Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 Film Releases

I've been tracking some movies that are
slated for theatrical release this year.
There will be many more to add, and I've
probably made some mistakes--I'll correct
them over time. Please send me any info!
Thanks to and for all their help.

15--Fish Tank
----Book Of Eli-dir: The Hughes Bros
22--Legion-dir: Scott Stewart
29--Edge Of Darkness

12--The Wolfman
----Beauty & The Beast 3-D (Disney)
----Percy Jackson & The Olympians:
The Lightning Thief-dir: Chris Columbus
19--Shutter Island-dir: Martin Scorsese
26--Cop Out-dir: Kevin Smith

5---Alice In Wonderland 3-D-dir: Tim Burton
12--Green Zone-dir: Paul Greengrass
19--The Runaways
----Hot Tub Time Machine
----Season Of The Witch
26--Clash Of The Titans
----I Love You Phillip Morris

9---The Losers
----Piranha 3-D-dir: Alexandre Aja
23--Wallstreet 2: Money Never Sleeps
30--A Nightmare On Elm Street

7---Iron Man 2-dir: Jon Favreau
14--Robin Hood-dir: Ridley Scott
18--Jonah Hex
28--Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time

4---Get Him To The Greek
11--The A-Team
18--Toy Story 3 in 3-D-dir: Lee Unkrich
30--The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

2---The Last Airbender-dir: M. Night
7---Predators-dir: Nimrod Antal
16--Inception-dir: Christopher Nolan
----The Sorcerer's Apprentice
23--Dinner For Schmucks-dir: Jay Roach
30--Morning Glory

6---The Other Guys-dir: Adam McKay
20--The Expendables-dir: Sylvester Stallone

1---The American-dir: Anton Corbjin
24--Guardians Of Ga'Hoole

1---Your Highness-dir: David Gordon Green
15--Social Network-dir: David Fincher

5---Due Date-dir: Todd Phillips
19--Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt 1
----Red Dawn

17--Tron Legacy-dir: Joseph Kosinski
----How Do You Know?-dir: James L. Brooks
22--The Green Hornet-dir: Michel Gondry

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lessons Learned From Life On The Road

Spending roughly 400 minutes on the road every week allows
me to learn from the "professional" drivers. I'm grateful for
their teaching:

Lesson 1: It's always a good time to make sure your brakes work

Someone is waiting to turn onto the roadway, perhaps
50 yards ahead. The rear view mirror shows no one
behind me. The seconds tick by, "1, 2, 3..." and
the driver pulls out right in front of me.

Conclusion: My brakes do work! Thanks for helping me test them!

Lesson 2: The highway is like a NASCAR track, just less

I'll be on the highway, and see in the rear view mirror
a fellow motorist weaving back and forth, gaining one
car length with each acceleration. If I was a trained
NASCAR driver like them, what would I do? I've lost
contact with my pit crew. Drats! That police officer
pulled them over for their autograph.

Conclusion: The rookie never wins.

Lesson 3: Drive really close behind someone so they can see
you more clearly.

Boy, that motorist behind me sure has bright headlights.
I'm glad they're not in my blindspot. Maybe if my car
stalled they could push me to safety at a moment's
notice. If my dome light didn't function the illumination
could help me read a map.

Conclusion: Don't utilize Lesson One here unless you're a
certified road rules instructor. When they do
eventually pass follow suite to demonstrate your
knowledge of Lesson 3, perhaps using high beams
for effect.

Lesson 4: A "Yield" sign doesn't count if you're late, you have
to use the restroom or your life is more important
than other motorists'.

With countless construction sites strewn all over the
highway, it is confusing to "Yield" when the sign is posted.
It is easier for everyone if a motorist just enters the
roadway when they want to. It saves them time, and also
reinforces Lesson 1.

Conclusion: Yield signs are make-believe, like Global Warming,
dinosaurs and Thank You notes.

Lesson 5: I don't use turn signals because you should know
when I'm turning and where I'm going. I'm "thinking"
at you right now...

