Sunday, October 28, 2007

saw Saw IV yesterday

I know, a lot of film fans - especially nostalgia fans - don't care for Saw, and some don't have much good to say about the majority of new films. Well, I kinda feel the same way about tv. I don't have cable, and generally have a prejudice against tv because to me it seems a rushed and cheap medium (whether it's 1955 or today), especially in this highly edited reality tv world of ours. But I love films, and go to them Often. Time and $ is spent on movies. I'll watch Almost anything, and like quite a lot of it.

To that end, I love horror movies. To me, they are like comedies. Rooted in realism, but they contain an unbelievability about them that allows me not to take them too seriously. They are fun. And the Best compliment I can ever give a film is that it's Fun. Not great, good, brilliant. FUN. Some movies are fun And one of those things. Wallace & Gromit, Curse of the Were-Rabbit was fun And great and brilliant. So was the 2nd Saw movie.

Hairspray was great fun.
Phantom of the Opera was amazing and fun.
Across the Universe was very good and had many moments of greatness, but perhaps it's length to keep up the drama (much like the shaky-camera - which I Hate - Bourne Ultimatum) for the entire film took its toll.

My favorite horror film series are the Deads (Night remake, Dawn and Day). Friday the 13th. And Saw. Final Destination is clever and has brilliance to it, but is a bit repetitive to me.

Anyway, Saw IV was good. I need to see it again to appreciate it fully - like I did with the previous ones. My first reaction is that it's not as good as the previous 3. But generally speaking, I like something More the 2nd time if I already like it.

I just wish Jigsaw wasn't dead. I thought the perfect lead-in to #4 would be that J would be revived by the father in #3 because his wife was a surgeon and he would know something about saving a life because of that. After all, J's brain didn't have to be completely dead, since #3 ended Immediately after J's throat was cut.

Don't worry, dear readers, I actually like My Fair Lady and West Side Story JUST as much as my favorite horror films. And Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. There are a LOT of great films out there. Just try to keep an open mind and you'll be surprised what might fall in your head. True, the Saw movies are bloody (esp. #3 and 4). But they are also - I think - first-rate mysteries. Enjoy a hybrid.

My favorite films this year?
Hot Fuzz
Miss Potter
Ratatouie (sp?)

Can't recall others, but many good ones come out often. Perhaps not Great ones, but fun ones. I remember sitting in the theatre and saying to myself, "I'm in the presence of greatness" a couple times. Doesn't happen often. The Departed was one time. The Wallace and Gromit film was another. Phantom of the Opera too - though not a Perfect film.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

convention bust

Some of our friends know we went to a horror convention last weekend - ScreamFest in Orlando. The convention itself was Great. Just the sort of thing I wish I could've gone to as a kid (though I didn't start loving horror movies until 1990 when I saw Tom Savini's Night of the Living Dead remake, when I was 19). LOTS of vendors, celebrities, and films, both indie and mainstream.

But as a seller, it was a miserable failure and I was bored out of my mind. First off, I think it's a mistake (from a seller's viewpoint) to have all vendors in one room and all celebrities down the hall in another room. The line for having stuff signed by Freddie (Robert Englund) was constantly long. Ditto, I think, for Shawnee Smith, star of Saw. And Kane Hodder of Jason fame. Mix everyone together in various rooms. Part of me would've liked to have gotten a few autographs of the supporting stars of Friday the 13th Part 3 (my favorite of the series, along with Jason X) and composer Henry Manfredini (who looked as bored as I the 2 times I passed his table). So why didn't I? Well, I didn't want to be away from the table long. Also I'm still a bit shy about approaching people I admire. It's different sitting Behind the table. I'll greet anyone that way. In fact, 2 celebs walked around the dealer room - the First zombie from Night of the Living Dead '68. I saw him once in Monster Bash - still wearing that same ol' ripped suit he must've been buried in. And Tom Savini took a tour around the table, but he ignored our table, so I didn't get a chance to remind him we met at Monster Bash where I gave him a Paul Frees book and found out that he's writing a book. I wanted to ask how it was coming along. Oh well.

