Tuesday, April 22, 2014

3 Signs She Really Wants You on the First Date

 1) She says something like, "I really want you on the first date."

Honestly, I don't know where to go from here.  Unless we get the kind of confirmation I'm referring to above, it's kind of murky.  I could list lots of potential signs, but I'm not sure I can guarantee you won't get maced or tazed if you act on them.  Women are tricky like that.  I know this, if you wind up saying, "Don't taze me, bro," she doesn't really want you on the first date. 

I hope this helped.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"I can't believe they killed Charlton Heston."

Here there be SPOILERS.  You have been warned.

You may know by now that I dig disaster movies.  I don't know why.  It was originally just The Poseidon Adventure for the most part, and I was fairly lukewarm on the others.  Now, I'm really starting to appreciate all of them.  It's an absurd formula really, but it's pretty damn entertaining.   You take some serious starpower, pick a disaster, insert a love triangle, add some truly ferocious weather, toss in a heaping spoonful of medical problems of the most dramatic variety, and finish it off with a madman (maybe a bomber, that's the easy call), and stir.  Also: having George Kennedy in the mix helps.

Anyway, I just watched Earthquake yesterday while I was folding clothes.  Talk about a disaster, that's the laundry situation in a house with 4 chaps, one of whom is an infant.  So folding the clothes can be kinda like climbing a mountain in my house, and watching Earthquake during this woeful struggle seemed rather appropriate.

And now we get to the title of this blog, the comment I have made to my wife entirely too many times in the hours since.  I can't believe they killed Charlton Heston.  This is really bothering me, and the whole thing was entirely too foolish (yet enjoyable) for such dismay.  Seriously, I've looked over at Kristen at least five times since and said "I can't believe they killed Charlton Heston."  Kristen could care less.  She doesn't understand.  She has seen Planet of the Apes, and that's about as deep as her understanding of Charlton Heston runs.

Forget politics, Charlton Heston was cinematic royalty.  I consider myself a big fan, and he was the best thing about Earthquake.  Okay, maybe George Kennedy was the best thing about Earthquake, but hell, it's a disaster movie.  Facing off against George Kennedy in a disaster movie is madness.  Regardless, Heston was perfect, and the character was well-conceived.  His dilemmas were compelling and he weathered the storm/earthquake with true American grit.  A great actor in a great role, and damn it, they killed the son of a bitch at the end.

I can't believe they killed Charlton Heston.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Scooby-Doo Wrestlemania Mystery

So, I watched the Scooby-Doo/WWE cartoon with my son and the rest of the family yesterday.  Asher turned 3 on Saturday and the DVD was one of his gifts.  Anyway, we had a silly good time with it.  There were some good jokes for the older generation along the way, and the whole thing was a lot of fun.  It was a typical Scooby-Doo feature and the WWE angle didn't feel at all out of place.  Some of the choices so far as the wrestlers featured in the cartoon are concerned were interesting; I'm sure it took some time to animate this one and I can only speculate that the WWE expected some of these cats to be more popular than they wound up being.  The production values were nice and the movie was entertaining from start to finish.  Seriously, Ash hasn't wanted to watch anything else since.

If you like the WWE or Scooby-Doo, you'll have fun with this one. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Airport Series

I have a confession to make.  I really like disaster movies.  The Poseidon Adventure is clearly the best of the lot, but I also have a lot of love for the Airport series.  I know they're terrible--seriously, the line between the Airport pictures and Airplane! and it's equally hilarious sequel is a fine line indeed.  Still, there's something about those abusrdities that I cherish.  Airport '75 is surely my favorite, yeah, Lancaster is a legend, but he's no Charlton Heston.  Of course, this comes from a guy who loves The Omega Man, so take it for what's worth.

Oh, about The Omega Man--if you look at it as a strict adaptation of Matheson's novel I Am Legend, it's a total jive-turkey.  If you look at it as something unique that was loosely based on Matheson's text, it's a hell of a good time and one of Heston's best.  That's my take, anyway.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Never Look Back Again

Well, tonight is the night.  My blog and my writing have been on the backburner since October because I decided to make a movie.  Tonight is the big premiere; Never Look Back Again is playing at Hollywood Cinema in Martinsville, Virginia.

Here's the official synopsis for Never Look Back Again:

Get ready to take a trip into darkness and despair.
Reeling from a painful divorce, Wes Matheson (Travis Thompson) comes home to a place he always feared. He’s there to clean up the decrepit factory he inherited from the father he never liked, relying on a few friends to help him spruce the place up.
If all goes well, he’ll sell the factory and move on with his life, but nothing goes well in the gruesome spiral into horror that ensues. Never Look Back Again is a mindbending tale of terror that will make you doubt your own sanity.
Is it a nightmare? Is it a hallucination? Or is it madness?

