Monday, June 30, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hello, Sexy Lady!

I found this image in the packing material for a submission sent from Korea. I don't know whether I should be disturbed or turned on, but the sensation both of those are giving me at the same time is pretty nice.

Showing his charm early on...

A young Tony Hale of "Arrested Development" fame.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Shoes!

On Saturday I purchased a new pair of Puma Roma's, the second pair of the same style I have bought.  I bought them from a Journeys in the Galleria, but the pair wasn't available in my size in store, so it was shipped to me and arrived today!  New shoes fun time!

She's got great taste...

Karibe has a bit of an infatuation with "This American Life" which appears on NPR, and perhaps a bit of a crush on Ira Glass (seen below). Glass will be in town in September and K-Dub and I will be attending and basking in his greatness. Check out the link below for a nice sample from the televised version of the program.

I found the video on youtube!
Originally posted on 6/17/08

Let's All Go to the Lobby! (x3)

Two days, three movies, what a glorious world I live in now. Whenever I blog about movies under the heading "Let's All Go to the Lobby!" I only talk about movies I see in the theatre. From Monday evening to Tuesday evening, six of those 24 hours were spent in a theatre. There is only one thing I like more than sitting in a dark room staring fixated ahead: KW.

On Monday, I went to a screening of Wall*E with good ole Dave. This is the latest film from Pixar and it is certainly on par with the other good movies the studio has delivered. The animation is exquisite: very detailed and very finely textured. The story is very cute (a great date film) but also harps on the need to be eco-friendly. Not a bad message, but teetering between well-done and over-the-top.

Tuesday presented a double-dip at the Tivoli. First up was "When Did You Last See Your Father?" directed by Anand Tucker, who also directed "Shopgirl," a surprisingly good Steve Martin film (which there haven't been many of lately, but Martin wrote the screenplay). This was a surprisingly good movie. I didn't know what to expect, but I figured it would be a dopey play on the father-son relationship where the son feels distant from his father and they reconcile at the end. That wasn't exactly the case, however. Colin Firth does feel distant from his father and seeks his approval and love. Jim Broadbent plays his father: a snarky, womanizing, old codger who seeks adventures with his son as a way of showing his love and affection. What Firth doesn't realize, as shown through flashbacks at various stages of his youth, is that his father enjoyed his company and was devastated when Firth left home and embarked on his path to manhood. This is a very touching film. See it with your dad, don't see it with your dad, see it on a date. It's an emotionally charged piece that is worth seeing and will definitely get you choked up as you reflect on your own paternal relationship, good, bad, or otherwise.

The final film was "The Wackness," an audience favorite at Sundance. The film stars Josh Peck, of "Drake and Josh" fame, and Ben Kingsley. The film is set in New York, circa 1994. Peck plays a dope dealer who has just graduated high school. He has a psychiatrist, who he sells dope to and eventually falls for his shrink's daughter. The movie isn't overly stylish (though there are a few great sequences and some neat graphics) but it has a great soundtrack and the performances are pretty strong. Kingsley is exquisite in his role as a disenfranchised shrink in a failing marriage. The film is as much about him as it is a breakout role for Peck. The film drops hints and details about its time period rather blatantly (people drinking Zima, a new rapper named Notorious B. I. G., and the death of Kurt Cobain) which is a little jarring at first: that is trying hard to let you know that it is 1994, not 2004, but it works.

You couldn't go wrong with any of the films mentioned here. Each has a different distinquishing quality: Wall*E and its animation, When Did You Last See Your Father for its poignancy, and The Wackness for its flavor and culture.

K-Dub and I leave for Chicago tomorrow! We will now be joined by my younger sister, Karen, so that will be an interesting experience, both the trip with Karen and her experience at the comic con. Farewell, my web-based friends.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Follow Up...

And you thought those Kids in the Hall were just kidding around...

News of the Weird reported on "objectophilia" in June 2007, based on a prominent German sexologist's belief that people can develop romantic-type relationships with inanimate objects (beyond mere fetishists, who derive only short-term arousal from items like shoes or underwear). In May 2008, Britain's Channel Five produced a documentary with on-camera interviews with several such "mechaphiles," including a 57-year-old American from Washington state who claims his "girlfriend" is a white Volkswagen Beetle (but who said he has had "sex" with 1,000 cars), and a 54-year-old woman in Sweden who claims she has been "married" to the Berlin Wall since 1979. [Daily Telegraph (London), 5-21-08, 5-27-08]

Thanks, Kara!

