With only 3 produced episodes, the first unsuccessful LAW & ORDER spin-off was scrapped due to the fact that, in the end, it was always Hitler that did it. All that remains of The History Channel's first dramatic series is this title screen:
I came up with this a few days ago and sprung it upon twitter. Benjamin seemed as excited by the prospect as I, so I figured I'd do what I could to make it a reality. Benjamin makes me happy pretty much every day, so now it's my turn to try and give something back to him.
Without further ado; Benjamin, this one's for you:
M. Night Shyamalan has made a number of good films. One of which, I'm betting you've never seen.
This unknown film is called Wide Awake, and a quick google search for reviews will turn up a number of people waxing rhapsodic about how wonderful this film is, and how sad it is that no one has ever heard of it, let alone seen it. The film was made pre-The Sixth Sense, and when that movie exploded, video copies of Wide Awake were re-released with a big blurb about how this film is from the creator of The Sixth Sense, but that didn't really help. And why didn't it help? Because this is the cover of said film:
Would you pick that film up off the shelf at your local video shop? Neither would I. The trouble is, this cover completely misleads the viewer about the content, tone, and POINT of the movie. Yes, Rosie O'Donnell is in the film, (And, I have to admit that she's actually darn good in it as well) but she is not the focal character of the film. Yes, there was something in there about baseball, but once again: that has nothing to do with the film. What looks like a cheeseball Rosie O'Donnell comedy is, in actuality, a remarkably wonderful film about a young boy coming to terms with the things he believes. It is incredibly touching, and everyone in the film gives stellar performances. Dennis Leary is particularly good in it. Sure, there are some funny moments, but to call the film a comedy would be greatly under-selling it.
I think whoever designed that cover did us film viewers a great disservice -- not to mention doing a disservice to M. Night himself; in my opinion this is the best of his films, and it's a shame he hasn't been paid its worth. In an effort to try to encourage other people to see this fine film, I decided to make a better cover for it. Now, I'm neither a marketer nor a designer, but seeing this cover on a shelf would make me pick it up. Hopefully it'll do the same for you:
Bonus points to anyone who prints it out and tapes it onto the disc at their local rental shop.
(This poster contains Creative Commons-licensed material from kadj, frankloohuis, and danwk71 and is licensed under a Creative Commons "do whatever you want as long as it doesn't make money" license, because that's how some of its parts are licensed.)
It is hard enough for me to convince people that GIMP is quite capable of doing pretty much everything the average user of Photoshop would require from it without you guys up and moving shit around all the time, and/or releasing "stable" versions that don't function properly. Had I not had 10 years of wonderful experience working with GIMP before running the version that Ubuntu installed for me, I would have not only been pulling my hair out, but I'd be advocating that no one ever waste their time with it in the first place as well. Stuff just doesn't work. Weirdnesses to which I had finally adjusted are now either gone or weirder. My active layer keeps getting into a state where neither I nor plugins can change it. Selections are behaving strangely. I'd hate to have my income be dependent upon using GIMP, because I'm having serious troubles getting anything done with it right now.
Granted, Ubuntu is giving me a somewhat outdated version, but I would think that however old the version is, coming from the "stable" tree would ensure that it, you know, would WORK properly? I suppose it's possible that the Ubuntu folk may have broken something after you were through with it, but I can't help but wonder whether most of the Internet ravings from Photoshop users about how GIMP is worse than MS Paint might be as a result of crap like I'm running across now. I know that GIMP is a top-notch application that, aside from some annoying quirks from time to time, is perfectly capable of replacing what 95% of Photoshop users use it for (despite that not being the intent of GIMP in the first place), but trying to get anything done with this release (2.4.2) is proving impossible for this 10-year veteran self-proclaimed GIMP 'expert.' I'm pulling my hair out trying to get anything done; I'd suspect new users, however, would just tell their friends how much it sucks and be done with it.
