Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two not-so-new videos

I was going through my VHS video archives and found some awesome footage from when Reagan was President (first term) of me doing some fun parachuting stuff.

The first one is our pirate jumps off of the Newport (RI) Bridge, back in 1983 or 84.

And this one is a Santa Claus jump I did about a year later:

I'm turning 50 next month, and while I've known people a LOT older who still jump, I consider it a closed chapter in my life. I've accomplished everything I'm going to, and I have other stuff I enjoy doing more.

Plus, my back is kind of fucked up, and the idea of jumping out of airplanes doesn't hold the same appeal anymore.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Righteous Kill"

I finally saw Righteous Kill, the awful Robert DeNiro/Al Pacino movie that sucked so badly it only scored 21% at Rotten

Other than the tremendous waste of talent that this movie represents, the only significant thing about it is that they filmed several scenes at The Star Cafe, a bar about 1/2 mile from my house last year. Here's some photos and screen caps (click on them to show full size):

This is supposedly the exterior of the bar, taken at another location. It establishes the fiction that the bar is located in a downtown NYC area, rather than the suburban street that the real bar is on.

This is the actual exterior of the bar, with the windows blacked out because either they knew the movie was gonna bomb and they didn't want anyone seeing it, or more likely because they were shooting scenes that represented nighttime and they didn't want sunlight streaming in to ruin the effect.

The next two images are screencaps from the actual film. Basically, it shows some of the inside of the bar, but it looks much nicer on film than it actually is. But I think that's because they dressed the set with lots of extra lights and things that make it look more colorful than the drab, rundown pub it truthfully is.

(I hope the owner isn't reading this; someone said he heard the guy threatened someone who referred to his beloved cafe as a "seedy" bar!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Michael K. Williams & me

Today I met and chatted briefly with actor Michael K. Williams (IMDB listing) at a broadcast of the XM satellite radio's "Opie & Anthony Show".

Williams is an amazingly talented actor, probably known best for his intense portrayal of the gangster "Omar" on HBO's gritty and ridiculously underrated series "The Wire". He's also been in recent movies such as "Gone Baby Gone" and the new Spike Lee joint "Miracle at St. Anna".

We spoke briefly, and he was genuinely pleased that I complimented him on a very funny line he tossed out in a room full of comic heavyweights. We shook hands, and a guy in the audience took the photo.

The camera was messed up because it's so old, and the image had a weird blue tint covering it, so I converted it to B&W and lightened it up a bit, which is why the photo is so grainy. But it was really a great pleasure to meet such a gifted and intense actor.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My documentary: The Air Line Rail Trail

It's getting to be that time of year again, when the fall foliage will begin turning, and I'm going to make another trip to bike the Air Line Rail Trail up in mid- to north-eastern Connecticut. I'll probably bring my camera again and make an updated version of this movie.

In the meantime, here's a higher-resolution version of the 2005 documentary that Joyce and I created. Enjoy!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I can hardly wait!

I love Kevin Smith movies, even the horrible ones. Yes, "Jersey Girl" too! So I can't wait for October 31st to see "Zack & Miri Make a Porno"!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Bat Attack

This video is from about a month ago. So far, we haven't had any more attacks.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Video mashup

Here's the audio from a famous scene in "Clerks" set behind some video from the Star Wars "Revenge of the Sith" movie.

If you're familiar with Kevin Smith's 1994 indie film "Clerks", you'll enjoy this one.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another insipid sailing video

When I'm not political blogging or working, I tend to mess about in boats.

Here's a short video of our race last weekend. Summer is FINALLY here!

Bonus: fireworks at the end!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Hollywood East" project in danger

Before the project ever got off the ground, it ended up in court.

From the CT Post:
BRIDGEPORT — A former state Democratic Party chairman, once a lawyer for the team chosen to redevelop the former Army engine plant in Stratford, testified Wednesday that federal officials refused to close on the deal unless one of the team's partners was barred from remaining active in the project.

Edward Marcus, who had been a lawyer for Hollywood East/Area 51, LLC, until a bitter internal fight for control erupted in May, was allowed to testify in Superior Court over vehement objections from lawyers representing the partner in question, Hector Natera, and his brother Ed.

They have filed a lawsuit seeking to oust Allen Christopher as president and CEO of Hollywood East, which was selected in March after a bidding competition conducted by the federal General Services Administration. The team plans to redevelop the 78-acre property bordering the Housatonic River into a multi-faceted production complex for movies and other entertainment ventures.
Sadly, this power struggle is endangering the entire project and may cause it to be delayed indefinitely.

Hollywood East/Area 51 might go the way of the doomed Utopia Studios project unless a settlement can be quickly reached.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Battle of Lexington reenactment

Here's a couple minutes of people dressed as Revolutionary War soldiers and their ladies, pretending to kill each other. Even though this video doesn't do a great job of showing it, the good guys won in the end.

Although, those Brits were definitely more stylish. They get points for fashion.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ricky's mom is a busy body

Poor Ricky was traumatized.

He could never get over his embarrassment.

