All Time Best: Twist Ending

January 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm

No need to worry about spoilers.

All Time Best Movie Moments

There have been a thousand million twist endings. (That’s a real number by the way)  Trying to come up with my all time favorite was actually pretty easy.  It was simply a process of elimination.

Here are some of the contenders that just missed.


Swing away

People will disagree with this.  So many people I’ve talked to about movies were shocked to learn that Signs is my favorite movie.  The number one comment I hear is how they loved the movie until the end.  I thought it was a fantastic ending.  Shyamalan set things up perfectly.  Whether you liked it or not is up to you.

However, it’s not my favorite twist ending.



That was my reaction in theaters when I saw this movie.  Normally, studios feel the need to sell a movie based on it’s epic twist ending.  I find that when you go in expecting a twist, you’re more likely to spot the hints.  I had no idea this twist was coming and it shocked the hell out of me.

Still, Saw doesn’t win my award today.

The Sixth Sense

A real jerk ruined it for me.

The ending of this movie was ruined for me by one of my “friends”.  I was devastated and didn’t bother seeing it in theaters.  When I finally rented the movie, I regretted that decision because Shyamalan’s story still kicked my ass.

Had the ending not been ruined, this film would have probably been my favorite twist.

Adopting an NFL Team


What’s in the box!

Whoa.  Easily one of the best movies ever written.  (In my humble opinion) I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t see this movie until a couple years ago.  I had no idea what I was in for.  When the final scene began, I had absolutely no idea what to expect.  Those are the best kinds of twists. The ones that blind side you.  I’m an even bigger fan of the movies that wrap up quickly after the big reveal.  It leaves you stunned in your seat trying to figure out how the filmmakers managed to manipulated you so easily.

All time best twist ending: Seven.

iPad And The Screenwriter

January 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Finally, the mysterious device has a name:


I’m not a massive fan of the name but I’m a huge fan of what I’ll be using it for when I get my hands on one.

Before I get to that, here are some terrific links and information I’ve collected for those who aren’t up to date on the new device.

Just make sure you come back to read the rest.

Update: You can now watch the entire event on Apple’s site.

All caught up?  I’m pretty pumped about it.

I’ve never owned a laptop.  I’ve always been more of a desktop kind of guy.  When it comes to writing, there’s nothing better than sitting at a desk and working on a screenplay.  I couldn’t even imagine ever being productive anywhere else.

Until I got my iPhone.

Now I can write notes, outlines and entire screenplays with my phone no matter how far away from my desk I am.  I can research, blog and market my projects from a single tiny device.  I’ve written a lot about the idea of Portable Writing.  I’ve posted articles about my favorite apps and how I use my iPhone on-the-go to stay ahead on my work load.

The iPhone opened my eyes and I realized that I have to break away from my desk and enjoy the freedom to write wherever I want. It got me thinking about the next logical step.  Laptop? Netbook?

Apple’s timing couldn’t have been any better. The correct answer is iPad!

  • Screenwriting: One of my favorite aspects is how the apps on my phone will work on the iPad.  This means that as a screenwriter, I can pull out this device and type on a BIG keyboard.  Black Mana’s Screenplay app will be glorious on the iPad.
  • Blogging: Updating my blog will be easier than ever with the bigger display and easier navigation.
  • Research: The iPad will make researching faster and more efficient with full screen internet access at super fast speeds.
  • Social Networking: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more…  Social marketing is huge and 17 West is right there with the newest trends.
  • Email: Yet another way to stay in contact and up to date on all of 17 West’s upcoming productions.
  • Business: Budgets, Contracts, Paperwork and more will be even easier to manage.
  • 17 West Productions: More connectivity, more productivity and more creativity.  I’m very excited about the possibilities. (All of which rhyme by the way.)
  • Cost: The iPad starts at $499!  I want the 3G so it’ll be and extra $130 but even then, it’s cheaper than a laptop.

I do a lot of development work in the library.  It’s my quiet place to plot out my scripts.  I’ve always wanted a laptop with screenwriting software loaded and ready to fire off the pages but it’s never really been in the budget.  Finally, I’ve got an affordable alternative to the laptop that just happens to be a super cool technology as well.

I suppose my only questions relate to the absense of a webcam and whether or not the device will work with my existing data package.  I have no intention of adding another 30 bucks a month when I already have 6GB’s of data on my account…  We’ll have to see.

Regardless, I love new gadgets and Apple definitely creates cool gadgets.  The iPad presents me with yet another option to work on my number 1 passion in life.  Screenwriting.

