Friday, March 2, 2018

Eimer's Academy Awards Picks - 2018 Edition


Wow, I almost wasn't able to get my list out, breaking an annual tradition since starting this blog back in 2006. Whew!!

In any event, here are my picks for Hollywood's biggest night. I'm feeling the love for 'Shape of Water' and 'Three Billboards'. I'll post a rundown on Monday.

Here's ya go. Tell me what you think:


Best Picture: The Shape of Water
I like “Three Billboards’ chances, but am leaning to Shape because we need a feel-good horror movie. 

Lead Actor: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour’
Hey, Daniel Day-Lewis could win for Phantom Thread. But he won’t because Gary’s won all of the awards for his role as Winston Churchill

Lead Actress: France McDormand “Three Billboards”
Same goes for Frances. She’s won every major award including Screen Actor’s Guild.

Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell “Three Billboards”
Picking Sam as well on this since he’s won every other major acting award for his role. Can’t really see anyone else winning this one.

Supporting Actress: Allison Janny, “I, Tonya”
I thought she was great. I also thought Laurie Metcalf and Octavia Spencer were as well. But, I’m going with Janny for her transformative performance as Tonya Harding’s mother.

Director: Guillermo Del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
He won director’s guild award. So he’s going to win this.

Animated Feature: “Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
I’m hearing good things form Loving Vincent, but haven’t seen it. I’ll stick with Pixar. 

Animated Short: “Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant

Adapted Screenplay: “Mudbound,” Virigl Williams and Dee Rees
Disaster Artist could win. I really enjoyed Logan and it would be cool to see a superhero script win, but I’m going with Mudbound.

Original Screenplay: ‘Lady Bird’, Greta Gerwig
I enjoyed The Big Sick, Shape of Water, and Get Out, but I think Gerwig’s coming-of-age dramedy is pretty, pretty slick.

Cinematography: Roger Deakins, ‘Blade Runner 2049’
Roger Deakins has been the Director of Photography on Skyfall, No Country for Old Men, Prisoners, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, among others. But he’s never won an Academy Award. This year, he will.

Best Documentary Feature: “Last Men in Aleppo" 

Best Documentary Short Subject: “Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
It’s was shot in Cleveland, so I have to pick this.

Best Live Action Short Film: “The Eleven O’Clock."

Best Foreign Language Film: “Loveless” (Russia)

Film Editing: “I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
Really loved the back and forth editing between the overall plot and the interview sessions. Hopefully the Academy agrees.

Sound Editing: “Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King

Sound Mixing: “Baby Driver"

Production Design: "The Shape of Water"
Toss up between Shape and Blade Runner. I’m going with Shape since it’s going to win best picture.

Original Score: “Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
I loved Zimmer’s score. Others hated it. Who knows? Maybe Phantom Thread will win.

Original Song: “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” 
This is my cold-stone lock. Bet this one in Vegas.

Makeup and Hair: “Darkest Hour,” 

Costume Design: “Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges

Visual Effects: “Blade Runner 2049"

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Eimertoons - Small Business Agent Cartoon

I've been slipping.

In reading. In pushing my creative chops outside of work. In (gulp!) cartooning.

I always said, if I gave up on doodling on sketchbooks and reading comic books then I've completely grown up and transformed into an old man. Never, I say. NEVER!

Which is why it was so nice that a designer approached me last week to create a cartoon for one of our external customer newsletters, which is supposed to accompany a crossword puzzle.

Truth be told, I was a little rusty. And I suck at drawing women. But, it all came back to me. And, the photoshop skills kicked in. Hell, I was even able to incorporate a little vector, fine-line action via Illustrator. This is by no means my best stuff. But it felt nice getting back on the horse again.
I have a poster-sized piece down in my basement that needs some ink applied to it. It's on my to-complete list for 2018. And this little piece just got my creative mojo humming.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Eimer's Best Movie Experiences of 2017

All in all, I watched some pretty good 2017 new releases this year. This is only a handful of the films that stood out. But I'm only going to give you 10. No more. No less.

