Awkward Turtle (Zoolander 2 review)

Ever heard the expression awkward turtle dear readers? It’s a hand gesture used to either break the tension of an awkward situation or potentially amplify it.

It’s been around since about 2007, so it’s already starting to lose significance as slang, but that doesn’t mean people don’t try to use it when possible.

Today’s movie review features an idea a little dated but which hopes to use it’s awkward turtle to diffuse the room. Let’s find out if it can.




Zoolander 2 (2015)

Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig
Director: Ben Stiller
released on blu-ray May 24, 2016
***** 5/10


IMDB: 4.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 24%, Audience Score 24%
The Guardian: ***/*****


Benjamin Edward Meara Stiller, commonly known as Ben Stiller, is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker. He is the son of comedian duo Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

Ben Stiller has been involved in over 50 movies with 7 directing credits to his name – Elvis Stories, Reality Bites, The Cable Guy, Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Zoolander 2 among them, which had had a part in each as well.

Some of his best roles have included While We’re Young, Tropic Thunder, Dodgeball – A True Underdog Story, The Royal Tenenbaums, Meet the Parents, There’s Something About Mary, and Zoolander.

Zoolander 2 is definitely a passion project, because it follows the format of original by fifteen years and is a successful continuation, but not necessarily in a good way – The story is full of cameos and features the same sort of jokes, but nothing particularly interesting.

The plot sees Interpol follow the deaths of several prominent celebrities all with selfie photos taken at the time of their deaths. Agent Valentina (Penelope Cruz) is convinced this pattern is associated with Blue Steel, and we are re-introduced to Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller).


We learn that shortly after the end of the first movie (15 years ago) Zoolander’s school killed his wife, scarred his frenemy Hansel (Owen Wilson), and resulted in his son being taken away from his resulting ineptitude. Valentina recruits the two former fashion icons to help with the investigation while both have been summoned by the new fashion designer guru Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig) to attend a show.

The movie is full of opportunity and attempts to use the now irrelevant characters to address changing issues and thoughts of our times, but unfortunately we get a half-baked assassination plot that involves an estranged Derek Zoolander Jr., all 11 members of Hansel’s orgy being pregnant (including Kiefer Sutherland), and an awkward interaction with a transgender fashion model called All played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Somehow they manage to fit in even more cameos too. Including Katy Perry, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Skrillex, Billy Zane, and a number of real fashion icons. Will Ferrell easily steals the show once again, but it almost feels a bit late in the game when he finally does get screen time.


Pros: It’s awesome to see the Zoolander and Hansel characters come back at each other again, and the Justin Bieber scene was amazing. And obviously Ferrell as Mugatu cannot be beat.

ConsThe plot feels like a rehashing of the first movie, with minor tweaks and some James Bond themed elements thrown in for fun. In other words a poor man’s Austin Powers. The cameos strain pretty quickly too.

Runtime1 hour 42 minutes

Points of InterestThe mythology developed around ‘the one’ about Adam, Eve, and Steve is a parody of anti-gay marriage campaigners who would chant “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” Jonah Hill was originally part of the cast, but later bowed out.

One of the most interesting moments of the film is the Benedict Cumberbatch cameo for sure, but only because of the amount of controversy it has created.

I personally think that head writer Justin Theroux is correct in his statement that the writing was a satire over the debate of transgender rights and the difficulty which both sides have in discussing the topic, but regardless, that the film doesn’t tackle the overall plot properly to begin with doesn’t help that scene at all. It nullifies it in fact.

The awkward turtle that is Zoolander 2, isn’t going to being turned over any time soon. Hansel is not so hot right now – and while that reptile is cute and funny at times, we mostly feel bad for the creature, hoping that we can turn it upright and move on to the next vine or snapchat in our smart phone. Maybe a selfie will help to forget about that click-bait.


Oh You Do, Do You? (Eric Clapton, I Still Do review)

Randy Newman is an American treasure. But I’m not American so that never meant anything to me. But dammit if Newman couldn’t pull on a boy’s heartstrings just as Disney was toying with Pixar and making us all believe in friendship again.

Soft rock and roots rock, with a hint of blues. That’s what Randy Newman did for children’s movies. Helped introduce the young world of the time to melancholy. An artist in a particular vein of blues.

Today’s album review is about another accomplished musician known for the sad stuff.




Eric Clapton – I Still Do
released May 20, 2016
****** 6/10


Eric Clapton, is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He has recorded 23 full-length studio albums, on top of his various collaborations with The Yardbirds, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominos. Which is pretty damn impressive for a 71 year old man.

He has made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on three separate occasions (solo, Yardbirds, and Cream) and is considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of all times.

And he still knows how to make a solid blues album.

