Monday, December 6, 2010

Audrey Hepburn in Mixed Media

I recently came across a manga [a comic book from Japan, for those who aren't hip to the lingo] that was a biography of Audrey Hepburn. Or, at least, the beginning of a biography of Audrey Hepburn. The volume ended with a young Audrey Hepburn leaving her father behind when her parents divorced. This happened when she was, what, six years old? Considering how eventful a life Ms. Hepburn had I have no idea how many volumes this adaptation of her life could go for. There could be thousands of illustrated pages out there recounting her adventures.

I'm not bringing this up because I think the idea of a comic strip retelling of Audrey Hepburn's is odd. Far from it. Comics -that mix of literature and visuals- can and should be used to tell any story possible. Still, I do like the idea that two interests of mine came together in this rare intersection. How often do you see an Audrey Hepburn comic anyway? Perhaps the things I like will continue to come together in new and interesting ways. I'm looking forward to the Audrey Hepburn video game and the unearthing of the long-lost Audrey Hepburn kung-fu movie.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Godzilla Movies

Yeah, it's been too long since I've updated this thing. I do need to put together some sort of outline for what I want to do with this page. Until then, I'm going to watch Godzilla movies.

While all sophisticates with outstanding taste already own these films it's still neat to see them up and running at the touch of a button.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Outside interests

This blog sucks. I know it, you know it, it's as obvious as the nose on your face. While I am committed to making this a better on-line experience it ain't going to be happening today. Until I get my act together why not check out another page that is actually good?

To that end I recommend Art-Eater. Try it today, it's good stuff.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's Alive

There are times I think I should start playing with a rock or some other hobby that uses objects that have no moving parts whatsoever. It seems that the more complex of an item I buy the more likely it is to have some bit of it stop working. The latest gizmo that decided to up and die on me was my Playstation 3. Okay, I'm overstating the problem by saying it "died" but it did suddenly clamp down on the game that it was running and would not let go. While I did like the game that it was hoarding at some point I knew I was going to want to play something else.

So what to do? I called up a local game store but they weren't much help. Not only did the guy on the phone unequivocally state that they didn't repair PS3 systems but he seemed slightly frightened that I would suggest he attempt such a feat. From the way he described it my only options were to buy a new system, box my console up and mail it to Sony or some other equally drastic measure. I was certain there had to be an easier solution to my problem so I called up the city's really odd game store. Independent stores often develop their own personalities but this place has taken every eccentricity to be found in a hole in the wall store and run with it. The store is stuffed to the rafters with hippies and cats. A strong litter box odor permeates the place, which must work wonders for discouraging loitering. I assume the smell is coming from the cats and other animals that call the place home but you never can tell. When I explained my console's predicament to them they quoted me a flat fee before even looking at the machine. Later, when I was in the store I heard them quote the exact same repair price to someone else for a different system. There's a strong possibility that every service offered by the store is priced identically just to cut down on paper work.

But for all the store's tics they actually do good work. After tinkering with my PS3 for a few days the store called me up, asked for the one amount of money they knew how to deal with, and gave me back a fixed console. I have no idea what they did but my PS3 has not run this well in ages. The only problem I've come across so far is that my PS3 smells like cat crap but I'm certain that will pass after it's had a few days to air out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Links and things

The beauty of the internet is that you can find the darndest things when you are blindly following links. For example, today I came across the following:

I found this YouTube page dedicated to a cat, ukulele music and some sort of poorly constructed computer characters to be self-centered, charming and horrifying all at the same time. It's everything that I wish this blog could be.

Friday, June 4, 2010

National Doughnut Day

As a reminder, the first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day.

Truly, this is a great day for America.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Double Trouble

When it comes to my movie selections I try to make my choices as scatter shot as possible. For example, if I just finished watching a Western I'll try to find something for my next viewing that doesn't involve cowboy trappings. But even when I try to randomize my choices as much as possible I don't always succeed.

For instance, take two movies I watched recently. The first was An American in Paris. To refresh your memory that's the one where Gene Kelly is in Paris in order to... um, well, whatever it is, he ends up dancing a lot. Great stuff, either way. The second film was Tokyo Gore Police/Tôkyô zankoku keisatsu. That film opened with the heroine propelling herself through the air with a bazooka and then hacking a zombie to death with a chainsaw. This film was also not without merit.

After watching the third or fourth character blast themselves into the air in Tokyo Gore Police I realized that the two films had far more in common than what I had initially expected. Before the double feature I thought they had nothing in common so that's not saying much but nevertheless the movies were stylistically similar. Both movies were built around show-stopping moments. The bits of dialogue and character development were nice but those served as moments for the audience to catch its collective breath as much as anything. While watching both films I found myself marking time until the next dance or dismemberment number. The two movies served as wonderful examples of cinema as spectacle. I'm certain that the creators of An American in Paris would be horrified at the comparison -come to think of it, the people behind Tokyo Gore Police might not be thrilled with it either- but I found both films worked for me on the same level.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sunrise, sunset

The other day I saw that a local video store was going out of business. If this had been some corporate chain store I would not have thought twice about it but instead it was a small mom 'n pop store.