So, please go out and snag these movies with your eyes. They're very good.

Oh, and please give my 1SentenceMoviesReviews Twitter Page some love. Feel free to like or retweet a couple of my posts while you're at it, too.

What about you? What were your favorites movie experiences of this year? Either new release or old release. I don't care!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Eimer's Worst Movie Experiences of 2017

This year, it seemed to me like there were a lot of dud movies in 2017, which is why I think I stayed away from a lot of the new releases.

Plus, with a 10-year old boy and almost 12-year old female tween in our household, we were able to watch a lot of movies from my past that needed to be seen by my kids including Time Bandits, Rain Man, Schindlers List,  Ferris Bueller, and of course, Problem Child 1 and the much-better sequel, and more and more and more.

So, for me, this year was steeped in nostalgia rather than the crap that sifts to the top of the sewer tank. In other words, Rottentomatoes, New Yorker and word of mouth helped me immensely in choosing my movies wisely.

In any event, is this list, like, the worst movies ever made? Probably not. They're just a handful of those so-so movies that I had high hopes for, and they ultimately disappointed or fell below par in the end.

C'est La Vie. Enjoy...

What about you? What's the worst movie you saw this year?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Eimer's Best Reads of 2017


To all of those unaware, I love Goodreads, a website/app that allows you to keep track of the books you previously read, books you want to read, and currently reading. It's a great book community site that, frankly, is a lot better than Facebook. It's been a real help for me when I enter a bookstore, or a library, or and my mind freezes and I can't remember what book I want to read next.

Well, I bring this up because, every year, I enter a reading challenge. It's sort of a motivator to kickstart my book-reading for the year. This year, I didn't do too shabby ...

That said, I came across a number of great books. Some good. Some bad. Most of which weren't printed in 2017. But, who cares, I'm playing catch-up with other decades (as you'll see below). Enjoy the list.

And, if you have time, send me the favorite book you've read in 2017. Of course, I'll toss it on my Goodreads 'to-read' queue. Links to if you're interested in purchasing.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
Although J.D. Vance is from Kentucky and grew up in Middleton, Ohio. And although he had more difficult parental issues than I could ever imagine, his account of life as a 'hillbilly' and the economic struggles his family entailed hits close to home. Great autobiographical, warts-and-all account of Vance's youthful upbringing. On a personal note, I grew up in Martins Ferry, Ohio (near Wheeling, West Virginia). I had a great life. I have great childhood memories. I was also very fortunate to have both a mother and father and loving relatives that helped raise me. But, I also grew up with a lot of poverty. You could honestly toss Vance's story into my hometown and not miss a beat. The cast of real-life family characters in his book echoes a lot of families in my small town (including my own). Look, I echo Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's sentiment that if you're born white, you automatically have a monstrous advantage — educationally, economically, culturally, in this society. But, for whatever reason, it doesn't feel like it if you grew up in this part of the country. Regardless if you're black or white, right or left, you have to feel for a lot of the other people that are trying to make ends meet in the hollers of Appalachian America. Again, good read. Highly recommended.

Great modern-day fantasy novel. The begining starts off a bit slow, but give it time - you'll be happy you did. I admire Hawkins creative mind and this is definitely a unique idea - one that hasn't been rehashed that's for sure. Don't want to give too much away, but there's a mixture of gods, lions, packs of wild dogs, people getting burned alive and resurrection. Just an oddly fantastical book that I would recommend to my fantasy-loving friends.

From a writing and structure perspective, this book is uniquely written - shooting from past to present with narrative and character changes in truly a unique fashion. And, surprisingly, it all works. I'm trying to jar my brain for a book that's been written in this exact way, but I'm at a loss. Perhaps Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five minus the time traveling? No. Through each chapter, we learn more and more about the passengers of a plane that crashed into the Atlantic traveling from Long Island back to New York. We also learn more about our main protagonist Scott Burroughs - with the police, FBI and national media on his tail. Is he a hero? Is he behind the crash? Is he in it for the money? It's interesting how Hawley (of Fargo TV series fame) weaves this rather mundane story into a page-turner of a novel. Check 'er out!

