Children of Men

We saw this Saturday. All I can say is AMAZING.

Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón’s has taken P.D. James novel Children of Men and turned it into possibly the best picture of the year.
The main cast is Clive Owen, Julian Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Claire-Hope Ashitey.

It takes place in England in 2027 and the world is in a grim state; for some reason the human race has become sterile… and no baby has been born in 18 years. England is now a police state and illegal immigrants are rounded up and thrown into refugee camps.  Anyway, I don’t want to reveal anymore about the film except this: this is an intelligent film and pays the audience the compliment of being intelligent. A lot happens in the backgrounds of scenes, and the characters don’t keep reminding us what is going on in every conversation. I can’t wait to see this again on DVD. Definately worth a trip to the theater.

Borat Royale

On Friday Kristen and I decided to treat ourselves to a day of doing absolutely nothing productive. So we spent the day at the movies.
First we caught the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. If you don’t know who Borat is by now you are probably burried under the ice of Antarctica. Sasha Baron Coen (who also plays Ali G in Da Ali G Show) plays a fake Kazakh reporter and travels across the “U.S. and A” interviewing people. The film is painfully hilarious as some everyday heartland Americans make asses of themselves.

After a short break for Vietnamese lunch, we decided on one more movie. This time we went for Casino Royale the latest James Bond flick. Casino Royale was the first James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming. As the series is now rebooting itself, it seemed an appropriate choice. Bond just got promoted to his double-o status. He’s arrogant, and makes mistakes. He gets hurt. The fantasy gadgets are gone and we’re back to probably the closest on-screen depiction of Ian Fleming’s secret agent. I think this one ranks up there with the first 3 Bond films: Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. I’m a huge Sean Connery fan, but I think this was the best one ever! Daniel Craig was awesome in the role.

What A Weekend: Monsters and Baseball!

Man, if weren’t aware it has rained almost every day for the last 5 weeks. There have been maybe 6 completely-rain free days. Hell it’s raining now as I type my most eloquent words, LOL.  Anyway, this weekend was mostly beautiful.

Saturday there was no rain! In the evening we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Rafael to see a movie. Well actually it was a special restored screening of “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”.

For those who haven’t seen it, you’re going to get 90 minutes of bad acting and hilariously bad dialogue. But you will get the amazing special effects and art direction of Mr. Ray Harryhausen – the man responsible for modern special effects. He’s best known for his amazing stop-motion work. If you need to see anything of his though I recommend “Jason and the Argonauts” especially the sword fight against the skeletons! So the man, the legend spoke about the film and fielded random questions from the audience. The man is in his 80s – yet he was energetic, quite funny and apparently still feels the childlike love for his creations and the fun of making the magic. That was a such a fun movie night.

Here’s a bonus pic from my favorite Ray Harryhausen movie: Jason & the Argonauts!

argo

 

One of the most interesting aspects was the audience itself. THere were artists and other video game industry people like me, film effects people, and children aged 5 to 80!

Sunday afternoon it was baseball at AT & T Park (the SBC Park signs haven’t come down yet) to see the San Francisco Giants take on the Atlanta Braves. Great game, SF won 6-5. In fact the last inning was absolutely thrilling. And I don’t even like baseball! Somehow Kristen turned me into a Giants fan!

Quality of Life…

So last night Kristen and I headed down to the Galaxy Theater for a special event: the debut of the film “Quality of Life”. Our old friend Alexis worked on this film for 2 years… so to see this in a big movie theater downtown was amazing. This film is excellent!!!
check it out at http://www.qualityoflife-themovie.com/. Afterwards, we had dinner at Tommy’s Joint.

End of August Movie Report

We watched two fantastic films this weekend:

mangalThe Rising – The Ballad of Mangal Pandey – is a spectacular Bollywood historical drama about the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Also known as the Indian Mutiny. This is another Aamir Khan production and if you’ve seen his 2001 Oscar nominated hit Lagaan – Once Upon a Time in India you already know he doesn’t do anything half-ass.

Khan plays Mangal Pandey who ignited the flame for Indian Independence. The film centers around the unusual friendship between a Sepoy (Indian soldier) and his Scottish commanding officer played by Toby Stevens ( he played the villain in the last Bond flick – Die Another Day). The movie is in Hindi and English with subtitles. Go see it!

 

March of the Penguins – is a National Geographic produced documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman. It follows Emperor Penguins as they travel inceredible distances to find a mate and bring new offspring into the harsh conditions of Antarctica. The ice formations are gorgeous and the penguins are amazing just doing what they’ve been doing for eons. Educational, and with some genuinely emotional moments this movie should not be missed!

Alexis & OLDBOY

Yesterday was fun. Kris and I hooked up with a very old friend of ours, Alexis. Thai food and good conversation were followed up by a mad drive across town to the Embarcadero Cinema to see an amazing thriller from South Korea called “OLDBOY”. This movie was intense, insane, disturbing and riveting. It helps if you can appreciate random and twisted humor. We topped off the night with cocktails at our usual joint.

So dig it: This crazy guy was once a normal family guy. Gets kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. Then he’s released and is told he’s got 5 days to figure it all out. So go see it. You can hit the official site here or read about it at Rotten Tomatoes.

Hotel Rwanda

Hi. Just got back from watching the movie Hotel Rwanda starring Don Cheadle. This is probably the best movie I’ve seen in the
last year. It’s an intense film, and one that shouldn’t be missed. For some reason, among its various Academy Award nominations it hasn’t been given one for Best Picture. Hollywood jackasses.

It made me think that with all the problems in the world, like the Darfur genocide in Sudan, that if the US will actually do something this time. Various people in the media have said the key to making the
world love and respect the US would be to actually do helpful things around the world instead of just showing up and blowing things up. I wish we took our troops out of Iraq (they don’t want us there anyway),
finish the job in Afghanistan (rebuild and capture that bastard Bin Laden) and help people out in Sudan and anywhere else people are being oppressed. Idealistic? Definately. Go see the movie.

The Incredibles, the Zoo and more Inspiration…

It’s been a busy but fun weekend. Saturday afternoon, Kris and I picked up Mom and went to see Pixar’s The Incredibles.
In a word, it was simply incredible! Taking elements from comic books and classic Bond films and creating a wonderful new world without stooping to parody. It’s quite clear to me the movie was created more out of love or as an homage to the genres. Go see it now. I can’t wait
to see it again!

Today we hit the San Francisco Zoo. I hadn’t been there since the summer of ‘82. We had a great time and saw all sorts of beautiful animals. The new grizzly bears (who happen to be sisters) were really
shy today and we never got to see them. Polar bears and spectacled bears took care of my bear fix and we were on our way.

It’s been an inspiring weekend. I’ve got a storm of new illustration and design ideas flying around my head. Going to do a lot of drawing after dinner… that is if I can stay away from Half Life 2!