I want one.

The countdown begins!

Rainy Sundays: Hook

January 23, 2010 at 11:23 am

Welcome to the new look Rainy Sundays feature!

When I was growing up, Disney’s spectacular Peter Pan was IT

“You can fly, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly…”

If you matched those lyrics with the tune you understand exactly how much I loved that movie.

Along came a VHS copy of Hook for Christmas.  Knowing the legendary story of Peter Pan as I did, I was beyond excited to see what Captain Hook and Peter Pan were up to in REAL life. 

So many movies come out today that claim to be re-imaginings.  Most of the time, I always question why they make certain decisions with the material.  It’s frustrating when someone takes a story you love and changes things.  This is one example of filmmakers taking giant leaps with the story and getting it right. 

“Peter, don’t you know who you are?”

Returning To Neverland

Steven Spielberg’s film is unique because it retells the origin story in a fascinating way.  Peter has forgotten who he once was and how to fly and must face his old nemesis Captain Hook in order to save his children.  How can you not be fascinated to see how it all plays out?  Being reintroduced to Neverland was an experience then and it still is today. 

There are moments when you stare at a collection of DVD’s and simply can’t decide what to watch.  It has to be the perfect fit for your mood.  I firmly believe that choosing Hook once in a while is NEVER a bad idea and always fits your mood.  It’s a movie to get excited about and that’s why I love movies.

The Boo Box!

Hook was funny, original, touching and an all around entertaining movie.  However, I wasn’t expecting it to scare the crap out of me.

I’ve included a clip…

It’s the amazing scene where Hook is revealed and we finally get a look at him.  It’s a great introduction to (in my opinion) one of the greatest villains of all time.

Once you get to the 3 minute mark of the clip, imagine a boy who is totally engaged in the film and completely wrapped up in the story.  I pretty much believed that Neverland existed at this point. 

Having said that, the very concept of The Boo Box was terrifying!  Check out the scene.  Those scorpions have haunted me ever since.  I remember distinctly thinking how sad it was that everyone was cheering while this poor dude is being dragged to the box.  The magic of film.

Afraid of The Boo Box?  Read How To Survive The Boo Box HERE

Amazing Adventures

I have a section of my DVD collection that includes classics like Goonies, Labyrinth, The Wizard Of Oz, The NeverEnding Story, Willow, Dark Crystal and more.  (I’d like to take this opportunity to praise The Water Horse as well for nailing it.  I liked that movie a lot.)  Hook is with them in spirit because I still haven’t upgraded my VHS copy yet.  Be honest, who in their right mind would mix VHS and DVD’s on the same shelf!

The inspiration for this week’s post came while thinking about the new Alice In Wonderland’senormous potential.  The concepts are very similar as both Alice and Peter Pan’s adventures continued years after they left their fantasy world’s behind.  I’m really excited to return to Wonderland much like I was when I returned to Neverland years ago.  It’s the same with all films that belong on shelves like mine.

The rabbit holes, glass slippers and giant dragon-dogs remain with all of us because they got a firm grip on our imaginations and haven’t let go.  The memories of these films are treasured by millions.  Today, I think it’s time to revisit one of the classics.  You remember where it is right?

Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

I love adventure films. Hook is a spectacular addition to the Rainy Sundays list.

PS: Anyone think happy thoughts while reading this?  Did you fly?  Neither did I.  IT NEVER WORKS!

PS #2: I’m never going to stop trying.  I’ll keep you posted on any and all progress I make.

PS #3: In regards to the new Rainy Sundays logo…  I love it.  Normally, I tell people that my photoshop skills can be described as ‘Not Sucking”.  I’ve now upgraded myself to ‘Decent’  (I’ll have more on this subject in a later post.)

10 Flicks: Eric’s Top 10 of 2009

January 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm

10 Flicks Movie Lists

My business partner Eric Gamache is a film encyclopedia.  You may not hear from him on our network of websites as often as me but he definitely loves movies.  He prefers to spend his time behind the scenes.  It’s understandable.  Regardless, he’s a massive film nerd and breathes movies on a daily basis.  Recently, Eric informed me that he posted his top 10 films of 2009 on his Facebook page.  I LOST it on him. 

Why didn’t you send me the list?  I could have posted it on the site!  Traffic Eric!  TRAFFIC!

