Sunday, June 12, 2011

I'm back!

Just graduated from UCLA this weekend. Now I'll finally have time to get back to posting all sorts of good stuff. Stay tuned. More to come soon. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I can't believe I forgot!

Here's one more comedy that fits right into the list below. Definitely helped kick off the golden years of the stoner buddy genre. It's probably on netflix watch instantly so get on it. This one is for David Guatelli for being on this shit when it first came out back in the day.



Monday, May 16, 2011

75 comedies everyone should see

and by everyone, I mean those who like crass, low-brow humor.

So I always read top ten lists, top 25 lists, top 50 lists, and top 100 lists, but when was the last time you saw a top 75?
Well you guys are in luck.

It amazes me how many of the people I know who are younger than me have missed out on so many of my favorite comedies, and even if they saw them, I’m not too sure they would even find them funny.  I’ve slowly realized, and also come to appreciate, that I’m at the tail end of a generation who was the first to truly embrace (and be greatly influenced by) the sub-genre of comedy that has dominated for the last few decades, which started with the Farrely Brothers’ Dumb and Dumber masterpiece and has evolved and meandered and transformed into the R-rated “bromedy’s” of the last few years.  At the heart of all these movies are typically irredeemable or immature male characters that get into ridiculous situations filled with low-brow humor but somehow instill us with some sentimental value by the end of the film. There were plenty of these movies that fall into that category made before my time, some of which are included, but for the most part they were the exception rather than the norm.

So if you are between the ages of 18-30,  or just want to understand most of the movie references I make, which go unnoticed way too often, the following list should be mandatory viewing (this is just as much for my selfish benefit so that I don’t look like a fool when my random quotes aren’t recognized).

I have somehow sorted out the hundreds upon hundreds of hilarious theatrical movies I’ve seen in my life and have picked out the best 75. And by best 75 I mean my favorite 75. This is a favorites list, not a film criticism list. There are some classics that I probably missed, so please excuse their absence. I also mostly left out animation, ‘cuz that opens a whole new bag of worms, mainly called Pixar, which would greatly complicate things. I’ve also left out a lot of older comedies (with a few exceptions), mainly because this is a list for my generation.

Now without further adieu, and with zero authority on the matter, I pronounce the 75 classic comedies of my time (give or take). 

The Top Ten

1.       Superbad

People Don't Forget

Life-changing is an understatement

2. Dumb and Dumber

Where the beer flows like wine, and the women flock like the salmon of Capistrano

3.       Old School

Frank the Tank is my hero

4.       South Park: Bigger, Longer, and uncut

That movie has warped my fragile little mind

5.       Role Models

I'm sorta into politics

6.       Road Trip

Are you here for the feeding?

7.       Harold and Kumar (1 and 2)

Extreme Cheddar!

8.       The 40 Year Old Virgin

Like Bags of Sand

9.       Happy Gilmore

Well now your back is gonna hurt, 'cuz you just pulled landscaping duty. 

10.   American Pie(s)

I can taste the bubbles...

I just realized Sean William Scott is in four of these movies. So what if I'm a little biased? Stifler is the greatest character of all time.


  • The Hangover
  • Caddy Shack
  • Dogma
  • Knocked Up
  • Wedding Crashers
  • Mallrats
  • Billy Madison
  • Dude Where’s my Car
  • Saving Silverman
  • Waiting
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
  • Clerks
  • Ace Ventura (Both of them)
  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • Anchorman
  • The Simpsons Movie
  • Grandmas Boy
  • The Rundown
  • Rushmore
  • How High
  • Hot Fuzz
  • The Big Lebowski
  • 10 Things I hate about you
  • The Princess Bride
  • Office Space
  • Next Friday
  • Jackass
  • Van Wilder
  • Animal House
  • Beavis and Butthead Do America
  • There’s Something About Mary
  • Wayne’s World 2
  • Blues Brothers
  • EuroTrip
  • Spaceballs
  • Rush Hour
  • Meet the Parents
  • The Girl Next Door
  • Bad Santa
  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Blue Streak
  • Hot Tub Time Machine
  • I love you man
  • Scary movie
  • Dead Man on Campus
  • GroundHog’s Day
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day off
  • Ghostbusters
  • Tommy Boy
  • Pineapple Express
  • Half Baked
  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
  • Zack and Miri make a Porno
  • Beerfest
  • Super Troopers
  • Waterboy
  • Liar Liar
  • The Naked Gun
  • Airplane
  • Tropic thunder
  • Step Brothers
  • Austin Powers
  • Zoolander
  • Dodgeball
  • Mystery Team

Obviously the dominance of the R-rated comedy reflects my taste for slapstick and stoner humor. Yeah Dr. Strangelove is funny as hell, but I’ll laugh way harder watching Dude Where’s my Car (This would be the appropriate time to call me an idiot. Followed by me saying suck on my Summa Cum Laude balls).

