Saturday, November 22, 2014

Oncoming Overhaul

I think 2014 sort of was what I wanted it to be. I rubbed a lamp of a mediocre genie, and I got what I wanted. And that's okay.

I tried to pander to people who did not like the same movies/music I like. That backfired on me. You do things cause you think it's a step forward, but everything falls apart, and you feel like a fool for doing it. You develop an instinct for what you're willing to put up with.

I listened to chauvinists who wanted me to represent their minority in my projects while they demeaned other ethnicities with no sense of guilt or irony.

I listened to racist feminists who complained that my projects did not show a "truly" strong female character while they drooled over Fifty Shades of Grey.

I have tried multiple times, to write a bunch of stuff for this blog, but I have fallen in the cracks due to the nature that they were purely clickbait articles. Will I post them in the future? Probably, but not now.

I have decided, at this point, to refocus this blog moreso on new projects I'm working on/interested in. This blog was supposed to promote my other stuff, but I have decided that I would rather make it a blog I would visit as a visitor of blogs. I am willing to accept the consequences of what that entails.

I have been hesitant in my career pursuits by this fear of being open about my opinion.

You see a lot of stories in the news of people in high positions who get fired over tweets. I don't think anybody should get fired over tweets and remarks. You might use remarks as a reason not to vote for someone, but I think anyone who wants to fire someone over remarks is someone who probably doesn't have a real job.

People would rather fire someone over homophobic remarks than help out the LGBT community that's currently abused in Putin's Russia.

Cause people are fake. Don't be fake. Fake collects dust and gets replaced.

I've also dealt with other people that hate success or the steps that lead to success. Or they talk about how hard their life is. They talk shit about those at the top. Novelists that talk shit about Lord of the Rings. Rappers who talk shit about Tupac. While they have no body of work to counter examine with.

Tolkien and Tupac are dead. You gotta worry about yourself.

These idiots are trying to settle some past score. I don't care about past scores. I'm focusing on current championships.

And another thing, just because I don't tweet about whatever stupid holiday/tragedy is in the news, does not mean I don't care about said thing. Gossiping hens.

Hens get shot, stuffed, broiled, and fed to golden retriever puppies.


Understand that I love everybody and that I want everybody to succeed, and any point I will bring across in the future was probably done as a joke or a constructive criticism.

Again, it seems I'm addressing a hypothetical fictitious scandal that has yet to exist, but be what it may I am sorry. But, I cannot let this fear stop me. I'm going to repost some long deleted posts of mine (which I might later delete cause whatever)

But, I have decided that at this point, if my current or any future employers/sponsors/whatever would like to fire me over something I said, said job at establishment was not meant to be, and that it is the wishes of the universe telling me that it's time to move on.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Men Are Like Dogs

This is a little diddy called Men Are Like Dogs...

Men Are Like Dogs.

They can be cuddly. They can be adorable. And they can rip your fucking face off.

They need care. They need love. They can kill you even if you've given them all of the above.

A dog by its nature is a stray. He will leave you if you don't feed him and rub his belly. So don't complain and give a dog what it needs or some skank will smile as it feeds.

Dogs can help.

They can aid your health.

And when you step on their paws they go yelp.

A big dog can bark at the would be burglars. But if you like them vicious he might think you're a burger.

A small dog might be fun at parties. But they're not around when the home invasion's starting.

A dog can mess up and need discipline. But if you smack them in the face too much, you can get a row of teeth in your rear end.

Dog in the mirror men of its own best friend. Love it well and it will be like Hachiko till the very end.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


You know, I like movies.

I do.

I've always had a weird relationship with making films.

It's always been a matter of re-inspiration. It's never that one film that makes me a filmmaker.

It's the one that makes you love film again.

Filmmaking is filled with cynicism. It's always been a part of it. Thomas Edison was an evil dude. Any TMZ scandal pales in comparison to what William Randolph Heart did to Fatty Arbuckle.

You have to fall in love with film again. It's too difficult not to. That's what love is. It's embrace in the face of defeat.

I remember when I was in the fifth grade. My father was working on this script project that fell into development hell. It bummed him out a lot.

Hell, watching that made me depressed too.

But whatever. I'm beyond that now.

I remember my love of horror films was sort of this weird accident.

I was always nostalgic about 80s action movies.

I used to think that Terminator 2 was one of the greatest films ever made.

I still do.

I remember how in high school, every film that came out was trying to be the next Harry Potter. It sickened me. Something deep inside told me it was bullshit.

I hate that. I hated it when you were a kid, and they always pushed an aspiring franchise on you. Trying to bland up the ol' monomyth.

I remember watching Commando. I remember thinking that last scene where Arnold goes full God Mode was something to aspire to create as a filmmaker. Spraying and praying is tactically a horrible decision to make in a firefight, but it looks amazing on film.

There's a scene in Commando where Arnold chops a dude's arm with a machete. I thought that was cool. I was constantly preached about the evils of R-rated movies as a kid, and the idea that I would be able to create what I was not able to watch, a sort of homebrew punk rock of violence, was awesome to me. I purchased a book on horror films in the hopes of doing an action sequence like that in the future.

One thing led to another, I became entrenched in horror films.

We need a next generation of horror filmmakers. I thought that would be a cool thing to be. That, and rock stars.

We have another generation of rappers. We have another generation of comedians. We have another generation of basketball players. We need the next generation of genre filmmakers and rock stars who are more interested in making cool shit than Twitter followers. That preceding statement is both ironic and self-loathing.

A sixteen year old making R-rated films. You need to be at least seventeen to watch those. I wouldn't be allowed to watch the films that I had made. All of that bullshit about how violence in cinema is bad for children, and I would be a child making violent films, as if telling the entire establishment as a whole to piss off.

How the hell are you supposed to warn your children of the horrors of Isis when you cry when you watch Psycho?

I remember reading A Long Way Gone, and how Ishmael Beah talked about how he would watch violent movies and listen to rap mixtapes while serving as a child soldier.

You have to understand, this was during that post-Iraq war-everybody-hates-America era. The fact that the world loved violent movies (even for the wrong reasons) was something I found interesting. I always think French action movies are interesting. Cause they're French. They're not supposed to like action movies. But The Professional is still one of the greatest films of all time.

It was also cool to make films you weren't allowed to watch. To be told that you cannot get into an R-rated film, so you went on the weekend and made your own R-rated was kind of cool.

There's an enthusiastic violent creativity about high school. It goes away when you're in your twenties worrying about how to pay the bills. You spend your waking life as a creative worrying about quotas and demographics. That's not how good stuff is made. Sure, I try to aim for those things, but I don't think it's always going to work.

I apologize for that now, but that's a hard game to play.

Every story needs conflict. It's easy for society to take conflict personally if bad things happened to a character of diversity.

I use the third act of Star Wars as an example of this. Imagine if Luke Skywalker was black. He goes in to stop the Death Star, but Darth Vader closes in. But then, Han Solo comes in to shoot Vader away.

Social critics would say that was a symbolic of white oppression. That Luke Skywalker would not be able to finish his task without help of the white man.

Now, let's flip it, make Han Solo black. He saves Luke Skywalker, and helps the save the day.

The social critics will call him a lapdog. They say he projects an image of obedience to the white man.

The ubiquitous directionless agenda drivers (I don't know what they want, hence the title) have decided to turn everything into this inane political debate. It rarely makes things better. It doesn't award cool obscure diverse culture. It forces the already bland mainstream to adhere to quota.

You've taken a simple friendship in storytelling, and you've turned into this bullshit projection. And ironically, it stops Hollywood from casting awesome roles for women and minorities.

You try to force a conversation, when there is no room for it.

So, don't get caught in the bullshit, apologize if you really mess up, and do your thing.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Little Things...

I'm still on vacation. Don't worry.

The irony gods live in entertainment. It's best to use that to your advantage.

Say you're not into making money, and turn into a businessman.

Claim to be an entrepreneur, and you make classics that don't make money.

I never understood judging someone for the clothes they wear. I mean, Gandhi freed his people wearing a diaper.

I like contrasts. I like chatting an introvert's ears off.

I like awkward silence with a public official trying to get my vote.

If I was who I really was, I'd probably get a warning. So, I act the weirdo. It's not illegal, but it's frowned upon. It's not illegal to be odd.

So stop making fun of this mask. It's the one you asked for.

Have too much fun, they'll call you crazy.

Don't do it for money, money makes you lazy.

It's okay to be awake, but remember to take an afternoon nap every once in a while.

