Monday, January 31, 2011

Wondercon room expansion

Just booked a second room at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis for Bill B. in anticipation of Wondercon just sixty days away. Looks like it'll be the three of us once again for a three day weekend of fanboy bliss! GOD BLESS IT!

I also faxed my pro-reg application last night and am waiting for confirmation. The big news I was just made aware of: because I work in the industry, this not only covers free admission for myself and three guests at both Wondercon AND's also good for THREE YEARS!! WOW! Then at the end of that period I just re-up again and we're good for another three years after that and etc. Crazy!

Composer John Barry dies at age 77

Woke up this morning to a message Bill B. left for me in the middle of the night; Composer John Barry had passed away.

For many people he will always be remembered for his iconic "James Bond" theme, countless scores to the Sean Connery / Roger Moore "Bond" movies, "Born Free", "Midnight Cowboy", "The Lion in Winter", "Out of Africa", and "Dances with Wolves". But the movies I'll always cherish his music from just that much more are "Robin and Marian", "King Kong" (1976), "Eleanor and Franklin", "Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years", "Hanover Street", and "Somewhere in Time".

"Robin and Marian" was my first full-on experience with Barry's music in a film, and I was seriously overjoyed when the ACTUAL, ORIGINAL music from the movie was finally released on CD a year and half ago. It'd been covered by John Debney and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, but the only time anyone could hear Barry's film version was while watching the movie. Same with the soundtrack for "Hanover Street" which was also released in 2009. Both of these I snatched up immediately.

The score for "Somewhere in Time" has to be one of his most lush, and stands alone beautifully and iconically as much as the film does. "Eleanor and Franklin" contains all of the bravado, pomp and circumstance of FDR and those historic White House years. Even though most might forget "Raise the Titanic", Barry's grand horns as the decayed ship rises to the surface will always bring that movie back into my memory.

On the drive to work this morning I perused several of his scores and soundtracks I own, listening with great appreciation and a true sense of loss at this great film composer's passing. His music forever burned into the collective conscienceness of movie history.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Henry Cavill is Superman

Some interesting news just announced this morning...Henry Cavill of "The Tudors" and the forthcoming motion picture "Cold Light of Day" has been cast in Zach Snyder's "Man of Steel". I like this choice! He definitely has that Christopher Reeve vibe about him (trust me on this for reasons some of you know), which is something I certainly hold near and dear and want to see carried over into the new film. Nice!

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Ray, the next time someone asks you if you're a god, you say YES!!!"

Heading to Arclight Hollywood tonight for a screening of "Ghostbusters" and a Q&A with actors Ernie Hudson, William Atherton, producer Joe Medjuck, visual effects artist Steve Johson, Mark Bryan Wilson (Stay Puft Marshmellow Man) and Billy Bryan (Slimer). Rebecca and I will be joined by our new friends Paul and his wife, Emily. I got the T-shirt all ready to go!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

YES!!! Anne Hathaway as Catwoman!!!

Hathaway as Catwoman in "The Dark Knight Rises"! Oh, the possibilities!!! What a totally-out-of-left field decision this is...and I LIKE IT!! And you KNOW Christopher Nolan will completely guide this character into a realistic version of her comic book self. Even more glad now that The Riddler was not next in line after Heath Ledger's amazing Joker. That might have been a little too similar. Catwoman will take the third and final installment into wonderfully new territory.

Bane as a second villian? Not too sure about this. Keep him minimal and not over the top, please. That is all.

Is Marvel headed for the wall?

This week saw a few interesting reveals into Marvel's stable of upcoming superhero movies....and things are starting to not look so super.

The first photo of Andrew Garfield in the new Spider-Man costume (click on the photo for a larger view) was publicly released....and IT SUCKS!!! FLAT OUT!! Overly detailed and crazily stylized, it's a far cry from the oh-so-very-faithful design from the Sam Raimi films. I'd been feeling for some time that the new "Spider-Man" movie was on it's way to screwing the pooch and this one photo pretty much cemented my take on the whole thing. Is this a fact? No. Just a MAJOR hunch.

Then yesterday I read that the character of J. Jonah Jameson has been dropped from the script. Seriously?! Jameson is as iconic as Perry White in Superman and NEEDS to be part of the story! Of course the same could be said for Mary Jane but she's out as well. Now we get Gwen Stacey played by Emma Stone. I love Emma, but Gwen has always come across as a second tier love interest. BTW, why are so many people online saying that Kirsten Dunst was awful as as MJ?! I just don't get that. I thought she was great!