My pruning memory probably forgot some awesome ones, so add them to the comments! Let me know what else should be in there and we can make a top 100!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Jon Stewart embarrasses Fox News...again

Thank you Jon Stewart for continually pointing out how frustratingly far Fox News will take things out of context to create controversy. And for just being plain hilarious.
Besides the segment just being another expose of the blatant hypocrisy of Fox News, it kinda just makes everyone at FOX look like complete fear-mongering racists...did I say look like? Oops. I'm being too nice.
To be fair, this rant applies to most major news networks.

It's sad that so many people take these personalities seriously. 
News personalities = Personalities. Entertainment. Putting their own opinions on news, be it logical or illogical (mostly illogical).

"Protect Jon Stewart. He's our most important Jew!"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Escape from Limbo

Really well-edited Inception clip of Cobbs and Saito using each other to get out of Limbo.

Damn that musical score still gives me chills. Check it out

And no, the end isn't Cobbs still in Limbo.

And no, the whole thing isn't a dream.

It's exactly what you think and want the end to be. [SPOILER ALERT] He get's back to reality. Just ask Christopher Nolan.

Thanks Wong

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Five reasons why Fast Five is better than you

I went to see Fast Five on opening night, and let me tell you, I had some pretty high expectations. The trailer was one of the most bad-ass things I'd ever seen. But obviously that's never a sure sign of a good movie (ie Sucker Punch).  But somehow, Fast Five surpassed even my wildest expectations.
Maybe it was the tequila shots I took before. Maybe it was the half-whiskey-half-monster mixture I brought into the theatre with me. Or MAYBE it was because the movie just straight up kicked ass.
I'm going with the latter.


Before I begin, let me just throw this out there. This is a review of action entertainment. So to my hater friends out there, this post probably isn't for you. This blog probably isn't for you. And anything mildly entertaining in life probably isn't for you. So stop reading this and go watch your TiVo'd Bravo and that low-budget Indie film that you think is good because no one else has seen it even though the real reason no one else has seen it is because, well, it's just not that good. 
Good stories get seen. It doesn't matter if it's a blockbuster or The King's Speech. Do you think Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Faust, and the Greek Tragedies were "discovered" after their time? Do you think only a small, counter-culture population supported them? No. They were the most popular pieces of story of their time. That's why they lasted 'till today. Now I'm not trying to say Fast Five is brilliant art that should be cherished for hundreds of years. But I am saying that an 80 million dollar opening weekend, an A Cinescore by critics and an A+ score by viewers, and an 80% on rottentomatoes supports my point more than it supports yours. 

Sorry to everyone else, hopefully that rant weeded the negative energy out. Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, how fucking sweet Fast Five was. 

1.  It fully utilized the benefits that can come with a franchise: We know who these characters are. We've seen them fight and grow and win our support across multiple films. Now why is this so important? For both the Fast part and the Furious part. A franchise film can move much, much faster and pack way more action into a smaller amount of time because backstory, exposition, and all those potentially boring yet necessary things in original stories are already taken care of. It's the same reason why pulp fiction is the public's favorite type of reading. The film can rely on the action to drive the story forward without having to sacrifice time to the building of character depth. And boy does Fast five takes full advantage of this. The entire first act is practically one non-stop action sequence.   

That's a whole lot of history. 

2. True Grit: Or at least that's what I like to refer to it as. What I mean by True Grit is that the action was raw. It felt real. The reason Fast Five was so entertaining was the same reason Sucker Punch, for lack of a better word, just sucked. Action for action's sake doesn't work. It needs to be close to the characters. Not three levels of fantasy world away or whatever the fuck that was. The action doesn't have to be realistic (and is far from it in most action movies today), BUT the audience MUST believe in the danger and the stakes.   Fast Five utilized this best by avoiding CGI as much as possible. We could feel the stunts. The cars. The explosions. The gunfire. The punches. It was up-close and personal, the in-your-face kind of action that I miss about the 80's and  90's action era. CGI has proven the death of many an action film (The A-team, Sucker Punch, and a thousand others come to mind). 
And it's not just me that holds this opinion. Straight from the mouth of a Universal Exec at the head of the making of Fast Five: 
Our strategy behind one of the biggest bets we've ever made is that the business has gone so far towards CG action every weekend, that we really believe creating a movie with real action and real cars will be amazing stuff to people excited by seeing something real.

