Thursday, December 31, 2009

Moms are Awesome

First of all, did you know that Eleemosynary is a word? It means "generous in assistance to the poor." That is a very odd word. (Yes, I know I spelled "nosey" wrong. The iPhone is to blame.)


We spent Christmas with my family up in Utah. Here are some highlights:


Brown Bear Fail

My niece Skyli taking in the view at The Garden Restaurant at Temple Square

A little balancing trick, I do it every time I have a toothpick

Skyli in jammies watching Disney's Up

Spencer's mom made us some awesome, awesome, awesome t-shirts.
They are for our sketch/comedy troup Adventure Time Theatre.

My friend Spencer has one too.

Mom's are just so awesome.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Muppet Man

The Muppet Man
by
Christopher Weekes

Synopsis
"The Life story and tragic early death of Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets."

Thoughts

Truly touching and beautifully reverent to the man behind the fuzzy creatures and wild fantastical worlds that have touched so many.

I'm probably one of the biggest Muppet fans around, so I am completely biased, but this script truly touched me and made me (almost) cry. I loved every page and was endeared to the way the story unfolds.

Script Excerpt
[scrippet]
INT. BATHROOM, HENSON OFFICE, NEW YORK, 1963 - DAY
As JIM opens the bathroom door... a booby trapped wire causes the SHOWER CURTAIN to open...

...revealing a GIANT MONSTER FACE snarling from the bathtub.

JIM just blinks. Strange things happen all the time here.

JIM
Ha. Nice touch Don.

DON (O.S)
What?

JIM
What do you reckon?

The BOYS can be heard guffawing from outside.

JERRY (O.S)
Better watch out for those toilet monsters Jim.

INT. HENSON OFFICE, NEW YORK, 1963 - DAY
DON stands very proudly with his drink, laughing at JIM with the other BOYS.

DON
I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about Jimmy. No idea.

He goes to open his DESK DRAWER when THREE SPRING LOADED WORMS shoot out...

...scaring him half to death.

DON (CONT’D)
Jesus!

He falls backwards off his chair and onto the floor.

JERRY, CAROL and FRANK roll around with laughter.

DON (CONT’D)
Nice. Very nice.

JIM’S voice echoes through the room - laughing.

JIM (O.S)
Why thank you.
[/scrippet]

Learned
It is always a good thing to keep your truly high moments closely followed by setback or dark moments. This creates a good balance and helps keep the story progressing.
Title: The Muppet Man
Writer: Christopher Weekes
Pages: 138 (undated draft)
Status: Jim Henson Company is producing, still in development
Opinion: Absolutely Amazing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tales From the Crypt

Hi.

It's me.

I'm not dead.

Here's a few things I've been up to:
  • Employment: I have now become one of the many who can claim "full-time" status on their W2's. I started Monday the 9th as the assistant to two amazing agents at a top literary agency in Beverly Hills. Literary? I didn't know you've gone all novel books on us! No, that's not what literary agency means in Hollywood. Sorry to disappoint all you bookworms hoping for secrets on the next Dan Brown mystery. What a literary agency means in film business terms is an agency that specializes in Directors, Writers and Producers. It is the perfect job for a wannabe producer like me and I am learning tons.
  • Reading: With my job comes new responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is to read new and upcoming scripts that are in the market. As many of you already know, the 2009 Black List has come out. The Black List is a collection of the greatest scripts (according to a group of Hollywood executives) that have not been made this year. I haven't been asked directly to read these scripts yet, but I wanted to get a jump ahead and get reading them for my own edification and for my personal knowledge. So far I have read one of them, and will be posting a quick review of it on my Script Review Friday feature today.
  • Relaxation: With so much work, comes so much play. Tiffany and I have made the plunge - we bought season passes to Disneyland. This was brought to us, in part, by the generous donation from the people that lost their $200 at Disneyland last time we were there. We found the money, turned it in to lost and found. Then a month later we checked in to see if it was claimed and it wasn't! So Tiffany was able to claim it and we were able to buy ourselves some passes. We can go to Disneyland anytime we want to now. How about that?!? It's crazy right?
  • Writing: One of the toughest things I have attempted to do the last few weeks is keep up my writing. I had planned to keep the blog going strong, even with a heavy new workload, but that seemed to prove difficult during the acclimation into the new position. What I have been able to accomplish is working on a feature script with my friend and hetero life-partner Spencer. We can't divulge too many details, but know that it explores one of the most ripe fields of genre and incorporates the vast knowledge of horror, sci-fi and fantasy that my cohort and I have attained over our many years of movie-watching. Hopefully I will be able to keep up the blog as well. I have a lot of great things to share with you all!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Acme Burger (Not Mail-Order)

Today we have a very special treat. My friend Spencer - Master of Eats and Chefer of Fine Food, has written us a fabulous review of a gourmet burger restaurant in Salt Lake City.

