Friday, December 19, 2008

Cinema Memoir #38

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (May 24th, 1989)

The epitome of total awesomeness! The first ad I saw for this movie was not a standard trailer about the movie, but rather a trailer about the making of the movie. What better way to strengthen my interest in filmmaking? Plus Harrison Ford stapled his fedora to his head, come on!

I do remember getting really nervous at the beginning of the movie when I saw some strange man (not Harrison Ford) wearing the fedora and leather jacket. I thought maybe they had recast Indy or something, but it didn't take me long to figure out what was going on.

Also, I remember the moment when Sean Connery stepped into the frame for the first time in the movie and the audience applauded. That was the first time I ever witnessed an audience react to a movie like that.

Watching this movie in the theater is one of my favorite cinematic memories of all time, and Indiana Jones remains my favorite character of the silver screen.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cinema Memoir #37

Pet Sematary (April 21st, 1989)

One of the most memorable movies I ever saw in the theater - partly because it's fairly well made, but mostly because it was absolutely terrifying. The walking dead people didn't phase me in the least bit, but the scene where Gage got hit by the semi truck scarred me for life.

My mom took both me and my brother to see this movie in 1989. I was 9 years old - 4th grade, mind you. In retrospect she's convinced herself that she was a terrible mother and totally regrets having taken us, but I reassured her that she was a great mother and was, in fact, dealing with 2 manipulative masterminds at the time.

My big brother - 4 years the elder - was a big Stephen King fan as a kid, which inherently made me a big Stephen King fan, as I had to imitate everything he ever did. Being the youngest has many benefits - I always got to do big kid stuff.

So when it came to watching a Stephen King movie in the theater he and I combined our efforts and succeed, and I've got the scars to prove it. Not the "I'll never watch another horror movie again" kinda scar - but more like a Jaws "Let's drink to our legs" kinda scar.

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Digital Painting

I figured I'd post some of my more recent artwork. These are some of my first digital paintings. All of these were created using Corel Painter and a Wacom tablet.

This is an unfinished digital portrait that I started
about 2 years ago. I doubt I will ever finish it.

This digital landscape was an exercise I did while
experimenting with Corel's brush library.

This was another Corel warm up exercise. Just some clouds.

Copyright © 2009 Matthew J Killian All Rights Reserved
The images and content in this post are protected

Cinema Memoir #36

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (March 10th, 1989)

Apparently I kicked off 1989 with this masterpiece. This was when it became very clear to me that never again was I going to see another 'quality' Police Academy movie like the one's I grew up watching.

Did I really just write that?

Yes! Police Academy, as stupid as the series might have been, was an important part of my childhood - This movie, however, was not.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cinema Memoir #35

Cocoon: The Return (November 23rd, 1988)

It's funny that I wanted to see Cocoon: The Return in the theater, considering that, at the time, I hadn't even seen the first Cocoon. What can I say, I liked movies about aliens.

This movie wasn't too bad. It's didn't live up to the first Cocoon, but it seemed to deliver pretty well as family flick.

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Cinema Memoir #34

Scrooged (November 23rd, 1988)

I really hated this movie when I saw it. I wanted to like it. It had some funny parts. But boy was I bored and oddly depressed in the theater that day.

I think I get more enjoyment out of it now that I'm older, but not much.

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Cinema Memoir #33

Ernest Saves Christmas (November 11th, 1988)

I didn't see Ernest Goes to Camp in the theater, but I must have rented it a thousand times on video, so when Ernest Saves Christmas came out I was really excited, but it didn't have as strong an impact as its predecessor.

Ok, these two movies really aren't that great in retrospect, but they're a billion times better than the Ernest movies that followed. Even as a kid I would have agreed.

If I've learned anything from the Ernest movies, it's that he's a catalyst hero. Throughout the movies he pretty much stays the same, but when others cross his path their lives tend to change.

As far as my experience with Ernest Saves Christmas - I remember watching the trailers on TV more than watching the actual movie. It's probably been 15 years since I've seen it. Perhaps it's time to watch it again.

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Cinema Memoir #32

Mac and Me (August 12th, 1988)

. . . or E.T. on Coke and McDonald's.

I'm embarrassed to say that I liked this movie when I saw it. I suppose I'm a sucker for terrible movie ripoff's. Then again, I was only 8 years old.

This movie was a marketing nightmare. I highly recommend watching it if you want to learn how not to market a movie.

"Mac" actually stood for "Mysterious Alien Creature". Apparently they were intending to make a sequel, because there's a title card at the end of the movie that said "We'll Be Back!" I wonder why they never did. I've waited 20 years and have yet to be revisited by another Mysterious Alien Creature.

Oh well, I suppose it's for the best.

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Cinema Memoir #31

The Blob (August 5th, 1988)

This was a fun movie. It was another family movie adventure and another early R rated viewing experience. By this time I was total loving horror movies so watching this movie in the theater was a lot of fun.

I had seen the original 1958 black and white version prior to seeing this one and was not expecting it to be quite so violent and horrific, so of course I was pleasantly surprised.

Don't get me wrong, this movie is kind of cheesy, but for 1988 it was totally awesome. It also has some really good cinematic pacing.

It was around this time that the turnaround time between theatrical and video release was tightening up. I remember being shocked to find The Blob on the new release shelf at my local video store so soon after its theatrical release.

Just a fun fact about this movie - One of the screen writers was Frank Darabont, the director of The Shawshank Redemption and the Green Mile. He also wrote an early script for Indiana Jones 4.

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Cinema Memoir #30

Young Einstein (August 4th, 1988)

When I saw this movie I really didn't like it too much. I enjoyed the slapstick because I was 8. I laughed at the jokes, but only because my big brother was laughing at them. The humor was totaly over my head.

The only thing that really stuck with my was the scene when he split the beer atom (he he he, see I laugh now) and blew up the shed, then came running up to the house, burnt to a crisp and looking like an Australian Aborigine.

I watched this movie again about a month again and found myself laughing at the jokes without the assistance of my big brother.

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Cinema Memoir #29

Short Circuit 2 (July 6th, 1988)

Los Lobos kick your ass,
Los Lobos kick your face,
Los Lobos kick your balls into outer-space!

I was 8. It was fun. What more can I say.

I believe, no matter how good or bad a movie might be, there is always something that can be learned from it (although, in some cases, you do have to look very hard). It could be a moral from the story, a lesson of what not to do as a filmmaker, or perhaps something as simple as discovering a unique or interesting way to deliver a line of dialogue.

And yes, I did learn something from Shot Circuit 2. Johnny 5 is special because "Johnny 5 is alive". Nothing better illustrates this than the scene when Johnny 5 get's arrested and he's in his cell reading Frankenstein. What's awesome about this scene is the fact that, rather than speed reading the book just to obtain input- like he does with every other book in the movie - he's reading it slowly and actually relating to the story.

This scene probably doesn't make this movie any better, but to have made an emotional imprint on an 8 year old who just wanted to see a funny robot movie was an accomplishment.

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Cinema Memoir #28

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (June 22nd, 1988)

This movie marked a major turning point in my life. I was 8 and was really beginning to become interested in special effects and how movies were made.

Again, another family movie night, and this one really stuck with me forever. What can I say, Roger Rabbit was, and still is, a really great movie.

A year after Roger Rabbit was released the Disney MGM Studios opened. We took a vacation there that very year - I was 9 at the time. I was so wrapped up in the experience that, when we visited toon town, I actually convinced myself (for a split second) that real toons would be walking around the park, just like in the movie. I was at the age when such things still seemed possible.

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