Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Here are a couple of AMV's (Anime Music Video) or FMV's (Fan Made Video) featuring two of my favorite programs and one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs (there aren't many).

Batman: The Animated Series
Cowboy Bebop

Yea, sister!

My oldest sister, Danielle, celebrated her 28th birthday yesterday. You did it! She recently graduated from Logan Chiropractic and will soon be opening her own practice. You can check out her blog here.

Hello, old friend...

I must sincerely apologize for having been away for so long. I've missed you terribly, terribly so. You may ask yourself, "Steve, why hasn't Brian been blogging like a mad mother for the past two weeks? Is he just not busy living life and enjoy the immense adoration his legion of fans have for him through his blog? Is his life now so boring that he can't even bring himself to write about it? Will he leave me wondering what he is doing since he no longer talks to people face to face? Why must I suffer such a great injustice and be left out in the cold?!?"

Steve, calm down, man. I'm still here. I have in fact been incredibly busy. Last week was the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase which meant long days at the office and the Tivoli Theatre. Last weekend Kara and I took a quick trip to Chicago to help celebrate her cousin's 21st birthday. We had a marvelous time exploring the city in a fashion we have never really experienced before. On Monday, Kara and I had dinner with the Callahan's. Afterward, David and I worked on various projects (Rhineland, Keening, Whistling Ninja, Ghost Town slideshow) - it was a productive night. Last night I helped out at a screening of "American Teen," which was rather uneventful since the crowd was rather small. I opted to skip the screening of "Coming Up Shorts" in favor of spending time with my KW and then I wrapped up the trivia slide show I compiled for the advance screening of "Ghost Town" tonight. Tonight, Karu and I are going to see "The Dark Knight" with the Callahan's. This will be the fourth time I will have seen the film.

On Saturday, August 2nd, Kara and I have plans to attend a housewarming party at Mike McCubbins' new place in Tower Grove Park. I stopped by the new pad for a short bit yesterday before Mike and I went out to lunch. From first glances, it looks like a nice, TG-style, old craftsmenship house. The party should be fun and a much better chance to explore.

On Sunday, August 3rd, I will start playing competitive roller hockey again for the first time in over five years. The league will be at All-American Sports Complex and I will play for Team Cobra. Check out that logo!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What's Going On?

I haven't blogged in two days which is something of an anomaly lately. I've been fairly busy this past week as we are preparing for our mid-summer event at work. Aside from a heavy workload, I've still been able to take in a few movies, which I'll get to later. I was able to squeeze in a lunch with Thomas Crone yesterday. It was fun catching up with such a character, the world needs more Thomas Crone. Last night I saw "The Dark Knight" for a second time and was captivated by it even further. I plan on attending a midnight screening at the recently renovated Hi-Pointe Theatre this evening. I recently went to see "Brideshead Revisited" and "Tropic Thunder" and sincerely promise to review those films a little more formally soon. Same goes for "The Dark Knight," I just currently do not have the motivation to blog, copy links, and find images. Fear not, for I shall return to you shortly.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Shapes A Young Brian Spath...

Dedicated to Mark Bielik...
What a beautiful song.

Busy Bee

Wow, what a weekend. After being barraged Friday evening about blogging, I ended up having a pretty good time with the various things that were happening. The night started out with Karu, Rich, and I having dinner at Pietro's, which was mondo delicious. We then scooted over to the Regional Arts Commission for the opening of Screwed In, a collaborative graffiti project featuring seven local artists. The opening was really busy and really crowded. We even bumped into Jerry's ex-girlfriend, Dacia (sp) {awkward!}. Our next stop was on Cherokee for a couple of different openings. First, at the Typo Cafe, we took in a photography exhibit by Rebecca Bodicky then stepped next door to Fort Gondo for the Darkest Dreams A Lighted Way exhibit (made up of art inspired by abuse and maltreatment). The juxtaposition of both shows was very interesting, as Bodicky's photos were very colorful and positive while the Darkest Dreams pieces were dark, brooding, and cathartic. We eventually made our way down to the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center for an evening of short films. I was glad we made it there since it gave me a chance to speak with proprietor Mark Sarich about a possible collaboration on the Idaho Avenue Film Festival. Originally my intent was to hand out flyers for submitting to the IAFF, but since the crowd was primarily composed of KW, Rich, and I, I instead left a stack of flyers for future show goers to snatch. After a few shorts and a little music, we made our way back home, exhausted, but culturally charged.

