Archive for March, 2014


muppets_most_wanted

I love the Muppets because of the great hand jobs going on.  Listen to the voices and you can hear several Freudian slips.  Yep, beneath all that foam there is a lot of ribaldry wanting to be released.  The fact that half of mid-level Hollywood wants to be in a Muppet feature is a sign that Tinsel Town knows the joke.  Then, I could have just a severe foam fetish whenever the Muppets start singing, dancing, goofing and punning around.

Replacing Jason Segel and Amy Adams from the last feature are Ty Burrell, Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey.  To counter the conservative rubric that the Muppets are really closet Communists, half the movie is set in the former Soviet Union, with a fetching and tightly buttoned up Tina Fey in Gulag browns and fur lined Ushanka hat providing the Dominatrix, uhm, dominant feminine appeal.  Ricky Gervais plays the Dominic Badguy (pronounce it as French to get the joke) role as the tour promoter with a jewel thief’s heart.  Ty Burrell gets to have the Inspector Clouseau role.  Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Stanley Tucci and Jermaine Clement (half of The Flight of the Conchords) as fellow Gulagers sing, dance and mug their way  through silly ditties written by Conchord camera shy composing mate, Bret Mckenzie.

Kermit gets a break from playing himself by playing his evil self, Constantine.  Despite the odd Russian sounding accent the rest of the Muppets hardly notice the difference with the more nasally impaired doppelganger. Muppets: Most Wanted even features the grandest wedding between pig and frog in puppet and marionette history.  These Muppets know they are doing the seventh sequel– they sing and dance about it in the movie’s opening number.   Only the Muppets would play in cities named Vometdorf and Poopenbergen, places ripe for the low level funny quotient of the movie’s smaller admirers. 

The humans get the vast majority of plot while the Muppets get the chaos.  At times, it seems punchy and adrift and at others just a funny redo of their TV show skits.  It all depends on which way director James Bobbin makes the felt stick.  As long as the plot points to the nexus of ridiculousness that is the Muppets forte Muppets: Most Wanted is a real good time.  It only gets soft when it tries for too real. 

Muppets: Most Wanted gets a B from me.

Divergent: Not So Much

Posted: March 29, 2014 in Movies

divergent_ver8

 What happens when you take stale clichés from teen sex comedies and thrown them into a Sci-Fi blender.  You get Divergent, a far too serious exploration of high school extended to the whole universe. The jocks, the nerds, the snarks, the virgins and the dopers get to be respectively the Dauntless, Erudite, Candor, Abnegation and Amity factions.  They are even color coded and have their own fashionable uniforms reflecting their personalities.   How cute, not. 

If you are a normal teenage kid, pulling and leaning to two or three different directions, you are Divergent.  Meaning your only social option is homelessness, suicide or being executed by the in factions.  Or forming your own faction and starting a revolution.   Be me, free or die is something that resonates with every misunderstood teen.  The downside about the movie version of this is that there are no funny lines you haven’t heard and all this seriousness is rather boring.   

Picking out the other Divergents lurking out there is a pretty easy task.  Shailene Woodley plays the top want to be me and Theo James the top want to be him.  The rest of the cast plays their clichés so tightly that no originality could possibly ever shine through.  Kate Winslet plays the evil leader/parent role.  The total lack of evil diversity allows Winslet to slum this to a career low performance. 

Shailene Woodley gives it the Jennifer Lawrence try– and almost succeeds.  She is held back by a story and a director, Neil Burger that refuses to revel in originality.  The movie plods along, content to be rudderless, hitting all the expected beats, hoping the familiarity of it all makes it less familiar.  Woodley’s character is all goodness with very little dark.  Her success is a given, so there is no struggle.  When Kate Winslet has thrown in the towel performance wise it’s hard to claim an easy victory.  

