Friday, July 25, 2008
And this is probably one of the only "Top Animated Films" lists that won't include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Bambi. I'm sorry. Just because something is old, or "the first", it doesn't make it good. Or interesting. In my less-than-humble opinion, Snow White is one of the most overrated, boring films to come down the pike. But Ed, you might say, It was a technological breakthrough in animation. It was the first of its kind. Yea, well, just because something is different doesn't mean its good. Just ask Paris Hilton's parents.
So here we go. The best in animation, according to me....
10. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
There is a moment in this film that always blows me away. Jack Skellington has gone off to become the new and improved Santa Claus and his #1 fan Sally is home lamenting because she knows something's not right. While Sally is singing her ballad she steps through a gate and swings her head to the side. That moment right there is so smooth...so perfect...it's almost hard for me not to believe it's not a person in a big Sally costume. And there's also the Oogie Boogie song.
9. Flushed Away
I'll admit it. I haven't liked anything else this guy has done. And yes, that includes the Wallace and Gromit series. So my expectations for this were pretty low. Not only did this movie blow me out of the water, it also made Kate Winslet more attractive. The fun action peppered with jabs at America (and the UK) cracked me up. This movie probably would have ranked higher on my list if the characters didn't look so much like those Wallace and Gromit idiots.
8. The Prince of Egypt
Like The Nightmare Before Christmas, there's one scene in this film that sticks in my head, but with a much larger emotional attachment. It comes at the climax of the film when Moses parts the Red Sea. That whole scene...the animation as the water rushes into the sky, the swelling music...and then the eerie silence...it gives me chills just writing about it and gets my heart beating like Ed Grimley in the presence of Pat Sajak.
7. The Emperor's New Groove
How is this cartoon not more popular than it is? Hey, I'm not the biggest David Spade fan either, but when he's on, he's on. And in this film, he's on. Emporer's plays like a Disney film done by the kids of the filmmakers: sick and tired of the schmaltz and cheese, they're gonna show us that cartoons can be sarcastic, too. A cartoon that knows it's a cartoon and says What the heck. Let's just have fun with this one.
6. The Simpsons Movie
Admit it. You were just as shocked into hysterical laughter as I was to see Bart's junk.
I can still remember thinking to myself Cartoons aren't supposed to be this irreverently funny while I was in the theater holding my side trying to stop laughing so I could hear the next joke. Like The Emporer's New Groove, Shrek takes the world of children's stories and pokes it in the eye as it dumps ice cubes down its shirt.
4. The Incredibles
Are you kidding me? Superheroes more believable than their Marvel or DC cousins, an amazingly animated landscape, harrowing action (it's hard to beat that jungle chase scene), all delicately painted around a couple struggling to keep their marriage together...wow. Well done, Pixar.
Just the fact that the animators were able to keep up with Robin Williams' mile-a-minute freestyle is a feat in itself. Disney loves putting our heroes in a spot where you think There's no way they can get out of this. But when I watched this, I remember saying OK really, there's no way he's getting out of this one. One of these good guys is gonna die.
2. Finding Nemo
Man, when things come together at Pixar, they really come together, don't they? Everything from the casting down to the most intricate detail in a random air bubble was spot on. This is one of the few films you could pop into your player, press pause at any spot and the image frozen on your screen will be the very essence of art. You'd just look at it and say Wow. That's beautiful. And hey, any film that is clever enough to incorporate the old Monty Python "Bruce" sketch gets extra credit.
1. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Only Steven Spielberg would be able to get Warner Brothers and Disney to shake hands and agree to let their greatest cartoon characters appear side by side in the name of good moviemaking. Considering this was done before the computer animation technology we have today, it's amazing how they got this film to work.
Yes, those are actual guns and beer bottles floating around in the air, not CG recreations, and the way they orchestrated the chaos in the Ink & Paint Club is beyond me. Roger Rabbit is a movie that loves movies and is a love letter to an era that may be gone but won't soon be forgotten.
Yay for cartoons.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I used to work at Gotee Records, a Christian record label in Nashville. Before making the move there I worked at WJTL, a radio station in Lancaster PA for 3 years (I'm actually back at JTL again, so that worked out).