My good friend Rudy Law served as Executive Producer for the picture, and I was fortunate enough to cast Travis Thompson in the lead role.  Mal Rorrer did the score, designed most of the artwork, and plays a small part in the picture, among other things.  Chris Gibbs, Ryan Culver, and John Reinhold also appear in the movie, and both Rudy and I played parts as well.  Chad Culver was a huge help behind the scenes, and Raven Kai has managed our web presence.  It has definitely been a journey, and I'm very pleased with the end result.  I certainly couldn't have done it without the cast and crew, and as difficult as it was, working with them was also a lot of fun.
I can't wait to share our picture with the general public and see how people respond to our little stroll through The Twilight Zone on acid.  We're also making the DVD available this weekend.

Mal Rorrer, Rudy Law, James Wayland, and Travis Thompson at Hollywood Cinema
Never Look Back Again is the first feature from Pirate Pug Productions, a joint venture that Rudy and I have started.  Our plan is to continue to make movies and bring other creators on board to help us produce outlandish material.  We chose the name because we dig pugs and, well, a pirate pug is a rather adorable concept that suits our "doing it our way" approach.

This is our awesome logo c/o Mal Rorrer.  He nailed it, but that's no surprise.

As I noted before, we'll be selling DVDs at the premiere, and we'll have other merch available as well, to include pins, hats, and tee-shirts.  The movie was shot in 1080i HD, so there are Blu-Rays coming.  We're definitely looking to maximize this opportunity and we're looking forward to having a blast with anyone and everyone who comes out to support us this weekend or buys a copy of the movie.  Additional showings are in the works, and I'll certainly keep you posted.  

Here's a link to our trailer so you can scope it out:
Never Look Back Again Trailer

And here's a link to our website in case you're looking for additional information:
Never Look Back Again website

Finally, I'm going to leave you with a few stills from the movie:

Travis Thompson as Wes Matheson and Chris Gibbs as Terry
Mal Rorrer designed the costume for "Shudder" and he also played the part
This can't be good . . .
Ryan Culver plays Marlon and I play Rick, here we're having a bit of a disagreement . . .

Are supernatural forces out to get Wes or is he losing his mind?
Rudy Law as Old Ron, the creepy caretaker

Travis Thompson stars in Never Look Back Again

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Possession and the Thing About Possession Movies

The kids did a sleepover with my parents last night--well, everyone but Baby Kass anyway--so Kris and I decided to watch a horror movie.  We watched The Possession, and it was pretty good.  I'm not going to hate on it, the acting was all right and there were some scares along the way, but here's the thing: if you're going to make a possession movie, you have to really work hard to reinvent the wheel.

And here's why: The Exorcist.  Yes, the scariest movie of all time, and one of the finest horror films ever produced.  You can't compete with it.  You don't want to be compared to it.  It's suicide.  There will never be another movie quite like it; in this day and age, there's no way that movie would be released with an "R" rating, and it excels in every category that makes movies worthwhile.  Think about it, the direction is brilliant, the acting is off the charts, the effects are legendary, the score is spot-on, the story is epic (please read the book if you haven't already), and the picture is scary as hell.  To this day, no horror film bothers me more, and I'm not alone in that regard.  Not by a longshot.

I'm not saying we have to close the doors on the subgenre that revolves around people being possessed, but I am saying that you don't want to do anything that requires people to compare your movie to The Exorcist.  You certainly don't want to do a lot of things that require people to make such comparisons.  You will not win any of those comparisons, no matter how good your picture is.

You have been warned.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Justified Keeps Getting Better and Better

Man, I love Justified.  For those of you who know me well, this is old news.  For those of you who don't, it's probably hard to grasp.  I'm not really a big TV guy unless it's football season, and then I'm mostly there for the NFL.  On average, I follow maybe 2 or 3 shows, and there have been numerous points in my life when I didn't follow any.  I love movies and I read like it's something I'm paid to do, but television has always been the red-headed stepchild of my entertainment family.

And then there's Justified.  I'm a big Elmore Leonard fan, I love Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins, and this show has thrilled me from the very start.  Picking my favorite season would be like trying to pick a favorite child.  In some way, shape, or form, each one is my favorite, and thus far the fifth season has been no different.

As we head toward next week's finale, I've never been more excited to see what comes next.  Justified has mastered the art of wrapping each season around one big story and telling a multitude of little stories along the way.  The way the characters and their relationships have evolved and the way the show has managed to add great talent to the mix each and every year is nothing short of remarkable.  I think the series is positively golden, and I can't recommend it enough.

Much of this is old news, I've praised the show frequently before on a number of platforms, and this isn't the first time I worked to spread the Harlan Gospel with my blog.  I just want to make sure everyone understands that this love story is really no different from my marriage to the most wonderful woman on the planet; I'm still head over heels in love, I'm still being surprised and thrilled every step of the way, and I'm always eager to tell someone about my joy. 

Justified, where the good guys aren't all good, the bad guys aren't all bad, the outcome is never predictable, and the dialogue is impeccable.  I firmly believe this is the best show ever, and I can't wait for next week's season finale.  Forgive me, however, if I'm trying really hard not to dwell on the fact that the next season will be the last season.