Movie Reviews

Real Talk: It’s All About the Joke, Please Get Over Yourself

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Ya’ll seem to like it when I talk about stuff. So I’m talking about more stuff to help ya’ll know me better as a filmmaker and a human being as well. Hopefully I can help some of you guys out as well. I’m certainly helping my own damn self.

Anyway, I just wanted to talk about writing things that are funny and just how I feel about it. When you’re like me and have a gift for making people laugh (sometimes for the very wrong reasons) it’s your responsibility, or rather becomes your responsibility to keep those quality laughs coming. Everyone does it differently  Some do sock puppets, others smash fruit (I still don’t get it) and others like me make you try and laugh at things you really shouldn’t.

The last is what I truly excel at and it’s not really a crowded field. I can tell you why right now.

We live in a society these days where we don’t fight our own fights and think that everyone is out to get us. It’s like the Cold War but instead of fighting the USSR, we’re fighting invisible enemies within ourselves caused by what WE think is right or wrong… but in the grand sense of things, it’s just not the damn case at all.

As a writer, you always have to remember what you write isn’t always who you are. Just fucking think about that notion for a second. All these great directors and writers.

What if Quinton Tarantino was exactly the guy he is in his movies? Besides being a badass motherfucker who hates Nazis (I mean, that’s a song we can all dance to. Fuck Nazis.) I’m not about to sit there, pick out something offensive about the guy based on what I saw, then judge his entire life which I can tell you right now is much more awesome than mine is right now. I’m sure he’s a super chill dude. You really have to be to make movies or else you’ll end up killing yourself. Shit is stressful.

I bring all this up because those of you who know me personality or follow my work at all know the type of shit I write. It’s unapologetic, honest and really out there. It really makes you dig deep into that evil spot we all have and just make it cackle. It’s a really cleansing feeling to laugh at a good Anne Frank or Holocaust joke, you should all try it sometime. There are some really good ones out there.

All too often though, I get the person who’s all like.

 

ImageThen talk about how they’re offended as if it gives them some sort of magical rights. In reality it’s nothing but a bunch of bitching. What’s next? Name calling? An internet petition  I’m serious, it’s like high school never ended. Still have to deal with this bullshit.

If you’re writing things and doing things JUST to offend people, that’s wrong and really trollish on a whole different level. Don’t know who does those types of things unless there’s something seriously wrong with them mentally. 

Like the title says, it’s all about the joke. Anything I say is from a place of humor. Even if there’s truth to it, end of the day, it’s just a joke. Nothing more. It doesn’t hurt anybody. And once you start the joke, see it through to the end. You apparently thought it was funny enough to start, man up and finish it.

That beings me to the most important rule… this goes for people reading or watching what you wrote as well.

IF YOU LAUGH, IT’S FUNNY… AND YOU CAN’T GET MAD.

“Shut up: You Laughed.” is the company motto don’t you know.

 

So don’t go and judge anyone just based on what they write. If you must, engage them in a rational adult conversation, maybe they’ll see where you’re coming from. I personally always try and talk it out if someone feels upset in any way and basically tell them what I just said. It’s not necessarily how I feel, I’m not a Nazi, Nazis were made to be made fun of. Black jokes are hilarious because they’re based on truth. Jews like money, that’s just a fact that happens to be fucking hilarious if used in context.

Whatever I write I’ll defend. That’s about it. Anyone who writes should feel the same way.

 

 

It Truly IS the way. When it Works…

ImageWell, I totally have my music games covered at all times. From Pump, to DDR, to Rock Band. I’ve been playing quite a bit as of late getting in the mindset for said movie.

But I was surprised to see that Snoop Leon’s (I still can’t get used to that name) rhyhem game was out. So natually I had to scoop it up.

If you’ve ever played Elite Beat Agents or even downloaded OSU!. You know what’s up. Match buttons to the beat. Move the stick a little. You’ll build up meter to do a super move and you must get there before your opponent does. Simple as that.

There we go. That actually looked pretty fun didn’t it? Because it fucking is. And at 10 bucks for a new music game, you can’t go wrong right?

Here are the things I liked.

-It’s Snoop.

-It’s cheap.

-It’s fresh and original.

-It’s Snoop.

What I didn’t Like…

-The story is the worst thing 

-That I wasn’t high while playing this. It would be the best fucking thing ever.

