Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Maybe not such a blockhead after all, Charlie Brown celebrates the Yuletide.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Les Miserables Film Review Up at F.O.G.

A red flag symbolizes road construction or a train wreck in Les Miserables.
Actually, it's been up since last Thursday. But the rush of Christmas and a busy writing schedule have delayed my insightful thoughts on the film based on the musical based on the Victor Hugo novel based on a tale making the rounds at a French bowling alley. Go to Forces of Geek. Look, see, ponder, eat a fruit cake. Image: Chicago Mag

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Darkness Within is Here

"Bummed Out" lives here.

Over at Lulu with an Amazon listing soon to come. This collection of gritty tales examines darkness in its various forms. Among them is my very own "Bummed Out," a story of viciousness disguised as art and the high cost of hipness. Go, order, read, reflect, remark. Such is the way of our age.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tea Cozy Mysteries Mull Matters Criminal


Joy McCann (some relation) begins a new site exploring crime and mysteries with an emphasis on unraveling the elements of the case. If you fancy puzzle solving enroute to nabbing the bad guy, this should be your go-to site.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Darkness Within is Near


Inside this book you will find a collection of short stories examining the murky side of the human condition. Among them is my very own "Bummed Out," a tale about the hidden price of being cool. The publisher sent me this cover sample and that means the book will probably be available within the week. I'll announce the publication date quite loudly and have info on where a dark copy may be obtained.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hitchcock Film Review Up at F.O.G.

Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Hopkins droll it up for the camera.
Happy Thanksgiving! At Forces of Geek this festive day a curious person might find a review. That review could be of the film Hitchcock. That film review could examine compelling parallels between Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and Walt Disney's The Aristocats. There are more links than the inside of a Jimmy Dean sausage factory. Read and watch in thanks. Image: Reel Movie Nation

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Animaniacs Back

On the small screen in December according to this article of information. Relive something. Experience something. Tell everyone you know something. In honor of this event, I present "The Ballad of Magellan." Remember: you can't help it if you're cute.

h/t: Kevin Singh

Friday, November 09, 2012

Skyfall Film Review Up at F.O.G.

Shaken and stirred all at once, Bond battles to save his old spy boss M, who has succumbed to madness and now calls herself Crazy X. How to handle this unusual situation is examined in "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" now up at Forces of Geek.
Javier Bardem sneers at James Bond because he's really EVIL!!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Halloween Dissed by French Cat

Sunk in despair, a somewhat black cat ponders the meaning of October 31.

h/t: Webless Ken via HenriLeChatNoir

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cloud Atlas Film Review Up at F.O.G.

No lie, G.I. You catchee No. 1 review all same. Tom Hanks catchee multiple roles in movie that say No. 10 actions long time ago now be No. 1 actions in future. All same same? Not really. Discover more at Forces of Geek as "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" examines philosophical questions posed by the Rhombus of Life. Image: paste
Tom Hanks portrays Mr. Future Man in one of his many Cloud Atlas roles.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Writing Trumps Blogging

Image: NerfWiki

Odd but true. Blogging wanes as I rush to finish another short story before year's end. Old writing foes procrastination, perfectionism, and despair arise to hinder me. My antidote is cranking out a lousy first draft and not pausing to edit or judge the content. Then I will have something to work with. Nevertheless "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" will return Thursday with a gripping peak at Tom Hank's latest movie, Cloud Atlas.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hollywood Slush Pile: When Shriners Attack

 (Here is the third edition of Untold Stories From The Hollywood Slush Pile, exploring the quarter million unsolicited screenplays that perish each year, passed over and forgotten along with their authors. This week we examine a work that sought to explore the depths of paranoia, but just didn't.)

“Dawn and a small Oregon town sleeps deeply like a sloppy drunk on New Year’s day. Suddenly the early morning peace is split by the sound of many tiny engines. 

Then they appear. 

A young women out jogging is the first to see them, riding out of the mist. She screams a forlorn scream of terror and despair and a darker emotion too primal to name but sometimes heard in Costco. 

But it is too late. 

They are many. 

They are Shriners. 

And they have come to rule.” 

