Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 Schoolin' at the Movies

Ladies and Gentlepeoples, lock up your scotch and talk to your daughters-it's the 2007 year at the movies, through my entirely opinionated view. Away we go:
MOVIE OF THE YEAR: No Country for Old Men
RUNNER UP(S-a tie!): Eastern Promises, Inland Empire
A: Black Gold
A: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
A-: The Lives of Others
A-: Grindhouse (Theatrical Presentation)
A-: The Darjeeling Limited
B+: Michael Clayton
B: Planet Terror (Grindhouse Feature)
B-: A Sidewalk Astronomer
B-: Plagues and Pleasures of the Salton Sea
B-: Rescue Dawn
B-: Hot Fuzz

C+: Paris, Je T'Aime
C+: The Simpsons: Movie
C+: Sicko
C: Sunshine
C: 28 Weeks Later
C-: Evan Almighty
C-: Death Proof (Grindhouse Feature)
DUNCE CAP: Pan's Labyrinth
COOL REVIVALS: The Big Lebowski, Planet of the Apes, Duck Soup, Jaws, Psycho, Mafioso, The Birds

Links going up at and highlighted at, right away! A year where even the stinker of the year, wasn't horrible, is a good year.
Maybe my standards, and need to compete, are waning in my middle age.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Screenplay Updates

I've posted about my script The Prodigal Son before. The current draft will only be up on TriggerStreet a few more weeks, at which point an entirely new draft with a better title (and logline) will replace it. Even better, my 3rd fully drafted feature, The Propeller, is doing considerably better in the review department on TrigSt. Maybe I should just stick to heist comedies and leave the horror stuff to more capable hands?

Next week is the last week of the year, and you know what that means. Also, next guy who comes up to me singing about Chestnuts Roasting and magical snowmen gets a poke in the eye. Friends, you've been warned.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Theft Of Imagination

The leader of the Meetup group I participate in, David Negrin has written and produced a wonderful play about the soul of negotiation and the possibilities of peace. There's still time to catch it's run in NYC -- well off-Broadway and not subject to the strike -- on the historic MacDougal St. Players Theater. Go here for info about the troupe and a link to buy tickets.
In related news, Trigger Street now posts plays - awesome!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Back in Business

I haven't posted for awhile, but I have two things to mention. It must be the icy weather that motivates me.
On the music tip, my new solo guitar demo for 2008 is ready for pressing. Well, you know, burning in iTunes and handing out at cafes and restaurants, but still...request it and see if I've got the stuff to liven up a weeknight at your cafe (or dress up your movie/video/etc.) I still have rock demos here.
On the writing tip, my first feature screenplay, The Prodigal Son is a semi-finalist at the Script Shark Insider contest. Wish me luck! My second screenplay is No Prince Charming, and I've finished a full length draft. Like it matters now that the Writers Union is striking, but the point is I finished it. BTW let's all show our support for a better residual and a quick end to the strike!
And here are some sites where I post in lieu of a blog post here:
The Dilbert Guy
My screenplays
I know this site says not to, but sometimes being an asshole is the only way to be noticed in this crazy world.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

does life begin at 90?

Maybe you've heard the story of the world's toughest 95 Year Old. Well, meet the world's smartest living 91 Year Old. The movie is "The Sidewalk Astronomer" and his spirit for science and the infinite was made manifest at a screening and Q 'n A in Stamford's Avon Theatre tonight. Still brimming with wit and streams of intense consciousness, Mr John Dobson discussed evolution, Mars, the power of curiosity and the future of man with equal energy and fire. If he comes to your town, do check it out.
Will we get to be that old and wise? My preconceptions of why anyone would want to live that long are a little shaken now.
The medical industry may or may not be on our side on this one. It's not like we don't want to stay young forever-more likely, we want to stay hot and attractive forever, but really living the life we have while we're here? As opposed to a life where religion and big business take turns controlling you and everything you do or think, like yours.
I don't know, but I'm going for some of that magic Raisin Bran from Trader Joe's soon....

Monday, July 30, 2007

1 Sheets, Polish Style

What an incredible gallery! I particularly like the Spielberg (his "big hair 80s" fluff films) series-the rough hand-drawn, surreal and vexing images lend absolutely no credence to the silly comedies they are advertising. Learn more and buy here.
More art links to be added later since it's too hot to blog today.

