Posts from September 2014

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Legend of Korra Book 4 Premieres October 3rd!

Korra returns this Friday!

Korra returns this Friday!

It seems as though Book 3 has just finished, and already here we have the premiere of Book 4 of The Legend of Korra! True, Nickelodeon for some (dumbass) reason decided to pull them from television, but they’re all going to be available for streaming at nick.com, so it doesn’t really matter to the millions of people like us who have decent computers. Take a look at this completely badass preview:

While I am excited to see this season, it is sad that it is the absolute final season of the epic story that began in Avatar: The Last Airbender so many years ago. Nick seems to have pulled all support from making another spinoff or sequel, so this is it. You’d best believe I’ll be watching them as soon as they’re released!

Categories: Videos.

Monday, 29 September 2014

My Famous Friends: The Ginger Fool Becomes a Citizen of the Z Nation!

Jamie is Fame-y!

Jamie is Fame-y!

Whelp, things rarely get more awexome than this. Fools Play Improv’s own Ginger Fool, Jamie Pederson, had a guest-starring role in last Friday’s episode of SyFy’s zombie TV Show, Z Nation.

And it wasn’t just some background zombie part or extra. It’s a featured speaking role; in fact, the first non-main character you see in the episode! And his character is kind of a badass, drinkin’ beers and getting frisky with the ladies…

Jamie likes his beers... almost as much as he likes his womens.

Jamie likes his beers… almost as much as he likes his womens.

 
Ginger action!

Ginger action!

Plus he get’s a full-fledged fight scene while shirtless! Come on!

Jamie likes his beers... broken on your skull!

Jamie likes his beers… broken on your skull!

Just lookit our Ginger Fool bein’ badass:

Don't make the Ginger Fool angry... you wouldn't like him when he's angry...

Don’t make the Ginger Fool angry… you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry…

The unfortunate thing is that Z Nation is of course a zombie show, and Jamie is only guest-starring on one episode… and when someone only appears in one episode of a zombie show it’s a pretty good bet they don’t do so well in it. So I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that things don’t go very well for Jamie. In fact, they go a bit like this:

That don't look so good.

That don’t look so good.

Y’know what I’d love? I’d love it if that image became a meme! Here, I’ll do the first one:

Make it a meme!

Make it a meme!

But still, the congratumaphone is ringing off the hook, and it’s for the Ginger Fool. Great job! You can watch the entire episode (and you should) entitled “Philly Feast” on SyFy’s website. Strangely, you have to login to your cable provider before they’ll let you watch it. You all remember your cable provider’s website login, right? Right!?

At any rate, Jamie is official now: he has his own IMDB page and everything!

Credit where credit is due (arrow added by me for emphasis).

Credit where credit is due (arrow added by me for emphasis).

Now go watch the Ginger Fool in action!

Categories: Animated .GIFs, Fools Play, My Famous Friends, Pictures, TV.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Gasp! Fools Play Improv Returns to Tacoma This Saturday!

Watch out, T-Town...

Watch out, T-Town…

HEY FOLKS! Yes, it’s true. About 15 years ago Fools Play Improv moved from the dusty shores of Tacoma to the bright lights of big city Olympia. But this Saturday they’re back for a one-night-only engagement* in Downtown T-Town!

There's even an actual, real-life poster about the event!

There’s even an actual, real-life poster about the event!

This only makes sense, seeing as how four of the Fools actually live within the Tacoma City limits. I, of course, am one of them. However, despite the fact that I so handsomely grace this poster, I will not be able to perform this show in my own backyard! I will actually be out of town. Sad trombone.

But that’s no excuse for all my Tacoma peoples to miss the show! There IS NO EXCUSE to miss this show! Everyone should head downtown on Saturday night and see some funny, funny, stuffs happen on stage.

Details:
Tacoma Improv Show! (Facebook event)
Saturday, September 27th 8:00 PM
@ Tacoma Youth Theater
924-B Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402
All Ages (R-Rated), $10

*This is only a one-night engagement… for now. If we find a good place to perform in Tacoma then there is every possibility that Fools Play will move back here for good!

