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

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Another year is down the tubes. Damn! I'll post my retrospect tomorrow. I'm heading out to eat Chinese food and drink champagne.

I'll see you in 2008!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pain and Pleasure with IMDB

Well, "Sweet Pea" is officially on imdb! There's only one problem. They forgot to add over 80% of the information I originally submitted. Some might remember me talking about imdb a couple months ago and might be wondering what the hell happened. Well, let's just say the film ran into some problems.

The biggest problem of all being that the Boston Film Festival never fully added my film to their website. So, the imdb staff kept rejecting my request due to nothing matching up. I had to have someone manually look at it, but it took forever since they have about one person checking the boards every couple days. Basically some requests take a couple weeks.

Anyway, on Christmas, the guy posted that you would put the title live. I just saw this today and got all excited. My dream has come true, but they only people credited for the film are ones that already have existing profiles. So, now I got to fix this because I'm not on the page as well as practically the whole crew.

I'll keep you updated as I continue to look into this problem.

If you do want to check it out, look no further: Sweet Pea

15 Down, 4 To Go, and Tomorrow

It could be argued that tomorrow is the biggest regular season game in not only the history of the Patriots, but the whole NFL. The Pats look to go an unprecedented 16-0. Hard to believe, really. When the season began, I didn't think it would. I hoped so, but thought it was too unrealistic. Now, in less than 24 hours, the Pats could be perfect heading into the playoffs.

The best thing I love about the Patriots and Belichick is that even if they finish to 16-0, they won't be celebrating. They'll probably barely smile. They want the world championship and want the 19-0 record. We'll see if it happens (I think it will), but tomorrow the only focus is 16-0.

As for the actual game, I actually think it will be anti-climatic. I anticipate Coughlin to play it smart and rest some of his best players. They are playing a game next week against the Bucs (Gruden has already started resting guys). Plus, winning in the playoffs is more important than a regular season game. It's the right move and I would do it, too.

It's not like the Giants are going to be the only team that has fallen to the almighty Patriots in 2007.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Time of the Season

Yeah, been real busy with the holidays quickly approaching. Don't expect too many, if any updates for the next couple days. Anyway, here are the updated charts. Enjoy!

Golden Globes Predictions 12/24
BEST PICTURE - DRAMA: "Atonement"
BEST PICTURE -COMEDY/MUSICAL: "Sweeney Todd"
BEST ACTOR - DRAMA: Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA: Julie Christie, "Away from Her"
BEST ACTOR - MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd"
BEST ACTRESS - MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There" (Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone")
BEST DIRECTOR: Ethan and Joel Coen, "No Country for Old Men"
BEST SCREENPLAY: Christopher Hampton, "Atonement"
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Dario Marianelli, "Atonement"
BEST ORIGNAL SONG: "Walk Hard", "Walk Hard"
BEST ANIMATED FILM: "Ratatouille"
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Updated Oscar BEST PICTURE 12/24
The Nominees:
1. (1) "Atonement"
2. (2) "No Country for Old Men"
3. (5) "Michael Clayton"
4. (4) "There Will Be Blood"
5. (3) "Sweeney Todd"
On the Bubble:
6. (8) "Into the Wild"
7. (6) "Juno"
8. (-) "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
9. (7) "American Gangster"
The Outsiders:
10. (9)"Charlie Wilson's War"
11. (10) "The Great Debaters"
ANALYSIS:
Big momentum going on with "Into the Wild" after the SAG Nominations. Don't count out that film. Weak box office from "Sweeney Todd" is somewhat of a concern, but it came out to solid reviews. I've pretty much eliminated "Charlie Wilson" and "Great Debaters", but never say never. "Blood" opens up next week, so that should be really interesting how the public reacts to it. I'm beginning to like "Michael Clayton" more and more. Still, my favorites are "Atonement" and "No Country".

Random Oscar Thoughts:

- Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) is for real after getting a SAG nomination. So is Catherine Keener ("Into the Wild").
- "Michael Clayton" is picking up more steam and George Clooney, not Johnny Depp is Daniel Day-Lewis' biggest threat.
- "Atonement" could very well not garner any acting nominations. Keira Knightley getting shafting by SAG was not a good sign.
- Best Supporting Actress is really shaping up to be "The Race" this year with Cate Blanchett vs. Amy Ryan. It's a dead heat.
- What's going to happen if the strike is still going on in February (very likely)? I can't imagine the Oscars not being televised. That would be a sad day in my life.

On a side note, I've got to see some more of these films, but I haven't been able to get out to the theater. Not making excuses, but it is the holidays.