Whatever. This is the new world they're creating for the next Spidey adventure. A world I think a lot of people will be looking at and crying for the days when a Spider-Man movie was GOOD in the hands of Sam Raimi! Thanks to the studio's overly hyperactive and greedy demands, this brand new off-the-assembly-line, overly tricked-out model is probably not going to survive the crash test. But hey, that's just me. I'll be waiting for the first trailer to debut and then I'll be right back here again, probably berating how even worse the whole idea of this reboot seemed in the first place.

With word that the trailer for "Captain America" has been pushed back because the footage wasn't 'amazing enough', the so-so reaction to the first "Thor" trailer, and Marvel cramming multiple Avenger characters into the "Iron Man 3" script and down Jon Favreau's throat, I'm truly wondering whether or not the studio, that has now melded with Disney, is about to jump the shark. When all is said and done, Favreau's going to look just that much better for having packed his bags and left the "IM" franchise when he did. Because things are about to get super freaky!

Oh and BTW, "The Avengers" is going to suck. Just had to get that in there one more time. LOL!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globes: some highs and lows

High: Colin Firth winning Best Actor for "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network" winning Best Picture. So well deserved on both counts, even though I was rooting for "Speech" to win BP.
Low: Ricky Gervais screwing the pooch onstage. Looks like he won't be back next year. Are we surprised? Check out his list of obvious offenses right down to the final out of the show by clicking on the photo. I personally wasn't offended but kind of cringed those couple of times when the audience reacted unfavorably with gasps. There was one remark he made that I totally agreed with though:

"It seems like everything this year was 3-dimensional....except for the characters in 'The Tourist'," Gervais said. "I haven't even seen 'The Tourist'....who has?"

Seriously!!! LOL! Again, why was this movie even nominated for ANYTHING?! Really kind of shows you just how scarce good movies were in 2010.

BTW, what was up with Robert De Niro's Cecil B. DeMille Award acceptance speech? Sometimes strange, sometimes trying for humor that came across as a bit offensive to some when stating the following:

“I’m sorry more members of the foreign press aren’t with us tonight," he said. "But many were deported right before the show along with most of the waiters. And Javier Bardem."

Obviously he was talking about the immigration issues in this country. Weird way of making a political statement.

Mainly I was very happy with who won last night....oh yeah, except for "Glee". NO MORE FUCKING "GLEE"!!! Especially since it beat a GOOD show I love: "Modern Family"! But hey, "MF" was awarded Best Comedy at the Emmys so they've got that going for them...which is NICE!

On to the Oscars, and I'll be up and watching on January 25 at 5:30 a.m. PT for the nominations announcement.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Golden Globe Awards tonight!

I'm very much looking forward to the Golden Globes tonight, especially after seeing "The King's Speech" yesterday morning.

My favorite to win is in fact "The King's Speech", with award nominations for Best Picture, Colin Firth for Best Actor, Geoffrey Rush for Best Supporting Actor, and Helena Bonham Carter for Best Supporting Actress. Not to mention the director, screenplay, and music score categories.

"The Social Network" is a really great, really well written, performed, and shot movie...definitely one of my favorites from 2010. But "The King's Speech" is just spectacular. I can't say enough about how much I liked it, but I will try when I write my review shortly. Still rooting for "Social" as well, since I think it's definitely deserving of the attention it's getting. Probably would have to say that I could be a tad disappointed if "Inception" pulls down any major awards over these two heavy hitters.

"Toy Story 3" is absolutely a lock for Best Animated Film....but hey, where is Daft Punk's score nomination for "Tron Legacy"?! OH, COME ON!! Why is "The Tourist", "Alice in Wonderland" and "Burlesque" nominated for Best Picture, Comedy or Musical?! Seriously?! Kind of reaching! Is that how dry 2010 was in that category?

Susannah York dies

British actress Susannah York has passed away. She died from advanced bone marrow cancer just six days after her 72nd birthday.

Her career high came in 1969 with the critically acclaimed film "They Shoot Horses, Don't They", for which she was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. Other movies she made her mark in were "Tom Jones", "The Battle of Britain", and of course many of us will always remember her as Kal-El's mother, Lara, in "Superman, The Movie".

