Friday, March 30, 2012

Zimmerman, Mike Tyson

So now these bastards are suggesting that George Zimmerman HAD to shoot Trayvon Martin because Martin was trying to get Zimmerman's gun. He could have SHOT him with it.

So far, Mike Tyson is the only one I've seen who's pointed out the obvious, that the kid wouldn't have even known that Zimmerman even had a gun unless Zimmerman had pulled it on him.

Zimmerman's close friend, who quit his job so he could devote himself to defending him on TV, turns out not to know Zimmerman that well. Maybe he's hoping for a book deal.

Zimmerman's brother who came to his defense hadn't spoken to him in years and may not even have spoken to him since he committed the murder.

How I think movie theaters should boost attendance

Okay, so you have the new big top-grossing movie now, Hunger Games, about tweenagers in the indeterminate future forced to fight to the death. Independent theaters should cash in and show the Japanese cult film, Battle Royale, the story of tweenagers forced to fight to the death.

Titanic is coming out again, a 3D version----they can show any of the myriad Titanic movies, such as A Night to Remember or Raise the Titanic, or even that Nazi-era German Titantic movie.

Just like the old days. Bonnie & Clyde hit the theaters, so Roger Corman produced the Great Depression-oriented Mama series---Bloody Mama, Crazy Mama, and Big Bad Mama. And Big Bad Mama II.

When the movie Pearl Harbor came out, they should have shown I Attacked Pearl Harbor, the Japanese side of the story.

When Saving Private Ryan came out, they could have shown Come and See, the Soviet war movie Spielberg shamelessly ripped off. If they wanted to show something in English, A Bridge Too Far or something.

Fatal Attraction, they could show Play Misty For Me. Gran Torino--Death Wish 4. The Bourne Identity--Three Days of the Condor.

I don't know. Just a suggestion.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

NPR talks about movie attendance

I listened to a talk show on NPR. They were talking about movies and movie theaters and the fact that people aren't going to them. There's too much competition from Netflix and so forth.

During the Great Depression, theaters drew people in by offering them more for their money. They started showing double features, plus a cartoon, a newsreel and a serial. Going to the movies was like spending the evening watching TV.

And they had other gimmicks. There was theater that held a raffle. They'd give away a car. Not a good car. It looks like they picked one up at a wrecking yard.

I'd go to movies if they still had drive-ins.

Part of the problem is that movies today stink.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Breaking Bad

I hear that Breaking Bad, season 5, is scheduled to start filming tomorrow. I don't know when it'll be broadcast.

I wrote here some time ago that the only suspense is how they're going to justify stretching it out for another season. They seemed to have wrapped things up at the end of the last season. Jesse and Walter shook hands and went their separate ways.

"I won," Walter told his wife.

There were things I didn't like about the show, things that didn't seem to make sense at the time which now do. There were a few points where problems were solved by coincidence and their lawyer knew too many guys who could help them with too many things. How big of a criminal underworld does Albuquerque have?

But now I am in suspense. What are they going to do?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Man, I hate Bill Maher

I watched an episode or two of Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. I heard nothing outside the bounds of conventional opinion. In fact, Maher got his yarmulke in a twist when someone criticized Israel. A guest on the show had seen an Israeli cop hit an 8-year-old Palestinian boy in the face with a truncheon.

"That's because of the all these dictators!" Maher exclaimed idiotically. Arab dictators cause a Jew to assault a child.

Now Maher has come to the defense of Rush Limbaugh and Tracy Morgan, Limbaugh for spending six hours over a period of three days on national radio attacking college student Sandra Fluke and Morgan for graphically describing how he would murder his son if he ever found out he was gay.

Maher has a history of attacking women and gays himself, so it's not surprising. He called Sarah Palin a "cunt" for some reason, and, as one person noted, he sounds like a frat-boy in a fit of homosexual panic whenever he says anything about gays. May have to do with the fact that he's one of those vaguely effeminate hetrosexuals himself. Like all good Zionists, he takes pride in his depraved indifference to the lives of children.

