Studio Ghibli In Real Life – Video Brilliantly Edits Animation Into Reality

LOVE IT. Vimeo user DirectorDT has created a video with Studio Ghibli characters in front of real-life footage. You can read the article about it & watch the whole video here: IndieWire.

I’ll post the YouTube video but know they sometimes don’t work. This video is also missing some of the footage so watch it at the above link instead if you can. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Awesome Movie Poster For 24X36: A Movie About Movie Posters

Check out this awesome movie poster for a documentary about… movie posters! It’s called 24X36: A Movie About Movie Posters and I badly want to see it as I have a love for cool movie posters (such as those by artist Drew Struzan, which I posted about HERE).

You can read a little about this documentary & see a teaser trailer at this link: Entertainment Weekly.

Stranger Things Poster Art By Kyle Lambert

Okay – who else is watching Stranger Things on Netflix?? I’m exactly halfway through watching all 8 episodes & I’m really enjoying it. No spoilers, please! πŸ™‚

There are very few TV shows I watch anymore other than Game Of Thrones & The Walking Dead (which is starting to piss me off). I’ve tried a few new shows here & there but always lose interest. I may be the only person who couldn’t finish Making A Murderer (why the hype?).

Well, I’ve finally found two shows that I like! It’s not surprising that both happen to be set in my favorite decade (the 1980s). I adore Freaks And Geeks, which I’m only just watching for the first time now (it’s on Amazon Prime in the UK, FYI). How did I never see this show before? Like Stranger Things, I’m also about halfway through watching all of the episodes. Why the hell did Freaks And Geeks last only one season, dammit? Now I see why fans were so mad about that.

I started watching Stranger Things when I heard it described as “Stephen King crossed with 1980’s Steven Spielberg sci-fi”. That couldn’t sound more ME! Plus Winona Ryder is in it. Yes! Edward Scissorhands & Heathers Winona Ryder!!! Add the early 80s setting & great soundtrack and I’m extremely happy. πŸ™‚ At the moment, I’d say I prefer Freaks And Geeks overall. I think it’ll depend on how Stranger Things ends. Supernatural horror can go very wrong at the end sometimes. But both are great & I highly recommend them if you love the era.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a link to some great Stranger Things poster art by artist Kyle Lambert. I love the deliberate Drew Struzan style. Struzan is a favorite movie poster artist of mine (I did a top ten of my favorite Struzan posters HERE). You can see Lambert’s Stranger Things poster art at this link: Huffpost.com.

Tiny Sticky Note Nightmares By John Kenn Mortensen

Meant to post this the other week when I saw these images… Love them! This guy, John Kenn Mortensen, does amazing illustrations on Post-It Notes. And they’re creepy as hell! You can view the article with more drawings here: Neatorama.

There are also even more of his illustrations along with a great video collage here: Dangerousminds. Finally, he has his own blog where he posts all his drawings here: Blogspot. He writes & directs TV shows for kids. Yikes! They must look nothing like Sesame Street. πŸ™‚

2001: A Space Odyssey As A Picasso Painting & Blade Runner As A Van Gogh

Wow. I absolutely love the look of this!

Apparently someone named Bhautik Joshi used “Google’s neural network to teach Deep Dream to interpret Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as a Picasso painting”. Did I even say that right?! I honestly have no idea what that sentence even means, hence the quotation marks as I’m kind of quoting THIS ARTICLE ABOUT IT. That link contains short videos of Joshi’s Deep Dream interpretations of the Picasso-like 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as Blade Runner looking like Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.

I have no idea what the hell Deep Dream is but I love seeing these two absolute sci-fi classics looking like paintings from two of my favorite artists. Good job, Bhautik Joshi! πŸ™‚

Sweet Valley High Covers Artist Takes Commissions

OMG I was obsessed with Sweet Valley High as a pre-teen in the Eighties!

I saw this the other day & just had to share it here too. James L Mathewuse, the artist who did over 250 Sweet Valley High covers, takes commissions! I want to be painted like one of the Wakefield twins!!!!

