Thursday, January 17, 2013
Tapes or DVDs?
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
I hope that you all enjoyed (what you could see) of my first issue storyboard of “RoboPanda vs Zombie Dinosaurs” and don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll all be HUGE fans by the time that the real drawings come through… and I’m thinking that by Christmas 2015 your children will be BEGGING for the new array of toys, videos & bedding sets… but please keep in mind that you can’t put a price on your children’s happiness… and the proceeds go to a worthwhile cause… my retirement fund. Thank you! From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
Anyway, back in the present, spent most of the weekend not being sick… but not really exerting myself because the flu is going around & I wasn’t feeling it Friday night after work… which is really disappointing because I missed out on a party for some coworkers that are moving on to other careers. I really wanted to wish them well… but also didn’t want to get anybody sick. Congratulations you two!!! Other than that, I spent the weekend with Dizzy watching football, ironing out details for the comic book, planning the menu for Bacon Day: Part Deux next weekend & just enjoying each other. We also met up with some of her work friends for some drinks at Chevy’s to celebrate a 25th birthday. Good times were had. I’m sure that all interests you… but I also watched some movies… so here are some reviews.
As you know, I have a soft spot for bad movies. I enjoy watching them sometimes… and I’m always curious about movies that critics completely pan even before seeing them (including myself). So Thursday night, I was going through the movie channels the last few days that I’m going to have TV… and I stumbled upon “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” starring Nicolas Cage. It’s the sequel to the Marvel Comics adaptation of “Ghost Rider” and you may recall it from an early Nicolas Cage update that it had so much going for it in the way of bad movies.
1) It was the sequel to a not-so-good original movie
2) Nicolas Cage desperately needs money… and his recent choices in acting gigs has confirmed it
3) Directed by the team Nevaldine & Taylor who brought you the likes of “Jonah Hex” & both “Crank” movies
4) Originally, the storyline was going to be Ghost Rider vs. Dracula… but that changed
5) Christopher Lambert (“Highlander”) made a cameo
The story goes that there is a mother & child being pursued by the Devil (Ciaran Hinds) and his henchmen (AJ from “Empire Records” no joke) and only the Rider (Cage) can protect them. Why are they being pursued? Well, as he put it in the movie “You’re the Devil’s baby mama…” and the story kinda goes from there. There are a LOT of scenes were it’s a mix of CGI transformations, Nic’s bad end of the “crazy-conflicted” spectrum & the usual death metal score that you get from the Nevaldine-Taylor combo. Now, based on the source material, the movie wasn’t absolutely horrible. The Ghost Rider story is very difficult to tell without a whole lot of CGI & questionable motivation and character development (see “Spawn”) but I wouldn’t really recommend this movie to anybody. Sorry Nic. I wish that I could help with your financial woes… but hey, maybe when RoboPanda takes off I can get you a gig as a voiceover to help.
Next up was the Syfy Channel’s “12 Disasters of Christmas” which stars… well, nobody. I think some of them were on WB series but… yeah, I didn’t really recognize anybody. Anyway, it’s set in small town Oregon I think… and there’s a family (conveniently named Joe, Mary, Peter & Jacey… yes, the daughter is Jacey as in JC, wait for it). There are some strange occurrences going on with birds dying, the water turning red, unusually warm weather, and then giant icicles falling from the sky & impaling people in the streets. Global warming? Possibly… no wait, WRONG! It’s the Mayan Prophecy coming true! By the way, did you know that the Mayans invented the song “12 Days of Christmas” and passed it along through the generations & all kinds of languages as a WARNING of the 12 disasters that would destroy the world? Oh it’s documented… the crazy old guy Frank had a whole wall chart made up connecting it… and there is a lineage of protectors that are direct descendants of Mayans (though now some of the whitest people you’ve ever seen thanks to cross-breeding) and they have to find five golden rings that will help save the world (or at least this small town in Oregon) from destruction by Mother Nature. I assume by calling forth Captain Planet and his magical mullet… but I don’t want to give away the surprise ending. Like most Syfy movies, it’s pretty horrible… but if you’re watching in a group, it’s descent to make fun of. Otherwise, forget that it even exists. Big thanks to The Soup for letting me know of this show’s existence.
Saturday night was actually a surprise. Dizzy & I watched “VHS” which is about a group of misfits who videotape their shenanigans (and crimes) to sell to voyeurs in that black market. Well, one of them hires them to break into a house to steal a particular video from the owners… but when they get to the house, there’s a bunch of them, so they have to cycles through them to find the right one… and what they find is a bunch of twisted sh*t. That’s the story… and basically, the movie is a collection of six horror movie concepts by various directors in the “found footage” genre that really would have been a MAJOR stretch for their own full-length feature… so they combine their 15-20 minute shorts into one film. What I was surprised about this movie… is how genuinely creepy some of them were on a shoe string budget. I was expecting it to be pretty cheesy… and I’ll admit, some of the acting was very questionable… but each story had it’s own redeeming quality & were very interesting ideas… except maybe the main story, but even that had it’s moments were it could’ve worked really well. Anyway, without giving too much away, I would say to check it out & judge for yourself. As a horror fan, I give it two thumbs up… and be warned, there is some gore… but overall, it’s a very decent flick. Check it out! It’s on Netflix!