Divergent gets a C- from me. 


nonstop

If Liam Neeson looks a little heavy around the face in Non-Stop, it’s because the whole movie wants to be Gravity 2: Sleep: that force which inevitably overcomes actors (and audiences) caught in the Ground Hog Day of identical action characters with different names and recycled over the top plots with different directors.   Sleep pulls so heavy on Neeson that the story actually drifts into a zero g state with things and characters bumping into each other and rudely awakening Neeson whenever an overly placed coincidence decompresses into plot holes or a MacGuffin villain needs mental elimination or physical dispatching.  At one point Liam even dreams that it all was a dream and that he was doing serious dramatic acting for Spielberg, Scoresese or even Neil Jordan.   Maybe even playing James Bond.  Not a chance.

Non-Stop is one of those 30K air thrillers where everybody is a suspect– and you actually hope it would be true.  Then they would all take Neeson out and just continue the journey to London– and all this silliness would be over in less than an hour.  Nope.  Neeson pulls up the passenger manifest and with the aide of Julianne Moore, circles off, x’s through and roughly interrogates the remaining suspects.  The least likely winning the honor to do gun battle with Neeson and have their big body sucked out the smallest hole in the airplane. 

Adding to the fear of flying is Julianne Moore playing her weaker screen side– a mousy character with a health shadow.  This is something Moore’s more catty, assertive, radiant and infinitely more sexier movie personae would have devoured before the inflight meal.  Here she is Neeson’s conscience echo and chaste love interest.  Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o also is under-utilized as a flight stewardess with little screen time.  

Non-Stop gets a C+ from me.  


godzilla_detail_3 The poster posse is amping for the big Summer releases by giving a tsunami of original Godzilla poster art– most of it of the upcoming Gareth Edwards directed kind.  The posse’s mission statement and purpose “An artist collective doing fan art for everything that is awesome. We’ll make your walls happy.”  The current roster of cool and highly talented artists are:  Paul Shipper, Orlando Arocena, Andy Fairhurst, Chad Woodward, Berkay Daglar, Matt Ferguson, Doaly, Simon Delart, Kaz Oomore, Linda Hordijk, Khoa Ho, Florey, Daniel Shearn, Arden Avett Chris Garofalo and Peter Gutierrez, Patrick Connan, Ron Guyatt, Chris Skinner, Daniel Nash, Robert Bruno, Luke Butland, Marie Bergeron, Marko Manev, Sharm Murugiah, Matt Needle, Salvador Anguiano, Samuel Ho, Adam Rabalais, Harlan Elam, Fernando Reza, Oli Riches, Arian Noveir, Rich Davies, Ben Mcleod, Khoa Ho, Rhys James, Rodolfo Reyes, Joe Vetoe, Chad Woodward and Juan Hugo Martinez. This is the posse’s 7th collaboration.  You can follow the posse on Twitter.

Peter Gutierrez – The King Of Monsters – Incendiary version – USA

Peter Gutierrez – The King Of Monsters – Incendiary version – USA

Simon Delart – France

Simon Delart – France

 

Doaly – U.K.

Doaly – U.K.

Doaly – U.K.

Doaly – U.K.

Peter Gutierrez – The King Of Monsters – Incendiary version – USA

Peter Gutierrez – The King Of Monsters – Incendiary version – USA

Paul Shipper – New Zealand

Paul Shipper – New Zealand

Kaz Oomori – Japan

Kaz Oomori – Japan

Peter Gutierrez – The King Of Monsters – Nuclear version – USA

Peter Gutierrez – The King Of Monsters – Nuclear version – USA

Andy Fairhurst – North Wales

Andy Fairhurst – North Wales

Matt Ferguson – U.K.

Matt Ferguson – U.K.

 

Florey – Australia

Florey – Australia

Linda Hordijk – The Netherlands

Linda Hordijk – The Netherlands

Daniel Shearn – Nuclear Variant

Daniel Shearn – Nuclear Variant

Daniel Shearn - U.K.

Daniel Shearn – U.K.

Berkay Daglar – Turkey

Berkay Daglar – Turkey

Khoa Ho – USA

Khoa Ho – USA

Chris Garofalo – USA

Chris Garofalo – USA

Orlando Arocena - USA

Orlando Arocena – USA

Arden Avett – Poland

Arden Avett – Poland

   

Adam Rabalais – U.S.A.

Adam Rabalais – U.S.A.

