Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN. HO HO HO."



Every year (well, usually a few times a year but specifically on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve) I sit down and re-watch one of the greatest Christmas movies ever made.

DIE HARD.

I can't remember when that tradition started, but it's been going strong for at least a decade and probably a bit longer. Not sure where this movie would rank in my list of "Top 25 of All Time" because I don't think I could actually make one of those, but it's on there.

It's definitely on the list of "Movies I will watch whenever it's on TV, no matter how far in it is" along with THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE FUGITIVE, THAT THING YOU DO, APOLLO 13 and THE BIG LEBOWSKI.

I love everything about DIE HARD, so I figured in the spirit of Christmas sharing, here are a few things you might not know about it.

Originally, John McTiernan was hired to direct COMMANDO 2. While that was being prepped, Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked to reprise his role. He turned it down, so they scrapped the sequel and moved on to an adaptation of a novel called Nothing Lasts Forever. That book was actually a sequel to another novel that had been turned into a film in 1968 called THE DETECTIVE. The lead actor in that film had a clause in his contract that gave him first option of reprising his role should a sequel ever be made, so because they had to, the first actor asked to play John McClane was 73-year-old Frank Sinatra.

Fortunately, he turned it down and paved the way for a score of other actors to follow his lead.

Because McTiernan was actually tasked with making COMMANDO 2, his first official choice (after Old Blue Eyes, anyway) was Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he said "No" to this one too. So did Tom Berenger, Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Don Johnson, Richard Dean Anderson, Robert DeNiro and Nick Nolte.

Eventually Bruce Willis landed the part, but since he was still filming MOONLIGHTING he could only work on DIE HARD at night after he was done filming on the set of his day job.

The teddy bear that never makes it out of the limo is the same bear that Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) takes home at the end of McTiernan's follow-up movie THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER.

There's more, but these are the best ones. Besides, what are you doing on the Internet? Get back to your new toys.




Monday, December 10, 2012

MY FRIENDS OVER YOU - CANDACE JEAN

Candace Jean is one of my favorite artists and also, one of my oldest friends. I've been a fan of her artwork for as long as I've known her and I used to convince her to use her talents to help my old band Cherem make merch. She did that on more than one occasion, helping us with t-shirts and the first ever demo that I still have a copy of in a box in my closet. There's even a dude with a tattoo of her stuff on his leg. That's dedication.

She and I have also been threatening to make a comic book together called GRUDGE CITY since sometime around 2005. I have the outline ready to go, but haven't scripted it yet. I keep putting it off because sometimes I feel silly having her use her time drawing a giant super hero battle (for free) when she has so much else on her plate. You know, things like working two jobs, being a mom and making amazing other pieces that make her booth at Craft Lake City a huge success each year and her online store an awesome place for gifts the rest of the year.

She has a new solo show opening tonight, December 11 at the Downtown Library. It's called 'Fictitious' and is full of her own renditions of famous children's book characters. Max in his Wild Thing crown, James and his Giant Peach, Mowgli and his jungle fame, Pippi Longstocking—everyone is represented in her gorgeously detailed style.

I'd show you some sneak peeks, but then you might not go see them in person. You can take a look at her Instagram (@candacejean) and Twitter (@mycandacejean) for a little bit, but you should really come out to the opening party tonight and see it all in person.

(I would have just stolen a few pics from the actual Instagram website, but it's down just like it always is.)

So there you have it. Come out to her art show, visit her website, her web store(s) and take a look at some awesome artwork. The flier is up top there, but here are the details again:

FICTITIOUS
Opening Reception, December 11, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
SLC Downtown Library, 210 E. 400 S.
Downstairs next to the Children's Department

And here is her website, so you can get all your Christmas stuff from there.

c a n d a c e j e a n 

P.S. She's incredibly shy, but if you walk up to her and tell her how much you love her stuff she'll be forever grateful. Also, if you could slip in that you're really looking forward to that GRUDGE CITY comic, that might put us both on the fast track.

Below is a little video that SLUG made in the run-up to Craft Lake City last year. It gives you a little behind-the-scenes look at how she does what she does. Enjoy. I'll see you tonight.

WHAT IF...? (PART II)

I followed a random link on the Internet the other day and came across the kind of thing I love. Now, I hate movie websites that focus all their attention on what actor might be cast in a role, but I love stories of actors that were almost cast in a role. I've written before about Tom Selleck getting but not keeping Indiana Jones, Kurt Russell almost getting Han Solo and Eric Stolz getting but not keeping Marty McFly, but here are a few others that never came to pass.

All of these actors turned down these roles, by the way.

Sean Connery as Gandalf in LORD OF THE RINGS and Morpheus in THE MATRIX: I don't know exactly how much different either of these films would have been, but probably a lot.

Emily Blunt as Black Widow in IRON MAN 2 and subsequently THE AVENGERS: I'm in love with Emily Blunt, so this would have been awesome for me. Had to turn it down because she was already attached to the Jack Black masterpiece GULLIVER'S TRAVELS.

Kevin Costner as Andy Dufrense in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION: Tim Robbins killed it in this movie (one that I will watch from any point whenever it's on TV), so I'm actually really glad Costner passed on this to make his critically-adored, award-winning magnum opus, WATERWORLD.

Molly Ringwald in both PRETTY WOMAN and GHOST: She passed on both of these and no one has heard from her since.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Dirk Diggler: Leo says this is his biggest regret in regards to roles he turned down. I love Marky Mark, but if hadn't gotten this role, we not have to hear about him starring in another piece of shit TRANSFORMERS movie. I don't know which way I lean on this one.

Johnny Depp as Ferris Bueller: He probably would have been awesome, but it would have been a much, much different movie. Ferris would have had some deep-rooted emotional problems that would have dwarfed anything wrong with Cameron Frye.

Jack Nicholson as Michael Corleone: Not the biggest fan of THE GODFATHER movies (I like them, I just don't worship them), but I definitely think Nicholson would have done more harm than good here.

Matt Damon as Harvey Dent in THE DARK KNIGHT and the lead in AVATAR: Happy he turned these down. Neither of them fit what he does as an actor and he must have known it.

Richard Greico as Jack Traven in SPEED: Another movie I will watch any time it's on TV and dare I say it actually has a lot to do with how good Keeanu Reeves is in it. It's the perfect movie for him. Greico, not so much.

Will Smith as Neo in THE MATRIX: Just think about Will Smith talking about weird shit with Sean Connery for a minute. Would we have had to watch two shitty sequels with such high expectations with these two in the lead roles?

Mickey Rourke as Axel Foley in BEVERLY HILLS COP: I think this was the movie that turned Eddie Murphy into a superstar. It would have been just awful with Rourke trying to crack wise while stuffing bananas in tailpipes. Great actor, but this movie would have suddenly not been a comedy.

Nicolas Cage as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in THE WRESTLER: Cage had this role then dropped out in order to pursue a string of weird, awful and forgettable movies. Much to the delight of Rourke who had been kind of MIA since passing on BEVERLY HILLS COP.

