Sunday, November 30, 2014

Date A Cat? (cat print sale - proceeds to charity!)






Well, hello there art (and cat?) lovers,

It has been some time since I last wrote; if you scroll down you can see that my last post was a review of Man of Steel, which I gave a generous 3 out of 5 Molos.

In any case, I felt I should have some sort of "Hello, I'm back" introduction here before I started in on my real purpose (Dating Cats) for this all of these words, but if I keep it up, we'll never get to the point (Dating Cats).

By now many of you are familiar with a certain dating website that starts with an O and ends in -upid. This website has had a huge impact on my life; I actually first met my girlfriend on there some 5+ years ago, and I'll always be grateful for that connection!  But in the process of meeting her, I got interested in the way the website worked, and how the percentage matches happened, as well as the ways in which people would sell themselves as good catches - especially the photos they would post. I'm hardly the first person to observe or comment on these things, but still, I wanted to do something with it...

…and that something started to be things like this:



These drawings are based on profiles of women with whom the website matched me, using complicated metrics and percentages. You see, after scrolling through profile and profile, I often noticed these adorable/awkward and sometimes downright disturbing pictures that women would post of themselves posing with their pets.  After a while it felt more like it was the cute cat that wanted to date me, or the scruffy dog. 

So I did more...





Basically I found myself thinking way too much about all these pets, and the interesting ways we use our pets to give our lives meaning and definition, and well, it felt like it said something about those of us trying to find some happiness though the web.

Here is a piece I did of several cats that I was "matched" with:
Girls who like Guys ages 25-39 within 25 Miles of me, ink on paper, 11" x 14", 2013


So there are 20 cats, all very good matches for yours truly! (Mind you, 39 is really old for a cat.) I may not end up showing these pieces (and the many more not pictured) in a proper exhibition, but in the meantime I have an offer for you all - 

PRINT SALE FOR CHARITY!

Girls who like Guys... (pictured above - with the 20 cats) has been printed in a limited edition of 50 signed + numbered, archival giclĂ©e prints, sized 12" x 9", for sale now to benefit a CAT CHARITY! I have heard great things about Kitty Harbor, a non-profit, volunteer-only, rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption facility for homeless and abandoned cats and kittens.  This charity will receive 50% of all proceeds from the sales of this print!  Furthermore, once I've made back the costs of printing this, all further proceeds will go entirely to Kitty Harbor through end of 2014.  

These limited edition archival signed prints are $40 (plus shipping if necessary—we can figure cheap shipping on a case-by-case basis).


They look nice framed, and can fit in a standard 8" x 12" if you trim 'em a bit.  


If you are interested, there are 3 ways you can order a print:

1.       Pay through PayPal. E-mail me (ryan.molenkamp@gmail.com) from your PayPal-connected email address and I'll send you a PayPal invoice. Be sure to include your shipping address in the email.

2.  Mail a check.  Email me for my mailing address, and be sure to include your shipping address.

3.  Meet me in-person to exchange.  Email me to coordinate. 


If all goes well, I'll send Kitty Harbor a nice check to help those cats find new homes!  Now helping those cat owners find love, that is a different story.  

Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you! 

Ryan Molenkamp, cat lover, but maybe not as much as this guy...



PS  I hope to make this an annual tradition - prints for charity - won't be cats every year, but it seemed fitting this time.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Molo's Film Quickies: May and much of June 2013

CURRENTLY PLAYING IN THEATERS:
Man of Steel
3 Molos
 
 You have probably already seen this movie if you are planning on seeing it at all, unless you are Trevor, who cancelled last minute, despite being a self-proclaimed super Superman fan.  (sheesh)  In any case, the reviews have been middling and this one isn't going to be any different.  My lasting memory of watching this movie is that a hologram had more lines than any of the main characters.  My friend said it was really heavy handed on the Christ-imagery, and I can't argue that point.  Basically, the film is a mess, but an entertaining mess non-the-less.  
 