3. Personal Stakes: Let me take a minute to name some of the conflicts that we will be seeing during this Summer Blockbuster season. Alien Demi-God vs. crazy metal thing but on Earth (Thor). Mutants vs. Fidel Castro (X-Men First Class). Scrawny guy turned superhuman vs. Nazi Zombies (Captain America). Pirates vs. Walking Dead or Mermaids or whatever the hell that movie will be about (Pirates of the Caribbean). Kids vs. crazy alien mutant mystery thing (Super 8). Cowboys vs. Aliens (No, seriously, that's actually the title). 

If my point hasn't gotten through to you yet, it's that in a season where every action flick available to go see is some high-concept out-of-this-world fantasy or graphic novel based film, it's refreshing to see a movie where the stakes are smaller. People vs. other people. A couple characters who are just trying to get some money and get out before it's too late. There's no saving the world. No aliens. No zombies. No superpowers. It ties in to the last point. Fast Five, despite it's ridiculousness, can stay grounded because of the simplicity and closeness of the stakes. 
Not gonna lie: Cowboys vs. Aliens has me stoked

4: Keeping it fresh: Fast Five gives us something fresh from the franchise. Unlike The Hangover II, which literally looks like the exact same movie as the first except in Bangkok (Check the middle section to see for yourself), Fast Five completely changes gears (ha, get it?) and gives us a different type of story than we are used to with the franchise. This movie is not about street racing. Even though the first FATF was about a cop trying to solve a series of heists, it was the street-racing world that came first. As great as it was, the franchise has played it out. Fast Five puts us somewhere new and dangerous and turns itself into an action-heist movie where the characters are trying to stay one step ahead. It's Cat vs. Mouse vs. some other crazy fucking animals. The movie found a balance between new and old. The core feel of their world still feels legit since there's a shit-ton of awesome car scenes relying on the characters' driving skills, but it drives a different type of story. 
And it wasn't just the story that was fresh. It had some of the best action sequences, car chases, foot chases, and straight up full-fledged street warfare scenes I've seen in a while. 
Oh, and did I mention Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson?!?! I mean c'mon. The movie was failsafe from the start. I think the only thing that could have made this movie any sicker was a rock-bottom to Vin Diesel through one of those Favela rooftops. 

Did I mention it was awesome?

5. Fast Five knows what it is: If you saw the movie, or just watched the above clip, it's pretty self-explanatory. We know this film isn't trying to break new cinematic ground or change your life or make you cry or shatter your world-view. This film knows it isn't trying to do that. It knows what we are expecting. We know what we are expecting. And that's why I can sit through the cheesy one-liners and ridiculous stunts and still love this movie. This film knows we are familiar with its diegesis and knows the type of entertainment it provides and thus can almost mock itself and push the limits and give us a truly fun theatre experience, which is really really rare these days. I loved the explosions of applause and hooting during certain scenes of the flick. Everyone in that theatre embraced the unbelievable chaos. 
Before beginning to try my hand at an action spec a few months ago, I asked my close friend Will what makes an awesome action movie. His answer was something along the lines of: Fast cars, Fast girls, Fast fights, and a lotta shit blowing up. It might sound mindless, but man does he know what he's talking about. The last section of another post, despite trying to figure out whether this makes the movie good or bad, nails what I'm trying to say. As the author, Daniel O'Brien puts it: 
So here we are. The big movie that kicks off the summer blockbuster season is just cars, punches, jump-punches, butts, one-liners, jumping, butt-jumps, leaping-quips, butt-carring and punch-punches. That's why I can't tell if this is an action movie or a parody of action movies or what. I ask people who want to see this movie if they're going ironically or because it genuinely looks good, and no one knows. It feels like there's a joke somewhere, but no one can find it. Meanwhile it's getting great reviews.
Daniel misses the point even though he's standing right on top of it. Because it's the fifth in a franchise, it can push itself and make fun of itself while still being an action movie.

But my favorite quote from his piece, while breaking the trailer into five categories: Cars, One liners, Girls, Punching, and People recklessly jumping off of things.
Jumping is the solution when punching isn't an option, which it always is, which is why the trailer also features a sequence where The Rock jump-punches someone.
 See, now he's onto something.  

Damn I loved this movie. I could try and analyze it with 5 more reasons (easily), but it really just comes down to that intrinsic infatuation for ridiculous action. I'm a true product of the 90's. Now go see it!

Need I say more? 


