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.

March 17, 2008

Screen Cleaner

PC monitors have a tendency to become foggy from the inside out, and it is a good idea to do a regular maintenance on them so that your picture quality is at its best. If you've never run this cleaning program on your computer yet, it's really easy. Just click the "Clean Monitor" button below to activate. It only takes a moment to complete. Thanks to Jase Bennett for sending me this info.


My Arms Hurt...

I don't know about you other guys out there, but I've landed a job where it is common practice for the administrators (who almost all happen to be women) to ask the gentlemen of the company--myself included--to handle the majority of the "heavy lifting." By "heavy lifting" I literally mean lifting heavy stuff that needs to go from one place in the library to the other. New furniture, old tables, boxes of who knows what, carts of books, and most recently, 47 big boxes of brand new arm chairs, which consequently had to be un-boxed and hand carried to the basement level of the building. Heavy lifting. And lots of it, too. The joke that is going around is that it's part of my "job description." That little comment always seems to raise laughs with the women here. I don't recall anything about heavy lifting in my job description. In fact, it wasn't even discussed in my interview (not that it would've affected my desire to work here anyway). Like I said, it's common practice, and I guess you could say I am getting used to it.

Now, I'm not necessarily against the exploitation of my genderical (is that even a word?!?) qualities if it means that the nice ladies on the 3rd floor don't have to carry lots of heavy crap. In fact, I'm usually the first to offer my assistance when it comes to things of that nature. It's what I as a child learned to call "chivalry." Also, it pays to be on the boss' good side, and they remember things like this when it comes down to evaluation time. Moreover, I really like my female coworkers. They're great people who genuinely appreciate the "heavy lifting" that we do for them. They even give us guys cookies for helping them. All in all, it's the right thing to do, and I shouldn't complain.

With all that said, however, the fact still remains...My arms hurt.

March 10, 2008

This Month's Poll...

I know you've all been waiting for this moment... I have posted this month's poll: WHO IS THE ULTIMATE IRON CHEF?

For those who know me, they know that I love the Food Network. I especially love the show IRON CHEF AMERICA, hosted by none other than the Food Guru himself, Alton Brown (one of my heroes). If you've never seen the show, here's a quick rundown: ISA is based on its Japanese counterpart, IRON CHEF, in which world-renowned chefs gather at Kitchen Stadium to do culinary battle against one of the reigning Iron Chefs - masters of world cuisine who have proven themselves on the food front lines. At the beginning of each challenge, a secret ingredient is announced, and the chefs then have 60 minutes to create from scratch 4 to 5 original dishes that feature the aforementioned secret ingredient. There are no limits to what these masters can create as long as they get all their dishes plated before the buzzer sounds, and they feature (not just hint at) the secret ingredient. Pretty exciting, right? Well, couple the action with Alton Brown's genius commentating and quick wit, along with some of the industry's best food critics as the judges and a full-on samurai as your host (sword and all...just watch the ISA ads), and you've got one heck of a great show!

So this month's question deals with who you feel is the ULTIMATE Iron Chef. Is it Mario Batali, the Italian Stallion of cooking? Is it Cat Cora, the Bay-Area Beauty with a knack for Mediterranean cuisine? Or is it Bobby Flay, Mr. Grill himself? Could it be Masaharu Morimoto, the Japanese legend? Or perhaps Michael Symon, Ohio Farmboy and Iron Chef newcomer? You decide!

March 5, 2008

And the Verdict Is...

"SHERBET"! That's right, it is a statistical fact, boys and girls, that more people pronounce the word "SURE-BET" than "SURE, BURT," or any other way for that matter. Here are the figures:

50 % say it like "SURE-BET"
33% say it like "SURE, BURT"
and surprisingly,
16% say it some other way.

(Some Other Way)

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in this month's poll, all 6 of you. You've contributed to society in a way the world will never forget. I will mail my findings to Webster Co. and demand that they include them in the pronunciation portion of the dictionary under the word "sherbet," so no other child will ever have to grow up confused about how to say it correctly.

Be sure to check back for this month's poll, coming soon! Let's keep making statistical history! Together we can change the world!!

March 4, 2008

Music Video by Second Person

Anyone ever heard of SellABand.com? If not, check it out. It's a cool site that has launched the musical dreams of a number of otherwise unknown but highly talented musicians. A good friend of mine, Cubworld, happens to be one of the SellABand poster kids (and rightfully so...he's awesome). If you have already heard of it, then you know that there is a lot of good music out there.

While in Amsterdam last August, I saw one of these groups perform live, with this video playing in the background. The group: Second Person. The song: "Wood." The video: Pretty dang cool. Actually, the story behind this video is that Mark, the bass player/leader of the band, wanted an animated video, and instead of toiling over it all himself, he sent out a cry for collaboration (which has to be my my new favorite word) to filmmakers and animators from across the world. They each created a portion of the video, he tweaked and directed and organized and pieced together each part of the work, until at last he had this visionary, Gorillaz-esque music video. The song by itself is a great work as well. Check it out. And if you like it, go to their page and let them know.

I'm Back!

It has been about a week since my last post, and since then I have had some life-changing, or rather, life-DEFINING experiences. It's not too often that we get to take a close look at ourselves and determine who we really are, why we were created, and just what it is we are here on Earth to do. Having gone through that myself, I can honestly say that I don't know how I was living prior to this past week!

Before you get to thinking that I've joined some cult or otherwise have completely lost my marbles, let me just say that there is a company called Impact Trainings (check out www.impacttrainings.com) that hosts these aforementioned "life-defining" experiences. I have attended 2 rounds of trainings through them, and plan to continue to attend the upcoming sessions later in the year. The people who run these programs are amazing...truly inspired. My experience of them is that they really get the whole mortality thing; that they have a good grasp on where the world is headed and what needs to change in order to save us all from some really bad days (putting it lightly). And everything they teach is centered on the basic universal principal called UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. That is a whole topic all its own, and I am sure I'll be writing some thoughts and feelings about that real soon. But to give you an idea of the way I feel, ask yourself this: What would your life be like, or how would your life be different, if you honestly fully loved yourself 100%, having forgiven yourself and everyone who has ever hurt you in some way or another (and I mean real forgiveness), and you didn't care about what others think or say about you because of the perfect way in which you love and know yourself? And what if you also had a pure knowledge that your Creator--that God in heaven who gave you your talents, abilities, your very life--that He loves you unconditionally and is aware of all the crap you go through in life, to the extent that no matter how specific you get with Him He is never surprised nor ashamed of you? Or if you, through real and tangible experiences, learned just exactly who you are, why you are here, and what your life's purpose really is? And I mean specifics, too...no vague and indescribable feelings, either. Whose life WOULDN'T change?!?

I've said it a million times and I'll keep saying it: those trainings are AMAZING!!

If you ever want to talk more about my specific experiences, drop me a line (or leave a comment) and I'd be more than happy to share some with you. They are sacred to me, and as such I don't feel it appropriate to post them on a blog (not exactly a "pearls before swine" sort of thing, yet it kind of is, you know?).

So that's where I've been...getting happy and loving and forgiving and all that good stuff! And because things for me have taken on new meaning, I expect the quality of my blogs to change just a bit (well, we shall see...I mean, that helicopter game was QUALITY!). The LIGHT IS ON and I AM HOME!!