Friday, January 30, 2009

Saying goodbye to my old car - in my dream

Another weird dream. It started out with this sleazy restaurant owner that bought a an old run down place that had a specific name and logo that I couldn't remember. From there it somehow transitioned to me in some kind of contest where a bunch of medical practitioners (doctors and nurses) gathered in some kind of parking structure where I parked my old Infiniti G20 car (which I recently sold in reality). After everyone parked we all filed into some big cave like building where we were being locked into for a period of time - a month or so. It was kind of a social experiment like survivor where we were all supposed to live with each other and either help or compete for food, clothing, etc. So the 1st thing they throw at us is this huge cement truck full of ice cream and they put some hill-billy in distributing amongst the people. While everyone got just a small cup full, this hill-billy and his friends got cup after cup of this ice cream and so everyone was just got raving made to have this ice cream. That's when I noticed the logo on the side of the cement tuck was the same as the logo on the old restaurant, only the bottom was scratched out to say "Ice Cream." so as if it was some kind of flashback sequence, I went back to the beginning of the dream and over-heard this sleazy restaurant owner confess that he made up this survival game to create demand for his newly branded ice cream.

Then, I kind of flash out of that story and into me and my sister watching the ice cream restaurant story unfold on TV. After a few minutes I get bored and leave my sister to watch the show alone. I head for the parking garage to visit my Infiniti car and for some reason decide it would be a good idea to cut through the concrete floor of the parking structure around my car. After a few minutes I had this imperfect circle around my car and the next thing I knew there's a rumble and the Infiniti falls down to the level below smashing a Nissan 300Z car below it. Now in my dream, this was an unexpected result and I messed up my car along with someone else's. The guy who bought the car was supposed to pick up the car next Tuesday (in reality that's when he supposed to really pick up my car) and now he's not going to want to pay the full price with all this damage. So I'm freaking out and then this French guy starts complaining to me at the other end of the parking lot about how I've cut holes in the parking garage floor before and because of me they building owner had to re-route the water pipes because of the damages I caused. and then i realized in my dream that this was only a dream, so I reassured the French guy that none of this actually happened and woke up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Che Part 1

Just saw Che Part 1 (of 2). Very much a biopic if I've seen one. It had the same tone as the "Fidel" biopic that aired a few years back on HBO (I think it was) - a mix of Che's UN speech inter cut with the Cuban revolution. At times it moves slow but I appreciate how the film avoids spectacle by letting the character breathe and talk and contemplate. In which case I suppose it's marathon running time can somewhat be justified. It's interesting how unnoticeable Soderberg is in this film - the film could have easily passed as an import from an under appreciated foreign filmmaker. Of course Del Toro couldn't have been anymore perfect for the role. From scene to scene there is no anticipation of plot but rather the feeling of history unfolding which is what fascinated me (my wife said the film seemed interesting but she quietly lost interest a quarter of the way through). So I wouldn't say this film is for everyone.

Look forward to seeing the other half. Interestingly the film was shot on the digital RED camera (although some scenes seemed to have been treated to look like 16mm). Celluloid would seem like the logical choice for such a gritty biography like Che but the in watching the film, there is no distracting qualities that come through from it's digital acquisition. It actually looks quite good.

A Quick Round of Movie Reviews

Dark Knight on Bluray - Friggin amazing as it seamlessly switches from full screen 16:9 (IMAX scenes) to widescreen matted.

Speed Racer - I liked it, but it seems like the rest of the world hates it.

The Lookout - A decent thriller if Memento was never made. Good performances.

Clerks 2 - I realized I was never into Clerks 1 but I've been listening to Kevin Smith's Smodcast and that's one hilariously random rant about gay sex, ass kicking, Nazi's, religion... you name it.

The Bank Job - If you expect the Transporter you won't get it - an exceedingly average film.

Rocky Balboa - I thought I could appreciate this film but I think it falls flat, at least Rambo had gratuitous violence.

Red Belt - Interesting film but the dialogue is weirded and surreal, the actors speak in simple sentences and repeat what they say. Maybe it's a Mammet thing.

Journey to the Center of the Earth - I should have known better than to rent this garbage.

Starship Troopers 3: Maurader - A friend's recommendation, yeah it's bad - the bad kind of bad. If you have Casper Van Deen listed as the main actor yet only really makes a guest appearance, you got one big pile of dung.

Paranoid Park - I thought I could appreciate this one too especially with Doyle behind the camera (and in front of it) but there wasn't enough in it to intrigue me.

Hellboy II - It was OK. Good effects and imaginative but it didn't seem to have any relevance - it didn't make me think or love or hate or feel... Hellboy I was kind of the same experience for me.

Tekkon Kinkreet - Very cool animated style and world. A kind of an evolved Akira story.

Books to Write With

In the spirit of encouraging writing, here are some book recommendations for writing:

"Screenplay" by Sid Field - The classic handbook to the 3 Act screenplay, a must for any tool kit.

"Screenwriter's Bible" by David Trottier - I Like this book because it introduces a plot structure driven by critical events that define and/or drives your character(s).

"20 Master Plots" by Ronald B. Tobias - I've had this one for almost a decade! This is where I learned the importance in balancing the triangle of relationships between characters and when I'm stuck plotting a story, I reference this book to get ideas on where to go.

"Story" by Robert McKee - If it can inspire Charlie Kaufman then it's good enough for me. If anything I learned that a great writer makes decisions whereas an inept writer avoids such responsibility.

"On Writing" by Stephen King - A seamless narrative of how he became to be and how he puts print to page. He claims that if you want to write, you got to read - a lot. The King reads something like 80 books in a year.

Here's a curve ball for you,

"Love Signs" by Linda Goodman - Now before you laugh your ass off, you know you yourself or someone close to you has identified with horoscopes on one level or another. This is simply because horoscopes are a time tested study of patterns and character. And if you think it's all fiction - well then that's exactly what we're writing, fiction. This book is a great reference on how your characters might interact with each other... and if you want to go one step further and use this book for your love life, well then that's just none of my business.

So there you go. You may now go back to your regularly scheduled programming.