The Commencement of Commencement Advice Commences

There's nothing more useless than unsolicited advice.  I was going to preface that with When you're young, but it's really applicable to all ages. Unsolicited advice simply comes at a much greater frequency when you're young. As I age (like a slowly ripening then rotting apple; that is the metaphor I've chosen to age by), I understand this … Continue reading The Commencement of Commencement Advice Commences

Why do I binge watch seven seasons of a tv show, but can’t force myself to watch a two-hour movie?

This post started as a note in my journal: one of those things that starts crawling out from your head while you're in the shower, like a worm on the sidewalk in the rain. I meant to write it before the Oscars, because that makes it seem topical rather than tangential. But alas. Every year, Husband … Continue reading Why do I binge watch seven seasons of a tv show, but can’t force myself to watch a two-hour movie?

Random Train of Thought Departing from The Grand Budapest Hotel

When The Grand Budapest Hotel opened last weekend, Husband and I missed it. It was only playing in one theatre and it sold out. (Get your shit together, Vancouver.) One week on, even with a wider release, we barely squeezed into the theatre. Casting glances around to our fellow movie-goers, I realized that the stereotype … Continue reading Random Train of Thought Departing from The Grand Budapest Hotel

A Not-So-Polite Rant About The Great Gatsby

As I remember fondly from working at a bookstore, every time a movie adaptation of a book comes out (especially one starring a quote - heartthrob - endquote) it creates a certain rush of readers: people who only pick up books with movie posters for a cover. No judgment. Really. Whatever gets you reading. I … Continue reading A Not-So-Polite Rant About The Great Gatsby

Is the Development Still Arrested After all These Years?

It's been how many years now since Arrested Development went off the air? Oh jeez, I've lost count. I do know it started about eight or nine years ago, and that's when I started watching. I've also lost track of how many people I've introduced it to, of course then needing to watch it along with them. This … Continue reading Is the Development Still Arrested After all These Years?

Am I the only one who doesn’t like Downton Abbey?

For such a critically acclaimed show, Downton Abbey is pretty crap. What are the problems with it? Those frequently cited include: contrived, formulaic, elitist, and cloying. But others? I think the fact that it is so highly rated is what makes this almost unbearable. Were this show just considered so-so, I'd be fine with it. … Continue reading Am I the only one who doesn’t like Downton Abbey?

My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

(Originally published at Press Plus 1) (SPOILER-FREE, BUT YOU WILL PROBABLY HATE ME ANYWAY) I've lamented before, often at great length, about the inherent difficulties that lie in attempting to review something so beloved as Harry Potter. That difficulty is only compounded when taking into account the fact that this is indeed the last film … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

Originally published at Press Plus 1 WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS It’s difficult to offer a review of a Harry Potter movie without first providing a preface stating one’s biases. Are you a Harry Potter fan? If you aren't, why are you going to bother seeing (the first part of) the last instalment now? Why are … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

My Top Ten Background Movies

It's nice. It really helps me balance my day. It's a distraction from whatever tedium you're trying to work through. You can tell yourself: "I'm going to plug in Braveheart and work/study/clean throughout the whole thing." Bam. Two VHS cassette tapes later and you've spent a good three hours getting shit done. So what characterizes a good background film?

The Decade in Film: Crime, Crimefighters, Crime, and More Crimefighters

The Bourne Effect The spy for the 21st century was not James Bond, but Jason Bourne. The grittiness, global perspective, and moral quandaries of the Bourne triology (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum) instantly rendered James Bond moot. In following with the general post-9/11 trends, the Bourne films did not present … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Crime, Crimefighters, Crime, and More Crimefighters

The Decade in Film: True Stories and Those Based on Them

The Biopic as Classic Narrative The biopic has always been a Hollywood staple, and has traditionally been treated as a sweeping epic: one whole life’s story. Over the years, what was once a glorification, or even blatant excuse for hero-worship, produced warts-and-all critiques. As the last decade began, we were still watching our most beloved … Continue reading The Decade in Film: True Stories and Those Based on Them

The Decade in Film: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Art has always lit the way for the great march forward. Hollywood, purveyor of popular art and entertainment, has always had to tread a careful line between progressive art and conservative entertainment. You need to push enough boundaries to stay relevant but be familiar enough not to alienate your audience. It is not surprising then, … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

The Decade in Film: The Epic and Science Fiction

Death of the Epic The arrival of The Lord of the Rings arguably killed the epic. Virtually every traditional fantasy film – pumped out at a consistent rate in an attempt to duplicate The Lord of the Rings success – since has flopped. Think merely of other (mostly children’s) book adaptations, such as Eragon, Beowulf … Continue reading The Decade in Film: The Epic and Science Fiction

The Decade in Film: Introduction

Throughout the great interwebs are a million articles on the best films and best television shows of the decade. As arbitrary and meaningless as it is to divide human history into ten year periods, each decade’s zeitgeist doesn’t magically change over night as December 31st becomes January 1st. Attitudes and values evolve over time, and … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Introduction

Out of 25,000 readers, only 71 will leave comments, and 2/3 of them will be jerks.

IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, does a list (a "Hit List") every day of several different articles appearing around the Interwebs. I usually submit my different articles (the more interesting ones) that I write at Celluloid Heroes, mostly because the odd person reads through the thread of suggested links. However, today (which I, as a … Continue reading Out of 25,000 readers, only 71 will leave comments, and 2/3 of them will be jerks.

