Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Watch This

Seriously. Watch it right now before it disappears.

Next years summer movie season is going to be pretty much the best ever.

The movie season will be better than this year, not just for what it includes (Indiana Jones, Dark Knight, Iron Man) but it will be awesome for the crap we don't have to put up with (Pirates, Shrek, etc.). The only thing that could make it better would be the release of a new Star Wars picture.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Comic-Con Report 2007

I was going to write this in-depth Comic-Con report and report on everything I'd seen but the biggest thing I saw there was the crowd.

And everyone and their cousin posted everything I saw in either blog format or on youtube. Even the coolest thing I saw there is on youtube. (Right here to be exact.)

I went and saw all the stuff you'd expect me to. The Paramount panel (where the Indiana Jones video was presented and they talked about Beowulf (looks cool), Stardust (read my review here), Star Trek (can't bloody wait), 1-18-08 (again, can't bloody wait), Hot Rod (stick to The 'Bu and digital shorts guys) and the Spiderwick Chronicles (Phil Tippet was there and that's just cool))

I went to the 300 (man that movie gets waaaay more credit than I think it deserves, read my review here) and Blade Runner panels. Ridley Scott is waaaaay too cool to be at Comic-Con fielding questions from posers in the audience. The man has been knighted for Chrissakes....

I saw the Shoot 'Em Up panel that Clive Owen did. He's cool but the movie seems decidedly not cool. Joel will love it though. It looked liked the silliest, most preposterous action movie I've ever seen.

I did Steve Sansweet's yearly Star Wars commercial and it revved me up like always.

I went to the Futurama panel (by far and away the best news all con: new Futurama in my hands by November.)

But the Con has officially out-grown San Diego. I would have gone to more panels, but I spent a shitload of time in traffic because that part of the city can't handle the amount of people the Con attracts. The exhibition hall was so busy I think I spent more time drinking and chatting with Neal from leftwich than on the floor.

Derek got to show some cool stuff that I had a small part in, though. The response to Gamma Rae has been extremely good. And the four pages of Teen Titans that I wrote for him to draw look amazing and I will post them to the short story blog as soon as they get lettered. (here's a taste of page four.) I've been told the response to those pages was excellent as well.

I also found a guy who used to come to my comic book store doing some great animation work. Here's a link to his blog. Check it out, it's really cool stuff.

I also bought waaaaay more comics than I needed to.

So, if there is anything specific you want to know about Comic-Con, ask me in the comments, otherwise I'll assume you've read everything I've got to say elsewhere.

I will post pictures soon. My brother (remember, the funny one?) took pictures of stars no one was paying attention to and fans in horrible costumes to entertain himself. They are great fun.

I should also be back tomorrow with reviews of Sunshine and Hardcore and maybe some news and stuff. And maybe that book report about Harry Potter. Check back soon.

In Memoriam

Ingmar Bergman


I'm back from San Diego.

I'll write a full report up later.

It seems as though neither Elias nor Steve came to bat on the blog in the past week.

But who can blame them? We're busy as shit.

Monday, July 23, 2007

San Diego

Well, I'm not going to have time to put up my feelings about the new Harry Potter book before I leave for San Diego, nor will I have time to post anything really until I come back.

Hopefully Steve and Elias and keep it up and I'll come back with plenty of pictures from the event and stories and I'll be doing interviews out there as well.

When I get back, I'll put up a review for Paul Schraeder's "Hardcore" as well.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back from Boston, off to California

We're back from Boston. Jet Blue lost my bags in SLC again, but not the equipment, just my clothes.

I read that new book that everyone else and their cousin and their cousins dog bought. Yeah. That one.

I'll have my thoughts about it tomorrow. My first impression though? It ended waaaaaaaaay too happy.

I'm leaving for the Comic-Con and to do a few interviews in California on Tuesday.

And Duckie: Steve was shooting in D.C. he wasn't there.

So, I'll have a big post here and if I can organize a computer, I'll have some updates from California.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shipped up to Boston

We shipped up to Boston last night.

We had a cool Jet Blue moment. They lost all of our equipment and luggage. Supposedly it's being delivered today, but we can't shoot anything until we get our cameras and light kit.

Pretty cool, huh?


Monday, July 16, 2007

New York

We're in New York.

We got in laaaaaate last night. Our hotel is in Times Square and even in Times Square we couldn't find a place to eat dinner except this really out of the way Irish Pub that was actually really good.