On Saturday, Kara and I had a late breakfast/early lunch at Urban Eats, a new bistro that opened on the corner of Meramec and Virginia. This eatery is completely independent, but nicely composed and hopefully a firm establishment in our neighborhood for a long time. The food was really good and they concoct a very delicious strawberry-banana smoothie. I also met the owner, John Chen, who had be attempting to respond to an email I had sent to the Alliance to Save Cleveland High, but it continually bounced back to him. Serendipity was on our side, as John was very enthusiastic about partnering to do something in the future. Afterwards, Karibe and I headed to the Soulard Market and bought a few fruits and veggies for the coming week. Kara's parents came down and we finished up the closet for the newly refinished bedroom. I then prepared a batch of cupcakes for a Batman themed party thrown by Matt & Jeanie in preparation for "The Dark Knight." There were many great costumes, delicious food, and good times had by all.

Sunday was a fairly laid back day. I woke up around 8am and set down to watch "Black Book" and had a little breakfast. The film was okay, but nothing phenomenal. There seems to have been a rash of Nazi-fueled WW2 era films lately (this one, Downfall, and 2009's Valkyrie) and none really exposes more than the last. The plots seem to be more about the human stories involved in the notable, infamous, or forgotten moments in time. After watching the movie we headed out to Webster Groves to meet with Jason of "Jason and the Beast." Jason is getting ready to release a new EP and I will be producing a music video to coincide with the release. Kara and I then headed out west to spend some time with her family. Beforehand we stopped at the mall to return the Pumas I purchased three weeks ago because the heel was beginning to separate from the shoe. Unfortunately, Journeys was unable to order a new pair in the same color so I will have to visit another location to exchange my kicks. I also bought a shirt from Old Navy because I wasn't in the mood to just wear a t-shirt. I promptly ripped the pocket while trying to unsnap a button. Thanks, Bangladesh.

Stay tuned for forthcoming reveiews of Tropic Thunder, Brideshead Revisited, and The Dark Knight.

What Shapes A Young Brian Spath...

Star of "Back to the Future?" Nice plug.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Dark Knight

Today is the day. I shall never be the same.

The Dark Knight is the road to awe.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Thanks, Kara!

The Dark Knight

One day...

I seriously got goosebumps watching this again.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Good Tunes

Kudos to Ebner for turning me onto the Flight of the Conchords.

The Dark Knight

Two days...
A classic in American animation.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Political Dance Tune

Thanks, Kara!

Comic Geek

As dorky as it may be, I am going to attempt to list the comics and comic related goodies I buy each week from the comic shop right here on my little old blog. I also want to be better about reviewing or commenting on trade paperbacks and graphic novels that I read.

For the past 3 or so years I have been purchasing new weekly comics from Star Clipper. I occassionally hit other shops in the area if I feel like hunting for back issues or I missed a recent issue at SC, the issue is subsequently sold at SC, and smaller shops in the area usually have a copy or two of a hot issue still in stock.

This past week I picked up the following books:
Action Comics #867
Booster Gold #1,000,000
Trinity #6
Amazing Spider-Man #565
Secret Invasion #4
Ultimate Origins #2
and the new Batman as a Green Lantern figure

I've read a couple of the trades I acquired in Chicago at the latest Wizard World Comic Book Convention. "Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan" was a really neat story that harkened back to the big, scary monster days of both Marvel properties. The late Seth Fisher provided the art for the series, and I couldn't think of anybody better to do so. It was a fun story to read because of the artwork, but also because of the fact that it isn't part of continuity so there's no need to worry about the impact it may have or any story threads that you may have missed leading into it.

I also read the limited series "New Avengers: Illuminati." This story builds on, explores, and ties together the different groups in the Marvel Universe. This is done by taking a few of the more powerful or important characters (Mr. Fantastic, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Black Bolt, Namor, and Prof. X) and having them meet periodically to discuss trouble spots around the world and through the universe. The art was drawn by Jimmy Cheung and was lovely. I've really enjoyed his art, though I've really only read Avengers stories he has drawn. The series ties into major stories throughout the history of the Marvel Universe, so the exact opposite of the Big in Japan story. It's really neat to see all the heavy hitters of the MU working together, discussing volatile situations, and bickering. It does a great job of setting stuff up for Secret Invasion as well.

The Most Important Thing

Last night, K-Dub and I finally finished off a multiple-month marathon of all three seasons of "Arrested Development." While it was somewhat bittersweet to make it through the series, I wasn't hit with the same sadness I experienced after completing "Cowboy Bebop" or "Firefly (maybe I just like space western operas). There has been much talk of a movie version of the television show. I suppose the creators could make something work, but many (if not all) of the conflicts were resolved in the series finale. As much as I would like to see an Arrested Development movie, ah, who am I kidding, I'll go see it. There aren't many shows reach nicely transition into a movie, and I'm still skeptical of how the AD conceit will translate to the silver screen.

