The Joshford

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.

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.

 

Interconnectivity

From time to time I wake up with a very specific thought or idea that tends to keep me up for hours. It’s strange because this occurrence typically happens around 4:14am and it’s happening more frequently. Maybe it’s an age thing, I don’t know. This morning I woke up thinking about connection and why things happen the way they do. Specifically, I was thinking about people and why we’re connected to the people we’re connected too.

I think about people we meet in our lives that become great friends or people who change our typical day - a lot of times these people are met based off of random decisions. You meet your significant other because you took a random trip to Ikea, or you meet your new boss because you decide to have a beer at lunch. Are these events random? Are they supposed to be?

I was thinking about how I met two of my best friends. My one buddy I met when I was 9 years old. I stole his girlfriend (aka I took her out for ice cream) and he confronted me in what might be the greatest playground confrontation ever. But we didn’t become great friends until high school when we both happen to be in summer school together. Since summer school algebra, we’ve been like brothers.

This is where I note that I’m from a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin called Greendale where the population was roughly 150% white families. This guy I’m talking about is a black guy from Milwaukee. Fortunately for me he took the bus into Greendale. The point that I’m getting at is the odds weren’t in our favor but through random life happenings we were connected, not once, but twice. I should also note the other friend I mentioned is also a black dude. His girlfriend’s locker happened to be next to mine in high school.

The question is, were my friends and I connected and supposed to end up best friends? At this moment I don’t want to open up the can of worms of “is life pre determined” but I think when talking about connectivity you kind of have to walk that line. Do we have a connection to everyone around us? I think we do.

I like to think of moments of connection as explosions. When you interact with someone you’re either going to create a small explosion where your impact doesn’t affect those around you or a large explosion where your impact is so large that the radius starts to hit other people and change them.

So is it up to you to make the connection? Is the connection going to happen no matter what? I haven’t quite made up my mind on that part. But what I have made up my mind about is that connections and life moments go hand in hand. Whomever you connect with will set you in a path to change how your life is led, and on the flip side you have the power to change the life of another just by a moment.

There is a beauty in connection. It’s a bitch to wrap your head around once you start peeling the multiple layers, but those multiple layers are the best part about it.

Ultimately I think that you/me/we should never stop connecting or embracing the moments that connections create … I think it’s the best part about life. Whether it’s supposed to happen or not.

Looking Up ... A Quick Ramble

 

I was walking down Sunset Blvd the other day and as I passed all of the contained chaos of stores, people, cars, more cars, and more people I took a moment and stared at the sky. It was a calming moment, and even though it was insanely hot everything seemed so calm, controlled, and oddly refreshing.

It’s an interesting contrast to see what’s around you and then remember that there is this massive space just right above you. Back in the day (umm… the 90’s) when I was a kid and living in Wisconsin I came to conclude that the sky is just awesome, it has things in it and it’s out of reach, that’s cool right? Also, I feel like I took my time and reminded myself of the possibilities in the sky.

It only makes sense though. I did take my time. I took my time because I didn’t have much else to do. I was a kid; I played outside, did homework, and played sports. I feel honored to know what it was like to live in a time pre cell phones and the need for now, and also to know that my age group was basically the final group of kid’s pre Al Gore inventing the Internet.

The greatest thing about looking up is that it sparks creativity and emotion. Lets stop and forget about all of the clouds and general blueness we see when looking up and then think about what’s even further… Space. What is cooler that space? But I don’t want to get off course here.

I don’t know if everyone feels the same when it comes to looking up and averting your eyes and brain to the same things you see on a daily basis but for me it’s a peaceful area. More importantly, it’s a change, and change is good.

Breaking Bad: The Prison Scene

There’s no doubt that I’m not going to be the first person to say how amazing Sunday’s episode of Breaking Bad was. I actually told myself I wasn’t going to write anything about it because it’s one of those “no shit, it was cool, what do you have to say about it" moments. But I had to write something and I wanted to take a moment and appreciate the coolest two minutes that television (probably) has ever handed me: The Prison Scene.

