Tuesday, September 21, 2021

F' Golf

Many, many years ago, I did a cartoon called 'FUCK', which I posted here for all to see

Well, time went by, my kids are now teenagers and I have a little spare time on my hands. So, I decided to teach myself Procreate on my iPad. 

I did a couple shitty sketches, which are now deleted, then I started getting the hang of this new program. It's a little like Photoshop, sorta like Illustrator with a couple twists. In any event, I thought a good exercise was to revisit my curmudgeonly middle-aged dude and see how he would handle the ups and downs, knocking back a few balls and a few brews on an 18-hole public course. 

Well here ya go! Enjoy (or not). 


 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Eimer's 2021 Academy Award Picks


Wow, 2020. What an odd year for movies you were!

As a matter of fact:

  • I haven't seen a movie in a theater in a year.
  • I haven't seen any of these movies on the big screen. 
  • This is the most diverse nominated offerings of films I've seen in quite some time.
  • I'm ready to get back to the theater.
That said, I'm still excited for this year's Academy Awards this year. I'm not anticipating a lot of folks watching the show, but I will be there with my wife and kids. Yep, we're film nerds. 

Lots of diversity in this year's choices as well, which is why Nomadland, Ma Rainey, Minari and Sound of Metal made some my top choices. So ... here's my list! 

___________________

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7


Best Directing
Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round
David Fincher, Mank
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman


Best Actress in a Leading Role
Viola Davis, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Andra Day, United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman


Best Actor in a Leading Role
Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari


Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari


Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah


Best Original Screenplay
Judas and the Black Messiah
Minari
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7


Best Adapted Screenplay
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
The Father
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
The White Tiger


Best Cinematography
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
News of the World
Nomadland
The Trial of the Chicago 7


Best Film Editing
The Father
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7


Best Animated Feature Film
Onward
Over the Moon
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Soul
Wolfwalkers


Best Animated Short Film
Burrow
Genius Loci
If Anything Happens I Love You
Opera
Yes-People


Best Live-Action Short Film
Feeling Through
The Letter Room
The Present
Two Distant Strangers
White Eye


Best International Feature Film
Another Round
Better Days
Collective
The Man Who Sold His Skin
Quo Vadis, Aida?


Best Documentary Feature
Collective
Crip Camp
The Mole Agent
My Octopus Teacher
Time


Best Documentary Short Subject
Colette
A Concerto Is a Conversation
Do Not Split
Hunger Ward
A Love Song for Latasha


Best Original Score
Da 5 Bloods
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Soul


Best Original Song
"Fight For You," Judas and the Black Messiah
"Hear My Voice," The Trial of the Chicago 7
"Husavik," Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
"Io Si (Seen)," The Life Ahead
"Speak Now," One Night in Miami


Best Sound
Greyhound
Mank
News of the World
Soul
Sound of Metal


Best Costume Design
Emma
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Mank
Mulan
Pinocchio


Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Emma
Hillbilly Elegy
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Mank
Pinocchio


Best Production Design
The Father
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Mank
News of the World
Tenet


Best Visual Effects
Love and Monsters
The Midnight Sky
Mulan
The One and Only Ivan
Tenet

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Eimer's Best & Worst Movie Experiences of 2020

The last movie I saw in the theater was on Thursday, Feb. 27. It was The Invisible Man. I guess it was a pretty good choice for my last movie in a theater. I mean, it made my Top 10 (see below), which is a good thing.

But, I hope, I really, really hope, it wasn't the last movie I will see in a theater forever. It can't be. Can it?

With Covid-19 running rampant around the country, movie theaters shuttered in early March. For this movie-loving cinephile, it was a sad, sad day.

Every Autumn, I made it a point to set aside some time, even take a day off work, to visit those hallowed, marooned spaces of peace and harmony and view some Academy Award considerations, independent darlings, and - of course - blockbuster fare. Sometimes with the kids. Sometimes with the wife. Sometimes by myself, which is my preferred way to view films (but don't tell my family). 

But, not this year. 

Hopefully, movie theaters and watching films in the theater will stage a comeback, but I'm not certain it will ever be the same. 

That said, I did get to see a handful of great films in 2020. All of these films were not necessarily released in 2020, but they were movies I finally had the chance to see this year.

Keep in mind, I haven't seen a number of Top 10 critics picks as well including Tenant, The Vast of Night, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Da 5 Bloods, One Night in Miami, Wolfwalkers, Dick Johnson is Dead, Mank, The Nest or Let Them All Talk. But, hopefully the recommendations below will motivate you to check out a few that you may have forgotten or missed along the way. 