Times Square is a goddamned amusement park. Seeing ads that high up in the air makes me nauseous.

We did three interviews today that went really, really well.

Tomorrows my birthday. Boo-hoo.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sky Harbor

Once again, I'm in an airport restaraunt at Sky Harbor International Airport, eating while Steve is out smoking.

This time Elias is here though.

We're on our way to New York.

Pretty cool stuff is on the way....

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I like Luc Besson movies. Leon and The Fifth Element are two of my favorite movies. When I learned that the Trolley Square (yes, that Trolley Square) was playing his most recent film (because is Arthur and the Minimoys really a film?) I decided I had to be there.

Angel-A is a story about a man who lies to everyone, but most of all to himself. It's shot beautifully in black and white (people don't make enough black and white films these days) and has a distinct look. Paris films well in black and white. It's equal parts "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Amelie".

The lead actor, Jamel Debbouze, is one of the great character actors of our time. He has such a wonderful screen presence and an interesting look and personality. Add to that the fact that he can act and you've got something in someone that doesn't happen often. Most of you will remember him as Lucien in Amelie. He was really good in that. In this, he plays a horrible, down-trodden scam artist and it suits him well.

The female lead, Rie Rasmussen, doesn't have much exposure here in the US and so I have no idea who she is if anyone at all. What I do know, however, is that she is the quintessential Besson girl. She has the same haircut and make-up around the eyes that most female heroes (Nikita, Leeloo, Mathilde, etc....) in Besson pictures have. She's just much taller and more blonde than the others. She's cute and does her job well.

But with all of that going for it, the film is only just "okay." It wasn't a masterpiece, it didn't blow me away. It was a much more personal film than the Besson I'm used to. That wasn't the problem, though.

The problem was that the script was at like 60 or 70%. There were moments in the script that were fantastic, the scene with the mirror, for instance, where Angela forces Andre to recognize the concept of love was amazing. It was preposterously well shot (within one take it would seem) and the acting was the best in the movie. But other moments just felt like they were missing something.

Particularly the climax.

This might be considered spoiler territory, so avoid the next paragraph if you plan on seeing the movie.

Okay. So, the climax. The first act of the film ends when Angela confesses that she is an angel from heaven come down to show Andre how to be a good person, the beautiful "sexy bitch" he is on the inside. This is fine, it's not hard to suspend your disbelief, even though she's doing very un-angel like things (smoking, drinking, prostitution, etc.) But we are expected to believe that Andre and Angela fall in love, and I buy that. But then when she's completed her mission and spreads her wings to fly home and leave Andre alone on Earth, he clings to her. The sequence came off as cheesy instead of dramatic and I felt like it betrayed the tone of the rest of the film.

Overall, I thought this film was well-shot and entertaining. It's worth watching once, perhaps, if you're in the mood for a black and white French film or just to see Jamel Debbouze kick some ass acting. I'm also not sure why this film has been done for two years and is just now seeing an American theatrical release. This is better than, 70% of the crap they release in the theatres, why not make with the good films.

Multiplexes should dedicate at least one screen at all times to indie films, foreign films and art films. When everything else sells out, the stupid people will buy tickets to them. But the smart people would buy them first. What I'm saying is that they would be more popular if they were more available to people....

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bush Admits CIA Leak!

I'm not sure why this isn't a larger headline in more papers and on more internet sites.

Bush said that he's thought a lot about what would have happened if the person who leaked Valerie Plame's identity had just come out and said so.

He said it publicly.

At a press conference.

Here's the video. (It's down at the bottom of the page.)

Jesus Christ.

Who does this guy think he is and why aren't we doing anything about it?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My God Has a Bigger Penis

Ok, so the opening prayer in the U.S. Senate today was given by a Hindu Priest. This is the first time ever that a Hindu has been invited to do such a thing.

So, this man gets up to pray, and some jack holes in the Senate start yelling, "Forgive us, Jesus!" and "We shall have no other Gods before us!" and "Stop making my cock feel so small!"

They tried shoving Christ down this poor man's throat faster than the money shot in "Jesus Cummeth".

Watch, and believe my brothers.



The immigration bill was supposed to be that one thing that could have saved George Bush's legacy. That one thing he got done and could be proud of. That one thing he could look back on and say, "You see? I wasn't that big of a fuck up."

Well, it's too bad it went down in flames. Along with the rest of Bush's legacy.

