Thursday, January 31, 2008


Thanks to a few pestering friends of mine I have recently jumped off the LOST haters wagon, and onto the Dharma van. That's right, I'm coming out and saying it...I'M A LOST FAN!

I had gone the span of all three season without watching one single episode on television. Looking back, I think the main reason I never tuned in was because EVERYONE everywhere was talking about it, and I didn't want to buy into the hype. But during the last few months of 2007 I tore through all 3 season of Lost in unbelievable time.

I must say that season 1 was a total snore fest. I wasn't feeling the show at all. In fact, my buddy Matt had to keep telling me, "dude, I promise it gets better." And finally, the first episode of season 2 threw me a curve and changed the show completely. Instead of a cheesy combination of Survivor and Cast Away on an deserted island, it instantly became a Stephen King-like science fiction series. I was sucked IN! In fact, as soon as the Dharma Initiative was introduced I was hooked on LOST! Season 3 was even better introducing us to the "Others" and making some major changes with main characters.

Now that Season 4 is premiering tonight on ABC, I am ecstatic. Although, I must say I am not looking forward to having to wait a week between episodes. I was spoiled rotten being able to watch multiple episodes in a row when I watched the show on DVD. The true test of my loyalty to the show will come in this 8 episode, season. And since the number "4" is the first in the sequence of numbers we see throughout the show (4 8 15 16 23 42), I'm ready for some mind bending ripples in the plot.

I could write for hours about this show, but I actually need to get going, I have a LOST party to get to. "Live Together, Die Alone"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dr. Jones Cometh...with a Bazooka?

We're now less than five months away from the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and some promising news comes today that "the picture is locked." "And Steven [Spielberg] is pretty much done editing." In an interview with Empire Magazine Indy Producer, Frank Marshall added that the film is progressing along beautifully. They have even come so far that cinematic composer, John Williams, is already beginning the process of scoring the film. This is exciting news for all of us"Fedora heads!"

If that is not stealing your ancient idol, then hopefully this will. Mr. Marshall tells the mag that Crystal Skull "sits tonally with the rest of the series, I would say it's closest to the third one (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)." Many fans of the threelogy fear that because the film is set in a different time period (no Nazis), and Indy is decades older, that the film won't be as swashbuckling. Well, as we all know Dr. Jones has wielded everything from his trusty leather bull whip to a rusty old machete. But this photo released today puts something a bit different in the hands of the archaeologist. KABOOM!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Solace, Quantum of Solace...

I know there are a lot of people that call themselves James Bond fans. Recently, many of them expressed their disapproval for the new title of "Bond 22," The Quantum of Solace. I can see why there may be some disappointment, but like the old saying goes, "Never judge a book by it's cover," the same is true in this case, only it should be, "never judge a movie by it's title." In fact, how many people have actually avoided watching a movie just because they thought the title was "lame." I certainly have not. If that was indeed the case, I would have missed out on several excellent movies. Just to name a few, here are some of those among my favorites that happen to have lame titles:

The fact is that producers, wanting to stay true to the Bond genre, actually pulled the Quantum of Solace title from a series of short stories that were penned by 007 creator himself, Ian Fleming. Even Daniel Craig has had to defend the title recently, stating that the title is "integral to the plot."

"We could have gone for a snappier title, but that sort of suggests we're insecure about what we're trying to say. The statement is an (Bond creator) Ian Fleming statement. It comes from the idea that in a relationship, if you don't have a quantum of solace left in your relationship, then give up. Where Bond is left at the end of the last movie (2006's Casino Royale), his heart's been broken and he doesn't have that quantum of solace, he doesn't have that ... closure on what happened in his life and he needs to find out. What is great about it is it also applies to something very important in the plot."

I'm confident this installment of 007 will grab the worlds attention in the same way Casino Royale did. And with Director Marc Forster running the show, and bombshells Gemma Arterton and Olga Kurylenko (<- Mega BABE!) recently added to the cast, Quantum of Solace is sure to be eye catching.

Check out this featurette released on today.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Moving is ALWAYS an adventure...