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Fools Play, Tacoma.

Friday, 19 September 2014

New Movie Review: The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises (2013) ★★★

The Wind Rises

Le vent, se lève!… Il faut tenter de vivre!

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

I have such conflicted feelings about this movie! Much of it is a disappointment of expectations, though. The Wind Rises is a highly-fictionalized film about real-life person Jiro Horikoshi, who is most famous for being the designer of the infamous Japanese A6M “Zero” fighter plane for WWII. In movies about famous artists, designer, architects, or what-have-yous, I have a certain minimum expectation: I expect to learn about the hows and whys of the creative process that led them to their most famous work(s). How shocked and frustrated I was, then, when this film ends (spoiler alert) with the test flight of the prototype of the A5M—the fighter that came before the A6M Zero!

In fact, much of the movie hinges on Horikoshi’s thoughts on an inverted gull-wing shape that is used in the prototype of the A5M—but which is not actually used in the final version of the A5M, let alone the Zero!

The scenes that interested me most were the ones where Horikoshi makes a breakthrough of some sort in the design of his planes. The introduction of flush rivets, for example. The design of wing strut supports. Laughing with his team about how to reduce weight when the military demands two gigantic machine guns be mounted to the plane. In other words, the creative side of things.

Less interesting to me was the dying-girl romance between Horikoshi and his wife. Especially because it was completely fictional, and too perfect to find interesting. Horikoshi’s wife is the absolute perfect 1930s Japanese woman. There is no conflict in their relationship, only the specter of chronic illness. Guess what my least-favorite genre of movie is? The dying-girl romance. Horikoshi himself is portrayed as such a meek milquetoast that if it weren’t for his unending creative drive there would be little of interest at all in this relationship.

Other relationships in the film are great though. Horikoshi and his tiny but bombastic boss at Mitsubishi, Horikoshi and his lackadaisical best friend, and strangely enough the friendship that is formed with an enormous, exiled, big gay German. Wow, now there is a character who chews up the scenery! Also nice are dream sequences where Hirokoshi converses with a European plane designer (a somewhat hero of Hirokoshi)

The main theme of the film is handled exceptionally, though, that of creativity versus the exploitation of creativity. Hirokoshi is designing essentially war machines, but he has no love for war at all; it is the sheer creative and artistic process that drives him to design these planes, not any patriotism or idealism. He expresses great ambivalence about the way his designs are being used to essentially kill people. He believes he is creating something beautiful; but his beautiful creations are being used in less-than-benign ways. Does that negate the beauty of their design? Is the end-use usage of a creation inextricably entwined with its design? Or can the beauty of the design be held separately from the horror of its usage? Wisely, I think, the film never takes a stance either way, and the whole complexity of the situation is simply presented for the viewer to think about. In a wonderful ending dream sequence that takes place after the war, Hirokoshi sighs as a fleet of Zeros (the ony time they’re ever presented on screen) flies away. They are beautiful planes.

So the film is visually spectacular, of course. Especially wonderful are dream sequences of fanciful, old-fashioned airplanes. And dynamic scenes of harrowing test flights are great. But much of this is visually similar to the fantastic Porco Rosso, so I didn’t feel like I was seeing much new there. Scenes of 1920s & 1930s Japan and Germany are extremely detailed and specific.

So is this a good movie or not? It is enjoyable in many parts, and fascinating in many parts, and certainly gorgeous. The ambiguities of creativity and war and the corruption of beauty are handled very well. It also has an hilarious and bizarre Big Gay German in it. But it also feels somehow insubstantial and frustrating, focusing too long on the things that interested me the least and too little on the things that interested me the most. So, three stars sound good? Yeah, I suppose.

Categories: Japan, Movie Reviews.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Thursday: Seattle or Bellingham, Julia Massey or The Old Salt? (Plus bonus Jon Yoon)

Tomorrow (Thursday) there are a couple of musics shows happening in disparate parts of Western Washington. So you should go to whichever one is closer to your location:

Seattle Area: Brenda Xu, Julia Massey, & Shenandoah Davis

In Seattle this Thursday...

