Friday, December 17, 2010

The Joy of Zach: December 18, 2010

I somehow let two weeks slip by without updating, so I've got a lot to tell you about! Mostly TWoP pieces, but it feels good to see how much I've done there.

- We're doing a lot of year-end wrap-ups at TWoP, including a piece on our favorite movies of the year, which I wrote maybe 70 percent of, and our most hated movies, which I did maybe 40%. What can I say, I'm a positive person.

- My reviews for the past week have been The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Tourist and, just today, Tron: Legacy. One I liked, one I loved, and one I despised with a passion. Read 'em to find out which! Next week I review True Grit and Gulliver's Travels, which I expect to be similarly divided on.

- To tie in to Tron: Legacy, I did a couple of photo galleries: the best and worst virtual realities in film, and other actors who should meet their younger, CGI selves on the big screen, like Jeff Bridges does in Tron. The latter one I'm pretty proud of, if only for the split-panel shots I put together. I also compared Narnia to Middle-Earth, and I jumped the gun and updated our best movie eyepatches gallery for True Grit. I love that gallery.

- I still haven't seen The Fighter, but that didn't stop me from writing a Mark Wahlberg set diary, and from converting my list of the best movies about fighting to a gallery, to tie in to the movie.

- Awards season began in earnest this week, and I posted my responses to the SAG Awards nominations and the Golden Globes. My comment on how wacky the foreign press's picks seem to me was interpreted as American superiority, when I merely meant that different cultures like different things. Like The Tourist, for example.

- Back in the Moviefile, with Yogi Bear coming out this weekend (I won't be reviewing), I ran down some classic Hanna-Barbera animated properties that should get the big screen treatment. I focused more on the action shows than the talking animal shows, because Yogi looks like a train wreck. Think less Hong Kong Phooey, more Herculoids. I also did a fun (I thought) piece on directors who should take over Iron Man 3 now that Jon Favreau's gone.

- I posted a rundown of all of my co-author Ruben Procopio's upcoming projects over at the Pop Sculpture blog. I was actually surprised to find out about some of them, and my rekindled love of Tron has me craving a couple of his pieces. But I've been denying myself even a $10 light-up Tron action figure, so I probably won't be buying myself a bust or statue any time soon. Let me know if the picures don't load for you, because I can't see them half the time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Joy of Zach: December 6, 2010

Welcome back to your one-stop shop for the writing of Zach Oat! This week it's pretty much all Television Without Pity, since I've been inactive on the LAW Blog and the Pop Sculpture Blog, where Tim has been posting his multi-part Jacob Marley bust tutorial. However, since it's Krampus Day, I just started updating the @MisterKrampus Twitter account again! Naughty boys and girls, beware!

- My latest movie reviews for TV Without Pity are The King's Speech and Black Swan, which is probably my favorite Aronofsky film so far, and in support of that I came up with a list of star Natalie Portman's best and worst roles. Putting The Professional on the "Worst" list was painful, but it was something I had to come to terms with.

- The first season of The Walking Dead ended on Sunday, and it also marked the end of the writer's room on the show -- going forward, it's going to be all freelancers under showrunner Frank Darabont. God only knows how that'll work out, but at TWoP we're pretty much all in agreement that the show needs new writers. I was chosen to express our reasoning in song. Well, singable prose.

- Last weekend we lost a great actor in Leslie Nielsen and a great director in Irvin Kershner, so I wrote a couple of posts, one about Nielsen's greatest roles and another about Kershner's other two great sequels that aren't Empire Strikes Back.

- I knew it was too unbelievable to be true when I heard that the Farrelly brothers were going to try to relaunch the Three Stooges in a feature film starring Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro... and it was. The movie changed studios, and Penn and Carrey left, so I decided to re-cast the roles. My buddy Jon Abrams had his own ideas -- but we agreed on one Moe, kinda.

