Thursday, May 14, 2015

My 2015 Sorta, Maybe, Must-See Summer Movies List



Summer. It turns me upside down. Summer. Summer. Summer. It's like a freaking merry-go-round ... especially when it comes to sorting through the shitty summer movie line-up and coming up with a list of must-see summer movies.

So, what's this list mean to you. I'm really not sure, really.

It probably means eschewing the sun that you waited, oh, about six months to come back to Ohio, and - instead - huddling yourself into a dark theater and drinking one, two (or maybe even three) beers that you snuck into the theater.

Hint: Smuggle them into the theater via a rolled up jacket because you get (ahem) 'cold' in the theater.

So, here's my list. I would pick more. But let's be honest, we're talking about summer movies here, people. Anyway, enjoy.

Avengers (In Theaters)
Already saw it, suckas! Please excuse the shameless plug of my One Sentence Movie Reviews via Twitter (please follow).
Mad Max: Fury Road (In Theaters)
Consider me intrigued. Charlize Theron, who still looks hot with a bald head and mechanical arm. Tom Hardy. Bunch of crazy looking freaks in the desert. Not to mention non-computerized special effects. The man, the myth, George Miller not directing dancing penguins. I'm in. May go see it this weekend matter of fact.

Tomorrowland (May 22)
When it comes to creating top-notch films, Director Brad Bird has the Midas touch. I mean look at his resume (Iron Giant, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Simpsons early episodes). First trailer had me intrigued. Second trailer, with a little more violence, little more action sealed the deal. This should be a fun ride. Even more fun than Tomorrowland's Space Mountain.

Entourage (June 3)
I hated the series finale. I hated the final season. But, I'm holding out hope that this movie has everything that the first couple seasons had, which is a little swagger, a little edge, a lot cussing and a bunch of titties. Eh, who are we kidding. It will probably suck.

Jurassic World (June 12)
My daughter's birthday is June 11. I asked her what she wanted to do for her 9th birthday. "I want to see Jurassic World at the theater," she said. "Clever girl," I said. Sadly, she didn't get the joke.

Inside Out (June 16)
Pete Doctor's last Pixar effort (Up) won him an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. After reading about the making of this film in Ed Catmull's Creativity Inc., I'm pretty excited to see what the talented minds at Pixar have come up with this year - with my kids in tow of course.

Dope (June 19)
The trailer looks a little like FRIDAY mixed with GO mixed with ENEMY OF THE STATE (or something like that). Hey, it's a high-school comedy with a nod to 90's hip hop. You gotta love that, right? Right?

Ant Man (July 17)
Why did Edgar Wright and Marvel part ways? That's the question that's going through my mind. That said, the trailer looks fun not to mention the footage that Wright created to sell the movie in the first place. How many times can I say Edgar Wright in this paragraph. Edgar Wright.

Trainwreck (July 17)
Comedian Amy Schumer writes and acts in a comedy directed by Judd Apatow? Sounds good to me. Let's hope it's a lot more succinct than Apatow's other directing efforts (e.g. 30 minutes shorter).

Pixels (July 24)
It's GHOSTBUSTERS meets 80's arcade games. What's there not to like from a summer flick - besides, of course, another Ghostbusters movie?

Southpaw (July 24)
Director Antoine Fuqua has some hits (Training Day) and misses (Olympus Has Fallen) with his directing decisions. But I think he made a good choice, even though the trailer looks like a little ROCKY mixed with RAGING BULL. Come to think of it, actor Jake Gyllenhaal looks like Jake LaMotta - so maybe this is a remake.

Vacation (July 29)
Judging by the trailer (which gives way too much away), it's ruder and it's cruder, almost like We're The Millers - but with a real family. But, it's Gen-X nostalgia that takes me back to the 80's and will get me back into the theater to see it. So why wouldn't I try to see Russ Griswold take his family cross country sans Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo.

Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation (July 31)
Speaking of Mission Impossible, I'm a sucker for these films. Brad Bird injected a great storyline and some kick-ass action into the last installment (Ghost Protocol). Curious to see what Director Christopher McQuarrie (who directed Jack Reacher and The Way of the Gun and also won an Academy Award for his screenplay for The Usual Suspects) can do with Ethan Hunt and his disbanded IMF posse.

Straight Outta Compton (August 14)
Back in the early 80's my brother got me hooked on rap and hip-hop (Run DMC, Too Short, Sugarhill Gang, Beastie Boys, BDP, Eric B & Rakim, etc. etc.). I would make mix tapes from all of his store-bought cassette tapes and play them into the ground. Then I would make more. Then, he bought Straight Outta Compton. And it hit me like a freight train. The anger. The beats. The rhymes. The passion. The angst. It was the birth of gangsta rap. It was one of the first rap cassette tapes that I purchased outright. And, now, I can't wait to witness the strength of street knowledge in the theater.

THIS YEAR'S GUILTY SUMMER PLEASURE:
San Andreas (May 29)
The Rock. A fault line. An earthquake. Los Angeles destroyed. A big wave. Fire and explosions. Poorly written romantic plot. What more can you ask for in a mindless summer popcorn movie - besides, of course, a big monster?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Eimer's Summer Hike - 2013 - Black Forest Trail

Every summer for the past 12 or 13 years, I've gone on some sort of summer hike with my friends. I've seen a lot of cool stuff.

