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Blogs

When It’s Not The One…

By Lisa Kaye | Monday, November 29, 2010 at 1:33pm

Just because you’ve been working your butt off interviewing, networking and working every angle you can to find your next job, doesn’t mean every job is the right one for you. When a job is not the one you were hoping it would be, you need to walk away from the a pending offer just like you would a bad first date. For whatever reason when the job you want does not want you, you need to figure out a way to move on with grace, courage and the speed necessary to get enough traction between you and your next career move.

Blogs

Getting Real . . . or Not, the Sequel: Understanding the Codes and Contexts that Trigger Suspension of Disbelief in our Audience

My last installment dealt with “suspension of disbelief”—in filmmaking terms, it’s that ability an audience has to recognize a fantasy, accept it as such, and let themselves be drawn in anyway. I’d be the last person to suggest we should be happy with blatantly bad effects. What I’m asking is: are we working hard enough to understand the codes and contexts that trigger suspension of disbelief in our audience?

Blogs

Humble Opinions: From 'The Sims' to Indie Games

By Dan Sarto | Friday, November 26, 2010 at 1:09pm

As head of Electronic Arts’ The Sims division -- the best-selling PC franchise of all time -- Executive Vice President Rod Humble of Electronic Arts has reached the pinnacle of gaming success. He gets to call the shots on some of the highest-profile, biggest-revenue projects in the industry.

Film Blogs

Movie Review: 'Tangled'

By Perry Chen | Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 8:30am

Tangled is a spectacular film filled with rich and colorful characters, each with different personality. The movie is full of action, comedy, and romance. Even though the film uses one punch line after another, it is the kind of “appropriate humor” that is character and situation based, not potty humor. It is also easy to understand for younger kids and appreciated by adults as well.

Blogs

Fantoche News: Swiss Games wanted - The competition is open!

I just received this news from the folks at the Fantoche Animation Festival:

Let's play together! For once, we're not looking for the latest animated films - no, today we're opening a competition for the development of computer games. For a long time, Fantoche has been interested in the crossover between animation and game design. Now, together with our partners, we have a fantastic opportunity to promote the development of games of high artistic quality.

In collaboration with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the Federal Office of Culture and the SUISA Foundation for Music, Fantoche is launching the first call for proposals for Swiss computer games. The "Call for Projects: Swiss Games" is now open, and you can submit your games using the application tool at www.fantoche.ch. The deadline for submissions is 15 March 2011 - a playable prototype of your game must be ready by that date.

Comedy Blogs

TANGLED (2010) (***)

Disney's 50th animated feature has a bit of everything that one might think of when one thinks of a Disney animated film. For the classic touch, there is a princess rescued by a dashing male hero, a wicked mother, animal sidekicks, musical numbers and magic. For the modern touch, there are irreverent splashes and gags galore. The former parts work much better than latter and in the end traditional storytelling wins the day.

Blogs

TANGLED (2010) (***)

Disney's 50th animated feature has a bit of everything that one might think of when one thinks of a Disney animated film. For the classic touch, there is a princess rescued by a dashing male hero, a wicked mother, animal sidekicks, musical numbers and magic. For the modern touch, there are irreverent splashes and gags galore. The former parts work much better than latter and in the end traditional storytelling wins the day.

Rapunzel (Mandy Moore, SAVED!) was saved from death as a child by a magic flower that gave her hair magical healing properties. Gothel (Donna Murphy, SPIDER-MAN 2) had been using said flower for years to turn back the effects of time, so she decides to kidnap the baby princess and raise her as her own, keeping her locked away in a tower in the forest. The devious woman tells the girl that the world is evil and that she is safer hidden away. But the now 18 year old girl wants to venture out and see firsthand the lanterns that happen to rise in the distance on her birthday.

Blogs

THE NATURE OF EXISTENCE (2010) (***)

When so many movies are about nothing, TREKKIES director Roger Nygard makes a film about the biggest questions. Why are we here? Does God exist? What is our purpose in life? He travels the world and asks these questions of people of all walks of life. With a light, but respectful touch, he creates a charming film that answers all those questions and doesn't answer any of them at the same time.

