Jet Li as Tintin.
Once again @MKupperman has me laughing like a howler monkey.
Jet Li as Tintin.
Once again @MKupperman has me laughing like a howler monkey.
Weird ad in The New Yorker!
Nearly shot martini through my nose.
Good people: My book “A Year at the Movies” will be released as an eBook on May 14th. It’s my chronicle of the modern movie-going experience, in which I pledged to go to a theater and see a movie, every day, for an entire year.
And now, finally, it will be released in handy, virtual, ghostly ebook form for your convenience. It’s the same book, but also features a new introduction which I wrote just this year. Harper Collins is realeasing it in every imaginable ebook form in the known universe.
If you haven’t read the book, I invite you to enjoy it. I’m surprised how little has changed, and how much has changed, in the ten years since it was originally published.
If you have read it, and would like to read it again, or give it to a friend, now you won’t have to search the remainder shelves for a copy.
I hope to do some sort of Q&A along with the release, so stay tuned. Thank you for your kind attention.
I found this fella today tied to a bench in Prospect Park. I was taking a jog, and stopped to get him some much needed lunch and a bath. We visited the vet (Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital, 365 7th Ave Brooklyn - they were amazing and so informative) and got him all checked out. His name is Bentley according to his microchip.
He is very friendly and well-behaved, though he needs a little help on the leash. Part of that is probably that he’s only about two years old (vet estimate). We got his shots, some antibiotics for the wear and tear that comes from living on a bench for a few days, and some dog food to get him fattened up. His collar was traded in for a harness (way easier to walk).
He weighs 52.6 lbs, and he’ll get bigger as he eats properly. Right now he’s napping on his new bed, and he’s so freaking cute and wonderful.
But I can’t have a dog right now. As much as I would love to keep him it wouldn’t be fair to him, and it would be irresponsible of me considering my current employment situation (recently fired, not quite freelancing). I’ve contacted Shawn Casey of animal rescue but they are currently full. If any one wants this friendly guy please let me know. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer any questions you might have. Until then, we’re going to bop along and probably go on some jogs together. Also I’m going to fatten him up properly.
It’s been a long day for me, and a terrible week for Bentley. I hope he gets really healthy and happy. I don’t know about fate, but I think this was supposed to happen today.
Edit: I want to address a concern about some information I didn’t include concerning Bentley’s microchip. I didn’t mention that yes, his owners were registered along with their address and phone number. I worked with the vet to contact them and unfortunately, after repeat attempts, we haven’t had a response sine Monday. The more I get to know Bentley’s personality and his likes and dislikes, it’s plain to see that his old life may not have been as loving as we would like. I have followed up with 311 to make sure I am not stealing someone’s beloved pet, but considering the state I found him in, and the lack of response from his registered owners, they explained that he is now my responsibility. I hope that this is for the better. He has been very happy and playful today, and has even taken naps and played with his chew toys. He wasn’t doing any of that yesterday. He is still having some anxiety issues but the arrival of a crate has given him some security and a safe space to himself, which I think he definitely deserves. Tomorrow is another big day, and we will start meeting some prospective pet owners! Yay Bentley!
Come on, South Slopeans. Help this dog out. And/or stop tying your dogs to benches.
Our newest VOD is Psycho 2! Turns out hilarious re-imaginings of classic Hitchcock movies aren’t just for James Nguyen!
Get it here.
Stay for the scene at the end.
Hey, wow, you remember that! Well I still have that writing and more, but since the collection had the title “Why Hollywood Sucks” there weren’t a lot of publishers interested. So I think I’ll be releasing that essay and others later in the year. So stay tuned, and thanks for writing.
So. I heard about the passing of Ray Harryhausen, and my mind immediately spun back to 1963.
It’s the first year of my life I remember with any clarity, the year that my Dad would move us out of the elm-lined avenues of River Forest and into the corn-and-soybean-surrounded spankin’ new housing of the far west Chicago suburbs.
My sister was playing the grooves off her copy of the Beatles’ first album Please Please Me and my brothers were learning Kinks riffs - one on guitar and one on drums - and certainly driving my parents to drink.
I was in second grade and hated it, hated my new school, hated the Nazi tactics of my Vader’s precursor of a teacher Sister Martilia.
But it was also the year my mom started making my brothers drag me along to movies, and more than anything I remember the movies. Made everything else tolerable.
In 1963 widescreen had spread like a brushfire. I saw a lot of movies, but I clearly remember three: The Great Escape, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and Jason and the Argonauts. I don’t think I could’ve picked a better spread of movies for a kid my age. all of them sprawling, all of them barreling along, all of them really fun to watch, just to watch, just to get sucked into that Brobdingnagian image and sound up there.
While the first two films taught me through osmosis the thrill of multiple parallel story lines, Jason was an adventure, a quest, and frankly it was the most fun to watch with my six-year-old eyes. Sinbad had featured a fighting skeleton, but Jason had a whole damn battalion of them, all angry and pretty unskillful, more dangerous-looking than dangerous. Handsome bearded Jason and voluptuous Medea? Well sure, they were there, but come on, skeletons! Plus two flying harpies, big stone Triton (we called him Neptune, he looked like a Neptune), nasty Hydra, the dreamy talking statue of Hera (stone fox), the ship-crunching colossus Talos.
What brought this chunk of dubious Greek myth to life was Harryhausen. Harryhausen and Dynamation. Stop-motion + rear projection + split screen + foreground mattes. He’d worked on it for a good twenty years and then unleashed on us like Walter White’s meth but for the eyes.
Those kinetic fantasies, bigger than life yet convincingly to scale, worked. No strings, no guys in rubber costumes, actual unnatural things brought to life. Twitchy, jerky life to be sure, but enough for me to willingly suspend my disbelief. The world of fantastic cinema opened up to me because now the fantasticalness made a kind of sense. I’m thinking this is how people might have felt when they first saw George Méliès.
See, this is my Star Wars, kids. This was the amped-up heroes’ quest that fired my playground dramas and filled my couch-cushion castles. It was cool. And as the age of Star Wars and all that owes as much to Dykstra, Trumbell, Winston and ILM as it does to Lucas, Spielberg, Ridley and Jackson, and maybe more, they in turn happily acknowledge their debt to Harryhausen. All of them.
And so do I. Thank you Ray. You spun my second-grader’s head around and helped make me a movie-lover.
Forget your Games of Throne - that’s just people in fancy dress drinking wine and lighting swords on fire, and a hot chick with dragons.
It’s SPIDERS you want, right? And by the Seven, we have a WHOLE KINGDOM OF THEM. And as if that isn’t enough, they’re on WILLIAM SHATNER. And it all ends BADLY.
Enjoy, good people. The Spider Royal Family bids you welcome to their realm.