Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek: A New Frontier

Firstly, and very important, if you read this blog entry and you haven't yet seen the new Start Trek already, you should stop what your doing, walk out your door. head to the closest movie theatre and go see it. Then you can come back and enjoy this post. But if you read ahead, it will drastically ruin the movie for you.

Now that that's out of the way. Star Trek is the BEST. MOVIE. EVER.

Star Trek

And I'm not saying this lightly. And no, I don't think you need to "be a Trekkie" to enjoy this film. Within the first few moments of the film, I'm going to say somewhere around the 10 min mark, I was crying my eyes out. This moment, this gut wrenching moment, this truly heartfelt and emotional scene was so strong. When you start out a film like this, what it does is it zeros you out. It's like having a blank canvas put in front of you and you know what the range of the piece is going to be. It prepares you for the rest of the two hours, which felt like they flew by. Not once did I feel like time was moving. I have never in a film, felt more emotionally invested so soon in. This moment, the birth of James T. Kirk, was just powerful, touching, and sincere. And I do want to say, these tears were the best kind you could ask for. The entire scene, they were welling up in my eyes. And in the final moment, when George Kirk jokes about not using his father's name (Tiberius) but his wife's Father's name (James), this was such a real conversation that echoes true life. Immediately you realize this is not a Science Fiction film. This is just GOOD MOVIE. And he was born, and his Father dies and then the flood gates opened up and the tears were streaming down my face....and it felt SO GOOD. Embarrased, I didn't want my friend to see that already, 10 mins in, I was a mess. But out of the corner of my eye, i saw the shine of his own wet face, and he saw mine, and gosh darn it, if we weren't in a movies theatre we probably would have hugged and cried some more. But then we laughed, and then we were on to the next scene, which was action, and from that moment we were glued. Just GLUED to the screen.

Star Trek

If I ever need to cry, I will pull that moment up in my mind and replay it, and I know without a doubt it will work. Now I could go on and on about the rest of the film. How it is a beautiful tribute to the series in so many ways. I could talk about the amazing casting and the top notch writing. I could give you a play by play account of all the great action scenes, and I could reveal storylines that again, which just ruin the film for you. But I won't. I gave you the first ten minutes of my experience in that dark theatre. And for now, I think that's enough. I am definitely going to see it again. maybe even tonight.

Star Trek,J. J. Abrams

But what I DO want to say, and this is a bold statement, but; I feel so lucky to have seen Star Trek in the theatres. To have witnessed the dawn of a new era. What J. J. Abrams has done, is re-invigorated the series. Re-invented it. Refreshed it. He has breathed new life into such a well known and timeless series. And the result, this new world he has created, now lies before us. I think it's akin to probably what people felt like walking out of the first Star Wars in 1977. "Please don't stop making these," they must have said. It could keep going and going and going. I felt like this was MY Star Wars. And I will hold all movies after this up to Star Trek as a comparison. It has set the bar, a new standard from which I will define all films on from here on out.

It is that good.

So Thank you J.J. Abrams, for a beautiful film. Thank you so much.
And if one of your personal assistants happens to leave (I've assisted the Coen Brothers), I would be honored to work with you.

A cleaner Greenway

BGI 106, originally uploaded by Ian Savage.

This past Saturday, Oliver and I joined a few volunteers and walked along the Colombia Street section of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway to get 'er clean. We found some truly bizarre trash, which you can see at the photo set above.

I was excited that we got to use official DOT Arterial Maintenance "grabbers" and when I joked about getting a neon DOT safety vest......I GOT ONE.

If you aren't familiar with the The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway I highly recommend you visit their website. It's pretty impressive, to be planning a 14 mile stretch of public space on the Brooklyn Waterfront, from Greenpoint all the way to Bay Ridge. For nearly 100 years, there has only been four public access points to the water's edge. This MAP shows the proposed route.

I implore everyone to help out any way they can, join the Initiative!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Building a Chicken Coop

Building a Chicken Coop 129, originally uploaded by Ian Savage.

This weekend Sheila and I headed up to our friend's home in the Hamdens ( Hamden,CT ) to help them build a chicken coop. It took us two full days, but I think we did a bang up job. Especially considering we were pretty much making it up as we went.

We are very jealous of their little Hamden Homestead. They have a fabulous garden, utilizing the WORD method: Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, Deep soil. And they grow seedlings under lights in the basement. Click on the photo to see all the amazing garden and building action!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Not Christian Bale's Day

If you haven't heard the audio clip of Christian Bale freaking out then take a minute and go have a listen.....then listen to the re-mix, which is pretty funny, both can be downloaded from the same page.

I'll wait a've heard it?

So I heard about it this morning on the Today show, and they were all pretty unforgiving. My wife is also very unforgiving. But I'm gonna say something crazy here. I think I understand where he's coming from, much like how Whoopi Goldberg sides with him on The View today:

So I'll start by saying this. Yes, i think Christian Bale was pretty hard on poor Shane Hurlburt the Director of Photography of Terminator: Salvation (and by an odd coincidence Semi-Pro, which I JUST watched last night.) YES, I think Christian Bale has anger management issues and I'd like to think he seeks therapy for that. But who knows. YES, he has a past history with this type of verbal abuse.

But I think people are being too hard on him here. From the audio clip, it sounds like this wasn't the first time Shane was stumbling onto the set during a take. I mean, can't you imagine, as an actor putting yourself into character and then being distracted by some dude walking onto the set in the middle of the scene...and TWICE no less. I think Christian Bale is an amazing actor. Empire of the Sun makes me cry. The Machinist is haunting and his dedication to the role was insane. His role in American Psycho was certainly unique and I'd say brilliant. And for me, he's been the best batman so far.....although I do think his "batman voice" is a bit much.

And what was Shane Hulbert thinking? I mean WHAT was he thinking....He was "looking at the light?" Not much you can do about the light if you are rolling. Why not look at it after "cut." There's a time and place for everything and while the camera is rolling is a time to sit behind a monitor and be quiet. This is the nature of "Quiet on the SET!" which of course includes walking onto set as a no no.

So I just think, or I'd like to, that this had happened before in the day, and maybe this particular scene required more focus and maybe he was tired, who knows when it was in the day and he just snapped. I'm not condoning it. I'm not saying I would have handled it that way. And again, he has some obvious anger management issues, so maybe he should take up meditation or therapy to help him out.

But what I AM saying is, I understand Christian Bale.....I understand and I'm with you on this one, me and Whoopi. And Shane Hulburt? I bet you a million dollars will never wander onto another scene in his LIFE! I mean, would you, after a verbal lashing like that?