28 March 2008

Featured Artist: Jasper de Beijer

de Beijer had an exhibit in Denver that I got to see last week. He has a grunge-influenced style of sculpture that's pretty cool.

26 March 2008

Mike's Future Pic Picks

This is a dark time for fanboys. There's no more Lord of the Rings. No more Star Wars (unless you count this summer's animated Clone Wars). And hopefully there won't be any more Spider-Man (sorry, but I just can't take another disappointment).

So what do we have to look forward to?

Hey, stop crying! (Seriously, you're embarrassing yourself.) Now don't worry, there's hope... and mine rest on the talents of Zack Snyder and James Cameron.

First up is Snyder's adaptation of the superhero tale Watchmen. The story in question comes from the highly regarded graphic novel by Alan Moore, and revolves around a band of unwanted superheroes fighting to prevent an imminent apocalypse. Think The Incredibles with higher stakes. I really dug it.

Zack (we're on a first name basis) just released some photos of the main characters, and my excitement was kicked up to dangerous levels. Some of the costumes in the novel admittedly looked a little goofy (see below), so I was happy to see he's taking the project in a cool direction.

If looking ridiculous was a super power...

Watchmen comes out on March 6, 2009. 336 days to midnight....

Next up is the James Cameron project, Avatar. This has already become the most hyped movie since The Phantom Menace. Cameron returns to his sci-fi roots with an epic tale about... some sort of galactic clash of cultures.

Most of what we know about Avatar right now comes from speculation and some fake art (really... don't believe them, it's fake). The excitement is mainly building around the technology behind the film, which involves a new type of motion capture.

Cameron's comments in a recent interview put me in nerd heaven:"I don't know if this will be a good film, great film, awful film, but I can say with absolute certainty that you will see stuff you've never imagined."Who knew a single sentence could make me so happy? Notice he doesn't say "stuff you've never seen." It's stuff we've never imagined. Avatar is slated for a December 18, 2009 release.

So there are your shining stars on the cinematic horizon. There really is hope.

24 March 2008

A Shafer Story

Here's Alex and Megan's wedding seen through my eyes.

It all went down at the LDS temple in Denver.

This is Alex's youngest brother (left) and some other kid. It appears their favorite number is 2.


Here are all the Shafers as presently constituted.

I think maybe they like each other.

The reception had some nice decorations. It was almost like being outside... except for the ceiling of course.


Sorry for the awful photography. The best man speech was a nice moment though.

Car destruction in progress.

This one about sums up the weekend. Good times.

Stone's War (Trailer)

Here's a trailer for a pretty intense-looking movie about zombies in World War II.
Yikes! All that action comes courtesy of a rookie director from Finland.

Bonus 1: At 1:23, they have yet to digitally remove the rope holding the guy up.
Bonus 2: If you know what movie that music is from, I'll tell you where I hid your keys.

19 March 2008

Hit the Links: Stuff White People Like

Stuff White People Like is a fun blog, and I'm sure you can guess what it's about. Yep, stuff like organic food and Wes Anderson.

The writing is accurate to max, so much that I'm sure the author is just as guilty as I am. (Which is why I think he/she means well.)

Anyway, here are some articles that I like, either because they hit home or they're just flat out funny:

Film Festivals
Not Having a TV
The Daily Show/Colbert Report
Indie Music

So hopefully you enjoy laughing - and if so, we can discuss it at 80's night.

18 March 2008

Spilled Ink: The Flour Sack Chronicles

These are older but fun...

Web Design: Publicis & Hal Riney

Check out this site... you control it by waving your hands.

You need a web cam to experience the coolness, so if you don't have one just find somebody with a mac.

Now you may be saying "technology marches on!" But I bet the truth is they just have some offshore warehouse full of people watching you.....

source: wda

Surfwise (Trailer)

Here's a trailer for a doc called Surfwise, about a family that leaves society behind to pursue a life of freedom and surfing. It's definitely thought provoking.

What interests me is to hear how the children had such diverse reactions to the experience. And it's also an example of anti-consumerism taken to the extreme, for better or worse.

It's hard to judge without seeing the film, but there's definitely a lot to chew on.

14 March 2008

Featured Artist: mcbess

Man, this week was nuts.... but I really wanted to throw this out before the weekend. Mcbess is an illustrator who's star is currently rising. I really like his style... his work makes me think of what the Disney cartoons of the 30s would have looked like if Walt was a skater.

Mcbess has some cool music on his site too. If I had to think of a hip way to describe it, it would be "urban accoustic." So feast your eyes and ears!