Matthew McConaughey as Jack Dawson in TITANIC: McConaughey waxing intellectual about high school girls while drowning in the Atlantic might have made this movie more watchable for the first and third hours. The middle part, when the boat is sinking, is actually pretty awesome and enjoyable. I hate everything else about this movie, but McConaughey might have given it a little comic relief just for being so out of place.

Burt Reynolds as Han Solo in STAR WARS: Harrison Ford was probably their last choice and the only guy not famous for his mustache.

I love this kind of thing. I'm sure there are tons more, but we'll save those for another day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

HEAVY METAL

We're getting the band(s) back together, dudes!

If you haven't heard—and you should have, because you're on the Internet all the time and pay very close attention to the hardcore scene, right?—both Tamerlane and Cherem are playing the annual Sub For Santa show that a few of our friends put on every year. You know, the one I wrote about for SLUG? It's at Club Sound on December 8, which is this weekend. Which is weird because it's already December and that means that 2012 is just about over. Crazy.

This one is actually the second of two shows this weekend. The first one is on Friday night with a few other local bands, so check that one out too, if you're interested.

This is probably it for Tamerlane. We never officially broke up and we probably never officially will, but it gets kind of old dragging out the same six songs once a year or so and it gets harder and harder to get everyone together, too. So this might be it, but never say never. We convinced Daryl, the bass player that played with us the longest, to take a break from studying cadavers and reading horribly boring med school text books to play again this year, so it should be pretty good. If you've never seen this band, and you're at all curious, you should come watch us.

Cherem, on the other hand, might be back together for real. Or at least as real as it can get for a bunch of dudes in their 30's. We've got both this weekend's Sub for Santa show and another one lined up on December 21. Bill moved back from NYC at the beginning of September and his first order of business was getting the band back together. Cherem hasn't played a show with Bill singing since July of 2007. We played a couple of shows that fall with a fill in vocalist, because the shows were already booked and Bill had to cancel his trip home at the last minute, but that was it. He recruited a couple of new guys to round out the lineup and we're pretty close to being ready to play live again.

I poured a good portion of my early and mid-20s into this band, so it'll be fun to shake the rust off and seen if it's still as much fun as it used to be.

Not quite sure how things play out after these couple of shows, but for now we're just going to have fun play some songs that nobody's heard live for 5 or 6 years. Should be a good time.

There's a couple of videos below. Unfortunately, I don't have time to get the beard back in time. Too bad.

Tamerlane - "Descend"

This was right after we wrote this song, back in 2008. Probably my favorite of the Tamerlane songs, too. We don't play it very well in this video (we play it much better now), but it's the best video we have of it.




Cherem - "Retribution"

This was the tail end of our only extended tour. It was recorded at one of my all-time favorite venues, the Showcase Theater in Corona, CA. That place was always like our home away from home.

MONSTER MASH

I'm stealing this idea.

In the future, anyway. I mean like way in the future. There are A LOT of steps that need to happen before I get to a point where I can successfully steal this idea, but still. It's going to happen.

Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, Cassanova), one of my favorite comic book writers, got his kid into monster movies this year. Then his kid became obsessed with them. So for his birthday party, Fraction used cardboard boxes and spray paint to build a small city in their backyard. Then all the kids in attendance dressed up as monsters and trashed the city.

He posted a bunch of pictures on his Twitter feed the day he did it and so did a few of the other people in attendance. He lives in Portland, where a ton of cool comic creators live, so a lot of them were there with their own children. Fraction's wife, Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble) posted one or two and in the background of one photo, you can see Brian Michael Bendis (All New X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man) with one of his kids. It took probably a week to build and all of two minutes to destroy.

It's probably my favorite kids birthday party idea of all time. And I will steal it one day.

Wait! I just remembered that I have a nephew now! Stealing this idea just became a lot more feasible. Now I just have to find out when his birthday is and convince his parents that this is as awesome of an idea as I think it is. 

Fingers crossed.




Monday, December 3, 2012

THE STORM

Walter Shreifels is one of my musical idols. Mainly for Quicksand, but also for many, many other reasons.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

OLD

Gregg Popovich is hilarious.

You might not believe me since the San Antonio Spurs play pretty boring, straight-forward basketball. They win a lot of games and have a lot of really, really good players (unlike the Jazz, who have assembled the biggest collection of average players with zero personality).

The problem with the Spurs though, is that most of their great players are pretty damn old. In basketball years, anyway. Tim Duncan is 36 and Manu Ginobili is 35. Tony Parker is only 30, but he has a bad ankle so that kind of ages him up a few years.

So yeah. A little up there in years and a lot of mileage on those legs. Because of that, Popovich sent all of those guys (including 25 year-old Danny Green) home after their Wednesday night (11/28) victory over the Orlando Magic. They were in the middle of a six game road trip (which they had won every game so far) and were finishing off their fourth game in five nights against the Miami Heat. A lot of noise was made and a lot of things were said about this decision.

David Stern, the NBA Commissioner even went so far as to release a statement saying, "I apologize to all NBA fans. This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.''

But here's the thing, this is exactly what Popovich has always done. He did it more than once last year, in the abbreviated 66-game schedule and he's done it before that.

At least he has a sense of humor about it. Check out these stat sheets that I found floating around the Internet. If you can't read them (they're a little blurry, sorry) the top one says R. Horry - DNP - OLD AGE, the second one says T. Duncan - DND - OLD and the bottom one, my personal favorite says B. Barry - DNP - TUMMY ACHE.

A great coach with a solid sense of humor. That's my kind of guy.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

KUBRICK

Every once in a while, I get that flash of inspiration that a younger me once had all the time. That feeling that I'd get every time I watched a great movie that made me think, "Yeah, I want to quit everything and make things like that for a living."

Of course, I was younger then and living in my parents house with no bills to pay. I still think about it from time to time, especially when I see a video like this.

I don't like all of his films, but Stanley Kubrick was one of the greats.

Kubrick // One-Point Perspective from kogonada on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

11/22/63

It's the 49th anniversary of the assassination of JFK.

What I'm getting at, is that I'm thankful for The Misfits.

Ride Johnny, ride.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

BADASS DIGEST

Badass Digest is a new favorite website of mine. It's probably the only film-related website I look at any more—mainly because they don't waste posts on who might get cast in a movie that might not even get made because it hasn't been written yet. That kind of thing has driven me away from sites that I used to love (like slashfilm.com) because I just don't care. Show me a trailer and then I can get excited.

Anyway, they've been trying pretty hard to diversify from the pack of movie websites and aren't all that concerned with getting 'scoops' and cheap hits, which is the biggest problem with online news sites nowadays. They still do their fair share of reporting rumors, but it's not as bad as some of the others.

One thing they've started doing is a web series where the EIC/founder of the site, Devin Faraci, goes to awesome places around Los Angeles and Hollywood to film and talk about cool things. My two favorite episodes are embedded below.

In the first, he goes to the Universal Backlot and wanders around the sets of all the classic monster movies from back in the day. It's a little bit of a veiled advertisement for the newly released Universal Monsters Blu-Ray collection, but it's still awesome to see all those old sets still standing and a cool way to learn a few facts that I never knew about   (like the reason Frankenstein walks with his arms out in front of him).

