The ONLY Oscar Blogger, who lives in walking distance to the Kodak Theater!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Back in Mass

Tomorrow night I leave for Massachusetts, yet again. It is always good to go home, but I really wish things were different. I would much rather be working in the industry, then going home. I got very few things going for me in Massachusetts. It's a nice "vacation", but that's it. Nothing more and nothing less.

I'll probably get into Boston at around five or six in the morning on Sunday and I don't know when I will come back to California. I'm guessing it will be sometime in early to mid January. Regardless of what happens with the strike, I'm not going to stay in Mass and become a hermit.

Really when I look back on this period of my life, I consider it to be a crossroads. Even a midlife crisis, where I have no idea where I'm heading. My life lacks the direction I want and it's frustrating. The minutes, hours, and days continue to tick and here I am on the outside, looking in. Yeah, I only 22 years old, but what's to say I won't be dead by 40 or something? I have no fucking clue and that's why I'm frustrated.

I'll write about this more towards the end of the year, but as I leave for home again, I beg the question, "Can someone point me in the right direction?"

Victory!

Last night, I finally won trivia at Barney's Beanery with Brian, Julian, Kyle, and Nolan. It was actually quite "dramatic" in the fact that we won in overtime. We tied another team through seven rounds, then we were asked the final question of what year Scrabble was invented. We said 1941 and the answer was 1938. I think the other team guessed 1928, so we won.

Granted the bar was less populated than usual, but still we won and that's all that mattered. It felt good to leave trivia for a month or so on a high note.

A Little Late, but Still Remembered

I just quickly wanted to say that six years ago George Harrison passed away on November 29, 2001. Yeah, I know it's November 30th, but I've been busy all day and didn't have time to post anything earlier today. His death was not as shocking as Lennon's, but he still left the world way too young at the tender age of 58 after a long battle with cancer.

I still remember the day George died. It was a bit of a shock to me. I woke up and found out he was dead. I just watched television programs all day that nation paid tribute to the Beatle.

I will talk about this more tomorrow, but I'm dedicating my team trivia win to George. I know he helped us out during that crucial scrabble question in overtime tonight.

I miss you, buddy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

11 Down, 8 To Go

The Patriots survived a scare the other night. One I wasn't expecting, but I think it was probably one of the best things to happen to them all year. It was a wake up call that was needed. Yeah the Colts game was close, but that was expected. This was a close game that was not and that's what you need. Losing can sometimes be the best thing for a great team. It teaches them a lot about themselves. Granted the Pats won, but for a team like this, it felt like a loss. And believe me, Coach Belichick treated it like one all week in practice.

The other main concern that some may have is whether the Eagles exposed the Pats. I think other teams can take a lot from this game, but I truly believe the Pats will rectify their problems.

The one concern I do have is the loss of Rosevelt Colvin. Not only was he a very good player, but linebacker is arguably one of the Pats thinnest positions. They now have to rely on Tedy Bruschi and Junior Seau much more. That might have not seemed like a bad thing, say five to ten years ago, but they are both at the end of their careers. Hell, they could be playing their last season, so it's asking a lot. Neither one of these guys is a bad player, but they have definitely lost a step or two.

With five games remaining, it's difficult to say whether this team will lose. Here are their five final opponents: Ravens, Steelers, Jets, Dolphins, and Giants. The Steelers and Giants scare me most, but as last week proved, anything can happen in the NFL. I would be scared to write off any of those teams. Actually, that's a lie. There's no way in hell, Belichick and the Pats lose to the Jets on 12/16. I will guarantee that.

Two More Movies, Two More...

I saw both "I'm Not There" and "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" in the last few days. Although, I just don't feel like writing "real" reviews about them right now. Not really in the mood, but here are some random thoughts.

I was not a huge fan of "I'm Not There". This film just didn't do it for me. I liked Cate's performance, but I thought it lacked the structure needed to keep your attention. Going from one character to another just wasn't working. I had no feelings for half of the "Bob Dylan" characters. I'm disappointed this film didn't work for me. I usually like these kinds of movies, but I just kept checking my watch to see if it was almost over.

As for the other film with the extremely long title. I thought it was really good. Probably the second best movie I've seen this year (number one being "There Will Be Blood"). It was slow and long, but I thought the story was interesting enough and the film was beautiful to look at. If Roger Deakins is going to win the Oscar this year, then it better be for this one. It should be an interesting battle between him and Robert Elswitt. I also thought Casey Affleck was surprisingly good in this film and I like him a lot in regards to his Oscar chances. The big negative for this film is the fact that no one saw it, so it will depend on if the word can spread enough to voters.

Early next week I will be officially debuting my Oscar picks on this blog. It will only cover the big eight categories, but I will give you what I think is the current favorites for the nomination.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

R.I.P. Sean Taylor 1983-2007

I was shocked this morning to find out that Redskins safety, Sean Taylor, had died this morning, a day after being shot in the leg at his home. Apparently, the blood loss was too much. Now, the NFL and its fans have been robbed of a great player. I'm not a Redskins fan, but I know that Taylor was a damn good player. I remember back when he was drafted, the Patriots were thinking about trading up to pick him. It didn't happen, but after that I knew I needed to keep my eye on him.

