Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bolt 3D, Dante's Inferno and other such things (a.k.a.: Before I head back to the Calla...)

BOLT 3D is the new computer animated 3D flick from Disney that is NOT Pixar (like Meet the Robinsons.) If you're going to see it, and I recommend it as it's cute) see it in 3D. Yes, you pay a little more for the glasses, but if you're going to see it anyway, why not go for the full monty?

Anyway, the flick is about a cute little puppy named Bolt who is a teevee SuperDog. When he mistakes the other humans around his mistress, Penny, for villains who are kidnapping her, he breaks free from his tricked out trailer to rescue her, only to end up on the other side of the country and have to fight his way back to Hollywood and her loving arms. Along the way he takes a scrawny alley cat prisoner (her name is Mittens) and meets a brave, slightly wonky hamster named Rhino. And, of course, there are lessons learned.

Of course, Rhino is my favourite character. He's designed to be the favourite (kind of like Steve Carell's Hammy was designed to be the favourite out of the Over the Hedge gang) and it works. He's fully awesome! Most of his best quotes are in the trailers, though. I wish they'd leave the plucky sidekick's awesomeness out of the trailers. Seriously.

Anyway, it's a kids flick so I can't gripe about how it's predictable and all that junk. It does what it sets out to do and does it well in marvellously done 3D. It's so wonderful to see GOOD 3D after the eye-strain inducing horrors of Fly Me to the Moon and this is some of the best so far.

Overall: I recommend it!


Dante's Inferno is a 2D paper cut out puppet performed modern updating of the classic first book of the Divine Comedy. They filmmakers managed to cram nearly all twenty some cantos into barely an hour and twenty minutes...but not without some problems.

Look, I dislike Bush and his cronies as much as the next liberal nut-job or wide awake American, but the political commentary in this film actually felt forced and like, "Yeah, these idiots are in power...see? SEE?! Aren't they stupid?! Let's laugh at their future in hell!" Well, Bush wasn't in there, but Rice and Cheney were. So, to be honest, that was lame and brought down the piece as a whole. They were doing a really good job of putting more contemporary figures into Dante's Aligheri's version of Hell although I don't know why they put Pope John Paul II into the Inferno as a scooter-riding lost soul looking for the gate to Heaven. He seemed like a really great guy, a great leader for his religion. He and I wouldn't agree on a few things, sure, but that doesn't mean that I didn't respect his work. Anyway, didn't get that one...

The main voices: Dermott Mulroney as Dante and James Cromwell as Virgil, were excellent. The background voices were good.

The puppets were well made and well performed.

On the whole, the adaptation was pretty good. Would have liked less ham-fisted political commentary, but I don't wish I had that hour and twenty minutes back so that must say a little something, right?


For the past week or two, I've been listening to the album Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever by Explosions in the Sky. I'd never heard of them before Stephen Fry (I less-than-three him) mentioned them in a recent Tweet, but then I checked them out (I do that sort of thing) and man...the album is intense. Strangely, it makes me think of Roland and his quest for the Dark Tower. If I were to make a Gunslinger movie, I would try to get Explosions in the Sky to do the score and take some of the tracks from Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die... as well. I have to say that if anyone should make the Gunslinger books into a series of movies, it should be Frank Darabont. The Mist was a damn fine movie. Just, please Teevee Gods...not Mick Garris. 

Also, if anyone has a hundred grand they want to give me free and clear specifically to get this, I'd appreciate it... ;D

Anyway, after a full day of trying to figure out a certain effect and working on computer stuff, I'm going to go read Wolves of the Calla for a little bit. An actual book, made out of actual paper...archaic, but preferable to me. :D

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Kimyoo Films is looking for four actors for a very low budget short silent film to be shot in Sarasota, Florida, over four or five days in mid- to late December, but not concurrently. The majority of the shoot takes place in the daytime. There are light stunts, but no dialogue to memorize. It's an excellent opportunity for actors and actresses to use their body as opposed to their voice as the tool for expression. "A Hammer Fell in Jerusalem: Anathema" is the story of two people fighting against a caste of fallen angels to save themselves, and possibly humanity, twenty years after God lifted His Grace from the earth. The budget is very low, so much so that we cannot afford to properly pay for your time. Gas money and food will be provided. Kimyoo Films' previous short film, "Without/Within," received an Honourable Mention from the Indie Gathering in Cleveland, Ohio, and received a Best Actress nomination for Kristin Mellian and was given the Director's Choice Award at ShockerFest International Film Festival in Modesto, California. The roles are as follows: Please note: We're looking for dedication and talent, not skin colour. We want people of all races to send in their headshots! Laurel, mid-20s to early 30s. She starts out searching for help and ends up helping herself. Does a fair bit of running and struggling against a captor. Must appear to be a delicate flower, but also possess immense inner strength which comes out toward the end of the film. Abner, 60s-70s. He is a guide for the main characters. There is one pushing stunt. Tango, 20s. He's a thug working for the villain of the piece; he works with Milton. Does a fair bit of running and has two fights. Milton, 20s. He's also a thug working for the villain of the piece; he works with Tango. Also does a fair bit of running and has two fights. If you're interested, please send your headshot (with resume if you have one) to: We will get back to you as soon as we can. The cut-off date for the casting call is December 4, 2008.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


