Friday, February 4

Black Swan Is No Ugly Duckling (I did it)

First off my apologies for the title of my smattering i'm about to unfurl about Black Swan.

Secondly, see this movie.

If I had to sum up Black Swan in two words they would be....


Sex
&
Transcendence


Everything about this film is simply phenomenal. Daren Aranofsky, who has proven himself to be one of my favorite modern day directors, has taken the tale of Swan Lake and wrapped it up and strangled Natalie Portman with it. She not only becomes cast as the white & black swan in Swan Lake, but must transcend her fragile world in order to access the depths that is the core of the character of the black swan.

Pretty little princess dancer Natalie Portman pushes through her comfort zone with the help of Mila Kunis' dark influence, Vincent Cassel's seduction, Winona Ryder's tragic end, and Barbara Hershey's controlling grasp.

The determined Portman, always in search of perfection, finds her world collapsing around her as she trudges through the anxiety of becoming the best, and once there realizes that it isn't her. Aranofsky, staying true to the essence of the story, let's us know that sometimes crossing the edge is more than one person can endure.

Tuesday, January 25

Inception Exceptions

So, a few weeks ago my friend and I spent a good hour or two watching a laundry list of these Inception trailers. Well, In order to keep you from wasting your time I have neatly compiled the four best in order of.... well, bestness.

The Big Lebowski

Dumb & Dumber

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Bill & Ted's Excellent Inception

Sunday, December 5

And I Thought They Smelled Bad...

...on the outside


Okay, so it's not exactly a Ton-Ton, but it is awesome. And it makes me want to make a Ton-Ton skin rug.

Saturday, December 4

Lost in Space

So, I started my morning with animating and watching Stranded. Have I mentioned how much I love independent films? Absolutely LOVE them. I feel they have more heart and passion than any big budget film out today. Granted, some of the acting is sub-par/barely sufficient, but as long as you have an active imagination that hasn't been completely beat into submission by our over-stimulating entertainment culture then you can get past that. However, if you've completely lost your imagination and now require the assistance of laugh-track crutches or 3d glasses in order to make it through a movie then don't bother. Independent cinema is not for you. Stick to feeding the economy your "hard-earned" money so they can continue to spoon-feed you the same crap you regurgitate every time you talk to your "friends".

*clears throat, and adjusts my tie*

Moving on...

As I mentioned I watched Stranded this morning, and I liked it. If I had to be a rating asshole I'd give it 4 out of 5 thumbs out of my butt. Granted, some of the acting wasn't great. Watch out for Danel "Wa-Ter" Aser. However, this movie had a lot of heart and passion, and reminded me of what Defying Gravity could have been if it had better writers, and hadn't been canceled. Vincent Gallo is also in this, and you know what that means. That's right, he certainly did try to have sex in space. He certainly did.

So, while I watched this movie it made me think of my favorite space films of all time. Now, before I spit out this list I'm going to prefix my conditions for this list.
  • said film must take place in OUR universe. Which means no Star Wars or Star Trek
  • said film must be fairly plausible, however like most sci-fi it's going to tap on some boundaries
  • said film must take place in space
  • that's about it
Which means yes, I did exclude Star Wars, Star Trek, and The Fifth Element from this list. I also excluded Spaceballs, even though I love that film with a thousand raging boners.


So, here's my list in order of year released.


2001: A Space Odyssey
(1968)
dir. Stanely Kubrick

Solaris
(1972)
dir. Andrey Tarkovskiy

Alien
(1979)
dir. Ridley Scott

Stranded
(2001)
dir. Maria Lidon a.k.a. Luna

Sunshine
(2007)
dir. Danny Boyle

Moon
(2009)
dir. Duncan Jones


Friday, November 26

Double Kitten All The Way

So, I've recently been obssessed with a handful of kitten videos. That's right... kittens. I'm about to throw a bunch of kittens at you. Deal with it, and then duck before catching a kitty in the eye.

NOTE: I don't like clogging my blog (that was fun to say) with videos, but I must for these damned cats.

*picks up the first kitten, winds up, and.... chucks it at you*

So, this isn't particularly a kitten, but this video started the sharing of cat videos amongst my brother and I. I showed him this video, we both had a tremendous laugh, wiped the tears, and then he rebuttled with a couple more. The follow-up slow-mo on this video slays me every time.

"Cat Hiccups and Farts at the Same Time"



*reaches into the pile, and grabs the next kitten, and with a mighty heave sends it flying at your face*

This video has been around for awhile, and apparently is a bigger meme than I thought. There are a lot of parody videos of this on the youtubes. However, this is the original. I hope you can stand it. For added fun imagine that the kitten is making the squeaking sound.

"Surprised Kitty"



*bends over and picks up another hefty kitten for the launching, crouches for additional oompf, and then sending it sailing through the sky right at your eye*

This last video is by far my favorite. The comedic timing is fantastic. There is so much build up for the most amazing ending. Watch how effective this technique is for breaking up a cat fight.

"How to Break Up a Cat Fight"



I hope you made it through these videos without any scratches.

