Thursday, December 31, 2009


Curse you, you vile year of overwhelming distaste!

As of right now, this wretched, disgusting, unsavory, nerve shattering, on-the-edge-of-near-oblivion year called 2009 is ONE DAY from being over, dead, gone forever, WIPED FROM THE FACE OF THE CALENDAR!!! Only to make way for the wonderfully fresh, delicious, nutritious, career back on track inducing, brightly lit, opportunity filled doors opening up to the sound of triumphant music year of 2010!

And if you listen out your windows right after the strike of midnight tomorrow night, you just might hear the sound of an editor in Hollywood screaming out "DIE, DIE, DIE AS YOU DESERVE TO, 2009!!!" as he waves his middle finger at those evil forces who would bring him down! BEGONE, TROLIPS!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Sherlock Holmes" review: spot-on performances, fun, clever, edgy, plus some well balanced action

Did I say too much in the header before I actually got to the review? LOL! Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law couldn't be better as Arthur Conan Doyle's deductive duo, turning the action and daring do up a few notches, and bringing Holmes and Watson into the 21st Century with style and a really fresh story.

Here's the second movie I've seen this Christmas, the other being "Avatar", that I can't wait to see again! Guy Ritchie's standout cinematic flair adds much to this retelling. Some really clever flash forwards and reverses are often surprising and definitely entertaining. Holmes explanations of how he will apprehend or physically take out a perpetrator are almost "Matrix" like, but never overplayed and always original. Robert Downey, Jr. continues to ride high after his amazing success with "Iron Man", and he's right at home inhabiting a slightly more wild haired version of Sherlock. Plus, Dr. Watson no longer sits around saying just saying "Holmes!!!" all the time. Even though that was one the trademarks of the books and movies, Jude Law's Watson is all about joining the action. But action never overtakes what is ultimately a detective story, and that's never forgotten. Together, the repore and banter these two have while getting themselves in and out of trouble is the glue that makes this movie so much fun and exciting.

Mark Strong is very affective as the villain and, after a bit of an absence, I'm really glad to see Rachel McAdams back in a good major motion picture. "The Time Traveler's Wife" didn't do much for her career, and she's having far more fun in "Sherlock" portraying the only true romantic match for Holmes (there's a history) who just happens to be one of his arch nemesis. Hans Zimmer again rolls out a rousing score, balancing Victorian themes that aren't overly stylized with occasional fun, edgy banjo romps.

Most of Sherlock Holmes tradmark accessories are nicely included here, especially a smarter version of his ever present pipe, and the violin, which sometimes accentuates the quirkiness of character and the wheels turning the way only Robert Downey, Jr. can turn them. Did I say he's great in this role? O.K. so I'll say it again.

I've always been a fan of the Sherlock Holmes character; from some of the books I read when I was a teenager, through the Basil Rathbone series of movies, and onward to Nicol Williamson's brilliant performance in "The Seven Percent Solution". Even though the volume has been turned up a bit, I never felt like what they were trying to achieve was 'too loud', so to speak. And yes I'm going to say "Star Trek" unfortunately was this past summer! I hope Guy Ritchie and the entire cast return to make another one of these because I'm ready for more. Go see it!

Monday, December 28, 2009

"A Christmas Story" House photos now on Flickr

Just added a new photo set on Flickr; my December 2006 trip to Cleveland, Ohio and the filming location for Ralphie's house from "A Christmas Story". Click the 'LA Filmcutter on Flickr' link near the bottom of the left sidebar to go there.

This was a quick turnaround trip for the holidays. I flew to Albany, N.Y. for Christmas, then two days later took a 45 minute flight to Cleveland. Four to five hours later, after casually taking in the house tour and all it had to offer, I boarded a return plane back to Albany. Pretty crazy travel plans, but then again I like it that way sometimes.

Across the street from the house there's a gift store filled with official movie merchandise and decorations for sale. Plus, a small museum displaying a number of items used in the filming that includes Randy's actual snowsuit!! I was absolutely in heaven roaming the house with other fans and viewing these rare items. When I was there three years ago, they hadn't finished the upstairs bedrooms to accurately depict Ralphie and Randy's room as originally seen in the movie. Everything is now complete, and I'm really looking forward to returning once again, hopefully around a year from now. Sure, they're open for business year round. But it just wouldn't be the same without Christmas reasonably in sight.

