On Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

A few days ago, the country lost one of its greatest minds in the realms of film and criticism. Though there have already been a superfluous amount of articles memorializing the reviewer from the Chicago Sun-Times, it would be a mistake to not acknowledge a man who has had such a profound impact on film.

It seems that today just about anyone can hop onto a computer and consider themselves a critic (myself included), but serious criticism is harder than ever to come by. I won’t go so far as to say that Ebert was the greatest American film critic, but he was a symbol for a bygone era where films were more intellectual than entertaining and criticism wasn’t skin deep.

Ebert’s appreciation for film influenced my own through his many television shows, columns and a decade’s worth of “Two Thumbs WAY Up!” on VHS and DVD covers. He didn’t just review films for their overall quality but for how well they accomplished what they set out to do, as well as how much he believed the target audience would enjoy it. This relative grading scale made him the subject of a lot of ridicule, but at least there was an understandable method to his madness.

Those of us who obsess over film, both professionally and as amateurs, often don’t have too many close friends who share our passion for the silver screen. Losing Ebert feels like losing a close friend, one who understood something about you that no one else did.

This isn’t to say that Ebert was perfect. I often disagreed with his reviews and the man came across as a bit arrogant on more than one occasion in his writing. But that isn’t the point. Everyone I’ve ever met or heard of had some sort of defect, so there’s no sense in remembering a review here and there that may not be popular.

Ebert was the friend you discussed and debated films with at length, never growing tired of exploring new themes and ideas. Each week he invited us into his little studio and shared his views on the latest offerings from Hollywood. He did it with wit, intelligence and an amiable spirit. In the closing of his final blog post, “A Leave of Presence,” Ebert wrapped up everything I enjoyed about his work:

“So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”


Oscar Nominations: Snubs and Surprises

Yesterday morning, Seth McFarlane and Emma Stone announced the Oscar hopefuls for the 85th Academy Awards. As is the nature of any awards show, there are a variety of opinions on who deserves what and what films are worthy to be called the best of the year.

Best Director

Two of the biggest films this year were “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” which combined for 12 nominations. Sadly, none of those 12 will lead to Oscars for Kathryn Bigelow or Ben Affleck. Leaving Bigelow off the ballot makes some sense as she won the title back in 2010. The bigger crime is that Hollywood seems to still be punishing Ben Affleck for a couple of poor films from a decade ago. His three directorial features (“Argo,” “The Town” and “Gone Baby Gone”) are all loved by critics and were financially successful. It’s about time he was rewarded for resurrecting his career. On the bright side, Affleck is only 40 years old, so he has several decades to change voter’s minds. What is most admirable for this year’s category is the inclusion of first-time director Benh Zeitlin and his work with “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

Apparently the Academy loved “Amour” and “Silver Linings Playbook”

Before Thursday morning, French film “Amour” was only expected to pick up a nomination in the foreign language department. On top of that category, it also received recognition at best actress, best picture, best original screenplay and best director. Quite the victory for a non-American film that flew under more than a few radars. It wasn’t a real surprise to see “Silver Linings Playbook” on the list of nominees, but the Academy’s love for the David O. Russell picture was overflowing when Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver were able to pick up supporting nominations (bringing the film’s total nominations to eight).

“Django Chained”

It isn’t unusual for Quentin Tarantino’s films to be under-appreciated at the Oscars, but many of his fans will be crying foul after failing to read the filmmaker’s name on the ballot for Best Director. Perhaps just as frustrating for them will be how the Academy overlooked Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio for supporting actors. But, let’s be honest, the possibility of getting 3 supporting actor nominations for one film is ridiculous. Even if it happened, none of them would probably win because they would cancel each other out with the voters.

Animated Feature

While most people may not be all that excited about this category, I’m just glad that all of the nominees are quality animated films. There’s no “Hotel Transylvania” or “Kung Fu Panda 2” on this year’s list. Although “Wreck-It Ralph” has most of the momentum going into the awards season, there are several films in this category that could win.

