Random Factoid #360

23 07 2010

As I said recently in Random Factoid #351, I have become obsessed with listening to segments of NPR on my iPhone.  I heard a fantastic one yesterday called “The Lost Art of Credit Sequences.” Either click on the bolded link or on the picture to go to NPR’s site to listen to the segment.

If you listen, and I hope you do, you’ll hear Bob Mondello wonder why directors have moved away from really utilizing an opening credit sequence.  The two highest grossing movies of the last decade, “Avatar” and “The Dark Knight,” gave us virtually nothing – a helicopter shot of Pandora and a bat symbol emerging from blue flames.  So why is it that we just have to jump straight into the movie now?  The credits sequences are fun, and I always enjoy seeing a good one.

Really, the only director I can think of that still utilizes them well is Jason Reitman.  All three of his movies have done a great job setting the mood for what is to come, particularly the lovable “Juno.”  I can’t find a full YouTube link, but here’s the animation and the song.

I also really love the credits for “The Kingdom,” but here’s my all-time favorite: “Monsters, Inc.”

So what’s your favorite?  And why are they dying?

Random Factoid #322

15 06 2010

Back in Random Factoid #73, I manned up enough to say that I cry in movies occasionally. But what I didn’t tell you is what those movies were.

Now, 249 days later, I’m ready to reveal some of those movies. In keeping with the spirit of Pixar, you can probably guess what I’ll tell you.

Three Pixar movies have made me cry.

The song “When She Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2” makes me sob. It’s so beautiful and wonderfully done.

The climax of “Monsters, Inc.” – which I won’t ruin for those dumb enough not to have seen it – made me cry the first time, although I don’t think I’ve cried since.

And I pretty much cry the first and last 15 minutes of “Up.” The “Married Life” sequence at the beginning is so incredibly powerful that I cry earlier and earlier every time, anticipating the tragic end.

Random Factoid #321

14 06 2010

In celebration of the release of “Toy Story 3” on Friday, I’m going to try to make most of this week’s factoids tie in to Pixar movies somehow.

So, let’s begin.

Honestly, where have the Pixar outtakes gone?  Usually released two or three weeks after the movie originally came out, the outtakes provided me a reason to return to the movies – and I faithfully did.  The last time I remember them doing outtakes was for “Monsters, Inc.” back in 2001.

Maybe Pixar has just gotten too mature for them, or maybe the outtakes have found a nice place in the DVD extras.  But whatever the reason, I sincerely miss seeing them attached to the movie itself.  Maybe “Toy Story 3” will have them … although it looks like Pixar will be printing money with it.  They won’t need the outtakes to get people to come back.

Random Factoid #110

15 11 2009

Today’s factoid will again be building off the revelation of my former days of cutting the movie ads out of the newspaper and plastering them across my wall.

My favorite time of year to look at movie ads was always around the holidays.  I loved how the movies, particularly those aimed at children, altered their ads to fit the holiday season.  My personal favorite was for “Monsters, Inc.” with the one-eyed Mike Wazowski standing next to a snowman with instructions to construct one of your own.

Random Factoid #92

28 10 2009

Since my house became such a movie library, people often borrowed them from us.  I didn’t mind lending them, but I didn’t want to lose them forever.  I created a large Word document of our DVD library, including how many discs were in the case, the year, and a space to write to whom it was lent.  Yet despite all of my efforts, several great DVDs have been lost.  So, this factoid is a memorial to those discs, out there somewhere either in a new home or a landfill.

  • Legally Blonde
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • The Incredibles
  • Cars

Random Factoid #40

6 09 2009

I go through huge spurts of buying movies.  If you were to come take a look at my film library, you will see lots of movies from certain years and hardly any from others.

Starting a blog has spurred a new one.

My first big one was in 2001, when I started getting receiving money for birthday presents.  For my 9th birthday that year, I had also gotten a DVD player.  Naturally, I used all the money to buy DVDs.  If anyone likes kids movies from 2001 (other than “Shrek” and “Monsters, Inc,” which are classics), come on over.

I had another one in 2003, and I unfortunately report that I do not know the cause.  My AP U.S. History analysis skills are failing me when looking at my own life!

Then there was a lull where I didn’t buy many DVDs for a long time, only buying the movies that were really special.  But now I’m filling in the gaps and picking up where I left off.

Random Factoid #19

16 08 2009

It should come as no surprise to you that I had several birthday parties when I was younger at the movies.  Here is what I remember about each of them.

Age 5 – 1997: The movie was “Rocket Man,” which I have seen snippets of since and I now realize is one of the dumbest movies ever made.  I don’t remember specifics about the party itself, but I do remember that we had it at the now defunct Meyerland Cinema in Houston.

Age 7 – 1999: The movie was “Toy Story 2,” which is still one of my all-time favorites.  We hosted it at the AMC Studio 30 theater, and I remember that we got to go upstairs, which is restricted to the general public, to the special party room.  The only other thing particularly memorable was that one of my friends had to leave in the first five minutes because he was terrified by Buzz Lightyear on his own planet (which turned out to be Rex playing a video game).  And he was one of the tough kids,

Age 8 – 2000: The movie was “The Grinch,” which disgraces the name of Dr. Seuss.  It was our first party at the new Edwards Greenway Palace 24 theater, and we organized the party through them.  It turned out to be a very bad decision.  They promised to reserve us a row, but they didn’t tell us it would be the FRONT ROW in front of a large rail.  And to make things worse, there was a screaming baby next to us.

Age 9 – 2001: The movie was “Monsters, Inc.,” another classic.  We did the party at Edwards Greenway Palace 24 again, but we didn’t organize it through them.  I remember having a fit because I wanted to have the party on the movie’s first day, but someone else sent out invites for a party that day before I did.

Age 13 – 2005: The movie was “Man of the Year,” a pretty bad one.  I was 13 and dying to go out and see a PG-13 movie despite the fact that anyone can get into one without being 13.  I had 4 friends to my house, and against my better judgement and their will, I made them leave fun in my backyard to go see an awful movie that only I had any desire to see.