Saturday, June 10, 2017

Next Bat-Time, Next Bat-Channel - Rest In Peace Adam West


I might be a child of the 80's, but I grew up watching classic reruns on Nick-at-Nite. My evenings were filled with I Love Lucy, M.A.S.H., and of course Batman. Adam West was the first time the character was truly defined for me and I don't think I'm alone with that memory. 

We've lost so many icons in the past couple of years and each of them deserve their own moments of mourning, but there's something strange about losing Adam West. When someone introduces you to a character or idea that sticks with you as much as Batman has stuck with me that person begins to feel immortal. And when immortality fades you see the ugly face of mortality through the haze.  

Goodbye Adam West, you will forever be the caped crusader and you will forever be missed by friends, family, and fans alike. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Updating some of my recent marketing/design work:


Ruffin' Wranglers, April 2017 Ad

Ruffin' Wranglers, Social Media Banner

Friday, March 3, 2017

PattyJ.com


Lately I've been waist deep in my new book, a sci-fi adventure story due out later this year, which is admittedly taking me longer than I'd like. But in the mean time I've put together a collection of my work thus far for the lifestyle blog PattyJ.com.

I've been lucky enough to guest blog for Patty about a wide range of subjects, but primarily Rhode Island's craft beer scene. PattyJ has been named Rhode Island Monthly's Best Of Rhode Island two years in a row and with good reason. With a finger on the pulse of The Ocean State this popular blog crisscrosses R.I. culture and hot spots with style!  

To check out a few of my contributions to Patty's blog  (and check out the whole blog for that matter) click the links below.

Something's Brewing On The West Side
Check out this quaint brewery on Providence's West Side.
Where to go and what to drink on Valentine's Day in Rhode Island.
All About Isle Brewer's Guild In Pawtucket
A new partner brewery inspires growth and innovation in Pawtucket, RI.
There's a little something for everyone on New Years. Champagne, whiskey, and beer.
Food, Drink & Dessert: A Guy's Guide To Thanksgiving 
Thanksgiving is more than just Turkey and football.

PattyJ is also available on social media:
@PattyJStyle on Facebook
@pattyjeffre1 on Twitter
@pattyjdotcom on Instagram


Monday, November 14, 2016

"Arrival" Review (no spoilers)


Being a child of the 80's has given me a decent reach in terms of watching science fiction. With one arm I was able to touch Star Wars and Star Trek, Alien and The Abyss, Blade Runner. And in the other, I'm scooping up exciting new touchstones on both the big screen and small. Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Westworld, Doctor Who. This has inspired an evergreen interest in more classic literary works of sci-fi and made me excited for what's coming next. RARELY do I found something that feels so new, but harbors such a old soul. Arrival is a modern day cinematic gem that hearkens back to the groundbreaking movies of the 70's and 80's. 

Based on the novella The Story of your Life the film follows the events following a sudden alien presence on earth. Twelve ships called 'shells' station themselves on our planet. In order to understand the new species the government looks for help from Amy Adams's Dr. Louise Banks. As a top shelf linguistics professor with top secret clearance Banks is uniquely qualified to help learn the alien language in the hopes of understanding why they are here. 

At it's heart this is hard science fiction. We are talking real Ray Bradbury stuff here and I completely fell in love with it for that. Additionally the film lays out a all too real self-portrait of our modern world. An overtone (not an undertone) is the potential consequences of our divided world. Don't get me wrong though this film is not a political message wrapped in a sci-fi facade. No, instead it blends current politics with old school storytelling and it's beautiful.

For my money the storytelling is pitch perfect. However there are a couple of production notes I'll toss in, just because I used to be a film maker and we have to ruin everything. The first quarter's pacing was a little slow, that being said I can understand the rationale behind it. You just have to get to the end of the film to understand that thought process. Amy Adams dials in a great performance. This could have been a very tricky role as well, it deals mostly in subtly which could have come off as muted or flat. Instead she does a wonderful job of bringing you into her world.

Jeremy Renner, who I for some reason have a soft spot for acting-wise, did fine with what he had. I don't actual have any gripes about his acting ability here. But rather I think there was a missed opportunity with his character. They almost use him for an injection of humor into what is other a very serious film. But as much as I like the guy he does not have that innate charm you need to inject ambient humor into a movie like this. There are actors out there, but it just wasn't him this time.

An interesting thought I had while watching this was that the cinematography felt like the director, Denis Villeneuve, was channeling those previously mentioned classics from the 80's. So many shots looked like they were pulled straight from The Abyss or Blade Runner. Well, come to find out Villeneuve will also be directing the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel. There you have it I guess.

My hat goes off to Eric Heisserer as well. He penned a screenplay that not only tackled a great deal of linguistically technical talk, but also an impressively woven narrative. This story could very easily have become muddy and over complicated, but Heisserer handled it with an impressive hand. 

Lastly, this film is important for two main reason. First, because it takes a different approach to a traditional tropes. Using linguistics as a driving plot device was something I had never see before and that peaked my interest right away. Second, this film is a sounding board for how hard we must work to understand those who speak a different language from us. It's about staring at something we fear and seeking to understand it rather than strike it down. Like all great science fiction it speaks to what we could be as humans. The opportunity to be more than we are, to reach out of our comfort zone and open our minds to things we are unable to comprehend at the moment.

Arrival is out now, check your local theaters and don't miss out.
Thanks for reading,
+ Colin




Arrival trailer and above photo courtesy of http://www.arrivalmovie.com/  and belong to Paramount Pictures. I do not own the rights to any images or video featured here. Nor was I paid for this review, I just really like sci-fi and I really liked this movie.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Buying Local, a Video

Last weekend I ran a copy of "Grayfellow: Icarus Burning" to Newport, RI. While I was there I filmed a quick video for my YouTube video. It's all about buying local!


There's also a link right here for where to buy my book in the Rhode Island area. It's a continually evolving list so be sure to check back. But the best way to keep up with me is Facebook / Twitter / Instagram & YouTube!

Cheers,
+ Colin

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Buying Grayfellow Local!

Being a self-published author it takes a little bit of time to get one's book into the local bookstores. Following that logic Grayfellow: Icarus Burning is slowly becoming available in your local bookstores around Rhode Island.

Since this is an ongoing process please keep checking back or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

In the mean time you can find Grayfellow at

Barrington Books Retold
176 Hillside Road
Cranston, RI

Books On The Square
471 Angell Street
Providence, RI


+ Colin

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Book Reading Saturday, April 16th

In celebration of the annual Rhode Island Library Day I'll be doing a book reading Saturday, April 16th at 2 PM at the Marian J. Mohr Library in Johnston, RI. If you're in the area stop by, IT'S FREE!