11 March 2008

Posters Reloaded

While we're on the subject of posters, here are some recent ones that I've had my eye on.

First up is Penelope, who has an ugly nose and less ugly posters. The one on the left is the French poster for the movie. It's probably no coincidence that it's a total throwback to Amélie.

Is it too early to get excited for the next James Bond adventure? Did I hear a yes? Well, just get excited for the poster then. And I think this German Iron Man poster is better than any of the American ones.

These are just amazing! On the right is Forgetting Sarah Marshall, from the crew that brought us some of TVs best and shortest lived sitcoms. On the left is a Sundance film called The Wackness. I'll go out on a limb and say it's the first time Mary-Kate Olsen and Method Man have appeared in the same film.

10 March 2008

Hit the Links: WebUrbanist

Our friend EKiselev was looking a little lonely over there, so here's another link to keep him company.

WebUrbanist is a blog about "urban design, culture, travel, architecture and alternative art." It's a fun blog with hyperbolic titles like "5 Incredible Works of Insane Architectural Genius". Words like 'extreme' and 'urban' also show up a lot (as apparently having the word 'urban' in your vocabulary is a sign of hipness).

Here are some of my faves:

07 March 2008

Mike's Summer Pic Picks

It's March, and the sun is fighting its way out. The sandals have been dug out of the closet. That means the summer movie season is just around the corner!

Here are a few that I'm most excited for. I've gone beyond the obvious (a certain bat-like superhero comes to mind) and I've picked a few that I think could rock if they live up to their potential.

My first pic pick is Iron Man. This is going to be yet another summer full of comic book movies, with the likes of The Dark Knight, Hancock, Wanted, The Incredible Hulk, and Hellboy II all hitting theaters. I think Iron Man has the potential to knock people out though, because of a funny performance from Robert Downey Jr. and an overall cool attitude.

Next up on my watch list is Speed Racer, the Wachowski bros' follow up to the Matrix trilogy. And yes, I liked those movies - the cool effects and distinct visual style made them work for me. I'm hoping to enjoy myself during Speed Racer for the same reasons. Oh, and it will be shown in IMAX. I'm sold.

Wall-E! I can honestly say I'm more excited for this than anything else. I'm already amazed at what they've accomplished with the character. And it's supposedly got a live-action cameo by Fred Willard, a funny funny man. So I'm just going to say it: my feeling is this could turn out to be Pixar's best movie ever.

So that's what I've got to say about that. For a complete preview of what's coming up, check out this article over at First Showing.

06 March 2008

Spilled Ink: Sketchy

Here are a few tidbits from the sketchbook...

ps - Laughter is permitted.

05 March 2008

I Can't Help It...

I just have to pass along this clip.

The video is pretty cool (as long as you're not tired of the 80's), but the song is what I love. I don't know why, it makes me so happy.

04 March 2008

Andy's Airplanes

Here's a trailer for the show I worked on last summer.....

03 March 2008

The Art of Bad Movies: Posters

Something that I've come to realize is that very talented people are involved in making even the worst movies.

Do you ever get fired up by a trailer even when you know the movie will bomb? Have you marvelled at beautiful scenery in a film that otherwise bored you to tears? This is a shout out to people who make those moments possible.

Movie posters in particular are an overlooked art form. My interest began with the poster for the 2006 movie Skinwalkers. Does anyone even remember this movie? Me neither, but the poster has stuck with me. I love the use of negative space and how the hair feels alive.

I'm an especially big fan of teaser posters. They're usually more restrained and are made to quickly catch your attention, since you don't know anything about the film yet. One good example is this poster for Lady in the Water. How excited were we for this movie?!
One of these behind the scenes artists is Drew Struzan. Some of the greatest posters from the 80s to today have been created by him. His style of painting is easily recognizable. He's done work for beloved classics such as the Indiana Jones series, The Goonies, and Back to the Future.

The good, the bad, and the... Dolph Lundgren.
But the occasional Heat and Dust, Cutthroat Island, and Dreamscape will find their way into the mix. These are still lovingly rendered and such posters are usually the only redeeming quality of the films they advertise.

So these are some of my favorites. If you have any gems of your own, comment it up.

01 March 2008

Hit the Links: EKiselev

Here's the first in series of links I'd like to share, which may just blow your mind!

This one is an artist and digital illustrator who goes by the name EKiselev.

I've been really infatuated with his work lately. I'm a big fan of his color choices and use of shapes.

EKiselev is pretty prolific and keeps an updated blog, so be sure to take a look. And check back here for more links comin' at ya!