Friday, March 27, 2015

#365Movies - No. 60 - The November Man

I'm watching this movie right now and I just cannot get into it. I have no idea who Pierce Brosnan is. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? Who's side is he on? Why is he doing all this? What the hell is going on?!?!

It started off with a great action scene. He saves an ambassador's life, but his partner didn't follow orders and an innocent child is shot in the crossfire. Now it's five years later and I still have no idea who he is or who he works for. Then there's something with a Russian politician who has secrets to hide but "the good guys" are trying to get therm. And then a woman is shot who had the secrets but she gave them to Bond, I mean Devereaux, Pierce's character before she died. Now he has them but doesn't seem to be doing anything with them. Then there's another lady who may have secret info.

blah. blah. blah.

It has some great action sequences. And it has a former James Bond and a Bond girl (Olga Kurylenko from Quantum of Solice). I just couldn't follow the characters and all that was going on. It's a good thing for Bradley Cooper he didn't take the roll.

But I have to finish it.

I really need to find some better movies to watch...

Spectre - teaser trailer

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Brother Mike Tapes - 1985

The Brother Mike Tapes: 1985 from rodd perry on Vimeo.

#365Movies - No. 57 - Get the Gringo

Here's another one I've been wanting to see for a while. Not Mel's finest but still a goo action film. Actually it reminded me a bit of Mel's character from Payback. He's a bad guy who does bad things but ends up doing good to help the less fortunate. Oh, and Mel was one of the co-writers so there's that. But there were humorous parts of excessive violence that had me cracking up. For instance when Mel goes after one of the big baddies and tosses two grenades in his direction and just walks away. It was of the better parts of the entire film.

Home Made Negative Digitizer

I recently saw a video on Facebook on how to digitize your old negatives. It called for a shoebox and a few other materials. Here, have a look.

So since I'm on vacation I thought I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately I don't have a shoebox, but I do have an animation light table. So using paper, glue, paint, tape and a piece of cardboard I made my own negative holder.

I found some old black and white negatives, slid a strip of six in the holder and rested the whole thing on the peg bar. The video says to use a digital camera. Well, the digital camera I have is over ten years old and it wasn't able to focus properly. So I decided to try the camera on my Motorola Droid Maxx. This is what it looks like through the tube.

And here it is zoomed in.

And using the filters and functions of the phone's picture editor I was able to rotate, invert, crop and adjust the negative. And here is the result.

This is my great grandfather on my father's side. The photo was taken by my father in 1972. Not too bad, eh? Somehow these negatives ended up in my house in a file folder, in a plastic box, under a small table in a corner of my studio. How they ever got here, we have no idea. But they still look great.

I'm having some issues with color negatives. I think it's because they're a bit old. They have a blue haze over them that I can't seem to get rid of. I tried adjusting the levels in Photoshop but they're still not coming out right. I'll keep trying until I figure it out.

Star Wars: Tie Fighter - Fan Film by Paul Johnson

#365Movies - No. 56 - Life Itself

I've been wanting to see this for quite some time, and thanks to Netflix I saw it last night. This movie doesn't hold any punches. Roger says it himself in the movie that he didn't want this film to hide anything. He wanted to be upfront with his illness. It was at times difficult for me to watch. I just hated to see him in such pain. But it is a great film that highlights a great career as a film critic. What I found amusing was some of the behind the scenes footage of him and Gene Siskel filming promos for their TV show, At The Movies. Not only did they bicker on screen but off screen as well. And boy did they ever! But through Marlene Iglitzen, Gene's wife, Gene said it best, "He may be an asshole, but he's my asshole."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

#365Movies - No. 55 - Life After Beth

Uhm....oh-kay. I guess this can be classified as a zom-rom-com, a zombie romantic comedy. Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation) plays Beth who has died from a snake bite and later comes back to life. Her parents can't believe it but they try to keep her resurrection a secret. He boyfriend Zach, played by Dean DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), who had a difficult time handling her passing is also freaking about her coming back. He sees this as a second chance to make things right with her, to tell her all the things he never got to before. And then...she goes full zombie and starts eating people.

