I Need A Dollar (Dollar), A Dollar Is What I Need

25 03 2010

That song, entitled “Rasta Monsta”, is the title track of one of HBO’s newest series, How To Make It In America. Not only do I love the song, the show has become my new must-see TV show.

How To Make It In America follows the lives of a handful of twentysomethings in New York City. While the limelight is shared by the cast members, the overall main character is Ben Epstein. Ben is an artist-type that apparently dropped out of art school, and now pursues a mundane career as a salesmen at Barney’s. He is joined by his street-smart, loud-mouthed friend Cam, who is constantly looking for the next, and fastest, way to make a buck. Rounding out the cast are Ben’s friend Domingo, socialite Gingy, Ben’s interior designer exgirlfriend Rachel, Cam’s old-school Cuban mobster Renee, and Kappo, a high school friend of Ben’s that is now a Wall Street high roller.

Each of the 30-minute episodes revolves around a different plot, but the over-arching theme of this season rests on Ben and Cam’s decision to start their own denim line, Crisp. The various episodes show them using street smarts and improvisation to get their clothing line moving. Swirling around that is the constant tension between Ben and Rachel, and the various amounts of trouble Ben’s friends try and get him in.

I didn’t know if I would like the show after watching the pilot. But after watching the next few episodes, I am definitely hooked. And it is only natural, though. The creators of How To Make It In America include Julian Farino and Rob Weiss. Weiss is a producer and writer on HBO’s Entourage, and Farino has directed many Entourage episodes. They bring that Entourage flavor to HTMIIA, and it is definitely one of the reasons the show appeals to me.

If you have HBO, I highly encourage you to check it out. If you don’t have HBO, find a friend who does and convince them to let you use their OnDemand for an afternoon.

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Minimalist Movie Posters: A Massive Collection

26 02 2010

As may be becoming evident, I have a slight obsession with movie posters. My walls at home are decorated with posters of my favorite films, and I constantly keep an eye out for new posters or new takes on old films.

Here is a collection of artists and collections that catch my eye. All of these are minimalist interpretations of classic films, a far cry from the over-photoshopped floating-head posters usually released with new movies. I’ll post links to the collections, as well as an example or two.

First up are Albert Exergian’s minimalist TV posters. They are available for purchase here.

Dexter

Other posters include Home Improvement, Star Trek and The Simpsons.

Second, Jamie Bolton’s movie posters. Available for purchase here.

Back To The Future Trilogy

Others include the Star Wars trilogy and an awesome Jurassic Park poster.

Third, Ibraheem Youssef’s minimalist Quentin Tarantino collection, available here

Pulp Fiction

Inglorious Basterds

He also has interpretations of Jackie Brown, Reservoir Dogs and the Kill Bill movies.

Fourth, Mario Graciotti has collections of minimalist prints for films by Paul Thomas Anderson, Pixar and Alfred Hitchcock. You can find the full collections here.

There Will Be Blood

Psycho

This guy has a huge collection in his DeviantArt portfolio that I highly suggest you click through. Definitely talented.





The 3D Revolution is Upon Us

24 02 2010

Judging by its insane $2 billion world-wide box office numbers, you have probably seen Avatar, James Cameron’s sci-fi epic. Due to the hype around the technology, and Avatar’s marketing, you probably ponied up the extra $2-$3 per ticket to see it in 3D. And trust me, you should have. Cameron spent years, literally, developing the technology it would take to craft the world of Avatar, and that includes the 3D cameras he used to film the entire movie.

With Avatar’s success has come a wave of 3D Hollywood films. No longer the fare of kids films and slasher films, 3D has become the “next-big-thing” for every producer pumping out a tent-pole film in the next 2-3 years. The upcoming Clash of the Titans remake, starring Sam Worthington, was not filmed in 3D. However, it’s release has been pushed to April to allow editors to reformat the movie into 3D. Announcements have already been made that the remaining Harry Potter films will be in 3D, as will the recently announced Spider-Man reboot, being directed by (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb.

Now, the home-viewing market has to catch up. Obviously, home-viewers want to recreate the cinema experience in their own homes. That’s why we have 55-inch flat-screen HDTVs and high-definition Blu-Rays players. But what about 3D? When Avatar hits Blu-Ray disc later this year, people are going to want that same 3D experience in their living rooms. The problem is, the technology used to film these new 3D wonders requires the home-viewer to upgrade their technology too. Your Blu-Ray player and HDTV are going to be useless if you try to watch your Avatar 3D Blu-Ray on it.

Don’t worry, though, TV manufacturers are on the ball. Take LG, for example, which just leaked their newest 3D TVs and 3D Blu-Ray players. By mid-May, you’ll be able to go out and buy 3D capable TVs and Blu-Rays to enjoy 3D movies at home. (No idea if they come with the goofy glasses or if you have to buy those on your own.) Phillips, Sony and Samsung will roll out their own versions as well, and I’m sure Vizio won’t be far behind. For lucky PS3 owners, don’t fret, your system is still the best Blu-Ray player on the market, and Sony will be releasing a firmware update that will make your PS3 3D compatible too.

Also buried in that leak is LG’s announcement of a webcam for your TV. For Skypers and iChat-ers, this means that if you have an internet-ready system, you can be video-chatting in 720p resolution on your big flat-screen. Definitely a step-up from your MacBook’s iSight and 15-inch screen!

With Hollywood studios and home-viewing manufacturers on board, I’m sure 3D is here to stay. Let’s just hope that it is sooner rather than later that they finally figure out how to do it without the black plastic eye-wear.