Tag Archives: movies

See You at the Movies!

From my list of 22 movies I wanted to see this year, I’ve so far made it 12. Yes, I had to skip a couple, but that’s okay. I’ve also seen some originally unscheduled ones, as well, and found some I’d rather watch when they come out on DVD, or, in fact, not at all. (The Three Stooges? What was I thinking?)

I’ve also added a couple to the list:

  • Seven Psychopaths – I just recently saw In Bruges, which was amazing, and I LOVED Martin McDonagh’s play The Lieutenant of Inishmore, so I can’t wait for this! Luckily, it’s out in just ten days.
  • Wreck-It Ralph – A video game movie that doesn’t make me cringe!
  • Rise of the Guardians – I was skeptical of this at first, but it’s getting amazing reviews and has already won awards despite it not even being out yet. Sign me up!

And a couple of movies I’ve loved so far:

  • The Avengers – Despite it’s flaws, it lived up to the hype.
  • ParaNorman – I can’t recommend this movie enough! The studio behind Coraline, Laika, has not failed me yet. The story is so touching, the art is amazing and I can’t help but love a children’s movie that doesn’t talk down to it’s audience. Practically perfect in every way.
  • The Cabin in the Woods – Curse whoever let this go so long without getting released! This really was the horror movie to end all horror movies. Or maybe begin them. Who knows? Plus, I really missed Franz Kranz. And yes, it amazes me I have this many Joss Whedon-directed movies on this list, too. Don’t judge.

Overall, this has been a great year for movies. See anything good lately that I should add to my list?

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Robots? In My Crosswalks?

Lord, is it mid-February already?

As predicted in my last entry, I’ve spent most of 2012 thus far watching movies. I’ve seen two from my list of 22 movies I want to see in theaters, and I’ve been watching them at home at the rate of about three a week. Today I finally watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 while Skyping with my friend. Well worth it, despite the shitty stream I had.

That movie I saw before that one, though, was a documentary called Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Though not as well known as some urban legends, if you’ve spent enough time in Philadelphia, you have probably noticed the strange, rectangular tiles embedded in intersections and crosswalks. They have been dubbed the Toynbee Tiles, after the message most of them carry:

Toynbee idea
In Kubrick’s 2001
Resurrect dead
On planet Jupiter

Clear as mud, eh? That’s what I thought. When I was living in Philadelphia, I started noticing these tiles around the city. I remembered reading a Cracked article that profiled them, and after I noticed them, did a little more internet research, but was dismayed to find no one had ever really figured out what they mean or who put them there. Apparently, new tiles appear to this day, mostly in Philadephia, which has around 60 individual tiles. They also appear in large, Northeastern cities in the United States, like NYC and Boston. Some even appear in South America.

(I won’t spoil the documentary for you, as the filmmakers claim to solve the mystery of who makes the tiles and what they mean, but I definitely suggest giving it a watch if you’re interested in stuff like this.)

A photo I took in Philly near Temple University.

And the Toynbee tiles aren’t the only “street art” you find living in Philly. Graffiti and tagging are abundant in certain areas of the city. Larger than life murals decorate many of the city’s walls. Strange stickers and fliers adorn telephone poles and news paper boxes, advertising the unusual. And some street artists have even figured out the Toynbee tiler’s method of transferring images to asphalt, which is how I first noticed the robots.

Robot.

This blog, if you weren’t paying attention, is called “Robots in the Crosswalks.” Though it might conjure up the idea of a couple of boxy, metallic beings crossing the street, it is actually named after tiny images of robotic-looking men embedded in the crosswalks of Philadelphia. I’ve heard them referred to as aliens, stick men, robots, skeletons and simply “little men.” There were quite a few of them around my school. I really liked them.

Since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve continued to see these little men in the crosswalks. I don’t know where they came from, what they mean, or if they mean anything, but they still fascinate me. I recently came across this blog article, which calls the robots “Stikman” and attributes them to an anonymous graffiti artist who goes simply by “Bob.” Sounds like my kind of guy.

If I do anything with this blog (when I do do anything with it), it’s share information and document things I find interesting. Though it’s anyone’s guess what the makers of the Toynbee Titles or Stikmen are trying to say, I’m sure it’s something, even if it’s only “Look what I did!” This kind of mystery appeals to me, because it is absolutely surreal and yet absolutely human. The abstraction these sorts of things bring to everyday life is pretty much what I’m all about. If you’re out there, reading, commenting, or whatever, thanks for sharing that with me.

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Movies, Films, Picture Shows, Et Cetera

Though I’m impartial to new years resolutions (What do you mean I’ve already made some?), I’ve made up my mind about how I plan to enjoy my media this year. As far as reading goes, I won’t be buying any new books this year, and instead trying to focus on reading my usual amount (50, give or take), while at the same time reducing the bowing of my bookshelves. As for television, I haven’t picked up any mid-season shows I wasn’t already watching, and my interest in it is waning, especially with the abrupt “cancellation” of Community. This anime season is pretty good in comparison to past seasons, but most of what I’m watching is throw away humor shows, Persona 4 and a couple of “out there” shows; you know, the kind that gives anime its weird reputation in the West.

And then there’s movies. And, as far as I’m concerned, 2012 is going to be all about movies.

There are three separate superhero movies coming out just this year (I’m not counting the Ghost Rider sequel, no), a Ghibli film, something with Daniel Radcliffe in it and a number of other things I want to check out. Below is my movie list for the year, pulled from what IMDb currently has to offer.

Red Tails – January 20 (out now!)
We Need to Talk About Kevin – January 27
The Woman in Black – February 3
The Secret World of Arrietty –  February 17
The Raven – March 9
The Hunger Games – March 23 *
The Cabin in the Woods – April 13
The Three Stooges – April 13 **
The Avengers – May 4
Hysteria – May 18
Men in Black III – May 25
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – June 22
Brave – June 22
Magic Mike – June 29
The Amazing Spider-Man – July 6
The Dark Knight Rises – July 20
The Bourne Legacy – August 3
ParaNorman – August 17
Hotel Transylvania – September 21
James Bond: Skyfall – November 9
World War Z – December 9
The Great Gatsby – December 28 ***

That’s quite a mix of films. I have everything on there from kids movies, to superheroes, to zombies, to period pieces, to horror to Edgar Allen Poe solving crimes. And there’s at least one movie per month, except, of course, for October. Poor October, no good movies get released during you.

I’m also going to keep track of the movies as I watch them, in a delightful visual format, you can find here, on my Tumblr.

What movies are you looking forward to this year?

__

* I haven’t read these books, but I want to see what all the hype is about. I also kind of want to see how similar it is to Battle Royale.
** I’m doing it for Sean Hayes.
*** Yes, I expect this to be terrible, too.

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