Another short film? Sure! why not?
Another short film? Sure! why not?
OK, so I JUST ran in the door to blog before midnight! I think I might make it in time! This blog challenge is awesome. Thanks, John!
This morning, Marylynn and the kids went up to the cabin in Twaine Harte for her family’s annual vacation. They’ll be gone for a week. I am sad. I miss them already. However, I must admit that there’s a liiiiitle bit of fun in being a bachelor – at least for a short amount of time.
I worked late today, then went over to the office in Anaheim where I met up with my old friend Sean Jiminez who loaned me a DVD copy of an animated short he did (which is AWESOME by the way) so I can finish the project I’m working on. Long story – running out of time before midnight.
So afterwards, Parker and I went by the $3 movie theatre and just saw “Drag Me To Hell”. It’s a PG-13 Horror / Comedy movie by Sam Raimi (who also did the Spider-Man movies and the Evil Dead movies if ya didn’t know) It was the most fun I’ve had in a theatre in a LOOOONG time. VERY VERY SCARY and also SUPER FUNNY. I highly recommend it. OK, Gotta run!!
I went to the see Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince with Parker, Christian, Shanna and Popi tonight and it was AWESOME! Really a good movie. Probably the best adaptation yet because they didn’t try to cram in every little detail. Great work, guys!
Then Parker and I stalked Marylynn and Sarah at Albertson’s and shopped with them. It was awesome and a fun time was had by all.
I would have gone into more detail, but I”m almost out of time for my daily blog! and plus, I have to let Sarah use the computer for her own daily entry! meep!
So after a wild wild adventure crossing the country yesterday, I finally find myself back in California. At the moment, I am in Downey at the super top-secret Yo Gabba Gabba headquarters where many awesome plans for the eagerly-anticipated Season Three are currently underway. I’m having a lot of fun hanging out with my brothers, Parker and Christian and I’m going to be here until Monday. They let me use a little iMac in Parker’s office, so I can blog from here! woo woo!
So to keep this from being simply an extended status update, I’ll share a little story with you. When Parker and I first got to the studios here, he gave me a bit of a tour. Apparently, they shot a big action scene for the upcoming Iron Man 2 out here in the parking lot last week. There’s some spy pics online but I won’t show you. Top Secret!
But yeah they were cleaning that stuff up when we got here this morning. So Parker and I snuck into an empty soundstage where they filmed the first Iron Man as well as the awesome Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls (and when I say “awesome” I mean absolutely horrible). So we were walking in this unlit warehouse and we went down a steep slope which took us by surprise. We continued further into the darkness and suddenly, we found a SECOND steep slope and I totally slammed. (what’s with me and falling down lately? Someone call Bob Saget, because I’m America’s Funniest Video) I didn’t think I hurt myself but a minute later, my thumb felt puffy (which is really weird because I didn’t even land on my thumb). Now it’s totally bruised and I still can’t figure out how it happened. (See pic below)
I’m okay. You don’t need to pray for my thumb or anything. It’ll be fine. I’m serious. Stop it.
Then I had a 3×3 Animal Style combo at In-N-Out (with a lemonade!) because I totally deserve it. Then I hung with Christian a bit and he showed me some funny videos on his computer. So it was an awesome day so far. Oh, and I had my first Five Guys Burger yesterday at the airport, and it was awesome!
I’m going to take a nap now.
Current Mood: Angry
This morning, a good friend of mine forwarded me an e-mail entitled “Pixar’s UP: Adorable or Deplorable?”. In the E-mail, Pixar was accused of “subtlely advancing the agenda of emasculating society” through “sins of omission” of “all fathers” as was relayed by his niece (?). Well this got to me (and yes, I’m angry about other stuff going on right now) and so I wrote a long-winded rant in defense of “UP”. I’m not going to post my friend’s e-mail out of respect of privacy, but since I spent a while crafting my response, I feel proud enough to post it here:
!!! WARNING – SPOILERS BELOW !!!
