Entertainment

Back To The Future Appreciation

Last night I went to the Arclight Theater in Hollywood and watched Back To The Future. If you’ve never been to the Arclight you’re doing yourself a disservice. I love this theater - Assigned seating, good popcorn, ushers who announces the movie to you, people who respect movies, soundtracks playing when you walk in… Basically a great movie going experience. I should note that I had never seen Back To The Future on the big screen, only part 2 and 3, so this was somewhat of a great experience for me. I’m not just saying this to say it, but somehow the movie was better on a big screen, seriously.

While I was watching the movie for the 198th time I really appreciated how I thought this was a perfect movie. From an entertainment point of view it is near perfect and from a structure point of view it is basically perfect. Fuck! I love this movie.

In honor of me seeing the movie for the first time in a theater, below are some links to things that I consider relevant for Back To The Future. If nothing else this is an appreciation of sorts…

Tom Wilson’s (Biff) Back To The Future Song:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwY5o2fsG7Y&w=420&h=315]

Tom Wilson’s podcast on Nerdist talking about recasting Marty McFly: Podcast.

Video of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly before being recast. BTW – How crazy is it that Michael J Fox wasn’t Marty McFly for any moment in time? I think there should be a documentary on this actor switch. I’d love to know where Eric Stoltz stands on this whole thing: I almost can’t take it.

A reunion video 25 years later: Reunion central

Back To The Future Pedia: This is a crazy website

Claudia Wells (Jennifer aka Marty’s girlfriend) interview on why she left Back To The Future. It’s weird because it always seems like Elizabeth Shue was in these movies: Claudia!

Crispin Glover (George McFly) talking about leaving Back To The Future. It’s also strange to think that original George McFly wasn’t in the sequels: George!

Eric Tan conceptual artwork: Tan

How to Reboot Back To The Future! Shameless plug. Don’t care, I love this trilogy: 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE8QLR8KLwk&w=560&h=315]

Oscar Predictions: 2013

Argo Wow, I have been totally slacking on postings lately but there is nothing better than Oscar season to change that. I love me some movies and even though I forget who wins 20 minutes after the awards are over, I love me some Oscars. However, something weird is happening this award season – I basically don’t have any fucking clue who is nominated for anything and have barely seen all of the nominated films. Why is that? How did this happen? Is it the movie quality? Is it the Internet taking me away from movies? Are award shows just irrelevant now?

I can’t think too much about it. I need to just dive into my predications.

I give you: 2013 Oscar awards predictions (even though I haven’t seen all of the films but don’t really need too).

BEST PICTURE

Amour Argo Beasts of the Southern Wild Django Unchained Les Miserables Life of Pi Lincoln Silver Linings Playbook Zero Dark Thirty

Winner: Argo. Argo has too much momentum. Affleck is going to win a best actor award some day… then best director… then we’re all going to look back on Affleck’s career and he’s going to down in history as having the most unique IMDB page ever.

BEST ACTOR Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables Joaquin Phoenix, The Master Denzel Washington, Flight

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis. Never bet against DDL.

Side note: I watched Flight the other day and Denzel killed it.

BEST ACTRESS Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook Emmanuelle Riva, Amour Naomi Watts, The Impossible Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Winner: Jessica Chastain – because… um… I haven’t seen 4 out of the 5 movies in here. This is a strange category, someone either very obvious or someone unexpected always wins. I wonder if there could be a crazy Jennifer Lawrence win.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Alan Arkin, Argo Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Winner: Waltz!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Amy Adams, The Master Sally Field, Lincoln Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables Helen Hunt, The Sessions Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Winner: Anne Hathaway. Remember when she hosted the Oscars that one year?

BEST DIRECTOR Michael Haneke, Amour Ang Lee, Life of Pi David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook Steven Spielberg, Lincoln Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Winner: Steven “I’m such a badass” Spielberg. Come on. It’s SS.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty John Gatins, Flight Michael Haneke, Amour Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Winner: I think Tarantino is going to win this thing but if John Gatins wins for Flight I won’t be mad. Did I mention that Flight was insane.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild Tony Kushner, Lincoln David Magee, Life of Pi David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook Chris Terrio, Argo

Winner: Tony Kushner. Because it’s a Spielberg film!

