I’ve been frustrated with the internet, nerd culture, and fanboyism at large for awhile now. For the longest time I couldn’t really put my finger on what was rubbing me the wrong way, but then I had a lightbulb moment while listening to the Scriptnotes episode in which John and Craig discussed the idea of “positive moviegoing.” Craig set out a very interesting method to watching film that resonated with me and got me to thinking about positivity in general. I realized that a lot of what was missing from the internet, nerd culture, and fanboyism at large was just that: positivity. Somewhere along the line we forgot to enjoy shit and instead turned everything into freaking Thunderdome.
That’s why Jandy and I have decided to make 2014 our Year of Positivity. Internet culture is built on extremism and it’s become too damn much. Nerd rages? Consider us over ’em. Hysterical tirades about that one flick that ruined our childhood forever? Nuh-uh, done-zo! Check out her post. She breaks the whole thing down further and even throws in an interesting twist to the concept; she picks out a “souvenir” from her entertainment, whether she likes it or not.
In light of Scriptnotes pushing me (and ultimately us) to this concept of a positive year, I’ll probably call my “souvenir” One Cool Thing, or Cool Things About [insert title here], or MAYBE even The John And Craig Of It All.
Will this plan be executed flawlessly? Probably not. I’m still a recovering cynical bastard and that tends to slip through sometimes. What I’m hoping this does is flush out most of the negativity in my system and give me a better outlook on my entertainment.
Because at the end of the day I want to enjoy shit…you know?
There’s a rule in blog-land that you aren’t supposed to take continued hiatuses and then pop in every now and again with a “wow I haven’t posted here in FOR-EV-ERRR” type of post. Well, whatever, dude. I’ve actually got a decent excuse this time around; I had a daughter. Now, your mind is probably blown to smithereens right about now. First I get married and then I up and generate spawn?
I’ve tried to write this post at least a dozen times, waxing poetic about how this wonderful ball of feminine badassery has blessed my life to the nines, and each time I’ve hit “delete” and started anew. There’s just not a lot of words that can accurately express how I’ve felt from day one in the hospital to now, almost two months later; I say this as someone going into writing as a profession. So instead of delving into the understatement of the year territory, I’m going to give you some relevant stats about my daughter and deluge you with adorable pictures. Sound like a plan? Good, because it’s happening!
Hey guys, I thought I would post this since it is relevant to my interests. It’s an interview that I did with my friend Tom for a web publication that’s kind of a big deal. They asked us a few questions about Sausage School, which Tom animates and I write. We had an absolute blast getting to the heart of what makes the show “tick” as well as giving a little history of our “genius.” With their permission I’ve included the entire article below:
I’ve been a busy little bee these days. Not sure if you remember a post series of mine from awhile back where I complained about working at a web animation studio out in Chicago. The work was lousy, but it was there that I met my friend Tom Riffel and there that I developed an interest in animation. When I got let go, I immediately started thinking about what it would be like to get a bunch of people together to work on the types of cartoons that we wanted to see. There were a few ideas I tossed back and forth with Tom, but they didn’t get very far past the “idea” stage. Not only that, there just weren’t enough of us to get anything substantial off the ground.
Fast forward to the here and now in sunny California, where Tom fills me in on an interesting idea that he and a few others are working on.
I’ve been a very bad blogger lately. The most I’ve written is a little blurb about some of the things I did in 2011, and even then that barely equated out to a page. In fact, I think that post was mostly a list-post and involved very little of what anyone would call “writing.” Truth be told, I’ve been quite the busy bee. In late December my then girlfriend and I decided to get married, something we had been discussing for a little while. To make things interesting, we scheduled our wedding for January, giving us relatively little time to plan. Surprisingly, everyone was gung-ho about the idea.
The wedding day came upon us pretty fast and before I knew it I was standing in front of a crowd of friends and family, watching my bride-to-be walk toward me down the aisle. It’s kinda crazy how everyone else seemed to fade out of the picture when Jandy took my hand; I’m sure the pictures of me can attest to that.
I don’t really remember when I began challenging myself to watch more films each year. It may have started when I was going to school in Chicago, or it might have been during my earlier days back in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Each year I would keep a general idea of the films I had seen and try to best it, whether by a few or by a wide margin. One year I decided to see all the Oscar contenders alongside of the films I was currently watching, something that took my movie-watching goals to the next level. The next year I added films that weren’t in my genres of interest. The year after that films during a certain decade….
I think you kind of get the idea.
Fast forward to 2011, the year I decided to keep a running tally of all the films I had seen. I had been watching my wife populate her movie list for quite some time and had wanted to do something similar, if a little less strict. What I came up with was my 2011 in Film page, where I put the posters up for all the films I had seen in 2011, dividing them by New Releases or New to Me. I also divided them up by Loves, Likes and Dislikes to give anyone who perused the page a basic idea of where I stood on the film.