As someone that's (a) growing older, (b) currently going through career existentialism and (c) in the advertising field, this books hits home on a lot of different ways to me. Gill, is a much more successful advertising figure than myself and - after more than 15+ years at JWT finds himself out on his ass, due to seemingly two things (a) his big salary and (b) his age. Such is the life of a marketer. I've been told that 50-years old is the cut-off, termination point for many top creatives in the field. I guess old people can't be creative or something. They can't speak to the current purchasing generation, which I find is both insulting and bullshit. If this is the case, then I'm about 6 years away from searching for a new identity. Gill was as well. And, with his back against the wall, he decided to take a job at Starbucks - mainly for the insurance. But, in this transformation, from the man who had it all , to the man shilling drinks at a local coffee shop - Gill finds true happiness. This is a great read. Again, it hits home for me. But I think it could speak to people of all ages who are looking for something new, something different, something drastic change in their career.

For the past 20 years, I was dragging my feet on this book. "How could a book about a hermaphrodite be any good?" I would naively ruminate as I circled this book over and over again. Well, two thumbs up from three of my co-workers motivated me to give it a shot and color me impressed. This book is more than a person with male and female organs. It's a history lesson about Greece, it paints a picture of growing up in hustling-bustling pre-poverty stricken Detroit. It's filled with humor and action and fantastic dialogue. It's a wonderful, pleasant surprise! Should have read it about 20 years ago!

Great read. Merging two stories 50 years apart - one illustrated, one written - into one beautiful story. Not going to give away the ending, but, now, I would love to head to the two museums highlighted in the book and check out the creations that they discuss. Again, highly recommended. Almost could be compared to The Invention of Hugo Cabret in the sense that this book is a mystery that unfolds like the peels of an onion as each chapter continues.

Fantastic illustrations. Believable teenage dialogue. And a strong storyline. Highly recommended for everyone. Kids and adults.

I'm not a big business type of guy. Financially, I understand how the world works, but that's just about it. Sometimes I need a visual representation to get me through some of the heavy topics of life. In this case, capitalism. Kasser's book is good. But with added illustrative representation by Larry Gonic, it's a fantastic read. It reminds me of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics but with Capitalism. Kasser and Gonic take you through a history of capitalism in our country and around the world followed by it's steady rise into hypercapitalism. But it doesn't stop there, they also highlight ways to reverse the trends of corporate greed, low pay, and gluttonous buying. All in all, a great read - even for those people who have a hard time grasping these heady concepts ... like yours truly. 

Great book. Originally I thought this was going to be a yawner. A big slog through the JFK assassination. But, man, it turned out to be a suspenseful thriller, a history lesson on Lee Harvey Oswald and the fateful day, a romantic novel, plus a little science-fiction dabbled in - all in one. It's long. You've been warned. But, nevertheless, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. One piece of feedback. The narrator kept saying the word 'obdurate' and 'harmonize' over and over again. I get that he was trying to set this up for something to come in the novel, but that's very minor. Stephen King never fails to surprise me though. Just a big fan of his writing, even when I think I'm going to hate it.

Quick, fast read. There are better time travel books out there, but you have got to tip your hat to the imagination of H.G. Wells. He laid the groundwork and the inspiration for all of the other time travel books and movies that you see today. If you've seen the 1960 film, then - pretty much - this book will be very familiar (with the exception to the size and features of the two creatures). All in all, it's a pretty bleak look into the future. But, again, hats off to Wells and his fantastic vocabulary and writing style.

Other Top Reads From Year's Past:

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Eimer’s 2017 Fall Movie Viewing Wishlist

I hate fall. And I love fall.

