Posts from July 2012

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Vidreoview: The Final Cut (2004)

I remember the first I heard of this movie was when reviews for it started coming out. I thought, “A sci-fi movie starring Robin Williams that I’ve never heard of!? How did this happen!?”

Years later I saw about 15 minutes of it on television and was instantly intrigued. Then just last weekend I found The Final Cut on DVD at a garage sale for $1. That’s cheaper than a Red Box, so I picked it up.

I enjoy it. It has a very intriguing premise: before your birth (if your parents can afford it), you can have a chip implanted in your brain that will record audio and video of everything you see and hear for your entire life. When you die, the footage is given to secretive “cutters” who edit your life down into a feature-length movie that is then watched at your funeral. What I really liked about this premise is how it has started to effect the entire world: people become obsessed with memory, and therefore nostalgia. Also people who know they have chips start to behave differently because they know their life will be watched and judged after they die. And since 1 in 20 people have the chips, the way people act to one another changes because they know there’s a chance that they’re being recorded and they might show up in the footage at someone else’s funeral.

Robin Williams plays Alan, a withdrawn and introverted cutter who specializes in cutting the lives of despicable people, removing all the bad parts. He makes “saints out of sinners,” and describes himself as a Sin Eater who absorbs the sins of the deceased so they can rest in peace. He is haunted by a childhood incident that lead to the death of another boy.

There’s a thriller plot where a group of luddites who oppose the whole idea of cutting (and have electrostatic tattoos that block their own chips from recording) want the footage that Alan is currently working on. It starts out as an intriguing plot, and builds steadily and effectively, but just kina peters out into a weird climax. I looked at the screen and said to writer/director Omar Naim, “Oh, that’s what you were going for? Really?”

But up until then the film is really very good. Robin Williams turns in another excellent subdued performance, like his characters in One Hour Photo or Insomnia. Jim Caviezel is good as the villain, but his beard is very distracting.

But my absolute favorite part about the whole film is the art direction. Y’know how a lot of sci-fi stuff is all sleek, glass and plastic, white and translucent? The Final Cut goes the opposite direction. It’s lush. Oak and mahogany, velvet and plush. Computers are hand-carved from wood. Clothes are thick and ornate. A society obsessed with nostalgia has pulled the best designs from mid-20th century and conglomerated them into a wonderfully warm and dark pastiche. The whole films feels like a rich smoking room at an exclusive club. I’ve never seen a future quite like the one in this movie, and I loved it.

Overall: Three stars.

Categories: Vidreoviews.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

How I Accidentally Photobombed Julia Massey’s Wedding

This weekend I skipped Fools Play (gasp! I know) because Carrie & I were invited to go to the wedding of Seattle’s powerhouse musicians Julia Massey & Jared Cortese.

It was a nice outdoor ceremony at Golden Gardens park. Luckily it cleared up shortly before the ceremony (it was very cloudy all day) but it still wasn’t too hot, especially for the last half of July.

Julia + Jared

Photo from KSUB

Julia had a very lovely dress, but I had seen it before—last Tuesday, when Carrie & I went up to her place so she could try on the jewelry that Carrie had designed for her. That’s right, Carrie did the wedding jewelry! She made a bunch of different pieces (two necklaces and five pairs of earrings) for Julia to try, but she couldn’t decide and so made us basically choose for her.

Accidental Photobomb!

Look at that pretty jewelry!

And, yes, that is me photobombing in the background. But I totally didn’t mean to! I saw Jason & Julia looking at Jason’s camera, and it looked like they were taking a photo of something in front of them, not of themselves. So I leaned over to look at the screen to see what they were trying to photograph right as Jason took the picture. I immediately realized that I had accidentally photobombed them and apologized profusely and we all laughed quite a lot.

Julia got her revenge pretty quickly, though:

Revenge Photobomb

Revenge Photobomb!

And then she enjoyed that so much she decided to photobomb some more!

Photobombing JJAASSOONN

Photobombing Jason & Jason (or JJAASSOONN as I like to call them)

The reception was great fun and much enjoyment. Instead of having a cake they had gobs and gobs of donuts on a multi-tier cake stand! What a brilliant idea! There was much dancing to a really excellently-danceable selection of music. I didn’t take very many photos because my cell phone camera is really crappy. But I did snap one picture that took advantage of my camera to create a very nice effect:

She's glowing!

She’s glowing!

The setting at Golden Gardens Park was quite excellent. I’d never been there before. It actually has a really nice, sandy beach, which is really difficult to find in the Seattle area. People were sunbathing and everything! I know!

Big congratulations to Julia and Jared! Good job, guys.