Thing is, I don’t know if this scene even needs a set up. If you watch the show the set up was slowly burning for seven previous episodes. If you don’t watch the show you can just marvel at the awesomeness of what’s happening. I cannot stress enough how amazing this show is and I wish everyone would watch it so I could talk to you and discuss anything and everything.

I give you, The Prison Scene. The Scene where Walter White teams up with skinhead assholes to take out ten guys in two minutes, all in dramatic fashion:

Hope this videos isn’t taken down…

UPDATE: 9-6 The video was taken down, which isn’t surprising. The prison scene video had a good life here on the site. Just go watch Breaking Bad!

Virgin America: This Sounds Amazing

Image The deal above arrived in my inbox this morning. Yes, I do subscribe to Virgin America deals. No, I’m not ashamed to admit it. Why? For e-mails like this. Can we take a second and admire how awesome this sounds:

Get Galactic Status. Join Mission: Galactic and fly Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia throughout the year to get in the running for a Virgin Galactic suborbital space flight.

Huh!? A space flight!

The Truman Show: Underrated!

Image It’s been brought to my attention that just about every 8-12 months I get into long drawn out conversations about The Truman Show. I feel that I’m currently tipping the 12-month range so I was fortunate to catch it this weekend because it sparked something. I wanted to take a moment and lather, rinse, repeat – The Truman Show is completely and totally underrated.

Even if the movie didn’t have Jim Carrey aka The most bankable movie star at the time, this would stand alone as something that was so completely inventive and ahead of it’s time. Speaking of Carrey, this was his first non “I’m morphing my face” film when he was a star and I think that speaks volumes about the project itself.

As I watched this movie over the weekend I got a tad bit reminiscent and I need you to stick with me for a second. I specifically remember going with my buddy and two girls, one of those girls I had a massive crush on, the other was the buffer chick for the girl I had a crush on to default to when we got weird because we were 13. I walked into the movie with a super crush that could define me at the time and I left the movie basically forgetting that I even went with her, and somehow had an even bigger man crush on Jim Carrey movies. To my knowledge this was one of few films that really did this for me.

The film was more than just some movie, it was something that made you actually think about the possibility of a life being recorded for 24 hours a day without knowing and the future of entertainment. After thinking about the possibility you realize that this will probably one day be a reality and then it takes the next step of diving into the layer of our society and why we’re so voyeuristic. Why are we so curious of others? What makes their lives so special? Why am I investing in a person that doesn’t know I exist?

…And that’s what the Truman Show did for me. It made me ask questions and think about where we’re going. It also allowed me to look at Jim Carrey in a totally different way. Since we’re on the subject - Jim Carrey got robbed at the 1998 Academy Awards, the guy wasn’t even nominated, yet he won the Golden Globe that same year. ANNND since we’re on this subject I should probably note he was snubbed a year later with “Man On The Moon.”

I digress.

From a film point of view I think the structure of this film is insanely unique. Without getting to deep into this, it’s not your typical structured film but at the same time it is (wrap your head around that). The film doesn’t show its hand for the first 30 minutes which means we’re basically living with Truman and watching what everyone else is watching… That’s the brilliance of it!

I don’t feel like this movie gets enough credit. Come to think about it, I don’t know who would be giving the credit or how this can even be measured but I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say that they were influenced from this film.

Does this make me crazy? Am I the only one? I can’t be. Can I?

If you haven’t seen The Truman Show do yourself a favor and watch it. I don’t imagine how you can be disappointed, and if you are, you need to let me know so I can set you straight - Cause you’re nuts.

Note to self: Future underrated movie rant - Vanilla Sky.

Writers and Online Video: The Merger

Image I just took a look at my blog and it took me a minute to register that it’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything. Let me take you through my train of thought so you know how I got to where I am right now…

After I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve had a post I digested how time flies and realized that I’m not getting any younger, then stopped thinking about this because this is an entire conversation in itself.

