Friday, December 28, 2012

SAKI to me

Chernobyl Chicken

CHERNOBYL DIARIES is an industrial haunted house flick - nothing more (and to its credit) nothing less. I liked the premise in the trailers but in the movie every situation is awkwardly forced.

Monday, December 24, 2012

SAKI again

And if you need a refresher on what the film SAKI is all about, here is a trailer.


Apparently the film I wrote and shot, SAKI, will be ringing in the New Year by airing on TV in Japan: 1/15/2013, 1:45am and 1/28/2013 1:00am on the「衛星劇場」Japanese TV channel. Details below.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy

I very much liked TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY because the nuances of the language are as intriguing as the title. Not quite sure I understood all that happened but the themes and performances were compelling.

Pursuit of Legend

So Will Smith turns down Tarantino's DJANGO but goes for Shamalamadingdong's AFTER EARTH (which ridiculously looks like PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS meets I AM LEGEND). This is strange math to me.


Finally a trailer for PACIFIC RIM. Nice! Kaiju will be the next big thing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Man of Steel

Visually the film looks great - Snyder knows how to shoot men in capes. But origin stories are tired - just get on with it, we all know that super heroes exist...
Is the world ready for the Man of Steel? Watch the exclusive new trailer now:

Thursday, December 06, 2012

House of Laughs

CASA DE MI PADRE es una película muy divertida. But beyond it's "stupid done strait" bit, it is a treasure trove of anti-convention filmmaking - I realize that on a production it's no fun when you take continuity, screen direction, motivated light, logic, etc, etc, way too seriously.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Locked in

LOCKOUT is proving to be laughably bad. It's like it got ripped out of the 90's with stringed up bad one-liners and action that just jumps around (what the F just happened?).

American Remake

I was entertained by the 1st season of "American Horror Story." And I would've been even more entertained if I didn't see it as one big regurgitation/repackaging of every contemporary horror convention I've come to know from the horror films I've seen before it. That sounds kind of snobbish but that's what happens when you become a connoisseur of a genre.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lian amongst the Walking Dead.

Just caught SAKI star Lawrence Kao get gutted by a katana blade on the TV series "The Walking Dead."

Lawrence Kao
Lawrence Kao is a male actor who will be playing an Tim in Season 3 of The Walking Dead TV...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Centurian ho... hum

I finished watching CENTURIAN with Michael Fastbender. Thought the dialog was too contemporary. Story just seemed like a bunch of Roman fails - kind of a downer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Write and Wrong

This script must've been optioned on its premise alone - admittedly it is a catchy one. But while the actual feature script seems to understand when and where to hit a story beat, it's so poorly executed - full of cliches and random situations with no sense of theme or character development. This rewrite is going to be harder than I thought.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oldies are still the best

I actually have a fondness for Joe Dante's original PIRANHA movie - more so than JAWS. I remember seeing it on TV as a kid just thinking how the truth about such a carnivorous fish could be scarier than fiction. Of course piranhas are now Discovery Channel cliches.

Double the disappointment

I really wanted to like PIRANHA 3DD but it seemed to flop between the ridiculously stupid and the paces of logistics, backstory, drama - I would've preferred either or. I wish the whole movie was as entertaining as the end credits.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Word Monster

Suddenly I have a handful of feature scripts that I need to read...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

3's a charm

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 is the better of the series - in fact, it's the only one I actually like. 1 and 2 are just too excruciatingly slow with not enough payoff. 3 is still a slow burn but there are enough false scares and the centerpiece and end gags are intriguing enough.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Pandemic Pandering

Season 2 of "The Walking Dead" kind of wore thin on me. So I re-watched Soderbergh's film CONTAGION and still really appreciated the craft that went into it. Now I'm reading APOCALYPSE Z - trying to narrow down what exactly my interest is in global pandemic plots.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

A Miss

You know there are distinct moments within the film BATTLESHIP where I thought the concept would work. But by the end of it all I was completely appalled by its pretensions. It should've just stuck with big ships with big guns engaged in bombastic war games.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


It really sucks that the iGoogle homescreen is being discontinued on Nov 1st. I've somewhat migrated to other newsreaders like Taptu and Pulse but I like the no-frills text feeds on iGoogle - it lets me scan the moment's news and jump to any article. I guess I'm just used to the iGoogle layout. Nothing tragic, just a bum-dinger. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Divide and Conquer

THE DIVIDE was surprisingly simple and good. Great performances and decent tension built on locking strangers in a room. Reminded me of BLINDNESS and even THE MYST. I did want to know more about the disaster that ravaged the world and what the "men in white" were all about. A Jeff Mizushimarecommendation.

