Archive for November, 2009

Welcome Back to Primetime, Bitch, err Freddy.

Posted in Film with tags , , , on November 26, 2009 by joeylabartunek

I’m going to avoid all the snarky comments that come to my mind when the words “Michael Bay” or “remake” come to mind, I’m sure you can fill those in yourself without any nudging from me.   And I sort of passed over the trailer for the Bay produced “Nightmare on Elm Street” remake, because I was trying to reserve more judgement until I saw a bit more.  I mean, I’d like to be enthusiastic that Rorshach (Jackie Earle Haley) is playing Krueger, that’s a great call and reason enough to be excited.

But so much of the trailer seemed like slightly re-shot scenes from the original to me, so I thought it best to shut my mouth just a little longer.   But to quench any thirst for Nightmare info, here’s a new image leaked from toymaker NECA showing the first good look at the Dream Master.  Of course, except for what looks like shoddier makeup than the original, not much has changed.    Fuck, I’m dropping this before an ill-informed rant comes spilling from my finger tips.

It's good that three or four decades did shit for Freddie's fashion sense.

For those that missed it too, here’s the trailer I was referring to:

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Universal Martial Artists

Posted in Film with tags , , , , on November 24, 2009 by joeylabartunek

I guess it was inevitable that once the flood gates of UFC fighters jumping out of the Octagon and into other media outlets started, there would be no holding back more and more fighters from taking a stab at the acting bug.  Of course, I never in a million years would have expected the Eastern Block werewolf himself, Belarusian Andre Arlovski to show up in a flick, much less a sequel to a cheesy, fan favorite action flick side by side with  it’s two original stars.  But then I saw this:

JCVD, Dolph Lundgren, AND Arlovski?  You can feel the cheese bubbling forth already… Sold.

Android Relativity

Posted in Tech with tags , on November 24, 2009 by joeylabartunek

Seeing as how I rambled on for days with that musical report earlier, I’m gonna take it easy the rest of the night on the writing.  Instead, have a few random videos to pass the time.  First up, taking a cue from the infamous and maybe still missing android head of Phillip K. Dick, the at once very creepy and at the same time adorable Albert Einstein android head:

Thanks to William Gibson, via Twitter

Caveman Versus The High School Musical

Posted in Personal/Creative with tags , on November 23, 2009 by joeylabartunek

We fear that pop-culture is the only culture we’re ever going to have.”
– KMFDM, “Dogma”

So there I was, crawling up the 405, looking suspiciously at my brother’s truck as it started sputtering somewhere around the 60MPH mark. I knew the beast would make it, the question was how slowly would I have to travel not to piss it off too much. And of course I was running late.  My sibling and I had been sharing vehicles because the legality of mine had recently come into question and seeing as how our schedules are all yin and yang, it was the easiest solution.  The details of that story are just about to expire in a couple of weeks, and it’s just a conversational topic likely to lead to some frustration I’ve been trying to work out of my system like an unhappy mushroom trip.

 

Calabasas, a land as black as mens hearts.

My destination was one of those places that men whisper about in dark, crowded taverns when too much cheap booze has loosened their tongues, Calabasas, land of sculptured mom’s, expensive European cars, and regulation Ugg boots.  Having well prepared myself mentally before I left the house, if you know what I mean, I felt I was more than prepared for horrors the likes of which I hadn’t witnessed in two decades:  The High School Musical.

 

My friend Jennifer had gone back to her alma-mater, Calabasas High, to choreograph a production of “Beauty and The Beast” and it was the last day of their run.  After some insistent arm-twisting on her part, I had run out of wiggle room, and I agreed to drag myself out of the cave and head deeper into the Valley for a viewing.  Jenn and I have been friends for a relatively short amount of time in the grand scheme of things, but when we were in film school we produced each others thesis films and I was additionally the first assistant director on her film “Attack at Zombie High”.  What, you haven’t seen it? Here’s a trailer

 

So I have what I can only imagine amounts to the feeling that platoon-mates in wartime might feel.  You know, that kind of bond formed after watching a bullet wiz between your heads, and the realization it could have been the end of either of you.  Which of course brings us to how I let myself get talked into once again walking the halls of Calabasas High, something I had thought I put way behind me several long, cold shooting nights last summer.  But there I was.

Luckily time was on my side and I rolled into will call with two minutes to spare, grabbed my ticket and headed inside.  The auditorium was filled with so much emerging hormones and semi-reptilian stretched skin faces that it was difficult to catch my bearings.  I knew my chances for survival were increased because my age lies somewhere in that gray zone, where I’m too old to be cougar bait and obviously old enough not to be pestered by the local fauna and so I felt my chances of making it without incident were pretty high.  Jennifer had reserved a seat for me, which I’m sure she thought was incredibly amusing, up front and center, so finding my path even in my disoriented and paranoid state proved easy.  Yep, somehow i had landed prime seat in the house, which just fucking figures.

