Film Review: “The Art of Racing in the Rain”

  • THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
  • Starring:  Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried and Kevin Costner
  • Directed by: Simon Curtis
  • Rated:  PG
  • Running time:  1 hr 49 mins
  • 20th Century Fox

There are two kinds of people in this world.  Dog people (guilty) and cat people.  Dog people, please continue reading.

Meet Enzo.  He is an older dog that has lived an amazing life.  And, if you have a couple of hours to spare, he’ll share his story with you.  Enzo (voiced perfectly by Kevin Costner) is chosen as a pup by Denny Swift (Ventimiglia), a race car trainer who aspires to one day drive in Formula One races.  As the years progress, the two are inseparable, sharing adventures both behind the wheel and at home,   Things get complicated when Denny meets Eve (Seyfried) and even more so when they have a daughter, Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong).  Eve’s parents, played by Kathy Baker and Martin Donovan, are well off and not happy with their son-in-law’s profession.  Denny has begun to get some racing gigs, but they take him away from home for prolonged periods.  Things get worse when Eve becomes sick.  Can Enzo save the day?

An entertaining film that’s light on plot points, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is the kind of film Walt Disney would make in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s (think “The Shaggy Dog”), though without such a dramatic backdrop.  Ventimiglia – in the Disney version Denny would be played by Fred MacMurray – does his best with the material he’s given.  I must admit that I’m really only familiar with Ventimiglia as Rocky, Jr. in “Rocky Balboa” and “Creed II.”  I didn’t watch “Heroes” and, though my wife loves the show, I don’t watch “This is Us.”  Considering a lot of his role is playing off of what Enzo is doing, he does a good job portraying a man who loves both his family and the art of going fast.  Seyfried is fine in a very one-dimensional role, making the best out of what she’s been given.  But the true star here is Costner.  He’s always had the kind of voice that you wish your next “Book on Tape” comes with.  It’s his story and he tells it with panache! 

Win Passes to the Kansas City screening of “The Art of Racing in the Rain”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at the Walt Disney Company to give (50) readers and a guest the opportunity to attend the advance screening of the new film “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”

The screening will be held on Thursday, August 1, 2019 at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas. The show will begin at 7:00 pm.

All you have to do to attend is click HERE. The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended. Enjoy the show!!

Book Review “The Art of Toy Story 4”

“Toy Story” is a franchise that started Pixar and continues to win the hearts of audiences over 20 years. With the recent release of the latest installment, “Toy Story 4”, that means a new art of book has been released. I still have my “The Art of Toy Story 3” and was just looking through it recently, which is still one of my favorites. This book dives right into the movie and behind-the-scenes content including great concept art, landscapes and character development over the film’s development. If you are of fan of these book and the “Toy Story” franchise, I would definitely recommend checking this out!

Page 4-5 John Lee, digital painting [Bo Peep & Woody]

Official Synopsis: With a story that’s spanned more than 20 years, the adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the gang have captured the hearts of millions. The Art of Toy Story 4 invites readers to explore the next installment of Pixar’s beloved franchise through never-before-seen concept art, character studies, process animation, storyboards, colorscripts, and more. Featuring exclusive interviews with the production team on the making of the film and insights into their creative vision, The Art of Toy Story 4 reveals the vivid imagination that brought this story to life.

“The Art of Toy Story 4” kicks off with a solid introduction from Josh Cooley, who actually directed “Toy Story 4”. Josh also directed “Riley’s First Date”, which was a short film following the film “Inside Out”. He also worked as a story artist on the Academy Award®-winning films The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Up, and Golden Globe®-winning Cars, and served as the story supervisor on Academy Award®-winning Inside Out. I personally was a bigger fan of “Toy Story 3” in terms of favorite films in the franchise but I do feel like he gives a lot of heart to “Toy Story 4” and delivers a solid film.

Pages 108-109 John Lee, digital painting [Buzz at amusement park]

Closing out the book there is a great foreword from the incomparable Annie Potts, who voices ‘Bo Peep’ in “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2”, and returns in “Toy Story 4”. She has appeared in numerous feature films including the “Ghostbusters” franchise, Pretty in Pink, and Corvette Summer for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination. I enjoyed this foreword and it is a great ending to the book given great insight into the role and her involvement with the film. Overall the book is another hit for Chronicle Books, they have been extremely consistent with their “Art of” books and never disappoint.

