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Bullet Sunday 531

Posted on November 5th, 2017

Dave!Snow may be here but be of good cheer, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• RAGNAROK! I haven't seen Thor: Ragnarok yet because life has been insane lately... but I will be doing so sometime soon. I hope. If you haven't seen it yet and want a spoiler-free experience, DO NOT watch the video below, which is somewhat spoilery, but hilarious...

Of course, the commercials are more spoilery than this, but, yeah.

   
• Tokyo! There are many places on this earth I feel at home in when I visit. Tokyo is one of those places. Which is strange, because it's a city on my list that's very much removed from my "normal." Maybe I lived there in a past life? I dunno. But I love it there. And because I love Tokyo, I also love films which feature the city (Lost In Translation is a great example). And now there's a short film called The Tokyo Project...

If you have HBO and a half-hour to kill, I highly recommend it. Clever story. Beautifully shot. Well worth your valuable time.

   
• Miyazaki! One of the many, many reasons I love Miyazaki films so much is the incredible attention to detail that goes into every frame. I watch them over and over and over because the wealth of details is something to be savored. Here's an Instagram by en93kitchen that focuses on the food in his films, and shows a side-by-side comparison to actual food that's been prepared to look like what's in the movie...

XXX

Amazing!

   
• Busted! Despite the fact that "Mr. Plinkett" is a fictional character (played by Red Letter Media's Mike Stoklasa) the movies analyzed under that monicker are, for the most part, spot-on. His reviews are as insightful as they are entertaining, and I've spent a lot of time watching the Red Letter Media YouTube channel. The latest Mr. Plinkett in-depth was for the Ghostbusters 2016 reboot. A film I mostly hated, but could never really articulate why. Luckily, I no longer have to try. It's nearly an hour long, but balls-on accurate and worth your valuable time...

That fact that the review also includes smart analysis of what made the original Ghostbusters so damn brilliant is just a bonus.

   
• What Happened? So... essentially you can take Hillary's book, rip out the pages, insert this Politico story, and then read What Happened for reals I guess? My loathing for Hillary Clinton is well documented. The fact that I was forced to vote for her because I didn't want a Trump presidency is something that enrages me to this day. The more information that comes out about how there is nothing "democratic" about the Democratic Party should shock nobody. That's the way politics work in this country. What should shock people is that nothing will be done and nothing will change. Ever. We just don't want it badly enough.

   
• Dip! I swear... Eric Trump discovering Fun Dip on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" is one of the best thing I've seen all week...

Dies. Again.

   
It's the end of bullets as we know it...

   

Movies

Posted on June 3rd, 2016

Dave!As anybody who has read this blog for any length of time already knows... I love movies.

Love them.

I love all kinds of movies. I love everything from stupid stoner comedies to directorial masterworks. I love sci-fi. I love documentaries. I love animation. I love mysteries. I love historical dramas. I even love romance films from time to time. And while I don't like all the movies I see... I do like the majority of them. Film enriches our lives and expands our imagination, and I cannot fathom what my life would be like without the movies.

I also love people who love movies like I do.

I especially love people who can add depth and appreciation to the films we love so much.

One of these people is Lewis Bond from Channel Criswell.

I became aware of him last Fall when he did an analysis of Hayao Miyazaki films called The Essence of Humanity. Being a massively huge fan of Miyazaki's works, it could have been made just for me...

Lewis's admiration for all the things that go into a Miyazaki film were brilliantly on-point, and I instantly became a fan. The guy knows how to look at films. His entire YouTube channel is a love-letter to the movies, and his videos have become an important voice in my appreciation of them.

Then today I find out that Lewis is being sued...

This is absolutely horrifying. Copyright infringement? Really? I cannot for the life of me understand this. He uses clips from the films that he is analyzing or exploring... in the case of this lawsuit, the films of Stanley Kubrick... to support his thoughts. In no way has he ever been "malicious" with the material... at no point was he exploiting the material or damaging the legacy of Stanley Kubrick. If anything, his efforts are keeping his legacy alive by encouraging people to take a look at Mr. Kubrick's work.

I am sickened and saddened that somebody at Kubrick's estate is choosing to make money off of a Kubrick fan like Lewis in such a way. Especially considering that they went straight to lawsuit instead of contacting him directly to resolve the matter. This just shows exactly what kind of people they are.

People who don't love movies.

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Bullet Sunday 392

Posted on August 3rd, 2014

Dave!Don't worry about the temperature... because it's a dry heat and Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Ghibli. From the "News So Horrible You Want to Scream" department... Studio Ghibli announced that they will be closing down their animation studio. Later this was changed to "evaluating closing down their animation studio." Either way, the production company responsible for some of my favorite films of all time is not going to be making another animated feature any time soon...