Check out this fascinating and informative short documentary, produced by TCM, showcasing house owner Brian Jones, how he came to buy it on EBay, the refurbishing process, and the fans continued adoration, as thousands descend on Cleveland, Ohio annually to be a part of the place they almost feel like calling home.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Sherlock Holmes" was GREAT!!! Director Guy Ritchie, Robert Downey, Jr., and Jude Law have wonderfully updated Holmes and Watson with action, comedy, and style!

Sitting in the AMC Burbank 16 waiting for "Sherlock Holmes" to start...along with just about everyone else who lives in Burbank! They're all here!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Some major news from Happy Hour Creative

Here's an interesting update I hadn't taken the time yet to post...

Got a call last week from Chris at Happy Hour Creative. He wanted to let me know that the "Book Of Eli" broadcast spot I'd cut had been approved by the studio to be one of the official set to promote the movie. I was not only thrilled to hear this(!), but really appreciative of Chris for contacting me with the news. He didn't have to, and it's a rarity to even think that a producer, much less the head of a trailer house, would inform an editor down the road with this type of development. Yet another reason why Happy Hour is absolutely the place for me to be. In general and when a staff position is offered.

Speaking of which, there was more news to be had. Turns out one of their staff editors had just left the company to explore other opportunities. Chris said that because of this, they'd need to bring me in more often. This was definitely exciting news, and of course once again I expressed my interest to fill that now empty position. Chris said they were rearranging things a bit so the workload would be evenly distributed, mainly due to the continued economical crisis. Keeping my fingers crossed that in time that spot could be mine!

Chris informed me that my "Book Of Eli" spot should be up on the official website shortly. Wow! The thing that especially excites me about this being approved is that I was given a fair amount of free rain on the project. There was a VO script to use as a guide, but Chris wanted me to cut this thing like a Comic-Con trailer. So I came up with a fairly edgy concept, cut against a choral arrangement music track, segueing into a climactic action montage. The movie's release date is January 15. Will keep you updated when my spot hits the site!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to one and all!!!

To everyone who frequents here, and to those who have just joined this ongoing hoo-haa of Hollywood career and industry comments, debates, and general hyperactive realizations of all things totally amazing(!!!) from New York City to Los Angeles to San Diego, have a VERY, VERY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

And like Linus, let's try and remember what's important this holiday season.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My photos on Flickr are now all in one place!

I now have a Flickr Pro account (unlimited space!) and recently started consolidating all of my photos from the individual Flickr pages I created over the years onto one big page!

Here you can check out all of my photo sets, and please note that I'm still transferring pics from various events, including this past year's Comic-Con. There's also a few trips that never made it to the upload stage and I'll let you know when they're in place and complete. One set that's about to go up, just in time for the holidays, is a certain trip I took to Ralphie's house from "A Christmas Story" in December 2006. Stay tuned!

There's a new Flickr link near the bottom of the left sidebar. Click on this to go to my set page. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Avatar" review: Cameron's return lives up to everything he promised!

WOW!!! What an absolutely INCREDIBLE movie!!!

James Cameron is absolutely, completely, and totally BACK from his twelve year hiatus after the gi-normous success of "Titanic"!! And it looks like he has another monster hit on his hands that could also turn into Golden Globe and Oscar gold.

This not just a visual effects film. Although those effects are so realistic and so layered, surrounding you with the world that is Pandora. "Avatar" is very much a character driven story. Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldaña, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver are all excellent, and their chemistry with one another is key to how great this movie is. Speaking of Ms. Weaver, it's great to see her saddling up with Cameron again for another high tech adventure in space. Even though she's more of a supporting character, her part is the backbone of what is good and right in dealing with the Navi. For Worthington's character, this is a job he never asked for, but the actor perfectly takes us through it's amazing lengths and breaths. For Saldaña, here is an endearing and soon to be iconic character in another high profile movie this year (the first was this past summer's "Star Trek"). She's got to be flying high right now.

Yes, we've seen this basic tale done before. But that never hurts the amazing way in which it's told and ultimately played out. I have to say the character CGI is the most realistic ever portrayed in a motion picture. Very early on you begin to forget that you're looking at a computer generated being and feel like you're actually gazing at a real flesh and blood Navi native; the eyes, the hair, the skin, the physical movement, are so very rooted in the physics our eyes understand as REAL. Of course all of this is brought even more to the forefront when viewed in 3D. So I strongly suggest anyone who hasn't seen it yet...SEE IT IN 3D!!

