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Crazy, hectic.... Hectic, crazy


But, damn.... I LOVE WHAT I DO!!!!

You know that you love what you do when you get in your car at the end of a LONG work day just to call someone and say "OMG, you should have been there...." then proceed to tell them about every detail of your day in nauseating minute detail.

On Wednesday, I got an email from a local Indie Film producer asking if I could come in for some grip/crew work at the last minute. They had to fire their PA because she just had decided not to show up after the first meeting. It ended up pushing filming back a day and filming hadn't even started yet. Then I get the phone call... went something like this

A: Are you working?
Me: Sort of.... School
A: How open is your schedule?
Me: Monday and Wednesday mornings are out. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are out. Otherwise, I'm free
A: Oh my... I love you. Can you just move in here?
Me: Not really but I'll be there whenever I'm not at school
A: Really, I love you. You're saving my ass on this
Me: Okay... what time tomorrow
A: Whenever you can get here?
Me: I'll be there around 3
A: Awesome. OMG, I love you
Me: Anything else
A: No... wait.... yes... wait... no. Oh yeah, your husband... you know the tall one... Is he working?
Me: Lol... no... long story
A: Would he be interested in working crew?
Me: Probably.... but only because its you guys.
A: I just had an idea... Would he be interested in being in the movie?
Me: He has no acting experience
A: Well, he wouldn't need it for this part
Me: What is it for?
A: We're remaking Second to Last Worst Day of my Life and he'd be great as "The Pillow Case Guy"
Me: OMG... He would love that
A: Talk to him and call me back
Me: I don't have to talk to him about it. I know what he will say. He's going to say yes
A: Are you sure?
Me: I'm positive
A: I love you. and you can't see me but I'm holding both arms out wide... I love you that much
Me: Tomorrow then?
A: yeah
Me: Mike can't be there til 5ish tomorrow. He's helping out a friend with a car in Dallas right now.
A: Thats fine. We'll work around that.
Me: Awesome...


And since Wednesday, it has been a wild storm... a maelstrom... a tornado of events. And since Thursday, I've probably worked close to 40 hours. I've done second camera, sound, boom, lighting, makeup and wardrobe. And the best part.... They are looking at my script that I wrote. And this isn't some favor, its an actual paying job.

So my apologies to darke ... this is why the scrabble game is going so slow!!!!

And here is the trailer for the original "Second to Last Worst Day of my Life"

iPad Review


Ipad Review:

Essentially, the iPad is a giant time suck. Between cheap games, and stuff that I already own on iTunes, it essentially serves as a one stop entertainment device. The pluses: battery life is amazing, lots of apps, and bigger screen. The minuses: touch screen typing takes awhile to get used to and I'm still not great at it, and while it is extremely portable, its not as portable as my 160gig iPod classic.

Many of the preinstalled apps give a good general use- one can make notes, surf the net, keep your contacts handy. Some of the apps that I was looking at for productivity such as pages and Apple's answer to Excel are not portable to users of Microsoft's Excel. Normally, I wouldn't complain about that but there are times when I need to be more versatile.

The Kindle and Barnes & Noble eBook readers are awesome apps. Its nice to be able to carry around a stack of books and not have to break my back doing it. I like that both apps have the ability to make notes and highlight passages as needed. B&N's eBook, though, has a pixellation problem when enlarging the text even one size up. Amazon also offers the ability to preview books with a free chapter available for download.

Last night, though, I have to say that the iPad saved my sanity. I had to wait on two separate occasions on people and thank goodness for the iPad loaded with the first season of Torchwood. Watched a couple of episodes and wasted time while waiting—whereas normally, I would have been calling up one of the guys and venting because my time was being wasted unnecessarily.

Do I regret buying the iPad- no. Is it all that I hoped for-no. It meets my desires but not necessarily my needs (but then, I have access to a linux netbook). For portability and entertainment, I will not complain. For me, though, its not for productivity. Its going to be strictly entertainment based. I'll be able to take it to events where I have to sit for long periods of time and keep myself busy by doing sudokus or reading a book or watching a movie. The battery life is amazing despite the obviously larger screen. It really reminds me of the mini computers from Star Trek and I guess as technology develops, it follows the ideas of science fiction.

All in all, I give it a 7.5 out of 10.

Favor for the Politically Minded


Through a series of fortunate events, I managed to secure a one on one interview with Texas Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Candidate. I have become friends with the very reluctant candidate for the Railroad Commission and he's set up an interview time for me in about ten days. I get 30 minutes to ask anything I want.... and I mean, anything. There is no subject that is off limits.

So... what questions do any of you have?

