Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hatteras Hotel

I worked today on an independent feature shooting in Rockport Mass, "Hatteras Hotel". I was one of just six extras, all the other guys were cops and I was the criminal. I guess that is a step up from being just a thug. It was a good day and a fun cast and crew (saw a couple guys I met working on Illegal Aliens again). The lead is Wade Williams, he said I looked like a real con; since he was a regular on Fox's "Prison Break" I took that as a compliment. I was handcuffed and marched through the station on a perp walk. At one point the camera was moved and I was sent through a door we hadn't been through before. The "cop" behind him shoves me along with my hands cuffed behind my back. We get to the door and he pauses to turn the knob then kicks the door open and shoves me in. What I didn't see was the step down into this area and I almost went down face first to the ground. Would've been the best performance for us - but the door slammed shut behind us ruining the take. Hours later my wrists are still red and sore from being shoved around in the cuffs. I should've gotten hazard pay.


Here is a recent story from Gloucester Daily Times

Rockport to star in 3rd movie of year

By Jonathan L'Ecuyer
Staff Writer
November 03, 2008 10:46 pm

ROCKPORT — The silver screen spotlight will shine on Rockport for the third time this year. Filming is expected to start next week on "Hatteras Hotel."

The movie company plans to film at numerous locations around Rockport between Nov. 10 and Dec. 18; sites include the old and current police stations, T-Wharf, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockport and Pigeon Cove.

While few details have been provided on who will star in the movie, Emerson Inn by the Sea general manager Molly Andrew Williamson did confirm the inn would play a major role in the mystery drama — the part of the Hatteras Hotel.

According to Town Administrator Michael Racicot, the film is about a Boston police officer who grows tired of city living and decides to finish out his career in the fictional community of Salem Harbor, portrayed in the film by Rockport. The man becomes sheriff of Salem Harbor and is faced almost immediately with the mysterious death of an upper-class teenager who is found dead after a night of partying at the Hatteras Hotel.

The England-based production team has offered to donate $10,000 for affordable housing in Rockport. The money will go to the Rockport Housing Authority, Racicot said.

Racicot said Wade Williams, who has portrayed Brad Bellick on Fox's hit series, "Prison Break," for the past three years, is set to star in the film.

Film location scout Tiffany Kinder and about a dozen members of the crew met with police Chief Tom McCarthy at the Rockport Police Station yesterday morning. The crew plans to transform Rockport's station into the Boston Police Department on Monday, Nov. 10, and shoot several scenes inside the station's community and locker rooms, booking area, and cell block on Nov. 11, McCarthy said.

Rockport's old police station, located on Broadway, will portray the Salem Harbor Police Station, McCarthy added.

Attempts to reach Kinder yesterday were unsuccessful.

At the Emerson Inn by the Sea, 1 Cathedral Ave., Andrew Williamson said owner Bruce Coates and the entire staff is "thrilled" that the inn was selected as the movie's title setting.

"This will be the most filming the inn has ever seen," Andrew Williamson said, yesterday. "They're just fabulous and excited about coming to Rockport. The gentleman who wrote the script lit up when he came to the inn. When he saw it, he knew (the inn) was exactly what he had pictured in his mind. His excitement made me realize what kind of a gem we had here."

Williamson said portions of the script have been rewritten just to allow for the inn to remain as the prominent location. The crew will transform the inn into the Hatteras Hotel later this month and begin shooting early next month, Andrew Williamson added.

Meanwhile, C.P. Casting Inc. of Boston is busy hiring background extras for the movie.

According to the company's Web site, www.cpcasting.com, it is looking for extras to portray hotel guests and staff, tourists, fishermen and deckhands, and many other types.

The most important factors in being chosen to work as an extra on the film will be the person's ability to provide their own transportation to Rockport and their availability during the shoot. The movie will not be filming on weekends, nor on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during Thanksgiving week.

Most extras will only work one day, the site said, but being able to get to the set early in the morning and stay all day is critical. People interested in being an extra are also asked to consider letting the movie film their car for some scenes.