Last year, he was a pro bowler and I think I share this opinion with many when I say his career was just beginning. Sadly, his name will be added to a group of athletes whose careers ended prematurely by a tragic death.

Sean Taylor was 24 years old and a father of a one year old girl. He will be missed.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

No Country for Old Men

First of all, let me tell you my opinion on the Coen Brothers. I like "Fargo". I think "The Big Lebowski" is overrated and I can't stand "O Brother Where Art Thou?". I just saw "Old Country for Old Men" the other night and I enjoyed it. Definitely, their best film since "Fargo".

This film is intense. It revolves around a man (Josh Brolin) discovering a stash of money and a truckload of heroin from an apparent drug deal gone wrong in the middle of the desert. The rest of the film is the chase that ensues between the man and a bounty hunter (Javier Bardem) in search for the money. Meanwhile, the local sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) is following the pursuit, but is always a step behind.

Javier Bardem is awesome. He plays a bounty hunter to chilling perfection. His poise is haunting as he interacts with a collection of characters during the film. Every time he's on screen, you have to get a little nervous. He's that good at his role. He carries around a cattle gun and a silencer. He's simply a bad ass. There's a reason why people have been so crazy about is performance.

My big issue with this film is the ending. It was lackluster and left me disappointed. I honestly thought it ruined the whole experience for me. Here is where my comparison begins between this film and "There Will Be Blood" (that film ends with a bang, plain and simple).

Both these films have a lot in common, really. They have a similar look, feel, and themes throughout. Yet, Anderson's film left more of a mark on me. Some could argue that I'm biased, but watch both these films before you say anything. The Coen Brothers film is very good. I'm not knocking it, but it's not as good as P.T.'s latest work.

I know everyone is talking about "No Country for Old Men" being the best film of the year and some idiots are calling it the best of the decade. Let's slow down a little before we anoint this film. "No Country for Old Men" does have a great lethal combination of being both artistically brilliant and commercially acceptable, where films such as "There Will Be Blood" and "The Assassination of Jesse James..." are not. Still, I'm not sold on this movie.

I don't where this film will end up. It should be interesting. In conclusion, should you see this movie? Yes. Just do yourself a favor and see "There Will Be Blood" when it comes out in about a month.

Surviving Black Friday

Well, Black Friday was three days ago and I'm still recovering. Yeah, it was a day to remember. I don't know if you've never experienced it before, but you should once. And, I don't mean show up at the mall in the afternoon. I'm talking about being hardcore and doing it at five in the morning.

I decided not to go to sleep and stay up the night before. I just didn't feel like waking up, so I spent my night working on some stuff here and there. Simply trying to pass the time. The big problem during this time was I also somewhat out of it. Combined with being tired, I drank a little wine, smoked a little weed, and I don't even recall what happened. I've always slept off a high, so it was something new for me to not go to bed. It's an odd feeling, one I can't described.

By the time I was ready to leave, I was back to normal. Although, I was still tired. I went to Best Buy and realized there had to be at least 300 people already in line. There were news trucks out front and it was a little crazy. I waited in line and got in, did a little dvd shopping and left. Then, I headed to the real mall with this new burst of energy. When I arrived, the mall felt like it was in the afternoon or something. It's like 6:00 a.m. and people are walking around eating soft pretzels.

I did a little more browsing and buying before I called it quits. I wanted to go to Circuit City, but the line was too long and they were not letting people in very fast. I got back to the apartment around 8:00 a.m. and fell asleep. I woke up at about 4:00 p.m. on Friday and decided to head back to the mall. Why? Well, I wanted to go to Circuit City because they had really good deals. The mall was probably busier than the morning, but there was no line for Circuit City. I then proceeded to shop for the best dvd deals.

When it was all set and done, I considered the day a success. Although, I now need to get a new dvd case because I've officially run out of room.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tips for Black Friday

If you're going to shop tomorrow, you better bring your "A" game. Yes, tomorrow is Black Friday where the ocassional person can get murdered at the mall if they aren't careful. Too many times do people go shopping tomorrow and not have a plan. Here let me explain to you my strategy.

1. Get there right as the store opens. Why? You have the best selection and you get it over with. You have the whole weekend to recover. Hell, pull an all nighter. Then, I go back to bed and sleep all day.

2. You have to prioritize what you want. Hit up the stores with "must have" items right at the beginning even if it screws up your driving plan. I make a list of the items I want with the stores on the next line. Then, I plan out my day.

3. This really only works well for dvds, but buy first and think later. Even if that means buying the same dvd if it's cheaper somewhere else. You can always return the item the next week. I did that last year at Best Buy and I had no problems. I saved only two dollars with the difference, but those two dollars bought me six tacos the next Tuesday at Del Taco.

Don't know if that will help you, but that's what I'm doing tomorrow. Don't say I didn't tell you so when I'm walking out of the store with all the good movies and you're stuck buying "Norbit".

