Monday, April 13, 2009

The Secret of N.I.M.H.

Have you ever seen the movie The Secret of N.I.M.H.? If you have then you know that a wonderful movie that is. I mean, how much cooler does it get? Rats and mice that were experimented on to the point that they became intelligent enough to read, escape, and steal electricity to form their own society? A huge owl with a deep baritone voice that can see the future? An old rat with glowing eyes and mystical powers that is a prophet? This movie was great! If you ever saw then you are on board the awesome train with me and we are steaming down the awesome track going 400 awesomes per awesome.

Ok, sorry. The awesomeness of this movie just sort of possessed me and I couldn't stop.

Anyway, you know what I'm talking about. The animation in this movie is great, very detailed, and the story is engrossing.

So, you are probably saying to yourself, "Why are you writing about this? Is this just a homage to the movie or what? Write a blog already!!!". Well, here is the deal.

This movie was originally going to be done by Disney but they decided it was too dark and wouldn't make any money. So Don Bluth, an animator for Disney quit his job along with several other animators (see ya Mickey) and rolled out of there like a magical pumpkin carriage on wheels. Ole Don thought Disney was getting away from it's more detailed and expensive animating techniques in favor of faster, less intricate, cheaper procedures. So Bluth and his boys start working on T.S.o.N. in his garage, get picked up by a different studio, go over budget, and end up mortgaging their houses to complete it. The result? SUCCESS! Not to mention one of the coolest movies ever animated!

So, now I'll get to the point. I recently found out there was a sequal. I was excited! Great! Once again I would get to see Nicodemus and his badass rats doing crazy stuff. The Great Owl! Hooray! That is, I was excited until I saw this preview . Go ahead and watch it. No really. I'll wait. Waiting........ GO WATCH IT, It's just a preview.

OK. I'm sorry I had to do that to you. If you have ever seen the original then I probably owe you a new keyboard because you just threw up all over yours. When I saw that for the first time I just sat in silence for about 3 hours and stared at my screen. Finally the sound of my heart breaking snapped me out of my stupor and I said, "What....the...hell?". If you haven't seen the first one, or need a refresher on the difference please go here.

Why was this sequel even made? Obviously for money but you have to wonder if there are times in the life of an actor, animator, producer, studio exec when they go "You know.. I know this is some major deep brown super heated mega-smelly poop flavored poop we are making but... oh well, it's paying the bills." I mean, your name is on that junk forever!!! The credits roll and there is your stupid name in white on black background rolling by the disgusted eyes of the people too horrified to turn the crap off before it was all over. You may meet these people someday and they may smash your face with a shovel.

What's worse, what about respect from other artists? Other animators on your NEXT project have to go "Hey man, what have you worked on before? What was your last job?" And then you get to say "Oh, it was the er....mumble mumble Rats of coughcough NIMH 2 cough cough". After that you probably get mysterious drawings on your desk every day picturing you being eaten by rats while the rats draw horribly rendered pictures of you. You can swear the other animators all go silent every time you go into the break room and are eating your lunch out of the refrigerator.

If there ever is a nuclear holocaust you'd better hope that a copy of your garbage doesn't survive. Then again... maybe only horribly mutated man-beasts could appreciate your abomination but somehow I think if they have any left over nukes they'll quickly be detonating them and burning themselves and all traces of your work from the face of the planet forever. DON'T WATCH THIS EVER!!

More serious post coming soon.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Once Cute, Not Always Cute

So in driving around town the passed few days and just keeping my eyes open in general, I have noticed some stuff that needs outing.

I bet you thought this was going to be a blog about the way people look eh? Well surprise! It's not.. well it may be partially. I haven't written it yet so there is always the chance that something surprising will jump in, you never know. I am the gumbo of blogs. Whatever is around gets tossed in.

So, what I am really writing about is stuff that once was cute, when it was new. It was fresh and made you chuckle or smile 40 years ago but somehow, probably due to mass marketing or the like, is still around. Here are some examples in no particular order of annoying ex-cuteness.

