State of Sound Exhibit at the ALPLM!
Calling all music lovers! The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) has a new exhibit. The exhibit is titled, “The State of Sound: A World of Music from Illinois”, which opened on April 30th and will run through January 23, 2022. I toured the exhibit and was excited to see artifacts and history of Illinois musicians. “We are really excited to focus people’s attention on…
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ITS CROSSOVER TIME
(And yes I know I drew Jack a bit too small, I can't be bothered to change it lmao)
THE greatest modern movie? Well, that’s just like, your opinion, man ....
The Big Lebowski (1998) dir. Joel (and Ethan) Coen
Steve Goodman & John Prine
The fear of monsters is one of the most common fears for children in the world. Whether it’s a strange shadow or a weird noise, children will typically associate them with monsters if they don’t know where they’re coming from. Children will ask their parents to check under the bed, in the closet, and even out the window to make sure there’s nothing there. This phobia is often explored in kid’s film and TV, monsters scaring children and then returning to their world and act as though they are part of this business which scares kids. However, just because something has been done before doesn’t make it bad as long as you provide a fresh and unique take and that’s what Monsters, Inc. (2001) does.
Monsters, Inc. centres on two monsters, James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) and Michael “Mike” Wazoski (Billy Crystal), the star workers at the titular business, Monsters, Inc., an industry which sends monsters to the human world to make children scream. Why is it important to make them scream? The world the monsters live in use screams as a power source for just about everything, from their heating, transport, electricity etc. Their main competition is Randall (Steve Buscemi), who is competing against the pair to break the record for scares but is constantly beaten by Sulley and Mike every day.
Though their work revolves around scaring children, it’s probably surprising to learn that the monsters are just as terrified of kids, believing they are contagious, and touching one could kill them. This irony is put to the extreme when a human girl, Boo (Mary Gibbs) sneaks into the monster world and causes city-wide hysteria. Things get even more insane when Sulley realises that Boo is harmless and may be part of a conspiracy hidden in Monsters, Inc.
Both Goodman and Crystal perform well as the lead characters with Goodman presenting Sulley as a big teddy bear who wants to protect Boo and get her home safely. Crystal, however, presents Mike as this paranoid comic-relief who wants nothing to do with Boo and get her out of his and Sulley’s lives as soon as possible. Their dynamic together was one of the film’s strongest elements as I could believe these two had a strong friendship and working relationship, always coming through for each other no matter what. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the villains. I won’t spoil anything if you haven’t seen the film but even though they weren’t revealed immediately, it was obvious who they were from their first scenes. While I do understand their motivations, apart from their designs, I never remember enough about their characters to root for them.
The story as a whole is really good as I enjoy looking at how these monsters live their daily lives in this world which isn’t so different from outs. While it does take a while for the main plot about the conspiracy to begin, the climax wraps everything up nicely and it’s a lot of fun. When I look back, I think the animators could have been more creative on their designs as some look like the same large reptiles or furry monsters we saw in previous scenes. I do like the textures though, it always impressed me how I could see nearly every strand of hair on Sulley’s character, and this was consistent throughout. While I do think this film is slightly dated, it’s made with kids in mind, it’s colourful, entertaining and some silly humour, but there’s enough for me to keep coming back to watch and enjoy this little classic.
With the ending of Monsters, Inc., we were presented with the potential for a sequel. Though Pixar wasn’t known for their sequels at the time, when they announced some at the end of the 2000s, like Toy Story 3 (2010) and Cars 2 (2012), we were looking forward to what they would bring. There was already plenty of potential for a sequel with Sulley and Boo in the future with several storylines considered by Pixar fans. Unfortunately, we got a college prequel movie, Monsters University (2013). I don’t have any problems with prequels, but when a sequel is teased at the climax of one film, that’s likely the one that most fans will want to see.
Monsters University shows us how Mike and Sulley met for the first time and of course, they didn’t like each other. Each of them thinks they will be the best student at Monsters University with Mike being the academically gifted monster and Sulley coming from a family of top scarers. All sorts of competitions and hijinks take place until they accidentally destroy a valuable memento of Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) who threatens to expel them unless they win the University’s “Scare Games”. The Scare Games take up most of the plot and while some of the challenges are entertaining, they do tend to stretch on.
