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Everything posted by brianmcquery

  1. This is a short film that I recently made. Tim did the poster for it. A 9-minute short film about bullying and school violence from writer/director Brian McQuery. A troubled teenager is haunted by a recent school shooting and commits and an act of extreme violence to defend his sister, but before he turns himself into the police, there is one important thing that he must do. Starring: Jackson White Maura Corsini Julian Comeau Cindy Pickett (FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF) Vernon Wells (THE ROAD WARRIOR, COMMANDO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0Gsd8ri3mU Please leave a comment on YouTube and share the film. IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5372400/
  2. Glad to hear you had such a great time with Michael, Jen, Lance and Mark at the convention. I did a Q&A with Michael and Jen Friday night for the L.A. premiere of THE VICTIM at the New Beverly Cinema and then they got on a plane at 10pm to go to the convention. I've become friends with both of them and they're really great to their fans. They showed up at 6pm and Michael walked over to the fans in line and just talked with them for a while before they did a free poster signing. I got to do an ALIENS 25th anniversary Q&A last summer with Michael, Lance, Mark and Jenette Goldstein and Ricco Ross. And have spent a little time with Lance since then because of Tim. What a great, fun, cool guy. When I first met Lance in person at a convention - after some emails and phone calls - he couldn't have been friendlier. I only met Mark that one night, but he's a great guy. It's really great to hear when fans have good stories to tell since so often we only hear about the bad ones!
  3. Comic-Con 2012... Overall I had a great time. These are the highlights. Hopefully I'm not forgetting anyone/anything! Roomed and hung out with fellow geek Michael Monterastelli. At Comic-Con, I got to see 3 new pilots: ARROW Better than I expected and I really enjoyed the action and some of the humor. REVOLUTION Good, solid, but not great. Was really hoping for a pilot as compelling as LOST, but it was definitely better than TERRA NOVA. THE FOLLOWING Loved this pilot! Knew nothing about it and it played like a sequel to MANHUNTER, which is one of my favorite movies. It consistently took me by surprise and I hope a show so dark and so smart can last on network TV. Never been a fan of Kevin Williamson, but I look forward to this series. Had dinner with and hung out with Michael Hess and his daughters Mikaela and Sierra. Perhaps my last Hall H experience: FRANKENWEENIE/Tim Burton, OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL/Sam Raimi, WRECK-IT RALPH, Jackie Chan, EXPENDABLES 2/Stallone & Schwarzenegger. Dinner and plenty of laughs with Chris Frobose. Watched COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN'S HOPE with Cathie Horlick. Hung out with Caelan Biehn at his first Comic-Con! Dinner with pals Tony Adivari and Mike Alexander. Anchor Bay Dinner with Michael Biehn, Jennifer Blanc-biehn, Caelan Biehn and others. RAW Panel with the premiere of PUNISHER short, Dirty Laundry. Got to see Tom Jane, Ron Perlman and meet Phil Joanou. Annual trip to Ghirardelli for ice cream. Got to chat with Eric Vespe. So proud to see one of my oldest friends Tim Bradstreet as a Comic-Con Special Guest and was there to see him receive his Inkpot Award. Dinner with Scott Harben and friends. Drinks and bar hopping with Jim Daly and the rest of the usual suspects along the way. Even got to see Mark Walters finally on Sunday night. And got to see Casa Bradstreet and spend time with Tim, Missy, Lydia and Chris. It was an amazing time at Comic-Con this year!
  4. I was very happy to be at the COVER STORY panel when Tim was given his Inkpot Award. I took some photos during the panel and of Tim afterward with the Inkpot, which are posted on my FB page. Tim is tagged in them, so if you're his FB friend, you can check them out. Really proud of my dear old friend. I remember the days back at Chicago Comic-Con when he was just starting out. Love that you got some well earned validation this year and hope for nothing but continued success. Congratulations, brother!
  5. I saw this in the theater with my friend Ricardo. We both really enjoyed it and were moved by it. I think Ricardo's comment as we exited the theater was, "That was all heart." While I had some problems with the screenplay and some of the pacing, it's a really powerfully emotional film that I highly recommend.
