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Showing posts from April, 2007

If It Ain't Broke, Netflix It...

We burn through nicknames at work the way that Phil Spector goes through crazy wigs and shotgun shells. Each one of us in our department has acquired some form of sobriquet which we generally only use within the group; my boss, for a variety of reasons, has taken to calling me "Chipper", though most often he only calls me "Chip". (In fact, it has been about a year since he has called me anything else but by that familiar term.) And it only took our new graphic designer about a week before he acquired the nickname of "Raw Meat", which is a mere play on his last name, but an alias with which I think he isn't particularly comfortable nor does he seem flattered by it.

Regardless, the sudden surge in the use of the term "Raw Meat" triggered a memory in my head of the old Gary Sherman-Donald Pleasance grindhouse flick from the early 70's of the same name, a film which I have not seen since the early 80's. [Note: it is known as Death Line in…

Recently Rated Movies #43

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Since I revved up the Pylon, this particular feature has been primarily consisted of a list of the films that I had seen recently and, naturally, since it is called "Recently Rated Movies", my IMDB ratings for each film. I would often lead off each post with some pithy comments about one or two of the films, and that would be it. (I believe once or thrice I merely put up a list of movies to play catch up.) Starting with this issue, since a mere movie title and a numbered rating don't really tell the story about how I feel about some of these films, short capsule reviews will be part of the project instead. We're unafraid of innovation here at the Cinema 4 Pylon....

The List:
The U.S. vs. John Lennon Dir: David Leif & John Scheinfeld // 2006 [DVD] - 7
I only knew John Lennon for six years. Yes, I was born in the year of the British Invasion, and the music of the Beatles was all around me as I grew up. But I only started listening to them when I was 10. Thanks to my …

Ass the Crow Plies...

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I generally consider myself to be on the side of environmental thoughtfulness (but not necessarily on the side of the "-ists"). I recycle and try to implore others to do so; I don't drive a car at all (though, with no other choice, I will ride in them) and try to get others to try mass transit; I am against the clearing of the rainforests and all that rot. And I believe that celebrities, when thought is reasoned and cool, can be a boon to bringing the environmental message overall to the masses.

And then, musician Sheryl Crow, in conjunction with the White House Correspondent's Dinner where she and her cohort Laurie David found themselves squared off against Grandmaster Weasel Karl Rove over environmental concerns, let fly with this maxim regarding the use of toilet paper:"only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two or three could be required."

One square per restroom visit?!! Is Crow aware of what comes out of th…

If One Sees Rodriguez & Tarantino's Latest At A Drive-In, Does That Make It A "Grind-Outhouse"?

I know, I know, I know! I promised that I would put up a post about Grindhouse a couple of weeks ago when it came out, but I have been delinquent in writing about it. OK, actually, not in writing about it, because I have been doing just that -- I just haven't posted anything about it yet. Why? The story keeps changing, you see...

Originally, I felt that a normal report on my reaction to my initial visit would be fine, but then before I had time to write it, I was interrupted by Jen's family thing, and then I ended up seeing the film again a couple days later. Then it seemed like I would spend my off-time at the think tank last week scratching it out in longhand (I do not possess a laptop and I was up at Big Bear), but my legal pad ended up empty as the think tank brainstorm sessions not only sapped every viable thought in my brain, but all of my extant energy as well.

Returning home, I thought "Well, now is the time to write about Grindhouse, but then I received an invitati…

Meet the New News, Same As the Old News...

Monday afternoon, after reaching the midway point of the second day of our marketing think tank retreat, we took lunch and decided to relax for a few minutes. One of our party got online and ran across the news about the Virginia Tech shootings. At that moment, only 32 students and professors were counted as being dead, but it was enough to send us up to the rec room television to check out CNN for the full story. Shocking, yes; terrible, without any semblance of doubt. But we still had an agenda to fulfill, and a great many details left to hash out. So, after we finished our midday noshing, it was back to work as usual. The rest of the nation and CNN had stopped, but we hurtled onward.

Monday evening, after sitting in marketing meetings for the second straight, very long, extremely exhausting day, we decided to retire upstairs and watch a movie: Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. Complete nonsense; not all that great -- a bit of a disappointment, really -- but funny enough for me to…

Cel Bloc: In Which Everything Is Revealed to Be Nothing But Laziness on the Author's Part... Mostly...

Oi! What's that moving about in the corner? Could it be...? It is!

It's been months since the Cinema 4: Cel Bloc has betrayed any signs of life, and now, apparently the time is ripe for a return, albeit in a greatly reduced fashion. Though I am not picking up the cartoon-reviewing trail yet (though I would like to sooner than later), I wanted to pop in here briefly and perform a pair of rather important tasks.