-The fact that that game glitches a lot and will fail to load the inputs  That’s right, a music game that will randomly not load prompts. That’s a serious problem if you’re going for scores like me.

-The game will randomly drop your inputs like Marvel 3 does. I highly doubt this was done on purpose. If it was, then bravo.

-Frame rate issues.

-Did I mention how DUMB the story was. As a filmmaker, I was cringing at the writing and editing that went into the story. Quite frankly, they could have left the story out all together and just purely made it about a fighting tournament or something. That would have been pretty cool. Instead, we’re stuck hearing the story of America Jones.

-Where the fuck are my F-Words at? I know they were trying to get a Teen rating to sell more copies. But come on guys, it’s Snoop. Old school Snoop. I know an M-Rating might not sell what you want. But I’m still waiting for that M-Rated music game.

All and all, it’s 10 bucks. Check it. 

Review: At Stake: Vampire Solutions

MV5BMTU4NDMyMDc3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjUxNjU0OA@@._V1_SX214_There’s been a lot of talk about vampires in the past couple of yes. From True Blood, to that lame Disney Channel series… to Twilight. But the question is always around… who deals with these vampires in real world scenarios? That’s where At Stake: Vampire Solutions comes in.

This is a documentary style film (Think Blair Witch with a better camera… and acting.) focusing on the day to day operations of the AS:VS crew as they take their modified paintball guns full of glass marbles, and kill hoards of vamps terrorizing the town. Ending is one of the most insane vampire mosh pits I’ve seen in a while. Didn’t really think vampires really attacked in large groups but then again I was quite surprised so it did it’s job.

I’m usually not into the documentary style movie… unless it’s Christopher Guest. He just gets it. But here, it’s used to really get inside the heads of these rather radical human beings. They really remind me of the people I used to work with at the grocery store… only with weapons and shit.

I think I may have spoiled too much. The story is relatively simple so there’s nothing much to say… other than it’s a documentary gone horribly wrong.

It’s something fucking original. Give it a watch,  it’s damn short. Quite frankly I would love to see a series on this thing. But who knows what the future is gonna bring from this one. Watch it and enjoy.

If you’re not convinced. Go ahead and watch the trailer.

Then go watch it on demand, or get yourself a Blu-Ray like I watched. Sound was crisp as hell on the Blu-Ray though. Didn’t get the DVD to compare, but I’m sure it sounds just as good.

Well, go watch it.

Heyo! Everyone. Oh yeah, we’re screening on Saturday.

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Been gone for a while trying to make the sunabitch movie work… but all my hard work payed off. We are finally going to screen this bitch. Not just one, but two movies. All for one low price. Isn’t that wonderful as hell?

Saturday or so I’ll have a deep a reflective post or something. But I just  wanted everyone to know I’m alive and mostly kicking. As usual the actors have been great. Really great. And I can’t wait to see them this weekend.

 

If you live in Chicago or anyplace near Chicago at all, you should come on out to the show.

 

I have more things to talk about later. But I’m going to wait for this shit to finish and play Earthworm Jim HD

 

 

Yo! Magical Drop!

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Bitches don’t know about my Magical Drop. At long last. An action puzzle game I can play with other people online because people are dumb and don’t want to play action puzzlers with me locally.

Heathens.

But thanks to Golgoth Studio in good ol’ France, Magical Drop V is now available on steam for a low low low LOW price (seriously, they should charge more). Check out the link, they got videos and stuff.

I really don’t need to explain this game to you. Or maybe I do. Take a minute to check out the steam page over there. I’ll wait.

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Yeah, that basically sums it all up. It’s your standard puzzler fare of lining up 3 or more bubbles to destroy them. Combo clears together and you can drop stuff on your opponent. I don’t think I’ve ever played a faster puzzle series in my entire life actually.

Anyway, this PC version comes with the standard story mode… which is the arcade more (at least right now) and there are a number of multiplayer offerings for up to four players. I haven’t tried any of the multiplayer yet and I’m about to get to why.

Problem with the game in it’s current state… it’s not exactly stable and I haven’t been able to play games with anyone on my friends list yet. I have been able to do some ranked matches. Haven’t won any though. I always got 10 chained right at the beginning to an instant death. Wish they had harder puzzles like the old days. Also, this is just a personal thing. But there’s a lot of flashing and distracting things going on that are going to take some getting used to. The water, the smoke. All kinds of crap you haven’t seen in a Magic Drop game before. Again, not really a problem, it’s just something to be ready for. The game is also lacking that Puzzle Mode I always loved so much. But from what the developers have said, they’re going to be patching new content in.