What I'm Thankful For, Pt. 2

Alright, I'm done thinking, I think. I have to admit the turkey of the year for me goes to "Un-Employment"! I know it's not really a thing, but think about it. It has given me plenty of highs and lows. On the high note, it allowed me to go to the Amoeba Records show and a meeting with P.T. Anderson. On the low note, it has cost me a lot of money and boring days at the apartment. You can't give it to anyone else.

As for being thankful, I am. I'm a bitter man, too. Things could be better, but that's life. I'm looking forward to what the future holds. Part of me was glad I got to spend Thanksgiving alone. It made me reflect while I gorged myself with a roasted chicken and Hawaiian rolls (my holiday tradition on Easter and now, Thanksgiving). You might not think it's a good meal, but it is rather fulfilling.


So, Happy Thanksgiving, my loyal readers! Hope it was a good one.

What I'm Thankful For, Pt. 1

Well, I'm spending my first Thanksgiving alone. Not really something to brag about, but holidays are different when you're living on the other side of the country from your family. Yeah, I have some family in California, but our relationship has dwindled in the past year due to a number of things. It's partially my fault, but theirs as well. It would be unfair to blame either side more than the other.

So, here's where I'm supposed to write something sincere, but I need more time to think. Let me post later in the day as I have more time to reflect on this Thanksgiving.

R.I.P. Tom Johnson 1928-2007

The last Bruins coach to lead them to a Stanley Cup died yesterday. Tom Johnson, a hockey hall of famer, served in the Bruins organization as a player, coach, and executive from the 1960s to 1998. He was not as well known as other contemporaries such as Harry Sinden or Milt Schmidt, yet he coached the team from 1970-1973 during a stretch where the team was at its best with players such as Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, and Johnny Bucyk.

He actually has the highest win percentage in the history of the franchise at .738. capping it off with a Stanley Cup in 1972. Also, don't forget he coached the 1971 team, which ranks as one of the best teams in any sport to not win a world championship. That team shattered tons of records, but were upset in the playoffs by Montreal.

He will be missed. Tom Johnson was 79.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

P.T. Anderson in Mean Magazine

I just picked up Mean magazine today. It contains an interview with Paul Thomas Anderson. It's a really good read as he talks about all sorts of stuff from "There Will Be Blood" to some of his guilty pleasure incluing "Bad Santa". I thought that was rather interesting. I also thought it was interesting when he was asked if he still thinks "Magnolia" is the best film he has ever made. The answer was purely silence. I guess you can take that a couple different ways.

Mean magazine costs about six dollars, but I think the price is worth it especially for Anderson fans.

Van Halen Jumps Through the Staples Center's Roof

Last night I went to see Van Halen at the Staples Center in LA. Not going to lie, probably the loudest concert I've ever been to. I could literally feel the vibrations on the bass during the show. It was an odd feeling, but one that made me realize this was a concert.

As I stated yesterday, I'm not the biggest Van Halen fan. I think they have some really good songs. Although, I think their post David Lee Roth period is somewhat questionable. Luckily last night, they chose to stick to songs from the beginning to 1984 (when Diamond Dave left the band).

I did find it odd that Ziggy Marley was chosen to open the show. Considering Van Halen is hard rock, having someone who plays raggae was different. Although, I didn't mind the music and he even chose to play a couple covers of his Dad's work. Of course, I'm talking about Bob.

As for the main act, I really can't complain. The crowd was extremely hot and Van Halen came out with a bang. Right away, you could tell they were having a lot of fun on stage and it set the tone for the whole show. I was born a year after Dave left the band, so I have no recollection of the band during its heyday. I will say this though, David Lee Roth, is a damn good frontman. I was really impressed. I thought he brought the show to another level. Between his crazy outfits, karate kicks, and swinging the microphone, I was entertained. The only other show where I saw a band with a lead singer was U2 back in 2001 and I thought Diamond Dave put Bono to shame. I can only imagine what he was like back in the day.

As for the setlist, I thought it was really good. They played the best of the best from the early era. They stayed away from Sammy's stuff, which I was thankful for. My only disappointment was the fact that the show was so loud I had great difficulty hearing Dave singing. Sometimes I had to wait until halfway through the song to even realize what it was. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but I found it somewhat annoying. Maybe it was a bad mix or maybe they just wanted to showcase Eddie's guitar playing. Not really sure.

As for Eddie, damn he is good. Last night, he proved to me why he is regarded as one of the best. The only better guitar playing I've seen live is from Eric Clapton and the last time I checked, people called him God. Alex Van Halen's drumming was good and the drum solo they gave him was a nice touch. I was a little disappointed that Michael Anthony didn't go on this tour. Although, Wolfgang held his own, he was easily the weakest part of the show. He was stiff for most of the night, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. For still being in his teens, he have to give him credit to be even playing on the same stage as the only three guys.

Other random notes from the show have to be a guy taking a piss in the trash can in the bathroom at the end of the night. I'm standing in line, waiting for my turn and this guy stampedes through the line and before you know it, he's pissing. One of the weirdest things I've ever seen. Another odd site has to go to this girl who went to the show with her boyfriend. She spent the entire night, dancing in his face, shaking her ass, and taunting him. Yet, the guy stood up maybe once during the whole show and failed to even clap. I simply found that to be odd. Why waste the money and even go to the show if you have no desire to be there? These tickets are not cheap.

