Thursday, October 14, 2010

More coffee!

My friend Rachel, who is awesome, knows how much I adore coffee. Last week, she invited me to a local Starbucks to try out their new flavoured instant coffees. How to win me over? Feed me bunches and cups and oodles of coffee with no end in sight. I then ended up heading to my life drawing class shortly thereafter. Needless to say, my hand coordination was ... less than stellar (read: jittery as hell)
More coming next week.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Social Network

I was lucky enough to go check out a pre-screening of David Fincher's film, "The Social Network" which is more commonly known as "The Facebook Movie". Fincher has previously directed Se7en, Benjamin Button & Zodiac. The film is written by Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The West Wing).

The film was so preventative on piracy that they took our cellphones. To say the least, I felt somewhat uneasy about this, some might even say naked, but it was essentially akin to a coat check. We got them back without a hitch.
I'm usually more on the skeptical side of films. Especially ones based on seemingly plain subject matter, such as websites. The entire idea on the whole sounded preposterous to begin with. Let's just say that by the end of the film, I was left chewing on the remnants of my words.

There's something to be said for the fact that I've been experiencing a barrage of films as of late due to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and this was an absolute stand out film that wasn't even part of the competition.

The performance delivered by Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland, Zombieland) was extremely, extremely top notch. Up until this point, I'd considered him the 'poor man's Michael Cera'; as in, when Cera was unavailable, Eisenberg stepped in. Sometimes being unable to tell them apart in trailers.

Apparently I'm not the only one that has this problem. This is a picture caption from the Toronto Star from a couple weeks back. Notice anything ... odd? (hint: read the caption)

Yet, Jesse Eisnberg's choices of films to take definitely led me to believe that he could expand his acting scope, so I was on the lookout for something that would let him expand/explore a single character. His portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is really something to watch unfold.

It was refreshing seeing a well directed, well written, well paced film with great acting and above all, have it be incredibly entertaining as well. It also helps that we all walked out of the theater feeling like a million dollars.
But you know, as one of the characters in the film says, a million dollars isn't cool, a billion dollars is.
Aim high.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

TIFF10:Anticipation & Excitement

If you know me, you know that I love watching films, in theaters or at home. So, this is a particularly exciting time of year in Toronto for film lovers as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is taking place. This is the second year that I'm partially attending TIFF. Last year I did a grand total of 3 films (Waking Sleeping Beauty, Micmacs & Up In The Air) and vowed to do more this year.
Sometime in August, I decided I should look into buying ticket packages. I had a list of must-see films and was looking through all the other films playing as well. I decided I would get the 25-30 film package.
As I clicked 'buy tickets' - an evil red screen of doom quashing my dreams to get the most out of the festival appeared. The packages were sold out.
Stunned, I read it over and over and vowed not to miss the day single tickets went on sale. I went through whatever measures I needed to.

The morning of the ticket sales, I woke up to my alarm and immediately hopped on my computer to buy the tickets I wanted.
The system was overloaded, making it akin to choosing electives in college. Sitting there I refreshed the page again, and again, and again...

...and again and again, and again, until I was about to abandon all hope, until finally...

SUCCESS! I ended up getting my top four film picks:

1) Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist
2) Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan
3) Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams
4) Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins

and thanks to the generosity and awesomeness of two fantastic friends...

5) Danny Boyle's 127 Hours
6) Wuershan's The Butcher, The Chef & The Swordsman

I also plan on seeing Ben Affleck's "The Town" and saw Anton Corbijn's "The American" last week. Reviews coming for ALL of them.
This is going to be a busy little blog for the next little while!! Come back soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World vs. Deep

On Friday, I went to see a film I'd been anticipating and extremely excited about since it was announced - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I've been an enormous fan of the books, I re-read the series in it's entirety every month or two, so it's safe to say I had a bit of trouble concentrating during the work day.

A bunch of us had organized going to see SPvTW after work on Friday, so I headed there straight after work. When I got to the theater with 30 of my closest friends and some family, the anticipation hit it's peak. I begged the spirit of Hollywood to not disappoint and live up to what I'd imagined.

