There once was a time when I was a real Ghostbuster. I'd watch the films over and over until the VHS tape wore out. I could also recite the film line by line even though I was too young to place any true meaning behind the words that were coming out of my mouth. I had both soundtracks and knew every song. This was also a time before I knew I was obsessed. My parents certainly knew and they also knew that I loved the Ghostbusters and that there was nothing going to stop me from pretending to be one of them.
It was confusing for me to figure out who I was imitating. I remember reciting lines or actions from the films without actually understanding why I was doing it. I would pretend that I was Peter Venkman trying to lift myself off of the floor after having been tangled and electrocuted by Vigo the Carpathian. I had all the gear – a proton pack, trap, and PKE meter – and my mom even made me a ghost busting uniform with the official Ghostbuster's patch on my arm. I was the new guy.
I would put on the goggles that Ray Stanz wore in the first film while searching for Slimer and walk around the house looking for that giant green butter eating blob of ectoplasm. I even had fake slime that I'd put on my shirt and well, pretend to get slimed.
Even though I'd pretend to be the new guy, deep down I had a favorite Ghostbuster. My favorite toy was my PKE meter that Egon Spengler used. For whatever reason, I felt that he suited me best. I liked that he was scientific, but also, he had all the gadgets and was responsible for creating the proton packs. This was the guy that created the gear that put them on the map (and in jail too). He was the strange one that collected, "spores, molds, and fungus" and he only had "part of a Slinky" that he straightened out when he was a child.
I had no idea who Harold Ramis was when I was a kid, but man, did I ever want to be just like him when I grew up. In fact, I was on a few ghost hunts as a videographer/editor for a ghost hunting group a few years ago, which fulfilled my dream. I got to be the "gadgets guy" during the hunt and felt just like Egon.
I don't have a stronger connection to Harold Ramis than this. He brought to life many characters through his writing and directing since 1980 with Caddyshack, but only one instance of his work has stuck with me my entire life. When I learned that he passed, it was like Egon Spengler had passed as well. I had hopes to see Harold Ramis portray Egon in Ghostbusters 3 for one last time, but perhaps his illness had a lot to do with the project being stalled. Dan Akroyd, I'm sure, wouldn't want to go it alone without his writing partner overseeing the project and maybe stalled it all together. But why not forge ahead? I would write it as a "years later" film with Egon showing up as a ghost...
His success as a director was something I had not known about until much later in life and maybe it was for the best. I now have a deep appreciation for connecting the film-facts-dots because of my profession and I can safely say that Egon had a great career as a writer and director, from National Lampoon's Vacation to Groundhog Day and all the way up to directing a few episodes of The Office. To me he'll always be Egon Spengler who loves his sweets, making sure that we "don't cross the streams."
Valentine's Day wouldn't be a proper celebration of love without a romantic film. Dudes either sit through them just to get some dinner or because they are actually enjoying the hot, steamy romance. And there's nothing wrong with enjoying a good film. It's totally cool to like The Notebook as long as you are liking it with someone special.
I haven't seen this movie but I hear it's pretty bad. I do recommend it because of the title and because of the cast. Also, it might not sting so badly if you watch it around the real Valentine's Day.
You've Got Mail
I'm a dude, but man, do I love You've Got Mail. It's penned by Nora Ephron and she can really write a story. I remember watching this film in 8th grade and liking it, mostly because of the Internet cool factor. By today's standards, what Tom Hanks is doing in this film (which I won't spoil) would be considered creepy and controversial rather than romantic.
If you just so happen to know a girl then you might have heard of this one. That is all.
How many iconic moments can one movie have? "Here's looking at you kid" and all the romantic montages you can eat are here. There's a depressing love song. There's danger (war). Booze (booze)! Cuddle up next to your significant other and marvel at the gorgeous black and white presentation and the soft, close up shots of two people deeply in love.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
You'll probably never forget about Sarah Marshall after watching Jason Segel and Kristen Bell struggle in a love triangle with Russel Brand. Once Mila Kunis is added to the equation, the claws come out. So does someone's junk.
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
If you've ever struggled with a relationship you might like this one. Crazy, Stupid, Love. won't depress you, however, it might actually make you feel a whole lot better about yourself. I've the pleasure of watching this with a special someone which proves that happy couples can enjoy it too. We also like it because it stars, Michael Scott!
I don't need to say much about Hayao Miyazaki and his films. They are charming gems that the world has fallen in love with – hopefully. Some are quiet and quaint. Some take you on a journey to unseen worlds. Some are creepy and uncomfortable. Almost none of them are filled with unnecessary violence or pointless action. His on-screen action is highly motivated by the story and his charming characters. I'm just fine with that.