  6. SLEEPLESS NIGHT My friend Marc told me about this movie. Apparently it has been described as DIE HARD in a nightclub and it was supposed to be great. That’s all I knew about it, so when we had the chance to see it, I went. First of all, forget the comparisons to DIE HARD. Yes, most of it takes place in the nightclub and it involves a cop who has to rescue a family member from gangsters. And yes, it is a smart film with smart characters doing smart things and there are some really solid and believable action sequences. But this is not DIE HARD, so it’s best if you don’t expect it to be. I found it to be much more Noir than anything else. There are several antagonists in this film, all with their own agenda and all who make life very difficult for our lead, Vincent. This is a very complicated film, and I mean that in a good way. I don’t want to say much more. It’s best if you discover it. The movie is smart, thrilling and fun. My favorite line is “Do I look like I like pancakes?!” Out of context, it doesn’t mean much, but it’s hilarious in the movie. My only real criticism is that early on the movie establishes security outside of the nightclub, but when things get crazy, especially in the kitchen later in the film, no one calls security. The worst thing I’ve heard in relation to this movie is that Will Smith wants to remake it with his son, Jaden. I have nothing against Will Smith and I like some of his movies, but riddle me this, does Will Smith ever making anything great? The only film I would argue for is ENEMY OF THE STATE. The rest are good, mediocre, or bad. So hearing about his involvement in a remake does not inspire confidence. Hopefully SLEEPLESS NIGHT will get a decent release. Seek it out. It’s one of a small handful of the best movies I’ve seen this year.
  7. GET THE GRINGO (Ain’t It Cool News at LA Live) I’m a Mel Gibson fan. I grew up watching his movies and several of them are still and always will be favorites. I’ve also enjoyed his work as a Director. A few months ago, I attended the MAD MAX trilogy at the Egyptian, which included a Q&A with Mel. While he was excited about some upcoming projects as a Director, he said he probably wouldn’t be acting again because there are plenty of actors out there who are way better than he is. That really bummed me out. But at that time, I didn’t know that GET THE GRINGO was in the can. I hadn’t heard of it at all. And now there is talk of him playing the villain in MACHETE KILLS, so maybe Mel is not done with acting after all. GET THE GRINGO is a hard R rated crime movie, which is a type of movie that I love, and a type that we don’t often get to see anymore. In the Q&A, Mel cited Sam Peckinpah as an influence and that is very clear in the film, though it doesn’t nearly have the style of a Peckinpah classic. Mel is great as the anti-hero at the center of this movie. Where younger, modern actors try to be “cool” in this type of role, it fits Mel like a glove and the performance is effortless. He is tough, cool, funny, charming and can be very serious. One of the main problems here is pace. I think it drags at times. But another problem for me was casting. If it were better cast, I think some of the slower scenes would have been more engaging. There are familiar character actors here – Peter Stormare, Dean Norris, Bob Gunton, Scott Cohen, Patrick Bauchau – but none of them particularly stand out and none of them have much screen time with Mel. The kid played by Kevin Hernandez is excellent and his scenes with Mel are highlights. But the rest of the supporting cast are just okay and don’t stand out. Especially the villains. While there is nothing wrong with their work, they could have really raised the stakes and given us some memorable villains with better casting. You just never really feel that Mel’s world is truly in jeopardy and a lot of things come way too easy for him. GET THE GRINGO is an entertaining crime film with plenty of laughs and some really surprising moments that were fun to see with an audience of AICN fans. Sadly, this movie is bypassing theaters and going to VOD. If you grew up on Mel Gibson movies like I did, don’t miss it!
