July 1, 2009

Where the crap is Mr. Director anyway?!?

Just wanted to post about not posting.

It seems that blogging is not at the top of my to-do list these days. Not to say I don't have a lot to talk about. Just not enough time to 1. put my tornado-dashed thoughts to words you'd all understand, and 2. put those words onto digi-paper.

The truth is, my wife and I have been working on remodeling an old house we just bought, and between that, a full-time job, 3 kids, and late-night DIY Network television watching, I've been pretty swamped.

So to feel like I've made a contribution to this blog, I will briefly throw out some things that I've been thinking lately. Feel free to agree, disagree, ignore or other:

1. Michael Jackson is dead. I am indifferent as to whether or not he drugged himself, or whether or not his mom wins custody of the kids, or whether or not he went to heaven, etc. He's finally at rest, he's where he's supposed to be, and I am sure he's fully aware of where his choices have led him at this point. Time for us to find something more meaningful to talk about.

2. Do It Yourself. If you get the chance to, do it yourself. You'll be surprised at how much you'll learn by getting your hands in the drywall mud, and you might even enjoy it.

3. Libraries are awesome.

4. People bag on the companies that outsource call center work to other countries like India or China, saying that jobs are being taken away from Americans. I don't know. The way I see it, if you can get somebody else to do the mindless, repetitive tasks (i.e. answering phones and placing orders), wouldn't that free up everyone else to focus on jobs and skills that are actually fulfilling and meaningful? Why force an American to answer the phone all day long, when instead you can teach them to critically think and problem solve, and then give them a job that pushes them to grow and create and thrive? Why not look at outsourcing those minimum-wage jobs as a way for Americans to spend time learning how to stay at the top of the international market in almost every industry out there? Hmm?

5. Summer Movies: What a letdown, eh? Star Trek was good. UP was amazingly good. I even heard The Proposal was worthwhile. But what about the rubbish? Terminator: Salvation? Transformers? What ever happened to those summers when you couldn't wait to see all the great popcorn-fare flicks? What'll we do once the real summer heat kicks in and we'd rather roast in the sun rather than sit in a nice cool theater watching total crap? Maybe I'll just go...

6. ...Camping. Yup, camping is awesome. If you haven't gone yet this summer, do it right now. Go to Walmart, buy whatever you need (tent, pack, sleeping bag, whatever you lack) and get outdoors. Build a fire. Fire is awesome. Cook some meat on the fire. Cut some sticks with your pocket knife, just because you can. Pee in the woods. Swim in a freezing-cold stream or lake, if ther're one nearby. Climb some rocks. Play flashlight wars or Capture The Flag. Go fishing. Sleep on the cold hard ground. Eat beef jerky and trail mix. Watch the sunset. Get up at dawn. Hike. Camping is amazing. Camping is the best way to get you to feel the way God intended: alive.

Thanks for reading.

April 7, 2008

Free Hugs?

YES! Hugs for free! I love this concept!

And by "free" I don't merely mean you don't have to pay money for them (that would be wrong on so many levels, anyway). But rather you get it regardless of who you are, what you look like, where you come from, where you're going, or whether or not you know the person you're hugging. That is such a sweet deal!

Think about it: we all know each other to some degree already. We all come from the same Creator, and we're all in this human experience together. So why be afraid to show love by hugging? My personal experience of hugging strangers is this: those that accept the hug are touched on a deeper level than if they had simply received a "hello," or even a handshake. I've seen complete strangers tear up after receiving a hug from me, not because I'm such an awesome hugger (although I am...if you don't believe me come on by and I'll give you one for free), but because there is such a lack in human interaction, in the open expression of LOVE for each other, that when people receive it, it can be a highly spiritual experience for them.

Skeptical, are you? Then go out into your lives, into your workplaces and homes and churches and communities, and start hugging the people you see on a regular basis. Once you feel warmed up, start hugging strangers. You will be amazed at what that will do for your life. If done in the right spirit, it can be life changing. Isn't that so cool?

Check out: www.freehugscampaign.org

April 1, 2008


Jerry Seinfeld, in one of his classic sketches, said that for men growing up, "being a superhero wasn't a fantasy. It was an option."

Nobody knows this better than me, a bonafide grown-up wanna-be superhero who happens to have a 3 year-old son with similar ambitions. The difference between him and I is that I am fully aware of the facts:
1. I can't fly.
2. I am NOT invincible.
3. I do not look good in bright-colored tights.
4. I know the truth about "special FX" and "CGI."

For my boy, however, these are all just minor formalities that are easily overcome by popping his favorite CD in the stereo (a mix of Superhero theme songs from their beloved cinematic counterparts), strapping on his reversible Velcro Superman/Batman cape, and climbing up on the nearest piece of furniture for the full effect. For this kid--my son, my flesh and blood--being a real superhero is like being anything else. Anybody can do it as long as they're committed to going all the way. And believe me, he is!

"What do you want to be for Halloween?

"What movie do you want to watch tonight?"

"What do you-"

"What about-"

"Indiana Jones!" (He's the exception to the super powers rule)

"Superman! I already told you!"

