Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's a good news, bad news kinda thing


I'll explain this picture in a moment.

First, the bad news: a commitment has emerged that is going to seriously impact my Horrorthonnery this season. Not that my score has been all that jaw-dropping since I moved to LA, had a kid, got married, etc. etc. This new commitment has also been keeping me away from idle computer time during the day, which is why I haven't commented recently on various worthy things (Cat's latest cemetery adventure come to mind). Also I'd been meaning to conjure a new Horrorthon intro and who knows if that will happen. I'm cramming this post in right now during my Maya Character Setup class, because the prof is helping out the people who are lost and I'm fortunately not one of them (this time).

The good news is that the new time commitment is a really cool job for a really good rate. It's for six weeks, and my temp employers have even said they'd take me back at the end of the gig, so there's no income loss and a satisfying profit for that time. But we're in week two now, and you'll probably notice that means its footprint is smack on top of October. Did I mention we're working six-day weeks because we're terribly crunched for time? We are. On top of that I'm taking two more Maya classes this semester and still have a toddler to chase around, etc. etc.

It's the lost Saturdays and not sitting at a computer sneaking blog time that really hurts my thonning. Ah well. I will do my best.


So why am I making you look at this thing? I made this for a gig I got by answering a Craigslist ad back in March. Since I can't slap pictures of what I'm making right now on the internet (or really even talk about it), I'm posting this other thing I made that I really wanted to tell you guys about at the time, but couldn't for the same reasons.

I'm taking the risk now because I don't think the pilot got picked up and I don't even know what it's called (so I hope this post won't come up on a Google search). It was an interesting gig: I threw this monstrosity together in about a week's time, it was the first time I've done straight up anatomical sculpture, the job kicked my ass and brought me very little money, and the client was very happy with it. Also fun was the part where I transported it fully assembled and both of the dude's ankles snapped a few blocks into the trip.



The other bit of good news is about this place. Eddie Brandt's a video store that was recommended to me three years ago. It's close to my house but I've been deterred by their insane hours: 1 to 6 pm. But since the new gig is also nearby, I can hit it during lunch. They have, wait for it... eighty THOUSAND vhs tapes. I have a list of five flicks that Netflix doesn't have and I found ALL five of them on my first trip to their stacks. Stand by for beautiful obscurity!

I also invited Tami (friend of Trevor's) to get crazy with us this year. I'd say welcome aboard but she's not on the masthead yet. Yo, Tami!

Horrorthon, people!

Horrorthon.

Whirlygirl's strat├ęgie de film

Last Horrorthon I watched two French films: Martyrs and Inside (I don’t think I wrote a review on either), and I came to the conclusion that the French are sicker than I ever imagined. At the last moments before Horrorthon, I decided not to fly theme less, but instead find out how crazy these bastards really are. I’ve put together what I hope will be an entertaining and disgusting list. For those of you who have seen Martrys, Inside, and Frontiers, you know that there will be blood…lots and lots of blood, but what you may or may not know is that there will also be an abundance of nudity and lesbians, as well as a female vampire that drains the blood of her victims while performing oral sex. I’m anxiously awaiting a viewing of the most walked out of film of 2002, and crossing my fingers that I don’t become violently ill watching a film about a woman obsessed with her own wounds and self-mutilation.

Though, unfortunately, it won’t be all French for me this October. Austin movie theaters show a plethora of Horror films from the famous to the obscure for a buck all month long, so I certainly have to catch a few, and since the local libraries don’t exactly subscribe to French horror, I might have to get what I can from them when Netflix doesn’t send me my French flicks quick enough.

Really cool Japanese Techno-Pop Video

Hopefully not already posted by JPX ten years ago...

Seriously though, you should watch this.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My pumpkin plant tried to kill me



This year I thought it would be fun to grow my own pumpkin. I ordered some random pumpkin seeds off of Amazon and completely ignored the directions. I first planted one of these "full moon" pumpkin seeds in June, assuming that I'd be carving up a jack-o-lantern by time Horrorthon rolled around. Boy was I wrong. The directions indicate that I should allow a lot of space to grow one of these things but I just shoved a seed in a random part of my yard because I was lazy.



To my delight it didn't take long for the seed to germinate and soon it started to sprout a healthy vine replete with flowers. I watered the bastard every day because it always seemed thirsty.


My pumpkin plant seemed to grow an inch daily

Before long the vine, which resembled one of the plants from The Ruins, grew rapidly. It was startling how quickly this thing ran out of space.


"Whirlygirl, stop taking pictures and check out the size of this thing!"

