Sunday, December 20, 2009

10 Second Movie Reviews, Vol. 2

Here I go again with quick reviews of movies I've watched recently. A few spoilers, so don't read the review if you give a crap about spoilers.

Whatever Works (2009) - A Woody Allen flick. "Whatever Sucks" is more like it. Or, "Curb Your Enjoyment". Because Larry David stars in it, see?

Push (2009) - Dakota Fanning in a strange sci-fi thriller. She's growing up fast.

Paranormal Activity (2007) - Made over 100 mill so far. And it cost only 11 grand to make? Now I want to kill myself in the most horrific way possible.

Assassination of a High School President (2008) - I see what they did there. And it sucked.

Mysterious Skin (2004) - One of those flicks that stays with you for a long time. Hard to sit through, but absolutely memorable. The creep factor is WAY off the scale on this one. A very brave movie to make.

What We Do Is Secret (2007) - Great punk biopic about Darby Crash and the short-lived band "The Germs".

The History Boys (2006) - The "I Wish-They-Were-Dead Poet's Society" would be more appropriate.

Next (2007) - Can someone just kill Nicholas Cage already? What the fuck are you waiting for?

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)- Speaking of Nick Cage, I guess when someone is supposed to act like they have a back injury, they should strive to look exactly like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Because you can't actually portray pain through expressions; you need to skew your shoulders like a CP victim.

Fairuza Balk is still very sexy; sort of like a wet dream, only scary. She's a wet nightmare! And sorry about the spoiler, but what's with the happy ending? Didn't anyone see the FIRST one? Christ, not only did Harvey Keitel die, but by the end everyone was looking forward to it! For some reason, they have Cage's character find some salvation, however dubious it may be.

Shelter Island (2004) - Ally Sheedy, Patsy Kensit, Stephen Baldwin, and Chris Penn (RIP) in a tepid semi-thriller where everyone dies except the guilty party, who lives happily ever after. I love a good non-Hollywood ending, even in a so-so movie. Oh, and another spoiler; the moment Chris Penn died made me laugh like hell! (not in real life, in the real life it was sad to see the dude who played "Nice Guy Eddie" croak so young)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another wacky video

This is one of those crazy things I used to do when I was in my 20s. Now that I'm 50, I can't imagine doing this ever again. But it WAS fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

10 Second Movie Reviews, Vol. 1

I've been watching a buttload of movies lately, but for some reason I haven't written any reviews on them. Because I'm lazy, mostly. And because most of them exhibit various levels of extreme suckitude.

I hate having to dissect a so-so movie and carefully examine what it was about and the goals of the filmmakers and all sorts of bullshit like that. Nobody cares for all that, and they just wanna find out if the film is any good or not.

So I decided to spend no more than 10 seconds on each review below. Take it or leave it. Some mostly minor spoilers below, but you're gonna read it anyway. I'll try to do this on a fairly regular basis.

Please note: I'm not very politically correct about movies, so if you're offended by any of this, tough shit!

Recent Films I've Seen:

The Proposal (2009) - For an old broad, Sandra Bullock has a decent body. What is she, about 60?

Wanted (2008) - Sucky sci-fi action thriller. Overuse of shaky cam and CGI. I don't think this is my favorite genre.

The Answer Man (2009)
- Shite-ridden rom-dram with Jeff Daniels and some broad I never heard of. What possesses me to watch this crap?

Across The Universe (2007) - It's psychedelic, maaaaan! Cool use of Beatle's songs to tell a fairly hackneyed story. Kind of like "Hair" without so much bush. Evan Rachel Wood has a smokin' little body. Eddie Izzard perfectly cameos as "Mr. Kite".

We Own The Night (2007) - So-so cop/gangster drama. Everyone dies. Well, mostly.

Into Temptation (2009) - Jeremy Sisto is a priest racing to find a prostitute who wants forgiveness before killing herself. Fairly gritty and well-made drama. Good acting turn by Sisto.