Overall, Van Halen did not disappoint me and made me appreciate their music a lot more. Some songs I barely knew, I know got stuck in my head. And, my ears are still recovering from the show, but I guess that's not always a bad thing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another Fresh Start

I know I've only been on blogger since May, but I think I'm going to be leaving the server in late December/early January. Just thought I would let you know. I'm going to try to take my blogging to the next level in 2008 and I feel like I have a better chance of doing that elsewhere. I won't reveal my plans right now, but continue to expect some more changes in the near future and some random experimenting as I plan the makeover.

Films on YouTube

Check out these videos on youtube.com. They are films I made while attending Chapman University. They date from 2004 to 2006.

"Wicked Pissah"

"Snuggle"

"The Beautiful Picnic

"Intuition"

Get Ready to "Jump" Tonight

I'm heading to the Van Halen show at the Staples Center tonight in LA. I'll probably post some highlights of the show tomorrow. This should be a really good show. I've been reading a lot of good stuff about it, so I'm excited. I'm not a huge Van Halen fan, but I like them enough to see them live.

What I'm really interested in is David Lee Roth's and Eddie Van Halen's performances. That guy was a classic front man back in the day and I want to see if he still has it. In regards to Eddie, the guy recovered from cancer and was one of the best guitarists of the 1980s. The dynamic of those two I think will determine the success of the show.

So tonight, I'll find if the Van Halen ticket is really worth it. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Beginning

As you can probably tell, I have been making some changes to the look and feel of the blog. Expect more changes in the near future. I'm trying to expand my audience and readership a little more. I'll keep you updated as more stuff develops.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Revs Join "Elite" Company

Well, the New England Revolution failed to catch the vibe of New England sports. They failed to win the "coveted" MLS Cup yet again. Yes, they've have become the Buffalo Bills of soccer. They have lost three straight championship games. Including the 2002 game, that's four in the last six years. I don't have the stats on hand, but I think the Bills and the Revs might be the only teams in a major professional sport to lose three straight championship games. Not really a good club to be in.

I don't claim to be a "true" Revolution fan. I'm not like the majority of current Boston fans who claim to be diehard and think David Ortiz is the best left handed hitter in Red Sox history or Kevin Garnett is the best rebounder the Celtics have ever had. End rant. I follow them from time to time. Might check a box score every so often, but I only have minimal knowledge of the club.

Still, you have to feel a little bad for the Revs. Like the Bruins, they get no press in the papers, but have been extremely successful in the last few years. They've actually been to the conference finals six straight years. Quite an accomplishment really, but still lack the the big one. Maybe next year, maybe not. At least they're not alone.

Hit Counter

This could be even good or bad for this blog, but I have installed a hit counter. Why? Because I really want to know if there is anyone on the internet that reads this blog. I'll try my best not to unintentionally increase the hits by visiting the blog myself.

So without further ado, let the hits begins!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

There Will Be Blood and Oscars

Wow, the first, somewhat official Oscar post of the year! I know it's exciting. After watching "There Will Be Blood" the other night and thinking about it, I think was head is a little more clear. I've had a chance to read a good amount of reviews of the film. I've also started to check various Oscar sites since the award season is quickly approaching.

I read an interesting point someone made on the internet that it's foolish to think that a movie's greatness is only measured on Oscar glory. Some films are simply made to not win Oscars. Look at Kubrick, Hitchcock, and even Scorsese. They have a horrible Oscar record, but have made some of the best films ever. That person puts Anderson's newest film in that category. Here's what I will say. I somewhat agree with that philosophy.

Here's the thing with "There Will Be Blood". It is probably going to be the best made film of 2007, pound for pound. Yes, I haven't seen most of the heavy hitters yet, but his film is that good. Although, I wouldn't bet my life's fortune on it winning any major categories. This film could garner close to ten nominations:

Best Picture
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Supporting Actor
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design
Best Original Score

Objectively speaking at this current moment in time, this film will probably lose almost every one of those categories. It's simply not a film that Academy members are going to want to sit through. Let me just say this bluntly, many Academy members refused to watch "Brokeback Mountain" a couple years ago ( costing it Best Picture) and this film I personally think is more disturbing than that. Particularly in terms of faith and family.

Right now here are my best picture nominees from what I've been reading/hearing:
Atonement
Charlie Wilson's War
No Country for Old Men
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood

30 Seconds with P.T. Anderson

As most of you probably know, I met Paul Thomas Anderson the other night at the "There Will Be Blood" screening in LA. It was definitely a night to remember and I briefly just want to share a couple thoughts on meeting him.

For those who don't know me very well, P.T. has been my favorite filmmaker since the late 1990s. Really the only favorite filmmaker I've ever had. It was around this time that I started to get more serious about my aspirations in film and I took an immediate liking to "Boogie Nights". Yes, the film about a "family" of pornographic filmmakers set in the late 70s/early 80s. This film dominated the airwaves of HBO and Cinemax at night in the late 90s.