Now, as point of record, I'm not a Libertarian. I'm a registered Independent and I still see the vast majority of Libertarians as simply disgruntled Republicans. I'd like to come into this interview with some interesting and unique questions - some that will make the candidate think....

So, if you or any of your friends have a question, please let me know!

Thanks*

Movie Review.... yeah, not so much


I'm working on my movie review for Inception but I am nowhere near close to being finished with it. Work and projects have gotten in my way of the fun stuff but it will be forthcoming sometime this weekend, I hope.

Things here at Casa de Crazy are in uber crazy mode. Helping friends find a house- the legal one's odd work schedule (his old boss has decided that he can't live without the Legal One so we're frequently fielding phone calls from this individual at all hours of the day and night) and the Unhusband is actively working on finding a teaching position not that he's certifiable, wait... I mean certified now. Plus my documentary is in full all out-go for it-who needs sleep when there is something to film-mode.

Plus, this weekend is a film fest where I am emceeing a little. Eek... standing before a crowd and speaking....

Remind me again.... Passion.... Its a good thing, right?

Movie Review: Sorcerer's Apprentice


So, last night I dragged my weary bones out to see “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and while I can say that I liked it- I enjoyed it... I didn’t love it.

Now, I should probably amend that- I loved the first five minutes of it which had a decent fight scene. The rest of the movie was meh... There was a nice homage to the original Sorcerer’s Apprentice but the acting was flat, the characters were flat and very stereotypical and well... the story was just meh. I really can’t say anything good or bad about the movie. Let me put it this way- if you’re looking to get out of the heat for a couple hours and have nothing better to do- then this movie is great. Higher cognitive functions and in depth character analysis is not what this movie was meant for. I can’t even really say that this movie will resolve any anger issues where a good healthy dose of unrealistic violence is required.

I think my entire issue with the movie is that its a genre film and its a genre film that has been overloaded in the recent years. Movies like LoTR, HP, Pirates of the Caribbean, Percy Jackson.... all the same- with just a slight twist on geography. And I know some of you are going to say that LoTR is nothing like that but in the end, its a story about a young man, looking to do something incredible and not having the courage to believe in himself.


Coming tomorrow: review of Inception! Yes, I’m making another midnight trek to the movies. Wish me luck!

Movie Review: The Innocence Saga


Brett Mauser's The Innocence Saga is an accomplishment to say the least. Ten movies, written-directed and edited by Brett himself- a cast numbering on the hundreds – and so many locations, it makes my head spin. The true brilliance of this series though is the depth in which Mr. Mauser delves into his characters. Actors come and go throughout the saga and sometimes, he suffers from the “Law and Order” effect meaning that actors can play multiple characters and not realize that Caroline from one movie is Angel in another.

Mr. Mauser has been accused by other reviewers of not giving his audience enough credit or intelligence to understand the series. Quite the contrary, he believes and more importantly, he expects his audience to be examining the tiniest molecule of evidence to the secret of the saga. Now, while I promised Mr. Mauser in any review that I write, I would not reveal the secret (Yes, the cross dresser is the second gunman who killed Bruce Willis on the grassy knoll!), I will agree with the tag line for the final movie “All will be revealed”. And the truth of the matter is that if one pays close enough attention in movies 1-9, the truth was already revealed. It was revealed in subtle statements and cautious actions of the characters. The most innocuous discussions and slight actions reveal the secret. Lines end up with double entendres – and a second viewing is absolutely critical to seeing how Mr. Mauser's story works.

With that being said, some will accuse Ponderous Productions and Brett Mauser of taking the easy route out... of writing himself into a corner and then just blithely ignoring that corner for the sake of expediency. To those that say that- I say Ha.... After watching the series from the beginning, the clues were always there. Most of us, and I include myself, were too busy with the red herrings and “the bigger picture” to see what was right in front of us. The true brilliance of this was that he included enough red herrings to make the obvious story the believable arc. It is in the nuance of which everything is presented that makes the viewer want to come back for more. The characters become members of the family and the viewer genuinely cares whether or not Mike and Tara will get back together – will Doughboy ever calm his ADD/Tourette's ridden brain down long enough to make a coherent sentence – Is Donovan really that evil? Is Caroline that evil or that much of a wench? How did Jax fit into that floral dress?

Each character plays an integral part of the story and the ten major characters- the characters which are on the journey- present the best and the worst of the Innocence Saga. And in that, they present the best and the worst of the Ponderous Universe. If one is familiar with the Ponderous' other flicks, one can see references to Serial Rabbit, Green and other quintessential planets in the Ponderous Universe. Yet, if Green and Serial Rabbit are the planets then Apocrypha (Part 10) is the sun. It is the one movie in the solar system upon which the others revolve. When the other films make reference to the 'secret', they do so in a tongue in cheek way. Apocrypha comes right out and says “Here is what it is... and here is how you missed it.”

