Monday, August 03, 2009

So I'm just about done with a screenplay I've been working on for nearly a year. Here's the first couple of pages. It doesn't really explain much that goes on in the story but it's a tone setter. Tell me what you think! The formatting is not correct for the post but it is correct when you read it in Final Draft. Enjoy!

We fade in on a low angle shot of a basketball court. It’s a sunny day in Whitecreek, a few scattered clouds decorate the sky. Baseball and soccer is played on the grass field in the distance. Children scamper around a nearby playground.

A soccer ball drops into the frame. A stalky teenager, DICK, 17, backs his way into the shot. He wears a pair of short “nineteen-seventies” basketball shorts, a blue t-shirt that’ soaked through with sweat, and a white headband. His face is flushed and dripping with perspiration. He breathes heavily and glares at his opponent. Dick heaves a mucus filled cough and hocks a green clump of disgusting off to his left. He wipes his mouth of residual gross and smears it on his shirt.

Bring it, fucker.

JAKE, 17, stands at half court, his right foot sits on top of the soccer ball. Unlike Dick, Jake has a thin and agile frame. He wears more contemporary sports apparel. He winks at Dick.

Did you just wink? You coming on to me, Jake?
(stands and crosses arms)
Tuck it back in your thong, missy! Let’s play some ball!

Jake kicks the ball through Dick’s legs and soccer dribbles it towards the basket. Dick recovers quickly, for his size, and cuts Jake off before he can reach the key. Jake retreats a few steps and dances the ball around the three point line. Dick keeps up but breathing is becoming increasingly difficult. Jake grins.

Wipe that grin off your face.
You okay, Dick? You don’t look too good. Your face is turning white.
(gives Jake the finger)
Bring it. Fucker.

Jake fakes right and goes left around Dick. Once in the key, Jake picks the ball up and lays it up into the hoop. He catches the ball as it exits the net and spikes it hard onto the black top.

Ball game, Dicky! That is how you play Geraldo Ball!

Dick staggers into the key and puts his hands on his knees, he’s finished.

(severely out of breath)
No way. That was a foul.
Ball before, the key.
You picked up the ball before the key.
Oh bullshit! Even if it was a foul, you haven’t scored since Monday. Additionally, I don’t think your body can take another point, chubby.

Jake gingerly pats Dick on the back. Dick instaneously begins to vomit.

Oh, Jesus Christ, Dick!

Dick tries to respond but he can’t speak through the throw up.

Black screen.
White Lettering: Shadows of Suburbia.



ADDISON CHASE, 35, comes to a stop at a red light. She smiles as she reads the sign marking the end of her trip, “Welcome to Whitecreek.” The backseat and trunk of her wagon are packed to the rooftop with belongings. She looks to her son, SHILOH CHASE, 17, whom is asleep in the passenger seat. A portable CD player is nestled in his lap. Addison ruffles her fingers through his hair.

Wake up, sleeps, we’re here.
(shakes head from Addison’s fingers)

An annoyed Shiloh rearranges his sandy colored hair.

Oh, come on, Shiloh, it’s messier now that you’re done fumbling with it.

Shiloh pouts as he stares out the window.

God forbid some cutie would see you in here without your hair in perfect disarray. And if you did catch the eye of said “cutie,” I have a feeling that your hair style would be the last thing on her mind. Unless a sport wagon filled to the hilt with all of our belongings and a giant trailer in tow is a turn-on these days.
Silence from Shiloh.

Man, did you girls see Shiloh’s trailer yesterday? Man, it was so big, and orange!
Shiloh bites his lip as he fights back a smile.

Uh oh, he’s loosing it!

Shiloh cracks as he leans over and rakes his fingers through he mom’s maroon colored hair. A car behind them honks.
Addison accelerates through the green light.

Whitecreek, huh?

Shiloh and Addison look inquisitively out of their windows. Whitecreek is a suburb of tree lined streets, brick houses, picket fences, B&Bs, organic food, and milk men.
Addison takes a piece of paper from the center counsel and hands it to Shiloh.