Andy Fairhurst – “We’re Going To Need a Bigger Boat Variant

Andy Fairhurst – “We’re Going To Need a Bigger Boat Variant

Arian Noveir – France (2)

Arian Noveir – France (2)

Arian Noveir – France

Arian Noveir – France

Ben Mcleod – England

Ben Mcleod – England

Chad Woodward – Oran

Chad Woodward – Oran

Chris Skinner – U.K.

Chris Skinner – U.K.

Daniel Nash – England

Daniel Nash – England

Fernando-Reza-–-U.S.A..

Fernando-Reza-–-U.S.A..

Harlan Elam – U.S.A.

Harlan Elam – U.S.A.

Joe Vetoe – U.S.A.

Joe Vetoe – U.S.A.

Juan Hugo Martinez – U.S.A

Juan Hugo Martinez – U.S.A

Khoa Ho – U.S.A. (2)

Khoa Ho – U.S.A. (2)

Khoa Ho – U.S.A.

Khoa Ho – U.S.A.

Luke Butland – U.K.

Luke Butland – U.K.

Marie Bergeron – Canada

Marie Bergeron – Canada

Marko Manev – U.S.A.

Marko Manev – U.S.A.

Matt Needle – U.K.

Matt Needle – U.K.

Oli Riches – London

Oli Riches – London

Patrick Connan – France

Patrick Connan – France

Patrick Connan – Orange

Patrick Connan – Orange

Patrick Connan- Blue Rage Variant

Patrick Connan- Blue Rage Variant

Rhys James – Australia

Rhys James – Australia

Rich Davies – U.K. (2)

Rich Davies – U.K. (2)

Rich Davies – U.K.

Rich Davies – U.K.

Robert Bruno

Robert Bruno

Rodolfo Reyes – Mexico

Rodolfo Reyes – Mexico

Ron Guyatt – Canada

Ron Guyatt – Canada

salvador-anguiano-1

salvador-anguiano-1

salvador-anguiano-2

salvador-anguiano-2

Samuel Ho – Canada

Samuel Ho – Canada

Sharm Murugiah – London

Sharm Murugiah – London

Tom Miatke – Australia

Tom Miatke – Australia

 


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If Hollywood can destroy it someone else will catalog it.  Reuben Fischer Baum and Samer Kalaf have watched countless films and scoured endless plot summaries on IMDB to come up with the 189 cinematic attacks that make up their Hollywood disaster maps.

It is a fairly big sampling but no means exhaustive list.  Excluded from the tally are small scale adventures and post apocalyptic disaster flicks.  Only disasters that happened during the course of the movie and involve the terrorizing of more than a handful of humans were considered.  Real life equivalents for fictional locations were also computed into the overall totals (New York for Gotham City for example).

The most disaster prone cities are not surprisingly New York and Los Angeles, which leads in occurrences of monster and creature attacks, climatic and geologic events (including space rocks), infections, as well as human and alien inflicted catastrophes, and superhero battles.  Los Angeles takes a slight lead when Sharknado incidents are included.

The data and maps were all posted at Deadspin.  

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Mark Englert - Bioshock Reg Header

 

Every year Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn hosts an art in the dark event featuring pieces that use glow in the dark inks and pigments.  The exhibit always draw a nice blind crowd happy to bump into each other in the dark in the name of art appreciation and then go eat at Blinde Kuh, that does the very dark dark thing with fine cuisine. Just kidding.  The gallery has special black lights installed on a timer that “go dark” every few minutes.  The exhibit, appropriately titled When the Lights Go Out opens Saturday, March 22nd and runs until April 9th. 

The previews here include the normal and glow in the dark inks for each piece.  There are well over 60 pieces in the show. 

