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I don’t know how to start this post, but I guess beginning with a simple statement of fact will suffice: I was bullied in high school.
It’s not something that I really like to talk about, and largely haven’t in the nearly nine years since I graduated. But that doesn’t change the fact that it happened. My story of being bullied is worse than others, but not nearly as bad as some. I was lucky in the fact that, even though people picked on me, I was a big kid: tall, overweight, but at the same time intimidating. Most of the abuse came in the form of verbal stones instead of physical attacks. That’s not to say that I had an easier time than my friend who was shoved down a flight of stairs; it’s just that my scars are a little different.
The teasing can almost be pinpointed to have started when my family moved between second and third grade. I attended a large school district. I don’t know about now, but at the time there were around five or so elementary schools alone, and they all converged into one big middle school once you reached sixth grade. At the elementary school I went to for the first few years, I hung out with a group of popular kids. They all turned out to be football players and other jocks in later years, part of the group of people that would harass me. It makes me wonder how I would have turned out had we never moved. Would I have become one of them?
But we did move, and I was forced to make new friends. I’ve never had a particularly easy time with that, and people who know me might try and call bullshit on me, but it’s true. It takes a while for me to trust people, and I can be relatively shy in new groups. So when we moved, I gravitated towards other shy kids. Most of them are still my friends today, some sixteen years later. But then, we were all teased and picked on. I went from being friends with jocks and cool kids, to the nerds and outcasts – my people.
A lot of the incidents blend together into several years of unfortunate existence, but a few instances do stick out in my head: my agenda planner being stolen in eighth grade, only to turn up a couple hours later with phrases like I LIKE BOYS and I’M GAY scrawled across the pages; a boy, while we were in sixth grade, grabbing my breast and commenting on my weight; another boy, in twelfth grade, approaching me in the locker room while we were alone, wearing nothing but his underwear, and asking me if I liked what I saw (and no, he wasn’t hitting on me); and again, in twelfth grade, yet another boy sitting two desks behind me in class, and ramming the desk in between us repeatedly into my chair so that my fat jiggled while the class laughed.
I’m not saying all of these things to get your sympathy. Yes, it’s painful to remember them, but it was a part of my life, my youth, my developmental years. I was a victim of bullying.
It would be amazing to say that it stopped there, but there have been other instances, even into adulthood. An old roommate, an ex-coworker, an old boss. Very few and far between (those are actually all I can think of), but some people never grow out of the need to bring others down, to dominate them.
Why am I thinking about it now? Because I went and saw the documentary Bully last weekend.
I know bullying exists—obviously, I lived through it myself—but to see such blatant examples of it shocked me in a way I hadn’t anticipated.
Take 12-year-old Alex, for instance. He’s the main focus of the documentary (it revolves around several young people and their families, but he gets the most screen time), and the school he goes to actually permitted filming on school grounds and on the bus. It follows Alex on his first day of a new year, and on that very first bus ride, they catch a boy telling Alex that he’s going to kill him, that he’s going to bring a knife to school the next day and stab him and kill him. Other kids on the bus verbally abuse him and call him names, and some resorted to physical violence: punching, smacking, stabbing him with pencils, and even going so far as choking him.
He seems to take it all with a laugh and a smile, but you know he’s not okay. How could he be? But what good would it do him to cry in front of his tormenters? Only provide them with more fuel to use against him. So he keeps quiet and takes the abuse.
The pain he’s harboring becomes abundantly clear while he’s talking to his mother later. She asks him how his day went and if anyone picked on him, and he lies to her face, says he had a good first day. But then she says, “What really happened?” and he just looks at her with this dead, vacant expression and can’t answer.
During another discussion, he confesses that one of the boys strangled him, but he thought they were only playing around. She says, “Alex, that’s not playing around. Those boys aren’t being your friend.” To which he replied, “If those boys aren’t my friends, then what friends do I have?”
I’m paraphrasing that from memory, but the context is there, even if my words aren’t exactly correct.
There was another boy, 11-years-old, who shot himself with a hunting rifle. His parents attended his funeral wearing jerseys from his favorite baseball team, the husband leading the wife and telling her “We’ll just tuck him in. We’ll tuck him in and he’ll go to sleep one last time.” His best friend collapsed into the casket at the wake, inconsolable at the loss of his dear friend, who he said was bullied all the time. The principal of his school was filmed on the local news saying there was no evidence of bullying.
One girl came out as a lesbian. When she sat down in class, no one would sit next to her. Some neighborhood boys also felt it would be appropriate to run her over with a minivan. She tried to laugh it off, saying she couldn’t even be hit by something cool, but her tears said otherwise. Their entire family got shunned, even by people they had known for years.
Another girl felt so threatened at school that she took a gun with her one day and pulled it out on the bus. Luckily no one was injured, but she had to go to jail at 14, and be charged with severe crimes. The consequences of her actions will follow her for the rest of her life.
And finally, we met a family of a young man who felt like he had no other option but to end his life. His mother found him hanging from a rope in his closet.
I can honestly say I never considered suicide as a means to end the pain, but I have several friends who not only thought about it, but attempted it. I count myself lucky that none of them succeeded and I didn’t have to cry inconsolably into their caskets. But it came close on several occasions.
It never got that bad for me, but I do remember the extreme loneliness I felt at times. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it, didn’t want to admit it was happening, that I wasn’t strong enough to stop it. There was nothing more demoralizing than having to tell my parents what had happened. I remember lying to them to save face, just like Alex did.
I’m admitting this to you all now because I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this movie. About how things haven’t changed, and how kids still feel threatened, like they have no way out, no hope or help.
The principal at Alex’s school witnessed another two other random boys fighting and pulled them aside. She told them to shake hands and forget about it. The one boy offered his hand willingly, but the other one was very reluctant to. She scolded him and, after dismissing the other boy, asked him why he wasn’t willing to shake. He said the other kid picked on him a lot, followed him around and tormented him. He said that he’s told teachers, and his parents, and even the police, but the boy refuses to stay away from him. Her response? That by not shaking hands, he was just as bad as the other boy.
He tried to get her help, but she completely barreled over him. Even when confronted with evidence of bullying, she claims her students are “good as gold.” She basically told him that he didn’t matter, that his pain meant nothing.
Now, people are out there that kids can trust. I had a teacher who used to stick up for me all the time, and I’m grateful to her every single day. But the thought process of most is, “Suck it up and be a man,” or “Boys will be boys.”
No, verbally abusing someone is not boys being boys. Stabbing someone with pencils is not boys being boys. And threatening to bring in a knife and kill someone is not boys being boys.
It’s harassment. It’s bullying.
And it needs to stop.
This film is a powerful vehicle for change, and I hope its message spreads. But I know that the people who really need to see this movie most likely never will. Bullies don’t think they’re bullies, or don’t care. They’re never going to go with their family or friends to see this, and they’re going to continue to spread their violence and hate.
I really hope that the world evolves into a place of acceptance for my future children’s sake.
And in the meantime, I recommend that everyone see this film.
Kyle W. Kerr
Wide Release: March 4, 2011
Rango is a slightly neurotic chameleon who gets lost from his owner on a trip through the desert. He’s been alone for a long time and doesn’t really know how to act around other “people,” though his penchant for theatricality gets him into dangerous territory when he runs afoul of some nefarious gangster-types in the animal run town of Dirt. There’s a shortage of water and most of the town’s inhabitants had to sell their land in order to survive. But when Rango comes in and claims to be a vigilante who killed seven bandit brothers (with one bullet, no less), he unexpectedly finds himself appointed sheriff and has to play the part in order to protect the town’s inhabitants.
Johnny Depp voices Rango with the deftness of the great character actor he is. He’s able to switch back and forth between eccentric and tragic, fearless and lonely. Though his is the only developed character in the movie. Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers, Confessions of a Shopaholic) plays Bean, another reptile trying to keep her late father’s farm afloat. She’s fierce, and has a weird habit of freezing during stressful situations (literally, she just freezes in place and can’t move, some sort of defense mechanism?). You also have a corrupt government official and a wicked rattlesnake whose bloodlust is only outweighed by his two-dimensionality.
I guess the story was cute (especially for the youngins), and the graphics were great for a special effects studio who’s never done a full-length animated feature before (ILM, who did CGI work for Iron Man, Harry Potter, Transformers, Terminator, the list goes on). But the whole thing felt stilted to me after a while. I was mildly curious about the ending, but got bored midway through. And about three-quarters through the movie, Rango has an existential hallucination akin to the desert/stone crab scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about), and couldn’t help but wonder if director Gore Verbinski has run out of ideas… Maybe that’s a little harsh, but nothing in this movie felt original.
It’s a decent movie to see if you’ve got some kiddies to take (to be fair, the kids in the audience laughed a lot and seemed to enjoy it), but save it for your To Be Rented pile otherwise.
Kyle W. Kerr
Romantic comedies are a dime-a-dozen, though sometimes you find a diamond in the rough. Yes, you’re all groaning at my use of clichés, but this movie was so darn CUTE that I really need to wax a little poetic right now.
Adam (Ashton Kutcher, The Butterfly Effect and Killers) and Emma (Natalie Portman, Black Swan and V for Vendetta) meet when they’re teenagers at summer camp. Adam tears up because his parents are getting a divorce and Emma makes an awkward attempt to comfort him, then Adam asks if he can finger her and Emma says no. Cut to 10 years later when they meet again at a frat party. They agree to go on a “date” the next day, which Emma fails to mention is actually her father’s funeral. They meet once more four years later when Emma moves to his city for her medical residency, then again a year later when Adam gets really drunk and wakes up naked on her living room couch.
That’s where the story really starts. After a hurried hookup in her room, they decide to be friends with benefits, to make themselves available at all hours of the day for the other to use on a purely sexual basis. They have rules: no arguing, no getting jealous, and no falling in love. This latter proves especially difficult as the weeks progress… until things get a little too heated.
Natalie Portman is stellar as usual. But who knew she could be so FUNNY? Watching her get drunk at a holiday party and saunter out to hail a cab, then scare a couple of girls out of Adam’s apartment who she TOLD him to sleep with to begin with… believe me, it makes perfect sense when you watch it! But more than her comedic turn, Natalie maintains your sympathy as someone scared to open herself to love in fear of getting hurt.
Ashton Kutcher has been in a number of romantic comedies, yet I think that the character of Adam had enough depth to put this performance on another level. I know he can be a serious actor because of his role in The Butterfly Effect (if you haven’t seen this movie, RENT IT IMMEDIATELY!), so I always give him the benefit of the doubt when he releases a new movie. He’s been pigeonholed into this genre, which can start to get old after a while, but he manages to portray a guy with morals, a sense of humor, and a deep seeded need to be loved.
What really stands out the movie is the writing. An incredibly heartwarming yet witty exchange between the characters that had me laughing throughout. Never a dull moment, the 110 minute movie seems to speed by and leaves you wishing for more.
Definitely recommended! Go check it out!
Kyle W. Kerr
WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS. You’ve been warned!
I desperately wanted to see this movie because of a) the really messed up looking trailer, and b) it’s been garnering a lot of media and award attention. Plus, Natalie Portman is an amazing actress, and I really liked director Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain.
The movie’s been out for a couple of weeks, and I finally got the chance to see it. I settled in for a tale about a ballet dancer named Nina (Natalie Portman, V for Vendetta and Star Wars: Episodes 1-3), who finally lands the lead role in Swan Lake. Her innocence and perfectionism are lauded as invaluable traits for the White Swan, though she is encouraged by the show’s director to give more into the dark side, to experience a more wonton lifestyle and lose her inhibitions to bring more out of the evil half of her character, the Black Swan.
Yet as she begins to strip away her introversion and shed her purity, she becomes increasingly paranoid that the director is trying to replace her, and that her friend Lily (Mila Kunis, That 70’s Show and Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is trying to steal her role. She soon spirals into a world of disillusion and self-doubt, even as her debut as the Swan Queen draws ever closer.
Now, the reason I needed to put a spoiler warning at the top of the page is because, in order for me to tell you why I didn’t like this movie—which, in fact, I didn’t—I need to reveal some things. The “twist” of the movie is that it’s from the point-of-view of a completely unreliable narrator. A number of things happen that don’t actually happen, such as Nina and Lily having a drunken/under-the-influence tryst after a wild night on the town, hallucinations of self-mutilation (like tearing a flap of skin off her finger, which disappears a second later), and even a murder (that’s at the very end, and I’ll save the revelation of what actually happens a mystery for now).
I think a lot of people are viewing the unreliable narrator technique as unique, but here’s my issue: I don’t like being blatantly lied to. It’s one thing to use red herrings, to have sharp turns and sudden dips in the narrative, but to mislead with falsehood is a cheat. Instead of walking out of the theater with a general sense of awe like most moviegoers, I left thinking “So she imagined it all?”
Was I supposed to leave pondering which scenes were delusions and which were reality? Probably, but instead I went home frustrated, annoyed by the purposeful misdirection. At least Mila Kunis didn’t end up being to Natalie Portman what Brad Pitt was to Edward Norton in Fight Club, which was something I considered halfway through, though they thankfully didn’t do.
There were also a couple of things left unexplained, such as Nina’s overbearing, overprotective mother (who seemed to have a couple screws loose herself, though how much of that was really the mother versus her perception of her mother is another question). Nina also scratched herself bloody with anxiety on several occasions, which is supposed to be some sort of nervous habit I suppose?
However, as disappointed as I was in the storytelling, the movie wasn’t ALL bad. Natalie did an amazing job with the content she was given, and I feel she fully deserved her Golden Globe nomination (and subsequent win!) for her portrayal of Nina. Her graceful elegance and understated performance brought believability to a character wracked with turbulent—and oftentimes self-destructive—emotions, and her “stage presence” kept my eyes riveted to the screen.
Mila Kunis was just kind of there, and her character could have been played by a myriad of other actresses without any change to the film (whereas I can’t imagine anyone other than Natalie in her own part). None of the other actors stuck out enough to mention, save a blink-and-you’ll-miss-her cameo by Winona Ryder so short you’ll barely have time to think, “Hey, was that Winona Ryder?”
I know why the movie is garnering so much attention. Believe me, I get it. The thing is, the twist didn’t hook me like it did everyone else. It just annoyed me, so I can’t bring myself to recommend this to anyone. Seems like another one to save for the Netflix queue.
Kyle W. Kerr
So, my resolution for 2011 is that I’m going to write more, and that means putting an end to the neglect of my blog. Not only am I going to write more about my writing, but I’m also going to review EVERY new book and movie I experience. I get to see a lot of advance screenings for movies (one of the many perks of city living!), and I currently have over 30 ARCs (advance reader copies) burning up my To-Be-Read pile, so a lot of the things I’ll review will actually—hopefully—be relevant and useful. Or not. We’ll see.