I do like his sort-of reoccurring characters like old ladies with large noses. They all have strong personalities and tend to fuel the main character in some way. It's safe to surmise that he had an older woman in his life that heavily influenced his work. You can also say that he loves aviation to the point of wishing he could just sprout wings and fly away...
I'm not here to pick apart his brain, but I am here to tell you that he recently gave some classic Miyazaki wisdom to the world of anime. Apparently, anime studios are filled with otaku (nerds) and to Miyazaki that's not necessarily a good thing. In a TV interview he said, "If you don't spend time watching real people, you can't do this, because you've never seen it." He went on to say, “It’s produced by humans who can’t stand looking at other humans.” At this point it's hard to tell if he personally knows this for a fact or if he's just being cranky. "And that’s why the industry is full of otaku!”
If you compare his work to the rest of the anime industry, yeah, there's some not so great stuff, but there's also some amazing productions that edge pretty close to the master himself. If I had to pick two artists most similar to Miyazaki, I would have to go with Makoto Shinkai and Shūzō Oshimi. There's no doubt that each of these writers observed real life people or else they wouldn't have been able to produce such beautiful work that is grounded in deep human relationships, which explore some of the most breathtaking moments I've ever witnessed in any medium of entertainment. I may have just thrown a brick into a glass window saying something like that, but it's 100% true.
Miyazaki's last film, "The Wind Rises" comes to theaters in limited release February 21st. Retiring from the one medium through which his work has literally come to life is beyond sad. Hopefully it will be his greatest film yet and leave us with some fulfillment. But I doubt he'll rest. He does create some pretty amazing mangas and might continue to do so at the wise age of 73.
Matches burn after we strike the side of a matchbox or the side of our scruffy beards. However, this giant match was lit by a torch and it was captured at 4,000 frames per second. If you want to learn about the amazing chemical reaction taking place go here. But if you want to learn a out how they managed to capture it burning in slow motion, you've come to the right place.
They said that they used 2,000 watts of light at 4 inches plus mirrors and reflectors in order to capture the burning flame in slow motion. Isn't that going to overexpose the match and flame? Isn't the flame itself going to be a sufficient amount of light anyway? Nope.
Even though the flame is producing a seemingly sufficient amount of light, it's not enough to be captured at 4,000 frames per second. As you increase framerate, the amount of light that is required to capture a subject is also increased. If the framerate were reduced to a standard of 24 fps or 30 fps, 2,000 watts of light at 4 in would be overkill and completely overexpose the subject because the frequency at which an image is being captured has decreased.
Another factor is shutter speed. As a general rule, shutter speed is "double" that of a given frame rate to produce a decent looking shot. This is of course completely subjective. A shot captured in 24 fps would then have a shutter speed of 1/48 and a shot captured in 30 fps will have a shuttle speed of 1/60. If they shot at 4,000 fps then they may not have set their shutter speed to a high number. Most of the time it's electronically controlled on a high speed camera. Shutter speed ultimately decreases the amount of light that is captured as the fraction of the shutter speed decreases. Technical mumbo-jumbo aside, it's really cool to watch things in slow motion.
Bill Murray isn't a diva. He's a comic genius and simply knows what he wants. If he doesn't like a script he won't finish reading it. If he has an inkling that Ghostbusters 3 is going to ruin the originals, he won't finish or even begin to read the script. If for example, the production of Garfield is going south, he'll step in to make it even better despite a flaky director and the fact that he has to spend endless hours trying to drag the script from out of a corner like a game of chess. If he doesn't feel like leaving his house, he'll have an entire film production move to a location an hour away from his house. This guy can sell you scotch and make you fall in love with a relationship that will never be. He can wake up every day to the same annoying bullshit and make it even better the next time he wakes up to the same annoying bullshit. He can wake up every day to the same annoying bullshit and make it even better the next time he wakes up to the same annoying bullshit. He can wake up every day to the same annoying bullshit and make it even better the next time he wakes up to the same annoying bullshit.
Bill Murray answers some but not all questions in his Reddit AMA such as what he whispered into Scarlett Johansson's ear at the end of Lost in Translation and whether or not he sole somebody's French fry and said, "No one will believe you." He even commented on his favorite SNL cast and about his favorite place to golf.
I'm not sure what I'd do if I ever met him. I do know what Trey Parker and Matt Stone would do.
One of the most surprising things I learned about during his AMA was about Broken Flowers being his top performance and his thinking that he should simply stop acting at that point in his career. Let me tell you, I'm very glad that he hasn't stopped. I'm still waiting for Ghostbusters 3 to fly out of Hollywood like a poltergeist and I don't care if it's good or bad. I want to see Wes Anderson mold Bill Murray into whatever it is he does when he writes and directs his magical, figurine-toybox-sandbox-however-you'd-call-em' movies. Mostly, I just want to see him do what he does best and I still don't really know what that is but when he does it I'll be watching.