Hidden Gems

C2E2 Interview: Phil Hester

I had a chance to sit down with Phil Hester, creator of the long running comic and recent Cartoon Network movie “Firebreather”.

Wish it came out better… but this is all trial and error in this business right?


I’m basically dead after the convention, so I’ll get a transcript up here too if you all like… but for now I’m gonna sleep, I’m tired.


Aww fuck, Heavy Rain… I’m not getting any work done tonight

Your Work Day is FUCKED

So I was making headway on my movie… but then, my roommate came in from work and with him, he had Heavy Rain.


All I could think was, “Aww, fuck. There goes my productive evening.

The next 8 hours were spent trolling though one of the deepest, more intricate detective stories I’ve ever layed my eyes on. It’s so… fucked up, yet so real.

I don’t want to spoil the game for you. The story is just that good. Let’s just say it involves 4 people all fighting for their own sanity.

But I think mine and my roommate’s thoughts on the game can be summed up in these two videos.

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I really recomend renting it, or borrowing for a friend, unless you want to go for all the endings of course.

I still found myself replaying a few of the scenes today. They never get boring.

Eat the Cock

I promise you. That title will make a lot of sense once you actually see the movie. And it’s not the sausage Helen Mirren is smoking. That bitch is hardcore.

Welcome to The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, And Her Lover this loaded work comes from the mind of Peter Greenaway… who apparently has a lot on his mind when he makes a movie. Using what I’m guessing is one… maybe two actual setpieces, he’s able to create a very dark and depressing world. Come to think of it, we never saw daytime in the this movie.

Anywho, the movie focuses around… well A cook, a thief, his battered wife (Helen Mirren) and her lover.

Mirren, abused for much of the movie, decides to escape this reality by having an affair with a regular patron. This explodes into a frequent series of sex in very unusual places… and let’s just say they end up naked in the back of a meat truck fleeing for their lives… But I’m not going to spoil any more of the story.

On thing that can REALLY be noticed by anyone who’s into film is the lighting. The color of the rooms and clothing change depending on the actions that go on in that particular room. Or it could be a filter. I’m not sure. I’ll have to read up on that.

As you might have guess, the movie gets a nice hard NC-17… not just for Mirren’s ass (which is pretty nice I must say, being a male of the heterosexual persuasion) but for some gruesome moments that even made me a tad uncomfortable. And those moments never stop. They shoot at you rapid fire. A rape here, beating there. Eating your words (literally). The list goes on. There IS an R-rated cut. But that’s a fucking half hour shorter… so yeah. NC-17 is the way to go. Just know what you’re getting into.


Even though it’s over 20 years old… Saw has nothing on this movie. There are some real elements of torture in here that will make your skin crawl. And enough sex that almost rivals Showgirls… almost. difference with this one is… This one has some of the greatest actors you’ll ever see, doing the raunchiest things. It’s a delight. Chalk up a another favorite movie on my list.


Granny Dollars? How bout Tree-Fitty?

I’ve spoken at length about Nasty Old People twice even. Wait, three times.

I feel like I'm high right now.

Anyway, Hanna Sköld and the rest of those bad-asses at Tangram Film have a new  multi-platform project, Granny’s Dancing on the Table. An odd name, but there’s nothing pedestrian and a lot odd here.

Here’s the synopsis from the ever-so fancy item known as a Facebook page.

Her name is Eini. Eini grows up isolated in the deep Swedish forests, and during her isolation she has developed a special kind of sensitivity and a very secret gift; the power to predict earthquakes. Now there are forces who wants’ to find her to prevent a catastrophe.

But Eini´s ability is both a gift and a curse; she’s aware of everything that goes on around her, but at the same time she’s totally unaware of her own feelings. To find true relations, Eini has to learn to let go of control, and discover her own vulnerability.

But day by day, the catastrophe comes closer. Maybe it’s time for you and me to do something…
Okay, I think we can safely say you haven’t seen anything like that before. But it gets better. If you hit the facebook page, you’ll see many philosophical questions being asked and most of them answered. This is part of the filmmaking process. It’s going to mold the script as it gets closer to completion.

But oh, it gets even better. But I don’t wanna fuck up explaining it so I’ll just show you the Power to the Pixel winning presentation.

Here it is if the embedded video below is being a jerk.

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Now class, that’s how you make a presentation your bitch. It’s not exactly going to be JUST a movie, but will be spread around various media platforms. Games being one of them.

Speaking of which, I know I’m not the only one who smiled at the very mention of Heavy Rain. I don’t think I’ve heard those words come out of ANYONE’S mouth since that game came out. The idea of controlling the story through simple actions  (like Mass Effect, or Fallout) is only once piece of the puzzle.

