Monday, July 18, 2011

I Love Wrestling

If you've been following me on Twitter you know that I have a love/hate relationship with wrestling. I've been watching for almost 15 years and I've had my ups and downs with it. But watching the Money in the Bank Pay Per View tonight has made me love wrestling all over again.

To me the wrestling product has been getting a little stale with John Cena winning all the time. It was like that a few years ago when Triple H was dominating everyone and him holding onto the World Title all the time, or losing it but getting it back in a few weeks or so. I stopped watching wrestling then and a few months ago I was close to giving up watching the WWE again after the whole debacle with Christian winning the World Title and losing it 2 days later to Randy Orton. But I kept at it because there was one guy that brought me back every week just to see what would happen. That guy was CM Punk.

Around that time he wasn't being used often, and when he was it wasn't to my liking. But I watched because he entertained me. Then he started winning more matches making it clear that something was brewing within the company. I just didn't know what it was yet. I had heard rumors that he was looking to leave the WWE for a little while because he had been on the road for 6 years straight and he was getting tired. That's pretty understandable, as many would like to call wrestling fake, that kind of life still takes it's toll on the body. Working matches 5 times a week, being on the road all the time, away from friends and family. It's a rough life. And many others have done it before, like Chris Jericho. So as much as it bummed me out that CM Punk was going to leave for a while I understood. But then a few weeks ago he became with #1 contender for the WWE Championship. He would face John Cena at the Money in the Bank PPV. The PPV would be held on his last night with the WWE as he hadn't resigned with the company. Then the shit hit the fan.

A few weeks ago Punk cut a shoot promo on Raw. (That's when a wrestler talks on the microphone and says stuff that he's not suppose to.) This promo caused chaos in the wrestling world. He said shit that fans have been talking about for years. He called out a lot of people that worked the WWE behind the scenes. It was one of the most honest promos I've ever seen in wrestling and it got the fans talking. It got the world to take notice because no one knew if it was real or not. It was very, very exciting. Following that Raw episode the WWE suspended CM Punk. The following week on Raw John Cena convinced Vince to re-instate Punk and to give the fans what they wanted and let Cena wrestle Punk at the PPV.

This past week on Raw Cena and Punk had an exchange that probably sold more PPVs in a long time. (Probably with the exception of Wrestlemania) The verbal confrontation between Cena and Punk was electric. It was fucking exciting. It made me, a bitter, almost jaded fan, excited to see where this was all going to go, because there was no way to predict where this storyline was going. It was a moment that put me on the edge of my seat. It made wrestling unpredictable. It made it fun again.

Tonight was the PPV. And the build up to that PPV was outstanding and the PPV tonight did not disappoint. AT. ALL. John Cena and CM Punk had an amazing match with great emotion. The crowd in the arena was louder than anything I've seen or heard in a long time. People were invested. Why? Because CM Punk stated that since it was his last night under WWE Contract he was going to win the WWE Championship and leave the company. And if John Cena lost he would get fired. And what happened tonight? CM Punk pinned Cena for the Championship and Punk left the arena with the Title. Seemingly to never be seen again. Obviously this isn't the case but again, the match was exciting and it makes for great story telling because many fans have been burned by the WWE before and they didn't think that the WWE would pull the trigger with this. But they did.

I'll always have my favorite wrestlers and I'll probably always follow the WWE, but tonight I have fallen in love with the product all over again. It has its hooks in me like it hasn't had in a long time. I'm not angry at the WWE. I haven't become jaded. I'm excited. I can't wait to see how this plays out even further. It has me excited to watch Raw tomorrow night.

But my excitement isn't just because of how the Cena/Punk match went. It was overall and excellent PPV that I enjoyed tremendously. The two Money in the Bank ladder matched were brutal and amazing. And the winners were unexpected which makes future story lines much more exciting. Seeing Daniel Bryan win a contract to get a shot at a Championship match is awesome because no one thought he was going to win. Alberto Del Rio winning was more predictable but it didn't take away from his win at all. Both deserving wrestlers who will be able to showcase their talent and prove to the WWE and the world that they have what it takes to "hang with the big boy." Christian regained the World Heavyweight Championship tonight from Randy Orton. It wasn't a spectacular win but they were telling a story, and that story played out very well.