Okay, it’s a right at the third light. Summerwood loop.
Summerwood loop. It’ll be nice to get into a real house. Motels get old real quick.



A typical tree lined suburban street. Nice houses, perfectly manicured lawns, the occasional gnome, and an SUV in nearly every driveway. A WEBVAN is making a delivery to a house down the street.
Addison’s wagon rounds the corner and comes to a stop in front of a small single story house. Addison exits the car and stretches. She stands at a trim five feet ten and wears a pair of tight fitting blue jeans and a white t-shirt. Plainly put, she’s the girl next door, fifteen to twenty years later.

It’s a real picket fence!

Shiloh skips to the fence and taps his hand on its Gothic tops.


The front door of the house next door opens. A portly lady, LOUISE TUCKER, 43, emerges with an obnoxious wire whisk basket in her hands. Barely able to see past the basket’s contents, Louise lumbers her way across the front lawn. Her permed hair protrudes from the sides of the basket, like a clown trapped in a birdcage.

Hello, neighbors!

Addison calmly steps in front of her son to shelter him from the suburbanite that approaches.

Here, let me help you with that.
Non-sense, my dear, go ahead and open the front door I’ll follow you in.



Addison opens the front door to the fully furnished house. She tries to hide the horror on her face but Addison obviously can’t stand what she sees. White carpet, yellow window treatments, and floral patterned EVERYTHING, surround her.

Oh my.

Louise places the basket on the entry way table and straightens her dress.

Isn’t she beautiful? I took the liberty of decorating for you. It’s a little more contemporary than what I prefer but when I heard you were coming from the big city, I went a little more modern.
Oh, did you? I can’t even tell.
Beautiful. I’m sorry, dear, my name is, Louise Tucker.

Louise extends her hand. At nearly six feet tall, Addison shakes the five foot one Louise Tucker’s hand. It looks like she’s greeting an Umpa Lumpa, but with worse hair.

(forced smile)
Nice to meet you, Louise. I’m Addison Chase, this is my son, Shiloh.
Shiloh, what an interesting name.
Nice to meet you, Louise.
Louise frowns.
Er, uh, Mrs. Tucker.

Louise turns to the basket and removes the cellophane wrap.

Oh, you really shouldn’t have.
Non-sense, my dear. Just a few little odds and ends to welcome you two to our town. Bath soaps, scented candles, fresh coffee, assorted chocolates, and this nifty little salad bowl.
Well, thank you, Louise.

Louise reaches into her pocket and retrieves a small leather bound book.

Oh yes, and of course, the Good Book.

Addison, slightly offended, turns to Shiloh and waves the book in the air.

Look, honey, God!

Shiloh smiles and snatches the book from his mother.


Shiloh begins to sarcastically flip through the pages. Louise is shocked.

Mrs. Chase, I simply brought a few items that I hoped would make you feel welcome.

Addison looks to Louise with remorse.

I’m sorry, that was completely inappropriate and immature. Thank you for the gifts, Louise.

You’re welcome, Addison.
Well, I’d better be getting back. I’m supposed to be hosting a PTA meeting later in the evening and I’m no where near prepared.

Addison extends her hand to Louise.

Thank you for welcoming us to the neighborhood.
My pleasure.

Louise waddles her way back to her house but not before shooting Shiloh a dirty glare. Shiloh tips an imaginary cap to Louise who raises her nose and huffs away.
Shiloh and Addison turn back to their home.

Yep, this house is a cock blocker.

Addison grins before smacking Shiloh in the back of the head.

(tosses keys at Shiloh)
Do it to it, son.

Shiloh jogs out to the trailer. Addison looks around the family room and crosses her arms.

Thanks for the house, Mr. Rockwell.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm hella Japanese!!!! My mom sent this to me and I laughed my ass off at a few of these. Even if you're not born Japanese, you may be Japanese at heart. I know more than a few of you "hakujins" will pass the test. Enjoy!