A musical about a deaf girl in a library.

You know, if unicorns existed, they'd probably be homophobic. That sounds sad, but it's probably true. Ironic reality, is what it is.

The wonderful thing about writing is that you can write about whatever the fuck you wanna write about. Humanity has come along and tried to ruin that.

The Sumerians practicing cuneiform practicing this witchcraft that separated them from the barbarians. These characters they invented for themselves. Keep the magic alive.

I never felt like a failure, and I never wrote about tossing cowchips in the snow.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dark Sabbatical

I've decided to take a break from this blog for the rest of the year.

Lately, I've been worrying about having to keep this blog updated as opposed to writing anything actually cool worth reading.

It's been this thing that has been compounding for a while.

You surround yourself with people who want to have views more than they want to write about anything cool. You read more from blogs about getting blogviews than you do anything worth blogging about.

It doesn't help that everyone gets offended by the wonderful drug that is the truth. Not agenda. Not policy. The truth.

Agendas are the pesticide of the truth.

Once upon a time, a man thought it was cool to have his film sponsor a charity project. The charity was part of the film's plot, so it felt like a good fit. It helped the movie make a lot of money. Developed brand loyalty. A "cult" like following, if you will.

But now, everybody does it. And it's annoying. Aaron Carter talking about the power of one while promoting Pokemon 2000. I bring this up a lot, but it represents how I feel about the marketing effects of false charity.

It's fine when you're making a documentary, but there's a lot of movies that I enjoy that will suffer from forcing an agenda down its throats.

A lot of movies that are cherished works would diminish from this. Can you imagine if The Goonies had some giant "save the environment" message in the middle of it?

It would completely destroy the plot of the film.

Honestly though, that stupid Pokemon 2000 junket is why Aaron Carter has drug problems. Same goes for any child star forced into a marketing tie in.

Spielberg merchandised those awesome Jurassic Park cups at McDonalds because he thought he was working on the greatest movie of all time (at least one of them) and he wanted to share this with as many people as possible.

Watch any Spielberg Behind the Scenes special.

Spielberg's crew of guys always work hard. And with each Behind the Scenes special, you appreciate their work. You know their names. Stan Winston. Phil Tippett. Throw in Ralph McQuarrie and Rick Baker while we're at it.

You don't get this with romantic comedies.

You love Alien? Who's the director of the first Alien? Immediately you say Ridley.

You love Aliens? Who was the director of that? You know. If you don't, it's only because you've forgotten for a second.

Hell, Fincher directed Alien 3.

But, having said that, answer this question without Googling/Wikipedia/Outside sources:

Who is the director of You've Got Mail?

Now, I like Nora Ephron, but I don't think most people who love You've Got Mail will care about the answer to that question. And that's frustrating.

A fan's love can cause resentment in an artist. Why can't you be more like you're earlier work? Why can't you look the same way you did in college?

The disposable and forgettable nature of culture also contributes to it. Ask any late 90s rapper.

And some bitter individuals will say that an artist needs to grind and shut up about the marketing ploys. That there are some people who go to jobs they don't like everyday, and that an artist getting paid is no different.

Well, Jon Voight had a job called Baby Geniuses 2.

It was a job.

He did it.

Do you applaud him on it?

Sisqo in Snow Dogs. He has money, doesn't he?

Go down the list on the pool of depression that is the Imdb Bottom 100. Do you applaud these people?

This is why I don't listen to short term knee jerk critics.

People are not accountable for their lies and opinions. I don't take people seriously because they don't take their own words seriously.

You can have all the health and wealth in the world, but if your passion is not in the right place, it amounts to nothing.

90% of culture doesn't feel like this thing of sincere compassion. It feels like another thing you have to do.

This blog has turned into this thing I have to do in order to promote Weight Loss Terrorists and my writing career.

That sucks.

Why can't it just be a cool blog talking about awesome things? Why do they insist on ruining everything?

People always ask about an artist's motivation.

I think they do that because they themselves don't have motivation.

Do you ever question someone's motivation to eat ice cream?

You wouldn't. You would rather question someone who didn't eat ice cream.

People sound like annoying children with all their questions.

Film criticism is up and film quality is down.

It's not fun. I go out. I don't have fun. And then I come here. And it's not even fun.

There's no fun.

So I'm done. Maybe till 2016.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why The Slow News Day Will Be The Death Of Us All

People are slowly losing their mind on Twitter.

You have people with 100,000 tweets, twelve followers, and not a lot of interesting things to say.

It's understandable if some type of product was being promoted, but when you've dedicated that much metadata to emotional baggage, the problem is you.

There's this subculture of film critics on Twitter who seem to blab themselves into an endless bland purgatory. They have nothing else to do. People who have things to do don't tweet at all random times of the night. It doesn't happen.

Now, working on film shoots is probably one of the hardest things an artist can go through. It's right up there with extensive musical tours. It can drive you to madness if you're not in the right set of mind.

But it gives your life worth.

All this extra energy spent hoveling on social media goes away when you're doing things.

When you see a celebrity die, you shouldn't cry.

You should happy.

They have been remembered for what they dedicated their lives to.

You post their picture as your Twitter avatar. They don't need any other person to showcase their identity.

Now, could I be hating? Possibly.

Here lies Andrew, he liked Back to the Future alot. Is that really something you want on your headstone?

I don't know, maybe you do. It's up to you.

But, I think it sucks. Again, it could be the social media cabin fever talking.

Dr. Oz was in the news recently for allegedly using his TV show for lying to people about so called "miracle cures".

I don't think Dr. Oz was deliberately trying to throw people off.

He had 800 episodes.


He probably wanted to do everything he wanted to do with his show in the first 30 episodes.

Try hosting a podcast for 800 episodes, and see if you don't spouting some snake oil alchemy nonsense.

It wasn't a matter of lying.

Anyone forced to fill a certain amount of time, under the pressure to deliver product, will ramble themselves onto inane subject matter.

I might wanna take time off from this blog to have something of worth to write about.

There's no news to report.

That's when you should be an artist and do something cool.

But instead, we decide to elevate the banal to the theatrical.

Life has a lot of interesting stuff in it. So, take some time off.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Seven Year Itch

I've been getting sloppy.

It's something that's been going on for a while.

You try to give 120 percent. People complain. You make them feel inadequate. So you give 78 percent.

But you can't really give 78 percent. It's not natural. It goes against the laws of physics.

So you dwindle. You fall.

And you're afraid of promoting your blog because of some news story when some guy got fired for a joke on his blog that didn't make sense.

It's a lot of fucking bullshit.

You read blog posts about page views. You do all this stuff. You're chasing. You run for a while. And you stop caring after a while.

You got mothers poisoning their kids for blog views. What a loser. Learn how to be interesting, you degenerate fuck.

Sorry, got carried away...

Your idiot friends/family try to impose their half baked agendas on to you. Everything always seems conceived beforehand. You see all these people do all these different things, not because they want to but because it allegedly leads to somewhere else. Everything they do is a regurgitated rehash of what was popular last year.

Last year's over, hombre.

It takes three years to make a movie. You know what that means? It means, to be good, you need to be able to tell the future. You have to dig deep in the collective subconscious, and say what everyone wants to say, but doesn't have the balls to be able to.

You know that whole story about the guy that says "Once I get promoted, I will work harder", and he never gets promoted because he never works hard? The entertainment industry always excuses its misfires because it builds to a tomorrow that never appears.

Sometimes, producers make movies they don't like on the hopes of winning support from people who often flounder, complain, or don't show up at the box office.

Everything these days is filtered by the actions of what I call a fringe vocal few.

The idiots displaying their assault rifles in the department store. This isn't a political statement, this is about their own narcissism.

The idiots who kill people because no one liked their Facebook post. The idiots who bring drama on themselves.

Fringe vocal few. Rod Serling called them the Lunatic Fringe of Letter Writers. They went from writing letters to CBS complaining about Lassie giving birth to puppies on television to tweeting every celebrity on Twitter waiting for a response.

Never underestimate a person's ability to ruin a good thing.

Society has destroyed the ability to have a real conversation about anything for the fear of mildly damaging anyone's feelings.

Remember good television shows you would watch growing up? Remember how every once in a while they would have a sincere episode about something serious?

Episodes about Boy Meets World dealing with parents abusing their kids.

That one episode of Family Matters where Jaleel White broke character in the end and asked people to think about the violence in the Chicago area.

Yeah, it could be argued that Kirk Cameron took that whole issue-sitcom thing and went way overboard in the cause-related marketing.

