Thursday, November 26, 2009

Transformer talk.

If you'd like to hear me being grilled for an hour by a pair of fans from the UK about Transformers, TMNT, Star Trek, and other exciting chitchat and behind-the-scenes stuff, click here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon

If you've ever wondered what an auditorium full of girls sounds like when a newly-buff werewolf peels his shirt off, this is your lucky day:

As you might guess, Audry and I went to see Twilight: New Moon last night. It was the 7:00 showing, so the theater was filled to bursting with girls aged 9 to 19, and they put on quite a show. As for the movie itself (what I could hear of it, anyway), it's not bad considering it's laboring under the book's numerous plot problems. Chris Weitz is a more polished director than Catherine Hardwicke, but the rough edges were part of what made the first film so exceptional. New Moon is slicker than Twilight, with considerably more action sequences and special effects, so replacing Hardwicke was probably a good financial decision, if a poor artistic one. The cast is uniformly good, with Michael Sheen delivering the campiest performance of his career, and Dakota Fanning briefly showing that she may yet make quite a good grownup actress some day. Taylor Lautner is the standout as wolf-boy Jacob. He's likable, believable, and MAN are his teeth white. The computer-generated wolves are not good, and I'm beginning to think that CG has reached the threshold of what it can accomplish with furry things. As with the first film, New Moon has has a couple of unintentional laughs, particularly Alice's vision of Bella in the future, which was met with hoots of derision from the ladies in the house. But they went absolutely berserk at the film's last line of dialogue, so bring on Eclipse!

Monday, November 16, 2009


There is a palpable nostalgia these days, shared by me, for those long-lost Lp covers of yore.  The art of the album cover flourished from the advent of the Lp in the mid-50's and died in the mid-80's, when the rise of the 5" by 5" CD reduced the canvas on which graphic designers plied their craft to a sub-postcard size.  Ever since I spent a sunny afternoon in May 1967 poring over the eye-popping cover for Sgt. Pepper, I have loved looking at album art.

Lately, I've found myself obsessing over old jazz albums.  The best of them capture a long lost era of Cool, and and crackle with the energy and optimism of the era.  The Blue Note covers of the the Fifties and Sixties, for instance, are legendary for their black and white photos and bold, often monochrome graphics.  Here are few examples:

Now, as for the bizarre title of this post. While recently adding some early 50's jazz discs to my collection, I came across three truly weird covers, all for famous jazzmen, all drawn by the same artist, extremely well known for his subsequent work but quite obscure at the time he did these. Let's see if you can guess who he is:

If you guessed Don Martin, your fabulous fortune is prizes is in the mail. That's right, Mad's maddest artist did the cover for a Miles Davis Lp back in 1955. Glorpf!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Best Line from This Week's "30 Rock"

The  cover copy of the Chinese edition of Liz Lemon's Dealbreakers book:  "The book for you, man no good, by Lesbian Flower Sour Fruit."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I do.

It was the spring of 2001, and Audry and I were looking at wedding dresses at various boutiques on Ventura Boulevard. There was one in particular that Liz Sage (who had diabolically tricked me into becoming engaged and who would end up marrying us) had recommended. When I saw it in the window, my reaction was the same as Audry's had been: Ugh. On the blank mannequin, it looked Victorian and matronly. Worse yet, it had green and pink beadwork running up and down its front. Green? On a wedding dress? Who thought that was a good idea?

I was ready to move on to the next shop, but Audry insisted she had promised Liz she'd try it on. We went in, and while she went into the fitting room I sat down and waited with grim expectations.

A few minutes later Audry stepped out from behind the curtain, and I nearly fell out of my chair.

This dress, which had been a drab sack with green beads, transformed into a thing of utter beauty when Audry wore it. She brought it alive. She was the most glorious thing I had ever seen.

Months later, in Orlando, on our wedding day, she was as radiant as a princess.  (Click for larger view.)

I bring this up because eight years ago today, Audry and I were married, at Disney World.  It was the happiest day of my life. Here's the highlight of the ceremony:

Notice how Liz doubles over in surprise, but immediately snaps back by saying "That's legal!" Thank god we were married by a comedy writer.