When Whirlygirl recently visited she seemed more interested in taking photographs than checking out the monster I was harboring in my backyard.


Aghhhhhhhh!

No thanks to Whirlygirl I managed to get away. I fear going into my backyard and I have walled up my house...

Rudolph R.I.P.


From foreverfunblog, There was a small item in the news recently, the kind of article that many casual readers could have easily overlooked. However, for those of us who are fans of Rudolph, it came as a big bit of very sad news: Billie Mae Richards, the voice of our beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, has died.

For most of us who have worked on the Rudolph line here at Round 2 and also previously at Playing Mantis, developing the Rudolph line was (and is) so much more than just a job. I grew up with Rudolph on television every Christmas, and to actually become a part of that holiday phenomenon, even in such a peripheral manner, is a real privilege and an honor. It is about so much more than just commerce. When we started adding audio to our figures, and the instantly identifiable sounds of the REAL Rudolph started coming out of our product, it was that perfect icing on our holiday cake, the final touch that at last made our product feel truly genuine.

We have Billie Mae Richards to thank for that. The dulcet tones of that shy little reindeer, humble and magnificent at the same time, will continue to be an indelible part of our holiday year after year, for generations to come. Maybe it was just a tiny incandescent bulb that really gave Rudolph his shiny nose, but it was Rudolph’s distinctive voice — full of insecurity, goodness and hope — that gave that little stop-motion puppet its heart.

Thank you, Billie Mae, for truly bringing Rudolph to life.

'Star Wars' movies to be rereleased in 3-D, Lucasfilm announces



From ew, The Star Wars saga is about to get a lot more dimensional. Lucasfilm announced Tuesday that all six Star Wars movies will return to theaters in 3-D, according to Variety. The first film to hit screens will be Episode I: The Phantom Menace — it’ll be released wide sometime in 2012. The movies’ 3-D conversion is being handled by outside vendors and will be overseen by Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisor John Knoll. “It’s not going to look like [conversions] we’ve seen in the past,” Knoll told Variety. Stereoscopic conversion has been a sticky subject of late, especially after the much-criticized last-minute conversions of movies like Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender.

Knoll also said that George Lucas isn’t planning to further “enhance” any of the visual effects this time around. When the original trilogy was rereleased in 1997, Lucas altered several scenes and tinkered with many of the effects — much to many fans’ dismay.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Ain't Avatar



From Bleeding Cool

This is the trailer to Axel Braun’s pre-Superman XXX porn parody for Hustler, This Ain’t Avatar XXX. Sadly the budget doesn’t seem quite as impressive as previous productions, and there seems little if no CGI, just dodgy prosthetics, but then it will be in 3D. So there’s probably some benefit to that, I guess. Expect lots of ponytails, and other bits and bobs waved in your face.

Now I've heard it all. More info here

Please, Don't Let This Be the Future of Air Travel


via POPSCI

On your last flight, did you stare with envy at the people sitting in the exit row? Did you get a charley horse from trying to cross your legs under your tray table? Consider yourself lucky, pal. Your next budget flight might ask you to fly horseback style, squeezed onto a saddle in just 23 inches of space.

This new airplane seat will be officially unveiled at a trade show next week, and the early buzz is that several airlines are interested, including some in the U.S. The thought makes us cringe — which, come to think of it, we will be required to do in order to fit into these seats.

The “SkyRider” is the latest innovation designed to save airlines money and, apparently, make passengers miserable. It is supposed to mimic the experience of riding horseback: “Cowboys ride eight hours on their horses during the day and still feel comfortable in the saddle,” says Dominique Menoud, director general of Aviointeriors Group, which will make the seats. Some cowboys might say otherwise, but there’s a larger point: In the future, do we really want to return to traveling Old West style?

Gross: Real life Pac-Man



From geekology, DeviantARTist Kalapusa, best known for his Piranha Plant garden sculpture, is back at it, this time with a lifelike Pac-Man sculpture. As you can see, Pac isn't nearly as adorable when rendered in more than 8-bits, which is exactly why you should never make love to Ms. Pac-Man without first feeding her every lamp in the hotel room. Per Dr. Frankenstein himself:

My follow-up to Making a Piranha Plant, this animated depiction of the last days and final destination of a P. rotundus specimen is part of my 8-Bit Labs series of sculptures.

Each piece is based on a classic videogame character as seen through the prism of real-life anatomy. They are rendered in clay, painted with acrylics and sealed in resin to give the appearance of a specimen preserved in formaldehyde. Seen here is a Pakku rotundus, which is based on Pac Man.

