Friday, January 30, 2009
Random google image search for the word "happy" got this gem.
From somebody's myspace page down in the comment section.
Obviously someone who needs a new batch of friends.
How many things are seriously f upped about this picture?
A lot that's what
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I watch a lot of movies. I love the art form dearly. I do not find film/movie/television to be some sort of Low art that pales in comparison to the higher snotty arts. I love the didactic argument.
However, I can't stand being pandered to.
(And I can stand ending sentences with prepositions.)
I've seen two movies this year that seem to be harbinging a new Hollywood model, one I'm going to fight with all my power. The villains are: Marley & Me and Benjamin Buttons.
"Why Brandon, those seem disparate movies. One is a family film that is formulaic and cheap while the other is nominated for 13 Oscars and considered a high water mark for the filmic art."
"Bullshit." I say derisively.
"That's pretty harsh, what if children are reading this post?"
I snort, "They've heard that word before...."
Anyway, Marley & Ben Butt, are two films that have widely varied plot points, characters, conflicts, and dogs, yet they have one central purpose: A cheap, unnecessary ploy to get me to cry in public.
Me crying in public isn't that hard really. Just walk up to me and do one of the following:
A. Punch me in the balls
B. Mention the words "Field of Dreams"
C. Kick me in the balls
D. Tell me Fraggle Rock sucked
E. Have my wife punch/kick me in the balls
F. Tell me that Tom Brady really did throw an incomplete pass in the Snowjob Bowl
Ben & Marley didn't try any of that. They went straight for the jugular. The jugular of my balls.
They closed their eyes.
Bastards! Finks! Fiends!
Marley and Ben both die at the end of their movies
How does the movie handle their respective deaths? By showing a close up of a dog and a baby slowly closing their eyes for the last time.
End Spoiler Alert!
How cheap, how god damn low can you get Hollywood?
This low apparently
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
My wife and I grew up close yet far from each other. We had some overlap but never went to the same school and after 13 I lived in West Virginia.
Yet it's very strange when talking about things that we have the same exact memory of 1.28.1986
Sitting in school watching with our class and our teacher balling their eyes out.
I was in Kindergarten and I remember thinking that maybe some of the astronauts were riding the two rockets on the side that were still going.
This is one of the saddest days of my childhood.
My brain is carbonated.
Bubbles are expanding and exploding all along my brain stem. Each burst is a symbol, a signal, a sign, a vision of some poor chap's future.
I've invented him and I will destroy him.
Writing is masturbation. It really is.
For the past few months and years really, I've had this idea build in my brain. Bricks of thought stacked upon one another until the sad tale of protagonist could rival Giza. I literally can not have a moment wherein I don't think about the assorted jerks who've moved into my brain and are immovable.
I had this before, several times, except for the most part it has been for shorts and flashes not for BIG projects as the one I'm currently incubating. The only other time my percolating muse has been this insistent for a novel, I started too too soon and got hung up in a desert somewhere in Southern California with no real reason to return to the city.
So I'm hesitant. I've these great characters and a whole journal of notes but I'm a might gunshy on beginning. There's always more research!
Or maybe I'm lazy.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
A video game.
If only he knew someone that wrote.
Look for a few captures in the coming weeks of untitled Boucher Brothers Production.
Storyline is following my screenplay for The Last Happiness
Monday, January 26, 2009
I finally got over the death of InfoTron 3000. He touched my heart truly and deeply. But he would've had wanted me to be sad, rather he'd have wanted me to move on. Begin writing with another partner. Someone I could create with...someone to download porn. Sniff, oh the memories.
1.23.2009://Got home after work and just sat around and talked to the wife. She is a constant surprise to me. How did I get so lucky. Her charm and intelligence disarm me everyday. Also, her lack of experience is shocking. How did she get this many years into life without watching Back to the Future? I remedied the situation. Review from my wife: I loved it!
1.24.2009://Tax time. Boo. I screwed up my taxes for the year by accidently changing my W-9 to not withhold any taxes. For the entire year I only had like $1800 paid into the Feds. So I was sweating at the H+R Block place ready to get hit with this giant bill. Turns out, much ado about nothing. My wife's extra with holding got us a pretty hefty return. Enough as it turns out to add to the family.
Lappy 5000 is here and boy is he awesome. Sniff, InfoTron would be so proud.
Did laundry with the hellspawn of the lower rings. I miss the 1950's where it was perfectly alright to backhand someone else's kids even if you were a stranger.
Since we watched Back to the Future we might as well go for the rest. My wife has movie narcolepsy and falls asleep 30 mins before the movie is over. So we started the day by watching the last 30 of BttF I and immediately followed by watching BttF II. Now as a kid BttF II was released a few years after the first one so I don't think I've ever watched them back to back. Boy was it weird. The recasting and refilming was so cheap it took me out of the movie.
Finished the night with about 8 fingers of Jameson and a few beers.
1.25.2009://Went to my 10 year old cousin's B-day at John's Incredible Pizza. I need to slap the owner around the head with a dictionary because Incredible it was not. More like John's Incredible Disappointment.
Ended the night watching Big Love and United States of Tara.
Bummer://No real bad stuff this weekend. Didn't have time to watch BttF III though. Probably tonight
Friday, January 23, 2009
Write a scene using dramatic irony, both sides of a situation that no character can see fully. You want the reader to react, to scream "Nooooooooo!" at the computer screen. Make him/her groan, laugh, or hide their eyes. Try it out. - me
Sent by: Scars
"Look at the dictionary."
"What about it?"
"Do you know who the recently deceased is?"
"She's a pop singer, Atlantis something."
"She was killed by that dictionary falling on her head."
"Again, what's with drawing it out."
"She's famous for this song where she said stuff like, 'rain on your wedding day' and 'free ride when your already late'"
"Oh, yeah I think I know that song, something about ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife?"