Image: betterphoto.com
The above passage was taken from an outline prepared by Lisa Manly-Guam. Author of the screenplay, When Shriners Attack, (originally titled Mark of the Fez). Manly-Guam was a 24-year-old activist from Salem, Oregon. Other than writing this cryptic photo play, she remains a cipher. All we know for certain is that Lisa believed passionately in odd things.

One of her outrĂ© fears involved a patriarchal coup undertaken by the Shriners, an offshoot of the Masons. Formed as a fraternal order in 1870, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, or Shriners, are noted for charitable works, wearing silly hats and riding little cars in parades. In Manly-Guam’s opus, they are the hidden hand behind the world’s ills, infiltrating politics and banking; biding their time, pulling strings from the shadows.

And then one day they strike.

Red Fez Among the Evergreens

 In her 1997 tale, the small town of Pine Head, Oregon is overrun by a Shriner horde. Shocked citizens cannot escape and must endure a reign of enforced fun. Our protagonist is the same jogger from the outline, Jenny Loam. In the wake of invasion, she find herself isolated as her parents and siblings embrace the Shriner ethos of good times and service. Loam stays silent, outwardly complying, even joining a Shriner women’s auxiliary, the Daughters of the Nile.

But inwardly, she vows to throw off the Shriner yoke.

Eventually Loam forms a guerrilla band, obtains automatic weapons and ambushes the Shriners at their weekly parade. Steel-jacked slugs riddle the invaders. Little cars crash, bursting into little flames. The Shriners attempt to fight back, hurling water balloons, but they are cut down like bunch grass. The film ends on a close shot of a bloody fez.

Registered with the Writers Guild of America West, Manley-Guam's screenplay landed at Sun Nova Pictures, a small independent production company. The coverage was puzzled.

      “The Shriner Menace failed to deliver. They came across as goofy but benign.”

     “Didn’t the Shriners build a hospital in Pine Head? Killing them sends a mixed message.”
     “Perhaps the story would make more sense if Jenny’s parents were maimed by a little car.”

Out of the slush pile and into the wastebasket.

No more is know about the subsequent life of Lisa Manly-Guam and her Shrinerphobic epic. She remains anonymous. But that happens. Unknown authors are as common in this town as…well…unknown screenplays.

But now a lost tale has finally been told.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Argo Film Review Up at F.O.G.

Spook Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) hides behind the film logo.

Iran. You ran. We all ran in 1979. All except six Americans hiding out from the barking mad Mullahs. Can a CIA agent train this undirty half-dozen to pass as self-entitled Hollywood types? There is no time to develop drinking and drug problems or crash a Mercedes into a dumpster on Sunset. The clock ticks as the Revolutionary Guard dogs the Yanks. "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" examines Ben Affleck's latest directorial project over at Forces of Geek. Go and sup upon hidden knowledge.
Image: WarnerBros.

"Bummed Out" Accepted for Publication

Darkness by Commons@OEN
 My short story "Bummed Out" was accepted for publication in an anthology entitled The Darkness Within. For the last two years I've been recycling the same three published tales into various print and eBook venues. It feels excellent and swell to finally land an original piece. "Bummed Out" is not my usual dark humor. This time it's just dark, telling a tale of crime, teenage brutality and poetic justice. Updates may be found here or on Facebook at Indigo Mosaic Publishing.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Fit to Be Tied

My apologies to all those who have arrived here in error because someone linked Write Enough! at a bondage website. Is there bondage here? Yes. But it is bondage to language and the written word. It is the leather restraining straps of story. It is the ball gag of examining film and screenplays. To those who have clicked here by mistake, I imagine my musings are cold soup indeed.

Nevertheless you are welcome to stay and browse, unrestrained as it were.

Snap Review: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn II

(Image: pilkey.com)
Another rapid film review of an upcoming motion picture complete with authentic motion picture trailer. This November 16, conflict erupts between supernatural creatures after a wedding reception is spoiled by a bounced check.

A human chick marries a vampire. Then things unravel. The reception lodge claims the deposit check never cleared. The space has been leased to a werewolf seminar on hair care products. Upset, the vampires celebrate there anyway, ordering the accordion player to "crank it up, Stan." Tempers flare, fangs bare and the curtain rises on the last installment of the popular 'Twilight' series, demonstrating how everyone in the state of Washington conceals deep unnatural problems.

