Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quotes on Hollywwod

Over in Hollywood they almost made a great picture, but they caught it in time.
Wilson Mizner (1876 - 1933)

You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.
Carrie Fisher (1956 - )

After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.
Fred Thompson, Speech before the Commonwealth Club of California

You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a firefly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart.
Fred Allen (1894 - 1956)

Friday, October 30, 2009

An Unhapy Ending

So Emily was blogging that she had an unhappy ending that her reader said didn't work; that it should have a happy ending. Well, it is more commercially acceptable that way, but isn't a necessity. It depends on how it is pulled off, and the reasons for it. Example:

Saving Private Ryan
Up until the end, we think that Tom Hanks has a chance of making it out alive. Then wham. He dies. But we aren't running out of the theater with "That's so lame, he should have lived." But considering in the context, that the sacrifice was not in vain, that the good guys should prevail. I'm not talking about Pvt. Ryan surviving, but on the greater context of the war.

It is not that there needs a happy ending, just the goal has to exceed the tragedy, and that there is not a way that the goal can be accomplished without tragedy. Example:

Saving Private Ryan

Sir, if the Krauts are holding this bridge when division shows up, our guys are going to be sitting ducks.


He's right, we can't shoot him...well, we could but we'd get in an enormous amount of trouble. And he's right about the bridge, it's a hell of a lot more important than he is.

The holding of the bridge was more important than any single life in the context of the war, and therefore, even if Ryan had been killed, or Miller (Hanks); if the bridge is saved then the sacrifice holds true.

In 300 Leonidas sacrifices himself and his 300 to hold against the might of the persian army.

In Armeggedon, Harry Stamper(Bruce WIllis) sacrifices himself to save his daughter's future (not to mention all of Earth).

In Alien3, Ripley drops into molten metal to prevent the corporation from getting alien DNA and preventing the Aliens from infecting all of Earth.

In Terminator 2 - Shwartzenegger as the Terminator, lowers himself into a molten vat to destroy the compenents that would lead to the development of Skynet and then the destruction of human civilization.

Another point is that some endings can be both happy and bittersweet. Example:

The Butterfly Effect
Ashton manages to save the love of his life (happy ending) but does not end up being with her (bittersweet).

Rick kills Major Strasser (happy ending), helps Victor Lazlo escape (happy ending), but lets Ilsa,the love of his life, go with Lazlo (bittersweet).

Again, the benefit of getting Lazlo out was greater than the associated loss.

Finally, if the audience sees another way that doesn't end in loss, or if the goal is not achieved, then the audience will feel offended.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Will Ferrel

He CAN be funny, but not only in an original comedy. If it's in something that's based off something known, he sucks. That is all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hollywood studios are clueless and in trouble...

Hollywood studios in midst of their own horror show
October 6, 2009
John Horn, Ben Fritz and Rachel Abramowitz
Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times


The recent firings and hirings of studio executives at Disney, Universal and elsewhere point to a widespread corporate panic amid sharp declines in DVD sales.

... as DVD sales have collapsed by as much as 25% at some studios, access to outside financing has vanished and production and marketing costs remain sky-high, media companies are cracking under all the pressure.

As the lineup of newly elevated studio executives scramble for solutions, expect an even greater emphasis on so-called "branded entertainment": sequels and movies based on toys, old television shows and other familiar themes. ... There also will likely be far fewer adult dramas and less reliance on movie stars -- many of whom can no longer draw ticket buyers, and are seeing their guaranteed salaries slashed.

"They still haven't found a new business model to replace the old one."

For years, DVD sales, coupled with the growth in international markets, compensated for box office losers.

But as the global economy tanked, so did DVD income.

At the same time, foreign monopolies in paid television have driven down the formerly generous license fees paid to American studios for cable and satellite reruns, while increasingly popular local language productions ... have cut into the international box-office returns for U.S. productions.

As profits vanish, new capital has become as unattainable as the best picture Oscar.

When times were flush, the studios spent like sailors on shore leave, handing out lavish producer deals, flying private jets, adding millions in overhead (including their own compensation) and pouring fortunes into poorly executed projects ...

