Lights, Camera, Action

Movies from 2007. By my count I viewed a little over 50. Looking at my list its apparent I enjoy action adventure movies that offer more than just big explosions and animated films. Go figure. Of the films I saw a few really stunk (The Hoax, Beowulf, Blades of Glory), a few dished up exactly what I expected, good or bad (Transformers, Pirates, Ocean's 13), a few surprised in a good way (Juno, Zodiac, Hot Fuzz, Stardust, Sweeney Todd, Surf's Up), and one I actually worked on. But there were 5 that I really enjoyed and will return to enjoy again and again. Ratatouille. This was a hallmark in CG animation. A great story and it didn't feel cold and calculated. The relationship between the boy and the rat was developed warmly and with humour. The hi-lite for me was the physical animation of Linguini, particularly when Remy was in control. Ratatouille coloring pages. This would only be out shined by Lou Romano's sincere voice performance. The Rocket. As a lifelong Hockey fanatic I was the target audience for this film. But beyond the hockey action the story of Maurice Richard and his relationship with the fans, the team, and management of the Montreal Canadians.
As well as his importance to the francophone community was told in an honest and exciting way. This was a Canadian film told and shot with some Hollywood panache. Highly recommended, it is opening in US theaters this spring. How to Hook up Your Home Theater. The triumphant return of Goofy. This was a really fun film animated with real energy. Well directed and handled with class. A nice retro touch paid tribute but the film becomes relevant to our time, especially to a home theater buff like myself. Seek this out. Nothing is more enjoyable than a cartoon. The Bourne Ultimatum. This was just awesome. This is a near perfect trilogy and the final film offers more excitement, answers and ties in to the second film in a neat way. Action films won't be the same after these and I hope they don't make another, this is a nice way to end it. 3:10 to Yuma. This was my favorite film this year. A fantastic western, dirty, gritty, depressing, exciting and surprising. Christian Bale and Russell Crowe create two memorable characters who develop a bond. Ben Foster as Crowe's number 2 nearly steals the show though. Fantastic film making and a fun cinematic ride.

Feeling Lucky or Let Down?

A roundup of art critics on google's new mega-museum. As with any kind of new tech application, there are going to be pros and cons. I tried out google's art project and found it good in some ways and way wonky in others. The good includes getting to examine some works in close detail that you wouldn't be able to in real life. The not-so-good, for me, are the somewhat limited selections from each museum that you are able to see. Granted, it's a big undertaking to document the collections of major museums for an online application, not to mention all of the legal wrangling that must be involved. I guess my expectations for more views of the museums' various rooms and collections were a little high at this stage of the game. Hopefully, there will be some tweaking of the program to and more of the collections included at a later time. That said, no matter how good google's art project gets, it is still a far second-best to being able to view the works in person. On the other hand, I actually painted today after almost 6 months of little to no studio activity. It's just taken me a while to get back in the swing of things. The thing that was odd about today was that I was having a crappy day mentally. I don't usually like to force myself to paint when I'm not really feeling up to it, but I needed to channel some of that angst somewhere, so painting it was. As usual, I don't know where this stuff is headed, but the only thing to do is, well, to do it. That's all there is. I'll see where I am when I get there. I have two paintings that are in progress. I worked on those today. The lighter one is actually covering over another painting from my last series that wasn't very good. I don't know how I even let it out of the studio when I did. I remember having that nagging feeling that it wasn't quite up to my standards, but I let it go out into the world anyway. I got it back from Bridgette a couple of weeks ago and decided today to do away with it.