Good lookin', Kalapusa. I always wanted to know what Pac would look like in real life, and now that I do I can chalk it up as another one of those things I wish I hadn't. Like watching two giraffes mate, but without having to camp out at the zoo for ten days (Kidding -- totally worth it).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gloria Stuart 1910-2010

Gloria Stuart, ladies and gentlemen.

SJP Look Alikes









After seeing JPX's post on Sex and the City it prompted me to look up some SJP look alike pics. The results were hilarious.

Greatest movie ever (at least Octo and Stan will think so)!



From toplessrobot, Seriously. Watch this trailer for the aptly named Indian movie Robot -- and tell me this doesn't look far more entertaining than 75% of the shit Hollywood puts out. Sure, there's probably plenty of singing and dancing, but there's also giant robot snakes made of hundreds of robot people and a robot whose arsenal puts most anime to shame. Hell, other than Tron: Legacy, I can't think of a single movie coming up that I want to see more than this.

No More "Sex and the City" Movies



From worstpreviews, Chris Noth, who played Mr Big in the "Sex and the City" TV series and the two movies, told NY Magazine that there will be no more film installments in the franchise.

"It's over. The franchise is dead," he said. "The press killed it. It's like all the critics got together and said, 'This franchise must die.' They all had the exact same review. It's like they didn't see the movie."

Looking at the numbers, it is more than bad reviews that killed the franchise. While the first film grossed $152 million domestically on a $65 million budget, the sequel took in only $95 million on a $100 million budget. And as far as those bad reviews... "Sex and the City 2" has a ridiculously low 15% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.

Box Office



From ew [excerpt], Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps won a weekend that started off with a bang but ended up weaker than predicted. The Oliver Stone-directed sequel to his 1987 classic generated $19 million for the frame, off from the low $20 million it was expected to gross. The Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas-starrer is still a big success for Stone, though, as it marks the veteran director’s highest opening weekend. It also far surpassed Warner Bros. animated owl pic, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. The Zack Snyder-directed film, which was expected to cross the $20 million mark this weekend, only earned $16.3 million for the frame. Despite the dearth of kid’s fare in the marketplace recently, and the extra bells and whistles Guardians offered with 3-D and IMAX, the film failed to bring in the families.

Audiences, however, liked the owl flick far more than Wall Street. According to exit pollster Cinemascore, audiences gave Guardians an A-, while Wall Street only generated a B-.

Some of the most impressive performances for the frame went to last weekend’s holdovers. The Town saw a weekend haul of $16 million, for a total gross of $49 million. The Ben Affleck-directed heist film seems to really be catching on. It will be interesting to see how it fares next weekend when The Social Network bows nationwide. Easy A also scored a nice gross its second weekend in theaters. The Emma Stone-starrer fell only 40 percent for a take of $10.7 million. The $8 million production has now earned $32.8 million in just ten days of release.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Boo!


Hey gang, didn't mean to scare you like that! I've noticed that everyone seems to be getting fired up about Horrorthon 2010. And why not? It's a freakin' blast.

Before things get too wild and crazy I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss the rules. Though we've tried over the years to come up with a rulebook, the laid back nature of the bloggers always results in "use your own discretion" guidelines. That's Ok as everyone here pretty much gets it - watch as many horror movies as you can from October 1-31 and post reviews of them. However, there's one new rule that I would like to enforce.

Let's have a good clean battle, ok folks?


NEW RULE: No posting more than 2 reviews per day. This will ensure that reviews don't get immediately buried by those who watch obscene amounts of movies (*polite cough* Catfreeek). I hope it'll encourage more people to participate.

If anyone else has ideas about how to improve the competition, please post them in the comments. We can discuss and then let Millvina decide. Toodles!

More Adventures With Dead People


In preparation for this years Horrorthon I have been visiting some local graveyards to set the mood.

No graveyard expedition would be complete without at least one famous dead guy.


I think most native New Englander's just take these wonderful sections of beautifully preserved history for granted.

Raising Hell!

We drive by them without a glance on our way to whatever keeps us busy in life.


I am having a fantastic time wandering around these amazing stone art galleries with Tony or my friend Tracy.


Tracy is the best graveyard partner!

I hope you are enjoying the experience through my eyes as much as I am enjoying it first hand. Happy Horrorthon!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Christopher Guest's Next Mockumentary To Be About Collectors



From cinemablend, It's been four years since Christopher Guest assembled his friends to make a mockumentary. His last film, For Your Consideration, wasn't as well received as previous outings, such as Best In Show or A Mighty Wind, but the next effort from the troupe has been long-awaited to say the least. Now we finally know what the next film will focus one.