Thanks to Kidsis for the link.

This just highlights the problems in Hollywood. A-list actors got paid too much. Producers got greedy. Studios chucked money at bad projects because they had too much money available. Studios depended on DVDs to make up for losses on bad projects. We trained people in studios in other countries to make 'American-style' movies, who now make them in their own languages. Their financing has dried up, probably due to referring to investors as "suckers".

What's so sad is that I could make movies for the rest of my life and still make money on most, if not all, of them. Hollywood is clueless as to what really is selling the movies.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Resident Evil 5

Well, it has a better story/plot than RE3. The animation is a bit cheesy, not as bad as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but nowhere near Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The extras do however go over much of the capture and animation end. It's an okay flick, and worth watching the extras.

Film Review - Zombieland

So Friday, I went to see Zombieland. While it had its holes, it isn't significant in this kind of comedy. Lots of dark humor. I loved it. My friend loved it. Ode to Zombieland.
Rules for surviving a zombie outbreak:
#1 Cardio. Zombies lead a very active lifestyle; so should you. First to go will be the fatties.
#2 Beware of Bathrooms. Zombies will get you when you're most vulnerable.
#3 Seatbelts: Its a safe bet unless your a moron you won't be hoofing it on foot at all times in the event of a zombie outbreak. So when travelling on four wheels wear your seat belt.
#4 Double-tap. If you think a zombie is dead shoot it again in the head just to be sure. Don't be stingy with your bullets.
#6 Cast Iron Skillet. Will crack a zombie skull like a melon.
#12 Bounty. You'll regularly need to clean up from killing zombies. Also doubles as T.P. if you run low.
#15 Bowling Ball : Crush a skull
#17 Don’t Be A Hero : Unless she may be the only female left
#18 Limber Up: You don't want to pull a muscle at a critical moment.
#22 Plan Your Escape: Always know a way out.
#29 Buddy System: Two can hold off more zombies than one.
#31 Check The Back Seat: And the trunkspace
#32 Enjoy the Little Things: The world's gone to hell, enjoy what you can.
#33 Swiss Army Knife.

This is like Return of the Living Dead, a zombie comedy. Go see it, it's funny as hell.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Accurate than Regular FOX News

Hoofy and Boo, summing it up as accurate, if not more so, than Regular FOX news, and much more entertaining.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Film Review - Surrogates

Watched Surrogates Friday. A decent movie for Action and Sci-Fi. Overall pretty good. I didn't really feel any deep attachment to the characters, which is a drawback. The effects and story are solid enough though.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Things to avoid while filming

Teen's amateur horror shoot turns into personal snuff film

20 May, 02:09 PM

A 16 year-old teenager has accidentally hanged himself shooting an amateur horror film in the Russian city of Kondopoga, Northwest of Russia, Russian website reports.

The teenager, who has not been named, was rehearsing one of the scenes of his horror film in his apartment on May 16. According to his scrip, the main character had to hang himself because of unrequited love. He put his neck in the noose and then unfortunately fell from the chair he was standing on.

The police discovered his body after two days. According to the medical experts, the cause of boy’s death was asphyxia. There were no other injures on his body.

No criminal case has been opened regarding the death. The investigators believe that it was suicide.

The boy’s friends said that he had been shooting his horror film for three weeks and that he wanted to post it on the Internet.

Things are bad all over

We're not the only ones getting canned.

Russia to stop new cinema production in 2009.

7 Apr, 06:12 PM

The Russian Minister of Cultural Affairs Alexander Avdeev has said that Russia will stop new cinema production in 2009, Russian web-site reports. “We will just continue work on the films that were started last year” – Avdeev said at a session of The State Duma Special-Purpose Committee.

According to Avdeev’s speech, the Russian Ministry of Cultural Affairs will assign about 500 million rubles ($15 million) to supporting documentaries and children’s films. “This way we will save the proportion of money that would have been allocated to making motion pictures and nonfiction films. We will also avoid unemployment in the cinema sphere” – Avdeev said.