Those interested in applying can visit the company's site online and fill out a "size card" via a "Hatteras Hotel Extras" link.

The movie is expected to draw a PG rating, Racicot noted.

The film is the third to film in Rockport this year.

In April, Walt Disney Pictures came to town to shoot scenes for the romantic comedy, "The Proposal," starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Then, in August, Mel Gibson was filmed on Cape Hedge Beach for his next film, "Edge of Darkness," due in theaters next year.

Racicot said the movies are a great thing for the town and the film company's donations are benefitting good causes.

Jonathan L'Ecuyer can be reached at jlecuyer@gloucestertimes.com.

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Edge of Darkness

Yesterday Lori and I both worked as extras on the Mel Gibson movie "Edge of Darkness." Robert DeNiro had been in it as well, until Thursday that is. News broke Friday that DeNiro was out due to "creative differences" with director Martin Campbell. There were plenty of rumors on set regarding "fired" or "quit", but I'm just bummed I didn't get the chance to see DeNiro in action. What we did get to do was join over 300 other extras in taking over South Station in Boston for the opening scenes of the movie; Mel arriving at the station to pick up his daughter. We had to be on location for 5:30am, get checked-in then cleared by wardrobe and makeup then a quick bus ride to South Station. We were on set around 7am, rehearsing by 8am and rolling the first take by 9am. Lori and I were part of a group of people arriving from a train - we just had to exit the train and walk down the platform towards the station a few dozen times. I saw lots of other actors I had met earilier this summer on "The Surrogates" and even recognized one actor and a grip from the first movie I ever worked on, "A Question of Trust" way back in 1996. Also had a chance to talk to the electrician from "Illegal Aliens" as he was working on this crew too.
Later in the morning we moved inside South Station and were part of the crowd of commuters. I had to walk in front of Mel as he entered the scene, then later picking up other shots of that scene my starting point was literaly a foot in front of Mel. He was very good natured and clowning a bit. He looks much older than the 52 he's listed as, I thought he was in his sixties.
Since South Station was still an open and operating train station there were many retakes due to regular people wandering into scenes. At one point a Japanese couple came close to taking Mel out with their luggage as they rushed through the crowd to get to their train. Earlier I was positioned by a set PA to stand and chat with a girl then walk across the scene after a couple beats. Before we started rolling I asked the girl if this her first day on the movie. She said she'd been to South Station a few times before. Then I noticed she had her MBTA card on the table, so I asked if she was part of the movie. She said "What movie?". I flagged down the PA to let him know she wasn't an extra so we explained to her that we were shooting a movie and she had wandered onto a hot set. So she went to sit somewhere else and wait for her train. We worked until around 3pm, blowing right thru lunch, then the extras were all released. Yay! Cause I was spent and starving by then. Hopefully we'll get called again for Darkness, it is shooting through December.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Slime Ghouls

Last night was my audition to be a Slime Ghoul in a low-budget feature called "Harm School". Harm School is brought to you by the fine folks behind "Pony Trouble." All I had to go on was this "The slime takes over the brain and causes people to act by feral instinct like animals, driven by a confused reproductive urge to throw other people in the slime, make out with them, hump walls and trees, and the like." But I was prepared to be a horny, feral animal and I think I nailed it.
The funny thing is that before I did what I was prepared for they asked me to read for a total of three different projects, two features and a short. So I survived my first 'cold read', I got lines for four different characters and just went for it. The two people I auditioned for were cracking up and said to expect a call back for all three projects. In the span of 15 minutes I was a slime ghoul, a couple cult members, the chief of police and a priest. Think I'm pulling for the chief and slime ghoul the most. I should know soon, a couple start shooting in August and the others in September.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