SKY pen

Livescribe finally made their smartpen wireless! And they named it with my initials, the SKY pen - which incidentally is exactly what I named my current Echo smartpen. And no I'm not the geek freak that names all his gadgets, the Echo requires a user name to sync with your computer. Yeesh!
Livescribe :: Never Miss A Word
Livescribe paper-based computing platform includes a smartpen, dot paper and software applications that changes the way people capture, use and share audio and visual information with pen and paper.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Last FEAST

FEAST 3 was better than the 2nd only because it had more WTF moments that kept me snickering. But I'll have to agree that the original FEAST is by far the best.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Silent House holds

SILENT HOUSE had some decent scares and had a good start hiding it's transitions as it simulated one continuous 1.5 hour camera take. Midway the transitions became a little noticeable and the scare gags didn't seem to pay off. The plot ended up being too simplistic (or maybe under developed) for all its elaborate setup. That said the DP did a great job making the Canon 5D2 footage look good considering the camera moves all over the place and in all manner of lighting conditions.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Next Script

So now that money talks to finance my last pitch have fizzled I'm back to the decision to either continue and just finish the script despite struggling with tuning the plot or shift gears and write the script I've actually been wanting to write (I'll probably not want to write it so much once I actually start writing it but that is the nature of the beast). The decision came up because there are certain people that have been waiting a while for this script, though they don't necessarily have the means to get the film financed they certainly have the enthusiasm to give it some forward momentum. Time is waisting and this year will end soon. Assuming I finish this script this year, I'd be still on track with my 1 year 1 feature script minimum (I think). Regardless it's important to get something done and I'm giving myself until next February to finish this next one. It's an action-comedy and may be a little eccentric to attract initial financing but I think it's a fairly interesting concept that can blossom into something unique and fun. But it doesn't exist until it's written so I've got my work cut out for me. It'd be even nicer if I can get both scripts done but things change and my mood shifts so we'll have to hope and pray that I can find my muse.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Game of Professors

So for those of you who were writing a script based on, or inspired by, the rise and fall of our CSULB film program, here's your lead into the 3rd act with the showdown coming next winter.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Two become one

Damnit! Spent almost a year developing a script and it only occurs to me now that I should merge it with another concept I've been wanting to write. I feel like I've been spinning my wheels but then again it now seems to make sense.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Loop it in LOOPER

I've been a Rian Johnson fan since BRICK and share his affinity for the writings of Dashiell Hammett (along with the Coen Bros.). Have yet to see LOOPER but being able to have the film commentary on hand is an interesting dimension and a much appreciated bonus.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

You mock the horror genre, don't you?

We need to sit down and have a serious talk - CABIN IN THE WOODS was a bit disappointing. It entertained, but I think it was geared more towards a gamer crowd rather than a horror cinema crowd. It's ok that you led me on, it's an OK movie. But it just sucks balls as a horror movie.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

More like a snack

I liked John Gulager's FEAST and I wanted to like part 2 but the movie kind of spiralled into a pointless ending. I hope part 3 hits it home.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


So if you missed the screenings in LA of SAKI, the feature film I wrote, you can catch it on TV as a part of the ShockerFest Independent Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Film Festval. 

Where: KAZV-TV (Comcast Channel 195, Charter Channel 14, Broadcast/Antennae Channel 14)
When: Oct 1st and 20th at 11pm

Sunday, September 23, 2012

SAKI to me

Just read a middling review of the feature film I wrote, SAKI - it wasn't completely bad but it certainly wasn't approving (otherwise I'd include a link). It just fuels the fire to hit harder when it comes to my next feature.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Ego Boost

You know what, I was rereading the last feature script I wrote and thought it was pretty decent.

