Friday, October 15, 2010

Black Swan

I have been looking forward to the latest offering from Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan - for quite some time now. The international teaser artwork that was just released has done nothing to make me any less excited. Some of the best work I have seen in quite some time:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

She's Diggin' My Chilis

So last Saturday I participated in the Shoot Experience event Shoot(ing) Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery with my trusty partner in crime Louise Hough. We were given seven phrases/ideas and had 4 hours to take one photograph for each phrase/idea. The photos were judged upon submission and a winner was selected for each phrase/idea. Additionally, the judges selected their favorite/best overall photograph.

Newsflash: We won! Totally caught me by surprise. The last thing I expected going in was that one of our submissions would even be considered for winning anything. Needless to say, I was in complete shock when our photo was announced as the favorite/best overall of the day. Common courtesy dictates that I acknowledge that the judging was completely whimsical and arbitrary. Never the less, we won! The best part about it all is that our photograph will be exhibited for one night at the National Portrait Gallery. Yes, you read that right. THE National Portrait Gallery. I will have something that I helped create on exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Crazy.

So after that preamble you are probably a little curious as to what the photograph looks like. The category it was submitted for was called doppelganger. We were given the following portrait by Sarah Lucas and instructed to recreate/interpret our own version.

Here is our winning interpretation:

Pretty funny right? The guy running the event especially liked the look of sexual tension on my face. If he only knew. I got this low-res image from the Shoot Experience website because I haven't had time to actually take the photo off my camera. Once I do, a better version will be available for your viewing pleasure on my flickr page. Until then, I hope this version can give you some good laughs.

PS The. National. Portrait. Gallery.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paris I love you...

...even when you are bringing me down. But those instances are few and far between. You know all those bad things you have heard about the French and Paris? They aren't true. If I didn't struggle so much with pronouncing French words, I could live there quite happily. The city is beautiful. The people are friendly. The pace of life is relaxed. The museums and galleries are amazing. The antique markets are literally filled with treasures. I can't wait to return. Paris, I seriously love you more than a "hipster" loves being "ironic."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Magic Box

I know I said I wasn't going to post anything else about Lost. Technically this isn't really about Lost although Lost is mentioned and the main theme of the post relates strongly to Lost. So what I wanted to share today is a presentation that JJ Abrams gave at TED in 2007 wherein he discusses the magic of mysteries, his favorite scene from Jaws, his love for Apple, and also makes a few jokes that really weren't that funny. I watched this a couple of years ago and really appreciated Abrams' perspective on the value of mystery in story telling. While I was discussing my views on Lost with one of my friends the other day we discussed how I enjoy the mystery more than the answer. There is so much more excitement and emotion in the unknown and when the answers are finally revealed they are more often than not quite anti-climactic. It is so much more satisfying for me when the "answers" are left to my imagination. I prefer not to see the man behind the curtain. So yeah, give this little presentation by the great JJ Abrams a view. It may give you a new perspective on the role of mystery in storytelling. Also, if you haven't already explored the archives of TED than do yourself a huge favor and watch some of the presentations. They are absolutely fascinating.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Probably My Last Post Ever Regarding Lost