Then-

I asked myself why I haven’t put anything on my blog, what have I been doing? My blog is an extension of me. I feel like I need to post.

Then-

Asked myself why do I feel this way? Is it because I want people to read and look at the things I release? Yes. Truthfully, yes. I have this feeling that if I’m not being proactive in my posting than what’s the point of anyone ever coming back to read or look at what I have to say.

Then-

Asked myself the question I originally avoided: what have I been doing? That’s an easy answer; I’ve been occupying all of my writing time to writing a script I’m working on. I told myself that I wouldn’t work on anything else until I’m at a point where I feel good about my script. I suppose I feel that the Internet can force me to procrastinate more than I’d like. It’s like a magic spell and I’m occasionally too weak to fight it off. The best way to avoid procrastination is to stay away from the Internet.

Then-

I asked myself what else have I not been doing that I typically do? Specifically, I haven’t been working on a new video to post, which I know I should be doing. Side note: for those who don’t know, I also make videos at www.thebigshoe.tv side note 2: Shameless F-ing plug.

Then-

The real deep thought started to take place. I started to think about why I have this need to release content so often. Also, something that a guy said about one of my videos has been lingering in my head. In a video I released I stated that I was a writer and a guy made a sarcastic comment: “Writers are the opposite of kids, to be heard from, not seen.”

Well, let me state something I genuinely feel – this guy was trying to be clever and I could tear this comment to shreds if I was being a nit picky asshole (and stubborn). However, the truth is, the comment got under my skin. I started to think about videos and writing and how I’m currently trying to balance both worlds.

Which brings me to where I am now: Can the writing world and the video world co exist? I say yes. But we should clear a few things up and get them into the open.

A few stigmas are attached to writers – they’re introverts, loners, alcoholics, people who want to pull a Kerouac, and people who want to act as ninjas; silent while their words ripple through the world to make a difference. True? Yes.

Then we have the stigma of people who are on camera creating videos – loud, obnoxious, insecure, want attention, pull a Kerouac while filming it (shameless plug 2), and people who are saying LOOK AT MEEEEE. True? Yes.

You can see how there is a conflict of interest, right? Two different worlds are colliding and I don’t know if people want this, at least, writing purists don’t. Guy who wrote that comment above, he’s a purist.

The reason I think both worlds can exist is because I need them to exist, I’ll make them exist, and that’s the truth. I look at online video as somewhere that people (me) can compliment their writing and boost whatever they’re doing. Online video is an area to breed creativity and get instant feedback. And it’s also a way to stay sane in a writing world where you have to wait days/weeks/months for feedback.

We’ve reached the point where everything co exists and we’re constantly branding ourselves. Any interaction on facebook, twitter, tumblr, blogger, youtube, TV, newspaper… fucking anything, you’re branding yourself. The second you un-tag yourself, change your photo, or update your feed you’ve branded what you want people to think about you.

Of course there are people who don’t care and are actually on a social networking site to stay in touch with relatives but I’d wager that the majority of people are past that level.

The truth is, is that online and analog is crossing over when it comes to writing and video. In a way both can help you in whatever you’re pursuing. In my super perfect world I’d have the freedom to actively create video content while writing screenplays. In just my perfect world I’d be paid to write, and if that meant sacrificing online videos, so be it… but if I occasionally created videos it wouldn’t hurt. Why? It’s branding, that’s why. If a writer creates positive online videos and builds a following how does that hurt what they write?

Some novelists and screenwriters have blogs, some make videos, some are on twitter, some do all, and there is nothing wrong with that. We’re brands now. If you’re not established than what’s the harm?

I’m looking forward to the day (in my case) for video and writing to officially cross over each other and I’m making a successful living off of them. Anyone else who wants to do the same – don’t be afraid to do it, embrace it. That’s what content is all about.

I should probably note that since I sat down to write this I’ve polished off half a bottle of wine, sat in the corner, and have ignored everything my girlfriend has said to me… I’ve gone in writer mode… But it’s for my blog…

Thank God I’ve updated this blog. I needed content.

