31 July, 2010

CURRENT MOOD

Photobucket

28 July, 2010

Haters Gonna Hate


Look at him! Just try to make your heart not melt! Just try it!

(via Cute Overload.)

27 July, 2010

It's Like This Every Day

26 July, 2010

CURRENT MOOD

CInecult: The Greatest Trick the Movie Ever Played

It's a rare treat to cry at a movie. Movies can strike you in a lot of ways, but it's a rare occasion that something-- anything, really-- makes me cry.

Intense emotion, for me, is a way for a simply decent movie to be propelled into the realm of great cinema. It's a trick, really. Because the movies themselves aren't great, but somehow, it manages to hit me in such a way, at such a time to make me forget who I am and where I am and who I'm with and cry.

The following is a list of movies that have made me cry in one way or another. All of the movies below, I feel the need to say, I am sincere about, as writing this ironically would a completely pointless endeavor.

Seabiscuit-- I had to hold in my tears when I watched Seabiscuit because I was sitting next to my mom at the time. The story of Seabiscit itself is enough to make me cry, but the movie really got to me. Everyone of the heroes in the movie has every reason to be a failure and to be cast away by everyone, but what keeps them going is this inborn urge to keep on moving on. They get hurt because of this, over and over and over again. All of these set backs and all of this suffering ends with one final race, with Seabiscuit and Red racing towards a finish line. As they're coarsing towards the finish line they'll never get to, I couldn't help but think, "I love horses," which is a thought that I still don't fully understand. What I do understand is the feeling of being cut free from everything that is holding you down and just running free as far and as fast as you can. The movie doesn't give us the closure that most movies do, but I don't need to see it, I already know the ending.

Terminator 2-- I've said before that Terminator 2 is my favorite film, but I'm not listing this because it's my favorite film, rather it's my favorite film because it belongs on this list. There's a lot of great things about that movie, the action most obviously. What gets me is that T2 is a story about a crazy woman, a robot, and jevenile delinquint and it manages to make a family out of this. Even though he's an emotionless, killing machine, we still like the Terminator and when he dies, for me, it isn't that he's dying, but that he finally becomes aware of what it means to be a human and to lose things, but to also know that being human is something that will always be foreign to him. He becomes something more than a killing machine and, because of that, he knows that he has to die, regardless of how any of us feel.

Toy Story 3-- Someone said that Toy Story might very well be the best trilogy of all time and I'm hard pressed to come up with a proper counter-argument. There's a few moments in the movie that got to me, one being the scene with the claw. There's a horrific kind of beauty in that scene, where it boils down the essence of the film and says, more or less, here is what we were concerned about the whole time. As much as Andy features into the story, that scene focuses on the toys' stake in all of this. They realize that, even at the gates of hell, they're still going to be together, forever and that's all that really matters. The second scene, the one that really got me, is with Bonny and Andy. I think some people missed the point on that, but I guess it doesn't really matter. What got me is that moving on is apart of all of our lives. There's no stopping what's coming and, in that scene, Andy finally realizes this. Life has to move on, for better or for worse, because that's what life is. But what doesn't have to change is the memories we take with us. People around us might move away or die or anything else, but that doesn't change the effect they had on our life. It isn't just about toys or childhood, it's about the relationships we have in our lifetime. We have to move on, but, in all of that, we still can carry with us the changes they made in our lives. That can't ever be thrown away.

The Return of the King-- In the midst of the rest of this list, this movie doesn't quite seem to hold a candle to the rest of the movies. That doesn't mean that it didn't earn its way on here, though. There's lots of denouments in the third installment of The Lord of the Rings movies. The moment that got me was wne

Saving Private Ryan-- I first saw Saving Private Ryan in the theaters when I was ten and as much of an experience as that was, most of it obviously went over my head. It took me years to realize this. For a long time it was one of my favorite movies. Since then, my critical eye has sussed out that it isn't nearly as perfect as ten-year-old-me thought it was. Though, the older I get, the harder the end of that movie hits me. It might be a typical Spielbergian moment where the music wells up and he goes for the soft spot, but that end still gets me. All of those men put so much into this operation and at the end, this broken, old man, surrounded by his family, still doesn't know whether or not it was worth it. Of course, we all know the answer.