  8. GOD BLESS AMERICA (The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith at LA Film School) I really admire what Bobcat Goldthwait is doing as a filmmaker. He’s making movies at a very low budget so that he can make the movies that he wants to make with the goal of pleasing himself and being proud of the work. This isn’t going to make him rich or more famous, but it is resulting in really bold, entertaining films. When I heard about GOD BLESS AMERICA, I wanted to see it. Then I heard my pal Chris Nelson was not only in it, but also did the SFX makeup and I saw the trailer, and it was a must see. After the screening, I got to meet Bobcat and I dropped Chris’ name and he stopped to chat briefly. Very cool guy. I enjoyed the movie a lot. It’s very, very funny and often in a dark way. The first 10 or 15 minutes are fantastic and full of laughs. The main problem is the screenplay. It feels like a first draft. There is way too much talking and monologuing. With a little bit of rewriting, this could have been turned into something more cinematic and just as interesting and funny. I think Bobcat really needs to spend more time in the writing phase. In the middle of the movie, Frank loses focus and direction and unfortunately so does the movie. And it never really recovers. Things eventually build to a big climax, but I felt like I’d seen it before. The movie just really didn’t deliver on the great setup and first half hour. Bobcat’s Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith was as entertaining as the movie. Jeff opened up with a question about 1988’s HOT TO TROT, which was Bobcat’s first starring role in a movie and that was not wanted Bobcat was expecting or wanted to hear. While it can’t possibly match being in the room – Bobcat cited Andy Kaufman and Joaquin Phoenix as being comedy heroes of his and he took the Q&A in a very bizarre and hysterically funny direction – I urge you to listen to the podcast in iTunes. It’s free. Just search for The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith. While I’m critical of the movie, it is outrageously funny at times and very entertaining. If you like your comedy dark and black, you’ll have a great time watching it. In the ‘80s, I saw Bobcat’s work as an actor and as a standup, but I can’t say I was ever a fan. Now after WORLD’S GREATEST DAD and GOD BLESS AMERICA, I’m definitely a fan and I’m very excited to see what he does next.
  9. HEADHUNTERS I heard from some friends that HEADHUNTERS was a really good picture, so I went to see it using my MoviePass at the Laemmle NoHo 7. I enjoyed this movie from the start, but when it really kicks in, it takes you on a fantastic ride. I don’t want to say much about it, because I knew very little going in and I’m glad I did. The only actor here that I recognized was Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, The Kingslayer, on GAME OF THRONES. He is great here and so is the whole cast. The movie is smart, bold, and seems to make sense, though they do stretch some plausibility here and there, but by that point you’re so caught up in it, you won’t care. This is the kind of hard crime movie that I love and ones this good don’t get made nearly often enough. And I love that there are long stretches of this movie with little to no dialogue. That can be very difficult to do well, but they nailed it. This is one of my favorite movies of the year so far. If you love movies like the Coen Brothers’ BLOOD SIMPLE, FARGO and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, and Christopher Nolan’s MEMENTO, you will probably love this movie. It’s playing in limited release, so check it out.
  10. THE AVENGERS (The Hero Complex at AMC Burbank) The mere fact that this movie exists is historic. Hanging out in a comic shop as a kid long before Tim Burton’s BATMAN came out, I never would have dreamed that this could happen. Sure, I grew up with the Christopher Reeve SUPERMAN films and I loved them. But making four superhero films, IRON MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA, and then combining all those characters into one film is an amazing accomplishment. It’s never been done in any capacity before in film history, to my knowledge. And the fact that it’s an amazing movie, the best yet from Marvel Studios, and certainly one of the best superhero movies ever made is really hard to believe. I turned to my friend Marc when it was over and we were both ready to watch it again right then and there. In fact, I said I wanted a day pass on Friday so I could watch it four times in a row! I was hopeful when Joss Whedon was announced as writer/director of THE AVENGERS, but it was hardly a slam dunk. None of his previous work definitively showed that he could handle the challenge here. The elements were there, but this was a big step up. Thankfully, this is by far the best thing Joss Whedon has ever written. I’m a fan of his mostly from BUFFY and ANGEL, and now definitely THE CABIN IN THE WOODS and THE AVENGERS. I did not watch FIREFLY or DR. HORRIBLE and only lasted for a few episodes of DOLLHOUSE, and I was very underwhelmed by his feature debut, SERENITY. THE AVENGERS catapults Whedon to the directing A list. Hopefully he does AVENGERS 2 and soon, but I’ll bet he can get just about anything off the ground in the wake of this movie. It’s that good. Juggling this many major characters is very difficult to do. Recently Steven Soderbergh’s OCEAN’S 11 did it well and so did