Watching television programs on DVD gives a great insight at the growth and development of a show. You pick up on little quirks and hidden jokes much faster than when the show was originally broadcast. You see a character fleshed out and defined much faster as well. One of the pratfalls of this method, however, is noticing lags, valleys, or uneven production throughout the course of a season or a series. Karu and I both found ourselves feeling that some episodes from the second and third (especially) seasons were below the standard that much of first season set. This can be attributed to the lack of care and passion that Fox held for the show, coupled with the fact that the third season was cut short and thus handcuffed from fully exploring the concept (the third season had been cut from 18 episodes to 13). At the same time, I feel that the people writing, directing, and shooting the show during its lulls weren't hitting the same tempo and style that others had crafted so well.

Much of the blame for the show being shortened and eventually cancelled can be placed on the studio executives at Fox. The show was adored and praised by critics, contemporaries, and foreign dignitaries of state, but that didn't translate into viewership and ratings because Fox didn't care to market the greatest product in the history of its broadcast. The show continuously suffered from schedule shifts, multiple week breaks between episodes, and then ultimately being scaled back in the final season and the series finale scheduled as a block of four episodes airing against the opening night of the 2006 Winter Olympics. If you are a miner and you have just cracked open the largest gold klondike in the history of mankind, you would, of course, chip off little bits of the claim and then throw the bits up in the air and hope that it does well on its own.

Maybe some day I'll revisit the three seasons of Arrested Development with a longing desire for original, cutting edge comedy. The first season will definitely fulfill that, while the latter two will only fuel my curiosity for what could have been.

The Dark Knight

Three days...
My favorite from the 90s Bat-Films.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The tantalizing promises of a blog about my trip to Denver, CO, with Kara have finally been fulfilled. Click on the pic to enjoy!

For that distinguished look...

Time to tidy up that 'stache.

The fanciest lads from all around shall
gather and leave the world in awe.

The Dark Knight

Four days...

Soon, very soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Dark Knight

Five days...

For all the fan-film dorks out there.

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

Last night I watched "Hellboy II: The Golden Army."  I wish I could be more excited about it, but for some reason I just am not.  There were tons of of great visuals: finely detailed costumes, crisp special effects, and nearly lifelike computer animations.  The problem isn't really with the plot, either, the idea of an indestructible, unrelenting army unleashed on the world with no one to oppose it.  My biggest problem with the movie is the sluggish pace it follows: periods of wordy moodiness and mopey exposition.  Just get to the monster smashing already!  The romance between Hellboy and Liz is still smoldering, but it rubs more as a cliche than anything else, which is thoroughly disappointing.  Add in the tacked on baby plot device, and it's a regular summer romantic comedy.  Many of the performances are very stilted.  I would have rather have watched cardboard cutouts instead of the Prince and Princess who eat up so much of the screen time.  As much as I have enjoyed Jeffrey Tambor (especially in Arrested Development, RIP) he seems to be sorely out of place in this film, which is exactly the opposite of how I felt of his character in the first film.  He, almost more than anyone else, seems ill fitted to his surroundings and unsure of how to act around all of the fantastic creatures he works with at the BPRD.  Hellboy will probably still be a major box office draw and may possibly squirt out another sequel (which I probably will see), but I just wish it was a stronger, tighter movie.

The only thing that salvaged the movie for me is the glorious knowledge that in five sweet days I will be seeing "The Dark Knight" and that's all that matters.

100th Post!

I rule.

Some Ratatat music set to a Predator remix.

Monday, July 7, 2008

You see? THEO!

Thanks, Mark!

Even better...

A staple from my own myspace page sometime ago, God bless you, Bill Cosby!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hellboy II - The Golden Army

Marketing with some golden commercials....

I like Piebald

This group had some good tunes and always put on a good show.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Today, the new Batmobile, the "Tumbler," and the Bat-pod, a motorcycle-esque contraption, made stops in St. Louis during a nationwide tour. St. Louis was lucky enough to see the Tumbler as it is only stopping at select cities during the tour, which is a promotional event to generate interest for a little film no one has heard of and probably won't see, "The Dark Knight." Karibe and I stopped by Ronnie's 20 Cine to catch a glimpse at a couple of Batman's toys.
The Tumbler

The Batpod

I'm a geek.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Comic Geek Deluxe