Pages 124-125 Deanna Marsigliese, digital [Bunny concept art]

…AND JUSTICE FOR ART: STORIES ABOUT HEAVY METAL ALBUM COVERS – VOLUME 2: Available Now

New Art Book Featuring Amorphis, Metallica, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Behemoth, Judas Priest, Opeth, Obituary, And More

Veteran metal/rock journalist, Ramón “Oscuro” Martos, has finally published his eagerly awaited metal art book, …AND JUSTICE FOR ART: STORIES ABOUT HEAVY METAL ALBUM COVERS – VOLUME 2. This one-of-a-kind collection of graphics and stories reveals all the particulars behind the making of now-legendary album art including Slayer’s Hell Awaits, Judas Priest’s Screaming For Vengeance, Morbid Angel’s Altars Of Madness, Metallica’s Death Magnetic, Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell, Queensrÿche’s Operation: Mindcrime, Emperor’s In The Nightside Eclipse, Death’s The Sound Of Perseverance, Type Of Negative’s Bloody Kisses, Carcass’ Surgical Steel, Amorphis’ Tales From The Thousand Lakes, Soulfly’s Archangel, Behemoth’s The Satanist, Opeth’s Sorceress, and many others. 

The stories behind these iconic works are told through more than one-hundred exclusive interviews with metal icons like Max Cavalera (Soulfly), Jeff Walker (Carcass), Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer), K.K. Downing (ex-Judas Priest), Satyr (Satyricon), David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Luc Lemay (Gorguts), Ihsahn (Emperor), Paul Mazurkiewicz (Cannibal Corpse), Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed), and so many more. Additionally, the collection features insightful interviews with legendary illustrators such as Eliran Kantor, Dan Seagrave, Travis Smith, Valnoir, and Costin Chioreanu, who also designed the book’s stunning front cover. 

“This new book features 252 color pages and more than 400 images. It provides firsthand information about hundreds of graphics, which are presented in extremely high quality,” Ramon Oscuro comments. “Although this is a direct continuation of the first volume published in 2015, it’s also a true standalone book. Readers will be able to discover images and stories that haven’t been published until now. This volume is the product of three years of intense work and insightful research. Working on it was an amazing experience.” 

Several musicians have expressed their enthusiasm for the …AND JUSTICE FOR ART book series. Soulfly’s Max Cavalera — who penned the new book’s foreword — has thanked the author, “for helping to keep alive the ritual of the album cover.” Vltimas/ex-Morbid Angel frontman, David Vincent crowned …AND JUSTICE FOR ART, “a historical document about the importance of metal album covers.” Cattle Decapitation vocalist Travis Ryan proclaims, “this is exactly what the music world needs to remind us how important album covers have been to all of us that grew up surrounding ourselves with physical media.” 

…AND JUSTICE FOR ART – VOLUME 2 was funded through a successful crowdfunding campaign launched by Oscuro via Indiegogo. The current edition is limited to 300 copies and is exclusively available at THIS LOCATION. Each copy is personally signed by the author.View the book’s teaser video at THIS LOCATION.

Romantic Rock Announces Third Annual Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show

Romantic Rock Announces Third Annual
Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show
Opening Night Reception on Saturday, December 15 in Los Angeles, CA

Exhibition to Showcase Pieces From Artists In The Music Community
Including Matt Skiba, Hunter Burgan, Soma Snakeoil,
Steve Caballero, Natalia Fabia, Matt Hensley and more!

Romantic Rock is pleased to announce that their Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show will be returning to Los Angeles, CA for its third year. Celebrating the fine art of creatives who share a passion for both music and art, Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show will feature artwork from Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio and Blink-182, Hunter Burgan of AFI, Soma Snakeoil, Warren Fitzgerald of The Vandals, Matt Hensley of Flogging Molly, Carla Harvey of Butcher Babies, Jennie Cotterill of Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds, Mike Gallo of Agnostic Front, professional skateboarders Steve Caballero of The Faction, Mike Smith, and Christian Hosoi, artists Natalia Fabia, Paul Kobriger, The Mad Twins: Olya & Vira Ishchuk, Chris Shary and photographer Madison Stern. Each artist will have multiple original pieces, prints, and much more.

