Welcome to The Morning Read.

And happy birthday, Toshi! As you read this, I'm probably already at Toshi's school, where we're planning to celebrate with his classmates and pizza a nd cake, and I can't stop smiling at the fact that I've made it four years now as a father, and so far, no authorities have had to be called in.  Before I met my wife, I could barely keep myself alive from day to day, so it's sort of gobsmacking to me to think that we're starting to get pretty good at this whole "being parents" thing.  How do I know we're good at it?  Because my kids are awesome, and happy, and healthy, and that's pretty much all the yardstick I need to know I'm doing the job right.

I love that The New York Times ran a segment on "Jaws" because (A) you can never talk about "Jaws" enough, it seems and (B) they once again show the most oft-displayed beaver shot in cinema history.  And it's not marked "NSFW" at all, because it's "Jaws."  Everyone's seen "Jaws."  And even if you haven't seen "Jaws," you've probably seen the graphic push-in on a completely naked actress from underwater.  Depends on which color timing you've seen of the film, evidently, but still... I love that Steven Spielberg is so omnipresent in our film culture at this point that this shot, as explicit as it is, has simply entered the cultural language.  That's what I mean when I say you really can't say enough about "Jaws" and how good it is at what it does.  It is simply a marvel of storytelling by tagteam.  From script to cast improv to Spielberg to Verna Fields to John Williams to release, "Jaws" is about a series of storytellers all taking their shot at "Jaws," and all landing their punches with precision and taste.  "Jaws" is a blockbuster, sure... but it's a great movie first.  It was a blockbuster precisely because it was such a great movie.  It was an organic event.  Last time that happened, in my opinon?  "The Sixth Sense."  Here's the NY Times piece, which is pretty nicely done.  I like the use of the Alex scene on both ends of that report.

[more after the jump]

Right now, while I'm dancing with four and five year olds, Scott Swan is calling "Action" on his first day of production of his first feature as a director.  He's in Pittsburgh, working with producer Fred Vogel (the "August Underground" creator), making a film called "Mask-Head."  Scott, if you don't recognize the name, is my writing partner on the screenplay side of things, a guy I've been working with for coughtwentypluscough years.  He's making this down-and-dirty horror movie because he wants to really knock one out.  Work fast.  You can read more about it right here, and check out the teaser poster for the film as well.  Break a leg, Scotty.

Let's see what else I've got tucked away from over the weekend...

Obviously, I was absentee from the blog on Saturday.  I spent most of it in my pool, being attacked by kids, then eating way too much delicious food late at night and running outside with all the kids to watch fireworks in the skies all around our house.  North, south, east, west... different timings, different scale, but a variety of fireworks everywhere, and the kids just dazzled by all of it.  Other people were far more diligent than I and actually published theme-appropriate July 4th content, like the great American round-up on The A/V Club, which does indeed contain some all-American four-letter words.  Be warned.

Have you seen that amazing Marco Brambilla installation video from The Standard in New York yet?  Because if not, you have to.  It's a collage of hundreds of movie clips, all combined to create a moving mural showing a rise from hell to heaven or a descent from heaven to hell.  In the hotel, this motion mural actually appears in the elevators.  Color me impressed.  For the full effect, you should go to the Motionographer website and watch their giant super-sized embed.  What a knock-out.  The director of "Demolition Man," ladies and gentlemen.

Can you imagine?

RT @azizansari:  Jason and I are up late editing Randy doc.  If you think what's out there already is dirty, there is a bit in the doc with full penetration.

If you're going to click on this next link, I want you to be sure you've got a half-hour to lose, okay?  Don't blame me if you look up and you're like, "Oh, crap, I'm late," okay?  Again... you've been warned.

Are you planning to try to see the International Space Station this week?  Because you can... with your naked eye... if you know where to look.  And thankfully, that's where NASA comes in.  Handy, eh?  There are even schedules for other countries, too, if you want to change the search results.  I'm hoping to share this one with the family this week while we can.

Because you know you've asked yourself this before.

I'm really intrigued by the vaguaries of this report on the current state of the art of theatrical exhibition in Berlin.

Great piece by Cory Doctrow on the way the availability of information has changed the value of that information.

I am shamelessly excited about Tim Schafer's "Brutal Legend," and if you're a fan of heavy metal or video games or, god forbid, both, prepare to lose your mind, because the opening tutorial level for the game is online now as a walkthrough narrated by Schafer himself, and, uh... IT IS AWESOME.  Doubt me?  Watch part one.

 

 

See what I mean?  Now check out part two, where you get the car.  Yes... the car... because it is also a free-roaming driving game as well.

 

 

I'm so ready for that.  I'm ready for that game yesterday.  That looks awesome.

Not if you paid me.  Not even if you drugged me and paid me.

RT @KFUCKINGP: Thanks, just make sure you don't get any of that fucking backne on my face.

And finally, because I'm going to want to show the birthday boy this video later, here's this awesome animated version of "Star Wars" in three minutes that I spotted on /Film.

 

 

How great is that?

See you later with more reviews, including "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," "Humpday," and the next installment (long overdue) of the Motion/Captured Must-See Project.

The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday.  Except when it doesn't.

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