Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stupid People.

Those are not Butterflies.

Those are horses.

EDIT: tried my best to work around disabling the embedding crap. But youtube is shut solid. I'd have to mirror the thing on my account, and honestly I don't want to go through the trouble.

Artist's Block?

It's not that I don't have any inspiration to make art, it's that I don't have any art supplies at the moment and I'm living with my all-too-stressful mother at the moment.

Trying to keep a low profile in this place is like storing your lighter fluid and fireworks on top of the stove.

Obviously high-stress environments do not an artist make in my case. Sadly, I'm an artist that thrives in peaceful environments. Right now I'm just kinda 'going' on with the writing of this blog to ease my senses.

I've got a few outlines written for some scripts I want to work on, but I'm probably going to have to exile myself to a nearby cabin before I actually get any writing done. Probably will be happening in the near foreseeable future.

I was an idiot and left all my masks and spraypaints at the dorm which is a five mile drive away from here. Relatively easily remedied though with a small purchase and a change of medium. I'll probably be stopping by Wal-Mart relatively soon to get some paints.

There's a variety of personal issues that have been throwing me off in the past week. One of which involving my mom destroying all her paintings, and giving me back the copy of my book i gave her telling me "She's read it already".

This does not help the balancing of my Chi. I'll probably escape into some old Chinese writings relatively soon, looking for a bit of inspiration to turn one of my outlines into a full fledged script.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms!

Oh fuck yes.

This was a fun movie to watch.

Ray Harryhausen's special effects really got big with this movie. The Beast is the earliest monster movie that I know of. It was made in 1953 and the effects of the monster rival that of Godzilla with Harryhausen's stop motion genius.

The movie starts off with a nuclear explosion in the arctic. After checking some meters in the area afterward, the scientists/explorers bump into 'The Monster' within a few minutes of the movie's beginning.

Afterward the explorer who saw the monster isn't taken seriously, and much of the film is the main character (who is a physicist) trying to prove that he's not insane by tracking down what the monster could be. Meanwhile there's reports of a 'sea serpant' attacking ships and the reports are slowly moving southward.

Ima eechuu!

The Beast's city attack takes place in Manhattan, which is honestly a great city for a monster on the loose film. The actual monster's special effects are well done. And the storyline behind the monster was well constructed. But it's origin story was that it was an oversized dinosaur that was set free by the atomic bomb. Apparently it had been frozen solid for over 100 million years.

As far as the origin story was concerned, Godzilla beats The Beast. Godzilla is an old radiated dinosaur with a beam (which explains why he's so beefed up), whereas The Beast is an old dinosaur fresh out of the microwave.

As far as comparing The Beast with Godzilla and other Japanese monster flicks, Godzilla takes the cake as far as depth of the film. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms was a comparatively shallow film and mirrors a lot of the same problems that Varan The Unbelievable has with its story, such as not having much to the plot other than the monster.

One thing happened with The Beast that I wasn't counting on. The creators of The Beast brought to the table that the monster on the loose could carry a disease. It's obvious that the makers of Cloverfield were inspired by this part of the film. As these are the only two monster movies I'm aware of that this plot device is used. And especially because there is apparently a screenshot of The Beast attacking Manhattan in the film somewhere.

For all monster movie fans, this film is a must see simply because it's classic. The monster is an amazing creature. The rest of the film, however, is a B movie plotline complete with random romance. Overall, however, worth the 79 minutes it takes to watch it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


In color?

THEM! is one of the earlier films to use radioactivity to create a monster of some sort. The team that made it is relatively unheard of, even among monster movie fans. But, it is nevertheless a very good film.

The setup to the film is done very mysteriously. It's an awesome film to watch when you have no idea that a shitload of ants are going to come later in the film. The characters at first think a torn apart trailer and general store are the work of some homicidal maniac that just has a strange taste. They find that someone is stealing shitloads of sugar and using formic acid as a weapon.

Mysterious hole in the wall.

The origin of the monsters in this film is that an atomic bomb testing in '45 has given off a significant amount of radiation and mutated a mound of desert ants. These ants have gotten progressively bigger and the radiation has caused a significant change in a lot of their biology along with just making them huge.

The writer obviously did his homework on ants. One of the first encounters with one of these ants is dealt with by shooting the antennae and disabling it's senses. THEN someone unloads a machine gun into it, proving that they're not really that invincible.

That's a big fuckin ant.

As the film goes on, the characters find and attack a nest full of these bastards and then invade it to check and make sure that everything's dead. These scenes are actually about as gripping as they should be. And for 1954 American special effects, well done.

