Posted: March 7th, 2009 | Author: Simon | Filed under: Journal | Tags: blackwood, Blog, Movies, screenwriting, script frenzy, tumble | Comments Off
And like that he was gone. Underground. Nobody has ever seen him since. He becomes a myth, a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night. #
I’ve said it before and now I’m gonna say it again; my work here is done.
Last time I said that I not gonna write any more on this weblog at all. I’m not gonna be so absolute in this time around. Just don’t expect any new posts anytime soon. All the smaller updates will be on my Tumblr page.
My new job at 1508 is not just great. It’s superb. So far it might very well be the best job I’ve ever had. Really nice colleagues, great projects, superb office, and just a heck of fun time.
I’ve been thinking about restarting with an entirely new weblog focused solely on screenwriting (a la the Story Tricks series). That might or might not happen anytime soon, but don’t keep your breath, because as the time is right now I’ve rather spend time with my wife and son and actually write screenplays and write about them. And there are only so many hours a day, so I have to prioritize.
And if any of you are up to it, I’m gonna participate in the Script Frenzy again this year. Feel free to add me as a writing partner. Although I’m gonna “cheat” a little this year, by writing a complete rewrite of my script from last year. The story structure is more or less unchanged, but the story itself is getting a major overhaul.
And don’t forget that you can track my movie watching adventures on the Movies page.
Posted: December 29th, 2008 | Author: Simon | Filed under: Journal | Tags: 2008, Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Books, Daniel Day-Lewis, Fable II, Games, Grand Theft Auto IV, Lucky Luke, Michael Chabon, Movies, new year, reviews, xbox 360 | Comments Off
As the year is coming to an natural end, it’s time to look back at the books I’ve read, the movies I’ve seen, the music I’ve heard and the games I’ve played and sort out the weed and look at what really rocked my boat in 2008.
Bear in mind that these are just what I read, saw, heard and played in 2008, not necessarily what came out in 2008.
I’ve keept tap of all the books I’ve read in 2008 on my LibraryThing account and have up until now read 60 books in 2008. That might sound like a lot but some of these where movie screenplays and graphic novels and they read a lot faster than regular books. But still 60 books is quite a number.
Best book of 2008: Hands down it gotta be Michael Chabon‘s perfect (and I mean perfect) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed so much, cried so hard and became so angry from reading a book. A true masterpiece.
Best comic of 2008: Again, a no-brainer for me; Brian Vaughan’s intelligent take on politics and superheroes Ex Machina.
Biggest waste of time in 2008: Lee Child’s Killing Floor came recommended to me from a bookstore clerk. Remind me never to take advice from him again. What a waste of good paper.
This was the year when I took my son to the movies for the first time, so in more than one way it was a very special year. He picked the movie; the new feature length Lucky Luke and it was such a success that the following four weekends afterwards we went to the cinema again to watch Lucky Luke again and Carsten & Gittes Filmbalade.
But all in all, I watched 99 movies either in the cinema or on DVD… and the award goes to… (couldn’t help it, sorry).
Best movie of 2008: Paul Thomas Anderson’s tour-de-force There Will Be Blood. It was grotesquely overlooked at the Oscars this year, even though Daniel Day-Lewis managed to grab the Best Actor award, I seriously think that in the years and decades to come we’ll look back a Anderson’s movie and give it the masterpiece status it deserves.
Biggest “What the fuck?!?”-moment of 2008: Halfway through the semi-funny Hancock, the movie completely changes into something it wasn’t suppose to be. Avoid this movie like the plague. All the funny scenes are in the trailer and that is only a couple of minutes long, so watch that instead.
According to Last.fm my music taste didn’t change so much this year. But there are a couple of albums that I want to single out nonetheless.
Best album of 2008: Ryan Adams’ Gold. Barebones, simple melodic classic rock that just kicks ass. I can listen to this all day and still find nuances in it that I’ve somehow missed before.
Best jazz albums of 2008 that just keeps getting better: Also know as the BJAO08TJKGB Award. Ballads by John Coltrane and Kind of Blue by Miles David have, again, been on heavy rotation this year. Timeless albums that just keeps on giving.
This was also the year when I finally shelled out for a Xbox 360 and I must say that I’m more than impressed with the system. The New Xbox Experience also added a modern and very nice interface.
Most fun game of 2008: That got to be Fable II. Extreme freedom, fun side quests, lush world to explore and nice rewards for being evil. What’s not to like?
Most awesome game of 2008: Grand Theft Auto 4. That game is just huge. HUGE I tell you. And the characters a great, the story is superb and very mature of a game. The size of this game and the content within it is just mindboggling. Kudos to Rockstar for setting the bar high again.