Seriously, though – you can view the artist’s site HERE and a good article about it all HERE. But now I need to reminisce…

Yeah, I read the above three books. I think I stopped at book number thirty-something (I did outgrow them eventually). I wrote to Francine Pascal, the creator of the series, when I was about 12. This was for a school project, okay?? I wasn’t quite nerdy enough to write fan letters in my spare time. πŸ˜‰ I thought it was really cool when I got sent an audio tape of the first book, though.

I’ve had a lot of fun just now Googling images of the original cover art. It’s shocking how they all came back to me as I looked at the covers! I can remember my favorites based on the artwork. Double Love, Playing With Fire, Power Play, Kidnapped! Those were awesome. How embarrassing… I was briefly very girly.

After Sweet Valley High, I moved onto YA “horror” instead. Christopher Pike’s books were my favorites. Remember Me, Chain Letter, Spellbound… This kind of thing was way more “me” (and my gateway to Stephen King). I really wish I still had those books with their original artwork – I’d love to be able to pass those on. Hell, I’d probably read all the Christopher Pike books again to see if I still thought they were great or if they can only truly be enjoyed by Young Adults.

I’ll shut up now. But I’d love to hear from other Sweet Valley High or Christopher Pike lovers! Jessica was such a bitch, though. I always identified more with Elizabeth. πŸ˜‰

Graphic Posters of Classic Album Covers

I love these!! Aladdin Sane is my favorite. Also love Random Access Memories & The Dark Side Of The Moon. πŸ™‚

These are by graphic designer Nick Barclay using only one or two shapes to represent each album. You can see the rest of the album covers at Fubiz plus more of the artist’s other cool work at Nick Barclay Designs.

Transmissions: Lonely Robot Paintings By Matt Dixon

Illustrator Matt Dixon has created this absolutely adorable series of lonely-looking robots entitled Transmissions. You can read more about him & how he creates these paintings plus see more of his fabulous work here: Bored Panda.

I adore these paintings so much. What is it with me & cute robots?? When asked recently who my favorite Star Wars character was, I barely even gave the human characters a thought. My answer was, of course, R2-D2. And I’ve never been more excited about a Pixar movie than when I saw all the teasers for WALL-E. I made a special trip into London to see it the day it came out & immediately fell in love with that little trash compactor with the big heart. It instantly became one of my all-time favorite films (not just favorite “animated” film). 

I could go on about my favorite robots all day (I suppose I should finish that top ten list that’s been sitting in my Drafts for years… I think I’m waiting for when I finally watch Metropolis! I’m such a procrastinator). It’s hard to pick a favorite painting of Dixon’s but I’d probably go with that first one with the kite. Aww – someone help him untangle his kite! I also love the one below, which has a great Iron Giant/Laputan robot (from Studio Ghibli’s Castle In The Sky) feel about it. Amazing. I think these are beautiful. It’s impossible to look at these paintings & not smile. Thank you, Matt Dixon! πŸ™‚

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Book Review)Β 

I mentioned this book HERE when I ranked & did mini-reviews of the books I’d read in 2013. It was a super mini-review for this one as I planned to do a longer review of it at some point. So, here you go! It only took me two years!

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

What It’s About: (via Wikipedia)
The book tells the tale of a boy who, following a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take him to an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island. The story is told through a combination of narrative and vernacular photographs from the personal archives of collectors listed by the author.

My Thoughts:

I fully admit that the eerie photographs used throughout this book are what drew me to it. It’s yet another Young Adult book, a genre which has become so popular with every age these days, but at least it’s quite “different” from the rest. I still think the idea behind this book is genius! I love that the author collects weird old photographs & ended up writing a story around them. I think that’s very creative. Unfortunately, I didn’t really love the story.

(Is this one of the creepiest photos you’ve ever seen or what?!)

As I say, I read this in 2013 (possibly even 2012) so I’m not going to get into any specifics at this point. I did think the story was clever, about a group of “peculiar” children at an orphanage who seem to each have strange & mysterious talents or “powers”. It’s a very odd book & I’m usually a fan of odd. But, for whatever reason that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, it didn’t really work for me although it seemed like the type of thing that would be right up my alley. As with most books I don’t fully enjoy, I think I just didn’t buy into the characters that much (including the main boy, Jacob, who has to unravel the mystery of his grandfather’s strange photographs).