What I didn’t realize, although considering the circumstances I probably should have, was that it wasn’t just ‘Beauty and the Beast’, but an adaptation of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast”, but we’ll get to that.  I’m about as far from a musical lover as you can possibly get  My idea of a good musical involves music by the likes of The Who, Richard O’Brian, or John Cameron Mitchell so I’ll lay off any real criticism of the performance.  And besides, it seemed pretty good to me.  The dance numbers were great to Jenn’s credit, and the makeup and Beast effects were excellently done by Caitlin Brisbin, the same effects artist we employed to do Zombie High.  And this was far beyond what I remember the high school musicals being like when I was forced to sit through them in my teen years.  There was wirework, explosions, and simulated snow adding some nice touches.  Of course it was still just painted scenery, and the singing while great for what they were trying to do still isn’t exactly my thing.  There’s something about that long sustained note the leads of these things hit, right where it starts to vibrate heavily and it just starts to pound my frontal lobe like a Fremen’s thumper.  I suspect this is just the result of faulty wiring in my head that prevents me from truly appreciating the talent on display.

This is probably more like what i thought of when I heard "Beauty and the Beast"


Of course this wouldn’t be an adventure of mine if I didn’t take umbrage with something and this one was easy.  I’m no expert on the tale, but a quick Wikipedia search reveals that the story of Beauty and the Beast originated somewhere around 1740.  But this was no normal rendition of the tale, as I said, this was an adaptation of the Disney version.  And it just struck me kind of weird that we’re getting to a point where the recognized version of a story that we’re teaching our kids is a version dreamed up in a modern age studio by animators and a large corporation.  How long until the old versions and imagery are completely lost and replaced by cartoons and the parodies thereof?  Of course this is Calabasas, home to many the Hollywood retiree, so this may just be a localized event, but I’m doubting it.  And it is food for thought.

But I’m not going to dwell.  I don’t know much about performance, but the production was great.  And it was good to see a friend stepping up and having a part in something bigger and as these things go, so well done.

This Year’s HorrorFest Website Goes Live

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 21, 2009 by joeylabartunek

The After Dark HorrorFest is a yearly collection of eight independent horror films, some good–some bad, that get crammed together and shown in theaters consecutively over one weekend.  If you’re too slow, like I was last year, it can completely pass you by and you never even noticed that you missed something great.  And while previous years have had plenty of groan worthy material, there’s usually at least one or two gems buried deep in their cinematic graveyards.

This year’s HorrorFest website has officially gone live (follow that link!), showcasing a few of the trailers from this year’s entries.  There’s nothing finer than popcorn, a date, and a bad (or even better, great) horror film, and I’m not talking about all of the usual overly-polished crap that gets pumped into the cinaplexes like so much Augustus Gloop.  And it’s a really good way to show support for some of these smaller horror flicks and the folks who make them.  So do yourself a favor and put January 29th on the calendar for at least one of these babies.

Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon.

Posted in Personal/Creative with tags , , , on November 20, 2009 by joeylabartunek

"Alright you can come, but you can't watch. And there's no way that kids getting in!"

So the coffee’s made.  Sitting on the couch as I write this, a change from my normal tether to the tower in my bedroom.  So I’m settling in, loading up some Dragon Age.  Don’t ask me how good it is, I haven’t played far enough in yet to have an idea, but The Mayor was raving about it, so I have high hopes.  And the combat system seems really great so far, a very cool and vast improvement on old multi-character drag em outs.

Already did my morning wake and Beatles RB, that was number one just to kick things off while the beans brewed.  I’ve set a new personal goal in life, to learn to play ‘Don’t Let Me Down‘ and ‘I Dig a Pony‘ on expert bass flawlessly while singing. Bitches.  No it’s not saving the planet or anything remotely noble, but it’s the little goals in life that make it go around.  And besides it makes every morning just a tiny bit easier no matter what the day may hold.

But it’s not all fun and games.  I’ve been working on getting some footage Paper Beats Rock shot a few weeks back on to Dave’s Final Cut System.  I won’t bore you with the gorey details, but it was shot on a Red camera and this seems to introduce all kinds of problems to the process.  I really want to get to cutting and pulling out the green screen on this beast, it was a lot of fun to shoot and I think it’s gonna be a blast to work on.  But of course, sadly mirroring day to day situations at work, the day shift and the night shift don’t always have clear lines of communication and all sorts of little bastardly potholes keep showing up in the road.

Is this gracefully enough for you?

Anyways, birthday was a normal day, which is ok in my book.  I’ve accepted growing old gracefully finally, but I don’t feel the urge to celebrate it much.  Aaaaand because I’m a terrible father, I gotta see the dog soon, it was his birthday too and he knows I owe him some time.

Alright that was easy.  So off to dig into Dragon Age a bit before work preparations begin.

Of course:
“Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon” – The Kinks

(And do yourself a favor and watch that video, those are some Kink-stastic haircuts.)

Dr. Stranger With Candy

Posted in Comics, Funny Stuff with tags on November 20, 2009 by joeylabartunek

Now if it were *my* creepy molester van, Strange would be holding Clea in his arms atop a pyramid.

Thanks to The Beat for this silliness.