Watching the trailer, you'll notice  some business about a baby. But don't be fooled. It's a minor subplot—so to speak. The meat of the film depicts a wedding reception brawl. Watch the movie and if there's nothing about a vampire-werewolf polka contest, then you've been robbed. Demand a refund. Better still, howl like a wolf and demand a refund. This motion picture is a cross between The Wedding Crashers and Nosferatu.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Untold Stories from the Hollywood Slush Pile: Where's Aida?

(Here is the second edition of a series exploring the quarter million unsolicited screenplays that perish each year, passed over and forgotten along with their authors. This week we highlight a strange comedy that came close to seeing the big screen.)

Vaughn Flores worked for a temp agency in Alhambra, giving typing tests, making coffee, and getting everyone to sign office birthday cards. Each night he returned to a small home in La Crescenta where he lived with Grandma Flores. One winter evening in 1994, while smoking pot in his room and watching Matlock, Vaughn decided to write a screenplay. Then he'd have one just like everyone else who worked at the temp agency.

By summer 2002, after numerous distractions and many bags of chili Fritos, his project was ready. He called the script, Where’s Aida? Vaughn’s surrealistic comedy revolved around the Zavala clan, an extended Mexican family and their pet cow Beso de Leche. A headstrong bovine, Beso constantly tries entering the house to watch television, preferring soap operas to soccer and news.

Whenever a crisis arises, the Zavalas call upon bossy-but-lovable daughter Aida to fix things. Never seen throughout the film, Aida is the measuring stick by which other characters resolve their conflicts—what would Aida do? After a big fight and chase, the movie ends with the Zavalas realizing Aida is a real pain-in-the-ass. They move without leaving her a forwarding address

Getting tips from his temp agency pals, Vaughn managed to land the script at 20th Century Fox and Touchstone Pictures. But his work never passed the junior coverage readers. Said one about the screenplay: “More TV than film and bad TV at that, though I liked the cow.” Another wrote that 'Aida' seemed “a cross between Waiting for Godot and The George Lopez Show but with a funny cow.”

And so 'Aida' teetered before the plunge into that Tartarus of discarded visions called the Hollywood Slush Pile.

But in an odd twist, a company called Baja Quality Entertainment learned of the property through the grapevine and optioned it from Vaughn. They shot a screen test of a young actress, Carmen Solano, and a cow chosen to play Beso. 

 Where's Aida? seemed poised to spring from screenplay to produced movie. But the cow wrangler wanted too much cash upfront. Negotiations collapsed. The screenplay achieved the sterile honor of also landing in the Baja slush pile.

Deal deader than cheap gas, Vaughn lapsed into a depression. He had quit his temp job and used the option money to buy a cravat in anticipation of being a screen writer. Grandma Flores had already invited their family and friends to the Oscar awards. But time dulls all wounds. Vaughn realized that the hard work of writing didn't exactly fog up his bong. There were other things in life. And while he never stopped smoking pot, he eventually found a job where it didn't matter. Today, Vaughn Flores is in charge of Amtrak.

And now a lost tale has finally been told.
 video: lichoo

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Freakazoid Animation Art Awaits

This fellow.  I'll say no more.

Rafa Rivas posts a fine article on Freakazoid! containing Bruce Timm artwork from the series' original development. Paul Dini thought up the characters who graced the initial show bible but then never blossomed on screen. Unfortunately, Rafa attempted to close his piece with a comment about a certain spooky hooded character who spoke like the late Jack Palance. All the best to Rafa, wherever he may be. (Keep an eye open for pie. It's your best play.) "Ohhhhh my!"

Monday, October 01, 2012

Snap Review: All Together

(Image: pilkey.com)
Launched seven days ago, this week's Snap Review includes a genuine film trailer as well as comments on Jane Fonda in a French-language film.

What happens when five aging Frenchies decide to move into a house together? What happens when they hire a young caretaker interested in studying the elderly? What happens when Jane Fonda continually breaks the fourth wall, saying things like, "Check out my bad self speaking French. Tre cool, no?"