I do think a big part of my problem, which probably isn’t fair to this book, is that I had NO idea that it was the first book in a series when I read it. I think the second book wasn’t yet out and, although I do enjoy YA books such as The Hunger Games trilogy, I’d been reading a lot of series books at that point & was looking for a stand-alone book to read. Imagine my disappointment when I got to the end and there wasn’t a satisfying conclusion! It’s very much a “to be continued” ending. As long as you know that before reading it, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed like I was.

I’m choosing to finally “review” this now as, obviously, this is mainly a movie blog & I’ve been wanting to write a little something about the book before Tim Burton’s film comes out early next year. I do love to read but struggle with book reviews – I find it far easier to talk about movies. But I still enjoy discussing books with all of you in the comments so I’ll do my best to give you a few more of my crappy book reviews by the end of this year – I’ve read A LOT! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I remember saying to my husband while reading this how it would make an excellent Tim Burton movie. Am I good or what?! Clearly someone read my mind! I was very happy when Burton was later chosen to make the film as, although I didn’t totally love it, the book is very original and had a “look” in my mind that perfectly fits Tim Burton’s gothic style. I know his films have been disappointing in recent years but, if he gets this one right, I think it could be very good. And if it’s good, it’ll probably interest me in continuing with the story. Eva Green, although too “young & pretty” for how I pictured Miss Peregrine, does feel like a perfect choice to match the book’s style as does Asa Butterfield as Jacob. I’m actually really looking forward to this film adaptation! I was probably too harsh on the book but, perhaps if I read the next book, I’ll start to like it a little more. As long as there’s some sort of conclusion? Has anyone read the second book, Hollow City??

My Rating: 3/5

Oh god! It’s those creepy kids again! This photo is the stuff of nightmares!!!!

Someone Take Me To Banksy’s Dismaland Bemusement Park!

Banksy has put together this “dystopian tourist attraction” featuring art from a long list of famous artists (including his, of course). I love Banky’s work (you can read my review of Exit Through The Gift Shop HERE). I did a “Banksy tour” of London years ago to see some of his most famous street art and I WANT TO GO TO DISMALAND!!!!

There’s a very good article about the whole thing at This Is Colossal so take a look at that link if you’re at all interested & live anywhere near Weston-Super-Mare. There’s loads of info, a video & lots of photos.

It’s very likely that reading that article will be your only way of experiencing Dismaland. So far, demand is very high and there are long queues to get in as the official website is experiencing problems and people have been unable to buy tickets. Ha! Rumor has it that even that is all part of the Dismaland experience. How very Banksy! I love it! So I’m extremely unlikely to experience Dismaland first-hand as I live nowhere near there (plus I can’t imagine Disney letting this stay open for long!!!) but just knowing of its existence puts a smile on my face. Which is kind of missing the point. Or is it?! Who knows. Gotta love art! πŸ™‚

My Top Ten Drew Struzan Movie Art Pieces

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Yesterday I reviewed Drew: The Man Behind The Poster, which is a documentary about legendary movie poster artist Drew Struzan. Struzan has created some of the most well-known & iconic film posters and I love his work. I decided to do a separate post highlighting some of my favorite Struzan pieces of movie art.

At first I was going to focus just on his art that officially got used (whether originally or for anniversary editions). But in looking at his official website (HERE), I discovered a lot of art I like that I’d never seen before. So I figured I’d include all movie-related work (so, I’m excluding things like his super cool Black Sabbath album cover). I already KNOW I’ll be missing something & I’ll later kick myself for it. He’s done so much that it’s hard to narrow it down and, while there’s a long list on his site, I have no idea if it’s complete plus not all the images are shown.

So, after spending probably an hour looking up Struzan’s art, I’ve decided that these are my favorite. Probably. For now. I’m so indecisive! πŸ˜‰ I’ll fully admit that I have a very hard time not letting how much I like the movie influence my opinion and, indeed, I like all of these movies. Remember I’m not an art expert in the slightest – I just really like the look of these. Especially number one. 