The opening night and artist reception will occur on Saturday, December 15th at Innerspace Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles. From 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. the Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show will feature music throughout the night from resident DJs and special guest DJs including Noodles of The Offspring, Monique Powell of Save Ferris, Stacey Dee-J of Bad Cop / Bad Cop, and more! The event will also boast a full cocktail bar provided by Bulleit, a coffee cart, red carpet, photo booth, and more. This event is free and open to all ages, but RSVP is required. To RSVP, please visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/punk-rock-paintbrushes-2018-tickets-51212566164

Emily T. Nielsen, founder of both Romantic Rock and Punk Rock & Paintbrushes says, “Punk Rock & Paintbrushes is an incredible event to showcase these talented individuals through art and photography. We are taking their talent from the stage to the walls and showcasing it to the world. I am excited to work with each of these artists to support their art in our punk rock ways.”

“Last year’s Punk Rock & Paintbrushes event was amazing so when they asked if I wanted to DJ again this year I jumped at it,” says Noodles of The Offspring. “There’s going to be even more artists showing their work this year, and I’ll be DJing with Monique Powell and Stacy Dee. Great people, great art, and great music. It’s gonna be a blast.”

Butcher Babies vocalist Carla Harvey adds, “I love being a part of the Punk Rock & Paintbrushes family because of the sheer variety of art involved. You’ll find a fine art oil painting next to one of my glistening copic marker vaginas. The juxtaposition is what art is all about.”

A look at last year’s Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/249004910/adc8080569

Punk Rock & Paintbrushes will also be donating 10% of all sales during their December 15 opening night reception to The Sidewalk Project, a Los Angeles non-profit whose initiative is to enrich the lives of the Los Angeles’ houseless community. Through various mediums including art, music and film, The Sidewalk Project aims to be socially active in houseless communities around the world. They work directly on the street to share in a sense of connection and well-being. A video providing a more intimate look at The Sidewalk Project can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLMoZm9ddCA

Funds donated from the Punk Rock & Painbrushes Holiday Art Show will go directly to the streets and also assist with providing the art mural to Skid Row the very next day, working with houseless artists and the community at the “Holiday Sidewalk Party.” Punk Rock & Paintbrushes will also be raffling off a collaborative art piece created by PRPB artists, with all profits to benefit The Sidewalk Project. More information on the “Holiday Sidewalk Party” on December 16 can be found at: www.instagram.com/The_Sidewalk_Project

The Innerspace Gallery is located in downtown Los Angeles at 110 Winston Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. The Punk Rock & Paintbrushes group art exhibition will also be open on Sunday, December 16 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sponsors for Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show include: KROQ, Bulleit, Stickevape, The Sidewalk Project, and Romantic Rock.

For more information, visit:
https://www.instagram.com/punkrockandpaintbrushes
https://www.instagram.com/romanticrock/
http://romanticrock.net/

Sean Yseult Teams with Boyd Gallery and Art for Arts Sake to Present New Photography Series “They All Axed For You”

The Boyd Satellite Gallery in conjunction with Art for Arts Sake, is proud to present artist Sean Yseult’s new photography series They All Axed For You. The new photographs serve as both a love letter and birthday gift for the City of New Orleans on the anniversary of it’s Tricentennial. The inspiration for this show began with this love of Nola, and some very strong images Ms. Yseult saw in her dreams. The show is on display October 2nd – October 31st with an Artist’s Reception October 6th.

One image titled Procession depicts Audubon Zoo animals lined up in pairs on a path through the large Live Oaks. In a dream that came to the artist the day after her mother passed away, the two of them were walking through the animals in the park, as though guided by a light.