WowWowWow has gotten word that Guest, along with cohorts Harry Shearer and Michael McKean, has decided to make his next film about collectors. Collectors of what? Everything you can think of, from old comic books to "Charles Manson song lyrics written on Kleenex." The site also says that regulars Jane Lynch and Parker Posey are being considered for the project, as is John Michael Higgins (who they mistakenly call "Michael Patrick Higgins," despite the fact that Michael Patrick Higgins died in 2008).

This seems like perfect material for the group, but I do find it curious that Eugene Levy's name is completely absent from the article. In addition to starring in all of Guest's films, Levy has been Guest's writing partner dating back to 1996's Waiting For Guffman. Let's just hope that Levy is still involved and hasn't been forced to do another crappy direct-to-DVD American Pie movie instead.

Julianne Moore Sure Loves Crying



From iwatchstuff, Brother, is Julianne Moore ever a weeper. As evidence, here's nearly three-and-a-half minutes of her contorting her face into an awful, translucent mask of anguish in everything from Far from Heaven to Jurassic Park 2. If you ever thought about making the Oscar winner your girlfriend, this will have you reconsidering (watch video).

Iron Man 2 alternate puke opening

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale



From tiff.net, Way up north in Finland, right on the border with Russia, lies one of Santa Claus’s ostensible homes. For the last couple of months an international team of “archaeologists,” working for Subzero Inc. and led by a weird Brit (who bears an unsettling resemblance to the Nazi officer in Raiders of the Lost Ark), has been mysteriously digging away at a large hill, wreaking havoc on the environment.

The locals, mostly Samis and Laplanders, are furious. The annual reindeer round-up, which happens a few days before Christmas, has been ruined, dealing a devastating blow to the local economy. Especially annoyed is Rauno, a single father who’s struggling to make ends meet and deal with his imaginative, physically underdeveloped son, Pietari. Though he doesn’t totally fit in with the community, Pietari is insatiably curious and notices things that others don’t. Specifically, he’s realized that the dig is somehow related to Santa Claus, but this isn’t exactly the Santa from animated Christmas specials or nineteenth-century American doggerel. This Santa is, to put it mildly, a little harsher.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Star Wars Math Trivia part III (3 years later)



I was cleaning out some old files, and I found the Star Wars Trivia questions I was putting on our daily call sheets back in 2007 during Pink Panther 2. I remember posting the first math question here, but I looked around, and I didn't think I posted the second one I had come up with.

If anyone else is bored like I am at the moment, this is good for like 10 minutes of head-scratching...

Take the total number of severed limbs in the original trilogy.

Multiply that number by the total number of bodies that fall into the Sarlacc Pit.

Multiply that number by the number of times Ben Kenobi appears as an apparition in Empire and Jedi.

Multiply that number by the number of separate times we only hear Ben’s disembodied voice in A New Hope.

Subtract from that number the number of parsecs in the Kessel Run.

Multiply that number by the last number in the droid’s name that had a “bad motivator.”

Take the number of guns that Rebel pilots estimate are on the “surface and towers” of the Death Star trench, multiply THAT number by 100, and ADD to previous number.

Divide that number by the total number of AT-ST s destroyed using only Ewok technology.

What’s the final number, and what is its significance? (HINT: 2 possible answers, but they’re kind of tied together)

'Sesame Street' pulls Katy Perry video



From usatoday, Sesame Street has decided pull Katy Perry's Elmo video from the air. We told you earlier this week that the Katy's outfit - and whether it was appropriate for the new season of the kids' show - had become the subject of debate.

Now, Sesame Street confirms in a statement that "producers have chosen not to include" Perry's video when the 41st season of the show kicks off Monday on PBS, adding:

"Sesame Street has always been written on two levels, for the child and adult. We use parodies and celebrity segments to interest adults in the show because we know that a child learns best when co-viewing with a parent or care-giver. We also value our viewer's opinions and particularly those of parents. In light of the feedback we've received on the Katy Perry music video which was released on You Tube only, we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street, which is aimed at preschoolers. Katy Perry fans will still be able to view the video on You Tube."