Which brings up one thing I was reminded of. I've been to several conventions in the last few years. But I forgot that most people - and I mean 95% of those walking around dealer rooms - ignore books. Books don't sell, not in comparison to DVDs, which are magic. DVDs are media and we're in a media age; plus they are cheaper to produce (and ship) than books, therefore have cheaper pricetags for the consumer. But even if they were always $20 ea., movies will still sell better than books, generally. A book is a long investment in time - a film is McDonald's, a book is an expensive French restaurant. I'm trying to get more "pizzas" on our menu, but even the Bionic Book - a pizza or McD's $1 hamburger if ever I saw one - didn't do well at this show. We sold one copy.

We sold 2 copies of Paul Frees, 1 Incorrect Entertainment (a surprise, frankly), 1 Barbara Payton, 1 Writings of Paul Frees, 1 Charlie's Angels - that's about it, I think. Terrible, huh? Well, I'm not really Complaining. We probably should've driven the Long distance to Newark, NJ to go to the Good radio convention that same weekend, but it Is a long drive. Luckily, our champion, Martin Grams Jr. was on hand to sell a good # of our titles anyway.

I won't complain because it's like complaining about the weather or the past - what's the point? I learned a bit more about human nature, and learned that if we go to future "chancey"-type cons, we'll do it mostly as promo. Rather than load up the car with 12 boxes of books (another good reason to sell DVDs instead!), we'll take 2 or 3 boxes of various titles and mostly postcards and promo material. We gave out about 20 catalogs this time, so that's good.

Luckily the scenery was interesting at this con. There was a costume contest and most of the young people seemed to be there for that, or getting autographs, or just the party atmosphere. Even other dealers said sales were poor, so people weren't there to buy, they went to look. And there were some great things to look at. As you can tell, the kid at the adjoining table is a great horror fan - his favorite flick is Critters, he said.

I got a Friday the 13th Part 3-D t-shirt from the vendor behind us. Traded a Silver Spoons book for 2 bootleg DVDs (all the Peanuts specials, and Speed Buggy, for my Mel Blanc book). I bought a super Shawn of the Dead poster (the one where he's trapped in the subway) for $8. I took a look around the room a couple times, and I really admire the spirit of indie filmmakers. You know it's REally hard on them - even more than a publisher like me, I'm sure - because they have no name recognition in the stars or crew, pushing completely new titles. But they believe in what they're doing - they have dreams and ambition, and I Love seeing that. I wish I could figure out a way of us all helping out each other.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

more wedding photos

Here we are again, wedding lovers. I wanted to share more pictures of myself and my gorgeous bride. Below is our wedding cake - we all got only 1 piece of cake each. What happened to all the leftovers!? And also below is our regular desert. That pearl in Minnie's hand is milk chocolate - delicious!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

DisneySea wedding pictures!

Well, folks, here are the infamous wedding photos! Some of them anyway. We had a flawless wedding - even the weather was perfect! Thanks to the detailed management of my lovely bride, Mayu, everything went smoothly, beautifully, and was even fun! We've got a Ton of photos, not counting the ones Mayu's friends took, nor the 50 that the professional photographer took!

Anyone who's ever dreamed of a Disney wedding - it is indeed a dream. These are very professional people who know how to make a memorable event. Here's how our evening ran:

4:15. My fitting began. Mayu's started at 3:30. I got into the costume we picked out the day before (complete with Dracula cape), then I waited a while for Mayu's stunning entrance. She was beautiful. She doesn't quite believe it, saying that Every bride is called beautiful, but it was indeed true, and I mean and meant it from the heart.

We moved into another room to start the professional photos. Now, it's a bit daunting to marry in Japan when English is the foreign language. There was one person to translate, though she wasn't what I'd call bilingual. Luckily, there was never a problem with knowing when/what to do. Maybe it's all those silent movies I've watched... So I tilted my head this way and that way for a while until the studio shots were done, and the rest of the evening we were followed around by a young guy photographer who, like all Japanese, seemed so pleased and eager to be helping us. We're both eager to see how the pro shot us!

