Tag Archives: Film

A Post About Specificity, Specifically

Been learning a lot as I trudge along in my screenwriting career. I say “trudge” because it’s a slow climb. I’m not writing the big blockbusters, nor am I cashing those fat checks. I’m not even stacking that coin. What I am doing is writing smaller shows for colleagues and developing my voice as a screenwriter. I’m trying things out to see what works and what doesn’t work. In screenwriting terms: total n00b. One of the major things this n00b has discovered is that specificity is important. No, seriously. I mean it. IMPORTANT in all-caps, bolded, and underlined. May seem like this is a no-brainer, and it kind of is a no-brainer except for the fact that the “generic stuff” still makes its way out into the hands of readers, execs, and even two prolific screenwriting podcasters. A recent episode of theirs made me think about specificity and how to get back into the mindset of putting things on the page boldly and with purpose.

Continue reading A Post About Specificity, Specifically

He Says, She Says: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

My wife Jandy and I have been taking turns choosing movies we care about a lot to share with each other; both of us getting to catch up on a lot we’ve missed. We’re posting about a selected ones of these films on our blogs.

The Movie

Movie: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie
Info: 1990 USA. Director: Steve Barron. Starring: Judith Hoeg, Elias Koteas, Josh Pais, Michelan Sisti, Leif Tilden, David Forman, Corey Feldman, Robbie Rist.
Chooser: Jonathan
Date and Method Watched: May 14, on DVD

Continue reading He Says, She Says: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

50DMC – 5 – Favorite Documentary

50DMC documentary kong

The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here to see all 50 questions in a nice and organized list. It’s such a pretty list.

TODAY: What’s your favorite documentary?

Continue reading 50DMC – 5 – Favorite Documentary

50DMC – 4 – Favorite Animated Film

50DMC animated rescuers

The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here to see all 50 questions in a nice and organized list. It’s such a pretty list.

TODAY: What’s your favorite animated film?

Continue reading 50DMC – 4 – Favorite Animated Film

50DMC – 3 – Movie I’ve Seen The Most

50DMC repeatedly peewee

The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here to see all 50 questions in a nice and organized list. It’s such a pretty list.

TODAY: What movie have you watched the most in your life?

Continue reading 50DMC – 3 – Movie I’ve Seen The Most

50DMC – 2 – First Movie I Remember Seeing

50DMC firstmovie tmntmovie

The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here to see all 50 questions in a nice and organized list. It’s such a pretty list.

TODAY: What is the first movie you remember seeing in theaters?

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen other films before Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie in the theater, but I don’t remember them. I was quite the fan of the Turtles from the start, so when the film came out I absolutely HAD to go! I remember being drawn in by how well the puppetry was done in this film, as well as how dark the film was in comparison to the Saturday morning cartoon. And while the film has gotten a bit silly with age, I distinctly remember it being “the best thing ever.”

The scene I embedded below is perhaps my favorite scene in the entire film, and the one that got all of us kids who had gone to see it roaring with laughter. “Damn” was a bit of a naughty word at that age, and to hear it in the movies was a bit of a thrill. What would our parents do when they heard THE MOVIE SWEARING?!?!

It’s probably best that Dad took me to this one. Mom might not have been too thrilled.

50DMC – 1 – My Favorite Movie

50DMC favoritemovie gardenstate

The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here to see all 50 questions in a nice and organized list. It’s such a pretty list.

TODAY: What is your favorite movie?

Whenever I tell someone that I’m interested in making movies or that I’m “kind of a movie buff,” they almost invariably ask me to name my favorite film. For the longest time I would randomly say whatever film came to my head that sounded cool or that fit the social scenario I was in. If I were among classmates from film school I would say that Dr. Strangelove was my favorite film in order to impress them, or if I were at a bar with people who quoted Old School like it were god’s gift to cinema I would say that The Princess Bride was my favorite film so I could feel superior to them. But somewhere in the journey that is life I decided to settle down and actually pick a favorite film. Garden State is that film.

Having just dealt with tragedy in my life and feelings of estrangement from my family I was able to connect with the film in a profound way. The selection of music and the overall mood “spoke to me,” to use a cliche. I was already a fan of Zach Braff from Scrubs and to see him take on a more serious role was refreshing. Not only that, but this film marked the birth of the “manic pixie dreamgirl” that we’ve come to roll our eyes at.

Here’s a trailer with great music and a pretty accurate feel of what the movie is like.

The 50 Day Movie Challenge

50DMC main

I REALLY like memes. Don’t believe me? There’s a post of 100 Things I Love About My Favorite Movies on my blog that will delight fellow movie lovers and sadden them at the same time as the myriad of youtube clips overload and crash their browsers.