So you can understand how put off George felt when a 13 year old girl stood up in a recent question and answer in Ohio and asked him about the status of the immigration bill.

He sarcastically answered with a wry, "Yeah... thanks...".

The audience of 400+ Kool Aid Drinkers erupted into laughter.

The little girl started crying.

When are we going to elect an actual leader in this God-forsaken country? What part of "Anyone But Bush" did the majority of you not get in 2004?

He's killed thousands and know he's making our daughters cry.

Get fucked, Red America.

I couldn't find a photo of the little Ohio girl crying, so here are some pictures of other little girls George Bush has brought to tears:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter

Well, it's that time again. You knew it was coming.

Bryan was going to see the new Harry Potter picture despite his overwhelming workload. It was inevitable.

There's not a lot to say about this film. It was much more competent than the first two, but decidedly less so than the third film. Seriously, I don't think anybody (Cuaron being the lone exception) can direct another Harry Potter movie and have it be as good or better than number three. Why do people not like Azkaban?

I don't get it.

Anyhow, onto the Order of the Phoenix.

At the end of the day, it needed a slightly better adaptation than it had. It started really strong but then just seemed to drag on forever and ever.

The ending never really felt like it was building. Take the battle between Voldemort and Dumbeldore for instance. It's just not all that dramatic. It seems almost as if it starts and finishes accidentally. And compare that to...say...the Dooku/Yoda fight in Attack of the Clones. You're cheering for it because the buildup is so well done. And screw you guys who are down on Clones. Even you guys liked that fight, I don't care how jaded you are.

Anyhow, the film was pretty good but it's not anything I'd ever really need to see again. The third one, though, I've seen at least fifteen times.

The kids are, however, getting progressively better. And I love Emma Thompson, but it's really hard to get past how much she uses her eyebrows. Seriously. I'm not sure if any of you have noticed it, and it's not like it's a terrible thing, but every sentence is underlined with some movement of her eyebrows. It's weird.

I was actually sort of bored by the training in the middle of the film. It really felt like a lull. And I almost feel as though Cho Chang should have been cut from the films. Almost, but not quite.

I'm interested to see how Yates handles the next film, but I'm praying they put the reins back in Cuaron's hands for the final film in the series. It needs to be handled by a master and Cuaron is the only director that's proven himself worthy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Documentary vs. Narrative

Elias and I have spent the past few days putting together some narrative scenes to be incorporated into the documentary and I have to say, I'm a lot more comfortable staging narrative scenes (short films, features, etc.) BTW, the narrative scenes are pieces of a play that are apt to the doc, so it's not like we're staging anything.

But my point is this: with documentary film, you have to film and film and film and film and film and then figure out what the hell it was you needed much after the fact. With narrative film, you know exactly what you need up front and you get it. You do it a few times to make sure you have it right, but you have it. To an extent, you have a degree of certainty of what you need to do to get what you need.

But with documentary, you have to show up and hope some magic happens.

I guess that's the same with both forms, but it's much, much easier to manufacture with narrative features.

But, when you do get some drama, or a character in documentary, usually they're so compelling and interesting that they outweigh anything you could write. Take Kay Anderson from This Divided State. We couldn't have written a better antagonist for a film.


I'm not really sure what I'm saying, only that I feel much more comfortable staging narrative than documentary. I guess it's just because I've way more practice at it.

Or something.

I won't blame you if you quit reading the blog after you finished reading this rambling piece of shit.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Lax Posting

I just wanted to give a heads up to anyone that posting might be lax in the coming few days. Possibly the coming few weeks.

It's horrible that whenever I come on and say that, though, posting gets really heavy. We'll probably have a lot of announcements to make... or something. I don't know. We're shooting some pieces of a play for the documentary this week and putting it together has been a nightmare logistically. Then, we have another spate of interviews in New York, D.C. and Boston that we're heading out to on Sunday. Then I've got to find time to do a few interviews in San Diego and the L.A. are while I'm out there for comic-con.


Maybe we'll find time to post regularly in the meantime.

I hope so. Keep checking.

And if anybody wants to meet up, let us know. Either while we're in New York or in San Diego. I can bet I'll have waaaay more time in San Diego, though.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Great fun...

Know anybody arrested in Utah County?

Want to see their mugshot?

This website has provided loads of fun and dirt on friends....

I'm not really sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but like I said it's great fun. I understand that this is stuff that should be public, but I doubt anybody wants everyone in the world to know when they've been picked up for speeding. Or communications fraud. Or a DUI. Or sexual assault of a minor.

