Where it came from…

I originally started this blog as a cathartic way to get things off my mind and fall asleep at night, as you have noticed I haven’t been blogging as much and as a result I have gradually been finding it harder to fall asleep.  I guess I’ll start blogging about my life again.

I really wanted to talk about String Burn LIVE!  If you have not heard me talk about it, SBL is a live video video show that streams online every Saturday morning at 10am Central time.  I’m doing the show, with my long-time production partner Dan Reifenberger, from the sun room off the back of my house and the blood sweat and tears of our “spare time”.  I was lucky to get a great co-host to sit next to me, and that’s fellow yo-yoer Kirby Kirchgasler.  I chose Saturday mornings because, what else are you doing Saturday mornings?  I figure that most people are sleeping or just lounging at that time and if they had something to watch they would tune in… I hope that works out.  Our other options were to do it M-F at about that time in the morning, but I figure that would negate most working people, and during the school year it would rule out students as well. Or we could have done it late at night, but there are problems there too.

When I was telling Dan about this idea he had just procured a program for is Mac called Boinx TV that does live multi camera switching and with a weird but functional hack to send it to UStream, and just like that the show was born.

I was looking for a name for the show and I asked my friend Robyn what it should be called and she came back with about a dozen suggestions like Recoil, Rebound, Spun, and Rope Burn, I saw that last one and said that’s it “String Burn LIVE!” and the name was born.

Is anyone still reading this?  I hope not, I’m just rambling.  rambling rambling rambling. apostrophe. rambling.

We have had some teases of opportunities for real studio space, and one of them might actually pan out.  The most important thing that we are looking for is bandwidth because the better looking the show is on the live stream the more viable it makes us look.  respect.

Our set is sparse, we don’t even have a logo yet and we have had some people bitch about those points, but you know what?  It’s our thing.  It’s our thing to build.  You can avoid our thing if you want, of you can help contribute to our thing, or you can build your own thing, but if you’re trying to tear our thing down then you need stfu.  We have had some good legit constructive criticism though, my friend James pointed me to Kevin Pollaks Chat Show as a source for inspiration for our set, black background.  It’s funny watching Kevin Pollaks Chat Show because he’s doing a very similar thing to what I am trying to do, except with some cash, a studio, staff, and a pipe to the intervision that must be a mile wide.  The funny thing, it’s funny watching that because he keeps making jokes about how they “are not ready yet”, well, I would die a happy man if SBL were at the same level that his show is at.

More rambling.

A logo for the show is coming very soon, I think you’re going to like it.

I dunno, that’s about it for now.  But I’ve got a lot more to talk about in the future.  You don’t have to read it, but I’ve gotta write it to get it off my mind.

Movie Trailer Review; Episode 27

The Brothers Bloom is a delightful romp… I’m not 100% on it, but I liked it well enough.  My favorite thing about going to Uptown to see a film is getting to see a bunch of trailers for movies that you’ve never heard of.

The Girl From Monaco

This film seems to be one of the millions of films that are made abroad every year that is in every way superior to the movies that come out of Hollywood.  The film looks sexy, with beautiful photography, the trailer had deceit and adventure and a sympathetic protagonist.  Only a small handful of those millions of foreign films make it to America at all, and every year only one of those films becomes a movie that average people might actually see, I don’t think this is that film.  This is the film that you see and it sticks with you but nobody else you ever meet will have even heard of the movie.  /commentary.  The Girl From Monaco is written and directed by Anne Fontaine who has several credits to her name in the vane of films that as an American I have never heard of.  The trailer introduces us to Bertrand, a lawyer who is defending someone in a murder case, and his bodyguard and his bodyguards former lover, The Girl From Monaco.  Soon it seems apparent that Bertrand is being played as a pawn in a greater scheme, but what could it be?

The Hurt Locker

In 1991 Katherine Bigelow made Point Break and for that I hate her for giving Keanu Reeves work.  I kid, I kid.  Point Break is a move that I dislike because it is dumb and bad, but a lot of people like it because they think it’s dumb and bad and awesome.  The Hurt Locker is Bigelows latest film which based on the trailer is smart, and awesome and awesome.  Set in the modern Iraq war, The Hurt Locker follows a bomb squad around in their work, it stars Jeremy Renner, Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes.  The trailer is action packed, fun and gives you just a hint of what the movie is about and really makes me want to see it.  This was a grade A trailer.

Rudo y Cursi

In my write up of The Girl From Monaco I ranted about foreign films that Americans never see, I do think Rudo Y Cursi is a foreign film that Americans might see. Rudo y Cursi is the story of two brothers from a small town that get the chance to follow their dream and play professional soccer.  The film is directed and written by Carlos Cuaron and produced by Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men).  The trailer is a lot of fun and I really think it will be bigger than most foreign films get.

Away We Go

Enter Garden State, or Napoleon Dynamite, or JunoAway We Go is the indi darling film of the year.  Written by David Eggers (the master behind McSweeney’s) and directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), Away We Go is the story of an unmarried couple expecting a child and how their relationship grows as the pregnancy progresses.  It stars John Krasinski (The Office) and Maya Rudolph (SNL).  The trailer is fun and funny and it has a lot of good gags.  This is a stretch for me to think about Sam Mendes doing this light material (his last film, Revolutionary Road, was one of the heaviest unwatchable painful movies ever) but I’m excited to see what he does with the material.

