Thursday, July 26, 2007

All in a day's work.

It took an awful lot of hard work on my part to get this car floatie ready for swimming! We did a little 'test run' in the dining room, just for good measure. It passed the baby fun-time inspection with flying colors.

Frankie's new favorite hobby: opening up the bottom dresser drawer and pulling out every last stitch of clothing in it. Big messes = more work for me! At least someone's having a good time.

The final question is: what did you think of "Deathly Hallows?" - no spoliers ahead - I tell you, the payoff was good, but man, it felt like I had to wade through about 200 pages of nothingness in the middle to get there. Ultimately, Rowling tied everything up nicely, but I think that "Half-Blood Prince" is probably a superior book. Now I can get on with my life and watch more quality movies, like the last one I saw - Smokey and the Bandit. Ah, Burt Reynolds, who only takes his hat off for one thing. ;)
Any recommendations? And yes, I've already seen Xanadu...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not a baby, not yet a toddler....

More pictures of Frankie, as promised. And bad Britney Spears song lyric references (did anyone pick up on that?)

Frankie, lookin' cute.

Frankie looking at a book. He's not much of the reading type, but Grandma sent him this book with little pull tabs that wag dog tails and he can't get enough of it!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A question...that no one who reads this blog will probably answer.

Note: After much mulling, I finally decided to go ahead and post this. Don't read it if you get bored easily.

I rarely want much of an audience for my blog, but today the trailer for the film September Dawn appeared on the apple website and I really wish someone at a big blog would talk about it. I'm bursting at the seams, and it's all going to spill out here! Maybe they have and I've missed it? It's a really terrible trailer and a really terrible film poster. This film seems intent on exposing the dark and hidden side of Mormon history to the movie-going world, but lately the Mountain Meadow Massacre has received a lot of airtime, possibly because of the film, but also because there seem to be a lot of people that like to uncover and bring to light little 'gems' of history such as this incident, both those for and against the Mormon faith. All in all, no one really knows what happened, except that a lot of people were murdered by a lot of Mormons. This particular film takes the stance that Brigham Young, a Mormon prophet, commanded the murders and then swore everyone to secrecy. The point of this post is not to deny or defend this theory, what actually happened is of little importance to this post. While everyone loves a chance to make the Mormons look like blind, following crazies...

...I just can't see the movie-going world biting, based on this advertising campaign. First of all, one would have to stop and dedicate a good portion of his/her life to reading this poster to understand what it's about. I mean, the film's title is "September Dawn," which is over-the-top generic. They should've just called the film "Mountain Meadow Massacre" and they could've skipped the three paragraph explanation about the secrecy of the world's great religious leader, innocent people murdered, yadda, yadda, yadda. Massacre kind of gets the point across that it's not so pleasant, but perhaps they didn't want people thinking it was a slasher film? With a story that is this little-known among the public, one can expect a bit of explanation, but a one- or two-line tagline probably would've sufficed. Visually, the poster is extremely boring and doesn't draw in the viewer and make them *want* to read the manifesto on its left side. I stopped when I saw this poster at the theater because I was familiar with the film, but had I not known the film's theme, I probably wouldn't have given it a second glance, especially as I was hurrying to use the ladies' room before missing the first part of my film.

But wait a minute, that trailer had an awful lot of words in it - the same ones that were on the poster - and someone was reading all of them to me? And why all of the fades? Fading words in and out, that someone is reading, mind you, doesn't add dramatic effect. It just distracts. I only watched the trailer once, but Juston asked if I noticed all of the symbols performed by the characters. Uh, I must've missed those, I was too busy trying to read all of those words. Film is a visual medium. If you need that many words to try and justify your film in the trailer alone, perhaps you need to rethink your script and your editing. Or at least leave the heavy-handed moralizing for the film itself. You can hint at that stuff, about portraying a religious leader's alleged twisted mind, in less than three paragraphs, I'm sure.

Perhaps the filmmakers and marketers think that all of these words and explanations will give the MMM film some sort of mythical historical accuracy, as if we are reading a history book and not watching a narrative film that is "based" on real events? (ALWAYS use caution when anything is ever 'based on' or 'inspired by' true events - allow the film to be a springboard for finding out more yourself. Even documentaries cannot be trusted- they are as fictional as traditional fiction films. ) If you want to spend your money making films, at least do a decent job with your marketing.

My question - what is your forecast for this film? It doesn't appear to have a major studio behind it, so does it even stand a chance? Would you see this film, based on the marketing campaign (poster and trailer), especially if you didn't know anything about the MMM?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This Goes Out to All My Baby Mamas...

If you have children that eat baby food, I'd like to direct your attention to this post over at babycheapskate. The coupon is legit, and yes, you can get jars of baby food for $.02. Yes, that is two cents per jar of baby food. I used about 6 coupons at the one time, they scanned in, and the cashier didn't complain at the Camp Creek Target. They were a bit less happy about accepting web coupons at the Edgewood Target, but like I said, the coupon is in their system and it does work. So go crazy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Safe for The Whole Dam Family

Aww, shucks. Did we think we'd get anything other than a G? I mean, it's a blog about a boy and his dog, what could be more wholesome than that?

Free Online Dating

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pray for us.

Seriously - I'm not working at the moment, but I'm up for a job that would be SO perfect. It's in the field I want to be in, plus I'd be able to work 90% from home, so I wouldn't have to get a babysitter. We're also all sick with summer colds, which is no fun. But on a happier note, here's a completely un-edited video of playtime, including a point-of-view shot in mom-o-vision of me going after a ball while holding the camera. It's classic; even Agnes Varda's "dance of the lenscap" shots in her documentary aren't of this caliber.

Your mind is in the toilet!