But you need that sometimes. You need "Hey Arnold" episodes that talked about real shit. That episode where Stinky became the spokesperson for Yoohoo soda, and turned down a million dollars because the Yoohoo Soda marketing people made him look like an idiot.

They took what Spike Lee was trying to do with Bamboozled and made it universally accessible.

You know Dave Chappelle would watch that episode of Hey Arnold and think about his life afterward.

There's a lot of child stars that need to watch that.

Everything on the Disney/Nickelodeon/eventual ratchet child star incubator is this desensitized slurge where a bunch of kids are screaming "Oh my God! The popcorn machine is exploding!" while a forced laughtrack blasts in between promotional music videos that encourage tweens to have enough emotional baggage to fuel a soap opera.

Your love commodity. The drama that you market.

I'm convinced that actors lose their minds when they make hokey romantic comedies that go against who they are.

Look at each movie a child star was doing before they lost their mind. You think those movies sucked? The child stars who worked on that thing really hated it.

Greta Garbo starred in Two-Faced Woman. It was so bad that she gave up acting. That was in 1941. She passed away in 1990. The movie was so bad, she quit despite five decades of people asking her to come back.

I started really writing scripts in 2007. Sure, there was stuff I did when I was nine years old, but 2007 was when I reached all the way to page 100.

And I had to. Shrek 3. Pirates 3. Spider-Man 3. The climate needed that.

It's said that the seventh year is when an artist breaks out, if they don't lose themselves in the process.

I had severe emotional turmoil a few years back when I was forced to change a couple stories I wrote to something I did not want from closed minded nosey people who did not have my interests at heart. I was also working on a romantic comedy screenplay that drove me to near schizophrenia.

Which isn't to say I don't like romcoms, but this was one of those really crappy ideas. After I saw glimpses of my project's similarities in music videos and semi-Syfy channel movies, I gave up on it. And I should have.

Amputate the limb.

I wasn't having fun. I was speculating on something that cost me more sweat than I got back.

Not again.

We write what we're good at.

We don't apologize. We don't seek validation. We let inertia pull us in.

World Domination Is Not A Crime.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Godzilla 2014 Review

So, I finished watching Gareth Edwards' Godzilla film.

There's been a minor controversy (it's the Internet) regarding this film, so I thought I'd go out and address it.

I wish I could talk about how when I was a kid growing up in Torrance, I bought a VHS case that had a double feature of Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla in it.

I'd also love to talk about the website Godzilla Tower (a Godzilla vs. Gigan reference) that apparently got turned into some fetish site, the G-Fan (I think they called it G-Fan because they loved Gamera too) magazine I always wanted to subscribe to, and this book called Master of Monsters that used to cost $220.

Master of Monsters now costs $20 on paperback since Gareth Edwards read it while researching for the new movie. I am now ordering the crap out of this thing.

I could talk about the kaiju haikus I did in high school, which got me scorn from my teachers, shows how much they were on the pulse of society. I also wonder if They Came From Hollywood ever became a real video game.

I could talk about my neighbor, who did graphic design for a collection of soundtrack CDs showing off the entire history of Godzilla until Megaguirus.

I could also talk about how I started to listen to the Outside the Cinema and Cinema Diabolica podcasts because of their Godzilla episodes, and talked to them about the failed Godzilla vs. Satan project.

I could also talk about how I watch the Heisei series Godzilla as a form of antidepressant (either that or Kakuranger).

I might even talk about Pulgasari, the Godzilla ripoff movie produced by Kim Jong Il that I obsessed over.

But, you don't wanna hear about that.

So, let's talk about this movie.

The first complaint I hear a lot about from this movie is that Godzilla is not in this movie enough.

When I first heard of this, one other movie came to mind:
King Kong 2005

Not gonna lie, I was scared.

But, there's a difference between these two films that sets the absence of the title character apart:

When I was watching King Kong 2005 for the first time, I was forty five minutes in when I had to remind myself that I was watching a King Kong movie.

I remember thinking "wait a minute, this is a King Kong movie, right? It feels like a Merchant Ivory Production" while watching it. I don't think the original 1933 version had such pacing issues, and that film was made by people who hyperventilated when Superman picked up a car.

There's never a moment in Godzilla 2014 when you forget you're watching a Godzilla movie.

There's nuclear plants going crazy, conspiracies, secrets, all types of interesting stuff. The conflict is building.

And while we're on point, King Kong had a lot of fight scenes. It had T. Rexes swinging from trees. It had the deleted Black Scorpion sequence put back in and turned up to 11. Do you like that movie? Do you remember that movie? Is it something you express your love for?

The people who don't like the pacing of Godzilla are the same people who complained that Drive wasn't more like Fast and the Furious. They're the same people who complained that Breaking Bad should've had five more seasons.

They don't like the creative decisions of Bryan Cranston, apparently.

There's a lot of Godzilla movies with wall to wall action. They bore easily. After a while, they turn into the same film. Watch them if you don't believe me. And throw in some Rebirth of Mothra while we're at it.

The only thing that truly stands out from Godzilla: Final Wars is the guy who looks like Josef Stalin, and the fact that Godzilla fought his '98 self, with one of the characters calling 98 zilla a "tuna loser" or something to that effect.

Actually, I remember a lot more from Final Wars, but nothing that resonates like Godzilla 2014.

I think Gareth Edwards watches a lot of Godzilla. Gareth Edwards feels like that one poster on the Ain't It Cool News talkback/Disqus chat/whatever that has an offbeat take on an established property that works.

But, it's not just that.

I think Godzilla 2014 was a perpetrator of opportunistic circumstance.

Let's face it, a Godzilla reboot was in development hell forever. First, they wanted to make it some Imax special. Then, they thought about trying some theme park thing.

And then the 2011 Tsunami happened.

The 2011 Japanese tsunami and the Fukushima issues that occurred afterward have made this film seem really plausible. When you read about how the Japanese government hired homeless people to clean up radiation in the area, the sinister nature of coverup in this movie seems all too real.

Back in the seventies, a couple of film producers had no faith in a project they were working on. Their film was about a nuclear plant run amok. But then, Three Mile Island happened when the movie came out, and The China Syndrome ended up becoming a highly successful film.

Godzilla 2014 feels the same way. It's tapping into our subconscious fears from the last ten years.

I hate it when people shoehorn morality into something. Aaron Carter talking about the power of one while promoting Poke'mon 2000. Yuck...

Godzilla 2014 doesn't do that. It feels real.

We live in a world where Korean ships capsize and planes go missing. And flying robots hunt Pakistani children like they're named John Connor. We're plausible for a Godzilla.

I think the next couple of years of filmmaking will sort of present subconscious themes about 9/11, the Iraq war, sort of the same way a lot of movies in the eighties were about Vietnam.

It takes time to develop a narrative about contemporary history. You can only look back after it's over.

What it was actually like to deal with Vietnam was very different than what the contemporary presentation of events was. Movies like Punishment Park, Vanishing Point, and Billy Jack give a look that's different from contemporary images.

A sort of revisionism is to take effect. We're going to take what we know now and apply it to what happened back then. 50 Cent vs. Ja Rule didn't become a legendary thing until way after it happened.

When you watch The Social Network, even though it takes place in Harvard in 2003, there's no mention of protesting the war, or 50 Cent, or Avril Lavigne, or any pop punk American Pie comedy derivative which will again rear it's ugly head in 2023.

That history was rewritten for the narrative of Facebook.

And pop culture will rewrite history. How else can Nero fiddle when Rome burned when the fiddle is a fifteenth century instrument? Because it sounds too cool not to.

Godzilla '98 was sort of like that as well. The backlash of Emmerich's project only really took root during Godzilla 2000 when the Japanese filmmakers felt that Emmerich did not do Godzilla justice.

The lack of backlash during its actual release of Godzilla '98 (or Zilla, whatever) probably has to do with the fact that American audiences were not used to Godzilla in a serious context. 70s Godzilla, like Japanese Spiderman, was a microcosm of Japan in the 70s: a country not yet taken seriously because it had yet to reach its potential.

70s Japan was a Magikarp. And 70s Godzilla had a lot of splashing.

The '98 Godzilla backlash didn't really become apparent until after 9/11. You can't watch a movie post 9/11 where Mayor Roger Ebert farts over some Hershey Kisses because a couple jets shot missiles at the Chrysler Building. It's not a good look.