National Protest Against Prop 8

Just remember: it wasn't that long ago that interracial marriage was illegal. This is no different.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Then She Found Me and From Beyond

Then She Found Me was directed and adapted by Helen Hunt from a novel by Elinor Lipman and is about a 40 year old woman who, in the course of a month, loses her husband to his immaturity and her adoptive mother to time, her biological mother finds her and tries to strike up a relationship based on half-truths and lies, meets the man of her dreams, and discovers that she's pregnant with the child of her childish husband.

It sounds convoluted and it is, but it's backed up by some brilliant performances from the top notch cast of Bette Midler as the biological mother, matthew Broderick as the childish husband, Colin Firth as the forthright and emotionally antsy man of her dreams, and Hunt herself as the woman in the middle of the turmoil. You find yourself enjoying the performances more than the script, at least I did. I love me some Matthew Broderick. As such, it was nice to see Broderick and Hunt together again after Project X.

Overall, it was cute. I probably wouldn't watch it again, but I'm glad to have finally seen it (we had it at the most recent Sarasota Film Festival and I didn't get a chance to see it then.)


From Beyond was based on the short story by H.P. Lovecraft, which was adapted by Stuart Gordon, Dennis Paoli, and Brian Yuzna and directed by Gordon. It's the tale of a mad scientist's experiments with ultraviolet frequencies that ends up unleashing something from the next dimension over.

Gordon and company like to take license with Lovecraft's work, adding lots of sex to the mix. At least there's a little science behind the movie's use of the pineal gland that Lovecraft may or may not have had access to in the 1920s. If they'd taken out the darker aspects of the good Doctor's appetites, the movie would have only been an hour and Gordon and company would have no reason to get Barbara Crampton semi-naked and dressed like a dominatrix. That said, however, I think that it sticks pretty close to the tone and imagery of a Lovecraft story (as far as my imagination is concerned, anyway.) For that, and in spite of the cheese factor, this is an ace flick. Plus, it's always good to see Ken Foree*.

The score, by Richard Band (this was a pre-Full Moon Charles Band produced movie so of course his brother's doing the score), was pitch perfect and blended into the background while accentuating the action. 

The effects were...okay. That's where most of the cheese comes in. Re-Animator was made for about 3 million less and I remember the effects looking better. The wormy things in the basement looked like sandworm rejects...

Overall, it was enjoyable. Seeing this does make me wonder about the remake that is on the horizon and it also makes me hope that Guillermo del Toro gets to make At the Mountains of Madness very soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Otis and Quantum of Solace

Otis was directed by Tony Krantz from a script by Erik Jendresen and Thomas Schnauz about a lonely loser cum serial killer who's fixated on his sister-in-law and his abusive brother, but he bit off a little more than he could chew when the family of one of his victims tracks him down.

It's a fantastic idea and I would have loved it if the script had been just a touch tighter and had a better ending. Neither the ending on the movie nor the included "alternate ending" were very good, but the movie one at least gives you the illusion that...well, I don't want to give the ending away, so I'll leave it at that.

It's a surprisingly funny, gory, mean little piece of work that had really good cinematography and strong performances from all of the actors involved. Even the slightly over-the-top performances from Illeana Douglas and Daniel Stern as Riley's parents balanced out the twisted performances of Ashley Johnson and Bostin Christopher as Riley and Otis respectively. I have to admit, though, that I can't see Ashley Johnson in anything without thinking, "Look at Kirk Cameron's little sister all grown up and doing movies he wouldn't approve of...GO ASHLEY!"

Overall: the ending really hurts the flick because while it's slow and could have used some script editing, it was still very enjoyable.


Quantum of Solace was directed by Marc Forster from a script by Paul Haggis and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade. If you've been under a rock for the past year or two, it's the newest James Bond opus. It takes up shortly after the end of Casino Royale as a grief-stricken Bond goes on a rampage as he hunts down the major players in a mysterious organization fronted by this movie's Bond villain, Dominic Greene, and his Dario Argento look-alike side kick, Elvis.