In Seattle this Thursday…

Brenda Xu (whom I must confess to never having heard of before now) is having a CD release party, and she’s being joined on the bill by two very talented ladies: My pal Julia Massey, and Shenandoah Davis.

This is at the very lovely Freemont Abbey Arts Center, which is a big ol’ church turned into a big ol’ performance space (two, actually; there’s one upstairs and one downstairs). So if you’re in the Seattle area, you should mos def check this one out.

Details:
Brenda Xu Album Release Party featuring Julia Massey & Shenandoah Davis (Facebook event)
Thursday, September 18th 8:00pm
@ Freemont Abbey Arts Center
4272 Fremont Ave N, Seattle 98103 (map)
$8/$10 door, get tickets here
All-ages, Bar with ID

Bellingham Area: Fight With Lions, The Old Salt, Dinofour, & Jenni Potts

In Bellingham this Thursday...

In Bellingham this Thursday…

Bellingham tavern & venue The Shakedown is hosting a whole mess of musics, headlined by post-rock instrumental group I Will Fight With Lions. Joining them will be Fools Play Improv’s own noise/experimental guitarist The Old Salt along with Dinofour and Jenni Potts.

It should be a crazy, trippy, loud evening of musics, so the Bellingham-bound should go there and do that. Yes.

Details:
FREE and LOCAL Thursday with I Will Fight With Lions, The Old Salt, Dinofour & Jenni Potts (Facebook event)
Thursday, September 18th 9:30 PM
@ The Shakedown
1212 N State St, Bellingham 98225 (map)
21+ FREE!

There are your two choices. There is no third option. One or the other. Oh, wait, there is a third option; you could go watch Jon Yoon play delightful ukulele pop in front of the Seattle Hard Rock Café from noon to 2:00 PM. But since that’s in the afternoon, then in the evening you have to choose one of two choices listed above. So, yeah, no real third option; just an optional addition.

Categories: Concerts/Shows.

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Ginger Fool on TV in Z Nation!

z nation

Z Nation

Last Friday a new zombie-themed TV show premiered on the SyFy channel: Z Nation.

There’s something special about this TV show. And it’s not just that it was produced by The Asylum, the creators of Sharknado. Watch the trailer below and pay special attention at about 2:08 into it:

Yes, that’s right, the guy with the underwear-clad woman is none other than Fools Play Improv’s own Jamie Pederson, the Ginger Fool! Don’t believe me? Watch it again, and here I took a screenshot just to prove it:

Ginger action!

Ginger action!

He’s a special guest star in the third episode, so you’d best be watching that! And also you should probably watch the two episodes leading up to it so you know what the heck is happening in the show.

Details:
Z Nation
Fridays at 10:00 PM
On the SyFy channel

Categories: Fools Play, My Famous Friends, TV.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Julia Massey’s “The Story of the Earth So Far” Official Music Video!

All the people, all the lovely people...

All the people, all the lovely people…

Who knew that when I grew I would have so many über-talented friends? Whelp, a bunch of them just got together and released a music video full of awesome musics and awesome dance. Here is the official music video for Julia Massey & the Five Finger Discount’s song “The Story of the Earth So Far”

Not only is the song by my friends Julia Massey, Dom Cortese, and Geoff B. Gibbs, but it was choreographed by longtime pal Travis Goldman of Tacoma City Ballet, and one of the dancers is our lovely pub trivia buddy, Whitney Sprague! My friends are plastered all over this thang!

Plus it has…

GEOFF'S HEAD ON A STICK!

GEOFF’S HEAD ON A STICK!

Also, Save the Date: CD Release Party on November 8th for JM+FFD’s fourth studio album, “A.L.I.T.E.” at Conor Byrne in Seattle. Details forthcoming…

P.S. GEOFF’S HEAD ON A STICK!

Categories: Music, My Famous Friends, Videos.