Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eimertoons - Dec. 24

Last one. Inspired be events that may occur tomorrow. Enjoy. Had a great time creating these. Hope you enjoyed them as well. More Eimertoons to come.

(click image to enlarge)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Night Run

My eyes popped open from my deep sleep. I looked over at the clock. It was 3:20 a.m.

The stress of buying a new home, changing jobs and being a literary success took its toll on my brain. 

After tossing and turning in bed for an hour and a half, I thought to myself, "Fuck it, I’m going on a run."

I quietly skirted out of my bed, tip-toed around the house to grab my running gear and quietly slipped out of the house.  

Like a chef walking into a meat freezer, a cool breeze hit my face and took my breath away. I stared in awe at the darkened Bath night.

“Where are you UFO’s?” I thought to myself. “Will I ever see you before I die?”

With that last thought, I hopped into the car, clicked on the ignition and slowly careened out of my driveway.

I pulled into Bath Nature Preserve around 3:50 a.m. for an impromptu illegal run (hours are from dawn to dusk)So here I was. The darkness enveloped the entire sky. The skitters and scampers of little forest creatures could be heard in the distance. But that was it. The air was still. I could see my breath misting in the cool air.

To be honest, I was a bit creeped out.

“Maybe I’ll just get back in the car and drive over to the high school and do a couple laps on the track,” I thought to myself.

“Pffft,” the little Eimer devil whispered on my shoulder. “Are you really going to be that big of a pussy?”

“Nooo,” I said to my evil doppelganger, then pulled a 180. “Fuck it, I’m already here. What’s the worse thing that could happen?”

I could die. Gulp!

Thankfully, I had my trusty Energizer Headlamp with four unique shine frequencies, including infrared lens. Yeah, it was dark, but I would be safe and sound as long as my headlamp remained on for my 3.5-mile night run.


I set my watch and took off down the dark grainy path. In the distance to East, I saw the slightest spit of  light from the Fairlawn shopping center. No sign of the sun trying to pull itself out of the darkness. Too early I guessed.

The trail took me through a field. 

I felt a slight tickling at my back and thought about the 'thing' from JEEPERS CREATURESThe thing that could fly in the air. The thing with the cowboy hat. The thing with the dusty MATRIX-like coat. The thing that likes to use people’s bones to create an altar.

Anticipating an aerial assault, I lurched my neck back and forth shining the light from here to there. No JEEPERS. No CREEPERS. 

I continued to run and cut off down a gravel hill, which connected to a rough the horse trail - a trail that was separated to the right by a huge pillar of pine trees and oaks and horse pastures to the left. I noticed a huge mansion, outdoor lights glowing in the distance. Yeah, I was in Bath after all.

I descended the hill and my near-sightedness kicked into high gear as I noticed a black spot down the way. The blur became the creature from XTRO, the alien creature that dropped from the sky and raped a woman with its mouth. A horror that still haunts me to this day. I ignored the lump of whatever on the ground. It may have hissed at me. I picked up my steps and glided by the creature before it could impregnate me with its nasty-eating orifice.

The horse trail careened up a hill. My breathing deeper and shallower, I huffed and puffed up a like the Little Engine That Could; the flashlight on my head bobbing up and down, up and down illuminating the ground in a wobbly, almost-BLAIR WITCH PROJECT-type of cinema verite.

I ran up a forty-five degree incline near the natural gas pump, one of six that lay in the Bath Nature Preserve. To my left, a strange formation stepped out of the woods, it looked to me like the possessed goat in DRAG ME TO HELLI remembered the white eyes. The satanic look. The immediate hunger for human flesh. My heart began to race as I passed the creature that lay before me...

...only a deer.

It gave out a snort and took off into the woods. That’s when I felt my heart beating more than the required 200 beats per minute. The buck snorted, once again, and shot off into another section of the woods. 

I hung a left down an old grassy trail, which connected, back again with the main running trail, and approached an old wooden bridge.

In the darkness, it almost appeared like a moat bridge from CASTLE GREYSKULL inviting me to commiserate with the likes of He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Beast Man and, more importantly, She-Ra to discuss the political situations with Skeletor on Planet Eternia over a pint of mead.

Then, my mind immediately shifted to think the story of BILLY GOATS GRUFF; more importantly the troll that lurked beneath the bridge. "Could there be a troll underneath this bridge?" I thought as I clopped, clopped, clopped underneath the wooden slats, I overheard the stream gently bubbling underneath my feet. 