3 Weeks Later... The Dark Knight Rises

Image Deep breath.

(breathing)

Okay…

I can finally come to terms with things – I was disappointed with The Dark Knight Rises. I felt there we so many plot holes and questions that I can’t let it go. I liked Batman Begins and loved The Dark Knight, this third installment was supposed to make me pass out from joy while watching.

I thought I was crazy not to like it so I reached out to my buddies earlier today and asked what everyone thought, maybe I’m missing something? Maybe I’m overlooking things because I live in LA and overanalyze movies to a degree that is annoying. Keep in mind these are my friends that are in no way associated with the entertainment industry, they just love movies and keep me in check when I tangent into why things suck or don’t suck.

My email: Did we all see it? Can everyone sum up their thoughts, feelings, and any lingering questions…

Friend 1: Will there be another???? ROBIN!!!

Hmmm, okay, I read this as – “Yes I liked it and I want more.”

Friend 2: Wasn’t as GOOD as the 2nd one…THE VILLAIN was BAD ASS… like a modern day darth vader…

I admit, I thought Bane was ehhhh, but maybe that’s because I loved the Joker.

Friend 3: I liked banes voice. The 2nd batman was better. Heath’s performance was classic. I love the themes behind Nolan’s Batman movies. There’s always a cool plot twist or dark explanation of the villains motives. Can’t wait to see what him & Zack Snyder do for the Superman franchise!

Yeah, Heath was classic and I can’t wait for Superman either. I didn’t like Bane’s voice all that much because I couldn’t fully understand him. But still, he brought up some good points…

Friend 4: NO REPLY! You know who you are dude, answer my emails!

I gathered that my friends kind of liked it, but not nearly as much as the second film. Is that the general consensus? After reading the reviews and talking with a few other people I’m convinced that there hasn’t been a film like this in a long time, in the sense that people either love it or kind of hated it due to the plot holes.

There’s no denying the plot holes!

Ultimately I thought it was ambitious but I just can’t come around to it like I did with the previous films. I will say this – Chris Nolan’s films have this way of sneaking up on me just like Batman, and years after watching something I realized that I kind of loved it and want more of it…

Shark Week... A Tad Bit Overrated?

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It’s August 1st. Its time for people start getting excited for Shark Week.

I’ve had many conversations about Shark Week and just to be up front about it – I feel that Shark Week is kind of blown out of proportion, maaaaaybe a tad bit overrated. Let me be clear, I like sharks, sharks scare me, and I like learning about sharks. But what does Shark Week offer me that I just can’t find on the Internet?

When did people start freaking out about Shark Week like it was a tickle me Elmo doll circa Christmas 1997? Every time I watch Shark Week it never offers any new revelation about sharks, and then when people add some new fact about sharks it just makes me wonder why it wasn’t included in a previous week… or was it? Are we just watching the same thing over and over again with new hosts?

Whoever is behind Shark Week is a genius and I feel like at some point in time a conversation like this happened between the Shark Week creator and his buddy when they were drinking…

Shark Week Guy: “Hey, I have an idea, lets do a bunch of shows about sharks and call it Shark Week, and we’ll just keep doing the same thing every year.”

Buddy: “Wait, the same programming every year?”

Shark Week Guy: “Yes!”

Buddy: “But won’t people know it’s the same thing every year?”

Shark Week Guy: “Maybe! But if they do we’ll just keep pumping out shows with more slow motion sharks eating seals, and it will look cool! Then we’ll throw it on discovery channel!”

Buddy: “Hmmmm, doesn’t discovery already have shark shows throughout the year?”

Shark Week Guy: “Who cares!”

Buddy: “Sold.”

Truthfully, I’ll peek into Shark Week and see what’s going on. I just learned that it’s been going on for 25 years, which is actually pretty amazing. If you’re going to watch it – please enjoy. Let me know if you learn something you don’t already know.