There’s several more remarks I could make about this year’s nominations, like “What does John Hawkes have to do to impress Academy voters?” but at the end of the day, a lot of this is subjective. For the most part, I think this is a solid class of films. Now let’s see how the Golden Globes go this Sunday night.

Happy viewing

Bond Week: Countdown to “Skyfall”

James Bond is one of the longest running and most prolific franchises in cinema. The spy has been featured in 25 feature films since 1962 and, for the most part, they’ve ranged from average to great.

With the latest film, “Skyfall,” being released today in the U.S., I have been counting down the last week or so with some of the best in the series. In order to rank the top 5, I took a consensus of what most people consider to be the best 5 Bond films and watched them this week (With the exception of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Thanks for not carrying it Best Buy!)

5. “Licence to Kill” (1989)

Timothy Dalton may not have been part of the franchise for very long (his credits are this film and “The Living Daylights”), but both of his films are quality entries. I chose “Licence to Kill” because it features Bond out for vengeance and going rogue in order to take down a drug lord. While 007 is often disobedient to his employer, he takes it an extra step here.

Dalton does well with the Bond character, although he does lack most of the charm others have portrayed throughout the years. Fortunately this film is more about action and revenge, so the difference is barely noticeable. A smart script, good action scenes and some decent acting make for a good Bond film.

Bonus: Frank McRae, a lesser-known actor (and former NFL player) from the city I’m currently writing from, makes a small appearance here as one of Bond’s friends, Sharkey. Also, a young Benicio Del Toro gives a couple of the good guys a beating.

4. “Dr. No” (1962)

The one that really started it all. Having been raised on the Pierce Brosnan films (I know, I know), I’ve never had the pleasure of watching these early installments. Until now, that is.

People have always told me there has never been an actor to match Sean Connery when it comes to this character and now I know why. Connery plays the part with intelligence and suave, all the while enjoying the occasional corny joke.

“Dr. No” introduces us to the character of James Bond and plays like your average film on espionage. While it might feel a little slow compared to today’s films, it moves along just fine for what it is. Best of all, it doesn’t treat its audience like children. I do wish we could see more of Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) and less of the overrated Honey Rider (Ursula Andress), but maybe that’s just me.

3. “Goldfinger” (1964)

The third film in the franchise is a very strong addition with a quality villain to boot. Bond investigates gold magnate Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) and uncovers a plot to attack Fort Knox.

Well-known characters like Oddjob and Pussy Galore are found in here and make the film especially interesting. There are also bigger gadgets like a car that has machine guns, oil slicks and other tricks. Iconic images from the franchise include a laser beam threatening to cut Connery’s Bond in half as well as a woman who has been coated in gold from head to toe.

“Goldfinger” slumps a little in the middle of the film but overall its easily one of the best Bond films.

2. “From Russia With Love” (1963)

My favorite from the Sean Connery films. In “Dr. No” we learned about the evil organization SPECTRE and this film expands on the idea of an international terrorist network. We get to see behind the scenes of how they plan their attacks and what they’re capable of. It’s one of my favorite things in the series.

Connery makes the trip enjoyable as usual and the gadgets haven’t gotten too over the top at this point. “From Russia With Love” is the most masterfully crafted of the 20th-century Bond films. It has the finesse of “Dr. No” and “Goldfinger,” but the added component of SPECTRE’s behind the scenes work pushes the film ahead of those two installments.

When Bond isn’t busy picking up clues and killing bad guys, Grant, an assassin from SPECTRE, is doing everything he can to follow Bond throughout the film. This culminates in a fight between the two men that is one of the better scenes in the franchise.

All in all, a great spy film and definitely worth watching.

1. “Casino Royale” (2006)

Maybe I’m just a sucker for the new technology and fancy shooting style, but I love this reinvention of Bond.

Daniel Craig gives the best performance of Bond seen yet (the book purists can feel free to correct me). It is very layered and more intriguing than the playboy action hero we’re used to. Not to mention the action scenes have little competition from any other film in the series.

Vesper (Eva Green) is one of the best Bond girls there’s ever been. While Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) isn’t the most powerful Bond villain out there, he gets the job done. What really makes the film interesting is that we get to see more from Bond than usual. The mask comes off and we get a glimpse of who he is. Some people may not like that, but it made the film much better in my opinion.