Then I heard a rustle. Then I did a 180-degree turn and high-tailed it off the bridge back to the trial and up the hill. I imagined the angry CAVE TROLL from THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, pulling itself from the wooden bridge, goblins by its side, as it ripped and tore the sides of the bridge and quickly reached the nape of my neck.

I yanked my head back. Nothing. I let out a sigh and continued on my journey.

About two miles into my run, I was getting into my groove. Heart beat at 180 or slightly higher, half a yard steps, even breathing and a nice 9:00 pace (hey, I’m not trying to break any world records, here). The darkness grew more ominous as I entered an overlap of trees and slightly into the denser forest.

I heard a faint rustle in the woods to my right. I shined the light into the weeds. Deep in the distance a faint shadow appeared. Memories of AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON shot through my skull. The scene where the man is heading up the escalator and scans down the steps to see the hulking werewolf slowly, almost casually, heading toward its prey.

Which reminded me of a story...

When I was a little kid, we had two sets of stairs in our house. The first set of steps ran up from the kitchen and pantry into the upstairs bedroom, which I shared with my brother. Every single time I walked down those steps I was convinced a demonic Gladiator Centaur with bow and arrow in hand was going to shoot out of the attic door, pull three of four fiery arrows from his sheath and, in a machine gun cadence, proceed to shoot them towards my back. Convinced this was going to happen, I always sprinted down the steps like a boy possessed.

The second set of steps headed down into the basement. The steps had openings beneath each step. No carpet, no wood, just functional steps. Going down into the basement was never a problem. However, heading upstairs, was a big problem. I was convinced that as I reached the sixth set of steps, the WEREWOLF from THE HOWLING was going to shoot his hand through the open slats, snatch my ankle and squeeze with all its might. Convinced this was going to happen, I always bounded up the basement steps like a boy possessed – as well. "Why do you do that?!!" my mother would always scream.

Back to the night run...

My pace quickened. My blood pressure felt like it shot up another 10 points. Goosebumps covered my entire body anticipating a strike from the beast in the woods. However, after another inspection with my trusty light, the shadow revealed itself to be a large boulder. Phew! Instant death diverted once again.

I careened off the bike path and onto a dirt, running trail past a gargantuan steel dragon. The JABBERWOCKY from Alice in Wonderland???!!!! No, only the steel pulsing of a gas well going up and down, up and down. Chugging gas from the ground up into its steel basin.

The trail careened into an even darker forested umbrella. Blackness covered me like a cold blanket of Death. I clicked the highest shine function on my Energizer Headlamp.

The crunch of my steps on the hard pebbles and rocks was the only sound echoing into the eerie, wooded terror land. I thought of the movie PUMPKINHEAD. The green creature spawned by hate from some section of hell. I thought about the CENOBITES from HELLRAISER, led by Pinhead, the unflinching psychopaths from Hades. The  things that wanted to tear your soul apart. I glanced over into what I knew was an empty, dried up bog. For an instant, I thought I saw the menacing creatures waiting in the woods. Waiting for me to slightly step off the trail so they could tear my body from limb to limb, ripping each and every piece of my body until only a puddle of blood remained.

I closed my eyes. “Just movies,” I said to myself. “Only movies.” I opened my eyes and the creatures were gone.

Again, wanting this run to be over, I quickened my pace once again as I set up another hill, which turned slightly into a concrete path before opening up into a field of wheat, or hay, or simply tall grass. I wasn’t sure. I ran into a plume of fog, which slightly cooled my body. It felt like I was running into a thousand deathly souls roaming the Earth.

For a moment I was expecting the creature DARKNESS from the movie LEGEND to come through the fog, through the smoke; inserting his scabbard hand into my heart and ripping it into pieces.

This was supposed to be a 30-minute repast during my day. It was supposed to be my relaxing three-mile run. Instead, it was my own personal internal hell. My own personal demons terrorizing my every step.

Which reminds me...

Sometimes during my run, I think about death. I think about possibly dying when I’m older on one of these trails. Will my body be found? Will it lie there and slowly decay for years and years? What will people think when they come upon it?

Sometimes, even during my day runs, I look back and imagine a black figure gliding effortlessly through the trail, 50 yards or so behind me, matching my pace, waiting, anticipating that moment when I trip, my heart skips, I have a stroke or I simply stop breathing.

Back on the trail...