Watch him on any talk show. Ask him a question and he takes a deep breath and starts pontificating. He tried to jump on the atheism bandwagon but was a bit late. It's takes about two minutes to make the case for atheism. Everything that can be said about it was said a long time ago. Hitchens and Dawkins had it covered. Maher added nothing, but that didn't stop him.

Maher isn't the most masculine guy in the world. Kind of like Bob Cummings on Love That Bob. He's supposed to be a swinger, but he doesn't come across as especially masculine.

Jon Lovitz was on his show. Maher said something about his very first sex partner.

"And what was his name?" Lovitz said.

Maher appeared on Primetime Glick and made a "quip" suggesting that Jiminy Glick (Martin Short) was gay.

"What an interesting comment from a 40-year-old bachelor," Glick said, showing a much quicker wit than Maher is capable of.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games

There's a new movie out, The Hunger Games, based on a young adult novel. Tweenagers in the indeterminate future are recruited to fight to the death on a reality TV show. This is intended as a metaphor for the wars the US is in and for reality TV.

It's been done before. There was the Japanese movie, Battle Royale, where a class of 14-year-olds is forced to fight to the death on an island. They have kill each other. If more than one is still alive when time runs out, the collars bolted to their necks will explode and kill them all. I was shocked to learn that the director was about 70 when the film was made in 2000. He had been a teenager during World War Two working in a munitions factory which was a target of U.S. bombing. The teenagers who worked there had to remove the bodies of the kids who had been killed. When they were bombed they would try to take cover behind each other. He said he understood the limits of friendship.

Now we got this which sounds rather pale by comparison. For one thing, Hunger Games, being based on a young adult novel, is aimed at a tweenage audience. They had to keep the violence toned down to get a PG-13 rating. It's from the director of Pleasantville and Seabiscuit.

I haven't seen and I'm not going to. I could imagine it turning out very badly.

Monday, March 19, 2012

John Carter on Mars

John Carter. It cost $350 million. The director had never made a live action movie before. And it's expected to lose $200 million.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Black Sun

Quite a while back, there was a post on the Shadow & Act website. They showed a bizarre video of young Japanese women in wigs and heavy make-up trying to look and act black. I don't know if they were specifically trying to act African-American. Apparently this was a fad among a small segment of Japanese youth who desperately wish they were black. The results were rather grotesque and racist. Someone should have explained it to them. They were Japanese and may not have known better.

I thought about that watching Black Sun, a 1964 Japanese film. It's about a Japanese youth (Tawio Kawaji). He lives alone in a room in a condemned church. His walls are covered with photos of black American jazz musicians. And he seems very, very happy.

He becomes even happier when a black American G.I. (Chico Roland) who was wounded in a shoot-out with a white American G.I., finds his way to his room. But the American is in terrible pain, he's on the run from MPs and neither speaks the other's language. And he's waving a Thompson submachine gun around.

An interesting movie. Someone on imdb said that it reminded him of The Defiant Ones and maybe Hell in the Pacific. It made me think of Midnight Cowboy in a couple of respects.

Chico Roland appeared in a number of films over the years, all of them Japanese.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kony 2012, nervous breakdown, rush limbaugh

The poor guy who helped produced that KONY 2012 video has apparently had a nervous breakdown.

According to The Guardian:

Jason Russell, 33, was picked up by police in San Diego at around 11.30am on Thursday after receiving numerous calls from the public about a man vandalising cars, being apparently under the influence of a substance and making sexual gestures while wearing only his underwear.

According to local TV station NBC, San Diego police spokeswoman Lieutenant Andra Brown told a press conference in the city that Russell was co-operative as he was detained by officers. "He was no problem for the police department. However, during the evaluation we learned that we probably needed to take care of him. So officers detained him and transferred him to a local medical facility for further evaluation and treatment," she said.