This Charming Man

The news has already spread about the passing of George Carlin. His influence on the comedy world is far reaching, but his impact on my life, both in terms of pop culture and media literacy, is quite resounding. His appearances in the Bill & Ted films, "Shining Time Station," and "Dogma" notwithstanding, I will always remember the short time we spent together: me in my bedroom, he on "The George Carlin Show." While it may have been an odd show for a twelve-year-old to watch, I found great joy in the program, as short lived as it was. The writing was different, more sophisticated than other programs which were on around the same time. Obviously, most people will be heaping praise on "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," and with good reason, but I will always remember those two short years that I was able to share with one of the true masters of comedy.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fun with Kids

This clip comes from the recent Kids in the Hall tour,
which was very, very funny.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

The success of marquee comic movies like "Spider-Man," "Batman Begins," and "X-Men" has paved the way for other, less notable adaptations.  "Sin City" and "Iron Man" are two of the most noteworthy, as each has ignited interest in characters other than the flagship heroes.  Box office success also allows production companies to look at smaller press titles in hopes of cashing in while riding on the coattails of Marvel and DC movies.  The latest such endeavor is "Wanted," an adaptation of a limited-series by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones from Top Cow.  "Wanted" is an action packed, visually stimulating thrill-ride.  Aided by the skilled Russian eye of Timur Bekmambetov, "Wanted" takes the audience inside a secret guild of assassins who kill one so 1000s can live.  There are many sequences of imagery and action that resonate with a palpable comic book flair.  This is a definite must see and quite a lot of fun.

Wizard World Chicago is less than a week away and I couldn't be more excited.  It'll be fun to gather with friends, comics, and the Windy City for a few days of reading, relaxation, and spending!  My focus this year will primarily be on trade paperbacks, but I hope to find a few choice Silver Age comics well.  I'm geeking out for some four-color fun.

My friend, Jeff, recently posted a music review and I have been inspired name drop some discs I too have given a whirl .  K-Dub and I splurged on and picked up a few fine CDs.  We picked up M. Ward's "Post War," Calamine's self titled EP, Taken By Trees "Open Field," and Sea Wolf's "Leaves in the River."  I've had the chance to listen to both M. Ward and Taken by Trees and have been pleased with the purchases.  I hope to spin the other two this weekend.  I also recently picked up the original soundtrack to the film, "The Fountain."  Sweeping arrangements and emotional strings highlight the disc.  The film has slowly been positioning itself as my favorite movie, which is something of a development since I have never had a fave, just a select few I like alot.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


As some of you know, I recently helped a group of kids from Ladue with a one-week film camp.  The goal was to produce a ten-minute short film inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean.  It was a long, grueling week but I think we found great success.  The week featured crying kids, miserable, unbearable heat, and a lot of late nights but it was really a memorable and fun experience.  All of the parents were excited and the kids were dedicated so I hope they are all pleased with how the video turned out, I know I am.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Movin' On Up!

Last night, I served as a judge for the 48 Hour Film Project. The 48HFP has been around in St. Louis for about four years and I remember attending the first screening back in 2004 at Webster University. The next year I helped with a team from Lindenwood and then in '06 and '07, I served as team lead on films of varying quality. This year, due to various activities and a hectic schedule, I wasn't able to compete. Luckily, though, I was able to judge a couple of the groups during the screening period this week. Last night, K-Dub and I attended the last night of screenings and watched films that were good, bad, offensive, and late. I especially know the latter two. It was really fun being on that side of the 48HFP process. The best of screening takes place this coming Tuesday and six of the 15 films came from the field I watched last night.

On a more sour note, I learned today that Mike Steinberg is leaving St. Louis to become festival director of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. While this is awesome and exciting news for Steinberg, it kinda puts a pain in my heart to see him go. He will continue to direct the Webster Film Series, but he has been one of the biggest, most positive influences on my fledgling filmmaking career and he doesn't even know it. Last year I entered a short film contest and together with Karu we created Conflit d'Intérêt. Later on I spoke with Mike, one of the judges of the contest, and he said the film was really smart and that he liked it. I was like a little school girl. Best of luck to you, Mike, I hope all goes well.