All in all, Fast Five is what we in the business like to call the MOTY (coined by William Rippetoe). Before you throw me to the wolves, allow me to explain what that means so you realize it's about as serious as this movie. The MOTY, without getting to in detail on the intricate complexities of the term (and yes it has been discussed way too extensively), started as being a phrase mocking itself by referring to guilty pleasure, critically-bad-but-still-good movies, but has essentially evolved into meaning the best non-serious Movie Of The Year (MOTY). The most entertaining. The coolest. The movie you walk out of being like "Yes that was fucking awesome". If the MOTY was a Counterstrike 1.6 scrim sequence, it would be a five-shot AWP-Deagle combo for the win. And that's what Fast Five is. A straight headshot.
Nuff Said.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Midnight in Paris

I'm actually excited to see this film. No one knows how to pull off the awkward, humorous, bizarre, and perfectly-honest-display-of-relationship/social-interaction-and-self-questioning better than Woody Allen.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Attention to detail

I guess I'm a little late on this little bit of awesomeness that's been floating around the internet. But holy shit. In such "big" movies, a lot of us forget the intense attention to detail that the writer and director put into the film to make it as rich as possible, placing plants/payoffs that are so detailed they often go unnoticed. Here's an awesome Easter Egg just in time for the holiday.

Fucking Awesome.

And to cap off the week's theme, heres my personal favorite. For all you fellow antimimetics out there:

Life imitates art far more than art imitates life. 
---Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Halfway there!

Is it really Wednesday already? Wow. 

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
---Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's a Wilde kind of Tuesday

I like to imagine what it would be like to drink some bootlegged Green Faerie with Wilde at the Bohemian parties he was infamous for attending.

I can resist everything but temptation.
---Oscar Wilde

Monday, April 11, 2011

A week with Oscar Wilde

So I noticed I have abandoned my "Shit People Say" section as of late, so I want to jump-start things back up not with the usual belligerent banter (soon to come though I promise), but rather a week of dedication to one of my favorite "quoters". And so the inspiration ensues.

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. 
---Oscar Wilde 


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Things I want

As I near the end of my college career, and as all my funds are eaten up by alcohol and my impending summer in Europe, I've been thinking a lot about all the new things I want (slash need) for when I'm evicted from this life I've created in Westwood and start anew.


15'' MacBook Pro

Anyone have $1,500 to spare? That would be awesome.
My Dell XPS, which I love, is dying a slow and painful death. I've always been a PC kinda guy, mainly because I wanted to gamer it up (CS, MW, and all that good stuff was only good enough on the PC graphic cards). But now that I want things like FinalCutPro and Final Draft 8, it makes 100% sense to go for the MacBook Pro. So I guess you might as well throw me another $600 bucks while your at it (Hurray for student discounts). 

Canon Rebel t3i

Definitely the one thing I am dying to possess before I leave to Europe. It's Pretty much the most cost effective DSLR out there. $800 dollars for the piece and a couple good lenses and you have a godly still shot camera that can also film in 24fps and look just as sharp and beautiful as cameras costing a hell of a lot more. Would love to get some epic surf footage and moody stills while I'm on my journey through the Basque country. Oh and throw in another hundred bucks for a tripod and mic. Thanks again. 


Sorta self explanatory 

This could cost a lot more. Or less. 

No one knows, but we will all find out

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

RIP Kurt Cobain

"There's good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad" -Kurt Cobain

Today, April 5, marks the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's tragic and shocking death. I wasn't old enough to realize the largeness of it all when it happened, but as I grew older and fell in love with the music and the movement that Nirvana and Cobain led, I, just like everyone else, couldn't help but wonder how much more great music would be around had Cobain not put the gun to his head. His suicide reflected a troubled and overwhelmed soul that characterizes so many musicians and artists in general.  I don't think people realized the full extent of Cobain's inner struggles at the time. In retrospect, it makes his music that much more raw; all the emotion of the music is real and true and comes from somewhere honest. He was the furthest thing from a sell-out, and I think that's part of the reason I've always felt such a strong response to his music. In his own words from his death-note, "The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I'm having 100% fun".  I dare anyone to read his suicide note and not feel shivers of unbridled sadness yet simultaneous beauty and inspiration in his words:

For everyone, here's a much less well-known Nirvana song that helped me through some really down times when I was a little younger.

"And I've got this friend, you see, 
Who makes me feel and I 
Wanted more than I could steal."

P.S. Sorry Scott of for ripping off a Cobain dedication, but it had to be done.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Thought I'd share the $100,000 winner of Taylor Steele's Innersection. Really awesome results from a really ingenious idea for a surf film: Have a photographer match up with a surfer, shoot a section, then compile a video of all those different sections, with a 100 grand incentive to make the most epic 4 minutes of surf aesthetics possible.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sucker Punch

In two words: highly disappointed.

But not that surprised. The PG-13 rating was a tell-tale sign.

An erotic action movie needs to be gritty and sexual, not scared of what it's trying to be in order to reach a wider audience. It's exactly why films like Sin City and 300 are both on the IMDB Top 250 list for user ratings and all the resultant copycat films are not (can anyone say The Spirit?).  Sucker Punch pretty much pussied out of everything that gave it any potential for success.

