So I forgot to mention another film that passed my visual cortex last week. The Haunted World of El Superbeasto got a Midnight screening at the Mann Chinese 6. I had been hearing about this for awhile and wanted to check it out. Apparently there was a comic book by Rob Zombie and this expounded on that. Lots of gratuitous naked chicks fighting zombie nazis. What's not to love? Apparently, a lot. It was retarded and I left feeling hollow. Obviously made because he could, Mr. Zombie will not be receiving an Annie Award for this exploration. If there is a Razzie for animation, this will win it.
On the complete polar opposite side of the spectrum in tone, quality, art, story and lack of nudity was the gorgeous and much-too-short The Secret of Kells.
OK, I can't say enough about this film. It was beautiful. Art. The music, the backgrounds, the character designs, the layouts. Granted, the style is reminiscent of Samurai Jack or Fosters but definitely pushed to a new level. My one beef is that it felt short. Fast. There was so much more I wanted to see fleshed out. Why did Uncle Abbot turn from the Book? Where was the comeuppance for the Norsemen? More adventuring with Brendan and Brother Aidan. I wanted to make them show it again. I was so glad I saw it on the big screen thanks to the La Irish Film Festival. Ironically enough, this and El Superbeasto would make for an interesting double-bill. The ultimate profane vs. sacred smackdown.
As a bonus, Chuck took me to see the newly re-re-re-mastered print of Snow White at the El Capitan. Funny, I know we got the double-disk that came out a few years ago but I guess we never watched it because I had forgotten that much of the dialog is in rhyme. Not sing-songy but has a more natural pace. Brilliance. Chuck's birthday is Sunday. Happy 41st my friend.
In amongst all this animated eye-candy, is there no time to see real people in their natural habitat? not to fear. Before The Kells screening I made it out to Downtown LA for the Red Bull Soap Box Derby! People built awesome racers and created whole skits and music montages to go with their alternate reality. Anything people/gravity powered that can make it down the course and thru the obstacles including ramps and high bank turns. Speed, Style and Execution are all critical for a winning combination. You don't Dance, You got no Chance. Alas I could only join my few thousand friends on the streets for an hour or so. Took the bus, the bus was late, the bus was rerouted to a black hole and I barely made it across town to the Kells screening. Here's some pics:
Much more exciting and populated that the traditional Soap Box race in Pasadena from so long ago.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Maybe I can blame my lack of posts on the cable being out. For the past month and a half, ever since Greg flew back East for family concerns, the Time Warner digital package to the house has been less than stellar. One night the phone had no dial tone then a parade of very helpful and unsuccessful technicians came through the house. Every cable and connector from the pole outside to the box to the modem have been replaced at least twice. The modem 4 times so far. We have escalated this thing as far as it can and they are still trying to pinpoint the source. The installers and maintenance guys claim they got a signal to appear back on Saturday but tech support could not confirm this. So for now, I re-hooked the old modem to the cable line so at least I have internet. Visit #7 will happen Thursday morning.
Greg's back east as I mentioned. Maybe he'll be back in October. Putting final touches on the family homestead after the flood took out much of the interior. He's been waiting for a certain kind of counter-top stone for month. After a certain point, I think I'd cut my losses and call up Home Depot but he's got it in his head that it's "perfect" and he's a big gay designer now so...
He still needs to finish his own master bath/shower which he's had on hold since June. but he's designed a new kitchen for a couple neighbors down the street so who knows when he'll get back to it. Plus he hasn't worked in a year(?) so i guess it's step-by-step.
So I made a lamp. Needed to get some hands-on tactile work out of my system. Took a ponykeg of Widmer hefeweisen from Costco, drained it, pulled all the hardware out and took a hacksaw to it and recycled some parts from Greg's garage. It's one of those things where you enjoy the work on it but when you're done, you step back and think, "is that it?". It accomplished my goals but it doesn't "sing". It's still very barrel-like.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs/9/Inglourious Basterds Triple Bill!
Cloudy was very cute and definitely showed Sony's own super-cartoony style. Still reminds me of a Jimmy Neutron sequel. The book didn't have any real protagonist or exposition. Stuff just happened. Various nods from the book appeared like the Giant Food and the PB&J boats but it was definitely a disaster movie spoof with a page taken from the father/son approval playbook ala Chicken Little. Great cameos by Bruce Campbell and Mr. T.
9 was a very familiar plot taken in a new direction. I read a lot of reviews that complained about character development and story problems. It's an action film with an ensemble cast, how much depth do you want? I was a little underwhelmed by the "resurrection" sequence at the end and the rain bringing new microbial life seemed a stretch. i still enjoyed it and was very glad to see something like this get produced. "Not your little brother's cartoon" is apt.
IB was a hallmark movie for Tarantino. From the first title card you know what you've been presented with. QT has done the gangster flick, the heist flick, the revenge/action flick and now the WWII flick. Plus horror/suspense clips. I can't wait for the Western genre. Sam Peckinpah times a million. One could argue that all his films are like that especially Kill Bill but a straight up Fistful of Dollars or Good, Bad, Ugly would be an interesting sight. That or a pure sci-fi flick. "Faster Pussy Cat! Kill! Kill!"? This was definitely the fave of the day.
OK got to get back to work. I'll be going home for Ginny's birthday in two weeks and Margaret's wedding the month after. Alpha & Omega is mostly out of my hands and Little Engine is getting the treatment. New feature to be announced. New job TBD. Stay Tooned!