Here's the thing that really gets my goat with this movie - they did such a good job casting Zod with Michael Shannon, and they wrote a big part for Zod's cohort - the lieutenant, whatever her name was, but they really dropped the ball on the 3 guy in this trio of destruction - remember the 3 from Superman 2?  There was Zod, the baddass chick, and the big growly guy...where is the big growly guy in this movie?  Sure they was a masked big guy in one of the town fight scenes, clearly meant to be this character, but show his face, give us some of that comic action, give us some of this:  


This brings me to my final point.  Sure make new Superman all dark and serious if you want, but Superman is a fun story, it's a fun hero, the damn movie should have been more FUN.  Batman is serious, he's all dark and effed up by his very nature, that plays well with dark movies, the Tim Burton ones and the Christopher Nolan films too.  Superman, though...fun, should have been fun.  

Oh well, we still have Pacific Rim to look forward to.
 
Directed/produced by Zach Snyder and Christopher Nolan.  Starring a cheesy Amy Adams looking all deer-eyed, Henry Cavill's pecs, hologram Russell Crowe (so life-like!), Michael Shannon, and Lawrence Fishburne...oh they gave Kevin Costner and Diana some work too. 2013  


Flight of the Storks
2.5 Molos
 
 
featuring a "chilling Rutger Hauer"

This was the only SIFF film I saw this year.  It was long, way too long, and weirdly paced.  The first half, I enjoyed, almost like you are watching a cool travel expose show.  Many beautiful locations...but overall, very heavy handed, messy, confusing - kind of half-assed David Lynchian at times.  I think the whole thing just got confused as it was originally conceived as a 2 part film for TV.  I can't recommend it, but it wasn't terrible either.  Almost worth it for Rutger, but when he shows up 2.5 hours into the film, I just wanted it to be over.  In English, mostly.   Dir Jan Kounen Starring a bunch of UK actors and folks you won't know, and a would-be chilling Rutger Hauer. 2012 
 

CURRENTLY STREAMING/DVD/WHAT-NOT:

Gangster Squad
2 Molos
 
 
The cast was right, the look was right, the story seemed lively, everything about this movie should have made it a lot of fun and a huge success, but it was pushed back and eventually flopped in theaters?  Why?  Oh the usual, writing, direction, editing...I don't know what really made it so...flat....maybe it's just that we've see this story before a zillion times.  Crooked cops, gangsters, one guy standing up to the evil empire, a hot dame...it's just a tired period piece about a story we've all know.  
 
So not even heavy hitters like Gosling, Nolte, Penn, Josh Brolin can save this one.  Directed by Ruben Fleischer (who made Zombieland, go figure) Starring the above mentioned and Giovanni Ribisi and the yummy Emma Stone as the broad..  2013
 
 
Cloud Atlas
3 Molos
 
 
Ah, the old "book vs movie" debate.  This film is one of the more challenging books-to-movies anyone could have attempted.  Ambitions is not a big enough word.  Do the Wachowski's and Tyker (yes 3 directors) pull it off?  Not really.  Do they make a different, interesting film?  Sure.  
But what could have been....
 
I was mostly unsettled by 2 things with this film, okay...3 things.  One - they really played up the whole shared/past lives thing in the movie, like really really really rubbed it in, including using the same actors - it was distracting and not in tone with the book, which had a more ambiguous and mysterious tone to it.  Two - on a similar note - in the book there are the same 6 different stories, just like the movie, but the film jumps around between the stories constantly, while the book gives you a lot of time to sink into each one - thus allowing you to give a shit about the characters.  The movie fails drastically at that.  I don't get it, why do it that way? And my final complaint - I'm tired of seeing Agent Smith in movies other than the Matrix.  He is so distinctive, sounds so distinctive, even in the picture above, you can see Agent Smith right there.  I'm always expecting Neo to show up when I watch the Lord of the Rings and movies like this.  
 