Avdeev added that film directors and producers will have to compete to retain their jobs, although he did not specify how. Those that win will be granted funding from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

Avdeev also said that the state is ready to help directors who make films touching on specific social problems. The Minister said he was sure that projects based on these themes would attract the interest of many famous directors and actors.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some Commercials Should be Imported

Banned Comercials : 7-UP

I wish more commercials were like this, I might actually pay attention to them more.

NCIS:LA - TV Review

Well, that was boring ... I'll give it a couple to get better.
Most interesting backstory --- What is G's name?
Most Interesting character --- 'Hetty' Lange played by Linda Hunt.
Most interesting thing about the story --- Nothing ... bored me to near coma.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Marvel Goes to hell...

Marvel bought out for 4 billion. Well, expect future Marvel movies will be more kid-friendly and therefore more lame. Not to mention the fact that they might find some of the darker comics too offensive. I guess that means no more stripper poles on Tony Stark's Private Jet.

Something Different in Audio

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

John Hughes (1950-2009) R.I.P.

John Hughes Films I've Seen...

Drillbit Taylor (2008)

Maid in Manhattan (2002)

Flubber (1997)
- Had some good things - still like the original

101 Dalmatians (1996)
- Had some good things - still like the original

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
- Had some good things - still like the original

Dennis the Menace (1993)

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Beethoven (1992) - bits & Pieces

Dutch (1991)

Home Alone (1990)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) - bits & Pieces

Uncle Buck (1989)

The Great Outdoors (1988) - bits & Pieces

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
- probably the greatest Thanksgiving Film ever.

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
- A personal Favorite.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
- A 'Must See' for everyone.

Pretty in Pink (1986)

Weird Science (1985)

National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) - bits & Pieces

The Breakfast Club (1985)
- sums up 80's High School

Sixteen Candles (1984)

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) - bits & Pieces

Monday, August 3, 2009

Upcoming: Sherlock Holmes

I saw this trailer at the theater.

I'll go with Sherlock Holmes Re-Imagined. When I heard Jude Law was going to be in it way back when, I thought ... He'd make a good holmes. Unfortunately he's watson. And it looks like Robert Downey Jr. is playing Holmes. And Holmes seems to have gotten much more physical and less mental. Watson seems less friendly and more agressive.

I'm not sure if I'll see this in the theatre. I guess I'll look for reviews before I commit. Currently it looks like it isn't rating more than a rental.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

DVD Review - P.S. I Love You

Well, I finally got around to seeing this one. It was as good as, if not better, than the trailer made it out to be. A warning though ... It's a real tear-jerker. No, I mean that. Most tear-jerkers might have once or twice, but this one really gets you in the heart strings. Well, unless your not emotional, or have no sense of romance. Try it otherwise, you'll love it. And No, I haven't read the book.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Film Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Not a bad movie, better than some of the others. Sure they dropped oodles, and true they could've cut differently, but I'm glad they finally got a good weasley twins spot in the film. They also dropped at least one point that should be in there (plays into the next films). But overall, better than the last one. It's not too bad, so long as you leave enough time between a reading of the book and the movie, also think of the movies as more of the book: Re-imagined.

I'd say it will do well. It's great if you have kiddies, and still decent if you don't.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michael Bay

Everyone is trashing Michael Bay. True, he has an ego that's bigger than the Australian Continent, and he made a movie with plot wholes that tractor trailers could fithrough. But he does excel at making things go boom, and action. Logic be damned. Remember, Transformers was a kids cartoon.

Now this is a hilarious laugh at the expense of Michael Bay.

And there's this point, showing his ego, from The Big Picture.

Asked to answer Megan Fox's charge that he didn't present her with any acting opportunities in the new "Transformers" film, director Michael Bay said: "You roll your eyes when you see statements like that. I 100% disagree with her. Nic Cage wasn't a big actor when I cast him, nor was Ben Affleck before I put him in 'Armageddon.' "

Comment: Talk about an eye roller! Nic Cage wasn't a big actor before he met Michael Bay? No, he'd only won a best actor Oscar (for "Leaving Las Vegas") and worked with everyone from Francis Coppola to the Coen Brothers. And Ben Affleck. Oh yeah, he'd already been in "Good Will Hunting," which earned seven Oscar nominations (with Affleck taking home an Oscar for writing the screenplay with Matt Damon). Judging from their post-Bay career trajectory, I'd argue that neither guy ever recovered from working with Mr. Transformers.