Ingmar Bergman remembered

I can't tell the stories about how I discovered Bergman's work because I can't make this about me. We've lost a one of a kind mind of theater, film and storytelling in general. He is missed already.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A day at my job

These would be funny if they weren't all true. Plus, Inquiring minds want to know: am I an asshole?
A real post will be up as soon as I can write one.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

3 year reform for schools

Here's an article from the Fairfield Weekly, who's been on a roll lately with the good articles! What happened? I guess navel-gazing and Socialist rants only sells so much advertising. Anyway-
It's been a catalyst for one of my favorite stupid theories. As a graduate of 4 year and 2 year schools, I'd say the more useful classes were at the 2 year. Of course the 4 year school was film school, which it hurts to say is a waste of money and youthful energy. But as the economy gradually worsens, does it make sense that colleges will eventually embrace the 2 year plan? I think 2 year degrees will become more common and gain needed status to start young careers, simply out of common usage. Parents of the right now working class, simply will not be able to afford 4 years of a name brand college in 10 to 20 years. What will be left?

1. Children of the very rich. Imagine the Olsen twins operating on your brain tumor, or Paris Hilton devising an economic strategy to create American jobs. As if they would even bother attending college. This is proliferated by "legacy admissions": Just because you're a doctor, doesn't automatically mean your son is smart enough to be one.
2. Scholarship kids who struggle to get that next A so they can stay in school.

For the latter set but for all geniuses, the last year of high school and the first year of college will be interchangeable to the point where both will take about 3 years average. Across the board, we'll realize that kids aren't learning in schools, so get 'em out and into the workforce that much faster because the economy needs all the help it can get.
If you're a student, wouldn't you like to be a grad at age 19? Face it, you'll be washed up in the job sector by 50, so that's two years on your track record. Of course, med school and other very difficult scientific trades would still be 4 years. And grad school will always remain for the societally challenged.
And to sweeten the deal, we should lower the drinking age to 18. Enough pretending it does anything but spur the "kegger" mentality and breed the alcoholics of tomorrow. An 18 year old can enlist, fight and kill and die for this country, make babies and work to support babies and children, but s/he can't have a beer in public? Let's face it, one thing about entering the workforce teaches you: after a hard day's work, I need a drink.
This man became a lawyer in two weeks.
Read this blog for related brilliance!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Summer Fest Pics, Part 1

Here's some shots from the beautiful campus of St. Anthony's in Bridgeport Upper West Side, outside La Mama, where a gala Italian fest went down this weekend. I admit, as a fallen Catholic, I have to take pride in our sculpture (and our cappuccino!)

I left out the debris which indicates that this arcane maze is quite the place to party after hours, or something :) I'll have my usual sniping about religion in another post, but let us simply enjoy what is good that has come of it.

BTW what is that on the left?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Awesome Animated Clips

back to Pink Tentacle for these clips. Animators happen to be from Japan, proving the scene there is more than generic metal robots and vague-to-overt sexism. Reminiscent of Todd McFarland's amazing video for Pearl Jam's "Do The Evolution" with a hip-hop beat and sketchpad raw flow.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The College Smoke and Mirrors

I've been off for awhile, now I'm back.
This is irony and hilarity at it's most sublime, as reported by one of journalism's finest. Read her column every week, please.
I can attest to this; I've graduated twice from college and I can't afford my own home. Bill Gates didn't bother to graduate (from Harvard, but the point remains). Your skills at cultivating wealth is like charisma or common sense: no school can or will teach it. You got it or you don't, and the only way to learn it is on these mean streets.

PS Anyone else go to Tribeca Film Fest this year? Helloooo?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

three artists

Is it not too late to catch this show? I am lame for not hawking it earlier.
In a similar vein, this wood artist has a gigantic online portfolio that is stunning, on all conceivable levels. I particularly like the blurbs, reprinted where else? where she recounts being pressured away from her unique voice by who else-her art school professors.
And finally, these rides won't get you laid in America - hell I think they could get you arrested in some areas, or savagely beaten in others. But what wouldn't anymore? I think they're beautiful and I don't really love cars. From a cool Japanophile website I'll be visiting a lot. Referred by who else?!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Slowpoke stands up for the Script Writers!