Back in the summer of 2013, the crew decided to stay close to home. My buddy Drew McCauley found this 45-mile loop trail - Black Forest Trail - nestled in the middle of Pennsylvania (Slate, to be exact). This place would make a great horror movie. No cell phone service. No restaurants. And the rattlesnakes.

You know, I read about the rattlesnakes. I knew Pennsylvania had rattlesnakes. But, man, this trail was infested with the suckers. Although we saw only 3 rattlesnakes, I've heard horror stories by other travelers about seeing numerous rattlers on this trail - and by numerous - I mean more than 20.

I also ran into a local resident who told me that a park ranger took him on a hike down to this rattlesnake pit where all the rattlers roll around and mate. "It was disgusting and fascinating at the same time," he said.

In any event, check out my pics on Flickr and enjoy this video from my buddy Shaun Culbertson...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Eimertoons - Work Caricature(s)

So, I was approached by some team members at work to create a 'logo' so they could attach to their internal podcast. While I'm not 100% comfortable creating caricatures of people, (I like to leave that stuff up to the seasoned professionals at Cedar Point), I took this on as a small challenge. That said, I'm fairly happy with the results.

One thing, as I move into the new millenium, I'm slowly, but surely, dipping my toe into illustrator and the creation of vector graphics. Haven't entirely figured out how to color vector images yet (the tutorials are so confusing and they make it look so damn easy).

But, one thing you'll notice are the fine, smooth bold lines surrounding the toons. It's a step into the future for Eimertoons. Regardless, the clients were happy with the final product, which is the most important thing, eh?


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Academy Awards Review (Even Steven)

Welp, the Academy Awards have come and gone, and damn were they pretty boring. Nothing really exciting to talk about here. However, among the movies that won, Now I definitely want to see Whiplash and Still Alice (because, sometimes, I feel like I have early onset Alzheimer's). And, you know what? I think it's time that I actually watched the Sound of Music all the way through. Oh sure, I've seen bits and pieces. But I've never sat through the whole thing in one sitting. By the way, at 79 years old, Julie Andrews still looks pretty hot.

So, I finished a weak 12-12 in my annual online Oscar poll. I took some chances on screenplays (because I thought Nightcrawler was deserving and I applaud Anderson for taking on Inherent Vice - although now I'm hearing rumblings that it's pretty sucky).

In any event, here are the categories that I got right:
  • BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
  • PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  • PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
  • PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
  • BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
  • ORIGINAL SCORE

And here are the categories I got wrong:
  • PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
  • BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
  • ORIGINAL SONG
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
  • ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
  • ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
  • BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
  • BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS


Later!

Monday, February 16, 2015

One Sentence Movie Review - Nightcrawler

Eimer's 2015 Academy Award Picks




Welp, it's that time of the year once again. I haven't seen a lot of the Oscar frontrunners, but that's not going to stop me from attempting to guess all of them - suckas! 

So, not going to bitch or moan about how I have no time to see all of these movie (I guess I just did). That said, I'll just give you my picks with some reasoning on each pick (in red)

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
  • AMERICAN SNIPER
  • BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE)
  • BOYHOOD
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • THE IMITATION GAME
  • SELMA
  • THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
  • WHIPLASH
Eimer Note: Haven't seen it, but I have a hunch. Although Boyhood is strong contender and American Sniper could pull a Million Dollar Baby and surprise everyone.


PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
  • STEVE CARELL - FOXCATCHER
  • BRADLEY COOPER - AMERICAN SNIPER
  • BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH - THE IMITATION GAME
  • MICHAEL KEATON - BIRDMAN
  • EDDIE REDMAYNE - THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Eimer Note: Redmayne took the Screen Actor's Guild Award, but I'm going with Keaton on this. The Academy likes a good comeback story. 


PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  • ROBERT DUVALL - THE JUDGE
  • ETHAN HAWKE - BOYHOOD
  • EDWARD NORTON - BIRDMAN
  • MARK RUFFALO - FOXCATCHER
  • J.K. SIMMONS - WHIPLASH
Eimer Note: This one is a pretty good lock. Simmons has won every award thus far.



PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
  • MARION COTILLARD - TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
  • FELICITY JONES - THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
  • JULIANNE MOORE - STILL ALICE
  • ROSAMUND PIKE - GONE GIRL
  • REESE WITHERSPOON - WILD
Eimer Note: Giving this one to Moore for playing an Early Onset Alzheimer's Sufferer.


PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  • PATRICIA ARQUETTE - BOYHOOD
  • LAURA DERN - WILD
  • KEIRA KNIGHTLEY - THE IMITATION GAME
  • EMMA STONE - BIRDMAN
  • MERYL STREEP - INTO THE WOODS
Eimer Note: She's won every other award, so why not this one?


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
  • BIG HERO 6
  • THE BOXTROLLS
  • HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
  • SONG OF THE SEA
  • THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA
Eimer Note: I loved Lego Movie (but it wasn't nominated). I liked Big Hero 6. But I enjoyed Dragon 2 more than Big Hero 6.


ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
  • EMMANUEL LUBEZKI - BIRDMAN
  • ROBERT YEOMAN - THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • LUKASZ ZAL AND RYSZARD LENCZEWSKI - IDA
  • DICK POPE - MR. TURNER
  • ROGER DEAKINS - UNBROKEN

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - MILENA CANONERO
  • INHERENT VICE - MARK BRIDGES
  • INTO THE WOODS - COLLEEN ATWOOD
  • MALEFICENT - ANNA B. SHEPPARD
  • MR. TURNER - JACQUELINE DURRA

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
  • BIRDMAN - ALEJANDRO G. INARRITU
  • BOYHOOD - RICHARD LINKLATER
  • FOXCATCHER - BENNETT MILLER
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - WES ANDERSON
  • THE IMITATION GAME - MORTEN TYLDUM
Eimer Note: Inarritu won the Director's Guild Award. This is, pretty much, a lock.


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
  • CITIZENFOUR
  • FINDING VIVIAN MAIER
  • LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM 
  • THE SALT OF THE EARTH
  • VIRUNGA 
Eimer Note: Snowden is a hot-button topic. Look for this doc to take the top prize.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
  • CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1
  • JOANNA
  • OUR CURSE
  • THE REAPER (LA PARKA)
  • WHITE EARTH

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
  • AMERICAN SNIPER - JOEL COX AND GARY D. ROACH
  • BOYHOOD - SANDRA ADAIR
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - BARNEY PILLING
  • THE IMITATION GAME - WILLIAM GOLDENBERG
  • WHIPLASH - TOM CROSS
Eimer Note: Went with Whiplash on this because I bet it was hard to make a movie about music so damn good - and editing comes into play.



BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
  • IDA - POLAND
  • LEVIATHAN - RUSSIA
  • TANGERINES - ESTONIA
  • TIMBUKTU - MAURITANIA
  • WILD TALES - ARGENTINA

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
  • FOXCATCHER - BILL CORSO AND DENNIS LIDDIARD
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - FRANCES HANNON AND MARK COULIER
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - ELIZABETH YIANNI-GEORGIOU AND DAVID WHITE

ORIGINAL SCORE
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - ALEXANDRE DESPLAT
  • THE IMITATION GAME - ALEXANDRE DESPLAT
  • INTERSTELLAR - HANS ZIMMER
  • MR. TURNER - GARY YERSHON
  • THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING - JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON
Eimer Note: Would be nice to see Zimmer win, but - fuck it - let's go with Grand Budapest Hotel.



ORIGINAL SONG
  • EVERYTHING IS AWESOME - THE LEGO MOVIE
  • GLORY - SELMA
  • GRATEFUL - BEYOND THE LIGHTS
  • I’M NOT GONNA MISS YOU - GLEN CAMPBELL...I’LL BE ME
  • LOST STARS - BEGIN AGAIN
Eimer Note: I just thought Begin Again was a great movie and all of the songs were pretty damn catchy.


ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - ADAM STOCKHAUSEN,  ANNA PINNOCK
  • THE IMITATION GAME - MARIA DJURKOVIC, TATIANA MACDONALD
  • INTERSTELLAR - NATHAN CROWLEY,  GARY FETTIS
  • INTO THE WOODS - DENNIS GASSNER, ANNA PINNOCK
  • MR. TURNER - SUZIE DAVIES, CHARLOTTE WATTS
Eimer Note: It's the details that matter in design. I thought Anderson nailed it. Although be careful for Into the Woods to sneak a win.


BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
  • THE BIGGER PICTURE
  • THE DAM KEEPER
  • FEAST
  • ME AND MY MOULTON
  • A SINGLE LIFE
Eimer Note: I like Disney's look and feel. Plus the little puppy is pretty cute. 

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
  • AYA
  • BOOGALOO AND GRAHAM
  • BUTTER LAMP (LA LAMPE AU BEURRE DE YAK)
  • PARVANEH
  • THE PHONE CALL
Eimer Note: This is a 100% total blind guess. I have no clue.


ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
  • AMERICAN SNIPER 
  • BIRDMAN 
  • THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES 
  • INTERSTELLAR
  • UNBROKEN 

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
  • AMERICAN SNIPER 
  • BIRDMAN 
  • INTERSTELLAR
  • UNBROKEN
  • WHIPLASH

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
  • DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
  • INTERSTELLAR
  • X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
  • AMERICAN SNIPER - JASON HALL
  • THE IMITATION GAME -  GRAHAM MOORE
  • INHERENT VICE - PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON
  • THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING - ANTHONY MCCARTEN
  • WHIPLASH - DAMIEN CHAZELLE

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
  • BIRDMAN - Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando 
  • BOYHOOD - RICHARD LINKLATER
  • FOXCATCHER -  E. MAX FRYE AND DAN FUTTERMAN
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - WES ANDERSON
  • NIGHTCRAWLER - DAN GILROY

Let's see what happens on Sunday night. I'll provide a recap on Monday morning - Feb. 23!