Monday, January 4, 2016

Eimer's Best Movie Experiences of 2015

              

Welp, it's that time of the year once again when I spew out all of my favorite films to you - showcase my breadth and depth of movie tastes and showcase how smart and knowledgeable I am about movies.

That said, I had the opportunity to see a lot more movies with and without my children at the theater as well. Just another sign that they're growing up and we're able to hit some of the big ones away from the dreaded TV screen. 

It's always tough selecting this list. My thought process is to pick movies that live with me two, three weeks, even months after viewing them. Movies that are different, unique, distinctly awesome. Movies that I feel myself thinking about long after the final credits roll. 


So without further adieu, please enjoy my Top Eleven Movie Experiences of the past year - brought to you by my Twitter-handle 1SentenceMovieReviews. Sure it's a shameless plug: so, please follow me - now!

#11 - It Follows


#10 - Beasts of No Nation


#9 - The Big Short


#8 - Love & Mercy


#7 - The Martian


#6 - What We Do In the Shadows


#5 - The Hateful Eight


#4 - Room


#3 - Inside Out


#2 - Mad Max: Fury Road


#1 - Ex Machina

The Rest of the Pack:
  • Creed
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
  • St. Vincent
  • Jurassic World
  • Everest
  • Whiplash
  • Mistress America
  • While We're Young
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
  • The Equalizer
  • Wild
  • Birdman
  • Nightcrawler
  • Still Alice
  • The Gift
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Tomorrowland
  • Coherence
  • Goodnight Mommy
  • Force Majeure
  • Foxcatcher

A Note About Star Wars
Many of your nerds are probably like, "Huh? What? Why didn't he put the new Star Wars on his list? It was awesome, dude!"

Below is my review written on December 21.



Although I liked the movie (liked), I just can't put it in my Top Ten List due to two overwhelming flaws of that particular film:

  • First flaw: The too outrageous and too obvious similarities between The Force Awakens and A New Hope.
  • Second flaw: JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan actually decided to include another Death Star in this film. Not counting the prequels, THAT MAKES THREE DEATH STARS IN FOUR FILMS! For shame.

CHECK OUT MORE OF EIMER'S FAVORITES:

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Eimer's Worst Movie Experiences of 2015

          

Although it was a great year for movies in 2015, I did come across some not-so-good ones in the batch. So, with that, I'll start with a poem:

Below are the duds ...
The turds. The failures, flops and busts. 
The worsts. The washouts, lemons and mutts. 
The dumbest, stupidest films that flashed before my eyes. 
The two hours plus that I'll never get back alive. 

Enjoy the following (in no particular order), compliments of my evil movie-going doppelgänger Twitter feed: One-Sentence Movie Review

Get Hard

The Giver


Before I Go To Sleep


Men, Women & Children


Vacation


The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies


Dumb and Dumber To


Pixels


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 & 2



Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


LOOKING FOR MORE SHITTY MOVIES?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Eimer's Best Reads of 2015


               

For whatever reason, I didn't read a lot of books this year. Boo freaking hoo, right? But, I did manage to squeeze out ten fantastic reads that I did, in fact, enjoy immensely.

Have a looksee won't you. I should note that most of these books weren't published in 2015 (with the exception to Mr. Clive Barker).

That said, I'm looking forward to a 2016 of more reading, more creativity and more cartoons. So wish me luck. In the meantime, please enjoy the list (with links to Amazon in case you want to purchase):

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner
Buettner travels around the world from village to village interviewing these pockets areas where people live past 100 years old. The book is filled with a lot of great stories from fellow centenarians as well as tips and tactics to get you to 100 years old as well. So, what's the secret to longevity? Pretty much everything that you know you should be doing, but aren't doing it right now. (drinking more water, eating better, no meat, exercise, etc. etc.) Still it's a quick, entertaining read that will motivate you to do at least a little something to increase your chances at an extended life.