I can see the desire for an employer to want to check up on this kind of stuff, but if that was the case there would have to be some type of national database or something....

And really, the desire to look up your friends and old filmmaking buddies is overwhelming. And with sometimes hilarious results.

I even found my sister-in-law on there. I suppose that was to be expected, I knew she got arrested, I'm the one who had to bail her out....

Well, check out the site, let me know what you think about it.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I'm a polar bear by nature. I like the weather fall through spring. Summer kills me.

It's frustrating that summers have been getting longer and longer, but this....this is just too much.

I'd be willing to sacrifice every car on the planet for a comfortable summer.

Steve's buying an a/c for the office today, it's that bad.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


* * *


There are some movies I go to for the same reasons I get on a roller coaster: to have so much fun that you feel like throwing up.

Transformers was one of them.

The Matrix Reloaded, Jurassic Park, and Star Wars: Episode III are other examples of exhilarating movie experiences I've had.

Michael Bay made a movie that didn't suck and I'm just tickled about that. The special effects were so good that I wish I could get the budget it took to move Optimus Prime's right thumb so that I could make 11 documentaries.

It was good. I had fun. Enough said. It's a fucking comic-book-cartoon-popcorn-fun movie. Go see it.

The Transformers Movie

Last night I saw the Transformers movie (not Transformers the Movie) and I was greatly excited to see it, although my expectations were low. I loved the Transformers as a kid and as a teenager, but even as a teenager I always hated Michael Bay.

He's really not that good of a filmmaker, but Transformers is, far and away, his best film.

Having said that, this film really wasn't all that good, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. Which begs the question, "Was it a good movie?"

Elias and I talked briefly about this today. He argued that even though the movie was bad, as long as I enjoyed it, then it had accomplished its mission and was, therefore, a good movie.

"But the writing and 90% of the acting and the handling of the Transformers mythology was all so bad. I just couldn't help enjoying myself during the movie despite all that. The movie was just horrible though." That's what I told him.

"But you liked it."


This is really confusing. I'm as confused by the movie as the movie is confused by itself. It's a horrible movie disguised as a kick ass action film. The script really was silly and stupid but the special effects were astounding. John Voight and Megan Fox are horrible but Shia LaBeouf is the best performer of his generation. The way they treated the original Transformers (their looks, voices, etc.) wasn't that faithful but it all looked really awesome anyway.

I'm conflicted. There was as much awesome as horrible in this film.

But it was entertaining as all hell. To me, anyway. My brother wasn't entertained by it at all and it was because, I think, he forgot to check his brain at the door. This is a Michael Bay film. It's like showing up to a fourth grade literature class and bringing Umberto Eco novels to study. It's just not going to be very rewarding.

Go see this movie, so long as you check your brain at the door and realize this is more Michael Bay than Steven Spielberg.

Now that I've said that, I want to air a small laundry list of shit they could have fixed with a simple script revision:

1) Megatron's first words should NOT have been, "I am Megatron." They should have been, "I still function."

2) Starscream's voice should have remained either in tact or close.

3) Jon Voight should have been fired and his part should have been eliminated from the script. Then, there needs to be a federal law prohibiting film companies from casting Jon Voight as anything.

4) Megan Fox needs to be seen, not heard.

5) The military stuff needed to be about 1/8th as long as it was.

6) Prime should have said, "Autobots: Transform and rollout," instead of just, "Autobots: rollout."

7) The best moment of the film should have been more original than stealing great moments from a film like "The Iron Giant."

8) The "Allspark" was stupid.

Okay.... I'm getting really nit-picky, so I'll quit while I'm ahead.

So here's the verdict:

Acting: 7 of 10 (all 7 for Shia LeBeouf and Peter Cullen)
Direction: 4 of 10 (which is a perfect 10 for Michael Bay)
Script and Story: 1 of 10
Special Effects: 10 of 10
Enjoyment: 9 of 10

Overall: 6 of 10


I had a busy day at work and then went and caught a 10:00 Transformers.

I'll write a review tomorrow.

Look for it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Show tonight!

I'm going to see Slim Cessna's Auto Club tonight at 9:00 pm at the Urban Lounge.

You want to know how much this band kicks ass?

I had a choice tonight: Transformers or Slim Cessna's Auto Club.

I was forced to choose the Auto Club.


Listen to some of their stuff and you'll know why you should be at the show.