But the question comes down to this, does he know how to make a blues album that reaches forward and can mean something to anyone? Or is he best suited to the generation of babyboomers and other couch enthusiasts?

Well it does have some great backup vocals and smooth guitar sections, and it’s bluesy as all hell. Alabama Woman Blues is a great example of this right out the gate, and a great cover to boot. Can’t Let You Do it builds upon this idea too and rather nicely. I think my favourite though is his take on Stones In My Passway, which manages to make kidney stones something to be celebrated and soulful. It felt just as weird for me to write that as it does for you to read it.

I also really enjoyed the Billy Holiday cover, I’ll Be Seeing You. It is both tragic and romantic, a splash of blues on top of a sweet smoking ballad.

Clapton’s strength comes from swallowing sadness and spitting out an easy chair, so it’s not really a surprise that the energy never elevates too high to make you feel any sort of anthem. But that’s exactly the problem with the record, it’s solid. Definitely not a newsworthy piece of melodica.

If I Still Do is Clapton’s way of playing some fun covers and throwing in a taste of some original content, then he has definitely accomplished the goal and the record can find a place on the shelf, probably next to Slowhand. But let’s be brutally honest, because Eric Clapton has been around for a while; he’s not interested in breaking new ground. And while I can listen to this album all the way through, nothing on here is particularly memorable.

It’s good for a Sunday drive and a cigar but it’s missing the aviators and leather.




Don’t misconstrue my words dear readers, there is room enough for all in the world of blues. But that doesn’t mean it should be all blues all the time. You’ve got to feel it in your bones for it to mean anything, and while I believe Clapton feels it, I’m not sure he wanted to deliver an intense album. So I’ll have to stick with Newman and my toys. But that’s just my theory.



Lean Into The Grind (David Wiens interview preview)


In video game culture there is a term associated with the time it takes to increase your characters skill or attain level progression or even acquire additional items. It’s called level grinding.

We all do it in video games, especially those who play RPGs or more recently, those who play social games which have a pay-to-win model.

Those who pay get to skip the grind and reap the benefits almost immediately. This mentality has led to some not-so-nice feedback from the gaming community and a rather crude nickname for that 2% who spend the most – whales.


I have this theory that the reason why people hate whales is because they cannot afford the same convenience of “skipping” the grind. But what they don’t realize is that often, the developers have set up a model that no matter how much you spend, the difficulty and challenge stays the same as you climb, thus the reason that demographic continues to exist – as they dump money into a social game, more opportunities and rewards crop up that warrant continued commitment.

Which is why perseverance is so valuable.

As you gain levels in life, you appreciate the commitment and recognize the patterns of it so that the grind becomes a natural element of your progression through life and not something to be feared.

Which is why today’s interview with David Wiens was going to be so fantastic. He serves as a shining example of the value of a creative player with perseverance locked down.

But I made a mistake.

You see, I promised I would share a new interview with you this Sunday, and that’s not really the case. What I really want to do is to give you a teaser of things to come in this month’s entry before the real thing. This is because I’m test driving some new lighting equipment and I want to get your feedback on the how things pan out visually.

Examples to follow:
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 5.19.31 PM C

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 5.20.21 PM B

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 5.21.07 PM A

And thus we have arrived at A quality lighting. Sound familiar? It’s exactly what I did with the Paige Knickle preview a while back.

That’s why I am SO incredibly pumped to give you readers a test shot of episode 9 of timotheories interviews!

This month’s featured artist is a dedicated product photographer with a passion for perseverance and the commitment to follow through. Below is a clip from our interview!

I’m ridiculously excited to share this preview from the David Wiens interview and you will see the final result next week, but for now, enjoy our brief interlude and the rest of your Sunday. Maybe dig in and start building a new nightly ritual for rest and relaxation? Or read a good book?

I’m out of theories for now, dear readers! Have a fantastic night, and I’ll see you tomorrow with something to clap to.


The Life You Want (Flea Markets)

I’ve been thinking a lot of about value in the past few weeks dear readers.

Maybe it’s because I want you to invest in certain things and avoid others, maybe it’s because I feel overwhelmed with opportunities and need to be more vigilant with my own time, but mostly likely I suspect it’s because I wrestle with dichotomies of all kinds on a regular basis. Good VS evil, work VS play, right VS wrong, love VS hate, indulgence VS frugality. Caring too much VS caring about nothing.

I’ve been told by many people that as we age we become more settled in our opinions and more confident in our lifestyles, but I often wonder if that is just an expression used to pacify and remove personal responsibility.

There is this comic I found a long time ago, by B. Patrick that I think helps with the explanation but is by no means a solution in itself. The comic series is called Eat Shit & Die and this one below is no.202 from back in 2011.