I was lucky enough to have a cable box and spent my nights watching it over and over. Sometimes, I would miss the beginning. Other times I missed the end. I probably never watched a movie in parts more in my life. Considering I was only in my early teens (born in 1985), my parents probably didn't like the fact that I watched it a lot. Although, when they found out they didn't care that much.

Don't know the date, but eventually the film became my all time favorite. Of course, this was always great for conversations and job interviews when the question of favorite movie came up. I never backed away from the question and always answered truthfully. My answer every time was "Boogie Nights", which used to get mixed reactions from an assortment of people. One of my all time favorite moments was when I was in college and a professor asked something like what film influences you. I raised my hand and said "Boogie Nights" and he laughed and said I was "sick" or something.

My devotion to P.T. did not stop there. I have written papers about "Boogie Nights" for all different classes. I wrote one in high school. I wrote one in a college English class. I wrote a couple for film classes. I even gave a ten minute lecture on the opening of the film (same class with the professor who thought I was "sick").

I have t-shirts, pictures, posters, and dvds. I've tried to replicate his styles in some of my films even though many people may not realize it. Many times it is simply subtle references. I really admire him for all his work. And, I will continue to admire him for I know his amazing work will continue for many years.

Honestly, the only moment I missed that disappointed me was the "Boogie Nights" screening over the summer. I was on a film job in Mississippi and missed it. I actually didn't even know it was happening until after it occurred.

Then, there was the screening the other night. I got there at roughtly 3:25 p.m. or so and waited in line for my chance to see arguably the most anticipated movie of the year. At least for me it was. It was five years since Paul's last night. Well, I waited in line, watched the almost three hour movie, and waited for my moment.

I almost didn't even meet P.T. I waited for the huge crowd to filter out before making my move. Let me explain real quick without sounding odd. I bought an extra copy of "Boogie Nights" a while ago in case I ever met Paul. I wanted him to autograph a mint conditioned copy of the film. So, I brought this copy with me to the screening. I still had it in the shrink wrap, too. The lady at the beginning of the night said, "No photos or autographs." This was disappointing, but I started to see him signing stuff after the film was over. I knew I had to meet him since he is one of my idols. Only two people I would rather meet are named John and Paul. One is dead and the other has many bodyguards (Lennon and McCartney in case you didn't figure it out).

Anyway, I walked up to the stage and ripped off the shrink wrap exposing the dvd. He started to wave as if he was leaving and here is what happened, or at least what I somewhat remember. I yelled out his name a couple times and he looked at me. We shook hands and I asked if he could sign my dvd. He happily agreed and signed it. As he was signing the dvd, I started to talk very fast (I was nervous as you might have figured). I told him I couldn't believe I was meeting him and he's been such a big influence on my career as a filmmaker. That's all I remember before he gave me back the dvd. He kinda gave me this weird look since he probably thought I was crazy or something. I thanked him and left.

That was it. Probably lasted 30 seconds or so. He was humble and very quiet. I know some people think he has an ego or whatever, but it didn't show. You could tell it just meant a lot to him for people to want to meet him. He took time to meet with everyone who approached him at the theater, which was a class act. It was a cool moment for me that I won't forget. It felt somewhat validating that after all the years, it paid off to be a fan and admirer of his work. I'm writing this now and if I look a little to my left there is the dvd. It's in a plastic sheet for protection and "P.T. Anderson" is written across the cover.

Maybe, I'll get to meet him again, but if I don't at least I can cherish those thirty seconds.

Talks to Resume

As most people have probably heard the WGA and AMPTP have agreed to resume talks on November 26th. Should be interesting if anything even happens. Just because they agree to meet doesn't really mean anything. Case in point, the NHLPA and owners agreed to meet in a last ditch effort to salvage their season a couple years ago, but the talks collasped again thus canceling the season.

Hopefully, this will have a better result. More comments to come as more information is released...

Friday, November 16, 2007

There Will Be Blood




I saw P.T. Anderson's newest film, "There Will Be Blood", last night at a screening in North Hollywood. I got there around 3:25 p.m. for a 7:00 p.m. screening, but I have no regrets. It was a good night for me in many ways. Here are some of my thoughts about the film.

This may contain spoilers for some people. Beware...

It's been five years since his last film. And, this one is worth the wait. Even though after the movie was over, my head kinda hurt. My first thought was I need to see this movie again. The film is so heavy that one viewing doesn't work. Although, this is the case for many of his movies. Honestly, if you don't intend to watch them more than once, then don't even bother in the first place.

The film begins for a good twenty minutes without dialogue, which was unbelievable for the simple reason it works. Anderson described it afterwards as he wanted to show how isolated Plainview really is. All he can hear is a pickaxe and his own breath. This stylistic choice sets the tone early for this almost three hour epic.

Daniel Day-Lewis returns in a role that makes you hate him and love him. He's actually one of the least redeeming characters I can ever remember in the history of cinema. As the film progresses he gets so dark and greedy. He simply becomes a sociopath with one goal in mind: oil! And, he stops at nothing to achieve his goals. Still, he makes you care about his character. He has moments in the film that are complete dark humor, but you laugh with him and all his madness.