But it's still a kind of fun ride, in a way.  Messy, disjointed, long and confusing, but still kind of fun.  Kind of.  Directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski.  Starting  Tom Hankx x 6, Agent Smith x 6, Halle Berry x 6, Susan Sarandon x 6 and a bunch of other people x .  2012 
 
 
 
I'm just going to plow through the rest of the films I've watched since my last post - no time for comments now, might edit later:
 
Smashed
3.5 Molos
 
Robot and Frank
3 Molos
 
Easy Money
3 Molos
 
Chasing Mavricks
2.5 Molos
 
Take This Waltz
1.5 Molos
 
Vision Quest
4 Molos
 
Silver Linings Playbook
3 Molos
 


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2013's Top 10 (that I've seen so far):

#1  The Place Beyond the Pines
#2  Star Trek Into Darkness
#3  Iron Man 3
#4  Man of Steel
#5  Evil Dead
#6  Gangster Squad
#7 Jack Reacher (this is really just a placeholder, this movie was terrible!)
 
 
The 2013 Molo List:

Hunger 4 Molos
Perks of Being a Wallflower 3.5 Molos
Magic Mike 3.5 Molos
End of Watch 3.5 Molos
Dredd  3.5 Molos
The Sessions 3.5 Molos
Flight 3 Molos
Man of Steel  3 Molos (2013)
Evil Dead  3 Molos (2013)
Life of Pi  3 Molos
Searching for Sugarman 3 Molos
Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol  3 Molos
Flight of the Storks 2.5 Molos
Cosmopolis  2.5 Molos
Ted  2.5 Molos
Seven Psychopaths  2.5 Molos
Lawless 2 Molos
The Hobbit 2 Molos
Little Birds  2 Molos
Arbitrage 2 Molos
Jack Reacher 1 Molo (2013)
Taken 2  1 Molo

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Molo at the Movies: Star Trek Into Darkness




Now showing:  Star Trek Into Darkness in theaters and IMAX near you, in case you hadn't noticed....I caught it last night and I have to say, it was a hell of a lot of fun.  This summer is starting off to be an excellent summer of escapism blockbusters, finally...finally these films seem to be living up to their hype.  Either that or I'm just more easily entertained these days.  Well that's a discussion for another day. 

 If...and I mean if, I wanted to be an asshole and complain about this movie, I'd probably say that it is almost too relentless; it's basically non-stop from start to finish.  There are quiet moments here and there for a laugh for for say something like this:

(click on this for a story on this gratuitous underwear shot)
(for a story on Molo's Sketchbook's usage of this gratuitious shot ...well...too bad)

But overall it's non stop from the get-go.  Almost to the point of overwhelming the story...I still feel like I'm catching my breath a bit.  

But damn, they did a great job - there's a lot of well done tie-in to Star Trek 2, done very cleverly and amusingly and with homage.  The script is spot on, the casting continues to be very impressive - all of the previous cast returns and the addition of Robocop as a Star Fleet Admiral is nice (Peter Weller, to the uninformed).  The directing, the acting, including the new villain...all done well. 

Star Trek:  Into Darkness 
4 Molos  


2013  director:  JJ Abrams, Starring new Kirk, Spock, the other Spock, Simon Pegg, Robocop, Sherlock Holmes, 2 semi-clad girls with tails, Zoe Saldama and basically all these pretty people:


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The 2013 Molo List:

The Place Beyond the Pines  4 Molos (2013)
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Hunger 4 Molos
Perks of Being a Wallflower 3.5 Molos
Magic Mike 3.5 Molos
End of Watch 3.5 Molos
Dredd  3.5 Molos
The Sessions 3.5 Molos
Flight 3 Molos
Evil Dead  3 Molos (2013)
Life of Pi  3 Molos
Searching for Sugarman 3 Molos
Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol  3 Molos
Cosmopolis  2.5 Molos
Ted  2.5 Molos
Seven Psychopaths  2.5 Molos
Lawless 2 Molos
The Hobbit 2 Molos
Little Birds  2 Molos
Arbitrage 2 Molos
Jack Reacher 1 Molo (2013)
Taken 2  1 Molo

Top 10 Best movies of this year (ever-changin):

#1  The Place Beyond the Pines
#2  Star Trek Into Darkness
#3  Iron Man 3
#4  Evil Dead
#5 Jack Reacher (this is really just a placeholder, this movie was terrible!)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Molo at the Movies: Iron Man 3

 Look, if you are at all on the fence about Iron Man 3, then just get your ass off the couch and go see it. 