Andy-Hau-Spirited-Away

Andy-Hau-Spirited-Away

Bruce-Yan-Despicable-Me

Bruce-Yan-Despicable-Me

Bruce-Yan-Despicable-Me-GID

Bruce-Yan-Despicable-Me-GID

Godmachine-Big-Trouble

Godmachine-Big-Trouble

Godmachine-Big-Trouble-GID

Godmachine-Big-Trouble-GID

Jason-K-Texas-Chainsaw

Jason-K-Texas-Chainsaw

Jason-K-Texas-Chainsaw-GID

Jason-K-Texas-Chainsaw-GID

Kyle-Crawford-They-Live

Kyle-Crawford-They-Live

Kyle-Crawford-They-Live-GID

Kyle-Crawford-They-Live-GID

Mark-Englert-Bioshock

Mark-Englert-Bioshock

Mark-Englert-Bioshock-Reg-GID

Mark-Englert-Bioshock-Reg-GID

Mark-Englert-Bioshock-Var-GID

Mark-Englert-Bioshock-Var-GID

Matt-Ryan-Tobin-Preacher

Matt-Ryan-Tobin-Preacher

Matt-Ryan-Tobin-Preacher-GID

Matt-Ryan-Tobin-Preacher-GID

aid71-Akira

aid71-Akira

raid-71-Akira-glow

raid-71-Akira-glow


KingForADayPromoSamGilbey

KingForADayPromoSamGilbey

 King for a day, the new exhibit opening at Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles this weekend and running until april 6th, features art work inspired by horror mesiter Stephen King.  Among poster posse members presenting pieces are Robert Bruno, Nick Comperone, Patrick Colom, Harlan Elam, Chris Garofalo, peter Guitterez, Tom Mitake, David Moscati, Kaz Oomori, Adam Rabalais, Paul Shipper and Chris Skinner.  A portion of all proceeds of the show will benefit Mr. King’s charity of choice, The Haven Foundation, a non-profit service that serves to benefit freelance creatives of all types who have found themselves unable to work due to disease or accident.

Artist quotes are from interviews done by blurrpy.com

GodsGunslinger-2ColourScreen

“God’s Gunslinger” – by Chris Skinner

The exhibit includes multiple submissions from from the so-called “Poster Posse,” including Robert Bruno, Nick Comparone, Patrick Connan, Harlan Elam, Florey, Chris Garofalo, Peter Gutierrez, Tom Miatke, David Moscati, Kaz Oomori, Adam Rabalais, Paul Shipper and Chris Skinner. – See more at: http://www.fearnet.com/news/news-article/king-day-art-exhibit-showcases-stephen-king-inspired-poster-designs#sthash.IE3bPsFO.dpuf

“When I heard this show was going to be based on the works of Stephen King I instantly knew I wanted to do a Dark Tower themed print. The story is so rich and diverse, cowboys, magic, industrial machinery all create great visuals in your mind. I decided to incorporate various elements from the stories, roses, an old western gun and the main one being a Hawk which is also referred to as ‘God’s Gunslinger’ in the stories, hence the title of this print. The Hawk is such a cool looking bird which looks very noble and sits well alongside the other classic elements which hopefully gives this work an ‘old world’ feel and air of authenticity.”

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“The Mist” – Ron Guyatt

 

GreenMile_Final_Simple

“The Green Mile” by Robert Bruno

” I chose these two pieces by Stephen King first and foremost because they are two of my favorite stories and film adaptations.  It’s rare that a director can take such a powerful story and transform it and retain the integrity of the writing into a feature film. Frank Darabont did just this with each one.

I wanted to do both as I feel that “The Green Mile” and the “Shawshank Redemption” share a lot of the same characteristics. Both are prison tales in which there is a dynamic relationship among the inmates and in the Green Miles case a relationship with an inmate and the guards. Both contain elements of a higher power in the form of faith and belief. And finally, both stories leave the audience with an inspired and awestruck feeling.  These pieces are my ode to two of my favorite stories and films.”

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“Shawshank Redemption” – Robert Bruno

 

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Robert Bruno- Shawshank Detail

Silver

“Silver Bullet” by Peter Gutierrez

“I enjoy the irony of a small motor vehicle named Silver Bullet, fleeing from the werewolf omen in the smoke. Buyer beware, this piece was created for either orientations. So will it all go downhill or is it an uphill battle?”

StandByMeFinal_FINAL_RG

“Stand By Me” – Luke Butland

“I wanted to pick something for King for A Day that wasn’t the standard Horror/ supernatural story that King is known for and it did take a while to decide what I wanted to do as Shawshank and Green Mile are both in my top 10 films.  In the end I chose ‘Stand By Me’ as I remember watching this as a kid and really enjoying it. I loved the adventure of it all, four friends going on this big adventure into the wild.”