"Edge of Darkness" Casting Call

Lori and I both hit the open casting call this afternoon for "Edge of Darkness". A cop thriller starring Mel Gibson as well as Robert DeNiro - that was new news given to us at the call. We first arrived at 2pm and saw very long lines outside the Boston Casting offices, which was a bit of a concern as we had to get back home to meet friends and head off to the Springsteen show tonight. Then as we parked and left the car, it started POURING. Like as hard as rain can fall. So we took some cover to wait it out and luckily it passed in about 10 minutes. I saw of lot of my fellow "Dreads" whom I met working on "The Surrogates" earlier this summer and spoke with three of them. That was really cool, to already feel like part of the local acting community. But I didn't notice anyone from my acting class there which was a bit of a surprise.
The Boston Casting staff handled the crowd and weather just great - they took people inside in large bunches, gave everyone an introductory talk including info about the movie and what to leave with them. They saved a lot of time by skipping the standard practice of taking a photo of everyone too, so we were actually on our way home in an hour.
The movie is being shot around Boston and Northampton Ma, starting August 18 and running through December. It is being directed by Martin Campbell who directed the James Bond reboot 'Casino Royale' and the script is from the Oscar winning writer of 'The Departed' and local guy William Monahan. We heard GREAT things about Campbell - like he selects every extra himself, likes to keep extras close to set and be part of the production, he often plucks people out of crowds and gives them a line or two and will even mingle about the actors asking "Who are you today?". They also will be needing about 3,000 extras through course of the film so everyone who showed up will be getting used.
Now we're off to Springsteen!

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Dark Knight lives up to the Hype

Heath Ledger's JokerJust back from seeing The Dark Night and based on the packed theater it must be #1 again this week and it is AWESOME. It more than lives up to the hype and acclaim. It is certainly the best comic/super hero movie ever made and I'm sure for many people it is the best movie period. This movie has so much weight and gravitas. It is so rare to see such depth in mass entertainment these days. I was never a reader of Batman comics so know him best via the goofy TV series and Super Friends cartoons. This broody, not pure "good guy" that Christian Bale and director Christoper Nolan bring to screen is something else entirely. Even Tim Burton's Batman films were fun and goofy with over-the-top villains. All the talk about an Oscar nom for Heath Ledger's Joker is serious. Hell the acting in this film is so strong all around, Aaron Eckarht and Christian Bale could both see lots of awards too. NEVER has The Joker, or any villian, been so scary/hilarious, a true psychotic master-mind. A maniacal genius just out for a good time. Ledger is unrecognizable in look, voice, body and tone. An amazing performance. Plus the best "make a pencil disapear" magic trick ever!

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Casting Calls

Despite the unresolved contract situation with SAG, film productions are starting to gear up again. Lori and I both attended an open casting call in Providence RI today for Showtime's TV series "Brotherhood" and a feature film about Buddy Cianci, "The Prince of Providence" with Robin Williams, Ed Burns, Oliver Platt and many more. Also "Edge of Darkness" with Mel Gibson (and rumor has it, Brittney Spears) is getting ready to start rolling toward the end of August, they were looking for some specific types of extras including videographers via email so I submitted myself for that. But the most exciting opportunity is to be a "Slime Ghoul" - check out this description:

"Casting "slime ghouls": hapless people whose DNA has been taken over by the reproductive slime of renegade clone farmers from space. The slime takes over the brain and causes people to act by feral instinct like animals, driven by a confused reproductive urge to throw other people in the slime, make out with them, hump walls and trees, and the like. Actors may be asked to do partial nudity and make scary ghoul faces."

Does that sound AWESOME or what?!! That is pretty much the dream role for any bad actor like myself. I'll let you know how that audition goes and how many trees I had to hump.