I'm not a big Bond fan. I liked Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan in the role, but I didn't see Brosnan's last turn in the tux. The Daniel Craig Bonds have brought a sense of fantastic realism to the character and a breath of fresh air to the franchise and with Marc Forster at the helm, and Haggis at the script, we're also seeing the brutality and the heart of the character in the midst of all the intense action scenes. And, believe me, the action scenes were very intense.

It might be a good idea to watch Casino Royale before this flick because there were characters that I should have remembered, or that I remembered only vaguely, and the movie doesn't spend a lot of time reminding the audience of the past flick. That's a good thing since 98% of the movie doesn't deal with those issues, but for certain scenes, a little more information would have been nice.

As I said before, we're seeing much more of the heart and brutality of the character, but I don't think those words would mean much without the icy blue eyes of our current leading man, Daniel Craig. My mom would agree, but for different reasons. He plays Bond as a barely controlled hurricane of self-destruction as he journeys through his darkness to find the light. As far as the Bond movies are concerned, his performance is pitch-perfect. Our main Bond girl, played by Olga Kurylenko, was a great and equal participant in Bond's adventures, on a journey of her own. Our second Bond girl, played by Gemma Arterton, was just a plot device and eye candy and disposed of as soon as she wasn't needed any longer.

Our villain, played by Mathieu Amalric, was properly creepy and chilling with an animalistic side to match Bond's.

The cinematography was great. During some of the action scenes it was a bit difficult to see what was going on for the jerkiness of the camera, but overall it was shot and lit very well.

The score was great and I really didn't find the opening song to be as bad as everyone else. I thought it was actually pretty good and the distinct sounds of Jack White and Alicia Keys mixed pretty well. And I loved the look of the animation of the opening sequence.

Overall: highly enjoyable, awesome movie and well worth the price of admission.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Films in the "OMIGOD I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THIS!" file...

Bitch Slap is going to be freakin' AWESOME! It's like an UberXena for all of the PacRen actors in it! 

Sorry, I probably lost you with that last sentence. Basically, what I mean to say is that this flick, Bitch Slap, has Renee O'Connor, Lucy Lawless, Kevin Sorbo, Michael Hurst, and Zoe Bell and was written by Eric Gruendemann and Rick Jacobson with Jacobson directing (these last two worked on Xena as producer and director respectively.) PacRen refers to Pacific Renaissance, the production company formed by the "Michigan Mafia" (Robert Tapert and Sam Raimi) to make Hercules and Xena. In other words, I'm a geek.

Plus, I mean...come ON! Lucy?! Renee?! As NUNS?! Zoe Bell? One of the biggest badasses ever is in it?! WOO!! Count me in!! And Michael Hurst! I just love him... I'm not a big fan of Kevin Sorbo, but with four pluses to his one minus, I think I'll survive. I also love me a good grindhouse romp so bring it on already! Not that we'll actually get this at my theatre, but can dream.

Also, there has been no news on Prank lately... Last I heard, Heather Langenkamp's chapter, "Jessica", was to have been filmed already and Danielle Fisher's "Madison" was to play at Screamfest in LA. From there, nothing. IMDb lists the film as a whole as being in post. I THIRST FOR NEWS!!

It's rough being a fan... hahahaha!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dead Set (UK TV October 2008)

Dead Set was a series aired on British teevee in October 2008. It was written by Charlie Brooker and directed by Yann Demange. The IMDb sums it up as follows:

During a fictional series of Big Brother, a zombie outbreak occurs, but the house-mates are unaware of the impending doom outside of the Big Brother House.

While I recognised the actress who played Alex and the guy who played Patrick, I had to go to the IMDb to get the "where" (she played the medic in Resident Evil and he was in Death at a Funeral) no one in this show was familiar to me. I don't watch any Big Brother, much less the UK version, so I suppose that most of the jokes and cameos simply went over my head, the rest of the series was easily grasped by an American like myself.

The visual influences on the film are easily recognized: it's the 28 movies' cinematography mixed with the Shaun of the Dead make-up on the Dawn of the Dead remake's running zombies while stealing two set pieces from the Romero Day of the Dead (Rhodes' death and Torrez's beheading.) It's understandable; as far as I'm concerned, those are two of the best deaths in zombie cinema. The effects were fantastic and the cinematography could have been less jumpy, but it looked good.

While running zombies are scarier, they lessen the impact of the message of a well-written allegory. They were perfect for Dawn of the Dead because, let's face it: it lacked the heart of the original. In this series (released on British DVD November 3 -- no news on an American date and thankfully no news on an American remake) the runners provide more tension for the ending, otherwise the shamblers probably would have sufficed.