Godzilla 2014 is on the same level that Man of Steel is to me. One, because both Godzilla 2014 and Man of Steel are both post-Save The Cat stories that try to do what Blake Snyder said and "Keep The Press Out Of It" regarding the conflict in their stories, but both filmmakers acknowledge that a story on their scale cannot avoid the ubiquity of the media.

So, both Godzilla 2014 and Man Of Steel have this weird tone every time the news media in their movies covers the events that are happening. The media's there, but not really. There's reports, but no real press conferences. We're so used to having press conference scenes in movies of a similar nature, that it feels strange without it.

It's like a movie where the villain wins. If you're tired of watching the hero win all the time, you might welcome it, but you get so accustomed to it, that you wish the hero won when they come up short. Game of Thrones, anybody?

Again, it's a minuscule detail that feels strange, but it doesn't derail the film.

The only thing that might separate the Godzilla 2014/Man Of Steel comparison is that while a lot of goofy Superman projects never made the public eye, we have had a plethora of Godzilla misfires. Read Superman vs. Hollywood. Watch Kevin Smith's Superman movie story. Man of Steel might be as good as it gets.

Of course, the term "misfire" is subjective. I don't think Godzilla 2000 was a misfire. It was a return to form. If anything, it was a failure in marketing. There wasn't the nerd culture that we have today that can embrace something like that. The Internet still had stigma in the year 2000. If you dated someone you met online in 2000, it would feel otherworldly. Now, it's cautious with exception, like actual real world dating.

With this past, it's hard to grade Godzilla 2014 as a film.

So, I have decided to grade Godzilla 2014 on two mantras:

First, we have the Nolan Mantra.

The Nolan Mantra (created by Christopher) goes like this: "A quality film is one where you feel like the person making it thinks this is the greatest film ever made".

Now, the person making the film is not always the director. It's not always the producer. A lot of people have hated the films they have worked on, only to see their embodiment of misery and self-loathing go on to be the defining work of their career.

The point is, someone working on this thing cares. Passion. And when passion is mixed with skill, it becomes dangerous.

Roland Emmerich does not think that his Godzilla was the greatest movie ever. He thinks Stargate and Independence Day are the greatest films ever made. Godzilla was something he was attached to for a lot of money. He was hired because of two movies he made, not for a love of Godzilla.

I think Gareth Edwards thinks Godzilla 2014 is one of the greatest films ever. Gareth made Monsters because of his philosophical fascination with monster movies. I don't think his passion is questionable.

Godzilla 2014 passes the Nolan Mantra.

The second mantra we have is the Nicholson Mantra:

The Nicholson Mantra (courtesy Jack) says that a good movie is "a film that has three great scenes and no bad ones".

There were three scenes from this movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.

They were:

1. Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) being forced (spoiler, but it's in the trailer, so not really) to close the chamber down on his wife. It's the type of deep character moment that you can only compare to the original Gojira when Serizawa ponders using the Oxygen Destroyer, a device he has created that sucks the oxygen out of the nearby area.

Since Gojira's powers stem from atomic radiation, Serizawa fears that using the Oxygen Destroyer will only give way to some other abomination (which was explored in Godzilla vs. Destroyah).

The entire Gojira film was a metaphor for the post atomic age and placed the moral dilemma that America had on using atomic weapons in the shoes of the Japanese people.

It's hard to think of another time where there was a deeper character dilemma in a Godzilla film.

2. The reveal of Godzilla showing just his leg. It built suspense up so well. There was so much building up to that moment that it just felt right.

3. The Tsunami in Hawaii/Halo jump. Anyone vacationing in Hawaii with an overactive imagination has looked at that oceanic horizon and wondered if something would come out of the water and destroy the hotel skyline.

The idea of paratroopers seeing Godzilla as they fall is such an ingenious concept, that it's amazing it hasn't been overused like those longneck satellite dishes that shoot out lightning/lasers in every other Godzilla film.

Gareth really scratched an itch here.

While the third act had some minor issues (the warhead plot seemed jumbled on first viewing), Godzilla 2014 passes the Nicholson Mantra.

Godzilla 2014 finally did what those Millennium Godzilla movies wanted to do but failed at: It took away the atomic fears of Godzilla and tapped into our own fears of a nihilistic existence. But it didn't do that by making Godzilla be inhabited by the souls of dead soldiers (GMK: All Monsters Attack), but by making Godzilla a personification of the universe killing us. And when we face death, we figure out what's important.

The 2011 Tsunami changed Japan culturally. Whereas before Japan indulged in all the weird stuff that we associate Japan with, the Tsunami made a minor shift in where the values of the Japanese people were. It wasn't a total shift, Japan is still Japan, but the country is now reevaluating what it finds important.

America had the same effect after 9/11. Hope growing in the aftermath of chaos.

It always seems like we are a couple steps away from forgetting that, and because of that, it feels like the world is always a couple steps away from falling into chaos.

Now, can King Ghidorah be in the future chaos? We can only see.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Success Is Weird

I never thought I would get this far
Success is weird

I once worried about every step in my life
It all means nothing now
Success is weird

They told me I would never be good enough
I have won and they have been forgotten
Success is weird

To see some people live without a clue
But some buffoons have prospered too
Success is weird

I have suffered, and I have seen my enemies suffer worse
Sometimes it's cake, sometimes it's a kick in the head first
Success is weird

I am having the greatest and worst year of my life
Heaven is my Hell, Purgatory my residence
Success is weird

Failure is in proportion to success, and I plan accordingly
Success is weird

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Unresolved Plotlines From My Life

There's a bunch of weird stuff in my life that just sort of happened without explanation.

Like, I need closure for some things.

For example,

In the fourth grade, this kid said his mom took him to a play where some guy stabbed himself in the eyes.

Now, I'm pretty sure that was Oedipus, but I need to get that confirmed. Because if it wasn't, that would be weird. Kids randomly going to plays where people kill themselves.

What was that?

I also remember in the third grade when I had to go this weird class that other kids did not get to go to. It was this place where we talked about moral issues.

What was that?

Back in the sixth grade, this guy entered our class one day with a clipboard. He said he was from Nickelodeon. He then said to the class "raise your hand if I have your attention".

Everyone raised their hand.

He then said something about how we wasn't from Nickelodeon, and that he monitored children. The teacher was in full attendance, so this couldn't have been some random goof.

Who is going around to random classrooms lying about working for Nickelodeon?

When I was a kid, my mother said that they made the video game Doom into a horror movie. Now, this was before the 2005 film with the Rock, and I swore I saw a commercial of Doom with a guy in the role of a space marine. So I spent a large portion of my life thinking there was this Doom movie that I was missing out on.

My mother also said that she saw some version of the Exorcist where the demon lives and conquers the world. I always wanted to watch that film, but that movie does not exist. Elements from this nihilistic-project-that-does-not-exist show up in my work from time to time. Like, I think subconsciously, I'm trying to make that movie.

Now, English is my mother's second language, but there's a lot of confusion going on. But I've got to say, it's effected me in an odd way.

You ever have some weird stuff from your life that continues to creep in the back of your mind?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow, Overgrown Child Stars, And Defining The Difficulty Of Working In Hollywood


Divorces change how you see yourself.

It's like watching your friends break up. No, it's weirder than that.

It's like watching your enemies break up.

You ever see two people that you hate? Two people that diss you and think they're better than you? And those two people break up, and the two people that hate you now spend the time hating each other?

That's a weird relationship to have with someone. I have issues with you, but I also have issues with the person you don't like, so there's this weird symmetry going on with the whole thing.

But anyways...

Divorce is a nasty thing.

A long time ago, I was waiting in the parking lot trying to pick up my sister from school. I had my Game Boy Advance SP, doing my thing, where I hear this psychotic screaming. I thought someone was pissed off about a parking job.

I look over. My windows are up. The car a couple rows down has its windows up. And there's a guy. And he's screaming to his friend in the passenger seat. At first, I thought an altercation was about to take place. But, then I heard minor references to "paying for her, and she doesn't do anything" and "completely unfair".

This guy was losing his mind over his divorce.

It was more passionate than any Screamo song I've ever heard. A lot of those death metal guys are trying too hard. If you want to make the music of angst, try to sing like a man losing money over child support and alimony. That's true pain. That's true artistic suffering.

That's why I'm afraid of starting a family. That and figuring out immunization shots.

Seriously, I think I'll have to have a minor certificate/degree in the medical field before I have kids. I either have to deal with autism or tuberculosis.

Domestic life looks like someone taped Maury Povich over an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Splitting a couple is like splitting an atom.

You see a part of people that you never thought you would see before. People say things out of passion that have no logical sense.