Well, on the toilet might be a more accurate statement. Frankie just loves to pull up on the porcelin throne; it's the perfect height. These pictures were taken a few days ago, but this morning while I was getting ready for church, I looked down and I caught him playing in the toilet water. Note to self: always remember to put the lid down!

And just for fun, a non-toilet themed photo. Check out Juston's sunburn from his trip to Cancun. Let's all say it together, "Awwww, poor Juston got sunburned while walking along the beach in Cancun. Must be rough."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More movie watchin's.

Well, I don't have any photos for you today. We haven't done anything very interesting for photographs lately. But did go to the movies today! Thanks to Jan, who volunteered to watch my pnut for a few hours, I managed to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix today. If you know me well, you know that I'm a fan of the books, along with 90% of all other people in the world. I listened to the audiobook of this particular installment, which took something like 17 hours of my life. Luckily the movie did not take that long, although you can see the gargantuan task for a screenwriter to try and condense all of that information into 2 hours and 18 minutes. The movie hit the ground running and kept going, except for one small moment where it seemed to drag (when Sirius and Harry have a little heart-to-heart.) I found myself filling in the film's gaps with my knowledge from the book, and I wonder how someone who hadn't read the book would fare sitting through the fast pace of the film. Director David Yates, who is relatively unknown (until now), certainly likes swooping, overhead camera moves. Overall, though, the film's visual style fit with the dark, angst-ridden tone of the plot. The story did take a few liberties, but they were fairly minor and probably used to condense the plot. The acting was what we've come to expect from the franchise. In other words, the film breaks no new territory, and seemed to lack a little magical 'something', but it was solid and moved at quite a clip, which kept it from being bogged down by all of the plot material squished into the film.

Rant: My biggest complaint about the film and the books is Mrs. Weasley. Why on earth must we always thrust her into the kitchen to prepare food and why on earth was she seen chopping veggies while everyone else sat waiting to eat? Why can't the kids and other adults help? /Rant.

Last night I watched Mel Brooks's History of the World Part I (1981). It's certainly a different kind of humor, with all of the jokes being literal or bad sexual innuendos. The film wasn't anti-narrative, as in it had a plot, but it wasn't traditional. Nothing really united the segments except for a couple of common actors and, well, a horse, which brought the segments together at the end. The Esther Williams diving sequence was fantastic, along with "Jews in Space!" I almost had to wipe a tear when I saw those Star of David spaceships flying through the digital sky.

I also watched Tootsie (1982) last week. Don't ask why, it seemed like a good idea at the time. At least Dustin Hoffman wasn't wearing a fatsuit.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Freedom (and heavily opinionated mini-movie reviews!)

No, this is not a thought-provoking blog post, nor will there be photographs or youTube fodder. Instead, I just want to wish everyone a happy belated 4th of July. What did I do for the 4th, you might ask? Well, I cleaned the kitchen, changed some diapers, fed a baby a few times, took a nap, and eventually left Juston and Frankie at home and went to the movies because I needed to get out of the house. I rounded off the evening with a potluck and some fireworks on TV. Yes, let freedom ring.

I saw "Sicko", which is Michael Moore's new documentary about the state of U.S. healthcare. No new surprises, our current system is terribly broken, probably beyond repair, and it needs a complete overhaul. While I'm not sure that universal healthcare is all puppies and rainbows and happy smiling children, I think that it's definitely and infintely better than our current system. As a parent, I worry that perhaps we'll discover some health issue that we can't resolve with our insurance carrier and that we'll be stuck choosing between bankruptcy and death. I know it's a worst case scenario, but it does happen, and something must be done. Let's just say it's one of my bigger issues for chosing a candidate when voting next year. As always, Moore skews the facts to compliment his own agenda, but this is nothing new in documentary filmmaking; even Eskimos in the 1920s were made to seem like a happy family, when, in fact, Nanoook and his cohorts were really just the best-looking Eskimos hired to re-create scenes of arctic life. Health care an important issue, and anything to document the crisis in a way that screams "we need change!" is alright in my book. But be warned, it'll probably manipulate you into being mad.

And for good measure, I saw "Transformers" on Monday night at the drive-in with spouse and kid in tow. Actually, I was the one 'in tow' because I really didn't want to see the film. It was a Michael Bay movie (ick), full of fast cars, giant robots, big explosions, and excessive cleavage. I was completely bored, but Juston loved it. I think you either have to be a male in your mid-twenties to mid-thirties, or have some other kind of nostalgic tie to Transformers in order to appreciate such a terrible movie. The effects were okay, but really, once they got to the good effects parts, I was too bored and tired to care! I found myself counting product placements, because in my mind, Michael Bay is synonymous with obvious product placement. Beyond the TITLE of the film and the PLOT being a massive toy-tie in, there were many others. When you get bored as you are forced to sit through it, make a game of it (this tactic really works well with any overblow Hollywood Blockbuster, but Michael Bay has a special way of putting the products in your face.) Waste of two and a half hours of my life, waste of $7. The things we do for love, or at least to keep the ones we love appeased.

Video Clips!

Since Juston is too busy with legit work to create video masterpieces of Frankie, I've taken matters into my own hands. Basically, that means I'm shooting 30-second videos on my digital camera and compressing them in iMovie. Maybe I'll get ambitious and add some flashy graphics and star wipes one of these days. Until then, enjoy these little gems of the pnut's daily life, complete with 'mommentary' (get it-commentary, mommentary...I know, I'm hilarious.) And a word of caution...these videos are of the type that only grandparents will really enjoy them.

Frankie ascends Mt. Combi. I went into the kitchen to pull something out of the oven and I came back to the living room to find this...

Frankie's learned the joys of sharing, and I fear it's only going to get worse as he gets older.