WAR IS OVER!
IF YOU WANT IT
Happy Christmas from Mikey Filmmaker

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Reaction to the SAG Noms

It seems like every year you think you have the award season under control, things just get crazier as the Oscars approach. The SAG nominations were announced and some really big questions come out of it. First of, where is "Atonement", "Michael Clayton", and "Sweeney Todd"? No ensemble nomination? That's surprising.

You look at the five nominees: "3:10 to Yuma", "American Gangster", "Hairspray", "Into the Wild", and "No Country for Old Men". It's a bit of a joke lineup in my opinion. That's my one gripe about the SAG awards. Everyone thinks the ensemble award is a best picture category. It's not! That pisses me off more than anything. That became a common myth two years ago when "Crash" won, but it's literally an ensemble piece. The only really good thing about a nomination at the SAGs is that the actors do make up the largest branch of the Academy.

That does translate to good news for the nominees. A film like "Into the Wild" was a huge winner, but is that a "huge" surprise? Actors love Sean Penn and well, he's an actor. Why not award him for a film he's directed? "No Country" has wrapped up a nomination, but that was common knowledge before the nominations. Although, I'm not crazy about that cast. Yeah, it's a great film, but the cast did not blow me away. Does Javier's performance that much weight? We'll find out because I think it's actually the frontrunner for the SAG.

As for the other films, it's interesting. I still see all three getting shut out of best picture. I read today that "3:10" was shipping out thousands of screeners today. Okay? Every film sends out screeners, I don't buy that this film is alive and well. Yes, I haven't seen it, but I know from word of mouth that this film will probably be just a great film with no nominations. Honestly, it's not the end of the world if you don't get the recognition. The ensemble for the other two films, "American Gangster" and "Hairspray", will help it garner more support for nominations from some of its stars, notably Denzel and John Travolta respectively.

The big concern on my face was that three heavyweights had bad days. Although, it's not killer since SAG awards probably hold the least amount of weight to the Oscars compared to say the DGA awards. Let's look at the three films I mentioned earlier.

"Atonement": That film has a great ensemble cast. Add on top of that no nomination for Knightley or McAvoy. Even Saoirse Ronan and Vanessa Redgrave got left out. This film is more of a writer's piece, but it looks grim for their stars to get Oscar love if they can't get it from their own guild.

"Michael Clayton": This film is loaded with heavy hitters who have got great praise from Clooney, Tilda Swinton, and Tom Wilkinson, but got left off the ensemble list. That doesn't make any sense. How can you nominate all three for individual awards, yet not as an ensemble?

"Sweeney Todd": This might have been the biggest surprise of them all. This film got no love from SAG like "Atonement". Yes, even Johnny Depp got shut out. This is the same Johnny Depp that won the SAG a couple years ago, beating out the likes of Bill Murray and Sean Penn. I also can't believe you lost the nomination out to performances from Ryan Gosling, Emile Hirsch, and Viggo Mortensen.

One other film I slightly want to touch upon is "There Will Be Blood". I'm not really worried about this film since it is a one man show film and I didn't anticipate it to do well with SAG nominations. With no nomination, Paul Dano is pretty much dead in the supporting actor race. Day-Lewis could also really use the win to cement himself as the frontrunner.

I'll have some updated Oscar predictions over the weekend. As for now, I'm going to bed.

My Dog Ate the Baseball. What?

I was actually thinking the other day about what ever happened to the World Series ball this year. Oddly enough, I just read on ESPN that Jonathan Papelbon's dog, Boss, ate the ball.

All I have to say is, "You've got to be kidding me!" How the hell does Papelbon simply leave the ball on the counter? Although, the better question is why did he not give the ball to the team. If this story is true, then shame on Papelbon for being an idiot. I still like the guy and all, but that's just stupid.

Snow, Snow, and More Snow

It won't stop snowing since I've been back. I think today is like the third storm that has happened since I've been back. If I wasn't so cold, I would make a snowman. There is that much snow.

It's safe to say it will be a white Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why Roger Why?

I think I share this opinion with many that Roger Clemens probably made the biggest mistake of his life today. What did he do? He denied using steroids.

Give me a break, Roger! We all know you did it. Just admit it and be a man.

Fucking liar...

A Special Dream

I seriously had one of the weirdest dreams ever the other night and I figured since I got nothing else to write about that I'll let you into my mind. Here we go...

Somehow, I've become a part of "Boogie Nights". I'm hanging around with Reed Rothchild and Todd Parker. The three of us decide to sell bad cocaine to Rahad Jackson (exactly like the movie). We decide to go to his place only we realize his place is like a huge warehouse with cement floors. It's practically Costco since people are shopping in the store.