Tonight I saw a screening of COUNTRY STRONG, which opens in theaters this Friday. It’s the story of country superstar Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow), just out of rehab after a mysterious-and notorious to the characters in the movie-incident at a concert in Dallas the year prior. She’s being forced into a comeback by her husband/manager James Canter (Tim McGraw, who doesn’t have a singing part). Along for the ride is Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedlund, TRON: Legacy), a rehab aide by day who helps Kelly in more ways than one, and a baritoned crooner by night, as well as Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl), whose youth and talent make Kelly jealous.
I really wanted to like this movie. I’m a big fan of Leighton for her portrayal of Blair Waldorf on GG, and I already knew she could sing from that single she released a few months ago. I’d first seen Garrett in the ill-adapted Eragon movie (which I can forgive him for), and then a few weeks ago starring opposite Jeff Bridges in the new Tron movie, which similarly impressed me. And I was even looking forward to Gwen because of her spin on Glee a month or so ago.
But the story, while not necessarily tired, still felt cliché because of all the real life stars we watch who go through the same experience. These people that are in and out of rehab every few months, staging comebacks at a higher frequency than the full moon appears… it’s just old. It didn’t help the movie in any way. And at almost two hours, it seemed to drag on, too.
Gwyneth doesn’t get as much screen time as you’d think (which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing), and they saved most of her singing until the end—save for an impromptu song she sings for a Make-A-Wish kid with leukemia that was really cute—sort of like that forbidden romance where you wait an ENTIRE movie for that ONE KISS. She was fairly believable as a depressed starlet, but nothing about the performance was particularly wow-worthy.
Leighton seemed to gain more confidence in her performance as the movie went on, which reflects the character’s own arch in a way, though you shouldn’t be able to see it in the performance itself. She seemed uncomfortable for the first half of the movie but found her groove in the end, and she’s a decent singer to boot!
The big delight of the movie, surprisingly, was Garrett Hedlund. Not only did he have an extremely sultry voice, but his sincere portrayal as Beau was completely believable, the only un-forced performance in the entire movie. I almost wish the movie had been more centered on his life and struggles to become a country star. He’s definitely someone to keep our eyes on in the future.
Overall, the movie was cute, but not something I’d run out to see on opening night. Maybe go for an early matinee if you’re interested in seeing it in theaters (the singing alone is worth the $6), but don’t spend $11 to see it Friday night. I probably would have been annoyed if I’d paid to see it. Definitely a matinee movie, or wait for it on Netflix.
Kyle W. Kerr
06/15/10 | General, Movies, My Writings, Reviews | 0 Comments
Yes, I’ve been gone for a while, but I have my reasons. The biggest thing to happen recently is that I (finally!) moved back to the Boston area. I’m in an area called Somerville, literally just across the city border from Cambridge. Just a T ride away from my favorite city in the world!
Moving is a real pain in the arse. I’ve moved almost once a year for the past 7 years, which is kind of ridiculous if you ask me. I’m ready to settle down for a while, and I think this living arrangement is going to be both positive and productive (I’m living with two other writers). No distractions, no more excuses.
The only thing that I regret about moving is that I won’t be able to attend ThrillerFest like I’d hoped. There’s no way I can afford it after the move, so I’ll have to wait until next year! And, since the Maui/Hawaii Writers Conference & Retreat is now officially defunct, it looks like it’s going to be the only party worth going to. Good thing I’m writing a thriller now.
Speaking of which, it got put on the back burner for a few weeks while I’ve been in transition. No time to write amidst packing, moving, and unpacking. But now that I’m (mostly) settled into my new place, I hope to increase my output exponentially! I’ve actually joined a local group of writers that get together once a week for the sole purpose of… writing! We literally gather and spend two hours in silence. Sounds dull, but it’s surprisingly helpful. In fact, I’m writing this Journal Entry at said meeting right now! I also used it to finish a chapter I’d been languishing over for a couple weeks, which brought me into a new one that I’m currently working on… 18,000 words down!
With 15 chapters, that’s about 1,200 words per chapter. My first book averaged just under 4,800 words per chapter. Yeah, it’s a big book (134,000 words within 28 chapters—which you can BET is going to be cut significantly for publication)! The way this book is going, there’s probably going to be 80-90,000 words and 70ish chapters. Writing a thriller is a much different experience and I’m enjoying the challenge. It’s also undeniably adult – there’s sex, torture, murder, and lots of yummy, juicy stuff to write. There’s all that stuff in my other book too, but not in the same way. You’ll have to read them to see!
I’ve come to realize that I need to do a bit more plotting of the sub chapters. I have all of the big events that need to happen and the sub plots that will make it a decidedly non-linear story, but need to fill in a little of the… filler. How am I going to get from the big event I’m wrapping up to the next one? I don’t know yet, and that’s one of the things that’s making my productivity lag. I’m trying to write this as chronologically as I can (as an experiment… the last book was written on a per chapter, hodgepodge-like basis and I didn’t stick to any particular pattern) to see if it helps the flow of the book. Obviously there are some bumps I need to work out, but it seems to be working fairly well.
In the time since my last post, I’ve seen a number of movies… Iron Man 2 (8/10), Date Night (7/10), Clash of the Titans (6/10), Sex and the City 2 (8/10), Letters to Juliet (7/10), Shrek Forever After (9/10), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (8/10). Upcoming movies I’m looking forward to are Toy Story 3, Knight & Day, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Last Airbender, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Inception, Salt, Charlie St. Cloud, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Those are the summer releases, but of course I can’t NOT mention Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 in November and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in December!
Honestly haven’t read any books worth noting. Sad, but true. Though I’ve recently acquired The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Kathy Griffin’s memoir, Official Book Club Selection… both of which I have high hopes for.
I need to start planning out some of my other bajillion projects, but want to get seriously back into the flow of writing this one first. I’m hoping that by writing more than one project at a time I’ll be able to be more productive, because if I lose interest in one I’ll have another to go to, which should hopefully eliminate much of the down-time in my writing. I. Freaking. Hope.
That should be it for now, but I’ll be writing more entries now that I’m not going crazy. Let me know how you’ve all been either in the comments or by sending me an email!
Kyle W. Kerr
I’ve seen a few new movies in the months since my last post, but there’s really only one worth mentioning.
Being the movie fanatic that I am, I frequently prowl the back alleys of movie gossip sites and heard about this particular feature a number of years ago. After the success of Titanic, James Cameron basically fell off the face of the planet, and I figured he was suffering from the same fear that plagues all successful artists… how the hell is he going to follow THAT?
But that isn’t what really happened. He spent his time working on a couple of documentaries (low-key, of course), but he’d also started production on something he’d written almost a decade earlier, an idea that was too far ahead of the technology at the time. He wrote AVATAR and ended up putting it away in a drawer, only to pick it up many years later, blow off the dust, and think… Hey, this isn’t so bad!
And so it began. Production started and whispers of a new mega-budget Cameron project started to circulate (even now, no one really knows how much it cost, but many believe it is the most expensive movie ever made, so over $300 million!). People kept talking about the kind of technology being developed and pictures leaked of actors wearing strange costumes. Everyone in the industry was buzzing, and that buzzing eventually turned into a frenzy late last summer when the first trailer debuted.
I have to admit, when I first saw the trailer I thought it looked a bit… dumb. Well, not necessarily dumb, but I didn’t really know what to think of it. Not much of the story was explained (it was a TEASER trailer, after all!), and the visual effects didn’t look right. Little did I know that it was the limited viewing capabilities of our home computers (even though my monitor is high-def) that was the problem. BUT, even though I wasn’t overly impressed the first time I watched the trailer, I watched it again. And again. And many more times over the following months until the theatrical trailer was released, and by that time, I’d started to become a little, well, OBSESSED.
Cut to the week leading up to the release of the movie. Everyone is talking about it, critics are raving, and you can’t turn on your TV without seeing a dozen or so commercials every hour. I talked my friend Francine into seeing the movie in 3D with me on opening night, even though we expected a huge crowd, and I probably lost a good handful of Twitter and Facebook friends because I could talk of little else.
Now, I have a confession to make. I am a HUGE Titanic freak (sounds redundant when you think about it, doesn’t it?), and it is probably the worst kept secret that I am deeply in love with Kate Winslet… Couple that with the fact that the Terminator franchise is one of my all time favorite storylines (T2 is one of the most incredible movies ever, and I WAS named after Kyle Reese from T1 after all), and the fact that he also directed the hilarious True Lies, I was definitely a James Cameron fan. But now, my liking of him has escalated to an unhealthy level.
We went to the theater early (only about 2 hours), expecting to see a swarm of people (I was there for when people were lining up for the midnight release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon back in November, and was expecting similar lines), but was disappointed by the seeming lack of bodies. We didn’t even get in line right away, and opted to sit in the game room for a half hour or so because we weren’t really worried about getting bad seats at that point. All of this was an ominous sign. I knew AVATAR was the most expensive movie ever made, and I feared for Jim’s reputation if it didn’t open with smashing numbers. But then a queue started, and we diligently and patiently waited for it to snake its way into the theater.
I wear glasses, so having to wear 3D specs over them has always been difficult. I’ve never watched an entire feature length movie in 3D, but did see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in IMAX, and the last twenty minutes of the movie were in 3D (which was my first real experience with 3D where it wasn’t kitschy), and it was annoying for that short amount of time, so how would I feel after over two and a half hours?
Honestly? I forgot I was wearing them. Well, after the disconcerting sensation of depth perception for a MOVIE wore off! I was disoriented for maybe the first five minutes, but after…
For those of you who don’t know what AVATAR is about, it follows the story of ex-Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who is recruited by a company to fill in for his recently murdered twin brother. Jake’s brother was a scientist and worked closely with the avatar program, training for years to operate an avatar body and learning the native language of the Na’vi. His involvement meant millions of investment dollars, and because the avatar bodies are made from the DNA of their host mixed with the DNA of the Na’vi, Jake is literally able to step into his brother’s avatar, something no one else can do.
He is transported several light-years away to Pandora, where he is quickly recruited by the person in charge of security, another ex-Marine, Colonel Quaritch, to be his spy on the Na’vi, to learn their ways and feed him useful information on how they might eventually fight the native population.
But what Jake couldn’t have foreseen was the level of intelligence the “savages” have, or the peace loving and spiritual insight that is their very nature. He manages to get accepted (for the most part) into their tribe, thanks mostly to Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), who believes she can see his good heart and pure spirit. Jake falls in love with Neytiri and the Na’vi People, so when Quaritch decides it’s time to move and destroy the spirit of The People, Jake has a very tough decision to make: stand back and watch it happen, or abandon his own race and fight alongside the Na’vi.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. The visuals are unparalleled. I’ve never seen a movie with so much CGI work look so photorealistic. That’s thanks to the team over at Weta Workshop/Weta Digital in New Zealand (owned by my other favorite director, Peter Jackson, who’ve done visual effects work for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Chronicles of Narnia movies, King Kong, X-Men: The Last Stand, Jumper, The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), just to name a few). They were heralded for their work on Lord of the Rings, but they have progressed to GODS with AVATAR. The transition from real to CGI is seamless, and when you have a human standing next to a Na’vi, neither looks fake. What’s most impressive was the emotion they were able to capture from the actors, from small facial movements, to the depths of their eyes. If any digital effects company in the world could’ve pulled this off, it was always going to be Weta. When I saw LOTR for the first time, I was mesmerized. And if anyone has seen King Kong, pay special attention to the end of the movie when you can LITERALLY see the light go out of Kong’s eyes when he dies. Beautiful CG work. And, being the crazy movie fan that I am, I have watched ALL of the special features for the LOTR movies, King Kong, and The Chronicles of Narnia, so know the depth of detail they put into their designs that we can’t even SEE on screen.
Also, the 3D enhances your experience of the movie tenfold. I haven’t seen the movie in 2D. Hopefully they’ll find a way to release the DVD in 3D as well, because I can’t imagine watching it any other way. The way it just immerses you. Who would’ve thought that just adding depth perception to a movie could create such a difference!
The thing that I liked most about the movie is the thing people have spoken about least, and that’s the acting. Sam Worthington as the lead is great. This was the first movie I’d seen him in (he was previously in Terminator: Salvation, but I wouldn’t see that until after AVATAR), and I was impressed with him. He’s great with the action, but he could also be passionate and sensual when needed. He’s a commanding presence, so it takes no stretching of the imagination to see him leading a Na’vi army against The Sky People.
But the person who most impressed me, the performance that stayed with me long after the credits stopped rolling, was that of Zoe Saldana playing Neytiri. It’s a testament to her performance that I FORGOT I was watching a nearly naked, ten foot tall alien with yellow eyes and a zero waistline. The raw emotion that radiated from her, the sadness in her eyes, the joy on her face, the power of her voice… whatever the scene, she never gave less than her A-Game. AVATAR was just nominated for NINE Academy Awards, yet Zoe wasn’t nominated for best actress. I think this was a HUGE oversight. EVERY SINGLE SECOND of Neytiri’s performance was done by Zoe. They didn’t record voices for this movie and then Weta spent the next three years doing the animation, these actors suited up and motion-captured their entire performance. Meaning Zoe had to train for months beforehand so she was lithe enough to be a believable Na’vi, had to learn their native language, had to fight, to cry, to love. Every miniscule movement on their faces was captured and 100% reproduced on their Na’vi counterparts thanks to the amazing technology James Cameron and his crew invented. Don’t believe me? Check out this video:
All in all, a worthy movie of all the attention and money it is making. This was truly a magical experience for me, and if anyone hasn’t seen it in 3D in theaters yet, you cannot imagine what you are missing.
Film Score: 12 out of 10.
Kyle W. Kerr
10/28/09 | Genius Mode, Movies, My Writings, Reviews | 2 Comments
It’s okay, you don’t have to try and convince me otherwise. I have been a HORRIBLE blogger these past few months. Not only have I not written, but I haven’t been keeping up with my blogroll, either. Sometimes you fall out of a habit and it’s hard to get back into the groove again. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start afresh and I won’t have to write another of these apologies for a long time…
What have I been up to since May? Well, as you saw, I finished my first novel, Love, Simon. I’m happy with where it is and have recently been sending out queries to agents. I know it’s a long and treacherous road to finding representation, but I have faith that when the right agent reads something of mine at the right time, magic will happen. So, enough about Simon for now.
I started writing my second novel, which is as different from my first as it’s possible to be. I didn’t start out to do that. Yes, I wanted to write something DIFFERENT for a change, but it hadn’t been my intention to start this particular book. There were (and still are) a few projects that I really wanted to start, but when it came down to putting fingers to keyboard, this is what I started writing. It’s a story that has been percolating in my brain for the last five or so years, and I initially envisioned it as a screenplay… but who am I kidding? When am I going to find the time to learn how to write a screenplay? I think it’ll work magnificently as a movie, but someone else will have to adapt what I’m writing now. It’s kind of an urban fantasy thriller, but with a literary twist (though hopefully the fantasy part will blend in so seamlessly it’ll read more like a literary thriller). Here’s the logline:
What if Jesus was never meant to be our Savior, but a warning? What if, 2000 years later, God fathered a daughter?