J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK. Whedon juggles his nine main characters and solid supporting cast and makes sure that everyone shines and has a purpose. There is so much parallel action going on, but it’s handled really, really well. And the in fighting between the characters before they become a team was a lot of fun. It’s hard to know who to root for, but seeing them go toe to toe is a thrill. Samuel L. Jackson is solid here as Nick Fury in his first really big role to play the character. He has some really good moments. Though I have to admit that I’m disappointed that I will probably never see the cigar chomping Nick Fury that I grew up with from the comics. And it’s sad that Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos are completely separate entities in the movie continuity. I was not thrilled by the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in IRON MAN 2, nor was I thrilled by her performance in that movie. In fact, I’m usually not thrilled by her at all. She often comes off as flat and vapid. I’m just not a fan. Having said that, Whedon uses her to full effect in this movie and she’s as good in the role as she will probably ever be. Her scene with Loki is definitely a highlight. Though when she refers to her past, you don’t believe for a second that this woman is Russian. Emily Blunt was originally cast in this role and had to drop out for scheduling conflicts with GULLIVER’S TRAVELS! I bet she’s still kicking herself. But I’m not a fan of hers either, so I don’t know which of the two would be better in the role. At least Scarlett serves as eye candy. For Black Widow’s introductory scene in THE AVENGERS (which was released online a few weeks ago to promote the film) Whedon takes a page right out of the ALIAS playbook. So for me, it was very familiar and not to the film’s benefit because Jennifer Garner handled these scenes way better and can act circles around Scarlett. Garner’s not right for Black Widow, but she played a similar character far better. This sequence was the one that really strayed too far into “clever” Whedon territory for me, something he manages to avoid for the rest of the movie. And as an ALIAS fan, it was just far too familiar. It’s a fun scene and it’s executed pretty well, so if you didn’t watch ALIAS, you may love it. My favorite part of the sequence involves Agent Coulson. And Clark Gregg really shines here as Agent Phil Coulson. He has become a beloved part of the Marvel movie continuity and that really pays off in THE AVENGERS. His hero worship of Captain America, essentially making Coulson a fanboy like us, is a riot. And if you haven’t scene the short films that they’ve done of Coulson for the DVD releases of the previous films, seek them out because they are a blast. Robert Downey Jr. is as good as ever as Tony Stark/Iron Man. He has many, many hysterically funny lines and seeing him play off of the other heroes is really fun. Chris Hemsworth is a strong presence as Thor and really commands the screen. I loved him in THOR and love him even more here. Chris Evans settles well into his role as a man out of time and takes his place as the group’s leader. He does really solid work here as Captain America. Though his new costume looks really strange and didn’t work for me at all. It seems like they over thought how to translate it to present day. The real surprise is Mark Ruffalo and how Whedon handles both Banner and the Hulk. I was disappointed that Edward Norton was being replaced and thought Ruffalo was wrong for the role. I like his work, but thought he was too handsome for Banner. All that went away after his introductory sequence in the movie and it got better from there. Seeing him play off of Downey’s Tony Stark was really exciting and when “The Other Guy” comes out, it’s pretty awesome. In a movie full of great moments, Hulk really steals the show. Jeremy Renner is always solid and often great and there is a lot done with Hawkeye that I won’t spoil. But I definitely felt like something was missing. And he’s definitely a little too cool for school with his bow and arrow. I realize he’s an expert marksman, but he effortlessly does things with the bow that really, really stretch the level of credibility, and that’s saying a lot in a movie full of demigods, aliens, superheroes and magic. Tom Hiddleston is once again excellent as Loki. Instead of a mustache twirling, evil supervillain, though Loki is power hungry, but he is really like a wounded animal, desperate for love and attention. But he can go to some very dark places. I loved him here. Unfortunately his allies are only roughly sketched in. We know virtually nothing about them. The sense of humor in the movie is perfectly handled. There are more laugh out loud moments here than in any comedy in recent memory. This is not a comedy by any means, and there are some really heavy moments and an overall sense of seriousness at the situations, but Whedon uses his writing skills to great effect and scores a home run with almost every comic moment that he attempts. He doesn’t get lazy and clever here, which can be a problem for me in Whedon’s work, and that’s why this is the best thing he’s ever written. Probably my biggest complaint is the first 10 minutes or so. J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK had one of the most amazing openings of a big budget film in recent years and he did it without using a single major character from the STAR TREK