Let me elaborate – Whatever you can personally effect and control in your life is the portion of your life that dictates what you want. Whatever you cannot control, be it health related, genetics, things that are hardwired, those things you cannot control, but even if you remove those elements there is still a hell of a lot that you can effect.

And maybe circumstances change and things you used to control are taken away from you, but acceptance is important and the life you want needs to be within a framework, hence the expression play the hand that you’ve been dealt.

Which leads us right into today’s timely post. Which happens to be about flea markets.

The visit to the flea market for me is a perfect example of seizing opportunity, for both the buyer and the seller. The flea market is a community made up of people watching, treasure hunting, binging and bargaining.

Using myself as an example, I visit the market to find and reclaim objects that once held value for someone else and bring those objects back into the spotlight – What might seem like a piece of garbage can become a valued treasure, and if you know the market value of things, you can negotiate on a price that is fair and find a home for something that was no longer being used. This is one of the places I go to find albums and movies that are no longer in distribution readily because I know what those records are worth.

Flea markets are a type of space that all people to sell and barter merchandise. They can be indoors or outdoors, and the regularity of the market depends on the type of space used, but they always differ from solitary booths because of the community appeal.

These venues are a way to find goods that are invaluable and it’s all about perception vs expectation with them. As the comic says, if you want to change your life, change what’s important to you. Make an effort to pursue your dreams in unconventional ways, for me, sometimes that means visiting a flea market to get that sense of wonder back.

What do you think? I’m out of theories for now, but I’ll see you creative cuties on Sunday evening with something stimulating. Share! Subscribe! Join the conversation!




The End of The Rainbow (Evaluate Life)

Well, we have arrived dear readers. It happens today.

Today you make the decision. The important one. The one that will change your life.

Don’t be scared, making decisions comes naturally to all of us. You made the decision to click on the link that led you here in the first place, didn’t you?

And that, my friends, is what life is all about. Making decisions.


But you’ve been putting one of those decisions off haven’t you? That’s right, I know you know which one. It’s okay though, we’ve all been there. But YOU do need to admit to yourself that you’ve been delaying action, and haven’t been addressing the problem at hand. Once you do that, then we can begin the process of changing your life. Now, depending on how much of a delay you’ve made with this decision, you may need to act immediately or spend some time in thought and in evaluation.

Which leads us to the wisest topic o’the day.


It’s time for you to evaluate your life my friends. The last preliminary topic in the Life Hacks series, and a great one at that. But I’m going to give you a summary of this key life skill before we go into more detail.

You need to start a proper life evaluation by making major decisions in the morning and then divvy up your day based on your productivity habits. Assess your passions at the end of each year, each month, each week, and before you go to bed. If you can do that you’ll focus and delegate out the unnecessary. Flexibility is important too, but if you get stuck try this – pretend you are away from work and/or home for a week, and you only have a few hours to accomplish your tasks.

Now that we’ve got a roadmap, let’s plot the journey rather carefully you creative cuties.

  1. Make major decisions in the morning – Start your day the same way every morning by determining what that first/second/third important task of the day is. Simplify and clarify the actions needed to complete said task(s) and also ask yourself why it’s important to accomplish. If you can figure out how and why to eat the frog, you can get there on your terms.
  2. Assess you passions – How do you feel? What is important to you? Prioritize them accordingly, and then determine if your friends are valuable (supportive or troublemaking), your identity is self-created or defined for you, your emotional output towards life is solid, if your sense of wonder is intact, you make mistakes AND acknowledge them, you take care of your health, have a good family life, and you are truly putting your best foot forward.
  3. Delegate out the unnecessary – Surround yourself with people who are happy, and step back from habits of inaction and uncertainty. When you take on too much, just because, you are limiting yourself. You can share tasks with others and make your own load a little lighter.  Life is full of uncertainty, but it’s up to you to go outside the lines in life’s colouring book.
  4. Flexibility is important – This might seem counter-intuitive at first, but if you truly know your life’s purpose and you have the volition to stick to it, then you must learn to adjust the course as often as necessary to assure your success.
  5. Imagine you have a few precious hours – If time is money, then truly, money is only as good as the time spent. Fortunes can be earned and lost many times over in a lifetime, but life itself is fleeting, so consider that age old problem: what if you only had a day to live, how would you spend it? Then you can decide if that task is leading you towards or away from the point.

Does this seem foreboding and like work. Well I hate to break it to you my dear readers, but if you’ve been following along in the last few months, you’d know that none of the 10 skills I asked you to invest in were going to be simple, but I know you have it in you, because you have a life purpose and a creative fire that needs fuel.

I’m out of theories for now, but be sure to check back tomorrow when I examine something timely and get you thinking about another kind of hidden treasure.