And that’s as much as you’re going to get until the book is published, whenever that may be! If you’re clever, you might be able to find an Easter Egg about it somewhere else on this site, but that’s all I’m saying right now!
I’m really enjoying the process of creating a new world. And, like I said in the past, I am no longer limiting myself to work on ONLY ONE project at a time. I have ideas for two YA series—one an urban fantasy and the other more commercial—as well as my next literary novel (which I’m going to give a little time before I start… I need a little BREAK). So, I’ll keep everyone updated to my progress.
In the meantime, I’ve also finished a new short story entitled “The Mommy Tree.” It’s currently making the rounds of my first readers, but early response has been positive. I’m planning on submitting it to a contest at the end of the month that I have no chance in hell of winning, but I’m not one to be intimidated by overwhelming odds—would I have chosen to be a writer if I was? Keep your fingers crossed for me just in case!
Work is still the same—work. I’m making strides and creating waves, in my usual fashion. Even the CEO of the company knows me by name. That’s just how I handle business.
I went to see the musical WICKED this past weekend in NYC. I read the book about a year or so ago and wasn’t overly impressed with it. I’d been expecting a fairytale told from a different POV, when all I got was a big political statement that I found BORING. I read to the end because I was curious, but it’s not something I’d recommend. And it’s already been made clear to me that I’m one of the only people in the world NOT to love this book, I understand this. It’s just hard for me to get into something when my expectations aren’t met. But the musical was INCREDIBLE, for lack of more clever verbiage. I was skeptical, because of my experience with the book, but they were able to draw the real story out of the novel and make the musical based on that. The overall plot is the same, but it had a more humanized quality to it—more literary, if you will. And the music was witty and sad all at the same time. I wish I could have recorded that performance to watch over and over again. I bought the original cast recording, but it pales in comparison to the experience of seeing it live and feeling the entire theater shake from the power of their voices. Definitely worth a see if you’ve got the time and money.
Over the summer I was able to watch a number of movies. I’ll list them below and give a short reaction to each (since there are quite a few, I won’t bore you with longer opinions):
After Wolverine, I saw—
Angels & Demons – Still the best of the Dan Brown novels, I was pleased with the adaptation. I read the book a number of years ago, so the plot wasn’t very fresh in my head (my mom, on the other hand, reread it for the showing and was disappointed by the changes made). And I’m so glad they didn’t have Langdon jump out of the helicopter at the end, which was the most unbelievable part of the whole book. Though, I have to admit, I did miss Silas from Code… But that might just be misplaced longing for my love of Paul Bettany. *shrug*
Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian – The first movie was cute, and I really only went to see this because a friend wanted to. But I was pleasantly surprised at how funny the movie was. Amy Adams is always refreshing, and my favorite part was with the singing Cherubs (voiced by The Jonas Brothers, I would find out later). Obviously, this was just a screwball flick, but worth your time if you’re looking for a laugh.
Up – I LOVE Pixar. I have never been disappointed with one of their movies, and this one fits in the same mold. It was witty, but also extremely heartfelt. Their animation only gets more incredible with each movie, and hopefully they’re only just hitting their stride.
My Sister’s Keeper – I had heard of this book, but never picked it up. But from the first trailer that premiered for this movie, I wanted to see it. Why would this young girl no longer want to help save her sister’s life? There had to be something more… and there was. My only complaint is for Cameron Diaz, someone I’m never much impressed with. You can take any role she’s ever played, exchange her out with another actress, and it wouldn’t make a difference. Not like Kate Winslet, where I can’t picture anyone else but her playing each of her roles. I also happened to miss the emotional climax of the movie. TMI, but I should have gone to the bathroom BEFORE the movie started, and I didn’t think anyone would appreciate me peeing in the theater. Oops.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – OMFG was this movie HILARIOUS. I loved the first Transformers for its amazing wit and breakneck action, and this was no different. Besides the fact that the theater put it on the smallest screen in the building, I was absorbed from the first minutes of film. Shia LaBeouf is extremely funny and a perfect fit for this role, and even though the story gets a little convoluted in places, it was definitely first-class entertainment. The guy in me drooled the entire film!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a Harry Potter freak. I’ve been to two midnight premieres (including this one), went to the midnight releases of the last THREE books, and reread the books once a year. So, it should come as no surprise that I LOVED this movie. Yes, hardcore fans, the plot and structure were rearranged to fit the 2 ½ hour movie format, but that’s been the case for all five previous movies as well, so get over it! One of the things I loved most about the movie was the humor. I still laugh every time I think about Ron climbing into bed with Harry to swoon over Ramilda Vane, whom he recently fell in love with due to an expired love potion. The special effects were flawless (save for the Inferi at the end, but that’s just me). All the kids have really come into their own. And we were introduced to some great new talent in the form of both Young Tom Riddles, who both gave very chilling performances. I’ll be first in line when this movie comes out on DVD, and I’ll be sure to be at the midnight premiere of DH Part 1 next November!
The Ugly Truth – Predictable, but enjoyable. Some of the best lines were in the trailer, but it wasn’t really lacking in the funny. I’ve liked Katherine Heigl since her Roswell days, so this was a no-brainer to see. Of course (and I hope I’m not ruining anything for you here), the guy gets the girl in the end, so it was satisfying. And Katherine playing off of Gerard Butler was great fun as well.
Julie and Julia – As I said above, Amy Adams is always refreshing. And seeing her try to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook was enjoyable, to say the least. And it’s amazing how Meryl Streep can so fully embody whatever character she plays. I fell in love with her in The Devil Wears Prada, and she really shone as Julie Child in this one. I’ll have to check out some of her earlier work!
The Informant! – Ever since the Bourne movies came out, I have really come to appreciate the raw talent that is Matt Damon. In this quirky comedy, he plays a professional turned informant when he disagrees with the way his company does business. He’s bumbling, almost moronic, and ends up getting himself in some real trouble in the end. Odd, but worth the watch. You won’t know where the movie is going until the last frame!
Couples Retreat – I’m not a big Vince Vaughn fan. To be honest, I think he plays the same character in ever movie he’s in (which I believe is just a caricature of himself), and it’s getting old. This movie is no different in that respect, but he isn’t the only main character, so he sort of gets blended in with the rest of the cast. That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. It was funny and unpredictable at times (though I think the ending was a little too easily wrapped up).
Where the Wild Things Are – This is another book I never got around to reading. Funny, considering I went to B&N after watching the movie and was able to read through the book in about 2 minutes flat (I think there’s, what, 20 words total in the book?). Based on that, you can imagine how much of a creative leap the filmmakers had to make in order to draw the story out for two hours. The movie, if you haven’t seen it already, is very dark and depressing. Max “runs away” from home (and into his imagination) because he is lonely and believes everyone thinks he’s bad. But, like the old saying, life isn’t always greener. He stumbles upon the Wild Things, who are a bunch of lonely, depressed creatures themselves. They make Max their king in hopes that he will cure their loneliness and bring them closer together. But nothing Max does seems to help, and eventually he discovers that he misses the very people he was trying to escape. Exceedingly beautiful and poignant film, even if it is a little sad. Great performance by young actor Max Records.
Movies I wanted to see but missed and will have to catch on DVD: Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, The Hangover, The Proposal, Year One, Public Enemies, Bruno, (500) Days of Summer, Funny People, District 9 (!), The Time Traveler’s Wife, Inglourious Basterds, Gamer, and Surrogates.
Movies either out now or coming out that I want to see: Law Abiding Citizen, Amelia, Astro Boy, 2012, The Blind Side, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Road, The Princess and the Frog, The Lovely Bones (!!!), Avatar, and Sherlock Holmes.
I’ll have to talk about books, TV shows and music in another post!
What has everyone else been up to all summer? I know a little if I follow you on Twitter or Facebook, but like I said, I haven’t been keeping up with my blogroll.
I’m much better at updating Twitter (and consequently Facebook, since my Tweets are my Status Updated on FB). So, if you haven’t already, please follow me on TWITTER!
Kyle W. Kerr
What do the two of these have in common? Nothing, apart from the fact that I’m going to discuss both of them in this blog post.
I never read the comics when I was younger, but I did watch the cartoon, so there was definitely a certain level of anticipation on my part when the first of the X-Men franchise was originally slated for release. Though I’ve deemed the X-Men films as the movies where good actors go to get a break from acting, they’ve served their entertainment purposes and I’ve liked all three of them.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is supposed to be about the—er—origins of, well, Wolverine, if the title wasn’t obvious enough. It starts off when he’s a kid and he finds out he’s half-brothers with Victor Creed (aka Sabretooth), goes through a choppy montage of clips with the two of them fighting in every war imaginable in recent history, to the point where they’re both recruited to become part of William Stryker’s personal SWAT team of mutants. That’s all in the first five minutes. To say that this film is roughly edited and moves at too quick of a pace is an understatement. I had a connection with Wolverine because I’ve already been through three other movies with him, but it didn’t leave me enough time to bond with the other characters.
One of my favorites has always been Gambit, but the eight minutes of screen time he had wasn’t nearly enough for me (though they were probably the BEST eight minutes of the movie!). The whole storyline was a bit contrived and I left feeling disappointed. It was entertaining, don’t get me wrong, with some decent action and a look at a bunch of new mutants we hadn’t been privy to in the earlier films in the franchise (and some of them, like Gambit and Deadpool, already have Origins spin-offs of their own in the works), which was cool. But the acting in this installment was particularly bad, even on Hugh Jackman’s part, which pains me to say.
And there’s also the fact that they CHANGED Wolverine’s origins for this movie! Like I said previously, I didn’t read the comics, but even I know that Logan didn’t have his claws UNTIL the metal was added to his bones… they were a sort of perk of the operation. In the movie, young Jimmy (I don’t know WHY he’s called Jimmy in the beginning and throughout the film by Sabretooth and is now Logan, but whatever) gets mad and the claws come out of his hands as bone, and he goes through all the wars and most of his life with the bone claws (which I actually found kind of disgusting for some reason) that turn into metal during the operation. And since when does Sabretooth have long life like Wolverine? He also seemed to have healing powers of some sort, because he never seemed to be hurt, no matter how he was shot, stabbed, cut or impaled. Anyone know anything about X-Men that can let me know about this?
Basically, it’s a pretty mindless movie with some decent action and cool special effects. Hopefully the Wolverine 2 movie that is already being planned will be a little better in the story and acting departments, because this one was definitely lacking in both. Go to see it in theatres if you like (mostly because the SFX will look better), but it’s not really necessary.
Score: Not great, but didn’t want to throw myself on Wolverine’s claws… 6/10.
Neil’s name has popped up over the past few years, but I never picked up one of his books. Most recently (if you call two years ago recently), I saw the movie Stardust, which is based off of one of his novels, and I really liked it! Now, I still haven’t read any of his books, but I subscribe to his Journal on his official website and I also just followed him on Twitter.
There are some authors that I love to read but who can be fairly boring people. There are others that I don’t particularly like their books but I LOVE to read them talk (meaning, anything BUT their fiction, ie. blog posts, interviews, etc…). Stephen King is one of the latter. I HAVE eighteen of his books and I’ve read exactly four of them. They’re okay, but don’t have me itching to pick up the next one (then why do I have eighteen of them? I have mentioned my compulsive book buying before, haven’t I?), but his On Writing book is incredible, I read every Entertainment Weekly column he writes, and every time I see an interview or anything with him I have to read it. He’s just an incredibly interesting and intelligent person whose brain I love to get a glimpse into.
This is my problem with Neil. Not a problem, per-se, but definitely a predicament. I love reading him talk so much that I’m afraid to pick up one of his books! Take his latest Journal entry for instance (read it here… trust me, you’ll enjoy it!). A very well thought out response to a question that plagues most published authors, but also an answer to an email from a fan! As a heavy reader myself, I like to see instances where authors take the time to communicate with their fans, and Neil does that on a daily basis through email, his Journal, and on Twitter. It’s very frustrating when some of your favorite authors don’t even have a WEBSITE, let alone a blog or Twitter account or Facebook page. A great amount of interaction isn’t necessary (they do have to have time to actually write the books we so love!), but a little would be nice, and a bit more is always appreciated.
Are we too connected? Only time will tell, but I enjoy the communication and is something I plan to do myself when I finally get published. I mean, how else would I have known that Christopher Rice finished his fifth book last week if I weren’t friends with him on Facebook? I know he has no clue who I am, but it’s nice to have that little connection.
But back to Neil. I have been enjoying his Journal entries for months now and think it’s finally time to venture into his world of fiction. Are there any fans out there who could recommend a first read?
And if you haven’t checked out his Journal, definitely take some time to do so!
P.S. Follow me on Twitter if you haven’t already!
Kyle W. Kerr
04/27/09 | Books, Genius Mode, Movies, My Writings, Reviews | 4 Comments
For those of you who follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter, you’ll know all about the new love of my life, my iPhone! You’ll also know that I spent an hour typing out a blog post on my new iBlogger application… which promptly crashed as I was trying to post it. So, I’m going to try and retype as much of it as I can remember and try to post it again (I’m at work, so hopefully it doesn’t get lost again!).
It’s been a month since I started my last set of updates and I’ve written upwards of 18,000+ new words! My productivity has slowed dramatically now that I’m back at work (I’d taken a week of vacation to try and finish), but I’m still trucking along. I’ve only got one more chapter to rewrite and four others to revise! This is the closest to FINISHED my book has ever been. I’ve been plotting out my next books too, so all around the writing is going well! Cross your fingers for me that I can finish soon...
And now to the random:
THE READER came out on DVD, and it was just as amazing this time around as it was in theaters. Kate Winslet is extraordinary and no one has deserved their Academy Award more. I’m totally not biased.
I’m reading a book called BATTLE ROYALE, about a bunch of Asian students put on an island with various weapons and ordered to kill one another until only one survives. It’s a translation from either Japanese or Chinese, so the writing isn’t that good, but the story is good enough to keep me reading anyway!
The summer movie season is gearing up, starting with WOLVERINE this Friday. Be ready for my reviews coming in as I see them! I did just see 17 AGAIN and it was actually really good. Semi-predictable, but funny enough to make it worth it.
ThrillerFest is coming up in July, which I’m really excited about. It looks like it’s going to be as good or even BETTER than last year! And it’s nice to see all my friends who I only get to see once or twice a year, not to mention all of the writer eye candy! And don’t forget about all the free books! I think I got upwards of 30 last year. Let’s see if I can break that this time around! I’m going with my friend Dawn (whose wedding I’m going to in August!), which is who I went with last year and had a lot of fun! Should be a great time. And this time I get to go for the entire week versus just the long weekend. Fun!
I think that’s enough for now. Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve been having (except Dawn, who lives where it’s still SNOWING!)...!!!
Kyle W. Kerr
You’re either going to love this movie, or loathe it. It definitely takes a certain type of humor to get this movie. Luckily, I have said sense of humor, so I didn’t leave disappointed, but I can’t claim the same for everyone.
