Tuesday, December 27, 2011


You guys remember the video of the old guy with the beard that beat the shit out of the other guy on the bus in Oakland? The one that was filmed and spread around the Internet like wildfire?

You know, Epic Beard Man?

Apparently that needed the big screen treatment, with Danny Trejo as Epic Beard Man. No really. Here's the trailer.

I can't help but think this is a joke. I kind of hope that it is, too.

Hollywood makes enough stupid movies every year as it is, and now they're trolling YouTube for ideas? That means that the quality of films we actually get on a regular basis can only go down from here. I want the opposite. I want talented filmmakers to make original movies. I don't want directors of car commercials being asked to implement studio money-grab films, which is exactly what this looks like.

It's a shame.

Even worse, I kind of really want to see it.


DIE HARD was based on a book by Roderick Thorp entitled “Nothing Lasts Forever” - a sequel to another book entitled “The Detective”, which in 1968 was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra.

Because of a clause in Sinatra’s contract for “The Detective” which gave him the right to reprise his role in a sequel, he was actually the first person offered the role of John McClane, even though he was 73 years old at the time.

Also, coincidentally, Bruce Willis made his movie debut in The First Deadly Sin walking out of a bar as Sinatra walks into it.

(source: Film Trivia)

Monday, December 19, 2011


Of course I made Brandon take my picture next to an Apollo spacesuit at the Planetarium.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I don't care what anyone says. The Mythbusters are awesome. They're doing a live touring show early next year called 'Behind the Myths' that's coming to Kingsbury Hall in SLC.

Pretty sure it's just going to be them doing a FAQ type talk like the last time they did one of these tours—which means no crazy experiments or explosions. Still sounds really interesting and I'm all in.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


This is my man Makena. It's his song, and the video that he directed for it. He's got skills.

He's also a hell of a writer. I worked with him at the Chronicle and on Red Pulse. Big things ahead.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Picked up this little guy today at Dr. Volt's comics. I've been moving away from buying single issues and more towards awesome hardcovers and trades. There are single issues I still want to read, but I hate storing them all—luckily, most of them are in my parents basement. I've been trying to make the switch to digital on my iPad, but it's been difficult (more on that tomorrow, I hope).

Either way, I'm excited to get going on this. It's on the list right after Patton Oswalt's Zombie, Spaceship, Wasteland and Greg Graffin's Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God.


"See how the greatest cosmic superhero epic of the new century began! See Commander Adam Archer, Maxim, Basil Cronus, Nickelhead, IBOGA and more in all their oversized glory! What other book delivers the secret origin of the universe? What other book squeezes your guts like an angry Torture-Bot? Only Godland gives you everything you'll ever need!"


James Ellroy is hilarious—mostly because he doesn't give a fuck what anyone thinks. He's been that way for years.

Every interview he gives he plays up a different angle. Sometimes he crass and awkward like he always was on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, other times he plays up the role of a callous, grumpy, bitter old man—like the video below. But he's not. He has a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor and he likes playing up that image as much as possible.

Also, make sure you watch that Conan video just to see Ellroy interact with Dave Chappelle because it's fantastic.

I found this video on Warren Ellis' site earlier today and loved it. Figured I'd share it, and Ellis' thoughts on it, with you. He's in on the joke, too.

Watch the videos and then immediately go out and get some of his novels, American Tabloid, L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia are some of his best.

WarrenEllis.com -- "A glorious routine by novelist James Ellroy. And I think he was reining himself in, too.

Interesting interstitial things happen when a writer devises a character to be, for interviews and the like. Especially if someone’s been doing it a long time, and has gone through the cycle and, I suspect in Ellroy’s case, gotten back to the point where he hopes someone somewhere is getting the joke. Listen to how Ellroy speaks, now: more than ever, he’s speaking for tv, and speaking to be transcribed. A lot of media training under the bridge, there. And the little wink to the audience, if not his interviewer, is there too. Slowed down, like a big bit of bait being trawled across still water."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I don't like 3D movies. They hurt my eyes, the bridge of my nose and the top of my ears get sore and I just get generally annoyed with the entire spectacle.

I didn't like AVATAR very much for that reason alone. It looked great, but every twenty minutes or so, I had to take the glasses off and rest my eyes for a minute and that lessened my enjoyment of the movie, I think.

There are some movies that use it in a way that I enjoy, and those are movies like PIRANHA 3D and A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR CHRISTMAS. Those movies basically just poked fun at the 3D genre for an hour and twenty minutes and it was over. That kind of thing I can handle, but big epic, sweeping serious movies in 3D I can't.

That's what bothered me about HUGO so much. Normally, I love Martin Scorsese movies (with a few exceptions like BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, KUNDUN, THE AGE OF INNOCENCE) and there were aspects of HUGO that I loved, but it had a couple of huge problems that I just couldn't get past.

First of all, it didn't need to be 3D. He used it in a great way, but I didn't think it added anything to the story and when it comes on HBO in six months, some of the shot selections are just going to look strange and unnecessary. There were parts that were amazingly well done and the 3D technology was utilized well, but that's all. I just kept thinking about how much more I would have enjoyed it had I not had to keep taking my glasses off.

Second, it was too long. At 125 minutes, kids will (and definitely were in the screening I saw) start to get restless. I know it's an adaptation of a kids book (that I've never read), but from what I hear there were a lot of things added to it that extended the running time that maybe didn't need to be there. I don't know that for sure, but it was still too long.

That said, every actor in the film did an amazing job and the story is pretty good, but it's more like Martin Scorsese's love letter to film than a family/kids movie. I think that's where it lost a lot of casual viewers and why most critics were so kind to it.

There are A LOT of nods and references to the beginning of film, old movies and the growth of cinema. If you've spent years in film classes learning these kinds of things (like I have) or have just seen and are able to appreciate those early films (like most critics), you're in on it and it's fascinating. If you're not in on it, and you have no idea what they're talking about, it doesn't resonate. The people I saw it with, all of whom range in age from 19 up to 33 and have never seen any of the films referenced didn't care much for it.

The Film Stage did a nice job the other day of compiling a list of '10 Classic Films You Must Watch Before Seeing Martin Scorsese's HUGO.' It's a great, informative list and there are streaming copies of each film and a little write-up of what they are, what they meant and how they inspired the film. It's a really fascinating piece and if you have any interest in film history, they're all great to watch.

But it's also 10 films you need to watch in order to understand the importance of what HUGO is about for Scorsese. That's where the problem is.

I guess the bottom line is, if you're a film nerd like me and know what all of the movies on the Film Stage list are, check out HUGO and enjoy Scorsese's love letter to movies, because there's no one that does it better and there are very few filmmakers who have been able to stay at the top of their game for so long—seriously, Scorsese has been consistently great for nearly 40 years.

But if you're just an average filmgoer, this might not be for you.