Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why BBC is Kicking Our Entertainment Ass

My computer is back up and I can now sit at my desk and write in comfort.

I am writing up a review of the Netflix show House of Cards and I was thinking about something I touched on in that article.

Frank Underwood - House of Cards wallpaper crom
Image from
American Television is backward in the way they put out entertainment. The model of 24 episodes a season is designed to get the most out of the advertising dollar. Long stores are harder to write for. You get a few episodes that are really just throwaway. A solid story arch really is only six to twelve episodes.

The BBC does it right, they have a story to tell, they tell it and they are done. You get more good stories told and less trash. Doctor Who is a great example of a wonderful story arc. All of the episodes had a nugget of the larger story. Sherlock has only three episodes and that creates a higher desire to see the episodes.

Image from Merchandise.The Doctor Who site
Torchwood is a show that starts in the BBC and we see what an Americanization can do to a 
show. Season one was 12 episodes, tight and spot on. Season two was 12 episodes not as tight but still good. Season 3 was a five-episode special. All of them filmed in BBC.

Now we see the same show now produced in the US using the 24 episode format. It was bad. Wow, it was really bad. We seem to have a mutant power to make shows suck.  The problem is that it was only a 12 episode story, but we had to fill it with 12 episodes of fluff that gave no forward motion to the story.

It really saddens me because it was such a good show. They are talking about doing a season five but really I am kind of burned out on the show because of how bad the fourth season US/BBC amalgam was.

With all of the other ways, we are getting the entertainment we have very few people who actually watch shows live. No one does that, they are trying to drive more people to watch the shows by hosting live-tweeting events to get people in front of the TV when it airs.

My advice – Shorter seasons, tighter stories. Your extras content should be driven to eth DVR or Web audience. There are far more people getting entertainment that way than live shows anymore. We don’t even have cable I get all my shows off Hulu, Netflix or the network web pages streaming to my Chromecast.

These kinds of goes along with my other observations on studios needing to modernize their thinking or they are going to be sucking wind like Sony pictures and Amazing Spiderman or the DC movie franchises. The future is now and if you don’t innovate how you get your entertainment out there you are going to get left in the dirt.

I can count on one hand the shows that are doing it right in the US. What shows are doing the storytelling write or wrong in the US?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Last Night

After a month of posts, I can say I learned a lot. A few of my lessons are going to end up here. I am very thankful for Blogher for introducing me to the National Blog Posting Month. It was an incredible experience that helped me get into more of a rhythm of posting. 

Don't over think your blogging. I have had the IMHO blog for some time and have only used it for a few topics that I think that are blog worthy. Reall what I should be doing is blogging everything and only highlight the ones that I feel are special. 

Write everyday. Take the time to stop and think about your passions. I love movies and This month has helped me to reflect on some of the things that I really like about film. Even if you only post movie lines or rants about the way that the concession stand incorrectly butters your popcorn. (They should layer in the butter at intervals as they are filling the bag. ) keep writing. Write every day. Don't expect each post to be the next earth-shattering realization. Just put words on the paper. You do that daily, your over all skill will improve. 

You get a feeling of accomplishment with each post. That buzz you get for seeing your words in print is addicting. Then looking back at all of the posts can really do a number on your self-esteem. Don't worry about every little nuance in your post. A lot of what was holding me back was the details. Make your goal to feel that feeling at least once a day. 

Keep reading blogs. You'll get a taste of something real when you read a blog. You connect with someone you have never met on a personal level. It's like reading a diary that someone has been keeping. There is a voyeuristic quality to reading someone's thoughts.

I hope you have enjoyed my NaBloPoMo journey. Thanks for the read and the support. It will be odd blogging tomorrow only because I want to. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I Am Just Going to Watch One More

I am reviewing Netflix movies for Web wombat, so I tried something new. I am going to look at the Netflix original series House of Cards. This was originally a BBC show so I am a fan of most of the shows from the UK.  I love stories from all over the world, but the UK seems to draw me more than other countries.  Even American Media. 

There are some really fascinating ideas went into the decision to make this series. See they use The hard data on what people are watching to make a choice on what to spend money on. After crunching the numbers they said people who watch House of Cards, the BBC Series also like Kevin Spacey and they also like David Fincher. Why not make a show that we can have on our streaming service, so we don't have to pay anyone else. 

