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what's going on with that cat over there [Aug. 14th, 2009|11:20 pm]
[music |big bad voodoo daddy: reefer man]

thoughts.

cool beans.

member of the genus phaseolus, possibly also vigna (don't laugh), kept noticeably but not  uncomfortably below room temperature (traditionally 70 degrees fahrenheit, or 21 degrees celsius).

see also: wintry peanuts.

comedian jim gaffigan is 93% funny, 7% creepy. comedian brian posehn, on the other hand, is 76% funny, 24% creepy. so why, then, does an audience always laugh louder and longer at a posehn show?

 man, it's fucking hot in here.

human male, it (the hairy, bowler-hat laden character of "adam's family" fame, popularized  most recently by acclaimed character actor john franklin) is currently and for the indefinite  future engaging in coitus with an unpleasantly high temperature, all within this location (or, more abstractly, time-frame). more disturbing if one pictures tim curry as pennywise the dancing clown copulating with fictional adult film star and professional eroticist hot gates.

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farewell and adieu to you ladies of spain. [Jul. 6th, 2009|09:46 pm]
[Current Location |a couch that does not support life]
[mood |tired]
[music |crooked fingers: call to love]

new comic is up at living with toys. and also below.



why do you appear so tiny, comic? that is not what i want.

oh well. so fun fact: this happened (though in less exagerated numbers, the ants) some years back at a friend's house. however, the night i drew the comic i crashed downstairs on a typically unused couch. the next day at work, i found spiders crawling around on my shirt.

this is not okay.

i'm still itchy thinking about it.

rock on.
-dan-

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that's how we lost december. [Jul. 3rd, 2009|09:17 pm]
[Current Location |outside beneath an umbrella with wine]
[mood |comfortable]
[music |the real mckenzies: pour decisions]


went and caught public enemies last night, which was quite good. it is two and a half hours long, though, and it feels two and a half hours long, so if you see it i hope you like your butt and sitting on it. depp, bale, and cotillard all do excellent jobs, as expected, but it is the plethora of supporting "hey it's that guy" actors who really flesh the film out. bill cruddup is especially memorable as j. edgar hoover, stealing all of his scenes (and as well he should).

i know it's not the case, but at times it felt as if mike mann was unsure of his ability to make audiences feel what he wants them to feel, and supplements these with a poignant score. just to make sure everyone is on the same page.

tim pointed out to me (and thanks for that, by the way, now i can't stop noticing) that mann's films often have unnecessarily loud scores that seem to force emotion rather than allow it to manifest itself naturally. this is certainly evident in public enemies. there is a brief shot of depp as john dillinger crying which i thought was incredibly distracting. we know the scene is sad, dude. we don't need the visual exclamation mark for the cheap seats.

maybe i am a crazy person, but that one shot (thankfully, at the hour and forty-five minute mark, closer to the end of the film than not) pulled me out of the story entirely, and i never quite recovered from it.

my favorite thing about the movie? none of the action scenes (and there are many) are set to music. awesome. i love when this happens. i don't need an orchestra telling me this part is tense, there are machine guns happening. i'll figure it out thanks. this is such a peeve of mine that i have a tough time caring about an action sequence when it is set to music. it's the same reason i have a hard time watching sitcoms with laugh-tracks.

the it crowd and black books notwithstanding.

so by and large public enemies was quite good, but not quite great. 8 out of 10 ratings.

in other news, i doodled this on the card i attached to the gift i gave b and jax when they married.


rock on.
-dan-

addendum: i have been sitting outside as i write this, and thought the crashy explodey noises were fireworks. turns out it was a looming thunderstorm.
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got two eyes but you still don't see. [Jun. 30th, 2009|09:30 pm]
[Current Location |the most humid room in the universe entire]
[mood |sickish]
[music |tori amos: silent all these years]


this past weekend our great friends mr. b and mrs. jax went and got theyself married. whilst there, i managed to get good and diseased.

thanks, bob.

but that won't stop me from going out and having a round or few tonight.

