DashCam footage now in movie form: “The Road Movie”

I have to admit that one of my big guilty pleasures is watching compilations of dashcam footage on YouTube. If nothing else, it’s a reminder of why I need to avoid distractions while driving. It’s also prompted me to look into acquiring my own dashcam.

Given the huge number of other people who also watch these videos I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone decided to throw a bunch of clips together and release it as a full length movie. The Road Movie does just that and it does it specifically with footage out of Russia where, thanks to rampant attempts at insurance fraud and a particularly inebriated citizenry, dashcams have become ubiquitous resulting in a wealth of weirdness caught on video. Check it:

I’m not sure this will be successful as a theatrical release, but I could see it doing well on streaming services and home video. I won’t be seeing it in theaters because I know most, if not all, of these clips are available for free on YouTube. In fact, there’s dozens of clips in this I know I’ve already seen.

That said, these videos are hugely popular. There are dozens of channels on YouTube that do nothing but compile these clips and have subscriber numbers well into the tens of thousands. Some of them specialize with clips exclusively from Russia or the United States and others will take clips from anywhere they can find them. The better channels give credit to the folks who originally uploaded them, but some just rip off whatever they can find.

One of the channels I watch regularly is Road Cam Videos which publishes the CAR CRASHES IN AMERICA USA series. Their most recent collection includes footage of an accident just up the road from where I work. There’s a bridge over I-96 in Brighton for Pleasant Valley Road that was struck by someone in September doing enough damage that they had to close the bridge and take out the section over the eastbound side so they could rebuild it. You can imagine my surprise to find out some trucker caught the accident on their dashcam:

I’ve linked right to the start of the video clip of that accident and you can see the aftermath in the thumbnail above. It doesn’t look like it did that much damage, but here’s some pics from the Michigan Department of Transportation that shows why they had to demolish that part of the bridge:

Oh, yeah, that’s bad.

This next pic of them demolishing this section of the bridge had me wondering about their judgement on placing heavy equipment, but I suppose they know what they are doing:

This seems unwise.

Another shot of the demolition:

At the moment they haven’t started rebuilding it yet, but I suspect they’ll get around to it soon.

So, yeah, they’ve gone and made a movie out of videos like this. Again, no idea if it’ll be successful but I can see the logic behind the decision. These videos are hugely popular on YouTube so a movie should also be hugely popular, right? If they’ve managed to come up with a way to tell some sort of story with the clips that might end up working in their favor, but if it’s just clip after clip after clip then I’m not sure I see why anyone wouldn’t just turn to YouTube for that.

What do you think?

Would you jump from a Ten Meter Tower?

This is fascinating. Take people who have never before jumped from a 10-meter diving platform and pay them a small amount to take the plunge. Then film it.

Ten Meter Tower – New York Times

Our objective in making this film was something of a psychology experiment: We sought to capture people facing a difficult situation, to make a portrait of humans in doubt. We’ve all seen actors playing doubt in fiction films, but we have few true images of the feeling in documentaries. To make them, we decided to put people in a situation powerful enough not to need any classic narrative framework. A high dive seemed like the perfect scenario.

Through an online advertisement, we found 67 people who had never been on a 10-meter (about 33 feet) diving tower before, and had never jumped from that high. We paid each of them the equivalent of about $30 to participate — which meant climbing up to the diving board and walking to its edge. We were as interested in the people who decided to climb back down as the ones jumping.

I’ve never jumped from a ten meter tower, but I have have from a 5 meter tower and that was pretty exhilarating at the time. I was in high school and thus in much better shape, but I still made sure not to belly flop from that height.

Could I do a ten meter tower today? I’d like to think I could with only some minor hesitation, but you never really know until you’re standing on the edge of that platform and looking down at the water.

The “Assassin’s Creed” movie trailer has arrived.

While there have been cinematic video games for a long time now, Hollywood hasn’t as much luck turning video games into cinematic successes. Arguably the best so far was the couple of Tomb Raider movies that came out a few years back and those were hardly blockbusters. Personally, I’ve a soft spot for the two attempts to turn the Hitman: Codename 47 games into movies despite their flaws.