Once again, James Cameron takes aim at the evils of technological corporations, represented here by a military force from Earth who want to wipe out the Navi to secure a precious mineral under their homeland, and the importance of cherishing and connecting with what's most important; one another and the home we inhabit. That connection is another wonderful element of the story. How we and the life around us / under our feet are connected. Something that's lost on the 'alien military' who just see money and greed. The technology that the military wields is another innovative aspect of this movie. One original design in particular that I loved is the giant combat suits that react and mirror the operator's virtual command glove movements. These are really kick-ass! The colonial marines could have used these in "Aliens".

The score is also beautifully done by James Horner, who previously worked with Cameron on "Aliens" and "Titanic". There's only a scant moment or two where you can here his signature sound, as well as a familiar "Wrath Of Khan' motif he continues to use.

"Avatar" is a love story, a war movie, a fantasy, a cautionary tale, and a vibrant new doorway into the future of cinema and visual effects. Cameron broke new ground with the creation of the T-1000 in "Terminator 2". He once again adorned the mighty Titanic with a life and realism that could not have been accomplished, even just a few years before. Now, he's going to have everyone in the entertainment industry stopping, turning their heads, and wondering what they'll need to do to grasp. mold, and shape with their own hands what the King Of The World known as James Cameron has brought to the table known as 'the movies'.

In the meantime, I can't wait to see "Avatar" again! Absolutely in 3D! BTW, the runtime is 2 hours and 50 minutes. But you never really notice it. The only thing I had a slight problem with was how heavy the 3D glasses were. Had to adjust them a time or two during the course of the film. That's minor though. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bryan Singer back on board the "X-Men" series!!!

I am SOOO excited to hear that Bryan Singer will be returning to the franchise that made him great! Even though I'd still like to see him be allowed to continue with a "Superman Returns" follow up, I know he's going to grab the steering wheel back from Bret Ratner's really disappointing "X3". BTW, can't we just take away Ratner's license to direct?! I mean, come on!

Check out this Q&A with Bryan Singer at by clicking on his photo.

Three gone, and a surprising forth

We lost three more from the world of film last week. One, a woman who was one of the top post World War II stars of her era, another, the nephew of Walt Disney, and a driving force in keeping the company on track. Then, among his many film rolls, a man who will perhaps forever be remembered for his role in George Pal's "War Of The Worlds".

Even though I was very aware of Jennifer Jones film career, my first introduction came with her final screen role as Lisolette Muller in "The Towering Inferno". Later I would discover some of the earlier movies that made her famous, like "The Song of Bernadette", which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress. Never shying away from strong woman's roles, she set herself apart from others of her time.

Roy E. Disney was the nephew of Walt Disney, and had a hand in bringing down CEO's Ronald Miller and Michael Esner during two bitter 'save-Disney' disputes over the direction the Disney Company was taking at the time. Never one to rise above the 'powers that be', Roy only reared his family's head when something seemed to betray what his uncle stood for. It's hard now to imagine the Walt Disney Company without the influence of one of Walt's siblings or relatives. However, Roy's endurance is one of the true legacies of the Disney empire.

Gene Barry's career spanned movies and television. "The Name of the Game" and Burke's Law" were staples of prime time TV, and of course there's his iconic turn in the classic "War Of the Worlds". But the one thing I was surprised to learn was where he'd been living since early this past summer...and where he eventually died; The Sunrise Senior Living right here in Woodland Hills. Just seven blocks from where I live. I grew up with "War Of The Worlds", and it made me stop and contemplate the place where he passed a bit more reverendly. I actually drive by there just about every day on the freeway.

Probably the most surprising death was Brittany Murphy's. She was only 32 and died from cardiac arrest....32! The precise cause of the arrest is still being determined, but I am still so surprised that this happened to someone who seemed so healthy and on the right path in her life and career. Aside from various recurring roles on television and starring in such films as "Clueless", "Girl, Interrupted", "Don't Say a Word", and "8 Mile", she also sang on Paul Oakenfold's track "Faster Kill Pussycat", a favorite of mine.