"Yeah, the name of that song was 'Ironic.' Nothing in that song was ironic though."
"Well, yeah I guess so. More coincidence."
"So look at the dictionary, what page did it fall on?"
\ˈī-rə-nē also ˈī(-ər-nē\
Latin ironia, from Greek eirōnia, from eirōn dissembler
1: a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other's false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning —called also Socratic irony2 a: the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning b: a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony c: an ironic expression or utterance3 a (1): incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2): an event or result marked by such incongruity b: incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play —called also dramatic irony tragic irony"
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Here are the nominees:
The nominees for the 81st Academy Awards were announced by Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Gannis and Academy member Forest Whitaker who won the Leading Actor Oscar for his role in 2006's "The Last King of Scotland."
The nominees are:
Best Motion Picture of the Year://
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role://
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn, "Milk"
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role://
Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt"
Kate Winslet, "The Reader"
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role://
Josh Brolin, "Milk"
Robert Downey, Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight"
Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road"
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role://
Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Christina Barcelona"
Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"
Achievement in Directing://
Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"
David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"
Gus Van Sant, "Milk"
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"
Best Animated Film://
"Kung Fu Panda"
Best Original Screenplay://
Courtney Hunt, Frozen River
Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky
Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Martin McDonough, In Bruges
Andrew Stanton, Wall-E
Best Adapted Screenplay://
Eric Roth, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt"
Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon"
David Hare, "The Reader"
Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Best Foreign Language Film://
"The Baader Meinhof Complex," Germany
"The Class," France
"Waltz With Bashir,"Israel
"The Betrayal" (Nerakhoon)
"Encounters at the End of the World"
"Man on Wire"
"Trouble the Water"
Best Original Song://
“Down To Earth," "WALL-E"
“Jai Ho," "Slumdog Millionaire"
“O Saya," Slumdog Millionaire"
Best Original Score://
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Alexandre Desplat
"Defiance," James Newton Howard
"Milk," Danny Elfman
"Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman
"WALL-E," Thomas Newman
Best Film Editing://
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall
“The Dark Knight,” Lee Smith
“Frost/Nixon,” Mike Hill, Dan Hanley
“Milk,” Elliot Graham
“Slumdog Millionaire,” Chris Dickens
“Changeling,” Tom Stern
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Claudio Miranda
“The Dark Night,” Wally Pfister
“The Reader,” Chris Menges, Roger Deakins
“Slumdog Millionaire,” Anthony Dod Mantle
Best Art Direction://
“Changeling,” James J. Murakami, Gary Fettis
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo
“The Dark Night,” Nathan Crowley, Peter Lando
“The Duchess,” Michael Carlin, Rebecca Alleway
“Revolutionary Road,” Kristi Zea, Debra Schutt
Best Costume Design://
“Australia,” Catherine Martin
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Jacqueline West
“The Duchess,” Michael O’Connor
“Milk,” Danny Glicker
“Revolutionary Road,” Albert Wolsky
Best Visual Effects://
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron
“The Dark Knight,” Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber, Paul Franklin
“Iron Man,” John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick, Shane Mahan
Best Sound Editing://
“The Dark Knight,” Richard King
“Iron Man,” Frank Eulner, Christopher Boyes
“Slumdog Millionaire,” Tom Sayers
“WALL-E,” Ben Burtt, Matthew Wood
“Wanted,” Wylie Stateman
Best Sound Mixing://
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Mark Weingarten
“The Dark Knight,” Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo, Ed Novick
“Slumdog Millionaire,” Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Resul Pookutty
“WALL-E,” Tom Myers, Michael Semanick, Ben Burtt
“Wanted,” Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño, Petr Forejt
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Greg Cannom
“The Dark Knight, John Caglione, Jr., Conor O’Sullivan
Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Mike Elizalde, Thom Floutz
Best Documentary Short Subject://
“The Conscience of Nhem En,” Steven Okazaki
“The Final Inch,” Irene Taylor Brodsky, Tom Grant
“Smile Pinki,” Megan Mylan
“The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306,” Adam Petofsky, Margaret Hyde
Best Animated Short Film://
“La Maison de Petits Cubes,” Kunio Kato
“Lavatory - Lovestory,” Konstantin Bronzit
“Oktapodi,” Emud Mokhberi, Thierry Marchand
“Presto,” Doug Sweetland
“This Way Up,” Alan Smith, Adam Foulkes
Best Live Action Short Film://
“Auf der Strecke” (On the Line),” Reto Caffi
“Manon on the Asphalt,” Elizabeth Marre, Olivier Pont
“New Boy,” Steph Green, Tamara Anghie
“The Pig,” Tivi Magnusson, Dorte Høgh
“Spielzeugland” (Toyland), Jochen Alexander Freydan
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The first time my future wife came to my apartment she held up a copy of Time Magazine that had a picture of Obama on the cover. This was in 2006 and the article was about this wizkid that just released a book.
My wife asked, "Who's this?"
I replied, "That's the next President of the United States of America."
Book it, I called that years ago. Anyway, I'm a gigantic Obama supporter. Huge. Obama is the first elected official that I can say I would die for and this is from a man that worshiped Clinton more than my own God.
But minutes before the inauguration, Obama started pissing me off.
I believe that the gay rights issue, especially in marriage, is not an issue of gay vs straight or religion vs heathenism. Quite simply it is a CIVIL RIGHTS issue.
Anytime you look at one particular section of society and say you can't have this because of who you are, is an immediate call to Second Class Citizenship. I believe it as strongly as anything I've ever believe.
I wrote yesterday how I was struck dumb at the awesome legacy of Martin Luther King when I stood in front of his tomb as a child. As a man I have come to realize that Dr. King's fight isn't over.
This is such a huge issue to me that I told my wife while we are still dating that, I don't mean to influence your decision, but I will leave you if you don't feel this way.
One of the many bonds that unites my wife and I is the wish for equality for all.