While searching for photos to include in this post I was struck by how, even into her 70s, she still possessed that almost pixie-like, round faced beauty she held throughout her life. Click on the image for more late 60s / early 70s photos of Susannah.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Happy Hour juggernaut continues

For the past several weeks I've been working on three spots for a show about a guy who has a hard time not thinking that love sucks. These, along with seven others cut by three other editors, are now in front of the studio for approval. Two have come back as early favorites and we're still waiting to hear if any of the others make it through.

This is actually for a much larger event than just a regular broadcast spot...but more about that later. I also just started working on a spot for a soon-to-premiere FOX show. Plus, on top of all this I'll be working tomorrow, Sunday, to get a head start on a spot for a long running reality show. All of this is taking me into next week and almost certainly the week after. The work juggernaut continues to barrel full speed throughout January.

"The King's Speech"

After hearing so much positive buzz, both critical and word of mouth, we went to see "The King's Speech" this morning and it's truly WONDERFUL!! Absolutely one of the best movies of the year. Brilliant...I loved it so much more than I ever expected to! Completely deserves the Best Picture Oscar over favored-to-win "The Social Network", which I also loved. Full review shortly.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Doctor Who"....I'M BACK IN!

IT'S OFFICIAL!!....Twenty years after watching and embracing the original series, I'm finally back into Doctor Who! Even though the new show has been on for five years, I've just now latched on again....thanks to Rebecca! Watching Series 1 with Christopher Eccleston.

Plus, what incredibly perfect timing! Rebecca just reminded me that there's a Doctor Who convention that takes place in LA! I'd heard about it during their second year in 2006 but hadn't gotten into the new show yet, even though I fully intended to. Was hearing so many great things about it but never quite took the time to investigate. Now that she's very excitedly gotten into the show and I've reconnected, we were really happy to learn that this year's event is right around the corner!! February 18 - 20 in fact!

So right away we went online and bought our tickets for what I'm sure is going to be an amazing weekend! So you know what that means don't you? WE NEED A SECOND COUNTDOWN CLOCK! LOL!

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Spaceballs" screening

Heading to Arclight Hollywood tonight for a screening of "Spaceballs" plus a Q&A with Bill Pullman.

Director Peter Yates dies

Director Peter Yates has passed away. He helmed some of the most iconic and offbeat movies of the late 60s and 70s; Steve McQueen's actioner "Bullitt", Barbra Streisand's "For Pete's Sake", "Breaking Away", and a personal favorite of mine, "Mother, Jugs & Speed". It has been a seriously long time since I saw "Bullitt" last and I definitely want to experience it again very soon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gerry Rafferty

I was very shocked and saddened to learn that Gerry Rafferty died on Tuesday at age 63. 'Baker Street' and 'Right Down The Line' were heavy rotation favorites of mine during the 70's, and stand as part of the soundtrack of my life while growing up in the Albany, N.Y. area.

Whenever I hear that saxophone leading into Rafferty's 'Baker Street' vocals, I'm taken right back to a time when I was about to head to college and the next chapter of my youth had begun. It was 1978 and I finally had my own car. The radio was my constant friend as I drove, which is still the case today combined with my iPod. Tuesday night I got in my car after work and savored 'Baker Street' and 'Right Down The Line' all the way home. The funny thing is I never realized the former was a lament of chasing music industry dreams and finding disappointment in Los Angeles:

'This city desert makes you feel so cold.
It's got so many people but it's got no soul
And it's taking you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it had everything'

It's hard to believe that a musical icon of my late teen years has passed from this Earth. But it's also pretty cool that his 1978 debut album, 'City to City', has gotten back on the charts and is currently #7 on the iTunes album charts. Just flat-out classic.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wondercon 2011

Let the first countdown of the new year begin.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 movie rundown: the good, the bad, and the WTF?!

And now, what I consider to be one of the most important rundowns of each and every year; MOVIES!!! This list is not only based on the quality of these films but how well I enjoyed them.

