Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday 8/7

Blerg... I write "Blerg" because it's before 6am and I have no idea what to title this thing

It's days like this that I wish I was still a small child, not like a preschooler or a first grader, I want to be old enough that I can still play violent video games and watch R rated movies, but all I want to do is sleep in as late as I want! Is that so much to ask? Why is it when you're a child you have this perception that when you're an adult you're free to do anything, but then when you grow up you come to learn it's the exact opposite? It's one big cosmic joke! Right now if I was 12 years old, I would be on summer break and still asleep!

First World Problems

For those of you that have been regular readers, you've no doubt noticed I am more than a bit movie obsessed. If you're just joining us, My name is Matt(hello Matt!) and I am a Movie-ahholic. I'm not sure when it began, maybe it was when I was a kid and I had to cut out advertisements from the paper to go to the movies. Or maybe it was the local Mom&Pop video store that let me endlessly rent Conan The Barbarian, but somewhere down the line it got into my blood, took hold of my bones, and never let go. Because I love movies, I am addicted to collecting them. From laserdiscs, to DVD, to Blu-ray, my collection spans all genres and totals north of 2000- I'm guessing, it's too early to count but I have a lot!

As such, when I got a smartphone, the idea of digital copies of movies perked my interests. I had dozens of Blu-rays that came with a free Digital Copy through iTunes or Ultra Violet so I had a blast going through them all and entering the activation codes, but in the process I discovered a few things about the different apps and services that can help you manage your collection: Best Buy's CinemaNow, Wal Mart's Vudu, and Flixter give you FREE MOVIES for signing up! That's right. While you don't have much say in what they give you, most of what I got were kind of crap, but hey -they were FREE. As such I also learned something cool about Flixter and Vudu - they offer a disc-to-digital service where for a couple of bucks you can backup your collection online. Now here's the kicker - Flixter gives you a 5 Movie Free Trial and  Vudu gives you one too! So that's SIX movies that I can backup in the cloud and carry with me everywhere I go! You'd think this would be an easy task, choosing 6 movies that I get to have at my disposal any time I want, but you'd be wrong! This is a HARD problem! A first world problem without a doubt, but still a problem!

So this calls to mind a tough scenario, if you were stranded on a deserted island with great wi-fi and unlimited power for your phone, what 6 movies would you want to have with you? So essentially I have to pick my top 5 movies with one alternate. So here is my list of movies I would want with me on a deserted island. Mind you, this is not a list of movies that I would deem of a superior quality to any and all others, no, this is a list of movies I can watch over and over again and would help keep me sane better than a volleyball with a face painted in my blood. - also this list is dictated by available titles - I don't get to choose exactly whatever movie I want.

1: The Godfather  - This is one of the few movies I would dare say is perfect. It also happens to be one of those movies I can watch endlessly and never get tired of. Similar titles would include L.A. Confidential, Rocky, and Miller's Crossing to name only a few. Rocky sadly isn't a title on the list, and then I don't want a bunch of period movies - as good as they are - I want a diverse range of entertainment. So The Godfather wins out.

2: Rio Bravo - I have to have a western, so I choose this one. I know there are hundreds of fantastic examples to choose from including any of The Man With No Name trilogy, Unforgiven, The Searchers, Broken Arrow, Stagecoach, The Professionals - It's just too hard a list to narrow down, so I am picking Rio Bravo not necessarily because it is the best but because it is incredibly entertaining, a highlight of the John Wayne archive, and is an all around good time. If I'm stuck living life under a palm tree, this is the kind of movie I'd enjoy on a hot day drinking coconut milk while cooking crab legs - oh yeah there are crabs on my island!

