Sometimes the Stars


(Vimeo Link)

I absolutely adore this video by The Audreys. The beautifully written song is nicely accented by stunning 2D animation of a “lost girl’s journey through a surreal landscape, and her yearning to make a connection in this distant yet strangely familiar world.”

Full screen viewing strongly recommended.


Which Came First, Under the Dome or The Simpsons?



Irrespective of how well Stephen King’s latest epic (I thought he retired) was received, there was an immediate backlash I had overlooked until now. In The Simpsons: The Movie, a dome is placed over Springfield due to another casual day when marine life sprout multiple eyeballs. It’s interesting to note that King has been rockin’ and rollin’ with a collaborative band for some time now, and none other than Matt Groenig is a member of that ersatz band.

This Independent article sums up the furor and explanations made in the aftermath. Wow, I was pretty unimpressed with the book, but this is much more interesting. For instance:

King may argue that “stories can be no more alike than snowflakes” as “no two human imaginations are exactly alike”, but Stephen King novels and Simpsons movies are similar in that they are big pop-culture events aimed at roughly the same sort of audience – and with such events, the concept is as important as the execution.

The Simpsons Movie came out before King’s novel, so he may have executed a shrewd move to get more attention from that “sort of audience.”

But furthermore, I must opine that King might have mentioned his story idea to Groenig, who then used much of the premise in his script. Perhaps. I guess if you told anyone to imagine a situation like that, many things would be the same. It just seems obvious there was some sharing going on, and to answer my own question, I call: Simpsons Did It.

Even if King leaked his idea, Groenig did it first, and did it better.

Jewel Encrusted Scepter


To discern the meaning of this post’s title, you need to watch this NSFW depiction of a phone call between Isaiah Mustafa (Old Spice stud) and Mel Gibson (raving smegma).

(YouTube Link)

The Windmill Farmer


This is odd. For the past few days, I’ve been seriously considering getting trained to be a wind turbine specialist. There’s a school right here in town that certifies people to go out and maintain the growing number of windmills providing renewable energy. Today, Xeni at BoingBoing pointed me to this beautiful short by Joaquin Baldwin.

I consider it a sign.

(YouTube Link)

Recursive Wil Wheaton Shirt


As Wil (Wesley Crusher) Wheaton proudly displays his awesome recursive shirt, he tells us that whoever animated it “wins at the Internet.”

Original photo by Paul. Who gave Wil the shirt as a fun gift. Now, it’s a fun GIF!

About 45 days later, I finally picked it up. I opened it in my office, saw myself looking back at me from infinity, and couldn’t believe that I’d waited so long to pick it up. (On the other hand, it was a wonderful reward for completing the first draft of my keynote.)

I called Anne into my office, and revealed it in the usual manner, by slowly lifting it up to my chin and showing it off.

“Oh my god,” Anne said. “It’s you … and you … and you … and you …”

“All the way to infinity,” I said.

We shared a Sci-Five, to commemorate the occasion. You know, like you do.

Sci-Five also wins. Much lurv for WW. See also: Recursion Google.

(via TwistedSifter)

My Favorite Rabbit Since Bugs Bunny


I guess I’m behind the times on this one, which escaped my gaze a few years ago on the short animated circuit.  I am absolutely loving it right now.  Treating my cat for milial skin infections, and the sudden snowstorm has made me just want to snuggle up next to a fireplace and watch this on repeat.  Viva Run Wrake.  Brilliant.

Avatar Easy Target For Haters


Even before the movie was over, I knew the haters were going to sound off about the overrated state of James Cameron’s Avatar, primarily due to the derivative nature of the plot.  I thought Oh, so it’s like Dances With Wolves Meets The Matrix.  That’s cool. And it is, really.

Update (4/9/2010): Since this is such a popular post, I highly recommend perusing my updated opinion on the nature of this story.

That is the main complaint right out of the gate, though, and even startup buzzkill complaints like what frakking font they used for subtitles can’t escape the comments section mob.  They all huddle under the banner of Originality.  They decry the sin of spending so much money on a project, and not letting some of it go to a creative story.  I’m on the opposite pole.  I think Cameron’s shrewdness is stellar, because “creative” can often spell doom to a film as ambitious as this.  If I was investing 300 million on a world like Pandora, I would want to tell a story that’s tried and true.  Tested and well-received.

Dances With Wolves and The Last Samurai told similar stories, yes.  But we eat that shit up, and therefore it’s not lazy of Cameron.  It’s a business decision.  Anyway, setting that nitpick of story aside,  you have a serious success in the presentation of a movie.  And, the next big step in visual effects, especially 3-D technology.

I can think of another movie that took one of those big steps, and its story was a blatant rip-off of every myth story imaginable regarding The Hero’s Journey.  What was that film called, again?