Now here are My Top Ten Drew Struzan Movie Art Pieces:

Honorable Mentions

Indiana Jones Quadrilogy, Squirm (I don’t know this movie but the poster makes it look awesome despite the 4.4 IMDB rating!), Star Wars Original Trilogy, Back To The Future 

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10. TIE: The Goonies & Adventures In Babysitting

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9. Big Trouble In Little China

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8. Ladyhawke

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7. The Dark Tower as seen in The Mist

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6. The Muppet Movie

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5. Revenge Of The Jedi

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4. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

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3. Back To The Future Trilogy

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2. Pan’s Labyrinth

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1. The Thing

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Drew: The Man Behind The Poster (2013) Review

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Drew: The Man Behind The Poster (2013)

Directed by Erik Sharkey

Starring: Drew Struzan, Dylan Struzan, Harrison Ford, Guillermo del Toro, George Lucas, Michael J. Fox, Thomas Jane

Running time: 97 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Drew: The Man Behind The Poster is a 2013 documentary film directed by Erik Sharkey about the career of American film poster artist Drew Struzan.

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My Opinion:

I watched this documentary last year and kept meaning to review it. I don’t know how to review documentaries (or books! man I’m behind on book reviews). As a documentary, I suppose it was pretty good. I don’t watch too many of them unless I’m really really interested in the subject, though, and this one was right up my alley. I love movies (obviously) & movie poster art and Drew Struzan has designed some of the greatest & most well known movie posters. So I’ll warn you right now that I may end up talking more about his art than about the actual documentary.

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Personal Life:

What I liked about this documentary, as with any documentary, was finding out more about Struzan’s personal life as well as his work. They talked to him and to his wife a lot and they seemed to have a lovely, very close relationship (I love a good husband & wife team). I’d say Struzan came across as a bit bitter and angry over certain things (he got very screwed over by someone in his career so I can understand that anger). He was the very definition of a “starving artist” in his early days and his wife was always by his side. I think this documentary got the balance right in talking about his personal life as well as his art. I can’t find any photos of his wife (Dylan) in the documentary, which is odd as she’s a very important part of it. But I found the above photo here, on the website of an artist who met Drew. It’s an interesting article if you want to have a look at the link & get an actual artist’s perspective on things (I can’t draw anything other than stick figures. I can’t even paint a wall properly!).

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It’s interesting how artistic types can sometimes be difficult but I liked how Struzan seems to have said “screw it” and lives for his wife & his art now. I’m difficult too but I have zero artistic talent of any sort so I don’t know what my excuse is… πŸ˜‰ I’m not saying he came across as unlikeable – just that he does what he wants to do now & too bad if others don’t like it. I think more people should be like that, actually. He was far less grumpy than Paul Williams was in the Paul Williams Still Alive documentary that I watched at the same time. I suppose I should do a mini-review of that sometime too… Here’s my review: Paul Williams is a grumpy fart! Lol. Seriously, though, Struzan came across as a private person who’s very passionate about the things he loves and I have a lot of respect for people who are like that.

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Artwork:

First of all, I’ll say they did a good job getting some famous people to talk about Struzan and the work that he did for/with them (I especially loved Michael J. Fox’s enthusiasm for Struzan’s work – you could tell just how much he loved being a part of the Back To The Future posters). Speaking of grumpy famous people, they even got Harrison Ford to talk about Struzan! How cool is that? He must be the actor Struzan has painted more than any other… We also heard from Guillermo del Toro, George Lucas, and Thomas Jane.

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I’m really glad they spoke to Thomas Jane about his part as a movie poster artist in Frank Darabont’s The Mist. For anyone not familiar with the movie, Struzan’s artwork was used in the beginning and Jane’s character is shown painting Struzan’s art for Stephen King’s The Dark Tower (which Struzan painted specifically to be used in The Mist). Three things I love all together: Stephen King, Drew Struzan & Frank Darabont! Wait… Four! Thomas Jane is a hottie. Anyway, Struzan showed Jane how to make it look like he was really an artist doing a painting then, being the perfectionist that he is, later told Jane that he did it completely wrong in the movie. I loved Jane’s re-telling of the story – he had a great sense of humor about it.

