Friday, October 1, 2010

The internet is written in ink - Armond White edition.

First, skim this column by Armond White. Don't feel like it? Ok, I'll give you a shoddy synopsis below.

Here's the gist of White's article: There are too many novice voices blabbing on the internet and reviewing films. This is a problem, White contends, because these inexperienced voices are nothing more than regurgitated thoughts from the water cooler at work (we have a water trough at work, not sure what century Armond is from). These same voices of the internet masses do not further any stimulating discussions about films, rather people swarm to sites like, ingest the (according to White) biased reviews and simply spit back out what they've read regardless of what they truly think about the movie. Movies with good reviews will continue to get good reviews because reviewers cave to the peer pressure to fall in line with the rest.

To an extent, I agree with Armond. I agree that the internet and its free-and-easy conditions of anonymity allow for rapid fire, vomit-like text additions. Between twitter feeds and YouTube comment sections, the internet can get uglier quicker than Heidi Montag at a plastic surgeon's office.

But in White's article he's making the case that a few films, notably Toy Story 3, The Dark Knight, and The Social Network, are garnering attention solely due to their marketing budgets and buzz from the brain-washed internet minions. In my opinion, but also in alignment with that damn hype machine Rotten Tomatoes, all three of these films were excellent.

Now before I go on, let me admit I have a horse in this race. A big, fucking show pony in this race. I work at Trigger Street Productions, and my boss, Dana Brunetti, produced The Social Network. Am I too close to the fire to claim I'm not hot? Most would say so. But I'm being as unbiased as you were in your last session of jury duty when I say I'm positively certain this is a fantastic film.

In accordance with White's logic, if I tweet / blog out to my fellow non-professional film critic friends that I loved The Social Network, think it's the best thing since I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and hand jobs (completely unrelated, I swear), the only reason I said that was either a.) I'd read it online, b.) heard it at the water cooler or c.) gotten completely tricked by the Sony marketing department (or for you smart asses scoring at home, d.) because I'm on the payroll).

I assure you none of the above options are the reason I tell people I loved The Social Network. I tell people how great the film is because - wait for it - I think it's a GREAT FILM.

Are the cinema elite the only ones with opinions worth listening to? I enjoy film critics like Peter Travers, Roger Ebert and Armond White as they know the world of film better than I ever will. But it's as if White dismisses the weight of peer opinions, labeling them as a hype machine that misleads us into believing that a film like Toy Story 3 was worth the $16 and a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

White's real issue here is the overwhelming amount of attention he receives for his patented attacks on what the majority of people see as an outstanding film. White seems to think people are so caught up in this peer-induced hype, that there is no way this many amateur film critics, bloggers and people at the water cooler could share such equally high marks for these films.

That's where White is wrong. These movies are that good. The Social Network is that good.

Don't believe me? Go see for yourself. (Ok, that was for the payroll...)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Alex Roman, you have my attention

Behold ten minutes of unbelievable animation.

That's right, anything you see in this video is computer generated.

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eldrick Tiger Woods

I'm back. Back from the land of thoughts protected by 140 character limits. Back from the TMZ zone as I try to catch a glimpse of a Tiger in trouble. Back from the swine flu, which turns out is just the flu, which turns out still just sucks.

But why speak now? Why not just twitter some smart ass remark about how much I hate Time Warner or AT&T, you don't ask.

My favorite athlete of all-time. That's why.

Tiger Woods.

I'll cut to the chase on Tiger. We all know what happened. Actually, we all know what may have kinda actually perhaps happened thanks to numerous reliable sources like (there are no radars - I checked), The NY Post (they now have a column written by the hooker formerly known as Eliot Spitzer's) and (the only known place where human beings get excited for Octomom.)

The bottom line is Tiger Woods has been cheating. A lot. With all sorts of squirrels. It amounts to another high-profile athlete or celebrity being unfaithful in his or her marriage - clearly nothing new.

So why are we so enthralled with Tiger? He plays golf, a sport most consider slightly less exciting than sitting in a 2 hour line at the DMV on your off day.

Look no further than quality, world-class deceit. Tiger Woods successfully fooled billions of people, some near to him, others continents away, for nearly 13 years. My limited mind knows of no other more thorough, brilliant and successful PR campaign in the history of modern athletic celebrity.

Michael Jordan came close, then allegations of gambling came to light. Kobe Bryant? A night in a Colorado hotel changed his course of endorsement perfection. Every player in baseball was saint-like until every player in baseball took steroids, lied about it, then failed a drug test.

But Tiger? He has a tendency to block his release and slices a drive occasionally. He also frequently mentioned the word "fuck" on CBS.

Seriously, that's it.

We have never seen anything like Tiger. An absolute freak of nature at his sport combined with unmatched endorsement power, he was the perfect canvas for a painting worth over a billion dollars.

That's exactly what Mark Steinberg, Tiger and team IMG painted. And it worked brilliantly.

Until now.

