoc survivors Kelly McGillis (a sweet surprise in the role of Sister), Danielle Harris (plucky young siren, Belle), and charismatic cult leader Michael Cerveris (lately of FRINGE, excellent as the vengeful extremist Jebedia) were not spotted. Cerveris WAS part of the Q&A, but I didn't see him afterward. McGillis was reportedly newly married that day. And I thought Harris was in town, but I guess wasn't available for that particular screening. O well.

Pretty frickin cool. =)

Keep on keepin on~

TIFF 2010: Arrrrrr! Eh?

Haven't hunkered down to type out any proper rambles on the wonderful films yet, sorry. Will try to start posting before I leave, tho.

Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BTIES: Sci-F-eye chart...

Thanks to JD for the linkspam! =)

I'll chuck my answers in a comment.

* September 9, 2010. Posted an updated list of answers with my gaps filled by responses found in comments. Still can't get or commit to the first and last logo characters from the last row. Boo.

* September 8, 2010. Revisiting and thinking—What? No LOST? No LOST IN SPACE? No SPACE:1999? No B5? No TWILIGHT ZONE (or could that be FANTASTIC FOUR =)? No WHO or HORRIBLE, Phd? Perhaps the chart is limited by font rights (copy- not civil- =) issues? I have not sought out an answer key. Do feel free to correct my erroneous guesses in the comments.

Keep on geekin on~

Monday, August 30, 2010

BTIES: Jesus Christ! =)

Tripped over this in a random The-Bible-Is-Awesome thread at Amazon. =)

Keep on keepin on~

LOST: Emmy farewell (*spoilers!* =)

I was pretty much oblivious to Emmy-ness this year. The most thought I'd given to the awards were a couple of off-hand remarks to people about how Jason Stackhouse and Jesse Pinkman deserve some recognition. Now I've seen that Pinkman actually got it—Watch BREAKING BAD!!!! Very cool...

The only real-time recognition of the Emmys I can acknowledge were some AMC bumpers *during* last night's MAD MEN congratulating the show on the awards it had just won. =)

Anyhow, this little ditty from last night's awards show came floating at me via the interwebz today. Not awesome, but somehow, just the right tone, y'know? Smiley-nostalgia-inducing. If you haven't watched all six seasons but plan to, beware: it's got some one-liner spoilers.

Keep on keepin on~

BTIES: "The Saddest Thing You'll Read All Weekend"

"The Saddest Thing You'll Read All Weekend" aka "Facebook Explains Gravity."

I don't have a Saddest-Thing-I-Ever-Saw category, but maybe I'll have to consider adding it...


Y'know those STAR TREK episodes where the Enterprise comes upon a civilization with a decent to sophisticated level of technology but an infrastructure that's falling apart and a scantily clad populace that has no clue how to maintain it (or adjust the collision course of their world-ship, or reprogram their artificial intelligence caretaker-turned-god) because over generations its citizens have taken that tech for granted and allowed the science and knowledge behind it to fade into forgotten history?

This is how it begins.

Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

TRUE BLOOD: wuzzon

3x01 to 3x09

I've watched all but the most recent episode this season, so, up to episode 9, "Everything Is Broken," and just wanna review and collect some thoughts. The melodrama between Bill and SuhKAY continues to be frickin tedious, but I gotta say, there's some interesting stuff going on.

What up with the Magic Garden?

So, she's near death, and while unconscious, astrally visits some kind of magic garden, a nicely landscaped playground full of lush and blooming vegetation, populated by frolicking hot little women and men.

Is the environment actually a bright and green version of a location we've seen in Sookie's waking life? I *think* there were headstones...? A graveyard?

Anyhow, one of them—the leader? was her name Maia? * Later. It was Claudine, my badd—seems to recognize Sookie. Sookie does not recognize her, her frolicking friends, or her surroundings. Sookie seems to be one of them, but suffering from amnesia, unaware of her origins and heritage. Claudine is not helpful at all in filling in the blanks.