Thanks WWE for not fucking this up because we all know that the potential was there, and with not fucking it up you've kept this long time fan and you've made him excited to be a wrestling fan and I can't wait what you guys to next.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Comic Book Origins

Antonio: Age 2 or 3 as Batman

Why do I read comic books? That’s a hard question to answer because I don’t really know. Well, I do, but where the passion came from and why it’s still there abusing my wallet is a bit of a mystery.

I have loved Batman since before I can remember. Honestly. I’ve asked my mother many times where the Batman love came from and she says she doesn’t know. There are pictures of me when I was still living in Chile. My third birthday party I had a Batman cake and I was wearing a Batman mask. The first memory that I have actually involves that Batman cake. It wasn’t the party but I assume a few days later. I asked my mother if I could have some cake and she said no, so when she left the house to do something, my grandmother gave me some. (Gotta love my Grandma.) I think the Batman love was innate, I still have it and it doesn’t look like it’s going away, I thank Chris Nolan and his Batman flicks.

When my family and I moved to the U.S. we lived in this small apartment but to me it was huge. I remember my mom telling me that I was going to have to start going to school and all that stuff, I was excited, but I had to wait because I wasn’t old enough for school yet. So I watched TV and discovered the Adam West Batman show, but I also discovered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I fell in love with those guys. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I remember waking up on my first day of school to see a Michelangelo action figure on my bed next to me. I’ll never forget that. My mom was working on my first day of school but she worked her ass off and bought that toy for me so that I knew she was thinking about me on my first day.

As the years went on I got into superheroes in a big way. Batman got an animated series, which was amazing. Spider-Man and the X-Men animated series hit big and I loved those too. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was next; I watched that for a long time. I remember going to see Batman Forever when that movie came out. Now I’m smarter and know that the movie wasn’t good but at the time I loved it. I was obsessed with Jim Carrey at the time, so when I heard he was playing The Riddler, who was my favorite Batman villain, was the greatest thing ever.

In high school I’d pick up the random issue of Wizard and read about what was going on in the comic book world. I always loved reading Wizard in the early days and I always wanted to know where the hell I could go to buy comics. But I dismissed the idea because I didn’t have money, so what would be the point?

Then in 11th grade I got a job, so I was making money, but I guess I forgot about comic books. By that time in my life I was getting really into film, so all my money was going to buying DVDs, mostly Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino. I was actually really obsessed with Kevin Smith movies. And this is the start of when I got into comics. I blame Kevin Smith but I blame other people for making me stay.

One night I couldn’t sleep (This is something that becomes a regular thing in my life) so I was watching TV but there was nothing on, until I came across Jay Leno (I know.) They said that Kevin Smith was going to be on the show so I decided to stick around to watch this dude talk about his movies or whatever. They talked for a bit and then Leno said that Kevin Smith had a comic book coming out from Marvel. It was called Spider-Man/Black Cat – The Evil That Men Do. I was surprised. I didn’t know anything about that, so after the Smith segment was over I went on the computer to the Marvel website and looked it up. I read up about it and I was “I need to buy this.” So I ordered it from Midtown Comics along with a few other things. A new Ninja Turtles series was starting so I ordered those issues as well. They only reason I ordered those Turtle comics was because that’s the only other thing I could think of that had anything to do with comics but also since it had just started I figured, why not?

I spent some time looking online and found out that Kevin Smith had also written Daredevil for Marvel and Green Arrow for DC. At work, the library, I looked up the books and requested them from other libraries because I wanted to read them. I also spent a lot of time looking at the Marvel website and I came across these online comics. They were Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men, recently launched comics taking a look at the origins of these characters in modern times. So I spent the next few nights reading them. Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagely, I read those first. They had like 22 issues of that comic on the website. Then I read Ultimate X-Men by Mark Millar and a few different artists, I think they had maybe 15 or so issues online. After I was all caught up and saw that Marvel wasn’t going to put anymore issues up I decided that I needed to continue reading these comics so I decided to buy them, and I did. I found a comic book store near me and had my dad take me to buy them. I loved both comics a lot, I thought it was a really cool concept and decided to buy other comics written by these guys. I bought Ultimates by Millar and Bryan Hitch and saw that Bendis was writing Daredevil and drawn by Alex Maleev. I didn’t know much about Daredevil but I liked what I read from Kevin Smith so I gave it a chance.

