Thursday, October 26, 2006

Creative Meetings - Hollywood Style

While skimming my RSS feeds today, I came across this little gem about the minds behind The Lord of the Rings franchise, namely Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, in their first meeting with Miramax and the Weinstein brothers. We've got to kill a hobbit. You pick one

It was then I thought to myself what idiots Hollywood people can be because "the number cruncher" Bob Weinstein made a huge mistake in letting that thing go. The Lord of the Rings grossed almost $3 billion internationally and had about an 800% return (source).

Disclaimer: No hobbits were killed during the making of this film.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fire breathing beautiful

You know how I said Eragon was going to be big. Well, I think I underestimated its grandeur. From the looks of this amazing trailer, which is very impressive dialog-free piece of art, Eragon is going to hit the ground running. Eragon, himself, does not impress me but Saphira looks amazing. I hope they keep the spirit of the book. Saphira has a good sense of humor and the camaraderie, even familiar emotions, between her and Eragon are very moving. Do not miss its debut in the theaters on December 15.

On a different note (hee hee ... pun), I am excited about Patrick Doyle's score to this film. His work on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was exceptional given that franchise's history. It will be interesting to hear his dramatic and action sequences for a different kind of dragon.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wings on our heels

Chariots of Fire is the winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Original Score.

It surprises me that the big beach scene with the big Vangelis music did not come until the end and only as a part of the credits. More surprising was the role of Gilbert and Sullivan as opposed to the Vangelis score I know well. I was able to watch this movie in HD this past weekend and not having seen it before did not know what to expect. But I had some suspect that 'the scene' of the runners on the beach was part of a training montage. I was disappointed in that aspect but pleasantly surprised in the impressive acting and genuine story telling of this movie. A must see for movie buffs like myself.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

my little brother, the artist

Whenever I talk about Erich (yes there is supposed to be an h at the end), I always call him 'the artist'. I do not have titles for my other siblings but maybe because the rest of us are more average type people. Anyway, Erich has a lovely flash site which always amazes me. Check out some of his work and tell your friends.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

100th post about... the weather

Yesterday, I walked out of the building in which I work and caught my breath on 90 degree October. The humidity had caused condensation on the inside of the windows. Then, last evening a storm hit. The wind blustered through my chimney (do not get me started on why there are chimneys in Texas) and rain pelted the windows. My apartment creaked and swayed with the force of it. As I walked out this morning, the coolest breeze I have ever felt swept my hair in all directions and I broke into a smile. This is it. Fall has finally breached the long hot summer and believe me, it was very long and very hot. While Spring tends to bring people out of the winter's cages, fall gives me energy. I am now hopping for outdoor activities and anything to enjoy the weather. Only four months until summer starts :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Memories of Nobody

Due December 16, 2006 in Japan which means that next week for fan sub version. Very exciting for this immaculate anime series.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Added some pictures

I added a link to some pictures on my "other" google page. Seriously, I am a google fanatic these days. Anyway, I am very proud of the projects album which contains several of my last knitting and crocheting projects. It does not seem like a lot because there are projects that are not included here. I need to hunt up those so I can really see how far I have come. Enjoy.

Monday, October 16, 2006

An unfortunate series ends

If you have had the unfortunate fortune to read Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, then you have experienced a story which is bittersweet, a word here which means that the story is neither completely bitter nor completely sweet. It tells the tale of three young orphans who have continuous run ins with a terrible foe named Count Olaf. Throughout their unfortunate experiences, they find out many things about themselves, their unfortunate dead parents, and the mysteries which surround the terrible things in the world. However, in the telling of this tale, these three young orphans, the Baudelaires, are some of the wittiest, a word here which means extremely funny at some of the most inappropriate times, children in such a story. Every book made me laugh out loud at their remarks. That along with Olaf's blatant naiveté and utter evilness makes for one heck of a yarn (see chapter 8 of The End for the two definitions of this word). The end of this series comes slowly and not altogether complete as the end of the end is supposed to be a beginning though not a bad a beginning as the series begins, namely The Bad Beginning. But as a lot of people say, it is the journey that is important. In The End, the children discover themselves and close their grief. I have since acquired the entire unfortunate series in a lovely box set. This is also something attractive about the series in that the books are hardbound with lovely illustrations of each of the 170 unfortunate chapters, as stated by Mr. Snicket, himself. Mr. Snicket also states that no one should read this unfortunate series but despite those words, I think I will read them all over again.