I came around the turn and approached a ubiquitous shadow; a blurry figure walking closer to me. This was the time that I wished for my glasses, or contacts or the fucking Lasik eye surgery. Anything for me to focus on the image in front of me.

Was this my time? Was this my death?  Was that the GRIM REAPER from THE MEANING OF LIFE with his long scythe waiting patiently for me to finish my run. Waiting patiently to take me away from my family, my kids and my not-so-bad life?

“Excuse me,” the creature said. Only it wasn’t a creature.

“Huh,” I said startled as I slowed to a brief walk, then stopped in front of the man’s face. He was an older gentleman, about 60 or 65. A just-as-old golden retriever stood next to him panting a rather jolly pant.

“Do you know how to get back to the main bike trail?”

I nodded and pointed in the direction I came. “Follow this loop and it will take you back to the trail.”

“Thank you so much,” the man said petting the top of his dog’s head. An odd two-second silence whisked between us. My mind started again. I imagined a knife in his back pocket. I imagined the OLDER GENTELMAN from the movie LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. The guy who killed in order to accumulate fresh blood for his young vampire princess. I took a slight step back from the man and the dog, which looked a bit angrier from the last second I looked at him.

“A little creepy out at this time of day, eh?” asked the old man.

I nodded.

“Your mind can play some crazy tricks on you that’s for sure” he said.

“You’re telling me,” I said. “Be careful.”

“Oh, I’m fine,” the old man laughed and patted his loyal dog on top of the head. “That’s why I have her to protect me.”

I looked at the dog and through about my dog, Otto; a loyal Rottweiler-Doberman mix that was the best dog in the world.

“Well, have a good run,” the old man smiled and started on his way. “And thank you.”

“You too,” I said and headed off to my car.

During my half-mile run back to my car, I thought about the old man. I thought about the ghosts and goblins that tormented my mind. I thought about my life, my dreams, my family and my job.

I thought about all the scary things that this world can throw at you day in and day out. And all of the things on this Earth that can just as easily take you away from it all.

I thought about my mother whispering in my ear before heading off to school. “Heck, every time you step outside of your house, you can get killed,” she said. “Just think of all the ways you can die in a day...”

For some reason those comments have stuck in my mind.

Today, I was able to outrun and outfox Pumpkinhead, the Cave Troll, the American Werewolf in London, the grim specter of Death and other creatures lingering and lurking in the back of my brain.

Tomorrow, I may not be so lucky.

Maybe I’ll go on an afternoon run instead.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pro Bono Work

Here's some pro bono work I did for my buddy. And by 'pro bono' I mean 'company too cheap to pay me'.

At least my buddy is buying me something. Plus, it was a fun four hours during my last day of work.

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reservoir Amish

I noticed this image online and just couldn't resist. Special thanks to AP Photographer Tony Dejak for the inspiration and great photograph. At least I hope he'll find it amusing.

Monday, August 27, 2012

From Genius to Dipshit in One Signature.

Ahh, The roller coaster ride that is life. The peaks and valleys. The knowledge shared. And the knowledge learned.
Oh the places you'll go, and tons of places  that you never imagined you would see.
As I leap into my 40th year on this planet, dear reader, I have a small confession to make. Although I’ve owned plenty of cars and other merchandise, I’ve never owned a home.
Yes, I’m a renter. Whew. That wasn't so bad.

Yep, throughout my college years and beyond, I’ve probably signed about 10+ different renter’s leases in my lifetime.
Truth be told, I’ve never felt the ‘need’ to own a house. It seemed a little scary. A little intimidating. A little set in stone.
I sort of liked the idea that – in less than a month's time - I could pick up stakes and move anywhere in the world that I wanted to move. Puerto Rico. Arizona. New Hampshire. California. Oregon. Any fucking where.

Well, in a couple of weeks, that’s all about to change.

My wife and I have found the perfect home in beautiful (not as rustic) Hudson, Ohio. For the past five years we’ve lived across the valley in Bath, Ohio - former home(s) of Lebron James and Jeffrey Dahmer and, well, now myself.
I've loved living in Bath for the past five years. Great running trails. Fantastic neighbors. And pretty good food. Plus, I’ve had the privilege of having all of the homeowner’s duties minus the headache of a mortgage and repairs.

It’s been really nice.

So, how do I feel about all of this? Well, after I sign my John Hancock on the dotted line about 100 times, I’ll proceed to transform myself from a successful professional in the advertising industry into a pretty fucking, stupid idiot.
Please, let me explain.

