12 July 2009
Friday/July/17 2009 Filed in: Weekend Showcase
Apocalypzia presents ... Sinval Fonseca!
Sinval is an artistic renaissance man from Brazil, who is, among other things, a painter, a musician and a singer.
Chances are you won't see him on television this weekend and you won't be attending one of his concerts, but that's no reason why you shouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy his work.
We get the feeling that he may not have much more equipment than a guitar, a video camera and some green-screen software but he has tremendous talent and obvious passion for his art.
Give him a little time to get rolling here. His intro is slow and a bit tentative. But by about forty seconds into the video, Sinval kicks into high gear and puts on a magnificent show.
It's been a long, tough week. Relax and unwind with brilliant Bossa Nova..!
Thursday/July/16 2009 Filed in: Entertainment / Media
Admit it ...
If you were in apocalyptic danger and could call anyone in the Justice League to come to your rescue (other than Superman), you'd call Batman, wouldn't you?
Of course, you would. You'd call Batman even though he's unique among other DC Comics super heroes because ... he has no super powers. He just works out and eats right.
But still you'd use your distress call to summon him rather than the Flash, the Green Lantern or Aquaman. (No, Marvel's Spidey isn't in the Justice League.)
Since Bat-bursting onto the comic book scene in the spring of 1939, Bob Kane's Caped Crusader has evolved into the Dark Knight. He's been booted and rebooted as a comic book, a movie serial, a television show, several cartoon series and the generally successful movie franchise.
The rumor is that Johnston McCulleys's Zorro -- who also had a secret identity, a cave and a loyal butler --was an inspiration for the character.
As for sidekicks, there have been three Robins - Dick Grayson who went on to be Nightwing when he grew up, Jason Todd who was killed by the Joker and finally Tim Drake.
In film versions, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale have all worn the pointy-eared cowl.
But don't leave 1949's Robert Lowery off the list...
That was almost as bad as 1997's Batman & Robin that warranted this apology from the guy who directed it...
Wednesday/July/15 2009 Filed in: Entertainment / Media
One for All and All for One...
Just as the character's in J.K. Rowlings' Harry Potter books matured along with the young audience who read them, we've watched the cast of the film series -- and the characters they play -- move through their teenage years and into young adulthood.
And over the years, we feel that we've gotten to know these 21st Century Three Musketeers.
Wikipedia reports that Alfonso Cuaron, director of The Prisoner of Azkaban says Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) is "the likely future star out of the Hogwarts trio."
Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) has grown from a promising child actress and pretty girl to a very talented artist and a lovely young woman.
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) will be ready to step into the 007 role when his countryman Daniel Craig is ready to step down.
The first five films of the Harry Potter series became the highest grossing film series of all time ($4.5 billion) until Daniel Craig's efforts pushed the James Bond series ahead. The Half Blood Prince may indeed give Harry the top spot again. Game on, Mr. Bond.
Steven Spielberg was involved in discussions early on with the idea of directing an animated movie with Haley Joel Osment (Sixth Sense) voicing Harry. (J.K. Rowlings' choice for director was Monty Python's Terry Gilliam. He didn't get the job and apparently is still not happy about it.).
The first film in the series is, for most of the world, titled as is the book it's based on -- The Philosopher's Stone. It was released in the US as The Sorcerer's Stone.
The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone premiered on November 16, 2001, just two months after the 9/11 attacks, to a world ready for something positive and uplifting.
At least two more films are scheduled for the series. The final book (The Deathly Hallows) will be split into two movies, currently titled Part 1 and Part 2.
Daniel Radcliffe was 11 years old when he starred in the first film of the series and will celebrate his 20th birthday the week following the release of The Half Blood Prince.
In 2007, Emma Watson successfully negotiated a doubling of her salary for the final films of the franchise.
Rupert Grint won the role of Ron Weasley by making a rap video for his audition.
The filming of The Deathly Hallows movie(s) began in February 2009.
J.K. Rowling is actually a pen name. The publishers of The Philosopher's Stone believed that young boys might be reluctant to read a book written by a female author. So Joanne Rowling -- called Jo by everyone who knows her -- concocted the non de plume J.K.
Jo's net worth is currently estimated at about $800 million.
Tuesday/July/14 2009 Filed in: Entertainment / Media
This has probably happened to you.
And if it hasn't yet, it will. You'll be watching some seemingly innocent video on YouTube. Perhaps it's described as an optical illusion or as authentic ghost footage.
Just as you're settling into it, a horrifying image is flashed on the screen often accompanied by a shrill scream. Sometimes the image is horrible and macabre. Some twisted, ghoulish image.
These little audio/visual surprises are known as screamers. And even if the image is not necessarily frightening, the shock alone can give you a start.
The following video is presented for instructional purposes only. It is a screamer and the horrifying shock kicks in at about :14 seconds. Do not watch this unless you want to experience a scary screaming Screamer!
PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
What possesses someone to do something like that?
Stunts like this remind us that (1) the web is in many ways still a frontier town and (2) the average emotional age of some people who post video on the web is about 12.
How to Protect Yourself...
It is a strange kind of long distance assault. One way to protect yourself when YouTubing is to scan the comments before viewing before viewing. But you knew that. And if you're that first to be pranked, you might leave a warning for the viewers to follow.
Though we disapprove of people posting video in such a disingenuous manner, there is one exception that we give a thumbs up to.
Getting Rick Roll'd!
Monday/July/13 2009 Filed in: Entertainment / Media
The Last Laugh, Indeed...
Laughter is a great sustainer in apocalyptic times, offering needed relief from stress, tension and despair. Laughter is authentic evidence of apocalypse in the true revelatory sense of the word. The irony of light within darkness, darkness within light.
The classic Who's on First? burlesque sketch, popularized by Abbott and Costello, was a delicate dance of miscommunication and malapropism. It's humor and sense of comic timing, indeed, transcends time.
We're big fans of HBO's departed Deadwood here at Apocalypzia. If Yes Minister/Prime Minister is what Shakespeare would do with a political sit-com, Deadwood would be his offering about the Old West.
A beauty of Deadwood was its ability to so skillfully mix intense drama with moments of inspired comedy. We believe that its writers may have been paying homage to a classic radio comedy sketch in a scene between the profanely ingenious Al Swearingen and Mr. Wu, with his unfortunate one-word English vocabulary.
Abbott and Costello -- Who's on First?
Deadwood -- Wu's on First...
Deadwood dialogue, though magnificently written, can be quite raw, so be warned if you decide to watch the following clip. But if you do, let us know. Is Mr. Wu channeling Lou Costello?