Here we discuss Music, Movies, Books, and all the incredible Art they inspire.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Well folks, as promised I said we would discuss books too (try not to yawn already). I realize nowadays, reading is almost a lost art. So few people, these days, seem to have even the vaguest interest in it. Sure, life is hectic. Who has any extra time between working 40-60 hours a week, running errands and trying to catch what the idiots on Jersey Shore are up to? Well my friend, Trust me. You need to MAKE time for this one.

This book changed my life.

Like the little red pill in the Matrix, this book will wake you up. It’s not a book about government conspiracy, or a get-rich-quick scheme. It simply points out the differences between what the low to middle-class are taught about money, and what the children of the rich are taught. And it shows how you can benefit by “knowing what they know” (at any age) and literally, changing your financial future immediately.

Ever wonder why “The rich, get richer”? This tells you. Ever consider how an eighth-grade drop-out can be worth millions, while a successful doctor can be struggling to make end-meet? It’s in there. The differences are HUGE, and believe it or not, fairly easy to overcome. But you have to “take the pill” and read the book.

If knowledge is power, this book is nuclear.

I know a lot of people would rather have a root canal, than read a book about personal finance. But this book is clear, concise, and easy-to-read. One of my favorite features is that Robert Kiyosaki also recommends other books (not just his own) if you want to learn more about any given topic he discusses.

As I said before (albeit in a sarcastic tone), I know time (and money) is tight for everyone. But you do have options. You can buy the audio book format, and listen to it on your way to work. You could even upload it to your Mp3 player, and listen while you mow the grass, or on your morning walk. I personally, have the e-book on my smart-phone, and will read through it occasionally in waiting rooms etc.

If you are tired of being broke (like I was), than you owe it to yourself to read this book. Go ahead, take the first step to a better financial future, and you’ll be amazed how deep your rabbit hole can be.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The 5 Best Movies you've NEVER seen.

There comes a time when everyone, either at their local video store or browsing on Netflix, draws a complete “blank”.

After all, getting a video is almost an art form. If you get something you haven’t seen before, you’re taking a chance it will suck. And if you stick with the “ol’ standbys”, you get to hear “Ughhh, That one AGAIN?”. In short, it can be a BIG decision. And most likely, you’re screwed where you stand.

But take heart, faithful reader. After much deliberation (and debate) with my panel of movie experts, we have devised THE short-list of great movies, you probably haven’t seen. And the best part is, all of them are most likely in the “cheapy” section of your local video store.

Let’s get rolling (in no particular order).

V for Vendetta: I especially like this one (hence, my art work to the right) It’s the film adaptation to Alan Moore graphic novel series. But I think it’s appeal is a lot further-reaching than just to fans of “comic book” movies.

It takes place in England, in the not-too-distant future. And swirls around a revolutionary figure who’s sole purpose is to open the public’s eyes to government corruption and control.

It’s extremely well-written, and the special effects are incredible. There’s plenty of action for the most die-hard fans, but not so much gore, women won’t enjoy it too.

This one is buy-worthy (I actually watch it, at least, every November 5th) And it never gets old.

Only word of caution is that some of the concepts in the movie may need to be explained to pre-teen children. In fact, I would watch it first, and make your own decision on how/or if they see it. But as an adult…Guaranteed, You’ll love it.

Next up: Boondock Saints.

Yeah I know, I mentioned it a blog-or-two ago. But this list wouldn’t be complete without it.

What’s not to like? two irish brothers taking on the mob, with Willem Defoe hunting them down. It’s got it all: humor, action, and characters you really grow to love. Parental note: LOTS of strong language in this one, and arguably, the largest shot of a woman’s breast on mainstream film. Use discretion.

for more of this movie see: “The Art of the Saints.” below.

Suicide Kings : Yep, mentioned this one before too. But it begs for more detail.

The story follows a group of well-off college guys hatching a plot to kidnap a retired mob-boss (played by Christopher Walken) to raise money for a ransom of their own. Only to find out, things aren’t what they seem.

This is a subtle thriller, the kind that just sneaks up on you, and grabs you by the throat. Most kids won’t enjoy this one too much because it’s more intensity than action. But the story and cast are great, and face it, to see Denis Leary as a hit-man is worth the price of the rental alone.