Much like the first film, Monsters University is made with kids in mind. Even if they don’t understand how college works, the characters, humour, and vibrant animation are consistent enough that most kids would recognise them. That being said, I’m not fond of this film because of the number of clichés to other college films. We have the bullies, the nerds, the beauty-queens, the goths, the hard-as-nails dean and of course, they all become friends in the end. It’s good Pixar is focusing on stand-alone film projects, I always enjoy seeing the stories they tell and the worlds they create with them.
One of the things I consider an improvement over the first film is a few of the monster designs. Not counting the characters returning from Monsters, Inc., the designs of some of the main and supporting characters are so unique. I enjoyed it whenever they were on the screen because it was something new. Dean Hardscrabble is a favourite because she is one of the first monsters in this franchise to be terrifying with their introduction alone.
Another thing I liked about this film was the ending. It focuses on the idea that you don’t need to follow the traditional path everyone else has done to achieve great things, but it’s explored in a way that hit close to home and I found it refreshing for a Pixar film to explore it that way. It’s a message you don’t often see in movies, especially in animated ones, I only wish it had a better means of presenting it. I’m glad Pixar is revisiting this franchise with Monsters at Work, being released on Disney+ on July 2, 2021, with Goodman and Crystal returning to voice their characters. This franchise always had the potential for more and I hope we all enjoy what they do next.
Me: "𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘯"
╰┈➤My comfort characters ↑:
1. ) Reggie Peters - [Julie and the Phantoms]
2. ) Demetri - [Cobra Kai]
3. ) Steve Harrington - [Stranger Things]
4. ) Newt - [Maze Runner]
5. ) Barry Allen - [The Flash]
6. ) Cyrus Goodman - [Andi Mack]
7. ) Number Five - [The Umbrella Academy]
8. ) Stanley Barber - [I Am Not Okay With This]
9. ) Richie Tozier - [It]
Films seen in 2021- Number 13: The Big Lebowski (dir. Ethan and Joel Coen, 1998)
Song Review(s): Billy Strings - “City of New Orleans,” “Bronzeback” and “I’ve Been All around this World” (March 25, 2021)
When in New Orleans ... play “City of New Orleans.”
On the second night of a two-night residency inside an empty Tipitina’s, Billy Strings and his band - banjoist Billy Failing, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and bassist Royal Masat - did just that by opening with Steve Goodman’s signature train song.
Revamped for bluegrass instrumentation, the number chugged confidently down the track; however, “City” is a song Sound Bites - and he knows this is an unpopular opinion - has just never cared for much in any setting. And it, like Elizabeth Cotten’s “I’ve Been All around this World,” is best suited for a folksier presentation, though both arrangements played to the band’s instrumental and vocal-harmony strengths.
The brightest light in this gratis, three-song sampler is the new composition “Bronzeback,” a bedazzling, uptempo instrumental that fusses as fights as much as the bass that Strings said inspired it must have.
Grade card: Billy Strings - “City of New Orleans,” “Bronzeback” and “I’ve Been All around this World” (3/25/21) - C+/A/B
#15 The Big Lebowski (1998)
Directed by: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Screenplay by: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Two goons mistake 'the Dude' Lebowski for a millionaire Lebowski and urinate on his rug. Trying to recompense his rug from the wealthy Lebowski, he gets entwined in an intricate kidnapping case.
Today in Stoner Comedy / film noir history: on March 6, 1998 The Big Lebowski debuted in Canada and the United States.
Here's some fan art to mark the occasion!
Release date: March 6, 1998.
Joel and Ethan Cohen are amazing filmmakers whose filmography I need to complete. ASAP! (♥♥,)
Their movies are just as unique and their style is just idiosyncratic as Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino.
Their characters are larger than life in the most weird way - I live!! 😍🎞️💕✨
☀︎︎TW // Loud☀︎︎
Ahhh it’s finally here!! :)
I’ve been obsessed with the Big Lebowski recently, so I had to make an edit of our beloved bowler Donny!
Song: “The Distance” by Cake
SUBLIME CINEMA #222 - THE BIG LEBOWSKI
Hey, nice marmot.
And technically Cherik, Spideypool, Thorquill and Joavin count too but the actual pictures of them together don’t do them justice 🥴