My Neighbor Totoro, copyright Studio Ghibli

To say I am absolutely gutted is an understatement. Mainly an outlet for animation god Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli has produced some of the most stunning animated works of all time. Even with the retirement of Miyazaki-san, I was still looking forward to new movies by the team responsible for such cinematic genius as My Neighbor Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and Kiki's Delivery Service.

Kiki's Delivery Service

I'm very sad for a world where Studio Ghibli isn't in the animation business.

   
• Black. And speaking of black cats (like Jiji, the cat from Kiki's Delivery Service), I was shocked to read an article about how black cats are being rejected at animal shelters because they don't take good selfie photos. This is a horrifying prospect given that black fur is really common on a cat, and there's always going to be plenty to go around.

   
• School. We support religious freedom! You are free to be any flavor of Christian you want to be! Holy crap what a repugnant dumbass.

   
• Bouncy. Hey, kids! Jump on my crotch!

Tiger Bouncy House

   
• Berlin. When I was in Maine, I saw that they had yet another piece of the Berlin Wall on display in Portland. I remember thinking at the time that every major city in the world must have a piece, because I see them quite a lot when I travel...

Berlin Wall in Portland, Maine

And now I'm really regretting that I didn't make a point of photographing all the pieces I've seen. So many of them offer a fascinating insight into those Cold War days.

   
• Chocolate. This video of cocoa farmers getting to taste chocolate for the first time is one of the best things I've seen all week!

I find it fascinating how the farmers had no clue as to why foreigners wanted to buy cocoa beans... and had never been given the opportunity to share in the fruits of their labor. Just the way the world works, I guess.

   
• Whoopie. And speaking of chocolate... while visiting Maine I had my first "Whoopie Pie" which is nothing like the "Moon Pies" I'm used to. They're massively huge and very, very sweet...

Eating a Whoopie Pie in Maine

I wasn't able to eat but half of it over the course of a day. My teeth were shaking with each bite. The gift shop at Portland Light Head had a Whoopie Pie book...

Whoopie Pie Book in Maine

   
And... I'm out of bullets. Guess I'll have to shoot ya next week.

   

Best/Worst 1

Posted on July 8th, 2014

Dave!On days where I do nothing but work, there's never much to blog about.

So I'm starting a new category here at Blogography to make my life easier. Whenever I have nothing to write about, I'll just toss out the best and worst things I've seen that day. Which will usually be YouTue videos I watch while eating lunch at my desk.

Bullet Sunday it ain't... but, eh...

The best thing I saw all day...

Miyazaki-san may have retired from Studio Ghibli, but his fingerprints are still on everything they release. Absolutely beautiful animation.

   
The worst thing I saw all day...

You have to watch it all the way through to appreciate the true horror of it all. Seriously, who wants to listen to this crap? Was the crowd actually digging it? Or were they waving ironically? What has humanity done to deserve this?

   
Now I have to get back to work. At 11:36pm.

I'm pretty sure I know what I did to deserve that.

   

Bullet Sunday 345

Posted on September 1st, 2013

Dave!Turn it up to 11... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Return! The flight home from San Francisco was blissfully uneventful... until we landed... "SIR! I NEED YOU TO SIT DOWN AND FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT UNTIL WE ARE AT THE GATE. SIR? YES, YOU SIR... THE ONE WHO IS STANDING. SIR, YOU NEED TO SIT DOWN NOW. YES... I AM TALKING TO YOU. YES, YOU. YES, PLEASE SIT DOWN WITH YOUR SEATBELT FASTENED UNTIL WE REACH THE GATE. THANK YOU FOR SITTING DOWN, SIR!" And this... this is why I could never be a flight attendant, because this is how I would have handled it... "HEY ASSHOLE! YOU NEED TO SIT THE FUCK DOWN RIGHT NOW OR I'M GOING TO COME BACK THERE AND BREAK MY FOOT OFF IN YOUR ASS!" Because, seriously, there's only so much shit I'm willing to take from stupid people, and all my patience would be used up on Day One of working the cabin at an airline.

   
• Fraud! I've lost track of the number of times Pat Robertson has "spoken to God" and made predictions that turned out to be bullshit. And yet, here we go...

Hypocrisy. It's what's for dinner. In this case, I suggest that his viewers take his advice and leave his congregation.

