My first reaction to the news that Del Toro is in talks for the two Hobbit films was, "well if it could not be Peter Jackson, then having a better director entirely is ideal. How nice for us geeks.
My second reaction is, after a moments thought, well how nice for him.
I have said elsewhere I love horror films.
...Oh just to note it, I shall be ignoring Mimic....
The Devil's Backbone and Cronos are, in the states anyway, cult classics. Everyone on WC should watch them. However I doubt as foreign language horror they will ever be more then a cult classic. Its hard enough to get Americans to watch sub-titles without adding scare and gore. People do not want to seem to work for their horror films so to speak. So, we will have to wait until they get remade with some other director, SMG, and a rock soundtrack for people to see them. Only so many j-horror films. By happy contrast, Pan's Labyrinth seems to have reached the status of "that incredible movie that your friend saw." I still know more people who have heard they should see it then have seen it, bu they have heard of it and they have seen this Spanish sounding name thrown across their screen a few times. So, we now have this general idea, supported by adds for The Orphanage (not his film obviously) and Hellboy 2, that Guillermo is this amazing director and -hell- perhaps you should watch one of his movies. Eventually anyway. For the record, Pan's Labyrinth was one of my favorite films of last year and, and I am pleased that it has started to spread Del Toro, who fell out of the mist just last year to make it, as a name to "watch." But it is not his breakthrough, not yet.
Ok, I have also said on WC how much I like super-heros.
When not doing what he does best, Guillermo Del Toro is doing what he does second best - acting as our near best super-hero director...hmm, what an odd image right there. Moving right along. So despite the fact Hellboy and Blade II are near the top of the food chain for actual craft in super-hero film, the former is largely unknown (reaction to Hellboy 2 seen a few time: "that looks cool, wait is it a sequel?") and the latter is seen as a creature of its lead, as a result the the director, and for that matter the martial choreographer (Donnie Yen), and the writer (David Goyer), are incidental to the films existence in the minds of posterity. Further more, my suspicion is Hellboy 2 will, at best, have slightly better box office that its predecessor , but is not going to draw in the crowds. The buzz of "hey its a movie in english by the guy who made that other movie you did not see" might work but its up against a movie that screams geeks only. And, yes, Hellboy screams geek movie as loud as a move can.
Guillermo Del Toro, one the best directors working, should have his break out moment, he really should. But I love he keeps making the films he does, horror, dark fantasy, pulp and your better class of fucked up superhero. Hell, he has a Lovecraft adaptation in the pipe. From an entirely selfish perspective I do not want him to make a film that more people might see simply so more people will see. What he needs, like a cult horror and fantasy director before him, is a movie the masses would love to see but that will stay the course for the amazing body of work he has been crafting. (Shoves Mimic under the carpet, scuttle scuttle).
Hobbit films. Ha. A cult fantasy and horror director movie over to Hobbit films. Sounds familiar. That worked before. What do geeks get out of it? two more damn good Tolkien movies. What does Del Toro get? He can now become a household name doing what he does best. It fits, it fits perfectly. Good for us.
In the past day, it was raining. Continuiously. The place is practically Arakkus most days, but it rained hard and long. If someone told me it was going to rain seven days and seven nights, I would actually believed them.
At some point just before Christmas, I decided I liked NCIS and have since watched all of its 104 episodes in order in about seven weeks. Now maybe its just the rush with which I watched them and the ebbing enthusiasm with which I greeted the last ten or so episodes, but I've got to believe that the writer's strike couldn't have hit at a better time for them. The first two seasons were superb stuff filled with witty repartee, smartly written storylines and genuine surprises. Then they killed off the character that glued the team together, tried to bring in longer story arcs which weren't explained for many weeks and introduced two new characters which still don't fit after two and a half seasons. Granted season three had the most disturbing (and easily one of the best) episode of all five so far and there are momentary glimpses of the old formula but it's lost its way.
Mark Harmon essentially got Donald Bellisario to quit writing the show after Season 4 because he thought the stories were poor too, but Season 5 isn't improving. Please please may they take stock of the situation during the writers' strike and come back firing on all cylinders post-Oscars.
In response to short, crap jobs (reposted just for you):
The shortest job I ever had:
Accounting for receipts in the backroom of a local grocery chain. I worked there about three weeks.
The backroom offices were located, you guessed it, in the back of the grocery store near the butchers and the bakers. The refrigerator for the bakers was tucked in a corner near a prep station, in a large receiving bay with a ceiling about three stories high. You had a clear view of it from the office plexi windows.
One morning a couple of managers decided to store boxes of paper goods on top of the baker's walk-in refrigerator. They got a ladder, set it up, and had a strapping young kid climb on top of this tall metal box, about ten or twelve feet off the ground.
They started passing boxes up to him, one manager on the floor with a pallet full of boxes, another manager standing on the ladder to pass them up.
I stopped paying attention and went back to accounting receipts.
Then there was an odd sound, like cardboard crunching and folding, a collective gasp, and a thump.
When I looked up I jumped out of my chair as if it were electrified. People were rushing toward the baker's area near the walk-in refrigerator. There was a powdery white dust settling and bits of ceiling tile everywhere.
Turns out the faux ceiling they'd put above the baker's area against the walk-in refrigerator was nothing more than a piece of cardboard affixed to the walls. When the kid on top of the walk-in refrigerator paced backward holding a box, probably looking for room to put it down, he fell right through, flat on his back onto the concrete floor.
It broke his back. He missed a metal baker's rack that probably would have impaled him by about two inches.
I called the paramedics, but I couldn't go out there. I watched numbly as the crowd gathered, little gasps and shrieks of horror traveling back through the plexi window. I saw the paramedics come through the swinging doors into the backroom, saw them walk behind the walk-in refrigerator to where the kid was. They brought the kid out the back door to the truck bay, where the ambulance had swung around to wait.
I heard the ambulance sirens in the parking lot as I left the building.
The next morning, I returned to work. They'd put a ladder up against the walk-in refrigerator again. They'd sent another kid up there, this time to move the boxes back down to the floor so that the faux-ceiling above the baker's area could be repaired. As I walked closer to marvel at the stupidity of it all, I nearly stepped on a dark stain on the concrete, next to the baker's rack.
When I sat down at my desk, I picked up the phone and called directory assistance. I calmly asked for OSHA, whatever number they could give me. I explained the situation, hung up the phone, then put my coat on and walked out.
Click here for a more detailed versionThe image at Left is a drawing I did a while back based on a wax model at the La Specola in Florence, with some Norse influence. Quickly dubbed "Dissection Loki" it is a piece that I'm still pretty happy with.
The 'loki was done in microns (Mostly the 005) on 9" x 12" Strathmore Bristol, shows off the anatomy of the cheek, jaw and throat. Yes, you probably could name off the pieces of anatomy present in this piece, though I would not say it's proper scientific accuracy.
My UserIcon is based on a colored version of a selection of this piece. So, in case you were wondering what that was an icon of? Just a head dissection.
General reaction from friends who have seen the original? Lots of "Oh my god what is that?!" and general hand waving in a dismissive style.