Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Upcoming Studio Art Sale and two film reviews

I've got two film reviews and a major announcement to cover today - 

If you saw my review of "Cryptozoo" you probably remember I voted it the worst animated feature of the year.  Well, now I believe it's got stiff competition.  I just saw "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On" at an Academy screening and apparently the producers have hopes for an Oscar.

As I was watching this technically pretty film, I was wondering,"How the hell did they get the money to make this piece of crap?" It's about a talking sea shell (with a very ugly design) who lives in an empty house and he talks about his mundane life.  The only event in the film worth mentioning is when Lesley Stahl visits to interview Marcel for "60 Minutes". 

Who would invest money is a script like that?  I was fuming, why can't I get money to make my films?  Is Lesley Stahl a big investor?  Is there a huge body of snail fan backers?  Then, after talking to people I found out that apparently Marcel began as a star on the internet with a huge fan base and the investors figured "It's a ready-made audience."  

In any case, apparently it's doing well in the cinemas and has already made a million bucks!!  Imagine that?  My next film will be called "Snail's Face".  I give it a D-

The other film I watched was "The Gray Man" directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.  And it was a gas!! The story has Ryan Gosling's character being recruited from prison to be a U.S. Special Ops hitman who has morals. However, another branch of the Special Ops needs a pendant (McGuffin) that Ryan has, so they send an immoral hitman, played by Chris Evans, with an unlimited budget to retrieve the pendant any way possible.  

What's really unique about this film is that there's so much crazy surreal action.  These set-piece battles are like mini-features that build and build and climax in glorious and surprising ways.  I would guess there is about ten times the action of a James Bond or "Mission: Impossible" film.  It was interesting that the Russo Brothers showed up for a Q&A after the screening and they talked about what fans they are of Hollywood action films and how they were influenced by their predecessors.  I give "The Gray Man" an A.

The last bit of news I want to talk about is a Studio Art Sale I'm having in September to offer a lot of my artwork and merchandise for sale.  This will include art from my classic shorts "How to Kiss", "25 Ways to Quit Smoking", "Guard Dog" and "Your Face", plus original art from my features, from "The Tune" to "Revengeance".  I haven't done this for a few years, but now that my work is a big hit at auction houses I feel like it's time for me to cash in on the many fans I have.  More details will be posted here soon, but we're shooting for the weekend of September 17-18 at my studio in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.  

I hope to see you there - I have to warn you though, I'll probably have Matt Groening and Steven Spielberg on the phone. 

--Bill P

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