The other big to do is that I'm taking part in the Boundless Living Challenge - a 45 day experiment in living the Law of Attraction. You can learn more on that here.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Day on Surrogates

Just wrapped up another day as an extra on Surrogates - today's thirteen hour day ended just in time for me to get home to see the Celtics close out this year's NBA finals in game 6 over the Lakers. Today on the set was action packed, I had lots of running away from a fire fight (and compared to other extras I'm fast - which doesn't say much for the others), dozens of commandos were chasing us all over and even a helicopter was buzzing over head. The afternoon featured some live gun fire, stunt falls and a torrential thunder storm that toppled one of our tents in the extras holding area. Towards the end of the day we all gathered round for a rousing cheer of "Blurry Bits in the Background". Any blazing flash of blue flannel that catches your eye in the final film will be me. Another good day to be a Dread.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Surrogates

I just finished up a couple days as an extra on the set of the new Bruce Willis sci-fi movie "Surrogates" which has been shooting in Massachusetts for the last month or so. I've been on a few film sets but never a "real" Hollywood set. When I first arrived on location in Taunton at 4:40am (which meant getting up at 3:20am!!) Thursday, I immediately began to see the differences between indie sets and major studio productions. Huge air conditioned tents made up the holding area, cooked to order breakfasts provided by a catering company, air conditioned bus rides driving extras from holding to the actual set, more fantastic food at lunch, 3 cameras rolling for every shot, dollies and cranes for every shot too, dozens of crew members and hundreds of extras. There were even a couple of guys on the crew that I worked with on "Illegal Aliens", I spotted Aaron and spoke with Robbie for a few minutes.
I was one of 275 extras but was part of a smaller group called the core Dreads - but being "core" never really amounted to much. I did meet plenty of cool people to pass the 15 hour day with while we worked on just one scene all day. We just stood silently listening to Ving Rhames speak to us all. Ving was very cool and I was amazed how much his low booming voice carried. Ving plays the leader of the Dreads; people who shun technology and live on reservations in a sort of post-apocalyptic society. Ving spoke to all his people from a stage in front of a funeral pyre with a body on top. Towards the end of the day, the pyre was finally lit and we all gazed on - getting bonus "smoke" pay for our troubles.
On Friday only 50 of us were called back so call-time was bumped up to 7:00am, practically a vacation after getting just 3 hours of sleep the previous night. Of course the downside of working today was that I went to sleep during the 3rd quarter of the Celtics/Lakers game so missed the greatest NBA Finals comeback in history - D'oh! But so did most people on set so we could at least share our misery. Friday was a continuation of the funeral scene and we all just did a lot of walking away from the fire, just filling the background. In the afternoon I just found a quiet spot to watch Bruce Willis do some work and take a beating from some of Ving's boys. I'll keep what I learned about the plot to myself so as not to spoil the final movie for anyone.
I was supposed to work today too, but they scaled down the scene so canceled the day for all non-union extras.
SWEET - as I was typing this I got an email asking if I was available next Tuesday and Wednesday, so perhaps my days of being a Dread aren't over yet.
Thanks to the Celtics and Surrogates I haven't had time to be hit with "Lost" withdrawals yet.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones 4

I had today off to work as an extra on the movie "This Side of The Truth." This is a comedy from Rick Gervais, the creator of "The Office" and the HBO series "Extras." I was psyched to be an extra for the creator of "Extras". Ricky has a very funny blog about the whole project that is worth checking out. I had gone to an open casting call back in March and had a few inquiries to my availability since then, but it never matched up. Until today. With last night being my first acting class the timing seemed fantastic. But while at said acting class, the call came in that the wedding scene I was to be part of had been revamped and extras weren't needed. D'oh! When I got home after class and discovered the news I was bummed to say the least. I had even pulled out my one suit for the big event.

So I decided to take advantage of my empty day and Lori and I went to see "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" on its opening day. The theater was pretty empty since it was 1pm on a work day but Indy delivered with tons of amazing action and stunts, many winks and nods to the previous films and a few comedic bits along the way. One of the coolest things was seeing Indy flying off to places in Peru that we've visited like Cusco and Iquitos. I was never bothered or distracted by Harrison Ford's age but I was bothered by the fact that every "surprise" in the plot failed to come off as surprising at all. So while it was great fun, it wasn't a great movie. Good, just not great. Still better than working for a living.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Iron Man Rocks