“The print incorporates some of the main moments and iconography from the film, such as the train which plays out one of the more memorable scenes from the film, the focal point of the print is the poignant moment when the boys adventure finally reaches its conclusion and they come face to face with the body of Ray Bower, theres also a little nod to the moment Geordie has on the tracks with the Deer as that scene contains some of the deepest symbolism (well to me anyway) in the film and I felt the print wouldn’t be complete without incorporating an aspect of that scene in there in some way.”

“I really enjoyed this print and it will be the first screen print I’ve ever done for a gallery so I hope you all like it.”

DETAIL_ONE

Luke Butland – Stand By Me detail

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Luke Butland – Stand By Me detail #2

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“Dead Is Better” – David Moscati:

“I am a big reader and Stephen King has always been in my general rotation of books. I really wanted to focus on one of his works that, in my opinion, was just as impactful as a book as it was in film. And “Pet Sematary” as a film, I will never forget. In fact I believe I saw the movie first and then went back and read the book. Both are equally as terrifying. What I really wanted to accomplish with my piece, was to represent the story, not necessarily being specific to the book or movie. I only hope that my art reflects the unsettling nature of the story and that I made true Stephen King fans proud.”

IT_18x24

“It” by Patrick Connan:

“Why did I choose ‘IT’ for the ‘King for a Day’ show? Simple… I saw this TV movie when I was 7, all alone, in my parents bedroom on the 2nd floor of my house. I have to say that the room was attached to the attic, which terrified me at this time.

“No need to say that this movie gave me nightmares for several years and I now realize that this poster, for me, was kind of like therapy!  Tim Curry and his interpretation of Pennywise traumatized me and a whole generation, that’s why this poster is dedicated to them!”

IT_closeup1

Patrick Connan detail

IT_closeup2

Patrick Connan detail #2

 

blood-on-our-hands

“Blood On Our Hands” – Khoa Ho

“Although ‘The Mist’ was behind the inspiration for this piece, I wanted to create an image that captures Mr. King’s body of work as a whole without giving away too quickly what specific story the image actually belongs too. The mood I was going for was mysterious, dark and horrifying but with a sense of hope and wonder. Trying to capture the work of Stephen King in one image is impossible but hopefully I did him some kind of justice here. Also, there are some words, easter eggs engraved/scratched into the window areas of the piece which is always fun.”

kaz_greenmile_art_WIP_6_fin

“The Green Mile” by Kaz Oomori:

  “I chose ‘The Green Mile’ because of the movie’s limited circumstances (the prison) and the era it is set in. Human events partnered with supernatural power, they are a condensed view of the world of Stephen King. The stage is the United States in the 1930s so  I wanted the print to have a vintage feel to it. True fans of the film / book will notice the presence of  Mr. Jingles who, for me, is the key to the story. He exists somewhere. Can you find him ?”

kaz_greenmile_art_WIP_5

“Green Mile” W.I.P. by Kaz Oomori:

DarkTower_Harlan

DarkTower_Harlan
“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower” – by Harlan Elam:

“ The Dark Tower is an epic story told on a scale I haven’t experienced before or since.  Stephen King managed to merge plot lines and characters from his other properties to form a singular universe. I wanted to do the same by combining three major characters from the series to form one continuous shape. The Dark Tower, the gunslinger’s pistol and Roland himself all stand front and center atop the field of roses. Fans of the series may find some hidden easter eggs so look closely.”