Charlie Brooker's script (lauded by Simon Pegg in his MySpace blog at: was fantastic. I thought it was a bit slow in the beginning, but it gets much better as it progresses and the ending is incredibly intense. As an allegory, it's absolutely wonderful and as a basic idea, I thought it was brilliant.

Overall: this is seriously one of the top ten best zombie flicks ever if for nothing other than the last episode. So great. If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I don't do the political thing normally, but today is November 4, election day in America. We have a historic election that is coming to an end either for McCain/Palin (dear god no, please no) or Obama/Biden (woo!) tonight. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for (Barack Obama!) or what to vote for (no on Prop 2 in Florida! no on Prop 8 in California!), but I will tell you that it's vitally important that you get out there and vote. If you don't think it is important, you've been asleep for at least the past eight years. Voting is about having a voice in your county, state, country, world. Who we elect represents us as the face of our country. It's immensely important to get out there and use your voice to effect change. Not voting effects change, too...just look at what Bush has done the past eight years.

Go ahead and argue that the election's rigged (in some places, I'm sure it is and has been since we gained autonomy from England), just don't tell me that voting is useless, pointless, or stupid. I won't agree and won't bother arguing with you about it. It's never stupid to stand up and speak for yourself and for others.

Get out and vote. If you're worried about the lines, take something to do. I downloaded Night of the Living Dead (1968) from the public domain section of the Internet Archives to my iPod to watch for the bazillionth time along with the 30's Svengali. (Profondo Rosso wouldn't work...makes me a sad panda.) Take a book, take your PSP, take some yarn and knitting needles. It doesn't matter so long as you vote.


Turns out I didn't need the movies. I walked my happy butt over, got right into my district, got my scantron ballot (really? scantron?!), voted, and put it in the ballot box. It took, including the walk time there and back, about forty minutes. And I really read what I was voting on to double check wording and such.


Sunday, November 2, 2008


Alrighty then! Now that the IMDb has finally corrected a few things, I
can put out the IMDb page for my film <a href="
">Without/Within</a> and not worry about people thinking I was the
bodybuilder Lori Bowen when they click on my name. That is so not me.
When Pumping Iron was made, the film that Lori Bowen the Bodybuilder
was in, I was all of like five or six. I'd asked them to make me Lori
Bowen (II), but I still went through as the first. I asked them to
correct it or look into it or whatever and they removed the Pumping
Iron credit so now I'm Lori Bowen (I). Okay. I wouldn't want to tick
off the bodybuilder so hopefully everything's worked out properly...

Also, I received four rejections in one day for four different writing
projects. I'm currently working on a new script so I won't be able to
get a new story ready for submission to Cemetery Dance anytime soon,
but I hope to find other resources through <a href="
">Pretty/Scary</a> where I can submit my work. Otherwise, I'm just
going to self-publish a book. Heh. goes it for y'all? How was your Hallowe'en and post-
Hallowe'en recovery?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tell us about it, Janet!

This is where I was for Hallowe'en! Woo!

Normally, I'm at work on Hallowe'en (I love seeing all the little kids in their costumes,) but this year an old friend from high school invited me to go with her to see The Rocky Horror Show live at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. The 11:00 pm show was the Audience Participation one, where you could throw rice and toilet paper and AP lines and such and not get kicked out. :D It was tonnes of fun!

The stage show was the last incarnation I needed to see in order to say that I've seen Rocky Horror in every medium. I didn't think I was going to have the chance to do so for a while, but luckily TBPAC had it and I could go! So awesome...

It was on a small stage on the TBPAC campus, the Jaeb Theatre, but that made the experience all the more intimate, especially with the catwalk that extended into the audience. We sat all the way in the back on the first floor and the seats were still awesome...except that when we moved over a little during the intermission I ended up sitting behind someone very tall. I had to lean for the rest of the show. Ah well.

The cast was awesome. I thought their Frank was too spastic and sort of characatured Tim Curry's Frank a little too much, but was otherwise solid. Janet, Brad, Columbia, the Criminologist, and Riff Raff were excellent. Magenta had a great voice, but I didn't think she played the role very well. Rocky was exactly who I would cast body wise. I've seen way too many skinny Rockys...this kid had the body and the voice. Eddie and Dr. Scott was played by a girl, the co-director of the show with the man who played the Criminologist. She had a great rock'n'nroll voice, but seemed a bit stiff when it came to the dialogue and the Crim was excellent!

The lighting and sound designs were wonderful, the props were great (especially the bed, a great idea the way it was done), and the live band was great.

A perfect way to spend my Hallowe'en. It's hard to recommend something like this because I don't know if it's a tour or if this was just a local production, but I would say that if someone is staging the live show near where you live and you like Rocky Horror that you should go.