Tag Archives: Review


July 8th- I participate in the First Annual Ignominious Film Gala, and am a smashing success.  I declare that I have bought two tickets to the movie Predators (which is true), and will only need one of them (also true. for I am only one person) and asked who wanted the other one.  The movie was to come to theaters the next day on July 9th, which I saw with the very, very lucky Ms. Charley Hart.

Flash forward to October 20th.  I have been preoccupied with school, and wonder when Predators will ever come to DVD.  I find out that Predators had been released THE PRIOR DAY (I want to emphasize “day” more, but I also want to emphasize “prior”) October 19th.  Of course, I see this as the Universe trying to tell me something.  Namely that the Universe wants me to own and re-watch Predators.

The next day: School has prevented me from buying and watching this movie for one day, and enough is enough.  October 21st is the day I buy Predators, and re-watch it to see what I missed.  I’ll tell you what I missed.  I missed Predator.

Don’t get me wrong, Predators is a fun movie.  Fun movies are easy to make.  This one didn’t make me hate the fact that Topher Grace was in this movie as much as I thought I would hate the fact that Topher Grace is in this movie.  (Aside: Spiderman 3 was terrible, an undefendable type of terrible)

Also, I have a theory that Predators (the “third”  Predator movie) is a link to Aliens (the “second” Alien movie).  These movies came from very different backgrounds, but had to come together in an AVP type environment for some reason.  I don’t get it either.

Every paragraph from here on out will begin thusly:  Don’t get me wrong, Predators is a fun movie.  Just so you know.

Don’t get me wrong, Predators is a fun movie.  I am very glad it exists, I was afraid it would be nothing but AVP movies all the way down.

Don’t get me wrong, Predators is a fun movie.  I think the original Predator was also a fun movie, but meant so much more than Predators.  For one, Predator was a metaphor for Vietnam.  Fighting in the jungle against an unseen foe, Predator meant something.  Wait, you say, in Predators they also fought against an unseen foe?  Yeah, they did that already.  In Predator.  So what does Predators mean?  …….

Don’t get me wrong, Predators is a fun movie.  Predator, while being a metaphor for the Vietnam war, was also steeped in many Central American related folk-tales.  Predators was steeped in many Predator related folk-tales.

Don’t get me wrong, Predators is a fun movie.  In a fight between a Predator and a man, a Predator would win.  That’s the end of that sentence.  There are a few scenes in Predators where the Predators lose.  Again, THE PREDATORS LOSE!  To give humanity a fighting chance, the movies are all about the Predators being honorable and giving up their various advanced weaponry so that their prey (us lousy humans) have a fighting chance.  Why they did this, I don’t know, Honor?

Don’t get me wrong, Predators is a fun movie.  But in Predator, the Predator was facing basically the best of the best as far as humanity goes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Olympia.  Yeah, Arnie won.  That was an underdog story.  But this guy here, this, I forget,  Brody guy, he isn’t just an underdog.  He is a dogfish.  An underdogfish.

I don’t know what I can say.  Oh, wait.  Don’t get me wrong, Predators is a fun movie.  I don’t know what I can say.  I love Predator.  Come on, it came out when I was 5.  5!  They can’t make a Predator vs. Humans movie ever again.  Now, my Predator 3 script is Predators vs. Dinosaurs, and I think it has potential.



Third Friday Art

This past Friday (October 15th) was the third Friday in October.  That is the day, at least around these parts, we refer to as Third Friday.  There are a lot of art openings, closings, and various receptions that happen on Third Friday.  It’s basically like First Friday Jr.  I went to a handful of shows this past Friday, and noticed a chilling trend.  The food, or lack thereof, was troubling.

I don’t know if they’re holding out for November 5th or what, but I do know that I only found one cookie!  One small cookie to boot.  It did have sprinkles, a rainbow of sprinkles in fact, and that was it’s saving grace.  I did see plenty of crackers and cheese, which are enough for a meal, I suppose.  I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Oh right, the art.  My first stop of the night was perhaps the most thought provoking (and the most foodless).  It was Colin Chillag’s New Works in the Pravus Gallery.  I found these works had a far more interesting process than end image, but I think that’s how I was supposed to view them.  The paintings on display here had a paint-by-number quality to them, and many of them were covered with random spots of paint.  I think the blobs are supposed to add much needed depth to the paintings, or maybe texture, or maybe they’re just a distraction.


Portrait of a Woman


In my opinion, this one featured the most well integrated blobs of paint.  They appear to be coming out of the woman’s head like a cartoon of a swarm of angry bees leaving their hive.


Portrait of a Woman


This one reminds me of a Garbage Pail Kid, which is a pretty funny thing to be reminded of, so props for that.


Portrait of a Woman


This one is the only painting I saw that featured drawing on the surface.  The drawing itself features childlike shapes and crude lines, but does not integrate at all with the painting.  From a short conversation with the artist, this is an intentional quality in his works.

The last painting of his I looked at was curiously devoid of the superfluous marks.  It was also a portrait of a woman, and instead of relying on random paint to add depth, she featured glasses that were somewhat translucent and hard to see through.  They were rendered in a way that they looked like the woman had glasses on her face, and they were kind of dirty and possibly greasy.  As a greasy glasses-wearer, this was something I could relate to and empathize with.  I’m sorry lady, would you like to borrow my cleaning solution?