This story starts with Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) as he gets fired from his job at the CIA for being an alcoholic. He’s in a rocky marriage with uptight Katie Cox (Tilda Swinton), who is having an affair with Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney). She wants to divorce Osbourne and marry Harry, though she doesn’t realize that Harry is a sex addict—and slightly neurotic!—and their relationship doesn’t mean as much to him as it does to her. With me so far? In the meantime, Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) wants to get plastic surgery to improve her looks and hook a man. She works at a gym with happy-go-lucky Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt), where they find a CD containing information about CIA agent Osbourne Cox. They decide to try and blackmail Cox into paying to get the information back, and it basically blows up in their faces.
And that’s really only the half of it! Basically, this is the Coen Brothers’ idea of a Soap Opera, though much more entertaining, and with MUCH better acting!
There are a lot of big names in this movie (most of whom are listed above), and it’s nice to see most of them taking themselves not so seriously. One of the biggest scene stealers in this flick is Brad Pitt, whose blond streaked coif and tight gym shorts only add to the slightly dimwitted character. He is able to portray this almost childlike enthusiasm and innocence that gets caught up in something more dangerous than he could have ever imagined.
Some of the most hilarious scenes in the movie were between J.K. Simmons (as the CIA Supervisor) and another CIA officer, as they try to understand the situation from their end. The story is so ridiculous that the Coen’s brought in these characters just point that fact out to us and make sure we knew THEY knew the movie’s ridiculous.
Now, this movie isn’t all sunshine and dildos (you’ll get that if you’ve seen the movie). Some people actually die, and in some not so nice ways. BUT, they were shown in such a way that they’re actually kind of funny (or, at least I think so!). Just be prepared for it when you sit down with your garbage bag of popcorn and three liters of soda.
I didn’t see There Will Be Blood, but I’m guessing this isn’t the kind of movies the Coen’s are expecting to get Oscar noms for, and they certainly won’t. It was entertaining, it was funny, and I didn’t feel like I had wasted $10. That’s a big plus!
Like I said, not everyone is going to like this movie, but some of you will. I’d recommend it to friends of mine who share my sense of humor. For me: 7/10.
Kyle W. Kerr
Apologies in advance for how LONG this post is going to be. I haven’t updated in a while, so this is going to be a bit of a ramble. But, considering the title of this blog is A Writer’s Ramblings, I guess I’m allowed.
It appears that I am unemployable. I got a job sometime in June, but that basically ended in flames and I was forced to quit. Of course, that was two weeks before I headed to Honolulu, so let’s just say I’m a bit strapped for cash at the moment. (I had to sell my soul to three people in order to even GET to the conference and retreat! Thank God I have such great friends!) I’ve currently got my resume out to a number of places, and am even applying to some less-than-ideal jobs in the area (the dreaded retail). Please, pray for me.
I’ve seen a few new ones, three of which I saw on the two 8 hour trips between Minnesota and Honolulu. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Okay, I’ll admit that I haven’t seen the first three Indy movies in their entirety yet, but I just have to say that this movie was REALLY hokey. I mean, I love Cate Blanchett, and I’ve recently come to appreciate Shia LaBeouf, but the acting was just BAD. And that ending. Really? I’m usually really good with my suspension of disbelief (I AM a writer, after all!), but that ending was just completely ridiculous. Good lord! Kung Fu Panda: Not much to say about this one. Cute, cuddly, adorable. Jack Black is awesome as usual. I’d watch it again. Skadoosh! Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: I have to say that I really LOVE Focus Features lately. Atonement. In Bruges. And now, Miss Pettigrew. I really, really liked this movie. It’s about a nanny who’s hard on her luck and having trouble finding a job (maybe THAT’S why I connected with her so well! She’s ME!), and ends up stealing a lead from her placement agency after they deem her unemployable. The movie follows her through one day, and it was simply amazing. Plus, I love Amy Adams, too! The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Awful. It was nowhere near as good as the first two. The amazingness of Rachel Weisz was noticeably absent, the portrayal of the once adorable son (who is magically in his mid-twenties after only a 7 year time gap between films) is that of an arrogant jackass, and the storyline was just WAY too out there! What, you couldn’t find a way to bring back Imhotep for a third round? Whatever. The Dark Knight: Anyone who has seen this movie already knows how amazing it was, so I don’t need to add to everything that has already been said about it. I will say that I believe director Chris Nolan, and actors Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart all deserve Oscars.
I’m currently obsessed with the following three songs (note my seemingly erratic choices! Blame the stress…):
Le Disko by Shiny Toy Guns
I am apparently not allowed to embed the music video for this song (WHY?!), so you can listen to it HERE. This song was offered as a “Single of the Week” through iTunes, so I was able to get it for free. It has such a catchy tune that I haven’t been able to stop listening to it!
Creator by Santagold
I first heard this song on episode 2x02 of Gossip Girl (I LOVE that show!), and instantly downloaded it. It’s been less than a week, but I must have listened to it over 50 times!
An Angel by Declan
This song came to my attention while I was searching for someone else on YouTube (which I talk about below). I don’t know how old this kid is, but I can’t get enough of this song! Just ignore some of the bad lyrics (rhyming “hives” with “hives”, for instance… and using “eyes” at the end of two consecutive lines!) and concentrate on his voice and the music. He reminds me of Billy Gilman, though obviously not singing Country. He has two albums out in the US right now (I think there’s one import available in the UK that isn’t available here), and has such an adorable voice! It’s funny though, because it drops about THREE OCTAVES between this album and his next one.
I’m currently reading The Venetian Betrayal by my new favorite person, Steve Berry! I hadn’t read any of his books prior to having him as a teacher in Honolulu, so I thought it might be a good idea to check him out. I’m just beginning part four of five parts, and I’m really enjoying it so far! He’s definitely a talented writer, and it’s good to know the lessons he taught us can actually be put to good use! I’ll definitely be buying more of his books in the future.
Some books that I’m really looking forward to their releases are Christopher Paolini’s Brisingr and JK Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard...! Brisingr is the third book in Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, formerly the Inheritance Trilogy because he decided to make the series four books instead of three (which I’m not complaining about!). I absolutely loved the first book in the series, Eragon. The second book, Eldest, I didn’t think was as good as the first, but was still very good (enough to get me to want the rest of the series!). That book comes out in about a week, which I’m really excited about. The Tales of Beedle the Bard was mentioned in Jo’s last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was a present from the recently deceased Dumbledore to Hermione as a clue for Harry on how to defeat Voldemort. Only one story from the book was mentioned in Hallows, but Jo created a set of seven copies of this book, each handwritten by herself and bound in beautiful leather and encrusted with precious stones. Six of them were given away to people who were intricate to the success of Potter (I’m guessing her agent, editors, etc), and one was auctioned for charity. Amazon.com bought the book for a reported $4 million, and teased us with pictures of the book and reviews of all the stories within. We thought we’d never get to see inside, when they announced that they were going to publish the book and give all the proceeds to charity! They have a standard paperback of the book available, but I’m interested in THIS one! A replica of the one Amazon won, which is selling for a mere $100. Well worth it, I say!
There are a bunch of things I’m watching nowadays. We’re halfway through the fifth season of Project Runway. I have to say I’m really disappointed with this season. I don’t care for any of the designers. Every time someone gets voted off the show, I’m not particularly bothered. And there’s no one I’m really rooting for to win, either. In fact, most of the contestants annoy me. Suede, with his referring to himself in third person; Blayne, who can only think about tanning; Keith, who’s only capable of sewing together strips of fabric and calling it fashion forward… the list goes on. Gossip Girl season two just started recently, and I’m happy to report that it’s as scandalicous as last year, and hopefully the ante gets upped even more! The Sarah Connor Chronicles had its season two premiere on Monday, and it was amazing. You all know how much of a Terminator fan I am (I’m named after Kyle Reese from the first movie, after all!), and this show has not disappointed (too much). John Connor finally has some of his balls back, Cameron could have been bad but ended the episode on the side of good, and they’ve brought in a female version of the T-1000 (the guy from T-2 who was basically liquid metal)!!! It’s going to be an amazing year. Now, I just have to wait for the premiere’s of Grey’s Anatomy and Heroes…!!! TV JOYGASM!
Some NEW shows that I’ve been watching include Skins and Fringe. Skins is basically Dawson’s Creek on CRACK! It centers on a group of 7 British teen friends, and involves a whole bunch of drugs, sex, swearing, eating disorders, manipulation, fights, suicide attempts, a possible sexual relationship between one of the friends and a teacher, parental abandonment, and that’s only in the FIRST FIVE EPISODES! It airs on the BBC America channel on Sundays at 10PM, but an unedited/uncensored version of the show is available on iTunes. I don’t know what it is about this show, but it is completely addicting. The kids are really great actors, and the storylines are simply explosive! Love it. The other show, Fringe, just premiered on Fox the other day, and stars Dawson’s Creek alum Joshua Jackson. It’s an X-Files-like show that centers on the unnatural, but doesn’t involve aliens (at least, I don’t think it does) and actually revolves around science. The first episode started a little slow, but I was completely hooked by the end of it! Now I’ve got another show to set up on my DVR!
I’m only going to put two on here, and it’s a complete coincidence that the main actors for each movie are schtupping one another.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
I first heard about this movie about a year ago, and it’s been on my mind ever since. When I finally got to see the teaser trailer above, my first reaction was HOLY FUCKING GOD! It looks really incredible! And, it brings together a number of my favorite actors, including Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton. This movie is definitely on my list to see this winter.
After seeing what he could do with Million Dollar Baby, I can’t pass up the chance to see another Clint Eastwood drama. Not only is the concept completely horrifying, but it’s actually a TRUE STORY. Besides, it doesn’t hurt that Angelina Jolie is in it.
The following video I first saw on an episode of Oprah. This is the video I mentioned earlier, the one I was searching for on YouTube when I came across Declan’s song. This is of a boy named Andrew Johnston trying out for Britain’s Got Talent, which is exactly like its American counterpart. You MUST watch the entire video, from the start, or else the song and his voice won’t be AS powerful (though, they’re powerful on their own as well!). I would suggest turning up the volume as loud as you can, preferably using a set of good headphones if you’ve got them around. I swear on all that is good and holy that I actually teared up listening to his voice, and he hits a note right in the middle of the song that sent a jolt right through my body.
I would also highly suggest listening to this in hi-def, which you can see HERE. The faces on the judges say it all. Absolutely stunning, and I can imagine him singing for movie soundtracks in the very near future (they have used boys choirs in recordings for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc… LOTS of work for these kids!)…!
And the last thing I want to talk about is the lawsuit of JK Rowling and Warner Bros. vs. RDR Books, a company who wanted to publish a Harry Potter Encyclopedia based on the website The Harry Potter Lexicon. I’m not going to go into the reasons behind the lawsuit—you can read about it HERE—but just comment on the outcome. Thank GOD the judge sided with Jo and WB, or else we might not have seen the comprehensive Harry Potter Encyclopedia that Jo herself is writing. We’ve been hearing about this book ever since the publication of Deathly Hallows last summer, and it would have been a real travesty had she felt forced to give it up. Justice sides with good once more, and hopefully we get our hands on that book sometime soon!
I’ve made a vow to keep up with my blogging from now on, so you won’t have these ridiculously long posts to sort through anymore. Thanks for listening, though!
Kyle W. Kerr
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe took the world by surprise. Not many thought that the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Harry Potter series could be repeated, yet it happened again with The Chronicles of Narnia. The first movie went on to gross over $730 million worldwide and left audiences all over the globe wanting MORE.
In Prince Caspian, the world of Narnia has been ravaged by time and the harsh rule of a race of humans called the Telmarines, a people who do not believe in magic. In the 1300 years since the Pevensie siblings left Narnia after serving for years as Kings and Queens, the Telmarines invaded and managed to drive Narnians almost to extinction.
The King of the Telmarines is dead and his son, Prince Caspian, is waiting for a time when he can take the throne. In the meantime, Caspian’s uncle, Miraz, serves as Regent of the realm. However, when Miraz’s wife gives birth to a son, Caspian’s life is suddenly in danger and he is forced to flee in order to survive. In the throes of his escape, he blows a horn with a mysterious past, and in doing so summons the Kings and Queens of old to help in his plight.
It has only been a year for the Pevensies, yet the transition from royal adults back to ordinary “children” hasn’t been easy for all of them. Peter, for one, hates being treated for his age and starts fights with other school-aged boys just to prove his manhood. Yet one day they feel an strange pinching in their stomachs as they’re waiting for the train to school, a pinch that feels oddly like magic. In the blink of an eye, the children are back in Narnia and they are faced with fighting two battles: the advancing Talmarine army, and their waning faith in Aslan and in themselves.
From the moment I stepped out of the theater after watching the first Narnia installment, I instantly wanted to watch the next one. It has been two and a half years, and six months longer than the original release date, and I’m very pleased to say that the wait has been well worth it. Through most of the two and a half hour movie, I literally had chills running up my spine. This movie, in my opinion, is even better than the first.
What makes it so great is that director Andrew Adamson didn’t try to recreate the look and feel of the first movie. This is a much darker movie, one with severe moral undertones about acceptance and prejudice, and it shouldn’t feel as fluffy as the first one was. A number of reviews I read about the movie complained that there wasn’t enough magic in this one, yet what did they expect? The Pevensies come back in an age where magic is all but gone, so there naturally wouldn’t be any magic to see. There are still a number of Narnians left: from centaurs and minotaurs, to talking badgers and mice to dwarves. There was plenty of magic in that respect, and certainly enough action, to let the audience leave feeling satisfied.
Another interesting element of this movie is the level of emotion that the young actors were able to bring to their roles, as well as the feelings the characters themselves were feeling. In the first Narnia, it’s obvious that it was their first real acting job. Yes, they did the best they could at the time, but they have all grown as actors, resulting in much more three dimensional characters this time around. They actually FELT like they were the Kings and Queens of Narnia past stuck in the bodies of teenagers and children. It was something in their eyes, a sense of knowledge far beyond their years, and the very way they held themselves that made it so believable. They have all grown, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
My favorite transition was in the character of Edmund who, in the first movie, betrayed his family for his own gain. In Prince Caspian, you can tell he is still trying to make up for this betrayal and will do anything for his family. Not only does he defend his brother, stick up for Lucy when no one believes that she’s been seeing Aslan when none of the rest of them has, but he’s turned into a calculated, badass warrior. He’s very confident in his position as a King, gets right into the thick of battles, and even slides down a roof to kick a Talmerine soldier over a balcony. He is able to stand in front of the Telmarine usurper, surrounded by enemies, and shoot off a witty sort of banter that lets Miraz know exactly who Edmund is: a Narnian King. Not to mention how much older he seems, considering actor Skandar Keynes’ voice dropped about three octaves!