****Spoiler Alert****

There is not too much that I really want to say regarding the finale of Lost. I am sure it was quite unsatisfying for the mythology fans who want definitive answers to all their questions and mysteries. Nothing I can say will appease them so I don't even want to go down that road. As for me, I am extremely pleased with how everything ended. It was very satisfying from an emotional perspective to see everybody enlightened and reunited in the sideways reality. I loved how footage from previous seasons was used to show the enlightenment process of the individual characters. I was especially happy that they chose to use my favourite moment of the series which is the shot of Locke on the beach from the pilot episode when he has the orange peel in his mouth and gives his simple, reassuring smile. It was reassuring from a personal perspective to see these characters that I have grown to know and love overcome their weaknesses, leave their baggage behind, and find redemption as well as deep and meaningful happiness. At the risk of sharing too much information on a public forum such as this blog, it gave me hope. I loved how the theme of live together or die alone was reinforced. I love how the castaways created the sideways reality/universe/timeline/train station/airport so that they could find each other again and move to the afterlife together. I really, really loved this series and this conclusion. 6 years of my life and I have zero regrets. It left me emotionally wrecked and I am still trying to recover today. I am more than a little surprised at this. In fact I don't think I have the energy to really say anything else regarding the episode. It is all still too fresh in my mind. Check that. There is one last thing I do want to mention. I loved the added meaning and depth this episode gave to Desmond's quote "See you in another life brutha." And now that is really the last thing I can say right now. I don't want to be a complete wreck for the rest of the day. Poke fun if you must but it is true. I am quite vulnerable right now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Red Dead Redemption

I haven't played video games in a long, long time. If my fuzzy memory serves me correctly, Madden 05 was the last game I played. As such, you may want to discount what I am about to say regarding Red Dead Redemption aka The Greatest Video Game Ever Made.

So this weekend, after a bit of cajoling from flatmates and being totally smitten with the Red Dead ads I kept seeing while waiting for the underground, I dived right in to Red Dead. Kind of blew my mind. I quickly became fully immersed into the world they created. I love the production design and how it is heavily influenced by Sergio Leone, The Wild Bunch, John Wayne, etc. I am amazed at the level of detail in the landscapes, clothing, buildings, etc. The gameplay itself is very smooth and quite easy to pick up. I especially enjoyed lassoing a couple of wild horses and then breaking them. The voice acting coupled with the movements and the facial expressions of the characters is superb. But my favourite part of the game is the sky. It is absolutely mesmerizing. The clouds. The stars. Sunset. Sunrise. The shadows. Just ridiculously beautiful.

If you are looking for a new game to play and are willing to take the advice of somebody who has been out of the loop for quite some time than this game surely will not disappoint. I can't wait to get home and jump right back in to this amazing fantasy world where I can have the bad ass scar on my face that I have always wanted, draw down on annoying ruffians that bump into me as I walk the dusty streets, conduct shady business transactions, help damsels in distress, and mete out justice as I see fit - Vic Mackey style. So much fun.

PS If you can play with the console hooked up to an HD projector it will maximize your pleasure.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Twin Towers

So yesterday I was enjoying a beautiful, sunny, pleasant evening at the local pub with my associates from work as we prepared ourselves mentally and emotionally for the release of StreetDance 3D today (PS if you are in the UK go watch it. It is totally fun with a great soundtrack, inspired dance routines, and brilliant 3D.) when the early stages of true inspiration began to weave in and out of my consciousness. The genesis of this inspiration, which did not fully crystalize until a couple hours later after a lively discussion while enjoying a 6 inch sub of the day on wheat, was sparked by my fascination with a pint of Guiness.

I was kind of amazed at the oily color, texture, and weight of the Guiness that my co-worker so adeptly polished off. After making the obligatory "meal replacement" and "Are you going to drink that with a spoon?" jokes my thoughts quickly drifted to the St. Patrick's Day drink of choice - The Irish Car Bomb. While discussing the ins and outs of the Irish Car Bomb at the Subweezy, my friends and I came up with what is sure to be the next big thing in the world of specialty drinks - The Twin Towers.

So here is what I am thinking. The drink is served in two tall, yet slender, shot glasses. I am thinking it is going to be a gin based drink coupled with a vermouth of some sort. Kind of like the Chocolate Soldier or the Pall Mall. You know, something classy. Because that is how I roll. Another option might be something like the Manhattan. The drink in an of itself doesn't really matter too much because here is the true essence of genius: When the bartender serves you the two tall shots of something classy he proceeds to drop an air plane shaped tablet into each glass which immediately begin to foam and fizz, kind of like an Alka-Seltzer. You then slam back both fizzing, bubbling shots in the time honored tradition of the aforementioned Irish Car Bomb.