For all you Utah-ites, or even the LA people who are heading to SLC soon for the Sundance Film Festival -- be sure to stop in and give it a try. I know I want to.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

An Adventure Time Theatre Thanksgiving...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ATT 2.0 Part Three

A killer interview I did with Jared Cook!

ATT 2.0 Part Two


And if you're wondering what his bathroom looks like now - check out the jump!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Delicious Dining in Draper and Orem

Today's post is dedicated to the peoples of Draper and Orem Utah.
Congratulations
You now have the opportunity and blessing of dining on the fabulous burgers and fries of In 'N Out Burger.

Know what to order on the secret menu after the jump.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ATT 2.0

My friend Spencer and I have an online sketch comedy troupe called Adventure Time Theatre. We started it in college and have been struggling to keep it alive ever since.

Here's our old website: http://adventuretimetheatre.com/

We are currently in the process of updating and remodeling a new, better, brighter ATT version 2.0 which should be due sometime next month (Happy Christmas!)


Here's the first of the new series of videos. It is a commercial for the promotion of our friend's video that's in a YouTube contest (please read this or click the link in the video to vote every day.)

THR Writer's Roundtable


Over at The Hollywood Reporter, a group of noteworthy writers were gathered and asked relevant questions about their writing and their experiences in getting their films made.

Read about how this effected me personally and watch the video of the writers -- after the jump!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dharma Pregnant

Accidentally on Purpose

Summary
Current Season: Season One
Network: CBS
Airs: Monday's at 8:30pm PST
Verdict: Funny, but needs to improve plotlines
More after the Jump!

Friends With Money

A few friends of mine are looking to win a contest.

First: Watch this video--


Second: Make a comment on the YouTube page--
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sREXSa6r-ug

Don't have an account you say? If you have a GOOGLE account, you have a YouTube account. Just click on the "sign in" and use your Google username and password.

Don't have either you say? Well it's really easy to create one and I highly recommend it. Click here--
http://www.youtube.com/create_account?next=None

REASONS TO COMMENT
Money (or "Why would I want to help?")
This is what makes the world go round. The creators of the video are giving away $5,000 in gifts to the top 15 commenters. Here's how they'll do it:
1st place: $1,000 Gift Card
2nd & 3rd place: $500 Gift Card each
Top 12 runner ups: $250 Gift Card
The cards themselves can be Visa, or to a store of your choice. The winner will be determined by a tally at the end of the competition. Keep in mind that you can only make one comment per username per day. In order to get ahead of the curve, you can comment as a team of users in order to bump up your numbers. If you want to be a team, you must email the usernames on over to sarah.swanson85@yahoo.com by December 1st.

Friendship (or "Awww, isn't that nice.")
Jared and I went to BYU together way back when. We were together through several film classes, which is saying a lot. He helped me out a lot with getting equipment and with editing my senior film Dirt. We did a lot of stuff. Stuff that made us friends.

That just pulls at your heart strings right? If you're friends with me, you'd want to support my friends, right? If not, re-read the money argument.

Eric (or "Eric's motives behind it all")
Spencer and I actually made an agreement with Jared. If they win the project they'll use a portion of their newfound money to help fund a feature film that Spencer and I are making. That's what I want to do for a living, why not actually try to make it happen?

To do so, we really do need your help to leave a comment. Preferably once a day. I mean it's really not so hard... just go and leave a comment. They don't even have to be nice comments. If you don't have an account there already, it's really really really simple. If you would like a daily email reminder, just let me know, that could help you in remembering to comment each day. Whether you're doing it for the money, out of the goodness of your heart, or because you want to see how spectacularly bad a feature film by me would be, just do it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Get Crackin'

Hey folks!

Last Saturday I created and built a Rube Goldberg Machine. It was for a contest on YouTube for Wonderful Pistachios. I have embedded it below for your viewing pleasure.



There will be a voting period from November 30th to December something. I will add more details on that later, but for now - watch, enjoy, share with everyone you know!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Max and the Ferrel Kid

Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston
Written by: Terry Hayes, George Miller, Brian Hannant
Directed by: George Miller
Produced by: Byron Kennedy
Synopsis
In the post-apocolyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.