Wednesday, November 24

I Think I'm In Love...

...with this video.
Here's why...

...simple...
...great color schemes...
...dudes in dresses...
...girls in mustaches...

...extraneous black guy...
...beck...


Tuesday, November 23

Remote Control

Okay gang it's TV time!

Do you watch TV? Have you thought about venturing into the ever-expanding world of televised programming? Well, I've got a small list of shows for you to LOOK into. ;-)

NOTE: I'm only including shows that are currently airing new episodes. The list would be far too long for me to include shows of all time. At least for now

In order from good to great... (I keep my lists like I keep my clothes; without shit on them)

Honorable Mention: Mad Men
Fringe
Burn Notice

The Walking Dead
Archer
Ugly Americans

Doctor Who
The Simpsons
Futurama
Breaking Bad
Metalocalypse
Dexter

Treme
Louie
The Venture Bros



This list was a bit of a bitch to compose, but I believe I have it in the order I want.

NOTE: I know everyone says it's good, but I don't watch Mad Men. Which is why I gave it an honorable mention.

Thoughts on my #1:

Honestly, if you have not been watching The Venture Bros, stop that! Start watching it now. This is some of the tightest and wittiest writing I've seen since Arrested Development. If you're putting off this show because it's a cartoon AND it's on [adult swim], stop that! Get over yourself, and grow up. Cartoons always have been AND always will be fun and cool. It makes any story immediately accessible to anyone. Plus, with a focus on pop culture and an always winding, criss-crossing plotline you'll get lost in it faster than Scooby Doo & Shaggy in an abandoned house. This show never lets me down, and always reinforces my decision to pursue a career in animation.


Thank you
Eric Arthur "Doc" Hammer
and
Christopher "Jackson Publick" McCulloch


If you think I'm excluding a show that you love let me know.
I'd love to hear your thoughts as well.
However, be prepared to back up your claims!

Monday, November 22

A World of Wants

I don't consider myself to be a very wanting man... ok, boy, anymore, but I do have a few. I consider them to be very modest... for the most part. Just for fun, and to keep my wants in track I've decided to list them here for my own personal record.

Feel free to gift any of these to me. XXX-Mas is fast approaching. :-)

Books
The Walking Dead Vol. 1 (I lost mine in an unfortunate mailing accident)
Ender's Game: Command School
Ender's Game: Battle School
Ender's Game: War of Gifts
Ender's Shadow: Command School
Ender's Shadow: Battle School


Videos
Life (Narrated by David Attenborough) Blu-Ray
Star Trek: The Original Series (Remastered) 3-pack DVD
Twin Peaks: The First Season (Special Edition)
Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (w/ Collectible Cylon)
The Wire: The Complete Series
The Venture Bros: Season 3
The Venture Bros: Season 4 Vol. 1
Metalocalypse: Season 3
Sealab 2021: Season 4
Frisky Dingo: Season 2
Mission Hill: The Complete Series
Titan Maximum: Season 1


Work
Wacom Intuous4 Large Pen Tablet
A large (roughly 18 X 15) art/messenger bag for transporting supplies and work without being too big or bulky
An adjustable easel


Play
Edge - Videogame Culture Magazine subscription
Xbox Live 12 Month Gold Card


I'm sure there is more that I want, but these are the things that I desire the most right now. Most of that desire is aimed at the WORK category.


Remember,
the best gifts one can receive are
the ones that are unexpected
and come completely from the heart.

Sunday, November 21

Some Sunday Music Before Monday

Today I stumbled upon a handful of great music videos. Some I've seen before, some are new to me. However, they are all great. I just want to share the greatness of these videos with you, gentle reader.

Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up To Dry...

I don't know where I've been, but I feel like I missed this band at the party. She kept standing in the background, and I noticed her. However, every time I got close to her she was gone. I'm absolutely loving you, Cold War Kids. Don't ever leave me again. xOxO 4ever

P.S. I just heard and instantly fell in love with "Saint John". I'm tingles all over.



Best Coast - When I'm With You...

If you haven't heard this album you are doing yourself a disservice to your life. It's heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same time. Plus this video has a very recognizable pop icon having a lot of fun.


Free Energy - Free Energy...

Not only is the energy free, but there's so much of it. If their music doesn't pump you up and lift up your heart then you have no soul.

Other recommended listening: Andrew W. K. and The Go! Team

Kasabian - Club Foot...

I've never actively sought to listen to Kasabian, but my friend recommended this song to me. After hearing it I realized that this song, is not only frenetic and blood-pumping, but it's been everywhere. Especially sports games and the other things macho. The video is superb! I love the mood the song sets for the video, and when it's paired with the black & white tones it only intensifies the despair of the situation.

Other recommended listening: I feel Ocean Colour Scene's "Hundred Mile High City" is a perfect mix of "Club Foot" and Cold War Kids' "Hang Me up To Dry"


The White Stripes - Walking With A Ghost...

So, I had no idea that The White Stripes covered Tegan & Sara's "Walking With A Ghost". I have to say, I like The White Stripes version better. Plus! I really enjoy the music video, and from what I've been learning at school lately, that entire video seems within my grasp of animation production. That makes me happy.

