Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Success! See For Yourself!

(Actor Lisa Sanchez during a voice over session for the film)

From all accounts, the screening at the 2008 Washougal International Film Festival this past Saturday was a big success!

I just want to send out a personal "Thanks," to all of the men and women behind-the-scenes who helped made the festival and our screening another fabulous event!

Now, if you missed it and want to know what all of the fuss is about, log onto our website at www.triplestickspro.com and pick up your own DVD copy of the film! For the price of your Starbucks fix for 2 to 3 days, you could help support independent film and get a film for your collection that you'll watch over and over again!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Part of the Package, RKO 281... Fun

**1/2 08.19.08 - RKO 281... 1999... Director Benjamin Ross

It's not "Citizen Kane," by any means, but it is about the making of Kane and that makes it very interesting. It's part of the Warner Brothers Gold Edition of the the Citizen Kane DVD and when you spend a day watching everything the Gold Edition includes and this film in particular, you find yourself enjoying it.

No special extras on this specific DVD, but the film performances are good. Liev Schreiber stars as Welles, John Malkovich as Herman J. Mankiewicz and James Cromwell as William Randolph Hearst.

See my review on Kane and you'll see that this is a fun edition and part of a must see day watching everything.

Kane... As Good As It Gets... Ever!

***** 08.19.08 - Citizen Kane... 1941... Director Orson Welles

Part of what makes a film, is the time in which it was made. Some films are of the times... some behind the times and in the case of "Citizen Kane," it was and is still ahead of the times.

Generally regarded as the greatest American film ever made, Kane lives up to that billing every single time you watch it. At 25, Welles made his masterpiece and long after his death in 1985, it lives on as a testiment to great filmmaking.

Alas, Welles was not alone... Gregg Toland's cinematography is gorgeous and too was groundbreaking. The script Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz penned, based on publishing mogul, William Randolph Hearst is truly amazing. In fact it was so good, it won the Academy Award that year for best screenplay, the only Academy Award the film won, despite being nominated for nine.

The boxed DVD, Gold Version by Warner Brothers is brilliant as well. In addition to a great screening version of the film, the extra are worth it alone! With the film there is an American Experience documentary, "The Battle over Citizen Kane," which examines the film and the two men at the head of it all, Welles and Hearst. Then there is also the film, "RKO 281," originally made for HBO about Welles and making Kane.

I have 5 films in my life that I generally referred to when someone asks me what my favorite film is. They are the films that, for various reasons have led me to be a filmmaker. I think it's always unfair to ask a filmmaker that question for the record. When I list the five films, Kane is always on that list!

Take a look at it again and again... you'll see why it is so powerful.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Apple Pie? Really... I Mean, Warm or Cold?

*** 08.18.08 - American Pie... 1999... Directors Paul Weitz & Chris Weitz

First of all, I only own the first "American Pie" movie. The others after... not interested in so much, although I did see 2 and 3, but that's it!

As for the first one, it really is a very funny movie. The characters are well written and the performances are pretty good and very believable. I remember when this film first came out and I loved it then and love it today. It's not going to blow you away and is not a "Great" film by any means, but it is a great ride.

Like John Hughes did in the 80's, the Weitz's... on this film... nail what it's like to be a teenager. My only real negative with this film and it goes with Hughes's films as well is... come on guys... where are the African Americans? Even if you went to a nearly all white school, by the 80's and definitely the 90's there should be more racial diversity.

The DVD for the film is good, not great, but good. Outtakes are funny, but heck they always are, who we kidding.

Take a gander at it this film again some time when you need to clear your head and just have a nice evening of laughs.

Dark Knight... Just All Right

*** 08.18.08 - The Dark Knight... 2008... Director Christopher Nolan

Let me preface this review by saying I grew up on Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin on television. I will always have a special place in my heart for them. Now I know it's a "campier" version of the character, but it how I discovered Batman first and how I think of him.

Now that being said, I did read some of the Batman comics growing up and I understand and can appreciate the darker side of Batman. In fact the last two movies, "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight," are in that genre and they work... for the most part. If you're going to make a movie about Batman, I think you have to go one way or the other and part of the reason some of the earlier Batman movies didn't work is because they got caught in between trying to be campy or dark and that causes problems, because you're trying to please both sets of Batman fans and you just can't.

