Category Archives: movies
“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” — Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), Say Anything
But seriously, what do you want to be when you grow up – if you are not doing it already? And if you are what you want(ed) to be when you grew up, congrats. How did you do it? I still don’t know what I want to be or at least how to do it.
My last post got me thinking about this again. When I was boy I was heavily influenced by movies/TV, shock!, I know. I am still am. I wanted to be a truck driver because of B.J. and the Bear. Lead character McKay was from Milwaukee. Oh, I was on the right path, destiny?
Now the thought of me actually being a truck driver. Wait, just think about it for a second. If you know me, it’s at least mildly amusing. I don’t even like to “drive shifter cars. I drive luxury automobiles. Cars that shift themselves” (V. Gallo, Buffalo ’66)
But to his credit (?) Greg Evigan sang his own TV theme. As did Lee Majors in The Fall Guy, a seriously well written tune called The Unknown Stuntman. And yes, I really wanted to be a stuntman for a long time.
Did you listen to it? It’s a melancholy tune, just the classic lovable loser who doesn’t girl after doing all the work. My stuntman desire was augmented by my love for Raiders of the Lost Ark and a TV special called Great Movie Stunts: Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can watch all 6 parts on youtube, it’s a simple documentary for younger ones, but you watch it with them. Did you ever see this?
In modern cinema, many stuntmen have lost their jobs to CGI and the like. Many of the best stunts of the past wouldn’t be done the same way today. There was a much bigger element of danger when you drove a car off a bridge or fell into an airbag.
Somewhere in my Raiders of the Lost Ark love, I realized I didn’t really want to be a stuntman. I think I got my stunts kick out of the way with trying skydiving and bungee jumping. I really wanted to be Steven Spielberg, the director. Which is probably best that I realized early I wouldn’t be Harrison Ford. Which is not to say I totally gave up on acting because later I would want to be a comedian and trying acting. Robin Williams, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld and Saturday Night Live were among the numerous influences. (I’ve talked more about comedy specifically and will again later.)
And the Spielberg dream still exists, though now I would cross it with Wes Anderson and Woody Allen and a few others. The list is long of other partial considerations or even attempts at dreams, goals, or careers.
writer (I worry this is too solitary of an existence for social me. I would need to collaborate in some way.)
comic book artist/comic book writer
record store owner (extinct)
video store owner (extinct)
advertising copy writer – actually went to college for this one before going to film school for a while. Worked in advertising for a while, but never as a writer.
radio DJ (dabbled)
band manager (still could)
greeting card writer (like 500 Days of Summer! but only because it came up on an career aptitude test)
bar owner (harsh hours)
restauranteur (harsh failure rate)
I did some of these, worked in some of these fields. And Lloyd Dobler, I did sell things for a while and really didn’t enjoy it either. But here I am now, a work-at-home Dad, which you can see wasn’t on any of the previous lists. That said, I did always want to be a husband and a father, so no complaints. It’s a full time job, the toughest job you’ll ever love. You’re so busy and then so tired by the time you have a moment to yourself (usually just when the kids are asleep). Lately just thinking about what comes next now that the boys are getting older and going to be at school for longer days which will provide a little more time, hopefully, to go after the passions.
My problem has been that the things I want to do, really have a passion for, just don’t seem to have an easy career path, especially in regards to supporting a family financially. I made a list for 2010 of possible “jobs” I like still am interested in pursuing. Replicated from the index card near my desk:
FILM – direct, produce, act, write, curate, theater
WRITING – blog, book, film, mag, comic
COMEDY – live, perform, improv, stories, write
MUSIC/DJ – play on web, radio, manage bands
PLACE/VENUE – own bar/restaurant/theater for movies/host B&B, trivia, bands, games, art, sports, wine
B&B – get paid, franchise, web videos
TV SHOW – cable, local
EVENT PLANNER -
RADIO – host, podcasts
BIZ w/ MU friends (names held here for privacy)
Do I see patterns here? Anyone have any ideas how to help me achieve my goals, dreams, career? Those of you that have done it please share your tips and any advice you may have for the many of us who are still searching.
A few years ago Mama and I hosted an Idea Party based on Barbara Sher’s programs. After talking to a college friend recently, we thought maybe it’d be a good time to revisit the Idea Party. Let me know if you are interested in attending an Idea Party with us.
Doodles explains The Sandlot to Grandma Moe. And also who Babe Ruth is.
Why is Groundhog Day one of the best movies?
A. written/directed by Harold Ramis
B. it stars Bill Murray
C. and his goal is to get to the day February 3rd, my birthday.
How can I not love a movie in which Bill Murray does whatever it takes to get to 2/3?
Even with Andie MacDowell (Hudson Hawk, Muppets from Space), it’s still a classic romantic comedy.
Here’s another scene. Bonus trivia: Mama used to be the personal trainer for the actress playing the piano teacher.
If you see only one movie today, make it the #34 movie on AFI’s Top 100 Comedies List.
As for the real Groundhog Day – Here are some “facts” or is this case maybe factoid (loate the word) is more apropos (from Wiki page):
Groundhog Day proponents state that the rodents’ forecasts are accurate 75% to 90%. A Canadian study for 13 cities in the past 30 to 40 years puts success rate level at 37%. Also, the National Climatic Data Center reportedly has stated that the overall predictions accuracy rate is around 39%.