Murderball-- Muderball is a documentary film about full-contact rugby played by quadropeligiacs in wheelchairs. It's a beautiful movie that doesn't once condescend to the people in it. It doesn't coddle or stroke these delicate little flowers, it just shows them as men who have had one or two bad things happen to them as they live their lives as well as they can. There isn't a single moment of sorrow for these men. The main narrative in the film revolves around the Para-Olympic championship between the American team and the Canadian team, which is coached by the US' former coach. I wont' give away the ending, but there's a scene where one of the more obviously disabled Murderball players, weeping, is embraced by his father, who tells him that he couldn't be more proud of his son. It's a moment everyone waits for and even if the guy could walk, it would still hit me like a ton of bricks, because it isn't that he's disabled, it's that he worked as hard as he possibly could with as much as God gave him. The second part that got me was these new Murderball players, some who are veterans from Iraq, who aren't used to being confined to a chair. They've given their all and they've been rewarded with this, but as we see these guys struggle to play the game, in a way, we know that life is going to go on, no matter what it happens to throw at us.

Ikiru-- Without spoiling too much, Ikiru is about a man dying. It isn't over following with laughs, but Kurosawa is a great humanist in that he doesn't get too sentimental and he doesn't have too much of an agenda. He just loves people and he loves the main character, who is slowly passing away as he realizes that he's wasted his entire life. It's a heartbreaking movie in a lot of ways, but what gets you is that life isn't just about some day dying, it's about how beautiful life can be in between the cracks. It's about how the gaps between the pain are what make the pain worthwhile, I guess.

Special Jury Prize:
Band of Brothers-- The biggest part of Band of Brothers is that you get to know most of these guys for three years before the war ends. They're our dear friends. And it wasn't the actual show that got to me, but these old veterans talking about Currahee and Bastonge and the Eagle's Nest that got to me. The whole time, for ten week, these guys talked about the war, about how ugly it was, about how beautiful it was, and then, at the end, after all is said and done, a tiny little caption tells us who these men were. All of the sudden these old, venerable, respectable men, turn into these characters we've suffered with and felt for for all of this time. All of the sudden they're real people and we know, in however minuscule in a way, what they went through. And we know that, yeah, they are a band of brothers and, yeah, we do considered ourselves accursed for not having been there.



Fuck me. Who needs a drink?

24 July, 2010

A Well Seasoned Argument

I love an internet fight. It's methadone for talking to actual people.

The following is a single page of college ruled writing I wrote about a forumer on what was more or less a challenge:
Photobucket
Man, this things needs a copy-editor.

What Gay Vampires and Mopey Teenagers Can Teach Us



Some people are just going to hate shit no matter what people do. You can't please everybody. I guess you might think that I'm one to talk about this, but at least I know it's a problem in my life. Sometimes, though, we're so blinded by our biases that we don't pause and think about what something we loath-- Twilight-- has to offer us.

Pajiba wrote an article about attending a Twilight fan fiction panel at Comic Con and it's actually quite amazing. There's a lot of cogent points made by both the writer of the piece and the people inside the panel. It's a glimpse into a world none of us are particularly interested, but, like anything else that exists outside of our little, sheltered spheres, it can be rather profound-- especially if it's edited down to the good bits.

Now the vast majority of fan fiction-- in fact the vast majority of writing-- is bilge. It's a consequence of having printing presses and literate people, so I guess it's a small price to pay for not shitting in holes and having the Bible chained to a stone pillar.

Besides showing us a side of Twilight that very few of us care to look into, I think the article touches on something that effects most of the people I know and consider my friends, which is the writing process. It's hard. It's ugly. And a lot of the time you've got to turn into the person you hate in order to make something good. Lord knows I've written my share of boring, pretentious things, but if I never did those thing, I'd also have never gotten around to writing the stuff I like, the stuff I know is pretty good. Pride, in a strange way comes from pain, and I guess you see it with this article. There's nothing more embarrassing or lame as writing fan fiction-- fan fiction for a property that isn't even all that good-- but when I read this I kind of realized that it was basically training wheels for writers.