Fast forward even further to the present and we’ve got this post: My 2011 in Film. I saw A LOT of movies last year and there were a few that REALLY stood out to me.
A lot happened in 2011. I’m still in contemplation mode, which is why I haven’t really done anything akin to last year’s Top Ten in ’10 post series. Not only that but it’s insanely difficult to come up with a clever blog series name that fits with The Year 2011. Also, a list of 11 things is kind of stupid. But I digress. I think for now I’ll just write up a list of some of the things I did this year and call it good.
I’d like to take full credit for this idea, but I can’t. All the credit goes to my girlfriend Jandy, who thought this up quite some time ago. The premise is simple: we make each other watch films that have impacted us in some way and then post our thoughts on them in a joint blog series. Since we’ve been making each other watch films already, adding the blogging element was an easy next step. We’re still working out the format some in terms of who posts when or who goes first, but the general idea will be to have these posts on both of our sites.
Movie:Wayne’s World Info: 1992 USA. Director: Penelope Sheeris. Starring: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Tia Carrere, Rob Lowe. Chooser: Jonathan Date and Method Watched: December 3rd, at home via Zune rental on Xbox Live
I complain about Android a lot. You really only have to find the nearest social network and check the first page on my profile to see some new issue I have with the mobile OS. I’ve pretty much lamented everything from fragmentation to the lack of screencapping (without root) as well as everything in between. Lest this outspokenness be construed as simple dislike or at worst Apple Fanboyism, I’d like to offer you a nice and tidy list of the things I love and hate about Android. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means, but I feel like it should give you some perspective the next time you see me flailing my arms and ranting about the next big thing that “super sucks” about Android.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT ANDROID
The Notification Tray
I like that there’s a notification tray at the top of my phone and that everything I need to know that’s urgent goes there. I’ve seen the popup notifcations in iOS and I can’t say that’s something that appeals to me. Granted, I have an SMS popup app, but that’s because I like being able to quickly respond to texts from friends. I also like that I can quickly see the progress of my apps that are updating while I browse the web or do something else. What’s even cooler is that I can expand the notification tray and remove all the notifications from the tray if I so choose.
The Third-Party Apps That Get It Right
iOS apps are known for how elegant and glossy they look while retaining functionality. There are some Android apps out there that have taken this to heart recently and have made their Android counterparts comparable in design and functionality. It’s apps like these that make excited for what the OS can do. Foursquare and GoWalla are two shining examples on that front as well as Evernote, Angry Birds, Facebook and Twitter. And then there are the apps that don’t have iOS equivalents that manage to stand out or add functionality to Android. Stuff like Launcher Pro or Folder Organizer Lite or even Widgetsoid.
Access To The File System
I love being able see all the files on my phone and being able to do whatever I want with them. I love that I can throw a resume/script/story/song onto my phone to have with me at a whim. If it’s there I can access it like I would on my PC or Mac. It’s one of the big things I would miss if I were to pack up and move over to iOS tomorrow.
WHAT I (OPPOSITE OF) LOVE ABOUT ANDROID
The “Results May Vary By Phone” Factor
Android has come a long way and this gripe of mine has become less and less of a problem. But still, I read story after story of one phone having a set of problems while another phone has a completely different set of problems. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that if I want the most consistent Android experience I should go with the Nexus line of phones from Google itself. Why does it take an inquisition into the tech pool to find out what I’m getting when I go into a multi-year contract for an Android phone? Shouldn’t “it just work?”
The Ugly Third-Party Apps
While there are some great Android counterparts to some iOS apps, by and large a lot of the apps are underdeveloped and lacking in many modern/key features. Stuff like GetGlue or Miso are fairly easy examples of this as they have significant lag between the Android and iOS versions. It’s tough to want to use my version of the app when a much better version is being used next to me. I fully understand and respect that it takes time and resources to develop for two different OS’s, but I’d rather have no app than a crippled one.
The Rooting/Jailbreak Disease
Rooting/Jailbreaking your phone has become insanely easy these days. All you need to do is plug in the USB cord to your computer and run some software. It’s also become much easier to undo said Rooting/Jailbreaking in case you need to return your phone to the store or [insert random reason here]. Frankly, I think Rooting/Jailbreaking is bullshit and the time spent doing this could be spent making better apps or fighting to get Android/iOS to improve. I’d rather that both Android and iOS “just work” and I’d rather these platforms compete on aesthetic and not functionality.