#365Movies - No. 54 - Robot & Frank

This was an interesting story. I remember seeing the trailer a while back but never got around to it. It takes place some time in the near future where robots are commonplace as health care assistants. Frank is losing his memory and his son gives him a robot to help around the house. At first he's against it but comes to see him as a friend. It's a sweet story with a great cast. When I first heard the voice of the robot I thought it was Kevin Spacey, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Peter Sarsgaard's name in the credits. I think he's a great actor and knowing that brought an extra smile to my face.

#365Movies - No. 53 - Kingsman: The Secret Service

Now this was a fun movie!! Action! Adventure! Humor! Over the top violence!! Just a great popcorn move from start to finish. It had the look and feel of what a new type of James Bond would be. Even the score was reminiscent of a James Bond score. It had a lot of horns and brass and really pumped up the action scenes. I will definitely be adding this movie to my collection!

The only thing that kept pulling me out of the movie was Sam Jackson's lisp!! Here he explains why he wanted his character Valentine to have a lisp.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

#365Movies - No. 52 - Obvious Child

Here is another movie I heard about from Doug Benson's "Doug Loves Movies" podcast. I have to admit I was blown away by Jenny Slate's performance. I thought she was great on SNL but she really knocked it out of the park in this movie. It also had a great supporting cast: Jake Lacy (Pete Miller from The Office), Richard Kind, Polly Draper and Gaby Hoffmann. And I just realized Gaby Hoffmann first movie roll was playing Kevin Costner's daughter in "Field of Dreams". Oh wow! Also there was a nice surprise cameo by David Cross.

First and Final Frames

This is one thing I've been noticing lately since I started my #365Movies challenge. I really look forward to that first scene of the film. What am I going to see? How much will be revealed? How is it going to tie in to the rest of the film? This montage is very interesting in that is shows how the director really pieces the movie together. It's all there for a reason. What I see is the major contrast and similarities from the beginning to the end. You don't really see it when you're watching it, but when put side-by-side it all comes together.

"Silver Linings Playbook" (2012) directed by David O. Russell

"Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2" (2003 & 2004) directed by Quentin Tarantino

"12 Years A Slave" (2013) directed by Steve McQueen

"The Godfather: Part II" (1974) directed by Francis Ford Coppola

"Cabaret" (1972) directed by Bob Fosse

"Frank" (2014) directed by Leonard Abrahamson

"Boyhood" (2014) directed by Richard Linklater

Guardians of the Galaxy - Rocket Reel

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Art of Collaboration - The Dam Keeper

It was announced recently that Tonko House will be turning their Oscar nominated short "The Dam Keeper" into a feature film. You can read the full article from Cartoon Brew here.

The Art of Collaboration: "The Dam Keeper" from Cartoon Brew on Vimeo.

Pixels - trailer

And the original short film...

#365Movies - No. 51 - Super

WOW!! I was not expecting that! Why did I not see this earlier?! I didn't expect it to be that violent! I also didn't know it was written and directed by the man who would later direct the biggest comic book movie of 2014, Guardian of the Galaxy, Mr. James Gunn! Rainn Wilson stars and Frank, a man who can't accept he's been dumped by his wife. He suddenly has a vision from The Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion) and is touched by the finger of God to fight crime. With the help of Libby (Ellen Paige) he finds out what it takes to be a super hero as she becomes his kid sidekick, Boltie. Rainn Wilson has a really strong performance and Ellen Paige is perfect for the super comic book fangirl.

I didn't know what to expect going into this movie so I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the animated opening sequence. I wanted to see more of that!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Thunderbirds Are Go - Trailer

#365Movies - No.50 - In A World...