Otherwise you'll probably get caught up in Star Trek and Superman and Thor and Pacific Rim and Wolverine and Monsters Inc 3 and all the other summer blockbusters and let this one slip by.  Don't do that, this may well end up being the best popcorn movie of the summer.  


Then again, maybe not, this year looks about 100x better for action flicks than last year.  Iron Man 3 was a great way to start.  It's an enjoyable romp - dizzying, fun, clever at timesThe villains are strong, which seems to be such a hard thing to do these days, I mean when has there been a decent villain lately?  Loki?  Please.  The villains from the recent Bond flicks?  Meh....whatever happened to Hans Gruber?  Well, Ben Kingsley does a good job of it here - I don't want to give tooooooo much away, but he's quite amusing in his role, and Guy (cheekbones) Pearce is fairly decent himself.  Good villains are so important for a good action flick

Aside - remember Val Kilmer in The Saint?  I think Guy studied up on that flick for his initial scenes in IM3 - I swear I was looking at Simon Templar (had to look up that character name).  Come to think of it, both movies feature a super-attractive lady scientist with an amazing scientific, volatile,  breakthrough that is in danger of falling into the wrong hands....this movie actually owes a small debt to that fun late 90s flick...

Any who, where was I...Guy Pearce is such a strange actor, he's occasionally very excellent (Memento, The Proposition - man that is such a good movie) but I can't get a bead on him.  Is he going to be a good guy or a bad guy, or both, or just a side character actor?  No doubt that's why they cast him to this role...but I digress.

Back to the actual film -  There's a lot going on all the time w/out all that much really going on - Tony's dealing with post saving the world anxiety, the US is under serious terrorist bombing, people are blowing up, they painted Don Cheadle's suit all 'Merican....  It's kind of overwhelming in it's action sequences, but it is the good kind of overwhelming...although, I honestly found the 3D distracting.  I'm done with 3D, I don't like having to turn my head to see stuff on the side of the screen be in focus.  What's the point really?  Moving on...there's some fun dialog with a kid even thrown into this one.  The only bit that felt a bit forced is some of the Pepper/Tony drama about him withdrawing into his work instead of looking to her for support/what not...I mean it was fine and all, but you don't always have to really lay on these character lessons so thick, do you?  Look I'm talking around it a bit so as to not spoil the film entirely, so go ahead and ignore this, and we can talk about it another time, dear reader.  Point is they almost really really nailed it, and they did a valiant job, considering it's a Hollywood action summer blockbuster. 

 
Plus, Pepper kicks some serious ass at one point:





You had me at "that was really violent", Gwen.  

 Iron Man 3  3.5 Molos  2013 Directed by Shane Black, starring Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Sir Ben Kingsley, and lots of Iron Man suits.  And it's nice to see Jon Favreau of Swingers fame continue to get work. 


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And now, a running short list of all the films I have watched in 2013, new and old, ranked by their Molos (remember, the Molo Scale goes up to 5) 2013 films are highlighted in bold and there is a running top 10 list of 2013 at the bottom.    

The 2013 Molo List:







Hunger 4 Molos

Iron Man 3  3.5 Molos
Perks of Being a Wallflower 3.5 Molos



End of Watch 3.5 Molos


Dredd  3.5 Molos


The Sessions 3.5 Molos


Flight 3 Molos


Life of Pi  3 Molos

Searching for Sugarman 3 Molos


Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol  3 Molos


Cosmopolis  2.5 Molos

Ted  2.5 Molos
Seven Psychopaths  2.5 Molos

Lawless 2 Molos


Little Birds  2 Molos

Arbitrage 2 Molos


Taken 2  1 Molo



Top 10 Best movies of this year (ever-changin):


#1  The Place Beyond the Pines

#2  Iron Man 3

#3  Evil Dead

#4 Jack Reacher (this is really just a placeholder, this movie was terrible!)