The Devil Rides Out (6/10)

Posted on

This is another film that just begs for more creepy atmosphere. As it is, it feels too much like a stage play with sparse and fake looking interiors and performances that scream, “Acting!” This is too bad, because there aren’t enough devil movies around. The story is good and this film’s monsters are well done but are shot in such a drab, TV movie manner than any impact is lost.

The House with the Laughing Windows (5/10)

Posted on

I think I have a bias against films where the protagonist has a beard, unless said film contains magic and elves. Seriously, can you think of a good movie with a bearded hero… okay Planet of the Apes, but besides that? I found this film to be very dull and completely lacking in suspense. Sure, there are some visually interesting moments near the end, but the plot is predictable and you will know whodunnit very quickly. With some better pacing and more atmosphere this could have been much better.

Sci-Fi Storyboard - Pencil Drawing

Posted on

Around the time I got my MFA degree, I was looking for various art jobs around the country. One of the jobs I applied for was as a storyboard artist for John Romero’s newly formed company, Ion Storm. The application required that I send in an example of a storyboard. These drawings are what I came up with for my application.

After months of without hearing anything back, I finally got a brief rejection letter. I was probably better off for it. Ion Storm became a running joke in the gaming press and the company imploded after the release of the awful game Daikatana. Weeks after my rejection, I still had not had my art materials returned to me. What followed was a prolonged back-and-forth with a guy in their HR department to try to get my original drawings back. It took forever, but I eventually manged to get the drawings back.

In hindsight, these drawings aren’t really good examples of what someone wants in a storyboard, but I really like them nonetheless. So much so, that I used the last panel as the basis for a Nonagon poster.

In order to best view the panels, click an image to open a closer view and then use the navigation within the pop-up to view the entire sequence. Hint: use the arrow keys to quickly switch images in the pop-up!

Rec (8/10)

Posted on

Another shaky handheld camera horror movie ala Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield. This style is getting a little old now, but this film manages to deliver the clichés in an effective manner.  Rec still has its share of motion sickness moments and obligatory annoying screaming characters but the ending works very well.

Conan the Barbarian (7/10)

Posted on

Back when I was a kid I had seen Conan the Barbarian sequel Conan the Destroyer at least half-a-dozen times. It was rated PG and was one of those movies that played all the time on HBO (when they weren’t playing Mickey and Maude). In fact, I just watched it the other night with my six-year-old who is terrified of Disney cartoons and even she seemed to like it. Surprisingly, I had never seen the original movie, which I have always assumed was much better. It is a better made movie, with more character development and a darker edge, but it might take itself a little too seriously at times when I would have preferred some of the cheese of the sequel.

The Man-Machine by Kraftwerk - CD (10/10)

Posted on

This is a great record, from the futurist (actually Russian constructivist) art direction to the sci-fi themes, pure perfection. The sound of Kraftwerk is completely unique (as far as I know). I love the minimalism of the arrangements and the synthetic nature of the music. There is no attempt to mimic natural instruments here. This is a must own album if ever there was one.

Painful by Yo La Tengo - CD (9/10)

Posted on

I am glad I never got in to Yo La Tengo whilst they were coming into prominence. I probably would have bought everything they released on the day it came out. By ignoring them for a decade or two, I was able to limit my music dollars towards buying what is considered by many to be their best record and leaving it at that. The record is very good with several memorable tracks that are awash in feedback and a dreamy ballad or two for good measure.