I've been hearing about this film for a while now. It took me this long to see it because I'm not a huge fan of Lake Bell. But when I found out she wrote and directed it she gained my respect for that. It was a good script with a great cast. It's about the voice over industry, particularly the movie trailer voice overs. The film starts off with the passing of Don LaFontaine who really coined the phrase "In a world". He is THE voice of the movie trailers. It's about finding his successor and shows what goes on behind the voice in the trailer.

The Leviathan

The Leviathan -- Teaser from Ruairi Robinson on Vimeo.

Monday, March 16, 2015

#365Movies - #49: Frank

This was a real interesting movie. It's being marked as a black comedy. It has it's moments of drama and comedy. The music is pretty cool once they get going.

Friday, March 13, 2015

My #365Movies Challenge

Comedian Doug Benson, host of the Doug Loves Movies podcast, has started a movie challenge for 2015. He has challenged himself to watch 365 movies in 365 days. Doug's movie challenge is to watch any "new to him" movie that is over 75 minutes. I have decided to take up the challenge myself but I will include live action and animated short films. Actually, the reasoning behind my own challenge was to take full advantage of Netflix and Hulu Plus. All these movies at my fingertips and I've barely seen any of them. I then heard about the #365Movie challenge and decided to jump on board.

As of March 14, 2015, I have seen 48 films. Some good, some great and some just bad. Here's what I have so far:

  1. Catching Fire: The Hunger Games Saga (12/11/14)
  2. 3 Days to Kill (12/12/14)
  3. Elf (12/13/14)
  4. Nick Offerman: An American Pig (12/14/14)
  5. The Graduate (12/14/14)
  6. The One I Love (12/21/14)
  7. The Brass Teapot (12/21/14)
  8. Live and Let Die (1/2/15)
  9. Mean Girls (1/3/15)
  10. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (1/6/15)
  11. Camp Takota (1/7/15)
  12. Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (1/18/15)
  13. Goldfinger (1/21/15)
  14. Click (1/21/15)
  15. M.A.S.H. (1/22/15)
  16. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1/22/15)
  17. Chef (2/1/15)
  18. Ernest & Celestine (2/5/15)
  19. And the Oscar goes to... (2/10/15)
  20. Birdman (2/10/15)
  21. The Fluffy movie (2/19/15)
  22. Boyhood (2/19/15)
  23. The Monuments Men (2/21/15
  24. Silver Linings Playbook (2/21/15)
  25. Parvaneh (short) (2/22/15)
  26. 26Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak) (short) (2/22/15)
  27. The Phone Call (short) (2/22/15)
  28. Aya (short) (2/22/15)
  29. Boogaloo and Graham (short) (2/22/15)
  30. Frida (2/25/15)
  31. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2/26/15)
  32. Jack Reacher (2/26/15)
  33. The Grand Budapest Hotel (3/1/15)
  34. Me and My Moulton (animated short) (3/3/15)
  35. The Bigger Picture (animated short) (3/3/15)
  36. A Single Life (animated short) (3/3/15)
  37. The Dam Keeper (animated short) (3/3/15)
  38. Sweet Cocoon (animated short) (3/3/15)
  39. Footprints (animated short) (3/3/15)
  40. Bus Story (animated short) (3/3/15)
  41. Moonrise Kingdom (3/4/15)
  42. Robocop (2014) (3/6/15)
  43. The Interview (3/6/15)
  44. The Italian Job (2003) (3/8/15)
  45. Drinking Buddies (3/11/15)
  46. Olympus Has Fallen (3/11/15)
  47. Harmontown (3/12/15)
  48. Supporting Characters (3/14/15)
    The mid points: "3 Days to Kill", "The Graduate", "Jack Reacher" and "Moonrise Kingdom"

    And the low points: "Elf", "Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart", "Frida", "The Fluffy Movie"and "Robocop (2014)"

    I'm on the lookout for anything "new to me" that is fun and exciting. I'll be taking vacation here pretty soon so I plan to add several more titles to this list.