Funny, it’s kind of a story…

One of the best things about going to ASU is that sometimes you get free passes to movies that haven’t come out yet.  Yesterday my sister and I went to see It’s Kind of a Funny Story.  It’s art, and this is a review of it.

The movie brings us along with a suicidal young Keanu Reeves as he accidentally commits himself.  During his stay, he gets to know the other zany characters, including Zach Galifianakis as Bobby, the troubled but lovable loser, Cheek Scar, the unfortunate landscaper, and yelling black man, who wasn’t actually crazy, but Hollywood doesn’t know how else to portray black men.

It’s more fun to write reviews of movies I hate, because then I get to say clever things about why I hated it.  I think that’s why critics hate a lot of movies.  Actually though, I enjoyed this movie.  It gave me what I expected from it, which wasn’t much.  There was a comical guy who professionally sees free movies, I think, who was probably crazy himself.  That made my evening all the more enjoyable.  My main gripe about this movie is that while I was self dispensing the fake butter on my popcorn, the button jammed, and far too many empty calories flowed into my bag.  That’s all right though, I put some extra salt in there to help absorb it.

Alright, gotta go, I’m not feeling so well for some reason.

First Friday

Yesterday was First Friday, which is exciting because I don’t need to pay for dinner, assuming I can make a meal out of cheese and crackers and whatever snacks are also available.  I can, by the way.  That is one particular challenge I rise to time and time again.  I’m that guy hovering around the food table.  Hello.  Anyway, last night I only went to two openings.  There were way more openings than that, of course, but there are way too many people wandering around.  If someone broke a vial of the T-virus in the middle of them all, I’d be a dead man.  Actually, I’d be an un-dead man.

First off, I went to Forrest Solis’s show, Acting Out: Prescribed Lessons, located in the Artlink A. E. England Gallery.  The theme of her work for this show was how strange and sometimes traumatizing our lessons to our children used to be.  She accomplished this by constructing paintings that were each two parts.  One part of each of the images was straight from old books, rendered in acrylic to look as true to old printing processes as possible.  The other part was done in oil, and showed a part of the artist’s own body positioned in a way that corresponds with the acrylic illustration.  I thought the images were well done, and fun.  However, I didn’t think they were much more than that.  We got an opportunity to listen in as the artist discussed her paintings with the curator of the show, Lauren O’Connell.  They then opened the discussion for questions, and I was able to ask a few questions, such as whether or not the images for the oil paintings were from pictures.  It turns out they were, but Solis made it clear that she mostly paints from life in her other works.  I find it interesting sometimes to talk to the artist and hear what they have to say about what the piece is and why they made it.  Solis did a decent job at explaining her ideas and her motive behind making her pieces.  I don’t know that I agree with everything she said, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t matter very much.

Next was Chaos Theory 11 at Legend City Studios.  I was very excited about this show, because the name makes me think of Jurassic Park, and the only thing cooler than Jurassic Park the movie is Jurassic Park the park off Costa Rica, and that “doesn’t exist”.  Rather than a show of one artist with many pieces, this show had many artists (50+ apparently!) each with one piece.  The space was beautiful, and it was interesting to see all of the different styles of art.  Unfortunately, the nametags adjacent to each piece prominently displayed (in a font that was bigger and bolder than the artist’s name) the extravagant price you’d have to pay to take it home with you.  One piece was valued at 7,500.00.  Come on man.  There is no faster way to turn me off of an art piece than to see how much it’s “worth”.  It is ironic that higher pricing cheapens the work.  It turns the process of creating something beautiful and worthwhile into a process of creating something you can pawn off.  For us thrifty individuals, there were a few pieces in the show that were less than a thousand dollars, and some pieces that didn’t even have a price listed!  One such piece was made by a high school instructor of mine, Hector Ruiz.  There was also a piece called Abstract Vagina.  It was some cloth, and it was several thousand dollars.  Sold, of course.  Alright, I’m done here.

Next off we went to Safeway.  The aisles were clean, and the deals were out of this world!  They definitely had ingredients for MY life.  Except for the basil, they were out of basil.

Time for ice cream!

Say what?

There are always shows going on at the Phoenix Art Museum, but it’s not often their shows have this much artistic clout behind them.  Cezanne and American Modernism is a show running right now until the twenty-sixth of September at the Phoenix Art Museum.

To be honest, I went there to hear a talk given by my painting instructor, Mark Pomillio, and wasn’t able to view the work before he gave his talk.  However, I did take an opportunity after the talk was over to go take a look at the show.  Mark Pomillio gave a very coherent speech.  He gave me things to look for in the artwork that I would not have looked for otherwise.  I hope to go back again with some art friends of mine who can tell me what they think about the show.

The actual show was placed in an interesting space.  The walls were painted a sap green that is similar to the greens used by Cezanne himself in his landscape paintings.  The paintings were set up in a way that allowed both distance viewing and an up-close inspection.  However, by far the most interesting aspect of the placement was the mixture of artists.  The show, while more famously containing 16 works by Cezanne, also contained 84 works by artists directly inspired by Cezanne.  It clearly showed the difference between a master and a bunch of other artists.  From across the room, it was easy to pick out which works were by Cezanne and which works were not.

Cezanne is one of the heavyweights of the painting world.  In one way or another, his work paved the way for nearly every artist who came after him.  I would recommend going, but if you go, and you don’t know of Cezanne already, I would recommend going with someone who knows some background.