Pretty amazing idea, yeah? I don't see any reason why this won't be a smash hit and take the world by storm. Don't worry, I will still remember all the little people when I am sitting on top of the world.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Rumour has it that summer will shortly be upon us. I'll believe it when I see it. I am still waiting for spring to show up. Nevertheless, I still eagerly await the arrival of summer with its warm nights, basil infused lemonade, and summer mix tapes. If I were to actually try to compete with the mix tape genius of National Geographic this year I think one of the first tracks I would include would be the first single - Stay Close - off Delorean's new release Subiza. The poppy sounds mixed with the clubby dance music is the perfect soundtrack for summer adventures. Whether it be lounging at the BBQ with a group of friends, cruising the PCH with the top down, or going for a nice jog through Regents Park, this track will make you smile. So yeah, let the summer fun commence. I am ready.

PS I kind of like the dreamy, ethereal style of the video as well:

Monday, May 10, 2010


Just watched the latest trailer for Inception. I. Can't. Wait. The production design looks ridiculously good. I love the story concept. Christopher Nolan is Christopher Nolan. The score was done by the great Hans Zimmer. The cast is filled with amazing talent. Just look at this list:

Leonardo DiCaprio
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Michael Caine
Ellen Page
Marion Cotillard
Ken Watanabe
Cillian Murphy
Tom Hardy

Seriously, I can't wait to see this film.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


So (I think starting off each post with "so" is my new thing) I haven't really posted much about food lately. Kind of weird right? It's like you don't even know me now that I am semi loyal kind of but not really subject of the Queen. It would be easy for me to blame the lack of food related posts on the relatively bland cuisine of the UK but that would just be disingenuous. Really it is just because I am lazy. I have had plenty of great food since moving here. For transparency's sake, when I say plenty of great food I actually mean plenty of great food excluding all the various bland hamburgers I have sampled from around this great city. But I digress. The purpose of this post is to drop a little knowledge about a great little "fast food" chain I tried last night called Leon.

I have been meaning try Leon for the last couple of weeks after receiving a ringing endorsement from a couple of friends. So needless to say, when I met up with a few friends last night for dinner and found out that we would be eating at Leon, I was quite pleased.

So what type of food is available at Leon? Well, my friend offered the perfect explanation with this concise response: "tasty food." Wah Wah Wah. This response was quickly expanded to "tasty, healthy, lunch pail food." I would add one more descriptor to the list .... "with a Mediterranean flair."

If this description piques your interest then you should take a quick look at their menu. Last night we ordered the feasting menu for two which consisted of chili con carne, Moroccan meatballs, hummus and flatbread, chili chicken, grilled chorizo, brown rice, Leon mash, and garlic & chili broccoli. Since there were three of us, we also ordered the sweet potato falafel. Since I am a big fan of ranking all things from best friends to favorite Korean films I will give a quick ranking of everything I tried last night:

1. Sweet Potato Falafel
2. Grilled Chorizo
3. Garlic & Chili Broccoli
4. Leon Mash (a simple sweet potato puree)
5. Hummus and Flatbread
6. Chili Chicken
7. Chili con Carne
8. Moroccan Meatballs
9. Brown Rice (How exciting can brown rice be, right?)

In addition to the various items listed above, I also ordered the ginger and mint infused lemonade. This was actually a bit underwhelming. Not enough mint and too much ginger. The ginger just overpowered everything. I prefer a little more subtlety when infusing my lemonade.

Overall I really enjoyed the Leon experience. The food really was "tasty" Additionally, it is quite economical. Three people were able enjoy dinner for less than £30 pounds. Excellent value. I Mos Def can see myself eating at Leon on a regular basis. There are quite a few things I still want to try on the menu.

So yeah, Leon. Good food. Give a try some time. You will probably like it. I know I did.