You Know You're Japanese When...

1. You know that Camp doesn't mean a cabin in the woods.
2. The men in your family were gardeners, farmers, produce workers or plantation workers.
3. The women in your family were seamstresses, domestic workers or farm laborers.
4. Your Issei grandparents had an arranged marriage.
5. One of your relatives was a "picture bride."
6. You have Nisei relatives named Tak, Tad, George, Harry or Shig.
7. You have Nisei relatives named Keiko, Aiko, Sumi or Mary.
8. You're Sansei and your name is Janice, Glen, Brian, Bill or Kenji.
9. You're thinking of naming your Yonsei child, Brittany, Jenny, Lauren, Garett or Brett, with a Japanese middle name.
10. All of your cousins are having hapa kids.
11. You have relatives who live in Hawaii ..
12. You learned the words "bakatare," "urusai," and "yakamashii" because you were called them by your grandparents.
13. You belong to a Japanese credit union.
14. Wherever you live now, you always come home to the Obon festival.

15. The bushes in your front yard are trimmed into balls.
16. You have a kaki tree in the backyard.
17. You have at least one bag of sembei in the house at all times.
18. You have a Japanese doll in a glass case in your living room.
19. You have a maneki neko in your house for good luck.
20. You have large Japanese platters in your china cabinet.
21. You have the family mon and Japanese needlepoint on the wall.
22. You own a multicolored lime green polyester patchwork quilt.
23. Your grandma used to crochet all your blankets, potholders and dishtowels.
24. Wearing shoes in the house is a BIG NO NO.
25. When you visit other JAs, you give or receive a bag of fruits or vegetables.
26. When you visit other JAs, you know that you should bring omiyage.
27. When you leave a JA house, you take leftover food home on a paper plate or a Styrofoam meat tray.
28. You keep a supply of rubber bands, twist ties, butter and tofu containers in the kitchen.
29. You have an air pump thermos covered with lilacs.
30. You know that Pat Morita doesn't really speak like Mr. Miyagi.
31. You're mad because Kristi Yamaguchi should have gotten more commercial endorsements than Nancy Kerrigan.
32. You know someone who has run for the Nisei Queen Pageant.
33. When your back is sore, you use Tiger Balm or that flexi-stick with the rubber ball on the end that goes, "katonk," "katonk."
34. After funerals, you go for Chinameshi.
35. After giving koden, you get stamps in the mail.
36. You fight fiercely for the check after dinner.
37. You've hidden money in the pocket of the person who paid for dinner.
38. You don't need to read the instructions on the proper use of hashi.
39. You know NOT to stick the hashi in your rice.
40. You know that Benihana's isn' t real Japanese food.
41. Sushi and Sashimi is NOT the same thing.

42. You eat soba on New Year's Eve.
43. You start off the New Year with a bowl of ozoni for good luck and the mochi sticks to the roof of your mouth.

44. You put mochi around the house during New Year's.
45. You know NOT to eat the tangerine on the top of the mochi.
46. You have a 12-pack of mochi in your freezer that you still refuse to throw away in July.
47. You pack bento for road trips.
48. Your grandma made the best sushi in town.
49. You cut all your carrots and hot dogs at an angle.
50. You know the virtues of SPAM.

51. You were eating Chinese chicken salad, years before everyone else.
52. You know what it means to eat "footballs."
53. You grew up eating ambrosia, wontons and finger Jell-O at family potlucks.
54. You always use Best Foods mayonnaise and like to mix it with shoyu to dip broccoli.
55. You use the "finger method" to measure the water for your rice cooker.
56. You grew up on rice: bacon fried rice, chili rice, curry rice or red rice.
57. You like to eat rice with your spaghetti.
58. You can't start eating until you have a bowl of rice.
59. You use plastic Cool Whip containers to hold day-old rice.
60. You like to eat your rice in a chawan, not on a plate.