Thoughts
If you were wondering if this is one of the ultimate guy movies ever made, the answer would be a resounding "yes."

I love this movie. I love most post-apocalyptic movies, but this one holds a special place in my heart. This is the type of Sci-fi/Action movie that I cut my teeth on when I was young.

Why is it so good? It has a simple plot, done simply with less than a few words exchanged the entire film.

One of the characters - a wild/feral kid runs rampant through the compound without saying a word. But yet, we know exactly what he's thinking the whole time.

Get on now, boy!


It is simply, a great film.
Summation
Place: Home
Price: Free
Atmosphere: Relaxed/Quiet
Verdict: Awesome


Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Ate a Hot Dog at Arclight

That's it. That's all I got for today. Sorry everybody.
I ate a hot dog and drank a diet Coke when we went to a test screening of Kick-Ass last night.

Better posts to come next week!!
Breakdown
Time of Day: Night
Guests: Tiffany, and several hundreds of geeks and press
Type of Food: Theater Food
Dish: Hot Dog and Diet Coke
Price: $7
Verdict: Not worth the price, but pretty good otherwise

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nicholl Fellowship

NICHOLL SCREENWRITING FELLOWSHIP


Hopefully by now you are reading Script Shadow on a daily basis.
This week is a treat because he is reviewing the winning scripts from the Nicholl Fellowship.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Questionable Mysteries and Mysterious Questions

Lost
Synopsis
After their plane crashes into a tropical island, the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 struggle to find some way back home. As time passes they realize that they are not going to be rescued anytime soon so they must learn how to survive and live with one another on this mysterious island. But they soon find out that this island is a lot more dangerous than they could have anticipated...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Demons and Goblins and Ghouls

Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat
Written by: Oren Peli
Directed by: Oren Peli
Produced by:
Synopsis
Katie and Micah (pronounced Mee-kah) have been engaged to get engaged for three years. He is a daytrader and she is going to school to be an English teacher.

After a series of paranormal experiences, Micah buys a pricey camera to try and capture the events on tape. This will prove without a doubt that either there is some sort of entity in their home, or it's just a bunch of kids messing with them.

The experiment becomes darker and darker as the couple discovers that what they may be dealing with is much more evil than a haunting from a friendly ghost.

As the nights go on, the trouble begins to surmount to the point that Katie and Micah need to do drastic things to try and stop it.

Thoughts
I'll have to admit, this one has gotten to me a little bit.

I remember after watching The Blair Witch Project I was a bit spooked walking to my car, but I don't remember any lasting effects.

This paranormal stuff was not terrifying in a serial killer or monster sort of way, but it creeped in like a dank cold. It chilled every time my thoughts wandered to the more evil and spooky parts of the film.

A member of the audience was so extremely frightened that she kept screaming out loud during the most terrifying parts. It made me love the whole experience of it because nearly the entire audience was either screaming or laughing nervously (probably because they didn't want to look stupid screaming - which is what they really wanted to do.)

This is a film that I'm not sure I could watch again. Well, maybe in a few years. It was an amazing experience that I don't want to ruin, so watching it at home would probably not have the same effect. If I were you I would go watch the movie on a Friday night with a large audience. It will spook the pants off you.

Did You Know?
The director Oren Peli filmed the movie with his own money ($11,000) and shot it within a week?
The film has gone on to gross nearly $85 million in the domestic box-office?
Summation
Place: Arclight Hollywood (11pm Showing)
Price: Free (Thanks Tim!)
Atmosphere: Pretty good, the crowd was mostly into it
Verdict: Very good, but don't see it if you're sensitive to this sort of thing

I'm Totally Serious

I'll do it. Whatever is most suggested:



Friday, October 30, 2009

It's the End of the World as We Know It

Shelter
The director Xavier Gens has recently been tapped to direct the spec film The Fallout which, from what I gather is a rewrite and retooling of Shelter by Karl Mueller. The new version was written by Mueller and Eron Sheean who are both going to be co-producers on the film.

Ross Dinerstein (“Powder Blue”), Darren Welch (“The Bang Bang Club”) and Tony Krantz (“Mulholland Drive”) are producing.

You might recognize Xavier Gens from his film The Hitman based on the popular video game franchise. I cannot vouch for his directing ability, though I've heard bad things.
Synopsis
A group of tenants in a New York apartment building are forced down to the basement apartment of their landlord because of a nuclear fallout that has leveled most of the city.