have just now finished a bootle of:



domaine le briseau's you are so nice. quite tasty, actually, goofball name notwithstanding. loire valley blend of gamay and malbec. smooth as silk, medium-bodied, lots of nice bright fruit. had tonight with grilled beef and rice, but i think you could do just about anything with this. it's good soup.

also hey look i drew a thing.


this little darling is casey jones, who may (?) end up being a part of living with toys. that's the idea, anyway. but, you know...best laid plans of mice and all that.

rock on.
-dan-
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you've done things on this couch. [Jun. 29th, 2009|08:44 pm]
[Current Location |a different, less soiled couch]
[mood |sore]
[music |cee-lo green: suga baby]


so.

as i've started updating living with toys again, albeit on a weekly basis instead of daily as before, i've decided to start posting thoughts here in hopes of keeping you, dear reader, entertained throughout the week.

i'll try to post here at least in a semi-regular basis with: sketches and other assorted artstuffs, ruminations, and stories as well as letting you know when new things are happening with the comic.

case in point, there is a new page up.



first panel of today's comic, the rest of which you can find at livingwithtoys.com. query: would you rather see the entire comic here when it updates (mondays, by the way) or would you prefer the single panel with a convenient link?

rock on.
-dan-

addendum: don't know why above picture wasn't showing before. seems to have been taken care of now.
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"Living with Toys" News [Sep. 22nd, 2007|11:11 pm]
[music |Ten Story Relapse - Hell to Pay]

I've been running Living with Toys for about a month now. Exactly as many daily updates as you can shake a stick at!

Those of you who have been keeping up with the comic (and really, what's wrong with the rest of you?) have pretty much figured out the format. Ridiculous, possibly offensive gag followed by ridiculous, possibly offensive gag. Vague semblance of continuity,  perhaps? Well, all of that is about to change!

Kind of.

This Monday marks the beginning of an actual storyline. With plot and everything! Perhaps even repercussions for the future? No, probably not.

Also, I'm thinking of setting up an FAQ on the site. The first necessary step, of course, is to actually have questions asked, frequently or not. And here's where you come in, gentle readers. Any questions you have about the comic, feel free to ask. Comment here, or get in touch with me. E-mail thetricksterking@gmail.com or find me on AIM, my SN is thetricksterking (convenient and easy, right?). Who knows? Maybe your questions will make it into the comic.

Finally, if you're on MySpace, come and say hi at www.myspace.com/angryimpstudios. It's the easiest way to keep track of the comic, aside from checking the page out every day (which you should be doing anyway...daily updates and whatnot).

Thanks again for reading! Expect less blatant promotional updates in the future.
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Angry Imp Studios [Aug. 27th, 2007|08:29 pm]
[music |Chumbawamba - Mary, Mary]

Angry Imp Studios is now online, courtesy of Webcomics Nation. Right now, it is boring (except for the comic, I hope). Go check it out, let me know what you think.

www.webcomicsnation.com/thetricksterking/livingwithtoys
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Superbad. [Aug. 25th, 2007|03:14 am]
[music |The Fine Print - As Soon As]

I am really enjoying the resurgence of good, intelligent comedy. And while garbage like Who's your Caddy? will still continue to plague us until the inevitable zombie apocalypse, it's nice to see a talent like producer Judd Apatow (and his stupid, stupid name) rising in status after his crazy ridiculous huge hits Knocked Up and The 40-Year Old Virgin. You've come a long way from Freaks and Geeks, Judd.

On an unrelated note, Judd Apatow backwards is Wotapa Dduj. You may remember him as the famous Jawa Jedi Master who single handedly defeated Palpatine's first and mightiest clone, Dave.

Back on track, now. The film is nothing special in terms of plot (three high-schoolers plan to get laid before graduation. See also: every other movie ever fucking made ever). What the film does have are believable, fully developed characters coupled with excellent dialogue. Also, dick jokes. Dick jokes like they're the failing currency of an African country whose government was toppled in a violent military coup an hour and a half before the movie begins.