61. You own a 5-cup AND 10-cup rice cooker.
62. Along with salt and pepper, you have a shoyu dispenser at your table.
63. You have a jar of takuan in your fridge.
64. You buy rice 20 pounds at a time and shoyu a gallon at a time.
65. Natto: you either love it or hate it.
66. As a kid, you used to eat Botan rice candy.
67. You ask for things like arare, hashi and have to re-ask using "mochi crunch," "chopsticks," etc.
68. You know the story of Momotaro.
69. You have a pet named Chibi or Shiro.
70. Someone you know owns an Akita or Shiba dog.
71. You went to J-school and your best subject was recess.
72. At school, you had those Hello Kitty pencil boxes and sweet smelling erasers.

73. When you're sick, you eat okayu.
74. Saimin is your Chicken Noodle Soup on those cold rainy days.
75. Milk makes you queasy and alcohol turns your face red.
76. Your dad owns a "Members Only" jacket.
77. Someone you know drives an Acura Integra, Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.
78. You used to own one of those miniature zori keychains

79. You have a kaeru frog or good luck charm hanging in your car.
80. Your parents compare you to their friends' kids.
81. You hang on to the illusion that you are superior to other Asians.
82. Your dentist, doctor and optometrist are Japanese American.
83. You socialize with groups of eight or more people.
84. Whenever you're with more than three people, it takes an hour to decide where to eat.
85. You and your friends call yourselves "Buddaheads," but don't like it when white people do.
86. You've heard your name pronounced a half-dozen different ways.
87. You know that E.O. 9066 isn't a zip code.
88. You know what days March 3 and May 5 is.
89. You're not superstitious but you believe in bachi.
90. You never take the last piece of food on a plate, but will cut it into smaller pieces.
91. As much as you want it, you never ever take the last of anything.

92. You treat an at bat by Travis Ishikawa like he's Barry Bonds. You drop everything and scream your head off if he gets a hit. You also probably reminded your friends sitting by you that he's Japanese.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bottleshock. It's not "Sideways" but then again, it's not supposed to be.

Sideways was a great movie but it did something to my life that I will never be able to forgive. Wine enthusiasts will read this, grin, and nod their heads. Pre-Sideways, I found a great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producer in Santa Barbara. Now, this winery was not small by any means but it wasn't a household name either. Back then, I could walk into Safeway and purchase a bottle of Sanford Pinot for just over $15. Wine enthusiasts, you may now grin and nod your heads. Fortunately for Sanford and unfortunately for its long time customers, Sanford was featured in Sideways. Anyone want to speak up and comment the price of a bottle of Sanford Pinot today?

Whoa, usually I digress in the middle of my posts but this time I did it in the lead. Sorry bout that one. Anyway, on to Bottleshock. While wine has been mass produced in California for well over a century, it wasn't until just over 30 years ago that Napa and Sonoma wines truly gained world wide notoriety. Though a love story was added to the story, Bottleshock is based on actual people and actual events that took place in 1976. Centered on Bo and Jim Barrett, the owners of Chateau Montelena, Bottleshock tells the story of how a California chardonnay took first prize in a blind tasting that has now come to be known as the, "Judgment of Paris." Until the 76 tasting, France was undisputedly known as the greatest wine growing region in the world. France's soil (terroir), growing conditions, and expertise were unrivaled until Steven Spurrier decided to feature California wines in a blind tasting that he had organized. But he did not do this out of his desire to see California wines win at his tasting. He came to California in efforts to prove to himself that France was the only region in the world capable of growing gold medal wines. He would soon discover that he was wrong and that he had been missing out on a host of world class wines from.