Food Inc

A couple weeks ago I finally got around to seeing the documentary King Corn which attempts to take a look at the industrialization of corn farming in America.  The film analyzes how we got to this point and where all the corn goes and it does so with a pretty even hand, you can tell that they just want to shout that High Fructose Corn Syrup is evil, but they don’t do that, they just explain the pro’s and con’s of it.  Food Inc on the other hand seems to be dusting off the soap box (the one that is mostly crushed by Michael Moore) to take on food industry head on.  This film I will be approaching with the same delicate gloves that I use when I watch a Michael Moore film.  Food Inc is directed by Robert Kenner.

I feel like I’m missing one, but I can’t remember what it is.

-Josh

Movie Trailer Review, Episode 26

Just saw the movie Taken and it was grade “A” awesome!  Four new trailers to review.

Terminator Salvation

This film is being directed by Mcg (who the hell calls them self Mcg?) and is being produced outside of the typical Terminator cannon because it is being produced without James Cameron on board in any way shape or form.  We all know that ill tempered Christian Bale is playing John Conner which is kinda cool and the film was written by Paul Haggis who has written some of the best screenplays in Hollywood in the last decade (Casino Royal, In the Valley of Elah, Crash, and Flags of our Fathers).  The trailer was cool… showed a tank rolling over some skulls, Christian Bale sounding like a Batman who is done trying and it pretty much tells us the entire plot of the movie.  I’ve never rated trailers on a number scale, but if one was terrible, ten was awesome and five was mediocre then I would give this trailer a four.

Haunting in Connecticut

Co-written by a guy who wrote Carnosaur and another guy who wrote Kalifornia (left and right punch, watch for the uppercut!) and directed by a first time feature directory (OOOOH!  There it is!  This film is gonna suck!).  The trailer is just awful and clearly draws on some of the most typical cliché is modern horror including a quick reflection in a television and strange markings tattooed all over a body.  I’m a little bit surprised that the trailer didn’t just give the end of the movie away because it sure didn’t hold anything else back.  The trailer seems to say to the audience “I think you’re too stupid to understand the images on the screen so I am going to walk you through each one step by step so that you’ll understand it an want to see the film”.  Of course it ends up having the inverse reaction and makes me want to destroy the print before I or anyone else has the misfortune of seeing it.

Angels & Demons

I only hope that Ron Howard learned what he did wrong in the first movie.  I liked how short this trailer was and I hope that the movie delivers.

12 Rounds

John Cenas daughter gets kidnapped by an escaped convict that he put behind bars.  Trailer suffers from the same thing the trailer for Haunting in Connecticut does.  The convict makes Cena do a bunch of errands like Die Hard; With a Vengeance.  This was a terrible trailer and looks like a terrible movie… so I guess it fits.

Verdict; movie was way better than the trailers.

-Josh

Short reviews of other Oscar films

Hello.

Revolutionary Road

I hated this film. It is dark and devoid of hope and is completely unlikable. I’m sure that is what Director Sam Mendes was going for and I respect it, but I don’t like it. The film touches on a lot of the same themes as American Beauty (also directed by Mendes) but where American Beauty was poetic and engaging Revolutionary Road was dark and depressing. Both Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio delivered fantastic performances but I don’t recommend this film.

Doubt

First off Doubt is a fantastic looking movie. The cinematographer was Roger Deakins. Something that I have noticed about cinematographers are either average (get the job done) or excellent and Roger Deakins is the best of the excellent. It isn’t like directors and actors who have performances that vary from film to film, if someone tells you that Roger Deakins shot the film you know it looks amazing. Blah blah blah. Doubt brings three great performances from Phil Hoffman, Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. My only complaint about the movie is that it gets a little ‘stage play’ talky in the third act. The film was directed by John Patrick Shanley who also wrote the original play and screenplay.

Waltz with Bashir

This is an animated film that was Israel’s submission for best Foreign Film. It deals with a massacre that occurred at the Sabra and Shantila POW camp during the Lebanon war in 1982. More specifically it deals with Ari, a former Israeli solider who has blocked all memory of the event at Sabra and Shantila and how he reconnects with other soldiers that were there so he can try and remember his involvement with the event and come to terms with it. The film looks just stunning and the vector animation that drives the film really adds to the movement and momentum that live action just could not have delivered. If the academy was smart (which we already know they are not) they would have nominated the song ‘Beirut’ from the film for best song.

The Wrestler

This film was amazing. It knew what it had to do and it delivered on it in spades. This is by far the most straightforward film by Director Darren Aronofsky and it shows his impressive talent and vision with the film medium. Both the film and the director deserved nominations (which they did not get) for this film. Based on his performance in this roll and who he is up against Mickey Rourke earned this nomination and deserves the award.

-Josh

the Oscars as Marketing

I talk a lot about the Academy Awards so I’m suprised that I had never considered this before, but I was listening to the /filmcast that featured Stephen Tobolowsky and he brought up the interesting concept that the Oscars are nothing more than a marketing tool for films that are currently in the theater. Based on his theory The Dark Knight didn’t get nominated for best picture because it already made a bucket of money but the Curious Case of Benjamin Button is still in theaters and still has money to be made…

Maybe this is happening more and more over time, but there has been a lot of discussion about how the films nominated this year are amoung the lowest grossing films ever to be nominated.

-Josh

More problems with Windows Live Writer

I don’t know why I have never run into this problem before, but I was getting an error that said

"Invalid Server Response – The response to the blogger.getUsersBlogs method received from the weblog server was invalid".

And so I googled around and found this site that listed several fixes and none of them worked.  The fix ended up being setting up the link to my xmlrpc.php as ‘schalicto.com/xmlrpc.php’ instead of ‘www.schalicto.com/xmlrpc.php’ .  Lame, but fixed.

Josh