Another image, Elephants Storming the Mississippi was also dreamt first – elephants slowly and determinedly trudging through the river in a somewhat ominous manner. Once realizing that these images occurred in two of the Artist’s favorite and most iconic spots of New Orleans, this concept became the basis of the show: the beasts of the Audubon Zoo have a day pass and are hanging out in all of Ms. Yseult’s favorite iconic spots. The show is the perfect way to marry her tribute to the Tri Centennial, her favorite locations in New Orleans for settings, and some colorful local characters for models.

In addition, the Boyd Satellite Gallery will be home to some of Ms. Yseult’s colorful design work, through her new Wallpaper Series acting as backdrop to the photos.

Sean Yseult is best known as the bass player from the multi-platinum, twice Grammy-nominated band White Zombie. Sean spent her formative years at the North Carolina School of the Arts studying ballet and earned a BFA in Photography and Design at Parsons School of Design NYC.

Upon White Zombie’s breakup, she moved to New Orleans and began showing her photography. This is Ms. Yseult’s fourth solo art exhibition series. Her previous work has been shown in solo shows in New Orleans, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and can be viewed by visiting www.seanyseult.com. In 2010 her autobiographical photo-book I’m In The Band was published (Soft Skull Press). Photos in the 2nd gallery continue the exhibition with Backstage: Rock Shots by Sean Yseult, including the Ramones, Pantera, and the Cramps.

Book Review “The Art and Making of Pacific Rim Uprising”

Author: Daniel Wallace
Foreword: Steven S. DeKnight
Hardcover: 156 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
April 3, 2018

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I see a specific movie is getting the “Art and Making of” treatment, I always get excited to get to see the film from another view but I get more excited when it is being released by Insight Editions. Insight always gives their releases a little extra. They have fold out posters or little index cards glued to pages to lift and reveal more info, I really enjoy this “gimmick”, if you want to call it that. This adds a whole new interactive level to the book. Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of this film but the book does do the film justice and it is a must have for fans for sure!

“Pacific Rim: Uprising” is a big movie and has a lot of great detail that is showcased in this book and allows you to go deeper into the mythology and world of that the movie continues from the 2013 Guillermo del Toro directed predecessor. If you are looking to be transported behind the scenes and right into the middle of the epic battle between Kaiju and Jaegers then pick up “The Art and Making of Pacific Rim Uprising” because it delivers that…and then on the next page gives blueprints on the robots and CGI breakdown and showcases the beautiful concept art from the film. This book was a page turner for sure or rather hard to turn to the next page because their was so much to look at in detail in each page!

Got excited (and a bit concerned) for a minute that this book was authored by Daniel Wallace, the author of “Big Fish”, which was made into a movie by Tim Burton…but same name different guy. This Daniel Wallace is definitely still the right man for this book. I am well aware of his work in books “Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual History” and “Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History”, which is another amazing book from Insight Editions. Even though, I didn’t love the movie I still really enjoyed the book. The sequel’s director, Steven S. DeKnight, gives a good foreword as well and give wrap-up and I did how he came as a fan of the series to end up directing the next film. This book is jam packed with great images and content. check it fans of “Pacific Rim”.

Explore the OASIS Like Never Before In Insight Editions’ “The Art of Ready Player One”

Explore the OASIS Like Never Before In The Art of Ready Player One
Written by Gina McIntyre
Foreword by Steven Spielberg
Introduction by Ernest Cline

On March 29, director Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated new film Ready Player One hits theaters. Based on Ernest Cline’s best-selling novel of the same name, Ready Player One is a sci-fi adventure set in an expansive virtual reality universe. While the dystopian world lies on the brink of chaos and collapse in 2045, people have found salvation in the OASIS, the virtual reality universe created by James Halliday. When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune in the form of a digital Easter egg hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero Wade Watts, joins the contest, he embarks on a reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical world of action, danger, and mystery.

The Art of Ready Player One (Insight Editions / April 3, 2018 / $45.00) created in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, delves into the creation of this world, showing how Spielberg realized Cline’s hugely imaginative vision, adding new twists on the original story and populating the OASIS with a vast array of pop culture references and fan-favorite characters. Featuring interviews with key contributors, including Spielberg, Cline, and production designer Adam Stockhausen, this deluxe book showcases the breathtaking designs for each element of the OASIS and the dystopian real-world future of 2045. Featuring a foreword from Spielberg and introduction from Cline, The Art of Ready Player One is an unforgettable journey into the OASIS and the creative minds that brought it to life.