In my 40 years on this Earth, I’ve come across a number of knowledge thresholds. Before I entered eighth grade, I thought I knew everything about life. I thought there wasn't anything that I could learn that would help me to make an impact on this Earth.

Nope. I was wrong. In fact, I realized I was pretty dumb.

I also became more dumb the day after my high school graduation. Also, the first quarter of classes at Ohio State. Also, upon my graduation from Ohio State. And, oh yes, also during my first ‘official’ job after college.

Each and every time, I thought I knew everything about life and, like a bad joke, I would be struck down my God himself who would laugh at my overall lack of knowledge at each of these thresholds achieved.
After every achievement comes the fact that you really don’t know jack shit. It's all a facade. And this next stage of Eimer's 'ignorance evolution' is going to be all about home ownership.

You see, most of my other friends and family members have owned homes for years. They’ve gained important DIY (do-it-yourselfer) knowledge like laying tile and hardwood floors, changing toilets, hanging drywall, running electrical cords and even something as simple as putting up a ceiling fan.
With the exception of landscaping, I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to a number of these home ownership-type things. Well, most of them.

But...and this is a big but....I’m willing to learn, which is always a beautiful thing. And, if I ever find myself in a pinch, I'll just look it up on YouTube..they have answers to everything. Or I'll pay a contractor, which is what most websites recommend anyhow.
So, the day after we sign all the paperwork (whenever that may be), my older brother - a home owner for well over 20 years - will accompany me into my new home where we will remove doors, sand and polyurethane hardwood floors, lay carpet, balance the air conditioning unit and, yes, hang ceiling fans.

It’s my orientation, of sorts, into the world of home ownership. It’s my turn to ‘man up’ and take control of these small, but pricey, projects that spawn up around the house. You know, the stuff that I paid a landlord to do on a semi-monthly basis for the past 20+ years.

So, to paraphrase the late, great Neil Armstrong:

"It’s one small step for a new homeowner, one giant leap for the city of Hudson, Ohio."
Eh, fuck that, let's paraphrase Spider-Man:

"With great home ownership comes great responsibility."

Bring it on.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Big 4-0? Ain't Nuthin But a G' Thang (sort of)

Back in 2005, my wife-to-be announced that she was pregnant with our daughter.

During the 10 seconds following her not-so-shocking announcement, I didn't think about the wonder of life that was growing inside her belly. Nor did I think about getting a normal job or even visiting to purchase the most-recent publication of  What to Expect When You're Expecting.

Nope. Instead, I played the 'Add 20' game.

I immediately added 20 years to my life in order to see how old I was going to be when my children would be out of the house.

I know. I know. This may sound terrible and a bit selfish. Many will say that I'm 'totally missing the point of having a kid completely', which I'll 100% agree.

But I digress. The 'Add 20' game had me at about 55 years old. Not too shabby. It's old enough to be able to start stock-piling money for my eventual retirement at age 90. And it's young enough to start scratching things off of my bucket list.

Which leads me to my birthday. On July 6, I was fortunate enough to reach the young age of 40.

I'm nut sure what the hub-bub is all about. Turning 40 is really, truly no big deal. Well, a little I guess.

Minus some slight lower back pain, some doctors would say that I'm better shape than I was at 21. And I'll tend to agree. I've cut down on my drinking. I exercise almost every single day. I drink V8, homemade fruit smoothies and wheat grass every other day. I watch my sodium, I eat more vegetables and fruits. And, surprisingly, I'm slowly but surely retiring a number of fast food joints from my list-including my most recent retirement, Chick-Fil-A.

Back in the day (circa 1920) 40 was a point in your life that you simply shrugged off and continued working until you basically dropped at the ripe, old age of 57 years old (if you were fortunate enough to be a white male).

Now, in 2012, this ceremonial birthday serves as a crossroad, a halfway point of one's life. A time to ruminate about everything that you've achieved. Graduation from Ohio State, two marathons, marriage, two healthy kids, a self-published novella of mediocre short horror stories and a cartoon published in Hustler come to mind.

It's also a time to put the remainder of this crazy thing called life in perspective and think about where you want to be as you travel down this old, dusty (and bumpy) road...

...and to play the 'Plus 20' game yet again. But this time for real.

I've written in the past about the number of vacations that I, probably, have left in my lifetime. Well, in addition to the 'Plus 60' clock and the 'Vacation' clock, I've also added the 'Countdown to 60' clock.