Which brings us back to Obama. Rick "Needs a Dick" Warren did the invocation. A man so backward that he is damn near a child.
Rick Warren has made a name for himself in California as a bigger segerationist than George Wallace.
Anyway, his stance on the gays not withstanding, I was pissed at Rick Warren for an entirely different reason.
The following is a direct quote:
Love for all,
PS I found this a little amusing
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Lazy Tuesday. Just a normal day, new president, old job. Here's an old exercise from the CC forums I did today:
I know big deal right? No this one was cool, it was like this insurance guy talking into a old school tape recorder. Only it wasn't like on cassette or anything, it was totally like the Flintstones. Anyshits, this guy is confessing all this ill shit he did with this chick.
Yeah that was cool.
So I'm most probably dead right now. Or going to be soon. I recorded a couple of files to play after this one. Those are the goodbye tapes. This is more like a commentary track on how it feels. Fuck man, it's just cold.
Cold and empty.
Look man, no need for me to bum you out even more. Let's just say that the end is fucking heavy dude.
Oh shit! I think they are here. I've got to go, remember play the tapes in order. Hey man, I lo...
Remember that time we tickle Patrick so hard he shit himself?
That was cool.
Hey this is Tape 1 side two and I've a confession to make. I made these tapes in advance and mailed them to you. Problem is I didn't have your address. So I made some calls. Gloria is not happy with you at all...
Welcome to tape 4.
Like I was saying. You need to watch who it is you are messing with. They know, dude, they know...
Tape 2 back in school.
So Gloria was telling me you turned me in....
Boop! Tape six
Not necessary to run. Before they come for me I'm going to tell them every...
Tape ten is in
You deserve everything you assho...
Tape one side one
I love you dad
That was kind of cool actually
Standing on the shoulders of giants
Obama has officially taken the oath of office. His hand was placed on the same bible that Lincoln was sworn.
On Saturday, Obama gave a speech about hope for the country from the very same spot that Martin Luther King had his dream.
146 years after the Emancipation Proclamation
45 years after the Civil Rights Act
41 years after a single bullet ended the life of a hero
Barack Hussein Obama is now the 44th President of the United States of America
Regardless of politics, regardless of the man, this moment, this precious day should rock you. It actually happenned. I live in a country where a black man can become president. A country that enslaved, beat, and separated because of color is now lead by a man that is afforded opportunities his father would not have received.
I would like to believe that this brings in a fundamental change in America. I want to believe it. This election cycle shows that America as a unity can turn our greatest shame into one of our greatest accomplishments.
Then again, I live in California, a state that just banned gay marriage.
Mostly I'm near to tears in one thought that keeps going through my head. My children, whenever we have them, we grow up in a world where they actually can believe that you can acheive. My kids will never know fully what an accomplishment Obama has attained. My generation will be one of the last to know that a black in the office was a struggle.
That is the hope that I have dreamt about for 13 years. That was the year I went the Ebenezzar Church in Atlanta, GA. That was the year I saw the tomb of Martin Luther King, Jr. That was the year that I finally understood that while America isn't perfect, some Americans are. That is my goal as an American, as a father in the future.
I am hopeful
Monday, January 19, 2009
I don't get along with my father at all. In fact we haven't spoken in almost a decade. However, before the age of ten he was my best friend. Time has done what it can to erase most of the good memories but every so often. I remember vividly this really lame joke he told me at eight years old. I've co-opted the memory for the below exercise:
You'd think the elf would've ducked.
Two nuns walk into a bar. You think the second one would've ducked. That bust my crap up as a kid.
Good weekend overall, except for one thing that all my writer friends know as the absolute maw of the beast; yet all my non writing compadres, including my wife don't really understand the gravity.
InfoTron 3000, beloved friend and family member, left this world for the next early Saturday morning. InfoTron 3000 passed following a long illness. InfoTron or "Tronny" is survived by his brother's Sterophonic 3200, MP3izzle, XBOX 360, and Flat Screen McQueen.
He will be missed.
1.16.2009://After work the wife and I scooted our asses to the Temple for Shabbat services. I'm all for the reaffirmation of faith, but my wife's exuberance towards her conversion is leading me down the path of a numbed ass. It's good to see her so happy though.
1.17.2009://Slept in on Saturday a little. Did some work around the house as the wife was working overtime at her job. Made dinner for the father-in-law and took it over to him. Went to Ikea and bought a light. I love that place. Finished the night off by going rollerskating for th first time since the Reagan adminstration. Did not fall.
1.18.2009://Slept the sleep of the dead thanks to a fistful of darvoset to cure my back. Roller skating and a poor center of balance do not mix. Watch Obama's speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. Cried. Woke my wife up from a nap and made her watch the speech with me again. Cried. Went to two movies. Gran Torino is a great movie but a little jumpy. Cried. Slumdog Millionaire may be the best movie of the year and one of the best I've ever seen. Cried.
A pretty great weekend if you ask me
Bummer:// No computer means no weekend writing.
Friday, January 16, 2009
WB settled, release date is preserved.
FOX gets some cash, backend proceeds and sequel rights
Finally, FOX can start eating all the dicks
Daniel O'Brien says it all
How do you like the new layout?
I spent a non active day at work and spruced up the place.
That header up there I made myself in MSpaint, hence the distortion.
I used the picture to the right.
I had a professor in college that had this on her door and I've always loved it.
Mainly because I don't know what it's saying.
Option 1: No matter the circumstances-- War, Plague, Holocaust--a good book will get you through the tough times.
Option 2: No matter the circumstances-- War, Plague, Holocaust--man will try to steal anything they can get their hands on
That picture was taken from a library destroyed by the Blitz.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
A detailed scientific report on the fallout of the Rebel fleet destroying the Death Star II aka:
The Endor Holocaust
and because you can't have a serious debate without the other side of the argument
Famously the vision of the struggling writer is a person furiously scribbling away in a notebook. Random thoughts, plot points, characters, and just stuff to fill out this one horse idea that nestled its way into our brain. Once there it devours. Devours all other attempts at thought outside this one idea.