Cheers to a better 2021. And fingers-crossed that my ass will be in a seat in the movie theater in the near future. Oh, yeah, don't forget to give my Twitter feed One Sentence Movie Reviews some much-needed love. 

😍 Eimer's Best Movie Experiences of 2020:



😡 Eimer's Worst Movie Experiences of 2020:




More of Eimer's Worsts:


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Eimer's Top Reads of 2020

In early 2020, after posting my Top 9 Great Post Apocalyptic Reads way back in March 14, the place that I work sent everyone home to partake in mandatory WFH fun for the rest of the year. Which then turned into the beginning of 2021. And now, more than likely, it's looking like this WFH parade will extend well into the summer of 2021 ... if not probably beyond. 

With everything shut down, nowhere to go, and nothing to do, I thought Governor Dewine's Covid-19 Stay-At-Home Order would prompt me to sit back, cuddle up with a nice glass of whiskey, and read, and read, a read to my hearts content maybe even surpassing a personal record of total books read. 

Well, I was wrong. Except for the whiskey part. 

After March, the procrastination got worse. All of the things I wanted to do, I put off. And, pretty much, just started drinking .... anything I could possibly get my hands on. The depression transformed into gluttony, which transformed into sadness, then anger and finally acceptance. Finally, in the summer of 2020, I woke up from my doldrums, started working out again, drawing again, creating again ... and yes, even, reading again. 

With this newfound creativity, I was able to knock out a bunch of relevant, interesting, fun, topical books. Well, some not so topical but still nevertheless damn interesting. So here, folks, is my list of 2020 Top Reads, in no particular order:

Beastie Boys Book 

by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz

Loved. Loved. Loved this book and not just because I'm a Beastie Boys fan. Well, that's probably half of it. But, it's just an inspiring story of three creative kids finding new sounds, meeting new people and pushing that imagination bar. From sampling, to writing, to music, everything that the Beastie Boys did was steeped in creativity, trying new things and just seeing what sticks. Making music was their platform, but having fun and creating great friendships was key to this fruitful collaboration between three bad brothers you know so well. From the days of Rick Rubin and Licensed to Ill, to sampling with the Dust Brothers in California, to returning to their musical instrument roots in Check Your Head, and beyond all the way to the death of MCA (Adam Yauch), the story is filled with a historical breakdown of music that inspired, warts and all creative process, and the inspirational, musical-minded folks they met along the way who helped shape these guys into the band that they became, and the fantastic experimental music they made along the way. It's a long book, but well worth the read. May even inspire you to get off your butt and do something, anything .. in the spirit of creativity.


The Library Book

by Susan Orlean

I never thought I'd find a book about a library so intriguing. Then, I found out that Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, was at the helm. In subsequent chapters, this immersive book takes you through the history of The Los Angeles Public Library as well as the hunt for the 'arsonist' who started the 1986 library fire that destroyed more than one million books. As a fan of my local library in Martins Ferry, as well as the Grandview, Columbus, Hudson, and Upper Arlington public libraries in Ohio (which I have visited, continue visiting, and borrowing with full gusto), I enjoyed this book which goes through the inner-workings of a library and brings back that warm, welcoming, nostalgic feeling that you get whenever you walk through its doors. Orlean weaves three distinct books into one; true detective, historical, and educational, which comes together for a really enthralling read.


Full Throttle

by Joe Hill

Wow! Joe Hill is pumping out some pretty, pretty, pretty kick-ass short stories. Check out 21st-Century Ghosts and Strange Weather. This collection contains a ton of goodies. Some of my faves include Wolverton Station, Faun, All I Care About is You, Mums, and Dark Carousel. The audio version did not include Twittering from the Circus of The Dead. So, I'm curious about that one. But, all in all, a great collection. But, by far, the most inspiring writing comes from the Prologue, which is titled 'Who's Your Daddy?' in which he waxes nostalgic about growing up around his dad and the many different inspirations for his eventual career in writing.


Borne

by Jeff VanderMeer

Thoroughly enjoyed VanderMeer's first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy (Annihilation). The other two books, not so much. But, I was intrigued that he decided to delve into science-fiction once again with Borne. Man, this is an odd book. The tone reminded a little bit of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. But, this book can stand on its own as an odd piece of post-apocalyptic sci-fi. I don't want to give too much away but VanderMeer's imagination is able to run wild with a humungous, angry lab-grown grizzly bear followed by an army of smaller grizzly bears, robots, bio-tech, destruction, mayhem, magicians and an odd little creature named Borne. Just an entertaining read from start to finish. It's an odd one. But if you're a sci-fi fan, you'll be happy you picked it up.