Chris Garofalo-king for a day

“It’s Your Cat Now” – Chris Garofalo:

“Pet Sematary was a film I remember seeing for the first time at a sleepover party back in elementary school…..which I ended up not sleeping a wink due to the fact that it creeped me out in ways that still hold up to this day. The way the moon lit a various number of scenes was both calming and unnerving at the same time, which is why its an exaggerated focal point in my print. The GID image was meant to symbolize that eerie realization that some things just won’t stay dead, and they come back much, much worse.”

photo 2

“Green Mile” W.I.P. by Kaz Oomori:

Shawshank_HCG_Test

“Shawshank Redemption” by Tom Miatke:

“Out of the whole breadth of the Stephen King library, The “Shawshank Redemption” was always going to be my number one choice. Even though out of the collection it probably has the least amount of visual scope, being more drama than supernatural, the movie and story was the one that resonated with me the most. Because of this attachment I felt a creative pressure to illustrate a poster that both was emotionally connective as well as visually striking, one that lives up to the reputation of the classic status the movie has earned. I used the key theme of the movie as the basis for my poster; Hope. That was the key point I needed the poster to convey, that unwavering sense of hope that Andy has whilst being wrongly imprisoned. Using little connective visuals such as the Chess pieces and the Warden’s shoes to tie it back to the story, the idea of the poster comes from Andy’s iconic statement; “Get busy living, or get busy dying”.

Florey-King-For-A Day

“The Works Of Stephen King” – by Florey

The Works of Stephen King - FINAL Glow

Florey-GID layer

image[2]

Florey-Detail

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 9.27.10 PM

“The Shawshank Redemption” by Paul Shipper

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 9.27.10 PM

Paul Shipper detail

paul-shipper-detail-2

paul-shipper-detail-2

Paul Shipper detail #2

Nick Comparone HCG King For A Day

“Pet Semetary” by Nick Comparone

 “I was really stoked on this show when Adam from Hero Complex mentioned it to me. I had just recently seen Stephen King speak and I’m a big book collector. He’s always been a staple in my family. I laid out a lot of roughs for this show but I knew I had to paint The Stand, and I really wanted to touch upon something Dark Tower. Pet Sematary wasn’t even really on my list but I roughed out that painting and loved it, so I went ahead and painted it. The composition of Gage and the cat, and the proportion of the piece, set me in the direction of doing this companion piece of Randall Flagg and a crow.”

darkman_web

“I am a Dark Man” – Nick Comparone:

“Just like you always see similar themes, places, and characters in the King universe, I wanted to have two pieces that tied together in some way. The Stand has always been one of favorite novels by Stephen King and I remember watching the miniseries on TV when it came out. Randall Flagg is the ultimate King villain and seems to pop up in so many places, including his major role in The Dark Tower series.”

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“I actually hadn’t planned the tower in the original composition, and it wasn’t until after all the stencils were cut that I decided to try it out on a test piece to see how it looked. So I’m quite happy to have gotten my Dark Tower reference into a piece. The Tower here is a throwback to the Michael Whelan depiction in The Gunslinger, and the title of the painting comes from the poem ‘The Dark Man’, Stephen King’s first manifestation of Randall Flagg, ‘The Walkin’ Dude.’”

IMG_6712

 IMG_6726

“The painting is first hand drawn in pencil and ink, then each layer of the stencil is cut with an x-acto. I built and stretched the canvas, as it’s a non-standard size, and then it’s collaged with materials from ‘The Gunslinger’ and ‘The Stand.’ Finally each layer is sprayed with spray paint.”

The exhibit includes multiple submissions from from the so-called “Poster Posse,” including Robert Bruno, Nick Comparone, Patrick Connan, Harlan Elam, Florey, Chris Garofalo, Peter Gutierrez, Tom Miatke, David Moscati, Kaz Oomori, Adam Rabalais, Paul Shipper and Chris Skinner. – See more at: http://www.fearnet.com/news/news-article/king-day-art-exhibit-showcases-stephen-king-inspired-poster-designs#sthash.IE3bPsFO.dpuf

 

Jill-Cobert-the-shining

Jill-Cobert-the-shining

Chris-Brake-misery

Chris-Brake-misery

Blain-Hefner-Creepshow

Blain-Hefner-Creepshow

Tom-Miatke-shawshank-redemption
Peter-Breese-the-stand

Peter-Breese-the-stand

Meghan-Stratman-Firestarter

Meghan-Stratman-Firestarter

Mainger-Germain-christine

Mainger-Germain-christine

Eugene-Kaik-stephen-king

Eugene-Kaik-stephen-king

Dan-Mumford-the-mist

Dan-Mumford-the-mist