So those were my first 3 ongoing books, Ultimates, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Ultimate X-Men. As any comic book fan know the Kevin Smith book suffered a huge lateness and the comic ended up finishing some time in 2005. Since I didn’t know much about what was going on in comics I decided to buy an issue of Wizard. The issue I ended up picking up had a spotlight on these new comic books that weren’t superhero comics. They were published by an imprint of DC, Vertigo comics, and those comics were Fables and Y-The Last Man. I read about the concepts and they blew my mind. Like when I saw Pulp Fiction for the first time and saw that I didn’t know movies could be done that way I didn’t know that comics couldn’t be about superheroes. I bought the first trade collection of Fables and Y-The Last Man and I fell in love with both comics, Y-The Last Man especially. Those comics got added to the pull list.

Ever since then I’ve been reading comics. Thanks to Kevin Smith for reminding me about them, thanks for Marvel for having those comics online, to Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar for getting me to stay, but also thanks to all the comic book creators for making awesome comics. Ever since those days I’ve read a shitload of comics from all different kinds of genres. I missed out on all the stuff from the 90’s that I hear people complain about but right now, at this moment I think comics are at their best and I’m not afraid to try new things because as much as I love the superhero stuff there are a whole bunch of comics out there that are as good if not better. I have loyalties to writers because that’s what I enjoy the most, the writing, and that’s because I started reading comics by amazing writers, Bendis, Millar, and Vaughan.

The best thing to come out of all this comic book reading is the friends and all the people I’ve met from just being a comic book fan. I joined The Bendis Board because none of my friends read comics and I wanted to talk about what I read with other people. Joining that message board changed my life. I have made friends for life, friends that I hang out with every once and a while, and friends that I get together with at comic cons. I want to thank that board for being a place that rewards being a fan. Having interactions with creators on the board and then getting to meet them in person and telling them who you are because of an interaction you’ve had is so fucking cool. Getting remembered by people you admire is something that you can never get over.

I fucking love comics.

Some of the best people ever.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why I love The Offspring

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.”
-Victor Hugo

I’ve always had a powerful connection to music. As a child I grew up on mostly whatever the radio station played in the car. But my parents were/are big Beatles fans so I was familiar with them and I remember being a huge Michael Jackson fan. When I was in elementary school I joined the chorus because I wanted to sing. The song that sticks out in my mind that we sang was “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson, I loved that song. That might have been my first favorite song. This was also close to the time I saw Free Willy and loved the Jackson song in that movie as well. So because of Jackson I became a huge fan of his music and when I found the Dangerous album in my house I was pleasantly surprised. I played the shit out of that album, you have no idea how much I listened to that CD. I have many great memories with my family that is linked with that CD and with music in general, songs from our time driving down to Texas. It’s why I think music is so powerful. When you hear a song that meant something to you which you haven’t heard in a long time your heart stops, you travel through time. It brings you back to a memory, a feeling, or a sense of love. It’s truly amazing.

There’s only one question to answer now, why The Offspring? Because they fucking ROCK! That’s why. I don’t give a fuck if you look down on me and my love for them. I feel the way I feel. To say they came around in a time in my life when I needed them the most is not stretching it, by any means.