It is time for me to finally move it on up, to the East side of town. I am leaving my set up in Studio City for a much better situation in Burbank. For the past 10 months I have been living in a 2 bedroom apartment with three other guys. That's right, do the math, that is 2 of us in each room. Initially it was an ideal situation, seeing that each of us were new to LA and weren't making the kind of money necessary to have private rooms. But now that we each have the means to support ourselves we are moving out.

I have been looking forward to my independence, I find it much easier to focus on my goals and creative projects when there is no one around. So this change will be very beneficial for me. Another good thing is that I am moving in with someone that I already know from work.

Today was my last chance to rent a UHAUL van and pack up my big furniture. That was crappy thing too, because it was raining like no other....If there's one thing I hate more than moving, it's moving in the rain. SO I just bucked up and did it.

The fun didn't stop there, after driving out to my new place, it really started coming down...

Finally the weather let up and I got everything inside, safe and sound.

The new apartment is pretty damn nice, it is a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath apartment. So not only will I have my own room, but I will also have the luxury of having my own bathroom. Right now I'm back at my old place packing some last minute things (and using the Internet, which we don't have set up in the new place yet.) Once I'm done here, I will take another load over and spend my first night in my new place. I am really excited!

Once I have settled in and have everything set up and unpacked, I will take you on a virtual tour of my place.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

"Oy vey. They're darker than we are...."

You may remember a few weeks ago I mentioned a special screening that I was looking forward to attending. Well, last night was that night. It was a Mel Brooks double feature at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. In the past I had attended screenings at the Aero where directors/actors would do a Q&A session in between their features. A very cool opportunity for die hard film fanatics, like myself. But this particular night was different. My whole life I had grown up watching Mel Brooks movies, I would even credit them for helping me develop this "grade A" sense of humor I have today. But anyway, back to the subject, Mel Brooks himself was going to be at this screening and was going to take questions from the audience in between the showing of Blazing Saddles and History of the World: Part 1. I really had no idea what to expect from old Mel, but my hopes were high.

We arrived at the theater a little over an hour before the screenings began and to our surprise the line was already out the door and around the corner. (Actually, I wasn't too surprised Mel is very popular.) At that point I realized that actually meeting Mel Brooks was highly unlikely. Regardless, I was still anxious to see the two classics on the big screen in their original film print.

Once inside, we took our seats, the Aero Theatre welcomed us to the special engagement and Blazing Saddles began rolling on the big screen. The movie, of course, is hilarious, but because there were so many Brooks fans in the house it seemed to be twice as funny.

Once the credits were finished rolling, the house MC introduced Mr. Mel Brooks. The entire theater rose in standing ovation and I could barely see the top of Mel's head making his way to the front of the theater. Before the Q&A session began, the MC announced that there would be no photographs or autographs allowed with Mr. Brooks. I thought that was a bummer, but I was so taken by his presence that I soon forgot.

At the ripe old age of 82 years old, Mel Brooks still hasn't lost it. He had the audience roaring in laughter. He spoke about the production of Blazing Saddles. He shared with us a story of how the Warner Bros. Executives in 1973 almost denied production. See and hear for yourself...

I'm telling you Mel hasn't lost it. After a long and VERY entertaining Q&A session Mel Brooks went to the back of the theater, took his seat and we watched the History of the World: Part 1. I will admit, this was the first time I had ever seen this movie. I loved it in all of its hilarity. Easily, one of Mel's best. "It's good to be King!"

As the movie ended we decided to beat the crowd and left just as the credits started. We had parked blocks away, so we started walking up to my car. After about four blocks or so, we noticed a little old man, walking alone to his car. It was then it smacked me in the face...that was Mel Brooks. He had apparently left moments before us to avoid the crazy fans. I was ecstatic, here I thought I was going to miss out on meeting the man, but fate had other plans. HA HA (I know, I am kind of superstitious when it comes to this kind of stuff.) I kindly asked him if I could get a picture with him? He turned and said, of course. I shook his hand and told him what a fan I was, that I loved all of his work and that he was a household name in my family. He was so kind and talkative. He said he was grateful that we came out to see his movies.

In all, it was a very cool experience. Mel Brooks will one day be listed among the greats of comedy and now I will be able to say that I got to shake the hand of this legend.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rambo Nostalgia...