About Ready Player One:
Spielberg directed Ready Player One from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on the book by Cline. The film was produced by Donald De Line, Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah, with Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris deFaria and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers. Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen, with Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Amblin Entertainment present, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, an Amblin Production, a De Line Pictures Production, a Steven Spielberg Film, Ready Player One. Slated for release on Thursday, March 29, 2018, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. This film has been rated PG-13. readyplayeronemovie.com

 

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Book Review “The Art of Moana”

Series: Art of
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books
November 15, 2016

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Let me start with the fact that “Moana” is my favorite film of 2016. It is a beautiful movie with beautiful songs. The colors are just jaw-dropping and the design is a work of art. “The Art of Moana” is the latest title from Chronicle Books that dives into the stunning artwork going behind-the-scenes in “Moana” with some outstanding character designs, storyboards, colorscripts, and much more. If you loved this film then this book will only make you love it more

Official Film Premise: Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world ventured across the Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped—and no one today knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios, Moana is a CG-animated adventure about a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui and together they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed adventure, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds.

When I see that Chronicle is releasing a new Art of Book, I go wild because they really know how to put together an amazing book. I really enjoyed the exploration of what was or could have been in this book and how certain characters and aspects of the film have developed over the years. Other than just the photos, the text in the book delivers a nice story to complement them and educate you on the process as well. This movie is simply beautiful and the book is a perfect companion to the film.

 

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Book Review “The Art of Trolls”

Author: Jerry Schmitz
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Cameron + Company
Release Date: October 11, 2016

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

If you had seen the movie “Trolls”, it is colorful and a ton of fun! I know that the “Art of” book would have to be equally as filled with color and excitement to make me happy…and it was and more! Looking through this book each page explodes with energy and vivid color. I was cracking up as my 4 year old looked with me and was making comments on all the other designs for each character on whether she liked them or not. I was actually able to share this with her because she already knows and loves this film and its characters. Highly recommended if you enjoyed the film and looking for an inside look into the making of process

Official Premise: Based on the popular troll dolls created by Thomas Dam, Trolls is a 3-D computer-animated musical comedy from DreamWorks Animation, directed by Mike Mitchell (Shrek Forever After). Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is an upbeat, if slightly naïve, Troll who inherits her crown on the day her people face the first challenge that can’t be solved with a song or a hug. Accompanied by Branch (Justin Timberlake), they venture out on a quest that tests their strength. Full of playful designs, The Art of Trolls showcases hundreds of pieces of concept and production art to illustrate how DreamWorks’ team of talented artists created an enchanting reinterpretation of the Trolls phenomenon that has gripped popular culture for decades.

The author of the book is Jerry Schmitz, who is no stranger to Art of books. He has done previously “The Art and Making of the Peanuts Movie”, which coincidentally was another that I shared (and loved) with my daughter last year. He also authored “The Art of Shrek Forever After”, which is cool be because the director of “Trolls”, Mike Mitchell, also directed “Shrek Forever After”, so that is a cool connection between those titles and films. Jerry delivers a great combination of art and making of with this book and delivers a book that not only adults but also kids as well.

 

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“Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years” Lands at New York’s Paley Center

September 16- “Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years”,  which made its debut at this year’s San Diego Comic Con opens up to New York fans today at the Paley Center for Media in midtown. The exhibition, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek television series, features fifty pieces from ten nations as well as tie-in fan screenings and whimsical photo ops sure to please the Trekkies of Manhattan. Noteworthy amongst the art on display is a piece of the famous Vulcan salute by none other than the late Leonard Nimoy himself.

Work by Leonard Nimoy

To my eyes, Spock looks to be favored character by the show’s artists, including a digital illustration from Stanley Chow whom I spoke with at the exhibition preview:

Where are you from?
Stanley Chow: I’m from Manchester England.

What Inspired you to choose Spock?

