Monday, January 29, 2018

Surreal Conversation

Sorry, missed Lancelot Link this week!

From 2007...

So, I’m talking to a friend of mine, guy I’ve known for almost ten years, telling him that I’m on my way out of town for the holidays because there’s Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years and in the middle of it all one of my nieces is getting married - so I might as well stay the whole danged month, and he asks...

“Where you going to stay?” he asks.

“At my parent’s house - in my old room,” I answer.

“Your real parents?”

“Well, yeah.” (?)

“So, you know who they are?”

“I’m not understanding what you’re saying,” is he implying my parents are fake?

“You know who your biological parents are - and you’re going to stay with them. Does that bother your other parents?”

“What other parents?” (One set of parents is enough... sometimes more than enough.)

“You know, the people who raised you.”

“My parents raised me.”

“But not your biological parents...”

“What are you talking about?”

“You know, the people who adopted you...”

“I'm not adopted.”

“Sure you are. You told me you were adopted.”

“Um, I’m not adopted and I don’t ever remember telling you that I was. If I did, I was just joking.”

“No. You were serious. You *are* adopted.”

“Look, I would know if I’m adopted or not, and I’m not.”

“Yes you are.”

“No. I am not adopted.”

“But you told me that you were. You are adopted.”

“Okay, somewhere along the line I must have made some sort of joke and you –“

“No. You weren’t joking. You were serious. And you *are* adopted.”

“But, I’m not.”

“Whatever... I *know* you’re adopted, I don’t know why you’re lying to me about it...”

Okay, I don’t understand conversations like this, because it seems he wants to convince me that I’m adopted. I don’t even remember joking about it. I’m thinking he has me mixed up with somebody else... but once I’ve said I’m not adopted, why doesn’t he believe me? Why would he even consider that he knows me better than I know me? Does he think he can persuade me that he’s right about me and I’m wrong?

People can be strange.

- Bill

Monday, January 22, 2018

Lancelot Link Monday: And The Winner Is....

Lancelot Link Monday! There are now more awards shows every year than there are movies. As we lead up to the Oscar *nominations announcement* we have a ton of award shows from critics and guilds, and lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and... When will it end? Soon, everyone will have an awards show for 15 minutes! While you're thinking about that, here are this week's links to some great screenwriting and film articles, plus some fun stuff that may be of interest to you. Brought to you by that suave and sophisticated secret agent...




Here are a dozen links plus this week's car chase...


1) Weekend Box Office Estimates:
1 Jumanji ........................ $20,040,000
2 12 Strong ....................... $16,500,000
3 Den Of Thieves .................. $15,320,000
4 Post ............................ $12,150,000
5 Showman.......................... $11,000,000
6 Paddington 2 ..................... $8,240,000
7 Commuter ......................... $6,685,000
8 Star Wars TLJ .................... $6,566,000
9 Insidious TLK .................... $5,945,000
10 Forever ......................... $4,703,000


The JUMANJI reboot/remake/rewhatever has now made $317 million domestic... which is amazing. The film only dropped 28% from last weekend, and has made $768m around the world on a $90m budget. When it drops out of the #1 position, it may still hang around the top 5 long enough to crack a billion bucks. So look for a sequel, and maybe an Extended Jumanji Universe. Meanwhile flop GREATEST SHOWMAN dropped only 11.8% and has secretly made $114m domestic and $231m globally on an $84m budget... so it's not a flop afterall.

2) The Screen Actor's Guild Awards!

3) The 63rd FilmFair Awards (India)

4) The Producer's Guild Awards

5) The Writers Guild Award Nominations.

6) The Image Awards.

7) BAFTA Nominations (British Film Awards)

8) AFI Awards.

9) IDA Awards (Documentaries)

10) IDA Awards (Furniture)

11) New York Film Critics Circle Award Winners.

12) Critics Choice Awards.

Oscar Nominations will be announced tomorrow morning while I am sound asleep!

And the Car Chase Of The Week:





Bill

Buy The DVDs

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

-
Dinner:
Pages:
Bicycle:

Movie:

Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy Martin Luther King jr's Birthday

From 2008....