Yep, um, 'nuff said?
I recently went to Chicago to attend the 2008 Wizard World Comic Book Convention. I went with Karibe and my sister, Karen, and we stayed with the Kindts (Matt, Sharlene, & brother Karl). This was my second year at the Chicago Con and I was pleasantly surprised at how many dealers were selling trade paperbacks and hard-bound graphic novels at 50% off cover price.
The Guardian of Great Prices
I could have walked around taking in the con atmosphere and experience, I instead dove right into those fabulous deals. I missed a large portion of artist alley and publishers on the expo floor, but it was worth it. Here's the glorious list of books I bought at the con:
TPBs: Earth X, Punisher: War Zone, Powers volumes 1-4, Hellboy: Weird Tales volumes 1&2, Squadron Supreme, Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Ultimate Collection, The Surrogates, Ex Machina volume 1, Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan, Doctor Strange: The Oath, Ultimate Spider-Man volume 19, Elektra: Assassin, Thor: Blood Oath, Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place, Batgirl Year One, Batman Year 100, Y: The Last Man volume 1, Infinite Crisis, Batman: Snow, The Other Side, Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin, & Spider-Woman: Origin
Graphic Novels (hard bound editions): Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil, X-Men: God Loves Man Kills, The Eternals (Neil Gaiman), Kraven's Last Hunt, Hulk: The End, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus volume 1, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Marvel Zombies 2, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Power, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume 2, Immortal Iron Fist: The Last Iron Fist Story, Illuminati, Ultimates, Invincible Ultimate Collection volumes 2 & 3, & 300
Indie Books (for indie cred): Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown, Too Cool To Be Forgotten & Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson
It was definitely a successful year. I was surprised at how much I bought, but at 50% off, I couldn't pass it up. Plus, it saves me from buying stuff during the year as I know have a graphic novel to read a week before the next con. Onto the itinerary...

After working nearly a full day, I got home, packed, then Kara, Karen, and I headed out and got on our way. I spent a little time watching shorts for work on Kara's brother's portal DVD player, but I also slept for a good chunk of the drive. When we arrived at our hotel, we had been bumped to a room with one king-sized bed as opposed to the two double beds I had originally reserved. When the Kindts arrived, we had a somewhat sloppy sleepy arrangement (the ladies in the bed, Karl in a rollaway, and Matt & I on the floor).
The next day we scurried over to a new room (with two double beds!), but also hijacked the rollaway to maximize comfort. We then scurried over to the con and I began to go hog-wild.
shop, shop, shop
I bumped into Scott Don't who is the manager at the Fairview Heights Fantasy Shop and he was excited about the comic podcasting seminar he had just attended. We broke for lunch at a place called Potbelly and I can only hope that a similar establishment comes to St. Louis soon. We shared lunch with Jeff, Kristen, Shaun, Kim, and Jonesy. We then returned to the con and I set about finding more deals.
Rock n' Roll
Karen entered a Guitar Hero contest and demolished her opponent so brutally, she was awarded a She-Hulk statue for her skill.
For dinner we visited Giordano's for the second straight year (something of an annual thing for Dan Nichols) and were joined by Dan, Erin, Chris, and Carole. After an aborted attempt to seat just two of the seven from our party, we were finally seated and enjoyed some fine Chicago-style pizza. We spent the evening in the hotel room chatting with Jeff, Kristen, Shaun, and Jonesy.

Day two of the Con featured more of those wacky 50% off deals. I was lucky that Kara and Karen were eager to leave the con which meant Kara could carry my early purchases back to the room. I spent practically the whole day at the Con, which meant I missed lunch.
Frylock and Master Karen
We gathered with Jeff, Kristen, Chris, Carole, Shaun, Kim, Jonesy, Dan & Erin for dinner at The Beacon Tap, which is basically the equivalent of any turd restaurant you'll find in Imperial or Arnold or some other dumb place around St. Louis. Afterwards we went for ice cream at a Cold Stone Creamery and chatted for a few hours before everyone became sleepy and we all shuffled off to our respective hotels.
The two K's and I got up somewhat early, showered, and hit the road to head home. We stopped at an Ikea in Bolingbrook. K-Dub and I had hoped to find a bed as our bedroom nears completion of its renovation. No such luck, but we did pick up a few napkins, straws, and a blanket. We stopped for lunch at Wendy's, which because of some strange black hole, no longer exists in St. Louis. We got back on the road and rolled into St. Louis around 4:30 that afternoon. It was nice to be back home, but buying comics for a weekend will never cease to be fun.
Good times, indeed

What Shapes A Young Brian Spath...

The Dark Knight

Stay up late...

The Tivoli Theatre has announced the upcoming Reel Late line up for 2008:

July 18-19
July 25-26
Aug. 1-2
Aug. 8-9
WILD AT HEART (UNCUT) no one under 18 admitted
Aug. 15-16
Aug. 22-23
Aug. 29-30
Sept. 5-6
Sept. 12-13
Sept. 19-20
Sept. 26-27
THE CROW new print!
Oct. 3-4
Oct. 10-11
PINK FLAMINGOS no one under 18 admitted
Oct. 17-18
Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Friend Dan

Special thanks to Dan Nichols for inviting me to the Mets-Cardinals baseball game last night. It was great fun hanging out with Dan and we got to watch the game together to boot! The Cards lost, but the game was a lot of fun. Surprisingly, Dan, a big Mets fan, was not harassed at all at any point during the evening. Thanks, Dan!