I hate fall because I always get sick. Always, like four sinus infections, and some sort of intestinal flu. I also get a guaranteed migraine due to, what I believe is, the barometric pressure change in the atmosphere. Also, it's cold and shitty out. And never warm. Oh, and it gets dark earlier.

I love fall for the foliage. Halloween is always a favorite time for me. And let's not forget football. Glorious college and pro football. I also have a fondness in my heart for Thanksgiving and parties that always end up around a roaring wood fire. 

Oh, and I love fall movies, which - much like the seasons - signifies a major shift in the type of movies that are released. It's like a step up from the schlocky summer fare that the kids adore to some downright serious Academy Award contenders that adults implore. It's like the difference between a Fish Eye Merlot and a Francis Ford Copolla Claret - both available at CVS by the way.

So, with that said, here's a list of fall movies that I'm anticipating for the colder, crisper months that lie ahead.

IT – September 8
One of Stephen King’s best horror novels spread across two films? Plus a killer clown? Yep!

MOTHER! – September 15
Darren Aronofosky’s (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream) mysterious movie (with an exclamation point to boot) looks like an intriguing head scratcher.

After my high hopes for 'Lego Batman Movie' were squashed, hopefully this latest flick is much more of the original and a lot less of the bat plastic crap we saw earlier this year.

People may be sick of him, but I still like Tom Cruise. And I'm hoping this drug smuggling flick by ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ and 'Go!' director Doug Liman can get him back on track.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Oct. 6
You had me at ‘Blade Runner’. But add in 'Arrival' director Denis Villenueve, and I’m very interested. 

Jackie Chan meets 'First Blood' in this very apropos terrorist bombing revenge flick directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale).

One my favorite dramedy directors, Noah Baumbach, focuses his lens and script on three siblings healing old wounds while dealing with a disgruntled Dad.

Anthony Bourdain’s documentary on, well, see above, will probably be depressing, but entertaining at the same time. Right! Right?

The trailer gives too much away, but I’m still intrigued in this best selling book transformed into a thriller movie directed by Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).

My son recommended Brian Selznick’s award-winning book to me over the summer. I read it and was intrigued with the overall plot techniques. Curious how Todd Haynes (Carol, Far From Heaven) will handle this New York drama (that's all I can say!).

Creative, innovative, quirky Yorgos Lanthimos, of 'The Lobster' and 'Dogtooth' directorial fame, is back. And isn’t that enough?

George Clooney directs a dark comedy based on a Coen Brothers script about 59’s suburbia? Count this suburban asshole in!

The only reason this Marvel movie is on the list is because humorously eclectic director Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) is at the helm.

I’m a sucker for movies about movies. And this film, about making one of the worst reviewed films of all time (The Room) is another one. Directed by James Franco starring Franco and Seth Rogan.

Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim) looks to be returning to his creepy horror roots in this aquatic creature/human love story? (note the question mark)

Well, duh!

The pro: Vince Vaughn plays a badass in prison with a kick-ass movie title. The con: It’s directed by the guy who did Bone Tomahawk, which everyone loved, but I hated.

GEOSTORM – Oct. 20
My kids are pumped for this over-steroidal SFX showcase highlighting weather and global catastrophes. You know what? So am I!

JIGSAW – Oct. 27
I gave up on the SAW series after the third film. This new trailer looks appealing enough to dip my severed toe into it once again.

I gave the graphic novel by Derf rave reviews. But, is there enough meat in this human morsel about the notorious serial killer’s high school exploits in Bath, Ohio, to sustain a full-length feature meal? Burp!

Kenneth Branaugh directs a fantastic cast of Depp, Cruz, Dench, Pfeiffer and himself in this Agatha Christie classic, which I’ve never read.

  • Flatliners – Sept. 29
  • Only the Brave – Oct. 20
  • LBJ – Nov. 3
  • Daddy’s Home 2 – Nov. 10
  • Justice League – Nov. 17
  • Wonder – Nov. 17
  • Jumanji – Dec. 20

Well, do you agree/disagree? Enquiring minds like mine want to know!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The nose knows that I’m making punny sense about scents

A couple weeks ago, I was involved in a brainstorm meeting at work. I grabbed a marker to start doodling ideas on our white board. Then, a familiar scent hit my nose.