 I wanted to just watch one episode a week, and then give a review on each, but Netflix has introduced me to this thing calls bing watching. I started with one and then...I had to watch another one...and another one...and then I ended up watching all of them.  So I am going to review the entire series. 

In was an interesting series, Not a thing like an American series. It was only 13 episodes not the 24 like a normal series. We Americans seem to want longer series that have several throw away episodes.  In the UK they seem to only have enough episodes to tell a good story. 

The other amazing thing about this series is how well it is written to lend itself to the binge-watching.  A few years ago my brother-in-law and I wanted to live Jack Bowers day. We took the first season of 24 and started each episode on the hour so we had 15 min breaks for bathroom and snack gathering. 

When we got to the end it was a chore, we had no connection to the characters. We also didn't get the shock of the hook at the end of the season. We concluded that as we didn't have time to let the episodes sink in we had no buy into the story. That is a good example of binge-watching not working because the story wasn't written to be seen that way.

House of cards is so engaging an like a visual Lay's potato chip, you can't have just one. after about four episodes I look up and it's 3:00 in the morning and I still feel like I can get another episode in before I get two hours of sleep. I can function on two hours, right?

I am really enjoying the Netflix coverage, I am now asking for your help, what movies should I watch next. I watch one a week and review it. what film should I watch I have no aversion to any film I will watch anything.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

So it Starts

So here is the teaser trailer for the new star wars movie.  I will let you enjoy it with all its majesty before I start to talk about it.

After my geekgasem, I took a look at it for a 10th time and I started noticing a few things. The Sith always seem to have the best swords.  My wife called it a broadsword lightsaber.  I like how the ships seem to have a really cool look to them. The x wings skimming across the water looks awesome.

The desert speeder or hover cart thingy looks like a craft that was designed to skim across the desert by a race that deals with a desert environment.

I am still in a state of shock to see this teaser. I grew up thinking that this wouldn't ever be a real thing. Now I live in the future,

What did you think of the teaser trailer? 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for the wonderful online blogging community and the two bottles of wine I drank..... I love you guys

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Crisis of Faith

We all have had those moments that shake our belief. I don't think this only pertains to religion. When I started reviewing I made it a point to see a movie, write a review and then compare my rating with other critics. I called it calibrating. I found that some of the reviewers I was comparing myself to didn't like the movies I did. 

I almost stopped doing reviews, then it hit me. I am not them. I am never going to be them. My problem was in trying to be them. I am a person of unsophisticated taste. It is really easy to entertain me. It took me a good long while to realize that is completely and totally fine. 

I am doing this blog and reviewing films because I love movies almost as much as I love talking about them. This is the core of why I am doing this. I want to have a conversation about movies. At times I feel like I am talking to the void but every now and again I do make a connection with another person like myself and those magical moments are why I write. 

Listing to a podcast one of the reviewers was saying that they haven’t had a connection with any films they have seen for the past few months. That happens it seems that there are dry periods. It’s these times that are needed to truly distinguish between the great movies. It almost cleanses the pallet so when something that comes by that is truly exquisite.

This same reviewer was saying that they had a concern that they would descend into only reviewing the one or two genres that speak to him. I think that we all have our favorites. The trick is you need to continue to enjoy the journey of the unfolding story. When I don’t care for a movie I go into my armchair director mode and start thinking of ways to salvage the film.

We have to understand our own blind spots. Mine is Luc Besson, I know that some of his films are not strong but I still love them. There is something that speaks to me in his way of telling a story. There are others but I’m not going to go into that just suffice to know where we are going to go into a viewing already loving a story or at least the hope of a good story.

With everything you do, there are sometimes when you need to take a break. I did that for a bit but I lost so much ground. So when I want to take a break I keep doing something but I change the way that I do things, I adjust my writing style or I move things around on my blog.

Don’t becomes stagnate with your passions, do something different and keep moving forward. If you are feeling stagnant your work will touch people, at some point and time you are going to be viewed.

Keep moving forward. Whatever you do, keep moving forward.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What You Can Learn From Movies.

As a movie fan, I take away some movie lines that mean something to me. Movie lines sometimes capture a way that I like to live my life. I am going to share some with you and explain why they speak to me. Even bad movies can sometimes hold a nugget of wisdom in them.

"Turns out, the short and very simple definition of a gentleman or a lady is: someone who always attempts to make the people around him or her feel as comfortable as possible. That's it! If you don't do that, nothing else matters. “- Troy (Blast From The Past)

Making people comfortable is the best way to connect with people. I think that a lot of the problems we have today could be eliminated if we applied to this our way of interacting with people.

"Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 'In this world, Elwood, you must be ... oh so smart or oh so pleasant.' Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. And you may quote me." - Elwood P. Dowd (Harvey)

This one is very much like the first one. I do need to clarify that being pleasant doesn’t me you are passive. It means that you keep others thoughts and feelings in mind when I am working with them.

"Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking." - The Scarecrow (The Wizard of OZ)

I think about this line when I start to find myself talking, and talking and talking. It helps me shut up.

“With great power, comes great responsibility” – Uncle Ben (TheAmazing Spider-Man)

This one helps me think about how I can help others and give back to my community. I am comfortable and I have been fortunate enough to not be in a place where I struggled. I use this line to remind myself that if I have a way to help someone, do it. But I do wish I had Spider-man’s powers.

“Don't be mean; we don't have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” – Buckaroo Banzai (The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension)

This is a very Zen remark for me. I have used this line to remind myself that I can’t run for myself and also to help me remember to not be a nuisance or rude where I am.

“Attitude reflects leadership, captain.” – Big Ju (Rememberthe Titans)

I had this on my wall when I was a team manager. It reminds me to keep my team first in my planning and using them as a barometer to see how I am doing. I would sometimes not have good news but I let my team know why the news was bad and how we were going to work together to get past it.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris (Ferris Bueller’s day Off)

You have to appreciate the journey you are on.

“Candy doesn’t have to have a point. That’s why it’s candy.” – Charlie Bucket (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

Sometimes the fun we have is just for the purpose of having fun. Embrace that distraction and don’t try and make every second of your life productive in different ways. Give yourself a break every now and again.

P.S I am going to go back and redo yesterday’s post but the wound still smarts so I am going to do it later. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Movies Should be A Safe Zone

The post Is missing because of Computer problems. It was a shame because it was very good and eye-opening. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hey Kirk Cameron I'll Give It a look.

I hadn't seen that there was a new Christmas movie out. I took my family to see The Hunger Games movie, of which was really good.  I will spend some time with that later.  Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas is now out so I had to do a little digging to find out about this movie.  Before I go on I am writing this as a commentary of films, not religion but as this film is a religious one it’s going to have to also be the subject.  I try and keep religion and politics out of my blog. Movies should be the only place where we can all meet as one. ( I have tomorrows blog idea) 

One quick Internet search brought up this very long list of reviews that are well worth the cost of the search.  There are a few things that are completely clear.

  • This movie is apparently not doing very well. As of this posting, it is 8% freshness rating from critics and a 43% fresh with the normal people like you and me.

So naturally the film critic in me wants to see it just to see it, How bad could it be? I did go see Dumb and Dumber To Just because it was next to show and I haven’t seen it yet.  So you know I have no standards to what I will watch.  Hell, I am a soft sell at the holiday films. I enjoy It’s a Wonderful Life every year and I cry every time.

  • Kirk Cameron doesn't know how either Rotten Tomatoes or the internet works.

On his personal and the films Facebook page there was an impassioned plea to go to Rotten Tomatoes and give it a good rating. Well, that’s going to give you a short time boost but in the long run, it's only going to cause you problems as you get the word out to the people who love you also bring out the people who haven’t seen your film and want to crush you.  It’s how the internet works. There are these things called trolls and they get joy from bringing you down.

Image from Saving Christmas Facebook page
More on the Rotten Tomatoes front. First off the reviews don’t work in that way.  It’s broken down into two sections. You have the critical review score and the regular viewer score. There is an approval process that you have to go through and you have to be an actual reviewer in standing to be one of the critics listed on rotten tomatoes.  Now Mr. Cameron may not know that because it’s not something that is widely known outside of critic circles. (even if it can be found on the site itself) The audience section of the review form works on the idea that if you have 100 people say they like the film they get a high rating. However, if you draw attention to yourself…You draw attention to yourself.

In an attempt to bring out his followers I think he may have tainted the data pool with people on both sides who haven’t seen the film and are just using the space as a flame war. So I don’t know if I can trust what I am reading online. I would like to see it for myself.
I have asked the film company if they have any screeners out there so I can watch the film and give it my honest review.

  • Christian filmmakers never learn from the teachings of Jesus.