The opening shot of Bottleshock made me grin. The movie opens on a wide angle helicopter shot of the Napa Valley. We sail over its lush rolling hills flying through a countless number of micro-climates that have now become known as some of the world's best Appellations (Stag's Leap, Rutherford, Oakville, etc). Watching Bottleshock made me further appreciate being a Northern California native. Something that we Bay Area natives seldom think about is how lucky we are to live here. Northern California is one of the best places to live in the world. We are no more than a car ride from any climate that we desire. If we want to ski or hit the craps tables, we simply drive three hours east. If we want to surf or bask in warm sunlight on some of the best beaches in North America, we drive five hours south. If we want to drink some of the world's finest wines, we drive forty minutes north east to Napa or Sonoma.

Bottleshock is a movie that wine enthusiasts will be able to watch over and over. So if you find yourself wanting to stay in and watch a movie for the night, rent Bottleshock, open a nice bottle of wine, and curl up on the couch. It'll make you appreciate the world famous valley that's practically in your backyard and it'll make every sip of your wine that much better.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Evo vs. STi. It's the Japanese equivalent of the rivalry between the Camero and the Mustang. The Camero, the Mustang, the quintessential American muscle cars. The Stang and the Mero are stuffed to the hilt with horsepower, they're louder than a rock concert, and they're extremely fast. But here's the thing. I've pushed carts around a supermarket that handle better. So, if driving very fast in a straight line on the freeway is your idea of "running" your car, the over weight over powered American cars are for you.

But if you're looking for the complete performance package, turn to the EVO or the STi and for just over $40,000 you'll be able to out accelerate American muscle and out corner a Ferrari all while having enough room to seat five comfortably and enough trunk space to do all of your weekend shopping at the same time!

Unfortunately, due to stringent smog regs in the US, they've only been in the states for a couple of years. But they're here now. And now Americans get to participate in the battle between the EVO and the STi. One of the greatest automotive rivalries in the history of motorized vehicles. Watch this and make your decision. I've always been an EVO guy myself.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I need to get to the theater early when I go to the movies. Not because I'm obsessed with finding a seat that will have me perfectly situated within the surround sound envelope, but because I love movie trailers. In some cases, the trailers are better than the movie I just paid $11 to see. The art of the trailer is something that gets overlooked and at the same time, it's one of the most important marketing pieces in cinema. A movie's trailer has an enormous effect on it's success, and it often determines how well or poorly a movie does in the theaters. A trailer also ads to the hype factor of a film. How excited were you when you saw the trailer for Star Wars Episode I for the first time? Yes, the movie itself left much to be desired but the trailer got the entire theater screaming with anticipation. In fact, being the in the audience for that trailer was one of the only times I've ever heard an audience cheer for a preview. So, in honor of just recently seeing the preview of X-Men Origins, I give you some of my favorite movie trailers. Enjoy.

P.S. Yes, these trailers may be blockbuster heavy but when was the last time you saw a couple million thrown at the latest Van Sant or Polanski film? There are some good trailers for more Oscar worthy movies but I tend to like the trailers that get you to sit up in your seat after a few frames. The trailers that make you grin with anticipation, the trailers that make you talk to your neighbor when the release date flashes on the screen. Here are those trailers.

Thank you, Youtube!

X-Men Origins. Sure the film isn't out yet but the fact that X-Men fans finally get to see Gambit makes this trailer a brilliant one! X-Men 3 like Spiderman 3 were disappointments, let's hope the latest X-Men and Spidey flicks will redeem their third releases. You're up first, Jackman.

Jurassic Park. Remember back in 1993 when CGI was just beginning to look passable in movies? Remember how you felt when you first saw this in the theaters? Two movies shaped the way that we view the CGI and they were Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park.

The Matrix. What the hell is bullet time? Before 1999, nobody knew. Mind boggling CGI, an innovative and startling storyline, and more action than dialogue from Keanu Reeves made this film an icon of the nineties. Nowadays, bullet time has been replicated more times than Keanu Reeves can say, "whoa."