canon. Interestingly, that opening sequence featured Chris Hemsworth in a star making role. Here, Whedon has a lot to live up to, coming off of five Marvel movies that all lead to THE AVENGERS, and he’s mostly using established characters. This opening is a little ho-hum and by the numbers. It basically involves a heist that happens in a SHIELD facility and when things go South and Nick Fury and his agents have to take action, I was shocked that with all the SHIELD tech, all Fury has is a conventional sidearm. This would have been a great moment to introduce the classic Steranko Nick Fury pistol. In fact, it’s pretty absurd to see Director Nick Fury and Black Widow use conventional handguns in this move when they work for a spy organization like SHIELD that has such advanced tech. They are certainly not effective with those handguns at any point in the movie. Surprisingly the standout for me in the opening sequence was new character Agent Maria Hill. She takes action right away and it’s pretty cool. Unfortunately, that’s about all she does in the movie save for receiving and conveying Fury’s orders. So the movie did not start on a high for me, but as it reintroduced the various characters, it began to build and build and within a very short time, I was totally engaged and the movie just never let go. Whedon handles small, quiet moments between two characters well and when things are ramped up to a fever pitch and all hell is breaking loose, he handles it equally well. One really cool moment early on is the introduction of SHIELD’s Helicarrier. It is definitely a moment of spectacle and Banner’s take on it is hilarious. The third acts of the previous Marvel films have almost all been the most disappointing parts of those films, but not here. The characters get to work as a team and really unleash their powers on the alien invasion. When Captain America takes charge and gives orders, you can’t help but feel chills. And when that order is “Hulk, smash,” you’ll probably have a smile on your face from ear to ear like I did! There are so many cool moments in the third act. Fanboy question: Did I see the Baxter Building in the New York City sequence or was that just me hoping and projecting that on a random building? Fanboy complaint: IRON MAN 2 established Rhodey as War Machine and showed that he can handle himself in the armor. If the world is so endangered, why on Earth wouldn’t Nick Fury enlist him to help with this crisis? Rhodey’s a military man and would probably take orders a lot better than his friend Stark or Asgardian Thor or the Hulk! It is not addressed in the movie and makes absolutely no sense. It was obviously a business decision not to include him, but it’s pretty glaring considering the continuity they’ve established in the previous films. Adding War Machine’s firepower to the mix would have been a big help to the cause. Minor Fanboy complaint: I would have loved someone in the cast to refer to the Tesseract as the Cosmic Cube! I don’t remember it being called the Tesseract in the comics, maybe that’s a new thing or something I’ve forgotten. But I do remember the Cosmic Cube. And even if someone had just quipped, “We’ve gotta get our hands on that Cosmic Cube,” this Fanboy would have been thrilled! Minor Fanboy complaint: When the title comes up on screen, I didn’t like the logo choice at all. Really wish they would have used a classic logo from the comics the way they are with the marketing. Fanboy hope: I would love to see DC Comics and Warner Bros. step up and follow Marvel’s lead and build a film series that leads to the JUSTICE LEAGUE. Sadly, they failed miserably with last summer’s GREEN LANTERN. But I’m hoping next summer’s MAN OF STEEL is a big step in the right direction and perhaps leads to THE FLASH and WONDER WOMAN and AQUAMAN and maybe even GREEN ARROW. Like the previous Marvel movies, there is a coda part way into the end credits. Fans of the comics will be thrilled by it and will leave the theater with a similar feeling to when they saw BATMAN BEGINS. But regular folks may be scratching their heads much the way my Mom was after IRON MAN 2’s coda revealing Thor’s Hammer. I’ll probably get a call from her and have to explain it. Rest assured, it’s really cool! While I have been very critical of the movie and it is not perfect, it is SO DAMN GOOD that it is hard to express how much I enjoyed it. It ranks with some of my favorite superhero movies of all time, SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, SPIDER-MAN 2, X2: X-MEN UNITED, BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT. But more than anything, it’s fun! You will laugh dozens of times. You will literally cheer and applaud. You really can’t have a better time at the movies. THE AVENGERS just delivers on every level and AVENGERS 2 cannot come soon enough. Perhaps the coolest part of the experience last night was seeing THE AVENGERS at a Hero Complex preview screening hosted by Geoff Boucher with friends Shannon, Marc, Chris and Bryce. I doubt I will ever forget where and with whom I first saw this great movie. I wonder if where and with whom will be as memorable my second, third and fourth times!?!
  11. I definitely wasn't referring to you with regard to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and John Carpenter. I wrote that review a while back and posted it on my Facebook page. Then decided to post it here. Sorry if you thought I was! I had heard that a lot leading up to the film's release.
