Showing 11 - 20 of 22 posts found matching keyword: otto

March movies concluded.

59. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
I generally don't like werewolf films, but since I was planning to watch New Moon, I figured I owed this horror classic the old college try. To my surprise, I hadn't missed anything. To sum up: a boy is bitten by a werewolf but survives, told by his dead friend that he will become a werewolf, turns into a werewolf, and is killed. The SFX are good, but someone really should have tried to squeeze a little plot under all that makeup.

60. The H-Man (1958)
This movie has a significantly better user rating on imdb.com than New Moon, proving the adage that you shouldn't believe everything you read. Even if you hated New Moon, there's nothing here that's remotely better. The special effects of melting people -- every bit as creepy if slightly more mysterious than the melting Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark -- are the highlight of this pedestrian Japanese morality tale of the dangers of the radiation tests. That's two movies in a row where special effects are used to cover weak stories. It's a trend!

63. Die, Monster, Die! (1965)
After H-Man, this horrible movie looks like an award winner. Dialogue is long and pointless, characters are wooden, and sets are cluttered. There is a scene in this film where the protagonists discover a hothouse filled with truly horrific creatures that could be demons or mutants, and they act as though they were seeing something as ordinary as chickens. (The female lead inexplicably saves her screams for far more mundane thunderstorms and locked doors.) At least the film does have a significantly creepy and mysterious atmosphere, which was enough to keep me watching.

64. 30 Minutes or Less (2011)
I am so sick of Jesse Eisenberg and Danny McBride. Fortunately Fred Ward and Aziz Ansari appeared just often enough to keep the timer going on this "comedy."

65. Suddenly (1954)
I told my friend Chris that he was probably the only person I knew who would be even slightly interested in the fact that I had just watched a b-movie in which hired assassin Frank Sinatra kills a television repairman. Without hesitation Chris replied, "hey, I own Suddenly!"

66. Priest (2011)
In a past life, my brother worked in Hollywood where he developed a mancrush on actor Paul Bettany. Since then, Trey insists that I watch all things Bettany does. Trey was quite pissed to learn that I had watched Twilight despite my aversion to vampire-themed fiction and demanded that I finally watch Bettany's vampire-themed Priest. Don't tell Trey, but this movie co-stars Cam Gigandet, the villain from Twilight. (And he's delightful!)

68. Superheroes (2011)
A documentary about the people who dress up like superheroes and fight "crime," by which they typically mean homelessness.

69. Zero Hour! (1957)
I watched this knowing that it is the film that Airplane! is based on. What I did not know was that the two movies share the same script: Zero Hour! is Airplane! without the punchlines. Save yourself the trouble and just watch Airplane!.

70. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
A fantastic movie. Sometimes, casting does make all the difference, but it really helps when they have a great script to work with.

71. The Big Sleep (1946)
This bit of film noir provided several scenes for Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, but fails to be anything more than a vehicle for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. For die-hard film noir (or Bogart) fans only.

72. Friends with Benefits (2011)
Why try so hard to convince the audience that you aren't just another romantic comedy while being just another romantic comedy? I liked it despite this flaw, mostly because Justin Timberlake is so willing to make a fool of himself for my entertainment.

73. Dirigible (1931)
Frank Capra directed this film, but I watched it because it of its subject matter (the dirigibles, not the cliche polar expedition disaster). I marvel that Ralph Graves had a career as a romantic leading man: his kisses look like assaults. After he "assaulted" Fay Wray early in the movie, I kept cheering for him to die. However, Frank Capra provides the expected saccharin ending, more disappointing than ever when the wrong boy gets the girl in the end.

74. Game Change (2012)
Again, I almost didn't watch this because it was a biopic, but the allure of Woody Harrelson proved too great. Yes, the film is a hit job on Sarah Palin (the woman simply can't be that demented in real life), but it has the side effect of making John McCain look like a modern Teddy Roosevelt. I'm voting for Ed Harris in 2012!

75. The Mechanic (2011)
The sex scenes in this remake seem to define "gratuitous nudity" and left me wondering if the original film showed Charlie Bronson having vigorous sex with topless girls half his age. I guess I need to see the 1972 original and find out.