The Last Run (2004) - Fred Savage and a bunch of nude chicks. They didn't make up for the fact that Fred Savage was in this shitsack of a movie.

Julie & Julia (2009) - Meryl Streep and Amy Adams do Julia Child in dualing biopics. Not that bad. Don't watch this if you're on a diet. Trust me, I was starving by the end. But how did they manage to tone down Amy's inherent cuteness so much?

Spread (2009) - I want to kill Ashton Kutcher. For way too many reasons to list here. Anne Heche is looking great though. I guess "the cock" is doing her some good.

Oleanna (1994) - A Mamet play. Intense character study with William H. Macy and some broad. I rewound the last five minutes and played it over several times because it was so satisfying. I should probably feel a little guilty about that.

Married Life (2007) - Claustrophobic drama but good. I love Patricia Clarkson in anything she does. Chris Cooper is good in this too.

High Art (1998) - I especially love "Greta", the character Clarkson portrays in the flick. Awesome performances all around, but you have to be patient.

Sappho (2008) - Sucko! I was going to make a joke about how since it was set in the 1920s it's a "period" piece, but even I have some standards.

All the Real Girls (2003) - Zooey Deschenal in a weirdly moving and sad love story. Ooh look, Patricia Clarkson's in this one too!

Moon (2009)
- Tepid futuristic sci-fi thriller. I officially despise Kevin Spacey now. What an annoying robot! (not his acting; he's an actual robot in the movie!)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Things We Do, Vol. 2

Another day of trail biking. This time at Hammonasset State Park, on Halloween. It was sunny and nearly 70 degrees with a warm onshore breeze.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Things We Do, Vol. 1

Joyce and I explored the Housatonic Railroad Trail on a beautiful October day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cardboard Animation

This is so cool! It's something that a European person made. Check it out:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Robot Dog with Opie & Anthony

OK, so I came across that Robot Dog video a couple days ago, and coincidentally I heard comedian Bill Burr talking about the beast on the Opie & Anthony radio program (on Sirius/XM satellite radio) so I decided to add their commentary to the original video of the thing.

The video starts about 45 seconds in, but I wanted to include the setup they were discussing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When technology starts getting scary

This is really cool and extremely unsettling at the same time.

Apparently this thing has been on Youtube for over a year now. The freaky part of it is how they wrapped the legs in fake fur to make it appear even more dog-like.

Fire Truck Parade

Here's a somewhat boring video of the annual Engine 260 Fire Muster Parade, held Sept. 12, 2009 in Milford, CT. Lots of antique apparatus, and most of them belching out diesel exhaust which we had to breathe in for the entire parade:

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Visual Effects: 100 Years of Inspiration

Hmmmm....maybe if I used some of these cool special effects, I might have won the Milford Independent Film Competition...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

See my movie on a big screen!

As part of the Milford Independent Film Competition they're showing all the entries at the Milford Fine Arts Center this week. The theater is the old eastbound train station in Milford center, which is an exceedingly appropriate place to show my 14-minute documentary on the Airline Rail Trail!

Here's the scoop:
Milford Independent Film Competition

August 2009

Sponsored by
Milford Fine Arts Council
Milford Public Library
Friends of the Library
Stonebridge Restaurant

All showings at the Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave, Milford, CT

Wednesday, August 5 at 7PM Free Admission
(total run time 84 minutes)
Two Brothers
Herbie's Delight
By the Book
The Clam
Airline Rail Trail
Veronica Always

Thursday, August 6 at 7PM Free Admission
(total run time 84 minutes)
Bungee Jumping for Tibet
Garden of Eatin'
Art in the Community
Memory Room
En Route
White Toast
Chess Set
True Story

Friday, August 7 at 7PM Free Admission
(total run time 82 minutes)
Just a Minor Offense
A Moron by any Other Name
Grueling Guide to Cross Country Preparation

Thursday, August 13 7PM Tickets $5
Awards Ceremonies and Presentation of Film Winners
Emcee: Radio personality, Mr. Brian Smith

The Milford Public Library - 203.783.3290
The Milford Fine Arts Council - 203.878.6647

Saturday, August 01, 2009

My film entry in the MIFC

This is the final version of the documentary I entered into the Milford Independent Film Competition.