The second, is about prop collector Bob Burns. His basement is full of the original props from some of the greatest sci-fi, horror and monster movies of all time. He's got awesome stuff in there and I'm sure there are tons of things that didn't end up in the video.

Both these videos are right up my alley, because when I was little the first thing that I wanted to do "when I grew up" was make special effects for movies. As soon as I found out that was actually a thing, I wanted to be the guy that made them. Of course, that goes back to needing artistic ability, which I don't have on that level. I can write the shit out of some words, but actual designing and drawing is not a skill set that I possess. Believe me, I've tried. But still, that kind of thing always fascinated me and these videos just enhance that love for effects and props.

Check them out. And head over to Badass Digest.com to see more videos and have a look around. Pretty good stuff.



Monday, November 19, 2012

POOR PLANNING

You'd think they might be a little more careful with the placement of these two posters.

Poor Abe just can't catch a break.


Friday, November 16, 2012

BEETEETH (REDUX)

I love it when Dan does these kinds of videos. He's one of my favorite artists and hell of a guy. I'm always excited when he has a new project (or projects) in the works—which he usually does. Dude has been burning the candle at both ends for as long as I've known him and shows no intention of slowing down.

He and his GF, Jillian, are getting a children's book together hopefully for release this year. I actually can't put into words how excited I am about that, either. You can take a look at a couple sneak peeks over at his blog (beeteeth.tumblr.com), but I'll definitely keep you updated on when it comes out, if you aren't already holding your breath.

He painted this on the wall at the now-defunct Salt Lake Citizen store in SLC during the Arts Festival this past summer. Good stuff. Check it out. And while you're at it, he just got his webstore up and running. Just in time for Christmas, too. How about that?

Salt Lake Citizen from Dan Christofferson on Vimeo.

GUN MACHINE

Warren Ellis has long been one of my favorite comic writers. His Planetary series is right near the top of my all-time favorite comics list and he's got a few more that are almost as great. He's taken a huge step back from comics in the past few years and started working pretty much exclusively on novels. I liked his first one, Crooked Little Vein, but didn't love it. However, I tore through it at a pace that can only be equalled by the first few Charlie Huston novels, so that's saying something.

I'm really excited for his next one though. It's called Gun Machine and is already on my list of things to read in 2013—as soon as I get through my pile of 2012 books that's been staring at me all year, growing faster than it shrinks. The good thing about Gun Machine is that since it probably won't be released in softcover (I hate hardcover novels but can't really explain to you why) until late in the year it may move to the 2014 list.

Holy shit that's a long ways away.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

SKYFALL

First things first - I loved SKYFALL. I thought it was fantastic from start to finish.

I haven't always been the biggest Bond fan and I don't think I've seen more than a couple pre-Brosnan Bond films, and I've definitely never seen any of them on purpose. That should hopefully change soon, but as of now, I couldn't tell you the difference between Roger Moore's Bond and Sean Connery's Bond. Not even a little bit.

But everything about this Bond film, I loved. Daniel Craig was awesome (as always) and Javier Bardem made for a great villain (but anyone that expected otherwise probably doesn't know just how great Bardem is in EVERYTHING). Sam Mendes (who I've been a huge fan of since AMERICAN BEAUTY) is a great director and I can see why he weathered the storm of MGM problems to make this movie. He did an excellent job.

Quick side note here: MGM, the company that holds the rights to Bond and all J.R.R. Tolkein's stories was in a lot of financial trouble for a while. They weren't sure if the company would go belly up and have to sell off the rights to different studios or what would happen. Mendes had signed on to direct the next Bond film right as all that started happening and essentially had to sit in a holding position while it all got worked out. He turned down other jobs and held off developing other projects just in case everything worked out. It ended up taking almost an entire year for things to get worked out. Craig was able to make other stuff in that time because to act in a movie is far less time consuming, whereas directing, you're involved in every single little thing. Mendes has essentially been working on SKYFALL and SKYFALL alone since 2009.

This is also why THE HOBBIT has taken so long to materialize. Guillermo Del Toro was supposed to direct that film, with Peter Jackson producing, but he didn't want to wait on everything else he had planned, so he bailed to make PACIFIC RIM and Peter Jackson took over and turned a single movie into multiple movies. I'm totally okay with this move, because I'm always interested in what Del Toro makes and I don't really care what Peter Jackson makes anymore. I loved the TWO TOWERS, but was so bored with the other two LORD OF THE RINGS movies that I can't even pretend to get excited about 3(!) new HOBBIT movies.

And now back to SKYFALL.

Daniel Craig acted as a Bond ambassador of sorts, because he was the one that convinced Mendes to come aboard and also recruited Bardem for the part of Silva. Once Mendes was attached, he managed to convince Roger Deakins to come along as well, and that might have been the best decision ever. Deakins is the cinematographer responsible for all the best looking movies. A lot of people might not notice that, but being a movie snob with a few years of film school under my belt, I love that stuff. Seriously, think about some of the shots in SKYFALL and how gorgeous they look. Deakins is the reason they look that good. Check out his IMDB credits and then you'll suddenly remember all the greatness he's capable of (seriously, THE VILLAGE was a pile of garbage, but it was a gorgeously shot pile of garbage). I get as excited about him shooting a movie as I do when I hear a good director has a new film coming out.

Now, on to one of my favorite parts of SKYFALL - the title sequence. Bond films always have a unique title sequence and I spent a good chunk of time last night watching a bunch of them, because if there's one thing we know I love, it's a good title sequence. Some of the other Bond title sequences are a little disjointed, but this one flows smoothly and I think it has a lot to do with the omission of the classic gun barrel mini-sequence that's *supposed* to be at the front of every Bond film. Mendes opted to save that part for the end and as a result, the opening scene flows into the title sequence much more fluidly. For instance, check out the LIVE AND LET DIE sequence. Good, but kind of weird. This one looks much, much better. I even like the song for SKYFALL. I've had Adele (who I actually kind of like) mixed up with Lana Del Rey (who I think is kind of full of shit, mostly because she lends credence to dorks with face tattoos being models) since I found out who was writing the theme. But now that I've been able to distinguish between the two, I'm a much bigger fan of the song.

*The entire reason I started writing this was because the creator of the titles put it up on Vimeo for everyone to see. Then, as I was writing this piece, it was pulled from the Internet, probably by MGM because they want you to go out and pay money to see the actual film in the theater. You can read about how they made it over here, but you just can't watch it. At least for now. If it surfaces again, I'll add it in here.*

I realize this post is all over the place, but it is what it is. It's the epitome of a Half-Assed Review.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

T.A.I.L.

I love this band. You should, too.

This video was filmed in 1995, but for some reason never released. Revelation Records, celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, got ahold of it and put it on the Internet.

Monday, November 5, 2012

HENRY ROLLINS AND SCOTT HOWELL

Henry Rollins stopped by on his Capitalism tour last month, and as always, it was awesome. I try to catch him every time he comes through town on tour.

This time, he was hitting every state capital before the election. He talked a lot about politics, but he tried to keep things balanced (or as balanced as he possibly could while pointing out many of Mitt Romney's huge flaws and general idiocy) and didn't really care what you thought or what your political beliefs were. He just wanted to make sure everyone was educated and knew what they were voting for or against.