Recursion

by Blake Crouch

I'm a sucker for time travel books and this one definitely delivered. I would consider this a fresh take on the 'sometimes-tired' time travel genre. But this was a page turner. Great writing from Blake Crouch. This motivated me to snag his other book 'Dark Matter' and check out his scripted TV series 'Wayward Pines'. I just found out that this will be made into a Netflix series as well. Look, if you like sci-fi, time travel and just a different 'out there' supernatural story, this is a great book for you. 'Nuff said


Fire!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story

by Peter Bagge

In his later years, Cartoonist/Writer Peter Bagge (of 'Buddy Bradley' and 'Hate 'fame) has decided to turn his muse lens towards strong-willed, tenacious female character studies such as 'Woman Rebel', 'Credo', and finally 'Fire!'. In Fire!, Bagge tells the warts and all story of writer Zora Neale Hurston (best known for her novel 'Their Eyes Were Watching God'), who was a free-spirited black woman in the early 1900's when 'black' and 'woman' and 'free-spirit' were considered taboo by the white elite. It's a fun, entertaining, thoughtful ride with snippets of Zora Neale's life peppered across the pages in Bagge's famous cartoon style. I tip my hat to Bagge, a white male, who had the courage to take on the subject matter. Some may balk at a white man telling the story of a black woman. But, like I said, this is a story of a strong-willed woman who found success despite the obstacles thrown at her, which I think is an uplifting story that will inspire women and men of all ages. Looking forward to reading Woman Rebel and Credo in the near future.


Stranger in the Woods

by Michael Finkel

What a great book to read during the Covid 19 pandemic! The story is a true-life story of Chris Knight, who wandered into the woods in the early 80's and, pretty much, never came out until getting arrested 26 years later. The book makes you question what's important in this world. Getting likes on Facebook or Instagram? Or just enjoying life and the great outdoors as the day is here? Obviously we don't all have to be a hermit like Chris Knight and hide in the woods for 26 years, but there's some nice little snippets about enjoying life that I'll definitely take with me on my life journey. Minus all the burglary charges held against him and some of his personal psychological flaws, this Knight guy may be one of the smartest guys in the world. Stay tuned and I'll let you know in (hopefully) 40 years.


Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio

by Derf Backderf

Great book by Backderf. Lots of research and interviews went into this book, which follows the fateful days leading up to the killings of four students at Kent State in 1970. The history, the backstory and the character arcs (and of course the art), had me transfixed from the first few pages, then I was hooked. What a great undertaking to create this book. Hopefully he gets the awards and recognition for this. Personally, I didn't know much about the Kent State shootings, this totally filled in the blanks (and then some). Just a great story overall. If you liked this, I highly recommend Derf's other books, 'My Friend Dahmer' and 'Trashed' as well.


March - Book One

by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

What an extremely appropriate book to read in 2020. About the life, story, and heroism of John Lewis. I knew a little bit about John Lewis, but this book is packed full of history, biography, and crazy racial injustices that didn't happen too long ago. It's amazing how far we think we've come, only to continue to be reminded that we've got a lot of work to do together as a nation to heal our wounds. With great story arc by Lewis and Aydin as well as fantastic artwork by Powell; I probably should've picked up this book sooner. But, I'm sort of glad I saved it for right here, right now. Looking forward to Book Two and Book Three of the series

Other Top Reads From Year's Past:

Saturday, March 14, 2020

9 Great Post-Apocalyptic Books To Read During Your Coronavirus 2020 Spring Break



So, here we are, folks. These past couple of weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has slowly covered the Earth and turned our lives inside out, and upside down.

No March Madness. 
No opening day baseball. 
No large gatherings. 
No high school championships.
No youth sports.
No NHL. No NBA. 
No movie theaters. 
No St. Patrick’s Day alcoholic festivities. 
No Walt Disney World!!

With Spring Break fast approaching, and most of the hand sanitizer vanished from the store shelves, what’s a mandatory work-from-homer like you to do?

Well, if you like to read, then you’re in heaven. Time has stopped. And we’re now back in the olden days—where a good book and a glass of wine can be the perfect time suck while waiting for the pandemic to dissolve. Back in the day, books and stories were like the Netflix of today: they were first entertainment binge thanks to the likes of Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott and [insert your favorite writer here].