"The Dark Knight," is a good film and I'm glad I saw it and saw it on the big screen. The feel and look of the film are amazing and Heath Ledger steals the show.
He WILL be nominated for an Oscar for his performance and barring anything else out there at this time or down the road this year, he SHOULD win it. Ledger commands the screen every second he's on it and no one comes close! The rest of the cast is good and there are some rich performances there as well.

However, all is not good with this Batman. It's far too long and while I enjoy Christian Bale for most of the film, I grew tired of his "Brenda Vacarro" like voice as the caped crusader.

It's a good piece of filmmaking and even with it's flaws as I see them, worth seeing before it leaves the theaters.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Screening Times Set for "Slow Down... You're Dating Too Fast!

We finally found out when we will be screening at the 2008 Washougal International Film Festival and we're pretty excited!

Our time is, Saturday August 23rd during the 10am-6pm screening block at the Washburn Auditorium! We are the 4th film from the end of the block, which is a great place to be! There is an award ceremony to follow at 7pm.

If you're nearby, please stop by, support independent filmmaking and check out what we think is a pretty great film!

If you can't attend, you can always pick up a copy of the film at our website: www.triplestickspro.com

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dinner Anyone?

*** 1/2 8.14.08 - Melvin Goes to Dinner... 2003... Director Bob Odenkirk

I actually stumbled onto this film, many years ago in a Blockbuster. I read the title and bought it sight unseen and boy am I glad I did! This is a funny, warm, interesting film based on a play by Michael Blieden's, who also stars in the movie, called, "Phyro-Giants!" (One day I will direct this play, it's really good)

The film is a classic Indie, done for not a lot of money, but with amazing performances. Stephanie Courtney and Annabelle Gurwitch, both are amazing and are two actors I hope I get the chance to work with some day. There is a vibe to the film I really dig and some other really good cameos by actors such as, Jack Black, Jenna Fischer, and Maura Tierny.

I've own the DVD for awhile, but finally really looked at some of the extras and they're pretty good! Some stuff from the original play and then a mocu-mentary on the "Frank Film Festival," with SNL's Fred Armisen.

No special effects, a good story, with great performances. I own it for a reason!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Dog Me: Potluck" Now Official!

Congratulations to everyone who worked on our film, "Dog Me: Potluck." We set out to make a Dogme95 film and we did. Now it'll be apart of history.

A copy of the film is headed to Copenhagen this week and will be preserved in the archives. I've seen a lot of these films and I like a lot of them as well. Our film stands right up there with them!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A "Swingers" Good Time... You're So Money!

**** 08.12.08 - Swingers... 1996... Director Doug Liman

I remember seeing this in the theaters when it first came out and it still stands as one of the best Indies around. And while John Favreau is good in the film and there are also several other really nice supporting performances, Vince Vaughn steals the show from start to finish and for me, it's his best performance... ever!

The soundtrack is hot, the screenplay... slamming! So many funny references to other films (Reservoir Dogs, Star Wars, Goodfellas just to name a few)

Made for $250,000 the film has grossed $6,542,637.00 (According to Wikipedia) Add in some great extras on the DVD, which are always important to me because it gives you some insight into the process that a director used when making the film, "Swingers" is truly a great film to see... independent or otherwise!

Three films... three days

***8.10.08 - Grindhouse... 2007... Directors... Robert Rodriquez & Quentin Tarantino

This is a fun double feature romp, especially if you grew up watching these kinds of films, basically from the 70's. Some really interesting techniques used. Upon further research, the DVD's available for this right now, break up the double feature ("Planet Terror," directed by Rodriquez and "Death Proof," directed by Tarantino). I'm really looking forward to the boxed set when it comes out with both films on it and the DVD extras with this bad boy.

**8.11.08 - Superbad... 2007... Director Greg Mottola
They call this a "Teen Film," and other than the fact that there are teens in it, I'm not so sure about my daughter or any teens I know needing to watch this one. There are funny moments in this, but this is really directed towards the college freshman/sophomore, middle to upper middle class, young white male audience. The second star for this film is solely because some of the dialogue is really good and rings true.

***8.12.08 - Mystery Train... 1989... Director Jim Jarmusch
I first saw this film back in 1989 when it came out and really liked it. The pacing and rhythm are so different than most films and that was the true then and still today. After living in Memphis for five years, it was fun to come back to this film and watch it again, knowing all of the locations. This film is not for everyone, but there is a gentle calm about it that makes it feel more foreign than American.

The INSIDE Skinny ratings system!