At some point we all fell off and ate shit on our bikes and many of us had training wheels on our bikes. It was kind of silly and embarrassing, but it helped us get to where we wanted to be. I suppose another analogy in there is for any athlete. They've got to lose a lot of matches, pull a lot of muscles, and wake up in a state of catatonic agony in order to become the Tier One performer that they want to be. I guess the same goes for writing. Sometimes you've just got to put aside all of the things you don't want to do and accept that this kind of thing is going to hurt.

Editor's Note: Yeah, this was an excuse to tie The Thick of It in with Twilight.

VIKING GODS!!!1!


Man, they aren't even trying anymore with the Stan Lee cameos.

19 July, 2010

Headline of the Day

Thousands of spiders pour from ship's cargo, causing Guam officials to bar it from docking

Now that's journalism. Take that Washington Post!

"Reclusive National Treaure"

There's an interview with Bill Murray at GQ. Everyone loves Bill Murray, go read it here.
Bill Murray: That's good. I want those things to work, but I'm out of touch. I have no idea. I never saw the original Office. I never saw this Office. I never even saw Clerks. Like I never saw, what's-his-name, Larry David's show.

GQ: Curb Your Enthusiasm?

No! The other one. With the other guy.

Seinfeld?

Seinfeld! I never saw Seinfeld.

Come on.

Really! I never saw Seinfeld until the final episode, and that's the only one I saw. And it was terrible. I'm watching, thinking, "This isn't funny at all. It's terrible!"

I love you Bill. They aught to clone you or something.

My Alien Primer



I don't think it's a bold statement at all to say that Alien is the best horror movie of all time. There's probably a few other candidates out there, but I don't think I'd get yelled at by anyone of note if I tried to write that in stone. There's a chance I could make the argument for it being one of the best science fiction films, as well, but that's a bit pricklier of a pear. There's Star Wars and Blade Runner in the way, but in either case, it's on the top five, easily, for whatever that's worth.

With that said if you don't think so, then damn your eyes.



My first exposure to the Alien series was probably back when Alien 3 came out. I can still see the black and green billboard for the movie hanging over Gerlac's liquor store on Fair Oak's. Back then Aliens was on TV all the time and at one point or another my sister (not sure which sister) sat me down and made me watch it. Since then I've seen all of the films at least half a dozen times (with the exception of the teriary Versus properties, which are garbage of the lowest order) and I love all of them for very different reasons (some much more different than others).



Alien, though, stands out above the rest. Even thought it has spawned a whole slew of sequels and copy cats and while its plot is more or less the same as any other rubber-suit monster movie or a gothic horror story, it hit on a special combination of factors that make it great. The combination of the time it was released, the set design, the subject matter, and the alien itself are what makes it special, not just to me, but to movies in general. It also doesn't hurt that it was executed incredibly well, on a relatively low budget, by an up and coming film director and a wonderful cast. All of these factors somehow add up to a work of art that is greater than the sum of its parts.



I think it was Kurt Vonnegut that said anyone who hasn't read "An Occurrence at the Owl Creek Bridge" is a twerp, well anyone that hasn't seen Alien is a twerp, as well. It's not only classic cinema, but it's really good cinema, which is something that unfortunately does not always sync up.

18 July, 2010

Cinecult: In Which I Completely Recycle a Forum Post

(Originally posted at Social Entropy ++ when the subject of Quentin Tarantino was brought up. We now read the post, already in progress.)

I think Resevoir Dogs isn't a great movie, but it shows a kind of enthusiasm and ingenuity which is rare in a first feature film. It shows a lot of potential and even though I think it get a bit talky, it's still really clever.

Pulp Fiction is indesputably great. Even though it is inspired by other films-- as all of his films are-- there aren't any other movies that look and act and move exactly like that one. Plenty have tried, but none are as good as this movie. While I don't think it holds together all that well, it's still really amazing and it's a movie everyone should see.