Today is the day that many action movie fans have looked forward to since last summer. Rambo explodes into theaters across America. This, the fourth installment in the highly popular franchise and is already being heralded as the bloodiest of all. According to Dark Horizons, Rambo (2008) has the highest body count of all four films. Here are the numbers they came up with:

Total Body Count: 236
Kill Count Per Minute: 2.59
Torture Scenes: 3
Time of First Death In Film: 3min 22sec
Good Guys Killed: 113
Bad Guys Killed By Rambo: 83
Bad Guys Killed By Supporting Characters: 40
*for the full report click here

Pretty impressive numbers if you ask me. Stallone, who both penned and directed this one, seems to kick some major ass in the movie and kills so many people it would just be too hard to take names. That is pretty phenomenal, when you keep in mind he does it all with his shirt on AND at the tender age of 63 years. Even though Arnold is the ruler/emperor of California he still can't even say he's done that! Congratulations Sylvester, you are NOW the king of action!

In honor of today’s release of the latest chapter in the heartstring-tugging life of John Rambo, Rolling Stone is honoring iconic movie themes from the 1980s, for better or worse. Here are their picks, with a bonus Frank Stallone music video (crooning the theme song to Rambo: First Blood Part II), which you can watch below:

Sly may be up there in age, but thanks to advances in technology and CGI, he can do his thing on the big screen. Whether or not he can do the same in reality is questionable. You be the judge...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Life on Mars?

This still image, captured by NASA's Mars rover, "Spirit" in 2004, is stirring up a debate around the world these days. Check out the picture and decide for yourself what the controversy might be. A magnified version of the picture, appears to resemble a human form among a crop of rocks. Let's zoom in and see what all the fuss is about.Some say it looks like a rock, others say it looks to be a figure striding across the surface of the planet. This controversy has been all over the news this week and has reignited the debate about life on the Red Planet.

Personally, if you ask me, I don't think that it is an alien life form at all. In fact, I think it is just a rock structure that just happens to resemble a living figure. But, I do want to point out something funny that I noticed. Look at the position the so called "figure" is in. It looks awfully familiar, doesn't it? The picture above is a frame taken from the Patterson-Gimlin film. It was allegedly filmed on October 20, 1967 by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin who claimed the film was a genuine recording of a Bigfoot. Many have called the film a hoax, but it is a unique and interesting piece of film. See for yourself...

There is a reason I have laid out all this info. I want to bring it back to the original subject. I say, if the world really wants to believe this picture is of a distant being, I just want to point out that based on past experiences (see above), it would be more likely that NASA has actually spotted Bigfoot on Mars and not an alien life form. I mean come on, it's a single photograph, it could just be a smudge on the lens (think about it, the rover traveled millions of miles through space before arriving. Something could have easily smeared). It could also be a strange pile of rocks, Jimmy Hoffa or even a piece of beef jerky. In fact, if you think about it, after all that pestering those mischievous hikers did to Bigfoot in those classic commercials I wouldn't be surprised if this picture was just Sasquatch's way of getting his revenge.

For more Messin with Sasquatch I HIGHLY recommend you CLICK HERE. Hilarious!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A MONSTROUSLY entertaining movie...

This weekend I saw a movie that I had heard and read extensively about, and yet I was still very surprised and impressed by the end result. Cloverfield, produced by J.J. Abrams, is an apocalyptic thriller that manages to keep the audience on the edges of their seats. This film puts a creative and unique twist by using a "camcorder point of view." I can assure you that this flick pulls off what the Blair Witch Project tried, that is make a legitimately entertaining movie with a very REAL feel.

The one and ONLY complaint I have about the movie is the fact that the human eye struggles with all the quick movements and if one chose a seat in the front half of the theater they would be regretting their choice an hour into the movie. But those that sat in the back half, would find it less challenging to follow the action.

If you haven't figured it out by now, this film documents the invasion of a giant monster and the path of destruction it leaves on the island of Manhattan. The movie is supposed to be a piece of evidence gathered by the Department of Defense, a video tape allegedly found in what used to be known as Central Park. And I must say that the production value is high enough to trick the audience into thinking the film is a record of an unbelievable attack. If you go see this movie you will have a riot. It is highly entertaining. If you don't want to take my word for it, check out the record-breaking numbers Cloverfield pulled off in the box office during its opening weekend.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go destroy Downtown Los Angeles...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Beards are BACK, and if you don't like it SHAVE!