Though it may be riding off the good fortune of being made when it was, “Casino Royale” was able to turn the franchise around after the horrible “Die Another Day.” Great action scenes, strong performances and a good story make this the best of the Bond series in my eyes.

If you feel like I’ve missed out on your favorite Bond film, let me know in the comments below. Now, let’s all go and enjoy the latest 007 outing, “Skyfall.”

Happy viewing.

From the Console to the Cinema: A Look at Video Game Adaptations

Recent reports indicate that actor Michael Fassbender has attached himself to the film adaptation of popular gaming series “Assassin’s Creed.” At first it looked like it would only be a spot as co-producer, but a starring role seems likely. Since Fassbender is one of the hottest rising stars, some are saying this could be the first great video game adaptation.

Around the same time studio execs figured out that superheroes could have major success at the box office, video game adaptations were also being considered. What comic books and video games both offer the film industry are built-in fanbases and easy story templates to mimic. Unfortunately, these films tend to be too good to be true, delivering lame copies of their original inspirations.

“Assassin’s Creed” has a great story and the film’s potential is there, but we won’t know much more about it for several months. Let’s look at some of the other games that found their way to the silver screen over the years.

Super Mario Brothers (1993)

It makes sense that Mario would be the first console character to get his own film. The series has had such a huge impact on Nintendo and gaming as a whole, surely the film will do it justice. Not so much. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo play Mario and Luigi and Dennis Hopper takes a shot at King Koopa in this seriously misguided adaptation. While I can say that I enjoyed it as a kid, it’s a bit ridiculous these days and widely considered to be one of the worst films of its kind.

Street Fighter (1994)

Coming one year after the plumber debacle, “Street Fighter” is another one of those franchises that has enough interesting characters to where you could at least imagine a film. This film cared about those characters so much, they crammed as many as possible into the film. The story is a mess and, with Jean-Claude Van Damme playing Colonel Guile, you can bet it’s an awesomely bad 90’s action movie.

Now that’s just the first two video games to lay the groundwork for these movies. There were others in the mid-90’s like “Double Dragon,” but let’s not make ourselves go down that road.

Skipping ahead a few years, let’s see if the movies get much better.

Resident Evil (2002), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), and the upcoming Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Go ahead and shut your gaping jaw. Yes, there really are soon to be FIVE “Resident Evil” films. Although there are plenty of people who love these zombie movies, most of the game’s original fans despise the very existence of Milla Jovovich’s Alice character. I admit that I enjoy these as a guilty pleasure, but they are only based on a fraction of the games and are pretty generic as action films (not horror). Two major setbacks, especially if you buy into the rumors that George Romero was originally involved with the first film before Paul W.S. Anderson took over.

Max Payne (2008)

As someone who spent half a semester of 8th grade playing “Max Payne.” this is arguably the most disappointing of the video game adaptations. The game really wasn’t that hard to turn into a film, as its plot is your average crime/revenge film. Throw in some bullet-time and trim down the game’s nightmare sequences and you’re guaranteed to have a decent film.

After some ridiculous casting (Ludacris playing a character that was originally a 55-year-old white guy?!) and cutting most of the game’s better scenes to make way for some drug hallucinations, the fans were disgusted and everyone else just shrugged their shoulders at a painfully mediocre action film.

Just to be fair to this little genre, there have been a small handful of films that have been pretty good (not great). One of these was 2006’s “Silent Hill,” which did a good job of keeping the game’s feel while presenting a decent story. The other is….

Hitman (2007)

Timothy Olyphant coming straight off of his villainous turn in “Live Free or Die Hard” was an inspired choice for Agent 47 in this adaptation. The only real problem I had with this take was that the filmmakers ham-fisted a romantic angle into the film just to pretend like there’s a point to the film aside from assassinations and revenge. While still not a “great” game adaptation, it and “Silent Hill” are among the best that Hollywood has been able to muster thus far.