All of the magical Maypolers scarper off (did they all descend into the pool?) as the garden is overtaken by shadow. Coincidentally, in the waking world, Bill arrives at Sookie's hospital bedside.

Of course, we've seen since then that Bill has visited this garden, also encountering Miss Claudine, who is instantly fearful of him. Bill begins to declare his love and protectorship of Sookie, but after a few seconds seems to give in to a Vampire's desire for neckness, and when he lunges for her, we see Claudine dispatch him with a familiar joybuzzer move.

Bill's entrance into the garden was thru an apparently subterranean access. It appeared to be a (his?) basement earthen chamber, with a wooden trap door, somehow set into the same pool thru which all the Maypolers exited. I forget—is that how Sookie arrived when she visited?

So, it seems to me that Bill is granted access to the Magic Garden thanks to the amount of Sookie's blood that he's drunk. The same blood (over)dose that allowed him to survive being chucked into daylight by Tara and El Cid during their Mississippi getaway drive.

Sookie's Magic Gardeners seem to be by nature in direct opposition to vampires. Bill's encounter with Claudine established that for me. What is the opposite of a vampire? A vampire, = the reanimated dead, fueled by the blood of the living, fearful of daylight... The nearest thing I can think of is an angel. Could there have been a fallen or wandering angel roosting somewhere high up in the Stackhouse family tree? The trappings of the frolickers don't exactly speak to me of angels, tho. More like a Greco-Roman posse belonging to Bacchus or Dionysus. But we've alredy gone there with Mary Ann whatzherhead, right? How frickin annoying was all that? Still... There are all manner of Greeky types to mine for a fun supernatural heritage... Nymphs. Are there boy nymphs, too? Himphs? Maybe they're an offshoot of vampires? Or perhaps the progenitors of vampires? Supernatural Eloi to the Morlockian vampires?

Hrmm... But Claudine seems to KNOW Sookie. As if she existed before. Like one of XANADU's muses, y'know? A supernatural who visits the mortal plane every once in a while. So, maybe Sookie has chosen to walk the earth, but as a mortal, isn't allowed memory of her supernatural, Magic Gardener self. The Stackhouse bloodline, for SOME reason, allows these Magic Gardeners to be born into the mortal plane for such visits.

I wonder if she can meet her nephew in the garden. And maybe the bellhop from that Dallas vampire hotel...? Hrmm... What if everyone in the garden is also a telepath in the waking world? What if this is their common, kinda lame, astral playground...?

Why do any vampires want/track/care about Sookie?

The revelations that Bill was in the employ of the Queen, and that he was supposedly on sabbatical from his job when he met Sookie, leads me to believe that his meeting Sookie and bonding with her IS in fact part of a plan. The Queen—and perhaps Bill, but let's say just the Queen for now—have been tracking the Stackhouse family and its gifted members for generations. Their gift is the sign of a supernatural ancestor in the family tree. The Queen believes that the blood of one with this gift is the key to some greater power, or perhaps an advantage over other vampires and supernaturals.

That's one way this could go, at least. Bill himself, a servant of the Queen, may be serving her while also looking to forward a plan of his own. Altho he honors the laws of vampire society, he certainly doesn't seem to care for advancement within the vampire world. Does Bill want to be human? Does he want to be human to be with Sookie? Does he want to be human to die a human? I'm not sure I've seen that there's a serious motivation for Bill to want to be human, especially now, a century plus after his living breathing loved ones have passed, but, let's just assume he's got a reason. Maybe he's discovered, on his own or via the Queen's research and plans, that Sookie's blood is the key to regaining his humanity, to "curing" vampirism. Or, maybe just countering the vulnerabilities...?

A probably dead-end thought about the Queen...

The Queen has been around, and she seems steeped in the supernatural, beyond vampire tradition and culture. She's the one who filled in the blanks for Bill about Mary Ann, remember? Her interest in and possession of such knowledge lends some strength to my above thoughts about tracking the Stackhouses and using/planting Bill in a position to protect and/or collect Sookie herself. It also got me thinking about another possibility...