Deep in the caverns of my mind and soul, which I probably won't share with the world right now until they come to fruition, I've laid out a number of personal challenges to myself. Things that I would like to see come to fruition before I turn 60 (or Plus 20, as I like to say this year).

These challenges are personal goals and dreams. Some are modest (To be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey for some sort of achievement). Some are selfish (To be interviewed by Howard Stern for some sort of achievement). Some of these goals are for the good of my family (pay off our house, pay for my kid's college). And some of these ideas have to do with seeing a little bit more of the world before my knees go out, my liver goes kaput and I'm stuck in some god-for-saken rest home staring out the window wondering where the hell my life went.

You know, those type of goals.

However, as it turns out, one of those 'Plus 20' goals will come to fruition in two days.

As I've recently wrote about in various posts, I'm an avid hiker. Having scrambled most of the Applachian Trail in Virginia as well as some parts of Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Jersey - I've always wanted to visit one of the wildest, craziest parts of the Appalachian Trail...The White Mountains. It's a place I've always yearned to venture, but never had the funds to achieve.

Tuesday, Aug. 7, I will fly out to New Hampshire to hike Mount Washington via the Appalachian Trail on a three-day trek from Crawford Notch to Pinkham Notch. Also, we (myself and a couple of my fellow kick-ass hiker buddies) will also hit the Franconia Notch Trail - a 8.5 loop that is supposed to also kick ass. We'll see.

This trip will mark one of the many exciting things that I have planned for myself and my family over the next 20 years, which includes traveling, writing, running, publishing, drawing and fixing up my home.

Ironically, 'Work more hours' isn't on this list. However, 'Innovative ways to make more money' is.

You know, some people say that 'Age is a State of Mind'. After turning 40, I totally agree.

I mean, I still feel like that snot-nosed kid who bought his first 12-pack of Natural Light at a 7-Eleven in Wheeling when he was 17 years old. And hell yeah it was with a fake ID that I made myself.

Hmmm? Yet another achievement to ruminate upon during this exciting year.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Eimer's Best Netflix Reviews - Chronicle

Look, this was a cool movie. Great special effects, interesting story and all that jazz. Acting was fine as well.

My biggest gripe of the film is that fact that I'm simply getting tired of all the 'found-footage' films out there today.

I'm sorry, but after watching PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 and 3, PROJECT X, CLOVERFIELD and THE LAST EXORCISM (which sucked the biggest balls of them all by the way), my suspension of disbelief for these movies is running a bit thin. I'm just not believing these people are going to carry around a video camera all the time recording everything that goes on.

It made 100% sense in THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and the first PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. But those other films, not so much.

Which begs the point, why make CHRONICLE a 'found-footage' film in the first place. Throughout the movie they use multiple 'video' footage from various points of view to tell the story. Not simply from one camera from the main antagonist's point of view, which makes this move increasingly bizarre. So, was this a found footage film made with bits and pieces of everyone's videos - after the fact? Or a simple gimmick to get butts in theaters. I'm going with the latter.

So, my question is, 'Why do this at all?' I was discussing my frustration with this film with a co-worker today. He mentioned last year's summer hit SUPER 8 directed by JJ Abrams. "Should they have done it like that" he asked.

Perfect example and yes. A movie where video or film or YouTube (unarguably a main part of this younger generation's medium of choice) is weaved into a normal film narrative. Not the whole freaking movie.

Like I said, the movie was good. But it could have been a whole helluva lot better if first-time feature writer/director Josh Trank decided to approach the whole idea of this movie differently.

Read More of Eimer's Best Netflix Reviews

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One-Sentence Movie Reviews: Vacation Edition

Ahhh, summer rays, the smell of Coconut Oil steaming off a fat-man’s body, the cool drip of water glistening down a can of Coors Light and the smell of Grass.

Yep, you heard me right. Parsley. Jolly Green Giant. Golden Leaf. Christmas Tree. Ganja. Weed. Lots and lots of weed to get you through that somewhat strenuous weeklong reprieve away from the co-workers and together with friends, family, your kids…and (gulp!) your kid’s friends

So, load up your Family Truckster (also known as your Netflix Queue) with a pack of Alaskan Wolves, Large Marge, fat Jonah Hill and even Michael Fassbender’s penis.

