Archive for the 'Movies' Category

Shine a Light

I always go for the music movies on the plane.  Shine a Light, man. Shine a light. Um, not too brightly though, the crags have gotten pretty deep. But yeah, good movie. Must be good for me to actually write about it. Where by “write” I mean “scribble down a bunch of random thoughts with crayon, to fill the rest of the flight.”

So. Turns out Keith Richards is overrated as a guitarist. Bit of a shock, really. And he’s a good enough singer, but really, two songs of his own? Not exactly captivating. And I think he had a TelePrompTer; he kept looking down just before each couplet.

Okay, with that out of the way, I got words.

Energy. Mick Jagger at 65 million years or whatever old has more energy than most entire bands. If you buried him under a mountain he would eventually compress into enough oil to fuel the world for decades. Not that I doubt for a second that his energy (or all that thinness) is chemically enhanced, but still. Drug energy is just a loan really; when does he pay it back?  He’s no spring turkey any more, but ol’ Mick’s still got a hell of a line, and moves like a figure skater. All four of the original Stones still steam with stage presence and joy at playing. Of course the backing singers, bass, keys, and horn section look happy too; who wouldn’t?

Apology.  Dear Ronnie Wood: I apologize for taking until now to realize you’re ten times the guitarist that Keith is. Nice pedal steel work, man.

History.  So okay, Keith not so great on the axe, but… Does anyone understand the roots of the instrument better? Who else could (or would) get Jack White, Christina Aguilera, and Buddy Guy on stage with them in one concert? And giving Buddy your guitar at the end of his song was a nice touch.

Reality. Reality is good. Benefit concert in a huge fancy theater, introduced by Bill Clinton, filmed by Martin Scorcese? And you’re 117 years old? Pretty ballsy to make it real. Sure, it was rehearsed, but the arrangements were something other than note-for-note copies of the records, like what some aging bands do (I’m looking at you, The Eagles). No lip-syncing or pre-recorded licks here. Couple minor mistakes make that clear. (Unless they put those in on purpose, like cutting off a branch of a perfect Christmas tree to make it look more natural. If so, well played, Stones. Well played. Well, well played nevertheless.)

It takes a certain talent to reach the level of spectacle while staying raw and intimate. Big fan of raw and intimate here, and yes, these boys have it. Makes getting old a little less scary, to know they still got it.

Shine a Light (Martin Scorcese, 2008)


Ooh, a blog entry about Black Swan. But I gotta write about something. Hey, spoiler warning!

So yeah, I finally saw it. And it gave me nightmares. Nightmares where I had written a script that was really dark and gritty and parallel to a classic work, but in the end was just a bunch of stuff that happened. So I guess it must have been a good movie, to affect me that much, eh?
Continue reading ‘Blackened’

It’s new to you!

I hate writer’s block. So here’s something from a few years back that I just dug up.

Why do airlines show such lame movies? Over and over… Lake Placid? Seriously?

                               JEFF BRIDGES
    My God, there's a crocodile-shaped computer animation in that lake!

                                BILL PULLMAN
    EEEK!  I just stepped on something that's so gross they'll have to
    edit it out for the airline audience.

                                BETTY WHITE
    Poor dear, it only ate a bear yesterday, it must be hungry.
    I'll have to feed it its daily cow.  Good thing nobody ever notices
    me doing that.  And thank God for those Golden Girls residuals.
    Do you have any idea how much these things cost?

She leads the REAL COW to the water and slaps its rump.  Close-up shot of a
REAL CROCODILE looking menacing.  Cut to long shot of a MUCH LARGER REALLY
FAKEY LOOKING MECHANICAL CROCODILE lunging clumsily toward an obviously
FAKE COW.  It drags the cow back into the water.

                               LOWELL GEORGE
    Wait, aren't I dead?  I know, I'll fly a helicopter over the lake.
    Audiences love helicopters.

Cut to helicopter in lake.

                               LOWELL GEORGE
    Oh no, my flying machine has crashed into the lake with the crocodile.
    It's a good thing they cut that out for the airline audience.  Some
    of them could be frightened by the sight of such a flimsy plot device.
    Hey where's the croc?

                               BILL PULLMAN
    I don't know!  Quick, jump in the water.

LOWELL GEORGE jumps into the water, then BILL PULLMAN jumps into the water.
Mayhem ensues.  Eventually we see the AMAZING VARIABLE-SIZE crocodile inside
the helicopter.

                               LOWELL GEORGE
    Look, it's trapped.  Wasn't that clever?

    YAAAAY, now we can watch October Sky for the 27th time!

                                JULIA ROBERTS
    Not until you've watched Notting Hill at least twice more.

Yes it’s totally out of date, but I assure you it was hilarious back in ’99 when I wrote it.