From my admittedly limited understanding, it seems to me that Jesus was a pretty chill guy, who enjoyed hanging out with the groundlings of his time. He never gave lectures he told stories.  He educated and entertained the masses. His stories must have been pretty good because people are still talking about them. You could say he was the first practitioner of Edutainment. (That word I stole… err borrowed word with full legal rights referring back to Mr. Joss Whedon if he coined that phrase, the Man is Brilliant)

What Christian films are missing is the entertainment portion of that formula. Jesus’s teachings would not have been handed down from generation to generation if they were boring. Movies like “God is Dead”, “Left Behind” and now this one is their primary goal is get the agenda out and let the storytelling be damned.

I say think about how Jesus would have told a story? If he would have used the methods today back them the miracle of the loaves and fishes would have been less impressive because it would have been only seven people staying to listen.
Image from Art in Faith 
(Actual number who stayed if Jesus was boring)

So I ask for a screener to see if they want me to review it, I will look at it with an open mind and heart and give you a fair and even review.

Do you think they will accept my request? 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nope, You Lost Me.

When you build a relationship with your audience in a film or on TV you lay a foundation. That foundation is like an understanding between you and them about the type of story you are going to tell. If you want to keep that relationship you have to make sure you follow the rules you have set. 

If you do a good job of playing with your own set of rules the audience will go along with whatever story you are telling. If you break those rules you also break that foundation and in turn the relationship with the audience. I am going the long way to describe the suspension of disbelief.

to give you an example I am going to explain why I am not watching Fox's Sleepy Hollow anymore. 

I understand this is going to be a world where magic is real and the headless horseman is one of the four horsemen and is trying to bring on the apocalypse. So I am bought into the whole I am going to see things that I won't normally believe because you have given me the framework of magic to explain it. Let me Just hang my disbelief on this plot hook. So I understand the physics to be real with the possibility of being enhanced by magic.

During season one they had laid that out for me. I am with them for the season cliffhanger. The main character Ichabod is buried alive. He is in a poorly made coffin so the dirt that he is covered with is falling through the crack in the wood. He detects the presence of sulfur so he quickly takes a scrap of cloth and rubs it in the sulfur and the lights it. A spectacular explosion and the six feet of dirt that was on him is now blown completely free. 

Nope, you lost me. 

See the problems I have with this can be summed up in three points. First and foremost is the fact that sulfur is not explosive by its self. It is one component of three that is needed to make black powder. Now you can ignite and explode sulfur if you make it into a fine powder and let it fly in the air. But as our hero was under packed earth there was no way that it could do that. 

Let say for the sake of argument you can do that, he would have the force of that blast coming down onto him just as hard as it would have onto the pact earth above him. The force of the blast would have crushed him. 

Now let's say that the force didn't kill him, that would not have been enough force to clear the dirt completely away from the grave, it would have blown the dirt into the air and then it would have come back down again crushing him without the benefit of the coffin that he just blew away. 

I know this next line is going to sound completely foolish but here it goes. You have to make your make believe magic enhanced world believable. 

There are other problems with the show. Inconsistencies with the day and night transitions. Its noon and the characters say they have to get across town and now its night, I mean how big is this little town? 

Also, the way that Ichabod has a photographic memory but can't seem to keep names straight. 

A word to the storytellers out there, when you gain the trust of someone and they join you on the journey you start, keep them engaged by playing by the rules. Whatever you make them be. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Hate My Computer Sometimes

So interesting twist to the blogging every day, My computer is the best tool to interact with blogger. I am using my iPad but it is way harder, one might say unusable.

So tonight I am going to outline a few things that Blogger could do to improve the Blogging experience.

I use my iPad because I can easily carry it to some of my favorite writing spots. When using Safari the Blogger interface doesn't work right because it doesn't recognize the inner window used to enter the content you are blogging about.  I would blame the Safari but in truth when I use google app it does the same thing. I have to only assume its the iPad.

I did download the blogger app but that is a very scaled back interface. It has almost none of the dynamic formatting that you can get on the PC. So that is why we only have a text version of anything tonight. 

So get right on that Google. I want an app that can go on my iPad that is just as user-friendly and dynamic as the PC version. 

I have 10 more days to complete the NaBloPoMo challenge. It has been a very fun and enlightening. It has given me more of a comfort level with the system. and with letting me just sit in front of a keyboard and let the ideas flow. 