After watching 75 new-to-me movies by the end of March, I'm already halfway to my goal of 150 on the year. I think I'll take it easy in April. It sure can be hard work trying to watch a movie every day. I'm sacrificing considerable video game time.

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While there was plenty of buzz this year about the DC relaunch of Batman and Detective Comics, the Batman news that has really broken the internet apart is the pending release of Batman: Arkham City, the sequel to 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum video game. The biggest buzz for the game concerns the excitement that players can now be Catwoman. I remember Halle Berry's Catwoman, and I want no part of that.

However, I have a friend -- for the sake of maintaining his anonymity, we will call him Chris -- who has mentioned to me three times in the past month that he is counting the days until the game is released (three weeks from today). Because Chris is a friend, I'm declaring this a testament to the high quality of Batman: Arkham Asylum and not to the dismal state of Chris' life. If a 40-year old man can be motivated to create a countdown clock for the release of a video game, maybe it's a video game I should consider playing. Once I can find a cheap, used copy, of course.

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While we are on the subject of awesome things that I have done, I should go ahead and re-introduce you to ottolange.com. Otto is a friend of mine, and I have worked on several versions of his website, the latest of which I uploaded this weekend. I can't take full credit for the design, as it is based strongly on Otto's desires, but the function is 100% mine. So don't be taken in by all that pretty artwork: the site's real beauty is on the inside.

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Please excuse the lateness of this posting. I usually try to post UGA game day updates on the day of the game. This week's kickoff wasn't until after 7PM, and the game didn't end until much, much later. Saying that this year's Bulldog games have been running long is like saying that the Jurassic Period only lasted a few years. Fortunately, the Dawgs won again, if barely. They are certainly playing some frustratingly exciting ball in Athens this year.

UGA 20, ASU 17

So far this year, watching the Georgia Bulldogs play has been like learning to swim: you spend a lot of time holding your breath. That was especially true Saturday, as the game versus Arizona State University kicked off in an early evening downpour. (Is it irony that we were playing a team that calls a desert home?) The first half was so wet that they refused to let the band on the field at halftime. Yet they did allow the majorettes to simultaneously juggle up to 4 flaming batons. Fortunately, none of the batons were dropped, because contact with the waterlogged ground would certainly have extinguished the flames.

The game was not televised locally, so my brother and father, both huge football fans, could not see it. However a friend of mine who has a satellite television package but minimal interest in football did watch it. After the game he asked me, "why do you watch this crap?" Despite some soul searching, I couldn't give him a very good answer. But so long as the game is close I am entertained by it, even if we turn the ball over frequently, struggle to tackle ball carriers, are punished by some inexplicable officiating, and run some very questionable offensive plays that fail to take advantage of our strengths and expose ourselves to huge losses and stalled drives. (I'm looking at you, soon to be ex-Offensive Coordinator Bobo).

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I have a friend -- a real friend, not the Facebook variety -- who has a specific use for Facebook: he's trying to become "friends" with all of his favorite character actor television stars of the 1970s. He's particularly partial to Don Stroud. Most of you would know Stroud from... well, most of you won't know him, but trust me when I say you've seen him in something. ("Facebook friend" is sure to soon be the new shorthand term for "that guy looks vaguely familiar.") My friend has also recently "befriended" Robert Conrad of Baa Baa Black Sheet and Wild Wild West fame (the man loves his alliteration) and Lynda Carter. Sweet, sweet Lynda Carter.

So maybe Facebook isn't all bad but that's as far as I'm willing to bend on that point.

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I spent this past weekend at a fine art opening in the Miller Gallery, located in the picturesque Hyde Park region of Cincinnati, Ohio. But before you congratulate me, let me say that it wasn't my opening. I was a tagalong. (The proverbial "third wheel," not the tasty Girl Scout Cookie.) This event was for real artists, not graphic/web designers. So what if I can write scripts in php so elegant that you could cry? You don't code with a paint brush. (If you did, it'd be really hard to see the monitor.)

Painters are a funny lot. On the whole, I don't suspect that we are any different than the rest of the population. Sure, most of us are driven by a desire to flee typical social conventions. And maybe more than our share have a fear of soap and water. But by and large, artists are exactly the same as anyone else: put enough of them in a room, and you'll get the spontaneously occurring artist's version of the pissing contest. With artists, it's always whose theory is best. The problem with this, of course, is that unlike the traditional pissing-contest arbitration method of comparing sexual conquests, which can be qualified and quantified, artists are forced to prove whose figurative brush is biggest by comparing their lifestyles: "I'm more artistically countercultural than you are!"