Imagine That

No, it's not a review. Like most of the rest of the country, I haven't seen it. I mean, it doesn't look bad, but whoever put its release date in summer blockbuster season should be due a performance review. The movie looks like something that would do well at Christmas.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Ever get pulled over and wish you could say what you feel?
This video will make you feel better.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Miracle Mile (1988) - review

Since Lis has just had her premier of The Commune, I'm throwing up this review of one of her early favorites. So I found it on YouTube, as can be seen below.

Now, if you didn't grow up in the era, you might find this strange. They promised we'd die in a nuclear war when we were young, and they lied. So all the drumming of it in the news lately is like listening to oldies ... out of date. And now they tell us we're going to die of nukes, global warming, the end of the mayan calender, etc. I don't believe it. It's too easy. Honestly, either pollution or a lack of clean water will be our downfall, and both will take several generations to occur.

Back to the story, best performance was by Mare Winningham. You probably know her from Grey's Anatomy. A close second would be Mykelti Williamson. Most of the other performances weren't particularly great. The nice ending was the part about becoming diamond. I think the opening was better, but then, I'm a romantic at heart. Waiting 30 years to meet the one for him. Well, I'm still waiting. I see the best relationship is that of Lucy and Ivan Peters. Well, except the not speaking for 15 years. But I've known many who've spent their whole lives together with only one wife/husband. That's what I guess I want.

While I don't love it as much as Lis does, mostly because I'm not in that 80's mindset anymore, I'll give it a good overall story. I would have preferred a different ending, but I understand the Romeo & Juliet ending of better to be dead together in love.

All Parts of Miracle Mile:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

David Eddings Dead at 77.

I just found out he passed away a few days ago. It's to be expected, he loved his wife, and she died a couple years back, so he kind of lost all want to live.

I remember how I was introduced to his work. I was working as a shuttle driver for Budget Rent-a-Car at the airport and a book was left behind. I was bored alot, so I read it. Damn it was good. Turned out it was the second or third book of the Mallorean. So I ended up reading ALL his books.

Listed as #17 on the Top 20 Greatest Fantasy Writers.

I haven't slept much lately, so I'm keeping this short.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Film Review: I-Trek or Star Trek(2009)

Okay, I'll post more on Monay AFTER everyone has seen this. But the answer is to see it. It's right up there with Star Trek IV.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Minority Report ...

I'd be offended, but would also end up doing the same thing. It's one of those things that will keep race an issue. Then again, classism is more prevalent in society outside of the major cities, though it's often reported as racism. The media is the biggest pusher of racism, I think it would have died down alot had they not continually pushed it. Then again, lawyers try to use it even when it wasn't an issue. Though I've got to wonder, being mostly "white", how many times I've been passed over for someone who met the affimative action requirements for a company though less qualified.

IJ4 Feelings...

Much the feeling from Indiana Jones 4. Biggest problem was that it had been established in the previous three films that Magic/God/Myths were real. Then you brought Aliens/Sci-Fi to the table. The above comic reminded me how I felt about the movie when I heard about that. Specifically :"You got your crappy sci-fi all over my fantasy RPG."

That would be useful for dating ....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kangaroo Ninja

I wonder if this was a new cvharacter for Pixar or Disney...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Movies...

The new Witch Mountain movie made me think about the movies I saw during my childhood. So what was your first Big-Screen movie. No, not on TV, or a Theatrical release on Video. Only at some kind of theater.

I'm not sure if it was animated, it would have been Disney in the early 70's, but I have only vague memories of where/when I saw those. The first one I can remember is probably Herbie Rides Again at a Drive-in.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High was the first R-rated film I saw. Again, at the Drive-in.

