I'm most likely not going to see the terrible looking The Day The Earth Stood Still remake. The only real reasons I'd go would be because I still like Jennifer Connolly and to see the trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Thankfully I've managed to find it online.
I do worry that giving the film a name that's more convoluted than a lot of comic book titles probably isn't a good move. It's the kind of name that Marvel gives to their limited series, as opposed to main books. Of course maybe I just dislike the fact that it's named after the fairly dull Wolverine Origins comic.
About a movie where falling into a time warp is the most reasonable explanation of events, as opposed to a something that isn't bullshit.
I think that it's fair to say that for the most part I'm fairly easy going on movies. With a few exceptions, Love Stinks [wp] staring French Stewart for example, I'll find something to enjoy in even the most mediocre film. Rarely does it a film annoy me to the point where I need to blog about how much it annoyed me the very next day.
Last night we watched Picnic at Hanging Rock which Lydia had gotten from the library. I'd heard the name of the film a few times before, mostly in relation to how it influenced the Blair Witch Project [wp], which is especially apt because the novel on which Picnic at Hanging Rock is based is presented as a factual account of events.
This film was no Blair Witch Project. The trouble largely that I had with it was that there seems to be no reason nearly anything happens, things are not explained and nobody in the movie acts in anyway like normal humans would. The movie focuses on three British boarding school girls in Australia who vanish while on a school trip to Hanging Rock, which is basically a big rock. Also vanishing is a school teacher, who either went to look for the girls, killed them or just ran around with her skirt off. That bit is never made clear, nor are any number of things.
Things that reasonably the characters themselves should know, but the author, director or whomever, simply doesn't think we'd care to know. What happens when the Foppy British boy follows the girls before their disappearance? Despite the fact that the girls take an inordinately large number of naps while walking up a moderately steep hill, he never catches up to them and later when he's really the prime suspect in their disappearance his explanation to the police of what happened after he ran after them amounted to him shrugging his shoulders and saying, "Meh".
"Meh" presumabely being the early twentieth century equivalent of "You'll have to ask my lawyer", because the police ask no follow up questions.
I'm excited for the soon to be released film Frost | Nixon, which dramatizes the famous interview between the British journalist and former President Richard Nixon. Though the original interview is hours upon hours long, there's a few great clips of it up on YouTube that are worth taking a look at though now you have to pick through various trailers and features for the movie to find them.
Iron Man was by far my favourite movie of the year [jks], and I still get a contact high from pretty much everything to do with Iron Man. Most of my Iron Man goodness has to come through Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man comic these days, or by re-watching the movie on Blu-Ray.
So I was pretty excited when Daring Fireball [df] linked to a photo book by Jeff Bridges, who played the film's villain, full of behind the scenes photography [jb] the book is mainly personal shots of the cast and crew working on the film. While there's a little with the suits of armour used in the movie, the majority are these really nice slice of life pictures taken in black and white.
I'm really impressed with the wide angle photography and did a bit of looking around his site to find out what kind of camera or software he might be using.
Most of the photographs I take are done with a Wide-Lux camera. It's a panning, still camera. I use the 35mm version. It's got a 28mm lens that pans nearly 180 degrees. Instead of a traditional shutter, it has a slit that, as the lens pans, exposes the film.
The Wide-Lux is a fickle mistress; its viewfinder isn't accurate, and there's no manual focus, so it has an arbitrariness to it, a capricious quality. I like that. It's something I aspire to in all my work --- a lack of preciousness that makes things more human and honest, a willingness to receive what's there in the moment, and to let go of the result. Getting out of the way seems to be one of the main tasks for me as an artist.
It's an interesting effect, and if I was rich and was not comitted to sticking with digital photography it sounds like a camera I wouldn't mind playing around with. I'm not rich, and I don't have any real compelling reasons to deal with print photography, so I'll give that a pass.
The photos are nice though.
