30 May 2007

Artists I Love

Richard Elfman is a freaking genius. He elevated cheap aesthetic to new heights in Forbidden Zone. Buy the DVD and watch this film. It's crazy fun, like those dreams you had as a child, falling asleep on the couch with Bugs Bunny on television and a tummy full of sugary cereal.

Well, at least I had those dreams.

Danny Elfman is a freaking genius as well:

You can keep Alvarado,
Santa Monica,
even Beverly Drive.
Vine may be fine,
but for mine

I want to feel ... alive

and settle down in my

La Brea....
Tar Pits....

Where nobody's dreams come true.

26 May 2007

The Girl That I Love

I meant to blog this last year, but I got busy.

One of the things I like most about my wife is the care and attention she puts into whatever it is she's doing. She isn't "halfway" about anything. Well, not much anyway.

When I first met her, she had this huge case full of make-up. We were in a production of The Crucible, and Pamela had this incredible array of theatrical and personal make-up. She was the first girl I had ever met who applied her lip color with a brush. I thought that was very cool.

Some people think it's weird or "special" that I like to go shopping with her. The picture you see here was taken on a trip to the MAC store in Hollywood. The truth is, I love observing her doing her thing. The girl with the fuzzy green scarf who is taking great care to find the exact right lip color, and the exact right kind of brush with which to apply it (who attacks the process like a scientist attacking a virus in a laboratory) fascinates me.

I find her fascinating. And I think that is one of the "secrets" of our relationship.

19 May 2007


Ain't it Cool has three minutes and twenty-nine seconds of John Rambo. It's only going to be up for two days, so hurry!

WARNING! This clip is devastatingly violent. If you're accustomed to "first person shooter" games or a fan of zombie flicks, it should be no big deal. This feels like Stallone is getting into a dickey waving contest with Mel Gibson over who can make the most graphically violent movie. Wow.

Stallone is a man. He just recently wrapped shooting, and whipped together this trailer lickety-split to share with the film geeks at Ain't it Cool. He "wanted to see what you Talkbackers thought about" it. This guy really cares about the fans, or at least knows how to fake it better than any other "big name" in Hollywood. Too cool.

16 May 2007

Short Film Appreciation Series
(Here are a few short films that I enjoy, and have rediscovered on YouTube.)

Robert Rodriguez is an incredible storyteller. He views the world with a childlike sensibility, seeing magic where jaded grown-ups see practical concerns.

There is a term that perfectly describes what Rodriguez does: Magic Realism. His (best) flicks tend to be set in the gritty, smelly everyday world. It just so happen that this "real" world is inhabited by vampires, unruly kids who discover dead prostitutes in hotel rooms, and mariachis who carry arsenals around in their guitar cases.

Bedhead gave viewers in 1990 a taste of what was to come.

07 May 2007


Blogger ate my original review on this, and it's probably just as well. Rather than dwell on the details (and there are many, many details) I think I'll just jump to the heart of the matter.

I didn't like Spiderman 3. I thought that it was very perfunctory and "paint-by-numbers." Whereas that type of filmmaking would otherwise produce a mediocre movie, with Spiderman 3 it's as if Sam Raimi took three separate paint-by-numbers sets and mixed them all together. The narrative turns into (to quote Bilbo Baggins out of context) not enough butter spread over too much bread. For instance, Thomas Haden Church got "Tommy-Lee-Jonesed." (Remember Batman Forever?) We never got the payoff with his daughter. The "Sandman killed your Uncle" felt tacked on for cheap emotional effect rather than storytelling necessity. About the only good thing about the character was the actor playing it.

The other thing about this film -- and this is huge -- are the wild deviations from conventions set up in the comic book. Before you start yelling "geek" please allow me the opportunity to point out that any adaptation, of a novel, tv show, etc., inevitably fails to the extent it deviates from the source material -- at least in spirit. Raimi got Spiderman right the first two times. In this flick, he missed the boat almost entirely (Peter Parker is an accomlished piano player, Peter Parker strikes Mary Jane, Mary Jane has a "moment of weakness" with Harry Osborne, Harry's big revenge plan involves forcing Mary Jane to break Peter's heart, etc. etc.)

That's the short of it. I could go on and on about the illogical choices and glaring plotholes, but folks brighter than I have covered those bases. (Check out Aint it Cool News for more balanced reviews, or my pal Pete if you want to laugh your ass off at the most profane review I've ever read. NSFW.)

I will pick on one detail, perhaps the most important detail. In fact, I'm going to turn this blog post over to my wife, who puts this particular piece of criticism in the most eloquent of terms. Here's Pamela:

Roughly twenty minutes into the film, Mary Jane tells Peter she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. Peter goes to tell Aunt May, who gives him her engagement ring for a proposal. Peter, walking on air because he knows he's going to propose, gets sideswiped by Green Goblin and goes through great efforts to keep from losing the ring. In a scene with Bruce Campbell, they again ding in how important this ring is because it represents how much Peter is committed to MJ. We then have the lazzi of the ring being delivered in champagne when MJ breaks up with Peter. This ring sounds pretty damn important, right? Yeah, at the end of the film (after Evil Peter does his jazz dance of revenge) Peter hugs MJ to make up the damage. Does he propose after all of this importance has been put on the engagement ring? NO. Essentially, they get us all lubed up that Peter and MJ will become engaged and leave us with our dick in our hands at the end of the film.

There you have it folks. I'd say, wait for this stinker to come out on DVD, if you really must see it.

(Harumph. Hollywood does stuff like this, breaks opening weekend box office records, and then wonders why box office receipts continue to decline in the following years. Maybe stop jerking us around! Stop hyping films that don't deliver! 'Nuff said!)

02 May 2007

Drew Does Strings (Continued)

I have a few more pictures from my big marionette adventure last Saturday.

I haven't been to Universal City Walk in quite some time. I couldn't say when was the last time! I love theme parks and themed environments, so it was a blast just walking around.

I got there early so I could enjoy a cup of joe and have plenty of time to arrive at the venue. Whenever I do a gig like this, I like to give myself plenty of time to arrive. I tend not to bring a book, as reading for me is a very introverting activity, and I need to be at my extroverted best when performing.

Universal City Walk was just waking up. Pretty much the only people walking around were tourists on their way to the theme park.

After my coffee and rice crispy treat (the breakfast of champions!) I wandered over to the venue. B. B. King's Blues Club! What a hip place to do a puppet show for kids!

I was the first one to arrive. Yeah, yeah. I'm a dork.

I figured there would be a Lucille on display, and I was right! B. B. King seems to give these things away like Pez, so it's not like it's the Lucille. I still felt a sense of awe, looking over an instrument that B. B. King brought to life.


The crowd is all lined up! Soon the doors will open and the show will go on!