I Got A Fever…

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
– – –

Sometimes I just like to sit down and spit-ball ideas. It can’t all be one big magnum-opus, and I feel like I’ve been spending a lot of time away from the drafting table and too much time prepping for my ‘Image of the Day‘ project. At one point or another last week – I can’t remember precisely – I overheard somebody quoting the famous Christopher Walken/Will Farrell sketch that made fun of the cowbell intro to Fear The Reaper.

I felt like taking a break from the daily routine and pay proper homage. I had actually started this piece a long time ago, but it was nice to have an excuse to sit down and finish it. Hope you like it!

SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

Wrong Eye, Carl – The Walking Dead

ALL WALKING DEAD MERCHANDISE HERE
– – –
SEE THE WALKING DEAD EPISODE REVIEWS AND ART

Ever shot a gun before? No? Well let me speak an obvious truth – you need to be able to look down the sights in order to hit your target. In this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, titled ‘Something They Need,’ we see a wee-little mistake, as Carl Grimes looks down the barrel with his dominant (right) eye, which doesn’t actually exist – he lost his eye after a rogue bullet glanced his face while the group was attempting to navigate through a horde of walkers in season six.

In a show celebrated for its attention to detail, this is one little example of where they dropped the ball. It’s not an indictment – it seems to me that the stance of the various characters in the scene was designed for the director of photography, for visual composition. It might not look realistic if a naturally right-eyed and right-handed actor had to pantomime or pretend at being newly handicapped, but these are the details that hardcore fans notice.

I would also reference how insanely accurate Shane was, in season two, firing his sidearm at a swinging log while trying to train Andrea – rest her soul – how to shoot. He hit his moving target, with a 9mm handgun – a moving target, at distance – every single time. A well-trained officer might be able to achieve this, but it feels unrealistic how quickly he turns from admonishing her timidity, then draws his weapon, and effortlessly & with no time to aim, hits his target –  all in a fraction of a second.

Few people are that accurate with a handgun.
Just sayin’.

SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

How Long Was ‘Batman v Superman’ In The Works?

BvS EasterEggMORE POSTS FROM THE DC EXTENDED UNIVERSE
– – –

From the ‘Wilhelm Scream’ to things like Hitchcock’s cameos – often little inside jokes between Hollywood director friends and family – so-called “Easter Eggs” have always been a part of cinematic storytelling. In the age of the internet and the renaissance of the film trailer, super-fans and comic-conventioneers now fill YouTube with theories, frame-by-frame analyses, and share the fun details they’ve uncovered in highly anticipated IP’s. In many ways, fandom has exploded, and audiences are enjoying greater inclusivity in the cinematic worlds they love.

Before this practice really took off, though, audiences really had to look. Sometimes clues were right out in the open, and sometimes they were menacingly hard to identify. But you can rest assured that the comic book fan – not unlike science fiction fanatics – are the ones who search the longest and the hardest. Consider “I Am Legend,” a film that was released in 2007, almost ten years before “Batman V Superman” hit the silver screen. It’s in an establishing shot in the early minutes of the film, as Robert Neville (portrayed by Will Smith) walks through the post-apocalyptic ruins of Times Square.

As clear as day, what do we see at the top of the frame? A “Batman V Superman” billboard.

I discovered that a few people, obviously, have already noticed this and it’s been making the rounds on social media, but this sure was news to me. According to the sources that I trust (namely comicbook.com and collider.com), ‘I Am Legend” screenwriter Akiva Goldsman wrote an early draft “Batman V Superman,” although that draft was later rejected. This Easter Egg was an early concept of what Goldsman and director Francis Lawrence thought a “Batman V Superman” promo piece ought to look like.

It’s always fun to be a fan.

ARTWORK FROM THE DC EXTENDED UNIVERSE

So Long, Carol – It’s Been Fun

Carol's Cookies postFINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE

Well, somehow the lion-hearted warrior woman we’ve come to know and love has left us. Only a few episodes earlier, she was the one to strike fear into the hearts of children, travel incognito through a swarm of Wolves with a bloody ‘w’ on her forehead, and even come to blows with Morgan over his peacenik philosophy.