The Matrix Reloaded. None of the sequels quite lived up to their predecessor but Reloaded came damn close. With arguably, better action and fight sequences, Reloaded gave fans exactly what they were looking for in the "bigger and badder" sequel. I left the theater thinking, "okay, we just had a bunch of action stuffed down our throats, I'm sure the third will evoke a little emotion and add a little more substance to Reloaded's thin storyline. My goodness was I wrong. But hey, 66% of the Trilogy was amazing. But, then again, it nearly took Trinity 66% of the trilogy to finally die after getting impaled by about spaceship's worth of re bar.

Star Wars Episode I. Yes, the movie sucked, and yes, the movie did not live up to any of its high expectations but the trailer for Ep-1 created more buzz than the latest Paris Hilton beaver shot. I've never been in a theater that started hooting and hollering for a movie trailer. I can't say I wasn't pumped when I saw this trailer. Come on, a duel sided light saber? That's f'n sweet!

Goldeneye. Many thought Bond had been killed back in 1989. And his murderers were named, Timothy Dalton and John Glen. Fortunately, the greatest Bond director since Terrence Young, directed Bond's return. Michael Campbell is responsible for applying the paddles and shocking the Bond franchise back into greatest on two occasions. He did so with Goldeneye and managed to direct the best Bond film next to Goldfinger in Casino Royale. Here's the trailer for Goldeneye and watch it keeping in mind the fact that until this trailer was released, almost nothing was known about the film, let alone its release date.

The Bourne Identity. Remember this trailer? Remember thinking to yourself, is that Matt Damon? No really, is that Will Hunting kicking ass and shooting stuff? It's always refreshing when an actor takes a risk. Damon's choice on taking the Bourne role catapulted him into super stardom and pushed him into a league of actors that can take on any character in any type of film. Looking at Damon's career so far, the actors that he is most easily compared to are Pacino, Crowe, Jolie, Blanchett, DeNiro, W Smith, and DiCaprio. These are Oscar winners and nominees, these are actors that have credibility in ANY role they take. You can take them seriously or hang on their backs and enjoy the ride. Fans will be enjoying Bourne for a long time to come, who knows, we could be witnessing the birth of the US Bond Franchise. I hope not, but with a fourth Bourne in the works, anything is possible.

The Dark Knight. One of the greatest performances of recent history will also be seen as one of the greatest tragedies cinema. Heath Ledger's untimely death added buzz to the already eagerly anticipated sequel to Christopher Nolan's, Batman Begins. By adding buzz, you also add expectation. With expectations at red line before Ledger's death, they went through the proverbial roof when he was found dead on January 22, 2008. Staring the highest expectations placed on a movie since Star Wars Episode 1, The Dark Knight went on to destroy nearly all box office records while also getting rave reviews. The most anticipated movie of 2008 will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable films of the decade. Here's the trailer that gave us our first view of Ledger's historic character.

Saving Private Ryan. Is it possible for someone to win an Oscar before their movie is even release, or finished for that matter? I'm sure a lot of people shared my sentiments after seeing this trailer. It has Oscar written all over it. If my recollection is correct, 1999 was a rare year where the Oscar for best picture went to the correct recipient and best director the same. Shakespeare in Love for picture, Saving Private Ryan, director. Of course, that was the year that Edward Norton got hosed.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
If you're a movie enthusiast and or a Lord of the Rings junkie, don't tell me you haven't watched the entire extended trilogy from front to back in one day. And don't tell me you haven't done the same while listening to the commentary. I forget which movie I was watching when this trailer was shown but this trailer brought the geek/nerd out in every male in the audience, and even a few girls. Yes, this trilogy blows the geek following of a Marvel Comics release out of the water but the fact of the matter is, this trilogy couldn't have been done any better. The films were incredibly long but for some reason there isn't a slow moment in them. The action scenes get better and bigger as the movies progress and in the end, the films leave you craving just one more three and a half hour film.