After a few days in Seattle Washington, we are now hanging out in Portland Oregon and just saw the first big summer movie - Iron Man. It is a blast. I was never a fan of Iron Man comics. I just thought it was another rich guy with some expensive toys sort of story, which makes the fact that I loved the movie all the more impressive. It was just the perfect level of action, comedy and fun that a comic super hero movie should be. Robert Downey Jr. seems to be having such a blast in this, it makes me wonder if he ever enjoyed making any previous film. His joy and enthusiasm playing Tony Stark/Iron Man was infectious. The movie opened last weekend and the theater we were just in was sold out so I expect it to be #1 for a second week. And stay through all the credits for a little bonus scene that teases another film coming from Marvel.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

"Cloverfield" Rocks!

CloverfieldLori and I went to see "Cloverfield" today - the movie with the cryptic ad campaign about something attacking New York City and ripping the head off the Statue of Liberty. First I must comment on how great an image that is - a spin on the classic last scene from the original "Planet of The Apes", with the arm and torch of the statue sticking out from the ground. The "Cloverfield" poster is a shot of a headless Statue of Liberty standing before a smoldering Manhattan. As we were walking into the movie, I wondered out loud what the title might end up meaning - you'll learn in the first seconds of the film that 'cloverfield' is the Dept of Defense code word for the whole mess that goes down in NYC.
This movie is from some of the people behind "Lost" (my favorite TV show) so I've been waiting to see this since I first saw the trailer months ago. The previews were all camcorder footage of a party that is interrupted by some sort of attack. Well guess what - that is the whole movie. This is definitely a love-it or hate-it flick, and I am firmly in the loved-it camp. It is "Godzilla" meets "Blair Witch Project" with a heavy dose of 9/11 imagery sprinkled in. Actually, this is how I hoped the Godzilla remake a few years ago went - traditional story told from new angle/style. The whole movie is 'found footage' like Blair Witch was. You don't know any more than the characters making the video know. And just like when I first saw Blair Witch nine years ago (wow, its been that long?), when this movie ended, half the audience walked out complaining about it. Lori and I loved the whole ride. There are disturbing images, many scares, suspense and a nice ambiguous ending - many people hates those, but I like knowing the story continues beyond what I see on the screen. This is really just an old fashioned 1950's monster movie (a la Creature Double Feature for those who grew up in the Boston area) where a creature shows up and starts reeking havoc. One bit of advice, if handheld camera work bothers you - stay away. This is one shaky, hard-to-follow ride - but for me, that was half the fun. Trying to decide just exactly what you're seeing really pulled me into the movie. But have no fear, before it's over you will see the monster... up close and personal.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

"300" Kicks Butt

Now that Academy Award season is over we can go to the movies just for fun again, so this weekend we saw "300", and it was a blast. The ads and hype have been flowing for many weeks that this is the future of film - no sets exist, it was all done with CGI. "300" tells the ancient tale of just 300 Spartan soldiers taking on the enormous Persian army to defend Greece. It is a mash-up of "Gladiator" and "Sin City" with some stunning slow-mo action sequences reminiscent of "The Matrix". It is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name and really looks like a comic come to life. There are many jaw dropping images and relentless action staged like a ballet of gore. I loved it. Two bloody thumbs up!

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Go See "Children of Men"

While waiting for the NFL Playoffs to start we went to the movies today and saw what I'd be shocked doesn't end up being my favorite movie of 2007. "Children of Men" is set about 20 years from now (though it feels like it could be just a week or two away) in Britain at a time of world war and female infertility. The youngest person in the world is 18 and he just died. Clive Owen stars as Theo who ends up having to transport a woman who seems to be pregnant. Great suspense, action and thrills abound, plus some fantastic performances by Michael Caine and Julianne Moore. I am now firmly on writer/director Alfonso Cuaron's bandwagon. The directing and cinematography made this feel like the news at times - so many powerful scenes could have been live reports from Iraq or the Gaza Strip. Throw in touches of the Holocaust, Jesus Christ, Abu Ghraib prison, WWII.... this was just an awesome movie that really sticks with you long after the final frame.