Your parents never loved you if you didn't have this - Vintage Star Wars Clubhouse



Somehow the ad is a bit of a cheat, isn't it? I'm sure once I got mine set up I'd be all, "Where's the Death Star? Where's the Millennium Falcon? Where's the A-Wing? Where's the Tie Interceptor?" I like how they throw in a dog to simulate either a Wookie or Ewok. Interesting fact, did you know that "Ewok" is an anagram for Wookie? Okay, I admit it, I'm just jealous of these kids. I would totally set this baby up in my backyard and at night I would stand guard in that watchtower in order to protect my yard from the evil Empire. I'd totally ride that Speeder bike when no one was around, vroom, vrooooooom! Or is it, vooooooooooooo? Star Wars, woot!

Official 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' trailer!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

HHD: Who Shot Haiku Hump Day???? CLIFFHANGERS!!!

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As a somewhat fitting close to what amounts to Season 2 of HHD (on the air since December 2008!!!), the topic of the week is The Cliffhanger (not the stupid Stallone movie in the picture, obviously, but the larger concept).

To heighten tension, results will not be posted until at LEAST November 1st, or whichever day becomes convenient after the red tide of bloody October reviews bubbles back into the frothing sea. (Those of you familiar with First or Second Beach in Newport, RI know what I’m talking about. I used to boogie-board through a literally red ocean. Then I’d scrub red seaweed off my balls four hours later.)

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I probably need an intervention on digressions (somebody contact A&E for THAT documentary. Fuck, I’m doing it again). In any event, much like last year, we had a fantastic situation where we had a nice hiatus from the weekly intellectually-rewarding toil and drudgery of 17-syllable-brilliance, in order to make way for the eponymous raison d’etre of the blog itself. So this year, in true season-ending fashion, we’re ending it with The Cliffhanger.

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Fortunately, none of our Horrorthon contributors got shot. Or discovered Patrick Duffy in the shower. Or woke up and realized it was all a dream. Or discovered it was actually Maggie Simpson by accident. Or found out Vader really is Luke’s father. Or witnessed how Flash Gordon just narrowly and miraculously made it out of that exploding spaceship parked on the rim of an erupting volcano. Or marveled at the fact that Buck Rodgers revealed that he’s gay at the beginning of Season 3*. (SPOILER ALERT! There were spoilers in that last paragraph.)


Any one of these is as good as the other. For the record, I didn’t even watch this whole clip; pretty much just skipped to the end where the heroes pretty much die a very convincing death. There’s no WAY they survived that! Tune in next week…

So here we are: The Cliffhanger. Whether it was Lost, with its weekly patented WTF scenarios (the smoke monster totally just slept with the tropical polar bear, but Not Really Locke just met Actual Locke on the base of the Four-Toed Statue back in 1977, and they’re all going to detonate a hydrogen bomb!!!), to Stallone quite literally hanging off a cliff in true Stallone lips-curled errrrrrhhh fashion (a movie that actually did not have any thematic cliffhangers, interestingly), the trope of the cliffhanger has been with us forever.

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Is he coming back??? Was it all just a dream??? Or was it just some shit somebody made up???


To help with the thematic buildup, here’s something to chew on:

Catfreeek is hosting a “Cat-Free for 37 Days!” celebratory gala benefit at the local Stonecutters Shrine. All of Horrorthon is there. Octo (over his spring water) & 50 (over his shot glass of liquid peyote) have been eyeing each other uneasily from across the room all night. JSP and JPX have gotten into a shoving & shouting match, only to have the conflict dissolve into murmurs, a brief exchange of still-in-the-package Underoos, and many furtive, slanty-eyed glances at 50 & Octo. Stan is at the bar, surrounded by a dozen blonde sorority girls, all with tight-fitting Star Wars T-shirts on. Mr. AC, AC, DCD, The Mr. & Julie sit huddled in a corner, poring over their manifesto “How We Will Rid The World Of Doofiness By 2015.” Their eyes cast daggers at JPX & JSP for some reason. The party has an air of forced levity; the tension coloring the atmosphere like the static buildup before a lightning strike.

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Whatever. I’ll telegraph my narrative with pictures all I want.

A gunshot rings out. Some screams. The partygoers turn. None of the Horrorthon players are seen. From the shadows, Puffinslayer, nowandzen, G, miko and Jordan slowly emerge from behind party guests, each smiling in a very mysterious, quizzical way, looking down at the victim. They turn meaningfully to each other as....................[quick black fade]

Love you all. See you in November with The Answer.

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* = obviously, there was no Season 3 of Buck Rodgers. That whole Searcher bullshit in Season 2 was the death knell. The hammer blow was really when Erin Grey went brunette in Episode 8 or whatever of Season 1. For the record. And here’s an Erin Grey money shot, because I want to.)

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