Sunday, August 31, 2008

Falling in Love with the Movies again

It's a long weekend so I'm getting a chance to catch up on a couple movies I've been wanting to see, both of which I enjoyed.

First off I was sent a copy of Son of Rambow for a Hollywood Jesus review. Awesome 80s trip, great fun, hilarious and also very touching and sweet. The two lead actors were fantastic together and reminded me so much of me and my friends making home movies at that age. Check out my review for a few things I had to say about it.

...and also, I FINALLY got to check out The Dark Knight in IMAX, upon invitation by brother Mike & friends. HOLY CRAP!!! This was probably one of the best movies I have ever seen. I can totally see why there was so much hype over Heath Ledger's Joker...what an absolutely amazing performance! He was 110% pure EVIL! The film was so exciting and had me on the edge of my seat. It's loaded with spiritual and philosophical underpinnings as well, and crafted together masterfully. So many others at Hollywood Jesus have already hit exactly upon the same themes I found in it, related to our capacity for evil and our need for a savior. Excellent, excellent, excellent!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vancouver Spark Animation Festival

Hot off the presses, check out the new upcoming Animation Festival in Vancouver!

Watch for a report here on the events I'm able to attend, followed by Disneyland!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rock-afire Explosion Movie

...and speaking of the Rock-afire Explosion (see previous post below), this looks like an interesting film coming soon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yellowstone....the Rest of the Story.

We're all back home now from our big Yellowstone and American Road Trip Odyssey, so it's time to play catch-up with a bunch of other amazing stuff that happened and cool stuff we saw. One rule with this trip was we weren't allowed to eat at any chain restaurants or establishments. All meals (except for one dinner "off the road" that didn't count and a Starbucks coffee) were researched before-hand by searching for mom-&-pop places and 50s-style diners. Of course, every attempt was also made to capture the beautiful wonders of nature, family moments and strange cartoon culture along the way. Jay's blog goes into more minute-by-minute detail of the experience, but here is the Boundaries Bytes of Ken stuff...

Pink Flamingos and a Scary Hot Dog from Big Al's Diner in Blaine WA...

A pretty picture of Jay contemplating the open road...

Everytime we drive through the States, we see this damn freaky cow.

Something poetic about a lonely barn...

...and Mexican frogs.

I don't know what the hell this is.

Really awesome food and service in Spokane WA! If you can find it, you won't regret it. Good home southern cookin'!

Kind of a Preston Blair-ish drawing with a Cubby Bear cartoon title...

Ariel and I ended the day watching the new Transformers movie on HBO and trying to figure out exactly what happened in it, due to the serious lack of long shots.

Cute Jay at the Uptown Diner in Missoula, MT enjoying her chocolate milkshake.

Classic American lunch with a cherry coke and a Yellow Submarine is good.

Little Rizzo at the counter...

...and enjoying The Muppet Show on the road.

A fantastic family reunion upon arriving in Gardiner MT!

...and a lovely moonlit night.

In the park we saw a plethora of swallows...

...and a Mountain Bluebird...

...while Ariel pondered the beauty of Superman's ice cave.

This day was also Ariel's 2nd birthday, so a nice little family portrait topped it off...

...and a freaky elk.

Beautiful things like this don't happen randomly...

...but things like this do.

...and a family portrait before we head home!

...and now, a God story. Our car breaks down on the Montana highway, chugging along like a wet sponge. Luckily we aren't completely in the middle of nowhere, and we manage to get it as far as a small town (Clinton MT) with a lonely gas station/food mart. It's 100 degrees and both of our cel phones are dead, so I borrow the cashier's phone and call a random towing place in the Yellow Pages. It's also Sunday, so no place is open. I get a cast member from Deliverance on the phone who "just happens to be there" and can't help me, but he suggests I call Red's Towing. He doesn't have their number and tells me it should be in the phone book. It is not in the phone book officially, but somebody has written their number there IN PEN (!) so I call them. I explain that we have a car full of stuff and a first the girl answering doesn't think she can help us, until after putting me on hold she tells me one of their drivers is coming out anyway. While we wait, I try driving the car around the building a few times and it does run, just a little choppy. The towing guy arrives and agrees to follow us into Missoula (which is only about 9 miles away) in case we break down again. He leads us to what he calls 'the best place in town' for auto repair named Crawford's, and there is a nice affordable hotel down the street. Since no place is open, we check into the hotel for the night (and order Pizza Hut for dinner...the one meal that didn't count towards our no-chain rule) and try to relax before we find out the verdict first thing in the morning. At this point, we don't know if we'll be staying a whole extra day or just a few hours, or how much we'll be paying to get our car healthy.

Next morning it turns out all we need is a new fuel filter for under $100 and we are on our way. And out of all the auto places we could have been led to, it turns out the shop owner Ken Crawford has this image painted on his store window...

Again, this didn't occur randomly and we were guided back onto the road by angels and the power of prayer. We were blessed.

So taking it easy the rest of the way, we decided to just make it as far as Spokane and continue as planned the next day, only adding an extra half-day of driving to the whole journey. This circumstance allowed us to stop at both places in Spokane we were considering for food stuffs...

Frank's Diner, which is an old historic train car turned into a restaurant. Quite the amazing find and good food too, complete with a creepy baggage man behind the glass.

...and Wonderland USA Family Fun Center, where I knew they had a Rock-afire Explosion installed so I really wanted to check it out, since I hadn't seen one in the flesh since 1984. Unfortunately, the songs played fine and the lights worked, but the characters didn't. I asked the "manager" and the teen girls behind the pizza counter if they ever saw them move...they said some of the songs make them move and some of them don't. It's obvious they had no idea what these characters were supposed to be like, or what the nostalgic history behind them was. With the song selector buttons we tried many times, but each time the characters didn't move a muscle, frozen in dead poses. It was like seeing a beloved childhood memory (which I wanted to share with my own child) crumble and die. My grandparents used to take me to see these characters at Showbiz Pizza Place when I was 9-years-old, and with them now being gone, I took it rather personally. Oh well, I know there are working shows out's too bad this one in Spokane couldn't be treated with more respect.

But after one more classic American romp of nostalgia at the XXX Root Beer Drive-Inn outside Seattle, it was home again home again, and an absolutely fantastic holiday. There is so much more to share, but that's another story which shall be told another time.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Hangin' with the locals...

Can you see the sleeping giant in this picture? (his face is on the right)

Can you see Jay in this picture? (No it's not a Pink Floyd concert, it's a hot spring.)

Fun things to pose with...

Hitchin' a ride...

Rock Band with my brother Dan...a good way to unwind at the end of the day.