Now as much as I love Star Trek I have to admit that it has unleashed a few very unfortunate things onto this world. It's odd but it seems that appearing as a regular cast member on the show tends to make an actor believe that they can, and should, have a music career. We all know about Shatner's infamous "Rocket Man" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" covers, but how about "The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins" from Leonard Nimoy?
Brent Spiner who played Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation released an album called Il' Yellow Eyes Is Back [wp] which included backing vocals from much of his fellow cast. I don't have a clip from that, so count yourself lucky.
I've been sick the past few days with what I've decided was probably the flu. Just an upset stomach, slight nausea and a headache combo meal of sadness. To pass the time I've spent hours, upon hours, upon hours, watching the above trailer for the new Star Trek movie.
I know some traditionalists are a bit skeptical of the idea of rebooting the Star Trek series the way that Batman Begins relaunched Batman movies, but I think things are looking promising. Sure nobody is ever going to make us for get William Shatner as Kirk or Leonard Nimoy as Spock, but that doesn't mean we can't accept newer versions of these characters.
Plus Zach Quinto (best known as Sylar from Heroes) looks pretty good as Spock. There also does not seem to be anything that, off the top of my head, contradicts previous Trek canon. At least not in the trailer.
May, the movie's release month, can't come quick enough.
these last few days I've just been feeling really tired. Part of it is trying to squeeze in time to do my freelance writing and part of it is that I've just not had any chance to slow down since Las Vegas. Granted also staying up past one in the morning playing Rock Band with Nathan also contributed a bit to it [jks].
Today is a day off, but it's also a day that I'm going to be up late at a drive-in movie. At least that's the plan. Drive-ins used to be a fairly regular thing for my family, well maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. They were still special occasions, but when we were young and lived in Edmonton I'd go to sleep early then get up and my parents would take us to the Drive-In. The only movie that I know I watched there was Gremlins, but since they're generally double features there must have been more than that one.
Lydia and I went last year to the Twilight Drive-In in Langley, the one we're going to again tonight, and saw The Departed and Beerfest. The Departed was first and it was great. If you've not had a chance to see it go out and rent it. That's right, stop reading this go and rent it and this will still be here to read once you've done watching the movie.
Beerfest was okay, though I think by that point we were both too tired to really enjoy it.
Tonight we're going to see Ghost Town and Eagle Eye. Ghost Town should be good, since anything with Ricky Gervais in it tends to be quite funny. This is his first staring role in a film, and the first major thing he's done that he hasn't had a role in writing so we'll see how he does as just being an actor.
Eagle Eye is the newest film with Shia LaBeouf in it. He's the kid from Transformers and he was in the latest Indiana Jones movie as Indy's son. He must have some dirty photos of Steven Spielberg because Spielberg produced Transformers and Eagle Eye and of course Indiana Jones is Spielberg and George Lucas' pet project with Lucas producing and Spielberg directing.
Without Steven LaBeouf might not be getting any work, so blackmail is the obvious answer.
i love the Talking Heads, and one of their best songs is "Once In A Lifetime". The first time I heard the song however was not as sung by David Byrne and group but rather one Kermit the Frog as part of the relaunched Muppet Show. The show didn't really last, but the cover of the song by Kermitt was one of the great moments in Muppets history. I was reminded of this last night when Lydia revealled that she had never seen any of the Muppet movies, and only seemed familiar with The Muppet Babies cartoon.
What the heck? At the very least The Muppet Movie is now on our list of things we've got to watch to get her up to speed. The girl has never even seen Jaws.
Yup, there's a lot of work before the wedding.
for those comic fans like me the arrival of Samuel L. Jackson at the end of this summer's Iron Man movie was nerd-tastic [jks]. Jackson was face of Ultimate Nick Fury when Marvel relaunched the Avengers in the Ultimate Universe. Which is geek speak, but as long as you know that having Samuel L. Jackson show up wearing the eye patch was very cool you'll be alright.