We end of waiting for him and for some reason I got to take a piss, so I head to the bathroom. The next thing I know I'm walking out and realize we've been busted for a bad deal. I walk past a sectioned off part of the warehouse with a fence, reminded me of where Costco keeps the alcohol. I walk pass this huge guy and everyone is looking for me, but no one seems to recognize me. I see this picture of both Reed and Todd magically appear, showing how they were caught, but they look nothing like them.

Anyway, I decide to escape and leave the Costco like warehouse. I'm getting nervous, so I started running like crazy when I get out. The odd part is I don't have on the right shoes, so I can't run that fast. Somehow, I end up at the subway station. I look at the map, but most of the lines are shut down. I need to get to Jack's house for safety, but can't figure out what to do.

Another jump cut happens and I'm at Jack's house. He's telling me how they shoot on video now and like to do things different than before. I end up being in the dressing room and pull out my dick, staring in the mirror (last shot in the movie) and talking to myself. I decide though that I'm not going to put my dick back in my pants and I unbutton my shirt to be different. I walk to the set that exact way. I don't remember anything else.

Back to reality, I don't have any idea what that dream means. I just know that when I woke up I had a huge boner. What? I had to pee.

Monday, December 17, 2007

14 Down, 5 To Go

As soon as I looked out my window yesterday, I knew the game was going to be close. Let's face it the Patriots are not a cold weather team this year. They are built to play in a dome with this high octane offensive air attack. With yesterday's win against the Jets, the Patriots have secured home field advantage and only have one more away game the rest of the year, traveling to the Giants in week 17.

With two games to go, I think it's safe to say they will run the regular season table. The Giants played horrible last night and the Dolphins were lucky to win against Baltimore. The bigger question should be whether Brady will break Peyton's TD record? I don't know the weather forecast for next week, but the weather I think will dictate whether that record falls.

Yeah, Brady threw six touchdowns against the Dolphins earlier in the year, but this time it's a little different. Does the record matter that much? I don't think they will say it publicly, but deep down it does. Every record for this team matters. There is absolutely no way you could tell me this team doesn't want to win every game and finish the season perfect. It means a hell of lot.

That leaves the biggest question of them all this week: Is this team vulnerable in the playoffs? The answer is yes. In New England in January, the Patriots will need to establish the run against the Colts, Jaguars, Steelers, Chargers, and Browns. We aren't talking about the Jets and Dolphins. I think their defense is playing better, but the invincibility is gone.

Now, the real test begins with five games to go (including the playoffs). I want them to win it all, but if I'm a fan of any playoff team, I would be confident that I have a shot against the mighty Patriots. They are beatable.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Reaction to the Globes Noms

Seven best picture nominees for drama? Wow, I wish I knew that last night. I would have picked more movies. Some interesting choices by the HFPA earlier today. Some I agree with. Others not so much. Here are my thoughts about the 12 best picture nominees.

BEST PICTURE - DRAMA
"American Gangster": This film is no "The Departed". Yeah, it's got Russell and Denzel with Ridley Scott directing, but you don't hear a lot about it. I don't consider it a contender in this race.
"Atonement": This film should do well at the Globes. It's a film the Hollywood Foreign Press likes with a strong European influence.
"Eastern Promises": I'm scratching my head at this film. Would have preferred "Into the Wild", but you can't always get what you want.
"The Great Debaters": If it was ten years ago, I would be saying this film could make some noise. Unfortunately, for Denzel and co., it's 2007.
"Michael Clayton": It failed to get a screenplay nomination, which surprised me, but got the two acting nominations. This film is still a threat come Oscar time.
"No Country for Old Men": If this film wins the Globe, then you have to say the Oscars should be anti-climatic. As I said last night, this film will continue to do well at the critic awards, but the Globes and Oscars are different animals. I can't see it winning here.
"There Will Be Blood": If this film wins the Globe, then the Oscars will be very suspenseful. It's definitely hurt by no director nomination, but the picture nod here was huge. The biggest question for this film will be whether voters will see it (yeah, I know they get screeners and whatnot, but still). "Blood" doesn't come out until a day after Christmas and I think it was a bad move by Paramount Vantage.

BEST PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
"Across the Universe": Yeah, I liked this film, but it had no business being nominated. I actually read somewhere probably a month ago that the HFPA liked this film. Apparently, that article was onto something.
"Charlie Wilson's War": I was wrong about this film as it actually comes out of today probably the biggest winner with five nominations (Hanks, Hoffman, Roberts, and screenplay). I personally don't think it should be a comedy, but it has a chance to make a big statement if it wins. That will dictate its Oscar chances.
"Hairspray": Huge boost for this film and Travolta with two nominations. I haven't seen it, but it's time to look at it as a contender.
"Juno": This film has a really good shot to win. I consider it right outside my Oscar top five, so a win would probably move it in there. If the HFPA thinks "Sweeney" is too dark or bloody, then it will probably be the benefactor and take the award.
"Sweeney Todd": This should be their award to lose, but the blood worries me. Still, it should win and will make a claim as one of the serious Oscar contenders this year.