I firmly believe Tiger Woods is better at what he does than anyone else in the WORLD is at what they do. Biased? Hell yes I am. I love golf, but part of loving golf is knowing how hard it is. Golf is more mind control than physical attributes - Tiger Woods is like the Dali Lama meets Lance Armstrong with a touch of Cassius Clay.

But now Tiger has gone from perfect to far from it. From marketable to questionable. From adorned to scorned. Tiger's "transgressions" force me to play a hand. Who do I join, Team "Tiger" or Team "I Can't Believe That Human Screwed Up, I'm Trading In My Buick"?

This sad scandal doesn't change a thing for me as a Tiger Woods fan. I'm not in it for Tiger the spokesperson. I'm not in it for the politically correct press conferences. I'm in it for the golf. Was I fooled by the synthetically polished image for all these years along with everyone else? Yeah, I suppose I was.

But you know what Tiger Woods didn't fake?

14 Major Championships.
71 PGA victorys.
10 PGA Player Of The Year Awards.
Winning the U.S Open on a fractured leg - in a playoff.

That's authentic.

My admiration for Tiger as an athlete is clear, but that's not to say I don't feel for Elin and her family. I can't imagine the hurt of your marriage crumbling down, on a public stage no less.

However, this public undressing of an icon may be for the best. It may be what Tiger needs and it may be what Elin needs.

It's hard to believe that people equipped with the money and power of Tiger Woods are meant for marriage. His life is relentlessly full of commitments to things like commercial shoots, private golf clinics, interviews, sponsor wine and dines and not to mention just a little bit of golf. As hard as golf is, a successful marriage has to be harder. Add on all the above to the hundreds of millions in the bank and nearly every woman you see throwing herself at you and you have a recipe for one trip to a celebrity divorce lawyer's office.

So how does he get out of the (LAME PUN ALERT)woods? Play golf. That's what got you here, to the top of a now-tarnished mountain, and that's your vehicle out. You are the best in the world at something you do, and only a VERY small number of people can say that.

So get the sticks out and swing 'em. Get out the Scotty Cameron and roll one in on 18 at Augusta to win it.

Go back to basics, Tiger. Go back to annihilating any and all on the golf course.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Quick hitters

Doritos Of Death - Paging all beautiful, health-consciousness, attractive, smart, good looking, witty young women willing to drag my ass to Whole Foods.

Why? Because my list of life's nutritious necessities goes something like this:
1. Doritos
2. Stella
3. Oxygen

I've tried all imaginable preventative tricks - hide the damn Doritos, don't buy the damn Doritos, eat all the damn Doritos so there are none left, put cottage cheese all over the damn Doritos.

Nothing works. The Dorito is now the Erin Andrews of snack food - I can't get enough no matter how full I am.

Delay Of Game - I have a healthy list of rants on the NFL, but today I stick to the chain gang.

I'm a neutral NFL fan. I don't have a team I paint my extremities for and I don't wake up at 8:30 AM for anything but work and that goddamn weed eater outside my window on Saturdays.

So how does that affect my NFL viewing experience?

I have a lot more time to bitch about the little things.

Today I admired the process of the NFL chain gang. For those of you not familiar with this brilliant symphony of human interaction and 1950's technology, you're not missing anything. Two sticks bound together by a chain measuring 10 yards in length are used to determine whether or not the ball has advanced 10 yards, or enough for the 1st down.

But what I don't get is why the hell this process is used when it's not needed. Like today. When the 40 yard line represented the first down. And the ball was spotted at the 39 yard line. What the hell is there to spot? Nothing. It's 36 inches from the promised land, fellas. Move on.

Instead, we watch two old guys trot out with chains, stare at a football and make a gesture with their hands representing a vague translation of the distance between football and first down.

At least it's fair, accurate and free of human error.

Weak rant, I know. But don't worry, I'm going to bring it when I let loose on instant replay.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I do not mention how much I hate Time Warner in this post

Since MTV seems to be preoccupied with running "My Super Sweet 16th Birthday: The Spoiled Brat Chronicles" and "The Hills: As Real As The Script Let's Us Be", I've taken it upon myself to highlight a few music videos. In classic tradition, I'm going Good, Bad and Ugly.

The Good:

Fresh of his mainstream fame in "The Hangover", Zac Galifianakis gets his Hype Williams on and crushes these two videos. Simple concept yet really, really funny in both cases.

1.) Fiona Apple - "Not About Love"
(YouTube won't let me embed?)
2.) Kanye West - "Can't Tell Me"

(Better quality version here)

The Bad: Muse - Knights of Cydonia
I really don't know where to start with this one. The tone is set around the 1:10 mark. A random, Wade Boggs lookalike cowboy, while riding horse through desert, takes out laser gun and shoots small bush with blue laser, setting it ablaze. I mean why wouldn't you? Clearly that 6 inch bush needed a good burning. And what was it thinking, just growing like that?! Ugh, the nerve of natural vegetation sometimes.