From Steinberg's latest film, "How It Is With Phooey"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby! (and quickly, people!)

Hello, friends. I write to you today drenched in my own sweat. What a morning it has been. I'll get to that in a little bit. First off, crappy movies. Tuesday I went to see "The Happening," the latest effort from M. Night Shyamalan. While there were many spooky moments (times when I would really jolt out of my seat, always embarrassing), the movie was dopey. Plant life turns against humans and systematically eradicates them in the US Northeast. It's up to Marky Mark and The Pest to run for their lives. Wait. So, the humans can't fight back. Everybody initially thinks a terrorist attack has occurred, but eventually every one realizes that's not the case. Not much happens in the film really. There is running, hysteria, some gruesome deaths, and then it's over. I'd pass.

So, this morning. I go out to start my car and make my way to work and blam-o! It doesn't start. I tried a couple of times, waited around to see if it would change, did some laundry, watched the Sci-Fi Channel's Hulk marathon and then finally decided that this problem was beyond me. I walked up to Ribaudo's Auto Repair (which has quickly become a frequent stop for my car) and Sam drove down to take a look. A quick couple of shakes of various cables and it started right up. I drove it down to his shop and it will hopefully be back up in working order shortly, and hopefully for a long, long time. "How did you get to work, Brian?" Well, I am glad you asked. My cousin, Dax, came over to give me a ride and what a ride it was! Riding his bike today, Dax didn't want to make a detour to pick up his truck to take me to work so we rode together on his bike. That was fun and also answered one of my pressing quesitons: if I get a bike or a scooter, what will my hair be like after wearing a helmet? Answer: not too shabby.

"D'oh, a radio!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

Yesterday, I attended a screening of "The Incredible Hulk." I could not have been more disappointed. It seems they took everything from the first movie and went in the exact opposite direction with it. Ed Norton did a fine job as Bruce Banner by combining his own astute acting talents while channeling Bill Bixby. There are many subtle and not-so-subtle nods to the television series, including footage of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" which starred Bixby, a cameo by Lou Ferrigno, as well as many discreet elements from the TV series (music, Banner's eyes right before he transforms, the way Banner's clothes rips, heck even the clothes Banner wears!). The special effects took a step backward from the first Hulk film. I felt there were times in Ang Lee's film that the Hulk looked real, that he was interacting with the elements and environment around him. Throughout the entire course of this new incarnation, I wondered to myself, "Why didn't they just make this a completely CGI movie?" This is a "will-see" for any comic fan, but definitely not a "must-see."

On a lightere note, I recently found myself watching "Commando" with K-Dub on a fine weekday evening. I think it was playing on Fox Movie Channel, which apparently does not edit the movies it features. Which is awesome. "Commando" is a great Schwarzenegger vehicle: explosions, rippling muscles, brutal hand-to-hand combat all mixed together with a mission to save his daughter. The music, the action, and Rae Dawn Chong create an excellent movie. The icing on this delicious cake can be seen below...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Everybody's Working for the Weak

After a gruelling, exciting week of summer film camp with eight year olds, I was definitely ready for the weekend. Friday night I started piecing together the summer camp film since a big premiere was scheduled for Saturday. Kara and I stepped out for a bit and took in a gallery walk of sorts on Cherokee Street. Firecracker Press had recently relocated down there and was holding a grand opening celebration. Maid Rite was playing and several other galleries and shops were open in support of the night. It was a nice enough night out to make the gallery walk and we saw some really interesting pieces.

It's still a shame that Cherokee is as dilapidated as it is. Hopefully soon the remnants of Antique Row and this newer, hipper stretch can connect, cohabitat, and flourish to create one St. Louis' premiere neighborhoods. If I may rant, there simply is not enough in St. Louis like Cherokee, or at least what St. Louis could be. Now please don't harp on me about the Loop and how great that is. I'll agree with once it's more than two blocks and a handful of shops. Don't be afraid to expand your borders, people!

One of the main objectives of the walk was to scope out some of the featured art by Ben Stegmann, creator and distributor Freezerburn, a zine beyond explanation, so check it out for yourself. Afterwards, Kara and I stopped for Ted Drewes, which was once again delicious. Drewes is becoming a dangerous habit for us. We've already stopped there innumerable times since it reopened on Grand.