3: Cliffhanger -  I clearly stated before starting this list that these movies were going to be meant to entertain me! Despite the awesomeness that is Rocky IV, or the sci-fi cheese that is Demolition Man, Cliffhanger wins big when it comes to repeat viewings of any Stallone movie. Now I would normally consider an Arnold movie for this or the first Rambo movie First Blood, but sadly there are next to nil Arnold movies on the list and the only Rambo title is the 4th one, which I already have on digital copy! Besides if Cliffhanger is such a bad movie, then why did Christopher Nolan rip off the heist scene and use it in The Dark Knight Rises? Because Cliffhanger is awesome!

4: The Exorcist - As you no doubt know, I love a good horror movie. This being perhaps my favorite genre it is next to impossible to narrow it down to just one. Do I go for terror? Gore? Suspense? Or do I aim lite and find a nice Horror-Comedy? In the face of all the great slasher movies, of all the great serial killers, of all the creepy deadly monsters, I chose to go big. The Exorcist is one of those rare cases where I can watch it over and over and still get creeped out by it. The Friday the 13th and Halloween movies have their places in my heart, so does Night of the Living Dead but for this one, like The Godfather I am hampered by title availability as well as a need to have the best of the best. Plus RawHead Rex isn't available.

5: Ghostbusters - I need a comedy, but not just a simple comedy either. I could have chosen Spies Like Us, or Trading Places, or even Caddyshack and believe me it was hard not to chose that last one, but I feel like the subtlety of Ghostbusters with all the dry humor and physical comedy on top of some good spooks and the fun story make it something special.Bill Murray is always a plus and I feel with Caddyshack that after awhile I would just zip to his scenes anyway, so why not chose a movie he's in 99% of every scene? Plus I didn't spot any Marx Brothers movies or any of the greats from Woody Allen on the lists.

6: Alien - This last spot was really, really hard to select. A: I wanted sci-fi, but then I wanted something suspenseful, so that canceled out Blade Runner. Sadly Escape from New York isn't an available title so John Carpenter doesn't get represented on this list as he should be. Then B: in keeping with fun and suspense I was going to pick The Birds because I wanted a Hitchcock movie in there but since I already have a contemporary horror title with The Exorcist I felt the sci-fi aspect of Alien should win out. And C: in spite of a lot of popular opinion, I fully believe Alien to be a superior film to Aliens. The sequel is a lot of fun, and is really well done, but not nearly as scary or atmospheric as the original.

Well there you have it folks, the 6 movies I would take with me to a deserted island. Mind you, I am technologically adept at creating copies of virtually every movie I own and storing them on my phone, so if the situation ever did arise, I would be more than capable of enjoying most if not all of the honorable mentions. But for those of you interested, hop on over to CinemaNow, Flixter, and Vudo to claim your free movies. Joining is FREE so even if you don't have a smartphone, you can claim your free movies and watch them off your laptop or PC, and if you don't have a laptop or a PC, I have to commend you for being able to read this blog at all!

And with that Dear Readers, just in case you do end up on a deserted island, be prepared. At all times you should carry 10 rolls of toilet paper, 10 bags of beef jerky, 52 Hershey bars, a portable water purifier, 4 bottles of Kentucky bourbon, and a Sudoku book with waterproof pen. Toilet paper should be pretty obvious, but it's also flammable so while you're trying to rub two sticks together it'll catch fast. Since it's going to be awhile before you get a fire and can cook the crabs running around the beach, you can eat the jerky, and as part of any good diet plan you should treat yourself once a week with a candy bar. Water Purifier because it's not always going to rain, the bourbon to celebrate special occasions and to flavor any meat you get, and the Sudoku book so you keep your brain sharp and whits about you. This may seem like a lot to carry on your person at all times, but believe me, you'll thank me when the time comes!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday 8/5

Why is waking up on a Monday morning just as hard when you're unemployed?