1. Baby on Board Signs or Dolls. I mean, what the
hell is this garbage? One, it's not funny at all. OK, well maybe the first time you saw it you thought about smiling. Does that really count? Now you have a horrible thing hanging from your window. I suppose the purpose of this is two fold (other than an attempt at humor). One: To alert people that you are a parent. Two: To let people know to drive cautiously around you because there is a child in the car? What kind of malarkey is that? Are there monster truck driving lunatics out there who just randomly smash into and crush cars but when they see this stupid piece of plastic garbage hanging from your window they say to themselves , "Aw shucks Rusty Nail! They got a baby on board! Gonna have to leave em be! Now to murder the guy in front of them with the LSU sticker on his window." Am I , as a sane and competent driver, supposed to be like "Oh snap! A BABY on board!?!? Well by all means do whatever it is that you want in this traffic and we will all do our best not to collide into you and cause a horrible and tragic accident"? Let's be real, these things are not cute. They are, for lack of a better word, retarded. If you have this be ashamed, cane yourself, and take this crap out of your car. I think I'd rather hit someone with this in their window.

2. A kid with a mullet. I mean, a guy with a mullet is seriously dumb enough. Then you go and let a child have a mullet. This hairstyle was NEVER in. I don't care where you are from, but why are you forcing this on your child? Are you some sort of monster? The worst are the younger kids that don't really have a lot of hair so the mullet is very thin and wispy like they are some sort of genetic experiment. Please understand, your child looks like a freak. It is not cute at all. In fact, it's cruel because kids don't know they look an ass at school all day and their teachers are saying to each other "Oh look at that poor thing. His family must really live in the woods... and hate him." All it takes is for some other kid's dad (most likely someone like me) to see this kid and say "What the hell? That kid has a mullet! He looks like an idiot." Then the kid that hear that goes and makes fun of the kid with the mullet and pretty soon you have mullet kid hiding in a closet with a pair of scissors trying to rid himself of the mullet but all he will accomplish is to cut himself or cause his mullet to be even more hideous. If you or child have this haircut please either go to your nearest barber and tell them you are sorry you made them make you look like an A-Hole and you have come to your senses, or take your car with your baby on board sign and drive it into the nearest lake.

3. Capri Pants. I'm sorry ladies. Contrary to popular belief these are NOT cute. Here is the rule about Capri pants. If you do choose to wear these they cannot be the length of the ones I have pictured here. They have to at least just barely cover your knees. In other words, ALL of your calf has to show, otherwise you look like this lady does. If I didn't know what Capri pants were I would think this is Noah's wife and she got these at a pre-flood sale. I mean, seriously, these are so retarded looking every time I see a girl with them on I cringe. I want to run over to her and say "Are your shorts just really long or did you wash those pants in really hot water because if it's not either then I really don't see the point in you wearing those clown pants." If you own these, please make sure the length is appropriate because otherwise you will think you are dressing cute but really..I mean seriously... come on. LOOK AT THAT CRAP!

4. The Tramp Stamp. OK, as hot as you think you
are walking around town with your midriff showing I just picked up a newspaper and read this headline: "This Makes Men Think You Are a Whore". OK, I'm not saying if you have one of these that you are an Extra Crispy McSlutt Sandwich with extra Slut-Sauce. I'm just saying that's what we, as guys, are thinking/saying when we see this. Put aside the fact that it's just a really dumb place to get a tattoo... but if you are going to put ink under your skin that, for most purposes, is permanent, don't you think you should get something that has some meaning. A butterfly? A Heart? Some tribal mishmash of bull#$@? Why? Are you that in love with butterflies? You'd better have a house full of them fluttering everywhere to justify drawing one on your skin permanently! And the heart thing? I mean, am I supposed to go "Oh a heart! She must love.... stuff.. Hey Girl! You love stuff? Me too!" And the tribal crap really baffles me. "What is that?", I say as I point at some tribal design. "Oh", she replies, "That's a tribal design." It means nothing. So, if you already have one of these you are sorta stuck with a not cute thing on your lower back, but if you are thinking of getting one of these... DON'T! You'll just join the ever growing number of girls with a design that on their back that is going to look like a Rorschach test when they are 45.

5. Big fake chains. I know you think you are a gangster with your mouth full of metal and your earlobes drooping from all your "ice" but that ridiculous cracker jack prize you call "bling" makes me want to shove you into a wood chipper feet first. You aren't impressing anyone. We all know that crap is some nickel plaited bull crap that you bought from Omar the tent maker and his little jewelery stand in the mall. It was probably listed for 40 bucks but you got him down to 20 and now you and your No Limit Tank chain look really tough. If you could afford something this large that was made out of real precious metals and diamonds then you wouldn't be stepping out of a 1992 Impala with tin foil rims. Now get that P.T. Barnum chump chain outta our faces before we drag you into a real jewelery store in front of your crew and have them appraise your "bling" for the grand total of 10$. Meanwhile the manager is calling the cops.