PS As I was writing this I kept thinking to myself how much I enjoy the simplicity of good food coupled with good friends and good conversation. I can't think of too many other ways I would rather pass an evening.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Iron Man 2

So I watched Iron Man 2 tonight. I'm pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. Had a few good jokes. Scarlett Johansson was pretty attractive. So was Gwyneth. But seriously, overall it was pretty meh. Everything just felt so crisp, sharp, and sterile. This doesn't seem to make sense given that Mickey Rourke's villain had cool gold teeth, a scar on his face, and bad ass Russian mob tattoos. His character had some serious potential but everything about his character just seemed to be going through the motions. I don't really put the onus on Rourke for this. I am more disappointed in the writing and the directing of his story. Oh yeah, Sam Rockwell was pretty decent as well. Really everyone was pretty decent. But I still can't get that excited about the whole thing. Like I said before, everything was just so sterile. I think that is the perfect word to describe it. If anybody asks me what I thought of Iron Man 2 in the future I am going to reply with this one word. Sterile.

PS The flying battle sequence in How To Train Your Dragon was way more enjoyable than the flying battle sequence in Iron Man 2. Not that the sequence in Iron Man 2 was bad. It just didn't excite me that much. I found myself looking forward to it just wrapping up so I could use the restroom and then go play some volleyball. Sterile.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Death Note

Thanks to the wonders of Xtorrent, iSquint, and iPhone combined with a couple of hours a day on the underground, I have been able to delve into the world of anime. After having worked my way through Blood +, Full Metal Alchemist, Samurai Champloo, Evangelion Neon Genesis (don't get me started on this series, I am still angry about the last 3 or 4 episodes), and Baccano! I decided to start watching Death Note. I am about 20 episodes in now and just finished the first story arc.

I am struggling to find the proper hyperbole to express just how brilliant this series is. To my relatively untrained eye, the animation is fantastic. Many of the characters are loathsome for various reasons yet extremely compelling. The tension between L and Light is so thick I want to eat it with a silver spoon and a side of creme fraiche. Many episodes have found me reminding myself that I need to breathe. Mini spoiler alert - there is one scene where Light is having a little mental show down with the fiancée of Ray Penbar - (sounds so much cooler with a Japanese accent) FBI Agent, as the sun is setting and a light snow begins to fall that is so perfectly constructed. The tension. The beauty. The tragedy. The sadness. Amazing.

But wait. There's more. I haven't even mentioned the shinigami yet. The voice acting for these Japanese death gods is some of the best you will ever come across. I love their cackling laughter and harsh voices. I love their painted faces and magical eyes. Plus the apple addiction makes for some good physical comedy.

Something I found interesting was that the series has an extremely high level of exposition. It seems like two thirds of each episode is comprised of hearing the characters verbalize their thoughts to themselves. Surprisingly this method of telling the story has worked for me so far.

One last thing I want to mention. As I said before I just finished the first story arc of the series. I am 2, maybe 3, episodes into the next story arc and I am a little concerned. I miss the shinigami and I miss the conflict between L and Light. I haven't really bought into the crime syndicate thing yet. Hopefully this tangent is resolved shortly and we get back to L versus Light.

So if anybody has any good recommendations for which series I should watch next, let me know. I have already started watching Trigun on the side with my flatmate and really like it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Keep The Lights On

One of my favourite songs of late has been Keep The Lights On by Wave Machines. I love the bassy-synthy-poppy sound of this song. Great summer music that will make you happy and more than a little smiley.

I "discovered" Wave Machines and this song thanks to the excellent How To Make It In America mixtape. The Kid Cudi remix of Symphonies off this same mixtape is the bomb dot org as well. You can download the entire mixtape here. Also, if you didn't watch the first season of How To Make It In America than go out and track it down now. One of my favourite new shows in quite some time. The Rasta Monsta storyline and Renee absolutely kill me.