What a long strange trip it’s going to be with these strange bedfellows riding shotgun in this summer travel edition of One-Sentence Movie Reviews:

God Bless America
Although I was really hoping for a little bit more from Director Bobcat Goldthwait, how can you go wrong with a movie about a guy and teenage runaway killing stupid people across the United States?

We Need to Talk About Kevin
If you’re thinking about having kids, this is the best type of birth control to come along since condoms.

The Grey
If you’re anticipating Liam Neeson breaking the bottles of liquor and taping them to his knuckles to fight the big, bad wolves…wait for it…wait for it…no seriously, wait for it.

“That’s not a chocolate bunny you’re eating!!!” It’s shit! (Get it? The movie sucks.)

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
Oh Pee-Wee…even after 50+ viewings, as a loner and a rebel, you’re still entertaining after all these years…even to my kids.

Michael Fassbender’s angry blue-veiner takes center stage in this fantastically dark, delectably dirty glimpse into one man’s struggle with sex addiction.

The Little Bear Movie
Some days when I roll into work, I think about the fantastical, simple world of Little Bear and try to forget about all of this stupid shit for a couple seconds of my day.

We Bought a Zoo 
…we also bought tickets to a paint-by-numbers flick from Cameron Crowe complete with a cute kid saying cute things like ‘The average human head weighs eight pounds’.

Cocaine Cowboys
Cocaine is a helluva drug…as is fully apparent in this eye-opening documentary about the Miami snow trade.

The Sitter
A poor-man’s ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING that poses the question: ‘When is Jonah Hill going to decide if he’s fat or skinny?’

A Lonely Place to Die
It's DELIVERANCE mixed with DESCENT (minus the creatures) mixed with RANSOM mixed with great cinematography and a shitty plot.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Wow, this sequel to Pixar’s THE INCREDIBLES is everything that I had hoped for…and then some.

How in the hell did Hitchcock make a movie about seven people stranded on a lifeboat even remotely interesting?

My Week with Marilyn
This movie proves that you can, in fact, create a smart, poignant, interesting historical story in less than 100 minutes.

A Dangerous Method
Keira Knightley juts out her jaw, and other body parts, to unimaginable heights in this under two-hour thought-provoking biopic about Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

Young Adult
It’s like the movie MONSTER, but if the title character was a semi-hot novelist/drunkard/drug-abuser/disconnect female going through a mid-life crisis…that’s not a murderer.

How on Earth is there a Scorcese film that doesn’t involve an aluminum baseball bat to the head and not named Kundun that still can manage to be utterly fantastic?

Life During Wartime
It’s the much-anticipated sequel to Todd Solondz’s HAPPINESS, completely recast with new actors that no one was waiting for, except for me. 

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Staten Island…but really didn’t want to ever know about Staten Island. 

The Avengers
Finally, a superhero film, other than The Dark Knight franchise, that doesn’t suck big, hairy gonads.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Morgan Spurlock pays for an entertaining movie about crass commercialism by making an entertaining movie about crass commercialism.

Click here for more of Eimer's One-Sentence Movie Reviews >>

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Summer of Stephen King's IT.

Way way back in the summer of 1987, I was a frustrated, angst-ridden puberty-stricken 14-year-old boy (almost 15). My freshman year at Martins Ferry High School was coming to a close. And, with no driver's license, no cable TV, no girlfriend and no life.

I basically had zero plans for my summer - except, of course, catching up on summer movies and walking the streets of Martins Ferry with my closest buddies looting various homes for liquor and beer.

Well, actually, there was one thing that I was going to do that summer, and that was read Stephen King's IT, which as I recall took the entire summer thanks in part to my virgin novel-reading abilities and it's immense length (1,138 pages, which translates to more than 100,000 words).

I was so mesmerized by the book that I took time out of my busy summer to draw and ink the following picture:

I believe it's the first time the portly Ben meets Pennywise the clown face to face. Note the cold breath air, the 'husky' Buster Brown jeans, the cinema-verite eyeball a' la Salvador Dali's short film Un Chien Andalou (even before I knew what the hell Un Chien Andalou was.)

And, let's not forget, my personal representation of Pennywise, which sort of mimicked the evil clown made famous by Tim Curry in the 1990 craptacular made-for-TV movie.

I would seriously be remiss of me to not point out my awesome use of perspective in relation to the bridge, the little cabin, the road, the creek/river and the clown.

In any event, after finishing this homage, I had high hopes of creating an eventual graphic novel of the book. I remember highlighting pages in my paperback book, which would make great layouts.