My quick rating system:

=The best of the best! This is what filmmaking is all about!
****=Great film, you should really see it!
***=Solid film, worth watching on DVD, Cable or a matinee price at the theater.
**=They were able to make a film, so hats off, but not one of my favs by any means.
*=Really? I mean... Really?
No stars=I wish they had given me the catering budget on this film, I could have made a better one.

My Library Project:

I've decided to try something here. I'm calling it, "My Library Project." I love movies and watch a lot of different things, so I thought it might be interesting to go through everything I have in my library and post it here... only here's the thing. I'm not just going to make a boring list for you, I'm going to post a little blurb every time I watch one of the films and put on the blog.

So basically, I have to watch everything in my library, write something, then put it on here. We'll see how many DVD's I actually have and how long it takes me to get through everything.

Also, I'll be adding a new segment called, "What I'm Watching." That will be a full list of films I watch, whether on Cable, DVD, or the Theater! Despite what people think about it, I still love watching a movie in a theater.

Hopefully, this will all be a fun ride!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A little nugget...

Haven't seen any press releases for the "2008 Washougal International Film Festival," yet but as soon as they send some out, we'll be passing them along here and on our main website.

I did find this today:

Washougal International Film Festival aims to showcase a broad range of films representing current affairs and relevant topics that affect our communities, and encourage the artists behind them.

Winning filmmakers will be honored with the Mayor's Medal and prizes in respective categories at the closing night awards ceremony. Films will be valued on merits such as creativity, ingenuity, story, attention to detail, and the ability to challenge and inspire audiences.

So, some interesting stuff on the Fest.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Check out the new poster!

Hope you like it and hope you pick up a copy! A lot of people worked hard on it and it's a really good film.

Checked in with the folks at the 2008 Washogual International Film Festival and no word yet on our screening time, but as soon as we know we'll pass along the information to you!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Done... Let the Games Begin!

It's done... no more writing... no more tweaking... the script is ready. Ready to send out into the big, bad, Hollywood world and hopefully be bought!

Boston has the "Big Dig," today I completed, "The Big Read." I went through every line of my new screenplay, working it, making sure it fit standard format and double, triple checking everything. I've written, what maybe 10 to 20 screenplays in various forms over my life, but this one... this one is now the way the Industry wants it. Hopefully that will pay off.

In the writing process you get to the point where you can simply do no more. You've checked and double checked. You've read it aloud and read it quietly. You've looked at everything you can think of and then finally you just have to let it be and say, "This is the way my film is going to be." That's where I'm at. I think it's at a place where it's ready, so now we'll see what others think.

Ideally, I'd love to find that perfect agent and deal to not only sell the script, but also get to direct it. But if that doesn't happen, then I'm going to make the film anyway.

Keep your fingers crossed... hopefully in the next couple of months, we'll have some good news to talk about with this project. It's been a labor of love and I hope the seed to an amazing film.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

As Good As It Gets... Homicide: Life on the Streets

A couple of weeks ago, I went online and picked up the first 4 seasons of, "Homicide: Life on the Streets" and I've been watching it again. (I'm at the start of the third season, second episode)

Now I loved the show when it came out on NBC and probably have seen every episode 3 or 4 times, but getting it on DVD and watching the progression, from episode one, season one to now, I am reminded just how good that show really was.

The acting is amazing, Andre Braugher in particular stole the series for me as Frank Pembelton. Then the look of the series; raw, gritty, graining, jumpcuts and edits, the use of music in places you never expected and then just the overall soundtrack... folks if you haven't seen the series or seen it in awhile, pick it up and you will flip for the series.

Let's not forget the great writing in the series and guest performances as well. Finally there is the texture of Baltimore itself. The city is a character in this masterful series and makes a huge impact on how everything came together.

Not only did I pick up the series because I love it, but also as a reference. When I start to think about a project and how I might want to develop it, I like to look at other inspirations in any form and for me, this series is a true inspiration.

I don't know how much of my next project will be influenced by the series, I do know other films have used bits in pieces from the show before, but I am just gratefull to re-watch what I believe is truly one of the best television series of all time!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Check Out The Main Website

Just got done updating our main page at http://www.triplestickspro.com/ Make sure you check it out and also pick up a copy of our new film on DVD,
"Slow Down... You're Dating Too Fast!"
"Slow Down..." is heading to the Pacific Northwest, having been accepted into
the 2008 Washougal International Film Festival
We're really excited to screen, because it will give another group of people a chance to see a truly wonderful film!