Finalist Judging
Saturday, August 1, 2009
10 AM - 1 PM and 2 PM - 5 PM
Program Room
Milford Public Library
57 New Haven Ave., Milford, CT
Free, Open to the public

Award Ceremonies
Thursday, August 13, 2009
7PM - 10PM
Center for the Arts
40 Railroad Ave., Milford, CT
Tickets $5
Winning Films, Discussion, Refreshments

I shot the video in the fall of 2005, compiled and edited it in December, and re-edited it this year (mostly by punching up the still photographs, adding sound effects, and fixing the audio levels), and I entered this improved version in the competition.

I also re-visited the trail last fall and shot a bunch more video on the Colchester and Lebanon sections, which I'll probably eventually add to the original footage and create a 24- to 27-minute film.

But for now, here's the latest version of the doc:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Boy, I stink

I'll admit it.

I'm a rotten blogger.

I haven't posted a single thing on this blog in months!

I stink!

Just so you know, I'm still around. Keeping busy with my other blogs (this one gets so jealous when I say that) and doing real-life sorts of things.

My filmmaking career has more or less stalled for now. I ran out of time to make my proposed documentary for today's Milford Independent Film Competition deadline, but I did re-edit and I punched up my rail trail doc and submitted that this week.

So there IS at least that.

Oh, and today it hit 80 degrees here, maybe for the first time this year! Damn, but it was a cool start to the year!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Writing and shooting

(Archive photo of my interview with actor
and activist Danny Glover back in 2006)

I'm currently working on a new short film for our local Milford Independent Film Festival, which has a July 10th entry deadline.

I'm enjoying the writing part, but the actual production is going to be much more stressful. I'm waiting for the weather to finally warm up and the trees to bloom, because a large part of my film consists of exterior shots around town, and it looks much better to have lush greenery than bare, dead limbs.

I expect to be doing a lot of shooting in a few weeks, maybe by the middle of May. Which coincides with the busiest time of the year for me, so it's gonna be difficult to find the time to do this.

The editing and post-production is a lot easier, because I can do that any time, day or night.

I'm keeping the details of my project under wraps for now, except to say that it's entirely a one-man production (which means, sadly, that it WON'T star Danny Glover) and it will be shot and produced within Milford exclusively.

More info later as it progresses.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Here's a still from the thoroughly awful movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic". I only post this because about a year ago I was in Manhattan while they were filming this scene right outside my hotel.

Which happened to be the St. Regis.

I can't afford the place (of course) but I was doing a work project there, so they picked up the very nice room for me.

Here's my blog post from March of last year:

Today there was a movie being shot right outside my hotel. A big film crew arrived early and started setting up on 55th St. Around lunchtime I strolled over to see what was going on.

There was a small crowd of people milling around the street corner, near a hot dog vending cart, so I wandered over to check it out.

I walked up next to a couple standing on the sidewalk and looked around. There was a makeup person applying some powder to what I figured was an actor a few feet away. I looked down and realized I was standing right at the end of dolly tracks, and a big Panavision 35mm camera was mounted on a dolly and pointing my way.

"Excuse me sir! You need to move," a production assistant snapped at me.

What the fuck?!?

"I'm sorry, I was just watching what was going on with these people," I said.

"These are all extras! They're actors! You're in the shot! You need to be across the street, please." she said, pointing to a much bigger crowd, all looking my way.

Ah! That makes sense! I muttered an apology and skulked across the street, somewhat embarrassed.