SC: I think like when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s and then watching reruns of Star Trek, the first person I kind of looked up to was Spock. He seemed like the more intelligent one and slightly different. I guess with me it was–when I was growing up, I was the only Chinese boy in the village, you always kind of–I felt you needed someone different to look up to and aspire to, you know? And Spock was always the one, with his cool, calm, collected demeanor. And his pointy ears.

Artist Stanley Chow with his work

Do you have a favorite Spock moment?
SC: There’s not been a favorite moment, but I’ve always liked the kind of relationship he had with Uhura. You know? It was never kind of like a fully fledged relationship. It was always kind of like an underlying thing…Which was sort of my life with lots of girls when I was growing up.

Do you enjoy Zachary Quinto’s take on the character?
SC: Oh, I think he’s amazing! When he was picked, obviously he was off of “Heroes”…And then once he puts the ears on and he does his thing [in the] movies, he’s the only actor–it’s sounds kind of cliché to say he’s the only actor who could do Spock but he’s done it so well but that’s why it’s become a cliché isn’t it?

Head of CBS consumer products, Liz Kalodner was also on hand to celebrate the opening.

Do you have a Star Trek favorite character?
Liz Kalodner: Well Captain Kirk is the classic, c’mon! Although I have to say, Captain Janeway [From Star Trek: Voyager], also pretty good.

Do you enjoy the new film franchise?
LK: Oh, absolutely. i think JJ Abrams has done a wonderful job. It’s brought in a new, younger audience, and really has given the franchise great energy.
As you’re from consumer products, I noticed you’ve got a fictional cereal here in the exhibit, is that a favorite item?

LK: Yeah! So that’s by an artist named Juan Ortiz who loved Star Trek from when he was a kid and actually had that idea when he was a child. And he always wanted to do it. And I don’t know if you saw the back but there are cutouts, trading cards, because cereal boxes always had you know, the free in-pack or on-pack, so he created that.

Since Star Trek is coming back to TV are you getting ready with your department for that?
LK: We are getting ready! We’re working with showrunner but it’s all in the development stage. But it’s a wonderful time to be in the Star Trek business.

“Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years'” brief stop in NYC concludes on September 25th. Details on the Paley Center’s screenings to coincide with the exhibit can be found here.

The Paley Center for Media is located at 25 West 52nd Street.

Book Review “The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road”

Author: Abbie Bernstein
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: May 19, 2015

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is easily one of the best films to date for 2015. When you watch this film it is like watching a video game live action. You can also see in the film that there is very little visual effects in this film and a lot of practical effects were used. I couldn’t wait to dive into the making of book for this film. Kicked off with an amazing foreword by creator/director George Miller. This guy is extremely passionate about “Mad Max” and this intro really gets you in the mood for this.  “The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road” is another winner from Titan Books.

Official Film Premise: Max Rockatansky returns. Haunted by his turbulent past, the wandering Road Warrior becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. Seeking escape from the tyranny of Immortan Joe, what follows is a high-octane Road War – and a chance for redemption.

“The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road” is jam packed with super high res production stills, some really cool behind-the-scenes photos and my favorite concept art. You can tell that a lot of planning and details went into making this film and it is well represented here in this book. They deliver another winner. Author, Abbie Bernstein knows here making of books having worked on “Fantastic 4: The Making of the Movie”, “The Guild: The Official Companion” and “The Cabin in the woods: Official Visual Companion”. She really sums up what any reader is looking for after soaking in this crazy film. A must read for any “Mad Max” fan!

 

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Book Review “The Art of Inside Out”

Series: The Art of
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Personally Disney•Pixar really hasn’t WOWed me recently with their sequel/prequels from “Cars 2” to “Monsters University”, it is really excited to see them going back to an original movie like “Inside Out”, especially with Academy Award-winning director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Up”) taking lead. This film looks to be one of the best projects to come out the doors of the studio recently. This film really looks to examines the depths of the mind and the powers of emotion and imagination. In terms of “Art of” books, this one is a one of the better to come from the Disney series.

