Wouldnt It Be Awesome If Chris Farley Made A Matt Foley Movie?

November 24, 2011 at 7:51 am

Wouldnt It Be Awesome If Chris Farley Made A Matt Foley Movie?

Chris Farley was a comedic genius.  In just a few short years he gave SNL fans some of the best characters of all time.  To me, Tommy Boy ranks as one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.  I recently watched Tommy Boy for the first time in years and couldn’t stop thinking about what might have been had he not passed away so young.  After all these years, I miss Chris Farley more than ever.

MATT FOLEY: MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER

The man who lived in a van down by the river was a legendary SNL character and represented Chris Farley at his absolute best.  Of all the SNL movies that have come along, you have to assume that Matt Foley was near the top of the list to get his own film.

Imagine the story of a young man’s decent, hitting rock bottom the day he buys an old van and parks it next to a river.  Would we then follow his journey to becoming one of the premiere motivational speakers on the planet turning his life around in the process?

According to Wikipedia, Chris was indeed planning a Matt Foley movie with David Spade.  In all honesty, I think they would have had to tone the character down a bit in order to carry an entire film but I think he would have pulled it off. It’s sad to think about how many amazing characters and films he would have been a part of.  Regardless, we can still celebrate the wonderful moments he gave us before he died.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CHRIS FARLEY MOMENT?

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Love Editing? Visit The Art of the Guillotine!

November 22, 2011 at 11:05 am

Love Editing? Visit The Art of the Guillotine!

If you haven’t visited The Art of the Guillotine yet click the link and bookmark the site immediately.

What you’ll find on AOTG is the absolute best of the web as far as editing is concerned.  The site is constantly being updated with articles about software, techniques, tips, tutorials, opinions, videos and more.  I guarantee you WILL find something worth reading every single time you visit the site.  I do.

Thanks to founder Gordon Burkell, I got an early look at their brand new app for iPhone which was released TODAY.  It’s awesome.  I can’t be the only nerd on the planet who isn’t thrilled to have new editing articles at my fingertips wherever I happen to be.  All the articles are organized in an easy to read format so you’ll always have something interesting to read when the grocery lines are enormous.

You can follow this link and download the AOTG app yourself.

If you don’t have an iOS device, an Android version is on the way as well.  Regardless, if you love editing, you’ll love The Art of the Guillotine.

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iPhone apps for editors

It Doesn’t Get More Depressing Than MELANCHOLIA

November 21, 2011 at 7:51 am

It Doesn't Get More Depressing Than MELANCHOLIA | Review

MELANCHOLIA REALLY ISN’T THE IDEAL FILM TO WATCH
WHEN YOU’RE SAD…  OR HAPPY?

So when should you watch Lars Von Triers gorgeous yet depressing film?  I think that’s a question that keeps me on the fence between liking and disliking the film.

Melancholia is, first and foremost, a gorgeous movie.  Especially the haunting and breathtaking images in the film’s imaginative prologue.  Indeed, this film is absolutely stunning.  Adding to the incredible visuals is a score I loved and a sound mix that’s as real as the subject of the film.

However, many of the reviews I write focus on the experience of the film rather than commenting on things like shot composition and other technical and artistic elements.  I do that because, to me, the experience takes everything into account.  My experience with Melancholia can be divided into two distinct parts much like the structure of the film itself.  The first half of the film was fascinating but it was also extremely long and sometimes boring.  The second half was extremely intriguing but ruthlessly depressing.  And so I’m torn.

It Doesn't Get More Depressing Than MELANCHOLIA | Review

PART 1: A DEPRESSING HUMAN

Depression is a serious thing and it’s THE central theme of the movie.  Justine is an extremely depressed woman and Kirsten Dunst gives a remarkable performance here.  The first half of the film is essentially a long wedding reception that Justine constantly tries to escape.  The problem is, there is no where to go (audience included) and that’s why depression is so difficult to overcome.  It’s borderline frustrating to watch because you’re expecting her to snap out of it and be happy again…  but this isn’t a happy movie.

PART 2: A DEPRESSING PLANET

To me, the planet Melancholia truly encapsulates depression.  The mysterious planet is on a collision course with Earth and spells imminent doom should it collide with our planet.  Each of the characters in the story react to the threat differently but it’s all equally depressing.  Some characters are fascinated but ultimately overcome by grief.  Others are anxious about the event but desperately clinging to hope (only to lose it).  Then there is Justine who feels that no one would miss the Earth if it’s destroyed.

All roads lead to depression city.  Having said that, I thought the planet Melancholia was a perfect metaphor for depression.  It’s something the characters want to escape but can’t and slowly they succumb to it.  There is a positive message hidden in the film though.  It’s spoken by Justine’s horrifically depressed and unpleasant mother.

“Enjoy it while it lasts.”

