Friday, December 31, 2010
PLEASE NOTE: I didn't attach any IMDB info on this one because, frankly, this an announcement to the masses to save your money - and your time.
Consider yourself warned:
The Last Exorcism (2010)
Lots of potential, but basically a flat fart in the end. It's THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT with a possessed kid instead of a witch. You have your film crew. You have your main character talking to the camera. You have your cinematographer. Blah. Blah. Blah. I read about the 'crazy' ending. But, it's all bogus. The whole movie is a sham to get little teenybopper girls to the theaters and scream into their boyfriends arms. In this case, you'll be screaming - for your money back and your 87 minutes back. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
Leaves of Grass (2009)
Meh. If you're into acting performances, the only reason to check out this film is to see Ed Norton play indentical twins from the opposite ends of the spectrum (a' la Cage in ADAPTATION). I had high hopes for this film from Actor/Director/Writer Tim Blake Nelson. But this film just didn't know what it wanted to be. A black comedy? A drama? A crime thriller. In my opinion, with so many great comedic actors (including Dreyfuss), he should have stuck the comedy route.
Date Night (2010)
Oh man. This movie was bad. Once again Hollywood insults the intelligence of couples who are seemingly too timid and too stupid to handle the big city simply because they live in the suburbs. But that's not my biggest gripe. It's sad watching Carell and Fey try to deliver unfunny lines through a seemingly unfunny script. I feel for them. It's a pity, because I had high hopes for this film that wanted to be everything (i.e. comedy, action-adventure, drama and romance), but instead turned into 88 minutes of nothing. Skip this. You've been warned.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Meh. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this film, but it definitely wasn't this. I figured out what was going to happen in the end about 15 minutes into the film. Speaking of the ending, it was a big block of Hollywood cheese. Why not make it true to Gordon Gecko's character instead of trying to accomodate the American masses who desire a happy ending of their films? A brief cameo from original WALL STREET actor Charlie Sheen reminded me of what was so great about the original film, and not so great about this film. Oliver Stone sold out and should be very ashamed of this end product.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
Meh. Interesting concept: to have a different Bad Lieutenant movie for each major city directed by a different director. However, this one falls flat. Nic Cage isn't bad enough. Plus, he sort of transforms into a drunken, buzzed-up Jimmy Stewart for the second-half of the film. I was expecting more from Werner Herzog. Plus, what the heck is Val Kilmer doing nowadays? He's been reduced to a supporting character role.
The Human Centipede: First Sequence (2009)
Whoa Nelly! Watching this movie is like running a horrific half-marathon...with your eyes. 95% of the people that read this review will be turned off by this movie. Its torture horror at its finest (or worst). If you think youre in the other 5% group, then check er out. Even though it served as inspiration of a holiday Eimertoon, I dont think I'll ever watch this mess of a movie again. It's an interesting idea, but the director didnt really didnt think his creation through in how the centipede would actually obtain nourishment. If you watch the movie, youll see what I mean. Scratch that, don't watch it.
To be brutally honest (no pun intended), I wasn't feeling this film at all. I wanted to, especially after reading the positive critical reviews. I really, really wanted to like this movie. But, in the back of my mind, I felt that this movie had been made before. Then I remembered Eric Bana's acting debut CHOPPER, which tells the same type of story as this flick, but is ten times better. I understand this was on a lot of top 10 lists and all that jazz. But I just felt this movie was all retread.
Jennifer's Body (2009)
Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Blech. Just like Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN, plenty of bark, but no bite. Even cutey-pie Megan Fox and a snarky script by Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) can't pull this horror movie demon/dracula/zombie high-school murder retread out of the 2-star dumpster. Rent Sam Raimi's DRAG ME TO HELL instead. It's a far superior film compared to this piece of poo. Next.
A Perfect Getaway (2009)
The more I think about this movie, the more I'm positive I'm not going to remember it in two years. Heck, even two months. Great cinematography. But that's about it. Everyone will swoon over the twist ending. But it's more of a twist middle. The rest of the movie is all Scooby Doo or should I say Scooby Pooh. (ha! I'm funny) Timothy Olyphant acts like a poor-man's Bill Paxton. I'm also convinced the other actors signed on the dotted line for an excuse to film a movie in Hawaii. I loved Twohy's PITCH BLACK, but none of his movies since have cut the mustard for me. Like I said, meh. But, hey, at least there's some hints of nudity to keep you entertained. I said hints.
The Box (2009)
Meh. I think the whole idea of Richard Matheson's short story was the fact that the reader wasn't sure why the box and the button was happening to this specific couple. In the film version, Director/Writer Richard Kelly leaves no stone unturned in telling us his thoughts on The Box and the mysterious man. To be honest, I'm pretty sure I didn't want to know. Matheson's story is, arguably, one of the finest horror short stories ever written. Kelly bastardizes this chilling story into a SOUTHLAND TALES-type conspiracy theory that threatens the very fabric of our existence. Too much information in this overblown, overhyped movie. Which begs the questions, is Kelly a one-hit wonder?
Next Monday: Eimer's Best Reads of 2010.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Below are my 11 favorite films that I viewed in 2010.
