A quick review of UP!

pixar-up-frame1 Today after spending a little time in the world Famous San Diego Zoo, I went and saw Up! that latest film from Pixar, producers of fine computer animated films.
Up! is about an elderly man along in the world who attempts to fulfill his deceased wife’s wish of having an adventure in South America by affixing thousands of balloons to his house and floating to his destination. A young scout is trapped when the house lifts and the odd-couple comedy is under way. (Nothing I said here isn’t clearly evident from the trailer.)
Pixar produces fantasies in computer animation form and this film is a solid example of the work they perform. If you accept a house flying by balloon — and you had better if you saw the trailer — then nothing else in the film to too fantastic. The film hits all the right notes on adventure, action, and heart.
There are moments where the audience is shamefully and proudly manipulated for an emotional response, but hey that’s why we go to the movies. To have an emotional response.
I saw the film in the Disney 3-D effect and the 3-D worked rather well. The film was shot in a manner that makes it entirely viewable in 2-D and that may be a consideration if you go. My eyes were strained by the 3-D effect, not to the point of headache but my eyes did ache.
In the end it was a movie worth making and a movie worth watching.


D-Day 6 June 1944

d-day05For those of us who have never been in combat or in a war it is unimaginable the terror, confusion, and hell that is combat. Today in 1944 nearly 200,000 allied troops participated in the invasion and liberation of Europe.
It is easy today to look back and assume that the downfall of the Nazi reich was an assured thing, but that was something impossible to know on that morning when brave men went ashore under heavy fire.
Today will be a day or cook-outs and family fun, I plan to spend a number of hours with friends playing videos games, but we should also set aside a bit of time to remember the sacrifice of the men who died for freedom. It was truly a heroic thing that set out to and did achieve.


The Trunk is packed

I have finished putting all my old unsold stories and script into the Trunk pages here on my web site. It was quite a trip down memory lane. The oldest surviving story I have on hand is from 1987 and it was a spec script for Star Trek: The Next generation. While it has some warts Is till like the story and I think I did a fair job on it.

I do hope people enjoy the stories for what they are, examples of how a writer evolves over time.


A week ending

It’s been a very busy week at my day job. Thankfully the weeks is ending and I can lookin forward to board and card games tonight and tomorrow a video game shoot-out.


The Writer’s Brain Never Stops

I’ve mentioned many times the werewolf story that is bedeviling me. Last night I went to bed with the story still pounding in my skull incomplete and useless.
After I fell asleep I dreamt. Nearly every dream in the night was about the werewolf story. Different takes, different points-of-view, different narrative structures in each dream. Sadly, none of them really worked either and all I ended up to show for it was a night of little sleep.
This is what it means to be a writer. Obsession over thing that you cannot control. Like sexuality it is something beyond your control.
Speaking of sexuality — go New Hampshire!


Feeling Frustrated

I’ve got like half of a horror story in my head and it is driving me crazy that I don’t have the other half.
The problem isn’t plotting because I haven’t progressed to plotting on this idea yet. I know I want to write a werewolf story. I want to use werewolf mythology older than Hollywood’s. That is I do not want to use the tropes that were created, wonderfully I might add, for the film The Wolf Man.
I know I want to use teenagers and high-school and I might even want to make it a period piece set in the 1970’s, but I am still missing the undefined element that makes me go, Bang! I’ve got a story.
All sorts of elements and scenes have formed in my head and rough character outlines, but not everything I need.

It’s so terribly frustrating to be this close and not have what I need. It’s like when you;re trying to remember a name or title and it just will not come out of your head.



Too Tired

I’m too tired for much of a post tonight.
Work has been very busy and fairly stressful.

Also we are entering the period when I should be hearing back from Writers Of The Future on the submission Araceli


Sunday Night Movies John Carpenter’s The Thing

So I sat down to consider which movie to watch as my Sunday Night Movie last night when I noticed that on my Netflix play now queue John Carpenter’s The Thing was going to expire on Monday. If I was going to watch it as a play now without the disc it had to be right then.
That was fine by me I was in the mood for a horror film.

John Carpenter’s The Thing (1981) is a remake of the Howard Hawks’ film The Thing From Another World (1951) and both used are their source material the story Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell. I have not read the original short story so I can’t compare the films as adaptations, but these films are great moments in the culture when they were made.

The Thing From Another World was made shortly after WWII and the culture of the military and the deep faith in the US military infuses every scene of the film. These military men are America’s best and most noble resource. Courageous and resourceful in the face of a blood drinking monster from beyond the planet these men do not despair and do not quit. The scientists of the movie are not evil, not cackling mad scientists here, but are naive in the evils that can exist in this world, evils that these military are well equipped to fight. This film ends upbeat but the the admonition to “Watch The Skies.” Evil can come again at any time and we must always be vigilant.

John Carpenter’s The Thing while released in 1982 is very much a 70’s movie. The viewpoint of people in general is a cynical one and the military men are now seen as misfits and malcontents either lost in their petty power structures, stoned out of reality, or rebels doomed to failure. These military men are unkempt disordered and far from vigilant. Faced with terror and the unknown they are more prone to panic and paranoia than competence and action. The scientists while still not portrayed as evil as more useless and powerless before the alien threat. The film ends more cynically and without optimism. There is no admonition to watch for anything, because doom, destruction, and death are our fates.

These two films makes fro quite a contrast to view. The special effects in the 1982 film are far superior, but that is to be expected. John Carpenter’s The Thing is perhaps John Carpenter’s best film, and he was well served by not composing the music for this film. (The man seems to have a very limited library of musical themes and he has used them all to death.) This movie is not without flaws. There are scenes that are edited together in a ham-fisted way, causing the characters to appear stupid when they were merely ignorant. (These are very different qualities.) Despite the warts though the film is worth watching, particularly when seen in conjunction with the Howard Hawks classic.


An Amusing Contradiction

Takes a look at this picture. It a group a group of people protesting the agenda of the current administration to expand healthcare coverage in this country.
(It is interesting to note that there has not been a detailed plan put forward, do people are protesting the mere idea of expanding coverage not the method by which it is expanded.)

There’s a very good chance that every person in this picture is currently on Medicare. Medicare is socialized medicine, the very thing that they are ‘protesting.’

Government healthcare for me but not for thee?


Literary Saboteur

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