You're Next by Greg Hurwitz
Great suspense thriller. I couldn't put this book down. Hurwitz creates some interesting characters (both good and bad) and a creative plot, which moves along at rapid-fire speed. Again, very interesting storyline that had me guessing all the way until the end.  And, if you have kids, a couple very heart-breaking scenes that will crush the faint of heart. Not to be confused with the crappy home-invasion movie of the same name. But, that said, for some reason I tossed this into my book queue, which usually means that it's going to be made into some sort of movie or TV series. We will see.

When Advertising Tried Harder by Lawrence Dobrow
Good inspiration for all of those copywriters and art directors out there. Sure, the ideas are a bit dated, but the inspiration is totally there. I was completely motivated by this book. In fact, it empowered me to try to create something new, something fresh and something different at my current job. And it worked! If you're in the industry, you'll love the history and the stories behind some of the first, initial ground-breaking ad work. This is a great companion piece to Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull. Two different roads to creative excellence.

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
Very creative interesting sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, horror, thriller mash-up. Reminded me of a mix between HARRY POTTER meets MEN IN BLACK meets X-MEN - all told through a female heroine protagonist's point of view (or should I say two?) Extremely creative writing. Keeping track of the timeline really had to mess with O'Malley's mind, because he weaves this complicated story nicely. One fault, and a minor peace of criticism, was the James Bond-ish ending when the villain explains why he/she did it - while the main protagonist plots their escape. That said, don't let that little piece of negativity stop you from reading this book. Looking forward to checking out the second. Thumbs up all the way!

The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
Had a chance to see T.C. Boyle do a reading in Ohio and was embarrassed when I realized I hadn't read any of his books. So, I picked up this on based on a recommendation from a friend (World's End is coming up). It's very bleak, dark book about California, droughts, illegal immigration and the haves and the have nots of our society. Boyle splits his story between an illegal immigrant who recently crossed the border struggling to survive as well as a well-to-do family living in a suburban, gated community in the California hills. It all starts with a car accident, then spins into a nicely woven, well-written story. Funny this book came out in 1995 because it's hitting on a lot of hot topics that are happening today in California that you currently see in the news. By no means is it a happy book, but it's an important one nonetheless.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs
Very interesting, creative book. I read that Tim Burton was taking the directorial reins for the film version, which piqued my interest. This is right up Burton's alley with an outcast boy that's catapulted into crazy worlds, fantastical creatures, amazing lands and, of course, peculiar children. Looking forward to delving into the rest of the author's world as the kids track down ... oh, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself now aren't I? Very surprisingly good read.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
A boy crashes in a plane in Canada with only his hatchet to survive in the wild. Great quick read. Reminded me of the movie CASTAWAY, but for teens. Perfect young adult book for adventurous, outdoor-loving kids of all ages. You may even pick up some help if (and when) you ever get lost out in the wild. Check 'er out.

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Great book. Dahl loves to toe the political correctness line between wholesome and horrific and I love every minute of it. This is a perfect example of writing from the heart and not writing for everyone. My kids are eating up these books, which is why I'm revisiting these tasty little poisoned candies once again. Check it out. Fun quick read for young and old readers!

The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
Barker enters familiar territory in this final(?) look at the world's most famous Hellraiser - Pinhead. As a fan of the author for 30+ years, I respect Barker's vivid, creative mind and storytelling ability. This book does not disappoint as he follows a band of misfits including a detective, a clairvoyant and other miscreants who toe line between good and evil who have a run-in with the fearsome cenobite, with disturbingly bloody results. From the first chapter, you know you're heading down a very dark road that will eventually take you into the bowels of hell. Great writing. Unique plot. Just a good solid unique work of horror fiction. Warning: this book is not for the squeamish. You've been warned, so be prepared.

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Another Dahl Classic. Just a fun read from start to finish, with a very quirky storyline that wouldn't have passed the PC police in today's time. You have to admire Dahl's go for broke writing style with no inhibitions whatsoever. I envy the guy. But in a good way. Enjoy!

Other Top Reads From Year's Past:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Eimertoons - Work Stuff

Boss: "Hey Brad, can you draw a can of SPAM, Gene Simmons fan in a casket and a girl riding an ostrich in less than an hour for a pitch on Monday morning?"