Problem is, at least for me, my thoughts aren't chronological. They are completely all over the map. If you were to see my notebook you would see that I write on only one side of the ledger in neat orderly lines. The other side of the book (the back of the previous page) is full of arrows and corrections and scribbles, all assaulting my original orderly braindroppings.
I recently found a notebook that I had the very first idea for The Last Happiness, it is without a doubt the most dense and dumbfounding document in the world. I have no idea what the hell it says or what it says about my mental condition. Fortunately I lost the damn thing and started over in another book.
I have a job in which I don't do anything but play around on the internet. That's it. About a year ago I started reading screenplays online because it was a good way to past the time. After reading about 20 or so I realized that, "Hey this doesn't look that hard. I should try this." So after a few trials and errors and finding a program called Celtx, I learned the format and wrote The Last Happiness (then called The Sheeted Dead) as a screenplay.
It was enormously flawed, rediculous, and stunted but it was done, complete. I had taken characters to point A to point B in 119 pages. A screenplay exists in dialogue and fast screen depictions but the story was done.
So what was I going to do with this thing? I obviously wasn't going to try and sell a first draft, but did I want to spend a year rewriting this thing over and over as a screenplay?
Then it hits me. This screenplay reads like a very detailed outline. While it has conflict moments, plot building, dialogue it has no character introspective, description of scene. In short it is a screen play, not a novel.
But for once I had the ducks in order, I knew where Billy and Seth were going. So adding 3-4 pages for every screenplay page would leave me with 357-476 pages of manuscript or using 225 words a page average 80,325-107,100.
Currently I'm stuck around 34,000 words. But not stuck because of plot. Stuck because after writing in 2 notebooks, a screenplay, and the first 15 chapters or so, I'm bored with it. I need distance from Billy and Seth because they are taking too much of my attention.
So I'm moving to a new project, set my brain on someone else and return to Billy and Seth later.
How about you guys? How much prep do you do before you type the words "Chapter 1"
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I've felt very lethargic lately, especially as it relates to writing. I needs to get out of my funk.
For those of you visiting from CC, my first draft of "Going Through the Motions" is up for review. Please feel free to rip it apart. Everytime I start to review it, I don't know where to cut or add. It seems to me it needs a blind rewrite but that just becomes another first draft.
I watched Stardust again with my wife last night. I would review it but there's not much to say about it that it doesn't say for itself. Simply saying I love it doesn't really mean anything. Here's my pull quote: Stardust makes you smile.
I'm itching to start the outline for Masada. The visions of the pieces are starting to distract me from real actual work. However, I also feel I haven't created enough backstory. And as I learned the hard way on The Last Happiness not having enough planning leads to an unexpected hiccup that crashes the whole thing. I'm slowly falling in love with the ideas of the piece and I don't want to shortchange them like I did Billy and Seth.
Sarah's 92 year old grandmother broke her hip for the third time last night. She's getting it replaced today. Sarah is being brave but I can tell she is concerned, probably more for her mother than g-ma.
Sarah and I have a meeting with the Rabbi tonight. I'm sure we are going to speak about "The Problem," something I haven't written about but will soon. As a self aggrandized Fiction Writer, some things happen in life that you just can't make up.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Death is something he's used to lately as he is stuck in traffic riding shotgun in a hearse.
This is a man that wore flip flops to a funeral.
The funeral of his father...
Why? The Father wants to know...
A Short piece at 2400 words. First draft completed in 2006 and is currently up for review and rewrite
Now they are dead and Billy is charged with their murders.
A long lost uncle bails Billy out and makes him jump bail to work with his old associate in California.
Within a week of being in California's criminal underworld he is picked up by an FBI special agent, who uses Billy as an off the book informant.
This is how Billy becomes a hitman
This is how Billy becomes a rat
This is how Billy gets revenge
It is left to a small group of Regulators to police the myriad universes. When the timelines have been altered they enter to place it back on track.
One day the Stream is split into seven distinct parallel universe and is threatening to destroy everything and every time.
One man, The Traveler, must enter each divergent history and set right what has been wronged. However, sometimes the only way to fix it is to contemplate evil.
This is a novel project that while very scifi, isn't meant to be a ripoff of Jean Claude Van Damme's Timecop. Really it started from a drunken thought, "What would the world be like if X didn't happen. Just changing one thing, just one, what would be the effect? For example the first scenario I came up with was someone stopped James Earl Ray from assassinating Martin Luther King. Seems noble enough. Except with him not dying the country doesn't have a civil rights martyr to circle around and so 1964 Civil Rights Act never happens. To set this right, The Traveler must in turn assassinate MLK himself.
It's more an exercise on what the phrase, "the Greater Good" would actually entail.
That is until he is the only survivor of a plane crash.
This event springs a compulsion for Israel to go to Pittsburgh to find a man named Sam.
The fate of the world hangs in the balance.
A question of identity is raised:
Israel Ben David just might be the Messiah
Israel Ben David just might be the Antichrist
Monday, January 12, 2009
I wrote here about the circumstances of how I was to view the movie. It in fact happened and now I can discuss just what in the hell I saw.
Perfection in every sense of the word.
Darren Aronofsky has come to be one of my favorite directors for his vision. Every single frame of his movies Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain are beautiful and very very precise. His vision is one of controlled abstraction. The Wrestler is made by someone else completely. Not only is the look grainy and hand held, for the most part it is claustrophobic. A continuing theme is to film the actors walking into their performances with the camera directly behind their head. It is stifling and fitting.