Secondly, the story was pretty much shit. To go off of the above tangent, we didn't feel any real danger in the fantasy world (3rd layer) until the midpoint when they finally establish that death can carry over to the real (actually more like the 2nd layer) world. Take notes from Inception. It is clearly explained: die in the dream world, die in real life (brain-dead technically). So while the action sequences were visually stunning, there was no stress or worry or tense suspense. The viewer was disconnected from the emotion, and the story is to blame for that. Also, how the three layers of worlds connected to each other was not clearly enough defined for the ending to feel fluid. I mean were there even any other girls involved in the mental hospital world? There have to at the very least be loose threads between the worlds. A little ambiguity is fine, but we want to at least be able to guess what just happened. Lastly, if the voice over isn't amazing, get it out. It felt weak and contrived to me. Almost as bad as the dialogue.

Closing thoughts: Zack Snyder should stick to directing. Or making trailers. Cuz they were fucking sweet. Either way, let other people deal with the story.

Shake Me Down

Had a few minutes of spare time (that's a lie, I've been doing nothing for hours) and thought I'd put something up to let people know I have not died just quite yet.

Let's see. What's something interesting. C'mon Danny, think think think. Oh yeah, this is kinda cool:

The future of action gaming. Shit is ridiculous. I remember when Golden Eye had the "best graphics ever".

And how bout a song that is stuck in my head. Praying to see them at Coachella.

More soon. Promise.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Long time no see

Yeah it's a fucking tuesday...whoops. I'm a few days late. Things have been busy, what can I say. But so much has happened. Where to even begin. Frankly, I'm too lazy to transcribe it all to you, but here are some things off the top of my head:

1. Shane Black will be writing Iron man 3 (along with directing). It will be interesting to see how that turns out.

2. The spec market is in a frenzy!!! Best month since 2008, woohoo, good news for me and other aspiring spec writers.

3. In fear of having people threaten my life, I will not be giving my two cents on the whole Alexandra Wallace Youtube UCLA outbreak. I'll just say yeah, shit's offensive and ignorant, but also blown totally out of proportion.

4. Friday night #4: A few days delayed. Sorry for all you drunk souls seeking asylum in my rantings and emo videos...hopefully this helps:

I’ve given up on giving up slowly, I’m blending in so
You won’t even know me:

5. God damn, is there anything Jason Statham can do that won't get me hard?

5. Since my judgement usually leads me to having the worst NCAA brackets of all time, I decided to take my poor opinions out of the picture and base it solely on a coin/dice routine. Let's see if the statistical God's have good faith in me.

6. Oh and I'm on Spring Break. And started a new story. Let's see if I can crank a first draft out before school starts again.

Happy Saint Paddy's Day everyone (If I don't see you by then)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NOS! *Cue epic car explosion with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker flying through mid-air*

The Fast and the Furious series is fucking amazing. Period. I don't care how big of a movie snob you are. Just turn off your fucking brain and let the awesomeness take over.
Now obviously 2-4 don't even compare to the original. If you say you dislike the second, third, or fourth, or any combination of the aforementioned, so be it. But if you have anything bad to say about the original, your man card is automatically revoked (You have a vagina? Still revoked).
I almost got out the lube when I saw this new trailer. I'll even watch it for the 10000th time with you guys.

It was just a matter of time before Vin and the Rock faced off in some fictional realm. Goddamn.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Earlier this year I had a little segment on the power that can be evoked by having just the right combination of sight and sound in a montage or trailer.
Whether you loved the movie or not, there's no denying the pure awesomeness of the trailer for INCEPTION. And if there's any doubt on it's lasting impact, just look at the fact that there's been over 55 re-edited inception-style trailers made in the last year, and even some pretty funny spoofs.
Apparently the score and tone and cutting-style can even make Dora the Explorer look like the next Dark Knight.
So if you have some time on your hands,
Click here for all 55

My personal favorite:

Damn I get hard every time that symphony kicks in.

This site is amazing

Yeah it's two years old, so fucking what. It will still inspire you.

Check it out: Why we write

Friday Night #3: It's no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy

So last week I was unfortunately unable to reach a computer (maybe that was a good thing).  So this week, I'm posting two videos to make up for it.

As promised, my weekly Friday segment of epic music from back in the day when teen angst was all the rage: 

Years before Christian Slater was his own worst enemy on a cancelled Fox series, Lit was doing that shit like it was nothing: 

And, to make up for last week's failure of a post, here's something extra special:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Dragons are the nuclear weapons of fantasy games"--IGN

I'm not much of a gamer. I mean I used to be pretty 1337 with my CS 1.5/1.6 skillz back in the day, but these days video games don't get me all that excited...EXCEPT

The Elder Scrolls series. 