The drive-in was a great place, the cost was per carload, not per person. So, if you had siblings, as I did, and parents who weren't wealthy, again as I did, then it only made sense to go that way.

Movies I watched at the theater growing up:
(note: 1987 - those later in the year technically were after I was an adult.)

Charlotte's Web
Robin Hood

Herbie Rides Again

The Apple Dumpling Gang
The Return of the Pink Panther
The Adventures of the Wilderness Family

The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Freaky Friday
The Bad News Bears
No Deposit, No Return
The Shaggy D.A.

Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Pete's Dragon
The Rescuers
Star Wars
Oh, God!
The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training

Revenge of the Pink Panther
The Cat From Outer Space
The Bad News Bears Go to Japan
Watership Down
Return from Witch Mountain

Just You and Me, Kid
The Black Hole
The Muppet Movie

Herbie Goes Bananas
The Empire Strikes Back

Fox and the Hound, The
The Last Flight of Noah's Ark
The Devil and Max Devlin
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Great Muppet Caper

Fast Times at Ridgemont High
The Dark Crystal
48 Hrs.
The Secret of NIMH
Trail of the Pink Panther

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Trading Places
Return of the Jedi (1983)
Mr. Mom
The Outsiders
Rumble Fish
Blue Thunder
Eddie and the Cruisers
Curse of the Pink Panther
Private School
Sudden Impact

Conan the Destroyer
Ghost Busters
Beverly Hills Cop
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
The Karate Kid
Police Academy
Romancing the Stone
Purple Rain
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
The Terminator
Sixteen Candles
The Natural
Red Dawn
Revenge of the Nerds
Bachelor Party
The Last Starfighter
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes
The Muppets Take Manhattan
Johnny Dangerously
Streets of Fire
Night of the Comet
Moscow on the Hudson
Blame It on Rio

The Black Cauldron
Back to the Future
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rocky IV
The Goonies
The Breakfast Club
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Weird Science
Pale Rider
Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
Teen Wolf
Enemy Mine
Brewster's Millions
Desperately Seeking Susan
Young Sherlock Holmes
Silver Bullet
Once Bitten
King Solomon's Mines
Just One of the Guys
Vision Quest

Flight of the Navigator
Top Gun
Crocodile Dundee
The Karate Kid, Part II
Back to School
The Golden Child
Ruthless People
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Stand by Me
Big Trouble in Little China
Pretty in Pink
Short Circuit
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Heartbreak Ridge
Raw Deal
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Iron Eagle

3 Men and a Baby
Fatal Attraction
Beverly Hills Cop II
Good Morning, Vietnam
The Secret of My Succe$s
Lethal Weapon
Dirty Dancing
The Witches of Eastwick
Raising Arizona
The Running Man
Empire of the Sun
The Lost Boys
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
No Way Out
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
Throw Momma from the Train
Adventures in Babysitting
Near Dark
*batteries not included
Some Kind of Wonderful
Blind Date
Harry and the Hendersons
Less Than Zero
Summer School
Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
Project X
Three O'Clock High

Friday, March 13, 2009

Battleground (1949) - DVD Review

Okay, definately hollywood version of the battle. My neighbor across the street was near there for the Battle of the Bulge. Messier, colder, and less considerate. This could probably use a remake. Overall, a good story, but I didn't really feel deeply enough for the characters, and the ones I did feel for, they survived. As a War film for its time, I'd give it 7 out of 10 stars. I'd probably drop a star or two modernly as it would not really hold up.

And yes, there really was a bunch of Nazi infiltrators who dressed up in American uniforms/equipment and spoke english, and did alot of damage. They were Otto Skorzeny's Grief Commandos from the SS Panzer Brigade 150 and were officially named Einheit Stielau. Of the 2500 that were to break into allied territory, only 44 managed to do so and 18 were captured and shot as spies.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not your kiddy superheroes...

I went and saw Watchmen at the theater.
Not having seen the graphic novel, I'd give it an 8.5 out of 10 mostly because of the ending. Interestingly enough, others agree.

NOT a kiddified Superhero flick. Definately R for sex, violence, etc. If this had been done by other than a major studio, it would probably have gotten an NR-17 rating.