When Marvel redesigned Nick Fury for their new Ultimate line they wanted someone who was the height of cool, and in the early 2000s that was Samuel L. Jackson. Nick Fury though has traditionally been a white guy with greying hair. Originally he was one of Marvel's war characters that were created during the Second World War to fight the Nazis in comics while the soldiers were fighting the Nazis in Europe. With the end of one war and the start of a Cold War he became a James Bond like spy and sort of the super cop for the Marvel Universe.
Though he's had his own book, he's mostly a supporting characater showing up in other people's books, so the fact that there had never been a movie about him did not surprise me. One would not expect there to be a Robin movie, nor an Alfred the Butler movie no matter how popular Batman got.
However there was in fact a movie in 1998, written by David Goyer whose most well known for writing Batman Begins and Batman: The Dark Knight. The most likely filmed in Toronto or Vancouver made-for-TV movie is based on the original Nick Fury and not the more recent revamp and it stars... wait for it.... wait for it... David Hasselhoff [wp]. Aren't you glad you waited for it. The two clips below are a study of the different movie Nick Furys. And boy am I glad Hasselhoff wasn't cast in Iron Man.
Alright, I don't usually just make a short post to highlight something I found on the web, mostly because I'm trying to keep my blog a level above the Facebook news feed, but I thought I'd pass this on because it amused me so much. Ideally Delme will read this, though maybe I should send it on to him.
The item that has me amused is a fake Michael Bay script for Batman The Dark Knight [ms]. Best line so far in the script, and Darring Fireball also quoted this one is:
We pan to a beautiful woman: platinum blonde with a huge rack. She is the hottest woman in the world, but she wears glasses because she is also the smartest woman in the world.
The only thing that could make it better if is this was a real Michael Bay script. Expected the usual conventions of any Bay film in the script, such as the fact that the world's most beautiful and smartest woman is also mechanically inclined thanks to her father. There's also a lot of meetings between various high level military peoples.
It is gold.
I went to Matt and Oana's place tonight as they resurrected their (nearly) weekly movie night. Or if they did not resurrect it, then I've been able to finally make amends for whatever social mistakes I might have made the last time I was at their movie night, and got another invite. The last time I was there we watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, and this time it was The Vice Guide to Travel which was a compilation of short travel films by Vice Magazine featuring the sort of trips you'd never take to the places that no sane person would ever go.
Getting to their place was a bit of adventure [mbv], but thanks to Twitter I managed to find my way. You might have seen my Tweets asking for help on my blog here. I got lost and not having Matt and Oana's phone number, nor Ryan Cousineau's [wc] who was also going to be at the party, I had to Twitter from my phone asking for help. A few minutes later a stranger called me and using Google Maps we managed to find my way there.
So Mark Hamilton, thanks for the help.
Above is one of the bonus features on the DVD, which shows David Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development) exploring China. My favourite point of the video is when he's trying to buy bootleg DVDs of his shows and his travelling companion claims that Cross was in Scary Movie 3, to which Cross indignantly replied "Scary Movie 2".
Fellow Metroblogging Vancouver author Rebecca, known far-and-wide as Miss 604, is having a contest on her personal blog for free movie tickets for Get Smart and The Love Guru [m604]. Since I'm 1/1 on Miss 604 contests I figure I'll enter this one, because I'm for sure going to be going to see Get Smart, and Love Guru is a flick that I'd see for free but probably wouldn't pay for more Austin Powers style humour.
Personally I'm hoping to win Get Smart tickets. As for you, well you'd better not enter, because that'll just make my own victory that much harder. However you could enter, but if you win you do have to buy my book [jks]. For reals, it's one of the contest rules.
It's the circle of life my friend. You get a free movie. I sell my book and Rebecca gets a better Technorati rank. Everyone wins! Well everyone except for people who haven't bought my book, they lose a little bit of potential joy every day.