After this, the ants are GONE for what seems like a very long time until essentially the end of the movie when there's a quite impressive standoff between the military and a bunch of ants. The lack of sheer number of ants is excused by the period in which the film was made, but I would like to have seen more of the buggers.

Flame throwers: better than a magnifying glass.

As far as the rest of the film goes, there's not much to it. I learned some cool info on ants through the mini-documentary that they have in the middle of the film. This definitely showed that the idea had plenty of badass points. However, I still raise the same complaint to this film that I had with The Beast. There needed to be more meat on the bones of this film.

As a film bearing shitloads of monsters and another random light romance, this is a good film. And this film should be seen due to it's classic-ness. I was the only person in the room of about sixty film students to get a joke someone made about this film that was hilarious. Everyone else suffice to say missed out because they didn't check this out. Give it a watch just for the 'cool' factor.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another quick comment on Twilight:

I agree.
But I make no excuses.


There's a new blog that some friends and I have put together called

Let's Watch Movies Until We Can't Feel Feelings Anymore!

LWMUWCFFA for short.

From now on, I'll be posting reviews that I write personally on here only after at least a day has passed with it being up on LWMUWCFFA, perhaps longer if I happen to feel lazy. There's also several other authors reviewing other movies at this site, so check it out! Follow it, subscribe, whatever.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Film: Twilight: I'm Revoking Hollywood's Vampire License.

The Bane of my Existence.

Everyone involved in the making of this movie needs to be killed by vampires.

I've heard about the recent craze about a vampire book a few years ago. I heard that it was the new Harry Potter. Now I never read the Harry Potter books, but I have seen the movies and I think that it's a good story and it does justice to wizards. The story is intricate, detailed, classic, and just overall awesome for pretty much anyone that doesn't hate it with prejudice. I have little criticism of the films.

With all this in mind, I had high expectations for the Twilight series. I took it in stride the same way I took the Harry Potter books. Listening to the craze but not really taking part in it. When I saw the trailers to the film, I turned skeptical.

Things were happening in daylight.

I was confused.

As any diehard vampire fan knows... daylight doesn't agree with vampires.

Finally, I went to see the film because there was a required showing at my film school. I got a good seat, and watched.

I was wracking my head the entire time at the shitty dialogue that happened throughout the beginning of the film. When this Edward Cullen character WALKS UP TO Bella and says "I think you should stay away from me." I hit the floor with laughter as did the rest of the theater of film students who are used to seeing stuff that's actually good.

THEN this stupid chick responds with "What if I don't want to?" Now keep in mind, this guy has been acting like a creepy stalker thoughout most of the film. So I deduct that the character Bella is either stupid, shallow, or both.

A few scenes later the two characters are head over heals in love with one another. Completely and totally irrationally and unjustifiably. No effort was made to get the audience to get in the relationship with these characters. They just suddenly confessed their love to one another as if it were literally on first sight.

You'd think that someone who's been a vampire for 90 years would have a somewhat mature understanding of love.

So after this they're running around with more shitty dialogue. This dialogue is not only shitty, it takes eons to get out. I swear there were scenes between these characters that were just there to take up time. About seven minutes would pass and about six two-word lines had been said. Beyond that, this movie contained the longest forced kiss I've ever seen on film.

In all of this, I summed up the film to a crappy little emo-girl vampire fantasy of living her oh-so-shitty life (cries) and is then whisked away by a vampire on some pre-pubescent wet dream fantasy of a limitedly attractive pale 'dream boy' devoid of personality.

A modern vampire that is still an actual vampire.

But what pissed me off the most about this film wasn't the shitty acting, shitty story, or shitty writing... but how this movie treated the vampire. Legends of vampires have been around for centuries and the story behind what they are varies with the exception of a few things. They always have fangs, and they always die if they get in the sunlight (speeds vary, but the rule is the same). There's an exception to Daywalkers, but those are only the most powerful of vampires.

John Carpenter's Vampires: Explode into flame when they get in the sunlight.

Dracula: Burns in the sunlight.

Underworld: Skin slowly burns off.

Let The Right One In: turn into an inferno.

Anne Rice Universe: Turn into ashes.


VAMPIRES SPARKLE!!! (and have no fangs)

And then the pretty ponies and unicorns come out and celebrate. A vampire just went into the daylight!


Stephanie Meyer has just revealed that all of her Vampires are not only supercharged in strength and speed, but are ALL DAYWALKERS!!!

All of her vampires are now practically invincible. Nothing can kill them. Absolutely nothing. Every Vampire character in this series is Over Powered to an insane level. Vampires are threatening and evil enough of an enemy as they are, but now we have 100% daywalker from birth vampires.


