Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

As a warning, I want you to know that I saw two movies yesterday. That's right, two. The first film was "Redbelt," written and directed by David Mamet. The film centers around a mixed-martial arts instructor and several events that unfold to create chaos in his life. The story is filled with more potholes than Hanley Road over highway 40, but has an intensity I haven't seen in a film since "The Karate Kid." One bright spot of the film is Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance as the lead, Mike Terry. I've only seen him in a small number of things but he's always fun to watch. I admired the honor and commitment his character adhered to and the film really made me want to study jiu-jitsu or at least take a standard karate class.
The double-bill was filled with "Iron Man." There was a big crowd for the preview screening and everyone seemed to enjoy it. People were laughing at things that were meant to be laughed at and the pace of the film kept people thoroughly egaged. I was joined by David, Rich, and Dax. Dave and I worked crowd control/reserved seating and that went smoothly. Matt Kindt did sketches for folks waiting to see the movie and he was turning people away as the movie was getting ready to begin. He did supply them with email addresses to contact him so as to recieve a sketch sometime in the future. As for the film itself, it was relatively fast paced, finely detailed, and featured great action sequences. Robert Downey Jr. was terrific and perfectly cast. I don't have too much complaint about the film, aside from the pace at which the story unfolded, Stark's relative ease at constructing such a suit of armor, and the development of the main villian, portrayed by Jeff Bridges. I hope it does really well at the box office, though, especially since this is the first big franchise for Marvel that does not feature Spider-Man or the X-Men.

Monday, April 28, 2008

From the family tree of old school hip hop

Friday night Karu and I went out to eat at the Fountain on Locust. This is a fairly new restaurant in the (hopefully) revitalized Locust Loft District. As K-Dub puts it, the food is similar in style to European offerings and they also offer really awesome ice cream. Get down there if you have a chance. Afterward we drove 3 seconds (it was raining!) to the Bluebird. There we caught Jason and the Beast perform and I also captured his concert on camera in hopes of using the footage in a music video very soon. Jason hopes to drop an EP in the next couple of months and wants the video to be included on the disc. It would be really sweet to have that happen. We'll be getting together soon to discuss concepts. At the very same show, we saw Robb Steele dazzle the crowd. One member of this trio is Marty Hick, who is the brother of my father's sister's husband. If you need a flow chart just email me. Marty is about 10 years older than I am, but since he's younger than my aunts and uncles he was always this hip cool kid to me when I was younger. This sentiment holds true to this day. If you have a chance to see his group perform, don't miss out. At first sight, you'd think it's just some Beastie Boys rip-off, but their sound is more akin to Run-DMC and Jurassic 5.

On Saturday, Kara and I went a benefit walk organized by her friend Angie's family in honor of Angie's uncle who passed away from complications brought on by Huntington's Disease. They had a huge crowd, their largest turn out yet, and tons of support. In the coming years I hope Kara and I are able to do more than just walking for an hour or so to lend our own support.

Later in the day I had yet another in a long line of intern interviews. The field is wide but needs to be carved down to 5, yet maybe as few as 2, students to help out over the summer. This is an awkward part of my job, especially since I am only about a year removed from school myself. It'll get better the more I do it. I hope.

After the interview I jetted over to Webster University to serve as a judge in the Webster University Student Film Festival. The material was made up of videos and films from students from the last couple of semesters. This was quite a bit of fun. There were some really good films as well as films that weren't so great but made by kids who show great potential. The screening of the films is this coming Saturday at the Winnie Moore Auditorium.

We spent the rest of the evening with a few friends watching some short films and a new mumblecore movie entitled "Yeast." It was a really fun night, but I hate that our house is in total disarray. I know Kara was not too thrilled to have folks over into our dust bowl.

Sunday consisted of Kara and her dad working on the bedroom while I worked with Dax on his shaving video. We are getting close to completion, but the deadline is quickly approaching. I love deadlines. Later in the day Karu and I set off in search of an Iron Man shirt but came up empty. Is this film not being marketed? Kara did find one at a Hot Topic, but it was not to my liking. So the film is not being marketed properly. I ended the weekend by finally watching "Elizabeth." A netflix rental, it took me over a month to get to the film but it was well worth the wait. The costumes and sets are magnificent and Cate Blanchett shows that she has some serious acting chops, it's a shame that she is just now getting justly rewarded for her prowess.