Saturday, September 08, 2012


‎"Witness to Jonestown" about the 1978 mass suicide in Guyana is a pretty gripping account of how a utopian settlement and a rescue mission collided into a massive tragedy.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Theater Language

I'm definitely more the film guy, versus the look and feel of theater. But there are certainly interesting ideas and modes of conveying theme, things that could make for fresh concepts for a feature script. The idea of ghosts trailing the Sachiyo's character is a really cool concept.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A bit LOST

Wow, they really were all dead... I heard the rumblings about the last episode of LOST but had put it off until recently. I guess it's a bit of a disappointment but I have yet to imagine how I would write an alternative ending. 


GOON is a solid underdog movie. Funny at times, not overly complicated or overly ambitious, interesting characters. One of the few films where the trailer led me to the movie and I wasn't disappointed.

Breaking Bad Habits

O-M-G, "Breaking Bad" season 4 is now up on Netflix! Should I go on the binge now or late? Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Break it Down!

I actually enjoy doing script breakdowns, even though it's not really my job. Going through the script in such fine technical detail helps me visualize scenes and gives me the big and small perspective of a script.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alien meets Aliens

I would say PROMETHEUS is a synthesis between ALIEN and ALIENS (ALIENS still being my favorite). I was snickering at the references to both movie, especially Michael Bein's line, "Drake! We are leaving!" In this case it was "David..."

Prometheus, the $130 million horror b-movie

PROMETHEUS is a really great horror b-movie that looks like it cost $130 mil (IMAX 3D is the only way to watch it). The movie may lure you in with philosophical high-brow drama but if that's what you're expecting to the end, then you'll most definitely be dissapointed - if anything that's the movie's greatest trick.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sneaker Net

Tech related films inherently get dated but I think SNEAKERS is a really solid film that doesn't over-complicate itself over politics, technology, or drama. Just a great balance of memorable characters and performances, suspense, and humor.

Some Salad on Sale

Did I mention the film I co-DP'd, SALAD DAYS, is available on DVD! Get it via the link below. The DVD has a bunch of extra content including a commentary by me - let's just say, I keep it real!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thunder, thunder, thunder Thor hoa!

On 1st viewing  I gave up on THOR because I just couldn't buy into the mythology and Natalie Portman being a scientist. But on the 2nd viewing to the end I got past all that and enjoyed the movie. It can get a bit clunky but I liked Lokey's story and realized Portman can be anything if she bats her eyes enough.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


So the web series Mythomania is raising funds for it's 2nd season and they're down to their last week at Kickstarter. Do yourself big a favor, if you haven't watched Season 1, click the link below and watch the entire series on Youtube now, for free! From there I'm sure you'll find yourself wanting more of this crazy-funny-cool world of cartoonist created by writer/director Derek Kirk Kim and produced by Yukie Hashimoto.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Detective Dee

DETECTIVE DEE was entertaining though I was hoping it was going to beat my expectations - I was hoping for a reasonable deconstruction of the fantastic. Which DEE tries to be but much of it is a bit hard to swallow (even without considering that people can practically fly). The prevalence of CG both helps and hurts DEE's case - without it the film wouldn't feel epic but often the CG doesn't blend very well.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

최종병기 활

Finally a movie with a great f-ing ending, A WAR WITH ARROWS (최종병기 활). This film walks that fine line between style and drama with just the right action, with melodrama that actually pays off in the final showdown. Once again I tip my hat to Korean cinema!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

僕達急行 A列車で行こう

Many of the Japanese movies I watch are over run with melodrama or cheesy comedy- that's not to say that there's any lack of heart or sincerity but at times they feel uninspired or unambitious. That said, Japanese films like TRAIN BRAIN EXPRESS (僕達急行 A列車で行こう) can be really charming with characters that are very specific to Japan.


I really enjoyed the movie THE WOODSMAN AND THE RAIN (キツツキと雨』予告編) on the flight back from Japan. Maybe the comical aspects of Japanese film production and the inspired quirks of shooting a film in rural Japan all reminded me of my experiences as the cinematographer on the Japanese filmTakamine (高峰譲吉).