Golden Globes Predictions 12/14
BEST PICTURE - DRAMA: "Atonement"
BEST PICTURE -COMEDY/MUSICAL: "Sweeney Todd"
BEST ACTOR - DRAMA: Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA: Julie Christie, "Away from Her"
BEST ACTOR - MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd"
BEST ACTRESS - MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"
BEST DIRECTOR: Ethan and Joel Coen, "No Country for Old Men"
BEST SCREENPLAY: Christopher Hampton, "Atonement"
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Dario Marianelli, "Atonement"
BEST ORIGNAL SONG: "Walk Hard", "Walk Hard"
BEST ANIMATED FILM: "Ratatouille"
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Updated Oscar BEST PICTURE 12/14
The Nominees:
1. "Atonement"
2. "No Country for Old Men"
3. "Sweeney Todd"
4. "There Will Be Blood"
5. "Michael Clayton"
On the Bubble:
6. "Juno"
7. "American Gangster"
8. "Into the Wild"
9. "Charlie Wilson's War"
10. "The Great Debaters"

Benefits of a Beard

I was just caressing my beard and I was thinking about its benefits. Really, beards have benefits just like jobs have benefits.

I actually haven't even trimmed my beard since I've been in Massachusetts and it's beginning to gain some volume (it looks bad ass). It is also assisting in keeping me warm during the current snowstorm that is going on outside my window right now.

I also believe strongly in the playoff beard and I attribute it to the success of Boston sports. The Red Sox are the champions. The Patriots are undefeated. The Celtics are 18-2. The Bruins even have 37 points (number four in the conference). Yeah, it's amazing.

I know after reading this short post you must be telling yourself, "Wow Mike is right. Beards really do have benefits."

Mitchell Report Equals Roger Clemens*

Mo Vaughn was my favorite player growing up. Roger Clemens was arguably the greatest pitcher post World War II. Miguel Tejada was an MVP. Eric Gagne was too. Andy Pettitte was a Yankee and I despise him. What do they all have in common? They were all listed in the Mitchell Report.

I've read a decent amount of the Mitchell Report today and watched all the press conferences. And, honestly I'm not that surprised at the findings. Major League Baseball is a big steroid mess. The sad part is that this wasn't even close to a cumulative report. Mitchell had no power to subpoena. His sources were only limited to a couple people. That explains the reason why the majority of people named belonged to BALCO and two personal trainers from the Yankees and Mets respectively.

That's part of the problem I have with the report. I feel like a lot of guys got off the hook today. The report was only limited to a couple sources. I hope baseball adopts a much harder testing policy. I'm talking about one strike is a one year suspension and strike two is a ban for life. I'm not one hundred percent sure of this, but I know gambling on the game is a very harsh penalty. I think it's one strike and you receive a lifetime ban (I could be wrong on this).

The big question now is what to do? After today, I hope the world realizes that Barry Bonds is not the only face of steroids. Roger Clemens is as big of a name as Bonds. Baseball has to face the fact that their best hitter and pitcher (at least awards wise) of the last twenty years have juiced. That hurts. It's still early and maybe the accusations are lies, but I believe it.

Dan Duquette said famously back in 1996 that Clemens was in "the twilight of his career". People laughed at him the years since that statement. Now, looking back at it, Duquette might have been right and for that, I apologize. Clemens was in the twilight of his "natural" career.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Awards Take New Turn Tomorrow

"As for There Will Be Blood, about which you will be reading much more in the pages of the Weekly over the coming weeks, I will say only this: There are great films (like No Country For Old Men) and then there are films that send shock waves through the very landscape of cinema, that instantly stake a claim on a place in the canon. Often, such vanguard works fail to be fully understood or appreciated at the moment they first appear, as some of the initial reviews that greeted Psycho, 2001 and Bonnie and Clyde attest. There Will Be Blood belongs in their company, and I consider myself fortunate to belong to a group with the foresight to recognize it in its own moment." - Scott Foundas, December 9, 2007

I read this on the internet the other day and I thought it was a very powerful quote. And, honestly I completely agree with Foundas. I saw this film almost a month ago and I think I'm beginning to appreciate it more and more as the days pass. I honestly can't wait to see it again in the next month. That brings us to the big question. Not only where is this film in regards to awards, but where are the other heavy hitters one day before the Golden Globes nominations.

"Atonement": This film is worrying me a little. It came out to good, not great reviews and it seems to be losing steam. People compare this to "The English Patient" and I don't necessarily think that's a good thing.

