Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Award Shows vs. Writer's Strike

Laaaadies & Gentlemen... In this corner wearing red trunks and weighing in at 800 lbs. the Heavyweight champion Buster the Line Studiooooo! And in the far corner wearing blue trunks and weighing in at a wet 98 lbs the challenger Strike make-me-not Writer!

Sorry about all this hulabaloo... and who knows who will score the TKO in this 12 week round of pen-ink-bottom line fisticuffs but I just read where the People's Choice Awards have been canceled as far as broadcasting it is involved and now The Golden Globes and Oscar might go dark as well.

I posted my thoughts on this on another site and felt I should also include it on my own blog as well.
The Posting
Call me silly (Just not Shirley) but as far as I am concerned award shows like The People's Choice are a vapid way to trot out Celebs and milk ad money instead of more expensively produced dramas or sitcoms.

That said, shows like The Grammys, Oscars ect should remain on. Does a 'Strike' take away from work already provided? What is wrong for a winner of Best Script not to cross a picket line to pick him their Oscar? The script was written, paid for, made and shown before the current Writers strike.

Now here is where you all might think me a tad crazy...

If the writers are out on strike and the Oscar telecast looms large... heck even the Golden Globes, then instead of asking/hiring Celebs to come out and face their peers without the aid of a TelePrompTer or Bruce Villach.. then my I suggest... ask/hire professional Ad-libbers! People who's craft is spontaneous dialog... Improvisors.

Now that would be a cool show... no canned writing.. glib quips... but instead funny riffs (well, one hopes funny) on the moment at hand. No writing involved.

Sure part of the world tunes in to see all the glittering Celebs... but I'll wager... a show run by Who's Line Is It Anyway cast and directed by Larry David and his bunch of Ad-Lib specialists... well now that would be an interesting Award show. It certainly wouldn't be boring. And we would still get to see Celebs!

A win win...

Friday, November 23, 2007

No Country For Old Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

The Following contains SPOILERS! Beware and read at your own Peril!

I want to impart some thoughts on what could quite possibly be the best movie of this year...

No Country For Old Men
by The Coen Bros. by way of author Cormac McCarthy.

I have seen this movie twice now and I know that I will see it at least one more time in theaters before I buy the DVD. This is a great movie ending and all. Is it the best Coen Bro. film? No. Being that it is a faithful adaptation with scenes and dialog lifted verbatim how can it be their best? It does rank right up there though. That said... my take on the ending is this...
Almost perfect. Almost in the sense that you never really quite understand who Anton works for. Perfect because the ending is like life... it happens. Like the ending of The Sopranos... it's life... it goes on.

There need not be a final battle between Moss and Anton... the way Moss dies is perfect... he was ready for Anton... mentally prepared for it... yet he dies by what he didn't see coming just as the Pool side lady points out. That's life... coming at you on it's own terms.

Funny thing about this movie and book... it is in no way about Moss, Anton and the missing money. It's about Ed Tom Bell. While he is just a character circling around the peripheral as law enforcement usually does since their job is more reactionary than anything... the story is about Ed Tom knowing his time has come to step down. He no longer has the stones for what ever evil is coming down the pike... He's given his whole life to this way... he admires those who came before him wearing the badge... but he comes to the conclusion with everything that has stirred up that this is no country for old men.

I can just see what the Coens were getting after and trust me this movie is a whole lot easier to swallow than reading the book. That is not to say the book is bad... But Corman McCarthy has a very unique way of writing I have never come across before. It makes for an interesting albeit tough read. That said... I have to admit... Cormac gets under your skin and his 'ear' is dead on.

One last note: I picked up on Brolin's performance from the get-go... it was pitch-perfect... like when he finds the money. Just some sighs and grunts and body english but he conveys volumes. When the movie opens and you see him track the blood to the killing site... He even asks questions of the wounded Mexican he already knows the answers too...

I hope Josh Brolin receives a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination. I would hope one for Tommy Lee Jones as well... But he gave as good in In the Valley of Elah and Three Burials. But Josh is a revelation. Sure he's great in American Gangster and fun in Planet Terror but he owns in this movie.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Catch up time!