Next week: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Tron: Legacy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Joy of Zach: November 24, 2010

Hey, all. I realize I haven't posted on this blog in a long time, but that's because I blog as part of my day job, and, well, I'm not usually that inspired to write on my blog once I get home. But then I realized: there's no one central place to see everything I write. Since my multi-blogging buddy Jon Abrams asked about it, and successfully posts on several blogs regularly, I figured I'd start doing a writing wround-up every week of my published (well not really published, but you know, fake-published) work. I give you the Joy of Zach!

- This week, I have reviews of Love and Other Drugs, Faster and Tangled up at I loved Tangled. Best non-Pixar Disney movie since The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The others? Not so much. Also, I reviewed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last week , and I hope to see it again with the missus.

- I also posted my reaction to the Green Lantern trailer. I'm gonna see it, and it looks like fun, but I still think Ryan Reynolds (whom I love) was miscast, and Blake Lively looks awful.

- My massive holiday movie preview is also up, showcasing all the big movies coming out between Thanksgiving and New Year's. I gotta say, besides Tron: Legacy and Black Swan and True Grit and maybe Somewhere, there's not a ton I'm excited about. Although that's plenty, I suppose.

- Tim Bruckner and I've been doing a lot on the Pop Sculpture blog, since the book came out a month ago (less than that on Amazon, due to some kind of glitch), and the last thing I did was an interview with contributor Jim McPherson, who's a digital sculptor at Gentle Giant. He also used to sculpt makeup effects with Rick Baker, and he actually sculpted stretchy-face Ash in Army of Darkness, which makes him aces in my book.

- I also post on the Real LAW Blog along with some of my writer friends, and we take turns picking characters to draw. The last pick was the Ghostbusters, so I drew them fighting Geist, from Justin Aclin's Hero House. I'm probably going to back off for a while, and give some of the other guys a chance to post their drawings, but you can see my older stuff here.

Well, that's it for this short week, but here are a couple of Thanksgiving cartoons I drew last year for a contest that I've never published anywhere. Zachsclusive!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pop Sculpture is On Its Way!

So my book is almost done. It's written and designed, and it's getting redesigned as we speak, but Tim Bruckner, Rubén Procopio and I have decided to start the buzz early and build to its October release! To that end, we've created a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a blog. I highly recommend following one or all, because we're gonna have sneak peeks (not sneak peaks, which are surprise mountains) of the book, and nuggets of wisdom from our various contributors for the next six months, and probably beyond that.

I also highly recommend you check out the LAW Blog, which is where I and a bunch of my friends and former co-workers have been posting our artistic interpretations of comic book and cartoon characters. If you think a blog where a bunch of writers post their drawings sounds lame, you are dead wrong.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Zach Oat to Appear on 'Idolz'

Very often, someone will ask me to loan my artistic talent to a project. ...No, not really. It rarely happens. It's never happened, in fact. And sometimes the seething jealousy as I was overlooked in favor of more important and better-trained people threatened to consume my soul. So when the guys at Idolz Toyz asked me to customize one of their posable, stackable, tiki-inspired Idolz for them, I was instantly filled with a sense of vindication, and swore to do my very best.

Sadly, I didn't take into account the holidays, the surge of Oscar-quality movies hitting theaters and the fact that I was the father of a one-year-old. So I got delayed a bit, but the New Year gave me the time off necessary to finally complete my design! In addition to a couple carded versions of the first release, Gruntor (in camo, above), I was sent a totally blank version to paint however I wanted. After briefly considering making a Zach Oat Idolz, which my wife Melissa roundly discouraged, I settled on my favorite comic character, Hellboy, who is similarly craggy-featured.

I wanted to use the removable arms, so I passed on the sideburns in favor of the stylish BPRD trenchcoat. I tried to find a good-sized version of the Samaritan pistol, but ended up just using the included hammer, which I can only assume is magical, and kills Nazis. I'm pretty happy with it, and I think it stands up to some of the other Idolz customs out there, including Iron Man and Spider-Man. You can see those great customs on the Idolz Facebook page, and you can buy your own camouflage version at! (No blank ones for sale yet, but maybe someday!)