Click on the individual photos to read their obituaries.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just came out of "Avatar". What an incredible movie!!! Amazingly visual, lush, and a joy to behold! Full review Monday!

Here at the Arclight Dome waiting for the 7pm showing of "Avatar" to begin! I am SOOO ready to go to Pandora!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

"1941" screening

Watched "1941" tonight in The 10th Box, and I'm correcting what I said in my previous post about there not being any really big laughs in the film. There are actually a number of iconic lines and scenes in the movie that had me slapping my knee and LOL-ing. Not really sure what I was thinking when I wrote that, but it's been a while since I've screened this classic. And yes, regardless of what anyone says about this being Spielberg's early career flop, it's still a classic.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Iron Man 2" trailer is up!

The first "Iron Man 2" trailer is now online and it's REALLY AWESOME!!! Think I must have watched this thing 6 times already AND downloaded it! So much to talk about, but go and see it for yourself. Click here to see it on the Apple iTunes site.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper in an airborne moment with Downey's Stark, Mickey Rourke's Whiplash cutting Stark's race car in two, and of course, Iron Man and War Machine squaring off against dozens of iron suited amazing spectacle! Is it May 2010 yet?!

Spielberg's "1941"

And let's not forget that 30 years ago the Japanese invaded Los Angeles....well at least on the big screen.

Christmas 1979 wasn't just all about "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". However, Steven Spielberg's follow up to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was far from a big hit. Some attribute it to the downward feeling in this country because of the Iran hostage crisis happening at the time. Bah! I still love this movie, even though I can't say it has any really big laughs in it. There's definitely enough fun stuff throughout, and you can't go wrong with the onscreen pairing (if not in slightly separate story lines) of John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. This was the Christmas before "The Blues Brothers" hit theaters, BTW. Belushi's character, Wild Bill Kelso, is probably one of the best parts, and became a true icon of this big budget comedy.

I only wish they'd release this on DVD in it's original theatrical version. The current issue, which I own, has a much longer cut with extensions to scenes already in the final movie. The problem is you have to watch these as part of the entire film. There's no way to just watch them as deleted scenes. So when the new footage suddenly cuts in, there's a color shift. This is because the footage used was not adjusted to perfectly match the overall look of the rest of the film. Weird. Obviously the budget wasn't big enough to allow for any major color correction work.

Still...looping it up to watch in the 10th Box tomorrow night (yes, I know. Explanation of the name of my home theater is coming!).

Here is the first teaser trailer for the movie, shot specifically for the teaser itself. With a voice over by Dan Ackroyd, it plays like an short enlistment film for WWII. Note that Belushi's character's name here is Wayne Kelso and not 'Wild Bill' Kelso as in the final movie.

My iTunes heavy rotation buzz track for today: "Do It" by Nelly Furtado.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Golden Globe Awards nominees announced

Among the nominations I am most excited about:

BEST FEATURE - COMEDY: "(500) Days of Summer"
SCREENPLAY - MOTION PICTURE: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell - "District 9"
and in the television catagory that I'm usually not that interested in...

Even though "Sherlock Holmes" is still a week and half away from premiering, I'm really happy that Robert Downey, Jr. received a nomination for Best Actor, Comedy or Musical. Definitely looking forward to this, as well as experiencing the splendor of "Avatar" and the possibility that "Avatar" could have Jim Cameron become 'The King of the World' once more. "Up", of course, is so far my favorite movie of 2009. Beyond all of the summer blockbusters that sort of went bust, this Pixar gem is just an incredibly fun and moving story.

"(500) Days of Summer" was a really nice surprise a few months ago, and "District 9" is definitely way under nominated, I feel. I was truly amazed to find that "Modern Family" is an incredibly funny show! And I mean REALLY funny!!! I literally can't wait for each week's episode. It was co-created by Christopher Lloyd, and I'm very happy to see his show on the rise.

Click on the Golden Globe to see the complete list of nominees at

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Avatar" already rates a 90 on Rotten Tomatoes

Nice! James Cameron's "Avatar" is getting some fantastic early reviews! rates the movie a very high 90% positive one week from release.

I have to say I had a weird, uneasy feeling that critics would find Cameron's 12-year-later follow up to "Titanic" to be less than spectacular. Certainly not my hope or desire whatsoever, but you know how such highly anticipated blockbusters-to-be fall short to some. I'm just thrilled the movie is being showered with such great kudos. One week from today I'll be front and center to witness the return of one of my all-time favorite directors.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two weeks to Christmas and counting.....have you been good?