As you all know, I don't go to the theater that often, so I missed the biggies including The Black Swan, The Social Network, True Grit and other critical darlings such as The King's Speech, Hereafter and The Fighter.
That's why most of these films are available on DVD, HBO and On Demand. And, due to my extensive Netflix DVD queue, some of these weren't even released in 2010.
Now, with that disclaimer, I give to you my 11 favorite films of 2010 (in no particular order):
What a fun, entertaining super-hero film. A bit gory for the younger lads. But, this is a truly refreshing take on the boring super-hero franchise that's exploding in Hollywood. Director Matthew Vaugn puts together a fun, faithful adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's graphic novel of the same name. Check ' er out in all it's gory glory.
Look, I know the dream thing has been done before (i.e. DREAMSCAPE, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, BRAINSTORM, STRANGE DAYS, etc), but man, was I ever impresssed with this movie. The Nolan brothers created a fantastic, creative film that makes you think one day, two weeks, a year after you watch it. It's these type of creative movies that gets me pumped up about the future of the movie industry. This may not be the Best Movie of the Year, but it should be commended for it's brashness, creativity, special effects intricate plot - not to mention fantastic ending. Check 'er out!
I'm a fan of creative, thought-provoking time travel movies such as TIME BANDITS, BACK TO THE FUTURE, 12 MONKEYS and PRIMER. TIME CRIMES is another great movie to add to the list. Rather than focusing on a big spectacle of a film, Director Nacho Vigalondo uses his modest budget to create an intimate, thought-provoking look into the intricacies and eventual pitfalls of time travel - with only four actors! I'll admit I was a little hesitant and dubious when I read the critical praise and positive reviews. But this film exceeded expectations. NOTE: If you rent this DVD, choose the Spanish-language version with English subtitles. I'm not a big fan of Dubbed English. Check 'er out.
The Kids Are All Right
Great story, plot, screenplay and direction. However, it's the acting that makes this film stand apart from a lot of the crap out there today. Watching Annette Bening, Julienne Moore and Mark Ruffalo ply their trade is worth the rental alone. Writer/Director Lisa Cholodenko has created a very original film about a very unique family. Highly recommended.
Toy Story 3
Fresh new story to make this one of the best trilogies of all time. Great story. Great direction. Fantastic animation and art direction. Phenomenal flick. However, take the kids with a small warning, this is the darkest of the three. However, that's probably why I enjoyed it so much. Also, this is the only movie of 2010 that I almost cried. I said almost.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
I'll admit, I was a bit wary at the beginning of this film. The animation didn't look click for some reason. However, in less than five minutes, I completely fell in love with this film. This movie is vintage Wes Anderson in animation form with his cast of regulars lending their voices. Great, witty script by Anderson, Baumbach and - of course - Roald Dahl truly adds that special touch to the film that hurdles it over the three-star quagmire. Possibly after a couple viewings, it may sneak into a five-star film. Just a wonderful animated film that's on-par with anything Pixar or Disney has ever created.
Dark, bleak, depressing and horrific - but it's a damn good movie just the same. Director John Hillcoat once again knocks a movie out of the ballpark. And cintematographer Javier Aguirresarobe is dead on. Exactly what I pictured when I read McCarthy's book (three times!) As the book states, this movie defines what it means to be a father. However, this movie isn't for everyone. Some people watch movies to escape the drudgery of life. The Road forces you to face your humanity and, possibly, pull yourself up and fight for one more day. One of my favorite books of all time. Pretty damn good movie too.
I'm not sure where all the haters were coming from with this movie (could it have been the side plot about the children?), but I thought this was not only a great Scorcese film, but a great film...period. Great acting, directing (of course!), editing by long-time Scorcese editor Thelma Shoonmaker and plot by Dennis Lehane's suspenseful novel. Lest I forget fantastic cinematography by veteran shooter Robert Richardson (KILL BILL, BASTERDS and WALL STREET). The final scene prior to credits adds another dimension that wasn't present in Lehane's book. Let the head scratching begin. Check 'er out.
Fantastic documentary. If this doesn't wake you up about humanity and what's going to happen when we run out of oil, I'm not sure what will. Take a break from your bubble-gum comedies, vampire dramas and sci shoot-em ups and watch this film. As the front of the DVD states...Superb. Riveting. Mesmerizing. And very frightening.
The Ghost Writer
Polanski does it again. Great political thriller that is both entertaining, easy to understand and surprisingly fun! Reminded me of a Kubrick film. Great acting all around, too. Kim Catrell does a good job in an non-SEX AND THE CITY role - with all her clothes on, too! Ewan, Pierce and the rest of the cast come together to make a splendid film with a fantastic ending. Check er' out.
Fantastic film. Great directing cinematography, acting and story. In a way, this movie reminded my of Capatin Willard searching for Colonel Kurtz in APOCALYPSE NOW. But, it's a truly unique film that gives an unflinching look at poverty, deadbeat dads, drug abuse and family. Jennifer Lawrence carries this film on her shoulders as Ree Dolly. Just like 2009's under-the-radar breakout film THE HURT LOCKER, this film is not to be missed.
