Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mechanical errors

Simon West's THE MECHANIC doesn't hold a candle to Charlie Bronson's original. Not that I remember much from the original because I was pretty young when I saw it. But I do remember the ending, "End of game. Bang! You're dead" which they just couldn't resist fouling up in the remake. Ugh!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Time to get Thin

I think I'll read THE THIN MAN next. It's one of a handful of Hammett books I have yet to read. Of course RED HARVEST is the book I read over and over again.


I guess I liked COLOMBIANA. It was well shot, decent action - though some of the action is so frenetic that it's hard to follow. A simple revenge plot - perhaps too simple. It felt like a video game with a lot of sneaking through vents and deliberate obstacles that barely made sense. I hate the ending.

Monday, January 23, 2012

boxurshorts Film Festival 2012

Grab your ticket, swag, and more for the boxurshorts Film Festival that will be held in LA in March. Support a fun night of great filmmaking, guaranteed laughs and unlimited Swiss chocolate!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Prime Cuts

This script rewrite is taking shape but taking time - I'm sure I am over-writing scenes, which will require a lot of cutting in the 2nd draft. But I always take that as a good sign. You get the best results when you have fat to trim so that only the choice parts are left in the final draft. Now I'm craving steak.

The Apes Did Indeed Rise

Overall I liked RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES but I do think it tries to cram too much drama AND Sci-Fi into such a short opening act - it does this well but you can sense that the story is being rushed. But it is the 3rd act that makes it all worth it. I've heard criticism on the CGI and I agree, it's not perfect, but it's still incredible how far CGI has come and exciting to see how far it will go. It wasn't quite the zombie-movie-with-apes film that I wanted, but a sequel to this prequel would be where the real fun begins! I would almost want to write a spec for the sequel (but I'm busy writing other scripts at the moment).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ntb, ISMP, SAKI, oh my!

Check out this Ntb Japanese segment about ISMP (International School of Motion Pictures) where many of the SAKI crew studied, as well as an interview with SAKI director Chisako Yokoyama and some behind the scenes of the SAKI production.
「コミュニティニュース」 ・在ロサンゼルス日本国総領事館、新美潤総領事より新年の挨拶。 ・お正月インリトル東京

Thursday, January 12, 2012

THE DEBT script

Just finished reading the screenplay for THE DEBT. It's a fair thriller that rides on common conceptions people may have about Israeli covert operations and Nazi's but never delves deep into anything revealing or historical. It's a shame that it lacks this kind of weight but on the other hand it moves along quickly and efficiently - it entertains through drama. I'll see how the film turned out.
Directed by John Madden. With Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson, Ciarán Hinds. The espionage thriller begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel...

Friday, January 06, 2012

Another Thing about it

I can totally see why people may have not liked the 2011 THE THING and I think CGI is a big part of that. I worked on a film that was a reflection on the excitement of the original release of Star Wars and yet that unnamed film excessively used CGI and greenscreen which completely killed the soul of its own Spielberg/Lucas roots of scale models, trick photography, and intricate puppetry. I guess that would be different if you couldn't tell it was CGI but in both films that was not the case. There's also the fact that the new THE THING didn't really step out of it's own box to reveal more depth to the over-all narrative. I actually appreciated this but I do feel the filmmakers missed an opportunity to show off a little at the end (spoiler: going inside the spaceship was not as impressive or inspired as it could've been). But as I mentioned before, I liked THE THING - I was entertained. If I was asked, I would say the impact of the 1st movie on me was far greater and thus I would say it was the superior film.

The Thing about it

I enjoyed the 2011 prequel of THE THING and I'm a big fan of the original John Carpenter version. The movie did a pretty good job of linking all the puzzle pieces of the original with comparable tension and yet introduced it's own logic to dealing with the situation. It picked up pace fairly quickly and the writing felt very close to how the original movie moved. If there's any complaint I have it's that the monsters felt extremely CGI'd. The orignal movie benefitted from the monsters feeling visceral and creepy raw where as this prequel had nice monsters but they felt more like something from a video game.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

MI4 impressed

MI4 was really great. Very entertaining and clever. I like how plot elements were threaded throughout the movie on multiple levels. Nothing too deep but always moving forward. IMAX looked a bit soft but the vertigo shots were really affective.

Happy New Year!

2012 just got real in SoCal. Happy New Year! 2011 was great but I have high hopes for 2012 - Hong Kong, Hawaii, France? We'll see... A Sequel, a Devil, a Stuntman? What will be next? I'm excited - I hope you are.