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM Brave Frankenweenie ParaNorman The Pirates! Band of Misfits Wreck-It Ralph

Winner: Sad to say I haven’t seen any of these in their entirety. So this is how we’re going to do this? Any Pixar films on here? Yes? Oh, Brave. Okay, Brave wins.

Award Show Irrelevancy?

140029078-36879

 

Watching the Golden Globes and SAG awards I can’t help but wonder if award shows have become irrelevant. Do people care any more? I obviously care because I’m watching them, and writing about them, but do average moviegoers and people care about award shows?

Before I go any further I should mention that there is a part of me that acknowledges I may be bitter because I’m not actually attending these award shows. If I were nominated for something at any award show, I don’t care if it was in the armpit of the world aka Panama City Beach, I’d be there the night before just waiting to make sure I get in. With that nugget in mind…

I don’t feel as though award shows are as relevant anymore for one reason: The oversaturation of stars. A big appeal to these shows was and is getting celebrities together, seeing them in one place, and then seeing them interact. When people used to ask what Jane Doe is wearing other people actually cared. Due to social media and paparazzi the appeal and mystique has faded. But is this really anything new? No.

So what happens when the appeal of celebrity is totally gone? What happens when we’re so immersed in Jane Doe’s instagram and Twitter life that nothing is new? Where do award shows go from there? Well, the actual award will have to mean something and people will have to care about what the award means.

Back in the day when I’d ask my mom to see a movie I’d pitch it as “It’s from the director who won the academy award for…” Does that thought process really exist anymore? I don’t necessarily think it does… as much. I don’t think society boasts about awards like it once did, especially when we’re talking about movies.

Just to confuse things and essentially make an argument against myself I checked out this article: According to this article when your film is nominated you roughly get a 22% spike in sales and then actually winning gives another 15% - That’s pretty significant. This is called the “Oscar Bump” and up until that article I thought the Oscar Bump didn’t happened anymore.

We’ll see how this plays out over the next 10 years. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, especially with technology changing the game even more than it currently is. We’ll see if the old school mysterious celebrity morphs into a newer common day “my life is yours to watch” celebrity. If this happens then award shows may have to adjust and become somewhat of a reality show in itself.

For the record I want a striving entertainment industry. I want award shows to be relevant and I want more people to see things because of those awards.

Alright.

I’m off to DVR the Oscars and prepare my predictions of who will win what.

Real quick - Can you answer who won the academy award for best picture last year and the year before?

Howdy Doody Is Creepy.

I purchased some Howdy Doody DVDs as a joke for my 1 year old nephew. Don't ask why, it's a long story. I tried to watch the show and about 2 minutes in I realized how creepy this puppet is. I can imagine a new potential Childs Play series based off of Howdy Doody. Am I the only one who finds this smiling cowboy a little odd?

Did You See Empire Strikes Back In The Theater?

 

My first introduction to the Star Wars films was from VHS. Unfortunately, I wasn’t alive when they hit the theaters but honestly, if I could get my time machine working I’d seriously consider going back for the Empire Strikes Back / Vader is Luke’s father reveal.

This weekend I had a conversation with my girlfriend about what it must have been like to sit in the theater and be blown away at the reveal. I can imagine people asking each other if they just heard that correctly, or god forbid, the people who had to deal with a crying child and missed it… or the stoner who couldn’t comprehend… or the guy who got sick and had to run to the bathroom and will forever regret the day he had to leave the theater.

Somewhere in my conversation I concluded 3 things: 1) I want to talk with people about their reaction to seeing Empire Strikes Back in the theater and what they did when they heard Vader was Luke’s father. 2) I want to talk to the few people who missed the reveal. 3) I am going to find people from 1 and 2 and make a video.

Not sure if you’re aware but I also make videos here on the web. I’m thinking that something I’m going to work on is exactly what I mentioned above. So, if you are someone who saw Empire Strikes Back in the theater or if you know anyone who did, please let me know or have them get in contact with me. I need to talk with them... And film them. Also, if you know anyone who left the theater please let me know.

Best email: josh@thebigshoe.tv

This quest starts today. I need to know exactly what it was like when people found out the baddest dude in the universe was the dad to Luke Skywalker.