So, will “Assassin’s Creed” be the first truly great game adaptation? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure: Hollywood either needs to start taking these films seriously or just stop toying with fan’s emotions.

I left out several films in this post, some better than others. Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, happy viewing.

The Death of Original Ideas

I tried to avoid it. I really did.

I sat down at the computer to write a nice little piece on the recent developments concerning a Justice League movie*…but then I saw it.

By “it,” I am referring to the reports that Warner Bros. is pursuing a film option based on “The Guinness Book of World Records.” Yes, THAT Guinness Book of World Records.

“But,” you say. “What kind of story can you make out of a book that is just a collection of facts?” Oh, ye of little faith. Don’t let the lack of characters or stoyline get in the way of a good movie-making opportunity. Some sites have pointed out that Warner Bros. was also interested in making a “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” a few years ago, but at least that has some wiggle room for a story. This is more along the lines of the short-lived idea “Erector Set: The Movie.”

Just for kicks, I’ll share my best guess at what a movie based on “The Guinness Book of World Records” would look like:

A stoner/loser/college drop-out (played by Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg or whoever else is filling in the Young Adam Sandler character these days) goes on a quest to find self-fulfillment/prove himself to be a man by completing a series of tasks that will make him the holder of the most Guinness records. Along the way he finds true love with the quirky girl from back home who always had a thing for him. Think “Hot Rod” meets “The Bucket List.”

I don’t like to write this sort of negativity too often because, after a while, it just sounds like an old man sitting on his porch yelling at kids to get off his lawn. But every now and then, you read a movie synopsis and think to yourself, “That is literally the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” Today is one of those days for me.

Great movies are too few and far between these days. What happened to the skilled screenwriters, auteur directors and movie execs who knew how to take a risk? Hollywood’s been all about the money for decades, but at least there used to be a few more bones thrown towards those who enjoy quality films.

Before this rant goes too far overboard, I’ll cut myself off and just say this: similar to politics, theatergoers vote for the kind of movies they want to see every time they stand in line at the box office. Stay informed and use your $10 wisely, or else we’ll be stuck with knock-offs like “Battleship” til the end of time.


* – As for the Justice League movie, it was confirmed this week that writer Will Beall (this year’s “Gangster Squad”) was hired in 2011 to work on the upcoming script. While Beall hasn’t done much to date, he is currently working on the “Logan’s Run” remake and “Lethal Weapon 5” for Warner Bros. More good news comes from the fact that both Wonder Woman and the Flash should be getting their own films in the next 2-3 years. Unfortunately, three of the writers from “Green Lantern” are helming those scripts as well (because it’s always good to pull the talent from a project that cost you $100 million last summer). Of course there are still hundreds of questions left to answer before the Justice League is assembled on screen, but it’s nice to know that Warner Bros. is trying.

2012: The Summer Blockbuster Rises

I’m so excited right now. After 4 1/2 months of utter cinema garbage (“The Three Stooges,” really Hollywood?!), it’s time for what many consider the golden age of yearly theater-hopping. While this is a promising time every year, some summers are more generous than others. Take 2009 for example. It gave us great films like “Star Trek” and “Up,” but also delivered “Terminator Salvation,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

In recent years, the summer blockbuster season has become a little lackluster in my opinion. Part of this is due to the fact that 2008 was the greatest summer for movies since Steven Spielberg introduced audiences to a killer shark in 1975’s “Jaws.” My proof? How about this list of films?

  • “The Dark Knight”
  • “Wall-E”
  • “Iron Man”
  • “Hellboy 2”
  • “Wanted”
  • “Tropic Thunder”
  • “Kung-Fu Panda”
  • and many more

Find me a list that tops that and I’ll be happy to relinquish the claim. Since then, the summers have grown a little duller for the most part. It’s seems to be a little more “Green Lantern” and a lot less “Toy Story 3.” But I believe in my heart that 2012 can be the year to end all years for summer audiences (also for Mayans). Here are the movies that I’m most excited for this summer.


“The Avengers” – May 4

Duh. Old news for you guys. It came and conquered last weekend like the Hulk in a china shop.