Actually, it didn’t really go down like that… Mostly.  I freaked out because I believe having his top 10 on this site is an important addition to this blog.  So for the first time in The Athletic Nerd’s history, we will now here from Producer/Director Eric Gamache. (And by that, I mean I basically copied the list from his Wall.)

Here they are:

  • 10. Star Trek
  • 9. The Hurt Locker
  • 8. Up In The Air
  • 7. The Road
  • 6. Moon
  • 5. Inglourious Basterds
  • 4. Paranormal Activity
  • 3. Up
  • 2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • 1. Avatar

If I have it my way, this won’t be the last we hear of Eric. 

You hear that dude? I won’t stop asking!

Also, in case you are interested in comparing:

My Top 5 of 2009

My Bottom 3 of 2009

PS: I almost want to jam a terrible movie in his list… Perhaps I’ll squeeze Dragonball in there at number 2? Nah…

10 Flicks: Yearly Favorites

January 19, 2010 at 12:56 pm

10 Flicks Movie Lists

A little while ago, a reader asked me which movies I make sure to watch every year. (Great idea for a post by the way sir)  I put some thought into it and came up with a very diverse list of movies.

I have to admit there are some films that HAVE to be on this list but are relatively new releases.  I wanted to focus on movies I’ve been watching once a year for more than… A year.

I also cheated and went beyond the required 10.  Crafty, investigative readers will notice that there are actually 15 movies on this list.  I don’t feel bad.

I decided to base the list on movies that make me feel like writing.  Films I turn to when I’m stuck or on rare occasions when my heart isn’t 100% into the story I’m working on.  These are the movies I’ll watch in order to ignite the creative fire. (I’ll have more on this topic on a later post… And by later I mean really, really soon.)

So here they are:

10 Movies I watch once a year

Honorable Mention: Goodfellas, Forest Gump, Signs, Proof, Unbreakable, Saving Private Ryan

The Sixth Sense

M. Night Shyamalan may have made a few duds but there is no denying how amazing his first 3 movies were.  The ending of The Sixth Sense was ruined for me yet I still thought the movie was spectacular. His overall style of writing and approach to filmmaking is a constant source of inspiration.

I also recommend reading The Man Who Heard Voices by Michael Bamberger.

Gladiator/The Last Samurai

THE double feature.  Once a year, I set aside an afternoon and watch these two films back to back.  I highly recommend it.  I also recommend chips.  It’s an all around fantastic afternoon.

Check out my Rainy Sundays post on Gladiator here.

A Few Good Men

One of my favorite screenplays of all time.  I love this movie but I’m inspired by the writing.  I’m not even going to bother quoting the famous lines from the epic final scene.  You have already thought about it and probably said it out loud.  Don’t believe me?  Maybe you can’t handle the truth. (Yes… I went there)

The Matrix Trilogy

The number one reason why I’m obsessed with films.  These movies were the catalyst for what became a daily routine of hunting for any and all movie news.  To this day, I don’t understand why people hated Reloaded and Revolutions.  I agree they weren’t as good as the original but you can’t you admit they were at least mildly entertaining?  They entertain me on a yearly basis.

Good Will Hunting

The only reason why A Few Good Men isn’t my all time favorite screenplay is because Good Will Hunting exists.  What an incredible movie this is.  I definitely watch this flick several times a year.

Garden State

Out of all the movies on this list, my writing style resembles this movie the most.  (Dramas and comedies at least.  Not horror.)  It’s such an amazing original story.  Great movie.

A Beautiful Mind

I love listening to John Nash talk about his work.  Makes me want to talk about my work and I LOVE to do that.

The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy

Once or twice a year, I watch the extended editions of these movies.  Then I watch every single minute of special features.  That adds up to 25-30 hours of filmmaking magic and one dedicated movie fan.

The Shawshank Redemption

I’m fascinated by the world Steven King and Frank Darabont created.  You could also include The Green Mile on this list but I liked Shawshank better. (Don’t get me started on The Mist though.  I did not care for The Mist… It insisted upon itself. Note: You get 2 points if you can name that reference.)


My all time favorite movie… Of all time. I’ve seen this movie more times than any other in the history of the world.  M. Night Shyamalan’s classic continues to inspire me.  I easily watch this movie 6-8 times a year.  Sometimes more.  I loved Signs.  Signs was a phenominal movie.

Dear Crafty, Investigative People: You’ve probably also noticed that Signs is also an Honorable Mention.  I felt it was necessary to name this movie twice.  That is all.

PS: Greg, the reader who suggested this post also has a blog.  Check it out here.