Sadly my great vision never came to fruition due to self-diagnosed teenage laziness. More than likely, I decided to focus my energy on the unending search for girls and booze during my summer of love Stephen King's IT.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eimer’s Most Anticipated Summer Films of 2012

There’s that certain je ne sais quoi when the flowers begin blooming, the sun is warming up the northern hemisphere, the young'uns anxiously awaiting the final school bell, the beer distributor's stocking up the Speedway's with Mickey's Malt Liquor …

….and let’s not forget the annual line-up of summer movies.

Yes, my fair reader, it's that time of the year when everyone from 5- to 500- years old can act like a kid again and be wowed by insane special effects, snarky dialogue and big-ass explosions.

So without further adieu, here are my personal most-anticipated summer films of 2012 (in order of premiere)...

Oh, just a word, although my list has included some of the top special-effects-laden-bubble-gum-popcorn-stuffing-in-your-mouth picks that all of you have been accustomed to for so many summers of yore, I thought I'd also toss in a couple, under-the-radar films that you may want to toss into your Netflix queue.

HULK SMASH!!! I just saw this film last night. If you like summer movies, superheroes or simply film theory in general, just go see this movie. It’s fun, smart, witty and action-packed. It’s, dare I say, the prime prototype of how to create a fun, special-effects-laden summer movie. Joss Whedon has done the film geeks good! This one is worth every penny for a babysitter. Or, hell, if they're over 7-years-old, bring them along. They'll only have nightmares for only a couple weeks.

Bobcat Goldthwhait (yes from Police Academy 2 fame) writes and directs this dysfunctional film about a man who’s pissed off with the world and is not going to take it anymore. And, judging by the trailer, it looks a lot more fun than Kevin Smith’s DOGMA. And, by judging from Bobcat’s previous work (including WORLD'S GREATEST DAD and SHAKES THE CLOWN) this road trip, violent, dark comedy-esque NATURAL BORN KILLERS looks like a helluva ride. Starring Joel Murray, Bill Murray’s brother who made his big screen acting debut in another Goldthwaite vehicle…One Crazy Summer.

After tackling animation two years ago with the superb THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX, Wes Anderson is back with a live-action film (his last was 2009’s THE DARJEELING LIMITED). In my opinion, this film – a Romeo and Juliet love story set amongst summer camps - looks fun, fresh and entertaining. However, one of my buddies sent me a post on Facebook that read: ‘OK, Royal Tannenbaums was a surprise. But then, the Life Aquatic got boring, quickly. Rushmore virtually unwatchable. From the looks of this trailer, it's an uninspired hodgepodge of quirky characters all acting like all the other characters in Anderson's films -- so, so predictable. And not funny. Seriously not funny. Poker faced kid actors repeating droll, witty lines ad finitum? Seen it once, got it. Not again and again.’ Meh. Although it’s a funny manifesto, I’m going against his better judgement and going to see this film. But that's just me. Truth be told, I would like to live in a world created by Anderson.

In a slight twist to the fairy tale (and the Disney animated classic), the Huntsman, who is ordered by the Evil Queen to take Snow White into the woods and kill her, instead becomes her protector. Directed by relatively unknown Rupert Sanders (Just how unknown is he? Check out his IMDB file) the movie looks like a mix between the look and feel of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, the action of CLASH/WRATH OF THE TITANS and the fantasy-mystique of the Tony Scott/Tom Cruise fantasy vehicle LEGEND. And the trailer seems to be hiding the dwarves. There are seven dwarves right? The art direction looks fantastic by the way.

An Alien prequel from the guy that directed the original ALIEN (Ridley Scott), written by one of the guys that brought us LOST (Damon Lindelof)? Excuse me, but I’m scheduling a babysitter right now.

After seeing the trailer, I’m thinking a mix of BACK TO THE FUTURE, HAPPY ACCIDENTS and RADIO FLYER – the movie is about a reporter and two interns who head out on an assignment to interview a guy who places a CraigsList Ad seeking a companion for time travel.

You can’t deny Woody Allen is on a roll. Hell, the man has been on a roll for the past 25+ years cranking out one superb movie (well, that’s debatable) after another every single year…and then some. In any event, not only is Woody behind the camera, but he also wrote a little something for himself as well. After the success of last year’s Academy Award-winning MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (Best Original Screenplay), I’m looking forward to this film immensely. And, hey, did I see Academy-Award winning actor Roberto Benigni in the trailer as well?

