8/30/11

Movie Bites - Ratatouille's Ratatouille

My latest "Movie Bites" blog is up over at Smith Bites. This time I attempted Remy's ratatouille from Pixar's "Ratatouille". Coincidentally I recently watched the wedding and baby episodes of "The Office". (Wouldn't it be great if you could isolate specific episodes of an entire series on Netflix by plot line? How about the story of Spike and Buffy on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" for example?) Turns out, I'm not the only one who wanted to make this food, Kevin makes it for Pam during their last Ultra Feast before Pam delivers the baby.

The Lost Art of the Movie Poster

I received an email this week from Cameron McCasland the director of an indie horror film titled "The Lashman". I've been thinking a lot about indies lately after having the privilege of chatting with director Larry Longstreth last week. I've always said my heart beats "genre" and "blockbuster". But lately, it seems to be making a little more space for smaller stories.

Coincidentally, I've also been talking a lot about movie posters with my sister Heather. (One of the contributing raving fangirls here at BFG.) She has recently discovered the art of Drew Struzan. Drew Struzan is THE movie poster guy. He's done just about every iconic film poster you can imagine from "Back to the Future" to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and beyond.

Struzan has this way of capturing the magical feel of any film. As an artist, he has mastered the concept of finding the "feel" of a film and appealing to an audience through the gut reaction that "feel" might inspire. Heather and I talked on the phone about what a shame it was that someone on the marketing team of "Hellboy" didn't go with Struzan's posters for the film and as usual with nerds like us, the conversation spiraled into a nostalgic wish for the cool movie posters of the good old days.

8/23/11

Mark Ordesky and Larry Longstreth talk "The Long, Slow Death of a Twenty Something" - Part One

In Part One of my interview with filmmaker Larry Longstreth and producer Mark Ordesky, we talk about the making of "The Long, Slow Death of a Twenty Something." 

Larry Longstreth has made a film that does more than entertain for a couple of hours. It strikes a nerve. The trailer for “The Long, Slow Death of a Twenty Something” has light saber dueling, a Superman cape, a Braveheart reference and a Wilhelm scream. Which means that to a geek like me, it feels like home. But it has something else too. A gut-punching moment where a father tells his twenty-something son, “I'll always love you, but I don't have any respect for you.”

This indie film hits us where we live, the generation that grew up on a steady diet of movie magic and Steven Spielberg that now has to face obstacles like student loan debt and complicated parenting choices. But you can only coast so far on the “follow your dreams” nostalgia of childhood before you start to realize that you have to actually do something to make them happen. But doing something is difficult and scary and opens you up to the increasingly cruel criticism of your peers and that anonymous monster called “the internet”. THAT is the nerve this movie hits. To me, the influence of a film can be gauged by what you discuss after watching it. And if my gushing so far is any indication, this one might have you feeling uncomfortably introspective...in a good way.

8/22/11

My Monster

My Monster

“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending.”
- The Muppets


“Oh, I’ve heard of you,” said the smart looking brunette, while she tucked her chin under and widened her eyes. Her slight shift in tone and body language let a little meaning slip free, like air escaping out of a balloon. Whatever she heard wasn’t good. She was the slim and lovely wife of a professional acquaintance. I barely knew her, and yet I immediately wanted to hide behind the shelves of the massive chain bookstore.

Jake and I stood there awkwardly and waited for the explanation, but I didn’t even need one. I already knew what this was about. I wanted the books to swallow me whole. I forgot how much I had embarrassed myself. I felt like a kid again, reminded of that need to blend. That distinctly Mid-Western need not to be noticed, not to show off, and certainly not to be caught failing at anything.

“Oh yeah,” the acquaintance shifted nervously from foot to foot, “I think I mentioned that you interviewed Doug when I was directing the special features.” We made awkward small talk for the next few minutes and said our goodbyes. I shrugged my shoulders at Jake, who laughed kind of small and quiet.

In 2008, an independent film came to Muncie where Jake was attending grad school. With a few years of freelance writing under my belt, I decided that it would be a good idea to insinuate myself into the process as quickly as possible, for the experience. So I volunteered to work for the marketing department as a blogger and general buzz-maker on nerdy message boards for the duration of the film’s shooting.

It wasn’t exactly selfless of me. I had something of a fascination for the film’s male lead. An actor named Doug Jones was cast as the star and even though he didn’t know it, Doug and I had a long and beautiful history together...

Orlando Attractions Magazine - The Show

Take a gander at my new day job...writing and co-directing this here internets show. We're still plugging away on technical developments, but the humor is starting to come through.

8/11/11

Do You Knit? Mind if I Do?

That title was just an Aladdin reference, I don't actually knit. Yes, I know it's weird to reference a nineties animated Disney film for no particular reason, but them's the breaks in my brain, okay? Okay.

Well, it so happens that this really amazing woman named Andrea does knit. It also just so happens that I discovered her via Facebook this week when I shared the fact that I had finally reached REM sleep after a long bout of sleeplessness and the way I knew it was that I was dreaming all night of searching for an authentic "The Dude" sweater for my husband. One can't dream, not even of Jeff Bridges movie memorabilia, without reaching REM sleep. So...hooray!

When I lamented that I had been searching for a Dude sweater for my husband for years, a friend posted a link to AndreaKnits.com showing that this crafty little minx had actually created a knitting pattern, from scratch, to the sweater from The Big Lebowski. I've seen a lot of Lebowski-esque sweaters, but never any perfect pattern replicas until now. Even in dreamland, this lack of authenticity really bothers me. (Sort of the way that they're always giving Batman laser guns and stuff...he doesn't use laser guns, so YOU shouldn't sell them toy people!)

You're probably really lost right now if you've never seen the movie, but just trust me when I tell you that this is the sweater of sweaters. It represents a higher plain of fulfillment reached by Jeff Bridge's character. It's just...perfect.

BEHOLD HER KNITTING PATTERN and marvel...MARVEL I SAY!

Of course, I can't knit. So it doesn't really help me. But it does impress me. I tried to knit once between the summer of sixth and seventh grade. I became fixated with this idea that by attaining a useful skill, I might win myself some form of social immunity. "Don't give me a swirly, I made you this scarf that's really really tiny on one end and super loose on the other!" My plan never worked. I learned too little too late that the barter system doesn't really help in junior high...but not until after I went through a major "I'll learn how to make hush puppies and donuts" month that July.

ANYWAY, I just love a good geek craft. Thought you might too.

8/8/11

Movie Bites - Who Wants Romulan Ale?


I do!

So I did a little experiment over at SmithBites.com to see if I could recreate the notorious stellar cocktail.

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