Mickey Rourke not only put in the performance you've been reading about, he put anything you heard to shame. This guy was supposed to be the next De Niro and drugs and attitude nearly made him the next Danny Bonaduce. The final act of this film is such a testament to the character and Rourke's career. I had goosebumps on the drive home.
Marissa Tomei appeared to give a small little cameo until later in the movie when the focus shifted a little. She was brazen, gutsy and channeling Rourke's need to legitimize herself as an aging actress looking for respected. She plays an aging stripper looking for respect.
The parallels between the two characters in their respective twilight is haunting.
The film is not happy and raises more questions than it answers. You are in an entirely different place at the end of the film than you were at the beginning but maybe not for the better, emotionally.
As a former columnist about wrestling I can say that for the most part it was very real as it showed the "sport." It did not pander.
This is one of my favorite movies of the Oscar season and I hope Rourke can follow up his Golden Globe with a little gold man. It is his to lose.
Grade:// 10 Ram Jam's out of 10
PS://The QA with Marissa Tomei was an absolute abortion. Whoever was the moderator was more impressed with himself than he was the actress. Marissa looked like she forgot she was supposed to be there and was on her way somewhere else.
PSS://Note to the marketing people for a movie entitled "The Wrestler" and in which your lead actress is naked 85% of the time: Wrestling fans are goons, don't give them a venue to talk to an actress that they just saw play a stripper. It got uncomfortable quick.
So here's what I've been up to since we last spoke
1.09.2009://Drove to LA to see the movie The Wrestler and a QA with Marissa Tomei. I'm a pessimist at heart so I tend not to think things are actually going to happen until five minutes after they start. In short, it was a perfect night. I'll write more about it later.
1.10.2009://My wife and I decided to host a dinner party for an ex bandmate of mine and his wife. So we spent the whole day cleaning the house top to bottom. I cooked baked ziti with hot peppers. Then we went to a bar and my friend picked up the check for of $100 worth of booze, but because they opened the tab on my card, guess what's pending in my bank account.
Did not watch football, but I'm reeling from Arizona being in the NFC Championship
1.11.2009://Hangover, though art loosed. Spent most of the day in bed as a vegatable. Watch football nearly all day including when my father in law came over to patch the drywall from where the dogs chewed through.
Cards vs Eagles, really?
The end of the day became sad as I took my male dog to my father in law's so he can get neutered today. Poor guy.
All in all one of my favorite weekends and a good way to start the year
Bummer://No reading or writing completed at all
Friday, January 09, 2009
Fox and Warner Bros are asking a federal judge to delay hearing as they are trying to settle.
Basically means, Warner's is wising up and just paying the bastards.
Sometimes I wish I could punch Rupert Murdoch in the face. Only by his face I meant his balls and by my fist I mean Badgers trained in kung fu.
Oh yeah that open letter from the producer of Watchmen got an update
Daniel O'Brien from Cracked.com: "Dear Fox, Eat all the dicks"
The following is the way I see it, regardless of critical reviews.
So here's my listing of the Top (Whatever) of 2008:
Top Movie of 2008:
The Dark Knight
The Bank Job
The envelope please: The Dark Knight (shocker!)
Best TV Show of 2008:
Sons of Anarchy (FX)
True Blood (HBO)
The envelope please: True Blood
Best Book I read in 2008*
Dexter in the Dark
No Country for Old Men
The envelope please: No Country for Old Men
*Nominees were selected based on 2008 was the first time I read these books
Best New CD in 2008:
Metallica Death Magnetic
Guns N Roses Chinese Democracy
The envelope please: GNFR baby!
Best Videogame in 2008:
The envelope please: Fallout 3
Best Sports Moment in 2008:
Giants defeating 18-0 Patriots in Superbowl
WVU upsetting Oklahoma in Fiesta Bowl
Pat White's last game as a senior throwing for 300+ yards
The envelope please: Super Superbowl
Favorite Live Music Moment of 2008
Me playing the Knitting Factory
My bassline on Tricky
The envelope please: Glassjaw Reunion (I'd assumed I'd win this category)
Greatest Writing Achievement in 2008
Learning how to write and completing my first screenplay
Greatest Life Moment of 2008:
New puppies Rocktobertron and Charley Charley BBQ
Moving to a new apartment
First full calender year of being married to the most wonderful woman in the world
Said beautiful woman buying me a 42" Plasma Screen
The envelope please: A tie! My wife wins everything.
This year, however, was a very down year for me (in the movie going sense. In Life it was my best year ever.) That's not to say 2008 wasn't a good movie year, I just had a lot of other stuff pulling me away from ye ol' cineplex. And even though I saw a bunch different movies, I saw some of them 2 or 3 times.
Here's a list of movies I saw that were released in 2008. There might be more but I forgotten them and maybe that's for the best.
In no particular order:
The Bank Job
Burn After Reading
The Dark Knight
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
The Incredible Hulk
Wild West Comedy Show
Marley & Me
You Don't Mess with the Zohan
The Forbidden Kingdom
Made of Honor
I'll attempt to rank them soon and perhaps through up short reviews for each. Isn't going to be to hard to rank the worst of the bunch though. The worst movie o f 2008 is the worst movie I've ever seen...And I saw Japanese Girl's Suicide Club and lots of German Porn.
This will be a place holder as I've not seen the movie yet, although if you scroll down my columns you can see this is a movie I'm dying to see.
I will be seeing it tonight. With my wife and the star of the movie Marissa Tomei.
One of the benefits of living thirty minutes outside of LA is that from time to time opportunities to go to special release as a civilian is always around the corner. So a simple click and our special passes are at the Will Call.
I used to write for a wrestling website, so I was obviously way into the sports-entertainment field. I stopped all of that that though about 10 years ago because, really I should've stop way before then. But this movie isn't really about wrestling, or so I've been told. It's about a man who's better days are long gone getting his second second chance.
And that man is Mickey Rourke, an actor dying for his second second chance. What he could of been sends chills up my spine.