Me: "No problem!"




Tuesday, September 29, 2015

12 Inspiring Books About The Creative Process

Based on some sound advice from copyranter, I picked up an advertising book called ‘When Advertising Tried Harder: The Sixties: The Golden Age of American Advertising’ by Lawrence Dobrow. The book is good. It highlights the exact moment when the ad agency as you know it today formed … a creative director, a copywriter and an art director working in unison to create great ideas in both form and function that answers to the goddamn brief (most of the time).

The book inspired me! My next idea (which I cannot share right now due to legal mumbo jumbo) pushed the creative bar. Working with a talented team of writers and designers, we pulled off the impossible, and put together a half-decent ad concept, which spawned an entire look and feel for the website, printed collaterals, emails, and banner ads. Yay!

I wanted to pay it forward by sharing 12 books that have catapulted my occipital cortex to creative greatness; 12 books that talk about the turmoil, the struggle, and the internal strife that affects every creative person. The creative process. The damned, gut-wrenching, glorious creative process.

Whether you’re a writer, actor, designer, painter, Lego builder, cartoonist, bartender, or even a garbage man—I'm certain you'll get some tiny creative nuggets from each of these books that will inspire, or reaffirm, the way that you approach a new creative concept. (Complete with links to Amazon.com.

King gets personal with some tidbits about his life, his drug addiction and his accident (which almost killed him)—complete with some nuggets about his creative process and how he hates when people use adverbs.
Through these essays, Bradbury weaves little tidbits of his personal life combined with diligent practices that he used to transformed himself into one of the best short storytellers in the biz.

You know what I hate? Books written by successful businessmen that talk about their successes and never about their failures. Catmull, one of the founders of Pixar and the current President of Pixar animation and Walt Disney Animation Studios, does the exact opposite. This book is filled with failures, mistakes, blunders and the like that happened to Pixar.

Many of you millennials may not know William Goldman. At the time, he was the hottest screenwriter in Hollywood as well as a respected and published author. Here, check out his Wikipedia entry if you don’t believe me. In any event, Goldman talks about the industry, his process, his successes and, more importantly, his failures. He even shows you how he goes about adapting his own short story into a screenplay. If you like this, then you should also check out his follow-up, Which Lie Did I Tell? MoreAdventures In the Screen Trade.

I read this book about 16 years ago and it still resonates with me to this day. Corman talks about his creative process and his go-for-broke film-making style. He’s like a film-making MacGyver, figuring out how to use all the pieces and parts of his films to make money--with great back stories about his films.

You may not think you’re going to get anything out of this book, but you will. Creatively, Stern pushed the bar in his industry so much that he had to invent the rules in order to break them. Lots of good stuff here that will motivate you to shoot for the moon - and hopefully land among the stars.

Callahan became a quadriplegic after an auto accident when he was 21. After that, he transformed his angst into cartoon form – with extremely controversial results. Personally, I thought they were funny. But, a lot of people didn't share my same feelings. This memoir that talks about how he vanquished his inhibitions and just drew whatever morbid muse sparked his fancy.

Chuck has an ego, but that’s okay. He also has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Again, okay. After you read this memoir, you’ll understand a bit more about this ultra-creative man who dreamed up most of the Looney Tunes characters you’ve grown to love. There are tons and tons of entertaining stories on his successes, failures and battles with the powers that be - not to mention basic office life at Warner Brothers studios. Highly recommended.

This is a blow-by-blow history of Mad Magazine including stories from the usual gang of idiots who contributed to the inspirational, best-selling magazine of my youth. Great stories about editor Harvey Kurtzman and eccentric publisher William Gaines (who also created the oft-repeated, never duplicated Tales from the Crypt series).

Just some great inside stories from the cast, crew, directors, guest stars and writers. In addition to the history of the show, you get a first-person account (from the creative people themselves) on the entire creative process, how skits are written,  how they're chosen and, finally, how they’re performed, etc - with backstories galore. Sadly, Eddie Murphy refused to be interviewed for the book (asshole).