I didn’t know what kind of person I was musically when I was in 8th grade. I was in orchestra because I enjoyed playing music but I wasn’t particularly good. 8Th grade was a time right before you become a teenager and your tastes in everything start to develop. The music that was popular at the time wasn’t my favorite. I usually ended up liking music I heard in movies, and funnily enough my two favorites were Will Smith songs from Men in Black and Wild Wild West. At the time Britney Spears and the wave of boy bands were becoming really popular and I knew that I didn’t like that stuff; I also knew that I didn’t like rap. I’ve come around to some of it now but at the time there was something about that music that I just didn’t like. Then, while listening to the radio I heard a song that made me sit up and take notice. It wasn’t the greatest song in the world but I really dug it. I liked the guitars and I thought it was funny. It was “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy).” Mock if you will but I was a year into going into a new school and I didn’t have many friends or an older brother to guide me into what was good or bad. So I ended up really liking that song, so much so that I saved up some money so that I could buy the CD. It was late in the summer before I started high school that I was finally able to get the money to buy it. I remember we went to a Virgin Megastore and I was so excited to buy the CD. The crappy part was that I had to wait until I got home to listen to it since the car didn’t have a CD player and I didn’t have a portable CD player at the time. So when I got home I rushed to my room, closed the door, and put the CD in my boom box. I turned up the volume and lay on my bed with the CD booklet so that I could read the lyrics as the music played.

“Welcome. To. Americana.” The Intro, it hooked me then and there. I still love hearing that when I listen to Americana. Then it went into the first song, “Have You Ever,” and then the second, “Staring at the Sun.” I say this with no hyperbole; those 2 songs changed my life. It was the first time that I had heard music in any way, shape, or form that spoke to me. Not literally but specifically to what I was feeling and what I thought. It was an awakening. I didn’t know that there was music like that. I listened to the rest of the album and the feeling of love and amazement grew. I fucking loved what I heard. I listened to the album again and again and again. I felt so happy, the happiest I felt in a long time because I had a connection to something. I also felt sad, but I couldn’t describe it properly, and I still can’t. It’s just something I felt. After that all I could do was find a way to get more money so that I could buy more Offspring CDs. It became an obsession. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t listen to the album at least once a day. In middle school I made friends with some kids who also started listening to The Offspring and dug them as much as I did. I remember one day we were in orchestra class, just hanging out and we were talking about The Offspring and we started singing Pretty Fly. I thought that was the coolest shit. (It also began a sort of habit for me to sing songs with my friends when we were just hanging out. It happened mostly in college and mostly with Tenacious D.)

In high school, with the rise of Napster I was able to get all The Offspring CDs and I got a friend to burn them all for me. At the time I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what my favorite song or even album was. Self Titled, Ignition, Smash, Ixany on the Hombre. There was a special place in my heart. There was also a period where I would listen to only one of the CDs all the time, letting each song, chord, lyric enter my soul and take me into whatever emotion and place it wanted to.

I think it was during sophomore year of high school when The Offspring announced the release of Conspiracy of One. I was so fucking excited. A new album! That meant that they were going to tour. I hoped to fucking God that my parents would give me permission to go. I looked it up online, but it was a no go. It was in the city and I was too young to go by myself and it was during the week, a fucking school night. There was no way I would be able to convince my parents to let me go. This isn’t a set up a story where through some miracle or set of circumstances I was able to go. I didn’t. I would have to wait. But I did buy Conspiracy of One and loved the shit out of it.

I always had to defend my love of The Offspring to people who fucking didn’t listen to them. I was just glad that most of my friends loved them. But even as I was trying to find myself musically I departed from The Offspring for a bit, I got really into metal. I started listening to Slipknot and System of a Down and discovering Metallica. But I still loved The Offspring.

My freshman year of college a new Offspring CD was announced. It was called Splinter and it came out in December. I skipped class on the Tuesday it came out so that I could go to the mall to buy the CD. Still having a CD player I bought that too and listened to it as soon as I was out of the store. It’s not high on my list of favorite Offspring CDs but I think that the album still has some great tracks.