That lack of success hasn’t caused anyone to stop trying, though, and among other upcoming films based on games will be Assassin’s Creed featuring Michael Fassbender. The first trailer for it just hit the Internet:

It’s impossible to say if this will be any better than past video game movies just on this one trailer, but I’m intrigued. There’s been some minor changes to the plot — such as the protagonist being a recently “executed” criminal and there apparently being a whole shitload of people in the program and the Animus has transformed into some sort of robot arm that holds you aloft instead of a pod you laid down in — but most of the aspects of the video game appear to have made it into the movie.

Well, if nothing else, he certainly looks the part.

Well, if nothing else, he certainly looks the part.

Not that I really have a clue what the plot of the games is anymore as I’ve only played the first two to completion on the PS3 and a little bit of the most recent game, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which I somehow ended up with on the PC. There’s a total of six other games in the series that I’ve not played yet and somewhere along the lines they dropped the parts that took place in the future. In the first two games it seemed like the mysterious company you were kind of a prisoner of was using the sessions in the Animus to find some mysterious artifact, but it was having the side effect of teaching you the skills of your ancestors whose memories you were reliving. I assumed that eventually there’d be a story that takes place in that future setting where you’d finally become the badass your ancestors where, but it appears they dropped that whole plot line. I should check to see how cheap the older games are on Steam these days and get caught up. I hear AC IV was pretty cool.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if the movie can break the Video Game Curse and be a success. That is, if Warcraft doesn’t manage to pull that off first in June.

This is why I don’t watch horror movies.

I watched the horror movie Pay the Ghost last night and now I can’t get to sleep. Not because I’m too frightened, but because I can’t stop thinking about how the whole fucking story makes no sense whatsoever. It’s literally annoying me awake.

I’m debating writing or vlogging an entry about it that would completely spoil the movie not only by revealing the entirety of the plot, but also by pointing out how stupid it is.

The latest trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has hit the net.

And suddenly I’m 9 years-old all over again. For all I know the movie might be as bad as the prequels, but for the moment I couldn’t be more excited.

My brother-in-law is in a movie.

Aral on the red carpet at the premiere!

Aral on the red carpet at the premiere!

I married into a wonderful family that included at least one aspiring actor in the form of Aral Basil Gribble II. For years I teased him about how I was listed in the Internet Movie Database and he wasn’t. I can’t tease him about that anymore as not only is he listed (and has been for years), but he’s in a real movie with other known actors. The movie is called Dial-A-Prayer and stars Brittany Snow and William H. Macy. It’s a small independent film that was shot here in Michigan and it may just be the break Aral’s been working so hard for.

Here’s a small clip that he’s in rather prominently.

This sort of movie isn’t my normal fare as there aren’t enough explosions and car chases, but I’m happy to read from some of the initial reviews that it isn’t your typical cheesy “faith based” movie either. Reviewer Roger Moore says of it:

“Dial a Prayer” doesn’t tread the straight and narrow and reaches few predictable conclusions about Cora’s journey. But Kiley has created a pretty engrossing and somewhat moving story of a selfish, self-destructive drunk who finds, if not faith, at least the willingness to look outside of herself to try and help others and the chance to actually join the human race.

Being an indie, it’ll see limited theatrical release, but it is available on iTunes as of tomorrow. Alas, I don’t use iTunes, but I’m sure it’ll show up on one of the services I do use soon at which point I’ll be checking it out. If it shows up at a local theater I’ll have to go see it there just for the weird experience of seeing my brother-in-law on the literal big screen.

At last, my plans of achieving fame and fortune by riding on the coattails of a more successful family member are close to being achieved!

Far Right Religious Nuts: Disney’s “Frozen” will turn your daughters into lesbians!

I’ve not posted much about the far right Christians in awhile in part because I’ve tried to stop paying too much attention to them for the sake of my blood pressure, but sometimes I’m so amazed and how divorced from reality they are that I can’t not bring it up.