"Charlie Wilson's War": This film is going to get shut out of the best picture race. I think it's dead and will be generally viewed as a disappointment in regards to awards.

"Juno": The little film that could needs a nomination from the Globes if it wants a chance at the Oscars. I think it's a real good possibility for it and its star, Ellen Page, to receive noms tomorrow.

"Michael Clayton": This film is somewhat of a wild card for me. I've heard some really strong support for this film. Everyone loves Clooney and it supposedly is really good. I've yet to see it, but the Clooney machine should not be underestimated.

"No Country for Old Men": This film is probably in the best position going into the Globes. It has big wins in NY, DC, and Boston. Just remember this: critic awards doesn't translate to Globes or Oscars success. They are two completely different animals.

"Sweeney Todd": This film should do well at the Globes. I actually see it not only being nominated for best picture and best actor, but winning both in the musical category. "Sweeney" will benefit from the split of the drama and comedy/musical categories. If it doesn't do well, then you really have to worry about it.

"There Will Be Blood": This film is back thanks to the LA Film Critics. I think this film is going to surprise some people and I expect it to do well tomorrow at the Globes. At least it will get the best picture and best actor nominations. I'm not going to give up on this film until I completely feel it's dead.

BEST DRAMA
"Atonement"
"Into the Wild"
"Michael Clayton"
"No Country for Old Men"
"There Will Be Blood"

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL
"Enchanted"
"Hairspray"
"Juno"
"Once"
"Sweeney Todd"

I'll have more in the coming days after the Golden Globe nominations have been announced.

Sick of College Coaches

I think it's safe to say that the majority of the country (save for the Deep South) are sick of recent college coaches coming to the NFL only to leave for college right away. Steve Spurrier (two seasons) started the trend. Then, Nick Saban (two seasons) followed. Although, Bobby Petrino today takes the cake. At least the other two guys lasted one full season. Petrino lasted only 13 games. What a loser!

Petrino really is a loser and everyone is letting him know it. I personally think it's pathetic. The guy got an opportunity to coach in the NFL. I don't care if people think NCAA football has more passion. The NFL is for the big boys. It's the ultimate goal and a league of men. Not a collection of "kids" playing football. Yeah, I think the college game is exciting, but I would take the NFL over it any day of the week.

The funny part for me is the fact that the three coaches I listed, all jumped ship to the SEC. I've been down to the Deep South and SEC country. Yes, SEC football is their life. And, I'm sure everyone in Arkansas is smiling, but sadly SEC football is all the Deep South has. Like Petrino, SEC football and that whole region is pathetic. So really, it's probably a blessing that someone like him is out of the NFL. The most successful league in professional sports doesn't need to deal with that shit.

All I know is I'm not even a Falcons fan and I'm mad about this. I think what makes me mad is that he couldn't finish the season and the fact that he left for Arkansas. That team is mediocre. If you're going to completely ruin your reputation, you should at least go to the class of the SEC such as LSU, Florida, or Tennessee.

Have fun in the "great" state of Arkansas, Bobby.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Buy Manny's Undies

For those who care to know, Manny Ramirez's underwear is on sale at ebay according to NESN. Yes, they are used. And, yes they are large...

15 "Raw" Years

Last night was the 15th anniversary of Monday Night Raw. And, after 15 years the show is still going strong. You really can't ask for a better wrestling show and last night was proof. I don't watch Raw like I used to for the simple reason that my living situation is much different than it was when I was growing up. During my California years, I either forget it's on or don't feel like using the television to watch wrestling since most of my roommates through the years don't enjoy it.

As for last night's show, they packed three hours with tons of special appearances and a hilarious look back at the last 15 years. It's funny to look back at some of the stuff they did. Watching guys like The Rock (sadly absent last night), Stone Cold, and DX you realize how good they all were. They rarely failed to disappoint the crowd.

As for the special appearances, it was good to see the likes of Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, Sunny (still very attractive at 35), Trish, and Lita to name a few. You also can't forget about some of the real old timers who wrestled in the gimmick battle royal such as IRS, Jim Neidhart, and the unforgettable, yet horrible Gillberg! I couldn't stop laughing when he could out to the ring.

Throughout the three hours, I came to one conclusion. The WWE and Monday Night Raw are here to stay for some time.

13 Down, 6 To Go

I think it's safe to say that the Patriots have shut up some of the doubters. After guaranteeing a victory, the Steelers got their asses kicked by the Pats on Sunday. And, with the victory, one has to think the Pats are actually going to run the table. They now have games against the Jets, Dolphins, and Giants. The only game that concerns me a little is the Giants game. The thing is that the Giants will probably choose to rest their players since their playoff position will already be determined. It really doesn't make any sense to risk injury just so they can try to beat the Pats.