A quick dip back to the home front: our central air is currently being installed and may be finished up within a week. We are closing in quickly on finishing our bedroom. The closet has been (professionally) installed and all of the wiring is nearly finished. One good day of drywall work could potentially wrap things up. My dad may come down and we might just finish that TV room this year. How nice would it be to complete three projects simultaneously? All that leaves is our other bedrooms, the basement, and putting together a decent yard.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

Tuesday I went to a screening of "Deception" starring Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman. McGregor plays a geeky accountant type who gets mixed up in a crazy sex world thanks to Jackman. Michelle Williams as a love interest, some blackmail, and a couple murders later, the movie was over. Couple Jackman's production company with a first time director and you don't get much. The production was nice and the actors performed to the best of what the script could give them, but in the end that wasn't much. I'd say pass.

Kara and I went to see Murder by Death at Off Broadway last night. I've lost count of how many times we have seen them perform, but each time is enjoyable - especially when they delve into their older catalog. Kara noticed that they did not have the same drummer and after some research I discovered he left the band in February of this year. I also failed to realize that they had been without their keyboardist since 2004. Their latest album is a bit passive compared to their previous offerings, but it does have a few decent songs.

From the crop of cassette tapes I recently purchased from the Record Exchange, I've been crushing pretty hard on Miles Davis' "Blues for Pablo." I don't know what it is exactly about the tune but I'm gonna wear the tape out going back to it. The track comes off of "Miles Ahead" which was recorded and released in 1957. This was Davis' first collaboration with Gil Evans.

The second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs start tonight and I couldn't be more excited. There are a lot of great match ups (namely Detroit v Colorado and Pittsburgh v New York). Versus will continue to have great coverage of the playoffs each night, making the evenings enjoyable (if not made more difficult to leave the house).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

Friday I took in a screening of "My Blueberry Nights." I thought the film was really good, especially considering I didn't have very high expectations for it. Stylistically it was very similar to Wong Kar Wai's earlier film Chung King Express, especially transitions, ambiance, and Mise en scène. I wasn't overly thrilled with Norah Jones performance or repeated use of her music and I'm not much of a Jude Law fan, but Rachel Weisz was jugular and Natalie Portman was delightful.

The weekend consisted mainly of the continuing renovation of the master bedroom. We had to finish at least one portion of the room in preparation for the new closet Kara and I are having done and there is still some mudding, sanding, and painting to be done to make sure everything is ready for installation this Friday.

At the same time, we are having a new central air unit installed throughout the house. This should happen pretty quickly and will be really nice to have finished before the summer hits. No more unbearable July nights melting in various parts of our house.

Kara and I capped off the weekend by attending the Rogue Wave concert at the Gargoyle on Wash U's campus. Their music is very mellow and laid back. Coupled with the fact that we had been laboring all weekend, the music sent us into full on drowsy mode and we departed about 40 mins through the set. We've been out like lights the past couple of nights. Hopefully things are wrapped up soon and we can move back into our bedroom. That will also be a good sign that things are slowing down in other areas as well.

Today I'm going to a screening of "Deception," starring Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor, and Michelle Williams. Nothing, however, can contain my excitement at the prospect of screenings for "Iron Man" and "Speed Racer."

Friday, April 18, 2008

If this house is a rockin'

An earthquake rumbled it's way through town early this morning, much to Voltron's dismay. K-Dub thought it to be some animal or drugged-up crazy hiding out on our roof, ready to pounce when she left for work. Luckily it was just an earthquake that shook our home and our fair city. An aftershock rumbled through about six hours later which is pretty scary when you work in a basement.

I started watching shorts last night with David. We also watched some playoff hockey and played with lil Ollie. We worked on Coming Up Shorts and discussed a project we had shot last September. Seems to rolling along smoothly for Meatloaf Productions. Earlier I had helped Gus finish up his short film "My First Kiss Happened in a Dream." It is part autobiography, part short film, and part experimental video. Gus plans to enter the piece into the St. Louis Filmmaker's Showcase and I think he stands a good chance.

I am going to see "My Blueberry Nights" today. Directed by Wong Kar Wai, this is his first film in English. I've really enjoyed several of his previous pieces, but I'm not too big on Jude Law. It'll be interesting to see how well Wong Kar Wai translates to American cinema.

Hulk Smash!

(not really the cause of the quake)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Overload

I don't mean to be blogging so much, but this is too incredible to not share with the world.

If you could bottle awesomeness

A sneak peak for all you Meatloaf Production film fans...

video

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So Long, You Prince of Cinema!

Tomorrow evening marks the end of Landmark Theatre's operation of the Hi-Pointe Theatre in the Hi-Pointe neighborhood. This also dwindles the number of open theatres in the St. Louis city limits. As far as I know, all that remains are the Chase and the Moolah. While many theatres still exist out there, they are closed, abandoned, or condemned. I'll miss the Hi-Pointe. I didn't go there frequently enough and I suppose that's why it is closing. The first movie I ever saw there was "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" with my lady love, top that if you can. Another time I was out late chatting the night away after watching "Brick" with Matt and Luby. The scariest time was when Kara's brakes acted funny while we were on our way to see "The Curse of the Golden Flower." So now both a great concert venue and movie theatre are all gone. St. Louis should just die right now, shrivel up, and blow away in the wind.