This increases incrementally with celebrity divorces.

OJ Simpson. Mel Gibson.

And it feels comical when it happens to Hollywood royalty.

Gwyneth Paltrow.

Shakespeare in Love?

Nah, Shakespeare in a custody battle.

Gonna be a Titus Andronicus up in this.

And so, we have gotten to this little piece of soundbite foolishness that is Gwyneth Paltrow saying that she works harder than a single mom. Gasp, *coughing*. I coughed trying to gasp is what I'm getting at.

This mirrors Tom Cruise's (or his lawyer's, to be specific) statement that Tom's acting career is harder than working in the military.

This of course, made a lot of people angry.

But, does the fact that this person makes a lot of money doing what they do take away from the fact that their job is hard?

Now, let's be honest, these statements, made in the desperation of obtaining a child's custody, have opened up these celebrities in a way that they did not want to be seen.

Law #30

Edwin Neal was a Vietnam Veteran who received a Bronze Star for his service in the military. When Edwin Neal came home, he was cast as The Hitchhiker in the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

When asked about his experience filming the movie in the Texas heat, Neal responded that Vietnam was easier than shooting the movie.

Now, Neal can say that. He's done both. He can compare.

For all we know, Tom Cruise might have had military advisers on sets that have said the same thing about their experiences. And they can say that.

Tom Cruise's lawyer might even be right. There might be some Afghanistan veterans who feel that way about acting. But even though they might be right, for the purposes of etiquette and respect, a celebrity should not compare his work to those of the armed services. Especially if that celebrity makes more money than most people see in a lifetime.

Because filmmaking is hard. Even when you're brilliant, it's difficult. Even when you're lucky, it's aggravating. Even when you've analyzed all your past mistakes and apply it to what you're doing now, it can break you.

Harvard Graduates losing their minds in production meetings, and having all of their intellect reduced to a Baby Geniuses sequel.

And it needs to be difficult. Do you know how many people want to get into filmmaking? Especially those that do it for the wrong reasons? The industry destroys those people, cause there's a never-ending line of them jumping in everyday.

In Do The Work, Steven Pressfield has a chapter where he talks about the difficulty of writing versus the difficulty of being a Navy SEAL.

Pressfield states: "There's a difference between Navy SEAL training and what you and I are facing now. Our ordeal is harder. Because we're alone. We've got no trainers over us, shouting in our ears or kicking our butts to keep us going. We've got no friends, no fellow sufferers, no externally imposed structure".

There's no due date for a writer working on their novel. They could take the day off if they truly wanted to. Too much freedom can mess with a person.

It isn't that it's more difficult, it's that it's a different kind of difficult. This lack of autonomy might be one of the reasons why a lot of veterans find themselves homeless. Self motivation is needed on the job hunt. Comedians have a little too much time on their hands. It's easy for them to be self-destructive.

Busy is good. Productive is better.

It's this complex nature of work that causes a lot of child stars to lose their minds.

A lot of people wonder why some child stars self-implode while others go on to have wonderful careers.

The answer is simple.

Every child star that wanted to be an actor became successful. This is what they love.

Leonardo DiCaprio. Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

This is what they want to do. As much as there are moments where you think about quitting, there's something about it that keeps you in orbit. Every time you push, it pushes you away, but before you decide to leave, something pulls you back in.

You try to quit, and some producer calls you and asks you to look over something.

Now, you have to imagine how difficult it must be for someone who never cared for acting to act because their parents wanted them to. They don't feel anything click when they're on stage. But they're forced into it because someone in their family didn't have the balls to do it themselves.

There's a bunch of people that work at a job they don't like to fuel whatever addiction they have. Washed up stars are the same way. Corey Feldman and Farrah Abraham are blindly smacking their head against anything in the hopes that it will keep them in the public eye. And it's sad.

There's that old saying/statistic about how most people would rather die than go into public speaking. So when you see that old tape of Amanda Bynes doing her father's comedy routine at nine years old, it's amazing she did not implode earlier. It's a lifetime of fear and rejection. A lifetime of doing your best to keep it together.

It doesn't help if the projects you're getting are not up to caliber.

Amanda Bynes always wanted to be in a film like Mystic River. Instead, she got Love Wrecked. And when you do Love Wrecked, people want you to do more projects like Love Wrecked.

Now, as an outsider, I can fully say that, Amanda should have taken the active role of being a content creator in her life and made a dark twisted webseries that would show off her sensibilities. Unfortunately, she was brought up in a time when digital content was seen as being below a celebrity. Sometimes in life, you have to abandon this disposable public consciousness, and go for what you believe in.

And give yourself room to fail. It might save your sanity. You could even make your silly romantic comedies if you wanted to.

But honestly, there really is no genre that is more artificial than the romantic comedy. Real relationships do not work out that way. You are portraying something that does not exist to make the masses forget about the horrible nature of their own lives.

When you're forced to take on a film you didn't want to do, and then suffer criticism from a lot of people over it, you too will go crazy. It's like being called a murderer when you didn't kill anybody. It's not who you are, and you suffer for it.

When Miley Cyrus was told by Radiohead that she wasn't cool enough, and received criticisms from her family over an image they dictated to her, of course she went insane.

Remember when she covered "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and everyone was like "Eww, you ruined it"?

You try to please people, and they boo you. Why not go full kitsch and make everyone angry?

No teenager in this day and place acts like a Disney child star persona.

In the next twenty years, there's going to be a cultural shift. There's too much stuff on the Internet. We know you're lying. Society is going to be forced to be honest with itself.

We have to realize that people in the public persona are still people. We look at fame and a money amount, and we think it justifies criticizing them.

It's scary when you think about college sports, and you think about all those players who go on their Twitter and they see a thousand random people, some of them their own fans, chewing them out for no apparent reason. My heart goes out to those guys.

People take themselves too seriously in something that they themselves do not participate in.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

To Be Like A Cat

To Be Like A Cat
Is One To Catch A Rat
And Catching Of A Rat
Makes One Creep Where One Once Sat

How Ironic Of A Cat That's Fat
That's Love Of The Chase Stops It At Bat

Monday, March 3, 2014

Social Media, Artistic Adolescence, and Higher Ratings For Award Shows

So, this years Oscars have come to a close.

And I think Ellen pulled it off.

It feels silly being a critic about things sometimes. Like I'm somehow qualified to offer an opinion.

But I think in a history of award shows that are notoriously filled with misfires, this one was a good one.

I think as an artistic collective whole, society knows how to execute greatness.

There aren't as many cringe moments that filled shows of recent past.

The artists know how to use the technology to reach the fans, and the fans know how to use the technology to reach the artist.

Ellen's selfie reminded me a lot of Rowan Atkinson's tweet at the London Olympics opening ceremony. The only difference is that Rowan's tweet was something of an Easter egg. It was reported in a couple places, but it wasn't openly known to be done in real time.

That, and the time delay of the Olympics sort of caused issues with the power of that tweet.

But, watching the quick response people had to the selfie, and the Kevin Spacey/Nicholas Cage photoshop jobs that happened minutes of the selfie being taken have really added an new dynamic to the awards show.

In times past, it was hard to get excited for these displays of the self congratulatory. You have this mishmash of the common folk dismissing the awards of the ceremony while you have others who live their dreams of other people during these events.

And social media brings it all together as a huge communal experience in real time.

Even if you don't like the Oscars, you can follow your favorite comedians on Twitter and listen to their own interpretation of events as they unfold.

You can tell that the Internet has helped make these award shows a much more interesting communal event. You have the haters fighting blindly devoted fangirls who want Jennifer Lawrence to win in every category.

The minimalist "fan" posters displayed during the Best Picture Nominees makes you realize how the nerd online influence rubbed off on Hollywood.

And Ellen was in her element. She developed a chemistry with a lot of the Oscar nominees that were interviewed on her talk show, and it shows. The celebrities were used to Ellen goofing on them, so there wasn't this insecurity thing going on when the usual Oscar hosts do their jokes.

So for now, it's good.

See, happy review. Don't mock the monotone nature of positive thinking.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What The Darkness and Silvertide taught me

Picture this:

It's 2004 (I think, give or take a year).

Right now, there's these two groups that are hot on the scene. They have music videos that play on MTV (well, at least one does, the other group has a lot of hype through publications and other media) and a lot of people are convinced that they are destined to be the next big thing.

And, you forward to present day, and they are forgettable. No one remembers that they exist. It's all "Lorde" nowadays (I still wanna know if she makes it or breaks it).

