I Know What I Know, You Know? (timotheories December 2016)

 

Everybody loves Christmas right? Something something winter wonderland.

Well, all I really know is that it has finally snowed in Edmonton and in a sizeable fashion. AND because I started a new relationship recently with a wonderful lady, literally everything is magic. It’s magic dammit!

So many feels too.

Speaking of feels, I declare it officially appropriate to do your Christmas(y) things now.

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Which means that it’s also important I invest a little of my blog calendar to Christmas related activities and culture, because after all, I’m as white as the damn snow and this is what I know. Rhyme unintended, but conveniently placed for effect. Also, I’d like to give you all fair warning that I will be taking the last week of December off for Christmas and New Years, and to reflect upon the past year, potentially to also come up with some cool ideas for 2017. And maybe watch a metric ton of movies.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

*Disclaimer* As always, every week I purchase an album and movie one week ahead of the actual review release and while I have the best intentions, I don’t always get what I want… so if you follow me on instagram (@timotheories) you can actually see what’s coming.

timotheories summarized – December

Stimulating Sundays – (12/04) Georg Rockall-Schmidt, (12/11) Cross Talk Ep.14, (12/18) Cross Talk Ep. 15
Melodic Mondays – (12/05) The Weeknd, (12/12) The Rolling Stones, (12/19) Michael Buble
Theatrical Tuesdays – (12/06) Hell or High Water, (12/13) Don’t Think Twice, (12/20) Die Hard
Wisdom Wednesdays – (12/07) Jobs, (12/14) Arnold Schwarzenegger, (12/21) Good Will
Timely Thursday – (12/01) timotheories December, (12/08) Megan Warkentin exhibition, (12/15) Singing Christmas Tree, (12/22) Christmas

Can you believe it dear readers, friends, and creative cuties? The year of all killer, no filler is drawing to a close. That means I need to come up with a new theme soon, but for now, let’s look at what’s on the menu for December…

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There are some great album and film reviews lined up, and a couple of Xmas themed classics for your enjoyment too. Then the wisdom continues as I read a book by Arnold Schwarzenegger for starters, I’ll  continue my series on the OECD index about health and well-being with some thoughts on “jobs”, and then I’ll cap it off with some theories on good will. Our timely entries for the month feature my friend Megan’s graduation exhibition, a couple of Christmas events, and oddly enough, the day in particular.

I already know I’m on the naughty list for not following through with twelve unique interviews each month in 2016, but let’s be honest with ourselves folks, these interview previews have really taken off, eh? And Georg has such a wealth of information that I just HAD to give him two preview clips last month, so now we top off his entry proper with a legit full-length interview.

What about Cross Talk you say? Everyone’s always wondering about Cross Talk. Well Cross Talk isn’t going anywhere, in fact I’m gonna keep adjusting the group rotation and really aim for a weekly rotation into 2017, but for now I’ve got Episode 14 and 15 in the can, heck, we might even see about Episode 16 if I can squeeze it in somewhere… pacing, essentials, and wisdom for sure.

That’s literally all of the theories I have left in 2016, you magical makers. I want you to pat yourselves on the back for making it this far, and really enjoy this month. We’ve got some great stuff lined up, and now is the best time to give the gift of subscribing to the blog, sharing it with friends, leaving some helpful comments, and contacting me to let me know what you love, what you hate, and how you relate.

Spreading the love the only way I know how. With theories.

 

Tim!

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

zoolander-2-poster

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.

Tim!

Santa’s Workshop (Secret Santa Gift Exchange)

Happy Christmas Harry! Whoops, that’s not how I meant to start today’s post!

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Just kidding, who am I, The Grinch?

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I must be pretty grumpy that I can’t come up with some Christmas cheer and make the season just a bit lighter for you dear readers.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Wisdom Wednesday post, today is going to be all about fun and lighthearted things, because I want to send off the year right and because even timotheories needs to take a break.

Don’t worry though, I’ll be back after the 2015 year is over.

And what a year it’s been! I’ve written just over 70 posts this past 12 months, and I plan to write 5 posts a week next year, along with introducing the Cross Talk and Real Time Games videos into the timotheories YouTube channel mix. AND I want to support more local artists, so my goal is to put out 1 interview a month, so if you or someone you know is interested in talking about the arts and your art practice, please get ahold of me via timotheories@outlook.com or send a message by using the contact form below.

Now it’s time to share with you what today is all about. That’s right we are going to be talking about Santa Claus! Because I was raised with the North American Christmas holiday and know it rather intimately as a consequence.

elf santa giphy

And are any of you familiar with the western tradition of Secret Santa? If not, I’ll break it down for you. It is essentially a group event wherein the members exchange gifts but where each person is randomly assigned one person to whom they give a gift. And they do it anonymously. Cool right?

Well we have a tradition like this in my family too – one that has been going on for the better part of 10 years, probably closer to 15 years at this point.

My immediate family all draw for a secret santa, but the twist is that we are supposed to “make” a gift for our person and we are allowed to spend money, but no more than $25 to accomplish the gift construction. It started out this way because we were a family of meager means when I was growing up (as mentioned in this post), and my siblings wanted to give gifts but usually couldn’t afford to do so because they didn’t have jobs.

Thus the Family Secret Santa Gift Exhange was born.

My contribution to this process is to make art of some sort, though I have been known to make food on occasion. And this is how I’ve tied it back to the arts, see?

What is great about this process is that you get to make something special for a loved one, and as a result the gift is just a little bit more meaningful then it would have been if it came from a store.

I bet you’re curious what I did this year, aren’t you dear readers? Well I guess I can share it with you since, it is Christmas eve and all. Plus the exchange happens on Christmas eve, and by the time this post hits the internet, the gifts will all have been shared, and the tears of joy will have dried.

Please see below for reference.

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Cute right? Well, let me explain a bit more about why I made pencil crayon drawings of Pikachu and Yoshi. Have you ever heard of Nintendo? Of course you have. But what may be lesser known to you is a game released for the N64 in 1999. It’s called Super Smash Bros. and is my all-time favourite multiplayer game by Nintendo and also my favourite fighting game ever conceived.

My youngest brother Ryan is a huge video game fan and this is one pastime we have always enjoyed together. And we get incredibly competitive when it comes to Smash Bros. So it’s significant to him. Now, this gift is years in the making, and every time I get Ryan for Secret Santa, I make him a drawing or two.

Please see below for previous entries.

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What is really fun about creating these drawings is that even if I get Ryan by chance every year, and I make 2 every Christmas, I can make them every year for the rest of my life, and I probably won’t have made all of them (upwards of 60 so far). So I may have to change my strategy to complete the original roster.

Please see below for reference.

Super_Smash_Select

As you can see, I’ve only made 6 so far, and there are 6 left. But every time I add a drawing to the wall, I feel a bit better about the project. This scale of work is exactly what art should be about, creating something more than your own ego and sense of worth. If I had never ventured down this road, I would probably struggle with ideas for Ryan every year, but because I commited to making something that suited him, I stuck with the spirit of Santa and made something special, something that hopefully makes miracles.

I hope you enjoyed this last post of the season my friends, and I hope you enjoy the holidays. If you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas to you and yours, and if not, happy holidays. See you on January 3rd, 2016!

Tim!