Well, there you have it. I'm sure it would have changed had I seen The Social Network, The Black Swan, and the other above mentioned films. But these were my personal best of 2010. Hopefully this will motivate you to check some of these flicks out that you may not have seen.
Tomorrow: The 10 Worst Movies I viewed in 2010.
Monday: The 10 Best Books I read in 2010.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Then I started thinking about Holidays. Then I started thinking about the best holiday.
Then I started thinking about my mom.
Last week, we were talking about holidays and she said, "Seems weird don't it?"
"What," I asked my mom.
"Never thought about it," I said.
"Well, it's just funny that everyone in the entire United States bought into this, this, this weird holiday where you buy a turkey, bake it and eat it on a specific day."
After thinking about it, I said, "Yeah, that is weird."
"What if we just told them to fuck off," my mom blurted out.
"The people that create these stupid holidays."
I found myself nodding to my mom in agreement, like she was delivering a sermon to hundreds of thousands of listeners at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
"Yeah," I screamed.
You know, mom is right. Holidays are weird. But, just like pooping on the toilet or eating lunch or watching TV or riding a bike - a lot of things humans do are pretty weird.
But, after mulling over the different holidays and thinking about which holiday is the best, I may have to go with two options - Fourth of July and Memorial Day.
Memorial Day kicks off the great weather in Ohio. Memorial Day is the official crack of the gun to start the race of warmness to Northeast Ohio. Plus, you know damn well you're going to be drunk at least one of the three vacation days.
Fourth of July is awesome for a number reasons. First, it's right smack dab in the middle of summer, lots of parties, lots of drinking, lots of friendly get togethers and people blowing the shit out of stuff.
Also, it's two days before my birthday, and on the opposite side of the spectrum on the calendar than Christmas.
Not sure that consitutes a good holiday. But, there's very little that needs to be done to enjoy these two great holidays.
Except for copious amounts of drinking.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Truthfully, I probably would not have rented this flick unless Katie Holmes married Tom Cruise.
Not 100% accurate. More so, because I looked up her filmography on IMDB and noticed that this was the only movie I hadn't seen starring Mrs. Cruise.
Plus, everyone on the site was talking about how good it was, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Turns out I really enjoyed it and – at 88 minutes long – it was the perfect length. With tattoos, black nail polish and (Gasp!) a black boyfriend – Katie’s character is the black sheep of a rather crazy, dysfunctional family as she prepares for Thanksgiving dinner at her rather small apartment in the city. Mom has cancer and hates her daughter for being so (insert any word here). Dad is trying to paste the family together. Two siblings have their own problems as well. Plus with Grandmother in tow, you’ve got a great concoction for disaster.
The movie splits up into three parts: family’s trip to New York, Katie’s trials and tribulations of trying to prepare Thanksgiving dinner and her boyfriend’s trip through the city (A drug deal perhaps?). In any event, everything comes together and – in a sense – the end of the movie is a beginning of sorts that brings a tear to your eye.
Great little movie that could. And a perfect representation to America's most dysfunctional holiday.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
However, trutch be told, there are, in fact, a lot of things my kids do that downright pisses me off.
But, once in a while (okay more than once in a while), they say something or do something that puts a great big smile on my face and makes me proudly say, "Yep, them's my kids."
Case in point was something that happened a couple days ago. I showed both of my kids (my 3-old son and 4-old daughter) the 50 monsters cartoon, which I posted last week prior to Halloween.
They were mesmerized. My daughter more so than my son. She was particularly taken by this image:
"What's that?" she asked.
"Oh, that's from the movie The Thing," I said.
"What is it?"
"It's a creature that takes the form of other creatures and, sort of, morphs into them via some crazy biology."
I don't think she really understood my answer. However, that was about the extent of the conversation.
I looked at her face and she was still transfixed. I was proud that she liked my stuff.
Yesterday, when I picked my daughter from school, she approached me with a proud smile on her face and handed me the following picture:
"The Thing," she said with a beeming beautiful smile.
Not sure about you, but it does look like the creature Kurt Rusell confronted in the final scene.
Friday, November 5, 2010
However with this film, I tried and tried and tried to suspend my disbelief and roll with this movie.
I just couldn’t.
The acting, the direction and the stupid, stupid script didn’t enthrall me one bit during its 90-minute run. And that bums me out because I was hoping M. Night would finally get his shit together and hit one out of the park like he did with UNBREAKABLE and THE SIXTH SENSE.
I’m now convinced that’s not going to happen unless he starts more collaboration and less dictatorship with his movies. Now when I see the words WRITTEN, PRODUCED & DIRECTED BY M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN at the beginning of a movie, I’m going to groan. And the really sucky thing about this movie is that it had potential to be a really cool horror movie. But it just turned into dumb.
From the wind blowing in the wrong direction of the jet stream to the old lady in the small town, to the wind blowing and more wind blowing to signify some type of Jason Voorhees character is on the hunt of packs of people (Which begs the question how many is too many? And I didn’t know nature could count?) this movie is so ludicrous that it’s not even worth talking about anymore.