“Men in Black III” – May 25

I remember when I saw MIB II back in 2002 and my little movie-loving mind was disappointed by the lackluster sequel to a film I had grown to love as a kid. That being said, I cannot wait for the series’ redemption to finally come through ten years later. If nothing else, it’ll be fun to hear Josh Brolin talk like Tommy Lee Jones for 2 hours.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” – June 1

When Kristen Stewart was originally cast to play the “fairest of them all,” my eyes nearly rolled out of my head. I could name at least 50 actresses I’d rather see in the role. The more I see of the film itself, though, I’m intrigued by the dark tone. Also, Charlize Theron looks deliciously evil and Chris Hemsworth has had me sold since he first picked up Mjolnir.

“Prometheus” – June 8

Ever since this project was announced, I have been trying to stop rocking back and forth with uncontrollable fits of excitement. Ridley Scott returning to the world of his 1979 sci-fi classic “Alien” and with one of the best ensemble casts in recent memory? It’s too much to bear. Do yourself a favor and go into this film as blind as possible. It will be scary, gruesome and fantastic (I hope).

“Brave” – June 22

Coming hot off its first critical failure, look for Pixar to be in full swing with the tale of a Scottish princess yearning for freedom and adventure. Even if it’s only half as good as movies like “Up” and “The Incredibles,” it’ll be worth watching.

“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” – June 22

What’s summer without a little apocalyptic comedy, right? This film stars Steve Carell and Keira Knightley as two people who are looking for happiness during the earth’s final days. With such an interesting premise and likeable stars, I’m more than a little hopeful.

“The Amazing Spiderman” – July 3

I’m usually the first in line to hate on reboots, but after the horrifying taste left in my mouth after Emo Peter Parker took over in in “Spiderman 3,” I’ll take any fresh ideas. It also helps that the casting seems better this time around. The only thing that really worries me is how much I may hate the 3D.

“The Dark Knight Rises” – July 20

This is probably the film I am most excited about for this summer. I’ve been a die hard fan of the Caped Crusader for as long as I can remember and, like everyone else with a pulse, I love what Christopher Nolan has done for the franchise. Judging by the latest trailer, this looks like a fitting conclusion for the trilogy.

“The Bourne Legacy” – August 3

I love the popularity Jeremy Renner has received in the last 2 years. “The Bourne Legacy” will be his 3rd big action movie in about 9 months (“The Avengers” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”). I trust that he will be a worthy replacement for Matt Damon and can’t wait to see where the story is taken.

“Total Recall” – August 3

On the same day, we get a remake of the classic 1990 film that followed Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s adventures on Mars. With a great cast (Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Bryan Cranston) and today’s technology, it could be a great summer outing (or it could be a lame rip-off, but hey…..).

“The Expendables 2” – August 17

I know I shouldn’t fall into the trap, but with Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme added to the original cast, I’m genuinely interested. We’ll see what happens when the world’s rowdiest nursing home travels to the local theater.

“Lawless” – August 31

Few things can beat a good crime film, and this one has an amazing cast to get things started. Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Shia LaBeouf and Gary Oldman play cops and robbers in this Depression-era shoot ’em up.

Who knows what the summer of 2012 has in store for us simple moviegoers? It would take a whole lot of bad execution for things to go awry, but as sports fans always say “that’s why they play the game.”

Until next month, happy viewing.

8 Possible Directors for “Catching Fire”

It’s kind of a slow time of year for movie lovers.

If you’re anything like me, the time between January and April/May is mostly spent catching up on indie films that were only in theaters for 2 weeks or playing the trailers for “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Avengers” on repeat. God knows you won’t find me in a theater paying 10 bucks to watch “CGI of the Titans.”

The biggest story of this week has been Gary Ross’ decision to step down from the directing chair for the “Hunger Games” sequels. Gasp!

But take heart young Panemians, for I have concocted a list of replacements that are well-suited for the job. Some of these make more/less sense than others but I would feel very at ease if one of the following was chosen to pick up where Ross left off.