Casino Royale, 2006. Why does Martin Campbell do anything besides direct Bond movies? Unless you're an avid fan of Vertical Limit or Antonio Banderas as Zorro, Campbell's career is as dependent on Bond as the Broccoli family. After reigniting Bond mania with Goldeneye, the Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli went on to make three more movies with Brosnan as Bond. Tomorrow Never Dies was decent but The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day were jokes. Thankfully, Campbell was brought back on to direct the prequel to all Bond stories. Christopher Nolan had done it the year prior with Batman and Martin Campbell did it in 2006 with Bond. He brought fans a gritty hard edged Bond that didn't rely on fancy gadgets and an invisible Aston Martin to get him out of trouble. He used his fists and brute strength and in turn showed us the weaker side of Bond, the human side of Bond. This is a characteristic that Bond fans like me have longed to see. But at the same time, we were a little hesitant on how it would be done. Campbell did it perfectly and gave us the best Bond film in more than three decades, and possibly ever if you think about what it did to a dieing franchise. Here's the trailer that started it all. Well, this is actually the second trailer that was released but it's the best one.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Academy might completely screw the best cinematic sequel of all time.

So the Golden Globes aren't the Oscars but they're seen as a prequel to the Oscars. Golden Globe nominations usually closely mirror those of the Oscars a few months later.

This summer, a little movie entitled The Dark Knight hit theaters and proceeded to blow away some of the highest expectations modern day cinema goers have had for a movie. It instantly shot to the #2 greatest film of all time on the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 films of all time. ALL TIME! It's since settled nicely into the #4 spot but if you look at the top 20, all of those films have Oscar written all over them. And if the Golden Globes are a true precursor to the 09 Oscars, The Dark Knight is going to get the greatest cinematic shaft of them all. Now, you may be screaming the words Shawshank Redemption at your screen right now but remember, it got NOMINATED FOR SEVEN OSCARS! The fact that it didn't win a single one is truly tragic but as of now, The Dark Knight stands to get one and only one nomination come March. So, I'm throwing the first stone as I expect the Oscar nominations to closely mirror those of the Golden Globes. Here's my list of ten reasons The Dark Knight should be getting more Oscar press than it currently is. Of course I'll be happy to eat my words if it gets the nominations it deserves.

10. It's the first film EVER to use a combination of IMAX and 35mm formats in a theatrical release. All of the action sequences were filmed in IMAX so if you saw the film in IMAX, you were treated to some of the most awe inspiring images you've ever seen on an 80 foot hight movie screen. And it's not getting a cinematography nod because???

9. Oscar winner Hanz Zimmer and Oscar nominee James Newton Howard collaborated to create the movie's score. Haunting and terrifying harmonies pushed you to the edge of your seat when you were watching the movie. Its score is sure to be used in trailers for decades to come. The score itself was just as much of a character as the actors in the frame. Where's the nomination for best original score. Can't nominated it because it's a sequel and the music has been done before? Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings are a few movies that come to mind.

8. Special effects. Everyone saw the big rig flip in the trailers and when we got to the scene in the film, we all knew it was coming. But we still laughed and clapped our hands when we saw it happen. When Batman and Mr. Lau were zipped from the blown out building in Hong Kong, applause. Nearly all of the effects were done for real but using a computer to enhance these effects is a skill all in its own. And the Oscar goes to Indiana Jones for making big ants look really really scary and for making a Jeep chase in the jungle look really really bad!

7. Directing. How do you make a two and a half hour movie worthy of re-watching it a mere seconds after the credits start rolling? Two words. Christopher Nolan. Think that this was a fluke? Have you seen Memento (IMDB #28), The Prestige (IMDB #82), and oh yeah, Batman Begins (IMDB #99)? Some films like are great fun to watch because of the special effects and action scenes such as Mission Impossible III and Aliens (IMDB #64). But then there are films such as Heat (IMDB #132), Saving Private Ryan (IMDB #57), Casino Royale 2006 (IMDB #242) and The Bourne Trilogy (Ultimatum #139) that bring emotion and complexity to the equation. Nolan did that in spades when he directed the fourth best film according to voters on the IMDB.