Okay one more thing. In the extras section of the DVD, there’s an anatomy of a scene production where, it appears M. Night spent about three-to-four days shooting this one scene where a jeep rams into a tree and bodies are thrown from the vehicle. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool scene. But, as I was watching this production I was thinking to myself that M. Night should have focused more time tinkering with his terrible script than trying to film a cool scene for the masses.
In a nutshell, that’s what bothers me about this film and his last film LADY IN THE WATER…plenty of tree bark, but no bite.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
....then we stare at each other.
"So, what do you guys want to do now?" I ask interrupting the brief, but poignant,silence.
Big devilish smiles appear on their faces as they scream, "Monster!"
"RAWR," I yell, as a I transform into the monster (a la American Werewolf in London) and chase them around the house all the while hurling them through the air and twist them around and around until I almost puke.
Well...yesterday, after dinner, the kids screamed that they wanted to play monster. Not sure if it was the long, drawn out Halloween festivities or the tedious repition of the week, but I said a stern, "No, not tonight."
Immediately, their smiles turned upside down. My son even began to cry.
"Hey, hey don't cry," I said. "It's okay."
Then, for some stupid reason, I started to sing Kumbaya:
'Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya; Kum bay ya, the Lord, kum bay ya; Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya, O Lord, kum bay ya.'
My kids started to laugh. I sang it again. And again.
Then they started to get annoyed. I kept singing it again, again and again.
Then they screamed. Then they ran. I walked slowly towards them like a zombie extra from The Walking Dead and continued to sing Kumbaya.
And, when I caught them (and I always did), I would give them a great big hug....
....until they screamed.
So, next time, you're getting sick of playing Monster with your kids. Switch it up and play Jehovah's Witness instead.
It will annoy the hell out of the kids, and you.
P.S. Mix up the game of Monster/Jehovah Witness even more by switching it up to 'Hare Krishna'.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
However, about halfway in, I found myself experiencing the reverse. I was a bit bored and annoyed with the five different plot points in the film:
- Kevin Costner being a serial killer
- Demi Moore divorcing her ex-husband
- Dane Cook wanting to be a serial killer
- Costner's daughter
- And let's not forget the escape of another serial killer from prison.
One idea would be to just focus on Mr. Brooks and his daughter, have William Hurt and police officer Demi Moore come in halfway through and set the movie in the daughter's college town. Without giving too much away, that alone would make a suspenseful two hour flick.
Although the movie looked pretty in terms of production, cinematography and direction, I wasn't fooled. Duo directors Evans and Gideon were looking to make a serial killeresque LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, or even a PULP FICTION mass murderer flick.
But, instead these two chickens laid a big, fat, brown turd.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
STEP ONE: Take an action star and a person in trouble. For a spicier taste, make one white and the other black.
STEP TWO: Mix in some sort of plot involving sex, guns, drugs, family, revenge or money.
STEP THREE: Sprinkle in some explosions, some witty dialogue and a couple catch phrases.
STEP FOUR: Make the bad guy get his just desserts in the end.
STEP FIVE: Add a happy ending and make the two people embrace. (If its two men: they shake hands exchange witty banter. If its a woman and a man: they kiss.)
STEP SIX: Simmer for two hours. Voila! You have just created almost every action movie ever made (i.e. LETHEL WEAPON 1-4, DIE HARD 1-3, RUSH HOUR, BAD BOYS, PUNISHER etc.) In my personal opinion, this flick starring Arnold Shwarzenneger (white) and Vanessa Williams (black) signified the end of the action movie, at least for a while.
In addition to all of the above ingredients, it's very predictable, very bland and very so-so of a movie. I'm so bored, I cant even go on.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Then, like the Grinch peering down at the Whos in Whoville...I got an idea.
An awful idea!
I got a wonderful, awful idea, that I'm working on now and will have to show on this blog and other outlets sometime during the week...before Halloween.
Friday, October 1, 2010
No, not the turdy remake starring Guy Pearce. Not the not-so-funny-that-I-hoped-would-be-funny Hot Tub Time Machine starring John Cusack (oh, how the film heroes of our 80's have fallen).
I'm talking about the original The Time Machinethe film that was made exactly 50 years ago starring Rod Tayler(playing the author H.G. Wells) and the sleestack/The Fog looking-creatures that kept me tossing, turning and glancing under my bed when I was very, very young.
Okay, they still keep me up at night.
Then I thought about what would happen if I had a Time Machine. And had only one option of either going ahead 1,000 years to 3010 or in reverse to 1910 to live out the remainder of my life.
Which would I choose?
Believe it or not, both have their advantages-and 'disses' too!
If I picked 1910, I could take the knowledge of the future back and make a ton of money. For instance, I could get in on the aviation thing, use my knowledge of the upcoming World Wars, horses and other Sport Almanac stuff a' la Back to the Future 2 to make my fortune. Then, I would take my money, travel West to Las Vegas (which actually becomes a city in the year 1911) and open a ton of gambling parlors and brothels for all the cowboys, and myself.
