Thursday, October 30, 2008
Last night I had the opportune chance to view a screening of Midnight Meat Train in an actual theater. It was playing in a double feature bill with Candyman at The New Beverly Theater in West Hollywood, Ca. Clive Barker was there to participate with a Q&A from the audience and introduce the film.
The film was originally planned for release in May but due to politics over at Lionsgate Films, the movie was pretty much shoved aside and eventually came out in August. This happened when a new big wig took over Peter Block's job. Mr. Block was in charge of getting Midnight Meat Train out there to the many movie theaters it would play at. Well this didn't happen and it was subsequently released in about 100 movie theaters across the country without any advertisements or trailers played anywhere. You can read more about this HERE
Anyway, I have to say it was a refreshing night for me to actually see a true horror film on the big screen. With all the watered down teen scream flicks out these days, obviously just to make money, it was really nice experiencing a Clive Barker movie in a theater. I haven't had that experience since Lord Of Illusions....even though the movie really let me down. That, too, was a movie adaptation of a Clive Barker short story. With short stories, you only have so much material to work with, so I was happy with the length of the movie and vague explanation of the turn of events in the movie towards the end. To me, this movie was all about the experience. The director, Ryuhei Kitamura, seemed to be quite fond of putting the audience in the perspective of the victims on screen. There were a few moments where it was very successful. I haven't really seen this type of camera work done before. Don't take my word for it, if you watch the movie, you'll understand what I mean with the eyeball scene in the subway.
I'm hopeful we'll get the horror genre back on track. This movie gave me hope even though it was literally thrown under the bus by it's own movie studio. There can only be so many Saws and Hostels before people feel oversaturated with violence and gore without there being any real story or reason in the plot to justify its use.
Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of gore and violence in this movie but to me it didn't seem like it was gore for gore's sake. That's Eli Roth territory. Between that and the endless supply of remakes, things have gotten quite grim for original ideas to get their time of day and audience appreciation.
Anyway, I've gone on a bit of tangent of my issue with the state of horror movies today.
I give the movie 4 out of 5, if I had em. Stars, that is.
'Hellraiser' redo in Laugier's hands
Writer-director to help realize Dimension's relaunch
By Borys Kit and Gregg Goldstein (story taken from www.thehollywoodreporter.com)
Oct 29, 2008, 01:00 AM ET
Pascal Laugier, whose horror film "Martyrs" stirred controversy in his native France, is in final negotiations to write and direct Dimension's re-imagining of "Hellraiser," one of horrormeister Clive Barker's best-known creations.
Released in 1987, "Hellraiser" told the story of an unfaithful wife who attempts to assist her dead lover in his escape from hell. The movie introduced viewers to a race of demons called Cenobites, most notably one nicknamed Pinhead -- who became one of the most enduring horror characters of the decade -- who was summoned using an antique puzzle box.
Dimension has been hoping to relaunch the franchise for the past couple of years, first hiring Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo to write and direct a remake then tapping Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton to write a new draft.
ICM-repped Laugier at least seems to have thematic sympathies with the material, with his "Martyrs" beginning as a revenge movie then entering the grounds of spiritual horror, with torture figuring as a focal point. Torture -- though not the so-called horror subgenre of torture porn -- also is a key point in "Hellraiser."
"This is a dream project for me," Laugier said. "I know Clive Barker's work very well, and I would never betray what he has done. Fans are expecting a definitive 'Hellraiser,' and I don't want to take that away from them."
"Martyrs" has been dividing audiences since appearing at the Festival de Cannes because of its unrelenting violent nature. The movie was hit with a 18+ rating -- a rarity in France and an equivalent of NC-17 in the U.S. -- sparking a protest by the country's Society of Film Directors.
At the Toronto International Film Festival, several people reportedly fainted during its midnight screenings. The Weinstein Co. is the domestic distributor, but no dates have been announced.
The remake is part of Dimension chief Bob Weinstein's master plan.
"If I could make all my films from franchises, I would," the Weinstein Co. co-chairman said at the recent Media and Money conference in New York. At the event, presented by Dow Jones and the Nielsen Co., parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, he rattled off a list of other films that he hopes to continue sequelizing, including "Scream" and "Scary Movie."
Borys Kit reported from Los Angeles; Gregg Goldstein reported from New York.
And just because I wanted a taste of what this new director can do, I rewatched the trailer for Martyrs. Here it is.
This Hellraiser remake gives me hope. Hope that it won't suck balls like the Halloween remake.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Ten years ago, I gained new commercial representation (I am an actor) with Barry Rick. He was, at the time, running the commercial department through Zanuck, Passon, and Pace. In 2003, he split from them and created his own commercial agency which quickly gained notoriety and a great reputation among actors and the casting world.
Barry was the first and only commercial agent I've ever had that dealt with me more like a person and less like a detached agent focused solely on money. He came from a manager background and was able, almost seemlessly, to pay attention to his clients equally while also negotiating well with advertisers regarding pay.