Hiro the hero, Egan the earnest

Fall TV has begun and two new shows have stood up as winners. The first is Heroes. Along with previous years' favorites, this is my most looked forward to show of the season. Heroes combines the ordinary lives of several people when they become extraordinary. The powers among them: flight, regeneration, premonition, teleportation, telepathy, and a few others we have not figured out yet, are going to come together to save the world. The first question that pops into my head is where did these powers come from and why? Why them? And of course, in any serial drama, what happens next? Well the audience is aware of the bad guy and aware that at some point they are going to meet. This makes it all the more exciting and all the more eager for it to happen. These people are now just figuring out something is different (conveniently all at the same time) so we need to give them time to do so. But, in the only quirk I have with the show, I want it to happen more quickly. I need to see the relationships between these people. I am impatient. That's the story and characters, let's talk production value. I am watching in HD so it looks amazing. I would like to see a bit more flash and more risk taking with the editing and direction. It helps that the main focal point is New York, a city born and bred for cinematography. Back to the characters, my favorite has to be Hiro. How can you not like this guy? He takes on his power by storm and has this optimistic view of everything, even with his shift into a nuclear future. He has become the poster child for this show and beckons all to come and watch.

Egan is the lonely insurance salesman on the show, The Nine. I did not think I would like this show because it was completely about a horrible 52 hours as a bank hostage. However, the characters captivated me at once. Again, this show is about relationships and how they have grown out of these strangers. I like how any one of the the nine (really it is eight survivors) can call on another one of the nine for a favor. They are all gathered in their complicated lives trying to survive yet again through something more tragic than anyone knows. It is moving, truly. Underscoring their lives is the past, this huge elephant bleeding on the floor of a bank and the knowledge that something happened in there the audience has yet to determine. We learned one such thing this past episode. The youngest, the child of the bank manger, called 911, a catalyst for the standoff. This horrible realization comes booming down on the girl who could not remember anything of those days and it literally floors her. That was a dreadful moment and I felt that poor girl's pain. The editing of this show is very good. The flashes of 'bank time' are grainy and occur frequently to all the characters not only giving the audience clues to its mystery but indicating that these people are still there, still living through it. In this tragedy of a story, Egan stands out as a hero and a person with a second chance on life. He is the movement of the story, the true life of these people. I love his little jump for joy in the courtyard after he is fired from his job. I love to watch him interviewed as a hero and comforted by his fellow victims. His character makes the show watchable and the pain bearable.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Disney's Second Golden Age

With the re-release (or is that re-re-release) of The Little Mermaid, I thought back to what I consider Disney's second golden age. Of course, its first golden age was that of the 30's-50's when Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty hit the big screen. So incredibly beautiful with simple songs of white knights and prince charmings. It is not to say that there have not been incredible Disney animated and live action films since these times but these were the start of big Disney, golden Disney, royal Disney. The Little Mermaid arose as a quietus. The animation was novel and extensive, the story engaging yet simple, and the music was above much that had been composed prior and at the helm were Alan Menken and Howard Ashmen. The score, in fact, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1990. I popped this CD into my car yesterday after picking up the DVD up from my local Target. I had forgotten how impressive was the music to this movie. Both the melodies and the lyrics were exciting and poignant. I smiled as I sung along wisping through the memories that the music evoked. To say they do not make them like they used to is not correct. This was how it used to be. And Disney, despite its heavy handed commercial dominance, created several pieces of art thereafter including Beauty and Beast, which to me, is superior in art and music. After listening to the mermaid, I was set to put in beast but frowned as I found my disc missing. Time to convert these thoughts to actions and go out to purchase another one.

Rest in peace, Howard Ashman