Of course, he also deviated from that topic and talked about his quest to visit every country on George W. Bush's 'Axis of Evil' while he was in office. He never quite got it done, because his clearance to visit North Korea didn't come through until after he was out of office. He went as soon as he was able, and said while it was amazing, he was with a tour guide that only took him to government approved places so he wasn't able to see as much as he would have liked.

A whole bunch of other topics were covered too, and it was an awesome two hours.

I wasn't aware he was making little video features from each city until just now, but this one is from SLC. He talks with the Mormon Democrat Scott Howell that's running for Orrin Hatch's senate seat. Hatch is awful, so everyone should vote against him no matter who is running. Hatch has been in office since 1977 and he needs to be gone, so hopefully Howell has a chance.

He doesn't and he won't win, but a fella can dream, can't he?

The SLC video is embedded below. The rest can be found over at the TakePart.com YouTube page.

Friday, November 2, 2012

THE GHOSTS OF HARDCORE PAST

I wrote this for SLUG MAGAZINE this month. Head over to the website to read the whole thing, or better yet, grab an issue while you're out and about. It's free. You can't beat that price.

They also reviewed my zine FILLER. They point out the obvious shortcomings, like Candace Jean's page being too light and Candace Christensen's website being out-of-date, but other than that, it's a pretty good review.

The too light page from Candace Jean looked okay in the original, but lost a lot once it was reproduced. I was pretty bummed, but it was also midnight the night before Craft Lake City and everything was already printed. Candace Christensen's website went offline when Apple suspended the me.com sites and was supposed to be back up within the first few weeks of getting it published. Didn't quite work out that way, but oh well. I'm learning as I go.

Anyway, on to the feature story.

SLUG Magazine -- In 2004, hardcore blew up. Killswitch Engage released what would eventually become a gold record, Hatebreed was nominated for a Grammy and everything changed—again.

Before that, hardcore and metal were the genres of the underground and the bands were kind of like members of a secret society. They weren’t afforded any mainstream recognition, and if you met someone who had also heard of an obscure start-up band like Terror, Every Time I Die or Bleeding Through, you immediately knew you shared a bond. Then, all of a sudden, there were TV shows like “Battle for Ozzfest” and Jamey Jasta was the new host of a revived Headbanger’s Ball.

Local hardcore shows, which had been topping out at 100 people on a good night, were suddenly drawing upward of 400-500 people. Things were good again for Salt Lake City hardcore, the way they hadn’t been since the heyday when Clear and Triphammer were playing shows in the late ’90s. Nationally recognized bands were coming through town all the time and there were so many shows that local openers were starting to get the opportunity to play in front of crowds they’d never seen before...

Read the rest at the SLUG website

Tamerlane - 2008

Thursday, November 1, 2012

11/3

I was about to complain that there aren't any shows coming to SLC that I'm really excited for, but then I found out that The Toadies are touring with Helmet and stopping at The Depot this weekend.

Nineties revival in full effect. I'll probably have to break out the flannel shirts.

See you there?






Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SCIENCE FICTION LAND - THE MOVIE

Remember this post? The one about the great Jack Kirby's Science Fiction Land?

For some reason, that post got picked up by Reddit and is officially the most popular thing that's ever been on trevorhale.com.

Go ahead and read it and then we'll get to the next part.

I'll wait. I've got plenty of time.

Done? Good. Let's go.

Did you see ARGO? You should, because it's fantastic. SCIENCE FICTION LAND is a documentary about the movie within the movie that ARGO is built around.

The fake movie that Ben Affleck and John Goodman set out to make was actually a real movie—as you know from the other post. There were tons of drawings and concept art for the whole thing all put together by Jack Kirby (who is actually in ARGO for maybe 5 seconds, but never mentioned by name). Then it all fell apart in the scandal that I mentioned in the other post, also.

What I didn't know was that for over a decade now, there's been a guy by the name of Judd Ehrlich researching and filming a documentary about the book LORD OF LIGHT and the Science Fiction Land theme park that was supposed to go along with it.

From the look of the video they put together, it's really going to be something interesting. They've got interviews with Barry Ira Gellar, the mastermind of the whole movie/theme park that was busted for embezzling the money for the movie and a whole bunch of other people that were originally involved with the project.

It just sounds like a really interesting story and I'd actually like to see the documentary.

The team has set up a Kickstarter, but it only has a few days left. Head over to check out the video and donate a few dollars if you want to.

SCIENCE FICTION LAND Kickstarter page.

Or if you don't really have any money to donate, you can go here instead. There's a whole bunch of Kirby's drawings for LORD OF LIGHT there and they're just as amazing as you'd hope.




Monday, October 1, 2012

HOW TIME TRAVEL WORKS

I'm always fascinated by time travel stories because essentially you get to make the rules up as you go. But that's the catch—you have to have rules that your story lives by.

That's where I always get tripped up when time travel is a factor in something I write. I spend too much time on the rules and not enough time on the story itself. It's a problem that I have, but it's not a real, life threatening problem and most of those stories won't ever see the light of day anyway, so...

Enjoy the video.

By the way... I saw LOOPER last night and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I might have to resurrect the Half-Assed Reviews in its honor. Holy Shit.

How Time Travel Works from Flavorwire on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

THE GOODS

Oh yeah, here's a look at the buttons and mini-comics, too. You buy an issue of FILLER and I'll throw some of these in with it.

Then I can be with you anywhere you go. Sounds like a good idea to me.


FILLER

I'm way behind on this stuff.

Craft Lake City came and went and I had a lot of fun. I wish I'd had more stuff to sell and a more coherent table, but since I didn't have any of the comics done, I kind of had to make some stuff up as I went along.

The mini-comics were a pretty good idea and we probably gave away a hundred or so. Hopefully people liked what they saw enough to check out this site (which I've neglected to update and therefor probably missed a pretty good opportunity, but oh well).

After CLC was over, I had 4 weddings over the next 5 weeks and the Salt Lake City Film Festival right after, so each one of my days off was dedicated to all that. Now that it's finally all over, everything from the last month and a half caught up with me, I got sick and pretty much been stuck to the couch for the past three days. Though I did have a chance to re-watch John Carpenter's THE THING, so it hasn't been all bad.

Anyway, here's a little bit about FILLER.

I've always loved zines. I have a little collection of the old HC and art zines I used to pick up back when they were popular and always wanted to make my own. I kind of did that with Grudge City Activities for a while, but that was the Internet and not quite as fun. I wanted to make something you could hold in your hands, throw on your coffee table and look at again and again.

Now, getting content that people wanted to look at again and again proved to be a little trickier than I'd thought.

Since I'd spent so much time on GCA writing about music, I kind of wanted to avoid that subject all together for FILLER. That, and I'm a little bit out of touch with the music scene around SLC right now, so that's kind of the way it had to be. I recruited a few of my talented friends and we put something together that, while it's not a game-changer by any means, I'm still really proud of.