  12. CABIN IN THE WOODS review: Through great effort and apparently some really good karma, I managed to score tickets to this preview screening at WonderCon which was followed by a Q&A with Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, moderated by Geoff Boucher. And I think they made the ticket process a bit too difficult because while I was expecting a huge crowd for this, they didn’t even fill a theater with a capacity of less than 200. I’ve been hearing about this movie for years. Unfortunately it was stuck on a shelf for a while during MGM’s bankruptcy. Sometimes that’s a bad sign because great movies seem to find a way out into the marketplace. But luckily here while not great, this is a really entertaining horror movie. I like Joss Whedon a lot, mostly for BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL. I never got into FIREFLY/SERENITY. At his best, he writes smart, witty, fun, emotional material. Unfortunately he is often too clever and that’s the main problem here for me. There are a number of scenes and lines of dialogue that are just too clever and should have been dialed back. I won’t go into SPOILER territory because the movie is best discovered in a packed theater. The opening of the movie was not what I expected and I really don’t think this was the best way to open it. I get what they’re doing, I just don’t think it works very well. Again, a little too clever. I really did not like the actor who played the stoner in this movie. Apparently he was in Whedon’s DOLLHOUSE. The character is so well written and has so many great lines, but this actor just did not pull it off for me at all. The rest of the cast is good, and I especially loved Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. I always love them, but they are a blast here. The pacing for the first two thirds is all over the place. There are times when things drag and other times where it races past things. This movie could really use another editing pass. Once all hell starts breaking loose in the cabin, it hooks you for a while though. What really makes this movie worthwhile is the third act. It is so much fun, especially if you’re a horror movie fan. The only downside is that they pack so much in here and the pacing is so fast, it’s almost hard to keep up with. There is some really questionable logic in here too, though you probably won’t have time to think about it until later. And there are moments of the worst CGI I’ve ever seen. It was Sci-Fi Channel bad, though luckily there isn’t much of it. They had so much going well here, if they couldn’t afford great CGI, I really wish they would not have included it. While it may sound like I’m being really critical and negative about the film, there is a lot to enjoy and discover here and plenty of intended laugh out loud moments and some great horror moments. And while this is far from great, it was made by horror fans for horror fans and I would rather see this than another tired sequel or remake. There is something really special going on here, I just wish they had done another polish on the screenplay and had another go at the edit. If you like horror movies, this is a must-see.
  13. LOCKOUT review: In the early ‘90s, Luc Besson wrote and directed two of the best action movies of the last 25 years, LA FEMME NIKITA and LEON THE PROFESSIONAL. Since then he has directed a handful of movies, some really good, some okay, and has written and produced tons of action movies. But why are most of them so mediocre? There have been a few gems, DISTRICT B13 and TAKEN come to mind, but most of them are weak. How could they come from the same man who made NIKITA and LEON? LOCKOUT is relatively entertaining, but very forgettable. Comparing it to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is rather insulting to John Carpenter and his classic film. People are still talking about it and watching it 30 years later. People won’t be talking about LOCKOUT next year. The screenplay is very by the numbers and the dialogue often tries way too hard. Guy Pearce is good here, but with a stronger screenplay, he could have been great. Lennie James is good as always and the rest of the cast is okay. The opening interrogation scene is probably the only thing that I really liked in this movie. And I was able to watch most of that for free online a week or so before the movie came out. Early on, there is a motorcycle chase that has to be seen to be believed because suddenly the movie shifts to subpar video game graphics featuring Guy Pearce. It looks awful. Clearly this movie had a decent budget because the space prison looks great. So why even include such a terrible looking sequence like this? Was this a practical joke? There are two key moments in this movie where there is a reveal of someone off screen, yet within a foot of the characters on screen. It was shocking that the scenes were played as though the characters couldn’t see these people who were a foot away, simply because they were not on camera! That’s horrible directing. I’m glad I saw this for free, and while it was relatively entertaining, I really can’t recommend it.
  14. Happy Birthday, Tom! Stay out of trouble.
  15. I think Tim's wrong on the running time. I think it was about 2 hours. I think the Sundance cut was closer to 2:20. It's inspiring, and I told Mark Pellington this, that he essentially willed this film into being. Jeff Goldsmith's Q&A was about 100 minutes and was really interesting. But see the film before you listen because it's full of spoilers. I love that Pellington is interested in telling stories he's passionate about and wants to continue to do so at low budgets like this. Just because you've made big budget Hollywood films doesn't mean that's all you have to make. Great time as always hanging out with Mr. Bradstreet. Very jealous of his dinner last night! But tomorrow I'm going to be seeing our dear friend Rena Owen, who just won a Best Supporting Actress TV Award in New Zealand and is also up for one in Australia!