Sometimes it isn't the best idea to go to bed right after taking a shower. Old timers used to say a wet head at night was a sure way to get sick - I don't know if they actually said that but it sounds like solid advice. The other travesty that can occur is bed head, a hair style so horrid you dare not show your face in a public setting. Now in my case, I just so happened to wake up looking like David Lynch - and you know what, it's a pretty rocking good look! I get why that dude keeps his hair that way, it cuts a nice jib my friends. Sadly.... the shower ruined everything, now I just look like me again. For a moment I was cool, for a moment I looked awesome.


Well since it's Monday and pretty much zilch happened over the weekend beyond me and my wife watching about a dozen old "Joel" episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 - not a whole hell of a lot is going on around these here parts. I've got a new writing schedule in place now after I had to do so much backtracking so that's exciting! - If I keep to about 1500 and 2500 words a day I should hit my goal to have a solid first draft ready to edit by the end of the month - or sooner! I'm waiting for inspiration to hit me over the head for my next Epic Trailer - some good ideas but nothing rock solid enough to make it worth my time or yours for that matter. I did get hit by a thunderbolt of a great story over the weekend for a western! Yeah I don't want to give too much away but I am really excited about it. But it also means I am going to have to do a shit ton of research about old steam engine trains - which I am not excited about. I hate research. I want the damn thing to be nuclear powered that way I don't have to actually learn about anything new - I can just make shit up and have it sound legit! It's why I write fiction, I am a lazy lazy person when it gets to the down and dirty of it all. So yeah, the nutshell of what I'm getting at here is that my posts may yet again become infrequent because I will be trying my damnedest to get through the current story I'm on so I can barrel into this new story I've cooked up! I'm excited -  so you should be too!


Photoshop will have it's REVENGE!!!! And apparently its target is Thor: The Dark World. Since I didn't really have much of a topic to shout about today I'm pulling up some new art to critique. To be upfront and honest I have ZERO experience with photoshop. I played around with aftereffects and a few other Adobe progs in my days in film school - so I feel bad railing about a skill I don't have but some of these posters are really bad! In a point counter point example I'll show you the first Thor 2 poster - while it is virtually 100% photoshopped, it isn't that bad!

Not bad! Not bad at all! It's to the point, it lets us know our favorite blonde bearded wonder god with a hammer is back! And from the amount of grit and debris flying about - shit is going down! Cool! I'm game. But wait, what's this?
Let's see there's one, two, three... I count TEN characters in this damn thing not counting the evil elf army at the bottom - counting them individually and you've got like 1000! I hate... no I LOATH floating head posters, and this has got to be far and away one of the worst ones I have ever seen. Why do they do this? What marketing department guy sits down, looks at a wide variety of proof sheets and says "This one! The one that has a million faces on it and loads of random shit everywhere! That's the one I want to showcase in theaters across the nation!" It sucks on toast when you consider custom art is being commissioned on behalf of the movie for special appearances and conventions like this trio of posters from the always awesome Olly Moss:

Each character gets their own poster, it's to the point, it looks awesome! No floating heads to be found here! I look forward to the day that photoshop just up and explodes spewing the floating head posters into oblivion where they will never be found again!

Speaking of posters I would be doing you a wrong if I didn't slip up the latest poster for Riddick the more I see of this movie it looks like a solid bit of fun. I'm glad they appear to have scaled things back to the Pitch Black days. Plus this poster just looks bad ass. It's subtle, it's too the point, it suggests our lead character is a tough SOB.
Not expecting Oscar caliber performances out of this or anything, just good old fashioned tough guy sci-fi violence and monsters! Which - judging by the trailers - its aiming to deliver the goods.

Well that is that folks! I gotta get to the coffee shop and start writing while I wait for the Library to open so I can start reading about Trains! Go slow out there and remember Dear Readers - if you're camping out in the wilderness anytime during these last few weeks of summer, make sure that's not poison ivy you're trying to wipe with. Imagine trying to give a speech or read a statement to the board or just even ride the bus to work with one hand down the backside of your pants violently scratching? Needless to say at that point the poison ivy would be the least of your problems. Do yourself a solid and look before you squat.