Review: Les Miserables (2012 Movie)


Before you ask: no, this wasn’t the secret film at the Butt-Numb-a-Thon this year. I just was lucky enough to be in the room with an Oscar screener during my recent travels.

The gigantic Victor Hugo book Les Miserables has had a long history of adaptation. Aside from the massively popular musical/opera that has been filling theaters since 1980, a film adaptation seems to crop up every couple of decades or so. This time, the musical itself has been turned into a film, which should be hitting theaters a week from now, on Christmas Day.

The opera, like the book, is a daunting project to adapt. The theater spectacle is a massive endeavor involving a large ensemble cast, 50 songs, a rotating stage, and something like 4 hours of runtime. The storyline covers several decades of French history. Performers are required to have tremendous talent both as actors and as vocalists.

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Meghan made me adorable!

One of the many amazing people I’ve met through Butt-Numb-a-Thon is artist Meghan Murphy, the pink-haired madwoman behind the Kawaii Not webcomic. She is a creator of unreasonably adorable visual arts as well as a film geek and a generally nifty person.

Every once in a while, she offers custom avatar design, so you can sport an unreasonably adorable image of yourself on the Internet. I finally had some cash to spare when she opened up one of her avatar offers, so I splurged a little.

Behold, this is me as Queen of the Road, by way of Frankenstein’s navigator from Death Race 2000:

…and here I am as Queen of the Lizard People:

In real life, could be buried in an avalanche of puppies and still not be this adorable.

If you envy my adorableness, Meghan is running a $20 custom avatar offer right now. (And if you reach this post after the offer closes, just watch Kawaii Not for week or two. Her avatar offers re-open pretty frequently.)

One More Round for Our Hobbit Swede

Around this time last year, Jerry Belich and I teamed up with several friends to swede the first trailer for The Hobbit. We had a lot of fun messing around with a video camera, and our final result went a little viral. If you know me personally, I’ve probably made you watch our video at some point or another. I also wrote about the whole experience at length at Mad Art Lab.

However, that was a year ago, and the full movie is finally hitting the big screens. Despite my misgivings about the film itself, I had a grand time watching it in Austin, because Jerry and I were giggling our asses off whenever something we sweded appeared onscreen. It was seriously one of the most delightful experiences of my 2012.

So, I figure that our little video deserves just one more push, to celebrate the arrival of the long-awaited film. Enjoy!

December 27th: PowerPoint Karaoke!

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that December 27th will just be another normal Thursday. Or perhaps you’re thinking that you won’t live to see the 27th, given that it comes after the Mayan apocalypse, Xmas shopping, and the premier of the new Tarantino movie. But assuming we all survive the next two weeks, December 27th won’t just be another Thursday! It will be POWERPOINT KARAOKE DAY!

That’s right! Once again, PowerPoint Karaoke takes the stage at the Bryant Lake Bowl, at 10 PM December 27th. Doors open at 9:30 PM! You can drink beer and eat food in the theater! Tickets are all of $7, but you can get one at $5 if you bring your Fringe button along! Tickets can be purchased at the door or online:

This month’s presenters are Dawn Krosnowski, Tom Reed, Sharon Stiteler, and Tim Uren! That right there is a reason to survive the apocalypse.

If you do the Facebook thing, you can add the event to your calendar here:!/events/338344859606085/?fref=ts

The BNAT14 Tour de Kitsch

This past weekend, I traveled to Austin, TX to be part of the 14th Butt-Numb-a-Thon film extravaganza. Since I am still a bit on the poor side, I once again made the trek by driving instead of flying. This means that I once again subjected myself to six US states’ worth of highway-side rest stops and gas stations, meaning you get another installment of the Tour de Kitsch!

I have claimed a Moose! WHOA! I can buy death at this truck stop!
Minneapolis, MN: I picked up my favorite travel buddy, MOOSE! Moose has traveled to all seven continents and has met a plethora of celebrities. He’s also cuddly.
Faribault, MN: WHOA! I can buy Death at a truck stop!
The unvalued customers get uncertified soap. Holy crap. They still make full-screen DVDs?!?
Des Moines, IA: The unvalued customers get uncertified soap. Lathrop, MO: They still make full-screen DVDs?! Jerry Springer?! Bobcat Goldthwait?!
Explosive fairy tales! ZOMBG DEATH SNOWGLOBE.
Lathrop, MO: It was a gas station full of fireworks. Let’s put explosives near other explosives YEAH! Also, these particular items prove that you can blow up all your childhood dreams.
Guthrie, OK: Death snowglobe. Let me type that again. DEATH SNOWGLOBE.
Guys, I don't think there are palm trees or surfing in Oklahoma.. Oh no! My car has hit a giant egg!
Guthrie, OK: Guys, I don’t think there’s surfing or palm trees anywhere near Oklahoma.
Austin, TX: My car just ran over an egg!
Oh WOW. I might need this.
Guthrie, OK: Oh WOW. Guthrie, OK: It’s a lizard hat. I am ashamed that I didn’t buy it.
Posting without comment. Sweet barking Godzilla, what's with the skull souvenirs on this trip?!
Guthrie, OK: … I got nothin’. Albert Lea, MN: What’s with the skull kitsch on this trip?!