So I fired off a few shots and quickly left. I don't even know yet what was being filmed, but I can always call my butler (yes, each floor of the St. Regis has a butler, who will fetch you more ice or help you dispose of a dead hooker, whichever is needed) and ask him to find out for me.

Butlers rule. Everybody should have one.

I don't know how I survived this long without one.

UPDATE: I eventully asked the concierge instead. He said the movie was "Confessions of a Shopaholic", which apparently is a Disney vehicle with a slew of well-known actors in it, none of whom I saw during the few minutes I was there. I guess I just missed Isla Fisher.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Some awesome Canadian PSAs

There's something about those Canucks and the way they don't shy away from the most gruesome public service announcements. I know they're trying to do the right thing, but sometimes they go so far over the top that you think you're watching an SNL spoof commercial.

And you don't even have to feel bad for laughing, because they're all Canadian! Stuff that stupid simply doesn't happen here!

(Yes, I know some of you won't see the humor in these ridiculous videos. I think they're hysterical. What can I say? Some people get it, and some don't. No apologies.)

Here's a few of my all-time favorites:

"She Spilled My Coffee"
The classic! A clumsy waitress gets exactly what she deserves for her carelessness. And of course the guy didn't even tip her!

"Watch That Skid!"
I don't think a kevlar vest would have helped this guy. On the plus side, he'll probably get a nice workman's comp check.

"Reaching a New High"
Another clumsy one. Some people are better off being taken out of the gene pool. Sadly, this moron will probably survive long enough to reproduce.

"The Sous Chef"
Or in this case, the "Sue" chef! Get it? Cause she'll probably sue somebody! LOL! Ah, I kill me. Great scream in this one, too.

"The Interrupting Cow"
Another beaut! This gal gets what's coming when she makes the mistake of correcting a rather earnest gentleman. Watch what he does with the stapler!

Oh well...I guess I'll get used to Hell once I get there. I hear the weather's quite warm there.


Here's one I found on the website. It made me howl. I'm starting to think I should talk to someone about this.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Milford Independent Film Festival

MIFF? Sure, why not?

Actually, it's the MIFC, which is the Milford Independent Film Competition, since it's more of a simple short film competition than a festival. But I'd rather get MIFFed than MIFCed, which makes no sense at all.

Now that I think of it, neither does this line of idle nonsensical speculation.

Anyway, visit the Milford Fine Arts Council (MFAC) website for details and entry forms. Submission are due by July 10th.

And yes, I'm going to submit one (or possibly two) entries.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Harbor Seal & Me

We had a cute little visitor at the beach about 2 miles from my house last week. A Western Atlantic Harbor Seal.

The li'l fella is about 5 feet long and obviously healthy. He was snoozing for the first 15 minutes after I got there, but then he started lazily rolling around, chewing on shells, and then he put his nose in the water, trying to eat snails. Every so often he'd cast a glance at the big funny animals who walked around nearby on their hind legs, but mostly he ignored us.

The crowd kept back at least 20 feet or so, having been notified that the seal is a Federally-protected species and it's against the law to interact with him. Plus, he's got a mouth full of canine teeth that I bet would easily snap your fingers off.

I called Joyce and told her about him, and she almost went crazy with jealousy because she was stuck in work. She loves sea animals, so hopefully the cute fella will still be there when she gets out later today.

UPDATE: Joyce called a couple hours later and said she was able to get to the beach after lunch and she saw the little beast. She's very happy now. And the seal apparently is happy too, because he left the beach about an hour later to continue his migration.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Film Festival revived in Milford

Organizers of the Milford Film Festival had made plans to bring the event back to life after an absence of twenty years. The 2009 festival will accept short films in several genres. The winning entries will be screened at the Milford Fine Arts Theater the Thursday before the annual Oyster Festival in August.

More details are available from the Connecticut Post.

I'm thinking about sending in my Air Line Rail Trail documentary. They'll have details available on February 28th, so I'll decide then.