Since getting back into comics during university I've always been a fan of Iron Man. Tony Stark on the face of it seems like a high tech imitation of Batman, a rich man with fancy gadgets fighting crime, but there was always elements that separated the two.
Batman's a much darker character, and yet oddly far more perfect. Stark's lighter, more fun loving and while Bruce Wayne's demon is the death of his parents, Tony's is with his own weapons manufacturing corporate empire and alcoholism.
Apart from the cool toys Stark's wounded heart was always something that interested me, having grown up with my own heart condition. In the earlier Iron Man books it was somewhat ridiculous as a plot point, with Stark keeping his injury a secret he kept having to rush home to plug a large chest plate into a wall socket otherwise he'd have a heart attack. Later on they streamlined this so it wasn't such a clunky piece of plot business, to the point now that it's not even something that's really mentioned.
Needless to say I was pretty excited for the Iron Man live action movie staring Robert Downey Jr. Such excitement though can be a double-edged sword, because sometimes nothing can be as good as your expectations. I think that the last three Star Wars movies suffered from that, though they had their own problems as well. How could a movie ever match the one I'd already made in my mind?
It's hard to believe it, but they managed. Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man, and I don't think I'll be able to look at the comic without imaging him in the role. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few months the artists started drawing Tony Stark like Downey, the way they now seem to draw Charles Xavier as Patrick Stewart. The movie mixed comedy with the serious adventure elements, and all in all it was probably my favorite comic book movie ever. Certainly it was comparable in quality to the first Superman movie, though clearly the onscreen visual effects were better now than in the laste 70s.
Even Lydia who I don't think has ever read an Iron Man comic liked it [iatl]. I'm already planning on going again, and again, and again. Maybe even tonight, though I do have some Grand Theft Auto IV that needs playing. It's a tough call. If I know you, and you live within about 100 kilometres of me chances are I'm going to try to drag you to this movie at some point this summer. It's your duty as my friends, my readers or random Google search arrivals to oblige me.
Oh and we're staying until the end of the credits. Why? Well it's a comic book movie, there's always something after the jump.
I'll admit that I'm a huge comic nerd, and so I tend to try to see all of the major comic book movies in the theatre as soon as possible. I've even seen the terrible ones like Ghost Rider in the theatres, and apart from looking through my Uncle Greg's old comic books years ago, I've never read a Ghost Rider comic book.
So it's a no-brainer that with Iron Man opening today I'd be buzzing with excitment. Along with the X-Men, Iron Man is one of my favorite characters and I think probably along with Spider-Man has one of the better origin stories of the Marvel characters.
I'm just counting down the hours, tickets in my pocket waiting for work to finish and the film to begin. It'll be nerd-tacular.
The fact that it's happening the same week as Free Comic Book Day [mbv] is perfect.
I'm trying very hard to come up with something to blog at this point. Following the Mr. Rawson school of forced free writing never ends up with anything readable, and certainly nothing that you want to submit to a(n) (potential) audiance of millions. In fact during the ten minutes of free writing every class I tended to just fill my workbook with the phrase, "I am free. I am being forced to write." It was meant to be ironic, in that way that we can achieve irony at 17.
I suppose to make this a better blog I need some drama or adventure in my life. Another trip, for example, to compete with last year's travel to Europe. Something quite facinating and new so I can dazzle you with photographs and tales of eating weird food in dodgey resturants. Instead I have pictures of the inside of the Skytrain, as I commute to and from Metrotown every day.
Which is not to say that life is boring, or dull. I watched Bee Movie last night and it was pretty good. However the fact that you're reading about me watching Bee Movie is a sign that perhaps I'm not leading the sort of heroic life that is worthy of great study. Perhaps I should join Jason and search after the Golden Fleece [wp]. I'm sure such a journey would provide many chances for good pictures and many meals of weird food in dodgey resturants. At the very least Mysia should be interesting.