PS For all you Bookfacers out there, the embedded video for Keep The Lights On might not show up in the post. I can't remember how the Facebook feed works and whether or not it pulls the videos with the text. If it happens to not show up, click through to the actual blog post to see the embedded video. It is pretty good and might be worth your time. Plus the actual blog is way better than the Bookface.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Guaranteed Grins

Yeek Yeek Woop Woop I ain't playin' around. Make one false move, I'll take you down.

Gifs of Popular Rappers brings a smile to my grill each and every time I visit. Each. And. Every. Time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lost w/ Spoilers

Time for a quick little update on where I am at with Lost now that we have completed 12 episodes in the final season. I am still fully on board. I have really enjoyed this season so far. The episode from two weeks ago - Happily Ever After - was probably in my top five Lost episodes to date. It resonated with me in a similar manner to that of the previous Desmond/Penny love story from season 4 - The Constant. With regards to the episode from last night - Everybody Loves Hurley - it worked for me even if Libby looked like she had really aged in the last couple of years. It was another nice addition to the sweet and comedic Hurley sub-genre.

I have always appreciated Hurley's comic relief and enjoy seeing him find happiness. Even if that happiness is tainted by his questionable decisions and actions on the island. Hurley, original Locke, Sayid, Jack, Sawyer, Kate, they are all so easily manipulated. Ghost Michael knew exactly what to say and Hurley was putty in his hands. I am kind of happy that Miles didn't seem to buy into Hurley's lame-o little excuse about dead people being more trustworthy ergo we should just do what they tell us to do.

But back to Michael. I hope all you hard core island mythology enthusiasts are happy. One more "mystery" was resolved. There is no longer any doubt about the whispers. I do have a complaint about how this was revealed though. I wish the writers would have stuck with the show as opposed to tell method on clearing up this mystery. Not sure why the writers felt obligated to beat the viewers over the head with the exposition used to "explain" that the whispers are the voices of the dead souls trapped on the island. I already completely understood that from the initial scene with Michael where we heard the whispers and immediately Michael appeared. I put those two pieces together from that. I didn't need the second scene with the exposition. I hope this doesn't become a recurring trend in the attempt to satisfy the dumb people. I believe that David Mamet might have an opinion on this.

So yeah, Lost. I am still fully immersed in the story and eagerly await each new episode. Can't wait to see how it all wraps up and am definitely going to miss it when it is gone. Future Lost posts are sure to come as we work through the final 6 episodes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's Better In The Wind

I just came across this sweet new blog titled It's Better In The Wind. Captivating Photos. Motorcycles. Traveling across the United States with a group of friends. Artists with a vision. Excellent graphic design. What more could one want? Not much my friends. Not much. I loved this line from the description of the project:

"We are young but not naive, we are tired but not jaded."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sci-Fi Opera

I have been listening to quite a bit of Puccini over the last couple of months. I just can't seem to get enough of that opera music. Whether I am walking down the street, riding the tube, or forecasting cash flows, it just seems to make everything so much more dramatic. And by dramatic I mean dramatic in the enjoyable way. Not the I throw dishes, vases, and anything else that isn't tied down at you and sometimes may even want to stab you with a knife because I just love you so much kind of way.

I think it is because of this relatively new affinity for opera that I enjoyed the latest episode of Caprica as much as I did. Bear McCreary, the music supervisor/composer type guy for Caprica composed a mini opera as part of the music for this episode. Turns out he also has a blog where he talks about putting the music together for each episode. He even embeds little audio files. Thanks Bear. Such a gentleman. So yeah, I really enjoyed the mini opera that went along with the episode. Totally increased the drama for me in a really good way. If you haven't seen the episode yet or do not plan on ever watching the episode you should still click on a few of the audio files. You might find yourself wanting to give Caprica a chance. Even if you aren't that much of a sci-fi fan. Also, if the whole sci-fi thing kind of turns you off on the idea of Caprica, you may still want to give it a chance. The sci-fi serves as more of a backdrop or setting for the story of two families and their emotional struggles as well as an exploration of what makes us "alive" rather than the driving force of the story. Plus the production design around the New Cap City in V World is awesome. Totally film noir with zepplins. Thats right. Zepplins!

