Five Things I Am Into Right Now, February 2016

Sherlock Coloring BookHi readers! It’s good to be back. Sorry about the dust. I’ll try to clean up around here in a bit.

I’ve been off for the month, working on my latest novel, but now I am back and…

What is the deal with coloring books? Okay, this is a tangent, but recently I bought a coloring books for adults, based on the TV show Sherlock and I find it all very calming.

There I am, right next to my kids (while they work on their superhero or Little Pony books) and I am coloring a picture of a corpse hiding in some weeds. My daughter asked me “Who is that?” I replied, “Someone sleeping.” That was a lie, it’s a dead body! Yet, there I am coloring a picture of it. I’m feeling calm from doing it. It’s a freaking dead body and I am lying to my daughter too and I’m calmed by this and…

Okay, I really missed having this blog! Let’s see what else?

Oh, I introduced my eight-year old son to Monty Python! We watched Holy Grail. And, yes, I did fast forward through the naughty virgins scene, but the rest he ate up. Ever since then he has been quoting the film back to me, asking “Dad, do you remember when King Arthur asked if the monster was behind the bunny?” or “Flesh wound? He said it was just a flesh wound!” I can’t stop smiling about it. My son fits so nicely into my Monty Python world. Next up Flying Circus. Man, he is going to love the Spanish Inquisition. And spam! Who doesn’t love spam?

Man, did I miss venting here about things.

Deep Breath Scott, get your head back in the game and focused. Now here are the five things I am into right now. Enjoy! I’m off to color questionable scenes with Monty Python playing in the background. Bliss! Continue reading

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Film Review: The Pirates!

I have a new film review up at Green Spot Blue for the children’s comedy, The Pirates! Band of Misfits (here).  Here is the beginning of the review:

I want to begin this review with my only little complaint; which could really be considered by some a tangent. Did you know in England and Europe that this film is called The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! and yet here in the USA it is called The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Is anyone else insulted by this change like I am?

It reminds me like how they changed the first Harry Potter book from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to a Sorcerer’s Stone (and let’s note the philosopher’s stone is an actual item from mythology, as compared to the made up and—lets say it—obvious and easily named “sorcerer’s stone”). Should we as a culture be annoyed by what this says about us? (Yes, is my initial response.) Are our kids really that anti-education/school/science that entertainment power players don’t even want to try and go down this road?

Have they actually tested to see if they would lose money with the original title here in our country? Is there focus group material out there with kids that I can see showing why they made the change? Or did some ordinary dude in a powerful position who didn’t like science in school, and thought he could speak for all Americans everywhere, simply do this?

Whatever the case, as you can tell, this change bothers me. Personally, I don’t they think the original title would drive kids away. And isn’t the idea of having an adventure with scientists kind of funny a concept by itself?

OK, I got that out of my system; let’s get to the review of the film. And let me state I am not going to talk like a pirate in this review or do any bad pirate puns.

You can read the rest of my review (and why I recommend taking your child to see it) here.

My Six Favorite Comedies

I am a comedy snob.

I don’t laugh at fart jokes or burps, and most sitcoms bore me to pieces. Some of this elitism is because I studied comedy writing and seeing behind the curtain can take the surprise away (and much of comedy is about delivery), my upbringing since my dad introduced me to Monty Python at a young again, but most of it is just, frankly, because I am a comedy snob. And because of that, I have never laughed at a single scene in a single American Pie movie…

Not a single scene.

I expect more.

I expect more than stereotypes, pratfalls, sarcasm, easy parodies, and physical body humor. You can keep your Three Scrooges (even though I do like some of the Curly episodes), I’ll take the Marx Brothers any day of the week.

Here, in all my snobbery, are my six favorite comedies:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

When the American Film Institute (AFI) did their list of 100 laughs, they did not include a single Monty Python movie.

Not a one.

Their justification is that the films chosen had to have significant financial or creative production elements from the USA. Fine, whatever (even though, I would argue that the films were distributed and produced by a few Americans and American companies), but yet, they included A Fish Called Wanda on the list. Is it because two of the main cast members were American? Should I point out that Terry Gilliam of Monty Python (director, actor and writer) is American?

No, this doesn’t make sense to me either. Continue reading