His supporting cast also deserves some props. Paul Dano gives a great performance as a local prophet. Although, the big surprise may be Dillion Freasier, who plays H.W. Plainview. Particularly after a certain point in the film (don't want to spoil it), his performance is highly impressive for a 10 year old.

On the technical side, three things stick out in my mind: cinematography, score, and production design. Anderson has worked with Robert Elswit on all his films and they are at their best. Elswit captures the landscapes beautifully and wisely chooses his long takes. Paul said he wanted to shoot it simple since the script was simple and it works well. Greenwood's score is simply haunting. Anderson listened to a lot of Penderecki when he wrote this film and it shows. The score does a great job working off of Plainview's character that it becomes a character in the film. At times, the string arrangements that he chose gave me the creeps. Anderson chose to work with a new production designer for this film and it paid off. This film takes place in the middle of the desert, yet it is beautiful to look at. He really takes you back to that time period and it makes the movie feel authentic.

The film's plot may be its biggest weakness. Although, Anderson has never been known as a plot oriented writer. Most of his films are very character driven. He chose to take this film in a couple directions you might not agree with, but still works. It was just a little confusing at times. He really kept me guessing. I honestly didn't know what to expect. Then, the ending just threw me completely off. Shocked the hell out of me really. I had a "What the fuck?" reaction on my face.

This film will have some mainstream issues. I can't see it really do anything at the box office. I'll definitely see it again, but would never bring a lady friend. It's dark and disturbing that many people will probably leave the theater not feeling too good about themselves. Let me put it this way, you will never look at bowling pins and milkshakes the same way.

As for the Oscars, I really don't know. I can see it get the nominations, but wins is another story. It becomes a question whether the Academy will embrace a film like this. So dark and disturbing, yet so utterly brilliant. It's a lethal combination that has hurt many films through the years.

There is no denying "There Will Be Blood"'s greatness. It's epic in every way. A true tragedy in a sense. It deals so heavy with multiple themes such as greed, family, religion, and oil. Yes, it's set at the turn of the century, but many of the themes hit home today. Will people embrace the film for what it really is? I don't know yet, but I do know you should see this film. It's that fucking good.

After the screening, I did get a chance to meet Paul Thomas Anderson. He's been huge influence on my career as a filmmaker as many people know. I was really nervous meeting him, but he was humble. I shook his hand and he signed a mint condition dvd of "Boogie Nights" for me. It lasted only 30 seconds, but that's okay. I got to meet my filmmaking idol and that's something not everyone can say they have done.

Note: I'll post more reaction on meeting P.T. Anderson a little later. I actually blogged the whole day, but haven't had time to type it out yet. I'll try to do that over the weekend.

Note 2: The first picture was taken by someone I don't know, but I'm in the picture. I'm the guy standing in the left of the frame with a blazer. If you look closely, I'm holding my "Boogie Nights" dvd. This picture was taken right before I approached Paul. Thanks goes out to whoever took it.

Note 3: The second picture is of the autographed "Boogie Nights" dvd. My favorite movie of all time!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There Will Be Punch-Drunk Hard Boogie Magnolia Nights

I don't know what's up with me and standing in lines for long hours, but here I am again. Tomorrow there will be a preview screening of "There Will Be Blood" with a Q & A afterwards. Like with McCartney at Amoeba, I will try to keep a detailed blog of the day. I'm probably going to head down there around two or three in the afternoon. The screening starts at 7:00 p.m.

Of the big moment of tomorrow will be the possible chance to get to meet Paul Thomas Anderson who has been my favorite filmmaker since I was about 13 or so. Really, he is my only favorite filmmaker since I really got serious into movies around the late 1990s. It's funny, really, though to get a chance to meet him. After years of people looking at me strange when I tell them "Boogie Nights" is my favorite movie, I'll finally get to see its creator.

I'd like to take some pictures tomorrow, but I'm a little nervous bringing a camera. Last thing I want is to get in trouble for having a camera even though I will have no intention to use it during the actual film. It would actually be amazing to take a quick picture with Paul, but we will have to wait and see. Honestly, I would just love to meet the guy. The rest is purely extra.

I also have to give slight props to the WGA strike. Without the strike, there is a very good chance I would be working tomorrow. This now gives me the opportunity to get to wait in line for multiple hours on the side of the street. Life can simply not get any better.

I'll post in a day or so with the detailed blog and review of the film.

P.S. I thought of that title myself. Aren't you proud of me?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Simply Odd

I was talking to my mother the other day and she told me something that really surprised me. Five years ago, my paternal grandmother died and the priest that presided over the funeral was a little odd to say the least. Flash forward five years, that same priest (David Ajemian) was recently accused of stalking Conan O'Brien. That's fucked up! I guess sometimes you never know, but what can one expect from the Catholic church?

I'm Sorry, BUT That's Lame

I was talking to a recent fellow film student grad the other day. He was telling me how the strike was such a great opportunity to network and how he was going to picket to simply "meet" writers. As I commented a few posts ago about this, it's pathetic and lame. This person will go nameless in this post, but really I find that to be very disappointing.