My Current Wallpaper out where the Wind Blows - sorry, I'm born to Geek! Follow the link to a great political cartoon website!
To be fair, regarding the corresponding blog jibes : the script geniuses behind the blockbusters / network shows lampooned in this one command millions-well, hundreds of thousands at least, for their work. And even writers at the arthouse or direct to DVD levels, i.e. the bottom make-well, more than I saw all of '06, according to my 1040EZ forms. Still, it does appear mediocre to horrible work pays better than good or great work, which is wrong, people.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Alternative Emblems for your Ride

Every ride should have one. Buy one before the RedShirts ban them.
(RedNeck + Brownshirt = RedShirt)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Drunk Irishmen on Crack

We're overdue for a funny post here. When you're in Stamford, CT and you feel 'blagh', the place to go is Tigin's downtown. It's got cold pints, nonstop European rock and the best bangers & mash! And it's conveniently across the street from the Avon Theatre.
They also have the funniest placemats I've seen - currently a dissection of what is apparently a real Gaelic word, 'craic'-a coverall phrase for life and enjoyment thereof, e.g. joie de vivre, dolce vita, l'chaim, mahalo etc. What's funny about that is 'craic' is pronounced with a hard k-'CRACK'. Mixing this Gaelic pronunciation with the English examples is, well, interesting. The quoted passages are honestly and truly as they appear on the mat, as snapshot memory serves-
"Tigin's - get CRAIC here!" Like it's the only place in Stamford to get good Crack-er sorry, CRAIC.
"Avoid the embarrassment of improperly using your CRAIC when out with your friends." I wonder if the "Manners" lady from the "Bullshit" show, starring Penn & Teller covers that in her class.
"Use CRAIC liberally." WTF? Hey kids, it's fun!
"And when they ask you the next morning if you had a good time at Tigin's last night, let 'em guess and just say, "It was good CRAIC"." Yeah, that'll wake 'em up at the next team building seminar.

PS Happy Birthday to my sister, Stephanie on St Pat's Day!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

UPDATES: My web, My writer's groups

The eMail info for my website has been updated. If you have tried to use my old eMail info, I know - I'm the worlds worst admin. It's OK now.
The Alien From Avenue C is on the internets HERE. I've been working with other writers for a very long time now, in a kind of support group thing as we all go for the gold and try to make work that is meaningful and moving to other people. You must be a member to view. I'm also a member here, NYC group.
UPDATE: And my horror feature, The Prodigal Son, is up on Meetup! Again, you MUST be a member and it is recommended you be a screenwriter or relevant industry person/artist to join. Other links will be available soon for everyone to see.

Another essay about Your Favorite Celebrity

Wow, my blog is falling on hard times when I'm posting about this stuff. First Anna Nicole, and now... but I admit this weirded me out. This follows stories of Britney Spears wandering Miami, asking total strangers to "be her friend" - indicating a near-lethal blending of Ecstasy and tequila shots - and then trying to check into a hotel with only a half-scrawled credit card number to pay. Proving it matters not, having all the money in the world when you CAN'T FIND IT. Maybe Prince Ngembe of Nigeria can help her in securing an American bank account to funnel her money from - er, nevermind.
And now THIS. It reminded me of the underground horror fave "My Sweet Satan", where the protagonist enacts just this sort of horror. (It's out of print on DVD but you can contact the filmmaker here.) HOW? HOW does this happen? How does one transform from Britney Spears to THAT GUY?
And why do we care? What is so creepy about this? I guess it has a personal dimension as I've known and even been good friends with women who've been as bad off mentally (and without the deep pockets for only the best rehab centers that Ms Spears has), and it's hard to watch. Is it the Satanic aspects? Frankly, I know Satanists and they're good kids, with jobs and families and stuff. As much as your rational brain understands it's all lies and superstition, the fear is imbedded in your heart and these sounds and images conjure a chill that weakens you. As a movie writer and fan, I know Fear is not something you can control! Is it the blogging jackals from the industry, online now trying to convince us the story was just made up? Like when Kurt Cobain was just suffering from narcolepsy. How many thousands do the entertainment industry protect from prison and mental institutions every year? I always wonder.
I guess the only upside of this story is, Britney's next album is gonna be AMAZING. It will truly rock, If there is one. Seriously! Could this be her drop-acid-on-the-Love-Train-to-India moment? Her Sandbox in the living room? Yes, I'm referring to revered artists who were called bubblegum, and teenybopper, and "children's records" and worse in their salad days. You can huff self-righteously all you want, but get ready for Britney 2.0. Produced by Rick Rubin.
"For those of you who seek the reality behind Hollywood's most cherished characters...You probably shouldn't." - Berke Breathed

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Wanna Buy a Screenplay?