Side note: Phil Defranco from YouTube is hosting Shark Week which I think is kind of a big deal for anyone who is in the YouTube world and looking to further themselves. I hope he does a great job.

Shark week starts August 12th.

Weekend Recap and Looking Forward...

 

It’s never good to look back on what was but I’d argue that, that rule doesn’t hold completely firm when dealing with entertainment and sports. When dealing with entertainment it’s always good to look back, quote movies, re-watch things, and then talk about how we could have done something different if a film or show isn’t what we expected. Same rule applies for sports; living in the past is what gives us hope for the future.

On the same hand, it’s good to look ahead and what’s to come, and I’m essentially going to try and do both right now. I should note that I’m not going to look to far back, just the previous weekend. The weekends are amazing, for me it’s a time where anything is game… and I kind of think that’s how they should always be. Regarding looking ahead, we’re peeking into the full week.

Friday:

The Olympics. I managed to watch roughly three hours of the opening games and I was a bit underwhelmed. I think I’m spoiled from the Beijing opening. Truthfully I didn’t know what the hell was going on, but it was a grand scale, so there needs to be some credit handed out.

I started to question the Olympics and the various competitions. I wish there was a bigger reward for the winners because quite honestly I don’t think that everyone appreciates a gold medal. I wish the stakes were higher.

I think the opening ceremony put me to sleep because I don’t know what else happened to me.

Saturday:

I rode my bike for the majority of the day and was more tired than I can explain. I proceeded to plant myself on the couch and watch two things that I wish I could burn from my mind:

Faster with The Rock and Billy Bob Thornton. I came into this movie about five minutes late and I left after about thirty minutes. Has anyone seen this movie? What’s the premise? I love The Rock but what was happening in this movie.

Sex and the City 2. I would honestly rather watch these women in NY having the same arguments and doing the same things than ever watch them go to India. I wonder how this idea was given a green light.

Post Sex and the City 2 I loaded up on a few glasses of wine and caught up on Fringe. Fringe, is a show that is highly underrated but I can understand why it doesn’t have a larger audience. I wish I wasn’t so late to the party watching it because I would have been a larger Fringe advocate throughout the past years. If anyone wants a good Sci Fi show, watch Fringe.

Sunday:

Turned on the Olympics and female cycling was on. Turned off Olympics and ran some errands with my girlfriend. Three to four hours later I turned on the Olympics and the same exact race was happening but it was coming to an end. Somehow female cycling was captivating but I don’t know who could have watched the whole race. If you’re out there, show yourself.

It’s somewhat difficult for me to write this without some hesitancy, but I need to embrace it and just go with it. I managed to cram my Sunday night with an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians and thenBreaking Bad. I’m not sure when it started to happen but whenever I’d turn on the TV the Kardashians were there, and I occasionally started to watch. But now, I just watch them before I watch Walter White go meth crazy on everyone.

Crazy Kardashian happenings- Kim Kardashian apparently has a sixth sense for detecting cavities. Let me repeat that, wait, no I won’t. Just know that I wrote about Kim’s sixth sense and also know that I can’t believe I wrote that.

Crazy Breaking Bad happenings- Everything. It’s the best show on TV.

Random weekend facts – The Watch with Stiller, Hill, and Vaughn didn’t exactly do well at the box office this week proving that you cannot just throw funny people on a billboard and expect money. I caught the new Seinfeld webseries on Crackle.com and it was hilarious. I suggest everyone should check it out.

Looking ahead here’s what you can expect:

More Olympics. More Kardashians. More Breaking Bad. The return of Colin Farrell in Total Recall.

… That pretty much sums it up.

The Killers still exist...

  Once upon a time I really liked The Killers. When their first album, Hot Fuss, was released I listened to it a lot… probably too much to be honest. When their second album, Sam’s Town, was released I loved it… probably too much to be honest. But then something happened – I started to associate The Killers with someone who I basically couldn’t stand. To my inner circle these were known as my dark days, days when I first felt what a break really was… oh wait, wait, I’m getting off topic.