That summer, between freshman and sophomore year of college, it finally happened. I was going to see The Offspring in concert. I was still in school when I found out but I knew that this time it wasn’t a matter of could I go, it was a matter of waiting. I didn’t want to go by myself so I called up a friend from high school and we made plans to go with a couple of other people that would like to go. He bought the tickets and I waited until fucking July for the concert. It took forever, it felt like forever. And as much as waiting sucked I was always one day closer to finally seeing The Offspring live. The day finally arrived and to say that I was fucking excited was an understatement. The concert was at the Hammerstein Ballroom and when we walked up to the venue I couldn’t help but smile. A motherfucking congregation of Offspring fans were waiting to see one of the best bands in the world. It was magical. When they started letting people in we ran to the front trying to get a close as we could. I honestly don’t remember the names of the 2 opening bands, I could look it up but I’m not going to, all I remember was that the 2nd band got booed and they were pissed but they took it and finished their set.

To say that The Offspring were great live is another understatement. It was amazing. They rocked my face off. Being in that crowd with all those different people that I didn’t know uniting under the music of The Offspring was incredible, it was something that I’ve never experienced before. Everyone sang along to every song. The crowd swayed back and forth, everyone was into it. I was standing for hours and when I left I was so thirsty but I didn’t care, it didn’t matter.

They were touring for Splinter so they played a bunch of songs from that album but they also played the hits from the other albums. Sometimes as a fan it can be disappointing when you don’t hear your favorite songs but that night, I didn’t care. I loved every fucking minute. I still have my ticket stub from that show.

It would be a few more years before The Offspring put out another album and before they toured again. “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace” was the next album/tour. It was a very good CD and I enjoyed it immensely. It was different but in a good way. That summer they toured and I would end up seeing them with 2 friends from college at the Roseland Ballroom. I remember standing in line waiting for my friends to show up and talking with this dude who brought his son and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. The guy had the same look of excitement on his face as his son.

My friend Jeremy was the only other person that I was friends with in college who was a fan of The Offspring like I was. Finding other Offspring fans is always a great feeling for me because it’s never, “yeah, they’re ok, I like them,” it’s “FUCK YES! THEY’RE AWESOME!” The more I talked about The Offspring we came to a realization that we both went to their show at the Hammerstein Ballroom all those years ago. It was then and there that we decided that the next time they played anywhere near us we would go together.

So we went to the Roseland Ballroom show, joined by another friend. It was only my second time seeing them but this time it was different. I was older, more in tune with my emotions and my understanding of music and how it made me feel. I thought this show was just going to be like the last time I saw them, where they would be playing stuff from the new CD and the hits, but it wasn’t exactly that. What happened during this show that I wasn’t expecting was that they played “Have You Ever” and “Staring at the Sun.” When I heard the opening to “Have You Ever” I fucking lost it. I went Crazy. I screamed the lyrics. I jumped up and down. I prayed that they would play “Staring at the Sun.” (They did.) When they played those 2 songs I fucking time traveled. I was hit with a bag of bricks in my heart. I was brought back to my room when I first heard those songs at 13 years old. I got choked up. I couldn’t help it. I shed a couple of tears because I never thought once I would hear those songs live. At that moment they could have played covers of Britney Spears for the rest of the show. All that mattered were those 2 songs. It made me realize how far I had come from that 13 year old kid in that room. That kid who was alone and hated everything, to a 23 year old who was there with his friends seeing his favorite band and knowing that he was doing something with his life. It’s a moment that I’ll never forget. Ever.

Now at 25 I’m still a hardcore Offspring fan. I listen to them almost daily. I’m keeping up with information on their next album and their next tour. I’ve already made plans with a friend to see them next time they come around. And I know that it’s going to be awesome.

(I wrote this mostly for me because I wanted to put into words what The Offspring mean to me. But this also goes out to any and every Offspring fan but more specifically to those that I’ve shared Offspring memories with, whether we still talk or not it doesn’t matter, because we’ll always have The Offspring. This also goes out to the band itself; because I really don’t know what my life would have been like if they were never in my life.)

Welcoming you to Americana,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Where was I?

Hey, so yeah. It's been almost a year since I've posted through this thing. I left the few people reading this hanging on my favorite movies of all time list. And since it's been a year I think that some of those choices have changed. But no matter. I want to say that I'll be updating this regularly but I know that would be a lie. I'm gonna try through. Get some stuff typed up for at least one post a week, and every now and then I'll post about a movie or comic or anything that I've seen.

