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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Here's the article from the new Giant Robot that I mentioned in a previous entry.

Posted at 09:47 am by jmachinder
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New magazine for parents.

Posted at 09:45 am by jmachinder
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Friday, September 01, 2006

A recent STUDY concludes that male left-handed college graduates earn about fifteen percent more than their right-handed counterparts.  There's something about "divergent thinking" plus education that apparently leads to bigger bucks for men.  I feel bad about dragging these guys down.  As a left-handed college graduate, I have a difficult time finding right handed men with college degrees who make LESS than I do.

Here's a stat that I've always found interesting.  About ten percent of the general population is left handed.  But the percented of left handed comedians?  About SIXTY percent.    

Posted at 09:07 am by jmachinder
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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The latest issue of GIANT ROBOT has an article in it about my acquisition of the GARADA K7 Jumbo Machinder.  Check it out if you want to see a really bad picture of me.  

Posted at 09:20 am by jmachinder
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Thursday, August 24, 2006

I recently saw INITIAL D, the Japanese street racing flick based on the manga of the same name.  I've seen a fair amount of films based on manga - both live-action and animated - and I've noticed a significant distinction between them and Hollywood comic book flicks: non-Hollywood films are generally more faithful to their source material.  But that isn't a complete compliment as I think foreign filmmakers sometimes go too far.  

The problem with Hollywood development is one of ego.  Everyone thinks that their ideas are necessary to make something into a successful film so you've got an endless series of people trying to put their creative mark on something.   Whoever is highest up on the food chain gets their way and things get changed all the time.  Studios give notes to a writer, a big director comes in and completely changes everything then a star comes in and has something rewritten again.  If the name of the property itself weren't so valuable, I'm sure Hollywood would change the title in order to "bring it to the next level." 

But while the process is often destructive, that's not to say that serious changes aren't necessary when translating comic books into flims.  The two canvases are very different.  Manga-based flicks such as METROPOLIS, VAMPIRE HUNTER D, PING PONG, FIST OF THE NORTHSTAR and the aforementioned INITIAL D all feel very episodic to me.  Characters are unapologetically introduced unconventionally late, and it's often not clear who's the alpha hero, much less the alpha villain.    

It's a tricky problem.  In something like BATMAN, I find it repulsive that they merged The Joker with Joe Chill.  It felt very cookie cutter to me, not to mention sacreligious.  However, with a lot of manga-based films, I often feel like I'm watching a bunch of smaller stories strung together.  While I think that there is a needle that you need to thread, the results are better overall when you err on the side of faithfulness. 


Posted at 05:23 pm by jmachinder
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

So it turns out that all of the information the guy who hit me provided was fraudulent.  Progressive said the policy number expired in 2004.  The driver's license number doesn't check out and the vehicle ID number is for a car that isn't registered.  Therefore, I have to go through my insurance company and I just found out I have a $500 deductible.  I'm hoping they will waive it.  I still need to call the cops and file a report. 

Posted at 04:10 pm by jmachinder
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Friday, August 18, 2006

SNAKES ON A PLANE opens today. I've read a number of articles that are concerned that internet fans have had an impact on the finished product.  Apparently the now-famous line "I want these mother%^&*ing snakes off this mother%^&*ing plane."  came from a fake online trailer or something. 

I think the concern is that artisitic visions shouldn't be impacted by self-impressed geeks who are in love with their opinions.  I"m not so worried because of the following:   

1.  No one is forcing studios to listen to internet opinions.  The people who actually have say as to what goes into a film are merely cherry-picking ideas that strike their fancy.  Getting notes is always a good thing and I believe you can get helpful notes from anywhere.  The tricky part is simply being able to tell a good note from a bad one. 

2.  "I want these mother%^&*ing snakes...." is a great line, certainly worthy of inclusion based on the star. 

3.  The cooks who are already in the kitchen are WORSE than internet geeks.  There are countless executives who are convinced that every script is in dire need of their radical ideas and these notes HAVE to be taken, regardless of how damaging they are.  Moreover, artistic-poison-executives are hardly the only ones causing damage.  Ages ago, a friend of mine was involved in the development of the Kevin Smith drafts of the SUPERMAN script.  If I remember correctly, as each draft came in, copies of it had to be sent to BURGER KING - who had a merchandising tie-in deal at the time.  Now say what you will about internet geeks, but I trust them to come up with better notes than fast food companies. 

(I think the starting point of fast food companies getting more involved in movie development may have begun with SMALL SOLDIERS.  I seem to recall Burger King being really pissed off that this movie about toys was more violent than anyone had thought.  Had no one ever seen a Joe Dante movie?)       

Posted at 04:53 pm by jmachinder
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

A guy rear ended me at a red light today.  Of course the guy wants to not go through insurance.  He was from out of state and was borrowing a friend's car and was being pretty aggressive about the insurance thing and not in a particularly nice way.  It wasn't "I know a good shop that can take care of whatever you need."  It was more like "I don't see why we need to do anything about this."  I probably should go through insurance, but, even though it's obvously not my fault, it's still a pain in the ass.  It just sucks all around. 

Posted at 04:10 pm by jmachinder
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Monday, August 14, 2006

I did catch both parts of LAST COMIC STANDING last week.  I'm not at all surprised by the results.  While JOSH BLUE isn't bad, IMHO, it's kind of like when a really hot chick says something that isn't completely stupid.  Guys will make her out to be a genius so they can rationalize their physical attraction to her.  I suspect Josh won by a landslide and that everyone who voted for him feels really good about themselves.  Whether or not he'll pack them into theaters on the road and get the same price quote as the previous winners (well the last two anyway) remains to be seen. 

Perhaps more interesting was the winner of the "Last Comic Downloaded" competion.  Comedians who were eliminated pre-finals competed in an online vote while the TV contest raged on week after week.  The general consensus for this season of LCS was that the producers cast "types" to make the house (or "boat" I should say) more interesting while some of the best comedians were left at home.  Therefore, this arena was considered by many to have the higher-caliber competition.  The winner?  the generally-considered-pretty-ho-hum THEO VON.  I'm sure this vote was even more of a landslide since Vonn already has a TV fan base from his season on "The Real World."  

I think there's good showbiz lessons in both contests. 

Posted at 10:26 am by jmachinder
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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I performed standup comedy last night for the first time in quite a while.  There weren't a ton of people there, but it was a lot of fun. 

Posted at 04:27 pm by jmachinder
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