   
• Miyazaki! As I have mentioned on this blog many, many, many times, I am a monumental fan of Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki. The stuff he's churned out during his career is among the best ever seen, and I'm including giants the like of Disney, Pixar, and Bluth. In addition to seeing his films multiple times, buying his "making of" books, visiting his museum, and flying to L.A. for a rare US appearance... I've studied his work for decades. His latest film, The Wind Rises, has been quite controversial, but I am dying to see it anyway. Regardless of subject matter, it's bound to at least look amazing...

And now it's been announced that this will indeed be Miyazaki's final feature film. This has been threatened before, but was confirmed at the Venice Film Festival, so it's likely official this time. All I can hope is that Miyazaki-san will still release short films and books to satisfy his legions of fans. Including this one.

   
• Sundance! I like the new Sundance Channel show called The Writers' Room. Each episode has Jim Rash interviewing television screenwriters from such shows as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. It's fairly interesting and worth your valuable time if you like television. But there's one problem. During the series they have "Pop-Up Video" style tidbits that show up, which would usually be a good thing. Except you can't frickin' read them because they're in tiny black type on a blue background! It's style over readability, and it sucks. Compare what happens if the people in charge of the show actually gave a shit about people being able to read what they're being shown...

Sundance The Writers' Room Readability

Not as pretty? I'd agree. But at least you can READ the shit.

   
Pew! Pew! Pew! Pew! Bullets are done.

   

Bullet Sunday 239

Posted on July 3rd, 2011

Dave!Oh, wipe your tears away... Sunday, bloody Sunday...

   
• Plus! Annnnd... Google debuted their "Google+" social media services this week. As a so-called "Facebook killer" it's pretty interesting. I like that its smarter at controlling who sees the things you post. I like being able to organize people into my "Circles"... which are kind of like old rotary phone dials...

Google Plus Circles

Of course, if you have a hundred friends, you can only see thirteen in your little dial until you click on it, but I guess that's better than nothing.

Except...

I've already got Facebook, Twitter, and this blog sucking up my time. Do I really need another "thing" cutting into my already mega-packed offline life? I mean, I suppose I can give up sleeping and going to the bathroom, but is Google+ really worth it? Time will tell.

   
• Colbert. This past week Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's Colbert Report received approval from the FEC to form his own Political Action Committee. But, unlike regular PACs, he formed a Super PAC which has no restrictions on the amount of money he can raise. I'm absolutely fascinated at the prospect of a comedian having access to a PAC, and can't wait to see how much he can raise and what he's eventually going to do with it.

So I donated some money. And got an autographed photo for my trouble...

Colbert Super PAC Autograph

Whatever he does with his money, I'm betting it's going to be a heck of a lot more interesting than what Sarah Palin has been doing with her PAC monies.

   
• Roundabout. I noted an article link over on Neil Turner's Blog about how the British roundabout is conquering the US. This is something I can confirm as true. Years ago, the only roundabouts I'd ever seen in the USA were in Massachusetts. But now they are popping up everywhere. The first I remember seeing in my home state of Washington was at the I-90 interchange in North Bend...

North Bend Roundabout
Image taken from Google Maps

And now, even small local cities like nearby Wenatchee are getting roundabouts.

The problem is that nobody here seems to know how to drive on them. Most of the time I've seen people encounter a roundabout, they full-stop instead of yield. And, even then, they don't know what to do, preferring to just sit there for a while until they get up the courage to enter. Hopefully this will change as they become more prevalent, but right now they're more trouble than they're worth.

   
• Arrietty. The next film by animation genius Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli is called Arrietty, and is based on the beloved book The Borrowers by Mary Norton. As with everything Miyazaki touches, it looks stunning...

My loved of all things Miyazaki is well documented. He has been a massive influence on me for decades, and his works are without peer in the animation world (the people at Pixar practically worship the man, for example). That he has continued to work after his "retirement" in 1998 has been a source of absolute joy to me, and seeing yet another film with his fingerprints on it makes me happier than I can possibly express. And while his role at Ghibli seems mostly supervisory now (though he appears to still be doing some writing and drawing too), he seems to have good people (including his son) carrying on his work...

Arietty English Poster Miyazaki

Arrietty was released in Japan almost a year ago and I have yet to see it. Today I learned that it won't reach the USA until FEBRUARY, 2012!! And while I would prefer to see the movie with the original Japanese soundtrack and subtitles, the North American release is certain to be an English dub (as usual). I don't even care. I just want to see it! Then hopefully the Blu-Ray release will preserve the Japanese version like Ponyo did. In the meanwhile... I wait.

   
And that's all she wrote since I have to get up early for work in the morning. Here's hoping all my fellow USAsians have a good holiday tomorrow!

   

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