My receipt for Copyrights and for the WGA registry safely in hand, I proudly offer you my pitches for The complete first drafts (first two of many, many) of my two feature screenplays, No Prince Charming and The Prodigal Son.

No Prince Charming (breakup / midlife crisis drama)
LOGLINE: What would you do if you were attracted to an executive at your company? You would assume she doesn't need someone like you in your life. Are you sure?
Our hero is an aging bachelor with a high pressure, if outwardly dull, job. His fascination is a dotcom multimillionaire who owns the company he works for-together with her husband, with whom she appears to have a wonderful life and family. But he's deep in a merger that's about to go sour, and she's cheating on him with the gardener. When a bitter divorce eventually breaks out, she finds herself alone, downtown-and about to become good friends with the last person she'd spend a dinner date with....

The Prodigal Son (romantic horror)
LOGLINE: A vampire sets her sights on a unlikely prey: a streetwise prison parolee and addict.
Link is back on the street after 25 years in prison for dealing drugs, working a parole-enforced job in a convenience store, trying to stay straight and failing miserably. Lurking behind him is a British girl in the city, attending private school where she hides an evil secret appetite. Late at night, he gives in to his base desires, where she makes her presence known. She even visits him at his crap job, avoiding the vampire hunter in town looking for the legendary Bloody Lolita, and inviting him into her nocturnal world with the promise of salvation from his hopeless existence.

I also have a half hour sci-fi comedy called The Alien From Avenue C. This would be great for sci-fi TV, preferably cable due to adult language and themes, as they say:
LOGLINE: A UFO lands on a low-income apartment in NYC, and wreaks havoc and enlightenment on the residents.
When a UFO lands on a low income apartment in NYC, a trio of young girls take him in-to the delighted surprise of their father, an alien lore aficionado who's from another world-Africa-himself. It also attracts the attention of some local drug dealers, known as the Spritual Specialists, as well as a lady downstairs who is about to murder her husband.

Please eMail me with any questions or if you'd like to read. I'll be in a writing contest near you and on, or sites like it, as well as working with other writing peers before I start shopping for a production deal. I'm very happy about this, and I'm looking forward to busting into the writing and film business once and for all.

my Values is bigger than Your Values

Oh Theistic Deity I can't take it anymore. A full year and a half to the elections and the viciousness seems to be peaking. Blogger won't let me post the full essay because it's too LONG, so I'm linking to my webpage here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

What I'm doing tonight in NYC

NuYorican Poets Cafe
The Zinc Bar
The Stone, NYC
I guess this place will have to wait until next year, or until I'm well off enough to do downtown more than once a year.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Vermont in Winter - some observations

Another pit stop to make is in Brattleboro, a hippie radical/bomb throwing anarchist enclave which sports according to Fox News, the most dangerous newspaper in America. Read it online. Gee, you get good coupons in the inserts there....and commentary is pretty broad and balanced. Hey I almost like Bill O'Reilly, but does he define dangerous as anyone who specifically disagrees with him?
Sadly it was where I learned the passing of one of his rivals, a funny and spiritedly honest commentator from Texas named Molly Ivins. She sadly wasn't the famous chick from Texas who died this week, but for some of us, her style and humor will be missed.
On that related note - oh admit it guys, this makes you sad. It even makes this guy sad.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Vermont in Winter - my photos

Dont worry, it's only six shots:
1. Both coming and going, the greatest pit stop in New England is Northampton, MA. This shot you can kinda make out the Haymarket Cafe, who used to be a radical bookstore but still make pseudo-Oriental dishes, juices and lattes that are ungodly.

2 and 3. Now at Sugarbush - some slalom racers testing their mettle on the fast Hotshot slope, these dudes are too fast for my camera.

4 and 5. Some shots of the slopes and birch forests. Be advised the forest is FOR SKIING! They call it the Deeper Sleeper, and to those who have braved it well....what can I say except ARE YOU ^&%$in CRAZY?!

