VHS mode in Youtube

Not sure if a late Easter egg, a passing joke or a permanent feature (would be fun), but Google gives us again the opportunity to play around with the common things on the internet.

This time comes all through Youtube. A new feature was added to the player of Youtube: the “Tape Mode”. You click it and your image will seem like an old VHS-cassette-like video. Quite nostalgic, I would say. I just discovered it watching some Ellen videos (I admit it, goddamit, that woman’s jokes are funny for me), and discovered this one with Steve Carell (better if you watch it in Youtube‘s website):

The legend says that they do it because of the 57th Anniversary of the commercial realease of the first VHS cassette. Well, quite a random number for me, but anyways. Not all videos have this feature. Apparently you just have to randomly find them too. Buuuu!!

Oh yeah, click “Pause” and it will keep the old effect of the cassette. These hipsters are everywhere with the electronic vintage effects. First their instagram, now this. I don’t think is gonna last, but I’d activate it for fun only.

Find a nice video and give it a try!

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And the summer of Horror…

Zombies, vampires, monsters and many other imaginary creatures are rising up again, like 30 years ago. After a long season of “slasher” films that re-started with “Scream” some time ago, the film industry has decided to put on the road again some super-productions and re-makes of classics, a few new stories that might give us this year nice surprises. What am I talking about? Horror, boys and girls. Blood, screams, tension, adrenaline, rampage, hunting, limbs, darkness, unconstrained eroticism with creatures of a fantasy world and a long list of elements continues.

This year we will get a decent amount of Horror in our cinemas, or maybe in yours only because I don’t know if these pieces will come to Germany. Among all the up-coming films, I have chosen these ones as my personal favorites. I hope they don’t disappoint me: Continue reading

Ánimas Trujano

Many times people think that I’m Asian, even some japanese friends thought that I had some asian parent. I’m not, and I’m not offended when they tell me such thing. It just amuses me ans surprises me, as I don’t have any asian heritage. However, it may be very common that the same thing happens to more Mexicans, as most of us look like me. I’m very average in Mexico.

The thing is that, considering this average looking of Mexicans, some Asians could also be taken as Mexicans, and it has happened in many important ways. Do you know Toshiro Mifune? Yes, the amazing japanese actor, very well-known because of his Samurai performances in the golden age of the cinema in the middle of the XX century.

Well, Toshiro Mifune also had a great performance as a Mexican peasant. What? Yes, he did it, and he fooled us. The first time I saw the movie “Ánimas Trujano” I thought he was Mexican. When I asked for the name of the actor to some relatives, they couldn’t identify him. Toshi… what? Toshiro Mifune, a name that arrives to Mexico to perform just once, but he did it so good, that we Mexicans believed him. Such a great actor!

Following is a piece of his performance in the film: Continue reading

Barbacoa de chivo

Silverio Palacios is a motherfucker! But in the coolest way, like “chingón” in Mexican Spanish. Perhaps due to his phenotype, but the guy has made some very memorable roles in the Mexican cinema, such as the Cucaracha Brothers in “El Infierno“, Gabino in “La otra familia“, Leserio in “Sultanes del Sur” or even “Silverio” in his first leading role at “Acorazado“.

Maybe some films were not that good, but Palacios always gave a gladly demonstration of acting. Most of his roles depict a poor, short, toasted and mustached guy… the average Mexican. He is not the tall and blond guy that in many Mexican movies are trying to sell. No, this is the average Mexican with the same attitude and the sharping personality.

But this time I wanna share one of my favorite performances of him. The following short film is named “Barbacoa de chivo” (“Barbecue of goat”) and belongs to the movie Cero y van cuatro, a film with 4 different shorts describing the daily life of the inhabitants in different parts of Mexico City with a very acid humor.

Barbacoa de chivo relates the story of a poor man looking for some money because he needs expensive medicines for his daughter, who unfortunately has Cancer. As his family lives in poverty and he is unemployed, he decides to do something extreme about it… a hit in the church. In Mexico that is still considered a very heavy crime by the people and it is highly punished in the most uneducated communities, leading some times to lynching.

But the story in this short is delivered with a high black humor, as usual in Mexican comedy. What would happen when a honest and righteous man turns against the church in order to save what he loves the most?

¡Que chingue a su madre!

