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Friday, May 16, 2008

The Bill O'Reilly outburst: what you DIDN'T see

Someone just sent this to me, and I've watched it 4 times already. You've all seen the O'Reilly outburst tape, and I'm sure you wondered just who he was talking to. Well, the folks at Barely Political have the OTHER side of the situation.


Star Wars: Cosby Strikes Back

This wins the "what is this crazy, random shit?!?!" award.


REVIEW: Speed Racer

I've been a fan of Speed Racer since I was a kid. I used to watch it almost religiously after school. Sure, the design was simplistic, the animation minimal (sloppy, even), but that's not why you watched Speed Racer. You watched it for the races. You watched it for the crazy characters. You watched it, most of all, to see Speed use all of the Mach 5's tricks and gadgets to beat out the competition.

They have been talking about making a live-action version of this series for YEARS. Directors from Tim Burton to Hype Williams were attached, with actors like Johnny Depp and Nicholas Cage as Speed and Rex Racer, AKA Racer X. But now, after years of waiting, the film finally hits the big screen, this time in the visually capable eyes of The Warchowski Brothers (or is it "siblings" now?). How'd they do?

Visually, this film is a masterpiece.

The Warchowski's have taken what they've learned from the Matrix films, and expounded on it in ways that will change the way films look and feel for the next several years. How many times have you seen the "bullet time" effect copied in movies and video games after the first Matrix film came out? When the second film came along, it seemed like no action movie could be made without a freeway chase sequence. And now, after Speed Racer, expect to see all kinds of wacky compositing shots, transition effects, and the almost seemless integration of CG and live action to create worlds that are truly unique and visually stunning.

However, like the Matrix, you still have to sit through boring scenes of dialogue and sub-standard storytelling before you can get to the good stuff. It gets so now that, as much as I like the Matrix films, I haven't watched any of them in their entirety in a long time. I just watch the action and effects parts, and that's it. And this film is no exception. At 2.25 hours, it sags in the middle, but there's enough visual goodness going on to keep you interested.

As far as the performances are concerned, everyone does just fine. John Goodman is perfect as Pops Racer, as is Christina Ricci as "Trixie". Emile Hirsch as Speed, Susan Sarandon as Mom Racer, Matthew Fox as Racer X....all are good and fine (no Keanu-style acting here).

All that said, this is a KIDS FILM. It's silly, and at some points can even be annoying (thanks to Spriddle and Chim-Chim-- the kid and the monkey)...and there's even an anti-cooties message before a kissing scene (cute). When I left the theater, kids were running around, making race car sounds and pretending to drive. It definitely hits its target audience...but with an opening box office of $20 million dollars for a film that cost $120 million...that's not going to be enough.

Speed Racer will find its audience on DVD and Blu-Ray, when people will be able to fast forward to the race scenes and other visually impressive stuff. Look at this film as an FX show reel-- a demonstration of what is possible in the world of CGI....then, roll a fatty, and enjoy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Some of the people I've talked to about the presidential campaign are very pessimistic. They don't believe that Barack Obama will win the nomination, and they REALLY don't believe that he will be the President of the United States.

Watch this clip from Hard Ball, with Chris Matthews. It's about 9.5 minutes, and worth every moment. This clip represents what we will see this fall. Witness the GOP "straw man" as it is dismantled, burned, and pissed on.

Just look at how Kevin James, a conservative talk-show host, tries in earnest to defend George W. Bush's suggestion that Barack Obama's foreign policy is similar to that of Nazi appeasers, specifically U.S. Republican Senator Neville Chamberlain. He starts in like a blathering blow-hard, but ends with him picking up the pieces of his shattered ego from the floor.

Glaring ignorance, ridiculous spin, pathetic ideology, sewer-based ethics.

See? And this is only the beginning.

Read more here....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Clinton wins West Virgina.


I'm listening to her acceptance speech for the last...I think 10 minutes, maybe...

She sounds so fake.

I just don't understand the people that think that she is going to get the nomination. And I can't believe that they're still talking about Michigan and Florida.

These people are stubborn, unethical...and such poor losers.

I like how they made sure that they put a black guy in the shot. "See?! Here's a black guy! He voted for her-- look!!!!"

This is the most honest reporting I've seen on the voters of W.V....

Friday, May 9, 2008

Go, Speed, Go!

It's a shame that with all that is going on this political season, that it has taken me almost 2 months to make a new posting, and it has to do with a goofy movie that seemingly NO ONE is going to see....

I loved Speed Racer since I was a kid, and I have been looking forward to a theatrical version for a long time-- I remember when they were talking about Johnny Depp as Speed, and Nick Cage as Racer X, with Hype Williams directing (true story). Now we have the Warchowski Siblings, and a cast of actors that (with the exception of John GOodman and Susan Sarandon, and Christina Ricci), I am completely unfamiliar with. At any rate, I 'm looking forward to seeing it...bad writing and mediocre directing aside (sorry, siblings, but you can't do either of those things to save your lives...).

Yahoo Movies just posted a clip of the first 7 minutes of the film and, frankly, I liked what I saw..."saw" being the operative word. However, I saw a shot that I wanted to examine further:

This is a crowd shot that is on scene for all of 2.5-3 seconds (as Speed Racer 'rounds a turn on the track, the camera pans up to this shot). Being a film-geek, and an effects nerd, and a filmmaker myself....I am very interested in how things are done, how shots are created, etc....the interesting thing about this shot is this:

Each color signifies a person that has been duplicated, or cloned. Some of the actors are cloned up to 20 times, sometimes it's the same shot, sometimes a different shot, sometimes the shots are put right next to each other...and they didn't even bother to changes the colors OR the outfits they're wearing! I only pointed out 4 actors here; there are SEVERAL more to see...

Now, they could possibly be really REALLY trying to be like a live-action cartoon; many cartoons makers cut corners and use cheats, and duplicate characters to save time/money....but why this is going on in a movie that costs WELL OVER $100 million dollars is beyond me. Homage? Or laziness....?

I'm watching this movie tonight the Beatles suggest, I will definitely "Roll up" for this one......