I’d go on explaining… but I think I’ve fucked it up enough for one night. It’s midnight and I’m tired.

But I do like what I see.

And I’m a guy who doesn’t like a lot of things. But whenever I see something I know I’ll love, I support the living fuck out of it. Simple as that. Support these fine guys and gals. Their shit don’t stink. It’s like a newborn baby’s poop… okay, it’s too late for metaphors.

Good luck to the whole Granny team. I’ll be looking for those Granny dollars.


Blast from the Past: Wolfen Vs. Oregon Trail

There are defining moments in everyone’s life. Mine is getting angry and cursing at Oregon Trail. That game is just a random number generator. It’s bullshit for real.
I decided a while back to get this shit on tape. And I did.
Enjoy my suffering.

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It gets better.
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The Local Theater. Dying Breed? You Betcha.

First of all, sorry for the Palin-ism.

There’s a benefit to living in a city like Chicago. We have some of everything. I just told you all about Galloping Ghost and it’s awesomeness a few weeks ago. But there are a couple more gems this city has to offer that are a little more up the public’s alley.

The local movie theater… Oh how I miss thee.

I really wasn’t alive during the time when these small movie houses flourished before we had Lex Luther come and totally fuck shit up. But there’s nothing like going to a small movie theater, and not being turned upside down and having the money shaken out of you.

Welcome to AMC River East motherfucker do you have a shitty ass "rewards" card?

Gone are those feelings of being able to enjoy both a movie AND some food to go along with it. Some of that nice, unhealty movie theature food. Popcorn, various types of pop, nachos, maybe even a hot dog every now and then. I have no need for gormet meals (except at Hollywood Blvd., that food is decently priced though.) I always end up hitting Walgreens first and grabbing some candy/chips/cookies/pork chops/cornish game hen and just sneak it in.

For the 10 bucks I pay to get into AMC river east, it’s a good movie watching time in a usually packed house. But I barely have enough money left to play a game of DDR… even though it is on an Extreme with shitty pads. 30 greats on Freakles is NOT OKAY… ahem.

Enter LaGrange Theatre. Built in 1925 for live perfomances is these days one of the nicest little movie houses around. They don’t have first run movies, but this is okay. With the sheer number that come out, we don’t have time or money to catch them all on the first run. But then again, it’s not like they get stuff 4 months late.

Each screening room has each own theme. It’s really simple and oh so pretty… even though you can’t see jack once the lights are off.

One of the better places to catch a flick for a low(er) price. Not to mention LaGrange is a pretty fucking nice city. Take a walk down their streets while you’re there. And it’s got a Metra stop too for you city folk.

Town is full of win.

Let’s go a good half hour south to the town of Park Failure Park Forest. Anyone who’s been to this town knows that for a number of reasons, it’s basically a ghost town… far as business is concerned. A grocery store has come and gone… twice. There was once a badass shopping center… that’s gone. But there’s a fixure that his been in the town for a long time and refuses to roll over and die.

The Holiday Theater… the Eagle Star Theater, or it’s new name…

Yeah, I like the old name better too.

I remember first going there when I 7 years old. I was with my mom and brother and we saw “3 Ninjas Kick Back”. It was that movie that made me decide I wanted to be the filmmaker you see before you today. I know, that’s really sad isn’t it? But I loved the place then. It didn’t seem quite as commercial as the other places were… and the shopping center still existed next door at the time.

I wish I had more pictures of this place. I haven’t been there in a couple of years, but everything was old school. I felt like I was back in the 1950’s (when the theare first opened). Tickets were only 3 dollars and, like LaGrange, do second runs of films… and a special event here and there.

Now this is where it gets a little ugly. Earlier this year, the place was bought by one Kenny Yochelson.

This Nigga

I was excited by the new management and the fact that Kenny actually wanted to talk to me to see what we could do to help the theater and hopefully the whole town.

Jesus Christ was I wrong.

After a rather heated conversation and being accused of being a racist… and a few other not very nice things, I promised to never give him mine or any of my friend’s service.

I’ll let Mystic Owl sum Kenny up for you.

Then I’m on the internet the other day and found out that my instincts were ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. +1 to Wolfen for being a good judge of character. But enough gloating about being right. It’s all abotu the movies.

I got a friendly facebook message from Katie the intern manager, and I think things are going to be alright over there. They’re gonna need to do a lot of things to totally gain everyone’s trust back after the Kenny era. But it shouldn’t be too difficult. Maybe a name change back to Holiday Theater is in order? Go back to the days of old. I know this writer/filmmaker is ready and willing to help the staff over there with anything they might need. I believe in the independent locally owned cinema with all my heart. They’re what really made going to the movies great. It wasn’t just a movie, it was a social event. I think this could happen again.

