Mid90s

As a kid growing up in the 90s, the intro really spoke to me immediately.  The screen was filled to the brim with things I remember vividly and things not so vividly but it was striking to to notice just how easy it was to sum up this decade visually.  I’m remember it being such a jumble when I turned 14 in 2000.  Back then it was easy to see an era captured in film and notice it as either being the 80s or 70s but the main themes of the 90s hadn’t coagulated yet for me.  Now it seems almost too easy.  Now as I’ve mentioned in other reviews I grew up in Logan, Utah and long story short that is a very religious little mountain town.  We were not as exposed to as much as those in the big cities but it would be unfair to assume we were completely out of the loop.  My friends and I had our older brothers and sisters that were as Mormon as you could imagine but we also had our siblings who were caught up in the weed and drink and calling each other “fags” or “gay” for saying something as simple as “thank you”.

As the film rolls along and I see this main character of Stevie trying so hard to be cool and fit in it immediately reminded me of my buddy Steve and I.  Stevie is kind of an amalgamation of the both of us.  If you took him and this group of skateboarders and just switched out a bit of the hip hop elements with stuff that was a bit more punk rock and nümetal  And had em sit around chatting it would be eerily similar to Steve and I’s crew.  Steve was the slightly older one who was actually pretty solid on a board, I tried and never quite got it down.  I ended up being the mouthy one from time to time that held the camera and helped make our skate videos.  As you can probably tell by now this movie is such a bizarro snapshot of a time in my life that it’s hard not to love it. Considering this I’d assume I’d be very picky about the acting and mannerisms of these characters but I gotta say it feels very natural and true to life.  When the film escalates it really started to mess with me because the dramatic beats took me back to my own teenage freak outs and rebellions.  I suppose that really is one of the best things a film can do is scoop out the stories from your own life, toss em in a blender, and splash it on the screen all remixed so you can look at the same story with a new angle or perspective.
All the ancillary elements of the film work perfectly to compliment this story as well.  
The soundtrack is not exactly what I listened to when I was this age but I certainly nostalgically adore these songs now so I was pleased to see them pop up in this film.  The score is also something I’m just immediately going to like cause it’s a Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross score and they’ve made some of my favorite scores of the last decade.  I was truly surprised to see they did the score though since their scores tend to be a bit more dark and brooding, I was pleased but I wouldn’t say surprised that they created a floating ethereal soundscape that truly allows the film to float along in moments where there’s no dialogue or a 90s track to remind you that, YES, this is the 90s.
Jonah Hill is a promising Director with this one.  I’m excited to see what he does next.  When Jonah Hill first came on the scene I didn’t enjoy him much but with each thing he does I respect him more and more and it makes me appreciate what he’s done in the past more in hindesight.
Overall this movie hit everything on my checklist and it moved me way more than I was expecting.  It reminded me of things I’ve loved and missed for sometime now as I lose my hair, worry about bills, and try my best to avoid a beer belly.  Yet it also reminded me of moments in my life I’d rather leave in the past.  Sometimes these nostalgic films can really lean so hard on the memories you hope to live again that they forget to touch on the things we should leave in the past.  This film does a fantastic job of presenting both.

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So Long Seattle… Soon

These are both my farewell pieces to Seattle, I’ll keep the hows and whys to myself and people who are interested to know more. I’m getting simultaneously excited and anxious as this move approaches but most importantly it feels right. It’ll be interesting to start fresh in a new place which I hope will lead to more interesting art.

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” -Anatole France

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Tomorrow Comes Today

“Tomorrow Comes Today”

This piece is pretty straight forward. I was inspired to paint it one evening as I rode the 8 bus home from some gig in Northern Seattle. I had a lot of worries on my mind that night but was trying to just shrug them off and enjoy some Gorillaz. As this painting’s titular song came on I glanced around the bus and noticed some other people that were all on their phones and seemed worried or at least mildly concerned about whatever they were reading or viewing. A woman in particular who I found to be striking due to her leopard jacket had a similar look to the one you see in this painting. I ended up using different photos to recreate the image I saw that night but I made sure to recreate the leopard pattern on the jacket. I just imagined all the things that may or may not be running through her mind and probably things that were just running through my mind at the time and it was just sort of a snap shot of people my age living in the city in 2017.

$200 + shipping

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“US” review

Now that I’ve sat on this movie for a few hours I’m realizing that it’s still very difficult to summate all the things I loved about it.  It will certainly need multiple viewings which I’m more than happy to provide.

It’s a film that is littered with all sorts of symbolism and metaphor.  It’s so easy to follow the various threads and find yourself lost down a twisted corridor of thought.  It’s also easy to just cut the connecting threads and just kick back and enjoy the ride.  As Peele stated in a recent interview it’s a film that has a whole world it is built upon.  After that, It then becomes a choice as a filmmaker to decide how much of that world to truly explain and unveil. I think it rides that line perfectly between making sure you understand what’s happening but also only dishing up slivers of what is truly their beyond the surface.  You get to have your cake and eat it to with this one.

The score is stupendous and unique and quickly brought me into the tone of the film.  
The acting by every character in this film was a great blend between comedic and wacked out creepiness.  Each shift of the eyes or grinched out grin becomes ominously figurative as it works in tandem with the precision of the camera.  It exists umbilically to the the themes running beneath the surface of the story so well that it tells much of what you need to know without the movie needing to beat you over the head with any needless exposition.

Lupita Nyong’o is a certified Star to me at this point.  It was nearly impossible to take my eyes off of her performance.  She hit on so many different emotions effortlessly and much like the film itself really let you know who she was as a character without giving away much of anything.

There’s not much else I’d like to say about this film other than go watch it.  It just stands on its own so well.  A mightily focused nightmare that still manages to make you laugh out loud in unexpected places.

At this point I’m waiting on the edge of my seat, thrilled to see whatever Jordan Peele has up his sleeve for us next.  He has such a creative and unique vision that he now exists in the special hall of my cinematic icons like Tarantino, Rodriguez, and the like.  I feel the best is yet to come with from him and when the chapter is written on this last decade, he will be talked about as one of the truly great directors to step onto the scene and be a powerful presence in film going forward from there.  

Next one soon please Mr. Peele.  for my eyeballs sake!  I’ll put down way more than 5 on it.  Thank you

FAVORITE LINES: “Ophelia: OK. Playing “Fuck tha Police” by N.W.A.”

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CONTEST WINNER

Michael SupermassiveBlackhole Valentine is the winner of my first swag contest!

We decided to go with yellow for Mike’s tee but you can get yours in all sorts of colors.

This is my first shirt through Teespring.com, we’ll get some photos up of how it looks in reality world soon.

There’s all the other designs up now in my Teespring store (follow the link!) and you can get most of the designs on not just T-shirts but hoodies and leggings as well among some other options.

This design will also be up in my Redbubble store soon with similar options if you prefer to go through them.

I haven’t gotten a sense of who’s shirts I like better yet so there will be a new contest soon with new designs to choose from and I’ll go with Redbubble that round.

Thanks for the support!

Jacob Wayne Bryner

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