The loss of this store struck me, but why? It certainly wasn't the advertising. This was one of those places that didn't bother with fancy marketing and simply had a sign saying VIDEO plastered over the door. Instead the ramshackle approach to distributing movies a small store like that had was, in its own way, charming. There's something to be said for a store that not only stocked VHS tapes well into the 21st century but would put bootleg VHS tapes out on the shelves for rent without a hint of shame.

I also always admired independent stores such as that one for their glut of pornography. Because they couldn't compete with the big stores directly locally owned video places often went for other, more specialized approaches. Sometimes this meant trying to build up a quality collection of movies for all the cinephiles in town to enjoy. The lazier approach was to stock porn. My heart breaks to think that a store can strive to bring a plethora of the pornographic arts to a community and still somehow go out of business... wait, what the heck am I talking about?

Friday, March 5, 2010

1 minute movie review

Recently I rewatched the move "Earthquake." The following clip tells you everything you need to know about the film.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Note to Self

Be judicious in the use of the "random" tag. Since there is no guiding principle behind this blog every useless piece of crap I post could fall under that category.

Now that I think about it, I should probably have a "useless piece of crap" tag as well.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

F is for Food [part 1]

Recently I purchased a box of Kashi: Heart To Heart Cereal- Honey Toasted Oat. I should have known something was up when the cereal had that many subheadings. Seeing as how there are only so many things you can do with compressed grains I didn't expect too much from this or any other box of cereal. If anything, I figured the cereal would have an artfully drab taste to compliment Kashi's trendy foodie/health image.

Instead, it looks for all the world like a bowl of cat food.

I've never understood the need to be entertained by a bowl of cereal. Usually when you think of that bit of marketing malarkey you think of children's cereal that gurgles when you try to eat it or that turns the milk neon yellow or backed-up sewer brown. But this is the first time I've come across an adult cereal that was built around a gimmick. I don't know who is going to be enticed by the thrill of eating cat food but I guess there's a niche for everything.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Starting with a Bang

Thanks to the information age we live in your entertainment choices are almost limitless. Any creative endeavor created by the hands of man can be appreciated immediately. Normally I use this amazing power of choice to watch the most puerile crap imaginable day and night. Sometimes, however, I stumble across something that's actually decent. One of those found items is the show Peter Gunn.

Peter Gunn, for those not in the know, was a crime noir show that ran on American television from 1958-61. Not only did Gunn push all my buttons with it's two-fisted action and jazzy soundtrack, but I found it to be an amazing distillation of the television crime procedural that ran when the genre was just starting out. Unlike so many of its paunchy offspring, Gunn was only half an hour long. There were no sub-plots or scenes that went in circles just to kill some time. Instead, the episodes that worked were spot-on and direct in their approach.

While I wish modern crime dramas had that sort of brevity I am glad to see the concept of pre-title sequence violence that was featured in every single episode of Peter Gunn continues to this day. Most any show of this type starts out with a criminal act -usually a murder or a good, thorough beating- that has to be rectified during the course of the show. Even though it was an early practitioner of this formula Peter Gunn had these opening death sequences down to an art. Characters would appear on screen with no explanation for who they were, there would be a wanton act of physical harm and then Henry Mancini's score would start blaring away. People would get shot, fall off of buildings or get shot and then fall off buildings just to get the narrative ball rolling. I knew I was watching a great show when one show opening featured, without any sort of preamble or dialogue, a man getting mauled by a dog. Now that's entertainment.

Shakespeare knew you had to hook an audience right away in order to hold their interest. It's a lesson crime dramas continue with to this day. No matter what the quality of the show is most cannot resist the formula of starting out with a dead body sprawled on the floor or some chump getting hit by a hail of bullets. Probably the best current example of this practice is CSI: Miami. Since the show is about crime scene investigation it's not surprising that it has to open with a crime. But thanks to the absurd storylines and ridiculous editing the show thrives on most every opening is a camp classic. The best opening feature the main character Horatio Caine floating over this week's murder like an angel who just descended from heaven until he adjusts his sunglasses and makes a pun about someone's death right before the the theme song from The Who starts screaming.

Sadly, the creators of CSI: Miami seem to have realized how insane those openings were since they have started toning them down a bit. I feel this is a mistake. These crime drama openings are miniature plays in and of themselves. They feature both the creation of an entire fictional world and someone's death all within the space of a few moments. It's the entire fictional process telescoped into the briefest time possible. When done properly the openings are tiny works of art, like little faberge eggs built out of empty shell casings. Not only do they open the show in the best way possible using the worst sort of circumstances possible but they often are more entertaining than the remainder of the show. The meat of the show often feels like an unnecessary extension of such perfectly structured little openings.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

C is for Cookie

The other day I received the following message in my post-meal fortune cookie:

:) You will soon be crossing the great waters. :)

Yes, the happy heads were included in the message.

So does this mean I will be booking a tour package on a cruise ship in the near future? Or will I soon be going to Hamlet's undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns? It will be a change of pace either way, I suppose.