Jackie Brown is his best film. Period. It mixes all of the clever references and intertexuality that make his movies unique without it only being about how clever he is and about how many references he can cram into one scene (as I'll talk about later). It's a movie with the least Tarantino affectations and I think it's a movie with the most emotion and character development of any of his films. This might sound snide, but it's his most mature film. It's just a shame that nobody saw it.

Kill Bill 1 and 2 are utter bilge. They're silly and I don't think they're as innocent or fun as the movies they're based off of. The Street Fighter is a flawed movie, but it's also forty years old and filmed on a shoe string budget, Kill Bill is basically the same movie but with a much higher budget. They aren't movies without they're moments, but they lack discipline. They go on forever and are really about nothing. All in all, I come back to one thing Mark Kermode said, which is that 2001 goes from the dawn of man to the birth of a new species in two and a half hours, why does Tarantino need four hours for Kill Bill? And as far as that goes, Charles Bronson only needed 90 minutes at a time.

Death Proof is pointless. Writing about that is like writing about a jizz rag. It's him wanking off for 90 minutes, which is fine, but then he went back and added another 30 minutes so it could get put into the film festival circuit. Now that's the only version you can find. It's stupid. All of the movies he's drawing off of didn't last more than 90 minutes a piece and he feels the need to pad out a movie which is almost entirely made out of padding. Great. Apparently a bunch of boring women talk about nothing for ten minutes was such a good idea that it needed to be made longer. Fuck off.

And now, an aside--

I saw Inglourious because it was tacked onto a friend's birthday party. Since I wasn't about to just bone out at midnight for the sake of a movie, I decided I'd give the movie a chance. I have my standards and all, and I really wasn't looking forward to it at all, but, you know, friendship. Now there's the rub.

Anyways, like an idiot I got into an argument as to why I thought Jackie Brown is his best movie and why it was the last worthwhile film he made. I don't know what I was thinking because I got into this debate with a guy I know I don't like and haven't liked for years. As I recall this was back when our relationship was waning between cordial and then, strangely and suddenly dismissive, so I might have tricked myself into thinking that there was a chance this would end up as a cordial conversation.

It didn't.

We talk about this on the way to the movie theater and, at some point, a friend of a friend shows up and I instantly realize I don't want to talk to this guy. It isn't that this second person was a bad dude or smelled or anything, but I more or less "stole" his girlfriend away from him a year or two back and knew that we would have very little to say to each other. Whenever the ex-boyfriend thought his friend scored a coup, he'd chime in with, "Yeah, totally!" demonstrating his mastery of the forensic arts.

So, I end up being stuck between my ex-girlfriend's ex-boyfriend and this other guy who I cannot get along with no matter how many conversations we engage in. Overall the conversation ran like a month in trench warfare. All we did was say things back and forth with no real progress being made on either side. With that said, I stopped listening for an entirely different reason than he did.

I think I gave up because I took umbrage with a few things he said. First off, I was told that I didn't "get" Death Proof. Yes, people actually say that kind of a thing and mean it and this was the level of discourse I was involved in. Then, when I made the point about Kill Bill 1 & 2 being longer and having less substance than 2001: A Space Odyssey-- a point I think we all understand is a somewhat tongue in cheek statement-- he says to me without a tinge of irony "Yeah, but they're completely different kinds of films." As though this needed to be put out there.

The last bit, which was a nice cheery on top, was when he turned to me and said, "You aren't going to be talking to me and saying things to me for the entire movie, are you?"

Well, I was thinking about it, but now that you say it. . .

It wasn't an incredibly fun evening, mostly because I didn't like the movie and I realized I was the only person in the entire theater who felt this way. The whole thing was bizarre and made me feel silly afterwards, because it was a trap I should have been able to see coming and twist out of it, but no, I had to be right.

Now, back to our main feature--

Inglourious is just despicable. It's too long, it's annoying, and it's a morally horrific movie. It basks in the destruction of other people without a single thought or care. I guess there's lots of action movies like that, but at least Charles Bronson never killed someone because they live in the ghetto, where as Inglourious believes that if you're German, you're inherently a war criminal. It's a movie made with the morality of an angry 14 year old and it's about as disciplined as a movie made by an angry 14 year old. It's all over the place and while it does have one or two moments, they're hidden in between these long ass scenes about how clever Tarantino dialogue is, characters we don't give a fuck about, and Eli Roth.