Many of you have seen the massive growth of hair that is slowly accumulating on my chin. Some have chimed in with their opinions on it, and I've heard comments that are both in support and in opposition of my manly growth. Personally, I do prefer to have minimal facial hair, but as we are in the midst of winter, I feel that it is more than appropriate to have some.

Throughout the history of mankind beards have been a symbol for various attributes such as wisdom, sexual virility, or high status; and, conversely, filthiness, crudeness, or an eccentric disposition. I hope that when people see me they only think of the first few.

I was inspired by the recent resurgence of the "Man Mane" in the mainstream culture. Several films spotlight the benefits of the beard. Last year, 300 rocked the world as bearded muscle-clad Spartans battled the forces of evil. King Leonidas, their powerful leader, had one of the biggest beards in recent movie history. This character was the epitome of strength, wisdom and power. Speaking of power, and more recently in theaters, a totally different character traveled the seas to rid a troubled Danish town of a menacing monster. Beowulf's beard is much smaller, but don't let that make you think he was any less powerful than King Leo. To this day there are still tales and poems that praise Beowulf's heroism. I'm telling you beards are a sign of strength.

With that said, I must tell you that I am not growing my beard out in hopes to attain instant power. Nor am I trying to be like Beowulf or King Leo. I merely wanted to give a little background and point out the recent recognition of beards in the mainstream media.

If you must know the real reason for the beard, it is actually quite simple. I have never truly tested my beard growing capabilities, and now that the industry I work in is dealing with a writers strike, I feel like now is an opportune time to try it out. So in a way I am growing a "Strike Beard." But I must make it clear, I am not doing it in support of the writers cause, which I only partly agree with, but rather, I merely want to see how the beard progresses during the duration of the WGA strike. I'm well into my growth, been growing since Thanksgiving, but my decision was solidified when I saw Conan O'Brien do this comedy bit:

Another contribution to bringing back the beards is the fact that two of the three Late Night hosts are sporting them. You already saw Conan's, Jay Leno has yet to hop on that wagon, but David Letterman was the first of all the Late Night hosts to appear on television with the face fuzz. In fact, his bristles were the inspiration behind a list on The Best Week Ever's: 10 Most inspiring Beards of ALL-TIME. I recommend you check it out, good stuff. For some real impressive facial hair feats, I also recommend that you take a gander at this website:
World Beard Championships

Pretty impressive, huh? Don't worry, I will not let my beard reach any of those proportions. I will be sure to at very least be presentable. One thing you can bet on is that I will never look like this!

George A. Romero not done yet...

The master of horror, George A. Romero is making a mighty return to a theater near you. George, who is widely known for pioneering the zombie genre, has another film coming to theaters in February. Romero's original classic, Night of the Living Dead (1968), raised the bar for horror film to a level that it had yet to see. Multiple films followed including, Dawn of the Dead(1978), Day of the Dead and the more recent, Land of the Dead. Clearly Mr. Romero knows zombie films and that isn't stopping him from trying something new. Check out the trailer below, you'll see what I'm talking about.

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I was able to screen this movie back on October 12th 2007 as part of the The Screamfest Horror Festival. I really enjoyed it, and it seemed like many of the festival goers felt the same way. It is a bit of a departure from his other films, but still very entertaining. If you are a fan of horror as I am, then Diary of the Dead is for you. It arrives in theaters February 15, 2008. Go check it out....

Is HD DVD defeated?

It made pretty big news recently, and it could mean the complete demise of HD DVD. Warner Bros. Entertainment announced it will release movies exclusively in the Blu-ray format, becoming the latest studio to reject the rival HD DVD technology and possible seal its doom. Up until the announcement, Warner Bros. was the only remaining studio releasing high-definition DVDs in both formats.

With that in mind, I saw this video on Youtube regarding this historic turn in the technological battle. Very funny, I hope you enjoy it as much as i did...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Poppin my professional hockey cherry...