I got my friend Makena to write a quick little piece about his journey to South America. and my friend Mikey contributed a section of the novel he's writing. I did a little interview with Andy from Pangea Speed and a really talented photographer named Candace Christensen. I even threw in a little poem I wrote a few years back. That's probably the thing that scared me the most, strangely.

I tried really hard to keep the content original. I toyed with the idea of taking some of the stuff I wrote on here and putting it in, but ultimately decided that it would be a lot cooler if it everything was created just for the zine.

It ended up being about 20 pages and I'm actually really happy with the way it turned out.

There were a few more pieces that never quite came together, so hopefully I can use them for issue 2. And there definitely will be an issue 2. I'm thinking December-ish and then try and keep to a schedule of one every 4 months. April, August and December sounds pretty good. The December issue might be a little easier to put together since I won't have a job after next month (more on that later).

I'm keeping my eyes open for more stuff from people I know, so hopefully issue 2 will be even better, but for now, here's a look inside the first issue. If you want a copy, just head over to my Big Cartel store and pick one up.

Hopefully you like what you see. There's more where it came from.
Mike Farfel's drawing

Candace Christensen

WRECK IT RALPH

The list of movies I'm looking forward to is longer in the last half of the year than it was in the first half.  WRECK IT RALPH is one that I want to love, but I'm not getting my hopes up too high. That never works out for me.

But it's so hard not to get excited. I mean, just look at it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

REAL LIFE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT JERRY SLOAN

I had the LONG LIVE SLOAN shirts for sale this past Saturday at my Craft Lake City table. Here are a few of the better conversations I had with passers-by.

"Long Live Sloan? Who's Sloan?"
"Jerry Sloan. The old Jazz coach that quit."
"Oh. Are you related to him or something?"
"Nope. Just thought he was a great coach and wanted to do something to honor that."
"Huh."

Walks away giving me a sarcastic thumbs up.

---

"Is that Jerry Sloan?"
"It sure is."
"He was a tough guy."
"I believe that."
"Did you ever watch him play?"
"I've seen videos and highlights and things like that."
"No, no. I mean in person. Did you ever see him play in person?"
"Uh, I didn't. Didn't he retire from playing in like the early 70s?"
(I checked. It was 1976 when he retired as a player.)
"Yeah."
"No. I wasn't born yet."
"Oh. Well. You missed out. Good luck with the shirt though."

---

Older Woman spots the shirt: "Oh my gosh! I love that shirt. I have to take a picture of it!"
She starts digging in her purse for a camera.
Her daughter: "Long Live Sloan? What does that mean?"
Me: "Jerry Sloan. He was the coach of the Jazz until a couple years ago.
Older Woman, just about to take a picture, stops: "Oh. That's not who I thought it was, then."
She puts the camera back and the two of them walk away.

---


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CRAFT LAKE CITY

Hi.

It's been a minute, hasn't it?

Sorry about that, but I've been a little busy over here. I went to Mexico for a bit (for which I'll share some pictures with you next week) at the end of June and I've been too busy putting things together for real, physical consumption since then.

Why, you ask?

Well because it's Craft Lake City this weekend.

Remember back in January when I wrote out a list of goals for 2012? One of those goals was to get in to Craft Lake City with some comics and zines that I was going to make this year. Well, I got in. I have a trevorhale.com table all squared away and now I'm on a mad dash to finish everything in time to actually have stuff to put on said table.

The comics turned out to be a lot more work than we anticipated and we're running a little behind on the full product. We've pushed the release date to Spring 2013, but they are in the works. Gardner and I are pretty far along with our space adventure, MISSION, but didn't want to rush it just for the sake of having it. So instead, we put together a little mini-comic that acts as kind of a teaser-trailer to the real thing. We'll have it at the table and just give it away to anyone that wants one. All that's left to do is fold about 200 of them between tonight and Saturday. Gardner also built some custom frames that he was going to use to hold the pages at our comic show last month (you know, the one that didn't happen because we were in over our head making these in the first place), so he'll have a few of those with him at the table, too.

I couldn't get GRUDGE CITY to work the way I wanted. It's back on the drawing board and will hopefully be ready for our spring 2013 goal. That's probably a relief for Candace (http://www.candacejean.com) because she's probably stressed out enough worrying about her own booth. It's one less thing she has to worry about this week—but I'm still going to make sure she gets it done by next year.

I've also added another book to the pile since we've got some more lead time. My good friend Sias and I will be putting together a weird sci-fi/horror hybrid, too. He's getting married in a few weeks, so once the craziness of that is behind him, we'll get to work.

The zine is a little trickier. I think I can have it done, but I'm still working away trying to get it all put together. I think I have enough content, but might not. This one will come down to the wire, too.

I'll still have a few of the LONG LIVE SLOAN shirts to sell and I had some buttons made up just for fun. If anyone wants to wear around a button of little kid me standing next to Thurl Bailey, you know where to come.

I'm keeping everything out of sight until the show (except for maybe a teaser or two on Instagram or Twitter) but next week I'll post everything I had and if you live out of state and want something, well, we can work something out.

But you should all come down to the Gallivan Center this Saturday, August 11 from noon to ten pm. I'll be there all day hanging out and slinging goods.

Hope to see you then.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

ARCHIVE REVIVAL - "BUCKET OF DEATH (REDUX)"

Another gem from the archives that was originally posted on 3/8/11. This is the short version that only shows the lighting and destruction of the Bucket of Death. If you want to see how many fireworks and how much gasoline we actually stuffed into that cooler and a somewhat boring history of the Bucket of Death, check out the long version. I won't be offended if you just watch this one though.

We opted out of doing another one of these this year because, you know, the entire state of Utah is on fire and we didn't want to be part of the problem. Then it rained all day on July 5. Oh well, there's always the 24th.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

BE BACK SOON

I've been MIA for a bit, but with good reason. You'll probably get a full report in the next few days, as I'm on my way home, but here's a preview.

Been having way too much fun on the beach of Mexico to waste time posting on the Internet.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DESCENDENTS


"Right girl didn't call and the wrong one's knocking. Everything sucks today."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

THE GREATEST PRIZE IN SPORTS

I don't follow hockey. Never have and most likely never will. It's just not a sport that I've ever had much interest in and believe me, I've tried.

I like to think of myself as a well-rounded, but very casual sports fan. Basketball is number one, because we have the Utah Jazz and I love them. The NBA is constantly on TV at my house and I follow it pretty closely. Football and baseball are probably pretty even for second place and I usually know what's going on and who's doing well. Baseball has that great "new car smell" for about the first month of the season, but then the NBA playoffs start and I lose interest until sometime around July. I watch it casually until the postseason when things usually get exciting. After the World Series, I switch to football because it's entertaining.

There are teams that I root for in each sport, but none of them as much as I root for the Jazz. I love the Yankees, but get excited when Tampa Bay gives them and Boston a run for their money. It makes it more fun. In football I'm a 49ers fan, but other than that I just root against the Cowboys and the Giants.

Sometimes I'll pretend to care about college football, but I usually just end up rooting for whoever is behind in a close game. When that team takes the lead, I switch and root for the team I was just rooting against. Except, I always root against BYU and usually against USC. So, in other words, there's roughly two teams in each sport I'll root against just because.

