Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Best (and THE Worst) of 2007 - Updated!!!!

First of all, what a freakin' year. Wow. Some truly great films happened in 2007. Now, I've numbered my top 10, but with me at least, depending on my mood, a list like this could change over time. And will.

Also, it should be noted that while we did have a great year of movies, nothing came close to my Children Of Men experience from 2006. Still love the hell out of that film.

Here we go:

Not on my top 10 - Chuck Wilson's War. Saw it, thought it was good, but considering the material, not much happened story-wise. He decided to help, then he helped, and that was it. Barely any conflict, and what little there was (possible drug scandal) was barely a blip. Interesting story, not a great flick.

Honorable Mentions:

The Hunting Party - Richare Gere, Jesse Eisenberg & Terrence Howard lead this funny but important film about journalists looking for a brutal Serbian terrorist. It's a pretty smart script, with great performances by the above-mentioned trio. Check it out.

The Ten (Funny, but kinda gets old).

The Bourne Ultimatum (a nice bookend if they stop, decent story and kewl action).

I Am Legend - Yeah, I liked it. Sue me.

Superbad/Knocked Up - Really funny stuff. Loved both.

Trade - Powerful stuff. Didn't amaze me though, the trailer was incredible, but it was still a good movie, and well worth seeing.

The Mist - Holy shit. A fine creature feature with a little social commentary thrown in. But that damn ending. It actually rips your heart out, pours gasoline on it, lights it on fire, then puts it out by taking a nice, long piss on it. Messed me up, man.

Here's what I HAVEN'T seen, that might have made my list:

Rescue Dawn, Atonement, Rendition, The Savages, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, American Gangster, Ratatouille, Zodiac, Into The Wild & Eastern Promises.

Oh, and here's the worst of the year - Ghost Rider. Oh. My. God. What a piece of crap. Worst thing about it - Wes Bentley. I love this guy, too, but what a shittily written part and really really poorly acted, full of "Bwah! Bwah! Bwah! I'm going to take over the whole world!!!" Bullshit. Ugh.

Finally, here's the best:

10. The Lookout - Loved this movie. A nice caper, kick-ass writing and tight direction.

9. Once - A sweet little gem of a love story. I think it's a tad overrated, and some of it did drag, but it had some truly emotional scenes, and I loved the last shot. Loved it.

8. The Darjeeling Limited - It was no Royal Tennenbaums, but I liked the cast and think Wes Anderson did a nice job here.

7. Gone Baby Gone - Ben kicked some ass directing & co-writing this. Good for him. He really captured these neighborhoods, the people, their language. And Casey is on a freakin' role.

6. Juno - Smart & witty, sure. It's a fun script, however, Cera, Garner, Bateman, and Page are the ones that ground it, the dialogue, its emotion. Some of the dialogue is actually a little to show-offy, but the actors make it work. And kudos to Jason Reitman, he did a fine job here.

5. No Country For Old Men - Great movie. It has some incredible scenes and great performances. But Bardem is a little overrated in this role. While he kicks ass, don't get me wrong, and makes a skin-crawling creepy killer, he's pretty emotionless and one-note. I would actually nominate Tommy Lee Jones over him, thought he was excellent (Brolin did fine, too). I liked the ending but didn't love it. Fargo was better.

4. There Will Be Blood - Daniel-Day Lewis is the movie. His performance is astounding. Paul Dano was wonderful as the preacher, and I think this is the best thing Paul Thomas Anderson has done.

3. The Assasination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford - Casey Affleck should win the Oscar in my book. Brat Pitt was great as JJ, and Sam Rockwell was also damn good as always. Loved the direction and smart writing, but the cinematography blew me completely away. Roger Deakins should win the Oscar for this. And not just for the amazing landscapes he captured, but for the intimate scenes as well. Incredible, breathtaking stuff.

2. Sunshine - Wish more people saw this. Really amazing film. There's something that goes down approx. 3/4 of the way through the movie that I thought did not work real well, and that kept it out of the #1 spot. But for the most part, I thought this was fantastic. Haunting.

And at #1 - A Tie!

1A. 3:10 To Yuma - Great, great stuff. Bale & Crowe are superb, and the last 10 minutes is thrilling stuff. I can't describe it without spoiling, just see it. Best western since Unforgiven (not as good as Unforgiven, but came close - this is a damn fine film).