I respect the fact that he doesn't want to do movie after movie that's like Jackie Brown, but at the same time, I wonder why he's doing movie after movie that's like Kill Bill.

Overall my feelings about Tarantino come out of a love of his previous works and an appreciation for his talent. That's what makes it so frustrating when I see him make bad movies. He's better than this, but, like so many artists before him, he's been given a blank check and no one tells him what's a good idea or a bad idea and he's been left to go insane with his own ideas. That's no good. That's not good at all.

17 July, 2010

He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles!


Come on, Ringo, don't take it so harshly!
(via Alvaroz.)

16 July, 2010

Cinecult: In Which I Discuss Despicable Nerd Shit

I don't suppose you know or care who Uwe Boll is. In a way you're lucky, he's the world's worst director.

Way back when he first came onto the scene, I was a young, angry teenager who may or may not have considered himself a "gamer" and I hated Uwe Boll with the rest of them. He made most of his money and infamy making low-budget, hideous videogame adaptations. They're universally terrible and we hated him for treading on the sacred grounds of Alone in the Dark and Dungeon Siege.

Eventually, though, something changed. First off, people weren't even hating him for the right reasons. Most people, having no knowledge or understanding of tax laws or the German legal system started accusing him of being this Goldfinger-like genius who could manipulate tax breaks in his favor. In reality, he was just using a rather silly law-- one that's pretty common in Europe-- that basically subsidized his film. It was perfectly legal and rather mundane, but the internet hated him.

As time went on, I still hated the guy, but he kept on popping his head up and making movies. He must have known how much we all hated him, but he didn't seem to give a flying fuck about us (smart man), he just kept on filming movies.

Later he challenged his detractors to a boxing match. He gave them a chance to beat him up for all of the harm he's done to our precious non-culture. Many accepted. As a result, he knocked the shit out of critic after critic. A bunch of the victims complained that it wasn't fair, that he had been a boxer for years and they were just snarky movie critics. They knew all of that and yet they-- and others-- bitched about how he duped them.

A few years back he appeared at the Penny Arcade Expo-- a gaming convention centered around the eponymous webcomic-- and he appeared to talk about his movie. The entire time he was speaking, he was being booed. Such was the gaming community's hatred for the man. They weren't even going to let him testify before they condemned him to death. The kernel of respect I had for the man-- hack though he was-- was born on that day. He had the balls to stand in front of hundreds of cussing, angry, sweaty people and talk about art.

Eventually I stopped giving a fuck. He was a bad director. There's lots of them, but in a way I respect the fact that he's doing what he wants no matter how many people tell him to stop. And he's not raping children or anything, he's making shitty movies. That's hardly a capital offense. Through all this, though, he never stopped doing what he wanted to do-- which was not to cheat the German tax system.

I really like that interview. Yeah, he's an asshole and a hack, but he's doing what he wants. As a guy who wants to be a professional artist of sorts, I can respect that. Someone is always going to hate you for what you do, but the only real response you can have is to keep on moving forward.

Which is probably the most profound thing Uwe Boll has ever been involved in.

I Can't Get Enough of This Stupid Animal


It's like someone turned a fat, ugly child into an adorable rodent.

15 July, 2010

Current Mood


Thank Christ for this wallbanger.

14 July, 2010

Director Dthursday


Hey, that's funny, I was just thinking the same thing.
(via the Thought Experiment.)

Lets Talk Coffee a Moment

I became addicted to coffee freshman year of college. It wasn't that I needed it to get through my day-- criminal science and remedial English aren't all that hard, even at 9 in the morning-- but it was something to do. And, I found, it worked. Since then, I got a coffee machine and have plowed through two or three broken pots. Recently, we just got a stove top espresso brewer. It's not a fancy machine by any means, but I must say, my life is noticeably better because of this things involvement in my life.

So, to celebrate, here's so visual diagrams guiding us through the confusing world of drinks that aren't just black.



(via Design You Trust.)