Yes, she/her estate is in dire financial straits since the Great Revelation. We've seen her scratching lottery tickets in the hopes of a big payoff that will cover her debts to the IRS. We've also learned that she ordered Sheriff Northman to distribute V, vampire blood. Whose blood is it, tho? Having seen the way Eric tricked Sookie into drinking his blood so that she would unwittingly forge a blood connection with him, I had the thought that the Queen might be using HER OWN BLOOD to sell as a drug, establishing psychic blood connections with every human who takes it. We've seen her vampire-hedonistic ways, and this sort of thing seems consistent with that. We've seen that vampires are aware of when their blooded human companions are in danger, and perhaps to some degree of their general location. In what OTHER ways might a vampire be connected to a blooded human? Imagine if the Queen's blood, as V, connects her to thousands of humans. What must that be like for her senses? What kind of additional powers or abilities might it grant her? Perhaps in combination with a boost from Stackhouse blood...?

Eric v. Russell

I LOVE the Northman backstory, and really enjoyed his interview w the V-Feds. That was a very sensible story move, having him waylaid by them, which essentially, temporarily, put him in their protection, safe from Russell. The outcome, with the Authority basically enlisting him as their black ops agent against Russell, was pretty cool. Alas, disavowed and unofficial, he can receive no help from the Authority. Now, though, in light of Russell's very public declaration of war against humanity, I'm thinking that Authority will be launching its own operation.

I kind of hope that Eric continues to pursue Russell using only his own resources and connections. Do we think that Russell's wolfpack is not so much in play any more? Hrmm... Will Russell find other vampires to join his crusade openly? Some of those Texas $hitkickers we met in Dallas?

I would love to see Eric recruit a few familiar human faces (and maybe a shifter?) to help him in an assault against Russell and his wolves. He could V/blood them up, making them the supercharged matches for werewolves and vamp thugs.

Geez, would the Authority team up with the Children Of Light against Russell? Maybe Jason could raid their armory.

A couple of last things...

WTF is up with Tommy? He, and his family, are turning into the Mary Ann subplot of this season. Bleah. I don't know what Tommy adds to the unfolding stories at all. His smartmouth and punk attitude do serve to destabilize Sam a bit, who's been a rock since the start. But in what world is that a good thing? Granted, I liked watching him beat the crap out of Crystal's drug-dealing were-dad, but that whole situation was just weird and out of place, somehow. Why wouldn't were-dad fight back? Is Tommy somehow in cahootz w them? Is there something to gain from somehow turning Sam to a dark side?

I like Deb and Hoyt together.

I like Pam's devotion to and empathy for Eric.

What's up w the Hot Shot racist meth-dealing werewolves? They ARE all werewolves, right? The guy they tied up left his clothes behind and all, just like one of Russell's boys.

Thing is, I still feel like Crystal is Something Else. A supernatural being who has somehow been captured or tricked into the life she lives w these hillbilly drug dealers.

Hrmm... Just thought of something. Eric kicked their asses on Lafayette's behalf and didn't mention anything about their supernature. Hrmm... That tells me they can't be werewolves. WTF?

But it really seemed like Sam and Tommy identified Crystal's dad, by scent, as a werewolf, right?

Hrmm... Maybe there's a serum? A "W" like there is a "V?" Werewolf blood that bestows upon a human the powers of a werewolf for a limited time. Or perhaps the Hot Shotters' wolfiness is powered by Crystal's supernature, a fake, artificial, magicked-up werewolf-ness. One that carries a scent, but not the same aura.

Allright, that's more than enough crazy TRUE BLOOD talk for now.

Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vote (even tho it'll be rejected): Kiss your Namaste goodbye!

Cobbled together this LOST-riffic reference non-design for shirt.woot's "The End Of The World" derby. However, hopped up on cold&flu meds as I was, I failed to do proper due diligence before putting it together and discovered that there are already shirts Out There with a similar design (duh!), grounds for rejecting a derby entry.