One key negative: I'm almost 40 and back in the 1900's we wouldn't have had the medicine or medical technology to keep people alive too long. (Unless I invented it.) Some sites the average age of death in 1900 was 47 years old. Others say 57 for men and 69 for women. Whatever the true number, everyone died younger than in 2010.
Or, I could choose to fast-forward to 3010 and see what's become of the Earth. Are we still here? What new technology have we come up with? Did the UFOs finally return and for the Alien Rapture? What's going on over in Israel - is everyone still pissed off at each other. And (gulp!) is the United States even at the top of the economic food chain or did this country fall like the Roman Empire?
One key negative: What if humans are wiped out by a plague or an attack by aliens? What if a giant metor hit the Earth in 2030 and the atmospheric conditions somehow changed (e.g. an overabundance of methane gas). The second that I appear in the 3010 - I could instantly die! (Which wouldn't be too cool at all.)
However, even before I thought up this question for this post, I already knew the answer....it would be 3010 baby!
I guess the biggest downer about death is not really knowing what's going to happen in the future after you're gone.
I guess, for some people (i.e. stock brokers, gamblers, physicists), that's the biggest downer about living in the present too.
Just curious which one would you pick? Why?
Friday, September 24, 2010
"Hmmm, " I thought to myself. "What's stopping me from just driving off to Las Vegas right now?"
- A wife.
- Two kids.
- My son's birthday party tonight.
- Possibility of a divorce or - at the very least - counseling sessions.
- The fact that I only have $100 in my checking account.
- No savings.
- No credit cards.
"Oh yeah," I exclaimed. "That's what's stopping me from driving to Las Vegas right now."
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I'm curious if Ray Bradbury's short story The Rocket Man from the novel The Illustrated Man was the inspiration for Elton John's hit single Rocket Man?
No? Well, if you read the short story and check out the Rocket Man lyrices (sung by Elton John, written by Bernie Taupin): it matches up pretty well:
She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine a.m.
And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight
And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone
Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did
And all this science I don’t understand
It’s just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man
Of course, Bradbury's story is told through eyes of the boy. Taupin's lyrics are sung through the eyes of the man.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I'll post a full report after I get the pictures. But, all in all, very impressed. It exceeded my expectations.
Having hiked most of Virginia Appalachian Trail and a small part of the Adirondacks; all I can say is that this hike, the entire Del Water Gap National Park, had some of the most impressive vistas of all my trips.
Besides the endless miles of rocks, this trips will be one of the tops on my list. And it will be one of my first recommendations to anyone who asks which section they should hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Click here to read At The Mountains of Madness
Oh yeah, another plus (or negative, whichever way you view it) visionary James Cameron (Terminator, Aliens, Avatar, Titantic) is set to produce - which means we'll get some very meaty visuals courtesy of Digital Domain, which was founded by the Oscar-winning Director.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Coincidentally, I've been reading a very interesting book by Richard Dawkins called The God Delusion, which is sure to put all Christian, Jewish and Muslim readers into a panic. (Very good book by the way.)
In any event, both of these occurences reminded me of a 10-page cartoon that I drew waaaaaaay back in 2006 - before my daughter was born when I was unemployed and living in Cleveland.
It's the longest of the three long-form cartoons that I have drawn - thus far. I should add that I took great pleasure and pride in creating this. If anything, it showed that I could tell a long-form story in cartoon form, which was a big break through.
Now if I only had time to do some more......
Check it out. And, as always, (click each image to enlarge).
Monday, July 19, 2010
After I finished editing my children's book for mass consumption, I thought the hard part was over and the easy part was coming up:
"Send it to a literary agent who would take one look at it, call me up and tell me that I am the Steinbeck of Children's Book Literature."
And continously praise me for my innovation and geniusness (is that even a word?).
Well, as all writers know...it's a tough road to hoe. I assumed I would just send this story out and people would be clamoring for the chance to turn this story from my head into a bonafide children's book - with movie rights to come in a couple weeks.
Not the case.
I've since sent my 'exclusive' story out to two agents and one publishing company.
To surmise all of their feedback:
- You've got a great story here
- But its not for us
- There are a lot of great ideas out there.
- We have to pick and choose the great ones.
- But we may be wrong.
- We encourage you to try other publishers and agents.
- Blah, blah, blah.
I agree. Living the life of a copywriter and cartoonist, you learn to live with rejection.
It feeds the fire.
That why, I'm going to keep sending it out for representation. I believe in this story. I think it needs to be told. I think it's fun.
But, if nothing happens within a month or so, I just may have to rethink my strategy and do this one on my own.
Maybe a version1 with my drawings.
Then, down the line, a version 2 with a professional illustrator's drawings.
In any event, onward and upward.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Basically the campaign invites former Lebron James fans to bring in their old #23 jerseys to your local Your's Truly store in Canton, Cleveland and Akron and donate them to homeless shelters in Miami. In exchange you get a "It's not us, it's you" shirt. All donations go to charity.
I know these guys paid for this out of their own pocket, so let's give them some support so they can recoup the costs. I thought this was a great idea and encourage you to visit the site. By the way, video was shot, non gratis, by Stonekap Studios, located in Canton, Ohio.