I'd say there were points I disagreed with...

First, that a psychopath like The Comedian would be tolerated. But then I think of the blue wall that the police have. Yup, "good cops" tolerate bad ones because, for reasons that I can't fathom, they think they owe them something because they have the same uniform. I feel more sympathetic towards Rorschach. He goes after bad guys, and isn't just willing to pull the company line. I think Rorschach was insane, but not mad, while Rorshach was both mad and insane.

Finally, I would have thought killing Ozymandias and not Rorschach would have been a better final solution. Ozymandias would have been punished, and Rorschach would have probably been okay with keeping quiet after that, though I understand that they were probably following the graphic novel.

The last part is the kicker ... I think it's going to hurt the numbers in the end. While there are alot of fans, there are alot of non-fans who will see this and not understand that it may be because the graphic novel went that way. Like I've said in previous posts ... think of it as Watchmen : Re-imagined.

Even with my complaints, It's still worth seeing at the theater. Everyone says it's better the second time. With money being tight, I'll wait for DVD.

To the readers:

Thanks for your patronage.

I thought I'd share where you're coming from...

1. United States 55
2. Germany 9
3. United Kingdom 6
4. Australia 4
5. Canada 3
6. Brazil 2
7. Nicaragua 1
8. Croatia 1
9. Norway 1
10. Japan 1

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I'd like your thoughts ...

Was reading an article from moviemaker and the following question popped up.

If you had made a film at 16, what would it have looked like?

My answer:
It probably would have been a post-apocalyptic film. Very dark. That's where I was at that time. It would have been mediocre. The other possibility was a fantasy film, and it would truly have sucked.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009


Quality is like buying oats.If you want nice fresh oats,you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse --- they come alot cheaper.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

John Wayne Quotes:

"Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid."

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

"A man's got to do what a man's got to do"

"I eat as much as I ever did, I drink more than I should, and my sex life is none of your goddamned business."

"I've always followed my father's advice: he told me, first to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally. If I insult you, you can be goddamn sure I intend to. And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble."

"Getting rid of a man without hurting his masculinity is a problem. 'Get out' and 'I never want to see you again' might sound like a challenge. If you want to get rid of a man, I suggest saying, 'I love you.... I want to marry you.... I want to have your children.' Sometimes they leave skid marks."

"Look, I`m sure there have been inequalities. If those inequalities are presently affecting any of the Indians now alive, they have a right to a court hearing. But what happened 100 years ago in out country can`t be blamed on us today."

"You can`t eat awards -- nor, more to the point, drink `em."

"Screw ambiguity. Perversion and corruption masquerade as ambiguity. I don`t trust ambiguity."

"I`m a progressive thinker, even though I`m not in the liberal strain."

"We must always look to the future. Tomorrow - the time that gives a man just one more chance - is one of the many things that I feel are wonderful in life."

"You can`t whine and bellyache because somebody else got a good break and you didn`t."

[on why he never wrote an autobiography]
"Those who like me already know me, and those who don`t like me wouldn`t want to read about me anyway."

"God, how I hate solemn funerals. When I die, take me into a room and burn me. Then my family and a few good friends should get together, have a few good belts, and talk about the crazy old time we all had together."

"I want to play a real man in all my films, and I define manhood simply: men should be tough, fair, and courageous, never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either."

"When people say a John Wayne picture got bad reviews, I always wonder if they know it`s a redundant sentence, but hell, I don`t care. People like my pictures and that`s all that counts."

"I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."

"My main object in making a motion picture is entertainment."

"A man`s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job."

"It`s kind of a sad thing when a normal love of country makes you a super patriot. I do think we have a pretty wonderful country, and I thank God that He chose me to live here."

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it."

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway."

MEME: 10 Films to judge a suitor by

Okay this is my response to a tag by Lis.

1. Star Wars - When I say this, if you thought asking "which one?" instead of thinking of the 1977 film, I'm going to question your age.

