Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What a week...

Hey all,

Cough cough.

Yeah the bug got me, so Im home today. Still kinda "busy" doing shit but stuck trying not to cough up a lung or give my laptop a Roman Shower. Fuck I feel like 2 tons of AIDS ridden bat guano.

Last week was a helluva one, I will tell you that. LOTS to talk about, but knowing me I'll go on like a David Foster Wallace novel, so instead I'll keep it like Verne Troyer.

MONDAY: FINALLY saw the lil indie that could, ONCE. What an amazing movie. Simple, almost like a Ken Loach musical. I feel terrible that I can't really put it on my Best of 2007 list...then actually contemplate it...then think again. But this film is pure magic, and the songs will stay in your head for days. Luke, you were right again, mate, thanks for bugging me to see it.

TUESDAY: Busy day at work, had to go to the movies during the day. Life sucks, right? It was an advanced screening of the new IMAX wonderment of the eyes, U23D, which every time i see the title I think there's a new STAR WARS: DROIDS tv movie coming. But no, this was the Irish Rock Gods attempt to achieve Rolling Stone status with the obligatory, congratulatory concert film blown up to 70mm to handle their egos, and in 3-D? During the workday???? This I gotta see. Mike D from work and I walked in, sat down, threw on the Buddy Holly's and sat back. First thing I noticed: Mark Pellington's name as co-director, and instantly my cinehackles were up. I LOVE Pellington as a director, first of his original music videos (Pearl Jam's "Jeremy", Foo Fighters recent "Best of You" & Alice in Chain's "rooster" to name a few) then made one of the best paranoid thrillers with ARLINGTON ROAD and then, sadly, he fell off the map after his wife's death, only to bounce back a few years later with new music videos and now this amazingly ambitious effort (he previously worked with U2 on the media collage that was ZOO TV back in the early 90's). So as the music began to throb, I was already smiling.
By the end, I felt TERRIBLE. Because I didn't stand up and cheer and clap....cause I really felt like I was there, front row center, rocking out with Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam. The 3-D is fucking amazing, a huge step forward for the medium, and totally immerses you in the concert. The first 2 songs in the film, you really marvel at the stereoscopic 3-D, which seems to work BACK in the 3-D rather than forward (no shots of Bono sticking his hand out like the old dude with the eyeball in FRIDAY 3, sorry) and created this "box" effect that really did feel like you were in the concert, sitting with the technocrane op as he sweeps around the band fluidly. But by the 3rd song, YOU FORGET ITS 3-D and just fall into the show. The climax regains your 3-D interest with an jaw-dropping visual feast for The Fly, with words and terms flying past your face (a Pellington trademark adapting to the new technology...hemust have been in heaven) and at the end of the film, with all of 30 people in the screening room, I really wanted to stand up and cheer for an encore. You really feel THERE, so much so you feel like a dick for not clapping. If you get a chance, even if you aren't a fan or sick of Bono's World Peace Manifesto (oh, there's plenty of self-hugging, wings flapping and other "give peace a chance, ya fooker" moments he's now famous for. The Edge must just shake his head), see this film. It's a great time, and some of the best 3D I've ever seen. Bring on AVATAR!!!

After work, I met up with Parker to check out this new movie that I've heard a ton about from Screamfest; PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. So we met up at CAA, the final screening before it's premiere at Slamdance, with little to no expectations, I mean, come on...ANOTHER found footage film? How many does this make for the year so far? 6? 7 films just like it? With CLOVERFIELD a few days away, I was skeptical that this little flick about a couple who buys video equipment to document the things that are going bump in their San Diego apartment.

Man, was I wrong.

90 minutes later we walked out in a bit of a daze, seeing one hell of an effective mockumentary that knew how to make the audience jump and shudder in all the right places. There was a Lisa Loeb-looking hip chick next to me who at first thought she was a little too cool for a horror movie screening, but by the end this total stranger was CLUTCHING my arm, mumbling "this is too much, this is too much". Man, was it effective, even getting Parker riled up!

Then i drove home. With the lights on.