Check er out.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
However, I forgot to bring up my short stint as a Children's Book Illustrator.
Waaaaayyy back in 1998, I illustrated a children's story called Field of Beans for a small start-up children's book publishing company in Columbus called Berry Books.
Take a gander at it right here.
The cool thing about this particular project was that I thought up the actual look and feel of the characters. In fact, the publisher (Curtis Paulson) liked my characters so much, he kept them around in other books.
Another cool thing: According to the website, a total of nine books have been printed and distributed in every state and several countries.
Eat your heart out J.K. Rowling.
Granted, I didn't make a ton of money off of this project (I think it was about $600 for about 70+ hours of work including meetings, revisions, sketches, etc) and the final product isn't that spectacular. But, this particular experience not only helped hone my illustrating/cartooning skills, but it introduced me to the wonderful world of Photoshop - and its endless possibilities.
In any event, when I talked about writing and illustrating my own book, I had totally forgotten that I already have one in the coffer. Cool!
So, in addition to this new copywriting job, and the book illustrator job, I now have had a grand total of 37 jobs - in almost 38 years.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
This one is titled 'Inside a Bottle Rocket' (click image to enlarge).
A little history on this one. I faintly remember drawing this picture after our parents let my brother and I graduate from Black Snakes, Pops, Smoke Bombs and Sparklers to bigger Fourth of July ammo like Bottle Rockets, Roman Candles, Firecrackers and - yes - M-80's (although my brother was the only one allowed to light those suckers).
I was so excited about bottle rockets, that I couldn't sleep. As a matter of fact, our Mom drove us up to Ohio Fireworks multiple times during the summer, so we could stock up - and I'm talking waaaayyyy after the Fourth of July.
Ahhhh, the simplicity of youth, and the things that excited boys before they took a keen interest in girls...horror movies, sports, bike riding, a full can of WD40 and fireworks.
Wait a minute! Not too much has changed at all, except for my adulthood affinity for Gorilla Glue and Gorilla Tape.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
You know I can't pass up on a news story about Bigfoot.
BIlly Willard, President of the Sasquatch Watch of Virginia organization, says he's on the verge of a major discovery that will have homo sapiens re-thinking the way we look at the natural world.
Pretty heavy, stuff. Call me intriqued.
I've hiked, pretty much, most of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. There were miles and miles of stretches where we didn't see a living soul. One particular morning on the Trail, a friend of mine pulled himself out of his tent and started smiling.
"Funny stuff last night," he said.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Grunting and snorting outside my tent," he said. "You spooked me for a second till I realized it was you."
"Dude, I didn't even get out of my tent last night," I said. "Must have been a black bear."
"I've been around a lot of black bears," my buddy said. "There ain't no bear that grunts and snorts like that."
We were silent.
In any event, click here to read the story.
And click SWV link above for some interesting news.
Oh, and for other Eimer Debris Bigfoot-related stories, click here.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Remember when I said that I uncovered a lot more fun stuff that I wrote/drew in the early 80's when I was between the ages of 8 and 11 years old?
Well...behold the awesomeness of The Jazz Band.
(click image to enlarge)
You know when I unearthed this little treasure a couple nights ago, I couldn't imagine what was going through my mind.
At this age, I didn't even really like jazz. Hell, I'm not even sure that I knew what jazz was.
That said, there's a lot that I love about this drawing including:
- The guitarist riffing off the jazz drummer.
- The intense look in all of their eyes. (If I'm not mistaken, they're a bit pissed off.)
- The matching star shoes and earrings.
- The fact that the actual name of the group is JAZZ (hence the marking on the drums).
- I don't think I was trying to be racist with this drawing. My limited Martins Ferry knowledge probably just assumed that only black people played jazz.
More to come.
Monday, June 14, 2010
What's in these boxes you ask? Drawings, crayons, action figures, old watches term papers, magazine clips, sketch books, Playboys, Fangoria, etc. Basicaly a lot of stuff. I know (I hope) my kids will love going through these boxes because there's a lot of stuff in those boxes of stuff that shows my stuff (if you know what I mean).
Once in a blue moon when I'm feeling a bit nostalgic, I open one of these boxes and, take an hour or two, to rummage through the contents, searching for any funny, creative buried treasures.
Well lo and behold, I came upon another interesting Eimer drawing (circa early 1980's) that could give Murder Hill and Richie Rich a run for it's money. It's a before and after type drawing, but taken to the extreme.
(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)
Oh, that's not all. This one particular box had some pretty funny stuff that I drew, and wrote, in my youth.
Definitely more to come.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Pretty much, I've hit every hiking trail in and around the Cuyahoga Valley National Park region. I've also had my share of running adventures in Central Ohio as well.
But, I'm not here to brag.
I'm here to make a specific point about snakes. (work with me, here)
When I was a kid, my brother and I would find a plentitude of snakes all around our home of Martins Ferry, Ohio. We used to pick snakes up with ease, like it was almost second nature. With precision, we would pull on their tails from in between two rocks, throw them in the grass, grab them on the back of the head, squeeze and pull them up. Their tails would slowly slither around your arm.