So far the the summer movie season has been a blast and it looks like it's gonna get even better. I've seen Thor, The Hangover Part II, and X-Men: First Class. I'm not going to do a write up on any of these movies. I recorded a podcast review for Thor and X-Men: First Class with my good buddy Pat Loika for his podcast Loikamania. The Thor one is out the X-Men one should be out later this week.

I'm looking forward to seeing Super 8, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and I'm sure there are others that I'll check out.

I have an article on The Offspring (my favorite band, I'm going to put this up either tonight or tomorrow) and I'm going to write an article on The Shield since I just finished watching the entire series a couple of days ago. I'm gonna try and do a comic book blog post whenever I get new comics and maybe do an episode by episode review of Breaking Bad when that starts this summer. And maybe some rage filled reviews of WWE Raw and PPVs, as anyone who follows me on twitter knows about already. Hopefully I can keep these promises to you but mostly myself.

Keep on Keepin' On.


Thor Review Episode of Loikamania. Make sure to check out other episode with me as guest or amazing interviews with Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

#22 - Grindhouse Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino (2007)

Sorry for the delay, I got caught up this past weekend doing nothing and loving it so I missed a couple of days and apparently there are people that have been waiting for this, so that makes me happy and I'll try my hardest to keep up with this now more than I have in the past. With that out of the way let's start.

This movie was the best, the best!, movie going experience I have ever had. As a young person I had missed the good old days of going to the movies and seeing multiple movies in one day and experiencing the real type of grind house movies. There was no place like that around me and going to the movies as a child as a once every couple of months sort of thing. So when I heard that this project was coming together I couldn't wait to see the end result.

So after months of this movie being hyped by the studio, the directors, the actors, and mostly by myself I couldn't fucking wait to see it, the more I heard about it the more I wanted and couldn't wait. Opening day comes and I go see it in a packed theater with a couple of friends and to say I fucking loved it was an understatement. I was in love with the concept, it was so kick ass and it was the best time I had seeing a movie. EVER.

I saw this movie three, THREE!, weekends in a row. Each time with a different set of friends. I enjoyed it that much. I loved Rodriguez's take on zombies, it was unconventional but still awesome. The cast was great and the gritty, dirty, layer of it was just awesome. The action was great and for a movie with a chick that had a machine gun for a leg it had a lot of heart and a bunch of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Planet Terror was a great opener, and there was so much more left to see.

The trailers were so great and so funny. Machete was a blast (I can't wait to see the full length movie coming out later this year), Werewolf Women of the S.S. was weird, but cool, the Nic Cage cameo was fantastic. The Edgar Wright trailer was hysterical. And what can I say about Thanksgiving that hasn't been said by everyone who saw the movie.

Death Proof was everything I loved about Tarantino and more. This is where a lot of people are split on the film but I just fucking loved it. Tarantino shone brightly during his half. All the scenes with the girls talking were classic Tarantino and as of huge fan of writing, and writing in general, I just ate it up. The scene where Stuntman Mike kills the first set of girls was my favorite scene of any movie I saw that year. The repeating of it and watching how each girl died was fucking brutal and dirty. The second half had one of, if not the best car chase scene in the history of film. It was so exciting and terrifying and adrenaline filled. I was on the edge of my seat the entire fucking time. Nerve wracking is putting it lightly. And the ending was surprising but still satisfying.

The music in this movie was just great. I loved the main theme of Grindhouse and I loved how you heard it all throughout Rodriguez's half of the film. He can make a great score, Sin City being another great example. Tarantino's half was filled with great music and like all his others there was a bunch of stuff I never heard but liked immediately and fit the movie so well.

I loved the whole presentation of film as a whole though I have to say that being the Tarantino fanboy that I am I loved Death Proof a whole lot more. Mostly because it was like watching 2 different movies within the one.