I told him I didn't agree during our conversation, but what I really felt like telling him is that he lost all my respect. Seriously, go fuck yourself!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Facebook Apps are Lame

Quick quesion for the facebook users of the world. Is there a worse application on facebook than "Compare People". I don't know, maybe I'm not that cool, but I hate that application. Ocassionally I will get a notification that someone ranked me or whatever. Then, I look I my stats and they are horrible.

I can't be the only person to get a little hurt by the fact that I've been passed over multiple times for "most attractive" or "more likely to sleep with". I know it's all "fun", but most people take it somewhat seriously. Granted I have no idea who I was up against or who voted, but still. Doesn't really make someone feel that great about themselves.

I know it's a dumb application, but I really think facebook needs to end all the stupid applications. I enjoy the site, but I think they need to get back to the basics. There's no reason to have thousands of applications that most serve no purpose.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Team. God. Team. Force. Strike!

After finding out about my prospective job, it did feel pretty good to go out last night and try to forget about the failures. We went back to Barney's for trivia, which is quickly becoming a weekly tradition. This was the third straight week. It was also our third straight loss, but that's okay.

After creating a ridiculous team name, Team God Team Force Strike!, we managed to be the life of the bar. Brian, Dres, Julian, Kyle, and I even won the drinking round. How do you ask? Kyle busted out his mad singing skills while the rest of us provided support. Damn, I wished I filmed that.

I guess the moral of this post is somehow it's possibly to enjoy yourself even as your professional life falls apart in front of your eyes.

Disappointing Students

I read today in Nikke Finke's blog (deadlinehollywooddaily.com) that film students were using the picket lines for networking. As a recent film school grad and someone partially affected by the strike (see previous post about my prospective employment), I think that is pathetic. Although, it doesn't surprise me that some film students would try to use the strike as a stepping stone.

Regardless of your opinion of the strike, everyone wants it to end for multiple reasons. To use it purely for individual gains is simply classless.

Let the Casualties Begin

Well, the WGA strike has claimed at least one victim. Yours truly. It looks like I had a very good chance at landing that job at Industry Entertainment, but a hiring freeze took effect on Monday. Thus, ending my hopes of employment there until the strike ends. I'm sure in the coming weeks, many more casualities in the entertainment industry will be announced.

It's too bad really because most of the people getting laid off are the ones that just started in this business. Some probably worked their asses off to even get a job (my roommate, Julian, for example who is quietly counting down his days). Working anywhere in the entertainment industry is no easy task. It's a fucking jungle out there.

It's easy to support the WGA when you're making good money like many of the high profile celebrities that have joined the picket lines. It makes it easy to forget about the little man. I guess that's what makes it difficult for me to swallow and why you will never see me honking my horn or giving a thumbs up.

I honestly don't support either side. I support a resolution.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bleeping Strike

For those who don't know, I went on an interview last week for a job with Industry Entertainment. They are a management company and the CE at Kopelson started out there, so he sent my resume over. I had a really good interview and I left there feeling good.

Then, the WGA had to strike on Monday and fucked everything up. Now, before you go crazy, I'm not saying the strike wasn't warranted, but when you're at the bottom the strike hurts you most. I'm not in the negotiating room, so I don't have all the facts, but figure something out. For the love of God and my sanity, come to an agreement!

Let me summarize the correspondence from IE and the CE at Kopelson. IE said that they were impressed with me and the recommendation carries a lot of weight. Unfortunately, we are in a hiring freeze until the strike ends. The CE told me that it kinda sucks, but looks like I'll be in good shape, post strike.

Post strike! That could be six months from now. So, the reality sets in that my life is falling apart and I'm slowly going crazy. I might have had that job. Now, I don't know what the hell I'm going to do. Any suggestions, would be appreciated...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Don Shula is an Idiot

Don Shula, former head coach of the Miami Dolphins 1972 undefeated team, has recently said if the Patriots go undefeated there should be an asterik next to their name. I'm sorry, but that pisses me off. First of all, the '72 Dolphins might have went undefeated, but a handful of NFL teams from the past would have killed them. There was nothing special about that team at all. Make an argument if you want, but I would take the best Packers team from the 60s, the best Steelers team from the 70s, the '85 Bears, the best 49ers team from the 80s, the best Cowboys team from the 90s, and the 2007 Pats over them any day of the week.

Yeah, the Pats spied on the Jets, but they killed them in that game. I don't think it would have mattered either way, so the point of the asterik is stupid. Is cheating wrong? Yeah, it is, but I'm confident many other teams have done it in the past and probably did it this year before the Pats got caught.

Shula and the rest of the Dolphins should just keep their mouths shut. Another point being the Pats still have a long way to go. I still am not even confident they will pull it off. The problem is the media won't stop talking about it, which makes it an annoying situation.

It's almost as annoying as Don Shula talking like an idiot. Instead of worrying about the Pats, Shula should be worrying about the Dolphins. They have a shot to have a perfect season (0-16) and I bet he'll be complaining about putting an asterik on that too.