These two groups are The Darkness and Silvertide. They were supposed to be at the forefront of this new rock revival. They had interviewers touting them as the next big thing. They bragged about sleeping in the studio with their guitar in their hand. And I'll be honest, they worked hard.

And then they disappeared. They were shoved in our face, and they evaporated off the face off the Earth.

Where did these people go?

This is an important thing to consider.

In life, you are either really really winning or really really losing. That is, you, like OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons (again, as of this writing) are being shoved in our face until you hope they go away.

Or you, like The Darkness and Silvertide, disappear off the face of the Earth and a handful of people with more IQ points and a longer memory than most people wonder where you went.

You want exposure. Always. There is no such thing as overexposure.

Anyone who tells you otherwise does not deal with things, and they especially do not have real problems. I love fourteen year old me. I do. But he doesn't know about the world like I do. Sometimes I need fourteen year old me to help me cut away from the crap of the industry that I preoccupy myself with, but that's about it.

The Sex Pistols were organized like a boy band. Except, their purpose was to cause as much chaos and destruction as possible.

When you research a lot of individuals that claimed as being "revolutionary", you see that the bourgeois have left their secret touch on their work.

It's evil. I don't like it. But I really hate the opposite effect much more. May you all be sick of me till the day you die.

Let's look at some tips to stop you from suffering the same fate as The Darkness and Silvertide:

Understand that you as an individual, are truly powerful beyond measure. 

This might be hard to understand (hell, it's hard for me to understand) but you can do exponentially more than what you are currently capable of.

You might calculate your own creative output by your surroundings, but your surroundings are overrated.

Your friends are lazy slobs. Believe me, this is true.

If your friends are truly looking out for you (and some do, let's be honest) they will be like Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting and want you to succeed.

But most won't.

Do you know why reality television is successful?

Reality television is successful because people as a collective whole are mediocre slobs who will never accomplish anything with their life. People as a whole are ratchets who do not have real problems. They complain about situations that they have put themselves in.

They get married to degenerates who cannot clean up after themselves and spend money on idiot things and blame other people for their problems.

People would rather look at Honey Boo Boo and talk about how much better they are than that welfare case as oppose to trying to better themselves.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon had bullies in high school that told them they won't be successful. Does anybody acknowledge those bullies? Hell no, better yet, they're probably dead.

The opinions of idiots are overrated. Let it not cloud you on the road to success.

Silvertide was touring with Aerosmith. M. Night Shyamalan put their songs in his movies. They probably had friends who never did that. They thought they had it made. They felt guilty to do more. That damaged them.

It might take you a while to figure out who you are and want you want, but it is completely worth it. Knowing what you want and getting it is the true definition of success.

Let's look at two different artists who made giant changes in their respected mediums, and look at their body of work as a whole.

We will first look at Alfred Hitchcock.

I hate it when people tell me that their favorite Hitchcock film is Psycho. That is such a slap in the face to a man who has revolutionized cinema.

Do you realize that 51 films of Hitchcock's were created before he ever made Psycho?

He made silent films and went all the way to the gritty/nihilistic tones of the 70s.

Do you realize that his best work was yet to come? That his Kaleidoscope project was supposed to be the craziest thing ever, and it never happened?

Hitchcock made his first film when he was 23. It was called Number 13, and it was a disaster because the budget fell through. This was in 1922, when saying you wanted to make a film was like saying you wanted to fly to the moon. An impossible dream for most people.

And he went out and he did it. Fifty years worth of filmmaking. The definition of full potential. Remember that when you're struggling to make a feature.

And he didn't care for naysayers. He threw his tea kettle at them.

The other group I want to talk about, are The Beatles.

Paul McCartney played with The Quarrymen with John Lennon when he was fourteen and he kept playing since.

Hamburg. Beatlemania. Going fully Psychedelic. Wings. Plastic Ono Band. My Sweet Lord.

At this point in my life, I would advise that an artist do everything he has ever wanted to do ever. Like The Beatles.

Get in trouble. Be financially successful. Be financially unsuccessful. Be financially successful when you have been previously financially unsuccessful so you know how good you have it.

Avoid Caucasian Thinking

I have this new term. It's a term that explains a certain mindset I have been coming across a lot lately. I call it "Caucasian Thinking". It's what white people do. It annoys me. White people hear a growling sound in the jungle and they go explore it until the source of the growling sound bites their face off.

In this case, Caucasian Thinking applies to success. White people love it when successful people implode on themselves.

Kurt Cobain is the biggest example of this.

White people love being sad with being plentiful. White people problems, remember this.

White people are afraid of success. They have guilt and feel awkward about everything.

White people hate it when other people are successful. They talk a lot of smack. Understand that when I say "White people", I don't just mean people with a challenged pigment, but people who gather around a certain mindset.

White people will make you feel guilty about your success. They will tell you to donate money you made on your own to idiot causes they don't participate in. They will make you feel bad about buying stuff that you enjoy. White people want you to learn about the history of everything Beethoven ate for breakfast before they want you to spit bars on your own album.

White people will sit behind a computer and call you a has-been when they were a never-was.

You're supposed to make money. You're supposed to move things. Diss anyone who tells you otherwise.

Again, avoid the thinking of passive aggressive white people. It only holds you back.

There was another artist coming up during Darkness/Silvertide who made his mark and completely changed/destroyed the music industry.

His name was 50 Cent.

50 Cent was different than The Darkness/Silvertide. One, 50 Cent had real problems. Shot nine times, you know the deal. When a record company hosted a field day when they decided to let artists openly use their studios, 50 Cent came out and recorded 36 songs when most people attending recorded 3-5. He had a purpose in life. In 50's mind, he's already dead.

50 don't play. When he sees an opportunity to make money, he goes for it. Vitamin Water. And that's why he's still around. If he actually liked movies and didn't see them as a solely financial opportunity, he'd be good at that too.

50 pays no mind to the haters complain about his current status of wealth. You need haters in life.

I don't want to make this seem like this is something that only happens in hip hop.

Let us remember that back in the 70s, Gene Simmons made sure to make KISS release an album every six months. Gene Simmons may be an individual with a disagreeable attitude, but he knew how to keep his band alive.

And really, let's be honest, you're either two things as an artist: You're either Gene Simmons or you're Pussy Riot.

Pussy Riot was offered the chance to get out of a Russian jail and perform with Madonna and they said no, because they only perform music as a symbol of protest and refuse to indulge the capitalist system when they make music. They don't charge money for shows. That's more punk rock than Fugazi.

Are you willing to adopt this lifestyle?

I don't think so.

That being the case, let us all be honest and accept the fact that we do believe in merchandising. Now, it doesn't mean you have to wear a suit and tie when you do these things but understand that the ability to maintain the rock star myth is expensive, and if you have to get a corporate sponsor to do what you want, so be it.

If the company that makes a beverage that I enjoy contacts me asking to sponsor an event where they will serve a beverage I'm apt to enjoy anyway, you best believe I will let them in. It will be ridiculous to do otherwise.

It's okay to mess up in life. Maybe you sellout, realize what you've done, and come to doing what you do best. I think people need that.

And I don't know about you, but that sounds like fun.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Problem With Horror

You know, I've been going through what one might call a "creative drought" over the past couple of months.

Nah, I'm just as creative as I always have been. But I feel like anything I work on won't be reciprocated. Like, you can work on something and all you get is a shrug. What was once time spent working on an amazing thing just feels like another thing on the shelf.

I also feel like I can't just make things anymore. Everything that comes out nowadays has to be part of some larger organization. You can't just make a film, you have to be on some political crusade.

It would be okay if it happened organically. You made a movie about chemicals in a preschool drinking fountain, and it morphs into this larger movement. But I don't think pop stars should turn a single that's supposed to be in the club into some false moral movement that they pay lip service to without doing a damn thing about the actual problem.

Even in the creation of a horror movie, society wants you to be this goth type of thing. And they want you to make some screamo comments at conventions, and say things like "horror is my life".

When did this become a lifestyle?

And even then, I'm not asking filmmaking to be your religion, I am asking you to finish your screenplay.

It seems as though the quality of horror films have faced a decline following this need to adopt this faux lifestyle.

Think of best films in the horror genre. Now, think about the directors who made them. Were they covered in body modifications?

Hell, let's name a film made with someone with body modifications. The number is slim. Rob Zombie doesn't count, he was a musician first. He had a career that investors felt secure about.