Lastly was a documentary entitled “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” about Jiro, the world’s premiere 3-Michelin star sushi chef who has been doing the job that he loves for over 70 years. The camera crew follows him through his daily routine, other chefs at his restaurant, his family, his friends, food critics, etc. & paints a portrait of this intriguing man. To boil it down, Jiro is a perfectionist who loves sushi. Every waking moment he’s honing his skills to make perfect sushi… and as the title would imply, even during his non-waking moments, he’s dreaming of it. He accepts nothing but the best in every stage of preparation. He only buys fish from masters of their respective crafts (tuna, shrimp, octopus, etc). His chefs are meticulously trained for decades before he’ll allow them to prepare sushi for his guests (a ten-seat restaurant). Even his sons have been learning from him for over 40 years (youngest went off to start his own sushi restaurant & oldest is waiting for Jiro to retire to take head spot). Is it the borderline-obsessive goal of his entire life? Yeah, pretty much… but you be the judge. The man loves what he does. He’s focused on becoming the master of his craft & to push it to the next level… every day… for over 70 years. Some may say it’s crazy. Perhaps those people are not perfectionists & have not found the Passion that he has. I’d recommend checking out this documentary. It’s very interesting… but be warned… you’ll want to go have sushi during & afterwards… so you may want to watch on a full stomach.
It may also make you wonder about your own situation. For example, I’ve been in an industry for over 12 years now. I’ve essentially mastered my specific craft (hence why I can do so many jobs for the pay of one) but have I been “pushing” the craft forward? There have been instances where I’ll see procedures & improve upon them… share ideas with my colleagues with different sets of circumstances for their office… but am I constantly looking forward at the next step? Or have I grown complacent with my position because it’s easier than looking on to the next step, which would require sacrifices? Is this what I want to do for 70+ years (shiver) or until retirement age anyway? Is it my Passion? Is the fact that I’m even asking these questions convincing proof that it is not? Is there something different out there for me? That I would be more passionate about? Or am I just too level headed to put my all into something & widen my range of talents to be a Jack of all trades kind of person?
The saying goes that if you Love what you do, then you’ll never work a day in your life… or something like that… and there’s a few ways of looking at it. Does that mean that you have to find something that you Love to do? Or is it just on you to Love whatever it is that you’re doing? In either case, I guess the saying still holds true… but let’s face it, most of us would probably find it easier to Love being a movie star than a coal miner. Or I guess in a real world sense, let’s say you enjoy being physically fit… and your current job as a construction worker helps you to do that (as long as you don’t get a hernia). Do you just learn to Love being a construction worker? Study in the evenings & work your way to foreman & push your craft? Or do you study to become a personal trainer so you get that same benefit that you’re looking for, but it’s more recreational & you’re basically the master of your own unique craft?
Now, I’m sure you know by now that I tend to think too much for my own good & ramble incessantly… and of course not everybody’s priorities are the same. Some are focused on raising their children, making money any way possible, just getting by & getting high, cross things off their bucket list, seeing the world, continuing the family legacy, whatever it may be… not becoming yokozuna or a legend of the wood carving community or any other master of their given craft… and that’s perfectly fine. However, I do feel that life needs a little direction with goals to continue to grow & thrive. With that being said, that’s another reason why I’m REALLY excited about this new venture with this comic. I’m not an expert by any means… I’ve read a few back in my childhood… I’ve seen a lot of TV shows & movies… read about other people’s characters basically… but I’m not an artist. I have no official training in storyboarding, plotting, structure, or really ANYTHING related to drawing. Yeah, I won a few Reflections contests back in 2nd & 3rd grade… but yeah, that was drawing dinosaurs & weird alien creatures… in the 3rd grade. So how is this going to work? I’m going to research, study, practice, calibrate, collaborate, peat, re-research, re-study, re-practice, re-calibrate & collaborate some more… and of course, repeat. Am I going to have all the skills? Probably not… but if I surround myself in the right people, use what I’ve learned, along with my own ingenuity & spin on things, then I’ll probably be off to a good start. Anyway, that’s the plan… for now. It’ll definitely change… but I can keep you posted…
I’ll also try to figure out how to get REAL pictures on Blogger again. Apparently the “new & improved” version really isn’t improved… but I’m sure it works for them. Have a great day everybody!!!