In the decade or so that I've been using GIMP I've gone from the bleeding-edge compile-it-myself-the-minute-it's-released type of user to kind that just uses whichever release his package manager presents him with; I'm pretty sure the latter is the group that most of your user-base falls into. You need to make sure that those people don't come across crap like this, because they're the ones who aren't going to put up with it and end up saying bad things about you. Isn't that why you have the unstable tree in the first place?
I made this last night for a silly photoshop contest, forgetting during its construction that the theme of the contest was "<i>horror</i> villains getting jobs." If there's blood and killing, it counts as horror right?
Snopes.com frequently irritates me with their liberal use of the blanket terms "True" and "False" to denote things they have no way of knowing about. What generally happens is they come up with a plausible explanation for something and decide that this had to be what happened. I feel that it is irresponsible of them to go around claiming things as true or false on a flimsy basis when the entire internet treats them as the be-all-end-all source for the truth about sketchy things. They need to be more honest and broaden up their determinations a bit.
The most recent example of this is Phallus in Bugs Bunny Cartoon. In it they do no more than suggest a POSSIBLE explanation for the mystery flesh, yet they outright claim that it is "False." Here's the picture in question for those that don't feel like clicking over:
Their claim is that a white area on Bugs Bunny's crotch (that's much more impressive in the video) is, in actuality, just the tub behind behind him, and that what looks like a penis is just the natural curvature of Bugs's legs. Never minding the fact that Bug's's's legs never, ever, extend up into his abdomen, this answer just doesn't hold water for me. I downloaded the video off YouTube, extracted the three frames in question and examined everything thoroughly, and -- guess what -- I have reached an entirely different conclusion than the one they did.
The first thing I did was look for other pictures of Bugs with legs extending into his abdomen. Go ahead and watch the video for yourself, where you can see Bugs in that same position several times without ever having his legs extend up that high:
It just doesn't happen... they stop below his abdomen. That said, his legs do seem a bit short in the 'penis' shot; if you WERE to extend Bugs' legs into his abdomen, the length would be about right.
The next thing I did was find a frame with that area of the tub unoccupied:
I then cut out Bugs and overlaid him atop the empty tub:
As you can see, the area that people are claiming to be a penis is now the same color as the tub -- much darker than the white area in the original shot. Clearly this means that Snopes is mistaken with their assessment of the situation. Rather than the tub, it's more likely that the white in question is supposed to be Bugs' towel draping around his backside.
Except for one little detail:
Bugs' towel can be clearly seen at several points in the episode tied ABOVE his tail, meaning that it could never be seen behind his legs in the first place:
So what's all this lead to? The 'penis' can only be one of two things: a) a penis snuck in by a feisty animator, or b) a result of a poorly-sketched-out Bugs with too short of legs that was quickly 'fixed' by extending his legs up into his abdomen. After all, there are only 3 frames affected by this problem, and who would ever know? It's not like nerds are obsessively going over these things with a fine-toothed comb, right?
In any case, without any way of ever knowing whether this was an animator goof or some animator shenanigans, we can't call the claim "True" or "False." I think the reasonable answer is the goof one, but it would be dishonest to say for certain one way or the other. Which is exactly what Snopes did, and does on a regular basis.
This does, however, give me an excuse to make another comic, and to point out that I will be posting them here from now on rather than over at comics.nyquil.org. (I don't make them nearly often enough to warrant a dedicated site for them. Plus, nobody knows comics.nyquil.org exists. Here, at least, people might see them.)
Without further ado, here's how I imagine this merger of loves:
(Please excuse the shoddy workmanship. I spent FOREVER trying to get the Transformer bits to "bulge" out of the jacket, ultimately painting it all by hand with my trackball. Robot bulgy bits are HARD. By the time I got it halfway bulgy I just didn't have the heart anymore for the boring "make it not look like ass" part. I'm pretty pleased with how I was able to "pose" Optimus, but saddened that you can't really tell after I covered him all up and painted all over him. Optimus source. Optimus re-posed.)