Still, here it is. Give it a vote if you don't think it's totally lame. =)



Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BTIES: "Space ain't BLACK enough to hide from him..."

By the power of Greyskull! Check out BLACKSTAR WARRIOR =)

Awwh yeah... Mr. Calrissian is gonna land the Falcon in the Starcave of ThonBoka and blow her Mindharp of Sharu.

Thanks to Sister M for the low-down. =)

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. IS that DEXTER's Sergeant Doakes?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

LOST: The End - It's the Omega Point, duh.

The afterlife, aka the Sideways, is a simulation created in the far-flung future in which all consciousness has been united and recovered. This point in time is known as Omega Point. Note that I'm pulling this notion out of my science fictional travels, so my discussion of it is not going to be very sciencey, but based on my collected encounters with the phenomenon (or situations which resemble the phenomenon) in various astounding tales. =)

If any reader out there has a more detailed handle on the philosophical, scientific/technological or futurist aspects of Omega Point, please do share, comment, or correct my para-remembered understanding.

The basic idea is that the universe and life in it progress over time toward an increasingly complex state, leading to greater and greater (approaching infinite) intelligence, knowledge, creativity, and altruism, allowing for more and more information to be saved, recovered, and restored. Ultimately, all things and their states over time, which would include human beings, their actions, their memories, and if you can accept that personalities, thoughts, and emotions are a manifestation of the arrangement of bioelectric energy and pathways, their consciousness, can be remembered and virtually reassembled, sometimes as a distinct individual, or as part of a massive collected consciousness. As virtual, bodiless, consciousness, an individual at Omega Point has as much time as one wishes, to do, live, or re-live whatever one may imagine.

The method and mechanisms involved vary. In Kubrick and Spielberg's A.I., sophisticated machine intelligences (the continually evolving offspring of humanity) are approaching Omega Point, and able to re-create a single human being, in body and soul (apparently), from material and memories preserved from her lifetime. At true Omega Point, as superintelligent minds, these further/fully evolved intelligences would be able to remember and replay everything, and restore any and all of their human preogenitors.

In Greg Bear's BLOOD MUSIC, a localized Omega Point is reached when a quantum physical event that "tilts" and rewrites macro/Newtonian physics in the region of Earth results in the creation of a biological astral plane inhabited and shaped by all living things on the planet.

In Robert Sawyer's FLASH FORWARD we get a glimpse of the ultimate possibility of an evolved humanity of disembodied energy and consciousness that can actually begin within our (extended) lifetimes.

LOST's season 6 Sideways doesn't let us in on the How (surprise surprise, it *is* LOST after all), but the Whos, Whats, Wheres, and Whens that we get to witness are exactly the kind of experience an Omega Point would enable. The restoration of individuals' consciousnesses, long after their original lifetimes (and deaths), in a simulated environment that would appear and feel familiar, shaped by their own memories, but would not have to adhere strictly to the laws of physics as we know them. And it follows that one could visit the Omega Point via a time-projected consciousness (not physical time travel, or reality-jumping), as both Desmond and Juliet demonstrate.

So, technically, yes, an after-life, in that it is a return to (apparent) temporal existence for our Losties long long long long long after their physical deaths. But, not a supernatural, spiritual one. Not one that defies science and reason. And yes, a reward, in the form of "moving on," which at Omega Point might entail joining others who have moved on, into a purer form, unconstrained by the notion of physical bodies, space, time, and the filter of five simple senses through which they experience the universe.

The experience of an after-life makes sense as a gateway to Omega Point for remembered/restored souls like those of our Losties. Only those beings who were alive upon reaching Omega Point experienced the evolution—of physicality, consciousness, emotions, society, civilization, and morality—to their ultimate state. Those beings who pre-date Omega Point and are revived then-there, would need a way to ascend those evolutionary steps and join their super-progeny as equals. Perhaps what we witnessed in the Sideways chapel is only a first tier. Next come lessons in telekinesis and temporal projection. And after that, the verbal.