Carol is an enigmatic character, a wonderful dramatic foil to Daryl. In many ways, the two of them were abused, tamped-down by their life’s circumstance. Daryl was abused by absentee parents and a bully older brother, Carol by a husband’s fist. The characters have evolved organically, and are unique to “The Walking Dead” television series. Neither character exists in the comic book, so there’s no source material they need to adhere to. I think this is one of the reasons why they stand out, and why there’s been such a pronounced outcry from fans that the two develop a romantic arc. But those aren’t who these characters really are. They are more open and vulnerable with one another than anybody else in the community, and their intimacy doesn’t hinge on bedroom antics – there’s something more concrete and serious about how they relate to one another.

I think we all know we’ll be seeing Carol again. She won’t be dismissed this unceremoniously. I’m guessing she gets herself kidnapped by The Saviors, hastening a confrontation between communities. The incident on the railroad tracks will require a response from Negan and his people, and it’ll be swift and bloody. But hey, maybe they’ll like her cooking.

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
– – –
SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

The Walking Dead – “What?”

What postFINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE

It takes something special to make the audience laugh at violence, but that is precisely what the writers achieved with their most recent episode of “The Walking Dead.” Inured with struggle and bloodshed, Rick Grimes and the group are hardened fighters. Like the group portrayed in the show, the audience is accustomed to the necessary violence that the characters endure. This is why we are able to laugh when Rick, bathed in the blood of a man who tried to kill him, looks around at the benumbed villagers of The Hilltop – people decidedly not accustomed to violence – and says “what?” as though what he had just done was nothing more than cracking his knuckles, brushing his teeth, or tying his shoes.

It is also something of a disarming slight-of-hand that the writers have successfully pulled off. We know we shouldn’t be so amused by what we’ve just seen, but we are. A writer that has perfected this little trick is Quentin Tarantino – I’m reminded of the burning theater in “Inglourious Basterds.” We see the face of Hitler being gruesomely mutilated by machine-gun fire, and we celebrate. A look at a room of people condemned to burning alive, and it is difficult to not find it funny. They were all Nazis, after all.

The show is slowly evolving, breaking from the routine of “find sanctuary, lose sanctuary, hit the road, rinse, repeat.” We haven’t even met Negan yet. Believe me, things are about to get much, much more violent.

SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

Colossus – Gay Icon?

Colossus Tires postFINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE

It had to happen. While watching the new “Deadpool” film opening night, this image immediately struck my psyche. I was immediately reminded of famous fashion and celebrity photographer Herb Ritts and one of his famous – and famously gay – portraits of a muscled man holding tires. His body of work is impressive, and I count him among one of the photographers who truly inspired me, even though I never developed in to a studio portraitist.

herb ritts

This image took a few hours to render, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. Let me know what you think.

READ THE “DEADPOOL” MOVIE REVIEW
SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

Remember That Starbucks Cup Incident?

Indiana Jones postThis is a soap box. Allow me to stand on it.

Whoever designed the 2015 Starbucks holiday cup was looking for a fresh Christmas design- one that hadn’t been done to death over the past sixty years, which have seen a ruthless increase in holiday commercialism. Sometimes, in a ‘diminishing-returns’ design scenario, brick walls are hit. Santa and snow men and snow flakes and sleighs – they’ve been used to death; it’s not like any of those things are “Christian” either, but that’s a whole other load of knuckle-dragging logic-fail that needn’t be addressed here.

The design team likely had a meeting, looked at a few dozen proposals, and opted for the one design that didn’t look like any of the others (or any of the designs from previous years that had already been used). Minimalism isn’t a bad thing, people. And we all know that red and green are the colors of the season – just look at the trees, candy canes, and mistletoe.

Shake it off. Nobody’s coming for your bible.

VISIT MY ONLINE STOREFRONT HERE
SIGN UP FOR THE NEWSLETTER HERE