The buzz he is getting for this movie is that the Oscar is his for the taking.
I will post the review tonight or tomorrow but here are some other opinons:
Rotten Tomatoes.com: 98% Fresh Pick
Thursday, January 08, 2009
It is a long, inside look at this production and the evil scheming of Rupert Murdoch's henchman. How I hate...how I hate.
Click on the big blue guy for the letter
No other news on the court date set for 1/20/09
Like I promised here is Daniel O'Brien's take at Cracked.com
Hello again. Critique Circle is the best place on the web that I've found that keeps up the writing muscle. What with the forums, exercises, and critiquing. Here's another episode of CC exercises.
"What Johnny?" He said this through teary eyes.
"That dude with the chest tumors didn't think my fart was funny!"
"What the hell?"
"I don't know what that means, but let's beat it to death with a claw hammer."
"Hells yeah, after that let's drink beer!"
Yep, spend a hell of a lot of time with that one.
I am not a big fanboy. A small fanboy. I can accurately quote Star Wars and Wrestling from the 80's. I used to write for a Wrestling website. I love GI Joes and Transformers. All these things however, are in the past. I just remember them, I don't actively search out toys or conventions.
However, there is something that is absolutely vibrating my brain. Watchmen, the movie.
I can't think of something written in the last 20 years that is more universally loved than the graphic novel of all graphic novels. Watchmen set a bar that cannot be surpassed or raised.
I tend to think that Maus is actually better artistically but that's nitpicking
Finally they are making a movie of it and we'll see it on March 6th. Or we won't because Fox is a company of assholes.
Here's a link to the latest story.
For those that need catching up, Fox owned the rights in the eighties and did nothing. Then in 2007 Warner Bros. started filming. Fox allowed them to budget, cast, create sets, film, edit, market, and put up all the money for it, then they said, "Hey wait a minute that's ours." Then they sued.
To say I'm angry is an understatement. I am far less eloquent describing my rage than Daniel O'Brien, so I'll let him sum up the geeknation's rage.
Everytime there is news on this I will link the new story and DOB's article.
News 1/07/09:// Hitfix.com
Daniel O'Brien from Cracked.com
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Around 2006, I was going through some weird stuff. Depression, rage, drinking, you know the coping American style stuff. I was slowly sliding into the realization that I've become a bigger asshole than everyone else I despised. That sucked. To work through it I wrote a short piece trying to explain the behavior of my father while at the same time making myself the villain. I don't know if it worked as a short piece but I like it, except for the funeral part everything is pretty much true.
I reread this recently and think it deserves a better rewrite. So here is the first draft. Also posted for critiquing at Critique Circle.
Going Through the Motions by BA Boucher
The SUV had finally stopped its forward motion. The apex had been met and now it rocked back on its fulcrum, namely the passenger side of the frame. The driver’s body had come to rest seconds ago twenty feet away from the SUV and a hundred feet from the Volkswagen that had sent her Sunday afternoon to what most would consider a damnable affair. As for the VW Rabbit, it was a great deal smaller than it once was. The SUV and gone up and over the hood to points known but improbable twenty seconds ago. The young woman driving the people’s wagon head had broken through the windshield on impact but as the car rebounded from the crash, her body had intentions of traveling backward to her original seating; however the jagged windshield kept most of her face as a souvenir. The lady, a designation made from simple politeness not any personal knowledge, is most probably dead. They have surgeries to transplant faces now, but who wants to live inside another’s face, sounds rather like something from a bad Roger Corman movie or maybe with the second face she could run for political office. For the briefest instant a child’s arm could be seen flopping around the rear window of the SUV as it passed by, out of sight now but a definite consideration for ultimate telling of the tragedy on the evening news. Nothing sells better than mangled kids. The driver of the SUV ran a red light and sent her car airborne so she deserved what she got; the kid though makes the story depressing and the mother more saintly. Guess you can say that children are the ultimate redeemers. All evil in life is reduced by the acknowledgement of your progeny. At least on the 5.00 o’clock news desk.
I saw all of this in front of me. I’m riding shotgun in The Brother’s Danes mortuary vehicle. The left door is open and the bong bong of the “hey dumbass you left your key” chime has been slowly entering my conscious and causing dismay at the least. I missed the initial contact from the vehicles as I was fiddling around with the radio. Ten blocks of Tony Bennett’s crooning about leaving something in
So now I’m sitting alone as my driver goes to play hero. Something about the American conscious demands distrust and hatred for police but due civic heroics when you happen to bumble into a crime or wreck, just so you have something to talk about to the bitch you’ve been living with ten years too long at the dinner table. Civil karmic pandering bullshit is what I call it but again here I sit baking in 1972 Chrysler bored out of my mind while something interesting seems to be happening to other people. I wonder if that lady who got thrown out of the car is bored. I’m sure she’s having a fun time as her bones and skin are incessantly telling her brain that things are not all right. I’m tempted to walk over there and tell her that was pretty extraordinary the way she was flying, graceful even, but that she seems to be distracted right now.
“Slow Ride” changes into some nameless but recognizable Journey song. The fact that the only other station coming in is Robert Tilden gives me the courage to swallow my loathing of Steve Perry. I wonder how the rest of the funeral procession is doing. The service was fast and uneventful as the guest of honor was pretty much persona non grata during his life. When the minister or pastor or father, whatever he was, I get the gentiles mixed up all the time, anyway when That Guy asked for people to walk forward to say nice things about Ol’ Johnny Stiff down there in the box there was a bit of uncomfortable coughs and a long drawn out process of everybody avoiding eye contact. Amazingly, my brother finally ascended to the podium. I couldn’t believe he’d actually shown up let alone lead us in a eulogy. He was wearing a suit and tie, black suit obviously; the tie however was the perfect match to the corpse. Odd.