I first want to state that while most of my actual friends -- none of them real cartoon buffs, mind you -- tend to not post on here (they save that for my other main blog, The Cinema 4 Pylon), I have received a good number of comments over the past year or so, and all from people that I have never met or even heard of before (except for a notable pair of rather well-known animation archivists -- well-known in animation circles, that is). Even a couple weeks ago, I found recent comments for posts that I wrote 7 months ago, which is part of what I love about the blog experie…

What Classic Film Am I?

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I don't often take these things, mainly because I find the results a little too limiting. But I needed a quick space filler, and maybe, just maybe, I might be surprised by the outcome. So, I said, "What the hell..."


What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com

After all, so many of these things are done by people whose cultural timeline goes back to He-Man or Strawberry Shortcake. I might need to have other people report theirs to me, just so I can find out if it does indeed go deeper than 1979, the year of the film above. I was secretly hoping I would turn out to be Un Chien Andalou (and secretly fearing I would actually be Peeping Tom), but I am cool with the result. For now...

Recently Rated Movies #42: Psychotronic Ketchup in the B's

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What with all my whining about getting to Grindhouse (which I did get to see on Saturday -- comments soon...), working on projects, and worrying about every other nagging little thing at work, it might seem that I have forgotten about the current main thread of this web log. This involves taking a long, alternately monotonous and thrilling trip through the pages of the Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film by Michael Weldon, watching all of the movies that I haven't seen before (and sometimes submitting myself to a fresh viewing of ones that I have previously viewed, whether I liked them or not...)

Suffice to say that the battle rages on, and that I am currently stuck in the "B" chapter, only I learned my lesson from the "A" section: jumping around is the only way to cure the monotony of getting stuck like I did when I hit a series of films beginning with "Angel", which meant, of course, a bunch of gang-raping beer-swilling biker flicks in a row. So, I'…

Recently Rated Movies #41: The Steadily-Depressing Stuck-In-Disneyland Wanting-to-see-Grindhouse Blues

In between all of the Facebooking going on (the latest trend amongst Archie's Pals and Gals) and the deluge of Jen's relatives currently in Anaheim for a family reunion, it's going to be rather tight through the next week as far as posting on the ol' blog is concerned. Several days at Disneyland, three or four hours of Easter Mass (which I will fortunately not have to attend), Easter dinner, lengthy sits around a variety of bars and restaurants: that's the next few days for yours truly. That's all fine and well -- I like this family, and I really enjoy hanging out with Jen's mom and grandpa -- but how the hell am I going to work in a showing of Grindhouse?

Just like the Catholics have their silly rituals, I have mine. Only in my case, I prefer spending that four hours in the dark of a theatre, watching movies. And if there were a special holiday set aside for movie nuts, it would certainly include a double feature of films by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tar…

Dylan Goes Electric... Again... (Part 2)

Early on in the process, as I pumped disc after disc from my collection (all legally purchased) into iTunes, the thought occurred to me briefly that eventually I might run out of real estate. When one is told that one can place 20,000 songs onto an electronic device, the mind reels and cannot really discern whether one’s collection will fit onto that device. Or really, the mind doesn’t need to discern this, because for most people, 20,000 songs is far more than they actually possess in their collections. Filling up an 80gig iPod is not a concern, because it will take them eons to achieve it.

I know some people who breeze through life with the same 50 or 60 CDs in their collection (if that), and hit a record store once every six months or so to pick up something they read about in a review in People Magazine or the newspaper. (This is outside of the songs they must possess that they have heard over and over and over again on the noxious radio, hardly the best way to discover new music, …

You Can Almost Go Home Again... Almost.

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Damn, I missed the Bear Tooth TheatrePub in Anchorage. Since I moved to sunny Suntown, Sunnystate, USA, to an area as close to Movieland Ground Zero as I could wish to land without having to actually endure living there, I have been disappointed by the cinematic opportunities in the area. Yeah, there are some dollar houses about, but they are far enough away to make it a chore to get to them. There is a theatre that specializes in showing silent movies lurking about, but it is in LA, which is just a tad inconvenient for us to get to too often. There are also a great many movie chain theatres here, but for the most part, they are just extensions of the ol' Evil Empire, no matter how much the names change from year to year depending on which group has purchased or swapped about which batch of theatres yet again. On the plus side, I have had occasion to attend a couple of advance screenings for new films (for the record, they were the underfed Lucky You with the abhorrent Eric Bana a…

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