Thursday, November 27, 2008

Who Are These People?

When I was in junior high, I discovered SNL. My favorite things on the show were the commercial spoofs. The best usually featured Phil Hartman as some smooth salesman. One of his commercials was for a car that was luxury on the inside and jalopy on the outside.

Well, I think I've discovered a subculture within the Volkswagen enthusiast community who have taken this idea to the next level. It's a unique take on the concept of a sleeper. Basically you find a crummy old Rabbit or Golf, pimp out the engine and the interior, then trash the exterior and strap a bunch of old luggage on the roof rack. And voilĂ ! You've got yourself a super rad junker that'll take almost anything off the line. Seriously, if you know who these people are or what this type of VDub is called, lemme know!

Monday, November 24, 2008

To All You Coldplay Haters Out There...

On Saturday, the Coldplays rocked the Energy Solutions Arena (a.k.a. The Delta Center) in a manner that would do the great Bono Vox proud. The tracks from their latest album Viva la Vida were the standouts of the evening. The entire arena was brought into the action, whether it be through performances from up in the stands, remixes of their own tunes out in the crowd or via a blizzard of billions and billions of butterflies being blown from the rafters.

The show was straight-up surreal in a very, very good way. Granted Chris and company skipped the junior college-sized venues and went straight on to grad school-sized arenas, but they wore it well. Here's the hottest number of the night.

PS: And yes, my non-sexual man-crush on Will the drummer is alive and well.

Thanks For The Blingage.

As promised, HabbenINK came through with some out-of-this-world blingage for the good ol' BMW 2002. Click here to enlarge the spacey goodness.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great Action + Good Design = Quantum of Solace

Two years ago, Casino Royale, the first installment of the Bond series reboot, ended with Daniel Craig’s rough and tumble Bond character capturing a mysterious man by the name of Mr. White. Fast forward to the now and we rejoin the action immediately thereafter within the opening moments of director Marc Forster’s follow-up—Quantum of Solace. It’s this very moment-to-moment, edge-of-your-seat mindset that makes this next flick in the new Bond series a winner.

Quantum is absolutely action packed. In fact, if I were to have any critique, it’s that there’s barely enough time to catch your breath. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Forster does a fantastic job of infusing drama and emotion into what otherwise could have been an adrenaline overload. Not to mention we finally get a proper car chase.

You may remember Marc Forster as the director of my 2006 Favorite Movie pick, Stranger Than Fiction. Well, he not only brought with him the same exceptional production value, he brought MK12 as well. MK12 is the motion graphics studio that executed all of the killer mograph in Stranger, they were also responsible for the gorgeous opening sequence in Quantum to the rad vocals of odd couple Alicia Keys and Jack White. You typophiles out there will totally dig the killer font choice and accompanying motion. You can see a music video of the Keys/White opening track, Another Way To Die, by clicking here. Though it's not the opening credits sequence, it's still a great little duet.

Speaking of typography, pay special attention to the location titles throughout the flick. Someone out there with some basic design sensibilities finally had the forethought to create some beautifully customized, superimposed typographic compositions for each of the locations in the movie. This simple, yet thoughtful detail adds volumes to the viewing experience.

Finally, what I love about this new Bond series is the genuine storytelling. What I mean is this. I have a friend who is a really good storyteller, mainly because he’s a top-notch exaggerator. When he repeats a series of events back to you, sure it’s very entertaining to listen to, but it becomes obvious that everything’s blown a bit out of proportion. I’d equate this to previous Bond series such as the Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan eras. With this new series on the other hand, it’s kind of like you’re hearing for the first time what really happened. And let’s face it there’s something intoxicating about hearing how it all actually went down.

PS: There's a killer new trailer for J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek movie, right before Quantum. Download it here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Killer Movie Poster

The documentary Dear Zachary tells the story of the 2001 murder of Dr. Andrew Bagby in a parking lot in western Pennsylvania. The prime suspect, his ex-girlfriend Dr. Shirley Turner, promptly fled the United States for St. John’s, Canada, where she announced that she was pregnant with Andrew’s child. She named the little boy Zachary.

Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne, Andrew’s oldest friend, began making a film for little Zachary as a way for him to get to know the father he’d never meet. But when Shirley Turner was released on bail in Canada and was given custody of Zachary while awaiting extradition to the U.S., the film’s focus shifted to Zachary’s grandparents, David & Kathleen Bagby, and their desperate efforts to win custody of the boy from the woman they knew had murdered their son. What happened next, no one ever could have foreseen… they commissioned a killer movie poster. Pun intended. Click here to enlarge the poster.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Long-term Update: MacBook Air

So it’s been just over 6 months since I first started rocking the MacBook Air and I think it’s about time to give a long-term update. Unfortunately, the news isn’t all that good. First, I’ve gotta say that obviously the Air’s design is top notch. Apple’s done an incredible job of designing a striking, stylish, compact computing machine. It’s ergonomic, it’s easy on the shoulder when in my messenger bag, and it’s beyond portable. The MacBook Air is the easily the leader in the ultra-compact category.

However, there are really two areas that I’m not so stoked on. The first is the straight-up hardware and performance. Unfortunately, I’ve already had to replace the Airport Card, antenna, and even the hard drive! Luckily the machine’s under an AppleCare plan and the doods at MacDocs had the foresight to do a quick Time Machine backup once the hard drive kicked back some unrecoverable errors.

Now I can understand a faulty piece of hardware, but I have to say, I’ve never had to restart, force quit, or watch the spinning-beach-ball-of-death more than with this machine. And this occurs frequently, even during basic browser surfing, or blogging. Yeah, it kinda gets old.

The other major struggle I’ve found is that this machine is from the future. Now it’s true that we’ve officially entered the future since we’ve now elected an African-American President, but the MacBook is apparently from an even more distant future. In the MacBook’s future, the internet is screaming fast, media can be compressed to miniscule sizes, and discs of any kind are non-existent. Though I look forward to this future, the fact of the matter is that it just isn’t here quite yet.

I’ve found myself continually flustered by my inability to rip a disc in a hassle-free manner. It’s currently very difficult to manage and transfer media files wirelessly. And unfortunately, most of the infrastructure outside of my office and home just isn’t Air-friendly and find myself defaulting to my iPhone more often than not.

The best part about the MacBook Air, is that it conjures up some serious wow-factor with clients, which is sweet. But more importantly, the Air is apparently the precursor to the new MacBooks. Prior to the Air, I at one point rocked the 12-inch PowerBook G4, and loved it. So if you’ve seen Jony Ive’s new 13-inch MacBook, I’m sure you can guess what my next computer will be!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Go Vote.

I don't care who you're for. Just go vote. But look at this rad fixie by Tristan Eaton.