He soon lost interest in sports. His grades started slipping at school. Ricky's friends noticed a change in him and started avoiding him.

The shame gnawed at Ricky during his every waking moment.

Ricky's parents sensed a deep sadness in him, but it was the 70's and parents weren't as knowledgeable about the warning signs of depression as they are today.

Plus, Ricky's mom was usually hopped up on Valium when she wasn't hitting the bottle. And Ricky's dad often worked late at the office, although Ricky's mom suspected he was having an affair with his secretary, a sexy young thing named Jennifer. Jennifer always wore short skirts to work, even though it was the middle of winter.

So Ricky never got the attention he needed.

Months later, Ricky took his dad's shotgun and slaughtered his entire family, before turning the weapon upon himself.

All of Ricky's friends and relatives were shocked and appalled at what happened. Ricky didn't leave a note or confide in his friends about what he was going to do.

The tragedy left a hole in the community that still hasn't healed completely, even though it happened way back in the 70's.

But there IS a lesson that can be learned from this horrific event:

Next time, knock bitch!

"Hollywood East" to locate nearby

I can almost see it from my house. A new digital movie studio is going to take advantage of Connecticut's film business tax breaks and move into an empty military industrial site in Stratford.

From The Connecticut Post:
STRATFORD — In the town where the once thriving Shakespeare theater put Stratford on the map as an entertainment showcase, a New Haven film and multi-media production company is planning to do it again by creating "one of the largest studio complexes in the United States" at the former Army Engine Plant site on Main Street.

Hollywood East/Area 51 was unveiled Monday by the U.S. Army and General Services Administration as the company that submitted the winning online bid last month of $9.6 million for the 78-acre contaminated waterfront property now known as Point Stratford, and the company formally selected to redevelop the site.

The property, which borders the Housatonic River and is across the street from Sikorsky Memorial Airport, has been dormant for 12 years, but is considered the key to Stratford's economic redevelopment.

After numerous failed attempts to develop the parcel, which was the site of defense manufacturing for decades, most recently engines for Army aircraft, the U.S. Army intervened last year just as the Town Council voted to sell the property to developer Monti-Posillico of Long Island.

"We are very excited about Point Stratford," Allen Christopher, president of Hollywood East, said Monday in a prepared statement.
The place is literally three miles from my house! This is gonna be great!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Frozen Grand Central part II

I posted the original video a while back. By now there's a good chance that you're one of the over 10,000,000 people who've seen this video on Youtube:

I decided to attempt the same thing, the cheap and easy way!

Now I'll just sit back and watch those millions of views roll in! I'll be a Youtube Sensation for sure!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Teri Garr's IMDB listing

Apparently someone over in England has a bit of a problem with American actress Teri Garr, and he's gone through the trouble of creating his own version of her Internet Movie Data Base listing; complete with full screen credits and character names that I somehow missed over the years.

I'm sure the fact that I find this hysterically funny is a symptom of some deep seated psychological defect, but it make me laugh and that's all I care about. Besides, I'm too busy to spend the required time with a psychiatrist to fix it.

Click on Teri Garr's IMDB Listing to see it.

Then, after you've had a loff or two, visit the REAL listing for that unique American filmmaker, cinematographer, and all-purpose bon vivant slash ne'er-do-well, known informally as Your Humble Narrator.

Monday, February 04, 2008

This is so cool

This is the kind of thing that I really love about the Internet. Stuff like this wouldn't normally ever get seen except for Youtube.

And it's much more clever than cats playing piano or a sexually confused boy ranting about Britney Spears.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Aaaaaand....more movies!

Michael Clayton - Reasonably taut thriller, with George Clooney in a fairly restrained performance. The always dependable Tom Wilkinson was reminiscent of Peter Finch's role in "Network", and a chilling Tilda Swinton looking icily competent. Fine movie with some decent twists.

I'm Not There - Todd Haynes scores with another off-beat flick. Some of his movies I've enjoyed were "Velvet Goldmine" and "Safe", but this one is even more remarkable. The Bob Dylan story was never told so artistically, and the idea of having multiple actors portray him, including Cate Blanchett (above) was stylistically brilliant. Great covers of many Dylan songs help make this a really enjoyable film.

2 Days in Paris - Julie Delpy wrote, directed, and co-starred in this engaging "relationship" movie. Adam Goldberg was perfect as the neurotic boyfriend to Delpy's outgoing personality. I mentioned the two Richard Linklater-directed Julie Delpy movies, "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" in a previous post, and if you liked those movies you'll find this one even more satisfying.

Waitress - Cute movie, sadly the last by writer/director/co-star Adrienne Shelly, who was the victim of a homicide while the film was being readied for release. With perky Keri Russell and a pragmatic Cheryl Hines, this film is somewhat reminiscent of the 2005 movie "Junebug", but more cheerful overall.

Snatch (2000) - Very fun "guy" flick, with plenty of fighting, laughs, and action. A guilty pleasure. Brad Pitt's performance was hysterical (when I could understand what he was saying!)