I booked a total of 15 commercials during the ten years I was repped by him. He was key in the direction my commercial career moved. He wasn't just an agent, he was also a friend, gave great advice, and was a patient listener.
This past year found him moving back home to Maryland where he dealt with medical complications which only got worse as the year progressed. I lost touch with him a month ago when complications got worse. I was communicating with his replacement, Kenny, and he kept me up to date on Barry's health when he had news to give.
I found out today that Barry passed away last week.
I know I just typed a handful here but words can't really express how I'm feeling.
Below is taken from the email I received about his passing:
To honor Barry's commitment to education and his support of the Emerson College Los Angeles Center internship program, a scholarship has been established in his name to award funds to Emerson students who are selected for internships at BRick Entertainment during their semester-long studies in Los Angeles. Contributions should be made payable to Emerson College with a notation "Barry Rick Scholarship" in the memo line.
Contributions should be sent to
120 Boylston Street, 7th floor
Boston, MA 02116-4624
I was wondering for a good few years what really happened to Christian Slater. I enjoy him as an actor. The last movie I remember seeing that had him in it was Very Bad Things and then he sort of fell off the map, only resurfacing in smaller indie movies.
I watched My Own Worst Enemy last week. This show has promise, in my opinion. I really enjoyed the protagonist/antagonist element that he poses to his alter ego.
I think this'll be a show to watch.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I was in San Francisco over the weekend and during my time there, my cousin wanted to check out Burn After Reading. I'm always up for a movie so I went, of course. I had heard mixed reviews on the film. After watching it, I understand them.
See, I enjoyed the film overall. Yet, there was a definite plot point in the film that made me sit up and say, 'What the fuck?' A few more of these moments happened. It threw off my complete understanding of the movie. It was as if the Coen Brothers went through their normal writing process of this script and got stuck at a certain point where they then opted to throw in a few moments no one would expect that would then tie the movie together. The problem, in my mind, was that the first plot point I am referring to got rid of an enjoyable character. As soon as that character was gone, I enjoyed the film less. It wasn't as amusing to me and the other moments and the final closing of the movie felt too convenient.
The movie is quirky and silly and maintained my attention but it didn't live up to my expectations of what a Coen Brothers movie should be. It's a far cry from Fargo, Raising Arizona, and The Big Lebowski...that's for sure.
The actors do a great job. I always love seeing George Clooney work. Brad Pitt does well with anything he's given. It just seemed the subject matter could have been punched up a bit.
If I had stars, I'd give it 3.
I saw this movie a couple of weeks ago but am only having the time now to be able to write a little thing about it. I found this film smart, funny, and scary. You can pretty much gauge from the trailer what it's about. Basically, Bill Maher, contests organized religion throughout the film and touches on how religion has probably done more harm than good throughout civilization's history.
I really enjoyed the movie. The thing I found that stood out the most was the fact that he wasn't insulting religion. He was questioning Fate and bringing forth to the table Doubt in every form for each religion he touched on.
If I had stars, I'd give it 4 out of 5.
Oh and if you want to be entertained, go view the trailer on Youtube and read all the dumb comments beneath it.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Well I am finally getting around to writing up this short little review of this little gem of a film. I first read Choke in 2002 I believe. Being that I was still at the height of my reading frenzy of any Chuck Palahniuk book I could get a hold of, this was third on my list (Before it were Fight Club and Invisible Monsters...after it were Survivor and Diary). I really enjoyed the book. So when I heard the movie version was finally coming out, I was thrilled.
Moreover, I love Sam Rockwell. He is definitely not as big as he should be in this industry. The performance he brings to Vincent is fantastic. There are many correlations between this story and that of "Jack" in Fight Club. They are both attending recovery group meetings and both have a similar arc regarding discovery of identity. But this movie is more-so a comedy that deals with some seriously deep issues regarding loss during one's childhood. Or...a loss of one's childhood altogether, bringing about a dire need of seeking acceptance of anyone. Whether it's having sex with every woman who works at the hospital your mother is a patient at. Or choking on food at restaurants to be saved by strangers.
Like the book, the movie does a great justice to tying all these elements of the story together in almost a natural way to bring about the cohesive ending and closure of the character's problems.
I just did my best to talk about it without really talking about it. Sadly, this movie will make no money in the box office. I wish it would because it was great. Here's hoping we won't have to wait another 10 years for another Palahniuk book to be made into a movie.
If I had stars, it'd get 4 out of 5.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Given how my life has been going over the past year, I tend to go to many a movie to get my escapist entertainment fix. More and more, however, television has been filling that need as well. Here are some shows I can't get enough of:
Honorable mention: It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Mythbusters, and Man Vs Wild
Of course, this is limited to basic cable shows. If not, I'd definitely be adding some Dexter footage.