On Saturday, Kara organized a yard sale and we got rid of a lot of junk. It was insane. The traffic was slow at first, but the day proved to be a success as we cleaned out our basement and met a few folks from the neighborhood in the process. I stepped out to check in Karu throughout the day as I took breaks from editing the pirate (summer camp) movie. I settled for a rough edit so I could burn a DVD for the screening that night but am still in the midst of cleaning up a final version for all of the kids to take home. Hopefully, if the finished product is of decent quality, it may screen at the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase in July. Fingers crossed.

After the screening on Saturday, Karibe and I met up with Rich and we attended Iron Man. Although it was the second time Rich and I had seen it, I was excited to see the Nick Fury segment after the end credits. I was really glad, though, that I saw it again in the theatre as there many details I missed through the first viewing. This was just a quality superhero movie.

On Sunday, I got up early to play a little outdoor hockey in Maplewood. This was a decent rink, though it was really, really hot. I was exhausted for just about the rest of the day. We had a good group out, the Brothers Bryan (with Nick in goal), Gerald, and Dan Nichols. It was fun playing hockey with them and I certainly miss skating on a regular basis, especially competitively.

K and I took it easy the rest of Sunday, which was very nice, especially after how crazy hectic our time has been since, oh, about the beginning of the year. Tonight we are going to see "The Incredible Hulk." I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about this version of my most beloved Marvel comic book character.

David and I are getting together tomorrow to create special effects for the pirate movie, finish up the Frankenstein movie, and jump start progress on the knife-throwing movie. It has been many months since Meatloaf Productions worked on anything, and it has been a very painful time, but hopefully that is changing in the very immediate future.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Site for Sore Eyes

Wanna cheer up those baby-blues? Something funny for that brown-eyed girl? Read, giggle, and learn:

I want to be a superhero...

Today was day three of the summer film camp. Shooting continued under the hot June sun but things are starting roll much smoother. The kids are really starting to understand the concept of multiple takes and their necessity. It's been a lot of fun while definitely troublesome, but it has definitely been worth it.

On my way into work after camp, I was called after by a gentleman standing next to his classy Cadillac. "Hey," yelled the dapper fellow. "Yes?" I inquired. "You know how to change a tire?" he posed. Without hesitation I replied, "I can give it a try." The next fifteen minutes saw me change this gent's tire and dirty myself up in the process. It felt good to help him out and as I threw the blown out tire into his trunk he asked, "How much do I owe you?" Initially I refused, but then relented as he insisted and took out his wallet. I didn't want to hurt his feelings so I accepted his $5 with glee.

Funny - Weirder

Special thanks to Mark Bielik.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Funny - Weird

Special thanks to Billion Mead.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Grizzly Brian

It seems that this blogging thing is harder than I ever realized. That or I've been really busy and have had scant time to blog, but it's not that the things keeping me busy have really been worth blogging about, either. Friday I spent the night at my dad's in O'Fallon so I could ride out with him to Shelby County in the morning. He wanted assistance preparing some equipment for deer season, because my dad hunts and kills deer. Since I'm not too keen on the whole killing a creature of the forest, I have never gone with him though he has requested many times. I figured that since this time he was not out on a hunt, it would be fun to take the trip with him and take in the scenery. I also got to ride a four-wheeler. All in all, the day was fun. I got out in the sun for a few hours and I really enjoyed being back on farm land/connecting with nature.

Later that evening was the screening of the best of the Idaho Avenue Film Festival at the Feasting Fox. Rain changed the event from being outdoors, but the Fox was able to accommodate an indoor screening. A turnout of about 30 people attended, which was less than I was originally hoping but more than I expected as the rain moved in and the start approached. I was nervous about the material that was being screened, but most people really took to it (the ones who hadn't already seen it at least). I was slightly disappointed that more of my friends didn't come out, but I understand that they had things going on, too.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the summer film camp. I was a bit on edge about it, but now that it's here there's really nothing I can do to stop the beast from charging so I'll just roll with it. It will hopefully be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to putting together a fun little movie. Again, I promise that the Colorado blog will be up soon!