2. The Last Boy Scout - It's about love and commitment and duty.

3. Some Kind of Wonderful - We've all been 'the friend' at one time and hoped it would end up like this movie.

4. Good Will Hunting - If you knew me, you'd understand the analogy.

5. The Fifth Element - Love, guns, and spaceships.

6. The Princess Bride - True love ... and vengeance.

7. Casablanca - Witty and at the same time heartbreaking.

8. Better Off Dead - It's about how life can change for the better when you have the right woman in your life.

9. Serendipity - We say we don't believe in fate, but we all hope for it.

10. Streets of Fire - How far would you go to rescue someone you love?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mozy Commercial

I have to admit. It's good. A stove causing a computer crash.
Memorable. To the point.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Axe: Dark Temptation

Have you seen this Valentine's Day Commercial?
Frickin' disturbing.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Mamihlapinatapai (sometimes spelled mamihlapinatapei): a word from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the "most succinct word", and is considered one of the hardest words to translate. It describes "a look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Beating a Joke vs. Beating it to Death

Humor is a funny thing. The same joke can be told by two people, once it is funny, the other may fall flat. Assuming that the audience has not heard it before, why is it funny or not?

Timing, or beats, in humor is all about how the joke should play out. One must not issue it to quickly, nor in the wrong order, nor explain too far. If one rushes the joke, the humor is past before the people have time to fully appreciate it. If in the wrong order, it becomes muddled, and leave the audience confused. If explained too far, the audience fails to achieve their own humor.

Rushing it tends to be portrayed as cramming several jokes in at once. They can be orchestrated together, with skill, but are often just placed without reverence to escalating the component jokes into a crescendo of humor. Instead it will tend to fall flat. In the wrong order, it creates a discordance and it plays out poorly, leading to a disharmonious conclusion. Over explaining the joke instead interrupts the flow of the humor and leads to cacophonous resonance which echoes several beats beyond it's intrusion.

You may wonder why I've used musical terms to explain humor. The truth is they have a surprising number of similarities. Both have to be well composed. Both sound off when beats are missing or fall out of order. A single chord can throw off an entire symphonic recital, much as a single bad joke can ruin a well constructed piece of comedy.

The final problem to watch for is beating the joke to death. It's not that a joke may not be repeated or become the running joke; but it does require that they not be repeated so often as to lose their humor. Again, this is a matter of timing. Much like music or song, a chorus can be repeated, but if you repeat it too often, it strains the ear.

I'll use a personal example:

I was working on a romantic comedy, and was trying to show the protagonist in a non-harmonious relation with someone. It went well, but later in review, I found that I had stated, as part of the joke, that she was a bitch. The audience should deduce that she was being a bitch. That single line wasn't needed and it's inclusion blew the rhythm of the joke by going a beat too far.

It would or at least should get cut in editing, but never assume that the editor has a good sense of comedic timing. By removing this impediment, the scene flowed more seamlessly into the next. It also allows the audience to make their own moral judgements, which is dangerous, but a crafted risk. If you don't allow the audience to do this, you risk alienating them altogether.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lucas on Star Wars...

If you listen to Star Wars IV: A new hope on DVD, during the Geoerge Lucas commentary. Specically the last chapter (50), this is my transcription:

The first three films I couldn't even have considered at this point and time ... I mean there's no way. This film was very carefully constructed around the technology I had available at the time. It's very, very controlled where we go. It's very limited in what we see. And decisions were made in the storytelling, to say well, I'll only go here and I'll only see this. It'd be great to do all this other stuff, but I can't.

No I can't do that ... like ... in this particular film, well, going to see the Emperor on Coruscant was not a possibility. Psshhtt! No way I could go there. Y'know I kind of knew what the planet was and everything but I didn't... I didn't ... there is no planet. So Y'know I had to create it. I couldn't .. Y'know. Just physically, you can't do that. It's too big. It would take a huge, huge miniature that would be that would be vastly expensive. Y'know on all these films I had limited resources; so I was sort of saying, well, can't do that.