Now with a dedicated request from Web Wombat on Netflix reviews, I am looking forward doing more writing.  I also got an invitation to do a guest post on a movie podcast. So in my journey to start this second career as a film critic seems to be going along ok.

My goal in this has always to have fun, what I enjoy most of all is the conversation that follows a film. 

So I am thinking of watching 3 Days to Kill or End of Watch, you will have to keep an eye out to see what one won over.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Web Wombat and Me

I have been contributing to Web Wombat an Australian web browser service.  I have been doing things off and on for them but recently they have asked me to do a weekly Netflix review.  I am very excited about this.

 Looking at the site, as of this posting, of the top ten movie reviews they have I have two. Here are the links to them. 

I have done some Netflix reviews here they are. 

As they have asked me to do a weekly submission I am going to put this as one more step to getting on the press list, maybe ask to join a film critics society or two. 

I have Snowpeircer on deck I will post a link to it once it's up. 

Give these reviews a look and if you have a suggestion of what movie I should review next let me know.  I am always up for a movie. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Why You Should Listen to the F This Movie! Podcast

With my new iPhone, I started to look at different podcasts.  I was looking for a movie related
one to add to my very small list of subscriptions.  I was given the suggestion to check out F This

I downloaded ten different movie podcast.  Out of all of them, I only stayed with F This Movie.  Here are a few of the reasons they have kept me as a listener.  

The format – They break out the show into different parts.  The first set is a rapid fire round with The Host Patrick Bromley (@patrickbromley on twitter) and a variety of different guest hosts all rapid-fire talking about movies they have watched. Four or five quick liked didn’t like an update on
what they have seen recently.

They move into a more focused review on a chosen film and then start off by talking about the movies at a high level and have a bit of back and forth with impressions  and then slip into a spoiler section of that movie so they give you ample time to switch off if you want to go spoiler free.
One thing that turned me off of a number of other film podcast was the way the reviewers talked about a film.  F This Movie communicates from a position of looking at the art of cinema and don’t make it personal.  The hosts are not rude or disrespectful of the work that is being talked about, they don’t care for something they don’t demean the work or make you feel like an idiot for liking something that they didn’t care for.  

The feel of the podcast is like you are among friends, there is an openness to the way they talk about movies that I think comes from there true passion for the art. The others that didn’t make my list felt like I was eavesdropping in on some strangers talking privately.  I started listening when they were going through the Scary Movie Month. During October they ask their listeners to watch a scary movie and make a seven-word review of the comment section of the website.  Some of them are outstanding.  This is another reason I like them, they engage their audience. 

I tried my hand and podcasting about a year ago, we had some really crappy gear and it took a long time to edit, as a one-man production process it was way more work than I could handle, so I have a lot of respect for these guys.  It was what I had in mind when I started mine.

Do yourself a favor and give them a listen.  They do use expletives if the situation calls for it so keep that in mind if you are sensitive to that sort of thing.  It’s not excessive.

Here is the last one I listen to.

F This Movie!: F This Movie! - UHF: Don't change the channel. Don't touch that dial. You've got it all with Patrick and Erich Asperschlager.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Trailer Post

Here are some movies that I am looking forward to in 2015 enjoy the trailers, I know I did.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Better than Average Message

My friend and fellow movie lover made this message for the people in Ferguson. He is a voice for people to strive to be better than average. If we as a community strive to be more than average it will increase everyone’s quality of life.
Take a look at this personalized message and share it with everyone you know to help spread the message of living Beater Than Average.

The main points of this mindset are: Looking for the positive and maintain a positive attitude, choosing the best people to surround yourself with and improving the lives of the people around you.
When you look for the positive you can find it. It is a conscious choice but when you have a positive outlook you can start seeing the good in the things around you.  

Your circle of support can lift you up or hold you back, choose the people around you carefully. You need to keep people who will elevate, challenge and support you close.  

And finally, if you are a force of good, pull the best out of your friends and family everyone can benefit.

Tensions are running high all over the country. We have a choice to continue to perpetuate the violence and hate to see revenge masked as Justice or we can learn from the leaders that came before us and be a force for peaceful change.

Get the word out and keep it rolling, BE Better Than Average.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Facebook Friends and Web Wombat

Movies are a passion of mine. I have been working on a few publications to get the opportunity to have conversations about movies. I have started a conversation with a film student in the UK she and I are reviewing the film versions of Parfumerie. It was a play written by Miklós László and it was made into The Shop Around the corner staring Jimmy Stewart. Then it was remade into a musical version called In the Good Old Summer Time starring Judy Garland. Then again in 1998, it was the basis for the movie You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

I am looking forward to the time to have a conversation with one online to talk about movies. And it seems somewhat fitting that our conversation is between two people through written communication who have never met.