My Top Ten Antiheroes

Ever since Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost, there's always been a certain je ne sais quoi about a well-wrought antihero. Whether cheeky rogue or bloodthirsty tyrant, an antihero is a welcome deviation from the white-hatted norm. At once both appalling and subversive, a good bad guy / bad good guy always proves a more interesting character than the morally unambiguous square-jawed hero. Here we count down the top ten!

My Top Ten Animated Films

I watched The Triplets of Belleville for the first time a week or so ago, and, as expected, I was blown away. "That makes the top ten," I instantly thought, which led me to consider what my top ten animated films actually would be. This list is skewed towards animated films as best enjoyed by the grown-up audience, that me, a twenty-something, can enjoy without needed to pry out that Freudian inner child. With that said, maybe I am rather childlike to begin with, as I love a good poop joke.

It’s so dreamy… oh fantasy free me…

On Halloween, I managed to avoid the usual cliche of a dreary, drunken party and handed out candy with my family, and took my little cousin, Noah, out for his first trick-or-treat. Cute, mildly entertaining, not wild. Then, however, Roommate Shannon and I went out to a Midnight Movie: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I … Continue reading It’s so dreamy… oh fantasy free me…

Film Fonts Dos and Don’ts

If you're going through the pain and torture of creating a film, it's not that much more difficult to dedicate a little extra effort to the credits. Simply inserting whatever font in Final Cut works is really just half-assing it. Let's be honest. So, yes, I can be a bit of a typography geek, but there really are some basic typographical rules that one should adhere to. Typography is an art, but one of those subtle arts that has been dragged kicking and screaming into the contemporary, post-modern era where it has a chance to sink or swim. While even an eight-year-old could pick Arial out of a line-up, there's enough evidence to suggest that apparently there really is a knack to using typography effectively. Take note. Learn it, love it. And never use Comic Sans. Ever.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

You know those moments in films - where random guts and/or water hit the camera lens - they are there to shock you. They shake you out of your seat! They add to the realism of the film! They highlight the tragedy and/or humanity of a life lost by an explosive device and/or hand-made prison shank! They bring the experience of exploding death right into your living room! They can break the fourth wall.

On to the next project that will encompass my entire waking life for the next several weeks.

Filmtoberfest was this past Saturday, so that explains my: a) lack of blog posts, b) lack of sleep, c) lack of a balanced diet, d) lack of a social life, e) any other number of reason why I've been general weird(er). The night went off with minimal hitches, and they were all technical, so - … Continue reading On to the next project that will encompass my entire waking life for the next several weeks.

The Good, the Bad, and Daniel Day-Lewis

my latest cinematic exploits In my never-ending quest to work for free, I caught two press screenings for Press+1: Whiteout and The Informant! One was fantastic and the other was terrible. I'll leave you to guess which is which. It's been nice. Seeing films. I haven't seen anything else since, rented, theatrical or library-loan or … Continue reading The Good, the Bad, and Daniel Day-Lewis

Too busy to overthink trivial things so I thus must underthink the extremely important.

So I've been hectically planning for Filmtoberfest, which lands in approximately three weeks. I'm on schedule, but I can't help but be stressed to the hilt. Even as I write this, with full intention not to recapitulate the minutia of details about what exactly I need to do, I can't help but feel as though … Continue reading Too busy to overthink trivial things so I thus must underthink the extremely important.

Filmtoberfest – seeking your (preferably non-porn) short films

(Shameless plug alert) We, the lil' indie folks at QLP, are getting ready for Vancouver's inaugural Filmtoberfest and we need your films! Yes, your short films. Or films about shorts. Either is good. However, anything over fifteen minutes is probably too long. So are capris. Anyway, Quarter-Life Productions, in association with 591 Productions, are currently … Continue reading Filmtoberfest – seeking your (preferably non-porn) short films

Wildly appropriate cookie fortunes are better than chocolate (which makes them twice as good as sex).

It's Rodeo Week at work (can I get a tepid "woo hoo"?), so I get to wear jeans all week. I actually dug out a pair of blue jeans that I haven't worn in maybe a year. On Tuesday, I stuck my hand in the pocket and found an old fortune cookie fortune. The baked … Continue reading Wildly appropriate cookie fortunes are better than chocolate (which makes them twice as good as sex).

From Magazine Vendors to Muddy Boots

my weekend in an adequately-sized organic vessel After an intriguing afternoon of gallavanting all over Vancouver, including a far too long walk down East Hastings (FYI, Spartacus Books has moved even further east down Hastings), Taryn and I found a vendor for Hacksaw! *cue rejoicing peasants* You can now get Hacksaw Literary Arts Magazine at … Continue reading From Magazine Vendors to Muddy Boots

“I hate metaferences that break the verisimilitude of a film” or, “What I didn’t like about last night’s episode of Lost.”

So last night's episode of Lost was pretty good. It prominently featured Desmond, so that's an automatic win. What I didn't like was the scene where a couple of red shirts get blown up and random guts and/or water hit the camera lens. UUUUGGGH. I actually said outloud, despite the fact that I was alone: … Continue reading “I hate metaferences that break the verisimilitude of a film” or, “What I didn’t like about last night’s episode of Lost.”

Quarter-Life Productions Launch Party

Come one, come all! All of us at Quarter-Life Productions are hosting a party to celebrate our venture into pre-production for our short film, tentatively titled, "Things I Hate"! This launch party will provide an opportunity for everyone to come by and see what we're all about! If you're interested in auditioning for an acting … Continue reading Quarter-Life Productions Launch Party