In conclusion, if you want to look cute or have something cute a good way to determine if it fits the bill is to type it into google images and see what you get back. If you find a plethora of pictures ridiculing your chosen cute accessory or item, chances are you will look like an ass jacket if you go ahead with your plans. More to come as I stumble across more terrible ideas out there in the real world.. see ya then.

Monday, April 6, 2009

For Those Who Love Tolkien (And People Who Don't Read)

So when I was much younger I read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I think I was probably in sixth grade. That's a young age to read those books but I had always seemed starved for novels as a kid so a story that spanned three books, how could I pass that up?

Since that time I've reread that series several times. It's just that good. Tolkien creates an entire history of a universe, several languages, many civilizations creating a depth to write from that hasn't been reproduced since.

So it's pretty safe to say that I love fantasy and sci-fi novels. Now when I say that, if you are uninitiated in these genres or have been reading some horrible examples of work within them then you probably get pictures of the following in your head: Men in huge wizardly robes hurling lightning bolts at each other and saying their thees and thous while Knights ride by hacking at dragons. Or for sci-fi you may get images of Star Trek (although I love Star Trek so screw you).

Fantasy, at least good fantasy is not at all like that. It is sort of like my friend and fellow blogger said in his post about plays. He writes, "The Arts are so powerful when they are made the right way. And by the right way I mean, letting the viewer or audience imagine for him or herself." I don't enjoy when things are thrown in my face in a story, especially not magic. Hint at it, tease me with it, let me guess at what it really is. And unless it's extremely important or interesting that I know, don't explain how it came to be.

So, for you Tolkien fans that are still searching for the next best thing I've discovered a series written by an Author with a strangely similar name to J.R.R. Tolkien himself. It is the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and begins with the book A Game Of Thrones.
In it Martin leads you along in a very realistic fantasy. By that I mean that there is very little magic (though what little there is will keep you intrigued and wanting more) and a lot of suspenseful realism. Do not get too attached to any one character because, in the words of the man himself, "...when my characters are in danger, I want you to be afraid to turn the page, (so) you need to show right from the beginning that you're playing for keeps." Anyone can die in any chapter, much like real life. The chapters themselves are written from several main (though no less protected) character's points of view. If you loved the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, you'll love these books and I highly recommend them.
*As a side note. If you are in anyway put off by or uncomfortable with realistic situations or sex then you may want to proceed cautiously. Martin describes everything in detail from battle to romantic encounters.

Now, on to my second recommendation and with it a side topic. People who do not read. I've never understood you. If you are reading this then you probably aren't one of those people and if you are then you must just read short things like blogs and newspapers. You are an enigma to me.

To me books are like movies that you get to stretch over a much longer time instead of the 3 hour max movies are made at today. A story that takes as long as you take to read it is able to develop much more fully and the images are not spoon fed to you, you are free to imagine them as you want. That's whenever a friend or acquaintance informs me that they "just aren't into books" they usually continue with "why are you looking at me like that?". I think the real problem with people who do not enjoy reading is one of three things.

A. They have some sort of learning or vision impediment making it difficult or unpleasurable for them to read.

B. They do not have patience. They cannot sit still long enough and let a story develop. They need flashing and moving images on a screen in an hour and a half venue to tell them a story.

C. They just haven't found something they can really get into.

If you or someone you know falls under B or C then I can recommend a fantasy series for them that I am certain they/you will love. It's author may surprise you seeing as he is mainly known for the horror genre that he has come to dominate. His departure from horror into this fantasy series is very impressive and entertaining. I'm speaking, of course, about the one and only Stephen King. His Dark Tower series is awesome in it's scope but still written by the man who can pull "Easy Readers" into his tales with his vivid and suspenseful writing style. The first book in the series is The Gunslinger.

So, I've done the legwork, you can just read. If you want to argue and say that you just aren't into reading because it's boring or whenever you hold books in your hands the pages burst into flames because you are possessed I only have one thing to say.