Honestly though, if you have an entire body's worth of horror movie tattoos, you officially cannot complain about the budget of your film ever again. Cause you clearly do not know how to spend your money. How am I supposed to get investors with Freddy Krueger tattooed on my face?

It makes no sense.

Frankly, I think this new oddity commodity culture is destroying the ability for an artist to focus. That's not including the idiot organizations who have nothing else better to do but complain about how much something you've worked on "offended them". We get it, you're a recovering alcoholic with too much time on your hands, and now your blaming us for all the things that make you feel miserable in your life.

Now, maybe I'm being a hater, but I'm pretty sure David Lynch's films present a fear that no body modification can express. But that's just me.

Then of course, we are now in this endless slow news day created by a million idiots on social media who need something to talk about.

Nirvana would not be able to happen in this current Internet cultural climate. One of Kurt Cobain's publicists would force Kurt Cobain to apologize for talking smack about Axl Rose. Music executives would scramble to do damage control as Cobain lost thousands of followers after engaging in crazy rock star behavior. His manager would also make him sing with Rihanna at some award show.

Ozzy Osbourne would anger both conservatives and animal rights activists.

We went from freely being rebellious to being a miniature tyrant on ourselves. Sid Vicious would be confused.

How are we both annoying and inoffensive?

What is this bizarro place?

Thursday, January 30, 2014


It's really hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that 2004 was ten years ago.

I'm still playing with my Game Boy Advance SP.

I remember when the Game Boy Advance was this new amazing thing.  I remember thinking about waiting for the price to go down.

Do you ever look at ads for 90s gaming consoles in the $300-$500 range? It freaks you out sometimes.

As the future quickly becomes the past, as the things you are planning becomes the things you are remembering, I think it shows how silly it is to wait for the future.

I remember being in fourth grade and wondering about the state quarters. California was supposed to come in 2005. I wondered what the world would be like in 2005. That was pre-9/11.

I also want to think about all the false predictions that have come and gone, and how people have wasted their entire lives waiting for some pseudo-supernatural premonition.

Fiscal Cliff.
Anything else government related that the media makes a giant hulabaloo out of.
The failed predictions of terrorist attacks that would lead us into war with Iran.

I have realized at this point in my life that if anything truly bad happens with the economy, the people in power will have to hurry up and fix it, or someone's head is going on the guillotine. I don't think the idea that people will blindly go into the FEMA camps will come true.

It's hard enough to make people evacuate an area knowing full well a hurricane is going to destroy their land. If people will openly defy mother nature, I don't think they will listen to the government.

In the history of world, displacements of poverty similar to that of France before their revolution and Weimar Republic Germany have always been the catalysts of larger military conflicts.

While the new displacement of people following the recession has led to people embracing alternative political ideas, as seen by both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, this factions lack clear goals which disables them from enacting reform.

And yet, all this comes down to, is Chicken Little. The sky is falling. They've been telling us this since forever. Old books about how the Antichrist will rise in the U.N. while the Soviet Union invades us. It's that old Biblical fear.

And I think that old Biblical fear, I think that fear of the future is what holds people back.

Society does not live in the wilderness. We are not engaged in some hundred years war. There's food in the pantry, in the dumpster at the fast food joint if you're really that desperate.

I believe it was Sam Kinison who said "if you can't get your act together in America, where else are you supposed to get it together?". He also made the point that America would probably be the best place to be if you found yourself at the wrong end of an economic displacement.

I know telling people who think this is the end that the sky is not falling will not convince them, so I will say this instead.

Yes, the sky is falling. What have you done to prepare for it?

Do you grow your own food? Do you have your own emergency supplies? Do you tell those important people in your life that you care about them?

If you haven't done these things yet, don't you think it would be a larger priority than to scream in an argument with a friend that you have now made an enemy?

And to those people hiding out in the woods: Do you really wanna spend the rest of your lives that way?

Is there not something else you wish you had done?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Media Circus Nostalgia

Ahh...Justin Bieber.

You finally did it.

Hell, you set it up in storytelling beats. You had your henchman set up little conflicts before launching the main event.

People talked about it for a while, things went in motion, but now it begins.

There's no way you can get out of this unscathed. You're not Heisenberg. You're not witty like Robert Downey Jr.

They might give you celebrity treatment, but it's only fuel to the flame.

It's a weird corner to be in: Like, no one respects your antics, and the teen girl audience that adored you are being hushed away by their parents.

The weirdest thing about all of this is that it still doesn't feel rebellious, just stupid. Like, Bieber wants to be this bad boy, but it isn't working. It's not who he is. He's Canadian. Any Canadian engaging in immoral behavior just looks embarrassing. Ask Rob Ford. Bumbaclot, eh?

But I will say this, I'm not going to pretend to be above the scandal.

There's a lot of evil stuff going on in the world, and this is being used as a distraction from that.

Now, can all those evil things be depressing sometimes? Yes.

Al Qaeda is occupying Fallujah. Would you like me to talk about Fallujah? No, I can hear you yawning already.

It was a lot like how Michael Jackson's issues were a distraction from the Iraq War.

You have to admit, there's something very...I think the term would be..."spectator enriching" about celebrity meltdowns.

Remember how Wacko Jacko was? I remember people in school checking their cell phones for updates (this was when the idea of using your cell phone to check for the news was somewhat of a novelty concept). I remember being in the gym finding out about his innocence.

A lot of stuff happened back in the day. A lot of stuff I have should have forgotten about. But I still remember that.

I think the celebrity meltdown is slowly filling the void that tentpole cinema used to inhabit.

I remember when Spielberg's movies were huge. They were a cultural event. Society seemed to change with each Spielberg film. Jurassic Park. Hell, even the opening day of Lost World was pretty awesome.

And it sort of happens these days, but the movies they push into an event are always kind of lame. Hunger Games might be the exception, but a movie based on a book about kids killing each other is not something that's going to keep being a norm.

Nah, celebrity meltdowns are the new events. You can't make a film out of it, meltdowns happen in real time. It's fun to watch on social media.

And every tabloid feels like a site in some expanded universe. The melting artist's body of work takes new meaning due to new incidents.

Honestly though, celebrity meltdowns capture what was once so special about the early days of cinema. When Gone With the Wind was in theaters, it was an event. It represented what was going on with people at the time. That can't be replicated now. I can just catch the film on Netflix later.

Looking back, I remember where I was when certain celebrity meltdowns happened.

It's something memorable that you can talk with your buddies about without having to worry about people getting hurt, which the exception of certain pedestrians and bystanders during DUI instances.

Is it going to be sad if Justin endangers himself? Yeah. But there isn't much anyone can do about at this point. He's an adult, with a large disposable income. He can take care of himself.

He's gonna need to in the next couple of months.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sitting Back And Enjoying Myself (or Why Child Stars Have Meltdowns)

You know, I really wanna do something big with this blog.

Something kind of fun. It's funny when you have goals that are based on abstract emotional feelings. Makes it kind of hard to set goals.

I went in, read all of these books, websites, and pamphlets and I realized that I didn't even know how I got here in the first place.

Things sort of seem to go in a blur. Do I remember creating 52 Stickup? I do.

I remember there were days when I did not enjoy it. Days when I look back and I wish I did things differently. I just wanted to do something webcomic-wise. I had seen all these so called "indie" artworks that took pride in the fact that they were lo-fi, and I wanted to do something like that.

And so, Stickup was born. And Stickup is done.

Could I decide to do something like that again in the future? I mean, it's possible, but I've got a bunch of ideas in my head, so it would have to come from necessity.

You know, I think we as a society forget how cinema minded we truly are. We mock every step that leads up to the finished product, mocking actors as vain, and scorn Hollywood for being phony, but oftentimes we forget that the films we cherish were created in those same bemoaned circumstances.

We factor all those things in after the fact. You watch documentaries on Star Wars where a storm wipes out the desert sets, and you think it wouldn't be a big deal since it was Star Wars, but you fail to comprehend what a giant nightmare that was for everyone involved.

I know it's this cool thing to do now where people complain about the lack of originality in Hollywood.

But all of those complaints were done by people who never wrote and directed a movie before. It's wonderful to be a novelist. A novelist is a mad scientist. A lone creature in some cave etching out some sorcery. And a director has their own pride. A director is a general.

They lead their crew into battle, spend all night plotting things out, preparing the worst but hoping for the best, even improvising against new obstacles.

To be both a general and a mad scientist can be a frightening task. It takes a special discipline to do both. It's why George Lucas suffered hypertension directing Star Wars.