  16. The Hess Express arrived at my apartment around 3:00 PM. And it dropped me off after an evening of adventure at about 4:30 AM! Kudos to Tom, Damian, Kaitlin, Kasey and Co. for putting the event together on short notice and making it an entertaining evening. And thanks to Tom for upping the stakes so that we weren't just watching a bunch of actors sit on a stage and read a script. This was definitely a "staged" reading. Damian, Brian and I bonded over our love and appreciation for the great Clu Gulager and his "living room" as Clu calls it, The New Beverly Cinema. Thanks also to David Schow and Carrie for hosting the after after party. Also of note, celebrity sighting of Sean Young at Mel's Drive-In at 1:00 AM! I spotted her on the way to the men's room and she looked amazing. Tim and Mike made the men's room walk to get a look at her. I tried to get Tim to approach her and say, "I loved you as Catwoman!" But I didn't have enough cash and Mel's doesn't have enough booze to convince Tim. We should have sent her a cocktail! (Man, I'm a horrible person. And I'm even a fan of Ms. Young!) As always, a great time hanging out with Tim and Mike and Tom and the rest of the gang, most of who were new to me. And if you ever run into the lovely Kasey Lansdale, you must ask her, "Are you eating again?" And feel free to blame it on me, at least peripherally...
  17. Michael is shy? That's interesting. I've become good friends with Michael and Jennifer over the past year and change. I was pretty thrilled when they came to my birthday party this summer. I got to introduce them to Tim and Mike at a special screening that I hosted of THE VICTIM at the New Beverly Cinema in L.A. Michael regaled them with some recent set stories for about half an hour. But I still haven't seen THE DIVIDE! I've been hearing about it since summer 2010. Really looking forward to it. Jealous that you got to see it!
  18. Thanks, Tom! I had a blast with you guys Friday and Saturday night. And I'm glad that Kristyn is okay. It's always great to have the chance to hang out with Tim, Tom, Mike, Chris and Jim. And this weekend I met Scott Harben and Billy King, both great guys. I've never had the opportunity to really hang out with Jimmy Palmiotti either. That guy is a riot! I hope Tim and Tom had a successful show, because I know they had fun.
  19. It's taken me a long time to weigh in on Comic-Con this year... Upon returning from Comic-Con, Chris Frobose and I served as the AD team on Danielle Harris' directorial debut, AMONG FRIENDS, so we didn't have a moment to breathe. (And by the way, there is photographic evidence of Frobose's existence in a group photo from my birthday party this summer - he appears along with Jordan Raskin, Mike Alexander, Mike Hess, Tony Adivari and myself. You can see it on my Facebook page.) This year was a really special Comic-Con because quite a few friends pitched in to give my great friend Karl Sundstrom his first trip to Comic-Con for his 40th Birthday. Karl is a rabid horror fan and attends most of the cons in Chicago and the Midwest. But I had a great idea for his birthday and we were able to pull it off and I served as Karl's tour guide. Wednesday, I drove with Jordan Raskin and Mark Walters from L.A. to San Diego. Jordan set up his table in Artist Alley while I got to visit with Mike Hess at the RAW booth. Afterwards, we had dinner at Denny's - Me, Jordan, Frobose, Mike and his daughters and were met by Karl direct from the airport. Thursday began Karl's first experience with Comic-Con and it was pretty overwhelming. We attended a Rick Baker panel moderated by the great Geoff Boucher. (Afterwards, Geoff tipped me off to his upcoming screening of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, which featured a Q&A with Steven Spielberg and ultimately surprise guest Harrison Ford. That occurred in Sept and was amazing!) Then we hung out with Danielle Harris at her signing for a while. Karl was pretty thrilled by Danielle's goodbye hug. I introduced Karl to legendary director Tobe Hooper at his book signing, then another legend, Lance Henriksen at the RAW Booth along with Tom and Tim. Later, we attended Robert Rodriguez's panel. Then the EW Visionaries panel featuring Guillermo Del Toro and Jon Favreau. Dinner was really special. We met Vernon Wells at his hotel and broke bread, listening to great stories for hours. Karl also got a goodbye hug from the Mighty Wez himself! Friday, we failed to get into any of the panels we wanted to as neither of us were interested in waiting in line for as many hours as it takes to actually get into those panels. We had a fun day exploring Comic-Con and left for an early dinner. Friday night, we attended a