The rules–set down by the original prompt by Beau Kaelin–are quite simple and are as follows:
Rather than posting your 100 favorite films (which has been done and overdone), you simply post your favorite things about movies. I dig the concept, because instead of obsessing over whether the films you put on a list are “objectively good enough” to put on said list, you simply jot down 100 moments/lines/visuals that have made a lasting impression on you or sneak their way into running gags between you and your friends.
Below are such 100 such moments/lines/visuals that have made quite the impression on me over the years. They’re not in any particular order, nor are they really all that definitive. I’ve more than likely left some stuff out, which I’ll of course realize after this goes to post.
Be warned: there are a shit-ton of youtube embeds in this post, so if you have a slow connection you might want to go run some errands as everything loads. Where I couldn’t embed clips I put images linking to the youtube clips. If I had my way I’d have every moment on here be youtube embeds, but alas!
Anyway, here’s 100 Things I Love About My Favorite Movies
[EDIT 12/4/11: Added pagination to split up the post some. You should see the links to go to the other pages underneath the share links and the “similar posts” widget-thingy.]
The Opening Credits to Run Lola Run
What better way to start off this list than with the opening credits to my first foreign film. If it were legal to embed every minute of this gem, I would.
Doug from Ghost World
Really, the whole film is fantastic, but I kind of love every moment that this character is onscreen.
The 188.8.131.52’s Long Take From Kill Bill: Vol. 1
I like long takes, and this one from does a great job of setting up the scene before shit hits the fan. My absolute favorite part from this sequence is the glimpse of the kitchen you get as the camera swoops up. SO FUCKING GREEN.
Kim Pine & Stephen Stills in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
I suppose I identify most with Scott Pilgrim, but my favorite characters in the film are most definitely Kim and Stephen. Case in point: the cutaways to Kim’s scowling face and Stephen’s freak-out during the Crash and the Boys show.
The Opening to Once Upon A Time In The West
The opening to Once Upon A Time in the West is amazing. There’s no dialog or music for roughly ten minutes and yet it’s perhaps the most thrilling scene I’ve ever encountered in a western. Sergio Leone is, as Knives Chau might say, “Amaaaaaaaaaaaaaziiinnggggg!”
The Balcony Scene in Annie Hall
It’s a great scene from my second favorite Woody Allen film. Or is it actually my favorite? I dunno. This and Manhattan kind of switch places every now and then.
The Lovers Meet in William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is perhaps my least favorite Shakespeare story out of the bunch; or at least it was my least favorite until I watched Baz Luhrmann’s exciting adaptation. Claire Daines and Leonardo DiCaprio pretty much own their respective characters and the scene where they meet for the first time is romantic. Like REALLY romantic.
Klaus Daimler in The Life Aquatic
Every moment that this character is on screen is a brilliant moment. Willem Dafoe pretty much steals the show here.
Ben Stiller in Mystery Men
Not a huge Ben Stiller fan, but he’s absolutely delightful in this film as Mr. Furious. His usual shtick plays out best amongst the obscenely wacky cast. Best deconstruction of a super hero film? MOST DEFINITELY.
The Opening Credits of Casino Royale
The opening credits for Casino Royale are perhaps my favorite for the series. If that’s blasphemy to the other Bond openers, then so be it.
Whammy Burger Scene in Falling Down
“I think we have a critic! I don’t think she likes the special sauce, Rick!” While Falling Down kind of falls apart in the third act, it still remains one of my favorite films of a white-collar worker finally losing it on perhaps the hottest day of the summer. And this scene is perhaps my favorite out of the entire film.
Your Song in Moulin Rouge
I seriously had trouble picking out my favorite moment from this film, since there are so many. What eventually made me pick this one was the sheer charisma of Ewan McGreggor in this cover of the Elton John song.
The Bride Reunited in Kill Bill: Vol. 2
Ennio Morricone is a musical genius, and his opener to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly fits perfectly in this scene. Kudos to Quentin for being able to evoke such a strong emotion from an already strong musical piece. Both this scene and the original play in my head when I hear this.
The Naked Chainsaw Scene in American Psycho
My first experience with Christian Bale is this film, and what sold me on him was this very scene. Now go from this to The Machinist and you’ll understand why he’s a favorite actor of mine.
Private Pyle’s Demise in Full Metal Jacket
If all you’ve experienced of Vincent D’Onofrio is his stint on Law and Order: Criminal Intent you need to go watch this film ASAP. More specifically, you need to watch this scene that ends the first (and best) half of the film. It’s quite an unforgettable moment.
The Impregnation Scene In Slither
What a delightfully disgusting film. The scene in which Michael Rooker impregnates the woman he was having an affair with is perhaps my favorite thing about this film. Doesn’t hurt that it’s juxtaposed with Nathan Fillion putting the moves on Elizabeth Banks while some lame-ass country song is playing. The effect is a bit unnerving.
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