Saturday, September 15, 2007

Stardust, pleasant dreams

Wow, I just saw a great film that just wasn't pushed by its studio. Granted, Paramount had a ton of marketing push behind Transformers all summer, but they could have, and should have, put some real marketing dollars behind Stardust. A little research shows this was the little fantasy movie that could. Its been out since August 10 and been in the top 10 each week since release (numbers aren't in this week yet).

It's a fairy tale, pure and simple, but a wonderful one that entranced me, my wife, and my children. If you are a fan of The Princess Bride, you'll love this film. It has the same irreverence while still being true to everything that makes people smile at the thought of their favorite fairy tale.

Where do I start? This movie had production value out the wazoo. I mean, the costumes alone were not only unique for each character, but the fabrics were custom made for at least seven of them. Elaborate sets, visual effects, costumes...

...And the cast! Ian McKellen, Peter O'Toole, Rupert Everett, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, Ricky Gervis...

Dare I mention the story was originally written by Neil Gaiman? How about this, the first line from the book: "There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire." or this, the first line from the movie: "A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really...”Do the stars gaze back?" Now *that's* a question."

Both really summarize the movie.

See this movie on the big screen, while you still have a chance... and then buy the DVD.

Wow, I just pimped someone else's movie. I don't do that often and, frankly, its the only film from this summer of block busters that I've done this for. Even Transformers...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Who wants to act when you can direct?

Kevin, sir, looks like your boy, Ben Affleck is jumping into the directing arena with both feet. In fact in the August 24th issue of Entertainment Weekly he gave a brief interview (OK, not so recent, I'm behind in my reading) saying that if his current movie is accepted well he'll stick with Directing and just be in the kinds of movies he wants to do which mostly aren't "giant studio movies".

Sounds like a man right after your own heart, Mr. Smith.

So, here's the deal. Remember when I said I had a screenplay your wife, Jennifer Schwalbach, not only could produce but is the type of movie that she said, in one of your recent Smodcasts, she always wanted to see and would remind her of Alias and the reason she fell in love with that series. You know, the one with this synopsis:

A strong, take no prisoners, female action movie with humor and heart. A story about a widowed soccer mom who, struggling to make ends meet, turns to the only line of work she has ever been any good at: contract killing. Then top it all off with the fact that her deceased ex-husband turns out to be not-quite-so, kidnaps their daughter, and forces mom to fight for the daughter's life.

Well, you can have the man you said you'd always work with, Ben, direct. And then the Bob or Harvey Weinstein can back the film. And all this can be done while you're working on Red State or Zack and Miri (whichever ends up first).

Come on Ben, Kevin, Jen, give a poor fat writer a break and drop him a line.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Big Feet, Little Shoes in the can

Well, its video, so there's no can, just computer, but you get the idea. This short was a blast to do and, if it represents well, we're looking at turning this into a regular web-series.
As I mentioned before, its a slacker version of the X-Files. In this case, Craig Lutz and Bill Balls embark on a career as Paranormal Investigators when they lose their day jobs (see picture at left).
First task? "I give you Sasquatch!" exclaims Bill. But, of course, things don't work out quite as planned... or do they?
Maybe I'll send in to the ViewAskew Film Festival: Movies Askew... wait, you haven't annouced one for 2007, just 2006's competition. Oh well, you'll just have to catch it at a film festival near you... until we release it on the web that is.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Four Days to Shooting and...

Kevin, sir, I'm four days to principal photography on a contest short and I'm still missing a location and actress.

It's my bad, I'm hurrying this production along because I'm working on another film at the end of this month and the deadline is mid October. Won't have time otherwise.

This is a little like your Reaper, at least in as much as its about Slackers: the Slacker version of the X-files.
If it plays well we plan on serializing this one short into a web-series. Future episodes might have them tracking down a Chupacabra, busting ghosts, or uncovering a time machine (like you seem to have in your last blog post, getting to visit Sunday twice).
Well, back to the grind...