Speaking of zepplins, the latest episode of Fringe also had a sweet zepplin in it to go along with the great little gag of using the retro 80's font to signal flashbacks. But wait, there are more ties between Caprica and Fringe. This one actually made me laugh when I saw it. In the latest episode of Fringe, the cinema marquee in the 1985 alternate/parallel universe was advertising Back to the Future starring wait for it..... Eric Stoltz! And with that I terminate this meandering post that covered two sci-fi shows, zepplins, opera, and an opera composer named Bear.

PS The male part of the Caprica opera is sung by none other than Alessandra Juiliani. That's right, Felix Gaeta himself. The dumbass who lost his leg in BSG and who I totally wanted to punch in the face because he was almost as annoying as Starbuck.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

Over the weekend I decided to try out the relatively new cinema at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush. The Vue there was claiming to have some Xtreme 3D Viewing experience that was reportedly pretty awesome. Here are my brief opinions after checking it out:
  • The screen was fairly large but not as wide as I would have liked.
  • The sound was pretty underwhelming.
  • The seating was not that comfortable - the seats were narrower than I was expecting for a theatre of its purported caliber.
  • The picture quality was above average. Especially for the UK.
  • The interior was cavernous in a bad way.
So overall my experience with the Westfield Vue was pretty meh. However, as far as UK cinemas go, it was pretty good. It compared favorably with the Vue at Leicster Square. However, I came to the conclusion that I would much rather go to the HMV Curzon in Wimbledon. The picture quality is far superior. When it comes to sound, the Curzon crushes all competition. And finally, while the screens are much smaller I decided I really prefer the more intimate setting of the Curzon. So yeah, it is official. The HMV Curzon is my cinema of choice in the UK. This opinion is subject to change because I still haven't found the opportunity to try out the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill. I have a feeling it isn't going to quite measure up because it already has quite a few things working against it. This can be discussed in a later post after actually giving it a go though.

But now on to the main event. I wanted to give How to Train Your Dragon a go because way back in the day when I was on the audit grind at Dreamworks Animation, HTTYD was in development/pre-production and I was interested in seeing how the final product compared to the original concepts etc.

Newsflash, it was pretty damn good. Much better than I was expecting. I really enjoyed the story and how it steadily built to the climactic battle scene. Very good pacing. I also found the main character to be quite likeable and I was pulling for him from the start. I thought the 3D looked great. There were just a few parts where the depth of field was kind of messed up and the images looked flat. My only real complaint about the film was the Scottish accent of Gerard Butler. Since when do Vikings have heavy Scottish accents? It took a while for me to let this go and just sit back and enjoy the scenes which involved him speaking. While his accent may have bothered me, his beard most definitely did not. I loved the shape, texture, and enormity of it. Made me smile every time he came on screen.

The best part of the film though was the EPIC battle against the Queen Dragon. Jaw droppingly amazing. Those 5 minutes or so were totally worth the price of admission alone. Visually stunning. Took my breath away. Because of the 3D and the perspective, I felt like I was caught up right in the middle of it all. Seriously, go watch HTTYD for this scene alone. So enjoyable.

So for a quick little recap, the Westfield Vue? not as Xtreme as advertised. How to Train Your Dragon? much better than anticipated. Two thumbs up actually. Totally worth seeing in 3D.