FX guy of the day: Rick Baker

Anyone in the film business can tell who this guy is. He’s just a living legend and a freaking mastermind of our times. He has already 40 years in the FX industry and his achievements are almost as impressive as his creations. He was first known for the low-budget film “Schlock”, where he was in charge of an amateur costume… which turned out to be very realistic and of high-quality. This gave him the opportunity to work in “The Exorcist”, and it started his fast rising.

He has been 7 times Awarded with the Oscar for “Best Make-up”, and gave his inspiration and work for productions such as “King Kong”, “Star Wars”, “An American Werewolf in London”, “Harry and the Hendersons”, “Men in Black”, “Planet of Apes”, “Hellboy” and even “Thriller” from Michael Jackson.

He is one of the few, who see the beauty of horror, the beauty in a scary face, the beauty in a disgusting creature from the worst Nightmares. He is an expert in arts, design, paint, sculpture and (my favorite) Animatronics. All that without CGI. His work along these years was one of the reasons I study Robotics. He is THE MAN.

Truly a living legend and the inspirations of millions around the world, including me. Do you remember those real life Heroes you wanna meet when you’re a kid? He’s one of mine.

La otra familia

Well, this is a mexican movie, that unfortunately I have not watched, but it seems really interesting. Perhaps in Mexico these kind of topics are not openly discussed, because the society is still a bit conservative. The same happened with “El Crimen del Padre Amaro“, a story about a catholic priest having an affair with a woman of his parish. It was scandalous because it was a topic that remained as a taboo, women cried, young Catholics tried to boycott the movie outside the cinemas, priests condemned the producers and cast, and even with some influence they couldn’t stop people trying to watch how Gael García nailed Ana Claudia Talancón.

This time the mexican cinema gives us another taboo-topic: Families of homosexual parents. But unfortunately this time the conservative societies (really influential and powerful people in Mexico) could diminish the impact in the country. I was not anymore in Mexico when it was premiered, but from all my contacts and friends there… no one noticed this movie in the cinemas. It seems, that the movie was not released in enough cinema theaters and it was really fast showed.

Why? The movie has a great cast like Jorge Salinas (“Amores Perros”, “Sexo, pudor y lágrimas”), Ana Serradilla (“Déficit”, “Los inadaptados”), Carmen Salinas (“Todo el Poder”, “Man on fire”) and even Silverio Palacios (“Sultanes del sur”, “El Infierno”). The story is really good and invites the audience to think about the concept of Family… Continue reading

Machete

Todo se remonta al 2003 cuando Robert Rodríguez y Quentin Tarantino tuvieron la loca idea de hacer juntos una película de doble función, como las que había anteriormente en los cines. En los EEUU se hacían estas dobles funciones a veces con películas de serie B, a éstas funciones se les llamaba “Grindhouse“.

Bien, hicieron una película cada quién (“Planet Terror” a cargo de Rodríguez y “Death Proof” a cargo de Tarantino) y las metieron a una sola película titulada “Grindhouse“. Pero les faltaba algo, ajá, esos promocionales que iban entre cada película y que anunciaban otras películas del mismo género que saldrían próximamente. Como les daba flojera hacer también esos promos le echaron un grito a sus compitas desmadrosos del cine para que se aventaran estos cortometrajes.  Así, Rob Zombie llegó con “Werewolf women of the SS”, Eli Roth con “Thanksgiving day”, Edgar Wright con “Don’t”, etc. Entonces, Grindhouse se estrenó el 6 de Abril del 2007 en todo EEUU. A México lamentablemente llegó más de un año después a unos cuantos cines seleccionados y no duró más de una semana, ya que no le pusieron mucha atención.

La verdad no sé si lo pusieron poco tiempo por la poca promoción que se le dio o porque al público mexicano en verdad le caga ver este tipo de películas. No creo que sea lo segundo, muchas críticas nacionales alabaron el trabajo de Grindhouse, aunque yo personalmente no disfruté mucho del segmento “Deathproof” a cargo de Tarantino, no sé, no sé, es mi punto de vista nada más.

Pero hubo un promo que llamó la atención al público por ser demasiado entretenido, el cortometraje que Robert Rodríguez se aventó de repente basado en un personaje ya conocido por la audiencia: Machete. No confundir con “Navajas”, otro personaje que también usa armas blancas, que también es interpretado por Danny Trejo en una, también, película dirigida por Robert Rodríguez: Desperado. No, no, no, ése es otro personaje. Aunque fue inspirado directamente para crearse a este nuevo.

Continue reading