WKBW-TV meteorologist Mike Randall put it a different way: since there are always six more weeks of winter after Groundhog Day, and the concept of early spring in the astronomical sense simply does not exist, then whenever the groundhog sees its shadow and predicts six more weeks of winter, the groundhog is always right, but whenever it predicts an early spring, it is always wrong. The results have an approximate 80% rate of accuracy, the average percentage of times a groundhog sees its shadow.
And Happy Birthday to Amber of My Delicate Slip of Sunshine (on my blogroll). She just couldn’t wait to be born and had to share her day with a big weasel.
But whatever happens today, know that tomorrow will be better. At least I’ll be supposedly wiser.
A list most definitely in progress. Everyone seems to love going to the movies around Christmas. Pick a good one. I still want to see Avatar 3-D, among many others like An Education, Nine, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. No. No. I will not. Doodles was begging to see more Alvin today. He couldn’t understand why we didn’t own it. Why we had only rented it. And I can’t believe I just admitted we even did that much. It was so bad, but the kids laughed so hard. Belching + farting + helium voices = surefire children’s movie hit.
Here are some of my film faves so far in 2009:
The Invention of Lying
(500) Days of Summer
Up in the Air
Fantastic Mr. Fox
I Love You, Man
After the second trailer my hopes are still up for Where the Wild Things Are, but were let down by Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Will Wes Anderson deliver with his first animated/kid’s flick?
This event is sure to be worth the bike ride and family picnic effort. Join us?
Halloween, Alaska plays a free show in Loring Park on Monday at 7pm as part of the Walker’s Music and Movies in the Park series. After Scooterbus, I’m something of a pic-a-nic expert, you know.
It’s not easy to be a fan of the Woodman. It’s not popular to count him as a fave these days. There’s little denying his stellar stand-up and TV writing in the 60s or his classic films of the 70s and 80s. Even in the 90s he had some gems. Woody Allen is 75 next year and he still makes a movie every year. What other auteur has/had this kind of output and quality?
But the oughts have been unkind to him or rather his sense of humor has started to seem stale or old-manish. Let’s look at this decade of Woody Allen.
Whatever Works (2009) – good, not great, but worth it for fans
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) – top ten Woody, loved it
Cassandra’s Dream (2007) – slight, not a fave, not horrible, but not rewatchable
Scoop (2006) – fun, light, nothing new
Match Point (2005) – top ten Woody, excellent
Melinda and Melinda (2004) – pretty good, interesting to see Will Ferrell do Woody, but not great
Anything Else (2003) – Unwatchable, maybe his worse. Terrible casting, just ugh.
Hollywood Ending (2002) – mildly amusing, but kinda that old manish, unfunny bit
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) – I don’t like Helen Hunt or this movie. One of the worst.
Small Time Crooks (2000) – fun, goofy slapstick, kinda like a early 70s one, good enough.
So, I see two of his best, two classics in this decade. He’s not done. I have high hopes for his next:
Untitled Woody Allen London Project (2010) (pre-production) with Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Freida Pinto and Antonio Banderas
He has had success shooting in London and Europe lately.
So back to Whatever Works, playing now in many cities or coming soon near you…I’d probably rank it around #4 or 5 of his ten this decade. I don’t think it will win any new fans, but for his old fans, it’s pretty good. Judging from those who saw the advance screening, it was evenly mixed. Some said one of his lesser works or just didn’t like it all, especially Rachel Evan Wood. Others laughed a lot and liked it and Larry David especially.
Overall grade: B or B- for those who care. B- or C+ for those who don’t.
I went from being excited to nervous to hesitant to excited again on this project. I have not seen the final yet, but hear it’s great. We got the assignment, genre, character, prop, and a line of dialogue on Friday night. Wrote till Sat morning around 7am. Started shooting at 10am. Improvised a lot of our lines. It was a very collaborative process. If you weren’t acting, maybe you were a grip or a director for a scene. We wrapped shooting Sat eve and editing began. There were a few more shots to get Sunday morning and the editing, titles, music, everything had to be done and submitted by Sunday night: 48 Hour Film Project.
Did I mention I did all my own stunts?
I hope you can see the premiere Tues at 9 with R and me.
The actors are encourage to be in their costumes. It should be really fun.
We need audience votes to try to win favorite film.
Check out what our producer, Derek Bolden, whipped up in time for the screening invite.
So, what is a Scooterbus? Find out tomorrow night.
Worse case scenario, I hope it ends up on-line in the next few weeks, too. We’ll see.
But if you can make it, we need your support.
Would I do it again? I’d do it next month if I could. Maybe I will. It reminded me of being with my improv troupes back in L.A. like IO West. I love a team sport even if it’s more of an art. Ensemble comedy is so exhilarating. The give and take, the building it together, making your partner look good. Trying new material. Taking a dare.
When I came home from the long day “on the set”, R asked how it was. I said I felt like everyone did a great job and I was back to doing what I supposed to be doing.
Do you have that feeling? Do you know it?