Archive for the Film Category

Semester Updates

Posted in Art, Film, Life, Music, News, Poetry, School, Video, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2012 by blakejohnson

Hello everyone,
It’s been a while since I last updated this with anything at all, so I figured I’d post a solid summary of what I’ve been up to for the last 4 months or so.

It’s been a crazy semester, packed full of projects and the like, and I’ve done my best to detail the best of them on my portfolio. Continue reading

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Update

Posted in Books, DIY, Entertainment, Film, Inspiration, Life, Music, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2009 by blakejohnson

So…been a longass time since I posted. Figured some sort of update was in order, so here goes…

I’ve moved back to VT. For the holidays, but also for the foreseeable future. It’s vacation, then working, saving up, and if all goes as planned, film school starting in the Fall. I’ve taken a two-year detour from what was really my dream, and I’m back on track. So that’s good.

Before I left, I got to check out a MAKE IT! fair and was pretty impressed. I’d wanted to go last year in Vancouver but looked up the vendors that had websites and was pretty turned off. This year I just took the plunge and am sure glad I did. From Cocoa Nymph (awesome chocolates) to Thyrza Segal’s Plantscapes to Daughters of Bastards Warrior Wear (awesome chain mail jewelry, no website, sorry) there was plenty of awesome stuff to check out and to gawk at. Catalyst Reaction had some cool leather stuff and I picked up some great Christmas cards from Hug + Kiss Designs.

Other than that, not much else to report. T-day in Seattle with the bro, a week in NYC with an old friend, then getting settled in here, ready for Christmas, watching the last of my funds slip away.

Moved onto Season 2 of Fringe and giving Leverage a second chance. Finished Dexter Season 4 last night. I’m still traumatized. Fantastic show…they don’t pull any punches. Hoping to start in on Supernatural Season 2 soon. Being Human was a no-go for me; the emo vampire dude was waaay over the top annoying, I couldn’t even look at him. Watched Slither and Gremlins recently. Both were awesome. Definitely to-purchase. Great fun. Excited about Chuck’s Season 3 and Burn Notice’s continuation in January too. Workin’ away at my to-watch lists…

I’ve been on a pretty major Star Wars kick lately. Partly nostalgia (I found my first screenplay – a Star Wars fanfilm, almost 70 pages!), partly reading Death Troopers (fun!) and partly finally getting around to watching Star Wars Clone Wars from Cartoon Network. Pretty awesome series, I’m having a blast. You know it’s good when it gets you excited about watching the prequels. Yea. That’s serious.

Listening to lots of industrial and gothic, generally dark stuff lately…Rammstein mostly but Imperative Reaction, Assemblage 23, Zombie Girl a bit, I:Scintilla, Heimataerde, Icon of Coil and Birthday Massacre. Got Nightwish’s Dark Passion Play on in the background right now. Never a baddie :P. Awesome album.

Hope all’s well with everybody reading. And everybody not reading. And no I didn’t get you presents. Have great holidays! 🙂

Movie Review: Where The Wild Things Are

Posted in Entertainment, Film, Life, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2009 by blakejohnson

Ahh, childhood memories. Such fond nights when I’d settle into bed, head on parent’s arm or chest, and they’d read me stories before going to sleep. This one was one of my favorites. I loved the drawings, the monsters, and Max with his forts – I built forts countless times in all the houses I grew up in. But enough of me, on to the movie…

Now, I haven’t read the book in years, but I’ll do my best to remember… The plot was different from the book, but it needed to be; there wouldn’t have been enough story or development to adapt it straight from book to screen. So some changes were made. The monsters though were great, just how I remembered them, and Max, while obviously a child actor’s version of Max, was pretty darn close to what I remember from the books. Maybe a little more sad or angry than I’d expected, but then again, changes needed to be made for the film.

When it comes down to it, it wasn’t exactly what I’d expected, but it hit the spot. It’s a mature look at what it means to be a kid, and sure, the emotion’s shared and loved by everyone, but it’s damn good to be reminded every now and then. Basically I went in for a reminder of childhood, of imagination and innocence, and I got teary enough times to be satisfied that the movie was doing its job. I remember sitting in my room playing with Legos for hours and hours, building bigger and bigger castles, ninja fortresses, even a cowboy ghost town at one point. Oh yea… and the pirate ships…oh, did I love my pirates. There was no reason not to play, no reason not to explore and imagine and create things, and I feel that’s something I’ve lost a bit of now, growing up. Things need to be justified, planned, organized. Sometimes I think we all need to take a few steps back, chill, and let the wild rumpus start.