Speaking of playoffs, tomorrow we will be off to the Patriots - Jets wildcard came at Gillette Stadium. Every other year we considered ourselves fortunate if it was above freezing for a game in January. Today it was 72 degrees here. WTF! Damn that Al Gore and his inconvenient truth.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Departed

We saw "The Departed" last night - the Martin Scorsese Irish mob movie set in Boston. It had been getting some rave reviews and the city was buzzing when the production was in town months ago. I was really looking forward to it, so I was surprised how hard it was for me to get into at first. Between the Scorsese staples of a mobster voice over, tracking shots and Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter" soundtrack - I felt like I was watching somebody rip off a Scorsese movie. I was also initially distracted by all the "local boys" - Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg; as well as the non-locals doing their best Bahston accents. But the complicated, layered plot and performances quickly pulled me in. This is Leonardo DiCaprio's best performance as far as I'm concerned - he doesn't seem like a kid anymore. The cast is full of great performances from Damon, Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, and of course Jack Nicholson.
This is a remake of "Infernal Affairs", a 2002 Hong Kong flick that pits a mob informant working in the police against a cop undercover in the mob. The stakes are constantly raised and deciding who is really a good guy or bad guy is a whole lot of fun. The script crackles with some great dialogue. A very enjoyable film that I look forward to viewing again.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lady In The Water

Lori and I saw "Lady In The Water" today and we both liked it very much. There have been many films this summer I wanted to see but this is the first I actually made it to since I've always enjoyed M. Night Shyamalan's films. Even "The Village" which really pissed me off with its "trick" ending.

"Lady" is an ancient fairy tale dumped into a current day apartment building. Paul Giamatti, doing another fantastic job, is the building superintendent trying to figure out the pieces to make the fairy tale come true and return the Narf he finds in his pool back home.

Along the way he, the other residents and the audience try to figure out who serves what role in the story. There are some enjoyable scenes and insight into the writing process courtesy of the resident film critic who spells out all the obvious roles. This isn't a straight horror film, as some of the ads make it seem, and it certainly isn't a kiddie intended fairy tale either - blurring that line is part of what made Disney drop this project when it was just a script. They were also very concerned with having a film critic character who might offend film critics.

While everyone around the globe seemed to agree the "The Sixth Sense" was amazing, Night's follow ups have split audiences and critics alike. I'm sure "Lady In The Water" will do the same. I really enjoy the slow, quiet brooding of his stories. "Unbreakable" is one of my favorite movies ever, but I've heard many complain that they thought it was completely boring. Lady won me over from the very opening when the myth of the water nymphs and man is first told. I really enjoyed it, there are some laughs, some scares and some chills. In short, it was fun and that is my only goal in seeing a movie.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

At The Movies

Been catching up on movies this past week. Finally saw Murderball; the Oscar nominated documentary on quadriplegic rugby. It is a great flick - funny and moving. It tracks a few different players and coaches for years. This should have won the Academy Award (in my humble opinion). March of the Penguinswas a good documentary and all, but I always thought it was a very traditional nature documentary. Take a standard animal story, throw in a Morgan Freeman voice over and market the Hell out of it. I'd rather learn about interesting people like in Murderball, or even Grizzly Man, than an interesting penguin.

Also watched The Island, the Michael Bay action flick that bombed in the theaters last summer, but whose basic idea I always thought was cool. The idea of clones not knowing that they are clones, and escaping. It was a lot of fun. At times it felt like nothing more than Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson running for hours - but overall fun and enjoyable.

Which I can't say for Fever Pitch. Lori and I were both horribly disappointed by this movie. I don't know why anyone who wasn't a Red Sox fan would even watch it. I thought it was pretty boring, and quite unfunny. Even the stuff at Fenway Park and with the Red Sox just felt very flat. Maybe if the Sox hadn't have won the World Series, it would have been a better film.