Could the Heart of the Island (or the Island and its pocket dimension as a whole) be the extension of Omega Point thru time? Might a projection of Omega Point throughout time exhibit the properties and behavior we've seen associated with the Heart—responsible for life, death, and rebirth? Creation?

Is there an intelligence behind or within it? A morality? A collective one? A collective one that could program the physical laws of the matter, living and not-living, within the boundaries of the Island's snowglobe dimension in such ways that human minds might interpret as Rules? Does it make a kind of sense that when an unevolved being arrives at Omega Point without any transition (aka a living human being enters the Heart), it would be transformed or converted into a creature we've come to know as a Monster? Disembodied consciousness, bound by Rules to the realm of Omega Point? Sure, cuz... why not?

But Why?


Keep on keepin on~

* August 7, 2010. Floated this ramble at The Fuselage.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BTIES: INCEPTION: the infographic

A frickin wonderful visualization of the climax mission from the film, created by Dehahs at deviantart.

Keep on dreamin on~

Monday, July 26, 2010

MAD MEN: We're a family company...

4x01: "Public Relations"

Some late night rambling on the return of MAD MEN...

I hafta admit, it took a little time to get in step w the show's return, one year later and all. It's still its dark and dirty self, but didn't seem quite the smokey candy that I couldn't get enough of for three years. I think it may be the visuals, the aesthetics, on approach to the 70s, or perhaps it's the trappings of an upstart startup in Manhattan, or really, all of the above. It's just not so lush anymore.

The opening minutes were really strong. "Who is Don Draper?" I'm not even sure that's important anymore in my mind, but it has been a fulcrum on which much of the show has tottered at times. I thought his dodges were very fitting and true but also felt right away that it was an opportunity lost. On another level, I thought another opportunity missed when it was only revealed after the interview that the interviewer had lost his leg in the Korean War. That fact could have been an opening for Don, if not to open up more himself, then to question the questioner some, about the experience of war, motivations, wounds, things and people lost, and offer some truths couched in chit-chat. But not.

Still, I did find the beat again. And it felt very much like the first episode I saw, in a meta-way, following Don down this one path, and in the last three minutes, having him zig and zag onto another in a completely different direction. A perspective change. And one I appreciate for its simple slickness, cuz the story he tells to the Post interviewer is the story we watched begin at the end of last season. And it IS a perfect way to promote the company, just like Glo-Coat. It's a story that sells a product.

Some quick takes on characters. I like Betty even less. Don makes me a little bit sad. It was the Thanksgiving-in-bed scene that did it. I do still like my Peggy. Gotta say, her comment to Don, about how "All anyone wants to do is please you," doesn't sit quite right with me. She's spoken that supposed truth before, right? And it's... I dunno. Maybe it's true, but having her say it almost breaks the spell of the show somehow.

I really enjoyed the "John" and "Marsha" but between Peggy and whatzhishead. Can anyone tell me what that's originally from? I feel like I'm familiar with it thru Looney Toons riffs on it, and maybe some 70s sitcom references. =)

I was a little disappointed that her call about the bail money wasn't on her own behalf, hoping for more to be built upon or revealed about their most unlikely sameness and trust. I LOVE the shadowy connection between Don and Peggy, y'know? That they are in on each other's dark sides. More of Peggy's than Don's, of course—Peggy's child vs. Don's car accident with the comedian's wife.

I really DID like the post-bail-drop-in debriefing, tho. When Don asks her "Since when do you have a fiance?" and he breaks down her strategy of bringing him along to his door, and she is almost deflated by her transparency, but finds a silver lining—"Shows I'm thinking ahead, tho!"—which Don then unravels with a few additional words.

Seeing Don's ad for "Glo-Coat" or whatever it was, and seeing him see it, was very cool. The idea that the KIND of ad that it is is Something New at the time is a wonderful thing. Of course, Don is exactly the right man to conceive of such a thing. Drawing on romantic elements of childhood, his appreciation of movies, and his talent for setting and controlling perspective, he creates a short film that happens to be a commercial. Frankly, if I could be in that position, it's what I would try to do every chance I got—do what I want to do, make what I want to make, and have it be in the service of a client.