Give em a holler at their facebook page. Leave em a message, even if it’s about… I dunno, bubble gum or something. And the citizens of Oak Forest need to go out and represent. Chicago Heights Marcus sucks anyway. So you have no excuse.

Fight the power.

I really do wish there were more pictures of the place. But maybe I’ll just snap a few when I’m down in Park Forest next time. Or maybe someone can give me the hook up and I’ll continue to write articles no one will read 😛

Only one man is badass enough to be Bruce Lee’s master

There are an assload of kung fu movies out there. And I mean an assload.

But every few years you get a “Hero” or a “Crouching Tiger: Hidden Dragon” that just leaves your jaw hanging open. Welcome to IP Man.

It’s the story of Ip (eep) Ching, martial arts master and teacher of the great Bruce Lee. If you ever wondered why Bruce Lee was so badass, watch the movie.  His master did some mind blowing shit. But I don’t wanna spoil anything, I want you to have that jaw dropping feeling too.

The movie is set in the late 1930’s, Ip Man is the greatest master in town… but he keeps a low profile. He has a good life and shit. But then the Japanese invaded and fucked everything up. Took all his shit and made him struggle to even provide food for his family.

After witnessing the murder of one of his old friends at the hands of a Japanese dojo, he decides to fight back… and inspires others to do the same.

The story is very similar to Fearless, but just as awe-inspiring. And it’s sequel is just as good.

Donnie Yen is the most underrated action star working today. Support his ass a little, he’s 100% badass.


I’m repulsed… AND I FUCKING love it

I’m a guy who knows how to stomach a horror movie. I’ve sat through every Saw, Nightmare On Elm Street… without even flinching. Really what I’ve been missing in my movie watching is something that makes you sick… I mean physically sick.

Welcome to The Human Centipede: First Sequence. Director Tom Six is no stranger to the weird and  intense(see: Gay in Amsterdam). But I think he’s pushed the horror medium to new, uncomfortable places.

The plot is really fucking hard to desribe… but I’ll try

The movie takes place in Germany… and there’s a surgeon who’s one of the best in the world at separating conjoined twins. His one dream is to create a human centipede by attaching three people mouth and anus. Yes, mouth to anus.

This movie is not of the weak of heart, or stomach. I had just eaten dinner before watching. I don’t recommend doing it.

When all is said and done, this is a VERY intelligent, very well shot movie once you get over that first shock of seeing three people sawn together and shitting in each other’s mouths. The most disturbing moment in the film comes when the surgeon first explains his experiment while pointing at his crude diagrams. It’s crazy.

It’s got the gore for the Saw set… and psychological shit for the intelligent filmmaker.

For once, I can say I’m repulsed… AND I FUCKING love it. There is a deep engrossing movie in here if you’re will to stomach a few things.



There’s a chilling feeling you get when you see a marvelous film. It kinda makes you feel like crying. Just watch this clip.

This is one of moments that makes the Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells so wonderful and mystical. It’s great porn for the soul.

“The story is set in the ninth century. Obsessed with building a mighty wall to keep marauding Viking raiders from destroying the Monastery of Kells, Abbot Cellach expects his young nephew Brendan (our hero) to follow in his footsteps. Brendan has apprenticed in the scriptorium of the monastery and has heard the story of Aidan of Iona, a master illustrator. Later, Aidan himself comes to the monastery, accompanied by his cat Pangerbon. Aidan has escaped from the Vikings who have destroyed his own monastery, and has brought the Book of Kells he is working on. Aidan shows Brendan the beauty of art and stimulates his creativity and fantasy. His eyes and hands are failing, and he needs Brendan to assist. Brendan is forbidden to leave the monastery, but Aidan sends him into the forest to look for gall nuts to make ink. A faerie/wolf spirit, Aisling, introduces him to a wider world. Brendan needs to stand up to his uncle and face his greatest fears in his quest to complete the book.”

This movie sends a message about censorship… and actually about growing up. Going outside your own walls and getting shit done.

Bruno Coulais (Coraline) comes through with another one of his many epic soundtracks and I can do nothing but smile whenever I hear any of the songs from the movie. The soundtrack is a must have.

I really can’t recommend this enough. In a world of explosions and CG, we don’t have the time to appreciate fine art like this anymore. I’ve seen a lot of great movies so far this year. This is by far on top. I don’t know when it’s getting the DVD treatment, but let’s hope it’s soon.