As Death creeps toward the elderly on wrinkled feet, the Frenchies turn to religion . . .  specifically the Aztec faith. They construct a pyramid in the back yard and begin sacrificing transients and unwary neighbors to the sun god, striving to win favor and pass quickly through the nine lives of the underworld to Mictlan, the realm of the dead.  Without giving too much away, the film really zooms at that point. (NOTE: all Aztec elements have been scrubbed from the trailer.) A cross between On Golden Pond and Apocalypto

trailer: kinolorber

Friday, September 28, 2012

Untold Stories from the Hollywood Slush Pile

In any given year roughly 250,000 speculative screenplays circulate around Hollywood, written for free by someone with a dream and a keyboard. Perhaps 50 will be purchased. That means 249,950 untold stories will silently wither, never to stimulate our imagination. But that Darwinian process changes today. Every Friday Write Enough! resurrects moribund scripts from the Hollywood Slush Pile, drawing on a veritable Marianas Trench of passed over pictures for a peek at might have been.

Today's offering is the 1983 sci fi/historical thriller: E.T. Panzer Ace.

Eager to piggyback on the success of Steven Spielberg's 1982 mega-hit, screenwriters typed out their top friendly alien offerings. But one canny scribe counter-punched. Aspiring wordsmith Moss Karling, a military history buff and bartender at Bob's Frolic Room in Hollywood, poured his dark passions onto the page. Eventually he convinced character actor (and regular customer) Gill Hong to show the script to his agent.

Karling's story followed the Spielberg path of a lost alien. But Moss elected to have the creature  marooned in 1943 Germany. The frightened being is discovered hiding under a Panther tank by lonely gunner Manfred Knobble. Knobble lures it into the barracks by leaving a trail of schnapps and cigarettes. Through an improbable series of events, E.T. eventually becomes a top panzer commander on the Eastern Front, personally decorated by Hitler who is told the odd-looking soldier hails from Tibet.

In a rare production still, E.T. (Gill Hong) is awarded an Iron Cross by Hitler (Loaf Masters).

But a suspicious Gestapo want the chain-smoking alien brought in for questioning. Knobble helps his friend construct a device to call for rescue, using an old concertina, barbed wire and a Volkswagen battery. The contraption works and a spacecraft arrives. Soldier and alien toast farewell with mugs of schnapps. As the groggy extraterrestrial staggers onto the ship, Manfred presents a parting gift—an antitank rocket. Thick with drink, the befuddled E.T. accidentally triggers the weapon inside the craft, setting off a thermonuclear explosion that vaporizes ship, alien, Knobble, and twenty-nine acres of the Black Forest.

"I'm just not seeing this," said Gill Hong's agent. A determined Karling set out to film the picture himself. He raised enough money to shoot fourteen minutes of footage, using borrowed equipment and actors like Cleveland Bevel who went out to become a featured extra in Air Wolf.

In time, Karling's interest in the project waned and he began a successful career writing historical fiction. His copy may be found on many official U.S. government websites.  Hong worked steadily, later becoming a fixture in Tucson dinner theater. His former agent was arrested for lewd conduct with office furniture.

But now a lost tale has finally been told.
Image: alienresearchalliance.com   

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hotel Transylvania Film Review Up at F.O.G.

Not surprisingly, Transylvania's favorite innkeeper turns out to be Dracula. But troubles dog the vampire hotel owner, voiced by Adam Sandler, when a slacker human drops in and courts Drac's daughter. Does trouble ensue or does the film simply end? Learn more as "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" examines 3-D animated feature Hotel Transylvania over at the always intriguing Forces of Geek. Discover the subtle interplay between corporate sponsors and the creative side. Read in awe as I thunderously denounce something. Go now and bask in words.
A suit of armor brown-noses the boss as Dracula (Adam Sandler) is all inn.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Prophecy of Freakazoid

The Escapist notes that long ago in the 1990s the future of the "Information Super Highway" was previewed by the Guy with Lightning in His Hair. See how Freakazoid correctly foresaw the future of the Web in a neat video salute to TV animation past. (Thanks to Keeper over on FB for pointing this out.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rapid Fake Movie Reviews

(Image: pilkey.com)
This week I'm introducing the Snap Review. These fast, hip-shot takes are designed to introduce readers to upcoming cinema; cinema I deem worthy of note but not worthy enough to watch or cover in "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen."