The corpse, yep just him and me until the firefighters and cops and civic minded Samaritans get the fuck out of the way so I can get some dirt on this worm food and go home. From the amount I was drinking at the service I have all the signs of a rather epic shit coming on. I look back at the box through the gaudy Victorian curtains that were designed to give elegance to design of a car that hauled dead meat around. Be it sinner or saint we all seem to get some class on our last trip to the narrow house. It’s a serviceable coffin, I guess. Gold foil where needed and brass where it wasn’t. I almost laugh out loud when I remember the occupant was a devout Buddhist, even to the point of living in a monastery for the last decade or so. Did Buddha get a Catholic burial?
A crowd is gathering outside. Men and women with their young children in tow. If that kid played a video game with car wrecks and mangled bodies it is thrown out of the house but if its on the evening news or better yet in front of them where they can actually see the skin that was flayed off the bodies and smell what I assume to be the last shit that lady has ever taken, it’s character building. I’m glad this wagon has an air freshener because that lady landed close to this car and the air conditioning intake is going to start sucking that air in before too long.
Even though it’s hot day I’m starting to fill a chill. I turn the air off but it’s still there. It’s a chill that seeps into your bones and makes you feel guilty about things. Suddenly the driver’s door snaps shut. I look over and see nothing. Must be the wind from those helicopters that just showed up. Modern Day vultures that pick over carrion with their bulging lenses and market share demographics.
The radio is losing its feed as the final strains of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” fades out. The fucking radio starts picking up Tony Bennett again. I reach for the dial muttering, “Fucking shit, only aging hipster dig this crooner cunt.”
“Hey, leave this on it’s one of my favorites.”
You ever get the feeling that you’re not alone.
“Come on you used to like this when you were a kid.”
Now I’ve seen damage before, the wreck in front of me had enough carnage to last a lifetime. Yet someone or something was sitting next to me and I did all I could not to look over but the compulsion was too strong.
“He just has the saddest voice. I love it.”
“Uh...how did you get…”
“Here? The door was open.”
“No, I mean aren’t you dead?”
“Well I’ve had better days if that’s what you are asking.”
“Well really my question is, are you really here or have I finally gone as batshit crazy as the rest of my family.”
“Probably a little of both. sport. Some scene out there, huh? What do you think was the last thing going through that ladies mind when she flew out of the car?”
“The windshield. Don’t change the subject, what are you doing here, if you are really here?”
“I’d thought we’d talk a bit, I happen to have a lot of time on my hands lately and you aren’t going anywhere for awhile.”
“What the fuck would you and I have to talk about, other than the fact that you are the biggest prick I’ve ever known and I apparently am talking to myself in the first obvious sign that I drink too much.”
“Yeah we could talk about that. I was also thinking we could talk about why you came to the funeral if I’m such a big prick. Also why are you in the Hearse? And I’d like to know if it was your mother’s raising that prompted you to wear a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops to a funeral.”
“Fuck you, the shirt’s black. I dressed appropriately for the amount of respect I have for you. Shit, I almost brought a keg and twenty friends to have one hell of a party.”
The Corpse snorts and looks away. He looks real enough; it’s not like the movies where they are sort of transparent. Now that I get a good look at him, he looks more like the last time I saw him at my college graduation twelve years ago. Before the bone cancer had eaten away most of his body. He wasn’t invited to that graduation, he just showed up. What a colossal ass, he didn’t even understand that he was unwanted. I did invite him to the titty bar that night with all my uncles, but he declined, stating some need to speak to Buddha or Allah or whatever the fuck he does.
I hate uncomfortable silences. It’s like the panic that sets in when the cable goes out and you face the prospect of having to speak to your significant other. Your mouth goes dry and your asshole starts to itch. Silently you scream in your head for anything to come back on just so you can avoid the trappings of conversation with someone you share your live with but you don’t really like.
“Uh…so, not that I give a shit or anything, but did you like the service?”
“Well, it was nice I suppose. I discovered real soon after I left that I didn’t really care how I was put in the ground.”
“So what do you care about now?”
“I suppose my only real concerns in life and death were my children.”
“You have a real funny fucking way of showing that.”
“Listen son, I tried to make contact with you for decades and you were the asshole that ignored me.”
“Fuck you old man, I told you it wasn’t me you had to apologize to. Do I actually have to remind you that you have another son? One that has grown into a better man than you have ever even known. That kid is a saint merely to spite you, you fucking bastard.”
“I never knew him; you can’t imagine the wall of shame I would have had to overcome to be able to even call…” He breaks off as the tears stream down his face. “At first it was easy, I had custody of you and the child I never knew lived with that bitch mother of his. Not calling was my petty way of sticking the knife in your mother. But when you left me to live with her….I needed you in my life son, it was so empty with you gone.”
“You caused this not me.”
“I know. Can I ask you a question?”
“Shoot, although since I’m imaging all this I assume this is a rhetorical question.”
“Why do you assume this isn’t real?”
“You’ve never felt guilty about anything in your life, why the crocodile tears now?”
“That hurt. Why do you think your brother gave a eulogy?”
“I don’t know. You know this little theatrics with the ghost thing could’ve been done to him. Why don’t you go spook him for awhile and apologize to his face?
“He can’t see me.”
“Because we can only appear those that love us. Apparently, your foul mouth belies your heart. Again why are you here in the hearse?”
“I wanted to make sure the mortuary put the right stiff in the ground. I need to make sure you truly are asshole deep in the earth.”
“Is that why your brother…”
“My brother is his own fucking man, he’s allowed to chart his own life. If he came it was probably to see you one last time and knowing that pussy, to forgive you.”
“Why would he forgive me and not you?”
“Because you still feel guilty about what you did to your grandparents.”
“Shut…the…fuck…up…you…fucking…ghost.” The rage builds in me and is finally released. I swing at the bearded jaw line of my father but it goes right through him and my knuckles bash against driver side window.