The Jantzen account was very interesting. Don used it to draw a line in the sand for himself, for creative in general, and perhaps for the direction of the new firm. The client is drawn to him because of his approach and success with Glo-Coat, but of course brings its own, unfortunately impractical, self-image to the table. Jantzen considers itself a "family company," reflected in their reps' prudish attitude toward the visuals and even the language of their product and the advertising of its competitors. The competition sells bikinis. They sell two-pieces.

When Don comes back with what he believes to be a clever and "demure" approach to selling bikinis—an attractive young woman in a bikini, but with the top covered by a black censor bar with the copy "So well built we can't show you the second floor"—the client balks. It's too racy, even "dirty." It's almost an intervention, to get the client to open their eyes to the realities of their product and the only sensible way to treat it and a sophisticated, if cheeky, way to sell it. When Don tries to snap them out of it, he gives it to them straight, saying something like "A two-piece is only a swimsuit and not underwear because of a slightly different design or material and a gentleman's agreement." Anyone who's had to deal with a client's preconceptions and prejudices in a creative endeavor has GOT to appreciate this scene. =)

On the home front, after a meeting with his attorney (or was it accountant?) he puts his foot down in regards to Betty's freeloading non-claim to their once-shared homestead, for which Don pays completely. It feels like both stands, with the client and with Betty, were driven by the same momentum.

Only once does the word "divorced" come up in the show and its from the lips of a college grad and gymnast (was she the preacher's wife in TRUE BLOOD last season?) that Sterling's daughter has set him up with.

Keep on keepin on~

* July 26. Paris Jen and the interwebz set me straight on the origin of "John and Marsha."

* August 24. KB and the wide world of webs clue me into "John and Marsha" used in advertising.

Yeah, I'm Olde, but not That Olde! I'm pretty certain I first encountered this almost vaudevillian meme in one or a few Warner Brothers Loonie Toons and/or maybe a Woody Woodpecker cartoon.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Another nerdfest, another trailer... (premiered at Comic-Con =)

site | trailer

Keep on keepin on~

Monday, July 19, 2010

[REC]2 tonight at the Brattle! (and more Goodness coming soon =)

I feel compelled to inform anyone and everyone that tonight is the last screening of Spanish hyper-horror-flick [REC]2 and I *highly* recommend it for fans of fast-paced fright fests! It plays at 10pm at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square. It is the follow-up to [REC], which was remade in the U.S. as QUARANTINE, and if you've seen either, you're more than ready to take on the sequel, which begins right were the first one ends. And if you haven't seen the first film, I think it's worth it to see the second one first in the theater and then go back for the original on DVD or whatnot. It is some wonderfully harrowing spam-in-a-cabin horroriffic fun! =)

Check the Brattle listing for more...

Also, check out the schedule for the Monday and Tuesday night noir series currently running as well as the "Best of the Oughts" that will be playing Wednesday thru Friday. And this weekend—a 25th anniversary screening of PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE, along with the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy!

And over in Brookline, at the Coolidge Corner Theater... As part of their "End Is Nigh" series of apocalyptic and post-apocalypse films—it's SIX STRING SAMURAI! In an alternate 1957 in which the Russians win the Cold War with the nuclear option, Buddy, a guitar-wielding samurai, traverses the badlands to take up the mantle of the fallen King... Elvis. A wonderful riff on the post-apoc archetype with some charismatic villains, and kick-ass licks and kicks. Give it a looksee, and let me know if you want a spotter. Plays at midnight on Friday and Saturday!