And it goes on and on. This isn't a bad thing, mind you. There are a hundred other things he could be interested in, things that don't promote the standard superhero qualities of courage, strength, selflessness, saving people in need... He could be calling me "dizzad" and asking for a toy "gat" and some "bling" for his birthday. Thank goodness he ain't some wannabe original gangsta, or I'd be set-tripping on his baby grill while he's still tippin' with his mini-homies, and then 86 'em all outta my crib straight-up!

The day will come when this kid gets to learn that superheroes are a thing of fiction, of fantasy, of make-believe. He'll get to find ways of coping with the reality that he'll never be invincible, he'll never be able to fly on his own, he'll never have a good reason for donning an emblematic, tights-based costume for the good of mankind. But the beauty of what he's living now is that he'll grow up knowing of the joy one feels by serving his fellow man in heroic and courageous ways, and if he's lucky, he may find himself in a career that allows him to do that on a daily basis. Saving lives, living in integrity, and standing for truth, justice, and the human way--these are the qualities all real-life heroes should have, no cape required.

But for now, I'm gonna let the kid fly.

March 27, 2008

Indiana Jones 4

I can't seem to get enough of this trailer! The movie opens May 22nd, and believe me, I will be first in line! Click the widget to view the trailer...it is definitely worth it. In fact, if enough of you click the widget (and it would have to be a ton of you) I might win a chance to go to the premiere! For those who know me well, you know how big of a deal that would be. Click away!

March 19, 2008

A Max Caliber Exclusive!

This just in! An exclusive scene from the upcoming MAX CALIBER movie was sent to me by none other than Max Caliber himself, Chris Cowden! He's currently editing the film in Thailand, where it was also filmed, and it should be released some time this year (probably around Summer). Hope you like it!

I Believe In Chris Nolan

Summer 2008 will be big for movie goers, with the announced releases of big-ticket blockbusters like The Incredible Hulk, Wall-E, The Happening, Indiana Jones 4 (my personal fave), and many others. Amidst those summer releases is Chris Nolan's follow up to his refreshing take on the Batman franchise, Batman Begins.

This year's installment, THE DARK KNIGHT (yeah, dog), promises to be darker, sleeker, and badder than its predecessor, thanks in part to the late Heath Ledger's ominous performance as the Joker--which, based on what I've seen thus far (photos, trailers, & the IMAX short film that screened before I Am Legend), could and should be considered the truest on-screen Joker portrayal ever, rivaling even the versions we've seen in the Batman comics. No offense, Jack Nicholson, but I think Ledger has you beat as far as creepiness goes.

Nolan has done for Batman what many other studios seem to be attempting for their failed franchises. For example, the HULK franchise is getting a facelift, tummy-tuck, and lobotomy with this summer's release of The Incredible Hulk (Edward Norton, who I think is one of Hollywood's best, plays the big green guy). The X-MEN series, which ended on a somewhat flat note with the lackluster X3, looks to breath new life and audience-interest into the franchise with the upcoming WOLVERINE (an X-MEN prequel of sorts). And let's not forget goldenboy JJ Abrams' no-small-feat-of-a-revival prequel to every Star Trek movie (or TV episode, for that matter) ever made, with his hip incarnation of STAR TREK, coming out the end of this year. Lots of big kids calling "do-over" this year, and I'm confident the results will be worthy of some good theater-time this summer, popcorn in hand, of course.

Regardless of this total disregard for original story (heh heh...like there are any truly original stories any more, right?), I am super excited about the Batman series and what it has done for the Dark Knight's character. I am also stoked about the marketing tricks Nolan and his team have pulled out of their hats this time around. Talk about smart advertising: It all started with a phantom website that seemed to pop up out of nowhere, the original www.ibelieveinharveydent.com, which consisted simply of a campaign poster for Gotham D.A. candidate Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Then there was another site, www.ibelieveinharveydenttoo.com, with an image of that same poster, only this one has been vandalized...a red smile and black eyes spray-painted on it (obviously the Joker isn't a big fan of Mr. Dent).

Then the sites vanished. Then the teaser trailer, which had a few soundbites over an image of the Batman logo being blasted by white lasers or something. Then another website for Joker followers, encouraging people to paint their faces like the Joker and take their pics next to some landmark in their city. Lots of people got involved, even out here in Utah.

Then came the big release of the current trailer, followed by an announcement that there would be a special, IMAX-only showing of the first minutes of The Dark Knight, which would play before the IMAX showing of I Am Legend. I actually went to I Am Legend just so I could see this short film, which featured none other than the Joker himself doing Jokerly deeds in a Gotham City bank. So cool. And so smart! I have been aching to see the rest of the movie ever since, and come opening night, I will be in line with ticket in hand.

Most recently is the reemergence of www.ibelieveinharveydent.com, only now it is a full-fledged campaign website for Mr. Dent, where fans can sign up for newsletters, join campaign rallies, visit with the Dentmobile, etc. If you haven't visited it yet, take a minute and drop on by. Check out the downloads section, where you can download banners for sign waving. Or go to the On The Road page and see if the Dentmobile will be in your neighborhood. If you're a fan of Nolan's vision, then you'll love this site. It's pretty convincing! I believe in what the Batman Begins crew are doing to this franchise. I believe it will be one of my year's favorite movies. I believe that Heath Ledger has made movie history as the Joker.

And I believe in Chris Nolan.