“Feel better now? You know for all your anger against my freezing your brother out of my life you did a pretty good job of doing that to your grandparents. It must have hurt deeply to one day finally work up the will to apologize to them and find out they had been dead for over two years. It was shame that kept you away wasn’t it? Maybe you can understand a little of what I did now. Of course I was lucky enough not to outlive you or your brother.”
During the conversation the EMT’s and Firemen had shown up. They had already finished up picking up the bodies and removed the scrap iron that used to
My father’s last statement was met with silence. That cagey old bastard had gotten to me. He always had that knack. There is a firefighter in front of me with a shovel attempting to remove the Flying Lady’s skin graft from the asphalt. The sound was the gravelly raking of steel over rock ending in a wet thud as the flesh was peeled away, halfway cooked from the hot day.
“Well, champ looks like our time is up. I got to get back in that overpriced box before the driver comes back. You know I’m not looking for an apology, just a new perspective. That’s what all this is really, a certain perspective. Take care son.”
Suddenly I feel alone. More alone than I’ve ever felt in my life.
“Fuck you old man. Rot in hell.”
Tony Bennett swells, his voice rising for the climax.
I begin to cry.
Today they prepped the crown.
Before today they did oral surgery to make sure the crown fit.
I'm getting sick of paying to have a Russian man stick his fingers in my mouth.
Because I had fun yesterday posting an older exercise that was laughed out of the room, and also because I was bored at work, I did another exercise at the always interesting Critique Circle.
This one started as something in my head, then became about a guy with diarrhea.
That might be a pull quote for my autobiography, "He Eats Ninjas and Shits Pirates."
The novel is bent and warped. A cycle of steam, cold, heat, and humidity as taken the pages and started the process of turning it into pulp. It's only taken a week to finish this one. My fingers are becoming black, leaving prints on the porcelain. They should have no problem figuring out the who done it this time. Colombo be damned.
It probably isn't wise to be here still. I can't make myself leave. I've been successful in avoiding the garage, but the smell...
Not that I spent much time out of this room. My stomach is attempting to burst. I've lost the shame of destroying her bathroom with my, well let's just say...liquids.
She was so beautiful.
I remember once seeing a small girl on the street corner selling roses. One by one her sunny smile made her nickel after nickel. All but one she sold, that one she kept in a bag by her feet. I asked her why not sell that rose? She told me that it was a funny color, not like the rest. I offered to buy it from her for a dime, she refused me. Everyone got the same beautiful rose, but the one that was special was going to be for her mother.
She was so special, my wife
I've developed a hemorrhoid from my bowels hovering between chaos and agony. I'm out of toilet paper again. I'll have to get some more but we kept the extra in the garage.
My legs are leaden down the hallway, half from atrophy, half from dread. My vision narrows as I search for something to focus on other than the garage door. A photo from Disneyland, her favorite blanket, a coffee cup with lipstick on the rim. My stomach turns.
I collapse to my knees when I touch the handle of the door. It swings open more from mental force than motion of my arm.
She is smiling.
I slip on the liquids that used to be inside her. I fall on my stomach, fill my pants, and come face to face with her.
She is smiling.
I am crying.
Our smells entwine and I fall asleep.
I'll let you know the grade later, but after a re-read it's looking pretty grim.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I frequent a site called Critique Circle. It's a fun, alarmingly workable site that allows for different writers to come together and tear into the soft flesh of your still unripe work. In all seriousness, it is well put together and the other writers are for the most part patient, giving, and helpful. Some don't know what the hell they are talking about but that's par for the course.
The forums are a different beast.
One thing the site does well is exercises. A simple topic where you write a fast 500 words and then you are judged by everyone and eventually left disappointed in yourself and your spell checker.
Here's one I did for suicide. And this is the reason why I should never write about suicide
You are committing suicide. How? Why? Will anyone be there to stop you?
It's jealousy They feel, it has to be. What else could it be? I see the judging in Their eyes, Their disappointed half smiles when They find Themselves lacking to my measure stick. It's almost worth living for.
If it wasn't for this pain behind my eyes and ears and gums and nostrils. My tongue is thick and listless from the viscosity. This damn pain!
I went to every shrink in the book. Quacks every last one of Them. "Hello, sir, please tell me of your pain." Not five minutes in and I feel the piercing stab of Their eyes.
My head has begun to tip to the left because my neck isn't strong enough for the growing weight of my once beautiful head.
I have to make it stop.
Two choices, One pistol. Them or Me?
I spread plastic tarps over my expensive Italian sofas. For the mess, one part blood, one part steam.
I polish my shoes.
Dry clean my suit.
Clean my gun.
I shower, shave, and dress. Immaculate.
As the gun skips across my veneers my wife enters the room. She sees me in the the middle of a plastic room with a gun in my mouth.
Her face shows concern.
I loosen my grip on the gun.
Her face shows disappointment.
The gun leaves my mouth.
She asks me why? Then, there it is, that look, She becomes Them.
The gun throws a bullet into her condescending smile.
The barrel is still hot and burns my tongue.
I take one last look at Heaven...Even God looks down on me.
The gun fires.
I got a 1.88 out of 4. That's what I get for five minutes when I should have been working on a presentation report.
Maybe I should do more of these
However, I'm French and Jewish, so I travel between a lofty desire to smirk at how much better I am than everything to depressing, crushing self-doubt that constantly retards my efforts to better myself.
Will I do better?
My New Year's resolution is to start and complete a novel project in the calender year. I began one last year that I didn't do enough planning for and I hit an absolute wall around page 180. I thought that fleshing out a screenplay I written earlier in the year would have worked but alas, it didn't.
The story is still there but I need to move away from it for a while.
So here I am tapping away at keys, talking to myself for no other reason than to up my WPM and my brain to screen ratio.
If you actually read this blog and you are not myself nor my lovely wife, hello. I don't know what this thing will become but for now, welcome.