It was because of this film that I got to meet my favorite director. I was coming home from college for spring break and I had read online that Tarantino and Rodriguez were doing a signing at Jim Hanley's Universe in NYC. I had to fucking go, I had to, if I didn't I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. The signing was the next day at noon. I got home the day before around 9 at night, I couldn't sleep, nothing new, and ended up falling asleep after 3am, I woke up at 430am to get ready to catch a 5am train to get to the city by 6am. I was the first one online and I got to meet and shake hands with not only Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez but also Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowen. I missed out on Rosario Dawson because she got in late. But I didn't care. I got the Grindhouse book signed by all four of them and it was amazing. There's even a youtube video of it here.

So that's that. Thanks for reading, comment if you like. Shout out to my friend Max for posting comments I appreciate it, and I'll try to be back tomorrow with #21.

Friday, June 11, 2010

#23 - Clerks Directed by Kevin Smith (1994)

I think that I'll forever be a Kevin Smith fan. He's directed some of my favorite movies, some of the funniest, and he's written really great comics as well. I have to thank him for actually getting me into comics, but that's a story (blog post) for another time.

Kevin Smith was a big part of my life in high school. One of my friends introduced me to his films and I fucking fell in love. They were dirty and disgusting and hysterical and heartwarming. They examined relationships and friendships to see what they truly were. And they were and still are funny. I probably reference this movie a lot more than I realize, hell, probably all of Smith's movies.

But I'll be honest with you, Clerks wasn't always my favorite of his films. It's great but for the longest time Mallrats was my favorite. And Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was the one I watched the most on a repeated basis. It wasn't until I saw Clerks 2 did I realize how much I actually loved the original Clerks.

Seeing Clerks after graduating college and working a job that most of the time I didn't like really hit home. I was directionless and all I did was work, sleep, and hang out with my friends. So going through that time period after college and not knowing what the fuck I was doing and trying to figure that out I identified with the characters in Clerks more. Especially 10 years later and seeing Clerks 2 and knowing that sometimes good things happen and they happen for a reason.

Also the story that comes along with the making of this movie is truly great. Huge film fan sells his comics to make money to make a movie. If that's not dedication to the art form than I don't know what is. Because it's really inspiring to see someone dedicate themselves to something so much that they're willing to do anything to see it through. It's amazing. And one of the many reasons I love this movie.

Tune in tomorrow for #22 which I'm real excited to write about.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

#24 - Adaptation. Directed by Spike Jonze (2002)

Here is number 24 on the list. Adaptation. Brilliantly directed by Spike Jonze from a beautiful and amazing screenplay from Charlie Kaufman. This film was my introduction to the world of Charlie Kaufman and boy was it just great.

I first saw this film in college in one of my English courses. We watched it and then we talked about. We talked about it to death. This was one of the first times in life where talking about a film went past that scene was awesome, that scene sucked, I liked when they did that, I didn't like when they did that. We broke this movie down to it's core. We broke down everything, from Donald's screenplay "The 3" to when they talk about the ouroboros. I've never done that in my life with a movie. And it was a blast and an eye opening experience because I now saw film with a different eye. Now I'm not saying that all films need to be analyzed and broken down but if you've ever seen a Kaufman movie you know those need too be.

I love talking about this movie. This is probably one movie that I've talked about more than any other. And besides breaking it down and doing all that I found it to be a sweet film about 2 brothers. The acting was all around top notch, all the main actors got nominated for Oscars and Chris Cooper was the only one to win it. I loved Nic Cage in this movie. I know in recent years he's become a parody of himself but I just really enjoyed his 2 performances, it was great to see him play off himself and argue with himself in a scene. (I haven't seen much of Nic Cage recently but I loved him in Kick-Ass.)

What else can I say but thank you to my professor who decided to show this film in class and thank you for introducing me to Charlie Kaufman. He's become one of my favorite writers in film and I've seen all his movies except one, his directorial debut is a fucked up masterpiece of film that doesn't get enough credit.(Synecdoche, New York.) But I'm looking forward to seeing more of his films. Spike Jonze also deserves a lot of credit for making this movie just fantastic. I just wish he would direct more movies because I loved Where the Wild Things Are.

Thanks for reading, comment if you like and I'll be back tomorrow with #23.