Morrowind (ESIII) was the first game that revolutionized bringing the player into a new world so expansive and captivating that it could keep them there for embarrassingly long amounts of time. The Elder Scrolls created as dense and interesting of a world as any book I've read or movie I've seen.
It was like watching Harry Potter doing coke off of Hermoine's ass.

As IGN.COM said:
"Many might associate Bethesda Game Studios with the irradiated wastes of Fallout, but slightly older video game fans know the company established itself on swords-and-sorcery fantasy. Without the success of The Elder Scrolls role-playing series, there likely would be no Fallout 3 as we know it today,"

I mean it literally consumed every kid on my block. Even Will Rippetoe who destroys games like it's his birthday still jerks it to the Scrolls.

ANYWAYS, after 5 years of lonngggg waiting, wondering if a fifth installment of the best RPG series of all time would ever come, the news was released. and today, a trailer came out.

With good reason, this is the second post in a row that ends in:


Oh and this looks really funny. God bless Hollywood's coming to their senses and realizing the superiority of the R-rated comedies:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't Judge me

I don't care what anyone says, but I'm fucking pumped for Sucker Punch.

Zeppelins blowing up, hot girls with samurai swords, Nazis with gas masks, crazy twenty foot robots with Gatling guns, and A FUCKING DRAGON?!?! 

I'm sold. 

In fact I think the only way I'd ever have faith in this is if Zack Snyder was the visionary. Good thing. 

Did I mention there's a dragon?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What's wrong with Hollywood?

If you're one of those people that says Top Gun is your favorite movie, you probably shouldn't read this (unless you want your intelligence slightly insulted)...Oh and you probably shouldn't tell me either 'cuz I'll laugh in your fucking face.
Not that it isn't pretty entertaining.

Wonderful article from an editor of Entertainment Weekly:

Check it Out

Looks like more slow years for the Spec script market.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The sad thing is I would totally watch this

Michael Bay's "The Dark Knight"

New Section!

Seeing as how usually have a few beers on my Friday nights, and seeing as how I usually end up spending my come down dabbling in Emo nonsense and posting angsty lyrics on my facebook, I figured I'd expand on the trend and dedicate a section every Friday night to one wet-teen-dream twi-hard reminds-me of-lonely high-school-nights video for the rest of you to drown in.

This week's, and the section's, virgin debut, is none other than:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What a coincidence

So literally the day after I did a read of "A Long Kiss Goodnight" and found a couple of old interviews with Shane Black, he suddenly reappears from his 5 year hiatus from the world of action direct fucking Iron Man 3.
The only question is: will he write it too?...because if he does, I'll be first in line.
Iron Man 2 felt flat, drowned of all the originality that made the first stand out from the rest of the bazillion super-hero/comic adaptations that come out every year. No way that'll happen with the original king of action in control....Now if only Jason Statham could somehow find a star role in it. But now I'm just dreaming.

Fuck yeah

I think the film will look something like this

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

some people never change

"I'll never grow out of what I'm doing. I'll just grow out of where I do it."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Awesome Interview from Shane Black

If you don't know Shane Black, he was pretty much the Don of action movie writing in the late 80's and early 90's. Not just one, but two of his spec scripts sold as the highest priced buys EVER at the time of their sale (suggested script read: The Long Kiss Goodnight). Recently I stumbled upon this interview. Great for anyone interested in some of the things that go into a well-written action script:

The Guardian interviews Shane Black

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Get off my plane

Some of the worst advice that screenwriting professors give, and yes, even from those prestigious UCLA teachers who haven't had a produced credit in two decades, are the strict calls to leave only the bare minimum of what is necessary in your descriptions. If it can't be seen nor heard, they say, throw it out.
Now before I get a bunch of backfire, let me clarify. Yes, they emphasize this for a reason, since one of the most common mistakes for people entering the field are to go on overly drawn-out and unnecessary stage descriptions. (See:
While their basic principle is understandable and for the most part true, the tenacity by which they preach the message does not reflect the growing trend in scripts over the past ten years towards a more novelistic form of description; Still succinct, not overwhelming the white space, but certainly not bare.
Rich writing can especially be seen in spec scripts, where being able to grab the "reader's eye" and bring them into the world of the story is as important as anything. Take this excerpt from "Air Force One":

"Papers containing NUCLEAR WAR STRATEGIES and MISSILE LAUNCH CODES slide into the hungry Shredding machine. Perkins manages a slight smile before he keels over dead, his duty fulfilled. The shredded remains of the nuclear football rain over his head like tickertape at a hero's parade."

He could have instead just written:

"Papers containing NUCLEAR WAR STRATEGIES and MISSILE LAUNCH CODES slide into the shredding machine. Perkins manages a slight smile before he keels over dead. The shredded remains rain over his head".