I’m sad about your e-mail. I’m also confused. I can’t tell if you saw it yourself or if you’re just going off what someone else said. When I told you how much I loved UP, you were dismissive because “the characters seemed unendearing”. I remember you saying to the effect of “Andy Rooney and a Squinty-eyed little freak?”. (The kid is Asian, dude! I was shocked you would say something like that). I let that bother me for the rest of the day, because UP was a ray of sunlight during this trying time in my life.
I had a very different take on it. Yes, the Russel’s father was absent (something I can relate to too well) and he tried the to be the best scout he could to earn approval (another thing I can relate to). In the end, the deadbeat dad didn’t come through (amen), and the thing that touched me, is that the cranky old Carl took him under his wing and mentored him. He made a transition of taking the pain of his past and using his gold to bless and mentor this young boy. Then the end credits shows them doing all the things that Russel’s dad didn’t do with him – Fishing, eating ice cream, going to the movies, etc. I stayed through the credits and cried the whole time.
Disney’s track record of omitting father figures has bothered me for years. But keep in mind that this was a PIXAR movie. There’s a difference there, and I saw this as redemption for Disney’s sins of the past. Mentoring / father figures / hero worship is one of the core themes of this movie. Additionally, the mature themes of marriage, death, unrealized dreams, mourning, overcoming grief, disillusionment, surrogacy, disappointment, loneliness, old age, protection, forgiveness and passion are all very heavy prominent themes all throughout. I was in tears within the first ten minutes (and even before that if you count the short “partly cloudy”).
To me, the fact that the explorer character turned out to be the villain emphasized the disillusionment that one receives from placing a hero on a pedestal. It didn’t undermine Carl and Ellie’s dream. And it started the chain of events that caused Carl to introspect and realize that it wasn’t too late to start a new adventure – in mentoring Russell.
I saw the undoubtedly PRO-masculine message in this movie. It was far from deplorable and so much more than adorable. It held a very deep and touching message that made me feel golden for days. I gushed about it to my friends on staff at the NWTA a week later because of it’s pro-masculine and uplifting message. I can honestly say now that it’s one of my favorite movies ever.
I don’t know if your niece and I saw the same movie. I didn’t see any emasculation or “subtle agenda advancing”. UP was the best movie I’ve seen all year and hands-down the best Pixar film to date. I can’t remember the last movie I saw that affected me so deeply, especially when it comes to my own father wounds.
With the near-universal praise that Up has (rightfully) received I judge that many of those who are critical are simply being contrary for the sake of being contrary. Or perhaps they are holding Pixar films to an impossible standard, while letting other mediocre, timely, pop-culture referencing fluff like “Shrek” “Chicken Little” or “Madagascar” (Dreamworks & Disney I’m looking at you) pass for decent entertainment for our kids. That’s deplorable.
In the so-called “Summer of Sh*t” (not my words, but true), Up stands out as a freaking diamond. It would in any other year as well.
Look, I’m SUPER excited to see Watchmen when it hits theaters tomorrow. I’ve been absolutely giddy about it since I read the graphic novel last year. I’ve been following movie news sites for leaked images and updates for quite some time. I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a movie since the Lord of the Rings trilogy came out (and if you know me, you’ll know that that was 3 years of me totally geeking out). I just bought tickets for the 4:15 IMAX screening tomorrow (sorry, Stew!). So you’ll be hard pressed to find someone more excited about Watchmen than me.
That said, I’m starting to get weary of the marketing blitz. Seriously, folks, don’t you think this is a bit much?
Seriously, RottenTomatoes, I think that people are well aware that this movie is coming out. Do you REALLY need to devote over 50% of your front page real estate to Watchmen? I think this is the definition of “obtrusive online marketing campaign”. Let’s take a closer look at this disaster:
1. Header image link to “Watchmen Headquarters” (whatever that is). I think the costumed heroes in the grass is a nice touch. Cute.