This is what I think the original play had no idea how well fitting it would be in the future. This is why I think that You’ve Got Mail is the best of the three. You can read our conversation when it gets posited. I will post it here.

The second bit of news is that Web Wombat is looking for some weekly additions to their web publication. So I will be reviewing Netflix films. I am watching them anyway might as well tell the good readers of that fine Australian web service about it.

If this goes well I may be in a position to get put back on the press list with the local advertising agency. They provide the local Denver area with screenings of the latest films. I was on it when I was writing for News Blaze. So I am looking forward to working with this new publisher.

So does anyone have any advice on what to watch next on Netflix?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

TSO concert, let the holidays begin

Tonight we went to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra. It seems to be our holiday tradition. This year they have a new show. The music is great and the performance top notch. But the narrative this year was not as strong in previous years.   

This year a young girl goes to the attic and learns that the magic of Christmas is in the good that we create. Great sentiment for the season but the feelings were not as well delivered as in previous years. I think it would have been better if the songs were more of the outline of the story instead of mood setting for the girl's internal thought process.  

Each song was a cornerstone of what the girl learned. They could have done so much more with setting the narrative. 

The second half of the show was just the "let's blow the doors off the place" rock show. They are talented and I love the passion and the fun they put in the show. They are outstanding performers. 

After dinner, we went to a Brazilian steakhouse. My youngest son had his first experience with the endless wave of delicious meats of all favors. He had a blast. 

To illustrate the kind of family we are on the way home we were talking about words and rhymes. My youngest son said he used to like to say the word "Banana" and I said that if you put the word "nut" at the end you have a song lyric. 

The whole car started to sing the song I was referring to. I love my family. The cool thing is once you put those two words together that son piped into your head. That is how I know you are my people. 

What are some of the things you do to get ready for the holiday? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Biting off more than you can chew

Doing this blog post every day is harder than you think it's going to be.  Especially if you are trying to balance work family and other responsibilities.

I am going to have to work on the list of topics much further in advance than I have been, I may be writing a few things more this weekend to make sure that I keep up.

I know this one is weak but I need some sleep more than I can write.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Shame of Loving a Bad Movie

When I was younger I was sometimes ashamed of liking movies that people didn’t. I thought that I was an outcast or something was wrong with me. Now I know that it’s all a matter of opinion and no one is right or wrong when it comes to taste.

Image from IMDB
Everyone has that one movie that really touches them and other people don’t seem to like. For me, it’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. As a movie reviewer I know how the movie falls down, I see the areas of the script that are weak. I know where it loses people and how it could have been better.

Despite all of that I see it as perfect it touches something in me that I can’t explain. What I can tell you is that watching that movie brings me a feeling of satisfaction. I really connect with the message it is delivering and how the character grows. It gives me hope that people do change and that they improve.

It can be hard to hear people bad mouth a film that touches you but I think that I know something about the movie that they don’t. I have an inside track to what the movie is really about. That allows me to accept the fact that people aren’t into a film I like. I know that this movie was not made for you. It was made for me. I am the one that has a connection to it so the filmmaker is talking to me.

What you love to watch speaks to you, the viewer; it’s a very private thing. It is a shared experience with the filmmaker and you. If someone is really into a film, they can share the same emotions and the same moment in time that is created on screen. You feel their loss and it is an emotion that is just as real as if it were happing in real life.

This is where the magic happens. You have the ability to show people a different side of life or social structure or the world. If the message is strong enough you can change people’s minds, hearts, and attitudes.

As a filmmaker, you may never know the effect your movie had one the viewer. You at times seem like you are presenting the work that can be a part of your soul to a dark void of the universe and you hope that it makes a connection. I am reminded of Calvin screaming into the verse “I'M SIGNIFICANT”

Image copied from Cry Havok 

To the filmmakers who feel like their art doesn’t matter, it matters, a lot you hold a lot of power with the product you create. Not everyone will get it… but the right people will. And really that message could be given to anyone who creates art.

Remember you are significant and you matter, your art is reaching someone and it is changing lives. You can’t see it, but you can feel it in the way that you feel about your art, someone else has that same feeling someplace.