Early Screening: Ninja Assassin

Posted in Entertainment, Film, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2009 by blakejohnson

VIFF continues, and with its continuation comes an early premiere screening of Ninja Assassin, James McTeigue‘s (V for Vendetta) new film about ninjas, revenge, kick-ass fighting and boatloads of blood. Needless to say, this was a crowd-pleaser. Awesome from the get-go, it packs the punches (and kicks, and blades, and other ninja weapon goodies) into a nicely stylized modernized ninja B-movie complete with an angry old sensei, a lost love, and a chance for redemption by the spilling of blood. Lots of blood. In fact, try counting the bloodsplosions (yes, bloodsplosions) and I promise you’ll give up within the first 5-10 minutes.

Official release date is November 25, so head out to the theaters then and git yer butt in gear for some fun!

VIFF Finale

Posted in Entertainment, Film, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2009 by blakejohnson

So I’ve been and watched the third movie of the day and, man am I whipped. All that theater-sittin’ and movie-watchin’ really takes a lot outta you :P. So here’s that last review…

The Eclipse

I haven’t seen a cross between a pretty serious drama and a jumpy horror film before, so in that respect this was cool to watch. Also, horror’s usually a living-room deal for me, so the audience reactions were fun, even if the scares weren’t too serious. Just some jump moments, and I suppose the heavier, slower-paced, serious drama bits and the somewhat-quirky comedic bits made the scary jumps more jumpy. What first drew me to this was hearing Aidan Quinn in the cast list, ‘I haven’t seen him in anything for ages,’ I thought, so I went along for the ride. He, along with the rest of cast (male lead, Ciarán Hinds, and female lead, Iben Hjejle) gave good performances in what’s essentially an entertainment piece that dabbles in emotion and fear, loss, grief and a bit of humor. Another film about life (adding to the day’s previous movies), this ended on a good note, a realistic one I thought, better than the usual romantic fare we get in mainstream cinema. Final word(s): good stuff :D.

Links:

VIFF Listing
IMDB

VIFF … so far

Posted in Entertainment, Film, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2009 by blakejohnson

Alrighty then…been a longo time since I made any sort of update but here goes nothin’…

Been attending VIFF today, saw two films so far and thought I’d share my..thoughts.

The Anchorage

As far as a barebones indie first feature film effort goes, not bad. As far as an engaging, energetic, complex or intriguing film – visually or story-wise – not so much. Given the fact their goal was to make ‘something you wouldn’t normally see in Hollywood theaters’, it was alright. They said in a Q&A afterward, responding to a question about the acting we’re used to as being very expressive of emotion all the time, ‘but you don’t always express emotion, do you?’ More interesting than the questions were the answers, their seemingly interested-in-their-art while disinterested-if-you-didn’t-understand-it attitudes made for somewhat amusing back-and-forths between the filmmakers and the audience. There was a time when I’d have enjoyed this more, just not my type of movie really anymore.

Links:

VIFF Listing

Cooking History

This was a bit more my style: European history – specifically war stories – told by military cooks from Germany, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Algiers, Croatia and France. It was interesting and sadistically amusing to see the contrast between these jovial cooks and their stories about the brutalities of war and watch their methods of killing and slaughtering animals (yes, multiple times) and preparing meals. A constant awareness is kept, however, of each of these people’s struggles during and after the wars. They’re very human, very worn and experienced, very real. Ultimately a portrait of people in war, food and moving on, it’s entertaining, touching, humorous, honest and pretty solid.

Links:

VIFF Listing
Film Website

There’s another coming up tonight, so I’ll letcha know about that ‘un too at some point. It’s an Irish thriller-romance…so yea, I’m lookin’ forward to it :P.

Larry Lessig @ TED on Law & Creativity

Posted in Art, Film, Get Meta!, Inspiration, Music, People, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2009 by blakejohnson

This may be one of the best videos I’ve seen as a plea for business and industry and politics to embrace and support new media, technologies, and youth culture instead of fighting it with lawsuits and ‘non-common-sense’ methods as they’ve been doing. This is a huge debate these days and one that needs more accepting, supportive and constructive tones – much like Lessig’s presentation style – from both sides in working toward resolution and progress. Enjoy the video… I dare you not to become addicted to the collection of recordings available on the site. Comments welcome :).