April 2013 - Chris Ullrich dot net
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April 2013

Sunday Old School with ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’


I’ve been thinking a lot about Raiders of the Lost Ark lately, so I decided to watch it for what must be at least the thirtieth time. I will assume (dangerous, I realize) that most of you have seen it. If not, I think you should immediately find a way to see it and then come on back here.

For the rest of you, you know how truly awesome the movie is. From the acting to the story to the set pieces to the cool stuff going on just under the surface (the subtext, as we writer-types like to call it), Raiders has so many amazing things about it, and going for it, that it’s considered by many (myself included) to be one of the best movies of all time. In fact, it’s on my top ten all-time best list. If it isn’t on yours, it should be.

I was alive and there on opening day when Raiders first arrived in theaters On June 12, 1981 and as a young boy I was captivated by Indiana Jones and his adventures from the moment the Paramount mountain first dissolved to a real mountain until the last frame as the Ark is being put in a safe place, presumably until those so-called “top men” have time to examine it.

Director Steven Spielberg, producer George Lucas and writer Lawrence Kasdan knew just what to include in Raiders so kids of all ages would be entertained, enthralled and still be watching, and talking about, this moving textbook of filmmaking excellence over thirty years later. You certainly can’t say that about most films made in the last thirty years, especially a vast majority of the immediately forgettable crap that seems to pass for movies these days.

Raiders is one of a handful of films that help remind me what’s possible when a dedicated group of highly creative people get together and use their considerable talents and imaginations to create something. It helps me recapture the sense of wonder and, dare I say it, magic that’s sorely lacking in today’s films and, let’s face it, in society in general.

It truly is one of the greats and worthy of the esteem it holds with millions of fans around the world.

Here’s the original trailer for the film below. Enjoy. And really I can’t stress this enough, if you haven’t seen the movie, you owe it to yourself to watch it as soon as possible.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uABsht2bgY?rel=0&w=525&h=295]

‘Star Wars’ In the Kitchen


To be clear, I don’t cook very many things and I don’t think I’ve ever baked. However, seeing these may cause me to start.

In short, these are pretty awesome. Check out all the possibilities right here.

Sunday Old School With ‘Jason and the Argonauts’


Today is Sunday. Check the calendar if you don’t believe me. Okay? We good? Maybe take a guy’s word for it next time, huh?

Anyway, as I often do on Sundays (at least until Project M “officially” begins), I’m watching old movies. Although, the one today isn’t that old.

It’s 1963’s Jason and the Argonauts featuring the amazing stop-motion work of the master Ray Harryhausen. If you’ve never seen it, it is definitely worth watching. . . for many reasons.

Not the least of which is this pretty awesome skeleton fight that blew me away when I first saw this movie as a kid. No, not when it came out. Later, on TV.

In fact, I think the first time was a Sunday much like this one on the old Channel 13 in LA. I miss that channel, they had some great stuff.

Here’s the skeleton fight, just so you can get a taste of what I’m talking about.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF_Fi7x93PY?rel=0&w=525&h=295]

Your Caffeine Intake Levels


As you might have guessed, I like coffee. In fact, some would say, I’m slightly obsessed about it. Truth be told, I don’t think I’m alone in that. I think lots of others like coffee as much, or more, than I do.

So, in the spirit of helping out my fellow coffee fans, here’s a handy little graphic that helps illustrate just how much caffeine you’re getting from various kinds of beverages.

I hope this helps.

Building a T-Rex


I had the privilege of knowing effects guru Stan Winston a little, having met him originally though a mutual friend. In fact, I visited his studio during the time he was working on the first Jurassic Park movie.

I was amazed at what I saw and when the movie eventually came out, I was even more amazed at how it all came together combining Stan’s animatronics with Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri’s work (among many others). It changed the way movies were made forever.

In short, he was pretty much a genius.

So, many years later, it’s fun to see these videos put out by the Stan Winston School shot during the time he was working on the movie. Things sure have come a long way in the visual effects world, but at the time, this was the pinnacle of technology and very cutting-edge stuff.

I think it still looks pretty damn good. Enjoy.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SK1qTnhHzI?list=UU1rKAv7IwCeynqa9MPNfYaA&w=525&h=295]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoswY2-1AbM?list=UU1rKAv7IwCeynqa9MPNfYaA&w=525&h=295]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZtJVh3nUyU?list=UU1rKAv7IwCeynqa9MPNfYaA&w=525&h=295]

All Six ‘Star Wars’ Movies at the Same Time


Yep, you read that right. Someone went to the trouble to put all six Star Wars movies together in the same screen and run them at the same time. To be honest, I don’t know if I love this or hate it. Maybe a bit of both.

I do know I’ve got a headache from watching it. Enjoy and you’re welcome.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOLqGxuvf08?rel=0&w=525&h=295]