13 July, 2010

Vorspiel


I like this ad a lot. It's for a brand I appreciate and it's directed by John Hillcoat. It's attached to a series on Vice Broadcasting Station called "We Are All Workers."

They Can Only Kill You Once

Feminist Hulk

HULK FEMINISM ABOUT DISSOLVING HIERARCHIES OF GENDER BINARY, NOT SIMPLY REVERSING THEIR TERMS. ALSO, ABOUT SMASH. AND COOKIES.

Now this is the kind of smart stupidity that I can get behind.

11 July, 2010

I Told You This Would Be on the Test


The Story of Yagan's Head:
Yagan, (c. 1795 – 11 July 1833) was an Australian Aboriginal warrior from the Noongar tribe who played a key part in early indigenous Australian resistance to British settlement. After he led a series of burglaries and robberies across the countryside that killed white settlers, the government offered a bounty for his capture. A young settler shot and killed him.

Settlers removed his head to claim the bounty. Later an official took it to London, England, where it was exhibited as an "anthropological curiosity". A museum held the head in storage for more than a century before burying it with other remains in an unmarked grave in 1964. Over the years, the Noongar asked for repatriation of the head, both for religious reasons and because of his stature in the culture. In 1993 the burial site was identified. Four years later officials exhumed the head and repatriated it to Australia. Since 1997, the indigenous people of the Perth area argued over how to treat Yagan's head in a respectful way. They finally buried it in July 2010, in a traditional ceremony in Western Australia, 177 years after Yagan's death.

09 July, 2010

Tales of Being a Badass


"I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all."

--Central Command General James Mattis, United States Marine Corps

(via 16 of the Most Hair Raising Quotes from General Mattis.)

(pic via War is Boring.)

My Own Personal Hell


Man, I realized something. If we started killing everybody with bad taste, I mean not just people who think that 300 was a life-changing movie, but the kind of people that listen to Nickleback earnestly and buy Meet the Spartan, it would just end up like the end of that one Twilight Zone episode, except instead of broken glasses, we'd just be doomed to a lifetime of listening to some twat ask you how it is you haven't seen the collected works of Bela Tarr.

There's no winning that battle.

(Note: The gremlin is a metaphor for people I don't like.)

Director Dfriday


I realize he's done a lot for movies and culture and everything, but I still want to punch him in the back of the head while he's drinking coffee out of one of those tiny cups.

Today in "What the fuck is that? Kill it!"


While we're worrying about jobs and oil and terrorism and all this other bullshit, these things, these alien monstrosities, are plotting and scheming and living without a care in the world. This won't stand and if Obama has a single nut in his body, he needs to do what only the Russians have ever had the sand to do: Nuke the ocean.

(via Lost at E Minor.)

08 July, 2010

07 July, 2010

Nostalgia For Moments That Never Happened


Every so often-- when we're drunk-- my dad will start to play one of his jukeboxes. There's a meager selection of songs, but they're all rather impressive. There's a couple of reasons for that. First off, they're original records and, secondly, they're being played on an original sound system. Both of these factors take a lot of doing and are rather rare. That adds a lot to the experience. What caps all of this off, though, is the personal attachment. I can't really quantify that and, even if I could, I wouldn't feel too comfortable with doing so. But, like anything, there's a special factor with these songs. There's a personal attachment to all of them. They're as much embedded in my dad's childhood as they are my own. That's weird. And I don't know that I can quite enunciate something like that. It just is what it is and I all I can be certain of in my current state is that Dean Martin sound great.

This is What It's All About


Every little girl dreams of hitting the rails and 'boin' it up, like all good Christians without a full set of adult teeth.

06 July, 2010

Toshiro Tuesdays


Or was it Mifune Mondays? I guess it doesn't matter, really.

It's Like This Everyday

04 July, 2010

03 July, 2010

What kind of joint is this?

The 28th Annual Bulwar-Lytton Fiction Award

The winner of the worst opening sentence of 2010 goes to:
For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.

Molly Ringle. Seattle, WA

(Bulwar-Lytton is the British writer who invented the opening "It was a dark and stormy night," among other phrases.)

Cinecult: Ain't No Lobos

There ain't no Andy and if there is, he's a son of a bitch.