I suddenly couldn’t listen to The Killers for the reasons why music is awesome – I associated it with something. As much as I tried I couldn’t stand them, and then suddenly Hot Fuss started to sound a bit funny, and not in a good way. However, something great happened, I heard a new album was coming out, that album was Sawdust.

Sawdust was supposed to mean a new leaf for me. It was supposed to finally start a new Killers chapter in my life. When the album was released I listened to it in its entirety and was trying to like it, I really wanted too, but I thought it kind of sucked. Aside from the fact that it kind of wasn’t a real album but rather a compilation album the new songs weren’t all that great. For the record, I didn’t feel this way because of the poor musical association I had with them; it was because they sounded redundant. Suddenly the synth’s and whatever the hell else they use kind of irritated me. I feared that I missed my windows for enjoying The Killers while I could.

Once their next album, Day and Age, was released in 2008 I was sure I missed the window. I tried to listen and I couldn’t even get through it. My last ditch attempt to find some Killers relief was buying Brandon Flowers’ solo album (the lead singer of The Killers) and once again, I wasn’t at all impressed.

At a random moment a few months ago I asked a friend what the hell ever happened to The Killers. At this point any logical person would have just forgotten they existed, and part of me was sure they were broken up. My friend said he had no idea. Well, lo and behold… The Killers exist.

This was a message I received from my buddy earlier today:

I guess they have a new album coming out. What the fuck?

He then sent me the link to their first single from their album Battle Born, it’s called Runaways and you can listen to it via the video below.

Apparently this song has been in the world for almost eight months. A younger version of me would have been all over this song, but I’m keeping my distance. Having said that… I really hope they regain form to their earlier days (if that’s even possible).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LOeImx0kW4&w=560&h=315]

(Future) The Dark Knight Rises review.

 

I should note that I haven’t actually seen The Dark Knight Rises but at this moment my expectations are starting to take over. I wish this wasn’t the case, I swore off high expectations for films after I pre bought tickets for a midnight showing of Indiana Jones 4 with my buddy. Never again would I think something was going to be so insanely cool that I may have to have a drink afterwards, but it’s happening at this current moment in time.

The worst part about all of this is that my tickets aren’t until next Sunday afternoon (don’t ask) so I now have to hear all of my friends talk about the awesomeness that is Christopher Nolan and just grin and bear it because they saw it on Friday and Saturday. I hate when people see things before me, it’s like someone taking the almanac from Back To The Future 2 and touting it around.

I have to get over that aspect and realize that ultimately this doesn’t stop what I hope my future Dark Knight Rises review is going to be. Judging from the trailers, the pictures, and other various aspects of the current onslaught of marketing I imagine I’m going to be saying something like this: — One week from now— Coolest fucking movie ever. I don’t really know where to begin or how to digest The Dark Knight Rises. Somehow Nolan and his crew managed to conclude this trilogy with the best installment yet. Somehow they made Batman’s voice sound normal and not like he’s about to have a hernia. Somehow Anne Hathaway didn’t annoy me with her on again off again over acting. Somehow Joseph Gordon Levitt worked. Somehow the same reoccurring characters in all Nolan movies were seamlessly intertwined. Somehow the political undertones of the 99% revolting seemed to somehow make sense. Somehow Liam Neeson once again stole the movie and all that was missing was him calling someone telling them his skill set. Finally, somehow Tom Hardy has just bumped himself into the “best Batman villain” conversation.

That’s it.

I realize that my review may not be all that in depth, as a matter of fact I know it’s not, but that’s because I’m a fan first and once something I like starts to exceed expectations then I stop caring about over analyzing it.

I walk away from The Dark Knight Rises with a greater appreciation for Nolan and his pure vision. He managed to move forward with his series after setting the bar so high and somehow moving the bar even higher.

If it’s not already being done in film classes, people will one day analyze this trilogy and ultimately how it changed the game. How Nolan changed the complexity of what a “comic book” film was and what it can be. He sent a ripple through out Hollywood by being as ambitious as he was and it paid off. When it’s all said and done the only question that will linger is:

“How the shit was Katie Holmes in the first movie?”