6. Why do we care about a semi-psychotic billionaire that dresses up in a bat suit? Because Oscar caliber writing makes us believe in Batman and his motives. Christopher and Jonathan Nolan deserve a nod for adapted screenplay. Yes, the story of Batman has been told for well over half a century but making the new Batman story is a work of genius all in its own.

5. The cast. Now, there isn't an Oscar for best cast but let's take a moment to look at the caliber of actors and actresses that have contributed to the film. Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Heath Ledger, and Christian Bale.

4. The impact of The Dark Knight on the action hero and super hero genre. No longer do we follow our hero without wondering where they came from or why they do what they do. We movie goers want to feel what the hero is feeling. We want to hurt when they hurt. We want to see the world through their eyes and not through that of the third person. We have yet to see The Dark Knight's true influence but look back on this post in a couple of years and you're sure to see that many films have used Nolan's work as a template for their own.

3. The Dark Knight is a masterful collage of genres. It is an action film. It is an adventure film. It is a love story. It is a summer blockbuster. It is a tragedy. How do you put all of that into a a package and make it believable as well as entertaining? See #7.

2. $530,722,000. The Dark Knight's current domestic ticket sales total. $600,788,188 Titanic's domestic ticket sales total. Difference = $70,066,188. Did I mention that The Dark Knight is going to be released on January 23, 2009?

1. The Dark Knight's lasting appeal. This film is timeless. Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker will go down as one of the greatest achievements in acting the silver screen has ever been a party to. Christopher Nolan's masterpiece will be watched for decades to come. And it will be loved and admired. Why do films have lasting appeal? Because they're not only beautifully filmed, but because they've got the entire package. The stars, the director, the dialogue, and the story.

It's not often that a film of this caliber comes along. Sadly, The Dark Knight is set up for one of the biggest Oscar snubs in history. Let's hope and pray that I'm wrong.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12-9-08 One of the best DVD/Blu-Ray release dates in history!

Oh yeah and . . .

Seeing as Lost is still on air, I'm not going to throw it in with The Wire and The Dark Knight, though the day that the complete series of lost comes out on DVD/blu-ray will be a historic one as well.

A blu-ray and a DVD box set were released on 12-9-08. These two releases included arguably the best sequel in the history of the silver screen and at the same time, one of the best movies ever made. IMDB's top 250 ranks it behind The Godfather I & II and The Shawshank Redemption as the fourth best movie of ALL TIME! Not bad for a franchise that once included a Pre-Oscar and pre-good choice in movies George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell who you've all forgotten about until you read his name, and a fat Alicia Silverstone. Thankfully, Christopher and Jonathan Nolan have completely erased that Bat-Era from out minds.

Now, on to the GREATEST TELEVISION SHOW EVER!!! It's called, The Wire and if you this is just another cop drama, you're incredibly wrong. I could go into specifics about the show but that would be like telling you about the first six episodes of Lost before you've seen them. It will ruin the show. All I will say is that The Wire is masterfully written, perfectly casted, massively underrated, and one of the greatest social commentaries ever broadcast. It will change your views on public schools, standardized testing, the printed press, law and drug enforcement, and child services. All while making you laugh at a character one minute and cry for them in the next. The sad thing is that The Wire NEVER got the praise it deserved while it was on the air. The Emmy's and Golden Globes are the most bullshit awards in the entertainment world. They might as well be called the best of NBC, CBS, ABS, and FOX awards. Anything that's aired on an alternative or cable network rarely gets recognized with even a nomination. The Wire was one of these series. HBO usually hits the mark with their original series but they struck gold with, The Wire.

If you have a spare $200 lying around and feel like buying yourself an early Christmas present, head down to the store and pick up The Dark Knight and the complete series of The Wire. You'll save nearly 40% by buying it this week and like HBO's Band of Brothers, you'll find yourself watching it all the way through at least once a year.