Long ago, when DUMB & DUMBER came out and became an unexpected hit, Rolfe Kanefsky, a film director I know (I think I’ve talked about him before) came up with a movie idea called BLONDE & BLONDER - basically a collection of “dumb blonde” jokes dramatized into a comedy story. This is a great example of Terry Rossio’s “Mental Real Estate” theory. Rolfe wrote the screenplay, sold it to a producer... and about a decade later they got around to making it with Pamela Anderson and Denise Richards. The film was released on this long MLK weekend, I have no idea how it’s doing against CLOVERFIELD.

Decades after Dr. King’s death, we still have serious racial divisions in the United States. Whites are under-represented in our prisons. Whites are also under-represented in the lower income levels and lower paying jobs... and the unemployed. Whites are under-represented in the military. Last year we had the Jena Six - a great example of how race enters into the decision to prosecute one crime over another. And in Jena today we have a rally - not for racial equality, but for the KKK and racial hatred. Hey, it’s the United States, even racists have rights.

Okay, some of you are wondering what BLONDE & BLONDER has to do with a KKK rally in Jena, LA, and here’s the answer:

Why is it that color of eyes and color of hair don’t really matter in our society, but color of skin does? It’s all pigmentation. We may joke about dumb blondes, but nobody really takes that seriously. There isn’t any serious hiring discrimination against Blondes. There is no version of the KKK that wants Blondes to go back to where the came from (those Nordic countries). There was no time in history where Blondes had to use different drinking fountains than people with other hair color. Prisons are not over-flowing with Blondes.

There also doesn’t seem to be much discrimination against people with Hazel Eyes, even though they are clearly a minority. No one tries to exclude Hazels from their country club. Why is that?

Why is skin pigmentation different than hair pigmentation or eye color? All are just one little piece of genetic code. Someone with Hazel Eyes is the same as someone with Brown Eyes - except for the eye pigmentation, that is. Someone with Blonde hair is no different than someone with Red hair - except for the hair pigmentation, that is. Someone with Black skin is no different than someone with White skin - except for the skin pigmentation, that is. Why the hell would anyone hate someone just because they were Blonde? How does that make any sense?

I think the real problem is hatred. People need someone to be pissed off at, so they make some strange arbitrary decision to hate people with Hazel Eyes. All of my problems are caused by those damned Hazel Eyed people! My failure is their fault!

Hey, there *are* bad people out there who are Blonde or who have Hazel Eyes or have some skin color different than yours. And there are bad people out there named Bill. But imagine how silly it would be to decide that all people with Hazel Eyes are bad, or all people named Bill are bad, based on those few. That’s dumb and dumber.

So, on this Martin Luther King Day, let’s not look at what makes one person look different than another, let’s look at what makes us look the same as each other. We are all part of one race - the human race. Don’t hate. Forgive. Help people. You know, we’re all stuck on this planet together, why not try to make it a pleasant experience - even a fun experience?

- Bill

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Symbolism. .
Yesterday’s Dinner: Sandwich at Togos.

Movies: NATIONAL TREASURE 2 - there's a place in this film where Ed Harris' character identifies the problem with the movie's script, when he says that there is only one way to go. This film seems predictable because it's "too linear". In the first film, every clue to the treasure was open to interpretation. Sometimes the clues would lead in one direction, unless you knew the other piece of the clue - which lead you in the opposite direction. And there were points in the first film where there was a fork in the story road and the characters had to decide which path to take... and often took the wrong one. In the sequel - no forks in the road. Every clue is exactly what it is, and only leads in one direction. In RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK we have that headpiece on the staff with directions on where to place the staff on the map and how long the staff should be... but on the opposite side of the headpiece are more directions that *change* the length of the staff - and that only changes everything. Things like that make the story seem alive and unpredictable. When we come to a fork in the story road and the character makes a choice - if it's the wrong choice, that makes the story seem unpredictable... it also makes the story seem exciting, because the hero now must scramble to get back on course. But there is only one direction in NATIONAL TREASURE 2 - only one way the story can go. That makes it seem prectable and dull.

