Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ol' 'Dirty Harry' Shoots a Blank

Well, it had to end at some point. Mystic River (except for that tack-on ending) and Million Dollar Baby were excellent films in my opinion, and you begin to think that the man can do no wrong. So when I heard that Clint Eastwood and Paul 'Everywhere' Haggis were teaming up on a war film called 'Flags of Our Fathers", I assumed the best was in store.

I opened up 'Script Magazine' the other day and saw a piece about how Haggis, Spielberg, and Eastwood got together to discuss the script. Haggis thought that the book it was based on had way too much material to adapt and didn't think he could do it. Spielberg it seems was not impressed with his attitude about the project, but Eastwood vouched for Haggis to make it work.

Well...

In my opinion, Haggis was right... it didn't work. Good try, but something lacked in this film. There were a ton of characters, most of which I forgot about during the film, and I found myself feeling like 'when is this movie going to start?'; always a bad sign. Ryan Phillippe, a man who I have nothing against (but I continue to wonder why this guy still gets lead roles), as a lead character has zero presence. I definitely question his casting. I understand that there was a lot of information that had to be conveyed, but nothing stood out to me in this film. There was a lot of Saving Private Ryan-ish on-field stuff in here, but it's not even close to being as good.

I hope Mr. Haggis (a good ol' Canadian boy!) has something better up his sleeve than this one... You too Clint!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Got to Get Moving

Writing is hard. Big shock there, huh? As I sit in Starbucks typing away on my 'top, I am constantly faced with my 'inner voice' telling me to reconsider what I'm putting down on the page. This voice can be a big help at times, but it tends to get in the way of what I'm trying to accomplish. The offspring of this voice is procrastination. It's bad enough having to deal with coming up with, one, a viable story to tell, two, making the story entertaining, and three, making the story 'work'.

I have that pitch thing in November and I'm working pretty hard to get focused with it. I remember saying to myself once that I had 2 months to get prepared. That was a month ago. So the pressure is on. Going in with very low expectations. The chances of getting anything sold, as an inexperienced writer, are very minimal. But... The plan is the possibility of getting some feedback from some of the agents that are scheduled to be there. So the best-case scenario is to get four or five scripts together to showcase, giving a sense of the way I write and hopefully projecting my ability in the process.

I can barely sleep thinking of all the work that must be done. But sleep was never much of an option if you chose to be a writer anyway.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Patterns in Numbers

I'm a bit of a sucker for the occult, but more along Astrology and Numerology lines; not stirring big boiling pots while dressed in black with a medallion around my neck. In the process I've tried to look for patterns that may help me prove that this stuff is actually worth paying attention to, and I have to say that some really interesting things stick out at me from time to time.

Numerology has really caught my interest the past few years and I have definitely noticed certain patterns of numbers that appear in my life. For me, the number 11 seems to pop up quite a bit, as I've lived on the 11th floor of a building on three separate occasions. Within the past year, I've sat at table '11' (both tables were actually numbered as such) at 2 different dinner events.

I once heard a caller on a radio program ask the host to do a little experiment. He said to add up the numbers of the numbers on all major identity cards, like social insurance, bank cards, drivers license and so forth and break it down to a single digit number. The caller found that certain numbers kept popping up in his calculations. I thought maybe some of you might want to try it out.

Here's an example of how you would calculate it:

Take a number like: 2628

Add them together: 2+6+2+8

And you get a value of: 18

Then you add: 1+8

And the final value = 9


Do this with your major cards, etc., and see what you get. Here's what I got:

Social insurance = 6

Health Card = 6

Bank Card = 3

Drivers License = 3

School Pass Card = 6

Work Pass Card = 6

I admit, I don't know what this means (still working on that) but it's quite a coincidence to have the 6 and the 3 appearing so much. I also though this would be interesting to get the ball rolling for anyone is interested in looking at patterns of numbers that may reappear in their lives.

My favorite numerology site is Number Quest and it has a name calculator that is a lot of fun to use. Just type in your name and see what you get.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Grind House Trailer!

Just to inform you, I am a huge fan of both Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. These two know how to entertain, and it's rare that I'm disappointed with what they produce (except for the Spy Kids movies - ouch!).

Their latest project is a double feature containing two feature length films called Grind House. The Rodriguez half is called 'Planet Terror', a zombie flick, and Tarantino's is called 'Death Proof' (Which refers to the safety of the car the main character drives) and is a slasher type flick.

The link below contains footage of both movies combined and was show on Spike TV. Enjoy.

Grind House Sneek Peek Trailer

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Departed

On Monday after attending a live taping of 'The Hour: with George Stroumboulopoulos' I went to see the new Martin Scorsese movie 'The Departed'. It's a remake of a Japanese film that came out a few years back. I enjoyed the film and I thought it had some good performances; especially Jack Nicholson. Is he ever NOT the best part of a film he's in? Rarely. I hope ol' Jack can stick around a few more years...

DiCaprio seemed to continue his role from 'The Aviator' as a guy on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Matt Damon was typical Matt Damon, and Alec Baldwin had some funny lines. People got really thrown off by the ending, but at least it wasn't predictable. I heard one person saying that he thought it turned into a comedy later on in the film.

Very entertaining film. I definitely recomend it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

First Time for Everything

Well, here I am... finally. Not a very important announcement to the masses, but an important one for myself personally. I've always enjoyed searching through these blogs, but it never occurred to me that I should try it myself for various reasons; one being my self-diagnosed ADD (I'm pretty sure I've got it).

To give a little bit of background on myself, I'm an Illustrator/Graphic Artist whose worked in the broadcasting field for the past four years doing various projects for a popular Canadian children’s network. During the past 10 years I've been filling up notebooks with all kinds of crazy ideas, which led to the conclusion that I wanted to be a writer. It's a thought that scared the crap out of me because I never thought I would consider in the slightest a career where I would spend the majority of my time typing, but now it's an obsession.

"I'm not a writer,” I would think to myself... Why would I torture myself with this thought?

You see, I figured writers were little 6-year-old prodigy's who were writing plays from the moment they could spell. But in recent years I would learn that this is not necessarily the case at all. Yes, I'll agree that I most likely won't blow people away with my prose, but I believe I have good stories to tell. Therefore, I'll take my chances. Why? Because failure is not an option... at least not for a few more years.

So to end this off, I would like to use this little corner of the world to entertain, educate, and impart any useful insight and information, instead of having it just swish around endlessly in my head until that runaway 'Karaoke Bus' spins out of control and runs me over on a downtown sidewalk (There really is a Karaoke Bus.)


I use this photo and the one below to convince me that I made the right decision trying to do this whole writing thing. This probably pails in comparison to many writers, but for me it's a pretty damned good start.


Back in the day, these would have been design books. Things change I guess...