The writer, Andrew Marlowe, certainly didn't NEED to include all of the aside in his description...BUT IT'S FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. Better than most descriptions in novels. It evokes a clear and profound vision that you can instantly imagine on screen and enforces the heroic undertones of the script. And this is the type of writing that many screenwriting professors tell you to avoid! While on one hand, they are making sure you avoid excessive prose, I have NEVER EVER read a produced script that didn't have the same image-enhancing prose in their descriptions.
Reason #823 why reading produced scripts is more beneficial than relying on "teach you how to sell a million-dollar screenplay" lectures.

When to push the limits is a knowledge that becomes innate to professional writers. If you are wondering how to recognize that fine line between "unnecessary, throw this in the trash" description and "wow that was illuminating", the only way is to read scripts. Read read read.

Oh and as promised, the greatest punch-line of all time:

The Greatest Duo of all time

Seems the Winter-quarter Blues has somehow infiltrated the mood of this blog. To bring some laughter back to my (and your) life, here's a little tribute to Jay and Silent Bob, the greatest duo of all time...

who have the greatest rant of all time:

and the greatest song of all time:

and the greatest beat-down of all time:

and the greatest parody of all time:

and the second greatest rant of all time:

The only competition to Jay and Silent Bob's greatest duo of all time title may come from:

What now

The only thing left to do is prove them wrong

Never have I ever

Never have I ever experienced such a shockingly fast transition from absolute ecstasy to complete and utter despair.
Writing theory always talks about, in the realm of romantic comedy, making sure the protagonist has some outer desire that goes along with his inner desires, that both become simultaneously conflicted, in order to create the maximum amount of drama. 
If my night has told me anything, it's that this is completely and utterly true. And it feels a lot worse when the "dramatic conflict" is you, not some fictional character. 
Living out my character's worst nightmares. Let's just say my exterior goal didn't go as planned.
So here's some emo shit from the greatest show of all time. Escapism is great. 

The way I see it, there's only two choices. You're either a hero, or you wanna die. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What about The Rock?

This is too funny.

The new terror threat level...starring nicholas cage

God bless America and our puritan, nonsensical priorities

So the MTV-adapted "Skins" series has been getting a lot of heat lately for it's blatant and inconsequential (and pretty epic) portrayal of teen sex and drug use. The controversy is understandable, but the way in which organizations such as the PTC (Parents television council) have gone about attacking the series is just another bit in a long string of PTC incidents that illustrates American's fucked up priorities. Their violent and aggressive tactics ironically undermine what they should stand for. Organizations like the PTC are a joke, an entity that grinds my gears worse than the most frustrating literary villains (Think Mrs. Umbridge).
It's really just a bunch of older Americans who are more concerned about their children experiencing sex before a proper, heterosexual, drug-free, Christian marriage than being gunned down in a school massacre.
Here's an idea: How about you step off your "organization" banter of delusional self-importance and see a Shrink, you perfect samples of Freudian mishaps.

Good article to read. Or just watch the South Park movie to get the same moral, while possibly dying of laughter.

PTC Worries About Sex on MTV's 'Skins,' But Avoids Guns on TV |

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sight and Sound

After looking through the commentary and feedback I’ve received from some trusted readers on a first draft I recently finished, I realized one of the weak scenes I will have to attack from a fresh angle is a montage I had created in the middle of the script. The sequence is a pseudo-parody of the cliché training montage in most “athlete overcomes obstacles” type films. But on the eve of breaking my script out for a re-write, I found myself doing a lot of thinking about the purpose of the montage, or what many like to call “the Musical Sequence”.
It’s the type of thing that, if done right, makes you truly appreciate the power of the moving picture. The more I thought about effective musical sequences, I started to realize that its success has a whole lot more to do with the director/DP/editors/musical team as the writer. A great montage triggers emotion in its own unique way. It’s something that simply cannot be achieved or realized on the page. It combines the power of the edit, sight, and sound, and ideally ends up with a perfect match of music and pictures to evoke emotions otherwise not possible in any other story medium. Of course an understanding of the characters, their inner and outer desires and struggles, and the story are essential to reach the full effect that the musical moment can have, which is largely the writer’s responsibility. That’s probably why these moments work so much stronger on television dramas than film. But even independent of the narrative and character understanding, its power can still be felt.
Nothing takes advantage of the musical moment like a movie trailer. Although it’s not bound by moment or time or story, it still illustrates the power of editing sight and sound. Trailers have become hyper-condensed masteries of this art. Even the most dispassionate films can make you feel something in their previews. For instance, the second Matrix was pretty much a letdown, but that trailer, WOW. Pay special attention to the last 45 seconds, when the on-screen dialogue ends and the music and voiceover kicks in.