During your 2020 Pandemic Spring Break, I thought I'd share some of my top 9 favorite virusy books with you to read while you're lounging on the beach with your favorite beer, or holding court in your backyard with a cocktail and a shotgun, or in some sort of bunker nervously clicking on CNN.com with cup of water and a handful of sodium thiopental pills at the waiting.

Below, dear reader, you'll find something a little different. Something a little post-apocalyptic. A book that may just hit a little too close to home, or add some much-needed levity, during these crazy outbreak times.

(Note: Links provided below will shoot you off to Amazon.com)

#9
When I found out that Writer/Director Alex Garland (of Ex-Machina fame) was adapting this into a movie with Natalie Portman playing the lead, suffice to say I was intrigued. And I didn't put the book down. After a bit of contemplation, it reminds me a bit of the 90's video games MYST and RIVEN - dystopian, green lands void of humans but filled with mystery around every corner - but it's much more than that. It's a science-fiction mystery, it's a study in psychology and biology, it's horrific, and it's a soap box message about humans interaction with its surrounding environment. It's pretty damn interesting is what it is and I can totally see why Garland optioned this as his next film. For your information I read the other two books in the series and I thought they were just ok. But this first one, and subsequent movie (starring Natalie Portman) are worth a read, and a viewing.

#8
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Nicely written post-apocalyptic, science fiction book by Dashner, which caters to the tween readers. Yet also serves up enough content to entertain this 40-something white male. Memories of ENDER'S GAME, THE CITY OF EMBER, Hugh Howey's WOOL and HUNGER GAMES will hit your mind in the novel realm. As well as CUBE, THE KILLING ROOM and SAW in the film realm. But don't let that dissuade you. Dashner creates a cool, interesting realm within a maze filled with kids who are pushed to their limits to try and escape. You're figuring out stuff as the main character is figuring it out, which isn't a new story-telling technique, but it always works for - especially if done the right way. Great dialogue and a great tone throughout. Like Rowling, King and Koontz, Dashner knows how to end a chapter that entices the reader to keep you reading. The only fault, and without giving too much away, I would have liked to see more 'things' in the maze. I don't know. Maybe it's my bloodlust. However, there may be a reason highlighted in the other books. That said, the last five or six chapters seal the deal as a great book and a possible great series. On to the next book! Oh, and the movie is ok. 

#7
One of the very first books I ever read was Stephen King's The Skeleton Crew - a lengthy collection of King's early, previously published short stories. I think it was around 1987 or so, when I picked up this particular book from Walden Book's at The Ohio Valley Mall. And by 'picked up' I mean 'stole'. The book resonated with me on a number of levels. But the one short story that truly knocked my socks off and opened my world to the unlimited possibilities of fiction writing and crafting a good story was The Mist. For all those unaware, the story is about this strange cloud, emblematic of the current coronavirus strain, that engulfs a small town in Maine, with creatures in the fog that kill everyone caught in its path. Terrified survivors seek refuge in a supermarket, while a swarm of murderous creatures swirling around in the mist try to get in. As it turns out, the monsters outside the supermarket aren't nearly as terrifying as the psychological monsters that lurk within the survivors themselves. After I finished the story, I closed the book and thought to myself, "My god, that would be a great movie." And, minus the bleak ending, Director Frank Darabont, did indeed knock the film version out of the park. 

#6
Kudos to Max Brooks for his very, very deep thinking on the eternal question, "What would happen if the entire world were overrun with a virus that turned people into flesh-eating zombies?" Seriously though, my hat goes off to Brooks for ruminating on the subject for days and days. Very thorough thought process indeed. What would the army do? Where would people go? How would they survive? What happens when it freezes? Does the army get involved? What about zombies that end up in the water? Brooks creative minds answers these thought-provoking questions, and much more, through faux one-on-one sit-down interviews with a number of heros and witnesses to the zombie war. Which brings me to the one fault I have for this book. I thought the narrative, or rather the storytelling process (first-hand accounts) that Brooks thought up to tell his story was a bit weak. I'm not sure if having a regular, straight-forward fiction novel would have done it justice, either. However, having read Justin Cronin's vampire apocalypse fantasy THE PASSAGE as well as Brook's WORLD WAR Z side by side, I can honestly say Cronin's work - a straight-forward fiction novel - rises to the top. The film version, starring Brad Pitt, wasn't too shabby either. But the book was better. I hear the audiobook version of this book is outstanding as well. 