At a rather posh dinner this weekend one artist bragged that he didn't watch television, as it drained his creativity just as it does the millions of huddled masses who spend hour after hour on the couch. (He said this wearing a shirt that looked as though it had never seen an iron.) Not to be one-upped, another questioned everyone else's integrity by challenging their satisfaction and drive. (The only way to nirvana is through suffering. Not selling enough $2,000 paintings, it would seem, counts as very painful.) A third complained/boasted that long hours in the studio led to excessive loneliness. (Though you wouldn't have any idea that he was friendless based on the number of patron names he was dropping.)

If this sounds stupid, that's because it is. All of these artists are fantastically talented. However, having great technique is like having the most expensive car in your neighborhood: everyone knows, but that's not going to stop you from bragging.

Cincinnati sure looks good from this angle.

Meanwhile, I spent most of the weekend trying to stay out of their way to intermediate degrees of success. Still, every day is a learning opportunity, and following is a short list of information gathered while I was out of pocket:

  • If a Cinicinnatian offers to let you swim in their pool, do it. It's really the path of least resistance.
  • Speaking of Cincinnatians, word to the wise: they don't think that WKRP jokes are funny.
  • Chicks dig robots and doughnuts with sprinkles.
  • Unlike Paul Newman, if you're going to deface a parking meter, wait until after midnight and act like you know what you're doing.
  • Bicycle racing is like poetry: it's created only for the enjoyment of the writer/rider and is really, really boring to everyone else.

So a good time was had by all. Unlike most gallery owners, everyone associated with the Miller Gallery is a gem of a human being. (Read: Buy their art.) I'll have to go back one day soon, as I didn't find out until after the trip that Cincinnati's Union Terminal Train Station was the inspiration for the Super Friends' Hall of Justice. Sightseeing fail!

By the way, If you're an art fan, you may wish to check out the work of artists Jessica Hess, Eric Joyner, and Otto Lange. Be sure not to judge them by their web sites, though. After all, while they're fantastic painters and really great people, they're not graphic/web designers.

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Last month, I received a signed book from a friend's employer, one of the world's foremost authorities on Superhero Mego figures. This month, I'm working for another friend's employer, one of the world's foremost authorities on Coca-Cola bottles.

This week's moral is "learn more about something than anyone else, and someday maybe you, too, can meet me." (Sorry, no autographs.)

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My friend (who I usually call Chris, but for the sake of protecting his anonymity, for the rest of this blog posting, I'll refer to him as Otto, because, well, he calls himself Otto) has just completed a painting of Adam West as Batman and listed it on eBay. He's got an image of the painting as well as a "making of" video on his blog here.

Batman 106:

(Don't worry. Robin throws a batarang through the canvas to prevent Batman from revealing his identity. Hey, that's what sidekicks are for, right? And that should definitely teach Batman not to host oil painting classes for the Associated Press again.)

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Yesterday, a friend and I were trying to reconstruct the basics of sexual baseball. We were both sure that "first base" was a kiss and intercourse was "home plate." However, we could come to no consensus about what hitting a double or a triple equated to in the sexual arena. We argued over whether or not third base was oral sex, mostly because my friend supports the Democrat party line and claims that "sexual relations" doesn't include oral sex. I suppose the facts that neither of us cares much for baseball and he's long married and I'm socially inept contributed to this confusion greatly.

That got me thinking about sports metaphors for sex and dating. Running the previously mentioned bases, "hitting a home run," and "striking out" are all clearly baseball inspired. I can't think of any other sports that have donated quite so many terms as metaphors for sex. Are these other sports so exciting that sex pales in comparison? Should we start calling the ménage à trois a "hat trick." Or perhaps rename premature ejaculation to "scoring a safety"?

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A friend of mine calls me and tells me that he's adding me to his cell phone favorites list. "Hey," he says, "do you want to be the skull-and-crossbones icon? It's the only thing in here that's even kind of Evil." Now THAT should be one of those sappy Peanuts "Friendship Is..." strips.

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To be continued...

 

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