It Doesn't Get More Depressing Than MELANCHOLIA | Review

HAPPINESS ISN’T HIDING BEHIND THE SUN…
BUT A PLANET IS…

People who watch this movie will be waiting for a turning point like me.  You always expect things to turn around at some point.  I think that’s the film’s best slight of hand.  In a way, Von Trier gives you that hope and then takes it away just like someone who suffers from depression.  You will feel frustrated, sad, bored, tired yet intrigued throughout.  It really is a phenomenal portrayal of depression.

It’s just a question of whether or not you are up for a downer movie like Melancholia.  From the moment the credits rolled until the second I fell a sleep that night, I thought about the movie, my life, anxiety and more.  In that way, Melancholia is a brilliant victory for Lars Von Trier.  Ultimately, this movie gets a positive review overall because it’s gorgeous and the meaning of the planet Melancholia was truly fascinating.  Having said that, there were still long stretches where not much happened except depressed people being depressed and depressing others.

If you need me, I’ll be watching Dumb & Dumber to reset my emotions.

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Canadians, Hockey & Hockey Movies

November 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

Canadians, Hockey & Hockey Movies

I’m a proud Canadian and I love hockey.  I’m a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  That’s the basic information.  I’m actually shocked it isn’t featured prominently on my driver’s license.  Now, when I say fan, I mean I’m the type of person who says ‘we’ when referring to the Leafs.  ‘We’ lost a big game on Saturday night.  ‘Our’ new draft pick is kind of a big deal.  ‘We’ will win the Stanley Cup before I turn 30. (I’m 28)

I grew up in Northern Ontario where there are just as many hockey arenas as there are Tim Horton’s.  Every single one of my friends played hockey…  But I didn’t.  You see, hockey and I have always had a strange relationship.  Like many most Canadians, I know the game inside and out yet I’ve never actually suited up and taken the ice.  Other than street hockey and occasional games on outdoor rinks, I’ve never been a part of the game directly.  But that’s the beauty of this this country’s love of the sport.  You don’t have to lace up a pair of skates to love hockey.  It’s in our DNA and it found a way into mine as well.

So while I haven’t scored a goal in my life, I still I grew up surrounded by hockey.

Today, I work for a Canadian sports network and we show more hockey than any other network in this country.  There are days when we show as many as 5 regional NHL games simultaneously.  That may not sound like a lot but when you factor in pre game shows, intermissions, updates and post game shows for each game, it’s a ton of work.  It’s our job to know hockey and produce the best coverage in the world.  So it’s safe to say that as an adult, I’m still surrounded by hockey and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I MISSED THE GOLDEN GOAL

One of the proudest moments I’ve ever had as a sports fan came when Sidney Crosby scored the Golden Goal to win Hockey’s Olympic Hold Medal on home soil.  Except I missed it…

I would have loved to add my voice to the collective roar of this country when ‘we’ won that game.  Here is what Vancouver sounded like:

No, I was at home getting ready for work when USA tied it.  It was devastating because I had to leave or risk being late for my shift.  When I emerged from the subway it was over and people had flooded the streets.  There were flags everywhere.  I’ve always loved my job but on that day, I REALLY loved my job.

CANADIANS LOVE HOCKEY MOVIES TOO

A big part of my life is also devoted to movies and it’s in this area where hockey and I truly see eye to eye.  So you can imagine the impact films like The Mighty Ducks, D2, Miracle and Slapshot and more had on me.  For me, nothing beats The Mighty Ducks and D2.  I was and always will be obsessed with those movies.

“One, two, three…  Triple deke”

I can’t be the only one who paused to announce the ‘Knuckle Puck’ was imminent.  It drives goalies crazy!

The flying V was a staple in local rinks back then.  It even found it’s way into video games.  And more than ever, little league teams around the country sang ‘We Are The Champions’ after the USA Ducks won it all.

I was even humming the ‘Ducks’ theme song when I wrote the championship scene of a basketball film years ago. (Which was a badass basketball scene by the way.)

DOES GARY BETTMAN LOVE HOCKEY MOVIES?

Lately, I’ve been curious how NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman feels about two prominent hockey movies being released in near future.  Right now, fighting and hitting in hockey is a heated debate.  Players are faster and stronger than ever and it seems someone goes down with a concussion daily.  (Including ‘our’ goalie James Reimer) Does fighting belong in the game?  How can you limit head shots?  These are questions that dominate the headlines regularly.  Don Cherry weighed in recently and it blew up into a massive story.  Some people would argue that Slapshot is all about the big hits and fights but those were simpler times and it’s a different world today.

Note: How do you think Brenden Shanahan would rule the hit from behind around the 1:48 mark?  Different times indeed.