DVD: COLT 45 with Randy Scott. Okay, here's the weird thing - as a kid, I did not like Westerns. I watched a bunch of Western TV series, and liked them, but never really got into Western films. That may be because of RIO LOBO, a really cruddy John Wayne movie I saw in the cinema. So, except for a handful of classics, I'm not that familiar with the genre. Leone, Ford, Hawks? Big fan. But I'm trying to fill in the blanks on the others, and finding some gems and some stars I like. I know Randy Scott from a couple of great films - RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY and SEVEN MEN FROM NOW, so now I'm watching some of his other films.

COLT 45 is about a war hero gun salesman who has his personal Colt 45s stolen by the completely evil Zachary Scott (I don't think any relation) in a jail break. Now that Zachary has superior firepower, he and his gang start a major crime spree across the west... and no one can stop them. When Randy goes after them to get his guns back, he is mistakenly thought to be the leader of the gang by local sheriffs. Now he must get his guns back and clear his name and catch the bad guys... and in Randy Scott movies there is always a girl. Usually a girl on the wrong side of the law who changes sides and ends up with Randy for that closed mouth kiss at the end. Here we have Ruth Roman from STRANGERS ON A TRAIN who plays Lloyd Bridges wife. Bridges has joined Zachary and the bandits to make enough money to open a saloon. One of the strange elements of this film is that the desperados take over a town (where Alan Hale is the law... who knows how to take a bribe) - so Randy ends up facing off against "businessman" Zachary at the end. Oh, and there are Indians - Zachary kills some Indians, steals their clothes, and robs the stage coach disguised as Indians. The tribe is wrongly accused, just like Randy, and they work together to set things right. As you can see - lots of plot twists, lots of action... and an entertaining film.

One thing that I wondered about was this "superior firepower" thing, so I did a bit of research after seeing the film, and was surprised to discoiver that the "six gun" we think of as part of the old west, came kind of late in the game. The Colt 45 was the first modern revolver - and didn't really come into use until *after* the Civil War (the guns became popular in 1873). Hard to imagine that a gun that could fire 6 shots in a row was "superior firepower" - but it was. There were no "six guns" before the Colt 45.

Pages: No.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Lancelot Link Monday: Top Ten Of 2017

Happy New Year! It's Lancelot Link Monday! This is the time of year where movie critics print their top ten lists, so here are ten random major publications' critics top ten lists! Why don't they all agree? Plus last night's Golden Globe Winners! Why don't they agree with the other critics? While you're thinking about that, here are this week's links to some great screenwriting and film articles, plus some fun stuff that may be of interest to you. Brought to you by that suave and sophisticated secret agent...




Here are ten top ten lists plus this week's car chase...


1) Weekend Box Office Estimates:
1 Jumanji ........................ $37,234,000
2 Insidious 4 ..................... $29,581,000
3 Star Wars LG .................... $23,729,000
4 Showman ......................... $13,771,000
5 PP3 ............................. $10,298,000
6 Ferdinand ....................... $7,698,000
7 Molly ........................... $6,857,000
8 Darkest ......................... $6,050,000
9 Coco ............................ $5,383,000
10 All The Money ................... $3,571,000


Way to go Insidious: The Last Key! Second largest opening weekend for the series, and it beat #3. This low budget Blumhouse series has now made of $400 million worldwide.

2) Ty Burr, Boston Globe.

3) Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times.

4) Pete Hammond, Deadline.

5) Entertainment Weekly Staff.

6) Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter (and rest of critic staff)

7) Anne Thompson, Indiewire.

8) Manohla Dargis, NY Times.

9) People Magazine Staff.

10) Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

11) Owen Gleiberman, Variety.

11) Golden Globe Winners!

And the Car Chase Of The Week:



From THE SHOW (1922).

Bill

Buy The DVDs

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

Know When To Hold 'Em - When To Reveal Information & Christophen Nolan Films
Dinner: Pork Chops at the Buttercup in Oakland - awful. Cold mashed potatoes!
Pages: 0.
Bicycle: 0.

Movie: DISASTER ARTIST for the second time.
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