I just got out of Toy Story 3.

What I am surprised about is that I could feel this much emotion over a kid's film about toys. Their primary existence seems to revolve around being played with, which is a pretty bizarre concept, especially when you consider that there's a right way and a wrong way to be played with. I guess you could go down the rabbit hole with that one and talk about Descartes and the meaning of consiconess and blah blah blah. . . Or, well, at least I could disappear down the rabbit hole with something like that, at least for 500 words or so.

But, anyways, you basically have these characters with an almost religious devotion to Andy and yet, somehow, despite every logical reason on the books, I find myself crying over and over again. I'd like to think I do this with many movies and I'd like to think I'm more sensitive to films than most other people, but as a 23 year old man, I still find it a bit odd to be crying over toys.

Which is now where I'm going to disappear down the rabbit hole.

Toy Story 3, more or less is a film all films are more or less striving to be. It's a movie that uses what are basically lies to reach at a deeper truth. I was talking to my friend Cruz the other night and he was talking about The Killing Fields and how the journalist who wrote the non-fiction book would show the movie during his class. He would show it with the caveat that what is in the movie is not what happened, but what you get is what it felt like.

And that's what cinema is supposed to be about, and all art, I suppose. The poet, in whatever medium he is working in, is not supposed to literally reflect life back at the audience, but his job is to instead, reflect a reality back. A mediocre movie like Watchmen is about exactingly and literally throwing scenes, characters, lines, and images back at the audience without accounting for the fact that cinema works differently than comic books. It doesn't seek to forge a reality for the viewer, instead all it wants to do is regurgitate X number of scenes until we hit the two and a half hour mark.

There's plenty of ways to make a pointless movie, but I think one of the prime factors in all lame movies is that they don't know what the fuck a movie is capable of. It's got a certain grammar and a certain cadence and without disappearing up my own ass too much, I think I can say that Pixar gets it. They know how to make a beautiful, good looking story with wonderful characters, plotting, and a ton of jokes and they bring this all together to build to an idea that is bigger than the sum of its parts. I don't think people like Zack Snyder care about something like that and I'm fairly certain that they don't understand that something like that can even be accomplished. And, while I'm thinking about it, neither does an egomaniac like M. Night.

Toy Story 3 doesn't suffer from this blindness. It uses these ridiculous, fictitious characters to someone make an emotional and profound statement about mortality. It's making true art. Proper art. And even if you don't give a shit about the dynamics or the theories or the whatever behind movies, I think we can all more or less agree that there's something beautiful about a flick like Toy Story 3, which aspires to be and succeeds in being something more than a way to keep 10 year-olds busy for 100 minutes.

02 July, 2010

Shut up and sit down, you big balled fuck!


Here's your morning zen (if you haven't seen it already).

01 July, 2010

Man, What

I can't figure out this blog template BS. Any help?

I don't know why I care. I never even look at the damn thing except when I'm posting or editing the template.

This is Not, Vietnam!


This is an adorable puppy! Feel better, America!

Welcome to the 'Nam


Hope you have a pleasant stay.

Here Comes a Reasonable Argument!

Prepare to get angry!

You angry yet?

Okay!

We're talking about vidjagames. Not too long ago Roger Ebert started a fire storm among the nerd community by saying that not only were videogames not art, but they could never be art. As a person who has played videogames from the age of five on and has studied art, I can say with some amount of authority-- however shaky it may be-- that the vidjagames ain't aren't. Will they never be art? I don't know. Short of taking the spice poison, I'll never see into the future. There's a pretty good chance they will be. Some day, but not today.

Anyways, here's something he said recently about growing old, art, and videogames:
I didn't want to play a video game. If I should dislike it, I already had a preview of the response awaiting me: I was too old, I was over the hill, I was too aged it "get it." That became the mantra: "Ebert doesn't get it." I disagreed with them about age, which I know more about than most of them, but I had some sympathy about the concept of not "getting it." There are many, many things I believe many members of our society don't "get," but I don't think they're too old or too young to "get" them, only differently evolved.

Keep This in Your Mind's Eye at All Times


Earn this.