R.I.P.

Ugh

Last night, along with Rich and David, I took in a screening of a film made locally by someone who is closely tied to the place I work at currently. The film was bad on many levels, including production quality, writing, and acting. I don't want to seem too disparaging, but there's not much to go on here. I did laugh out loud during a few points, if that is worth anything.

Prior to the film, Rich and I went to Dave's and had dinner. We then opened up a sweet new wide angle lens and attached it to Dave's camera. It is sweet. We've got a project cooking for KDHX's Coming Up Shorts program, so hopefully we shoot that soon!

What would Belvedere do?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tired and Hungry

It has now been a week since I had my wisdom teeth pulled. The first weekend involved a lot of laying around and eating Jell-O, pudding, and ice cream. It wasn't until Tuesday or Wednesday that started eating solid foods again. I'm still a little weak and occasionally feeling woozy, but all for the better. My mouth will feel freer and cleaner in no time.

I watched a whole slew of movies during my down time. I watched "Antonement," "Across the Universe," "Wristcutters," "Rendition," "Broken English," "Death at a Funeral," "Perfume," "Bobby," and "Lonely Hearts." I really enjoyed "Wristcutters" and Alan Tudyk made "Death at a Funeral" very enjoyable. "Across the Universe" was interesting. It incorporated many great elements, aside from all of the Beatles songs. There were several animation sequences that were really great and the costuming and special effects in general were really high above average.

Since I'm not fully into blogging right now, that's all I'm going to report on at this time. I hope to rejoin you soon, my beautiful blogosphere. I miss you terribly so.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

All Things Must Pass

Today I severed ties with my part-time employer, KDHX. It was a tough decision but since I've been working full time, it's just hard giving up part of my weekend to spend seven hours twiddling my thumbs at a dinky TV station. I've agreed to stay on in a substitute capacity, but I'm not sure how available I'll be in the future. I have several projects that are ongoing and smaller projects that are blossoming all the time. I look forward to spending Saturday nights at home.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

On Tuesday, I attended a screening of George Clooney's new film, "Leatherheads."  This was a throwback to the early professional football days in the 1920s.  The film is similar to "The Natural" and some other sports movies from that era that escape me at the moment.  The script was quick witted and pretty funny.  It reminded me a lot of films from the late 40s and 50s, flicks like "His Girl Friday," one quick pun after another.  A fun romp.

This has been a hectic production week as I've met with Dax and Rhonda to discuss and begin work on both of their projects (shaving and antiquing).  It's nice to actually get started on that stuff rather than dreading the project beginning.  The wheels are in motion.

I ordered a new wide-angle lens for the super special gift David gave me.  When it arrives, that shall be a most magical time.

I ate at Atomic Cowboy for the first time the other day.  It was during lunchtime and it was nice and empty.  The food was tasty and save for the one time the waiter filled my Sprite with water, the experience was quite enjoyable.  I blew mud like you wouldn't believe when I got back to the office, though.

Today I spoke at Rohan Woods Elementary.  This was a lot of fun.  I was nervous going in because I really didn't have anything prepared.  I knew a general outline of things I wanted to talk about and I had some short films to play, but I was a bit nervous that I would be stumbling all over myself when the kids came in.  Luckily, things went very smoothly and the kids had a good time.  I talked a little about the fest, a little about myself, showed "Splash" many times as well "Steamboat Willie," "Purple and Brown," and "Shaun the Sheep."  The best part was the kids' reactions when I showed them the special present David gave me.  They were pretty awestruck.

I suppose I may have a few skeletons in my closet, but who doesn't.  Recently, while I was going through a desk drawer filled with short films, I came across "Pretty Little Jellybean," an NFC contest film that I thought I had destroyed all evidence of.  There are several folks out there who want to see this film and now it seems like they may have their chance.  Regrettably.

Tomorrow I am having my wisdom teeth pulled.  All four of them.  I'm a little nervous but mostly ready to have them yanked out of me.  I've got a nice stockpile of movies to keep me company over the next three days.  Several are from Dax and seven are from Family Video.  You'll be reading my snippets of them soon enough, if I survive.  Wish me luck.

I'm looking forward to reading this.
I know, I'm a dork.

Yea!

Happy birthday to my great pal, Rich Lamberty!  I hope it is a blast.