As I said at the beginning of this review, many people have accused the saga of playing to the lowest common denominator. It takes going back through the entire series to see just how cerebral the series actually is – to find the nuances that were missed. The second viewing becomes a hunt for the clues. I believe that it took an ambitious man to write and to produce such a project. It takes a different kind of viewer to suspend their normal viewing habits and look inside for their boons and mirrors to reflect back the true meaning of the story.

Now, to put my fan girl love aside, I do believe that there is one major screw up in this film. And its a mistake that I am not sure I can necessarily forgive- although I can live with it. Mr. Mauser has professed as much of a love of a certain author and academic as I have. In fact, I've had long conversations with Mr. Mauser regarding the story (and as a matter of record, I am mentioned in the last film because I unknowingly stumbled upon the secret and being the blond that I was born as, didn't realize it until I was starting to watch Apocrypha at the premiere). It is with a heavy heart that I call Ponderous out on this. When he decided to reveal the secret to Mike Lorenzo, he used an outside character. A character who is near and dear to the hearts of the cast of the Innocence Saga but the wrong person to deliver the story. In keeping with the philosophy behind the Innocence Saga, it should have been Basa or even Doughboy to reveal the final story. With that being said, there was always an end and it was always apparent. I just mightily disagree with how the ending occurred.

So, if you have the time, please go this weekend to the Overtime Theater at the Blue Star Arts Gallery in San Antonio. The generous people at the Overtime have agreed to show the entire saga from start to finish this weekend. Come say hi to Brett Mauser, Amanda Nutting, Craig Rainey and many others who worked long hours to bring this story to life. Just remember there is always a guy named Smokey and everyone is not who they seem but who they really are.

If you are interested in more of Ponderous Productions movies, please check out their website at http://www.ponderousproductions.com

You can purchase many of their movies through their website, or you can check them out in Video on Demand through Amazon dot com as well as many are coming to Netflix.

And congratulate them on their newest movie “Bass Reeves” which will be released on DVD this February. It is going to be known as “All Hell to Pay” although, it will always be “Bass Reeves” to me. It has just shored up a major distribution deal- so congratulations to Brett Mauser and the rest of the Ponderous Family, which I count myself as a distant cousin

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the best novel adaptations I've seen in a very long time. While I am not familiar with much Swedish cinema, the casting was incredible. Both of the leads, Lisbeth and Mikael Blomkvist worked- both singularly and in scenes together. Neither overpowered the other on screen, even though there was that potential. Visually, it was an incredibly appealing movie as well. There is talk about trying to redo this movie for a more American audience with Daniel Craig as Blomkvist. Unfortunately, I believe, there is no way to take this movie out of Sweden. The landscape is as much cast member as the actors and is almost as critical of a component as the director or the cinematographer.

Many people are simply going to skip over this gem of the movie for several reasons. First: subtitles. Yes, they use subtitles instead of dubbing. I believe this does not detract from the movie and that dubbing would have. Noomi Rapace, Lisbeth, has such a soft spoken demeanor that to have dub over that would definitely have lost something in translation. Her soft spokeness actually plays against her troubled life which is briefly touched upon during the film. And Michael Nyqvist has a subtlety about his portrayal of the disgraced journalist that can only be described as nuanced. Second thing that might cause people to skip over this movie are three very powerful scenes of rape and revenge. If those images are triggers for you, I recommend that you have a finger on the skip button and ready. Neither of the three scenes just suddenly jumps out and attacks the viewer, as they all start slowly- but the cutaways and lighting give a certain gritty reality to them – that even I had to turn away for a moment.

The story remains true to the book and very little is left out which is reason three why people might skip this movie. At just a hair over two and a half hours, this is not a large soda movie. It is one where the time passes quickly and you do not realize just how long you've been glued to the screen.

Now, the basic story is one of a murder mystery. The aging patriarch of a wealthy family has been searching for his missing niece for forty years. During that forty years, her murderer has been torturing him by sending him gifts every year on his birthday – the same gift that she gave to him when she lived with him: A pressed and framed flower. Now, the gifts come from all over the world, with different postmarks and no return addresses. The patriarch is tortured by the gifts and only wants to know where his niece's body is so he can give her a proper burial and have closure. Due to an accident on the only bridge off of the small island that their house is located on, he is sure that she was murdered on the night of her disappearance, by a member of the family, and isn't sure which member of the family is responsible. As the movie progresses, all the discontent and hatred the other family members have for each other is revealed and Stieg Larsson goes on to prove Tolstoy's axiom: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. In the end, though, you find out what happened to Harriet, the niece, and Michael and Lisbeth survive, despite being a little worse for the trip.