They are soon beset with hunger for food other than beans and a little more excitement than watching three nerds play a game similar to Dungeons & Dragons.

Things really get out of hand when the group starts to turn on each other, making it more of a question of survival of wits than a survival from starvation.
Thoughts
When I read the synopsis for this film my heart instantly sank. I had just barely come up with and was working on the exact same idea (with the exact same tentative title).

After reading, I'm not so scared anymore about my own idea. This is a far-removed concept from my own. It just sounded like the same thing at the beginning.

I mostly liked this story. It was fun and spooky and a bit thrilling at times. At one moment in the script I was so on edge that when someone opened a door I jumped in my seat about five feet.

The best I can describe it is a survivalist, entrapped horror/thriller. It combines elements of the trapped within confined spaces (like in Cube or The Descent) with the idea that given time and enough hatred for one another, a small community would utterly waste each other for control (the best examples of this are zombie films like Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead - originals or remakes).

Unfortunately it did not live completely up to my expectations and left me rather wanting. There were times when the script became ridiculous and hard to ingest, especially when dealing with characters that go over the edge with power or greed.

Either way though, I will be excited to go see this in the theaters, hopefully they can do it justice and not take away from it's suspense.

Excerpt
This is a small snippet from the beginning, right after the introduction of characters. It sets an eerie tone for the desperate situation that they are all in.
[scrippet]
INT. CENTRAL CHAMBER - DAY

Someone SOBS LOUDLY.

It's not Marilyn; she stares blankly at the ground. It's not Julie, either; she does the same.

It's Delvin. He covers his face and cries.

The light from the lantern begins to die. The eight faces gradually fade into DARKNESS.

INT. CENTRAL CHAMBER - DAY
A loud WHIRRING SOUND.

Slowly, slowly, LIGHT returns, illuminating Delvin as he holds his head in despair.

The light grows. Josh rocks back and forth, nearly catatonic. Mike stares forward in shock.

The WHIRRING continues. Finally, Mike looks up the source of the sound. Mickey sits peddling on a rickety EXERCISE BIKE, huffing and puffing with a strange grin on his face and a BANDANA wrapped around his already-sweaty brow.

Mike slowly looks down the bike. He sees that it's jerry-rigged into a crude GENERATOR. Mike follows a cable from the generator to a small LANTERN that's providing the light.

INT. CENTRAL CHAMBER - NIGHT
RADIO STATIC. Mickey turns a HAND-CRANKED RADIO TRANSMITTER to different frequencies.

All static. Mike and Josh lock eyes. Mike slowly shakes his head and lowers it to the ground.

INT. CENTRAL CHAMBER - NIGHT
The eight sit in their original positions amidst the LOOSE BRICKS and PAINTING EQUIPMENT of the unfinished basement.
[/scrippet]

Title: Shelter
Writer: Karl Mueller
Pages: 107 (undated draft)
Status: Pre-Production
Opinion: Thrilling, but a bit too overindulgent at times


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marines Will Eat Anything

SOUPLANTATION
Because of my younger brother Zach's recent deployment to Afghanistan, Tiffany and I drove down to Camp Pendleton to get a good long look at him before he's gone on tour. He leaves Friday morning, so we only had a brief window.

We decided to take him to dinner and ice cream (he's totally an ice cream fiend like me). The place of choice was Souplantation, mostly because none of us had ever been there.

Experience
The place was a lot like a buffet. Chuck A'Rama or Golden Corral type stuff. The difference was they focused on salads and soups.

I had a heaping salad with spinach and red leaf lettuce, lots of veggies, a bit of egg, cheese, and ranch dressing. Also tried the corn chowder soup and the vegetable medley soup. All pretty straightforward and decent.

For dessert I put some of their chocolate lava cake on a plate and then dabbled it with a bit of vanilla ice-cream and caramel topping. It was exactly as delicious as it sounds - amazing.
Breakdown
Time of Day: Evening
Guests: Tiffany, my brother Zach, and I
Type of Food: Salad and Soups
Dish: Salad, Soup, Dessert
Price: $30 for all three of us (thanks to Zach's $1 military discount - I knew there was a reason he joined the Marines!)
Verdict: Okay, especially if you want to eat a lot

Points2Shop

FREE PRIZES AND CASH FOR SURVEYS

So I gave this website a try last week. I wasn't quite sure what it was about, but it had promises of free stuff for filling out surveys and completing offers.

In the past I have done offer completion-style websites to get prizes (I got a free PS3 last month). This new site was interesting to me because you could buy stuff from Amazon.com, no matter the price.