What really impressed me about the film was the unabashed way in which it revelled in the dominant aspects of the teen comedy. Almost every teen comedy tries to establish itself as the defining relatable film of its generation. Mine was American Pie. And let's be honest here, yours probably was too. But most every film before went about trying to hide this fundamental need for acceptance, Superbad positively relished in it. The irony, of course, being that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote the film when they were kids.

Another thing I greatly enjoyed in the film was how it captured a sense of nostalgia without shoving it in the audience's collective faces like so much John Holmes. The scene where Evan, Seth, and Fogel are arguing about how to best go about getting a hold of liquor for a party legitimately made me miss my high school days.

I also greatly enjoyed the bittersweet ending, which hammered home the themes of maturity and growth hidden throughout the incessant dick jokes. Alfonso Cuaron had previously done the exact same thing in Y Tu Mama Tambien, and I immediately latched onto the similarities (which was ultimately distracting, though in retrospect no less effective). 

Now, despite the praise I've mounted on the film, I must say that it was not really that great. As entertaining as it was, it really wasn't much else. It was predictable and cliched, but seeing as how the plot was only really there as a formality, this didn't prove to be a problem. That being said, I enjoy my film with a little more substance. Superbad, while greatly entertaining (maintaining "truly epic lulz" throughout), it is ultimately forgettable. 

8 out of 10 units of measurement (possibly skewed by the company I had in the theater).

In other news, I have moved back up to Connecticut for the forseeable future. The plan is...and now you're pretty much at the same place I'm at. I had planned on leaving this past Monday, but failed to do so. On Tuesday, I made it to Baltimore in about 4 hours by finding myself a Statie doing 85 and riding his ass like a pornstar the whole way to Maryland. Come Wednesday, I made it here from Baltimore, again in about 4 hours, by being a speed ninja.

Brian and I are planning on going to Baltimore on the 8th and 9th for the Baltimore Comicon, but in my current financial situation (or rather, lack thereof) I'm not sure that will be possible. Crossing fingers here. Not necessarily my own, either.

Here's a comic, to keep you entertained.

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Event Horizon. [Aug. 9th, 2007|03:28 am]
[music |Primus - Hail Santa]

This film takes a lot of shit. And as well it should, honestly. It obviously tries too hard to capture the pseudo-sexual psychological tortures Clive Barker perfects almost carelessly, resulting in forced use of clichéd "disturbing images."

Maggots? Really? What do maggots have do with anything going on in the film? I mean, I suppose one could make the case that being the pupal state of one of the great survivors and adaptors of the natural world it actually fits in with the continuing theme of birth and gestation of the film...but that's one hell of a stretch. Granted, the conceptual imagery I will proceed to present is a stretch in and of itself, but the maggots were obviously put into the film to make you, the audience, feel perturbed. But they come about at a point in the film where we're long past fear.

Let's back-track a little bit. For those who man not know what I'm talking about, or who need a refresher course on what Event Horizon is in terms of plot, I offer this:

The Shining - (psychic retards and/or children) + 1/2 2001: A Space Odyssey 
1/2 Alien - (metaphor for the inherent strength of woman)                                          = Event Horizon

Are we all on the same page now? Good.

The film does deliver a stunning, terrifying ambience which contributes most (if not all) of the jarring horrors of the film. The score, by Michael Kamen heavily influenced by Orbital, is appropriately grinding and detached, further enhancing the experience (though not as well as ...28 Days Later, for example). The acting is superb (a post-Jurassic Park Sam Neill plays off against a pre-Matrix Laurence Fishburne, while the always welcome Jason Isaacs looms in the background). The characterization is spot on (the airlock sequence between Jack Noseworthy and Kathleen Quinlan is particularly difficult to watch) without being domineering (as in traditional horror cinema, the characters are instantly likeable and recognizable primarily because they are archetypes, facets of human psyche; this is in the same vein as superhero comics and classical mythology). The effects, while occasionally succumbing to the ever present cheese factor that plagues conventional science fiction cinema (especially in the mood-setting antigrav sequences, which are extremely difficult to take seriously...and is that a fucking X-Wing on the Event Horizon proper?) are generally well done and serve primarily to further the sense of foreboding that is accomplished so well in the first two thirds of the film. The set design is also very organic and effectively serves as a funnel for the audience's trepidations, even though it focuses a little too much on gothic sensibilties which, frankly, feel somewhat out of place (the Event Horizon herself is shaped like Notre Dame, and the engine room has spikes on the walls...seriously, why the shit would you have spikes protruding from the walls of your engine room?).