I’m sure Mr. Bettman wants the discussion and especially the injuries to stop.  Is he thrilled about new films that focus on the rougher aspects of the game?  Or will Kevin Smith’s 2 part epic Hit Somebody and Goon starring Seann William Scott prove that hockey is hockey and it’s all part of the game.

In the old days, hockey movies like The Mighty Ducks focused on the love of the game and what it’s like to be a part of a team.  Both Goon and Hit Somebody seem to focus on the spirit of the game but their stories are based on bruisers and bullies…  It’s no secret that people in my country (myself included) will flock to see these movies but will they capture the Hockey starved imaginations of Canadians?  Will they bring hockey to the forefront in the US and expand the NHL’s audience?  Will they bring up the violence in hockey debate once more?  Or will they truly recreate the hockey experience fans are addicted to?

STIFLER IS A GOON

At one point, Kevin Smith wanted Seann William Scott to star in his hockey movie but he ultimately chose Goon.  (Hopefully there are more tributes to Canada other than ‘oots, aboots and eh)  I want this movie to be a love letter to hockey fans.  Sure it’s about a fighter who doesn’t understand the game but what if it’s also about a fighter who discovers the game?

KEVIN SMITH IS A GOALIE

Hockey has found it’s way into many of Kevin Smith’s movies.  It think it’s fitting that his final directorial effort is a two part hockey film.

Hit Somebody: Home tracks the rise of a bruiser from his humble beginnings to professional hockey player.

Hit Somebody: Away is about the players pro career.

Kevin Smith is a die hard hockey fan with a true appreciation of the game and quite frankly, an honorary Canadian as a result.  He loves hockey. (and Wayne Gretzky)  So if I had to choose which film will truly capture what hockey is all about I would have to go with Hit Somebody.

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A HOCKEY MOVIE IS A HOCKEY MOVIE

Forget the fact that both movies focus on enforcers.  Hockey fans love the big hits and the fights.  Personally, I think the league is doing a great job cracking down on cheap shots and hits to the head.  So lets get away from the violence in hockey debate and enjoy the game for what it is.  An exciting and fast sport full of moments like Crosby’s goal that make me proud to be a sports fan.

I hope both (technically there is three) of these movies deliver unique and entertaining entries into the hockey movie universe.  I think it’s about time a great hockey movie came along especially for us Canadians.  Hockey fans can be found all around the globe but the best hockey fans are Canadian hockey fans.

Like I said, hockey and I have always had a strange relationship because I never played the game.  My entire life, I’ve experience the game by watching it on television, sitting at the edge of my seat in arenas or settling in for a fantastic hockey movie. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t spend weeks mourning another year without playoff hockey Leafs!  The only thing that helps the grieving process is reliving my favorite hockey movie moments as I wait for a Stanley Cup or another moment like the Golden Goal.

Sports & Movies.  Athletic/Nerd.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HOCKEY MOVIE?

Why King’s Quest 6 Ruled My Screenwriting Notebook

November 7, 2011 at 8:41 am

Screenwriting: Why King's Quest Ruled My Notebook | Screenwriting Blog

OLD SCHOOL VIDEO GAMES INSPIRE SCREENPLAYS TOO

I got my hands on King’s Quest 6 long ago.  How long ago?  It ran on my lightning fast Compaq Presario 850.  I instantly fell in love with the amazing graphics and gameplay.  And thus the game dominated my life for months.

My dad runs his own business and our computer was command central in our basement.  Obviously, I’m thankful that my dad is a hard working man but it was always disappointing to come home from school and see him working.  It meant I couldn’t play King’s Quest!

Screenwriting: Why King's Quest Ruled My Notebook | Screenwriting Blog

Once he was finished his to-do list, I got to work exploring and solving puzzles.  Eventually, my imagination surpassed the limits of the game and I began writing my own story entitled.  The King’s Deadly Race.  I filled up a bunch of loose pages before my mom bought me a notebook to collect them all.

And so, I would make progress in the game and in my own story simultaneously.  It was a glorious time.  I would open up new secrets in the game and it would inspire me to create my own unique secrets in my writing.  Eventually, I beat the game and moved on but for a little while, King’s Quest literally dominated my imagination.

I think screenwriters everywhere have little tales like this.  Moments from our past that inspired us and led us down the road we walk today.  I look back on King’s Quest 6 fondly not only because the game captured my imagination but because it set my imagination on fire.

To this day, I still have the first 5 chapters of The King’s Deadly Race in the same notebook my mom bought me long ago.  I can tell you exactly where it is.  I keep it close because it was created when my passion for writing began.  While I wrote that book, I discovered how much I love to write and I began searching for a medium that suited me.

I found that outlet the day I discovered the screenplay format and the rest is history.

C:\

cd Quest [enter]

C:\quest>

Quest.exe [enter]

That’s probably not exact but you get the idea.  Takes me back.