The Ugly: Blondie vs. The Doors - Rapture Rider

First, in no way is this a knock on The Doors - in fact, the first 1:20 are quite enjoyable. But after that initial Doors kick, this wannabe cracked out version of Michelle Pfeiffer comes in and just craps all over the video. Not literally, although some may interpret that as an upgrade. And what the hell is the half-naked black guy dressed as an Indian doing hiding behind a fake bush?! (2:10 mark)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My relationship with Lady Gaga will be contentious from here on out

It's been months, kids. You know what that means, right? Time to unload those pet peeves like a toddler with a bag of skittles. Did that makes sense? Absolutely not - just prepping you for what's below...

Radio Station loyalty - Poor radio - left in the dust by that damn Internetz years ago, AM/FM radio stations have less to look forward to than Bernie Madoff on a Friday night. Flooded by repetitive Autotune-laced, Lil Wayne-infected, Lady Gaga-esque garbage, radio stations continue to pepper my cranium with 75% garbage music (PITBULL), 10% commercials, 10% self-promotion and 5% quality music that I don't give a shit about.

But for the next paragraph or so, I'd like to focus my bitch juice on the 10% station self-promotion. The new radio station** in Los Angeles seems keen on reminding me of all the listeners that have "made the switch" to the NEW ninetysometherother(point)whatever. Wait, made the switch? Surely these callers mean temporarily, right? No? You're telling me they actually leave their radios tuned to your station while you blast commercials for low interest rate, used car rip-off centers? How loyal of your young brainwashed clan of robots! But hey, Seacrest, get real. The second I hear some thirty-something, wannabe-sexy Dracula voiceover guy trying to pitch me a BK Chicken Crisper, I punch the next number. Hell no I don't know what station I'm changing it to, I just cycle buttons 2 - 6 on my dial until I hit the illustrious commercial-free land.

But what if every one of you clone stations are playing that damn Pitbull song? (It's happened numerous times before) - I lay down my ace-in-the-hole. You guessed it, NPR, motha shuckas. Damn right I'd rather listen to a four minute story on a blind Afghan sheep farmer than hear Lady Gaga talk about her disco stick.

**by new radio station, I mean a station that is an exact clone of at least three others.

Lady Gaga - - This human waste of space is shooting up my list of "Top 3 reasons to Hate Humanity". So far the list goes like this:

1.) Time Warner Cable / AT&T
2.) Lady Gaga
3.) Lady Gaga

If only Lady Gaga would have a dumb robot call me from blocked number every week to remind me about a bill I'm well aware of. Anyone know her reps?

Anyway, I've got questions about this whole "disco stick" she keeps referring to. Since I have no idea what the f*ck that means, can I just make it up and we go from there? Great! Ok, here we go - my disco stick is a Howitzer cannon aimed at your right knee cap. It will fire lead buck shot in your direction next time it hears the song "Poker Face" (t-minus 10 minutes, on those sweet LA radio waves, honey!)

Better stop there, I think I just woke up my local ATF office.

The phrase "Don't Judge a Book by its Cover"
- Come on, that's like me telling you not to judge me even though I reek like Colt-45. Sure, I'm probably drunk, but what if I'm not and I just smell??

Ok fine, all the authors / librarians / teachers out there, you win. I promise from here on out I won't judge a book by its cover.

Instead? I'll read the last two pages, back cover and shitty review on

Lastly - I must apologize for unloading my pent up annoyances on you like Wade Boggs unloads on a 24 rack. I'd like to keep up with this blog, but when you find yourself repeatedly sleeping on a couch at work, it's much easier just to bitch in person. So, to take you into my next post, I leave you with two things I actually like.

1. Charles Hamilton / Drake
- Two fresh voices in a terribly stagnant rap music industry. Hate on rap all you want, but there IS good material out there. Neither have a CD out now, just mix tapes that are well worth the search. Here's Charles Hamilton's "Brooklyn Girls"

2. Golf - Ok, it's a bit of a cop-out answer, but I seriously wanted to feed my golf clubs to the next pond I saw for the last year. But, after a couple rehab rounds in San Diego and Ohio, I'm back on the bag. How long will this fix last? Probably until the next 90 I post. Until then, swing away.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Right place, right time.

Thought I'd go ahead and re-post my KU highlight videos from last year. One, because it's proof that we would kick the shit out of this year's Carolina team (again) and two, because these videos are the reason I have my job today. If it wasn't for the hours of DVR'd hoops games, my laptop (thanks, Dad), Final Cut (thanks, Dad), and free time (thanks Dad / crap San Diego job market), I would've never weaseled my way into the editing / assistant gig I have at Trigger Street. Just a matter of luck (see: preparation meeting opportunity).

Don't settle for spending hours on the resumé, rather find a skill set and learn it.*

*Do not try this with the sport of golf. You will spend anywhere from $3-5k and lose all motivation to continue playing due to plummeting self-esteem and ballooning scores. (See: me)

KU Hoops highlights from TheBigTicket on Vimeo.

Running the table, NCAA Tournament style! from TheBigTicket on Vimeo.