The true beauty of this film is definitely the acting jobs by Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist. Noomi Rapace gives the very flawed and very disturbed character of Lisbeth depth. Lisbeth is a hacker extraordinaire but she's lacking in communication skills and the ability to interact with others in a healthy manner. Her stark look only emphasizes her distance from “civilized” society. Michael Nyqvist creates a Blomkvist who is bitter over losing his position with the magazine that he founded and his pending prison term yet is reaching out to this social outcast. In the book, Blomkvist is a member of a loose poly-amorous triad who doesn't understand how his partner's husband could put up with the relationship that he has with Lena. With Lisbeth, he has to come to terms with not being in control of anything in the relationship. Their relationship and their sexual intercourse is strictly on Lisbeth's terms. And she views sex as one would think that a man typical does. In fact, its quite funny to see her get up and go back to her own bed after sex as one would imagine a man would like to do. She begrudgingly gives in when he requests 'snuggle time'.
This is a movie I would recommend that you go out and rent tonight. It is simply well done on many levels. It will leave you wanting to go to Sweden and walk among the fjords. It will also have you checking the family skeletons in the closets, just to make sure they are still there.

Movie review: Predators


If one is looking for a movie that will make you a better person- this is not that movie. Get in your car, go to Blockbuster and rent "A Single Man". If you are looking for two hours of pure adrenaline and escapism, then head to your local theater, grab your popcorn and sit back because its about to be a bumpy ride.


Predators starts with a bang -- it also milks and works that bang throughout the entire movie. I will make the argument that Robert Rodriguez simply retooled Richard Connell's Most Dangerous Game but he does it in a way that is semi fresh and inviting. He introduces some new baddies to the Predator Universe which was also refreshing. The entire movie is designed to keep the viewer on edge and excited with every turn the characters make.

Now, with the bad... one must simply suspend reality for the 90+ minutes of the movie. While I enjoyed the initial bang of the movie, that part also made me want to get up and leave the theater. Now, allow me to explain. It simply comes down to a character surviving something that is completely unsurvivable. Criticize me for being over analytical but hey... its my review so there!

The characters were all your basic archetypes: some chosen for their flaws while others chosen for their graces. WIth that being said, several of characters were simply a part of the movie just to be devices. Example one character is simply there to be the big baddie with the wheel gun, firing massive amounts of bullets yet strangely hitting very little with all of the that ammunition. Another character is there just to inject that element of misogynistic-racist sentiments that makes you want to see him die but yet redeems himself as a character about 30 seconds too late. Robert Rodriguez did an amazing job of taking characters that could have been flat and downright unlikable and giving them a sense of humanity.

The story is also an homage to the original Predator movie. It is a logical next step in the evolution of the story instead of the AvP movies. Meaning that it stays true to the original vision of the movies rather than going for the blood and guts. Now, there is no shortage of blood and guts in this movie... but it isn't bloody just for the sake of the body count!

In the end, the movie was designed to be a vehicle of enjoyment rather than personal reflection. The cast (despite my initial eye rolls) does a decent job of driving the story forward. Adrien Brody, whom I'm not a fan of, does a decent job and has obviously been the gym A LOT to prepare for this film. Topher Grace, well, he pulls off the whole clumsy-klutzy-why-am-I-here-I'm-just-a-doc with ease. Then again, its a character he plays often so its not like it was a stretch! And Laurence Fishburn plays bat shit crazy so damn well!!! I mean seriously... Wow!


***posted at my movie review site***

Today's Events


I cooked

I saw dear friends. I saw the parents of dear friends. I met the sister of a dear friend.

I took pictures of a spider.

I colored my hair.

Tomorrow, I will celebrate the end of an era tomorrow with good friends and lots of new acquaintances. I look forward to seeing something come to close, yet am sad that it will end. I want to hold on and squeeze this moment in hopes that it will last just a little bit longer. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new adventure.

Hope you are enjoying your life just as much as I am right now.

Happy Birthday!


Just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Matt... aka   [info]chibi_masshuu . I hope you have a great day despite your foot! Take care friend and many happy returns. 

Make sure that Alex spoils you rotten. You deserve it!

PS: I know its a day early, well, a few hours early at the very least... I've got a terribly busy day tomorrow and I am positive I will forget it tomorrow morning after I finally get some sleep. I thought I needed to strike while the iron was hot so to speak!

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