Newcomer Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian only added to the great cast. The only thing I was confused about was his accent. He’s British, yet he had some sort of Italian accent in the movie, which didn’t exactly match up with the rest of the Telmarines. Other than that, I’m glad we’ll be seeing more of him in the upcoming The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie in 2010.
Overall, really incredible movie. The action is enough to keep anyone’s eyes glued to the screen, but the sarcasm and wit will keep you in your seat, and the emotion will leave you longing for more. This is one of those movies that you really need to see in theaters, and one you’re likely to see multiple times (like I’m surely going to do myself!): 10/10.
GO SEE THIS MOVIE.
Kyle W. Kerr
As I was looking at new trailers, I stumbled across these! Behind-the-Scenes featurettes for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!
Anyone else looking forward to this as much as I am?
Kyle W. Kerr
I haven’t posted any trailers in a while, and what better one to restart with than Narnia?!
Kyle W. Kerr
The 80th Annual Academy Awards was on last night, and it was… okay. You could tell that the show was kind of thrown together at the last minute. Almost every few minutes, it felt like they were showing another clips montage. I can’t imagine how awful that would have been if the writers HADN’T been there! Clips galore! PLUS, they showed these awful montages, yet they were rushing the winners off the stage! Poor Marketa Irglova (who won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once with Glen Hansard) got cut off right as she was about to speak! Thankfully, host Jon Stewart was kind enough to bring her back out after the commercial break and let her give her Thank Yous… which was very kind of him!
Also, did anyone notice some things...? Like, recently deceased actor Brad Renfro was mysteriously absent from the In Memory Of montage? Also, they seemed to snub Whoopi Goldberg, who they only showed as an Oscar winner… but excluded her from the hosts’ clips, even though she was the first woman host, the first black host, and the first host who was also an Oscar winner… Not cool, guys!
But, in case you missed the show, here are the nominees and winners for each category (*’s are next to the nominees who I THOUGHT should have won!):
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman, Juno*
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd*
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age*
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War*
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement*
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Diablo Cody, Juno*
Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Brad Bird, Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages
Christopher Hampton, Atonement*
Sarah Polley, Away from Her
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Counterfeiters, Austria
Dario Marianelli, Atonement*
Alberto Iglesias, The Kite Runner
James Newton Howard, Michael Clayton
Michael Giacchino, Ratatouille
Marco Beltrami, 3:10 to Yuma
“Falling Slowly,” Once*
“Happy Working Song,” Enchanted
“Raise It Up,” August Rush
“So Close,” Enchanted
“That’s How You Know,” Enchanted
Arthur Max, Beth A. Rubino, American Gangster
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer, Atonement*
Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock, The Golden Compass
Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo, Sweeney Todd
Jack Fisk, Jim Erickson, There Will Be Blood
Roger Deakins, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Seamus McGarvey, Atonement*
Janusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men
Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood
Albert Wolsky, Across the Universe
Jacqueline Durran, Atonement*
Alexandra Byrne, Elizabeth: The Golden Age*
Marit Allen, La Vie en Rose
Colleen Atwood, Sweeney Todd*
(This one was a major tie for me… They all did a great job!)
Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald, La Vie en Rose
Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji, Norbit
Ve Neill and Martin Samuel, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End*
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Taxi to the Dark Side
Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis, The Bourne Ultimatum*
Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland, No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane, Ratatouille
Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe, 3:10 to Yuma
Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin, Transformers*
(Both had really great sound mixing.)
Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg, The Bourne Ultimatum*
Skip Lievsay, No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom and Michael Silvers, Ratatouille
Christopher Scarabosio and Matthew Wood, There Will Be Blood
Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins, Transformers*
(Same as above.)
Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood, The Golden Compass
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier, Transformers*
Christopher Rouse, The Bourne Ultimatum
Juliette Welfling, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jay Cassidy, Into the Wild
Roderick Jaynes, No Country for Old Men
Dylan Tichenor, There Will Be Blood
SHORT FILM - ANIMATED
“I Met the Walrus”
“Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)”
“My Love (Moya Lyubov)”
“Peter & the Wolf”
SHORT FILM - LIVE ACTION
“Il Supplente (The Substitute)”
“Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)”
“The Tonto Woman”
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
“La Corona (The Crown)”
I was not happy with most of the winners, actually. I’m sure No Country for Old Men was a good movie, but I didn’t see it. My vote has always been for Atonement, and they all got gypped. The movie lost Best Picture, Saoirse lost Best Supporting Actress, Christopher Hampton lost Best Adapted Screenplay, they lost Best Set and Costume Design, and Kiera, James, and director Joe Wright weren’t even nominated for Oscars! What is wrong with these people? I swear, when I’m finally part of the Academy, I’m going to make sure the GOOD movies win. Seriously.
Kyle W. Kerr
I am really starting to love Focus Features. Not only have they produced my most recent favorite movie, Atonement, but they have also brought us such movies as Brokeback Mountain, Lost in Translation, Pride and Prejudice, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Constant Gardner, The Pianist, Billy Elliot, and Eastern Promises, just to name a few. To add to that list of amazing movies (and cult classics), they now bring us In Bruges.
This movie is not for the conservative at heart. In fact, it takes a really good sense of humor and a very un-politically correct mindset… both of which I have. Not only is every other work ‘fuck’, but they manage to throw in the C word about 10 times, and they make fun of blacks, gays, fat people, midgets, Belgians, and just about everything you can think of, while throwing in a mixture of sex (almost), drugs, violence and crudity. They were able to get away with a LOT in this movie. And I couldn’t have loved it more.
Behind everything listed above is some truly remarkable acting, a incredibly witty and well written script, and some surprisingly serious moral undertones. I’m not really a Colin Farrell fan, but he really won me over in this movie. He’s a hired hit man, he’s just killed a priest, and yet you’re pulling for him almost from the word go.
Here are some examples of the witty (and crude) dialogue in the movie (not work appropriate):
Ray (Colin Farrell): If I’d grown up on a farm and was retarded, Bruges might impress me. But I didn’t, so… it doesn’t.
Ray: They’re filming midgets!
Ken (Brendan Gleeson): Harry, let’s face it. You’ve always been a cunt. The only thing that’s gonna change, is that you’re gonna be an even bigger cunt. Maybe have some more cunt kids.
Harry (Ralph Fiennes): You fuckin’ retract that bit about my cunt fucking kids!
Ken: I retract that bit about your cunt fucking kids.
Harry: Insulting my fucking kids?! That’s goin’ overboard man!
Ken: I retracted it, didn’t I?
In the context of the movie, it really isn’t offensive at all. By the time you reach the conversation between Ken and Harry, the language of the movie is already well established, and it only adds to the humor of the moment.
Definitely worth a watch (if you meet the above mentioned requirements for viewing, that is!)...!
I was actually somewhat disappointed with this movie. It has a really great premise (people who can jump through space and can pretty much go anywhere they want to go), some phenomenal actors had signed on (Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell), and some great special effects to back the sci-fi themes of the movie.
Yet, somewhere it fell short. Yes, the special effects were really great, and some of the action was thrilling… and, there was a semi-good twist at the end, though most people could probably have guessed it. But, there were a lot of things that were off-putting about the storyline, such as characters not being surprised to see someone they thought had been dead for eight or so years, and the main character’s flippantly nonchalant attitude to being attacked by a man who was able to keep him from jumping with some strange electronic device. Not to mention the girl who gets on a plane to Rome with the guy she thought had been dead for eight years without even a second thought. It also had some really cheesy dialogue at times (to the point where audience members were laughing during “serious” moments).
I don’t know; I’m all about suspension of disbelief in the name of moving the storyline forward. I mean, you can’t really have twenty minute exposition scenes where you explain everything that’s happening, but there has to be a sense of realism to what you’re doing, too. I was able to believe the jumping, and the circumstances behind how his first jump happens, and even the war that’s brewing between the Jumpers and the religious zealots who think that no one but God should be able to do what they are able to do (though, I would have liked a little more back-story on them, too…). But you need to back it up with something, and that something was definitely missing.
See it in theatres if you want, but only for the cool special effects. This one is probably better left for your Netflix queue.
Kyle W. Kerr
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Cyrstal Skull is set for release on May 22. As my Valentine’s treat to you, here’s your first look at the movie:
Looks sooo good you guys! And Cate Blanchett looks FIERCE.
What do you think?
Kyle W. Kerr
Members of WGA Vote by 92.5% to Lift Strike
To Our Fellow Members:
On Tuesday, members of the Writers Guilds East and West voted by a 92.5% margin to lift the restraining order that was invoked on November 5th. The strike is over.
Writing can resume immediately. If you were employed when the strike began, you should plan to report to work on Wednesday. If you’re not employed at an office or other work site, call or e-mail your employer that you are resuming work. If you have been told not to report to work or resume your services, we recommend that you still notify your employer in writing of your availability to do so. Questions concerning return-to-work issues should be directed to [...].
The decision to begin this strike was not taken lightly and was only made after no other reasonable alternative was possible. We are profoundly aware of the economic loss these fourteen weeks have created not only for our members but so many other colleagues who work in the television and motion picture industries. Nonetheless, with the establishment of the WGA jurisdiction over new media and residual formulas based on distributor’s gross revenue (among other gains) we are confident that the results are a significant achievement not only for ourselves but the entire creative community, now and in the future.
We hope to build upon the extraordinary energy, ingenuity, and solidarity that were generated by your hard work during the strike.
Over the next weeks and months, we will be in touch with you to discuss and develop ways we can use our unprecedented unity to make our two guilds stronger and more effective than ever.
Now that the strike has ended, there remains the vote to ratify the new contract. Ballots and information on the new deal, both pro and con, will be mailed to you shortly. You will be able to return those ballots via mail or at a membership meeting to be held Monday, February 25th, 2008, at times and locations to be determined.
Thank you for making it possible. As ever, we are all in this together.
Writers Guild of America, East
Patric M. Verrone
Writers Guild of America, West
Thank GOD that’s finally over and done with! Writers prevail!
Kyle W. Kerr
According to an article from CNBC.com, a deal has finally been reached between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
According to Disney CEO Michael Eisner: “A deal had been made, and [the writers] will be back to work very soon. I know a deal’s been made. I know it’s over.”
The proposed deal will be revealed to WGA members on Saturday, with both coasts holding conferences for their regional members: one in NYC, and the other in LA.
If the deal is approved over the weekend, the writers may be back to work as early as Monday.
What does this mean for us?
New episodes of all of our favorite TV shows, and a less likely chance that the Fall 2008 TV season and 2009 movie season will be affected! This is GREAT news.
And, according to sources, the two groups were able to come to amicable terms over such hot button issues as New Media and online advertising revenue royalties! This means more money for the writers, who, as we’ve seen, are the backbone of the industry!
Kyle W. Kerr
Don’t you love hearing amazing success stories? Here’s one for you:
This is the independent movie to beat all other independents. It was made for a measly $150,000 (no, I didn’t forget any zeroes), and went on to make $10M in limited release in the Unites States alone…
Numbers aside, this movie is incredible. It’s pegged as a modern day musical, but I wouldn’t go that far. No one breaks out into random song and choreographed dance, but there is a lot of singing in the movie; about 60% of screen time, as a matter of fact!
This is the story of an Irish Guy, stuck in a rut and wanting nothing more than to earn a living as a musician. Enter an immigrant Girl with an affinity for the piano and a voice to match. Together, they make stunning music, and make you fall in love with them all at the same time.
I have watched this movie three times in the last two weeks, downloaded its soundtrack about ten minutes after watching it for the first time (and listened to it a minimum of 60 times since then, some songs more than others), and plan to watch and sing along to it for years to come.
What’s really extraordinary about this movie is that these are not actors, but real musicians. The director (John Carney) was setting up to make this movie and asked his friend, Glen Hansard, to write some music for it. After John heard the music, he realized that no one was going to be able to pull those songs off like Glen; he’d rather have a great musician who was an okay actor, than a great actor who was an okay singer. And it really paid off. After that came Marketa Irglova, a friend of Glen’s, and a fellow musician. Together, they are able to wend one of the most heartwarming and beautiful movies I have seen in a long time.
Here is the song Falling Slowly, sung by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova:
Definitely worth a watch… and believe me, once you hear the soundtrack, you’ll never get it out of your head...!
Kyle W. Kerr
As I’m sure you have all heard, actor Heath Ledger was found dead this past Tuesday at the age of 28.
Instead of going through the motions of saying how brilliant of an actor he was (which is true), or saying how shocked I am that he’s really dead (which I am), I’m going to talk a little about why people are reacting so passionately about the whole situation.
There was a comment to a blog post talking about Heath’s death that read something like this:
“I tried to kill myself and nobody noticed. Why does anyone care about him?”
You’d think it was about America’s obsession with celebrity, to think that there was a bump in their picture perfect lives. But you know what? I don’t agree at all.
I could really care less about what they write about in gossip magazines/websites. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read about it, but I don’t take it to heart where that person’s work is involved. Tom Cruise is a brilliant actor, and Britney Spears is an amazing entertainer (yes, don’t lie… you, too, sing along to her in your car).
When you think about it, we spend a lot of time with our favorite artists—be them actors, musicians or writers—and invest so much of our emotions in them, that sometimes we feel that we know them on a personal level. No, you’re not the only one; it happens to all of us. When something like this happens, this kind of tragic death, we can’t help but feel personally connected to the person, and so we feel like we’ve lost someone close to us.
One of my friends was really happy to find out that The Dark Knight was still going to come out, but immediately felt guilty for thinking that in the wake of Heath’s death. I have to admit that that was one of my first thoughts as well.
But I don’t feel sorry for thinking it.
I actually think it’s a tribute to his memory and his legacy as an actor for us to have those kinds of thoughts. Keep thinking them. Is it so wrong that we want just that last little piece of our favorite artists?
Think of the singer Selena, comedian Mitch Hedberg, and actress Marilyn Monroe… wouldn’t you have liked just one more song, one more joke, or one more movie? As much as we would like these people to live forever, that’s just a wild dream… everyone dies, but we always hope it’s when they’re old and have had full use of their careers and their lives. Yet, when someone dies even before their prime, that’s when it hurts the most.
So, yes, people are upset that Heath Ledger died, and they have every right to be. It really is a tragic loss, and we’d be equally as emotional were it any of our other favorite artists.
I know I said I wouldn’t talk about how amazing an actor Heath was, but I really am truly saddened by his death. He hadn’t even scratched the surface of his potential, and Hollywood has been struck a serious blow to their talent pool… It’s rare that you find someone with genuine talent without all of the modern day superficiality attached to them.
My well wishes go out to his family, especially Michelle Williams and their 2-year-old daughter Matilda, who will never get to know her father.
Kyle W. Kerr
01/10/08 | Idiot Mode, Movies, Making Of | 2 Comments
This picture has been making the internet rounds, and I just HAD to share it with you guys.
It appears to be a production sketch of the monster from the upcoming movie Cloverfield, showing a scale measurement of the “beasts” as compared to the Statue of Liberty and a person.