Today was a pretty monumental day in my life. I attended my first EVER professional hockey game. My friend hooked me up with some tickets to the Los Angeles Kings / Dallas Stars game at the Staples Center. I had been to the Staples center several times before, to see the Clippers play. Although this wasn't my first hockey experience, it was the first time I had seen an NHL game first hand and I must say that it was quite the experience. The cool crisp air in the stadium reminded me of the cool Park City mountain air back home. The sound of skates scraping on the ice and the puck slapping against the hockey sticks spoke to my soul. I knew I was experiencing something special. The game was surprisingly good. We hadn't even reached our seats and the score was already 0 - 2, in Dallas' favor. Now, let me explain a little something, for those of you that KNOW hockey, two goals in one period is VERY unlikely. So right off the bat, I assumed that the game wouldn't be very close and we would be lucky to see any more goals scored by either team. It wasn't much longer after that, the Kings scored a goal. Shortly after that goal, they scored their second, bringing both teams to a tie at the end of the first period.


Not only was the game great, but so was the company. My friend, Katie, hooked us up with the seats, so thanks to her. Along with myself, Matt, Rafaela, Katie, Amy, Micalea and a few others, we filled nearly two rows. We all scored some sweet red shirts and killer LA Kings ball caps. The game carried on like any other, turnovers, several penalties, but unfortunately there were no fights. I don't care who you are, one thing is certain, if you're going to a hockey game in the U.S. of A. you're a hopin' for some fight to break out. But I'm not complaining too much, because the Kings ended up winning, which is a feat in itself, seeing that the team is ranked last in their conference. And not only did they win, but the game ended up going into overtime, which went goalless, so officials were forced to call a shootout. Now, besides fights breaking out, shootouts are the next best thing in hockey. LA went first, SCORED! Dallas followed, a miss! This put LA up 1-0 in a best out of three shots. The pressure was building on Dallas and LA fans were ecstatic, feeling that a victory was near. LA sent its second man in the shootout, a miss! Dallas went, SCORE!! Now the numbers are dead even, 1-1, with only one shot remaining for eachsquad. LA's third man, had to put one in the net to pull out the win and this is what happened...

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Yes, I shot that on my digital camera. The game was a lot of fun. If anyone is willing to hit up a Kings game in the future, I am your man.

Foreign gets SCARY.....

If you want to see something that is scary, but isn't predictable I highly recommend The Orphanage. Produced by Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro, this supernatural thriller more than exceeded my expectation. Very few movies hold my attention well after I have left the theater, but this Spanish film had me pondering well after. I would even go as far to say that this is the best thriller I have seen in months. Most of the time I am less enthusiastic about films with subtitles, but the story was SO enthralling I barely even noticed that I was reading them.

The story revolves around a woman. a former orphan, who buys the orphanage she grew up in, and converts the old building into her residence alongside her husband and only son. Strange things begin happening, causing her to revisit her childhood memories. Eventually her only son disappears and she is convinced the spirits in the house are to blame. There are several unexpected twists throughout the film and the end has you saying "OH NO!!" The suspense in the climactic scene is so THICK you can literally cut the tension with a knife. This is a MUST-SEE film. grab a date and get to your local theater...

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Years Resolution: the follow up...

It's been the first full week of 2008 and I must say that I have been doing pretty good at keeping my new years resolutions. I will admit that I have slipped a few times, but I have gotten back on track and still have my eye on my goals for the month. I did slip and have a soda the other was honestly a simple case of forgetfulness. On the exercise front, I was so good this week. In fact, I worked so hard that my whole body was so sore that I wasn't able to even work out on Friday. Seriously, not a case of me just wusing out, I couldn't move my arms or legs, without being in complete pain. Next week, I should be back in full force. I look forward to hitting it again really hard. I'm still confident that I will get close to my goal weight. My only real weakness right now it my eating habits, I really need to focus on eating HALF the amount I usually do. I think that will be the key to my success.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Get up and walk around without getting out of bed....

