Get Educated—This weekend, the Continuing Education Center at the University of New Mexico will present its annual Digital Arts Conference. “Photography and Filmmaking: Your Future on Camera” is an all-day conference designed to help participants explore current topics in digital photography and filmmaking. They’ll explore hands-on learning in state-of-the-art computer labs and learn how to initiate or expand specific careers on either side of the camera. Conference topic choices include makeup and costuming, screenwriting, camera operation, lighting, motion graphics, character animation, post-production, Photoshop techniques, executive portraits, digital SLR techniques and more. There will be a keynote presentation by award-winning Hollywood filmmaker Phil Nibbelink and demonstrations by Apple and Adobe.
After the two-and-a-half-hour cliff-hanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion that is Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. While that might seem like a daunting prospect for even the most ardent pirate lover, PotC:AWE is actually a rollicking good action flick—so far, the least disappointing tent pole release of the summer movie season.
The ’80s and ’90s were good to Kevin Costner, providing him with a string of blockbuster films including Silverado, The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Dances With Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, JFK, The Bodyguard and Wyatt Earp. That all changed in 1995 when Costner gave us the perennial punch line Waterworld. Since then, the actor’s films—some good, some bad (Thirteen Days and The Upside of Anger the former, 3000 Miles to Graceland and Dragonfly the later)—have failed to capture the high-flying vibe of decades past. What’s an aging heartthrob to do?
Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of Tyler Perry. I don’t trust people who slap their name on everything, like Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion (the Ruth’s Chris Steak House of movies). I find Perry’s harmless, well-intentioned Christian-tinged morality plays perfectly suitable for Sunday morning sermonizing, but far too ham-handed for mainstream viewing. I’ve learned from past experience that criticizing the guy leads to all sorts of angry letters from rabid Perry disciples levying accusations of racism and anti-Christian sentiment. But honestly, it all boils down to one thing: I just don’t think the guy is funny.