It was a cool feeling of empowerment over the smaller creatures of the world.
Waaaay back in 2007, when I moved up to the Northeast Ohio region (particularly Lakewood) I would come across a number of snakes on my runs. Most of the time, I would mistake them for a stick and, as soon as I jumped over them, they would skitter away giving my heart a slight tremble.
Lately, I've been a little out of practice in picking up snakes. So I thought to myself 'On my trail running, if I see a snake, I'll get back into the practice of snake-picking-up just in case I run across one with my kids.'
Important note to fathers: You don't want to look like a sissy in front of your kids, especially if it has to do with insects or snakes. So I recommend you get over your fears of eight-legged and no-legged creatures prior to having children.
I've been on some very rustic runs in the Akron area and, let me tell you, I've only come across a total of five snakes since moving down to the Bath area in 2007. Five freaking snakes!
That said, I wasn't surprised when I came across this article on Yahoo.com today concerning our slithery friends.
Seems that the world's scientists are in agreement that there is a noticeable decrease in the snake population - not just in Northeast Ohio....worldwide mother fucker. Worldwide.
According to the article, some key factors known to play a role in the decline include climate change, habitat loss, pollution, disease, lack of prey and over-exploitation, either for food or trade.
I know some people will clicking their heels in excitement over this news, (My wife would prefer to be reading a similar article about spiders.), but I'm a little disappointed to read this news.
Hopefully there will be an upswing in the population. Hopefully the little tiny country mice will get busy humping. Hopefully St. Patrick isn't taking his snake campaign worldwide and running the snakes out of the planet.
Hopefully this article isn't true and it's simply a slow news day.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
It was a place I called home for about 13 years. In fact, I've only lived in three other cities since leaving my hillside home in Martins Ferry, Ohio: Columbus, Cleveland and Akron. Moving to Northeast Ohio was a welcome change to my psyche and my attitude.
Besides Buckeye football Saturdays, plenty of good buddies to drink with and easy access to a number of running trails, my fourth favorite thing about Columbus was Tim Horton's.
I loved the fucking place. Nothing tasted quite better than an old-fashioned glazed donut and a medium coffee in the morning before driving to work.
Which reminded me of this one story...
It was winter, probably Janurary or February. It was sleeting, slushy and very cold outside. As I pulled into the Clintonville Tim Horton's to order my mainstay (see above), I noticed a gigantic long line at the drive in stretching around the entire red building.
Quickly, I pulled into an open parking space next to the entrance, and decided to run in the store to get my donut and coffee.
I hopped out of the car, ran into the shop and was standing in line behind a nice elderly lady who was taking her good, old sweet time.
"Hey, buddy," someone said from behind. I turned my head and saw this 6-8 black man in who slightly reminded me of Biz Markie. He was wearing a postal uniform and he looked slightly perturbed.
"Hi," I said not really sure what to say. I glanced forward. The old lady was still ordering her whatever in front of me.
"Are you the fool that left your car running outside?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said.
"You shouldn't do that," he said.
He rolled his eyes, then put his hands on his hips. "Leave your fucking car running, while you in the store."
"Seriously?" I asked not believing the conversation I was having.
"Don't you do that again," he ordered.
"I said don't do that again," he shouted.
"CAN I HELP YOU," shouted the Tim Horton's lady at the counter. The old lady left and it was my turn to order.
I looked at Biz. I looked back at the Tim Horton's lady. I placed my order.
"Did you hear me?" the large man asked.
I turned toward him. "Look, I heard you, but why do you care what I do with my car."
He gave me an angry glare. "Don't do that again," was all he said.
I paid the lady, she gave me my donut and coffee and I headed towards the door.
"Hey," he yelled.
I looked around. My heart was pounding. I was preparing myself for a fight.
"If I see you here, and I see your car running in the parking lot, I'm a gonna steal it," he screamed. "That will teach you a fuckin' lesson, honkey"
Everyone in the store looked towards me. Somebody just called me a honkey and meant it.
"Whatever, dude," I said and left the store.
That was the last time I saw Biz the postman - almost seven years ago.
Now, everytime I leave my car running when I run into a coffee shop or store, I always picture that guy and his stupid Biz Markie head, sneaking up, stealing my car and burning rubber onto the highway screaming "I told you so!"
Thanks a lot, Biz. You son of a bitch.
CLICK HERE FOR ANOTHER DONUT STORY!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
In any event,
- My cholestorel isn't great (204)
- My good cholestoral is bad (45)
- My bad cholestoral is bad (130 - think)
- My triglycerides were up (due to frequent stops to Dunkin Donuts, no doubt)
- My liver function was OK. Not great. OK
Well, why am I highlighting all of this to total strangers? I don't know. But I do know that I'm not 25 anymore. I'm going to be 38 in July, which is very weird writing it (even saying it). I still feel like I'm 25. Perhaps, I'm still eating that way as well.
While I was on a run yesterday, I was thinking how bad off my body would be if I didn't exercise. Take note, I got these crappy results and I EXERCISE ALMOST EVERY DAY.