It's coming up with your greatest romantic fantasy, and trying to watch normal people replicate it for you. It can be easy to watch your dreams mesh and turn into some otherworldly Lynchian nightmare. And if you're lucky, that's the best case scenario.

But you do it. And you do it because that's what you want to do. You do it because it's who you are.

There's nothing worse than suffering through the creative process ending up with something no one wants under the impression that you were supposed to win more adoration by not being true to yourself.

This is a new game I like to play:

It's called figuring out what project caused the child star to snap

Miley Cyrus. Amanda Bynes.

I don't think Miley has what you call a "meltdown". She's lashing into adolescence. That's all that is. That girl you know across the street experimenting with being goth. Like that, but on a larger scale. Why that's so hard to comprehend, I'm not really sure. It's promotion. It is what it is.

But, I think I've figured it out.

The next time some lovable Disney/Nickelodeon freaks out, go to their Imdb/Wikipedia page and look at the projects they were working on.

Nine times out of ten, what they were working on doesn't look like admirable material.

Making one film is exhausting enough. Going through a cycle of films, probably a couple before that they didn't enjoy either, does things to one's mental health. So, you have people who were forced to be actors, who don't enjoy acting, working on films that they don't enjoy.

All of the ammunition for rebellion are laid right there.

Can you imagine what horrible people we would all be if our high school drama was covered by a tabloid? What did you think was going to happen?

This goes again to a motif I've repeated for the last couple of times. It all goes back to Christopher Nolan who said that the quality of a film comes back to sincerity, like the "person making the film feels like it is the greatest movie ever made".

The Mileys, and the Amandas, and the (insert next one) probably did not want to be in the film industry. Pretty sure. They were doing favors for their parents.

You ever see someone trying to fulfill some legacy that doesn't fit them? It's saddening.

The child stars that made it big, the Leonardo DiCaprios, the Joseph Gordon-Levitts, they wanted to be actors. It was enough motivation for them to go through all the difficulties that comes with making a film.

A lot of child stars get to this point where they don't enjoy the craft, but they love fame and whatever hedonistic pleasures that comes with it.

I wonder if Corey Feldman would make a film of his that has a strong vision to it. A drive.

If not, it might just be a job. Which isn't bad. A lot of people work jobs that they hate.

But that has to suck. When you churn out twelve films a year, wouldn't you at least want to make one that's good? Even if you work at a job you hate, wouldn't you have fun with yourself at work every once in a while?

It seems like a horrible vicious circle of people being forced into hateful career choices.

You have a parent telling their child not to pursue their dream. They listen. They hate their life. They hate themselves.

And so, this person grows up and forces their kids to live out their dream. And that becomes the disaster that that is.

And the spectators and the bystanders talk smack when actors openly say that this is something that they don't wanna do.

Again, so much culture is beamed down onto us, mostly because the West turns more and more into a consumer/commodity exporter everyday that we somehow pretend to know what being a performer is like.

Which isn't to say we should act as some white knight each time a celebrity acts up. No, that is not what this is. That is not truthful. But, we need to figure out how to solve this problem without going in with this uninformed conception of what life in the public eye appears to be.

I decided to just sit down and write today. I didn't want to do some target assignment thing. No, that doesn't get it done. Why would I even do that? What fun is there in doing that? There's no endgame to that.

I'll be completely honest with you: as much as I think writing a novel might be fun in the future, the writing community annoys me. I can't honestly enjoy myself in that environment. They are a bunch of individuals who will punish me for my enthusiasm. I can't deal with that.

I'd rather go H.A.M. I'd rather throw money, sweat, and time into some James Farr/Freddie Wong multimedia event. But you know that just baits the haters.

You need to accept that. Every hero's journey comes with adversity. Yours will not be any different. Everyone you have looked up to has faced the same challenges.

So, you need to go out and do what makes you happy. At least take the chance once.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


You know, despite the obvious oncoming obstacles, I like where I'm at in life right now.

I know who I am as an artist. Hell, I acknowledge that I'm an artist now, which is something I didn't do a couple years ago.

I was the kid who got made fun of because he named his gecko "Hitchcock". I got bullied for writing Paper Mario fanfiction in the fourth grade. When who you are is under constant scrutiny, it does something to your work. Like, you work on it, and you keep quiet about it. And when it comes out, there's this angst to it. Your work began as this puppy that was abused. And now it's this snarling dog.

There's a bite to it.

I'm also the guy who's not afraid to bother people by being who I am.

I think it's a wonderful thing to piss people off by being who you are.

This is different from a Gaga-Cyrus-Marilyn Manson thing when your artistic expression is based on pissing the audience off. Cause it can come off as insincere at the time.

When you act like who you are, and do the things that you do, it is guaranteed that it will ring in tune with someone. And maybe that does feel like a contradiction.

But this all goes back to what Christopher Nolan said about a quality film being one where "the person making the movie feels like it's the greatest movie in the world".

This is why Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" and James Nguyen's "Birdemic" resonate with people. The (dis)respected filmmakers truly believe in their work.

This differs greatly from a "Sharknado" when the people making the film clearly don't give a shit.

I doubt Uwe Boll enjoys the movies he makes.

And I feel that a large amount of filmmaking output are not enjoyed by the people making it. There's a lot of people who I want to ask "Do you even enjoy doing what you do?".

This goes for film critics too. Film critics are tortured artists without the artist. That just feels like a miserable existence. More miserable than any task I have encountered in life.

They get caught in the commodity. Worrying about award shows and not offending demographics. That shit ain't rock and roll. That destroys creativity.

These people are suffering because deep down they know they are not living their full potential.

Full potential is not about making the most money, or having the most fans. Full potential is about being who you are to the highest level. It's Hitchcock spending the first twenty years of his career making amazing films that most people don't even know about it, cause the next twenty years of his career had just as amazing work.

Now, it can be said that films like "The Lady Vanishes" and "Sabotage" differ greatly from the Hitchcock name that we all came to know. Writers like William Goldman have gone even far enough to say that the auteur theory of the French had greatly damaged Hitchcock's later output with films like "Torn Curtain" and the like.

But you can't worry too much about the misfires. Misfires will happen.

Bruce Lee was undefeated. This is true. But Bruce Lee deep down felt like a failure. He pitched a project to Hollywood that ended up becoming Kung Fu with David Carradine. His original vision was lost, and he ended up having to flee to Hong Kong to make his movies. This felt like a large personal failure for him. But no one will call him a failure. Failing does not make you a failure, nor does winning make you a winner.

It's about the mindset.

I know a lot of people who would rather bring someone's wisdom down than live their dreams. I know someone reading this wants to argue over syntax.

I'm not going to lie, I used to be one of those people. But that gets old. And it didn't get me to where I wanted to be. And I was miserable for it.

Eventually, with time, you figure out who you are. You know what you're willing to put up with.

You figure out what you want.

You can have access to all the power and influence in the world, but it will be useless if you do not know what you want. The genie can't grant an unknown wish.

The first draft of your life is constantly being written. It is only when many years go by that you figure out what the narrative is. Sometimes, you emphasize events in your life that didn't seem like a big deal at the time over others.

So, do everything, experience the ups and downs, and find yourself saying "oh well" more than "I wonder what could have been".

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Beginnings

Well, Happy 2014 everybody.

Let the countdown to hoverboards begin, but they probably won't.

I think it's funny. I still feel like it's 2007, to be all that honest with you.

I think a lot of people feel that way.

It's for two reasons:
1. It's easy to categorize decades that began with "19--". You can point a difference to how the 70s is different from the 80s. Now, it took a while for the fads that we associate with those decades to actually take place (watching that old trailer of the original Prom Night and noticing that a movie in the 80s still utilizes disco music).

2. The event chronology of the past decade and a half. Think about it. 2001 was the beginning of a reality television show called "Hunting Bin Laden". And Hunting Bin Laden has had many spinoffs since then. But so much time has been placed tracking this event, that when Bin Laden was finally killed, we stopped and were shocked at how much time went by.

The same can be said with regards to time and the Iraq War. 2003-2005 felt like a whirlwind.

It's also funny how things change culturally.

Twilight is dead. Straight up.

Zombies are in.

We got what we wanted. And it's...okay. We can make it better. There's ways to do these things.

Dystopias have become the subgenre of white women. This is odd.

Imagine going five years back in time. And you tell people what happened to Miley. And Bieber. And Chris Brown.

Time changes things.

This kernel of truth can be an amazing thing to apply to your life. Things can change a lot in five years. Make it inspire you, and make it be a cautionary tale.

Take the step and go forward.