Oh yeah, one more little bit I almost forgot. During the trailers before HTTYD, Sky ran a little ad for their new 3D channel that totally blew me away. They showed a ballet clip, a football (soccer) clip, and a rugby clip and I was absolutely stunned. If they can somehow make the real thing look as good as that ad did than I am fully on board the 3D TV bandwagon. Like I said in the sentence before, if they can guarantee that the real sports action looks as good as the probably staged sports action they showed than I will never want to watch another sporting event in 2D again. I may want to repeat myself for a third time. It looked that good. The added depth of field was mesmerizing. So it is with much more anticipation that I wait for the 3D TV saga to unfold.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch

Thanks to one of my favorite blogs, I recently discovered the work of illustrator Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch. I love the vibrant colors and the crisp/sharp lines of the piece for GOOD Magazine:

I also really like his character design:

Not only do I enjoy the work of Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch but the process journal on his blog which is simply a stream of images is quite intriguing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vintage Photo Contest

If you are not following the vintage photo contest over on The Sartorialist, than you are seriously missing out. I am amazed at the quality of the photos being posted. When coupled with the background stories provided by the submitters, these photos are simply fascinating.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Other Guys Motion Poster

I have always been a sucker for a good piece of marketing. That is probably why I thouroghly enjoyed the new "motion poster" for The Other Guys - the latest entry to the excellent buddy cop film genre.


I may not know what riding dirty is but I do know that I don't like hearing it on continuous loop. As such, I took the motion poster down but it can still be seen in all of its glory here.


On a technical note, I love the idea behind a "motion poster" when executed correctly. This is advertising being a little bit innovative and taking advantage of the benefits inherently available in the advertising medium known as the internets. It's kind of like Harry Potter come to life.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I spent last weekend in Istanbul in honor of a friend's completion of The Jesus Year. It was so surreal walking around the sleeping city well after midnight. I felt like I was caught up in a Cold War era spy film come to life.

As always, the photos can be found on the Flickr.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Academy Awards.... Bleh.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed The Hurt Locker. I thought the individual bomb diffusing scenes were very well done. I really enjoyed Jeremy Renner's performance. However, never once did I say to myself while watching- Self, this movie is pretty amazing. I wouldn't be surprised if it was nominated for Best Picture. So needless to say, I was surprised when it was nominated for Best Picture this year. I was even more surprised when it actually won.

Like I said before, I really enjoyed The Hurt Locker. However, this "victory" is just one more example of why I don't like the Academy Awards. I don't like how so many people's careers are made and broken by the political fancies and whims of people who may or may not have watched the films they are voting on. Nikki Finke summed up my feelings perfectly when she said the following:

So David slew Goliath. Or, to put it another way, Academy voters rewarded a tiny film that made no money just because almost everyone in Hollywood really dislikes James Cameron. This shows how out of touch the Oscars are with moviegoers around the world, who loved Avatar. But what can you expect from a bunch of mostly geriatrics who decide on the Best Picture by watching them on small screens instead of in the movie theater. Most of the 5,000+ voters only saw Avatar in 2D. So, of course, The Hurt Locker played better. And people wonder why I have nothing but contempt for the Academy?

Oh, and remember that the Academy wouldn't even let Nicolas Chartier who financed Hurt Locker (or his mother who flew in from France) attend the show tonight because he mass-emailed members and supposedly broke the campaigning rules -- even though he never even mentioned Avatar by name. That guy has to celebrate at a private party in Malibu tonight away from all the Industry accolades he so richly deserves. And people still wonder why I have nothing but contempt for the Academy?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lebron Don't Fake The Funk On The Nasty Dunk

Lebron's dunk at approximately the 59 second mark of the highlights from last night's Cavs game against the Knicks was straight nasty. Seriously, he is not from this planet.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lost Thoughts

So here is where I am at with the final season of Lost. I have really enjoyed the final season so far. I was worried that everything would feel rushed, as if I was drinking from a fire hose. It hasn't felt like that yet and I am happy. The methodical pacing has always been one of my favorite things about Lost and so far they haven't departed from that formula.

But what I really want to talk about now is an internal change that kind of caught me by surprised. For me, Lost has always been first and foremost about the characters. The mythology of the island has always come in second. Albeit a very close second. In previous seasons I would rush to the internets after watching an episode and spend hours scrolling through various recaps and message boards to gather little "bits and bobs" that would give me more insight into what the island was, or who the Dharma Initiative was, etc. I revelled in the mystery and loved to investigate the various theories and discover little easter eggs and peruse all the different screen shots to ensure that I didn't miss anything.