Len Wiseman

Wiseman (whom I will forever call “The Luckiest Man on Earth” for marrying Kate Beckinsale) is best known for his work on the “Underworld” franchise and will soon bring the “Total Recall” reboot to life. He is an action director who knows how to handle the kind of blood and guts described in both “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay.” Wiseman first broke into the business through the art department, so he also knows a thing or two about design (A skill that could come in handy when creating the world of the Capital and the arena.)

James Mangold

Here is a director that I think could do very well with the action scenes required for “Catching Fire” as well as the personal moments where we see the characters develop. He has directed “Girl, Interrupted” and more recently “3:10 to Yuma” and “Walk the Line.” All three of these films have strong characters and the last 20 minutes of “Yuma” are pretty intense. Mangold would be a fine choice, however he has recently been tapped to direct the next “Wolverine” movie with Hugh Jackman, so he could easily be unavailable.

Rupert Wyatt

Who IS currently available is this 39-year-old director from the UK. He made his big directorial splash last August with the surprisingly well-made “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Although this was his first big movie, he also directed the 2008 film “The Escapist,” which isn’t too shabby. He may not make as much sense as some of the others on the list, but I think he has what it takes to make an even better film than Ross’ “Hunger Games.”

Brad Bird

I’ll go ahead and admit that this is more of a wishlist choice for me. Not only did Bird direct 2 of the best animated films ever made (“The Incredibles” and “The Iron Giant”), but he also proved he can handle live action features (“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”) with ease. There could also be availability issues here but, if given a script that is anything better than cringeworthy, he could knock this series out of the park.


Tony Gilroy

If you’re wanting a top-calibre director to take over “Catching Fire,” Gilroy would be a strong candidate. He has only directed 3 movies, but the first was a little film called “Michael Clayton” for which he earned Oscar nominations in directing and writing. The third is the soon-to-be-released “The Bourne Legacy” which looks very promising. Strong characters, Bourne-style fighting and Oscar nominations? Yeah, you could pick worse.

Duncan Jones

The son of actor and musician David Bowie, Jones made his feature debut as a director with the 2009 film “Moon.” While it was not exactly the biggest moneymaker, it is a very strong film that many felt was robbed during the awards season. On top of this, Jones also directed the sci-fi action film “Source Code” last year, which was much better than most people would have thought. He doesn’t have a large body of work to judge by, but I think Duncan Jones is the kind of director you gamble on.

David Yates

Why is it that every director seems to be from the UK? Anyway, I know for many fans of the “The Hunger Games,” the biggest worry is whether or not the films will be able to flow together when different directors are at the helm. Others are concerned about how things will translate from the books and onto the big screen. For Yates’ stamp of approval, I will direct you to the nearest “Harry Potter” fan. A relatively unheard of director prior to his work on the last 4 “Harry Potter” films, Yates was able to make the difficult transition between the fun wizard movies filled with Quidditch to the darker installments where important characters are dropping left and right. Why would I like Yates to direct “Catching Fire” and possibly “Mockingjay?” Because he’s been there before. Sadly, this may be another one of those directors whose schedule is too busy.

My top choice for a “Catching Fire” director?

That would be…Alfonso Cuaron.

The 50-year-old director from Mexico may not have too many well-known film credits to his name, but I’ll share the only two that matter. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Children of Men.” The first is important because you can basically take the attributes I had given to David Yates and transfer them to Cuaron. He’s been there before. If you haven’t seen “Children of Men,” go watch it right now. No, I’m not kidding. Fold the computer down and go……

For those of you still with me, “Children of Men” is not only an excellent film but also has the kind of filmmaking that I would like to see in “Mockingjay.” There is an apocalyptic feel. And despair. And a warzone. It’s great filmmaking and I would be interested in this series getting a similar vibe when stuff starts to really hit the fan.

So that’s my list. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment area. I’m all ears.

For more of my thoughts, head on over to Velvet Curtain Reviews http://velvetcurtainreviews.wordpress.com/ where I usually call home. I’ll be reviewing a little movie called “Titanic” this weekend as the 100 year anniversary of the real-life tragedy is nearly at hand. If I don’t see you there, I’ll be back here every month on Tellurian Things. Happy viewing.