Go see The Dark Knight Rises.

Underrated Movie: White Water Summer

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There are about sixteen moments in each day that I start to think of underrated movies. Typically the movies that come to mind are somehow embedded in my childhood and look like absolute shit to any current day first time watcher. Today I’m sharing an underrated moment and reminding the world that before we saw Kevin Bacon’s schlong in Wild Things and before Sean Astin was carried off the field in Rudy they occupied the screen for a summer time movie of glorious fun:

White Water Summer

Check out the plot summary courtesy of IMDB: An experienced guide (Vic) accompanies a city boy (Alan) and his three friends on their first wilderness experience. Hoping to teach the four boys lessons not only about the wilderness, but also about themselves, Vic pushes them to the limit. Soon after alienating the boys, Vic finds himself in desperate need of help and must rely on his students in order to survive.

I think this movie turned out a bit darker than it was supposed to be, or maybe not, maybe it was supposed to be as dark as it was. In my opinion I think the late 80’s and some of the early 90’s were a quintessential time for kid adventure movies. I feel like Hollywood was saying “How can we fuck with kids and then have them prevail?” And this movie is no exception.

If you’re having a 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon movie night… watch this movie.

Check out the trailer below. Side note: How amazing are old school trailers?

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QBmRr7h7Fw&w=480&h=360]

Matthew McConaughey: Greatest Career Ever

Image A few years ago I was having a conversation with my friend who lives in Europe and is in no way affiliated with the entertainment industry, aside from liking films. We were talking about various acting careers and I said:

“Who’s career would you have if you could?”

He waited a second and then said: “Matthew McConaughey.”

I proceeded to laugh and jumped on him about his films like Surfer Dude and Sahara. I started a McConaughey rant of how he was on pace to be a great actor when he was in A Time To KillAmistad, and Contact but then something happened to him and he just started to produce questionable (that’s being kind) movies. I thought that McCounaughey has been on the downfall for a long time and he shouldn’t be taken seriously as an actor.

My friend listened and then countered with: “Yeah but he’s in a bunch of movies, he lives on the beach, and he bangs tons of chicks. It just seems like he has a great life.”

The comment struck some chord with me and I suddenly saw McConaughey for what he may be – The smartest human being in the entire world, with the best career.

I think more times than not we/me judge people by the quality that they produce in Hollywood, letting personal taste interfere with the simple fact that - if you’re able to have a successful career in Los Angeles then you’re doing something right. He’s been at it for nearly 20 years and he’s not going anywhere, so I dug deeper into McConaughey thought, and this is what I know:

- He's sort of been typecast but not really throughout his career. He’s been romantic comedy guy, serious guy, action guy, stoner guy, stoner guy again, then stoner guy, and back to serious guy.

- This is a guy who was arrested for smoking pot and playing the bongo’s naked in his own house.

- Before he was married and living in Texas he lived in Malibu on the beach in some small motor home.

- He walks around with his shirt off more than he walks around with it on.

- He seemingly works out all the time.

- Since 1992 there has never been more than 2 years that we’ve gone without McConaughey in a movie.

- Before he was married he seriously had more girlfriends than days he’s walked around with no shirt.

My friend was right - this guy really does seemingly have a great life, and he’s also somewhat of a quandary. I’ve been looking at him wrong this entire time. Maybe his decline in movies was intentional, or not even true; maybe he never wanted to be anything more than just a working actor who leads a seemingly carefree and healthy life, and maybe more people should model their careers after McConaughey (yes, I just said that).

As I’ve gotten older my appreciation for McConaughey has only grown. I think this guy may be a Hollywood genius. He either has everyone fooled or everything figured out… or both… or neither …. Fuck! Damn you McConaughey! The legend grows.

Lets also never forget that he delivered one of the greatest lines and moments in cinema history:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wf-mRo7C2I&w=420&h=315]