First up I won a contest on Miss604 [m604], the blog of fellow Metroblogger Rebbecca. I only entered for the awesome retro Trevor Linden figure, but the rest of the swag is going to be fairly awesome. So what all did I win? I'll let Rebbecca describe it, by copying and pasting from her site.
- A limited edition, not sold in stores, collector, uncut sheet of 2007/2008 Vancouver Giants hockey cards
- A Canucks carabiner, keychain thingy
- Two tickets to this Saturday’s Everett Silvertips
- Two tickets to the BC Rockies vs Canucks Alumni hockey fundraiser game on March 22nd
- A McFarlane, in-package, mint, collector, Trevor Linden action figure
- A coveted Miss604 sticker as seen at Northern Voice or…
- You can also chose a limited edition solid-colour Miss604 sticker
You can watch the tension packed drawing of my name at her site [m604].
Meanwhile I woke up early on Tuesday and spent about two hours cleaning off my deck. I've never really used my deck because when I moved in it was filthy and I always knew it was going to take the sacrifice of a mop to get it clean. I had bought the kamakazi mop a few months ago, but it had been hiding in my closet wanting to live.
After the cleaning Lydia came over and we went to get some food and then watch Once on my AppleTV. I've had the soundtrack for Once for a few months now but the movie is a still worth watching. It's not quite a romantic flick, but it's certainly sweet-hearted and good natured.
The final thing is that I applied for a job I want to get, and now have an interview (almost) lined up. Which should be good and exciting. To make it more exciting I'm planning on bringing a car full of fire ants and emptying them down my shirt's neck five minutes before the interview so that for the entire talk I'm trying not to scratch my arm pits or yell out in pain.
Never say that I do things the easy way.
I love Darwyn Cooke's comic mini-series The New Frontier [wp]. Frankly it's by far my favorite thing that DC comics has ever published, unless you're going to pedantic and force me to include their Vertigo line with titles like Y: The Last Man. Still The New Frontier is to me the perfect imagining of the DC super hero universe, far better in my opinion than Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns [wp] which gets all the fanboy love for making Batman crazy and having Ronald Reagan in it.
Maybe it's because I'm a history nut, and The New Frontier just reeks of the 1950s' and '60s, its very title is a reference to a speech by John F. Kennedy which is quoted in the comic. And though I'm a Marvel fan at heart, I've always enjoyed DC's animated efforts more than Marvel's. The Paul Dini / Bruce Timm partnership which spawned the Batman animated series in the 1990s' and lead to the Justice League: Unlimited show set the bar for how comic books should be adapted to animation.
Thus I'm ridiculously excited for the animated DVD of the series that's coming out next year. The collected Absolute Edition sits on my living room table, and I'm hoping that they can capture the feeling of reading the book to the television screen.
I was watching some trailers at Apple's Quicktime trailer website [qt] and was impressed by the quality of the HD content. The Simpsons trailers looked incredible, and even the new Fantastic Four movie got me excited when I could watch the Silver Surfer in all its highly defined glory.
Now this won't make the movies any better, but oh my the Simpsons have never looked so good as they do in these trailers. I'm excited for the day that all television is filmed for HD and all television are HD. A few shows, Hockey Night in Canada and the CSIs for instance, are already HD with my Shaw box but not enough is. When it is it's very pretty.
Now all I need is a better television. One of these days.
*Note the Youtube version of The Simpsons' trailer is not nearly as beautiful as the HD one on the Quicktime site. Go watch it if you can.
After seeing Borat with Nathan and Krista we were trying to figure out how much of the movie was real, how much of it was staged and how much the people appearing in it knew during the filming of the show. The online magazine Salon has done an article examining most of the sequences in the film and explaining the truth behind them.
Their article "What's real in Borat" is online here [sal]. You do have to sit through an ad before you get to the main article, but it's painless and it's well worth the two minute wait. I won't reveal what is what but I will say I was right about the prostitute.