Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Vlog Star Season 2 - First Episode

Season 2 of our little show is starting today. Please watch it! If you'd like to support the show by re-posting and re-blogging it, that would be great too. Although I'm very proud of the first season, we learned a lot about making a web show, what worked well and what didn't, and I think season 2 will be a lot better. If you haven't watched the show before, this is a good place to start, and the recap should get you up to speed.

Moving Out | Vlog Star #13 (season 2 premiere) from kennybloggerly on Vimeo.

YouTube, MySpace, DailyMotion, Veoh, Crackle and Vimeo

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Well Wed

I'm having trouble thinking about anything else today... I'm too enamored of our wedding slideshow that just went up.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Vlog Star Season 2 Trailer

I'm a little late on the season 2 trailer on account of, you know, getting married. But I'm still shooting for a Wednesday premiere for episode 1. We've taken the lessons we've learned making season 1 and hopefully created something that is better, funnier, and most important of all, something you will blog about and tell your friends about so we can all get rich and spit on you from our passing limousines. Wait, pretend you didn't read that last part. (I don't want to bother deleting it.)

Seriously, though, please watch our show, tell your friends, and let us know what you think. Thanks!

Vlog Star - Season 2 Trailer from kennybloggerly on Vimeo.

YouTube, MySpace, DailyMotion, Veoh, Crackle and Vimeo

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chun Li

So, that's fine that someone decided to make a Street Fighter movie over a decade after the franchise has been relevant to anyone. It even kinda makes sense that they decided to base it around Chun-Li. Attempting to make a movie with too many protagonists was among the (many) things that derailed the last Street Fighter movie. Also, Chun-Li is apparently played by Kristen Kruek, so yay for Team Hapa.

But I feel like it's a mistake to build the movie around Chun-Li, and then make a trailer where you never see Chun-Li. That seems misguided to me. There are maybe two shots in this where you see her face, and even then she's not in a recognizable costume, and she's not terribly Asian-looking, so it's kind of hard to recognize her as anyone. M. Bison is also in this trailer, not that you'd ever know it. Vega is the only one you could pick out here without someone telling you who everybody is.

Yes, Chun-Li's chi-pao and hair buns are kinda cheesy looking, but surely someone could have designed a cool version of that. Because without it, you just have half a Chinese girl. And there is definitely no point making a movie about one character from an out-of-date property and then costuming her so that no one will ever recognize that character. In fact, this trailer seems desperate to avoid anyone ever making the connection to the video game.

Yeah, now this just seems dumb.

Maybe they should have continued the numbering from the last movie, so that this one could be Street Fighter II: The Movie. The phrase "Street Fighter" doesn't really evoke the game unless you have the "II" after it anyway.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Flight of the Conchords Lip Dub

Here's a Vlog Star video we did for the Flight of the Conchords lip dub Fansterpiece contest. I've uploaded it over there but it has yet to show up on their channel. Based on the comments it looks like this delay is common, or maybe they don't post all of them. Either way, it was fun to do and makes a good teaser for the season. In fact, it's such a good teaser it already has more YouTube views than most of our episodes! So, yeah.

I wanted to do one where Nate and Alexa are doing the lip dub on their webcam, and then Max enters the shot and Nate gets pissed off at him and tries to get him to go away (this during the long pause after the first Hiphopopotamus line). But that didn't work out for reasons of scheduling and exhaustion/laziness -- this came at the end of our shooting for season 2, by which point we were tired, all the way across town from our apartment "set," and Mike was five hours away from being available.

So instead we did this. This version doesn't really fit into continuity at all, but certainly the scenery is nicer than the webcam version would have been.

Flight of the Conchords Lip Dub / Vlog Star teaser from kennybloggerly on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

On Tom Cruise and Tropic Thunder

I am not a big Tom Cruise fan, generally. Not necessarily because of his Festival of Crazy these past couple years, which he is now attempting to correct via the most overtly desperate charm offensive in memory, or as it is known officially, the "Valkyrie Press Tour." I did, of course, share in the schadenfreude over the incredible spectacle of self-sabotage that is Tom Cruise unleashed, but the original reason I was not that into him is that he is one of those actors who always makes the movie about him, so that it is impossible even for a moment to imagine that you are watching a character in a situation and not Tom Cruise Acting.

Cruise gained a lot of acclaim for his role in Tropic Thunder last year, and now having finally seen the movie I am somewhat surprised to report that his performance is actually good, even with the burden of incredible hype that accompanied the movie's release. He is very funny in it and a scene stealer in a movie full of scene stealers. What the performance isn't, though, is uncharacteristic. Some people suggest that Tom Cruise is playing against type here. I submit to you that he is so good in it because he is playing exactly his type. The only way in which he is playing against type is that in Tropic Thunder, he is ugly.

Tom Cruise is at his best when he is playing a cocky showoff (Jerry Maguire, Top Gun) or intense megalomaniac (Magnolia, Collateral). Tom Cruise is at his worst in the Mission: Impossible series, where he has no real character to portray, and his amazing stunts play not as Ethan Hunt's heroic feats but Tom Cruise, cocky showoff, showing off cockily how many stunts he is willing to perform himself. So Lev Grossman, Cruise's Tropic Thunder character, is really just another Tom Cruise intense megalomaniac, only ugly. The fact that people think this makes the character different just goes to show how much slack people will cut an asshole for being good-looking. Cruise could play the same character as himself, and audiences would think, "How charming!" Play the role with a fat gut, hairy hands, a beard, glasses and a bald cap, and they think, "What a grotesque monster!" What is the much hyped dance scene but Risky Business With an Ugly Guy? Of course Cruise is good at it.

Still, it's hilarious, to give the man his due, and benefits tremendously from Cruise's intensity and even his charisma. Personally, I think Tom Cruise is even better ugly--it brings him down to earth (even though on another level it's still a showoff-y ploy). And I always like it when he's playing an asshole on purpose instead of by accident.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Gran Torino

Defamer was being really bitchy to Gran Torino for awhile -- even their posts about Oscar handicapping would include some aside like "at least that's one less nomination spot for Gran Torino." This baffled and annoyed me since my reaction to the trailer was much closer to this, minus the detailed knowledge of Clint Eastwood's filmography.

I guess Defamer had some issue about how standing up to criminals is fascist and wrong, and seeing movies about guys doing cool shit will turn everyone into vigilantes or something. First of all, vigilantism is a satisfying and cathartic fantasy, not to mention awesome and badass, so get over yourselves and let us enjoy our movies in peace, Defamer wet blankets. Second, Gran Torino isn't that kind of movie anyway, so much as it is a meditation on those movies, about which Eastwood now seems to have complex feelings. So give the man some credit and don't judge so fast, jerks.

Anyway, aside from a few heavy-handed moments and the inexperienced Hmong cast's sometimes shaky acting (though no worse than the likes of, say, Jessica Alba), Gran Torino is a pretty fine movie, and its take on the values of the older generation, and what it meant to be a man, really rings true. It's a good movie to watch with your dad, which is what I did.