preview screening of CHILLERAMA with all of the directors in attendance. Then pal Chris Nelson got us into a preview screening of CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST 2 with the director and most of the cast in attendance. Karl got to sit next to director Rob Hall and his girlfriend during the screening. Drinks immediately followed with Chris and his girlfriend. Saturday was more exploration and me tired of crowds, so I let Karl off the leash to run wild while I went next door and enjoyed the San Diego weather outside of the hotel. We caught Tom & Tim's panel. Then Karl and I hooked up with pal Tony Adivari for dinner. We met up with Jordan for the annual trek to Ghirardelli's for some amazing ice cream concoctions and then we waited outside of the EW party to hook up with Tim and the gang. But they never came out, so we called it a night. If you read Tim's post about Comic-Con, you'll understand why they didn't come out! Sunday, Karl had an afternoon flight and didn't want to risk missing it with work in the morning, so we slept in, had brunch and off he went. I caught the Sons of Anarchy panel. Then I helped the boys break down the RAW booth. (Mr. Hess had a little health scare that weekend and we wanted him doing as little work as possible.) Then we all met up at Horton's for the annual post-con decompression. Hard to remember all who were there, but definitely the die hards: Tim, Tom, Frobose, Mike, Mark Walters, Jordan and myself. Jordan and I caught CAPTAIN AMERICA at the mall after Horton's. We slept in Monday morning and drove back to L.A. and reality. While I had a great time, Karl had an amazing, unforgettable time, which is all that really mattered to me. Karl had never met most of my friends and the warmth and welcome that was extended to him by Jordan, Tim, Chris F., Mike, and Chris N. especially was something that he really appreciated and was touched by. When I got back, it was full speed ahead on prep for Danielle's movie with shooting starting that Friday. That was intense.
  20. This TV concept sounds horrible. It's so easy to get this character right. It wouldn't cost $200 Million dollars. I'll never understand it.
  21. If things were going well, I think we would have seen a teaser trailer by now. It's a shame. It's a solid script and has a lot of potential.
  22. I haven't been on the boards here in ages, but getting name checked drew me back in... I'm still amazed that I was able to pull off the ALIENS 25th Anniversary Q&A screening at the New Beverly Cinema this summer with Michael Biehn, Jenette Goldstein, Lance Henriksen, Mark Rolston and Ricco Ross. It was unfortunate that Bill and Gale couldn't make it, but it was a fantastic experience for all of us. I would have been excited just to attend such an event, but to be the one responsible and to share the stage with those people... It was unforgettable. We filmed the Q&A with 2 cameras and I'm still in the editing process. Thanks to Mr. Bradstreet for putting me in touch with Lance. I love the moment in the EW video where they talk about the knife trick because Lance talked extensively about it at the Q&A and Michael had some great questions about that whole scene. Surprisingly, the universe conspired against some of my closest friends and kept them away from the ALIENS screening. Pretty disappointed that Tim couldn't make the ALIENS screening as that was one of the first films we bonded over when we first met. Hopefully he'll make it to the NEAR DARK 25th Anniversary Q&A screening that I plan to do next year, which was one of the other films we bonded over.
  23. While waiting in line to see BLACK SWAN at the Film Independent preview screening, my friend and I talked at length about THE WOLVERINE and our hopes for it. As the credits rolled on BLACK SWAN, I turned to my friend and said, "Aronofsky is gonna ruin THE WOLVERINE." I wanna strangle Aronofsky with that pretentious scarf he always wears. I couldn't be happier that he's not directing this film. I'd love to see the Wachowski siblings do this, but that will never happen.
  24. I got to see KILL BILL: THE WHOLE BLOODY AFFAIR at the first public screening at the New Beverly on Quentin Tarantino's birthday and QT was there to introduce it! Then we sang him Happy Birthday! I've seen Part 1 & 2 multiple times, even once at the New Bev, but this is a different experience. QT said that this version had some new stuff and some stuff taken out. Mr. Beaks review on AICN can give you some details: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/49042 I had a blast at the Sunday matinee screening. Glad I gambled and bought tickets on QT's birthday!
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