The Thomas Crowne Affair: I love a good “heist” movie. The Ocean’s 11 Series, and Italian Job have long been a part of my collection, and this one is just as good (albeit, more unknown).

Pierce Brosnan plays a powerful business mogul who is suspected of a high-profile art theft. And Rene Russo is the tenacious (and often, undressed) bounty hunter assigned to find the painting (AND the thief) at all costs.

This is a great cat-and-mouse type movie with some great plot twists and a little old-school seduction. This movie is slick and sexy, perfect for a date-night at home. Again, kiddie-caution: not bad on language, but LOTS of nudity. An excellent show, overall.

Snatch: (Keep reading, it’s not what you think)

There’s a lot to like about this one. Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond. And believe it or not, I consider it a comedy.

This movie has everyone in it: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benico Del Toro etc. This is the only one of this list I would recommend renting before you buy. Just because it’s unusual brand of comedy, I realize, isn’t for everybody.

But I really enjoyed it, and feel it has a lot to offer. And I think you will too. NOT FOR KIDS AT ALL, Lots of guns & gore. Some nudity, and (at last count) 145 f-words. Besides, I think the finer points of this one would be lost on them anyway. But at least you’ll have a good time.

Let me know what you think, and enjoy the shows.

To buy autographed, limited edition 11 x 14 prints of "V" and "Brothers, Killers, and Saints" (both shown above) visit My eBaY Seller.

For custom-sized prints and cards visit My Print Gallery at Fine Art America.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Defining "Impossible" Art.

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it.

Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion.
Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare.
Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary.
Impossible is nothing."

-Muhammad Ali

A lot of people who have seen my art have asked me about the specifics of this piece. To them, the quote is self-explanatory (although many doubt it’s inherent truth), but it always comes down to: Why wrestlers? Especially showcasing a quote made by a famous boxer. Well sports fans, let me enlighten you.

Art has always been a very personal thing to me. Most works would generally take hours to complete. And when they were done, they were almost like children to me. This made most of my work: A) Too expensive for the average person to buy. B) Me, unwilling sell it in the first place, or BOTH. This resulted in most of my art (when I had time to do it) being done for, well….me!

So, when I’d see art or a poster that inspired me, I’d simply take hold of that notion and make something of my own. Something that suited my tastes or represented something I found inspirational. I’d never really considered if what I did made sense to anyone else. I guess because I would generally be next to them to answer questions if-and-when anyone ever saw it.

This was the case with “Impossible is Nothing”

A few years ago, I had gone down to my best friend’s basement gym. And he had shown me an old Adidas poster he had found featuring Muhammad Ali, and the quote you see above. Now I’ve always respected Ali, but this quote blew me away. To me, the quote held a great truth followed by an indisputable call-to-action. WOW!. I was so impressed my friend had offered to give me the poster. But I had told him “That’s O.K., I’ll make my own”.

So I set out to find some inspirational figures of my own. I didn’t have to look very far. The “Attitude Era” of the WWE was in full swing. And since the ages-old veil of secrecy concerning wrestling being scripted (not “fake”) had been lifted, fans were given an unprecedented opportunity to see what these guys go through to put on a show. And the more I learned, the more I felt they were the most inspirational people in sports AND entertainment, and here’s a few reasons why.

There is no “off” season in professional wrestling. They work 300+ days a year (mostly away from home), and often work with/through injuries they suffer during shows (whether they are “working” on T.V. or not). Despite that, very few make nearly the money your average NFL or NBA star does.

Most manage to stay in incredible physical shape, despite not having access to their hometown gym, and having to eat on-the-road (How’d you eat last time you traveled?). You can’t really even blame age, since the three in my painting are all in their 30s and 40s. In light of that, what is our excuse to not be moderately fit? Considering our set work schedules, being surrounded by our loved ones, and having a label on everything we pull from our fridge.

And lastly, most of superstars in the WWE (the ones in my painting included) worked and suffered YEARS before finding their way to the big lights, and TV cameras of the WWE. They took the same beatings, chair shots, and falls in high school gymnasiums in front of 10-15 people as they do in front of millions now on TV and Pay-Per-Views.

They enjoy the limelight now, because they believed in themselves, and what they were doing. They may have lost hope, from time to time, but they NEVER gave up.