This particular meme caught my eye as it was making the rounds on both Facebook and various other blogs. The idea is to post one each day for fifty days and to provide clips where possible. I plan to post these throughout the weekday, skipping Saturday and Sunday to get a bit of a queue built up.

Here’s the full list of questions. I will add the links to the latest posts as they get uploaded.

1) Your favorite movie
2) The first movie you remember seeing in theaters
3) The movie you’ve seen the most (repeatedly) in your life
4) Your favorite animated film
5) Your favorite documentary
6) Your least favorite movie by your favorite director
7) Your favorite movie soundtrack
8) Your favorite opening sequence
9) Your favorite movie ending
10) The movie that least deserved to win Best Picture at the Oscars
11) A movie you walked out on in theaters
12) Your favorite male performance
13) Your favorite female performance
14) A movie that made you cry
15) Biggest movie character crush
16) The scariest movie you’ve ever seen
17) The funniest movie you’ve ever seen
18) A movie that disturbed you
19) A movie you’re surprised you enjoyed
20) A movie you thought you would love but were disappointed
21) A movie that most fans and critics loved (but you hated)
22) A movie that most fans and critics hated (but you loved)
23) A movie you think is critically or commercially overrated
24) The most beautiful movie you’ve ever seen
25) The best-scripted movie you’ve ever seen
26) The most embarrassing movie in your personal collection
27) An iconic movie that you still haven’t seen
28) A movie you REFUSE to see
29) The one movie you think everyone should see
30) The last movie you saw in theatres
31) The worst movie you’ve ever seen
32) Favorite sequel
33) Favorite remake
34) favorite series
35) Favorite book-to-screen adaptation
36) Most Uncomfortable Date Movie –
37) A film you could never watch with your parents
38) Movie World that you would most want to live in
39) Favourite Musical
40) Favourite Movie Death
41) A film that you quote most
42) A movie that you would love to tour the locations for
43) Your favourite music scene from a non-musical
44) Your favourite comfort film
45) A movie that turned you on
46) A film you would like to remake
47) Currently unfilmed book or idea that should be a film
48) Movie Scene That Most Makes You Wince
49) A Movie that will always make you think of a special moment
50) Favourite Black and white film

AFI FEST: Day 5 (Tuesday)

Once again I found myself in the Rush Line and once again I was super early. Thankfully, there were a few other people in line with me so I didn’t feel all too weird. The guy next to me turned to me and started conversing and at first I thought, “oh crap, not another weirdo.” He quickly revealed that he was a sane and level-headed person and was into film, things which tend to put me at ease and make me more willing to converse. I told him about all the films I saw and he whistled in a way that said, “you are a badass, sir.” He also said that aloud.

Myth of the American Sleepover
Directed By: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Nikita Ramsey, Jade Ramsey and Brett Jacobsen
Rating: ★★★★☆

[Hipster Bullshit] It’s jarring to hear music that you like in a film about an age group you have a difficult time relating with. Don’t these kids still listen to Miley Cyrus or spend their days thinking about the hot young bands to emanate from Disney/Nickelodeon like a vile stench? They seem way too young to have meaningful experiences set to Beirut or Magnetic Fields! Ugh, it seems like anyone can just say HEY I LISTEN TO THIS BAND THEREFORE I’M COOL BLAH BLAH. Well, I liked those bands WAY before they were in diapers! [/Hipster Bullshit]

Whoa.

What just happened? I think I was overcome by some weirdness. Anyway, I much enjoyed Myth of the American Sleepover. Coming-of-age films tend toward hit or miss for me, but this one offered the right amount of nostalgia without getting too ridiculous or sentimental. I found myself “d’aww”ing more than once during this film and thinking back to simpler times when I was much more innocent. Perhaps the strongest story in this bunch, and the one I could relate to the most, was the arc for the older brother (seen in the pic above). I am quite familiar with his regretful nostalgia and it was played subtly, which worked well for me.

Man, I wish my time in high school had been like this. :)

Some Days Are Better Than Others
Directed By: Matt McCormick
Starring: Carrie Brownstein, James Mercer and Renee Roman Nose
Rating: ★★★☆☆

I much preferred Myth to this film, but I appreciate that this film exists. James Mercer and Carrie Brownstein do well here, and the look into these characters’ lives was interesting to watch. I wonder if perhaps this film could have gone without tying everyone’s stories together in the end and let the theme do all the heavy-lifting. That could be why I felt a little underwhelmed with the ending and didn’t quite get the theme of “discarded things” from what I saw.

I want a Shins version of Total Eclipse of the Heart, by the way. Mercer, if you could get on that, you’d make a super-fan super-happy!

(OMG THERE’S ONE MORE DAY LEFT!!! NO COMMENT! 3D CAVES!! HERTZOG!! GODARD!!!)

Table of contents for AFI Fest 2010

  1. AFI FEST: Day 1 (Friday)