Official Premise: Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

“The Art of Inside Out” gives the reader an exclusive inside look into the hard work that went into the making of this vibrant film. It features tons of eye-catching and very colorful concept art including sketches, collages, color scripts. There is also a great foreword by actress Amy Poehler and also an introduction by the film’s writer and director Pete Docter. Actually speaking of text, there is not much text here at all, which is a big of a minus but the tons of great photos really make up for that shortage. Now the only problem after reading this book is that I want to see this movie 100% times more now! Can’t wait!

Event Review “Festival of Trees: Tis the Season” Orlando Museum of Art

Entering its 28th year, the Council of 101’s Festival of Trees kicked off the holiday season in Central Florida with this year’s holiday event “Tis the Season.” For a few weeks, the Orlando Museum of Art become a winter wonderland filled with designer decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses, which are also all for sale BTW. If you have never been to a Festival of Trees event, you are missing out. The wife and I have been going since around 1999 and this year was one of the first years that our two year old daughter was able to attend and really enjoy it. This year the event runs from November 15 – 23, 2014, 10am – 5pm daily. If you are looking for a fun holiday event, this is a nice day out.

It is isn’t all just look at trees though at this event, there are tons of other holiday shopping available in the Festival Boutique, drawings for various prizes and a fantastic Toyland Town activity area and shop for the children, which is great when you have a two year old. Mostly importantly the jolly red man himself, Santa, is there to meet the kids and take pictures for free. This is not just a department store Santa, this guy was the real deal. My daughter probably sat on his knee actually chatting with him for quite a while. Plus, there is also face painting and free holiday tattoos for kids.

Compared to the Festival Of Trees that we have attending in the past in New York, this is a definitely a little more cultural and upper class since it takes place at the Orlando Museum of Art. I will use the word “arty”. But it is a still a good event. The admission is a little high personally $10 Adult and $6 Child (ages 3-11) but it also includes admission to current Orlando Museum of Art exhibitions including Lamar Peterson: Suburbia Sublime and David Rathman: Stand By Your Accidents.

Last time I attending this event at the Orlando Museum of Art, it was a little bit different. In the main room, it was transformed in a Christmas world with a stage and band playing music through, there was also a band in the main hub hallway as well. This year, the main room had a more artistic feel to it, playing out more like the them of the art museum. Also before you leave be sure to stop by the Festival Café for some amazing food. This is not just quick service amusement park food. This is quality hand made sandwiches and salads. ‘Till next year!

 

 

 

 

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Book Review “Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo”

Author: Chris McDonnell
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Adventure Time” is a show like no other. I remember when I was a kid and “The Simpsons” used to be the show to watch. Now “Adventure Time” has taken that place with today’s kids/teens. This show is such a trip. That is really the only way to describe it. It is colorful, funky and totally out there…but I love it and I also love it’s animation. “Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo” is a beast of a book running over 350 pages. This page is no joke at all. If you are a fan of this show and want an inside look behind-the-scenes, this is the book you are going to want! FIST PUMP!

Official Premise: Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo is the first book to take fans behind the scenes of Finn the Human’s and Jake the Dog’s adventures in the post-apocalyptic, magical land of Ooo. Packed to the seams with concept art and storyboards, this lavishly illustrated tome offers an all-access pass into the Emmy Award–winning show team’s creative process. The Art of Ooo traces series creator Pendleton Ward’s early influences and work, then reveals how the writers, storyboarders, animators, and voice actors work in tandem to bring this wildly inventive series to life.

When I heard that “Adenture Time” was goign to be getting a companion book from Abrams, I knew that we were going to be in for a real treat. This book includes some great early character sketches, back­ground paintings and rare glimpses into the series’ show bible. It is a real visual guide to this show along with commentary from all the show’s key creative talent throughout. If you are just getting into this show or a fan from day 1, you will not be disappointed by this book, no question.

If you are going to get an author to do a book about a weird animated series, you have to get someone that understand’s weird and strange animation. Chris McDonnell has designed books on amazing and very unique animators like Ralph Bakshi and Bill Plympton and to me that sums up the definition of what is needed here. Plus too this book off with an outstanding introduction by Guillermo del Toro (“Hellboy”) and you have a guaranteed hit. I hope Abrams have future books planned for this series!

 

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