Dylan O’Brien’s First Time

October 2, 2012

Dylan O'Brien shirtlessDylan O’Brien’s movie The First Time, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, will be in theaters in very limited release on October 19th, 2012. The trailer is available on YouTube.

Dylan O’Brien shirtless

The movie is the story of two teenagers who meet at a party and find a connection. Over the course of a weekend, romance, complications, and fun ensue, as both fall in love and have sex for the first time.

Dylan O’Brien stars in the MTV series Teen Wolf as the character Stiles Stilinkski.

Paying Attention to the Hands Among Other Things

May 25, 2011

Jacob DowkerIn a video on YouTube titled “can you pay attention to my hands mister“, a young man uses American Sign Language to send a romantic message to his boyfriend about how he feels, and how he would like to express it in person.

In an article about the video in TÊTU, a French publication, Jacob (the man in the video) said that some of their friends and relatives were not completely enthusiastic about it. However, the majority of them were proud to be associated with him, seeing how successful the clip had become. The boyfriend Anthony’s take on the video is that it provides opportunities for many people to see what “gay love” really means.

Neither Anthony or Jacob is deaf. Anthony has an interest in languages, including ASL. When they first met, Anthony showed Jacob a little of how to sign. Concerning the signing in the video, Anthony explained that Jacob learned most of the signs he wanted to use from a book, in just a week’s time.

Read more about the video by Jacob Dowker.

Ryan Conklin And Serendipity

August 31, 2010

Ryan ConklinRyan Conklin, of The Real World Brooklyn and An Angel From Hell fame, started class this week at Temple University in Philadelphia. What’s really cool for some of his fellow students is that in their pursuit of learning and a hopefully marketable degree, they will serendipitously find themselves in the same class as Ryan and without any effort get to meet and know Ryan Conklin first hand. A lot of them will never even have heard of him before and yet they will have the opportunity that a lot of long-time fans will never get.

There are probably more than a few people around the country who are in the category of being followers since the beginning, and who will never meet Ryan in person, who may understandably and enviously file this thought under the tag of “life sucks the major root”. However, I think it’s great for the lucky Temple students. I hope they make the most of the opportunity, if only for the people who won’t get the chance.

James Wolk In Lone Star On Fox

July 17, 2010

James WolkJames Wolk (the shirtless man seen at right), will be starring in a new drama series on Fox, titled Lone Star, "a provocative soap set against the backdrop of big Texas oil."

The summary of the show on Fox’s web site states, "ROBERT/ BOB ALLEN (newcomer James Wolk) is a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. He’s juggling two identities and two women in two very different worlds – all under one mountain of lies."

Well, James Wolk is not really a "newcomer". He appeared with much praise in the 2008 made-for-television movie Front of the Class (under the name Jimmy Wolk), in which he played a real-life teacher afflicted with Tourette Syndrome. It’s taken a little while, but now he’s back to heat up the screen.

Here is more of Fox’s description of the show:

As “Bob,” he lives in Houston and is married to CAT (Adrianne Palicki), the beautiful daughter of CLINT (Jon Voight), the patriarch of an ultra-wealthy Texas oil family. More than 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he’s “Robert,” living a second life with his sweet, naïve girlfriend, LINDSAY (Eloise Mumford).

In Midland, he plays the perfect boyfriend while secretly bilking local investors of their savings. In Houston, he’s a devoted husband, charming Cat and her family to cement his position in the rich family business he aims to clean out.

Bob has lived both lives successfully for years without arousing any suspicions…so far. While one brother-in-law, DREW (Bryce Johnson), admires Bob, his other brother-in-law, TRAMMELL (Mark Deklin), is suspicious of his motives. Bob begins to fear his secret lives may unravel. With the cons closing in on him, Bob is divided by his love for two women; his loyalty to his father and mentor, JOHN (David Keith); and his respect for his father-in-law, Clint.

Now as he tries to hold his two lives together, while fending off angry investors and the suspicions of those around him, Bob puts it all on the line hoping he can beat the odds, leave the schemes behind and keep two separate relationships afloat.

James Wolk

Jeffery & Cole Casserole

July 12, 2010

Cole EscolaThe gay comedy duo of Jeffery Self and Cole Escola returned to Logo TV for a second season of their comedy sketch show Jeffery & Cole Casserole. The first season of Jeffery & Cole Casserole was a clever and witty addition to summer TV in 2009, so a second season in 2010 was favorably anticipated. Unfortunately, the second season appears to be only a caricature of the first. The unlikely and well-received quality drawn from a show about two guys doing amateur videos now looks like just two guys doing an amateur video.

There is a rumor that Logo paid Self and Escola a very small sum of money for an entire season worth of product. Perhaps for the second season, the pair decided to give the company what it paid for, and intentionally decided to deliver a load of crap. It doesn’t help the viewer if that were true, but at least it would make the two of them not look like they have run out creativity.