We then moved into the Waiting Room where we waited like a king and queen to receive our visitors. As the guests came in, they were in awe of the spectacle, as they should be! Mayu invited a few of her friends from school and her family, so the entire setting was very intimate and never large and imposing at all, which relieved me. The trip was just too long and expensive for any of my folks here in Albany, GA to come to, but that was fine with me. I have no regrets about the wedding day, nor would I change a Thing. Mayu had planned it perfectly and the Disney people provided the pixie dust to make it fly.

There was a half hour delay to the ceremony due to some technical hitch, but that was okay because they served us and the guests tea and lite snacks in the waiting room. The priest from New Zealand came to introduce himself to us and ask a few questions (what language we wanted the vows spoken in, etc.) of the very nervous couple. He was a good looking guy with a confident manner who put us at ease. In fact, Mayu wondered if was just an actor, not a priest! After a few pictures with the Fantasia Mickey in this room, we left for our instructions on the ceremony, and the guests went into the chapel to wait.

Since all of the planning had to be done in 1 day by Mayu and the rest long by distance, we didn't have any previous instruction, nor did we even get to see the chapel until we were walking Live down the aisle! In a room much like where the first professional pictures were taken, we were given instructions on how to walk, turn, lift the veil, kiss (not more than 3 seconds), and Mayu's dad was given a crash course in slow, rhythmic walking. We only got to go thru this once, and as neither of us are incredibly brilliant, we knew we'd forget some things. Luckily I told the priest that when we met and he knowingly promised to help during the ceremony. He did indeed.

After that, we were on the air! We walked right out of the room, pictures flashing, and down the hall among the many admiring, smiling faces, and into the chapel, once our cue was given. I went in first, following the priest to the alter. I turned and looked toward the door where, once the live choir began singing, my gorgeous bride appeared. She was a picture. And pictures might show that her dad was holding back tears.

The priest read the service in phoenetic Japanese and gave us lots of silent direction on specific things to do. We put on rings, kissed, and moved to sign the marriage certificate, followed by her parents. The priest showed the certificate to everyone formally to show we weren't kiddin', then we marched out to more live organ music.

The reception was equally beautiful, full of courses and drinks and seafood and sweets. In between courses we got to view the DisneySea night show, BraviSeamo, on a balcony, and the weather being perfect, it was amazing to see. More pictures were taken of us here!, then we went back into finish the feast, topped off by cake.

We greeted the guests to say thanks for coming and give them their parting gifts - small bags of M&Ms with Ben & Mayu on one side, and our wedding date on the other. We have a couple bags left. There begins the eternal struggle between a want of chocolate and the desire for keepsakes...

Then the Real photo session began! Wow, I've never had so many photos taken of me in one place/time before in my LIFE. It was amazing. And I'm not a teeth smiler, I never was. Doesn't feel natural to me to use teeth in a smile. But I know now it Looks good, so I literally tried to grin and bear it and not blink Too much with all the flashing bulbs. We're glad so many photos were taken - it's a once in a lifetime event!

And that's it. Back to the changing room to remove the costumes. We were exhausted. Actually, I'm pretty tired Now after writing all that. So let me tell you about the rest of the trip later, ok?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

now in Japan!

Hello, all! We're now in Japan, as you can tell by the display of tasty cakes we see here. I'm on a strange connection here, so I won't make today's post long. But I'll try to write up some comments on Japan in Notepad tonight and just copy and paste into an entry tomorrow - so stay tuned!

We're having a wonderful time. It was a beautiful, perfect wedding in Tokyo Disneyland. The weather was ideal, then turned rainy the next 2 days, so we were indeed lucky.

Come to Japan. It is Lovely, with lush, green mountains all around, and the friendliest people you'll Ever find on this earth.