Punch Me Panda

You woke up late. Your toast was burnt. You couldn't find a matching sock. You missed the train. The coffee burns your tongue. Your TPS reports aren't finished. Your bossed requests you to work over the weekend when you had big plans with your girl. Lunch is soggy and a disappointment. You can feel the stress tingling up over your head. You know you're about to lose it as you walk back to your job from lunch.

Then you come across.... him.... or it... and for whatever reason he stands there with his arms wide open willing to take in all your aggression, all your rage, all your hate. His cute adorable face smiles as he hands you a candy red punching glove. You set down your briefcase, slip it on, and lace it up. You look one last time into his forgiving eyes, and then you send your fist right into his smug gut. A forceful strike. You feel powerful.
Another punch... for your boss.
Another punch... for your TPS reports.
Another punch... for the coffee that burnt your tongue.
Another punch... for the train,
punch... sock,
punch... toast,
punch... alarm clock,
punch... the kids that teased you in high school,
punch... the girls that broke your heart,
punch... the life that isn't worth this aggression.



You fall to your knees sobbing. The stress is gone, but the tingle remains. How could you have let yourself get so wrapped up in yourself? You look up, and the Panda reaches a hand down, and helps you back onto your feet. You unlace the glove, and hand it back to him. You wipe your eyes clean, pick up your briefcase, and calmly walk away. As you glance back to see your savior, the Panda has turned and walks away, holding his gut. You swallow hard and choke down that lump in your throat as you fade back into the gilded world.



Punch Me Panda waits for you in Union Square station

---
From: http://natehillisnuts.com/home/punch-me-panda/
*Punch Me Panda

Do you ever get so mad that you want to punch something? I'm here for you. My name is Punch Me Panda. Kidnapped from my family in China, I got mailed to the Bronx Zoo. Luckily, my crate got lost in the mail, and I ended up here in Brooklyn. I wandered around the city awhile and ended up living on the street. I noticed that New York City, though wonderful, can sometimes get people down. Things happen here, and they're not always good.

I got an idea. I need to make some money to eat, and New Yorkers could use some help. So, if you're frustrated, angry, or just had a bad day, I will come to your house, and you can punch me. I wear a chest protector, and you wear boxing gloves, so no one gets hurt. It costs one cent per punch. With these pennies, I can get on my feet, and you can get out that aggression. Together, we can make our lives better.

Serving individuals and couples, one-time basis or continuous.
Serving all Brooklyn only.

When:
Wednesday, November 17th to Saturday, November 20th. I'm sleeping in my shipping crate in a compassionate office space in Bushwick to stay cozy.

Where:
Your home or the Outpost office at:
1665 Norman Street in Brooklyn

How:
For an appointment: Text 347-742-2293 or tweet @natexhill

You don't always get what you want...

"Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect."

~Margaret Mitchell

The world is out there, but not to deliver us our wants. If there is something you desire you must put forth the effort towards it. To think that the world will give us what we want if we want it hard enough is simply foolish. Believing in destiny is to believe that your actions don't have consequences. All actions have consequences; plain and simple physics.

I should know this better than most. I sat around 10 years waiting for the world to deliver my wants, but it wasn't until I started putting forth the effort did I begin to see a turn-around.

Wednesday, September 22

A Recipe for Disaster

So, while going through some old boxes today I came across "The Recipe Book" that I made for my mom when I was in grade school. I've decided to take it with me, and try the recipes in the book. I know this will end badly, but it's going to be a hoot for sure.


Here's the list of recipes in the book:

Pizza Casserole
Broccoli & Rice
Sparkling Harvest Cider
Spice Apple Cake
Banana Bread
Rice Krispie Treats
Chocolate Chip Pie
Butterscotch Apple Dip
Choco-Coconut Layer Bars

Manjeebus! With all those desserts it's no wonder I was a bit of a pudge when I was younger. You're all invited over to help me devour these concoctions once I whip them up.

Tuesday, September 21

Packing, Party of One

What up, Internutties?

Well, the lease is ready for the new apartment. I'm finally heading out of Springfield... again. This time for goodsies. It looks like I'll be heading out Friday to sign the lease, and then moving in this weekend. Next week I'll be taking the time to get settled, set up internet and power, and get acclimated to the neighborhood. As well as send out resumes and probably pick up books for school. Orientation for school is on Wednesday the 29th, and classes begin on October 4th. I'm excited and terrified all at the same time. It has created for quite the uncomfortable condition for my stomach. Imagine it being filled with a stick of mentos and a two-liter of coke. Yeah. OK GO all over the place.

As I mentioned I'm hoping to have internet set up next week. Hopefully, I won't be aware from everyone for too long.

If anything else comes to mind I'll keep you posted. As for now it's back to more packing!

P.S. I ate like a slob today. Mountain Dew & Cool Ranch Doritos for breakfast, and Beef Lo Mein for lunch. Ugh! I just know my body hates me today.

P.P.S. I'll leave you with this Halo-ish Dork Tower strip



from here