I haven't forgotten about that explanation for the 10th Box, but I wanted to say a couple of other things first...

Wow! Only two weeks to Christmas! I've stocked up on brownie mix and M&M's and am basking in the glow of holiday lights inside and outside of my apartment.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

30 years ago, "Star Trek, The Motion Picture" left drydock

I remember the anticipation when "Star Trek, The Motion Picture" was released on December 7, 1979. Actually the buzz began for me when James Doohan ("Scotty") was doing a college tour earlier in the year to connect with Trek fans and rollout the first teaser trailer for the forthcoming movie. I saw him in Albany, N.Y. during this tour.

As the lights dimmed, the voice of Orson Welles announced the names of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForrest Kelley, etc., as the first images of the new, refurbished Enterprise were revealed for the first time. Months later when the actual film was released, I eagerly went to the Center Theatre (at the back of Colonie Center in Albany) opening week to buy my ticket. And even though many people talk about how long the tour of the Enterprise is or how elongated the V'ger flyover became, I ate up every moment of each sequence. Ultimately, it was a proper, almost re-introduction into this new "Trek" universe that I think we needed before warping off to meet Khan in the second movie. And as always, I'll be screening the movie sometime this week in the 10th Box (explanation of this name in my next post).

The direction of the "Star Trek" feature films would change after "The Motion Picture", moving more towards action rather than cerebral. But the spirit of exploration and the human condition that creator Gene Roddenberry nurtured for so long remained.

So here is the original teaser trailer for the movie. The same one Jimmy Doohan unveiled to us more than 30 years ago.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Avatar" update: tickets PURCHASED!

Shortly after I posted about wanting a midnight screening of "Avatar" in 3D at The Arclight Dome, I checked the website to see if tickets had gone on sale. Sure enough, there it was! Unfortunately, because I wasn't on the ball, I missed out on finding good seats to that midnight show. Apparently they went on sale Friday. I was reasonable O.K. with this, but felt very strongly about wanting to catch the movie during opening weekend.

Friday night didn't have the best seats either, and Saturday had a scheduling conflict. Seats then were good, but Sunday night's turned out to be the best! Dead center, straight-on view of the screen. I especially wanted to have the best seats in the house because the movie is in 3D. Optimum viewing, that's what I'm talking about!

So we now have tickets for Sunday night, December 20th, 7pm, in The Dome. God bless it! Can't wait!

The year winding down, and tickets to "Avatar"

As Christmas approaches, I continue working on the independent film at home, feeling as though this may be my final work of the year. All of my decorating for the holidays is finally done (yes, there were a few extra things I didn't quite get to earlier in the week) and I'm spending a little time relaxing this weekend.

Looking forward to buying tickets to the midnight showing of "Avatar", coming up on December 18. Of course I want to go to the Hollywood Arclight for this, but prefer to see it in The Dome. Right now there's a midnight show at the Sherman Oaks Arclight that's pretty much sold out. Meanwhile, that vile "New Moon" is taking up space at The Dome. Which is probably why they haven't scheduled Cameron's Opus to take it's place yet. Hopefully the tweener hit will be packing it's bags and leaving town shortly.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Decorating, indie film cutting, and a response from a trailer house

Decorating the tree and apartment continues. Just didn't have all the time I needed to get it done in one day. Continuing to work on the independent film. All is going well. Director is stopping by again tomorrow to check things out.

Received an e-mail response from the contact at Aspect Ratio that Chris at Happy Hour referred me to. Said he received my reel and resume, but that they were sufficiently staffed to deal with the current workload. They were definitely going to file my materials and for me to feel free to check in from time to time. Fair enough. I will definitely be following up with them in the future.

Plus, as I'm writing this, a call came in from Lussier. They primarily handle network TV promos. I'd been contacted by them some time ago but nothing ever came of it. I was told they were updating their freelance listings and wanted to get a new copy of my reel and resume. Will send that right out in the mail tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yes!!!: 30 days and counting!

The evil year of 2009 is just 30 DAYS from being over! THANK CHRIST! The holidays are upon us, the tree is up, and I just made my first pan of Christmas brownies. Now all we have to do is coast into 2010.