Read the full article here.

I can see how he could have been driven off the deep end. The attacks, the praise, the tens of millions of views the video has gotten.

I don't know that I have an opinion on it. I haven't seen it, for one thing. Some of the criticism may be valid, but they didn't expect the video to go viral in such a big way.

By the way, Rush Limbaugh supported Kony:
Now, up until today, most Americans have never heard of the combat Lord’s Resistance Army. And here we are at war with them. Have you ever heard of Lord’s Resistance Army, Dawn? How about you, Brian? Snerdley, have you? You never heard of Lord’s Resistance Army? Well, proves my contention, most Americans have never heard of it, and here we are at war with them. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. It means God. I was only kidding. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. That’s what the lingo means, “to help regional forces remove from the battlefield,” meaning capture or kill.

So that’s a new war, a hundred troops to wipe out Christians in Sudan, Uganda, and — no, I’m not kidding. Jacob Tapper just reported it. Now, are we gonna help the Egyptians wipe out the Christians? Wouldn’t you say that we are? I mean the Coptic Christians are being wiped out, but it wasn’t just Obama that supported that. The conservative intelligentsia thought it was an outbreak of democracy. Now they’ve done a 180 on that, but they forgot that they supported it in the first place. Now they’re criticizing it.

Lord’s Resistance Army objectives. I have them here. “To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people.” Now, again Lord’s Resistance Army is who Obama sent troops to help nations wipe out. The objectives of the Lord’s Resistance Army, what they’re trying to accomplish with their military action in these countries is the following: “To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people; to fight for the immediate restoration of the competitive multiparty democracy in Uganda; to see an end to gross violation of human rights and dignity of Ugandans; to ensure the restoration of peace and security in Uganda, to ensure unity, sovereignty, and economic prosperity beneficial to all Ugandans, and to bring to an end the repressive policy of deliberate marginalization of groups of people who may not agree with the LRA ideology.” Those are the objectives of the group that we are fighting, or who are being fought and we are joining in the effort to remove them from the battlefield.

The government of Uganda claims that Lord’s Resistance Army only has 500 or a thousand soldiers in total. So what’s the threat? If that’s the maximum size of their army, what’s the threat? A thousand soldiers? Now, 1100 soldiers because we have sent a hundred. I’m not making this up. This is Jacob Tapper. ABC News had reported that Obama got a letter off to John Boehner a couple days ago announcing this. It’s just for a few months until the Lord’s Resistance Army is eradicated. That’s all. Just a few months. Not much of a threat.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A no budget production

Someone here got an article in the university newspaper. He's filming a "thriller" for $1,400. He has a kid from the community college acting as director of photography. I've seen the videos being made by at the community college and they're impressive. They know what they're doing. The ones I saw were beautifully edited.

He raised the money over the internet---something called Kickstarter. He used it to buy a digital SLR he's using to record video and some audio equipment. Which isn't bad...he'll come out of it with nearly a thousand bucks worth of equipment.

Looking at Craigslist and some of the websites for actors and models looking for work, there are productions like this going all the time. The ones that have more money to work with usually pay $100 a day. Some just offer meals.

I've looked at the preview they used to raise money, and it looks good. Nicely photographed. The form looks good. Now let's hope the content works out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Geraldo, Al Capone, Andrew Breitbart

Many, many years ago, I had a friend from high school who came home from the Marine Corps. It wasn't his choice. He had been kicked out after a nervous breakdown. His family such as it was had moved out of the area. There wasn't much for him to return to. He lived with a friend for a short time then moved into a small, unfurnished room. It was in an old house converted to apartments. His room had been a utility room where the washing machine used to be. It was good because he had his own entrance, but it opened up into the alleyway so it created a security problem.

I think he found a chair somewhere. And he had a little black and white TV. He smoked, so I bought him an ashtray. I should have done more for him. I was barely employed myself. I drove him around to put in job applications.