Well I tried it, and it worked. I received this HDMI cable in the mail today. It cost me a penny (plus shipping) which was all deducted from my free account. I completed one survey that took me about 15 minutes to complete and I was on my way to receiving free crap.

The Proof

If any of you are interested in trying the same thing, you would not only be helping me out, but you I would walk you through it personally to make sure you are able to get some cool free crap too.

Here's the link: http://www.points2shop.com/?ref=uin1256762590

It's easy to setup and it doesn't require a credit card.

Happy hunting!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ten Films That Changed My Life


TEN FILMS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

While reading a post about Where The Wild Things Are, a particular commenter caught my eye when she said that the film was similar to The Hurt Locker (which is also an amazing film). She said that the main characters don't change in these films, the audience does. This got me thinking about the films that have changed me in some way.

This thought process was further explored when I read an EW article about Wes Craven and the top ten films that "shook" him up. Meaning the ten films that helped form his style and thought process.

Listed below are the top ten films that I would say most influenced my life so far. I'm also listing a brief explanation of its influence. I wouldn't say they are the most obscure and intellectual choices, but they sure mean a great deal to me. Hope you enjoy.

TOP TEN
  1. Paths of Glory - For some reason this film reached into my soul and shook me like I've never been shook before. I always turn to it as an inspiration for both its technical filmmaking achievements and dramatic story structure. It is what I strive to create in my own career.
  2. The Fifth Element - This was probably the first sci-fi movie that made me look at myself and say "I want to do that." I've been trying to figure out a way to do that since. I can near-quote the whole movie to you.
  3. Rushmore - In some ways I find myself identifying strongly with the main character Max played by Jason Schwartzman. There's so much I want to do and be, but it boils down to who I am that matters. This came at a great time in my life when I was trying to figure that out.
  4. Fight Club - The defiance of authority and shockingly brilliant filmmaking techniques is what made this film an absolute staple of my film education. Going to see it in the theater and learning everything I possibly could about everything about the film was a first for me, and it has become my practice since.
  5. Everything Is Illuminated - This film made me want to be a better human. It has the perfect blend of comedy and drama. Clearly a near-perfect example of how a film can influence the thoughts of an audience.
  6. Dogma - I had already been a fan of Kevin Smith when I went to see this film, but this solidified in my mind how truly great he really is. It taught me that you can be true to your beliefs and values and still entertain. One of the funniest films I have ever seen.
  7. Magnolia - This film challenged me. It forced me to look beyond what I came to expect from movies and taught me how to experience a film. This is probably the first "artistic" film that I came to enjoy.
  8. Jurassic Park - This holds a lot of significant meaning, mostly because it is the first film that I saw my father really get into. It came to symbolize to me that my choice of a career is a correct one and that I could touch the lives of others.
  9. Back to the Future Part III - This film got me into a lot of trouble when I was young. Because of this film, I started to make up stories and create fanciful worlds and ideas that I told around the playground. I was able to convince a lot of people of lies that I had made up and it was this movie that sparked that force within me. I've been telling stories ever since.
  10. Twister - After seeing this film I realized that it was action/sci-fi movies that I most identified with. It has been my goal from then on to make movies that can capture the attention of an audience and then thrill-ride them through two hours of pure glorious entertainment.
What films have formed your style or opinions? What is your top ten? List them in the comments and share with us your reasons.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Manwar

Synopsis
A man is dumped by his girlfriend and kicked out of his flat - which leads him on a search for a new place and to pick up the pieces of his heart. While drinking coffee at a diner, he starts a friendship with a woman who also happens to be looking for a new place. They challenge each other to try and find a place first.

One day, they find a listing for a nice flat with the stipulation that it must be legitimate couples only. They decide to put on a reuse of being married in order to land this fancy abode.

With a group of friends that range from a fanatical military man who was kicked out of the Territorial Army, to a fashion obsessed snob, to a crazed painter with a pension for expressing his anguish, to the landlord lady with an appetite for younger men, these two misfits begin to form lasting friendships that are jeopordized if the truth of their non-relationship status was ever to be found out.

Thoughts
This is one of my all-time favorite British series (also on the list - The IT Crowd, Are You Being Served, Garth Merenghi's Dark Place and Red Dwarf). After watching a few episodes I was hooked for good. It's a real shame that it only ran for two series, with a total of 14 episodes, but every moment is so deliciously worth it. I encourage you all to go and watch the entire thing at this very second. Here's a way to do it. You have no excuse.

