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The Thing infection order

The Thing infection order

The 1982 movie The Thing is one of my favorite sci-fi/horror movies – right up there with Aliens. It a paranoia fueled mystery of a alien organism that can assimilate and imitate both human or animal hosts. 

Based on the 1938 story Who Goes There by John W. Campbell Jr, The Thing takes us along into the fear and paranoia of an isolated Antarctic research station with the characters trying to ascertain whether everyone is who they say they are.

What makes it so re-watchable is that the timeline when certain characters are assimilated is unclear. Filmmaker James Cameron even used stand-ins so that the shadows were not easily identifiable. This has lead to years of speculation and fan theories (Clothing continuity theory, Molotov whiskey theory, No breath theory, Who sabotaged the blood bank) about what happened when.

Of all of them, I think the Den of Geek does the best breakdown of the most likely order that each of the characters succumbs to the thing.

AI generated Wes Anderson style Star Wars

AI generated Wes Anderson style Star Wars

Welcome to the “Galactic Menagerie,” a whimsical and visually stunning fan-made AI generated fake trailer that reimagines the classic Star Wars universe through the eccentric lens of Wes Anderson. This mashup brings together iconic Star Wars characters with Anderson’s trademark symmetrical compositions, pastel color palettes, and quirky humor.

If you prefer, you can try out an earlier generated AI re-imagining of the cult movie Alien as a Wes Anderson film.

Or, you can take an AI generated film making course to make your own.

Science fiction to science reality?

Science fiction to science reality?

Have you ever heard of a movie about an advanced AI based defense system that becomes sentient? After being handed full control, it expands on its original nuclear defense directives to assume total control of the world despite its creators’ orders to stop.

It’s not War Games or Terminator. Nope, this movie is from 1970 and it’s called Colossus: The Forbin Project and it’s available on Vimeo for free. Maybe give it a watch before it becomes reality.

Woman in Black London stage play ends, then doesn’t

Woman in Black London stage play ends, then doesn’t

I was crushed to hear the famous London play ‘Woman in Black‘ was closing on March 4, 2023. The award winning and record setting Stephen Mallatratt adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel had been running continuously at London’s Fortune Theater since 1989. I have always wanted to see it, despite having made 2 trips to London and not having time to catch a play.

I saw the adaptation at Chicago’s Royal George Theater right before the pandemic and it was fantastic (The theater closed in 2020).

What I’m excited about is that the play is now on tour throughout the UK for 2023/2024. Not only that, but it appears to also be making its way across the US in 2023/2024.

Unbeknownst to me, it was in New York’s McKittrick Hotel and San Francisco in late 2021-early 2022.

Upcoming, it looks like it will be in New Jersey – Princeton’s McCarter Theatre Center October 13 to October 29th, 2023. It will be in the Herberger Theater Center‘s in Phoenix from Feb 8 to 25th, 2024. Hopefully they have some additional showings as well!

Acting for film and stage are different beasts

Acting for film and stage are different beasts


“The theatre is an operation with the scalpel, I think movie acting is an operation with the laser.” In this documentary, Michael Caine teaches the art of movie acting to five young actors, who perform scenes from “Alfie”, “Deathtrap” and “Educating Rita”. He shares all kinds of learnings, tricks, and ways to think about different kinds of close-ups, props, and a variety of other cool things viewers likely take for granted.

While this is likely dated now as framing decisions, camera technology, pacing and storytelling have changed a lot, I think it’s really cool to see what the actors are thinking when portraying a role and all the different kinds of methods and understanding they have.

Ocean’s 11 shot analysis

Ocean’s 11 shot analysis

Ocean’s 11 is an amazing movie – one of my favorites. It has a fantastic style and creates a unique feel and atmosphere. Besides the fun, unique, energetic soundtrack by David Holmes, it has a really slick visual style that really accentuates the characters. CinemaStix shows how Steven Soderbergh uses a series of seemingly simple shot and cut decisions to enhance the actors’ unique energy to create the rhythm of the movie.

It’s surprising how much of a movie’s feel comes from simple choices in how it is cut (or not cut) . I can appreciate it because I know that a ton of the feel of my landscape photos comes during the post and editing phase.