Opening Oct 5, we have The Oranges, a tale of suburban dysfunction, home-wrecking, and narcissism run amok, all caused by the return of a randy daughter to her New Jersey home with an orange the size of a beach ball. She will neither share the immense fruit nor disclose its origins. Furthermore, the daughter flies into a fury if anyone snarks the orange. (NOTE: This element has been scrubbed from the trailer.) Take an hourglass containing 90 minutes worth of sand. Now place an orange next to it. Add a photo of Hugh Laurie. Hand a family member close to twenty dollars. Eat some popcorn and stare at these items for an hour and a half. Was it fulfilling? Only you can decide.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Resident Evil Up at F.O.G.

Never underestimate the craftiness of the Umbrella Corporation. Alice and her chums have their hands full with a new kind of zombie and a new kind of menace in the form of campaign finance laws. Forces of Geek presents another edition of "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen," home to the hottest pretend reviews of the latest Hollywood movies. Can combat-savvy Alice transfer her skills to federal court? Go and learn at once before others beat you to it; snarky others; others who will ridicule you for your ignorance. Fly! (Image: OneIndia)
To defeat her foes, Alice (Milla Jovovich) must obtain a zombie-shooting waiver.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Old Zombies, New Tricks

Lovely but heavily-armed Milla Jovovich returns to once again confront the seemingly unstoppable Umbrella Corporation and their army of undead. But this time, the corporate rajahs have discovered a new, absolutely legal way of countering the pesky Alice and her allies. Learn more Thursday at Forces of Geek as "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" returns with all the fictional scoop on this week's hottest release.
Alice (Milla Jovovich) must look but not touch the undead. Learn why tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

So Long Karen Kinder-Than-Most-Heart

  She was born Karen Goodheart. Thirty-five years ago I would tease her by coming up with variations on her maiden name. Karen was nineteen years old in 1977, married and training to be a mail clerk at the post office in Skokie, Illinois.  I was twenty-four, recently out of the Marines and working there on the loading dock, slamming mail into trucks, unloading other trucks, and racing every evening to collect letters from the mail boxes around town.

  There were four separate routes in this northern Chicago 'burb. As a clerk trainee, Karen was assigned to one, stuffing letters into dirty sacks then speeding back to the post office to transfer the mail onto an outgoing truck.

  In the summer, we'd finish our routes early and meet at a Burger King, sipping cokes and smoking cigarettes in the parking lot. She had a throaty chuckle, a delightful giggle and a wonderful open laugh. We'd discuss the supervisors and the obtuse government rules we were expected to follow. (Like turning off our vehicles and locking them every time we exited. You couldn't do that AND pick up the mail in time.) Karen had a wonderful eye for absurdity and it served her well working for Uncle Sam. We'd split the parking lot just in time to catch the last truck.

  But winters were different. Mail boxes would be buried under snow drifts and the AMC trucks we drove came equipped with ceremonial heaters that only warmed a small arc of air directly in front of the vent. With her hair in a bun and a long olive scarf, Karen would slog back into the post office, nose red, sniffling from the cold, while I scraped ice off my moustache. We'd exchange exhausted looks like survivors of Stalingrad. Then she'd laugh and I'd laugh. Her spirit brightened a room like a flare. 

  After our swing shift, it was refreshment time. Despite being a small, compact woman Karen was not afraid to belt down shots and beers—boilermakers, a Windy City staple. Over time, she became a full-fledged clerk and was transferred to the midnight shift. We didn't see each other as much but stayed in touch even after I moved off to California.

  As decades slid past, we wrote and called and occasionally met. Karen held strong opinions and could be passionate about things she cared for. Sometimes we'd argue, but we never ended a phone call on a sour note. I always felt the better for having spoken to her as we veered back to our busy lives.

  Karen ended up in Florida, got a business degree from Florida State and went to work as a "bank buster" for FSLIC. According to Wikipedia:

"The Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC), a federal government agency that insured S&L accounts in the same way the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures commercial bank accounts, then had to repay all the depositors whose money was lost. From 1986 to 1989, FSLIC closed or otherwise resolved 296 institutions with total assets of $125 billion."