If you really want to get a feel for just how looney these people can get you can’t do worse than listening to the likes of Kevin Swanson who hosts a daily Internet radio show over at the Generations with Vision website. On Wednesday of last week, Kevin and his co-host Steve Vaughn talked about “Disney’s Progressive Agenda” which, according to them, is to turn your daughters into lesbians via seemingly innocuous movies like Frozen. Check it:

Given this shot from the film you have to wonder how these guys didn't work Incest into the list of things it indoctrinates your kids into accepting.

Given this shot from the film you have to wonder how these guys didn’t work Incest into the list of things it indoctrinates your kids into accepting.

I love that he takes a moment to point out that he is “not a tinfoil hat conspiratorialist” and then proceeds to suggest that Satan bought Disney sometime in 1984 with the goal of releasing movies designed to indoctrinate 5 to 7 year-old kids into becoming lesbians and accepting homosexuality or bestiality and apparently Frozen is one of those films.

Now I admit that I haven’t seen the film yet, but from everything I’ve read and heard about it from folks who have seen it, it’s hard to fathom how it would work as an indoctrination film for the homosexual agenda. Apparently there isn’t a girl-on-girl scene to be found in the movie nor does anyone get busy with the reindeer supporting character that features throughout the film. About the worst that can be said about the film is that the character of Elsa was originally supposed to to be the villain of the movie, but ends up really being the protagonist in a story about being who you are instead of who others want you to be. An empowered woman? No wonder the far right nutcases are having a shit-fit over this film. How the fuck will they ever get her to make them a sandwich if the uppity bitch is out being the Queen of Winter and shit?

If you listen to the rest of their podcast you’ll find they’re also upset that Disney has pulled funding from the Boy Scouts over their policy of discrimination against gay troop leaders. Because according to Swanson if you have a gay man leading the troop he’ll have no choice but to turn all your sons into sodomites:

Swanson: I’m guessing the majority of American parents don’t want their little boys turning into sodomites, at this point. if you were to interview, stick a microphone in front of most parents dropping their kids off at the average K-6 school in Colorado where they’re sporting their GLSEN signs everywhere, but if you just interview them and you ask them: “Is your vision for this little 6-year-old boy, 8-year-old boy, 9-year-old, 10-year-old boy that he turn into a sodomite?” My guess is that 60 to 70 percent of them would say, “that would be my worst nightmare.”

Given the popularity of anal sex among heterosexuals I’m not sure how not having a gay troop leader will keep most kids from growing up to become sodomites. When you consider that — according to some Christian interpretations — any sexual activity that isn’t procreative is sodomy then there’s even more folks out there engaging in it regardless of their exposure to gay people. As long as the folks engaging in it are consenting adults and aren’t hurting anyone then I don’t see what the problem is, but then I’m not a Christian with a persecution complex.

Frozen is a bit of an anomaly for a Disney film in that it provides a positive portrayal of an empowered woman and that’s the real threat these asshats are reacting to. There’s no room in the far right Christian’s mind for women who aren’t submissive to men. Isn’t it enough that they can vote and drive cars? Do we really have to let them think for themselves as well? If the idea that a woman could be happy and fulfilled without a man in their life to tell them what to do were to catch on that would be the real nightmare.

There’s something about a bad girl that appeals to me.

I’ve got to give Disney credit. I’m not a huge fan of their classic animated features as I find them just a bit on the saccharine side for my tastes, but their live-action twist on Sleeping Beauty where we see the story from the villain’s point of view has me very intrigued:

For all I know the movie may end up being crap, but the casting of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent seems absolutely spot-on. The CGI is a little dodgy, but I’m willing to cut that some slack to watch her tear up the scenery. The new rendition of Once Upon A Dream by Lana Del Ray is just chilling. Oh, and that smile! She’s living up to her name with that smile.

Yeah, this looks like a must-see.

Movies I Want To See: “Tai Chi 0”

Kick ass steampunk kung fu? I am so there…

Movies I’m Looking Forward To: “Looper”

I’m pretty sure I’ve posted a trailer for Looper before, but they just put out a new one that really has my ohmygoshIhavegottoseethis juices flowing again:

I’m really hoping it lives up to the promise of its trailers. Just wish it was coming out this week instead of September.