This is almost as “scary” as the “alien” from Signs.
A mutated humpback whale? Really?
Do you guys find this scary at all? I mean, if it were real, yeah, but as a movie monster?
I think that the parasites (also shown) are way scarier than the whale.
Tell me what you think!
Kyle W. Kerr
It’s probably the worst kept secret these days that I am in love with the movie Atonement.
In the movie, there is one of the most amazing tracking shots I have every seen; a five minute long shot through complete and utter chaos… there are soldiers marching, singing, fighting, shooting horses (obviously, they didn’t really shot them… but it looks incredibly realistic!), and pretty much just going stir crazy all over the place. It’s a right miracle that they were able to pull it off in one go.
I am posting two clips below. The first is the actual scene from the movie. I honestly don’t know how long this clip will be up for, so you should check it out while you have the chance. The second clip is a little piece on how they created the shot.
(The behind-the-scenes Dunkirk footage runs the first five minutes of this video.)
Again, I can’t stress how amazing a movie this is. It is being released in more theatres every day, so check your local theatre for show times.
Kyle W. Kerr
So, this weekend I…
I was intrigued when I first learned that they were making this movie. Ever since Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl came out a few years ago, I have liked most of the roles that Johnny Depp has taken on… Willy Wonka, J.M. Barrie, Jack Sparrow, and now Sweeney Todd. So, I knew I had to see it when it came out. And I wasn’t disappointed, at ALL.
I have only recently gotten into musicals, and have enjoyed the likes of Rent and Hairspray, and Sweeney Todd was well up to par. It has such a singable soundtrack, and the cinematography and acting were definitely grade A all around. I’ve also come to appreciate the brilliance that is Helena Bonham Carter since her role as Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix earlier this year. (Other Potter alum who make an appearance in Todd include Alan Rickman, who plays Severus Snape, and Timothy Spall, who plays Wormtail.) Newcomer Ed Sanders as Toby is delectably adorable, with one of the cutest little kid British accents ever!
There is almost no way I can do any justice to this movie with a simple review; just know that it was amazing and you should see it. Make sure you see it while it’s in theatres, though, because it’s really a sight to see. You need to experience it twenty feet high with theatre surround sound. Stephen Sondheim’s score and lyrics are some of the juiciest I’ve heard in a long time, as well as some of the funniest. I’m including the lyrics to my favorite song on the soundtrack, A Little Priest, below.
A Little Priest
That’s all very well, but what are we going to do about him?
Later on, when it’s dark, we’ll take him to some secret place and bury him.
Oh yeah, of course we could do that. I don’t suppose he’s got any relatives going to come poking around looking for him.
Seems a downright shame…
Seems an awful waste…
Such a nice plump frame
Nor it can’t be traced.
Business needs a lift,
Debts to be erased,
Think of it as thrift,
As a gift …
If you get my drift …
Seems an awful waste.
With the price of meat what it is,
When you get it,
If you get it—
Good, you got it.
Take, for instance,
Mrs. Mooney and her pie shop.
Business never better, using only
Pussy cats and toast.
Now a pussy’s good for maybe six or
Seven at the most.
And I’m sure they can’t compare,
As far as taste—
What a charming notion,
Eminently practical and yet
Appropriate, as always.
How I did without you
All these years I’ll never know!
Think about it.
Lots of other gentlemen’ll
Soon be coming for a shave,
For what’s the sound of the world out there?
What, Mr. Todd,
What, Mr. Todd,
What is that sound?
Those crunching noises pervading the air?
Yes, Mr. Todd,
Yes, Mr. Todd,
Yes, all around—
It’s man devouring man, my dear,
And who are we
To deny it in here?
These are desperate times, Mrs. Lovett,
and desperate measures are called for.
Here we are, hot out of the oven.
What is that?
Have a little priest.
Is it really good?
Sir, it’s too good,
Then again, they don’t commit sins of the flesh,
So it’s pretty fresh.
Awful lot of fat.
Only where it sat.
Haven’t you got poet
Or something like that?
No, you see the trouble with poet
Is, how do you know it’s
Try the priest.
Lawyer’s rather nice.
If it’s for a price.
Order something else, though, to follow,
Since no one should swallow
Anything that’s lean.
Well, then, if you’re British and loyal,
You might enjoy Royal
Anyway, it’s clean.
Though, of course, it tastes of wherever it’s been.
Is that squire
On the fire?
Mercy no, sir,
You’ll notice it’s grocer.
More like vicar.
No, it has to be grocer—it’s green.
The history of the world, my love—
Save a lot of graves,
Do a lot of relatives favors…
—Is those below serving those up above.
So there should be plenty of flavors…
How gratifying for once to know—
—that those above will serve those down below!
What is that?
Finest in the shop.
Or we have some shepherd’s pie peppered
With actual shepherd
And I’ve just begun.
Here’s a politician—so oily
It’s served with a doily—
Put it on a bun.
Well, you never know if it’s going to run.
Try the friar.
Fried, it’s drier.
No, the clergy is really
Too coarse and too mealy.
Yes, and always arrives overdone.
I’ll come again when you
Have Judge on the menu.
Have charity toward the world, my pet—
Yes, yes, I know, my love—
We’ll take the customers that we can get.
High-born and low, my love.
We’ll not discriminate great from small.
No, we’ll serve anyone—
We’ll serve anyone—
And to anyone
Here’s the song in the movie… I don’t know how long these will be up for, so definitely take a look at them while you can! Almost all of the song sung by Johnny and Helena...!
Definitely take the time and see the movie. And download the soundtrack while you’re at it… you’ll be singing it for years to come. Already five days later and I can’t get it out of my head (not that I really mind)…!
Kyle W. Kerr
This post is all about some BIG NEWS… Some really amazing things that I thought I should share with you all… Of course, none of it is about me, but all of it excites me to no end!
The first thing is about my friend Dawn, who I have mentioned in the past. She recently finished her first book and sent it off to an agent who expressed interest in it back at the Maui Writers Conference… Well, she just got an email from said agent that was very encouraging! I’m not going to go into it until Dawn gets some definite answers, because I don’t want to jinx it… I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you Iusey!
Any Peter Jackson fans out there? Of COURSE there are! For any of you who don’t personally know me, I am a HUGE PJ fan, and have loved all of the movies of his I’ve seen (including the Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong, Heavenly Creatures, and The Frighteners, and I’m sooo looking forward to The Lovely Bones)… Well, Pete and New Line were having a little tiff… to the tune of about $100 million! That’s how much money in royalties NL tried to swindle PJ out of for the Rings trilogy. Because of the success of the trilogy, NL wanted to immediately put into production the film version of The Hobbit, the prequel to the trilogy, though both sides refused to work with each other while the dispute was going on. I don’t blame them… Personally, I don’t see what the problem was. Give him the damn $100M, because you have the potential to make another BILLION dollars if you team up for another movie (that’s the amount each of the first three made on average in box office receipts alone!). Well, they’ve finally settled their dispute, and PJ is back on board for The Hobbit (which, from what I can tell, is going to be TWO movies, shot consecutively and released in 2010 and 2011), but only in a producer role! He’s not going to direct! What the eff?! They’re looking at Spider-Man director Sam Raimi to fill Pete’s shoes… As long as PJ’s there to make sure things stay on track, it should still be good… I hope!
Also, for those of you who enjoyed Christopher Nolan’s vision of Bruce Wayne and Gotham City in Batman Begins, the next installment is coming out next summer! Enjoy the trailer for The Dark Knight below!
It looks even BETTER than Begins! Anyone else notice that Katie Holmes was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal? Katie had scheduling difficulties. Yeah, she decided to film the ridiculous looking Mad Money with Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah. I’m not even going to put the trailer on my site, because it looks sooo bad… But you can view it here if you so choose… Good choice, Katie!
Focus Features has become one of my new favorite movie studios, after their release of the brilliant Atonement. Here are two new movies coming out by the studio that look really hilarious!
In Bruges (January 17, 2008) - This trailer actually has cursing in it, so you probably shouldn’t watch it at work...!
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (March 7 2008)
Kyle W. Kerr
12/13/07 | Movies, Trailers, My Writings | 0 Comments
Well, I’m back in Pennsylvania for about three-ish weeks… Meaning, I should have that amount of time to work on my novel. Considering I don’t have a car, and everyone else works, I guess I’m going to have a lot of time in front of my computer screen. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Besides that, I’m excited to report that I have been seeing movies at a rate of about two a week (which is just fine with me!). What does that mean to you? Reviews!
It’s one of the perks of living in a major city, being able to see movies in limited release. Atonement was actually playing in this little theater in the middle of Cambridge, one that I would have never found had I not gone with someone who knew the way.
If you’re a writer, you’ll understand what I’m about to say. Have you ever walked out of a movie and just been filled with an overwhelming will to write? This was one of those movies. It was simply stunning, a truly amazing movie. The movie is about two hours long, but I wish it would have been three more. The images were stunning, the story so engaging, that I didn’t want it to end. My friend summed it up nicely by saying (the first words out of his mouth as the credits started to roll), “That movie is going to win so many awards.” I really hope it does; it so deserves it.
Based on the novel by bestselling author Ian McEwan, the story starts as 13-year-old Briony Tallis, a fledgling writer herself (with quite the imagination), witnesses certain things that she doesn’t quite understand but thinks she does. Through a series of extremely unfortunate circumstances, she ends up accusing Robbie (James McAvoy), her sister Cecilia’s (Kiera Knightly) lover, of raping her cousin. This results in him going to jail, and ultimately ending up in the army. Briony grows up to realize her mistake, and makes amends in the only way she can…
Breathtaking movie that had my heart pounding right until the very end…! And this movie has one of the best twists I have seen in many years; totally unexpected. A must-see once it opens in wide release… and keep a look out for it during Oscar season! I’m definitely going to have to read the book now!
Plus, I have just found out (a day after I initially wrote this post, by the way… notice the prediction of future awards above?), the movie has been nominated for an astounding SEVEN Golden Globe awards, including Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Actress (Kiera Knightly), Best Actor (James McAvoy), Best Supporting Actress (Saoirse Ronan, who plays the 13yo Briony), Best Director (Joe Wright), Best Screenplay (Christopher Hampton), and Best Original Score (Dario Marianelli)! Congratulations and good luck! (Click here to see the rest of the nominations…)
Please, if you haven’t seen it already, watch the trailer for the movie…
Philip Pullman wrote an amazing trilogy of books called His Dark Materials, set in another dimension of our world, where everyone has a daemon (a corporeal part of their soul in the shape of an animal). I read these books a number of years ago, and have been waiting for the movies to be made. Well, after a number of production issues, they finally did it.
The movie is visually stunning, newcomer Dakota Blue Richards is the perfect Lyra (seriously, exactly how I pictured her), and they were incredibly faithful to the book. If there was one problem I had with the movie, it’s that they cut the last 40 pages of the book out of the movie. And, from the trailers, I know that they actually filmed and finished the shots, yet director Chris Weitz decided to cut them from the movie to end it on a happier, more optimistic note. Yeah, well, it kind of ruined it for anyone who read the book, because we were all expecting about thirty more minutes of action. Plus, if you’ve read the book, you know it ends with the perfect cliffhanger, one that would have driven audiences to see the second movie. What annoys me most, I think, is that (if they even make the second movie, which is up in the air right now) they’re going to have to spend the first 20 or so minutes of the next movie going through what was supposed to be at the end of Compass, which means less time to dedicate to an even more complicated plot of The Subtle Knife. I hope Chris knows what he’s doing.
For anyone who follows it, you know The Golden Compass was #1 at the boxoffice this past weekend, but made a very modest $25 million. (Atonement, by contrast, made an astounding $800,459 in just 32 theaters, an average of over $25,000 per theater!) Hopefully they’ll still make the second movie if this one doesn’t perform as expected (which I honestly don’t think it will).
I was never a huge fan of Steve Carell (I actually don’t like The Office), but have become intrigued with him recently after seeing Little Miss Sunshine (which was a really fantastic movie on its own). He’s actually a really great actor when he isn’t overacting! This movie is about a single dad, trying his hardest to raise three girls on his own and manage his career as the local “Dear Abby”-esque advice columnist. They go to his family’s house for the holidays, where he meets and spends the day with a woman he meets at a bookstore. It’s the first woman he’s been interested in since his wife died, but she turns out to be his brother’s girlfriend. Uh-oh! Well, it makes for some really hilarious moments. I think it’s on its way out of theaters, so definitely put it on your list of movies to rent when it comes out on DVD.
Kyle W. Kerr
I know this is the third trailer I’m posting in a week, but these are all movies that I have been waiting a long time for and am very excited about.
Now, here’s the trailer for Inkheart...!
Kyle W. Kerr
Here’s another surprise!
The trailer for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian...!!!
Looks amazing! I can’t wait...!!!
Kyle W. Kerr
Here’s the trailer for Sex and the City: The Movie!!!
Hope you enjoyed it!
Kyle W. Kerr
11/29/07 | Genius Mode, Movies, My Writings | 0 Comments
In the past two weeks, I have seen a LOT of movies. Some were good, some okay, some amazing, some a bore. Yes, I experienced at least one of each.
But before I talk about these movies, I wanted to say two things:
1) My classes end on December 4th, which means that I will have an ENTIRE MONTH to work on my novel! I’m going to bunker down and work my widdle fingers raw, so help me god! It has been driving me absolutely mad not being able to write, to the point where it’s all I can think about lately. Thank god I only have five more days of this crap to deal with!
2) My friend Dawn finished her first novel, Absolution…!!! Congratulations Iusey! From what I’ve read and heard about it, it’s going to be amazing… I’ll be first in line (though, of course, I’m really expecting a free, signed copy… I’ll buy one and give it to someone to spread the love!). If any members of our Ohana read this, please send out some positive energy that the book gets picked up by an agent soon!
I am notoriously easy to impress when it comes to movies. As long as I felt mildly entertained during its duration, I feel the movie did its job and am relatively pleased with it. So, my method of rating movies is rather simple. Meaning, I like the majority of movies I see. However, it is rare that I walk out of a movie completely speechless, yet it does happen occasionally (most recently with V for Vendetta). Well, it happened again.
This was, quite literally, quite amazingly, one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life (and in a very long time). It is almost impossible to pinpoint my criteria for favorite movies, because each of them is so different from the others. Some of my favorites are (in no particular order): Michael J. Fox’s The Secret of My Success, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Powder, Finding Neverland, The Bourne Supremacy, Pay It Forward, and Love Actually. A comedy, sci-fi action, drama, comedic drama (I say it like that because there’s way more drama than comedy), action/suspense, family drama, and romantic comedy, respectively. Any relation? No. I’m just crazy. Now, I can add August as one of my Top 10 Favorite Movies.