Well, at least I don't have cancer. At least, I don't have some sort of crazy kidney or liver disease. At least, it's just high cholestorol. Which can be treated with a pill.
Speaking of pills, it feels like I'm at CVS every other day picking up prescriptions for either myself, my kids and my wife.
I like that my bartender knows my name and my drink.
I don't like that my pharmacist knows my name and what drugs I'm taking.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
I hate the fucking dishwasher. I hate loading it. I hate unloading it. I hate washing off the dishes before you unload it. I hate the dripping water from the dishes that you step in after you load the dishwasher.
I’ve talked about it here before, when you have kids, you’re in the kitchen. When you’re not preparing food for the kids (or yourself), not cleaning up the kitchen, not cleaning noodles and vegetables out of the drainer, not serving drinks and snacks, you’re either cleaning out or filling up the dishwasher.
And let me tell you, it’s mind-numbing.
Seeing the same plates, the same cups, the same silverware, day after day after day after day after day…..after day. It can wear on you, man.
You know how the wife and husband sort of split up the duties around the house? Well, looks like I got the mowing (yes!) and cleaning out the dishwasher (no!). I haven’t delved into that part of my wife's life as to why the dishwasher is taboo. Sure, she does other stuff (for the kids and the house) that I’m happy to not have anything to do with.
However, it still doesn’t change the fact that I’m sick of staring at the dishwasher.
Which remind me of a movie I saw last year. It’s probably one of the best scenes I’ve witnessed in quite some time.
And it has to do with a goddamn dishwasher.
The movie was ‘Rachel Getting Married’ starring Oscar-nominated Anne Hathaway and directed by Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme. The scene in question that I surprisingly often reflect upon as I’m emptying and stocking the dishwasher is about halfway into the film.
It’s a great scene involving the future father-in-law (name) and the future son-in-law (name). Paul, the father-in-law, played by Bill Irwin, starts loading up the dishwasher and Sidney, the future son-in-law, played by Tunde Adebimpe, butts in and shows Paul how it’s done. Of course, the patriarch of the family has to protect his manhood and it becomes a contest, of sorts, into who can load the dishwasher the efficiently and quickly.
In my opinion, it’s a wonderful scene that captures the character of the actors, the passing of the torch of his daughter to his future son-in-law, and just adds a fresh slice of human condition into a film – which is something that I love to see. I'm curious if this was an impromptu scene thought up by Demme and or the screenwriter during filming. It seems unscripted. Well, the entire film has a documentary feel like you're a fly on the wall of this big family who is celebrating their lives while shadowing their skeletons.
So, until, they think of another way to wash dishes, I will forever be reminded of this scene from one of my not in my top 141 movies of all time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good film. It’s just not my all-time favorite.
If you haven’t seen it, I’d rent the flick. Not just for this particular scene, but for the entire experience. Especially the wedding ceremony and reception. Very trippy.
Thinking back. It’s funny how those little snippets of film experiences subconsciously get fused into your brain.
Has anyone else had a similar experience with a film?
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I just submitted my children's story idea to a publisher.
Now the waiting begins.
I talked about it a little here, and here. But I'm really not going to give too much away until I sign some sort of contract with someone.
Okay, how about this? A year from now, if no one bites on this book, I'll publish it on this blog for all to see - and steal.
Sound good? Not to me.
Hopefully, someone will snag up this story. It's just too good to be tossed into the freebie bin.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
For the past three years, I've glanced out the window at beautiful sunny days, pining to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.
Then I begrudgingly would glance at my kids' closed doors, anxiously waiting for them to wake up from their naps so I could get outisde.
You know...people say that the first two years of your kid's life on this planet is pure bliss.
Let me tell you, most of them are lying.
As a matter of fact, the first two years of a child's life is a lot of:
- Sitting around
- Hanging inside the house
- Making sure they don't smack their head on sharp corners
- Getting woken up at night
- Missing out on life's events (which I wrote about previously)
Like I said, not for me.
However, with my daughter almost 4 and my son almost 3, I think I've hit a fatherhood turning point this spring.
Just yesterday, I was able to mow my entire 2.5 acre lawn with my kids hanging out in the backyard playing. Sure, I gave them each lawn-mower rides while mowing. But it was so great to see them walking around, picking up sticks, throwing rocks and being actual kids.
And it was liberating for me.
This spring and summer we've got a number of funcentric kid things on the docket...more trips to the swimming pool, amusement parks (Kennywood and Cedar Point), zoos (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Akron and Columbus), road trips, cookouts, soccer, hiking on trails, vacation to the Jersey Shore, and let's not forget their first film at a bonafide movie theater (Toy Story 3).
Maybe, even possibly, a camping trip. (probably not).
And you know what? I'm looking forward to every single one of them. To add to that, I don't even feel like I'm 37. I feel like I did when I just graduated college. But a little smarter with a little more money in my bank account.
But I digress...
Yep, I put in my solid three years of baby rearing. Now it's time to get outside, rub the eye boogers out of my eyes and take a deep breath of the nice, warm outside air.
I'm finally back. With no more babies in tow.