   During her FSLIC work, Karen began to develop a sensitivity to odors. Certain common smells like perfume would cause her to break out in a rash and have trouble breathing.

  This was only the beginning.

  For the next twenty-odd years her health deteriorated under a barrage of infections and maladies with exotic names and difficult treatments. I couldn't even tell you what they were called. But Karen could and would. And if she could include photos, then you got 'em. She became a ninja at negotiating medical bureaucracies.

   In good spirits, under pressures that would've buckled many, she chronicled her health battles at ksquest.

  In the meantime, after a divorce and string of dud boyfriends, she married a good man, Walter Dome, in 1994. I flew out for the wedding, not realizing it would be the last time I'd ever see her.

  She called me on 9/11 and it was from Karen I learned the towers were gone.

  Karen and Walter bought a little house in Wilton Manors, Florida. She loved laying brick, and orchids, and hunting for shark tooth fossils. She cared for plump cats. And Karen and I would exchange phone calls after natural disasters. Me and my earthquakes; she and her hurricanes.

  She never made it out to my wedding in 1997. Subsequent attempts to meet always fell short because of her dicey health. Her life was a hash of bizarre health troubles, money woes, relationship struggles, but Karen would not let it break her. And from her, I drew strength in my far lessor challenges.

  Then, diabolical icing on the cake, her husband was diagnosed with brain cancer.

  He died on April 19 of this year. In her last blog entry, Karen wrote:

  "Long months ago he [Walter] asked me what my life would be like if he passed away.  I told him.  So he said,  All right.  Then I'll fight it.  I'll fight to live.

No one will ever love me like that again.

I do not want to learn how to be a widow."

  She wouldn't have to.

 Karen Dome died of infection on August 29. Her nephew Brian dropped me an email. It only confirmed what I suspected was coming.

  For all her outsized troubles she was given an uncommon store of wit and grace, perseverance and grit.

  Brian will be writing up a farewell at her blog. Karen made many friends online who will be saddened by her passing.

  I do not know what manner of services, if any, were held for her. I do not know if she was buried or cremated.

 But I do know she deserves a eulogy. 

  All my old photos are in boxes, stacked and unmarked. Otherwise I'd dig out a picture of Karen in better days with her halogen smile and eyes twinkling.

  I am sparing in my tears. Few alive have seen them.

  Today they flow in a steady drip, the plumbing of grief.

  I count myself blessed to have known Karen.

  Her heart was most truly good.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reviewless Thursday

Tomorrow will be reviewless as assignments pile up like great waves upon a breakwater. Ah, but next week. Then something will happen. But not before.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Apparition Up at F.O.G.

Out with the old, in with the new. But what if the old was better? Than you're stuck with a lousy 'new' and the knowledge that you kind of blew it. Does director Todd Lincoln feel this way as his film teeters on the precipice of release? Does he wonder if old school scoring might have been the ticket? These questions await your fine viewing at Forces of Geek as "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" examines matters musical in Dark Castle/Warner Bros. feature film, The Apparition. I wrote the review and I'm going back to read it again. Join me. Image: Just Jared Jr
"I sure wish this movie had scary organ music," say the characters before embracing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Apparition Lacks Key Ingredient

All hands on deck in a Dark Castle/Warner Bros. release.

What in the name of breaded goose could that be? Director Todd Lincoln pushes the boundaries of originality in his latest horror film, slated for Friday release. Lincoln tramples tradition like a revolutionary zealot in his quest to be fresh. But new is not always better as I argue in tomorrow's "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen," your go-to guide for fictional reports on real cinema. Image: IMDb

Thursday, August 16, 2012

ParaNorman Review Up at F.O.G.