Vampires cannot survive in daylight for an extended period of time. Twilight vampires only become obvious.

This film does no justice or respect to the traditional vampire. The vampire is a dark nighttime creature that is nearly invincible but can be killed by the simplicity of the Sun. Even if it's cloudy. It's what makes them poetic. It's what makes them real and identifiable. They have a weakness and that weakness adds to the character.

Stealing this weakness can either take away or add to the character. In the case of Daywalkers, (John Carpenter, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Anne Rice's Lestat) it makes for a badass invincible vampire that is a force to be reckoned with BECAUSE he lacks the usual weakness.

But in the case of Twilight, it fucks up the whole concept by making ALL vampires invincible and logically impossible for a human to kill. Every single one of these vampires are on par with Lestat and Dracula even if they haven't lived beyond even 100 years as a vampire.

This is essentially babying down the vampire. Stephanie Meyer has stolen the real darkness from the vampire by liberating them from the night. They still get the pale skin because they avoid direct sunlight for no logical reason other than self-pity, but they lack the prison of night that so affects the vampire psychology.

In the entire cast of vampires from Twilight, I saw vampires hiding from essentially nothing. They have a power that is very corruptible with no weakness whatsoever, but they hide with the same fear we've seen of vampires before us. If you want to make all vampires Daywalkers, run with it. Make them monsters. Don't pussy out. If a human lives for more than 100 years with no weaknesses and a constant thirst for blood. Someone's going to get power-hungry.


I'd have less of a problem with this insanity if it wasn't so damn popular. Everywhere I look I see girls (and some guys) running around with their Twilight paraphernalia and talking about how hot Edward Cullen is. I even heard a review saying that Twilight is what a vampire movie should be. It saddens me that someone has babied down the vampire and is getting a positive reaction.

I wholeheartedly disagree.

Vampires have been influential in my life all the way back to the classic black and white Dracula. There's plenty of crappy vampire movies out there. But this one is the worst that I've ever seen, and I've seen some shitty vampire movies. But the reasoning behind the shittiness for this one for me is that it spits in the face of everything that came before it.

This movie is by far the worst of the recent crappy releases to come out of Hollywood.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Film: Children of Paradise

I saw this film on the big screen on a print. It was showing at my school and I figured... foreign film (french), B&W, made in '44... I'm game. It's also apparently ranked no.5 or something among the greatest french films ever made.

Being recently interested in French cinema, I decided to check it out. Afterwards I found out it was three hours long. I figured... well alright. I've seen movies pour over the normal time limit and do fine. Seven Samurai and Kingdom of Heaven to name a couple.

Apparently it was separated into two movies because the Nazis would not allow commercial films go over 90 minutes. I tend to agree on the Nazis on this one. But not completely. So what the director decided to do was to end the first film suddenly, and then release a second film with the same title subsequently.

The first half of the film is mostly a disconnected plot line with shitloads of people irrationally falling in love with one another. There are several characters that are rather easy to keep up with, but I found that I didn't identify with a single one of them (except probably for one character who I found to be the saving grace of the film).

This guy is awesome.

The film is mainly about a mime (funambul) who has a beautiful girl in love with him who he has no real feelings for. But he falls in love at first sight with this not-so-pretty woman who he has a passing moment with and she smiles at him and gives him a flower or some shit. This is the main plot out of several characters who get intertwined in an intense plot that has everything to do with irrational feelings of love (we're talking maybe three minutes after they met and confessing love for one another).

I found myself frustrated throughout the first half of the film with the illogical actions of the characters. It had it's moments of awesome, but was mostly disjointed and the characters kept getting out of character. Not to mention it ends suddenly on a very random note that has nothing to do with the rest of the plot.

The French are so weird.

The second film, or second part rather (damn Nazis) was much more satisfying. I was thrown aback by the introduction when it summed up the first part of the film up to the completely random ending and then said SEVERAL YEARS LATER.


The ending was so random, I had expected it to jump right back into the story, but no.

I won't give any spoilers about the rest of the movie because it's probably worth checking out for the sake of knowing your French Cinema. And the characters actually stay true to themselves throughout the second part of the film. But there was one awesome character who hates all of society that does some pretty amazing stuff in the second part of the film. Of the entire film I found that character to be the only saving grace of the whole thing.

Overall, I walked out of the theater feeling like I had wasted three hours of my life, but having another classic under my belt and feeling ultimately satisfied with the few minutes of film that mattered. If I had been the editor of this film, I would have cut it down to about 90 minutes and made the Nazis happy as well as future viewers.