The glorious smell of black licorice.
Zap! I was transported back to Kindergarten at Hilltop Elementary. Singing B-I-N-G-O with my pleasantly plump teacher Miss Barrisford.

I gazed down at the writing instrument in my hand. It was a scented black marker. Ignoring everyone’s crazy looks, I pulled the marker up to my nose and took a deep breath. The memory of that school, the song—more than 40 years ago—became more and more distinct in my mind.


In a zombie-like trance, I walked over to the other scented markers and began sniffing like my cat inhales luggage after we return from a weeklong vacation. Each distinct smell brought back a distinct vision in my brain.

Zap! Putting the finishing touches on a Santa Claus drawing in Ms. Ramser’s first-grade class anxiously awaiting the bus to leave on Christmas break. 

Zap! First-grade art class. It was storming outside. Mr. Reithmiller, our art teacher, was showing us how to draw an owl.

Zap! Six-years old sitting in the hot attic of a church in Martins Ferry during Sunday School. I was painting a picture of a sun and clouds. Ironically, no gods or angels.

Then I started thinking about all those other good, bad and ugly aromas that you come across every now and again that gives you a Chuck Norris round-house kick to the amygdala.

Mildew mixed with mothballs.
Zap! Playing tag with my brother and exploring the old, dusty antiques and tools in my Grandma Eimer’s basement in Shadyside, Ohio circa 70’s.

Sweet & sour odor of the recycling canister.
Zap! My high school senior year doing community service at a recycling center in Martins Ferry.  I got busted destroying a nativity scene in our downtown park. That terrible smell singed on my nostrils is a life-sentence memory of my regrettable crime.

Mud, grass, fresh rain, and spring flowers.
Zap! An Easter of my youth—dressed up in my Sunday best dragging a huge Easter basket filled complete with a chocolate rabbit with yellow googly edible eyes.

Fresh-cut grass.
Zap! Football Friday Night circa 1984. I’m preparing to head down to the Ferry football field with my mom to hang out with the McSwords twins, watch the football game—as well as my brother, who was in the high school marching band.

Body odor. Mildew. Fresh Paint.
Zap! Walking into the locker room under the bleachers of Martins Ferry Stadium after two-a-day practices in eighth grade—the first time I ever wore pads to play football.

Dead skunk on the road.
Zap! Heading home from Cedar Point in the dead of night with my family when I was 8 or 9 years old. I was sleeping in backseat and my dad hit a skunk. That smell remained for the rest of the car ride home. It also brings back those not-to-distant memories of a good bag of sticky, stinky college weed.

Most of my memories revert me back to my youth, but there’s always one distinct smell that reminds me of my college years and beyond.

Women’s Perfume.
Every fragrance of perfume is unique—as is every woman I’ve dated. I don’t know the fragrances. I don’t know the brand names. But, I know that distinct smell. And if I catch that certain pleasant aroma as I pass a random female on the street …

Zap! I’m immediately transported back to that particular girlfriend who wore that distinct perfume. They’re all pleasant, positive memories. Just, regular, everyday memories, like sitting in the car, or waking up in the morning, or just hanging in their apartment listening to music and drinking some frosty beverages.

Which brings me to my final story.

I was at some random house using some random bathroom when I came across a canister of Glade Jubilant Rose® & Lavender & Peach Blossom. Curious, I grabbed the can and sprayed a tiny mist into the air. After a brief millisecond, I inhaled.

Zap! I was catapulted back more than 20 years ago to The Gentleman’s Club Strip Club in Cleveland. The same, exact aroma was emanating off a stripper who was giving my good buddy a lap dance. 

I had turned down this particular stripper because she looked too much like my aunt.