In the first season they made an attempt to create something of quality and they succeeded. The second season is woefully missing that quality. The absurdity they used in season one was like Lewis Carroll; in season two it was like Dumb and Dumber. It changed from an avant-garde art project to something made by a teenage straight boy in his cul-de-sac in suburban Des Moines.

Several things have changed. One of the cute things about the first season was that Jeffery & Cole played almost all the roles in their sketches. When they did occasionally have additional cast, the actors played gray, background characters that practically blended into the scenery and didn’t alter the sense of J&C living in their own private universe. The actors were friends of J&C who helped fill in where needed. Now it looks like all their friends are being inserted prominently into the show as favors to give them face time. It ruins the sense of the show being exclusively about J&C.

Another thing that alters the nature of the show from being how two young guys could take a cheap webcam and a very limited space and set of props and make something wonderful, is now they have a professional camera and they record further afield. It doesn’t feel anymore like two kids making comedy to amuse themselves in their apartment on a rainy day.

They reused some bits from their first season but they not only didn’t improve them, they did them worse. Their “marry, f’ck or kill” game in the first season was done as serious but with a weird hilarious twist in it. This go-around was just amateurish as they giggled their way through it. They aren’t even trying anymore to be clever.

An essential element of absurdist comedy is presenting situations as if they were normal and serious but have some bizarre aspect inserted into them. The absurdity is treated as a normal event, thus producing the comedy. In season two, Jeffery & Cole keep laughing at their own material, ruining the effect of the surrealism.

The show is not a complete crapfest. There are still some funny moments in it, largely from Cole Escola’s wonderful comedic performances. However, the show needs to get back to its successful elements from its first season if it wants to recapture the achievements and glory of season one.

(Sometimes misspelled as Jeffrey & Cole Casserole.)

Ryan Conklin Reports On GIFF

May 10, 2010

Ryan ConklinRyan Conklin will be attending the 2010 GI Film Festival in Washington, D.C. During the run of the festival (May 11-16), Ryan will be a guest blogger/ correspondent for the program, covering GIFF’s primetime events.

Located at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, GIFF “will present films from new and established international and domestic filmmakers that honor the heroic stories of the American Armed Forces and the worldwide struggle for freedom and liberty.”

In addition to his role as guest blogger, on Friday Ryan will be attending a day-long GIFF seminar/workshop on filmmaking. The event will cover film financing, distribution, marketing and film pitching. It will also give attendees the chance to network with Hollywood insiders. It will be a good learning opportunity for Ryan A. Conklin, a film studies major at Temple University.

Read Ryan Conklin At GI Film Festival.

Ryan Conklin On Dateline: Washington

April 26, 2010

Ryan ConklinTo promote his book An Angel From Hell, author Ryan A. Conklin was a guest on the radio program “Dateline: Washington”, hosted by Greg Corombos.

Greg asked Ryan about how Ryan knew right away after 9/11 that he wanted to join the Army. Ryan replied that he was what is known as a “9/11 baby”. He was one of the people that caused recruitment in the military to soar after the attacks. Ryan joined during his junior year in high school, when he was looking for what to do after he graduated. He wasn’t ready to go to college, so there was nothing pulling him away from joining. He wanted to go to Afghanistan to “put it to it to the guys who started this.” Furthermore, he didn’t want a cushy job. He wanted a front line job that would allow him to look the enemy in the eye. He decided the best fit for him would be in the infantry, and that’s what he got.

Greg mentioned that in the book, Ryan tells about having several different kinds of jobs. Greg wanted to know if Ryan’s training helped him. Ryan answered that the two years of training he had before he deployed to Iraq helped, but there was a “lack of accurate training”. It was cold war style, training in the woods in green camo with green face paint, and learning how to attack a bunker. There were essential things for being in Iraq that weren’t taught, like speaking Arabic. Once he got to Iraq, Ryan found himself learning as he went along on what he needed to know. Greg also asked about what urban fighting is like. Ryan said that it is about going out and being seen. It could be boring, but there were intense times with IEDs and sniper fire. Ryan explained that you always have to be ready and focused. It can be “zero to hell” in a second.

On the psychological toll, Ryan said it depended on who you are with. It can actually be comical in a Humvee. He said you would think the soldiers would be wide-eyed, staring out the window waiting for something to happen. In fact there is a lot of joking around, while still doing their job. It’s a way to make the best of it. Cutting the tension keeps people’s sanity and keeps them from being too wound up. Ryan said if you don’t have a sense of humor, you are doomed.

Greg asked Ryan Conklin what he hoped people would learn from the book. Ryan said that he wrote about what he saw and didn’t go above his area of knowledge. His style was to write like he was telling his story directly to an individual who knew nothing about what the service was like. From what he has been told by people who have read it, it makes the readers feel like they are out on patrol with Ryan, seeing what he saw.

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