1B. Michael Clayton - For me, this movie kicked ass. The acting, crisp writing & direction, all of it came together for me. Clooney was superb, as were Pollack and Wiltkinson. Tony Gilroy rocks.

What were your faves?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger is gone

That is truly fucking ridiculous. Wow. A terrific actor, he looks simply amazing in The Dark Knight, and besides that, just about everything else he was in. Jesus Christ.

An amazing talent is gone (possible pill overdose - here is the NY Times article) which leads me to ask Hollywood - ARE YOU PEOPLE THAT FUCKING STUIPID??????????

Sunday, January 20, 2008

To quote Red Leader......

Almost there......

My best list of 2007 is almost complete. I know I'm not going to see everything I should before I post it, but it should still be a good representation of 2007. And let me just say, it didn't seem like it at the time, but what an amazing movie-year.

I should have it up this week, for the 2-3 of you that give a hoot.

Song of the day - Maps: To The Sky.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


God damn.

Great, great film. Daniel Day Lewis - Astounding.

Still need to see 3-4 flicks before I can write a definitive top 2007 list, but I'm trying to finish up this week.

Recently caught My Blueberry Nights, starring Norah Jones, Jude Law & Natalie Portman. Interesting movie. Not amazing, but neat to see a Portman stretching her legs a bit.

The Golden Globes were awesome. Nice & short! Actually, I'm a sucker for the speeches, etc, so I missed the usual BS, but not all of it. Good for Mad Men, and there were quite a few surprises (like Juno & Clayton getting the shut-out).

The Oscars should be interesting,and I hope they are broadcast as per usual. The Guild shouldn't picket this - too many careers riding on it. Some of these actors/craftspeople only get nominated once, and what an honor it is for them. If the Guild pickets Oscar night, they're doing more harm than good. What about some nobody nominated for a short film? This is THEIR moment. Let them have it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Slate

I heard Weinstein Co, Overture, & UA are the latest to have struck deals, like Letterman recently did, so I'm hoping this is a sign this daggone strike will end soon.

Loving my Laid re-write. It's gone through quite a change, hopefully for the better.

After this it's off to my already in progress comedy called The Stand-In, and I'd also like to continue work on my kids/family script called The Battle Of Thunder Hill. And of course I'd like to start my drama, Dakota, that's been kicking around my head. And finish my comedy Westville. And continue my murder/comedy called Thong. Oh, oh, and when I free up some more time I'll work on my other comedy called Kill Whitey. Almost forgot about my thriller, NSA. And my road comedy called Crazy With The Cheeze Whiz. And my working-in-a-mall comedy called Retail Messiahs. My heist comedy Temp'd. And my dark comedy called The Wonderful World Of Wonderworld.

I expect to have these done no later than 2020.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Done (Again)

Just finished a pretty intense re-write of Laid, made from notes through my managers. At first, I resisted, but finally I saw the light and I think it's much stronger now.

Coming soon: My Top Movies of 2007. I've still got a few to catch. But looking back, we had a pretty amazing movie year. Some pretty great stuff came out.

Oh, and that writer's strike? It can end now, thanks. Going on way too long, people (other than writers but them too) losing way too much money & jobs.

Song of the day: LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends.

PS - Yeah, that's one of many awkward pics from my youth.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

So, it's here......

Oh-8. Welcome!

The Eve was spent at the bro/sis-in-law's, where there were numerous kids running about (2 of them mine) and only about 4 injuries. There was a sweet girl vomitting as well, but that was due to a fall prior to the party (rollar skates) so she had to leave, but she rocks and we hope she's doin' better.

Ah, and there was karaoke. My wife and I sang "Move Along" to our embarassed 5 year old son (one of his fave tunes) and my bro-in-law & I tackled "Abracadabra," "If I Had A Million Dollars", and the one that truly brought the house down - "Total Eclipse Of The Heart."

My dream was to sing "Bust A Move" but we didn't have it on our collection of karaoke CDs.

We actually left around 11 and figured to wrap up 2007 quietly at our house, so we put the kids to sleep.....and fell asleep. My wife woke me up at around 12:20am, 2008. Oops. No ball-drop-watching 4 us.....2nd year in a row.

Now back to some screenplay writin.'