Monday, September 29, 2008

One Of The Five!!!

***** 09.24.08 - The Band Wagon... 1953... Director Vincente Minnelli

This is one of the top five films that have affected my life... it's that good! When I was a kid growing up, my mother and father used to love to watch old Hollywood musicals and I would watch them right with them and fell in love with this film. I know "Singing in the Rain," "An American in Paris," and "West Side Story," are all great musicals, but for me... day in day out this film is the best of them them all!
Vincente Minnelli does a fantastic job of telling this story and showcasing, for my money again, the best song and dance man of his time, Fred Astaire. You watch Astaire in this role and you will fall in love with the musical genre. He makes it all look effortless and the last sequence of the film is phenomenal!

Oh and for a DVD, this one is great too! Lots of extras, great interviews worth spending a day or two looking at it all!

An American Foreign Film... Capote

**** 09.23.08 - Capote... 2005... Director Bennett Miller

Capote is an American made film, but with a foreign sensibility. What I mean by that is that it's not a cut-cut-cut MTV-type of movie where everything has to change every two seconds on the screen. Director Bennett Miller does a marvelous job of bringing you into the world of Truman Capote and his journey towards writing one of the greatest American novels, "In Cold Blood."

Phillip Seymour Hoffman is amazing as Capote and it would have been really easy to go over the top and make this character a joke, but not once does he cross that line, hence the reason he won the Academy Award.

The DVD is great, plenty of extras that you can hunker down and watch for hours. Make sure you get yourself set when you watch this film, it deserve your full attention so you can not only watch the film, but feel it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Moving Up in the World

So we've finally made it to Wikipedia! Great article, what's next? Maybe more updates in the future that one day talk about our next film! Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another Good Film Doc

** 1/2 09.13.08 - The Spaghetti West... 2005... Director David Gregory

Watched a Documentary called, "The Spaghetti West," that was on IFC and it was a nice look at the Italian Westerns of the late 60's through the late 70's.

It also got me thinking about genre films in general... what works, what could you do today... and what made the old films so successful.

This film gives you a nice slice of what the whole "Spaghetti Western" genre was.

Taking Some Advice

Earlier this month, I wrote an entry wondering if I should revisit some of the old projects that I had in various forms. I was re-reading one of my old scripts and saw some promise in the work, so I wondered aloud... or at least online whether or not it was a good idea to revist old scripts and ideas.

Then I read a post on our myspace site (, from someone I've never met, Harlean Carpenter and she wrote:

"There's a reason you shelved that project 8 years ago, and a reason you just "happened" to start thinking about it again and take it down from that shelf. All it means is that you needed something to make it work, some experience or influence or I don't know, it could be you needed a pair of socks in a color you had never owned before, there was something needed to make it happen that wasn't in your life 8 years ago and is in your life now.And you're probably wondering who I am that I would just suddenly jump up out of nowhere and say "Do it! Go for it! Now's the time!" And all I can say in response to that is, something about your blog struck a chord with me, and I know how far a few words of encouragement from even the most unlikely source can go."

Harlean Carpenter 9.3.08 From Myspace

Her words met a lot and so I've begun that process, not only looking back at that particular project, but others as well. I truly is great to look back at your old stuff and see if there are things you can re-work and make happen now.

Currently I'm working on getting my latest script to an agent or production company looking for a great script, (If you know of anyone pass them along) and at the same time I feel like writing some more so I will. I'm not one of those people who believe you HAVE to sit down and write everyday and the some day you have something. I believe in writing when you feel it in your heart and gut and just ride that wave for as long as it takes you, then when it doesn't anymore, don't force yourself to write, because ultimately that stuff you'll end up just trashing and throwing out anyway, because it's not inspired.

Anyway, I hope my little blurb might inspire someone else to pick up something, read it and maybe right on their own... what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Love A Good Story!

*** 1/2 09.09.08 - ShowBusiness: The Road To Broadway... 2005... Director Dori Berinstein

I've stated it many times on this blog, that I love the process of making films. How things get done and how people make their films. I also feel the same way about most art in general and especially theatre. Little known fact, I taught high school drama for 2 years and it was the greatest job of my life!