Hi-De-Ho Fellow Bloggers/Readers

Man oh man what a bummer summer! Didn't really like anything... was even let down by Bourne 3.
Don't get me wrong... well made and all.... just boring a retread of 2 in many ways. Best movie still this year is 300 and that was back in Spring.

Now I did see Across the Universe. It was really good. Really. But not earth shattering. But interesting and it was great to hear those Beatles tunes song differently. These were new spins on classic gems.

But now we face the Fall into Winter slate. It's when the Big Smart Movies come out. I admit there are two I am drooling for. No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. Imagine... A Fall with two of the best filmmakers out there with movies in theaters! I of course speak of P.T. Anderson and the Coen Brothers.

TV has been kinda of a let down this Fall as well. Pushing Daisies is the best new show with Dirty Sexy Money a distant 2nd. But I am disappointed with everything else I have tried.

K-Ville: Boring and Old Hat
Bionic Woman: Boring, Trite and Silly
Journeyman: Um... Boring
Life: Intriguing but ugh... Boring
Moonlight: Nice premise, Good 2nd Banana Vampire friend but terrible acting from the lead lady and well... no solid plotting and almost Boring
Viva Laughlin: CANCELLED. And not a moment to soon... pure dreck and a mistake on all levels
Women's Murder Club: Um not only Boring but hard to follow in terms of they way it crams so much in and really doesn't settle on any one thing. just a jumbled mess.
Chuck: Oh wait this show is actually cute, fun and funny and not Boring... so ok 3 new shows this season.

HBO hit a home run with it's mini-series 5 Days. Good stuff that.

The returning shows?

Heroes: Got off to a slow start but picking up some steam
Prison Break: This could be the last season, there is no where else to go with it... but it's been a fun ride
Lost: Waiting until January
24: See Lost
Boston Legal: A really quality gem of entertainment period
The Unit: I miss last season's theme song. I do not like this new one at all. Over all the show is fun but I could take it or leave it
ER: Because I've been there from the 1st episode and I'll watch it to it's grave
My Name Is Earl: Spells FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY
CSI: Las Vegas: Because my daughter makes me watch it that's why
Desperate Housewives: Because my Wife makes me watch it that's why
Dexter: Kinda silly gruesome fun actually
Brotherhood: Not bad... doesn't try to out Soprano's which is a good thing. Has it's own sense of place and crime
The Shield: Please return! You are wanted
Nip/Tuck: Looking forward to it's premiere in La La Land
Rescue Me: Brilliance on hiatus
Damages: Perhaps ran too long with it's storyline but great acting all around
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Watch it and Thank Me in the Morning this show knows funny like no other
Curb Your
Enthusiasim: Larry suffers like no other and it's fun to watch him squirm

And yes I still find time to work, smoke cigars and get out of the house... it's why God invented the DVR!

'Nuff Said

Saturday, March 17, 2007

SXSW Part Uno

Hey trusty HG readers I just returned from the best film fest in the Southwest, SXSW in Austin (That's South by Southwest folks). Saw tons-o-flicks and meet some great movers-n-shakers.

One of the fun things to come out of the fest was meeting Amy of MavenCom fame. She was promoting this incredibly cool and easy on the eyes site called Lucky Oliver. The link is over to your right. Anyhow... she was spilling the 411 on these creative types from CA and I was captivated enough to check 'em out... well that and she gave me a few free tokens to use so I could download a few pics for this blog. Check one of 'em out it's right above their banner.

Now about Lucky Oliver... Unlike other Royalty Free Photo sites this one is fun and
extremely easy to use. Almost too easy. I'd say it's so easy that a Caveman could do it but I don't want Geico to sue me so let's just say Lucky Oliver is so easy to use a dancing Penguin and his Typing Monkey friend could use it. Actually if Geico would like to sue me I say let 'em. I could use the exposure and the book/movie deal that would come from it. But I digress... Back to Lucky Oliver... There choice of photos are way cool and not what you are expecting. Full of pics with different uses like backgrounds, do it yourself signs, gals, dudes, and illustrations out the ying-yang.

So go on over and try them. Become a Carny and let the $1 downloads begin. Actually they have other prices and you can buy some outright or just license them as well. But for blog/site use the $1 price tag is just what the good Doc ordered.