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. And in the mainer stream... DO NOT MISS INCEPTION! This gorgeous, clever, intense, scifi thriller is an amazing ride, and SO worth a big-screen experience! Also, if anyone wants a buddy for PREDATORS, I'm keen to see that and haven't been able to yet.

p.p.s. For a quieter but no less menacing thriller, *PLEASE* SEE WINTER'S BONE. Set in the Ozarks, when a man who works for the drug dealing underworld of the region puts his home up against his bond to get bailed out of jail, his teenage daughter sets out to find him. If he misses his court appearance, she, her ailing mother, and her two younger siblings will lose their home. Her search takes her into the dark heart of this unexpected rural gangland community.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

TOY STORY 3: Pixar, stop making me cry!

site | trailer

Just a few words—beautiful, wonderful, sweet, dark, charming, genre-palooza. Pixar does it again! And I know this is random, but seeing it just so struck me—they perfectly animated a SEAT BELT!

Preceded by "Night And Day," an ingenious little short that cleverly combines old school 2-d charcters with cutting edge 3-d environments (in a way you would never think) to conjure up some more of that Pixar magic.

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. Pixar, don't stop.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

DOCTOR WHO: I [heart] Amelia Pond

As part of my LOST recovery program, I've been catching up on the newest season of DOCTOR WHO, via onDemand, or inDemand, or whatever it is. Matt Smith as the Doctor took a little getting used to, but I've quickly come to like his take on Doctor-ness. I sometimes see a little DR. HORRIBLE in him, and would *love* for an American Who (as unnecessary as that is—they tried it a few years back tho, didn't they?) to be played by Doogie. Or maybe Desmond. =)

I kind of adore Amy Pond, altho I do agree with the Doctor that she should've kept on with "Amelia," much more of a... fantastic ring to it, y'know. My biggest problem with the new episodes is the odd, somehow uneven and Who-inconsistent, maybe even careless, writing. I just knocked off the Angels (of "The Angels Have The Phone Box") two-parter and while I love the return of their brand of menace, I'm annoyed with the apparent re-writing of their capabilities. They were perfect assassins in "Blink," who would be quantum-locked or whatever once they were observed by any other creature, but unobserved, could move and act freely. Their MO—a touch would sap their quarry of temporal energy (or something), providing sustenance for them and at the same time sending their unknowing victim backwards in the time stream. A very nichey, simple, and wonderful concept. There's no mention of time-shunting being the fate of the Angels' victims, a fate that allows for some great "Easter eggy" possibilities for warnings and messages from the past (a la "Blink"). Lost opportunities. Now, tho, they're also capable of RING-like propagation—anything that sees them eventually becomes one of them. Or wait, is it that anything that sees one of them becomes a statue? I mean, what was happening to Amy, would she have BECOME an Angel assassin or an inert stone statue?

I hafta say, I *like* RINGU / THE RING, and RING-ness for a good scare. Really, tho, such a spin could've been saved for use as an aspeect of an *all-new* Who threat. Did NOT have to crowbar it into an already elegant menace. Bleah. So unnecessary and annoyingly inconsistent.

On the other hand, the "return" of River Song is kind of fun, especially given the crap place we "last" saw her. Is she human? Long-lived? Something else? And I like the cracks in time. Sort of Bad Wolfy meets CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. Do the places the Doctor and Amy visit end up beign consumed by these cracks? Is spacetime disappearing behind them?

The revelation of a busted-up TARDIS is pretty frickin heavy. Inspires a hope that the Doctor has to face himself, or a possible future self, gone desperate or dark, in an upcoming episode or finale.

Poor Rory. Did the Doctor HAVE to pick up another bride-to-be?

Still... All-in-all, I am digging the fun.

Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

BTIES: LOUIE is Something Special

Tonight I watched the first two eps of LOUIE, the fauxto-biographical half hour on FX starring, created, written, and edited by comedic genius Louis C. K.. It's like... geez, I don't know what it's like... maybe... ALWAYS SUNNY meets TAXI... crass, sad, uncomfortable, true, hilarious, and heartfelt. It is wonderful. WATCH IT!

Really. I wish I could find a clip of the opening credits. As soon as the sequence started, I really could see that it would be Something Special, a realization of a unique and entertaining vision, 22 minutes at a time.

Have a look at the promo...

...and keep your DVR tuned to grab some episodes!

Keep on keepin on~