Keep creating, writing, filming, performing, doing.  I'm receiving you. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Who I Want to Have Dinner With

Here is a list of people that I want to share a meal with because I find their work to be fascinating. They have made my invite list because of something they have done in the Entertainment Industry or other media outlet that has touched me.

In no particular order, I am going to list the name and why they have made the list.

Jon Stewart – Not only the work on The Daily show but also because of his new film Rosewater. That story’s bravery really appeals to me.  Actually having dinner and then watching his movie would be a blast.  I would talk to him about his process with the show; I would love to be an intern for a day. Can I pay to do that, Might be a revenue stream. 

Sean Astin – There is a moment in his life that moved me and I know he doesn't know how. I was feeling low and in a rut in life.  We had attended Starfest and it was right after the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings.  He was sitting at his table engaging with his fans. And he was genuinely engaging with them.  I admired his openness and his honest appreciation for his fans. I was watching him for a while over a balcony.  I was thinking “I need to do something different with my life. I wish I could do what he does.” At that moment he looked up at me and nodded and gave a wave.  I know that it was completely happenstance and there is no way he was confirming what I was thinking but that is what happened in my head.

Joss Whedon – His work has been central to the things in my life, from Buffy to Avengers.  It would be wonderful to talk to him about the things that motivate him and inspire him to do the wonderful things he creates. I want to know his process.

Felicia Day - Her work on Geek and Sundry really fascinates me. It’s like she has her own network. A lot of companies could learn from that.  She is so creative and also in a lot of the media we surround our self with. Dinner with her would be nice but I think gaming with her would be just as fun.

Luc Besson – This man surprised me I was enjoying his films for a long time without ever knowing who he was.  Once I started blogging about movies I started reading the credits and looking at who was making the movies. His name comes up in a number of movies that I adore.  

Ellen DeGeneres – I enjoy her playful nature and her show is awesome when I can catch it.  Her best feature is how she inspires people and her spectacular sense of humor.  It would be great to have a meal with her and talk about just anything.

My next would have to be a double date
Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis - I would imagine that the dinner conversation would; be dangerous because everyone is laughing.  I enjoyed the SNL skits that he was in and her work choices always seem to be driven by what would be fun to perform in.

Jody Foster – I have loved her work for a very long time. An evening of wonderful conversation with an intelligent funny person is always a delight. I would love to talk to her about her impressions of the movies that she enjoys.

Don Cheadle - He is so talented His role in The Family Man brought him to my attention and I have followed him ever from that moment on.  He needs more work.  We can talk about what projects he wants to do over dinner. 

I could go on and on but I wanted to keep this one short..ish

Who would you pick, and if I do have these dinners what ones do you want to go to? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What DC Should Do to Win The Hero Movie Race

Image from
My brother is brilliant. He has this idea for the DC universe that will set its self apart from the way that Marvel has been doing films and give it a new and fresh start.

Some of my favorite heroes are in the DC universe. Breaking into the medium of film, they have only really had two good footholds: Batman and Superman. These were the original hero films. Arguably they were the ones that were the gateways from comics to film in today’s cinema. However, DC is losing the movie race. With weak turnouts for films like Green Lantern and Superman Returns you have to ask yourself why?

I have said in other posts that the DC studios need to have their animation department be put in charge of storytelling and just shoot a live action of what they are telling. Marvel seems to have the right idea with having the creative team be the ones who are passionate about the characters and keeping true to the story arc instead of the money grab that other films seem to be.

My brother suggests this. DC is poised to make a Justice League movie. Instead of going the origin story for all of the characters, because people are bored with those kinds of stories. They need to do a five-episode lead in with the different members of the Justice League.  The stories will all surround the big battle that leads up to the film.

DC has an in for use with the Small screen. They have Arrow and The Flash both as a vehicle to tell the big story and highlight some of the other heroes without losing time with origin stories. These characters are Iconic and because of that, they have a well-known history.
The Flash and Arrow Picture from Screen Rant 
None of these specials are going to relate to an origin, Marvel has done that to death and if DC does it they are just copycats that are trying to cash in on a formula. Filmmaking could be so much better if they use Bruce Lee’s philosophy in filmmaking. Using No style as style will give you the freedom to try new things and get people involved in different ways. There are definite formulas in scriptwriting and other technical aspects of the craft but you run into the same things over and over you lose people’s attention.