The developers have been very active in the forums and trying to get the game up and running smoothly. This I like to see. Apparently there’s a patch for joystick usage coming soon so I won’t have to use that damn Joy2Key anymore.

All and all, I’m loving the game and I’m eager to level up and really get back to where I once was in the arcade. It’s a cheap game. Go buy it. Support this great indie developer. So on and so forth.

Until next time.

The 30 Dollar J’Marcus Webb T-Shirt

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That’s right guys! Now you too can show your support for the Chicago Bears favorite tackle. You can proudly walk about town showing that you know what an awesome offensive lineman looks like. Not only that, the shirt has special powers.

1. The ability to have a well stocked and organized fridge. Say what you want about the guy, but he’s got the fridge on lockdown.

2. The ability to take good Instagram pictures. It gives you that J’Marcus Webb smile. Dude’s got good teeth and you can too.

3. The ability to phase through solid objects like you’re not even there. Just like Webb does on the football field. It’s like you two share a soul now.

All that said, Webb is a good guy. He needs to get mad out there though. Dude is huge as hell. Somebody piss this guy off. Bear down.

Movie a day! Oh my! Week 1 Go.

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I wanna get back to writing about movies a bit. So I’m going to watch one, maybe two every night to get my love going a bit. I’m going to revisit things. But I want to try and get through a bunch of things I haven’t seen yet.

November:

26th: Hope Springs

27th: Expendables 2

28th: That’s My Boy

29th: Looper

30th: Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3

December 1st: God Bless America

 

Let’s get it rolling.

Why the fuck is this movie taking so long to come out? Observations of directing my second feature.

ImageSince I’m asked this on average of 6 times a day. Here’s the answer to your woes and desires.

I started working on the movie soon after we screened the first movie in July… 2011. After a couple of drafts I started passing it about in October and had high hopes of starting in March.

I really wanted to switch things up and make it a mostly female affair. This drew the ire of our first  Yvette. She has a history of clashing with female co-stars and I basically wanted none of that. That’s when I dropped her and went for Julie, must to her displeasure.

My basic philosophy from the beginning was this. If you didn’t want to comply to really simple demands and act like a decent human, I didn’t want you to be there. Simple.

The casting process was fun though. Problem was, this was a script that was really hard for some people to get into. It required a lot of cursing and not taking yourself all too seriously. Not to mention the subject matter was something your average person wouldn’t know jack shit about. Like I told Beth (our movie’s Lily) that she was actually my 5th choice. Simply because of the content, but I finally found someone who quite frankly was brave enough to tackle it and I consider myself lucky. That goes double for Denise.

But back to the timeline.

In January, I had already had my actors set. At least a few of them. Julie and the others. I ended up losing one of my actors over some dumb shit. Lost a good friend though since people can’t tell the truth. But that’s another fucking story.

But I ended up taking Josh back on board from the first movie. He came to me and thought we could do a movie that was twice as good. I was pretty excited about this… for about a month.

When day 1 came (in April) things started to look a little… worse. Me and Josh butted heads about stuff. But hey, it was my project so I did what I wanted to do. I’ll listen to whatever it is, but when you come in and try to push me around, I’m not exactly going to lay down for you and Josh really wasn’t wasn’t feeling that.

It came to really simple things like shooting days to me dropping Kristen. Which of course I straight up told him fuck you for.

As time progressed, Josh would show up later and later to shoots and was ill-prepared to shoot when he did. Me and the actors would be waiting… sometimes for hours for him to show up somewhere after we had agreed on a time. No matter what business you’re in, you can’t do that shit. You’re basically giving a huge fuck you to all the other people who you happen to be working with. If you’re late once or something it’s no big deal. But there’s such a thing as blatant, malicious disregard. And that’s what was shown quite frankly.

Each time this would happen, we’d lose time. I can only keep actors around for so long and have them stay sharp. At least at this level.

We lost a lot of scenes simply because we’d run out of time every day while. If you take a look at the script I have and the movie we got, you’ve got a totally different movie. I’d have to shift things up time and time again. It was taxing on me, as well as the actors. This mess will never happen again.

The movie was supposed to be done in time for GenCon in August. That gave us months to have this movie done. But the above kept happening and the lack of cooperation. I know I’ll have other huge chances… but it always hurts.