Not long after I got to Nashville, people started being let go from Gotee under really weird circumstances. Two years later, it was my turn. The best part is, it was one of those weird situations where the guy doing the firing couldn't come up with a valid reason to let me go, so he had to make something up. On my pink slip under "Reason for termination" the excuse he put down was "No experience in radio."**
I thought this was hilarious but have since lost my copy of the pink slip. I tried to get in touch with the HR department at the label to get a new copy sent to me. I actually want to frame it and put it in my office (I'm sorry, but when something is funny, it's funny). I called the label today but got an automated message saying "Please hold for assistance" over and over again and was never connected to a real person. So, if anyone reading this has a hook-up...hook me up.
It's all in the name of comedy.
** Interesting footnote: The promotions manager who fired me? He'd worked there only a couple of months longer than me and his previous experience was working at a coffee shop. For realz, yo.
A few minutes after posting this, my buddy and co-former Gotee employee Brad gave me the heads up on the person who could possibly get me what I was looking for. He gave me her email address and I sent her a friendly and polite email requesting a copy of my pink slip.
Approximately 30 minutes later I received an email in response to my request. She told me she'd see if she could get it from Joey (co-owner and co-founder of the label) and she would keep me posted. So far this is going much smoother than I anticipated.
Find out the final outcome by reading this post.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I guess I shouldn't have said it out loud.
Our car is in the shop to get fixed after getting rear-ended by a fellow Creation Festival attendee. The other guy's insurance is covering everything, including a rental car, and yesterday when the guy at Enterprise told me we would be driving a PT Cruiser I literally laughed in his face.
I asked if there was anything smaller but there wasn't.
And now here I am, stuck with a PT Cruiser. A vanilla one, no less. As we were driving home in the PT Crapper, Sarah joked that it would be funny if we ended up loving the car. Turns out there's no danger of that. On my way to work yesterday I passed someone else in a PT (Pretty Turd-y) Cruiser and instead of thinking, "There's a tool" I thought "There's another tool."
This morning on the way to work I honked the horn to see what it sounds like and it continued to honk until I honked the horn again. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!! A guy working in his yard looked up at me and I thanked the PT Cruiser for making me look even more like a dick.*
Originally the body shop told me it would take about 15 days to fix our car. When we dropped it off on Monday, the lady said it would take about 3 days. So now I'm torn. Part of me wants it to take 15 days to make sure the job is done right and not rushed. But the other part of me wants it to take 3 days so I can escape the stigma of being the driver of a PT Cruiser.
I guess it could be worse. They could have given me a Hummer to drive around.
My name is Ed and I'm driving a PT Cruiser.
*I don't usually talk like a coked-up frat guy, but it's one of the side effects of driving a PT Cruiser.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A friend of mine just sent me this article:
Comedian Andy Dick arrested on drug, sexual battery charges in Murrieta
A 17-year-old girl tells police that Andy Dick pulled down her tank top, exposing her breasts. Police say he was 'extremely intoxicated' and had marijuana and Xanax medication in his pockets.
It goes on from there, but those are the basics. And...as always...I have some questions/comments:
1. What the FREAK is up with that mugshot? He looks like a Muppet auditioning for a role in A Clockwork Orange. Oh well. At least he looks happy.
2. So he was carrying pot and Xanax in his pockets. Am I the only one shocked at this? Not shocked that they found drugs on him, but that they didn't find coke, heroin, LSD, pop rocks, rabbit tranquilizers, recycled amphetamines, extra-strength Tylenol, fish oil omega-3, and/or Red Bull.
3. How did the girl even let this happen? Andy Dick is the size of a garden gnome.
4. Andy Dick being caught exposing a girl makes about as much sense to me as Richard Simmons having Jessica Simpson as his desktop wallpaper.
5. Never mind. I just figured out what was up with that photograph. I think someone at the LA Times was asleep at the wheel and accidentally put up their stock photo of Kathy Griffin. Ha ha ha ha ha ha, just kidding. Kathy Griffin is wayyyy more masculine.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
JT is a buddy of mine from the National Comedy Theatre. I've blogged about him a few times in the past and I still get excited and all "Way to Go, Dude" when I think of his appearance on 30 Rock. He's one of the guys you meet in life that makes you glad you meet new people in life. Simply put, he's one of the good guys.
JT is still up in New York and is currently involved in trying to get a production up and running. I know, I know, tell me someone in New York who isn't. But when someone you look up to and admire is passionate about something, you can't help but have that passion rub off on you a bit.
"Love Jerry" is a musical that JT and his friends have been working on for some time now (since college, if my memory serves). For most people, Broadway musicals bring to mind visions of lonely goatherds and cats played by over-the-hill angry thespians. But this musical is a bit different. It brings to light the subject of child abuse. In fact, it's already been recognized by Stop It Now! National and Darkness to Light, two organizations raising awareness to stop child abuse.
