Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

movies

may
11
2012

2 Fresh, 2 Furious

Last night I went to This American Life’s live movie theatre show. As one would expect, there was some great storytelling (and even stand-up comedy), and OK Go put on an interactive song performance involving handbells, smartphone apps and Guitar …

mar
28
2012

In Japan, 'Sliced-Up Actors' Are A Dying Breed | NPR

Anthony Kuhn reports, “[Seizo Fukumoto] has been killed on screen more than 50,000 times — more than once in some films.”

feb
28
2012

Back from Yet Another Globetrotting Adventure, Indiana Jones Checks His Mail and Discovers That His Bid for Tenure Has Been Denied | McSweeney's Internet Tendency

Andy Bryan writes, “Moreover, no one on the committee can identify who or what instilled Dr. Jones with the belief that an archaeologist’s tool kit should consist solely of a bullwhip and a revolver.”

dec
29
2011

'It’s A Wonderful Life' | Scenic Routes | The AV Club

Mike D’Angelo muses about how very dark “It’s a Wonderful Life” gets at its hero’s lowest moments. “[T]his venerable holiday classic isn’t as heartwarming and life-affirming as its joyous ending insists, but rather one of the grimmest, most despairing portraits of middle-class compromise ever produced by Hollywood.”

dec
12
2011

On Composing for Kermit the Frog | NYTimes.com

Frogs can sing, penguins can’t and other lessons that Bret McKenzie, of the musical-comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, learned while writing music for the Muppets.” I highly recommend the video that accompanies this story, in which Bret and Kermit perform “Life’s a Happy Song” from the new Muppets movie.

dec
05
2011

Top 10 reasons why Darth Vader was an amazing project manager | GeekWire

Brandon Koeller writes, “From a certain perspective his mass murder, brutal oppression, and frequent deception to serve his own ends makes him seem like a pretty bad guy. But if you look past all that to his action, you will find a very capable and effective project manager.”

nov
28
2011

'New York is Not a City of Alleys': A Film Location Scout's Pet Peeves | The Atlantic Cities

Nick Carr, a New York City location scout, explains why ‘Ghostbusters’ captured the city so well and what annoys him the most about certain directors.”

nov
19
2011

And then in the afternoon I get to say things like, “The robot lost its claw!” That is just something you never get to say when you’re talking about the Garfield administration.

— Sarah Vowell, on recording for 'The Incredibles' and writing about history (source)

aug
29
2011

Twenty Iconic Male Movie Roles In Which Helen Mirren Would Have Ruled | Monkey See | NPR

One of my favorites from this list: “Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood. I just want you to envision her ripping into the last 20 minutes or so of this movie. You’re welcome.”

aug
28
2011

Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor

My new favorite Tumblr. Love it. A good bit of overdone armor, but not a stupid stiletto heel in the bunch.

aug
21
2011

Fauxgo

Fun Tumblr blog collecting logos designed for fictional companies in television / film. (Via Swiss Miss)

jul
06
2011

Harry Potter Comes of Age One Hedcut at a Time | Speakeasy | WSJ

We went deep into our Hedcut Archive — our internal database of those iconic stipple portraits that appear in the Journal every day — and pulled out these drawings, all created by long-time Journal artist, Randy Glass, and dating from 2001 to 2007.”

jul
02
2011

Cinema Treasures

Database of movie theaters around the world, with photos, historical write-ups, user comments for many. (Via Roger Ebert)

jun
16
2011

Clip 'N' Save (The Day): Your Official Monkey See Superhero-Movie Bingo Card | Monkey See | NPR

Play your way through this summer’s superhero movie glut with Monkey See’s bingo card of superhero movie clich- ah, tropes.” By Glen Weldon and our summer design intern Christina Baird.

jun
07
2011

Slate's Hollywood Career-O-Matic

Christopher Beam and Jeremy Singer-Vine on “what Rotten Tomatoes data tell us about the best, worst, and most bizarre Hollywood trajectories.” There’s a really fun interactive graph, where you can plot the Tomatometer scores for various actors and directors from 1985-on.

apr
05
2011

How to Be Alone

(If you can’t see the video above, it’s available on YouTube.) A lovely video about being at peace with — even enjoying — your own company. And, fiddling with your phone does not really count as “alone time.” I admire …

jan
17
2011

The End: Why projectionists will soon be no more | Slate Magazine

Grady Hendrix writes, “But nowhere is technology eliminating the need for human labor faster than in motion-picture projection. From the birth of cinema until the 1960s, the system was the same: Every projection booth had two reel-to-reel projectors with carbon arc light sources. The movie would start playing on one machine, and the projectionist’s job was to watch for the changeover cues: usually a small circle or an X in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.”

jan
08
2011

About 'Typeface'

Wisconsin Public Television’s Director’s Cut program had a nice interview last year with Justine Nagan regarding her documentary Typeface, about a wood type factory in Wisconsin. I haven’t seen the documentary itself yet (but really really want to), but if …

dec
13
2010

The End: Why projectionists will soon be no more | Slate Magazine

Grady Hendrix writes, “In an age when studios claim that box-office salvation will be found in new projection technology like Imax and 3-D, projectionists themselves are facing complete and total annihilation.”

nov
24
2010

Stars Wars weather | Kit•Blog

The weekly weather forecast for the worlds of Star Wars, reported via the Apple weather dashboard widget. (Link via Dari)