But we really run into problems when I just couldn’t handle the massive amounts of straight up crap and decided to let Josh go. He didn’t take it very well.

He decided to steal some footage, it doesn’t completely kill the movie, but it’s enough that I basically had to rewrite and reshoot half the goddamn movie. And this takes time and a lot of sleepless nights. But I felt like it was all my fault, so I haven’t really been angry about that.

I’m just taking my time to make sure I do my actors justice for the hard work they put in. And they really put in some work.

What I truly don’t appreciate is the fact that I lost so many great performances and even whole character because he just wanted to spite me. Look, you can have it out for me all you want but as long as it’s just me. But as long as the other guys are working around me they’re like family and not to be fucked with or you’re going to have serious problems.

I have to say this, I have the best group of actors I could ever ask for. Any one of them I’d suggest for anything, just on the fact they tolerate me.

Now that that’s all cleared up. Let’s move on to the next thing.

Here’s what I learned.
1. Camera-people are jerks, make them work for your trust.

2. Normal people are never genuine. The weirder they are, the better.

3. Every person on your set is important. Make sure they know that. Things can’t move smoothly unless

4. If anyone is going to suffer. Make sure it’s you (The director, producer). It will be worth it in the end.

The way I do things is different than your average director. I think that’s one thing that’s made things so refreshing for us.

We’ll be screening things in January. Peace out guys.

So, today was pretty big day.

I had to fire someone today that wasn’t quite up to snuff… you would say. Here’s what I told the rest of the staff.

Okay, now to explain myself. I already ran things by Erik and he seemed to agree. Or maybe he was just drunk. I dunno.

But it was no secret that things between **** and I weren’t that great. But if being in the military taught me one thing, it’s to keep calm and work with people. Even if they’re the biggest of jerks to you. Now I can take it just fine if it’s JUST me, I can do the back and forth argument thing all day long. Even when our screening at PAX had to be axed, I still didn’t go nuclear. Though that would have been a huge thing for all of us.

However, when that lack of respects gets handed down to those working sound/actors/etc. Then we truly have a problem. The showing up late, the talking behind the back, the lying, it’s just not working when you do it poorly. Least don’t think I’m an idiot.

What really got me was an exchange we had about a month ago before I went to GenCon. He was late processing a scene which I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even done.

****: Why are you so nice to them?
Me: Who?
****: The actors?
Me: … I’m just treating them like human beings, trying to treat them well because that’s what I do. I’m not an asshole.
****: Why? They’re just actors.
Me: You can do what you like, but as long as you’re here, they’re your equals.

Pretty much convinced me then he’s not on my side, or any of yours. Even working with him the bit I did with the 48 Hour thing that he also kinda left people hanging on, it was the same way.

If you want to be the professional you sell yourself to be, just simply do your job. You don’t even have to do it that WELL just make that attempt. I’m trying to grow as a director, and you guys are all growing as actors. But I don’t see any of you pretending to be something you’re not. If you were I wouldn’t have you here.

Now I’m not going to go everywhere and completely trash him, even though he does deserve it. And I suggest you all do the same… but I’m not the boss of you all’s lives so do what you see fit. Some of you seem more vengeful than others.

I’m just wondering if I did the right thing. But I can’t have bullshit going on like this. It’s just MY fault for not doing so sooner you know.

That said, I think I won’t be getting a couple of those scenes back. But hey, you do what you gotta do. If anyone wants to discuss all this more I’m always around and I got a big ol’ bar of chocolate. So I’m here all day.

Turnabout Time Bitches, Let’s Fucking Go.

That’s our guy Phoenix Wright… and yes… it’s a movie. A live action video game movie.

Now before you get all pissy, I understand. There hasn’t really been a good track record for game adaptations. I’m looking at you House of the Dead, Resident Evil… and well… every fucking thing else.

But the great Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer) brings us yet another. This one in the Ace Attorney Universe.

If you don’t know what the hell is up with this… I really can’t explain it without spoiling it. So I’m just going to show you the trailer.

Oh yes, this is the first live action movie where I’ve seen an actual “anime drop”. You’ll know what I mean.

Okay, the Blu-Ray just came out in Japan. There are plans to localize that shit next year. If you don’t feel like waiting, grab some fansubs. They were pretty okay from what I saw.

This is the video game movie we’ve all been waiting for. Here’s hoping for more.