Okay, this movie could really, really suck. Or really, really be a lot of fun. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (who directed the NIGHTWATCH/DAYWATCH movies as well as WANTED), I’m putting this on my B-movie selection of possible dark-horse, break-out summer movie candidate. Judge for yourself. Daniel Day Lewis, eat your heart out!

BRAVE (June 22)
After a Cars2 debacle, PIXAR looks to be back to form in what appears to be an interesting film with a female protagonist leading one of their films, which – correct me if I’m wrong - hasn’t happened in a Pixar film to date.

Every year, I take off my birthday and go on a long early-morning run to think about the year that was Then, I get some lunch at a local BW3, get half-in-the-bag drunk and go see a movie in the afternoon. This year, I'll more than likely go see BRAVE. However, Writer/Director Oliver Stone’s newest movie that isn't an biopic will be second on my list during my big 4-0. Hopefully it’s a return to vintage Stone. With a talented cast, it looks fairly interesting. The movie looks like some sort of TRUE ROMANCE redux...not that there's anything wrong with that.

On the opposite end of spectrum in comparison to THE AVENGERS is this little film that could. Directed by first-time feature director Benh Zeitlin, Beasts tells the story of a young girl named Hushpuppy who goes on a fantastical adventure in search of her mother all the while dealing with prehistoric creatures, her ailing father and the end of the world. This movie has been winning every major award on the film festival circuit. And, judging by the trailer, could be really, really great…or a really, really big letdown. I’m foreseeing the former.

Thought I would choose one documentary to highlight. And thisone, sort of, looks like a doozy. It follows the highs and lows of a billionaire couple (Jackie and David Siegel) who live in a 90,000-square-foot mansion, which was built on money funded by the time-share industry.

Christopher Nolan. Christian Bale. Bane. A naked Anne Hathaway (just kidding.). How can you not have this final Batman installment from one of the best directors of our time on your list? Also if you're interested in looking at a nude Hathaway, check out BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS and RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. (I’m sure there are others, right Mr. Skin?).

360 (August 3)
This movie takes a 360-degree look (get it?) at what happens when partners from different social backgrounds engage in sex. Acted by top names including Anthony Hopkins, Rachel Weisz and Jude Law. Directed by the guy who brought us CITY OF GOD, THE CONSTANT GARDENER and BLINDNESS. Written by the guy who brought us FROST/NIXON, THE QUEEN and THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. Could be a downer of a movie. But a helluva downer of a movie.

THE CAMPAIGN (August 10)
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis come together to make fun of politics. Written by EASTBOUND AND DOWN scribers Chris Henchy and Shawn Harweel and directed by Jay Roach (MEET THE FOCKERS/PARENTS and MYSTERY, ALASKA). Could be funny like STEP BROTHERS. Could not be funny, like SEMI-PRO.

PARANORMAN (August 17)
Another possible stop-motion visually masterpiece, this time directed by Chris Butler (who worked next to master animator Henry Selick in the animated gem CORALINE as well as CORPSE BRIDE) and Sam Fell (who did the underwhelming FLUSHED AWAY and THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX).

I’m a sucker for fish-out-of-water dysfunctional family road trip movies such as ABOUT SCHMIDT, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, THE FAMILY STONE and let's not forget PIECES OF APRIL. That’s why this film, about an uptight lawyer (Catherine Keener) who takes her two teenagers to visit her hippie mother's (Jane Fonda) farmhouse in upstate New York, looks so damn fun. I’m thinking ON GOLDEN POND meets WANDERLUST meets FLIRTING WITH DISASTER. The actors look top notch. Plus it’s directed by Bruce Beresford who brought us DRIVING MISS DAISY.

Well, that’s the list. I’m curious of which films you're looking forward to seeing and which films can be thrown into the proverbial dirty diaper bin (aka Your Netflix Queue).

Oh, what's that you way?

How can a superhero-loving movie nerd leave out THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN on his list? Well, truth be told, I'm actually not looking forward to this new Spider entry at all. Matter of fact, when I was viewing the trailer for the new SpiderMan prior to the Avengers, my buddy yelled out 'SPIDER-EMO!' in the theater. Well, not really, he whispered it to me. But he should have yelled it. However, I do agree. This movie is just a mindless rehash to make more money for the Marvel universe and the SpiderMan franchise. Nothing new here. Screw The Lizard, and definitely screw SpiderEmo.

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