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Frank Darabont is clearly a big fan of Struzan’s as he’s had him do art for a lot of his work (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Walking Dead, and of course artwork for & in The Mist). George Lucas is also a huge fan and Struzan has done loads of Star Wars art for books, anniversary editions, etc. There are so many different Struzan Star Wars pieces that it’s hard to choose a favorite. I think it’s between Revenge Of The Jedi & this one, which was a collaboration with artist Charles White III:

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Struzan did the poster art for Hellboy but he also did an amazing piece for Pan’s Labyrinth, which the studio rejected (much to Guillermo del Toro’s anger). But del Toro is very proud to have this hanging in his home – I’d love to have this!:

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I hate how studios so often feel the need to have horrible, boring movie posters just featuring photos of the film’s stars these days. I understand that seeing the stars so prominently displayed convinces some people to watch a movie (I guess?) but it doesn’t work on me. I’m more interested in a film if it has a really interesting, artistic poster (I’m the same way with books. I’m drawn to books with good covers). Struzan paints the film’s stars anyway so I don’t know why anyone would ever choose some crappy photoshopped photo over a painting for a movie poster. I’d much rather see something like this:

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Summary:

I’ve decided to stop here for a couple of reasons. First of all, I sometimes feel ridiculous “reviewing” movies when I know as little about filmmaking as I do about writing. When it comes to art, I have even less experience or knowledge. I just know what I LIKE and I have a passion for film, music, books, and art & love discussing it with all of you in the same way that someone like Struzan has a passion for actually creating that art. Believe me, I’d far rather be creating it but I just don’t have that ability.

Second of all, if I continue I know I’ll just ramble on & on about all my favorite Struzan pieces. So, in the middle of this, I decided to do a separate list of My Top Ten Drew Struzan Movie Art Pieces, which I’ll post tomorrow. I’ve actually not even mentioned a lot of my favorites, including the one that is my favorite Struzan poster, hands down. I’ll just mention this as I decided that my list tomorrow should focus on only his movie art: When watching this documentary, I had NO idea that Struzan had done album covers and that he did one of my all-time favorites for Black Sabbath. How on Earth had I not known that?! The Alice Cooper one is amazing as well:

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Love those! Like I said, I know what I like and I know that seeing Drew Struzan movie art makes me happy. As for this documentary, I really enjoyed it as I find the subject matter fascinating and it was great getting to know a little bit about this private and talented artist.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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Anthropomorphic Cuteness Part IX: Junior Senior

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I haven’t done an Anthropomorphic Cuteness post in ages! I was reminded yesterday while being forced to play Just Dance again how much I enjoyed the Junior Senior song Move Your Feet when it was out & then I remembered that it had a cute video with one of my favorite things in the world: Anthropomorphic food! And it’s all pixel art so it’s even BETTER. πŸ™‚

I believe this is the third anthropomorphic music video I’ve posted now (first was the Blur milk carton then the X-Press 2 video with the adorable mix tape). Check out this happy hot dog!

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. πŸ™‚

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When Peanuts Travels to Westeros, We All Win

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A Peanuts & Game Of Thrones mashup? Love it!

These are from artist Philip Hororton – You can check them out here: Neatorama

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I’m loving all my favorite things being mashed up with Game Of Thrones lately! Just in case some of you missed it, I also better share this Sesame Street parody from a couple of weeks ago: Game Of Chairs. Love this so much!!!! πŸ™‚

It’s The Apocalypse, Charlie Brown!

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Holy shit! Two of my favorite things TOGETHER… Peanuts & the Apocalypse! πŸ™‚ This piece, called It’s The Apocalypse Charlie Brown, was created by artists Sean Ellery, Max Dunbar and Vitali Iakovlev. You can read more about it at GeekTyrant HERE along with the following story to go with the art:

Ever since Lucy had finally gone too far in her quest for power and launched the nuclear apocalypse, Charlie Brown had roamed the wastes watching his Peanuts gang being whittled down one by one until only he and his faithful beagle; Snoopy IV were left…. But he would never give up, never. Not until he found the little red haired girl.