That's a Wrap: One Year Later

"Sweet Pea" wrapped a year ago today. I think the last shot went off a little past midnight on November 6th. It's crazy to think it's been one year. The film is finished besides for a very minor adjustment (ending credits need to be redone). I still need to get the poster and dvd art finished, but that has been on the shelf for the moment. Don’t worry, I haven't forgotten about it. Otherwise, I'm slowly dealing with film festivals.

Shooting this film went by in a flash. I have a lot of memories from that film. Some are good and some are bad, but I think to think of it as a more positive experience. I have no idea if I'll ever direct again, so this will always been my film and nothing will ever take that away.

Yeah, the film premiered in Boston, but that was a huge disappointment. One that few people really know how much I was devastated over the whole situation. Really, it was supposed to be so good, yet was so bad. Still, part of me is still trying to get over the whole fiasco.

As for the future, I don't really know where the film is going. There's a chance it might not ever show at another festival. If true, so be it. I'm not going to live and die from film festivals. It's a foolish way to live as a filmmaker. Would I like to show at more festivals? Yeah, but after BFF, it doesn't matter. I'm not going to put myself through all that bullshit again.

I've got more important things to worry about in my life. Finding employment and love are much higher on the to do list. "Sweet Pea" was a great film. One I will never forget, but when it's the end of the day, it's still only a student short film. And, honestly, that only says so much in this business.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Fab Four Continue to Not Disappoint

For any Beatles fan that resides in southern California and has not had the chance to see Beatles tribute band, The Fab Four, shame on you! I've seen them three times in the last year and they continue to impress me. Last night they played the entire Sgt. Pepper album. It might sound easy, but you could see the band sweating it out. They congratulated each other after finishing songs and really put on a good show. This was far superior to their Abbey Road show last year.

The big quesion is was it better than the Sgt. Pepper show at the Hollywood Bowl? It's tough to compare the two shows really. The styles were much different and under different circumstances. I'll call it a stalemate. If anyone has seen both and wants to give me their opinion, I'd be curious to listen.

The Fab Four are supposed to be The Beatles. They dress, talk, and act like them in every way. It's not only a concert, but a theater performance. I've seen many different Beatle cover bands and this one is the best. I've seen Liverpool, Beatle Juice, The Best of Beatlemania, 1964: A Tribute, The British Invasion, and a bunch of other amateur cover bands during a battle of the bands at the Fest for Beatle Fans in Danvers, MA about five years ago. The Fab Four is the complete package and a treat for Beatle fans.

My only complaint with the show if I really had one was that I was disappointed in the rest of the set. Yes, this album is harder to perform than Abbey Road, but their set was much more complete. This time around they only played some early songs and did the album. They couldn't even squeeze in Strawberry Fields or Penny Lane, which was the real disappointment for me. I didn't even care about the later years. I thought it would have been awesome to play those two songs for the encore.

Otherwise, I tip my hat to them. It was a really great show. That final image of them standing on the stage, replicating the album cover was awesome.

What a Game!

Wow, did you watch the Pats and Colts game today? That game really lived up to the hype. I cannot remember being so nervous during the regular season. I just really wanted the Pats to win that game. I was jumping up and down, pumping my fists, and yelling throughout the whole game. I couldn't even sit down for the whole fourth quarter.

I still actually can't believe they even won. I do think the Pats are the better team, but a lot did not go their way. They made a ton of penalties in that game. Some I didn't agree with, but it simply becomes a side point since they emerged victorious. I guarantee if they lost, the officiating would be a huge topic of conversation today. There were definitely some questionable calls in regards to pass interference.

I know everyone is writing this, but it's extremely clear after this game that there are two teams competing for the Super Bowl this year. Barring any major injuries or playoff upsets, I definitely anticipate the Colts traveling to New England for the AFC Championship in January. And, I have no doubt in my mind that it will be a great game. Luckily, the Pats were the winners this time around and hopefully they can pull it off again.

I forgot what it's like to be in a close game. The Pats first eight games have been somewhat of a joke. Although, I do think it's good for them. It's a reality check that teams in the NFL need. It keeps you grounded and that's important. Now, it will be interesting to see if this team can run the table. Still, too early, but there is a very good chance. They play three more difficult teams in the regular season (Steelers, Ravens, and Giants). I'm not willing to gamble on it yet, but I think they got a damn good shot at 19-0.

Predicting the Battle of the Unbeatens

And so tomorrow the NFL will host one of the most anticipated regular season matchups in history. The Patriots (8-0) battle the Colts (7-0) in a game that could decide home field advantage. It could also very well be the first of two meetings for this team. Hell, it's the rematch of last year's AFC Championship.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited. I'm still pissed about last year's heartbreaking loss in the last minute. As a Patriots fan, I want my revenge on the Colts. I just hope they show the game in southern California. I need to save money and not go to a bar tomorrow.

I do hope it's a good game, but honestly I just want to win. Don't care how we do it, I just want to kill the Colts tomorrow. And, I really think they will. I don't think some people realize how good this team really is and after tomorrow the whole world will be convinced.

Yes, I like the Patriots in this game. I'll make a bold prediction of 41-28 over the Colts in an old fashioned shootout.