I know that one of my favorite adjectives is “amazing,” but it’s a really versatile word. This time around, I’m going to use a different word: extraordinary. I have liked Freddie Highmore since I first saw him in Finding Neverland. There’s something about him that most adult actors can’t emulate, a sort of sadness and deep, penetrating gaze. I knew that he was destined for great things, and I wasn’t wrong. Freddie plays a boy who has lived at an orphanage for the first eleven years of his life. He has an intrinsic passion for music, a passion he runs away to New York to pursue in the hopes that it will help him find his parents.
In NYC, the eccentric Wizard (Robin Williams, who was perfectly cast for the role… watch the movie and you’ll see why) gives him shelter and provides the musical knowledge and instruments August needs to broaden his talent.
Lyla Novacek (Kerri Russell) is an acclaimed orchestral cellist, who even headlines the New York Symphony at a young age. One night she meets Louis Connelly (Jon Rhys Meyers), a charming, Irish rock singer. They spend the night together, fall in love, but are kept apart by Kerri’s father (played by Roswell alum, William Sadler).
I wish I could just tell you all about the movie and its amazingness, but that would give away too much and ruin the movie for you (something I HATE… I once overheard a conversation where someone said, “But then you find out that Bruce Willis was dead the whole time!”… NOT cool). So, please, go and see it. And, because of the musical score and how important it is to the plotline, you should really see it in theaters. You won’t regret it one bit.
You know what? This movie was a lot better than it looked. It looked so stupid from the commercials and trailers, but it actually turned out to be really funny (and, of course, adorable). The beginning of the movie is done in the classic Disney animated fashion, but the plot twists when the wicked Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) pushes the unsuspecting and naive Giselle (Amy Adams) down a well, where she ends up in New York City. There, she meets Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and his daughter, Morgan, who take her in (though reluctantly). Prince Edward (James Marsden), the queen’s loyal servant Nathanial (Timothy Spall, who played Wormtail in the third and fourth Harry Potter movies), and Pip the Chipmunk follow, and hilarity ensues. Worth a watch.
I have great respect for George Clooney and Tilda Swinton (the White Witch in the first Chronicles of Narnia movie, and Gabriel in Constantine), and this movie got such great reviews that I had some high hopes for it… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… Oh, sorry, did I just doze off right there? Right, well, this movie had a really cool premise, and some amazing actors, but… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
This movie has been out for a while, but I watched it for the first time last weekend. It was surprisingly good. Edward Norton plays an illusionist (well, duh), who falls in love with a childhood friend, Sophie (Jessica Biel), but they are kept apart because of their different social classes. They are reunited later in life, when Sophie is betrothed to Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell… why does this guy always play bad guys? I’m starting to hate him as a person). With one of the best plot twists I’ve seen in a long time, drama ensues. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.
There are actually a couple more movies, but I think this post has gone on long enough.
Kyle W. Kerr
11/20/07 | Business, Movies, The Industry | 0 Comments
The following is an article from IMDb Pro:
“‘Angels’ wings clipped
19 Nov 2007 11:25am EST - By Borys Kit and Leslie Simmons
Sony has postponed production on Columbia Pictures’ Angels and Demons, the latest major film project to be derailed by the writers strike.
Tom Hanks is set to reprise his role as symbologist Robert Langdon in Angels, a prequel to The Da Vinci Code, with Ron Howard again directing. The studio said Friday the screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, an adaptation of the Dan Brown novel, was not ready to go before the cameras.
But Angels isn’t alone. Several other projects are in limbo and might be heading towards postponement, even with the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers returning to the table next week. The shifting schedules are causing some directors to leave projects and others to pick up projects as the labor drama plays out.
Columbia’s Edwin A. Salt, a spy thriller with Tom Cruise attached, has been pushed back due to director Terry George is stepping off the project. Michael Mann wants to pick up the directing reins but only will step in if there’s a rewrite, which can’t be done while the strike is on. Visit HollywoodReporter.com for more ...”
That makes me sad. Settle with the WGA already! They’re not asking for much…!
Kyle W. Kerr
Something has been going on this week that will affect my future (at some point). The Writers Guild of America is on strike. I had to put together some information on this topic for one of my classes, so I’m going to put that here now (so you’ll know the facts):
As of 12:01AM on November 5th, 2007, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike for the first time in almost 20 years. Writers had been in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP, which represents studios) since July of the same year, though terms for a new three-year contract were unable to be reached. The WGA ordered all of its 12,000 members to put down their pens and take up their picket signs.
Two of the biggest issues are as follows: higher residuals for DVD and New Media sales. The WGA is seeking to double residuals for DVD sales, which are currently at $0.04 per DVD (average retail price $19.99-34.99). Also under negotiation is the percentage of revenue from New Media, which refers to newer ways of displaying video, such as the internet, cell phones and mobile (iPods). The current residual for New Media is 1.2% of revenue, which the WGA is looking to increase to 2.5%.
“It’s an extremely volatile industry,” said Diana Son, a writer for “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. “There’s no job security. Residuals are an important part of our income. There’s no cushion.” The battle also has big repercussions for the way Hollywood does business, since whatever deal is struck by writers will likely be used as a template for talks with actors and directors (whose contracts expire June 2008), one of the reasons why the AMPTP is being so cautious.
In 2007, consumers are expected to spend about $16.4 billion on DVDs, and studios could generate about $158 million from selling movies online and about $194 million from selling TV shows online.
According to several sources, the AMPTP does not want to agree to the increase in New Media residuals because the market is untested, and they unsure how profitable or unprofitable the new ventures will be. Producers say that they want “the economic flexibility to experiment as consumer habits change in reaction to technology,” which they would not be able to do with the added burden of increased residuals.
The first paragraph of the official 2007 strike rules, as laid out by the WGAe (east region), states that all members “…must immediately stop writing for any and all struck companies. [Members] may not continue to write or complete writing started before the strike for a struck company. [Members] may not start writing on a new project during a strike. [Members] may not perform writing services even if [s/he] work[s] at home or at [his/her] own office rather than at the company’s premises. This Rule also prohibits [members] from attending meetings, or engaging in conversations, as a writer concerning new, pending or future projects or writing assignments with producers, directors or other representatives of any struck company. [Members] may not attend pitch meetings or communicate with a company representative to receive notes on literary material even if [s/he] intend[s] to wait until the strike ends to make any requested changes.”
The above mentioned “struck companies” include all of Hollywood’s major studios, including the “Big Five”: News Corp (Fox), Universal (NBC), Viacom (Paramount, CBS), Time Warner (WB, New Line Cinema) and Disney (Pixar, ABC). The strike will not immediately impact production of movies or prime-time TV programs. Most studios have stockpiled dozens of movie scripts, and TV shows have enough scripts or completed shows in hand to last until early next year.
The last WGA strike was in 1988 and lasted 22 weeks (five months), resulting in a reported $500 million loss for the entertainment industry. A similar strike in 2007, according to Los Angeles economist Jack Kyser, could result in over $1 billion in economic losses. These losses would be the result of television shows being forced into reruns, which, for many networks, will happen in early 2008. Talk shows (such as Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jon Stewart), which rely on current news events, will be affected immediately [and they were, all are off the air as of now]. Losses will be in the form of advertising dollars, which will shrink due to declining viewership due to the reruns.
Here’s a short video to explain all that to you:
As of right now, five days after the strike started, negotiations have not restarted. Bill Clinton has even offered to mediate the process to try and resolve the issue.
People seen on the picket line with the writers: Robin Williams, Jay Leno, the casts of Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, and Desperate Housewives, Julianne Moore, Tina Fey, Tim Robbins, David Duchovny, Roseanne Barr, Ellen DeGeneres, Eva Longoria and Julia Louis Dreyfous. Jon Stewart is paying his writers for the next two weeks… out of his own pocket.
Said Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York: “I support the Writers Guild’s pursuit of a fair contract that pay them for their work in all mediums. I hope the producers and writers will return to the bargaining table.”
“I stand with the writers,” Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said from his campaign headquarters in Chicago. “The guild’s demand is a test of whether media corporations are going to give writers a fair share of the wealth their work creates or continue concentrating profits in the hands of their executives… I urge the producers to work with the writers so that everyone can get back to work.”
Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards also backs the strikers.
“These writers deserve to be compensated fairly for their work, and I commend their courage in standing up to big media conglomerates,” he said. “As someone who has walked picket lines with workers all across America and as a strong believer in collective bargaining, I hope that both sides are able to quickly reach a just settlement.”
I completely agree. It is ridiculous that studios are not paying writers adequately for their work. Did you know that they are not compensated for episodes of TV shows aired online? The same goes for the actors and directors of the shows as well, not just the writers. Studios are screwing everyone. It’s disgusting, it’s amoral, and it’s about time that it stopped.
If it were feasible, I would be on the line with them. As many of you know, it is one of my dreams to write screenplays as well as books. This is my future at stake here, too.
I wish all of you the best of luck, and hope that the studios will see sense. Stay brave and stay strong.
Kyle W. Kerr
11/6/07 | Books, Movies, My Writings, Procrastination | 0 Comments
Still writing, I’m chugging along as usual. It’s going well, and with the help of two of my friends I found another problem that was holding the narrative back (which I am now working to fix). I can only hope the novel will be finished by the end of the year. Keep praying!
I got the opportunity to see NYT and Internationally bestselling author Matthew Pearl for the second time. The first time I saw him was at an event, but this time he was generous enough to come to my writers group on campus! It was an amazing time. It’s rare that young authors get face-time with someone who’s “made it.” And he was very open about his experiences and he was an immense fountain of knowledge for our members.
In honor of Matthew Pearl coming, I bunkered down with his first book. Guys, it was really good. I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction, but I couldn’t put this book down. It was based around a group of leading literary figures in 1865 Boston (who are all real people, by the way), who are trying to create the first American translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy. However, some of the leading members of society are being murdered, and they realize that the killer is reenacting the tortures found in Dante’s Inferno. So, in order to protect themselves, as well as the work they are trying to create, the group members become overnight sleuths. It was amazing, and it will honestly keep you guessing right to the very end. It’s kind of hard to get into because of the language (it’s written in 19th century prose), but once you get past the first few pages, it flows in a way you can’t imagine unless you experience it. Now I definitely have to pick up his second book, The Poe Shadow.
This was a really cute movie. David (played by John Cusack) is a widower sci-fi novelist who adopts a young boy named Dennis… who thinks he’s from Mars. Sounds like a perfect match, right? David and Dennis are both lonely and need to be loved, and to love in return, and David should understand the boy’s fascination with thinking he’s otherworldly. However, it’s not always a match made in heaven, and David soon finds himself overwhelmed with the prospect of raising a “different” child all on his own. Really beautiful acting and a great storyline. Worth a watch!
Okay, this movie sounded… weird, to say the least. But, it also sounded intriguing. So, I rented it. I’m so glad that I did. As the title suggests, it’s the story about a murderer who’s obsessed with scent, and preserving scent… particularly, the scent of women. He finds these women with unforgettable scents, and harvests them (which usually includes killing the women; a small price to pay when you think about it, wouldn’t you agree?). It sounds insane at first glance, but it was really an amazing story. The director also did a beautiful job portraying scent visually, which is just as hard has it sounds. The main character is the anti-hero (he’s the one doing the killin’s), but he is played with such compassion and honesty that you can’t help pulling for him! Fantastic movie, and it has an ending you’ll NEVER see coming. Now I have to go and read the book…
Oh, and here’s a little treat.
Anyone else excited?
Kyle W. Kerr
10/21/07 | Books, Idiot Mode, Movies, Trailers, Procrastination | 0 Comments
My personal deadline for finishing revisions on my book is fast approaching. When I got back from Maui, I told myself that I would write a page-a-day (or whatever the revision equivalent is), and that it would all be done by the end of October at the latest! It is now October 21st, and I have only worked on four chapters… So, I’m no where near done, no where near where I should be at this point (considering my deadline), and have no possibility of finishing on time (unless I forego everything else in my life, including going to class, sleeping, and possibly even eating). There are ten days left. It’s not going to happen, and I’m disappointed in myself.
Since making certain decisions about the book, I have come to love it again. Yes, there was a time when I thought it was the worst thing ever and hardly considered showing it the light of day, let alone to friends, family or, god forbid, literary agents. I would have died of embarrassment. Now, I think it’s a story worthy of being read. I just have to finish it, and therein lies the problem. I can’t seem to motivate myself to finish, and it’s exceedingly frustrating. What I wouldn’t give to just go away, away from the world, from school, from interruptions like TV and movies, out of contact with everyone, no internet, nothing; just me, my computer, and possibly some books (show me a writer who doesn’t read, and I’ll punch them in the nose).
So, as I wallow in my reverie, here are some things that have kept me from writing…
This is a memoir about a boy who grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome and didn’t know it. Asperger’s is a type of autism, but generally mild—considering most autistics live in their heads. Aspergians, as JER calls himself and others like him, seem outwardly rude and misfit-like, while generally being very smart (savants). Yet it is their incomprehension of certain social rules and guidelines that is their true downfall. JER talks about his struggles to make friends and socialize, about his abusive and sometimes downright terrifying childhood, and about learning to live with his condition and making the best of a life that seemed set to fail right from the off. JER is the older brother of National and Internationally acclaimed memoirist Augusten Burroughs, who wrote the incredible memoir Running with Scissors. Here is a short clip of Augusten interviewing his brother (notice how very different the two are):
And, yes, John Elder Robison DOES in fact “Woof!” at the camera! This is one of his mechanisms for awkward silence (which he explains in the book).
If you remember, I have been waiting to see this movie since I first heard about it a year and a half ago. Besides a problem the theater was having with the sound (which isn’t a reflection of the movie), it was absolutely AMAZING. I am thrilled that I liked it so much, that it was able to live up to the epic movie I had been building it up to be in my head. Cate Blanchett is in her element, and Clive Owen lives up to his name, and Jordi Mollà (as King Philip II of Spain) is almost terrifying. Geoffrey Rush, unfortunately, wasn’t in the movie as much as I would have liked. Excellent movie, with some definite twists and turns that will keep you guessing right until the end of the movie. Sadly, it has had a poor box office run these past two weekends, only grossing $11.2M in 10 days. Not good! Go see this movie!
This is a documentary about how the MPAA rates movies. For those of you who haven’t heard of this, the board that rates movies is consisted of 8 “normal parents” who rate movies based on what they think is appropriate for children to see (which is why the ratings are all age based… G – General Audiences, PG – Parental Guidance suggested, PG-13 – Suggests parents should accompany any children under 13-years-old, R – Children under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult, and NC-17 – No Child under the age of 17 under ANY circumstances). However, this board is secret, just like the CIA. No one knows who they are… until now. Director Kirby Dick hires a personal investigator to find out the identities of these mysterious and all powerful 8, and they do, and they tell you exactly who they are. Kirby also delves into the biases these people show towards studio made movies versus independents, scenes with violence versus scenes with sex, and straight sex versus gay sex. Very eye opening view into the inner workings of the MPAA. Worth a watch!
Oh, and for anyone as excited as I am by the upcoming The Golden Compass movie, here’s an extended 5 MINUTE preview of the movie!