The big debate in New England right now is how important is this record to the Pats? I'm getting the sense some people are worried that even if they finish 16-0, nothing is for sure when it comes to the playoffs. A game against Indy in the AFC Championship or even Dallas in the Super Bowl will still be a challenge, but lets not worried about that right now.

As for the next two weeks, they SHOULD be cakewalks, but never say never.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"Blood" Not Drained Yet

The award season is just all over the place this year. Today was the big LA Film Critics awards and the NY Film Critics Online was also revealed tonight. And, who is the big winner? P.T. Anderson's "There Will Be Blood". I was going to update my prediction in the next day or so omitting Anderson's film, but not anymore. I thought it was dead, but it is in great shape.

The other big film that is gaining a lot of momentum is "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", which is a foreign language film, but supposedly really good. Although, the big question is what is going on with "No Country for Old Men". Are people starting to realize this is an overrated film with too much hype because everyone loves the Coen Brothers? Granted, I think the film is great, but I think people are giving it way too much credit.

Anyway, I'll write about all these developments in the next couple days. I'm going to bed.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Number 27




Hastings was reading a magazine shortly before eleven p.m. when he heard several shots outside the office, and then the sound of shattering glass. He stiffened. He heard someone coming up the office steps. John Lennon stumbled in, a horrible confused look on his face. Yoko followed, screaming, "John's been shot." At first, Hastings thought it was a crazy joke. Lennon walked several steps, then collapsed on the floor, shattering the cassette tapes of his final session that he'd been holding in his hands.

Hastings triggered an alarm that summoned the police and he rushed to John's side. The anguished doorman gently removed Lennon's glasses, which seemed to be pushing in on his contorted face. He struggled out of his blue Dakota jacket and placed it over Lennon. Then he stripped off his tie to use as a tourniquet, but there was no place to put it. Blood streamed from Lennon's chest and mouth. His eyes were open but unfocused. He gurgled once, vomiting blood and fleshy material.

Gregory Katz, Rolling Stone, 1/22/81
Based on the account of doorman, Jay Hastings

That gives me the chills, every time I read it. For those who live in a box, John Lennon died 27 years ago. He was silenced by five shots (hit four times) in front of his apartment on a cold, December night at roughly 10:50 p.m.

This year's anniversary is somewhat significant considering it's 27, or the triple 9. John was fascinated with numerology towards the end of his life and number 9 was his number (read Robert Rosen's book for a more detailed look). Add on top of that, Lennon's killer supposedly wanted to write chapter 27 of the "Catcher in the Rye" in Lennon's blood (there are 26 chapters in Salinger's book).

For many people my age, it's difficult to fully understand John Lennon's importance. We never lived during the same time as him, but in recent years I've been determined to be more than just an average Beatles/John Lennon fan. I've read books and articles. I've watched tv programs, and documentaries, and listened to countless interviews. I've basically examined them from every angle possible. They are simply my way of life. And, when my film career fails, I do plan to turn my attention to becoming a historian.

One thing I learned very early is you can't argue that no one meant more to a generation of people than John Lennon. He was far more than just a musician in the biggest rock band in the world. I don't really think his death signified the end of the "60s dream", but it did silence a man who was never shy of his opinions through the years. Who knows what his opinion of the 80s under Reagan would have been? I know my Dad always says that.

I think Cynthia Lennon said it best in her book when she said that he reached a new status after his death. A category that he is in by himself. I don't care if you're comparing him against Beethoven or Kanye West, it's John Lennon and everybody else. He was that fucking special.

As another year comes and goes, 2008 will have an added twist to the Lennon legacy and murder. Two independent films, "Chapter 27" and "The Killing of John Lennon", will be released. Yes, it's a sore subject for many people and they want to block the release of the films. Look, just deal with it. I don't necessary like the idea myself, but I'm not going to boycott it. Honestly, when did John Lennon ever not support artistic expression during his lifetime? Also, Yoko Ono "coached" Lindsay Lohan for "Chapter 27". Yeah, the same Yoko Ono that owns the Lennon estate. I've seen "Chapter 27" and it's a horrible and poorly made film. As for the other, I have not seen it, but I probably will.

Go ahead and call me a "bad" Beatles fan . Say that I support the very reason why Lennon's killer shot him. Hate to break this to you, but newspapers, magazines, tv shows, and the radio have done that already. His name is posted all over the place. I picked up a magazine the other day and there was his name in an article about the murder of John Lennon. Any person with average Beatles knowledge can name him. Two indie films that have little to no advertising will not add more to his legend.

So with all that said, I want to leave with a small excerpt from the famous "Playboy" interview and the last words from Lennon's final diary entry courtesy of the book, "Nowhere Man".