He gives equal time for both the religious and scientific point of view and all that lies in between. Some of the big names interviewed include Indian holy man Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, renowned evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins, Islamic scholar Dr. Zakir Naik, 24th generation Taoist Master Zhang Chengda, co-discoverer of string theory Leonard Susskind, Mormon novelist Orson Scott Card, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK director Irvin Kershner, comedian Julia Sweeney and Carl Sagan's widow Ann Druyan.

Blogs

CTN Expo 2.0: Day 1

By Dan Sarto | Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 5:02pm

The CTN Expo has returned to Burbank for the second year. The conference has expanded a great deal from last year's event. It also has seen an explosion of attendees, which pushed off the scheduled start times of all the events as the eager guest were being registered. This created some bumps along the road for the two-year old event, which is again valiantly put together by Tina Price and her tiny staff with help from a host of volunteers.

Blogs

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 1 (2010) (***)

This is the least rewarding of the cinematic HARRY POTTER experiences mainly because it doesn't satisfyingly work as a film on its own. Unlike the LORD OF THE RINGS series, each film worked as a solo film, while setting up the continuing journey. DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 1 tries to find its EMPIRE STRIKE BACK moment to end on, but without making Voldemort declare he is Harry's father, this film left me wanting more, but not in a good way. And yet I want more.

Blogs

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 1 (2010) (***)

This is the least rewarding of the cinematic HARRY POTTER experiences mainly because it doesn't satisfyingly work as a film on its own. Unlike the LORD OF THE RINGS series, each film worked as a solo film, while setting up the continuing journey. DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 1 tries to find its EMPIRE STRIKE BACK moment to end on, but without making Voldemort declare he is Harry's father, this film left me wanting more, but not in a good way. And yet I want more.

This PART 1, PART 2 nonsense will mean nothing after July 2011. After that DEATHLY HALLOWS can be enjoyed on DVD or Blu-ray or whatever comes next in home entertainment as one complete film. But because I am not clairvoyant I can't comment on the complete DEATHLY HALLOWS, because I have only seen half the film. PART 1 is kind of like the equivalent of tantric sex; all build up and no climax. But for POTTER fans, it's still sex… unless they're kids, because it's a family franchise, right?

Blogs

What Do You Really Want?

By Lisa Kaye | Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 3:01pm

When you struggle with what you think you want from your next job because you are convinced that you just need to work, you do yourself a dis-service. With unemployment benefits being extended to 99 weeks, it fuels the fires of doubt where it appears even the President is not confident in a job recovery anytime soon. Next time you find yourself ready to jump off a cliff because you just, “need to work” ask yourself, do you really know what you want?

Awards Blogs

Idiots’ Diary #22: The Oscar Qualification Gauntlet

The big problem with the Oscars is that if there are more than 15 films qualifying, then the number of nominations expands from 3 films to 5. Obviously, with 5 films I have a much better shot, like Secret of the Kells last year. But with only 3 films nominated, they usually go to the Hollywood Blockbusters.

Blogs

MARGOT AT THE WEDDING (2007) (***)

Noah Baumbach continues his examination of the neurotic, intellectual and familial in his second film. This time he uses the often-used conceit of a big event to bring together characters that have not seen each other in ages and we watch as the fireworks explode. But with a person like Margot around throwing fire the explosions can be huge.

Margot (Nicole Kidman, THE HOURS) is a writer who never sees her husband Jim (John Turturro, DO THE RIGHT THING). She's having an affair with fellow writer Dick (Ciaran Hinds, MUNICH), who is married. She treats her young son Claude (Zane Pais) like a confidant instead of her child. Her and Claude have been invited to the wedding of her sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Lee, THE HUDSUCKER PROXY), who lives a modest life in the old family home.

Blogs

Final Thoughts on the Films at Ottawa

By Dan Sarto | Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 5:22pm

No other festival I’m aware of consistently generates as much controversy as does the Ottawa Festival. People may scratch their heads at the judging decisions in Annecy (insert favorite French joke here), but in Ottawa, beer-fueled grumbling and incessant whining are as much a part of the annual festivities as head-scratching competition screening introductions and the cavalcade of toothless panhandlers lining Rue Rideau.

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