Do you want people to say, "Gee, [your name] is so well informed about film and behind-the-scene events in Hollywood?" Imagine yourself looked up to and admired for having all the inside movie scoop before anyone else. Now is your chance to became a figure of coolness. Now is your opportunity to move up the social ladder. Visit Forces of Geek. Read "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" and absorb the details that went into making ParaNorman. Elect not to read this report and you will be sneered at by hipsters in black clothing. Don't let that happen. Up your status big time today. You're gonna be liked. Really liked. Image: Super Punch
A character is seized by a serious giant in Laika Entertainment's ParaNorman.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

ParaNorman Not a Remake of Gnome-Mobile

Rumors abound in Hollywood, most of them true. But there are two floating around regarding the upcoming release of Laika Entertainment's scary ParaNorman. To be on the inside track, visit Forces of Geek tomorrow and check out "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen." Learn the gossip surrounding this apparent stop-motion, 3D animated film at your go-to site for fictional reports on the latest movies. Image: engadget.com
Norman Babcock wrestles with a bout of 24-hour hydrophobia in ParaNorman.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life at Disney in 1942

My wife spotted this description of old-school Mouse House animation on Cartoon Brew.  I was very much reminded of improv comedy rehearsals at the LA Connection—where art and drinking mixed and mixed well.

Image: millbitchell

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Bourne Legacy Review at F.O.G.

Tough, capable, a man alone against the nefarious CIA. Jason Bourne? Oh, goodness no. He's so yesterday's super killer. Today it's Alex Cross (Jeremy Renner) and this new Bourne again franchise isn't afraid to go for broad comic laughs as it draws upon the lush film making traditions of Ed Wood. Reading is understanding, and that requires a visit to "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen." Go now. I envy you. Image: awardscircuit.com
Alex Cross (Jeremy Renner) learns there is no more hot cocoa in The Bourne Legacy.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Bourne Legacy: Bourne to Be Wild Again

Actually, not Jason but a new lethal killing-machine running loose in the world, harvesting  slightly less-lethal CIA assassins...ah, but with a difference this time. See how director Tony Gilroy introduces a sense of humor into a character who slays more people than malaria. Go tomorrow at 1:00 PM PST to Forces of Geek and quickly read "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen," your go-to fictional source for all the possible scoop on the latest films. Image: Pajiba.com
Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) displays his lighter side in comedy-thriller, The Bourne Legacy.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Total Recall Review Up at F.O.G.

With a novel and a 1990 movie of the same name in the rear view mirror, director and screenwriters tried being too clever by half. Learn the effects of gross coyness and stealing from an old Audie Murphy movie as "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" dissects Len Wiseman's Total Recall. Image: geekygadgets.com
Factory worker Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) acquires the memories of Charles Nelson Reilly.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Total Recall Remake Reeks

Three jugs, no waiting as this eager lass seeks handy men.

Does this long-awaited remake stink? I have no idea, but tomorrow at Forces of Geek learn why it's best to select small portions at the filmmaker buffet. Discover the cost of 'My-Remake-Will-Be-Really-Really-Different' fever. Take part in the discussions that have made "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" the go-to fictional recap of Hollywood's latest  releases. Don't forget! Image: nolanfans

Mailer Gored by Cavett

Too bad they didn't give these four their own series. 

h/t: CEHitchens33

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Watch Review at F.O.G.

Alien foes stalk suburbia and four regular guys—as 'regular' as people like Ben Stiller can be—must smoke out the invaders. How was such a film received among the Paranoid Community? Learn more on ways the perpetually insecure are reacting to this 20th Century Fox comedy as Forces of Geek presents "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen." Read it right now or you'll be placed under furtive observation by 'them.' (Image: moviefanatic.com)
All that stands between invasion and destruction are four men in identical jackets. Obtain more details by seeing The Watch.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Watch Salutes Paranoid Awareness Month

Those who believe nebulous infernal forces lurk behind every event are finally honored by filmmakers in this week's release of The Watch. Tomorrow read how the hyper-anxious and irrational finally receive their cinematic due at Forces of Geek's very own "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen," your hottest fictional recaps of the latest movies. (Image: motifake.com)
Four neighborhood watch guys must suss out invading aliens from suburbanities in 20th Century Fox The Watch

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dark Knight Rises Review Up at F.O.G.

Nolan has done it again. Combining big buck CGI and art house techniques, he's transformed the final edition of his Batman trilogy into a red-hot show stopper. See as much of it as you can. Why a complete screening may be a problem is fully explained in this week's "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen." (Image: seagate.com)
Afraid of the dark? That could be an issue when viewing The Dark Knight Rises.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Knight Falls Early in Trilogy Capper

He's dark, he's a knight, he's fighting public and private blackness. Director Christopher Nolan seizes upon Bruce Wayne's gloom, employing it in clever cinematic ways. Learn exactly how tomorrow at Forces of Geek as "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" examines this weeks release of The Dark Knight Rises. (Image: totalfilm.com)
Batman relaxes by punching a WWF wrestler in The Dark Knight Rises.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Ice Age 4 Review Up at F.O.G.