Now, I can't be bothered. It's not that my love for the show has diminished. It hasn't. At all. The first thing I do when I wake up on Wednesday morning is start the download of the the episode that just aired in the US a couple of hours before. I purposefully avoid many of my regular websites throughout the day to ensure that I don't catch any spoilers. I rush home from work and immediately watch the episode. So yeah, my passion has not declined. But when it comes to the mythology of the island, I don't really care anymore. I don't care what the island is. I don't care why it seems to have magical powers. I don't care what the smoke monster is. All I care about is the characters and their individual searches for redemption/happiness/meaning/love.

I think that is why I have enjoyed the last two episodes so much. I loved watching Locke in the sideways flash reality seemingly overcome many of the issues that have haunted him in the island reality. It was so enjoyable to watch Jack establish a meaningful bond with his son in his sideways flash reality and move beyond the troubled relationship he had with his own father. What I am saying is that for me personally, watching these characters succeed and evolve is providing enough satisfaction that the island and its mysteries are only important to me in the sense that they serve as the setting and backdrop where the stories of these characters play out.

Ultimately, I will be satisfied if many of the mysteries of the island go unexplained. This is blasphemy to many. I know. This is where I am at though. This is how much the characters have come to mean to me.

As a side note, there was an interesting explanation of the multiverse idea given by Marc Oronmaner at If you disregard the portion about The Secret and focus on the video game analogy, it does a great job of shedding some light on the current season.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Just saw the final version of the new trailer for StreetDance 3D. The grading is fantastic and the Tiny Dancer remix plays well. It will be showing in front of Alice in Wonderland shortly. The nervous anticipation around here is really starting to build. May isn't that far away now.

In the meantime, here is a behind the scenes look from an impromptu battle on the set. The dude in the black shirt with the long hair absolutely kills it and the guy who takes his shirt off but leaves his tie on cracks me up every time I watch.


Word on the street is that the link to the BBC website didn't work out so well for those readers in the US. In an effort to provide the same info the BBC link was meant to provide, here is a link to the IMDB page and a link to the first trailer via the YouTubes. Hopefully that isn't blocked in the US as well.

PS For those true cinephiles out there you will notice that the female lead - Nichola Burley - also had a turn in a little film you may recognize called Donkey Punch.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Peter Gabriel - Blood of Eden

I have been severely remiss when it comes to updating ye olde blogge lately. I have had a couple of things I have meant to post over the last few weeks but I just couldn't be bothered. Maybe I should change the name to "paisley for her displeasure," yeah?

I don't really have the creative fire to post anything too profound or lengthy right now so I am just going to post a YouTube of a song I have been listening to quite a bit over the last couple of weeks as I make my daily commute to work or my every other day or so sojourn to the Sainsbury's Local to buy some tikka masala to heat up for lunch. So without further preamble, I present Blood of Eden by Peter Gabriel. Enjoy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Sweet Adidas Commercials

I have been meaning to post this for a while now but am only now just getting around to it for reasons yet to be determined. Regardless of the delay, this "new" Adidas ad/commercial/short/whatever you want to call it for their Star Wars collection is pretty sick with the flip. It is quite reminiscent of their cool house party clip featuring the Beggin' remix from a year, maybe more, ago. I have pretty much decided that if I was going to have a super sweet 16 extravaganza that I would hire the Adidas people behind these clips to throw the party for me. Especially if they could ensure the Daft Punk/Darth Vader combo. Guaranteed to be a good time, yeah? Many thanks to Tanner for sending me the link.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New J.O.B.

The future is bright if it is anything like my first six hours at the new grind. The people are great and I love the building we are in. I would love to sublease half the top floor, install a shower, toilet, and kitchen appliances, and make it my dream residence. I could even wrench on a Norton restoration in one corner of my space. So yeah, I really like it so far.