#5
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Very interesting post-apocalyptic read about a traveling group of thespians who have come together after a massive, deadly flu outbreak wipes out 99% of the world. They travel from town to town along the Great Lakes (mostly Michigan) and put on Shakespeare productions to small cities. But it's more than that. There's a whole sci-fi story called Station Eleven that comes into play as well as the death of a famous actor prior to the outbreak while performing King Lear. Sounds odd, right? Well, it is. But it all works. And each plot piece that's introduced has some sort of cosmic meaning that comes to a crescendo at the end of the book. 

#4
Wow, what a monster virus of a book, but well worth the one month of reading in the end. A new, unique take on the Vampire mystique, Cronin's book covers a present day America followed by an apocalyptic America 100 years later. The cast of characters he creates talk, speak and feel lifelike, the decisions they make speaks to the characters themselves and the journey all of these characters travel is also enjoyable and creepy. Keep in mind, this is a graphic book with plenty of bloodshed and murder. Cronin also attacks the action sequences in the book with fervor and passion. He paints a very comprehensive picture of landscapes and scenery. Some beautiful writing throughout the more than 700 pages made me a bit jealous, which is always a compliment to the author. Comparisons to WATERSHIP DOWN came to mind often as I was reading this book. I'm not sure how much more there is to say besides the creatures and the overall storyline do, in fact, bring some comparisons to films such I AM LEGEND (and the book), THE DESCENT as well as Guillermo Del Toro's BLADE 2. That said, the book stands on its own as a great piece of fiction. I understand there are two more yet-be-released books in the Passage series, which makes sense considering the open-ended finale. The other two books in the series (The Twelve and The City of Mirrors) are just as fantastic. 

#3
A very creative science fiction 'collection' of post-apocalyptic stories by Hugh Howey. Take the word 'collection' with a grain of salt. Because, put together, the six stories complete a satisfyingly eerie story Howey who, at the time, was an up-and-coming writer that eventually gained a cult writing status with these stories on Amazon.com. Kudos to Howey for taking the science-fiction genre in a new, interesting direction. Without giving too much away, he's created a thriller, a murder mystery, a horror story all merged with fantastic dialogue and character development. Highly recommended.

#2
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
This novel features the post-apocalyptic odd-couple of two
men fighting off hordes of f'd up humans after a killer flu wipes out most of the United States. A mix of 'The Road' and a previous novel that I had just read called 'Station Eleven', it's an interesting story told matter-of-factly in first person narrative of a pacifist pilot that's forced to kill. A former army marine that's trained to kill, and sort of likes it--all in the name of protecting the airport that they call home. The two form a crazy, odd bond that works well in printed form. And probably could stretch into a movie version with the right actors. It's sad. It's melancholy. It questions our humanity. It praises relationships and kinships that form. And it adds a bit of warmth in this depressing, despicable, lonely planet that the flu virus has left behind.

#1
McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel is very dark, very depressing, very bleak … and very, very good. From page one, you realize something ain't right in the world. The human population has exponentially been wiped from the Earth. How or Why? The reader is never told. There are whispers of ashes flying through the steel-gray sky to hint that there could have been a possible nuclear war. Plus, the absence of animals, including birds, deer and other wildlife, hint that possibly there was some sort of viral coronavirus epidemic that swept the world and destroyed the land. Another possible theory is that a meteor struck the Earth, hurling ash into the atmosphere and instantly killing 99% of the Earth’s population including animals. Who really knows. In any event, we’re thrown into the life of a father (no name throughout the book) and his son, who are pushing a cart down the road and headed South to warmer climate and some sort of happiness. Throughout the book, they have some interesting run-ins with characters including survivors described by the son as "the bad guys". In a sense you feel that some of these "bad guys" are harvesting humans to eat. In fact, there is a terrifying scene in a basement of a house midway through the book that still resonates in my brain. Personally, after reading this book, as a reader and a father of two kids I began to ask myself some rather blunt questions as I delved deeper and deeper into the novel. What would I do if I were thrust into this situation? Where would I go? Would I kill? What is the point of life? Why are we here? Why are we even trying to survive? What kind of advice could I instill into my kids that times would get better? The ending, however, gives the reader a glimmer of hope that humanity, perhaps, will continue. But, by that time, you’ll be asking yourself the question "Was it all worth it anyway."


Well, there you have it,  hopefully one these books hit a nerve, or calmed a few, during your coronavirus journey. And here's hoping our planet's outcome will end up on a more positive note than all of the stories above. Feel free to add a couple more to the list in the comments section.