(plug) If you want to check out any videos on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/thebigshoetv

Why does this make sense?

http://youtu.be/HI-vja-tcc0 Before we all watch the Lakers and their suddenly horrible offense with amazing players we should all watch this and be happy it exists.

I present: Metta World Peace in a Lifetime movie called “The Eleventh Hour”

…And yes, that is Jenny Garth.

…And yes, I may have to break this video down at some point in the near future.

A New Hope (part 2)

Disney + Star Wars = Episode VII. Yesterday I had a knee jerk reaction that could only be described as … ah… not a good knee jerk. I couldn’t really imagine a world with another Jar Jar Binks. Nor could I imagine the Disney touch in a Star Wars film, but then I got to thinking. Worst-case scenario is easy to see, there are 743 different options, but after a night of sleep sans any alcohol I think I came to some best-case scenarios with this whole thing. Maybe not best case scenario but definitely more of an optimistic approach…

Why has Star Wars become tainted?

Lucas kept adding new shit to the originals - Hayden Christensen as a ghost in Jedi, new effects, Han actually shooting first, new characters, etc. But the main reason is because of the prequels that I stood in line for. The series really took the plunge when Jar Jar hit the screen. I should probably note at this point that I like Revenge of the Sith.

Point is, it’s already been tainted! We can only go up from here, right? If the prequels weren’t released wouldn’t this be a really fucking great moment? Is it possible that Disney would repeat the same mistakes?

Disney is about longevity.

It’s a business, and Disney is a machine. It’s in Disney’s best interest to preserve what they currently have. No way would they break format, they’re gonna ride this universe out far longer than any of us can comprehend. They’re going to recognize what worked, right?

Directors and writers.

There are a lot of good ones. Anyone who takes on the Star Wars universe is going to be shitting because odds are they’re working on the exact thing that got them excited for movies. This is the Holy Grail … wait … speaking of Holy Grail, are we going to see a new Indiana Jones franchise too!?

Kids will like it.

Don’t have kids, not really worried about them, but I am happy knowing that my 1-year-old nephew will one day live in a Star Wars world. Am I seriously writing about Star Wars VII right now? Can I figure out any other reasons to be optimistic about things, maybe. But this will have to do.

There’s no reason to run from the inevitable. The original movies will live on, nobody is holding a light saber to your head and making you see the future of Star Wars. Nobody bitches about the books that have been released exploring the Star Wars universe. We’re just as selfish as the Disney execs wanting to bring back the franchise… it’s just that we want it to stay sleeping so all we have is a lasting memory.

I have been brain washed by the machine. Bring on the movies!

The Weekend When a World Series Apparently Happened.

I’ll just be honest – I think I’ve given up on wanting to like baseball. It’s almost shocking for me to even say this because growing up in Wisconsin produced sports culture 101 and going to Brewers games was a normal occurrence when I was a kid. I think the times have caught up to me and I find the sport to be boring. The true test is if “my team” was in the World Series, problem is, is that I don’t really have a team anymore. I root for the Brewers due to hometown pride, the Cubs due to parental nostalgic pride, and now the Dodgers due to… shit… close proximity?

Whichever team I end up rooting for, or not rooting for, the bottom line is that baseball needs to inject itself with steroids again. I tried to watch a bit of game 4 last night and nearly fell asleep. Also, I’ve never really noticed until recently but it’s fucking annoying with all the chewing and spitting that’s happening with 90% of the players. I feel like an old man (or woman) saying that but it’s true.

Baseball needs to speed things up otherwise they’re going to fade away into the world of irrelevance.

Prediction: In lieu of NBC recently winning the rights to the Premiere League, I think soccer… ahem… futbol… will take over the ratings from baseball in the future. This is going to piss a lot of people off.

By the way, casual Sunday night NFL beat the World Series in ratings last night.

Topic transition!!!

Speaking of NFL…

My Green Bay Packers. This season has been killing me. Almost watching them lose to Blaine Gabbert yesterday only helped the production of grey hairs on my head.

I had a conversation via text with my friend who said he thinks the coaching staff needs to be realigned and Mike McCarthy needs to get the boot. I think I may agree to a certain extent. Watching the Packers week in and week out just tells me that Aaron Rodgers is amazing and he bails out the poor coaching and lack of discipline from the team.