Then I went to bed. With the lights on.

It's been YEARS since I was effectively spooked by a movie like this, but PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is the real deal, so to speak. Director/Writer/Editor Oren Peli has crafted a clever and effective haunted house movie in a similar way JJ and co. reinvented the monster movie with CLOVERFIELD. I dont want to hype it up anymore, but just know. This movie scared a dollop of fecal matter out of my ass, and disturbed me for days. MAJOR congrats to Oren and all th best in getting the good word out...if the right distributor picks it up in Park City, I hope they know they have a sleeper hit on their hands if marketed well (unlike say, POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES, which fizzled from bad buzz).

I hope you see the movie the right way and will agree...and believe.

Check out the website HERE and the trailer below:

WEDNESDAY: After a HORRIBLE night sleep (thanks P.A.), tried to get my presentation ready for Thursday's meeting. Im confident, but still a little nervous.
Bri and I finally went to see JUNO that night, part 2 in our "late to the party" screening series (plan on making MICHAEL CLAYTON & INTO THE WILD the weekend picks). Great little flick, that JUNO is, with amazing performances and a unique voice in the script (kick ass Diablo), but also dont know what all the fuss is about. THIS is an Oscar frontrunner? No offense, but it just seems a little too Ordinary People compared to the other possible "Raging Bull" esque contenders....then again, look which film won that year?

THURSDAY: HUGE meeting today, and I think we kicked major ass. Seriously, I haven't been this excited over a project in a while (maybe even more than WT2 before i got it) so cross your could come soon! Directly from the studio where I had my meeting, I raced through Century City traffic over to the Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset for the MOH dinner, which was a trip and a half. We're not supposed to "talk about Fight Club" so you wont get any scoopy details from me, but we all had a great night together, sharing war stories, everyone there being so nice, so supportive of one another...and then of course, there's Landis. An amazing capper to an already killer day.

If you must, check out a link Axelle put up of the night HERE....god, they got my bad side. But what a night, a perfect capper for a pretty memorable day.

FRIDAY: Still buzzing from the night before, had to slog through another work day, but promises of Big Monsters shot with Shaky Cameras danced in my head. After the subtle effectiveness of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, could the kinetic charge of CLOVERFIELD deliver?
Oh it does, and fucking then some. I really liked the movie, cannot WAIT to see it again, and felt like it cleverly pulled out all the stops, plot holes and jumbled geography be dammed (seriously, like this, GODZILLA, DIE HARD WITH A METROPASS...does anyone know how hard it is to get from the Bowery to Central Park? It aint that easy! Especially with monsters hot on your heels!!) So CLOVERFIELD delivered big time despite some over-hyping, and started off the 2008 movie season with one hell of a roar.

...and now this week, Im braving the flu and crossing fingers on some stuff, which could be AWESOME. Sucks being sick, but better its this week and not next week, when Im headed back to New York, so I better rest up. At least i've been able to catch up on some movies, like Ward Robert's LITTLE BIG TOP, which took me week's to watch after he slipped me a copy, and also boasts a career-defining role for "Cap't Spaulding" himself, Sid Haid. It's good cinema like this that's like Chicken Soup for this geeky soul.

God bless bacteria.

Staying Sick,

PS: I havent finished my TOP 07 list, still working on it. Be finished by 09, promise.

PPS: Heath Ledger died yesterday. Fucking unbelievable. I, like you, like the world, took it with a big fat "what?? No fucking way. Huh??" It's still swimming in my head, my heart. Makes you hold that kiss to a loved one just a little longer, doesn't it?
My sympathies to anyone and everyone who has been touched by his amazing talent, either on the set or on the big or small screen. I know there were many who were, and movies like 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (fuck off its great), A KNIGHTS TALE, MONSTERS BALL, LORDS OF DOGTOWN, BROKEBACK and the soon-to-be-unleashed-with-a-dark-CROW-signal-blazing blockbuster THE DARK KNIGHT, will forever seal his dark charm, talent and sheer "ease" on-screen. I wish you well, Sir. Knock them alive up there...Rest in Peace.


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