But one night, I came over and we sat there and watched Geraldo Rivera open Al Capone's vault. What would be in it? Hidden loot? His victims? Anything?

My friend made fun of Geraldo where he fired a Thompson submachine gun.

I started getting bored.

"How long does this thing go on?"

I thought it was only an hour. Turned out to be two hours.

Okay. So. They finally opened this thing on live TV.

"We found a Coke bottle!"

There was nothing in there. A brick wall had been put up in the basement of this building in the 1920s to give it more structural support.

We did get to make fun of Geraldo, and it was a nice enough evening. I think I brought some food over and we sat there eating.

Dead Zionist Andrew Breitbart

I was going to make the Al Capone's vault anecdote much shorter and use it to lead in to this.

I think the key to understanding Breitbart is that he was a Zionist. He brought standard Zionist tactics to Republican politics. He saw no reason to tell the truth, he lied and smeared anyone who showed the slightest sign of disagreement all the while whining that he was a victim.

Anyway, the video Breitbart said he unearthed of Obama has now come out. The video he claimed would shock America. And it's every bit as startling as the stuff in Al Capone's "vault". Obama speaks at a political rally at Harvard, sounding pretty much the way he does now. I think they were calling for more minority professors in the law school.

There's nothing there. I doubt very much there's any embarrassing video of Obama anywhere. Not like George W Bush. There's video of Bush obviously drunk at a wedding a couple of years after he claimed to have found the lord and shunned alcohol. I'm sure there's more film and video shot over the years that his friends are still concealing.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Roadhouse, Rifftrax

I watched the movie Road House with commentary by Riff Trax.

Riff Trax is from the boys at Mystery Science Theater 3000.

There was a cruel irony to MST3K. The show was about a man and two robots trapped in a space ship forced to watch bad movies. And to produce the show, the people on the show were forced to watch bad movies over and over trying to come up with the jokes they made during the films.

Of course, they could only do this with very bad movies----the people who owned the rights to GOOD movies would never allow their work to be ridiculed in this way!

They figured out a way around this. They recorded commentary separately. You download the commentary and listen to them make fun of the movie while you watch the DVD.

See their website here.

I know that on many of the Riff Trax commentaries they have more than one person speaking. On this, there was only Mike Nelson. It took a minute to get used to only one guy doing this.

I'd never seen the movie before. It was sort of martial arts movie featuring people who weren't martial artists, namely Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliott, as bouncers out to clean up a bar. The bar is owned by the guy who played DeSoto on the old TV show Emergency!

Soon Swayze finds himself battling wealthy local kingpin Ben Gazzara.

I heard it was based very, very loosely on the case of Ken McElroy, a vicious criminal who terrorized the farming town of Skidmore, Missouri. He had been charged with serious felonies 21 times over the years, but he avoided conviction each time by terrorizing witnesses. He was convicted of assault for shooting a 70-year-old man with a shotgun but was released on bail while the conviction was appealed. He immediately went to a local bar brandishing an M-1 rifle and threatening to murder the man who testified against him. The next day, McElroy was shot and killed in front of 47 witnesses, not one of whom had seen a thing.

Road House had violence and nudity but I don't think I could have sat through it without the commentary. It was pretty funny.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Rush Limbaugh: Die already!

A while back I wrote about Jeremy Clarkson, the big ugly oaf from the BBC's Top Gear. He appeared on a British talk show and called for British health care workers to be murdered in front of their families. He thought nurses made too much money, and the elderly British millionaire thought that people who made too much money should be killed.

People reacted unkindly to Clarkson. Naturally, he got his knickers in a twist. He and his defenders argued that he was TRYING to offend people, and, therefore, anyone who was offended was persecuting him, if you can see the reasoning there.

Now we have Rush Limbaugh, calling a young woman a "slut" and a "prostitute" for speaking before Congress in favor of insurance coverage for contraception.