2. A standard 728×90 banner ad for the Watchmen Motion Comic DVD. (I’ve seen one episode of this and it’s actually pretty cool)
3. Featured article on the Heroes of Watchmen. Okay whatever.
4. Small banner advertising the Watchmen Motion Comic DVD. TOTALLY UNECESSARY!
5. Noting that Watchmen is coming out tomorrow. And that it has gotten a disquieting 64% on the RottenMeter.
6. Thumbnail for the Watchmen Character Guide, as featured in #3… I think.
7. Photos from the Watchmen Premiere Gallery.
8. Another link to the Watchmen Premiere Gallery, this time featuring the two female leads and the words “red carpet”. For some reason, I get that they’re trying to appeal to the Grey’s Anatomy viewing demographic. Wait, Denny’s in this movie?!? OMG!!
9. An unnecessarily large rich media banner, again hawking the Watchmen Motion Graphic DVD. This one actually plays the trailer (whether you want it to or not) and expands to “take over” the page you originally navigated to (with the intention of finding information). Although I have created a few of these ads in my time. I’m not a big fan of them. They are deceitfully distracting and rudely obtrusive, and not to mention in this case, laughably redundant. Moving on…
10. Headline from RT News saying that Watchmen broke a record for the biggest opening (aka most theatres) of an R-rated movie.
11. Oh yeah, caught this one late – Watchmen is in the list of most anticipated upcoming movies. And understandably so. How could anyone miss it?
So there you have it, folks. The Watchmen overkill is official (at least at RottenTomatoes.com) and didn’t even scroll down the page. in 30 hours from now, I’ll be sitting in my seat with a bucket of popcorn and Finn at my side eagerly waiting for the lights to go down wondering “How the heck did these people hear about this movie anyways?”
Saturday morning we headed out to PA to visit John and Jaime and their family to celebrate Lily’s fourth birthday! The drive down was rather nice. I played the audiobook of the first couple chapters of The Audacity of Hope (which is awesome, but I’ll talk about that later…), so the drive down was pretty nice.
We got there a little early so we helped set up. I got to fill the chip bowls. Oh what fun. They had the slip-n-slide set up on the hill in their backyard and lots of fun inflatable water toys for the kids. John made some AWESOME (virgin) piña-coladas with strawberries and blackberries. There were tons of yummy snacks (goodbye diet… for one day) and then when Katie and Clayton and the other guests showed up it, it just got to be totally awesome. (Click on an image to make it bigger, and please forgive the wonky layout of this gallery… I’m still trying to figure it out.)
I had forgotten I made this, and since those wonderful folks at YouTube deleted my account (and my 100+ videos), I thought I’d re-upload it to Vimeo. I got a kick out of seeing this a year and a half later. tee-hee…
Current Mood: Surprised
So this guy Brandon Smith from Utah made this documentary on the Utah Ska Scene of the 90s (and today). He got in touch with me and I helped him out and gave him the names of a few key players from the scene back in the day. Sadly, I never got to get my interview with him due to distance, but hey, he gave me Associate Producer credit! Who knew? Woo woo! You can spot me in a lot of the still photos. It’s pretty awesome, some of those pictures I haven’t seen in 13 years! Anyhow, it looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see it. Great job, Brandon!
For more info check out The Up Beat Movie Website
Finally it’s here! The Director’s Cut Special 12th Anniversary Edition of MOOT LOCAL!
What is “Moot Local” you ask? Only the biggest groundbreaking achievement in american cinema since the introduction of “talkies”! Ok, well maybe not THAT great, but at least it’s better than The Matrix (not that that’s saying much.. OK, that’s just my opinion…)
Actually, Moot Local is a short student film I made for my high school film class back 1995 in Bountiful, Utah. It’s about a girl who gets stuck in a the city and has to find her way back home… hilarity insues.
I digitized it a couple years back and have been recutting it, color correcting it, fixing the soundtrack, etc. in my free time. I finally finished it to where I’m happy with it, and so here it is, for your viewing pleasure.
And now you can finally enjoy the deluxe george-lucas-rewriting-history-star-wars-edition of my masterpiece, “Moot Local”