Execs and creatives clashed over the direction of the latest Ice Age film, leading to a compromise tale that may very well please someone. Read more behind-the-scenes buzz as Forces of Geek presents your hottest fictional peek into the newest movies at "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen." (Image: fanpop)

Fox's latest installment is marred by creative tiffs and Facebook unfriendings.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Ice Age Mired in Creativity

Scat grabs his nut in one of the more exciting scenes from Fox's latest Pleistocene pic.
So many hands in the CGI broth. Learn the grim details behind the creation of Fox's latest version of Ice Age: Continental Drift tomorrow as Forces of Geek presents the informative, insightful Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen. (Image: filmofilia)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Collaborator Review Up at F.O.G.

Only you can halt audience flight.

Auteurs attention! Like being the big honcho on-set, huh? But are you prepared to keep audience butts in their seats at any cost? Go now to "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" and study the write-up of Martin Donovan's premier opus. Acquaint yourself with what one actor-director-writer did to prevent his film from plunging into the Tartarus of Gabby Town.  (Image: ailaleadershipblog.org) 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Collaborator Free Fall Averted

When the editor falls asleep cutting your movie, you must step boldly into the unknown.
 Tomorrow turn to Forces of Geek and the always insightful Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen and learn how a dialogue-heavy, filmed play was transformed into a motion picture by a green director who mulishly ignored the impossible. (Image: techprone)

Happy Birthday, USA!

I'm reading David McCullough's 1776 and feel grateful to those who believed freedom and individual liberty were important enough to risk everything on 236 years ago. For example, Henry Knox was 25-years old and owned a book shop in Boston. Yet he conceived and supervised a plan to drag cannon from upstate New York in the winter and over mountains to Boston where their presence compelled the British to evacuate. Thus he became Washington's Chief of Artillery. Thank you Henry Knox and many others for your dream and the courage to pursue it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Savages Review Up at F.O.G.

Drawing upon "The Brady Bunch," studio marketing showcases cast members.
Strange doings on the set bedevil production as Stone unleashes his inner Castro. In other related news, this movie featured the lowest number of law suits against John Travolta in some time. Read more, learn more, go now to "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen."

Image: Film Filia

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oliver Stoned Goes to Pot

Say it ain't so, O. Is Savages Oliver Stone's first serious attempt at comedy? Learn more tomorrow at Forces of Geek as "Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen" explores in-depth the texture and themes of a star-filled movie shot on film.
In Savages, two pot growers find themselves targeted by a cartel. Who will win?

Image: 4&20blackbirds

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Seeking a Friend Reivew Up at F.O.G.

Doomed people making comedy for the last time.
With December 2012 just around the corner, have you given any thought to who your apocalypse pal might be? You've got more time than Steve Carell. With a planet-killing asteroid in-bound in three weeks, he must decide whom to hang with for the remaining 21 days. Then, of course, there's the thrill of parking in a handicapped zone whenever the heck you like.
Image: indiwire

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Seeking A Friend Review: Free Spirits Need Work

Coming tomorrow on F.O.G., I examine Lorena Scafaria's Seeking a Friend for The End of the World. Learn how a meeting between an uptight stiff and a free spirit can have surprising results as Earth nears total extinction. A date movie to rival Schindler's List.
 Image: paranormalstories

Ethan Russell's American Story

A Man, A Decade, A Pot Load of Photos. Ethan Russell photographed them all: Beatles, Stones, The Who, etc. One of the 1960's premier rock cameramen, his photos and thoughts on those tie-dye days are available in several formats over at Amazon. Just know that Russell's An American Story was edited by my charming wife, Joy. That plug should be good for a favorite dish or a Get-Out-Of-In-Law-Dinner card.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Brave Review Up at F.O.G.

Image: Quadruple A

Image: racingwest.com

What do ancient Scotland and Indianapolis have in common? Go, learn, reflect right now. The answer may surprise and delight you like a bale of found jolliness.

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