Oh and if you click on their banner to the right let'em know Amy did her job and that through me she sent you to 'em.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Shout Out to Anonymous (Denk)

Thank You for your two comments. I do wish to address them though since you failed to leave me a way to address you directly.

1: This is a Blog. Blogs are about Opinions. Some Blogs state facts, show art, creative writing, videos ect... but most are either dairies or opinions. You can agree or disagree but please allow me my "Myopic" (As you put it) opinions as I would allow yours.

2: I do feel Shawshank is an American Classic. Notice I said American, not World.
To set things straight here is a list of some Foreign Films I feel are World Classics:

Lawrence Of Arabia
Run Lola Run
7 Samurai
Leon The Professional
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
4 Queens
City of Lost Children
Road Warrior
Fifth Element
Fistful of $
The Sweet Hereafter
Breaking the Waves

These and so many more are great great movies. But please remember Anonymous, I live in America, I am American therefore I am steeped first in American Movies then Foreign ones. If I like a movie, enjoy it and all then I do not care where it hales from.

I welcome your thoughts Anonymous... Oh and Thank You for reading my blog and caring to post twice.

"Da Oscars Da Oscars"

Man has it been since Dec. that I have posted here? I have to stop watching DVD's, TV and reading and get back to typing, thought to type one has to think and to think... well for me... it hurts my head.

Anyhow, Hollywood patted itself on it's back tonight... and here are my considered thoughts on the telecast...

I feel this was the best produced Oscars in quite awhile. I enjoyed Errol Morris's opening and Ellen did a fantastic job. She and her writing staff are very creative.

The surprises were in four categories: Best Supporting Actor, Animated Movie, Foreign Picture and Best Song.

Best Supporting Actor: The Pundits had Eddie Murphy. I had Mark Wahlberg and it's Alan Arkin brings the Gold home. Alan did a great job and it's his character that actually permeates the movie even when he is not on the screen so his win is deserved.

Animated Movie: What? A Pixar Movie didn't win? Well at least if it's going to lose it's for Cars. Cars in my opinion is their weakest entry. Monster House was clever but Hollywood right now loves them some Penguins! And can you believe the creator, mastermind and director of the Mad Max/Road Warrior movies made Happy Feet?! Yes I know he made Babe as well... but still...

Best Song: I guess everyone felt it would be one of the three Dreamgirls songs especially the one that the X-Idol contestant sings but they went up against a tuneless Randy Newman and an actually pretty dang good song my the winner Ms. Etheridge.

Best Foreign Film: Pan wins just about every category except Screenplay and this one which of course seemed the choice of so many. Yet a German film The Lives of Others won, and from what I am told deservedly so.

I wish Scorsese though had won for Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Good Fellas. Those three movies added to the vocabulary of film making. The Departed while very good and enjoyable borrowed from his past as a Director. I still feel Eastwood after making two War Movies back to back and for low budgets and one of them in Japanese should have won. Yes he has won two of 'em but heck it's Best Picture or Best Director not Best We owe you one Oscar, that's what Tribute Oscars are for. It's like Newman winning for Color of Money. Was he good? Yes. Oscar good? No.

The other Oscar winner that I feel shouldn't have won is Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth. Best song? Sure, it was better than the other 4 but best Doc? Academy please! Members take another look at the 4 other Docs and look me in the eyes and tell me with a straight face Gore's flick deserved to win. It's mostly a PowerPoint presentation for God's sake! But Hollywood felt the need to be 'Green' and there you have it a misguided but well meaning win.

I will say this though about Al Gore; at least he didn't get all Political on us. In fact the War in Iraq, Bush Hating and the whole Clinton vs. Obama feud stayed were it belongs on the front page not on the Oscars... so kudos for that.

The song that Will, Jack and John sang was perfect. Ellen giving Martin her script, asking for a pic from Eastwood and directing Spielberg on how to frame the shot, her vacuuming and finding the rolling papers... all of these were priceless.

Kudos to Morricone!

And not to beat a dead horse but Miller's Crossing was robbed in it's day of the accolades it so deserves.