Soccer is a sport that I've just learned to appreciate over the past few years, but even that's pretty low on the list. I love Real Salt Lake (even if I can't wear any RSL merch because I have tattoos and don't want to get lumped in to association with "those" RSL fans) and the games are incredibly fun, but I don't follow MLS, EPL or Champions League very closely.

Hockey though? Never was able to get into it. I picked a team and tried once, but lost interest after about 2 periods. Never bothered to learn the rules or anything else, so hockey is always just kind of there. I pay very little attention to it and each year it comes and goes with very little effect on my daily life.

All that said, I fully believe that the Stanley Cup is the greatest prize in sports.

Unlike the other professional sports, which make a new trophy each year so the teams can display them after they've won, the Cup is a one-of-a-kind thing. Each year, the team and everyone involved get their names engraved on one of the five rings at the base. Once there is no more room for names, the oldest ring is removed and placed in the hockey Hall of Fame, replaced with a new ring to make room for the names of the next champions.

Beyond that, the winning club keeps the Cup in their possession for roughly 100 days after the Finals are over. This gives enough time for it to be displayed in the victory parade and the various promotional stops that go along with winning a championship.

But there's one other thing that sets it apart from the other sports, and probably the most exciting part about it:

Each member of the winning team gets the Stanley Cup to himself for a full 24 hours. It's theirs to do whatever they want with and the stories that accompany that are some of the best around.

When the New Jersey Devils won in 2003, Martin Brodeur took the cup to a movie theater and ate popcorn out of it with his family.

Baptism
In 1996, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre had his child baptized using the bowl at the top of the cup.

In 1980, Clarke Gillies of the New York Islanders used it as a bowl for his dog's food.

The cup is professionally and meticulously cleaned after each player has their turn. It has to be.

Even before they let the players take the Cup for a day, it had its fair share of adventures with overzealous (and oftentimes a little inebriated) hockey players.

The 1906 Montreal Canadiens took the cup to have pictures taken with it and left it at a photographers studio. Weeks later, officials finally went back to the studio only to find that the photographers mother had placed it in the window and used it to plant geraniums.

Once, a drunken Ottowa player tried to drop-kick the cup over the Rideau Canal. It didn't make it and it was recovered sitting on the frozen water the next day.

After Detroit won the Cup in 1998, Kris Draper placed his newborn daughter in the bowl at the top. It made for an adorable picture until she defecated in it. Draper cleaned it out and drank champagne from it later that day.

The 1941 New York Rangers celebrated two things at once: their Stanley Cup victory and the fact that the mortgage of Madison Square Garden was finally paid off. They placed the paperwork in the cup and lit it on fire, only it set the Cup on fire as well. The team peed on it to put the fire out.

Last night, I caught the last period of the Kings-Devils game 6. I wanted the Kings to win, but only because the NBA Finals start tomorrow night and this is probably the only time I'll care about hockey until next year. I just really wanted to see the look on their faces when the finally got to hoist the Cup over their head. There's a real tradition to it that I like and admire. But again, that's the only time I'll care about hockey in 2012.

Well, there's a chance I'll care about it once more this year. The right wing for the L.A. Kings, Trevor Lewis, is from Salt Lake City. If he brings the Cup back here when he has it, and I'm off work that day, I'll join the two dozen other people that actually care about hockey in Utah in the Brighton High gymnasium for a few minutes to catch a glimpse.

The thing that made me start looking into all of this was Chris Jones, a writer for Esquire and ESPN the Magazine that I really like (and the guy sitting with the Cup in the picture towards the top of the post) convinced the NHL to let him have the Cup for a day to take it around his hometown of Port Hope, Canada about and hour east of Toronto. The one catch was that he couldn't tell anyone it was coming, he just had to show up places with it.

It's a great little story about how excited the people of the town got when they saw the Stanley Cup randomly show up and how much something like that means to them. Read it if you have a minute.

It's stories like that and all the rest of them that make the Stanley Cup the greatest prize in sports—even if I'll still never be able to watch an entire hockey game as long as I live.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"NO ACE. JUST YOU."

The 100 Greatest Movie Threats of All Time.

I really like this video. It's a little bit old, but I still watch it every so often. If you want a list of what each quote is from, go here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TRUE AT FIRST LIGHT

A lot of times I'll tell people about all the fun stuff I do with my friends—all of whom are in their late 20s or early 30s—and I'm met with blank stares. They think about it for a few seconds and say something like, "Aren't you guys a little old to be doing stuff like that?"

This is what I always say to them.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ARCHIVE REVIVAL - "THE GANG HAS THE BEST IDEA EVER"

I was searching the archive out of boredom this morning and realized that there are a lot of pretty awesome things stored back there. So I decided that a new feature on here would be called "Archive Revival" and I'd randomly roll out old things that I feel deserve to be reposted every once in a while. There will be no rhyme or reason as to what gets posted or how often this feature will occur. It'll basically be whenever I find something that I want more people to see or see again. I can do that. It's my website.

First up is this video I made for what might have been one of the best, most entertaining nights my friends and I have had in a long, long time. It was originally posted on 2/2/11.

"The Gang Has The Best Idea Ever"

Enjoy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

THE WISDOM OF BOBBY FINSTOCK



"Let me give you a little bit of advice. There's three rules I live by. Never get less than twelve hours of sleep, never play cards with a guy who’s got the same first name as a city and never go near a lady who's got a tattoo of a dagger on her body.

 Now you stick with that and everything else is cream cheese."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

ADVENTURES IN SPACE - PT. 2

See? It's a real thing. And it's getting closer and closer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

OH HOLLYWOOD

So THE AVENGERS just ended. You're sitting in the theater, happy about what you just saw and now the credits are rolling. Of course you're staying through the credits, because it's a Marvel movie and you always stay through the credits.

The credits fade to black and the mysterious figure that supplied Loki with his army is talking to someone. He cryptically says, "To attack Earth would be to court death."

That someone turns around and smiles. The credits roll again.

Seventy Five percent of the theater goes, "Who the fuck was that?"

Fifteen percent of the theater freaks out then and there.

The other ten percent, guys like me and my friend Casey, look at each other and go, "Oh, that guy. What's that guy's name again? I've gotta look that up real quick."

My guess is that most of the people reading this are either in the first group or the last group. By now, you've figured out that the guy is Thanos, the Mad Titan and he's a little bit nuts. I'm not going to give you a breakdown of who he is or what this might mean for the future of the Marvel movieverse—there are plenty of great posts that do just that—but I am going to give you a little insight as to why Marvel went with Thanos as the big bad of their biggest franchise.

Short answer: Their options were kind of limited.

Right now, Marvel is riding the wave of THE AVENGERS and its record breaking couple of weeks and just two years ago, the company was purchased by Disney for around four billion dollars. They're not exactly hurting for money right now, but that wasn't always the case.

Back in the 90s, Marvel comics kind of sucked, they were going broke and had to find ways to stay afloat. The easiest way to do that was to sell the rights to certain characters to studios to be made into a movie. DC Comics is owned by Warner Brothers, so all of their characters have always been housed under one roof for films. Marvel, on the other hand, created their own studio so they'd at least have a hand in the development, but since they had no real money, the bigger studios had most of the pull because they were the ones footing the bill.