Yesterday we watched C.S.A., an independent film that is available OnDemand with cable and is in some theaters. IFC is doing this now with their new releases and I think it's awesome. For $6 we could watch a brand new movie instead of heading into an art house theater in Boston trying to see it. C.S.A. stands for The Confederate States of America, this fake documentary imagines the world if the South won the Civil War - er, I mean the War of Northern Aggression. It covers history right up until today and includes lots of fake commercials and promos within the movie. Bitingly funny, and scarily true at the same time.

Finally, today we actually went to the theater and saw Inside Man. I can't remember going to the theater since King Kong opened. Inside Man is very good; a traditional heist film with some twists, some New York humor, and a couple cool camera shots courtesy of director Spike Lee. I was most interested in the film because it was written by a first time screen writer. This was his first completed script, and it was sold and produced. That is quite a feat, one that I am trying to accomplish as well.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Kong is King

Saw the new "King Kong" last week on opening night and was very pleased to find all the critical raves are warranted. I loved it. It's what every movie should be - thrilling, gripping, awe inspiring, while also funny, tender and heartbreaking. The original 1933 version is one of my all time favorite films, I had old Kong posters growing up and even liked the 1976 remake when it came out. Peter Jackson's update is over three hours long, and some reviews complain about the pace of the first hour, but once we get to Skull Island it kicks into high gear and the movie didn't feel long to me at all. It features some of the same classic scenes and even a few lines of dialogue from the original and has more amazing dinosaur action than Jurassic Park. Even knowing exactly how Kong will end, I was still cheering every time he swatted down a plane at the Empire State building and was still chocked-up and upset when his end comes. Hope Jackson takes on "King Kong vs Godzilla" or "War of The Gargantuans" next.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

HP and Goblet of Fire

We saw "Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire" tonight. It is easily the best film so far in the Potter series. The most laughs, scares and drama by far. Those crazy wizards are finally becoming horny teenagers. This is "The Empire Strikes Back" of the series - that is probably the best thing I can say about it.

And a long overdue shout out for Earl. "My Name is Earl" that is. As in the funniest show on TV. Check it out on NBC Tuesday night. Features a fantastic cast of goofballs and is so original and creative I can't believe it's from the creator of one of the lamest sitcoms in history - "Yes, Dear". Last week's show was absolutely hilarious. Don't let Earl go down like the last great new comedy "Arrested development" which has been yanked by Fox for shitty ratings.

AF and Lori take the fieldYesterday the New England Patriots won their second game in a row. This two-game winning streak is the longest of the season. Wow, what a difference a year makes! Last year all the talk was about their 21 game winning streak. We even got to be down on the field before the game. So I can take credit for the win due to my inspiring words to Brady just before security dragged me away. It was all Larry's fault. Check out some pictures.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

3 Stars For "Chaos Unlimited"

The first review is in for the independent feature "Chaos Unlimited" that I was part of last summer. It earned the illustrious 'sound of one hand clapping' from FilmThreat.com
Check it out: http://filmthreat.com/Reviews.asp?Id=8163

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The 40 Year Old Virgin Rocks!

Just saw The 40 Year Old Virgin and it is absolutely hilarious. Lori and I both laughed more at this than even at Wedding Crashers - which is also a riot. If Hollywood keeps this up it could be the start of the golden age of R rated comedy. The sad sack virgin is played by Steve Carell (from The Daily Show, The Office and supporting player in movies like Liar, Liar and Anchorman), who has long deserved his lead shot and he nails it. Another stand out is Seth Rogen, whom I've been a fan of since his time on the unappreciated TV series' Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared. The director of Virgin - Judd Apatow - was also involved in those shows.
This is the kind of movie you have to see a 2nd time because the audience is laughing so much you miss a lot of lines. It also has, I believe, the first Al Qaeda joke in a major movie - and it's funny. Plus one of the best "straight out of left field" ridiculous/hilarious endings ever. A great raunchy, dirty and touching ride. The only troubling thing was how many toys I had in common with Andy - the name of the tragic 40 year old. That and a similar love for Asia... and Survivor... oh no.

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