Think back to when you were a kid and would go camping. Do you remember waking up in your toasty warm sleeping bag, not ever wanting to unzip and get out into the cold mountain air. Well, as silly as they are I think I found a solution. They are called Lippi Selk'Bags. Essentially they are high quality sleeping bags with leg and arm compartments added on. I know they really look like puffy spacesuit or something, but imagine the benefits. You wake up, it's a chilly 35 degrees out and you can get up and do your morning routine around camp, and not even get out of your bag.

Unfortunately these are not available in the states at this time, but if you are willing to pay the shipping you can get yourself into one of these for a mere £89.00 (that's about $165.00 American). With that said, I wouldn't be surprised at all if we see Ad Rock, Mike D, and MCA, the Beastie Boys, sporting a Lippi Selk’Bag in their next music video.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Two Movies and one great Filmmaker...

One of my favorite things about living in LA is the close proximity to great movie events. A few months back I discovered this little historic theater in Santa Monica called the Aero Theatre. I found this place when the theater announced it would screen the widely popular 80s film The Monster Squad. After screening the classic, I noticed that the the place frequently has screenings of retro films. The next engagement I saw on the schedule was a double screening of two Richard Donner classics Goonies and Ladyhawke and the best thing about it, Richard Donner would be there in person to talk about his films. That was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. Not only did Mr. Donner direct both of those films, but he is known for directing the Lethal Weapon Franchise, Superman(1978), and Maverick among others. I bought a ticket to that screening and have been a fan of the Aero Theatre ever since.

Now to the point of this blog, on January 23-27 the Aero is showcasing 5 double features of comedies directed by "spoof Godfather," Mel Brooks. The clincher is that the man, Mel Brooks, will be there in person to take questions in between films at two of the screenings. The best part is that I am going to one of them, I bought tickets yesterday. We will be screening Blazing Saddles and The History of the World: Part I, two classics. I am very excited, Blazing Saddles is one of Mel's most popular comedies. Stay tuned, I'll have an update after the screening.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I don't think PETA would approve...

You remember all those Sci-fi movies about giant insects invading and destroying the city? I think every teen aged boy growing up in the 1940s and 1950s feared that nuclear fallout would cause insects to mutate and grow to mammoth proportions. Just like the cult classic Them! With that in mind let me tell you about a little something I found online today.
I subscribe to this daily newsletter called Thrillist. It always hooks me up with random links and information. Today, I received a particularly interesting link.

It feels like a combination of a bad Godzilla movie and a Street Fighter video game. Essentially the creators of this website match up two VERY different types of bugs in a small container. The two creatures battle until only one is left standing. It's not exactly something that PETA would approve of, but I must say it is pretty entertaining to watch. Japanese Bug Fights has to be a concept of a couple of really bored Japanese dudes sitting in their basement with nothing better to do than plan the next "match up" between bugs they find in their backyard. If you watch, I recommend you add your own sound affects, it really makes it that much better. Check it out...

Monday, January 07, 2008

More reflection on 2007...

I am a big fan of movies, in fact anyone who knows me would be able to tell you that. But the other day it came to my attention just how much I do. It actually kind of scared me, it came to my attention as I was reflecting back on the year 2007. Let me share with you the complete list of flicks I saw in the theater last year:

(key: $=tickets purchased "free"= you get the idea)