Rest in peace, Mr. Lennon...

PLAYBOY: You disagree with Neil Young's lyric in "Rust Never Sleeps" -- "It's better to burn out than to fade away...."

LENNON: I hate it. It's better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out. I don't appreciate worship of dead Sid Vicious or of dead James Dean or of dead John Wayne. It's the same thing. Making Sid Vicious a hero, Jim Morrison -- it's garbage to me. I worship the people who survive. Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo. They're saying John Wayne conquered cancer -- he whipped it like a man. You know, I'm sorry that he died and all that -- I'm sorry for his family -- but he didn't whip cancer. It whipped him. I don't want Sean worshiping John Wayne or Sid Vicious. What do they teach you? Nothing. Death. Sid Vicious died for what? So that we might rock? I mean, it's garbage, you know. If Neil Young admires that sentiment so much, why doesn't he do it? Because he sure as hell faded away and came back many times, like all of us. No, thank you. I'll take the living and the healthy.

Playboy Magazine, January 1981

"Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be."

John Lennon's diary, 12/8/80

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sad News

The AMPTP and WGA talks have broke down again. No new talks are scheduled and it is almost certain the strike will go into 2008. When it will end is anyone's guess, but one thing is for sure. This strike is ruining a lot of people's lives and careers.

Myself being affected by the strike, it's an extremely disappointing time. I really don't feel like even writing about it. I've got nothing more to say.

"Public Invasion" Turns Lucky Seven

Can you believe seven years ago, my public access show, "Public Invasion" premiered? Well, believe it because seven years ago it happened at 9:00 p.m. on channel 17. I don't think myself or my partner in crime, Dave Bartlett, knew what we were getting into. 23 more episodes followed before the show ended in September 2003 with plenty of ups and downs. Oh the memories...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Effects of Strike Setting in for Average Viewer

Something funny happened earlier tonight. My Dad came home and wanted to watch "Criminal Minds", one of his favorite shows. About two minutes in, he said, "I've seen this one before." In the other room, I told him he better get used to it. Luckily, both the Bruins and Celtics played tonight, so there was other stuff to watch, but I thought it was funny.

For a couple minutes, we watched "Deal or No Deal". And, I can honestly say I fucking hate that show. I really hate all those reality shows that are purely about luck. It's annoying and stupid television.

Sadly, with the strike still going and negotiations going nowhere, the average viewer better find other ways to entertain themselves unless they want to watch reruns or shitty reality tv.

What Makes Ellsbury Above the Law?

I still can't believe how many people are so afraid of trading Red Sox outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, for Johan Santana. The same pitcher who has one two Cy Youngs, has an unbelievable changeup, and is also a lefty. At 28, Santana is en route to become one of the best left handed pitchers ever. Yet, so many people refuse to give up a young outfielder, who has never played one full year in the major leagues.

Do people complain today about the fact that Beckett acquired by giving up talented, Hanley Ramirez? That guy is unbelievable, but I don't hear anyone say, "Man, I can't believe we gave up Ramirez." Guess what, folks? Santana is even better than Beckett.

"Red Sox Nation" is full of so many bandwagon fans that I guarantee most fans will forget about Ellsbury in two years. They're more concerned about wearing as much Red Sox apparel as possible, chanting "Yankees suck" whenever possible, and explain how diehard they are. Oh, and don't forget about the pink hat. I know Ted Williams would be proud from his cryonic suspension.

Look, Jacoby has the potential to become a special player. Yet, it's purely potential. As an avid sports fan, I've seen so many players be amazing for a short period of time and everyone is bowing down to them. Then, they become stiffs. Maybe, I'll eat my words ten years from now, but how can you not complete this trade? You're getting a proven player who has consistently been in a small circle of pitchers that are considered the very best.

There was a poll the other night on a Boston sports show asking whether you were willing to give up Ellsbury. The result was an amazing 91% said "No", the other 9% said "Yes". I found that shocking, but what can one expect? I hope Theo pulls off this deal and if he gives up Ellsbury, so what? I'll applaud him for making the smart move. The right move that sets this team up for another championship.

Building a champion can't be purely about emotions. If it was, then Nomar would have played with the Sox through 2004 and they might have never won it all a couple years ago. Look at Bill Belichick. He and Scott Pioli build the Pats the same way. All I know is no one will be complaining when Santana dominates in a Red Sox uniform.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

12 Down, 7 To Go

Last night's Patriots game might have been the best regular season game I've ever watched. If you thought the Colts game was exciting, this game was fucking exciting. I still can't believe they won. They faced fourth down twice with the game on the line and survived. How? Some say luck. Some say destiny. I say a little of both.