Topic transition!!!

Speaking of movies…

Okay not speaking of movies, but I think I should note that I saw Taken 2 and Paranormal Activity 4 this weekend. I’m not exactly sure how another sequel can be produced for either franchise from here on out but my god I’m curious. I’m absolutely aware that these films may not be as great as the original but I love when sequels come out and they do well. My thought is… If people are going to see it… do it. That may not be the popular opinion but it only makes sense and dives deeper into the human psychology for specific entertainment and comfort in what we know.

Topic transition!!!

One more thing about the Packers – They’re taking form of the 2010 Packers when they played pissed off come from behind football and won the Superbowl. The only things that scare me are injuries and Eli Manning.

Onward.

What Happened To Ninjas?

Back in my glory days (aka the 90’s) the simple idea of ninjas were pumped into children maybe 75 to 80 times a day, whether it be cartoon or live action. Yesterday I had a moment to think about the times and I came to a realization that the idea of wanting to be a ninja may have died. What happened to ninjas?

In my book there is no question that we’ve gone soft as a society and part of me wonders if ninjas had to be faded out due to people thinking it was too violent. Just for clarity purposes, when I say ninjas what I mean is kids who pretend to know karate and think they can kick the shit out of anything, to a certain extent that kind of bleeds into being a silent assassin… which may or may not be some kind of ninja credo.

Do kids not think ninjas are cool anymore? If not, I blame the parents. The ironic part is that the parents are basically my age or just slightly older. Does this mean there could be a ninja reboot coming in the next 5 years when people my age start pumping out more kids and realize that they were fed ninja material for almost a decade?

Lets just rehash what the 90’s really brought us:

Teenage Mutant Ninjas Turtle: The TV show and the awesome movie and semi awesome second movie. Third movie is a piece of time travel junk and I’m not going to get into the latest TMNT reboot a few years ago nor am I going to get into the Michael Bay thing. I just realized the fate of the ninja turtles sits in Michael Bay’s hands… This may not be a bad thing.

Street Fighter: Amazing video game, questionable movie. Who cares though, they were mostly fighting with karate.

Speaking of Street Fighter... Anything with Jean Claude Van Damme: The Belgian sensation basically ruled the 90’s: Kickboxer, Double Impact, Double Team, and Sudden Death. Is Van Damme underrated?

Steven Seagal! Before Segal was on a reality show he was saving the world with karate.

3 Ninjas: Anyone remember Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum? This was probably pitched as Home Alone meets Ninjas Turtles – seriously. This also had 3 movies following, one with Hulk Hogan.

Aren’t these examples enough? They should be. Are ninjas still around like they once were? Am I missing something? Are they still marketed towards children? Will Seagal be in the next Expendables? These are the questions that keep me up at night…

Ashton Kutcher!

 

So, Forbes named Ashton Kutcher TV’s highest paid actor by bringing in 24 million between May 2011 and May 2012. I almost can’t believe I’m going to say this but is this guy a genius? I’d be lying if I didn’t say I appreciate (maybe admire) what he’s doing and basically what he has been doing for the last 10 years or so.

Aside from being the dumb guy on That 70’s Show his biggest contributions have been in the tech world and investing in start up companies. He seems to have some foresight and takes chances with new technology. I remember reading an article about 6 years ago that I was positive was in Time (I just searched the web and can’t find it) that was written by Kutcher discussing the benefits of twitter. In the last few years he’s seemingly invested in 20+ start ups and is on advisory boards of a handful of companies.

Whatever it may be worth you have to at least appreciate what he’s doing. When I first moved to LA he had a restaurant located about 10 minutes away from me on Sweetzer and Melrose called Dolce and now, many years later, that restaurant is closed down and looks as though Ratatouille may be cooking for all of his rat friends because the place is run down and taken over. He went through the “I’m a celebrity I need a restaurant phase.” Now, it seems as though tech investment is the smart thing for him.

I get the sense that he’s on TV to pay for his tech investments, and if that’s the case, then this guy is even smarter than I thought… and I can definitely appreciate that.

It’s early, I need coffee, and this has just filled my Ashton Kutcher quota for the next year or so.

*Side note: The Butterfly Effect is slightly underrated.