Yet despite all this in favor of the film, it is still considered by and large to be little more than a popcorn horror film with a weak ending. This is actually a similar reason as to why The Fountain is so often chided as being overtly pretentious and self-referential. At the risk of sounding condescending, this is a thinking person's horror film. It has to be viewed with a certain intellectual awareness or, frankly, it will end up a disapointing, lackluster gore-fest.

The major theme, and underlying metaphor, of the film is birth, itself a metaphor for immaturity and failure. Even the name, Event Horizon, is a term sometimes used to describe the moment a pregnant mother's cervix becomes fully dilated. Using Grant Morrison's chaotician theory of the universe as a gestating living organism, one may view the film (and in particular the Event Horizon herself) in this way. The ship is the fetus, with the universe itself being the womb. When the ship "tears a hole in the universe" and traverses into a parallel universe, it is actually breaking free of the womb. And while it is stated that the ship goes to "a place of pure chaos and evil," it is safe to assume that this is essentially what a newborn would feel as well, having newly been seperated from it's safe haven and thrust into a world of noise and light and staggering sensation. 

Evil is ultimately subjective.

But the ship doesn't remain in that other universe, it isn't actually "born." It comes back, and brings with it a form of sentient life. Here, the imagery of birth is skewed in favor of the theme of immaturity. Frankly, the ship is not ready to be born, and the events of the film are the universe essentially miscarrying the ship and the ship, as a living organism, fighting back in whatever way it can. The human cast, in this case, serves as the universe's antibodies.

Furthering this intricate web of metaphor stacked upon metaphor, we have Sam Neill as the Event Horizon's father and eventual son, enthrusting a neo-Oedipal cycle that reaches fruition at the climax of the film. Sam Neill's Dr. Weir is the film's classic hero, and while he ultimately becomes the film's antagonist, he remains the focal point of the story and thus remains the hero. With the (rather stereotypical) dream-sequence where he sees his wife kill herself and thus willingly becomes a part of the ship, he comes full circle from the ship's father to her unborn son. At this point, the film ceases to be a horror movie, and this is often when the typical audience loses faith in the film, and where most critics will agree it loses all of the momentum it has built up.

When next we see Dr. Weir, he is at the bridge in the captain's chair. In the fetal position. Almost immediately thereafter, he is forcibly extricated from the ship after breaking through a glass barrier (furthering the birth imagery). But, just as the Event Horizon was not prepared to leave the universal womb and is thrust back, only to be destroyed from within, Dr. Weir is also not ready to leave the ship and is then himself brought back (physically changed as well), only to be destroyed by the ship's defenses.

Certain aspects of the film, I feel, were included primarily to further cement it's pressence in the horror genre. While all manner of metaphor and meaning could be derived from the ship's penchant to have it's crew remove their eyes, it is safe to say that this was included to increase the gore factor. Overall, this film would have functioned much better on a much smaller budget and focusing less on the classic horror elements and more on the intellectual aspects that make the film what it is.

I'd call it a solid 7 of 10 (rating system of your choice). Definately a fun film to watch with friends in the dark with the volume all the way up. But also the kind of film one can appreciate alone. Make masturbation jokes as you see fit.

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Oh, Hello...You Must Be Sadam Hussein [Jan. 1st, 2006|03:14 am]
[mood |blitzed]
[music |TV, how I have missed thee]

Ah...I miss you, being drunk.
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