Monday, January 12, 2015

Listen To MOM

Maltin On Movies logo
Listen to MOM. By that, I mean Maltin On Movies.

MOM is my new favourite podcast on the subject of movies. The Maltin in the title refers to well-known movie critic, Leonard Maltin. Some of you may remember that he was the long-time resident film critic on Entertainment Tonight back when ET was actually about entertainment and worth watching. Nowadays, the TV show has devolved into a trashy, gossip news show. I assume this shift in direction meant that there was no more room at ET for Leonard's insightful and delightful movie reviews.

Whatever the reason, it didn't stop Leonard from reviewing movies. He also had his annual Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide in which he rated movies and wrote capsule reviews. It started in 1969 as a one-off and beginning in 1987, was published annually. Unfortunately, due to declining sales attributed to internet sites such as IMDb, it was announced the 2015 edition of the book would be the last.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Film Leader

Film Leader Countdown (old film with torn sprockets) from Movie Vigilante on Vimeo.
Film leader with simulated old film appearance with torn sprockets.

film leader number with clock wipe
I've seen several film leader animations uploaded on YouTube and it gave me the idea to create my own. The one above is on Vimeo since I wanted to take advantage of its Vimeo Enhancer which is what gives it the appearance of an old film with torn sprockets.

I used Corel R.A.V.E. 2 for the animation, Audacity for the audio and Windows Movie Maker to edit before finally uploading it to Vimeo and applying its Enhancer effects.

It's important to note that this is not completely accurate and is only an approximate simulation of a typical film leader. Do not rely on this for authenticity.

It's available for download to use in any way you want under a Creative Commons license (CC by 3.0)

Thursday, November 27, 2014


movie poster
Wanted: for a fowl mouth
If you like your movies with tongue-in-beak humour, then ThanksKilling is the one for you. If you are not a fan of intentionally-bad movies or ones that are self-aware, you might want to skip this dinner.

The star of this movie is a fowl-mouthed, homicidal, hand puppet turkey with a penchant for bad puns that rival Arnold Schwarzenegger's lines as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin. That should give you some indication of where to set the bar for your expectations.

Despite the fact that Turkie (voiced by writer/director Jordan Downey) is made of rubber, it gives one of the better performances in the movie when you compare it to the wooden acting of the two actresses/non actresses playing the college girls, Ali and Kristen. The guys do a slightly better job with one of them overdoing it as Ryan Francis overacts the hell out of his character, Darren the nerd.

What makes this movie really worth the watch is the interaction between Turkie and Sheriff Roud, who is played by Chuck Lamb aka Dead Body Guy. One scene that takes place in the kitchen of the sheriff's house will have you laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation as Sheriff Roud is fooled by Turkie's cheap disguise. The banter between Turkie and the sheriff is priceless. Lamb steals the movie in my opinion. This scenario is repeated when Turkie "borrows" the sheriff's face-mask and unconvincingly impersonates him yet fools Kristen and her friends into believing he's Sheriff Roud. It's so preposterous, I couldn't help but laugh.

This movie was made with an extremely low budget ($3,500) and it shows. Don't expect any great special effects, elaborate sets or even adequate lighting or makeup. I don't even think any of the actors got paid. Despite its minuscule budget, it does manage to succeed in some areas and was able to make me laugh several times. For what its worth, I enjoyed it for the most part.

So if you're looking for something different to watch during the Thanksgiving holiday, skip your umpteeth viewing of Planes, Trains and Automobiles and have yourself a nice big helping of Turkie in ThanksKilling. Watch it on Hulu or

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Will Facebook Face a Tsūnami?

Move over Facebook, there's a new social network in town. It's a site called tsū (pronounced Sue) and it aims to change the way the social networking game is played. More specifically, tsū will pay you to play. In other words, you'll get paid for posting content. How much? That depends on if you get in on the ground floor.

In the movie, The Social Network, we get to see the beginnings of Facebook and how Mark Zuckerberg eventually builds it into a billion dollar website, all with content provided by its users. All those ads you see on Facebook generates revenue that all goes to Zuckerberg. He's become a very rich man from those ads. How much do you get paid for providing the content? A big fat zero!

social network logo
That's where tsū comes in. They believe everyone deserves a piece of the ad revenue pie. tsū is a free social network and payment platform that shares up to 90% of revenues with its users who are responsible for providing the content. Maybe soon everyone will be networking for the weekend.

In the movie clip above, Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg brags how "my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing."

It seems that tsū got a little more creative than Zuckerberg when it comes to sharing the wealth. If the prospect of getting paid to post content on a rival social network is incentive enough to convince Facebook users to leave, Zuckerberg will have to use all the intellect he has in his nerdy little head to figure a way to stop that from happening. Until then, Mark, you don't get to brag about what you are creatively capable of doing.

By the way, the clients that are shown and referred to in that clip are the Winklevoss twins, both played by actor Armie Hammer. I wonder if the twins are on Facebook? Maybe they'll sign up on tsū.

Will this new social network be the tsūnami that finally wipes out Facebook? Only time will tell. Maybe Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake will have to return in a sequel to The Social Network when the dust finally settles.

In the meantime, if you want to get in on the ground floor of tsū, you'll need an invitation. New members can only join tsū by user invitation (via member shortcodes.) Tsū's invite-only system enables them to track and distribute network value to the users who help tsū grow.

A short code is your profile page URL. The format of this url will always be

Here's Your Invitation
Click on my shortcode to join tsū: 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead poster
Night of the Living Dead is one of my favourite movies of all time. I can't recall how old I was the first time I watched it but I do know it was on TV. I loved it instantly. Since then I have made it an annual Halloween tradition to watch it during the holiday. I hope some of you who've never seen it and stumble onto this page will take this opportunity as your inaugural viewing. I'm always happy when I can introduce a classic horror film to a new audience.

This is the film that is pretty much the Bible of zombie movies and set the standard for all imitators to follow. Since then, others have added their own twist to zombie lore such as running zombies which has become a controversial topic amongst zombie fans. You're either a fan of slow zombies or fast zombies. There's usually no middle ground. In NOTLD there are only slow, shambling zombies. The closest we get to a fast zombie is when the first one that appears (Bill Hinzman) in the film chases Barbra (Judith O'Dea) through a cemetery. He doesn't so much run as he does a swift but awkward, stiff-limbed stumble.

I almost forgot to tell you that the word "zombie" is never mentioned in NOTLD. The living dead in this movie are referred to as "ghouls". Also, the zombies in this movie do not have a preference for brains. They're perfectly content with gnawing on a juicy thigh or meaty arm. That was something that originated in Return of The Living Dead, which while not considered a sequel, does make indirect reference to the events of NOTLD but is more of a parody.

One of the things about NOTLD that impresses me the most is how authentic the TV and radio news reports look and sound. Unlike many other movies which feature news reports, the actors in this movie act like real life news reporters actually would and sound credible. Too many times in other films, the actors as newsreaders are trying too hard and sound like they're acting. Nobody buys it. When you hear the news reports in NOTLD, you get the sense that the horrific events unfolding are real and the audience is more easily able to suspend disbelief. It probably helps that one of the reporters in the movie is "Chilly Billy".

Bill "Chilly Billy" Cardille is a broadcaster from Pittsburgh who also hosted a late night horror TV show called Chiller Theater from 1963 to 1983.

So if you're looking for something spooky or creepy to watch for Halloween, make some popcorn, turn off all the lights and let George Romero's Night of The Living Dead feast on your fears.

They're coming to get you!

Happy Halloween!

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