Because they are missing out they need to do things differently. Get ahead of the game and start writing its own rules. The DC universe has been darker thanks to Christopher Nolan and they should make the tone of every DC movie feel the same as they are all in the same universe.

Marvel has Agents of Shield but it is really a side note in the Movie franchise and a neat little gimmick show that rocks its ass off but is underused. DC needs to learn from its competitor’s mistakes and maximize on this easy win.
Logo from Forbes

What do you think? Is my bro completely off his rocker or does he have something here? If you like what he is saying, you should like this post to DC via Facebook or Twitter, let other DC fans know that we want our stories just as strong and popular as Marvels and this is a good way to get our act together. Share this post if you agree. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Movepass: a review

I am going to explain my experiences with Moviepass

This service provides you with a credit card that you put your movie transactions on and you pay them 35 dollars a month.

You are allowed to see one movie a day and only one in a 24-hour time frame.

I was on the press list for a local advertising company so my movies were free, but I had to step away for a bit and I want to get back into that world.  Now until that happens I got this service and so far it’s been a really nice program.

What you do is load an app on your phone and check in with the app.  I select the movie I want to see because the app knows what theater I am at.  This is cool and a little bit creepy all at the same time. You then take the credit card they issued to you and pay for the movie using that card.  Bingo you are now a ticket owner and you are on your way.

I have had only two issues with my service so far and each time they were quick to help me.  I don’t expect perfection but I do expect the effort to get the things fixed if they go wrong.  I have always said that people will remember how you fix a problem over the fact that you had the problem.

The first one was a problem with new accounts that were not activating so I had to call in to get manually set up to check the movies.  The second was the time wasn’t reset so I had to again call in.

The downside is I was trying to show this process to my brother, of course, like anything you want to show off it doesn’t work; Or is that just with me that happens to.

Until I get back on the list I am going to continue with this subscription.  The more movies I watch in a month the cheaper it is. Looking forward to seeing how this program improves and grows.
Oh, happy veteran’s day to my fellow vets.

What services do you have that are working out for you and you want to share?
And another quick question, Netflix recommendations I am looking for a movie to watch, suggestions, GO!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Spoiler Waring!! Lincoln dies at the theater

When is the time limit that you have to observe if you are going to talk about something in the media? Is it a few months, a few years? I have had conversations with people and I say something about a movie that was two years ago and I get scolded for not giving a spoiler warning.
The best moment for me was when I was talking about The Historical film called Lincoln. And I started to talk about the theatre scene. I was quickly shushed and was told if someone important dies I shouldn’t give it away.

I wish I could make this kind of stuff up.
I started to chuckle and then realized that she wasn’t kidding.

What do you think? Should Television shows also be included? Has the invention of streaming seasons of shows made the rules different? I remember watching Dexter once it was on Netflix and I remember that someone at work told me…Spoiler warning! Dexter’s wife had been killed and their son was sitting like he was when his mother died.
I was only on season two. So she gave away some of the future bits. Did she spoil it for me, sure a little. I have no right to have the world be put on Hold until I catch up. At the very least I should have explained what season I am on.

Kevin Smith had a show called Spoilers. If you are watching that show with that title you can’t be mad at him, he gave you fair warning. That show only had one season but I think it was a great idea. The audience would have been a very slim few. People who love Kevin Smith fall into two categories. The ones who love him and don’t care if they get spoilers, and those who do but only watch the episodes of films they have seen or don’t care to see.  The other people who don't know him are probably going to avoid this because they don't want to see spoilers.

Movie reviewers do tend to give things away in their review but I always try and keep my comments to what you can see in the trailer when I break into my synopsis. I used to have a section for spoilers that you had to click on to see. It was a lot of work for very little pay off so I stopped.

So here are my rules on Spoilers.
  • If a movie is historically accurate and about a very famous person that has or /should have a common history for everyone, spoiler warnings are not required on anything that happened as a result of the historical events.
  • Television shows that have been on for longer than two seasons, however, you have to calibrate where each of you are in the series.
  • Books will also fall under this umbrella for the same time frames as television shows.
  • Any work that has been added to the public domain can’t have spoiler warnings.
  • Any movie that has been out so long you can now find it in the $5.00 bin at the supermarket will not have any spoiler warning. To be fair if it’s in the bin right after release from the theatres it’s not of quality that would warrant spoiling.
What should I add or remove from the Spoiler rules?