The Craziest Thing All Week...

 

A lot of things happened this weekend that could possibly rank in the “wow that was some crazy shit” pile.

To list off a few things in no particular order - Felix Baumgarten jumped from space and proceeded to break the sound barrier THEN proceeded to land and stay alive for it. The space shuttle Endeavor rolled through LA to its new resting place at the California Science center. The Yankees lost Derek Jeter and Aaron Rodgers almost brought back his title belt move while beating up the Texans.

However, there’s something bigger here. Something so confusing that it trumps everything that happened this weekend: Alfonso Ribeiro aka Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince got married this weekend. Congrats dude! But the marriage part isn’t what makes this crazy. I read in an article that Will Smith, Joey Fatone, and David Justice were groomsmen.

Ribeiro. Smith. Fatone. Justice.

If there was ever a moment in history that would confuse me it would be the combo of The Fresh Prince, Fatone, and Justice all doing something together. But I get it; these are Ribeiro’s friends, and this shouldn’t weird me out as much as it does, however I just can’t shake it.

I want to see a picture of all these guys together. It seems like the most random pairing of all time. If anyone has this picture or tracks one down please send it to me asap.

Sorry Felix “first man ever to break the sound barrier” Baumgarten, Carlton Banks and his amazing friendship tree one upped you.

Seriously, someone send me a picture…

Affleck = Badass

I like irrational bragging rights. Not the bragging rights where you win a legit game and you’re champion for a season, but rather the bragging rights where you make a prediction or statement and it turns out to be true, and the only people who know it’s true are you and whomever else you said it too. I feel that I’m the champion of a lot of irrational bragging rights. At this current moment in time I’m cashing in on a statement I made years ago in a possible intoxicated moment, a statement that I doubled down on.

I was in a deep movie conversation with my buddy and the topic was Ben Affleck. I told him that Affleck was a badass to which he disagreed with the fury of a man who may have just been told Brett Favre was traded to the Vikings. The badass comment then started an ongoing thread that resulted in many conversations and even this blog post.

The truth is, even as of a few years ago I couldn’t have seen where Affleck was going with his career. Who could? At this moment in time thousands of people are writing about Argo and wondering how this guy went from low in the Hollywood rankings, to one of the most bankable individuals around. But I don’t want to get into that, because there is no reason to drift into wonderland to think about how a talented individual did something.

Buuuut….

For the sake of irrational bragging rights I’m going to stretch this out and be a little smugger and say these final things about Affleck:

Extract is underrated and he had a great performance.

Hollywoodland was the turning point for him.

He should direct the next Jack Ryan film and have a cameo in it to be the first actor director to ever be in a film of the character he once played, then he’d be more of a badass than Jack Ryan… did that make sense.

I’m looking forward to Argo, and if I didn’t mention it above – I called it. I knew Affleck was a badass*. F you Ottford. *Irrationally bragging.

Videos for Writers.

I write screenplays or at least try to write screenplays. On a good day I’d like to consider myself a writer. In my times of procrastination I tend to hop on youtube and look at various writers giving thoughts on their process and even their history. I think people have a tendency to compare themselves to people, especially in the entertainment industry, and when you listen to other people pursuing what you’re pursuing it’s cool to relate with someone if you’re doing the same thing.

Along with writing I make videos – the two are meant to go hand in hand. I realized that I think it would be very helpful to have some short form videos of writers talking about… writing. But not the boring shit, which is what I think the main issue, is with videos about writers – they’re not exciting. But how exciting can they really be I guess?

Point is, I don’t think there are enough resources and entertainment from writers. So, I’m going to make some videos talking to writers, specifically, talking to screenwriters. But I wanted to send out this blog to the millions of eyes that see it (divide that million by a million then add 4 or 6 for actual number).

But I have some questions, mainly geared towards screenwriters:

Would this be something that is interesting to you, if you’re a writer… or if you aren’t a writer?

Are there specific sites that you go to, to listen to writers talk?

What are some questions you would ask a screenwriter?

Do you even fucking care!? Do you relate to people who are in the same field as you?

I’m obviously aware that these videos have to be entertaining and not boring like many would associate it with. I’d basically trying to create a series of videos geared towards writers that aren’t boring.