I was very careful not to deal with alot of the other issues that would come up, especially fashion issues and cultural issues. Y'know just enviromental issues that...I was able to do it all in a desert... that kind of looks spacey... and then I'll do a little bit in the jungle. But, Y'know I had ... I controlled my enviroments very carefully, and then...went to the next film. And now we'll do snow...and, y'know, pretty much used up every ... in the couse of these three movies ... every bit of natural terrain that looks exotic, that I could find.

But to go places, to other planets, that were truly exotic, was unthinkable.
And so you couldn't tell a story like that. Like the first three stories .. I mean the first three parts of the trilogy could never have been told using this technology. I mean, it just couldn't be done. So you just don't think about it.

I mean, you could write it as a book or something, but you .. it'd never be a movie. And now ... using digital technology, we're able, esecially in terms of fantasy films, go to places, and make them realistic. That wasn't possible before. That... it's something that was a literary idea. And most science fiction is literary in nature, it's perfect for a book, but it's not ... very good for cinema. It's very easy to create those magical worlds in language. It's very hard to create them ... in a realistic way on the screen... and make them believable. And, the one thing that digital effects have allowed us to do, is to create these alternate realities, in a believable fashion. And tell more fantastic stories, than we were able to do before. Which is, y'know, great for the people trying to put these things into a cinematic medium.

The bold section in the italics is the most important area for Low-budget Indies.
1) Find your limitations, whether financial or technical, and write/shoot within them.
2) Control where the characters go and what is seen, don't build more than you need.
3) It's great to want to do lots of other stuff, but being limited by finances or technology, don't write it in.

It worked in Star wars, he had to keep it tight and personal, because it allowed him to trim expenses. But I think it was why it worked best. You might need a wide-shot or three, but if over-used, it pulls you out of the story.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Do You Love Obama?

In other news, if you love Obama, then now you can truly love obama.

My niece is dating someone who works in an adult store, who told me about this. I just had to look it up.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

SAG pulls plug on Indy stoppage waivers

SAG pulls plug on stoppage waivers
Suspended program covered 800 productions

With a SAG strike becoming less likely, the Screen Actors Guild has announced it's pulled the plug on offering waivers to indie film producers that would allow production to continue if there's a work stoppage.

SAG made the brief announcement Friday evening, suspending a program that's covered over 800 productions in about a year.

The so-called guaranteed completion contracts provide for a producer to be allowed to continue shooting if a work stoppage occurred, in exchange for agreeing to observe the terms of whatever new deal SAG negotiates with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

The move comes on the heels of SAG national exec director Doug Allen and president Alan Rosenberg announcing that they've delayed sending out the strike authorization vote to explore making a run at a last-ditch round of negotiations with the congloms. Allen was nearly fired earlier in the week at a bitter national board meeting by the moderate majority with Rosenberg and his Membership First allies filibustering to block a vote.

SAG said in Friday's announcement that the national board had made the decision to suspend the waiver in a meeting Friday.

"Screen Actors Guild today announced that in light of the over 800 productions signed to Guaranteed Completion Contracts, SAG’s national board of directors has determined that the GCC’s have served their purpose and has decided to discontinue offering GCC’s," the announcement said. "Screen Actors Guild will continue signing independent productions to the terms of the 2005 Codified Basic Agreement for Independent Producers."

The waivers were granted solely to non-AMPTP companies. [more]

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Late Night Film Festival

I swear I've seen porn that boring before. I know I've seen non-porn movies that were that bad, yet I wanted to see it through to the end (must be some masachistic streak).

At least it's not the kind of porn that makes you run screaming for the brain bleach.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ice Storm Inbound

There's nothing to be done about it, not to mention the snowstorm following it.
So I borrowed a selection of DVD's from the library.

Rush Hour 3
The Bank Job
August Rush
The Great Debaters
December Boys

Hopefully, I'll have reviews ready soon.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Every once in awhile I come across a term that works, rather than because people have created a term to be lazier in writing or because they transposed letters.

Here's one such instance of it working.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolution!

This year's resolution is to write and film* a short. Even if that short is only a minute. Hopefully, I'll do something more than that, but I've established the minimum.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well it can't be much worse than the last one. I'll do a Resolution later.