  1. Alpha Dog - $
  2. Pan’s Labyrinth - $
  3. The Hitcher - $
  4. Smokin’ Aces – free
  5. Norbit - $
  6. Ghost Rider - $
  7. Bridge to Terabithia - $
  8. The Number 23 - $
  9. Reno 911!: Miami
  10. Zodiac - free
  11. Black Snake Moan - $
  12. 300 - $
  13. Dead Silence - $
  14. Shooter - $
  15. Hills Have Eyes 2 - $
  16. The Lookout - $
  17. Blades of Glory - $
  18. Grindhouse - $
  19. The Reaping - $
  20. Disturbia - $
  21. Pathfinder - $
  22. Fracture - $
  23. Hot Fuzz - free
  24. Spiderman 3 - $
  25. 28 Weeks Later - $
  26. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End- $
  27. Knocked Up - $
  28. Ocean’s 13 - $
  29. Hostel: Part II - $
  30. 1408 - free
  31. Ratatouille - free
  32. Live Free or Die Hard - $
  33. Transformers - $
  34. I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry - free
  35. Sunshine - $
  36. The Simpsons Movie - $
  37. The Bourne Ultimatum - free
  38. Rush Hour 3 - $
  39. Superbad - $
  40. The Invasion - free
  41. War - free
  42. Mr. Bean’s Holiday - free
  43. September Dawn - $
  44. Halloween – free
  45. Balls of Fury – free
  46. Death Sentence – free
  47. Day of the Dead - free
  48. 3:10 to Yuma - $
  49. Shoot Em Up – free
  50. Hatchet - $
  51. Eastern Promises - free
  52. The Brave One - free
  53. Dragon Wars: D-War - free
  54. Resident Evil: Extinction - free
  55. Good Luck Chuck - free
  56. Lust, Caution – free
  57. Diary of the Dead – free
  58. 30 Days of Night - $
  59. Saw IV - $
  60. No Country For Old Men - $
  61. P2 - $
  62. Beowulf - $
  63. Hitman - $
  64. Atonement – free
  65. I am Legend – free
  66. The Kite Runner – free
  67. National Treasure: Book of Secret - $
  68. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story - $
  69. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – free
  70. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem - $

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Gone with the Woman...

It's been a wet and dreary weekend. I cannot remember the last time it has rained as much as it has. In fact the streets have virtually been turned into rivers. But there has been some light at the end of this weekend. I just got back from the Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. 2008.

I came across this film festival as I was reading Variety magazine. I noticed an add for this film (pictured to the right, Tatt av Kvinnen) and noticed that it was directed by the same man that directed one of my ALL-TIME favorite Norwegian films Elling. I had to see this movie no matter the cost. After all, its not often that I get the chance to watch a film made in my motherland on the big screen. So I ventured out to Beverly Hills to see Tatt av Kvinnen aka Gone with the Woman.

When I arrived I was surprised to see that the lobby was full of various scandos of all ages, shapes and sizes. Even as I bought my ticket the lady at the ticket box said,

"You're name is Kristian Odland? Snakker du Norsk?" (Do you speak Norwegian?)

I replied, "Ja det snakker jeg." (Yes, I do!).

She then said, "Du m
å bare snakke sånn da!" (Feel free to speak it, then!)

Finally, after several years I am surrounded by my kinsfolk. Kind of a fun situation to be in. Shortly after buying our tickets we were told that the director of the film, Petter Næss will not only introduce the film in person, but will take questions afterwards.

I must say that I REALLY enjoyed the movie. It is about a young man and his troubles with his difficult girlfriend. She seems to always pop up at every inopportune time and ruin any of his plans. Over time he comes to realize the complexity of love and more importantly, the complexity of women. Before long Marianne, his girlfriend, has moved in and is turning his life upside down.

He finds his escape at the local swimming pool, where he meets Glenn, played by Peter Stormare (click picture for larger view). Glenn seems to have all the answers to his woman problems and gives him a shoulder to lean on. (You might recognize Peter Stormare from blockbuster hits Armageddon, Bad Boys II, Fargo, and The Big Lebowski.) Between Glenn and all his friends in the Sauna, our lead character finds himself in a difficult situation.

Things take a very interesting turn when Marianne talks him into taking a long trip through Europe. Upon their arrival in a rural French town, the couple has a falling out. Marianne decides to remain, but our main character goes back to Paris to venture out on his own. In doing so he meets a beautiful French girl and experiences first hand what it is like to actually get along. He feels guilty for almost cheating on Marianne and returns home to Norway.

As he is alone and waits, Marianne finally comes back and traps him, yet again with sex. Using his passion for swimming, Marianne tells him that she is turned on by men that wear swimming goggles during the "horizontal mamba." The rest of the film tells how he manages to escape her devious clutches and find true love. I don't want to tell you anymore without ruining the end. But I must say that this is a fine film, too bad it will never reach theaters here in the states, it would be a great date movie. However, this film is also being considered for "Best Foreign Language Film" for this years Academy Awards, so there has to be more to it than just Norwegian appeal. If you ever get the chance this is a must see. Don't worry I haven't already ruined anything for you.