And to me, That’s all the inspiration anyone could ever ask for.

For custom-sized posters, framed prints, or canvas prints of "Impossible is Nothing" visit My Print Gallery at Fine Art America.

And if there's a movie, book, or one of my art works you'd like me to blog about, feel free to drop me an email, or leave a comment below. Thanks

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Art of the Saints.

Boondock saints by Dale Loos Jr“Oh Lord, raise me to thy right hand and count thee among thy saints.”
-Noah "Il Duce" MacManus, Boondock Saints

The Boondock Saints is a 1999 crime drama, set in modern-day Boston. It was also the inspiration for this addition to my art gallery.

The film follows two Irish brothers (played by Sean Patrick Flannery, and Norman Reedus), who experience a religious epiphany, and set out to rid the fair city of Boston of crime and evil. All the while, being hunted by the Mob, and FBI agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe).

This movie IS one of my favorites (obviously, since I liked it well enough to put into art). But it is also one of those movies you have to see. If for no other reason than to understand what all of the fuss (justifiably) is about.

This movie had a 5 theater release in 1999 (which lasted 1 week). This was due to the Senate Judiciary committee’s crackdown on “violent” movies, in the wake of the Columbine School shootings. The amazing thing is; the cult following actually started on video!.

A few folks saw the little black, unassuming case at their local video store, and decided to take a chance. THEN, most of them, told everyone they knew that they HAD to see this movie (I did this, just so I could talk about it with somebody!). Next thing you know fansites started popping up. And the avalanche of popularity has been rolling ever since.

The DVD had eventually become SO popular, that it’s support had earned a theatrical release on May 22nd 2006, with later screenings being funded by Blockbuster Video itself. The “people” had apparently spoken.

Personally, I’ve never seen anything like it. Several years ago, my girlfriend had bought me a Boondock Saints t-shirt (when they were still hard to find), and I’d never met so many new people in public in my life. Complete strangers were coming up to me starting conversations, touching my shirt, and asking questions. I assume this must be how pregnant women feel when they’re showing.

Theaters and t-shirts aside, I LOVE THIS DVD. It has a few must-see deleted scenes (mom calls from Ireland), and the commentary has a lot to offer as well. I’d gotten a kick out of writer/director Troy Duffy saying, a reason he’d cast Ron Jeremy was because he knew people would recognize him, and never discuss "how", they knew him. HeeHee…Classic.

The sequel left alot to be desired (most sequels do). I guess it’s important to see the next step, But it lacked the heart of the first one. It’s like what I’d told a girl in Subway the other day (I was wearing another Saints shirt), “If you want to see the next chapter, rent All Saint’s Day. If you want to see a great movie like Boondock Saints, watch Suicide Kings.

So, bottom line : Buy Boondock Saints… Rent (or borrow) The sequel… See Suicide Kings (you may buy this one too...I did).

To buy autographed, limited edition 11 x 14 prints of "Brothers, Killers, and Saints" (shown above) -visit my eBaY seller. For custom-sized Art prints and cards visit My Print Gallery at Fine Art America. And for signed, hand-painted originals, go to Affordable Art Gallery

Saturday, July 24, 2010

POP! goes the Art Blog

Pop art Vader by Dale Loos JrArt has always fascinated me. It’s a huge part of who I am...who I’ve always been. And in light of the last thirty years, The chances of it leaving my life now, is pretty slim.

Movies, music, and books have also played a major role in my life. They have entertained me, inspired me, and have given me comfort in times when the “real” world has left me low.

So I guess it only stands to reason that I should combine them here, on my blog. Insights, entertainment reviews, and my art will be the main focus. But Lord only knows what else I might find for our enjoyment.

I think everyone has an “art” within them. Maybe not the pencil-to-paper kind of art most people think of. But a magic within, that enables them to do something (with seemingly little effort) better than anyone else around.

"Art" comes in many forms. Pop Art seems to have chosen me, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find yours together.

But in the meantime, thank you for stopping by to share mine with me.

With that being said…Welcome! I look forward to your visits. Feel free to direct your questions and comments below. And...

I'll see ya soon.

For 11x14 limited, autographed editions of "Pop Art Vader" (shown above) visit my Ebay seller. or for custom prints and cards, visit my print gallery at Fine Art America