This led to different studios all over Hollywood getting the rights to different characters. Fox bought up the biggest chunk, getting X-MEN (which means any and all characters described as a mutant), FANTASTIC FOUR, DAREDEVIL, ELEKTRA and SILVER SURFER and Columbia Pictures (Sony) owns SPIDER-MAN and GHOST RIDER. Universal owned the rights to THE HULK but had no interest in doing another one because the box office for Ang Lee's film was so bad that the rights reverted back to Marvel—who made their own version that was almost as bad. Universal also owned NAMOR at one point, but that might not be the case anymore. New Line used to own BLADE, but those have reverted back to Marvel and the same goes for Lionsgate and THE PUNISHER.

A few years ago, Marvel Studios scrounged up enough money to start independently financing their own movies and only needed the bigger studios for distribution. They used the 10 characters they still owned as a starting point to get the money they needed and went from there. Slowly, they started reacquiring the rights to characters that hadn't been adapted for films yet, starting with IRON MAN, then THOR then BLACK WIDOW until they had THE AVENGERS assembled.

Having spent so much time building towards THE AVENGERS, they didn't want to shoehorn in any old villain, so the logical move was to just put Loki at the forefront. No one really had a problem with that and it worked out pretty well. But at the same time, they wanted to set the tone for the next wave of Marvel movies, so they inserted the bad guy at the end that was probably the easiest to build up over the next few years even if he wasn't as well known as some had hoped.

Thanos works just fine in this regard but he's not even the best AVENGERS villain, let alone the biggest bad guy in the Marvel Universe. That title belongs to none other than Doctor Doom, but unfortunately, he comes with the FANTASTIC FOUR along with another great Marvel villain Galactus—who is much cooler than a fucking cloud, Tim Story (though to be fair, Warren Ellis kind of made him a cloud in the Ultimate Universe and did a much, much better job of it).

It seems that by consensus, the top two AVENGERS villains from the comics are Ultron and Kang. They couldn't use Ultron because he's a robot built by Hank Pym, a character that hasn't been introduced yet. That may change soon though, if Edgar Wright's proposed ANT MAN movie ever finally gets going. Kang is another that they would have loved but probably wanted to avoid because everyone is terrified of making time travel movies and Kang is a scientist and scholar from an alternate version of earth in the 30th century. And that kind of thing confuses people that just want to watch stuff blow up.

Other notable AVENGERS villains include the Kree/Skrull (which is what everyone originally thought the aliens were going to be), Baron Zemo (a Captain America nemesis), and the Scarlet Witch.

The last one is an interesting choice because the Scarlet Witch (and her brother Quicksilver) are the children of Magneto and Marvel president Kevin Feige has stated that both those characters are available to Marvel and Fox.

This is where it gets tricky but weirdly optimistic.

Hollywood is a stupid, stupid place and the people in charge only care about one thing and strangely, it doesn't involve making good movies. Studio executives only care about not looking like an idiot. The way these rights usually work is that if there's not a film in active development at a certain date, the rights revert back to the previous owner. That's why we keep seeing crappy GHOST RIDER movies popping up, it's why SPIDER-MAN all of a sudden started over and why they keep hiring people to write and develop new DAREDEVIL, FANTASTIC FOUR and X-MEN movies. To be fair, I loved X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, though.

The people at Fox would rather waste money "developing" a FANTASTIC FOUR movie that they have no intention of releasing rather than see the rights go back to Marvel and have them make one that fits in to their shared universe and be potentially great and a box office success. That's really all there is to it—no one wants to be known as the guy that got rid of a potentially huge movie just because he didn't know how to make it himself. It's the most frustrating thing in the world because how great would it have been to see Tony Stark mention Latveria or Wolverine stroll into the Shwarma place at the end of AVENGERS? You know Hugh Jackman would have paid his own way to NYC to do just that.

That's why the Scarlet Witch being usable by both Marvel and Fox is so intriguing. It could potentially heal a bit of a rift between Fox and Marvel which could pave the way for Reed Richards hanging out and talking science with Tony Stark or Matt Murdock showing up somewhere for a chat with Steve Rogers.

So there's always a chance, however slim it may be. It's possible that good business decisions and giving fans what they want will trump massive egos and blatant selfishness, but this is Hollywood we're talking about, so on the other hand, it probably won't.

Sources: Screenrant, BadAss Digest, Newsarama

P.S. I don't have an editor or a fact checker so I'm doing my best here. Don't rip my head off if things aren't 100% accurate. Also, it's a blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MY FRIENDS OVER YOU - ANDY CARTER AND PANGEA SPEED

I've known Andy for a while now, probably going all the way back to when we all spending the majority of our time at HC shows and doing hoodrat shit with our friends. He moved to California for a bit, and when he came back he put all his time and effort into starting a custom motorcycle parts company called Pangea Speed.

Slowly but surely he's been building (awful, awful pun intended) a pretty solid fan base and getting a lot of recognition. He's been asked to build a custom bike for this year's BORN FREE festival in California (which I may or not be attending) and a friend of his helped him make a little teaser video about his process and what building motorcycles means to him. It turned out really great and I'm stoked he's getting more and more popular in the bike community, because that's a pretty big deal for a straight edge kid building bikes in an airport hangar in Bountiful.

Andy keeps a great blog if you're interested in the kinds of things he's doing and even if you're not, you should still check it out to see what you're missing.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

JACK KIRBY'S SCIENCE FICTION LAND


Now that you've all seen the trailer for ARGO and read the Wired Magazine piece about it, let's talk about the absolute best part of the article—Jack Kirby's Science Fiction Land.

If you don't know who he is, Jack Kirby was the artist responsible for co-creating the majority of the Marvel Universe as we know it today. There's been a lot of talk recently (notably here and here) about how unfairly Kirby was treated when he obviously shouldered a lot of the load right alongside Stan Lee, but was never recognized to the extent that Lee was/is.

There are people that feel so passionate about the subject that they won't even see THE AVENGERS (which I'll get to eventually with a Half-Assed Review) because Kirby isn't given the credit he deserves. It's an ongoing debate that will never, ever be settled.

But that subject aside, Kirby was an awesome genius. Some of his creations were completely off the wall and bizarre, but they were also so incredibly creative that you couldn't help but admire them. In that Wired article there's the bit about the fake movie they're using and how it was actually a real, in-the-works film that got the plug pulled. Kirby had been hired to do concept drawings and along the way, the producer came up with the idea for a theme park called Science Fiction Land based on Kirby's drawings.

According to the article, "it would include a 300-foot-tall Ferris wheel, voice-operated mag-lev cars, a 'planetary control room' staffed by robots, and a heated dome almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building."

Sounds amazing, right? Unfortunately, the reason that the CIA was able to use the script and concept drawings for ARGO to bolster their fake production for the rescue of American hostages was because the men behind the original film/theme park were complete crooks.