Yes folks this is the trail. Wow.
6. And when you need a break from the deadly silence of rural wintery Vermont, you'll need Burlington. Here's the main strip in downtown, a beautiful view up (too bad none of these shots capture the SIX degree cold, which explains the lack of traffic on the street) This is where the first Ben and Jerry's still stands dudes and dudettes, and hippie radicalism of the type which Fox News can't stop raging against runs rampant. I'll write more about that tomorrow.

A mild foot injury sadly curtailed my plans for Mad River Glen this year, and pre-condo purchase poverty is limiting my local travels among other things. But I'll be back soon, maybe not next year but I will ski it IF I CAN. Yah!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Esquire Dubious Acheivements for 06

If you're at a newsstand (or reading at your local Borders) you need this. I'm no regular Esquire reader, though its obviuos to those who know me that I really should be. But every year the White Man's Guide to Pimpin' puts out the funniest year end recap of all, the Dubious Acheivements issue. This year, "reality" comes clean, the State of the Union's Racism, and an odorless poison insert (no, not the perfume ads-good guess though). Oh, and the "how to get laid" articles are good too. Enjoy!
Next week - a long vacation post.
PS Now made on a Mac - can'tcha tell?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Oscar blahg time

My weird Oscar theory: it has to do with the old saw about "selling your soul", assuming such a thing exists, to get what you want in life-like an Oscar. Is it just a coincidence Oscar is shaped like a little person? Maybe it's how these people get their souls back. Shrunken, embalmed in pure gold, but a soul nonetheless. That would explain all the crying. Now how Jack Nicholson got three of them I don't know, but hey, it's only a theory.
Ribbing aside, it's looking to be a good contest this year. The good: go Forrest and Penelope! And Scorsese too! The bad: why do people like "Pan's Labyrinth"? Special FX prize, fine, but Best Foreign Film? Personally, it gets my prize for Fastest I ever walked out on a film I paid for. Full price - well, it's Norwalk's only art house, so...
And for ugly, this years Screwed by Oscar list: Darwin's Nightmare for best Doc, and Who Killed the Electric Car? or Street Fight for fifth Nominee (you know, the one with no chance of winning that we love anyway). V for Vendetta, not one tech award? Thank You For Smoking, starting with Sam Elliott or Lee Tergesen for supporting acting. And how about A Scanner Darkly for Animated Feature? Consider that. And enjoy.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Winter is on!

Just a quick one commemorating January 18th, the first snowfall of winter. In SOUTH CONNECTICUT. I know we all hate winter, although some of us see some value in it - and the frozen midwest has had winter enough the last few weeks.
Of course, global warming is just a ploy for a political party to garner support. Mmm hmm. Nothing to worry about, folks. Just ask those people in that island off of India, who are riding rafts out their front doors, as some islands in the Pacific may be doing in the future. The links off of Yahoo! are gone at this time. I didn't know American voters lived in places like that....

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Is it January 7th yet?

PRELUDE: First of all, welcome to the new Blog, created as a necessary searchable blog per New visitors can click here for my old, busted, HTML stitched blog I will miss quite a lot.

So anyway, I hope everyone was successful in avoiding Christmas as I did (a nice safe topic to start my new blog on, LOL). With the exception of my family's visit and some year end parties, I found it necessary to avoid it all as much as possible this year. No Christmas songs, no shopping spree (no credit cards to spree with), no Santa worship. I didn't even watch "It's a Wonderful Life", being old enough to remember those seasons when basic cable was young and IAWL was still public domain-and the movie would be on as many as five channels at any time of the day or night. Actually, with expanded premium cable they do that with "Scarface" now. Or whatever movie Stacy Keach was in last week.

My point, I think, is I'm sick of it. Much has been made of this feeling by the media, particularly by dogmatic religious talking heads who sound a little desperate to stuff pews. I don't believe in God, but if Jesus in fact had some magic ability to not have been dead for the last 2000 years-and if he were to look at the annual nonsense we perpetrate in his name, would he be thrilled? Would he be proud? Or would he start to have the same queasy feeling about birthdays that I do (a topic to be visited next fall, ykwim)?

So I just revel in the annual family reunion, the appreciation of being cared about and caring about someone unconditionally, and of course-feasting! What's a little heartburn among friends?