Even though I already knew that there was much to differentiate between the film and the books (which again, I'm an enormous fan of) the nerd in me began to immediately compare scenes and events with the book. But then, I quickly realized that comparing the two was trivial, especially since Brian Lee O'Malley helped collaborate on the screenplay.

The humor, filmmaking technique and action scenes were what really stood out for me...the more I watched, the happier, more entertained and visually astounded I became until...

BAM! I was kicked in the freaking face by pure, unadulterated AWESOME.

Edgar Wright, Michael Bacall and Brian Lee O'Malley (along with everyone else involved) have created a brilliant film that speaks true to it's subject matter, while retaining it's own voice. I'm really glad Universal allowed this film to be made and for Edgar Wright to see his vision through.

I'm totally going to see it again.

PS. The soundtrack seriously kicks ass. Buy it here

Monday, August 09, 2010

Intermission II

Cupcake Girl

I sincerely despise the length of time between these posts. Definitely going to need to fix that. Life, fun, friends, summer and work have all been keeping me incredibly occupied. So much has happened in the last three (!) months - hopefully I'll figure out a way to share a bunch of it. I recently took a trip to San Diego & LA for comic-con and to hang out with some of my best friends on the west coast, and in the process made some fantastic new ones. In any case, here's the intermittent post, a doodle and some sketches from around Toronto, but mostly the subway.
I swear there's a new post coming. Ideas a-brewin'.
As always, comments and crits appreciated.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Now, anyone who knows me knows that I love coffee. So I thought I'd do a little post on why I love it and how I became so...for lack of a better term, obsessed.

It started one summer during school when I had an office desk job as a summer student. The job was very much a 'run out the clock' situation.

5pm couldn't arrive fast enough. It was a constant fight.

I've always loved the smell of coffee, but yes, even to those who know me well, there actually was a time where I couldn't stand the taste of coffee.

Even still though, if I could somehow set up a timer to wake me up to the smell of coffee every morning, I would, although that would definitely up my chances of burning things down due to faulty wiring...or stupidity.
The cafe at the front of the building had a self-serve type deal - it smelled absolutely wonderful with flavours like 'vanilla bean hazelnut', 'orange mocha' or 'clever chocolate'. They all tasted the same, the most vile tasting sludge ever.
One day, my cousin was visiting Toronto from Florida due to work, and he asked me to try his then favourite drink, a caramel macchiato.

The experience was enlightening.

I remember the first time I ever had a triple shot of espresso, I came home wanted to get something from my room. The next thing I knew I was at the top of the stairs without remembering climbing them at all.

Gradually, I became less and less accustomed to sweet drinks, where at one time I loved them, I can barely stand a Caramel Macchiato now.
Slowly I started to warm up to coffee and grow accustomed to the different tastes and essentially 'found my drink'. Currently either an Espresso Macchiato or an Iced Americano.

It wasn't until I moved to LA and went to what became my most favourite coffee shop ever, that I discovered what good coffee was.

For the first time, I tasted straight espresso that was creamy, rich and sweet - with hints of vanilla, hazelnut and chocolate. With no additives! It was love at first sip.

Now, mornings usually don't start til I have coffee. Without some, I'm a useless pile of blob. The staff at my local Starbucks can attest to that.

Coffee also brings people together. A few friends and myself have been able to go to one of our new favourite coffee shops in Toronto, Lit Espresso Bar, and be very productive, social and relaxed all at the same time. Coffee is the new beer.

After visiting so many coffee shops (so, so many) certain things start to jump out at you. Especially when they're reoccurring. As a result, I've been able to discern a certain number of barista 'types'. These are a few of them.

My friends Jon and Jeremy created a drink at Starbucks they lovingly refer to as "The Killer". I decided to be daring and try 3 shots instead of the recommended 2. The results were less than favourable.

I'm hoping that one day it rains coffee from the sky. If that happens, the world will be a more pleasant smelling and delicious place. It may also become faster paced and crazier, but we'll ignore that for now.

I sincerely think there's a whole untapped market for coffee flavoured/coffee influenced products. Someone should get on that and make it happen.
I'd buy it.

I think I have a problem.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Head Studies

Compositional Studies

Sketches in Ballpoint Pen/Pencil/Pilot Pen

I'm working on some more stuff to post soon - in the meantime, any requests for any movie reviews?