Biggest disappointment of 2008: Halo 3. What the fuck was all the hype about? I mean the game is extremely linear, the FPS aspect are “classic” (and that is not a compliment) and the story is just terrible and seems like it’s written by a 10-year old. The multiplayer is alright, but the singleplayer portion of the game was a huge disappointment.
So there you have it, 2008 in review. What a year it’s been and I seriously hope that 2009 will offer just as many fine moments as this one did.
Here’s looking at you 2008.
Posted: July 1st, 2008 | Author: Simon | Filed under: Journal | Tags: ibm, indy, many eyes, Movies, screenplay, script, visualization, wordle | Comments Off
This is what you get from running Raiders of the Lost Ark screenplay through IBM’s Many Eyes and using the 2-words tag visualization.
And the same screenplay run through Wordle (with the word Indy taken out)
Is it really a love story?
Posted: February 24th, 2008 | Author: Simon | Filed under: Journal | Tags: academy awards, Movies, oscars, predictions | Comments Off
The Academy Awards is almost upon us, so lets try and see if we can guess any of the winners of the major categories. I’ll tell what I hope that will win and what I think will win (as they often are not the same) and also include what the traders at the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) are predicting, as they always seem to hit it spot on.
Best motion picture of the year
- “Michael Clayton”
- “No Country for Old Men”
- “There Will Be Blood”
Here HSX is hands down going with No Country for Old Men, I also think that it’s going to win, but I really hope that There Will Be Blood will take the honor.
Achievement in directing
- “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” – Julian Schnabel
- “Juno” – Jason Reitman
- “Michael Clayton” – Tony Gilroy
- “No Country for Old Men” – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
- “There Will Be Blood” – Paul Thomas Anderson
Again HSX is all for the Coen brothers, but I think and hope that Paul Thomas Anderson will take home this one. And what the heck is Reitman even doing on this list? Sure Juno is a nice flick, but Oscar?
Performance by an actor in a leading role
- George Clooney in “Michael Clayton”
- Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood”
- Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
- Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah”
- Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises”
There is no competition for this one. Daniel Day-Lewis’ tour-de-force presentation is a sure winner, and HSX agree.
Performance by an actress in a leading role
- Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
- Julie Christie in “Away from Her”
- Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose”
- Laura Linney in “The Savages”
- Ellen Page in “Juno”
This one is a little bit embarrassing as I’ve only seen Juno. But HSX is all for Julie Christie. If I had to predict what I think will win based on what I’ve heard I’ll say Julie Christie or Laura Linney.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
- Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”
- Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men”
- Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War”
- Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild”
- Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton”
HSX and I both think that Javier Bardem will win, but I hope that Tom Wilkinson will take the statue for his role in Michael Clayton.
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
- Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There”
- Ruby Dee in “American Gangster”
- Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement”
- Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone”
- Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton”
HSX is a little split here between Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton with a slight incline towards Blanchett. I also think that she will win even though I hope that Swinton will.
- “Juno” Written by Diablo Cody
- “Lars and the Real Girl” Written by Nancy Oliver
- “Michael Clayton” Written by Tony Gilroy
- “Ratatouille” Screenplay by Brad Bird; Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
- “The Savages” Written by Tamara Jenkins
Here HSX is all for Juno, while I think it might come down between Juno, Clayton and Ratatouille. It’s a really hard one to nail. I hope that Michael Clayton will win for its very intelligent script.
- “Atonement” Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
- “Away from Her” Written by Sarah Polley
- “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
- “No Country for Old Men” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
- “There Will Be Blood” Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
Again HSX is all for No Country, while I think and hope that There Will Be Blood will take the statue.
Posted: February 8th, 2008 | Author: Simon | Filed under: Journal | Tags: hitchcock, Movies, vanity fair | 2 Comments »
Ever prolific Slashfilm pointed me to Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue where they recreated some of the memorable scenes from Alfred Hitchcock‘s classics.
One of them are outright funny; Seth Rogen in North by Northwest:
But other than this they are as close to vandalism as you can get in my book.
I like Naomi Watts just as much as the next guy (see my post on Eastern Promises), but Tippy Hedren she ain’t.
Please don’t ever do that again.
Posted: January 8th, 2008 | Author: Simon | Filed under: Clippings | Tags: Movies, star-wars | Comments Off
Keith Martin has written a fantastic account of the lives of R2D2 and Chewbacca.
Much of Obi-Wan’s behaviour in this film, and Yoda’s in the next, can best be understood if they are frankly scared to death of what Luke might become.
As the film ends, the three founders of the Rebellion are all gone. Bail Organa is dead, Yoda is out of contact and Obi-Wan’s ghost can only talk to other Jedi. (So that would be Yoda then.) Thus, the field leadership of the rebellion has just been turned over to the daughter of Darth Vader.
A really worthwhile read.