The point is, I realized, yes, I will need make some changes to the particular scene, or redo it entirely, in order to add a little more flavor and originality for a stronger comedic response, BUT the true emotional evocation of the musical sequence depends on (1) what has come before the scene in terms of character and story development, and (2) on the shot, the edit, and the selected music. The laughter or heartbreak or anger or whatever emotion aimed at will only be realized as a success or failure after it can be seen.
The very best example I can think of is the following montage. Imagine reading this musical moment on the page. It would seem rather trite, and in a way, yes, it is cliché, but the decisions in how it was shot, the decision of what music to use, where to make the cuts, and the background knowledge of the inner and outer conflicts of the characters, all in all lead to a powerful musical sequence. Still can’t watch it without getting chills. Hallelujah.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Did you fuck this bread?

Great way of bringing some much needed self-realization to the protagonist by looking into an exaggerated mirror of the dreary road he's going down.

Oh and it's funny as shit so there's no heavy-handed feeling that you're being spoon-fed the theme.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Contrary to Popular Belief

Interesting excerpt taken from :

Screenwriting advice from Michael Arndt

Michael Arndt won an original screenplay Oscar in 2007 for “Little Miss Sunshine” and now finds himself nominated again, for best adapted screenplay for “Toy Story 3.” But, as he said on Tuesday morning, writing remains a mysterious, difficult process. One of the few things that works for him: He starts by writing the end of the story and figuring out how he wants the audience to feel.
He starts by writing the end of the story. Knowing the end of your story is perhaps the most important key to prep-writing and breaking a story.

Yes, it's all well and good to have this romanticized image of a writer, plunking down in front of a typewriter, inserting a blank piece of paper, typing FADE IN and off they go to God knows where, but they just know they'll find their way (this is precisely how the last episode of "Californication" ended, by the way). That may work for you...

But if you're serious about being a professional screenwriter or TV writer, that approach simply doesn't fly. I've never met a writer with any sort of career in Hollywood who doesn't break their story in prep.

And the most symbolic proof of that instinct is what Arndt suggests: Know the ending of your story first

Leftovers aren't just for Thanksgiving

"I love when you're scratching your balls and happen to find a girl's hair down there"

--The Unit

Shit People Say 1/28/11

"Regular sex just isn't good enough for us anymore."

--Anonymous resident of The Unit

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Michael Wong, meet Blake Lively

When you are up in the Bay, far from home, working your way up the corporate ladder towards that white picket fence lined with four locos, drugs, and strippers, and you are feeling oh so lonely, just pull out your iPhone, make your WordsWithFriends move vs. me, and then come scope some fine photos of your future wife.
And everything. will. be. okay.  

As if there weren't enough reasons to watch GG

Your Welcome Mike. 

Oh and I guess I'll enjoy them too if you don't mind. 

Truer words have never been spoken

Marion: You can't do this to me, I'm an AMERICAN.

--Raiders of the Lost Arc

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why Hello There

There are good ideas and then there are bad ideas.

There are the bad ideas that go well, such as a computer nerd's shallow shot at social relevance turning into a multi-billion dollar company:  

And then there are the bad ideas that go bad. Definitely the more entertaining of the two: 

Giving in to this narcissistic, self-gratifying phenomenon known as Blogging, where every fucking person and their dog thinks they have something worthwhile to say, and better yet, diving in with no underlying theme or tone or focus, can only lead to the latter of bad ideas. So feel free to join me in this downward spiral of random publication. I just hope you aren't easily offended.

What can you expect?

Probably a lot of interesting talk/links on the Industry (of film), Screenwriting, surfing, and life in general as I leave the surreal fantasy experience only known as College and cast myself into the real world. That is if you consider a life that centers on the creation and display of fictional stories and characters "real".

Certainly some cynical examination of this "connectivity" that has come to rule the world.

Plus, a lot of stupid shit:

What would a blog of mine be without a special section for my inebriated thoughts. Thus, you will find these future posts in "The Drunk Tank".


The Vents.
You know, those conveniently placed metal passageways that just so happen to be big enough and strong enough to support our heroes in their most dire moments. The ventilation shaft has become the Deus Ex Machina of the modern film or television show. As I speak, that crazy bitch with orange hair in The Fifth Element is crawling through a vent escaping the gunfire of aliens.  But how does this have to do with blogging? Metaphorically speaking, this is where to go when Hans Gruber has the laser sight of his big-ass SR22 rifle right between your eyes, or when an entire force of fucking ninja-trained zombies is closing in on your trapped location and SUDDENLY you look up to see those magical grates of steel just begging you sanctum. The vents are my escape from life’s shit. This is where I ramble and “vent” (haha get it) about any stupid crap that "grinds my gears". And when you need your magical intervention from the gods in times of trouble, come to the Vents and enjoy the refuge that is my random thoughts. 

So Welcome, to when bad ideas go bad.