Here are my top 10 favorite movies of 2010:
"Toy Story 3"
"The Social Network"
"How to Train Your Dragon"
"Tron: Legacy"
"The Town"
"The Book of Eli"
"Jackass 3D"
"Despicable Me"
"The Runaways"

The one movie I did enjoy, but also thought could have been better:
"Iron Man 2"

The movie I had high hopes for but was disappointed in, partly for it's lack of some basic communication with the audience:

Just bad or surprisingly not good:
"The Other Guys"
"Hereafter "

And the 'Why All The Fuss?' Award goes to:
"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"
"Alice in Wonderland"

Sold out screenings of "Scott Pilgrim" by uber-fans months after it premiered?....SERIOUSLY?! "Alice in Wonderland" is the sixth highest grossing movie of all time?...REALLY??!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another "Forbidden Planet" death

Wow....Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen within a month of each other.

2010: in other news...

Here's my brief take on some of the top around-the-world events in 2010. Needless to say the complete list is much bigger, but these are ones that float to the surface in my mind first:

The Haiti heartbreaking.

The BP oil spill....insanely painful to watch and jaw dropping in it's length!

The Chilean miners rescue....the entire world watched this like the moon landing in 1969; emotional and uplifting.

Lindsay Lohan goes to jail in wait, don't let her out after two weeks! KEEP HER ASS IN THERE UNTIL SHE BREAKS!!!

Volcanic ash from one of several eruptions beneath Eyjafjallajökull causes weeks of flight delays in Europe....Mother Earth decided to poot on us because she doesn't like all the global warming that's going on! I think someone saw Al Gore having lunch with her the day before everything went to hell.

The war in Iraq ends!....yay, Obama, fuck you, Bush!!!

WikiLeaks releases a gi-normous collection of confidental US documents....oh what's the matter, US Government? Don't like when you're viewed COMPLETELY NAKED like when the TSA scans you at the airport?

Kim Jong-il in North Korea shells Yeonpyeong Island....I think he's just ronery.

A faction of true morons in this country claiming that 'Barack Obama is the worst President ever'....WTMotherF???!!! SERIOUSLY???!!! Oh but wait, I think they made a typo. I believe that guy's name is spelled B - U - S - H.

The childish mud slinging that went on during the California governor's election....made me feel like voting for someone in any kind of election is just plain pointless. Will anything ever really change depending on whose in office? Probably not.

In my next post, on to something that DOES change each year....My favorite, not so favorite, disappointing, and confusing in their positive reception movies of 2010!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 career rundown: passing very happily and very comfortably into the new year!

As I left Happy Hour Creative at the end of the last work day of 2010, which was Thursday, I looked back as the door slowly closing behind me with a real sense of accomplishment and advancement in my career. With that in mind I have to say right up top...what an amazing year 2010 was! SO many great things happened and most important, the work flowed perfectly with only a few medium to minor interruptions.

Even though I was SOOOO glad 2009 had ended and we were heading into a better year, that all important first quarter work contact had not come to be yet, allowing me to continue on with my career from the previous 12-month almost dead stop. Starting work for the first time with Playground Media Group in February would be a financial God-send, but eventually turned strange as their own mismanagement began to work against our work relationship. But no the end Happy Hour Creative picked me up a few weeks later.

Segueing from Happy Hour to my first gig at Secret Headquarters would continue The Great Rebound. After that extended to a month and a half and a great repore was built with a new post house, the phone rang once again from HHC asking about my availability. Little did I know at the time, but this would be my mainstay for the remainder of the year. A project that initially was to be only a few weeks long ended up becoming multiple projects, taking me on and off all the way to Comic-Con week in July. A few more weeks passed after that and I was back at Happy Hour once more towards the end of August with another project I was told would probably only last two weeks, again sprouted into even more theatrical and broadcast trailers and spots bringing me straight through the entire fall and holiday season.

Almost four and a half months later, I'M STILL HERE!!! 2010 now officially represents not only a major advancement in my career, but also surpasses 2006 as the most work intensive forth quarter and holiday period since I've been in LA. That's something to be extremely thankful for!

Here's to the bright new year that's upon us! So many opportunities, so many wonderful adventures ahead, so many more cool projects to cut! Not to mention 73 more post houses to crack!!

Oh shit....wait a minute! I DIDN'T WATCH "2010" THIS PAST YEAR!!! Was thinking about it going into the fall and never followed through....LAME, I AM! LOL! Must do that this week!

Happy New Year, West Coast!!

OMG, we have just consumed an INSANE amount of Italian food!!! I'm ready for the wheelbarrow so Rebecca can roll me out to the car. Starting the new year here has been amazing! We definitely have to do this again!!