Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Because of my extensive book tour and traveling, I've really neglected my film-watching duties. Sorry about that. However, I was able to watch the newly released film version of the best seller, “The Help”.
I don't usually go for chick flicks, but this film knocked me out. What a great film! All the acting is excellent. The look and attention to detail marvelous, the editing is spot on. But the most impressive aspect of the film is the direction by Tate Taylor.
What great characters and a terrific story – I was misty-eyed at the end. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll come away a little wiser. Go see “The Help”.
(But, I don't think this film will do so well in Mississippi.)
I give “The Help” an A.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
While I was in San Francisco doing my 4 city book tour, I visited ILM/Lucas Film Studios on the presidio (I'd love to tell you all about it, but I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement). They had a preview of the new feature “Cowboys and Aliens”. They said I could come see the film along with all the digital artists who created the wonderful special effects for the fantasy film.
First of all, I love the concept – 2 of my favorite genres going head to head. (See my films “Guns on the Clackamas” and “Mutant Aliens”) Also, I love pretty much everything Jon Favreau works on, from “Made” and “Money” to “Iron Man”.
Also, the film is starring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and my good buddy Keith Carradine, plus the beautiful new star Olivia Wilde.
But for some reason, the plot never came together. There was no reason tension and no charm. Also, with a film like “Cowboys and Aliens”, you expect a little campy humor, but there were very few laughs.
The disappointment for me was not enough of the Paul Dano character. He plays Harrison Ford's juvenile delinquent son, and he was the most interesting character in the film. Unfortunately he gets sky jacked by the aliens early in the film and doesn't reappear until the end. I would have loved to see him join the posse in search of the aliens.
The special effects and aliens were very scary and quite convincing, but there was nothing really very clever or fresh about the cowboys defeating the aliens. I would have liked to see more suspense and imagination in the ending.
I give “Cowboys and Aliens” a B-.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
It was a miserable rainy cold summer day. It was also the day of our first Scribble Junkies Festival of Drawn Animation... and we were certain no one would show up.
This was a brilliant idea that Pat Smith had over Christmas break, when he was in Montawk. I loved the idea and began searching for the proper cinema. Just then, I was contacted by John Woods to put on a show at the soon-to-be-opened Nighthawk Cinema, a drinking and eat-in movie house (it's all the rage now) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Pat and I narrowed the list of our favorite drawn animated films (No computer films here), and put out the word for the auspicious event.
But you know what? We had to turn away dozens of people! Wow! We thought we'd be lucky to get 5 people in the audience. It was packed to the rafters, and everyone had a great time. We even awarded two prizes: 1st place to Colleen Cox for “Wrong Number Singapore”, and 2nd place to Fran Krause for “Nosy Bear”.
So if you think you have a great hand-drawn film, send it to Scribble Junkies for the 2nd Annual Festival of Drawn Animation – no CG films allowed.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
My buddy Ken Mora suggested that I get the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Action on Film Festival. My priorities are really with creating my animated films – I don't have time to travel around getting citations.
But Ken impressed me on the timing – it was right after San Diego Comic Con, so I was in Southern California anyway and I could also do some book signings in the area. So I said yes, and after my trip to San Francisco, I flew to Pasadena for the ACTION ON FILM FESTIVAL!
But what was it? I never got a program or any information on the films that showed. I never even knew where the films were showing. I met the director, Del Weston, only once, and he was in a hurry for some other event.
Then, at the big closing ceremonies and banquet, I arrive not knowing what they want me to do – no rehearsal, no program notes. I'm totally confused. I had to beg for drink tickets. My table fortunately is close to the stage, I got to sit at the same table as “Deer Hunter” actor John Savage. But what really got me was this festival has about 100 prizes – everyone gets 1 or 2 prizes. It had categories like “Best abstract music video”, “Best concept for a feature”.
So I sat there for 3 hours of award-giving, and finally they called my name. They showed some of my worst bits of animation. I told a story and went to my hotel, because I couldn't take anymore whacky awards.
However I must admit everyone else had a wonderful time. They loved the festival and Del Weston and were happy with their awards. Don't get me wrong, Del's a super nice guy but I just wish the festival was better organized – I still haven't gotten a program.
I do recommend this festival if you have a low budget film with lots of action and you're looking to pick up prizes. I give the festival a C.
Monday, August 22, 2011
|Early sketch that suggests a scene from my film "Handshake" produced six years later... lacks any anatomy, something I put a lot of importance in now.. annoying.|
|from monkeysuit anthology|