Right now JT and his creative partners are in the middle of trying to raise funds to get "Love Jerry" off the ground. The official "Love Jerry" website can probably put it into words better than I can so stop by and look around. I think what they're up to over there is pretty cool. Of course, if you're more of a Facebook person, they have that available, too.
If you can do something, cool. If you know someone who might want to help, pass their website along. I figure it's the least we can do.
Monday, July 14, 2008
In between innings, the masses were entertained by the jumbo screen that offered diversions such as Guess Today's Attendance (55,006) and sports bloopers from years past. It also featured various "crowd cams" such as the Flex for the Camera cam and the Bad Dancer cam and they would show different people in the crowd.
Soon they rolled out the Kiss Me cam, and they showed couples sitting in the stadium and the crowd would cheer when they kissed. Old people got the best response and every time the old guy would kiss the old lady seated with him and she would slap his knee playfully, the audience would go nuts.
"If they put the camera on us, we should look angry," Sarah said next to me.
"Yea," I agreed, "We should flip them off."
"Or just totally make out," she went on.
"We should stick out our tongues and touch them," I said, and we laughed. And then I felt it in my bones. I knew it was coming. I turned to Sarah and said, "If they put us on the big screen, I'm totally going to jump you."
All Sarah said in response was, "Okay."
And not three seconds later, there we were, up on the jumbo screen. I got out of my seat and attacked Sarah. She took off her hat and flailed her hands wildly in the air.
The crowd went NUTS. All I could hear were screams and hoots and laughter. I think I heard the laughter most of all. And as I was there with my face buried in Sarah's hair, my butt pointing at the camera, all I could think was, "I'm making 55,000 people laugh!! I'm never going to be able to top this!!"
So yea, it was a pretty good day.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
This particular episode features a girl who wants to learn to dance hip hop style. After 20 minutes of screaming the same lines screamed in every other episode in the history of this show (I can't do it! This is too hard! I'm dumb! They'll laugh at me!), this aspiring train wreck finally got her confidence and determination and strongly made a great statement. She didn't say it to be humorous or ironic. She was trying to be strong and show off her new self.
"I'm a dancer now. I don't get to call myself not one anymore."
You don't not go, girl.
Friday, July 04, 2008
In the end, though, I decided to write this blog simply because the whole situation was too awkward to not write about it.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Sarah and I have recently become members of the church we'd been attending. It's a great church and the people there have been way, way cool. From the first time we went there, people were coming up to us, introducing themselves, and making us feel at home. I've been in a few churches before as a guest and unfortunately, this is a pretty rare occurrence. But the people here have been nothing short of really amazing. Needless to say it wasn't a hard decision when considering becoming a member. (Of course, if you know me, then you know I don't have to mention the fact that the teaching there is great and the church is really trying to focus on doing what a church should be doing. I wouldn't be considering membership otherwise.)
The Sunday we became members, we had to speak in front of the congregation to introduce ourselves and give a bit of our background. I of course took this as another opportunity to make jokes in front of a group of people. Sarah was very nervous about having to speak in front of everyone but she was very cute and charming and her regular ol' irresistible self.
Afterwards people came up to us giving us hugs and welcoming us to the church. And the really weird thing? I could sense they were very genuine about it. It almost threw me off. What's that say about where we are as a people when it's hard to believe people being so nice?
It really was a great day and Sarah and I were made to feel so welcomed and appreciated. The only weird part of the day (if you know me, there's always a weird moment) was in the bathroom after the service. Guys, mostly older dudes, were telling me how they enjoyed what Sarah and I had to say and telling me how glad they were to have new members and how happy they were for us and patting me on the back.
Patting me on the back while I was using the urinal.
If you've never received a (literal) pat on the back while receiving a compliment while trying to aim, well then, you've never been so confused about what to focus on.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Who is he? Where does he work? Who is he talking to? Is he talking to the same person every day? These questions have been plaguing me for the last year or so and I decided to do something about it: I set up a video camera and filmed him.
And now I turn to you for the answers. So please, take a look at the footage and then leave your comments with your theories. I suppose one of these days I could just ask him, but this is a lot more fun.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
True, I could catch you up on what's been happening and tell you about the car accident/fender bender Sarah and I were in this past weekend but instead I'm going to tease you about my next blog. It'll not only feature a mysterious man on a cell phone but will also include video footage of the guy.
So rest assured I haven't forgotten you, Faithful Blog Reader. Uncle Eddie'll hook you up.