Julia + Jared

*Ring Ring* It’s the Congratumaphone! It’s for you!


Categories: Pictures, Weddings.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

New Geek & Sundry Series: Written By a Kid

Felica Day & Kim Evey’s Geek & Sundry YouTube channel has just premiered an excellent new webseries: Written By a Kid. The hosts of the show coax a kid to telling a story, and then they hire filmmakers to actually create the story.

Here’s the first episode, “Scary Smash.” It stars some of my favorite people: Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall, NewsRadio) as the Milkman, Kate Micucci (of comedy music duo Garfunkle and Oates), as the Replacement Recruit, and introducing someone named Joss Whedon as the action hero, Gerald! Watch it now:

Also be sure to watch the extra, behind-the-scenes videos:

I am looking forward to more!

Categories: Videos.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Fools Play’s War Against Lakefair: 2012

Every year, Fools Play Improv declares war on its hated enemy: Olympia’s Capital Lakefair. Why? For having the temerity to occur at the same time as Fools Play’s show!

And every year Fools Play is successful in COMPLETELY DESTROYING Lakefair — Lakefair is always gone by the end of the weekend in which the Fools Play War takes place.

This year the audience chose two key components of Lakefair to attack: the lake itself, and the corn on the cob. Watch the battle footage here, and see just how Fools Play COMPLETELY DESTROYED Capital Lakefair!

Categories: Fools Play, Videos.

Friday, 20 July 2012

JourneyQuest Season 2

Dead Gentlemen Productions (the people behind The Gamers: Dorkness Rising among others) made a well-received fantasy/comedy webseries quite a while back called JourneyQuest. After an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, they are finally back with Season 2, which promises to be feature-length and includes roles that are filled with actors like Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods), Bob Sapp (Elektra, The Longest Yard, Conan the Barbarian), and Jen Page (the aforementioned The Gamers: Dorkness Rising). The first episode of the 2nd season is actually a prologue to the whole series, and knocks down some one-off gags from the original series (Wren’s headmistress likes Genies, the Mad Kings, etc.). Here it is:

And here is the second episode:

What many people don’t know is that before the Dead Gentlemen were a film production crew, they also were an improv troupe! Fools Play did some co-shows with them. That’s howcome the Gibbs brothers are in TG:DR, ’cause we know these guys. So give ’em some support!

Categories: Links, Videos.

Achievement Unlocked: Uncle

Last evening my sister done had a baby come outta her! Aiden is my first-ever nephew. No other details (weight, etc.) or photos yet, but I’m sure they’ll be forthcoming.

Update: Photo proof!


Categories: Life.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Open Mike Eagle and Mega Ran at Nectar Lounge

As you may have gathered from a previous post, Carrie & I went up to Seattle on Wednesday to see a hippity-hop show!

The big surprise for me was my introduction to the man known as Mega Ran. He has a fascinating story. He originally called himself Random. Then few years ago he started taking background music from the Mega Man series of video games, mixing it up a little bit, adding a bigger beat, and making raps over the top of that. He gained some notoriety from it.

Then one day he gets a phone call. From Capcom of America. And they basically say, “So… we understand that you’re making songs with our copyrighted music.”

“No, that wasn’t me, uh, that was that other guy!”

“No, no, no, we listen to it all the time here at the office! We love it! We want you to come on down to Comic-Con and hang out with us in the booth. And also, we want to officially license you to use Capcom music in your songs.”

So now (changing his name to Mega Ran) he has Capcom’s official permission to use their music. On the back of his CDs is the Capcom logo. Pretty frikkin’ cool. And also he’s terrifically entertaining! He has a ton of energy and is really funny. He also did an improv game where he had people in the audience hold up props and he did a freestyle that incorporated the props into the lyrics.

He had so much energy, though, that my crappy cell phone camera couldn’t take a good photo of him. Here’s the best I got:

Mega Ran!

Mega Ran!

If you look close at that photo, you might notice that his left hand has been replaced by Mega Man’s Mega Buster. That happened!

Open Mike Eagle was the headliner, and his set was awexome as always. I again tried to get some shots with my crappy cell phone camera, and here’s the best I came up with:

Open Mike Eagle!

Open Mike Eagle!

Mike Eagle Gots Them Scary Eyes!

Mike Eagle Gots Them Scary Eyes!

So, yeah, really good show. We unfortunately missed Three Ninja’s set, but it was good to see some friends in the audience. I just wish Mike would (A) come through Seattle more often and (B) play a show on a Friday so we don’t have to worry about being out late on a school night. Carrie & I were pretty much exhausted the whole next day (we’re old).

Thanks, Mike! And it was great to meet you, Mega Ran!

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Pictures.