Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Suspended Indefinitely

That's right, I'm closing shop here. I was never a huge fan of the interface anyway.

By next Wednesday, this account will be deleted. Fun while it lasted, but a failed target.

Be sure to switch over to my new, much more attractive, capable of keeping up with my creativity website over here.

Varb For Me

Suspending Blog

Listen. I'm sorry to the 12 people that have been coming to the blog regularly, but something doesn't quite feel right about it to me right now. I know the Internet can be a fickle medium, but in using various tracking systems since relaunching the blog I've seen some pretty ridiculous patterns of inconsistency in how people are responding to this project so far.

I'll probably continue what I have been doing here on a yet to be opened Live Journal blog that will also go a bit more into my personal life, but for right now: TrentSketch Reviews is suspended. Stopped. Halted. Paused. Immobile.

When I come back, it will be a big push. Be ready.

Varb For Me

Monday, April 23, 2007

Review: As Told By Ginger

This post is inspired by the wonderful people at Television Without Pity, without who I would forget to write about under appreciated shows like Nickelodeon's short lived As Told By Ginger.

What happens when a show on Nickelodeon decides to tackle more adult themes than farts are funny? We've seen it happen with Doug, Hey Arnold, Invader Zim, The Wild Thornberries, and As Told By Ginger. Nick cancels it, rarely re-airs it, and (with the exception of Invader Zim, which can only be explained by Jhonen Vasquez somehow stealing the rights to the show back from Nick) never release the series on DVD.

As Told By Ginger, for those who were not among the 12 people to watch it regularly, was the story of tween Ginger, an aspiring writer, trying to get by as best as she could in the difficult social climate of a new school for her final year of middle school. Tackling issues as light hearted as school rivalries and perfect birthday gifts to seldom seen in animation topics such as death, interracial romance, intelligence, class struggles, and single-parent households, Ginger was more advanced than a Nick show should be.

With intelligent dialogue, a realistic and consistent style of simple animation, and a theme song from Macy Gray, Ginger attempted to provide well thought out entertainment to the Nickelodeon watching masses and failed with everyone but fellow writers, critics, and awards bodies.

I guess what it comes down to is this: if you see Ginger on television some time, watch for a few minutes. It's not a show for everyone, but if you can get into it, you'll understand why the show still has a loyal group of fans that aren't all preteen girls with self-esteem issues.

This show is so under appreciated, I can't even locate an episode or clips from an episode that would make you all fall in love. I can't even embed or link to the opening theme, and I don't have any equipment with me to pull up clips myself right now.

Instead, I'll link to my new online store from Mintd.

I actually prefer it to Etsy, since there are no listing fees and you can post three items for free, but you could, say, call a listing Bags and post every bag you have as a different "color" or "size" variation. It's a good thing.

Varb For Me

Not a Review: What is this Urge I Feel

I have the strangest urge today.

I have an unnatural desire to go outside and just bask in the sunlight and warmth of a beautiful NYC spring day.

What the hell is wrong with me? I should be holed up inside a darkened room still covered in sun screen (lest I get any color) listening to songs filled with euphemisms about ninja teddy bears or films with chronic kool-aid syndrome (so much blood they had to thin it out with water, hence a kool-aid looking spurt).

Shame on me. For shame.

Varb For Me

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Review: Masters of Horror Episode "Sick Girl" by Lucky McKee

Hmm...I don't think I've previously mentioned my obsession with the work of director/screenwriter/actor Lucky McKee yet. One, I know his cousin, and thanks to knowing his film May, did very well in a forensics tournament once upon a time. Two, May is one of the best horror films of the last ten years, deftly combining black humor, wonderful realistic characters, and a twisted concept to a simultaneously sympathetic and horrifying conclusion. Three, he got screwed over big time with his film The Woods, once thought to be strong enough to demand that M. Night Shymalan rename his then titled The Woods to The Village, only to shelve the film for the better part of, about, two years and then release it straight to DVD, stripping it of all special features the week before it's release and it's still better than most of the crap films out there. Four, he stepped in at the last minute to direct what is still my favorite episode of Showtime's Masters of Horror series Sick Girl.

Sick Girl tells the story of entomologist Ida Teeter (the always wonderful and lovely Angela Bettis) who receives a strange specimen from a professor in Brazil. She eventually has Misty Falls (horror queen Misty Mundane, aka Erin Brown as credited here), a talented young artist, move in to her apartment, and all hell breaks lose.

A twisted horror comedy (what else) of a lesbian romance turned wrong at every step, the dialogue will have you laugh till you cry, while the practical effects and gore will have you cringe. The screenplay is intelligent, witty, and utterly disturbing, and McKee shows off his ability to pull out fantastic performances from his actors through understanding and collaboration that has endeared him to repeat contributors, like Angela Bettis. The true break out performer in this is Erin Brown, who is known in some circles more for her sex appeal than her acting ability. Erin fills Misty Falls with a sort of vulnerability and innocence that truly makes her turn for the worse all the more effective. Plus, she was very kind to me when I met her last year and even signed an autograph for my brother's friend who kind of has a huge crush on her (well, her work anyway).

If you are on the fence about which episode of Masters of Horror to pick up, I would personally say there are two strong choices. If you want straight horror with only a bit of dark humor, go with Cigarette Burns from John Carpenter. If you want dark humor with a nice bit of horror, go with Sick Girl.

Oh yeah, it also has Patricia Clarkson, another repeat contributor to the work of McKee. Told you he's popular.

Varb For Me