She was out there… somewhere…

Illustrated Zodiac Nightmares

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Zodiac Nightmares! I like that… Sounds like a band name. Know what band name I always loved? Pearl Jam! Until I found out that it was totally filthy. Anyway, I saw these awesome illustrations by artist Damon Hellandbrand a month ago but never thought to share them. I love these! Remind me a little of H.R. Giger. Anyway, he’s done these “reinterpretations of the signs of the zodiac“. My favorites are these two (Libra & Gemini):

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You can see the rest HERE and on Damon Hellandbrand’s own site HERE. πŸ™‚

My Top Ten Black Sabbath Songs

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Yep, I have no movie reviews ready to post today so it’s time for a super lazy Top Ten List! Look, Seth – SABBATH! πŸ™‚

Counting down to my number one favorite, here are My Top Ten Black Sabbath Songs:

10. TIE: Planet Caravan & A National Acrobat
9. N.I.B.
8. Electric Funeral
7. Iron Man
6. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
5. Paranoid
4. Fairies Wear Boots
3. War Pigs
2. Spiral Architect
1. Black Sabbath

Number one & two are SO close… Think it depends on my mood. Yeah – I mainly just know the “Greatest Hits”. This was an easy post – I should do these more often!

Actually, I just realized that I can make this a movie-related post as well. One of the many movies I watched in 2014 but didn’t get around to reviewing was Drew: The Man Behind The Poster. I’ll still review that as I found it fascinating and I LOVE Drew Struzan’s movie posters. However, as he’s so well known for his famous movie posters, I had NO idea before watching the documentary that he’d also done one of my favorite album covers (and back cover) for one of my favorite bands! Black Sabbath’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath:

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How did I not know that?? Anyway – here’s the song Black Sabbath. I love that it sounds like what you’d hear on the way to Hell. It’s perfect for the walk to work. πŸ™‚

Anthropomorphic Cuteness Part VIII: Bowie Apple

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Here’s a photo of an adorable kids t-shirt complete with an anthropomorphic apple that I like to call the “Bowie Apple“.

And speaking of David Bowie, I saw this fun gif the other day that I wanted to share. Artist Helen Green created this gif showing us “50 years of David Bowie’s hairstyles in 5 seconds“. πŸ™‚

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Buscemi Bowie” appeared on Ministry Of Gifs soon after… Lol

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Anthropomorphic Cuteness Part VII: Christmas

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Check out my favorite little Christmas plate complete with all kinds of cute faces on inanimate objects. Plus a few ornaments and a happy little star cookie with eyes. Ho ho ho! πŸ˜‰

I’m hoping to have a movie review ready to post here tomorrow (the totally un-Christmassy Daft Punk’s Electroma as mentioned HERE – that should get a few “WTF?” comments. lol) and that will probably be the last post until after Christmas so, if I don’t get a chance to say it before the 25th, I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas! πŸ™‚

Anthropomorphic Cuteness Part VI: Rectum! Testicle! GUTS!

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I WANT THESE! These adorable anthropomorphic organs can be bought from this website: I Heart Guts! πŸ™‚

The rectum is quite cute. (Rectum? It nearly killed him!): πŸ˜‰

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But I think I’m partial to this adorable testicle:

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Seriously, though – you really need to check out the entire website. It’s hilarious! They have a description of each organ and what it does plus things such as their “likes & dislikes”. (The Rectum, Bringing Up The Rear details are my favorite! Favorite song: Drop It Like It’s Hot by Snoop Dogg. Lol). They also do art, pins & buttons, stationery, clothing, etc. The plush toys are definitely my favorite, though – they look so cuddly! And this Periodic Table Of Your Period looks quite handy…

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Alphabet Attack: Movie Illustrations by Dave Crosland

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Check out these cool illustrations & more at Dave Crosland’s (aka King Gum’s) site here: Blogspot.

He calls this series “Alphabet Attack” and says this about it: “Each piece is titled after a letter of the alphabet, and themed by faves from science fiction, film, comics, and literature.” See the full article here: GeekTyrant. πŸ™‚

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Anthropomorphic Cuteness Part III

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For today’s Anthropomorphic post, I thought it would be fun to post this tribute to everyone’s favorite Disney live-action anthropomorphic car: Herbie the Love Bug. πŸ˜‰ (and the cute art above comes from DeviantArt artist Zimeta HERE)