So far, the time back at Pratt has been fairly good. There's a lot of reading and writing for Mass Media and Society but apart from that the schedule is looking pretty solid. My three week break was as relaxing as usual and I got a good excuse go off to Fort Meyers for a week to visit my grandparents. This was my first airplane flight I've taken in 11 years and it was a lot more relaxing than I was expecting. This is probably because I'm used to the hustle and filth of the New York City subway system but apart from the ridiculousness of having to repeatedly take out my Xbox 360, Laptop, iPod and shoes at the gate (damn post 9/11 security) it wasn't really so bad. Most of my time in Florida the temperature was only in the 50s but it was still a good excuse to check out some artificially planted palm trees.
As for the Superbowl, every year I watch I get more and more disappointed with the advertisements that come with it. While a couple of years ago we've had that Grand Theft Auto parody Coca-Cola ad, there was not a single advertisement I really loved for 2008 and 2009. It would be a stretch to say I enjoyed the creepy Coca-Cola digital avatar spot or the Peter and the Wolf one with the bugs in it. The 3D glasses SOBE and Monsters vs. Aliens promo felt gimmicky at best. Last year's Superbowl, which seemed more content with '80s pop culture references as opposed to actual humor, featured a moderately successful spot from SOBE with Lizards dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller. While far from original especially considering the song's re-emergence as an internet phenomenon, the commercial was a modest success leading SOBE to continue the trend in the 2009 spot. The new spot felt incredibly disjointed first featuring football players dancing to Swan Lake...and uh, eventually one of the ballet dancing football players spilled a bottle of SOBE Life Water eventually leading to a dance sequence set to an original song (which they even had the gall to advertise it being available for a dollar on iTunes) featuring the HILARIOU$! ©HARACTE®$ from Monsters vs. Aliens and SOBE lizards dancing around for another thirty seconds often flanking objects immediately at the camera to emphasize the fact that this indeed, is in 3D. This was all topped off by a football player exclaiming "SOBELIEVE!" and turning into a hideous lizard man. Was that seriously the best they could come up with for $5 million?
As for the movie Monsters vs. Aliens itself, I'm getting more and more mixed feelings about the movie as its release it coming closer. On one hand, Dreamworks Animation crafted a pretty awesome original franchise with Kung-Fu Panda and Over the Hedge and Madagascar Escape 2 Africa were fairly good in my mind, so I'm sure they've learned their lesson from past script disasters...but on the other hand, this movie comes straight from the director of Shark Tale which was easily the worst big budget 3D animated film ever created. I guess JJ Villard did the character design and some storyboarding for it and I was sold on his enthusiasm for this movie when he spoke at Pratt. I'll probably see it because I'm still a sucker for 3D movies but I can't say I'm not just a little disappointed to know that this will steal the 3D cinema heat away from Coraline only weeks after its release. To add insult to injury, Coraline's getting very little promotion to mass audiences, with most of the excitement for it coming from animation geeks, Neil Gaiman cultists and technophiles, I doubt its going to make back its $70 million budget in its theatric release anyway.
I'll have rigging class later today(I'm digging the blog our prof, Sam has for it), so far I've been trying to get all my homework done long before the day its due and its been going pretty well so far. I wouldn't be surprised if I dropped this after I go full force into rigging but I'm happy so far. Oh! and I haven't had soda since I've returned to Pratt. I wonder how long I'll be able to keep it up before the terrors of Mountain Dew's Yellow Food Dye #48 come back to haunt me.