Just an inspirational story about how a budding filmmaker made his own path and put together some dough to make a small movie for a small Mexican market and how it just exploded. Rodriguez goes through everything here from how he sold his body to medicine for production money, to his screenwriting process, all the way to filming and post-production – and finally instant success. It’s a road with a lot of bombs, failures and potholes, which I love to read about.

If you're a fan of STAR WARS, or a fan of the film-making process, you'll love this book. It's a long book with very small text. But it kept my enthralled from beginning to end. Great behind the scenes pics and inside scoops on the heartbreak, the triumph and the creativity that was poured into this film. This is the definitive book on one of the most important movies of all time. Highly recommended.

So, now it's your turn. Do you have any recommendations that aren't on this list?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Top Ten 2015 Fall Movies I Would Kill Someone To See



Well, I don't think I would actually kill someone, but just trying to snag some attention from the SEO spider robots out there.

In any event, I like Autumn. Like. But I fucking love Fall Movies. After scanning Rotten Tomatoes, reading Entertainment Weekly and listening to the scuttlebutt around the office (there are a lot of Millennials here), I've compiled a list of my Top Ten Anticipated Movies that myself, and my beer-drinking jacket, will attend.


Oh, haven't I ever told you about my beer-drinking jacket? Well, since most theaters in my area don't serve alcohol, I have this old black pea coat that I've had for about 12 years. But what makes this pea coat extra awesome it that I purposely ripped out the internal seams so I can easily and stealthily fill it with about four or five cold cans of beer. I can pass keenest ticket takers in the industry with this kick-ass jacket. Some may call me an alcoholic. But I look at myself as a precocious, forward thinker.

But, first the (not-really) Autumn (but not-really) Summer Movie I Would Kill to see:

Everest (Sept. 18)
All-star cast. Death and drama during the deadliest night on Earth's highest mountain in 1996 ... maybe I'll take the kids :)

And, here's the the Autumn 2015 list:

The Martian (Oct. 2)
I thought the Andy Weir book was highly enjoyable. I have full confidence that Master Director Ridley Scott will knock this film adaptation out of the park.

Steve Jobs (Oct. 9)
Academy-award winner Danny Boyle works with Michael Fassbender as Jobs in hopes of eclipsing the disappointing 2013 film that starred Asthon Kutcher. Won't be too hard.

Beasts of No Nation (Oct. 16)
The dude who directed the first True Detective. The good one. Cary Fukunaga. Netflix world-wild distribution. Gritty African Civil War. Mercenary Fighters. Sold.

Crimson Peak (Oct. 16)
Like a little freaking fan boy, I always get excited when Guillermo Del Toro gets behind the camera (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth) – let alone behind the camera of a horror movie in which he created the story and the screenplay.

Spectre (Nov. 6)
I’m not a big Bond fan. But I’m intrigued by what Academy-Award winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Skyfall) and new cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema (Interstellar, Le the Right One In, Her) can whip up.

The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25)
After the success of Inside Out, Pixar goes for a two-fecta in the same year. Trailer looks amazing. Looks like a mixture between Ice Age and Disney’s Dinosaurs, but better.
  

In The Heart of the Sea (Dec. 11)
I’m a sucker for stories involving bodies of water and some sort of disaster and/or crazy creature (i.e. Jaws, Lake Placid, All is Lost, The Perfect Storm) – especially if said film has both a disaster and a crazy creature, and was supposed to be the true inspiration for the book Moby Dick

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dec. 18)
Duh.

The Hateful Eight (Dec. 25)
Quentin Tarantino brings Reservoir Dogs to the Wild West. Saddle up!

The Revenant (Dec. 25)
The Academy-Award winning director of Birdman. Leonardo DiCaprio. Kick-ass cinematography. Revenge drama set during 1820. Oh, and a bear attack. Yes, please.

Did I miss any favorites on your list? Well, I don't care. If you see me and my pea coat in full glory at one of the above movies, be sure to tap me on the shoulder for a lukewarm one on me.

See you at the theater!