Telepathy is a better alternative to turn signals. Some
people forget to turn their blinkers off--that shows how
ineffective they are. Don't you see what kind of car I'm
driving? I can turn when I want to, because I probably have
better lawyers and insurance than you. If I'm two lanes away
from my exit, my sense of entitlement allows me to cut
across the freeway and get to my destination. My phone
is in my left hand, I'm driving with my right--don't you see
me looking to the right. That means I'm going to turn to
the right--how simple, and no turn signal needed. If you're
waiting to pull out on the street, and I have my turn signal
on, this is a test of your telepathic skills. See, I didn't
turn, you pulled out in front of me and now I'm picturing my
lawyer. See how importantly I silently bluster? How I have
to draw my cellphone away from my face, in order for my mouth
to contort into a "WHAAAAATTTT THE" shape.

Conclusion: Until you develop advanced telepathic skills, you
should probably carpool with others, or take a cab.

What lessons have you learned recently?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why Am I Blogging?

With all sorts of new-fangled ways of self-promotion,
such as Facebook and Twitter, why keep up a Web Log?

I've always been a fan of written journals. Writing
down life's moments like a Captain's Log seemed to
give the present meaning, and the past resonance.
If someone happened to stumble across your secret
thoughts days or years later, you could communicate with
them in an archeological way.

In 2009 people have lost touch with reading between the lines.
Something happens to someone, and they post it (I am
guilty of this). What motivates people to do the
things they post about?

I expect the next step in digital voyeurism to be personal
24/7 webcams, like "Being John Doe" instead of Malkovich.
I would call it "SoloCasting".

Many computers have HAL9000-type electric eyes which sit
passively watching day and night, but what about a wearable cam?
No computer needed, it would use existing WiFi to send
a live video feed to anyone who was interested.
Don't want to broadcast some moment in your life?
Switch off the device.

This is similar to reality TV shows, which have been
around awhile. But the TV cameras never seem to capture
anyone doing anything creative, just reactions to each
other and the ensuing "drama".

How do artists create their masterworks? How do poets
come up with the next line? What urges someone to step
into the street and push/pull another to safety? Any
person or profession would be made more interesting with
SoloCasting. I have never seen these moments on reality TV
(COPS does manage to create respect for law enforcement, and
for the camera person running alongside the action).

There's the privacy factor--but "1984" is so 25 years ago.
This would be created as the next step in entertainment.
A SoloCaster would have to choose the "rating" of their SoloCast,
by editing out or including certain elements of their life.
But the goal would be to take away the power of the media
and the paparazzi, who seem to glorify lurid, provocative and
scandalous imagery. Celebrities would lose their wondrous
aura when compared with real people achieving real,
selfless acts--broadcast for free. Would someone run into
a burning building to help others faster if they knew their
SoloCast was beaming the act to millions of people?
Would there be a reduction in crime if would-be
criminals knew there were potentially thousands
of cameras ready to catch them in the act (including
their own SoloCast)?

Every moment we spend reading about other people's lives
takes us away from doing something ourselves, but there's
a feeling of community. That seems to be a reason things
like Facebook and Twitter thrive. Every second I spend
watching TV covering the Octomom or Paris Hilton I could
be writing a song or assisting someone in need. But
which is easier? That TV remote is so user-friendly.

Writing in a journal seems old-school, but I like it.
Blogging seems close to a journal, so I'm happy about that.
Hopefully someone perusing these pages 200 years from now will be
entertained, and they'll post to their friends on Verbosus 2209 or whatever.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What About The Metric System?

February 17, 2009 was supposed to be the date that
digital television transmissions officially took
over for analog broadcasts. For some reason
the event has been pushed into June. It didn't
seem like a big deal to me.

Some possible events that WOULD be life-altering:

*Switching to the metric system--according to
Wikipedia, the United States, Liberia and
Myanmar are the only countries not using
The International System Of Units. Maybe
we'll adopt a love of soccer someday too.