Now, back to writing (hopefully).
Kyle W. Kerr
I am going to see Elizabeth: The Golden Age today, which I am VERY excited about. In the interim, before I can post a review, here is a movie trailer that got me a little tingly…
Also, some movies coming out/in the works that you just might not know about yet… (Sorry, some of the links won’t provide any information unless you sign up for IMDb Pro, but hopefully that information will be up soon. Some of the movies don’t have links because they aren’t even showing up on regular IMDb.) The movies I am really looking forward to are in italics.
The Dark Knight*
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Sex and the City: The Movie
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (sadly, Rachel Weisz will not be returning)
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Dead Like Me
The Lovely Bones
A Christmas Carol (with Jim Carrey as Scrooge and all three ghosts, Tom Hanks as Bob Cratchit, and Michael J. Fox as Tiny Tim… no lie)
Untitled X-Files Sequel
Imperial Life in the Emerald City (I don’t know what this is about, but it has Matt Damon and is being helmed by Bourne director Paul Greengrass, so I’m intrigued)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Beverly Hills Cop IV
The Birds (remake)
The Power of the Dark Crystal (from Jim Henson Productions)
Sin City 2*
Jurassic Park IV
Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins (no Arnold!)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Superman: Man of Steel*
The Hobbit (possibly with Peter Jackson directing!)
Fahrenheit 451 (with Tom Hanks)
Angels & Demons
Stephen King Movies: Cell, Dark Tower, From a Buick 8, Black House, Creepshow, Dolan’s Cadillac, Pet Sematary
Toy Story 3
Life of Pi
Labyrinth (looks like another Oscar for Hilary Swank)
The Subtle Knife
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
The Secret Life of Bees
A Song of Ice and Fire
Red Sonja (remake?)
I, Robot 2
A Spell for Chameleon
Anyone notice the overabundance of Comic Books* being put into production?
Okay, I think that list is quite long enough! Hope some of these got you as excited as they got me (Note: not ALL of these sent me reeling, but most I thought were interesting… again, the ones in italics are the ones I wet myself a little when I saw them, I won’t lie).
Off to see Cate as Elizabeth!
Kyle W. Kerr
10/9/07 | Books, Genius Mode, Movies, Music, My Writings, TV Shows | 0 Comments
The rewrites have been going really well. So well, in fact, that I expect to crash and burn any time now… I finally realized what my problem was, and now it’s almost like the book is correcting itself, with minimal effort on my part. (Not saying I’m not putting effort into it! Just saying the work isn’t really work.) And I’m really excited about some new developments that have recently been revealed to me. If you’re a writer, I can’t stress how important it is to LISTEN to your characters! They will never lead you in the wrong direction (unless you have an unreliable narrator, and that’s a whole different tin of biscuits).
In the past few weeks I’ve…
Excavation by James Rollins
I had a conversation with Jim about why his books aren’t classified as Science Fiction. In Excavation, a band of archaeologists stumble upon a lost Incan temple, get stuck in it because someone is trying to steal the treasurers within and causes it to collapse, trapping some of said archaeologists and forcing them to find a way out… and they encounter albino tarantulas and mutated, cannibalistic ape-like beasts (that turn out not to be apes at all!), as well as discover a substance that is some form of nano-biology that is able to bring people back from the dead and regrow human bodies from nothing but a severed head. Sounds pretty far fetched, right? Science Fiction-like, even? Well, to put it bluntly, his publishers said “We can market it as a Sci-Fi novel and sell okay, or we can market it as a thriller and sell 10x as many copies.” Yeah, not a tough decision there. Point being, this book was very, very good. Just be willing to extend your suspension of disbelief a bit more for this one than regular thrillers.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. What the hell am I listening to this emo crap for? Because I love it, I can’t lie. I LOVED DC’s album The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most, and have listened to it religiously since I bought it six years ago… Nothing DC has made before or since has really lived up to that CD, because Chris Carrabba’s vocals and lyrics, coupled with the acoustic instrumentation, just completely took me over. And there are even a few tracks when he gets so into the music that his voice breaks (one of my favorite things in the world… really). Everything else has been more rocker-ish, and less intimate. Until now. In The Shade of Poison Trees, Chris returns to the acoustic songs he does so well, and I’m absolutely loving it. It’s on repeat right now.
This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I was going through a low point and needed to take my mind off things, so I watched all 60 or so hours of the first three seasons of Grey’s Anatomy… in 4 days. That’s right, I watched disc after disc of that show, and couldn’t have been happier to do so. As sad as it is that I did that, I don’t regret it. And now I’m obsessed. This is one of the best shows I’ve seen in years, and has the kind of characters I can care enough about to WANT to watch new episodes live (I don’t have cable, so anything I watch is either on DVD or I download it from iTunes… I don’t like commercials). Bailey is my favorite (“O’Malley, stop looking at my VA-JAY-JAY!”), I’m totally shipping George and Izzie, Meredith and Derek need to get over their issues, and Christina is just fun. Totally hooked. Though, I have to say, I am totally disappointed that they created the spin-off for Addison. I loved her, and now she isn’t even Addison anymore. Did anyone else notice that her hair doesn’t even look red? Hopefully, when that show fails, they’ll bring her back to Seattle!
Okay, this movie was absolutely insane… Fantastic, intriguing and immensely well put together, but insane nonetheless. Talk about your unreliable narrator! You think this movie is just about a teacher schtooping one of her students, but NO, it has a completely other level of crazy! When they say “A Story of Two Obsessions,” they’re not kidding. It’s one of the worst kept secrets in the world that Cate Blanchett is one of my favorite actors (second only to another Kate!), and what she is able to pull off in Notes is nothing short of brilliant. My love for her grows with every movie I see her in, and the emotion she was able to bring to this role was so tortured, so vulnerable, you couldn’t help but feel for her pain. Is it crazy on my part that I could understand why she did what she did (the character)? Not deflowering a 15-year-old, of course, but her need for something more than the life she was dealt, her need for escape? And Judi Dench’s character is… terrifying is probably the best word. I may just have to pick up the book now.
This movie was produced by Walden Media, the same folks who brought us The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and Bridge to Terabithia (they like the whole making-a-movie-out-of-popular-children’s-books thing). It had a lot of promise, and the trailer made it look really good. To me, it didn’t disappoint. It has a really great premise, the foundations of which were lain down by Susan Cooper, who wrote the book back in the 70s (I say foundation because the book and movie apparently have very little in common. I’m reading the first book in the series—the movie was based on the second book, which has different characters than the first—but I have found a website that lists all of the changes, and they are extensive. If any of you loved the book Eragon and saw the movie based on that book, you’ll get a sense of what I’m talking about with this one. BUT, because the movie was my introduction to the world, and not the book, I was able to enjoy the movie for what it was). Definitely worth a buy when it comes out on DVD, though I don’t know how happy the studio is with it at the moment. Opening weekend on the purportedly $60M movie was a measly $3.75M… Ouch!
A sad side note…
If you remember my excitement about the new TV show The Sarah Connor Chronicles, you’ll know how disappointed I am to find out that Fox has decided to hold off on launching the show until mid-season. Why? Because God hates me.
Kyle W. Kerr
09/16/07 | Books, Movies, My Writings, Procrastination | 0 Comments
This weekend, I saw two new movies… one new, and one a little older. Plus, a little on a book I’m currently reading.
Okay, I don’t know where to begin on this movie. We all know that Jodie Foster is a brilliant actress. Terrance Howard is good as well. This movie was freaking amazing. Though very brutal at times (you see about a two minute long beating scene, as well as a number of murders on Jodie’s part), there is such raw emotion behind it all. I don’t know if that is the work of the three writers behind the script (two of them are credited just for “story”, so I don’t know if they did any of the actual writing or not), or because Jodie and Terrance are in their element, but it is surely a sight to see. AND, it has one of the most satisfying endings to a movie than I have seen in a good long time. Our ENTIRE theater was in an uproar by the end, which only shows how quickly and deeply you get attached to these characters. Definitely a must-see.
I wanted to see this movie since I first saw the trailer (however long ago it came out). Renée Zellweger hasn’t been one of my favorite actresses, but she has grown on me as of late (I recently saw the first Bridget Jones’s Diary movie, which was cute… and I have liked the ever classic Empire Records since it came out on video), and the movie looked like I might enjoy it. Not to mention the recommendations I got from people telling me to see it (including the writer of Frida). So, I caved and bought it. I think I have to give it a 4 out of 5. This movie was so engaging, and to touching, that I was totally prepared to love it. And I did, but only up to a certain point. The last half hour of the movie completely dragged. For some reason, they (the filmmaker and writers) felt it was necessary to showcase her purchasing 4000 acres of land, working said land, and doing little, if any, writing or drawing/painting. I know this movie is supposed to be about her life, but the main pulls were her books and her love; I didn’t need to know that she was responsible for conserving 4000 acres of apparently prime English real estate property (though highly noble on her part, it doesn’t make for very interesting movie watching!). They should have cut that last 20-30 minutes and expanded the other sections instead. Still worth the watch, though.
I’m actually in the middle of this right now. I decided to read this because, well, I bought it in Maui so he could sign it and I needed something to read on the 14 hour trip back to Boston. Not that I got much reading done on the plane (I actually SLEPT, which is something I rarely do on planes… I like being on planes too much to sleep!), but I have made a slight effort to read it now that I am back. It’s actually quite good so far, and he’s freaking me out by having albino tarantulas attacking a group of archaeologists. Again, only halfway through, but it’s good so far. I’ll let you know if I like the ending!
(Note to self: Come up with some sort of cool rating system.)
So, now it’s time to get back to writing. It’s amazing that I have been back for two weeks already, and I’ve only worked on ONE chapter of my novel. I need to finish the rewrite of said chapter later today, and then start moving on to the next ones. My October 31st deadline for completion is approaching more rapidly than I could have ever expected, so I need to buckle down and WRITE! I am very excited about all of the changes, though, and I can’t wait to be able to read through the whole manuscript at the end (and to hear what everyone thinks about it!). GENIUS MODE!
Oh, for any of you who are interested:
Kyle W. Kerr
08/23/07 | Maui, Movies, Procrastination | 0 Comments
There’s about 20 hours left until I leave for Maui (7AM flight, 14 hour trip, oy). I have so much stuff to do before I leave, too. Do you guys know that I haven’t started packing yet? Do you know that I still have laundry to do before I CAN pack? I also have to go to the bank, to the post office, the store, start rereading The Silence of the Lambs at Gary Braver’s request for the retreat portion of the trip, and call a cab company to make sure I have a way to get TO the airport at 4:30 tomorrow morning. Fun… Yeah, yeah, I know. Does “Professional Procrastinator” not mean anything these days? I’ll get everything done. I hope.
One thing to keep me in high spirits on my long flight (besides the booze, that is)? This message by Gary Braver:
I’m looking forward to working with you on your story, which I think has potential. You have a smooth and engaging narrative style.
Can you feel the heat coming off my face right now? I’ve gotten compliments before (as well as scathing reviews), but to hear that from a bestselling author?
On a side note I went to see the movie Stardust yesterday.
It was surprisingly well done (not that I had any notion of what to expect… I just knew it hasn’t been doing too well at the box office). Claire Danes is glowing as usual, and relative newcomer Charlie Cox plays an all around good performance as well. One of the real surprises of the movie was Robert De Niro’s cross dressing, tea making, piano playing (and swashbuckling?) Captain Shakespeare. Totally unexpected, totally hilarious. Pretty good special effects (though sometimes a little cheesy, but always worth it), and I wish the witch duel could have lasted a little longer (you’ll have to watch it to know what I mean!). Definitely worth the time and money to see.
Okay, I must get back to my Maui checklist. Next time you hear from me I’ll be roasting!
Kyle W. Kerr
08/21/07 | Books, General, Movies, Procrastination | 0 Comments
I’ve been procrastinating again. All of my ‘worry’ voices keep telling me to get more work done on editing my novel, but I can’t even seem to force myself to do it the past week or so. I actually got through a nice chunk yesterday, but a whole helluvalot of procrastination happened before that. What have I been doing instead? Why don’t I tell you…?
The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven
It was actually an interesting read. It’s about a demon from Hell who takes over this boy’s body, hell-bent on, well, destroying the universe. It is Sam’s first novel, and is written for the young adult crowd (which is fine, because I think there’s a bit too much violence for the children’s crowd!). Bit dark, but a lot of humor is brought in with the character of Jack.
Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim
This story begins during the summer of ’81, when two boys from a Little League are molested by their coach. One of them likes it, believing it to be love, and goes on to be a hustler when he gets older. The other blacks out the experience and, later in life, is convinced that those five hours are missing from his life because he was abducted by aliens. He’s not too far off, actually. Stunningly written, though I would extend a word of caution if you don’t have the stomach for a bit of violence.
Director Alfonso Cuarón impresses again. I’m not shy about my love of all things Harry Potter, and I was first introduced to his work with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (the most visually stunning of all five HP movies so far, I think). Here, he does it again, and with seeming ease. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should definitely check it out. But, if you HAVE seen it, you should take a second look, and pay attention to the three or four scenes in the movie that are actually ONE CUT. The opening scene with the coffee shop, the scene where they are attacked in the car, as well as the final battle scene are ALL done in one shot. Amazing. Alfonso is one of the top directors I would choose for my screenplay Bethanine if I were able to pick the director myself.
I get more and more amazed by this movie with each viewing. Everything is so subtle. Nothing is thrown into your face. From Clint Eastwood’s quiet struggles, to Hilary Swank’s determination (even at the end) to go out a champ, and rounded off nicely with Morgan Freeman’s soft narration, you get sucked in and just nestled in the flow of the movie. Throw in Paul Haggis’s superb writing, and it’s no wonder this movie won the Best Picture Oscar. Paul Haggis is another person who intrigues me… To have written TWO Best Pictures in a row (MDB and Crash), as well as being versatile enough to take on projects like the recent Casino Royale, he’s the kind of screenwriter I want to be. (Oh, and try HUNDRED MILLION Dollar Baby… That’s right, this little movie brought in BIG bank!)
WANT TO SEE:
Since it came out almost 10 years ago, Elizabeth has been one of my favorite movies. Cate Blanchett is one of my favorite actresses. So, you can imagine my joy when I learned they were making a sequel! I first heard about Elizabeth: The Golden Age about a year and a half ago, and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival since. Now, the trailer has finally been released, stating an October release date (!!!). So, if you have a moment, why don’t you bask in the gloriousness that is Elizabeth: The Golden Age…
A line that gives me the chills every time I hear it?
Queen Elizabeth I: Tell your king I fear neither him nor his armies.
Spanish Minister: There is a wind coming that will sweep away your pride.
Queen Elizabeth I: I too can command the wind, sir! I have a hurricane in me that will strip Spain bare if you dare to try me!
What was that line of Jim Carrey’s? Joygasm?
Kyle W. Kerr