Dori Berinstein's film, "ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway," takes an interesting look at the creation of four shows and follows them from pitch to Tony's. It takes place during the 2003-2004 season and watches the rise and fall of some really good and critically bad shows.

What does it for me in this film is seeing what the critics say, they interview several at a round table dinner at the begining, middle and end. Seeing what the audience chooses to go to see and support and then finally what the people who made the show go through.

I caught the film on Showtime and it's worth trying to find!

Kids Films Are Fun Too!

*** 1/2 - 09.08.08 - The Sandlot... 1993... Director David Evans

This was a very, very good kids film that had a little bit of everything for everyone. The performances are solid, the story funny and although little girls might not identify with it as much, the film does capture a more innocent slice of time that many remember growing up.

My favorite moment in the film takes place, not in the sandlot where the kids play baseball for what feels like days on end, but the pool... I'll simply leave it at that.

I've watched this film with kids, adults and by myself and it still holds up. As for the DVD extras, there are some. There is the typical big studio "featurette" that I always tend to dislike and not because it shows you some behind the scenes stuff, which I LOVE, but because it's so studio like and over produced. I'm always trying to see how an artist or group of artist put something together and studio featurette's tend to give you just what the studio wants you to see for marketing purposes.

I will also warn you that there is a trailer for the next Sandlot... I think they actually made three Sandlot movies, but none of them are worth renting at all and when the trailer for the second one comes up and it's a straight to DVD release, I think you get a sense at just how bad it really is.

So for what it's worth, pick up the Sandlot if you have kids and you want to share the film experience with them or pick it up if all you want is a good, fun film that will remind you of your youth.

Good Motivation And Really... Don't We All Need Some?

*** 09.07.08 - A Decade Under the Influence... 2003... Directors Ted Demme and Richard LaGravenese
A really good Doc, I saw on IFC the other day. It talks about the film movement transitioning in the early 70's.

There are some really good interviews and it gives you a since of how some of the greats of the business got their start and what they went through. Check it out on IFC if you get a chance.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Perfect In So Many Ways...

***** 09.02.08 - When Harry Met Sally... 1989... Director Rob Reiner
I'm a sucker for romantic comedies and this one gets me every single time I watch it! I grew up watching old Hollywood musicals and movies from the 30's-40's and 50's. I loved them and I have my parents to thank for that. This film takes me right back to them all the time!

Yes the performance by Meg Ryan and Billy Cyrstal are fantastic. Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher also were great and Rob Reiner does a beautiful job at telling the story, but it all starts with the story and an amazing script by Nora Ephron. It's smart, funny, creative, interesting and still to this day stands up as one of the best screenplays ever written. (In my estimation)

"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. "

Billy Cyrstal as "Harry Burns"

Now the DVD that I have was released in 2001 and has a lot of extras that make it a joy to open up and watch again and again. (Something I do at least twice a year) This year they also released a new collectors edition, that maybe I'll pick up one of these days because there are new additions to the extras!

By yourself, with a friend, with a group of friends this is still a great movie and I went back and forth over whether or not it was a 5 Star film and in the end... to me... it is!

8 Years Ago... Is It Any Good?

I was doing some work on another project today, when I started to think about yet another one I have on the shelf.

It's something I was going to do, low budget Indy style and then air it on local cable access. The goal was to do this really hip, fun, stylish show that we totally controlled and then we would get a cult following and go on and land a production deal.

That was the plan, but life happened and that changed things, so I put the project on the shelf and that was that.

Well today I picked it up and read through it and you know what? It's actually not half bad! I know I've changed and hope my writing has grown since then, but for being 8 years old, it still holds up pretty well.

It also brings back memories of the plans I had with the project. We actually had a reading of it once and it was so cool to hear it. As a writer the first time you hear actors read words you've put on the page, it truly is a thrill.

Anyway, I might just start tinkering with it again. Update it, format it better and think about actually doing what we planned... after all isn't it better to be late than to never do it at all?