*3-D TV broadcasts--would this future format
send countless MORE actors and actresses to
plastic surgeons?

*Real estate development in the Pacific Trash
Vortex--tons of plastic is trapped in a
swirling mass in the Pacific Ocean. A prime
suburban area for future generations?

*The first humans on Mars.

*The discovery of anti-gravity/hyperdrive/
time travel/teleportation technologies.

In the meantime I'll watch my black and white
TV for a few months longer.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Excavating The Eighties/Running On Fumes

Looking over this summer's crop of movie titles,
it seems like filmmakers are still relying on
fossil franchises to fuel their flicks.
As with the actual 1980s, I will probably
have mixed feelings towards them.

Here are a few examples I've heard about:

Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li--
February 27, 2009
Director: Andrzej Barkowiak
Is a "Tekken" or "Soul Calibur" movie
too hard to ask for? Virtua Fighter,
Killer Instinct, Primal Rage, Streets
Of Rage or even Final Fight?

Watchmen--March 6, 2009
Director: Zack Snyder
The classic '80s graphic novel is brought to
life at last. Didn't take this long
for "30 Days Of Night," "Wanted" or "300".

Race to Witch Mountain--March 13, 2009
Director: Andy Fickman
Alien kids with strange powers?
Sounds like a 25+ year old concept.
At least they can digitally erase the
strings holding up the camper this time.

Star Trek--May 8, 2009
Director: J.J. Abrams
There was the original series,
an animated series, a Captain Kirk set
of films and sequels, a Captain Picard set
of sequels, four spin-off TV shows, an
excellent parody-homage film, and
yet the trailer portrays a cool world
to boldly go to. Curious.

Terminator: Salvation--May 22, 2009
Director: McG
According to the news an evil version
of Christian Bale arrived from the future
and made trouble on set, perhaps sent by
a future audience who saw the film?

Land Of The Lost--June 5, 2009
Director: Brad Silberling
The original show aired in 1974.
Perhaps the title fits the year
2009 better.

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen--
June 26, 2009
Director: Michael Bay
My first impressions of the
first movie transformed upon
seeing the finished product.
Then "WALL*E" became my
favorite robot-based film.
There is supposed to be a
director's cut of "Metropolis"
arriving someday. Until then,
this could be the film to beat.

G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra--
August 7, 2009
Director: Stephen Sommers
I think a "Micronauts" movie
would have been a better choice.
What about "Shogun Warriors"?

It will be interesting to see
the remakes of "The Love Guru",
"Meet Dave" and "Starship Troopers"
in 20 years.

Monday, December 29, 2008

35 years of 'Hearts of Space'

Today I was informed by NPR that the weekly "space music"
program 'Hearts of Space' was celebrating its 25th year
on the air. The show officially began in 1973, but was
not syndicated until 1983.

I remember listening to the show at night
during summers spent in New Jersey. It definitely
showcases sleep-inducing music most of the time, without
the sleepwalking side-effect of Ambien. It also doesn't
always have a clear message or agenda. Sometimes it is nice
to listen to music that doesn't pummel you, punish your
ears or push you into slaying small animals.

Host Steven Hill has hypnotic interludes between
songs, flatly informing the audience about songs
and artists.

Some artists that I've been introduced to on 'HOS':
*Philip Glass
*Andreas Vollenweider
*Oystein Sevag
*Brian Eno
*Isao Tomita
*david torn
*Ryuichi Sakamoto
*George Winston

Steven Hill and 'Hearts of Space', thanks for
lulling people into deep space and deep sleep
for the last 35 years!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday!

It is my wife's birthday on
November 11.

Christmas On Mars

The new album/movie from the Flaming Lips
arrives in stores on November 11, 2008.
It supposedly took Lips' frontman Wayne
Coyne about seven years to film this

If you have listened to and enjoyed their
music in the past, perhaps this will interest