Amazingly enough, Limbaugh has been married to women of child bearing age. How is it that he doesn't have any children? He was once arrested at an airport for carrying Viagra that wasn't prescribed to him. I don't know if he and his wives used contraceptives or if they were in sexless, sham marriages. These seem like equally likely possibilities.

Now, of course, Limbaugh and his supporters claim that he's being "vilified" by Democrats. He was intentionally offensive, and, as his kind always do, he claims he's a victim because people were offended.

Limbaugh has gotten away with attacks on women for years, mainly because he's a big fat ass loud mouth and even people who like him assume that no woman would ever want him. Even after Limbaugh became a multi-millionaire raking in tens of millions of dollars a year, he still had to turn to the Worldwide Web to find a woman somewhere willing to have anything to do with him. Even people who haven't thought it through know instinctively that someone like him is going to feel a sense of grievance against women.

Part of his problem is that he's gone too far and part of it is that it's perverse for a fat old man to be mad at college girls for rejecting him.

Random low budget advice

Advice for low budget filmmakers. This is just the stuff I can think of off hand--stuff I've read over the years. Not intended as comprehensive or well-thought-out. May be wrong. But, for whatever it's worth:

At the script writing stage. Don't put in uniforms of any kind, special vehicles like police cars, vans, fire trucks, ambulances, unless you happen to own any of these. No animals, no children, although those may not apply to extreme low budget or no-budget movies where you wouldn't hire wranglers or tutors anyway. No stunts, including things you may not think of as stunts. Anything an actor may not want to do is a stunt.

No guns. Although I'm not sure----I've seen very good movies filmed with prop guns with computer generated muzzle flashes and shell casing ejection. As long as you're not running around in public with them, I would think it would be fine.

Try to use locations that are close together. If there's a location that looks good but is noisy, use it anyway and dub the sound.

Do the script so supporting players can come in and shoot all their scenes in a single day.

People used to film without sound and dub it all in later, but that doesn't seem necessary with video.

Roger Corman advised a director making his shooting schedule to figure out how much time it will take to make the film perfect. Then calculate how much time to make it good. Then how much time just to get it on film. And go with the last one.

Film a scene in one shot and you won't have to shoot coverage.

You can film a conversation in one shot by having one actor in close-up facing the camera and the other actor in the background talking to his back.

If there are scenes that aren't directly related to the plot, shoot them quickly---don't waste much time on them---because they'll likely be cut out in the end anyway.

If can be faster if you shoot everything outdoors.

Film nude scenes first. If you wait, actors can change their minds and can't be replaced.

If you don't allow actors on the set for more that three hours at a time, you won't have to feed them.

Time is money. Anything to speed up filming.

Try to have only two actors per scene, or at least have only two speak per scene. I'm not clear on why. I read that somewhere.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Andrew Breitbart--good riddance to him

Andrew Breitbart said disgusting things about Ted Kennedy when he died. Breitbart was a liar and a Zionist. But people are being rather polite now after he was found lying dead in a gutter.

His death was either a relief to his family or they were as rotten as he was.

The world will be just a little bit nicer now. He freely lied about people, defamed them, did what he could to destroy their lives.

Since this is a movie blog, I shall quote here from the movie Harper (UK title: The Moving Target). A detective (Paul Newman) makes a crank call to his soon-to-be ex-wife, (Janet Leigh). He tells her she has won dance lessons for her and her husband. She tells him her husband is dead.
"Well, that's too bad, as a matter of fact..."
 "No... as a matter of fact, you're wrong. His death did nothing but serve the cause of mankind. He was a fool, a sadist, a functioning pathological pervert. He was grotesque in all ways. Can a soul be atrocious? His was. He was a degenerate's degenerate. You won't believe this...but he used to call me on the phone sometimes, pretending to be other people..."
Good riddance to you, Breitbart.