The Ravens stopped the Pats on a fourth and one, but called a timeout. Although, I agree with Brian Billick when he said that if they didn't call timeout and the Pats got it, then everyone would have complained. Like anything in life, hindsight is 20/20. Then, there was a false start and the Pats were stopped again. It was beginning to become torture for a fan. Of course, the Pats managed a first down on the next play on a fourth and six.

Of course the next play the Ravens are complaining about is the fourth down holding penalty that led to the final touchdown. All I can say is if you hold someone after five yards, then it's a penalty. Ask Miami about that in the 2002 National Championship. It's the ref's job to throw the flag if necessary.

The big concern for any Patriots fan is if this team can go the distance without a loss. Honestly, I'd rather lose one of the next four games, then get upset in January. Being undefeated is great and all, but who cares if you can't hold up the trophy in the end. Teams are also started to play the Pats much tougher. The last two weeks, two mediocre teams gave them all they had. Two quarterbacks who started the year as backups played like pro bowlers. Defenses also realized they have to be tougher and have been beating up the Pats (something the Pats did to the Rams in SB XXXVI).

It's going to be interesting and week after week it's going to be tougher. And, if they survive the regular season, wait until the playoffs. Seven games is a long way to go.

Nowhere Man

I read Robert Rosen's book, "Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon", on the plane the other day. Don't really know how to sum up this book. I highly recommend it if you consider yourself a Beatle/Lennon fan. It gives you a different perspective of Lennon's final years. One that differs greatly at many points from the "official" story told by Yoko.

The story behind this book is that Rosen was a friend of Lennon's personal assistant, Fred Seaman. He got Lennon's diaries after his death to write the real story of the former Beatle's final years. According to Rosen, Lennon told Seaman that if anything happened to him, he wanted a true biography to be published. It would show a darker side of his life. One that exposed him as a very flawed and trapped person that was at times haunted by his fame.

After finishing this book and Cynthia Lennon's book, "John", I'm beginning to believe more of this story of John Lennon's final years. Both books paint this time period in a similar tone. I know some people refuse to believe this story, but don't be blinded by the light.

It's easy to just say John Lennon was a great man who had an amazing family life, was in love with Yoko Ono, and died a happy man. That's what Ono wants you to believe. That's my big issue with her in general. I think she tries to persuade the public to think whatever she wants since she controls the Lennon estate. I'll give her credit that she is a powerful woman and I think most people are afraid to challenge her story.

Rosen paints her in a disturbing light. One that revolves her relying solely on tarot readings, horoscopes, and other mystical readings to dictate her daily life. She consulted with a psychic daily about everything. She would do readings on everything from people to real estate. She had complete control over Lennon and it was his history of being controlled by dominating women (Aunt Mimi growing up) that kept him by her side. She didn't even sleep in the same bed as Lennon and it forced him to become a compulsive wanker.

Lennon is a portrayed as a man who spent most of his days in bed, getting high, and watching television. He also spent a lot of time sleeping. It got to the point where he would be more asleep than awake. He kept a dream journal and even attempted to program his dreams (I've tried this and I don't know how he did it). He also became fascinated with numerology and it gave him a greater meaning of number 9. At times it felt like Lennon wanted to leave Ono, but was afraid of what would happen. This point was also discussed in "John".

It was interesting to see that Lennon had horrible mood swings. Depressed and trapped are two words that come to my head. He wanted fame, but hated it at the same time. He didn't want to have friends. He didn't want to be abused by other people. He also absolutely hated success for other people especially Paul McCartney and other Dakota resident, Paul Simon. He ultimately shut himself off from the world until he made his comeback in 1980.

That's when the book really heats up. 1980 was the beginning of a new chapter in his life. As the date nears December 8th, the book becomes happier, yet in your mind you know what is going to happen. My favorite part of the book was when he sailed to Bermuda. The whole crew was seasick besides him and the captain. At one point, Lennon took control of the ship and he took so much pride in the fact that the crew's lives were in his hands. Waves were crashing into him and he was yelling at the sea. That's classic Lennon.

Let me also say, I've read some stuff about the authenticity of both the books I have listed. Still, after reading both books, I've never been more intrigued by his complex and flawed life. I can't stop reading and listening about since I think it's fascinating. I don't want to be just another Beatle/Lennon fan. I want to know the whole story from every angle. I'm not content to know just the "official" story.

Really, my journey is only really beginning. Up next is Ray Coleman's definitive Lennon biography, Lennon. This 600 page magnum opus covers John's whole life.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's Snowed Today, Oh Boy!

It snowed today while I was out with My Mom. I was scared, but survived. It was the first snow I have seen since December 2005 if you can believe it. Granted it was only a light flurry, but it still was snow.

More to come in the near future.