The creative team behind this wonderful business is the ever-impeccable Simon Pegg, the beautiful Jessica Hynes and of course, the impressionable and incorrigible Edgar Wright.

Truly an amazing group. Truly.

American Version
First let me direct you to what Simon Pegg had to say about this on /Film. Most of my sentiment is bottled up in what he had to say.

I enjoyed Sara Rue and Will Sasso. I think they're great actors. Problem is, they weren't Jessica Hynes and Nick Frost. As for the other actors -- "fogget about it."

It wasn't really worth a look. There is a reason it didn't get picked up. No matter how great and wonderful the original series was, they just couldn't capture the same spirit and feeling. I think a lot of that has to do with the process of the development that Pegg mentions in the above article. (Or maybe because McG was invoved - whatever that guy touches seems to turn to crap.) Or maybe because the team for the American version just didn't blend as well. Or, and possibly my main reason for not liking it - the wonderful brash off-beat humor that was so original and exciting in the original series just doesn't translate into an American humor. They needed to be their own series. The Office (even though the U.S. version is criticized) does a wonderful job of making it their own and making it truly American.

This same type of vigor and breathe of fresh air that The Office had was what would be needed to make Spaced a great show for a U.S. audience. But they messed it up. The window is now closed. Don't even bother. Just move on people, move on to other things. Just give back the babies to the parents and get on with bastardizing of some other popular British shows.
Summary
Season: British Series (2 Full Series), Un-aired U.S. Pilot
Network: Hulu
Airs: Finished
Verdict: British Series - Amazing, U.S. - Meh


Monday, October 26, 2009

When He's Tryin to get This Money for the Rent

Starring: Terrence Howard, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning, Taraji P. Henson, DJ Qualls, Ludacris
Written by: Craig Brewer
Directed by: Craig Brewer
Produced by: Stephanie Allain, John Singleton
Synopsis
Always hustling for any kind of cash, Djay begins to have a mid-life crisis wondering if his life should have turned out better. With a hot tip that the famous rap artist "Skinny Black" will be at a friends bar on the Fourth of July, Djay sets out to try and get demo put together in an attempt to realize his dream of becoming a famous emcee.

Using his prostitutes for funding and cleverly working around the difficulties and roadblocks of his poverty, Djay is able to find a group of friends that are willing to help him lay out a few tracks in order to impress Skinny Black and eventually getting a record deal.

Thoughts
For some reason I thought there was more to this story than there actually was. I realized that there was going to be some pimp-slappin' and some trickin' and definitely some hustlin', but all that seemed to be quite mild in comparison to what I had expected. I guess I'm just twisted like that (which I really hope I'm not).

Overall I got a great vibe from the film. Kind-of a "chase your dreams" sort of story -- which anyone will tell you I'm a sucker for those types of films. I especially liked the building of a ghetto recording studio in his room. Using an extending lamp arm was genius.

Terrence Howard is the man, and he owns this film. Surprisingly good were Taraji P. Henson and Anthony Anderson. I was touched deeply by their performances. I didn't like Taryn Manning in Crazy/Beautiful and I didn't like her in this. Something about her just gets on my nerves.

Overall it was engaging and worth the watch. The music is pretty good if you're into hip-hop (which I am), the song "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" which won the Oscar in 2006 was really good. Not sure why it won, but still.

Summation of Experience
Place: Home - DVR recording (watching movies on tv for me is like pulling teeth. The editing, cursing dubbs and cropping drives me nuts.)
Price: Free (well...cable subscription cost)
Atmosphere: Laid Back
Verdict: Good, not as good as I had hoped

Friday, October 23, 2009

Service Is Down

THE BOOK OF ELI
by Gary Whitta


The Book of Eli was a spec sale in 2008. It has wrapped shooting this last May, and will be out in theaters sometime in January.
Synopsis
In a post-apocalyptic world where most humankind had turned violent and cannibalistic, a lone man journeys to protect a precious book that may holds the future for mankind.
In some sort of post-apocalyptic fever dream, the blogger service was down for most of the time that I could write about this wonderful epic.

Just know that I really liked it (despite what others think of it) and think it will be fun and innovative.

The writing is top-notch and I have found myself turning to the script on several occasions to learn how to be a better action writer. One thing that Whitta does that I like (but won't necessarily use) is to write in block form, never ending a single sentence earlier than the end of the margin.

Title: The Book of Eli
Writer: Gary Whitta
Pages: 98 Pages
Status: Post-Production
Opinion: You'll love it - if you're into post-apocalyptic movies.