In an article on the Denver Westworld website earlier this year, Melanie Asmar relates the story of their embezzlement and crooked dealings in her story about Colorado's new tourist incentives. Stuntman Jerry Schafer and writer Barry Ira Gellar ended up being charged with 11 felonies and brought down a few government employees as well.

It's a real shame it never came to be. It would no doubt be laughably but lovably out of date by now, the same way Disney's Tomorrowland is, but still amazing at the same time. Yesterday's vision of the future is one of my favorite things of all time and this fits in perfectly. I can't believe I didn't know about this before today, either.

These are a few of the headlines from the Rocky Mountain News from the time all this was going on. You can see a few more at the Denver Westworld link above.





Thursday, May 10, 2012

ARGO

Ben Affleck has reinvigorated his career over the past few years, and it's largely because of his foray behind the camera. I still haven't seen GONE BABY GONE, for no good reason, but I loved THE TOWN. I thought it was just so-so the first time I saw it, but I've watched it a few times since and it gets better each and every time. It also has this scene, which I absolutely love.

His newest, ARGO, was one of my most anticipated of 2012 even before I saw the trailer. Now that I've seen the trailer, I'm even more excited.

I knew the basic story, but I'd never bothered to find out more about it until today when I ran across the Wired Magazine article that lays it out so well. If you've got a few minutes, you should really read it. It's a great story and will make for a fantastic movie. Plus, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and Kyle Chandler are all in it, so there's almost no possible way it can be bad.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MR. ROGERS HAS SOMETHING TO SAY TO YOU

This is probably 100% out of context, but it doesn't matter.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

FAN UP

The facade is over. I don't think we should be allowed to talk about how we're the best fans in the world anymore. We're not. At all.

You know how I know? I went to the game last night. It was game 4 of the first round, the Jazz were down three games to none and on the brink of elimination. That's when those so called "fans" need to step up. They didn't. Tip off was at 6 PM, which is a little early, but the game was nationally televised on TNT and they had to fit two west coast games in last night. So it was a little earlier than the usual 7 PM start, but that's of little matter.

It's a playoff game and when tickets went on sale last week for games three and four, lower bowl seats were around $140 a piece. I bought a lower bowl seat yesterday afternoon for $40. Season ticket holders were having a hard time GIVING these seats away.

I've said some harsh things about the Jazz (CJ Miles and Raja Bell in particular) this year, but that's because I love the team and want to see them succeed. I made it a point to be at the game and in my seats for the opening tip-off and I was. I couldn't say the same for most of the rest of Energy Solutions Arena, though.

Best fans in the league.
I took this picture with 7:10 left in the first quarter. How pathetic does that look? The arena is barely 1/2 full, if that. About midway through the second quarter, the place was a little more full but still not at capacity. The game went on and the Jazz kept it close for a bit, but then towards the end of the third quarter, the Spurs went on a run and before anyone knew it, we were down by 20. A few people grabbed their stuff and headed for the exits.

Then things started happening. DeMare Carroll started playing hard (and pretty much gave them a spark they needed), Favors, Millsap and Jefferson all got back into it and suddenly, we were on a little bit of a run and just as quickly as we got behind big, we were right back within 4. Less than a minute left and only down by 4. It's still a long ways away from winning the 4 straight games we needed to advance, but at least it looked like we might not get swept and embarrassed completely.

The problem was, that a lot of people were gone already and more people were leaving every second. There was a long delay while the refs looked at a replay that would give the Jazz the ball back for a chance to pull within two. While that was going on, more and more people were leaving. The jazz got the ball back, but immediately squandered the opportunity and Manu Ginobili hit a wide open, fast break layup to put the Spurs back up by six with 18 seconds left.

That's when the whole building emptied out. With 18 seconds left.

You're telling me that we're the best fans in the world and we love this team and all that but we can't sit in our seats for 18 more seconds? Are you kidding me?

When time ran out and we'd been swept out of the playoffs we weren't even supposed to be in, against a team that is probably the heavy favorite to win the NBA title, some fans started booing. They were booing their own team, for the second time in as many games (because that happened at the end of game 3, too).

Best fans in the world? Please.

You can't bother to show up on time or stay for an entire playoff game. Stop kidding yourselves.

RANDOM JAZZ NOTES


  • Raja Bell is pissed because he didn't play the entire postseason and barely played at all the second half of the year. Raja Bell also thinks he's still the same great player he was the last time he was on the Jazz and the first few years he was in Phoenix. He's not. He also said he was willing to do whatever the Jazz organization asked of him and be professional about it. Corbin basically asked him to sit on the bench and not do anything. Then any time Bell was asked about it, he complained and said he didn't want to play for the Jazz anymore but in the same breath said he wouldn't ask for a trade, but kept heavily insisting on it. Really glad we gave him that 3 year contract. I bet we can get a lot for him in the offseason.
  • The CJ Miles era (hopefully) ended last night. He said this morning that Corbin did a poor job communicating with him and he never knew what was expected of him this year. I don't play professional basketball, so I can't exactly speak for the coach, but my guess would be that pretty much all that was expected of CJ Miles was to play hard, not take dumb shots, actually play defense and maybe try to live up to some of that "potential" we've been hearing about for the past six years. Since he did none of that, Corbin put in people (like Alec Burks and DeMare Carroll) that did the things they were supposed to do—probably without having to be specifically instructed to do so like Miles apparently needed.
  • I love Paul Millsap, but I hate that he's fantastic for about 2.5 quarters and totally replaceable for the other quarter and a half. With the way Favors played during the playoffs and the 15 million Jefferson is owed next year, Millsap will either have to learn a few new moves and shift to small forward (where he'll have to play like/guard Melo and LeBron) or he'll be gone when the season starts. I love him to death, but I can't decide which is a better option.
  • I have no idea what we're supposed to do with Devin Harris. Neither does Devin Harris.
  • I'm afraid that Gordon Hayward is becoming the new CJ Miles. I hope that's not the case, but the evidence is there—one or two great games followed by one or two really, really bad ones.
  • DeMare Carroll said that the Jazz are picking up his option for next season. I'm totally okay with this.
  • I hated the idea of Jamaal Tinsley on the team, but now I really like it. I think he'd be great to have as the number two PG. But that also means I'm okay with getting rid of Earl Watson, which I think I am.
  • Josh Howard is in the same boat as Devin Harris.
  • Enes Kanter and Alec Burks will be really good. I just hope they're both still on this team when that time comes.
  • Corbin also said that Sloan has had enough time off that he'll reach out and see if he wants to be involved with the Jazz in some capacity. I say we give him Kevin O'Connor's job. Unless Vinny Del Negro or Scott Brooks gets fired after next round and Sloan takes either of those jobs. Because then I'll be a full fledged Clippers or Thunder fan.
And with that, we'll see you next year.

Also, I've still got a few LONG LIVE SLOAN shirts left in case you still wanted to get in on that.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

INSTAGRAM

My favorite way to waste time in lines and at stoplights. Isn't that what it's for? Let's do this.

@trevorhale

Even Jon Bon Jovi Jr. needs financial assistance every so often.

I actually think you're an asshole.

Karl Malone

Surveillance Cam Parties.

You're required to Instagram any and all sporting events you attend.